Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Change We Need: Financial Regulations


Change the banking and finance laws so that credit card companies can no longer charge usurious interest rates and change the terms of agreements capriciously.

Require credit reporting agencies to independently verify the information that they provide for accuracy and to be liable for any incorrect information that they do not remove from a credit report.

Require credit reporting agencies to change their credit scoring algorhithm so as not to unfairly penalize people who do not own credit cards but are responsible about paying their other installment agreements (such as car loans, mortgages and student loans).

Pressure state legislatures to overturn the rule that allows insurance companies to use credit scores to unfairly charge higher premiums to their customers.

Make it illegal for anyone to check my credit information without my written consent unless I maintain a current balance with their company and force the credit reporting agencies to allow me to access my credit report whenever I want.

Barring these changes, outlaw credit reporting agencies entirely as they have unprecedented and unconstitutional powers over the day-to-day lives of the average American citizen and the citizen has absolutely no power over them.

Why should there exist companies who can collect private financial and personal information about me and then proceed to allow people that I don't even know to view that information but regulate whether or how much or how often I can view the same information?

If the information that they provide causes me to have to pay more for rent, prevents me from obtaining employment, causes me to have to pay more for my insurance, causes me to have to pay higher interest rates on my mortgage, car loans or other credit account, they should be financially liable for any wrong information that they provide.

If they are going to collect this information and it is going to affect me so greatly, they should have to be responsible for the accuracy of this information.

It is an OUTRAGE that these credit reporting agencies are allowed to screw the American citizen every day and get away with it. The credit scores they generate are being used as a tool to justify overcharging, unfairly limiting access, and discriminating against the working class American. Ironically, this credit scoring system was developed to make the granting of credit more fair in times when discrimination in lending was rampant. Now it is used as a tool of oppression to discriminate against the very people it was designed to help.


That's one area where you can change some things; go to it.

That is what I told them and I stand by it, but, y'all, don't hold your breath.

Click on the link to find out how the credit reporting agencies are now working within the medical community to exert further control over the American public. Let's get up in arms and put a stop to this NOW, folks.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bob Herbert Says It All

People, it's time to change our way of thinking. It's time to stop blaming the American Worker for the ills caused by conservative policies and greedy executives.

For me, it started during the Reagan administration. That is when I started paying attention, so it could have started before then, but that is when I first noticed it--The demonization of the American Worker. Lazy, greedy, making inferior products, unconcerned with quality, more concerned with getting their paid time off. It was when the conservative movement got real about breaking unions in this country and the first salvo in the campaign came when Reagan screwed the Air Traffic Controllers out of their jobs. Screw those air traffic controllers; we can get more, is what he said, in essence.

The message sent was: workers in any industry, at any position, at any level EXCEPT the executive level, are expendable. Workers are a dime dozen; one is just as good as the next. They are all greedy, lazy, untrustworthy slobs.

If you have worked in this country for any amount of time, you may have noticed this philosophy gaining ground in your workplace. Everyone is expendable now. There is no job security, no loyalty (on either side) and hard work is no longer rewarded or valued. A don't-rock-the-boat mentality rules the workplace and people who work too hard are frowned upon by management as too "ambitious." I remember a time when ambition was a positive worker trait.

It seems to me that there was a period of time in which the American worker was valued for the effort he put in, for the VALUE he contributed to the bottom line. People MADE things and they worked hard doing it and companies naturally expected to reward them for their efforts; share the wealth, so to speak. They were considered part of the team, part of the family. This idea seems to have degenerated over time into this current commonly held belief that nobody is important anymore. And people, even the common workers themselves, seem to have fallen into this faulty philosophy.

Which is why it is so easy for conservatives, whose basic economic philosophy has been disproved by recent events, whose policies have utterly and completely FAILED this country, to pass the buck for our woes on the American Worker. Who is questioning the assertion that it was unfair and unreasonable demands by union workers that caused the collapse of the American auto industry? Certainly not conservative politicians. Forcing the autoworkers to take a pay cut, cutting off pensions and benefits for workers who worked their whole LIVES to make profits for the shareholders; one can just see the drool dripping from the mouths of the greedy conservatives who believe they have won something.

Screwing the auto workers is the coup de grace in their war on the American Worker. Thus is the union beast dealt the death blow; and the American worker again takes the blame for all that is wrong instead of the true culprits; the greedy, ignorant, delusional conservatives and powerbrokers that have brought the American worker to his knees in pursuit of increasing profits. The truth is that they have screwed themselves. But it will take YEARS for their myopia to clear so that they can finally see that. Meanwhile the common man will have to endure untold suffering and sacrifice before the American Worker's value will again be acknowledged.

The economy turned away from manufacturing under the Reagan administration and today many jobs are in the service sector. One problem with that is apparent now; when people don't have money, they don't require services. More people lose their jobs. When those people lose their jobs, they can't afford goods any longer, so people in manufacturing lose their jobs. You see where this is going.

We have got to stop blaming this on the worker. It wasn't the worker that got greedy. Wages for middle class workers have been stagnant, while bankers, stock brokers and financiers of all types have reaped historical profits and reached dizzying heights of salary and fringe benefits. Experts have been documenting the growing gap between the rich and the poor for DECADES now. This is not an accident. This is the conservative "free market" philosophy in action.

The worker is ready to make the sacrifices that it may take to get our economy rolling again, as evidenced by the forced sanctions that the UAW has agreed to make in order for the auto giants to get their bridge loans. But what sacrifices are the executives willing to make? Not just in the auto industry; what about the bankers, financiers, insurance executives, stock brokers, etc? When will their day of reckoning come?

Now is the time to stand up for the American Worker. That is YOU and ME. Maybe you aren't an autoworker. Maybe you aren't a member of a union. Maybe you hold a white-collar job and don't consider yourself a part of the "working" classes. THE BELL IS RINGING; it's time to wake up now. If union jobs are at risk, your job could be next. If companies are laying off workers, your job could be next. If whole industries are struggling, your job could be next. The government aid that has been handed out so far has EXCLUDED the worker. It has lined the pockets of corporations at the expense of the American Worker. It's time to stand up and DEMAND accountability from Congress and corporate executives. And stop blaming the American Worker. We have sacrificed enough.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Contribution to New Healthcare Ideas

You can go to and click on a healthcare link and put your two cents worth in about what kind of changes are needed to effectively reform healthcare in this country. YOU SHOULD go to and put in your two cents worth. I did, and this is what I wrote:

I am 45, my husband is 44. We have an 11 year old son. We are all in good health. My son has some birth anomolies that are monitored regularly, but no health problems.

We are lower-middle class wage earners struggling to provide a decent life for ourselves and our son. My husband works in residential construction and is lucky to have a job, though we don't know how long that will last. We live in a small house in a decent neighborhood, but have been trying to get ahead financially for eight years now in order to move our son into a better school district.

I am lucky to receive health insurance benefits through my employer who partially pays for my benefits. Deductions from my paycheck to cover family insurance (health, dental and minimal life coverage for my son) each month equal over $800. This does not include any money that I set aside in a cafeteria plan for things that are not covered by insurance.

We can't go without insurance. The last time I tried that we ended up with $6000 in medical bills on our credit report because I had kidney stones and went to the emergency room for a few hours. We have only recently been able to get that collection removed from our credit reports. (which is another issue that needs to be addressed)

But just imagine how much different our lives would be if we didn't have to pay what amounts to a house payment to ensure that we aren't struggling for the next five years to try to remove medical collections from our credit reports. I have two grown daughters from a previous marriage and one of them has two children. Her husband is out of work again and they are living with a relative. We can't even help them because we don't have room for them. If I had $800 more a month, we could afford a house big enough for them to come and live with us. We could move to a better school district and my son and grandchildren could benefit.

