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Ben Bernanke, Henry Paulson prepare for bank bailout

“Heaven help us all”

‘I don’t think the American taxpayer needs to be stepping in,” Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson assured the citizenry on February 27 of this year. Half a month later, the Federal Reserve bailed out Wall Street by financing a shotgun marriage of Bear Stearns to a larger firm, JPMorgan Chase. Nonetheless, on May 6, Paulson declared, “The worst is likely to be behind us.” Then on July 20, he exuded confidence: “It’s a safe banking system, a sound banking system,” quoth he. “Our regulators are on top of it.” Then on September 18 — after the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and American International Group rescues — Paulson begged for a $700 billion taxpayer bailout of Wall Street, warning that if the banking-welfare package didn’t pass, “Heaven help us all.”

Paulson wasn’t alone in his dead-wrong pronouncements. On March 11, Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, declared, “We have a good deal of comfort about the capital cushions at these [Wall Street] firms at the moment.” His agency was making “constant,” sometimes daily reviews of financial institutions, declared Cox. Three days later, Bear Stearns was saved via the shotgun.

Then there is Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank. Early in the current financial crisis, he had to be educated about the quadrillion dollars of derivatives threatening to send the world’s banking system into a tailspin. During a recent congressional hearing, Bernanke and Paulson were asked if Wall Street owed Main Street an apology. Both waffled.

Get this: these three people will be key among those spearheading the $700 billion bailout package. Paulson and aides will have near-dictatorial powers. Cox and Bernanke will be on the Financial Stability Oversight Board.

As Paulson said, “Heaven help us all.” Now, as governments essentially take over the world’s banking system, guaranteeing deposits and lending among banks, Paulson’s quote is more apt than ever, although he hardly meant it that way, having been a cheerleader for the nationalization of formerly private banks.

I asked some prominent San Diego financial experts about this state of affairs. “These guys [did not] understand the derivatives problem or, more important, its magnitude,” says retired banker Peter Q. Davis. Derivatives with no regulation or oversight “took on a life of their own. [They were] out-and-out gambles.”

Says former Wall Street veteran Arthur Lipper III, “With someone as intelligent and experienced as Paulson is, I find it hard to believe he failed to understand” the explosive possibilities of a derivatives chain reaction.

Maybe, like some on Wall Street, Paulson knew that an explosion could take place, but he was making too much money to fret about it. Derivatives came to dominate the financial world because the commissions are so high for those peddling them. Wall Street is all about greed and mendacity — two reasons its practitioners are unfit for government positions.

In May of 2006, San Diegan Gary Aguirre warned the Senate Banking Committee that Wall Street was re-creating 1929, piling up multiple layers of financial leverage that could crash. After the Bear Stearns collapse this year, he reminded the committee that the Securities and Exchange Commission had failed to foresee this calamity and would probably fail to foresee further disasters. Aguirre, brother of City Attorney Mike Aguirre, was right on target.

Springfield, New Jersey–based economist A. Gary Shilling says, “Perhaps the least credible of all the Washington players has been the SEC.” In 2006, the agency’s staff identified the risks of the subprime mortgage crisis but didn’t exert influence over Bear Stearns to plan for a subprime meltdown. The agency permitted the firm to use its own auditors, instead of independent ones, in assessing Bear Stearns’ risk-management policies. Then the SEC botched its attempt to shore up financial shares. It banned new short selling on 1000 financial issues, but it put nonfinancial stocks, such as IBM, GM, and Ford, on the list, while ignoring authentic financial institutions.

“They [SEC staff] don’t know what they are doing now,” says Aguirre. “It is panic over there.”

“The SEC could require regulated firms to disclose on an ongoing basis their current debt-to-capital ratio so those considering trading with the firms could make a decision as to risk,” says Lipper. Such disclosure would have helped in the Bear Stearns disaster.

Playing politics trumps telling the truth these days. “Paulson allowed the wish to become the parent of the thought in his quest to serve the Bush administration,” says Lipper. “It appears that he was part of the decision-making which resulted in there being few, if any, independent economists testifying before Congress in the bailout-plan deliberations.

