McCain Credits Hillary With HOLC Idea


The mortgage renewal idea actually originated with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, said Charlie Black, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain. And Mrs. Clinton, who proposed the idea in a recent newspaper column, borrowed it from a Depression-era New Deal agency, the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation.

Obama left this door wide open by not adopting the Clinton proposal earlier. He needs to close it. NOW.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< Friedman on Palin | Wednesday Open Thread >
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  • Display: Sort:
    [shakes head] (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:50:41 AM EST
    What more can I say?

    Leadership deficit (5.00 / 9) (#4)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:54:35 AM EST
    I have to say it somewhere.  I know, I know.  Yesterday, I truly lamented the fact that Hillary is not our candidate.  This is her forte.  Giving people the feeling of true leadership.  And I must say, the world would have felt good knowing she came with that dude as her husband.  But, once again, we have to contend with what we have.  

    But I bet he will ... (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:56:48 AM EST
    continue to "look Presidential" while he fails to support HOLC.

    The implied point there ... (5.00 / 8) (#10)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:58:59 AM EST
    and I think I should just say it is:

    There's a big difference between LOOKING Presidential and ACTING Presidential.


    Considering what a rare gem HIllary is (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:57:39 AM EST
    Obama ought to be showing her off at every opportunity.

    I'm getting really unhappy at the "little woman" treatment she's been getting.  She deserves a lot more than an occasional pat on the back.


    they don't like each other (none / 0) (#42)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:29:35 AM EST
    i think it's that simple.

    I think he doesn't like HER. (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:32:34 AM EST
    I think Hillary likes him quite a bit...and can distinguish personal from the political. Obama? Notsomuch.  She was the one calling for a unity ticket. She was the one saying that the Democrat being elected is the most important thing. He was not. I think he personally hates the Clintons. And it shows. Hopefully, it won't show at the ballot box when all the Clinton wingers take it personally as well. If they do...and he loses...he's can only blame himself. Which he won't. LOL.

    Obama and Clinton (none / 0) (#48)
    by zvs888 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:37:17 AM EST
    I think the problem with her calling for a unity ticket at that time was that it was premature and with her at the top of it while she was down in the delegate counts...

    You can't offer what's not yours to give.

    In any case, I don't think he dislikes Hillary, I think he doesn't like Bill though.

    It must be annoying to be the Democratic nominee when the only two term Democratic President goes out of his way to praise McCain at every chance he gets, while not really talking about Obama.

    Obama wants to win it on his own terms, it really is that simple.


    That's foolish. (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:40:40 AM EST
    The Party is not the Obama Party. It's the Democratic Party. And after being called a racist, a bad president, being lumped in with Clinton-Bush by Obama...I can plainly see WHY Bill goes out of his way to praise McCain. And she was calling for a unity ticket because she knew they'd win overwhelmingly. It's been done many many times before, even by the people that were behind in delegates (are we really doing that again, too?).  The problem is that Obama took it personally. He's being a brat about it.

    Erm (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:47:05 AM EST
    I can plainly see WHY Bill goes out of his way to praise McCain

    You think Bill is sabotaging the [party for  a personal vendetta and that he is justified?

    Then you talk about Obama being a brat?

    You have ODS.


    LOL. Not in the least. (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:58:14 AM EST
    I defend Obama daily. I decry the Republicans. I can't stand McCain. I will vote for Obama.  I have no such syndrome. But knowing the truth is not ODS. I don't think Bill is sabotaging the party at all. That's not what I said. I said I can understand his shall-we-say lack of enthusiasm towards Obama. Because I feel the exact same way.  And indeed, I think Obama is a brat. He refuses to acknowledge Hillary's power and draw even though it would win him the election. That is brattiness.

    brattiness. (1.00 / 1) (#73)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:04:27 PM EST
    how insulting you are.

    Perhaps he just hasn't made up his mind about what he wants to do.

    Jeez, you are as bad as Mccain and his "that one".

    Obama deserves respect, even if you disagree.


    Excuse me. (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:07:31 PM EST
    I did not realize Obama was canonized recently.   Sorry. I call it as I see it. We're allowed to call McCain McSame and call him an idiot right? Just checking. Only Obama deserves demagoguery.

    You called the first major (1.00 / 1) (#83)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:13:24 PM EST
    black presidential candidate an undisciplined child.

    Yes you did.


    Huh?? (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:16:57 PM EST
    The fact that he's black makes him except of criticism?  Get a clue.

    that's not what i said (none / 0) (#94)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:22:10 PM EST
    and you know it.

    You injected race into the discussion. (none / 0) (#170)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:44:28 PM EST
    I saw racism in the discussion (none / 0) (#191)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:46:05 PM EST
    there is a difference

    No. You did two things: (5.00 / 3) (#195)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 04:33:58 PM EST
    1) you, personally & falsely, inferred racism in someone else's non-racist comment,

    and then

    2) you intentionally injected your false racist inference into the discussion.

    See, there's inferring...and then there's injecting.

    There is a difference.


    nope (none / 0) (#196)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 04:35:59 PM EST
    acting the child (1.00 / 0) (#165)
    by bobbski on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:37:52 PM EST
    Perhaps if Obama would act like an effing adult he would not be called for behaving like an undisciplined child.

    You folks crack me up...  you call McStain six kinds of SOB or worse but you cannot stand any criticism of Nobama.


    "Nobama" (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 04:37:39 PM EST
    Nice, with the right wing formulation there trolly, you going to talk about the "democrat" party and Vince Foster next (oh wait, I forgot the Foster thing got dropped from your talking points when you guys decided to pretend to respect Hillary despite literally decades of calling her a "feminazi")

    And for your information, (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:08:51 PM EST
    I do respect him.  But respect and worship are two different things.  You should realize that true respect means being able to criticize the people you support...especially if personal disdain gets in the way of democratic principles.

    funny (1.00 / 1) (#85)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:15:32 PM EST
    respect means calling a brat?

    Your comments about cannonization and worship are misplaced. I've been in lots of fights for defending Hillary at dkos too. I fight for my Democrats. That's what I do.

    And you called your respected black candidate a brat.


    And I've called (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:18:12 PM EST
    lots of white candidates like McCain dumb, silly, and stupid.  What is your point? Other than that Obama is black? Which still fails to make any difference at all.

    I've made my point (1.00 / 1) (#92)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:21:36 PM EST
    you are failing to realize what you did.

    I guess you are like a real-life Stephen Colbert, who doesn't see color.

    I live in the real world.


    In the world (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:23:26 PM EST
    in which I live I am of the brown persuasion.  So yeah. Get a clue.

    you called the first black (1.00 / 1) (#100)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:29:06 PM EST
    presidential candidate of a major party a spoiled child.

    That is what you did.

    It was a poor choice of words, admit it.

    Call him a jerk, fine, but not anything diminutive.


