Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama nominated for Nobel Peace Prize?

"President Obama has been in office a little over a month, and already, he has been nominated for Oslo's Nobel Peace Prize, along with Nicolas Sarkozy."

What has he done to deserve it?

In Iraq forever

In 2006, we elected a Democratic Congress, so that Pelosi and Reid would end the war in Iraq.

In 2008, the Democrats nominated and elected the "anti war" candidate who pledged to end the war in Iraq, withdraw our troops, and use the money now spent in Iraq to fund his domestic agenda.

In 2009, the newly elected anti war president finally announced his Iraq policy - - withdraw most troops from Iraq by late 2010, and leave as many as 50,000 troops in Iraq through 2011.

In other words, the man "whose presidential campaign was built initially on his early opposition to the Iraq War and his promise to end it if elected" has just adopted the Bush/McCain/Republican plan to "end" the war:

"The Republican Obama defeated in November for the presidency, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, lauded the plan. ''We have spent enormous amounts of American blood and treasure in Iraq,'' McCain said. ``We are finally on a path to success. Let us have no crisis of confidence now.'' McCain said he agrees with Obama that the United States should keep 50,000 troops in Iraq after the combat troops leave, following the recommendation of U.S. military commanders. . . . The Republican leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives -- Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Rep. John Boehner of Ohio -- also issued statements praising Obama's Iraq policy."

If all goes according to plan, without hitch or setback, then 5 years after electing an anti war Congress, and three years after electing an anti war president, 50,000 American troops will still be in Iraq.

Does anyone still believe all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011?

Religion and politics

Regarding Obama's "Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships", "an extension of Bush's office directing tax dollars to faith-based social service agencies", but which Obama has empowered to "actually weigh in on policy matters":

"The mixing of religion and politics has drawn fire from the left and the right. Groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State accuse Obama of going back on his word by refusing to scrap a Bush policy allowing federally funded religious groups to discriminate against job candidates who don't share their beliefs."

It continues to amaze me that highly and widely criticized policies of the Bush administration are being continued and even expanded by the Obama administration, with only the slightest comment, notice or criticism.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Just say "No"!

"The White House on Friday insisted it's not trying to take over two ailing financial institutions, even as stocks tumbled again. On Wall Street, talk of nationalization of Citigroup Inc., and Bank of America Corp., prompted investors to continue to balk, worried that the government would have to take control and wipe out shareholders in the process.

Citigroup fell 20 percent, while Bank of America fell 12 percent in afternoon trading but also came off their lowest levels. . . .

When a reporter suggested Gibbs could do that by saying point blank that Obama would never nationalize banks, Gibbs would not make that statement, but emphasized: "I think I was very clear about the system that this country has and will continue to have.""

If a portion of the market decline of recent days is attributable to fears that Obama will nationalize banks, and Obama doesn't plan to ever nationalize banks, and Obama wants to help reverse the market decline, Obama must simply and clearly say he will never nationalize banks.

If he won't, don't be surprised if people think he will, and act accordingly.

Was the real purpose of the stimulus bill

. . . to allow governors to go on wild and crazy spending sprees?

If not, someone in the administration needs to smack down Gov. Crist.

I always thought the appropriate responses to economic difficulty are frugality and fiscal discipline.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Did they lie about foreign involvement in the campaign?

Remember when accusations of foreign involvement in Obama's campaign were dismissed as xenophobic paranoia?

"I want to also, by the way, thank some of the Canadians who came over the border to campaign for me during the election."
Barrack Obama, speaking in Canada

Dow at six-year low

I'd imagine more wealth has been lost in 401K's and Keogh's and IRA's and SEP accounts and medical savings accounts than in upside down home mortgages.

There wlll be no economic turnaround or uptick in consumer confidence until the administration addresses this issue of lost wealth, lost savings and lost financial security. Because, at the end of every quarter, every one gets mailed a reminder from their plan administrators.

Who banks at UBS?

