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October 03, 2008

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phil

Was a lot of fun to watch and also quite entertaining to watch the liberal spin afterwards.
Now I'm interested to see how many incorrect statements (dare I say lies?) the fact checkers pin on Sen. Biden. By my count it's at least 10 and could be as many as 17 or 18. How on earth can the man stand there and say Sen. McCain voting against funding the troops? After 35 years in the Senate is he still not aware there is a congressional record of these things?

FK

Ask and you shall receive:

FactChecking Biden-Palin Debate
October 3, 2008
The candidates were not 100 percent accurate. To say the least.
Summary
Biden and Palin debated, and both mangled some facts.

Palin mistakenly claimed that troop levels in Iraq had returned to “pre-surge” levels. Levels are gradually coming down but current plans would have levels higher than pre-surge numbers through early next year, at least.
Biden incorrectly said “John McCain voted the exact same way” as Obama on a controversial troop funding bill. The two were actually on opposite sides.


Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount, but a family of four would not have been affected unless they made at least $90,000 a year.
Biden wrongly claimed that McCain “voted the exact same way” as Obama on the budget bill that contained an increase on singles making as little as $42,000 a year. McCain voted against it. Biden was referring to an amendment that didn't address taxes at that income level.
Palin claimed McCain’s health care plan would be “budget neutral,” costing the government nothing. Independent budget experts estimate McCain's plan would cost tens of billions each year, though details are too fuzzy to allow for exact estimates.


Biden wrongly claimed that McCain had said "he wouldn't even sit down" with the government of Spain. Actually, McCain didn't reject a meeting, but simply refused to commit himself one way or the other during an interview.

Palin wrongly claimed that “millions of small businesses” would see tax increases under Obama’s tax proposals. At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases.

For full details on these misstatements, and on additional factual disputes and dubious claims, please read on to the Analysis section.

Analysis
Vice presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin met for their one and only debate Oct. 2 in St. Louis, Missouri. The event was broadcast nationally. Gwen Ifill of PBS was the debate moderator.

We noted the following:


Palin Trips Up on Troop Levels


Palin got her numbers wrong on troop levels when she said "and with the surge that has worked, we're now down to pre-surge numbers in Iraq."

The surge was announced in January 2007, at which point there were 132,000 troops in Iraq, according to the Brookings Institute Iraq Index. As of September 2008, that number was 146,000. President Bush recently announced that another 8,000 would be coming home by February of next year. But even then, there still would be 6,000 more troops in Iraq than there were when the surge began.


Biden Fudges on Troop Funding


Biden defended Obama's vote against a troop-funding bill, claiming that McCain voted "the exact same way."

Palin: Barack Obama voted against funding troops there after promising that he would not do so…He turned around under political pressure and he voted against funding the troops. ...

Biden: John McCain voted the exact same way. John McCain voted against
funding the troops because of an amendment he voted against had a timeline
in it to draw down American troops. And John said I'm not going to fund
the troops if in fact there's a time line.

As we've pointed out before, the squabble refers to a pair of 2007 votes on war funding. Obama voted for a version of the bill that included language calling for withdrawing troops from Iraq. Biden is simply wrong to say that McCain voted against that bill; he was absent and didn’t vote at all. McCain did oppose the bill, and he urged President Bush to veto it. Bush did. Obama then voted against the same bill without withdrawal language. He had voted yes on at least 10 other war funding bills prior to that single 2007 no vote.


Palin's False Tax Claims


Palin repeated a false claim about Barack Obama's tax proposal:

Palin: Barack Obama even supported increasing taxes as late as last year for those families making only $42,000 a year. That's a lot of middle income average American families to increase taxes on them. I think that is the way to kill jobs and to continue to harm our economy.

Obama did not in fact vote to increase taxes on "families" making as little as $42,000 per year. What Obama actually voted for was a budget resolution that called for returning the 25 percent tax bracket to its pre-Bush tax cut level of 28 percent. That could have affected an individual with no children making as little as $42,000. But a couple would have had to earn $83,000 to be affected and a family of four at least $90,000. The resolution would not have raised taxes on its own, without additional legislation, and, as we've noted before, there is no such tax increase in Obama's tax plan. (The vote took place on March 14 of this year, not last year as Palin said.)

Palin also repeated the exaggeration that Obama voted 94 times to increase taxes. That number includes seven votes that would have lowered taxes for many, while raising them on corporations or affluent individuals; 23 votes that were against tax cuts; and 17 that came on just 7 different bills. She also claimed that Biden and Obama voted for "the largest tax increase in history." Palin is referring here to the Democrats' 2008 budget proposal, which would indeed have resulted in about $217 billion in higher taxes over two years. That's a significant increase. But measured as a percentage of the nation's economic output, or gross domestic product, the yardstick that most economists prefer, the 2008 budget proposal would have been the third-largest since 1968, and it's not even in the top 10 since 1940.


Biden's False Defense


Biden denied that Obama supported increasing taxes for families making $42,000 a year – but then falsely claimed that McCain had cast an identical vote.

Biden: Barack Obama did not vote to raise taxes. The vote she's referring to, John McCain voted the exact same way. It was a budget procedural vote. John McCain voted the same way. It did not raise taxes.
Biden was correct only to the extent that the resolution Obama supported would not by itself have increased taxes; it was a vote on a budget resolution that set revenue and spending targets. But he's wrong to say McCain voted the same way. The Obama campaign attempted to justify Biden's remark by pointing to a different vote, on a Senate amendment, that took place March 13. The amendment passed 99-1, with only Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold dissenting. It would have preserved some of Bush's tax cuts for lower-income people. The vote on the budget resolution in question, however, came in the wee hours of March 14 and was a mostly party-line tally, 51-44, with Obama in favor and McCain not voting.

Palin's Health Care Hooey


Palin claimed that McCain's health care plan would be "budget-neutral," costing the government nothing.

Palin: He's proposing a $5,000 tax credit for families so that they can get out there and they can purchase their own health care coverage. That's a smart thing to do. That's budget neutral. That doesn't cost the government anything ... a $5,000 health care credit through our income tax, that's budget neutral.

