Archive for September, 2008

Hot and Bothered

I know I said I would let Anna Eshoo off the hook for her initial comments about the “cowboy” stuff. But she came back again, stronger this time. I do not appreciate her lack of respect for all her constituents.

Here is what she said . . . (just the highlighted nasty part, the rest was pretty much the same as the first)

Each of us is outraged about the circumstances that have brought our financial system to near collapse. In my view, this is confirmation that the Bush Administration’s economic policies are a complete failure. They’ve practiced “cowboy capitalism”, saying the markets must be allowed to run free, but instead have allowed Wall Street to run wild with no accountability, no transparency and no effective enforcement or regulations to protect the American taxpayer.

And then here is my response, because I could not just let it go.

Frankly I find your blatant disrespect and ignorance as to where blame lies to be reprehensible.
I am new to California and am a registered Republican.
I contacted you as you are still the voice of my area in Congress.
I truly wish you could have found a bipartisan voice in your tone. Bush is not solely responsible for any situation. You all have just as much responsibility and blame and there is plenty of evidence to prove that.
I find your willingness to openly accuse only this administration shows just how petty the party has become. I personally am glad the bill did not pass as written.
I would have respected you and even your decision to support this legislation if you had not resorted to such blatant name calling and obvious disrespect for your constituents that are Republicans.
Last time I checked you represented the whole area not just the Democrats and you owe us that.

So there. Well, at least I took the time to exercise my right to free speech. I know that her political views differ from mine. I get that. But what happened to simple respect. She represents far more that just that simplistic viewpoint and in sending out such a letter – to me – she has offended me and who knows how many others. We all can guess that I would not be voting for her anyway when she is up for re-election but I want to know what happened being polite and respectful.

And last time I checked cowboys were pretty efficient in getting things done and making sure they were sufficiently compensated. So maybe that is not such a bad term :)

September 30, 2008 at 11:03 pm Leave a comment

The New Deal

So it is not really that but they need to come up with either a new plan or let the market correct itself. Historically the market will correct itself, given time. I am not advocating that we get into a situation like the Great Depression or anything but I don’t believe in big government either, and that is where we are heading with this bill.

I believe it did not pass for a plethora of reasons but the biggest is because Congress is scared. They are scared to make the wrong decision especially since it will trickle down to their presidential candidate. Democrats can’t fully support it because if they are wrong it will hose them and the same for Republicans. Although, Republicans are generally more concerned with limiting government while the Democratic party wants to grow government. But they are all scared of losing their jobs too. They are getting record numbers of letters and emails from their constituents. Heck, I sent a letter to all my representatives – and they are all Democrats. Here is her response, which I know is a form letter, but they have a form letter for this. They are getting slammed from both parties.

Dear Mrs. xxxxx,

Thank you for contacting me about the unprecedented financial crisis in our country. Over 2,000 constituents have shared their views with me about the crisis and I certainly value yours.

As of today (Saturday evening September 27th) negotiations between House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, as well as Treasury Secretary Paulson continue. As soon as the final bill is drafted, I will post it on my website (www.eshoo.house.gov/) with a summary, and I will of course let you know whether I vote for or against the final package.

Each of us is outraged about the circumstances that have brought our financial system to near collapse. In my view, the Administration has practiced “cowboy capitalism”, saying the markets must be allowed to run free, but they instead let Wall Street run wild without accountability, without transparency and without enforcement or regulations to protect the American taxpayer.

The following describes what President Bush and Secretary Paulson presented to Congress on Monday, September 22nd.

o Requested Congress to approve a $700 billion bailout, with the Treasury Secretary empowered to set the rules for all transactions

o No safeguards, No transparency, No accountability, and No oversight. The President’s plan was rejected.

As I see it, there are three elements we need to build into legislation #1 Reinvest in troubled financial markets to stabilize our economy and insulate Main Street from Wall Street. #2 Reimburse the taxpayer through ownership shares and asset recovery as the plan begins to work. #3 Reform how business is done on Wall Street including the prohibition of golden parachutes.

