Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Warning: A Must See PBS Documentary

I will have to admit that I'm behind the curve regarding having seen this documentary. Much to my surprise I can't find anybody who has seen it. This appeared in October of 2009 and I caught it a few days ago. Regardless of one's political stripes this is a must see. This is a jaw-dropping documentary that quite frankly may scare you when you see that the same folks are in charge of our financial markets today.

The story is about how one woman, Brooksley Born, who tried to warn Congress and the American people of a financial situation and practices that could possibly cripple our financial institutions. Born, who was Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, tried to regulate what is known as over the counter derivatives. This has to do with things that derive their value from something else like currency or bond rates.

Our financial guru's at the time and at present, Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, Arthur Levitt, and Larry Summers set out to stop her and they did. Born's credibility was attacked from every sector from Congress to Wall Street. This documentary offers up her testimony before Congress as well as interviews with all those who now admit she was right and they were wrong. I find it a little frightening that the Lieutenants of Greenspan and Rubin( Summers & Geitner) are now running things in Washington. I was amazed at watching Greenspan admit that everything he spent a lifetime believing about financial markets was wrong. These men freely admit in this segment that they did not like or respect this woman sticking her nose into areas that were reserved for them.

This is worth dedicating an hour to watch if you want to have a better and inside look at how and who put the Nation into this financial mess.

The program is a Frontline Documentary on PBS entitled "The Warning".

Kentucky Senate Race: Mongiardo Has Big Week

Dan Mongiardo took a big step this week towards winning the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

It was almost 10pm eastern time when I picked up the phone and found Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo on the other end. I figured that I would keep it short considering the time and knowing the brutality of a day in Kentucky politics. I just knew the Lt. Governor would be tired and at best I was receiving a short courtesy call.

Well-I was wrong. I suddenly felt that I was at Fancy Farm standing in front of the podium listening to Dan Mongiardo speak. Was the Lt. Governor fired up!, that would be an understatement. Not only was he excited, but he was obviously mad and frustrated. I asked about the present mood of the voters regarding the national debt and Mongiardo replied," I've been to every county, people are upset, Washington works great for Wall Street. The majority in the Senate is not Democrats or Republicans, it's lawyers."

Mongiardo Has 18 Point Lead Over Conway
Receives Louisville Area Labor Council Endorsement
Jefferson County Leaders Announce Support

We covered many issues in our conversation from regional issues to those that concern all of Kentucky. Dan discussed in length about how our national debt and dependence on foreign oil have become issues of national security. Mongiardo has been a long time champion of creating jobs through the harvesting of Kentucky's natural resources- Agriculture & Coal. Committed to an energy policy that utilizes every possible source of energy to decrease foreign dependence, Mongiardo stated that the U.S. should invest in clean coal technology in a manner that creates jobs from coal and not reduce them.

We talked about what is a good use of taxpayers dollars and the Lt. Governor was adamant about government wasting money when we should be investing in infrastructure. "locks and dams, roads, high-speed rails, this is where we should be investing," said Mongiardo. "If we help create more jobs then this will mean more revenue."

I wanted to hear more about the mood of the voters and kept pressing the issue with the Lt. Governor. Mongiardo said he wanted to be clear on this issue and reemphasized that voters all across Kentucky were not only angry but very concerned about the direction Congress was taking regarding fiscal responsibility. Mongiardo said, "Tim, when I was growing up we had to have a litmus test for spending because we did not have any money to waste. It's a simple test, do we need it, do we have to have it, can we do without it."

We also talked about the military and our veterans. With Fort Knox and Fort Campbell being in Kentucky and growing everyday, I asked Lt. Governor Mongiardo how the military and veterans issues stacked up against other issues. Mongiardo replied, "National security is the most important issue." Regarding our veterans Mongiardo spoke of his experience as a medical doctor serving our veterans at the Lexington VA Hospital. "We have to take care of them when they come home, it is our responsibility to make this county a better place while they are fighting for us and I don't see that happening."

The health care debate is a hot topic and we discussed the issue. It was clear that Dr. Daniel Mongiardo believed that the issue has to be addressed in Washington and that any solutions would have to lower cost for people.

A good interview and a good week for Kentucky's Lt. Governor, Dr. Daniel Mongiardo. He topped off his week with the announcement that many prominent leaders in Jefferson County had given their support to him as opposed to Jefferson County resident Jack Conway. While many times these announcement's don't mean much I believe this announcement cut the Conway Campaign to the bone. I have listed some these folks below.

Larry Clark-Kentucky House Speaker Pro-Tem

(All Democrat State Senators in Jefferson County)

Sen. Denis Harper Angel, Sen. Perry Clark, Sen. Gerald Neal & Sen. Tim Shaughnessy.

Rep. Tom Burch- Chairman of the House Health & Welfare Committee

Sherry Conner-Mayor of Shively

David Karem-Former Senate Majority Leader

4- Metro Council Members, not to mention 4 former Chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party.

And a whole list more of local civic and labor leaders.

I appreciate the Lt. Governor spending some time with me on the phone and only wish I had the energy he did. As a former football coach I'm convinced that Mongiardo does not waste countless hours looking at himself in the mirror and combing his hair.I've said many times that winning the nomination for U.S. Senate would require bridging the gap between Urban Kentucky and Rural Kentucky and I think Dr. Daniel Mongiardo has successfully accomplished that this week in a big way. Dr. Daniel Mongiardo has proven that he is willing to work like a dog for all Kentucky. If Kentucky Democrats want to have success in the field come November, I believe it may be time to take the leash off- because this dog can hunt.