Progressives in Congress show the right way to ‘right the market’.

October 1, 2008

Dear Democratic Colleague:

The House of Representatives rejected the $700 bailout yesterday. Distinguished economists across the world have stated it would not have solved the problem at hand. However, we can potentially solve this liquidity problem at little cost to the taxpayer. I am proposing that Congress drop the Paulson Plan, and instead pass the No BAILOUTS Act. The No BAILOUTS Act provides an alternative to the Paulson Proposal to address the current credit crunch. Once Congress addresses the liquidity shortfalls in our financial markets, a Democratic Congress can turn to Democratic solutions to address the broader economic crises we face today. Specifically, Congress can work to resolve the housing crisis across the country and pass effective job stimulus, which is the response Main Street America expects and deserves.

While Democrats and Republicans may disagree on the underlying solutions to solve the economic crises we face, the No BAILOUTS Act – a regulatory based proposal – has the potential for significant bipartisan support.

The Paulson Premise Flawed

Simon Johnson, a former chief economist as the International Monetary Fund, stated today in the New York Times of Paulson’s plan, “It’s our view that this package, in a fundamental sense, will not solve the problem.” Other economic analysts noted yesterday that the credit markets around the world were almost entirely dysfunctional even when political leaders and investors assumed that Congress had reached a deal and would easily approve the bailout. There is no reason to believe Paulson’s plan will work.

Alternatives

We have credible alternatives to the Paulson/Bush $700 billion gamble. William Isaac, the chairman of the FDIC during the previous worst financial crisis in the United States during the 1980s, believes Congress can address the current crisis with simple changes to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules. Mr. Isaac points out that while we face serious financial challenges today, many banks are still in good shape. This allows Congress to take swift, uncomplicated steps to ensure the financial markets return to working order. After that, we can work to resolve the housing crisis and pass effective job stimulus.

Today I am offering an alternative to the Wall Street bailout that will correct the capital shortfalls experienced by many financial institutions and help protect the integrity and quality of the securities market. My plan could be implemented promptly meeting the demands of the Bush Administration to act immediately without putting the American taxpayer on the hook for billions of dollars.

No BAILOUTS Act

Bringing Accounting, Increased Liquidity, Oversight and Upholding Taxpayer Security

1) Require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require an economic value standard to measure the capital of financial institutions.

This bill will require SEC to implement a rule to suspend the application of fair value accounting standards to financial institutions, which marks assets to the market value, no matter the conditions of the market. When no meaningful market exists, as is the current market for mortgage backed securities, this standard requires institutions to value assets at fire-sale prices. This creates a capital shortfall on paper. Using the economic value standard as bank examines have traditionally done will immediately correct the capital shortfalls experienced by many institutions.

2) Require the Securities and Exchange Commission to restricting naked short sells permanently

This bill will require SEC to implement a rule that blocks naked selling, selling a stock short without first borrowing the shares or ensuring the shares can be borrowed. Such practices many times harm the companies represented in the sales and hurt their efforts to raise capital. There is no economic value produced by naked short sales, but significant negative effects.

3) Require the Securities and Exchange Commission to restore the up-tick rule permanently.

This bill will require SEC to implement a rule that blocks short sales without an up-tick in the market. On September 19, 2008, the SEC approved a temporary pause of short selling in financial companies “to protect the integrity and quality of the securities market and strengthen investor confidence.” This rule prevents market crashes brought on by irrational short term market behavior.

4) “Net Worth Certificate Program”

This bill will require FDIC to implement a net worth certificate program. The FDIC would determine banks with short-term capital needs and the ability to financially recover in the foreseeable future. For those entities that qualify, the FDIC should purchase net worth certificates in these institutions. In exchange, these institutions issue promissory notes to repay the FDIC, counting the amount “borrowed” as capital on their balance sheets. This exchange provides short term capital, with not cash outlay. Interest rates on the certificates and the FDIC notes should be identical so no subsidy is necessary.

Participating banks must be subject to strict oversight by the FDIC including oversight of top executive compensation and if necessary the removal of poor management. Financial records and business plans should be subject to scrutiny while participating in the program.

In 1982, Congress approved a program, known as the Net Worth Certificate Program, that allowed banks and thrifts to apply for immediate capital assistance. From 1982 to 1993, banks with total assets of $40 billion participated in the program. The majority of these banks, 75%, required no further assistance beyond the certificate program.

5) Increase the FDIC Insurance limit from $100,000 to $250,000.

The bill will require the FDIC raise its limit to provide depositors confidence that their money is safe and help eliminate runs on banks which are destabilizing to the industry.

Sincerely

Peter DeFazio

Member of Congress

Call your congress person and demand they support this instead of George The Robber and Nancy the Fluffer’s giveaway to the rich. It’s your’s and your grandchildren’s money they want.