    Would "petty" be better than brat. (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by callmecassandra on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:34:46 PM EST
    Knock off the race-baiting, please. It's toxic to dialogue. And you do more harm to Blacks.

    yes, petty would be better. (1.00 / 1) (#109)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:37:07 PM EST
    but I refuse to steer clear of pointing out racist language.

    Brat is racist now? (5.00 / 4) (#119)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:49:26 PM EST
    LOL. I'll make sure to keep that in mind next time someone calls me a brat. It must be my brown-ness.

    calling either an adult man or woman (1.00 / 1) (#121)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:53:20 PM EST
    a spoiled child is consistent with racism and sexism. It was an unfortunate remark, expecially considering the racist turn the Mccain campaign has taken recently.

    Completely nonsensical. (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:58:26 PM EST
    nope. (none / 0) (#129)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:59:32 PM EST
    actually, it's well accepted by people who study such things.

    Obamabots? (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:02:47 PM EST

    Oh ha ha. (none / 0) (#138)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:11:14 PM EST
    Listen, I wrote a GBCW diary in response to outrageous claims of racism against Hillary at dKos. I don't say this lightly.

    I don't think you meant it that way, I am just telling you how it sounded to me. And yes, I have liberal arts education that includes classes on racism and sexism.


    This is news to me that now calling someone (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by vicndabx on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:34:01 PM EST
    a spoiled child
    is racist.  This doesn't make sense at all.  If this is stemming from black men being called "boy", from what I remember reading in history, and hearing from my parents & grandparents, black folks damn sure weren't spoiled.  Y'all need to stop w/the false equivalencies.  Stop spreading them.  I don't think most blacks feel the same way.

    Pretty recently, too (none / 0) (#144)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:29:43 PM EST
    I bet

    As our CA Governator would say: (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:48:09 PM EST
    Dat's a gude one!

    I note he recently stopped (none / 0) (#175)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:50:19 PM EST
    pronouncing "w" as "v."  

    May or so... (none / 0) (#162)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:31:22 PM EST
    to clarify (none / 0) (#178)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:58:40 PM EST
    May is when I did my GBCW, my racism and sexism classes were in the early 1990s.  

    Calling Obama a brat isn't racist language. (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by callmecassandra on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:05:44 PM EST
    The use of "brat" is in reference to Obama's "youth", inexperience and pettiness. Race does not come to mind.

    Because of race-baiting from Obama supporters (and surrogates), it's becoming more difficult to note subtle racism.

    McCain put out an ad some weeks back criticizing Obama's disrespectful response to Gov. Palin's candidacy. The background used in the ad was mottled red combined with Obama's angry face images. 1+1=Angry Black Man. There were also the words "good-looking" writ large next to a leering Obama (the only image, iirc, that wasn't "angry") in the same ad. Another note of subtle racism.

    But we couldn't make a big deal about it because 1) Obama's campaign had been disrespectful of Gov. Palin and 2) Obama supporters have cried wolf one too many times. Funny thing though, from a general perusal of left blogs, most didn't even note these instances. And out of those who did note the racism, many couldn't explain why the ad was racist.

    You might think you're helping Obama with this nonsense. Perhaps you are. But I know you aren't helping Blacks.


    This is a different issue (none / 0) (#139)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:16:13 PM EST
    am I helping or hurting? Maybe it is harmful.

    I was just telling another person that I left dKos because they were claiming that the Clintons darkened and widened pictures of Obama. Ridiculous to think that the Clintons are racist after Bill's presidency.

    I see your point that the signal is getting lost in the noise.

    However, "am I right"? Perhaps you are right that that is less important than "is it useful to my cause".



    False accusations... (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by callmecassandra on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:08:00 PM EST
    of racism - intentional/unintentional - is the issue.

    "Boy" is racist language. "Brat" is not. And since you were wrong "ab initio", your question "am I right"  is a question without basis.


    that assumes facts not in evidence (none / 0) (#169)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:42:51 PM EST
    The fact is... (3.50 / 2) (#198)
    by callmecassandra on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 05:01:14 PM EST
    "brat" is not racist language. Technically and historically.

    Your question has no basis. Unless desire counts as basis.


    Now Now Children! (none / 0) (#110)
    by CDN Ctzn on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:38:09 PM EST
    Please let me on when it became the impardonable sin to call anyone, let alone the first African American presidential candidate a brat when they behave like one.

    racism does not seem to be (none / 0) (#111)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:39:01 PM EST
    an unpardonable sin these days.

    At What Point and Time (none / 0) (#116)
    by CDN Ctzn on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:43:18 PM EST
    did the word "Brat" become a racist term. I've accused my WASP children of being Brats when they acted like one on several occasions.

    This is sounding like a crazy flashback to the primaries when critics of Obama couldn't open their mouths without being BRANDED racists. If this is what we have to expect over the next four years then God Help Us All!


    It could be a loooong 4 yrs if this continues (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by nycstray on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:23:44 PM EST
    I was hoping this type of crap had been put to rest.

    Brat describes actions/attitude much the same way elitist does. I refer to my pets behavior as bratty when it's applicable (bouncing off the walls and totally ignoring me qualifies!) I will say though, I've never described them as elitist  ;)

    I hope the Obama presidency comes with a users manual so we can speak appropriately over the next 4 yrs.


    people here have defended the word by (1.00 / 0) (#146)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:30:14 PM EST
    saying they call their pets and their children brats or bratty.

    That should be a guideline on what NOT to call a black man, or a woman...what you call your kids or pets.

    It's not really that difficult.

    I concede it's an easy mistake to make, but why not just say oops and move on?


    Can I call a white man a brat? (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by nycstray on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:42:49 PM EST
    I've definitely dated some {grin}

    perfectly acceptable (5.00 / 0) (#166)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:38:29 PM EST
    because they are dominant in society.

    Listen, I understand (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:47:20 PM EST
    where you're coming from. I'm holding that his attitude regarding Hillary is rather bratty.  I have been a Hispanic for a while now (all my life in fact ;)) and I think you're attacking something that isn't there.  

    OK. You did not intend it that way. fine. (1.00 / 0) (#164)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:36:43 PM EST
    I still think the language can be considered racist. And I don't think your race changes that.

    But I am tired of arguing. Clearly we are both on the same side in essentials.


    ummmm.... (none / 0) (#168)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:40:36 PM EST
    People called Newt Gingrich a brat when he shut down the government because he didn't get a good seat on Air Force One.  Certainly elected officials have been called brats before.

    perfectly acceptable (none / 0) (#171)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:44:43 PM EST
    Newt is in the dominant group.

    It is diminutive (1.00 / 0) (#118)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:48:13 PM EST
    Your WASP children are children, or at least they are your adult children.

    Obama is an adult. Calling him a child is at best an unfortubnate choice of words (and actually, that's what I think it was), at worst it is infintailization common to racism.

