Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's The End Of The Year, As We Know It...

Click on, REM - "It's the end of the world as we know it...but I feel fine." Sure my stocks are underwater in most cases, but so is every one (except for those elites who got bailed out). Sure, George Bush has made a mess out of just about everything he has touched, but at least we have some hope in Obama. Turns out it takes an economic downturn to help us re-learn what's really important.

Without George Bush, I'm quite certain, there would be no room for Barak Obama to win the election. Indeed, Chris Rock is right in that category. Certainly, the economic engine has been consumerism for a great long while, but from the "Me" generation spawned by Reagan to the wacky notion that the only sacrifice we would need to make to get through Nine Eleven would be to go out and shop, we have learned that it's not what we buy, but what we make that is more important. Worth and value are determined not by how cheaply you can get junk from China, but what you make of what you have right in front of your nose.

In the end, what's really important in life doesn't cost money. It's friends, family and the biggest ROI - hugs for and from small children. Being together, no matter what, and helping each other through these troubled times will be the measure of who we are, not the situation we're in caused by inept leadership. Certainly, as MKL Jr. used to stipulate, it's not what we do when things are good that are the measure of who we are, it's what we do when the chips are down that are the hallmark of our humanity.

Toward that end, here's an interesting project to become involved and a part of the solution rather than contributing to problem. This is something I say a great deal, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Begin constructing a ladder to get yourself out."

Adios 2008, and a Happy New Year to you all. Aught Nine has to be much better than aught eight as we are certainly scrapping the bottom of that hole as of late.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thoughts On Abstience Making The Heart Grow Fonder

Straight from the "no surprises here department," we see yet another report indicating that the abstinence only nut jobs are just that:
Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.
Those misguided adults who insist that abstinence only education is the way to go have forgotten what it's like to be a teenager. Here's an interesting commentary on the subject:
I think the abstinence boondoggle is just one more example of the corrosive effect of American religion on society. Long ago I gave up trying to understand the Christian point of view. I concluded that, as imperfect as I am, I don't have enough hate to be a Christian. I have too much respect for individual self determination, for freedom, and for the power of love, to think that a viewpoint founded in Stone Age myth and Medieval superstition, in magic and miracles, has any relevance in today's world. When I look around me and see the harm caused by wacko extremists of every religious stripe, I stand even stronger against the destructive effect of the intrusive and propagandizing religions that try to get into the intimate aspects of people's lives. I believe in the power of every person, young and old, to use his or her noggin to figure things out, and I believe in giving people who want and need advice on sex and love good advice, sound advice, founded on science, practical experience, and good example.
Blog on friends, blog on all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Should Bush and The Whole of His Administration Be Held Criminally Liable For Their Actions?

I say yes, and methinks many who blog here also agree. Simply because some one is placed in such grandios policital posts does not put them above the letter nor the spirit of the law.
Whatever its other legacies, the Bush administration will be remembered for its contemptible disregard for the law in the post-9/11 war on terrorism. From the wiretapping of Americans without a court order to the waterboarding of suspected terrorists to the refusal to abide by the requirements of the Geneva Convention, many of the administration's policies can fairly be described as lawless.

But were they also criminal? Should officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, be put on trial, either in a court of law or in a forum like South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission? As the Bush administration nears its end, calls for such a reckoning are coming from civil libertarians and some supporters of President-elect Barack Obama. Some even argue that President Bush should be indicted.
Minimally, we should toss the whole lot of them over to Bahgdad to finish this grand "democracy spreading experiment." If they believed in it, truly believed in it, they would volunteer and go post haste directly after 20 Jan. Don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Iranians For The American People: Any one been to this in person care to comment?

Have a look:


History Will Not Be Kind To The Bush Administration

I know that many in the current Bush Administration are banking on the fact that "history" will find them to be prudent and good for America, but I highly doubt it. The jury's still out, but living today in Bush's economy, we know for a fact that the world is not a better place for the W, Rove and Co being at the helm of what used to be the most powerful nation on the globe. Have a look at this short editorial for further discussion on the matter:
Vice President Dick Cheney has a parting message for Americans: They should quit whining about all the things he and President Bush did to undermine the rule of law, erode the balance of powers between the White House and Congress, abuse prisoners and spy illegally on Americans. After all, he said, Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln did worse than that.
When do we get to shovel the W, Rove and Co over to Baghdad so they can finish their little "democracy spreading" experiment?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ebeneezer Scrooge Would Be Proud

Banks that are getting taxpayer bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year, an Associated Press analysis reveals.

The rewards came even at banks where poor results last year foretold the economic crisis that sent them to Washington for a government rescue. Some trimmed their executive compensation due to lagging bank performance, but still forked over multimillion-dollar executive pay packages.
Where's my bail out? Never mind that, what about the bail out for my son's school - that is in dire need of a facilities upgrade?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hollywood Is Dead

I've got the Canon 5D Mark II on my wish list for Santa. If you look at this video, you will see why this invention will mark the slow demise of Hollywood. Everyone will be able to make high quality moving pictures. It will be content and creativity that reign, not big budgets and those who have the stomach for the film industry politics.

Canon 5D Mark II - Espresso Demo from Mark Fong on Vimeo.

W, Rove And Co - Professionals At Redefining "Winning."

If you think we are winning the "Drug War," let alone the debacle known as the largest Social Welfare State of Iraq presenting an increasing tax burden on the American People, think again. Why the W, Rove and Co continue to insist on setting up straw arguments as a means of declaring victory is beyond me, particularly given that they are well past gnawing down to the nub of their last straw.
Outgoing Drug Czar John P. Walters claims that the U.S. "war" on drugs is working ("Our Drug Policy Is a Success," Dec. 5), but that's true only if one redefines success.

Here's the reality: Illegal substances -- from marijuana to cocaine to heroin -- are more potent and more available than at any time in history. Deaths from illicit-drug overdoses are at an all-time high, and most illicit substances are cheaper than ever before.

Thanks to the strict enforcement of America's drug laws, which primarily target nonviolent drug offenders, police now arrest some 1.8 million citizens every year for drug crimes -- over 800,000 for minor marijuana offenses alone. As a result, the U.S. has earned the unique distinction of jailing a greater percentage of its population than any other industrialized nation.

If this is Mr. Walters definition of "success," then I shudder to think what he would consider to be failure.
Wouldn't it be refreshing if the current administration actually came clean on all the messes they caused? Let's hope at least they are confessing their sins to Obama, but my intuition tells me they are hard at work setting land mines and traps so that Obama has to fall on one to save our country but it works in turn to destroy his political career.

On a final note, just think of the additional revenue that could be gained if we started taxing even just marijuana after it has been decriminalized, not to mention the savings of not having to incarcerate your grandmother because shes growing some plants in a hot house. Last I checked we could use some additional tax revenues that boost the economy rather than tap it dry for a failed enforcement policy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Looks Like They Love George Bush In Iraq...

Just found this on one of the yahoo pages. Looks like George has not fully gained the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq.

I'm still voting that George, Dick and the whole kit and caboodle of those who wished for democracy's spread to work in Iraq move on over there after 20 Jan to finish their mission. Of course, George isn't that committed to the work in Iraq. He's moving to some fancy digs in Dallas instead, it seems.

Late add - looks like it's finally up on Youtube. Of course, Fox News folks are trying to hint that Saddam would have handled it differently:

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Thought For The Day: Well, Go Figure - Interactivity and Action Are Better than Sedentary Observation?