Tell them NO!

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A Brief Word…..

August 10, 2008

…..yeah, the revolution will not be televised. Indeed, there looks to be no revolution. With Barky calling for a non-vote Democratic Convention, he won’t get that predicts I, and McSame being…well, more of the same I suppose you could vote for Nader or Barr but neither are viable let’s face it. Sister Beezlebub still has a shot moreso every time Barky sticks his foot in his mouth and hops around going Uh…Uh…Muh! Currently the Bark-O-Meter has him at 1.5 hops per week. But enough of the cheap shots.

The real problem sits on ‘The HIll’ like a horrific knot of toads in human form. 535 elected representatives of the people.

Or not.

Yep, in situation, after issue, compounded by crisis we see that the legislative branch of our government is stuffed to the gills with folks who are one of three things:

Corrupt…the biggest faction. Politicians are trained early that it’s all about the Benjamins as our ‘system’ rewards those who get elected and under the current system you need lots of B’s to get elected…

Stupid…plenty of those after all if you’re buying a Congressperson you don’t need one that’s smart. Just one that loves to follow orders.

Nuts….Yeah, barking mad. These are the ones found in a hotel room with hookers and coke or an underage boy. Significant fraction….

So what to do. First up is very simple.

Get real.

Understand that the level of corruption is now at unprecedented levels. Levels no mere change in ‘party’ will fix. The job is a wholescale clean up similar to Hercules and the Augean Stables. Ever read that one? You should it’s not really about what it seems. Yeah, get real. No one candidate is going to ‘save’ us folks. Most adults realize reality don’t work that way but….

People want to believe.

Well…

Believe this.

If you and I don’t get off our asses and take back our government the future will be very bleak. The tipping point on many problems affecting our very survival as a society is near. I assert that the tools to fix those problems which threaten us most are also hand. Requiring only affordable amounts of money and some intelligent leadership. But with a government composed of the corrupt, the stupid and the barking mad we are not going to be able to use those tools.

What to do?

Look around join up with like minded folks. Stop talking and start doing. You will be noticing some changes around here as I ‘renovate’ my new primary residence. And no I don’t care what the Congressional mortgage lending ‘bail out’ bill says, it’s amazingly stupid go look it up, about how to treat ‘primary’ vs. ‘secondary’ residences.

One signpost to a new way is the widget in the upper right sidebar called: ‘Accountability Money Bomb’.

This takes you to a spot where you can contribute to a fascinating group headed by Jane Hamscher and a bunch of right wing folks. Yep, wingers and progressives…together. Seems there is common cause to be made by all Americans in the face of the Congress’s gutting the 4th Amendment. Here is the link to the statement of purpose from StrangeBedFellows the ad hoc group just beginning to get some traction. I will be blogging about this more as the idea of ‘Accountability for the Asylum (Congress)’ resonates with me.

Hope you will hang around as I am planning some extensive remodeling here and I hope you will find it interesting.


Sometimes it really does only take one picture….And this is it for me.

August 7, 2008

Howie, Donna, Miss Nancy, Senator Obama,  ‘Fittin’ Harry Reid, Rahm ‘The Rabbit’ Emmanuel, Senators Schumer, Kerry, Kennedy, there is someone on the phone for you.

Sez it’s very urgent!

Yeah, something about don’t forget to pick up your ‘bag’.

No guesses as to what it’s stuffed with.

Your government for sale to…

Well, whoever wants to buy.


Who Let the Dogs Out?

May 29, 2008

A great post about just how the corporatist press works; or rather is given it’s marching orders. By way of Anglachel’s Journal we get a quote from Bob Somerby, a blogger I’ve known about for a while but really never got to know, who gives us a real look at just how certain misstatements or other ‘incidents’ become important while others….not so much.

Here’s the leadin paragraph:

‘MEYERSON (5/28/08): Had Florida and Michigan conducted their primaries the way the other 48 states conducted their own primaries and caucuses—that is, in accord with the very clear calendar laid down by the DNC well before the primaries began—then Clinton’s marchers would be utterly justified in their claims. But when the two states flouted those rules by moving their primaries outside the prescribed time frame, the DNC, which gave neither state a waiver to do so, decreed that their primaries would not count and enjoined all presidential candidates from campaigning in those states. Obama and John Edwards complied with the DNC’s dictates by removing their names from the Michigan ballot. Clinton did not.

Seating Michigan in full would mean the party validates the kind of one-candidate election (well, 1.03, to give Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel, who also remained on the ballot, their due) that is more common in autocracies than democracies. It would mean rewarding the one serious candidate who didn’t remove her name from the ballot when all her rivals, in deference to the national party rules, did just that.’

