Friday, November 21, 2008

Recall Schwarzenegger!

Budget deal would include steeper car fees

Motorists' annual license fees would rise from 0.65% of the value of their vehicles to 2%. For a car or truck valued at $25,000, the increase would be $336. ... The last governor to triple the license fee was his predecessor, Gray Davis. Voter anger soared, and the increase played a large role in Davis' removal from office. Schwarzenegger crusaded against the hike throughout the recall campaign, and in his first act in office he cut the fee -- the "car tax," as he and some others call it -- back to its current rate...

Davis did not increase any "car tax."

Previous Governor Republican Pete Wilson signed a Vehicle License Fee offset as an idealogical tax break. It reduced the tax paid by purchasers of new cars paid by consumers to the state, and included a sunset clause intended to rescind the break when the state's budget required it.

At some point in Davis' term, the VLF offset went away. The powerful energy lobby, car dealerships, and Congressman Darrell Issa exploited this as a primary tool to get behind Schwarzenegger in the recall of Davis. Schwarzenegger said little during the campaign other that "car tax" "car tax" and replaced Davis with an ineffective state administration in a recall election based on misinformation that never should have happened.

The car dealerships, the biggest contributors to Schwarzenegger's campaign, won big. Schwarzenegger's first act as Governor was famously at a car dealership, rescinding the VLF offset, as Quid Pro Quo for their support in the recall effort.

With this recall, corporate influence on the California state government and election process reached a new level.

Recall the fascist.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

U. S. Auto Industry - FIXED!

This is tougher than SS.

After all, the US auto industry is older than Social Security, and people unused to any lifestyle other than that of the rich and famous stand to lose with the collapse of the auto industry.

First, go Total Commie. Sit down hard on the Medium Three. Tell the bourgeoisie and the proletariat that until they fix their problems, they all earn the same wage. To bring wage expenditures down to the point where they don't threaten to destabilize the company, industry, and nation, a few janitors might get a raise but everyone else might get a cut. Mandate this for three years. Go ahead, I dare you.

Few employees would be able to afford the very product that they labor to make - this would be good experience, especially for management.

Few employees would be able to afford reasonable health care. Who pays for that? We do! If Hillary Clinton would have had her way in 1993 (and Newt "He's not my president" Gingrich would have been righteously called out as a treasonist), the US auto industry might very well not be in its present predicament (although I won't underestimate such an industry's ability to shit their own bed). What's the number - $1,500 per US car is in health care benefits? This is a major component of our cars' lack of competitiveness with foreign cars.

Few employees would be able to contribute much to the faltering consumer economy. Good - maybe some enterprising individuals will jump right in and lead us out of the Consumer Spending Wasteland created by the faux-conservative neocons in Government until January 20, 2009. As far back as Prop 13 in California - on the surface a populist tax revolt to protect grannies from being property-taxed out of their homes, but in reality a power-and-money grab by Sacramento that led smart localities to replace their manufacturing industry with big-box retailers - as a nation we've been relying on more and more purchases of cheap shiny Chinese trinkets and more and more McJobs created to support the consumerist economy. The grand shining centerpiece of this, presented with bipartisan support, is our current real estate bust, formerly a boom. Perhaps the upper-management class at our car companies doesn't need that second home, perhaps they can drink Two Buck Chuck, perhaps they can keep their American Made care for eleven years instead of trading it in every three years. As the economy rights itself, perhaps more of us could get by with less, and maybe save more and more.

Renegotiate a few mortgages so that the middle-class employees could keep their homes. Make the C-level execs sell theirs and downsize until the economy right-sizes.

Suspend board member compensation.

Suspend stock dividends.

What do these car companies do with their leaner, more stable structures? Build more McEighteenWheelers? The whole SUV thing should never have happened - the tax break for 3-ton vehicles was just plain evil. Going Total Commie means that for the duration, we tell these companies what to build. California got it wrong when they mandated a certain percentage of sales be of electric cars, but not much wrong; you can't dictate what consumers will buy. We can tell the car companies to junk their entire lineup for one that provides a variety of sizes, prices, and luxury levels, but with a few new things in common: they all use half the gasoline, and they all are made of largely recyclable components. We have already pledged $25B to the car companies to help them go in this direction - increase this to a $100B pot to be split evenly between the Medium Three at the end of three years when they have reached this goal. Give them a total, 100% tax write-off for all Research and Development costs. Put a similar pot on the stove for non-Medium-Three entrepreneurs who come up with viable technologies and practices.

What do we get in three years? A viable US auto industry. As many as 1-in-10 of all US jobs would have been stable through the worst time of this economic downturn. Each of the Medium Three will have a viable lineup of cars, and can compete freely with each other, and most importantly with foreign manufacturers. We hopefully will have technology then that is unique to the US, with us having a limited exclusive right to use it and then license it to any foreign manufacturers who want it.

If we do not do something as drastic as this, or if we simply bail them out and keep throwing good money after bad, this economic downturn stands a much better chance of careening from recession to depression.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Social Security - FIXED!

Lower the rate.

Remove the cap.

Means test.


SS is not a retirement program. It is a safety net.

