Publius Interview: Herman Cain… for President?

-By Warner Todd Huston

Where ever Herman Cain goes he meets enthusiastic crowds. There is a reason for that: He is an incredibly dynamic man. He has a compelling life story and boy can he whip up a crowd! Every time I've seen him he has the folks on their feet in wild applause. And Cain revels in the attention giving the crowd a wide smile with every speech.

The Interview With Herman Cain

His resume is quite impressive, of course. After all, he was the man that was assigned stewardship of the troubled Godfather Pizza chain when he worked for Pillsbury Foods and turned it around into a money-maker when no one expected him to be able to do so. It became so successful that he was able to buy the chain and run it himself.

But it isn't just his past business experience that shows what a can-do man he is. He also beat cancer. It took him four years, but he did it. He's cancer free and in the fit of health. And now he is a talk radio host out of Atlanta's WSB AM 750. He has also formed the Herminator Pac and is “prayerfully” exploring the possibility of running for president in 2012.

The thing that strikes you about talking with Herman Cain is the fact that he is amazingly straight-forward for an aspiring politician. He isn't shy about telling you exactly what he thinks and exactly what is going side ways in America today. But he is also a 100% supporter of the idea of American exceptionalism.

Cain also knows how to turn a phrase. His bumblebee line is a killer. With that he compares the fact that scientists claim that the bumblebee's ability to fly is technically impossible yet he flies because he believes he can. He compares that self-assured bumblebee with America's belief in itself. A truly inspired analogy.

I had a chance to sit down with Mr. Cain when I attended American for Prosperity's RightOnLine conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 24th. (And I apologize for not getting this up yesterday, but I was having tech troubles.)

To keep up with Herman Cain:

On Twitter: THEHermanCain
On Facebook:

Post primary polling data positive news for Democrats

As statistically indicated, the Democratic Party WILL lose seats in the upcoming midterms.  No one questions this - not now and not in any midterm election.  Cases where the majority gained seats in a midterm are aberrant.  But the picture improved for the Democratic Party given the results of the primaries, primarily because the Right elected a handful of candidates that, like them or not, have thrown a number of races that were a slam dunk for Republicans back into the "leaning Democratic" category. 

There are several other variations on this theme, but the bottom line is that in yesterday's Senate Rankings at, the meta-polling picture improved for the Democratic Party, who now is more likely than not to hold onto 55 seats.  The Republican Party's chances to take the Senate remains at about 6%.  And a lot depends on which party Charlie Crist caucuses with should he win the FL seat (which looks increasingly likely). 

Here's the goods from the dean of polling data:

Time to raise (Herman) Cain?

Yesterday, Georgia Republican congressman John Linder announced his retirement 

His district is a Republican stronghold, (Cook R + 16) so I do not think we need to worry about finding a candidate with the strongest local following to succeed him.  

This is a seat where the Republican party would be well advised to run someone capable of being a strong national spokesman for conservative issues. Much as I've often pushed athletes or celebrities, this does not seem to be a district where we need to run John Smoltz. I'm sure the gaggle of Gwinnett County pols eyeing the seat are capable enough; but this is truly a seat where we ought to be electing a national spokesman.

There is an Atlanta area Republican capable of doing this. Herman Cain

Cain is a successful local radio host, so he's going to have high name recognition in this district.  He also gave a scintillating speech at this year's CPAC, so he has the bona fides on the national conservative level. As a successful former businessman, he brings the ability to speak with authority on issues involving free enterprise and economic growth.

He's also an experienced former candidate, having run 6 years ago for the U.S. Senate. Yes, he finished second in the GOP primary to now-Senator Johnny Isakson, a fixture in GA politics for a generation. But he received 170,000 votes and finished ahead of a sitting congressman, Mac Collins.  

Now I've never set foot in Gwinnett County in my life. But if there is a better qualified Georgia Republican than Herman Cain, I'll be dammed to know who he is.

