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-   -   Breaking the Narrative (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2135)

Bloggingheads 09-23-2008 09:34 AM

Breaking the Narrative
 

Simon Willard 09-23-2008 10:22 AM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
It's about time BHtv addressed the financial crisis. This is the most important event of the campaign season. The Republicans have been in power for nearly 8 years, so the responsibility for not heading off the problem falls squarely in their laps. If people are hurting badly, they will tend to throw the bums out, regardless of the campaign or candidates.

Byron puts his finger on it here. But I expect McCain's call to fire Cox will be insufficient.

This is shaping up to be a bigger factor than terrorism or Iraq. Bush will gladly spend $1T of our money to make the issue go away, but the Democrats can drag their feet over the next few weeks to deepen the crisis. A deep crisis will throw the election to the Democrats.

I've been on the fence for months, but this is the issue that has pushed me off. Republicans are not supposed to let the economy fall into such disrepair. Surely the executive branch has ways to rein-in gambling bankers within the context of free-market capitalism. Clearly they have been asleep at the switch, and need to be punished in November. I will do my part.

gwlaw99 09-23-2008 11:07 AM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 91940)
The Republicans have been in power for nearly 8 years, so the responsibility for not heading off the problem falls squarely in their laps.

There is plenty of blame to go around. The republicans were in power for 6 years and did nothing. On the other hand

Who inititaited the deregulation of oversight of Fanny and Freddie? Clinton.
Who has been in charge of congress for the last two years? The Democrats
Who sponsored a bill to regulate Fanny and Freedie two years ago? McCain.
Who voted against McCain's bill? Obama.

Simon Willard 09-23-2008 11:19 AM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
The president has to be more proactive. You don't wait for terrorists to strike before you kill them. You kill them preemptively. You don't wait for the banking sector to collapse before you start pressuring it to act responsibly. Doesn't the president, every week or every day, ask his cabinet "are there any problems brewing out there that I should be aware of"? Aren't there ways to bring risks to public attention, so that market forces correct the problem?

Simon Willard 09-23-2008 11:30 AM

Re: Dems Will Deepen the Crisis
 
I'm no big fan of the Democrats. But if your party wrecks the economy, then your party is reduced to the loathsome level of the Democrats, and you must be punished. Punishment is more important than ideology -- negative feedback is what keeps the nation (or any complex system) afloat in the long run.

handle 09-23-2008 03:15 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gwlaw99 (Post 91942)
There is plenty of blame to go around. The republicans were in power for 6 years and did nothing. On the other hand

Who inititiated the deregulation of oversight of Fanny and Freddie? Clinton.
Who has been in charge of congress for the last two years? The Democrats
Who sponsored a bill to regulate Fanny and Freedie two years ago? McCain.
Who voted against McCain's bill? Obama.

Who's supposed to be in charge of the country? Bush (Cheney).
Who has the power to veto any bill? Bush (Cheney).
Who's been tacking toward Bush (Cheney)'s policies at an alarming rate? Mccain.
Who never accepts responsibility for their failures, and invariably finds a scapegoat from anywhere but the white house? Bush (Cheney), Mccain, you, and the GOP.

You will never run out of excuses, but you are out of credibility, and time.

Ray 09-23-2008 03:35 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Byron's Biden Headline:

JOE BIDEN GIVES LESS TO CHARITY THAN AVERAGE AMERICAN--MAYBE

I'M NOT TOTALLY SURE. IT'S POSSIBLE HE DOESN'T REPORT ALL OF HIS CHARITABLE GIVING.

BUT I HAVE THIS POTENTIAL NEWS! EXCLUSIVE! MAYBE.


Sheesh. What's next? Traffic tickets?

uncle ebeneezer 09-23-2008 04:12 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
One thing I will never understand about GOP types. They often champion the idea that part of the American spirit is that people should be allowed to earn their fortune (or inherit it) and that there is nothing wrong with wanting to keep as much of it as possible for oneself. This would make being a miser, into a virtuous thing from their perspective. So then why even talk about how much somebody gives to charity. If there's nothing wrong with wanting to keep every penny to yourself, then giving to charity (or not) should not be part of how we judge somebody.

