The Big Wall Street Money Behind Rafael “Ted” Cruz

And it turns out that pandering to the .001% is not a particularly bad paying profession. This is not a surprising, but the actual numbers here are staggering.

It’s up to $31,000,000/week, if you find the right sugar daddy.

This was what was warned about when the Supreme Court gave down the “Citizens United” ruling, that a single person, or very small group of people, could fully fund a “radical” candidate and how that’s not really good for democracy in general.

Trying to convince the Cruzies (rhymes with “crazies”) of the simple fact that the guy is backed by a single billionaire (although more will jump on board when the realize his supporters don’t give a shit what he *actually does*, only that he talks good) will be near impossible.

And trying to let them know that the 3.9% tax on investment income over $400,000/yr that is the cornerstone of paying for the expansion of medical insurance under the ACA is the simple financial motivation for such a person to back Cruz….well….the problem with that argument is that it is logical and fact based.

It goes like this…$1,000,000,000/yr in investment income. 3.8% of that (over $400,000) is $37,984,800/yr.

So this guy can invest in Cruz, and if it pays off….that’s about $40,000,000/yr (per billion in unearned income) that he can then spend on politicos to save that much in taxes.

It’s a pretty sick calculation (essentially taking heathcare aware from millions of Americans so one guy can have a slightly bigger dick in the measuring contests these assholes care about), but that’s what we are currently facing in this country.

That’s how bad it has gotten.

Ted Cruz, breaking fundraising records…that’s how bad it has gotten.

The reclusive Long Islander who made his fortune using computers to outsmart the stock market is a key early bankroller of Senator Ted Cruz’s fast campaign start.
NYTIMES.COM|BY ERIC LICHTBLAU
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Turn Wall Street into Main Street…Permanently

Occupy Wall Street – Alan Taylor – In Focus – The Atlantic http://m.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/09/occupy-wall-street/100159/?zomghippies

Pictures can tell a better story than talking heads sometimes.  This is one of them.  Know that RPN is with you, he just slightly miscalculated and was unemployed in NYC seven years early.

But big ups from Big D regardless, stay strong, stay right, but mostly JUST STAY. 

Occupy Wall Street, they’ve certainly been occupying us for faaar too long.

Obama, Democrats, and GOP at odds over financial regs

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2010/04/obama-the-democats-and-gop-at-odds-over-financial-regs/1

Looks like it’s time for the next round of “Whats actually in the bill?”

UPDATE:  We’ll get to what’s in the bill later.  One other news story that fits into this agenda (and it ain’t an accident) is the recent news of the prosecution of Goldman Sachs.

Wall Street’s preeminent investment bank, Goldman Sachs, was charged Friday by the government with fraud in marketing exotic mortgage-backed securities before the financial crisis.

The Securities and Exchange Commission brought the civil charges in federal court in Manhattan with a lawsuit against Goldman and one of the bank’s vice presidents.

The charges relate to so-called collateralized debt obligations — complex securities tied to the performance of subprime mortgages — that Goldman created in 2007 near the end of the housing boom.

The value of the securities plunged in the mortgage meltdown that began later that year, helping to set off the global financial crisis.

This was Sach’s own version of “too big to fail”.  Since they had their hands in so many pies, it only made sense to bet against themselves, in the twisted logic of the money-makers-movers-and-shakers.

They are probably totally hosed here.  This is going to shut them up, and some others, about the new regulations.  Personally I’m for them (in a general sense).  I like the idea of a Consumer Protection Agency.  Many whistles were blown in the Fed’s direction as far back as 2000 about the shady crap, but it didn’t make it far enough up the chain.  Hence the CPA.

I also like more light on the derivatives and more complex weird products being sold.  Just like Enron (and under the same guy), Wall Street was making loads of cash by hiding all the risk (and loss).  More light makes that harder, and in the global age, after a global meltdown, international havens for sums that large are going to be hard to come by (in the long run).  Our recent move to go after the “Swiss Bank Account” b.s. is a good example of this.

The (R)’s are in a tough place, again.  Having to argue that Obama is owned by the banks (bailout) and a socialists against them (new regulations) while trying to stymie legislation wanted by the majority of the country and the majority of the government.  My guess would be misdirection as their strategy.

