More bad news Tuesday. Dow down more than 500 points. Just hang in there. Work hard, tough it out, don't panic. The bottom will soon be reached.
Now with the second presidential debate about an hour away, John McCain must tap into the country's anger if he wants to win, but it will not be easy. Barack Obama is an excellent debater and knows that McCain will challenge him, so he'll be on guard.
But McCain has the advantage of having little to lose Tuesday night. His poll numbers are sinking because the folks are holding the Republicans responsible for the economic meltdown. However, the truth is that the Democrats are just as responsible. And John McCain has to ask Senator Obama exactly — exactly — what he's going to do about Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd, the two men who failed to provide oversight or warn the country about the mortgage disaster.
The Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily have both documented Frank's incompetent legacy. And as you may know, we confronted him here last week. Frank now says that racism is a part of this because conservatives have hammered him for promoting mortgages to the poor. Charges of racism are usually the last gasp. O.J. Simpson is now crying racism.
Anyway, Senator McCain has to convince the voters that he's as angry as we are, that he will clean up the corruption in Washington and on Wall Street. McCain should point to the following:
Less than a week after the feds agreed to loan AIG $85 billion taxpayer dollars, AIG executives went on a weeklong retreat to the St. Regis Resort and Spa in southern California. The cost: about a half-million dollars.
Former AIG CEO Martin Sullivan, who ran the company into the ground, received nearly $20 million in severance when he was booted out last July.
Former Merrill Lynch CEO Stanley O'Neal, who destroyed that brokerage house, was allowed to walk away with more than $100 million in compensation.
Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, but not before CEO Richard Fuld doled out more $20 million in bonus money to executives four days before the company folded. Fuld himself took about $250 million from the company in eight years.
Former Washington Mutual CEO Kerry Killinger also drove his bank into the ground and was rewarded with a $22 million exit package.
Now I could continue for hours, but you get the point. The Wall Street greed-heads are out of control, and the government must go after them any way it can. McCain must swear to do that. He must also tell voters to listen to President Clinton:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that responsibility that the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was president to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
An honest statement. And by the way, Congressman Frank led the resistance Clinton talked about.
Bottom line here is that McCain must convince voters that he will avenge them. That's the only way he can win.
And that's "The Memo."
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