"IRS wants to force Swiss bank UBS to lift veil of secrecy . . . The Justice Department filed suit in Miami federal court Thursday seeking to force Swiss banking giant UBS to name 52,000 U.S. customers with Swiss accounts totaling $14.8 billion."

How many of our millionaire / billionaire politicians (including the dozen Senate legacies and various family trusts) will be found on that list? I'm betting on at least one Bush, one Kennedy and one Heinz/Kerry.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Believers in Barack"

Today, as I merged through the Golden Glades interchange from the Turnpike to I-95, I pulled behind a big black Mercedes with a bumper sticker proclaiming "Believers in Barack".

It didn't say "Believers FOR Barack", which would evidence support for Obama among people of faith in God or Jesus or Yahweh or Allah or whatever name you use.

Rather, it said "Believers IN Barack", evidencing support for Obama among people whose quasi religious, faithful devotion is to Obama as their deity.

Sorry, that's just weird.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

If we bring our troops home we will save billions . . .

Remember the Obama plan to fund his domestic agenda and balance the budget?

All we had to do was bring our troops home from the Middle East.

Not so much any more.

Illinois senate seat: That was a good idea

Obama's people and the Illinois Democratic party opted to appoint a replacement rather than hold a special election to fill Obama's seat.

How's that working out?

Remember when gas tax cuts were stupid?

Remember Spring, 2008, when all presidential candidates, Democratic and Republican, (except Obama) proposed a tax holiday at the gas pump? Remember how the idea was mocked, because $40 or $50 per month was no big deal and would have no economic impact on either individual budgets or the broader economy?

The same people who mocked that idea are applauding Obama's $13 per paycheck reduction in taxes (only for those earning under $70K) as the savior of our system.

Wouldn't prevention in the Spring have been better than trying to fashion a cure in the Winter?

It seems to me that a gas tax cut at the pump would have been more help to the working class, i.e., those filling up their tanks to get to work.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wind powered ski areas

Of all industries, the ski business would be among the first adversely affected by global warming. Already, warming weather is cutting into ski profits, and threatens the traditional meccas of winter sports. It is anticipated that melting glaciers and unreliable snowfall will force many lower altitude snow sports centers to close within our lifetimes.

Therefore, it's no surprise that ski areas nationwide are turning to wind power to reduce their environmental footprint. Twenty-two winter resorts in seven states now use wind power credits to supply all of their electric needs. A total of 51 ski resorts use at least partial amounts of renewable energy.

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort in Truckee, California was the first U.S. resort to rely completely on wind power. Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts' Berkshires is constructing a huge windmill to supply all of its needs. (Ironically, an option unavailable to areas on leased national or state land.) The owners of New Hampshire's Mount Sunapee, Colorado's Crested Butte and Vermont's Okemo converted all three to 100 percent reliance on wind power generated electricity.

It is estimated that the combined efforts of these resorts keep over 372,383,234 pounds of carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas believed to be chiefly responsible for global warming) out of the atmosphere. An emissions-reduction effort by other means would require the planting of 15 million trees or the elimination of 150,000 round-trip flights between New York and California.

Taliban 1, Pakistan 0

"The [Pakistan] government announced Monday that it would accept a system of Islamic law in the Swat valley and agreed to a truce, effectively conceding the area as a Taliban sanctuary and suspending a faltering effort by the army to crush the insurgents.

The concessions to the militants, who now control about 70 percent of the region just 100 miles from the capital, were criticized by Pakistani analysts as a capitulation by a government desperate to stop Taliban abuses and a military embarrassed at losing ground after more than a year of intermittent fighting. About 3,000 Taliban militants have kept 12,000 government troops at bay and terrorized the local population with floggings and the burning of schools."

In other words, the Taliban has conquered, will retain control of, and will impose their strict medieval version of Islamic law ("floggings and the burning of schools") within a large swath of Pakistani territory.

Does anyone think the Taliban will be content with control of this one region? or, that we can stop the Taliban from extending the areas under their control?

