Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
In a bi-partisan shocker, Congress voted down a $700 Billion dollar bail out of Wall Street that amounted to socialism.
From Foxnews.com (the only site that would load after the vote came through):
House leaders held open the vote as they tried to sway reluctant lawmakers to support the plan, which failed 205-228. Arm-twisting continued even after the vote clock expired. One member, retiring Republican Rep. Jerry Weller, did not vote.
The bill aimed to open up clogged credit lines for financial markets that had come to a near collapse. Sellers continued to shed stocks as the market teetered down more than 450 points after the vote ended.
Representatives worked throughout the weekend to make a bill palatable. Republicans had insisted on a mortgage securities insurance paid by firms who had invested in bad housing loans.
But many lawmakers continued to oppose the plan for a variety of reasons, including the massive price tag that would expand the national debt, and GOP members said constituents were calling 10-1 in opposition to the bill, which had been described as too much government intervention. Of 235 Democrats, 141 supported the legislation. Of 199 Republicans, 132 opposed it.
I hope to post later the way our Hoosier Congressmen voted on this bill once the House.gov sites are able to load again.
Voted against the bailout:
- Dan Burton
- Mike Pence
- Steve Buyer
- Pete Visclosky
- Andre Carson
- Baron Hill
Voted For the Bailout:
- Joe Donnelly
- Brad Ellsworth
- Mark Souder
Thanks to Sean Hackbarth for sending me the link.
Right now, I’m a little speechless that Mark Souder voted for the bailout. I’m interested to find out why. I hope to have press releases shortly from a few of our congressmen on the issue.
(Originally posted to Hoosier Access)
Now the question is ... Will John McCain craft a market based bill, that protects tax payers, and get it passed ... And in doing so gut President Bush and wannabe Obama
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Alas, as is common in American politics, it was a draw. John McCain looked Presidential, perhaps even more so than Bush has looked this week. He listened, he corrected, he was polite, and he gave compelling reasons for us to elect him. But Barack Obama made the cut too, he has the lead in the polls and will probably maintain that 2-3% lead going into the first of next week.
Patrick Ruffini, accomplished blogger from the Next Right, posted his thoughts this morning on the debate, which I found solid and worth re-posting here:
Most of my instant reaction was on Twitter, but here are some thoughts in no particular order:
- McCain did very well in keeping the debate on his own ground. Notice how long we were discussing the surge and earmarks. This is a strategy he perfected in the primaries, and it's what enabled him to win the nomination -- because the Republican base disagreed with him on everything else. He is a very insistent debater, and controlled the flow and subject matter.
- McCain schooled Obama on the later non-Iraq foreign policy questions, particularly on Georgia. To the extent this wasn't covered by the snap polling since it occurred later in the debate, this should be to McCain's benefit in polling the next 24-48 hours.
- The pundit class seems to agree this one was a draw. There will be no rush to declare one man the winner like there was after the first 2004 debate. Kerry won the snap polls the night of the debate, but was winning 3-to-1 a few days later when asked who won. This made a 3-4 point difference in the polls.
- Obama is walking a fine line between professorial/detached and Zen-like/Presidential. You never know when he is going to slip into either mode. Debates are weird that way. They can turn liabilities into strengths and vice versa.
- Obama pronounces it Pah-kii-stan.
- Obama seems to have a major burr under his blanket when it comes to free markets and regulation. In both this debate and his acceptance speech, he seemed to go to great lengths to make a philosophical case for activist government. This inspires me to work even harder against him.
- McCain looked like a leader in calling for a freeze in government spending. Obama's line about using a scalpel not a hatchet reeked of rearranging the deck chairs, and thinking you can have your cake and eat it too in the middle of a major financial emergency. One of McCain's major calling cards is service and sacrifice. In this way, Obama would be like Bush who didn't ask us to sacrifice after 9/11.
- Was Henry Kissinger the gaffe of the evening?
Friday, September 26, 2008
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks has posted a lot more than normal today and offers to put $50 million of his own money up for an EFT type free market solution.
