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I don’t want to call it a “bailout plan,” because it doesn’t appear to contain any such provisions. All I have from Matt Stoler is this:

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04), an outspoken critic of the Bush/Paulson bailout, along with Rep. Kaptur (OH-09), Rep. Scott (VA-03), Rep. Cummings (MD-07), Rep. Doggett (TX-25), Rep. Holt (NJ-12), Rep. Edwards (MD-04) and Rep. Hirono (HI-02), will introduce legislation today to address the failures in the financial markets. DeFazio believes that the Paulson/Bush proposal is based on a flawed premise: if the American taxpayers spend $700 billion to buy Wall Street’s toxic assets – a plan pundits are calling “trash for cash” – it will create liquidity in our financial markets and will somehow trickle-down to Main Street.

DeFazio’s plan is not in any way based on the Paulson/Bush plan. Instead of throwing taxpayer dollars at the program and crossing our fingers that the plan work, the measure will direct the Administration to take five simple steps, suggested by noted economist and former head of the FDIC, William Isaac, to re-regulate the markets and move America towards a healthy financial future.

The legislation will be available at the press conference.

Who: Rep. DeFazio, Rep. Kaptur (OH-09), Rep. Scott (VA-03), Rep. Cummings (MD-07), Rep. Doggett (TX-25), Rep. Holt (NJ-12), Rep. Edwards (MD-04) and Rep. Hirono (HI-02)
What: Press Conference to introduce legislation to fix financial markets
Where: House Radio and TV Gallery
When: 3 pm TODAY

3:00 has already come and gone on the east coast, so I’ll try to track this down for more information. Obviously it won’t pass, but it may reframe some of the discussion, especially with most of the “no” voting Republicans back home running for re-election.

Addendum: I couldn’t find any mention of the story on CNN’s front page, but the page did contain this story about a woman in a cow suit chasing kids and urinating on her neighbor’s front porch. Yeah, that’s national news.

Second addendum: It doesn’t look like it’s in bill form yet, but the Nation reports on the Progressive Caucus proposal. It incorporates Obama’s proposal of an increase in the FDIC insurance limit from 100 grand to 250, which could save small businesses if the banks fail. Looks like they’re willing to let the banks fail. And basically, the FDIC, not the Treasury Department, would become equity owners in return for promissory note loans to banks who qualify. The proposal also requires some increased SEC regulations, which I don’t understand with a quick reading. For instance, I’m not really sure what they mean by an “economic value standard” to determine the value of the institution’s assets. I don’t know what the “up-tick” rule is that they would restore. And I don’t know what a “naked short sale” is, but it certainly sounds like something that should be prohibited.

Third addendum: Here’s yet another bailout plan!

Expropriate the Bourgeoisie Through Workers Revolution!

No to the Bailout of the Capitalist Speculators!

Down with the Dictatorship of Finance Capital!

How goes the grammar of slogans? The first is fine declarative grammar. The second one is horrible grammar. But we take for granted the third. I’m not sure it’s grammatically correct.

From the KEET site:

In preparation for the November 4, 2008 election, KEET-TV Channel 13 is teaming up with the League of Women Voters of Humboldt County to produce and broadcast eight live candidate forums in the month of October. During the forums, each candidate will present their views on important issues and field questions from viewers and/or local journalists, who may call in with a number provided during the program.

On Wednesday, October 1, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., Channel 13 will present a candidate forum for Supervisor, County of Humboldt, District Two. The participating candidates are Clif Clendenen, Estelle Fennell, *Johanna Rodoni, incumbent (*pending qualification as write-in candidate.)

Passing along a message from Chip Roberson of Sonoma County Campaign Office – read below – Northern California is being asked to focus calls to New Mexico:

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last sent out a big update and now looked like a good time to fill you in on what I know as of right now. As usual, this is always subject to change so please remain flexible.

