Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What Obama said...

On the campaign trail here is what candidate Barak Obama said:

"We'll negotiate with the drug companies for the cheapest available price on drugs,"

Candidate Obama, Oct. 15, 2008 in a debate with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

You cannot tell a lie more clearly than that.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Perhaps Joe Lieberman acts the way he does because it always gets Harry Reid to coddle him?

At the very least Joe should have to act on his threat. This would show voters in Connecticut that where money is concerned, Joe won't keep his word to voters.

Harry Reid is being Sisyphus to Joe's hill of beans.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quick hit

A study conducted with Kentucky health records found that uninsured women with breast cancer were 44 percent likelier to die than their insured counterparts.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Rockin' Roger

"The nearest thing we have to a death panel in the United States is an insurance company claims adjuster."

- Roger Ebert -

Roger Ebert has written one of the best essays about healthcare that I have read. What makes it so good, in my view, is that it makes a forceful moral case for socialized medicine.

Here is the link: I'm safe on board. Pull up the life rope

A Gun Control Bumper Sticker Idea

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It used to be...

It used to be that you had to do something "newsworthy" to wind up in the news.

Now all you need is celebrity status and an appearance on Oprah Winfrey.

Why can't newsrooms let Sarah the Palin fade away?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Monday, October 05, 2009

Quick hit

14,000 Americans lose their health coverage every day.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Money talks

Today is an important day in the future history of the USA, not because Sonya Sotomayer has taken a seat on the Supreme Court, but because of the case of judicial activism that will cross her bench.

Today the US Supreme Court is scheduled to rehear Citizens United v. the FEC. The decision in this case could allow corporations to exercise their right to "free" speech by spending unlimited money to influence elections.

What this case would do is equate speech with money, and dismantle McCain/Feingold campaign finance law.

Shareholder activist Robert A.G. Monks has been heroically striving to bring this to the nations attention and you can read all about it here:

Corporate speech

Swimming with the pigs

A pig farmer might tell you that if you want a clear stream you've to keep the hogs out of the spring.

When it comes to healthcare proposals, politicians seem to be telling us that the way to clear up a stream is to make the pigs a little fatter.

Who would believe such transparent stupidity?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quick Hit

80 percent of registered Democrats, want universal, single-payer not-for-profit health care for all Americans.

Source: Reform or Rip-Off?

If Obama doesn't deliver it is easy to predict what will happen in the mid-term elections, since it will be deja vu all over again.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Strange juxtaposition

Legislators handed billions of taxpayer dollars over to the auto industry to fund a cash-for-clunkers program and it turns out that the company that profited the most by it was Japanese automaker Toyota.

How did they show us the love?

By shutting a car plant in California.

The storyline is this: Americans are going broke propping up the Japanese economy, and the Japanese response is to remove jobs from our economy.

That sounds like a lose-lose situation to me, unless you own a Japanese car company.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Lion Sleeps Tonight

A disappointment for Senator Ted Kennedy on his deathbed surely had to be the lackluster efforts of president Barak Obama and his fellow democrats to pass a public healthcare plan. Even as his death became imminent Senator Kennedy struggled everyday just to work, and what he worked on was Medicare for all.

I wish there were more people like him today, that is, people that were born into privilege but feel the call to serve the public interest.

Sometimes I feel it is a generational trait that is being lost. It is hard to sacrifice for something as ambiguous as "future generations", but men like Kennedy seemed motivated by that very thing when morality was a factor.

When it comes to president Barak Obama, YouTube shows the type of pledge he gives:

If anything good comes of Ted Kennedy's death, I hope it will be an awakening in the breast of Barak Obama to take up where Ted left off, to finish his good work so he can face the voters with honor.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Quick Hit

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 29 percent of premium dollars in the individual insurance market go toward administrative costs; the average policyholder spends roughly $300 more on administrative costs each year than if he or she purchased coverage through a group policy.

Source: Dean at TPM Cafe

Monday, August 24, 2009

No isms?