GA 7 doesn't need a pothole politician; it needs a leader for conservative values.  It needs Herman Cain  


What the right needs to do to regain acceptance and credibility by the mainstream

The right has lost its way and a lot of people are starting to recognize this.  Books are being written (The Death of Conservatism, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, etc.)  Here are my thougths on what is wrong and what needs to be done about it.

Discredit those who are not helpful

Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, etc. have said a lot of downright crazy and dumb things (people with AIDS should be quarantined, etc.)  and are far too tied to Christianity.  They should be called out for that and pushed to the side so that true leaders on the right can rise to the top and give the right a real chance at regaining credibility and the minds of those who are undecided or in the center.  Those who espose hate, and anger should also be discredited and pushed to the side (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc.).  It is long past time for Conservative talk radio to become more academic, constructive, and hopeful sounding, and cater to the best in us (love, hope, unity, civics, etc.), rather than the worst (fear, anger, race, etc.).

Stop catering to the Christian right

Christianity has nothing to do with conservative ideas and theory on money, foreign policy, etc.  There is also supposed to be a strong seperation of church and state.  Our country was formed partially for freedom of religion, and if our government is run by someone who wants to impose their religion through laws and perspective, then we lose that.  In addition, America is not a Christian nation; though nearly 80% are Christian, there is still another 20% that are not.

Stop simply opposing every idea President Obama has and propose alternative solutions

The right has really been a thorn in our Presidents side instead of working with him to solve the problems in America.  The way to gain credibility and get some conservative ideas into law is to honestly work with the left to create good policy, and also proactively propose laws to solve some of our problems before the left takes up the problem.

Stop supporting causes that have nothing to do with Conservative ideology

The right should disassociate itself with such issues as abortion, and other things that are outside of the ideas of conservatism.  Abortion is an issue thats argument against it is primarily based in religion.  The same applies to marriage equality for gays; the argument against it can only be made from a religious standpoint.  Because of this, and because no party should be tied to any religion, just as our government should not be tied to any religion, the right as a whole and Republicans as a party should disassociate theirselves with abortion and start supporting equal rights for gays.  These two issues alone keep some of those in the center and on the left from ever supporting a Republican candidate.  It might cause a lot of those on the Christian right to be upset, but then they can choose the party that best conforms to what their idea of government should do on all other issues, or form a new 3rd party that is tightly tied to Christianity.

Stop being inconsistent

Right now many on the right are opposing government run health care on the idea that even though it may save a lot of lives, it isn't proper for the government or taxpayers to help others.  Yet, many of those same people are in support of the war in Iraq to give people in another country freedom and save their lives.  Why should we spend taxpayer dollars to police the world yet not spend taxpayer dollars to save those within our own borders?  Either we shouldn't spend money to help others, or we should and if we should then we should definitely want to help those within our own borders before those who are not within our borders.

Stop being hawks

The right has become a group of hawks and this is contrary to conservative ideas on foreign policy.  Conservative ideas on foreign policy are as spelled out by the Cato Institute:

Cato's foreign policy vision is guided by the idea of our national defense and security strategy being appropriate for a constitutional republic, not an empire. Cato's foreign policy scholars question the presumption that an interventionist foreign policy enhances the security of Americans in the post-Cold War world, and maintain instead that interventionism has consequences, including the formation of countervailing alliances, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and even terrorism. The use of U.S. military force should be limited to those occasions when the territorial integrity, national sovereignty, or liberty of the United States is at risk.

Conservatives need to re-embrace those ideas.  They are the ideas that our nations founders had in mind, and they are the ideas that are the most ethical and that might also allow some on the left to consider the rest of our ideas.

Have a well thought out income tax policy

There either should not be an income tax as Libertarians would like, or there should be an income tax that works to support Conservative values.  A tax that is progressive helps strengthen families at the lower incomes and therefore helps literacy rates, etc. which helps to preserve conservative values of strong families, an educated populace, etc.  Right now the government has taken on far too much responsibility and therefore spends too much and our national debt is growing because of it.  It is time to start cutting back on spending, but at the same time increasing revenue and the only realistic way to increase revenue is through a progressive income tax because those in the middle and lower class cannot support any higher tax burden.