    And, I can see how people might be sensitive from the primaries, the calls of racism against Hil were ridiculous. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't decry infinilization of Obama (or Palin, for that matter).


    accusing the Clintons of racism was silly (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by Iris on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:49:11 PM EST
    BUT as the months have passed I think it's become clear that many who opposed Obama ARE rabid racists or at least racially prejudiced.

    That's something I can't get on board with.

    And yes, calling Obama a brat or a kid is racist.  There's a long history of this for those who care to read about it.

    One of the most troubling things to come out of the primaries is that many so-called Democrats (mostly PUMA's) are desensitized to racism; it's as if because the Clintons were falsely accused, all accusations of racism are false.  


    Thank you!!! (5.00 / 0) (#176)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:54:53 PM EST

    OK, (none / 0) (#185)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:17:58 PM EST
    but similarly that doesn't make all accusations of racism true. This particular instance is a good example.

    Would Calling Hillary Clinton a Brat Be Sexism? (none / 0) (#122)
    by daring grace on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:53:23 PM EST
    For the record, I didn't take the reference here to Obama as a brat as racism, and if someone chose to call Clinton a brat I wouldn't see it as sexist.

    Silly and most likely wrong in both cases.

    But there are plenty of us around who see sexism and racism in such labels. And this campaign (sadly) seems to have broadened the perceptions of those two terms considerably and sensitized many of us acutely as well.


    yes. (5.00 / 0) (#126)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:55:28 PM EST
    I would consider it sexist.

    you bet.


    Uh huh. (none / 0) (#97)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:26:01 PM EST
    Uh huh. (none / 0) (#98)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:26:03 PM EST
    Yeah. UH HUH. (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:29:18 PM EST
    I even have brown parents.  Can you believe it!?

    whoops (none / 0) (#103)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:30:12 PM EST
    I got the hiccups.

    you should be even more aware of what you did then.


    LOL. (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:39:54 PM EST
    PS (5.00 / 0) (#120)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:49:53 PM EST
    I don't think you are a racist. But you used infintalizing language to describe Obama. It was an unfortunate use, and it would be sexist if used against a woman.

    I saw Bill's stump for Obama (none / 0) (#71)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:02:10 PM EST
    it was awesome and heartfelt and very much for Obama

    So which is it? (none / 0) (#72)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:03:26 PM EST
    Because either Bill is praising mcCain too much or stumping for Obama. My only point is that Bill has been called (rightly at times) less-than enthusiastic for Obama. And I can totally see why.

    YOU were the only one between the (none / 0) (#75)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:05:39 PM EST
    two of us that claimed Bill was lukewarm.

    Bill is being fair and acting like an ex-President (none / 0) (#183)
    by Iris on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:11:26 PM EST
    so he doesn't impugn McCain's integrity, yet points out that Obama has better ideas.  It makes our side look good because he doesn't stoop to that level.

    That does not mean he doesn't like Obama or that he's rooting for McCain.


    And because he knows (none / 0) (#202)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 07:12:58 PM EST
    it would be best for the country and still won't acknowledge the Clintons, even though both are working hard for him.

    Sure it is the Democratic Party (none / 0) (#60)
    by zvs888 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:48:17 AM EST
    But the standard bearer for the next 28 days (and the next 4 years if he wins) is Obama.

    It is his party. Democratic leaders get behind the standard bearer.

    It is kind of sad that only the Republicans seem to understand this with the exception of that nutcase Ron Paul.

    Also, why does everyone think that Obama and Hillary have to have the same policies?  The HOLC is one of the few differences between them.  He doesn't think it is necessary (as of yet), she does.  I fail to see why it is automatically the party line just because Hillary said it when she is not the party leader...


    I don't think anyone (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:58:59 AM EST
    is claiming it is the party line. Problem lies in that it should be.  

    Every chance he gets? (none / 0) (#199)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 06:55:54 PM EST
    You must have a long list of examples.

    Especially now that he's hitting every swing state with blistering speeches explaining the current state of the economy and country and strongly urging folks to vote for Obama.....


    Every chance he gets? (none / 0) (#200)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 07:07:17 PM EST
    You must be able to provide a long list of examples to make such a statement.

    And of course there's the fact that Bill Clinton is now on a tour of the swing states making blistering speeches on the economy and why we must elect Obama ...

    or aren't you familiar with Clinton's Obama- supporting schedule after all?


    duh (none / 0) (#201)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 07:08:21 PM EST
    I missed the fact that my comment was up....



    I disagree (none / 0) (#52)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:40:26 AM EST

    Sigh... (5.00 / 5) (#41)
    by marian evans on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:29:18 AM EST
    I still haven't got my head around the fact that the more substantial candidate did NOT make it onto the Dem ticket. It's bizarre.

    That was such an underwhelming debate...as was the first one, if it comes to that.

    It makes me very conscious of the benefits of the Westminster parliamentary system - where the opposing political parties have to come up with substantial platforms, with budgets that have to add up (elections have been lost by parties who have got the numbers wrong - they lose the confidence of the electorate).

    The contest between Sens Obama and McCain is like watching a student election in high school - all puff and promises, no real policies or intention to follow through.

    A pair of amateurs...without a clue...both of them. God help you, you poor sods. God help all of us, if it comes to that - a poorly led US will be a disaster for us all.


    yeah...thanks alot (none / 0) (#45)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:30:47 AM EST
    for the enabling Tony Blair.

    Real helpful, that.

    Thatcher too, for that matter.


    Democracy... (none / 0) (#51)
    by marian evans on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:40:24 AM EST
    means that leaders get elected that you or I may not agree with, but at least electorates in a UK-type system know what they have voted for...the policies are out there, the costings are done, the expectations are either met or failed...and the review process is the next election where the leaders either get their cards stamped for another go, or get shown the door.

    i knew what i was voting for (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:44:38 AM EST
    you seem to be under the illusion that Americans "accidentally" are voting for people. It's not true.

    Unfortunately, many of us really are stupid enough to want Bush twice.

    The people who voted for Obama in the primary have as many reasons for doing so as those who voted for Hil...many of those reasons are frivilous, many are thoughtful.


    The problem with a presidential system... (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by marian evans on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:01:32 PM EST
    is the tendency to focus on personality, not policy...and isn't that how you ended up with Bush in the first place? All that folksy "guy you'd like to have a beer with" drivel that got played out in the MSM.

    We live in trivial times - not just in the US - and a pop-idol presidency is beginning to seem not too daft a hypothetical scenario.

    But wait...there's more...every voter gets a free t-shirt...and the results are texted to them on their mobile phones...

    I wish Kurt Vonnegut was still with us.

    It's a mad world. Kurt would do justice to it.


    We Ended Up With Bush In The First Place (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by daring grace on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:05:28 PM EST
    because of an electoral system where someone can win the popular vote and lose the election, and because of strategic mistakes in Al Gore's campaign before and after the election and because the SC stopped the counting in Florida and ordained Bush the winner.