Obama supports Rove?

Obama "delayed his decision" on Karl Rove's refusal to testify before Congress regarding the Bush administration's firings of nine U.S. attorneys. Rove claims "executive privilege". As the new chief executive, Obama needs to say whether he supports the executive privilege claims of Rove (and Bush and Cheney and Miers and Gonzalez, etc.)

The real question for Obama: Does Obama want Axelrod and Emanuel and the rest of his people hauled in front of the next Republican led investigating committee in 2 or 4 or 8 years?

Unless Obama believes that Democratic control of Congress is permanent, he's going to support Rove and disappoint many of his own supporters.

Didn't Democrats mock this nonsense?

Remember when Democrats mocked Republicans for trying to rename everything after Ronald Reagan, without waiting for the judgment of history?

Of course, at the time, Reagan had completed eight years in the White House, not a mere few weeks. And, Reagan was suffering from advanced dementia, so he couldn't be held responsible for not discouraging the nonsense. Obama seems to think this is his due.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Remember how the media mocked anyone who accused Obama's economic team of socialist tendencies?

"Strikingly, the president would not rule out more direct government intervention if his initial approaches fail. "What you can say is I will not allow our financial system to collapse," he said forcefully when asked if he was excluding a Swedish-style solution. "And we are going to do whatever is required to get credit flowing again so that companies and consumers can do their business and we can get this economy back on track.""

What do you call bank nationalisation?

If a state can cut taxes . . .

did it really need the federal stimulus bill's assistance?

Isn't it strange to hear the loudest bipartisan proponent of the urgent need for federal aid to (and federal spending for the benefit of) the various states now proposing state tax cuts (literally before the stimulus bill is signed)?


"President Obama's advisers are betting that the historic legislation he will sign tomorrow will bear fruit quickly, and they plan to do everything they can to highlight evidence of it creating the jobs he has promised. That public relations effort kicks off tomorrow as a two-day swing through the West begins. But the Republican Party has made its own bet: that the stimulus package that Democrats rushed through Congress will have been deemed a failure by the time the 2010 elections arrive, leading voters to rebuke Obama and reward the GOP with much-needed victories."

Why is this considered big news or deep insight? It's the way it's always been. Notwithstanding all the sloganeering regarding hope and change, people tend to disagree and compete in a democracy. That's why it's called a democracy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

U.S. may be repeating Soviet mistakes in Afghanistan

"U.S. may be repeating Soviet mistakes in Afghanistan"

"Some Afghan experts are worried that the United States and its NATO allies are making some of the same mistakes that helped the Taliban's forerunners defeat the Soviet Union after a decade-long occupation that bled the Kremlin treasury, demoralized Moscow's military and contributed to the Soviet Union's collapse.

Among the mistakes, these experts said, are relying too heavily on military force, inflicting too many civilian casualties, concentrating too much power in Kabul and tolerating pervasive government corruption."

What makes it worse is that we have their experience to learn from.

Offshore drilling

Another policy that's only bad when Republicans propose it.

Governor Crist? Senator Crist?

Whatever Crist wants, Obama just gave it to Crist.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's called "the opposition"

The OPPOSING party is called the OPPOSITION for a reason.

They OPPOSE the incumbents.

It's a vital and valid role that serves a valuable purpose.

It's healthy to have critics evaluating, testing and fighting you.

It makes you better, tougher and stronger. In fact, a vigorous opposition forces you to refine and improve your proposals and more clearly articulate your beliefs.

The absence of an opposition is why every dictatorship eventually falls, while democracies survive and prevail.

Why are people shocked when the opposition opposes the other party?

By the way - - does Andrew Sullivan have any recollection of the personal, nasty, gossipy things he wrote about Bill and Hillary Clinton, or George W. Bush, when Sullivan was part of the opposition? I don't remember any of these Obama folks ever rolling over "because it's in our interest for the president to succeed". (Quick reminder - - Sullivan used to spread "Hillary's a lesbian" and "Palin's not really her youngest son's mother" stories.)

