From the Left, and the Right

September 17th, 2008 by Perry

Editors Note: theFreshScent is not a political blog, but politics are a topic of interest to the informed smoker, and something we occasionally like to touch on. I sent this hilarious clip from The Daily Show that was sent to me from YouTube.com, and a friend of mine tried to enlighten me from the Right.

His Comment:

Oh I love the Daily Show and Colbert Report, but I worry when the 18-25 crowd uses these shows instead of cable news, and get brainwashed like zombies to vote for Obama. I realize that crowd is already way more idealistic, help the poor and world peace etc. than older cynics, but it adds a crazy influence. I wish young conservatives could come up with a hip show like that that could make the Founding Fathers’ journey to the Constitution, personal freedom and entrepreneurship cool too and bash some libs in the process but what pop network would carry it…can you imagine MTV doing that…hahaha!!

Yeah Karl Rove is a typical partisan but you have to admit he knows the electoral college challenges and more importantly, what drives the electorate better than most… hence, the “Architect.”

I can’t believe that Dick Morris, Clinton’s top YES MAN throughout his first administration, turned so against the Clintons and Hillary and is an almost complete conservative now… “yukkin’ it up” with Hannity using the term ‘We’ to unite them… amazing… makes you wonder if he did all that for Clinton just for money or if he actually believed half the shit in that administration.

I still wait for the day when Jon Stewart or Steve Colbert do the same for Obama or Hillary… like show Obama one second glorifying the Washington, D.C. handgun ban and then the next clip saying, “As I’ve consistently said, I strongly support the Supreme Court decision to overturn the D.C. gun ban and I always support an individual’s right to own a gun.”

You will never see that!

Actually, Red Eye is kind of the hip conservative pop show of Fox News. It’s on very late but it is quite hilarious… mainly the host Greg Gutfeld.

Even liberals would find it funny!

– Mike

My Response:

Mike makes an interesting point about relying on fake news shows for what’s going on. My only response to Mike is that he mentions Fox News as a cable network news show in comparison to a fake cable news show on Comedy Central. I think that says everything you need to know about the Foxs News Network and the quality of some cable news programs. Go NPR, PBS or BBC if you’re actually trying to get more centrist, objective news coverage.

The bottom-line, none of these candidates are perfect, and it’s important to vote for the person who’s policies will better you and your family’s life. In this country, with people from all walks of life, there’s no perfect answer, but educating yourself in a thorough way is the responsibility of all those with the power to vote.

– Perry


  1. Gravatar-licious
    Matt Says:

    There is no question Jon Stewart and the Daily Show leans to the left, and that is a result of most 18-25 viewers leaning to the left. But the show is still parody and is on Comedy Central so lets not hold it to a standard it will never reach. I watch all three cable news channels and try to take something from each. MSNBC and FOX are just playing a game and FOX is better at it. Perry is right about the BBC and PBS, but those networks are disliked by most conservatives as well. FOX gave it a try with “The Half-Hour News Hour” but even Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh are disliked by most decent and logical thinking people everywhere. Destroy our two party systtem and this county might have prayer.

  2. Gravatar-licious
    Mike Says:

    I disagree on both points.

    Fox News is nothing like MSNBC. Fox News has clear distinctions between their newspeople who report unbiased news like Brit Hume, Bill Hemmer and all of their reporters and their opinionated commentators like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, in which it is understood that they have a set agenda going into their shows. In that sense of the commentators, Fox leans left. In terms of their analysis of topics during the news, the “Fair and Balanced” comes from the fact that they have equal number of biased analysts from both sides giving viewers both points of view on various topics. In fact, Fox created this forum and now CNN and MSNBC often copy it to compete, even though they cannot compete in ratings due to the center-right nature of America who strongly prefer Fox to CNN or MSNBC for cable news source.

    On the other hand, MSNBC makes no distinction between their biased commentators like Keith Olberman and Chris Matthews and their newspeople like Nora O’Donnell. They are all very clearly biased far to the left and clearly rooting for Obama…you cannot say Fox is actively rooting for McCain…you can only say that they are right because they are not actively rooting for Obama. This fact is evidenced very clearly by the recent demotions of Olberman and Matthews from hosting presidential election events as newspeople moderators…they were basically ridiculed at the Republican National Convention as “in the tank for Obama.” Now closer to real newspeople like David Gregory and the clearly respected Tom Brokaw will assume the presidential election events such as the debates and the election night itself.

