Archive for January, 2008

Hey GOPers- If A Democrat President Raises Your Taxes, You Only Have Bush To Blame

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

If I have to listen to another Republican complain about how a new Democratic president is just going to raise their taxes and increase the size of government I might just put my foot right up their ass. After all, it’s precisely because of the Republican party, the Republican Congress, and an asshat of a Republican president that our next national leader may indeed have to raise taxes. Somebody has to clean up the country after it’s been crapped on for 8 years.

Consider that when Bush took office the federal government had a budget surplus, and despite way too many pork barrel projects, earmarks were much lower than they are now. But then came a series of tax cuts, an increase in federally mandated spending programs, an unnecessary war, a couple of tax rebate give-aways, and unprecedented borrowing to finance the largest expansion in the federal government in over 50 years. The surplus disappeared. The spending didn’t.

Republicans like to pretend that the only thing Democrats care about is “Big Brother” government. Hah! Bush has presided over the biggest “Big Brother” expansion ever. Republicans think that only Democrats expand the size of government. Hah! Bush has added more government jobs to the federal payroll than probably any other president since FDR. Republicans like to pretend the Democrats will take all your tax dollars and waste them on untested and ineffective social programs that ultimately hurt people more than they help them. Can anyone say No Child Left Behind???

The fact is that Republicans aren’t alone in disliking taxes. Democrats don’t much like them either. But where Democrats can accept the fact that it takes taxes to run government, Republicans only seem to think that taxes are evil.

Here it is kids…no matter who takes over as next president, we are going to have to see a serious reversal in domestic funding policy. That likely means higher taxes and lower spending. Hopefully the next president will get us out of Iraq which would save a serious amount of change. but it won’t be enough, especially in the short term. Especially when our government (both Dems & Reps) think it is wiser to borrow another $150 billion they don’t have to hand out to citizens so they will rush out and spend it. This is an economic stimulus plan? For what? A month? Gee Mr. President (and all the rest of you in Congress), what kind of stimulus plan will we get when that $600 bucks is all gone? Do they really think that peopl e are going to have extra money all the time now that the government sent them a check for a few hundred bucks? The only thing this plan stimulates is the Chinese manufacturing industry and the banks- for about a month.

Of course, in our brave new world, most people don’t give two seconds thought to government finances, just so long as their special interests are being funded.

Fiscal prudence means that not everyone gets everything all of the time. Fiscal malfeasance means that some people get everything they want, most get a bone thrown to them, and behind the scenes the red tape is stacked higher than the Sears Tower.

Well boys and girls, federal spending affects us all, and when you turn over the federal purse to a bunch of failed businessmen and drunken sailors, somebody eventually has to pay. That somebody will be all of us when the next administration gets to town.

So for all of you whining GOPers who are so upset that a Democrat in the White House will raise your taxes, shut up already. YOUR guy put us all in this situation to begin with. Just because he’ll be out of office when the bills come due doesn’t make it any less his fault. If you want to complain, send a letter to Bush. But quit whining to me about it.

(cross psoted at Common Sense)

What is George Afraid of San Francisco For?

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

I know the title is grammatically challenged, but hey, I’m just reflecting the language of our fair president.

President Bush paid an unusual visit to the Bay Area on Wednesday, ending a day in California that was all economics, all the time. Bush kept intact his record of never visiting San Francisco during his presidency

Already there are over 200 comments to this article, some of which are quite fun over at SF Gate.

George Bush, over the last seven years has visited numerous locations about the globe, including Iraq and Afghanistan a number of times. What is it about San Francisco that scares this man to such a degree that he wouldn’t set foot in this town? I have my theories. Any guesses?

Republican Retirement or Abandon Ship?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

With the new addition of Davis from Virginia dropping out or resigning from Congress the list of Republican’s fleeing public service is alarming. In some respects I’m glad that they are jumping ship but while they are jumping off, the seats they leave vacant may just be filled with Democrats. That leads me to the thought that this just might be the greatest political set up in history if you look at the economy.

Would it not be Karl Rove and W as a personal joke on America to chuck us all the bird one last time by scuttling the economy just to say screw you for not liking them more? When it comes to trust and Karl or George, they don’t deserve the courtesy of even the simplest of it.

When you really think about it and just for giggles assume that one of the Democrat’s takes the White House in 08, the Congress and Senate are all a majority of Democrat’s, and our nations economy tanks. Who will the people blame for the next eight years? Don’t place your bets on the gentleman jumping out of politics from the red and right side of the aisle accepting any blame. Regardless of the damage they have all done in the past to the nation, the blame will rest on who is in office when the crash comes.