“Of course, Bernanke, as chairman of the [Federal Reserve], also sought and seeks to serve the Bush administration,” says Lipper.

“Bernanke loves to tell folks he is an expert on the Depression — thus, I think he sees all roads leading to one,” says Davis. “As the old saying goes, ‘When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.’ ”

Paulson’s “ ‘Trust me’ three-page proposal and request that he not be liable to judicial review or punishment was simply offensive and probably a violation of federal law,” says Davis.

What about the bailout plan? “What Paulson did was an ambush,” says Aguirre. “In March, after Bear Stearns collapsed, everyone should have known that Bear was a sign of what was coming. Paulson should have convened the Senate Banking Committee, conducted highly public hearings, explained what was going on with Bear Stearns to garner public support.” Instead, Paulson kept insisting that all was well. After it was clear the financial sector was on the brink, “The politicians were stampeded by Paulson’s warnings and passed a bill that is a complete disaster for the public.”

Among many things, the bill allows Paulson and his minions to purchase toxic assets at whatever price they deem consistent with the purposes of the act. They could pay above a reasonable price if they so desired — supposedly as a way to pump liquidity into a bank. Doesn’t Wall Street proselytize “buy low and sell high”? Even Paulson, Cox, and Bernanke should have learned that maxim. The bill permits Paulson’s dragoons to purchase credit default swaps and other derivatives that are at the root of the problem. Such purchases would bail out Wall Street while screwing Main Street.

The villains are institutional gambling with excessive debt and the ideological insistence on nonregulation. And now officials who encouraged such irresponsibility, or looked the other way while it occurred, and never saw the possibility of a derivatives nuclear reaction are in charge of steering the nation out of the crisis.

“Were there not institutional and public demand for ever-increasing profits, the excesses would not have occurred,” says Lipper. “As has always been the case, leverage is dangerous, and without significant minimum capital requirements it typically ends in disaster.”

We may be at the edge of that disaster right now. The nationalizing moves over the weekend will only lead to more inflation down the road, says Lipper.

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Salk It To ‘Em

‘I don’t think the American taxpayer needs to be stepping in,” Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson assured the citizenry on February 27 of this year. Half a month later, the Federal Reserve bailed out Wall Street by financing a shotgun marriage of Bear Stearns to a larger firm, JPMorgan Chase. Nonetheless, on May 6, Paulson declared, “The worst is likely to be behind us.” Then on July 20, he exuded confidence: “It’s a safe banking system, a sound banking system,” quoth he. “Our regulators are on top of it.” Then on September 18 — after the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and American International Group rescues — Paulson begged for a $700 billion taxpayer bailout of Wall Street, warning that if the banking-welfare package didn’t pass, “Heaven help us all.”

Paulson wasn’t alone in his dead-wrong pronouncements. On March 11, Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, declared, “We have a good deal of comfort about the capital cushions at these [Wall Street] firms at the moment.” His agency was making “constant,” sometimes daily reviews of financial institutions, declared Cox. Three days later, Bear Stearns was saved via the shotgun.

Then there is Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank. Early in the current financial crisis, he had to be educated about the quadrillion dollars of derivatives threatening to send the world’s banking system into a tailspin. During a recent congressional hearing, Bernanke and Paulson were asked if Wall Street owed Main Street an apology. Both waffled.

Get this: these three people will be key among those spearheading the $700 billion bailout package. Paulson and aides will have near-dictatorial powers. Cox and Bernanke will be on the Financial Stability Oversight Board.

As Paulson said, “Heaven help us all.” Now, as governments essentially take over the world’s banking system, guaranteeing deposits and lending among banks, Paulson’s quote is more apt than ever, although he hardly meant it that way, having been a cheerleader for the nationalization of formerly private banks.

I asked some prominent San Diego financial experts about this state of affairs. “These guys [did not] understand the derivatives problem or, more important, its magnitude,” says retired banker Peter Q. Davis. Derivatives with no regulation or oversight “took on a life of their own. [They were] out-and-out gambles.”

Says former Wall Street veteran Arthur Lipper III, “With someone as intelligent and experienced as Paulson is, I find it hard to believe he failed to understand” the explosive possibilities of a derivatives chain reaction.