It's not just that we need to reduce the cost of health insurance premiums, but we have to reign in the cost of healthcare. I know that it is a booming business, but the business must be removed or we will all sink. The banking and finance business was so consumed with profit that they sunk us all. Healthcare has a similar problem. If the profit motive is not removed, we will be facing the same sort of crisis again very soon.

We need to regulate the profit motive out of healthcare. We need non-profit hospitals, non-profit clinics and regulations that reasonably fix the price of drugs, supplies and devices.

I hear people say that we need to move toward this change slowly. But they are wrong. We need to move toward this change boldly, with the courage of our convictions and with the knowledge of the benefits that this change will bring. We cannot allow fear to rule this issue as it has for the past twenty five years.

We need REAL healthcare reform and it has to come from the bottom up. The foundation of our new healthcare system must be built on a vision that looks far into the future and addresses the issue from primarily a HEALTH perspective instead of a business perspective. Remove the profit motive. Then those that go into the healthcare field will be there for the right reasons and we will have a higher quality of providers. Then we will not have doctors and hospitals overbooking patients and we will have a higher quality of care. Government regulation would make doctors more accountable and remove the burden of over-priced malpractice insurance from the doctors that are doing a good job. REMOVE THE PROFIT MOTIVE and reintroduce the HUMAN motive in healthcare.

Don't be afraid no matter how some will wail and moan because THEY are afraid of change. Don't give in to the instinct to appease them, even a little bit. They are consumed with their own fear, but it will pass when you change the system and they begin to see the possibilities and the positive differences that result. Don't be afraid to be wrong about some things, because you will be wrong sometimes, but you will recognize your mistakes and you will see how to fix them. At this time in our nations' history, there is a unique opportunity to remake the way things work and put the focus back on THE PEOPLE where it belongs. The only thing that stands in the way is FEAR; your fear, our fear, their fear. Don't give in.

I am willing to support government healthcare with community service hours in whatever skill that I possess which is helpful. I think that could also help to reduce costs. I have people skills and computer skills that I would gladly donate in order to make healthcare available and affordable for all and free up some of my funds to making a better future for my children and grandchildren.

Thanks for listening.

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In the Spirit of the Season

I tried to embed it here, but don't think it will work. So click on the link above to see my snowglobe. Then, make your own--it's FUN!

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Monday, November 3, 2008


Since this so-called "Joe the Plumber" is neither named Joe nor is he a licensed plumber;

Since he doesn't appear to have worked at this profession in WEEKS;

Since he now has his own publicist and is intending to embark on some new "celebrity"-type career;

Since he espouses ignorant ideas about Obama and Israel, Socialism, and taxes and still backs McCain DESPITE the fact that he initially said he was worried about the effect of Obama's tax plan on his dream of someday owning his own plumbing business and it has since become clear that Obama's plan would be better for him than McCain's under those circumstances;


NEW RULE: Joe the Plumber must hereby be re-christened "Joe the Ignorant" because he seems to be officially representing that willfully ignorant segment of our society that refuses to see the facts and continues to cling to their ignorant beliefs.

Joe the Ignorant; the official spokesperson of troglodytes* everywhere! Available to speak to your group for a nominal fee

* a person characterized by reclusive habits or outmoded or reactionary attitudes

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: Dangerous Religious Fanatic

Fresh reason today to despise Sarah Palin and to say a prayer to God, today, right now, that He will see it in His will and best interest to eradicate this person from any position of power in the whole wide world.

As it turns out, Ms. Palin isn’t just your run-of-the-mill “whack job,” as the Republican handlers have leaked in recent days. She is a PRODUCT of an actual movement by some FRIGHTENING whack jobs that are also very well-organized.

I have recently been disgusted to find out that almost every major church in this country and even some of the less-recognized ones, all operate EXACTLY like large corporations. They have administrative arms, financial arms, employment arms, and whatever other kinds of departments you might find at any major corporation. They have their own retirement funds and other financial instruments. If you ever wondered what the deal is with this “prosperity gospel” that many churches are preaching now, well, it is REAL. It’s not wishing for prosperity, it is actually INVESTING in church businesses and financial instruments and getting rich. It may seem counter-intuitive or counter to Jesus’ teachings, but they are all organized beyond imagining and do not see any conflict-of-interest in getting rich off of Jesus.

Though this is enough in itself to turn anyone away from organized religion, there are also legal arms. Many of the evangelical churches have united together toward a common goal of taking over the country and forcing their teachings on us all. This movement is called “Dominionism.” They would like to rewrite the Constitution to conform to what they believe are “God’s Laws.” And they are EXTREMELY well-organized. And they have multiple legal organizations backing them up. It is chilling.

And this is where Ms. Palin comes in. Because, as it turns out, she belongs to a Dominionist church and has been counseled by some of the Dominionist legal organizations. Check out these websites to learn more:

Wikipedia defines Dominionism this way:

Dominionism describes, in several distinct ways, a tendency among some conservative politically-active Christians, especially in the United States of America, to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action — aiming either at a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law.

In the same entry, Dominion Theology is defined this way:

Dominion Theology is a grouping of theological systems with the common belief that society should be governed exclusively by the law of God as codified in the Bible, to the exclusion of secular law, a view also known as theonomy. The most prominent modern formulation of Dominion Theology is Christian Reconstructionism, founded by R. J. Rushdoony in the 1970s. Reconstructionists themselves use the word dominionism to refer to their belief that civil government should be controlled by Christians alone and conducted according to Biblical law. Social scientists have used the word "dominionism" to refer to adherence to Dominion Theology as well as to the influence in the broader Christian Right of ideas inspired by Dominion Theology. Although such influence (particularly of Reconstructionism) has been described by many authors, full adherents to Reconstructionism are few and marginalized among conservative Christians.
According to Diamond, the defining concept of dominionism is "that Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns". In 1989, Diamond declared that this concept "has become the central unifying ideology for the Christian Right" (p.138, emphasis in original). In 1995, she called it "prevalent on the Christian Right." Journalist Chip Berlet added in 1998 that, although they represent different theological and political ideas, dominionists assert a Christian duty to take "control of a sinful secular society."
In 2005, Clarkson enumerated the following characteristics shared by all forms of dominionism:
1. Dominionists celebrate Christian nationalism, in that they believe that the United States once was, and should once again be, a Christian nation. In this way, they deny the Enlightenment roots of American democracy.
2. Dominionists promote religious supremacy, insofar as they generally do not respect the equality of other religions, or even other versions of Christianity.
3. Dominionists endorse theocratic visions, insofar as they believe that the Ten Commandments, or "biblical law," should be the foundation of American law, and that the U.S. Constitution should be seen as a vehicle for implementing Biblical principles.

