Archives for: September 2008
The Lunatics Are Running The Asylum
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a bold bid to revive President Bush's multibillion-dollar financial rescue plan, Senate leaders scheduled a vote for Wednesday night on a version of the bill that adds substantial tax cuts meant to appeal to Republicans when it reaches the House.
The Senate "liberals" are going to cut taxes to get "conservatives" to vote for a $700 billion increase in spending at the request of the "compassionate conservative" President?
I'm not even making this up!
The Veep Debate
Expectations for Palin are so low all she has to do is show up and she'll be praised for her "courage".
It's interesting what's going to happen next after the failure of the
"save the world" "anal rape of the taxpayers and next President" bill.
Stocks are set go up, and oil's set to go down. No one believes there will be a run on the banks.
What if it had passed?
Latest Palin Gaffe
There are persistent rumors that CBS has "unreleased tape" of Palin saying even dumber shit than what's been released.
Today, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported on potentially embarrassing clips of Sarah Palin being interviewed by Katie Couric that haven't yet been aired. The Politico has more information on one in particular:
Of concern to McCain's campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin's interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing.
The Palin aide, after first noting how "infuriating" it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions.
After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.
There was no verbal fumbling with this particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but rather silence.
Nancy Pelosi may have forced the poor Republicans to take another healthy ideological shit on America by pointing out the obvious, but "trickle down" has failed, entirely, and I'm a firm believer that you need to know what you did wrong before you can fix anything. An alcholic that won't admit (s)he's "powerless" will drink again, and a country that believes that if only those rich folks had a bit less oversight and a bit more money they'd start sharing it with us will fall for this shit, again and again. Short story long, without forcing America to admit that the GOP "philosophy" has failed there's no way I can support a bail out. Things just haven't gotten bad enough, yet, for us to live in reality and we'd be throwing good money after bad.
But the GOP line is "We won't support the leader of our party's bad idea, but it's all the Democrat's fault that it didn't pass."
The Democratic position all along? "If the GOP won't support the leader of their party this bill isn't going to pass."
House votes against $700 billion rescue package
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- House lawmakers voted Monday to reject the historic $700 billion financial rescue plan, a sharp blow to the administration and bipartisan leaders in Congress who warn that the country is on the brink of an economic precipice.
There were 205 in favor of the legislation and 228 against. Among Democrats, 140 voted in favor and 95 against. Among Republicans, 65 voted in favor and 133 against.
Have you seen this?
There was a terrorist attack in Dayton, Ohio.
Children were gassed in a daycare. I don't think the media is going to cover it.
As the right-wing hate merchants spread their filth we stand by and watch as their ignorant followers begin to slaughter us. A shooting in a church, the murder of a political leader, and now children are being gassed ... all in the last few months.
It's long past time to shut them down.
Why McSame Was Such An Ass Friday Night
He's a doddering old fool who was playing politics and Obama and the Democrats called his bluff.
Boehner was blunt. The plan Paulson laid out would not win the support of the vast majority of House Republicans. It had been improved on the edges, with an oversight board and caps on the compensation of participating executives. But it had to be changed at the core. He did not mention the insurance alternative, but Democrats did. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, pressed Boehner hard, asking him if he really intended to scrap the deal and start again.
No, Boehner replied, he just wanted his members to have a voice. Obama then jumped in to turn the question on his rival: "What do you think of the [insurance] plan, John?" he asked repeatedly. McCain did not answer.
One Republican in the room said it was clear that the Democrats came into the meeting with a "game plan" aimed at forcing McCain to choose between the administration and House Republicans. "They had taken McCain's request for a meeting and trumped it," said this source.
Damn those Democrats! Forcing "the Maverick" to, well, act "Maver-icky".
Should I do this?
I received an interesting email, this morning. I could be rich! What do you guys think? Is this a scam, or should I turn over all of my banking information?
I mean, we should all trust Sarah, right?
Request for Confidential Business Relationship
First, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction. I am a high placed official working with Department of Finance (& Economic Affairs), in Wasilla, Alaska. I and three other colleagues are currently in need of a silent partner whose identity we can use to transfer the sum of Seven Billion U.S. dollars. This fund accrued legitimately to us as aid to the largest per capita recipients of Federal tax dollars, through our private connections.
I Stand Corrected
It wasn't a tie.
Mint suspends sale of 24-karat gold coins
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Mint is temporarily halting sales of its popular American Buffalo 24-karat gold coins because it can't keep up with soaring demand as investors seek the safety of gold amid economic turbulence.
