Monday, September 29, 2008

I just had a disheartening thought

If the country is bankrupt then what do we do? What happens at a bankruptcy? The assets get sold to pay the debts. Let's see, what do we have that can be sold? The interstate highways? Thousands of acres of forest land? How about all that property they plan to drill for oil? Throw your ideas here in the comments section and join the Great American Garage Sale. We'll hang a yard sale sign from the statue of liberty. Want to buy the Alamo? Make us an offer. Mt Rushmore sold to the highest offer.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Getting by in hard times

Fellow bloggers and friends I've come upon a cure for all that ails you. A pill so powerful it's destined to be an award winning drug with noteriaity the world over. A simple capsule when taken as directed is the answer every problem you didn't even know you had. Now being hailed as the breakthrough drug of the twenty first century it was developed in a secret laboratory in Switzerland. This closley guarded secret formula is now available in over the counter form.

Side effects include nausia, vomiting, headache, nosebleeds, diarea, anal leakage, hair loss, incontinance, increased weight gain, drowzyness, impotence, and rashes. Do not operate machinery while taking this drug. Do not sit for long periods of time while on this medication. Standing sitting sleeping walking or running are not recommended while taking this medication as injuries have been reported. If you experience any of the above symptoms and can remember to call your doctor don't. Your doctor will only run more expensive tests and put you on a competitors medication and we don't want that happening now do we.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Beavers and the state of the economy

Went up to the DOL yesterday to get my car tabs and I noticed a strange thing. Usually it takes twenty minutes to get there and there's always about a half hour wait. This may be anecdotal but there was only two cars ahead of me on the way up there. It was clear sailing all the way and only hit one traffic light. When I got there the place had more workers than customers, shock shock.
Looking around my neighborhood I see more cars parked during the day indicating either reduced hours or lay offs. I know some companies have gone to a four day work week but many I've talked to have had their hours cut for lack of work.

I think boobies and beavers are smarter than us. They go with the flow of nature not wanting to build Mcmansions or have large caches of food. They don't need electricity, indoor plumbing, the internet or any of the other trappings we can't seem to live without and yet they still survive. It's strange to think that my grandmother lived in a time when there was no electricity, indoor plumbing or cars and she lived a long and full life. So you have to ask yourself do we really need all this stuff? We've become nothing more than junk collectors. You go around to a garage sale and see the very items you've got stashed in the back closet that you haven't used in the last six years or maybe it broke and you threw it away because you really didn't need it in the first place. Bought it, used it a couple of times and now it collects dust. As William once said "what fools these mortals be".

Friday, September 26, 2008

The debate

After seeing the debate tonight it sure looked like McCain was not the person I'd want in the oval office. His positions still favor big business which is understandable considering all of his advisors are former lobbyists. We've seen how that's worked. He sounded at one point to sound just like George Bush in terms of not wanting to use diplomacy or even talk to other nations. He kept referring to times twenty or thirty years ago when he did this or that but it hit me that times have changed and since the policies of the Bush admin have failed so miserably this is no time to keep going with the same. Try as he might to distance himself from Bush, McCain's positions look exactly like more of the same. Hasn't anyone learned that trickle down economics doesn't work. McCain said that corporations pay the highest taxes in the world. The only problem with that statement as Obama pointed out was that there are loopholes and corporations pay far less by shipping jobs overseas and 60% don't pay any taxes.

It looked to me like Obama had a plan for getting the country back on track while McCain had a mere reaction to the events. McCains approach seems to be more crisis management. His position of "let's put more money into defense" is worrisome in that this is exactly what Dwight Eisenhour warned against - the military industrial complex. Let's see, we had a bunch of oilmen in the white house and what happened to our energy prices? Now we have a military man and not a very good one at that wanting the job of president. Imagine the countries he would bomb on a whim or how much more of our tax dollars get spent on bombs and bullets. Don't talk, bomb first and ask questions later.
McCain didn't seem to have any real plans for todays problems as he did attacks on Obama. When you're on the defensive then you're the looser and if you can't get your plan to the American people you've lost. The Rovian techniques won't work anymore.
Obama looked far more presidential in his responses and his understanding that our world image is important if we expect to work with other nations to solve problems.

Now when is that Palin / Bidin debate? I'll buy popcorn for that one.

Got to get busy

Need to head out for a bit. The car tabs are due and there's this bank that's about to change their rules. Be back later so do me a favor and behave yourselves. Hey and no wild parties while I'm gone. Heard the police nearly showed up the last time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This will become commonplace shortly

A father drops off his nine children at a hospital in Omaha. I have a feeling he had no other choice. I know what you're thinking he shouldn't have had nine children to start with but things like that happen. Maybe he had a thriving business until everything went to hell we don't know. There are at present almost no safety nets in place for families hitting hard times. Here in the northwest there's a six month waiting list for housing and the food banks here are nearly empty. One women's shelter almost closed last week and the rest are running short of food and funds.