Read the whole thing. It’s a little convoluted what, to do with modern politics…or old for that matter, isn’t. Bottom line we have, as many have pointed out, taken on the characteristics of that society we fought for so long. Yes, children I know you think the ‘Commies’ were some imaginary Boomer boogeyman but, in actual fact, they were not. They were a group who thought you could run a society of millions with the same top down authority structure our ancestors used to control a ‘troop’ of around 150 individuals.

You can’t.

But nobody told Cheney, Bush or the Evangelicals so here we are: The few trying without much success to impose their vision of reality on the many.

Not gonna work and it’s very bad juju for us as it’s taking us further down the road to a point of no return. A point where it will be too late to fix things.

Wale up. Smell the Coffee and….

Think for yourself.


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..Now this is….Well, Barry do you and McSame want to explain this given your votes to fully fund…..

May 23, 2008

‘Lil’ George’s excellent adventure in Iraqi land?

We don’t know what we got.”

by tristero

Good morning! Are you sitting down?

In one case, according to documents displayed by Pentagon auditors at the hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, a cash payment of $320.8 million in Iraqi money was authorized on the basis of a single signature and the words “Iraqi Salary Payment” on an invoice. In another, $11.1 million of taxpayer money was paid to IAP, an American contractor, on the basis of a voucher with no indication of what was delivered…

The disclosure that $1.8 billion in Iraqi assets was mishandled comes on top of an earlier finding by an independent federal oversight agency, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, that United States occupation authorities early in the conflict could not account for the disbursement of $8.8 billion in Iraqi oil money and seized assets.

A billion here, a billion there…

And then check this out:

The mysterious payments, whose amounts had not been publicly disclosed, included $68.2 million to the United Kingdom, $45.3 million to Poland and $21.3 million to South Korea. Despite repeated requests, Pentagon auditors said they were unable to determine why the payments were made.

“It sounds like the coalition of the willing is the coalition of the paid — they’re willing to be paid,” said Mr. Waxman

And some more details:

In one instance, a United States Treasury check for $5,674,075.00 was written to pay a company called Al Kasid Specialized Vehicles Trading Company in Baghdad for items that a voucher does not even describe.

In another case, $6,268,320.07 went to the contractor Combat Support Associates with even less explanation. And a scrawl on another piece of paper says only that $8 million had been paid out as “Funds for the Benefit of the Iraqi People.”

But perhaps the masterpiece of elliptic paperwork is the document identified at the top as a “Public Voucher for Purchases and Services Other Than Personal.” It indicates that $320.8 million went for “Iraqi Salary Payment,” with no explanation of what the Iraqis were paid to do.

Whatever it was, the document suggests, each of those Iraqis was handsomely compensated. Under the “quantity” column is the number 1,000, presumably indicating the number of people who were to be paid — to the tune of $320,800 apiece — if the paperwork is to be trusted.

“…if the paperwork is to be trusted.” Now that’s funny. But the joke’s on us.

Tell ya what….
I ain’t laughing.


A Message from Our Founder…..

May 12, 2008

…well he ain’t really but hey…I figured you’d be tired of all the yellin’ and screamin’ from Sister Beezlebub and The Precious. So….

I thought I’d shove the discussion in another direction. No, don’t thank me….it ain’t that kind of direction.

Think about it…then….

‘Fight Back!’


Here’s a real good idea from some of our activist pals….

May 8, 2008

I was asked to post this by Janet Flint and am glad to do so. If you look over in the right sidebar you will find a new box
labeled: Activist Central. We are going to be putting up links to folks who determined to change the corrupt, spineless anything for
some  greasy cash ‘Democrat’ Party into a progressive organization you and you children can use to build a better nation to live in.

Period.

No factionalism, just good old-fashioned grassroots work on the infrastructure of the party. I’ll be adding more links as we get going.
Feel free to suggest one to a group which wants to change how and what is done rather than the face on the packaging.

Presented by the Grassroots Leadership Summit

Are you a blue-county Democrat who’s interested in supporting

Democrats running for office in “red” areas?Maybe you’ve considered

volunteering, but weren’t sure how effective you’d be?

Presented by the Grassroots Leadership Summit

Join us on Saturday, May 17, for a few hours and learn what it’s all about.

Hear from Bay Area people who’ve volunteered in rural campaigns

and from rural people who welcome the support.

Katherine Forrest’s widely praised “Talking Politics” workshop

can help you become a better communicator.

You can also sharpen your skills in workshops on voter registration,

phone banking, and canvassing, led by experienced political activists.

Learn how to make your volunteer time count, as you help out fellow Dems

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Time:            10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

                        Registration and coffee at 9:30 a.m.

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Fee:                $25; $15 low-income/student

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Please sign up early so we know what kind of crowd we are preparing for !  Thanks!

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