Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Where Do They Find Them?

It cannot be easy to find idiots like this, Rupert and McPOW had to scour the dumpsters of intellect to get this result. OK, it could be drugs...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Nancy 'Borgia' Pelosi Poisons Republicans

Rep. Boehner, one of the nastiest players of partisanship and lying attacks and rude language, accused Nancy Pelosi saying she "poisoned our conference." She poured the caustic poison of a slight pass at the truth about Republicans into their poor abused ears. Ah, Macbeth, your shade passes our dusk obscured view. This entire idea is infuriating to Americans; getting here and having to fix it just drives them to distraction and every one of the House votes will be measured against them this year. The Senate may have the luxury of having only 1/3 of its membership up for election, the House has 100% running. Bush lapdog Greg Walden (R - 02 OR) voted for the bail out since he does what he's told to do. Somehow direction had palliative effects on the damage incurred from such a Borgian attack.

Now, since the Republicans don't like this mess and want to play a disguised socialistic solution game, the Democrats should go ahead and pass a Democratic Bill. Seize the failing institutions, cut management and ownership off at the knees - including seizing any assets from the last dozen years - and recompense shareholders with any recovery that occurs and profits beyond ordinary interest paid to the government. If the taxpayer is expected to buy Wall Street then they should by god get the good stuff with the damn garbage and the confounded greed heads should walk away empty handed if not headed for a Federal institution. There, damn it, you could play with that and make it work better for America than those bare bones do, but you'd stick the Republicans' heads on a pike where they belong instead of trying to assuage them. I don't give a good god damn about them other than sinking any of their boats I can find.

Why pay attention to any of them? Apparently nobody speaks for them, certainly not their leadership. Somebody led the revolt, but there seems to be no coherence in the opposition, some are blaming Pelosi, some Bush, all of them Democrats. McCain said he'd fixed the vote, BushCo said they'd fixed the vote, Boehner said he'd fixed the vote. What McCain says is this isn't the time to "fix the blame," exactly seconds after he tried to fix the blame - on Democrats. Democrats who hate bailing out the beneficiaries of their opponent's policies.

"Out, out damned spot," cried Lady Macbeth. There is a damned spot on American politics and its name is Republican. These rat bastards want more of what crashed the system, they have the nerve to hold the economy hostage to more of their failed policies. They whine and cry that someone was mean when what they meant to do all along was tank something shoved down Democrats throats. If you've got an (R) after your name you should run head down in hang dog shame - these are YOUR people. You elected them, you support them, and you show every sign of reelecting them. You are an ass. I suggest you perform an anatomically impossible act on yourself.

Letting It Just Hit The Wall

In case you hadn't noticed or just tuned in, I'm a left Democrat. I do not like, in any measure the idea of bailing out the plutocrats who've raped this country ever since St Ronnie sold this idea to the gullible American public. I'd like to do very nasty things to these people. I am sick of this same old same old state of affairs with the politicians in the pockets of the plutocrats. This whole mess is the architecture of the Republicans, although Bill Clinton to his discredit, signed some of it. Today the Republicans claimed their hurt feelings for being called to account screwed the deal. The stock market dropped like a sack of cow manure.

I have a good friend who advocates letting this just play itself out, no matter how bad the economy gets whacked in the interest of restructuring the whole mess, with everyone seeing how bankrupt our entire system is, ethically and intellectually. Emotionally I agree. The problem with this idea is that when our system tanks a lot of people get badly hurt. If we go, we take the world's economy with us. It is not just a matter of hitting a messy reset button for the US, the world gets reset along with us. A complete breakdown of the world economic system means chaos and severe suffering. This has consistently been the recipe for revolutions and warfare and the advancement of unprincipled demagogues.

The White House is scared bloodless by the approaching crisis, these ideologue that presided over the rush into this have entirely switched directions. The free marketeers have suddenly become socialists. There is a reason for their switch, they have looked at what is coming down the road and know what an absolute disaster it is. The electoral prospects of their party would take a massive hit from approving of this and they've measured the fallout to be of more significance. The most politicized Executive Branch in history is dedicated to political disaster in the face of this crisis. That has some significance.

If we were talking about a bloodletting of the plutocratic class I might be in some favor of letting this thing just hit the wall. That is not what the outcome is, the outcome is that ordinary Americans will die. That is not exaggeration, the economy is so connected to credit that production and transport will come to a screaming halt. Some of us in rural communities may weather such a thing better than the urban areas, but food and other services will evaporate and dealing with that is means extremes. Bad ones, ones that will cascade across the world.

Republican House members sank the deal. They've pouted about Nancy Pelosi making a partisan speech. They've put forward ideas that everyone with credible expertise cannot figure out how to work. They've driven the economic truck into the ditch and set it on fire and want to continue to throw gasoline on the flames with the same driving tactics that crashed the damn thing. They propose that this is a principled stand, that screw the economy means principles. Their principals won't suffer, the wealthy will continue to so and in fact improve their strategic position in crushing labor. The Daryl Issa's will go home to the ignorant Reichwingers and their plutocratic masters and say, we've put taxpayers (code for wealth) first and when it is corporate/wealth contribution time. This nutjob will get reelected and if Barack Obama gets elected this is an example of who he'll get to have to deal with.

I loath the current iteration of the Republican Party and I'm willing for some fairly bad things to happen to crush them. But, Judas Priest, I'm not willing to see my friends, family, and most of the rest of the population take it in the shorts to smack these folks around. I'd have thought that the road to here should have done the job, I'd have thought that the discredited nonsense spewed by these people since St Ronnie would have done it but McPOW being within 20 points of Obama and less than half of the Republican seats in serious jeopardy the issue is apparently still open. Somehow the message isn't getting from the smashed fingers to the hammer wielder that stopping the swinging is in order or that the finger should be moved. Expect more pain.

Oh yeah, John McCain was a POW so he's excused.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Republican Implosion

Bill Mahr's Real Time is certainly a left oriented show with a left oriented audience but he generally puts a Republican/conservative on his panel who can rub two thoughts together and come up with something other than a donut. Tonight it is Lisa Schiffren and her first problem is that she can't find two ideas to rub together. She started off with what I'll paraphrase, "Republicans run on ideas and rationality rather than the feelings Democrats do." The audience groaned. I rolled my eyes, choked, gurgled, and shuddered. The Republicans have not run on anything other than emotions for decades. Fear and loathing is not rational nor an idea. Religious fervor is not rational not intellectual.

OK, granted they've run the economic bus into the ditch....and set the sumbich on fire and they've got Palin jibbering as VP, and cripes John keeps having senior moments on foreign policy but surely there was someone more competent for this gig. Or maybe not, Rick Santorum is probably out researching some unspeakable activity and The Newt can't be trusted to not come out and advocate a suspension of the First Amendment and apparently everybody else is either trying to write something containing plausible lies for McPOW or cramming Sarah Palin for the VP show. (I know there's something about debate in the title - but really now) It is really hard being a Republican these days - somehow you have to justify the socialization of Wall Street and in the same breath sneer "socialized medicine" add figure a way to be a reformer critic of the system you engineered. The real trick is to make that (R) disappear.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

GOC Shoot Sunday - Bend, Oregon

I don't know what connectivity I will have for the next couple days, as Vice-chair of the Gun Owners Caucus of the Democratic Party of Oregon I will be a part of this shooting event. This will be a fun, political, and a learning opportunity that will have some press interest and candidate presence. I'm taking the laptop, digital camera, and the video camera so I should have some sort of report for my readers. I am one of the organizers, along with Zak Johnson of Portland - and Chair, so I'll be busy and this place surely has no WiFi.

If this strikes your interest at this last second, event starts at 10AM Sunday Sept 28, go to Bluesteel Democrats for information. See ya later, keep your poweder dry :-)

McCain's Debate Version Of History

Eisenhower would resign if Normandy failed - oddly enough, right out of the bucket McCain re-writes history, never happened. I don't mind differences regarding ideology, that's what an election is supposed to be about, but remaking history is a bit different.

Since I don't have a transcript don't expect all this in temporal order, you get it as it stands strongest in my memory. I did find it interesting that McPOW is going to re-fight Vietnam in Iraq and win this war. Bringing up Vietnam in regard to Iraq is a rather stupid idea, compare one unpopular war with another unpopular war and winning one. I'm not interested in trying to win Vietnam again.

Somehow John McCain is not a Republican, has never been a Republican, was always a populist and had no involvement with the mess that we're in. Twenty six years of being a Republican in Congress evaporated into the ether. Cripes.

McCain has fought against the corruption of influence in Washington DC his entire career - well nobody brought up the name of Chuck Keating did they? Ah, malleable history.

Apparently the Iraq war started in 2007 with the Surge, all that stuff about an easy victory and greeted as liberators and we know exactly where WMDs are stored never occurred. The existence of memories are horrid for some candidates.

I'm still trying to figure out when and in what alternate universe "trickle down economics" ever happened to work. There is exactly no evidence of such a thing in our reality, despite McCain's version.

Earmarks are evil, always have been, and $18 billion in a year certainly will make a real difference in our national budget, if the universe runs backwards and the sun rises in the west. Oh cripes, there is junk in earmarks, no kidding, and there is valuable stuff there and...