Sad for Dad

The more I look at the current economic situation the more I think it may be worse than 1929 and the 30s.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not so fast

Those top brass that though they were going to run out of this situation with their golden exit plans better think again. The FBI is investigating and set to hit them with fraud charges. We can only hope but then remember who's in charge of the justice department. I can only hope that BOOOSH's friends land up like Ken Lay loosing everything he owned. My only regret was that he didn't live long enough to suffer like the widows he ripped off.

Payback time

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The vultures are circling

Goldman gets aid from Warren Buffet who antes up $5 billion. You think that is a help? The devil is in the details. Buffet with this deal is going to help himself to the best assets the company has to offer the preferred stocks. He also has an option to buy another $5 billion in the next five years. Don't you love it? Buffet gets the elevator and we get the shaft.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Here's a solution

Just thinking about the mess this country is in at present. Let me see, if I make bad decisions financially what happens? I get a bad credit score and have a hard time getting a loan. I as a regular person must pay near loan shark interest rates to get another loan. I say we put that $700 billion into a fund go through the investment companies and have those loans re-qualify. If they don't pass the test then the loan stays with the investment house that bought the bad paper. Let them write it off on their books. That would effectively separate the bad from the good and put an end to this mess. Yes I know this sounds simplistic but what other plan could you come up with to solve the mess? Oh yes and I want a decent rate of return on the money. We could sure use it to rebuild this country.

Let me add: A lack of planning on your part does not mean an emergency on my part.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Almost forgot

Country in trouble? Send in Mr Fixit Beaver

The absolute wrong way to do things

Reading an article about the bailout it occurred to me that this is the most bass ackwords way of solving a financial problem. Like the true alchies they are the monkeys in charge are going to plop down the credit card before they even come up with a plan to fix the problem. Nothing like not reading the fine print before you charge out of the store with that new widget. And of course we get the "sky is falling" the world will come to an end if we don't act this very minute BS. This is just another Bush plan to rape us one last time before he hits the road. Keep a close watch for the CEOs to cash in their golden exit plans in the next day or two. Getting out before they change the rules.

Rules? Rules? We don't need no stinking rules

$25 million road to nowhere

There seems to be a lot of news items sneeking out from Friday that got covered up with the big bailout. Remember the bridge to nowhere? Well Friday they opened the road to a bridge that's not there. Sarah "I don't like porkbarrel" Palin was against the bridge to nowhere but that was before she was for it. She still accepted around 1/2 the $400 million of which $25 million was spent on a gravel road leading to the bridge that wasn't built.
How ya going to put lipstick on this pig?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Albert Stanley - who?

Albert Stanley was the head of KBR appointed by our very own Oil Can Dick Cheney has now been indicted for bribery charges on Friday. The article goes on to state that Cheney knew nothing of the actions of Stanley. I call bull shit on this. Stanley worked for Cheney and to say you don't know what's going on in your own company. Should we call this the Enron defense?

And you wonder why this country's broke

UPDATE: A judge has ordered Cheney not to destroy any documents from his time as vice president.

Stock market history

A commenter wanted to know why taxes will go up and why the markets won't just go back to normal in short order. Let me take a deep breath and explain with a little history both past and just recent. First read the history of the crash of 1929. When you get back I'll give you the rest of the story of our more recent history.


You'll notice from the article that several of the Big Boys of finance tried their best to step in and sure up the markets. Sound familiar? Now jump ahead. When Reagan was in office he put together a similar plan to keep the markets stable. I believe it's called the PPC. It's the purpose of this fund to step in and keep the markets going in the event of financial troubles. The problem is that they have been pumping money into the markets for the last several years at various times and it worked for quite a while.
With the present situation we have many factors coming into play. There's the obvious subprime problem and with it came a deflation of the housing market. What did that do? It's lowering the tax base of nearly ever city in this country. With less revenue cities have no choice but to lay off workers and raise taxes to make up for the loss. Then there's the increase in gas prices that has hit just about all areas of our economy. Obvious was the auto industry laying off workers as well as the airlines. Those workers not being able to get the same paying jobs are creating near ghost towns up there by Motown. The increase in unemployment has a downward sipral effect of the rest of the economy. Lack of demand from layoffs creates more lack of demand and more lay offs. We were lucky enough the last two or three times around to borrow our way out of this situation. Not so this time around.
A few years back Phil Grahm and company voted to deregulate the financial rules for wall street. In essence they put the rules back to what they were before 1929 only this time around things had changed. The numbers were much higher and financial houses were permitted to repackage those toxic mortgages into paper that was sold all over the world. Add to that the shorts and naked shorts, hedge funds and dirivatives and you get some very risky situations. All of these did not exist in 1929.
People saw Bear Sterns as the beginning of the problem but it was actually starting around spring of 07 if not even earlier. That was when the beginnings of the mortgage melt down started. It was easy to hide back then. A bad loan here or there could be buried without much scrutiny. When Lehman went down the tubes people started moving their retirement funds out of the market and were talking large institutional investors here with large sums of money. People for the last few months have been looking for a safe place to put their money that's why gold and other comoditys have gone up so high.
So where does the inflation fit in here? Well all of the money being pumped into the market is borrowed and that bill will have to be paid at some point. You know that when taxes go up that money is passed on to the consumer and when you combine higher costs for fuel and raw material well you get the picture. As I write this the federal debt limit was just raised to over 11 trillion dollars. The problem however is in the neighborhood of 500 trillion. It took 25 years for the stock market to recover from the Great Crash. But you must remember that was when the baby boom started just after WWII. We're now facing an aging population. So many things have changed after the 29 crash and the 87 one as well and they haven't been for the better.
The situation we faced this week was the total freeze on liquidity. It was much like playing monopoly and having the bank run out of money. Our entire nation was about to come to a grinding halt. What ever happens in the coming months will still not be good because the bailout was done with borrowed money and that money will have to be repaid at some point.

