Tuesday, September 30, 2008

WON'T Get fooled again . . .

By l.t. Dravis

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Tuesday, September 30, 2008 – If past behavior is really the best predictor of future behavior, voters across the country must be wondering, “Does John McCain really think we can be fooled again?”

The failure of Congressional Republicans to pass the bailout package yesterday not only cost Wall Street a trillion plus dollars, it also gave us a preview of what John McCain would be like as a President faced with a crisis.


McCain’s response to the Wall Street meltdown gives voters a frightening insight into the character, temperament, and capabilities of the 72 year old man who would be President . . . an insight that ain’t giving Americans any reason to trust McCain.

Don’t agree?

Okay . . . let’s look at what McCain has said – and done – over the past few weeks.

At a campaign stop in Jacksonville just two weeks ago, despite the failure of financial institutions like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and other ominous signs of turmoil on Wall Street and on Main Street, Senator McCain declared that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong”. Ironically, at the same time he made that statement, the McCain campaign was running a TV ad that opened with a poignant phrase: “Our economy is in crisis.”

Less than two weeks later, without having a clear idea of where his campaign was headed on the economic crisis, McCain told the nation that he’d decided he had no choice but to suspend his campaign so he could immediately return to Washington to provide the leadership necessary to resolve the Wall Street meltdown.

This is what Senator McCain said: “Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me.

I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.

We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday nights debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so.”

And this is what Senator McCain did: With cameras flashing, McCain attended a highly promoted White House meeting with George W. Bush, House and Senate leaders, and Barack Obama, with the promise of bringing everyone together to create a quick, resolution to the economic crisis. The Senator from Arizona added absolutely nothing constructive to the proceedings and the meeting ended in chaos.

Then, despite his commitment to remain in Washington until the economic crisis was resolved, despite his initial decision to stay away, McCain suddenly changed his mind and flew to Mississippi to debate Barack Obama.

Fast forward to yesterday morning when John McCain bragged to the world how his leadership brought the bailout bill to victory . . . only hours before the bailout bill was defeated.

Later yesterday, after it was clear that dissident Republicans effectively killed the bailout bill, McCain distanced himself by saying the bill failed because, “Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process.”

Despite McCain’s rhetoric, everyone knows that Senator Obama didn’t defeat the bailout bill; everyone knows that the bailout bill was defeated because John McCain wasn’t capable of persuading 133 of 199 Republican Representatives to support it.

If McCain had the ability to bring politicians together to put the bailout bill over the top, don’t you think he would have done it yesterday?

Woulda, coula, shoulda . . . but he didn’t

So, what does John McCain’s behavior over the past few weeks tell you, me, and the rest of the country?

It tells us that when faced with a crisis, a President John McCain would work the cameras, play the media, and talk the right talk while failing to provide the leadership necessary to unify opposing factions to provide a viable resolution.

Seems like we’ve been there and done that.

After two terms of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, I’m betting we won’t get fooled again.

What do you think?

Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at LTDAssociates@msn.com (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Want to go to a Blog that listens to you and speaks for you as well?

GO TO http://bothsidesnowbiz.blogspot.com/ AND SPEAK UP . . .

We want to hear BOTH SIDES NOW© so we can send your concerns to

435 Representatives and 100 Senators until they listen . . .

and then, we’ll do it some more

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Monday, September 29, 2008

THE Bailout bill goes down . . . so who's got the power?

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty

By l.t. Dravis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Monday, September 29, 2008 – The House of Representatives voted down the $700 billion bailout bill by a vote of 228 to 205, taking the wind out of the Bush administration’s sails and seriously questioning the power and authority of the House of Representatives.

The democracy we’ve known and loved for more than two centuries has been forever changed.


Because the power of the people has finally been felt.

Too many voters sent too many very clear messages to too many representatives to not be heard.

And the lesson is?

The people have the power to set not only the direction of legislation but also the tone of the debate in this country.

Don’t believe it?

Look at the political weight that was thrown behind the bailout bill.

The entire leadership of the Democratic Party has been promoting the bailout to anyone and everyone who would listen for the past ten days . . . yet it failed.

The Bush administration has put more time and energy into warning us about the dire consequences of the failure of this bill than they ever did with those yellow-orange-red alerts they used to throw around for whatever reason . . . yet it failed.

