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McCain Blasts Obama For Fear-Mongering and Indecisiveness

Thursday, September 18, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Team McCain is right to blast Obama for trying to exploit market woes for political gain, and Senator McCain rightly slams Obama for Hamlet-like “leadership” from the stump and the do-nothing, don’t-drill Democrats for slinking out of town without any effort or action on any front, including the crucially necessary task of opening the outer continental shelf for immediate exploration. McCain’s remarks today:

I’m happy to be introduced by Governor Palin, but I can’t wait until I introduce her to Washington. Let me offer an advance warning to the big spending, greedy, do nothing, me first, country second crowd in Washington and on Wall Street: change is coming.

We need reform in Washington and on Wall Street. The financial markets are in crisis. Times are tough. Enormous strain is being put on working families and individuals in America. I know that the events unfolding can be difficult to understand for many Americans. The dominos that we have seen fall this week began with the corruption and manipulation of our home loan system. The reason this crisis started was the abuses that took place within our home loan agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and within our home loan system.

Two years ago I warned this Administration and Congress that regulations for our home loan agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, needed to be fixed…

But nothing was done. [# More #]

Senator Obama talks a tough game on the financial markets but the facts tell a different story. He took more money from Fannie and Freddie than any Senator but the Democratic chairman of the committee that regulates them. He put Fannie Mae’s CEO who helped create this disaster in charge of finding his Vice President. Fannie’s former General Counsel is a senior advisor to his campaign. Whose side do you think he is on? When I pushed legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Senator Obama was silent. He didn’t lift a hand to avert this crisis. While the leaders of Fannie and Freddie were lining the pockets of his campaign, they were sowing the seeds of the financial crisis we see today and enriching themselves with millions of dollars in payments. That’s not change, that’s what’s broken in Washington.

There was no transparency into the books of Wall Street banks. Banks and brokers took on huge amounts of debt and they hid the riskiest investments. Mismanagement and greed became the operating standard while regulators were asleep at the switch.

The primary regulator of Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) kept in place trading rules that let speculators and hedge funds turn our markets into a casino. They allowed naked short selling — which simply means that you can sell stock without ever owning it. They eliminated last year the uptick rule that has protected investors for 70 years. Speculators pounded the shares of even good companies into the ground.

The Chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the President and has betrayed the public’s trust. If I were President today, I would fire him.

We cannot wait any longer for more failures in our financial system. Structures like the resolution trust corporation that dealt with the failed savings and loan industry were designed to clean up the system and worked. Today we need a plan that doesn’t wait until the system fails. I am calling for the creation of the mortgage and financial institutions trust-the MFI. The priorities of this trust will be to work with the private sector and regulators to identify institutions that are weak and take remedies to strengthen them before they become insolvent. For troubled institutions this will provide an orderly process through which to identify bad loans and eventually sell them.

This will get the treasury and other financial regulatory authorities in a proactive position instead of reacting in a crisis mode to one situation after the other. The MFI will enhance investor and market confidence, benefit sound financial institutions, assist troubled institutions and protect our financial system, while minimizing taxpayer exposure. Tomorrow I will be talking in greater detail about the crisis facing our markets and what I will do as President to fix this crisis and get our economy moving again.

Senator Obama has never made the kind tough reform we need today. His idea of reform is what his party leaders in Congress order him to do. We tried for bipartisan ethics reform and he walked away from it because his bosses didn’t want real change. I know how to make the change that Senator Obama and this Congress is afraid of. I’ve fought both parties to shake up up Washington and I’m going to do it as President.

Those same Congressional leaders who give Senator Obama his marching orders are now saying that this mess isn’t their fault and they aren’t going to take any action on this crisis until after the election. Senator Obama’s own advisers are saying that crisis will benefit him politically. My friends, that is the kind of me-first, country-second politics that are broken in Washington. My opponent sees an economic crisis as a political opportunity instead of a time to lead. Senator Obama isn’t change, he’s part of the problem with Washington.

When AIG was bailed out, I didn’t like it, but I understood it needed to be done to protect hard working Americans with insurance policies and annuities. Senator Obama didn’t take a position. On the biggest issue of the day, he didn’t know what to think. He may not realize it, but you don’t get to vote present as President of the United States.

While Senator Obama and Congressional leaders don’t know what to think about the current crisis, we know what their plans are for the economy. Today Senator Obama’s running mate said that raising taxes is patriotic. Raising taxes in a tough economy isn’t patriotic. It’s not a badge of honor. It’s just dumb policy. The billions in tax increases that Senator Obama is proposing would kill even more jobs during tough economic times. I’m not going to let that happen.