Michael Moore has a new movie on the way about Wall Street corruption. Here is the trailer:

Slavery was a systemic problem in America, so much so that it was difficult for decent people to avoid using the system in their daily lives. The simple act of buying pants became a moral act.

I wonder if Michael Moore is asking whether or not capitalism exhibits such a systemic problem.

People have wondered this before. For instance, Teddy Roosevelt said, "I am for honest business, big or little, and against dishonest business, big or little".

Capitalism has become such a holy idea in America that I wonder if people can draw a distinction between honest and dishonest corporate conduct.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Here is yet more evidence that Barney Frank should be speaker of the House:

Republicans have become Republicants.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quick Hit

Removing the "public option" from a public bill paid for by public money is not in the public interest.

- Congressman Dennis Kucinich -

Monday, August 17, 2009

An easy prediction to make

Here is an easy prediction to make:

If Democratic leadership drops the public option from the healthcare bill they will get nothing in return from republicans.

Here is another:

Should the demoratic leadership blame republican opposition at a time they are in control of the House, Senate, and executive branch, they will be regarded as ineffective weaklings.

I have noticed that people like to associate themselves with winners.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Mr. Woofles Takes a Nap

Once, after listening to a live recording of George Gershwin playing "Rhapsody in Blue" I wrote...

Listening to George Gershwin play piano is a lot like looking up at the stars on a moonless night. Each shimmering note reminds me that I am small.
I am nothing.

In this video below Craig Ventresco bedazzles and bewitches with a humble Ukulele, while Mr. Woofles strikes a content pose.

Cliff Edwards, or Ukulele Ike, was the voice of Disney's Jimminy Cricket. He also sang the tune, "When You Wish Upon a Star".

How can an instrument so small trigger thoughts so large?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

AIG went a-mugging

It disappoints me that whether we have a Republican president or a Democrat in the whitehouse Wall Street gets what it wants at our expense. That is not democracy, that is plutocracy, or government by the richest.

The richest are best at generating wealth for themselves, but Justice and seeking the common good are the pillars of a stable democratic society. I sez, these two types of authority are incompatible, and as plutocrats begin to generate resentment (via injustice) they will certainly have to rely on violence to maintain Power.

Is it in America's best interests to willfully engineer fundamentally dishonest markets? Will investors entrust their money to such banana-republic-machinations?

Few news sources tackle such questions, but one is Democracy Now. In this clip Amy Goodman looks at AIG as if it were band-leading us to corpocracy:

Part one:

Part two:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Money in, Money out?

It is my opinion that many Wall Street CEOs are little more than thieves stealing wealth from their investors. It is a situation out of control and that threatens America's well-being. Every time I think I am disgusted enough by the combination of excess pillaging and ... oversight, there comes another story about the antics of certain corporations.

In this Washington Post article one thing stands out to me. The corporations involved in swindling their owners all gave heavily to president Obama:

Another failure, another bonus

These robber barons do more than gorge themselves at the trough, they eat holes in the trough and bite the hand that feeds them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Flash facts

Health-care spending accounts for 17 percent of our entire domestic product.

Source: The Cause of My Life

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bread in the mouth

Imagine that you you saw a homeless person while out walking one day, whom asked you for food, and that you went to your city councilor and got him to pass a law making it illegal to skip a meal. Imagine next that a police officer, knowing the man that sought succor from your person was hungry, levied a fine against him for failing to feed himself.

If the object is to feed the hungry man, does that approach make any sense?

My answer is that it does not, and it will not if you substitute the case of an uninsured man for the case of an underfed one.

Only in Washington would so many work so hard to undermine the simplicity and economic advantage of a single-payer system, which covers everyone, including even greedy insurance company executives that spend their time promoting their self-interests at a cost of human suffering.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Où est le changement?

To lots of otherwise sensible people president Obama is political comfort food. They are always ready to dine from his menu of rhetoric. I must admit that it is understandable that they are hungry after 8 years of famine.

I wish I could suspend my cynicism and my critical thinking and eat a hot dog as if it were a steak dinner. I would certainly eat a lot more steak that way.

