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louis c

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Home country: USA
Current location: Boston
Member since: Fri May 14, 2004, 05:52 PM
Number of posts: 8,652

About Me


Journal Archives

I'm Proud to Say That I Did My Little Part to Eliminate Larry Summers

I'm from Massachusetts. I'm the Dem. Chair of my Ward. I'm on the Dem. City Committee in my home town. I've been a Delegate to the past 4 Dem. State Conventions. I serve on multiple union political action committees, including the AFL-CIO.

I voted for Liz Warren to help her get a "Super" majority at the Convention, thereby eliminating a primary fight and helping her marshal her resources to take on Scott Brown in the 2012 finals.

I stood with my Brothers and Sisters in labor to vote to make her "a special friend" of labor in 2012, so that maximum resources of people and funds could be directed to her campaign.

It took a Herculean effort to get her elected. After all, we beat a sitting U.S. Senator with a 57% approval rating on election night. Fortunately, Liz Warren's was in the 60's.

So, after saying all that, it is with more than a little pride that Warren is getting the credit for bringing down Larry Summers and Liz has Wall Street scared shit.

I can look in the mirror as I shave this morning and say to myself, "I had a little bit to do with that."

Sometimes Democracy does work.


On this Date in History: Sept. 15, 2008

As the George W. Bush Administration was facing its closing months, all the economic chickens started coming home to roost.

This is day that Fox news and your Repuke friends never want to acknowledge. It was the beginning of the reckoning of the horrible financial decisions made by the Republicans who brought 1920's style economic policy to the beginning of the 21st Century.

<Snip> Art Hogan, Chief Market Strategist for Jeffries & Co. said the magnitude of the financial fallout is unprecedented and could only be compared to the Great Depression of the 1930's or the Railroad Bankruptcies of the 1800's. <Snip>

DATE: Monday, September 15, 2008

NEW YORK (CNN Money.com) -- Stocks tanked Monday, amid the largest financial crisis in years after Lehman Brothers filed for the biggest bankruptcy in history, Bank of America said it would buy Merrill Lynch and AIG slumped on fears that it can't raise cash.

Treasury prices rallied as investors sought the comparative safety of government debt, sending the corresponding yields lower. Oil prices tumbled, falling well below $100 a barrel on slowing global economic growth. The dollar rallied versus the euro and gold prices spiked.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 504 points, or 4.4%. It was the biggest one-day decline for the Dow on a point basis since Sept. 17, 2001, when the market reopened for trading after having been closed in the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks. On a percentage basis, it was the biggest decline since July 19, 2002.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (SPX) index lost 4.7%, its worst day since Sept. 17, 2001, when it plunged 4.9%. The S&P 500 also closed at its lowest point since Oct. 27, 2005.

The Nasdaq composite (COMP) lost 3.6%, its worst single-session percentage decline since March 24, 2003. It left the tech-fueled average at its lowest point since March 17 of this year.

"It was an ugly day," said James King, president and chief investment officer at National Penn Investors Trust Company. "Lehman's failure to find a suitor and Merrill deciding to cash in their chips before a similar fate could befall them really stoked the fears of the public."

AIG exacerbated those fears in the afternoon. And all the bad news isn't out there yet, King said. "Investor confidence is at the lowest point we've seen in a while."

He said that after the government bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last week and all the other financial market bad news, this was just too much for investors.

But it doesn't mean that the stock market is likely to see these kind of massive selloffs on a regular basis, King said. Nasdaq and S&P futures pointed to a higher open Tuesday, when fair value is taken into account.

After the close of trade, S&P said it is cutting its debt rating on mortgage lender Washington Mutual (WM, Fortune 500) to junk status, reflecting the ongoing credit market meltdown and WaMu's exposure to the housing market. WaMu shares fell almost 27% during the session and lost another 11% in extended-hours trading.

Also after the close, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500) said it will cut 24,600 jobs, or 7.5% of the combined workforce of HP and the recently-purchased EDS. Shares were barely changed in extended-hours trading.

Stock market meltdown: Global markets tumbled as investors reeled after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch was forced to sell itself to Bank of America and investors awaited AIG's restructuring announcement.

"You have to throw out the history books because there's really nothing to compare this to," said Jim Dunigan, chief investment officer at PNC Advisors.

"Any speculation as to what inning we're in becomes difficult because each step of the way seems to bring another drop," Dunigan said.

Art Hogan, chief market strategist for Jefferies & Co., said the magnitude of the financial industry fallout is unprecedented, and could only be compared to the Great Depression of the 1930s or the railroad bankruptcies of the 1800s.

"We've never witnessed this before," said Hogan. "There's no road map for this."

Dow-component insurer AIG and mortgage lender Washington Mutual are the latest companies to spark investor fear.

AIG has been scrambling to raise enough cash to fend off ratings agency downgrades and stay afloat.

N.Y. Gov. David Paterson said in the afternoon that AIG will be allowed to use $20 billion in assets through its subsidiaries to stay afloat, basically providing itself with a bridge loan. AIG has also reportedly asked the Federal Reserve for a roughly $40 billion bridge loan over the weekend.