Mint spokesman Michael White said Friday that the sales were being suspended because demand for the coins, which were first introduced in 2006, has exceeded supply and the Mint's inventory of the coins has been depleted.
The Mint had to temporarily suspend sales of its American Eagle one-ounce gold coins on Aug. 15 and later that month announced sales of the American Eagle coins would resume under an allocation program to designated dealers.
White said the Mint expects to soon start distributing available Buffalo gold coins through a similar allocation program.
I'm not sure I'd advise anyone to buy gold now, anyway. Like I said a couple of weeks ago, it was a good investment as long as it was below $800.
$877.80, right now.
I could use some help on this. A list of words and their meaning within GOP circles:
"Bigotry" - Something practiced by a hateful world in order to prevent white, heterosexual couples with oodles of kids from moving into a bigger McMansion.
"Brazil" - A country composed entirely of white people.
"Brazillion" - The amount of money (i.e. "A Brazillion Dollars") needed to bail out Wall Street.
"Christian" - Someone who believe that the most violent, bloody parts of the old testament, especially the parts about "using" the earth, are factually accurate in every way but virtually all of the new testament should be ignored as "too libruhl". Always votes Republican.
"Crisis" - Any transient event that can be used to distract "the libruhl media" from reporting on the latest GOP error in judgement.
"Free market" - Taxpayer supported inequity that allows the wealthiest to use all the resources while the rest of the citizens pay for them.
"Global Climate Change" - Something that's definitely not happening, but if it is it's not our fault.
"Nuclear" - Detonating fissile or fusionable material on your neighbor, Ler. (Get it? Nuke-ya-ler? ==> Nuke your Ler? OK, that one stinks. Lemme try again.)
"Nuclear" - A secret code word used to indicate you're in "the club" (and drive "libruhls" nunts) by mispronouncing it "nuke-ya-ler" instead of the correct pronunciation, "new-klee-er").
"Qualified" - 1) Moderately attractive. 2) Might be fun to have a beer with.
"War" - Political advantage gained by sending the children of the poor and middle class off to a foreign country to be shot at.
I'm sure there are more.
Sarah Palin Unplugged
Look, this is just getting scary. I don't care how partisan you are, you can't watch this clip from Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric without wondering if she's completely cracked under the pressure of running for vice president. The question is a simple softball about the bailout — something she's had weeks to bone up on — but her answer is incoherent. Not just the usual platitudes politicians offer when they don't feel like answering a tough query, but completely incoherent. Hell, it's barely even in English.
I don't even feel right making snarky jokes about this stuff anymore. This campaign has gone seriously off the rails. I've never seen anything like it, but everyone is still nattering on as if this is business as usual. If it is, though, we've already entered the world of Idiocracy and we might as well all just give up and enjoy our super-size Slurpees while we can.
Now, PLEASE READ THIS:
Blast from the past
"The past" being "yesterday"...
Summary: No deal has been reached, thanks largely to the WH and the GOP "coalition" not being in agreement, another (huge) bank has failed, the volatility of the stock market continues to have a negative impact on investment, and John McShitty has proven he would be a more divisive leader than li'l George the sock puppet.
10. "I just contributed to your campaign -- how do I get a refund?"
9. "It's Sarah Palin -- does this mean I'm pars'dent?"
8. "Can't you solve this by selling some of your houses?"
7. "This is Clay Aiken. Is McCain single?"
6. "Do you still think the fundamentals of our economy are strong, Genius?"
5. "Are you doing all of this just to get out of going on Letterman?"
4. "What would Matlock do?"
3. "Hillary here -- my schedule is free Friday night."
2. "Is this just an excuse to catch up on napping?"
1. "This is President Bush -- what's all this trouble with the economy?"
Thoughts on a Bailout
Let's start here; it's never been any secret that the goal of the GOP is to put an end to "entitlements", specifically Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. They may say that they "only" want to "privatize" a few percent of SS, but that's a step on the longer journey to it's destruction.
Next up, a "bail out" proposed by a WH that has politicized everything it has done. Even this "crisis" in the housing market was either initiated by, or accelerated by, the GOP's desire to establish a "permanent majority". The stated goal of "The American Dream Downpayment Initiative" is "to increase the homeownership rate, especially among lower income and minority households". It is not a mistake to believe that this was a cynical attempt to win over those "minority" voters in an era when caucasians are about to become a "minority majority". You can add "at any cost" to this, as well as "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, we want to remove the ability to fund SS and medicare, anyway."
