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A Maverick Act With Limits

The Fannie-Freddie bailout has allowed the McCain campaign to press its newfound advantage as the change ticket. Not so long ago, you will recall, it was Barack Obama who promised to shake up Washington. But with his convention speech, Obama reinvented himself as a more conventional Democratic standard-bearer, leaving McCain and his effective running mate to press their maverick credentials.

In an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, John McCain and Sarah Palin present Fannie and Freddie as typical products of Washington corruption -- exactly the sort of thing they promise to root out. It’s a clever pitch because it’s accurate: Fannie and Freddie really were crony capitalist monsters. Their executives got rich by taking risks underwritten by taxpayers, and lobbyists persuaded Congress to go along with this lop-sided arrangement.

Perhaps a McCain administration would root out such corruption. Yet the rest of the op-ed gives pause. It talks about how Fannie and Freddie should behave “in the future.” But if you think the public-private arrangement is corrupt, why should these organizations have any future? Equally, the op-ed says nothing about the billions of dollars of tax breaks that the government lavishes on the housing industry via the mortgage-interest deduction. If you want to get tough about favors to big business that distort the economy and force up other taxes, this is an odd target to leave out.

Some argue that McCain’s maverick act is genuine: He really would shake up Washington. Despite McCain’s impressive record as a fighter against spending earmarks, I’m more inclined to see his recent positioning as expedient -- as clever politics, certainly, but not more than that. When McCain signs his name to an op-ed that makes maverick noises but then pulls back from prescriptions that might alarm subsidy-loving voters, my cynicism mounts another notch.

By Sebastian Mallaby  | September 9, 2008; 6:20 PM ET
Categories:  Mallaby  | Tags:  Sebastian Mallaby  
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Comments

This country is going to hell because you people in the media don't do investigative journalism any longer.

Why did FNM and FRE fail? Did it have anything to do with the financial deregulation that Mr Magoo's buddy Sen Phil "Mr Enron" Gramm helped push through?

When is the WaPo going to do an expose on the deregulation-corruption-bailout multi-billion dollar scandals that Republicans have been running for the past 20 years?

A bailout is a tax. A scandalous tax on the people perpetrated by THIEVES!

It is going to cost ***taxpayers*** $500 billion to bailout FNM and FRE.

All because McCain and Gramm's friends wanted to repeal Glass-Steagall so they could perpetrate yet another FRAUD on Americans.

He's not a maverick. He's a CROOK!!!

You know it. Write about it. Have some manly parts!

Posted by: Deep Blue | September 9, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"Some argue that McCain’s maverick act is genuine: He really would shake up Washington. Despite McCain’s impressive record as a fighter against spending earmarks, I’m more inclined to see his recent positioning as expedient -- as clever politics, certainly, but not more than that. When McCain signs his name to an op-ed that makes maverick noises but then pulls back from prescriptions that might alarm subsidy-loving voters, my cynicism mounts another notch."

This can only show your bias, which has sunk to a new low. You admit that his op-ed in the WSJ about the Fannie & Freddie bailouts are correct, but then you claim without any basis whatsoever that this absolute dead-on op-ed is genuine.

What in McCain's background and words gives you rational basis for believing in his cynical, sneaky lying in that op-ed? Any politician that has enough sense to come out with something like that op-ed today when every other prominent congressional or senatorial voice (except for, maybe, Clinton's warnings earlier this year that the Obama-loving press ignored) is sharp enough to not have to resort to the kind of cynical Machiavellian posturing you imply.

As you acknowledge, McCain is telling the truth & he's insightful and on-target with that op-ed. Even though HE says economics is not his strong suit, his understanding of it blows away that of most elected leaders this year. What he considers a weakness in economics is a lot stronger than most elected American leaders' strengths.

You say that McCain "then pulls back from prescriptions that might alarm subsidy-loving voters, my cynicism mounts another notch." But you fail to understand that we are in unprecedented waters. Absolute statements aren't easy to make without a lot of qualifications and more caveats than is realistic to put in a short op-ed.

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 9, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

he seems to be slowing a bit, probably won't be that impressive in the debates, just a friendly old guy who will tell ya about what he's accomplished. that shouldn't be good enough, wasn't when clinton debated bush.

Posted by: mccain | September 9, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Maverick or not; the man's too old.

His speech is becoming disjointed, his forgetfulness is becoming habit and his continuing state of denial is becoming a threat to the nation he so dearly loves.