I have seen tough times before. I know how to shake-up Wall Street and Washington. I will get this economy moving. I will lead us through this crisis by fighting for you, and when I am President we will be stronger than ever before.

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Teflon Sarah

Thursday, September 18, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The WaPo’s Chris Cillizza wonders whether Sarah Palin has that special quality that immunizes her from attack.

Hard to say as no legit attack has been directed against the Alaska governor yet, and the continuing wave of scurrilous attacks just add to her appeal as she shrugs them off and keeps moving forward to introduce herself and defend the “change and reform” agenda of McCain-Palin.

Yesterday’s cyber-mugging of the governor and her family was just another episode demonstrating the unhinged nature of many of the Obamians, another reminder to the country that it doesn’t really want to hire on the Obama team to run the nation’s security, its finances, and its future.

Daniel Henninger has a column today on the need to focus on Palin’s reform record and marry it to McCain’s history of battling D.C. insiders. Obama nad Biden are confirmed cronyists through every stage of their careers, and this is the line on which the next seven weeks should be fought.

“The Only Thing We Have Is Fear Itself”

Thursday, September 18, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Barack’s address to the beautiful people of Hollywood –transcribed below– should give even the most ardent Obamian pause. It is an incoherent ramble through a series of cliches, delivered to an audience of $28,500-a-plate swells. Continuing his “verge of the Great Depression” rift, Obama portrays an America that lacks only Seabiscuit and Jim Braddock. Taking their cues from their hapless nominee, Harry Reid breathlessly told reporters yesterday breathlessly that “No one knows what to do,” and Nancy Pelosi pushed a sham energy bill through the House in an attempt to cover two years of inaction that led to $140-a-barrel oil.

Welcome to the Democrats, 2008: Lots of hysterical talk uncoupled to any action in the Congress they control, void of specifics about the future and smothered in fear. “Vote for us,” is the summary, “even though we don’t know what to do generally and won’t do what must be done when it comes to drilling.”

The Dems are acting as though a financial crisis is a cue to send in the community organizer with zero management experience outside of the massive failure that was the Annenberg Challenge.

A sinking Obama campaign has grabbed on to Wall Streets woes as a way of reinvigorating a tired brand propped up by increasingly silly rhetoric. But going Chicken Little is hardly the way to inspire confidence in the voters. Buried deep in the WSJ.com’s account of the financial crisis are these graphs:

One pleasant mystery is why the crisis hasn’t hit the economy harder — at least so far. “This financial crisis hasn’t yet translated into fewer…companies starting up, less research and development, less marketing,” Ivan Seidenberg, chief executive of Verizon Communications, said Wednesday. “We haven’t seen that yet. I’m sure every company is keeping their eyes on it.”

At 6.1%, the unemployment rate remains well below the peak of 7.8% in 1992, amid the S&L crisis.

In part, that’s because government has reacted aggressively. The Fed’s classic mistake that led to the Great Depression was that it tightened monetary policy when it should have eased. Mr. Bernanke didn’t repeat that error. And Congress moved more swiftly to approve fiscal stimulus than most Washington veterans thought possible.

In part, the broader economy has held mostly steady because exports have been so strong at just the right moment, a reminder of the global economy’s importance to the U.S. And in part, it’s because the U.S. economy is demonstrating impressive resilience, as information technology allows executives to react more quickly to emerging problems and — to the discomfort of workers — companies are quicker to adjust wages, hiring and work hours when the economy softens.

European stocks closed higher, and futures are up. More bank consolidations are on the horizon and no doubt more very bad days for some stocks and general misery for the indexes are ahead, but oil is far off its highs and could be driven even lower with a serious commitment to exploration. Growth is slow but there hasn’t been one negative quarter yet, much less two. The economy is growing, though slightly. And the McCain-Palin ticket is committed to a growth agenda and new energy supplies to fuel it.

On the down side, we do have an easily panicked Democratic nominee and a do-nothing Pelosi-Reid Congress held in the grip of special interests from environmental extremists to trial lawyers. Investors won’t get their confidence back until they realize that the threat of a spasm of European-style socialism has passed with the defeat of Obama-whats-his-name.

You can’t blame investors who are eyeing oversold stocks for parking their money anywhere but corporate America with the prospect of Obama-Pelosi-Reid and their agenda of massive tax hikes and huge new spending programs in the offing. Read the, er, “speech” below and you’ll figure out why serious investors have to be concerned. The barely disguised radicalism of Obamanomics is part of the market melt-down, and Obama’s gig fade will be part of its recovery.

Question of the Day

Wednesday, September 17, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

If you had to trust all your money and your family’s money to the care of either Barack Obama or John McCain, whom would you chose?

Keep in mind Obama’s stellar stewardship of the Annenberg Challenge.

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