It’s like getting on a Merry-Go-Round and asking Obama to Push

In two weeks America will have a new President elect.   On November 5th, either Barack Obama or John McCain will be waiting in the on deck circle, preparing to step up to the plate on January 21 ( let’s face it the 20th is ceremonial).  But how will they get from here to there?  If you are Barack Obama and the media, it will be because they confused voters enough to make them dizzy through their endless spin cycle. 

It started two weeks ago with “joe the Plumber”.  Joe was a normalguy asking a question of a Presidential hopeful, Barack Obama.  To his credit, Obama gave the only answer to the only tough question he has ever been asked and stated that Joe would have to “spread the wealth” if he bought a business that makes $250,000 or more a year.  Since then “Joe” has become a villain to the media.  ABC,CBS,CNN, etc have cast doubt on this plumber from Ohio by questioning his income tax returns, his divorce, his job, and even his legitimate right to vote in Ohio.  ALL BECAUSE HE ASKED A QUESTION!!!!!!

What did Senators Obama and Biden do in the wake of “Joe” asking a question and then being attacked by the media?  The Senators continued, and still continue, the attack on this plumber.  In stump speeches across America, Obama and Biden have attacked Joe saying that they don;t know of any “plumber” making $250,000 a year.  They have attcked his work ethic saying that the real “Joe the Plumber” would actually be helped under an Obama plan because he would not be a plumber who makes that much.  In other words the real “Joes” of America would never aspire to owning more than their fair share of the market.  Senator Biden might even call the plumber from Ohio “unpatriotic” because he would refuse to pay higher taxes as a small business owner. 

AHHHH the spin!!

Then Colin Powell comes out and says that he is endorsing Obama.  Immediately the surrogates and pundits rush the airwaves and say that Colin Powell is a man whose judgement is sought and respected by all leaders.  Yes, Powell is a well respected member of the Armed Forces as well as several Presidential Administrations.  But only 4 years ago Powell was the demon child who forced America into a war in Iraq, a war Obama “voted” against in the Illinois Senate(?). 

With Powell’s endorsement the surrogates and Democratic pundits had to come up with a back story that supported Powell and Obama that did not factor in race.  Ah ha! Now we have Colin Powell, the well respected, smart, and totally unbiased General was duped by the Bush administration and sold totally false information that he was forced to pass on to the U.N.  I still respect Colin Powell and do not believe that race was the deciding factor in his endorsement but I can not believe that this man who was smart enough to rise to prominance in the military and politics was “duped” by the same President liberals criticize as uneducated or stupid. 

AHHHHH the spin!!!!!!

John Murtha.  Beloved Congressman from PA.  Democrat.  Supporter of Barack Obama.  The same Obama who said us hicks in PA cling to our guns and religion and hated immigrants.  It was John  Murtha, in defense of this Barack Obama and the latest poll,  stated that PA, at least the western half, may not go to Obama because PA is full of racist people who vote on color alone.  Wait!! This week he apologized and said that PA was not racist it was just a redneck state.  How do you spin that?

If you are a Democratic pundit you simply say that what he said was “years ago” or “what he meant was simply” and all is forgiven.  What about this comment and Obama’s “clinging” comment being taken together to set a pattern?  Irrelevant! Let’s move on!

AHHHH the spin!!!!!!

But move on we shall, to Joe Biden.  Good old Scranton Joe! (It’s Thursday, his day to be from Scranton.)  Just when he though the recording devices were off and no one was listening he says “mark my words”, “if you don’t remember anything else I say in this whole campaign”,  if Senator Obama is elected he WILL be tested by the world in a “GENERATED” crisis created by other countries around the world.  Then he even says that he doesn’t know if  Obama will make the right decision initially but asked his supporters to stand with him anyway until he figured it out.  Don’t worry Joe, we won’t forget this one just like we haven’t forgotten what you said in the primary. 