Isn't Biden, by the way, the only real (average American) on the ticket? I remember reading somewhere that his net worth was $100K and that he lives in a relatively modest house. Why does the GOP hate ordinary Americans?

ed fielding 09-23-2008 04:32 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
My, how partisanship doth ever protest with enlarged blinders.
There is extravagant belligerence in making an effort to turn the thread into an attack on Obama without any warrant from the diavlog, and with such a monkey wrench; the notion that he is indebted to people who are found wanting. What is the character of this ‘owing’? And in what way does it define Obama’s character? In what way does it even counterbalance, much less negate, his efforts to govern loose nukes? Or his push for transparency? Or his ability to mobilize disaffected voters with a call to active participation in an effort to move the nation back towards its ideal of government being of, by, and for its citizens; a nation defined by justice and liberty for all?
This by implication raises McCain to a paragon of moral and fiscal prudence, even probity. Such a judgment, to put it gently, is baldly blindered to such a degree as to recall extremities of the theatre of the absurd.

And this drawn from a diavlog devoted to a subject that as noted draws together those divided on strongly partisan lines everywhere else. It’s a partisanship I am disposed to distrust, as grounded in nothing more than aggressively bitter dyspepsia.
And we’re no further ahead in determining the degree of danger. Is this indeed a global and national turning point marking the accelerated decline of American hegemony, or is it only a historically outstanding swindle by those who see themselves as the rightful owners of a nation whose sole substance is ‘money’ but who evidently are inept apprentices to the Sorcerer whose indentured servants they are.

Xelgaex 09-23-2008 04:43 PM

Re: WSJ: Obama's Executive Experience
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kidneystones (Post 91947)

"Community organizers and radical education activists." Let me be the first to say, "OH NOES! Not those guys!"

Seriously though, the WSJ opinion piece told me they were "radical" several times and "far-left." But as for exactly what was so radical, we get Ayers supported "resistance to American racism and oppression" and that "External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism."

Maybe I'm just a crazy leftie, but I don't see the problem. I can't see that opposing racism is all that radical, unless the radical part is believing that Americans can be racist? Political consciousness is not a bad thing to teach kids I don't think. Bilingualism? For me that falls explicitly in the "good thing" category. Afrocentrism? Not enough information for me to judge. Sure there's some internet craziness that can be found, but I wouldn't object to teaching that Homo sapiens evolved in Africa nor to teaching about the impact of Egypt in the culture of the Mediterranean.

bjkeefe 09-23-2008 04:48 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Boy, talk about wanting to eat your cake and have it, too. Byron spends a big chunk to time gloating about the surge in attendance at Palin (oh, and yeah, McCain) rallies, beaming about the rejuvenation of "the base," trumpeting how well she supposedly connects with westerners and disaffected Dems, and then finishes up by whining that the press isn't paying enough attention to Joe Biden.

I stopped taking Byron seriously a long time ago, but this was a new low.

Actually, though, we're in agreement on this point. I'd like to see Joe Biden getting more attention, too. Imagine if instead of talking about lipstick, we'd spent a week talking about this. Or this.

Wonderment 09-23-2008 05:10 PM

Humility is a virtue
 
The humble and self-effacing BloggingHeads who are not Masters of the Universe

Username 09-23-2008 05:36 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
HURRRRRR, I'm Very Angry About People Talking About Biden!!!!!

Xelgaex 09-23-2008 06:11 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 91958)
Boy, talk about wanting to eat your cake and have it, too. Byron spends a big chunk to time gloating about the surge in attendance at Palin (oh, and yeah, McCain) rallies, beaming about the rejuvenation of "the base," trumpeting how well she supposedly connects with westerners and disaffected Dems, and then finishes up by whining that the press isn't paying enough attention to Joe Biden.

I stopped taking Byron seriously a long time ago, but this was a new low.

Actually, though, we're in agreement on this point. I'd like to see Joe Biden getting more attention, too. Imagine if instead of talking about lipstick, we'd spent a week talking about this. Or this.

I didn't find Byron all that bad. There was this where he does criticize McCain a little. Which is more than, let's say, Matt Lewis would do. Also as Wonderment pointed out, he can be self-deprecating which is, apparently, more than Jonah Goldberg can do. (As you pointed out.) So he wouldn't get my vote for worst conservative blogginghead.

Wonderment 09-23-2008 06:33 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Quote:

I stopped taking Byron seriously a long time ago, but this was a new low.
The most cynical and disingenuous aspect of Byron's Biden comment is that it's talking point número uno today for all Republican hacks. Ranting about Biden's "gaffes" and character has suddenly become an urgent priority on Fox News, Limbaugh and other extremist outlets.

Byron frequently does pulls this phony trick. He masquerades as if some observation just occurred to him that is just a prepared take on a Repub. talking point. Gets old fast.

carson 09-23-2008 06:58 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
A request: It would be interesting to hear from some FASB or SEC types on the current crisis -- viewing it primarily as fodder for scoring campaign points isn't very enlightening.

