Sunday, September 28, 2008

Political Cartoons

Here is a bunch of good ones all on the bailout. Here's a few samples but there is more at the site:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mad Dog Palin

Matt Taibbi is fast becoming my favorite political writer. Not only does he "tell it like it is" about the absurdity that is American politics but the man is nearly a poet in the way he puts together a sentence or paints a scene. Great stuff. See his Mad Dog Palin article, you won't be disappointed:
"She totally reminds me of my cousin!" the delegate screeched. "She's a real woman! The real thing!"

I stared at her open-mouthed. In that moment, the rank cynicism of the whole sorry deal was laid bare. Here's the thing about Americans. You can send their kids off by the thousands to get their balls blown off in foreign lands for no reason at all, saddle them with billions in debt year after congressional year while they spend their winters cheerfully watching game shows and football, pull the rug out from under their mortgages, and leave them living off their credit cards and their Wal-Mart salaries while you move their jobs to China and Bangalore.

And none of it matters, so long as you remember a few months before Election Day to offer them a two-bit caricature culled from some cutting-room-floor episode of Roseanne as part of your presidential ticket. And if she's a good enough likeness of a loudmouthed middle-American archetype, as Sarah Palin is, John Q. Public will drop his giant-size bag of Doritos in gratitude, wipe the Sizzlin' Picante dust from his lips and rush to the booth to vote for her. Not because it makes sense, or because it has a chance of improving his life or anyone else's, but simply because it appeals to the low-humming narcissism that substitutes for his personality, because the image on TV reminds him of the mean, brainless slob he sees in the mirror every morning.

The Debate

I had really been looking forward to the debates because that was when I figured Obama would wipe the floor with McCain and the election would be in the bag.

Lots of good things happened over the last 2 weeks with McCain self-destructing on the economy and pulling what has got to be the stupidest political stunt ever. He said he was suspending his campaign (never happened) and going to Washington to lead congress out of this mess, no talk of a plan - we have to assume he will do this by sheer force of personality - and threatening to cancel the debate. Then he takes 18 hours to get from New York City to Washing DC, canceling an appearance with Letterman because of the rush. When he got there he did nothing and the Republicans rejected a deal they were going to accept because they wanted McCain to get his say first.

So McCain, the Drama Queen, actually screwed up the whole process in a bid to derail the election he was losing. The pundits said he was hitting the reset switch on his campaign, but he ends up looking like a madman. Every news person had to use a sports analogy for McCain’s pathetic ploy but I think a Hail Mary is still the best description. That’s where the quarterback, in sheer desperation, tosses a long ball into the end zone, where both teams gather, and hope his guy will come down with the reception. McCain’s entire campaign has been one Hail Mary after another, and one of them, Sarah Palin, looks like a very bad mistake. Imagine a presidency that is nothing but Hail Mary’s for 4 long years. We’d be in big trouble.

So with all that happening during this week it looked like McCain would come in rattled and off his game and Obama would take him apart.

It didn’t happen. I was actually quite impressed with McCain’s performance because he did far better than I thought he could. He was strong and aggressive and energetic. I kept wondering what kind of drugs and vitamins his campaign shot him up with so he could do that. And only 2 senior moments.

Obama still won, and by a good margin, but there was no knockout punch. Mainly Obama looked more presidential and McCain made several stupid mistakes. The most notable was mispronouncing Ahmadinejad’s name several times in a row, that was one senior moment. The other one was when he repeated his line about never winning Miss Congeniality in the Senate. He also looked like a troll, hunched down over his podium and refusing to even look at Obama. And when Obama was talking he made some really bizarre faces. The man is scary, the thought of him as president is REALLY scary. And when Obama said that Ahmadinejad was not even the top guy in Iran McCain laughed like that was the most ridiculous thing he ever heard. It scared me, though, because I think he really doesn’t know that Ahmadinejad isn’t the top guy in Iran. It’s something he really should know.

Obama was calm and cool and knowledgeable, and forceful, which is a quality he really needs to display more often. McCain’s biggest attack on Obama was that he just didn’t understand, he repeated that over and over. And it fell totally flat because every time Obama opened his mouth he proved very effectively that he understood quite well, he simply didn’t agree with McCain. But this was a debate of foreign policy which is supposed to be McCain’ biggest strength yet Obama not only matched him but exceeded his knowledge, and showing he understood even subtle nuances, which is what McCain didn’t seem to understand.

