Archive for the ‘WaPo - Whitehouse’ Category

McCain Rove Connection

Monday, February 11th, 2008

With all the hype about McCain being the only qualified GOP candidate you don’t hear much about former Governor Huckabee who is still in the race. That is till he starts winning states over McCain.

Over at GOP central they possibly manipulated this election with the Romney drop out but they never considered the Huckabee chip in this election. In the game of political chess the GOP was praying that Huckabee would follow Romney’s lead and just drop out of the process thus ensuring a unified GOP political machine. This is how the big boys play chess and sometimes the moves you make are missed when the player your are protecting is way over on the other side of the chess board.

Over at the Washington Post they have this on the current political state of the GOP. Somebody is moving the pieces on the board over at the GOP and it isn’t just John McCain…

Karl Rove, President Bush’s former senior political adviser, did his best to shoot down Huckabee’s chances. Rove said on CBS that it is far-fetched to presume that McCain will say or do something to doom his candidacy.

Huckabee “said he could win, provided that there were mistakes made by his opponent, and that some of these bound or pledged delegates would change their mind. Well, even if they change their mind, they’re bound or pledged to vote for the candidate who won their primary,” Rove said. “I find it very unlikely, completely implausible, that Governor Huckabee could win 83 percent of the delegates.”

As Bush’s adviser, Rove ran a brutal campaign against McCain as Bush and the senator dueled for the GOP nomination in 2000. But this week, Rove donated money to the McCain campaign. - Washington Post

Karl Rove should have been put in jail with the CIA identity agent leak scandal but that is another story for another day. If he is the background of the GOP then that is the type of folks they want in the White House once more. Make no mistake about it Karl Rove has his hand in this election process and the tactics he will use against any opponent will be far worse than you have ever seen.

Not to detract from the political record of John McCain, I’m wondering if he sent Karl Roves check back? Common sense would dictate that you do not want anything to do with the Bush crew of more lies, more deception, more smoke and mirrors and more screwing over of America. That isn’t the Straight Talk Express of McCain but I’m betting the farm that the check cleared and McCain is dirty with it.

Is it just me or is it just politics where a man could stab you in the back eight years ago but then he believes in your message today? Push poll and call you a coward and having a child unrecognized by the father eight years ago but he’s your guy for President in 2008? It’s up to the Huckabee Campaign to pick up on this and run with it but then again he’s running on a shoe string budget.

Any connection to any campaign by Karl Rove is a death sentence simply because everyone running for President is running against what Bush and Karl Rove did to America. Common sense dictates that you don’t touch the same burner on the stove once you have burned your fingers. You just don’t do it ever again.

That all being said, Obama or Clinton have an EZ Pass to the White House. Save this post, this was the undoing of John McCain in this Presidential election. That makes this Democrat happy.

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Feel free to link to or borrow this post…

WGA Stike Ending Vote

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

I had no sooner clipped the coupon for the rope that I was going to hang myself with from the Sunday paper Home Depot flyer and I was saved by what is supposedly the end to the Writers Guild Strike. Much like most of America and I’m sure all you Canadian satellite dish TV borrowers (wink, wink), I have been at my wits end with reruns and reality television programs that seem to go nowhere other than proving that there are jerks in the world that will do anything for a dollar.

I’ve backed the Writers Guild of America from the start of the strike because of the simple fact that writers create the content that shows up on the screen. Everything you see on your television or buy online of any television series was written by someone and in that effort they deserve to be monetized wherever that product is sold. If somebody is getting paid to resell that content then the writers deserve payment too!

Over at the Washington Post they have this to say on the WGA strike resolution vote.

Guild Leaders Urging Writers to VoteBy LYNN ELBER
The Associated Press
Sunday, February 10, 2008; 6:34 PM

LOS ANGELES — The Writers Guild of America moved swiftly Sunday toward a resolution of its three-month-old strike, with guild leaders deciding to recommend the contract to members and ask them to vote on a quick end to the walkout. By calling for separate votes on ending the strike and accepting the contract, the union cleared the way for the entertainment industry to return to work almost immediately.
Membership meetings will be held Tuesday in New York and Los Angeles to allow writers to decide whether the strike should be brought to a speedy end, said Patric Verrone, president of the guild’s West Coast branch.

“This the best deal this guild has bargained for in 30 years,” Verrone said.

The tentative contract secures writers a share of the burgeoning digital-media market, he said, including compensation for Internet-delivered TV shows and movies.

“If they (producers) get paid, we get paid. This contract makes that a reality,” Verrone said. But, he added, “it is not all we hoped for and it is not all we deserved.” - Washington Post

Neither party really wins in these sort of situations but they are necessary for the progression of fair business and fair labor practices for future generations of writers and producers. All of the lost wages by the writers and producers working for the entertainment industry will never be recouped but the principal of the strike was sound. Congratulations go out to both sides for coming to a possible resolution to some of the issues they have.