SS was conceived during the Great Depression as a means to insure that Grandma wouldn't end her life in the street or in a dismal bed in an institution. She could be 48 years old and her children or grandchildren could no longer care for her because over a third of them were out of work. It was right, and noble, for all to contribute so that these relative few could live out their last few years in dignity.

Now, lives last longer. Women are much more likely to have worked during their lives and to have contributed to SS. The chasm between rich and poor is ever widening, with a sharp dividing line between those who can retire comfortably at 59 1/2, 65, or 70, and those who can't. The sky isn't falling today on SS, but clouds are gathering.

We must return SS to a state where it can continue to run in perpetual motion as machine that sustains us as we grow old, fueled by a little contribution from each of us.

That contribution can be small, much smaller than it is today, in fact, if we remove the cap, allowing those most-able to contribute give a small percentage of their taxable income. This might allow us to eliminate the contribution by employers entirely, and to decrease the contribution by us, the employed, to perhaps 5%.

Means test? Of course. John McCain receives a SS check each month equal to that of many, many soldiers, sailors, and marines who served just as admirably but did not marry into fabulous wealth. He receives this fairly and legally under the current system, but would not notice if this check didn't arrive. Similar money pooled for others who do not need it for survival can make the difference between destitution and prosperity for many on Social Security.

This could be done tomorrow, or on January 21, 2009 by a clear-thinking President.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bush Recession Rocks the World

Make no mistake about it, eight years of the Cheney/Bush administration - in fact, twenty five years of selling the middle class an economic system designed simply to destroy the middle class - is what brought us to the current economic crisis.

You make volatile, precarious financial products available to billionaires, and the billionaires bite.

A free market can't flourish unless a majority of us can participate.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

McCain Campaign Violates Voters' Privacy!

I'm not a D or an R, so I signed up for both Obama's email list and McCain's list.

Today - election day - I received this email message:

Two Things You Can Do Today

If you haven't already voted, VOTE!
Click here to find your polling location.

Make at least 10 calls for McCain-Palin to help get out the vote!
Use the script below to call the ten voters listed in this email.
Call Script - Use this to call the 10 voters listed below

Hello, my name is YOUR NAME and I am a volunteer calling on behalf of the McCain-Palin campaign. Today is Election Day, and John McCain is the only candidate with the experience we can trust to bring real change to Washington and get our economy back on track. The race is shaping up to be extremely close, and your vote will make a difference. Can we count on your vote?

Thank you for your time. This call was paid for by McCain/Palin 2008 at 703-418-2008.

First Name Last Name Phone Number City State
Answering Machine Message

Hello, my name is YOUR NAME and I am a volunteer calling on behalf of the McCain-Palin campaign. Today is Election Day, and John McCain is the only candidate with the experience we can trust to bring real change to Washington and get our economy back on track. The race is shaping up to be extremely close, and your vote will make a difference.

Thank you for your time. This call was paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 at 703-418-2008.

Please visit this page if you want to remove yourself from the email list.

Paid for by McCain-Palin 2008

Would you like it if either campaign violated your right to privacy in this way?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Deserter McCain McBails on Debate

Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me.

I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.

McCain is the defacto leader of the Republican party - they should come to him! I'm sure that, even if he's not comfortable with email, that he knows how to use a phone. He is not on any committees relevant to the Bailout for Billionaires. McCain is not considered by his peers or the public as an expert in finance and the economy. Why is his presence needed desparately in Washington?

Washington doesn't need McCain right now, but McCain needs to change the focus of the presidential campaign from the issues. His poll numbers have slipped below where they were before the conventions. The economy is considered the number one issue by most voters and they consider him the weak alternative on the economy. McCain campaign manager Rick Davis's ties to Freddie Mac are making news, gluing McCain to the number one issue.

The campaign suspension and debate desertion is pure Steve Schmidt, though. There will be one dirty trick after another, misdirection followed by misdirection, improbably hail mary pass following improbably hail mary pass. These people have no floor, no limit on how low they will stoop to get their candidate elected.

John McCain didn't work as a 2008 presidential candidate, as John McCain, so he was made over as a circus pony in maverick's clothes, and his campaign took off toward the nomination.

His choice of Vice Presidential candidate didn't fit the mold (or his second choice, or his third) so he chose Gov. Palin to excite the far right wing of the Republican party. This worked for about two weeks, as actual issues reared their heads again and people looked away. Palin has to be veiled from the press, she has to have cram courses in things that should be already deeply understood by any VP candidate...her star has faded. Talk has been heard of putting the first presidential debate on the night the one and only Vice Presidential debate is scheduled to happen - wouldn't cancelling her only debate be perfect for an under-skilled under-prepared VP candidate like Palin?

The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is reportedly upon us, and the plans of the Party in Power are being derided by most Americans and the world, while Wall Street seems to continue to function. Even this conjured calamity isn't giving the raving Republicans a boost for their candidate.

What's next from the Party in Power? What October Surprise is being prepped? War with Iran - don't be surprised if bombs start flying before November 4th. These people will stoop to nothing.

Barack Obama made the first move to issue a joint statement supporting a solution to the finacial crisis, and moments later John McCain lit that on fire and threw out in the yard. While both are reportedly at a White House meeting today, Obama is rightly insisting that the debate scheduled for tomorrow night proceed.