I feel sorry for Obama when he takes office as he has a real mess to clean up.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hold on to your wallets

Don't break out the bubbly yet folks the markets aren't done yet. The actions of the last days are nothing more than putting a bandaid on a gushing wound. And a borrowed bandaid at at that. The real kicker will come when the waiter brings the bill. Current info has it that taxes will double by the end of next year. Like it or not there is no free lunch. I think it's only fair that since it was brokerage houses and corporations who got us into this mess along with some greedy and crooked politicians that they be hit with the bill. Any business that has paper on wall street should be hit with a 'stupid' tax to pay for this.
This is turning out to be an exact repeat of the 1930s. The market tanked then went up and then in the following months the entire nation collapsed. This time around expect to see massive inflation and increased taxes.
Hope you didn't have your retirement funds in with this toxic mess because if you did it will take at least a generation to gain back what will be lost. Ah but you say the markets are up today. But you aren't looking at that 900lb gorilla in the room, all of that bad paper that got us into this mess. You think we can just run it to the recycle bin? Sounds like that is what the government is doing and it will come right back at us. Like I said before the real disaster party will start in a few months maybe sooner.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Can we get an arrest warrant on her?

Sarah Palin is refusing to respond to a subpoena for her testimony in the troopergate investigation. Thinks she's above the law
We don't need these slimes in the white house.

From Darkblack

Four more years

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fan meet poop part 2

The Asian markets took a hammering on Tuesday. Japan stocks were down 5.7% while Hong Kong posted 5.3% losses. With no resolution to the Lehman problem I'd say we'll have another down day on Wall Street.
So what can we do as out of the loop main street folks. Check out your banks' financial health. Do they have a lot of assets in mortgages? Have they set aside money to cover losses from mortgages?
Something I recomended in posts last year was to set aside 10% of your take home pay. Pay yourself first then the bills. When I first started doing this I was making just enough to get by but I found that as time went on it became easier and easier. Once you get a few thousand saved you can use that money as collateral for a car or personnal loan and pay much less than the going rate.
Always pay more than the minimun payments on credit cards. If you have more than one card try and pay off the one with the highest rate first. When the first one is paid off use that payment along with your regular payment to pay off the second. These are just some of the basics. The problem at the present is that there may not be too much time to prepare for long term bad times but for those interested here's a link to my post on surviving hard times.

Plans for surviving hard times

As I mentioned before the biggest problem at present is the funding of FDIC. If something doesn't change with that then you will see runs on banks and the Depression of the 30s will look like a picknic.

Monday, September 15, 2008

There you go again poop meet fan

The financial markets are ready to take another dump Monday. As I see it there's no end in sight for this situation in the forseeable future. Why you might ask aren't things just going to hit a floor and start to go up? Easy. We as a nation are flat broke. Banks and investment houses have assets but looking at the other side of the balance sheets shows nothing but liabilities. And big ones at that. Housing prices continue to fall eating up equity. What is owed on homes far outweighs home values. So the assets of banks and investment houses are falling as well. It's a $500 trillion problem. Our GDP is around $9 to$11 trillion.
Now let me really scare you. Based on the fact the this nation is in debt at over $9 trillion dollars and an anual budget deficit of over $400 billion we're broke. A little information slipped out over the weekend. The FDIC is underfunded. That's right. They do not have enough money to cover more than a few dozen banks deposits if even that. So where's the money going to come from? They'll do what they did in the past borrow the money. And let me say that you can not borrow your way out of debt anymore than you can eat yourself skinny.
I'd say the Big collapse is coming shortly either October or if they can hold off and feed us some more lies, no later than January of next year.
As for unemployment expect another 50,000 just from the financial institutions alone. Then of course there's the airlines and the auto industry. Planning on buying a big ticket item anytime soon? I thought not. We're all in the same leaky boat and it's about time to tread water. Hope you remembered to put on your life vest.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Beaver friday here's a nice furry one