In the end the real winner in this discussion is the customer that views or reads the products created from the minds of not just individual writers but groups of them that make that favorite television show possible. You the viewer will benefit from the fact that the people writing those dramas, comedy and family based shows will have fresh writers ready to burn up the keyboards and make your television come to life once more. Now that the throw up reality crap is not the only thing to watch, real mind blowing twists and turns and plots of deviation with an evil undertone where the sexual innuendo is a mile a minute will broadcast into our homes once more. And that is just the cooking shows….

Papamoka

Feel free to link to or borrow this post…

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Is John Durham the man for the job?

Friday, January 4th, 2008

His appointment is central to the question of whether or not there can be a decent Justice Dept investigation into the destruction of the Torture Tapes. The fact that Bush tried to talk Mukasey out of the investigation shows there won’t be any cooperation by the White House into the investigaton of the destruction of the tapes. Several pundits, both legal and otherwise, weigh in on this subject below.

Dahlia Lithwick for Slate gives us her pov:

And Durham appears to be more than merely apolitical. He appears to be zealous in his ability to smoke out wrongdoing, even when it’s the alleged good guys who have been doing the wrong. Durham’s career-making prosecution was, after all, an appointment by Janet Reno to go after criminal conduct by the FBI and other government agents who had apparently been in bed with mobsters in Boston for decades. In this fascinating 2001 profile in the Hartford Courant, Durham is described as nonpartisan, incorruptible, and totally devoted to the integrity of the justice system. He was able to go after corrupt federal agents precisely because his belief in the system transcended his devotion to the government.

To be sure, Durham faces challenges in his CIA investigations that will make the Boston prosecution look like a day at the ballpark. Both the CIA and the White House will throw as much sand in his eyes as they possibly can, and if Harriet Miers can be prevented from testifying about fired U.S. attorneys, you can bet the White House won’t make it easy for Durham to investigate allegations of lies and obstruction. The fact that Durham ultimately answers to Mukasey is hardly comforting, either.

*snip*

But maybe it’s enough just to note a slight trend: When it comes to saying no to the president, Mukasey is exponentially braver than Gonzales was, and when it comes to exposing government misconduct, Durham may well prove braver than Mukasey. At a press conference about the Boston prosecution, Durham was asked by a reporter whether the Department of Justice truly had “the stomach to pursue this investigation to its conclusion,” even if that meant further eroding the FBI’s credibility. Durham’s response at the time: “The government absolutely has the stomach.” Here’s hoping his stomach can stay that strong.

Glen Greenwald @ Salon has a long-winded post about the whole internal investigation impartiality angle. His take on Durham is that he is an upstanding guy. WaPo points out his shortcomings:

But Durham has had little experience with national security issues and with cases involving executive authority that appear to be less than black-and-white. His probe may require calling lawyers and aides to Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the CIA before a grand jury to testify about their knowledge of the tapes’ destruction.

At TPM, David Kurtz has his say: All indications are that Durham, a registered Republican, is a competent, independent, tough-minded prosecutor, precisely the type of lawyer you would want leading such a high-profile, complex, politically charged investigation.

All I can figure out is this, and many pundits agree…the DOJ wants control over this investigation, unlike PlameGate and their appointment of Fitzy as a Special Prosecutor. Control is a hallmark of the Bush administration..and that bothers me greatly. Mukasey hasn’t endeared himself to me one iota and that doesn’t bode well for this investigation imho. Can you say Whitewash? I can, but I hope I am wrong. Durham can be a standup guy in his own right..but if his boss Mukasey and/or BushCo don’t want him to find the truth..he won’t.

Tags: Mukasey, Justice Department, John Durham, Torture Tapes

United States of Jesus Christ

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

In this little experiment that we call America there is the freedom of religion as one of the many foundation blocks of our entire society. Added to that foundation is our freedom of speech. Toss in the Bill of Rights and you have a firm base to build your nation on. Then you add in all the decisions by the Supreme Court that becomes the support beams to hold up the roof.

When it comes to the Presidency in the Unites States it is not a bad thing for the President to have a strong sense of faith and belief that there is a higher power but you can not govern by it. Square peg, round hole. With such a diverse population we are not a society of one size fits all and when it comes to religion that little theory can or should implode a candidacy for President. We may be a nation under God but we are also one nation with many variations under God. Over at the Washington Post they have this interesting piece of Reverend Huckabee’s version of faith and the Presidency.

Huckabee Stands by ‘Christ’ CommentBy LIZ SIDOTI
The Associated Press
Sunday, December 30, 2007; 5:19 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa — Mike Huckabee, a Republican relying on support from religious conservatives in Thursday’s hard-fought presidential caucuses, on Sunday stood by a decade-old comment in which he said, “I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ.”