Last week the Federal Reserve dropped rates by three quarters of a point and one week later (Today) they dropped it again. Our economy is in serious trouble and those that will serve in the next term in Congress will face the crisis of a century. Republican’s are jumping ship because our nations future will be that ugly. The well has run dry and the game is up. They fear the future and know damn well that they screwed it up big time. Where the Republican’s saw the protectionism of a free market was the undoing of our nations economy. Free markets without gentleman rules other than who can grab the most bucks the quickest does not work. AKA home lending crisis. Who can race a company to the bankruptcy courts first but take down hundred million dollar bonuses does not work.

Not to be too depressing, only the people that look out for all of the people can get our nation through a tough recession and it is not done by huge tax cuts for the millionaires and billionaires amongst us. Our nation will get through the coming recession by legislation that looks more to the interest of where the majority of the people are in the middle and lower classes. That is not a favorite group for Republican’s in any political speech. That might just be why thet are bailing public service in droves. When the economic glass is not even half full we need leaders that think in terms of hope and not what is in it for me. The millionaires and billionaires will ride this storm out but you and I will face the full storm of what a real recession is. In eight years from now the speeches of your lot in life being better now or eight years ago will rise up from the dust and they will promise the world from the seats that never felt your pain. And just like the post Great Depression days the party of change is in the Democrat’s hand and they will need to prove their steel.

It is simply ironic that John McCain has forgotten his roots and became more Liberal in politics in the original race against Bush but then became Bush for this election. Then again Hillary Clinton has become more right wing with her voting record and yet claims to be a Progressive Democrat. I don’t get where she and Bill call themselves the first Black President? Hillary isn’t Black and neither is Bill? Neither has lived or stepped in the footsteps of a black American person and saying you are black is just wrong.

Both front runners play the game but the end result is not about the people in either of their messages. It’s about the power of the Presidency for them alone. That is not what the Presidency is all about. We elect our President based on our opinions and life situation. We do not elect them on why they demand our vote.

In the days to come I believe Barack Obama is the only hope that we as a nation have in his Roosevelt and Kennedy like message of change. I find myself thinking that he is the only light in the path that we all will be forced to follow because of the past Republican sell out of America. He didn’t create the problems but he has the power to unite us all as a nation to get the American people through it.

One politician is not America but one President at the right place and time can make hope a possibility. One can not bind hope in any political message or advertisement but the only one that shines is Obama when it comes to hope. Hope is just what it means. It isn’t about fear of war, fear of terrorist attacks and it isn’t about who did what in the past in the civil rights movement. It is about our nations future. Hope is definitely not about a flag draped casket coming home from Iraq or Afghanistan. That was George W. Bush idea of hope. That isn’t working out so good these days is it?

Papamoka

Feel free to link to this post or borrow it…

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

F.B.I. Investigating Home Lending

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Don’t for a minute think that this post is about you the disenfranchised foreclosed on former first time home owner. Even though you were told by your lending professional, abandoned on the side of the road used car salesman, small appliance repair, and fortune teller that you could afford your recently foreclosed home, this story is not about you. Justice is never about you so this post is not about anyone at or below the middle class income level that lost their home to dubious lending practices.

One thing is a given in America, the only justice is for the millionaires that can afford to demand it. All of the bum loans that the mortgage lending and banking industry gave out like free cheese to the poor was not a big enough problem to look into. And yet when the millionaire investors start loosing their shirts it just might be a problem.

F.B.I. Opens Subprime InquiryBy REUTERS
Published: January 29, 2008

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (Reuters) — The F.B.I. has opened investigations into 14 corporations as part of a crackdown on improper subprime lending, agency officials said on Tuesday.F.B.I. officials told reporters that the inquiry involved potential violations including accounting fraud and insider trading.

Separately, Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley said government investigators were seeking information from them about their subprime mortgage activities. But it was not immediately clear if the disclosures by the three banks were linked to the F.B.I. probes.

F.B.I. officials did not identify the companies they were looking at, but said the investigation reached across the industry to include developers, subprime lenders, companies that securitized loans and investment banks that held them.

The cases could lead to potential civil or criminal charges, the officials said.
The F.B.I. said it was investigating the cases with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has opened about three dozen investigations into the subprime market collapse.