I wouldn't feel safe with this man driving me in his car; how on earth can I feel safe with him driving the country?

Posted by: Dr. Dunne | September 9, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

So, is John McCain and Co. going to investigate and prosecute the Bush Administration, Karl Rove involvment with the Segalman Case, the Justice Dept. corruption, Jack Abramnoff scandal? We need better transpanency of this current government. Can John McCain be against his own party? As he claims to be a Maverick?

Posted by: the Monk | September 9, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

You are serious? Obama will win the debates?

Then how is it McCain hand him his ... well, let's say, hat ... at Saddleback.

No teleprompter for Barry === no win.

BTW, where are his published article from the Harvard Law Review? Oh, that's right, same place as his major legislation.

Guy was a hell of a Political ... I mean, Community ... Organizer, though.

Posted by: R Warren | September 9, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Mallaby are you aware that Sarah claimed yesterday that lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers." The dufus didn't even know that F&F were private companies.

Posted by: Boxie | September 9, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Mallaby (mal ah bee) n. Shill.

Posted by: Webster | September 9, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

>>but then pulls back from prescriptions that might alarm subsidy-loving voters, my cynicism mounts another notch

Give them a break. Campaigning to take away the mortgage interest deduction wouldn't gather very many votes; particularly with the downward trend in home prices. No politician up for election could possibly be expected to even suggest that that subsidy should go away. It would be tantamount to putting a gun to your head.

Posted by: John | September 9, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Hardly an insightful observation by Mallaby. Whenever one side claims absolute statements on change and reform, it should be clear to any intelligent voter that its political posturing. Really absolute statements of any kind are an indication of posturing, since no one actually carries them through when governing. Before I'm jumped on by McCain supporters for implying that McCain is not true to his word (neither is Obama), im not saying that theyre lying. They're simply exagerrating their positions to get attention. Obama claims change but is pretty much a standard center-left candidate on most issues, and McCain's record on earmarks is hardly certifiable proof of massive reform, earmarks being a drop in the bucket for the federal budget (annually, the equivalent of about a month in Iraq). For the rest of his policies, essentially center-right to far right (i hate to use the term "similar to Bush" because it makes me sound like an obamabot, but for the most part its true...just look at their respective positions). Anyway, yea. Both candidates are full of sh*t 90 percent of the week. Do your own research, people.

*Insert Candidates Name Here* 2008!

Posted by: Jack | September 9, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Fannie and Freddie failed because of the real estate bubble and the credit crunch. These were caused in large part by Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan. And all of the executives, at Fannie and Freddie on the one hand, and at the private MBS issuers on the other, got rich. All of the bad risks were bailed out, not just Fannie and Freddie. The lobbying is a separate issue.

Not that McCain and Palin know this. They didn't write the op-ed and neither one knows anything about economics other than what they're told to say. Obama, on the other hand, has been hanging around the Chicago school for years. It ought to give conservatives some comfort on the economics issue.

Posted by: Mary | September 9, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Neither the McCain campaign nor anyone on this thread has any real clue as to what their talking about. Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's executives didn't get all rich from the subprime lending bubble. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose no threat to the economy if they're managed properly and they were up until two years ago. I heard a lecture two weeks ago from an executive vice president at Fannie Mae. Greenspan is not the direct culprit nor is Bush. The basic reason he gave for the whole credit crunch was people became too dependent on computer models to make credit decisions and didn't apply any common sense to the process. Credit decisions became a back office after thought where people began to rely on the notion of "pricing" risk into the model without truly thinking it through, hence the willingness of large banks to give money to normally uncreditworthy people. In the “old days”, a lending officer literally and physically went over a loan application and rejected it based on common sense (shaky credit = don’t make the loan). You can give someone a higher interest rate if their credit is shaky but that doesn't stop them from not paying their mortgage. Along with that, no one ever thought that the economy would hit a rough patch. Greenspan et al bought into the hysteria and arrogance about the economy ignoring the fact that consumer spending (which is the real engine of our economy) was being fueled by cashing money out of their homes, not through true wage increases. No one could imagine that home prices could ever go down. The real critical links in the mortgage meltdown chain was the bond rating agencies. They were the ones who arbitrarily gave "AAA" ratings to bonds that they truly didn't understand. These are the complex financial instruments McCain refers to. The rest of the financial sector followed their lead. AAA = Good to go. It is their process that needs more transparency, not Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's. Fannie and Freddie were pressured by law makers to start buying these questionable loans. Initially, Fannie Mae said no to a shaky loan (i.e. "common sense"). Only within the past two years did Fannie really get to the subprime game (i.e. start buying questionable mortgages). You see, McCain is still showing his economic ignorance. He's attempting to beat his chest over an issue that he has no clue about what the real story is behind it. This guy is a joke. Truly, a joke. Do you see Obama jumping up to make wild claims about shaking up a system when it's clear he doesn't have a strong grasp about the subject? No. Vote for McCain at your own peril.