This postponment is pure politics, make no mistake about that. A leader can lead from anywhere these days. A leader must multitask - a two-hour debate with an opponent over national security issues while also considering solutions to economic problems is not too much to ask. If McCain is a coward or if McCain is just too tired to do both, a potential McCain presidency should scare each and every one of us.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Trillion Dollar Treason

McCainBush - all the way back to Reagan - should be in jail, executed, or discredited for their sellout of our grandchildrens' security.

Supply Side economics and fascistic corporate governance of America has got to stop!

Obama: "We cannot only have a plan for Wall Street. We must also help Main Street"

"John McCain and I can continue to argue about our different economic agendas for next year, but we should come together now to work on what this country urgently needs this year," he said.

"It is critical at this point that the markets and the public have confidence that their work will be unimpeded by partisan wrangling, and that leaders in both parties work in concert to solve the problem at hand."

Don't Bailout the Bank Billionaires!

Help the homeowners:

Point the legislative gun to the bankers' heads - make them renegotiate loans that are in trouble.

Give the Billionaire Bailout money to the homeowners, to save or squander. It was theirs to start with - the Billionaires paid a small fraction of their disposable income as taxes compared to the homeowners.


Ready! Fire! Aim! - Which Billionaire gets Bailed Out Next?

OK oh wise Bush one - who's next?

Moral Failure! Impeach Bush, Take Reagan off the Pedestal, and for God's Sake, Don't Elect McCain!

25 Years of supply side economics, after worshiping at the crumbling alters of Norquist and Laffer, should make it clear to all of us that we've been had.

Congress today is making plans to nationalize our banking industry. This socialist program of desperate welfare for the wealthy will make the misdeeds of the last 25 years look like a picnic compared to what we are leaving for our grandchildren.

No, we are not doing fine - the majority of us are working longer hours for less. Wealth is consciously being redistributed upward, while the morally weak supply siders warn about welfare mothers driving Cadillacs, brown-skinned people in emergency rooms, and helping homeowners keep their exploitative mortgages would void them of their personal responsibility.

It's time for the electorate to wake up and realize that Washington and each of the state legislatures are not working for you - they are working for the already wealthy and powerful.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should resign over the current national banking scandal, or be impeached - no matter what your political view, we are a representative democracy, and our representatives in each of the tripartate federal government are fundamentally changing our government unconstitutionally, without our consent. High crimes and misdemeanors, clearly.

The current state of government goes back to Nixon, and there are a lot of angles, but was crystallized with the election of Reagan - hailed as a taxcutter, who instead raised taxes more than he lowered them, hailed as a man who single-handedly stared-down the Soviet bear and tore down the wall, who instead negotiated with the terrorists...he was not what you thought he was. His administration should be viewed as one of the worst in history.

McCain - simply more of the same, evidenced by the reversal of virtually everything he claimed to stand for in his pathetic attempt to be elected a one-term president to continue the crimes of the elite administration. Don't let him fool you. Vote for anyone but McCain.

Desparate McCainBush/Palin Ticket Sinks

The president can't fire the SEC chairman.

Spain is in Europe, not South America.

A subpoena is a subpoena, and the VP candidate's spouse has no particular immunity.

Yesterday the economy was fundamentally strong, and today it's horrible.

McCain invented the Blackberry.

McCain isn't qualified to run a major corporation.

This ticket is seriously a close contender for the White House?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

McCainBush - Leave No Billionaire Behind

...would probably still put your Social Security money in the stock market...if they could.

Leave no billionaire behind.

McCain/Bush Yemen Embassy attacked by Terrorists

The McCain/Bush administration's claims of quelling terrorist attacks on the US have been attributed to their so-called war on terror.

Today, the US Embassy in Yemen was attacked by terrorists.

The McCain/Bush war on terror is an abject failure, and we can't afford four more years of a McCain/Bush administration.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Obama - I Don't Need a Commission to Know How to Fix the Economy

``We need to set up a 9/11 Commission in order to get to the bottom of this and get it fixed and act to clean up this corruption,'' McCain said on CBS's ``Early Show.''

The Elite Bush/McCain administration ignored the advice of the 9/11 commission.

Why should we believe that McCain will adopt good advice?

Fiorina Fallout

Carly Fiorina in her days at Hewlett Packard led the company in a bold expansion, using mergers and acquisitions as her main strategy. During her tenure, the market halved HP’s value and the company incurred heavy job losses.

Today, the effects of Hurricane Carly remain.

HP is announcing the layoff of nearly 25,000 workers, mostly due to the post-Fiorina acquisition of EDS.

Serving as chief financial consultant to Presidential candidate John McCain, Fiorina paints a rosy picture of the economy, and probably works daily to bring John McCain up to snuff on economic issues. McCain has publicly stated “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.”

Nearly every economic expert, of all political stripe, agree that we are in the most challenging economic time since the Great Depression.

Surely the influence of Fiorina and Phil Gramm will influence John McCain in a way that could lead to catastrophic results for our Country. With McCain and Barack Obama essentially tied in the race for the presidency, we need to look carefully at the state of the economy now, consider what eight years of Bush economics have done to most of us (and 25 years of Reaganomics), and vote appropriately.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Elite McCain Protects Child Molesters

While an Illinois State Senator, Barack Obama voted for a voluntary program (parents are given the choice to opt out) in Illinois to teach kindergardeners to report adults who touch them inappropriately.