Okay I've been tagged - god I hate these things

1. Where was I ten years ago?
Crawling through tunnels at Boeing cleaning up chemical spills.
2. What was on my To Do list today?
Threw it out. I had company.
3. What would I do if I were a billionaire?
How many billion? I've got big plans and a couple of billion wouldn't do it.
4. Five places I've lived:
Like the guy who tagged me I've lived all over the U.S. Used to be a traveling photographer.
5. Bad habits:
Smoke. I don't drink or do drugs. But if you do that's your business.

Thanks Mrmacrum I'll remember you when I come across one of these meme things.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


It seems like a hundred years ago but for many who were there it's still a fresh memory with accompanying health problems and nightmares. So many of the firefighters and police officers who didn't die from the attack died later from the effects of breathing dust made up of concrete, asbestos, mercury, diesel fuel, jet fuel and a host of other nasty things. Those exposed have a four times higher rate of upper respiratory and pulmonary problems than the general public. PTSD has been put at 10,000. Mt Sinai has an entire department dedicated to monitoring and treating those exposed. Anyone who worked at site can sign up to be monitored for present and future health effects
Mt Sinai

Nothing can bring back the lost lives of the office workers, firefighters and police officers, but we can do our best to take care of the living. If you were there as a worker at the site I encourage you to follow the links and sign up for medical monitoring. The importance being getting treatment and the information is helpful in developing treatments for others.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Governator might get Erased in a Total Recall

Prison guards aren't too happy with Arnold and are calling for a recall vote.

Governator gets Terminated

All I can say is this is one script that Arnold won't get to write the ending to if the voters have their say.

Imagine if you ran your household this way

U.S has $407 billion deficit expected to go to $438 billion next year. This is before the Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac bail out that's expected to run in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Add to that the $9 trillion we already owe... well you get the picture. Anybody out there have a comparison to a family budget because I can't wrap my head around those figures?

It's only money right?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wrecked America

James Howard Kunstler

The Party That Wrecked America

It's official now: John McCain and Sarah Palin are up in the latest polls now that the conventions are over. I view this as a positive development. It will give the Obama-Biden campaign incentive to get serious. It would have been a disaster for Obama-Biden to come out of this past week ahead. It might have prompted them to kick back and be complacent.
McCain-Palin have nowhere to go now but down, and I will tell you exactly how this will happen. They can run away from President Bush, but they can't run away from the Republican Party. The Republicans will be regarded from now on as "the party that wrecked America." Over the weeks ahead, as carnage in the economy and the financial markets ramps up, it will become increasingly clear. It is important that this meme be spread through the internet. I urge all commentators who read this blog to adopt and spread the idea that the Republicans are "the party that wrecked America." It will work because it is the truth. Use it freely. Don't bother attributing it to me. Just spread the word. Get the meme going.

I sure hope that Obama thinks he's behind for that is always a great motivator.

Republicans for Obama

It's a sad state for their party when republicans are going to cross party lines to vote for Obama. Many have realized that this isn't about us against them. This is about the future of this country. If we continue on the present path this nation will look like Rome after it collapsed. To vote for a candidate who holds the values of the present administration is just insane. As one anlalogy put it it's like using a wrench to fix your car only it's the wrong wrench. Are you going to continue to use the wrong wrench for the job? No you switch wrenches and try and get the right one.
As for the 'news' that Obama is behind in the polls, it's not true. Intrade who has correctly picked the last elections puts Obama ahead by a margin of 54 to McCains 46.

Republicans for Obama

Friday, September 5, 2008


The union just announced that their members are on strike. I figured this was going to happen as I'm sure there was no way Boeing was going to even start to meet its obligations for the 787 dreamliner. They've had many delays because of delays in their supply chain. This gives the company an out on their deliveries of the new aircraft. The company has orders for over 900 787s which would be a couple of years work. The biggest sticking point is the outsourcing of jobs by the machinists. The monetary offer was 11% pay raise over three years. For a journeyman that's a nice chunk of change but then you have to remember that the workers give up a great deal in terms of working overtime being away from families.
So this will do just wonders for the economy up here. Housing has been down for several months. Banking has taken a hit. A lot of the construction jobs have been put on hold and now this. I only wish I knew what was in the contract for orders but this time around it's known that the company will loose $120 million per day. Last strike was a while back that lasted 29 days but that was when the orders were 500 to 600 aircraft. Then there was the 84,000 jobs lost nation wide just last month.
Wonderful economy eh George. Dumb monkey.