The pundits and surrogates are on the move again!  See what he meant was every President is tested and Obama will be no exception, they say.  “Look at Reagan or Kennedy” they squawk!  And as they don’t mention that Obamahas a wait and see foreign policy coupled witha new age “let’s talk about it” negotiating style,  they leave out the fact that Reagan and Kennedy responded to their respective crisis with overwhelming force.  Furthermore, the pundits yell,  Obamaknows how to surround himself with people who know stuff, like Joe Biden and Colin Powell while John McCain has only lived through or legislated past crisis. 

AHHHH the spin!!!!!!!

Finally, if the clothes make the man what is wrong with the woman getting some nice clothes too.  While Barack Obama spends hundreds of dollars on each suit from Burberry or whoever the latest designer is, the RNC shelled out $150,000 for new clothes for the seven, that is 7, members of the Palin family. Roughly $21,000 per person.   The RNC, a private organization that receives donations from people like me, bought clothes out of contributions, not tax money,  for the VP candidate.   And the clothes are going to be given to charity after the election.  What is wrong with that? 

According to the pundits and commentators,  it just shows Sarah Palin’s inexperience.(?)  Joy Blowhard from the view apparently has a real issue with this saying that Palin usually shoots her clothes but that style would not work on the campaign trail.  ABC, et al,  raises the question to voters that if Sarah Palin can afford a new wardrobe costing $150,000 from Neiman Marcus ” does she really share the same values as”, yep you guessed it, “Joe the Plumber”?  I assume Brian Ross and Wolf Blitzerwill do in depth stories about boxers or briefs next. 

AHHH the spin!!!!!!!

Be careful waht you listen to or see on the news.  Even Fox News.  Today the new AP poll came out and showed a dead heat in the race for President.  A trend that has been seen in other long time polls.  Yet today on ABC’s Good Morning America, George Stephanoplois did not even mention the AP poll numbers, something he regularly does.  Instead he quoted the Quinipiac Poll numbers and showed state by state polls done by other polling organizations.  Why?  bias.  And as if they are finally seeing the light,  this week a CNN reporter even admitted to their bias in reporting! 

The spin won’t slow down in the next two weeks.  In fact it will only get faster.  Look for the top news story being about Barack Obama’s compassionas he deals withhis “Grandmother who raised him”  and her broken hip.  I’m sure this story will become one about health care and the state of the economy in Hawaii.  But voters beware! It’s all spin.  In the last two weeks look beyond the spin and read the issues and listen to words and form your own opinion.  Otherwise it’s like getting on a merry-go-round and asking Obama to push.  Faster! and Faster! you cry until you don’t know up from down, right from left.   

AHHHH the spin!!!!!!!!!!

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Biden’s Kitchen Table Looks Good in Palin’s House

Joe Biden’s America revolves around the kitchen table.  It is a metaphor I can relate to having a large family.  Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents, brothers, nephews, nieces and in-laws are all part of my life.  When we get together the discussions are always centered at the kitchen table.  They might be serious or benign but they happen while indulging in a variety of comfort foods and drinks.  It is something I think of as unique despite it’s relative commonness. After tonight’s debate, however, I think Joe needs a new metaphor.

In tonight’s VP debate, Sarah Palin took over the issue of the “kitchen table”.   In a classic move that few will herald,  Palin looked through the camera to Americans everywhere and told them why she should be Vice President.  She became, once again and without editing, the candidate we all can relate to in our homes.  When she talked about not having health insurance or being a member of the proverbial middle class or even when she talked about her own family, Palin was talking about the last decade, slightly more.  Palin was able to connect over that kitchen table with America.  She was able to show through her own experience that as VP she would understand, in  a way Joe Biden never could, what Americans are going through. 

Joe Biden filled our ears with memories of a time in Scranton, a place he needs a GPS to find yet claims kinship with.  He told the yarn about his dad’s lack of work in Scranton.  He touched us all briefly with the story about his wife’s death but that is as close as he got to getting to the kitchen table.  His experience with the proverbial middle class is experience he internalized when he observed his dad losing his job or  encounters with blue collar Americans while on the campaign trail.  Biden, and Obama, filled their kitchen table with promises for America but lack the personal insight to fulfill these promises in a meaningful way. 