In the new McCain spot, an announcer says "Obama's one accomplishment? Legislation to teach "comprehensive sex education" to kindergartners. Learning about sex before learning to read?"

This is a great notion, and one that, if it is not in place, protects teachers who molest their students. Without this specific, age-appropriate education, students often do not feel empowered to report those in authority for even unspeakable acts. Without this knowledge, the students' future can be impaired.

Elite McCain, in wrongfully characterizing this bill and Obama's involvement with it, shows just how out of touch he is, and how corrupt his campaign is.

Even Karl Rove says that McCain is a liar.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Obama's Plan to catch Bin Laden Adopted by Bush

Pakistan Raid Start Of Concerted Bid To Hit Al-Qaida
the raid by helicopter-borne U.S. Special Operations forces in Pakistan last week was not an isolated incident but part of a three-phase plan, approved by President Bush, to strike at Osama bin Laden and top al-Qaida leadership.

The plan calls for a much more aggressive military campaign, said one source, familiar with the presidential order, which gives the green light for the military to take part in the operations. The plan represents an 11th-hour effort by the Bush administration to hammer al-Qaida before the November election

The October surprise will be the American people understanding that Obama has been right all along on Iraq.

Elite McCain Campaign Stumbles

Born into rank and privilege, legacy-admitted into post-secondary education, elected to national office with the largess of Corporate America, exonerated from obvious involvement in banking scandal, married into money and corporate influence - John McCain does not know, and never has know, how most of us live.

John McCain is part of the tiny minority that run this country Elite First.

In picking a person clearly unfit to lead the free world as his second-in-command, John McCain has failed in his first executive decision.

The elites of the Republican party want those in the South, the Midwest, and small towns across America to think that someone on the Republican ticket is just like us, but they have failed. We are smarter than her, and them.

Since the Dixiecrat turnaround from Democratic to Republican of the parents and grandparents of this diverse block of voters, the Republicans have misdirected the voters into voting against their self interest. Now, the Republican party rejoices at the opportunity to raise the flag of race and even a lying flag of religion against their opponent.

The Republican party and the complicit, non-challenging Conservative Media have had a good unopposed run since the naming of the Governor of Alaska to the Republican presidential ticket, but they have received all the bump they will get.

On a level playing field, intelligence, reason, and competence will win, and Barack Obama will be president.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


McCain Paves way for Minerals Management Service

Drill here, drill now:
McCain's visit came a day ahead of the Minerals Management Service's lease sale in New Orleans to auction off 18 million acres of the western Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling. The tracts could potentially yield as much as 400 million barrels of oil, but that amount would only meet the nation's oil needs for about 19 days, and it would be at least seven to 10 years until oil started flowing.

McCain Sex, Drugs, and Oil

Drill Here, Drill Now, get your buddies at the Denver Minerals Management Service laid.

According to the Friends of John McCain, McCain is knee-deep to authorize:
At least $1.4 billion over ten years - For a provision that would give the Secretary of Interior the right to expand the royalty-in-kind program to all oil and gas development. This would allow oil companies, which drill on public lands to pay for the royalties owed to taxpayers in barrels of oil instead of cash.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Obama - Right on Iraq, Right on Afghanistan

Barack Obama

A Responsible, Phased Withdrawal
Barack Obama believes we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq: ending the war. The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 – more than 7 years after the war began.
Under the Obama plan, a residual force will remain in Iraq and in the region to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda in Iraq and to protect American diplomatic and civilian personnel. He will not build permanent bases in Iraq, but will continue efforts to train and support the Iraqi security forces as long as Iraqi leaders move toward political reconciliation and away from sectarianism.

Resurgent Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: The decision to invade Iraq diverted resources from the war in Afghanistan, making it harder for us to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden and others involved in the 9/11 attacks. Nearly seven years later, the Taliban has reemerged in southern Afghanistan while Al Qaeda has used the space provided by the Iraq war to regroup, train and plan for another attack on the United States. 2007 was the most violent year in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001. The scale of our deployments in Iraq continues to set back our ability to finish the fight in Afghanistan, producing unacceptable strategic risks.

Bush Decides to Withdraw 8,000 Troops From Iraq By February

The White House says President George Bush has decided to withdraw about 8.000 U.S. troops from Iraq by next February and that he will announce the plan in a speech Tuesday in Washington.

A transcript of that speech was released on Monday.

In the prepared remarks, Mr. Bush says the U.S. military will bring home 3,400 combat support forces from Iraq in the next few months.

He also says a Marine battalion will leave Iraq's Anbar province by November and an army combat brigade will withdraw from Iraq in February.

Mr. Bush says a Marine battalion that was due to be sent to Iraq in November will instead go to Afghanistan and an army combat brigade will follow in January.

Obama Leads after Conventions

Polls on Monday, September 8 show Barack Obama with a substantial lead in Electoral College results based on state-by-state polling, as a cumulative of major polls.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

McCain's First Three Years Representing Arizona

-no significant legislation
-no opposition to the Republican party
-no independence from lobbyists, laying the groundwork for the Keating scandal
-no trips to any war zone

nothing zero zip nada

Oh, he was a P.O.W.