Posted by: Ernest | September 9, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Good job Mallaby - finally journalists speaking truth to the lies of the candidates. Enough of the free media ride - start scrutinizing the comments!

Posted by: jb | September 9, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

McCain ought to have an inside plan on how to fix fannie and freddie since one of his primary economic advisors had a strong hand in deregulation on the way to creating this disaster - Phil Gramm.

McCain is such a lyin' fraud. The media won't say it, so I will.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

McCain’s politicization of his POW credentials is despicable. He is blinded by ambition and entitlement. Throughout his existence, with privilege background, McCain looked down on people. This trait of him is well documents throughout his life. He fought students and even some teachers in high school in Alexandria, VA. He continued naughtiness during the Navy Academy, where he broke every rule, honor system included before he graduated almost at the bottom of the class. His bad behavior did not moderate and continued while officer in the Navy. He frequently clashed with superiors on the weekdays and fought at bars on the weekends. Anyone else would have been fired, but his father was an admiral. He became infamous dating strippers throughout Florida.
His unscrupulous peculiarity persisted even upon his return from Hanoi. As he admitted during his interview with John King of CNN, he consistently cheated (including with Cindy) on his first wife, Carol, before he kicked her on the curve all together. And his temper is legendry that even his GOP senators openly admit it. I am sorry, but this man is not fit to be the president of this country. He lacks the temperament required.

Posted by: McSenile | September 9, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

McCain’s politicization of his POW credentials is despicable. He is blinded by ambition and entitlement. Throughout his existence, with privilege background, McCain looked down on people. This trait of him is well documents throughout his life. He fought students and even some teachers in high school in Alexandria, VA. He continued naughtiness during the Navy Academy, where he broke every rule, honor system included before he graduated almost at the bottom of the class. His bad behavior did not moderate and continued while officer in the Navy. He frequently clashed with superiors on the weekdays and fought at bars on the weekends. Anyone else would have been fired, but his father was an admiral. He became infamous dating strippers throughout Florida.
His unscrupulous peculiarity persisted even upon his return from Hanoi. As he admitted during his interview with John King of CNN, he consistently cheated (including with Cindy) on his first wife, Carol, before he kicked her on the curve all together. And his temper is legendry that even his GOP senators openly admit it. I am sorry, but this man is not fit to be the president of this country. He lacks the temperament required.

Posted by: McSame | September 9, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

A real maverick would have left government service and tried to work independently to solve some of the problems facing our nation. McCain took a very predictable, easy route for a man with a trophy wife and access to loads of money. He ran for office.

He was an underachiever at USNA (near the very bottom of the class), and his record in the Senate does not stir great passion in anyone from what I can see.

I used to admire him much more, but when he started cozying up to the "agents of intolerance," I just cringed.

Finally, why is it that those people who think the government is most damaging (usually Republicans) are so eager to work IN government.

At least the Democratic view is that the government has some duties toward its citizens.

Posted by: Kate | September 9, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

"Some people have called me a maverick" says McCain.

Actually it's mostly McCain who calls himself a maverick. He's self-invented. He's phony as a two-dollar bill. And he's picked someone who may be even more of a phony to be his sidekick. Bonus: she thinks we'll pray our way out of this mess. No science for me! I like mooseburgers!

POW and his Snow Bunny. That's it. He's a maverick like I'm Louis XIV.

Posted by: Louis XIV | September 9, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

The original term of maverick came from the early settlers of the "old west" to describe a wild ranging mustang that was hard to break, and once broke, unpredictable.
Ref. Louis L'Amour (pick a book)
The term also is used to describe; gun toting outlaws, lawmen, people who just wanted to be left alone, politicians and business owners.
Can you be a maverick by definition 5% of the time? I believe that 5% constitutes a
nuisance definition. Nothing more.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

As you know John will retire as President on his 73rd birthday because he will.

I think that Sarah will make a great President and that Todd should be her VP.

