Friday, October 31, 2008

First a Faux Plumber, Now a Fake Business Owner

Did you get an email that begins 'Dear Fellow Business Owner' allegedly written by JOOA Corp. It reminds me of the old joke -- 'How you know when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.'

Since Joe the so-called Plumber is leaving his short career as a plumber for a new one as a tone deaf country singer, the Republi-cons needed a replacement. Would someone call the acting union for Ward the so-called Business Owner of JOOA Corp.

Anything to get elected, now you know why I call them the Republi-cons.

In This Economic Mess Virtue is a Vice

According to the newest winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, the next step in the government response to the economic mess is a major fiscal stimulus in the form of actual government spending, as opposed to rebate checks. Read The New York Times, When Consumers Capitulate.

'A major fiscal stimulus in the form of actual government spending,' you can hear the Democrats in Washington crying in protest (NOT).

Class Today at No Bull U on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air today, Friday, from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.

Today's topic: Who ya gonna vote for, and why -- in one minute for less.

Tune in, call in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Turket Shoot

The holiday season is here, so have a little fun shooting turkeys.

What was your score?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Rats Are Abandoning Ship, Still

It might surprise you to know for whom American conservatives are voting. The American Conservative asked 18 conservatives, libertarians, and independent thinkers how they plan to vote and why. Read The American Conservative, The Right Choice?

By my count it was:

3 for McCain,
5 for Obama,
2 for Chuck Baldwin,
2 for Bob Barr,
1 write-in for Ron Paul,
1 write-in for someone I've never heard of, and
4 for none.

Not looking good for McCain.

Joe the So-Called Plumber's Plans Don't Include Plumbing

Sounds like Joe the so-called Plumber's future includes anything but plumbing. He also disses/snubs McCain in Ohio. Read FOXNews, Joe the Plumber Ponders His Future, but Dismisses Country Music Star Chatter.

Celebrity has gone to his head.

He and Palin would make a good couple, don't ya think.

If Obama Wins . . .

For some interesting pre-postmortem speculation about the future of our two great (NOT) political parties after an Obama win, read this blog, Boot's Blast, by "[t]he noted conservative, former Congressman John LeBoutillier - author of HARVARD HATES AMERICA - [he] writes strong - and unique commentary and analysis on all things political."

I hadn't heard about the alleged affair.

October Surprise Courtesy of Al-Qaeda?

Three suicide bombers mount a well-coordinated attack on an Afghan government building in the center of Kabul, a powerful car bomb explods at a university in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona wounding at least 15 people and setting a building on fire, and a series of coordinated blasts tear through India's volatile northeast killing at least 61 people and wounding more than 300 -- are these part of an October surprise courtesy of Al-Qaeda?

If so, who would Al-Qaeda favor in the presidential election?

Post Election Theme - Boundless Possibilities

And the pre-postmortems about the election continue. Read The New York Times, American Stories, that argues that "[i]n no other country could Barack Obama have risen so far and so fast. Such boundless possibility is what America once stood for and can stand for again."

Are You an Election Junkie?

Take this end-of-the-endless-election quiz, with questions mostly about who said what during the campaign, and post your score.

Bailout and Dividends

First it was reported that bailout money was being used to pay bonuses. Now read Washington Post, Banks to Continue Paying Dividends, which reports that "U.S. banks getting more than $163 billion from the Treasury Department for new lending are on pace to pay more than half of that sum to their shareholders, with government permission, over the next three years."

This is outrageous. Call your Congressman and demand that Congress rescind the bailout.

Throwing Good Money After Bad to Help Goldman Sachs

After a $123 billion bailout, will AIG collapse anyway. Read The New York Times, A Question for A.I.G.: Where Did the Cash Go? The article states that "tens of billions of dollars [from the bailout was used] to post collateral with other financial institutions, as required by A.I.G.’s many derivatives contracts." Goldman Sachs was one of those financial institutions. Wasn't Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. the former CEO of Goldman Sachs.

Me thinks that something smells fishy here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What Goes Around Comes Around

Several weeks ago I asked whether it would be 40 years in the wilderness for the Republi-cons. Read this interesting article, Washington Post, Return to Grant Park, which speculates that after 40 years in the wilderness Democrats will have come home, ironically enough to Chicago's Grant Park, the scene of clashes between police and demonstrators during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The article says:

"In part, the GOP's decline is due to the Bush administration's penchant for headlong, unilateral military adventures. But fundamentally, the coming Republican calamity is a consequence of public anger at the economy that predominantly Republican perspectives and policies have shaped over the past four decades, in which the vast majority of Americans no longer share in the prosperity of good times and get clobbered when the economy turns bad.

Absent a governing New Deal coalition, the mixed economy the New Deal made, where unions balanced corporations and the government provided a safety net, has substantially eroded. Now, reenter, stage center-left, the Democrats."

It is almost karma for the Republi-cons, don't you think?

Bush's Twilight Zone

In the last post I asked what will we do without Bush. But more seriously, what will Bush do without accountability? From The Guardian:, Brace yourselves - George Bush will soon be free to do just what he wants:

"We are about to enter the twilight zone, that strange black hole in political time and space that appears no more than once every four years. It is known as the period of transition, and it starts a week from today, the time when the United States has not one president but two. One will be the president-elect, the other George Bush, in power for 12 more weeks in which he can do pretty much whatever he likes. Not only will he never again have to face voters, he won't even have to worry about damaging the prospects of his own party and its standard bearer (as if he has not damaged those enough already). From November 5 to January 20, he will exercise the freest, most unaccountable form of power the democratic world has to offer."

One thing Bush will do is exercise his power of pardon. An article in Roll Call found that Bush has issued only 157 pardons and six commutations of sentences during nearly eight years in office. The possibilities for the final round of pardons include: Scooter Libby, Senator Ted Stevens, Karl Rove and Harriet Miers who are still being investigated, two border control agents who were sentenced to 11 and 12 years in prison for shooting an unarmed smuggler in the buttocks, Abu Ghraib soldiers, CIA agents who possibly engaged in torture while interrogating terrorism suspects, General Services Administration Chief of Staff David Safavian, and lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Bush might even pardon himself.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Will We Do Without Bush

One segment of the economy will crash in January, the business in anti-George W. (The Worst) Bush books. Read about some of the books in the genre, The New York Times, The Coming Anti-Bush-Book Bust.

The Pre-Postmortems Continue

Read, The New York Times, A Choice and an Echo, which argues that the Republi-cons failed to grasp 'the most significant new trend in American politics,' the end of fear, anger, and hatred as a winning election strategy.

Is The Presidential Campaign Like Milton's Paradise Regained

Read The New York Times, The Power of Passive Campaigning, which makes a comparison likely to anger the Republi-cons.

Republi-cons, Befuddled or Befuddlers

You may remember the post last week in which I asked how McCain came to select Palin as his running mate.

Well the first effort at the history of the Rogue Diva reveals that in 2007, Palin entertained top conservative pundits at the governor’s mansion and they were smitten. Read The New Yorker, How John McCain came to pick Sarah Palin and Washington Post, Palin's Love Boats.

But the question remains, did Republi-con pundits pick Palin because they understood that a pretty face can cause a man to 'discount the future,' or were they victims of 'nature's power to befuddle.'

