Monday, September 29, 2008

This Week on The Daily Show

Monday, September 29 -- Hooman Majd -- Author, "The Ayatollah Begs to Differ"

Tuesday, September 30 -- Bill Maher -- Comedian, "Religulous"

Wednesday, October 1 -- Robert De Niro -- Actor, "What Just Happened?"

Thursday, October 2 -- Clint Eastwood -- Director, "Changeling"

This Week on The Colbert Report

Monday, September 29 -- Paul Begala

Tuesday, September 30 -- James Taylor

Wednesday, October 1 -- Dave Levin

Thursday, October 2 -- Naomi Klein

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I am not a happy camper -- re: the bailout

Brent Budowsky's article most closely resembles my feelings. I cannot explain how much I feel duped, used and otherwise thwarted. I feel as if my entire life is a lie. I served my country as a civil servant and in the US Army...for this?????

From Brent Budowsky:
For whom the bell tolls
By Brent Budowsky
Posted: 09/22/08 06:38 PM [ET]
I think of my former boss Lloyd Bentsen, who, as a senator and Treasury secretary, drew on his experience as CEO and financier with one iron and inviolable rule.

Bentsen probably knew more about finance than any person who ever served in the Senate. He never made rash decisions. He always insisted that he, and his staff, have total grasp of issues and carefully consider all options.

Today the president, the Fed, the Treasury, the markets and the Congress are violating Bentsen’s cardinal rule and acting at a dangerous moment in the most half-assed manner, in haste and panic, not fully understanding the problem, the solution, or the implications.

1. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson should present Congress with their anticipated calendar for spending the $700 billion they request. Congress should immediately pass one-third of the money with unanimous bipartisan support.

2. Over the next month the administration and Congress should collaborate on executing the program, assessing mid-course corrections, devising reforms of bankruptcy laws, enacting economic stimulus for Main Street and bringing the Group of Seven into the solution.

This would restore common sense and reassure markets, investors and taxpayers while sharing the burden with European and Asian players, lowering the cost to Americans and increasing the chance of success.

The bell tolls today for all of us, but especially, in a historic generational crime, the bell tolls for young people who will pay for the gluttony, misdeeds and incompetence of the adults.

The girl in the baby carriage, the boy on the playground, the high school kids, the college students, the men and women in uniform will pay for the sins and shames of their elders:

A disastrous healthcare system. Pollution and global warming. A trillion-dollar budget deficit . National debt well over $10 trillion. Social Security in crisis. Long-term veterans’ needs that are underfunded by $500 billion or more. An energy disaster that oil drilling will not materially improve while oil markets are corrupted by rampant and extreme speculation. Education that lags in a brutally competitive world.

This is a moral crime by the old against the young. Now, without serious debate, without checks and balances, without understanding the implications of actions, we rush in haste and panic to risk stratospheric sums of taxpayer money and to destroy the capability of the next President and Congress to address grave and unmet needs. Anyone who claims a $700 billion bailout will not mandate an enormous tax increase later is delusional or lying.

We faced a run on the bank by the rich. Then a run on the bank by the banks. Now a raid on the Treasury in which taxpayers are forced to bail out today and finance tomorrow the greed, gluttony and incompetence in the scandal of our times.

Young people are told they are not old enough to drink, but they are young enough to die in wars while our reckless behavior takes precedence over their body armor, Humvees and medical care. Government creates unimaginable debt while giving moral lectures to workers who run up credit card bills to make ends meet.

Those who have the most are not asked what they can do for our country. Those who suffer are forced to pay the cost, for those who made millions while making this mess.

Let’s step back and think about this. For whom does the bell toll? For us.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Verrry interesting!

Fox Cuts Off Guest for Mentioning the Keating Five

By hrebendorf - September 26, 2008, 2:19PM
This is a fun clip. Appearing on Fox & Friends this morning, conservative jackass Michael Reagan, in an attack on Obama and the Democratic leadership, launched into a rant about Enron and Worldcom. Guest Mike Papantonio, rightly figuring they were talking about history, brought up the Keating Five scandal, at which point, host Steve "Douchebag" Doocy immediately tried to shut him down. The producer can even be heard off camera calling for someone to cut Papantonio's mic:

Here is the Fox Video...