So, what's to lose and what's to be gained by funding this bailout of some of the (formerly) wealthiest firms on Wall Street?
A Loser's Desperate Political Stunt
Can anyone take a Presidential candidate who can't do two things at once seriously, any more?
Boy, ya hit one wrong button and the blog goes down for a day...
YouTube and StrikeThrough
A couple of things about posting, since you asked.
Billmon: Things Become More Serious
I read this guy every time he posts. Here's a small snip of a much longer post:
Today's developments in the financial markets offered a preview (or at least a dress rehearsal) of how the next phase could play out. Some of the highlights:
* Stock prices and US Treasury bond prices both fell. Usually, when investors are bearish on stocks (because of a looming recession, for example) they buy Treasuries, which tend to do well when the economy is slowing and inflation is falling. Today, they sold both -- a sign that investors fear both recession and inflation, the same combination that made the '70s such an interesting time to live through, financially speaking.
* The dollar tanked, falling 2.5% against the euro and 2% against the yen (both tear-your-face-off daily moves, by FX market standards.) This suggests that currency traders and/or foreign investors have looked at the alternatives -- a staggeringly expensive bailout that balloons the US national debt on one hand, or a failed bailout leading to a 1932-style collapse of the US banking system on the other -- and have concluded that, either way, the creditworthiness of the US government (which means the inflation-fighting resolve of the Federal Reserve) is now in serious doubt.
* Prices of oil, gold and other physical commodities leaped, with oil posting a record daily move of almost 15% (a short squeeze in the futures market accounted for part of that melt-up, but only part) and gold rising more than $45 a ounce. These are signs of what the economists like to call "extreme liquidity preference" -- cash hoarding -- except that increasingly, "cash" is being defined as a hard physical asset that investors expect (or at least hope) will provide a reasonably safe store of value. Dollar-denominated assets (even short-term Treasury bills, the traditional refuge in times of crisis) are not seen as passing either test.
McShame Loses His Head
"The queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. 'Off with his head!' she said without even looking around."
-- "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"
Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.
Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.
It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?
George Will (of all people).
Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama-Biden
One of the guiding principles of the Humane Society Legislative Fund is that we evaluate candidates based on a single criterion: where they stand on animal protection policies. We don't make decisions based on party affiliation, or any other social issue, or even how many pets they have. We care about their views and actions on the major policy debates relating to animal welfare.
It stirs controversy to get involved in candidate elections. But we believe that candidates for office and current lawmakers must be held accountable, or they will see the animal protection movement as a largely irrelevant political constituency. In order to have good laws, we need good lawmakers, and involvement in elections is an essential strategy for any serious social movement, including our cause.
While we've endorsed hundreds of congressional candidates for election, both Democrats and Republicans, we've never before endorsed a presidential candidate. We have members on the left, in the center, and on the right, and we knew it could be controversial to choose either party's candidate for the top office in the nation. But in an era of sweeping presidential power, we must weigh in on this most important political race in the country. Standing on the sidelines is no longer an option for us.
I'm proud to announce today that the HSLF board of directors -- which is comprised of both Democrats and Republicans -- has voted unanimously to endorse Barack Obama for President. The Obama-Biden ticket is the better choice on animal protection, and we urge all voters who care about the humane treatment of animals, no matter what their party affiliation, to vote for them.
Welcome to the Third World!
Dear United States, Welcome to the Third World!
It's not every day that a superpower makes a bid to transform itself into a Third World nation, and we here at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund want to be among the first to welcome you to the community of states in desperate need of international economic assistance. As you spiral into a catastrophic financial meltdown, we are delighted to respond to your Treasury Department's request that we undertake a joint stability assessment of your financial sector. In these turbulent times, we can provide services ranging from subsidized loans to expert advisors willing to perform an emergency overhaul of your entire government.
Mayor Whitaker endorses Obama
FAIRBANKS — Republican Mayor Jim Whitaker has said he is endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.
“My goal is to let Republicans have a clear understanding that their right to vote should not be restricted by any party affiliation,” the borough mayor said. He said the economic and political challenges facing the state and country are broader than political parties alone can address and suggested Republicans should consider crossing party lines by focusing on the strongest candidate this year.
Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime
How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers By Eliot Spitzer
Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Some were misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to consumers' ability to repay, making loans with deceptive "teaser" rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks. These and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.
Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.