Targets of the S.E.C. probe include the investment banks Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, as well as the Swiss bank UBS and the bond insurer MBIA. It was not clear whether any of those companies were involved in the F.B.I. investigation.

The S.E.C., which has formed an internal subprime-mortgage task force, is looking at how financial firms priced mortgage-based securities and whether they should have told investors earlier about the declining value of those securities. - New York Times

All of the businesses that sold the loans to you the former homeowner hardly ever hold on to those loans. They sell them to bigger banks and bigger banks bundle them all together and sell them as investment vehicles for the mega rich. Now that the loans are being defaulted on in larger than life numbers those investment vehicles are up on cinder blocks with tickets on them from the board of health as a public nuisance. AKA losing money for the mega rich people and businesses that invest in them.

What the F.B.I. is investigating at the banks is the fact that the SEC has some serious rules about selling bovine by product as any kind of investment product. Especially, when those products are purchased by the mega dough bucks people at the top of the income earners heap.

Now it’s officially a Subprime Lending crisis! Now let’s see who goes to minimum security, weekends off for god behavior prison? Maybe when these guys have to loose their golf handicap they might see what justice is really all about.

One more note, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have all dropped in shareholder value between $15 and $20 in the last three months. Things that make you go hmmmm or screw them too?

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Feel free to link to or borrow this post…

Marijuana Being Sold From Vending Machines!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Yes of course it’s in California. And just to push even more conservative buttons — the owner (of the vending machines and the property) is a swarthy Middle Easterner. Dear God!

Just think of the millions of rightwing hands being wrung and teeth being gnashed when this story hit the news sites. While he’s at it, the owner might as well install an abortion clinic and a gay bar on the premises. With millions of wingnut voters undergoing a simultaneous seizure, and an election next November…

Vincent Mehdizadeh, inventor and owner of the machine, described his service as: “Convenient access, lower prices, safety, anonymity.”

If you have a card authorizing the use of medical marijuana (and you’re registered in Mehdizadeh’s computer database), you have 24-hour access to these pot-dispensing machines. There are three of these dispensaries; two of them are on property owned by Mehdizadeh.

These dispensaries are completely unobtrusive and they’re surrounded by strip malls, car dealers, furniture shops, etc. The premises are nearly empty except for a security guard, some shelves stocked with herbs and vitamins and a contraption that looks like a large refrigerator (that’s the pot machine). The device is officially known as a Prescription Vending Machine (PVM). You provide your fingerprints and your pre-paid card, and the machine dispenses a bright green envelope. Guess what’s inside!

Since the War on Drugs is one of America’s top priorities (your tax dollars at work), the Spanish Inquisition DEA is already zeroing in on this screaming emergency. A few months ago they developed a new improved, more jugular-based tactic: going after the owners of the property where medical marijuana is dispensed, and confiscating the property. If our government went after real problems with one tenth this much ferocity, this would be a much nicer country to live in.

A DEA spokesman said: “Somebody owns it, it’s on a property and somebody fills it. Once we find out where it’s at, we’ll look into it…”

Well, that takes care of that urgent problem.

Bush Pre-emptive State of the Union

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Precedent Bush (misspelled on purpose) is going to the Congress with his State of the Union speech to tell us (Sheep) everything is okey dokey tonight and that we the people should follow the course he has lead us on as a nation. Some say that you can judge a political speech by the number of times a person blinks while giving it. More blinks is bad, less is good.

All of the crisis’s facing our nation we can beat as a people, provided he gets out of office in less than a year. I don’t think its even necessary that he fill out a change of address card with the post office simply because nobody is going to care where he ends up as long as it is not in our nations capitol. He is going to go on in his speech about issues that he and Darth Cheney can coast on out of office and leave the clean up for the next Oval Office occupant. Issues that he now cares about but worked against when he had a Republican Congress.

One of the issues that I look forward to him speaking on is Middle East peace. Bush and Middle East peace is definitely an oxymoron if ever I heard of one. This from a guy that has probably ingrained hatred of all American’s for generations to come from the people that actually live in any country in the Middle East. When he speaks of being in the region for one hundred years he isn’t kidding. Just as long as it is your children serving in our military and dying for his bravado. How can he speak of peace when he has our military troops stationed all over the area but concentrated in Iraq based on wag the dog theories? We could have hired one of those 1-900 psychic’s and had better intelligence to invade Iraq and force a policy of “Nation Building” on the Iraqi people.