The McCain campaign hasn't released an estimate of how much the plan would cost, but independent experts contradict Palin's claim of a cost-free program.

The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that McCain's plan, which at its peak would cover 5 million of the uninsured, would increase the deficit by $1.3 trillion over 10 years. Obama's plan, which would cover 34 million of the uninsured, would cost $1.6 trillion over that time period.

The nonpartisan U.S. Budget Watch's fiscal voter guide estimates that McCain's tax credit would increase the deficit by somewhere between $288 billion to $364 billion by the year 2013, and that making employer health benefits taxable would bring in between $201 billion to $274 billion in revenue. That nets out to a shortfall of somewhere between $14 billion to $163 billion – for that year alone.

Palin also said that Obama’s plan would be "universal government run" health care and that health care would be "taken over by the feds." That's not the case at all. As we’ve said before, Obama’s plan would not replace or remove private insurance, or require people to enroll in a public plan. It would increase the offerings of publicly funded health care.


McCain in Spain?


Biden said that McCain had refused to meet with the government of Spain,
but McCain made no such definite statement.

Biden: The last point I'll make, John McCain said as recently as a couple of weeks ago he wouldn't even sit down with the government of Spain, a NATO ally that has troops in Afghanistan with us now. I find that incredible.

In a September 17 interview on Radio Caracol Miami, McCain appeared confused when asked whether he would meet with President Zapatero of Spain. He responded that "I would be willing to meet with those leaders who are our friends and want to work with us in a cooperative fashion," but then started talking about leaders in Latin America. He did not commit to meeting with Zapatero, but it wasn't clear he'd understood the question.

But the McCain campaign denied that their candidate was confused.
According to our colleagues at PolitiFact.com, campaign adviser Randy Scheunemann e-mailed CNN and the Washington Post the next day, saying that McCain's reluctance to commit to a meeting with Zapatero was a policy decision.

Scheunemann, September 2008: The questioner asked several times about Senator McCain's willingness to meet Zapatero — and id'd him in the question so there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred. Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview.

That's not a refusal to meet with Zapatero, as Biden said. It's simply a refusal to commit himself one way or the other.


Palin's Small Business Balderdash


Palin repeated a falsehood that the McCain campaign has peddled, off and on, for some time:

Palin: But when you talk about Barack's plan to tax increase affecting only those making $250,000 a year or more, you're forgetting millions of small businesses that are going to fit into that category. So they're going to be the ones paying higher taxes thus resulting in fewer jobs being created and less productivity.

As we reported June 23, it's simply untrue that "millions" of small business owners will pay higher federal income taxes under Obama's proposal. According to an analysis by the independent Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, several hundred thousand small business owners, at most, would have incomes high enough to be affected by the higher rates on income, capital gains and dividends that Obama proposes. That counts as "small business owners" even those who merely have some sideline income from such endeavors as freelance writing, speaking or running rental properties, and who get the bulk of their income from employment elsewhere.

Defense Disagreements


Biden and Palin got into a tussle about military recommendations in Afghanistan:

Biden: The fact is that our commanding general in Afghanistan said today that a surge – the surge principles used in Iraq will not – well, let me say this again now – our commanding general in Afghanistan said the surge principle in Iraq will not work in Afghanistan, not Joe Biden, our commanding general in Afghanistan. He said we need more troops. We need government-building. We need to spend more money on the infrastructure in Afghanistan.

Palin: Well, first, McClellan did not say definitively the surge principles would not work in Afghanistan. Certainly, accounting for different conditions in that different country and conditions are certainly different. We have NATO allies helping us for one, and even the geographic differences are huge but the counterinsurgency principles could work in Afghanistan. McClellan didn't say anything opposite of that. The counterinsurgency strategy going into Afghanistan, clearing, holding, rebuilding, the civil society and the infrastructure can work in Afghanistan.

Point Biden. To start, Palin got newly appointed Gen. David D. McKiernan's name wrong when she called him McClellan. And, more important, Gen. McKiernan clearly did say that surge principles would not work in Afghanistan. As the Washington Post reported:

Washington Post: "The word I don't use for Afghanistan is 'surge,' " McKiernan stressed, saying that what is required is a "sustained commitment" to a counterinsurgency effort that could last many years and would ultimately require a political, not military, solution.

However, it is worth noting that McKiernan also said that Afghanistan would need an infusion of American troops "as quickly as possible."


Killing Afghan Civilians?


Palin said that Obama had accused American troops of doing nothing but killing civilians, a claim she called "reckless" and "untrue."

Palin: Now, Barack Obama had said that all we're doing in Afghanistan is air-raiding villages and killing civilians. And such a reckless, reckless comment and untrue comment, again, hurts our cause.

Obama did say that troops in Afghanistan were killing civilians. Here’s the whole quote, from a campaign stop in New Hampshire:

Obama (August 2007): We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there.

The Associated Press fact-checked this one, and found that in fact U.S troops were killing more civilians at the time than insurgents: "As of Aug. 1, the AP count shows that while militants killed 231 civilians in attacks in 2007, Western forces killed 286. Another 20 were killed in crossfire that can’t be attributed to one party." Afghan President Hamid Karzai had expressed concern about these civilian killings, a concern President Bush said he shared.

Whether Obama said that this was "all we're doing" is debatable. He said that we need to have enough troops so that we're "not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians," but did not say that troops are doing nothing else.


Out of Context?


Biden claimed a comment he made about "clean coal" was taken out of context:

Biden: My record for 25 years has supported clean coal technology. A comment made in a rope line was taken out of context. I was talking about exporting that technology to China so when they burn their dirty coal, it won't be as dirty, it will be clean.

Was it really taken out of context? Here’s the full exchange, which took place while Biden was shaking hands with voters along a rope line in Ohio.

Woman: Wind and solar are flourishing here in Ohio, why are you supporting clean coal?
Biden: We’re not supporting clean coal. Guess what? China’s building two every week, two dirty coal plants, and it’s polluting the United States. It’s causing people to die.