    Even so, I agree with your point that these are trivial, image driven times that often saddle us with incompetent and corrupt leaders who happened to run the better PR campaign for themselves and their 'ideas'.

    That's why I support Barack Obama because I like his approach, his policies and believe he might make a good president, especially in the aftermath of the last eight years of Bush/Cheney. And I find his substantive campaign a welcome change from the policy-lite babbling of McCain/Palin.


    And Tony Blair was not? (none / 0) (#99)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:27:19 PM EST
    Give me a break.

    At Least (none / 0) (#117)
    by CDN Ctzn on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:47:25 PM EST
    in the parlimentary system the Prime Minister has to stand accountable and answer for his actions before parliment on a daily basis. Thatcher and Blair weren't the only Prime Ministers of Great Britian, and even in that, many citizens of GB only fault Tony Blair for bowing to Bush.

    they reelected him (none / 0) (#128)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:58:40 PM EST
    Blar also did not demand to see the Italian documents about the yellowcake that turned out later to be false.

    Both systems broke down, so I take exception to a Brit coming here and talking down our system, even as I agree that we are too often bamboozled by personality and party identity.


    The parliamentary system (none / 0) (#137)
    by Manuel on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:08:10 PM EST
    does seem to offer more choices to voters.  If your party doesn't have enough support to lead the government it can at least get representation in government and often it can even get cabinet representation.

    Hillary's WSJ piece (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by AccidentalTourist on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:05:16 PM EST
    I remember wishing it got more play than it did when it was first published, and I'm frankly stunned that it was McCain and not Obama who ended up "mavericking" (read: hijacking) HOLC, which has roots in The New Deal, for crying out loud. This should be in the Dem column.

    At the risk of repeating myself, I wish Obama would ally with Hillary not just to "appeal to women," but for her substance and ideas. Help for homeowners - coming up with a detailed policy idea of how to help them - was a total no-brainer for either candidate AFAIC.

    I realize that Obama essentially has this election in hand, and he did a good enough job last night to win the 'Presidentiability' contest. But I'm still disappointed at this missed opportunity. I hope he takes this issue back from McCain and better yet, actually moves in this direction after the election.


    Are we oversimplifying (5.00 / 0) (#186)
    by Iris on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:22:48 PM EST
    by calling McCain's plan "HOLC"?

    Here's an article that bears reading:

    After Tuesday's debate, the Obama campaign e-mailed a statement accusing Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) of stealing the idea for his homeowner bailout from Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

    The statement, "John McCain Lies Tonight," began: "McCain today said he had a new plan to allow the Treasury to purchase and restructure mortgages. The truth is that this is not a new proposal and is already part of the rescue plan that was signed into law. It was Obama, not McCain who called for this move two weeks ago."

    On Wednesday afternoon, the Obama campaign's economic policy director, Jason Furman, issued a statement opposing the plan.

    The Obama campaign says the reason for the opposition is that when the McCain campaign revealed details of the plan Wednesday, it became clear that taxpayers would be guaranteed to lose money, and financial institutions who helped caused the problem would be beneficiaries.


     "Senator McCain's first response to this economic crisis was to say that the fundamentals of our economy are strong. Since then, he's acknowledged that there is a crisis and offered multiple plans, sometimes conflicting. Last night, in his latest attempt to get it right, he threw out a proposal that appeared to give the Treasury authority it already has to restructure troubled mortgages. But now that he's finally released the details of his plan, it turns out it's even more costly and out of touch than we ever imagined. John McCain wants the government to massively overpay for mortgages in a plan that would guarantee taxpayers lose money, and put them at risk of losing even more if home values don't recover. The biggest beneficiaries of this plan will be the same financial institutions that got us into this mess, some of whom even committed fraud."

    Thoughts?  Is the authority to refinance mortgages already in place or what?  

    Brad Delong says McCain's plan is bad (5.00 / 0) (#188)
    by Iris on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:33:18 PM EST
    because it buys up mortgages at "full face value" instead of current market value.  Thoughts?  How does this compare to Hillary's proposal?
    Congress' bill - which Holtz-Eakin says provides at least part of the authority McCain would need to carry out his plan - provided a $300 billion program to help distressed borrowers refinance into cheaper Federal Housing Authority mortgages. But to participate, lenders and mortgage investors would have to reduce the mortgage principal...
    That part is from Ben Smith.  Delong says:
    Not so McCain's plan. McCain's plan is for the government to buy up $300 billion of distressed mortgages not at current market value but at full face value.

    Iris (5.00 / 0) (#193)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 04:17:13 PM EST
    you may want to check out BTD's newest diary a couple above this one...which addresses your points, I think.

    Specifically, McCain's plan doesn't seem to be Hil's plan at all.


    ok, I hadn't seen that (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by Iris on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 04:23:59 PM EST

    I know (5.00 / 3) (#158)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:06:42 PM EST
    I didn't want to say it last night, but I missed her a lot.  No one commands those issues like she does. And she works a room like that better than either of the guys on stage.

    OK, I vented.


    I don't get it ..... (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by Annie M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:56:28 AM EST
    I agree totally BTD and I'm at a loss to understand why Obama doesn't embrace this idea.  It's a shout out to Hillary (and her supporters) and everyday Americans.  Any theories on what is stopping him?

    Um... (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:58:41 AM EST
    his utter disdain for all things Clinton? It's like Obama despises her and would rather do anything than give her credit or use any of her ideas.  It's mind-boggling. This aspect of his current campaign makes my pulling the lever for him SO hard. I'll do it. But I really can't stand his attitude with regards to Hillary.

    That's silly. (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:05:20 AM EST
    Virtually every policy he holds is indistinguishable from Clinton's.  Why would this particular policy be any different.

    Why indeed (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:06:05 AM EST
    He hasn't rejected it (none / 0) (#59)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:48:13 AM EST
    he hasn't decided.

    That's classic Obama.


    Why? (none / 0) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:50:16 AM EST
    because he is slow and deliberate (none / 0) (#64)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:52:34 AM EST
    and busy talking about health care . If he rolls out something like HOLC, it probably won't be until next week.

    My guess is (none / 0) (#79)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:08:04 PM EST
    that he will warm to the idea after the election.  Senator Obama did not pick up on Mrs. Clinton's thinking on HOLC soon enough, and now that McCain glommed on to it (without attribution, at least, during the debate) ownership is being attached to him. McCain is unlikely to be able do much with this idea considering the hostility likely to arise from his base, but he did a service by permitting Senator Obama to take up the leadership on the issue--just that it will now have to wait a month or so.  

    actually (none / 0) (#68)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:58:32 AM EST
    he probably won't take it up until after the election.

    Translation: (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:05:21 PM EST
    He'll never take it up.

    ridiculous. (none / 0) (#77)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:07:12 PM EST
    Presidents take up LOTS of things that are never mentioned during the election.

    Why should Obama take it up now if he feels it is a risk to his campaign? He is ahead for Chrissakes.


