Friday, October 31, 2008

NEWS FLASH! McCain Campaign Embraces Terrorist-Sympathizer Endorsement

[The implied "facts" contained in the following editorial essay have not been verified by Fact-Check.Org, for obvious reasons. Caveat lector.]

In an Odd Twist in a Presidential Campaign Redolent with Odd Twists, military hero and former prisoner of war and Republican presidential candidate Arizona Senator John McCain today publicly accepted the political endorsement of an American citizen widely renowned as a “terrorist sympathizer” of the unrepentant co-founder and former member of the “Weathermen” branch of the Students for a Democratic Society [SDS], William Charles Bill Ayers.

John McCain Publicly Embracing
a Terrorist-Sympathizer's Endorsement?

Could This Mean That John McCain
Associates with Terrorists?

What Kind of Human Being, Totally Unfit for the Office of United States President, would associate with, and even sympathize with, such an unrepentant terrorist? This was a man who bombed the Pentagon–—just as Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda suicide airplane pilots did when they hijacked a commercial American airline flight and flew the plane, passengers and all, into the side of the Pentagon, the nerve center of the American military services.

This Was a Man Responsible for the Deaths of Innocent Americans. This was a man who, on the day of the greatest tragedy ever to befall the United States, September 11, 2001, said that “I only wish we had bombed more.”

The Unrepentant Marxist-Communist Many Years Ago infiltrated the public-education system of one of the nation’s largest cities, secretly working as part of an undisclosed Communist “cell,” to brainwash the minds of that city's innocent children, “many of whom were just in Kindergarten, being taught sex education,” an occasionally reliable source told this reporter.

In Semi-Public Meetings, Using the Facilities of a Chicago-Area Church of Christ, these blatant enemies of the American way of life met weekly, for more than twenty years, during which meetings their cell leader shouted venomous messages of hate, even going so far as to curse America, rather than to “bless” America.

Meanwhile, Chicago Police Have Been Able to Do Nothing against this insidious group of terrorists and terrorist sympathizers and radical organizers, and sympathizer of whom now openly endorses the Republican presidential nominee.

....And John McCain Embraces
this Terrorist-Sympathizer's Endorsement!

Police Hands Have Been Tied by the Liberal Plot to guarantee the “civil rights” of terrorists and community organizers, while depriving the rest of America the same civil rights. We have even heard talk, in some quarters, that some fellow occupants of al Qaeda-occupied Iraq seek the power to arrest and try innocent American citizens, situated in Iraq in relation to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, for alleged crimes committed against people situated in Iraq....who may themselves be actual al Qaeda terrorists.

John McCain Accepting a Terrorist-Sympathizer's Endorsement?

Will the Outrages Never End?

Not on Our Watch.
Not until the night of November 4th.

The Ad Itself presents the videotaped image and voice of this terrorist-sympathizer saying, “I want to thank.....John McCain” for his “outstanding leadership” in a bill that “establishes limits for greenhouse-gas emissions.” This effort seeks to destabilize the anti-environmental economy by reducing those so-called “greenhouse gases” necessary to preserving the American way of life.

The Terrorist-Sympathizer Endorsement Ad Ends with the Voice of John McCain Saying:

“I'm John McCain. And I approve this message.”

Watch the Actual Ad Here:

Renowned Illegal Alien and Presumed al Qaeda-Sympathizer, Kal-El, was not immediately available for comment.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Questioning Basic Assumptions

How Is it That Conservatives Seem Blind to Facts that are so obvious to the rest of us? Here are some examples:

Item One: Trickle-Down Economics
If the Consumer Drives the Engine of the Economy, how could a “trickle-down” theory possibly make sense? The wealthy already have more money than they can spend. But this concept has driven Conservative economic theory from Ronald Reagan all the way through to last month’s collapse.

Item Two: The Innate Wisdom of Self-Interest
Writing recently in The New York Times, conservative columnist David Brooks made the following statement:
“Economic models and entire social science disciplines are premised on the assumption that people are mostly engaged in rationally calculating and maximizing their self-interest.”

David Brook, “The Behavioral Revolution.” The New York Times, 10/27/2008
[Italics Channeling Barack Obama]

Any Non-Conservative Student of Behavior Knows that simplistic reasoning such as this, when applied to a complex organism such as “people,” will err. “Economic models” based on such simplistic reasoning will fail.

And Failed, This One Has.

Item Three: The Self-Regulating Effects of Self-Interest
In Recent Congressional Testimony former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said:
“This crisis, however, has turned out to be much broader than anything I could have imagined. [T]hose of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity (myself especially) are in a state of shocked disbelief. ”

—Dr. Alan Greenspan, “Testimony Before the Committee of Government Oversight and Reform,” 10/23/2008

Any Non-Conservative Student of Human Behavior Knows, predicated on the flaw in Item Two, that “self-interest” has many competing claims put against it. The example of the Marine who throws himself on a grenade to save his comrade exemplifies that in a most basic form.

Chairman Greenspan’s Illusions About the Relationship between greed and self-interest seem too-naive even to consider: If such a relationship existed, then America’s initial need for regulation and oversight would not have arisen. It did not take the current crisis to make this clear.

Item Four: Vetting Sarah Palin
Over the Course of a Month, Kathleen Parker wrote several related essays, beginning with this one published on September 03, 2008:
Would anyone ever ask whether a male candidate was qualified for office because his daughter was pregnant?....[W]hat’s perfectly clear is that feminism today is not about advancing women, but only a certain kind of woman....There may yet be reasons to find Palin an unacceptable vice presidential choice, but making pro-life decisions shouldn’t be among them.

—Kathleen Parker, “Who needs feminists?” Washington Post Writer’s Group, 09/03/2008
But Then on 09/26/2008, Ms. Parker Wrote:
[I]t is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.
The Most-Interesting Thing About the Belated Discovery of what for many had been immediately apparent is that Ms. Parker’s announcement of her discovery did not include an apology to those who could tell, from the nomination acceptance speech itself, that Governor Palin had these deficiencies:
Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick.....and a more complicated picture has emerged.

—Kathleen Parker, “Sarah Palin should bow out.” Washington Post Writer’s Group, 09/26/2008
[Italics Channeling Barack Obama]

It Does Not Seem to Occur to Ms. Parker that the earlier critics might merely have seen more clearly than Ms. Parker managed to see. The changing circumstances may just have been the veil lifted from some Conservative eyes.

