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Obama, McCain Pivot to Economy in New Ads

By Robert Barnes
VIENNA, Ohio -- John McCain and Barack Obama moved quickly to try to frame the debate over the country's economic crisis, releasing new commercials in which the candidates speak directly to voters.

Obama went first, with a rare two-minute ad, "Plan for Change," that doesn't mention McCain directly but talks of past failures and offers a prescription for economic change.

"This isn't just a string of bad luck,'' Obama says. "The truth is that while you've been living up to your responsibilities Washington has not. That's why we need change. '

His solution: "Reform our tax system to give a $1,000 tax break to the middle class instead of showering more on oil companies and corporations that outsource our jobs. End the "anything goes" culture on Wall Street with real regulation that protects your investments and pensions.''

McCain tells viewers in his 30-second spot, "Foundation": "You, the American workers, are the best in the world. But your economic security has been put at risk by the greed of Wall Street. That's unacceptable.''

He also criticizes his "opponent" for offering nothing but "talk and taxes.''

The full scripts follow:

"Plan for Change"

Obama: In the past few weeks, Wall Street's been rocked as banks closed and markets tumbled. But for many of you -- the people I've met in town halls, back yards and diners across America -- our troubled economy isn't news. 600,000 Americans have lost their jobs since January. Paychecks are flat and home values are falling. It's hard to pay for gas and groceries and if you put it on a credit card they've probably raised your rates. You're paying more than ever for health insurance that covers less and less.

This isn't just a string of bad luck. The truth is that while you've been living up to your responsibilities Washington has not.

That's why we need change. Real change.

This is no ordinary time and it shouldn't be an ordinary election.

But much of this campaign has been consumed by petty attacks and distractions that have nothing to do with you or how we get America back on track.

Here's what I believe we need to do. Reform our tax system to give a $1,000 tax break to the middle class instead of showering more on oil companies and corporations that outsource our jobs. End the "anything goes" culture on Wall Street with real regulation that protects your investments and pensions. Fast track a plan for energy 'made-in-America' that will free us from our dependence on mid-east oil in 10 years and put millions of Americans to work. Crack down on lobbyists - once and for all -- so their back-room deal-making no longer drowns out the voices of the middle class and undermines our common interests as Americans. And yes, bring a responsible end to this war in Iraq so we stop spending billions each month rebuilding their country when we should be rebuilding ours.

Doing these things won't be easy. But we're Americans. We've met tough challenges before. And we can again. I'm Barack Obama. I hope you'll read my economic plan. I approved this message because bitter, partisan fights and outworn ideas of the left and the right won't solve the problems we face today. But a new spirit of unity and shared responsibility will.

"Foundation"

McCain: You, the American workers, are the best in the world.

But your economic security has been put at risk by the greed of Wall Street.

That's unacceptable.

My opponent's only solutions are talk and taxes.

I'll reform Wall Street and fix Washington. I've taken on tougher guys than this before.

ANNCR: Change is coming. John McCain.

Posted at 9:05 AM ET on Sep 17, 2008  | Category:  Ad Watch
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McCain knows all about bailing out rich bankers and screwing over middle class and poor people, he's been doing it for years.


*McCain - Founding Member of the Keating Five:

McCain was one of the "Keating Five," congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips.
Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion. His convictions were overturned on technicalities; for example, the federal conviction was overturned because jurors had heard about his state conviction, and his state charges because Judge Lance Ito (yes, that judge) screwed up jury instructions. Neither court cleared him, and he faces new trials in both courts.)
Though he was not convicted of anything, McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions. In the mid-1980s, McCain made at least 9 trips on Keating's airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating's luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain's wife and father-in-law also were the largest investors (at $350,000) in a Keating shopping center; the Phoenix New Times called it a "sweetheart deal."


*McCain - Mafia Ties:

In 1995, McCain sent birthday regards, and regrets for not attending, to Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonano, the head of the New York Bonano crime family, who had retired to Arizona. Another politician to send regrets was Governor Fife Symington, who has since been kicked out of office and convicted of 7 felonies relating to fraud and extortion.
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http://www.realchange.org/mccain.htm
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Posted by: McCain on the membrane | September 17, 2008 2:59 PM

Long Live the New Union of Socialist Republicans!!!


Welcome news comrades! We the People are now We the Owners. The People's Insurance Company, formerly known as AIG, was saved for the time being from the forces of capitalism by the new Union of Republican Socialists, formerly known as the GOP. Somewhere in the great beyond, the ghost of Karl Marx is grinning while the spirit of Adam Smith forks over the one dollar bet with an invisible hand:


"In a move aimed at averting a new global economic shock, the US Federal Reserve agreed an unprecedented 85-billion-dollar rescue loan for American International Group. The deal, sealed late Tuesday, saved AIG from collapse and gave the US government a 79.9 percent stake in the insurance behemoth."

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hqFac57CVjDIS6bj_Lsbg8oAbdPw


Now that the People own a major insurance company, it's fair to ask how the People's Insurance Company, along with the People's Mortgage Companies and the People's Investment Banks, will benefit the People who Own them. Can we expect lower premiums, equity sharing, and corporate perks for our hundreds of billions of dollars? Should we start checking our mailbox for dividend checks? Who gets paid first, claimants, bondholders, stockholders, or we the new taxpayer owners?

We the Owners, want to know, and the Union of Socialist Republicans better damn well tell us, fast.