    Coigue, you giving us an expample of ... (5.00 / 4) (#91)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:21:08 PM EST
    blind Obama partisanship.

    Personally, I care about issues.


    really? (none / 0) (#114)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:40:33 PM EST
    I have yet to get an issue response from you.

    It's all been zingers so far.


    Coigne, (none / 0) (#84)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:14:20 PM EST
    sorry, did not mean to step on your idea; I should have scrolled down before adding my thoughts.  

    not at all (none / 0) (#88)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:17:49 PM EST
    I agree with you completely, AND I think you expressed it much more clearly than I

    I interpret this as Obama saying: (none / 0) (#80)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:08:15 PM EST
    "You'll get no evidence of leadership from me, until you elect me your leader.  Then, maybe."

    that is so unfair. (none / 0) (#90)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:19:31 PM EST
    He has talked about health care and extending unemployment, even going so far as to say he will not rest until people have adequate coverage.

    McCain beat him to the punch on thisissue, but that doesn't mean he isn't leading in other areas.


    But not leading on ... (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:22:06 PM EST
    the most important issue we currently face.

    yeah..yawn (none / 0) (#96)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:24:51 PM EST
    unemployment, health care, what a bore.

    Just because he isn't quick to the trigger doesn't mean he won't choose a thoughtful and efefctive answer.

    I love how everyone wants an immediate answer to a problem that took years to create and that many people still don't understand, and that many econiomists don't agree on.


    You love Obama ... (none / 0) (#106)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:33:22 PM EST
    I get that.

    What a reasoned comeback. (none / 0) (#108)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:35:50 PM EST
    All I am doing is showing an opposing opinion. I hate it when people get into an "if only it was Hil" line.

    I loved Hil too. But I tend to take exception to anti-Obama pile-ons, and when I do, I get lots of quick snappy replies like the one you just gave. Not much substance.


    You're doing nothing ... (3.50 / 2) (#115)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:42:03 PM EST
    of the kind.

    You're just chattering.


    Color me underwhelmed (5.00 / 2) (#172)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:47:24 PM EST
    Extending unemployment after nine months of job losses is a no-brainer.  the Senate has been proposing this for months.  That's hardly leadership.  That's hardly followership if it comes to that.  

    And "he will not rest" until people have adequate coverage?  what a novel thought?  I have certainly never heard a politician express such a sentiment before!  

    The single biggest issue right now is the total meltdown of the economy and Obama has been very unimpressive, mainly waiting to see how the issues plays out and proposing small solutions.  He is very lucky the GOP brand is in such bad shape and that McCain is turning into (more of) a nutso because his leadership has certainly NOT been on display.


    just because (none / 0) (#180)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:03:58 PM EST
    he isn't jumping to a solution doesn't mean he won't.

    I agree it's fairly weak so far, but frankly, that is common for an election and it is common for Obama to take his time.

    I admit I am hoping for some bigger solutions soon.


    It's not that he won't (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:34:29 PM EST
    I, frankly, don't know enough about HOLC to know if he should sign onto that.  But I do know that he hasn't proposed much of anything.  I mean extending unemployment insurance, raising the cap on FDIC?  That's very very little given the severity of the crisis.  And he even discounted assistance to homeowners!

    You admit that his way isn't to come out on front of issues.  Leaders do come out on front - if they are good leaders, they propose good solutions.  if they are bad, vice versa.  But Obama isn't being a leader at all.  That's preferential to bad leadership (mccain), it doesn't give me much hope for the future.


    No. I don't agree with that (none / 0) (#190)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:38:01 PM EST
    I think it's fine for Obama to think about what will be best. This is a long term problem.

    Considering ... (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:56:22 PM EST
    That we've been in full blown crisis for at least two weeks and there've been rumbling of crisis for more than a year, he's certainly been taking his time "thinking about what will be best."

    It's starting too look less like "giving it a good think" and more "buying time to see what consensus develops and jumping on board with that regardless of whether or not it's a good idea."


    This is his Achilles heel (5.00 / 7) (#21)
    by Coral on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:07:35 AM EST
    If he loses the election -- and we will all suffer if he does -- his rejection of Clinton and failure to incorporate her in his rhetoric and policy proposals will be cited as the reason why.

    I'd love to see him hold a joint press conference with HRC, or do a joint ad, that addresses the financial crisis and a few solid proposals for how his administration will handle it.

    The biggest problem with last night's debate, aside from the fact that it was boring, was the failure of either candidate to show that he clearly understood the current crisis. The reassurance that the audience sought in several questions was not delivered.

    McCain is simply incapable of being reassuring because of his odd demeanor.

    Obama, while extremely capable in projecting steadiness and gravitas, seems to hesitate to embrace New Deal style language that speaks directly to the concerns of ordinary Americans.


    Hate to say it but if he loses at least he will be (none / 0) (#40)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:28:26 AM EST
    cited as failing, rather than Clinton cited as losing the election for him. A bit of irony there.

    But it would be a tragedy for all of us.


    Seriously? Obama can't be that petty.... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Annie M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:20:06 AM EST
    Can he?  His lack of leadership on this issue is very disappointing.

    Either personal animus (none / 0) (#11)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:59:04 AM EST
    or some paranoid fear that Hillary will "energize" the Republican base - create a higher GOTV for the GOP.

    I'd want to see a few focus groups on the latter theory before I'd believe it.


    The part about (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by rooge04 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:01:44 AM EST
    riling up the base is such a hogwash fear. They played it in the primaries and her complete appeal to working-class voters that have previously voted Republican proved that wrong.

    Yeah, it's bull. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:03:48 AM EST
    I know it.  You know it.  Too bad the Obama campaign doesn't know it.

    What about fear that Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:24:26 AM EST
    will outshine him if he doesn't disappear her?

    It's a sign of confidence (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:30:19 AM EST
    and leadership to acknowledge others' work and expertise.  

    That's what I think (2.00 / 0) (#150)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:37:44 PM EST
    He sees them as a threat to the widespread acknowledgement of his magnificence.  They had to be not just beaten in the primaries but destroyed as a political force if at all possible.  He didn't quite manage to do that, but he clearly wants to keep them in the "disappeared" category as much as possible.

    What we may just ... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:03:04 AM EST
    have to accept is that Obama isn't an FDR-style progressive.  And never will be.

    Wow (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:00:06 AM EST
    How embarrassing to get outflanked on this.

    I told Obama so (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:05:25 AM EST
    for weeks now.

    It is amazing (1.00 / 1) (#47)
    by progrocks on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:36:03 AM EST
    that he did not listen to you.

    I mean Armando, YOU TOLD HIM!!!!!!


    Armando has been saying (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:40:00 AM EST
    quite a lot this election that I have agreed with.

    Obama doesn't often listen to him from what I can tell or he'd have been up ten in the polls before this financial hurricane hit.