McCain/Bush Army Trains Georgia for war with Russia

US military trained Georgian commandos

The US military provided combat training to 80 Georgian special forces commandos only months prior to Georgia's army assault in South Ossetia in August.

The revelation, based on recruitment documents and interviews with US military trainers obtained by the Financial Times, could add fuel to accusations by Vlad-imir Putin, Russian prime minister, last month that the US had "orchestrated" the war in the Georgian enclave.

The training was provided by senior US soldiers and two military contractors. There is no evidence that the contractors or the Pentagon, which hired them, knew that the commandos they were training were likely be used in the assault on South Ossetia.

The conservative Global Security organisation in their article Georgia - Oil & Gas Politics describes how vital the Georgia section of the Caucasus oil pipeline is to the world oil supply.

Roughly 150 miles of the pipeline corridor extending from Baku, Azerbaijan to Turkey will pass through Georgia. This corridor includes the $3.9 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, which began linefill in May 2005 and opened 13 July 2006, and the $1 billion South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) natural gas pipeline, completed in late 2006. Regional governments and international investors expect these pipelines to become two of the primary conduits for Caspian Sea region oil and natural gas exports over the next decade. Georgia is paid transit tariffs by the pipeline’s operators, and will be allotted a small percentage of fuel passing through the Republic

The oil barons in the White House must not be allowed to take us into another world conflagration over their insane love affair with oil dollars.

A McCain administration would almost certainly lead us here, with his blind devotion and insiders affection for Georgia - not Country First, but Oil Dollars First. We can support the autonomy of this former-Soviet nation in other ways that will be positive to the security and survival of the United States.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Gov. Palin: Obama's Best Fundraiser!

Now that the conventions have finished, Obama has raised $8-10M, and McCain has raised $1-2M.

Thanks, Sarah!

Democrats Lead in Ohio with Tax Cuts


September 6, 2008

Ohio is going to be a hard fought-over state in this presidential election. And consequently, the economy of this bellwether state has become highly scrutinized.

But much of this scrutiny has focused only on the admittedly tragic loss of manufacturing jobs, while overlooking major investments in tax reform, technology and higher education. Things in Ohio are not as the news coverage has made them appear.

Dana Corporation's automotive parts manufacturing plant in Lima, Ohio.
There's no question we face serious economic challenges, and that the national economy's decline has hit citizens hard in the wallet.

But the state has too many strengths, too many successes, and too noble a history to be portrayed as a poster child for the country's economic woes. Look under Ohio's hood. Its engine is being redesigned and retooled in ways that offer important lesson on how to make an economy more competitive in a global marketplace.

The biggest shift is in taxes. Ohio business leaders told us that our tax structure was outdated and made the state uncompetitive. So, in a bipartisan manner, we restructured our tax laws to lower the burden for business.

By 2010, Ohio will be one of only two states without a general tax on corporation profits or a property tax on business machinery, equipment and inventories. This year is the last for Ohio's business property tax; next year is the last for the corporation profits tax. And Ohio's personal income tax rates are falling by 21% across the board.

Feds grab Freddie and Fannie for Republicans!

Nationalize the Macs!

Privatize the Profits!

Socialize the losses!
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants that fund half the U.S. housing market, are about to become subsidiaries of the U.S. government.

The Treasury Department late Friday was putting together final details of a plan to take the two into conservatorship, effectively a government takeover, at a potential cost of tens of billions to taxpayers.

In a desperate attempt to shore up the Republican-led war on the middle class, the federal government will soon take over the two mortgage giants, using our tax dollars. The borrow and spend conservatives are hoping against hope to slow the precipitous decline in housing prices, unavailablity of loans, and skyrocketing rate of foreclosure and default.

Their hope is to lower objections to John McCain, an unfailing supporter of the Bush/Cheney administration's wealth redistribution scheme to enrich the already-rich 2% of the American population who own the largest share of American wealth.

Americans by the millions will not see relief from this, and will turn toward Barack Obama to put in place policies that will help the middle class.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Obama Ahead after Conventions

No bump for McLump

Johnny, We've Heard Ye Before

John McCain gave an overlong, middling speech, fought with technical glitches and jumbled speechwriting at last night's Republican National Convention.

We've heard it before, John, and this is probably the last time anyone outside the 31-percenters will have a chance to hear it. Your speech was swamped by Gov. Palin's speech the night before - hers full of one-liners and bright lies, yours full of the dull same-old same-old.

It's your last day in the spotlight. Now into the oven of the general election, and stick a fork in it.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Uppity Obama Wins Georgia!

GOP Rep.: Obamas part of 'uppity' class

"Honestly, I've never paid that much attention to Michelle Obama," Westmoreland said. "Just what little I've seen of her and Senator [Barack] Obama, is that they're a member of an elitist class...that thinks that they're uppity."

Obama Surges as McCain plays the POW Card

No bounce for gramps.

Palin Speaks, Stocks Slide

Brutal selloff on Wall Street

Dow loses 345 points as mixed retail sales reports, weak job market news and an oil price slide add to fears about a global slowdown.