On the economy McCain seemed to be incredibly ignorant. He felt most of the budget deficit could be solved simply by getting rid of earmarks, which is totally absurd, earmarks only account for about $18 billion of the budget. But McCain had little to push with the economy since his main plan is to lower taxes even further on the rich and corporations which would only increase our debt and lower the value of the dollar.

The polls show that most think Obama won. One poll had 40% for Obama, 22% for McCain and 38% saying it was a tie. But a tie is pretty damn good since McCain had been attacking Obama as too inexperienced to be Commander In Chief, but a tie says most people think he will be just as good if not better. There were a number of places I thought Obama could have landed some real knockout punches but he didn’t go for it.

Still, a good debate, overall. There are 2 more so we can see what happens. And next Friday is the VP debate which should be hysterical. Sarah Palin against Joe Biden. I almost feel sorry for her. She should do so badly that it seals the election right there but the American public really IS stupid, which the last 2 presidential elections have proven beyond a doubt.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Senator Bernie Sanders

Sign the Petition! Normally I don't sign these things, I think it makes people a target for the FBI and these days, in the land of the once-free, that is a very serious worry. But Bernie is my favorite Senator (I wish we could get him to move out here and replace Feinstein) and this issue is too important and too outrageous. How dare they come back and ask the American public to rescue the greedy wall streeters who have caused this but apparently, are not supposed to pay any price for it. They've already ripped us off in any number of ways as Bush and the rich have looted the national coffers over the past 8 years to make themselves richer. Bernie says this:
While the Administration has quickly rallied to help Wall Street, it has ignored the needs of the declining middle class. Since President Bush has been in office the wealthiest people in this country have made out like bandits and have not had it so good since the 1920s. The top one-tenth of one percent now earn more income than the bottom 50 percent of Americans and the top one percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Incredibly, the richest 400 people in our country saw their wealth increase by $670 billion during the Bush presidency.

Having mismanaged the economy for 8 years while continually insisting that, “The fundamentals of our economy are strong,” the Bush Administration, six weeks before an election, wants the middle class of this country to bail out Wall Street to the tune of one trillion dollars. Meanwhile the wealthiest people, those who have benefited most from Bush’s policies and are in the best position to pay, are being asked for no sacrifice at all. This is absurd.
So sign the petition and let's see if we can put a stop to this insanity and not give Bush his final, and biggest, victory.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

John McCain: The New FDR

All McCain can talk about these days is regulation and how great it is and how much he is for it and boy, when he is president he’s going to regulate those greedy Wall Streeters to within an inch of their lives!!

It’s hard to find a concept more absurd when McCain has called himself the DE-regulator for years and said he is always for less regulation. Let the markets find their own balance was his philosophy, echoing the Republican party line. Free markets should be worshipped like an omnipotent and omnibenevolent god. What an embarrassment this latest crisis must be for him - and all Republicans. Now they have all become regulators crying out against those greedy rich people who have brought us to the brink of ruin.

And make no mistake about it, we are on the brink, which means the whole world is on the brink of financial ruin. We might be back on the barter system soon, better gather up some actual products instead of money, because it will soon be worthless. But John McCain, or any Republican, sounding like a socialist calling for more and more regulation is a world turned upside down and inside out. But it’s important to note how easily and nimbly McCain has given up everything he has held dear all his life and done a complete about face and betrayed himself in order to become president. Either that or he’s lying. Take your pick on which is a worse statement on his character. What we can say now is that he IS a character, but he HAS none.

But what choice does he have? His whole life has just been shown to be a lie, that the great Republican philosophy of a free market is pure fiction and instead leads to economic ruin. Isn’t it interesting how little it means to him that his life has been a lie, he just does an about face and puts another mask on. Clearly he never believed his own philosophy, it was just convenient for getting him elected as a Republican. Now that it is no longer convenient (to say the least) he does an easy pivot and changes his basic view of the world and becomes a completely different person.