Final words on the stimulus plan

"The compromise economic stimulus plan agreed to by negotiators from the House of Representatives and the Senate is short on incentives to get consumers spending again and long on social goals that won't stimulate economic activity . . . 'All this is 25 years of government expansion jammed into one bill and sold as stimulus'"

Next year, when we're still in recession, what will all the "hurry up and pass something quickly" folks be proposing?

Update - Now, Paul Krugman (!) agrees that the stimulus plan won't work . . . maybe he should have said something before it passed (when he was cheerleading for the administration)?

Gregg withdraws as commerce secretary nominee

And he's correct:

"Gregg said he'd always been a strong fiscal conservative and added: "It really wasn't a good pick.""

It really wasn't a good pick. Now, after all these vetting and selection "screw ups" (in the president's own words), can the media stop touting the flawless, mistake free Obama machine?

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Remember the arcade game?

When you remove troops from Iraq . . .

and transfer them to Afghanistan . . .

aren't you playing whac-a-mole with the terrorists? and our soldiers' lives?

Remember how frustrating that game can be? and how no one ever really wins?

The stimulus package gives these folks thousands . . .

millions . . . billions . . . hundreds of billions of dollars to spend on no bid contracts with no oversight.

By the way - - Remember the head of the National League of Cities, the guy who actively lobbied Congress for the stimulus bill? He's the mayor of Miami.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Iran ready for talks?

"Iran's hard-line president told crowds celebrating the Islamic revolution's anniversary Tuesday that the country is ready for talks with the United States, the strongest signal yet that Tehran welcomes President Barack Obama's calls for dialogue. . . . As usual at such gatherings, there were chants of "Death to America," along with the burning of U.S. and Israeli flags."

Can we all agree that the U.S. will be ready for talks with Iran when Iranians stop chanting "Death to America" and burning U.S. flags?

Does your 401K approve of the bailout and stimulus plans?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 382 points yesterday.

Middle class tax cuts?

Remember the promises? Middle class tax cuts for families earning under $250K?


The stimulus plan contains "tax credits of $500 per worker, $1,000 per couple, phasing out after $70,000 in income ($140,000 couples)."

What happened to the tax break for those earning under $250,000?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I thought this was evil and facist

"The Obama administration invoked the same "state secrets" privilege as its predecessor in federal court in San Francisco yesterday in opposing the reinstatement of a lawsuit that alleges that a Boeing Co. unit flew people to countries where they were tortured as part of the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program."

If this was evil when Bush did it, why does it pass without comment when Obama does it?

False choice

Obama is wrong.

The choice is not between doing nothing and passing the Obama/Pelosi/Reid stimulus bill.

There is a third option - - take a few more weeks and do it right.

"The drug culture of the Texas Rangers' clubhouse in the 1990's"

ESPN's Peter Gammons attributes Alex Rodriguez' three years of doping while playing for the Texas Rangers to "the drug culture of the Texas Rangers' clubhouse in the 1990's".

Who ran the Texas Rangers' clubhouse in the 1990's?

"Even Betts, while assuring [George W.] Bush that becoming managing partner of the Rangers would pave the way for a political future, expressed concerns about Bush's timing. "I don't want to make the investment, if you plan to run in two years," said Betts, a New York entertainment mogul, who became the largest single investor in the Rangers.

In early August, Bush made it official: He would pass on the 1990 governor's race.

By then he was already a part-owner of the Rangers, a deal signed on April 21. His team of investors had purchased 86 percent of the team for about $75 million. He and DeWitt raised half of the money, with Betts being the main investor; the other half came from a group led by Texas financiers Richard Rainwater and Edward "Rusty" Rose III. Rainwater and Rose had joined with Bush after Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth concluded that Bush and DeWitt hadn't raised enough Texas money.

Bush and Rose, it was agreed, would have joint power in running the franchise, with Rose behind the scenes and Bush serving as the ownership's public face. Bush's total investment eventually would reach $606,302. For putting the deal together and running the club, Bush would receive an additional 10 percent return when the team was sold.