The following are elements which I’m hopeful the legislation will include:

o Ensure That Taxpayers Have an Equity Share in Any Profits

oGive taxpayers an ownership stake and profit sharing of participating companies.

oPut taxpayers first in line to recover assets if a participating company fails.

oAllow the government to purchase troubled assets from pension plans, local government, and small banks that serve low and middle-income families.

o Strong Independent Oversight and Transparency

oEstablish four separate independent oversight entities or processes to protect the taxpayer including:

w Establishment of an independent bipartisan board to provide oversight, review and accountability of taxpayer funds.

w A Government Accountability Office presence at Treasury to oversee the program and conduct audits to ensure strong internal controls, and to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.

w An independent Inspector General to monitor the Treasury Secretary’s decisions.

w Have all transactions posted online for the public.

o Staging of Funds

oFunding for the rescue program should occur in stages (not all up front) and condition future payments on Congressional review.

o Limits on Golden Parachutes

oRestrict CEO and executive compensation for participating companies.

w No multi-million dollar golden parachutes

w Recover bonuses paid based on promised gains that later turned out to be false or inaccurate.

o Home Foreclosures

oAllow the government to change the terms of mortgages to help reduce the 2 million projected foreclosures in the next year.

o

o Protection of School District and City/County Investments

oAssist school districts, cities and counties who had investments in failed institutions.


As I continue my work representing you, I’m mindful of the profound responsibility I have to you and my solemn obligation to do my utmost to protect the taxpayer and help bring our country through the largest financial crisis in the history of the world.

I believe if we do nothing, our ability to obtain a home mortgage, a car loan, a loan for small businesses, or even a credit card will become highly difficult or impossible. Even more financial institutions could fail and millions could lose their savings, thousands of jobs could be lost, and large parts of our economy could cease to function. The repercussions would be far greater than the cost of a financial rescue program.

Let me know what you think. I value what my constituents say to me because I always benefit from your ideas.
Sincerely,
Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress

While I found her obvious partisanship in the first paragraph calling out “Cowboy Economics” I decided to let it slide for now. For now. I don’t assign blame to any one group since I think there is plenty of blame to go around. Just to pass some blame around here is a post to an article about Fannie Mae, note the publish date – 1999.

Will be interesting to see what happens, but I do appreciate and respect the fact that congress is trying to do what we want. I will be anxiously waiting to see what happens.

September 30, 2008 at 5:32 pm Leave a comment

Sick Kids – Thoughts on Health Care

Ok. Well we all have them sometime. Not gonna do a big post today as i have to head out to the pediatrician. I would like to take a quick moment to express my thoughts on health care since I am going to take advantage of my husbands employer provided health care plan.

I do not believe in government sponsored health care for the entire country. There are programs in place to provide all people, men, women, and children; with medical care. No one is to be denied care at a public hospital. I also venture to say that in an emergency even a private facility would provide care.

Is there a problem with the cost of health care? That really depends on how you look at it. We pay for our health care. We pay both monthly to have insurance and then again when we go to the doctor. That does not bother me. Do I think that money buys treatment? Sometimes it might. When you have more resources you can get to more specialists. Does everyone have to go to that one doctor? No. We don’t all have to see “House”. While we all might like the highest epitome of doctors, in reality everyone on any given day does not need to see that type of doctor. There are hospitals and organizations that do provide superior medical care to those who cannot afford it.

Next question though – aren’t they on Medicare or something similar? Most states have government subsidized health care at least for children so really there should be no excuse. I find that a lot of people in our country are lazy and are looking for a handout. They feel they have been treated unfairly in life and want the rest of us to pay for it. That whole topic will come up when I write about social policy, a topic I have very strong feelings about.

Frankly the cost of health care is going to rise either way. The options are not good for those of us who already pay responsibly for our care. We will either be paying increased costs as indigent care rises, which is how it is now. Balances out by covering some of the costs for those uninsured by rising costs of care. Or those of us who already pay for things will be paying more to provide health care for everyone else. So either way the working class will be paying for everyone else’s health care.

I do not like big government and I do not think that universal health care is a good thing. It will limit research and access to resources.

Well, off to the doctor that I pay for and will continue to pay for, and hope that I have the option to continue to see.

September 29, 2008 at 4:40 pm Leave a comment

Economic Crisis – To Bail Out or Not

There is no doubt that the economy is in trouble. Is it possible to place the blame on one person for this. No. No way. President Bush is a veritable punching bag for anything that goes wrong. The things that people blame the presidency for currently are astounding. They are topics that have never been the presidents responsibility solely. He did not “allow” the sub-prime market to do anything. Investors, lenders, and home buyers did. There is plenty of blame to go around. Sure it is more convenient to blame Bush, but it is wrong. It serves all kinds of purposes to accuse one man of all of our problems. Bush has been blamed for everything from global warming, weather patterns, to this current mortgage situation. Really. One man. The strength and grace it must takes to bear the weight of everything. Amazing. I doubt many of us could shoulder such responsibility and yet still push forward for the better of all Americans.