Posted by: McCain/Palin = FAIL! | September 17, 2008 2:38 PM

REGISTER TO VOTE NOW

WE JUST CAN'T AFFORD MORE OF THE SAME CROOKS,LIAR AND SCUMBAGS WHO SHIPPED OUR JOBS TO CHINA AND ARE LAUGHING AT US RIGHT NOW

http://www.voteforchange.com/

http://www.voteforchange.com/

http://www.voteforchange.com/

Posted by: JACK | September 17, 2008 2:30 PM

What Phil Gramm did leading to the Enron collapse, and what he did again leading up to the current financial meltdown, he wants to do yet again to your healthcare. Remember the fawning coverage that was being peddled on that one?

"[E]conomic conservatives should take heart. McCain's chief economic adviser - and perhaps his closest political friend - is the ultimate pure play in free market faith, former Texas Senator Phil Gramm. If McCain follows Gramm's counsel, and most of his current positions are vintage Gramm indeed, his policies as president would represent not just a sharp departure from the Bush years, but an assault on government growth that Republicans have boasted about, but failed to achieve, for decades. [...]"

"On the economy, McCain's most daring manifesto is his healthcare plan. Not surprisingly, it bears the Gramm imprint. In fact, McCain has been heeding Gramm's "power-to-the-consumer" approach for more than a decade. The two senators bonded when they linked arms to fight Hillary Clinton's ill-fated healthcare program in 1993. "We couldn't get any press coverage in Washington, DC, so we traveled all over the country, to the regional media markets," says Gramm. In 150 meetings at hospitals and clinics, McCain and Gramm relentlessly pounded the Clinton plan, helping fire the voter outrage that killed the plan in 1994."
.
http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/18/news/newsmakers/tully_gramm.fortune/index.htm
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Yep. McCain and Gramm were prime movers behind killing health insurance reform in the 1990's -- but no worries. They've got a great grasp of the current situation. According to McCain and Gramm, the problem is that we need more deregulation, and some tax rebates and stuff. You know, just like for everything else.


Gramm, you may recall, famously blamed the current economic woes on Americans being a "nation of whiners". You'll be happy to know that here, too, the McCain camp is consistent: healthcare costs are your own damn fault, America.


In July, McCain's healthcare architect Al Hubbard (an architect of Bush's failed healthcare proposals, which have now adopted by McCain in a fit of the usual non-maverickiness) laid the blame for healthcare costs on Americans "consuming" health care like "caviar":

"[W]e consume it as if it was free...It’s interesting, if you would think about, the employers rather than providing health care insurance they provided food insurance. So every time you go to the grocery store you just take out your food insurance card, you give it to the cashier, she scans it, and you’re outta there. Pretty soon, you would start buying caviar, expensive steak, and you start buying more than you need..."
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http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/07/22/mccain-caviar/
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Yep. You consumers are being spoiled -- you want to be too healthy. You want too much care. A lot of people live rich, full lives with, say, blinding cataracts, or with a piece of construction rebar lodged in their skulls -- why do you want to be such a prima donna about it? So you're having a heart attack -- you don't have time to shop around a little, get some quotes"?


Makes me feel sheepish, now, for taking all that expensive medicine just so I can "breathe".


Of course, we can go further still. There's no problem that conservatism can't solve by simply altering the fabric of reality until the problem goes away. This is known as the "lampshade principle", as discovered by George W. Bush: when something is bad is happening, stick a lampshade over your head so you can't see it anymore. Problem solved!


Yet another McCain healthcare advisor, John Goodman:


Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)

"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care."
"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."
.
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/DN-Uninsured_27bus.ART.State.Edition2.4dce428.html
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Given what's happened to everything else this crew has touched -- and Gramm, especially, seems to have the reverse-Midas touch to an uncanny degree -- I'm almost looking forward to the idea of John McCain and Phil Gramm possibly being in charge of my health insurance. It would be nothing if not exciting.


Heck, with Gramm's "magic touch", I'm confident we can all look forward to a resurgence of the Black Death.

Posted by: DrainYou | September 17, 2008 2:18 PM

In the end McCain will win. The majority of America believes God loves McCain more and that Allah is aligned with Obama. It doesn't matter if the economy tanks, it doesn't matter more Americans die in Iraq, it doesn't matter if unemployment increases, it doesn't matter if people lose there homes, it doesn't matter if people cannot get fair medical treatment. The only thing that matters is that "God" loves McCain and not Obama.

Posted by: voiceofreality | September 17, 2008 2:04 PM

Neither party is capable of properly addressing this countrys' economic situation. The first the Democrats are stating about this financial crisis is "don't blame us".

Both parties are to blame and there is only one solution left, of which you can learn about by watching the following video on my blog at:
http://community.myfoxchicago.com/blogs/beyerz

My cousin sent me a link to this video and I think it should be required viewing for all Americans.

Posted by: al@beyerz.com | September 17, 2008 1:59 PM

I think ultimately, the financial crisis can be attributed to a single factor that has been at the root of all major crisis - Human nature. In an article analyzing the Lehman Brothers collapse, Tom Raum of the AP opines, "People bought homes they couldn't afford. Investors eagerly bought mortgage-backed securities they didn't understand. Human nature was a guiding force in markets that were first driven by greed and then shaken by fear."