Obama and Biden will end the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq

Biden tells Va. crowd he and Obama would end war

Thursday, Sep 04, 2008 - 12:27 PM


VIRGINIA BEACH Democratic vice presidential nominee and U.S. Sen., Joe Biden reached out to military families and veterans this morning, saying the Bush administration's mismanagement of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have stretched the military to its breaking point.

"America's not at war, the military's at war," Biden told a friendly crowd of several hundred listeners at a campaign stop at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The military "is the only thing we're asking anything of," he said. ...

Why has John McCain done nothing to rally the citizens of the US for true support for the war in Iraq?

The answer is, he and Bush do not need the majority of us to support this war, in order to continue getting elected and in order to continue to bleed the country dry to enrich the already rich. It might be true that Republicans lately have shown that they know how to get elected but they don't know how to govern, but the real issues extend much further than that.

The Republicans-in-name-only know how to govern just enough. Just enough to fool some of the people some of the time. Just enough to keep running wars for power and oil. Just enough to keep enough of us believing that just because we haven't been doing so well economically that the policies of the current administration are somehow not to blame or somehow the right thing to do even at the cost to my health, retirement, and sanity.

This is a country where nearly half of us still believe that John McCain, a nearly-30-year Washington insider, is an alternative to what we have now.

If we elect him, we will get what we ask for. More of the same. More Cheney/Bush/Rove.

It's time to support the troops, and end the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Obama Support Hits 50%

Obama support hits 50 per cent

The Democratic nominee now holds an eight-point lead over Mr McCain – 50 per cent to 42 per cent – according to today’s daily tracking poll released by Gallup.

Mr Obama has bounced back from a poll low earlier this month when the two presidential candidates were tied on 44 per cent. Undecided voters have dropped from 11 per cent to 8 per cent, suggesting that those who have recently made up their minds are opting for Mr Obama.


Biden, McCain, Obama, and Palin all have the same amount of experience in the Oval Office:

Zero. None. Zilch.

This discussion is over.

McCain's Harriet Miers Moment

Thanks, John, for showing us how great is your judgement. Your choice of Sarah Palin, whether you win or lose this race, will go down as the greatest failure of a long, respected career in US political history.

Republican Palin Panic

Republicans around the country are in a panic about the pick of Alaska governor Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate.

According to sources in the McCain campaign, asking not to be named, John McCain strongly wanted Senator Joseph Leiberman on his ticket as Vice Presidential candidate. Karl Rove and others of influence were adamant against the liberal/independent Leiberman, and McCain responded "in a fit of his own independence" by inviting Palin to Arizona for a quick interview and offer.

Those opposed to Palin, the large majority of influence, went with the presumptive presidential nominee when they all agreed that at the least she would "solidify the religious right base" and help distract the press the day after the end of the Democratic National Convention.

The Republican Party's well oiled machine kicked into gear, supplying talking points and brief Palin histories to sympathetic talking heads, message statements to the host of spurned VP possibles, and drafting quotes to supply to specially selected Republican women to project the image that the party was now united and that Palin was a brilliant pick.

Instead, revelations of Palin's original support for the "Bridge to Nowhere," securing of $27M of US taxpayer funds for her town of Wassila, investigations into her pressure to have her estranged ex-brother-in-law fired from the Alaska State Plice, her membership in the anti-American AIP, her hateful preacher who stated that "If you don't vote for George Bush, you will have a hard time getting into heaven," and family issues such as her 17-year-old unwed-daughter's pregnancy have thrown the Republican base into panic.

Fundrasing has bumped for the McCain campaign since the Palin announcement, but polling shows Barack Obama 8 points higher than McCain than he was before the Palin announcement.

Her speech tonight is expected to be a make-or-break moment for Palin. She is at this moment locked in a room with veteran RNC speechwriters

“I'm not sure what she brings to the ticket other than she's a woman and a conservative.”-Faye Palin, Sarah's mother-in-law

"I was committed to voting for McCain, but the whole Sarah thing has made me consider voting for Obama. She seems to have been checked out by the Republicans too little, and my feeling is that she is not ready to be president" Amanda Muller, registered Nebraska Republican.

The unnamed McCain campaign source said "We have sent a task force to Alaska for damage control, and we agree with odds-makers that she has a 50-50 chance of being dumped before November. Some October surprise, huh."
Why the US Faces Broadband Price Hikes

The flat-rate pricing model we’re all used to only works when users consume roughly equal amounts of bandwidth, but the adoption of P2P for non-stop use by a small number of people blows it out the window.

20% of drivers on our highways make up 80% of traffic at any given time. 20% of shoppers in a grocery store buy 80% of the products. 20% of water customers use 80% of our water resources.

The dull argument that the best consumers of a product, service, utility, etc., somehow spoil it or break the system for the rest of us is, and always has been, wrong.

These best consumers built these systems. The Internet wouldn't exist without feverish downloaders. Comcast certainly wouldn't have built their system to its current bandwidth capability without its extreme users' steadily increasing needs, and Comcast wouldn't have increased their capacity if all we do is send a few text emails and post on listservers.

McDonalds is never heard complaining that a few of their customers buy too many of their Happy Meals. These more active consumers built and sustain the enterprise. Should they limit the number of Happy Meals per-customer or charge more per-Happy Meal for those who consume more? Of course not.