From Ray Story the transcript:

'Cut his mike,' producer suggests

The Keating Five scandal, and John McCain's role in it, has received relatively little mention in presidential campaign coverage, and at least one Fox News host seems dedicated to keeping it that way.

Appearing Thursday morning on Fox & Friends, radio host Mike Papantonio tried to remind viewers about McCain's intervention with federal regulators on behalf of real estate mogul Charles Keating, who was trying to avoid regulations of a savings and loan he owned during the S&L crisis of the 1980s.

F&F's Steve Doocy told Papantonio to "pipe down," called him "rude" and demanded he "cut it out." A show producer could be overheard saying "cut his mike."

As Papantonio tries one last time to explain the details of the Keating Five scandal, Doocy again cuts him off.

"This is not the History Channel," he says.

Papantonio's apparent crime was interrupting fellow guest Michael Reagan, the conservative radio host, who was arguing that it would be unfair to judge McCain based on his actions 20 years ago.

"It has everything to do with what's happening today," Papantonio said before being told to pipe down.

Regardless of whether Papantonio was being rude, preserving an orderly debate certainly could not have been Doocy's goal in silencing the guest. Not two minutes before his admonition that Papantonio was "being rude," Doocy repeatedly interrupted his guest to deliver talking points that might as well have been written by the McCain campaign.

At least three times Doocy interrupted Papantonio as he argued that McCain's political gambit to "suspend" his campaign and delay Friday's debate was more a response to his flagging poll numbers than an attempt to fix the economic crisis. Doocy wasn't buying it.

"If Barack Obama wants to do so much for the economy, why doesn't he go to his day job and work in the US senate?" he asked Reagan, cutting off Papantonio's argument.

Post debate thoughts

From TPM Election central:

"McCain's unwillingness to make eye contact with Obama through the debate seems to be getting picked up by a lot of observers. Here's an interesting exchange on the subject between Chris Matthews and the Post's Eugene Robinson ."

The fact that McCain would not look at Obama was something my 20 something daughter and her husband remarked on, they both thought it was disrespectful of McCain. I agree, why wouldn't he look at Obama?

There were moments when I wanted Obama to answer McCain assertions in a more forceful manner, throwing facts back at him, but then Republicans and righties don't respond to facts anyway, so I could have been wrong.

All in all, I hate the debate format.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stealing America vote by vote

There is no showing of this movie here. Perhaps we can get a copy of the DVD and find a place to show it?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Coming to HBO on Sept. 29, Taxi to the Dark Side

More financial crisis links and tidbits...and will your vote count??

Economists against Paulson's plan:
To the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate:

As economists, we want to express to Congress our great concern for the plan proposed by Treasury Secretary Paulson to deal with the financial crisis. We are well aware of the difficulty of the current financial situation and we agree with the need for bold action to ensure that the financial system continues to function. We see three fatal pitfalls in the currently proposed plan:

1) Its fairness. The plan is a subsidy to investors at taxpayers’ expense. Investors who took risks to earn profits must also bear the losses. Not every business failure carries systemic risk. The government can ensure a well-functioning financial industry, able to make new loans to creditworthy borrowers, without bailing out particular investors and institutions whose choices proved unwise.

2) Its ambiguity. Neither the mission of the new agency nor its oversight are clear. If taxpayers are to buy illiquid and opaque assets from troubled sellers, the terms, occasions, and methods of such purchases must be crystal clear ahead of time and carefully monitored afterwards.

3) Its long-term effects. If the plan is enacted, its effects will be with us for a generation. For all their recent troubles, America's dynamic and innovative private capital markets have brought the nation unparalleled prosperity. Fundamentally weakening those markets in order to calm short-run disruptions is desperately short-sighted.

For these reasons we ask Congress not to rush, to hold appropriate hearings, and to carefully consider the right course of action, and to wisely determine the future of the financial industry and the U.S. economy for years to come.

Signed (updated at 9/25/2008 8:30AM CT)

Acemoglu Daron (Massachussets Institute of Technology)
Adler Michael (Columbia University)
Admati Anat R. (Stanford University)
Alexis Marcus (Northwestern University)
Alvarez Fernando (University of Chicago) et al.......