...a new study out shows, once again, a pretty strong link between happiness and NOT watching television.
As much as you enjoy the 52in flat panel with the bluray disc operating 1080p quality images, shut the bugger off and go do something outside. Remember, there's no such thing as bad weather, just being poorly prepared for the existing weather. Invariably, the weather always looks worse from the inside looking out the window. They do make all those snazzy technical fabrics for a reason - get outside (oh, and yes, the irony that I'm typing this on a monitor does not escape me).

Thursday, December 04, 2008

War On Terror + War On Drugs = Same Result

Funny, the LA Times had two opinion articles on the very subject we've been bashing about on blogs for a great long time. Perhaps we can get some headway on the different causes. First, legalize pot, then tax the hell out of it and shrink the costs of trying to enforce the ban and put people in prison for it. Sounds good to me:
Now, as we're desperately trying to reinvent the economy, should we consider marijuana?

We've dipped a toe in those waters already in California. Sales of medical marijuana are taxable -- $11.4-million worth for 2005-2006, the most recent (though admittedly murky) figures available.

How much more might we raise from the tons of now-illegal marijuana? When we tried to tax it decades ago, it wasn't so much about raising money as about cutting the demand for dope. In 1937, a new federal tax added so much cost and red tape to purveying marijuana that even doctors were priced out of legally prescribing the stuff. Once pot was banned outright, the tax became a double-dipping opportunity for lawmen. They got you for possessing or selling and for not paying the tax too. In 1968, the feds busted a Santa Barbara couple with 600 pounds of marijuana -- and gave them a tax bill for $1,622,000.

Of course, by paying the tax, you would be confessing to breaking the law. Timothy Learywas busted for not paying a marijuana "transfer" tax, but the Supreme Court said the law amounted to self-incrimination and threw his case out.

However, if we keep charging a tax -- something above and beyond a sales tax -- but take away the criminality, we'd be win-win, right? We don't mind paying "sin" taxes, or levying them, like Schwarzenegger's plan to help beat the deficit with a new 5-cent-a-drink tax.

Marijuana is a huge component of the nation's underground economy. A couple of years ago, the legalize-it forces estimated that the U.S. marijuana crop was worth $35 billion a year. California's share of that was $13.8 billion.

If the number is even half that, any tax windfall, on top of money saved by not prosecuting marijuana crimes, would mean a bonanza, wouldn't it?
Jackpot! Next, much like the War on Drugs, Mumbai proves that the War on Terror is going to be a money sink hole likewise.
Terrorism is nearly as old as humanity itself. In the 1st century AD, the Zealots of Judea began a series of covert killings of Roman occupiers and Jewish collaborators. The word "assassin" is thought to derive from "Hashshashin," the name of a Shiite sect active during the Middle Ages whose members donned disguises to kill their victims in public places. The term "thug" is said to come from India -- from the 17th to 19th centuries, a cult engaged in "thuggee," the mass strangulation of travelers in caravans. And like modern terrorists of all ideological stripes, these ancient Zealots, assassins and thugs succeeded in part by sowing outsized fear.

Mumbai should remind us -- again -- of the folly of the Bush administration's "war on terror." Terror is an emotion, and terrorism is a tactic. You can't make "war" against it. Even if meant as mere metaphor, "the war on terror" foolishly enhanced the terrorist's status as prime boogeyman, arguably increasing the psychological effectiveness of terrorist tactics. Worse, it effectively lumped together many different organizations motivated by many different grievances -- a surefire route to strategic error.

Like crime, terrorism will always be with us, and terrorist attacks will increase as long as we succumb to the panic they're intended to inspire. But if we resist the temptation to lash out indiscriminately, we can take sober steps to reduce terrorism through improved intelligence, carefully targeted disruptions of specific terrorist organizations and efforts to address specific grievances (such as disputes over Kashmir). With a new U.S. administration about to take office, isn't it finally time to say goodbye to the "war on terror"? After all, we already have two real wars to worry about.
Amen. It's never too late to cancel a failed ideology wrought with the irons of a failed administration.

Monday, December 01, 2008

High Resolution Images from Mumbai

Check these out - the one's that are blacked out can be clicked on as they are graphic and should not be viewed if you can't stand seeing the full deal.

I like the boston dot com location as they have many images you are not going to get in the Mainstream Media. I'm in favor of full disclosure. It's easier to make decisions about what you think if you have all the information. Sanitizing the news makes it easier to distance oneself from the horror.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Homeless Count Up This Thanksgiving

I slept late this AM. After being woken up by the kids near the 5:00 AM hour, I managed to turn back for a good bit, only waking at near 9 AM. If you know our house, that constitutes fully sleeping in.

This means that my Annual Thanksgiving, pre-gorging run started late. I thought that, perchance, this might change the validity of my annual count of number of homeless folk I see along the same route each year for the past few. Earlier in the AM you see people waking from the daze of the early dew. At near 9:30, most folks are wide awake and looking for action.

As I got into the main part of the run, the count was low. I started thinking that perhaps we would notice an improvement over the numbers from past years. About 2/3rds into the run, mainly through the park and past some of the bigger encampments, I was still only at 21. As I emerged from the East end of the park and back on to the city streets, the numbers ratcheted up like the balloons in the Macy's Day parade. There were a patch of nearly 20 homeless gathered. The upside, I saw at two people in red sweatshirts passing out food to a number of them. No reason to go hungry on Thanksgiving, I suppose.

As I strode east back toward my home the numbers flicked upward. Total count - at least 60. This is up from all years prior. I didn't notice any one drinking that early in the AM, as in years past, but I did notice human feces along the trail - how do I know you ask? Dogs don't use toilet paper.

In sum, it seems that the city has done a good job "cleaning up" the park, but that has only served to shuffle the problem out of the public park and on to city streets. The reason why the tally sits at 60 is that I had a hard time counting all the people in the first clump out of the park. I know there were more, but my run led me away.

As you plow through your second helping of turkey, think of those less fortunate. Usually the annual thanksgiving post is not political, but I have to note - if it weren't for Ronald Reagan closing most, if not all, the publicly funded mental health facilities, there might be less homelessness and safer places for many of the mentally disturbed individuals rather than fending for themselves on the urban streets of America. As for those who are large fans of Reagan and wondered what the effect of what he did, you needn't look to far into the homeless ranks to see the evidence.

Indeed, the proof is in the pudding.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good News For A Change

Of course, the reichwing nutballs are going to be screaming "activist judge, activist judge," but what's the very definition of an activist judge really? A judge that sides with the constitution and against ridiculous bias and discrimination? Pretty much.
A judge on Tuesday ruled that a strict Florida law that blocks gay people from adopting children is unconstitutional, declaring there was no legal or scientific reason for sexual orientation alone to prohibit anyone from adopting.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman said the 31-year-old law violates equal protection rights for the children and their prospective gay parents, rejecting the state's arguments that there is "a supposed dark cloud hovering over homes of homosexuals and their children."

She noted that gay people are allowed to be foster parents in Florida. "There is no rational basis to prohibit gay parents from adopting," she wrote in a 53-page ruling.

Florida is the only state with an outright ban on gay adoption. Arkansas voters last month approved a measure similar to a law in Utah that bans any unmarried straight or gay couples from adopting or fostering children. Mississippi bans gay couples, but not single gays, from adopting.

The ruling means that Martin Gill, 47, and his male partner can adopt two brothers, ages 4 and 8, whom he has cared for as foster children since December 2004.

"I've never seen myself as less than anybody else," Gill said. "We're very grateful. Today, I've cried the first tears of joy in my life."
I've said this numerous times before, but if we are really interested in protecting children, we should be in favor of not allowing parents who smoke or who are obese to keep their children. There are scientific studies conducted that link those behaviors and conditions with a high probability of replication in children with such parents.

