The Big Debate at Ole Miss


Obama never answered the question about being for or against the Wall Street bailout.   It is a clear equivocation and it does not help him.

What say You?


20 thoughts on “The Big Debate at Ole Miss

  1. I think he was against deregulation and predicted the problems that have befallen the economy as a result of the housing market and so, I’ll start from that angle. We all know that this is political strategy – like when he was asked about Kerry supporting the war (during Kerry’s candidacy after the DNC) while he, Obama was against the war and he gave a political answer to not undermine that democratic candidacy.

    He knows that the same people affected by this crisis have to vote in November. He is playing chess because he is also running an election to WIN.

    My feeling is that he is being co-opted to agree with the plan (along with many other politicians that are against it – from both sides I believe including McCain) because they all need to appear to be doing something about the crisis which is really a Bush regime mess up.

    As someone pointed out in an entry before – Let him play. Winning is important and relevant and let’s not forget that. Let’s give him the chance that Bush got and that McCain and Palin could get. Imagine both of these…What’s the beef? Seriously?

    P.S. He has spoken about the effect $700B would have on his programs (I saw that on a previous blog)

  2. JH

    True. And, I wish he would speak on that or really say whatever it is he thinks. However, I for one don’t question his motives.

  3. HOw can anyone not involved in the discussions about the bailout even know whether they are for or against the plan? We know that Bush’s bailout plan as proposed is not going to pass. We do not know what the Congress will settle upon. We do not know, for example, what the oversight authority will look like, what kinds of compensation limits will be in place, or what kind of equity arrangements will be in place. There is so much about this plan that is unknown to the general public that I can’t see how we know what we’re even analyzing.

  4. tabt

    I am absolutely, vehemently opposed to the bailout of Wall Street, so I’m biased when it comes to political strategy on this issue. I wish that Obama had answered the question by clearly stating, point by point, the ways in which it does nothing to help any Americans except the extremely wealthy ones responsible for creating the problem. I wish that he had exposed the bailout plan for the dangerous pack of lies that it is.

    However, I will concede that he may be in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t political situation. If he openly supports a Wall Street bailout, he gets tagged as a corporate puppet. If he openly opposes it, the rethugs will use that to say that he’s doesn’t really understand how the economy works and won’t help low income and middle class voters who were devastated by the housing crisis. He would also have to break with the political party that supports his candidacy. If he equivocates, well here we are.

    Overall, I think that it was probably the correct political move to make at this time.

  5. Cliff

    I am opposed to the 700 Billion dollars budget, until this is discussed…

    then I could communicate, otherwise a foreign language is being spoken.

    But that is just me. 🙂

    Obama is playin a different game. He is on another level.

    I agree with Trip L Bee, they did not allow Obama to be a part of the discussion, and then all of a sudden need his endorsement on

    “what the oversight authority will look like, what kinds of compensation limits will be in place,” .

    That sounds like this…

    Government: Boooy we came up with a plan, and we need you to Co-Sign.

    Obama: You have not given me a proposal to your plan. This “Bailout” sounds like another part of the failed policy of George Bush, which would help the people on Wall Street and not the people on Main Street.

    Government: Boooy, your Negra ass does not need a proposal; we just need your signature.

    Obama: You know we have to eliminate programs that don’t work. This sounds like a plan that will give more and more to the rich, and create golden parachutes for them and prosperity will somehow trickle down to the people.

    I agree. Don’t trust them, until they can tell us all the aspects of this plan.


  6. akech

    This “bloody $700 billions” bailout scam was created by Mr.Paulson’s calculation/miscalculations last week when he learned that Lehman Brothers was about to go under:

    Mr Paulson’s record does not inspire the confidence necessary to give him discretion over $700bn. His actions last week brought on the crisis that makes rescue necessary. On Monday he allowed Lehman Brothers to fail and refused to make government funds available to save AIG. By Tuesday he had to reverse himself and provide an $85bn loan to AIG on punitive terms. The demise of Lehman disrupted the commercial paper market. A large money market fund “broke the buck” and investment banks that relied on the commercial paper market had difficulty financing their operations. By Thursday a run on money market funds was in full swing and Morgan Stanley Goldman Sachs we came as close to a meltdown as at any time since the 1930s. Mr Paulson reversed again and proposed a systemic rescue.