Start supporting alternative energy and embrace that global warming is real and might be caused by us

The science is in, global warming is real and it is probably caused by our actions (and can we afford to gamble that it is not?).  Most of the oil that is easily available is in countries with citizens that do not like us.  Because of these two things, it is long past time to start looking into energy sources that do not emit CO2, and that do not require us to work with countries that are not friendly to us.

Stop catering to Israel

We give far too much money and support to Israel and it hurts our credibilty around the world and doesn't help to reduce the hatred towards us in the Muslim world.  It is time to treat Israel as we would any other country that is a friend and ally of ours.  We should work with them, and be friends with them, but we should point out when they are doing something that works against peace in the middle east and use our monetary aid as a tool to help control their actions rather than blindly supporting them at all times.

Start rethinking drug policy

The war on drugs does not work, and will never work so long as it is punitive rather than based in medicine.  It only makes organized crime stronger, and leads to a larger role of government and often leads to violations of our constitutional rights.  The punitive war on drugs was originally based on racism, and is now based in morality that is derived from religion.  For these reasons, it is time for the federal government to take a non punitive role and start considering policy that would put organized crime out of business, make drug use safer and less damaging to society, and help those who are ready to reform their lives through cessation of drug abuse.



Emissions Standards: The Global Siege on America >>

Let me begin by pronouncing the agreements that I share with Democrats. Or rather: let me be clear. The Earth is a gift from God, and is, aside from perhaps the feminine form, the most stunning thing in existence. No man alive is so base as to devalue what we have. This vehicle, like the Hand that created it, yields beyond sustenance and gives inspiration.

Now with that caveat out of the way, I submit that the Liberals, the Greens, and the Radical Left’s feel-good ideas of castrating the industrial machine are reckless and downright dangerous for America. The Left (and by extension the Democratic Party), in what has become an international battle royale for energy, prefers to surrender our arms and engines.  They are gruelingly unable to comprehend nuclear and fossil energy as a game-changing tactical weapon like steel and gunpowder. Nor are they able to accept that environmental stewardship treaties ratified by international bodies actually hold deliberate, ulterior motives to tightly bind America in other ways. And a shrugging regard at such powers is one of the most imminent dangers of the new century.

And to temper this sentiment, I believe that America can and should reduce its negative impact on the environment; namely by shifting from coal to nuclear power as a staple like France did and John McCain suggested. It seems that Liberals only like the bad ideas from Europe, but none of the good ones. As a case in point, we would have already reached the Kyoto emissions goals through the nuclear option that Republicans have proposed for years.


If President Bush had not pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol that President Clinton signed in 1997, we would have shouldered the burden of what other nations turn and ignore. Sadly, many of the global shirkers were Kyoto's chief architects within the European Union! Aside from ignoring the pollution of China and India which clearly no longer deserve special exemption, it held America to an unreasonable standard.

Europe's Performance:       

The European Union has had mixed results since signing the Kyoto Accord. Spain failed abysmally at achieving its goals and Italy approached underdeveloped Russia to buy carbon credits. To contextualize Russia’s position, the fall of the Soviet Union led to "Perestroika" and an industrial collapse, and Kyoto’s lax standards on Russia were assessed on this collapse. Similarly, Germany claims to have decreased their overall emissions. Yet, the integration of East Germany and the other ex-Soviet states (whose outmoded production stood to be revamped anyway) has tilted this statistic grossly. The reunification of West Germany to East Germany made it much easier to restructure the rusting coal-fired production of the Cold War. This overhaul was slated to happen anyway, making such a benchmark much easier to reach. Now having lived in Spain, I saw the staggering unemployment that fluctuated between 12-18%, and that is one thing that haunts me with upcoming legislations in the pipeline. Spanish Economist Gabriel Calzada detailed the consequences of these legislations in his “Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources,” which demonstrates the damaging falsehoods of the “green job,” whatever that is. According to this perplexed academe, the subsidy of every 1 green job costs 2.2 regular jobs through inefficiencies, displacement, and re-allocation, and he expects the same results in the United States with President Obama’s Cap-and-Trade deal.

