Charlie Rose will moderate the GOP debate to be held on the Dartmouth college campus in Hanover, New Hampshire on Oct 11. Also on the panel will be Julianna Goldman, W.H. correspondent for Bloomberg Television and Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post.
This debate may be a pivotal experience for the Republican contenders because it will focus on the economy and Charlie Rose and the panel will have at their disposal a Bloomberg Terminal. For those who don't know, this terminal is a coveted, high dollar mother lode of financial information. I don't know if the screens will be viewable by the television audience, but the presence of actual facts may sober up some of the participants. [Read more]
Sources tell me that Charlie Rose has agreed to moderate the upcoming Republican New Hampshire debate on the condition that the decorum of both candidates and audience can be upgraded to New England standards. While New England Republicans are fine with such language as "laying the wood to Obama" and "taking a baseball bat" to a woman legislator in New Jersey they flinch at things like booing the troops and clapping at executions, as unfortunately occurred in the Simi Valley and Orlando debates. In sympathy with the goal of higher level discourse, the Manchester Union Leader is said to be withholding a story that Romney muttered a phrase that sounded like "Frigging Canucks" when he was detained at the Canadian border for strapping a large dog to the top of his family car.
In order to raise the debate bar and minimize knee-jerk reactions, Charlie Rose has published his list of questions ahead of time. But to make sure the candidates actually prepare for the debate, questions will be assigned only at the last minute to candidates of Matthew Dowd's choosing. The questions have been geared to an audience of conservative, taciturn and frugal New Englanders and vacationing hedge fund managers. [Read more]
If there were any way to create sympathy for Rick Perry on pure humanitarian grounds, his appearance on CNBC this morning achieved it.
Perry, who was in a remote location(for good reason) and stood in soft focus in front of the American flag was incoherent, uninformed, unprepared and rambling. If Perry actually does have a near average native intelligence, his handlers have so bound him up that he looks like a confused post brain-surgery patient. [Read more]
According to Matthew Dowd we have a "hot" electorate and the "temperature" of candidates is important. Especially in the Tea Party dominated Republican party, "Passion" is the watchword. "Cool" Presidential contenders just don't cut it. Republicans think the time is right. They see a chance to throw Obama out of the Lincoln bedroom but on the other hand they don't want to end up getting it on with the Manchurian candidate.
So far I think each of the Republican presidential contenders have given the Republican base voters good reason to let the moment pass, change their front door locks, and sign up for another dating service.
Take Herb Cain, as Palin called him, "the flavor of the week". His staying power is at issue. But frankly any guy who thinks he's going to get laid after giving his date pizza for dinner is a loser whether or not he owns the pizza company. Stop him at the door. [Read more]
Despite Perry's poor debate performances and his current whipping boy status among Republican pundits as well as Fox News, I am not one who thinks this guy is out of the running for winning the Republican Primary.
Perry's handlers made the choice to start Perry the Pitcher in a Playoff series his first week out of the minors and he has lost his first three games. It's of course 20/20 hindsight but his handlers should not have made him the immediate target of the other "contenders" but should have had him play nice with the others for a while and stick to attacking Obama until he got used to the national stage. Maybe they suspected such attacks on Perry's vulnerabilities and concluded that the Alpha Male ploy was the best shot. He certainly throws his chest out and bends his knees appropriately.  [Read more]
I think Obama may be looking for a stimulus and jobs deal with Congress in the wrong places. While parts of the jobs bill may be passed, time is being lost and the continuing acrimony is making the economy weaker. The Tea Party is attempting to bring down both Obama and establishment Republicans with a no compromise strategy aimed at killing confidence and destroying the rest of an already weak economy. Obama's strategy to either get cooperation from Congress or run against a "do nothing" Congress may work, but it is not the best strategy.
The essence of the economic crisis is a banking crisis. The essence of the banking crisis is housing and mortgage finance. The answer to the economic crisis is to fix housing--both in terms of working through excess inventory and foreclosures, and to allow a broad spectrum of homeowners to refinance their current mortgages to lower rates. Geithner's policies have done little to address housing. Hamp and Harp have been ineffective because of bank resistance and self defeating regulations. [Read more]
Normally I only watch CNBC with the sound turned off but this morning I forgot to turn the volume down and Nelson was being interviewed. I say "Nelson" because the little capitalists were "stroking" Nelson shamelessly, he warmly responded to their cues and as I do with T.V. characters like "Dexter" and "Roger Sterling" I began to think of "Nelson" as a friend. I felt so much at one with Nelson and his worship of capitalism that I overcooked my oatmeal and then spilled my skim milk.
About breakfast--Nelson is a noted investor in "food" and runs the Trian Fund. He has doubled and trebled his wealth by investing variously in Wendy's, Arby's, Snapple, Cadbury, and most notably in this morning's money-orgy discussion, the Kraft foods company. I must admit I felt a momentary lapse in my adoration for Nelson because all the food "brands" I just mentioned I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole, and count part of my longevity to having avoided consuming such "brands". (Of course, that's just my opinion and not the opinion of the management of this site.) [Read more]
Shortly before Obama's jobs speech I posted that it should include a Mortgage Refinancing program. What actually happened was a 15 second reference in the speech to working with the FHFA to facilitate more refinancing. The next day a CBO report, a generic study of refinance obviously on-going before O's speech, underwhelmed the entire idea of Refinance, particularly in scope and possible stimulative effect. Others stated in the Senate Housing Subcommittee hearing two days ago that the CBO's "take-up" estimates of 2.9 million borrowers were far too conservative.
The fact is that the existing stakeholders in the mortgage mess constitute a circular firing squad, each entity trying to maximize its own agenda against the interests of others. Until a consensus is formed which balances all of the interests, including tax payers and borrowers, any movement in mortgage refinance is going to be limited. Leadership from Obama is essential, but so also is action from Congress. Here are some of the stakeholders, their positions and some other facts.  [Read more]
Richard Fisher is the President of the Dallas Fed and I would like to have overheard his personal reactions to Ponzi Perry's physical threat against the mild mannered Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke. It seems that Ponzi and the Tea Party just love to beat up on the Fed, particularly, QE2. Actually, Richard Fisher doesn't care much for QE2. And as a Dissenter at the the Fed's FOMC meeting in August, Richard Fisher has become an instant hero of tea baggers who have positioned him as a rough riding adversary of Uncle Ben and the librul FOMC. [Read more]
Before the shot clock rules took effect in the NBA and Collegiate basketball, the practice of "freezing the ball" was used to sit on a lead in the last minutes of the game. I don't think there was anything more frustrating than the losing team being unable to get their hands on the ball. It seemed somehow unfair, un-American, even.
I thought one of the most effective lines in Obama's speech was the one, "We've got 14 months to go. The American people can't wait for 14 months".
If the Republicans stonewall Obama's efforts to increase hiring and to help those who are unemployed I think they are taking a huge risk. Fourteen months is a long time to try and freeze the ball. Think about how much time 14 months is. For example, the NFL just started. This season will end and we'll be in week eight of the next NFL season in 14 months. Think about that, Republicans! [Read more]