When you get right down to it the state of the union is not sound and has not been for seven years. From the minute the planes crashed into the World Trade Center buildings our nation has been in chaos and in that new found chaos the ability to sell fear became an immediate commodity to Bush and company. What should terrify you most is that he actually believes his own lies and misdirection. While he and the Congress of both political parties diverted the people into a corner of fear and patriotism they left the business of America at home behind. With us or against us became a catch phrase of strength and yet it shadowed and covered our own ignorance of what has been going on unchecked here at home. That same mantra is used as a weapon by people of ordinary means to pit Republican against Democrat, Liberal against Conservative. Hundreds of billions of dollars have gone out of this nation to prop up an Iraq government that behind the scenes wants our troops off of their sovereign soil. Meanwhile our bridges are collapsing, our schools are falling behind, our healthcare system is broken, our homes are being lost in record numbers and our borders are wide open if you want to come in. Just don’t try getting out if you are an actual legal American citizen.

Then again Bush has the remaining Republican candidates for his job convinced that his mission is right and we should stay the course. McCain has bought into it so much that he too will keep our troops in Iraq for one hundred years if need be. McCain can use the argument that we still have troops in Germany, Japan and Korea decades after the conflicts and war and that is true but diplomacy made that possible. There was not one iota of “My way or the highway” in the diplomacy that made that possible.

Our State of the Union is not a pep rally by any means this year. It is going to be more of who Precedent Bush wishes he could have been. What he should have done. With this being his last speech to the entire Congress I expect compassion for the poor and the sick, for the children and education, support for our military is a given. Of course he will end his speech with God bless America but in reality he is only wishing that God actually bless the top two percent of income earners. He’s compassionate that way but Joe and Joanne Six-pack do not donate huge dollars to a Presidential Library do they?

One thing I am sure of at this time in the state of our union is that Precedent Bush has destroyed the Republican Party and any candidate dreaming of the White House. God works in wonderful ways like that. Reap what you sow and stuff like that. Thank you God and President Bush!

Papamoka

Feel free to link to or borrow this post…

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Pell Grants For Kids = Vouchers In Disquise

Monday, January 28th, 2008

This is the first I’ve heard of this, and so I’ve not had a chance to review the President’s proposal. However, it seems like he’s got another plan to divert public funds to parochial and private education. Watch as the separation of church and state shrinks again.

The fact is, parents who can afford to send their children to private schools don’t need the assistance. Moreover, there are a tremendous number of things broken with our public educational system. Can’t Bush find something in the system that needs a remedy and fix that instead of creating a new welfare system for the rich?

White House counselor Ed Gillespie, describing Bush’s plans for a new school initiative, said Monday afternoon that Bush “has some concerns about the declining number of faith-based and parochial schools in inner cities around the country and low-income neighborhoods.” Because of this, Gillespie said, Bush is ready to “urge Congress to enact a program he calls `Pell Grants for Kids.’ ”

The money would “provide alternatives for children now trapped in struggling public schools,” Gillespie told reporters.

Right. Ask any educator currently working as a teacher in a public school if No Child Left Behind has been good for America’s school children and you will discover how good Bush is at fixing what’s wrong with our public schools.

Incidentally, does any one else wonder why didn’t the Education Secretary make this announcement? Does the president always trot out lawyers because he has something to hide?

If you want to take a look at some more detail about my views on how to fix education, have a gander at this post, that post,,this other post, and how about searching my whole blog for the term education and see what comes up.

Just as an aside,do you think Bush would be in favor having a serious chunk of his “pell grants for kids” money going to some Islamic Private Education Organizations that start up? They would be faith-based, wouldn’t they?

State Of The Union Reality Check

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Given that the Presidential Propaganda Catapult will be on full tilt this evening (and if you need proof of this just have a look at Laura Bush’s Guest roster for her box this evening), I thought I would post a question for us to consider today. This will follow below.

Q How long are we looking at? How long?

MS. PERINO: It’s still running at about 40 minutes, without any interruptions.

Q Without interruption. So it’s probably being closer to like 50 minutes.

MS. PERINO: Forty-five, 46 — I don’t know, it depends on how long the applause is.

Applause? Really, can anyone stomach the President and tune in live? I don’t think I’ll be able to endure with out a vomit bag at the ready. Admit it, are you going to watch live or click on something else? The upside of tonight’s address: This is George Bush’s last one. We will not have to endure another; ever! And for that, I’ll grant you is a whole other reason to issue some applause.