I know that I will be seeing my family soon enough and I will once again gather with them at the kitchen table when that time comes.  I don’t know when Biden and Palin will once again have time to sit around their kitchen tables and discuss family matters.  But I do know that when Biden hits the campaign trail again tomorrow, his bus will be a little bit lighter.  Palin’s performance tonight gave her a clear victory and I can’t help but wonder if she put his kitchen table next to the lipstick she stole from Obama.

“Don’t Worry Joe, I’m Here” Says Eiffel

Tonight’s Vice Presidential debate has the potential to continue the bias the media has towards Barack Obama.  With GwennEiffel as the moderator tonight, the media has another shot at taking down Sarah Palin despite her clear monetary stake in this election, I believe Eiffel should be retained as moderator. 

You can’t argue that Eiffel’s book, entitled “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama”, is not laudatory manuscript towards Obama.  The title is dripping with bias.  In addition her coverage of Palin has been anything but objective.  During the RNC, Eiffel reported on Palin’s speech from the floor of the convention by saying that it belittled Obama and his work in Chicago.  These two items alone would be grounds enough for a lawyer, judge or jury member to recuse themselves from any trial proceedings, yet Eiffel is still in place.   

As moderator,  look for Eiffel to ask the readiness question of both Biden and Palin.  If it is directed or redirected at Palin look for Eiffel to say something about her relative inexperience in the world compared to Biden’s 36 years of experience in the Senate.  Look for underhanded comments about Russia’s relevance to Alaska and praise for Biden’s trips abroad on the taxpayer’s dime.  And look for questions of family as Eiffel tries to show that Joe Biden put his family first when he was a new Senator while pointing out (slyly) that Palin will not be around much for her kids as VP. 

Keep Eiffel in as moderator, despite her clear bias.  Joe Biden knows he has home court advantage tonight, a situation Palin can clearly take advantage of to come from behind  and win.

It’s a Matching Test

Let me get this straight.  John McCain is a Washington insider who can’t get things done or reform Washington as President because he is controlled by lobbysists and special interest groups.  But Joe Biden, the Congressman from Delaware for 36 years, has a vast knowledge of foreign policy experience that will help lead the country in a new direction around the world. 

Barack Obama is a Washington outsider who represents the change that we need because he has not been influenced by the lobbyists etc… and will lead the reform of Washington as he did in Chicago as a community organizer then in Illinois as a Senator.  But Sarah Palin is too inexperienced to be in Washington and does not have enough experience to effectively reform Washington because she has never worked in the halls of government there.  Her reforms in Alaska were meaningless because she was mayor of a small town and is only a first term Governor who has not been tested. 

Sen John Kerry and many other Democrats have lost me in this reasoning.  Is it the Biden/Obama ticket against the McCain/Palin ticket?  Please, I need a liberal to help me understand this convoluted reasoning.

Back to Work!

It’s the day after the first debate. Both Presidential candidates are back out on the campaign trail stumping for votes and talking about how they will lead America.  Oh wait, that’s a lie.  Only SENATOR Barack Obama was back out on the campaign trail today while SENATOR John McCain was in Washington working on the bailout legislation.  SENATOR Joe Biden,  SENATOR Obama’s running mate,  was also out campaigning today. 

Why is this so important to note?  Because voters are being told today that Senator McCain’s performance last night was condescending and arrogant and that he even talked down to Senator Obama during the debate.  The reason they are being told this by the pundits and press is because Senator McCain answered every question with specifics and highlighted his experience and accomplishment in those answers.   Senator Obama repeated the same argument about Bush and McCain whenever he had the chance and gave virtually no specifics in answers to the questions.   Yet on the day after the debate, when Congress is in session to work on what could be the most vital piece of legislation in decades,  Senator Obama chose to take the day off (again) from his duties as Senator and do what he has done for most of his political career, campaign,  instead of gaining the experience McCain talks about regularly.  Today, Senator McCain went back to work and chose to let his actions speak louder than his words once again.   