Contrarily, there is no basis for concluding that two men or two women in loving long standing monogamous relationships adds any dysfunction to the mix for their children. None. It's time to close to book on this hate filled legislation across the USA, and let's toss out Prop 8 style measure out the window as well. This would cement the family unit in a very powerful way. Allowing such parents to marry would legitimize the whole family.

One final note: if you are one of the remaining few who retain your discriminatory bias suggesting that gays should not marry, then by all means, don't marry some one of the same gender. Don't stop others in love from enjoying the same privileges you entertain. Certainly the health and legal viability of their families stand in the balance.

Still Waiting For My Sliver From The Bail Out

This just in:
Federal officials today announced $800 billion in new actions to try to ease the financial crisis, including a $200-billion program to help loosen lending to consumers for auto purchases, student loans and credit cards -- the government's first major venture into a vast sector of the lending world.
Well, so what? Do I want the ability to borrow more money? No thank you.

Where are they getting all the money to do this? Seems like a tax poised to roll for our grandchildren when the balance comes due. I thought the Republican party was the party of no new taxes and smaller government. What happened?

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Dominos Start To Fall

I've been saying this for a great long time, but the Gitmo situation may actually result in the necessary release of some potentially dangerous people, leaving us taxpayers on the hook for the indiscretions of the W, Rove and Co.
A federal judge ruled here for the first time Thursday that the Bush administration had no basis for holding several of its long-term prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and he ordered that five of the Algerian natives go free.
It's only a matter of time before these people and their fancy lawyers sue the pants off the W, Rove and Co, and we the American People will be forced to cover the damages allocated because we let them get away with it.
"For seven years, the Bush administration sought to avoid the courts because it had no evidence and sought instead to create a lawless prison," said Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. "We must note that justice here, however, comes seven years too late."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Here's An Alternative To Buying Yourself A Gift This Holiday Season

This is just one way to actually do good instead of indulging your inner headonist this Holiday Season. There are many more - local, state, national, and international - causes worth contributing to as opposed to feeding the massive consumer machine that has served as the rotting foundation of George Bush's Economy.

Any other good ideas on where to spend cash you may have on hand instead of buying extravagant gifts for yourself or loved ones? Post away.

Where's The Bail Out For Education?

Seven Hundred billion dollars here. Twenty-Five billion maybe there? The question for the day is how much would it cost just to bring the crumbling buildings that we warehouse our children in public schools across America back up to spec and high quality safety standards? That's minimally the number we would need to bail out our public schools pre-k-Universities (already on 10-15 years of deferred maintenance). Where's the bail out for public schools in America?

Oh, wait, we squandered that last month in the new social welfare state we call Iraq. I don't mean to make light of a serious situation, but really, the for profit industry has some answering to do before they get "bailed out," if ever. Education does not operate well on the for-profit model, mainly because it's not scalable. The more students we teach at one time the more expensive it is. It doesn't get cheaper to provide high quality education to more students like it does when you aggregate risk and bundle your assets to be sold to some one willing to assume it (or if you build more cars in bigger factories).

Education is in much more dire need for a real cash infusion, but we are so used to threadbare operating budgets, that it has become commonplace and has been the longstanding status quo. When the economic crisis finally culminates in the murdering of our public schools, the tab is going to blow away those being requested by companies that actually don't deserve the bail out and should fall on their own swords.

How many small start ups are getting rescued here? Most of the people gainfully employed in America are employed in small businesses, not those asking for more corporate welfare. Our value system is totally twisted (why else would we pay baseball players more money to swing a bat than we do the teachers who taught them how to read). How do we rectify that?

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Message From Bolt Hall Re: Prop H8

got this from a friend at Cal Berkeley:

November 13, 2008

Dear Boalt Hall Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Last Tuesday, America witnessed a change many believed would never come. But even with cheering crowds, joyful tears and the thrill of progress felt all across the state and country, the night was bittersweet. Some of us had our hopes validated by Senator Obamas rise to President-elect, but crushed by the passage of Proposition 8. We do not want to discourage elation over the Presidential election, but we hope to remind our Boalt community that on November 4, 2008, Californians elected Barack Obama and voted to take rights from your fellow students. Our state is now among the 30 that have altered their constitutions to ban same-sex couples from marrying.

Much has been said about the possible reasons behind Prop 8s passage, including the notion that voters of color pushed the proposition to victory. We, the queer community at Boalt and our straight allies, reject this oversimplified and faulty analysis. We will not join in fragmenting our diverse community, nor isolate ourselves from the larger community whose support we must have in the fight for equality.

We are heartbroken and angered by the attack on our dignity, our families, and our civil rights. After a night of monumental progress, we were reminded that the promise of equal rights in America will remain unfulfilled so long as hateful, discriminatory laws remain the status quo. This is not a question of religion or race, nor sex or sexuality. In some ways, its not even about marriageits about equal rights and full humanity. And, in the spirit of solidarity with all groups, we recognize that it is also about a chilling legal and social precedent: constitutional amendments that destroy established rights and uphold bigotry.

Today, we reach out to you, our community. We ask that regardless of your background or identity, you recognize that Prop 8 is unacceptable and wrong, and it must be repealed. We then ask you to get involved in this civil rights movement. Talk to your family and friends. Talk to us, to each other. E-mail us to join our listserve set up for organizing on this issue to be kept abreast of new developments and ways you can take action: queercaucusorganizing@gmail. com.

To you who are leaders of campus student groups: help us build bridges. To you in the Administration: support our efforts with your institutional weight. We are lawyers and future lawyers, this is our system, and we each have a tangible role now in making sure it is a system that advances equal rights for all.

As President-elect Obama said, our stories are singular but our destinies are shared.

In solidarity,

Boalt Hall Queer Caucus a community of queers and allies

If you are an ally in this movement, please join our Google group created to do organizing on LGBT issues: queercaucusorganizing@gmail. com

Attend upcoming events and sign the marriage equality petition sponsored by Equality California:

o Events:
Saturday, November 15, 10:30 a.m.: nationwide protest at city halls around the country. Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco will have protests at their city halls. Go to: http://jointheimpact.wetpaint. com/?t=anon.

Equality California lists all events here: cd/month.asp?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b= 4028667.

o Petition:

Equality California has a marriage equality petition: ka/ct/contactus.asp?c= kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=4742747&en= 9rKQLZPvEfKOKQODIhJGKXPKJoKTI3 MJJeKPL6MPJrI5.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The First 100 Days: Hype or The Stuff Of Legends?

This is an interesting chart. Have a gander and let us know if you think the first 100 days are all hype of a new president or the stuff legends are made out of.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prop H8 = Bigotry in Sheep's Clothing

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Keith seems to get a bit weepy here, no?

I flashed back to the Buddy Holly Tune...
"Well, I wonder wonder wonder, hoop badoo a hoop, who wrote the book of love..."

Really there is no argument that justifies the passing of Prop H8. Simply because a majority thinks it's right doesn't make it so. That's what the Constitution should protect us from - misguided and bigoted thinking.

I still think the Constitution is on our side here and it's only a matter of time before the Supreme Court weighs in on this and decides it once and for all, that you can marry one person of whomever you love, no matter the gendered identification one affixes to themselves. Genitalia has got nothing to do with why I wanted to get married to my spouse, and it should be of no concern to you as to what we do together as long as it's consenting. You cannot legislate morality, particularly if it's bigotry in sheep's clothing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

An Interesting Take On Prop H8

Found this in the LA Times today
Why does it matter whether gay couples remain married in a post-Proposition 8 world? One answer has to do with the dignity and stature that marriage confers. Even if marriage provides no greater rights than domestic partnership, a separate-but-equal regime unavoidably signals that same-sex relationships are of lesser worth.