It's WorseThan You Thought
I'm not making this up. Paulson not only expects the American taxpayer to bail out American banks who failed to make the effort necessary to avoid making a bad bet, we're now expected to bail out foreign banks who made bad bets, and lost.
The financial crisis that began in the United States spread to many corners of the globe. Now, the American bailout looks as if it is going global, too, a move that could raise its cost and intensify scrutiny by Congress and critics.
Foreign banks, which were initially excluded from the plan, lobbied successfully over the weekend to be able to sell the toxic American mortgage debt owned by their American units to the Treasury, getting the same treatment as United States banks.
Fourthbranch sez: "Burn all the evidence!"
WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Saturday ordered Dick Cheney to preserve a wide range of the records from his time as vice president.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is a setback for the Bush administration in its effort to promote a narrow definition of materials that must be safeguarded under by the Presidential Records Act.
The Bush administration's legal position "heightens the court's concern" that some records may not be preserved, said the judge.
Remember Bush's first executive order?
More Fundies Rapin' Kids
What is it with these religious kooks, anyway?
When they're not doin' crank and paying gay hookers for sex, they're rapin' kids.
And whattaya wanna bet they wouldn't let the kid have an abortion?
Is there a limit to how much Americans can spend? Clearly there is: All they earn, minus savings and service on their existing debt, plus new borrowing. Since the Bureau of Economic Analysis puts numbers on those very items, it's possible to see just how close we are to the edge. In a fascinating paper, Ron Laszewski does exactly that. The results are rather depressing.
Laszewski has kindly let me post his peak debt paper itself on my personal website, so you can read it yourself. What follows here is a quick look at his conclusions (with just a glimpse of the math that's in the paper).
As far as what to do in managing your affairs, I'm afraid I don't have much in the way of new suggestions. Certainly, avoid running up new debt of your own. Be concerned that many other people's debt is not all going to be paid back, and let that fact guide your decisions about where to invest.
Arranging your life so that a sharp and long-lasting decline in consumer spending won't destroy both your job and your investments at the same time is a most excellent idea--I wish I were in a position to give you some more specific suggestions about just how to do that.
Politicians Lie, Numbers Don't
And the numbers show that Democrats are better for the economy than Republicans.
If you're wondering why a formerly honorable man like John McCain would build his presidential campaign around issues that are simultaneously beside-the-point, trivial, and dishonest (sex education for kindergartners, lipstick on pigs), the numbers presented (at the link) may help to solve that mystery. Since the conventions ended, McCain has mired the presidential race in dishonest trivia because he doesn't want it to focus on what voters say is the most important issue this year: the economy.
There is no secret about any of this. The figures (at the link) are all from the annual Economic Report of the President, and the analysis is primitive. Nevertheless, what these numbers show almost beyond doubt is that Democrats are better at virtually every economic task that is important to Republicans.
Notes on the Utter Failure of "Reaganomics"
Even Bush Senior called it "voodoo economics". Junior and the GOP, of late, have embraced giving it all to the rich, abandoning government oversight, and trusting the greediest people in the world to "trickle down" all over us.
We're looking at the results.
GOP/Bush/McSame economic policies are a bigger disaster than 911.
It's spreading through the "news", now. Palin's email account was hacked. Apparently Michelle "no, I won't take those college student's home phone numbers off my web site" Malkin is furious at the invasion of privacy.
What’s in the House offshore-drilling bill?
Have you figured out that we're being gamed by the GOP, yet?
The House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday night that would relax the federal ban on offshore drilling and try to expand renewable energy.
The bill, which was adopted by a vote of 236 to 189, was backed by Democrats, who long fought the lifting of the 26-year ban but have been under intense political pressure to look as though they are taking steps to ease high gas prices. Republicans, whose vociferous calls for expanded offshore drilling have been met with widespread public approval, opposed the bill, claiming that it did not offer enough financial incentives to coastal states. On the final roll call, 221 Democrats and 15 Republicans voted for the bill; 176 Republicans and 13 Democrats voted against it.
The 290-page Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act, as the bill is known, contains a number of important provisions. Here’s a breakdown.
Anthrax suspect must have had help
"If he (Ivins) was the one who sent the letter, I do not believe in any way shape or manner that he is the only person involved in this attack on Congress or the American people," Leahy told Mueller. "I believe there are others out there. I believe there are others who can be charged with murder."
Gentleman's bet. (Ladies can bet too. It's just an expression that means "no money involved".)
I say the Dow goes below 10,000 before the election.