Senator Obama answered that abortion was above his paygade while at the Saddleback forum.  Perhaps his actions during this crisis also show that the economy is also above his paygrade.

As the Bell Tolls

The death-knell of the republic had rung as soon as the active power became lodged in the hands of those who sought, not to do justice to all citizens, rich and poor alike, but to stand for one special class and for its interests as opposed to the interests of others.

  • Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

 

“We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of the middle-class people.  It’s time to be patriotic..jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.”

  • Joe Biden (D-Delaware),  2008 VP candidate chosen by Barack Obama

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/18/biden-wealthy-americans-must-pay-more-taxes-to-show-patriotism/

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_091908/content/01125111.guest.htm

If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.

  • Bill Clinton, 42nd President

  • The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.

    • Bill Clinton, 42nd President

     

     Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. The world, and the Iraqi people would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

    • Barack Obama, Presidential Candidate (D-Illinois)

     

    It’s simply not true that Saddam was providing weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. This incursion into Iraq has resulted in a situation in which terrorist recruits are up. It’s been acknowledged, now, by the Pentagon, that the insurgents active in Iraq are far higher. Terrorist attacks worldwide are the highest in 20 years. The notion that somehow we’re less vulnerable in the US as a consequence of spending 200 billion dollars and sacrificing thousands of lives is simply not borne out by the facts.

    • Barack Obama, 2004, Illinois Senate

    “I say to our enemies, we are coming. God may show you mercy. We will not.”

    • John McCain Presidential Candidate (R-Arizona)

    http://www.usa-patriotism.com/quotes/_list.htm

    Facts and Feelings from Wall Street to Main Street

    The biggest heart string issue any candidate can use to influence votes is the economy.  The last few days have been a testament to this.  While Obama uses “middle class” as a noun, verb and adjective in every speech, McCain has been trying to reassure Americans about the fundamentals of the economy.  In light of the polls today, it would seem Obama is the better string player.  But does he have the leadership and policies to back up what he is saying on the stump? 

    First to leadership.  It was reported today that the Democratically controlled Congress is considering another recess in light of the current economic situation.  The reason being that they don’t know what to do and don’t want to act in a manner that will cause any more harm.  Obama himself has yet to take a position on the bailout of AIG saying he needs more information before he can react to what happened yesterday. 

    While it is true that John McCain is part of the same Congress that is considering another recess, it is also true that he is a member of the party that stayed in the House to push for a vote on energy reform after the last recess was called by Speaker Pelosi.  The Republican representatives stayed in the House for days after the recess was called, lights out, trying to put pressure on the Democrats to allow an up or down vote on energy reform.  

    Unlike Obama,  John McCain has taken a position on the bailout of AIG.  According to ABC he is now a flip-flopper because he supports the bailout after he opposed it previously.  But they miss the point.  John McCain changed his position because he was able to see that if AIG was not given help in some manner-federal,private or the combination of both that has happened-the economy and millions of Americans who are associated with AIG in some way would have been decimated by even a partial failure.  Call it a flip flop if you like but leaders know when and how to act, even if acting goes against what they believe. 

    Now, the policies.  Once again  these are policy statements directly out of Obama’s “Blueprint for America”  and the expanded Issues section of the John McCain website.  They are not the soundbites or anecdotes candidates use on the stump. 

      Obama’s plan starts with, what else, the middle class.  While Obama is fond of talking about his tax cut and it’s perceived ability to help 95% of Americans, his plan does not address who is middle class.  He does specify a tax credit that would be equal to $500 per individual or $1,000 per working family in what he calls the “Making Work Pay” tax credit.  He says it would completely eliminate taxes for 10 million Americans and provide 150 million workers relief. 