What Is Notable About the Conservative Failures and Epiphanies here is that the errors of reason which preceded each “Aha!” moment seem so clear to those of us not blinded by the folly of Conservative thinking for the past twenty-eight years. But how would one go about explaining the limitations of Conservative vision to self-confident Conservatives themselves? To those who generally (as in the example of Ms. Parker’s essays) seem content to decide first, and think later?

We Began With the Question,
“How is it that Conservatives Seem Blind to Facts that are so obvious to the rest of us?” No ready answer arrives to clear the confusion. However, if the Obama-Biden ticket should prevail on Tuesday, thoughtful Conservatives of the Republican Party should have at least the next four years in which to figure out what has kept them so blind to many of the economic and political realities of life.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NEWS FLASH! Arizona to Store Nation's Nuclear Waste

[A Hypothetical Media Encounter Somewhere in Pennsylvania]

HERSHEYIn Breaking News From the Campaign Trail, Republican Arizona Senator and presidential candidate John McCain today announced that the state of Arizona has volunteered to store America's nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel rods in a newly proposed storage facility.

The Arizona Nuclear Waste Disposal and Landfill Facility [ANWDLF] will be open for business at "an unspecified date. But certainly in the near future,” said Senator McCain. “Probably sometime after the election.”

“That’s Assuming We Don’t Lose, of Course,”
Senator McCain said, as his face broke into its characteristic, now-familiar grin.

I’m Not George Bush,” the long-time Republican Senator observed. “Barack Obama should have run for president four years ago. Progressive income taxes are a form of socialism. Even Joe the Plumber knows that.”

“Nuclear Waste Is Completely Safe,” continued the Senator. “We’ll store those rod from now until Doomsday. Not even Joe the Plumber would be afraid of nuclear waste. Why, I’ve been driving around with the United States Navy in nuclear-powered submarines for years.”

The ANWDLF is Slated for Construction near the Phoenix, Arizona, home that Senator McCain shares with his second wife, Cindy McCain.

“More Power to the Arizona Nuclear Waste Disposal and Landfill Facility,” McCain-supporter Ed the Electrician observed to a usually reliable source. “Now that the issue of nuclear-waste storage has been resolved through the generosity of John McCain and the state of Arizona, the one real obstacle to nuclear energy is removed. Nuclear power is safe and cheap, and it does not make you glow in the dark, as some have mistakenly reported.”

Following the Hershey, Pennsylvania, Rally, Senator McCain and running mate Sarah Palin are scheduled to appear this afternoon at a rally in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Later this evening, the Senator continues on to a separate campaign event in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Additional Information About the Safety of Nuclear Power is available from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, through the following link:

Monday, October 27, 2008

NEWS FLASH! Republican Ticket Promises Tax Rates “Less Than Zero”

[A Spurious Report Found in a WPA Picnic Shelter Somewhere in Slovakia, Idaho]

BOWLING GREEN—Alaska Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin, speaking this morning at a rally in Bowling Green, Ohio, promised that, if elected, she and vice-presidential running-mate Joe the Plumber would bring “real change” to Washington in the form of income tax rates that would go below the zero-percent tax rate previously considered unbreakable.

“We Have Suffered Under the Yoke of a Democratic-Imposed Tax Burden For Too Long,” said the newly elevated presidential candidate. “It is a well-known fact among everybody but the ‘Tax-and-Spend’ Democratic members of the Democratic Party—including Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid—that the more you lower taxes, the greater the tax revenues. This is a known fact going all the way back to the days of President Ronald Reagan, who lowered tax rates, and the tax revenues continued to just flow right on in.”

“I Totally Agree Wholeheartedly,” said Joe the Plumber, whose candidacy for the vice-presidency was announced just hours ago, after Governor Palin accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination following the surprise withdrawal of the previous candidate, respected war hero and former prisoner of war, Arizona Senator John McCain.

“It’s Socialism to Keep Taxing People to Pay for Things That No One Wants, continued Mr. the Plumber. “Spread the wealth by making someone else pay for your military, your Medicare, your Social Security? I don’t know anyone who needs those things in America, where if you just work hard and keep your nose down, you can scrape together a few dollars and buy someone’s small business and be making maybe a quarter of a million dollars, or even more, and then the government just tries to take it away from you, and give it to people who don’t even pay taxes.”

“The United States of America Wasn’t Built on the Backs of People Like You and Me,”
added Governor Palin. “If we raise taxes during an economic crisis, that’s just what Barak Obama and Joe Biden and the Democrats want you to think.”

“It’s Crazy!” Ms. Palin Continued. “You Don’t Raise Taxes! You Lower Taxes! We’re here to create wealth! What do you think the U.S. Treasury is for, if you don’t already know? Someone’s been listening to the wrong people too long. We need more Joe the Plumber and Ed the Electrician. We don’t need someone like Barack the Tax Raiser and Biden the Money Spender!”

“If Elected,” said Vice-Presidential Candidate Joe the Plumber, “I will lower the tax rates to less than zero. If a top tax rate of 70% was good enough for the Democrats back before Reagan was President, then I don’t see what we can’t have 70% below zero for taxes. I don’t know about you, but I’ve waited all my life for government to treat me the way it’s always made me treat government.”

Former Candidate John McCain Was Not in Attendance at the day’s key Republican vote-getting event. AP wire reports indicate that Senator McCain was last seen boarding a commercial air flight to Panama City, Panama.

“I’m Coming Home, Lord, Lord,” the Senator was reported to have said. “Lord, Lord, I’m coming home.”

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Does John McCain Still Want to Be President?

In John McCain’s History, we see a war hero who has devoted his career to serving the American people in the United States Congress. His efforts at following conscience over the dictates of political convenience have been respected in both political parties.

The Three Cornerstones of Senator McCain's Politics have been reform and deregulation and war.

As Regards Reform, he sponsored 2002’s McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act. He speaks firmly now in favor of regulating the greed that has taken the American economy to the brink of disaster. Senator McCain’s commitment to reform in Congress is clear.

But Has It Made Any Difference?