Obama-Biden campaign spokesman David Wade later said that “Biden’s point is that China is building coal plants with outdated technology every day, and the United States needs to lead by developing clean coal technologies.”

Whatever Biden meant or didn’t mean to say on the rope line, he has supported clean coal in the past. When the McCain camp used this one remark from Biden as the basis for a TV ad saying that Obama-Biden oppose clean coal, we said the claim was false. Obama’s position in favor of clean coal has been clear, and pushing for the technology has been part of his energy policy.


McCain in the Vanguard of Mortgage Reform?


Palin said that McCain had sounded the alarm on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago.

Palin: We need to look back, even two years ago, and we need to be appreciative of John McCain's call for reform with Fannie Mae, with Freddie Mac, with the mortgage-lenders, too, who were starting to really kind of rear that head of abuse.

Palin is referring to a bill that would have increased oversight on Fannie and Freddie. In our recent article about assigning blame for the crisis, we found that by the time McCain added his name to the bill as a cosponsor, the collapse was well underway. Home prices began falling only two months later. Our colleagues at PolitiFact also questioned this claim.

And There's More...


A few other misleads of note:

Palin said, "We're circulating about $700 billion a year into foreign countries" for imported oil, repeating an outdated figure often used by McCain. At oil prices current as of Sept. 30, imports are running at a rate of about $493 billion per year.


Biden claimed that McCain said in a magazine article that he wanted to deregulate the health care industry as the banking industry had been. That’s taking McCain’s words out of context. As we’ve said before, he was talking specifically about his proposal to allow the sale of health insurance across state lines.


Biden said five times that McCain's tax plan would give oil companies a "$4 billion tax cut." As we’ve noted previously, McCain’s plan would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent — for ALL corporations, not just oil companies. Biden uses a Democratic think tank's estimate for what the rate change is worth to the five largest U.S. oil companies.


Palin threw out an old canard when she criticized Obama for voting for the 2005 energy bill and said, “that’s what gave those oil companies those big tax breaks.” It’s a false attack Sen. Hillary Clinton used against Obama in the primary, and McCain himself has hurled. It’s true that the bill gave some tax breaks to oil companies, but it also took away others. And according to the Congressional Research Service, the bill created a slight net increase in taxes for the oil industry.


Biden said that Iraq had an "$80 billion surplus." The country was once projected to have as much as a $79 billion surplus, but no more. The Iraqis have $29 billion in the bank, and could have $47 billion to $59 billion by the end of the year, as we noted when Obama used the incorrect figure. A $21 billion supplemental spending bill, passed by the Iraqi legislature in August, knocked down the old projection.


Biden said four times that McCain had voted 20 times against funding alternative energy. However, in analyzing the Obama campaign's list of votes after the first presidential debate, we found the number was actually 11. In the other instances the Obama-Biden campaign cites, McCain voted not against alternative energy but against mandatory use of alternative energy, or he voted in favor of allowing exemptions from these mandates.

-by Brooks Jackson, Viveca Novak, Lori Robertson, Joe Miller, Jessica Henig and Justin Bank

Correction Oct. 3: In the summary of this story we originally referred to the "president" of Spain. Biden actually used the word "government" and we have corrected the reference.

Sources
Belasco, Amy. "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11." 14 July 2008. Congressional Research Service. Accessed 2 October 2008.

Pickler, Nedra. "Fact Check: Obama on Afghanistan." The Associated Press. 14 Aug. 2007.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "Promises, Promises: A Fiscal Voter Guide to the 2008 Election." U.S. Budget Watch. 29 Aug. 2008.

Williams, Roberton and Howard Gleckman. "An Updated Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans." Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. 15 Sep. 2008.

"Impacts of Increased Access to Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Lower 48 Federal Outer Continental Shelf." 2007. Energy Information Administration. 8 Aug. 2008.

Petroleum Basic Statistics. The Energy Information Administration, 3 Oct. 2008.

NPC Global Oil & Gas Study. “Topic Paper #7, Global Access to Oil and Gas,” 18 July 2007.

Clarke, David and Liriel Higa, "Blueprints Gain Narrow Adoption," Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 15 March 2008.

"Iraq Index," Brookings Iraq Index.

Baldor, Lolita C, "General: Urgent need for troops in Afghanistan now," Associated Press. 2 Oct 2008.

"Bush: 8,000 Troops Coming Home By Feb," CBS/AP. 9 Sept 2008.

Tyson, Ann Scott, "Commander in Afghanistan Wants More Troops," Washington Post. 2 Oct 2008.

Barnes, Julian N., "More U.S. troops needed in Afghanistan 'quickly,' general says," Los Angeles Times. 2 Oct 2008.

Table T08-0164 "Distribution of Tax Units with Business Income by Statutory Marginal Tax Rate, Assuming Extension and Indexation of the 2007 AMT Patch, 2009" Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, 20 May 2008.

FK

Monica and I were clearly watching different debates. Palin had a triumph in the form of surviving, but she did not excel, and some of us find her "down home" routine pretty nauseating. And how many times can she fit the word "maverick" into her arguments?

Biden was like an elder statesman. Perhaps he did not triumph in the sense that the bar was higher for an official of his stature. But I think it's absurd to suggest that the shrill-voiced young hottie "knocked him out".

Ron Mwangaguhunga

Monica, please stop with the apologetics. It may work the masses into a lather on talk radio, but no one is going to respect you if you don't build a reputation of objectivity. Palin got KILLED on substance. She survived, yes; but how sad is it, Monica, to be on the side lionizing Palin for mere survival in a debate on real issues.

gringoman

{Notice how the lib operative Fred spams the site with enormous gunky post? And they let him get away with it.)

Monica,

Yes, the Barracuda did indeed bite last night (see my post last night.) She was not the CBS parody that Mondo Lib hoped to see. Wonder if smiley-face baby shark Katy Couric needed a bandage?

That said, can Sarah Palin save McCain's lame campaign from itself? Even last night it was clear that McCain advisers refuse to confront the Democrats with their socially engineered sub-prime nightmare and their bureaucrat "overseers" who have made off with mega-millions. Sarah Palin never really went there. Don't you wonder why? (Is only gringoVision raising the question?)