At the request of Mrmacrum

I wasn't going to waste any more breath on McLame but Mrmacrum was looking for the article by Dr. Butler about him. Here's the article. The article is still out there for now. Although I did have trouble getting back to it. I'll keep a copy for the future.

By Dr Butler
As some of you might know, John McCain is a long-time acquaintance of mine that goes way back to our time together at the U.S. Naval Academy and as Prisoners of War in Vietnam. He is a man I respect and admire in some ways. But there are a number of reasons why I will not vote for him for President of the United States.

When I was a Plebe (4th classman, or freshman) at the Naval Academy in 1957-58, I was assigned to the 17th Company for my four years there. In those days we had about 3,600 midshipmen spread among 24 companies, thus about 150 midshipmen to a company. As fortune would have it, John, a First Classman (senior) and his room mate lived directly across the hall from me and my two room mates. Believe me when I say that back then I would never in a million or more years have dreamed that the crazy guy across the hall would someday be a Senator and candidate for President!

John was a wild man. He was funny, with a quick wit and he was intelligent. But he was intent on breaking every USNA regulation in our 4 inch thick USNA Regulations book. And I believe he must have come as close to his goal as any midshipman who ever attended the Academy. John had me "coming around" to his room frequently during my plebe year. And on one occasion he took me with him to escape "over the wall" in the dead of night. He had a taxi cab waiting for us that took us to a bar some 7 miles away. John had a few beers, but forbid me to drink (watching out for me I guess) and made me drink cokes. I could tell many other midshipman stories about John that year and he unbelievably managed to graduate though he spent the majority of his first class year on restriction for the stuff he did get caught doing. In fact he barely managed to graduate, standing 5th from the bottom of his 800 man graduating class. I and many others have speculated that the main reason he did graduate was because his father was an Admiral, and also his grandfather, both U.S. Naval Academy graduates.

People often ask if I was a Prisoner of War with John McCain. My answer is always "No - John McCain was a POW with me." The reason is I was there for 8 years and John got there 2 ½ years later, so he was a POW for 5 ½ years. And we have our own seniority system, based on time as a POW.

John's treatment as a POW:

1) Was he tortured for 5 years? No. He was subjected to torture and maltreatment during his first 2 years, from September of 1967 to September of 1969. After September of 1969 the Vietnamese stopped the torture and gave us increased food and rudimentary health care. Several hundred of us were captured much earlier. I got there April 20, 1965 so my bad treatment period lasted 4 1/2 years. President Ho Chi Minh died on September 9, 1969, and the new regime that replaced him and his policies was more pragmatic. They realized we were worth a lot as bargaining chips if we were alive. And they were right because eventually Americans gave up on the war and agreed to trade our POW's for their country. A damn good trade in my opinion! But my point here is that John allows the media to make him out to be THE hero POW, which he knows is absolutely not true, to further his political goals.

2) John was badly injured when he was shot down. Both arms were broken and he had other wounds from his ejection. Unfortunately this was often the case - new POW's arriving with broken bones and serious combat injuries. Many died from their wounds. Medical care was non-existent to rudimentary. Relief from pain was almost never given and often the wounds were used as an available way to torture the POW. Because John's father was the Naval Commander in the Pacific theater, he was exploited with TV interviews while wounded. These film clips have now been widely seen. But it must be known that many POW's suffered similarly, not just John. And many were similarly exploited for political propaganda.

3) John was offered, and refused, "early release." Many of us were given this offer. It meant speaking out against your country and lying about your treatment to the press. You had to "admit" that the U.S. was criminal and that our treatment was "lenient and humane." So I, like numerous others, refused the offer. This was obviously something none of us could accept. Besides, we were bound by our service regulations, Geneva Conventions and loyalties to refuse early release until all the POW's were released, with the sick and wounded going first.

4) John was awarded a Silver Star and Purple Heart for heroism and wounds in combat. This heroism has been played up in the press and in his various political campaigns. But it should be known that there were approximately 600 military POW's in Vietnam. Among all of us, decorations awarded have recently been totaled to the following: Medals of Honor - 8, Service Crosses - 42, Silver Stars - 590, Bronze Stars - 958 and Purple Hearts - 1,249. John certainly performed courageously and well. But it must be remembered that he was one hero among many - not uniquely so as his campaigns would have people believe.

John McCain served his time as a POW with great courage, loyalty and tenacity. More that 600 of us did the same. After our repatriation a census showed that 95% of us had been tortured at least once. The Vietnamese were quite democratic about it. There were many heroes in North Vietnam. I saw heroism every day there. And we motivated each other to endure and succeed far beyond what any of us thought we had in ourselves. Succeeding as a POW is a group sport, not an individual one. We all supported and encouraged each other to survive and succeed. John knows that. He was not an individual POW hero. He was a POW who surmounted the odds with the help of many comrades, as all of us did.

