Archive | November 2008

SuperSpade Quick Notes Summary for 2008-11-26

  • @maddow Please don’t have Eric Schmidt on to talk about the economy at large. He’s as much of an authority on that subject as Jenna Bush. #
  • @davidjam Adjustments are necessary. But, Citi & friends failed adjusted to the Brave New World too, yet they got bailed out. Doesn’t add up #
  • @SistersTalk A few people at my day job have Acer NetBooks. The cool factor is high; the practical factor for me was low (keys too small). #

SuperSpade Quick Notes Summary for 2008-11-24

  • We’re back on our Twitter grind now… #
  • Is it just me, or has the anti-Detroit coalition been given political cover to spit fire towards my city b/c of the proposed Big 3 loan? #
  • Let’s not get it twisted: Hate Detroit = Hate Working Class = Hate Unions = Hate Underemployed = Hate Undereducated = Hate Black folks #
  • @urbanreporter I’m blessed, tryin’ to win a free wedding http://bit.ly/wedding-of-a-lifetime I saw them the week before they bounced. #
  • @donlemoncnn Absolutely. I see this as a great opportunity to de-commercialize Christmas and the entire holiday season. #
  • @thesmak I’ll cede you KK. MI has political power, but what’s important here is that this loan is for more than just MI. #
  • @karsh It frustrates the hell out of me when I see that too. Why is valuing technical skill so foreign? Congrats on going independent! #
  • @thesmak Dingell lost out because he’s not on Pelosi’s good side. Chairmanships have never been strictly based on Seniority. #
  • @thesmak I’ll give you that it hurts MI as far as the House goes. I’d like to see Sen. Levin turn a more keen eye towards domestic issues. #
  • @BWBConference The timing is bad if the new administration decides to forget about the Midwest. Obama will not do that. He can’t. #
  • @BWBConference The Big 3 are asking for a loan, not a gift. We taxpayers just bough Christmas presents for Citigroup execs. #
  • @BWBConference The Big 3 are lumbering towards progress & there should be very stiff strings attached to the loan to change practices. #
  • @BWBConference However, these banks’ biz practices left them burning through cash as well, but the government had no problem gifting them $. #
  • @ruby Evolve? Yes. Leave behind the Midwest? Aboslutely not. Every lawmaker from MI, OH, IL, IN, PA, WI & others represent automakers. #

SuperSpade Quick Notes Summary for 2008-11-19

Help the Big Three

I am so astonished at the vitriol being directed towards Detroit in terms of this bailout of the auto industry. For the record, I was really upset with the bailout of the financial industry because it reminded me of how we got involved in Iraq which was, “Pass this bill now or the world is going to end!” I mean the financial bill had to be passed in what, a week? Didn’t it seem like this emergency came out of nowhere? Even emergencies should require due diligence and too many in Congress were not willing to put the brakes on and say, “If we are going to give you $700 billion dollars, you can wait a minute.” Do you remember trying to ask your parents really fast so they don’t catch all the details? That was the financial bailout.

I think Congress should help the auto industry for the following reasons;

We are talking about a $25 billion dollar loan (there is precedent a la Chrysler, Lee Iacocca) which is a fraction of the $140 billion tax cut that Paulson tucked in the bailout bill.

Some people say we should let the Big Three die. We are not just talking about 3 million jobs being lost, we are talking about ripple effects that run deep in our communities. Take healthcare for example. I have a friend who works at a hospital here in Michigan that is announcing major layoffs. Why? Because as the auto industry announces more and more layoffs, these laid off workers lose their health care which then forces people to sign up for Medicare and Medicaid. And because Medicare and Medicaid reimburse at lower rates than do say Blue Cross/Blue Shield. So for real, a world without the Big Three is not going to be contained to Detroit and trust me, it will impact you in a very real way.

Framing

I find it interesting that most coverage of the auto industry is framed in terms of saving or not saving “Detroit.” Detroit is not being saved, the auto industry is asking for a loan. Although Detroit is known for the auto industry, this framing has negative consequences. For starters, the economic bailout of Wall Street was never framed in terms of saving New York. Instead, the framing was that Wall St. is the engine behind your paycheck and small businesses all across America. One doesn’t have to think long to conjure up negative images about the city of Detroit and we end up pitting city against other cities. Again, this is about America, not Detroit. My city has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. No economic bailout is going to put Detroiters to work again but failure to do so will guarantee millions of people not directly working for the industry will see an economic downturn that will be peanuts compared to what we are seeing with the economic mess.

