Thursday, September 25, 2008

sexist press bias

The national press has been all over Sarah Palin ,they question her inexperience in foreign affairs and her "readiness to be president". They do not ask the same questions of Joe Biden. I was struck by the different treatment afforded to Biden after his assertation " that president Roosevelt went on television to reassure the nation at the time of the 1929 crash " . Of course, we know Hoover was president in 1929 and television wasn't to arrive until 1940. The inimitable Joe also invited a state legislator, who happens to be a paraplegic "to stand up and be recognized by the audience", lovely. Neither of these incidents nor his dispargement of clean coal, in a coal mining state, in contravention of Obama's position, made headlines . I can only imagine what an uproar would have occured if Ms. Palin made these gaffes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

reply to unlearned zealot

While I appreciate Congressman Perlmutter"s attempt to lay all the blame for present economic turmoil on the Bush administration, carefully over looking the brilliant contributions of democrats and republican members of congress,I would like to iterate some history. Subsequent to the 1929 debacle the "Glass -Steagle Act" was passed along with the "Bank Holding Company Act" these acts effectively prohibited banks from acting in non-banking activities like bond underwriting and investment banking.
Sniping at these restrictions started in 1960 reached a crescendo in 1987 resulting in the federal reserve voting 3 to 2 to ease restrictions. Paul Volcker objected strenuously, fearing that lenders would lower loan standards. The lobbying for further easing continued unabated for years , with Greenspan ,the new head of the Fed, as an ally. In November of 1999 President Clinton signed a bill repealing "Glass-Steagall".
"Fannie Mae". was created in 1938 to insure funds for mortgages which private lenders were loath to make in the wake of the depression. It provided funds to local banks to make loans to raise home ownership.then the mortgages owned by "Fannie Mae" became security for loans to "Fannie Mae" at rates lower than it was charging homeowners, this was profit. This secondary market was the private domain of "Fannie Mae" . In 1968 Lyndon Johnson privatized "Fannie Mae" in order to remove it from the federal budget, In 19 70 "Freddie Mac" another "government sponsored enterprise" was created ostensibly to relieve the monopoly position of "Fannie Mae".
In 2003 the management of "Fannie Mae" was charged with manipulation of earnings in order to increase bonuses, 50 million for executive Franklyn Raines and unknown amount for Jamie Gorlick.The two organizations contributed millions to politicians of both parties,. however the largest contributions from 1989 to present went to the impeccable Christopher Dodd, John Kerry, Barrick Obama. President Bush on numerous occasions tried to place some controls on these entitities but was thwarted by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. There is enough blame for this mess to tar everybody some republicans and some democrats but the whole of Washington is at fault

Monday, September 22, 2008

political ostriches

Congress can not continue to play ostrich with its head in the sand, posterior exposed position on domestic oil drilling. It is not the obvious problem of transferring 800 billion dollars a year to countries with no regard for the welfare of the U S but one of national security. Please connect the dots. China is buying up oil from Iran , the Sudan , Nigeria, and every where else it can. Russia now controls oil and gas shipments to Europe. Chavez in Venezuela controls shipments to America and could act in consort with friendly Iran and Russia to cut oil supplies to the U S . Russian naval ships are conducting manuevers with Venezuela in the Carribean. Will the politically driven congress acknowledge the threat. Heck no , they will continue to ignore the obvious and pander for votes with anti "big oil" talk and promises of a future based on alternative energy.

Monday, September 08, 2008

brazil's alternative fuel

For many years environmentalists have been using Brazil as an example of the efficacy of ethanol as an alternative fuel. Ethanol accounted for twenty per cent of Brazil's transportation need . Brazil still remained the fifteenth largest oil importing nation. In an effort to remedy this, Brazil's national oil company went on an exploratory drilling program. In five years it tripled Brazilian oil production. This development ,however was over shadowed in the past year with the offshore discovery of the Tupi field , expected to yield thirty to seventy billion barrels of oil. The Brazilian government , in a brilliant move , has declared that it does not want to become a crude oil exporter but will build refineries for their oil, and export gasoline , diesel, and other refined products with higher value. Is it possible that this example might inspire our benighted politicians to do something to increase domestic production ,make it possible to build some refineries, and stop transferring sixty billion dollars a month to foreign oil producers?