McCain, in effect, is talking "greed" platitudes to "Main Street" (imitating an old Dem/socialista hack game) while he, like Dems, in fact surrenders both to Wall Street and the slick socialist Obamascam. That's Bipartisan Johnny for you.

Whether or not the Democratic criminals deliberately timed this Debt Tsunami for pre-Election (remember Senator UpChuck Schumer's role in talking California Indy Bank into a panic?) facts remain facts: The growing Sub-Prime Disaster weighs on everyone. No voter can escape it. The Dems and their great Obamascam slickly paint it as due to "Republican de-regulation."

And now Bipartisan Johnny has raised the white flag already in Michigan. The Tsunami, whether deliberately timed or not, is working spectacularly for the Democrats who had been panicing only a few weeks ago.

How much can Sarah Palin do about the lame McCain Campaign?

gringoman

Michael:

(Sorry you had to scroll through all that spam by the liberal operative here.)

Re this Wall Street Bailout.

I have posted allegations here of Henry Paulsen having an enormous conflict of interest as Bush's go-to on the Bailout "Rescue Package."

If such allegations are true, is this a matter of "high crimes and misdemeanors" in your opinion?

Here is one of those posts.....

WALL STREET DEMOCRAT GUARDING THE HEN COOP?

(contd. from above, gringINTEL Financial, Open Source)

.......In mid September, in between other dramatic failures including Lehman Bros., and the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Paulson announced that the US Treasury, as agent for the United States Government, was to bailout the troubled AIG with a staggering $85 billion. The announcement came a day after Paulson announced the Government would let the 150-year old investment bank, Lehman Brothers, fail without Government aid. Why AIG and not Lehman?

What has since emerged are details of a meeting at the New York Federal Reserve bank chaired by Paulson, to discuss the risk of letting AIG fail. There was only one active Wall Street banker present at the meeting—Lloyd Blankfein, chairman of Paulson’s old firm, Goldman Sachs.

Blankfein later claimed he was present at the fateful meeting not to protect his firm’s interests but to ‘safeguard the entire financial system.’ His claim was put in doubt when it later emerged that Blankfein’s Goldman Sachs was AIG’s largest trading partner and stood to lose $20 billion in a bankruptcy of AIG. Were Goldman Sachs to go down with AIG, Secretary Paulson would have reportedly lost $700 million in Goldman Sachs stock options he had, an interesting fact.

Posted by: gringoman | October 01, 2008 at 08:54 PM

SteveOk

(Fred Post)Palin wrongly claimed that “millions of small businesses” would see tax increases under Obama’s tax proposals. At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases.
-------------------------------------------
Fred, do you know the source of that statistic? Most small businesses are probably not incorporated and owned by individuals. They report their profits directly on their individual tax returns, so they only people with those statistics would be the IRS. Regardless of the number of businesses effected, why would we want to increase taxes on any small business especially in an economic downturn? It's crazy. And why would we want to increase the Captial Gains tax which will effect everyone with investments and retirment plans? Barack H. wants to double the Capital Gains Tax rate, again in an economic downturn.

It's amazing to me that beltway politicians like Biden throw out statistics and then don't give their sources for the stats.

Possibly the biggest ruse of the night was when Joe Biden didn't know that the War Resolution he voted for before the Iraq War was actually a War Resolution. Of course the leftie media didn't challenge him on that but Sarah did and stuck her heel in hard on that one.

SteveOk

(Fred's Post)Palin claimed that McCain's health care plan would be "budget-neutral," costing the government nothing.

Palin: He's proposing a $5,000 tax credit for families so that they can get out there and they can purchase their own health care coverage. That's a smart thing to do. That's budget neutral. That doesn't cost the government anything ... a $5,000 health care credit through our income tax, that's budget neutral.
-----------------------------------------
Ok, and how much do you think we might save on health care costs overall from people who can actually afford to purchase health care and get medical attention without constantly going to the Emergency Room. I think this proposal would actually save money in the long run but of course the concept of "tax credits" scares the bejabbers of Democrats because the only thing they understand is tax increases. And Fred, do you actually think the Federal Government is going to spend 1 trillion dollars on national health care and not run the industry? If you believe that I have some choice property in Louisiana I would like to sell you.

Michael Avari

Gringoman,

I mentioned in a previous post that the NY Times reported on the series of meetings of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at which Blankfein, the only Wall Street executive present, participated.

Here is the article, but note the correction the bottom:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/business/28melt.html?scp=1&sq=aig%20+%20blankfein&st=cse

Newt Gingrich was asked about this several nights back by Greta Van Sustern and thought something was not right about Paulson making the decision to save AIG (plus the extraordinary level of Federal involvement, all done without oversight -- $85 billion) and not save Lehman. One man ought not have that kind of unsupervised power, especially if that man is clearly conflicted.

Meanwhile, look what the free market is doing:

- Wells Fargo will buy Wachovia, previously to have been bought by Citgroup, WITHOUT assistance from the FDIC.

- Mitsubishi UFJ Financial will invest $9 billion in Morgan Stanley, W/O government assistance.

- Warren Buffet invests $5 billion in Goldman, W/O government assistance.

- Nomura will buy Lehman's Asian operation W/O government assistance.

(Am I beginning to sound like Joe Biden?)

So the choice is clear, and I was on my knees -- like Paulson before Pelosi -- praying that Palin would have said to the American people, "Do we want a command economy with power over your lives vested in the U.S. Treasury, or do we want a free economy with power vested in your household?"

Michael Avari

It is interesting to note that as Wells Fargo buys Wachovia, JPMorgan bought Bear and is buying WaMu, B of A buys Merrill, assets in these banks reach well over $1 trillion! To get a sense of how large that is, if it were GDP these banks would be larger than all counrties except 11 or 12 of the very largest. The GDP of India and Russia are about $1 trillion.

Therefore, why are these banks, the mergers of which were encouraged by the U.S. Treasury, not 'too big to fail'?