I furthermore believe that having been a POW is no special qualification for being President of the United States. The two jobs are not the same, and POW experience is not, in my opinion, something I would look for in a presidential candidate.

Most of us who survived that experience are now in our late 60's and 70's. Sadly, we have died and are dying off at a greater rate than our non-POW contemporaries. We experienced injuries and malnutrition that are coming home to roost. So I believe John's age (73) and survival expectation are not good for being elected to serve as our President for 4 or more years.

I can verify that John has an infamous reputation for being a hot head. He has a quick and explosive temper that many have experienced first hand. Folks, quite honestly that is not the finger I want next to that red button.

It is also disappointing to see him take on and support Bush's war in Iraq, even stating we might be there for another 100 years. For me John represents the entrenched and bankrupt policies of Washington-as-usual. The past 7 years have proven to be disastrous for our country. And I believe John's views on war, foreign policy, economics, environment, health care, education, national infrastructure and other important areas are much the same as those of the Bush administration.

I'm disappointed to see John represent himself politically in ways that are not accurate. He is not a moderate Republican. On some issues he is a maverick. But his voting record is far to the right. I fear for his nominations to our Supreme Court, and the consequent continuing loss of individual freedoms, especially regarding moral and religious issues. John is not a religious person, but he has taken every opportunity to ally himself with some really obnoxious and crazy fundamentalist ministers lately. I was also disappointed to see him cozy up to Bush because I know he hates that man. He disingenuously and famously put his arm around the guy, even after Bush had intensely disrespected him with lies and slander. So on these and many other instances, I don't see that John is the "straight talk express" he...

markets himself to be.
Senator John Sidney McCain, III is a remarkable man who has made enormous personal achievements. And he is a man that I am proud to call a fellow POW who "Returned With Honor." That's our POW motto. But since many of you keep asking what I think of him, I've decided to write it out. In short, I think John Sidney McCain, III is a good man, but not someone I will vote for in the upcoming election to be our President of the United States.

Last post on McLame

John McCain says that he doesn't work for the party. Well if that's the case then maybe he should give back the $200 million to the republican party and try and raise his own money because he doesn't support them. Except for the fact that he voted with Bush 95% of the time in 2007 and 100% of the time in 2006. So I can only assume he's an independent and the GOP needs to find somebody else to run on their ticket.

Headline reads McCain distancing himself from GOP

If you buy this Bill Engval has a sign for you.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The economy

Gee according to Bush the economy is doing quite well. Hmm... seems the Fed has a different picture:

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicate that the pace of economic activity has been slow in most Districts. Many described business conditions as "weak," "soft," or "subdued." Cleveland and St. Louis reported some weakening since their last reports while Boston and New York noted signs of stabilization. Kansas City reported a slight improvement.

Consumer spending was reported to be slow in most Districts, with purchasing concentrated on necessary items and retrenchment in discretionary spending. Districts reporting on auto sales described them as falling or steady at low levels. Tourism activity was mixed but received support from international visitors in several Districts, and the demand for services eased in most Districts. The transportation industry was also adversely affected by rising fuel costs. Manufacturing activity declined in most Districts but improved somewhat in Minneapolis and Kansas City. Most Districts reported that residential real estate markets remained soft. Commercial real estate activity was slow in most Districts, and some reported further slackening in demand for office and retail space. Most Districts reported easing loan demand, especially for residential mortgages and consumer loans; lending to businesses was mixed. Districts reporting on the agricultural sector noted some relief from drought conditions. Districts reporting on energy and mining activity recorded increased activity.

Almost all Districts continued to report price pressures from elevated costs of energy, food, and other commodities, although some noted that there have been declines or slower increases in prices for several industrial commodities and energy products. Business contacts in a number of Districts indicated that they had increased selling prices in response to the high costs for their inputs. Wage pressures were characterized as moderate by most Districts amid a general pullback in hiring, although several Districts noted continued strong demand for workers in the energy sector.

Hat tip to Bondad my favorite economic Guru

Obama plan - Defense

Second in the series. As Barack has been brow beat about being soft on defense I'd say his plan is admirable. Rather than push fear and hate as a foreign policy and more of the same in terms of no bid contracts to grease the pockets of fellow cronies, Obama calls for change in procurement and a rebuilding of the military and related civilian programs.