Another answer has to do with the future of gay marriage writ large. Gay marriage is in the cross-hairs of a culture war, and culture wars, both sides know, are won through symbols, examples and personal experiences that shape one's worldview.

Each of the 18,000 same-sex couples and their families in California represents a potential catalyst for broader acceptance of gay marriage. The more familiar we become with gay spouses and their children -- as our friends, neighbors and co-workers -- the more gay marriage will become an unremarkable thread of our social fabric. Proposition 8 may then come to be viewed, in the long run, not as an enduring constitutional principle but as the will of a narrow and ultimately temporary majority.
If your son were gay, would you not like him to marry the man he loves? The Yes on H8 crowd seems to think that being gay is something one does voluntarily. It's a fact of nature, and should not be denied, but embraced as a part of humanity. The tyrany of the slim majority led us to this very wrongheaded and bigoted piece of "legislation." It needs to be erased as the "will of the people" has been wrong in the past, and is wrong today on 8.

On The Economy George Bush Built

This is just a small slice of some interesting reading regarding the critical situation the W, Rove and Co. has placed Obama in. Of course, their hope is that Obama has to tighten the belts so much that they find it easy to win the Whitehouse back. Trouble is, it's worse than one can imaging, and putting our children into hock for our transgressions is wholly irresponsible
Borrowing money has a flip side, however. When you can't make your car payments, you learn that the bank really does own your car and will come take it away. When you borrow money from Guido for a "sure fire" business idea, you learn that Guido isn't such a nice guy if it doesn't work out. While equity investors can lose their investments, borrowers can potentially lose everything. When President Bush borrows $5 trillion dollars from other countries to run the government, he's really borrowing from future tax payers - making it seem like we aren't paying taxes, when we are really paying more taxes than we should, because he is borrowing irresponsibly. This is how Republicans make it look like everything is rosy on their watch, so they can hand enormous amounts of debt to the next administration, whose job it is to tighten belts and reduce spending until the borrowing is back under control.

Republicans do this because voters can see stock market indices much more clearly than they can see national debt figures. This is called paying your Visa bill with your MasterCharge, also known as Reaganomics. As Tom Friedman writes in the New York Times:

Never has one generation spent so much of its children’s wealth in such a short period of time with so little to show for it as in the Bush years.
If you click on over, be sure to read "Godzilla's Tail."

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bigotry Has No Place In The Constitution

It's hard to believe that so many bigots live in California. Perhaps not. My thinking is that many people were tricked into voting yes for Proposition 8 because those who paid for advertisements were both lying and playing to people's fears in order to secure votes. It's the typical reichwing approach that should be abolished in America as a tactic that foments fear over love and hate over hope.

The upside is that those in favor of allowing two people to marry regardless of their sexual orientation have legal teams assembled. I do believe the US Constitution is on our side here, and with OBAMA HEADED FOR THE WHITEHOUSE (I am still flummoxed that I can type that), we may have some seriously great judges who don't operate from a place of bigotry when it comes to making serious judicial decisions about such cases.

I got this in an email from a friend of the No On 8 movement:
Today, as the ballot counting for Proposition 8 in California continues, Lambda Legal, along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the ACLU, filed a petition in the California Supreme Court on behalf of Equality California and six same-sex couples urging the court to invalidate Prop 8 if it passes. The petition charges that Prop 8 is invalid because the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution' s core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group — lesbian and gay Californians. Prop 8 also improperly attempts to prevent the courts from exercising their essential constitutional role of protecting the equal protection rights of minorities. Whatever the outcome of the election or the lawsuit, we and the California Attorney General agree that existing California marriages are valid, and Lambda Legal will work in the courts to protect these marriages if they are attacked.
It's unfortunate that it has come to this. It's going to be one of the acid tests of our Constitution and the judicial process to prevent the tyranny of the masses from violating fundamental rights promised us by our ancestors - you remember, "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..." - which was the forerunner to the Constitution.

It's not just parchment. I would include the freedom to marry the person you love regardless of sexual orientation as one of those "unalienable Rights." Much like black individuals being counted as 2/3rds a citizen was struck down oh, so long ago. Bigotry has no place in any State or the US Constitution.

Really, if you don't believe in Gay Marriage, don't marry some one of the same gender. I have still not ever seen a legitimate argument that explains how heterosexual marriage is harmed if John and David or Sally and Jennifer, who have been together for the last 18 years, get married to cement their relationship.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Difference Between Patriotism and Hypocrisy

It's obvious that the GOP strategy to win elections is to foment hatred. Hence the malaise they painted across the ACORN concern. Of course, this is not acceptable. In fact, ACORN has accomplished some very good things. The trouble for the GOP is that they don't like the idea that new voters won't vote for them.

Much like the wacky notion that judges who ajudicate cases and make decisions against the interest of the GOP partisans, the GOP tries to pain them as "activist." No, they are not activists, but making high quality decision. Simply because people don't agree with them doesn't make them activists. Simply because ACORN is registering people who will likely vote against the GOP doesn't mean they are bad for America.
Why has ACORN suddenly become such a rallying cry for Republicans? The ultimate answer, of course, is to win the election. Partisan forces are unsettled by the large numbers of new voters ACORN is bringing into the system. Such rhetoric also seems to divert attention from one of the most unpatriotic activities we can imagine -- activities designed to suppress turnout through illegal purges of voter rolls, intimidation of voters at polling places, voter caging and similar tactics.

The highly charged rhetoric has had consequences. A torrent of hate mail and phone calls have poured into our offices, including death threats against our staff. Our Boston and Seattle offices were broken into last week.

The citizens ACORN has helped register this year are very real. Many of them will be coming out to vote today and in future elections. Far from being a threat, our work to encourage participation in democracy is deeply necessary for the reweaving of the fabric of our democracy. These voters should be welcomed to our democracy.

It's Not Too Late To Change Your Mind As To Who The Real Elitist Is

The reichwing fear-mongers have been furiously attempting to paint Obama as an "elitist," but if you look at the two candidates "celebration" receptions, it's clear.

Barak Obama is holding his in a public park, making room for large numbers of real people.
There's no telling how many people will show up, but given the historic nature of the event I'd say 2.5 million -- about twice the number that police estimate pack Grant Park for the annual fireworks display -- isn't an unreasonable guess.
McSame is having his at the Biltmore - with room for only a small number of his "supporters."
Senator John McCain has opted for the tried and true for his election night party: the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, a semi-secluded, exquisitely manicured spot that is to Phoenix what the Waldorf-Astoria is to New York.
Which one is elitist?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Hope Starts In Your Neighborhood

Found this article at the Christian Science Monitor. It's not long, so I cut the whole thing. Rifle through it and see what you think. My thought was that hope starts in your neighborhood, and if yours is without, perhaps you should think about Obama as a the only candidate who can bring it. With 8 years of Bush/Cheney, it's doubtful that the tenor of America will change with McSame/Palin at the tiller "with a steady hand."
Charlotte, N.C. – There has been a lot of speculation that Barack Obama might win the election due to his better "ground game" and superior campaign organization.

I had the chance to view that organization up close this month when I canvassed for him. I'm not sure I learned much about his chances, but I learned a lot about myself and about this election.

Let me make it clear: I'm pretty conservative. I grew up in the suburbs. I voted for George H.W. Bush twice, and his son once. I was disappointed when Bill Clinton won, and disappointed he couldn't run again.