From Randi Rhodes, the Goddess of research:

Stick 'Em Up, Jesse James!
It's a bank heist in reverse; Stealing from the people

$700 Billion: Pull A Number Outta Your Ass
Forbes is reporting someone at Treasury ACTUALLY TOLD THEM THE FOLLOWING:
"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."


and more info:

Citizens Dumping Personal Junk on Wall Street to Protest Bailout

10 Ways to Bail Out Wall Street (and Main Street) Without Soaking Taxpayers in Debt


And will our votes count?
RFK Jr., Mike Papantonio: "Is Your Vote Safe?"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Is the financial crisis a surprise? Think again

When the IMF comes, you have reached 3rd world country status. The time has come for "them" the PTB's to dismantle our government, our safety nets and dismantle the middle class.
IMF finally knocks on Uncle Sam's door
David HIrst
June 30, 2008

Der Spiegel wrote that the IMF had "informed" Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke of plans that would have been unheard of in the past: a general examination of the US financial system. The IMF's board of directors has ruled that a so-called Financial Sector Assessment Program is to be carried out in the US.

This, Der Spiegel wrote, "is nothing less than an X-ray of the entire US financial system", adding that "no Fed chief in US history has been forced to submit to the kind of humiliation that Ben Bernanke is facing".
The Shrinking Influence of the US Federal Reserve
June 26, 2008

By Gabor Steingart in Washington
Humiliation for Mr. Dollar: Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the United States Federal Reserve Bank, faces a general investigation by the International Monetary Fund. Just one more example of the Fed losing its power.

IMF To Investigate Factors Behind Oil Price Surge
IMF Survey online

June 14, 2008
The International Monetary Fund will prepare an analysis of the real and financial factors behind the recent surge in oil and commodity prices, their volatility, and the effects on the global economy, Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said.
Responding to a call by the Group of Eight (G8) major industrial nations, Strauss-Kahn said that as part of the analysis, the IMF would look into the possible role of financial market speculation in the recent price hikes.

Financial crisis some reading....

articles to read on Alternet:

Let's stop the greatest theft in the history of Humankind, by Otto Spengler, Asia Times.

Five Dangerous, Disastrous Things About the Proposed Bailout and What You Can do to Help Stop It.

Has Sarah Palin Been Picked as the Titular Head of the Coming Police State?

Also read the Army Times, about the activation of a Batallion whose job it will be to civil unrest, etc in the USA. Isn't that against posse comitatus?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This Week on The Colbert Report

Tuesday, September 23 -- Jackson Browne

Wednesday, September 24 -- Dr Cornel West

Thursday, September 25 -- Nick Carr

Monday, September 22, 2008

ta da! This is our 2000th post!

We have had long discussions at our house regarding the current financial crisis. We both feel that anything the government rushes into can't be a good thing. We were happy to hear Rep. DeFazio of Oregon on Cspan this morning and called his office to give him our thanks, for saying that more time and more review needed to be done before anything was passed. Then we called Rep. Lamar Smith's office to state our case.
Who did you call today??

Then low and behold, later in the day, THE Goddess of Radio, Randi Rhodes posted her thoughts.....just what we had been saying here at home all morning. Thanks Randi, for putting it so well.

From Randi Rhodes:
This is THE PATRIOT ACT ALL OVER AGAIN. Anything Congress RUSHES through will be THE WRONG RESPONSE and take from you all that you have. Freedom, privacy, money, credit, all of it must go!

The massive "bailout package" has to be paid for.

How? Perhaps a massive tax increase, definitely very tight credit markets for you and for small businesses. There will be bank merger after bank merger which will limit competition for loans and bank services. The Treasury will hire "contractors" through "no bid contracts" to place a "value" on valueless paper and set the price YOU have to pay to settle all the debt. NO one will really know how to price these things. NO one will know what they're doing, but everyone will get INTO THE BUSINESS of buying and selling these worthless assets.

There will be a bail out of both foreign and domestic banks with your tax dollars, and all of this will happened without REGULATIONS or OVERSIGHT .

