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Democrats: The party that can't govern.
10 years ago

The current Democrat party has proven it is incapable of governing. They are so wedded to the mode of criticizing and grandstanding that they can't actually make decisions and implement policies. Life was so much easier for them when they could just sit back and criticize Bush while he did all the hard work.

Now they're starting to take shots at Obama instead doing the hard work. Here's Maxine Waters:

Rep. Waters Demands Obama Clarify AIG Bonus Provision Waters' comments were the strongest criticism yet from a Democrat over the controversy that continues to grow.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., called on President Obama on Friday to explain what happened when a provision was added to his economic stimulus bill last month that allowed AIG employees to receive $165 million in bonuses.

Waters' comments were the strongest criticism yet from a Democrat over a controversy that continues to grow.

Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn, confessed Wednesday to adding language to a spending cap in the stimulus bill that specifically excluded executive bonuses agreed to before the bill's passage. But he added that Treasury officials forced him to make the change to protect the government from potential lawsuits.

It was a reversal from Dodd's position a day earlier, when he strongly denied he had anything to do with adding the provision.

"They've got some explaining to do," Waters told Joe Scarborough on his WABC radio show Friday morning. "And I think the president is going to have to clarify to the American public what took place between Treasury and Mr. Dodd.

"Obviously, there appears to be some sort of an agreement that they would protect AIG from having to give those bonuses. I don't know who said what and when," she added. "Chris Dodd said he wrote the language but that he was pressured practically by Treasury. Maybe the president is not up to speed on what is going on, but I think it is going to have to be clarified."

The provision added to the stimulus bill was a broad measure that applied to all companies receiving bailout money, not just AIG, though the AIG bonuses in particular have caused outrage in Washington and around the country after the insurance giant received more than $170 billion in federal aid.

The U.S. government now has an 80 percent stake in the company, which was hit hard by the downturn in the housing sector and by the failure of complex securities based on risky mortgages.

This is quickly shaping up to be the most incompetent administration of my lifetime - and I was alive during the Carter fiasco. And it is dragged down deeper by the worst Congress ever.

If I didn't have a sense of humor, I might not be able to survive the next four years. Well, that and the fact that as long as there is a global economy out there, and the Cayman Islands, guys like me will always do fine.

This post was modified from its original form on 21 Mar, 13:55
10 years ago

This is quickly shaping up to be the most incompetent administration of my lifetime - and I was alive during the Carter fiasco. And it is dragged down deeper by the worst Congress ever.

Agree!!! The worst ever in our history!!! I honestly feel that this President should be impeached for incompetence to lead and govern! This getting very serious... Especially when he releases known enemy combatants to light security... Woe is us if we do not act...

10 years ago

Knock it off with the impeachment talk. It makes you sound as looney as the Bush haters.

I don't hate Obama. I don't think he's stupid, and I don't think he's evil. He's a guy who never had a job in his life and is shockingly unprepared to be President of the United States. There is no high crime or misdemeanor in incompetence.

Slightly more than half the electorate voted for him, and now we get what we deserve for the next four years.

10 years ago

betcha that slightly 1/2 was people who have never voted before and voted just b/c BO is black!!!!  I am hoping his failure on the Bailout will get him only 1 term!!!

No...WE don't get what we is those that voted for him get what they deserved.  We R the victims of it all.   They wanted this liberal in....not realizing what they really voted for....NOW THEY WHINE!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Me too....will do fine w/the crummy economy.  Good or bad economy doesn't decide my income or my outlook in life like it does some.  Every year I improve in many ways and I have no one to give credit to but myself.    Too many people rely on someone else to bail them out....when that doesn't happen they get bitter, blame others when in the long run it is there own doing by the situation they are in.

This post was modified from its original form on 21 Mar, 14:28
10 years ago

I don't think a President should be incompetent when it comes to leading a country. I don't mean to upset you with using the "I" word and I certainly don't want to sound loonie, but don't you think that this guy could do some irrepairable damage to our country? Damage that could have been avoided? Maybe I am being a bit paranoid Jeff, but I don't find a lot of confidence in the guy. He is my sons Commander in Chief and guess what? My son, along with his fellow Marines are getting ready to go to the Outback for a month of training to go to Afghanistan. Does Obama know what plans are in place to make sure that the job that needs to be done is the right job? I mean the guy is kissing the asssses of Chavez and the idiot Supreme Leader Ahmadinejad!

I wish I could be like you on this one Jeff, and I usually follow your lead when I am unsure... But I have never been more unsure of our country's leadership as I am now and I am very worried... I would like to see Obama out...

10 years ago

You'll get that chance in four years. Rather than wasting time with talk of impeachment, focus on the 2010 Congressional elections. Those mean something.

10 years ago

Well, who are you focusing on for 2010? I don't think California has much hope of anyone that I see so far!

10 years ago

Barbara Boxer is vulnerable.  Pelosi could be beaten by a dead dog.

The focus has to be on a good candidate. Al Ramirez, si; Arnie,no.