Democratic and Republican leaders argued before the public that the bailout was essential to the very survival of the American economy . . . yet it failed.

Before the vote today, the White House, including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Josh Bolton were on the phone, twisting arms, trying to convince representatives on both sides of the aisle to support the bill . . . yet it failed.

During the 40 minute long roll call, several representatives on the House floor were shouting warnings about how the Dow Jones Average was dropping precipitously . . . yet it failed.

The American people let their representatives know that they didn’t trust their government, especially President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, enough to support the bailout.

And their representatives listened.

Talk about the power of the people.

Let’s hope we never forget today . . . the day the democracy we’ve known and loved for more than two centuries has been forever changed.

How about that?

Copyright © 2008 by l.t. Dravis. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at LTDAssociates@msn.com (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

IS Nancy Pfotenhauer just another lying political hack?

By l.t. Dravis

WALL STREET/WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wednesday, September 24, 2008 – Aren’t you sick and tired of political hacks who give convoluted, lying answers to straight questions asked by journalists?

If you are, permit me to introduce you to Nancy Pfotenhauer.

And once you know who she is, you may wonder why you should care about anything she has to say.

Nancy Pfotenhauer is an educated (Master’s Degree in Economics from George Mason University), accomplished woman with an impressive resume which includes a number of responsible positions with organizations like Americans for Prosperity, the Independent Women’s Forum, and the Republican National Committee.

Nancy Pfotenhauer was also the number one Washington lobbyist for Koch (pronounced ‘Koke’) Industries, the largest privately held conglomerate in the United States, employing approximately 80,000 people in 60 counties, with annual revenue in excess of $110 billion.

Pfotenhauer, who divorced her first husband and married top mortgage industry lobbyist, Kurt Pfotenhauer, now works for the McCain campaign as a spokesperson and top policy advisor.

So, what kind of spokesperson is Nancy Pfotenhauer?

Is she just another lying political hack?

Let’s judge Nancy Pfotenhauer by how she answers straight questions asked by a well respected journalist.

In an interview this morning on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell asked Pfotenhauer to respond to recent reports in the New York Times and Newsweek magazine that, despite John McCain’s denial this past Sunday, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis’s lobbying company received $15,000.00 monthly payments from Freddie Mac until it was seized by the Federal Government last month.

Here’s how the Mitchell/Pfotenhauer question and answer went:

Andrea Mitchell: “The campaign has come out again today very aggressively against the New York Times. Now, the New York Times is not alone. It was Newsweek and Roll Call reporting on at least payments made,” (Ms. Pfotenhauer laughs nervously) “to campaign manager Rick Davis’ firm. And you pointed out, the campaign, you have pointed out that Rick Davis did not lobby, did not take money from the firm, has not been not been involved in anything involving Fannie or Freddie.

“Can you guarantee that, you know, the voters, the American people, that even though Rick Davis has not taken any money and you say has not lobbied, that he will not sometime in the future benefit from money that has gone to his firm in which he still has a partnership interest?”

Nancy Pfotenhauer: “Well,” she said, with a stunning smile, “y-you know, Andrea, you at least you, you, at least are, are presenting it even-handedly. Rick never lobbied for Fannie and Freddie and let’s, you know, that, I don’t think they reported the story. I think they engaged in activist journalism that’s more of the Huffington Post, uh, caliber, than certainly should be expected from a, a, major newspaper outlet. The, the story is that Rick never took any money from Fannie, never lobbied for Fannie and Freddie and that John McCain actively fought for reform versus Barack Obama who took record number, amounts of money from Fannie and Freddie and looked the other way on reform. That, you kn . . , that’s the story. And as far as potentially benefitting in the future, the McCain campaign has the highest level of standards ever applied in Presidential election history that precludes us bene . . . , uh, eh, lobbyist involvement and, uh, any potential future benefit. And we challenged the Obama campaign repeatedly to comply by the same rules, and, rules, and they won’t do it and they won’t release their list of advisors even though they acknowledged there are lobbyists on that list.”

Did Mrs. Pfotenhauer give a convoluted, lying answer to Andrea Mitchell’s question?

Let’s see . . .

Andrea Mitchell wanted to know whether Davis would “sometime in the future benefit from money that has gone to his firm in which he still has a partnership interest”.