Freddie and Fannie can be their friends and shoot moose with them after they move to Washington, which is on the West Coast.

Freddie may be broke but he and Fannie have a lot in common: they are indebted to the American people and their bankers.

If Sarah can tax people and then give them back their money why can't she do the same to Freddie and Fannie. I think that Sarah might do this because she is a memeber of the NRA and Todd and she are secessionists. (No, they do not come from Alabama. They come from Alaska,Canada.)

Sarah will root out corruption. I know this because after she got caught with her fingers in the till she said that she did not like the Good Ole Boys. Therefore, sarah must be a sincere person or she would not have said this, would she?

Vote 1 for Sarah.

(Anyone that eats a dieing moose cannot be all bad.)

Posted by: Robert James | September 9, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Acting is supposed to be genuine! McCain nails it every time. And just why is this Maverick having Palin do all his talking? That's not leadership! What a Loser!

Posted by: gwilli | September 9, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

The original term of maverick came from the early settlers of the "old west" to describe a wild ranging mustang that was hard to break, and once broke, unpredictable.
Ref. Louis L'Amour (pick a book)
The term also is used to describe; gun toting outlaws, lawmen, people who just wanted to be left alone, politicians and business owners.
Can you be a maverick by definition 5% of the time? I believe that 5% constitutes a
nuisance definition. Nothing more.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't feel safe with this man driving me in his car; how on earth can I feel safe with him driving the country?

Posted by: Dr. Dunne | September 9, 2008 7:33 PM
______________
Good point!
But their scheme is Palin driver with McCain in the front seat, along Oil Avenue (as per "God's Will" and "Plans"), and a pregnant Nation, captive in the back seat, eating moose-burger and wearing Palin-style eyeglasses, with blinders instead of lenses.

Posted by: El Mugroso | September 10, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't feel safe with this man driving me in his car; how on earth can I feel safe with him driving the country?

Posted by: Dr. Dunne | September 9, 2008 7:33 PM
______________
Good point!
But their scheme is Palin as driver with McCain, Bush and Rove in the front seat, along Oil Avenue (as per "God's Will" and "Plans"), and a pregnant Nation, captive in the back seat, eating moose-burger and wearing Palin-style eyeglasses with blinders instead of lenses.

Posted by: El Mugroso | September 10, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Given the ongoing outrageous outright lies of the McCain campaign, what makes anyone believe a statement that they will clean up this mess?

McCain also promised to run a clean campaign, a promise he hasn't kept, and appears to have no interest in keeping.

Posted by: somerseten | September 10, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Why is John McCain a hero? What is a Hero? I thought a hero is someone you would want to emulate. Getting shot down and getting tortured and making propaganda for your captors really make a hero? You know the old John McCain used to make light of the hero talk what happened to that guy.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it obvious that McCain's "maverick" tag is his only device for getting elected, other than smearing Obama? The icon of a lone crusader is so powerful in America that it still plays today, and the Republican PR machine is playing it pitch-perfect. Obama needs to RELENTLESSLY mock, deflate, challenge and belittle this phony maverick image at every stop, during every speech, and in every debate. Pit bull time, Democrats...

Posted by: Nigel | September 10, 2008 2:58 AM | Report abuse

"The original term of maverick came from the early settlers of the "old west" to describe a wild ranging mustang that was hard to break, and once broke, unpredictable.
Ref. Louis L'Amour (pick a book)"

You're confusing "maverick" and "mustang." Mustangs are wild horses that are hard to break and hard to keep broke. Mavericks are cows that don't have a brand on them. They are usually even more stupid than your average cow -- they don't have enough sense to stay with the herd that protects them from predators and leads them to water and feed.

Posted by: Capncuster | September 10, 2008 3:06 AM | Report abuse

AMERICA, OBAMA and JIHAD
Synthesis & Prospective
(OPED can be published in two Parts)

Obama has finally revealed himself totally ignorant of IDEOLOGY WAR.
Obama could send as many soldiers to be killed, and spend as many billions of dollars, in Afghanistan instead of Iraq (what an innovative revolution ! ) : that would not change one iota, on the long term, in the War against Islam Terrorism.

The real and only target on the long term being the Madrasas, Islamic Schools & Centres, etc. who teach tirelessly the murderous hatred of all non-Muslims : (Jews, Christians, Hindouists, Buddhists, Shintoists, Animists, Shamanists, Marxists, etc.)