Maybe, like some on Wall Street, Paulson knew that an explosion could take place, but he was making too much money to fret about it. Derivatives came to dominate the financial world because the commissions are so high for those peddling them. Wall Street is all about greed and mendacity — two reasons its practitioners are unfit for government positions.

In May of 2006, San Diegan Gary Aguirre warned the Senate Banking Committee that Wall Street was re-creating 1929, piling up multiple layers of financial leverage that could crash. After the Bear Stearns collapse this year, he reminded the committee that the Securities and Exchange Commission had failed to foresee this calamity and would probably fail to foresee further disasters. Aguirre, brother of City Attorney Mike Aguirre, was right on target.

Springfield, New Jersey–based economist A. Gary Shilling says, “Perhaps the least credible of all the Washington players has been the SEC.” In 2006, the agency’s staff identified the risks of the subprime mortgage crisis but didn’t exert influence over Bear Stearns to plan for a subprime meltdown. The agency permitted the firm to use its own auditors, instead of independent ones, in assessing Bear Stearns’ risk-management policies. Then the SEC botched its attempt to shore up financial shares. It banned new short selling on 1000 financial issues, but it put nonfinancial stocks, such as IBM, GM, and Ford, on the list, while ignoring authentic financial institutions.

“They [SEC staff] don’t know what they are doing now,” says Aguirre. “It is panic over there.”

“The SEC could require regulated firms to disclose on an ongoing basis their current debt-to-capital ratio so those considering trading with the firms could make a decision as to risk,” says Lipper. Such disclosure would have helped in the Bear Stearns disaster.

Playing politics trumps telling the truth these days. “Paulson allowed the wish to become the parent of the thought in his quest to serve the Bush administration,” says Lipper. “It appears that he was part of the decision-making which resulted in there being few, if any, independent economists testifying before Congress in the bailout-plan deliberations.

“Of course, Bernanke, as chairman of the [Federal Reserve], also sought and seeks to serve the Bush administration,” says Lipper.

“Bernanke loves to tell folks he is an expert on the Depression — thus, I think he sees all roads leading to one,” says Davis. “As the old saying goes, ‘When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.’ ”

Paulson’s “ ‘Trust me’ three-page proposal and request that he not be liable to judicial review or punishment was simply offensive and probably a violation of federal law,” says Davis.

What about the bailout plan? “What Paulson did was an ambush,” says Aguirre. “In March, after Bear Stearns collapsed, everyone should have known that Bear was a sign of what was coming. Paulson should have convened the Senate Banking Committee, conducted highly public hearings, explained what was going on with Bear Stearns to garner public support.” Instead, Paulson kept insisting that all was well. After it was clear the financial sector was on the brink, “The politicians were stampeded by Paulson’s warnings and passed a bill that is a complete disaster for the public.”

Among many things, the bill allows Paulson and his minions to purchase toxic assets at whatever price they deem consistent with the purposes of the act. They could pay above a reasonable price if they so desired — supposedly as a way to pump liquidity into a bank. Doesn’t Wall Street proselytize “buy low and sell high”? Even Paulson, Cox, and Bernanke should have learned that maxim. The bill permits Paulson’s dragoons to purchase credit default swaps and other derivatives that are at the root of the problem. Such purchases would bail out Wall Street while screwing Main Street.

The villains are institutional gambling with excessive debt and the ideological insistence on nonregulation. And now officials who encouraged such irresponsibility, or looked the other way while it occurred, and never saw the possibility of a derivatives nuclear reaction are in charge of steering the nation out of the crisis.

“Were there not institutional and public demand for ever-increasing profits, the excesses would not have occurred,” says Lipper. “As has always been the case, leverage is dangerous, and without significant minimum capital requirements it typically ends in disaster.”

We may be at the edge of that disaster right now. The nationalizing moves over the weekend will only lead to more inflation down the road, says Lipper.

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Comments
59

How about Warren Buffett, Paul Krugman and Don Bauder as economic advisors to President Obama?

I nominate Dr. Frazier Crane.