Phone a Battleground State

First, I want to thank everyone who has been working in support of our efforts to phone Nevada. I don’t have the exact numbers but the last two weekends we made between 175,000 and 200,000 calls to battleground states from California. In our Region which includes CDs 1-6 and 18-22, we made 30,331 calls this past weekend which was right on target. A significant percentage of that came from our two CDS: 1 and 6. Thank you!

That said, our goal this week will be 30,000 again but each week after that it will increase by 10,000 EACH WEEK until we get to 70,000 calls the weekend before the election. That’s a big “ask” and it’s why the CA Supporter calls from our phonebanks have been and will continue to be so important. We will never reach our goals without more phonebanks and more people attending them.

California phones three states

As many of you know, California has been effectively swamping Nevada’s resources with our phonebank efforts. We are a much bigger state and the targeted population of voters in Nevada is just not large enough to split up across CA on a daily basis. Nevada was working around the clock and it just became apparent that we needed to repartition our efforts. &nbs p;Counter-intuitive as it may sound, its actually more efficient to have a smaller number of people making the calls into Nevada.

So, the campaign has split CA up into three parts and Regions 1 and 7 have taken over New Mexico while SoCal keeps Nevada and the other regions get Colorado. This means a few things:

1) If you are using MyBo’s Neighbor to Neighbor, you should be selecting “Call a battleground: New Mexico”.

2) If you are hosting or attending a phonebank, you will most likely be calling New Mexico.

3) If you have a VoteBuilder account for data entry, you should soon have access to New Mexico when you log in.

To find your nearest phonebank, please go to the events page at MyBo and search:…

Out of State Travel / Drive for Change – Nevada

Last weekend California sent 1000 people to Nevada to canvass — well done! — and we have over 200 more prospects thanks to the phonebank efforts from our two CDs.

If you are signed up to travel to Nevada for either a weekend or for an internship, that is still on! You should be contacted by a staffer in Nevada to confirm your travel by at least the Sunday before. No more supporter housing will be offered and everyone is encouraged to stay at a local hotel — again, Nevada should be sending you information on hotel accommodations.

If are interested in traveling to Nevada to help out on the ground, then the campaign wants you to go to the following web-page and fill out a form with your contact information and preferences. Once you do that, the information will be sent to Nevada and someone will contact you from Nevada. Here is the site:…

There is also a link to a FAQ n that page and a link to join our Latino Drive for Change.

Out of State Travel – Other Battleground States

Some people are coming forward and offering that they can volunteer for 2, 3, 4, 5 weeks in other battleground states such as NM, CO, MI, MO, PA, FL, VA, etc. If you are one of these people, this is what you need to do:

1) Visit… and select the state of your choice.

2) Select the link on the right that mentions the internship. It might be called something like “Intern for Barack” or “Apply to be an Organizing Intern”. Once there fill out the form and submit it.

3) Then select the link to Find your local office and find the office nearest to where you think you could be (e.g. near your relative’s or friend’s house) and call the office to let them know personally of your availability to work for them.

For example, if you were willing to travel to CO, you would end up at the following pages:……

Be patient and polite and realize that the person on the other side of the phone or email is probably another Barack supporter just like you.

Vote for Change and Voter Protection Campaign

Finally, please make sure that everyone you talk to knows about these two programs: Vote for Change and the Voter Protection Campaign.

Anyone in the country should be able to go to one website,, and verify his/her voter reg istration, find a polling location, learn about early voting, etc. This is a resource we should all be using as a starting point to confirm that people are properly registered to vote. Spread the word.

The Voter Protection Campaign is our program to find and recruit attorneys to help us protect the rights of voters come election day. If you know anyone who is an attorney and willing to help, please send them to the page below and have them sign up — the VPC link is on the right side of the page:…

Thanks and keep up the hard work. We can win this if we don’t give up. We’re ahead in the national polls but that doesn’t mean anything if we don’t win the battleground states.

Yes we can! Si Se Puede!

Charles “Chip” Roberson – Sonoma, CA.