Or, is there a tacit understanding now that being 'too big' is assurance against failure; implicit assurance by the Federal government?

Implicit as in ... Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae?

GilbertWashington

Gringoman finds a nefarious 'grassy-knoll' web of relationships reportedly between AIG and Goldman-Sachs that would undermine Paulson's options portfolio and thus provide a motive for a bailout:

"Blankfein later claimed he was present at the fateful meeting not to protect his firm’s interests but to ‘safeguard the entire financial system.’ His claim was put in doubt when it later emerged that Blankfein’s Goldman Sachs was AIG’s largest trading partner and stood to lose $20 billion in a bankruptcy of AIG. Were Goldman Sachs to go down with AIG, Secretary Paulson would have reportedly lost $700 million in Goldman Sachs stock options he had, an interesting fact.

Posted by: gringoman | October 01, 2008 at 08:54 PM"

So let's get this straight: Henry Paulson had first dibs on Goldman stock but when AIG went belly-up he presumably had to forbear from excersizing his option to buy unless AIG was revived.
Paulson then concocts a bailout scheme and sells it first to the administration and then to Congress.
Once accomplished he will be able to excersize his option and but $700m of Goldman if he so chooses.

A lot of work just to be free to exercise an option.

If you have $700m kicking around Gringoman and cannot buy Goldman stock I guess you can't buy anything.
I'll tell you Gringoman, if you can't buy a Coke, you can't buy a Pepsi either. But (literally) damm the world I gotta keep all options open!

Let's file this one under the heading of Gringoman's Financial Roswell.

Ummahgummah

{Notice how the lib operative Fred spams the site with enormous gunky post? And they let him get away with it.)


YES I NOTICED THAT TOO!! I HAD TO SCROLL SCROLL SCROLL to find something substantive. Only to find the SECOND LIEberal alter ego FreaK Pseudobro at it ONCE AGAIN!!

Can we SPAM *their* blogs like this?

The kid gloves have to come OFF!!

That also goes for McCain. Bring it on, brother! There's so much ammo against Hussein Osbama.. start bring it ON.

By the way, the final debate will be monitored by Chris Matthews..

GilbertWashington

Michael:

Too big to fail means too big. Anti-trust is in the public interest.
Otherwise the sountry can be held hostage by these behemouths.

Ummahgummah

If Monica needs a volunteer to help monitor the site I'd gladly volunteer my services.

:-) smile.

Ummahgummah

@angry buppy

The one who has a BEHEMOUTH [sic] is YOU, FOOL!

Ummahgummah

Did you hear.. Kullifohnia wants a bailout too.. that's what happens when you have liberal judges striking down sensible measures like Prop. 87.

And now they want all of us to pay for this foolishness.

gringoman

Michael,

I blame Palin on McCain and his advisers. If they wanted her to demolish the Dem socialists and criminals she could do it, and far better than McCain. As a quick study, she could easily learn whatever detail she needs in no time. They will not unleash her like that. I am virtually convinced now that McCain would rather lose the election than stop being Bipartisan Johnny, 'Maverick of Principle.' The line between integrity and stupidity can be very fine (a matter of no matter to the Democrats who are on an Alinsky roll for power.)

Now let me re-phrase on Paulsen. I'm still trying to find out if you believe that proven conflict of interest of enormous magnitude is criminal and needs prosecution.

It is now clear that Paulsen is over-seeing the sale of Wall Street toilet paper to the American taxpayer and the codst, before this is over, almost certainly well exceed a trillion dollars.

Paulsen's Goldman Sachs will benefit enormously. Paulsen is reported to own 700 million in stock. That stock may now be toilet paper. He has helped stampede Congress into buying his toilet paper. Are we clear on this Michael, or do I have something wrong?

Question: If such can be proven, is it not criminal?

FK

I'm a "lib operative"? Really? For whom?

If anyone takes issue with my post (which apparently was too substantive for some of the folks here), I cut and pasted it from factcheck.org. If you think they got something wrong, take it up with them. They are pretty hard on both sides.

FK

Polling Data
Poll Date Sample Obama (D) McCain (R) Spread
RCP Average 09/26 - 10/02 -- 49.1 43.5 Obama +5.6
Rasmussen Tracking 09/30 - 10/02 3000 LV 51 44 Obama +7
Hotline/FD Tracking 09/30 - 10/02 909 RV 48 42 Obama +6
GW/Battleground 09/29 - 10/02 800 LV 49 46 Obama +3
Gallup Tracking 09/29 - 10/01 2747 RV 48 43 Obama +5
Marist 09/28 - 09/30 943 LV 49 44 Obama +5
CBS News 09/27 - 09/30 769 LV 50 41 Obama +9
Associated Press/GfK 09/27 - 09/30 808 LV 48 41 Obama +7
ABC News/Wash Post 09/27 - 09/29 916 LV 50 46 Obama +4
Pew Research 09/27 - 09/29 1181 LV 49 43 Obama +6
Ipsos/McClatchy 09/26 - 09/29 1007 RV 48 45 Obama +3
Time 09/26 - 09/29 1133 LV 50 43 Obama +7

mjfell

Most expected Senator Joe Biden, who's been debating in the Senate since Richard M. Nixon was President, to mop the floor with rookie Govenor Palin.

Already, the left is busy painting that result on the mainstream media. "She's likeable but vacant of facts." Apparantly it doesn't matter that many of Biden's facts were wrong.

I expect nothing less from the left or their mass media megaphones. These are the same strain the truth, say anything, do everything it takes to ensure Obama's election cutthroats that did a hatchet job on Hillary Clinton, one of their own!

However, I watched the debate with my own eyes and know what I saw.

Govenor Sarah Palin IS likeable. She's also smart, thinks well on her feet, and is perfectly capable of wielding some facts of her own.

Joe Biden didn't surprise me at all last night. I got the Joe Biden I'm accustomed to seeing, minus the gaffes. After his length in the Senate anything less would have been disasterous.

Sarah Palin didn't surprise me either. That's because I knew she isn't the brain dead bimbo that the mainstream media's been painting.