A website in Canada had this to say about Dominionism:

Its most common form, Dominionism, represents one of the most extreme forms of Fundamentalist Christianity thought. Its followers, called Dominionists, are attempting to peacefully convert the laws of United States so that they match those of the Hebrew Scriptures. They intend to achieve this by using the freedom of religion in the US to train a generation of children in private Christian religious schools. Later, their graduates will be charged with the responsibility of creating a new Bible-based political, religious and social order. One of the first tasks of this order will be to eliminate religious choice and freedom. Their eventual goal is to achieve the "Kingdom of God" in which much of the world is converted to Christianity. They feel that the power of God's word will bring about this conversion. No armed force or insurrection will be needed; in fact, they believe that there will be little opposition to their plan. People will willingly accept it. All that needs to be done is to properly explain it to them.
All religious organizations, congregations etc. other than strictly Fundamentalist Christianity would be suppressed. Nonconforming Evangelical, main line and liberal Christian religious institutions would no longer be allowed to hold services, organize, proselytize, etc. Society would revert to the laws and punishments of the Hebrew Scriptures. Any person who advocated or practiced other religious beliefs outside of their home would be tried for idolatry and executed. Blasphemy, adultery and homosexual behavior would be criminalized; those found guilty would also be executed. At that time that this essay was originally written, this was the only religious movement in North America of which we were aware which advocates genocide for followers of minority religions and non-conforming members of their own religion. Since then, we have learned of two conservative Christian pastors in Texas who have advocated the execution of all Wiccans. Ralph Reed, the executive director of the conservative public policy group the Christian Coalition has criticized Reconstructionism as "an authoritarian ideology that threatens the most basic civil liberties of a free and democratic society."

For more frightening reading, please check out these two articles which are both well-cited (with links):

And, for some truly worrisome reading, here is what they are using to brainwash their kids:

WOW! No wonder Palin draws such nutty crowds and no wonder they adore her with such an unthinking passion. They most likely believe, as they did of Bush, that she is ordained by God. I wish that by losing this election, it would cause some of these folks to question their beliefs. But, these are true fanatics.

We have SO much to worry about for a long time to come in this Country.

May God Bless America (by saving us from these nuts).

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Monday, October 27, 2008

More Evidence of the Fascist Wing of the Republican Party

The Republicans who have stayed in that party are comfortable with all manner of abuse of power, thuggery, justification and excuse-making. Real Republicans should be disgusted enough to take their party back. If they can't wrest control from these neo-fascist bullies, they should start a new party.

Check out the video below.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008


Okay, I have received a new piece of Obama hate mail today that has not been debunked by It really irritates me that there are still people out there that will believe everything they read in an email. Especially because most of them do not have progressive friends that they can rely on to effectively debunk the lies contained therein. Below is the text of the latest smear campaign. I just wish I knew how to submit this to snopes so that it could receive the thorough debunking needed.

Obama Directly Tied to Voting Fraud Group
By Sher Zieve

In case you — like most of us — have difficulty keeping up with Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama's ties to corrupt, terrorist and anti-American groups and individuals a new one has emerged.

The mainstream press — as with Obama's other associations — is working overtime to cover this latest one up. Obama is directly tied to a group that has been both accused of and its members convicted of National Voter Fraud, embezzlement and misuse of tax payer funds — ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).

What are Obama's direct ties to the voter-fraud group? Let's take a look. Obama was not only ACORN's attorney but, actually trained the group in "community activism!" And, while Obama was Chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, he arranged funding for the voter-fraud group through the CAC. McCauley's Wor ld reports: "In Philadelphia alone ACORN has raised over $800,000 Dollars for Barack Obama's Campaign." In politics, scratching each other's back is always the order of the day.
The voter-fraud group is working almost non-stop — except when its members are arrested and taken into custody — to get Obama elected POTUS.

If Obama is elected, we could actually have the least experienced, most corrupt and first Socialist/Communist POTUS in world history. And the other Obama direct ties to corruption and anti-Americanism? Let's take another look — shall we?.

William Ayers-former head of terrorist group the Weather Underground — was Obama's colleague at the Woods Fund of Chicago and Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Note: Ayers lobbied to have Obama named Chairman of the CAC. Ayers is also a major fundraiser for Obama.

Obama's acknowledged over 20 year minister and mentor, Jeremiah Wright, has made and continues to make anti-American, anti-white and anti-Semitic "sermons".
Obama has direct ties to Saudi Arabian funders and the Black Panthers.
Depending on one's sources, Obama was either the #2 or #3 Fannie Mae (Democrats' personal slush fund) funded politician.

Obama is directly ties to now-convicted felon Antoin Rezko.
Obama wants to work with the very leaders of countries who want to destroy us.
The evidence against this man Continues to mount. But, still Democrats and the Democrats' media want him as POTUS.

Corruption, Recognizes and Supports it's Own, folks.

This could Never Happen in a Sane World.

If you have time to waste, google Sher Zieve; you might get a big kick out of the stuff you find. Or you might be repulsed by it. But how many gullible people out there just forwarded this garbage on without checking into the source of the trash?

Herein lies the difference between the Obama hate mail that you will sometimes receive from well-meaning, uninformed friends and the type of emails that are sent between progressives about McCain. Most of what I receive about McCain is regarding POLICY. Occasionally I will receive an email with an unflattering picture or an unsubstantiated rumor about McCain calling his wife the "c" word. (I know it was in a book, but it is not independently confirmed)

I have never received a negative email from anyone I know full of lies about McCain or Palin. Apparently, Democrats and progressives (and your good old-fashioned liberals) don’t usually just believe everything they read in an email. They don’t send these things out to their friends without investigation. They and their friends tend to go to the source to get their information and don’t rely on emails from friends, Bill O’Reilly (or other FOX talking heads-not journalists), or the “entertainers” on talk radio to get their news.

Secondly, if you had the time, I truly suspect that you could trace some of this stuff all the way back to the Republican Party. I know that the Democrats are imperfect, capable of arrogance and stupidity and prone to excesses of their own. But we all know that it is the Republican Party that has embraced the notion of the ends justifying the means as a political and moral imperative. For me, this became apparent back in the Reagan administration and has been evident in every successive Republican campaign and/or administration.

Lastly, you don’t have to be creative to send a scathing email full of John McCain’s faults, character failings, ties to scandal and corruption or unsuitability to lead. There are plenty of facts and documentable examples of this in existence. All you have to do is READ, copy and paste. Progressives don’t need to send these sort of emails because they are INFORMED already, but maybe we should start sending them back to the people that send us the Obama hatemail. Perhaps it will make them think?

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Will Our Votes Be Counted?

A Primer On How The Republican Party is Fixing Elections:

Part II:

What You Can Do Now:
Go to (Click on the title of this blog)
Go to


The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. -Albert Einstein

You must do the things you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will. -Frederick Douglass

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Rabbit Story

"And it has big, sharp teeth...look at the bones, man!"

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Does McCain Have Control of his own Campaign?

The oft-asked question, answered daily, as McCain goes lower and lower: How low will he go? What would John McCain not do to achieve his goal of the Presidency?

Though he has pointed out Obama’s ambitions to become President, he ignores his own obvious ambitions and ignores the lengths that he has gone to in order to achieve those ambitions. His campaign has sunk SO low recently that even Republicans are complaining about the tactics he is using and the hate speech that the campaign is inspiring.

Check out this statement from an article on Yahoo News on Friday, Oct 10:

The raw emotions worry some in the party who believe the broader swath of swing voters are far more focused on their dwindling retirement accounts than on Obama’s background and associations and will be turned off by footage of the McCain events.
John Weaver, McCain’s former top strategist, said top Republicans have a responsibility to temper this behavior.
“People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Sen. Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Sen. McCain,” Weaver said. “And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive.”;_ylt=Agc6EwS_vqq.dZJuGSW7yhJWr7sF

After three weeks of ever-heightening accusations, smears and outright lies about Barack Obama made by the campaign during these rallies and “town halls,” even other Republicans were disgusted by the tone and tenor of the statements and the visceral reactions that were occurring daily on the campaign trail. So much so that McCain was finally forced to say something himself to ratchet down the vitriol.