Though the answer to this question is obvious (Since Davis is still an equity partner in the lobbying firm, Davis-Manafort, he will of course benefit from $180,000.00 a year received from Freddie Mac), Mrs. Pfotenhauer completely ignored the question.

Was Nancy Pfotenhauer lying when she said, “Rick never lobbied for Fannie and Freddie”?

According to Newsweek reporter Mike Isikoff, Rick Davis’s lobbying firm did in fact receive $15,000.00 monthly payments for the past three years, long before and long after Rick Davis joined the McCain campaign.

If, according to Nancy Pfotenhauer, Rick Davis ‘never lobbied for Fannie and Freddie’, why on earth would Freddie Mac pay $15,000 a month to Rick Davis’ lobbying firm?

What do you think of Nancy Pfotenhauer now?

And, what do you think of a campaign that would hire Nancy Pfotenhauer to be its chief spokesperson?


Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at LTDAssociates@msn.com (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Want to go to a Blog that listens to you and speaks for you as well?

GO TO http://bothsidesnowbiz.blogspot.com/ AND SPEAK UP . . .

We want to hear BOTH SIDES NOW© so we can send your concerns to

435 Representatives and 100 Senators until they listen . . . and then, we’ll do it some more


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

IF Sarah can't handle the press, how can she handle the job?

By l.t. Dravis

NEW YORK – Tuesday, September 23, 2008 – Why did the McCain campaign try to prevent the press from witnessing Sarah Palin’s vaunted meetings with a world leader in New York today?

As the Governor of Alaska was about to sit down for a face-to-face meeting with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Palin’s handlers suddenly decided to ban everyone but camera operators from the room.

The whole world knows that the McCain campaign orchestrated this series of meetings with world leaders to try to fill-in a huge gap in the rookie Governor’s foreign policy experience . . . so this last-minute tactic came as a complete surprise.

But, when the media threatened to take its cameras and go home if reporters weren’t allowed to ask questions, the campaign caved in.

After all, what is a photo-op with no photos?

The campaign desperately needs film and still photos to try to convince voters that a couple of minutes of idle chit-chat with a foreign leader, any foreign leader, transforms Sarah Palin into a foreign policy expert (they do think we’re stupid, don’t they?).

But, like her or not, Sarah Palin, everyone’s favorite hockey mom, is by no means a sophisticated, educated stateswoman.

So the McCain campaign is justifiably worried that voters will see her as an ‘empty dress’, completely incapable handling the foreign policy aspects of the Presidency should a President McCain ever be unable to handle the job.

Lest you think that the McCain campaign did the right thing and let reporters in to ask questions so voters could learn how candidate Palin handles herself, it didn’t . . . in fact; the campaign showed its true colors and conned the media.

The con worked like this: Palin’s handlers allowed cameras, camera people, sound folks, and reporters into the room for the Karzai/Palin meeting for all of 29 seconds . . . just long enough to get the film and stills they wanted, but not long enough to risk the media catching Sarah with her mouth open.

The question that begs to be answered is, why is the McCain campaign so afraid of the press witnessing a simple photo-op conversation between Sarah Palin and a foreign leader?

For the same reason the campaign won’t let her hold a press conference . . . it knows she doesn’t know what the heck she’s talking about.

Now, before millions of Palin-ophants start praying for my demise, I’ll ask you to objectively consider the following exchange between a voter and Sarah Palin at a Town Hall Meeting in Michigan on September 18:

The voter asked, Governor Palin, there has been quite a bit of discussion about your perceived lack of foreign policy experience. And I want to give you your chance. If you could please respond to that criticism and give us specific skills that you think you have to bring to the White House to rebut that or mitigate that concern.

The best the could-be-next President of the United States could come up with was to give the following non-answer: Well, I think because I’m a Washington outsider that opponents are going to be looking for a whole lot of things that they can criticize and they can kind of try to beat the candidates here, who chose me as his partner, to kind of tear down the ticket. But as for foreign policy, you know, I think that I am prepared and I know that on January 20th, if we are so blessed as to be sworn into office as your president and vice president, certainly we’ll be ready. I’ll be ready. I have that confidence. I have that readiness.

Come on . . . you’d expect a better answer from someone running to be 8th grade class president!

If Palin really was the best qualified person in the United States to be John McCain’s running mate, she would have answered the question, directly, concisely, and intelligently by listing the specific foreign policy skills she would bring to the White House.