$18 billion in earmarks that don't happen will pay for $700 billion in Wall Street bailouts. A funny POW sort of math there.

Pakistan may be a failing state today, but previous to Musaref's coup it was a democratic government with nuclear weapons, an odd sort of failure.

While it doesn't re-write history, it's old news that McPOW was a POW, naturally we get to hear about that again which has obvious relevance to the economy and foreign policy.

Now Senator Obama I will admit that I am not a boxer, I am a street fighter and I am not interested in counter punching. If my opponent has a cut (Chuck Keating) I'm going to work on it until it's a bleeding mess. If my opponent wants to bring out a knife (lying), I'll bring out a hand cannon. Now, you're a gentleman and I really hope what you're doing is going to work out for you. I do know I liked your presence better than the cranky old man.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Now That We're All Socialists

Since we're becoming socialists it might be important to know what that means. AIG was bailed out by the US government and now it seems we'll be buying mortgages and securities. Our government just went right straight into business, stock market business. Try to find the government in the world that has gone into a one trillion dollar socialization program. We're not buying something like Exxon Mobil; we're buying junk. Now, it isn't like we can watch the credit markets implode and think the rest of the system won't go with it. I'm not going to argue that and I'm not going say that "these people" getting taught a lesson is nearly as important as avoiding economic catastrophe. But now I do want to know where this socialism experiment is going to go.

Where it stands is that people took out loans they shouldn't have, and people issued loans to those who shouldn't have gotten them, and then those got packaged up into a real mess. Lots of blame to spread around but where it stops is the lending. The money was loaned because it could be loaned and then sold and sold and sold. The US government said, OK, you'll do fine on your own. When the foreclosures started the government was fine with it, "that'll teach them," as long as it was individuals - regular folks in over their heads. So, we understand that it has to be a crisis and one in a big way.

I can think of other crisis situations, like health care. Today we have some sort of socialization of health care - broke and uninsured you can still go to the emergency room and those costs get dumped into the system, governmental health programs and insurance to pay for it. Those pieces get to socialize this in an uneven and strategically stupid fashion. A single payer system is called socialized medicine by the Republicans and plutocrats in general. Somehow this crisis doesn't rise to the bar. Why is pretty interesting.

The health care debacle in the US is killing our companies' ability to compete, untreated illnesses are morphed into serious conditions costing multiples of treatment costs, huge amounts of money are being dumped into the private system with poor return - essentially we are throwing away a catastrophic sum of the citizens' and businesses' money daily. But it is the where it's thrown that is the difference, that money goes into the insurers' hands and from there into investment banks (what doesn't stay in the hands of insurers). The citizenry and businesses are financing the plutocrats with their health care. Your health risk is socialized into the pockets of wealth. No incentive? Nobody who is being raped is big enough to strike the chord of interest of the plutocrat enablers. The Democrats won't do it, not without the Republicans getting on board, even with a solid majority and the Presidency they won't try. They will get handed their heads for trying alone. The Republicans have come on board, along with their plutocratic pals and that is not going to happen as long as they have the incentive to rape the nation.

Here's what the tax adverse don't get, there are legally few ways to restrict greed. You can create disincentives. The tax structure is the one way individual money can be managed by government, and Republicans are aware of it - see the Bush tax cuts. Over amped CEO compensation starts to look manageable if the tax load is based on multiples of average worker compensation, say at 20x for the total package (that's everything, jets, stock options, even the executive restroom) the rate goes from 40% to 70%. Wealth that only generates wealth through paper games can be addressed, if your money is in concrete working assets like factories and equipment (no your yacht isn't an S-corp business) you're safe but once you're above the top 5% in total complete income your capital gains go to 25%, inheritance taxes to 25%, and there is not sheltering, everything is out there. FICA gets uncapped, no upper limit. If you send money overseas, it gets taxed both directions at the top rate. Off-shore your corporation, all US operations taxed at the top corporate rate. Military and national security and infrastructure projects denied to any non-US tax paying entity. Mortgage deduction for 1 house and zero for any house in the top 10% valuation. Enough of subsidizing these people.

Class Warfare is the first response of the Republicans and I'll agree that it is, it is the counter-attack in the war that's been waged from St Ronnie on. You've been screwed to the wall - you're reading this, I mean you - and you have no idea just exactly how badly. You cannot go to the IRS/US Census data and see how badly, it is hidden. All that huge wealth you're looking at is only IRS reported taxable income, not the real extent of it. The tax games that hide this are arcane and I have no ability to break the actual numbers down for you but what you see has no relationship to reality. This is what the government has encouraged, absolute naked greed and rapaciousness because there is no downside to it. The mess we're in right now let run its course would only dent true wealth while killing everybody else and it is being socialized because it would dent wealth. There is the specter of global chaos and violence, but you have a lot of faith if you think that is the foundation.

The next Republican or plutocratic enabler that says something about personal responsibility should have a gun stuck in their face and given some personal responsibility. By rights, there should exist in this country a real opposition to the plutocrat agenda and there is not. There is no payback for sticking it to the citizens, we'll actually re-elect a bunch of these dirtbags and wealth itself will not be held to account at all. They won't be burned out of their mansions and tarred and feathered, they'll hang onto their wealth. Too bad.

Your Challenge, Translate The Expert

It sounds like an answer until you try to figure out what the heck she's actually saying. Good luck.

Tonight's Post Went Away

Tonight's post is in the ether somewhere. Over an hour of work and gone away. It was done, it was pretty good, though there was some spit and foam going on and now it's become...a blank screen. I'm too tired and too pissed off to try to recapture that composition. So you get this.

Goddam. The site hung up, it wouldn't auto save and it wouldn't post so I tried to copy to clipboard so I could save in Word - gone in a single click and I have no idea why. I've had several really tough days at work, the kind of days that point out to me that I'm not in my 30s any more - by a very long shot.

I just got done tearing off and roofing a house that had virtually every mistake possible made on it and nearly the worst combination of factors for that kind of job. Somebodies shouldn't have been allowed to own hammers and nails. It was a 1x ship lap plank roof deck with inadequate venting, it wasn't papered in before shingling and those shingles were left too long, the second roof was put over the first with 1 7/8" nails, a weird pattern with metric shingles over the original standards and no starter course. Both 3 tabs. The lack of starter let the original roof burn out on the bottom course causing an eve leak and damage, the long ass nails were over kill and monsters to get loose from the cooked wood deck and the mixed shingle dimensions meant nailing crept all over the roof so nearly every couple square inches had nails and the original roof was cooked onto the wood deck. The original was asphalt felt composition and crumbly, the second was fiberglass composition so the top roof was a tangled mess and the bottom one was little bits everywhere - including the ground. The wood deck was so messed up from cooking and condensation from no paper that the entire thing needed re-nailing and then the existing nails driven back down and quit a bit of wood replaced. Knocked the snot out of me and almost ruined a tear off shovel that should have had a dozen roofs in it. It looks real nice now (not counting the mess on the ground I've yet to clean up) and it should last a good long while but I earned every cent I made - and then some.

Look here, people, comp roofing isn't rocket science and there are directions on the bundles but there are reasons to hire people like me - like getting it done in a reasonable amount of time and done right. If you manage to do it right, no matter what you get paid per hour you cannot save money doing it versus having me do it. Plus you get a guarantee and the materials warranty is valid and you're covered by a really big insurance policy. Really.

A good friend who is healthy and a capable sort rented tools and put a roof on by himself and did a good job of it. I knew the roof so I asked him how long it took him, eight times as long as me and wore him out badly - on his vacation. I was polite and didn't tell him so. He told me there was no way in hell he'd ever do it again.

Instead of a good post you get this.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Socializing The Risk

Maybe you've noticed, wealth was served because it was going to make all us peons better off, they'd get caviar and we'd get bologna, but we'd eat. Doesn't seem to be working out that way. They'll get caviar and keep it while we give the bologna back. People got rich playing fast and loose with other people's money. The last time the stock market was this widely held with this much up price pressure was the 1929 Crash. The money paid for all these bad mortgages was Joe Schmoe's and the money to buy out all these bad mortgages will be the Schmoes'. Wealth will still be served.

Wait, you say, the wealthy pay more taxes. Shows what you know. First of all, in overall tax bite by percentage of income, nowhere close. The next thing is that you think this money will be paid for in taxes, not a chance, this will be "printed" money and that means the value of your dollar will tank. If you've gotten your money into gold or bonds or foreign currency you'll profit. You haven't. Your money just went into your gas tank or grocery store or house payment.

Oh, there's more. The current credit crunch isn't just keeping people from being able to loan money to AIG, that project your boss was going to take on, it isn't happening, those hours just evaporated - if your job didn't. You know that re-tooling? Nope. You know those re-mods and new homes that bought your utilities - unh uh. Once the risk as been socialized you reckon money will loosen up, why would you think that? The economy sucks and the Fed has to sell a lot of bonds to cover the socialize screw ups and that means bond yields have to be high. Particularly if it looks like there is pressure on the bonds - and what would you think there would be at the size of this mess.

Remember the McPOW and Keating? Remember the S&L bail out? Remember who was running the country? Remember who got rich as hell? Who got killed? Do you remember some big bounce back? Who got richer? Why the hell I'm in the way left classification is historically a mystery. There were real lefties in this country at one time and they were well left of me. In 1967 I'd have been considered slightly left of center.