Actually, he has not become a different person, he was always an empty suit and has only reacted to the crisis in the only way possible. It’s like the old joke of a guy running behind a crowd as fast as he can and saying he has to get in front of them because he is their leader!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

More On The Economy

Paul Krugman is my favorite economist because he is one of the few who doesn't have his head stuck up the rightwing a-hole. And he really is a well known and highly respected economist. Check out his bio at the NY Times from which this is just a small piece:
Paul Krugman joined The New York Times in 1999 as a columnist on the Op-Ed Page and continues as professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Mr. Krugman received his B.A. from Yale University in 1974 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1977. He has taught at Yale, MIT and Stanford. At MIT he became the Ford International Professor of Economics.
He's a heavyweight in the field. And he said something today on the Rachel Maddow show that scared me and made me realize what I forgot to mention yesterday in my post on the economy; namely, that we could be heading for another Great Depression just as bad, if not worse as in 1932. This is something I've worried about for years because anyone who knows even a little bit about the economy and what the idiot Republicans were doing to it were worried. Another Great Depression is, of course, the worst of all possible outcomes so I always thought it wasn't too likely (I hoped). But Krugman said today that if the Fed hadn't bailed out AIG we might have been only days away for a GD. Days. This from his blog 2 days ago:
And there’s a lesson there for those ready to hear it: government takeovers may be the only way to get the financial system working again.

Some people have been making that argument for some time. Most recently, Paul Volcker, the former Fed chairman, and two other veterans of past financial crises published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal declaring that the only way to avoid “the mother of all credit contractions” is to create a new government agency to “buy up the troubled paper” — that is, to have taxpayers take over the bad assets created by the bursting of the housing and credit bubbles. Coming from Mr. Volcker, that proposal has serious credibility.
If everyone loses faith in the ability of banks to borrow money then the whole system comes crashing down because all credit will end which will bring most business to a halt and put all of us out of work. In 1932 they had an unemployment rate of 24%, we could see that again.

So what do we have going on here? We can now proudly proclaim ourselves a socialist country in the style of Europe. That's what Republicanism has done for us. But we aren't out of the woods yet. Krugman says he wants to know the details of what the the Fed, SEC and Congress are cooking up to see if it will do what it needs to do, and hopefully without the CEO's and stockholders of failed companies walking away with millions.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Economy Stupid

I'd like to say the stupid part goes to Bush, and while he's been the biggest enabler of disastrous economic policies, the fault of this goes way back for decades. In fact, it would be hard to pinpoint where it all started, probably the 1920's is the best place. One article that explains it very nicely starting from the 1920's on up, but written well enough it's easy to understand, is Only a Roosevelt-Scale Counterrevolution Can Prevent Great Depression II By Robert Kuttner.
Free-market extremists brought us this needless economic collapse. Here's a rundown of the mistakes we've made and the reforms we need now.
Free-market extremists, otherwise known as Republicans. And one of the people most at fault is Alan Greenspan. His entire philosophy since he became head of the fed is to do what he could to make the economy business friendly. Here's an article by Digsby on how Greenspan created this current crisis, Digsby quotes Newsweek's Michael Hirsh:
This mess is mostly a titanic failure of regulation. And the largest share of blame goes back to one man: Alan Greenspan. People mainly fault the former Fed chief, who once enjoyed a near-saintly reputation because of his reputed "feel" for market conditions, for ushering in an era of easy credit that accelerated the mortgage mania. But the much bigger problem was Greenspan's Ayn Randian passion for regulatory minimalism. Under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act enacted by Congress in 1994, the Fed was given the authority to oversee mortgage loans. But Greenspan kept putting off writing any rules. As late as April 2005, when things were seriously beginning to go wrong, he was saying that subprime lending would work out for the common good—without government interference.
There were others responsible, Phil Gramm comes to mind - you know, McCain's economic adviser - but the heart of it all goes back to Reagan's election in 1980. That's when the idea that government was evil and regulations come from government and are evil too. McCain himself is one of those free-market extremists who has supported de-regulation every time he could in his 26 year senate career. But now he likes regulation (hahah).

But not to worry, the government bailout should save us all from collapse, now the Fed is running some major companies, like Fannie Mae and AIG, and actually own all or part of these companies. This means that eventually we all might make a profit from these companies.

A guy on the Today show this morning had a good analogy for it. Think of the hurricane that just wiped out Galvaston. All the people there are screwed because they are individual homeowners with limited resources. But suppose some really rich guy owned it all and could afford to sit back and take big loses for several years, eventually all that property would be rebuilt and he'd make a fortune. The key is being rich enough to get through the financial loses. When it comes to AIG and all the others the Fed has bailed out, only the government is rich enough to do that on the scale needed. Wow, the government as a solution to a major problem, what a concept!