Wasn't it amazingly refreshing to see the real Govenor Palin, instead of the baited, carefully edited version presented to you with thier pro-Obama spin by the media?

GilbertWashington

UG feels it is desperation time for the prospect of a third Bush term:

"That also goes for McCain. Bring it on, brother! There's so much ammo against Hussein Osbama.. start bring it ON."

One of the doggone troubling things I heard last night was this: "I believe in american exceptionalism...". I quickly realised the disconnect between the intention and the actual meaning of that statement.
For the folks at home in their lazy-boys being pandered to, it does sound so gosh-darn nice. For me it connects the dots between the candidate and the many gringo-men on this board. The messege represents an expiation of anger and a promise of retribution for perceived injustice.
An apocolypto wrought on behalf of millenial evangelicals and those who trace their roots to the Mayflower. Revenge for 911, Vietnam, and 'the other'. An excuse to take in the name of the manifest national interest. Exceptionalism is an option that may be unilateraly applied and is non-negotionable. It drove native americans into almost extinction and is used to justify wars today.


GilbertWashington

MJFELL is questioning those who would impune the chastity of a married woman:

"Sarah Palin didn't surprise me either. That's because I knew she isn't the brain dead bimbo that the mainstream media's been painting."

She's married. Nobody has called her a 'bimbo'.

GilbertWashington

Fred is ever-ebullient in seeing the latest polls:

"Polling Data
Poll Date Sample Obama (D) McCain (R) Spread
RCP Average 09/26 - 10/02 -- 49.1 43.5 Obama +5.6
Rasmussen Tracking 09/30 - 10/02 3000 LV 51 44 Obama +7
Hotline/FD Tracking 09/30 - 10/02 909 RV 48 42 Obama +6
GW/Battleground 09/29 - 10/02 800 LV 49 46 Obama +3
Gallup Tracking 09/29 - 10/01 2747 RV 48 43 Obama +5
Marist 09/28 - 09/30 943 LV 49 44 Obama +5
CBS News 09/27 - 09/30 769 LV 50 41 Obama +9
Associated Press/GfK 09/27 - 09/30 808 LV 48 41 Obama +7
ABC News/Wash Post 09/27 - 09/29 916 LV 50 46 Obama +4
Pew Research 09/27 - 09/29 1181 LV 49 43 Obama +6
Ipsos/McClatchy 09/26 - 09/29 1007 RV 48 45 Obama +3
Time 09/26 - 09/29 1133 LV 50 43 Obama +7 "

Does there come a point when the Bradley-effect becomes irrelevant?

gringoman

THE LAME MCCAIN CAMPAIGN


Here in a nutshell (extract) from Ronald Kessler, is what Sarah Palin could have used to demolish the Democrats. She could have done it easily, and far better than McCain, but the McCain campaign refuses to indict the Democrats for their sub-prime slaughter of US banking. They do not want The Barracuda to go there. Instead, they close down in Michigan and let the Great Obamascam roll over them. While McCain mutters along, Sarah, when she heard about this McCain surrender, says "Send me to Michigan! I'll go!".......So who is the real warrior?


KESSLER....The fact is that, although Republicans played a role, Democrats are mainly responsible for this financial mess. The Democrats passed the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which required banks to lend in the low-income neighborhoods where they obtain deposits. Pushed by President Clinton’s 1995 regulations, banks began cutting their eligibility standards and lent to marginal borrowers. These so-called subprime mortgages eventually led to economic disaster.

The Democrats largely ignored President Bush’s and John McCain’s proposals to bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which further encouraged risky lending, under control. It was the Democrats who received the greatest proportion of contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac individuals and PACs.

SteveOk

Fred, can you please explain to me how Joe Biden didn't know the War Resolution he voted for before the Iraq War was in fact an authorization for Bush to use for, i.e. a War Resolution. Could you please explain that idiocy and how those on the left can claim he won the debate on substance when he doesn't even know what he is voting for?

And I still didn't hear from his lips last night that the SURGE IS WORKING and we are close to victory. Why do Barack H. and Joe refuse to admit one of the most important foreign policy achievement in the past 20 years? DO YOU CALL THAT COMPETENT ON SUBSTANCE? I call that nuts.

mjfell

Here in a nutshell (extract) from Ronald Kessler, is what Sarah Palin could have used to demolish the Democrats. She could have done it easily, and far better than McCain, but the McCain campaign refuses to indict the Democrats for their sub-prime slaughter of US banking. They do not want The Barracuda to go there. Instead, they close down in Michigan and let the Great Obamascam roll over them. While McCain mutters along, Sarah, when she heard about this McCain surrender, says "Send me to Michigan! I'll go!".......So who is the real warrior?


KESSLER....The fact is that, although Republicans played a role, Democrats are mainly responsible for this financial mess. The Democrats passed the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which required banks to lend in the low-income neighborhoods where they obtain deposits. Pushed by President Clinton’s 1995 regulations, banks began cutting their eligibility standards and lent to marginal borrowers. These so-called subprime mortgages eventually led to economic disaster.

The Democrats largely ignored President Bush’s and John McCain’s proposals to bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which further encouraged risky lending, under control. It was the Democrats who received the greatest proportion of contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac individuals and PACs.

Posted by: gringoman | October 03, 2008 at 01:13 PM


Gringoman--

McCain has a VERY STRONG argument here that can be used to devastating effect on Obama and the Democratic party.

He better pull is head out and use it during the next two debates.

Hey Johnny flyboy: You're back in the midst of battle. Start fighting to win it before it's too late!!!

mjfell

$700 billion bailout has passed the House.

mjfell

NOW, Senator McCain, can you PLEASE start telling the people how and why this fiasco was created?

Michael Avari

Gringoman, I didn't mean to evade your question. I am not an attorney, so cannot comment on whether Paulson's personal investments intrinsically imply malfeasance in the events of the past several weeks.

Must department secretaries divest such securities and options or put them in trust or escrow?