You want to talk about socializing the risk? Health Care. If you do not understand that the current system puts the burden of health care on ordinary Americans and puts the profit of that burden into the insurer's hands to put into investment banks you're not paying attention. American companies that offer health care are being competitively crushed even as they throw more weight onto the workers. This is the stupidest possible method, guaranteed to screw the little guy to the benefit of the wealthy. Socialized medicine? Gaaaah.

Senator Sarah Bush Palin

So according to AP the Palin Administration and family and McPOW are going to Bush the Monegan/Trooper investigation. Between law suits and ignored subpoenas and general national political interference the thing seems to be going nowhere fast. "Alaska Senate President Lyda Green, a Republican, said she does not believe the investigation will collapse or be delayed by "outside interlopers" trying to protect Palin." Boy, I don't know who she's listening to.

Now I don't think the explanations I've heard from Palin/McPOW make a bunch of sense, they've shifted all over the place ending up with her firing him for seeking Federal funds for fighting sexual assault - in the State with the worst problem. Um.

Now I may think using governmental office for personal vendettas is really major nastiness and seriously against any kind of political ethics, but this stupidity blows the thing past spinning it. Yes, spinning it. People like me are not going to vote for Palin/McPOW (her phrasing). People like me loath George II for his actions in this arena, and generally don't like his enablers - McPOW. That isn't the audience that could be spun, but there is one and that one would buy into "I made a bad decision regarding a bad person and I'm sorry." The whole thing would come to a screaming halt, now it is going to drag on and on; getting messier and messier as time goes on.

Whether the investigation is dead or not, it isn't going to go away. What the Legislature doesn't find out the media will dig at. Media digging is messy, they don't really care if stuff splatters, the story (and ratings) are the key. The Republican dominated Alaska Legislature actually does care who gets splattered - some may hope it's Palin - but not most. What the Legislature does want is this crap or even its appearance stopped in its tracks. That doesn't mean the Crucifixion of Palin. Me, I'd rather the media takes care of it since they don't mind a cross and nails.

Besides, what happened to the Republican mantra that you have nothing to fear if you've done nothing wrong? Oh.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fundamentally Sound

For quite some time George II has been telling Americans that the fundamentals of the economy are sound, we can have confidence, we're turning the corner. This is the Executive Branch of the government that has been saying this - people who are suppose to have the real information. They have sat on their hands and expressed platitudes. The government had to know that there was not sufficient capital in the market to cover AIG, they have the damn numbers, after all.

To undercut some of McPOW's claims to being McMavericky, it only takes a few re-reuns of previous campaign statements where "fundamentals are strong" get repeated. It's McGeorge's line, spoken from the aerial heights of the White House. It is the only line President Cronyism and Liaise Faire Capitalism could use. How's that Legacy looking now, George?

There are a bunch of people that I'd like to see have their "goods" in a legal wringer, necks in a noose, and I'm not going to get it. I can't fault the government for taking AIG, it was not optional. I'd like to see something done to the crooks and their enablers, but I'll have to be satisfied with an election turning out the bums.

The fundamentals of the economy stink and they have stunk for nearly seven years. This is the result of the goddam trickle down nonsense. Every fundamental has stunk except productivity and that is due to the people who've gotten nothing from BushCo/McPOW. The boasted economic growth was a chimera, a construct of construction and paper games. The economy lost $1 Trillion over two days, that only can happen to illusionary economics. The stock market has been a shell game for quite some time now, stocks are an actual thing with an actual foundation, the assets, liabilities, and sales/profit of a company - that is what they are. They've become, in the popular mind and propaganda, something else, something magical. Really, a magical profit machine, put your money in and it explodes, because...well because we say it does. The last time stocks were this widely held and had this much upward pressure was...right before the '29 Crash. They were magical then, as well.

Somewhere, probably a dark musty place, there are books. Their LoC classification is History/US. These books have interesting things in them, like things that have happened before in the US. Things like Chicago, Robber Barons, Grant Presidency, TeaPot Dome, Great Depression, oh yeah, American Revolution and the Constitution and gee, lots of things. Nobody reads this stuff anymore and didn't pay any attention in High School. When it comes to people and their behaviors there isn't really much new under the sun. There are a lot of myths around and they get real play, but real History is there for the reading. It is informative, it can save you a lot of grief, and if you have a library card it is even free.

OK, don't bother...vote McCain

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Community Organizers, Sarah

I know that historically things were a bit more complicated than this presentation, but she's so stupidly wrong that using more than single syllable words is probably wasted.

A hat tip to Preemtive Karma

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Country First

This appears to be the official Republican slogan, a blatant whanging of the patriot gong, and wrong on so many fronts one is befuddled on where to begin. If the signs at the RNC had said "Profit First" there would be some truth in advertising or maybe "Wars First" or, gee, a lot of things. "Country First" really does mean a lot of things come second or farther down.

If country first has relevance to a political campaign one would think that country would take precedence over winning. If that were the case telling the truth to voters and also not trying to mislead them would be a service to the country, doing otherwise puts something entirely different before country - winning. You cannot get me to believe that a definition of national service would be defined by anyone not a sociopath as lying to or misinforming the public. As large a sack as Karl Rove wouldn't do it, he'd sure tell you about the advantages of winning and doing whatever it took, but he isn't sufficiently deranged to tell you that lies and misinformation are a public service. John McCain does exactly that.

Country first does not mean family first, it doesn't mean using elected office to play hardball in family matters. Sarah Palin stands with those signs and demonstrates that they're entirely meaningless in reference to herself. She made statements about not blinking when facing difficult decisions and difficult people, she's sure blinking a whole bunch about letting Alaskans know what their government and governor were up to in regards to her ex-brother-in-law. The people elect someone to govern; not do personal paybacks.

Country first doesn't mean protection of the ultra-wealthy, it means the country as a whole. There may be ideological wiggle room regarding the value of the wealthy to the country as a whole, but when the vast majority of the populace are demonstrably suffering in regard to the cultivation of the wealthy, that slogan has an unmistakable thrust.

Country first certainly means supporting a healthy and useful military, but nowhere in that is there an idea that some jingoistic winning a pointless war is the model. It might include taking care of the injured soldier and it might involve rewarding combat with educational opportunities but that was not in their definition.

Country first certainly doesn't mean re-igniting the cultural wars, the nation is not served. It would be very appropriate to encourage what one regards a moral behavior, but attempting to legislate it creates hate and division. It is also a government intrusion into what is a private affair of individuals and religions, forbidden under the 1st Amendment.

I am all in favor of putting the interests of this nation before narrow personal interests and the nation is much more than a Republican Administration or candidate. I am not in favor of giving up a single one of my rights to the interests of the government or Administration, they are not the nation or the country. The Republicans seem to define country as themselves and whatever narrow interest they are serving at the moment.

Country first, well the Obama campaign can always use a contribution or better yet some personal time.

On The Edge Of Collapse

I do not look on mountainous debt loads with favor; and I have some pretty big hills of my own. But there is debt and then there is debt. Right now with the mortgage situation banks are leery of lending and are keeping rates high to pay for their previous bad bets. People with ordinary credit asking for good loans are meeting rejections or high rates which dissuades purchases. Businesses with solid balance sheets are finding short term loans difficult, expensive, or impossible and that means that good projects are delayed or lost. These difficulties drive straight back into the employment picture.

Some people find short term loans for business hard to understand, it is a different thing than running up your credit cards. My suppliers run on a 30 day/10th of the month billing, materials I buy are due the 10th of the following month and I receive a discount for paying on time - that discount is built into my bids helping keep prices down. If a project cannot be completed and paid in time for the billing cycle I lose the discount and if it is sufficiently large I lose good will and possibly access to that account. Normally I run projects of various sizes, most of which will fit the window or can be covered, some cannot be. In the case of those that will not fit and are too large to cover with ordinary income a short term loan is the answer. That larger project means wages for employees and possible hiring, its loss may mean there are no projects sufficient to require employees. When those jobs go away, so does the economy and with that go the projects and a vicious circle is created. That circle is reinforced by employees now defaulting on loans that were perfectly good when issued - not junk, reasonable loans. If reasonable loans begin defaulting the credit industry is in very serious trouble. I'm using a personal example for a broad topic as an illustration.

When the stock market begins to take hits people see lost money, that is the case if one needs to sell at the time, otherwise it is a fiction because that money doesn't actually exist until a sale is made. Your 401k may look ugly right now, but unless you're shedding it or living off it that is meaningless. If people begin to look at it as present day losses and try to mitigate that by dumping, a real downward spiral begins and that goes directly to the credit market. Stock is the value of a company, its assets unless it is liquidated. Loans are based on those measurable assets, its stock price. The people who really look at a company's concrete assets in the stock market are the raiders who buy out a company when its stock is less expensive than the value of the assets sold off, good-bye company.

This little article is not about expansion, it is about maintaining a business climate. If these factors of stock prices, loan availability, and employment hit a certain level of difficulty things will get out of hand quickly. The housing market could have taken a hit resulting in a large slow down without extensive damage to the economy but the hit is much wider than that, foreclosed homes are slamming the market and those bad loans are hurting banks spreading the damage wider and quicker than a housing drop alone. A burst housing bubble was going to hurt, particularly in the bubble markets, but the credit hit is horrid. A new or remodeled house isn't just a matter of some lumber and sheet rock, generally furnishings and appliances get replaced and landscaping gets done so slowing that already gets into the manufacturing segment and reduces employment and company value - adding the credit mess in makes things very grim.