THE REAL SOLUTION IS THE ONE YOU KNOW. If the markets were regulated NOW and Mortgage holders would be permitted to renegotiate the principal on their home loans this would STOP dead in it's tracks. Every individual with a bad loan could offer to pay 60 cents on the dollar, more or less and keep their home.

If we could make deals with credit card companies to settle our debts this would stop now because we'd have more money in our pockets to prop up the Economy.

If we raised taxes on Billionaires who created this mess and forced them to pay for this, This would stop NOW.

If we lowered taxes on Small Businesses and gave them low cost inventory loans THIS WOULD STOP NOW.

If we lowered taxes on everyone making less than 2M a year, and raised taxes through the roof on those who had profits of over $10 Million this would stop NOW. Small businesses would pop up all over America and people could go back to work, small business would flourish and the taxes we pay at the lower rates would pay down the DEBT.

If we left Iraq NOW we would add 10 Billion a MONTH to the Treasury.

This Government Bailout of banks BEFORE they fail, including FOREIGN BANKS with Taxpayer dollars is PRE EMPTIVE FINANCIAL WAR on the American People. It is the last part of Shock and Awe.

DO NOT SIT IDLY BY. Demand that this stop. DEAD COLD.


Give Homeowners the ability to negotiate home loans, car loans, credit card debt .
Set up a Resolution Trust Corporation to buy back homes we can't afford to keep with a Board of Directors to monitor all purchases and sales.
Immediately force Financial Institutions to stop paying dividends to shareholders.
Sell the hard assets of failed financial institutions, offices, buildings, computers, desks, any real property they owned.
Oversight on the entire Bailout process through a Board of Directors to oversee any acution of company assets.
Charge CEOs with fraud and levy huge fines on those who profited from Fraud and Misery.
Enact a law that states that a CEO can not make more than 144 times the amount the lowest paid worker makes.
Ban NO BID contracts with shadowy people who for a profit will price and sell assets, loans, banks.

This Week on The Daily Show

Tuesday, September 23 -- Bill Clinton -- Former U.S. President

Wednesday, September 24 -- Aaron Eckhart -- Actor, "Towelhead"

Thursday, September 25 -- Bob Schieffer -- Journalist

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Your Kendall County Democratic Headquarters!

Have you been to Kendall County's Democratic Headquarters? Pictured above are volunteers and curious, who have stopped in for information, yard signs, bumper stickers, and buttons. The headquarter's open from 10-6 every day but Sunday--correct me if I'm wrong!
To find the headquarters, it's directly across from Veterans Park on South Main, right next to St. Peter's Catholic Church. Please be careful that you park to the left as you pull in. Go by and say hi!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Reason to Support Obama

"It's the economy, stupid", the slogan that elected Bill Clinton to the presidency in 1992 is even more potent today. Michael Kinsley, in on-line Slate magazine proves, with charts that Democrats actually are better for the economy than Republicans. In every category, in every year since 1959, the Dems win: higher GDP, lower inflation, lower federal spending......well, you see where I'm going with this. These numbers are all based on the President's Economic Report.
In 2005 Kinsley wrote an article citing examples of Democratic administrations "serving Republican economic values". I wonder why McCain voters can't see that.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

From One of our Fine Boerne Dems

Why I Support Obama (and you should too!)
By Claire Oxley Gluck

Those of us who have been inspired by Obama find it is hard to understand why others are not. So when we are asked why we support him we sometimes stammer and then talk about our emotional response to his message: how he summons our better angels as JFK did for a generation previous to mine, and makes us feel hopeful again. Obama lights up our primitive, unconscious, emotional brain and makes us feel excited. For Hillary supporters, who may be immune to Obama’s charisma, let me appeal to your cerebral cortex – the more recently-evolved rational brain. Here’s why you should be fired up about Obama-Biden.

• The Supreme Court: The next President will most likely appoint two or even three Supreme Court justices, and they will replace the most liberal justices on that bench: Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 75 and not in excellent health; John Paul Stevens in 88; Steven Bryer is 69. Imagine a court without any liberals at all: No more Roe v. Wade; little protection from warrantless wiretaps; weak Habeas Corpus; no equal protection of women and minorities; no federally-mandated environmental regulations, no consumer protection, lots more executions of under-aged, poorly-defended, or retarded defendants. Very Scary!