Kelsey Grammer was actually being interviewed by one of the cable news networks for his advice on the crashing markets last week...

. . . . . A blind folder monkey throwing darts at a dart board would have more success than the chimp we have in the White House today(and his "advisors" )

Oct. 16, 2008

And, no disrespect intended Don, Don Bauder is a journalist and investigative reporter. He's not an economist, award winning or otherwise. === ====== ====

I think the "economist" comment is way off base.

If I received a degree in economics from the University of Chicago and then went to work for a newspaper I would still be a highly trained economist.

Don went to Wisconsin I believe, and if he has an econ degree he is qualified. Even without an econ degree I would trust him far more than the chimps we currenty have running the show.

Oct. 16, 2008

Yes, Maria is a good interviewer. === ==============

Yes, but much better eye candy.

Oct. 16, 2008

That joke about Zsa Zsa getting that cat off her lap is far and away the most talked-about joke ever on the Carson show

I think the "cat" tale is an old wives story.

The funniest thing I ever saw on Carson was when he had Dolly Parton and and her well endowed chest came up and Johnny said he had no business making comments on it, but that he would "give a years pay to just take one peak"......LOL

Oct. 16, 2008

Response to post#16. My undergrad degree at Wisconsin was in business and my master's in journalism. I took some economics courses, but I can't call myself an economist. I'm just somebody who studies it and writes about it. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 16, 2008

How about Warren Buffett, Paul Krugman and Don Bauder as economic advisors to President Obama?

Oct. 15, 2008

I nominate Dr. Frazier Crane.

Kelsey Grammer was actually being interviewed by one of the cable news networks for his advice on the crashing markets last week...

After all, he can't be any less qualified than the Wall Street Masters of the Universe who've delivered up the current mess.

Oct. 15, 2008

On a deeper reader of the above article, I might suspect that Mr. Bauder has leafed through the recent SEDC perfomrnace audit at http://www.sandiego.gov/auditor/pdf/sedcauditreport.pdf regarding the lack of external controls on internal chaos.

The similarities are eerie... like the re-telling of an old ghost story right before Halloween!

Oct. 15, 2008

Response to post #2:

Great thought, Dr. Frazier Crane shall most certainly be a far better spokesperson than anyone currently in Washington and on Wall/Main Street, except Maria Bartiromo that is.

Maria knows how to ask questions and get answers, and her CNBC TV show is on in a few minutes, see ya later.

Oct. 15, 2008

1

Paul Krugman has stated many times in the past that he has no intention of or interest in giving up teaching at Princeton or writing for that matter. Warren Beffett will NEVER work for the government. The disclosure policies required during the vetting process would be extremely "inconvenient" And, no disrespect intended Don, Don Bauder is a journalist and investigative reporter. He's not an economist, award winning or otherwise.

Oct. 15, 2008

Re: #4...

Maybe I'm biased, but Maria Bartiromo, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Trish Regan, Erin Burnett and others are at least informatively tackling the market issues and asking the kind of on-air questions that make the women on the View seem like a step backwards for gender-specific empowerment.

Oct. 15, 2008

Response to post #1: I suggest Zsa Zsa Gabor. On the Jack Paar and Johnny Carson shows, she proved that she was an expert on every topic. Paulson, step aside. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 15, 2008

Response to post #2: Anon 92107 suggested Buffett and Krugman, both of whom are qualified to be treasury secretary or Fed chairman. If there is a President Obama, the job will probably go to somebody qualified. Under President Palin, those you suggest will be in line. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 15, 2008

Response to post #3: The SEDC saga, unfortunately, was not so unusual for San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 15, 2008

Response to post #4: Yes, Maria is a good interviewer. Dillon Ratigan (sp?) and Bob Pisani are quite good, too, along with Erin Burnett. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 15, 2008

Response to post #5: Journalists, certainly including yours truly, should not go into any other field -- politics, business, whatever. Buffett and Krugman may say now that they don't want a top job -- but would they say that if asked? Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 15, 2008

Response to post #6: Bartiromo and Burnett are good. You can also find some good ones on Bloomberg TV, which I watch more than I watch CNBC. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 15, 2008

Mr. Bauder,

Do you remember the quote of Carson's about her cat that created the ensuing hubris? My apologies for changing the subject, but Zsa Zsa was always an engaging guest and when she was on no one really could care less. I saw these in repeats or videos and wish today could be more like then.

