Archive for July, 2011

“The Important Vote on Tuesday!”

All eyes should be on Tuesday’s vote: a turning point for America.

No, not the debt ceiling and spending cut vote that may or may not occur in Congress, but an even more important vote—the vote in Wisconsin.

The vote to win back democracy. To smack down the plutocratic oligarchy that invaded Wisconsin. To fight off the move to fascism.

Both votes are important in their impact on politics and economics; both microcosms of the agony and the struggles Americans are forced to endure.

One vote may mean the collapse of the world economy while the other could signal the reawakening of democracy—a return to ‘we the people’—in a state with a history of progressive democratic values.

How important are the recall elections in the Badger State?

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Posted in Call to Action, Election 2012, Opinion, Politics, Predictions, Wisconsin | No Comments »

“Losing More Banks Every Week!”

The FDIC keeps closing banks and no one’s watching.

On Friday three more banks were seized by the FDIC. and the week before two more Florida banks were closed as was the Bank of Choice, Greely, Colorado.

The six banks lost over the last two weeks bring the 2011 total to sixty-one.

That raises the crisis total to 383 failed banks since it began in 2008

Florida edged closer to Georgia with the loss of two banks, the 8th and 9th of the year and 52nd and 53rd of the crisis, but remained 2nd to Georgia in foreclosures with sixty-seven.

How much is this costing and how many more will fail?

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Posted in FDIC Foreclosures | No Comments »

Quick Hit: “Let It Flail”

The Tea Party is adamant against voting for an increase in the debt ceiling.

Their belief—that the debt limit is a sham, a prevarication, a filament of Timothy Geithner’s imagination, and, therefore, arbitrary—is putting the nation’s economy at risk.

And that risk could extend beyond our shores to the world economy.

Compromise is not in the Tea Party’s vocabulary which limits their ability to govern. They’re willing to let the U.S. default on our debt obligations to push their single-minded mission—cut spending!

What if they’re right?

Will the economy suffer if we don’t raise the limit? Will the Treasury be unable to pay our bills? Will there be pain from an inability to pay debts that have already been incurred?

Do we really have a spending problem and not a revenue problem?

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Posted in Economy, Election 2012, Politics | No Comments »

“War and Taxes”

This article was posted on The Huffington Post at noon on 7/28. Click on the link to read the article at HuffPost.

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The battle in Congress over taxes is — historically — unprecedented and UnAmerican.

We are in a time of War!

Our government sent our young men and women to foreign soil to die, or return home torn and injured—ravaged by the effects of the destruction and damage people can inflict on each other.

With most wars there is sacrifice and that sacrifice is shared by all countrymen and women. But these wars have narrowed the painful sacrifices to a very few families and groups.

Whether you were for the war or, like me, against it, the reality is—our troops are engaged in a life and death struggle; one that few Americans are invested in.

The burdens of war are costly in both lives and treasure. The current costs to taxpayers for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have exceeded $1.2 trillion and Professor’s Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes believe it will cost $3 trillion. Their estimates include the “Hidden Costs of the War.”

Have the wars been worth the tremendous sacrifices of some Americans?

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Posted in Call to Action, Congress, HuffPost Articles, Opinion, Politics, Taxes, War | No Comments »

“Wisconsin: A Turning Point For Democracy?”

Newly posted article on The Huffington Post. To view this on HuffPo click on the link.

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The Recall elections in Wisconsin in August are a test of our democracy.

The first two battles have been waged in Wisconsin and, if the opening clashes are any indication, ‘the people’ are going to take back the Badger State.

Last Tuesday, the first recall election was held in Wisconsin’s 30th District and Wisconsinite’s overwhelmingly reelected incumbent, Dave Hansen, over Republican challenger, David Vanderleest.

Similarly, the week before, all six Democratic hopefuls won easy elections over faux Democrat candidates in a forced primary election that will cost the taxpayers of Wisconsin nearly $500,000 dollars. Running fake candidates was a costly, and unethical, political ploy to give Republican candidates more time to raise money, campaign, and muddy the process in the upcoming recall elections in six Republican held districts.