• The Environment: If McCain/Palin wins, bid a tearful farewell to the polar bears whose habitat is melting beneath their paws. Don’t plan any trips to the Netherlands; Mauritius and other island nations because they will be submerged as the Ocean levels rise. Prepare for stronger hurricanes, tornadoes, and tsunamis, hotter summers and longer droughts. We could have oil rigs up and down our Atlantic and Pacific sea boards, throughout the Rockies and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

• Health Care: Many of us believe that our nation should have a universal, single-payer system. I want that for our citizens, but even Clinton was not proposing that. Obama’s plan isn’t ideal, but health care economists estimate that it would provide coverage to 50 million Americans who have none or inadequate coverage. McCain’s plan would help only 5 million.

• Commander-in-Chief: I believe that Obama would be much more responsible than McCain, who has a legendary temper. Obama would not send our armed forces into harm’s way except under the following conditions: our nation’s vital interests are at stake; real intelligence backs up that claim; diplomatic means have been exhausted; there is a clear military mission and a sufficient numbers of properly equipped troops to carry it out – as judged by military commanders, not the political leadership.

• Foreign Relations: Public opinion abroad of the USA has never been worse. In Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America we have lost the trust and respect our nation enjoyed before we embarked on unilateral Rambo-style diplomacy. Obama believes it is again time to win friends and influence nations. His foreign policy team includes many of the best and brightest, including Madeline Albright and Dennis Ross. The world is too complex for us to swagger around like John Wayne, telling others that it’s our way or the highway.

• Women’s Rights: Obama was raised primarily by his free-spirit of a mother and his hard-working grandmother. He clearly loves and respects his wife, a strong, smart Harvard Law School graduate and wants his daughters to have every opportunity he can offer them to excel. He is a strong supporter of a women’s right to make decisions about her body.

• The Economy: Obama is calling for transforming our economy from a petroleum-based (19th Century) one to one that is at the leading edge of alternate energy technology (21st Century). This would create millions of jobs in new technologies and reduce our nation’s carbon emissions. We would also be able to stem the growth of our debt to China (U.S. Treasury bonds), that finances our purchases of oil from exporters such as Venezuela, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

• Veterans Affairs: Obama has served on the Veterans Affairs committee and sponsored many bills to help veterans, including the 21st Century GI Bill. The Disabled American Veterans gave Obama a passing grade of 80%; John McCain flunked with a 20% rating. Similarly, the Iraq-Afghanistan Veterans Association gave Obama a B+ and McCain a D.

I urge you to work to elect Obama-Biden, even if in your heart you still wish Hillary had won. McCain/Palin will do too much damage to our Constitution, our Federal Judiciary and our environment for us to wait for 2012 to try again!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Progressivegrannie's husband speaks...