But, I can't, and so I say that there isn't any worthwhile difference between George W. Bush and Obama when it comes to ignoring the problems on Wall Street, nor in their respective "solutions". The same policy, cash for trash, closes the (over)sight and opens the wallet. Rather than punishing the reckless, the whitehouse has been rewarding them proportional to their mismanagement.

What has been going on is a politically-motivated redistribution of wealth. Whenever politics plays a role you must remember the words of John Lennon and "follow the money."

Who paid Obama?

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Lehman Bros.

Who were the treasonous recipients of innumerable welfare dollars?

Goldman Sachs, for one

It is little wonder that Republicans keep calling Obama a socialist, since he is giving public money away to those who didn't earn it. Of course, I don't know why they didn't say the same thing about George W. Bush. Perhaps he was their political comfort food?

What Wall Street wanted it got in spades, even though it could lead to the destruction of America (for as goes wealth, so goes military might).

Cynicism is a heavy burden but it seems like a compass that points true in Washington.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ukulele on fire

In the sprit of Roy Smeck, my friend Craig Ventresco dazzles at least two senses with this performance of 12th street rag. It was recorded July 9th, 2008 at Cafe Divine in San Francisco:

If you liked that, here's another:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The idol of Nay

I try not to write too much about Sarah Palin, because obviously she has an attention credit disorder, even more-so than your average politician. Also, she is a hateful and pridefully-ignorant bumpkin that thoughtlessly incites American-dividing sentiment for personal gain. Also, like so many Republicans these days, what she has to say can be summarized as "No."

This newest twist in her hidden-hand political life, however, is worth laughing at. She "wrote" (wink-wink) this op-ed which the Washington Post published.

The op-ed can be summarized by the word "No."

Whomever are pulling the strings in Sarah's back ought to spend their time more wisely.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Franken wins

"The Supreme Court has made its decision and I will abide by the results," Coleman said outside his St. Paul home. Appearing relaxed, he said he had congratulated Franken and was at peace with the decision.

More info here

Those rebels, scofflaws, and activists that want genetically modified foods to be clearly labeled as such refer to genetically modified corn as Frankencorn. This associates GMO and Dr. Frankenstein's madness rhetorically.

Now, the question is, will people associate Franken corn with Al Franken?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hearts, Minds, and strawberry condoms

Here's a tip for evangelical Christians that want to stand firm against Muslims:

Support mandatory sex education in the schools.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Logical Cohesion

If Republicans want a small government, they should also want a small military, since a large military requires a large government.

If Republicans want less taxation, they should want to cut military waste.

If Republicans want to promote a "culture of life", they should increase welfare spending.

Do I lie?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dead last

A recent study of the US healthcare system by The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimates that "there would be about 101,000 fewer U.S. deaths per year" if our healthcare system performed as well as those of France, Japan, or Australia.

I have grown used to seeing healthcare metrics place us well-behind other western nations (except in terms of cost), but that doesn't make it enjoyable to finish 19th out of 19 nations.

Here is a link to the study: Dead Last

The swine flu outbreak illustrates clearly the importance of public health, as does the spread of anti-biotic-resistant diseases. What could be a better breeding ground for infectious disease than a large pool of uninsured people upon which to spread? Does anyone think that wealth can lobby against disease itself?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Looking backwards

Here is the best refutation of the Obama administration's position that it is better not to prosecute the rogues responsible for crafting and implementing America's torture program because that is not looking forwards:

I'm focused on looking forward too. And as I gaze into my crystal ball, I see a world in which members of the executive branch take it for granted that they can do whatever they want with impunity. Why not break the law? Why not eavesdrop on Americans? Why not torture people? Why not detain citizens indefinitely without charges? Heck, why not impose martial law and make yourself dictator for life? There is nothing to stop the people who make these decisions. They have nothing to fear. Because once they've made them, their actions are back there, in the past that no one ever wants to look at.