And I assume that we are supposed to be impressed by the fact that he was willing to finally stand up and be decent. But, of course, that ignores the fact that he is the one whose campaign started down this ugly path to begin with. And he only partially ratcheted down the innuendo and continues to lie about Obama. Also, I have yet to see any evidence that Palin is going to do the same. I guess we’ll wait and see whatever it is she has to say at whatever campaign stop she is making today.

Though they are trying to distance themselves now, they are doing so half-heartedly and are not being let off the hook so easily. This from

Palin, at a fundraiser in Ohio on Friday, told supporters "it's not negative and it's not mean-spirited" to scrutinize Obama's iffy associations.
But Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania an author of 15 books on politics, says the vitriol has been encouraged by inflammatory words from the stage.
"Red-meat rhetoric elicits emotional responses in those already disposed by ads using words such as 'dangerous' 'dishonorable' and 'risky' to believe that the country would be endangered by election of the opposing candidate," she said.

Having lead his followers down this road, how difficult will it be to turn them around? After all, they booed him when he corrected the folks at the Town Hall that were inferring that Obama was dangerous and an Arab. That is something that he might have considered before this whole mess began. (And perhaps, if any violence does ensue, his campaign and propagandists like Rush Limpballs should be charged with inciting a hate crime.)

Meanwhile, McCain is attempting to distance himself from this whole sordid affair. Déjà vu anyone-- McCain distancing himself?

And today we have a new smear, this time from the head of the republican party in Virginia. Check it out:

The chairman of the Virginia Republican Party has compared Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden because of the Illinois senator's past association with Bill Ayers, who has confessed to domestic bombings as a member of the Vietnam War-era Weather Underground…
According to a report in this week's Time magazine, the Virginia party chairman, Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Prince William), told Virginia volunteers working for GOP nominee John McCain that Obama and bin Laden "both have friends that bombed the Pentagon."
That is scary," Frederick said while providing talking points to GOP volunteers in western Prince William County as they prepared for a door-to-door canvass.
Yesterday, Frederick said he stood by the comparison, even though bin Laden planned the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon that killed 184 people and Obama was a child and hadn't met Ayers when the Weather Underground planted a bomb at the Pentagon in 1972. No one was hurt in that blast, in which a bomb exploded in a restroom and caused flooding and damage to computer tapes containing classified information.

Further along in the same article, we see the pattern that has been established by the campaign; people close to the campaign or members of the Republican party say something nasty, then the campaign “distances” itself from the comment.

Gail Gitcho, a McCain spokeswoman, also denounced Frederick's remarks, calling them "not appropriate."
"While Barack Obama is associated with domestic terrorist William Ayers, the McCain campaign disagrees with the comparison that Jeff Frederick made," Gitcho said.
It was the third time in a little more than a week that Gitcho repudiated something said or written by someone affiliated with McCain's Virginia leadership team. Last week, the head of the McCain campaign in Buchanan County in southwest Virginia was forced to resign after a column surfaced in which he made disparaging remarks about Obama, African Americans and gay people. Last weekend, the McCain campaign distanced itself from McCain's brother, Joe McCain, after he referred to Alexandria and Arlington County as "communist country."

How do you “distance yourself” from your own brother? And am I the only one that noticed the back-handed way that this Gitmo person (Gitcho, whatever) attempted to distance McCain from the Frederick comment? She managed to link Obama with terrorists while denouncing Frederick's linkage of Obama to...terrorists.

Here is the pattern: somebody associated with the campaign says something outrageous that McCain does not have the balls to say himself, but that will appeal to the blood-sucking, salivating mob of ultra-conservative dittoheads. Then the campaign comes out with a message that McCain does not agree with the statement. Then, the next day, or sometimes the same day, somebody else comes out and makes a new outrageous statement.

Is this McCain’s way of having his cake and eating it too? His campaign appeals to the base and he stays above the fray by supposedly repudiating the appeal (obviously with a wink and a nod)?

Or is this evidence that McCain has no control over his campaign?

Either way, it does not instill confidence in his ability to lead a nation.

Please click on the title of this blog to read a beautifully written essay on what the McCain campaign's hate speech has wrought.

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Dangerous Times

The citizens of this democracy have become complacent and taken their democracy for granted. The natural course of things is degrading what was once the beacon of hope for all the world. This nation now more resembles the closed society of Communist USSR that we were taught to fear as children than it does the free and open society of Washington, Jefferson and Franklin. BUT CHANGE IS COMING.

There is an excellent article on OpEdNews that clearly outlines the encroaching danger of the loss of civil liberties in this country. It is a must-read for anyone that questions how bad things have actually become. It may be depressing news, but there is a silver lining.

Change can happen in a good way, if everyone stands together. These are dangerous times, but in dangerous times it is our duty to stand up to tyranny. We can do this; our forefathers risked no more or less than we will and we stand to gain back all that they won. And we owe it to future generations to pass on what was gained so many years ago. If we have allowed it to slip away, it is our responsibility to regain it.

Don't believe that this election will fix anything without the vigilance, sheer force of will and determination by the people to win back all that has been lost. It is OUR government and we have to fight for it. But WE CAN DO IT. And NOW IS THE TIME.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

And So It Begins…

Make sure you are registered to vote. Check out this article from Yahoo News:

Tens of thousands of eligible voters have been removed from rolls or blocked from registering in at least six swing states, and the voters' exclusion appears to violate federal law, according to a published report…The newspaper said it identified apparent problems in Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina. It says some states are improperly using Social Security data to verify new voters' registration applications, and others may have broken rules that govern removing voters from the rolls within 90 days of a federal election…Democrats have been more aggressive at registering new voters this year, according to state election officials, so any closer screening of new applications may affect their party's supporters disproportionately, the Times said.

But don't dispair! Bobby Kennedy and Greg Palast can help us all to make sure that our votes are counted this November. Find out how by clicking the title of this blog.

Vote early. Refuse a provisional ballot-know your rights and insist on them!

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Understanding the Economic Problem

Below is the introduction to a WONDERFUL blog that describes the basis of our economic crisis in a way that almost ANYONE can understand. It is important for all of us to be informed, so I hope that anyone who trips on to my blog will click on the title above and read the whole thing.

Something extraordinary is going on with these government bailouts. In March 2008, the Federal Reserve extended a $55 billion loan to JPMorgan to “rescue” investment bank Bear Stearns from bankruptcy, a highly controversial move that tested the limits of the Federal Reserve Act. On September 7, 2008, the U.S. government seized private mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and imposed a conservatorship, a form of bankruptcy; but rather than let the bankruptcy court sort out the assets among the claimants, the Treasury extended an unlimited credit line to the insolvent corporations and said it would exercise its authority to buy their stock, effectively nationalizing them. Now the Federal Reserve has announced that it is giving an $85 billion loan to American International Group (AIG), the world’s largest insurance company, in exchange for a nearly 80% stake in the insurer . . . .