For example, the mark-to-market accounting requirements that force these organizations to formally recognize current losses which then throws the ratios out of compliance which forces banks to raise capital quickly which they do by offering securities at deep discounts .... and the cycle continues. This isn't to say these companies aren't in deep financial trouble but some of the monitoring mechanisms might be part of the problem (in the way they trigger the requirement for sudden adjustments, etc.). As well, the metrics for measuring "financial trouble" or more generally financial 'risk' might be outmoded given the great increase in sophistication of financial instruments.

These points have been touched on by some, but if a former FRB or SEC or FASB person could give their take in a safe way, that would be very interesting.

TwinSwords 09-23-2008 07:51 PM

Re: WSJ: Obama's Executive Experience
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Xelgaex (Post 91957)
"Community organizers and radical education activists." Let me be the first to say, "OH NOES! Not those guys!"

Seriously though, the WSJ opinion piece told me they were "radical" several times and "far-left." But as for exactly what was so radical, we get Ayers supported "resistance to American racism and oppression" and that "External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism."

Maybe I'm just a crazy leftie, but I don't see the problem. I can't see that opposing racism is all that radical, unless the radical part is believing that Americans can be racist? Political consciousness is not a bad thing to teach kids I don't think. Bilingualism? For me that falls explicitly in the "good thing" category. Afrocentrism? Not enough information for me to judge. Sure there's some internet craziness that can be found, but I wouldn't object to teaching that Homo sapiens evolved in Africa nor to teaching about the impact of Egypt in the culture of the Mediterranean.

Good answer.

The funniest part of kidneystones' unhinged raving is that he would be issuing his lunatic rants on behalf of rather than against the Democrats if his preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, had won the nomination. But, because she failed, kidneystones condemns the entire Democratic party. One thing about schizophrenics and kidneystones is that everything issue is all black or all white: there are no shades in between. And that's exactly why no one pays any attention to him. His raving is transparently foolish. Even he knows how foolish he sounds.

But it's all good. His spittle-flecked posts are about the most entertaining in the forum.

Gravy 09-23-2008 07:58 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 91940)

I've been on the fence for months, but this is the issue that has pushed me off. Republicans are not supposed to let the economy fall into such disrepair. Surely the executive branch has ways to rein-in gambling bankers within the context of free-market capitalism. Clearly they have been asleep at the switch, and need to be punished in November. I will do my part.

I really dislike this bailout, since the logic of it is that the only way for it to be of much help is for the taxpayer to overpay for the distressed assets. The banks have a good idea what this stuff is worth, but selling it for those prices brings forward more losses and aguments the need for capital, which no one wants to give them anyway. It really only works if selling the stuff doesn't add to the losses. But if selling the stuff didn't add to the losses now, these assets wouldn't be illiquid...they are illiquid by choice, almost certainly waiting for this moment. And don't buy into the oversight that they will add to the bill. Paulson's bid was exactly the "oh this won't do" proposal that is intended to make you believe that the next modified proposal is somehow a much better one. The intention is that whatever the oversight mechanism turns out to be, it will be beholden to the financial concerns that pay for much of our Congress' relection efforts. If this thing gets passed in any form, the assets will be transferred at well above fair market prices - count on it.

I've not been on the fence - Democrat all the way. But I may have to reconsider that if my party does what they claim they want to do, which is siphon off more of my tax dollars to help my poor, troubled neighbor facing default. It is bad enough to pay off the mistakes of Wall Street, but to ask me to help out my neighbors, who I know for a fact bought that boat last spring on a cash-out ARM refinance, would be just too much for me to bear. Barney, Chris, either don't do it at all or at least keep your sympathy focused on Wall St - if you want to help my deadbeat neighbor, this vote may go to McCain.

bjkeefe 09-23-2008 11:55 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Xelgaex (Post 91961)
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 91958)
Boy, talk about wanting to eat your cake and have it, too.

I didn't find Byron all that bad. There was this where he does criticize McCain a little. Which is more than, let's say, Matt Lewis would do. Also as Wonderment pointed out, he can be self-deprecating which is, apparently, more than Jonah Goldberg can do. (As you pointed out.) So he wouldn't get my vote for worst conservative blogginghead.

Boy, talk about your low bars.