And don't worry, the Fed has money even though the country is in debt. They are the people who print money so they can make as much as they want. But in the modern age of computers actually printing money is not necessary, so the Fed magically created billions of dollars that only exist in computer storage. Isn't that cool? Don't you wish you could make Magic Money?

The main point is that we should be OK, eventually, as long as some strong regulations are enacted to prevent this from happening again. How do we do that? By electing Democrats, especially as president, and throwing out alllthe clowns who want deregulation no matter what. And who are they? Republicans. Republicans should not be allowed to rule and they should never be given moeny to handle, and this has now been proven definitively by the current crisis.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lipstick on a Bourgeois Pig

I'm really liking Michael Seitzman as a writer, even though I only discovered him a few days ago. He's incredibly succinct yet makes his point better than people who write longer and boring articles. In this post he says pretty much what I said about McCain but better:
Notice that the minute there is a disaster of any sort, Old Man Winter responds in two ways -- the disaster is either not actually happening and you're just whining, or, he's going to make sure it never happens again. And how exactly is he going make sure of that? Well, he says he's going to appoint a commission -- that's right, a GOVERNMENT commission. If that sounds like more of that bureaucracy he's going to shrink, it's because it is. And what do you think that commission's going to recommend? Hold on...wait for it comes....REGULATION. You heard right, Seniletor McCaine and Governor I-Can-See-Russia-From-Here would officially like to change their position. It seems they've awakened to the stunning realization that "government interference" is exactly what's needed to do all that changin' and reformin' they gon' do.
It's amazing to me that McCain can suddenly change the position he's held for 26 years and get away with it. 48 hours ago he was The Deregulator (I keep picturing McCain's face with the skin gone on half of it with the metal robot showing underneath). Now - suddenly - deregulation is the problem and he is going to start regulating as soon as he gets to Washington! Does that mean he's been WRONG for the past 26 years and now - suddenly - sees the light? Perhaps now he will also see the wisdom of raising taxes on the rich and government run health care? Only if he needs to do that to win the election, because all McCain really wants is to be president, I don't think he cares much about what he will do once he's there.

I actually suspect that McCain is sick and is keeping it a secret until he gets elected. I have no direct knowledge of this, just a gut feeling based on his age, the fact that his campaign has refused to let out ALL of his health information, and the fact that Cindy is now traveling with him everywhere at all times. What is she doing for him that only the two fo them know about? Adrenaline shots to keep him going? Pain shots? Maybe a dialysis machine back in the plane? I don't know and I could be wrong but he's old and doesn't look good, which means Palin could be president in a short time if they win. Damn, is that scary.

Anyway, read Michael Seitzman article on Huffington Post, lots more good stuff than what I quoted here and well worth reading.

Drill Baby, Drill!

Rudy Giuliani has gotten credit for this new slogan that gets Republicans all fired up but it was actually Michael Steele who coined the phrase at the Republican Convention. And it's really just another Republican scam.

The Democrats in congress are about to pass a bill that allows off-shore drilling and are taking a lot of flack for it, flack that is undeserved. Bush removed the moratorium against off-shore drilling that had been around for decades, which means that after September 30 they can just start drilling anywhere they want. This bill is to reign them in with very specific limitations. They have to drill no closer than 50 miles from shore and they have to get the permission of the state where the shore is. If the state says no that ends it.

Yet Democrats have said that no oil company person has said they want this. It's been said they don't currently have any equipment for off-shore drilling and haven't planned on getting any. Plus they already have millions of acres leased from the Feds for the purpose of oil drilling that they are NOT drilling on right now. Why even bother to go for the much more expensive off-shore drilling when they have all those empty on-shore acres they can drill for the next 20 years before even getting started on off-shore drilling? And their processing plants to turn oil into gas are now working at capacity, so what do they need more oil for and how would it help us?

Because it's a scam. McCain managed to convince a large portion of the public that off-shore drilling is a solution to high gas prices so people want it and the Republicans are milking it for all it's worth. It's pure political pandering with no relationship in reality. Kind of like most Republican philosophies.

Sadly, most of America has been fooled by them again. I'm afraid I have to admit now that Americans really are just plain stupid.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Final Verdict

"Let's be clear," Obama said, "what we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed."
This is the most important thing Obama has said so far in this campaign, and he seems to be the only one involved, including media and economists, that has really seen the full picture and said it out loud.