I am sick and tired of our so-called “leaders”, and what they have done to our country. Our hard-earned money is being spent left and right to fund a war we should never have started, and to bail-out financial and insurance companies that wound-up in debt that they could not repay. So, what does our government do? It gives them loans totaling billions and billions of dollars to help them get out of their greed-driven messes.
To me, we have been robbed. Our country has taken our money, along with our hopes and dreams, and flushed them down the toilet of big business. We have staggering debts: 5.7 trillion national debt, and 9.7 trillion foreign debt. What the hell are we working with? The $85 billion loaned to AIG did not come from a “rainy-day” fund. No, it comes from the budget (if we have one), which already has all the funds allocated to programs and departments. Now, of course, those budgeted funds are in short supply.
Our politicians, and our current administration have taken us for all we are worth. We are all suffering as a result. Many of us are on the brink of financial ruin, if not already there. For most of my adult life, I have watched as our legislators have fiddle-farted time away in the halls of congress and accomplished very little or nothing to protect the interests of this country and its population. It is apparent that this lack of elected duty should be considered criminal, and all those elected to “run” our nation should be arrested, and held for trial. The charge should be negligence. I, as a health professional, can be fired for negligence if I fail to deliver the proper care to my patients, and so it follows that our politicians should be held accountable as well. Merely voting them out of office does not suffice. They must take responsibility for their inaction and ineptitude.
Our nation is on its knees right now, and the revolver is pointed at its head. And what do we do to help restore order and calm, and work at fixing the problems? We point fingers, lash-out with multiple prevarications, and generally sit back and do nothing. If this is how our “leaders” handle crises, God save us if we do have some sort of cataclysmic event happen.
All these brave men and women would probably go running for the nearest cave.
I am so disgusted and ashamed of my country. It has become a bastion for inept politicians, and corrupt businesses that supplant patriotism with the bottom line. Profit has become the one and only thing idolized by these businesses, and our politicians have facilitated the attainment of that profit by enacting legislation that fomented their greedy ways. The people be damned! Pray and genuflect to the all-mighty profit god, (the dollar) because, after all, the attaining of more and more wealth is the maxim by which they live.
My father, a Russian immigrant, with some college education behind him said to me several times that the “only thing that would get this country into trouble was the all-mighty dollar”. How keen of him! How perceptive of a man with just a few years of college behind him! In my youth, I did not pay much heed to his words. Now, however, I revel in their genius, although it does not make me feel better.
My love of this country is waning. It has left me hollow and hopeless. My bootstraps are all broken or missing. The greatest challenge I face now is how to regain the spirit and ambition I have lost . I am all but defeated. I am being attacked from all sides: financially, emotionally, mentally and even physically (the latter due mostly to age). I am at a point in my life where starting over is not an option. I have neither the will nor the gumption to redo my life. I am sure I will survive, but I will never be the same. I will never look at my government for help, as they will not be there. They have abandoned us, and left us to muddle-through on our own. It has become a one-way street: Our government asks everything of us, but offers nothing in return. I do not quite yet fear our government, but that fear is lurking ominously in my mind.
It may be that the fear is one of a total lack of confidence in the people elected to carry us through times of crisis, and not so much a fear of bodily harm. Which is worse?
Washington D.C. is totally out-of touch with the rest of the United States. It cannot be expected that men and women, who are so far removed from the life experiences of average men and women be in charge of their welfare. The thugs in D.C. have achieved that at which the old Soviet Union, and indeed Osama Bin Laden have failed. I am not quite sure, but I will bet anyone that Osama Bin Laden is dancing a jig right about now, and he had no hand in it. We did this all to ourselves. This country was once thought to have streets “paved of gold”. Now, we are lucky that we have streets paved or unpaved. Our infrastructure is crumbling at a geometric pace. Soon we shall be wanting for most of the basics: food, water and electricity. Either they will become unaffordable, or they will be lacking.
Two quotes seem very apropos: “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction is the first and only object of good government”----Thomas Jefferson.
And, “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves”----Edward R. Murrow. I do not know which of the above quotes will eventually become my standard, but I am more hopeful that it will be the one by Thomas Jefferson.
In its inception, this nation was conceived by men, who were willing to sacrifice their fortunes and even their lives in order to found a nation which would be the envy of the world. Now, we find ourselves governed by men, who will sacrifice nothing of their own, only the wealth and well-being of others. These types used to be referred to as leeches. I believe them more to be a scourge. At this point in time, I would have to consider carefully whether or not to piss on one of them should they be on fire. Our founding fathers did not prevaricate. They were gentlemen of honor and dignity. Our present-day officials are not deserving of honor, and they have no semblance of dignity.
They have sold us out to the highest bidder (corporate lobbyists and special interests). In my estimation, this voids their elected trust. They do not serve anyone but themselves.
The mall in Washington D.C. should be adorned with a myriad of stocks, into which the thugs in D.C. should be placed.. I would gladly supply all the rotten vegetables one would want to hurl at them. Take note: My income is limited, so contributions of any wilting veggies would be welcome. After a week’s worth of pelting, these ingrates should then be tarred and feathered and driven out of town on a rail. This would give me great pleasure, although it would not remedy any of my current predicaments.
Ted Kennedy said. “When will the greed stop?” I am not sure, but given the current tide, I would say “never”. How sad it is to see this nation down-for-the count. And how sad it is that the ones delivering the knock-out punches are our elected officials. How can people entrusted with our future be so recalcitrant to our needs? It is repulsive and repugnant. It causes one to retch! What will be our cathartic?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This Week on The Daily Show

