This type of mandatory civil defense service was alluded to by Obama while campaigning as well as on his change.gov website. However, Emanuel makes it quite clear that this is what he wants, and with those big “brass balls” of his I think he’ll get it.
Sorry I didn’t get a post up yesterday, I was busy with things (the word things is open to interpretation).
However, to make up for my absence yesterday, here are four stories for your enjoyment today.
American Express wants a Bailout
Alright Congress, here’s your chance. We’ve all asked, where does it end with the bailouts? And now, served up on a silver platter, is your opportunity to finally say no to someone.
American Express Co. is seeking $3.5 billion in funds under the government’s plan to directly invest in financial firms, according to a Wednesday report in The Wall Street Journal citing unnamed sources.
Earlier this week, American Express received approval from the Federal Reserve to become a bank holding company, which is a similar structure to traditional commercial banks. The credit card company now has access to financing from the Fed and the ability to grow a large deposit base.
American Express’ profits have fallen for two reasons.
1.) They would sell pools of credit card debt to investors on the secularization market. Obviously with the current financial situation investors aren’t too keen on buying unsafe debt; they’ve scaled back on their purchases.
2.) People aren’t using their credit cards as often and they’re missing payments.
Now, do those two situations give American Express the right to get money from the government? Absolutely not. That’s the risk you run being a credit card company, you can’t assume that the economy will be sunshine and lollipops every year.
Once the economy bounces back American Express will more than make up for this downturn, people will begin using their credit cards more frequently and begin making missed payments (which they’ll have to pay enormous fees for). We should have said no to the other request but now it’s time to draw the line in the sand.
Are you Ready for Mandated Health Care?
After the wild success of mandated and universal health care in countries around the world (hint the sarcasm), one Senator thinks we should jump on board.
Without waiting for President-elect Barack Obama, Senator Max Baucus, the chairman of the Finance Committee, will unveil a detailed blueprint on Wednesday to guarantee health insurance for all Americans by facilitating sales of private insurance, expanding Medicaid and Medicare, and requiring most employers to provide or pay for health benefits.
The plan requires every American to have health insurance and if you can’t afford it you get a government subsidy.
â€œEvery American has a right to affordable, high-quality health care,â€ Mr. Baucus said. â€œAmericans cannot wait any longer.â€ Far from being a distraction from efforts to revive the economy, he said, â€œhealth reform is an essential part of restoring Americaâ€™s economy and maintaining our competitiveness.â€
Really? Every American has a right to health insurance? Funny, I must have missed that in the Constitution. Since we’re rewriting the rights we have in this country I think everyone should have the right to ice cream, at least one bowl a day.
The Guy who whined about Bush stealing the election is stealing his election
Al Franken, along with other liberal loons, whined and cried in 2000 claiming Bush had “stole the election.”
And now Franken is stealing the senate seat in Minnesota.
When Minnesotans woke up last Wednesday, Republican Senator Norm Coleman led Mr. Franken by 725 votes. By that evening, he was ahead by only 477. As of yesterday, Mr. Coleman’s margin stood at 206. This lopsided bleeding of Republican votes is passing strange considering that the official recount hasn’t even begun.
So Coleman’s lead is dwindling before the recount even starts. Oh, but it gets better.
For example, there was Friday night’s announcement by Minneapolis’s director of elections that she’d forgotten to count 32 absentee ballots in her car. The Coleman campaign scrambled to get a county judge to halt the counting of these absentees, since it was impossible to prove their integrity 72 hours after the polls closed. The judge refused on grounds that she lacked jurisdiction.
Why were these absentee ballots in this woman’s car. Aren’t they suppose to be kept in safety at the Clerk’s office?
Up in Two Harbors, another liberal outpost, Mr. Franken picked up an additional 246 votes. In Partridge Township, he racked up another 100. Election officials in both places claim they initially miscommunicated the numbers. Odd, because in the Two Harbors precinct, none of the other contests recorded any changes in their vote totals.