    On your second point, not only BBC and PBS are biased left but also the AP itself, which essentially has a monopoly on news source feeds, so when countless websites, which conservatives like me believe are biased left like AOL.COM and YAHOO.COM, post AP news stories on their front pages, they can easily say we’re just posting the news from AP and AP is the only option for live news feeds. If you analyze both BBC and PBS, they are filled with both news reporters and commentators like Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley and Jim Lehrer, who are very clearly biased left, pointing out every conservative or Republican negative and ignoring many liberal or Democrat negative in their stories, much like their recent coverage of the presidential election and clearly rooting for Obama while ignoring almost all of Obama’s shady past such as 20 years in Reverend Wright’s church; earmarking $225,000 from the Illinois state legislature for Father Michael Pfleger’s radical “Black First” Catholic church, which regularly invites and welcomes Louis Farakhon (this is clearly a violation of the public trust, use of public money and violation of separation between Church and State); and chairmanship on unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers’ radical education foundation Chicago Anneberg Challenge. As chairman, Obama and Ayers hand-in-hand lobbied for and raised a total of $150 million and allocated them among Bill Ayers’ anti-American, anti-Semitic, “One World” philosophy Peace Schools. These Peace Schools carried the express mission of indoctrinating children of all ages to believe that America is the prime villain in the world, responsible because of capitalism for almost all of the world’s poverty and inequity between rich and poor in 3rd world countries, and that Israel is the prime villain in the Middle East and should be dissolved and destroyed to bring about reconciliation and land reparations to the Arab countries.

    Bottom line: There is a reason why the vast majority of middle “fly over country” Americans watch Fox News and the Coasts of America watch the other channels. In fact, I don’t know anyone personally that watches BBC or PBS on a regular basis.

  3. Gravatar-licious
    Mike Says:

    Correction to comment above:

    Obviously, when I wrote in the first paragraph above “In that sense of the commentators, Fox leans left.” I meant “In that sense of the commentators, Fox leans right.”


  4. Gravatar-licious
    Mike Says:

    This year’s financial crisis has provided many ups and downs on the stock market, many surprising twists and turns, starting with Bear Stearns Cos.’ meltdown to the most recent government bailout of insurance and financial mammoth American International Group Inc. (AIG), and problematically, both complexity and ambiguity from the perspective of the average taxpayer and voter.

    Why did Bear Stearns fail, and how does that relate to AIG? Why should all taxpayers and concerned voters care? Are these events really so complex?

    No, they’re not. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with the Democratic Party’s blessing and assistance, was the root cause of this mortgage crisis.

    With the blessing and fresh capital from the administrations of both Carter and Clinton, Fannie and Freddie, essentially operating as federally protected government agencies with endless taxpayer lending capital, started aggressively targeting poor neighborhoods around the country with their NINJA loans (NO INCOME, NO JOB, NO ASSETS). By monopolizing this new risky subprime zero down payment zero credit check NINJA loan industry, knowing that their poor business decisions would be covered by the federal government and Congress, who Fannie and Freddie were the #1 lobby to, they essentially forced all of the big private lenders like Countrywide to copy Fannie and Freddie and start offering these risky NINJA loans to very risky new loan customers in order to compete and grow their business. Today Fannie and Freddie together own over 70% of all outstanding loans worth over $5.3 trillion of debt. Corruption at Countrywide is not the problem or root cause; it is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They and their creators and providers in Congress enabled the subprime mortgage crisis and ensuing artificial boom and bust of the housing bubble. Had Fannie and Freddie never been created, the free market would have ruled, and private lending companies would have made smart decisions and not lent to risky borrowers.

    In connection to this recent demise of large financial firms like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG, Fannie and Freddie fueled Wall Street’s efforts to turn these risky subprime NINJA loans into commonplace investments by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools. Once Fannie and Freddie owned the majority of these new toxic subprime-mortgage pools, they mixed them with other less risky fixed-rate mortgage pools and sold them throughout the market to the biggest and most reliable financial firms like AIG as normal low-risk investments. They knew from the beginning that those subprime-mortgage investments had no business receiving a AAA credit rating but nonetheless they treated them like AAA and passed the risk on in huge volumes throughout the financial world.

    The bottom line: No Fannie and Freddie = no subprime loans = no subprime loan pool investments = no risky assets purchased by large financial firms and banks = no financial crisis!