While age old economic theories work well against macro market behaviors, regulation that is informed by the erratic probabilities of human motivations is a new school that offers some new solutions to our current situation. Obama's economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, is an economist who has been studying a branch of economics called behavioral economics...

I made the correlation after reading an article on MIT's Technology Review - https://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/21220/
If my link gets stripped, search "Obama's Geek Economist", "Technology Review", "MIT".

It is easy to take McCain's claims that Obama offers "big government" and "more regulation" and reform at face value, but we need specifics. To protect the interests of investors, America does not need MORE regulation, but SMARTER regulation that factors in the chaotic nature of human behaviors. While McCain wants to set up a commission to study this problem...Obama and his advisors have ALREADY been studying this for a long time...and have applied some of this thinking into his plans.

This is the kind of economic firepower we can expect from an Obama administration...this is the kind of innovation that will take America to our next stage of growth. Can we really trust McCain, who has said he does not understand old economics, to even begin to understand his new era?

Posted by: atoh | September 17, 2008 1:54 PM

"My friends, the fundamentals of the economy are strong"
.
MCCAIN - 09/16/08


Isn't it awesome how McCain invented the Blackberry? And here I always thought it was some Canadian company...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhCLO3lNP6A

Posted by: astral99 | September 17, 2008 1:44 PM

RE: Scott @ 11:52

The Chicago Sun Times editorialized on the same subject today.
They called on Senator Obama to contact his mentor, State Senate President Emil Jones, and request him to call the ethics bill pending in the Illinois Senate immediately.
They pointed out that he talks about reform in Washington but is ignoring it in his home State of Illinois

Posted by: Mike H | September 17, 2008 1:23 PM

In a twisted sort of way I almost want McCain to win this election because four more years worth of failed Bush/McCain policies would for all intents and purposes be the end of the Republican party as we know it today. They would become the 4th party gadflies that they deserve to be.


The only question is, would this country survive it?


You people out there who live in economic downtrodden states like Ohio, Pa and Michigan, if you are stupid enough to vote for McCain this fall then you will deserve all of the continued economic hardship that you will get from a "President McCain"....


McCain economics 101:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mHsuL6FfY4
.

Posted by: Paige Palmer | September 17, 2008 1:13 PM

The government bailout of AIG puts the government further in the banking business. McCain and deregulation have further mud on their face. Significant regulation is needed, McCain will not be up to the job. Obama may not be an economic expert but when pitting him against a man who has made a career about opposition to deregulation putting him in would be putting in Gramm as Sec Treasury and having the fox guarding the chicken coop.

In Obama's defense he has been on top of the situation and has made recommendations last spring that look much wiser today.

Posted by: David J | September 17, 2008 12:57 PM

HERE'S A STORY THAT YOU WON'T SEE ON DRUDGE...
AND ONE THAT HAS YET TO SHOW UP IN "MAINSTREAM MEDIA"

TARGETING OF AMERICAN CITIZENS BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES:

A ROOT CAUSE OF THE MORTGAGE / CREDIT / WALL ST. MELTDOWN?


Victims of so-called "organized gang stalking" claim that multiple government agencies, including intelligence, law enforcement, and revenue collection agencies, have established a network of secret, extra-legal programs aimed at destroying the financial well-being of "targeted" individuals -- who are denied due process of law as their financial resources are systematically confiscated from them.

These programs allegedly involve the interception of mail; surveillance, interception and alteration of telecommunications, including telephone and internet communications; fabrication of bank, credit card, mortgage and billing statements; surreptitious manipulation of personal and business bank and mortgage accounts. This system apparently is an outgrowth of past controversial government programs such as Cointelpro and "Total Information Awareness."

In effect, a secret parallel system of transaction processing has been established for these persons, a system allegedly intended to destroy their capacity to earn a living and to support themselves and their families. These "mechanics of personal destruction" closely resemble the tactics employed by Nazi Germany in its campaign against the Jews and other targeted groups.

Victims charge that these programs also are designed to degrade their physical health, with health care professionals pressured by undercover agents to cooperate. Citizen vigilantes affiliated with government-funded community policing and "watch" groups are employed to harass and intimidate targeted persons, victims charge. These vigilantes are equipped with high-tech instruments capable of causing adverse health effects, victims have alleged.

Officials in the private sector know about some of these programs, it is alleged, since their cooperation is required to effect confiscatory transactions. Victims charge that the government is using national security and the "war on terror" as a pretext to secure the cooperation of corporations and businesses. But it is also possible that civilian overseers have been kept in the dark about the most nefarious of these programs.

The government takeover of more than half of the nation's mortgage market, and government supervision of failed investment houses such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros. help effectuate these programs of personal destruction, according to some of those who have been targeted.

These programs apparently have existed in one form or another for many years, but have become codified under the banner of the "war on terror" since the 9/11 terrorist attacks seven years ago, victims charge.

Victims of these "programs of personal destruction" are calling upon Congress to immediately convene hearings on these alleged unconstitutional, extra-legal abuses of power, which they say represent a great crime against humanity and a descent into a neo-fascist police state.

A mainstream media journalist who counts himself among the victims of these programs has written several articles on the subject of domestic terrorism and extra-legal targeting of American citizens:

TO: Mssrs. CHERTOFF, MUKASEY, PAULSON, GATES, McCONNELL, MUELLER "GOV'T AGENCIES SUPPORT DOMESTIC TERRORISM"

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/government-agencies-support-domestic-torture-and-gang-stalking-says-noted-nowpublic-com-columnist

Gentlemen: What do you know about this, and what are you doing about it?

