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What I Saw in Athens

9:03 am in Uncategorized by masaccio

I volunteered for voter protection in Athens, Ohio, home to the fighting Bobcats of Ohio University. I flew to Columbus, OH to see the Obama rally, and drove on down to Athens, a beautiful little town about 80 miles southeast of Columbus. The water main had broken where I was staying, which I decided was not an evil omen. The next morning, I went to headquarters, and did phones for an hour. The phone list was the first sign that something was Changed. The list was people who had said they would vote early, but hadn’t at that time. I was stunned. I had a script, and clear instructions from a volunteer. I think I hit on three, there were no wrong numbers, and while I was there, among the entire group of callers, there weren’t more than 5 republicans. Last time I did phones, for Kerry in 2004, in two hours, I found only 5 or so Democrats out of 100, the rest were wrong numbers and republicans.

Then I went to Voter Protection Training. This was my second clue that something had Changed. There must have been 75 people there, lawyers and legal people from across the country. I Read the rest of this entry →

Smashing the “Spreading Wealth is Evil” Meme

12:09 pm in Uncategorized by masaccio

Obama is taking hits for saying the words “spread the wealth”. Why? Do republicans believe that we shouldn’t spread the wealth? That wealth is only for the rich? That the rest of us should never have a shot at wealth? If that’s true, it’s really working out for the republicans and their rich investor and upper management cronies. Their share of the national income has grown dramatically, while the people who work for them have stagnated financially, or worse, have lost income and their savings.

It wasn’t always like this. For decades, the deal was that workers shared in productivity gains. As workers become more efficient, some of the profit increase was spread to them. Average Americans could reasonably assume that if they worked hard and were careful, they could expect a slowly rising standard of living, one that would enable them to raise their families and save a bit for retirement. That worked for years, benefiting working people, the people who eventually voted for Reagan. But as soon as the Gipper took office, the big crackdown began. The republican mania for tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, and union-busting, all supported by a pseudo-intellectual theory Read the rest of this entry →

McCain’s Insane Plan

8:39 pm in Uncategorized by masaccio

McCain’s big plan for solving the financial crisis is this:

As president of the United States, Alan, I would order the secretary of the treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes — at the diminished value of those homes and let people be able to make those — be able to make those payments and stay in their homes.

Of course,

So let’s not raise anybody’s taxes, my friends, and make it be very clear to you I am not in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy. I am in favor of leaving the tax rates alone and reducing the tax burden on middle-income Americans by doubling your tax exemption for every child from $3,500 to $7,000.

So, here’s a good question. Where does McCain get the money to buy the mortgages? People already loaned us money to buy up the mortgages, and now we want them to lend us more money to buy them back? At lower prices?

The bankruptcy revisions, which Obama supports, make a lot more sense, for reasons I explain here.
Read the rest of this entry →