Will this tactic backfire on the Republicans?

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Posted in Call to Action, Election 2012, HuffPost Articles, Media, Politics, Wisconsin | No Comments »

“Debt, Deficit, and Deceit”

New article has been posted on The Huffington Post, on 7/19/11. Click on link to read article on Huff Post.

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Holding the debt ceiling hostage is a huge political mistake.

The debt limit and budget deficit are separate issues and should be dealt with separately.

This debt limit is the ghost of Congresses past. The budget and reducing the deficit is the ghost of Congresses future. But, reality is firmly entrenched in the present.

Reasonable legislators understand the immediacy of raising the debt ceiling and the potential ramifications of failing to do so.

It has been raised without question 10 times since 2000, eight times under George Bush. Though there is no clear history from a previous default, economic and business leaders around the world are warning of catastrophic implications in failing to do so.

If this is even remotely possible, why are Republicans holding the debt ceiling hostage?

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Posted in Congress, Economy, HuffPost Articles, Politics, Republican Crises, UnAmerican | 2 Comments »

“Georgia Loses 67th Bank”

Two more Georgia banks failed last Friday!

Since banking crisis began in January of 2008, the FDIC has taken over 377 banks.

Besides the two Georgia banks closed on Friday, the FDIC shuttered another bank in Florida and one in Arizona, the 55th bank closed this year. The two banks were the 15th and 16th closed in Georgia this year and the 67th since the crisis began.

The cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund this week was only $129.3 million which isn’t too bad, but every week the Fund gets hit depletes it.

Losing seven banks, compared to last year’s losses, doesn’t seem to bad. The improvement is welcome bu, seven in the first two weeks of July is just short of the losses for May and June.

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Posted in Economy, FDIC Foreclosures | No Comments »

Quick Hit: “Wasting Time and Energy!”

House Republicans tried to shed light on an old issue.

The House of Representatives defeated the attempt to repeal some elements of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act related to the use of energy efficient light bulbs.

The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, introduced by Representative Joe Barton, Texas 6, sought to reverse the government’s attempt to reduce the use of energy through adaptation of energy efficient compact florescent lamps. The bill had 35 co-sponsors including all seven Republican Representatives from Tennessee.

What do Republicans have against energy efficiency?

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Posted in Opinion, Politics | No Comments »

“The Norquist Conspiracy”

A ‘mystriguing’ title for a mystery novel but this is not fiction!

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, prides himself on the pledge that he has most Republicans sign.

The pledge, which Norquist entitled, Taxpayer Protection Pledge, essentially marshals every Republican politician at the federal level and most at the state levels from raising taxes in any form; including a misinterpretation of temporary tax benefits, such as oil subsidies, and the reasons for their passage.

Such a stringent demand on legislators has no place in a healthy and vibrant democracy. In fact, a pledge so restrictive as to potentially derail a functioning democracy can not be tolerated in a free society and should be viewed as UnAmerican.

What of the politicians who would sign such a pledge?

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Posted in Economy, Politics, Republican Crises | 5 Comments »

“Bank Foreclosures On the Rise!”

Foreclosures have been benign for the last two months.

On Friday the FDIC took over three more banks including another in Illinois. Two banks were also closed in Colorado bringing the 2011 total to 51.

In May and June only 9 banks were taken over by the FDIC.

But during that time Georgia lost four more banks, the 10th through the 13th this year and 65 since the crisis began. Florida also lost two, its 5th and 6th of the year and 51st since January of 2008.

The two months only cost the Deposit Insurance Fund $523.5 million which was great news compared to the weekly numbers over the last few years.

So, is the increase in July a sign that things are reversing? The three banks seized on Friday will cost the DIF $590.4 million—we’re back to half-a-billion dollars again. More than the total of the previous two months.

Despite the two good months, banks are still in jeopardy given the fragility of the economy and the markets. A downturn in the markets, increased unemployment, problems in China or Europe, or more devastating natural disasters could have an adverse effect on the banking system.

So banks are still something we should watch and be concerned about.

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Posted in Economy, FDIC Foreclosures | No Comments »