What he is saying is that our economy crashing down around ours ears is the full result of Republican economic policy. Let's be very, very clear, the end result here is absolutely proof that the Republican economic philosophy is WRONG. It won't even do what the True Believers think it will do. What they do is remove regulations, privatize everything and let all the fat cats sit back and rake in the cash at the expense of the middle class and poor. The top 1% has nearly doubled their income since Reagan took office, while the middle class has lost over 6% in the same time period. And Bush carried this to new extremes by refusing to enforce any regulations that still existed.

And what happens when the restraints are taken off of the business men, the free market worshipers? They get greedy. And I don't mean just greedy, I mean serial murderer crazy greedy, something all out of proportion to what they needed to do to get very rich.

Phil Gramm was leading the charge back in 1999 to strip regulations from the banking industry. After he left congress he became a lobbyist for one of Europe's largest banks, UBS. What a surprise. John McCain made him his finance czar and he wrote up all of McCain's financial policies. He's been in the dog house ever since he said we were all whiners over the economy but he's still part of McCain's campaign and word is he will be Treasury Secretary if McCain wins.

McCain himself has said for years that he is The De-Regulator. That he always wants less regulation every time. But in the last 24 hours he is suddenly all for regulations on those greedy people on Wall Street, despite a 26 year record of voting against such things. Isn't it great how politicians can suddenly become the exact opposite of what they have always been - in a crisis? Especially when all they really want is to be president and will sacrifice every shred of honor they ever had in that pursuit.

This failed Republican economic philosophy lasts a long time for 2 main reasons; 1-The guys at the top make lots of money for a long time before the house of cards comes crashing down and 2-They are all ideologues, to them this will always be true no matter how much evidence there is that says otherwise. This is why Bush has said we are just "in a rough patch" and that the economy is fundamentally strong. He really does believe that if we all just wait a while it will work out like it's supposed to.

In the meantime, while it's all working itself out, we - you and me - are the ones who have to pay the piper while the guys who caused it all walk away with billions of dollars in their pockets. Not much incentive for them to change, is there? They get all the rewards but take no risks, because when the rich are in trouble socialism suddenly becomes a good thing. In the meantime we have reaped no rewards for all this gluttony but we are stuck with the bill.

The last time this happened it was Herbert Hoover putting the final touches in place to cause the Great Depression. Then we had FDR come in and turn things around by injecting socialism into the American system. And by doing so saved the country and saved capitalism, created a strong middle class and made us rich and prosperous, and most of us got a piece of that prosperity. But the conservatives have been steaming ever since. Their greatest desire was to undo the New Deal and with the election of Reagan in 1980 they had their opening. They've been working like crazy to recreate the world of the Robber Barons of the late 19th century, going all the way up to 1929, and have suceeded.

Bush has put on the final touches with an economy so bad we just might see the American economy collapse, or even the world economy because this whole thing is reverberating all over the world. I hate to see what kind of policies other countries will create out of this in order to keep themselves safe from the American cancer of Republicanism, but whatever it is it will be very bad for us and for a very long time.

Our only hope right now is another FDR to come in and save the day and create another golden age of the middle class. That means Obama. Is he up to the task? I don't know and have many severe doubts about his abilities and his economic policies, but he's all we've got, four more years of Republicanism and we are finished. So the next time someone says "Free Market" to you, go out and vote for a Democrat.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Michael Seitzman

Just discovered a great new writer on Huffington Post, Michael Seitzman. To me a good writer is someone who says something I should have said and as good or better than I would have said it, Seitzman met that criteria with a single post, Sarah Palin Naked.
Now, I want to be clear and speak directly to those of you who LOVED that Palin interview. You're an idiot. I mean that. This is not one of those cases where we're going to agree to disagree. This isn't one of those situations where we debate it passionately and then walk away thinking that the other guy is wrong but argued well. I'm not going to think of you as a thoughtful but misguided person with different ideas who still really cares about the country and the world. No, sorry, not this time. This time, if you watched those interview excerpts and weren't scared out of your freakin' mind, then you're mentally ill, mentally disabled, or mentally disturbed. What you are NOT is responsible, informed, curious, thoughtful, mature, educated, empathetic, or remotely serious. I mean it.
He nailed it an didn't hold any punches. I recommend cruising his site and reading some other posts.

Tina Fey Does Sarah Palin

And she is so much like her it's scary.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Super Obama

I wrote about Graphitti Designs doing a Super Obama shirt, painted by Alex Ross. Bob just sent me a picture of Obama holding the shirt. This is great! I have no idea who the other people are but I thought I'd leave them all in.