10 years ago


We're doomed...

10 years ago

betcha that slightly 1/2 was people who have never voted before and voted just b/c BO is black!!!! 

This might be true. A lot of people supported what his campaign promises, and most of them still do, and still hope he will come through, though with the economy it will be hard.

10 years ago

Obama was not elected because he is black. He was elected because Bush had a disastrous last year of his term, and the Republicans failed to nominate a candidate who could clearly and convincingly make the case that he had a better approach.

Good point Jeff
10 years ago

They took the war approach, when clearly a large percentage of the population was expressing they were tired of the war. That's just on one front.

10 years ago

I'm not sure the war was the problem. Obama's conduct of the war turns out to be a continuation of the Bush approach. The bigger problem was McCain's failure to make a coherent case for an approach to the economic problem.

10 years ago

true on both points.

10 years ago

Though Obama presented a more vague 'peace' policy and ending the war, that surely hooked a lot of ignorant voters, perhaps even third party voters.

10 years ago

That's true. To anybody listening, though, his rhetoric during the primaries was very different from what he was saying during the presidential campaign.

Also true
10 years ago

funny enough though, many people waltzed around my community during the presidential campaign saying Obama wanted to withdraw troops from all the Mid. East activity, which you could find was false at any point on his website which stated, he would make withdrawal plans for Iraq, but had intentions of withdrawing from Afghanistan.

10 years ago

And even with Iraq, if you listened carefully, it became apparent that his plan to withdraw from Iraq wasn't any different from the one already in place.

10 years ago

Dems: the party that can campaign, but hasn't a clue how to govern. 

Remember the implementation of the 100 day plan of the new Dem congress in 2006? I don't blame you for not remembering it.

10 years ago

CLOSING BELL UPDATE: Wall Street 'in buying mood'; Dow sees best four weeks since 1933

UPDATE: Investors dove into stocks Thursday, extending a rally that gave the Dow Jones industrial average its best four weeks since 1933.

Stocks rose across the board in heavy trading following an accounting rule change that will help banks and commitments from world leaders to toughen up regulatory oversight of financial institutions.

The Dow Jones industrials broke through 8,000 for the first time since Feb. 9 but ended slightly below that level ahead of a closely-watched monthly report on employment Friday morning that could easily upset the market if it comes in below expectations.

The Dow is now up 20.4 percent over the last month, its biggest percentage gain in a four-week period since the spring of 1933. Bits of good news about the economy in recent weeks, including better-than expected-numbers on the housing and manufacturing sectors, have given investors more reasons to buy.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 216.24, or 2.8 percent, to close at 7,977.84, after earlier rising as much as 314 points.

Broader market indicators also rose sharply. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 23.30, or 2.9 percent, to 834.38. The Nasdaq composite index rose 51.03, or 3.3 percent, to 1,602.63.

Industrial and consumer discretionary stocks picked up speed Thursday while demand for safe-haven assets like gold, Treasurys and the dollar plummeted.

“Everyone is in a buying mood,” said Eric Ross, director of research at brokerage Canaccord Adams. “Everyone is feeling good. ... A lot of this is simply confidence.”

The market has managed to shrug off some negative data on employment recently such as initial claims for jobless benefits, but a far more important reading on the job market is coming up Friday morning, the monthly report from the Labor Department. That report is closely watched by investors and policy makers as a barometer of health for the U.S. economy.

PREVIOUS: Investors are buying up stocks again, sending the Dow Jones industrials above the 8,000 mark for the first time in nearly two months.

All the major indexes soared more than 3 percent today as optimism grew following more signs that the economy is on the mend.

Financial stocks led the rally, getting a big boost after the Financial Accounting Standards Board relaxed accounting rules forcing banks to value their assets at current prices. The change should help banks reduce losses.

Another positive indicator on the economy also lifted Wall Street sentiment. Factory orders posted a large increase in February, coming on the heels of better-than-expected readings on pending home sales, manufacturing activity and auto sales the day before.

“Everyone is in a buying mood,” said Eric Ross, director of research at brokerage Canaccord Adams. “Everyone is feeling good. ... A lot of this is simply confidence.”

The change in “mark-to-market” accounting rules sends another lifeline to the troubled banking industry. Many market participants believe financial stocks, which have largely carried the market’s four-week rally, are a gauge of when the economy is turning.

The market’s advance came as the world’s finance leaders met in London to discuss efforts to fix the global economy. The G-20 ministers plan to give the International Monetary Fund $500 billion, and create stricter rules for hedge funds.

In midday trading, the Dow rose 256.79, or 3.3 percent, to 8,018.39.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 28.25, or 3.5 percent, to 839.33. The Nasdaq composite index rose 60.25, or 3.9 percent, to 1,611.85.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies jumped 21.83, or 5.1 percent, to 450.99.

For every three stocks that fell, nine stocks rose on the New York Stock Exchange where volume came to 642 million shares.