And in 2012, will Republi-cons be befuddled or befuddlers?

Palin Has Gone Rovian, Now She is Going Rogue

Palin is a diva "going rogue" says a McCain aide. See CNN, Palin's 'going rogue,' McCain aide says.

She is just getting ready for 2012 when she won't be held back by that old white haired dude, McWhat'sHisName. See Washington Post, Sarah the Diva, Looking Past John the Runner-Up.

Would you vote for Palin in 2012?

Election Countdown

If you are obsessed with the election, visit these websites:

Let me know if you have a site to add to the list.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Palin Delivers Alaska's Three Electoral Votes

Even if the Anchorage Daily News endorsed Obama, Palin will delivers Alaska's three electoral votes. But would McCain be in a better position today had he not chosen Palin as his running mate? See The New York Times, Second-Guessing the Vice-Presidential Pick.

And take the new poll.

The Recriminations Begin

McCain hasn't even lost, and the postmortems have begun.

David Brooks is a conservative columnist for The New York Times and he is also a frequent guest commentator on PBS's The Newshour with Jim Lehrer. Earlier this month, in an interview with The Atlantic, Brooks was quoted as saying that Sarah Plain "represents a fatal cancer to the Republican party." In his column on Sunday, The New York Times, Ceding the Center, Brooks writes that John McCain would be an outstanding president, but he never escaped the straightjacket of a party that is ailing and a conservatism that is behind the times.

Another writer believes that McCain made a fatal error in turning his campaign over to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and that if the Republi-cons persist in the us-and-them, real vs. fake America tactics that dates to Newt Gingrich, "they are doomed to be the party of yesterday."

If the Republi-cons lose, will it be because they ceded the center?

And are they the party of yesterday?

Cheat Sheet for Key Swing States

If you like detail, visit Washington Post, Battleground Cheat Sheet, with information on nine key swing states, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Bailout and Bonuses

Unbelievable, Wall Street will use some of the taxpayer bailout to pay bonuses. Read Time, How Washington's Wall Street Bailout Will Boost Bonuses

Congress should rescind the bailout.

Palin Not Ready to be President, Just Ask Her State Newspaper

The Anchorage Daily News, Alaska's largest newspaper, endorses Obama and say that Palin is not ready to be President. Read The Anchorage Daily News, Obama for president.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Show Link(s)

As discussed on the show today:

Regarding judicial retention in Florida, read this.

Polly Vote, which uses four forecasting methods to predict election outcomes: polls, expert surveys, quantitative models and the Iowa Electronic Market.

NPR, Post-Election Fears In York, Pa.

Why No Bull?

Class Today at No Bull U on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air today, Friday, from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.

Tune in, call in, but only if you can handle the truth!

SNL Does It Again, on Thursday

Political satire goes where the press won't.

Bush endorses McCain, with Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond and Tina Fey as Bush, McCain, and Palin. SNL does it again, absolutely hilarious!!

Obama Won't Raise Taxes for Joe the So-Called Plumber, But Amy the Palin Hairdresser Better Watch Out

What is the average annual wage for a plumber? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters in the United States in 2007 was $44,090. And for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists it was $22,210.

But Amy the Palin Hairdresser was paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October alone. That's equates to $592,800 annually. That's more than George W. (The Worst) Bush makes!! Of course, Amy hasn't screwed things up as much as Bush.

Ask the Parrot, Part Deux

You may remember that I blogged about several weeks ago. I didn't realize that Alfred Cuzan, a professor of political science at the University of West Florida, helped develop the forecasting model and website.

Polly's latest prediction, Obama 53.0% vs. McCain 47.0%, with a forecast that Obama will win 354 Electoral Votes compared to McCain’s 183.

UPDATE: Professor Cuzan will be a guest on today's show at 5:05 PM on 1330 AM WEBY and on line.

Doomacrats And Republigrins

Who is happiest? Read Washington Post, A Happiness Gap: Doomacrats And Republigrins, to find out why "[s]elf-certainty is like a happy pill."

Is The Unholy Alliance Coming Apart

The modern Republi-con Party is nothing more than an unholy alliance between corporate interest and social conservatives, the former using the latter to gain power to promote corporate interest. You need look no further than the economic bailout.

So is the unholy alliance falling apart. Read Washington Post, Civil War on the Right, which says:

"For years, many of the elite conservatives were happy to harvest the votes of devout Christians and gun owners by waging a phony class war against "liberal elitists" and "leftist intellectuals." Suddenly, the conservative writers are discovering that the very anti-intellectualism their side courted and encouraged has begun to consume their movement.

The cause of Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Robert Nisbet and William F. Buckley Jr. is now in the hands of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity -- and Sarah Palin. Reason has been overwhelmed by propaganda, ideas by slogans, learned manifestoes by direct-mail hit pieces."

Is Palin Just Another Miss South Carolina

Remember Miss South Carolina Teen USA, whose mangled response to a pageant question about why Americans are so bad at geography became an internet hit, and made beauty queens everywhere proud.

Is Palin any smarter?

She appeared on Denver's KUSA-TV on Monday during a feature called "Question from the Third Grade." The subject of the vice president's duties came up when the interviewer asked, "Brandon Garcia wants to know, 'What does the vice president do?'"

Listen to Palin describe what she thinks are the duties of the president.

Keith Obermann concludes that after nearly three months and four attempts to explain the duties of the VP, Palin is not smarter than a third grader.

Maybe she should read the Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 3.

So after three months and four tries Palin still doesn't know what her duties will be. Which makes one wonder how McCain came to select Palin as his running mate. Perhaps it is to befuddle. Studies show that a pretty face can cause a man to 'discount the future.' So the question is, did John McCain pick Sarah Palin because he understood that principle, or was he a victim of "nature's power to befuddle."

We will know soon enough.

The Rats Are Abandoning Ship, Cont., Part II

The latest rat to jump from the sinking Republi-con ship, former Bush White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Politically Speaking: Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road???

SARAH PALIN: I'll find ya a reason and bring it to ya.

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

JOE BIDEN: I'm tired of walking on egg shells because of this chicken.

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he is acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Did he cross it with a hare? Did he cross it with a bear? Did he check if the road was hot? I kinda doubt it, I think not! Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed, I've not been told. Just one more thing I have to say, it's been bugging me to this very day. If the Chicken is a she, why do we keep saying HE?

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth? That's why they call it the other side. Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay, too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like the other side. That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never cras#@&&%%......reboot email to:cras#@&&%%...... reboot

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

SARAH PALIN: Because it could see Russia from there.

McCain Throws Bush Under the Straight Talk Express

There they go again, blaming Bush.

"Spending, the conduct of the war in Iraq for years, growth in the size of government, larger than any time since the Great Society, laying a $10 trillion debt on future generations of America, owing $500 billion to China, obviously, failure to both enforce and modernize the [financial] regulatory agencies that were designed for the 1930s and certainly not for the 21st century, failure to address the issue of climate change seriously. Those are just some of them." he said with a laugh

Except this wasn't some liberal, it was Bush's Republi-con successor. McCain made the statement above in an interview with The Washington Times aboard his campaign plane en route from New Hampshire to Ohio.