    But how could our government allowed this to happen? Isn’t their job to regulate the economy and these institutions and prevent crisis before it is too late?

    It is actually quite easy to identify the historical turning point that marked the beginning of the end. Back in 2005, Fannie and Freddie were, after years of dominating Washington, on the ropes. They were enmeshed in accounting scandals that led to turnover at the top. At one telling moment in late 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) chief accountant told disgraced Fannie Mae chief Franklin Raines that Fannie’s position on the relevant accounting issue was not even “on the page” of allowable interpretations. Then legislative momentum emerged for an attempt to create a “world-class regulator” that would oversee the pair more like banks, imposing strict requirements on their ability to take excessive risks. Politicians like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank who previously had associated themselves proudly with the two accounting nightmares were less eager to be associated with them now. The time was ripe for bipartisan support for reform.

    The clear gravity of the situation pushed the legislation forward. Some might say the current mess couldn’t be foreseen, yet in 2005 Alan Greenspan told Congress how urgent it was for it to act in the clearest possible terms: If Fannie and Freddie “continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road,” he said. “We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.”

    What happened next was extraordinary. For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. The bill gave a regulator power to crack down, and would have required the companies to eliminate their investments in risky assets. If that bill had become law, then the world today would be different. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, a blizzard of terrible mortgage paper fluttered out of the Fannie and Freddie clouds, burying many of our oldest and most venerable institutions. Without their checkbooks keeping the market liquid and buying up excess supply, the market would likely have not existed. But the bill didn’t become law, for a simple reason: Democrats opposed it on a party-line vote in the committee, signaling that this would be a partisan issue. Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn’t even get the Senate to vote on the matter. The Democrats, who are usually the party of more regulation, and who are today in unison decrying that deregulation led to this financial crisis, chose their favorite lobby Fannie and Freddie, who have funded their reelection campaigns, over the American people they were elected to serve. The Democrats chose DEREGULATION over necessary regulation they knew had a great chance of preventing a full-blown credit and financial crisis. And now, during election season, they have the audacity to cry DEREGULATION as the culprit and solution, knowingly lying to the American people just for votes. It is a classic case of socializing the risk while privatizing the profit. The Democrats could not possibly oppose this needed reform if their constituents understood what they were doing.

    Now that the collapse has occurred, the roadblock built by Senate Democrats in 2005 is unforgivable. The senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years. In his three short years, most of that time spent running for president, Obama received more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman, who received more than $165,000. Clinton, the 12th-ranked recipient of Fannie and Freddie PAC and employee contributions, has received more than $75,000 from the two enterprises and their employees. The private profit found its way back to the senators who killed the fix. There has been a lot of talk about who is to blame for this crisis. A look back at the story of 2005 makes the answer pretty clear.

    Fannie and Freddie, as a quasi hybrid half government-half publicly held company, made business decisions that no truly free-market publicly held company, held accountable by its shareholders and the SEC, would ever make. The free market and capitalism work if government lets it. That is why the U.S., only 232 years old, wields the largest, most innovative, most entrepreneurial and most dominant economy in the world, dwarfing the likes of the fast-growing China and India COMBINED.

    Oh, and there is one little footnote to the story that’s worth keeping in mind while Democrats and Obama point fingers between now and Nov. 4: Senator John McCain was one of the three cosponsors of Senate Bill S190, the bill that would have averted this mess. So, when Obama says time after time in this election season “John McCain doesn’t have one solution to this dire financial crisis!” you all can answer back “Yes he did! He did in 2005 back when it was still fixable but you and your financiers at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac didn’t like his solution. That doesn’t mean he never had a solution though.”

    Thus, Fannie and Freddie exist today as the ultimate illustration of why the free market is tantamount to a federal government at allocating goods and services according to their true value. The more government control of any industry, the more potential for corruption and lack of accountability. The federal government has miserably failed at managing the mortgage industry through Fannie and Freddie, and will do so as well with any other important industry or sector of the American economy. Keep this in mind this fall when you consider the possibility of Obama’s Universal Healthcare Plan. Only this time, if the federal government fails like it did with Fannie and Freddie, it’s not just your house…it’s your life.

  5. Gravatar-licious
    Alex Says:

    Wow Mike, you officially win the award for longest comment ever on theFreshScent.

  6. Gravatar-licious
    Mike Says:

    Thanks dude! I’m appreciatory! I love the new site. Left or right, we all agree on one important thing: Smoking weed is our God-given inalienable right as Americans!

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