According to conservative statistician John Lott, Mr. Franken’s gains so far are 2.5 times the corrections made for Barack Obama in the state, and nearly three times the gains for Democrats across Minnesota Congressional races. Mr. Lott notes that Mr. Franken’s “new” votes equal more than all the changes for all the precincts in the entire state for the Presidential, Congressional and statehouse races combined (482 votes).
So Franken’s votes keep going up, while vote totals for other democrats barely change. This election is certainly being stolen…before the recount even takes place.
Funny how all of the “missing ballots” that were suddenly discovered were Franken ballots.
When the $700 billion bailout was past a few months ago; myself, along with many like-minded conservatives, predicted the plan would cost well over $2 billion. On top of the price being deceiving, we also complained that the Fed was getting too much power and they’d most likely abuse it.
Well, I hate to say I told ya so.
Bloomberg is running an article today saying the Fed has not only spent $2 trillion, but is refusing to disclose where that money went.
The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn’t require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.
So not only did the Fed spend $1.3 trillion more than was allotted in the bailout plan (by the way Congress granted the Reserve that power), but now Bernanke is refusing to disclose where that money went, despite the fact that it’s our money.
By the way, where’s Nancy Pelosi on this one. I assume she’ll come out with a statement decrying this closed door mentality practiced by the Fed. After all, she was the one claiming that this entire process would be transparent and open to the public.
The reason the Fed can lend this much money is due to the lack of safeguards in the Trouble Assets Rescue Plan (TARP). Allowing the Fed to act in a rescue role was included in the legislation. Also, the lack of specifics as to how low the Fed could go in terms of lending standards was also absent.
The plan to purchase distressed securities through TARP called for buying at the “lowest price that the secretary (of the Treasury) determines to be consistent with the purposes of this Act,” according to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the law that covers TARP.
There’s that Fed power, the lowest price that the secretary of the Treasury sees fit.
Anyone want to take an over-under on the final tally of this rescue. I’d say over-under $4 trillion.
I’ll take over.
UPDATE: The bailout of AIG, which was originally only to cot $85 billion, has swelled to $150 billion.
Maybe I should revise my wage to over-under $5 trillion.
Burn Baby Burn
After a long election season with many “deep” burning questions, we decided to switch things up this week with a lighter question. It’s quite simple, what is your favorite accent? Jacob and Logan discuss.
Here’s how you can get your voice heard…
Email your response in audio or text format to firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us on Skype Mon-Fri 9am-9pm and leave a message. Our username is TheCurrentPodcast
Or respond via video or text to our YouTube video (available Monday)
Rahmbo as Chief of Staff
Barack Obama made his first staffer selection this week and it was anything but a bipartisan. It was Rahm Emanuel, who is described by some as a “vicious partisan,” that sounds like a big helpin’ of “post partisanship” to me! Jacob and Logan profile Emanuel and hear some interesting anecdotes that have been reported about him.
This might be one thing everyone in the world predicted, it is being reported that Vladimir Putin will take over the reigns of Russia, or at least attempt to, in 2009. Jacob and Logan explain and discuss.
Strapped for Cash
The headline on this is suppose to be a pun because the story is about the car industry. Get it? Strapped for cash, like being strapped in a seat belt…yeah it was a bad pun. Anyway, the big three automakers in Detroit are asking for a loan from Uncle Sam…again. Jacob and Logan discuss why they shouldn’t get it and why it’s their fault for being in the red.
On tonight’s Bodcast I talk a look at Barack Obama’s first press conference and one of the most interesting people standing behind him…cough cough…Jennifer Granholm.
I also discuss why raising taxes right now is absurd and how the government has screwed up their picture perfect situation.
This was the lack of judgment I was talking about in reference to Barack Obama.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm was named to President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team on the economy Thursday, and will meet with him and 16 other advisers today in Chicago.
Yes, that Governor Jennifer Granholm. The woman who drove Michigan’s economy into the ground, the woman who said, “in five years you’ll be blown away,” in reference to economic growth; unfortunately we were blown away because the economy had gotten worse; much worse. The woman who oversaw a 8.9% unemployment rate.
Yeah, that Jennifer Granholm is on Obama’s economic transition team…seriously.