The Fed is buying an insurance company? Where exactly is that covered in the Federal Reserve Act? The Associated Press calls it a “government takeover,” but this is not your ordinary “nationalization” like the purchase of Fannie/Freddie stock by the U.S. Treasury. The Federal Reserve has the power to print the national money supply, but it is not actually a part of the U.S. government. It is a private banking corporation owned by a consortium of private banks. The banking industry just bought the world’s largest insurance company, and they used federal money to do it. Yahoo Finance reported on September 17:

“The Treasury is setting up a temporary financing program at the Fed’s request. The program will auction Treasury bills to raise cash for the Fed’s use. The initiative aims to help the Fed manage its balance sheet following its efforts to enhance its liquidity facilities over the previous few quarters.”

Treasury bills are the I.O.U.s of the federal government. We the taxpayers are on the hook for the Fed’s “enhanced liquidity facilities,” meaning the loans it has been making to everyone in sight, bank or non-bank, exercising obscure provisions in the Federal Reserve Act that may or may not say they can do it. What’s going on here? Why not let the free market work? Bankruptcy courts know how to sort out assets and reorganize companies so they can operate again. Why the extraordinary measures for Fannie, Freddie and AIG?

The answer may have less to do with saving the insurance business, the housing market, or the Chinese investors clamoring for a bailout than with the greatest Ponzi scheme in history, one that is holding up the entire private global banking system. What had to be saved at all costs was not housing or the dollar but the financial derivatives industry; and the precipice from which it had to be saved was an “event of default” that could have collapsed a quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble, a collapse that could take the entire global banking system down with it.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

All That Needs to Be Said

Thanks to Joe Biden, who is intelligent, knowledgable, quick on his feet, down-to-earth, plain-spoken and, yes, even DISCIPLINED. Sir, your passion is not a character flaw, it's a welcome, needed asset, especially in these times.

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We have all heard about this Wall Street bailout and NO POLITICIAN in this country today will go on record as a big supporter of it. Nobody likes this bill. They didn't like the initial plan proposed by Hank Paulsen, they did not like the first or second versions of this bill and they don't like the current version, either.

Personally, I believe that the most current version of the bill is the WORST and I hope Congress will fail to pass it AGAIN.

The reason that I say that is because we keep hearing this false choice that we either hold our noses and pass this one or do nothing. But those are not the only two choices that we have. There are other proposals out there, but you are not hearing about them. Now you are.

Below, I am posting a bill in the works from Pete DeFazio and several others are co-sponsoring. It is not a bailout, but it provides for the liquidity that the market is saying they currently lack.

The most immediate crisis that this economy faces is the lack of liquidity in lending. Banks are not lending money to other banks and businesses are facing the possiblity of not being able to get capital loans to make payroll and pay their vendors. This is what could break our whole economy. The answer is not to pay Wall Street but to ensure that banks will regain their ability to continue the inter-bank loans that enable businesses to run. DeFazio's bill addresses this need and some other important issues, without handing Wall Street a blank check.

I ask you to read this proposal and click on the title of this blog to read an article about this bill. Then please pass this on to your friends. We all need to get behind this sort of RESPONSIBLE legislation and make sure Congress does the right thing to fix the problem. Call your Congressperson and him/her to support a Responsible Solution to the current crisis.

Bringing Accounting, Increased Liquidity, Oversight and Upholding Taxpayer Security

1) Require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require an economic value standard to measure the capital of financial institutions.

This bill will require SEC to implement a rule to suspend the application of fair value accounting standards to financial institutions, which marks assets to the market value, no matter the conditions of the market. When no meaningful market exists, as is the current market for mortgage backed securities, this standard requires institutions to value assets at fire-sale prices. This creates a capital shortfall on paper. Using the economic value standard as bank examines have traditionally done will immediately correct the capital shortfalls experienced by many institutions.

2) Require the Securities and Exchange Commission to restricting naked short sells permanently.

This bill will require SEC to implement a rule that blocks naked selling, selling a stock short without first borrowing the shares or ensuring the shares can be borrowed. Such practices many times harm the companies represented in the sales and hurt their efforts to raise capital. There is no economic value produced by naked short sales, but significant negative effects.

3) Require the Securities and Exchange Commission to restore the up-tick rule permanently.

This bill will require SEC to implement a rule that blocks short sales without an up-tick in the market. On September 19, 2008, the SEC approved a temporary pause of short selling in financial companies “to protect the integrity and quality of the securities market and strengthen investor confidence.” This rule prevents market crashes brought on by irrational short term market behavior.

4) “Net Worth Certificate Program”

This bill will require FDIC to implement a net worth certificate program. The FDIC would determine banks with short-term capital needs and the ability to financially recover in the foreseeable future. For those entities that qualify, the FDIC should purchase net worth certificates in these institutions. In exchange, these institutions issue promissory notes to repay the FDIC, counting the amount “borrowed” as capital on their balance sheets. This exchange provides short term capital, with not cash outlay. Interest rates on the certificates and the FDIC notes should be identical so no subsidy is necessary.

Participating banks must be subject to strict oversight by the FDIC including oversight of top executive compensation and if necessary the removal of poor management. Financial records and business plans should be subject to scrutiny while participating in the program.

In 1982, Congress approved a program, known as the Net Worth Certificate Program, that allowed banks and thrifts to apply for immediate capital assistance. From 1982 to 1993, banks with total assets of $40 billion participated in the program. The majority of these banks, 75%, required no further assistance beyond the certificate program.

5) Increase the FDIC Insurance limit from $100,000 to $250,000.

The bill will require the FDIC raise its limit to provide depositors confidence that their money is safe and help eliminate runs on banks which are destabilizing to the industry.

Peter DeFazio - Member of Congress

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Friday, September 26, 2008


In a disgusting partisan display yesterday, when Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans and President Bush had all gone on the record in the media as saying they were close to an accord on how the financial crisis could be managed, John McCain flew into town and injected himself and his campaign hopes into the mix, blowing up whatever agreements had been reached. Democrats were once again left on the hook when, while trying to fix a mess that was created by Republican policies, previous Republican control of the congress and a Republican administration, the Republicans first made it look like they would agree to a plan and then bailed out and pretended they never agreed in the first place. And their next step will surely be to label the Democrats as big spenders on the hook to Wall Street and make it look like they had the interests of the little guy at heart the whole time.

It became fairly obvious what the campaign was up to when Sarah Palin charged that Barack Obama was checking the political winds before taking action, but John McCain was supposedly taking the bull by the horn. The McCain campaign has set a pattern of transmitting the tact they they are about take by first accusing Obama of doing the exact same thing. So, McCain flew in to what was by most accounts a close-to-done deal to make it look like he was taking matters firmly in hand, so that he can take measure of the political winds. After polling showed the Americans had serious doubts and concerns about he bailout, he decided to pander to those fears (Hey, it worked before!). He carefully did not show support for any plan, or publicly propose his own plan. He poses for a smiling but fidgety photo op and the next thing we know, the whole thing suddenly blows up.

Since Democrats were begged not to disclose what happened when the cameras were turned off, the Republican party gets to spin the whole thing any way they want. And, since Obama had been summoned to witness this pathetic political theatre, the blame game will start today and he will somehow be in the thick of why things blew up. Look for the smears to be coming from Sarah Palin. If she deigns to make any kind of statement to the media today, watch what she says because it will tell you what new spin the campaign is trying to use to make it look like they are doing something and Obama is either not doing anything or is not doing the right thing.

From MSNBC this morning:

“..leading Democrats on Capitol Hill were shocked by the level of divisiveness that surfaced at Thursday’s extraordinary White House meeting, leaving six days of intensive efforts to agree on a bailout plan in tatters only hours after key congressional players of both parties had declared they were in accord on the outlines of a $700 billion bill.”

