Welcome to the Coatesville Dems Blog

Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Messing with the DOJ
When is the news media going to wake up to the fact that the Bush/Rove alleged politicization of the USDoJ may be the greatest boon to organized crime since prohibition? In my opinion Bush/Rove has made political hacks US District Attorneys in some of their Regional USDA appointments. Their mission appears to be the investigation of Democrats while pulling investigations of Republicans. The result has been a alleged mass resignation of some very good prosecutors and the demoralization of the USDoJ.

Very few State district attorneys and city district attorneys have the coglioni to go after mob connected public officials so it becomes a staple of a US Attorneys job. I think that the mess that Bush and Rove made of the USDoJ has made organized crime much more profitable in the USA.

If you want to fight crime, vote straight Democratic.
Jim Pitcherella


March 31, 2008
The Political Specter at Justice
Attorney General Michael Mukasey was supposed to end the cynical politicization of the Justice Department. But the sudden disbanding of the United States attorney’s public corruption office in Los Angeles looks like business as usual.
There were a number of sensitive inquiries under way at the high-profile office, including an investigation of Representative Jerry Lewis, the powerful California Republican who directed hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks to favored government contractors while chairman of the appropriations committee.
Representative Lewis denied any wrongdoing as investigators tracked ties between windfall government contracts and lucrative campaign donations. One former staff specialist on earmarks crossed over to become a potent lobbyist for contractors. The inquiry appears to have lagged during the administration’s strategic reshuffling of United States attorneys.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It looks to me like the Clintons are staying with their sinking ship and saying “Dam the Democratic Party, full speed ahead”.

It is time that we start thinking about tossing the Clintons out of the Democratic Party, they can run on a “Clintonite Party” ticket if they want to, but we need stop them from destroying the Democratic Party.

My estimation is that if Clinton is on the ticket in November, here in Chester County we will lose at least 15,000 votes. That is just my guesstimate of the number of people who registered Democratic in Chester County to vote for Obama. I don’t think that they will vote for McCain; I think that they won’t vote at all. And if Clinton is on the ticket, the chances of ever getting them back are near zero.

Take it from someone who is in hand to hand combat with the Chester County Republican Committee every day of the year. We as Democrats have a choice; we can build our Democratic Party with Barack Obama or destroy our Democratic Party with Hilleary Clinton.

Jim Pitcherella-Chair Coatesville, PA Democratic Party

From the Los Angeles Times
Clinton Obama supporters wrangle over delegates
The acrimony is evident at district conventions in Texas this weekend, with each side accusing the other of underhandedness.
By Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

March 30, 2008

HOUSTON — Less than a month ago, Texas Democrats turned out in huge numbers for the presidential nominating contest between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, confident that, no matter who won, the party would have a popular, well-financed candidate.

But that exuberance is gone now.

Across the state this weekend, tense confrontations -- even shoving matches -- erupted as partisans for Clinton and Obama battled over how to interpret the March 4 election results and how to choose delegates to the Texas Democratic convention.

At one particularly raucous session Saturday at Texas Southern University, a leading Clinton backer, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, was booed by hundreds of Obama supporters, and police were called later to break up heated exchanges that left some in tears.

"It's bedlam," said Houston lawyer Daniel J. Shea, a Clinton backer.

Democrat-on-Democrat clashes over delegates have been playing out in Iowa, Colorado, Florida and other states -- the latest indication that the feel-good nomination race of the era has veered into a political ditch.

The contentious battle in Texas shows the high cost of this unending campaign. To hold his delegate lead, Obama has kept a team of 65 paid organizers and lawyers in the state this month, while Clinton has 45.

As the feud rages -- even in states that voted weeks or months ago -- each side has its own game plan for victory. For Obama, it means highlighting his lead in delegates to the party's national convention in Denver. For Clinton, it means lengthening the campaign so that she can use every tactic to narrow her delegate deficit and to win upcoming primaries in her bid to raise doubts about Obama's electability in the fall.

The candidates have also become far more combative, and that hostility has party leaders worried. In a year that looked to be a Democratic romp, Obama and Clinton are burning money, erasing goodwill and eviscerating each other's reputation while the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain, prepares to kick off his general-election campaign with a nationwide tour designed to highlight of military and congressional experience. On Saturday, Clinton told the Washington Post that she was prepared to take her campaign all the way to the party convention in August.