It’s Time to Turn, Turn, Turn and Look at Rick Perry’s Hair

So I heard from the Byrds (via the Bible) that things turn, turn, turn.

Here’s the Byrds…

And here’s the Bible…

16 ¶ And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

That’s some pretty good Bible, eh?  It’s the next verse after the Byrds sing.

This is the situation we are facing now, as a culture.  I mentioned it previously.

One of the big problems facing our country now is the internal division in the choice of directions to go.   This causes a problem, as in times of crisis NOT ACTING is an act, and it is an act that can cause many more problems than acting (even if that act turns out to be foolish).   And BTW, we are face more than just an economic crisis.  That’s a big one, but there’s a few more coming along in the next little bit that we still need to deal with (social security and the retiring boomers, the global climate change that simply refuses to act like isn’t solid science, a global war on cave-dwellers wondering why they keep getting bombed (and the few people who run the show who know), and some others, that’s just off the of the head.)

So there’s a bunch of stuff, big stuff, going on.  Quite frankly, it would take a “Messiah” to see us through this thing.  I think we are pretty lucky to have the team at the top we do, but I have no illusions about super-powers in human beings.  Obama is mortal, and will make mistakes.  He already has, and has owned up to them.  This is a useful trait for a leader, IMHO.  Particularly one faced with as much, as quickly, as Barry.

So anyway, I voted for the guy, so I’m going with it.  The problem with the opposition here is that there is no sense, yet, that we need to act, and soon.  There is some soul-searching that is headed right back to the same place we spent 20 of the last 28 years.  We are seeing more generally empty rhetoric about “fiscal conservatism” which, after 20 years of watching it, seems to be cutting taxes, and increasing spending.   The only question is about which spending to increase.

No sooner had I posted my last post than I ran across this story.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. congressional Republicans, having vowed to return to the conservative ideals of limited government, denounced President Barack Obama’s $3.55 trillion budget on Thursday as excessive and misdirected.

“I have serious concerns with this budget, which demands hard-working American families and job creators turn over more of their hard-earned money to the government to pay for unprecedented spending increases,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Umm, I’m sorry, but the only people getting a tax increase are the rich.  And it’s not even a tax increase, it’s letting Bush’s tax cuts (the ones he made to pay for the war…wait…what?) lapse.   Only in the rhetorical realm does a temporary decrease expiring equal “OMG, HE’S RAISING THE TAXES ON THE RICH?!  Honey, do we clear a quarter million a year?”   [From the other room comes laughter.  Loud, continuous laughter].

“Hard-working” and “hard-earned” money, no doubt.  However, I have yet to see anyone who makes that money simply by standing there and working hard.  Most people who clear that kind of dough on a regular basis worked on Wall Street.  Ya’ll remember them, right?  Hard-working, no doubt…but working hard at what?

My building is currently being torn apart and rebuilt (long story, involving rotting wood and water), and there are 100 or so hard workers out there each day, firing up the powertools the second the clock strikes eight.   They are earning hard money, and they get to keep every bit of it (many of whom quickly send it south, but that’s another story).  Under the tax plan as I am aware of it, it is the workers on main street that get the help, and the folks with deep ties to Wall Street (either through direct action, banking work, or just having assloads of money to give to investment bankers) get to pay for it.

O.k., sorry, got off on a rant there about deregulating the credit industry and how we can try to fix the country.  The whole derugulation kick used to be part of the “fiscal conservative” model, for some reason, but now it’s been dropped…I think.

Regardless, let’s continue with the reaction…

“I think we just ought to admit we’re broke. We can’t continue to pile debt on the backs of our kids and grandkids,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner.

I’m sorry, what?  Where was this attitude when it was Repbulicans spending like mad on a war?  And cutting taxes to pay for it?  I mean, I hate to sound like a broken record here, but we’ve been running huge deficits for a while now, and it was the Republicans pushing it.

“The budget outline shows a half-hearted attempt to reduce the trillion-dollar deficits we face, largely through more tax hikes that will only hurt the economy, when it should take this opportunity to exercise aggressive spending restraint,” said Gregg, the top Republican on the Budget Committee.