It's dropped almost a thousand this week, and it's at 10,600, so I'd say "next week" but I figure a bigger window makes it a sure thing.
Anybody want to tell me why it won't?
BTW, who was that freakin' genius who said "gold is a buying opportunity as long as it stays below $800"?
Any bets on gold?
I'm looking at $1200, and IMO that's conservative, by early next year.
Late Night Comedy
A few years ago we were having a discussion about the role of late night comedians in politics. As I recall, there was a lot of agreement that if a politician lost the "mainstream" late night comedians they were toast.
Sample: "If you watched TV last night, you know that Charlie Gibson did something John McCain has never done: interviewed Sarah Palin."
Who Would Jesus Torture?
If you want to know why I cannot bring myself to call the base of the Republican party Christians, and instead use the term Christianist, a new poll helps explain why:
A new poll released Thursday (Sept. 11) finds that nearly six in 10 white Southern evangelicals believe torture is justified, but their views can shift when they consider the Christian principle of the golden rule.
The poll, commissioned by Faith in Public Life and Mercer University, found that 57 percent of respondents said torture can be often or sometimes justified to gain important information from suspected terrorists. Thirty-eight percent said it was never or rarely justified.
Southern evangelicals are therefore the mainstay of the torture regime in this country. The only point at which they even balk at torturing people who haven't been subject to minimal due process is when they are reminded that this could come back to hurt Americans. The idea that torture is immoral in itself seems alien to a majority of the millions who lined up to see Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ. Since the South was built on torture-slavery, this is not that historically surprising. Many ancestors of today's Christianists tortured African-Americans routinely. But the extent of Southern evangelicals support for violating one of the core moral absolutes of Christianity is striking.
Does this guy know what "irony" means?
Seriously. Is this tongue in cheek, or sheer stupidity?
“Senator Obama saw an economic crisis and he’s found a political opportunity. My friends this is not a time for political opportunism, this is a time for leadership,” McCain said in front of nearly 3,000 supporters flanked by Sarah Palin."
McSame Invented the Internet?
Who would have guessed?
(Blackberry's home office is in Canada.)
The Next Credit Crunch
Our easy access to plastic is about to dry up - and with it our ability to fake living the good life.
We made it through the bursting of the Internet bubble and now the bursting of the real estate bubble. Next we may be approaching the end of the most worrisome bubble of all: the standard-of-living bubble.
That conclusion comes from the latest data on credit card debt. It's growing fast, but the problem is bigger than that - and to understand what it means, we have to take a few steps back.
More Bad Economic News
Economists Warn Anti-Bush Merchandise Market Close To Collapse
The sudden drop in demand for "Buck Fush" T-shirts and "Hail to the Chimp" posters could leave millions unemployed.
Show Your Support
There are less than three months until the election, an election that will decide the next President of the United States. The person elected will be the president of all Americans, not just the Democrats or the Republicans. To show our solidarity as Americans, let's all get together and show each other our support for the candidate of our choice.
It's time that we come together, Democrats and Republicans alike. If you support the policies and character of Senator Obama, please drive with your headlights on during the day. If you support John McCain, please drive with your headlights off at night.
Thank you for your participation.
(From my email.)
A Real Doozy
McCain-Lieberman-Graham tout surge as 'strategic victory'
The U.S. Senate is currently working on the fiscal year 2009 Defense Authorization bill (summary of bill's contents here, amendment lists here and here).
When I was reading through the amendments this morning, I found a real piece of work from John McCain and company. The full text is below, but here is the key paragraph:
[It is the sense of the Senate to] recognize the success of the troop surge in Iraq and its strategic significance in advancing the vital national interests of the United States in Iraq, the Middle East, and the world, in particular as a strategic victory in a central front of the war on terrorism
This is a sense of the Senate resolution, meaning it doesn't really do anything. But these types of bills are often designed to stir up controversy and enable campaign attack ads. For example, the Senate voted last year on a sense of the Senate bill condemning MoveOn.org's infamous "General Betray Us" full-page ad in the New York Times.
UPDATE: General David Petraeus said today that "This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade... it's not war with a simple slogan." Oh well, that guy doesn't know what he's talking about, right McCain?
Amy Poehler's Hillary Clinton is good, but Tina Faye is scary good at playing Sarah the Unvetted.
The opening sketch: Hillary and Caribou-killer Barbie appearing together "to talk about sexism".