The liberal admonitionary chatchprase that “the debate is over” has battered many eardrums, not just yours. In the video below is an interview with Ex Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain. It’s not in English, but I can tell you that he treats the question of climate change as we do in America. His affiliates call climate change a religion, fettered with dogma, and state we have a “blue planet, not a green one.” Like many in the US, he claims not to be a “denier,” as that label presupposes something to deny. He concludes by stating that the debate is not over, because it has yet to even commence, and that there has been a marked decay in parliamentary spirit and democratic debate in Spain in years past, and that people should return to it.

China’s Performance:    

    The People’s Republic of China had recently surpassed the United States in CO2 emission in mid-2008, debunking the notion that America is the #1 offender.  But according to the environmental lunatics on the Left, we, The United States of America, must lead by example through blind faith and hope without assurance, that a military despotism like China will get warm fuzzies and turn green long after we have sacrificed trillions in GDP, millions of jobs, and the strategic high grounds that come with robust productive capacity. Yep. After watching America sadomasochistically self-immolate for a decade, China will want to join the rip-roarin’ fun!

India’s Performance:

Recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited India, and India’s Environmental Minister laid out a stalwart launch pad from which to negotiate future accords with the West. In short, he was not willing to sell his nation down the postmodern drain. I wish I could say the same for our leaders. Take a look for yourself:

Hillary’s refuted olive branch in New Delhi will be a microcosm of times to come, as we become the poor little match girl, passing from door to door and selling our eco-wares at no avail to a world hurtling in the opposite direction towards Ayn Rand.

The Ghosts of Energy Present and Future:

In America, we are a nation of people, not “masses” as the planeteers tend to esteem us. Hence, Carl Sagan’s hint at microbes having rights superseding those of humans will not fly far amidst a people unable to subtract anthropocentrism from stargazing, and who care little to imagine the giant unknowable workings of space and time after humans. Politically, it would be madness for a politico to expand his constituencies to mother earth, time, and space (gerrymandering would have to be done in either 3D or parsecs). The only manner in which to mobilize the public, or massage them into becoming pliant, would be to create a false sense of crisis, fear, and to literally demonize opposition as paid off or "flat-earthers." So it comes as no surprise that both Cap-and-Trade and ObamaCare are to be rushed. Despite that, the pending Waxman-Markey Bill puts forth many of the directives of “Old Europe” that will scare away manufacturing to the hills of Asia and Latin America. And Washington DC is counting on your docility to pass it.

Now according to the CIA World Factbook, America produces 14 trillion dollars in GDP as a total of our economy while China produces over 4 trillion. We dump 5.9 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere while China chugs out a full 6 billion. Now comparing the GDP in ratio to national emissions, a revelation emerges: We produce .00042 tons of CO2 per dollar of production. China produces .0015 tons of CO2 per dollar of production. So if cleanliness is the utmost goal, then the United States should already serve as an example to China, given that with a smaller population we produce more goods for the world at cleaner levels. 

Two points highlight China’s energy strategy for the 21st century: a petroleum highway and an emissions-free nuclear grid to make up for it. They already foresaw that T. Boone Pickens would abandon windfarms (which he did) and all the takeout joints in Hong Kong cannot accumulate the biodiesel grease to power fleets of buses. To put it another way: they’re not screwing around.  

According to Westinghouse Electric International, China has made it a national priority to build 100 nuclear power plants by 2020 (more resemblant of the Space Race than ObamaCare). And this national mobilization utilizes United States technology! Lord knows that the EU is already jacked into the atomic grid as well. We are not.

What’s the matter?  Did I frazzle your hippiemojo-windpower vibe and shatter your image of the avuncular T. Boone, who you learned was so hip during the hopeandchange era? Too bad, undergrad. It gets worse.

