Thursday, September 6, 2012

Things to Know - 7 September

Democrats swoon for Bill Clinton, like Elvis fans of old

1.  Nicholas Kristof's report card of Obama's record is a good a enough response to this week's RomRyan campaign stickeroo ("are you better off....).  It has a mixture of good and not so good, but is an overall favorable grade that promotes him to the 2nd four years.  Personally, I recall George W. Bush coming before the national audience on TV in September of 2008, with a plea for help.  He told us that the economy was in dire straits, job losses were huge, and the banks were very sick....and were to the point that "they are not lending money".  That was a deadly serious problem.  We were teetering on the edge of a bank failure that would plunge us into another Great Depression - and there was the village idiot on my TV telling me about the failure of his presidency.   Anyway the "only solution" was to bail out the banks with TARP - yes the Toxic Asset Recovery Program, which meant that we the tax payers had to go in and put up $700 Billion to cover the crappy investment banking of Wall Street.  Obama took over in January, and put together a stimulus package to put a floor of support to the economy, which included a bailout of the auto industry.  Folks - we look back on those days, and need to remember that this country was on the edge of a repeat of 1929.  Yes, we ARE BETTER OFF THAN WE WERE FOUR YEARS AGO.  Just having Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield and the rest of them gone is, in itself a big plus.   Okay RomRyan - what is your next attempt at a stickeroo for next week?:

2.  This National Memo piece is pointing out what is getting to be very obvious.  The Democratic National Convention is turning into a 3-day seminar on the meaning of government.   The Republicans began their crusade to demean labor unions, welfare assistance, and government back with Reagan.  The Democrats have slinked around acting as if they had to apologize for government.   As Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts exhorted, the Democrats have to grow a backbone and defend what they believe in.   The speakers in Charlotte have been doing so, and very eloquently.  The seminar has been so good and moving that the question is  -  can Barack Obama at least rise to the same level in his speech tonight ....??   His challenge is to go even beyond Michelle and Bill Clinton.  I'll even go out on the limb and bet that he will put great emphasis on what government is, what it does, and what it takes to work.   What will be a big question in this election is - are we a collection of individuals who get what each of us want, and those who can't get it are on their own, or are we a nation of communitarians in which all share in the responsibility to see that we all have the opportunity to succeed?:

3.  A recent correspondence reveals that Congressman Ryan had solicited funds as part of the Affordable Care Act to build a new facility in his district for his constituents.  The Hypocrisy of Ryan has surfaced again:

4.  Another video seminar of short duration - less that 4:50.  Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone explains that a private equity company like Bain is not in the business of turning around companies.  It is strictly in business to buy companies on the cheap, with a little bit of your own money (about 5%), and the rest is (95%) is saddled on to the company that comes under the control of Bain.  Bain then makes money from management fees, for management of the operation.  Bain does not enter into the investment to turn around and make a company profitable, even though it might.  Bain makes its money from management fees from a company that it has no expertise in running.  Bain exists to extract every bit of equity and profit from a company in dire straits, because it can do it legally at a very low cost of investment:

5.  Bill Clinton's speech last night will always be remembered for its impact at a crucial moment in Obama's reelection.  There has been a lot of buzz from media observers about the speech.   As pointed out here, the reason for its success, is for a couple of things - (1) Clinton can be regarded as one who has been there and done that, and (2) he speaks to his audience as if they are intelligent.  There is no made up factoids, no lying, no insults by omission.  Clinton takes what could be a complicated and wonky issue, and goes through its significance like a wise college professor.  He was not mean or derogatory in his criticism of political opponents.  He was, however, very human and nurturing in his explanations on how government works, and how cooperation and dedication makes things happen:

6.  Thom Hartmann comes forward for a more formal presentation of a variety of news items.  Looks like the tid-bit on hackers getting Romney's tax returns is getting some traction.  I really am interested in seeing where this goes:

7.  I put David Brooks in here because he is neither an admirer of the agenda of the Democrats, he favors the Republicans, and because he harbors the same frustrations that most moderate Republicans feel about their party; they are unable to connect, and are too mired in old economic issues.  The Democrats relate and capture the hearts and minds of the social issues that concern people.  That is why the Democrats get the post convention bounce and lead, while the Republicans don't and are behind.  Besides, after last week's "Meet the Real Mitt Romney" piece, you know that he's really not in the GOP corner:

8.  Paul Krugman closes it out with his evaluation of the DNC mission after Clinton spoke.  As this entry is written, the Obama speech has finished.  Obama gave a good speech, but it would have been difficult to give the greatest speech of his life, because all the one before him were home runs (well good old Joe's might have been a triple for him).  What Obama did was close on a theme that it is "you the voter" is what made the change from candidate Obama to President Obama".   What transpires (and using every example and issue brought by him and other speakers), is that is all up to "you the voter".  Change comes from you.  So, he rammed it right back at the Tea Party by saying that Hope and Change is not over, and the work is going Forward.   On Krugman's piece, he has it all correct, from the condition of this country when Obama took over, to how he sees the future as it gets better.  He does, however, put in his own "I told you so", when he points out that the Stimulus that Obama implemented was not big enough, but it did some good:


"The test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members."
       -- Pearl Buck
"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up - they have no holidays." 
       -- Henny Youngman
"The only time to buy these is on a day with no 'y' in it." 
       -- Warren Buffett
"If it weren't for my lawyer, I'd still be in prison. It went a lot faster with two people digging." 
       -- Joe Martin
"A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read." 
       -- Mark Twain

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