Tuesday, September 16 -- Ricky Gervais -- Actor, "Ghost Town"

Wednesday, September 17 -- Charlize Theron -- Academy Award winning actress

Thursday, September 18 -- Tony Blair -- Former Prime Minister

Some Dem Dogs in Boerne!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday morning musings

I am sick, sick, sick of lies spewed forth on TV and in print as the McCain spin machine runs amok. I can't believe that they are putting lipstick on the pig -- yes I said it --who is the VP candidate. The more I read about her, the more I learn about her cronyism, vindictiveness and secretive management of her state cabinet. McCain-Palin would be Bush-Cheney on steriods, IMHO, and our nation will be worse off than it is now.

Here is what I found of interest this morning....just snippets of each article ---
Blizzard of Lies
Paul Krugman
NY Times article excerpt:

Why do the McCain people think they can get away with this stuff? Well, they’re probably counting on the common practice in the news media of being “balanced” at all costs. You know how it goes: If a politician says that black is white, the news report doesn’t say that he’s wrong, it reports that “some Democrats say” that he’s wrong. Or a grotesque lie from one side is paired with a trivial misstatement from the other, conveying the impression that both sides are equally dirty.

They’re probably also counting on the prevalence of horse-race reporting, so that instead of the story being “McCain campaign lies,” it becomes “Obama on defensive in face of attacks.”

Still, how upset should we be about the McCain campaign’s lies? I mean, politics ain’t beanbag, and all that.

One answer is that the muck being hurled by the McCain campaign is preventing a debate on real issues — on whether the country really wants, for example, to continue the economic policies of the last eight years.

But there’s another answer, which may be even more important: how a politician campaigns tells you a lot about how he or she would govern.

I’m not talking about the theory, often advanced as a defense of horse-race political reporting, that the skills needed to run a winning campaign are the same as those needed to run the country. The contrast between the Bush political team’s ruthless effectiveness and the heckuva job done by the Bush administration is living, breathing, bumbling, and, in the case of the emerging Interior Department scandal, coke-snorting and bed-hopping proof to the contrary.

I’m talking, instead, about the relationship between the character of a campaign and that of the administration that follows. Thus, the deceptive and dishonest 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign provided an all-too-revealing preview of things to come. In fact, my early suspicion that we were being misled about the threat from Iraq came from the way the political tactics being used to sell the war resembled the tactics that had earlier been used to sell the Bush tax cuts.

And now the team that hopes to form the next administration is running a campaign that makes Bush-Cheney 2000 look like something out of a civics class. What does that say about how that team would run the country?

What it says, I’d argue, is that the Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.


She’s Not Ready
NY Times

While watching the Sarah Palin interview with Charlie Gibson Thursday night, and the coverage of the Palin phenomenon in general, I’ve gotten the scary feeling, for the first time in my life, that dimwittedness is not just on the march in the U.S., but that it might actually prevail.

How is it that this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket? How is it that so much of the mainstream media has dropped all pretense of seriousness to hop aboard the bandwagon and go along for the giddy ride?

For those who haven’t noticed, we’re electing a president and vice president, not selecting a winner on “American Idol.”

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gloria Steinem vs. Palin, worth reading

Palin: wrong woman, wrong message
Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.
By Gloria Steinem
September 4, 2008
Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.

But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new

You're Registered to Vote...but how do you REALLY know?

Here's how: go to the URL below to verify. You can do so by your name and/or your driver's license number.

Why's it important? A few years back, for unknown reasons 400 Kendall County Democrats just weren't on the rolls when voting day rolled around. This election's too important; we need every vote.

Found on You Tube...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday Sept. 6, meet the candidates

The candidates that spoke at Boerne Middle School were (name/position running for):
Rick Noriega, US Senate
Mark Thompson, Railroad Commissioner
Dan Boone, District 73, House
Gwen King, Kendall County Tax Collector/Assessor
Judge Jim Jordan, Texas Supreme Court, Chief Justice
Sam Houston, Texas Supreme Court, Place 7
Judge Linda Yanez, Texas Supreme Court, Place 8
Susan Strawn, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3
Judge JR Molina, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4
Judge Catherine Stone, Justice, Fourth Court of Appeals

Each candidate spoke about why they were running and gave a bit of information on their backgrounds. So many very interesting stories, that I am not sure I can keep them straight. I would suggest that you, the reader, go to each candidates' website to get fully informed.