"This thing has turned from being an adventure to being a grind," said Robert M. Shrum, a Democratic strategist who managed John F. Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

Polls published last week showed some of the dangers: McCain has gained ground against both Democrats, and at least 20% of each Democratic candidate's supporters now say they would consider abandoning the party in November if their candidate is not the nominee.

The potential for anger is more pronounced -- and the consequences more dire -- than in most campaigns because this contest is being waged along the fault lines of gender and race, with the would-be first female president versus the would-be first black president.

That was starkly evident Saturday at one convention in Houston, where mostly white Clinton supporters repeatedly challenged the credentials of black Obama backers in a heavily black district that had voted overwhelmingly for Obama. Democratic leaders, who had been thrilled by the massive turnout in early-voting states, now fear the consequences not only in the presidential race but also in state and local ones.

"When you have a divided party, I think it hurts you up and down the ticket," said Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, who said his party cannot afford to lose seats in an evenly divided state Senate and a state House controlled by a narrow Democratic majority. "Somebody who's mad enough at one of the candidates to want to vote for John McCain is more likely to [vote] down that side of the ballot."

Bredesen has circulated a plan to stave off a potentially divisive national nominating convention in August by holding a "primary" earlier this summer among the nearly 800 superdelegates -- the party's elected officials, leaders and activists -- whose votes could decide the race and forestall the type of delegate fights now unfolding in Texas.

Another party elder, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, proposed Saturday that Clinton and Obama avert a "disaster" by agreeing to share the ticket, with the delegate winner running for president and the loser for vice president.

"If, on the other hand, the candidates refuse to work out a way to keep both constituencies firmly in the Democratic camp for the general election," Cuomo wrote in the Boston Globe, "the 2008 primary may be the story of a painfully botched grand opportunity to return our nation to the upward path and [instead] leave us mired in Iraq and government mediocrity."



Saturday, March 29, 2008

“We are now staring into the abyss."

“We are now staring into the abyss. The Bear Stearns bailout has created a presumption of a safety net under any major stockbroker, in addition to any major bank. Rumors are that Lehman Brothers and Citigroup may be next. The Fed could handle a Lehman crash. But the collapse of Citigroup, the world's largest bank, would be catastrophic, bankrupting businesses, other banks and consumers and cutting off credit for state and local governments. And it could stretch the Fed to the limit of its resources.
There is a widespread assumption that there is no bottom to the pockets of the Federal Reserve. Not quite. The Fed has a finite amount of actual assets--mostly Treasury obligations backed by the "full faith and credit" of the government, which is a commitment to raise taxes if necessary to pay the debt. These assets total about $800 billion, some $400 billion of which have been obligated to back up loans. If the loans default, the Fed has to sell the Treasury notes in order to settle. If there are enough of these failures, the Fed could exhaust its assets. It would then have to resort to really "printing money"--issuing promissory notes not backed up by anything--or get bailed out by the Treasury, putting taxpayers further in the hole. Long before the Fed is down to the last of its stash of Treasury notes, more skittish domestic and foreign investors will flee the dollar. Interest rates would balloon and prices of oil and other imports would skyrocket. Credit would freeze, investment would plummet and tens of millions of Americans would be out on the street, with neither a job nor a roof over their heads.”