"If Treasury Secretary Paulson were to create an ETF to buy all the assets the bailout was planning to buy, along with all the warrants and shares of stocks in the bailout companies it can get, and then have any receipts generated by those assets, whether by sale, or regular income such as rent or mortgage payments or servicing them, go into the fund, I would buy at least $50,000,000.00 of shares in The Fund."
Ok, now real business people are starting to talk, and see opportunity, and none of them think the government should just throw cash at this and let any potential profits be squandered on community activists.
I have been in conversation with leading House Republicans all day. And they understand these key points. Unfortunately, this understanding did not materialize in their original meeting with Mr. Paulson a few days ago. But now the actual reality is sinking in.
Another point: Republican leader Eric Cantor has an excellent idea for a federal bond insurance guarantee for straight mortgage-backed paper, financed by private-sector insurance premiums. That will improve investor confidence in mortgage bonds and will make those bonds highly marketable. Importantly, senior Treasury officials have told me that Mr. Paulson will accept the insurance idea as an option in the final bill, alongside the ability of the Treasury to purchase distressed assets.
Sources also tell me that other conditions will be necessary to bring the House GOP along. First, the ACORN slush fund must be removed. Second, the so-called union proxy to run a slate of corporate directors is a big problem. Third, all profits from the Treasury rescue mission must be used to reduce the national debt — 100 percent. Fourth, Republican members are opposed to bankruptcy judges setting mortgage terms and interest rates (Sen. Obama also is opposed). Fifth, the so-called government equity ownership of banks is distasteful because it effectively creates a corporate tax increase on banks at a time when they are struggling. And last, the Treasury secretary’s request for $700 billion is regarded as way too high.
Essentially, House Republican leaders want a slimmer, cleaner Paulson plan supplemented by Mr. Cantor’s mortgage-bond insurance program. I think it’s a good package that would be great news for stock and bond markets that are now ailing badly. It would set the stage for a gradual return to normalcy on the part of bank lenders, including loans to small businesses, consumers, and homeowners. It would be a pro-growth package at a time when the economy desperately needs a prosperity tonic.
Here's their letter, click to read the whole list and contents.
No one is really excited about this proposal, and every day that goes by raises the ire of more people who are looking at the details. Great work again to Senator John McCain for standing up to all the forces of "hurry up and don't look behind the curtain" and slowing things down.
Well of course he did, because all the Democrats and President Bush working to create another huge government entity, without limits to it's growth, is going to backfire. Obama by the way is stuck, if he goes with the plan against House Republicans and John McCain, he's stuck siding with the President. No more "third term" bologna.
If he stalls, and hides in Mississippi for a now ill-fated and inappropriate debate, he'll come off as less than a leader, and for sure there's no "change" in politics first!
In the short run, the economy is losing, very little banking is being conducted. This is no longer just housing, this is corporate loans, small business loans, auto loans ... the life-blood of consumer and corporate growth and purchasing. No worries about inflation right now, who can buy? Watch for oil to drop to $80 bucks. Watch for an emergency interest rate cut in October, with Democrats screaming "foul" because this paints them even tighter into a box.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I posted this morning in quite a few places: Finally an alternative - just in time for white house meeting While I was typing this post WaMu was seized by the FDIC and sold to JP Morgan, with zero insurance needed from FDIC. Hmmm, does that mean one more company is now back to solid footing with $700 Billion government agency?
Since I posted in so many places, the comments were all over the place and disconnected, but in general those of us who instinctively wanted to follow the President on this one, are starting to wane in our support. I think John McCain has been in the same place, with a general sense that this is big government at its worst.
Tonite: The Bailout Deal Stalls as Republicans House Revolt against the "done deal" with some quotes -
Weary congressional negotiators worked into the night, joined by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in an effort to revive or rework the $700 billion proposal that President Bush said must be quickly approved by Congress to stave off potentially "a long and deep recession."
They gave up after 10 p.m. EDT, more than an hour after the lone House Republican involved, Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, left the room. Democrats blamed the House Republicans for the apparent stalemate. Those conservatives have complained that the plan would be too costly for taxpayers and would be an unacceptable federal intrusion into private business.
So one of the biggest questions is: Where will John McCain stand tomorrow? Will he provide the leadership that America needs and cobble together a stand against big government? Will he go along with a watered down package and fly at the last minute to debate the kid Senator?