Source: Obsidian Wings

All Justice is backwards looking, isn't it? You review someone's prior conduct and pass judgement on it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Question time

If government-provided, affordable, and comprehensive health care is the same thing as socialism, then how come so many flag-waving, freedom-loving, Republican legislators are on the public dole for their health-care?

Shouldn't these courageous patriots fight Socialism at home and abroad by rescinding their benefits for themselves and their families?

Is quality, government-sponsored health-care so attractive that it can make a hypocrite of a Republican?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sarcasm done well

Michael Moore has a new movie on the way, and to promote it this video clip was released in theaters across the country.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Quick Hits

Barak Obama is pressing lawmakers to take action on health care because he insists this problem is adversely affecting our economy. The results of a recent study seem to confirm the notion in spades. Here are a couple points that stand out to me:

1. Medical bills are involved in more than 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies.

2. More than 75 percent of these bankrupt families had health insurance.

3. 15 percent of the population -- 46 million people -- have no coverage.

Harvard Study

There are plenty of studies which show that a single-payer system that covers everybody is the most efficient solution, but that seems unlikely to happen because Mr. "Yes We Can!" seems unwilling to promote it.

I hope we wind up with something better than we have now. The facts of the matter are becoming more and more alarming.

ADDENDUM: The Boston Globe posted an article that says Obama is pressing for a publicly-funded health insurance option. Details here.

Sometimes problems exist only because there is no will towards what works. I hope this is a small sign that Obama is as giving to the rest of us as he is to Wall Street bankers.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Anti-Choice Jihad

How much responsibility does Paul O'Reilly bear for the murder of Dr. Tiller?

There are a lot of similarities between the Taliban and the predominantly republican anti-choice jihadists. The chief similarity is the repeated use of murder and intimidation as instruments of persuasion.

How ludicrous does behavior have to be before the Republican party will distance itself from it?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Damned if you do

Since Republicans can be relied upon to demonize any Supreme Court nominee as a socialist-leaning, immigrant-loving, America-hating, abortion peddler, then why should president Obama worry too much about offering a choice as reasonable as Judge Sotomayor for consideration?

Why not go ahead and pick an "activist judge" with great big liberal talons and jam the choice down their protesting paunches, a judicial foie gras if you will.

Libertarian Paradise

I like to tell the type of Christian that wishes to impose his beliefs on others that if they will only travel to Saudi Arabia or Pakistan they can live in a theocratic paradise without waiting.

A new YouTube video employs that approach with Libertarians:

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Body

Jesse Ventura casts pearls before swine in this defense of the rule of law.

Thank you Mr. Ventura.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Wind Beneath his Wings

In April George F. Will wrote a column called, "America's Bad Jeans" in which he characterized an adult wearing denim as "an obnoxious misuse of freedom".

In my new socialist homeland (America according to Gingrich) the professional journalists have begun to emulate amusing cranks like Donald Mills ("The Problem With Young People Today Is...").

I like George Will, but not as much as I like wearing jeans.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Law of the Jungle

Here is a summary of the health-care plan now taking shape in Washington:

Let wolves cull those unable to afford insurance.

Liberals aren't expected to object since the plan will be good for the struggling wolf population and the process is all-natural.

Conservatives aren't expected to object since they could care less what happens to poor people.

The insurance industry is expected to back the plan since it makes their offerings more palatable by comparison.

Fox News is happy about the prospect of airing, "When wolves attack."

Everybody wins!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life of the Party

I have often thought that Dick Cheney might be suffering from the effects of Dementia, and is perhaps more worthy of pity than scorn. However, until such suspicion becomes validated, I feel as though I must treat his statements as intentionally expressed, however paranoid, delusional, or self-destructive.

When Dick Cheney recently insulted Colin Powell I found myself wondering all over again if he ought to quit driving and check into an adult daycare center.

Lawrence Wilkerson, in the video below, seems to hold Dick Cheney responsible for his insults to Mr. Powell and offers this admonition:

Whether Dick Cheney is intentionally harming his party or deliberately harming his party is the question here. There seems no debate as to if he is harming the party.