Baseball experts say the new ownership team enhanced the value of the franchise. Gross revenue more than doubled from $28 million to $62 million in a few years, and after the new stadium opened in 1994, it nearly doubled again – to $116 million last year. The club went from a mom-and-pop operation with 30 front-office employees and a consistently mediocre record on the field since moving to Texas from Washington in 1971 to a major corporation that now has 170 employees. In 1996, the Rangers made it to the playoffs for the first time, ultimately losing to the New York Yankees."

Does anyone still wonder how Bush turned a group of also rans into playoff contenders in a few short years?

Bush ruined anything and anyone he ever touched.


"The Senate's likely approval of an $827 billion economic-stimulus plan Tuesday will signal a decisive new expansion of the government's role in the economy.

The package will include tens of billions of dollars to help states pay for healthcare, education and highways. It'll provide tax breaks for new car and home buyers. It will help to computerize health records and invest heavily in 21st century renewable energy technology."

In retrospect, the campaign accusation of "socialist" was fairly accurate.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ski Area Citizens' Coalition

The Ski Area Citizens' Coalition, a private citizens organization, works to ensure that ski areas are responsive to environmental concerns, their local communities and the skiing public. Most of SACC's volunteers and staff are skiers themselves. They recognize that skiing is a valid use of public lands, but they also recognize that not all ski areas are good stewards of public lands.

The group's Ski Area Environmental Scorecard attempts to distinguish between ski areas that are engaging in environmentally sound practices and those that merely claim to do so. Obviously, there will always be environmental impacts from creating and operating a ski resort. Therefore, the Scorecard rates resorts on current environmental performance rather than impacts from the time of the creation of the resort. Among the factors are impact on roadless areas, logging old growth forests, purchasing clean renewable wind energy, use of cleaner burning biodegradable biodiesel and energy efficiency. SACC's Scorecard is the only non-industry independent assessment of the environmental performance of ski and snowboard resorts.

Surveys show that snowsports enthusiasts consider the environment a higher policy priority than the general public. SACC's goal is to provide the skiing public with the ability to make recreation choices based on their concern for a healthy environment. For more information, and the scorecard results, go to:

IRA's and 401K's

Obama did not win because he "fired up" his base. Gore and Kerry fired up their bases. The same aging rock stars and rap moguls put on the same concerts before the same Hollywood and campus crowds in 2000 and 2004. ("Vote or Die?")

Obama won because he convinced enough swing people in the middle, the conservative Democrats and the liberal Republicans, to trust him.

Obama's most effective campaign pitch to this crowd in the middle was not produced by the Democratic party, the Republican party or the mainstream media.

It was produced and distributed in late Fall of 2008 by the hundreds and thousands of IRA and 401K plan administrators. They told these people that their accumulated wealth shrank by almost one third during the prior 6 months. In turn, these people accepted the need for change.

The stimulus plan largely ignores these people and their concerns. Unless something is done to boost their retirement account balances back to 2007 levels, they may not be there in 2010 or 2012. Instead, they could look for another answer.

A fair assessment

"A few weeks into his presidency, a man with no previous executive experience is finding his leadership style being tested while he's trying to forge it. . . . In his rush, he's also bypassed his own orders against hiring lobbyists, named at least three senior appointees with tax problems, been forced to admit that he ''screwed up'' and shifted political strategy as his hopes for quick approval of the $800 billion-plus economic stimulus proposal bogged down in Congress."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Trust the experts?

Twelve to 18 months ago, the biggest problem in the real estate market was owners "trapped in their homes".

"[T]he housing boom" of the past few years had an unintended effect on homeowner's tax bills. Because the rate of "increase in a home's assessed value" for property tax purposes was slower than the rate of increase in the home's market value, property taxes on long term homeowners were artificially low. Any long term homeowner moving or down sizing would face tremendous increases in property taxes on their new residence.