It would appear that Bob Barr is free tomorrow nite, not being an elected official he didn't have to go to Washington. So he has offered to debate Senator Obama instead. I think this would make even better theater than all the proposals so far
Here in Indiana it would have been a ton of fun to see Jill Long Thompson try to take on Andy Horning on her own. He would have destroyed her ... no he's not electable, but libertarian principles make for great debates.
With Congress knotted over the $700 Billion plan to bailout problem bonds, based on sub-prime mortgage problems ... President Bush called John McCain and Senator Obama to the White House for a meeting with leaders on Thursday. Interestingly enough Obama agreed to this meeting, which could frame him as supportive of the President. I believe that meeting takes place late this afternoon, so the markets will probably wander around in waiting today.
In the meantime Republicans have proposed an alternative plan, much more free market based, that eliminates the capital gains tax and the "mark to market" requirement that is causing healthy banks to become unhealthy in the eyes of investors. See WSJ op-ed.
The RSC plan is chock-full of measures to remove barriers to economic growth and market-distorting subsidies. It would suspend capital gains taxes to put trillions of dollars of capital in the economy, and set Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which as CEI has documented were at the root of this crisis, on the road to full privatization.
Most importantly for the crisis at hand, the RSC plan would make regulatory agencies suspend the mark-to-market accounting rules that a range of experts agree are spreading the contagion by forcing solvent banks’ to “write down” their assets, based on the last fire sale of a highly leveraged bank. As Gary Gorton, finance professor at Yale and member of the National Bureau of Economic Research has written, “With no liquidity and no market prices, the accounting practice of ‘marking-to-market’ became highly problematic and resulted in massive write-downs based on fire-sale prices and estimates.”
Although I am highly supportive of President Bush, I am worried that Democrats will take any chance they can get to create massive agencies that won't go away down the road. I'm willing to listen to alternatives today, but understand the brevity of the situation and that today and tomorrow a decision has to be made. If Republicans can't get support for the alternative, then I'd like to see John McCain seal the deal today and make Bush's plan happen. If Republicans start to get some support, I'd love to see the Maverick jump in with them and dare Obama to back Bush's plan over a market based plan. What an amazing day today is.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Read the whole article over at Frugal Hoosiers, I'm only grabbing a small exerpt here but the implications are chilling if Barack Obama's Chicago machine is trying to buy off the Lake County GOP and has already decided that Jill Long Thompson is done.
One question I have: Why the heck did John Curley cut a deal with Mayor Clay in the primary?
"And this is where the story gets really interesting and raises a lot of questions. Lake County GOP chairman John Curley issued a press release after the proceedings of the election board, which can be seen below (click for a full version). In it, he outlines that he is opposed to the resolution because the Democrats will not agree to open them anywhere. Then he says that the Lake County Democrat chair and Mayor of Gary Rudy Clay approached him last week about why they needed the satellite centers in those cities only:"
Rudy Clay, Lake County Democratic Chairman, negotiated a plan with me in the spring of 2008 to open satellite voting locations for the primary. I said I was not in favor of the satellites but would go along with him then but NOT in the fall. He agreed. Chairman Clay approached me again a few weeks ago and I reminded him of our agreement. He said Jill Long has pulled his “street money” and he needs the satellites. I declined. (chairman John Curley of Lake County GOP)
I guess if Obama doesn't feel he can handle Gov. Palin .... then the debate will have to wait until this economic crisis has been handled by Senator McCain and congressional leaders
Oh my, Senator Obama was surprised! Of course he was, he's a typical Chicago politician and he's not used to being caught off guard. Obama of course wants to continue the debate and disregard the economic crisis.
From Gateway: McCain shows leadership and puts COUNTRY FIRST...
Senator John McCain announced today that he wants to delay Friday's debate because of the economic crisis and return to Washington to focus on the nation's financial problems.
Some people lead and some people follow.
Update the video of his announcement:
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Should Valparaiso schools go the way of most other school systems and elect their board?
Today's article in the Times suggests some public input meetings, and an interesting side note that teachers don't feel they can comment for fear of some kind of retribution, from whom? From administration?