I encouraged my son to join the military. I was proud of him in Afghanistan, and happy when he came home, and angry when he was recalled because of the invasion of Iraq. I'm white, 55, I live in the South and I'm definitely going to get a bigger tax bill if Obama wins.

I am the dreaded swing voter.

So you can imagine my surprise when my wife suggested we spend a Saturday morning canvassing for Obama. I have never canvassed for any candidate. But I did, of course, what most middle-aged married men do: what I was told.

At the Obama headquarters, we stood in a group to receive our instructions. I wasn't the oldest, but close, and the youngest was maybe in high school. I watched a campaign organizer match up a young black man who looked to be college age with a white guy about my age to canvas together. It should not have been a big thing, but the beauty of the image did not escape me.

Instead of walking the tree-lined streets near our home, my wife and I were instructed to canvass a housing project. A middle-aged white couple with clipboards could not look more out of place in this predominantly black neighborhood.

We knocked on doors and voices from behind carefully locked doors shouted, "Who is it?"

"We're from the Obama campaign," we'd answer. And just like that doors opened and folks with wide smiles came out on the porch to talk.

Grandmothers kept one hand on their grandchildren and made sure they had all the information they needed for their son or daughter to vote for the first time.

Young people came to the door rubbing sleep from their eyes to find out where they could vote early, to make sure their vote got counted.

We knocked on every door we could find and checked off every name on our list. We did our job, but Obama may not have been the one who got the most out of the day's work.

I learned in just those three hours that this election is not about what we think of as the "big things."

It's not about taxes. I'm pretty sure mine are going to go up no matter who is elected.

It's not about foreign policy. I think we'll figure out a way to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan no matter which party controls the White House, mostly because the people who live there don't want us there anymore.

I don't see either of the candidates as having all the answers.

I've learned that this election is about the heart of America. It's about the young people who are losing hope and the old people who have been forgotten. It's about those who have worked all their lives and never fully realized the promise of America, but see that promise for their grandchildren in Barack Obama. The poor see a chance, when they often have few. I saw hope in the eyes and faces in those doorways.

My wife and I went out last weekend to knock on more doors. But this time, not because it was her idea. I don't know what it's going to do for the Obama campaign, but it's doing a lot for me.

Jonathan Curley is a banker. He voted for George H.W. Bush twice and George W. Bush once.

"Draconian Estimates Of Jobs..."

The one problem for the McSame Palin ticket is that the internets never forget:

Well, let's get some clarification about this "draconian estimates of jobs..."

"Take more of those revenues and share them with the state of Florida," sounds like "spreading the wealth" to me.

This doesn't sound like a man who can win on Tuesday, does it?

Liberal Professors: The Null Effect

More proof that leadership by faith over fact is dead as a guiding philosophy for any one:
Three sets of researchers recently concluded that professors have virtually no impact on the political views and ideology of their students.
Why should we care? Well, because a while back the GOP nutballers were all a twitter worried that "college" sullies the political soul. If there is no effect of the political views of faculty on their students, what does that say about the "right"wingers who claim otherwise?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Forget About Activist Judges - How About A Run Amok Activist President

Why is it that Lame Duck Presidents feel like they need to piss in all the bedrooms in the Whitehouse before they suffer the regime change we all need here in the good old US of A?
The White House is working to enact an array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January.

The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift existing constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms.
Looks like Bush, who has screwed the pooch in Iraq, is not content to just screwing our economy, proving once again that elitist Republicans are dangerous for America. Beware the NeoCon in sheep's clothing. They come wrapped in American Flags and claim they are doing "Right." In the long run, I'm betting more and more of the real conservatives are wishing they turned out the lights and pretended they were not home when the fundamentalist Christians came a knocking low about 9 years ago. They've shed the skins and put on an Activist Suit. this thing on....any one home in the GOP going to reign in their runaway activist President? That's not his job. His job is to enforce the rules in place, not put them asunder.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Couple Of Sweet Old Ladies

I'm likin' these new bloggers:
If I hear that McCain is a Maverick one more time I just might throw myself to the floor and break a hip. A maverick is an independent individual who doesn’t go along with a group or party. If John McCain’s a maverick I am one of those cheerleaders on the sidelines of Harold’s beloved Dallas Cowboys. Nobody seems to dispute that the Republican party led by George W. Bush got us into this mess but what everybody seems to forget is that Sarah Palin and John McCain are Republicans. Look, when the Religious Right came knocking at the door of the RNC Membership Round-Up, someone should have turned out the porch lights and told everyone inside to be quiet until they went away… the same thing I do when those nice looking boys on bicycles with bibles come to my door. But the Republicans opened that door, invited them in and now they have to live with that decision.

Cecilia, when was the last time a politician brought a tear to your eye… moved you deep in your soul? Honestly when was the last time you really felt that Americans could do anything if we put our hearts and minds to it? I am an old lady. Most of my life politicians have moved me. Most of my life I have felt that Americans can do anything if we put our hearts and minds to it. It’s been 8 long years. I had almost forgotten what that felt like. Thank you Barack Obama. Thank you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Here's a Fun Splice-O-Rama for Today


I Thought The MSM Had a Left Wing Bias

Really, this video is proof that the right wing is full of nut job paranoid fear mongers:

But when you raise ACORN as a concern, shouldn't you also be concerned about this, no?

"What makes America Special is what's in this room..."

Really, the hypocrisy of the GOP knows no bounds:

Remember, there is a big difference between truthiness and the truth, and the truth has a known liberal bias.

"Because We're Both Mavericks:" wtf?

Have a look:

WTF? Because we're both mavericks? Have we seen a complete meltdown of the GOP as we knew it?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

When "Protecting" Freedom Means Killing Liberty

In GOP Controlled & George W. Bush's America, you may think they are advancing freedom, but they do it at the cost of Liberty. Have a look. We are a heartbeat away from martial law and Nationalistic Totalitarianism.

This is Homeland Security? I once heard about a man who proclaimed "Give me Liberty, or give me death." I wonder, is the trade for "security" worth it?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Here's A Fun Video


Image Is Everything

Now we know where the priorities rest with the Palin/McSame ticket:
An acclaimed celebrity makeup artist for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin collected more money from John McCain's campaign than his foreign policy adviser. Amy Strozzi, who works on the reality show "So You Think You Can Dance" and has been Palin's traveling stylist, was paid $22,800, according to campaign finance reports for the first two weeks in October. In contrast, McCain's foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, was paid $12,500, the report showed.
Money well spent, no?

Can You Trust The GOP When They Say Theirs Is The Change We Need?

In some other respects, a Los Angeles Times examination of state records shows, her approach to government was business as usual. Take, for example, the tradition of patronage. Some of Palin's most controversial appointments involved donors, records show.
But I thought McSame Palin were going to bring change to D.C.
* More than 100 appointments to state posts -- nearly 1 in 4 -- went to campaign contributors or their relatives, sometimes without apparent regard to qualifications.

* Palin filled 16 state offices with appointees from families that donated $2,000 to $5,600 and were among her top political patrons.

* Several of Palin's leading campaign donors received state-subsidized industrial development loans of up to $3.6 million for business ventures of questionable public value.

* Palin picked a donor to replace the public safety commissioner she fired. But the new top cop had to resign days later under an ethics cloud. And Palin drew a formal ethics complaint still pending against her and several aides for allegedly helping another donor and fundraiser land a state job.
Well, that doesn't sound promising for what she will be doing if selected as Veep.

Job Creation: GOP Style

Jobs Are Being Created by the W, Rove And Co. Have a look at this new, lucrative field:

Apologies, for some reason the embed function is not working on this post. Click here to go direct to the video.