This article can be found on the web at
Is This the Big One?
[from the April 14, 2008 issue]
For more than a decade, we Americans have been living on an economic San Andreas fault--a foundation of fracturing competitiveness covered by unsustainable consumer spending with money borrowed from foreigners. A financial earthquake was inevitable. We don't know how high on the recession Richter scale the current crisis will take us, but it increasingly looks like, as they say in San Francisco, "The Big One."
Since the last Big One, the Great Depression of the 1930s, we have had eleven small to medium recessions, lasting an average of ten months. The most severe--two back-to-back downturns that began in 1979--drove price increases and the unemployment rate to double digits.
We're not at those levels yet. But the structural supports underneath our shop-till-we-drop economy are considerably weaker. For starters, we have a historic depression in the housing market. Americans' total mortgage debt now exceeds their home equity, for the first time since 1945. Housing prices have dropped 10 percent since last spring, followed by record foreclosures. Most economists expect them to drop at least another 10 percent, which could leave more than 14 million households--at least 16 percent of the total--better off if they just walked away from their homes. Prices could go even lower.
Until last year, housing prices in most places had risen rapidly since the 1990s. This enabled middle-class homeowners with stagnant wages and maxed-out credit cards to keep spending by refinancing their mortgages. The housing boom also spawned the now infamous subprime mortgage--a scheme devised by Main Street realtors and Wall Street bankers to finance home buying with loans that let the borrower buy in with little money down but carried high interest rates. The expensive payments would be made later by refinancing the mortgage as prices continued to rise. These subprimes were sold to middle-class strivers upgrading to McMansions as well as to the working poor.
The increased demand pushed housing prices further into the stratosphere--until, inevitably, they fell back to earth. When the subprime borrowers could no longer make their payments, foreclosure signs went up, lowering the value of other houses in the neighborhood. The refinancing spigot shut off, retail sales sputtered and by January the economy was shedding jobs.
But it is not the squeeze on homeowners that is giving our central bankers nightmares. It is the blowback of housing deflation on the country's massively overleveraged financial markets, which has seriously constricted the flow of credit--the lifeblood of the world's largest debtor economy.
In a typical deal, subprime mortgages were sold to investment companies, where they were commingled with prime mortgages to back up new securities that could be touted as both safe and high-yielding. This new debt paper was then peddled to investors, who used it as collateral for "margin" loans to buy yet more stocks and bonds. At each change of hands, fees and underwriting charges added to the total claims on the original shaky mortgages. The result was a frenzied bidding up of prices for a bewildering maze of arcane securities that neither buyers nor sellers could accurately value.
Giant Ponzi scheme? Not to worry, responded the Wall Street geniuses. By spreading risks among more people, the miracle of "diversity" was actually turning bad loans into good ones. Anyway, banks were buying insurance policies against default, which in turn were transformed into a set of even murkier securities called "credit default swaps" and marketed to hedge funds, pension managers and in some cases back to the banks that were being insured in the first place. At the end of 2007 the market for these swaps was estimated at $45.5 trillion--roughly twice as large as all US stock markets combined.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Republican Party is making the Sicilian Mafia and the Camorra Mafia of Naples’ “lending institutions” look like nice guys.

Let’s see McCain admits that the mortgage lenders were engaged in defrauding homeowners. McCain says that it is the victim’s fault that he or she was deceived by criminal activity. I guess that ordinary homeowners should obtain a high priced (Republican) attorney to decipher the opaque 50 page lending documents.

Then McCain says that it is good government policy to reward those criminal mortgage lenders with a bailout and not impose any regulations. No regulation means that the Republican Party’s brand of legalized loan sharking and Ponzi bond schemes can restart itself.

It looks like the Republican Party is actively rewarding organized criminal businesses. Is that because those mortgage lenders who engaged in defrauding homeowners are major campaign contributors?

The Republican Party is making the Sicilian Mafia and the Camorra Mafia of Naples’ “lending institutions” look like nice guys.
Jim Pitcherella