Too late though to distance himself from Bush. The latest Quinnipiac poll found Bush's approval ratings at 27 in Florida, 22 in Ohio and 21 in Pennsylvania.

Besides, the selection of Palin hurts McCain more.

Greenspan Admits He Was Wrong

I've said and I'll say it again, the primary cause of the economic mess was regulatory and oversight failures. See Washington Post, Greenspan: 'Crisis Broader Than Anything I Could Have Imagined', in which Greenspan admits that the failure of the expected self-regulation represented "a flaw in the model" he used to analyze economics.

Translated from Greenspan-speak he said he now realizes that the fox shouldn't be left to guard the henhouse.

Thanks for the insight. Someone should revoke his government pension.

Bush or Palin, Who Hurts McCain More

Which hurts McCain more, his selection of Palin as his running mate, or Bush. According to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, it's not Bush.

Maybe the McCain campaign should ask for a refund of the $150,000 wardrobe.

Where's Bush

Where's George W. (The Worst) Bush been hiding? He did not attend the Republi-con National Convention, appearing only by video. And to date, he has not appeared in public at a campaign rally for any Republi-con candidate. Read CBS News, The Invisible Man Of Campaign '08.

An appropriate end to Bush's presidency, don't you think.

What’s the Difference Between Sarah Palin and a Pit Bull?

Lipstick and $150,000 worth of designer clothes.

Read Washington Post, Neimansgate, and see how hard it is to spend $150,000 on clothes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Mistake is Presuming that Republi-cons Have Decency

Maureen Dowd is not usually so serious. But today she wrote an op-ed worth repeating here in full, in which she admires Colin Powell for pushing back on ugly innuendo. Read New York Times, Moved by a Crescent:

"Colin Powell had been bugged by many things in his party’s campaign this fall: the insidious merging of rumors that Barack Obama was Muslim with intimations that he was a terrorist sympathizer; the assertion that Sarah Palin was ready to be president; the uniformed sheriff who introduced Governor Palin by sneering about Barack Hussein Obama; the scorn with which Republicans spit out the words "community organizer"; the Republicans’ argument that using taxes to "spread the wealth" was socialist when the purpose of taxes is to spread the wealth; Palin’s insidious notion that small towns in states that went for W. were "the real America."

But what sent him over the edge and made him realize he had to speak out was when he opened his New Yorker three weeks ago and saw a picture of a mother pressing her head against the gravestone of her son, a 20-year-old soldier who had been killed in Iraq. On the headstone were engraved his name, Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, his awards — the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star — and a crescent and a star to denote his Islamic faith.

"I stared at it for an hour," he told me. "Who could debate that this kid lying in Arlington with Christian and Jewish and nondenominational buddies was not a fine American?"

Khan was an all-American kid. A 2005 graduate of Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin, N.J., he loved the Dallas Cowboys and playing video games with his 12-year-old stepsister, Aliya.

His obituary in The Star-Ledger of Newark said that he had sent his family back pictures of himself playing soccer with Iraqi children and hugging a smiling young Iraqi boy.

His father said Kareem had been eager to enlist since he was 14 and was outraged by the 9/11 attacks. "His Muslim faith did not make him not want to go," Feroze Khan, told The Gannett News Service after his son died. "He looked at it that he’s American and he has a job to do."

In a gratifying "have you no sense of decency, Sir and Madam?" moment, Colin Powell went on "Meet the Press" on Sunday and talked about Khan, and the unseemly ways John McCain and Palin have been polarizing the country to try to get elected. It was a tonic to hear someone push back so clearly on ugly innuendo.

Even the Obama campaign has shied away from Muslims. The candidate has gone to synagogues but no mosques, and the campaign was embarrassed when it turned out that two young women in headscarves had not been allowed to stand behind Obama during a speech in Detroit because aides did not want them in the TV shot.

The former secretary of state has dealt with prejudice in his life, in and out of the Army, and he is keenly aware of how many millions of Muslims around the world are being offended by the slimy tenor of the race against Obama.

He told Tom Brokaw that he was troubled by what other Republicans, not McCain, had said: " ‘Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim. He’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no. That’s not America. Is something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?"

Powell got a note from Feroze Khan this week thanking him for telling the world that Muslim-Americans are as good as any others. But he also received more e-mails insisting that Obama is a Muslim and one calling him "unconstitutional and unbiblical" for daring to support a socialist. He got a mass e-mail from a man wanting to spread the word that Obama was reading a book about the end of America written by a fellow Muslim.

"Holy cow!" Powell thought. Upon checking, he saw that it was a reference to Fareed Zakaria, a Muslim who writes a Newsweek column and hosts a CNN foreign affairs show. His latest book is "The Post-American World."

Powell is dismissive of those, like Rush Limbaugh, who say he made his endorsement based on race. And he’s offended by those who suggest that his appearance Sunday was an expiation for Iraq, speaking up strongly now about what he thinks the world needs because he failed to do so then.

Even though he watched W. in 2000 make the argument that his lack of foreign policy experience would be offset by the fact that he was surrounded by pros — Powell himself was one of the regents brought in to guide the bumptious Texas dauphin — Powell makes that same argument now for Obama.

"Experience is helpful," he says, "but it is judgment that matters.""

Without fear, anger, and hatred, the Republi-cons would be lost.

Shop Baby Shop

First Palin charged the state of Alaska for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

Then she billed the campaign for more than $150,000 in purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Barney’s New York and Atelier New York (a men’s clothing store) for her family's clothes.

And now it is revealed that the McCain campaign paid $13,200 for Palin's make-up. (And you thought she was just a natural hottie.)

So much for the no-frills hockey mom who sold the state plane and fired the official cook, celebrity has gone to her head.

Can't wait to see what she can do with $700 billion!

Economic Models Explained With Cows, 2008 Update

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbor.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away...

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows.
No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

You have two cows.
You shred them.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.

You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

Whining Republi-cons

Have you ever heard such whining, it is incessant, the poor Republi-cons are 'victims' of bias in 'unreal' America. Charles Gibson, Katie Couric, Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill, Tom Brokaw, Bob Schieffer, Kathleen Parker, and Colin Powell (to name a few) are all bias. Who next, God.

I for one am tired of it. Republi-con should stand up and accept responsibility for what they have done to this country, starting with 9/11, Iraq, secret prisons and torture, Katrina, budget deficits, and now the economy. Instead it is ignore, manipulate, deny, conceal, hide, suppress, silence, undermine, distort, then lie.

Is that 'real' America?

Al-Qaeda Praises Bush and Supports McCain

Al-Qaeda praises the foreign and economic policies of George W. (The Worst) Bush and supports McCain as "the presidential candidate best suited to continue that trend." See Washington Post, On Al-Qaeda Web Sites, Joy Over U.S. Crisis, Support for McCain.

Who needs the communist middle class when you have corporate interest and Al-Qaeda on your side.

Republi-con America

John Stewart on the Republi-con's so-called Real America. Then visit Real America in Wasilla, and see real American stuff, including tattoos of your naked ex-wife and girlfriends, meth addiction, and a secessionist group. It will make ya proud to be a Real American.