    Mr Paulson had got a blank cheque from Congress once before. That was to deal with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. His solution landed the housing market in the worst of all worlds: their managements knew that if the blank cheques were filled out they would lose their jobs, so they retrenched and made mortgages more expensive and less available. Within a few weeks the market forced Mr Paulson’s hand and he had to take them over.

    Mr Paulson’s proposal to purchase distressed mortgage-related securities poses a classic problem of asymmetric information. The securities are hard to value but the sellers know more about them than the buyer: in any auction process the Treasury would end up with the dregs. The proposal is also rife with latent conflict of interest issues. Unless the Treasury overpays for the securities, the scheme would not bring relief. But if the scheme is used to bail out insolvent banks, what will the taxpayers get in return?


    You cannot put a pack of hungry lions in a cattle kraal and hope that the animals will be taken care of when you wake up in the morning! These Wall Street guys are running the government because people elected officials have neither the clue nor the expertise of managing the revenues they collect from people of America.

  7. Rick

    I’m so so very proud of how Obama has handled himself not just last night, but also over the past month or so, particularly since the conventions:

    *from the Republican rightwing nuts blatenly disrespecting him (literally laughing at his background/credentials on a world stage);
    * to the Hillarycrat wingnuts who still criticize him and try to “get his goat” as they say;
    * to even the well-intentioned supporters in his own camp who started to lose faith because it appeared on some very superficial level that McCain was being effective in his negative ads;
    * to the cold manner in which McCain treated Obama last night…

    Against all these things, and a whole lot more, Obama maintained, despite the negativity, his…poise. It is a profile in Character.

    Personally, I can’t overemphasize enough how watching Obama react to all this has helped me, as another black man, to not only survive — but also THRIVE — and rise above similar dynamics, both professionally in my career, and on a personal level. You hardly ever hear a black man just come out and give another black man his props. I’m not afraid to say that’s some serious shit that us black men are on. But on this day, I say: God bless you Obama. God bless you…

  8. I want to make it clear that I am opposed to the plan proposed by Bush. What I will say, however, is that the federal government does need to make sure that the commercial banking sector does not collapse. I’ve called a variety of friends over the past few weeks who span the political spectrum but also have an expertise in this area. ALL OF THEM say that this is some serious s#$% and that we will be facing the worst economic downturn in 75 years if we don’t do something about it. We have to make sure the banking sector doesn’t collapse because without banks we cannot get loans. Without loans we have to pay for everything with cash. Who can afford to buy a house with cash? Who can afford to pay for college with cash? Who can even buy a car with cash? I know we’re all mad at the fat cats on Wall Street who created this mess. But, unfortunately, the companies they run are important to average folks. We need to go back to the regulation we had before Clinton dismantled it and return to real oversight. But we can’t let our whole banking sector collapse. It would be a nightmare.

  9. rikyrah

    I thought McAncient’s obvious disrespecting of Obama was infuriating. Obama’s not his shoeshine boy. He’s the Democratic Nominee.

  10. Rick

    As TripLBee gets at, this is not just a “wall street” problem unfortunately.

    without banks, there are less banking jobs. With less jobs, there’s less corporate and income tax revenue collected by the city, state, and federal government. And with less revenue, there’s also less money for everything from hiring new police, building roads and infrastrure, hiring teachers, to maintaining parks so that our kids can have places to play, etc. Budget cuts are painful affect every single one of us.