But she didn’t.

So let’s not pretend the truth is something other than what it really is . . . Sarah Palin was a political choice; she gave John McCain a way to get lots of media attention along with the hope that she might attract enough women voters to make a difference on November 4th.

No thinking American actually believes Palin was chosen because she’s the best qualified person in America to be Vice-President.

If the McCain campaign really believes in her, it would prepare Sarah Palin to learn everything possible about foreign affairs . . . not with meaningless two minute ‘meet ‘n greets’, not by sending her for a tutoring session with Henry Kissinger, but by sending her to meet with world leaders where they live.

Why not send Governor Palin to Israel to meet with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni . . . the woman who just might become the next prime minister?

Why not send her on a fact-finding trip to North Korea to talk with Kim Jong Il’s regime about its plans to renew activities at the nuclear weapons facility at Yongbyon?

Why not send her to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to learn more about his recent diplomatic initiatives in Georgia and Syria?

Why not send her to meet with President Felipe De Jesus Calderon to gain some insight into Mexico’s perspective on illegal immigration?

Why not send her to meet with Prime Minister Gordon Brown to discuss ways to strengthen economic ties between the U.K. and the U.S.?

Why not?

Unless the McCain campaign decides to help Sarah Palin acquire the foreign policy knowledge, understanding, and wisdom she would need to be a fully functioning President, it is setting her up for failure.

And I wonder, how does that put “Country First”?

Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at LTDAssociates@msn.com (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Want to go to a Blog that listens to you and speaks for you as well?

GO TO http://bothsidesnowbiz.blogspot.com/ AND SPEAK UP . . .

We want to hear BOTH SIDES NOW© so we can send your concerns to

435 Representatives and 100 Senators until they listen . . . and then, we’ll do it some more

Monday, September 22, 2008

WHY Not pay burglars?

l.t. Dravis

WALL STREET/WASHINGTON, D.C. – Monday, September 22, 2008 – Don’t mean to be nosy, but how much did you make last year?

Did you pull in anything close to $400,000.00?

Why do I ask?

Because that’s the amount of money John McCain wants to take out of our pockets to pay each CEO of each Wall Street firm as part of the $700 billion (or more) Wall Street bailout.

If I could interview Senator McCain, I’d open with, “Come on, Senator McCain . . . on your idea to compensate Wall Street senior executives as part of the bailout . . . you can’t be serious!

“You’re talking about giving $400 grand to each of the same people who caused the Wall Street crisis!

“This is nearly as unbelievable as the statement you made a week ago today when you told us that the fundamentals of the economy were good - barely about 24 hours before the Wall Street meltdown!

“Senator McCain . . . if you sincerely believe that taxpayers should spend up to $400,000.00 per person to reward or pay-off or support the people who brought down Wall Street, I wonder, would you advocate that victims pay burglars for their creativity, time, and efforts?

“Though you’ve tried to distance yourself from George W. Bush, you’re obviously in lockstep with the Bush administration’s press release today that criticizes any plan to limit compensation for those inept, greedy executives.

“Do you have any idea how much in bonuses these people paid themselves in just the past year?

“If you’re not up to speed on this, Senator, permit me to tell you that ABC News reported that CEOs employed by Bear Sterns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley paid themselves nearly $40 billion in ‘bonuses’ last year.

“And the $40 billion in bonuses these people paid themselves came out of the nearly $75 billion lost by shareholders in those companies in 2007.

“Do you think these same CEOs spent the $40 billion they collected last year and now need another $400,000.00 to tide them over until they can get jobs with the Department of Treasury as ‘consultants’ hired to tell the government how to ‘manage’ billions of dollars worth of worthless securities?

“Now, it isn’t like I’m making any of this up . . . I’m simply reacting to your words at a campaign stop today when you said, My friends, the top executives are asking for two and a half billion dollars in bonuses after they ran the company into the ground! The senior executives of any firm that’s bailed out by the treasury should not be making more money than the highest paid government official. We should have that criteria (sic).

“Since the highest paid government official is George W. Bush and we taxpayers pay him $400,000.00 a year to do whatever he does, it is reasonable to deduce that that is the compensation package you want to hand over to a bunch of inept Wall Street bigwigs.