Solving the "Elite" Problem In D.C. - A Modest Proposal

Given McSame's preoccupation with trying to label people they don't like as elite, I got to thinking on my AM run. I know, you hate when that happens.

I propose we eliminate the extraordinary wealth that sits resident in Congress and causes those who work for the Senate and the House to believe they are smart enough to make decisions for us. Simultaneously, we can save the taxpayers a great deal of money.

Here's the proposal. It's very simple: Given the wealthy status of most of congress, we could reduce their salaries to minimum wage.

Would they do the work if they had to do it for free? I don't think that our founding fathers received any payment for their efforts, did they? There's no reason to support welfare for congressional representatives. They have a splendid benefits package and get paid well into the six figures.

What about McSame and Obama? Would they accept minimum wage to do the work of the Senate? Certainly, McSame doesn't need the income. Obama, perhaps. But we already know know something about the strength of Obama's character. He did go a different way in terms of earning potential.

How many Harvard Law Review editors are sitting out of the extremely lucrative legal field? How many Senators are still raking in enormous salaries despite being independently wealthy (e.g. McSame with Seven homes and untold staff to keep them up)?

Shall we put the measure to a vote? All those in favor say Aye!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where Do Those "Elites" Live?

There are three flaws with the McSame Palin definition of elitist: 1) Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't McSame live and work as a Senator in the DC Area? 2) Doesn't the fact that they think they are the best team for the Whitehouse mean that they think they are better than any one else to do the job? Lastly, 3) What about the Nine Eleven survivors? Don't they live in New York?

Holy Crap their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Interesting Quote du Jour

Being Barry Goldwater's granddaughter and living in Arizona, one would assume that I would be voting for our state's senator, John McCain. I am still struck by certain 'dyed in the wool' Republicans who are on the fence this election, as it seems like a no-brainer to me.

Myself, along with my siblings and a few cousins, will not be supporting the Republican presidential candidates this year. We believe strongly in what our grandfather stood for: honesty, integrity, and personal freedom, free from political maneuvering and fear tactics. I learned a lot about my grandfather while producing the documentary, Mr. Conservative Goldwater on Goldwater. Our generation of Goldwaters expects government to provide for constitutional protections. We reject the constant intrusion into our personal lives, along with other crucial policy issues of the McCain/Palin ticket.

...Nothing about the Republican ticket offers the hope America needs to regain it's standing in the world, that's why we're going to support Barack Obama. I think that Obama has shown his ability and integrity.
Barry Goldwater's Granddaughter is voting Obama! So too should you.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Subpoenas, Depositions and A Quick Question

Do you think that McSame thought experience deflecting legal attacks were a necessary criteria for selecting his Veep running mate? Or is it that he couldn't find some one to run with that had a clean slate and was subpoena proof?
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband will provide depositions Friday to the state Personnel Board, which is looking into whether Palin unfairly fired Alaska's public safety director this summer, the couple's attorney told CNN.
If you ask me, it can't be a good sign when a Veep candidate is being subpoenaed to give a deposition (let alone one that involves her husband). We may not actually discover more on Friday. Even so, do you really want some one in public office that is already distracted and tangled in legal problems?

Incidentally, my spouse this morning, as we had on NPR listening to another speechifying opportunity for McSame, called out to me over my coffee. McSame was stipulating one more time that he was particularly "Proud of Governor Palin," and happy he selected her as his Veep Candidate. This is the conversation as it occurred
Spouse - That is Offensive!

Me - What?

Spouse - Do you think that any Presidential Candidates in the history of Presidential candidates have ever said that they were "proud" of their Vice President choice?

Me - What, do you think that was sexist?

Spouse - No, it's just plain offensive and condescending. If she were a man, he would not be saying he was "Proud" of his vice presidential pick.

Me - Well, I think it's sexist and offensive, but that's just how the GOP does it's business

Spouse - No! It's offensive, and I'm pissed.

Me - Well, I guess we know how you are going to vote....
Question - Is it sexist (which the McSame folks were hooting and hollering about finding not acceptable when they announced their pick), offensive, or both?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What's Your Tax Cut Going To Be?

This may be fun for folks to try. Calculate your tax cut under Obama and McSame.Go ahead, plug in your numbers and be honest. Then plug in Bill Gates' numbers and see what you get.

Oh, and here's proof that any one can use the calculator:

Falling On Their Own Swords

Well, much as we would like to see them do so, you won't find any of the GOP faithful falling on their own swords at this point in time. Even so, it looks as if the smart thinking Republicans are sucking large quantities of helium out of the McSame/Palin baloon:
The timing of the financial crisis couldn’t have been worse for Republicans. When Lehman Brothers went under on Sept. 15, McCain was tied or in the margin of error in national polls. But when his poll numbers fell along with the stock market, wealthy conservatives saw little reason to invest their shrunken holdings on what was far from a sure thing.

“Republican donors, at the end of day, aren’t stupid,” said another Republican familiar with third-party activities this cycle. “They’re not going to throw good money after bad.

And it wasn’t just the economic bad news — McCain did little to help his own cause.
The GOP, having hung their hats so long and hard on the W, Rove and Co are withering on the vines of their own making. You won't be getting a lot of sympathy from the left of, as it appears, now the right.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BOO - Did She Scare You Too?

I was out on my morning run today, heading past one of the local neighborhoods that sponsor some serious competitions for scary Halloween decoration. Amidst the witches, ghosts, goblins, I noticed this image of Sarah Palin. Was this an endorsement or meant to scare me? I think the latter. I actually burst out laughing out loud, despite running up hill at the same time. Some one has a very interesting sense of humor.

In the less than funny department...In even worsening news for the McSame Palin ticket, we find that Ms. Palin is playing fast and loose with the ethics again - a lot like George Bush Sr.'s fuzzy math. It may not be against the law, but it's rather fuzzy ethically to travel to luxury hotels on State Taxpayer dollars:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another Right Thinking Republican Thinks Right

No surprise, but still a huge blow to McSame, Colin Powell endorses Obama:
Colin Powell, a Republican and retired general who was President Bush's first secretary of state, broke with the party Sunday and endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president, calling him a "transformational figure" while criticizing the tone of John McCain's campaign.

The former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman said either senator is qualified to be commander in chief. But after studying both, he concluded that Obama is better suited than McCain, the standard-bearer of Powell's own party, to handle the nation's economic problems and help improve its world standing.
And here's a couple of interesting points:
"This Bill Ayers situation that's been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign," Powell said. "But Mr. McCain says that he's a washed-out terrorist. Well, then, why do we keep talking about him?"

Powell said McCain's choice of Palin raised questions about judgment.

"She's a very distinguished woman, and she's to be admired. But at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president," he said. "And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Sen. McCain made."
Here's the video of this particular testimony.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Blogging Like You Mean It

I've been ruminating on a few questions as a bit of a diversion from the nutty last 18 or so days leading up to 4 Nov. Back when I first started blogging, things were a lot simpler. To tease out topics, some one periodically send out a meme to spur some ideas. I haven't received one of those in a great long while (which in the long run is good by me), but I got to thinking.

If I had to write my last blog entry, what would I write? Kind of like the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, if today you had to post your last post, what would you write?

Also, over the years, I've found inspiration in various musical artists (depending on my mood). If you blog on a regular basis, do you have a play list for your music that drives your inspiration? Who's your favorite artist to blog to?

I'm listening to public radio this AM, and one of the guest speakers had a point. "Our next president won't save us, we are going to have to save him. His middle name is going to be pinata." Perhaps my last post will have a title: Saving Our Nation From Ourselves....I'll have to ruminate on the content.

