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Dems Playing Games With Bailout Negotiations

While Bruce and I have different styles, we usually agree on the issues of the day.  Not so with the bailout.  While I had some problems with the original proposal, now that John McCain got the White House and congressional Democrats to consider some of the House Republicans’ concerns, we could have a deal which will be less bad than the original.  (I pretty much agree with Larry Kudlow who understands these things much better than I.)

Yet, even now, Democrats are trying to keep a provision providing a “slush fund” for the left-wing group ACORN.  Shouldn’t any money brought into the Treasury go to pay down the debt incurred for this multi-billion dollar bill?  Or maybe, if we’re so lucky, to return some to taxpayers?

Don’t the Democrats realize that adding on this bailout to the deficit will only increase the size of the deficit?  And they still want to fund their pet projects?

And Democrats keep sending in more negotiators than originally agreed upon.  Seems Charles Schumer just doesn’t want to be left out.   According to Jennifer Rubin: Treasury Secretary Henry “Paulson actually called [Senate Majority Leader] Reid to ask why there were so many Senate Democrats in there instead of just Dodd and the other 3 principals. Amazingly, Reid told Paulson he couldn’t control them.”  Schumer and the ethically-challenged Charles Rangel are among the Democrats barging in.  Seems House members don’t want to be left out either.

John McCain has played a considerable behind-the-scenes role in helping House Republicans air their concerns and make this proposal more fiscally sound.  For more on his efforts read these two pieces.

I wonder if the media will take note of his efforts — and highlight Reid’s flip-flops, demanding John McCain come to Washington one day, then when the Republican nominee decided to do just that, telling him he wasn’t welcome.

UPDATE:  Seems they’ve reached a deal.  Let’s hope there’s no ACORN “slush fund” included.  Maybe they asked the interlopers to exit the negotiations.

John McCain: Vindicated on Firing SEC Chief Cox

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 10:45 pm - September 27, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

When discussing with friends McCain’s campaign blunders in the week of September 15, I took note of his big errors, saying the “fundamentals of the economy were strong” (even though the rest of the sentence made clear he was aware of problems),* not immediately pointing his past efforts to promote reform, vowing to fire SEC Chairman Chairman Chris Cox and vowing later to replace him with Andrew Cuomo.

While I still think Cuomo would make a terrible SEC Chief, it seems that George Will notwithstanding, McCain’s call to fire Cox had some merit. Via the Jewish Athena, we learn that under Cox’s leadership:

The Securities and Exchange Commission missed “numerous potential red flags” leading up to the shotgun sale of Bear Stearns Cos., and failed to require the investment bank to rein in its risk taking, according to a scathing report from the agency’s inspector general. Inspector General David Kotz said it is “undisputable” that the SEC “failed to carry out its mission in its oversight of Bear Stearns.” Bear Stearns, one of the most aggressive investment banks, agreed to be sold to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in March after the firm’s clients fled and it was running out of cash.

Whatever Cox’s merits as a Congressman (and he had many), he does not seem to have brought them to the SEC.  Just as McCain was right on the need to reform Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, it appears he was right to call for Cox’s dismissal.  I wonder if the MSM will take notice.

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*Had he said this as president and not candidate, it would have been more defensible, saying it so as not to cause panic.

Where’s the Outrage?

You know how upset Democrats (& their allies in the media) get when they claim that a Republican called Democrat unpatriotic, even when they have to twist the Republican’s remark to level that accusation?

Well, now we have a leading Democrat, no less than the House Speaker calling her Republican colleagues “unpatriotic.”  I’m just waiting for the usual sources to take Nancy Pelosi to task.

(H/t the Corner.)

UPDATE:  The Anchoress informs us that Pelosi called “the Congressional GOP unpatriotic for NOT SHOWING UP TO THE MEETINGS THEY DID NOT GET INVITED TO!

Gas Crisis Continues In Charlotte; National Media Ignores

**WELCOME INSTAPUNDIT READERS!**

As of Saturday morning, most of Charlotte-area gas stations still have plastic bags over their pumps and gas hunting cars zipping in, around, and out of their parking lots.  WBT-AM reports than only 7 of 80 gas stations surveyed in the Charlotte metro area have gasoline this morning.

Many parts of the Southeast are in a Gas Shortage Crisis, and the National Mainstream Media continues to ignore it.

Anderson Cooper…. where are you, man?

Gas lines remain today; deliveries still promised – Charlotte.com

It appears to be more of the same at gas stations across the Charlotte metro region, with only a fraction of stations selling fuel and long lines forming — despite promises that shipments of gas are on the way.

Lines began forming in the pre-dawn hours Saturday at a number of stations in the Charlotte area.

But officials from AAA Carolinas, government leaders and gasoline distributors say the tanker trucks are coming. A large shipment of fuel was reported to have been sent to Charlotte on Friday. However, some of those experts warned that the shortage won’t end quickly.

This week’s shortage is a result of hurricanes Ike and Gustav, which hit the Gulf Coast earlier this month, disrupting refinery production. Refineries had enough fuel in reserve to stock Southeastern pumps for about a week, but many stations ran out before the refineries could resume full production.

Four of the 17 Houston-area refineries remain closed, with most others in partial or full operation, AAA said.

Charlotte isn’t the only place grappling with a short gas supply, though the area saw the most serious disruptions in the state, with little or no shortages reported in eastern North Carolina, Crosby said. Stations were running out of fuel this week in Florida, Tennessee, Virginia and elsewhere, with the Atlanta area feeling particular pressure, the Associated Press reported.