    Separately, when banks just disappear, so does the value of their stocks and bonds in many cases. Many employees own 401ks. Others, like teachers, have pensions. Others have insurance policies whose companies invest in banks. The fate of all these, and hence, how long many of us will have to work, is tied to how well these investments perform. these are all main street issues, not just wall street…

  11. Deyvette

    Whenever a bank is robbed there are usually eyewitnesses, especially in a well lit room, with a paper trail from millions of money transfers. We know who the robbers are and where they live, for example 1600 Pensylvania avenue. Picture this, you’re at the bank (innocent) when suddenly a recognizeable twelve un-armed men and women with masks covering their noses and mouths entered the room, and all of you are alleged hostages, with your hands up in the air muttering, “that’s the U.S. GOVERNMENT,U.S. SENATORS, CEO of WASHINGTON MUTUAL,FANNIE MAE EXECUTIVES, FREDDIE MAC, LEHMAN BROTHERS,BUSH SR., COUNTRYWIDE… FINANCING,and that one looks just like my next door neighbor and IT SEEMS THAT THE GETAWAY CAR IS BEING ESCORTED BY OUR MAYOR AND POLICE DEPARTMENT. WHO CAN I REPORT THIS TO, SO THAT THE THIEVES MAY BE ARRESTED THIS MINUTE?

    Now, we’re saying to the robbers, you’ve taken everything and left me and the country with nothing but the clothes on our backs. Can you give us some of our money back?

    No, but you do have $700 Billion that I was planning to return for at a later date, and I’ll take the liberty of relieving you of that now, with a nod a few signatures, flip of a switch, it’s done. I have great investment plans for your future; GOODLUCK.

  12. rikyrah

    House Bailout Vote

    Yeah 207 (141 D, 66 R)
    Nay 226 (94D, 132R)

    Dow down 543 points

    It’s sort of amusing, watching folks scurry around, trying to ‘convince’ folks.

    I don’t know how I feel. On the one hand, I believe this is a hustle. On the other hand, some seriously bad ($*% is happening out there. Firms that have been around for a 100 years, collapsing like this, is like one burning building after another. Bottom line for me: I just don’t trust these mofos.

    The Democrats came through. Boehner was supposed to deliver 100 Republican votes, and he didn’t.

  13. zeitgeist9000

    The bailout didn’t pass. Try, try again.

    Re: the debate, the interesting comment I heard from friends was that John McCain adopted the exasperated tone of Al Gore in the 2000 debates. And we all know how that worked out….

    The interesting moment of the night was taped interviews with both candidates by Diane Sawyer, televised following the debate on 20/20. Obama’s statement, “When I’m high, I’m not very high, and when I’m low, I’m not very low,” struck me as not only genuine but also aspirational and inspiring. I must echo Rick: for a black man to compliment another is hard indeed. But Barack Obama is a better man than I, for when I’m high, I’m too high, and when I’m low, I’m too low….

  14. TripLBee

    Congress’s inability/unwillingness to pass a bailout plan is very bad news. Most of those who voted nay did so for political reasons, not because they are opposed to the legislation. Unfortunately we now live in a country where we so routinely employ hacks and morons as our elected officials, I fear that most House and Senate members don’t even understand what they’re voting on. This is what happens when it becomes a political liability to be smart and educated. Smart people like Bill Clinton pretend to be dumb, and dumb people like GW Bush actually campaign on their stupidity as if it is a good thing. Ahhhh, but I digress. I will just say this, the Congress needs to pass a plan–hopefully a good one—pretty soon before there is a domino effect of business failures. There is this myth growing that the pain of this debacle will only hit rich fat cats. That’s simply not true. A wave of corporate failures will cause a huge spike in unemployment. Our 401K plans will plummet which will badly hurt senior citizens. We will have a terrible economic crisis on our hands if we don’t suck up our anger at Wall Street, pass a bailout plan and staunch the blood flow.

  15. TripLBee, I think the blood will continue to flow until they bring back the government oversight that Phil Gramm/Bill Clinton got rid of 10 years ago. This 700 billion dollar band-aid won’t mean squat until that happens.

  16. Ernesto,

    I agree that we need to re-introduce rules to govern the corporate sector. But in the meantime we’ve got to put the breaks on this meltdown. I hear that the House isn’t going to vote on this thing until Thursday. What is going to happen in the markets on Tues and Wednes? I think they should take the time to put together a smart plan, but if that’s the case then quit holding news conferences telling us you’ve got an agreement, only to see it blow up and have the market drop by 8%. This is f*&^ing crazy.

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