When the Fed decided to let Lehman Brothers go under they sent a signal that investment firms are now pretty much on their own, that may seem a gain to taxpayers unwilling to be even more a part of socializing the risks of the plutocrats, but it may be a very short term gain. I find myself very torn and I'm sure our politicians that recognize the possible fallout are at least as torn. My business is already hurt but that isn't my real concern, having this mess spiral out of control would be a very real disaster making my hurt look like nothing. We are looking over the edge of a very long drop and it is crumbling under our feet and solutions seem sorely lacking.

I have nothing like the economic expertise to suggest fixes that wouldn't have unacceptable drawbacks. I am not sure anybody has, but I am real confident that the Republicans do not and some shortcomings are preferable to others. Their ideology is what has brought us into this mess, the idea that government and regulation are impediments has natural outcomes. I certainly am not in favor of an intrusive government but I am also very aware that there are segments of this economy that we cannot count on corrections to control. It seems that history is no guide to the plutocratic agenda, and factually there is little reason for it to matter to them - they do well anyhow. A couple hundred years ago not only would their wealth be at risk, their very lives would have been - these are much more civilized times... Now we allow them to do as they please to us, and hell, even reelect their largest enablers. Some will label this a call to class warfare, the truth is that they've been waging class warfare on us from St Ronnie on - and winning not only the battle but, oddly, the hearts and minds. Somehow, in the midst of all this, Barack Obama and the Democrats get successfully labeled leftists and even socialists - that is a nearly criminal misuse of language. Go figure...

Chinese Poison Infants, With Baby Formula

Lead painted toys, contaminated pet food, general junk - to be sure not happy making Chinese purchases, but now...well - McClatchy has a report about baby formula contaminated with melamine, the same stuff that poisoned pet foods. Contaminated for the same reason, to boost the apparent quality of the food. Two babies in Gansu Province have died and somewhere around 10,000 infants have been fed the junk which causes kidney failure with 1250 ill.

Brought to you by the same bunch that hosted the Olympics and the issues surrounding them. Image means more than fact, witness the lip syncing because the singer wasn't pretty enough. The milk wasn't quite there so...melamine. If you haven't quite gotten the connection to image being all,

The figures marked a sharp rise from previous days, and consumer anger appeared to be mounting over apparent signs that the Sanlu Group knew of consumer complaints as long ago as March (when were those Olympics, anyhow?) that some babies were admitted to hospitals with kidney stones, a rare ailment among infants.

You may rest easier knowing that, "None of Sanlu's infant formula is believed to have been exported to North America." Since they're our pals they surely wouldn't hide it.

I really don't care that a country makes cheap junk, don't buy it. I care a bit more when entire product lines are only available from people who make junk. I really care when it involves poisoning people who have no reason to know or suspect that their purchase is Chinese. Apparently the Chinese, even with more people than they know what to do with, are upset that babies are getting poisoned by Chinese manufacturers. That's one of the problems with dictatorships with only a passing acquaintance with the rule of law, the law only counts for those poor or caught big time - embarrassing the dictators.

But, hey, the plutocrats of this nation have seen to it that jobs and manufacturing have gone there so bigger profits could be made and what you get...is poisoned. The Republicans have fought country of origin labeling for foods and animals for years, guess why? They give a rat's ass if you or your kid or your pet get poisoned, they please their plutocratic masters. Sometimes I get to thinking that this country deserves everything that is happening to it, we keep electing the bastards, but then I remember that a whole bunch of us try to it differently. I wonder if people reading the history of the first decade of the 2000s will shake their heads in awe that anybody could be that stupid. (then they'll go ahead and try some of it all over again)

So, when the Republicans tell you government is an impediment and regulation is the devil's workshop - maybe you could think about how well this shit has worked out in China. While you're in WalMart or other purveyor of this crap wondering if you'll get poisoned or hurt by this purchase, remember how they squeeze suppliers, react to union activity, crush local competition, and support the Republicans of BushCo that didn't think product safety was worth funding. Yep, that's exactly right, I'm lumping these cretins in with the ChiComs, including the feckless Bush/McCain.

Poisoned Chinese babies are an American political post? Yes, when the system that produces them is what the Republican Party uses as a model it is a political post. Do you really think there is some wall of separation between the pieces of this ideology of the plutocrats? Illegal immigration/illegal hiring, crushing of unions, outsourcing of jobs, military adventures of crony contractor profiteering, etc to the point of puking is just exactly what it is that doesn't separate BushCo/Republicanism from the Chinese Communist dictatorship. And it gets worse if you throw in torture, wire tapping, political repression, secrecy, and rule of man over law. Oh? And John McCain appears to be in a near tie with Obama? You have got to see the joke on us. If the Founders could get up out of their graves and look at this, as aristocratic as they were, they'd be jailed for trying to start another Revolution.

Sen Kate Brown and John Kroger Visit Baker City

State Sen Kate Brown - candidate for SoS and John Kroger - candidate for Atty Gen visited Baker City, OR Saturday afternoon meeting with interested citizens at Mad Matilda's owned by City Councilor Andrew Bryant. County Commission Chair Fred Warner and County Commission candidate Randy Joseph were in attendance. Kroger and Brown are center rear of picture, Warner far left foreground, Joseph next left. Several additional tables, not pictured also held attendees. This was retail politics at its finest, an intimate environment and politicians being held to account.

These are two committed individuals, the roles they seek to fill are not particularly public - when operating in good order - but are essential to the good of the citizenry. The first feature that is notable about the candidates is their energy level, this was a second stop of the day from 90 miles of mountainous driving, they were very pleasant and engaging from the outset. The second feature that strikes you is that while engaging in plain speaking these two are not ordinary intellects, they have thought deeply about what the can do in the roles they seek. Some questions were quite probing and coming from an opposition position.

John Kroger started off with what he feels is the center piece of his program for the OR Dept of Justice, addressing the meth problem. This comes from a position of something other than the "crime fighter crusader" garb so many adopt. Oregon's supply primarily comes from large scale dealers out of Mexico which brings associated crimes with it and needs to be addressed aggressively. Then there are the addicts, the vast majority of property crimes and child abuse crimes are tied to meth addiction and yet the current approaches do not seem to be having an effect. John believes that first time offenders should be convicted and sentenced to a treatment regime, simply warehousing them by jailing them or more commonly engaging in 'catch and release' is counter productive. Measures 57 and 61 address property crimes, he endorses the legislative referred 57 versus the Mannix 61 which is essentially prison oriented. The last Mannix crime initiative approved by voters has sucked the air out of the Oregon budgetary process without real long term successes. Kroger also understands that counties are going to hit very rough financial patch with the loss of Federal payment in lieu of taxes and that the State Police are going to have to help fill in local gaps. John was a Federal Prosecutor so he has a background in law enforcement and large organizations. John is in the enviable position of having won both Parties' primaries, the Republican with a write-in.

Kate Brown is a charming wisp of a lady, with steel for nerve and a keen wit. Her district is far from NE OR and more than one attendee was quite willing to broach the issue of urban/rural divide with her. Kate has made previous visits to Baker City, unrelated to her district electoral politics, and is far from ignorant of the area. In fact, she proposes that if elected to follow Sen Wyden's practice of holding town hall meetings in all the counties. Her primary interest in the office of Secretary of State is the State auditing function of the office. Her belief is that with the short bi-annual sessions the Legislature does not have the time or resources to make sure that the State Offices are following the law and the spirit of the law and providing good return for the taxpayer expenditures. She is also committed to raising voter participation, Oregon is high in turnout, but not first and should be with our vote by mail. Another real concern of hers is that the voter initiative process be free of fraud, which it demonstrably is not.

In a readable format I cannot do more than briefly synopsize a three hour conversation and do it any sort of justice. If you have such an opportunity, please take advantage of it - you will be rewarded. Andrew Bryant and Chuck Butcher received the official thanks of the candidates and both of us certainly thank them for coming and I add my thanks to Andrew for helping out to such an extent.

I provide for your information and opportunity to contribute, their websites:
John Kroger For Attorney General
Kate Brown For Secretary of State
I really encourage you to get acquainted with these candidates and help out their campaign finances. Both candidate are deserving of support and campaigning isn't cheap. Whether or not they seem like shoo-ins, their efforts to get acquainted with Oregon and present themselves to the citizens should be supported. Your humble host doesn't have much, but I kicked in a bit.

Oregon's Democrats have certainly been blessed with a surfeit of great candidates this year, how cool is that?

Bob Geiger Added To Blogroll

Bob Geiger.com has been added to the Blogroll, actually re-instated since he took an extended vacation from blogging. Bob is an observer of Congress and national politics in general from a left or Democratic perspective. This is professional stuff, folks, and worthy of your attention.

Monday, September 15, 2008

McPOW Honor

John McCain's honorable campaign courtesy of DNC "Count the Lies." HatTip to Balloon Juice/ - one of my favorites.