    I think Obama might be up ... (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:52:10 AM EST
    20 points if he'd listened to BTD.

    Obama/Clinton? (none / 0) (#65)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:53:52 AM EST
    I can see 20 points in that!

    Everybody should listen to me (none / 0) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:45:10 AM EST
    In all seriousness, do you just say things to say them. or because you believe you are right?

    One more thing, we do not get to play like this at Talk Left so no more comments like that please.


    He's running with the slower part of the herd (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:17:38 AM EST
    Kerry, McCaskill, etc.  If he is waiting for his Senate allies to come up with something he can get behind, he is making a big mistake.  

    Look, what has worked (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:20:22 AM EST
    Right now they are feeling their say nothing concrete strategy is working.  But, this is not what people are looking for.  We are not in lukewarm times, people want a feeling that after this grueling election season, we will have someone to do the job.  That is why the lack of confidence in markets etc.  People don't see clear leadership.  

    Ultimate moral hazard for a politician (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:06:54 PM EST
    winning without leading.  He has no incentive to lead in the future.

    See also (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:16:07 PM EST
    the 2006 Congressional Democrats.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#124)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:54:52 PM EST
    case in point

    He doesn't need them anymore. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:25:34 AM EST
    Obama doesn't need to play it safe right now.  Deliberate, thoughtful - yes.  Constantly checking to see who agrees with him - no.

    The heck with outflanked! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:02:27 AM EST
    Clinton is a DEMOCRAT!  And McCain is...well, now he can play his "Maverick" card again while Obama plays the "Me, too." card again.

    I think the fact that McCain and Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by tigercourse on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:02:12 AM EST
    both support it will mean that the left blogs will repackage the deal as a conservative effort and push very hard against this, putting pressure on Obama not to support HOLC.

    BOOM! (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Faust on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:12:05 AM EST

    Last night (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:15:52 AM EST
    McCain said this:

    I know how the do that, my friends. And it's my proposal, it's not Sen. Obama's proposal, it's not President Bush's proposal.

    But now McCain's advisor admits that it was not, in fact, his proposal at all, but Hillary Clinton's proposal.  He just wanted to be able to take credit for it in front of a TV audience.

    That's a politically effective gotcha but only if it is combined with Obama himself getting behind Hillary's proposal.  Because people care about the policy a lot more than they care about the politics, and if it's a good idea, Obama will not benefit by opposing it.

    That is when I screamed at the TV (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:18:35 AM EST
    it's Hillary's proposal.  Glad to see I was not being a psycho Hillary fan.  

    Even Hillary credited ... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:24:22 AM EST

    But still a weak tea criticism of McCain, when Obama has yet to support the plan.


    This is not house price support (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:17:27 AM EST
    What this says is that as prices fall, more and more people will have greater debt on their house, and this is not just the subprime etc people, that the loan amount.  What it results in massive defaults and walk a ways.  HOLC adjusts the loan amount to the value and creates a new loan based on the new depressed value.  

    If you don't change the outlook for Main street nothing will change.  This is not designed and should not be designed to artificially prop up home prices or create fake homeownership.  

    But if it's not done now, it will loom and continually destabalize all the economic sectors.  

    I think my brain exploded (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by votermom on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:19:55 AM EST
    a little bit.

    After some reflection, and sweeping up bits of my brain, it occurs to me that this is also a clever way for McCain to neutralize some of the bleeding in PA that's going to happen when the Clintons stump for Obama here.

    Wasted opportunity (5.00 / 3) (#145)
    by Manuel on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:30:09 PM EST
    It seems that in all probability Obama will not represent a break from the economic policy we have been pursuing in the last thirty years.  This refusal to embrace mortgage relief and the emphasis on balancing the budget signifies a continuation of those policies.  Those policies are marked by hostility towards deficit spending (even in times of financial downturn), hostility towards collective social spending, and hostility towards government intervention in the markets.  Obama will work at the edges and try to nudge the system but he won't bring about the fundamental change in policy that we need.  Obama is preferable to McCain on the economy because he will be more competent (as Clinton was) in working within the current framework.  That framework does not recognize that broad based economic security guaranteed by the government will result in a less volatile economy.

    Aparently Obama says no (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by CST on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:21:36 PM EST
    To McCain's plan.  To be honest, reading this, I have no idea if it's true or not.  This seems to refer to the "details of McCain's plan" that I wasn't aware of - or know if it's true.

    I don't really like the sound of this though.

    Then again (5.00 / 2) (#184)
    by CST on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:13:33 PM EST
    maybe this isn't such a bad thing.

    Who knows what to think.  If Obama would just come out with a plan that would do this the RIGHT way, then it wouldn't matter so much...


    Well shoot. (none / 0) (#167)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:40:27 PM EST
    disputed (5.00 / 0) (#163)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:34:59 PM EST
    I have the right to respond to people who are responding to my comments.

    that Obama hates Clinton, not the other way around.

    any bonus he gets from this (none / 0) (#2)
    by TruthMatters on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:51:51 AM EST
    from indies, will be offset by the gnashing of the teeth he is causing with his base.

    its quite nice actually.

    McCain's base has nowhere to go ... (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:55:22 AM EST
    and he gave them that big gift from Alaska.

    He needs the indies now, and to burnish his credentials as a "maverick."

    Also, he may actually believe it's the kind of thing T.R. would do.


    Republicans are losing their homes too (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:13:02 AM EST
    They will not have a problem.

    Indeed (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:54:08 AM EST

    I thought Dean Baker explained why this was bad... (none / 0) (#24)
    by jerry on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:13:15 AM EST
    I can't find it now, but a day or two ago, in response to some Republican plan to stabilize home prices, I thought Dean Baker explained why these stabilization plans were a bad idea and wouldn't work.

    The basic problem is that compared to long term patterns, and rental prices, housing prices, though down, are still way too high, and so stability programs will fail.

    Here is something Baker recently said, along those lines

    Some analysts have foolishly proposed house price support systems to end the fall. House prices supports makes no more sense than farm price supports and are considerably less workable. However, there is a better way to stop house prices from falling: bring them down.

    If house prices can quickly be brought down to their trend levels, then prices can stabilize. This would allow for banks to resume normal lending in the mortgage market. If house prices stabilize at their trend level, it would also allow homeowners to make plans based on the true value of the equity in their home.

    This rapid price reduction could be brought about through policy actions. The key factor is simply information. It is possible to produce rough estimates of the trend level of house prices based on past movements in house prices, rents, and long-term relationships between sale prices and rents. Dan Alpert, of Westwood Capital, used this information to calculate the extent to which house prices can be expected to fall in each of the 20 cities in the Case-Shiller house price index.    

    This information can be publicized to quickly bring prices back down to their trend levels. For example, Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke can use this information to highlight the problem of a continuing housing bubble in his testimonies before Congress and other public appearances.

    Completely irrelevant (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:18:53 AM EST
    No price supports at all in this plan.

