Monthly Archives: September 2008


Barney Frank Mocks GOP

Follow this link to see the GOP complaint and  Barney Frank’s response.

Follow this link to hear the speech by Nancy Pelosi that is causing all the commotion. When I hadn’t read enough about the news yet to even know what Speaker Pelosi had said to cause this brouhaha,  I loved Barney’s response anyway.

I don’t live in Barney’s district anymore, but at least he represents part of my state.  Makes me proud to be from Massachusetts.


Stopping a Financial Crisis, the Swedish Way 1

Follow this link to the New York Times story on how Sweden solved a crisis in 1992 that is similar to the U.S. financial crisis of today.

The New York Times describes Prime MinisterCarl Bildt as head of a conservative government. Having vsisited Sweden in the late 1980s, I would have to guess that any conservative Swedish government would be far to the left of our Democratic party.

In any case, the article shows that we do not have to reinvent the wheel in our situation.  Many countries have been through this before.  Many different paths out of the mess have been tried. Some paths worked better than others. Which politicians do you suppose are aware of these alternatives and how they worked out?  Who is more likely to read the New York Times, McCain or Obama?


A Bailout You Can Believe In

Follow this link to the McClatchy News coverage of what might be the final bailout proposal.

First of all, I think this report on the plan is very even handedly done.  This is one reason why I like to read the McClatchy news service.

The use of warrants to let the taxpayer participate in any financial gains is a great idea. It is also good that there is recoginition that the Government’s ownership of the mortgages can be used to renegotiate these predatory deals in ways to help keep people in their homes.

Perhaps it is worthwhile that the Republicans got to add the alternative of a more insurance oriented approach to the bailout.  It seems reasonable to me to offer the “customer” more than just one plan.

My reading from this news story of Obama’s reaction to the deal is slightly different from the explicit interpretation in the article. I think Obama is just saying that the deal meets his requirements for gaining his vote.  He is not making any claim for responsibility in the way the deal came out.


Should Impressions Matter In Your Voting Decision?

Follow this link to an item about John McCain’s refusal or inability to look Barack Obama in the eye during the debate. I didn’t notice this beahvior on my own because I have this bad habit of diverting my gaze when the scene is too embarassing for me to watch.

Following the item is a discussion of whether or not this nonsense should be a decisive factor in this election.  It probably should not be, but realistically it is.  Does my posting this link lead to furtherance of this bad behavior?

I listened to an unfortunate explanation of why McCain’s old military guy with experience persona would almost make you want to vote for him.

To be honest, I know I am influenced by first impressions as much as anybody else. Sometimes, when I become a little self-aware, I try to fight this influence.  Or at least I tell myself that I do. When I reflect on my experience making hiring decisions, I can think of several cases where I am glad that I fought my natural tendency to let first impressions influence me. I can also think of a case or two where I should have fought the tendency more.

In some cultures looking another in the eye is not a good thing.  For what it is worth, I would have to guess that the culture in which John McCain was raised would place a high value on looking people in the eye.


What Barack Obama Should Have Said 1

The best way for me to express my reaction to the first Presidential debate is to state some of the things that I think Barack Obama should have said. Let me seed the discussion with a few items.  I will write it as the Obama part of a script.

Obama:
I know that John is smart enough to know the difference between preparations and preconditions.  He knows exactly what I am talking about, but he keeps pretending I said something different.  Why can’t he just talk about our disagreements in an honest way?
Obama:
The reason that we disagree on who understands the difference between tactics and strategy is that John McCain is not able to look beyond Iraq.  He keeps talking about the surge strategy.  To the issue of Iraq alone, that may be strategy.  However, in the really big picture, this is just a tactic for accomplishing limited goals in Iraq.  I am looking at accomplishing much larger goals in the entire world.
Obama:
John says that the troops know that he will take care of them. How are they supposed to know this when he voted against supporting their benefits once they returned home?  It takes more than assurances of doing one thing and then voting the opposite way.  I am not discussing walking and talking, I am discussing the obstruction that you provided in Congress when Veterans’ welfare was at stake.
Obama:
How can we take John’s assurances at face value when he has lied about so many things during this campaign?  Sure he was strongly opposed to torture when the spotlight was upon him. However, he backed down in the face of pressure from George Bush.  He allowed George Bush to define what was and wasn’t torture in direct contradiction to the obvious meaning of simple words that we all understand.  John was completely silent when George Bush did this. If John can’t take a stand when nobody is looking, how can we trust him?
Obama:
John, you keep talking about how you visited here and you visited there as evidence of your experience. If you had come back from those visits and shown good judgment about what you learned there, than you would be making a fair point. However, when you visit someplace and come back with the wrong conclusions, and I don’t visit and come up with the right conclusions, what does that say about the value of your experience compared to my judgment?

You can add more to the discussion by making comments.  It will further the discussion much more if you make your comments on this blog rather than emailing them to me.