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  #101  
Old 10-22-2008
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To little to late probably.

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?
By Orson Scott Card
Editor's note: Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism.
An open letter to the local daily paper almost every local daily paper in America:
I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.
This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.
It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.
What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.
The goal of this rule change was to help the poor which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house along with their credit rating.
They end up worse off than before.
This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.
Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)
Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?
I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."
Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.
As Thomas Sowell points out in a TownHall.com essay entitled "Do Facts Matter?" ( http://snipurl.com/457townhall_com] ): "Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury."
These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.
Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!
What? It's not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?
Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.
And after Freddie Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.
If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.
But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign because that campaign had sought his advice you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.
You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.
If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.
If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.
There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)
If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.
Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.
But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad even bad weather on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.
If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.
Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means . That's how trust is earned.
Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.
Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.
So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?
Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?
You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles.
That's where you are right now.
It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.
If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.
Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.
You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.
This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.
If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe and vote as if President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.
If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats including Barack Obama and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans then you are not journalists by any standard.
You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a news paper in our city.
This article first appeared in The Rhinoceros Times of Greensboro, North Carolina, and is used here by permission.
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  #102  
Old 10-23-2008
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Originally Posted by greenlantern View Post
Everyone has their diffrent views on politics and I understand why. If your child is going to war you want a president whos going to do some thing to end it. If you are not making much money due to ceartin circumstances you cant control you may vote a diffrent way. If your concerned about the economey and enviorment you may vote a diffrent way. My Bill Mahr remarks was to lighten the mood. Scot and many posters on here have diffrent political views becuase of there personal experinces. I respect that and like hearing about it so I am a educated voter for this election. Poltics is a personal thing that is touchy to most people becuase ceartin public polices can make or break there familys paying bills. I try to stay out of peoples poltical bussiness becuase I have my own vote and chose to do whatever I want with it, while other regitered voters have there choice.

Actually having two sons in the Air Force, I am not looking for the guy to end the war, I'm looking for the guy who wants to win it, so that all of those who died did not die in vein. My oldest son is looking forward to his deployment to Afghanistan and I am scared to death, but with McCain as president at least I know there will be someone in power who has walked in my son's shoes and understand what it is exactly that all of our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors are going through.
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  #103  
Old 10-23-2008
deb128 deb128 is offline
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Dont post much, but just couldnt bite my tongue any more. This could be the most important election in the history of America. We all as Americans have an important decision to make in reguards to the leadership of this country, how our government will be run, and how the rest of the world views America. I am an independant voter who in the past has voted for members of both parties, and will do the same in this election.

It doesnt take a p.h.d to figure out who has the best resume and will best serve this country as president. The problem in this election is that many people are going to vote for a person not baised on the issues but baised on race and race alone. This in its self shows how much this country needs to change. Obama is the first African American to run for president that has a real chance to win the election, but is he the best person for the job. I say give me a Powell or a Rice to vote for. Not a guy that has relationships with domestic terrorists, radical preachers, p.l.o. members ,and leftest community leaders in Chicago government. I wont even mention the great things he did for the state of Illinois while he was a part of our fine Illinois government.

I am not posting this to bash Obama, John McCain is not a perfect person either. He has been linked to the Keating five, and a few other government scams as well. Both of these guys have baggage. The question is who is more equipped to run this country. Who will best help this country in this time of trouble we are in. When you go and vote Nov.4, who ever you vote for please make sure that you vote on the ISSUES that are important to this country. Thanks I feel better now.!
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  #104  
Old 10-23-2008
deb128 deb128 is offline
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Dont post much, but just couldnt bite my tongue any more. This could be the most important election in the history of America. We all as Americans have an important decision to make in reguards to the leadership of this country, how our government will be run, and how the rest of the world views America. I am an independant voter who in the past has voted for members of both parties, and will do the same in this election.

It doesnt take a p.h.d to figure out who has the best resume and will best serve this country as president. The problem in this election is that many people are going to vote for a person not baised on the issues but baised on race and race alone. This in its self shows how much this country needs to change. Obama is the first African American to run for president that has a real chance to win the election, but is he the best person for the job. I say give me a Powell or a Rice to vote for. Not a guy that has relationships with domestic terrorists, radical preachers, p.l.o. members ,and leftest community leaders in Chicago government. I wont even mention the great things he did for the state of Illinois while he was a part of our fine Illinois government.

I am not posting this to bash Obama, John McCain is not a perfect person either. He has been linked to the Keating five, and a few other government scams as well. Both of these guys have baggage. The question is who is more equipped to run this country. Who will best help this country in this time of trouble we are in. When you go and vote Nov.4, who ever you vote for please make sure that you vote on the ISSUES that are important to this country. Thanks I feel better now.!
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  #105  
Old 10-23-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deb128 View Post
Dont post much, but just couldnt bite my tongue any more. This could be the most important election in the history of America. We all as Americans have an important decision to make in reguards to the leadership of this country, how our government will be run, and how the rest of the world views America. I am an independant voter who in the past has voted for members of both parties, and will do the same in this election.

It doesnt take a p.h.d to figure out who has the best resume and will best serve this country as president. The problem in this election is that many people are going to vote for a person not baised on the issues but baised on race and race alone. This in its self shows how much this country needs to change. Obama is the first African American to run for president that has a real chance to win the election, but is he the best person for the job. I say give me a Powell or a Rice to vote for. Not a guy that has relationships with domestic terrorists, radical preachers, p.l.o. members ,and leftest community leaders in Chicago government. I wont even mention the great things he did for the state of Illinois while he was a part of our fine Illinois government.

