Sunday, September 28, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
1. Will it really cost $700 billion? The dollar estimate of this bailout is just that — an estimate...Think of it as that bubble that slides up or down inside a level: it keeps moving, and where it ends up depends on who's talking...By seeking $700 billion — roughly akin to the cost of the Iraq war (so far)... 2. How long will the money last? The Bush Administration is proposing that the government's mortgage purchases be spread out over two years... 3. Is this kind of bailout unprecedented? The current financial Hail Mary is much different from Washington's late 1980s rescue of the nation's savings and loans institutions. This time, the Federal Government wants only to carve out and buy poorly performing mortgages and securities, not the institutions that issued them, which had already gone under (or were on their way) when the Resolution Trust Corporation took them over... 4. How will the Federal Government know what price to pay for the mortgages it buys? It won't. Even on Wall Street, no one knows how much the mortgage securities are worth. The government will hire experts to determine their value, but because so many are "sliced and diced" concoctions — made up of pieces of literally thousands of mortgages created and peddled and pushed together by Wall Street... 5. What happens if the cost tops $700 billion? If more money is required, additional legislation would have to be approved. The odds of that happening depend on whether or not the bailout stabilizes the housing market — the better the U.S. economy, the smaller the bailout will cost taxpayers... 6. Will all of the federal wheeling and dealing come with transparency and oversight? Maybe. The bailout is being undertaken by the U.S. Treasury, which means it can't be hidden away or done "off the books" in an effort to minimize its apparent scope... 7. Do the Wall Street executives get to keep their bonuses? The Bush Administration says it needs to encourage executives to get their cooperation, and that clamping down on their pay would only hurt their willingness to get on board...
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Michigan Republicans plan to foreclose African American votersIf you want to read anymore of this bullshittery, there is more on the link above.
The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.
“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.
State election rules allow parties to assign “election challengers” to polls to monitor the election. In addition to observing the poll workers, these volunteers can challenge the eligibility of any voter provided they “have a good reason to believe” that the person is not eligible to vote. One allowable reason is that the person is not a “true resident of the city or township.”
The Michigan Republicans’ planned use of foreclosure lists is apparently an attempt to challenge ineligible voters as not being “true residents.”
One expert questioned the legality of the tactic.
“You can’t challenge people without a factual basis for doing so,” said J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based public-interest law firm. “I don’t think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance.”
As for the practice of challenging the right to vote of foreclosed property owners, Hebert called it, “mean-spirited.”