They do have something in common, Granholm raised taxes during a recession; and Obama promises to do the same.
But let’s get back to the judgment. Selecting a woman who has overseen one of the worst state economies in the country to be on your economic transition team further proves Obama’s lack of judgment. This woman should be no where near anything to do with the economy.
The good news is this isn’t a permanent appointment. This is only a transition team. But the thought of Granholm giving economic advice to the next president of the United States makes me tremble with fear.
I guess we can chalk this up as Obama transition mistake number three…
1. Rahm Emanuel
3. Granholm on economic transition team
…take a good long look at Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina.
Besides being one of the most conservative members of congress (second most according to Human Events), being against the bailout, and hating pork barrel spending with a passion, the man also doesn’t bow down to the party elite.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint is pushing his partyâ€™s leadership to expel Sen. Ted Stevens from the Senate during this monthâ€™s â€œlame duckâ€ session, according to people familiar with his plans.
Yeah, oh by the way, that clown from Alaska Ted Stevens, ya know the convicted felon; he got reelected, thanks Alaska!
Anyway, DeMint is 100% correct, the GOP needs to rid themselves of this guy, they need to force him to resign, he shouldn’t be there.
McConnell called on Stevens to resign last week after the Alaska senator was convicted on seven federal felony counts. McConnell said there was â€œzero chanceâ€ Stevens wouldnâ€™t be expelled from the Senate if he didnâ€™t resign â€“ but he also made it clear that Stevens would have a chance to appeal his conviction first.
Let me expand on my DeMint man-crush for a moment.
I’ve been singing this guys praises for a long time now, as a matter of fact I said he should have been a VP contender on the republican side of the ticket. If we’re going to fix the republicans we’re going to need leaders like DeMint, men who aren’t afraid of their party; men, and women, who are true conservatives.
DeMint is one of the most conservative members of congress and has speaking abilities comparable to Mike Huckabee, plus he’s very intelligent; he’s got the trifecta the republicans need right now.
Oh yeah, and before I forget, in order to fix the GOP we need to get rid of guys like Ted Stevens. Thanks again Alaska!
Just two days removed from electing “change” into the White House, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi urged people to be patient, saying that change will not happen immediately.
â€œThe country must be governed from the middle,â€ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday. Repeating themes from election night, she said she plans to emphasize â€œcivilityâ€ and â€œfiscal responsibility.â€
Does anyone remember Pelosi’s acceptance speech in 2006. Where she promised that this congress would be the most ethical and would bring back “civility” and “integrity” to Washington. You can refresh your memories here.
In any event, does anyone take this woman seriously? She was part of the majority that lead the congress to its lowest approval rating ever. And now she turns around and promises the same stuff that she didn’t deliver on in two years.
And don’t even get me started with “fiscal responsibility.” It wasn’t more than a few weeks ago that Barney Frank (D-MA) said that we need not worry about deficits, and that we need an immediate increase in spending and higher taxes down the road. Not even democrats believe they are the party of fiscal responsibility. Hell, currently the republicans aren’t the party of fiscal responsibility either.
Her comments emphasized that after an election consistently referred to as â€œhistoric,â€ Democrats face the daunting task of dealing with the plunging economy and two wars.
Yet, they face massive expectations for change and deep-seated fears of overreaching. But senior aides say theyâ€™ve learned from the mistakes of the past. Nearly every member of the current Democratic leadership in the House served through the 1992 election, when Bill Clinton was elected president. Two years later, the GOP gained control of Congress.
They may not have been paying close enough attention during that lesson, or any others for that matter.
They’ve already planned a new $300 billion stimulus package, despite the failing of the first one, and all the other instances when government has intervened in this crisis. Not to mention spending $300 billion when you just spent over $1.7 trillion on the economy, and carry a deficit of $450 billion, isn’t very fiscally responsible.
â€œThere is a wave of hope that swept the country … not a mandate for any hope or ideology, but a mandate to get things done,â€ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday morning on National Public Radio.