The supposed solution? "[T]he Amendment 1 property tax campaign with a promise: if the referendum passed, they would no longer be 'trapped in their homes.''' "The centerpiece of the amendment was portability, the ability for homeowners to transfer from one home to another up to $500,000" in assessed value for property tax purposes.

The reality? "[T]he converging forces of the worldwide credit crunch, the explosion of home foreclosures and the resulting surplus of homes had a chilling effect. By the end of 2008, 39,000 homeowners transferred only $3.1 billion worth of tax savings to new homes, a fraction of the estimate, according to revenue department reports."

The reason? "'The problem is, people can't sell their home to be able to move' . . . 'Whether it is effective in getting the real estate market going isn't going to be known until we get this glut of foreclosures off the market.'"

In other words, people are now trapped in their homes by declining property values, in some cases to levels below their mortgage balances. The problem was not portability, but over inflated values which led to market collapse. A situation no one predicted.

So, why do we still keep listening to the prescriptions of all the financial experts and economic bureaucrats and real estate professionals? They've been wrong about EVERYTHING.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The genesis of the fight for gay marriage

If the few cold hearted idiots working as gate keepers in our emergency rooms and intensive care units had behaved with simple basic human warmth, compassion and kindness, and let gay couples visit each other in the hospital, the issue of gay civil unions and thereafter gay marriage would never have developed as rapidly as it has. Another example of unintended consequences.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Should faith based discrimination continue?

"President Barack Obama waded into the eternal debate over church and state on Thursday, creating his own White House council to provide government assistance to faith-based groups that help the poor. . . . Obama left in place five executive orders signed by Bush that allow the groups receiving government funds to proselytize or refuse to hire non-believers."

In other words, Bush executive orders that specifically authorize religion-based employment discrimination in publicly funded programs have been left in place.

YOUR tax dollars may continue to be spent on programs and agencies they refuse to hire YOU because of YOUR religious beliefs.

Those executive orders were unconstitutional and un-American when Bush signed them.

They were Bush's payback for past support, and Bush's payment for future support.

There's no excuse for them to remain on the books. None. Obama should repeal them while reforming the faith based operation. Let's hope he does.

"Rendition" vs. "Extraordinary rendition"

CIA director nominee Leon Panetta promises to stop the practice of "extraordinary rendition", while continuing the practice of "rendition".

When you're rotting in a Turkish prison, and you're beaten, starved and abused, is it any comfort that your rendition was plain old regular rendition, and not nasty evil Bush / Cheney extraordinary rendition?

Where is the ACLU? MoveOn? Andrew Sullivan?

Or, is torture only bad when you're honest about what you're doing and who's doing it for you?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

If you needed more proof . . .

"Miami Mayor Manny Diaz led a phalanx of mayors to the White House and Capitol Hill Wednesday to push Congress for speedy passage of an economic recovery plan. The mayors have their own massive wish list for the package -- much of which won't make the cut -- but Diaz, who heads the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said the group is eager to get money flowing. . . . The full-court press came as Senate Republicans balked at the cost of President Barack Obama's stimulus plan, forcing the White House to ramp up its push for passage. Senate Republicans -- and some moderate Democrats -- say there is too much spending in the bill."

When the mayors are literally lining up outside Congress asking for more pork in the stimulus bill, isn't it proof that there's too much pork in the stimulus bill?

This is how you reform health care

Yesterday’s reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program is an example of how you reform health care.

Incrementally . . . “extending health coverage to 4 million uninsured children”.

In easy to digest amounts . . . “an additional $32.8 billion”.

With transparent, credible and easy to understand payment plans . . . “generated that revenue by raising the federal tobacco tax.”

Starting with items no one can object to . . . “kids' health insurance”.

With true bipartisan support . . . “passage . . . on a vote of 290-135 . . . Forty Republicans joined in approval.”

You start with “the first step”, and then you build on it.