Aside from holding our debt, China is leveraging its surpluses to purchase assets around the globe, opening up trade channels to fan out their empire. Africa has become the next battlefield for resources, and China is pulling no punches in applying the same colonial takeover methodology as the powers of Europe did a century past. Nearly one third of all of China’s petroleum imports come from the African continent, and they have begun courting nations like Angola, The Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and yes…Sudan. With an economy growing at 9% for the past two decades, they are jealously vying for control of new sources of timber, coal, copper, and oil, and doing so in side by side competition with the United States. Traditionally, China has taken a hands-off approach towards meddling in the affairs of another nations (since they themselves have no desire for scrutiny), but has recently scrapped this diplomatic dogma by cozying up to local oil-friendly African nations and their government officials. A crux of their tactic has been to lay “investments” into roads, fiber optics, technology training, bridges, and other infrastructures that would otherwise bollix African nations to quickly build for themselves. This colonial paradox for a once insular power demonstrates that the searing growth of their nation has alarmingly trumped old wisdoms, and is goading them to do what it takes to win…Confucius be damned and anyone else who stands in their way.

In this quest to outbid America in global energy sources, arms have become a desired currency for petty dictators and warlords, and China is in no short supply. While Western powers have done the same for some time in supporting unsavory regimes for regional interest, the rabbit hole goes much deeper in China’s case. Dangerous regions like Sudan receive their arms shipments from China (and military trainers), while 60% of Sudanese oil output heads in the other direction. This transcontinental circulation of arms-for-oil has been used to curry favor with African members of the United Nations, allowing for more votes to disregard China’s human rights violations and it even compells African nations to rebuff the ineffectual African Union in overseeing Sino-African commerce in its own continent.

Brazil, the fastest-growing economy in Latin America and by far its largest nation, has announced that China has surpassed the United States as a trade partner in an historic demand sweep for iron ore. In February of this year, Brasil’s state-run oil company accepted a $10 billion-dollar loan deal from the People’s Republic of China, and agreed to supply China’s national oil company, SINOPEC, with petroleum output. Through decades of cultural drift from North America, and socialist Brazilian President Lula da Silva at the helm, who blames American capitalism for the global meltdown, totalitarian wheels have been set in motion in our own, western hemisphere.

An Old Bear, still tired of American power, has bellowed out a roar to be heard across Eurasia. It is common knowledge that Russia has been buying up utility companies in Eastern Europe, and providing shelter in the United Nations for Iran, a country with its own untapped resources. The recent invasion of Georgia and South Ossetia impinged into their Caucasus pipeline—one of the few pipelines that flows into Europe independently of Russia. It is no small wonder that Vladimir Putin threatened to sever the pipeline into Europe to keep the west at bay. 

The Final Word:

With exploding demand, China, Russia, and other hostile powers will continue to buy, to seek, and to prod for more economic hegemony, and weave it into their mutual fatigue with America’s superpower status. And what do they all have in common? They purchase assets with government-run oil companies, treating utilities like defense commodities and branching out with the backing of infinite subsidy under the guise of corporate buyout. And to add insult to injury, they are all exempt from Waxman-Markey and Kyoto mandates. Here in the States, we own literally oceans of natural gas beneath our bedrock, and deluvian reserves offshore. We even have three times the reserves of Saudi Arabia in the Rocky Mountains. All of this is capable of being transported with modern technology that has come a long way since the Exxon-Valdez spill ages ago; yet drilling remains illegal in spite of marvelous precautionary advances and a clean record since. This vainglorious distaste for black crude serves as an object of haughty disdain for the Liberal elite, and from others it is merely a reckless childishness regarding the stern realities of this world. Tanks are not powered on corn oil, F-22 fighter jets do not run on solar power, and aircraft carriers do not use windmills. We fuel these battle weapons with fossil fuels and nuclear reactors—the twin strategic pillars of the Republican energy platform and still the beverage of choice for the grown-up world.  

Nothin’ like the real thing. 