McCain Change

This is from Tom Toles and the Washington Post. It speaks perfectly to how ridiculous the idea is that McCain is going to Washington for change. But there is one change we can be guaranteed of, he will appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court and Roe vs Wade will be overturned. It should happen before the end of his first term.

Hillary had a great line in a speech recently: "Anyone who things Republicans can fix the problems they have created probably think the iceberg could save the Titanic."

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Here is another Special Comment by Keith Olbermann. He brings up one thing that has REALLY bothered me since 9/11, why does Bush get no blame for it? It was on his watch and the reports were there. It's obvious that Clinton kept a close eye on these things but Bush and crew never did, they just ignored it.

Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi is one of my favorite writers because he's even more cynical than me and often talks about what is REALLY going on behind the scenes of a political campaign, being merciless to candidates and reporters alike. This one is worth a read just because it's so well written:

Why Obama's Message Resonates with Millions

Here's an excerpt:
We've become trained to look for the man behind the mask, for in real life there is no one whose emotional life is confined to a lifelong, passionate love for his high school sweetheart wife and their two children, an undying appreciation for the sacrifice of soldiers, awe before the flag and concern for the future of the middle class. Oh, and a burning passion for reducing dependence on foreign oil 30 percent by 2018 and for full federal funding for special education. Because that's the standard we set for our presidential candidates; anyone who reveals himself to have other things going on inside, to be more human than that, never makes it this far.

But I'm not sure there is a mask when it comes to Barack Obama. It sounds crazy, but he might actually be this guy, this couldn't-possibly-exist guy, inside and out. I heard Joe Lieberman talk about his middle-class dad, I heard Hillary plaster every corner of Pennsylvania with talk about her grandfather's sojourn in the lace factory, I heard John Edwards tell everyone who would listen, and even some who wouldn't, about what being the son of a millworker meant to him, and in every case I could feel the cold hand of political calculation crawling up my shirt as they spoke.

Then I hear Obama tell audiences about his grandmother and her time working on a bomber assembly line during World War II. Intellectually I know it's the same thing -- but when you actually watch him in person, you get this crazy sense that these schlock ready-for-paperback patriotic tales really are a big part of his emotional makeup. You listen to him talking about his grandfather waving a little American flag on the Hawaiian beach as he watched the astronauts come in to shore, and you can almost see that these moments actually have some kind of poetic meaning for him, and that he views his own already-historic run as a continuation of that pat-but-inspirational childhood story -- putting a man on the moon then, putting a black man in the White House now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Michael Palin for President

This needs no introduction:


I love this site because they point out the problem of money accumulating with the top 1% while diminishing for most of us. Many examples plus clear information on why it is bad in so many ways. If this continues democracy is at an end. We have the middle class because of the policies FDR put in place after Republican rule crashed our economy the last time. One of the great ironies is that FDR saved capitalism while saving America. He made it viable, but those great capitalists, the Republicans, hate him for everything he did. Without him we would likely be a communist or fascist society.

Then all those soldiers came home from WWII and the middle class was created in high numbers and we became more of a democracy. It was a strong middle class that made us the dominant world power, now the deliberate destruction of the middle class by the Republicans are destroying our lead in the world as well as destroying our democracy. And make no mistake about it, a large a prosperous middle class is not natural, it has to be artificially created by government regulation. Otherwise, if left alone we will end up with all the money moving back to the top with the rest of us in terrible poverty. Through most of human history there has been a small elite that was rich and ruled, a slightly larger middle class (only about 5% most of the time) and the rest in great poverty. Only in the 20th century did this change.

Our health is suffering too. Here’s a quote from the website:
“The richest 1 percent of U.S. households now owns 34 percent of the nation's private wealth, more than the combined wealth of the bottom 90 percent of the population. All of us who are in that bottom 90 percent share an interest in having an economy that works for everyone. Rather than dividing ourselves by race, we should unite for an America that benefits the vast majority — regardless of the complexion of that majority.”
Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, Center for Community Change, Albany Times-Union, September 2, 2008.
And it’s beyond absurd that the 90% at the bottom are so easily controlled and manipulated by the propaganda of that 1%. In a land where we can all vote they should be following us.

And here is another good site in the same vein, called Extreme Inequality.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A theocrat is a theocrat, whether Muslim or Christian.