Two messages came through loud and clear. 1) If Hillary had gotten to the WH she'd have earned it. If
Sarah Pauline gets there, it's a gift from a dirty old man. 2) It the media doesn't have the balls that Hillary does, you can expect her to ask McSame's fundemented running mate about whether or not she thinks that the only reason the Flintstones was a cartoon is because the camera wasn't invented back when Fred used a brontosaurus crane at work.
Update: Someone posted the video on Kos.
If John McCain says something...
...and nobody hears him, is he still lying?
Blizzard of Lies
The Bush campaign’s lies in 2000 were artful — you needed some grasp of arithmetic to realize that you were being conned. This year, however, the McCain campaign keeps making assertions that anyone with an Internet connection can disprove in a minute, and repeating these assertions over and over again.
Happy Birthday to Lloyd!
Might as well embarrass the old bastard. ;->
9/11 Plus Seven
The events of the past seven years have yielded a definitive judgment on the strategy that the Bush administration conceived in the wake of 9/11 to wage its so-called Global War on Terror. That strategy has failed, massively and irrevocably. To acknowledge that failure is to confront an urgent national priority: to scrap the Bush approach in favor of a new national security strategy that is realistic and sustainable -- a task that, alas, neither of the presidential candidates seems able to recognize or willing to take up.
I disagree with the "neither candidate" part of the last sentence. McSame would change things for the worse. Obama will change things for the better, but can't speak of it much, now, as the American people are too stubborn to admit we've already been defeated if we continue our current tactics.
We are the Russians in Afghanistan in the 80s, but they had the advantage of being right next door.
We already know we can't sustain our wars. That's why we're so willing to look the other way when the government pays for them "off the books" and hands off the bill to our children.
Top-Selling Halloween Costume This Year?
Lloyd? You don't get Olbermann, do you?
They Were Right About Edwards...
The snoopy National Enquirer has allegedly unveiled some blockbuster stuff about VP candidate Sarah Palin's kids.
First, her Iraq-bound son, Track, is supposedly a drug addict.
The Enquirer claims that for the past two years, the eldest son, Track, has supposedly been addicted to the painkiller OxyCotin — he snored it, ate it, smoked it and even injected it, said the tab.
Locals are totally selling the Palins out!
Someone who has 'partied' with Track tells the rag, "I've partied with him (Track) for years. I've seen him snort cocaine, snort and smoke OxyContin, drink booze and smoke weed."
The source also went on to say that girls would do anything for Track and he'd use his 'local celebrity' to get other guys "to get them to steal things he wanted."
Here's the scary last bit!
The snitch adds, "He finally did what a lot of troubled kids here do. You join the military."
The Rising Cost of the Iraq 'Surge'
Since Jan. 10, 2007, when George W. Bush announced his troop “surge,” more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers have died in the Iraq War – about a quarter of the total war dead – but now an even higher cost may loom ahead, the indefinite continuation of the conflict under President John McCain.
Despite strong evidence to the contrary, it has become established conventional wisdom among mainstream Washington journalists that the “surge” was the singular reason for the recent decline in Iraq’s violence. It’s also agreed that McCain deserves great credit for pushing the “surge” idea early.
John McCain Has No Honor
Even if he was at one time, honor in the past doesn't immunize anyone from dishonoring themselves.
They do not easily forgive those who lie about them.
John McCain has no honor.
Does the Truth Matter Anymore?
This is not false naivete: I am genuinely surprised that John McCain and his campaign keep throwing out false charges and making false claims without any qualms. They keep talking about Sarah Palin’s opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere without any embarrassment over the fact that she once supported it. They keep saying that Barack Obama will raise taxes, suggesting he’d raise them on everybody, when Obama’s plan, according to the Tax Policy Institute, would cut taxes for “about 80 percent of households” while “only about 10 percent would owe more.” And as Sebastian Mallaby pointed out in his recent column, Obama would cut taxes for middle-income taxpayers “more aggressively” than McCain would.
Why Libertarians Should Vote for Obama
A country cannot long combine unlimited government abroad and limited government at home. The Republican party has become the party of war and thus the party of unlimited government.
The libertarian voice has not been listened to in Republican politics for a long time. The Republicans take the libertarian wing of the party for granted and with phony rhetoric and empty phrases have bought our support on the cheap. Thus - since voice has failed - it is time for exit. Remember that if a political party can count on you then you cannot count on it.
Obama Tax Cut Calculator
Since I don't have to worry about "that's just another neo-lib tactic" as a response, any more...
I saw this posted on Kos. It's useful to show to anyone who says "Obama's gonna raise my taxes, McInsane's gonna cut 'em."