Al-Qaida, Talibans, Ayatollahs, Mollahs, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other similar Syndicates, all fully loaded with petrodollars, but feeling often humiliated, are thirsting for revenge, and want to set to Occident a spectacular and unforgettable example of the true MUHAMMADAN JIHAD.
Therefore, they will not hesitate, one minute, to use the Atomic (or other sophisticated) Weapon to wipe off Israel, to set ablaze the Middle East Oil reserves (of the “civilized World”) and to strike the powerful but “dangerously vulnerable” USA …
And then, the 11-9 surprise of the twin towers of New-York will be nothing compared to the Hell Disaster to come.

And here again, Barack Hosein Obama (by himself and with his background family “in limits”) appears completely disarmed, glued and vulnerable in the interlocked Fundamentals of this Islam Terrorism Ideology.
At least, John Mc Cain offers an efficient guaranty of the valuable experience of collective discipline, which is one of the minimum conditions of waging war against Terrorism.

{-{-{: On the way of waging War efficiently, on the long term, against Islamic Terrorism, without ENDLESSLY sacrificing life of Soldiers and wasting Billions of Dollars :
SEE : http://jerusalem-4thtemple-natan.blogspot.com
Post : “ROBOMARTYRS” }-}-}
**************************************************************************************

Installed in his demagogic but ignorant mental frame, Barack Hosein Obama has nevertheless revealed himself as ignorant of ISLAM as he is ignorant of this IDEOLOGY WAR, when he declared pompously :
“Al-Qaida and Talibans have perverted Islam !”

Al-Qaida and Talibans have NOT “perverted Islam”, as Obama would like so much to think :
Al-Qaida, Talibans, Ayatollahs, Mollahs, Madrasas, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc. are just longing for THE original Islam Fundamentals :

In that respect, ambitious Obama would be well inspired to spare ten minutes of his life to read, for instance, Koran Sura IX “al-Tuwba” -“Immunity”- in Arabic or in English (on condition of bewaring of most Koran translations, which are biased and toned down to avoid to reveal to Westerners the true and crude Islam)

Here after, some Koran extracts of this Sura - Sura IX “al-Tuwba” -“Immunity” - (translated in English), plus other little Koran extracts, from the Book On-Line : “The Temple of Solomon could not stand on its Water-Tower”:

FOLDER 54

Page 1984 - 5
Koran : Sura : IV : "An-Nisa" : "Women" : Verse : 95 :
Not equal are those Believers who stay at home
(other than those who have a disabling hurt)
and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah
with their goods and their lives.
Allah has conferred on those who fight with their wealth and lives
a rank above those who stay at home.
To all in Faith has Allah promised good.
But He will bestow on those who fight
a greater Reward (in Paradise) than on those who stay at home.

Koran : Sura VIII : "Al-Anfal" : "The Loot" : Verse : 67 :
It is not fitting for a Prophet that he should make any prisoner of war
until he has fought and slaughtered all the Unbelievers on earth.

Page 1986
Koran : Sura IX : "Al-Tawba" : "Immunity" : Verse : 20 :
Those who believe, and suffer exile
and strive and fight in the cause of Allah
with their goods and their lives,
will have the highest rank in the sight of Allah (in Paradise) :
They are the people who will achieve Salvation.

Koran : Sura IX : "Al-Tawba" : "Immunity" : Verse : 24 :
Recite (Muhammad) :
If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates,
or your kindred, the wealth that you have gained,
the commerce in which you fear a decline,
or the dwellings in which you delight
- (if all these) are dearer to you than Allah, and His Messenger,
and the fighting in His cause (Jihad) –
then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (at the Final Judgment):
- Allah does not welcome transgressing people -

Koran : Sura IX : "Al-Tawba" : "Immunity" : Verse : 30 :
The Jews say: “Uzair (?) is the son of Allah.”(?),
and the Christians say : “The Messiah (Jesus) is the son of Allah.”
- That is their saying with their mouths ! -
In this, they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say.
May Allah massacre them all !
How perverse are they !

Koran : Sura IX : "Al-Tawba" : "Immunity" : Verse : 38-39 (extracts):
O you who believe !
Very little is the fleeting pleasure of this life,
compared with the Hereafter (after the Resurrection).
If you not go forth to fight,
Allah will punish you with a painful doom in (Hell)
And put others in your place.
But Him you could not harm in the least.
- For Allah has power over all things. -

Koran : Sura IX : "Al-Tawba" : "Immunity" : Verse : 73 :
O Prophet ! Fight hard against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites,
Be ruthless against them.
Their ultimate abode will be Hell
- an evil refuge indeed. -

Koran : Sura IX : "Al-Tawba" : "Immunity" : Verse : 111 :
Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods :
They fight His Jihad
For them in return will be the Garden (of Paradise)
Let them slay or be slain !