    Obama also will simplify tax filings,  allowing taxpayers the option of signing a returning a pre-filled tax form sent by the IRS.  No itemization, no W, I or A forms, just sign a return.  Accountants beware, estimates are you will lose approximately $2 billion in fees when this happens.  Perhaps the accounts will need retraining after they lose their jobs, but not to worry Obama has provided for that in his plan. 

    First of all, if you take a job at McDonalds, your minimum wage will rise indexed to inflation.  Simply put, small businesses are forced to pony up money every year for every worker, NOT based on performance.  In addition Obama will raise the Earned Income Tax Credit so that you can work full-time and still raise a family.  Not only that but Obama will expand FMLA to companies that employ as little as 25 people and allow time off for just about anything.  While I can’t say that allowing time off under FMLA to see your kids soccer games is a bad idea, I can say that his idea to make states and companies to pay for FMLA time is a bad one.  But to this end Obama has promised $1.5 billion to the states to help them pay for the new FMLA rules. 

    If you decide, as an out of work accountant, that you want to enter the manufacturing field, Obama is going to spend untold (literally, he has no number) dollar amounts on new job training programs.  Using his education policy as a backdrop, most of this retraining will happen at community colleges where education will be free under an Obama administration.  If you decide to stay at home and work, Obama will give you high speed Internet as he spends countless (again no number) dollars on companies who provide Internet connection services. 

    Of course Obama has a record to back up his economic policies and tax cuts.  In 2007 he was a cosponsor on a bill (his site says he introduced it) by Dick Durbin called the Patriot Employer Act.  The bill currently sits in committee. Did I mention the Congress that controls these committees is controlled currently by Obama’s own party.  He also cosponsored the STOP FRAUD Act to help homeowners, it also sits in committee

    Sen McCain’s proposals start off with a balanced budget by 2013.  To achieve this McCain will:

    • make reasonable growth a reality
    • control spending
    • use bipartisanship like (hold on ) Bill Clinton did in the 90’s to pass a budget

    In assuring growth Mccain believes that small businesses will benefit the economy the most.  His proposals of low taxes and low rates on capital gains will allow those businesses to reinvest in their own future.  Also small businesses would be able to deduct equipment and technology investments they make to improve their businesses.  In addition to allowing businesses to reinvest in themselves, McCain is proposing reducing the Estate Tax to 15% which would allow more businesses to stay in the family.  In addition the Bush tax cuts would stay in place and may even increase for all Americans. 

    Another way John McCain can assure growth is the implementation of his energy policy.  Under his plans, which include ALL types of energy,  new jobs would be created in America to build and support new energy development.  In nuclear power alone it is estimated that over 700,000 jobs would be created under McCain’s plan.  Retraining is also a priority in a Mccain Presidency and would be fully supported. 

    The second part of McCain’s plan to balance the budget is to control spending.  John McCain’s efforts to control spending are famous and easily found on his congressional website.  But in addition to earmarks, John McCain has proposed a freeze on all non-defense and non-veteran discretionary spending thus allowing time to plan and prioritize all spending programs.  And as we draw down in Iraq and costs are reduced in the war, much of that money will go to deficit reduction, not universal health care. 

    One other point on spending.  Much has been made about the “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska.  Sarah Palin has been criticised for supporting the earmark before she was Governor and then voicing her opposition to it as Governor.  John McCain voted “NO” to this earmark (H.r. 3, CQ Vote#220: Adopted 91-4:R 48-4;D42-0, I 1-0,7/29/2005)and was only one of 4 Senators to do so, Obama voted for it.  When the money was allocated anyway, Palin did take the $36 million allocated BUT directed her Transportation Department to use it for infrastructure improvements in the state.  This is in keeping with improvements sought after the government directed states to look at all of their infrastructure after the bridge collapse a few years ago.  Here are two source to verify the bill-

    http://www.johnmccain.com/mccainreport/Read.aspx?guid=ab24d6d6-f796-4851-99ac-451d7567a5cc

    This site shows Obama and McCain’s votes on HR 3

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/1/votes/220/

    Finally, John McCain’s record of bipartisanship shows that he can easily work with all members of Congress to make this happen.  Just as Democrats and Republicans are coming together this week to slow the bleed in the financial sector, Sen McCain has worked with Ted Kennedy, Joe Lieberman and others to introduce legislation that, many times his own party did not support. 

