Category Archives: Bailouts

“We’re going to get a little tougher” UPDATE: Even Alec Baldwin, Senator!

Well, they’d better hope so.

According to the Washington Post, the McCain campaign and the Republicans are “readying a newly aggressive assault” for the final month of the election season, moving away from John McCain’s maverick-war-hero biography and shifting focus to Barack Obama and his associates; senior campaign officials offered Tony Rezko and William Ayers as examples.  (I love the WaPo’s description of Ayers, “whom the McCain campaign regularly calls a domestic terrorist because of his acts of violence against the U.S. government in the 1960s.” [Emphasis mine.]  Well, what would you call him?)

Sources at the campaign say that the new ad I touched on earlier, taking Obama to task over his description of himself as a “tax cutter,” was the leading edge of this new aggressive stance.  Hot Air backs me up that McCain will have to do better than that, and the best way to do it is to go national hammering the Democrats’ opposition to his drive for tightened oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Details, and a dimly encouraging quote from McCain, below the break.

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Show me the money

OK, now that the bailout has been rammed through Congress and is now our responsibility, I would love to see what these “sweeteners” were that were so yummy that they made a crap sandwich palatable.

Joe Biden slipped over $51 million in earmarks into the first bill, and he got caught.  If Obama has refrained from any similar earmarking activity, it’ll be a first.  McCain-Palin could manage to salvage some mileage from this pork-laden monstrosity after all.

UPDATE:  Miz Michelle’s got my back (though she’s characteristically a bit blunter on the matter).

UPDATE II:  A friend emails and asks me why Michelle Obama is cited on my blog.  Errmmm, if you’d click the link, you’d see that “Miz Michelle” is blogress Michelle Malkin.  Seasoned WitSnapper readers know that my shorthand for Michelle Obama is “La Michelle.”

New attack ad from McCain, but still no FM/FM

John McCain is back on the attack following his Palin-induced shot in the arm, and he’s attacking on…taxes?  Senator, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are just sitting there waiting for you.  The NRCC has even got the ball rolling for you.  Your first ad following the debate was a cringeworthy mishmash.  The tax-cutting pitch is all well and good, but take a wild guess as to what’s on people’s minds now?  Hint: it ain’t tax cuts, emphasized in this ultimately wasted ad:

As an aside, James Pethoukokis of U.S. News doesn’t think McCain is going to pick up that ball (and believes ACORN is going to get a pass in the bargain):

1) It is a complicated argument, and McCain is not good at making complicated arguments, not even about earmarks. (Note, additionally, his lack of defense of the war in Iraq during his debate with Obama. Amazing.)

2) There is a racial component to criticism of the Community Reinvestment Act that can make it sound like you are scapegoating minorities for Wall Street’s problems.

3) The campaign believes McCain’s time is better spent talking about taxes and energy and healthcare. Really.

Stephen Spruiell at NRO replies:

1) It’s not that complicated. McCain called for stronger oversight of Fannie and Freddie in 2005, but Senate Democrats (including Obama) blocked reform. Between 2005 and 2007, Fannie and Freddie bought up a trillion dollars worth of subprime mortgages. Some they kept, some they packaged and sold to Wall Street.

Thus Fannie and Freddie enabled and spread the contagion that melted our financial system, while the Democrats enabled Fannie and Freddie over John McCain’s objections. Conservatives cannot afford to lose the argument over what caused this crisis. One would think McCain would feel that pressure more acutely than most.

2) Fine. Steer clear of the CRA and focus on Fannie and Freddie. 

3) Can we not walk and chew gum at the same time?

Dunno about you, Sen. McCain, but I’m with Spruiell (as is Miz Michelle, I hear, though Ed appears pleased with the ad).  Sure, go ahead and slam Barack Obama as a tax-hiker (gawd knows he’s an easy target on that score), but there’s a lot of anger out there about the runup to the bailout just looking for its rightful target, and you’ve got history and a whole lot of C-SPAN footage on your side.

Crap Sandwich Update: Fries with that?

The crap sandwich has gone down the hatch.  After Senate approval, the House bought the bailout bill 263-171. Unsurprisingly, my congressman voted to open wide.  President Bush reportedly has just signed the bill.

Party’s over.

UPDATE: Wall Street celebrates with a selloff.  Dow falls 157 points.  Well, that wasn’t supposed to happen, was it?

UPDATE II: Instapundit links to a summary video from the NRCC, who must be clawing at this vote like a lifeline from heaven (I’m relieved to see somebody with election-related clout has woken up and decided to run with this…John McCain, call your office):

Actually, I’m fairly impressed with how Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) appears to have come clean (and fairly glad that the NRCC gave him credit for it, even if only to show the contrast to his colleagues).

UPDATE III:  Allahpundit’s got ahold of the ad, and his thirst for blood is rising.

That’s the best they could do?

The McCain campaign has released its first post-debate ad, and it’s surprisingly weak.  With all the inaccuracies coming from Biden last night, some of the ones the McCain camp chose to highlight were not impressive:

OK, the one on Ahmadinejad I can see why they used, but why not his misrepresentation of McCain’s record on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  People care a lot more about the financial meltdown than clean coal.  Same thing with the phantom health insurance tax that nobody ever proposed.  And that has got to be the worst ending to an ad I’ve ever seen.  “Sighing?”  What was the relevance of the Palin clip on Israel?  And why talk about exaggerating when what Biden is saying is out-and-out wrong, not out of proportion?

I’ll leave aside the question of why you’d talk about exaggerating when you can’t even spell “exaggerate” correctly in the first place.

Captain Ed agrees that the ad falls apart in the end.

Man…and they had so much to work with.  Weak ad.  Very weak ad.

UPDATE: Aaaaah, I see, Captain Ed points out why they included the Israel clip.  Apparently that’s where the alleged “sigh” came in.  Frankly, I thought it was part of the soundtrack, but if that’s a sigh, then they’re really reaching.  But in fairness, I’ll update my assessment:  the ad is even weaker than I thought.

Well, THAT wasn’t supposed to happen, was it?

After the much-ballyhooed thumbs-up given to Crap Sandwich 2.0 by the Senate last night, Wall Street appears not so enthused.

The Dow Jones average greeted Harry Reid’s “middle class tax relief” spin with a drop of 348 points today, along with a NASDAQ loss of 92 points.  Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington State has sent a shock wave through the House by announcing his intention to attach an enormous and hideously expensive economic stimulus bill to the new bailout bill, angering House Republicans (and not just a few Blue Dog Democrats) who already think the bailout is too pricey and intrusive.  (Heaven forfend the Senate should be the only body permitted to inflate the spending in this bill to cosmic proportions.)

Are the Republicans being set up again?  House Democrats appear bent on throwing bill after unsupportable bill at them, daring them to vote them down.  My suggestion?  Call their bluff every time.  I’d much rather Congress fail to act and come under further pressure, than have them pass a bad law that will relieve pressure on them for a good one.

But they said Fannie and Freddie were fine…!

The Wall Street Journal (via Instapundit) has a long roundup of Democrats in the House and Senate who were howling at the very implication that anything might be wrong with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, back in 2003-2006 when the Republicans were beating their heads against the wall trying to reform oversight of both.  I posted video on this earlier.

As I’ve said on this blog before, McCain had better start running against Congress but quick; he’s the only one who can pull it off, and Congress has no fans left.  After being stabbed in the back by Nancy Pelosi last weekend, you’d think he’d be eager.

Captain Ed has a pop quiz.

(On a lighter note, Jim Treacher has an exclusive advance look at Ifill’s debate questions.)