In a television interview, the ordained Southern Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor made no apologies for the 1998 comment made at a Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Salt Lake City.

“It was a speech made to a Christian gathering, and, and certainly that would be appropriate to be said to a gathering of Southern Baptists,” Huckabee said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He gave the speech the same year he endorsed the Baptist convention’s statement of beliefs on marriage that “a wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.” Huckabee and his wife, Janet, signed a full-page ad in USA Today in support of the statement with 129 other evangelical leaders.

Snip - Cut - Co-Pay

In the NBC interview, Huckabee, a longtime opponent of legalized abortion, said he does not believe that women should be punished for undergoing the procedure, but that doctors might need to face sanctions.

“I don’t know that you’d put him in prison, but there’s something to me untoward about a person who has committed himself to healing people and to making people alive who would take money to take an innocent life and to make that life dead,” Huckabee said.

He also argued that his emphasis on his Christian beliefs does not mean he’s alienating atheists. He said, if elected, he would have no problem appointing atheists to government posts. - Washington Post

Where do I start when it comes to Governor Reverend Huckabee? I’m just guessing that Mike Huckabee believes that God made women with smaller feet than men so they could get that much closer to the kitchen sink to do the dishes. For that matter all of you woman that were beaten or abused by an abusive testosterone bag of bones should have pulled a Tammy Wynette and stand by your man. Bruises heal, bones mend and you probably did something wrong anyway. In his mind or in his teaching woman are and will always be second class citizens and that is just simply wrong. Then there is the added point that if Hillary is elected then Bill is really the President. That hurts my head to even think how that would work.

Roe vs. Wade, under Huckabee, nope. Kiss it good bye under the cause of the Christian Right. All you pro choice people that think your body is your own will need to line up for womb inspections under Das Fuhrer Huckabee. You better start praying that your babies didn’t have sharp finger or toe nails. Any scratches on the sacred chalice and life building organ will be cause for lethal injection. He isn’t totally against the death penalty but I could be wrong.

Then he pulls a Paul Pot from Cambodia and locks up all of the OBGYN doctors that might have performed an abortion. Then they can focus on all of the Lawyers that fought for and defended Roe vs. Wade and lock their asses up too. He will pay for it first by the added tax on one bedroom trailer home sales for back alley locations that will skyrocket as Planned Parenthood and other such medical offices are shut down. Then he might just add a wire coat hanger tax but that is a little to graphic to explain.

Mike Huckabee is standing by his statements on bringing America back to Christ but he can’t see the difference between Americans and America. No two American’s are alike and where one person finds abortion totally disgusting and wants the law changed, that same person believes that the death penalty is appropriate for crimes against our citizens. Pick one but you can not have it both ways if you swear to God above to be righteous.

As for all you Atheists or other icky religious persona non grata, the Post Office will be plastered with Huckabee appointees. Don’t even think about SCOTUS. Those positions will be reserved for zealous religious proponents of bringing America back to Christ.

By the way, screw all you Jew’s too from the Huckabee campaign. Merry Christmas, Happy Easter and all of the other religious holy days we as Christians will stuff down your throat under a Huckabee administration.

Thomas Jefferson is rolling in his grave at about fifteen thousand RPM’s right now. Look up for yourself on Google why he wrote the separation of church and state. Then look up whom he wrote it for and against.

Voting for Mike Huckabee is voting against all that America was founded on. Your right to believe in the choice of faith you want or to ignore faith entirely. Huckabee is hoping that many people will take their faith to the poll and elect him as America’s beacon of light back to Christ but I personally do not believe Jesus ever wanted a political office that proposed hate or judgment on anyone he loved. All you non believers included.

Our nation and the foundation it was built on will stand strong when we have a President that believes that his or her faith can not come first when governing. We are a house built with many products called faith and the roof needs to be replaced. Mike Huckabee is not Jesus Christ, I know Jesus Christ Sir. And you Sir are no Jesus Christ.

I’ll probably go to hell for that last one but I could not resist.

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Bush “InteliGate” World Tour Debut

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Over at the White House they are starting the process of cleansing themselves and the full administration of any evidence that they condoned any crimes. The latest news is that video tapes of severe torture cases were destroyed to protect the identities of the CIA in-terror-gators.

Today President Bush stated that he had no recollection of the tapes and their destruction. That is when you take a whiff to the air and ask yourself if you are near a cow farm full of bulls because something just does not smell right.

Over at the Washington Post they have this story on it…

Bush Does Not Recall Learning of Destroyed CIA Tapes
Senate’s Second-Ranking Democrat Calls for Justice Dept. Probe
By William Branigin, Dan Eggen and Joby Warrick 

Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, December 7, 2007; 3:14 PM

President Bush does not recall being informed before yesterday morning about the existence or subsequent destruction of video recordings showing harsh CIA interrogations of terrorism suspects, the White House said today. The recordings, which CIA Director Michael V. Hayden disclosed yesterday had been made in 2002 but destroyed three years later, set off a furor on Capitol Hill today, with the Senate’s second-ranking Democrat demanding a Justice Department investigation.