Then this morning Lindsey Graham sits on a morning show and pretends that he knew nothing about any agreement and found out only at lunchtime. He was busy meeting with Republican congress members. What the hell was he doing there if there was no deal yet? Let me guess; figuring out how to derail the whole thing so that they could use this financial crisis to McCain’s advantage somehow.

This also from MSNBC this morning:

Schumer said…’Before Sen. McCain made his announcement, we were making progress.’ Schumer was referring to McCain’s announcement earlier in the week that he was suspending his campaign to return to Washington for the negotiations on the financial industry crisis.

McCain met briefly Friday morning with House Republican Leader John Boehner.”

How strange that Boehner meets with McCain, while Lindsey Graham is busy meeting with Republican House Members then all of a sudden the whole plan is derailed. They pretend it was derailed by the House Republicans so that the Senate Republicans don’t appear to be going back on their word or as though they had anything to do with the shenanigans. And suddenly, McCain has his own ideas for how to solve the mess, which he supposedly put forth in the meeting at the White House, though NOBODY has reported on any details of that plan.

The new plan being advanced by Republicans this morning is RIFE with problems. I am no Wall Street insider, but anyone with a small amount of knowledge about the current problems there will tell you that part of the problem now is that those who are holding a lot of this bad debt are hesitant to step up and be known because their stock value and credit rating will drop immediately, to their possible ruin. This is part of what is freezing the market. The Republican plan put forth this morning would force these firms to show their hands, as it were, in the highest-stakes poker game in the world. That is no answer, but a recipe for disaster if you are really trying to constructively fix the problem. Yet, that does not seem to be the aim of the McCain campaign or the Republican party right now. Obviously, Party is coming before the needs of country.

This also from MSNBC this morning:

“The White House summit meeting had been called for the purpose of sealing the deal that Bush has argued is indispensable to stabilizing frenzied markets and reassuring the nervous American public. But it quickly revealed that Bush’s proposal had been suddenly sidetracked by fellow Republicans in the House, who refused to embrace a plan that appeared close to acceptance by the Senate and most House Democrats.

Paulson begged Democratic participants not to disclose how badly the meeting had gone, dropping to one knee in a teasing way to make his point according to witnesses.
And when Paulson hastily tried to revive talks in a nighttime meeting near the Senate chamber, the House’s top Republican refused to send a negotiator.”

Watch today for Sarah Palin to make the claim that it is the Democrats playing politics with the financial crisis. The spin will most likely be that she and John are the ones that are keeping the small-town people’s needs first, but the evil liberal Democrats are just trying to throw their money at Wall Street in a desperate bid for the White House. It is as predictable as it could possibly be.

Unfortunately, it is quite possible that an uninformed electorate will not see it coming and perhaps may even fall for it.

McCain’s new slogan should read:


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Truth About Republicans

For most of my life I have heard the term “Tax and Spend Liberals” hurled about by conservative republicans. They have convinced the populace that all Democrats are liberals and that all liberals want to do is take money out of your pockets and spend it on unnecessary things.

The problem with this myth is that, in my lifetime, I have seen that when Democrats spend, they invest in our country and its people. They invest in education, healthcare and technologies that help to create jobs. They invest in infrastructure and support family farms. They invest money in the people of this country in order to give them the opportunity to lift themselves up and experience the American Dream.

For most of my life I have witnessed how republicans manage the federal budget. They gin up some phony or semi-plausible threat, then spend the budget and borrow more to buy weapons. Every republican administration in my lifetime has run up ever larger budget deficits. They mortgage the financial futures of our children and grandchildren to enrich their friends in the military-industrial complex. Yet they have anointed themselves the “fiscally responsible” party.

Occasionally, in order to justify their massive military spending, they send the military into war in some small nation, or, as is the case with the current administration, embroil us in unending occupations in hostile places fueling hatred of foreign people towards our country. They never advocate for better veterans benefits, but they have anointed themselves the party that “supports” the troops.

They support and advocate policies that aid multinational corporations in making virtual slaves out of the people in poor countries and advocate and abet the destruction of labor unions that protect worker’s rights in this country. They wink and look the other way as companies hire illegal immigrants at low wages, effectively lowering wages for all citizens and then demonize the immigrants who have come here to take those jobs and do nothing to punish the companies that hire them. Then they claim to be the only party with answers to our immigration problems.

There has been a drumbeat of deregulation coming from the conservative republican branch for decades and when they were able to achieve power, they sold out the taxpayers to special interests for power and prestige, neglected the populace and infrastructure and pulled apart the framework of laws that kept our economy balanced. This has resulted in the current financial crisis that threatens to destroy our banking industry, taking businesses, jobs, savings and homes down with it. They got what they wanted, did what they told us was best, reaped the financial rewards and now the bill has come due. They say they believe in personal accountability and small government. Then why are they now expecting the taxpayer to pay the price for their mistakes and failures?

One of the republican party’s most favorite lines has been, “whenever there’s a problem, liberals think you can just throw money at it and it will go away.” Liberals and Democrats want to “throw money” at things like the rising cost of a college education, the rising cost of healthcare, environmental concerns, alternative energy sources, aging roads and bridges, feeding the hungry, housing the poor, keeping jobs in America, daycare for working parents, and funding social security for the aged and disabled. How ironic now that the republicans are so eager to throw $700 Billion in taxpayer money at Wall Street, with little to no discernable oversight as to how it will be spent. Kind of the same way that the Bush administration sent millions of dollars in cash over to Iraq at the beginning of the occupation, supposedly to help rebuild the country and cannot account for where the money went. They sell themselves as the only party that can be trusted with our money, but they act like money grows on trees and everything is free.

Over the course of my life, conservatives have successfully demonized lawyers, teachers, the poor, patriotic Americans, journalists, whistle-blowers, and the American worker. They demonized lawyers and journalists so that when they started deregulating business, breaking laws, marginalizing minority populations, caging votes, destabilizing the middle class economy, waging unilateral wars, taking away our constitutional rights and freedoms and undermining the constitution with their notion of the “unitary executive,” there would be no credible way to fight them. If you are a lawyer and you don’t like what they are doing, you are communist, anti-American, weak, liberal. If you are a journalist that tries to report what they are doing; same smear tactic. If you are a concerned citizen that feels a duty to object to these tactics, you are a subversive, or perhaps even a terrorist and are spied on, threatened and intimidated. Republicans have brought a new level of secrecy and insidious vindictiveness to government while they systematically did away with democratic practices. But the republican party has anointed itself as the “real patriots.”

The republican party has claimed to be the party of law and order. They support mandatory sentencing and the death penalty. They have enacted increased sentencing guidelines for drug crimes and when the prisons were full to overflowing, supported the privatization of the correctional system. Now private companies are profiting off of taxpayer dollars and the more criminals they have, the more money they make. Yet the “war on drugs” and mandatory sentencing have done nothing to curb drug use or deter drug crimes and violence. The republican party has only served to make prison companies richer.

And if republicans are the party of law and order, why do they hold themselves above the law by trying to wiggle out of convictions, refusing to cooperate in investigations, and ignoring legally issued subpoenas? Why do they insist on secrecy and why have they politicized the federal justice system by firing impartial judges and appointing cronies and party operatives? That’s not equal justice, that is double-standard and despotic rule.