Neither a disgruntled postal worker or VP be.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Bush Years: A Holocaust of Truth

It is an insult to The American Way to treat Dick Cheney as if he were other than a disgraced, dishonest, hypocrite. To compare what he once said about torture with his words now, and his deeds then, is to understand the worthlessness of words that escape his lying pie-hole:

"The United States is a country that takes human rights seriously. We do not torture. It’s against our laws and against our values. And we expect all those who serve America to conduct themselves accordingly, and we enforce those rules...America is a fair and a decent country. President Bush has made it clear, both publicly and privately, that our duty to uphold the laws and standards of this nation make no exceptions for wartime. As he put it, we are in a fight for our principles and our first responsibility is to live by them. The war on terror, after all, is more than a contest of arms and more than a test of will. It’s also a war of ideas."

There is a great post over at Obsidian Wings where you can read this, and other quotations on the topic of torture. The men we consider great today are the ones that lived by their words.

Quotations on Torture

Gullibility in its lesser-known form is the failure to believe things that are demonstrably true. Dick Cheney, for instance, is a bald-faced liar and the things which he says are dishonest. At this point it takes mountainous gullibility to believe him.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Here are a couple of numbers to keep in mind.

The attacks of September 11, 2001 killed about 6,000 people (5948 fatalities and 24 people missing). You can get the full details here:

Wikipedia 911

Researchers at the Institute of Medicine in D.C. say that 18,314 adults die in the USA each year because they are uninsured and can't get proper health care:

Care Without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late

This summary shows the penalty incurred when society favors profit to human life:

"The main findings of the report are that working-age Americans without health insurance are more likely to receive too little medical care and receive it too late; be sicker and die sooner; and receive poorer care when they are in the hospital, even for acute situations like a motor vehicle crash. "

It is findings like these that force me to hope that president Obama is sincere about solving the health-care emergency we face. I think the measure of his sincerity will be a publicly-funded single-payer-style plan. I know that Ted Kennedy will fight for that with his dying breath, but I'm not convinced president Obama is willing to upset the lobbyists just to please the people that voted for him.


1 in 7 American adults are uninsured.
70% of personal bankruptcies are medically related.
18,000+ annual deaths are caused by the absence of insurance.

and I hope those number can no longer be ignored.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Commentary from the dustbin

David Letterman recently offered up this look back at the wisdom of Cheney:

How'd He Do?

Remember those pictures of Saddam Hussein ironing his own shirts in his underwear? That's my mental picture of Dick Cheney. He's just a sad, publicly disgraced dictator, uncomfortable in his new role.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Black and Bill

Here is an interview that Bill Moyers conducts with William Black, who was formerly a senior regulator that cracked down on banks during the S&L crisis of the 1980s. In the interview Mr. Black does not wear kid gloves or sugar coat a thing. It is a very entertaining interview:

You can watch it here

I would like to see Mr. William Black take over for Mr. Geithner, since Timothy continues to act as if there is a marketing crisis rather than a banking crisis.

Monday, May 04, 2009

In Obama's Shadow

It is time someone said this, "Hillary Clinton is doing a great job as Secretary of State, and she is leaving all the old Clinton baggage out of sight."

I half-wondered if it was going to be a freak-show over there at State, but Hillary seems head-down, working hard, and capable.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Collins and horse rumps

Current events have made a horse's ass of Maine Senator Susan Collins. A short time after she went flitting around pundits belittling pandemic preparedness as a ridiculous stimulus, we find ourselves amidst a global swine flu pandemic.

This video serves up a little crow for her to eat:

The GOP has deteriorated to the point that I wonder how anyone would want to be associated with it. From Susan Collins to Bobby Jindal to Karl Rove to Dick Cheney to Newt Gingrich to Sarah Palin to Rush Limbaugh and the incomparable Michele Bachmann the GOP is one joke after another.

Perhaps it is clarifying moments like these which give Sen. Arlen Specter the rationale for switching parties?

There is more to governance, especially now, than whining about paying taxes and immigrant bashing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu, Bird Flu, TamiFlu, Hazah!