The tapes were made to document any confessions the two men might make and to serve as an internal check on how the interrogations were conducted, senior intelligence officials said.

All the tapes were destroyed in November 2005 on the order of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then the CIA’s director of clandestine operations, officials said. The destruction came after the Justice Department had told a federal judge in the case of Moussaoui that the CIA did not possess videotapes of a specific set of interrogations sought by his attorneys. A CIA spokesman said yesterday that the request would not have covered the destroyed tapes.

The tapes also were not provided to the Sept. 11 commission, which demanded a wide array of material and relied heavily on classified interrogation transcripts in piecing together its narrative of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. - Washington Post

For some odd reason all I can think of is the Valerie Plame outing where good old George claimed no knowledge of the leak from inside the White House. He did however state that the person or persons responsible would no longer be working in his administration. I’m wondering if he and Dick ever laughed so hard in their lives? Now I’m wondering if they both went on vacation after he made that statement? Maybe he was telling the truth after all!

President Nixon only had the guts to delete a few minutes of his secretive tapes, George is bulk erasing everything he can get his hands on over at the CIA in Langley. This could be a huge job so our nation must sacrifice for the sake of the Presidency. The amount of electricity needed to delete all the crimes they have committed will take sixty eight waste to energy plants, 32,328 wind turbines, Niagra Falls power generated for six months, 1.2 million roof top solar panels and four D batteries (for Dick Cheney’s flashlight). Frankly, you have to admire his green energy initiative to get this critical job done.

This at least explains the amount of times the lights dim in your home or place of business. I’d of preferred that Nancy Pelosi would have started the impeachment process rather than having my lighting resemble a strobe light.

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk…

Bite Me Big Oil!

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

For the first time in 32 years the Congress is actually doing something about the real energy crisis here at home in America. I’m not talking about supply and demand. I’m talking about the reality that our nation is ruled by OIL. All hail his Majesty the King paid for by a generous donation by Exxon Mobil, Texaco, Chevron and Shell etc, etc.

America has a demand problem and as the largest market user of all oil based products in the world there is a market to manipulate when the ones producing the product are netting mega billions a quarter. I’m funny that way, billions of dollars in profit’s a quarter, hmm do you think they are using that profit for the greater good? I don’t think so either. Trillions are to be made on the open market and when you have billions of dollars piling up quarter after quarter it posses a ledger problem that becomes an accountants nightmare. If it isn’t spent on “Research and Development” or other purposes investing in the corporation then those profits are taxable. Then again, maybe not given all the subsidies to the oil companies under W.

In a recent post here titled Saudi Arabia… Screw you Wall Street I talked about this very issue. Saudi Arabia has the ability to supply the market and the facts were revealed in the linked story that they can produce a barrel of oil for just $2! Supply is not the problem! Saudi Arabia is pissed that Wall Street is pointing the finger at them. Then again it’s a far stretch from $2 to the current market price of oil isn’t it? Who want’s to be the bad guy in this latest news buster, the guy in the white robes or the guy in the nice dark blue or black business suit? Frankly, it’s a toss up there but two guys in whatever form of dress mugging you is still a mugging.

American vengeance is a funny thing and when you as a President threaten our pockets with a veto on legislation that will only hurt the billions of profits of your base big oil supporters then we have a problem with King George once again. Two hundred and some odd years forward of the original American Revolution.

House Brushes Aside Veto Threat, Passes Energy Bill
By Jonathan Weisman and Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, December 6, 2007; 5:24 PM

The House today brushed aside a fresh White House veto threat and handily approved a sweeping energy bill that would raise automobile fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years while mandating the generation of electricity from more renewable energy sources.

The 235-181 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where Republicans hope to strip it of tax hikes on the oil industry and renewable electricity mandates before a final version goes to President Bush. The White House objected strongly to the bill on multiple fronts, saying Bush’s advisers have recommended a veto.

But with energy prices soaring, lawmakers from both parties expressed strong support for dramatic action, especially on auto efficiency standards that have not changed since the 1970s. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) called the package”nothing less than our nation’s declaration of independence from foreign sources of energy.”

Snippet and flick it…

The bill also includes appliance and light bulb standards that would effectively phase out the incandescent light bulbs invented by Thomas Edison by the middle of next decade.