Oct. 15, 2008

Response to post #13: That joke about Zsa Zsa getting that cat off her lap is far and away the most talked-about joke ever on the Carson show. I can't remember having watched the Carson show (or the Paar, Leno, Letterman shows) for more than an hour or so (total) in my entire life. I just never got into the habit of watching those late shows, and if I ever watched a snippet for some reason, I usually turned them off. However, I have heard over and over about that wonderful line. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 15, 2008

FYI: According to Snopes.com (a pretty good source for these things):

"The apocryphal Tonight Show incident with Zsa Zsa Gabor and her cat is a wellspring for one of the greatest "manufactured memories" in modern popular culture. No matter how many millions of people swear they were watching the Tonight Show when the above-quoted exchange took place, it simply didn't happen."

The censors at the time would never have allowed it to air, and Zsa Zsa was on the show many times after it supposedly happend. It also has been attributed to many other starlets, including Anne Margaret and Raquel Welsh, a common sign of an urban myth.

Also from Snopes.com: "Consider the following exchange between Johnny and Jane Fonda during a 1989 Tonight Show appearance:

Fonda: I gotta ask you something.

Carson: Sure.

Fonda: Last night, my son... you know, you were talking about Zsa Zsa Gabor earlier ...

Carson: Yeah, I think everyone's talking about her [ed. note: because she had recently been jailed for slapping a policeman].

Fonda: My son said ... "You know, she was on the Johnny Carson Show one time. She came there with a cat on her lap, and she said to you, 'Do you want to pet my pussy?'" [Audience laughter.]

Fonda: And my son said that you said, uh, "I'd love to if you'd remove that damn cat!" [Prolonged laughter and applause.]

Fonda: Is it true?

Carson: [Shaking his head] I ... I tell you, I ...

Fonda: Is it true?

Carson: No, I think I would recall that.

During this exchange, Johnny genuinely looks surprised, as if he'd never heard the story before."

Oct. 16, 2008

Host: Ladies and Gentlemen, our guests tonight on the Economics Roundtable are Paris Hilton, Snoop Dogg, and Jello Biafra. Welcome to the show...

Hilton: I just want to say that you look so hot. Just like a derivative, you could totally inflate my profits, baby.

Host: Uh, thanks. You look pretty inflationary too, always give us a boost on this show. Mr. Dogg, how do you see the current situation on world markets?

Dogg: Well, 'dey all talking whack bull* about what the * be goin on, you dig? Problem is, ain't none o them ever have a real cash business like I done. You want the shizzle, you got to do the drizzle.

Hilton: Yo, like, I'm totally down with that analysis.

Host: Mr. Biafra, your previous experience with not only San Francisco mayoral politics, but also your close work in the past with Tipper Gore must have influenced your perception of this week's tumultuous events on the markets.

Biafra: I say it's time to impose a nationwide maximum wage, make workplace drug abuse mandatory, and eliminate that flying eyeball in a pyramid from our currency once and for all.

Dogg: Now, I don't think that would be cool with the boys who got the bling, Biafra.

Hilton: No, that's totally, like, all gross, though I support the mandatory workplace drug abuse thingy.

Host: And would taking off the flying eyeball increase the value of our currency?

Dogg: The currency requires urgency and that's why they call me in an emergency, I go on down and take a look and see, cause it's you and me, ain't no homies with the bonies making you nervousy...

Biafra: ...I hate to interrupt, but without adding significant levels of acid to our water supply....

Hilton: ...this is so boring...I wanna go now.

Host: ...and we'll have to leave it there. Thank you to our guests, and we'll see you tomorrow on the Economics Roundtable with Robert Downey Jr, Jose Canseco, and the Ghost of the Reverend Billy Graham to talk about LIBOR and it's implications for emerging economies. Good night!