Posted by: scrivener | September 17, 2008 12:40 PM

McCain in April declared that there had been "great progress economically" during the Bush years. On more than one occasion, he diagnosed Americans' concerns over the dismal U.S. economy as "psychological." (Phil Gramm, McCain's close friend and adviser supposedly excommunicated over his "whiners" remarks, was back with the campaign last week.) McCain, a man who owns eight homes nationwide, in March lectured Americans facing foreclosure that they ought to be "doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time." And when all else fails, McCain told the people of the economically devastated regions in Martin County, Kentucky and Youngstown, Ohio, there's always eBay.


In his defense, McCain's shocking tone-deafness may just be a matter of perspective. When you're as well off as he is, anything below a $5 million income (a figure exceeding that earned on average by the top 0.1% of Americans) seems middle class.


*The $100 Million Man*
Courtesy of his wife Cindy's beer distribution fortune (one her late father apparently chose not to share with her half-sister Kathleen), the McCains are worth well over $100 million. (In the two-page tax summary she eventually released to the public, Cindy McCain reported another $6 million in 2006.) As Salon reported back in 2000, the second Mrs. McCain's millions were essential in launching her husband's political career. Unsurprisingly, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, who four years ago called Theresa Heinz-Kerry a "sugar mommy," has been silent on the topic of Cindy McCain.


*The Joys of (Eight) Home Ownership*
While fellow adulterer John Edwards was pilloried for his mansion, John McCain's eight homes around the country have received little notice or criticism. His properties include a 10 acre lake-side Sedona estate, euphemistically called a "cabin" by the McCain campaign, and a home featured in Architectural Digest. The one featuring "remote control window coverings" was recently put up for sale. Still, their formidable resources did not prevent the McCains from failing to pay taxes on a tony La Jolla, California condo used by Cindy's aged aunt.


*The Anheuser-Busch Windfall*
As it turns out, the beauty of globalization is in the eye of the beholder. While John McCain apparently played a critical role in facilitating DHL's takeover of Airborne (and with it, the looming loss of 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev. As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock. Amazingly, while Missouri's politicians of both parties lined up to try to block the sale, John McCain held a fundraiser in the Show Me State even as the In Bev deal was being finalized.


*McCain's $370,000 Personal Tax Break*
Earlier this year, the Center for American Progress analyzed John McCain's tax proposals. The conclusion? McCain's plan is radically more regressive than even that of President Bush, delivering 58% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of American taxpayers. McCain's born-again support for the Bush tax cuts has one additional bonus for Mr. Straight Talk: the McCains would save an estimated $373,000 a year.


*Paying Off $225,000 Credit Card Debt - Priceless*
That massive windfall from his own tax plan will come in handy for John McCain. As was reported in June, the McCains were carrying over $225,000 in credit card debt. The American Express card - don't leave your homes without it.


*Charity Begins at Home*
As Harpers documented earlier this year, the McCains are true believers in the old saying that charity begins at home:
.
Between 2001 and 2006, McCain contributed roughly $950,000 to [their] foundation. That accounted for all of its listed income other than for $100 that came from an anonymous donor. During that same period, the McCain foundation made contributions of roughly $1.6 million. More than $500,000 went to his kids' private schools, most of which was donated when his children were attending those institutions. So McCain apparently received major tax deductions for supporting elite schools attended by his children.
.
Ironically, the McCain campaign last week blasted Barack Obama for having attended a private school in Hawaii on scholarship. That attack came just weeks after John McCain held an event at his old prep school, Episcopal High, an institution where fees now top $38,000 a year.


*Private Jet Setters*
As the New York Times detailed back in April, John McCain enjoyed the use of his wife's private jet for his campaign, courtesy of election law loopholes he helped craft. Despite the controversy, McCain continued to use Cindy's corporate jet. For her part, Cindy McCain says that even with skyrocketing fuel costs, "in Arizona the only way to get around the state is by small private plane."


*Help on the Homefront*
In these tough economic times, the McCains are able to stretch their household budget. As the AP reported in April, "McCain reported paying $136,572 in wages to household employees in 2007. Aides say the McCains pay for a caretaker for a cabin in Sedona, Ariz., child care for their teenage daughter, and a personal assistant for Cindy McCain."


*Well-Heeled in $520 Shoes*
If clothes make the man, then John McCain has it made. As Huffington Post noted in July, "He has worn a pair of $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes on every recent campaign stop - from a news conference with the Dalai Lama to a supermarket visit in Bethlehem, PA." It is altogether fitting that McCain wore the golden loafers during a golf outing with President George H.W. Bush in which he rode around in cart displaying the sign, "Property of Bush #41. Hands Off."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N38Ug_ugzXs
.

Posted by: McCain = Bush's third term | September 17, 2008 12:40 PM

September 16, 2008
Prominent Clinton backer and DNC member to endorse McCain
Posted: 10:07 PM ET

From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston, Extra


A prominent backer of Hillary Clinton is endorsing McCain.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter and member of the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee, will endorse John McCain for president on Wednesday, her spokesman tells CNN.

The announcement will take place at a news conference on Capitol Hill, just blocks away from the DNC headquarters. Forester will “campaign and help him through the election,” the spokesman said of her plans to help the Republican presidential nominee.