“Thank you, Senator McCain, but no thanks. We can’t afford to waste our hard-earned or, in this case, our hard-borrowed money, on a bunch of losers, but most of all, we can’t afford to have a man in the presidency who is so willing to throw good taxpayer money after bad.”

To taxpayers, I would say, “This is a bad deal . . . don’t let McCain get away with it. The group who brought down Wall Street should go home, without applause, without notice, and most of all, without taxpayer money in their back pockets. Contact your Representatives and Senators – today – and tell them you don’t buy the McCain's idea to bailout disgraced Wall Street senior executives!”

To burglars, I would say, “Take heart . . . if John McCain becomes President, his kind of ‘change’ could mean a bright future for you.”

And, to you dear reader, I ask, “What do you think?”

Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at LTDAssociates@msn.com (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Want to go to a Blog that listens to you and speaks for you as well?

GO TO http://bothsidesnowbiz.blogspot.com/ AND SPEAK UP . . .

We want to hear BOTH SIDES NOW© so we can send your concerns to

435 Representatives and 100 Senators until they listen . . . and then, we’ll do it some more


Sunday, September 21, 2008

THEY Screw up and we pay . . . WHY?

By l.t. Dravis

WALL STREET/WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sunday, September 21, 2008 – Without your knowledge and without your permission, the Bush administration has decided to put you, your children, and grandchildren into more trillions of dollars of debt for decades to come.


Because, after years of deregulation, greed, and mismanagement, Wall Street has finally run out of cash.

George W. Bush, not particularly regarded to be the brightest or most courageous President we’ve ever had, the guy who’s been laying low for the past several days, had to be pressed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to finally do something to prevent the entire economy of the United States from collapsing under the weight of last week’s Wall Street crisis.

According to Treasury Secretary Paulson, the Wall Street crisis has caused credit markets to become “very fragile and frozen” and if the government doesn’t give billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street, businesses will no longer be able to borrow money to stay in business and those consumers lucky enough to still have jobs will be unable to get the credit they need to go further into debt so they can keep on spending.

If the Bush administration doesn’t hand over billions to Wall Street, immediately, Paulson says our economy will grind to a halt.

So Bush, et al, will give Wall Street what it wants for the privilege of taking ‘illiquid’ (who came up with that moniker?) mortgage-backed securities and other bad debt off their hands and off their balance sheets.

Translation: The same batch of political knuckleheads who deregulated us into the mortgage meltdown and the Wall Street crumbledown will now borrow hundreds of billions, perhaps even trillions of dollars from China and other sources, sign our names to the loan documents, and then hand all those stacks of cash over to the same group of geniuses who mismanaged Wall Street into its current mess.

This blow out of taxpayer cash comes on the heels of hundreds of billions of dollars the Bush administration has already given away to keep Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in business and to prevent insurance giant, American International Group, from going under.

How sound does that sound?

To add insult to injury, though the Bush administration, the House, and the Senate trust us enough to obligate us and our families for generations of debt, they don’t trust us enough to give us the details about the whys, wherefores, and whereas-es of this so-called bailout.

And, though we’ve heard and seen enough ‘political leader’ interviews over the past few days to last a lifetime, not one of those ‘leaders’ has had enough respect for us regular folks to actually tell us anything close to the truth about what really happened on Wall Street last week, about what the future implications may be, about how much this bailout will really cost, and about what the House and Senate will do to prevent a future reoccurrence of incompetence and fraud on his scale.

Though the Bush administration says it wants “as much as $700 billion” to clean up this mess, after everything we’ve been told over the past 7 ½ years by them, does anyone seriously think we can trust them to tell us the truth now?

Truth is, this lack of thoughtful, intelligent leadership on the part of the Bush administration could cost hundreds of millions of Americans $1, $2, $3, $4, $5 trillion or more.

Did you ever think that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, even with the help of their cohorts in the House and Senate, could lead this nation into such a deep economic disaster in only 7 ½ years?

The irony is that we put this downward spiral in motion when we voted for two men who made it blatantly clear to anyone who would listen that they were willing to say or do anything to win an election or start a war or run an economy into the ground . . . for political gain.


Shame on who?

Copyright © 2008 by l.t. Dravis. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at LTDAssociates@msn.com (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

HEY, Sarah . . . what are you afraid of?