In addition, the federal government has asked Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan to lead a $70 billion to $75 billion lending pool for the company, the Wall Street Journal reported. (Full story)

Shares of AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) slumped 60.8%.

The developments of the day cemented for investors that the credit crisis is far from over, six months after the near-collapse and government rescue of Bear Stearns.

"The landscape has changed and a lot of the major players who were are no more, so of course people are panicked," said Stephen Leeb, president at Leeb Capital Management.

"But it's not the end of capitalism," he said. "This may usher in something worse than what we've seen in terms of the economy, but the companies left standing at the end of this will be OK."

Merrill Lynch's buyout was perhaps providing some reassurance to investors, said Dunigan, in that it shows there is still value in the market.

Losses were also tempered by the Federal Reserve's decisions to loosen up its lending restrictions. The central bank could end up cutting the fed funds rate, its key overnight bank lending rate, when it meets Tuesday, analysts said. The fed funds rate currently stands at 2.0%.

Also helping Tuesday: news that a group of 10 banks including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Barclays had given up to $7 billion each to create a $70 billion lending pool to help smaller institutions.

Lehman bankruptcy: Lehman Brothers (LEH, Fortune 500) announced it was filing for bankruptcy, after weekend talks aimed at saving the 158-year old firm failed.

The filing came shortly after midnight Monday, after Bank of America and Barclays pulled out of negotiations to acquire Lehman, which has lost $60 billion in bad real estate bets and the credit market's collapse.

Unlike with Bear Stearns back in March, the government was reportedly not willing to help finance a takeover, bailout or restructuring of Lehman Brothers. This reportedly contributed to the reluctance of other firms to strike a deal with the troubled company. (Full story)

Speaking in the afternoon, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that he hasn't ruled out additional government bailouts for the future. He also said that the banking system is sound. (Full story).

Lehman shares plunged 94%. (Full story)

Merrill Lynch buyout: After pulling out of the Lehman negotiations, Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) announced that it will buy Merrill Lynch (MER, Fortune 500) for $50 billion in stock. The price values the company at more than $29 a share, a more than 70% premium from Merrill's closing price on Friday of $17.05.

The company has posted losses of more than $17 billion over the last four quarters and saw its stock plunge 27% last week.

Shares had rallied more than 15% during the session Monday before ending little changed. Bank of America tumbled 21%. A variety of other financial shares plunged, including Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500), Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) and JP Morgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500).

Market breadth was negative, with losers beating winners by over 18 to 1 on volume of 1.8 billion shares. On the Nasdaq, decliners topped advancers by over six to one on volume of 2.75 billion shares.

10-bank emergency fund: In a bid to calm the markets, the Federal Reserve announced plans Sunday to loosen its lending restrictions to the banking industry. A consortium of 10 leading domestic and foreign banks, including Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500), Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), Barclays (BCS) and Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500), agreed to create a $70 billion fund to lend to troubled financial firms.

The Federal Reserve, meeting Tuesday, could cut the fed funds rate, a key short-term interest rate, from the current level of 2%, analysts said.

Oil: Oil prices plunged as investors continued to bet on a global economic slowdown. Additionally, early reports showed Hurricane Ike didn't do as much damage to oil rigs and refineries in the Texas Gulf region as expected.

Oil prices were down $5.47 a barrel to settle at $95.71, the lowest point since Feb. 15. Oil dipped below $100 a barrel on Friday for the first time in five months.

Other markets: In global trade, European and Asian stocks ended lower. Many major Asian markets, including Tokyo and Hong Kong, were closed for holidays.

Treasury prices soared as investors poured money into the relatively safe-haven. The rally sent the benchmark 10-year note tumbling to 3.39% from 3.72% late Friday.

I'm I the only Person Surprised at Pres. Obama's Gallup Numbers?

Full disclosure: I love President Obama. The only fault I see in him is that he's too humble.

Having said that, I do understand my friends at DU having criticism for his handling on surveillance and the NSA. After all, I was a late 60's-early 70's radical myself.

I figured my President would take a hit from his base, without picking up any support from his haters.

However, here's today's Gallup Numbers

GALLUP DAILY Link: http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx

Aug 21-23, 2013 Updates daily at 1 p.m. ET; reflects one-day change

Obama Approval



Obama Disapproval



Where's the common sense in the latest red meat, right wing welfare "facts"?

Common sense, people.

The new Fox News, right wing bull-shit line is that people make more on welfare than they do by working. Once the average American hears that line, they naturally assume the loafers on welfare are choosing to stay home rather than work.

Of course, the common sense way to look at that statement is not that welfare pays too much. It's that the average worker is paid too little. What we have here today is a corporate welfare system which permeates the private sector. Big corporations hire service workers (after all, we are becoming a service sector driven economy) at low wages and no benefits. The worker supplements his or her income with public housing, food stamps and government health care. It's not that these workers are lazy, after all they work and work hard for a living. It's just that corporations, which once had a social responsibility, used to provide a living wage, health care and pension benefits.