Then after you are done, you can take a quiz to find out if you're a real American or a fake one.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Rats Are Abandoning Ship, Cont.

First Colin Powell, now Kenneth Adelman, a lifelong conservative Republi-con, says he will vote for Obama. See The New Yorker, First Collin Powell, Now . . . When asked why, Adelman said:

"Primarily for two reasons, those of temperament and of judgment.

When the economic crisis broke, I found John McCain bouncing all over the place. In those first few crisis days, he was impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird. Having worked with Ronald Reagan for seven years, and been with him in his critical three summits with Gorbachev, I’ve concluded that that’s no way a president can act under pressure.

Second is judgment. The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.

That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign—Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick.

I sure hope Obama is more open, centrist, sensible—dare I say, Clintonesque—than his liberal record indicates, than his cooperation with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid portends. If not, I will be even more startled by my vote than I am now."

Who next? Will Bush vote for McCain?

Judicial Activism and the Second Amendment

Republi-cons are always bemoaning judicial activism and courts that overturn legislation enacted by elected representatives. But you didn't hear many complaints when the Supreme Court overturned the D.C. gun ban. However see New York Times, Ruling on Guns Elicits Rebuke From the Right, in which "[t]wo prominent federal appeals court judges say that Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion in the case, District of Columbia v. Heller, is illegitimate, activist, poorly reasoned and fueled by politics rather than principle."

BS Award

Let me see if I understand. The taxpayers give a $125 billion bailout to major banks because they are short of cash and need the money to recapitalize. But the banks will be allowed to pay their shareholders dividends this next year, which if paid at current levels will redirect more than $25 billion of the $125 billion to shareholders. And the officers and directors of the banks may receive $250 million in dividends. See New York Times, This Bailout Doesn’t Pay Dividends.

This BS, pure and simple. Businesses that receive government bailouts should be required to suspend dividends until the taxpayers are repaid with interest.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Credible Allegation That Bush Ordered Arrest as Prop for 2002 State of the Union Speech

A court filing alleges that the Bush administration ordered the Bosnian government to arrest and hold the men after an exhaustive Bosnian investigation had found them innocent of any terrorism related activity and had ordered their release, in order to use them as props in Bush's January 2002 State of the Union speech. See, Mother Jones, 16 Words: New Court Filing Suggests Manufactured Terror Threat in Bush's 2002 State of the Union.

In 2012, Will It Be a Palin/Gingrich Steel-Cage Death Match

The election is still two weeks away and already there is talk of a post-election Republi-con blood bath centered on Palin. In New York Magazine, The Right’s Class War, former Reagan economic adviser Bruce Bartlett is said to predict that the 2012 Republican primaries will turn into a "Palin/Gingrich steel-cage death match."

The Economy is Like Life

If the economy has you down then read, Washington Post, In Good Times and Bad, and remember:

"If things seem splendid, they will get worse. Success inspires overconfidence and excess. If things seem dismal, they will get better. Crisis spawns opportunities and progress. Our triumphs and follies follow a rhythm that, though it can be influenced, cannot be repealed."

So relax.

How Come Palin Still Hides From the Press

How come Joe the so-called Plumber has given more interviews and answered more questions from reporters than Sarah Palin?? Palin even refused to take questions during the SNL skit about her first press conference.

But admit it, the Alaskan rap song was absolutely hilarious.

Just imagine, if McCain wins, we'll get four years of SNL skits about Palin. Almost makes you want to vote Republi-con.

President McCain or Generational Change, Which Will It Be

Obama received more than $150 million in political donations in September, and on Sunday got Colin Powell's endorsement. Powell is a retired Army general who was a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George Bush and President Bill Clinton. Powell said of McCain "As gifted as he is, he is essentially going to execute the Republican agenda, the orthodoxy of the Republican agenda, with a new face and a maverick approach to it, and he’d be quite good at it. But I think we need a generational change."

One Republican strategist described the endorsement by saying that "Powell is a glass of warm milk and a cookie for those who can’t sleep worrying about the lack of experience of a President Obama."

But McCain might still win. Read, Washington Post, Just in Case McCain Wins, A Survival Guide for Reporters Who Wrote Him Off.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More Articles About How We Got Into, and How We Might Fix, the Economic Mess

Read Time, Nobel Laureate: How to Get Out of the Financial Crisis. Joseph Stiglitz writes that the "troubles we now face were caused largely by the combination of deregulation and low interest rates . . . [ l] oose money and light regulation were a toxic mixture." He suggests that we recapitalize banks, stem the tide of foreclosures, pass a stimulus that works, restore confidence through regulatory reform, and create an effective multilateral agency.

Also read Washington Post, We Forgot Everything Keynes Taught Us.

And if you are interested in more details, see The Baseline Scenario, Financial Crisis for Beginners.

Or play an updated version of the Depression-era board game Monopoly, Econoply, with loose money, instant mortgages, vague and constantly-changing rules, and Bankers that can't go bankrupt.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Dog's Purpose (Who Cares If It Is a True Story)

A Dog's Purpose (from a 6-year old).

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolf hound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, 'I know why.'

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?' The Six-year-old continued, 'Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.'

Forrest Gump Explains the Economic Crisis

If asked about the economic crisis, Forrest Gump might say:

"Mortgage Backed Securities are like boxes of chocolates. Criminals on Wall Street stole a few chocolates from the boxes and replaced them with turds. Their criminal buddies at Standard & Poor rated these boxes AAA Investment Grade chocolates. These boxes were then sold all over the world to investors. Eventually somebody bites into a turd and discovers the crime. Suddenly nobody trusts American chocolates anymore worldwide.

Hank Paulson now wants the American taxpayers to buy up and hold all these boxes of turd-infested chocolates for $700 billion dollars until the market for turds returns to normal. Meanwhile, Hank's buddies, the Wall Street criminals who stole all the good chocolates are not being investigated, arrested, or indicted.

Mama always said: 'Sniff the chocolates first Forrest'."

Class Today at No Bull U on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air today, Friday, from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line.

Tune in, call in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Another Con Job By the Republi-cons

Turns out that Joe, the so-called plumber, is not a plumber, he doesn't have a plumber’s license. He also claims he's going to buy the plumbing business, but I'm not sure where he would get the money since he can't even pay his taxes.

Joe, the so-called plumber, is a registered Republi-con, an agent, a plant, an impostor put in the debate with a rehearsed story and role to promote the McCain campaign. Joe the so-called plumber is a fraud, and a perfect metaphor for the Republi-con Party.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Worth Repeating

William Kristol wrote in the New York times that McCain should fire the campaign. Kristol states that McCain needs to reposition himself as a serious but cheerful candidate for times that need a serious but upbeat leader.

I agree. As noted below, one option for McCain is to focus on the "racial resistance among white voters" but that sounds too much like playing the race card. If McCain does that he would probably lose the election and his honor. So how can he fire the campaign and win.

He should give a speech that acknowledges that some have suggested that he focus on the "racial resistance among white voters." He could then categorically renounce the suggestion and instead say that henceforth he will campaign as serious but cheerful candidate. Further, because the country is so deeply partisanly divided, McCain should announce that if elected that he would ask Palin to step aside so that he (McCain) could nominate Obama as VP.