If they’re smart, they’ll next do prenatal ob/gyn coverage and postnatal infant well care. (You should be able to get 40 to 50 Republican “right to life” votes for that proposal based upon statistics showing how often the high cost of delivery contributes to the decision to abort.)

Of course, you can fight a noble battle for a trillion dollar “broad health care agenda” omnibus overhaul of the entire health care system.

And, you can risk going down to noble defeat, leaving health care untouched for yet another decade or more.

Obviously, those noble battles get your face on heirloom quality collectible mugs and plates and fleece blankets.

But, if you want to make things better than you found them, little by little, building upon past successes until you get to where you want to be, you go slowly. So far, isn’t that the lesson of the stimulus bill?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

HELP !!!

Will someone - - anyone - - in the mainstream media notice - acknowledge - comment upon this nonsense!

Seriously - - doesn't anyone on TV or with a newspaper column realize how stupid this is getting?

Remember when we laughed at countries that developed personality cults around their leaders?

Support for Stimulus Package Falls to 37%

"Support for the economic recovery plan working its way through Congress has fallen again this week. For the first time, a plurality of voters nationwide oppose the $800-billion-plus plan."

When will the "progressive" blogs realize that pressuring Obama to modify the stimulus package helps Obama? Applauding your leader's mistakes simply enables him to continue being wrong.

Partisan gridlock?

"President Barack Obama is making another push for the economic stimulus plan being debated in the Senate, saying that with stakes so high, the nation can't afford the "same partisan gridlock.""

If Obama truly believes that, Obama needs to get the House hyper partisans (Pelosi, Frank, et al.) off the case, and have a truly bipartisan, multi party drafting session to work out a true, bipartisan compromise stimulus package.

As a general rule, if there's an idea that someone proposed before the economic crisis hit, but could never find support or funding for, that idea doesn't belong in the stimulus bill. It's pork.

More dynasties

"Robin Carnahan, the daughter of a former Missouri governor and a U.S. senator, said Tuesday that she is running for the U.S. Senate. Carnahan, currently secretary of state, is a Democrat and will seek the seat being vacated by four-term Sen. Kit Bond, a Republican. The election is next year."

I believe Carnahan would be the 13th legacy currently serving as a U.S. senator.

When did the U.S. Senate become the British House of Lords?

A devastating analysis

A devastating analysis of the Obama administration's first days from McClatchy:

"These first days aren't going the way that President Barack Obama hoped when he promised to change the way Washington operates. He remains popular, with broad support from the American people, but the taint of politics as usual is challenging the aura of something new.

Three of his top nominees have been caught with tax problems, two of them departing abruptly Tuesday. Two more were former lobbyists named to high positions despite Obama's ban on lobbyists in his administration. Yet another, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, had to withdraw weeks earlier because of an investigation into alleged ''pay-to-play'' politics at home. . . .

''Only the little people pay taxes,'' said a Rex Babin cartoon, showing Daschle and Geithner climbing into a limousine, in The Sacramento Bee.

''There's a huge scientific breakthrough today. Researchers say they're very close to finding someone from Obama's Cabinet who's actually paid their taxes,'' Jay Leno said on NBC's Tonight Show. . . .

At the same time, the man who wanted to lead the way to a new, less partisan politics finds himself caught in a partisan donnybrook between Congressional Democrats and Republicans over a landmark proposal to stimulate the economy. The partisan fight is feeding dissent over the proposal and eroding public support.

Obama got the proposal through the House of Representatives without a single Republican vote. A new Gallup Poll on Tuesday found that just 38 percent of those polled want the proposal passed as written, while 37 percent want ''major changes'' and another 17 percent want it defeated. "

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Crist for Senate?

For reasons that escape me, Florida Governor Charlie Crist is wildly popular.

Now, he's considering running for the open Senate seat in 2010.

He'd win. Big. Against any Democrat.

Macy's, GM, etc.

Name brand retailers, manufacturers, insurers, banks and other financial institutions are shrinking, and many will disappear.