10 years ago

MARKET SNAPSHOT: March Madness Might Bode Well For Stocks In Coming Months

By Nick Godt

Stocks ended March on a very upbeat note, posting their best monthly gains in more than six years and one of the top 20 months since 1950, a good omen for the market a year from now, if history is any guide.

"Prior history shows that future market performance the following month and within the following year tends to be positive," said Dan Greenhaus, market strategist at Miller Tabak.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 86 points, or 1.2%, to end at 7,608, while the Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) rose 26 points, or 1.8%, to end at 1,528.

The S&P 500 index (SPX), which most investing professionals use as a benchmark for the broad market, was up 10 points, or 1.3%, at 797 Tuesday, giving it an 8.54% advance for March. That's the best monthly gain since an 8.64% gain in October 2002.

For March, the Dow 7.7% and the Nasdaq rose 10.9%.

For the S&P 500, this month's gain ranks as the 17th largest monthly gain since 1950 - which might bode well for stocks both for April and for a year from now.

Greenhaus looked at the 20 largest monthly gains since 1950. In the month following those gains, the market tended to rise an average 0.96%. Within a year, it gained 11.79%.

Out of the top 20 months for the S&P 500 since 1950, only three saw the market end lower a year later, and all three occurred around exceptional times.


10 years ago

Might bode well...or not. We'll see.

Stocks rose across the board in heavy trading following an accounting rule change that will help banks and commitments from world leaders to toughen up regulatory oversight of financial institutions.

U.S. accounting rulemakers bowed to congressional and financial industry pressure on Thursday by allowing more flexibility in valuing toxic assets, a move expected to boost bank earnings and improve their capital levels.

The five-member Financial Accounting Standards Board voted unanimously to let banks exercise more judgment in using mark-to-market accounting that has forced billions of dollars in writedowns and been blamed for worsening the recession.

But the board split 3-2 on backing guidance that would let lenders take smaller losses on impaired assets such as mortgage backed securities, a move critics said would let banks hide reality from investors.

The accounting changes were credited with helping U.S. stock rally for a third day, by supporting optimism the financial sector will stabilize in the short term.

Many lawmakers, banks and other supporters of the changes argue that pricing assets to firesale prices during a time of inactive markets has exacerbated the financial crisis through the writedowns, big earnings hits, damage to capital ratios, and a reduced ability to lend.

Investors and some former regulators take a different view, saying that more flexibility with the rules would let big banks hide the real value of their troubled assets.

"I think it's a mistake. If it's too cold in the room, you don't fix the problem by holding a candle under the thermometer," William Poole, former Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis president, told Reuters at a conference in New Orleans.

"It may increase reported bank earnings by 20 percent, but it has nothing to do with the reality of bank earnings. It's very important to maintain that distinction," Poole said.

Initial euphoria among business lobbyists over the changes was tempered as it became clear FASB would not let banks presume that all transactions within a market are distressed just because a market for an asset is inactive.

"FASB has taken one step forward and one step back," said Thomas Quaadman, executive director for reporting policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The changes would take effect in the second quarter for most U.S. financial firms, but early adoption could be allowed for first quarter results. The guidance documents should be issued next week, FASB staff said.


FASB deliberated for three hours in a drab boardroom that was filled with dozens of representatives of accounting firms, banks and insurance companies. "I think this is an improvement," FASB Chairman Robert Herz said of the changes.

But board members Marc Siegel and Thomas Linsmeier cast dissenting votes on the guidance for how companies write-down assets that have dropped significantly in value.

"I'm afraid that this change will result in fewer impairments being recognized, and I don't think that will help the investor confidence in the balance sheet," Siegel told the meeting.....

10 years ago

Gee what don't I understand with this group using the name "AMERICAN' Politics?"

10 years ago

The problem is that it is an exceptional case.

There still needs to be some transparency in order for people to feel safe buying the 'toxic assets'.

That mark~to~market fails when the bottom drops out doesn't mean that there should not be something or someway to evaluate the value other than it just coming from the businesses owning the assets.

There is probably not going to be a lot of trust there.

The point that they do not want to raise capital to cover what they will hold for a longer period of time seems valid, but there needs to be codified the explicit rules.

Confidence will inspire a recovery and that is going to take diligence of continuing to build it up. Stemming the panic was a first step, guarding against over~confidence is also important. People have to be selective and not willy~nilly. It is important that the long haul be emphasized. Only those who have the money to gamble on the short term should do so.

Repairing the economy will not occur overnight. We can not simply step back on the same track. Small businesses, for one, need more attention. However, the potential is there to build a strong economy. Technology is very viable for the future, and useful in so many different areas. Cars, for instance.

A more complex infrastructure can allow for there to be more than one solution. Having a better mapped out progression, rather than haphazard. It is better to control growth and plan for the future. Doing so in a proper way will allow for there to be flexibility. Creating opportunities, ones where success is higher. Successful businesses rather than upstarts that fail. Preventing clashes of ideas by giving all outlets.


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