All I can saw about those running for Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals is that they are all incredibly well prepared, have a variety of experiences that will add to their abilities to render well considered opinions. After all, the Supreme Court of the State of Texas is currently all Republican, so there is no opposing point of view, something that is essential to keeping Texas law fair for all its citizens.

The one thing that was new to me was the job of Railroad Commissioner. I came to Texas as a college student and therefore I never had any Texas history. I was interested to find out that the job of RR Commissioner was a result of the RR companies basically screwing Texans, and it was a way for Texans to fight back. Now, the job is related to energy -- oil and gas, and wind power. Needless to say, often the persons in this job are beholden to the energy industry. What got my attention was Mark Thompson's passion about stopping poor installation of gas lines in homes. Evidently, construction techniques in Texas allow installation of gas lines with PVC pipes, as far as I could understand. So, when foundations shift, gas leaks occur, and houses blow up, injuring and killing the occupants. He wants to change the laws so this type of incident can be prevented. We had a home blow up behind our house several years ago, and that's why this subject is so close to my heart. In addition, he wants to make sure the job of RR Commissioner is no longer beholden to the oil and gas industry and instead serves all Texans.

My photos the event are too dark (mostly). I will post what photos I have that are fit to post.

Col. Rick Noriega

It was my pleasure to meet Col. Noriega, a fellow U.S. Army Reservist, who has served in Afghanistan, and many other honorable duty stations. Unlike Col. Noriega, my only "war" was Panama, when I served at Ft. Bragg, but while on assignment at Ft Bragg I developed a great love of the men and women of the 82nd Airborne. Col. Noriega will be an great asset to the Veterans of Texas as he fights for the rights of Veterans of our entire nation, when he is the next Senator of Texas!

Photos of me and of Brian with Col. Noriega:

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Cindy McCain's $300,000 Outfit

I have a sense of quiet outrage over her outfit at the Republican Convention this week. I heard recently that there is a larger distance between the rich and the poor in America since the 1920's. The rich are richer, the poor are poorer.

And at THIS time, a time when the jobless rate jumped up past 6%, the middle class jobs are disappearing, people are losing their homes in record numbers, Americans are struggling...and this is the time when the Presidential nominee's wife chooses to wear an outfit worth twice what most people could buy a nice house for. Three or four times that amount in some parts of the country.

Ostentatious displays of wealth are tacky. They're ungracious. They're indications of what lies beneath. Cindy McCain didn't scrape her way from the bottom of the barrel, through her own sweat and hard work find a way to make millions. What she did was to win the big lottery in the genetic crapshoot. All she did was get born.

Christianity and conservatism allows us some VERY strange bedfellows at times. That the same general set of folks who believe when they read in the Bible "It is easier for a camel to fit through the head of a pin than for a rich man to enter heaven"...could also be heard to say about this "hey, if she can afford it, what the's her money,"

Yes, it IS her money. Her decision. And it displays her utter disconnection from the hurting families of America.

Cindy McCain was onstage for all the world to see. There's no better time to make a statement about yourself, about your views, and about your husband, the nominee for President of the United States of America.

Her statement: I'm about as rich as they come; look at how I can preen about in a dress that costs more than almost all of you will spend on clothing your entire lives.

My mom was raised in the oil fields on and ranches of West Texas. She's about as real as it gets, and she can spot a phony a mile off. The word my mom would use for preening about in an outfit like that would be unseemly.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Amy Goodman arrrested illegally

She went to check on her cameraman and a producer who were taking videos of the protest. Her staffers were swept up by the police, even while wearing press credentials. When Amy went to ask about having her staffers released, she was arrested. Incredible, unbelieveable. What ever happened to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech? The press, as our watchdogs of democracy should not be treated like this, nor should the peaceful protesters.