To finance tax incentives for hybrid cars, ethanol production and renewable energy development, the bill includes $21 billion in revenue increases , including a rollback of $13.5 billion in tax breaks for the five largest oil companies. - Washington Post

King George and his cronies are looking at the death of big oil just decades down the road and they are having to change their shorts. Even though King George Bush has said over and over again that we need to raise the CAFÉ standards he must have done so with his fingers crossed behind his back. It is official with this up and coming veto that this President was never an American President. He has been nothing but a puppet of his friends and screwed his own people for the sake of a dollar. Not his personal dollars but he got to have a neat office that his Daddy had once, nice car, and all the benefits of being the Deciderer in Chief. Vacation benefits are huge too. Take the first seven years off and work the last one. He only has to work the last year because he by accident found the United States on a freaking map finally! He circled it with a Crayola burnt umber if you were wondering.

I laugh at people that say that the price of oil is market driven. While two people at the gas pumps each spit on the pumps, one a Democrat, the other a Republican, one of them is right and the other is just pissed at the market. Both are making the same wage and both are spending more than they can afford just to put gas in the car to get to work. One voted for a Democrat that wanted change eight years ago and the other voted for a self proclaimed American King in disguise. Both have a son in uniform in Iraq. Both are on the edge of losing their homes. It does not matter what either one thinks anymore because we have all been sold out by the King.

Market forces in any field without control will rape all of the people without political recognition no matter what party you vote for in the middle and lower classes. There was a reason why the Democrats held control of both houses for so long. They never sold the middle and lower classes out as well as President Bush has done in two terms. They never trashed the Constitution and used it to wrap the days catch down at the lake because it was yesterdays news.

If maybe really but not for real elected twice President Bush, veto’s this energy bill and his veto is not overturned, then we will all know whom is voting for your future families energy needs. Look to the political Right side of the aisle to find the millionaires club that could care less about you as an individual person coming up with excuses why we still do not need a realistic energy policy. Then check out the largest contributors to their past campaigns and as always follow the damn money.

It all points back to the fact that the Republican servants in our American Congress will protect the money flow from big oil. It’s a huge amount of cash to swallow your pride. George Bush has proven the fact that his time in the White House is a precursor to a President in the steps of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. With so many lost under the footsteps of the Bush millionaires now running our nation it is inevitable that this will scenario must change come the next Presidency. It has too! That is why we all must vote.

Just keep repeating $2 to produce a barrel of oil! Voting Republican next election?

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Bush Burns the Constitution

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

If you think that you are safer today than you were eight years ago then you are a fool. Only a fool would believe that our government is looking out for our best interests and personal security. When you here someone tell you that if you have nothing to hide when losing any right guaranteed to you under the Constitution is nothing to worry about. That is someone to be very afraid of. That person is the same kind of person they had in Germany in the 30’s and 40’s that thought the greater good meant some sacrificed lives were for the best. The greater good outweighed the individuals right to exist. Given that fact some six plus million people had nothing to worry about but disappeared off the face of the Earth.

This nation was not built on the principals of a police state to protect its people. It was built on fundamental freedoms. It was founded on an individuals rights. That is something that President Bush and his boys that know what is best for all of us have gambled on to make you forget what true freedom is. For the sake of safety your rights are being stripped away and when it happens from within the government then there is a problem. HUGE PROBLEM! Telling you what to be afraid of and why you need to forsake your individual rights is easy, fighting for your rights is what our cemeteries across this nation is filled with. They died defending the nation they loved and for those of us left to live the American dream it is a shame on our society as a whole to let this continue.

Over at the Washington Post they have the latest intrusion of rights based on drop a dime theories from Mine Fuhrer Bush…

Cellphone Tracking Powers on Request
Secret Warrants Granted Without Probable Cause
By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 23, 2007; Page A01

Federal officials are routinely asking courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data so they can pinpoint the whereabouts of drug traffickers, fugitives and other criminal suspects, according to judges and industry lawyers.

In some cases, judges have granted the requests without requiring the government to demonstrate that there is probable cause to believe that a crime is taking place or that the inquiry will yield evidence of a crime. Privacy advocates fear such a practice may expose average Americans to a new level of government scrutiny of their daily lives.

Such requests run counter to the Justice Department’s internal recommendation that federal prosecutors seek warrants based on probable cause to obtain precise location data in private areas. The requests and orders are sealed at the government’s request, so it is difficult to know how often the orders are issued or denied. - Washington Post

I’m of the belief that the F.B.I. has worked for generations under the laws of the land and they had no problem snaring mob gangsters and secretive crime families without breaking the law. How is changing or corrupting our laws going to keep us safer from supposed terrorists? Unless of course our F.B.I. is totally incompetent and if that is the case then it should be shut down. That is common sense for law abiding elected leaders of our nation or is it not?

If this scenario as written by the WA PO is true then you need to get yourself an egg timer so you can judge how long it will take this to trickle down to the local level. Too late, it’s happening in Boston with the introduction of a plan to ask people to allow police to search your homes without a warrant because your son or daughter may have a gun or weapon. That would be search and seizure. Granted, crime in Boston by gangs is at an all time high but this opens up Pandora’s Box when it comes to your individual rights. Who is to say the neighbor you pissed off does not drop the dime on you? You stole his parking space on the street, just for giggles he or she calls the police and makes up a sham.