BY BRIAN WILLIAMS
219.548.4348 | Sunday, September 21, 2008 |
The School Board on Tuesday released the final report of the community task force that met through the spring to consider future directions for Valparaiso Community Schools.
The report is available online and in hard copy at all city schools and the schools administration building. It is also at the Valparaiso Public Library, the Valparaiso University library, the Village Park Enrichment Center at Banta and City Hall.
"Neighborhood conversations" will be held at each of the elementary schools starting Oct. 1 at Parkview Elementary School. The School Board will present background information from the report and then solicit public reaction.
Each meeting is open to all residents, board President James Bernard said.
All meetings will start at 7 p.m. A further meeting also may be held at City Hall.
The task force's proposal for consideration by the School Board and administration calls for replacing three existing elementaries with two new sister schools, replacing the high school pool and updating its auditorium between 2009 and 2014 at an estimated cost of $65 million. In a second phase to 2020, two further sister schools would replace four remaining older elementaries at an unspecified cost.
Bernard said the board would be ready to discuss the substantive matters in the report and public reaction in early 2009.
School parent Christopher Pupillo urged the board to make sure the process is open to teachers' participation. Pupillo said almost two dozen teachers had told him they would not speak on the issue for fear of retribution. Pupillo said he didn't know if the fear was merely a matter of perception, but he said the community needs teachers' voices on the issue.
School Board member Mary Idstein said teachers could e-mail her comments, which she would hold in confidence.
For the report and a complete list of meeting dates, visit www.valpo.k12.in.us.
"THE VILLAGES — With thousands of supporters packing the streets and sidewalks of this massive retirement community, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Sunday that she and John McCain would reform Washington, put America on the path to energy independence and nurse a struggling economy back to health."
Brian, sorry I didn't get anything posted until now, much crazier weekend than I expected, hope your trip is going well.
As a former home builder, and current partner in a mortgage company and consultant to a few real estate related companies, I have an avid interest in what has been happening over the last 18 months in housing and especially mortgages. I have been saying over at Northwest Indiana Real Estate, for months now that the problem is too much regulation. Of course this position isn't held in very high esteem, Presidential candidates are scared to even suggest that the government is getting in the way ... and regulators would lose their jobs if we found that they actually caused the problem.
But they did!
I read The Foundry most every day on my reader, and regularly post from those terrific posts to my numerous sites, including my Northwest Indiana Mortgages site. (Sorry for all the self links, but I'm trying to build a case that I actually understand a little bit). The key question in my mind at the end of last week's craziness? WHAT IS A FAIR POSITION FOR A CONSERVATIVE WHO ACTUALLY CARES ABOUT HOMEOWNERSHIP?
Some exerpts from today's awesome post at the Open Market.org $700 Billion for Disastrous Financial System Bailout. Not the Foundry but a well written article with great links:
Either the mortgages are just as worthless as their current market price suggests, in which case the banks that hold them, rather than taxpayers, should pick up the tab (and any insolvent banks should be closed, so that they cannot gamble with depositors’ and taxpayers’ money in the future).
"Or, the mortgages are worth much more than they are currently valued — their current value being set under federal “mark-to-market“ accounting regulations, which require that assets like mortgages be conservatively valued at what they can currently be sold for at the moment, rather than what they would be worth if held to maturity. If that’s the case, then federal accounting regulations need to be immediately relaxed by federal agencies like the SEC that enforce them — as John Berlau argues today in the Wall Street Journal, and as former FDIC Chairman William M. Isaac urged yesterday in a Journal editorial attacking the federally-enforced Fair Value Accounting Rules and Basel II capital rules. (This would also be a good time to revisit the truly senseless accounting regulations imposed by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which cost the U.S. economy over $35 billion per year, and were used by sub-prime mortgage lender Countrywide Financial as a smokescreen to hide its risky business practices)."