March 28, 2008
News Analysis
Parties Differ on Whom Economic Aid Should Help
WASHINGTON — When an election campaign coincides with both a crisis on Wall Street and soaring home foreclosures across the country, the traditional ideological battles over “more government” or “less government” become blurred.
Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic candidates for president, claim to have proposed a more activist role for government than either President Bush or the likely Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain, and the Democratic rhetoric makes the contrast appear even sharper.
But while their philosophies might seem starkly different, in reality both parties have come to the conclusion that major government involvement is needed to rescue the financial and housing markets.
The ideological clashes are less about whether the government should intervene in the economy, and more about whom it should try to rescue.
“Democrats are more likely to propose protecting individuals, and Republicans are more likely to propose protecting markets,” said William A. Niskanen, chairman of the Cato Institute, a libertarian research group in Washington that champions smaller government.
Despite differing approaches, Democrats and Republicans may end up in a similar place because it will be difficult to protect individuals without protecting the markets, and the markets will remain fragile if individuals suffer huge declines in their personal wealth.
For now, the parties seem to be worlds apart. This week, the two Democratic presidential contenders seized on the deepening economic crisis and proposed broad government rescue plans for homeowners that would each cost about $30 billion.
The Bush administration dismissed such ideas as bailouts and vowed to veto even modest Democratic bills to help homeowners. Mr. McCain asserted this week that “it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly.”
In practice, the Democrats have not really had to confront the full fury and magnitude of the crisis. Measured in dollars, their biggest proposals are small compared with the hundreds of billions of dollars that the Federal Reserve has decided to lend to struggling institutions, and compared with the magnitude of losses in home values and defaulted mortgages.
Mr. McCain and the Bush administration, meanwhile, have staunchly supported one of the biggest government interventions in the last century: the Federal Reserve’s decision to lend as much as $400 billion at rock-bottom rates to banks and Wall Street firms.
The Fed’s rescue operation involves a sum many times more than Democrats proposed spending on homeowners, and it comes on top of a host of other injections of government money into the economy. First came the bipartisan economic stimulus package, which this year alone will provide about $152 billion in tax rebates and temporary tax cuts to help spur consumption.
Then came a series of moves to greatly expand the roles of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant government-sponsored mortgage finance companies.
And this week, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board decided to lend an extra $100 billion to member banks for mortgage financing.
In a speech this week, Mrs. Clinton compared Mr. McCain’s approach to that of Herbert Hoover, and said, “I don’t think we can afford four more years of that kind of inaction.” Mr. Obama, laying down his own marker on Thursday, declared that “the free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get.”
But the two Democrats have also proposed a number of changes — such as the expanded role for Fannie and Freddie — that President Bush has recently adopted as well.
An area where the parties do seem to have sharp disagreements is regulation, particularly of investment banks.
Democrats in Congress and on the campaign trail are pushing for tougher restrictions on deceptive or risky mortgage lending, stricter rules for credit-card issuers and new rules that would allow bankruptcy judges to reduce the size of mortgages. Democrats have also called for tighter supervision of Wall Street firms.
Read the rest of the article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/28/business/28regulate.html?th&emc=th

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What if you substituted another name in the New York Times Op-Ed below for John McCain?

What if you substituted another name in the New York Times Op-Ed below for John McCain? Say you substitute Ralph Nadir for John McCain. He begins to look like someone that Democrats can vote for. That is why the Democratic Party needs someone with real charisma at the top of the ticket and not someone who’s is running her election in the “charisma shadow” of Bill Clinton.

I could easily vote for Bill Clinton again, but he is not running, Hillary is. And In my humble opinion Hillary is a much harder sell than John Kerry. They both are honorable people who would technically make good presidents. The problem is that in public they are “cold fish”. Neither one can inspire a nation.

The problems that we face require a president that can do more than unite us we need a president like Franklin Roosevelt. Hilleary is light-years away from that, McCain’s failing is that he wants to fight an unneeded and un-affordable for ever and ever war in Iraq. We have a fighting chance with Barack Obama.
Jim Pitcherella