Forester was a major donor for Clinton earning her the title as a Hillraiser for helping to raise at least $100,000 for the New York Democratic senator’s failed presidential bid.

In an interview with CNN this summer, Forester did not hide her distaste for eventual Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

“This is a hard decision for me personally because frankly I don't like him,” she said of Obama in an interview with CNN’s Joe Johns. “I feel like he is an elitist. I feel like he has not given me reason to trust him.”

Posted by: Scott | September 17, 2008 12:38 PM

From Obama's Hometown Paper-

"Obama Sidesteps Reform in Illinois
By Dennis Byrne

For those of you who still cling to the fantasy that Barack Obama is "about change," you should note how he, or his minions, want nothing to do with reforming politics in Illinois, perhaps the most corrupt state in the Union.

"Throughout his political career, Barack Obama has fought for open and honest government," proclaims his campaign Web site. Apparently, no longer. When the Democratic presidential candidate--now his party's industrial-strength voice for our deliverance from political corruption everywhere--was asked by a reformer if he would help get his political mentor back home to get off the dime and move the most minimal of state ethics legislation toward passage, the Obama campaign sent word back that amounted to a "no."

State Sen. Emil Jones (D-Chicago) is the Chicago machine politician who might have been most instrumental in jump-starting Obama's political career. Now, as Illinois Senate president, Jones is the one sitting on the reform legislation, refusing to call it for an expected favorable vote before it officially dies of neglect.

Jones is the pal of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, no friend of reform, who used his amendatory veto power to change the legislation after it passed both houses so that Jones would get another chance to kill it.

If all that's confusing, welcome to Illinois politics, where intricacy is the best camouflage for chicanery. Suffice to say, neither Blagojevich nor Jones is working for reform.

So, along comes Cindi Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, thinking that now might be a good time for Obama to parlay his friendship with Jones to do a good deed: Won't you intervene with Jones and try to get him to call the Senate back into session to get this law passed? "[T]his is a place [Obama] could come in and quickly clean up some of the damage and serve his state," she told the Chicago Sun-Times. After all, her group and Obama worked together during those halcyon days when he actually supported reform in Illinois, so maybe he'll be receptive to a plea to intervene on behalf of Illinois folks who have been getting gouged for years by the likes of Jones. "A 30-second phone call to the Illinois Senate president could yield huge dividends to this state," she said.

In response, Obama's campaign issued an oozy statement reaffirming Obama's alleged commitment to reform, while getting no more specific than urging everyone to get together and love one another right now. What Canary was asking Obama for wasn't all that much. Maybe a 30-second phone call to back up his usual pap of, "Look, ah, I've, ah, always been for, ah, reform." For most people, the reform that we're talking about is so basic that they might ask, "You mean it's not illegal already?"

The legislation would make illegal the widespread abuse called pay-to-play politics, by which companies doing business with the state contribute to the state official in charge of ladling out contracts. The new law wouldn't let you do it if you have more than $50,000 in state contracts, which, even at that, leaves open a nice loophole. In Illinois, this is a huge leap forward from how things are done. Blagojevich, who has reaped bundles of cash from state contractors, could be one of the pols most jolted by the prohibition. That explains why he rewrote the legislation in a way that would make it ineffective and why the House overwhelmingly rejected his changes.

Jones now is the only one standing in the way of the reform, with Obama abetting.

Here's another example of how Obama has revealed himself to be a creature of the Chicago machine. Who can forget his silence when he could have affirmed his reformer credentials by endorsing Democrat Forrest Claypool over machine creature Todd Stroger as Cook County Board president? When things got too hot, Obama severed his ties from his racially inflammatory pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. That's not too hard; you can always find another pastor.

But betraying your political godfather(s) in Chicago and Illinois is an entirely different matter. Especially if you lose the presidential election and return to being just another senator from Illinois. Cutting his ties with the corrupt Chicago machine is one bridge you will not see Obama burn. Not now, not ever.

Agent of change, my foot."

Dennis Byrne is a Chicago Tribune op-ed columnist. dennis@dennisbyrne.net

Posted by: Scott | September 17, 2008 11:52 AM

"Another irony is that Carly Fiorina his named "Chair of Victory, 2008" and apparent chief spokesperson on things economic appears to be a perfect example of as McCain puts it...

"Americans are right to be offended when the extravagant salaries and severance deals of CEOs ... bear no relation to the success of the company or the wishes of shareholders," he will say, adding that some of those chief executives helped bring on the country's housing crisis and market troubles.

"If I am elected president, I intend to see that wrongdoing of this kind is called to account by federal prosecutors. And under my reforms, all aspects of a CEO's pay, including any severance arrangements, must be approved by shareholders,"
http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN1032308420080610?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=10003

And Carly's history...

"On 9 February 2005, Carly Fiorina was dismissed as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard."

"Under Hewlett-Packard's severance agreement, Carly Fiorina received US$21 million in cash, which was 2.5 times her base annual salary.[31] On March 8, 2006, two large institutional investors filed suit against Hewlett-Packard for violating its own severance cap when it doled out a multimillion-dollar payment to Fiorina as part of her termination agreement."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carly_Fiorina

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 11:52 AM

Darn it! The fundamentals *are* strong. I know they are!

What? Darn earpiece... inaudible mumble... the workers are strong? Oh right... the fundamentals are in crisis... total crisis. The workers are strong.