When I heard that Swine Flu was combatted by Tamiflu I remembered a little something about the bird flu pandemic, Tamiflu, and Donald Rumsfeld:

"NEW YORK (Fortune) - The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it's proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that's now the most-sought after drug in the world.

Rumsfeld served as Gilead (Research)'s chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.

Source: Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu"

One must plumb paranoia to barrel bottom to believe that press reaction to the potential swine flu pandemic is a ploy whose intent is scaring world governments into purchasing Tamiflu.

I do wonder, however, what happened to those Tamiflu doses purchased to ward off bird flu. According to Tamiflu lasts for 5 years, and the bird-flu scare was in 2005.

Maybe we can at least sell that stuff off to forgotten-world countries for cheap and help alleviate their suffering while we replenish our own first-place stocks?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lie to me

New reporting suggests that the Bush administration decided to use torture to obtain false confessions that could be used to "prove" operational links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

Jonathan Landay writes...

"The Bush administration applied relentless pressure on interrogators to use harsh methods on detainees in part to find evidence of cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, according to a former senior U.S. intelligence official and a former Army psychiatrist."

Source: Mean means for dishonest ends

Fools can be intelligent enough to be devious, but will act in ways that are contrary to their interests. An evil fool like George W. Bush will stop at nothing to get what he doesn't intend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Out in front

Here is a short clip from the movie "The Corporation" in which Robert A.G. Monks explains how CEO pay went stratospheric:

The bubble was fun while it lasted, but it done r-u-n-o-f-t. Perhaps we should now turn to those who saw it coming and tried to warn us?

I'd rather see that than politicians let loose with billions of our tax dollars.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quick hits

Here are a couple of stats to ponder:

In America, about 22 percent of adults do not have health insurance.

For every 1 percent increase in the jobless rate, 1.1 million people lose coverage.

Source: Recession leads to health care crisis

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fat Cats

One thing that I keep coming back to in the early days of the Obama administration is that when it comes to fiscal policy, president Barak is an avid fat cat feeder.

The phrase "fat cat" is a pretty good analogy here. A fat cat doesn't play much, and doesn't catch much vermin. A fat cat mostly sleeps and eats, and the fatter it gets the more it will eat.

If you care about the health of the cat you must cut back on the food and kick it outside, where it will at least have to fend off other, leaner cats.

One other thing that I come back to in the early days of the Obama administration is that he got where he is on a groundswell of small donations and is therefore not as beholden to Wall Street as his policies imply.

How is this country going to turn things around if changing administrations has all the impact of changing the drapes at the whitehouse?

Is D.C. so corrupt that not even multiple national crises, a rout at the voting booth, and a qualified leader can change the course?

It is sure starting to look like we're just circling the drain.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Disfunctional Democracy?

Are we a functioning democracy?

If by functioning democracy it is meant that political will and popular will are one, then we haven't been one for decades, as this video makes clear:

When Obama ran for office he liked the phrase, "Yes, we can".

Where is that Obama now?

Was he just another insincere politician out to comfort the comfortable?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Step right up

The best way to humiliate a fool is indeed to hand them a microphone:

I'm not sure these self-infatuated, circus-grade clowns get the recognition they deserve, but wise democrats should immediately cede the microphone whenever one of them wishes to speak for the GOP.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

More Simon Johnson

I like people that write clearly and in uncomplicated language, for instance this paragraph from Simon Johnson as he analyzes America's economic woes:

"The root problem is uncertainty—in our case, uncertainty about whether the major banks have sufficient assets to cover their liabilities. Half measures combined with wishful thinking and a wait-and-see attitude cannot overcome this uncertainty. And the longer the response takes, the longer the uncertainty will stymie the flow of credit, sap consumer confidence, and cripple the economy—ultimately making the problem much harder to solve. Yet the principal characteristics of the government’s response to the financial crisis have been delay, lack of transparency, and an unwillingness to upset the financial sector."