March 26, 2008
Op-Ed Contributor
John McCain Wants You
BEHIND any successful politician lies a usable contradiction, and John McCain’s is this: We love him (and occasionally hate him) for his stubborn individualism, yet his politics are best understood as a decade-long attack on the individual.
The presumptive presidential nominee of the Republican Party has seduced the press and the public with frank confessions of his failings, from his hard-living flyboy days to his adulterous first marriage to the Keating Five scandal. But in both legislation and rhetoric, Mr. McCain has consistently sought to restrict the very freedoms he once exercised, in the common national enterprise of “serving a cause greater than self-interest.”
Such sentiment can sound stirring coming from a lone citizen freely choosing public service. But from a potential president, Mr. McCain’s exaltation of sacrifice over the private pursuit of happiness — “I did it out of patriotism, not for profit,” he snarled to Mitt Romney during the final Republican presidential debate — reflects a worryingly militaristic view of citizenship.
“We are fast becoming a nation of alienating individualists, unwilling to put the unifying values of patriotism ahead of our narrow self-interests,” Mr. McCain warned in a speech during his 2000 presidential campaign. He added that “cynicism threatens to become a ceiling on our greatness.”
Where there are threats to national greatness, there are activities that Mr. McCain insists the federal government should curtail. And the most maverick individuals among us are destined to bear the brunt.
Teenagers are cynical about professional sports because of steroids (a “transcendent issue,” Mr. McCain once thundered in the Senate), so he has proposed that the government be given the authority to demand that even Division II college athletes be subject to the personal intrusion of random drug testing and punishment. Likewise, because betting on college sports could make one cynical about games possibly being thrown, Mr. McCain wanted to make that a federal offense.
The senator’s ideas for “reform” — taxing cigarettes, banning ultimate fighting, giving the president a line-item veto — typically empower the executive branch at the expense of American citizens and their representatives. Even his efforts to prohibit torture and overhaul immigration proved hostile to individual rights. His ban on the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees was packaged with provisions that jeopardized habeas corpus. And his immigration bill would have required American workers to prove their citizenship.
Nowhere is this dynamic more apparent than in Mr. McCain’s signature issue: the corrupting influence of money in politics. His solution, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, placed onerous restrictions on citizens who have no affiliation with sitting politicians.
Read the rest of the article at:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Democratic Registrations in Coatesville and Western Chester County

Our local Obama volunteers in the Coatesville and Western Chester County are coming back with an incredible number of Democratic voter registrations.

The number of registrations was at 1400 Sunday afternoon and many more came in Sunday night and Monday. That is from about 60 local volunteers in Coatesville, Parkesburg, and Downingtown and as far east as Exton. I don’t dare to try to estimate the final tally that “United4Obama in Chester County Region 2” has totaled, I always under-estimate the numbers of registrations that we finally bring in.

Beginning on Saturday morning we covered ourselves with Obama pins and stickers, fanned out from our meeting at the old Lukens office building in Coatesville and trudged up and down the hills of the City of Coatesville and Valley Township. We asked anyone who was home if they were registered to vote and stood by while they filled out registrations. Those of us who were seniors called it a day at about 3:00 pm while the younger folks kept up until dark. Some of us were on sidewalks at busy corners. A few of us did more canvassing on Easter Sunday and Monday.

Another Obama volunteer and I circled around the area on Monday knocking on doors finding people to fill in small omissions that they made on their registrations. At about 3:00 pm they were picked up and went to Kathleen’s home for final checking and delivery to Voter Services.

The excitement for Barack Obama is something that I have never seen before. Most elections are about voting against whoever the other candidate is. Voting against the Bush and the Republicans in general is certainly a big part in this election. What I see are people who believe that Mr. Obama is someone who can lead a Nation. A Nation not just of power brokers but a Nation that includes all of us. A Nation that can be respected by other Nations once more.

Many times we came across a Republican who was changing his or her registration to vote for Barack Obama. In part the Republican’s that are changing their registrations to Democratic are doing so because of dissatisfaction with Bush and the local Republican Party in Chester County. But there is another even more compelling reason that I see when I talk to Republicans here, many of whom are close friends. They see something in Senator Obama that they really like. I can’t really speak for them but I believe that they see Barack Obama as a leader with real convictions and the strength of character to put those convictions into action.

The Obama volunteers here began the voter registration drive in January. They built it into the rolling snowball that it is today without any help from the Obama Campaign. We did it on our own without any help from the national campaign until about 3 weeks ago.

When Obama runs in November we will have an established dug in group of volunteers ready to roll over the Republican Party in Chester County.