I digress, this article – “Who is to blame for the sub-prime crisis?” – gives some insight into the current sub-prime crisis which in turn has spilled over to create our current financial crisis. Clearly there is plenty of blame to go around. But does it really matter at this precise moment, who caused the situation. NO. We just need to come up with a strategic plan to resolve it.

I don’t personally believe that McCain is simply pulling a media stunt. Do I think it was a little dramatic? Possibly. But I also think that Obama’s statement that presidential politics should not be brought in is ridiculous as well. Last time I checked both of these guys were still acting representatives of states. They never stepped down from their positions when they began their campaigns. So, in essence by returning to Washington and making the situation a priority they are just doing their current job. There is plenty of partisan commentary to say this group or that group is keeping the plan from going through. Each group is sure that they other is at fault. Unless you were in the room you are believing here-say and biased views. Even in a printed transcript you would lose the intonation and verbal context in which things were spoken. So I choose to believe that they are all being difficult and trying to make what they believe in best work.

Frankly as much as I dislike the idea of a $700 billion bailout, I do think it is interesting. The fact that money could possibly be made off this deal in the long run is very intriguing. The problem is the growing of government and the precedent it sets for government to step in and take over more and more over time.

Consider this interesting proposition by financial guru, Dave Ramsey - He suggests doing the following:

Call your Congressman. Call your Senator. Tell them to change the mark-to-market accounting law and to extend insurance but extend no loans. If they extend loans – if they borrow the money on the national debt in order for us to all go into the mortgage business a trillion dollars – you’re going to fire their butts and send them home.

I did email all my representatives suggesting the plan. Take action and email yours too.

It makes sense and it could be interesting. What is your take? Let’s pray they resolve it fast. (and yes i pray)

September 26, 2008 at 4:51 pm 4 comments

How to choose the next president.

Ok. Found this link and thought that it was a relatively non-partisan attempt to help people find a way to better choose who to vote for.

Essay #59 – How to Pick a President

You are ultimately responsible for what you choose to do with your vote and if you choose to do nothing it means you have chosen not to participate in one of the greatest rights given to you as a citizen of our country. There are so many people who have died to guarantee you that right and privilege. There are people in countries around the world who would love to be in your place. This follows true when you choose to sit and complain and place blame on elected officials (who agreeably are fallible like the rest of us – we all make mistakes) yet you did nothing to get a candidate in office. If you truly believe your vote does not count, you are being naive. If someone told you it does not matter, you have been deceived. One person can make a difference. If you are comfortable with not voting at all please don’t complain about the choices and decisions that person makes. You gave up the right to complain when you made the decision not to get involved.

Register to vote. Sign up for an absentee ballot. Participate in one of your rights as an American.

September 25, 2008 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment

Am I right?

So we are setting this blog up to discuss some issues on the forefront at the moment, as well as a few that don’t even seem to touch the radar. While admittedly this is going to be coming from a very conservative view point there are so many facets and variables to each policy and topic that there are boundless amounts of disagreements and arguments for and against each one. In reading through other blogs and listening to many pundits what we have come to determine is this:

The only thing we can agree on is to disagree.

The issue is not if one group is right or wrong, to try and debate as such generally proves useless and pointless. The people most often engaged in such debates are committed to their ideologies and beliefs and are unlikely to be swayed through commentary. They know the talking points and they know how to back up what they believe. There is a reason the independent vote is so important, because they are the only people that you are really likely to sway to your side. There have been rampant and flagrant slams to people on each side of the debate. Somewhere along the way in trying to be tolerant and respectful of others beliefs that has taken a shift to only be tolerant of people who believe what you believe. If you post a link to an article supporting your viewpoints (providing it is from a verifiable source – not somewhere like the daily kos). while the views in the article may not mesh with my ideologies we should not be attacking your personally because you have a belief. Does that mean we agree and think you are right? Most likely not. What has happened to respectful disagreement? You will not be changing anyones mind by attacking them personally. Back up what you say with facts, facts from a trusted source (not something you heard third hand), find it in print and then read it for yourself.

Stop drinking the Kool-Aid and form your own opinions. It has become apparent that peoples views on social policy and their values and morals shape their politics. These two topics are ones that are going to be addressed here soon.

We welcome respectful and engaging debate and discussion. Please join in and participate, but keep it clean and be willing to agree to disagree. We will leave comments unmoderated for as long as people are willing to cooperate.

As well, we are looking for guest bloggers to submit articles to be posted. We welcome providing a platform for other women to share their opinions in an intelligent manner. Please shoot us an email if you are interested!

September 25, 2008 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

coming soon

coming soon – views on the world – from the right side of things

September 13, 2008 at 4:39 pm Leave a comment


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