Here is a good article by Juan Cole that is definitely worth reading:
Sept. 9, 2008 | John McCain announced that he was running for president to confront the "transcendent challenge" of the 21st century, "radical Islamic extremism," contrasting it with "stability, tolerance and democracy." But the values of his handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God's will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.

Divided We Fail

This is something from AARP where they are trying to end partisanship in the federal government. They want Democrats and Republicans to work together for common goals. Here is what they say their goals are:
We believe that access to health care and long-term financial security are basic needs that all Americans share.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? All of us united in doing the best for our country and the people in it. There is one basic flaw in that reasoning - the entire reason we don’t have universal health care or financial security right now is because the Republicans have been fighting it tooth and nail for the last 40 years. How do you ally yourself with the very people who have caused this problem in the first place?

The Republicans’ big break came with Ronald Reagan, he launched modern Republicanism and it has culminated in it’s highest form with George Bush. The main principal of this movement? Funnel wealth upwards from the poor and middle class to the top one percent. And they have been doing it, it’s accomplished because all they have to do it yell “The Democrat will raise your taxes” and people get upset. No one don’t even bothers to check out if it’s true or false, it’s like a little panic button the Republicans have been hitting for so long it’s now become automatic.

Bush lowered your taxes (although he lowered them more for the wealthy). Has this made you better off? The price of gas alone negates whatever small tax cuts you might have gotten and that is just one thing, there are many, many more things that have cost you dearly. And it is so much better having your money going to Exxon than the government, right? The dollar is now worth one third less than what it was when Bush came into office, this means everything from overseas now costs more so prices are rising everywhere because we no longer manufacture anything in this country.

Another beauty of a scheme, Reagan lowered regulations that prevented corporations from moving their operations overseas for the very cheap labor and lack of unions, so all the corps did just that, now that the dollar has dropped they are making even more because all overseas holdings have increased in value and they get more money for all imports.

And with everyone scared about losing their jobs and health insurance - or actually losing them, we are too poor and desperate on a daily basis to make a fuss and fight back. So very few marches and protests these days, and when there are the media, all owned by corporations, don’t cover it.

Bottom line is there can’t be any unity - unity just means we will be screwed again because the Republicans are responsible for the way things are right now. They will continue to fight against the very things we want to the bitter end. The only hope we have to bring back a strong middle class in this country is to get rid of the Republicans and put in Democrats. Sure, Democrats are flawed but they are all we have to work with. Even minor changes in the laws can make huge differences in the American way of life, which is rapidly disappearing. Another 4 years of a Republican President will end the American Experiment in Liberty and doom us to being a third world country for decades to come.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

The history of these two is typical of Republican rule. They started out as government entities, then were privatized, now that they are in trouble due to Republican destruction of regulation for businesses, the government is bailing them out.

So what is the difference between it being a government entity or privately owned? Once privatized there is then a board of directors and stock holders, all of whom want their share of the cut. So the difference of privatization is billions being sent to a small set of very rich people, causing greater expense for those using these institutions. Then they get bailed out by the tax payers and we all get hit in the wallet again and the principles of the companies still make millions.

This is why the Republicans want privatization, not to help YOU, but for THEM to get rich at your expense. Then they launch a continuous propaganda campaign over decades to convince people that socialism is evil, the worst thing possible. They do that because they want to save socialism for themselves.

It’s really a beautiful system for the rich, they make lots of money and if things go wrong they won’t have to pay for it. Socialism for the rich, it's the perfect scam, and made possible by the stupidity and gullibility of the America people.

The America Dream does not exist. The best indicator of your income is your parents’ income. Upward mobility in the US rates about 16th world-wide, most of Europe has much better rates.

Take Denmark, a very socialist government. They offer school to people for as far as they can go. So if you are smart enough and willing to work hard you can raise yourself up by going to school long enough to become a doctor or a scientist. If your parents were poor factory workers and can’t put you through college you don’t have to settle for what you can get.

And that’s just one example. Recently the people of Denmark were named the happiest in the world. When TV was doing a show on this I noticed something strange, the faces of everyone were relaxed and stress free. Look at any American and underneath is massive fear because we all know if just a few things go wrong we are living on the street. Or else we or our children are dying from cancer and we can’t pay for the treatments. We all know that disaster is waiting for us, but the Danes know they are safe from total disaster.