As Regards War, Senator McCain believes strongly in the conduct of the War in Iraq. He has supported the current president unwaveringly, saying that he would rather lose the presidency in order to win a war, than win the presidency and lose the war. Some people believe that the senator's commitment to the War in Iraq reflects a desire to re-fight the Vietnam War—and win this time. No more "domino effect," leading the Communist Chinese and Vietnamese hordes to make beach-landing attacks on our Pacific shores.

Not Like Last Time...

But on the Deregulation Front, it is the Republican Party’s relentless pursuit of deregulations that has led us to the current financial crisis.

The Result of Deregulation Is the Current Economic Fiasco. 1999’s Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act, which removed the Depression-era safeguards of 1933’s Glass-Steagall Act, was the precipitate cause of what we face today. (This act was sponsored by the same Phil Gramm who until recently was the senior economic advisor of the McCain campaign.)

More-Recently, the Demise of the Entire Republican Economic Premise was acknowledged by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. "Shocked disbelief" is how Mr. Greenspan put it, admitting that the underlying basis of Republican economic theory is as bankrupt as the nation on which the theory has been tested.

If John McCain’s Primary Focus as a Senator has been to move toward deregulation—as he has reiterated countless times during the lengthy presidential campaign—and it is the abject failure of such deregulations that has caused the current financial meltdown, what is left for John McCain to do?

Net Result: No Effective Reform, No Win in Iraq, an Economy in Crisis.

So What Would John McCain Do if he were elected as President? What more would he deregulate? What new wars would he choose to fight?

Does John McCain Really Still Want to Be President?

If So, Why?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

NEWS FLASH! Chief McCain Advisor Revealed; Labels McCain Hero "Socialist"

[A Hypothetical Report Found on a Campaign Bus Somewhere in Iowa]

DES MOINES—“John McCain and Sarah Palin Now Use Joe the Plumber as their chief economic advisor,” revealed one usually reliable source close to the Republican presidential campaign, speaking on condition of anonymity. Mr. the Plumber fills the spot previously occupied by Phil Gramm. Mr. the Plumber's resumé as economist was not immediately available for review by this reporter.

The McCain Campaign's Former Chief Economic Advisor resigned from the campaign earlier this year following political fallout from a comment that, “We have sort of become a nation of whiners.” The comment was made many weeks before the onset of the current economic crisis which compelled Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to approach the United States Congress with his $700 billion Wall Street “rescue plan.”

“The Obama-Biden Idea About Taxing Wealthier Americans to help out middle-class Americans is not ‘patriotic’ in critical times like these,” chief economic advisor the Plumber reportedly told the McCain-Palin campaign.

“Joe the Plumber Calls This ‘Socialism,’” Alaska Governor Sarah Palin subsequently reported, quoting the newly prominent economist.

(The Original “Joe the Plumber,” Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, reportedly makes about $44,000 a year. Mr. Wurzelbacher has an income-tax lien on file with the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas in Toledo, Ohio. Mr. Wurzelbacher reportedly believes that lower-income people should pay the same taxes as the wealthy. Whether this position includes opposition to the progressive Federal Income Tax is unclear to this reporter.)

The Federal Income Tax Was Promoted by former Republican President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (1901-1909) as a progressive instrument, part of his efforts to create a “Square Deal” between big business and its workers.

Among Candidates in the Current Presidential Campaign, both the McCain family and the Obama family would pay higher taxes under the Obama plan, and lower taxes under the McCain plan. Neither the Biden nor Palin families would benefit from either plan, according to sources familiar with the two tax-plan proposals.

“Is it Merely Coincidence That the Modest Obama
tax increase would also be paid by Senator John McCain’s family?” asked our occasionally reliable source. “Country First is harder to believe when Joe the Plumber becomes the chief economic advisor, and the result is a reduction in the candidate’s taxes.

“But Who Do the McCain-Palin Campaign want to give the big tax breaks to? People like Senator John and Cindy McCain.”

Senator McCain and Governor Palin Have Implied
that Teddy Roosevelt was “Socialist” in relation to support of his progressive income tax, which Barack Obama also supports.

On Socialism, Teddy Roosevelt Himself Wrote, in his 1913 An Autobiography, “many of the men who call themselves Socialists today are in reality merely radical social reformers, with whom...good citizens can and ought to work in hearty general agreement, and whom in many practical matters of government good citizens well afford to follow.” [Italics, ChannelingBarack Obama™]

“The Issue of Economics Is Not Something I’ve Understood as well as I should,” Senator McCain recently admitted. “I’ve got Greenspan’s book.” The Senator was apparently referring to The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, by Alan Greenspan, published 2007 by the Penguin Press.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Who Played Joe the Plumber and Ed the Electrician for Suckers in the Free-Market Economy?

The Key Element Missing from Discussions of Free-Market Theory has been the relationship between the heads of free-market enterprises and the “bodies” of those enterprises. While the beneficiaries of “free-market,” “trickle-down” theory hold their talks, the American worker has been too busy at work to join in.

“Labor Is a Commodity.”

That’s the Conservative View, as Noted Columnist George F. Will talked about in his article recently cited in these pages.*

This Secret Has Been Hidden Inside Republican Politics since President Richard Nixon brought it into play back in 1972, when he labeled the labor portion of America, “the Silent Majority.” These free-market Republicans can't really afford to think about the individual workers like Joe the Plumber and Ed the Electrician and Joe Sixpack. After all, somebody has to pay for the real cost of government....

Three Messages Have Dominated the Republican Agenda for at least the past forty years:

The Implicit Conservative Message:
“Sure, you ain’t rich yet, but when you get there, do you want the Democrats and the Socialists to take all your money and spread it around to all the people that don’t even pay taxes, let alone work for a living?”
The Stated Message:
“Republicans seek to lower taxes. Republicans don’t believe in ‘Spread the Wealth.’ Always vote against those ‘Tax-and-Spend’ Democrats.”
But the Real Message Is This:
“We ‘Defer-and-Spend’ Republicans believe we can just keep pushing off the costs of government. Why should we pay for anything? We can push these costs on down the road to the next generation, and to the next generations to come. Onto Joe the Plumber, Jr., and Ed the Electrician's kids.”

No Matter What They Say, the “Defer-and-Spend” Republicans do not actually oppose taxes. They just don't want to have to pay any taxes themselves. Whether this is dishonesty or ignorance, Republicans just consider it a good idea to defer taxes and let someone else to pay.