By l.t. Dravis

NEW YORK – Wednesday, September 17, 2008 – Is Sarah Palin the real deal or just another mealy-mouthed, hypocritical, self-serving politician who will say or do anything to get elected?

The experts say that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, so let’s look at Palin’s past behavior.

On July 11 of this year, she fired Walter Monegan, the Public Safety Commissioner of Alaska.

According to Commissioner Monegan and others in Alaska’s Public Safety Department, the Governor, the Governor’s husband, and some of the Governor’s staff had been pressuring him for months to fire Michael Wooten, an Alaska state trooper who’d been involved in a nasty divorce and custody battle with Palin’s sister.

Monegan believes he was fired because he refused to fire Wooten, saying, “It was a significant factor if not the factor.”

So, the Alaska State Legislature decided to investigate the Governor, her husband, and some of the Governor’s staff members.

If the investigation determines that the Governor is guilty of pressuring Monegan or causing others to pressure Monegan to fire trooper Wooten, she could be charged with abuse of power. If true, beyond the legal ramifications, this past behavior gives us a scary insight into Sarah Palin’s character . . . that the Governor of Alaska would misuse the power of her office to ‘get even’ with a former brother-in-law is reminiscent of another republican politician, Dick Cheney, and his petty peeve against Ambassador Joe Wilson which resulted in Cheney getting ‘even’ with Wilson by outing Wilson’s wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Palin has contradicted herself more than once on the Monegan firing. For example, just after she fired Monegan, Palin said she never pressured him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. Within a month, however, she backtracked on that statement and admitted that some of the people who worked for her and her husband had contacted Monegan twenty-five times or more, to ‘talk about’ Wooten. Since Palin denied knowing anything about any of those contacts, we would have to believe that Palin’s husband would never have talked to his wife about telling Monegan to get rid of Wooten.

In August, Governor Palin publicly committed to fully cooperate with the Alaska legislature in its investigation. “Hold me accountable,” she was quoted as telling the people of Alaska and she agreed to testify.

But then, after having been picked by John McCain to be his running mate, Palin has suddenly reversed course and decided not to cooperate with the investigation.

The Anchorage Daily News, evidently more honorable than the Governor, doesn’t like hypocrisy or deception and said in an Op-Ed piece that since Governor Palin takes every opportunity to tell the public how she honest she is and how she stands for transparency in government, she should honor her original commitment to fully cooperate with the investigation.

But political observers from both sides of the aisle agree that the Governor and the McCain campaign have decided to stonewall the investigation in an effort to prevent the voting public from learning the truth about Palin’s behavior until after they go to the polls on November 4.

Though the investigation is nowhere near being concluded, the McCain campaign has already determined that Governor Palin is completely innocent of any wrongdoing. “The Governor did nothing wrong and has nothing to hide,” the campaign said in an August 29 statement.

Moreover, the McCain campaign, without citing any supporting evidence, claims that the investigation was not initiated by the Alaska State Legislature but was initiated by the Obama campaign. To support its position, the campaign issued the following unsubstantiated accusation: “It’s outrageous that the Obama campaign is trying to attack her over a family issue. As a reformer and a leader on ethics reform, she has been happy to help out in the investigation of this matter, because she was never directly involved.”

So what would she do if she was ‘directly involved’?


Okay . . . let’s ask a couple of salient questions.

Does Sarah Palin seriously believe that we can’t see that she’s trying to block the investigation because she in fact does have something to hide?

Does the McCain campaign seriously believe that we’ll actually buy the “Obama campaign is trying to attack her over a family issue” line?

Do we really want another double-speaking, innuendo-dropping, hypocritical, self-serving politician to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

And how about John “I approve this message” McCain? He picked Palin and he allows his campaign to come up with lies that insult the intelligence of every voter . . . is this kind of character we want to assume the power of the Presidency?

We’ve already seen this act . . . it’s been running night after night for seven and a half years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Shouldn’t we put up the closing notice on the Palin/McCain act before opening night?


Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at LTDAssociates@msn.com (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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THE Economy's tanking . . . what should you do now?

By l.t. Dravis

NEW YORK – Wednesday, September 17, 2008 – THE DOW DROPPED 445 POINTS TODAY . . . So, What should you do about the crisis on Wall Street, taxpayer supported government bailouts, the mortgage meltdown, bank failures, rising unemployment and persistent predictions of an extended recession?

