A turtle on a post?

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Oklahoma rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the rancher. Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President .

The rancher said, ‘Well, ya know, Sarah Palin is a post turtle.’

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was. The rancher said, ‘When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a post turtle.’

The rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he explained. ‘You know she didn’t get up there by herself, she doesn’t belong up there, she doesn’t know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with.

Drag McCain Away

Is McCain demented or outright corrupt?

McCain tells us: “American business pays the second-highest business taxes in the world…”

The truth: At page 42 the Treasury Department reports America has the second lowest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. The Congressional Quarterly reports, “Most corporations, including the vast majority of foreign companies doing business in the United States, pay no income taxes.”

McCain seeks to freeze spending on everything but war, vets and entitlements. But discretionary spending is at its lowest levels in a generation and soon the lowest since the 1930s Hoover administration.

No one can explain this!

NPR: Given what you’ve said Senator, is there an occasion where you could imagine turning to Governor Palin for advice in a foreign policy crisis.

McCain: I’ve turned to her advice many times in the past… and I’ve already turned to Governor Palin particularly on energy issues and I’ve appreciated her background and knowledge on that and many other issues…. a broad variety of issues from her worldview to threats that we face, to radical Islamic extremism, to specific areas of the world. I’m very proud of her, and proud of the knowledge and background that she has.

The nation is dumbfounded.

The former chairman of the Republican National Committee is dumbfounded.

“Obviously, in a McCain Administration, she will not have much of a role in foreign policy”

Haley Barbour, Mississippi governor and McCain friend says about the Alaska Governor’s foreign policy capability, “It is honest to say, though, if I live in the state closest to Russia, I probably have got more sensitivity. I live in a state on the Gulf of Mexico, I got more sensitivity to hurricanes than people in Kansas.”

Anger is best where it belongs

If you don’t read this post, read the very last line.

Charlie Rose interviewed this fellow September 30 on the crash and bailout.

Martin Feldstein, economist, Charlie RoseMartin Feldstein is an American economist. He is currently the George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and the president and CEO of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). From 1982 to 1984, Feldstein served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and as chief economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan (where his deficit hawk views clashed with Reagan administration economic policies). The video clip here.

Feldstein’s answers were very clear. He shows that the White House and our government were highly aware of impending problems, were discussing it for years, failed to act even though they were equipped with the regulatory tools to avoid this calamity – a supervisory failure.

Martin Feldstein points to Bush without wavering. He points to extremely slack ratings agencies, and he puts White House dereliction of supervision squarely in the center of the greatest financial mess since the 1930s.

Just days before New York’s Eliot Spitzer was shamed out of office, he published an opinion in the Washington Post, February 2008, How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers. Spitzer seems livid in this piece.

Eliot Spitzer thumbSeveral years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Some were misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to consumers’ ability to repay, making loans with deceptive “teaser” rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks. These and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.

Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.

Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.

The White House invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to freeze state lending laws, “thereby rendering them inoperative“. Spitzer concludes, days before he’s drummed out of his career,

“When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably. The tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.”

The collapse of Fannie, Freddie, Lehman, Bear, and others like them, represents the failure of federal regulators to enact reforms in the $6.5 trillion mortgage securities market, an industry far bigger than the United States treasury market.

This Administration has put extra efforts against us to block action and intervention.

The Administration along with the ‘old boys’ in Congress are responsible for this crisis. They knew in advance. They said nothing. John McCain and Phil Gramm, his economic advisor, are each culpable. They have enthusiastically dredged regulatory favoritism to Wall Street, Enron et al.

Warned more than two years ago, McCain has colluded in an ideological foolishness that has slapped this country silly. William Black — former deputy director of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation during the “Keating Five” scandal that nearly ended McCain’s political career — says the Arizona Republican’s chief errors at the time were underestimating the importance of regulation and relying too heavily on slanted advice from captains of industryhe took his advice from the worst [kind of] criminal.

In March 2007! Obama Called on Paulson & Bernanke to Address Economic Crisis