Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain: I can't compete, so I'll do this instead

McCain's latest stunt--and that's what it is, folks, I assure you--is to "suspend" his campaign because "it's time for both parties to come together to solve this problem". That would be an admirable stance, except for the fact that every major economist on record, and a majority of both parties (at least) seem less than convinced by Treasury Secretary Paulsen's panic attack on us that the sky really is falling. McCain has missed the most votes of any Senator in the current session, so one has to wonder why this problem, and why now?
Could it be that his numbers are plummeting, his campaign is starved for cash, his previous stunt of naming Sarah Palin as his running mate has run its course (at best--she's now acting primarily as an anchor, from what some polls [here, here, and here] are showing), and he has a debate coming up on Friday? Mmmmmm?
Clearly, the man is either a) incapable of doing more than one thing at a time, or b) disingenuously using this occasion to try and avoid making even more of a fool of himself and his party. So why should anyone trust someone like that to be President, exactly?
UPDATE: Ok, there is another possibility. McCain is: c) trying to get the Biden/Palin debate canceled entirely--I'm sorry, "rescheduled for a date yet to be determined"--so as to prevent his running mate from displaying her complete and utter incompetence in front of the entire nation!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

White House says bailout is simply a money grab by financiers--or even more sinister

In a press conference today, White House Press Secretary Tony Fratto inadvertently (or with the ultimate in stupid hubris--you make the call!) let us all know that this bailout is really about giving away even more of the taxpayers' money to the financial industry. The money quote:
"You have to remember, these are not all weak or troubled firms that own mortgage-backed securities. A lot of them are very successful banks and investment houses that have done very well, have been responsible, are holding performing assets that have value."
Um, Tony? Why on earth would we need to bail out firms that aren't "weak or troubled" or that have "done very well"? Clearly necessity is not the main criteria under consideration, is it? Perhaps it is instead the final Smirky Administration payoff to the rich?
Even more likely is that the felons are attempting to rig the economy (even worse than they have already, that is) to go 100% in the tank just in time for the Obama Administration to take over. Once again, Democrats will be left with cleaning up Republican disasters, only this time with little or no money to do so without cutting spending on valuable services. Grover Norquist, who famously declared that his goal was to shrink government to the size where he could drown it in a bathtub, would get to have his dream come true; Smirky and the gang are merely creating the new twist of further enriching the wealthy as it dies.
Twisted indeed.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Emails sent to Congresspeople

I sent the following to my Senators and Congressman:

Please take extra care that even with the Dodd (or Frank) amendment attached, this bailout does not screw the American public yet again. I have no problem keeping our financial system in place, but there is no reason whatsoever to enable those who have profited from their malfeasance to continue to live in the manner to which they've become accustomed. If jailtime is an impossible dream, certainly we can attach 100% of their assets in an effort to defray the costs of this bailout. All CEOs, high-ranking officials, and large shareholders of all businesses affected, past and present, should have their lives affected as much as the least of us has been.
I feel morally justified in wishing homelessness on those who have helped create homelessness in others, and bankruptcy on those who have engineered bankruptcy in others. And, given the execrable bankruptcy law passed a couple years ago, that should allow an enjoyably painful existence for years to come for those who truly deserve it.
Thank you,
Public Librarian

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Bailout = Outrageous socialism for the rich + sickening lack of oversight