Even if he had no personal financial interest in Goldman, having led that company should be enough to suggest conflict of interest when making such fundamental structural decisions about the American finanical system. And even if that argument fails, why was he allowed to traipse unimpeded around and over the banking system until Congress finally woke up?


Gilbert - I am all for antitrust, but being big is not grounds for invoking antitrust, witness the failed attempts to break up IBM and Microsoft. However, monopoly provide such a justification. Too bad oligarchy is outside antitrust's scope, otherwise we could sue the Treaury.

Cheers,

SteveOk

Another major foreign policy point:

Sarah insisted that Iran would never be allowed to obtain or manufacture nuclear weapons.

Ok, did anyone hear Joe Biden make that promise? No he didn't because he and Barack H. really could care less if Iran obtains nukes or not.

SteveOk

Another foreign policey point:

Old Joe made a major point that he and Barach H. would end the war in Iraq. Ok, did anyone ever hear old Joe mention anything about winning the war before it is ended? I don't think so, that is not in the mix. Sarah continually mention victory and the success of the surge. That is a foreign concept to Barack H.

mjfell

Am I the only one who noticed that the "impartial" Ifill only interrupted one candidate? She interrupted Govenor Palin while she was reciting a list damaging to Obama.

Am I the only one who noticed Biden making mocking faces to Ifill while Govenor Palin was speaking?

Am I the only one to notice that Ifill engaged in conversation with Govenor Palin about her broken leg, but then gushed on Senator Biden on what a good job he did?

GilbertWashington

Gringoman ofuscates source of Ronald Kessler remarks in an effort to lend a patina of credibility:

"KESSLER....The fact is that, although Republicans played a role, Democrats are mainly responsible for this financial mess. The Democrats passed the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which required banks to lend in the low-income neighborhoods where they obtain deposits. Pushed by President Clinton’s 1995 regulations, banks began cutting their eligibility standards and lent to marginal borrowers. These so-called subprime mortgages eventually led to economic disaster.

"The Democrats largely ignored President Bush’s and John McCain’s proposals to bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which further encouraged risky lending, under control. It was the Democrats who received the greatest proportion of contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac individuals"

It is from whacko NewsMax. Whacko in this sense:
Gov Palin was asked point blank was the financial mess caused by greedy WallSt financiers or by homeowners who couln't affor their homes?
Palin answered directly: "Oh, it was definitly greedy bankers on Wall St".
Let's be generous here: Rhetorically, the candidate will not parrot her shock troops.
That is left to the gringo men... like here!

mjfell

MA, it seems like either you are talking to to the libs or we are.

If we all would STOP talking to them they might just GO AWAY!

Posted by: Ummah Gummah | October 02, 2008 at 06:00 PM

Ummah--

In case you haven't noticed I've already stopped talking to them. Their ignorance knows no bounds.

mjfell

Another major foreign policy point:

Sarah insisted that Iran would never be allowed to obtain or manufacture nuclear weapons.

Ok, did anyone hear Joe Biden make that promise? No he didn't because he and Barack H. really could care less if Iran obtains nukes or not.

Another foreign policey point:

Old Joe made a major point that he and Barach H. would end the war in Iraq. Ok, did anyone ever hear old Joe mention anything about winning the war before it is ended? I don't think so, that is not in the mix. Sarah continually mention victory and the success of the surge. That is a foreign concept to Barack H.

Posted by: SteveOk | October 03, 2008 at 01:40 PM


Steve--

You'll never hear Obama or Biden pledge to stop a nuclear Iran or achieve victory in Iraq. To do so would be suicidal to them. Their far left wing lunatic supporters would hang.

Michael Avari

An excellent article on ...

"How Government Stoked the Mania

"Housing prices would never have risen so high without multiple Washington mistakes."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122298982558700341.html

GilbertWashington

For SteveOK time is never of the essence:

"Old Joe made a major point that he and Barach H. would end the war in Iraq. Ok, did anyone ever hear old Joe mention anything about winning the war before it is ended?"

McC waxed that america may be fighting in Iraq for 100years. We are in year six, so maybe 94 to go?

Steve should re-examine how victory is framed and defined. A pyrrhic victory is still victory? What is it now, some 1787 days since the Bush declaration of "Mission accomplished"?
How about "a quick victory followed by a slow defeat"?

It started out as Saddam Hussien and His Weapons of Mass Destruction (like a rock group) and has morphed into so many other 'crusades'(against terror, against Iran,protect Israel, secure oil and etc). the shifting motives for fighting reflect the obstinate bahavior against leaving.

To buy into this "'victory' stuff" means that the tenants of neo-conservatism 'Project for a New American Century' for remaking the middle east is still viable. It was the reason why in the wake of 911 that Iraq was chosen ahead of binLadin.
If the strategies employed to that end are any indication then the "Project" as an ideological endevor has been repudiated.

mjfell

Did you hear.. Kullifohnia wants a bailout too.. that's what happens when you have liberal judges striking down sensible measures like Prop. 87.

And now they want all of us to pay for this foolishness.

Posted by: Ummah Gummah | October 03, 2008 at 12:42 PM

Ummah--

California needs a bailout largly due to the massive invasion by illegal aliens.

In the Month of May alone, in the County of Los Angeles alone, illegal aliens received $30 million in welfare.

That's one month in one county.

That doesn't include the costs of emergency room provided healthcare, food stamps, extra police officer to fight additional gang violence, graffiti clean up, or the untaxed below average wages.

You do the math.

FK

Here you go, Steveok. I'm getting tired of conservatives saying that Obama has not said that the surge has worked:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/04/barack-obama-on-the-oreil_n_124056.html?view=print

Barack Obama On "The O'Reilly Factor": Surge Has "Succeeded Beyond Our Wildest Dreams"

Huffington Post September 4, 2008 09:02 PM

Barack Obama made his long-anticipated debut on Fox News' "O'Reilly Factor" Thursday night, where he talked about the Iraq war and national security.

"I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated," Obama told O'Reilly in an interview taped Thursday in York, PA. "It's succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."

In the excerpt shown Thursday night, Obama also listed the United States' enemies for O'Reilly: "Al Qaeda, the Taliban, a whole host of networks that are bent on attacking America who have a distorted ideology who have perverted the faith of Islam and so we have to go after them."