“Pro-Americans” Would Be Furious about this Practice. If they knew about it....

But “Joe the Plumber” Is Too Busy Working. He's got bills to pay. Who’s got time to question the ability or the integrity of free-market theory and its purveyors?

And “Joe Sixpack” Probably Hasn't Heard the News Yet,
that Alan Greenspan has been in “a state of shocked disbelief,” admitting that he was mistaken. About these “free-market” theories...

Meanwhile, John McCain and Sarah Palin and the Conservative Pundits continue to reinforce the Pro-American’s trust in the confident Republican rhetoric.

The Rhetoric That Even Alan Greenspan Now Says Is Wrong.....

Yep, It’s “Joe the Plumber” and His “Fellow Americans” Paying the Price.
To the tune of the $700,000,000,000 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. It “taxes” each and every “Pro-American” citizen more than $2,000 in extra taxes apiece.

“Joe the Plumber” and “Ed the Electrician” Better Get Back to Work Soon.
They’ve got some big deferred-tax bills to pay.

Meanwhile, the Noticeably Silent Fortune 500 CEOs glide gently to Earth on golden parachutes....

....Landing Once More on the Backs of George F. Will’s “commodity.” Joe Sixpack. Joe the Plumber. Ed the Electrician. The stalwart Republican voter for John McCain and Sarah Palin. Everyman, the American tax-payer.

* Previous post: Channeling Barack Obama, “It Seemed Like Sort of a Good Idea at the Time....” (Channeling Barack Obama™, 10/09/2008). Original source material: George F. Will, “The Right Minimum Wage” (The Washington Post, 01/04/2007, p. A17)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Conservative Movement Admits Defeat

Now That the Conservative Movement Has Shown Defeat in the economic argument between free markets and regulation, it’s time for their economists to work on something new. Despite America’s high respect for former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, the weakness of economic ideals based on the free-market theories of Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged should have been apparent long-ago.

The Failure of These Policies Shows Clearly in the current economic crisis:

Free-Market Policies Only Benefit CEOs and Upper-Level Management, as blue-collar industrial jobs go overseas to cheaper foreign-labor markets. Corporate profits go up and up and up, as good-paying American jobs go down, down, down. Meanwhile, the financial institutions and markets play fast and loose with the facts of prudent economic reality.

The Lack of Good-Paying Jobs means that more and more Americans can’t afford their mortgages. And more and more the American consumer—who fuels the economy to a substantial extent—can’t get any more credit to go out again and buy, buy, buy. "Trickle-down" theory is putting the brakes on the reality of "trickle-up" bankruptcy and defeat.

From These Failed “Free-Market” Economic Theories, America now races headlong toward a frightening recession.

This Is No-Longer Some Half-Baked Liberal Argument. It has now become a Conservative-acknowledged fact.

America’s Only Legitimate Choice, following on Chairman Greenspan’s admission of the failure of these policies, is to follow the reasoned direction that a Barack Obama presidency offers us.

During the Next Few Years, the Free-Market Economists of the Right
will spend time developing a new economic model. Informed by the recent failure, the new model may conceivably be more-realistic than the last one.

And If History Is Any Example, once this new Colnservative model is developed, the weight will once again fall on the shoulders of the American middle-class, to test out the new-and-improved Republican economic model.

And Once Again, the American Worker, the blue-collar and white-collar middle-class, will get to pay the costs of learning the next expensive errors of the theory-blinded Conservative elite.

Early Voting Has Started Almost Everywhere. The only legitimate choice in this time of crisis is Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

But No Matter Who You Decide to Vote For,
it's time to go out and vote.

Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PROPOSED: A Party of Thinking Americans

Here's an Idea for Improving the Political Conversation and the Governance of the United States:

A New Political Party of “United Democratic Republicans” could bring together thoughtful Americans from both sides of the Left/Right political divide to debate all national issues, in mutual respect, with both sides seeking compromises that rise above ideology and serve the American people as one nation, indivisible.

Such Compromises Are Well-Within Our Reach, if instead of dividing the country by political orientation, we divide it by the attitude of shared spirit and good manners.

One Example of Such Cooperation Exists in the “Welfare-to-Work” Program of the Clinton Administration. “Responsible compassion” combined with “individual responsibility” worked to get participants off the welfare merry-go-round.

Other Such Liberal-Conservative Solutions must exist, once both sides put their minds to it.


No More Big Government masquerading as small government, as we've seen over the past twenty-eight years.

No More New Deal Great Society that puts government ahead of individual responsibility, as we've seen off and on since 1932.

The Thinking Americans from “Both Sides of the Aisle” could work together in earnest sincerity, absent the rancor and mistrust of motive that has permeated American political discourse for so long.

Meanwhile, the Know-Nothing Americans Must Either Work with One Another or else fracture into dozens of small parties that can never elect anybody to anything.

Is This Just Another Naïve Idea by some washed-up old terrorists?

Or Is It a Legitimate Way to re-configure the country?

If American Truly Can Do Anything, We Can Do This. If we can put a man on the moon, we can do this.

If Americans from Both Sides of the Aisle can elect an African-American as President just 44 years after passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we can do this.

As for the Know-Nothing Americans? First, they might nominate Governor Sarah Palin to run against Barack Obama in 2012.

And Then Next, If They Lose Enough Elections, maybe they’ll decide to stop shooting first and questioning later. Maybe they'll decide to put down their slogans and start to think.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Republicans for Obama Are Still Republicans

Back in the 1860s, a New Kind of “Know-Nothing” American turned against Lincoln’s Anti-slavery Republican Party because of the Civil War. Instead of thinking seriously about political issues, these people categorically voted against Republicans. And thus, they voted for Democrats.

About Republicans, the Know-Nothing Americans Said:
“We ain’t gonna vote for that party never again!”

And These Know-Nothing Americans
did not vote for Republicans for the next one-hundred years....

Then Came 1964, and the Civil Rights Act. Putting aside what the Republicans had done in the War of Northern Aggression, the Know-Nothing Americans now turned against the Democrats. And by 1972, the Know-Nothing Americans had all moved back over to the Republican Party. They did not vote for Democrats for at least the next thirty-six years.

About the Democratic Party, the Know-Nothing Americans Said:
“We ain’t gonna vote for that party never again!”