Regional Field Organizer for CA CD1 and CD6 — Delegate for Senator Obama

Nationwide Voter Information: h ttp://

Charles “Chip” Roberson – Sonoma, CA.

Regional Field Organizer for CA CD1 and CD6 — Delegate for Senator Obama

Nationwide Voter Informat ion:

As the economy burns, we might as well find happiness where we can afford to find it. And what can make you happier than the biggest rage (a couple of years ago anyway) of net-Karaoke – my favorite Numa performances. Of course some of you geeks out there have probably seen all of these time and again, so have patience with those of us who live behind the times. I feel quaint enough as it is.

Here’s Gary’s original, at nearly 20 million views. What wonders will a couple of beers in your dorm room have wrought?

Brookers’ rendition is my personal favorite, just because, Fraggle Rock hair-do and all, if I was 19 when I first watched it, I’d have fallen in love within the first 30 seconds of the video. Especially attractive is her lack of self-consciousness in displaying her laundry behind her, for millions to see.

These guys put some heart into it. I think they get hit points for their looks, and all the speculation as to whether they’re a couple, but credit is due for talent – such as it is.

My second favorite though is this one performed by Reverend Ivan and Princess Wei of the Church of the Subgenius, with the lyrics altered to meet their religious needs. Definitely filled with slack!

And the failure has sent the markets into a tailspin.

I’ve got far too many thoughts on this to get into now. Credit is frozen, and I mean frozen. Nobody is lending. Something does have to be done, but from the beginning of the process I think the congressional leadership has made a serious mistake by keeping details from the public, both about the problems and the proposals. The pols want to be reelected, so you have to sell the thing to the public, and that’s all there is to it.

You also have the usual ideological BS in the way, and that led to a watering down of the public equity portion of the proposal. But if the government is going to buy the debt, then it should profit from the debt once the economy turns around. Basically, the failing banks should become public, or even, yes, socialized banks. The Republican insurance proposal is more crap of socializing risk while privatizing profits. I hope the Democrats hold strong on the equity proposal, and of course oversight.

Of course my question is where is it written that a large business shouldn’t be allowed to fail?

Meanwhile, Ecoshift has been writing about these issues for quite some time and has many interesting links.

Thompson voted “no” by the way.

Addendum: Did Pelosi get played?

Here’s another possibility, indicated by the breakdown of the roll call vote list linked above – this was a populist “uprising of right and left” against centrist weasels. Still, while Sirota and others are calling for “starting over from scratch,” they don’t say much about what they want in the bill. It’s much easier to unite right and left in opposition. The problem is of course that the left is rejecting anything that merely amounts to aid to Wall Street without direct and complete compensation to the public, while most of the right is simply rejecting government intervention into the economy.

Second addendum: Ooops.

John McCain, in a campaign rally this morning, took credit for the resolution and claimed Obama “was on the sidelines”. McCain said he, McCain, was pivotal.

Let’s give him credit folks. He was pivotal.

Third addendum: The candidates have reacted. McCain is blaming Obama. Obama says “stay calm, because things are never smooth in Congress.”

Fourth addendum: Rep. Barney Frank offers to say nice things to the Republicans who changed their vote because Pelosi said mean things to them.

Fifth addendum: Ecoshift says “the sky is not falling.

Paul Krugman on the other hand says we just became a banana republic.

Sixth addendum: Well, I spent a couple of hours scanning the news reports tonight and so far no Republican is willing to explain how Nancy Pelosi’s speech derailed the Republican support for the speech per Eric Cantor’s press conference. And so far no names of Republicans who changed their minds about the bill because of Pelosi.

Rachel Maddow was in top form tonight. She points out that as things stand, there is NO Republican leadership.

McCain adviser and Fox News “reporter” telling us it’s unfair to ask Palin questions about foreign policy:

But it seems from the first video that it’s unfair to ask her about domestic policy as well. Then again, with domestic policy questions at least she wouldn’t end up endorsing Hamas.