It must be a Smirky Administration idea, because the proposed bailout includes absolutely no oversight of the Treasury Department's actions, designed to pump the markets full of publicly-funded cash in return for, well, nothing of value. All of the bad loans all of the financial institutions have ever made could be purchased by the federal government--which means the taxpayers will be paying for them--with no upside participation for the new owners, us. That's right, we would be buying assets from the rankest of wealthy speculators at their highest price with no ability to recoup our investments, as planned! There are no, zero, people on board with this travesty of a proposal, as detailed in this Daily Kos diary. None.
This is the modern Republican dream bill, in other words. The rich get richer, and the poor end up holding a worthless bag of beans in exchange. (And lest you think you are one of the rich, ask yourself some questions: Are you a CEO or top executive in the financial markets? Or do you own an investment portfolio dependent on purchased mortgages for its value? Or are you a member of Congress with your hand out for a bribe? If you can't answer "yes" to any of those, then you are one of the millions of Americans who will pay dearly to someone who can.) Clearly they see that their ride on the gravy train is ending, so they now seek to make one final, massive money grab to see them through the "tough" times ahead. You can be sure that a lot of that $700 billion will find its way back to any Congresspeople that vote in favor of it, probably in the form of post-Congressional employment in the financial sector.
This is the ultimate in socialism for the rich, which has been the Republican mantra since Reagan: privatize the profits and force the public to eat the losses in any market transaction. Remember the S&L scandal from the mid-1980s? You know, the one Neal Bush and John McCain were involved so deeply in? This is literally double the pain and hypocrisy. When you or I lose a bet in Vegas or Wall Street, we have to pony up immediately. Why should the rich get to play by different rules, especially those who were so complicit in destroying our economy as a whole? I don't have a problem with saving the institutions themselves, as long as anyone who has profited personally in any way has to pay back everything they earned by screwing the public. They have lived well of the fat of the land. Now it's time for those who made out like the bandits they are to pay the piper. Not to mix metaphors or anything . . .
UPDATE: Here is an article seeking to ameliorate your discomfort. And by "ameliorate", I mean, "ignore and demean". Gee, what a surprise that someone whose livelihood (writing for CNN/ depends on the financial sector would write something in favor of its bailout! He makes a half-assed attempt at sounding sincere when he allows us to feel outrage, but his article is essentially telling us to "get over it", which is both insincere and condescending. The main thrust of his essay is that there are just too many people employed in the sector to allow it to collapse, but this is possibly the height of disingenuity, given the apathy the financial world greeted every single other business that the US has let disappear from our shores. How many jobs have been outsourced or simply lost due to greedy or shortsighted policies since 1981? I don't know, but I do know that no other industry's workers as a whole have ever benefited from this kind of welfare.
Why I should care about this group more than any other in the entirety of US history goes unexplained by this author . . . The plain fact is that the American worker has been screwed over for nearly 30 years by conservative policies and Republican politics benefiting the wealthy financiers, but only when their own playground falls victim to their same greed are we supposed to lend a hand? Give me a break.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain, foreign relations "expert": Spain = Mexico. No, seriously.

A new day, a new "Oh. My. God." moment. John McCain, in an interview with a Spanish--from Spain, is that confusing?--reporter, repeatedly answered questions by referring to Latin America and Mexico. Spain, which is in Europe and is not Mexico, for those of you not paying attention, must be wondering what on earth is going on (or not) inside anyone's head who thinks this guy isn't either senile or massively ignorant. Well, to be honest, so am I . . .

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

McCain's healthcare advisor: Emergency rooms = insurance!

Oh. My. God. John Goodman, who "helped craft" John McCain's health care "policy", is whacked. He seemingly honestly believes that because people can go to any ER and get treated, they have health care insurance. (Um, Mr. Goodman, what, exactly, can an ER do for someone who has cancer? Or cataracts? Or diabetes? Or any other systemic problem that needs ongoing or preventative treatment?) His ignorance and/or apathy to the plight of anyone human, though, goes far beyond that bit of stupidity. In a statement given to the Dallas Morning News, Goodman goes on to explain how we can eliminate the problem of the "uninsured"--this is real, folks:
"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.
"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."
This is the attitude of the Republican Party, guys and gals, in regards to all your troubles. It's just a rarity that anyone is actually bold, er, classless enough to state it for the record.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

McCain: "fundamentals of our economy are strong"