    There is more to the McCain plan but I have gone on long enough (Printed text for McCain goes on for 14 pages, Obama has 5).   Figuring out what each candidate is saying on the trail is difficult.  Sen Obama clearly uses emotion over reason and Sen McCain tries reason more than he should sometimes.  But after writing my longest post yet, the bottom line is this.  On May 25, 2006 John McCain spoke to the Banking Committee and warned of the failure of Fannie and Freddie as well as others (AIG).  Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, now advisers to Obama, were executives in the banking industry then.  Chris Dodd (D) was the ranking committee member and killed the resolution John McCain and others proposed.  Where was the leadership of Obama and the Democrats then?

    Again look at the comments:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2008/09/17/mccains-attempt-to-fix-fannie-mae-freddie-mac-in-2005/

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2084424/posts

     (Thank you to all sites listed)

    Sebelius: The GOP wears white after Labor Day

    Here we go again!  Another member of the Obama campaign is accusing the GOP of wearing white after Labor Day. 

    Kansas Gov Kathleen Sebelius, once thought of as a VP candidate for Obama, is the latest Obama surrogate to inject race into this election.  On Tuesday she told a crowd in Iowa that the GOP is using code words to inject race into this election. 

    When asked if Obama and the Democrats would fight for a victory in November, Sebelius answered ” Have you noticed that Barack Obama is part African-American?” then added that the “Republicans are not going to go lightly into the darkness”.  She has not clarified her comments yet. 

    Governor Sebelius is not some left wing blogger whose post you read and then discard as idiotic.  She is a vocal supporter of Obama who has been asked by the campaign to travel around the country and speak on behalf of Obama.  She was once considered an alternative to Hilary Clinton for the VP nomination.  Sebelius is also the Governor of a state,  a position she should take responsibly and not use to instill fear in voters. 

    Race is the elephant in the room according to Sen Obama, his surrogates, volunteers and the media( http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/16/obama-race-a-factor/) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia75o5IO3xo) .  They want us to believe that the only way to improve race relations in this country is to vote Obama into the White House.  To those  promoting this idea I would have to ask a simple question.  Is this what Martin Luther King, Jr meant when he said ” I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    Palin Action Figures

    Sarah Palin action figures.  Buzz over these has been everywhere.  Check them out here. 

    http://www.herobuilders.com/

    Yes, Virginia, There are Specifics!

    Be warned, this is a bit long but it is specific.

    In covering the failing banking industry and the mortgage mess,  the media has been throwing around words like disaster,  crisis, and dire like peanut vendors at a baseball game.  Their irresponsible use of these words has prompted many questions about what McCain and Obama would do as President to correct what is happening on Wall Street and Main Street.  Here are the plans of both candidates.  The information on Barack Obama’s plan is taken directly from his “Blueprint For Change” while information on John McCain’s plan is taken from the expanded issues section of his website. 

    To provide relief for millions of people affected by the mortgage mess and the Wall Street debacle, Sen Obama has proposed a 10% universal mortgage credit that will provide $500 to about $10 million homeowners.  The credit will help those making under $50,000 who do not itemize their taxes. 

    Additionally, Sen Obama will create a new HOME (Homeowner Obligation Made Explicit) score that will allow borrowers to measure their available mortgage options and will help them understand the full cost of the mortgage they enter into with a lender.  This provision would seem to help new borrowers more than those already in a mortgage.  It also keeps the borrower as the primary decision maker and leaves the burden of responsibility firmly with the borrower, which is where irt needs to be.  However, there is nothing to stop the banking and investment industries from manipulating this score just as they manipulated numbers to get people into the sub prime mortgages in the last few years. 