And Since That Time, the Republican Party has had to cater to the Know-Nothing Americans in order to win elections. It has been a high price to pay.....

In the Current Election, We See the Extent of That Cost:
A good man, John McCain, has been sucked too far into the maelstrom of Know-Nothingness, in an effort which we hope will ultimately prove to be in vain.

Meanwhile, Some of the Nation’s Leading Conservatives and Leading Republicans have come over to the Barack Obama side to vote.

Rest Assured, These Good Republicans Remain Republicans. Or at least, they remain Conservatives.

Once this Current Anti-American Situation Passes, these good people will get back to fighting “the good fight” for their Conservative ideals.

The Great National Debate between Conservative ideals of responsible opportunity and Liberal ideals of responsible compassion will get back underway.

As for the Know-Nothing Americans? If they lose enough elections, maybe they’ll decide to stop shooting first and asking questions later. Maybe they'll learn to put down their slogans and start to think.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Taxpayer “Spread the Wealth” Questions of the Day

Question No. 1: How much is $700,000,000,000 per American citizen?

[Please check one box]
□ A: 5¢

□ B: 13¢

□ C: $2,333.33

Question No. 2: Where does the Republican Party think the money comes from to pay for the Wall Street rescue?

[Please check one box]
□ A: It grows on trees

□ B: If we cut taxes down to zero, we won’t have to pay for anything

□ C: The next Democratic presidential administration

□ D: Any or none of the above

Question No. 3: How does the McCain-Palin ticket propose to pay for government—including the next Wall Street rescue—if they have the honor of being elected?

[Write your answer in the box. Please be specific:]

Question No. 4: Which is better for the American citizen?

[Please check one box]
□ A: SHARE THE WEALTH, Democratic-style: People making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year pay a bit more in taxes.

□ B: SHARE THE WEALTH, Republican-style: Everybody in America contributes to a $700,000,000,000 bailout of Wall Street.

Labels Such as “Spread the Wealth” and “Socialism” Are an Easy Excuse for not having any real answers. “Let the other guy do it” may be an easy way to win an election. But it's a lousy way to run a great nation.


1: C (Based on an estimated 300,000,000 American citizens. $9,333.32 per family of four. )
2: D (It's never mentioned)
3: Wrong
4: A or B (Voters' Choice)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Style Over Substance: The Republican “Spread the Wealth” Plan

The Wall Street Rescue Plan Is the Republican Version of “Spread the Wealth.” The effects of the past twenty-eight years of Republican deregulation and Liberal-bashing have led to the greatest spreading of wealth in the Nation’s history. All 300,000,000 of us must “spread” our “wealth” to protect the McCain-named “greed and corruption on Wall Street.”

If “Spread the Wealth” Is Really the Republican Program, how can Senator McCain and Governor Palin get away with accusing Barack Obama? The answer is simple: it depends on John McCain’s sarcastic tone and Sarah Palin’s humorous barbs about “Joe the Plumber” and “Ed the Dairyman.” By pushing these false examples—of people who would actually gain in the wealth of Wall Street CEOs under an Obama plan—the Republican candidates exercise their own right to “Style Over Substance.”

Style Over Substance Is What the Republican Party Has Given Us for the Past Eight Years. Meanwhile, they have “spread the wealth” of middle-class American, to bailout the multimillionaires on Wall Street. $700,000,000,000 and counting: that’s how much taxpayer money the Republican “Spread the Wealth” plan has spread to rescue Wall Street. Where is the “trickle down” in that?

General Colin Powell Makes His Case for Barack Obama eloquently. While John McCain and Sarah Palin believe that being an Arab-American or a Muslim-American or a French-American or an American city dweller is a bad thing, Colin Powell points out the essential American point-of-view:

We Are All Americans. While Sarah Palin talks about “pro-America” parts of the country, nothing in the Barack Obama or Joe Biden record shows either leader categorically dismissing any American citizens as second-class.

Style Over Substance? Second-Class Americans? That’s the McCain-Palin approach, for which un-American positions they should be resolutely denied election to higher national office.

Style and Substance? That’s What Barack Obama Offers America
throughout this long campaign and in presidential leadership to come. Now, early voting is begun in many states throughout the nation. One party in this election clearly seeks to represent all of America. We are one nation. United and indivisible.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden Ask for Your Vote. They need it now. America needs your vote now. It is time to show the “Spread the Wealth” Republicans that “Country First” means all the country. And “Hope” and “Change” represent the real American future, to end this long era that has put the failed policies of “Wall Street First” ahead of the safety and security of the greatest nation the world has ever known.

Thank You for Your Support

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Republican Shell Game

[We really try to stay moderate and neutral here, but in the current political and economic situation,
we just can't figure out how to do that. Thus today's post:]

“Nobody ever went broke underestimating
the intelligence of the American people.”
—H.L. Mencken

If the Republicans Really Plan to Help You Get Rich....
.......Why Are They Always Taking You in the Wrong Direction?

It’s Time to Take Another Look at your 401(k) and your bank statement and your credit-card bill.

It’s Time to Take Another Look at your health insurance plan and its exclusions and “disallows,” and whether your lifetime maximum is keeping up with the ballooning cost of healthcare.

It’s Time to Take Another Look at the “For Sale” signs in your neighborhood, and the rising price of your mortgage, while the government is bailing out AIG and the rest of Wall Street.

How Do the Republicans Work Their Magic? Republican never talk about where the money will come from. And they never let a lack of money stop them from spending and spending. After all—it's not their money.

Republicans Make Fun of the Other Guys and joke about "spreading the wealth." They don't want Joe the Plumber's money taken to improve America. They want to "spread the wealth" on Wall Street.

The Facts Speak for Themselves, when you stop to look at it. Herbert Hoover's Great Depression and Richard Nixon's Watergate and Ronald Reagan's budget deficits and George W. Bush's [Insert Disaster Here]. Which shell is your money hiding under?

The Costs Go Up and Up, the Treasury Balance Goes Down and Down, the national debt doubles in the past few years—

The Spend-and-Spend Republicans Make Things Up—like voter fraud out of faulty registration forms that get denied—like "spread the wealth"—like "palling around with terrorists"—to distract you from their angry, losing candidate—

And You Believe that You Would Somehow Be Better Off Voting One More Time for the Republicans?