I am not posting this to bash Obama, John McCain is not a perfect person either. He has been linked to the Keating five, and a few other government scams as well. Both of these guys have baggage. The question is who is more equipped to run this country. Who will best help this country in this time of trouble we are in. When you go and vote Nov.4, who ever you vote for please make sure that you vote on the ISSUES that are important to this country. Thanks I feel better now.!
I disagree with your statement. If this election were determined by voting on race alone, I believe Obama would not have a chance. You would not believe the number of people I have talked to/met while supporting and helping the Obama campaign, who will not vote for him because he is African American. Unfortunately, our society is still very much prejudiced in a lot of areas.
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  #106  
Old 10-23-2008
deb128 deb128 is offline
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You just proved my point. Many people are going to vote for a candidate just because of a candidates race, or because they are of the same race and not focus on the issues that this country faces in the election. Prejudice goes both ways my friend. Blind faith only leads to being blind.
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  #107  
Old 10-23-2008
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Still don't totally agree with you...but that is what is so great about this country...everyone is entitled to their opinion.

As someone else asked, when does wrestling start so we can get off the political stuff?
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  #108  
Old 10-23-2008
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http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2...are_claim.html

I wonder why he is using the "scare the elderly" tactic this late in a race that many think is already over? It could be that he know the youth vote he is counting on never actually turn out, and he knows the elderly are not fully on his side.
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  #109  
Old 10-23-2008
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An Obamanomics Preview

Tax and spend, but not in that order.

"I think at this point there needs to be a focus on an immediate increase in spending and I think this is a time when deficit fear has to take a second seat . . . I believe later on there should be tax increases. Speaking personally, I think there are a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax at a point down the road and recover some of the money."
-- Barney Frank, October 20, 2008

The election is still two weeks away, but we are already living in the world of Obamanomics. In fact, on fiscal policy we've been living in that world at least since February when the Bush Administration conceded to the Congressional priority of Keynesian fiscal "stimulus." That didn't work very well, but no matter. Spurred on by Barack Obama, Democrats in Congress are preparing Round Two, this time in the form of $150 billion to $300 billion in new spending. If we may borrow a phrase, this is the triumph of hope over experience. The one thing Washington hasn't failed to do in recent years is spend, yet the economy doesn't seem to have improved on the event. Brian Riedl, a budget expert at the Heritage Foundation, has calculated that in 2008 Congress enacted $332 billion of "emergency" supplemental spending bills, only half of which was for the Iraq war. Do you feel stimulated?

The nearby chart shows the arc of tax policy and economic growth across the Bush years. After the dot-com bust, President Bush compromised with Senate Democrats and delayed his marginal-rate income tax cuts in return for immediate tax rebates. The rebates goosed spending for a while but provided no increase in incentives to invest. Only after 2003, when the marginal-rate cuts took effect immediately, combined with cuts in dividend and capital gains rates, did robust growth return. The expansion was healthy until it was overtaken by the housing bust and even resisted recession into this year. Mr. Bush and Congress returned to the rebate formula in February, but a blip in second-quarter growth has now ended as the economy heads into recession. The Dow plunged again yesterday with a 514-point drop.



The latest plan is even worse than the spring round of $100 billion or so in tax rebate checks. At least rebates allowed taxpayers to spend their own money. Under this stimulus the government will tax or borrow $150 billion to $300 billion in order to spend the money on social and pork-barrel programs. The latest draft would direct dollars to food stamps, another expansion in unemployment insurance, home heating subsidies, more aid to states and cities, and "infrastructure" like roads, bridges and public transit. Because of Davis-Bacon wage requirements on these brick and mortar projects, a portion of the dollars would coincidentally flow to the Democrats' biggest campaign contributors: unions. Call it a political "rebate" check.

On Tuesday Senator Obama said this spending would create millions of new jobs by closing a federal "investment deficit." Over the past eight years the federal budget has exploded by more than $1.1 trillion, much of it for the very programs that Democrats want to spend more on. Let's start with infrastructure. Three years ago Congress passed a transportation bill of more than $286 billion. The transportation budget is up 22% after inflation in the past eight years. Roads and bridges can help economic growth if they increase productivity by more than the amount they cost in higher taxes or borrowing. But not if they are bridges to nowhere as so many of these projects are.


How about aid to local communities? That spending has soared by 91% after inflation in eight years. The education budget is up 57%. Welfare programs are up 30%. Only two years ago Democrats were calling the Tom DeLay Republicans spendthrift. Now they say there's an "investment deficit."

Federal budget deficits are not something we obsess about, but eventually this new spending has to be paid for, and Barney Frank's comments only underscore that big tax increases are coming. The prospect of these tax increases is now hanging over the economy like a pall, as investors and businesses wonder where and how heavily an Obama Administration and Congress would strike. The pall is likely to continue well into 2009, as millions of Americans delay their investment decisions until they know how much their after-tax returns are likely to fall.
If Mr. Obama really wants a "stimulus," he'll announce that given the condition of the economy he won't raise taxes at all. Meanwhile, all of us are getting a preview of Obamanomics in action.
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  #110  
Old 10-23-2008
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Interesting chart. It shows Obama is favored among high income and low income people, and they are basically tied with the middle income.

This poll was the most accurate leading up to the 2004 election.

IBD/TIPP Tracking Poll: Day Eleven

Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2008

McCain has cut into Obama's lead for a second day and is now just 1.1 points behind. The spread was 3.7 Wednesday and 6.0 Tuesday. The Republican is making headway with middle- and working- class voters, and has surged 10 points in two days among those earning between $30,000 and $75,000. He has also gone from an 11-point deficit to a 9-point lead among Catholics.
View Results From Prior Days
About IBD/TIPP: An analysis of Final Certified Results for the 2004 election showed IBD's polling partner, TIPP, was the most accurate pollster of the campaign season. Learn more at www.TIPPonline.com.

Click the thumbnail below to see an enlarged version.
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