When I'm in a blogging zone, I usually click on Nirvana - Nevermind....and write.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

McSame: Not Able To Connect The Dots

But enjoyable as it's been to watch conservatives flee from the GOP, something about all this leaves me feeling a little down. Because as the more respectable, literate conservatives distance themselves from the GOP, increasingly, the only ones left on the right are paranoid, rage-driven, xenophobic nuts. Bitter? You betcha! Twisted too!
This just proves the point, that McSame - while he may have been a good choice about a year ago to run for President - has fallen into the trap of following the advice of people with the same mindset as those who have advised W. And, the people are getting sick and tired of leadership by faith over fact, derision and division over unifying high quality values and morals, and fear mongering over a message of hope.

As evidence, on just need look to the debate last night. On more than one occasion, it looked like McSame was trying to connect the dots between talking points, but was wildly unsuccessful in doing so because bullet points don't comprise a high quality discussion about what's ailing the economy.

Let's have a look:

MCCAIN: Energy -- well, first -- second of all, energy independence. We have to have nuclear power. We have to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much. It's wind, tide, solar, natural gas, nuclear, off-shore drilling, which Senator Obama has opposed.

And the point is that we become energy independent and we will create millions of jobs -- millions of jobs in America.

OK, what -- what would I cut? I would have, first of all, across-the-board spending freeze, OK? Some people say that's a hatchet. That's a hatchet, and then I would get out a scalpel, OK?

Because we've got -- we have presided over the largest increase -- we've got to have a new direction for this country. We have presided over the largest increase in government since the Great Society.

Government spending has gone completely out of control; $10 trillion dollar debt we're giving to our kids, a half-a-trillion dollars we owe China.

I know how to save billions of dollars in defense spending. I know how to eliminate programs.

SCHIEFFER: Which ones?

MCCAIN: I have fought against -- well, one of them would be the marketing assistance program. Another one would be a number of subsidies for ethanol.

I oppose subsidies for ethanol because I thought it distorted the market and created inflation; Senator Obama supported those subsidies.

I would eliminate the tariff on imported sugarcane-based ethanol from Brazil.

I know how to save billions. I saved the taxpayer $6.8 billion by fighting a deal for a couple of years, as you might recall, that was a sweetheart deal between an aircraft manufacturer, DOD, and people ended up in jail.

But I would fight for a line-item veto, and I would certainly veto every earmark pork-barrel bill. Senator Obama has asked for nearly $1 billion in pork-barrel earmark projects...
Holy Smoke - A man that is this scattered on a fairly direct question is asking for line item veto? The Republicans have been trying for that for so long and it's been shot down every time. Why do they persist? Because they suck as negotiators. Veto is another key indicator that the politicians have failed to reach a compromise that is acceptable. To introduce line item veto would allow the President to sit and lord over congress rather than work with them to craft well designed bills.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Very Foundation of the GOP Is Fundamentally Bankrupt

If you listen to the true conservatives - of the smaller governments, less taxes type - you will find our current situation as QED of why that philosophy is fundamentally bankrupt as a means of dictating governmental policy and action:
In hindsight, there's no question that we would have been better off if we had been regulating derivatives -- and had a clearinghouse for it...The Fed was really adamantly opposed to any form of regulation whatsoever. I guess if I had to do it over again, I certainly would have pushed for some way to give greater transparency to products which turned out to be injurious to our markets.
Really, there is no way for McSame or Palin to claim that they can fix this current situation by advocating "less" taxes and regulation that eventually goes away. You can trust Wall Street like you can trust a kid left alone in the kitchen near the cookie jar before dinner. And given McSame's record of advocating de-regulation over regulation, does he really represent the "change" we need? Not in my book.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

GOP: The Bigotry Specialists

Capitalize on the hate must be one of the campaign tactics for the McSame/Palin. With friends like these, we don't need the Taliban to breed fear and hate among the American people.

A friend of mine forwarded this image. I do apologize for not having a link for a source as I didn't have one. Talk about chutzpah from the man on the motorcycle.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Very Interesting

View and then let us know your thoughts:

I found the video to be very interesting.

Vote No On Prop 8

The nutters who have no better use for their cash are ramping up their campaign to trick people into voting yes on California's Proposition 8. It's quite simple. If you love some one, who happens to be the same sex, and you decide to get married in a civil ceremony (or a religious one if you like, and they let you), what harm does it do to heterosexual marriage? None.

My marriage will not harm any one else's marriage. The larger question is what is it about heterosexual marriage that needs protection?

What would it mean to heterosexuals if they were prevented from getting married?

Of course, simply because you disagree doesn't make your position correct:

A Sunday Morning Romp Around The News

Found some interesting articles for this morning's political wonks:
Now, the Florida salesman and staunch Republican has abandoned the GOP ticket. Sarah Palin, he thinks, looks under-equipped to be vice president. And McCain, he says, displayed an unsteady response to what may be a global economic depression.
Humm...That's interesting.

But the faithful still like Palin. The bigger question is who's really running for the office of Veep?
Todd Palin would become a familiar voice for the Palin administration. Independent legislative investigator Stephen Branchflower's report on Monegan's subsequent firing -- in part, the investigation found, because he wouldn't fire Wooten -- contains an exhaustive record of Todd Palin's frequent and intimate presence in the day-to-day workings of his wife's administration.
One has to question the judgment of a Presidential candidate who doesn't do the dilligence to screen his Veep candidate. Moreover, we know for certain that McSame would carry forward with the W, Rove and Co's Gitmo strategy, no?
The Uighurs filed habeas corpus petitions, and Judge Ricardo Urbina of Federal District Court in Washington ordered them released. Judge Urbina said it was time to “shine the light of constitutionality” on the Bush administration’s detention camps.

They need the light. The Bush administration told the countries it was trying to persuade to take the detainees that they posed no threat. It has stipulated in court documents that they are not a threat. But after Judge Urbina’s ruling, the government suddenly claimed the 17 men were a threat, and managed to obtain a stay of the judge’s order from the federal appeals court in Washington.
Sounds like solid GOP strategy, no?

Well, if nothing else, we know the GOP is very good at stirring up hate in spades:
By the time McCain asks the crowd “Who is the real Barack Obama?” it’s no surprise that someone cries out “Terrorist!” The rhetorical conflation of Obama with terrorism is complete. It is stoked further by the repeated invocation of Obama’s middle name by surrogates introducing McCain and Palin at these rallies. This sleight of hand at once synchronizes with the poisonous Obama-is-a-Muslim e-mail blasts and shifts the brand of terrorism from Ayers’s Vietnam-era variety to the radical Islamic threats of today.

That’s a far cry from simply accusing Obama of being a guilty-by-association radical leftist. Obama is being branded as a potential killer and an accessory to past attempts at murder. “Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family” was how a McCain press release last week packaged the remembrance of a Weather Underground incident from 1970 — when Obama was 8.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just The Kind Of Gullible American The GOP Loves

If gullibility came sold at the local Walmart, the GOP would support subsidizing people for their very own dose of it to gain their favor. But, really, they don't need to. They pray and hope for these kinds of folk:

Nice, huh?

How about his lovely song:

Laced with hate, the GOP is running strong on the threads of fear and vengeance. Not the kind of population we would wish on the rest of the world, is it?

I prefer hope over hate.

And how about real change:

Remember, Barak Obama is Irish (I know that I've posted this before, but it's a fun video). Enjoy:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mark Fiore Gets It! Finally We Can Embed His Cartoons

I've been a huge fan of Mark Fiore for a great long while. Used to be I'd have to just link up. Now we can embed them. I'm sure he would appreciate some hits over at his location. Here's a few fun ones to whet your apetite:

Blog on Friends, blog on all.