But yeah, Byron isn't the worst, and you're right, he did have thirty seconds where he spoke honestly about McCain. But ultimately, I think Wonderment's response to you says it best -- he masquerades as a thoughtful pundit, by delivering the standard talking points as though they're original to him. Spent a lot of time on TV, he has.

Ray 09-24-2008 12:48 AM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Quote:

For example, the mark-to-market accounting requirements...

You mean the explanation ginned up by the Wall Street Journal in a sad, sad attempt to pin this whole mess on too much regulation?

Or did you mean some other mark-to-market accounting requirements?

Baltimoron 09-24-2008 12:51 AM

Oh Why, Oh Why, Can't We Have a Better MSM?
 
I liked York's call for buying the cow and tracking its life to slaughter, only with mortgages. So, I'm going to buy a house, default on the payments, and ask for federal help. Seriously, it's a Pulitzer-quality idea I also expect no one to take up.

The disaster meme, a leftover from 9/11, in the MSM is getting old. And, although I do take Klein seriously, Bill Maher prompted her to interpret her "Shock Doctrine" for the financial troubles, and Andrew Sullivan and her went round and round. And, the left-right frission is just getting old. I prefer looking for common ground and forming a majority, rather than the billiards model of policy where left and right smack ideas to see what's still standing. Is it too much to ask for a solution that fits the problem?

Oh wait, we don't understand the problem, do we?

nikkibong 09-24-2008 01:08 AM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
why Mark Schmitt will never be a spokesman for Cialis:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/146...0:26&out=00:31

Baltimoron 09-24-2008 01:10 AM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
To be fair, there are some decent essays about the causes of the financial troubles that put the blame in both parties' hands:

The Wrong Solution

Too Little, Or Too Much?

We Can't Trust the Legislators

But, there's only one good solution piece I've read, aside from Robert Samuelson's negative piece. That's Chris Bowers' "Why Should We Negotiate With Bush At All?" (25 Links on That Bad Plan to Save Wall Street). Both presidential candidates will have to vote on some plan before the election, so why just sit them down to hash out a plan either could support during their possible tenures. It would showcase how both lead, instead of follow party discipline or not. It would also communicate to the public how the next president's term is now completely lost for any major initiative, but that maybe in four years the electorate can vote for a forward-looking executive with a vision he/she might have a chance to implement.

Drew 09-24-2008 10:50 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Could we at least quote McCain fairly?
"The fundamentals of our economy are still strong but these are very, very difficult times. I promise you we will never put America in this position again."

violetcrown 09-25-2008 12:28 AM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Wow guys, please don't talk about "Western Values" if you aren't from the West and don't know what western values are. And please don't assume they're reflected by Alaska, jeez.

bjkeefe 09-25-2008 01:25 AM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Drew (Post 92035)
Could we at least quote McCain fairly?
"The fundamentals of our economy are still strong but these are very, very difficult times. I promise you we will never put America in this position again."

I'm not sure why you replied to my comment with this, but for the record, your McCain quote refers to one time. It's not as though he didn't say "the fundamentals of our economy are strong," without qualification, plenty of other times in the recent past. You could look it up.

TwinSwords 09-25-2008 01:36 AM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Drew (Post 92035)
Could we at least quote McCain fairly?
"The fundamentals of our economy are still strong but these are very, very difficult times. I promise you we will never put America in this position again."

And (continuing from Brendan) even if he did qualify it, it's still untrue and stupid! It's like saying Big Macs are very nutritious except for the very high fat and enormous number of calories.

In fact, the qualification makes the comment even stupider! You're hurting, not helping, by adding in the extra "totally contradictory" part of McCain's statement!

His later attempt to redefine "fundamentals" as "the American worker" was just the kind of Republican stunt that seemed to always work up until, I don't know, 2005? 2006? But something's changed. People just see right through that BS now.

I guess we've just learned all the Republican tricks, after so many long years of Republican mis-rule.

nikkibong 09-25-2008 12:09 PM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by violetcrown (Post 92042)
Wow guys, please don't talk about "Western Values" if you aren't from the West and don't know what western values are. And please don't assume they're reflected by Alaska, jeez.

i thought 'western values' were imperialism, war profiteering, and racism.

oh, wait, those were the 'western values' discussed in my anthropology class. (zzzzz)

artoad 09-26-2008 12:36 AM

Re: Breaking the Narrative
 
If Byron or Mark want to play in the political economist big leagues, I suggest they adopt usage of the term "tranche". I sensed Byron was getting to it at one point. I knew the jig was already up when I heard one commentator already speculating about selling the Paulson plan to the American people in successive tranches.


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