Even in tough budget times, there are lines that cannot be crossed. So I was startled by this tidbit reported recently by The Associated Press: When Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the small town began billing sexual-assault victims for the cost of rape kits and forensic exams. NYTimes
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Couric: I'm going to ask you one last time. Name one thing John McCain has done to increase regulations on the banking industry.
Palin: I'm going to have to get back to you on that.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Me and the Pundit were talking about this on the Political Slugfest [online radio talk show] last night and it's pretty much a win for Obama. The CNN and CBS undecided voter polls show a clear swing to Obama.
McCain was not on his game tonight. He came across as uncalm, angry, and condescending. And this was his strong suit. I shudder to think how he's gonna do on Domestic Policy (surge of troops in the hood, remember that?? I hope the moderator brings that up) and Economy (the last topic I think). More people now trust Obama on than McCain. Tonight and that Katic Couric interview by Palin have cost McCain huge points in the pollz. If you trust the pollz that is.
I'm not taking chances. I already registered absentee.
The problem is, and everybody knows it, that McCain got us into the Iraq War and now he has no plan to get us out. He ignores the Afghanistan war, even though it's killing more us US soldiers than Iraq is now.
And McCain wants to expand the wars in the Middle East. McCain did a great job of expressing his undying support for Israel, without stating explicitly that that would lead him into war with Iran. But it would, and has top adviser, Douglas Holz-Eakin, has said as much.
The following is from the Truth About McCain blog, citing the Financial Times:
Would John McCain's election result in perpetual war in Iraq and elsewhere? Well, just look at what John McCain's chief adviser has to say about that. John McCain's chief policy adviser is Douglas Holz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, heads the Greenberg Centre for Geoeconomic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and here's what he says about the loss of Americans lives and the economic cost of the war:[T]he current and future budget cost and loss of life and health probably give the right magnitude. If so, the annual war bill represents only about one cent of the $12,000bn of national income each year, and the total military cost at most, a nickel. And that is the right lesson: the foundation of US international influence is its large, powerful economy which can absorb the narrow, resource costs of war and free the US to pursue strategic [WAR, WAR, WAR] and security goals. FinancialTimes.Com (emphasis added)John McCain is always wrong about Iraq, and his errors are very dangerous. As when,. . . he said the war would be "brief" and be paid for by Iraqi oil revenues. Or as he was in the 1990s, when he championed extravagant State Department funding for the war instigator Ahmad Chalabi, who'd already been branded untrustworthy by the C.I.A. (The relationship between Mr. Chalabi and the former lobbyist Charles Black, now a chief McCain campaign strategist, is explored in a new book, "The Man Who Pushed America to War," by Aram Roston.) NYTimesRead the whole article. With McCain's chief adviser's reasoning, we can expect even more wars like the one in Iraq under a McCain Administration, since the Iraq War continues to be such a great bargain for America, both in terms of loss of life and expense to the US Treasury.
Meanwhile, Obama also knocked down on of McCain's (and all Republicans') chief criticisms of Democrats, as being pacifists unwilling to fight wars that are necessary for American security. Basically, the only thing a Democratic candidate has to do to win on this count is point out a country where he IS determined to fight a war, and show determination about it. Obama met the test.McCain has been in Washington 22 years, watching the country get into the mess that it's in now, and providing some critical votes and support to this mess along the way, 90% of the time.
Between McCain and the battery of lobbyists that run his campaign, they probably have hundreds of years of experience - fleecing the American taxpayer on behalf of the rich and well-connected.
Americans want change and, precisely because McCain is so entrenched in the lobbyist merry-go-round, we know we will not get that change from John McCain.
If voters want another four years of George W. Bush, whom McCcain supports 90% of the time, then voters will support McCain, to continue the Bush legacy. If voters want change, clearly it's Barack Obama who offers change.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
McCain's campaign manager was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations, current and former officials say. International Herald Tribune, via African American Political Pundit
When John McCain is asked a two-part question, the second part relating to what he has specifically done for African-Americans, note how his brain locks up.
This is what happens when a compound, complex question is asked and a person has no answer for the second part. Just thinking about the second part of the question dislodges memory of the first part.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
McCain campaign adviser and former U.S. senator Phil Gramm was right in July when he said that our current state "is a mental recession." Maybe he was out of line when he added that the United States has become "a nation of whiners." But when it comes to the economy, we have surely become a nation of exaggerators. Washington PostTo bolster his contention that the economy is not as bad as everyone says it is, and not as bad as the credit crisis would suggest, he says:
A housing "slump," a housing "crisis"? A "severe" price decline? According to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home is up 8.5 percent from the low of last February. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median price of a new home is up 1.3 percent from the low of last December. Home prices may not be at all-time highs -- and there are pockets of continuing decline in some urban areas -- but overall they've clearly stopped going down and have started to recover. So why keep proclaiming a "crisis" after it's over? Washington PostTwo years ago, articles in USA Today and other national newspapers were pointing to increasing foreclosures and predicting a crisis. But Luskin argues, incredibly, that the mortgage crisis is not that bad because it is mostly limited to America's poorest people, "urban" neighborhoods, [and color groups]:
According to the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association), 6.4 percent of mortgages are delinquent to some extent, and 2.75 percent are in foreclosure. During the Great Depression, according to Wheelock's research, more than 50 percent of home loans were in default. Moreover, MBA data show that today's foreclosures are concentrated in that small fraction of U.S. homes financed by subprime mortgages. Such homes make up only 12 percent of all mortgages, yet account for 52 percent of foreclosures. This suggests that today's mortgage difficulties are probably a side effect of the otherwise happy fact that, over the past several years, millions of Americans of modest means have come to own their own homes for the first time.So, Luskin was still lauding and defending the predatory sub-prime mortgages that led to the current crisis, and could not be expected to oppose them even after all that has happened. Moreover, he thinks it is not cause for concern that 6.4 percent of mortgages are delinquent (and perhaps 6.4 percent of American homeowners are at some risk of losing their homes.) And he still hasn't understood that a cancer spread in America's poorest neighboorhoods has metastasized to a full-blown catastrophe for the nation as a whole.