As I exit stage right with reminiscence, I recall President Bill Clinton rejecting a Republican push in 1995 to drill in ANWR, a frozen desert, claiming that the project would not yield oil until 2005. This stance would then contort into blatant denial when in 2008, the Democratic Party would then accuse Republicans of short-sightedness for wanting to drill in Palin Country. Fittingly enough, either party has yet to accuse China, a 4,000 year-old kingdom, of being short-sighted.

America is under siege. I suggest we start guarding our aqueducts. >>



Change?? We need only ONE kind of change.. This is it!

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MealerAMC is the up and coming solution for theeconomic change the world needs.

By allowing the MEALER Bridge Vehicle to enter the market first, these automobiles will not only make a reputation of quality automobiles that are versatile, useful, performance oriented and innovative, but also economical and environmentally friendly. In addition to America's demand for a superior MPG internal combustion engine powered auto and the ability to begin building the “BV” immediately, they also appeal to a global market from the start.

Anticipation for our Flagship or Future Vehicle (FV) which provides the ecological solution decried by National governments, California (many times over) as well as the United Nations, will be immense. The solution for what many call disastrous, man-made-Global-Warming hasn't come about just yet, but the greenhouse emissions from fossil fueled cars, trucks and power plants will be resolved. What automaker can make that claim and prove it, besides MealerAMC?

The MEALER FV is designed to provide 3-phase power to a home or office or tent city for that matter when it is parked.

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Okay, MealerAMC will give us the beautiful and wide variety of MEALER automobiles we need and to top it off, we get a dependable power source for our homes. No Carbon Taxes! No Carbon Cap and trade! We are now free. If you happen to be lucky enough to work for Mealer Companies you will be trained in the clean Green manufacturing industry as well as the dirty much needed manufacturing industry, so that you can leave Mealer Companies and go out on your own with support and the backing of a wide variety of funding sources and experts in the field of making a fortune while re-building this great nation of ours.

Mealer Companies expects other institutions to do the same plan as and rally this nation back into the global leadership role the USA was meant to serve.

We as Americans are the builders and fabricators of the world.

As America, we lead the way when we fail and whenever we win.

So, stop crying and blaming Barney Frank, (even if it his fault)...

Let's grow a pair and fix this problem from the private sector because the spending and taxing gluttons in the US government are simply incapable of doing it.

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Sonny Perdue Joins List of Tax-Happy GOP Governors

Joshua Culling is the State Government Affairs Manager at the National Taxpayers Union.

With a large number of states considering tax hikes to balance their budgets, I looked at Georgia as a state with an opportunity to pass real pro-growth legislation. Rep. Tom Graves introduced the JOBS Act, which would have cut the capital gains tax in half and phased out the corporate income tax. After it passed the House and the Senate, it sat on Gov. Sonny Perdue's desk. We worked hard to convince him to sign it. Yesterday, he decided not to.

There has been a lot of talk about Republicans struggling to find their identity in the wake of devastating losses at the national level in 2006 and 2008. To be sure, the National Taxpayers Union (my employer) is a non-partisan organization, so we haven't been very involved in that discussion. But I think it's important to note that the decisions of some Republican Governors this legislative session flies in the face of the Republican principles of low taxes and small government.

Gov. Schwarzenegger (R-CA) urged California politicians to embrace tax hikes to pay for his rampant overspending. He has presided over a larger annual spending increase than his predecessor, Gray Davis (D), who was recalled from office due to his inability to manage the state's budget.

Gov. Linda Lingle (R-HI) just signed a cigarette tax increase into law. Haley Barbour (R-MS) looks poised to do the same. Charlie Crist (R-FL), now a Senate candidate, has waffled on the issue. Make no mistake about it: cigarette taxes are TAXES. They hit the poor especially hard, they hammer small businesses, and they drive economic activity over state lines. Nonetheless, lawmakers across the country have scrambled to hike tobacco taxes in the middle of a devastating recession.

And now Gov. Perdue, with an opportunity to do something very few Governors even considered, has politely declined to give a boost to investors and job-providers in Georgia. He's content with the status quo. Nevermind the evidence from capital gains tax cuts at the federal level that shows a net revenue INCREASE after their enactment. Forget the fact that Georgia sports an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent. In Gov. Perdue's office, it was time to play to the rent seekers that profit from government spending. It was time to play politics over principles.