Update: There is an article all about this on Alternet that explains it all in more technical detail.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Walter Reed General Hospital

Was anyone as puzzled as me as to what the heck was behind McCain while he was giving his big speech last night? My first thought was "One of his houses?" Here it is:

No clue as to what this thing is. And so badly done that in close up McCain had nothing but this ugly green behind him, really bad visuals.

Turns out it's Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California. Say what? Why the heck would they put up Walter Reed Jr. High, from the Valley, no less?

The only thing anyone has come up with is that they were trying to put up Walter Reed General Hospital. However, this is what that looks like:

Has McCain put together a whiz bang crack staff or what? Or what? seems to be the answer. What if they make this kind of mistake while McCain is meeting with the head of a powerful Middle Eastern country? Fatwah!! McCain has to run for his life to get out of the country and the entire Middle East declares war on us and refuses to sell us any more oil.

Yeah, President McCain would be a force to reckon with alrighty.

Double Standard

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show really points out how much Republicans lie. In fact, his best line of the video is:
"In Dick Morris' defense," Stewart said, "he is a lying sack of sh*t."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin

She gave her big speech last night, her debut on the national stage. Quite a leap from the wilderness of Alaska which has a population around 600,000. To give some perspective, I live right next to Anaheim here in Orange County, home of Disneyland, the Angels and the Ducks. It is the 10th largest city in California with a population of 341,000.

So how she did on this speech was critical. I didn't see all of it because I can't stand watching Republicans talk but I saw enough. I managed to catch the part where she said: "Do you know what the difference is between a hockey mom and a pit bull? (pause)...Lipstick." Which is odd, because I've never seen a pit bull with lipstick, what do they do to their dogs up there anyway?

She has lots of those homey sayings, the kind everyone remembers. They make her dangerous. Her speech was good enough to make her dangerous, too. I watched some of the coverage after the speech and the Republicans at the convention were wild about her. They were interviewing Giuliani and he practically spurted in his pants talking about her. Something he probably can't do since his prostate surgery. But the Republicans love her, she's brought back the excitement to McCain's very boring campaign.

The old craps player threw the dice with one huge gamble and it looks like it will pay off. Obama should still win but now McCain has a chance. And if McCain loses it will still be the beginning of Palin's career, we will see her running as president next time, and she will probably get the nomination the time after that, in 2016. The Democrats better not underestimate her.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Physics Rap

This is from an article over at MSNBC:
EAST LANSING, Michigan - Who says science doesn't turn people on? Kate McAlpine is a rising star on YouTube for her rap performance — about high-energy particle physics.

Her performance has drawn a half-million views so far on YouTube.

The 23-year-old Michigan State University graduate and science writer raps about the Large Hadron Collider, the groundbreaking particle accelerator that has been built in a 17-mile (27-kilometer) circular tunnel at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland.
Follow the link to read more but the best part is the video itself:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What the Republicans Stand For

A police state is what they stand for. They have invaded private homes with no warning as well as arresting people for no reason.

Check out Pharyngula for more details. He has videos as well as links to Glenn Greenwald's blog and and the Minnesota Independent.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Major hurricane hitting New Orleans this morning. Almost all of the coast down there has been evacuated as the authorities overreact as usual. The reason so few left during Katrina is because they have issued evacuation warnings for decades and it was never needed. No reason to think it was needed then, or now. Those in charge just can't afford to have a repeat of Katrina. Anyway, I hope the damage is very small and no one gets killed.

The real irony here, that everyone seems to have failed to notice, is that last week James Dobson called on his followers to pray for rain during Obama's acceptance speech last Thursday because he chose to have it at Mile High Stadium instead of indoors. It didn't rain then but now we have MAJOR rain that has shut down the Republican convention, at least for today. Christians are really big on seeing signs from god, well this is one that slaps them in the face - hard, and I bet they fail to see it. Clearly god is voting for Obama.

It's also fun to watch the Republicans turn schizophrenic. They hate government and think it can't function well, yet are stuck in a situation where they HAVE to make government function well or suffer very bad press. And they have to provide aid to poor and multi-colored people when what they really want to do is leave them on their own. The core of the Republican philosphy is don't depend on government help, it's every man for himself. Now they have to pretend they care and have to make government good. I bet it's killing them. I certainly hope it's painful.

And I think losing a few days of their convention is going to hurt their chances of winning quite a bit. But they have to cancel much of it or look like the assholes they really are. God sure is a little devil, isn't he?