Republicans reached out to Christian groups, convinced them that they were being oppressed in a majority-Christian society and promised to institute Christian-based laws and programs. As soon as they achieved office, they forgot about all of these promises and engaged in behavior most unChristian. They have used Christianity as a wedge to divide us. Their only success was in the funneling of taxpayer funds to favored non-profit and presumably faith-based organizations with no oversight as to where and how it was used and causing resentment and division among people of differing faiths and denominations.

It is PAST TIME for this nonsense to end. It is time for every citizen in this nation to examine the facts, the evidence, the record and the recent history of the republican party and to question their claims. It is time for us to see the realities of our situation and to stop living in denial. This particular “conservative” movement has proven itself a failure in every possible way. This is NOT your parents’ Republican Party; we can’t trust these people.

These republicans are not tax and spend, but they ARE borrow and spend. Which is worse?

These republicans create programs ONLY to funnel taxpayer money to enrich their friends and gain power. They do nothing to invest in the American people. Would you rather have your money used to make the enrich the wealthy or to fund education and create jobs for working people?

These republicans DO NOT have the answers to solve our current problems because their policies have CAUSED the current crises. They deregulated the banking and financial services industry and now they refuse to take responsibility, but point the finger of blame at the working poor. John McCain wants to deregulate the health insurance industry next. Are you willing to take that gamble?

These republicans have had their way for the past twelve years in Congress. They made a promise to all of us in 1994 that, if elected, they would clean up the government, restore accountability, cut wasteful spending, eliminate pork, and create jobs and opportunity for working people. They did the EXACT opposite.

These republicans have presided over a new version of the Do-Nothing Congress, convening only two days per week, involving themselves in bribery scandals, handing out government money to special interests, taking gifts and free trips from lobbyists and removing rules and regulations to further enrich bankers and Wall Street CEOs. These republicans expanded presidential powers in unconstitutional ways, neglected their duties of oversight, and drove our nation into massive debt to Communist China.

Who has suffered? Our military men and women and their families, working class people, children, small businesses, homeowners, future generations of taxpayers and now it has started to affect our whole society. Rising prices, lower wage jobs, war, rising education and healthcare costs, limits on lending, a housing market crash, a banking crisis and a stockmarket crash along with failure to respond properly to two natural disasters, a global environmental crisis and global terrorism are the legacy of these republicans.

It is time to vote these republicans out of every office at both state and federal levels and reject their failed policies and philosophies. These republicans are not the “values” party; they have no values.

The American people still have values. We are patriotic, spiritual, hard-working, intelligent, willing to fight and ready for change. Let's tell these republicans to hit the road and never come back.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

McCain’t Nothing Gonna Change Under This Supposed Maverick’s Watch

The NY Times has a great editorial by Frank Rich today. If you click on the title of this blog, you can read it for yourself. Along with everything I saw and heard over the weekend, it made me think and thinking made me despise the Republican party all over again. It also lessened my opinion of John McCain AGAIN. (It's like a Limbo refrain; How low can it go?)

Check out this article that traces more of the revolving door type political and financial ties that have completely corrupted our government and turned it into nothing more than a power and money trough for corporate special interests. And John McCain is the star.

McCain's campaign continually tries to sell us on the idea that he is not a part of the corruption in Washington and never has been. But, those who don't remember, or are too young to remember, McCain started out his career embroiled in scandal and allegations of corruption. The media hasn’t seen fit to bring up John McCain’s questionable past regarding the Savings and Loan fiasco. That may be changing now that this country is dealing with the fruits of McCain and Co’s deregulation labors. If you haven’t ever heard about his involvement in the Savings & Loan scandal, back when he was a Washington nubie, there is a story at this link:

The Sunday morning political shows this weekend were all about the Market Meltdown and how each candidate handled themselves. It was shocking to hear the conservative pundits on the Sunday morning shows openly question whether McCain possesses the leadership qualities that are necessary for the Presidency. And equally shocking to hear them commend Barack Obama on his leadership skills.

But I do wonder if talking heads are too late to undo the disgusting falsehoods that conservatives and Republican operatives have been planting in the fertile minds of the fearful, racist, wantonly ignorant portion of our society that is wholesale behind a Palin/McCain presidency. Check out this editorial which I believe smacks the nail on the head:

It is frighteningly familiar and disgustingly believable that bigoted people who refuse to claim their racism would go to such great lengths to try to demonize Obama so they have an excuse (besides “the black thing”) not to vote for him and to publicly encourage others to vote against him as well. When I first heard the claim that Obama could be the anti-christ coming from a co-worker who is not politically savvy, but is educated and intelligent, I could NOT believe my ears. It is beyond repulsive to admit that I live in a society where the following article appeared in TIME magazine.,8599,1830590,00.html

That a major news magazine felt the need to address this notion is absolutely unbelievable in our modern world. And now, because I would not want to inadvertently add to this ridiculous slur, I must publish the Snopes website’s debunking of this pathetic myth:

And John McCain may not have come right out and said, Obama could be the anti-Christ, but this "message" that he approved was intended to speak to those true believers in a coded language that they understood only too well.

No wonder even the conservative pundits are turning away from him. What a disgusting individual. What slimy immoral lows will McCain not stoop to in order to attain the power of the Presidency? And he charges that Obama has only personal ambitions at heart. I know this much is true: Whenever a Republican makes an accusation against an opponent, he is actually talking about himself.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Ms. Palin Takes a Field Trip

This is the last one today, I promise:

Sarah Palin has canceled her trip to the San Francisco Bay area that was scheduled for next week. Instead, she is taking a field trip to the U.N. to get a little primer on some things she might need to know. Or it's just a photop so that she can look "Vice Presidential." You decide.

(Click on the Blog title to see the full story.)

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Brother Can You Spare A (Million) Dime(s)?

There are still displaced people from Hurricane Katrina and folks standing in line for food and water after Hurricane Ike, but look how quickly the Bush Administration rides to the rescue of Wall Street in an election year. Amazing how Government can work when it sees a real need. Anybody got a trillion dollars to help pay down the budget deficit?

Biggest Bailout Ever: Did the Government Go Too Far? (Yahoo Financial)

Posted Sep 19, 2008 10:39am EDT by Henry Blodget in Newsmakers, Recession, Banking
After a few weeks of trying to stand tough in the face of demands for a wholesale rescue, Hank Paulson apparently couldn't take it anymore. So now we'll have the biggest bailout in history, including:
A huge RTC-like government garbage can that banks can throw all their toxic balance-sheet waste into. (This time, the transfer will be made before they go bankrupt, unlike the case with the first RTC -a.k.a. the Resolution Trust Corp., a government agency created in the late 1980s to liquidate the assets of failed Savings & Loans)
A temporary ban on shortselling.

A federal guarantee on money-market accounts. (Including non-recourse loans to banks to buy high-quality commercial paper and meet money-market obligations.)
Not surprisingly, the market's up huge on this news. The moves should head off a run on money-market funds, restore liquidity to the financial system, and, create a general "time out" for the panic to recede.

So what are the costs? Almost certainly:

Higher taxes

Higher interest rates on government debt

Bigger government deficits

When the alternative is the entire financial system going bankrupt, we guess these costs are acceptable. But we're not convinced that that was the alternative.

Stocks Soar as Investors Look to Gov't Rescue Plan (Associated Press)
A plan to help financial companies excise bad mortgage debt from their ledgers likely would alleviate much of Wall Street's uncertainty about credit worthiness that has been sending the markets into tumult over the past week. Lending grinded to a virtual standstill in the wake of this week's bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and the bailout of teetering insurer American International Group Inc.