    Excactly... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:21:07 AM EST
    posted my comments in the wrong place.  

    That sounds completely unworkable. (none / 0) (#37)
    by tigercourse on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:25:01 AM EST
    His first Maverick act (none / 0) (#34)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:23:50 AM EST
    since 2001...and it is an act of desperation.

    Although I like HOLC, Mccain really is unstable

    Where's the site moderator? Isn't coigue (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by nulee on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:32:59 PM EST
    over some daily limit of posting numbers?

    The HOLC plan discussed at CAP this (none / 0) (#39)
    by jerry on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:26:56 AM EST
    morning that you linked to via Yglesias had some sort of reverse auction to set a floor price of a mortgage.  That mortgage is then set in stone and a 30 year low interest loan made for it.

    I think that still has the result of artificially keeping home prices high and is of the price supports Dean Baker was against.

    I think Baker has been saying any house price stabilization above the long term trend rates for houses is a bad idea and will necessarily incur some sort of price support, either through fixed mortgages, or artificially low mortgage rates.

    A floor price (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:29:59 AM EST
    creates an artificial price support in theory it is true.

    But so does a Wall Street bailout. It loosens credit, in theory at least.

    Hell, a economic stimulus package artificially raises prices.

    You and Baker sound like Hoover if that is what he means.


    Me and Baker and Krugman and Calculated Risk (none / 0) (#50)
    by jerry on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:40:22 AM EST
    and apparently a lot of economists and others who track these things all say that housing has a lot further to fall.

    Surprising surprises


    I think (none / 0) (#54)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:42:31 AM EST
    you misunderstand what they are saying.

    Baker is not writing about HOLC. Sorry dude. You are just confused.


    Confused is a common state of mine (none / 0) (#61)
    by jerry on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:50:04 AM EST
    but if you can point out how Krugman's, Baker's, et. al., statements about housing needed to fall to trend levels doesn't conflict with proposals like HOLC, that would seem to be a good thing.

    Because at first glance, these guys have been talking an awful lot about the long term trend prices of housing vs. renting, and it would seem to conflict with HOLC-like proposals.


    Because they have already fallen (none / 0) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:56:19 AM EST
    the bubble has burst already.

    Seems elementary my dear Jerry.


    Baker disagrees (none / 0) (#82)
    by jerry on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:11:23 PM EST
    I'll drop it, because in my financial situation, I can only envy people who don't live in apartments, so I really have no first hand knowledge, but Baker was saying just two days ago that:

    "While the drop in house prices has led to the recession and the financial crisis, the fact that prices are continuing to fall worsens both problems. At this point, the bubble is only about 60 percent deflated. House prices still have another 10 to 15 percent to fall, and considerably more in many markets that are still seriously inflated."

    Or Calculated Risk on Prices and New York Prices

    Anyway, my point being that lots of people seem to feel housing prices have a lot further to fall.

    That's interesting to me, because as I said, I can only envy other people's foreclosure notices.  I've never bought a house, and when I thought I would have a chance, I had a little surprise from our legal system explain to me the facts of my life.


    and Krugman SURELY isn't (none / 0) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:43:03 AM EST
    I can't believe people on this site (none / 0) (#102)
    by coast on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:29:29 PM EST
    are actually falling for this.  When McCain brought this up in the debate I nearly threw my remote at the tv.  Does anyone remember the $300 billion dollar bill passed last July?  What was the key provision in the bill regarding foreclosure and assisting homeowners with currently troubled mortgages?  It was exactly what McCain's propsing to do, except it does not create another goverment entity to perform the task.  The $700 billion also gives the "Federal Property Manager" (whatever the h$%^ that is) the power to the same thing thru the program established in the earlier bill.  Its call the Hope for Homeowners program.  Google and read it.  The program is voluntary for banks to participate in so they can either go thru forecloser or workout the mortgage.  If you haven't noticed banks aren't exactly looking to foreclose on properties these days.  They are holding too much and are being sued for neglecting the properties that they do own.  So they will likely play ball.  This just creates another government entity that is not necessary.  I also don't understand why the current program and every proposal one this site either include or favor a reduction in the principle.  Think about it.  You and your neighbor each buy the same style house at the same time.  You have been responsible and have purchased a house that you can afford with financing from a 30 year mortgage.  If you choose an interest only mortgage you could afford your dream house, but you choose to be responsible.  Your neighbor on the other hand has stretched to be in the same house and financing it with a 3 year arm paying interest only.  He figures his payments are lower and with the market hot he'll be able to sell the house in a year or two.  Market falls and home values in your neighborhood are 20% of when the both of you bought.  Your neighbor, who was not responsible now gets his mortgage reworked and the new mortgage is now at 90% of the current market value.  If you each had a $200,000 mortgage financed at 100% to begin with, his is new mortgage will be $144,000.  So for being responsible you have a higher mortgage, a higher monthly payment.  I don't mind people getting there mortgages reworked from arms to fixed rates and having all the fees and penalties taken away.  I have a big problem with reducing people's current principle.  Some people just should not be in their current homes.

    And while I'm venting, please tell me why Obama is against a credit for health insurance, other than the obvious "I can't agree because its my opponents position".  Yes you health insurance will be taxed.  But he does not tell anyone the rest of the story and for some unknown reason McCain can't seem to explain it.  Its fairly simple - you have 3 individuals each paying in $10,000 in premiums but each is in a different tax bracket (33%, 25% and 0%).  Under current tax law each is allowed to exclude these payments from their wages if done thru an employer program or deduct it from taxable income either on the face of the return or thru itemized deductions.  The tax benefit of the exemption is $3,300, $2,500 and $0 respectively.  Now tax the premiums and give each a $5,000 credit.  The individual in the 33% bracket would net $1,700 ($5,000 credit less $3,300 in tax) the individual taxed at 25% would net $2,500, and the individual paying zero tax will take home $5,000 (or maybe little less if the inclusion actually puts them in a taxable position).  Democrats are usually against exemptions because they favor those in higher tax brackets.  Obama has promised more refundable credits than any candidate before him, yet he is against this one.  The only answer is that its political.  Which also sems to be the only reason why he is against any sort of HOLC.

    this is pretty much what Obama said (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Iris on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:00:18 PM EST
    about McCain's "plan."  The authority to do this is already contained within the bailout/rescue bill, is it not?

    You are assuming (none / 0) (#105)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:33:15 PM EST
    that my employer will be paying me the $10,000 in cash once he cancels my insurance.

    Why would your insurance change? (none / 0) (#113)
    by coast on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:40:30 PM EST
    You would still be covered under your existing plan and your premuim payments would still be dudected from your check as they are now.  The only change would be that instead of those payments not showing up in Box 1 of your W-2, the payments would now show.  If you are making a salary of $60,000 and paying a premium of $10,000 your W-2 taxable wages only shows $50,000.  Now it would show $60,000.  Nothing else would change.