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Free-Ride Republicans Are No Longer a Laughing Matter:

The Republican Party and the Wrecking of the American Economy

How Are We Going to Pay for It All? Think about this:

Have You Heard John McCain Talk Even Once about how he plans to pay for things? Have you ever heard any Republican talk about how to pay for things? Even Ronald Reagan? Even George Bush?

The Republican Party Never Talks about Paying for Anything. They just “spend and spend,” and then draw on the Treasury to bail them out.

Maybe That’s Why So Many Americans Do the Same: We spend and spend, using all the credit cards the banks will send us, and all of the home-equity lines of credit that they’ll give us.

“Heck, It Works for the Republican Government! Why won’t it work for me?” That’s the Republican-voting American taxpayer.

If the Republican Free Ride Make Good Sense, How Come the Nation Is Suddenly So Broke?

“Lower taxes!” the Republicans say.

“Spend More!” they say.

“Credit Cards?” They Say. “Use ’Em If You Got ’Em. Go out and spend. If you need more cards, why, just ask. We’ll send more!”

The Republican Big-Spending Example Works with Regular Guys like Joe, the Plumber. The regular American guy can’t cover all his bills. He can’t pay his child support. He can’t pay his Red-state income taxes. He can’t put his kids in the good schools. But he would rather vote for the Republican presidential candidate than for a Democrat. Because, after all, the “Spend and Spend” Republicans won’t raise your taxes. No, they leave the dirty work to someone else.

It Is Nonsense to Spend More Than You Make. It's irresponsible. We all know that. But look at the consistent Republican message. Think about if you have ever heard any Republican candidate talk about how to pay for anything.

No Wonder America Is a Nation of Over-Spenders. A nation in debt. The Republicans and the Republican wannabes use credit cards and home-equity lines of credit—and now the U.S. Treasury—as if there is no tomorrow:

With the Republican Party in Charge, pretty soon there won’t be much of a tomorrow.

What Happens When an Entire Nation Declares Bankruptcy?

Stay Tuned to the Republican Party and we’ll get to see.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Let’s Give a Tax Moratorium to the Republicans!

Who Do You Think Pays for Government Here in the U.S.? If you’ve ever had any doubt about the taxpayer tab, the current rescue package provides the clear answer.

But No One Really Likes to Pay Taxes. Especially during hard times like these, when many Americans can hardly afford them. National costs are up, our personal expenses are up, our investments are down, and soon we'll likely be out of work. What the heck can we do?

Luckily, the Republican Party Has an Answer Ready. And Republican presidential candidate John McCain says, “Hey! No problem!”

Here’s Something We Can All Try:
On next-year’s income tax Form 1040, there will be a check box indicating that the taxpayer is a Republican. Every taxpayer who wants to can check the “Republican” box, and America really will be “the land of the free.”

How It Works:
□1: First, next to "Filing Status," check the box that says “Republican,” using a pen with black or blue ink. (No pencils, please!)

□2: Next, turn to the back of the form and fill in all of the spaces for tax credits.

□3: Then, sign and date the form and mail it to the United States Treasury.

□4: Once the U.S. Treasury receives all of the Republican 1040 forms paying no taxes and claiming all the tax credits, the Treasury will send the Forms 1040 out as bills.

Who Will We Send All These Form 1040 Bills to? Who will pay the bills? The answer is obvious, when you think about it. It’s the way that it has always been under Republican “spend and spend” government.

The Bills Will Be Addressed To:
Taxpayer Joe, the Plumber

“Not to Worry,” Says Senator McCain. “Your Tax-Credit & Refund Check from Taxpayer Joe, the Plumber, will arrive as soon as this pesky little economic thing is over.”

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Essentials of Outstanding Leadership

We Can Disagree about a Lot of Things in Politics. For example, we can argue how John McCain's fine war record stacks up against Barack Obama's calm manner and speaking style. We can argue about which Party got us into the current economic crisis. We can argue whether the "big government" and socialism of the Democrats will ever rise up to match the "big government" and socialism of the Bush Administration

But If Either Side, Democratic or Republican, Had All the Answers, then that side would have consistently been chosen to run the Nation through all time—and would have done a lot better job than what we have so often seen throughout our proud history.

Clearly We Need Both Sides, Republicans and Democrats, to make our country work. At the moment, though, things look better for the Democrats than for the Republicans.

Now We Watch the McCain-Palin Campaign
wander in disarray, including an uncharacteristically negative campaign by John McCain. Just as Barack Obama's successful organization derailed the Clinton campaign, so it seems to be doing with John McCain. Meanwhile, the Obama-Biden ticket just keeps plugging away—with calm confidence and an amazing ability to stay on the non-personal side of the debate.

Yes, Barack Obama Is an Impressive Speaker, moving the country to reimagine great possibilities for America going forward.

But in Addition to a Powerful "Style," Barack Obama clearly knows how to surround himself with the right people, to run the right organizations, for the tough times. The persistent success of the Obama-Biden campaign says that Barack Obama brings an impressive amount of substance to the table—at a time when America needs the substance of solid leadership more than it has needed such leadership in a long time.

No Matter What Doubts and Aspersions Anyone Tries to Cast on Barack Obama, these do not stick The combination of outstanding campaign management and the fine manner of this distinguished leader confirms for all, that Barack Obama is truly an outstanding leader.

If Barack Obama Selects Advisors to Run the Country as well as he chooses the people who run his campaigns, with luck we should be in capable hands, come January.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bridging the American Divide (Part III)

The Tide Will Turn Yet Again

The Tide Will Turn Yet Again. The nation will change course. This transition from Right to Left and back again has already occurred a number of times in our nation’s history, and it will almost certainly happen again.

Sooner or Later, Depending on How Long it Takes Us to Get out of the Current Set of Messes.
That is, depending on how long it takes us to reach the next “cave.”

In the Mean Time, Wouldn’t It Be Great
if we could somehow lower our shields on this divide and work together? Wouldn’t it be great to put the best tools of the Right together with the best tools of the Left.

Wouldn’t We All like to Stay in the Same “Cave” One More Season,
while improving it suit all of us better?

How Do Those Content to Stay and Fearful of Leaving
convince the others that staying put is the best course, that it is not just cowardice and selfishness?

How Do Those Boldly Eager to Leave and Fearful of Staying
convince the others that moving on is what is needed, and that it is not just some foolhardy willingness to risk everything for some bright future that may not exist?