Comcast and other providers provide a flat rate service, and until they change to a metered service, they must not chip away at the absolute notion of unlimited. They know that the minute they change to a metered service, their growth will stop dead in its tracks, defeating its plans to use increased bandwidth to resell content.

Our society's culture, economy, security, and communication infrastructure is growing rapidly to depend on the Internet. As this need grows, like electricity and water, the market will shape the Internet as a utility, open, free, and regulated. The underlying commerce and flow of ideas will make use of this resource, but ultimately it will be up to us as a nation and a world to keep it free.

welcome chrome

Yes, Chrome is fast, very, scary fast. Chrome has loaded all websites flawlessly. Pages sometimes look a little different - not better or worse, just different.

But - no Google Toolbar (where are my bookmarks?), Flash (no YouTube G?) EDIT - got Flash...

Gmail's still in beta after all these years. Google is the perfect example of a boyfriend who just can't commit.

Monday, September 01, 2008

LA Times Letter from the Editor - Shame

Letters to the Editor

There was a time when I believed in Obama and his mantra for change. I really can't say when I started questioning my support for him. Maybe it was when he reversed key primary positions upon winning the nomination. Maybe it was when he went with a Washington insider as his vice president. Maybe it was my Republican neighbor incessantly reminding me about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko and many others.

I wasn't impressed with Obama's European vacation either, but still thought I could vote for him. Not anymore. Thursday night's Denver rally was a big turnoff for many reasons. The only things missing from the rally were torchlights and Leni Riefenstahl to film it.

Ellie Levitas


This letter - and, yes, it’s the only appropriate word – is bullshit.

Not the opinion (that’s fine, she/he is entitled) but the fact that the letter is an obvious lie. There is no Ellie Levitas who was once a magical Democrat who became an Obama opponent. Anyone who has read even a newspaper like the LA Times knows that the words and phrasing of his/her comments are straight from Townhall/Limbaugh/FOX/Rove, etc. Do a simple search (on the sources where people really get their news, not your newspaper) and anyone can find these words and phrases only coming from partisan hacks.

Please, LA Times, be more careful to separate opinion from diatribe.

Palin Pile-on

I hate to go for the easy target...

She really, really, doesn't have the experience to be president. You know it.

Her trooper scandal has legs.

She directed indicted Senator Stevens' PAC.

In a widely distributed video clip, she avows that she doesn't know what the Vice President does.

Her 17-year old daughter is pregnant, unmarried. The father of the child (OK, I'm not sure of the details of Alaska's statutory rape laws) is a rapist. (I don't believe the rumors that Palin's young baby is actully that of her then-16-year-old daughter)

Her choice by McCain seems to be a botched, compromised, choice by-committee. It really shows how poor McCain's judgement is, and how poor his leadership skills would be as president. This may, in fact, take down the candidacy.

Agreed, she has led a campaign for part-time mayorship, and governorship of one of the United States. She speaks clearly (but is too dull to know how to pronounce the word "nuclear..." do we need another president with that deficiency???). She walks the conservative walk in her personal life to all accounts.

Another Republican failure, and an American failure if ~ half of the U. S. continues to support this failing party.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Potomac Watch -

Potomac Watch -

"Democrats Offer Stealth LiberalismAugust 29, 2008; Page A15DenverThe Reagan revolution is dead! Just don't expect us to bet this election on it!If there's a theme that's emerged from this week's Democratic National Convention here, this is it. To listen to liberal pundits and party leaders (and Bill Clinton on stage Wednesday night) modern conservatism has had its run and is now kaput. Americans -- burdened by "inequality," soaring doctor bills, falling home prices -- are ready for a new Great Society. We are all progressives now."

I'll tell you one thing: modern conservatism was dead the day Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.

Two 8-year runs of voodoo economics, resulting in two recessions, welfare for the wealthy, shrinking middle class incomes, a significant number of Americans without medical insurance or access to reasonable health care, etc., etc., etc., it should be obvious that it's time for a turn back to the center.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Yes, the end of the McCain candidacy.

A woman has run for the Vice Presidency before, and lost.

This will bring over as many as zero Hilary Clinton voters to the McCain ticket.

This woman has no experience or even exposure to national security or defense issues.

What qualifies her to be President? She'll be one "BOO" or melanoma away from the Oval Office, and it's irresponsible for McCain to ask her to join the ticket. He must have been turned down by quite a few qualified and experienced prospects.

As Gustav roars down on New Orleans Monday, the Republican convention will open in the Twin Cities with a wet whimper, and today's news adds nothing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain and Space Shuttle - Aging, Creaky, and Wrong

Presidential contender John McCain and two other bigshot Republican senators have written to George Bush urging that NASA keep the Space Shuttle fleet alive beyond 2010. The politicians are concerned about US reliance on Russia for manned space transport in the early years of the next decade.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Senators McCain, Hutchison (Texas) and Vitter (Louisiana) wrote to the President on Monday.

"At a minimum, we request that you direct NASA to take no action for at least one year from now that would preclude the extended use of the space shuttle beyond 2010," the three men stated.

At present, NASA's plan is that the shuttle fleet would not fly beyond 2010...

NASA's Space Shuttle program has been a success, and has benefitted our nation and our world far beyond the investment we as taxpayers have made.