Another brilliant NBB solution, don't you think.

P.S. Yes, I realize that he might alienate some rabid Republi-cons, but I think McCain would rather lose with honor than win by focusing on the "racial resistance among white voters," which in my opinion would be dishonorable. If you think there is another way McCain can win, let's hear it.

UPDATE: An alternative strategy would be to focus solely on the 'split government is better government' argument. That is, government works better when one party doesn't control both the executive and legislative branches. In any case, McCain needs to do something.

Others are making suggestions. See Washington Post, What Could Change the Election? The Post asked John Podesta, Newt Gingrich, Mary Beth Cahill, Peter J. Wallison and Stuart E. Eizenstat what would be an election game-changer.

Just in Time for Halloween

Just in time for Halloween, another scary movie, "W.", a biopic about George W. (The Worst) Bush. Read the review from Bloomberg, Stone's Biopic Portrays George Bush as Party Boy, True Believer. The best quote from the article:

"This is a story that Preston Sturges could only invent -- a guy who was a complete failure at 40 becomes president at 54, and look what happens ... the world changes forever."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

It Would Be an Appropriate End to 'The Worst' Presidency

The Boston Globe calls for Bush and Cheney to resign in November:

"The next president will be elected on Nov. 4, but will not take office until Jan. 20. Normally, this lag time is not an issue. But with the financial system in meltdown, the 'real' economy threatening to follow, and a feckless, lame-duck administration unable to lead, this yawning interval is a problem. If history is any guide, a very big problem. . . .

But there is a way out - if our political leaders are smart, courageous, and public-spirited enough to take it.

Assume that Barack Obama wins the election, as polls show is increasingly likely. The following day, Vice President Cheney should be prevailed upon to resign. Using his powers to designate a successor under the 25th Amendment, President Bush should then appoint, and Congress should confirm, Obama as vice president (just as Richard Nixon appointed Gerald Ford vice president in 1973 when Spiro Agnew resigned). Bush himself should then resign, elevating Obama to the presidency - as Ford became president when Nixon resigned. Obama should then appoint Joe Biden as vice president."

It would be an appropriate end to The Worst presidency, don't you think.

McCain Says, ACORN "Makes America Special"

Talk about hypocrisy, read The Atlantic, Sen. McCain Stood With ACORN Rally In 2006. There is a video, so you can even see McCain cavort with ACORN.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another Lesson for History

More on the economic mess. Read Washington Post, What Went Wrong, "the story of how Washington didn't catch up to Wall Street."

"A decade ago, long before the financial calamity now sweeping the world, the federal government's economic brain trust heard a clarion warning and declared in unison: You're wrong.

The meeting of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets on an April day in 1998 brought together Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. -- all Wall Street legends, all opponents to varying degrees of tighter regulation of the financial system that had earned them wealth and power.

Their adversary, although also a member of the Working Group, did not belong to their club. Brooksley E. Born, the 57-year-old head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, had earned a reputation as a steely, formidable litigator at a high-powered Washington law firm. She had grown used to being the only woman in a room full of men. She didn't like to be pushed around.

Now, in the Treasury Department's stately, wood-paneled conference room, she was being pushed hard.

Greenspan, Rubin and Levitt had reacted with alarm at Born's persistent interest in a fast-growing corner of the financial markets known as derivatives, so called because they derive their value from something else, such as bonds or currency rates. Setting the jargon aside, derivatives are both a cushion and a gamble -- deals that investment companies and banks arrange to manage the risk of their holdings, while trying to turn a profit at the same time.

Unlike the commodity futures regulated by Born's agency, many newer derivatives weren't traded on an exchange, constituting what some traders call the "dark markets." There were now millions of such private contracts, involving many of Wall Street's top firms. But there was no clearinghouse holding collateral to settle a deal gone bad, no transparent records of who was trading what.

Born wanted to shine a light into the dark. She had offered no specific oversight plan, but after months of making noise about the dangers that this enormous market posed to the financial system, she now wanted to open a formal discussion about whether to regulate them -- and if so, how.

Greenspan, Rubin and Levitt were determined to derail her effort. Privately, Rubin had expressed concern about derivatives' unruly growth. But he agreed with Greenspan and Levitt that these newer contracts, often called "swaps," weren't exactly futures. Born's agency did not have legal authority to regulate swaps, the three men believed, and her call for a discussion had real-world consequences: It would cast doubt over the legality of trillions of dollars in existing contracts and create uncertainty over how to operate in the market.

At the April meeting, the trio's message was clear: Back off, Born.

. .

[Levitt now says] 'I guess if I had to do it over again, I certainly would have pushed for some way to give greater transparency to products which turned out to be injurious to our markets.'"

Gee, thanks.

Palin is Now a Traitor

First, Palin praises a terrorist and now she sells out her country to pseudo-communist regime. A high-level delegation from the Russian energy company Gazprom met in Anchorage with state officials to talk about investing in Alaskan energy projects. See New York Times, Russian Gas Executives Visit Palin’s Turf.

Outrageous. Palin is a traitor to her country.

Why Republi-cons Cry

Republi-cons cry because they have lost their false idol, unregulated capitalism, and with it most of their money. See Washington Post, Gods That Failed.

Time for a Reality Check

Thanks to Bush's soaring budget deficits, neither McCain or Obama will be able to do half what they now propose or promise. See, Washington Post, When Life Hands You Deficits . . .

Time to implement GRAC, the Government Reform and Realignment Committee, to reform government. Wipe the slate clean of all government departments and agencies and add back only essential departments and agencies (the key work here is essential), honestly estimate the cost and reform the tax code to fund the entire cost of government, then implement over a ten year period. Presto, government reform.

Of course, someone with a little back bone will have to tell the public that we don't live in a fake world with false wealth, and you can't have your house and spend it too.


Blowback is a term used to describe the unintended consequences of an operation, usually in the context of covert espionage ops. But I think it appropriate here. I tried to warn Republi-cons that McCain mudpies would dirty him more than Obama. Just as I predicted, the personal attacks on Obama appear to have backfired.

The latest New York Times/CBS News poll found that "if the election were held today, 53 percent of those determined to be probable voters said that they would vote for Mr. Obama and 39 percent said they would vote for Mr. McCain. . . [and] roughly seven in 10 voters said that Mr. Obama had the right kind of temperament and personality to be president; just over half said the same of Mr. McCain."

Don't like the New York Times/CBS News poll, the New York Times has an interactive graph that allows you to select from a number of state and national polls that asked people which candidate they would vote for in the presidential race, even FOX (AKA the Republi-con spin machine).

Bottom line, it ain't lookin good for McCain.

Again, review my suggestion for McCain.

Who is Better With Your Money

Republi-cons hurt the bottom line. See New York Times, Bulls, Bears, Donkeys and Elephants, which states:

"Since 1929, Republicans and Democrats have each controlled the presidency for nearly 40 years. So which party has been better for American pocketbooks and capitalism as a whole? Well, here’s an experiment: imagine that during these years you had to invest exclusively under either Democratic or Republican administrations. How would you have fared?