Isn’t being elected as a senator or representative a “mandate to get things done?” Did you really need the election of Obama to receive that mandate? Remember, democrats have held the majority in the house and senate for two years; and have gotten nothing done.
So here’s my idea to bridge the partisan divide in Washington. It’s not much, and without the cooperation of politicians it most likely won’t do anything, but I think it would bode well for our country.
The position of Speaker of the House is very much so a national position. They determine legislation that is voted on (remember when Pelosi refused to bring up the vote on drilling), they are second in line for the presidency (behind the vice president) and often times they travel the world singularly representing our country.
Instead of the majority party voting on the Speaker of the House, the position should be voted on in a national election, side-by-side with the President of the United States. The person doesn’t have to be in the majority party, the only rule to run is that they must not be seeking reelection that year. I think that would put pressure on the position holder to be more bipartisan and truly legislate from the center.
Barack Obama had a good day yesterday, however the Dow Jones didn’t ride the excitement wave today.
The Dow fell nearly 500 points in its biggest post-election skid ever.
I doubt that Obama being elected president had much to do with the skid, however I think his winning had at least some effect on today’s numbers. To be perfectly honest I think a McCain victory would have yielded the same result.
What we have to remember, and what the stock market reminded us today, is just because we have a new president that doesn’t mean the problem goes away.
A lot of people didn’t like Bush, but his removal won’t fix the problem; there’s still a crisis.
I think today’s fall in the stock market just reminds us that there’s a long road ahead.
Black Panthers block the doors at polling location
Broken machines, limited resources plague precincts
Virginia voters face wet ballots
Philly Voting Machines show votes for Obama before polls open
Obama votes, presumably for himself
McCain sues over Military Ballots
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the drama already unfolding on this election day.
Toledo Police Prepare for Riots
It’s unfortunate to think that the results of an election may cause riots; but I believe, and apparently the Toledo PD does as well, that if Obama loses there will be violence. I hate to say it but that’s what it looks like.
Toledo police are gearing up for possible “Civil unrest” during and after tomorrow’s elections.
In an internal memo obtained exclusively by NBC 24 News, officers are ordered to “Have their riot equipment with them Tuesday and Wednesday”. Police chief Mike Navarre confirms, officers will have gear similar to the equipment they used during the 2005 race riots. “They have been asked to have their helmets and their gas masks available tomorrow and Wednesday.”, Navarre says, “That’s the equipment they would not normally carry with them on a normal day”.
I’ve also heard the police doing the same thing in Houston. Obviously this is a precautionary step, but I for one would not be shocked if there are riots if Obama loses. Again, it’s a shame that it would come to that.
GOP Poll Watchers thrown out of Philly Precincts
This is Deja Vu from 2004, Republican election board members, who show up at precincts to make sure the voting process is running smoothly and legally, have been thrown out just because they’re republicans.
GOP Election Board members have been have been tossed out of polling stations in more than half a dozen polling stations in Philadelphia because of their party status.
A liberal judge previously ruled that court-appointed Republican poll watchers could be removed from their boards by an on-site election judge, citing their “minority” status as cause.
All a poll watcher does is stand there and make sure there’s nothing fishy going on. They don’t protest or influence someones vote; they’re harmless. It’s also their right to do it.
Mark my words, this election is going to change election laws. We’re going to see fraud like no other and we’ll have to make serious adjustments to deal with it in 2012. That includes, I believe, a voter ID law.
Early Voting Turnout Could Skew Results
Oh great, another factor the news networks have to put into play to guess who’s going to win a state.
The report is that early voting, which has been dominated by democrats, will skew the exit polls because more republicans will be showing up to vote on Tuesday. And of course the news networks won’t be able to sort through that to determine who is going to win a state.
Have we not learned anything from 2000. The main stream media should just sit back and watch the results roll in, the exit polls are not accurate, use them from a broad overview of turnout or percentages from a certain demographic; but not to call a state for somebody.
I’m going to remind you again, my coverage starts tonight at 5pm with the live chat (I’ll be setting up so it’ll mostly be listeners in there) and then 6pm with the live audio stream.
Enjoy election day! Go vote!