Today, as the market swooned and giants fell and industrial production was reported as falling and unemployment stood at 6.2% and basic commodity inflation raged; John McCain stated that, "the fundamentals of our economy are sound." Hebert Hoover, famously, stated pretty much the same thing as the Great Depression gained steam. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post noted to Keith Olberman that it might be a good idea to give the McCain campaign a copy of Hoover-isms. The idea being to not repeat that famous Republicans statements. They do have a problem.

The "modern" Republican ideology is not that, it is very old and even with repetition has not improved. The idea is that government is bad, it is an obstacle, and that greed will make good decisions for Americans - especially if government isn't in the way. I really cannot begin to explain the government is bad piece, Republicans love it if it socializes risks of wealth and interferes with private affairs and runs military adventures but beyond that it is just an impediment. (sure you can make the case that since they're so bad at governing that it is bad under them) The very real and understandable, if discredited, idea of greed making good decisions is a perversion of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. Smith noted that unfettered markets make corrections, he did not state that markets were infallible. Republicans have decided that wealth is infallible - or at least sufficiently in their interest to be represented as so - greed will make proper decisions. Sufficient numbers of people acting in their own self-interest will balance those interests to a net gain for all - that is the idea. The problem is with those corrections part of self-interest. Lehman Brothers acted in its self interest as it bought up risky housing loans profiting handsomely as long as they paid, when they quit paying nobodies self interest was served by it so a correction occurred - Lehman Brothers' mistake paid with bankruptcy. You see, there was no balancing of interests with these giants at the time, that balancing came after the fact, it will be poor consolation to those losing jobs and incomes due to the credit crisis that Lehman has been paid out for stupidity. After this mess is done there will be more people willing to do something to prevent it for awhile and then this idiocy will reappear.

Take for example, trickle down economics, not once has this happened. Yacht building and McMansion building may benefit, but there is little spread out effect with this. A new house has a huge ripple effect throughout the economy, but 10 mansions don't equal 1,000 houses. Small businesses generate much more economic effect for Americans than the ultra-wealthy. The ultra-wealthy don't build factories or run stores, they invest and their investments are aimed at their own security and wealth accrual much more than they are a the general good. A very narrow set of interests is served, there is no balancing. They can put their money wherever in the world it returns the best with the least risk. Making and doing things involves a lot of humans and with them come risk and potential short returns. If this idea that an ultra-wealthy class will benefit society at large worked, the Robber Baron Era wouldn't be called that. Economic models running as far back as medieval times show that large dislocations of wealth don't work that way. The stupid idea gets discredited and abandoned until another Republican run at it. How that happens is a comment on just how stupid we are.

Teddy Roosevelt presided over the modern beginnings of regulated accrual of wealth. Whether this was a personal philosophy or not, the nation was in the throws of disintegration and something had to be done. He paid in large coin with his own Party for doing so. After each round of regulations instituted to fix abuses and subsequent recovery from the disasters of those abuses deregulation (evil government) raises its head. Phil Gramm is John McCain's chief economic advisor, he also was the deregulation and loophole champion of the Republican Congressional majority. A large piece of the current banking mess and commodities trading mess trace their roots to his hands. Getting government out of the way was his mantra - still is. If you think John McCain is foreign to that, ask him about his intercession on behalf of Chuck Keating (another banking mess), his votes in the Senate, and his obvious support of Phil Gramm. Oh, hell, just try to find where his actual policies are different than GW Bush/Gramm.

There is a pretty cool dam named after Herbert Hoover, I'm ok with that, but it is unnecessary to work hard enough to create another Great Depression so it can be named the McCain Depression. No kidding folks, even somebody like Greenspan recently noted that if we work hard enough at it we could have another one. There is an unemployment/liquidity tipping point at which the effects of those symptoms become great enough to create a cascade. As businesses and housing suffer from credit problems jobs go away, jobs going away guts the the sales market, and the circle is closed and spiralling. The ultra-wealthy will weather whatever comes with little discomfort, my readers and fellows in the working world will suffer badly. I give a damn and I've been hollering about this crap for quite a bit longer than this endless Presidential campaign. If John McCain even really gives a damn at this point, he's way behind me and he's been in a position of influence and information for twenty six damn years. "Change You Can Believe In" my ass.

Liberal Media Pile On

It has been noted that unlike the McCain ads, this one won't suffer from fact checking organizations blasting the media quotes. Then of course there are the names of the news organizations quoted: Time, Washington Post, New Republic, CBS News, and Chicago Tribune. Now the fact that these are some of the largest news organizations may qualify them as liberal, size seems to matter. On the matter of size, Fox News is a big one, so what's going on there? It seems some of them have lost their minds:
KELLY: I want to hold you accountable for what McCain is doing, and get you to weigh in on this. Has your candidate gone too far, has he stretched the truth with the voters?

BOUNDS: Well, Megyn, what we have done is gone to great lengths to discuss Barack Obama's record. And I think what you're seeing in this ad today is that he would rather hurl insults than examine his record. I mean, it is true that during a struggling economy, he proposes raising taxes.

KELLY: Not on the middle class.

BOUNDS: Well...ulp...on job growth and small businesses that drive the job growth of this country.

KELLY: But you guys have suggested he's going to raise taxes on the middle class and virtually every independent analyst who took a look at that claim said that's not true. He'll raise it on people making $200,000 or $250,000, but not the middle class.

BOUNDS: Well, Megyn, you're giving him an enormous amount of credit for a guy who has voted only to raise taxes in the United States Senate. For now...for him to make a new claim...for him...now, keep in mind --

KELLY: No, no! Let's stay on point, I'm not giving him any credit. I'm saying what the independent analysts say. They say that claim is false. And if that's false, why would John McCain do that, Tucker? Why wouldn't he just level with the voters and say, look, he's going to raise taxes on the wealthy or whatever you consider somebody to be making over $250,000, it's going to have a trickle down effect. That may not be good for the middle class. But why say he's going to raise taxes on the middle class when he's not?

BOUNDS: Because his record says that he will. If we take ever his word on everything he says he will do, the oceans will part, the sick will become healed. They're all sorts of things that Barack Obama is claiming on this campaign. But when you look is at his record, he has voted to increase taxes, he has voted in support of higher taxes for people making as little as $42,000 a year. I think you and I can both agree that those people are entrenched in the middle-class of this country.

KELLY: Tucker, why did he claim--

BOUNDS: 94 times in three years he is voted in support of higher taxes. Why are we to take him on his word that he would cut any tax? He has no record of doing it.

KELLY: Why did John McCain suggests in an ad that Barack Obama supported, comprehensive sex-ed for kindergartners?

BOUNDS: You'll notice that the Obama campaign has never refuted that. They voted for that in Barack Obama's committee. His committee that he chaired voted to pass that legislation. If you examine the language in the bill--

KELLY: I looked at the language in the bill.

BOUNDS: I know you will have an Obama person on later, I hope that you will ask them if there was language in the bill that actually talked about sex education for kindergartners.

KELLY: The language in the bill talks about age appropriate sex ed, including education about child predators and inappropriate touching. What is wrong with that?

BOUNDS: And sexually transmitted diseases.

KELLY: Right. Why wouldn't you want a kindergartner to be educated somewhat about inappropriate touching from adults?

BOUNDS: About sexually transmitted diseases?

KELLY: No! No! [crosstalk] His campaign says that's not fair, what he was backing was trying to educate little kindergartners on how to avoid sexual predators' and that you are distorting the language of the bill. Your response.

BOUNDS: We did not distort the language of the bill. We told voters that he voted in favor of this education. That is a reform that is on his record. If we cannot talk about the votes that he's actually taken, if we can't talk about the fact that he is supporting higher taxes or has proposed more taxes in a down economy when americans are struggling, what can we talk about? It is an important debate. Let's talk about the facts. No more of the dishonest, sleazy accusations. What he is trying to do is divert attention away from the fact that he is no proven record of making reforms. When voters go to the ballot in November, they will vote for someone who has a record of reform and bipartisanship. That is John McCain, not Barack Obama.

So, are you now confused? I'll admit that I never thought I'd see the day when truth would be the issue on a Fox News interview with a Republican. I can almost imagine the splash waves rippling throughout the right-osphere.

These are scarcely the only news organizations calling foul, they happen to be very public right now, but is this a case of the media finally having had enough?

Chris Matthews of Hardball makes no pretense of being favorable to Republicans though he has no real problem with roughing up Democrats. Today I watched him climb all over a Republican McCain representative, essentially asking, 'are you a Republican, or not?' as she tried to paint McCain as an agent of change. This was in the wake of the failure of Lehman Brothers, the sale of Merrill Lynch, and the market dropping 500 points. Matthews wanted to know exactly how it is that Republicans are not responsible for this mess, she wanted to make it the Democrats or that only McCain had the experience to deal with it.

Carly Fiorina is on David Gregory spinning the snot out of the McCain campaign. David Gregory seems to be going along with this. He does want to know about "free markets" and more regulation of wall street. My god, she just compared McCain to Teddy Roosevelt. Hmmm, McPow believes in banking transparency, how odd in light of Chuck Keating and the role of his chief economic advisor and lobbyist based campaign people's agendas in DC. How is it a campaign run by the very people involved in the deregulation and loop-hole creations that allowed this mess aren't called on that fact? It is not even anything like that complicated to connect the dots. Gregory let it go. Evidently he sees it as his role to ask a question and uncritically accept the answer. I don't care about the left/right lean, if the answer dodges the question with fooferaw then it should be followed up on.