I walked right into that economic mud puddle, and now I have mud all over my $600 loafers. What can we do? This Obama fella has some pretty forward-thinking ideas. My ideas are old and tired like my campaign tactics.

Hmm... er... how about clean coal technology? Yeah, that sounds good, but that's not enough... no no... hmm... need something else...

EUREKA! I've got it! I'll convene a commission. Right. A commission to tell me what to do about this mess, because I don't know what the heck is going on.

Posted by: Bert in RI | September 17, 2008 11:47 AM

oops McCain was a great DEregulator

Posted by: nclwtk | September 17, 2008 11:08 AM

Is McCain ever going to put any specifics to his rhetoric? Can someone who was so gungho on regulation be a regulator, especially his main economic advisor is Phil Gramm, Mr. degulation that he is?

Posted by: nclwtk | September 17, 2008 11:06 AM

Wait, wasn't McCain the great deregulator?

Definitely in March anyway...
"'I'm Always for Less Regulation'
McCain's Economic Thinking"
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120431596193503527.html?mod=Leader-US

and yet Fiorina says now...

"Adviser Fiorina said McCain would address the situation by ``making sure that it never happens again.''

"McCain, she said, has differed from President George W. Bush on this issue and consistently called for ``strong regulatory oversight of Wall Street.'' She said she doesn't think ``the worst is behind us yet.''"
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=ajMl5w.sSXGo&refer=us

I guess in the midst of this crisis McCain had a change of heart.

"The point missed here was Govt never scaled its oversight on new economics and businesses and these went uncontrolled.

Posted by: MRN744 | September 17, 2008 10:47 AM "

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 11:01 AM

Give me, and all of us, a break. Corporate greed is somehow responsible for the housing bubble and somehow caused it to pop. Get real. Some real straight talk would be a "change we need"
Knowone seems to get a handle on what has occurred.
Piss ant mortgage companies started the ball rolling by dishonest lending practices to people who have no buisness buying a house. Knowone said anything because those in washington love to see more home ownership. Some how it's a political issue. (especially concerning the lower and lower middle class)
Banks tried to keep pace with those mortgage companies by taking chances of their own. (Although they were regulated to keep risk a bit lower, maybe not enough)
All these, certain to default, loans were sold up the latter to freddy and fannie to choke on. And the insurance compainies like AIG who write policies managing bank risk found themselves unable to pay out fast enough.
The problem is not wall street insiders and corporate managers.
Regulate those piss ant mortgage companies.
Maybe tighten banking guidelines.
Pass the bill John McCain sponsored in 2005 calling for better regulation of fred and fan.
"He predicted this would happen way back then, and knowbody acted"
Quit playing politics and address the real issue.
Socialist money transfer schemes wont get it done.
Tax rebates to 95% of americans (40% of whom don't even pay income taxes)wont increase economic output if they are paid for with tax increases on venture capitalists and small buisness owners.
These candidates need better advisors on what the real issues are and what real reform changes are needed.

Posted by: theconservative | September 17, 2008 11:00 AM

Obama wants go close markets to globale economy, wil this help isolationg ourselves,we need the investors,good people other wise cost of manufacturign will go up, Mccain was right Market fundamentals are good, Govt needs to scale up its regulations constantly to keep up with new economics, New equity schemes and packaged housign loans should be bought into economy after careful evaluation and necessary experimentation that they dont put things in crisis.
The point missed here was Govt never scaled its oversight on new economics and businesses and these went uncontrolled.

Posted by: MRN744 | September 17, 2008 10:47 AM

They need to come out with ads about the economy neither of these campaigns have been focused on the issues lately. I have decided to skip 08 http://www.skip08.com

More Info came out about Palins Affair this morning http://www.theveep.com

Palins Trooper gate is also looking worse this morning. http://www.hotpres.com

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 10:26 AM

"Great post Aspergirl...too bad you're dead wrong."

Aspergirl has been prone to stating falsehoods as facts on these comment boards the past few days. Just ignore her and she'll go away.

Posted by: Xander | September 17, 2008 10:18 AM

Great post Aspergirl...too bad you're dead wrong.

Republicans (Bush) took a 200 Billion Surplus that Clinton left and squandered it into a 500 Billion deficit.
Republicans brought the national debt to 9 Trillion.
Republicans brought unemployment from 2.4% to 6.3 %
Republicans were responsible for numerous corruption scandals.
Republicans squandered 1 Trillion of taxpayer money on a useless and immoral war.
Now McCain is going to reform what he created? LOL.
OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT

Posted by: ProudLiberal | September 17, 2008 10:16 AM

Stop bickering over the selection 08 process and start doing something for yourselves. Call or email your representatives in Washington and the presidential hopefuls to up the capital loss limit. Everyone that has a 401k, a retirement fund, on a pension, mutual fund, ira, or straigh up investments in the market is going to lose big it this limit is not increase ten fold at minumum. The current maximum deduction is $3000 per couple/$1500 individual. I guarntee everyone with any on the above has lost multiples of this amount in the last two weeks. McCain and Obama are searching for something to fix, and this would be the best thing they could do for us little guys who just work, pay taxes, and die.

Posted by: Jerry K | September 17, 2008 10:14 AM

Its ironic how McCain….. a man who has the ear of former Senator Phil Gramm, the man that McCain picked to co-chair his presidential campaign, the same Gramm that called this meltdown a "mental recession", the same Gramm who championed the policies that lead to this meltdown…. says he is now going to reform Wall Street and regulate it.