Oct. 16, 2008

Response to post #15: Yes, and that chimp has an MBA from Harvard. As I have said, oodles of fruitcakes and frauds have graduated from the Harvard MBA program. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 16, 2008

Response to post #17: I'm sure when CNBC and Bloomberg pick female reporters and commentators, physical attractiveness is one of the criteria. The same is less true, but still at least partly true, for male reporters. Both stations would deny it. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 16, 2008

Response to post #18. Yeah, and Carson reportedly made a lot of money in a year. Parton should have taken him up. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 16, 2008

Response to post #19: Amazing. I only heard about it -- never saw it. So I guess I was fooled. Incidentally, you mention that the censors would never have allowed that joke. However, in the 1970s there was a wonderful Britcom, "Are You Being Served?" that featured double entendre on the word "pussy" almost every show. Those shows were shown on KPBS years later -- say, the 1990s. Those re-runs may still be on. My wife and I watched them all the time in the 1990s. There was also a James Bond movie named "Octopussy" as I recall, and I think the double entendre was quite clear. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 16, 2008

Response to post #20: Fred, you should be a Hollywood gag writer. Your material is great. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 16, 2008

Don,

The comment about the censors was paraphrased from Snopes. I was much too young to be watching Carson at the time, and don't know anything about the censors then. It sounded like it was largely self-censorship to avoid the government censors.

From Snopes: "The Tonight Show was never broadcast live during the Carson years; it was always taped earlier in the evening, providing both the producers and the network's Standards and Practices group opportunity to excise any potentially offensive material from each episode before its late-evening airing. The legend predates the Tonight Show's May 1972 move from New York to Los Angeles, a time when even the word "damn" would probably have been bleeped, never mind the rest of the remark. It is exceedingly unlikely that either Zsa Zsa's set-up line or Johnny's legendary response would have been aired with just a word or two bleeped; if either had truly been uttered, the whole exchange would have been cut from the show. It hadn't been that long since Carson's predecessor on the Tonight Show, Jack Paar, once walked off the show in protest (and stayed away for a month) when NBC cut one of his jokes simply because it referenced the initials W.C. (an abbreviation for "water closet")."

As to your Bond movie reference, there was a mention in another Reader article just last week, of the Dr. Strangelove Peter Sellers character named president Merkin Muffley. That nanme slid right past me until I learned what it meant. That one is pretty far over the top.

Oct. 16, 2008

A popular saying from the sixties was "Speed Kills", which I amended some years ago to: "Greed Kills".

Oct. 17, 2008

The more information we get on the crisis the more it becomes proven that the leaders of American Democracy and Capitalism have sacrificed all Americans on the alter of avarice.

The paramount fact is that Washington is totally corrupted by Wall/Main Street and special interests that keep sucking taxpayer money and investment funds into sewers of greed.

Both political parties caused the financial disasters we are experiencing, most recently during Clinton and Bush administrations, and absolutely no one in Washington can be trusted.

The debates and campaign rhetoric proves continuously that we are faced with a choice from hell, replacing one corrupt party in Washington with the other corrupt party.

Oct. 16, 2008

Response to post #27: Thanks for more enlightenment on the Carson show. If it is true that this never appeared, a communications PhD candidate could do a dissertation on the topic. It swept the nation. But then, jokes travel quickly, too. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 16, 2008

Response to post #28: There is no question that a wave of avarice swept the nation beginning in the 1980s. The wave is still going. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 16, 2008

Response to post #30:

The greatest tragedy is that both the republican and democratic parties have betrayed the future for all Americans.

There is no doubt that the newest and all future generations shall pay a hellacious price for the culture of corruption and greed because Washington special interests have been allowed to commit grand larceny with impunity while all American taxpayers/families are losing because of a totally failed political system.

I will vote against all republicans this time, but I know we will have to start voting against democrats again in four years, history proves it's a never-ending cycle of political corruption.

Once again, all we can do now is hope and pray that our newest President, Senate and House will not sell out their integrity, ethics and honor like the Clinton and Bush eras have, but that has been a failed hope and prayer since the first democracy in Greece.