Polls and Talking Heads
Just a random thought, here. I can't be the only one that keeps hearing that Mc
SameCrazierThanBush has gotten a "convention bounce" or that "women have moved into his camp".
Just once I'd like a pollster to ask the question "how many votes did he pick up by kowtowing to Dobson et. al. and naming a completely insane 'third wave' fundie to be his running mate?"
There was no "bounce" from that snoozer of a speech he gave, and other than women who want to be subservient (i.e. fundie nutbags) no women are voting for Palin "because she's cute".
The race tightened up because the various religious groups that want to appoint judges who will over-rule the constitution are now on-board with McSenile, or more correctly with Governor Liar.
To them I say, read Mark 13:22 and Matthew 24:24.
More Extreme Than Bush. And Earlier.
Make no mistake. I was opposed to Bush before the election of 2000. I knew he would run "from the center", immediately begin to govern from the extreme right, then "moderate" just long enough to win re-election. Post-election, back to the furthest fringes of the right.
But I, like many others, saw just how extreme Bush was when he named John Ashcroft as his Attorney General. (It's ironic that Ashcroft was, in some ways, less extreme than Bush's later picks of Gonzo and Muck-casey, but that's a story for another day.)
Now that McCain has named Palin as his running mate it's obvious that he doesn't see the need to even try hiding the fact that he's a prisoner of the most extreme elements of the right wing. There is no longer anything "moderate", "centrist", or "populist" about his campaign and he's either proud of it, or resigned to it.
More Maver-icky Goodness
Sergeant Bilko McSame McGoo McCheney the Rage-a-holic Sarah's creep old date McCain shoved a woman in a wheelchair.
Six people present have written statements describing what they saw. According to the accounts, McCain waved his hand to shoo away Jeannette Jenkins, whose cousin was last seen in South Vietnam in 1970, causing her to hit a wall.
As McCain continued walking, Jane Duke Gaylor, the mother of another missing serviceman, approached the senator. Gaylor, in a wheelchair equipped with portable oxygen, stretched her arms toward McCain.
"McCain stopped, glared at her, raised his left arm ready to strike her, composed himself and pushed the wheelchair away from him," according to Eleanor Apodaca, the sister of an Air Force captain missing since 1967.
McCain's staff wouldn't respond to requests for comment about specific incidents.
George Bush In Lipstick
Never one to overlook a good turn of phrase, I thought I'd better share this:
A core Democratic talking point against Sarah Palin is beginning to take shape: she is, critics say, the female counterpart of the current President of the United States, not only in terms of policy and social conservatism, but even personality.
"She's not a pitbull in lipstick," said one female Democratic operative, referencing a line from Palin's convention speech. "She's George Bush in lipstick."
From her hard-right stances on abortion and contraception and the deep affection she engenders from conservative evangelical leaders, to her involvement in a possible "abuse of power" scandal in Alaska and even her charming demeanor, some see in Palin the second coming of the 43rd president.
Federal Tax Distribution by State
I was thinking about Senator No-Spine and Governor Barbie's claims to being reform-minded and opposed to earmarks, so I decided to look up which states get the most bang for their buck on the federal tax dollars they pay. The latest information I could find was from 2005.
On the Republican side:
Coming in at number 2, behind only New Mexico, is Alaska at $4.81 they get back for every dollar they pay in.
Arizona happily occupies the number 8 slot, getting $2.16 in federal tax expenditures for every dollar they send in.
On the Democratic side:
Illinois is 48th out of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, receiving 30 cents for every dollar they pay to the feds.
Delaware doesn't do quite as well as Illinois, getting back $0.23 on the dollar and coming in at 50th, ahead of only Minnesota.
Why is the GOP running candidates from welfare states? What is it about "liberal" states that makes them so able to support the less productive, needier, don't need to be responsible because the Fed is always there to bail them out states?
Palin and McCain’s Shotgun Marriage
Frank Rich nails it, yet again.
In the G.O.P., Bush love is now the second most popular love that dare not speak its name.
We still don’t know a lot about Palin except that she’s better at delivering a speech than McCain and that she defends her own pregnant daughter’s right to privacy even as she would have the government intrude to police the reproductive choices of all other women. Most of the rest of the biography supplied by her and the McCain camp is fiction.