The Problem

A 20th Century Structure for 21st Century Problems: We have inherited a national security structure that was developed and organized in the late 1940s to win the Cold War. It remains a rigid bureaucracy of government agencies, relying upon a restrictive and disconnected set of legal authorities.
New Leadership and Vision is Needed: America simply cannot afford more of the old approach to our national defense. Instead, it needs a Commander-in-Chief with the right combination of judgment, vision, and leadership for the 21st century.
A Military Under Strain: Currently, our soldiers, seamen, airmen and Marines are deployed around the globe, working valiantly to defend our nation. Yet, these heroes are under-resourced and asked to do too much by a policy that has too often taken their sacrifice for granted. Due to their incredible courage and ingenuity, they persevere, but at incredible cost to themselves and their families.
Recruitment and Retention Problems: A country of 300 million strong should not struggle to find enough qualified citizens to serve. Recruiting and retention problems have been swept under the rug by an administration that does not understand the value of service to our nation.
A System Not Serving our Troops as Well as They Serve Us: As the shameful events at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the recent reports on growing numbers of homeless and unemployed veterans show, we simply are not taking proper care of our wounded warriors and veterans.
Barack Obama's Plan

Invest in a 21st Century Military
Rebuild the Military for 21st Century Tasks: As we rebuild our armed forces, we must not simply recreate the military of the Cold War era. Obama believes that we must build up our special operations forces, civil affairs, information operations, and other units and capabilities that remain in chronic short supply; invest in foreign language training, cultural awareness, and human intelligence and other needed counterinsurgency and stabilization skill sets; and create a more robust capacity to train, equip, and advise foreign security forces, so that local allies are better prepared to confront mutual threats.
Expand to Meet Military Needs on the Ground: Barack Obama supports plans to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 soldiers and the Marines by 27,000 troops. Increasing our end strength will help units retrain and re-equip properly between deployments and decrease the strain on military families.
Leadership from the Top: Barack Obama will restore the ethic of public service to the agenda of today's youth, whether it be serving their local communities in such roles as teachers or first responders, or serving in the military to keep our nation free and safe.
Lighten the Burdens on Our Brave Troops and Their Families: An Obama administration will create a Military Families Advisory Board to provide a conduit for military families' concerns to be brought to the attention of senior policymakers and the public. Obama will end the Bush administration's stop-loss policy and establish predictability in deployments so that active duty and reserves know what they can and must expect.
Build Defense Capabilities for the 21st Century
Fully Equip Our Troops for the Missions They Face: Barack Obama believes we must get vitally needed equipment to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines before lives are lost. We cannot repeat such failures as the delays in deployment of armored vehicles, body armor and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles that save lives on the frontlines.
Review Weapons Programs: We must rebalance our capabilities to ensure that our forces have the agility and lethality to succeed in both conventional wars and in stabilization and counter-insurgency operations. Obama has committed to a review of each major defense program in light of current needs, gaps in the field, and likely future threat scenarios in the post-9/11 world.
Preserve Global Reach in the Air: We must preserve our unparalleled airpower capabilities to deter and defeat any conventional competitors, swiftly respond to crises across the globe, and support our ground forces. We need greater investment in advanced technology ranging from the revolutionary, like Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and electronic warfare capabilities, to essential systems like the C-17 cargo and KC-X air refueling aircraft, which provide the backbone of our ability to extend global power.
Maintain Power Projection at Sea: We must recapitalize our naval forces, replacing aging ships and modernizing existing platforms, while adapting them to the 21st century. Obama will add to the Maritime Pre-Positioning Force Squadrons to support operations ashore and invest in smaller, more capable ships, providing the agility to operate close to shore and the reach to rapidly deploy Marines to global crises.
National Missile Defense: An Obama administration will support missile defense, but ensure that it is developed in a way that is pragmatic and cost-effective; and, most importantly, does not divert resources from other national security priorities until we are positive the technology will protect the American public.
Ensure Freedom of Space: An Obama administration will restore American leadership on space issues, seeking a worldwide ban on weapons that interfere with military and commercial satellites. He will thoroughly assess possible threats to U.S. space assets and the best options, military and diplomatic, for countering them, establishing contingency plans to ensure that U.S. forces can maintain or duplicate access to information from space assets and accelerating programs to harden U.S. satellites against attack.
Protect the U.S in Cyberspace: An Obama administration will work in cooperation with our allies and the private sector to identify and protect against emerging cyber-threats.
Restore the Readiness of the National Guard and Reserves
Barack Obama will provide the National Guard with the equipment it needs for foreign and domestic emergencies and time to restore and refit before deploying. He will make the head of the National Guard a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to ensure concerns of our citizen soldiers reach the level they mandate. He will ensure that reservists and Guard members are treated fairly when it comes to employment, health, and education benefits.
Develop Whole of Government Initiatives to Promote Global Stability
Integrate Military and Civilian Efforts: An Obama administration will build up the capacity of each non-Pentagon agency to deploy personnel and area experts where they are needed, to help move soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines out of civilian roles.
Create a Civilian Assistance Corps (CAC): An Obama administration will set a goal of creating a national CAC of 25,000 personnel. This corps of civilian volunteers with special skill, sets (doctors, lawyers, engineers, city planners, agriculture specialists, police, etc.) would be organized to provide each federal agency with a pool of volunteer experts willing to deploy in times of need at home and abroad.
Restore Our Alliances
Engage Our Allies in Meeting Our Common Security Challenges: America's traditional alliances, such as NATO, must be transformed and strengthened, including on common security concerns like Afghanistan, homeland security, and counterterrorism. Obama will renew alliances and ensure our allies contribute their fair share to our mutual security.
Organize to Help Our Partners and Allies in Need: An Obama administration will expand humanitarian activities that build friends and allies at the regional and local level (such as during the response to the tsunami in South and Southeast Asia), and win hearts and minds in the process.
Reform Contracting
Create Transparency for Military Contractors: Barack Obama will require the Pentagon and State Department to develop a strategy for determining when contracting makes sense, rather than continually handing off governmental jobs to well-connected companies. An Obama administration will create the transparency and accountability needed for good governance. Finally, it will establish the legal status of contractor personnel, making possible prosecution of any abuses committed by private military contractors.
Restore Honesty, Openness, and Commonsense to Contracting and Procurement: An Obama administration will realize savings by reducing the corruption and cost overruns that have become all too routine in defense contracting. This includes launching a program of acquisition reform and management, which would end the common practice of no-bid contracting. He will end the abuse of supplemental budgets by creating a system of oversight for war funds as stringent as in the regular budget. He will restore the government's ability to manage contracts by rebuilding our contract officer corps. He will order the Justice Department to prioritize prosecutions that will punish and deter fraud, waste and abuse.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A new start