In their place, there will be new retailers, manufacturers, insurers, banks and financial institutions. Hopefully, they will learn from the mistakes of their predecessors.

We're a capitalist society. Capitalism involves survival of the fittest, with the options of success or failure. Why is everyone in Washington and NYC shocked to find that out? None of those now complaining had any problem with capitalism when they were getting big bonuses.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Putnam out

Adam Putnam, telegenic, photogenic and glib rising star in the House Republican caucus, is leaving Congress to run for Florida commissioner of agriculture.

"U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, who quickly rose to power in Congress after being elected as a 26-year-old, said Sunday he would give up his seat and run for Florida agriculture commissioner.Putnam will file paperwork to officially enter the race on Monday, he told The Associated Press. "Agriculture is in my DNA," Putnam said. "It's my professional background, it's my academic background, it's what my family is involved in to this day." Putnam is from Bartow, where his family grows citrus and raises cattle. He represented the 12th Congressional District, which included most of Polk County and parts of Hillsborough County. Five generations of his family have farmed in Florida. Putnam, 34, was the third-most-powerful Republican in the House until he decided in November not to seek another term as chair of the House Republican Conference. Before Republicans lost control of the House in 2006, Putnam was the fifth-most-powerful Republican member while serving as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee."

That says more about Republican chances to take back the House in the next 4 to 6 years than any number of polls and predictions.

Health care groups paid Daschle $220K

"Tom Daschle, tapped to be President Obama's health czar, was paid more than $200,000 by the health-care industry in the past two years . . . The former Senate majority leader, who gave speeches to firms and groups with a vested-interest in the administration's upcoming health reform, collected the checks as part of a $5 million windfall after he lost reelection to his South Dakota seat. . . . Daschle made nearly $5.3 million in the last two years, records released Friday show, including $220,000 he received for giving speeches, many of them to outfits that stand to gain or lose millions of dollars from the work he would do once confirmed as secretary of Health and Human Services. . . . This week, the group began openly lobbying him, sending him a letter urging him to rescind a rule requiring competitive bidding of Medicare contracts."

Everyone knew Daschle was one of the five or so key backers of Obama's candidacy.

If you were giving money to Daschle in 2008, you were attempting to buy influence with a potential high level Obama administration domestic policy appointee.

If the Daschle nomination is not withdrawn, all the talk of ethics and lobbying reform (to which several exceptions and waivers have already been given) will sound like just a bunch of bunk.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

"Moderate cleric is Somalia's new president"

The headline says it all . . . "Moderate cleric is Somalia's new president".

We're supposed to applaud because "A moderate Islamist cleric was sworn in Saturday as Somalia's new president, a widely popular choice that could mark a turning point for the troubled nation."

Instead, shouldn't we have learned from our experiences in Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, etc., and realize that we always get burned by so called "moderate" clerics?

Geithner, Daschle and other amazing tax coincidences . . .

They never make a mistake that results in their over payment of taxes.

They never realize their mistakes until they're up for federal office.

And, it's always the guys who voted to raise YOUR taxes when they were legislators.

By the way - - Tom Daschle's "tax issues" involve "underpaying" "more than $128,000 in back taxes . . . for 2005 to 2007" which "covers income from consulting work, use of a car service and lower deductions for charitable contributions". In other words, he failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and non cash income, and then lied about how much money he gave to charity. Think of how much income you need to "under report" (i.e., lie about) in order to owe $128,000 in taxes - - $250,000? $300,000? $400,000?

Is this only wrong when your political opponents do it?

As of last week, she's up for appointment to the energy or commerce departments

Obama's brother on drugs charge

Of course, this story is being largely ignored by the American media (as they ignored Obama's polygamist father's 7 or so other children by his 3 or 4 other polygamist wives during the presidential campaign). According to the American press and Obama's press agents, Obama only has one sibling, his telegenic, well spoken, highly educated, American-accented half Indonesian half sister living in Hawaii.

Obviously, Presidential siblings in trouble are only news in America if their names are Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Clinton or Bush.