The second Presidential debate was last night. Sen. Obama said the words “middle class” four times. Sen. McCain didn’t say them at all. That’s why McCain is losing. He doesn’t care that the middle class is struggling.
Britain has put together a rescue package for its banks. Which is quite different than the Bailout Bush prushed. See, Britain is buying shares in the banks until such time that their financial affairs are back in order. British banks are not just getting money handed out to them, as they are in America. Spain is following in America’s footsteps. The framing of each case is critical moving forward.
A number of swing states have seen voter rolls purged – likely illegally. A New York Times look into the matter hasn’t picked up any patterns of responsibility by either major party. Regardless, a lot of people could be turned away come Election Day or told to vote on provisional ballots, which are rarely counted. My own state of Colorado is on the list. Despite an increase in population all decade and very successful voter registration drives, there are currently 100,000 fewer voters left on the rolls than in 2004. That’s going to be a big problem come November 5th. This situation provides strong evidence of the need for same-day registration. Americans should be able to wait longer than 4-5 hours for an official count for something as important as President.
NASA’s Phoenix lander is currently expected to keep operating until about the middle of November 2008. At its high latitude, the amount of sunlight it can receive is currently decreasing as Mars moves into its fall and winter. Soil sampling will continue until no power is left on the craft.
Some 76 million Americans own their homes. Housing values have fallen about 30% since their peak two years ago. Which means approximately 12 million Americans owe more on their homes than they’re worth – about 16%! That percentage is up from only 4% in 2006 and 6% in 2007. 9% of homeowners are between one month overdue or in foreclosure. Here is why that’s really bad news. More upside-down houses results in more foreclosures which drags other home values down, which puts more owners upside-down and so forth. That’s what initiated the mortgage crisis and then the financial crisis. With the credit markets frozen, fewer mortgages will be approved, keeping housing values and sales down for some time to come.
Speaking of the credit markets – isn’t it interesting that the emergency legislation Congress had to pass hasn’t freed them up? Isn’t it interesting that all of the Fed’s and Treasury’s “solutions” (increasing inflation and keeping money in the hands of the rich) hasn’t freed them up? This is what deregulation and CONservative economic policies yield. Higher wages for labor would fix these problems quicker than anything tried thus far. Americans could afford their homes, stopping the foreclosures and declining home values. That would allow financial institutions to calculate the actual worth and risk of their fancy instruments. The credit markets would thaw, allowing small businesses to keep their employees. Household debt could be paid down, allowing for more robust purchasing in the future. As things stand, the rich get to keep their millions (which they won’t spend on new businesses or jobs) and the economy slides further into recession.