Koran : Sura IX : "Al-Tawba" : "Immunity" : Verse : 123 :
O you who believe!
Fight all Unbelievers who gird you about,
and let them find you always ruthless :
Know that Allah is with those who fear Him !

Koran : Sura IX : "Al-Tawba" : "Immunity" : Verse : 29 :
Fight those who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day,
nor hold as forbidden
that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Prophet,
nor acknowledge the religion of Truth (Islam)
and fight the People of the Book (Jews and Christians),
until they pay the Jizya
(Tribute which must be paid to the Moslems by all the “dhimmis”
i.e. by the Christians and the Jews)
with willing submission,
and feel themselves subjected and humiliated !

Page 1989
Koran : Sura II : "Al-Baqara : The (Red) Cow" : Verse : 247 :
Allah grants His kingdom to whom He pleases.
- Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. -

Page 1990
Koran : Sura : IV : "An-Nisa" : "Women" : Verse : 76 :
Those who believe, fight in the cause of Allah,
and those who reject (Islam) Faith, fight for the cause of Evil:
So fight you against the friends of Satan,
as the strategy of Satan will always be weaker.


It would be interesting if the Medias would decide to study seriously the problem of WORLD ISLAM IDEOLOGY, instead of basking in a deaf-and-blind conventional ambiguity :
All the more so as the issue of this Islam Ideology problem is certainly one of the most challenging in this century, considering the colossal weight of the Petro-Dollars, considering the dazzling possibilities offered by biological, chemical and atomic weapons, and considering the irreversible fanaticism of the Warriors of Islam and of their Robo-Martyrs…

Natan 2008


Posted by: Natan | September 10, 2008 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Who's this freaky Natan person?? Work WITH the medication, pal...

Posted by: Nigel | September 10, 2008 3:27 AM | Report abuse

A comment I've read somewhere else - I think a letter writer to the NY Times - put it very succinctly regarding this bail out: Privatize the profits, socialize the debt. And there you have it.

Obama '08

Posted by: whiippoorwill | September 10, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

A comment I've read somewhere else - I think a letter writer to the NY Times - put it very succinctly regarding this bail out: Privatize the profits, socialize the debt. And there you have it.

Obama '08

Posted by: whiippoorwill | September 10, 2008 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Hussein Osama I mean Obama took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes (otherwise known as contributions) from Freddie and Fannie and did nothing to reign in their excesses.
And just like McCain he supports the current bailout with the proviso that changes come later.
So if Hussein is so big on Cha Cha Change
how come all his Cha Cha Changes come way down the road?
It is like Hussein's LIES about Iraq...
He'll withdraw all the troops but only sometime eight years from now on another President's watch...
The only Cha Cha Change Hussein believes in is the color of the cans he intends to kick down the road.
And by the way, Hussein needs to watch his "Pig Lip" insults...
You know, glass houses and all...

Posted by: JamesT | September 10, 2008 4:29 AM | Report abuse

Maverick? McCain would make the bush tax cuts permanent at the estimated cost of 1 trillion dollars over 4 years. The elimination of all earmarks and pork barrel spending would save about $18 billion. So much for his economic expertise. The man is not a maverick -- just a fraud charging at any windmill to get elected.

Posted by: steve | September 10, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

In this looking-glass world of American politics, corruption will be the stamp of Sarah Palin everywhere she goes.

She's the attractive magician's assistant who distracts you, while the loot is being stuffed into sacks.

Posted by: Jamie | September 10, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Mr Mallaby's comments seem more suitable for the NY Times than the Washington Post. These, his recent comments, are suggesting we believe Obama's speeches, which attempt to explain what he will do, rather than studying his record of what he has accomplished - and that somehow in the liberal mindset promises are more important than actions...

Posted by: William - Illinois | September 10, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

AsperGirl,
You should take the time to read Mallaby's post. He says that the argument McCain and Palin make is accurate-- that Fannie and Freddie "misbehaved"-- but that their prescription-- allowing them to continue exactly as they are-- is flawed and senseless.
Considering your reflexive Republican bias and attacks on anyone who doesn't share your narrow, limited worldview, however, I suppose you can't stop drinking the Haterade long enough to write a coherent post.