- Simon Johnson -

You can read the entire article here:

The Quiet Coup

What has disturbed me most about Obama's tenure so far is just how little our fiscal policy has changed from the days of George W. Bush. This "plan" by Geithner is cash for trash repackaged with different lingo.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A different proposal

Simon Johnson of MIT appeared on Bill Moyer's Journal to discuss another way to handle the current financial meltdown. He summarized his idea as a "scaled up FDIC intervention", and suggested that the trust-busting techniques of Teddy Roosevelt should also come into play.

See the interview here

Put me down as favoring his plan, not because I am an economist but because I know that there is no welfare cheat like a corporate welfare cheat.

In October of 2008, George Soros appeared on Bill Moyer's Journal to discuss the economic situation. There is similarity between what he says and what Simon says.

That interview is here

An interesting quote from that interview, I thought, was this:

"I think our ability to govern ourselves doesn't keep pace with our ability to exercise power over nature, control over nature. So we are very complicated civilization. And we could actually destroy our civilization because of our inability to govern ourselves."

- George Soros -

Monday, April 06, 2009

Who likes it?

The more I read about the Geithner plan, the more I find myself wondering, "Who likes it besides Geithner and the corporate-types that got us into this mess?"

I am beginning to think that Obama is not the change I wished to see in the world.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What global warming?

If you were to stand before an oncoming tidal wave and refuse to believe in it with all of the sincerity of a holocaust denier, it would have very little impact on the timing of your demise. Natural forces are not swayed by beliefs.

I have encountered many republicans that insist with red faces and waving arms of late that global warming doesn't exist. Moreover, attempts to point out persuasive information is like having a religious argument with them, which is to say it is treated as a conflict where there is no good proof either way.

What I am most interested in knowing is why are so many global warming deniers republican? How did the laws of thermodynamics, chemistry, and atmospheric science come to be partisan in nature?

Is Rush Limbaugh filling conservative hearts with the expectation that global warming pays attention to opinion polls?

So you don't think global warming is real?

Big deal. Too bad your grandchildren will suffer from it anyway, especially if there is political pressure for foot dragging.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pimping our future?

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is to Wall Street as a pimp is to Main street, except that the Main street pimp generates capital.

I'm working on giving Obama his 100 days which are his due, but every once in a while I crack.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Under the Clockworks of Heaven

Religious people often equate Science with scientists, as evidenced by the over-worn expression, "Scientists are undermining religion".

This confuses the message with the messenger.

It was not Galileo's fault that the earth traveled around the sun, yet he was persecuted as if he purposefully undermined God by looking closely at His works.

It was not Darwin's fault that natural selection explained the biological world so well that it could be strengthened by decades of intense scientific scrutiny across multiple disciplines, yet he is treated as a target by comical agenda-driven bumpkins that want their ill-formed opinions to be worshiped on bended knees.

Religion often intentionally impedes knowledge, as in the case of embryonic stem cell research, but what is an example in the other direction?

At the heart of America is the idea of Freedom, and it is expressed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights as the belief that Man is free when the shackles of authority are removed from his mind and he is guided by Reason and Common Sense.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Senator Franken

If the phrase Senator Franken has as much appeal to you as it does to me, then perhaps you are wondering, as I do, why Barak Obama isn't using his coat tails to help Al Franken.

Should not each day be regarded as an opportunity to remind the state of Minnesota that it has a duty to seat a senator?

A fair election was held and the results were counted, but the wealth and poor grace of Norm Coleman is allowed to obstruct the wishes of a majority of Minnesota voters.

How long must America wait?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bush on Broadway

Will Ferrell discusses his new one-man Broadway play, in which he parodies George W. Bush as he leaves:

You're Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush

It runs through March 15th in New York and you can get tickets here:

Your Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush

Monday, February 02, 2009

Starvation diet

Benjamin Franklin, under the nom de plume Richard Saunders, wrote that "He that lives on Hope will die fasting" (Poor Richard's Almanac of 1757).

In order to turn Famine away from his door, perhaps, Chris Hedges has written an article titled "It's not going to be OK" in which Hope is kicked, choked, humiliated, and then stabbed repeatedly. For instance, he writes...