As of Friday, a $10,000 investment in the S.& P. stock market index* would have grown to $11,733 if invested under Republican presidents only, although that would be $51,211 if we exclude Herbert Hoover’s presidency during the Great Depression. Invested under Democratic presidents only, $10,000 would have grown to $300,671 at a compound rate of 8.9 percent over nearly 40 years."

The article includes a nice graph the Obama campaign should run in an ad.

Listen to the Experts

Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize for Economics this week. He is also a Princeton economist and a New York Times columnist. (I'm curious, does anyone know how many Nobel Prize winners work for FOX?)

You might want to read his column from September 22, "Cash for Trash," in which Krugman wrote that Paulson was demanding extraordinary power for himself to deploy taxpayers’ money on behalf of a plan that, "as far as I can see, doesn’t make sense." Instead, he called for the government to provide capital to financial firms and get a share in ownership in return.

"Among the first to push the idea of injecting money into banks in exchange for an equity stake was Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who proposed the idea at a Sept. 18 night meeting on Capitol Hill that included legislators as well as Paulson and Bernanke."

How much time was lost before Bush adopted the idea? Of course, Paulson had to help his former firm Goldman Sacks first.

Bush Will Be Missed

Less than 100 days until a new president is inaugurated. And already the honors roll in.

See Jim Morin on fear itself, Pat Bagley on how Bush happens, J.D. Crowe on Bush's pep talks, Steve Sack on Bush's retirement plan, David Horsey on Team Bush, Dwane Powell on Bushland, and Mike Keefe on going back to the Rovian barrel.

Won't you miss Bush?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Suggestion for McCain

William Kristol wrote in the New York times that McCain should fire the campaign. Kristol states that McCain needs to reposition himself as a serious but cheerful candidate for times that need a serious but upbeat leader.

I agree. As noted below, one option for McCain is to focus on the "racial resistance among white voters" but that sounds too much like playing the race card. If McCain does that he would probably lose the election and his honor. So how can he fire the campaign and win.

He should give a speech that acknowledges that some have suggested that he focus on the "racial resistance among white voters." He could then categorically renounce the suggestion and instead say that henceforth he will campaign as serious but cheerful candidate. Further, because the country is so deeply partisanly divided, McCain should announce that if elected that he would ask Palin to step aside so that he (McCain) could nominate Obama as VP.

Another brilliant NBB solution, don't you think.

P.S. Yes, I realize that he might alienate some rabid Republi-cons, but I think McCain would rather lose with honor than win by focusing on the "racial resistance among white voters," which in my opinion would be dishonorable. If you think there is another way McCain can win, let's hear it.

UPDATE: An alternative strategy would be to focus solely on the 'split government is better government' argument. That is, government works better when one party doesn't control both the executive and legislative branches. In any case, McCain needs to do something.

Others are making suggestions. See Washington Post, What Could Change the Election? The Post asked John Podesta, Newt Gingrich, Mary Beth Cahill, Peter J. Wallison and Stuart E. Eizenstat what would be an election game-changer.

Is McCain's Only Chance 'Racial Resistance Among White Voters'

Is it too late for McCain? Read this article: New York Times, History Suggests McCain Faces an Uphill Battle, which concludes that history suggests that McCain has fallen too far behind, too late in the campaign, to overtake Obama. The final part of the article states:

Since 1948, front-running candidates have typically preserved three-fourths of their October leads, said Larry M. Bartels, a political scientist at Princeton. Applying statistical theory to current polls, he pegged Mr. Obama’s chance of winning the popular vote at “a little over 90 percent.”

Mr. Bartels noted three factors that might skew the results. Two of them, a potential surge in voter turnout and the tendency of undecided voters to punish the party holding the White House during an economic downturn, appear to favor Mr. Obama. The third, racial resistance among white voters, favors Mr. McCain.

Focus on White Voters

Ahead in once-reliably red states like Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Virginia, Mr. Obama need not win any new voters. If he holds his 50 percent share in Gallup’s survey, and third-party candidates like Bob Barr and Ralph Nader draw 3 percent collectively, Mr. McCain can pull no closer than 47 percent.

The McCain campaign sees scant opportunity to erode Mr. Obama’s strong support among blacks and his two-to-one edge among Hispanics. But Mr. McCain’s strategists think that one in five white voters — roughly 15 percent of the electorate — remains open to persuasion.

The campaign says that those voters tend to be younger, single, less educated and female, and that they also include senior citizens distressed over sagging investments. Those voters are the target audience for Mr. McCain’s recent attacks on Mr. Obama’s ties to William Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground.

If one-third of those voters shift allegiance from Mr. Obama to Mr. McCain, they will produce a 10-percentage-point swing, wiping out Mr. Obama’s lead. Mr. Obama’s strategists say voter preferences have hardened enough to make that difficult.

Mr. McCain’s assessment of whether it is possible may influence his campaign’s efforts to assail Mr. Obama’s character. Facing heavy criticism, Mr. McCain late last week turned ambivalent."

Is the suggestion to focus on the "racial resistance among white voters" the same as playing the race card?

And if McCain focuses on the "racial resistance among white voters," will it do more harm than good for McCain and the country?

If so, then it is lose - lose for McCain.

This Guy Should Be Treasury Secretary

Another great post about the economic mess by Barry Ritholtz. From his latest post, Goal: Increase Minority Homeowners by 5.5 Million in a Decade:

Guess who's goal this was? You might be surprised:

"More and more people own their homes in America today. Two-thirds of all Americans own their homes, yet we have a problem here in America because few than half of the Hispanics and half the African Americans own the home. That's a home ownership gap. It's a -- it's a gap that we've got to work together to close for the good of our country, for the sake of a more hopeful future. We've got to work to knock down the barriers that have created a home ownership gap.

I set an ambitious goal. It's one that I believe we can achieve. It's a clear goal, that by the end of this decade we'll increase the number of minority homeowners by at least 5.5 million families . . .

Home ownership is also an important part of our economic vitality. If -- when we meet this project, this goal, according to our Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we will have added an additional $256 billion to the economy by encouraging 5.5 million new home owners in America; the activity -- the economic activity stimulated with the additional purchasers, the additional buyers, the additional demand will be upwards of $256 billion. And that's important because it will help people find work."

- George W. Bush, U.S. President, October 15, 2002 1:55 P.M.

And Ritholtz argues again:

"As a mortgage salesman, you only lose your a fee if a borrower defaults within 3 or 6 months. What do you do to maximize your returns? The best way to do that -- to put people in houses that would not default in 90 days -- was the 2/28 ARM mortgages. Cheap teaser rates for 24 months, then the big reset. By then, it was no longer your problem.

Can you grasp what a monumental change this was? Instead of making sure that borrowers could pay back ALL OF THE 30 YEAR FIXED MORTGAGE, you only had to find people who could afford the teaser rate for a a few months. THIS WAS AN ENORMOUS AND UNPRECEDENTED SHIFT IN LENDING.

This is the key to the hosuing boom and bust, anbd ultimately underlies the entire credit freeze. And, it would not have been possible without the Greenspan ultra-low rates, which made the teaser portion (the "2" of the 2/28) of these mortgages so attractive.


Those who continue to blame the CRA, Fannie Mae, etc. reveal their fundamental misunderstanding of how credit operates in general, what the financing process was like from 2002-07, and how this situation came to pass. Or worse, they understand it, and choose to lie about it anyway for partisan political purposes.