Right!  No money for Americans, but we’ll spend like drunken sailors on killing folks.   Unfortunately, “aggressive spending restraint” isn’t what gets an economy moving. The economy is money moving around, people busy, buying, selling, shipping, making things happen.  Not spending slows things down and sometimes they stop.

This is why I brought up the Byrds and the Economic Apocalypse.  We really are that close, folks.    We need to be working together here to get this thing re-started.    Even the “fiscal conservative” Democrats realize that.

A group of 49 fiscally conservative House Democrats, whose commitment to deficit reduction has at times put some of them at odds with Obama’s economic program, hailed Obama’s budget for presenting what they called an honest fiscal picture.

“To begin to set our nation back on the right fiscal track, we must first understand and acknowledge how big of a hole we are in,” said Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, a leader of the Democratic “Blue Dog” Coalition.

And we’re in a damn, big, hole.

Reuters nails it on the head with this next statement.

Republicans have long touted themselves as champions of limited government, but surrendered that claim in approving a series of big-deficit budgets during the administration of Obama’s predecessor, Republican George W. Bush.

We got big government left, right, and center with Bush.  And somehow that spending was o.k.  One thing Obama is doing that Bush did not (and part of the reason the Wars are going to cost us so much) is putting the War Budget in the actual budget.  Bush went through a special spending rigamarole that added another $150,000,000,000 or so a year on the ole company credit card.    It’s a big part of our big hole.

The problem with military spending, and it is a problem, is that at the end of the day you end up burning that million dollar missile.   Every loss of life is tragic and I don’t mean to downplay that side, at all, but we train the ever-living shit out of our soldiers.  We have the best trained army in the world, no doubt, and each loss has a human side and an economic one.  Sorry to be cold, and I’m trying not to be, but the cost of war is dramatic and not over when the guns stop shooting.

We’ve had a time for war, and now is a time for peace, and rebuilding.  It’s a time for coming together.   We can argue about it in a few years, if we are still talking, and have not become the Beasts of Ecclesiastes.

And just a quick primer, for those that don’t follow human nature…it’s a beast when things gets rough.  If you can feel it at the top, trust me…they feel it at the bottom, multiplied be each economic ladder you move down.   It’s kind of a primal thing actually.

Luckily, we can vote on things and don’t have to settle them in the schoolyard like they did in the old days.   The votes, BTW, have already been cast.  Trust me, my internet friends…those not on this wondrous network, have been feeling the pangs of the economic downturn since it first happened (generations ago), are about ready to burst.   There’s a lot of them, and they have hope now that change is on the way.

Let’s keep it that way, and keep the beasts at the gate.   Republicans shoud be like canyon water now, giving, fast, and learning.  Going with the flow a bit, but always remembering that during a downpour, it doesn’t pay to be ice.  The time for a change in course will come, but not next week, and not even next year.

There comes a time for everything, and given the economic and political situation, Obama is now a juggernaut.  It’d be best to get out of the way for a bit.  Rick Perry, I’m looking at you and your hair.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama singled out Texas on Friday as a state that could lose out under the newly enacted $797 billion economic stimulus package because Gov. Rick Perry hasn’t totally ruled out rejecting some funds.

[another story]

Rick Perry and His Hair

That’s what they call a pimp slap on K Street.  Obama wields the bully pulpit, and he actually knows where that term came from.  Watch yo’self.

A’hem…

The huge stimulus bill includes a provision that allows legislatures to override governors and accept funding even if a governor objects.

“I haven’t spoken to the governor about it, but I hope that all Texans, regardless of politics, will make sure we maximize the use of federal funds available to the benefit of our taxpayers,” said Houston Mayor Bill White, a Democrat.

And that, boys and girls, is why the thing is 1,000 pages long.   The long arm of the pimp slap, in legislative reality.

Profit, Baby, Profit!!

HOUSTON — ExxonMobil (XOM), the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, reported income Thursday that shattered its own record for the biggest profit by a U.S. corporation, earning $14.83 billion in the third quarter.

Bolstered by summer’s record crude prices, the company said net income jumped nearly 58% to $2.86 a share in the July-September period. That compares with $9.41 billion, or $1.70 a share, a year ago.