This thing about “gotcha questions,” I hope Biden jumps all over that one. At this point, what isn’t a gotcha question?

Let’s be Frank…
Please mark your calendars next week on Thursday, October 2 from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at the Wharfinger Building on the bay for a “Meet the Candidate” fundraiser with Frank Jager, running for Eureka City Council 4th Ward.

Remember all registered voters of Eureka will get to vote in this November 4th election, regardless of which city ward you live.
If you are unable to attend this event, but would like to support Frank please send your checks to:
Friends of Frank Jager
P.O. Box 54
Eureka, CA 95502
The future direction of Eureka is heavily dependent on the outcome of this City Council race. Your commitment to our community is greatly appreciated.
Frank looks forward to seeing you there!
Matthew Owen
Campaign Chair
Frank Jager 4 City Council

P.O. Box 54
Eureka, CA 95502
707-599-9110 cell

I attended a “phone-bank party” today at the home of a friend of a friend while visiting family here in Petaluma. When they talk about Obama’s “ground game,” they’re describing what seems to be a very sophisticated method of using volunteers. The party’s are just to prime the pump, but any Obama supporter can participate on his/her own time. First you visit You’ll have several selections, including “Californias calling Nevadans.” You hit the link and you’re given 15 names and phone numbers. You hit the link to one of them and you’re given a rough script with information to check off and log in, including whom the voters is leaning towards, what issues interest them, whether they want an absentee ballot or more information, etc. There’s a box for random information. When you finish with that caller you hit the send box to deliver it to the campaign and then you’re brought to the next voter on your list.

You have your choice of battleground states, but they’re asking Californian’s to focus on Nevada or New Mexico. The lists are taken from voter registration rolls, but it’s amazing how many numbers are disconnected. They really hope this will help to clean up the list for GOTV.

I made about 30 calls today, and got through to maybe 10. My fellow phone bankers were getting Obama supporters, the hardest question being whether they would be willing to volunteer. I had mostly undecided voters, and a few McCain supporters. None for Obama, though one voter brought up Obama’s connections to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and was shocked when I told him about Davis’ (McCain’s campaign manager) monetary connections to the same. Others brought up the experience issue, Obama’s “connections” and other well-saturated GOP talking points. But nobody I asked had swallowed the claim that Obama’s plan would raise taxes on them.

If you support Obama and have some time, you might want to give the program a look. I didn’t find anything like it at McCain’s site (though they do have a page to encourage McCain supporters to frequent liberal blogs and post talking points). Has this been tried before? Is it working?

Addendum: The shot is of the future president speaking to 26 thousand wet Virginia residents. Would you stand in the rain to hear McCain? Palin? I lifted it it from Daily Kos. Yeah, it’s starting to feel like it. I hope he has something to work with once he takes office.

The media consensus seems to give Obama a moderate advantage from the debate. I actually see it as a draw, which I guess ultimately benefits Obama as he’s been climbing in the polls due to some real dumb moves by McCain this week and his campaign’s difficulties with economic issues.

The election now comes down to those 10 to 20 percent of the voters who are just now thinking about the election and who haven’t made their minds up yet. It’s the phase that annoys me profoundly because most of these people really don’t know what they want and they react in a visceral manner. Obama basically “won” last night because he came across as “presidential,” whatever that means, and McCain came across asy a patronizing and grumpy old man. McCain might have earned himself some points with working class white voters in Pennsylvania and Ohio with his dismissive and semi-confrontational attitude, but he probably lost a lot of centrist “soft-Democrats” and independents.

It all annoys me because substantively I would have given at least the foreign policy portion of the debate to McCain, excluding the portion on Iraq where Obama did give McCain a drubbing. Obama made a few points here and there, such as the reference to McCain’s stated refusal to meet with the Spanish president (McCain couldn’t really respond because he was confused during the interview, probably mixing Gonzales up with Chavez), and his ironically more hawkish stance than McCain’s with regard to unilateral actions within Pakistan.