Boston police launch program to search homes for guns
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON — The Boston police will ask parents in high-crime areas to allow detectives to search their children’s bedrooms for guns without a warrant as part of a new anti-crime program.

During the next two weeks, Boston police officers assigned to schools will go in plainclothes in groups of three to houses where they believe teens have guns, and ask their parents or legal guardians for permission to search. - Herald Tribune

Getting back to the reason for this post. My good friend over at the Gun Toting Liberal touched a nerve with his latest post and I understand his outrage over the Washington Post article.

There were once THREE “Separate But Equal” branches of government — the Judicial Branch, the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch, where there were two houses of Congress — the House of Representatives and the Senate. One house would propose legislation to the other and the result would be either a new LAW or a STALEMATE. It wasn’t perfect, but it was the proposed Democratic Republic of our Founding Fathers and it actually WORKED for awhile.

But then — somewhere along the way — the Legislative Branch gave some of it’s “Separate But Equal” powers to the Executive Branch. They allowed a president “KING” by the name of “Forty-Three” to negate their hard-fought bills, after being ping-ponged back and forth for days, weeks and months, by signing them into laws with HUGE ASTERIXES known as “signing statements” - Gun Toting Liberal

Both GTL and I do not trust the latest stunt by our government to protect us because we both know that the precedents to expand the powers is far greater an intrusion on individual rights. That is what this is all about. Freedom of our people should not be based on the whole. Each individual has the right to define freedom as it should be. Many a soldier, sailor and veteran fought and died for that belief.

One of the things I find ridiculous in a political argument is the fact that the Democrat’s were in charge of two houses of our government for forty or so years and no rights were lost to our citizens to protect us. Wars were fought, civil rights were created and our society grew because our minds were free to explore new possibilities. Pro or con against our government. Twelve years of Republican rule and we are tossing our rights out the window like the bath water for the baby. Baby included! There is a reason why FDR, Truman, Ike, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Senior, and Clinton did not bust the Constitution, they swore an oath to uphold it. That is not the case with George W. Bush.

Fight for your rights. Vote for your rights and vote the people that are corrupting your Constitutional rights out of office! Then tell the rest of the clan in corporate America to get the hell out of Dodge or Washington D.C. as the rest of us know it. Take back America!

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Saudi Arabia… Screw You Wall Street

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

There is not one person that knows the oil business better than the folks in Saudi Arabia when it comes to supply and demand on the world oil market. Even Saudi Arabia is wondering how the world of oil market speculation has the price of a barrel of oil tempting at the hundred dollar mark. With that thought in mind the nation of Saudi Arabia is exploring for new oil fields with all of the new technology available to ramp up production thus saying to oil market speculators in the market, Screw YOU!

Wall Street can play the game and pocket the cash but I’m thinking that the producers of oil in the world are looking at the bigger picture and alternative energy sources are more than attractive with oil at one hundred dollars a barrel. That is and will be a direct effect to the bottom line of all oil producing exporting countries, aka OPEC. Oil has only been the main source of heating and vehicle power because it was cheap and affordable to the masses. That is no longer the case.

Then again, I have to give the nation of Saudi Arabia credit for bumping up the supply to offset the non stop rumor mills on Wall Street that speculate that the oil supply to the world is limited thus driving the price up into Never Never land. Peter Pan and Tinker Bell have nothing to worry about as long as Wall Street believes in Fairies and an oil market with a supply problem. Over at the Washington Post they have this amazing post on this very subject…

Saudi Arabia Works the Vast Desert To Pump Out More High-Quality OilBy Steven MufsonWashington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 17, 2007; Page D01
SHAYBAH, Saudi Arabia — For a decade, Hussain al-Obaid has been working in the soft red dunes that stretch across the vast desert known as Rub al-Khali, or the Empty Quarter. In summer, temperatures climb as high as 130 degrees and sandstorm winds gust up to 80 mph, though on a mild fall evening the stars shine and the air is mild.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa, Obaid is the engineering superintendent of a project that pumps half a million barrels of crude oil a day from beneath the sand and delivers it through a 400-mile pipeline. The oil is some of the world’s purest, highest-quality crude, easily refined into gasoline.

To complete the project, construction crews built a road across the desert and moved 100 million cubic feet of sand to make way for an airplane runway.

Next year, Saudi Aramco, the state oil company, plans to boost production by 250,000 barrels a day, one step in an effort to expand the kingdom’s oil-production capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day from the 11.3 million barrels. The new production is part of a strategy that could ease market tension and is designed to preserve Saudi Arabia’s ability to produce 1.5 million to 2 million barrels a day more than its actual output in the face of rising world oil demand, said a senior Saudi Oil Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“Tell me of any other country that’s made commitments this broad on its own,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the deputy minister of petroleum and natural resources, said during preparations for this weekend’s summit of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. “We are the only country with a policy of maintaining excess capacity.”