How Can We Do That? What Would it Take?
What would it take for Americans on both sides of the political and cultural divide to see the other side’s point of view, and to pick the best options from both sides, and to go boldly forward, while not risking everything that we already have to lose?

STILL AHEAD: How We Can Actually Work Together

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bridging the American Divide (Part II)

How We Got Here This Time

Back in the Late 1970s,
the generally liberal thrust of government from FDR through LBJ to Jimmy Carter had essentially kept us on the move—as if looking for the new “cave” that would solve society’s ills—for too long. After the tumult of the Sixties, the majority of Americans were ready to settle down in one spot, in one “cave.” Ready to get the spending and the taxing under control. Ready to let the constant changes to our morality or immorality settle down.

Thus, Ronald Reagan Was Elected President, and the Nation began its twenty-eight-year tilt to the Right.

Now, Though, We Seem to Have Reached the Limits of the Conservative view. The overall argument of small government and lower taxes has somehow, inexplicably, led us to where we are. Essentially, we sit in a cave that is too small for us. The roof is caving in. It is time for us to move in a different direction. Find a new “cave.”

Back in the 1980s,
Liberals insisted that the things that we’d been trying just hadn’t been given enough of a chance, and that we had more things to try.

“We Stop Here,”
said Conservatives under Ronald Reagan. That old “Liberal agenda” didn't matter any more. The majority of the nation were fed up. Ronald Reagan cut programs and cut taxes. Then he outspent the Soviet Union to get those "wolves" from the door.

It All Seemed to Work Well-Enough for a While (though there were always many people unhappy—and there always will be). But then, over the past eight years, so many things went wrong. Enron, and September 11, and Katrina, and Iraq, and Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and more hurricanes, and the price of oil skyrocketing, and the collapse of the housing market, and—

“We Have to Move Now.” Suddenly the weight of the Conservative/Liberal argument seems to have switched to the other side of the scales. (Sure, there are plenty of people who still prefer the arguments of lowering taxes and cutting regulations—and there always will be). But the recent rescues, from Iraq and Katrina, all the way through to the current bailouts, make the arguments for lowering taxes look unrealistic.

STILL AHEAD: The Tide Will Turn Yet Again and How We Can Actually Work Together

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bridging the American Divide (Part I)

The Parable of the American “Cave”

The Choice We Humans Always Face concerns whether to spend the harsh winter in the small, leaky cave that we know—or to strike out before winter reaches us, to seek a new, dry cave, large-enough to hold the whole clan.

If We Get Caught out in the Cold During the Winter, we will starve or be eaten by wolves. That’s a powerful argument for Staying Where We Are.

If We Stay in the Familiar Cave While the Roof Is about to Cave in on Us, and while our enemies march toward us to lay siege, we will be crushed by the rock or starved to death by the siege. That’s a powerful argument for Looking For a New Place Now.

This, in a Nutshell, Describes the Difference between the Conservative and the Liberal view. Either “We need to stay put!” or “Let’s move!

Neither Side Represents “Evil” nor “Good.”
Neither Liberal nor Conservative is inherently better or worse than the other. But both provide different value under different circumstances.

STILL AHEAD: How We Got Here This Time and The Tide Will Turn Yet Again

Saturday, October 11, 2008

ASP: The American Shareholder Plan

The News out of Washington, D.C., Today came from Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson. Among other information contained in the Secretary’s report on coming government actions related to the troubled international crisis, one thing stood out:

The American Taxpayer Is about to Become a Major Shareholder in the securities of troubled financial institutions. According to Secretary Paulson, in the appropriate or necessary circumstances, the taxpayers, through the agency of the national government, will receive actual shares of stock in the troubled banks and other institutions.

The Distribution of These Shares was not mentioned in the Secretary’s press conference, but we would like to suggest once again the possibility of an actual distribution of these shares into individual accounts for each individual shareholder.

Under the American Shareholder Plan (“ASP”), accounts can be opened for each American citizen and taxpayer, using the information on record with the Social Security Administration. These shares can then grow in the individual’s ASP account, for a wide range of purposes, such as home purchase, college tuition, health care, or retirement.

So Long as the Shares Are Kept in the ASP Account, their value will not be taxed, and nor will any dividends or other distributions be taxed. Just as with IRAs and Health Savings Accounts and other tax-advantaged investment plans, the ASP beomes the individual’s private investment acocunt, to use as he or she sees fit.

Under the Prospects of the ASP, the American taxpayer, currently bailing out Wall Street with tremendous sums of money, at a time of great financial duress, will stand to benefit completely from the eventual recovery of the financial markets. Whether the companies involved are banks or other types of businesses, the variety of income and capital return that each citizen might earn may eventually compensate the American taxpayers for the economic pain and suffering and risk that is currently underway.

Democratic Candidates Barack Obama and Joe Biden ask for your vote on November 4, 2008. Please help make exciting new programs such as the American Shareholders Program become reality.

[DISCLAIMER: The ASP is not currently endorsed by Barack Obama or Joe Biden, who have not yet read this post.]

Friday, October 10, 2008

[Thank You, John McCain]

[Several times during his campaign rallies today,
presidential candidate Senator John McCain
finally spoke up on the side of decency,
and took efforts to put out the fires of rage and fear
that have been growing among his supporters
over the course of the McCain and Palin rallies.]

[In a nation where political rage unchecked
has wreaked great havoc over the years,
John McCain is commended for finally taking
this important step.]

[Tomorrow, the posts here at
Channeling Barack Obama™
will resume. But for today, we say only:]

“Thank You, John McCain.”

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It Seemed Like Sort of a Good Idea at the Time....

Despite Persistent Evidence to the Contrary throughout the entire history of humanity, Republicans and Libertarians assert the idea that greed somehow controls itself. That people operating always in their own self-interest will generally do the right thing when it comes to dealing with their own resources and with one another.

Separately, Conservative Writer George F. Will as recently as January 4, 2007, wrote that “Labor is a commodity; governments make messes when they decree commodities' prices.” In the sense that one person on an assembly line is about as effective as any other person on an assembly line, Mr. Will is absolutely correct.