    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:06:11 PM EST
    I have never dealt with any employer whatsoever that considers your health care to be part of your salary.  When you interview for a job, the employer says "the salary will be $50,000, and you'll get medical and two weeks' vacation."  No one says "your salary will be $60,000, and $10,000 of that will come in the form of health care."

    If your goal is to persuade people that it's not a big deal to have their employer-provided health care taxed because gee, that health care premium was part of their salary all along, I can only wish you good luck with that argument.  I think you'll find that 99% of American workers with employer-provided health care don't have the slightest idea what their health care premium is, because they don't pay it.

    Setting all that aside, if you really think no one's insurance is going to change, and all that will happen under McCain's plan is that everyone with employer-provided health care will end up with more money at the end of the day and keep the exact same insurance, then what exactly is the point of McCain's plan at all?  You've converted it from a health care plan into a random tax cut with no apparent impact on health care at all.


    Salary? (none / 0) (#143)
    by coast on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:26:45 PM EST
    Please see my response to CST below as explanation of what I was trying to propose.  As for your issue with salary.  Of course no employer makes the statement you presented.  They offer you whatever the market rate is for your job.  However, I hope that when you are looking for a job that you inquire about the costs of the benefits.  Two employers in the same market may offer you relatively the same salary, but the cost of the benefits they offer will vary based on their size and employee demographic.  You have to weigh those cost and other aspects with your goals.  They may both offer you $60,000, but one is a national firm and the other is local.  The cost you will pay will be more at the local firm than the national firm.  Therefore while its the same salary, it really isn't.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#147)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:32:46 PM EST
    $60k + health care at one firm is the same salary to me as $60k + health care at another firm.  Why do I care how much they are paying in premiums?  My bottom line is the same either way.

    Are you of the belief that anyone in America - anyone besides you, apparently - asks prospective employers, "Hey, just in case the government decides to tax my health care benefit someday, could you tell me exactly how much it is?"

    But you didn't answer my more fundamental question.  If the purpose of McCain's health care plan isn't to incentivize people to get out of the employer-based health care system, what the heck is it?  Why would you believe that every employer will continue to provide the exact same health care benefit for all their employees, once we remove the tax incentive for them to do so?


    This is exactly why this needs to be explained (none / 0) (#152)
    by coast on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:41:24 PM EST
    better.  This is not an employer level issue, its an individual level issue.  The business gets a deduction for paying your salary and paying any benefits on your behalf.  They get that deduction not matter what.  Nothing changes for them.  The change is in how that benefit is treated on the individual level.

    For the third time (none / 0) (#155)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:47:56 PM EST
    You keep refusing to explain how the McCain plan would change anything at all, other than giving away free money to everyone with employer-based health insurance.

    You seem to be the only person who believes that McCain's plan would not alter employer incentives in any way.


    As I said before see my response to CST (none / 0) (#156)
    by coast on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:54:50 PM EST
    I'm not advocating either plan.  I'm simply asking the question of why Obama would not include a feature in his plan that obviously is beneficial to people in middle and lower tax brackets.

    I thought the purpose of McCain's (none / 0) (#161)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:24:44 PM EST
    health care proposal was to improve the bottom line of medical care providers in Arizona.

    Insurance costs (none / 0) (#125)
    by CST on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:55:12 PM EST
    Depend greatly on where you live.  I live in MA.  Health plans here are EXPENSIVE.  Mine is relatively cheap as I am young, w/o pre-existing conditions, and no family.  McCain's plan will save me $500.  But it will cost my parents money, it will cost my grandparents money, and it will cost a lot of people (maybe even the majority) in my state money.  And no, we aren't gonna want to go to NH for a cheaper and crappier plan.  Especially since we have a law in this state where if you don't have adequate insurance you have to pay a fine...

    So when John McCain says only 5% of Americans, those with "really good plans" will see their costs go up, apparently he doesn't give a cr@p about any of the people in my state.  And no, we aren't all rich.


    I was simply looking at it from a tax (none / 0) (#135)
    by coast on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:06:06 PM EST
    perspective and from a very simplistic view at that.  Each individual will vary of course.  If Obama's overall plan makes more sense for you or your family so be it.  I just don't understand why he can't incorporate it into his plan.  I think rather than put McCain down, he had the opportunity to say "I can reach across the aisle too, I think that is a good idea especially if its included with my overall plan for health care".  

    It's not that Obama's plan works better (none / 0) (#141)
    by CST on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:22:16 PM EST
    Necessarily.  It's that McCain's plan will actually raise the health insurance costs of many people in my state, including family members.  Look, I am not against a tax credit for insurance, I AM against taxing employer insurance plans.  I don't want Obama to incorporate that into his plan.

    Give it up (none / 0) (#123)
    by Carole on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:53:59 PM EST
    I liked Hillary,too, but I waited a long time to sign up here because this place was All Hillary All the Time.  

    Give it up, gang. She didn't win. She isn't helping. Bill hates Obama.

    This isn't really very hard, so why don't we get a grip and get behind Obama?

    Because Obama is not behind us (5.00 / 4) (#131)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:02:23 PM EST
    This is not about Hillary. It's about Obama and his inability or unwillingness to stand up and lead.

    Are you really that clueless? (5.00 / 5) (#148)
    by oldpro on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:33:21 PM EST
    "...she isn't helping.  Bill hates Obama."

    CDS has deep roots, I guess.

    Getting a grip works for everyone...especially those who favor post-partisan politics.  Or don't you agree with Obama about that?


    She IS helping, bigtime (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by Iris on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:05:16 PM EST
    I am personally taking part right now in Hillary's grassroots effort to elect Barack Obama, called Hillary Sent Me.  Bill does not hate Obama; did you miss his convention speech?  You can't fake that.

    Please stop spreading lies.

    "If, like me, you believe America must always be a 'place called Hope,' then join Hillary and Chelsea and me in making Barack Obama the next President of the United States" -- Bill Clinton


    I know. (5.00 / 0) (#182)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:09:30 PM EST
    I am so sick of this fake division between the Clintons and Obama, or the exaggeration of a small resentment left over from the primaries (if it exists). The Hillary sent me program sounds great!

    You are banned from my threads (none / 0) (#177)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:55:56 PM EST
    Idiots I do not need.

    "stealing" the economy (none / 0) (#130)
    by obiden08 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:59:46 PM EST
    My one fear has always been that McCain would somehow "steal" the economy as an issue.  Could this housing plan do it?  I certainly hope Obama and Co. are coming up with a response.

    A double-whammy (none / 0) (#140)
    by obiden08 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:16:21 PM EST
    Hillary is on the trail supporting Obama.  How can she not say good things about McCain's plan since it's hers.  This may have been a VERY smart move on Obama's part. The only out for Obama is if he and Hillary can say that she's already working on this legislation with Obama and other Democrats.  This will paint McCain as stealing Democrat ideas.

    I'm worried about how this will play out.