Snip-sa-doozey

… it costs Saudi Arabia about $2 to produce a barrel of oil. Developing new fields is also cheap, he said, running about a quarter or less of exploration and development costs elsewhere. - Washington Post

Unless the Washington Post is making things up… Did that say $2 cost to produce a barrel of oil? Where else in the world can you get a cost to market price mark up like that? This sort of thing only happens when the market is let loose to run wild and around the corner is the market crash. That is where the end of the line is because the bottom of this feeding frenzy is the consumer all around the world and when they can no longer afford the product they will not buy it.

Thus is the major investment in renewable energy like wind power, solar power and of course Ethanol or bio fuels. That is why Saudi Arabia is ramping up production. It is in fact to the better interest of the Kingdom for the price of their product to be affordable. Where President Bush sees a free market the Saudi’s see a market out of control that will eventually threaten the bottom line of their nation.

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out the oil market is raping the market. What it takes to offset the overblown cost of oil is chemists and creative minds to invent alternatives to oil that will make that profit driven market as much as yesterdays news as whale oil is for lighting your home at night. That process has already begun.

Papamoka

Originally posted on Papamoka Straight Talk

Top 10 Reasons George Bush Appointed Susan Orr

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

I’ve come to realize that one must avoid the inclination to be shocked or surprised by the actions of the Bush administration. Today’s reported appointment of Susan Orr to head the Department of Health and Human Services family planning program is just another in a long string of head scratchers.

Susan Orr, most recently an associate commissioner in the Administration for Children and Families, was appointed Monday to be acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs. She will oversee $283 million in annual grants to provide low-income families and others with contraceptive services, counseling and preventive screenings.

In a 2001 article in The Washington Post, Orr applauded a Bush proposal to stop requiring all health insurance plans for federal employees to cover a broad range of birth control. “We’re quite pleased, because fertility is not a disease,” said Orr, then an official with the Family Research Council.

“We have another appointment that just truly politicizes family planning,” said Mary Jane Gallagher, president of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. “The last time I looked, both Republicans and Democrats used contraception in America.”

Orr is a former employee of the Family Research Council, a right wing group founded by James Dobson of Focus on the Family and currently headed by Tony Perkins. The group has used the research of discredited psychologist Paul Cameron to promote their anti-gay agenda as well as to promote other extreme positions of the far right. Need I say more?

I think not. Instead, I decided to have some fun with the appointment so I created the following top ten reasons George W. Bush appointed a birth-control opponent to head the family planning program at the Department of Health and Human Services:

Number Ten:

He’s simply trying to be consistent with his disdain for the “politics of obstruction”.

Number Nine:

Ever since hearing the band “Rhythm Method” perform, his views on family planning were changed forever.

Number Eight:

The President doesn’t like to make the same mistake twice…therefore he accepts that Iraq didn’t have…STD’s (or was that WMD’s?) so he’s sure as hell not going to support the meme that people who use condoms won’t acquire them either.

Number Seven:

Ever since the Iran-Contra Affair, the President has been opposed to the government having any involvement with “contra-ception”.

Number Six:

His father hated broccoli…he hates “condom-ments”.

Number Five:

The President opposes a draft because he believes its a free country…but not when it comes to having children. We’re going to need every soldier we can get to man his planned fifty year presence in Iraq.

Number Four:

He thinks getting your tubes tied has to do with restricting access to the “internets”.

Number Three:

The President previously stated, “Too many OBGYN’s aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” To make that happen, he has a vision in mind and Susan Orr is the best person to bring his plan to fruition.

Number Two:

The President is willing to expand poor children’s access to health care through S-CHIP…but not unless he has some guarantee that the country is going to have a lot more of them.

Number One:

In order to insure unencumbered access to the “eggs”, the President believes the fox should guard the hen house.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Economists: Riding The Waves Without A Board?

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Today’s gloomy jobs report…and the associated downward revision of the prior months figures…reminded me of my time as an economics major many years ago. I’ve always found economics fascinating. While in college, it was my major for three years before I elected to reconsider…eventually majoring in psychology.

I decided to drop economics for one particular reason…one that may no longer be as ingrained in the field as it was back in the day. I can trace my decision to one particular class. That particular day the class focused upon what was at the time a little discussed topic…the role which politics and psychology played in economics and whether such considerations ever influenced economic decisions.