I kid you not; he said that today--Monday, September 15, 2008. How many foreclosures, how many bank failures, how many other financial institutions need to fail, John? Indeed, this is exactly the kind of thing Herbert Hoover was saying after the Wall Street Crash! The point is that the economy is working well--for some. The rich have never had it better, and as we all know, John McCain is in that class. How many houses do you own again, John?
For the rest of us, though, we are heading for some extremely rough waters. The majority of adjustable rate mortgages have yet to reset (meaning that their low teaser rate periods are expiring to be reset at true market value, causing many more people to lose the homes they really can't afford), which will cause another wave of failures to come crashing down on our already beleaguered financial system. Even more catastrophically, Washington Mutual is swiftly collapsing towards bankruptcy, and there are some who question whether the FDIC can afford to cover those losses. This is the nation's 6th largest bank in the US, people!
Thanks to 28 years of vicious conservative leadership--from Reagan to Bush to yes, Clinton, to Smirky, and in cahoots with conservative philosophers/economists/politicians, both in and outside of DC, we are now faced with the near total collapse of our economy. Deregulation of the financial markets, the insistence on "free" trade, the reduction of all of our manufacturing in favor of concentrating on the service and fiscal "industries"--in short, our complete reliance on the Republican canard of "trickle-down economics" has brought us to the brink of disaster unimaginable after the fixes put in place during and after the Great Depression.
And McCain has the gall to claim that we're doing just fine? That is one delusional crank. How on earth can 1/2 the people in the country really believe that he even cares about them, let alone knows how to solve their problems? He doesn't even think that there are any! Scary times.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Obama hitting the right notes

A week or so ago, a cousin of mine forwarded me the latest Obama smear email. After pointing out the flaws and lies in the original, I asked the whole email group: is this the kind of dialogue we want during this election? Do we really want to spend our precious time and energy discussing Obama's hand placement during a rendition of the national anthem, when our country is teetering on the brink of failure?
Well, this latest round of silliness (google "lipstick on a pig" to see what I'm talking about) provoked Obama's reaction in Virginia, and it's a good one. Please watch it here.
Best line: "I don't care what they say about me, but I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and Swift Boat politics."


McCain's daughter says no one else understands war

Speaking to Meredith Vieira, Meghan McCain proves herself either a) a solipsistic, narrow-minded braggart; or b) a bubble-headed twit. You make the call by viewing the clip here. The full quote, which should outrage any person--and anyone who has ever been related to a person--who has ever served in the military, is: "No one knows what war is like other than my family. Period." I don't blame her for being a moron, because she is clearly a product of her parents' lack of skills. Now, which of his wives' daughters is she?


Monday, September 08, 2008


Many, many years ago (you do the research, pally!), I was in high school when the group Heart first came out, and my friends and I were big fans. In suburban (DC) Maryland, we were a bit ahead of the curve on these Pacific Northwest rockers, but by the time their second album Little Queen arrived, they were big everywhere. It's nice to hear that they have their heads in the right places, too. The Wilson sisters have asked the McCain/Palin campaign to cease and desist using their song "Barracuda" in their public appearances--Palin was known as "Sarah the Barracuda" in high school--but unfortunately, they no longer have the rights to enforce that request. So instead, at least one of the songwriters, Roger Fisher, will be sending checks to the Obama/Biden campaign in response. In effect, as Fisher says, "...the Republicans are now supporting Obama"!
Kick It Out!

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Joe Biden on fire

Joe Biden is a good guy to have on your team, that's for sure. He may not vote for the little guy all the time; he voted for the execrable bankruptcy bill a while back. (I almost excuse him for that, because he was at least doing the bidding of his constituents in Delaware, the state which contains the corporate offices of the vast majority of banks and other financial institutions that profited by that legislation. The real problem back in 2005 when this came up was all the Republicans who supported it who didn't represent anyone positively affected by it in their home states, which is to say nearly all of them.) On almost every issue, though, he's not only a good Democrat, he's a fighting Democrat, which is unfortunately a rarity these days.
Check out this video of him speaking to a group in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. I especially like the lines, starting about 2:16 in, referring to the shocking lack of content in the entire Republican National Convention: "What do you talk about when you have nothing to say? What do you talk about when you cannot explain the last 8 years of failure?"

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Monday, September 01, 2008

In a family way, pt. 2

Here is the latest baby pic. It is obvious we are going to be the parents of the smartest child on the planet, isn't it?
(His/her hand is what is surrounded by the dotted circle, but I know I didn't have to tell anyone that . . .)