The first and best thing to do is sit tight . . . no matter how hard it may be . . . and think through the implications of what has happened in the past few weeks before you make any decisions about your money and your financial future.

And, while you’re thinking, here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

In an uncertain economy, cash is king . . . so hold on to as much of it as you can.

Don’t buy anything you don’t absolutely need and avoid debt at all costs. Translation: If you can go to someone else’s home for the holidays and save the cost of that kitchen remodel you were dying to do, do it.

Forget about buying the larger house in a buyer’s market . . . for now . . . the experts predict that we won’t see the bottom in the housing market until 2009. So, if you can wait, wait.

Don’t waste time switching banks. You’re insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to $100,000.00 per account in any commercial bank. If you’re worried because you’re fortunate enough to have more than a hundred grand laying around in any account, find a better place to put your money (like a CD or other interest bearing instrument) . . . TODAY!

The Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC) protects investors like the FDIC protects bank depositors so, your investment portfolio, subject to investment ups and downs, is secure. In other words, even if you’re a Lehman Brothers or Merrill Lynch client, you can conduct business as usual without losing too much sleep. Double-check with your financial advisor before you make any moves to invest, divest, or diversify.

If you have a 401K account, don’t chase specific investments because when you do, you increase the chances you’ll lose. Even if you’re losing money in your 401K account and your employer continues to match your contributions, stay with it because you’re getting a fifty percent return on your money . . . where else can you get that kind of return? By the way, always talk to a professional financial consultant before you make any moves with a 401K account . . . there’s too much at stake not to.

Pay off all credit card debt before you spend money on anything else . . . look at it this way: You’re guaranteed to make twenty-plus percent on every dollar of credit card debt you retire. You can’t earn that kind of guaranteed money in any traditional investment so get with it!

Insurance companies typically put money into broadly diversified investments which means they are less likely to be hammered by mortgage-backed securities than investment banks. Insurance companies are also required by state and federal law to maintain significant reserves against potential losses. The bottom line? With the exception of an AIG which specializes in insuring mortgages held by banks, keep on paying those premiums. In any case, always, always make sure you’re being covered by a top-rated company . . . if not, switch today.

Should you start stuffing cash in the mattress?

It never hurts to have cash at the ready but with today’s easy-access banking system (extended hours, Saturday hours, supermarket branches even open on Sundays, and a nationwide network of ATMs) you can leave the mattress alone . . . for now.

Remember that like the weather, the economy is unpredictable; it is moved and shaped by internal, external, and sometimes mysterious forces and it will continue to expand and contract whether you like it or not.

However, in the short-term, this economy is not looking good.

Consumers are too debt-burdened to shop the economy out of its current doldrums and for the first time in a long time, tight credit standards have jammed businesses, banks, and large financial institutions into the same sinking boat as consumers.

It’s going to take some time and some strong leadership, and unprecedented consensus governing in Washington, D.C. to turn this economy around which means we aren’t likely to see any serious improvement until spring, 2009.

In the meantime, the best way for you to get through the coming months of economic uncertainty is to do everything you can to create a solid return on your employer’s investment in you, put at least six months’ of living expenses into a liquid investment account, refinance your mortgage to the lowest possible fixed rate, and pay off as much debt, especially credit card debt, as you can.

If you’re looking for a little solace from one of the nation’s best-known leaders, consider the following quotation:

“You know, in this business, you don’t have any control over what the press says and how they portray things. And that’s their prerogative. But I think anybody who looks at it objectively has trouble making the case that somehow this is a bad economy.”

- Dick Cheney – Vice President of the United States of America – 2000 - 2008

Don’t you feel better now?

Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at LTDAssociates@msn.com (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

IT'S About jobs, stupid!

By l.t. Dravis

NEW YORK – Tuesday, September 16, 2008 – The people we trusted to govern, lead, and protect our economy – the Bush administration, Congress, the Federal Reserve Board (FED), and the CEOs and boards of major financial institutions - the bunch who brought us the mortgage meltdown, bank failures, and Wall Street’s current collapse, are now busily making things worse.

Because federal regulators sat on their thumbs for decades and did nothing to protect individual and institutional investors and because the FED cut interest rates to make money dirt cheap, CEOs and boards of major financial institutions got greedy and pushed trillions of dollars in mortgage loans on anyone and everyone, whether or not they were creditworthy.