The previous record for U.S. corporate profit was set in the last quarter, when ExxonMobil earned $11.68 billion.

Revenue rose 35% to $137.7 billion.

via ExxonMobil posts biggest quarterly profit ever, $14.8B – USATODAY.com

A couple things to point out here real quick, first up is the fact that net income (profit) rose 58% while revenue (total income) only went up 35%.  That means that Exxon, already setting records for profits, has been increasing their profit margin over the last year.

When you take a closer look at another article, you can see exactly how that was done.

Despite the surge in profit, Exxon said oil production was down 8% in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year.

So just to set this straight, Exxon made record profits, in the billions, by producing less oil than they did last year.

You know what’s better than working less and making more?  Having an entire political party trying to help you make even more money with less work, and cut your taxes, while you sit on an ever growing pile of cash.

Let’s see what the business response would be to “Drill, Baby, Drill.”…

Big Oil: Sure, we’ll drill, baby.  When we’re good and ready and the price of oil is both high enough and stable enough to ensure a healthy return.  What?  You think you can order us to drill?  HAHAHA!!!  This isn’t socialism, you can’t control industry through democracy.

Now give us those leases, stat!

I keep hearing that the secret to success and energy independence is drilling, working hard, and tax cuts.  Yet I what I see here is something working less, producing less oil, getting tax cuts, and RAKING IN BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of profits.

And speaking of McCain’s tax cuts, meant to reward hard working small businesses, doan’cha know.  Here’s who gets most of ’em.

Straight to the fact check.

Fact check: McCain tax cuts give $200 billion to corporations, $4 billion to oil companies?

The Verdict: True. Obama’s statement accurately reflects two studies of McCain’s tax proposals.

So the idea here is to give Exxon a tax break in order to “motivate” them to work harder…after they’ve already realized, much like OPEC, that they can make more money by producing less.  Nice.  Not bad work if you can find it.

Heck, you even get to party with and bang government officials in order to help keep “taxes” lower.

Guess who else gets to enjoy McCain’s tax cut reward for their hard work?

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) — Five straight quarters of losses and a 70 percent slide in its stock this year haven’t stopped Merrill Lynch & Co. from allocating about $6.7 billion to pay bonuses.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, both still on track for profitable years, have set aside about $13 billion for bonuses after three quarters, down 28 percent from a year ago. Even some employees at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which declared the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history last month, will get the same bonus they received a year ago.

The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, a $700 billion taxpayer bailout, public outcry over excessive pay and the demise of three of the biggest securities firms won’t deter Wall Street from offering year-end rewards to employees on top of their salaries, compensation experts say.

[full story]

These are the kind of people that *really* benefit from McCain’s tax cuts, and have enjoyed *tremendous* benefits from Bush’s tax cuts…but I repeat myself.

The City of Dallas recently laid off over 400 teachers because of a $65 million shortfall for the year.  Over the last 90 days Exxon made of profit of about $1,900 a second.   That’s over $150 million a day.  In profit.

Exxon is based in Dallas County.

Doesn’t it seem like, oh, I don’t know…rational public policy…to actually bring in enough money in taxes to pay for public services?

Some might say the market should solve the problem, but I would rather tax Exxon and have Dallas county schools, than cut taxes on Exxon and get Exxon-branded Education Centers.   And DISD isn’t even that good a school district.    It did, however, get shafted like the rest of the country by No Child Left Behind, which was underfunded….BECAUSE OF TAX CUTS.

Giving even more tax cuts to Exxon and Goldman Sachs and their respective execs is not doing to do a damn thing to motivate them to work harder.

Making sure your kids, and your neighbor’s kids, have FREAKING TEACHERS in school trumps “executive compensation” in my humble opinion.

Giving massive tax cuts to folks who squeeze the commodity market and sell bullshit securities, while our schools and fire departments lay off people, doesn’t seem like sound public policy to me.

Maybe my priorities are wrong. Maybe if I believed that the highest ideal a human could strive for was “Profit, baby, profit” I could go along with McCain’s tax policy.

But I don’t, and I can’t.

So I won’t.