She didn’t say “no thanks” to the “Bridge to Nowhere” until after Congress had already abandoned it but given Alaska a blank check for $223 million in taxpayers’ money anyway. Far from rejecting federal pork, she hired lobbyists to secure her town a disproportionate share of earmarks ($1,000 per resident in 2002, 20 times the per capita average in other states). Though McCain claimed “she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities,” she has never issued a single command as head of the Alaska National Guard. As for her “executive experience” as mayor, she told her hometown paper in Wasilla, Alaska, in 1996, the year of her election: “It’s not rocket science. It’s $6 million and 53 employees.” Her much-advertised crusade against officials abusing their office is now compromised by a bipartisan ethics investigation into charges that she did the same.
How long before we learn she never shot a moose?
Read the whole thing. You won't regret it.
Biden: The silence is Deafening
BTW, what's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?
You can neuter a pit bull.
I'm as quick to jump on the Democrats for being spineless as anyone, but this move really is brilliant.
The Democrats are graciously going to allow John McCain to put his vote where is mouth is. After - bizarrely - accusing Democrats of sexism for having the abject temerity to ask Sarah any questions, the Democrats plan to reintroduce the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act this month. Remember:
John McCain was AGAINST fair pay for women this summer.
Palin Won't Talk To Media
According to Nicole Wallace of the McCain campaign, the American people don't care whether Sarah Palin can answer specific questions about foreign and domestic policy. According to Wallace -- in an appearance I did with her this morning on Joe Scarborough's show -- the American people will learn all they need to know (and all they deserve to know) from Palin's scripted speeches and choreographed appearances on the campaign trail and in campaign ads. Here's the exchange: (YouTube video at the link)
Wallace's bash-the-media exercise has its merits as a campaign tactic. It certainly rallies the base. But the base won't lift McCain to 50% in November. More importantly, in her smug dismissal of the media's role in asking questions of the candidates, Wallace was really showing contempt not for reporters, but for voters. I bet there are a lot of undecided voters out there who were intrigued by Sarah Palin last night, but who don't yet know enough about her -- what she believes, what she knows -- to be comfortable with the idea of her as vice president of the United States. It's important to them to know if Palin can handle herself in an environment that isn't controlled and sanitized by campaign image makers and message mavens. Maybe she can, maybe she can't. As far as Wallace is concerned, it's none of their -- or your -- business.
So, Who's Watchin' The Klan Rally, Tonight?
Not me. It's opening night for the NFL.
Makes ya wonder if the GOP doesn't know that letting the senile old rage-a-holic give a speech in prime time is a bad idea.
I heard that bomb-bomb's speech is set for 9:11 central time. Might have to switch over, just to see how badly the governor from the state that's the king of earmarks and entitlements outdid the actual Presidential candidate.
Some of Palin's remarks stretch the truth
In the Anchorage Daily News.
Don't miss the comments.
Palin scares me, but not for the reason you may think. She scares me because she's a bugfuck nuts evangelical who was chosen as a VP candidate for all the wrong reasons: looks, aggression, and because she's a younger Phyllis Schafley who the ultra-secret CNP cabal hope to pass off on the American people as a "hockey mom" when in reality she's the proof that McCain is no "moderate maverick", he's a spineless (witness Bush's re-election campaign after the 2000 smear) who feels entitled to live in the WH and will do ANYTHING to get there.
She doesn't scare me because she's a good candidate.
Ultimately, she scares me because we only have two months, give or take, to expose this GOP ticket for what it is: raw ambition that's ideologically to the RIGHT of Bush's already extremist position.
Is Anybody Watching the Klan Rally?
McGoo picking Palin is all the proof anyone should need that the GOP is ruled by extremists.
Why They're Worried: Too Many Secrets
Looking to the future but with one eye on the past, Biden also promised that an Obama-Biden government would go through Bush administration data with "a fine-toothed comb" and pursue criminal charges if necessary.
"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation," he said, "they will be pursued, not out of vengeance, not out of retribution - out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no one, no attorney general, no president, no one is above the law."
And don't forget that Reagan's records could finally be unsealed next January.
Expect the GOP to pull out all the stops, again, this election. They have too many secrets.
Dozens Detained Ahead of Convention
It's now illegal to think bad thoughts about Republicans.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — On the weekend before the Republican National Convention, law enforcement agencies detained dozens of people and issued a series of search warrants aimed at groups believed to be organizing demonstrations while delegates and Republican officials are in town.
Authorities have searched several homes in Minneapolis and one in St. Paul Saturday ahead of the opening of the Republican National Convention.
The searches were led by the Ramsey County Sheriff's office. Deputies coordinated searches with the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.