But from my point of view McCain almost made Obama look like a lightweight on the Russian question. He gave a very detailed response showing he understood the situation, dropping names, and referring to hands on experience. When Obama tried to make the connection between the Georgia pipeline issue and energy policy and trailed off into the alternative energy planned he’d already expounded on earlier in the debate, I got quite frustrated and said, “he just lost the debate.” I was watching the debate with neighbors and they were incredulous. His response made sense to them. But to me it looked like a dodge. I expected McCain to pounce on it an imply that Obama had to change the subject because he was in over his head. But McCain let himself get baited into the energy debate. Either he succumbed to a impulse to respond to the immediate argument, or he saw whatever my neighbors saw and calculated that he’d better not dismiss it, even though I felt, and still feel having watched the reruns, that Obama didn’ really elaborate on the nexus between the relationship with Russia energy issues. Maybe the viewers and the pundits made the leap themselves, because I didn’t even see it get discussed on Fox. Does the whole country suffer from ADD?

Anyway, it’s one of those moments where I usually get frustrated for my own candidate, where form is discussed over substance. If form is the issue, sure, Obama looked “presidential.” It looks like McCain finds himself in the same boat Gore was in for 2000, and Dukakis 20 years ago. Nobody remembers the substance. Everybody harps on the images.

Neither candidate really talked about the bailout and they shook off Lehrer’s attempts to get them to go at each other. They didn’t bite because neither of them knows what’s going to happen next, nor what they might be asked to vote for. It was probably a waste of time to ask them about it.

The polls show a moderate victory for Obama, and his “zero” ad may be the best of the season. I think McCain might be making a mistake with his ad which shows Obama saying “John is right” several times then questions his ability to lead. I don’t think most voters will hold those statements against Obama as it looks like somebody “reaching across the aisle” trying to “make consensus,” and contrast sharply with McCain’s refusal to look at Obama and his grumpy demeanor. I bet that ad doesn’t play for more than a day. Probably they should play his response to the Russian question to emphasize his strength – his experience.

Obama missed a few opportunities himself. For instance, McCain didn’t call for Cox’s resignation. He said he’d fire him if he was president, which would take some doing as the president doesn’t have the power to fire Cox. But Obama probably took the strategic (or tactical) view that he didn’t want to reduce the debate to “gotcha” moments, but instead reassure undecided voters about the stature crap. Whatever. He’s the politician, not me.

Here’s “Zero.” I’ll track down and post the “I agree with John” ad later.

Here it is, and yeah, I think it’s a mistake.


And here’s a composition video designed by an Obama supporter to underscore the grumpy old man theme.

Wow! Watching CNN tonight, even GOP operative Ed Rollins thinks McCain messed up with his attitude last night, and lost “young independent voters.” These people have consulted their focus groups. The final verdict – Obama won. I know it because I saw it on TV.

Actually, this anecdote makes a much better case. We’ll see how it plays out in the aggregate, and tomorrow I’m planning to make phone calls to swing voters in Nevada with the Democrats down here in Petaluma. A friend of my mother-in-law roped me in today. I don’t know the format, but I hope to be able to flush out some debate impressions.

Second addendum: Tod Gitlin on the presidential race – A Clash of Myths.

And meanwhile, from James Fallows:

When the details of this encounter fade, as they soon will, I think the debate as a whole will be seen as of a piece with Kennedy-Nixon in 1960, Reagan-Carter in 1980, and Clinton-Bush in 1992

If true, this will show how badly I gauge debates. My viewing of the Kennedy-Nixon debate was colored by historical interpretation by the time I got around to it, and when I watched the 80 and 92 debates I didn’t think Carter or Bush had done that badly. But by all accounts, Obama may have blown McCain out of the water Friday night.

By the way, 57 million watched the debate Friday night, not counting streaming online or subsequent viewings.


September 2008