Those days are gone.

How about making sure anyone who works for a living gets a living wage (not less than $15 an hour) and health care benefits.

Remember in the 60's and 70's, that was a common way of life and we had a booming economy.

Strong unions, good middle class jobs and the wealthy didn't seem to suffer too much.

Let's use our heads when this nonsense gets repeated into the public discourse. Let's make work worth it, and there will be fewer people on welfare and subsidies.

The President Speaks About Injustice--June 11, 1963

I spoke to friends today and I couldn't believe that they thought President Obama was out of line in pointing out the injustice in the Martin-Zimmerman case. I reminded them that it is the duty of a President to point out injustice. I point to this speech as evidence to support my position.

JFK said in this speech, "the rights of every (person) are diminished if we deny those rights (to anyone)". And certainly an unarmed 17 year old boy, minding his own business, has every right to walk home safely, regardless of the color of his skin.


Potential Korean Conflict and American Corporations

North Korea and their newly minted nut-case dictator Kim Jung Un are making all kinds of threats against the United States and it's allies, especially South Korea. A state of war actually exists. I hope it's all bluster. But for the sake of argument, let's say that this crack pot dictator really intends to create a conflict. Let's say he does lob a bomb into the South.

America is obliged to support and defend it's ally, South Korea and China is obliged to do the same with the North.

Where does that leave American corporations doing business in China? I'll tell you where, on the wrong side of a treason charge. How about Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson and their casinos in Macao?

No one wants to see a war, especially one that will bring in super-powers. But in the mean time, I wouldn't mind seeing some of these assholes squirm who outsourced our jobs or thought it was just peachy keen to do business with Communists while calling our President a Socialist.


Poll is over. Thanks for your support

Liberals are for equality all the time, Conservatives only when it hits home

I'm a life-long Liberal, who reached adult status in the late sixties and early seventies. I was born in 1952. I was always for equality. My Father was on Senator Ed Brooke's staff here in Massachusetts at a time when school integration was a hot topic in Boston.

I was brought up believing in equality for all. When gay rights was just becoming an issue, it was second nature for me to support that cause. Equal rights means equal rights, period. I don't have gay or lesbian siblings. If any of my friends are gay, I don't know it and I don't care. I just believe in equal rights and think that those who don't, have an unnatural philosophy. It makes no sense to me to pass judgment on people you don't know based on race, religion, ethnic origin, gender or sexual preference.

However, Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who once co-sponsored the Defense of Marriage act now believes in gay rights and same gender marriage. Of course the Epiphany is because Rob learned his son is gay. Welcome aboard the equality train, Rob. But where were you when the issue concerned other people's children?

Does anyone here at DU think for one moment that Dick Cheney would hold his enlightened position on gay rights and same gender marriage if his Daughter wasn't a Lesbian? Does anyone think that there is even one member of the "Log Cabin Republicans" who is straight or doesn't have a close family member who's gay?

See, the difference between us and them is that doing and thinking the correct thing comes naturally to us. It has to strike home for them to see the light.

Hugo Chavez is Dead....Reuters

Here's the link from 10 minutes ago (5:00 PM EST), via Australia.


AP at (5:11 PM EST)


President Obama's Speech on Sequestration That He Needs to Give

Good Evening, my fellow Americans. As you know, we are facing some drastic budget cuts in the next few days that could hamper our fragile economic recovery, or even stop it all together. If these cuts take place, it could even cause us to enter a second recession in 5 years.

First, let me give you a little background on how we got here. We, as a nation, faced the prospect of not raising our debt ceiling in August of 2011. That result, according to nearly every independent economist, could have caused an economic calamity.

As a result of the deal I made with House Republicans, a bi-partisan group of Senators and Congressmen would try to come up with a compromise deal, or Grand Bargain. If they failed, these very drastic cuts would loom on the horizon. Cuts in defense spending, cuts to education, cuts that would reach the very heart of our safety net and weaken our security. A meat ax approach that we all agreed no one wanted. That would give us 18 months to reach an agreement. As it turned out, the bi-partisan Congressional Committee could not reach an accord, the 18 months have passed without an agreement, and we have now reached the horizon and another economic crisis fast approaches.

I have tried my best to reach a balanced agreement of closing loopholes for the very wealthy among us and I am open to agreeing on common sense budget reductions. Everything is on the table.

However, the Republicans want to rewrite history and try to play a "blame game". Speaker Boehner says the the sequester that we face was solely my idea. In fact, Speaker Boehner declared that the actual agreement gave him, and I quote "98% of what he wanted" http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-20086598/boehner-i-got-98-percent-of-what-i-wanted/.

However, If the Republicans want to disavow this sequester deal, than I suggest we just repeal it. I will recommend to the Senate to take up that repeal immediately, and if it passes the Senate and the Republican House, I will sign that repeal.

We can avoid sequestration, and with it the dire consequences it will bring, and reopen negotiations with a balanced approach to deficit reduction without threatening our recovery. All it takes is common sense and a will to reach a common goal.

Thank you for listening. Good Evening and God Bless the United States of America.
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