Posted by: DB | September 10, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

To paraphrase Joe Biden on Rudy Giuliani, with specific regard to John McCain:
"McCain = Personal pronoun, past tense of verb to be, POW."
And this mantra may get this bellicose phoney and Miss Mooseburger elected???
Lord help us all!!!

Posted by: Michael T. | September 10, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

McCain continues to reinvent himself--and that's what he passes off as change. We need more than changing positions for real change. McCain lost the maverick label by voting with Bush 90-100% of the time. Check his record--in one of the last 2 years he has been 100% in line with Bush. He's gone against his party a few times, and crossed the aisle even fewer times. And the times he went against this party, that's change because that's where he has now changed his position and gotten in line with his party. Being in lock step with Bush-Cheney isn't change and it's far from maverick

Posted by: USneedsObama | September 10, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

McCain dies in office and Palin takes over as president. That is almost as good as my 96 year old mother taking over and she is almost blind! But than so is the public.

Posted by: Arthur Gittleman | September 10, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

We have to start thinking seriously about this financial mess we are in. The watchdog media seems to be going along with the government to prevent the people from knowing how off track we are gone.

The economic slowdown/recession has just begun, contrary to the cable tv pundits who keep talking about a potentialrebound, and certainly contrary to politicans who say the economy is fundamentally sound. It is very much unsound.

Savings rate is negative, not even zero. American individual debt is larger than its savings.

Total mortgages underwritten by FRE/FNM total $5T. It is estmated that $1T of this is in serious peril of default. Most of this default is from MIDDLE class homeowners, not the poor, or subprime borrowers. Under the terms of the government nationalization/bailout, taxpayers are on the hook for $1T to be paid to holders of otherwise worthless investments which they gleefully sunk money into.

Of the people who may default on the $1T, are many middle class people who have run up huge credit card and home equity debt as well as unaffordable mortgages. This credit debt owed to banks is not guaranteed like mortgage default. The banks are vulnerable here.

Private equity firms were able to leverage their investments using $9 of debt to each $1 of equity investment. Much of this investment went into commercial real estate, which now faces rising vacancy rates. Strip malls and office buildings are having to cut lease terms,and still there are few takers, especially in the midwest and south. There is no bailout protection here for the banks who loaned the money to build these commercial facilities.

There is a real likelihood that our banking system could collapse, like it nearly did in the Great Depression. The people who put us here, from both political parties, but especially the GOP who refused to provide meaningful oversight of the government, the financial markets, and the wasteful war in Iraq.

Americans, we need stop taking sides and screaming for 'victory' or 'pullout'. Consider the 4 candidates who are seeking to run this country. Evaluate their policies and judge their ability to recruit the right people to government. Pick the candidates who demonstrate the intellectual capacity to understand the scope of this financial problem, stand up to Wall Street and get the country back on track. FDR saved the banking system. We need another FDR this time around.

Posted by: LeftGuy | September 10, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

If you actually believe McCain or Palin wrote of word of that Op-ed, then you also believed that the collider that was fired up today was really going to end the world!

Posted by: CapHill DC | September 10, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Why is John McCain sitting on 800,000 pages of papers on the Jack Abramoff hearing? Why is he allowed to stamp them "Do not open until 2056". He no longer chairs the Indian Affairs Committee. Why are these papers not public? Why is the media letting this happen?

Posted by: Thomas Skowronski | September 10, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Isn't McCain campaign being operated by a former Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac's lobbyist? What kind of "change" are they talking about? Are American people that stupid? Sadly, as once put by Vladimir Lenin (who is McCain's hero) “a lie told often enough becomes truth”.

Posted by: TaoZen | September 10, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The distinction is clear. Obama is the progressive choice, McCain is the Washington insider- more centralized politics- supports monopolies!

Remember Bushies gave us the same old song and dance for 2000 and 2004 and he turned out to be the worst president in modern day history! And now some of you want to vote for his GOP brother, John McCain?

George Bush, Karl Rove and the GOP faction have used this type of character assignation tactic over and over again. What did we learn from this?

That the very same people that offer this sort of political fray were the politicians short on dignity, character and intelligence! And in Bushes case- corrupt, narcissistic and subversive!

This is what our nation cannot abscond from!
McCain has voted with inept and corrupt GOP ideology 95% of the time and with Bush over 90% of the time.