You either understand these simple facts, or you don't. If you cannot comprehend this, well, then, I am at a loss as to what that says about your cognitive functioning. But if you understand this, but spit out the nonsense anyway, then you are merely a partisan with no respect for the truth.

And that seems to be the main people blaming the CRA and Fannie/Freddie for the credit/housing crisis -- those folks who either can't think -- or wont.

Is Joe Roberts Having a Meltdown

Joe Roberts went from being the Democrat candidate for U.S. Representative, House District 1 in Florida, to being an independent wondering what he should do next in his quest for elected office, to losing as a Republican in the Florida House of Representatives, District 2 race -- all in one year.

Quite an accomplishment. Now he seems to be having a meltdown of sorts, ranting about conspiracies. See Rick's Blog, Joe Roberts on meltdown.

Did he get bitten by some rabid Republi-con?

This Man is a Republi-con

Tim Mahoney, the Democrat who succeeded Mark Foley after he resigned because of a sex scandal, is now embroiled in a sex scandal of his own. See New York Times, Sex Scandal Shakes Race for Congress in Florida.

In a January 20 telephone call that was recorded and played for his employees (what was he thinking) Mahoney told the woman:

"You work at my pleasure, if you do the job that I think you should do, you get to keep your job. Whenever I don’t feel like you’re doing your job, then you lose your job. And guess what: The only person that matters is guess who? Me."

While it might seem funny, 'she works for his pleasure and does the job he wants,' it sounds like he was coercing her for sex. If so, he should be charged with rape, extortion, whatever. He shouldn't be allowed to just resign like Foley.

Republi-con BS on Government Regulations

We've all heard the Republi-con BS on less government regulation. See this graph, New York Times, Regulatory Spending, by Administration, and let's talk about who favors more government control.

Republi-cons also hurt the bottom line, profit. See New York Times, Bulls, Bears, Donkeys and Elephants, which states:

"Since 1929, Republicans and Democrats have each controlled the presidency for nearly 40 years. So which party has been better for American pocketbooks and capitalism as a whole? Well, here’s an experiment: imagine that during these years you had to invest exclusively under either Democratic or Republican administrations. How would you have fared?

As of Friday, a $10,000 investment in the S.& P. stock market index* would have grown to $11,733 if invested under Republican presidents only, although that would be $51,211 if we exclude Herbert Hoover’s presidency during the Great Depression. Invested under Democratic presidents only, $10,000 would have grown to $300,671 at a compound rate of 8.9 percent over nearly 40 years."

The article includes a nice graph the Obama campaign should run in an ad.

Republi-con Fear, Anger, and Hatred

More about the Republi-con strategy of fear, anger, and hatred. Read Washington Post, McCain and the Raging Right.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Profile of a Republi-con Operative

Interesting read about another one of Sheeeepish Haaannity's 'Great Americans.'

Too Early to Be Countin the Chickens

Some are now talking of an Obama landslide, with "larger Democratic majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate — and perhaps a filibuster-proof margin there."

As the old saying goes, there is a risk counting your chickens before the eggs hatch, but perhaps not in this election, given the state of affairs in the McCain campaign (see below).

McCain Endorses Obama

Not quite, but "John McCain likes Barack Obama. He admires and respects Obama. He believes Obama is "very impressive, he's thoughtful, he's centrist." Obama has "probably got a great future." He is "a very honest and fine person" -- "absolutely" qualified to be president."

Fear, Anger, and Hatred

Without fear, anger and hatred, where would the Republi-cons be.

At a rally in Lakeville, Minnesota McCain found himself struggling to control the fear, anger and hatred some of his rabid supports have been promoting. His running mate Sarah Palin stepped up her own attacks against Obama, often inspiring outbursts complete with cries of "terrorist" and "off with his head." Even an older woman said that that Obama could not be trusted because he is an 'Arab.'

In Northwest Florida, one of the finer members (presumably) of the Republi-con party, "decided to illustrate [to his seventh grade civils class] the concept of 'change' by writing 'Come Help A N----r Get Elected' on the white board in front of his class.

Then there are the officially sanctioned comparisons to OBL.

I'm sure Sheeepish Haaannity considers them all 'Great American.'

But consider what John Lewis said this weekend:

"As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing today reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who only desired to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed one Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Governor Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better."

It is true, we can do better. Thankfully, even McCain finds the attacks over the top. McCain responded to the lady in Lakeville, saying "No, ma'am, he's a decent family man, a citizen, who I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. And that's what this campaign is all about."

But the Republi-cons don't think that is the way to win an election, so it will fear, anger, and hatred, from now until the election. McCain won't win many independents with that strategy.

Republi-con Lies

So many lies, so little time to respond:

  • McClatchy Newspapers, Private sector loans, not Fannie or Freddie, triggered crisis, which states in part:

    "Commentators say that's what triggered the stock market meltdown and the freeze on credit. They've specifically targeted the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the federal government seized on Sept. 6, contending that lending to poor and minority Americans caused Fannie's and Freddie's financial problems.

  • Federal housing data reveal that the charges aren't true, and that the private sector, not the government or government-backed companies, was behind the soaring subprime lending at the core of the crisis.

  • Subprime lending offered high-cost loans to the weakest borrowers during the housing boom that lasted from 2001 to 2007. Subprime lending was at its height from 2004 to 2006.

    Federal Reserve Board data show that:

  • More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.

  • Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year.

  • Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that's being lambasted by conservative critics.

    The "turmoil in financial markets clearly was triggered by a dramatic weakening of underwriting standards for U.S. subprime mortgages, beginning in late 2004 and extending into 2007," the President's Working Group on Financial Markets reported Friday.

  • Conservative critics claim that the Clinton administration pushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make home ownership more available to riskier borrowers with little concern for their ability to pay the mortgages.

  • "I don't remember a clarion call that said Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster," said Neil Cavuto of Fox News."

  • ACORN Press Release, ACORN Response to Senator McCain’s Smear Ad

    "ACORN President Maude Hurd released the following statement today in response to the McCain campaign’s new ad claiming that, among other things, ACORN is responsible for the mortgage crisis:

    ”For almost a decade, ACORN, a community organization of 400,000 families in neighborhoods across the country, has been fighting against the predatory lending practices that have robbed our members of their homes, destabilized neighborhoods, and roiled the global economy.”

    “In his newest ad, John McCain’s campaign bizarrely claims, “ACORN forced banks to issue risky home loans, the same types of loans that caused the financial crisis we’re in today.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, ACORN has worked successfully to help working class families get good home loans on fair terms from legitimate banks and has fought vigorously against predatory lenders who have ripped off families in our communities. These predatory loans caused the crisis.”

    “For more than a decade, ACORN members have held protests, released reports, and advocated for regulations to protect homeowners from predatory lenders. ACORN organizers and volunteers have been working day and night to help victims of the GOP economic meltdown to save their
    homes from foreclosure. In fact, ACORN has brought class action lawsuits against several predatory lenders, and has lobbied the Federal Reserve and Congress in support of regulations against predatory lending. ACORN has even been successful in convincing many lenders to treat homeowners more fairly and help families be able to make their mortgage payments and save their homes.”