Bankers need a reason to start lending again. Sure the government can buy all the junk bonds which have small percentages of sub-prime loans with even smaller percentages of unperforming loans. Imagine, the government buying $700 Billion worth of loans ... at 20 cents on the dollar ... they may actually make money on this investment! But all they really needed to do was relax regulations that don't make sense and cost us billions in overhead and management.Anyone know a politician with the guts to step up and say that? I'm a little frustrated with John McCain this week for not stepping into the Maverick role and telling Americans what they need to hear. Barack Obama is predictably suggesting more and more government, which is not what we need. I'm waiting ...
Friday, September 19, 2008
Another blog here states that Rassmussen states the governor has a 16 point lead.
Every day it seems that one poll or another states that either one or the other presidential candidate has a lead.
What do I think about these polls? I think that we need to make sure that we get out there and vote that's right this is not the year to sit back and figure our vote doesn't count so why should we be bothered.
Polls are only as good as the questions and who is answering the phone. I mean really think about the fact that one day they are two points up one way and then 2 hours later two points another way.
This is the time where we need to ask our friends hey are you registered to vote and if they are not they only have a week or so more to go. If on election day you call 5-10 friends and remind them to vote that is how we win!!
You can spend a million dollars on ads and mailers but if people don't go out and vote all that money is wasted.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) has a safe lead over challenger Jill Long Thompson in his bid for re-election this November. The first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of this race finds the incumbent ahead 56% to 40%.
As reported by Rasmussen today with H/T to Frugal Hoosiers
And From Polis Politics
Memo to Jennifer Wagner: You do not live in a Battleground State.
Democrat hearts are a flutter over polls released by the Indianapolis Star that purport to show Barack Obama with a small lead with the Hoosier state, while Democrat Jill Long Thompson's moribund campaign is suddenly within 4 points of Governor Mitch Daniels.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
We have 38 presidential polls today due to a large number of new ARG polls. The results are given below.
For what it may be worth to the citizens of Porter County.Posted by Charlie Averill at 4:29 PM
The other day I attended a meeting of the Porter County Commissioners.
The experience was not pleasant.
There was not a working sound system, but the room was so small that they shouldn’t have needed one anyway.
There were many people in attendance, mostly senior citizens, and yet these Commissioners spoke in such soft voices that nobody could hear what the heck they were saying.
They gave no consideration to the people in attendance and spoke so softly that nobody could hear a thing that was being said.
What a bunch of lily livered public servants.
I don’t have a nickel in it being from Starke County, but I can say that if I were living in Porter County, I’d be wanting to attend one of these meetings to find out just which of these Commissioners should be given the boot.
This is what sometimes happens to people once they get a job in government. They think all of a sudden that they don't have to be considerate or polite anymore.
I'll blame the guy running the meeting. His name is Robert Harper, I believe. What a joke. It should have been up to him to make sure that the others spoke loud enough so people could hear, but he talked as if he had a mouth full of horse manure. What a disgrace.
Thanks for the report Charlie
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
When Barack spends the next 45 days blaming George Bush for the housing value problem, sub-prime mortgages, Hurricanes, global warming, Iraq and now Afghanistan, and of course the "bail-outs" ... he may need to be careful that he follows the money ... to his own pocket.
See Team Hammond for list of top beneficiaries.
We have said it here and on other Northwest Indiana real estate sites, the problems impacting Fannie and Freddie are greatly influenced by too much regulation, reverse red-lining, and out of control spending by Congress at the Federal level.
Some suggestions for political leaders who actually want to help, not just make things worse:
- Cut your local and state budgets as deep as possible now
- Eliminate any regulations that arbitrarily push housing costs up, eliminate foolish impact fees that were greedily contemplated when everyone thought housing could pay all the bills
- Talk to your engineers and planners, are they engaged in development concepts that will help create jobs and homeownership?
- Create down payment assistance programs that help renters move to homeownership, but use free market means
- Use a ton more common sense, stop relying on regulations to replace brains in government
- Lead with your pocket-book, buy real estate now
- Privatize things that private enterprises can do, government tends to stay in business far too long. Fannie and Freddie should have been fully privatized in the early 2000's
- Stop blaming, and seek to solve local and regional problems with both sides of the aisle
Look, we had a 100 year flood event. All the storm water calculations are estimates and in some cases engineers made mistakes ...ooooo. The truth is until a major flooding event takes place, it's just an estimate. Now, each community in Porter County knows where the problems are and can try and figure out how to fix them.