"At no period in American history has our democracy been in such peril or has the possibility of totalitarianism been as real. Our way of life is over. Our profligate consumption is finished. Our children will never have the standard of living we had. And poverty and despair will sweep across the landscape like a plague. This is the bleak future. There is nothing President Obama can do to stop it. It has been decades in the making. It cannot be undone with a trillion or two trillion dollars in bailout money. Our empire is dying. Our economy has collapsed."
Later, Chris interviews Sheldon S. Wolin, who informs us that the political Left in America...

"...has crumbled. It sold out to a bankrupt Democratic Party, abandoned the working class and has no ability to organize. Unions are a spent force. The universities are mills for corporate employees. The press churns out info-entertainment or fatuous pundits. The left, he said, no longer has the capacity to be a counterweight to the corporate state. He said that if an extreme right gains momentum there will probably be very little organized resistance."

Poor Hope! What abuse!

Benjamin Franklin also wrote, "Industry pays debts, while despair increases them", but I find it difficult to be industrious without Hope.

Doesn't everybody?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Honoring Pledges

Barak Obama seems to be quietly and quickly fulfilling his campaign pledges. On the first full day of his new employment he commanded that his generals conduct the "planning necessary to execute a responsible military drawdown” from Iraq.


If, like me, you think that Iraq is a quagmire for our troops and a drain on the treasury, then you are quite pleased to see action in the right direction.

If, like Bush, you think that Iraq will eventually adopt democracy and then serve as a shining beacon of freedom in the Middle East, you are no doubt disappointed, particularly if you also believe Iraq is the "central front in the war on terror".

The thing about being president is, it is more than an intellectual exercise. We shall soon see what future awaits Iraq.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Was Carter wise?

Sometimes you have to wait out wise words to understand that they were wise. Here is former president Jimmy Carter talking about energy:

I imagine we would be in a much better situation today if we had recognized the chains upon us and faced the new dawn. It must be that he was not the leader we needed.

"Can we hear him now?", I wonder.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Day

To boding sacred awe night's shadow
Awakes the better self in men.
Now lie aslumber savage urges
With every vehemence of deed;
Now love of man for man resurges,
The love of God is stirred and freed.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe -

Monday, January 19, 2009


Mixing George Bush's exit with Barak Obama's entrance is like putting gravy on cranberry sauce. I prefer not to mix my entrances and exits. Today, therefore, I shall think of as George W. Bush's denauguration. I feel like a parade, perhaps with crowds of midgets singing and dancing.

Goodbye George Bush, Goodbye!
We hope you don't expect us to cry.
We might shed a tear
For one we hold dear, but
In your case we'll just say bye bye.

Goodbye George Bush, Goodbye!
We grew weary of all of your lies.
You trembled in fear
For seven and one year, and
We'd rather see your back than your eyes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

How's about?

I thought of another way to manage these bank bail outs and it goes like this.

The federal government offers homeowners a refinance loan at 2% fixed interest. This puts money in the pockets of homeowners, while also capitalizing the banks. It takes a bottom-up approach that bypasses the bottlenecks in the financial system (i.e. Bank of America, AIG, and pals). What it does do is make sure that American Taxpayers get bang for their bailout buck.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Concur not conquer

I recently spent time in Grenada and as far as I could tell from talking to the people I met, they view the Reagan invasion as a salvation. I toured an old airport with rusting relics of the Soviet Empire and saw graffiti celebrating the removal of the K.G.B. (my favorite was "K.G.B. Behave!")

I started to think that it was good to travel abroad as an American citizen and not be identified solely with the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I also started to think that maybe there is opportunity for mutually beneficial trade in the ECU (Eastern Caribbean Union).

In Grenada, for instance, they grow delicious bananas that aren't as big as baseball bats. They have lots of spices, like nutmeg and a particularly excellent Cinnamon. They make rum and have breadfruit and papaya. They have a warm climate and white sand beaches.

Maybe the US should spend more time with nations that want our presence and less with nations that don't going forward?

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin