Bob Dole Put Personal Wealth over Veterans, Liddy Dole Stood by and Watched

Earlier this week I wrote a brief post about lobbying activity from Former Senator Bob Dole that served to hurt our veterans and their families. That activity deserves more attention and a more detailed post. Bob Dole isn't running for reelection in North Carolina, but his wife is. He may have earned the 6-figure income from the lobbying contract, but it is Elizabeth Dole's inability/refusal/lack of desire to push legislation to protect military families that is truly disturbing.

The Truth Behind Dole's Fannie Mae Reform Attempt

The most recent whine coming from Republicans is centered around their alleged attempt to "reign in" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back in 2005, and the Democrats' blocking of such. I should have looked closer at this sooner, because there's always something that stinks just under the surface of these "valiant" efforts. Anyway, here's the deal:

Conservatives and Free Market fundies have historically been opposed to GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises) for a few basic reasons: they target assistance to groups the government deems "in need" of assistance, and the profits/losses of said enterprises are controlled by the public (as opposed to private industry). The former is viewed as an entitlement, and the latter makes it difficult for private enterprises to compete with the GSEs.

Live from an Obama Field Office

I volunteer weekly at an Obama field office.

Headquarters is a pleasant and exciting place to be. Talking with potential voters by phone can be funny—especially the nasty ones. "Don't call this number again!" screeched one memorable Memaw. "I don't want nuthin' to do wit ya!" yelled a friendly Pepaw.

Many calls are exhilarating. Today the most effusive Obama supporters were elderly white women, some well over the age of seventy. "I love that man," said one. "Although I wonder if maybe his wife should be running!"

As a social worker, placing these calls is fun and easy.

Still, I do screw up. Do you ever find yourself speaking, have reservations about the path you're on—yet foolishly proceed anyway? It doesn't happen to me often, but did today. I knew better.

McCrory on Health Care: Be Like George

If there's one thing we know about how George Bush and Pat McCrory want to run government, it is this: they both prefer no hands on the steering wheel. That's exactly the kind of "leadership" that has brought us to the brink of financial ruin, and that's exactly what Pat McCrory wants to do to North Carolina's health insurance industry. NC Policy Watch breaks it down.

In other words, McCrory would allow insurance companies to sell health plans that do not meet the minimum standards currently in place. The theory McCrory is pushing is that insurance companies could sell cheaper policies that do not include “luxuries” such as hospital care for pregnant women. With less expensive options available more people could then buy health insurance.

But there are several problems with this argument. There is little evidence that minimum standards add much to the price of insurance ... and without a basic package of guaranteed benefits North Carolinians could buy slightly cheaper coverage only to find out when tragedy strikes that nothing is covered by the plan.

Liberal

Cross-posted from The Progressive Pulse

So… conservative Republican John McCain decided to resurrect the "attack them as Liberals" approach in his debate against Barack Obama. McCain stretched the truth on Friday when he said "Senator Obama has the most Liberal voting record in the United States Senate." Neocon pundit William Kristol confirmed the strategy in his column in the New York Times yesterday, stating that attacking Obama as too liberal is "How McCain Wins."

Elizabeth Dole Pushed for Banking Deregulation Days Before Collapse was Triggered

In March 2008 just weeks before Bear Stearns collapsed, Elizabeth Dole introduced legislation to reduce regulatory controls and oversight on some financial institutions. A few days later, Bear Stearns made a $2500 contribution to her campaign and a few days after making the contribution, Bear Stearns collapsed. In Elizabeth Dole: Absent Without Leave, I alluded to the fact that I had spent hundreds of hours watching video of Senate Banking committee meetings. It was during this time that I learned about Dole's desire to reduce regulations on some financial institutions.

Bye Bye, Liddy: The End of an Era - Open Thread

From MSNBC Firstread:

*** End of another era? Down the ballot in North Carolina, the Democratic hit that Elizabeth Dole spent just 20 days in the Tar Heel State in 2005 and 13 days there in 2006 might very well have been the final nail in her coffin in her race against Dem challenger Kay Hagan. Could the end of the Bush era also bring us the end of the Dole era? There has been a Dole in the Senate for nearly 50 straight years -- and either a Bush or a Dole on the national ticket going back to '72. Will Liddy Dole's potential defeat signal the true end of the two most powerful Republican families of the last 50 years?

Not so fast

There's plenty of reason for skepticism about speed in legislative deliberations. Things sneak by, despite the best of intentions.

For example, I learned from this well-researched analysis that the bail out bill would have created an option for banks to hold ZERO RESERVES against their transaction accounts.

ZERO RESERVES? Who thinks that is a good idea?

UPDATE: Not so fast on the not so fast. Another writer says reserves don't matter. Hmmmmmm.

Pat McCrory "Suspends" Campaign

In a rare move, Pat McCrory decided yesterday to tend to a crisis in the city where he is Mayor instead of continuing on the campaign trail. Earlier this year, while parts of Charlotte were under water during the floods of 2008, McCrory chose to keep his feet dry and stay away from the city at its time of crisis.

He preferred to "phone it in."

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