It is time to put this dated program out to pasture. And put the dated candidate out there with it. His judgement and understanding of this issue is obviously flawed and motivated only by the pork barrel politics of federal programs used to prop up partisan state elections.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Barack Obama - Right on Iraq, Right for America

Condoleezza Rice says Iraq troop deal is close - Times Online: "US and Iraqi negotiators have been locked in discussions on the content of the accord since March, with the issue growing increasingly sensitive as a number of Iraqi leaders express their desire for a timeline for the exit of the remaining 144,000 US troops from their country."

Iraq, the American people, and Barack Obama are all calling for US withdrawl from Iraq.

He's right, and we must cast our votes for him so this continued occupation of Iraq will be stopped.

-John McCain is an Out-of Touch Elitist

McCain unsure how many houses he owns - Jonathan Martin and Mike Allen - "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

'I think — I'll have my staff get to you,' McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. 'It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you.'

The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia,"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Above My Pay Grade

Conservatives and Christians alike resoundingly have a new outlook on Barack Obama after his appearance at the Saddleback Church in Orange County, CA.

When asked by Pastor Rick Warren "At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?," Senator Obama replied: "whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade."

The deep love and respect for God shown by Senator Obama touched the hearts and souls of Christians nationwide.

When asked the same question, Senator John McCain answered: "At the moment of conception." His answer was perceived by most at the event as short, to the point, and not supported by Science or the Christian Bible.

Neither the written Word of God in the Old Testament nor the words of Jesus Christ or his Apostles show any direct answer to this question.

The audience at Saddleback and watching on television and the Internet heard a question from Pastor Warren that was coded. The code translates to "if you support human life, and if you avow support to human rights, you have to support the total ban on abortion."

The informed members of this audience know that abortions have fallen worldwide since 1990, and in the U. S. at a slower rate since 2000 than for the previous decade. This rate of abortion has fallen worldwide, equally in places where it is legal and where it is illegal. They agree with Senator Obama that women don't make the decision to abort "casually," that they "wrestle" with it.

Obama's one mistake with this answer was not answering on a political and ethical level. On that level, his answer would be "At birth. Before birth, the baby is part of the mother and the mother's human rights to carry the child to full term or not must be respected and supported."

Faced with his perception of this question as softball, John McCain answered with a simplisttic, irrelevant war cry.

Faced with the politcally conservative encoding of the question, his interpretation and answer were thoughtful and reflective.

Democrats and Drilling -

Democrats and Drilling -

the anticarbon Speaker lampooned drilling as "a hoax on the American people," while Barack Obama called it "another Washington gimmick." Now the Democratic Presidential candidate has also said he might be willing to change his mind and tolerate the exploitation of domestic energy resources. The good news for converts like Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Obama is that they have immediate opportunities to quiet Republicans and other skeptics and prove their new pro-drilling bona fides.

the Democratic choice is between sticking with an anticarbon theology that opposes all new drilling, or siding with American consumers who want more energy supplies so they don't have to pay $4 for gas and blow their family budget to keep the lights on

How can such a respected newspaper print such baldfaced lies an obfuscation disguised as journalism?

I'll keep this simple.

The oil industry makes money when the price of oil goes up, and when the price of oil goes down. This is shown as these companys' profits hit new records each quarter (nothing wrong with turning a profit).

The Department of Energy, today and when describing George H. W. Bush's Executive Ban on Offshore Drilling in 1990 project that approximately 75-80 billion barrels of oil could be recovered from offshore and Alaskan resources.

The areas banned by this order contain between 1% and 7% of oil recoverable in U. S. waters. That leaves a lot of area already leased by the oil companies that has not been developed, even as we give huge tax credits and incentives on the federal level for them to explore for new oil.

Let's see the oil companies exploit their current leases first. Let's see them do so in a safe and clean manner. Then, let's consider less Federal regulation.

80 billion barrels of oil pumped here do not go directly into U. S. refineries to be sold to U. S. gas stations, increasing supply to lower cost. This crude oil goes into the worldwide market - this much extra supply would reduce the price of crude oil today by about fifty cents a day. Half a dollar.

Its effect on the price of crude in the 12-14 years before these new offshore/ANWAR wells can start delivering can't be predicted. It's effect on the price of gasoline at the pump would be minimal today, a few cents per gallon, and future price can't be predicted.

This ban was put in place by Republican President Bush in 1990 because the potential environmental costs far outweigh the negligible effect on gasoline prices, then and now. Congress, in 1982 under Republican President Reagan placed into the Department of Energy's appropriations the same ban on offshore drilling, for the same reasons. Current President Bush recinded his father's ban, but Congress rightly has left their ban on the books.

When John McCain takes a breath and spews "Drill Here and Drill Now," he gets a reaction from an ignorant faction of the public. Let's be smarter. Let's not be fooled.

Whether Congress recinds, partially or wholly, the Federal restrictions, State and Local governments will have much say in this. The potentially devestating effects on the local environment and economy of accidents and ongoing use of offshore drilling and pumping can be far too costly for any local governemnt to afford.

For this reason, the Federal government has every right and obligation to have the final say on reasonable restrictions. All else is short-term political pandering.