The professor made the case that economics was primarily a function of formulas, statistics, and mathematical equations…while other considerations lacked the means to be measured leaving them deserving of no role whatsoever. In retrospect, he was a purist…a likely result of being an educator rather than a practitioner. I disagreed with his assessment and proceeded to argue that politics and psychology in fact played an integral role and that it was impossible and imprudent to ignore them. I offered some examples to support my contention, but in his zeal for basic mechanics, he dismissed my observations.

Following that exchange in class, I met with my advisor to ask if the department offered any classes which emphasized that particular area of economic thought. Much to my disappointment, I was told that the program had no such emphasis. When I asked if he knew of a university with such a program, the only one he knew to be offering such a focus was in London. Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared to make such a move.

Over the years, I’ve continued to follow economics…and while my particular area of interest has expanded…the field is still populated with rigidity. I’ve concluded that this results from an ingrained need…one which mimics the protection of intellectual property. Many economists like to think that the average individual is woefully unable to understand the mathematical mechanisms which drive the discipline.

To be fair, economics is complex and many wouldn’t understand the elaborate equations. However, many within the field have a virtual blind spot when attempting to provide predictive analysis…which results from their strict adherence to formula and their stupefying insistence upon discounting the impact of politics and human psychology. Fortunately, some progress has been made but it has been far slower than one should expect.

Returning to our current economy, this new jobs report…coupled with the numerous other vulnerabilities and factors…provides a perfect example of the shortcomings which result from a refusal to move beyond the chalkboard. Let’s look at the specifics.

From The Washington Post:

Job creation in the United States came to a standstill in August, according to a Labor Department report today, as the worsening housing market led employers to sharply slow hiring.

The nation lost 4,000 jobs in August, the first time employment has shrunk since August 2003. Economists had expected a gain of about 125,000 jobs. The report also revised previous month’s job growth downward and indicated that the unemployment rate held steady at 4.6 percent.

The report indicates that employers became more cautious about hiring before any impact of the breakdown of many credit markets in August could be felt. The survey was taken in the second week of August, when problems in the financial markets were just starting to emerge.

It suggests that the risks of a serious economic downturn due to problems in the housing markets are higher than had been thought, said economists. “People have been saying for some time, the consumer will be affected by housing, but as long as job growth continues, the consumer will be OK,” said Nigel Gault, a U.S. economist with consulting firm Global Insight. “Well, now here we are at minus 4,000 jobs.”

“It’s not the kind of number I’d like to see,” Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Bloomberg Television. “Data does not always move in a straight line, so occasionally you will find some surprises. The economy will continue to grow in the second half of the year.”

Others called on the Fed to act.

“Too little has been done to quiet the market’s justifiable fears that things are headed downhill,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Joint Economic Committee.

From Forbes:

The economy lost 4,000 jobs in August, an unexpected loss compared with the 118,000 increase economists polled by Thomson’s IFR Markets had expected. The August decline is the first drop in non-farm payrolls since August 2003.

I provided the Forbes citation to point out the concerns I have with the field of economics. In comparing the actual loss of 4,000 jobs with the 118,000 new jobs predicted by those economists who were surveyed, one begins to see my contention. Economic projections are accurate so long as the political and psychological environment remains stable. Once people (politicians, business owners, consumers) become alarmed, the formulas begin to fail. As such, I’ve long felt that credible economic analysis is lacking at the time when it is most needed…times when the economy is facing dramatic change or turbulent conditions.

An example is warranted. Many within the banking industry have economic backgrounds. Unfortunately, banks are notorious for being much too slow to react to shifting conditions; relying upon historical data and trends while missing key warning signals. The sub-prime lending mess and the overall lack of restraint in mortgage lending are perfect examples of this virtual complacency in the midst of pending doom. I view it as a seesaw effect…meaning banks generally tighten their lending practices long after they are in crisis and then fail to ease them when they are most warranted. In essence, they push when they should pull and visa versa.

For months, those economists willing to consider the full spectrum of factors have been suggesting that the sub-prime/mortgage lending crisis had the potential to push the economy into recession. At the same time, bankers and economists who are prone to predictive paralysis become mesmerized by stable profits and persistent trends…ignoring the storm hovering on the horizon.

By the time they look up, the storm is upon them and they lack the means to react and respond. Suddenly, the cumulative effect of mistakes at the margin are multiplied into a full scale crisis…hence the domino effect we’re now witnessing…and the astonishing miscalculations evidenced in today’s job report.

Note the language in the Washington Post which states, “The report indicates that employers became more cautious […]” and “”People have been saying for some time, the consumer will be affected by housing […]” and “Too little has been done to quiet the market’s justifiable fears […]”…all factors which will not fit into tidy economic formulas but undoubtedly have a dramatic impact.

Until such time as those in the field of economics…the number crunchers if you will…can see fit to cultivate a curiosity for abstraction and human nature, they will continue to chase the curves that so consistently evade their awareness. The last thing we need is someone to tell us we’re in a recession…well after we’ve arrived.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater


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