We are all in this together. Congress, do the right thing

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

SuperSpade Quick Notes Summary for 2008-11-16

Accountability and your money? Spare me

I am getting so upset with the vile being directed towards the auto industry’s request for $25 billion because after the 700 billion dollars doled out to Wall St. (and they are still not lending!), we find out that the Department of Treasury just gave Wall St. a tax deal worth up to $140 billion. See the excerpt below form the Washington Post.

The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration’s request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion.

The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the controversial bailout bill. When they found out, some legislators were furious. Some congressional staff members have privately concluded that the notice was illegal. But they have worried that saying so publicly could unravel several recent bank mergers made possible by the change and send the economy into an even deeper tailspin.

“Did the Treasury Department have the authority to do this? I think almost every tax expert would agree that the answer is no,” said George K. Yin, the former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the nonpartisan congressional authority on taxes. “They basically repealed a 22-year-old law that Congress passed as a backdoor way of providing aid to banks.”

It can not be said enough how much this financial bailout process mirrored the invasion of Iraq. Bush use fear tactics in asking demanding that Congress give him unchecked powers. Congress accepts this horrible framing and capitulates and then use Congressional hearings to explain why they voted the way they did while trying to lambast whoever they asked to appear before their committee. If it is so hard to be in Congress and do the right thing, don’t take the job!!!

If there is anything true about the Bush years is how Congress never debated saying no but they instead focused on trivial issues concerning oversight. It will be interesting to see how many on the hill will suddenly discover checks and balances under Obama.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

What are we fighting for…

I have been non-partisan voter registration efforts for some years now and one line that was particularly salient (given Obama’s candidacy) during the campaign was that “People died so that you could have the right to vote.” I am excited that millions took up this call and participated in this election but what will be our generation’s clarion call? I know people died for us to have the right to vote but many more put to death their selfish tendencies as they invested their dreams in the generations to come. What do you think we should be fighting for?

UPDATE: Thankfully, there is an organization, Generation Vote that is at the forefront of defining and shaping the youth agenda.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

Thoughts on Obama

What’s up fam,

I wanted to wait to write about the historic election until it seemed normal. True to form, I wanted to share with you some thoughts I have concerning the Obama administration.

1. MLK’s dream was not that there would one day be a Black President of the United States. W.E.B. DuBois never claimed that a Black President would break the color line. The themes and tropes that Ralph Ellison highlighted in his book, the Invisible Man, is just as relevant today as it was when it was published in 1952.

2. Our role as Obama supporters should be to provide the political space for Obama to make bold decisions rather than be his reliable defenders. Not only does Obama not need coddling (Michelle has that locked up), he also shown he can take a punch. This means that you need to stay engaged with local advocacy groups and make sure your communities are prepared for the change Obama seeks. Even positive change can be difficult for most people so know that voting for Obama was the easy part.

3. I really want Obama to break with tradition and use a computer in the Oval Office because not only would it represent his own appreciation of technology but it would hopefully shed light on the digital divide that still plagues communities all across the country.

4. I know many men admire Michelle because let’s face it, she is a rider and sacrificed a ton so that Barack could have the freedom to chase his dreams. So as men, I know many of us, (including me) have said that we need a “Michelle” in our lives. In case you didn’t know, Michelle has many of the same qualities as Barack and could just as easily be President of the United States. The implication here is that as men, our “Obama fantasy” may mean that we are supporting our partners running for office or helping to found a business.

5. I wonder if there will be an increase in people of color joining the army now that Obama is Commander-in-Cheif? Morally speaking, I wonder if and how Obama will internalize the deaths and injuries endured in Afghanistan and Iraq. I raise that because at least with Bush, he decided that we were going to war so when he meets with the families of fallen soldiers, there is a direct line of responsibility that he must shoulder. Obama, on the other hand, not only opposed the war but he did not decide that we fight so will Obama be able to mentally shift responsibility to Bush?

More to come later,

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

UPDATE: I just came across an article where we learn that Obama does plan to use a laptop (a first for any President) in the Oval Office but he will be forced to give up his Blackberry, (I feel bad for you Barack, I say you push back) apparently due to security reasons. From the Statesman, “Aides said he hopes to have a laptop on his desk in the Oval Office. He would be the first American president to do so.” Wouldn’t it be sweet if Obama had a family portrait set as his background?

SuperSpade Quick Notes Summary for 2008-11-13

  • @richardsession It’s only funny because it’s true! #
  • Vote for Garlin from The SuperSpade to win a free wedding! http://bit.ly/wedding-of-a-lifetime You can vote for us once per hour! #

SuperSpade Quick Notes Summary for 2008-11-12

  • Interesting visualization of the words & works during the 1st 100 days of every President since FDR: http://is.gd/6SZo #
  • NAACP President & CEO Ben Jealous’ reaction to the Election: “Proof Through the Night” http://is.gd/7dza #
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