Oct. 17, 2008

Response to post #31: When we're young, we think love makes the world go 'round. As we get older, we realize it's greed, not love. Since the 1980s, the greed society has escalated almost beyond belief. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 17, 2008

Response to post #33: Your amendment was right on the mark, as current conditions attest. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 17, 2008

31

just sitting back, hoping and praying things change accomplishes nothing. Since you have expressed your disdain for both major parties, calling them both corrupt, perhaps it's time you expanded your field of vision. Perhaps it's time to look towards 3rd party candidates, and not just in a presidential election. Being a member of one of the 2 "major" parties does not grant one exclusivity to the good ideas and leadership values we desperately need. Or perhaps it is easier for you to vote for the lesser of two evils, an apathetic vote at best, thus promoting the propagation of the culture of corruption and greed. And then simply hope and pray things get better.

Oct. 17, 2008

Response to post #32:

Yup, especially when the purge of republicans election hasn't happened yet, and already we need to get rid of Pelosi and Reid for their Bailout of the rich and infamous that is exactly the same as business as usual selling of American taxpayers and families.

Oct. 17, 2008

just sitting back, hoping and praying things change accomplishes nothing. Since you have expressed your disdain for both major parties, calling them both corrupt, perhaps it's time you expanded your field of vision

I agree 100%.

I watch Lou Dobbs every single day and he is an Independant, and urges all his viewers to register as Independant also.

I no longer am registered with or follow the Democratic party, which I had since I was 18 years old. I am disgusted by their actions, especially with public unions. It used to be the Democrats would stand up for the little guy against Big Business-now they just stick up for the Public Unions while destroying the poor and middle class.

I voted H. Ross Perot in 92 and 96, and Nader in 2000 (that was a mistake). This year I am going with Obama, but I think McCain would also be a big improvement over Bushie.

I don't care who is elected November 4, as long as Bush is out in January I will be a happy camper.

Oct. 17, 2008

Response to post #41: Agreed. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 18, 2008

Response to post #37: Go with the intelligent candidate. It looks like you are doing so in this election. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 17, 2008

Response to posts #35 & 37:

brianwilson and JV you are both correct, it’s time to fight back harder than ever before.

American Democracy is worth saving because there has never been a better way, and it’s time we ended the history of failures and corruption.

Oct. 18, 2008

I agree with and commend you all for being active in these elections rather than passive spectators.

Choose your candidate and give a few hours to help their campaign.

If you are fit, presentable, and energetic, you can walk door to door and ask people to vote for your choice.

If you're not so fit, presentable, or energetic, you can call voters on the phone and ask them to vote your way.

You can write letters to the editor, comments on blogs, or flyers that you copy and hand out to your neighbors.

If you've a mind too, you can stand on a busy street corner with signs during the commute and wave to drivers.

The only thing that is out of bounds is doing nothing this year.

Locally, I'm putting my efforts into helping Stephen Whitburn in his race for the City Council. He's a reformer up against a well-connected insider.

There are several other tight races here in San Diego. Marti Emerald in District 7 is facing off against April Boling. Marti Block in the 78th Assembly is battling Chargers Subsidies Advocate John McCann.

Choose a fight and get in it. They're open to all.

I wish I could write more posts, but I'm walking a lot of precincts just now. I hope my fellow posters on Don Bauder's excellent Scam Diego Blog will do the same.

Best,

Fred

Oct. 18, 2008

Response to post #42: Anybody favoring a pro sports subsidy in this economy should not get into political office -- in fact, should see a psychiatrist. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 18, 2008

Response to post #35: I'm from Chicago, where people cast three votes for the lesser of two evils. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 17, 2008

Response to post #36: Reid is from Nevada. Don't play rough with him. He has tough friends. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 17, 2008

Anybody favoring a pro sports subsidy in this economy should not get into political office -- in fact, should see a psychiatrist.

LOL

Don't forget tarred, feathered and run out of town on a pogo stick-in any economy.

Oct. 18, 2008

Response to post #25: Agreed. I love the imagery: somebody tarred and feathered bouncing out of town on a pogo stick. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 18, 2008

Response to post #46:

Imagining the grossly obese Sanders "tarred and feathered bouncing out of town on a pogo stick" is definitely not a pretty picture, but a well earned reward for his life of greed and incompetence which are republican character traits for all loccal, state and national U-T annointed puppeticians.

