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As everyone here knows, the President and his staff have come out with some decidedly mixed messages about the public option element of the Affordable Health Choices Act.  

After further review, I think the President is right, or at least, has the potential to be right.   The key thing isn't the existence of a public option - it's the existence of affordable choices.  In other words, if the Health Insurance Exchange system works (along with the mandates and penalties for non-participation), and provided there is a sufficient subsidy for individuals and businesses to participate , it doesn't matter whether there is or is not a "public option" (or even co-ops) among the menu of choices.      

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If you fix the problem on Main Street, you fix the problem on Wall Street, right?

We're spending billions, if not trillions, of dollars on stimulus and the bailout, when there is a much simpler solution available that will cost virtually nothing and can help slow the descent into a deep recession, if not reinflate confidence in our economy.

The solution is to fix our broken real estate appraisal system.  Our housing market (and the commercial paper market it supports) is built on sand.  By fixing the foundation, we can quickly and cheaply make sure that our bailout money doesn't go to waste.

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I've been thinking about that last question at the 2nd debate, from Patty in New Hampshire - "what don't you know and how will you learn it?"

It was such a wide-open question that it took me by surprise.  At first I dismissed it as almost a joke, a fluffy, job interview trick question, like "what's your greatest weakness?"  I was relieved that Barack handled it deftly, albeit kind of blandly.

And then I thought about it, and I realized that he really missed a huge opportunity.  Thankfully, so did John McCain.

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This will be a brief diary, but upon waking up this morning, I am 100% angrier at the idea that the taxpayers are being asked to pony up $1 trillion or more to bail out Wall Street.  I am livid that Wall Street lobbyists are working the halls of Congress and pushing for no-strings attached funds.  I am furious that this is all happening over the course of one weekend, at the last minute, dead of night, hammered out in some backroom.  

I believe that something has to be done, but something should have been done years ago.   If a Fortune 500 company were run this way, upon realization of the massive error, the management would be forced out.  If this were a Japanese company, the CEO might have commimtted suicide in shame by now.   I'm not asking for literal blood.  But for $1 trillion, America, we are entitled to some demands.

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Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 07:37 PM PDT

Bailouts: What's the Rush?

by Greuben

I get why we need to do something.   The markets were having a crisis of confidence at the end of last week.   They were seeing a downward spiral of failed banks, frozen credit, declining house values, more foreclosures, etc.  

That said, what is being proposed is a half-solution.  We are basically giving Hank Paulson a taxpayer-funded credit card with a $700 billion credit line, to go shopping in the market for bad debts.  There are no rules on what he can buy, how he decides to value what he buys, and at what price he buys it.   It's a credit card, plain and simple.  No wonder that boosted the spirits of Wall Street.  LIttle Orphan America is putting its entire fate in the hands of Daddy Warbucks, er, Hank Paulson.

The question for this diary, hwoever, is - why do we have to do something by this week?

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Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 06:07 PM PDT

Sarah Palin:  Moose in Headlights

by Greuben

I think we have a new name for Gov. Palin: Gov. Moose-in-Headlights.  Her unbelievable answer to Charlie Gibson's question:  Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?  That and the fact that she doesn't blink!

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Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 09:28 PM PDT

Palin = "Fraud"

by Greuben

It's too easy to call Palin the "Emperess who wears no clothes."  In fact, most guys would dig that image.  

It's not enough to simply say that she's not ready, or she has an honesty issue, or that she's too green.

THe word of the day that should be on every Democratic surrogate's lips when it comes to Palin is:  FRAUD.

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Rep. Lynn Westmoreland called Sen. Obama "Uppity."  

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden and Rev. Al Sharpton and Oprah Fucking Winfrey everyone else who cares about civil rights in Amreica should fly down to Georgia within the next couple of days and ask Rep. Westmoreland to show up to a debate to discuss the question:

Is it "uppity" for an Afircan American to run for President of the United States of America?

Oh, and they should also invite Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. John McCain.

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My thoughts on what he should say:

Gov. Palin gave a nice speech.  She got some zingers in there.  Good for her.  Welcome to the big leagues.  

But, seriously, where's the beef?  For all her jokes, Gov. Palin does not have a beef with the Obama campaign.  Gov. Palin says that Washington needs change.  We agree.  Eight years of Bush and the corrupt GOP establishment is enough.  

Who has walked the walk of change?   What kind of change did Sarah Palin bring to the small town of Wasilla when she was mayor?   Sarah Palin is not running for President.  What kind of change will Sarah Palin bring to Washington D.C. as John McCain's right-hand woman?  

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Americans like smash mouth competition - be it "three yards and a cloud of dust!" type football, or a high fastball down the middle in the bottom of the ninth, "two men enter, one man leaves" Thunderdome-style cage matches.  It's simple, it's primal, it's fundamentally American.

This fundamental premise is why Karl Rove and the GOP have been so successful.  Take the fight to the enemy.  In a way, it's the political doctrine of preemption.   Use "shock and awe" to immediately decapitate the opponent's perceived strength:  Al Gore's wonkiness, John Kerry's heroic service in Vietnam, and now, Barack Obama's popularity and judgment.

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Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:00 PM PST

Breaking: Obama Nixes Veep Slot

by Greuben

I haven't seen this diaried yet - but Obama just was asked if he would be Vice President.

Political Radar

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: While in Casper, Wyo., today Sen. Barack Obama ruled out the possibility being a vice presidential candidate during an interview with CBS' Montana affiliate KTVQ. Here is a transcipt of what he said.

Q: You’ve raised $55 million in February and in your speech today you said "I was against the war in ’03, ’04, ’05 -- all the way on through 2010, and you specifically mentioned Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Could you ever see yourself on the same ticket as Senator Clinton?

A: Well, you know, I think it’s premature. You won’t see me as a vice presidential candidate -- you know, I’m running for president. We have won twice as many states as Senator Clinton, and have a higher popular vote, and I think we can maintain our delegate count -- but you know, what I’m really focused on right now, because all that stuff is premature, is winning this nomination and changing the country.

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"She's a fighter!"   Hillary has finally found her voice, and with boxing imagery, has recast herself as the real "fighter" in this race.

Crediting the historic industrial role of Ohioans in the hard-hit steel and manufacturing industries for turning the middle class into an economic engine of national prosperity, Clinton said, “I’m here today because I want to let you know, I’m a fighter, a doer and a champion, and I will fight for you.

Obama needs to turn this back on Hillary.  She's a fighter all right - but a fighter only for the sake of fighting.

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