But in the Sense That a Society Is about its People, Mr. Will’s assertion is abhorrent. And now we see the practical outcome of such flawed reasoning in the tremendous economic crisis of today. (One wonders what Mr. Will thinks that "government of the people, for the people" actually means?)

We Now Have a Final Assessment: These “self-regulating markets” do not function properly where the "commodity" of actual, real live human beings is concerned.

The Overriding Fact Is that it was the “free market” combination of lessened regulation and diminished oversight and the “deadly sin” of greed that brought us to the edge of this precipice. A deliberate conspiracy of deregulation and incompetence has brought us to the brink.

Now Barack Obama’s Opponent, a self-avowed “Maverick” of deregulation and a twenty-five-year veteran of the the “free-market” crowd, tries desperately to assert his capabilities to serve as President.

But Republican Senator McCain Is the Wrong Person, with the Wrong Philosophy,
at the wrong time. It is too late for Senator McCain to fool America into thinking that he is something he is not.

Now Is the Time for a Government for All the People, not just for those who at the top of the heap, drawing seven-figure CEO salaries. The Democratic principles of oversight and fairness and economic equality—for those willing to work for it—now return. The Republican “Free-Market” ideas now follow Elvis out of the building....

Now Is the Time for the Calm, Firm Leadership of Barack Obama. A non-ideological approach that counts all of America, from the "commodity" of labor to the Republican "CEOs" of Wall Street, as one indivisible nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.

Later, with the Nation Once More Restored to a Solid Footing, the deregulation, small-government Republicans will return to power. They always do.

It Always Seems Like a Good Idea at the Time. The economy will bloat again with the ungoverned greed. Somehow it always does.

But Right Now, It Is Time for the Democrats Once Again
to roll up their sleeves and get to work, rescuing the American people, while bailing out the Conservatives and the Republicans and the free-market CEOs of Wall Street, as well.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden Are Asking for Your Vote on November 4, 2008. These men represent the party for all the people of these United States, rather than just the silent CEOs of the Fortune 500® and Wall Street.

It Is Time for a Return to Reason and Good Sense.
Regardless of how much, “It seemed like sort of a good idea at the time.”

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate No. 2: Style vs Substance

When Presidential Candidate Barack Obama opens his mouth to speak, what comes out are words and sentences and ideas. Not prepared speeches. This cannot be said about his opponent.

When Barack Obama Has a Point to Correct, he speaks it out. He does not deliver zingers against his opponent, but merely corrects the record. He always speaks his opponent’s name with respect.

When an Obama Speaking Turn Was Completed during the debate, he returned to his seat and listened to his opponent with respect, watchfully. (On the other hand, on some occasions while Senator Obama was speaking, his opponent was seen roaming around the stage in the background.)

Barack Obama Is Running for President of the United States, and he does not refer to everyone in sight as “my friend.” He treats everyone—friend and opponent alike—with respect, with dignity, and with consideration. He rightly plans to talk with foreign friends and enemies alike, as needed to help improve America’s role in the world, and to help all of the world toward peace.

When Moderator Tom Brokaw Asked Both Candidates how they would prioritize certain issues in the first days of their administrations, Barack Obama spoke directly to the question, describing a priority which led from one issue to the next. Senator McCain claimed he would not need to prioritize—as if the economy were not in upheaval, or as if our treasury were a limitless money tree.

Barack Obama Spoke Well on Foreign Affairs in Particular, never delivering a canned speech nor dropping the name of some nation that he could barely pronounce. Senator Obama spoke directly about the need to move decisively in Afghanistan, while addressing those failed policies of the Bush Administration that Senator McCain supports and promises to extend, if the Obama campaign does not prevail.

The Room Lights Up When Barack Obama Stands Up. His poise, his composure, and his sincere smile show that in an Obama Administration, the United States will have an authentic leader as commander-in-chief.

Senator McCain Wants so Badly to Become President. But he lacks the presence and the temperament necessary to serve the Nation well in that capacity. He lacks clear insight into world affairs. He lacks range concerning military affairs and the economy. John McCain lacks both the style and the substance to serve America as our next president.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden Ask for Your Vote on November 4, 2008. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rebuild America will serve us now. It's legacy may well serve us for generations to come.

Please Be Sure to Cast Your Vote. America needs all of us right now.

But Seriously, Folks: Who’s "Really" to Blame for This Mess?

[The following presentation comes from The Open-Eyed Voter™]

Whether We Will Admit it or Not, most Americans don’t know which side is really most-responsible for the current economic meltdown. And most Americans—whether Republican or Democrat—gladly blame the other side—whichever party we each consider “the other side” to be.

But From a Distance, It’s Not Really Possible for the independent voter to tell who is telling more of which truth. Is it the Democrats? The Republicans? Does either really know how it got this way?

The Open-Eyed Voter™ Does Not. But here is our best effort at figuring it out, as objectively as we can manage:

In the First Place, the Democrats insisted that the opportunity of home-ownership be opened up to all Americans, even to those who couldn’t afford it.

Then, the Republicans Took this Mandate of universal home-ownership, and decided that they’d show the Democrats how foolish this idea was. They created mortgages, which almost anybody could qualify for, that were step-up adjustable-rate mortgages. These mortgages would start low to qualify lower-income buyers, but then jump up to high rates that the borrowers could not realistically manage.

The Combined Result: Too Many People bought houses that they couldn’t afford—at interest rates that they couldn’t afford—while lacking the money-management skills necessary to keep up with their payments.

Next, the Glass-Steagall Act Was Removed. This Depression-era provision kept commercial banks and investment banks separate. Into the breach, mortgages brokers set themselves up in the new territory between commercial banks and investment banks. No one noticed that the gap existed. Too many risky mortgages got written. These risky mortgages were then resold as if they were the old-fashioned kind: solid and dependable. And the rest, as they say, is the current economic crisis.

In the De-Regulatory Economic Climate that has prevailed in America over the past 28 years, the path to this disaster was inevitable. Between the Democratic effort to mandate equality of opportunity and the Republican effort to profit from the presumed equality of individual responsibility, the whole financial system was brought to the brink.

It Would Be Constructive to Hear Barack Obama and John McCain each respond to a narrative such as that preceding, and to hear each identify what genuine blame lies within their respective parties. Now, that would be putting “Country First.”

Right Now, No Matter Who Is to Blame, we are ready for the “Hope” and the “Change” necessary to really get us out of this mess