Indeed everything that is wrong with the American economy today has been accelerated hellaciously over the last eight years due to the republican mottoes of "Greed Is Good" and “To Hell With The American People”, two mottoes that McCain should have displayed behind him everywhere he appears.

But then the democrats have made it worse by allowing themselves to be duped into anointing the White House “Bailsmen” who are bailing out corrupt Wall/Main Streeters while giving them billions of taxpayer dollars as their reward instead of tarring and feathering them and forcing them all to pogo stick down the Wall/Main Street sewers into a cesspool penitentiary for betraying America.

Oct. 19, 2008

Response to post #47: Yes, Democrats and Republicans alike got snookered into the $700 billion bailout package, which saves incompetent managements and their insolvent banks -- temporarily -- but does not address the fundamental problems: stopping useless lending (LBOs and M&A, e.g.), unraveling derivatives (particularly credit default swaps), propping up housing values. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 19, 2008

I am going to go on record today and state today that KFC Sanders will do nothing-not do a thing- to improve San Diego's fiscal standing or problems. To me Sanders is a big fat zero. A loser.

He has basically been in office for 4 full years and has nothing to show for his tenure-zero, nada, nothing.

I predict the remaining 4 years will produce the same results.

If tax revenue drops too low KFC Sanders will be FORCED to file BK (as will numerous other muni's), ut that is the only possible scenario I see with anything at all happening with Sanders in office.

Oct. 19, 2008

Response to post #49: Yes, Sanders refuses to do anything to relieve the economic burdens, and he is bitterly critical of the one person trying to do something, Mike Aguirre. But his strategy of doing nothing, ruffling no feathers, got him reelected. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 19, 2008

Response to post #50: "--- refuses to do anything to relieve the economic burdens, and he is bitterly critical of the one person trying to do something ---"

Actually this is the republican propaganda line for Sanders, Goldsmith and McCain-Palin.

All they can resort to is corruption and hate, and yellow journalists at U-T, Fox, WSJ and other Neocon party sycophants are more than willing to sell out America to perpetuate their betrayals of American Democracy and the American Way of Life.

Unfortunately it has worked for the republicans for far too many decades, and they are continuing as if it will continue to work for them forever. Sanders proved that in the last election, Goldsmith and McCain-Palin are doing it in this election.

Oct. 19, 2008

Response to post #51: Unfortunately, the do-nothing Sanders got elected, and San Diegans have to put up with him for four years, and suffer the economic fallout. The lies may or may not be working for Goldsmith. They don't appear to be working for McCain-Palin, at least yet. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 19, 2008

Response to post #52:

The Obama vs. McCain polls are way too close for comfort, especially considering the margins of error.

There is also the increasingly important factor of advanced voting allowed in many states now where allowing increasing in numbers of voters to make a difference well before the actual election day, like mail-in ballots in California that we have already received and that many have already filled out.

Never forget that the “modern” republican hate campaigns have a history of success back to Nixon vs. Helen Gahagan Douglas communist telephone smear campaign in the 50s.

Obama had better be aware that republican hate campaigns have over a half century track record of success so Obama had better finish making his points early, like last week because the McCain-Palin campaign is rolling right along on the well oiled wheels of corruption + hate Nixonian politics.

Oct. 20, 2008

Response to post #53: Obama recently warned his supporters of overconfidence. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 20, 2008

Response to post #55: Fumber, I think those are the highest compliments you have paid anybody since you begin submitting entries to this blog. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 20, 2008

Fumbler comes and goes with posts that are weeks apart.

Makes me wonder if he spends time in county.

How about it Fumbler-you a jail bird???

Oct. 20, 2008

Response to post #57: I don't think we have evidence that he is incarcerated. Maybe he will answer your query. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 21, 2008

Mmmmmmm...jelly doughnuts!

Oct. 21, 2008

Response to post #59: Yeah, but they're fattening. Ever wonder why most of the cops you see have fat tummies? Too many jelly doughnuts. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 21, 2008

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