This comes from a man who voted for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. and other bills in the Senate that allowed the Fannie, Freddie’s, Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns and the AIG's to act in a win at all cost, reckless way, that lead to this serious crisis.

This is a man who helped strip away legislation put in place to ensure Americans would never have to experience the swaths of unemployment and poverty that characterised the Great Depression! McCain has no credibility on this Wall Street Meltdown issue, none whatsoever. McCain could have at least picked Mitt Romney to be VP. McCain has failed dismally.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 10:06 AM

"Senator Obama has accepted large campaign contributions from these individuals."

And McCain has received 10 times the amount that Obama has in contributions from these kinds of companies.

Posted by: Xander | September 17, 2008 10:03 AM

Why would America REWARD complete Republican failure ?

Piss-poor state-craft...

A bungled economy...

Why would we want MORE of this ?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 9:59 AM

McCain, the up until recently self glossed "derugalator", has now apparently morphed in the last 48 hours to the "reregulator".

The only thing more ridiculous then watching the McCain campaign sputter from blackberrys to Fio-rino, to economic "fundamentals", has been watching Palin-McCain run against the last eight years of the Bush WH without using Bush's name or the word Republican.

Posted by: MA | September 17, 2008 9:57 AM

Why is the voice-over voice in McCain's ads so creepy?

There certainly a reason for it... But it alludes me.

Posted by: Matt | September 17, 2008 9:47 AM

I would love to see an advertisement fom Senator Obama that explains his dealings with the individuals that ran Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Senator Obama has accepted large campaign contributions from these individuals.

Senator Obama appointed James Johnson, former CEO of Fannie, to head his vice presidential search team. Johnson received hundreds of millions of dollars in pay when he headed Fannie.

If Senator Obama is elected president will he contineue to allow Represenative Barney Frank (D-Mass) to fight increased regulation of Fannie and Freddie?

Represenative Frank accepts large campaign contibutions from individuals connected with both firms and meets regularly with their lobbyists.

If elected will he call for regulation of hedge firms?

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn) have stated they see no reason for hearings into regulating this industry. This is after they met with the industry's lobbyists and accepted their campaign contributions.

Until we receive explanations to these questions I doubt that "Change" will come to Wasahington.

Posted by: Mike H | September 17, 2008 9:46 AM

Aspergirl the master of the copy/paste, your McCainberry got you up early again I see.

McCain is just jealous of Obama's record night of fund raising after all his gala event in Miami only neeted him a bit over $5 million compared to Obama's $11 mil.

Keep going though, you are having a positive affect on the polls, McCain is only ahead by 0.8 now after being up by 2.4 this weekend.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 9:46 AM

RASMUSSEN REPORTS WHO IS WINNING THE WAR ON WORDS
re: ECONOMIC MELTDOWN

"Investor confidence has stabilized—at least for the moment--after falling sharply for several days. The economic confidence of those who do not invest was not shaken by the Wall Street events of recent days. As for the political implications, polling conducted last night shows that 49% trust McCain more than Obama on economic issues while 45% trust Obama."

Rasmussen's Wednesday, 09/17/08 Daily Tracking Poll
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_scott_rasmussen/democrats_face_historic_voter_hurdle

Whether or not this Rasmussen report is an anomaly has to be seen, but this result affirms my own opinion that Barack Obama's absurdly wrong, immature and self-serving fear-mongering on Monday, Sept. 15, was not how a leader speaks on a day of banking industry fears. McCain should be ahead, as he has spoken with leadership, both in making true statements about the fundamental strength and soundness of our economy to reassure the public, and in producing very quickly explicit recommendations for dealing with the financial sector crisis (which is NOT covered in the above article, by the way).

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 17, 2008 9:43 AM

OBAMA FEAR-MONGERS RE: STABILITY OF OUR ECONOMY WHILE
BLOWING THROUGH HIS DONORS' HISTORIC GIVING
WITH EQUALLY UNPRECEDENTED, OBSCENELY LAVISH SPENDING

All the real leaders were out on September 15 making reassuring noises, which were true, by the way. Except Obama. Obama would rather go around hyping the fear and exaggerating the systemic seriousness of the problem. Only Obama was out with ads shrilling fearful gloom-and-doom statements (that were exaggerations) hoping to capitalize on the Lehman bankruptcy to beat the bushes to drive up an economic-fear vote.

McCain was saying necessary calming things when he said that the economy's fundamentals were strong, but the things he was saying were in fact true. In the afternoon of Monday, September 15, Bloomberg came out and agreed with McCain's statement that the fundamentals of our economy are strong, and so have others.

Finally, on the day that Obama released an ad ridiculing John McCain's reassuring & accurate statement that the fundamentals of the economy are strong, and declaring that John McCain is wrong, that the economy is "broken", Obama was flying off to BEVERLY HILLS to entertain with multimillionaires at a fundraiser with Barbera Streisand. Although Obama has raised breathtaking & historic campaign funds ($400 million so far?), he's also engaged in lavish, unprecedented spending. He spent $6 million alone to move his nomination acceptance speech to Mile-High stadium on that special-built temple-like stage. He's raised historic money, but he's also spent it in an historic way. He needs every penny of the $10 million he was expected to make off his Hollywood backers in Beverly Hills.

