Archive for the 'Politics as Usual' Category

21
Dec
09

stay in your home!!!

I thought I would share this bit of transcript from Bill Moyers’ piece with Steve Meacham, a community organizer in Boston who is helping people who have been foreclosed on stay in their houses. Remember that many people who are going through foreclosure purchased houses at the peak of the bubble, and signed loans that the lenders knew weren’t safe. Also recall that many of these houses are now worth a helluva lot less than they were when people bought them.

It’s an inspiring piece that shows what some good folks are doing in the face of this absurd madness. You can watch it here:    Bill Moyer’s Journal

STEVE MEACHAM: One of the unheralded things about this crisis right now is that there’s an awful lot of owners who come to us who cannot afford their home at the inflated value, at the adjustable rate mortgage price. But they have plenty of income to afford their home at the real value at a 30-year fixed. And so why not just give them the property back at that amount? If they’re foreclosed on, the best the bank that can do is sell the property at the real value. By definition, that is the absolute best.

If Deutsche Bank forecloses on Joe Schmoe, the best they can do is to sell that property at real value. So if Joe Schmoe can afford the property at real value, why not sell it back to him? But the only reason the banks aren’t doing that is because of what they call moral hazard. They say basically that homeowners should be punished because they signed these loan documents.

These are the same guys who have run our entire economy into the ground and who have been rewarded with billions in taxpayer bailouts and have used billions of that money to give bonuses to the very executives that drove their companies and the whole economy into the ground. And they are citing moral hazard as the reason why they can’t resell that property to the existing homeowners at the real value. That is disgusting and hypocritical and in the extreme.

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Kind of makes you wonder whether the banks really give a shit about moral hazard or whether this is just a plan to further erode the middle class. It’s just mind numbing to me how this whole financial crisis has panned out, and still the culprits are making off with billions. I guess it will keep on going until there is a movement that demands a stop to it.

As far as I can tell, Obama’s presidency hasn’t done squat to change the culture of Wall Street or Washington. Not that I believed it would, particularly after I saw all the Wall Street and Washington homies he put on his cabinet, but a lot of folks put a lot of faith in him. He sure sold himself as a charismatic and effective leader, but I haven’t seen anything but the contrary from him. It’s a sad state when the best we can say — and I hear many people say it — at least he’s not Bush.

As usual, it’s business as usual.

27
Sep
09

Afghanistan

There are a million reasons to stay the fuck out of Afghanistan, not that any of our “leaders” will entertain any of them. Hell, we can’t even trust that the reasons we are there have anything to do with what the politicians say. Smoke and mirrors if you ask me; not to mention a lot of useless death. But then, why build a shit pile of bombs if you don’t have a theater to explode them on. Yeah, it’s a cynical view, but it’s probably got a heavier dose of truth in it than you’ll get from any politician.

At any rate, I watched an interview between Lynn Sherr and Rory Stewart on the Bill Moyers Journal, and I have to say that this Stewart dude is one inspiring character. This is a guy who walked the entire length of Afghanistan alone, at the onset of the war while the Taliban was roaming around and Afghanistan had no government. And he did this because he knew that in order to get a sense for what the country was really about, he would have to hang out with the people in the small remote villages where most Afghans live. Talk about cahones!

What he has to say about Afghanistan and the advice he would give our leaders if only they would listen is well worth checking out. Besides that, he shares with us what I consider to be the political analogy of the year. They are talking about Mr. Stewart’s visit with Hillary Clinton, who sought his advice on Afghanistan. I’ll quote it for you:

LYNN SHERR: And again, their reaction? They listen politely, you say?

RORY STEWART: They listen politely, but in the end, of course, basically the policy decision is made. What they would like is little advice on some small bit. I mean, the analogy that one of my colleagues used recently is this: it’s as though they come to you and they say, “We’re planning to drive our car off a cliff. Do we wear a seatbelt or not?” And we say, “Don’t drive your car off the cliff.” And they say, “No, no, no. That decision’s already made. The question is should we wear our seatbelts?” And you say, “Why by all means wear a seatbelt.” And they say, “Okay, we consulted with policy expert, Rory Stewart,” et cetera.

Sometimes you wonder why we try.

Watch the interview here.

Cheers,

AN ~

21
Aug
09

Health Care ~ The Theatrics of Reform

“There is nothing to fear but fear mongering itself.” – Bill Moyers

Which is to say, there is an awful lot to fear these days.

Through the portal trying to pass as the health care reform debate, the hyperbolic opposition –  in a repeat performance of their 1994 coup of Democratic controlled Washington – is spinning yet another sticky, disingenuous web of lies and paranoia with the nefarious intent of raising the ire of an otherwise docile public. The goal: bringing down the Obama administration and the ever hapless,  totally ineffectual Democratic party, by shooting down any possibility of passing health care – I mean, health insurance reform.

The puppet masters of delusional dissent have once again done a masterful job at rousing the rabble to heights of paranoid idiocy, leaving me once again shaking my head in bewilderment at the abject lack of reason prevailing in society today. Gingrich, Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, et al, are back in their element. With their quaking voices and self-satisfied smirks, I wonder if they realize how much they actually enjoy being in the political minority for a change. Death panels and socialism – are you kidding me? Most of these people wouldn’t know socialism if it bit them on the ass. Hell, you never know, they might actually enjoy it if it did.

As I watch news clips of lemmings marching over the cliff of reason, I can’t help but to laugh at the absurd theatrics and the spin masters who engender them. Of course, when I catch my breath and remember that none of this is happening in a vacuum, I am forced to once again turn my attention toward the media machine to try to figure out what objective lay behind their latest slugfest of deception and propaganda –  er, I mean news cycle.

Continue reading ‘Health Care ~ The Theatrics of Reform’