All You Do Is Show Your Love for Hypocrisy and "Cold Blooded" killing by Voting for Sarah Palin


Cold Blooded Killer:

Can any one explain to me why people want this woman to be one heart beat away from the Presidency?

Fearing Fear Itself

We are to the point of fearing fear itself. America in all its resplendent free market capitalistic glory is on the auction block with few bidders. How this came to be is obvious in retrospect: too much exuberant leverage, not enough regulation; too strong a belief in asset-based prosperity, too little common sense that prices could go down as well as up; excessive “me first” greed, too little concern for the burden of future generations; a political morass unworthy of our Founding Fathers. You may have more to add to the list, but frankly there isn’t enough time. Historians can sit back and reflect, but at this very moment, America is for sale and there is fear and trembling in the auctioneer’s voice.
This WallStreet Fire Sale brought to you by the GOP and the For More years for the GOP Foundation.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

McPalin May Point You To Ayers, But They Should Be Woried About Keating

You have got to know that the McSame and Palin team or expert slanderers are hoping that the American people are dimwitted and easily hornswoggled as they were by George Bush. They bring up Ayers as a red herring, but could it be that it is only the GOP Propaganda Crack Pipe Smoking Faithful that fall for it?

Really, if the GOP is ready to bring up Ayers as a blemish on Obama's record, they aught to be ready to discuss Charles Keating.

Is McSame really the man to trust to solve the fiscal crisis he helped germinate and fertilize all the while looking out for his own personal gain? I don't think so.

Blog on Friends, Blog on all.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

McSame: He's No Maverick

Aparently, McSame's claim that he's a maverick, and Palin's claim that both he and she are mavericks isn't is a smidge disingenuous.

There’s that word again: maverick. In Thursday’s vice-presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican candidate, used it to describe herself and her running mate, Senator John McCain, no fewer than six times, at one point calling him “the consummate maverick."

But to those who know the history of the word, applying it to Mr. McCain is a bit of a stretch — and to one Texas family in particular it is even a bit offensive.

“I’m just enraged that McCain calls himself a maverick,” said Terrellita Maverick, 82, a San Antonio native who proudly carries the name of a family that has been known for its progressive politics since the 1600s, when an early ancestor in Boston got into trouble with the law over his agitation for the rights of indentured servants.

In the 1800s, Samuel Augustus Maverick went to Texas and became known for not branding his cattle. He was more interested in keeping track of the land he owned than the livestock on it, Ms. Maverick said; unbranded cattle, then, were called “Maverick’s.” The name came to mean anyone who didn’t bear another’s brand.

Sam Maverick’s grandson, Fontaine Maury Maverick, was a two-term congressman and a mayor of San Antonio who lost his mayoral re-election bid when conservatives labeled him a Communist. He served in the Roosevelt administration on the Smaller War Plants Corporation and is best known for another coinage. He came up with the term “gobbledygook” in frustration at the convoluted language of bureaucrats.

This Maverick’s son, Maury Jr., was a firebrand civil libertarian and lawyer who defended draft resisters, atheists and others scorned by society. He served in the Texas Legislature during the McCarthy era and wrote fiery columns for The San Antonio Express-News. His final column, published on Feb. 2, 2003, just after he died at 82, was an attack on the coming war in Iraq.

Terrellita Maverick, sister of Maury Jr., is a member emeritus of the board of the San Antonio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

Considering the family’s long history of association with liberalism and progressive ideals, it should come as no surprise that Ms. Maverick insists that John McCain, who has voted so often with his party, “is in no way a maverick, in uppercase or lowercase.”

It’s just incredible — the nerve! — to suggest that he’s not part of that Republican herd. Every time we hear it, all my children and I and all my family shrink a little and say, ‘Oh, my God, he said it again.’ ”

“He’s a Republican,” she said. “He’s branded.”

Bush Fumbles Gitmo: May Require Us To Set Terrorists Free

I've been saying this for a long time , but the egregious, and downright illegal handling of the people detained at Guantanamo may force us to set them free. Moreover, it looks like the W, Rove and Co. have made tremendous errors in judgment about the people they decided to spirit away indefinitely.

Really, do we want to live in country where people who are not found guilty of any wrong doing are locked up against their wills regardless from whence they came?
“I think the moment has arrived for the court to shine the light of constitutionality on the reasons for detention,” Judge Urbina said.

Saying the men had never fought the United States and were not a security threat, he tersely rejected Bush administration claims that he lacked the power to order the men set free in the United States and government requests that he stay his order to permit an immediate appeal.

The ruling was a sharp setback for the administration, which has waged a long legal battle to defend its policies of detention at the naval base at Guantánamo Bay, arguing a broad executive power in waging war. Federal courts up to the Supreme Court have waded through detention questions and in several major cases the courts have rejected administration contentions.
In yet another case of the W, Rove and Co. costing the Taxpayers giant, heaping sums of money based on their illicit actions, we may find that the class action lawsuit rendered by former Git-mo detainees may cost us enormous sums of dollars to make right. I'll bet there are at least a dozen sleazy lawyers gunning for such a case.

I suppose this is what happens when you have a President used to making messes that other people clean up for them.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Same Message, Different Wrapper

The GOP hasn't got anything new and original whatsoever.

If you liked that one, you will like this next one. Here we see that Sarah Palin is nothing without her notes. Could she actually say something of substance without them? The larger question is if we subtracted all of those where she was using her talking points notes, would there be any substance there? Is this the kind of vapid puppet we want in the Veep position?

Leaves me wondering if she is the puppet, who is the master?

The Republicans have got to hate Youtube - catches them in all manner of foolishness. You cannot really complain about Youtube because it isn't mainstream media, but it will bite you in the ass and hold you accountable to what you said today, yesterday, and about nearly 8 years ago.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Your Fear Of Gay Marriage Is Irrational And Has No Foundation Beyond Hate

What is it about two men or two women getting married that hurts your marriage? Really, nothing.

If you don't believe in gay marriage don't marry some one of the same gender. Certainly, to women getting married or two men getting married does not hurt my marriage. In fact, it may amplify the dignity of it.

Hate is no reason to bar freedom. Vote no on Prop -8.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

GOP: Bankrupt On Trust

Did you ever wonder why, when McSame or Palin get asked a question that they don't like, they simply don't answer it and instead spew the usual talking points that make no sense as any kind of answer to the stipulated question? I was munching on my breakfast and listening to NPR and McSame was interviewed. Pay attention to what he says when asked the hard questions. Be sure to click the listen now button to grab the unadulterated comments.

When asked about Palin's foreign policy experience that makes her qualified, McSame shifts the topic to
energy independence...she has oversighted the oil and natural resources...she's very highly qualified and very knowledgeable..."I've turned to her for advice many times in the past," McCain said. "I can't imagine turning to Sen. [Barack] Obama or [Sen. Joseph] Biden because they've been wrong. They were wrong about Iraq. They were wrong about Russia."
Where's the WMD in Iraq McSame? Well, the days of "trust us" government are over in Washington. Leadership by faith over fact is dead as a policy making methodolgy. Simply because Palin has charisma in spades does not make her qualified to be the Big Veep.

McSame goes so far as to claim that Palin is the "most popular governor in" in the USA, as if that's a qualification to be Veep. Now, I bet those who live in California might say, "my governor can wipe the floor with your governor," but no doubt there are other states who would credibly argue that this is hogwash.

Do you trust McSame? Should we trust McSame? Or, has the GOP leadership proven time and again that leadership by faith over fact gets us in to deep, deep, deep shit?