The Seven Minutes of Death

On Monday afternoon, Wall Street basically stopped trading to watch TV — mainly CNBC — to see how the House of Representatives would vote on the $700 billion bailout package. When it first started looking like the bill would fail, the Dow plummeted 389 points, or 3.6%, in just seven minutes.

Without a Bailout Plan, What Will the Cost Be? – TIME.

Wow, just wow on that.  Let me see if I can find a good graph….

The Seven Minutes of Death

The Seven Minutes of Death

See that part where the line disappears?  That was where the whole concept of a “rational market” disappeared.

Most economists don’t model for such things, as it would be impossible to do so by definition.

Why the Failout Failed (at least on Blackish Monday)

Welcome to Fail Street

Welcome to Fail Street

FiveThirtyEight.com: Electoral Projections Done Right: Swing District Congressmen Doomed Bailout.

[via Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com]

This was predictable, I suppose, but it’s remarkable to see how strong a relationship there is between today’s failed vote on the bailout and the competitive nature of different House races.

Among 38 incumbent congressmen in races rated as “toss-up” or “lean” by Swing State Project, just 8 voted for the bailout as opposed to 30 against: a batting average of .211.

By comparison, the vote among congressmen who don’t have as much to worry about was essentially even: 197 for, 198 against.

They also added this tidbit from a reader comment.  This is the one that cinches it for me.

UPDATE: A helpful reader named Matt Glassman passed along the fact that, among 26 congressmen NOT running for re-election (almost all of whom are Republicans), 23 voted in favor of the bill, as opposed to 2 against and one abstaining.

And so we see how polling and an election year and a huge financial emergency all come together to crash against the rocks of reality.

What we are left with then, is an electorate fairly split about a bailout package…that most who know how the system works would like to see implemented…and those that have no idea about oppose on general principles.  The fact that it wasn’t passed today led to this….

The day started with silence — the iconic opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange failed to sound — and things just got worse from there, ending in the single biggest one-day point loss in history. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 777.68 to close at 10,365.45. The previous biggest point drop came on Sept. 17, 2001, the first day the market reopened after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A jittery stock market spent all morning in negative territory as investors worried about the $700 [billion bailout].

[full story]

This is becauase most of these people know what’s going to happen when banks don’t have any money to lend.  We are now seeing the disease spread, and this kind of stuff *REALLY* affects people who hope to retire….soon.

It’s not that bad for people like me who are 30+ years from retirement.  Those, however, currently in the 2-5 year window (read: 40+ million Baby Boomers) don’t have that option.   They get to decide…soon…what to do.

My simple prediction?  They will sell out and the stock market will continue to stagnate.  It has been hugely propped up by this retirement money, and now that people are going to actually pull it out of the market, put it someplace *much* safer (like a bank…ha!) and use it to live, the amount of capital in the stock market is going to tumble….which adversely affects the price of everything else.

I’ve been predicting this general trend for a while now, based mainly on the demographic shift we are seeing as a country.   The whole “U.S. Economic Collapse” thing has been predicted by history, which dictates that large empires running expensive un-ending wars halfway around the world tend to collapse….every, single, time.

The fact that it is our democracy itself (in the form of election-year politics) which is freezing our government when it needs to act is the icing on the crap-cake we will all soon be swallowing.   The irony would be delicious…if it wasn’t for the fact that it smells, tastes, and nourishes….like shit.

UPDATE: In what can only be called par for the course…the McCain Campaign accepted credit for passage of the measure.

“Sen. McCain knew time was short and he came back, he listened and he helped put together the framework of getting everybody to the table, which was necessary to produce a package to avoid a financial catastrophe for this country.” 

On Monday morning, McCain campaign communications director Jill Hazelbaker said on Fox News that the deal would not have happened “without Sen. McCain.” 

“Sen. McCain interrupted his campaign, suspended his campaign activity to come back to Washington to get Republicans around a table,” Hazelbaker said. “Without Sen. McCain, House Republicans would not have appointed a negotiator, which would not have moved this bill forward. 

“It’s really Sen. McCain who got all parties around a table to hammer out a deal that hopefully is in the best interests of the American taxpayer.” 

[full b.s.]