Trillions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities then became worthless because too many homeowners weren’t and aren’t able to make their mortgage payments.

The reasons are simple and predictable.

First and foremost, millions of homeowners have adjustable rate mortgages that ‘adjust’ their monthly payments beyond their ability to pay. This problem has been compounded by the fact that housing values have dropped precipitously, wiping out trillions of dollars in equity, which prevents people in trouble from refinancing to lower monthly payments. Secondly, hundreds of thousands of homeowners lost the ability to pay their mortgages along with their jobs . . . a fate that faces hundreds of thousands more homeowners as the economy continues to tank.

Financial institutions that sell, trade, and use mortgage-backed securities as collateral for operating loans have been particularly hard hit. So, it should have come as no surprise that venerable institutions like Bear Stearns, founded in 1923, would fail or that 158 year-old Lehman Brothers, the 4th largest investment bank in the country, would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, or that Merrill Lynch, one of the most trusted names in the financial world, would be forced to literally give itself away to Bank of America to avoid liquidation.

The Bush administration, Congress, and the FED should have anticipated at least a year ago that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, quasi-governmental institutions, guarantors of trillions of dollars in mortgages, would run out of cash and would ultimately have to be taken over by the Federal Government.

Now, to make matters worse, American International Group (AIG), a major insurer of billions of dollars in corporate loans and mortgages held by banks all around the world is running out of cash. If AIG failed, all those loans would be uninsured and umpteen dozen banks would see their balance sheets tip the wrong way . . . many into insolvency . . . so the Federal Reserve will likely loan $85 billion taxpayer dollars to bail AIG out of its current crisis.

And that’s how the experts are making things worse.

They’re throwing billions and billions of taxpayer dollars at the wrong end of the problem.

Just this morning, the Federal Reserve dropped $70 billion in taxpayer cash on banks to encourage them to ease tight credit conditions with no guarantee that any of that money will ever be lent to businesses or consumers.





Throwing taxpayer money at the wrong end of the economy does nothing to change the fact that trillions of dollars in worthless mortgage-backed securities are destroying our financial institutions and threatening the future of the economy we’ve known and trusted for the past sixty plus years.

If the Bush administration, Congress, and the FED were serious about solving this crisis and preventing a reoccurrence next month, next year or the year after, they’d invest taxpayer money to bring back value to mortgage-backed securities.

Until that happens, financial institutions will continue to fail, taxpayers will continue to pay, and the economy will continue to fall apart.

How do you bring back value to mortgage-backed securities?

You give people the ability to make their mortgage payments.

For homeowners fortunate enough to still have jobs, you make Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pay back a portion of their taxpayer bailouts by sending financial counselors out to renegotiate adjustable rate mortgages so homeowners can make mortgage payments within their current budgets.

For those who’ve lost their jobs, you create jobs across the country, in a variety of disciplines – from blue collar to professional - rebuilding our infrastructure, building wind farms, refurbishing schools, and cleaning up inner cities so homeowners can make their mortgage payments, support their families, stimulate the economy by consuming other products and services, and generate local, state, and federal tax revenues.

For those who’ll argue against government investment in creating new jobs, keep in mind that because of the unprecedented ineptness of the Bush/Cheney administration’s eight years in power, because of the hundreds of billions of dollars lost by the Bush/Cheney preoccupation with the Iraq war, and because of Congress’ inability to regulate the financial services industry to prevent the current economic crisis, the free market economy is no longer free to correct itself.


Because business and consumer credit is likely to remain tight for the foreseeable future, because hundreds of billions of dollars in investment capital has been lost through greed and mismanagement, because the national debt costs the American taxpayer nearly $2 billion a day in interest alone, and because historically high deficit spending for the past eight years puts the Federal Government in the position of competing with businesses and consumers for loans.

For these reasons, the economy is no longer free to raise the capital it needs to create, design, produce, and deliver products and services essential to grow and drive the its way out of this mess.

So, while the Bush administration, Congress, and the FED waste billions of taxpayer dollars on the wrong end of this economic crisis, while more and more people lose their homes and their jobs, remember that we actually elected these people . . . freely . . . to lead us to this place.

Makes you wonder why, doesn’t it?

Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at LTDAssociates@msn.com (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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