This is how a self-centered and narcissistic me-first politician wastes his donors' historic giving and then when he blows through that, goes out asking for more.

Wonder what he'd do if given the keys to the U.S Treasury and put in charge of the Internal Revenue Service and our economy.

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 17, 2008 9:30 AM

WHAT THE MEDIA WON'T TELL YOU: OBAMA & FOOD INFLATION
OBAMA'S "ENERGY PLAN" SUPPORT: FOR CORN STATE WELFARE

FOOD INFLATION, NO ENERGY SOLUTION, IN BIG-$$
DEFICIT-FUNDED SUBSIDIES FOR CORN STATES LIKE ILLINOIS

The U.S. corn ethanol biofuels program is pure evil, pure pork, and pure corrupt politics picking taxpayers pockets for no good public benefit, and Obama is all for it because it pays big $$ in subsidies to Illinois farmers, fuels the Midwestern farm boom and creates a spike in the agribusiness-agricultural commodities boom. It's the basis for Obama's support in Iowa.

Groups tracking world hunger spikes and food inflation problems this year are blaming the U.S. corn ethanol program for diverting farmers from growing food into growing fuel. Global warming advocates point out that it takes more carbon, overall, to produce, distill, refine and burn corn ethanol biofuels than regular oil or natural gas. Making ethanol from corn is so inefficient that we can never use it for energy independence; we already use 25% of our national corn crop for ethanol. Finally, it costs more to use gas blended with ethanol as cars get markedly fewer miles per gallon than they do with regular 100% gas, but you pay as much at the pump for the ethanol blended gas. Motorists who know what they are doing seek out 100%, no-ethanol blend gas stations, even.

The corn ethanol biofuels program solves no problems, creates food inflation, and it's a ripoff -- a King Corn welfare program to already-flush farmers. From one pocket, the taxpayer pays massive subsidies to corn ethanol growers in farm states, while from the other pocket we pay higher prices at the grocery store for food as a result of the biofuels-caused food inflation. Meanwhile we get poorer gas mileage from ethanol blends while paying the same prices as we pay at stations that sell 100% gas.

We could solve a big chunk of our crippling economic problems this year if we do away with the corn ethanol biofuels program because of the big role that program plays in the inflation side of this years' problems.

From 2006 to 2007, 15 million new acres of corn were brought into production in the United States, contributing to the depletion of fresh water supplies and adding to agrochemical runoff from the country’s corn belt that has already created an enormous dead zone where the Mississippi River enters the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is an ecologically important zone; for example, serving as the breeding ground for many Atlantic species, like dolphins. The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by agricultural, sewage and industrial runoff, is expected to grow just as Bush's Environmental Protection Agency denied a petition to waive the federal ethanol mandate in the 2007 energy bill. The EPA decided not to interfere with Bush's federal ethanol mandate despite how destructive the corn ethanol programs have been environmentally.

Obama is all for corn ethanol subsidies programs and has been a staunch supporter of them. Illinois is the second largest recipient of corn ethanol farming subsidies. Obama supports corn ethanol even as there are food riots in Southeast Asia and a price-caused famine in Africa where people are starving due to world price spikes in grain.

John McCain, by the way, has taken a principled stand against the corn ethanol biofuels program, even though it cost him votes in Iowa. On the other hand, Obama scored his widely-acclaimed Iowa caucus victory on the back of his unscrupulous corn ethanol support that wins him critical support from special interest constituencies. The corn ethanol biofuels issues is not only an argument for McCain's energy platform over Obama's, but an example for his taking principled stands against defective, ineffective federal programs that are popular with powerful special interests, but that damage our economy & don't solve the problems they were intended to solve.

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 17, 2008 9:26 AM

McCaint has had several $28,500 per person fund raisers all around the country.

The funds raised during these events are mostly intended to benefit the political party organization, not the individual candidate.

Limits for individual candidates are $2,300, not $28,500.

What is wrong with raising money from private donors rather than feeding from the public teat?

McCaint just accepted $84,000,000 from the federal government to fund his campaign.

I know this money is designated by taxpayers to support public financing, but that does not change the fact that it is a sort of welfare program for politicians unable to raise enough money from private donors to fund their political campaigns.

McCaint is "envious" that he is not able to attract similar numbers of donors so he has no option but to ridicule Obama.

Where is the substance of your argument, McCaint?

It is nice that you want to spend your time with the hard working Americans in Ohio, but what exactly do you plan to do to get them out of the mess you helped to create..and the DHL layoffs which you helped to create..do you think this nation and the people of OHIO are as stupid as you and your failed policies that you still cling to like a baby to a blanket.....

I don't want to hear anymore of your rhetoric about "reforming government" and "shaking things up."

Those are empty words from that diseased and empty skull of yours..

...that mean nothing without concrete policy plans...nothing

Not the crapola on your ridiculious website that is equally vapid and lacking in substance.

What regulations do you believe need to be put in place to avoid another market crash?

What exactly can the federal government do about golden parachutes when those deals are privately negotiated contracts?

What are you going to do, after you give more tax cuts to the wealthiest among us, when they take the money and invest it in foreign companies or save it to pass on to their kids rather than invest it creating american jobs?

Stop whining about not having any popular friends and develop a plan to get us out of the mess we are in.

As your "running" mate has already said....."Thanks...But No Thanks"

Posted by: AlexP1 | September 17, 2008 9:20 AM

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