    “Unfortunately, the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans like John McCain have blocked the sensible regulations that ACORN and others proposed that would have averted the mortgage meltdown. If John McCain thinks that community organizers caused the foreclosure crisis, he knows even less about the economy than previously thought.”

    ”John McCain and the Republicans are desperately trying to shift the blame for the economic crisis they caused with a philosophy of deregulation and indifference to homeowners. All the grainy footage and creepy music in the world can’t cancel out some simple, basic facts, and the facts about the economy are not on John McCain’s side.”"

Without the lies, the American public would see the Republi-cons for what they are, largely responsible for the current economic mess. Without the lies, the Republi-cons would be swamped in this election.

Don't listen to the Republi-con lies!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sounds Like Something Palin and Her Husband Might Do

Someone should be fired. Read New York Times, Citizen Terrorists Deleted, which highlights the abuse of power in the so-called 'war on terror.'

If you think OBL wants to take away our freedom and liberties, he's getting us doing the job for him.

More on the Economic Mess

Another great article, New York Times, Taking Hard New Look at a Greenspan Legacy, which examines the 'legacy' Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

Five years ago, Warren E. Buffett warned that derivatives, complex financial instruments designed to hedge against risk, were "financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal." George Soros avoids using derivatives "because we don’t really understand how they work." And Felix G. Rohatyn described derivatives as potential "hydrogen bombs." It turns out that derivatives are the crux of the current economic mess, and and Greenspan supported and promoted their use.

The article includes a great graphic, Growth of a Complex Market,which shows the growth of the derivative market from $106 trillion in 2002 to $531.2 trillion in 2008 and credit default swaps from $2.2 trillion in 2002 to $54.6 trillion in 2008. Yikes!!

What a mess.

New Stock Market Terms

CEO --Chief Embezzlement Officer.

CFO-- Corporate Fraud Officer.

BULL MARKET -- A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

BEAR MARKET -- A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry, and the husband gets no sex.

VALUE INVESTING -- The art of buying low and selling lower.

P/E RATIO -- The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.

BROKER -- What my broker has made me.

STANDARD & POOR -- Your life in a nutshell.

STOCK ANALYST -- Idiot who just downgraded your stock.

STOCK SPLIT -- When your ex-wife and her lawyer split your assets equally between themselves.

FINANCIAL PLANNER -- A guy whose phone has been disconnected.

MARKET CORRECTION -- The day after you buy stocks.

CASH FLOW-- The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.

YAHOO -- What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker for $240 per share.

WINDOWS -- What you jump out of when you're the sucker who bought Yahoo @ $240 per share.

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR -- Past year investor who's now locked up in a nuthouse.

PROFIT -- An archaic word no longer in use.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Posted for WEBY

From Mike:

"Stock Market Quote of the Day: This is worse than divorce. I have lost half of my money and still have my husband ."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Show Link(s)

To listen to the ATF call to Pensacola Police Department dispatch in the Kilpatrick case , click here.

And read the story in the Santa Rosa Press Gazette.

Link to website of Jim Bryan for Congress.

The Rats Are Abandoning Ship

Is conservative columnist David Brooks endorsing Obama? See Huffington Post, David Brooks: Sarah Palin "Represents A Fatal Cancer To The Republican Party"

The son of William F. Buckley has decided to vote for Obama. See The Daily Beast, Sorry, Dad, I'm Voting for Obama.

Who next? You?


Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican senator from Rhode Island, he now calls himself an independent:

"That's not my kind of Republicanism, I saw what Bush and Cheney did. They came in with a (budget) surplus and a stable world, and look what's happened now. In eight short years they've taken one peaceful and prosperous world, and they've torn it into tatters."

[As for McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for his running mate,] "there's no question she's totally unqualified."

Bob Eleveld, Kent County Republican chairman who led McCain's West Michigan campaign in 2000, and now describe himself as a member of the party's moderate wing:

"I think the straight talk is gone, I think McCain's pandering to the Christian right. That's some straight talk from me."

Former Republican Michigan Gov. William Milliken:

"He is not the McCain I endorsed. He keeps saying, 'Who is Barack Obama?' I would ask the question, 'Who is John McCain?' because his campaign has become rather disappointing to me."


Buckley's son resigns from the Nation Review, he was "effectively fatwahed by the conservative movement" after endorsing Obama.

See also Washington Post, National Review Boots Buckley Son For Obama Boost. When Buckley endorsed Obama he quoted his father as saying, "You know, I've spent my entire lifetime separating the Right from the kooks." Apparently that didn't sit especially well with National Review editor Rich Lowry. I guess the truth hurts.

How Low Will It Go

No, not Bush's approval rating, that might be in negative territory.

How low will the stock market indexes go. Read, The Big Picture, 10 Bullish Charts, Signals, Indicators. Barry Ritholz suggests that "are increasingly close to a bottom." I hope so.

Hell Hath No Fury Like The Palin Family

It was only three dozen phone calls, just checkin on the ex-brother-in-law, making sure that eh is OK in that 'Safety Bear' costume. A chip off the old Cheney she is.

See: New York Times, Palins Repeatedly Pressed Case Against Trooper.

Watch out before you marry into the Palin Cosa Nostra.


New York Times, Alaska Inquiry Concludes Palin Abused Powers

"Gov. Sarah Palin abused the powers of her office by pressuring subordinates to fire her former brother-in-law, a state trooper, an investigation concluded."

Time, What the Troopergate Report Really Says.

"Did Governor Sarah Palin abuse the power of her office in trying to get her former brother-in-law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, fired? Yes. . .

Is the Palin administration shockingly amateurish? Yes, it is. Disturbingly so. . .

A harsh verdict? Consider the report's findings. Not only did people at almost every level of the Palin administration engage in repeated inappropriate contact with Walt Monegan and other high-ranking officials at the Department of Public Safety, but Monegan and his peers constantly warned these Palin disciples that the contact was inappropriate and probably unlawful. Still, the emails and calls continued — in at least one instance on recorded state trooper phone lines.

The state's head of personnel, Annette Kreitzer, called Monegan and had to be warned that personnel issues were confidential. The state's attorney general, Talis Colberg, called Monegan and had to be reminded that the call was putting both men in legal jeopardy, should Wooten decide to sue. The governor's chief of staff met with Monegan and had to be reminded by Monegan that, "This conversation is discoverable ... You don't want Wooten to own your house, do you?" Monegan consistently emerges as the adult in these conversations, while the Palin camp displays a childish impetuousness and sense of entitlement."

Washington Post, Alaska's Family Feud

"[Palin] and her husband pursuing a personal vendetta against the trooper, Mike Wooten, despite repeated warnings that they were impermissibly intruding into internal -- and already concluded -- disciplinary issues. Likewise, Ms. Palin's decision to repudiate her earlier pledge to cooperate fully with the inquiry does not offer assurance about how she would conduct herself as vice president."

Comrade Bush

After the bailout of AIG and Wall Street banks, as well as the auto industry, the Bush administration is now considering a partial nationalization of some banks. See Washington Post, The End Of American Capitalism

So who is the real socialist?

P.S. Actually, this isn't socialist, it is communist.