I've decided to take my political writing in a different direction. After looking at all the National Enquirer headlines of political scandals in the news of late I thinks it's time to get down to the important stuff like actually fixing the nations problems from the damage of the last eight years. I won't bother to list the republican solutions because they had their time and blew it. It's now time to put the adults back in charge and actually do something. So at one bite at a time I'm going to put up the Plan FOR America and not the Contract against America. So if you don't like it. Too bad go somewhere else and read about your Yukon Barbie.

The Plan for America

The Problem

Wages are Stagnant as Prices Rise: While wages remain flat, the costs of basic necessities are increasing. The cost of in-state college tuition has grown 35 percent over the past five years. Health care costs have risen four times faster than wages over the past six years. And the personal savings rate is now the lowest it's been since the Great Depression.
Tax Cuts for Wealthy Instead of Middle Class: The Bush tax cuts give those who earn over $1 million dollars a tax cut nearly 160 times greater than that received by middle-income Americans. At the same time, this administration has refused to tackle health care, education and housing in a manner that benefits the middle class.
Barack Obama's Plan

Jumpstart the Economy
Enact a Windfall Profits Tax to Provide a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families:Barack Obama will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills. This relief would be a down payment on Obama's long-term plan to provide middle-class families with at least $1,000 per year in permanent tax relief.
Provide $50 billion to Jumpstart the Economy and Prevent 1 Million Americans from Losing Their Jobs: This relief would include a $25 billion State Growth Fund to prevent state and local cuts in health, education, housing, and heating assistance or counterproductive increases in property taxes, tolls or fees. Obama’s relief plan will also include $25 billion in a Jobs and Growth Fund to prevent cutbacks in road and bridge maintenance and fund school re pair - all to save more than 1 million jobs in danger of being cut.
Provide Middle Class Americans Tax Relief
Obama will cut income taxes by $1,000 for working families to offset the payroll tax they pay.
Provide a Tax Cut for Working Families: Obama will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 150 million workers the tax relief they need. Obama will create a new "Making Work Pay" tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family. The "Making Work Pay" tax credit will completely eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans.
Eliminate Income Taxes for Seniors Making Less than $50,000: Barack Obama will eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less than $50,000 per year. This proposal will eliminate income taxes for 7 million seniors and provide these seniors with an average savings of $1,400 each year. Under the Obama plan, 27 million American seniors will also not need to file an income tax return.
Simplify Tax Filings for Middle Class Americans: Obama will dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes. Obama will ensure that the IRS uses the information it already gets from banks and employers to give taxpayers the option of pre-filled tax forms to verify, sign and return. Experts estimate that the Obama proposal will save Americans up to 200 million total hours of work and aggravation and up to $2 billion in tax preparer fees.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Can you say 'train wreck'?

Sarah Palin's seventeen year old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant! Oh religious right is not going to look kindly on this news. How's that vetting process going guys?;_ylt=Aj1X0I_zS_miT.fBBcM1Am.s0NUE

The shame! Didn't this mother teach her daughter to keep her legs closed until she was married? Shows you the character of this woman. And you want her to be vice president? I think not.