I really get sick of people blaming the big bad "developers" everytime something floods though. Developers are regularly shaken down by towns and cities to fix off-site drainage, a tactic I find a bit corrupt. If a city or town has drainage issues, then the entire community should work to fix them but not dump the cost on the last guy to try and develop something new.
The Blame Game won't fix the problems, and raising fees hasn't accomplished a ton either in many places because the money isn't wisely invested. Follow the dollars, will storm water fees, sewer impact fees, park impact fees, and trash fees start to find their way into payroll accounts because cities and towns are feeling the pinch from HEA 1001? I hope not.
From the Times:
HEBRON | Town officials will be knocking on the Porter County Drainage Board's door, and they are bringing a lot of people with them.
The town wants to get on the agenda for the drainage board's next meeting to get help relieving flooding problems, especially on the town's east side. Residents and business owners from the east side were at Tuesday's council meeting to complain of stormwater backing up at the county ditch near the railroad embankment at the southeast corner of town.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
No Responses to “ELVIS NIGHT FUNDRAISER”
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Jill Greenberg Photographer or Propagandist?
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Constitution Party - are you nuts? You're making a viable third party look foolish.
posted by Josh Goodman
There's more uncertainty this morning as to whether Ron Paul will appear on the Montana ballot. From the Associated Press:
HELENA - Republican Ron Paul does not want to be on the Montana ballot as the Constitution Party presidential candidate, but state election officials said Thursday it may be too late to remove his name.
Paul, in a letter to the secretary of state, said his name was nominated by the Constitution Party of Montana without his permission.
The secretary of state's office said there does not appear to be a provision to remove Paul's name at this point. At least some counties have started printing ballots, officials said.
Blogs and transparent campaigning require some guts, I hope Mark engages and doesn't play the same game as the NWI Times of deleting comments they disagree with.
The federal government bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a sham for a nation in which there is supposed be a free-market economy. The American taxpayers are going to be paying the price of this bailout for years to come. The open markets should be allowed to take care of themselves without government interference as they have done since the founding of this country. Citizens need to ask themselves: “Why is our government bailing out these two mortgage investment giants at the expense of the taxpayers? Why is Congress not yet having an in depth investigation of what really happened with this bailout?” The answers are simple if you examine who exactly it is that is profiting: politicians and officials from the current and past administrations who are receiving PAC money from these two giant companies. Our Congressmen and elected officials have been bought off again. They are saddling the debt on the American public and on our children who will be forced in paying it off for many years into the future.
Why isn’t your current Congressman speaking out on this subject and denouncing this outrageous act against our free-market economy and American freedom?
As your next congressman, I will vote to decrease our national debt and to preserve and defend our liberties and our economy. I will vote to ensure that our children years in the future are not paying for the bad mistakes of our current politicians.
No Responses to “Tax Payers’ Bailout”
Daniels cleverly brought presidents of state universities on board and proposed that the revenue from the lease would be used to fund tuition fees for Indiana students who would then be obligated to return for service in Indiana.
The underlying issue would mean expansion of gambling in both states. Privatizing would allow modern marketing techniques to increase sales to citizens under the guise of contributing to a worthy cause.
Most gambling sales pitches to legislatures echo some actual or perceived need, i.e., the environment, the elderly, schools, etc.
What happens is that the legislators simply deduct gambling revenue from their budgetary requests, and the gain is minimal.
In the 1993 vote to grant riverboat casino licenses, the pitch to the counties that voted was, "We must help Gary." Today Gary is near bankruptcy, with crime and corruption rampant.
Gambling is based on illusion. The mirage is simply that people live by hope and a lottery ticket or that a spin of a controlled machine will bring miraculous returns. People continue to buy into this illusion until they are trapped. A large share of foreclosures and bankruptcies can be traced to this lie.
The gambling industry is in trouble. The economic downturn plus travel expense has hit the industry hard. "(These are) the most turbulent economic conditions the casino/entertainment industry has faced in years," complained Gary Loveman, Harrah's CEO.
Gambling expansion should be a key issue in the race for governor. So far it is not.