Jim Pitcherella

The Long Defeat


March 25, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist
The Long Defeat
Hillary Clinton may not realize it yet, but she’s just endured one of the worst weeks of her campaign.
First, Barack Obama weathered the Rev. Jeremiah Wright affair without serious damage to his nomination prospects. Obama still holds a tiny lead among Democrats nationally in the Gallup tracking poll, just as he did before this whole affair blew up.
Second, Obama’s lawyers successfully prevented re-votes in Florida and Michigan. That means it would be virtually impossible for Clinton to take a lead in either elected delegates or total primary votes.
Third, as Noam Scheiber of The New Republic has reported, most superdelegates have accepted Nancy Pelosi’s judgment that the winner of the elected delegates should get the nomination. Instead of lining up behind Clinton, they’re drifting away. Her lead among them has shrunk by about 60 in the past month, according to Avi Zenilman of Politico.com.
In short, Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects continue to dim. The door is closing. Night is coming. The end, however, is not near.
Last week, an important Clinton adviser told Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen (also of Politico) that Clinton had no more than a 10 percent chance of getting the nomination. Now, she’s probably down to a 5 percent chance.
Five percent.
Let’s take a look at what she’s going to put her party through for the sake of that 5 percent chance: The Democratic Party is probably going to have to endure another three months of daily sniping. For another three months, we’ll have the Carvilles likening the Obamaites to Judas and former generals accusing Clintonites of McCarthyism. For three months, we’ll have the daily round of résumé padding and sulfurous conference calls. We’ll have campaign aides blurting “blue dress” and only-because-he’s-black references as they let slip their private contempt.
For three more months (maybe more!) the campaign will proceed along in its Verdun-like

Read the rest of the column here:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Moral hazards don’t exist for those that have

The new politically correct credo is, in part. denouncing government that creates a safety net for the lower middle class and poor while supporting those at the top of failed corporations; some of whom are, in my opinion, little better than mob bosses of corrupt organizations.

In the last six years the hands off, let business do what ever it wants Bush Administration has, in my opinion led to fraud and criminal activity on a grand scale. Unsuspecting ordinary people think that the loans they apply for, the food that they eat, the air that they breathe, the water that they drink is safe because the “government” is looking out for the common interest and protecting its citizens. In reality all of our regulatory agencies have been gutted; even, incredibly, the USDoJ (I believe that gutting the USDoJ has led to a momentary lapse in prosecution of organized crime. The USDoJ is now being re-established). The Bush / Cheney Administration has systematically replaced highly trained specialists with political hacks at the top of every Federal regulatory and enforcement Agency.

Whoever the next president is will need to replace every single one of them with real administrators to get our country back on its feet.

McCain has already drunk the “anti-regulation cool aid”. God help us if the Republicans win.

From today’s DAILY LOCAL NEWS:

Monday, March 24, 2008
Moral hazards don’t exist for those that have

BOSTON — I don’t know too many economists who get confused with preachers. But there are times when they talk about virtue and temptation as if they were free-market holy rollers.
Consider the phrase that has been popping up all over the Bear Stearns debacle: “moral hazard.” No, Moral Hazard is not the name of a country and western singer. It’s the phrase economists use to explain why people shouldn’t be protected from the consequences of their actions. In The Wall Street Journal’s definition, moral hazards are “the distortions introduced by the prospect of not having to pay for your sins.”
The idea began as an argument against insurance. If you had fire insurance, you’d be careless around matches. Zap, more fires. In recent decades, it’s been used as a righteous reason for shredding safety social nets and toughening laws like those against declaring bankruptcy. Such safety nets, it’s argued, only encouraged more sinners, excuse me, welfare mothers and bankrupt families. And before we wrap up the sermon, a last word. If a financial firm is “too big to fail” — a status I’ve always aspired to — why aren’t homeowners? They too are on the brink of destroying not only themselves but their communities. At the very least, Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd have introduced homeowner bills that would contain and share the damage.
Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of Republicans, used to say, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” This notion infiltrated the national consciousness. Any sort of government help was framed as hapless, useless or, yes, a moral hazard.
Reagan’s line always got a belly laugh. Well, folks, not in this Bear (Stearns) market.
The same language of morality has been used by economic fundamentalists who don’t want to help homeowners who got subprime mortgage loans and found find themselves in deep foreclosure weeds. Mike Huckabee once said that it “is not the purpose of government to prop people up from every poor decision they make. ... It creates an enabling co-dependency.”
Read more at:


Two about the economy

Whether an economic depression now is harder or easier on us, there won’t be many jumpers this time. The windows don’t open now.

Two articles:

New York Times

March 24, 2008

With Economy Tied to Wall St., New York Braces for Job Cuts


New York is accustomed to job losses on Wall Street. They come with just about every economic slump, and their impact is felt throughout the city.