BTW, in addition to the alternate breakdown that started this post (i.e. Politicians facing re-election or Not) one can alsobreak down the vote by party lines.  Democrats 140-95 (~60% Yea) and Republics 65-133 (~33% Yea).

So that claim of “suspend[ing] his campaign activity to come back to Washington to get Republicans around a table” was not only total b.s., it was a total failure of leadership.

UPDATE2: The next step…

Democratic and Republican leaders alike pledged to try again, though the Democrats said GOP lawmakers needed to provide more votes. Bush huddled with his economic advisers about a next step. The House was to reconvene on Thursday instead of adjourning for the year as planned.

[full article]

Umm, Thursday?!?  They do realize the DJIA is going to be at about 9,000 by then, right?  [hmmm…second thought…I’ll say 9,500.]

By then I think the Panic of the People will have set in and the Bailout will get about 90% support and everyone will claim credit…including your and/or your employer’s bank.  😉

The World This Week By Wah : September 21, 2008

Videos should be coming shortly…like tonight.

UPDATE: Or maybe tomorrow.  Got everything updated (XP, Vista with Service Packs and video editing software, new version, and other patches, and a new monitor) and now we’re done with last week’s program.  I am hoping to get these done and uploaded by Sunday night, Monday at the latest, so far I haven’t made it.  My plan right now calls for 10 weeks of this stuff, which takes us right through the election.  Feel free to offer feedback.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

 

Here’s the outline (for all three parts):

  1. The Economy
    Welcome to the REALLY United States of America!!
    One Thing To Say About the Collapse of Wall Street
    The World’s Biggest Bailouts
    Sorry about that whole “U.S. economic collapse” thing (Straw and A Camel’s Back)
  2. McCain vs. Obama Tax Plan
    Biden’s Response to McCain Tax Lie Gets More Coverage Than the Lie
    Arguing About Obama’s Tax Policy
  3. Text Messages and the Tececom Scam
    Lookin at the Text Message Scam
  4. Russia, Georgia, Bush Doctrine and Palin
    Let’s Play: “Fun With Russia: Arms Deal Version”
    Straight From the Energy Expert’s Mouth To Your Ears
    [On] Palin Progaganda on Fox
    Palin Lying and Covering It Up (Email Hacked)
    Charles Krauthammer’s Lie (and read up on the “Bush Doctrine”)
    New Yorker : Funny : Two Things That Rarely Go Together
    Q: re: Rape Kits :: Can You Save Money If You Buy in Bulk
  5. NSA Lawsuit
    Fighting the NSA
  6. Science / General Interest
    Scientists Expose Mystery Behind Aurora Borealis Spectacle Of Light
    Now That’s Quality Construction
    Ninja Cat : Lessons in Stalking
  7. Sports / Culture
    How Do I Turn Off Tony Kornheiser?
    Jesus “Jack Bauer” Christ
    Kottke on Wallace
  8. Quick President 08 Update
    McCain: No Science For You!!!
    Obama’s 50 State Project Complete
  • Conclusion
  • One Thing To Say About the Collapse of Wall Street

    Privatization of Social Security.

    .

    .

    .

    CBN.comALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — There’s another showing Tuesday of the good-cop, bad-cop routine featuring President Bush and Sen. John McCain, Bush’s one-time presidential rival who has become a big booster of the president’s Social Security plan.

    The Arizona Republican accompanied Bush on Monday to the senator’s home state and Colorado to try to help sell the public and Congress on the president’s proposal for a major Social Security overhaul.

    Bush again focused on calming seniors’ fears that his plan would mean their checks would stop coming or be cut and tried to convince them that adding private accounts to Social Security would be in the best interest of their children and grandchildren. Bush said he was open to any idea Democrats, or others, want to bring forward to solve Social Security’s fiscal ills, and he pledged no political retribution.

    “I’m willing to listen to any solution,” Bush said in Denver. “I’m confident that eventually the will will be there to get something done.”

    McCain, after jokes that had the audience howling and some unvarnished adoration of “the leadership of this man,” had a little different message.

    [full story]

    Here is McCain saying he won’t privatize social security and then talks about specific ways in which he will.

    Read on to see how this week’s news could have been.

    Continue reading