Just this morning, I canvassed five gas stations in the South Charlotte area and all still had dry fuel tanks.  I’m staying home now until I know for sure there will be gas somewhere.  I’m running on fumes.

Remember folks, Charlotte is now the 20th largest city in the USA, the 2nd largest banking center in the USA (sorry, San Francisco) and North Carolina is the 10th largest state by population in the USA (sorry, New Jersey).

So where is the media focus and questions that a similar crisis in New York or Washington, DC would have attracted as soon as it started?

And Senator McCain — you’d be VERY wise to have you or Sarah come to Charlotte and talk about Energy Independence.  You would be very popular right now with that message!

UPDATE:  1:30pm – Finally got gas at my local place.  The tanker truck was still there as I pulled up.  The wait was shorter than I expected — about 20 minutes.  Unlike reports from other parts of Charlotte, my fellow gas-starved residents were orderly and no fights broke out.  In fact, there were a couple pumps open for a few minutes — unlike last night when people were cutting each other off and getting into accidents to get to any open pump.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

In Memoriam Paul Newman

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 11:45 am - September 27, 2008.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

The world has lost one of the greatest actors of the last half-century.  Paul Newmanwho personified cool . .  died Friday after a long battle with cancer at his farmhouse near Westport,” Connecticut.  It says as much about the man as anything that, like Katharine Hepburn, he died where he lived — far from Hollywood.

While he starred in numerous box-office hits as well as critically-acclaimed films, nominated for ten Oscars, he always kept a distance from the culture of the entertainment industry.  Maybe that accounted for his success.

He showed his dramatic range in the two Tennessee Williams movies he made, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Sweet Bird of Youth as well as in Hud, Cool Hand Luke and most recently Road to Perdition.  My personal favorites, however, will always remain two of his greatest box-office successes, his (only, alas!) collaborations with Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting.

Redford and Newman had perhaps the best friendship chemistry of any two actors in cinema, Newman the older brother figure, teaching his younger charge the tricks of the trade and leading him to the dark side where he (Newman) delivered some of his best performances.  It’s unfortunate the two men did not collaborate more often

It wasn’t just Redford with whom Newman had such great chemistry.  He also worked well with numerous actors and Hollywood stars, notably his wife of fifty years, Joanne Woodward.  That relationship more than any other defined Paul Newman.

One of the most handsome men in the public eye, he had his pick of any starlet or hanger-on, yet remained faithful to his beloved.  When asked why he never strayed, he replied, “I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?

A class act he.  Would it that we had more such men in Hollywood.

UPDATE: In a touching tribute to Newman, John Nolte writes:

Even for a movie star he was uncommonly handsome and charismatic. And yet, somehow, Paul Newman defied the odds. He was a good man.

And he offers this brilliant insight into Newman’s unique niche: “playing loners who disguised themselves as reprobates in order to hide both their loneliness and that they might give a damn about anything.”

And he offers this which defines the man’s decency — and his dignity:

A lifelong liberal, Newman, unlike too many of today’s stars, didn‘t trash the other side. Instead, he was a proponent, an advocate, and — more importantly — one who put his money where his mouth was.

Read the whole thing.

Finding his stride, McCain soared at debate’s conclusion

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:30 am - September 27, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Random Thoughts

A friend once noted that I’m not very good with beginnings.  In blogging, sometimes I find I have a brilliant idea (at least I think it’s brilliant), but will struggle to express myself because I want just the right beginning.

I even had this problem as a runner.  The first few minutes of the run would be the toughest.  Once I found my stride, however, I could hold my pace for great distances.  I learned to use this to my advantage when I rand road races.  I’d start slow, not minding so much if people passed me, but afer the second mile, I’d be the one doing the passing.  From then on, no one would pass me.

That’s kind of how I saw John McCain’s debate performance last night, except his “second mile” didn’t come until maybe forty or forty-five minutes into the debate.  

Only later did catch the beginning* on FoxNews and thought Obama looked stronger in his opening remarks.  About a third in the debate when I had inititally started watching, McCain looked nervous, almost uncomfortable.  On the watch for Obama’s use of “um,” given the Democrat’s predilection for the word when not using a TelePrompter, I also caught my candidate used the exclamation more than was warranted.

At this point, he only seemed better because Obama was worse.

(more…)

Will MSM Take Note of Obama’s Kissinger Gaffe?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:19 am - September 27, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Media Bias

When John McCain called Barack Obama on his misrepresentation of what former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said, I thought he might have caught his Democratic rival in the gaffe of the night:

Look, Dr. Kissinger did not say that he would approve of face-to- face meetings between the president of the United States and the president — and Ahmadinejad. He did not say that.

Not only did McCain “win” that portion of the debate, but he caught his rival trying to dress up his foreign policy as something that had the blessing of that widely respected “elder statesman.” Indeed, Kissinger himself “believes Barack Obama misstated his views on diplomacy with US adversaries and is not happy about being mischaracterized:”

Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality.

If John McCain had tried to claim a respected Democrat held views similar to his own, the MSM would be all over it. But, like Roger Simon, “My guess is the MSM will do its best to ignore this, because it certainly makes Obama look like a foreign policy amateur.

Beyond that misrepresentation, Obama did not commit any major blunders in tonight’s debate. He didn’t look as strong or as confidant as John McCain, but did seem more easily rattled than his Republican rival.

Yet, if we had a more even-handed media, they might make much of his attempt to twist Henry Kissinger’s words.  And of the former Secretary of State’s quick repudiation of the Illinois Democrat.