    Finally Senator Obama has proposed, in his “Blueprint for Change”,  a government fund to help “innocent” homeowners.  While “innocent” is not defined by Obama I imagine that it means those homeowners who took out a bigger mortgage than they could afford on an adjustable rate loan.  This fund would be paid for by the money received from increased penalties on lenders who have acted irresponsibly (those lenders currently going under?) or those convicted of fraud.  While this sounds good because it targets the corporate greed Sen Obama and his colleagues hate,  the fund is based on  passage of what Sen Obama calls “his record” on this issue, the Stop Fraud Act. 

    The Stop Fraud Act is a bill sponsored by Obama and Dick Durbin that defines mortgage fraud, increases funding for law enforcement (?), and enacts new penalties for those found guilty of fraud.  It also requires the industry to report suspicios activity, it does not say to who.  The bill has been introduced to committee and referred to another committee, it has not been passed by the Congress, nor is it close to a general debate on the floor.  By the way it was introduced in 2007 so I do have to ask where was his leadership on this issue?  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1222

    Now onto Senator McCain. 

    Senator McCain has proposed a “Home Plan”,  unfortunately HOME does not stand for anything cute like in Obama’s plan.  Under this plan, Sen McCain would offer borrowers the chance to trade an existing mortgage that they can not pay for a mortgage that is more manageable under a fixed rate and reflects the market value of the home at the time.  Of course there are restrictions but they favor those being hurt by their current situation.  Those restrictions are as follows:

    • an eligible sub prime loan after 2005
    • prove your credit worthiness at the time of the original loan ( something you have to prove any way if you get a mortgage the right way)
    • are delinquent on payments or facing a reset or show that you can not meet your current obligations and
    • can meet the terms of a new fixed rate, 30 year, FHA backed loan

    Under McCain’s plan there is no H.O.M.E. score or federal fund that has to be passed first.  The plan has elements of a bill introduced by two Democrats (there is that record of bi-partisanship again), Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.  The plan does require banks to forgive part of the loan principle and write a new loan for borrowers but the other option for the bank would be foreclosure, an option that would probably cost them more. 

    Borrowers under McCain’s plan also can apply by picking up a form at the post office or printing a form from the internet (is that a use of technology by McCain?).  From there once the request is sent in, the loan request is approved by the FHA based on qualifications and then sent to the bank where the homeowner has their existing loan who retires and rewrites the loan to loan backed by the FHA. 

    Of course Sen McCain’s plan also addresses the speculators and financial market practitioners who handed out the sub prime loans in the first place.  If a bailout is needed, Sen McCain believes that it should come at a cost to the financial industry, not taxpayers.  A bailout would happen only to prevent failure and in return that institution would face greater transparency and accountability.  This is the case with AIG, an institution that, if it failed and did not receive a partial bailout, would affect people around the globe.  Perhaps the 9/11 commission Sen McCain has proposed recently would provide the transparency necessary to determine why the current situation happened and how it can be prevented in the future. 

    There are the two plans in detail.  Of course I’m partial but as I see it, Sen Obama’s plan relies heavily on government and passage of bills and recommendations in Congress that have already taken over a year to go to committee.  Unlike Sen Obama’s plan, Sen McCain’s plan could be instituted fairly easily and does not rely on new penalties that have not been discussed in committee yet.  In addition penalties already exist under current banking laws (http://blownmortgage.com/2008/02/03/barack-obamas-mortgage-reform-policy/ for some insight) for lenders who engage in deceptive practices. 

    Sen Obama specifically points out that 10 million homeowners will benefit under his tax credit initiative.  That is a far cry from the 200-400 million people Sen McCain is proposing to help immediately.  Make your own choice on this issue but these are the facts and plans as stated by each candidate on their official websites.  Hopefully, I will also be highlighting other issues in the future.