The real question that exists is whether the American people make the connection between John McCain and GW Bush. Polls from the last week say, "No." I am not overly impressed by polls, there are plenty of issues with them especially in this election, but the fact remains that there is not a 2:1 lead for Obama. Whether this is as close as polls show or not, something that dramatic should be evident. It would seem that a campaign theme from eight years ago still holds - so much for the American voters' amnesia. McMaverick? It seems as though it isn't amnesia as much as it is short-term memory loss - like the last 8 years.

Am I astonished? It has been said that it never pays to underestimate the stupidity of the electorate, but McCain as an agent of change? I cannot help my left point of view and I have to admit that it colors my perception. That said, the realities aren't a matter of perception, gas prices, unemployment rates, Wall Street, inflation, wage stagnation are not subject to left/right perception - people live with this stuff, it isn't abstract. Maybe Iraq, Afghanistan, and Middle East in general are too distant to be daily reality to those not in military families but the rest of it surely is. Blogs hit this stuff hard and there is a great deal of noise about the 'new technology' but it is not nearly as widely used as the more traditional news medias.

What I expect of the news media is skepticism of political claims, both sides. It is justifiable to question Obama's stances and qualifications and statements, but it is equally justified to take the same approach to McCain. This is their job, the one they failed in the run-up to the Iraq war. Republicans have done sufficient damage to medias' reputation by playing the liberal bias card which had just enough reality to gain traction, but Iraq was the hammer that sank that nail of pointlessness. The citizenry cannot be expected to make informed decisions when it does not believe it is informed by the watchdogs. This disbelief crosses ideological lines, the left looks at corporate ownership and media constriction and then the right looks at educational levels and political rhetoric and the middle looks at the Iraq WMD debacle. Nobody takes them seriously, political ads have as much credibility and that bodes ill for our system of government.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

$1.5 Million Golf Clubs Paid For By Illegal Serfs

Gordon Smith, a man who has proven his truthfulness with lying political advertisements, may have a bigger lie to defend. That lie would have to do with how it is he makes his millions of dollars to buy golf clubs and mansions and exotic Senate office furnishing with.

Willamette Week went over to Weston, Oregon to take a look at Smith Frozen Foods and - oooh, big surprise - found out that most everyone knows they hire illegally. They pay real crappy also, you can do that and make millions if you've got an illegal source of labor - I've said it before - the new serfs. Minimum wage to process food, irregular work, and apparently draconian employment policies all can follow hand in glove if you have an easily repressed work force. It is real tough to make the case that these jobs are being taken away from Americans, the wages and conditions are way too shoddy to garner much interest. From that point you might start to ask questions - like why are the wages and conditions too crummy?
On Aug. 14, Smith told WW: “We need to support legal immigration and not incentivize illegal immigration.” A year earlier he told KXL’s Lars Larson his company goes “the extra mile” to make sure it doesn’t hire any illegal immigrants.

Yup. Obviously working at Smith's plant is a real incentive for legal immigrants - everybody wants to work for peanuts and get treated badly - while they make a smarmy haircut millions. You may have heard of E-verify, a voluntary program that allows businesses to check that Social Security numbers match the person,
A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement defended the free, voluntary program. “If an employer uses E-verify and they encounter errors, there are steps in place to address that,” says ICE spokeswoman Lorie Dankers. A representative for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services added that E-verify results in errors less than 1 percent of the time.

But Smith wasn't pleased with it, they didn't like it,
Smith Frozen Foods chooses not to use this program. “We tried it in the past, and we were not very happy with it,” Brown says of E-verify, which is used by 80,000 companies in the United States. “It doesn’t work very well.”

Well it certainly would be inconvenient to the practice of hiring illegally. It would sort of dry up that piece of the labor market - unless you were willing to blatantly hire illegally. Legally you can deny a certain amount of responsibility for illegal hiring but there are limits to it, not sufficient limits, but they exist. You are supposed to photocopy documents used for employment verification -
According to a May 23, 1988, memo from the U.S. Department of Justice obtained by WW, Bob Cortinas, who was then Smith’s personnel director, told federal investigators he was instructed by Smith’s legal department not to photocopy workers’ documents “so that it would make it harder for [immigration officials] to find errors.”

But, but...
He is a U.S. senator who voted against granting amnesty to the millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the United States.

You have to remember that there is little incentive for the plutocrats to hire legally when they have access to a labor pool that they can exploit. Wages in E OR are below the State's median income, it certainly doesn't help when a US Senator is doing his level best to get rich off the backs of people he can exploit while he does favors for other plutocrats. I think maybe it is time that Gordon got a break from the rigors of Congressional duty and took some care of his business, like before he winds up charged with a crime. He is aware that it is criminal behavior.

What a punk.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pigs and Lipstick and Pitbulls and Other Craziness

John McCain, when you got nothing you insult pigs by calling them Palins, I like pigs - they're smart, ordinarily clean, taste real good cooked right, and they don't lie.

By the way, idjits, what would you call a female pitbull wearing lipstick? Not my label, but the first thing that occurs to me is a crazy bitch. What would you call a lying, halftruthing, character assassinating old man running for President? POW. (Republican is way too generic)

I may be a political junkie and pay real close attention and not get side tracked by stupidity; but really John, the American public deserves better - if service is more than campaign slogan for you. I have generally assumed that whatever Party or ideology and however mistaken most politicians are in the arena out of a desire to serve their country - and fellow citizens. Whatever it is that your campaign has descended into in search of win at all costs, it is not service. For Pete's sake, why lie about earmarks? They amount to real money at $13 Billion, but a drop in the Federal bucket and lying about them is not worthy of a Presidential campaign. Why lie about an Illinois Bill aimed at protecting small children from sexual predators? Are you in favor of child predators? We already know you're in favor of gorilla rape and insulting Presidential teenage daughters, but b.y all means drag out sexism to cover your stinking dead fish policies. But we know, Naval POWs are a raunchy bunch and they're allowed, because...well because...POW.

John, I work like a dog, scrambling daily to find work to keep the show going and right now construction ain't exactly thriving. I give my customers good prices for good work and I produce a concrete product. You can touch it, feel it, see it, frequently live in it or under it. If I ran my business the way you've run this campaign - I'd be run out of town on a rail or in court. You want to be President and in my business you could be in jail? What the hell is wrong with you? The Navy may have deemed you to be an officer and a gentleman, but fact and Naval fictions are in conflict here. Supposedly that Commission included an assumption of honorable behavior - you've claimed it in regard to your POW - it's fiction today. You've followed your Rovian instincts into a hole.

This campaign will exist for a long time, print and video archives will be available for any student to peruse - to find out what the Republican Presidential candidate of 2008 was like. Your own words and your hired help's words will be there. They will lay in wait to expose you and the pit the Republican Party has turned into. I don't mind hard hitting policy arguments, but I loathe lies and character assassinations. I loathe the practitioners of them - that means you and the Sarah, John. The fact that you want to repeat George W Bush's policies is enough reason to oppose you, but when you take your boot licking to the extent of practicing his politics I take exception. You, sir, are a dishonored lying sack of unmitigated shit - deserving the scorn of all those with honor and intelligence.

You live in politics today on a possibly earned reputation from 2000 and POW, whatever that may have been it is not reflective of today's John S McCain. The depths of my disdain for you and George W Bush are not possible to plumb with anything like polite language and I respect my readers too much to indulge myself. You have demonstrated that the man who beat you in 2000 taught you all the wrong lessons and you learned them well. Too bad.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The New and Improved GOP

Rick Davis says the GOP was born 4 days ago, a whole new GOP. This is the new and improved GOP. You've seen that blurb on packaging, stuff like wash powder and cereals; you open the box and what's inside looks the same, smells the same, seems to be the same old stuff, then you realize that what is new and improved is the label. If the GOP is new, why am I hearing the same things I've heard from them since St Ronnie?

Now I'm serious, the Palin rhetoric isn't new, it isn't different, the Republicans have been running on this same junk for a very long time. We're Christians, the Democrats are heathens and gutter tramps, killers of the Christian nation, debasers of youth, baby murdering... How old is that? It predates Rove by a long ways. I say and do exactly the same thing as every moss back Republican, get wildly cheered at the RNC and I'm different? How, exactly - gender? Her administrative experience is marked by wholesale pursuit of earmarks, the silencing of dissent, the use of executive power for personal ends and the stonewalling of legitimate inquiry. This is the Alaskan reformer, a Bush clone with female genitalia.

McPOW running as a 'change' candidate is a little too rich, twenty six years in DC with the last seven as Bushbootlick signifies what change? Trickle down economics that has not done any such thing in recorded history, re-winning Vietnam with today's kids, a social agenda from the less kind and uncompassionate BushCo agenda, and a lackey to any plutocratic interest shows a Bush Premium Plus rather than anything reflective of change at all. If this seems harsh, look at what he proposes, a health care tax credit of $2500 is meaningless to the uninsured, if their federal taxes were $2500 after deductions they would still find themselves thousands of dollars short of paying for insurance. With the other hand he proposes to tax employer provided insurance. This is the person who claims Obama will hurt the working person, as he hands out tax relief to those most benefiting from the system and lays the costs on those supporting it. The Republican double game plays on, economic rape of the worker with family values as a palliative and war and terror as the whip. This is the experience that is touted by the GOP and its surrogates.