But now, as the city braces for a big contraction in the financial sector as a result of the credit crisis and the collapse of Bear Stearns, the fallout could be worse than in the past.

The New York economy is more dependent than ever on high Wall Street incomes, which have jumped by more than half since 2001, to an average of $387,000, according to the city comptroller’s office.

Last year, the finance industry was responsible for nearly a third of all wages earned in the city, the highest in modern times. And each Wall Street job supports three workers in other sectors.

A great many of the 14,000 employees of Bear Stearns are expected to lose their jobs because of the firm’s cash shortage and its pending acquisition by JPMorgan Chase. As the credit crisis unfolds and other firms discover the depths of their losses related to bad loans, few expect the layoffs to stop there.

“Up to this point in New York City, the material result of the credit crunch hasn’t been felt as quickly as people were expecting,” said Marcia Van Wagner, deputy comptroller for the budget of New York City. “It took a while for the other shoe to drop.”

Read more at:


New York Times

March 24, 2008

Op-Ed Columnist

Taming the Beast


We’re now in the midst of an epic financial crisis, which ought to be at the center of the election debate. But it isn’t.

Now, I don’t expect presidential campaigns to have all the answers to our current crisis — even financial experts are scrambling to keep up with events. But I do think we’re entitled to more answers, and in particular a clearer commitment to financial reform, than we’re getting so far.

In truth, I don’t expect much from John McCain, who has both admitted not knowing much about economics and denied having ever said that. Anyway, lately he’s been busy demonstrating that he doesn’t know much about the Middle East, either.

Yet the McCain campaign’s silence on the financial crisis has disappointed even my low expectations.

And when Mr. McCain’s economic advisers do speak up about the economy’s problems, they don’t inspire confidence. For example, last week one McCain economic adviser — Kevin Hassett, the co-author of “Dow 36,000” — insisted that everything would have been fine if state and local governments hadn’t tried to limit urban sprawl. Honest.

On the Democratic side, it’s somewhat disappointing that Barack Obama, whose campaign has understandably made a point of contrasting his early opposition to the Iraq war with Hillary Clinton’s initial support, has tried to score a twofer by suggesting that the war, in addition to all its other costs, is responsible for our economic troubles.

The war is indeed a grotesque waste of resources, which will place huge long-run burdens on the American public. But it’s just wrong to blame the war for our current economic mess: in the short run, wartime spending actually stimulates the economy. Remember, the lowest unemployment rate America has experienced over the last half-century came at the height of the Vietnam War.

Hillary Clinton has not, as far as I can tell, made any comparably problematic economic claims. But she, like Mr. Obama, has been disappointingly quiet about the key issue: the need to reform our out-of-control financial system.

Let me explain.

Read more at:



Thursday, March 20, 2008

No ordinary politician

Thursday, March 20, 2008

When a politician achieves a certain level of national recognition; someone from his past that is an embarrassment and can lead to the loss of an election sometimes appears. The general response in modern campaign management is to toss that person aside and move on.

But Barack Obama is no ordinary politician.

Barack Obama took the words of a person close to him that some were saying was campaign ending and used it as an opportunity. I believe that it is correct to say that in the days after President Lincoln gave that short speech as a memorial to those who had given their lives at the Battle of Gettysburg; no one realized that speech would become a cornerstone of our Nation. It is too early to know if the speech at the Constitution Center can reach the level of the Gettysburg Address. But it is a speech of historical significance. All men are created equal. It is a continuum that began with God like inspiration in the early days of our nation and proceeded by trial and error to today.

In the near future the United States and the World will face challenges of a magnitude that the human race has never before seen. We have proven that we can aspire to the promise of a nation of free people. When we work together for the common good we can achieve greatness. I believe that the people of our nation are longing for someone who can bring our nation together.

I think that our prayers are about to be answered.

Jim Pitcherella

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March 24th is the Deadline !

Anyone who wants to vote for Clinton or Obama in the PA Primary on April 22nd must be a registered Democrat by March 24th.

There are many people, unregistered, or, registered other than Democrat, who would like to do this. Please let them know about this deadline.