Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Morning Break....Obama, Economy, Iraq, Banking Crisis and NAACP Speech

obama addressing the naacp in cincinnati


Major Iraq Speech This Morning

Barack Obama may be making major news this morning with a big speech on Iraq in Washington, D.C., and excerpts from the speech have just been released by his campaign.

The speech will be closely watched at least in part what he says about his proposed 16-month timetable. The just-released excerpts contain no mention of the specific timetable, so we'll have to wait until he delivers the speech to see what -- if anything -- he intends to say about it.

In the excerpts, however, Obama does re-commit himself to a broader foreign policy vision that is a clean break with that of George Bush and John McCain, both of whom say they see an extended presence in Iraq as central to American national security. Obama, by contrast, argues in the speech that this extended presence is harmful to our security and endangers our future in multiple ways. At the same time, he presses his case for more aggressive engagement in Afghanistan. Key excerpt:

This war diminishes our security, our standing in the world, our military, our economy, and the resources that we need to confront the challenges of the 21st century. By any measure, our single-minded and open-ended focus on Iraq is not a sound strategy for keeping America safe...

"As President, I will pursue a tough, smart and principled national security strategy - one that recognizes that we have interests not just in Baghdad, but in Kandahar and Karachi, in Tokyo and London, in Beijing and Berlin. I will focus this strategy on five goals essential to making America safer: ending the war in Iraq responsibly; finishing the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban; securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century." continue

obama addressing naacp convention, cincinnati, oh


Watch Washington Mutual. This Banking Issue is REAL.

TPG Inc.'s plan to profit from Washington Mutual Inc., the biggest U.S. savings and loan, may be sinking with the housing market.

The private-equity firm, led by David Bonderman, anchored a $7 billion cash injection into Washington Mutual in April by purchasing stock at a discount. The Seattle-based lender's share price has since plummeted, wiping out two-thirds of the investment's value.

Washington Mutual tumbled to the lowest since 1991 yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange, leading the drop in home lenders after IndyMac Bancorp Inc. was seized last week by U.S. regulators. Bonderman's firm, which invested $2 billion in Washington Mutual for a 13 percent stake, has been stung by record foreclosures, particularly in California, home to half of the bank's loans.

``What he's got to work through are these problem loans, through a tough housing market,'' said analyst Gary Gordon of Portales Partners LLC in a Bloomberg Television interview, adding that Bonderman can still make a profit. ``What he got was a very good branch franchise, which is worth a lot of money,'' said Gordon, who has a ``hold'' rating on Washington Mutual.

Three months ago, with Washington Mutual's shares at $13.15, a group of investors led by Forth Worth, Texas-based TPG agreed to buy $7 billion of stock at $8.75, a 33 percent discount. The stock slumped 35 percent yesterday to $3.23, leaving TPG's investment down 63 percent. TPG also has warrants to buy 57.1 million shares at $10.06 a piece. continue

First hand account on panic and run on IndyMac Bank in California.
Got a message from my brother. He saw the run on the IndyMac Bank in Duarte, California.

Let me introduce this with dueling headlines. From the Pasadena Star-News:

IndyMac appears close to collapse: US regulators may not be ready to protect bank

And from the LA Times:

IndyMac denies that it's close to collapse: "Depositors have been pulling money from the Pasadena-based thrift, whose share price is down 90% this year."

Today, my brother saw a crowd at the Duarte IndyMac Bank desperately trying to get their savings out. Many elderly people were claiming that they are being offered dollar for dollar on the first $100,000...after that only fifty cents on the dollar. continue

Well, we saw what happened to IndyMac. The Feds seized and took over the trouble, money riddled bank on Friday and you see what happened on Monday.

Many of these banks are in deep with the mortgage crisis. It was just not financial firms, but many of our neighborhood banks.

My take, many more banks to come tumbling down before we know the full picture.

President Bush will go down in history as the worst chief executives in American History.


david plouffe, campaign manager, strategy update


GM Announcing Major Lay-Offs

General Motors Corp. said Tuesday it will lay off salaried workers, cut truck production, suspend its dividend and borrow $2 billion to $3 billion to weather a severe downturn in the U.S. market.

GM said the moves will raise $15 billion to help cover losses and turn around its North American operations.

"In short, our plan is not a plan to survive. It is a plan to win," GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said in a broadcast to employees.

Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson said GM wants to reduce its total salaried costs in the U.S. and Canada by 20 percent.

A large chunk of the reduction, he said, would come from cutting health care benefits for salaried retirees. Those people would get a pension increase from the company's overfunded pension fund to help compensate for Medicare and supplemental insurance, the company said.

Several thousand jobs will be cut through normal attrition and retirements, and through early retirement and buyout offers, Henderson said. The company could resort to involuntary layoffs but does not want to, he said. continue

Retirement in this country at one time meant something. Working for a company for 30 years, meant something. Now, it means nothing.

Inflation and RECESSION are real.


chuck todd, msnbc

And new Quinniapiac National Poll, Obama 50, McCain 41. Details here.


Some on the Hill are complaining about Obama

• Until a mailing that went out in the past few days, Obama had done little fundraising for Democratic candidates since signing off on e-mailed fundraising appeals for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee immediately after securing the Democratic nomination.

• Obama has sometimes appeared in members’ districts with no advance notice to lawmakers, resulting in lost opportunities for those Democrats to score points by appearing alongside their party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

• The Obama campaign has not, until very recently, coordinated a daily message with congressional Democrats, leaving Democratic members in the lurch when they’re asked to comment on the constant back and forth between Obama and John McCain — as they were when Obama said earlier this month that he would “continue to refine” his Iraq policies after meeting with commanders on the ground there.

• Coordination between the Obama campaign and the House and Senate leadership is so weak that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — who will chair the Democrats’ convention in August — didn’t know of Obama’s decision to move his final-night acceptance speech from the Pepsi Center to Invesco Field until the campaign announced it on a conference call with reporters. continue

Well, what have I been typing about, TIME.

All that is being whined about deals with not enough time for Obama. Yes, some is logistics and miscommunication but much of it is not enough TIME.

When you are the nominee it is important to do all the above, especially fundraise for the down ticket ballot. But when the primary was over in March and was extended unnecessarily until June, what is one nominee to do?

That is why the attitude of clearing Clinton's debt is not important to many. Many already knew that Obama had to take an Iraq Trip and European Trip. Many knew that he had to reintroduced himself to the country. Many knew that he would have to continue to raise money for the Obama Campaign to sustain through the convention. Many knew that the DNC was riddled with lack of money and bills and Obama had to raise the funds.

So, next time Democrats if you want TIME on your side to do all the bullet points above and there is a clear cut leader earlier than later? Have some spine and end it sooner.

Lastly, I am sure some of the politicians whining are those in some contentious races across this country and NEED Obama by their side.

Oh, well.

Why the New Yorker cover hurts Obama

Finally, Obama on Larry King tonight. The interview was taped, here is a transcript of what to look for tonight, here.

So, how was/is your morning brew this morning?

This Week With Barack Obama


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