Today's economy is the handy work of Republican control of the White House and both Houses of the Congress, all remedial action proposed by Democrats short of minimum wage have been filibustered by Senate Republicans since the 2006 elections. These same Republicans threatened in the early years of BushCo to use the "nuclear option" of stripping filibusters being so outraged by Democratic usage, in considerably smaller numbers. This is the Party of Change that McPOW and his shills propose exists, these are the people the RNC supports, you are to believe that on the one hand the New and Improved GOP is all about changing itself as it acts to re-elect the very people responsible for the mess they propose they're ready to change. Their disrespect for the electorate could not be more blatant.

John McCain claims that Washington changed them from cleanup gang they entered as, something from the extinct swamps perhaps, or miasma vapors drifting from K St, certainly nothing to do with their basic ideology. Perhaps that explains Chuck Keating and McPOW, some intangible got him, certainly not the ideology of better-than and greed and power.

Finally there is one change that disgusts me, I am the child, nephew, and cousin to World War II combat veterans, men deeply and intimately experienced in warfare, they never reference it. Their levels of involvement wait for the post mortem sorting of papers, their families ignorant until death claimed the soldiers. My classmates and friends served in "the 'Nam" and they were combat troops, their silence about their experiences is deafening, the funny anecdote about a leave or chance encounter, but nothing regarding their actual business. That is for them, alone. I am a trusted friend and compatriot because I understand, without pretence of knowing. The constant references of McPOW offend them and I am offended for them. I do not question what they did or why and they ask only my understanding and respect, which I freely give. But they do not dine out on it or seek POW celebrity or veteran celebrity unlike a certain POW celebrity from Arizona with an entire political career based on and protected by getting shot down.

I do not care if Obama cannot do everything he says he wants to, I do not care if the ideas of change are exaggerated, they at least exist, they are not figments - however limited. I'll take that over the New and Improved on the box.

Why Is This Race Close?

Maybe it's my left Democratic viewpoint but I do not understand how this race is anything like close. Sure, it could be a polling malfunction; there is the cell/no landline aspect or maybe only the respective bases have made up their minds or - a lot of things. Polls have gotten quite a bit right, so taking them as reasonable, what is going on? I'll qualify my reactions a bit more, I'm 55 and a political junkie and have been essentially since forever.

George W Bush, the premier Republican, has favorable ratings at the bottom of the toilet, with the other stuff than sinks and Republicans generically are near him. So far most of this makes sense, the Republicans had control of Congress for nearly a dozen years and the Presidency and Congress for 6 years and the results are here for everyone to admire. A bunch of Republican Congress people are in serious doo-doo this time around and where is McCain? In a tie, slightly or greatly ahead. Huh?

I've listened to most of what John McCain has had to say, admittedly with a very critical ear, and what I've heard that would seem to resonate with Americans is drill oil and win war in Iraq. Like all junkies, Americans are suckers for a quick fix, drill isn't but it has been made to look like it. No country likes to lose a war or, more accurately, not win one; and this is especially true of the most militarily powerful nation in the world. The thing is that these votes are fairly small potatoes. I understand that McPOW gets George II's 28% by default, he's not a Democrat, and even if he got the entire Republican registration that's quite less than 40% of the voters. Racism may play a factor, but a large chunk of that is already Republican and another chunk is non-voting, though that doesn't say some Democratic votes won't go that way. VPs make some difference, but in this one I'd say Palin appeals to the (R) fundie base. If the issue is experience, McPOW ought to be on the (R) wrong side of the equation. Can the McMaverick theme really be getting that much play? The 2000 Straight Talk Express is now only a name, is that enough?

The media certainly has a stake in this thing being close, just plain economics say so. Oddly enough, they're seen as 'in the tank' for Obama. McPOW campaign has been making that claim, regularly, and I suppose if it is minutes of exposure with no relationship to positive that could be seen as true. The media's credibility is so crappy that if they're seen as favoring something that something is discredited by an awfully large number of people.

The economy flatly sucks eggs and worse news comes out daily. George II just got done prediction better times near and within days unemployment rates are shown at a 5 year high and Fannie May and Freddie Mac are "Federalized." McPOW proposes more of the same economic policies. You cannot find daylight between him and George II. There isn't a domestic policy issue where he shows any particular difference. The economy is issue #1 with Americans and that one ought to sink McPOW.

POW. It is endlessly paraded that McPOW was a POW, sufficiently so that I've (obviously) decided it is his name. Can that possibly be an issue of sufficient import to bring him close? It is held up as a matter of character, thirty some years ago. I expect that at some point Americans are going to ask, "Yes, and so?" I'd sure hope so; considering the number of POWs around and only one is running on it.

Obama is different, there is his name and then there is his complexion and to be sure there is the Reverend Wright. It could be that his very ability as an orator could be a difference that counts - negatively, much in the nature of the perception of used car salesmen. Much has been made of experience and to some effect. There is plenty of bleed over from the Democratic Primary with its ineligible voters. When big dogs of both Parties have the same thing to say, it can seem to hold water, though the outsider label ought to be appealing considering the mess insiders have made for us. The Hilloon dead-enders are a noisy and, in the end, a minuscule number.

What you would seem to have to come up with to explain this closeness is to pile all Obama's supposed weaknesses into a very large pile of very lethal consequences to overcome what should be very huge negatives for McPOW. Even with my political leanings I've been able to see what works for others not of anything like my orientation, Gordon Smith, for example. I know he plays the fake bipartisan moderate when election time roles around and big money likes him and supports with dollars his campaigns. I know that when the Republicans can afford it they let him take a different stance, and it is all evident, and it has worked. Some of the media are complicit in it, they do little to no checking of him. I've tried to look at this campaign with clear eyes because it makes a difference in political operations to understand - I don't.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Don't Like The Speech They Wrote For Palin

Excerpts from Palin's (after they tuned up the generic one from weeks ago) speech to the RNC with my comments:

It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted out our nominee because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of the country he loves.
With their usual certitude, they told us that all was lost - there was no hope for this candidate who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war.

The thing is that we all do remember McCain running out of money and some scepticislm about his future. What doesn't seem reasonable is that anyone said no hope for this candidate who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war. In fact that line came up afterwards by some time.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

If the mayor of our town managed to get $5.5M in Federal pork and then left us $20M in the hole there would be trouble. At 10K population we pay some attention to what's going on with the budget. That result wouldn't result in an endorsement for dogcatcher.

I came to office promising major ethics reform, to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law.

This would be why you scrubbed Sen Ted Stevens' endorsement from your site the day John McCain announced you?

Our state budget is under control.

We have a surplus.

You raised the taxes on Oil and sucked the Federal teat and you're bragging?

I told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for that Bridge to Nowhere.

If our state wanted a bridge, we'd build it ourselves

It is a bad idea to tell a bald faced lie to a national audience, you canned the bridge after Congress stripped its funding, before that you were for it - publicly. You didn't build it with anybody's money.

We've all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers.

And there is much to like and admire about our opponent.

But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate.

She got the memoirs right, anyhow. Fact checking is a bitch when you're a liar.

But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger ... take more of your money ... give you more orders from Washington ... and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy ... our opponent is against producing it.

Funny stuff, but then there's the part where even with the Republican Convention taxing these people isn't probably in the cards. BushCo's frittering of the Bill of Rights would seem authoritarian not Obama. I have no idea where reducing US strength comes from other than GWB.

Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights? Government is too big ... he wants to grow it.

Isn't there something about an oath to support and defend the Constitution for the President?

The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes ... raise payroll taxes ... raise investment income taxes ... raise the death tax ... raise business taxes ... and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars. My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business - like millions of others who run small businesses.

This is too funny, the chances a service station would meet Obama's increased tax threshold are scant - unless they're as corrupt as your Party.

Our nominee doesn't run with the Washington herd.

Chuck Keating? Lobbyists out the kazoo for a campaign? Somebody isn't paying attention - I thought Alaska got news.

A leader who's not looking for a fight, but is not afraid of one either. Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the current do-nothing Senate, not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee.

He said, quote, "I can't stand John McCain." Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we've chosen the right man. Clearly what the Majority Leader was driving at is that he can't stand up to John McCain. That is only one more reason to take the maverick of the Senate and put him in the White House. My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of "personal discovery." This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer.

Harry Reid is one of the mildest mannered Senators, think about that one. Of course the Republicans don't need organizers, just plutocrats and an agenda of greed. Far be it from them to promote the character of volunteers.

It's a long way from the fear and pain and squalor of a six-by-four cell in Hanoi to the Oval Office

I refuse to count the POW references...

If character is the measure in this election ... and hope the theme ... and change the goal we share, then I ask you to join our cause. Join our cause and help America elect a great man as the next president of the United States.

Thank you all, and may God bless America.

The oddest part is I don't think anybody knows what this cause is. We all get the POW part, I guess it must be about firing up the cultural wars again.