Remember some of the famous slogans that W proclaimed as he prognosticated about the future in years past?

I’m a uniter, not a divider

True state of the Union seems divided to me.

OBL, Dead or Alive?

No result either way there.

The State of our Economy is Strong.

Any one else lose value on their stock portfolios? Have their home foreclosed on them? How about that rate cut by the Fed? Is that an indicator that our economy is headed in the right direction? How about that continuous hemorrhaging of funds to the freedom spreading experiment in Iraq? Is that good for America?

The list goes on.

It’s your turn. Let’s call this….drum roll please…

Windspike’s State Of The Union Reality Check

How do you characterize the State of Our Union? Explain.

When Greed Isn’t Good

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

I’m not sure whether to be worried or not, but I found myself agreeing with Mike Huckabee this week. For a man who thinks the planet was created last week, he’s remarkably astute about the stimulus package both parties are currently flogging.

The Huckster hit the nail on the head when he said that we’ll go hat-in-hand to China and borrow the money to fund the tax rebates. The folks who qualify for the rebates will then spend it on something frivolous, like food or clothing. They’ll run down to the local Walmart and buy Chinese-made underwear or toxin-laced tomatoes.

Simply Stimulating
The plan has other “stimulating” facets too. While the bipartisan boneheads are throwing a sop to the lower income segment, they’re also making sure corporations get a big chunk of the pie. These would be the same corporations that loaned money to people using oxygen for collateral, or that have moved all their production to China, or both.

The mortgage meltdown was obvious to anyone who ever balanced a checkbook long before the astronomically paid investment bankers and their equally greased clientele woke up to it. Somehow they missed the Economics 101 lecture about the inadvisability of loaning money to people who can’t pay it back. And while the saga unfolded, the C-student from Yale stood by not only insisting that things were just fine, but refusing to regulate a market completely unwilling to regulate itself. At least Alan Greenspan, had the good manners to call the equally unregulated Clinton markets “irrationally exuberant”.

(more…)

Energy Saving Cargo Ships

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

With the cost of diesel fuel running so high the cost of shipping products of any kind is effecting many of the things you and I buy every single day. Those big tankers and container ships do not get the kind of mileage your Chevrolet does and any cost savings to the company is a direct savings to the manufacturers which can then be passed on to the consumer. In the nutshell, if Sony can ship a product from Japan to the United States and the bill to do so is 10% or 35% lower then that savings can be passed on to you the consumer.

Originally, I found this on the Boston Globe but they didn’t do the piece any justice. Picture a tanker or container ship with a couple of huge parachutes pulling ahead of them. This is new technology but then again it isn’t. We used to call them clipper ships but the sails were attached to the ship itself and not on a tow line. This technology has tweaked that and improved it to save energy. Testing is still going on now as I type to see how much savings.

SkySails: Energy Saving Ideas For Sea Travel
by Amanda Gore in Ethical Consumerism, Transport & Travel, Environmental

Inspired by the most traditional of water-travel methods, SkySails aims to get cargo ships using wind power once again. With oil prices rising considerably, and industry increasingly interested in searching out cheaper alternatives, SkySails’ ‘wind propulsion system’ claims to be attracting a considerable amount of interest and it’s no great surprise why.

Essentially the system is two giant kites that act as sails that are connected through a towing rope rather than on a mast directly attached to the ship, plus a wind-optimised routeing system to get the best puff possible. According to the company, using the system average annual fuel costs can be lowered between 10-35% depending on the wind conditions, and up to 50% under optimal wind conditions. They estimate that at the current price of oil that could equate to a saving of 1/3 of a ship’s diesel costs. This has yet to be proved, though the company aims to do just that through it’s first commercial pilot, which launched on Tuesday. - PSFK

You can check out the video here… SkySails

When it comes to any energy savings device then I am all for it. From time to time I find these interesting little morsels of new technology and post them on Papamoka. Apparently, so are the Germans that created this new idea for the shipping industry. One thing is certain, OPEC is going to be in trouble if ideas like this one spread and somebody builds a better mouse trap.

I’m sure that there was thousands of ours engineering this idea and I heartily congratulate the people that are moving this forward. Any ideas that can make a dent in our worlds reliance on oil is a good thing. Sometimes it’s great being an infadel.

Check back here soon for the next tid bit of new thoughts on how to screw over big oil special interests. I have to tell you that this one blew me away and no pun intended.

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk


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