And it's not as if we can look to the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary for the right answers. One of the three potential Republican candidates mentioned in this article has expressly advocated an override of the veto. The others basically refuse to give a straight answer.

I'm not naive. I understand the political realities that come with tax cuts for "revenue hungry" states. But one would hope that during these crippling economic times, when so many bad ideas are floated by Legislatures and embraced by Governors, one could look to the GOP for at least one good solution. I'm not even asking Gov. Perdue to come up with a good idea. Rep. Graves and the Legislature did that for him, and they passed it overwhelmingly. It was gift-wrapped for him to sign with all the political cover in the world.

He failed.

Obama's 13-million, Organizing for America's gamble.


To Arms. To Arms. A call to Arms. Obama has moved his 13-million strong email list up into the front ranks of his increasingly desperate attempt to pass his upcoming budget "vision". But will it work? Is another chapter of internet history about to be written? Has "Organizing for America" actually been able to harness Obama's internet masses into an effective political voice? Time, of course, will tell; but I think not.

After the election no attempt was made by Organizing for America to actually give these 13-million strong a collective voice, a collective identity, a sense of its collective self.  They have simply used these 13-million email addresses as separate, individuals donation targets.

Pres. Obama's 13-million email list will fail because he has failed to empower it with a voice. You can't have 13-million separate, individuals speaking with one voice without first giving them a voice with which to speak. You can't have 13-million separate, individuals speaking with one voice without allowing them to speak, to come together as one, to be heard as one.

In this way, Pres. Obama is like the Republican party. Both would very much like to use the power of their own grassroots, but fear empowering their own grassroots, least they speak for themselves.

           ex animo



Who is responsible?


I know this is a very long article, but I think it worth the read. For a very long time now I have been listening to our Congressional leaders blame each other for the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacles. I think a thorough investigation into this matter will help us try an insure this type of grand Congressional misfeasance doesn't happen again.

Below, is Barnie Frank's version of events I found in a Press Release of the House Committee On Financail Services, and present them here as his case in chief.

I intend to post the Republican version of events just as soon as I can find one. If you know where it can be found, please advise me. In the meantime, lets get out our magnifying glasses and start the hunt for loopholes in Mr. Frank's version of history, for the record.

Thank you.


Frank Seeks Antidote to Republican Amnesia



                        According to the Republican version of the history of the financial crisis, as presented on the House floor on Wednesday by Representative Todd Akin (R-MO), Congressman Frank is responsible for the fact that no legislation passed the Congress to regulate until 2007, and no bill trying to restrict subprime lending passed the House between 1994 and 2007.  The problem with their argument is that the Republicans were in power from 1995 through 2006 in the House, and they had complete control over what legislation did or did not pass.