I don't quite understand what it is that the Republicans get from this. The delegates are politically activated individuals - other than the Convention only types - and they're aware of what has been done by whom. I suppose Theocracy is what she has to offer.

Hey, Did Ya Hear...?

Did ya hear - John McCain was a POW?
Did ya hear - Sarah Palin just had a baby?
Did ya hear - Pregnant unwed high schoolers are now GOP media fodder?
Did ya hear - MSM is liberal elite?
Did ya hear - Sarah didn't really like that icky ole bridge?
Did ya hear - DC is infested with liberals?
Did ya hear - PTA is now Presidential Training Association?
Did ya hear any of it? Did ya believe? No? Why don't you put Country First?

Didn't you hear - Children are off-limits...so parade the babydaddy with preggers for the cameras...'cause we has values...

POW, PTA,TAXES, POW, PTA, TAXES...effete liberal snobs cut and run and tax and see preggers, and...and...and - POW

I think I may be ill...The Party that has run the show for almost 8 years is all about change, now they're gonna do all the things they never were gonna do anyhow - or some damn thing just like GeorgeII.

This junk should be a 4th tier sideshow political party fest and yet they have a somewhat credible chance of winning. No kidding, really - this mess could actually win the Presidency. If that doesn't tell you something about the State of the Union, nothing does. They're running on "We're not him." because they don't dare say "We're George Walker Bush." Let's run out the cultural wars and terror - again. By rights, Dennis Kucinich, on a bad day, should be able to kick these people's asses...but that would be assuming a level of sanity sorely lacking.

"Change and Reform" with this crowd is like "New and Improved" being printed on the box is what is new and improved. POW, POW, POW...er...PTA.

Palin 'Bushed' Wasilla from surplus to $20M in the hole - with a pot full of Fed earmarks she 'Bushed' it. Earmarks are evil, earmarks are evil, TAXES...hey now - POW. Since we're too incompetent to govern, but you keep electing us, government is the problem here. You've got to grant these people this much - they've got some nerve.......

brains may be questionable.

After listening to Mittens and Huckleberry I went back to work - it seemed more productive and way more fun...even at 12 hours of dirt and strain and aggravation. Now I'm too tired to sleep. I don't suppose it would be fair to blame the GOP for that.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Can I Break Your Heart In Iraq?

Fifteen year old Rania is just a girl in Iraq...wearing an explosive vest apparently put on her by her arranged marriage husband. An alert policeman intercepted her and removed the vest. She looks to her mother to rescue her, a woman who apparently played a key role in turning her into a human bomb. Her "cousins" brought the vest. She was given peach juice to drink, oddly it made her dizzy. She tells the interrogators, "I didn't want to explode, I didn't want to die."

McClatchy can tell you the rest of the story. It is like staring into an abyss of darkness, knowing that light is only a wish and cruel joke. George W Bush wanted to play with the soldier toys, never dreaming who it was he toyed with. The tribal passions and sectarian hatreds never seemed to be within his scope - there were many who could have warned him, would have, even did; but he would out do Daddy HW - this one time he would. Saddam's Iraq could be a cruel and dangerous place, but now there is this.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Earmark Hell

Since I'm not an opponent of earmarks, in a complete sense, the following may seem out of character. I'd like to qualify my approval of earmarks, I want them out in front of the voters - not hidden away. Alaska is the biggest beneficiary of earmarks, and Alaska lives on big oil.

Try out these numbers:
Alaska received $379,669,715 in pork during fiscal year 2008, nearly $100 million more than any other state, and the state of Alaska requested 31 earmarks worth $197.8 million for next year's federal budget. So Palin is an opponent of earmarks? Maybe her record as Mayor of Wasilla counts:

From 2000 through 2002, Wasilla received more than $5.5 million in federal cash for transportation and social service projects.

According to the group Citizens Against Government Waste, the city received $1 million for a bus facility in 2000. In 2001, the Wasilla Health Center was granted a half million dollars for a community mental health center. That same year the city's emergency shelter also was granted $500,000 for a transitional living program for homeless youth. A year later, the Wasilla regional dispatch center received $1 million in pork, the city was granted $1.5 million for water and sewer improvements, and received an additional $600,000 for a bus facility.

Now, Baker City (pop 10K) got The Interpretive Center some years ago, a historical center dedicated to the Oregon Trail. It has drawn some business into the area and is an actually important educational tool. Oregon is one of those states that sends more money to the Fed than comes back so that might seem sort of like sour grapes. Well, not quite sour grapes. Les AuCoin has made the argument to opponents that some of the things they are very much in favor of were the results of earmarks. This is absolutely true, and I also believe these things would have survived the light of day. Would Alaska's earmarks survive that?

John McCain says earmarks are the devil's work and he'll end the practice one way or another. Then there's Sarah Palin and the Alaskan addiction to earmarks and her lying about it. Did I use the "L" word? You bet, she spent money to do it.

As mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, she hired the firm of Hoffman Silver Gilman & Blasco to help secure spending projects for her town.
The Republicans seem to be congenital liars, that is the word that fits saying something that opposes facts known to you. Damn, I'll argue politics with a straight face and no temper, but I cannot abide lies as politics. I understand exaggeration, I understand minimization, I understand picking words carefully, but I will not abide lying and call it spin or some such. Sarah Palin said she is a fierce opponent of earmarks and that is an out and out lie as is her claim to have opposed the Bridge to Nowhere and to have been instrumental in cleaning up Alaskan politics. She served on Ted Stevens 527 and was even listed as one of 3 directors until 2005 and only this week scrubbed the Stevens endorsement off her website. Anybody who paid a particle of attention in Alaska knew Stevens was a crook a long time ago, hell, it was known in the lower 48.

A single look at the McCain campaign tells you that despite his earmarks nonsense that he's owned lock stock and barrel by special interests. His entire campaign management is lobbyists. He lies to you and POW, he's taken seriously, not on facts, on POW. I cannot understand why the American media will not call Bullshit on these people. There may be a boatload of opinions on various things but there are not two sides to a story, there are the facts and facts are not subject to revision,

Do NOT Test Meat

The US Court of Appeals for the DC District ruled Friday that the Department of Agriculture can stop meat packers from testing their cattle for mad cow disease. Yes this is exactly right, the USDA is preventing Creekstone Farms Premium Beef a Kansas meatpacker from testing all its cattle. The why is even more interesting.

Big packers don't like the idea of the little packer being able to advertise that they test all beef versus the big ones doing ordinary partial testing and making a "guarantee" that their beef is safe. They would be "forced" to do the expensive testing also... So, hmmm. Who is it that the government actually protects here? The citizens of the US? Small business? Bet you can guess....

The Court ruled that it is within the scope of the Government's authority to limit testing. USA Today

You've Been Warned, Old POW - Hockeymom

For months now you've been warned, "I'm and old geezer POW and if you notice I'll call you insensitive personality assassins." Now Laura Bush is into the act.

First lady Laura Bush said today that sexism aimed at Sarah Palin was a very real prospect and suggested Democrats watch what they say about the Alaska governor and John McCain's ticketmate.

“The other side will have to be particularly careful," Bush said in an interview on Fox News from St. Paul, "because that’s something we all looked at."

Questioned about whether Palin may face sexism from the media in the way Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters claim she did, Bush said: "I think that's a possibility."

Now you know. Anything either of these two say or do is off-limits, you may not get away with calling them Republicans. It is one of the funniest things in the world to watch the Party of anti-feminism claiming to be the watch-dog of sexism. No equal pay, cheat on wives without cost, legislate a woman's body Republicans? This is the same Party that came unglued about women in the Armed Forces...anybody remember that? One of their stalwarts, a woman, ranted to Congress about forced lesbianism if gays were allowed to openly serve. In case it escapes anyone's notice - a lesbian would be female.

When Joe Biden says Palin is better looking than he is, it is immediately jumped on as sexism. The woman was a Beauty Queen...how's that for objectifying a woman and an appeal as an attractive female? Now I'm sorry to point out to you Republican keepers of the flame - it wasn't a contest of debate skills or a historical quiz or anything of moment, strictly her looks. Republican Shill Rush talks about the VP "hottie," and that's something else?

Laura Bush -there's an assertive powerful woman who has made major impacts with her proximity to power.../snark. The story is laid out for you, say something negative about these two and you've crossed over the invisible political correctness threashold. I've got a lot to say about these two, neither represents the values I am committed to and I certainly don't see their Second Amendment stances as meaningful in that regard. Somehow they seem to hope their corrupt behaviors won't resonate with the people of the US. Somehow they seem to hope that their embrace of GW BushCo won't be noticed by unhappy voters.

If the media does anything resembling its job they'll strip the bark off McCain/Palin. It is truly an easy thing to do, as McCain postures in the Gulf all it takes is for a reporter to ask why he voted against 3 (or was it 4?) Katrina aid proposals in the Senate? Actually, all it takes is for reporters to ask questions about his record in opposition to his rhetoric. McPOW is not Call Sign Maverick, he is BushCo to the bone. As for Palin, her Governor record is starting to have a resemblence to Cheney's VP - this trooper interference is serious business if it gets accurately reported. I watched Wolff Blitzer make a hash of it on CNN and even his Alaskan correspondent only got it partially correct. There is plenty of rot out there...so who is scared of Laura Bush?