The government took other steps Friday to restore stability to the financial system. The Federal Reserve said it will expand its emergency lending and let commercial banks finance purchases of asset-backed paper from money market funds. The Fed injected another $20 billion in temporary reserves into the U.S. financial system. The central bank also will buy short-term debt obligations issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks.

And to help calm investors' anxieties, the Treasury Department has decided to use a Depression-era fund to provide guarantees for U.S. money market mutual funds. Money market mutual funds are typically considered safe, but many investors have been fleeing them due to worries about the funds' exposure to souring corporate debt.
To help limit the freefall in financial stocks, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday enacted a temporary ban on the short-selling of nearly 800 financial stocks.

"The federal government has been petitioned by Wall Street to take evasive action in the money markets, the stock and bond markets, to avoid a complete meltdown of the credit system," said Battipaglia. "Once the credit system melts down, the economy falls. We can hand-ring about if this is the proper thing for the government to do, or if Wall Street pulled the panic button too soon, but that's something for the historians to sort out."

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Qualified/Not Qualified: It's All in Your Perspective

I did not write this: I received this in an email, hunted down what I believe to be the original post and am just reposting here. (Please see the link associated with this post for what I hope is the original author. You are supposed to be able to click on the title of this post and get there. If not, here it is:

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."

* Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

* If you teach children about sexual predators, you are irresponsible and eroding the fiber of society.

* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate laywer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America 's.

* If your husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that hates America and advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

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The upcoming Presidential election may be one of the most important elections of our lifetime. For many years, people said that it did not matter who was running the White House and that there was no difference between the two parties. So much has occurred in the past eight years that has proven that this is not the case. There are stark differences between the platforms of the two parties and what their nominees for President are promising for our future.

The basis for the Republican Party’s political platform is that government and taxes are bad; rules and regulations on business are bad, but strict rules and regulations on individuals are necessary to maintain a decent society; “free market” forces will solve societal problems if government stays out of the way; and government programs (including education, healthcare, or social security) are bad; we don’t need a “nanny” government. Republicans support removing regulations from industry, and so deregulated the banking, insurance and financial services industries, resulting in our current economic recession and market crash. Republicans advocate eradication of all taxpayer-funded social safety nets. They support privatization of social security, see no use for welfare programs, believe healthcare is a commodity to be bought and sold, have privatized our national defense (resulting in huge profits for a handful of large corporations, even to the detriment of our troops and military strategy) and would like to either privatize or eradicate public education. They have established a record of being pro-corporate “rights” and anti-individual rights, and claim to be the party of law and order but appear to believe that the law does not apply to them and refuse to honor court-ordered subpoenas. The past three Republican Presidential administrations have established a record of war, huge budget deficits, and increased unemployment, homelessness and poverty. The current administration has destroyed our reputation abroad by use of illegal, unilateral military action, exhibiting a complete disdain for diplomacy and making arrogant foreign policy statements. It has advanced the radical idea of the “unitary executive” which gives broader powers to the executive branch OVER the other two branches of government in direct conflict with the US Constitution.

John McCain wants to make tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans permanent and give small tax cuts to working families. He is a believer in the “trickle-down theory” of economics which advocates policies to enrich the wealthiest portion of society in the hopes that some of that wealth will trickle down to the working class. He wants to tax your employer-provided health insurance benefits as income that would be applied as a payroll tax on your paycheck. To make up for the extra tax burden, he offers a “tax credit” ($2500 for individuals, $5000 for families) that is payable directly to your insurance provider. He has a record of advocating for and participating in the deregulation of banking, financial services and insurance because he believes that rules are an unnecessary hindrance to the free market. He has supported school vouchers to publicly subsidize the cost of private school education. He has stated that he is willing to allow our military to remain in Iraq for one hundred years and has advocated “pre-emptive military strikes” on Iran and Pakistan. Though he experienced torture firsthand as a prisoner of war, he has advocated our government’s use of torture and “extraordinary rendition” (kidnapping). John McCain calls himself a “maverick” but has staunchly supported the current administration’s policies and has completely changed his stand on many political issues in the past eight years so that he is now in lock-step with the Party he says he stood up against. He states that he is against special interests and wants to change Washington, but he has surrounded himself with special interest lobbyists and revolving door insiders and he chose a running mate that would appeal to certain voting blocks instead of someone who would be a knowledgeable, strong contributor to his administration.

The basis for the Democratic Party’s political platform is that government has an obligation to provide necessary services and protections for the people of the country and funds these services by taxes; common-sense rules and regulations on individuals and commerce are necessary to maintain a balance of power and a stable society and economy; national security can be maintained without sacrificing individual civil rights; fair market policies will create a stable economy and better foreign policy and promote a strong middle class which is the backbone of our economy and society ; and healthcare is not a commodity, but a right of all people. They support increased benefits for veterans and military families; equality; civil rights; healthcare for all, regardless of income; and will not privatize or do away with social security because they understand that this is a necessary program. They have established a record of policies that lift up the middle class, use our military as a last resort, utilize diplomacy to avoid conflict in foreign policy, fund education and healthcare for children and the elderly and create policies to assist with the costs of college education and the American dream of home ownership. The most recent Democratic Presidential administration took a budget deficit and turned it into a surplus while still managing to fund education, healthcare, and social safety net programs; overhauled a social security system that Republicans insisted was broken beyond repair; stimulated the economy, providing jobs that decreased unemployment; maintained our moral standing abroad; lifted the hopes and means of the working class and left behind decreased poverty and a budget surplus.

Barack Obama wants to work within the current employer and government provided healthcare system to expand healthcare and insurance to all citizens regardless of income. He wants to cut taxes to everyone making less than $265,000 a year and repeal the Bush taxcuts for the wealthiest portion of society. He wants to fund education and programs that will make college education possible for all. He advocates the use of regulations to protect consumers from bad products, fraudulent practices in banking and lending, and promotes policies that reward corporations for keeping jobs in the United States. He has a record of working with and for America’s working classes, supporting our troops, supporting equality and working in government in a bi-partisan fashion to solve problems. He has promised to bring an end to the Iraq occupation in a safe and responsible manner and go after Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. He promotes raising the minimum wage, affordable housing, equal pay for women and wants to create policies that will support the growth of “Green” industries, providing more jobs. He supports increased consumer protection, farm programs and policies that support family farms instead of corporate farms, upgrading rural infrastructure, and increased access to healthcare in rural communities. He promises to bring change to Washington and backed that statement up by refusing to take campaign funds from Political Action Committees and special interest lobbyists. He has proven that he can stand up against unwarranted personal attacks on his character and patriotism, dirty whisper and smear campaigns questioning his religious beliefs and family origins, and a steady stream of outright lies about him promoted by the McCain campaign. And he chose as his running mate a qualified, knowledgeable, experienced person who will not act as a "Yes man" but will contribute fresh and differing points of view to his administration.

There are obvious philosophical, ethical and economic differences between the two political parties. What you have to decide is which party’s philosophies and which candidate’s policies will best serve the interests of this country and her people for the next four years and beyond. If you prefer candidates and policies that will continue the “trickle-down” theories, divisiveness, souring economy and endless war that has been the hallmark of the Republican party, McCain/Palin is your ticket. If you believe that this country is on the wrong track, are ready for logical economic policies that create jobs and promise hope for the future and that we can all act NOW to change the system and get things working for the citizens again, Obama/Biden is your ticket. That’s the choice we are all faced with on November 4th.

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