                         Being accused of having blocked legislation to prohibit irresponsible lending to low-income people from 1995 to 2006 is flattering in a bizarre way.   Apparently those Republicans parroting these right-wing talking points believe that I had some heretofore undisclosed power over first Newt Gingrich and then Tom DeLay, which allowed me to keep them from passing legislation they wanted to pass.  If that had been true, I would have used that power to block the impeachment of Bill Clinton in the House, the war in Iraq, large tax cuts for the very wealthy, the intrusion into the sad case of Terri Schiavo, and appropriations bills that badly underfunded important social priorities. 
                         I did not try to stop them from passing legislation to control subprime lending or to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because in the first case they were never willing to do so, and in the second case, I worked together with Republican Chairman Mike Oxley on the only bill that the Republicans considered during that period to restrict Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the bill was defeated because, in the words of Mr. Oxley, the Bush administration gave his efforts ‘the one-finger salute.’
                        In another oddity,  the Republican history on this subject appears to end in 2003.  I understand why they find later events unpleasant, since those events document the gathering series of policy mistakes that the Republicans made which ended in their being repudiated in 2006, and re-repudiated in 2008.  In their view of the world, the last relevant thing that happened was a statement I made in 2003 in which I said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not in crisis.  I did say that. And I would have said it as well – and may have – about Wachovia Bank, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and dozens of other financial institutions in America and elsewhere which were not in fact in crisis in 2003.
                        What happened subsequently in the years the Republicans wish to ignore because they cannot defend what happened – is that the Bush administration pushed for even more subprime lending, Alan Greenspan refused to use congressional authority he’d been given in 1994 to regulate it, and the House Republicans blocked any efforts to legislate against it.  In fact, as quoted in a story in the Bloomberg News, when the Bush administration ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase significantly the number of loans they bought for people below median income, I objected saying that this would be good neither for the borrowers who could not repay the loans nor for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
                        In his book, Financial Shock, Mark Zandi, who has advised political leaders of both parties and gained a great deal of respect for his views on the financial crisis, stated that “President Bush readily took up the homeownership baton at the start of his administration in 2001… To reinforce this effort, the Bush administration put substantial pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase their funding of mortgage loans to lower-income groups…. By the time the subprime financial crisis both had become sizable buyers of the Baa tranches of these securities.
                        My response, along with other Democrats, was at that point to try to take regulatory action in two respects.  First, we sought directly to regulate subprime lending.  Secondly, I agreed to join Congressman Oxley in trying to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
                        According to Mr. Zandi, “Democrats in Congress were worried about increasing evidence of predatory lending…"  The Democrats wanted a federal equivalent (to North Carolina’s anti-predatory law) that would cover all lenders nationwide.  The Bush administration and most Republicans in Congress were opposed, believing legislation would overly restrict lending and thus slow the march of homeownership.
                        As to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, I joined with other Democrats in helping Mike Oxley bring out of our Committee a bill that would regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  I voted against it on the House floor after the Republican leadership dictated a change – over Mike Oxley’s objections – to the affordable rental housing piece, but it did pass the House anyway and I did not urge other Democrats to join me in voting no.  So the argument that I blocked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac legislation makes zero factual sense since the House, when I was in the minority, did pass the bill.  It died because of Senate opposition, spurred by President Bush.
                       In 2007, when the Democrats assumed control of both Houses of Congress and I became Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, I moved quickly to pass a bill to regulate the GSEs.  He introduced the Federal Housing Reform Act of 2007 (H.R. 1427), on March 9th and it was approved by the Committee on March 29th.
                      The bill was passed by the full House on May 22nd, with all 223 Democrats and 90 Republicans voting in favor of the bill, and 104 Republicans voting against it.  Among those voting against regulation of the GSEs was Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO), who led the Special Orders on Wednesday.
                       In 2007, I, along with Representatives Brad Miller and Mel Watt, introduced the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act (H.R. 3915) which would regulate predatory subprime mortgages.  The bill passed the full House on November 15th, with all 227 Democrats and 64 Republicans voting yes, and 127 Republicans voting no.  Representative Akin voted against the bill.
                       Republican talking points omit the many factors which set the stage for the present financial crisis -- the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (I opposed), which removed the wall between commercial and investment banks, the failure of the Federal Reserve to use oversight authority which it had been given by Congress, and the Security and Exchange Commission’s decision to allow large financial institutions to “self-regulate” and dramatically increase their risk exposure.
                      The Republican message also fails to mention the role of unregulated entities which aggressively marketed subprime loans, major financial institutions which packaged risky mortgages as Collateralized Debt Obligations and sold them as virtually risk-free investments, rating agencies which gave stellar grades to toxic assets while being paid by the companies who stood to benefit from their actions, and the massive growth in the use of Credit Default Swaps, ushered in by Senator Gramm’s 2000 legislation (I also opposed).
                      The Republicans would have you forget all this. They want to distract people from understanding the real causes of the crisis so they can further block real reform.  This is cynical, partisan politics which will weaken our ability to prevent another meltdown in the future.  These attacks may seem innocuous, but in the long run they will hurt ordinary Americans who are already suffering.


ex animo


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