This is the kicker, McCain, 26 years as a senator, is a top ranking GOP senior senator of this current financial mess!

Never mind what a candidate looks like, the physical attributes or the name, these are facts that are hindering our businesses, our families our nation everyday! Insider- now we know the definition of "Maverick!"

Posted by: rube | September 10, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

THE CLAIM: McCain's ad asserts he has fought pork-barrel spending, the drug industry and fellow Republicans, reforming Washington in the process, and credits Palin with similarly changing Alaska by taking on the oil industry, challenging her own party and ditching the bridge project that became a national symbol of wasteful spending.

THE FACTS: Palin did abandon plans to build the nearly $400 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport. But she made her decision AFTER the project had become an embarrassment to the state and federal dollars for the project were pulled back.

Posted by: caferide | September 10, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The mortgage Interest deduction goes into homeowners pockets and it should not be changed. Your a little misguided hear it only benefits the housing industry to the extent that he keeps homeprices up? Given all the pain the real estate markets are in now, do you really think it would be a ggod idea to elimiate the home mortage deduction! OMG. Secondly the GSE was very corrupt. The entitis gave 123,000 dollars to Obama's campaign for Senate? Well yes this borders on corruption!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Replace the name "McCain" with "Obama" and this article is pretty accurate. Obama has also never been a maverick, unless you count his relationships with Bill Avery, "Rev." Wright", the mentor in Hawaii, MoveOn.org and Michael Moore. HE has NEVER bucked his own party on any issue and has fought for more than $100 million in earmarks for his State. "Change we belive in". What change?

Posted by: rljmsilver | September 10, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Let's be honest!

Palin had to idea what a VP did only just a few months ago, THEN!, the neo-cons come a knocking and say, "Hey Sarah, we've got a proposition for you. Ready?"

Now I don't blame Palin for jumping at the chance, but in reality, she entered a one sided agreement. Then say jump, and she asks how high.

As for McCain, well, he ain't in change, or maverick enough, to even pick the VP. As we remember, Ridge and Liberman were top of this "mavericks" list. He caved.

As for Obama and Biden... They may not make the nations best duo, but at least they are interested in moving away from the last 8 years of economic disaster. McCain and Palin have no idea what to do in terms of this issue, and will let the Neo-Cons will just keep rolling along.

Posted by: rob | September 10, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I would have to agree with the first poster. Fannie and Freddie didn't fail because they were making risky loans. They were making perfectly fine loans, no 18% adjustable arms or any of those shenanigans. Fannie and Freddie failed when the OTHER banks (I'm looking at you, Countrywide) made loans at userous rates and colluded with appraisers to artificially drive up the selling prices.

Then, all of Fannie and Freddie's responsible loans suddenly became precarious and their stock value began to fall on mere panick.

Posted by: Laura | September 10, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

What does the dough boy have to say about change when he is employing the same tactics as the Evangelical Party used in the last two elections to deny Americans a vote and use Jim Crow tactics against American citizens?

VOTING MANIPULATION

State Republicans, though, have a plan to give the McCain campaign an edge: suppress the vote.

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP's effort to challenge some voters on Election Day. "We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses," party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

State election rules allow parties to assign "election challengers" to polls to monitor the election. In addition to observing the poll workers, these volunteers can challenge the eligibility of any voter provided they "have a good reason to believe" that the person is not eligible to vote. One allowable reason is that the person is not a "true resident of the city or township."

The Michigan Republicans' planned use of foreclosure lists is apparently an attempt to challenge ineligible voters as not being "true residents."

The scheme would, of course, disproportionately affect African-American families in the area, who are more likely to vote Democratic, and more likely to be in foreclosure as a result of sub-prime loans.

This is just part of a "comprehensive voter-challenge campaign" Michigan Republicans are launching this year, which will coordinate with the regional McCain campaign to train volunteers in challenging those who wish to vote on Election Day. (Whether the foreclosure-driven scheme will be implemented statewide is unclear.)

Asked about the GOP's efforts, Carabelli said, "I would rather not tell you all the things we are doing."


THIS IS THE SAME TYPE OF THING THE DID TO DENY SOLDIERS SERVING IN IRAQ THE OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE IN PAST ELECTIONS.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Amusing. The Post has a column named "Opnion". The whole stinking rag is opinion. Devoid of what could be considered any real journalism. Cancel my subscription. The Washington Post is a large part of today's problems.

Posted by: Puck the Fost | September 16, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

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