Archive for September, 2008

Did Democrats Dissuade Congress From Instituting Proper Regulation on GSEs like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Who’s to blame for the crisis? Nance Pelosi would have you believe that it was George Bush and the Republicans. But in reality, didn’t Democrats put pressure on GSEs to make risky loans? And didn’t Democrats try to downplay the dangerous activities of those GSEs?

Yes, yes they did.

Why did Democrats skip economics in high school? Perhaps if they hadn’t we would be hearing about so many failing GSEs. Also, we wouldn’t be hearing the bogus accusation that “the market failed.”

Do the Dems even know to what they are referring?


What Did Pelosi Say On The Floor Today? (UPDATE)

As, probably, everyone knows, the ‘‘Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008’’ did not make it through the House today. Despite having 60% of the Democrats for the Act, it lacked Republican support and nearly 100 Democratic votes. Republican leaders cite Nancy Pelosi’s remarks today before the vote as particularly divisive and one of the main reasons that the proposed plan did not receive as much support as it could have:


Understanding the ‘‘Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008’’

I’ve been on the road for most of the day today (I paid a visit to some relatives in PA), so I haven’t had a chance to read the economic stimulus package (Here’s the full text of the ‘‘Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008’’ in pdf form). However, listening to NPR and C-Span’s radio programming while driving in addition to the little bit of cable news coverage I viewed when I returned home, I can say this:

  1. We can’t just focus on Wall St., but we have to take care of the folks on Main St. too. and
  2. No golden parachutes for executives.

I must have heard (1.) today somewhere between 40 and 50 times during my 7 hours on the road. (2) I’ve heard less often than (1.) but still an estimated 25 times would not be far off the mark.

Way can’t the media, the candidates and members of congress refrain from over-using these rhetorical terms?

“His Excellency”?

Little Green Footballs – Video: Ahmadinejad Gets Applause, Hugs at the UN General Assembly.

The Lord’s Prayer

Here’s The Lord’s Prayer in three Old English dialects. Click on the little players to the upper right of the texts to hear the pronunciation.


Come On, Thomson Reuters (EndNote), Don’t Be Like That

If you’ve used “EndNote” (a bibliography resource and information database organization program made by Thomson Reuters), then you may have come across a few annoying “issues” that can make the program less-than satisfying. That’s why GMU’s Center for History and New Media developed “Zotero.” Here’s the Wiki description:


Aye, Nay… and Present

Some folks have criticized John McCain for wanting to postpone a pre-scheduled debate between him and Senator Obama. There may be grounds for critism, but not the kind that Huffpo blogger (and Democratic senator) Barbara Boxer is making.

hammering McCain for calling for a suspension of Friday night’s presidential debate.

“This is certainly the right time for the American people to see these two candidates talk about the serious challenges our country faces both here and around the world.”

“We need a president who can handle more than one challenge at a time. In life, when times get tough, you don’t get time-outs.”

First of all, serious economists at Cafe Hayek found it “Shameful” that not one of the three senators (namely, McCain, Obama, and the other guy) running for office had made any plans to attend Congress during this discussion. McCain, Maverick he is, knew that the old boy politics in which Obama and the other guy engage is not something that we need. “Country First” has been McCain’s motto, and discussion of the biggest government bailout, possibly, ever is something that a resposible senator would make a priority. Besides, the econ guys at Cafe Hayek have their own ideas about what skipping this monumental discussion should cost the candidates:

If they’re not going to fulfill their obligations, they should resign from office and refuse to accept their pay.

Also, Boxer may not realize what postponing the debate would achieve. If the debate were to be postponed,

  1. The American people would get to see real (as opposed to “promised”) actions that politicians take in this situation. It’s fine to lay out a plan to post on your campaign website, but it’s another thing to actually get up and fight for your cause, taking part in a bipartisan agreement. If the debate takes place the day of Congressional proceedings it is likely that folks will not have had time to digest the arguments and proposals that were decided upon or rejected by Congress.
  2. Any criticism or questions that may arise in the days following the Congressional decision, regarding particular positions taken by the candidates, can potentially be answered during the Presidential debate.
  3. If such a thing were to happen then McCain could explain why he took a principled and informed position and voted as he did. Obama, on the other hand, would have to explain why he (as is his habit) voted “Present.”

While, indeed, McCain is more than likely making a strategic move (even if his strategy is just to be a better leader than Obama and to put “Country First”), it does not follow that McCain is shirking his obligations by fulfilling his duties as a U.S. Senator.