Early in his first term, Mitch Daniels announced "No Expansion of Gambling." Indiana is second only to Nevada in total gambling revenue.
Democratic candidate Jill Long Thompson has said she is opposed to gambling expansion and lease of the lottery. Will the issue be raised in their statewide debates? Please take note.
Gambling interests were reported lobbying heavily at both the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
At the same time, the disgraced Tom DeLay made his appearances in St. Paul.
DeLay was part of the scandal involving Jack Abramoff for taking bribes from a Native American casino. Abramoff has since been sentenced to four years in prison. The judge said the case had shattered the public's confidence in government. The scandal contributed to the Republican loss of Congress in 2006.
The lottery is not an isolated proposal. It is generated by a false premise. Northwest Indiana is suffering for lack of new high-tech industry.
When will the business community, legislative wannabes and citizens wake up to the truth?
Who wants to turn any area where employees live into a Las Vegas or Atlantic City?
The illusion needs to be faced honestly. We cannot build government illusions.
John D. Wolf is co-founder of both the Indiana and National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling. He is a retired minister who lives in Valparaiso. NCALG Blog which sadly hasn't been updated for two years. Looks like the group takes a highly religious position but doesn't take a libertarian position. I could be wrong, set me straight if so.
Could Republicans actually win back the Senate? I'll be the first to make a prediction here (remember I went out on a limb for Mccain and Palin when it wasn't famous) that the Senate will go 50-50 at this election and Vice President Sarah Palin will have a lot more say so than Cheney has ever had. I know it's a crazy thought, but frankly the Democrats are hurting themselves attacking women, the elderly, and the military. Hollywood and college campuses don't hold enough votes.
Could Republicans hold their current spot in the House, or even possible gain a few seats? My gut says no, that Pelosi and her cronies will pick up a few more seats, but that here in Indiana Sodrel and Puckett will both win back Republican districts. But watch for 2010 major pick-ups and a possible Speaker Pence.
Where will Presidential election land? I've been saying for months that it will come down to Ohio, and that it could be a late nite waiting for the dust to settle. I'm still there, with McCain winning barely with Ohio going to him late election night.
My next post will be predictions for Indiana and Northwest Indiana elections.
Indiana's Hardball Conservative posted a great list of links and quotes showing that Democrats are beginning to worry, especially those close to Hillary Clinton. It's really in her best interest if Obama loses, and she can start 4 years of running against Sarah Palin.
GALLUP: Battle for Congress Suddenly Looks Competitive...
AP: MCCAIN/PALIN UP 4...
GALLUP DAILY: UP 3...
RASMUSSEN: UP 3...
This story is awesome to read:
Democratic jitters about the US presidential race have spread to Capitol Hill, where some members of Congress are worried that Barack Obama’s faltering campaign could hurt their chances of re-election.
Party leaders have been hoping to strengthen Democratic control of the House and Senate in November, but John McCain’s jump in the polls has stoked fears of a Republican resurgence.
A Democratic fundraiser for Congressional candidates said some planned to distance themselves from Mr Obama and not attack Mr. McCain.
“If people are voting for McCain it could help Republicans all the way down the ticket, even in a year when the Democrats should be sweeping all before us,” said the fundraiser, a former Hillary Clinton supporter.
“There is a growing sense of doom among Democrats I have spoken to... People are going crazy, telling the campaign ‘you’ve got to do something’.”
Concern was greatest among first-term representatives who won seats in traditionally Republican districts in the landslide of 2006. “Several of them face a real fight to hold on to those seats,” the fundraiser said.
Tony Podesta, a senior Democratic lobbyist, said members of Congress were “a little nervous” after Mr McCain shook up the race with his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate and intensified attacks on Mr Obama.
“Republicans have been on the offensive for the past two weeks... You don’t win elections on the defensive.”
The campaign manager for a first-term Democratic congressman from a blue-collar district in the north-east rejected suggestions that Mr. Obama had become a liability. He said his candidate would reach out to Republicans and avoid attacks on Mr McCain.
Now there are reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has referred to John McCain as "President McCain".
Buckle up, the next 50 some days are going to be bumpy.