In regards to a nuclear Iran, Obama said it would be "unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon; it would be a game changer" and he assured both O'Reilly and the Fox News audience that he "would never take military action off the table."

FK

Another major foreign policy point:

Sarah insisted that Iran would never be allowed to obtain or manufacture nuclear weapons.

Ok, did anyone hear Joe Biden make that promise? No he didn't because he and Barack H. really could care less if Iran obtains nukes or not.

Posted by: SteveOk | October 03, 2008 at 01:36 PM

OK, that's a really dumb point. If he didn't say something, that means he's in favor of Iran getting nukes?

That's the kind of neocon tactics that you guys use on me on this blog, sometimes in connection with something I have not read.

Typical.

FK

Am I the only one who noticed that the "impartial" Ifill only interrupted one candidate? She interrupted Govenor Palin while she was reciting a list damaging to Obama.

Am I the only one who noticed Biden making mocking faces to Ifill while Govenor Palin was speaking?

Am I the only one to notice that Ifill engaged in conversation with Govenor Palin about her broken leg, but then gushed on Senator Biden on what a good job he did?

Posted by: mjfell | October 03, 2008 at 01:40 PM

Yes, you are the only one. Who gives a crap?

FK

Fred, can you please explain to me how Joe Biden didn't know the War Resolution he voted for before the Iraq War was in fact an authorization for Bush to use for, i.e. a War Resolution. Could you please explain that idiocy and how those on the left can claim he won the debate on substance when he doesn't even know what he is voting for?

Posted by: SteveOk | October 03, 2008 at 01:21 PM

Because Bush asked for the authorization so he could use it for leverage. Bush was supposed to exhaust diplomatic options before rushing to war.

The point is that you cannot trust Bush. Biden and other politicians have learned that the hard way.

GilbertWashington

Gringoman backpeddles and needs to find criminal scapegoat to avoid indicting an entire system of de-regulation:

"Paulsen's Goldman Sachs will benefit enormously. Paulsen is reported to own 700 million in stock. That stock may now be toilet paper. He has helped stampede Congress into buying his toilet paper. Are we clear on this Michael, or do I have something wrong?

Question: If such can be proven, is it not criminal?"

So Gringoblossom, should the people reserve a spot against the wall for Dick Cheney because Halliburton got rich in Iraq?

The key words Tontobobo utters are "if proven". Yes. If you can prove the conspiracy: In this case the lone motive for a bailout is to protect a stock option. You're in!
Gringoman let's suppose you feel horny and you need to also need to do food shopping. You get to the market and over by the goldfish crackers you need for the toga party, is the most attractive wom-, er, person, you ever saw.... you buy the goldfish, throw the toga party, and if you feel lucky you invite your new friend. After all (in this hypo) you feel horny.


BTW: Originally you said that Paulson held a $700m stock OPTION and now you say he owns $700m in stock. If both statements are true you've wasted everybody's time. If statement #1 is true you are just whistling Roswell, if Statement#2 is true the administration should recuse Paulson or Congress question his motive.
But sadly for conspiracy-world the threshold evidence required would be "actual intent to deceive" and the rebuttal would be 'who in Congress has money riding on Wall St?'.

goldfiche?

mjfell

With the passage of the $700 billion bill today it's more imperative than ever to elect John McCain.

The Secretary of the Treasury is going to have new broad sweeping powers.

With the Democratic Congress now preparing to run "investigations" on the cause of the crisis (guess how THAT'S going to turn out) we need to make sure that there's no Democratic President to appoint a new Secretary of Treasury who'll further promote the wealth redistribution policies of the far left.

SteveOk

(GW):"Steve should re-examine how victory is framed and defined"
------------------------------------------
First of all, my point was that Biden and Barack H. NEVER use the word, period. All they talk about is withdrawal. The word is not in their vocabulary. I know that is perfectly alright with you guys on the left, but the majority of Americans don't like losing wars. Sarah used it a number of times last night and Biden could easily have chimed in and given his definition of victory. Instead, Biden just talked about "ending the war" on any terms. GW, you can blow smoke all day long for Barack H. back that is his position, he wants to end the war under any conditions and forget about any concept of victory.

SteveOk

(Fred)"Because Bush asked for the authorization so he could use it for leverage"
-------------------------------------
Oh, ok, thanks Fred. That clears that up, it wasn't a "war resolution" it was a "leverage resolution". Fred, take a large stiff cup of coffee and a deep breath and try to reboot your computer and come up with something better than that, ok?

mjfell

(GW):"Steve should re-examine how victory is framed and defined"
------------------------------------------
First of all, my point was that Biden and Barack H. NEVER use the word, period. All they talk about is withdrawal. The word is not in their vocabulary. I know that is perfectly alright with you guys on the left, but the majority of Americans don't like losing wars. Sarah used it a number of times last night and Biden could easily have chimed in and given his definition of victory. Instead, Biden just talked about "ending the war" on any terms. GW, you can blow smoke all day long for Barack H. back that is his position, he wants to end the war under any conditions and forget about any concept of victory.

Posted by: SteveOk | October 03, 2008 at 02:43 PM

Steve--

Don't waste your time or effort trying to talk sense to the left wing lunatics who insist on fouling Monica's blog with their useless, annoying static.

mjfell

Buchanan:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=28852


Posted by: Michael Avari | October 03, 2008 at 02:46 PM

Michael--

Good link. Buchanan is accurate in his observations and assessments.

mjfell

(Fred)"Because Bush asked for the authorization so he could use it for leverage"
-------------------------------------
Oh, ok, thanks Fred. That clears that up, it wasn't a "war resolution" it was a "leverage resolution". Fred, take a large stiff cup of coffee and a deep breath and try to reboot your computer and come up with something better than that, ok?

Posted by: SteveOk | October 03, 2008 at 02:46 PM

Steve--

The left wing lunatics will always attempt to spin every issue and every statement to their advantage. An effective tool to use on unsuspecting lemmings.

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