Luskin's insistence that the housing mortgage crisis is limited to "some urban" (where Blacks live), and therefore is not really a crisis at all, is (a) not reassuring for Blacks who wonder whether a McCain Administration would show concern for us, and (b) still shows no understanding for the potential for bad loans in one sector to cause a generalized decapitalization and "run on the bank" in other sectors.
Anyway, how much cherry picking of statistics did Luskin have to do to compare the media price of homes now to the low of last December and declare that all is well? And Luskin cites, of all people, the Mortgage Bankers Association for the comforting belief that "today's foreclosures are concentrated in that small fraction of U.S. homes financed by subprime mortgages." After all that has happened, should the lobbyists for the Mortgage Bankers Association still be relied upon to determine when Bankers' abuses are grevious enough to require regulation, and whether the economy is threatened by their behavior or not?
The fact that John McCain's advisers were still talking like this on September 14 says that McCain is more concerned with reassuring his lobbyists and their mortgage lender clients than he was with preventing a meltdown in the American economy as a whole.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Francis L. Holland, Esq.
The Francis L. Holland Blog
The Truth About McCain Blog
55 (73) 3288-1716
How many Americans are wishing they had all of their retirement in mutual funds or the stock market today, after WallStreetizing their entire US Government Social Security retirement expectations? Not many, I'll bet!
The Washington Post says that there was effectively a 'run on the bank' at this fund, with its exclusively all demanding their money at once. So, instead of giving the money out on a "first-come, first-served basis", with every successive withdrawal getting less of its money back than the last, until some got nothing at all, Putnam decided to just divide up what was left equally among the investors and liquidate this fund.
I know John McCain thinks the economy is basically sound, but the "bankruptcy" and liquidation of large money-market funds doesn't seem like a good omen to me. In fact, a lot of people have their retirement funds invested in mutual fund accounts, and such people have got to be increasingly nervous today, fearing that their hopes for retirement could be entirely wiped out.
One of the forces that could lead to a lot failures at these funds is that Moody's is downgrading the debt of a lot of banks, funds and other institutions, effectively making it harder and more expensive for them to raise money to cover their obligations. The more Moody's downgrades debt, the more companies will become cash-strapped and go under, in a downward spiral, unless the same brilliant president who got us into this mess somehow finds an unusually brilliant way to get us out.
Now, with money market funds in trouble, we can't help but ask ourselves what a mess we would be in now had we taken the Republican Party's advice and invested all of our Social Security retirement funds in the stock market? Wouldn't there be a lot of middle-aged and elderly people jumping out of windows right now, just like in the Great Depression?
It's a damned good thing we never let George W. Bush and John Syndney McCain, III privatize to invest the money in the institutions that are now going under!
The Francis L. Holland Blog
The Truth About McCain Blog
55 (73) 3288-1716
I just sent out the above press release, essentially saying that it's a damn good thing we didn't do as Bush/McCain suggested and invest everyone's retirement in the stock market and mutual funds instead of Government Social Security.
Imagine how much more complicated the bailouts would be now if they included ALL of the nation's retirement income!
Monday, September 15, 2008
One only has to look closely at photographs of John McCain to see the evidence of cancer ravaging his face. If he were elected, he might be the first American president who was inaugurated with potentially terminal pre-cancerous growths on his face. He might be forced to give press conferences with oozing white gauze strips covering his cheeks.
Of course there is always the possibility that 72 year-old John McCain could survive for eight uneventful years, after having had cancer three times. But, in all likelihood, the cancer would come back at some point, and doctors would be forced to cut his balls-like growths off.
In the above video, a high school student asks McCain if he is simply too old, and McCain calls the student a "little jerk", indicating that McCain may be too angry.
Then, Sarah Palin would become president and American would enter the End Times, when Armegeddon makes us pay all of our debts at once - even the ones we owe to China and all our outstanding credit cards and student loans.
I think that because John Sydney Mcain, III (or 4th?) lies in the above video about Iraq, the American economy,his position on taxes and Katrina, it's safe to say that John McCain would say anything to get elected.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
When they turn the frog into a prince, we’ll have to fight like hell to keep him from becoming king and taking the throne. Frogs don’t go on to become king. He is a frog.
Why eight is enough? Is eight years of deepening depression enough? Is eight houses enough? If eight is enough, then we have one Supreme Court Justice too many.
Read my lips: No new war.
White man speaks with forked tongue. Peace pipe, no work magic!
Who do I hate today? The Viet Cong? The American Indian and other related savages? The Japanese because of Pearl Harbor? Al-Qaeda because of 9/11? How about the Communist Chinese? Or, the Russians? I know, today I hate the Taliban, tomorrow the Palestinians? I hate Mexicans that sneak across the border. I hate the African-American hip-hop low lifes. Tell me, who do I hate, today?
Surely, the frog is wise enough to know. As a prince, he will give me a hate list, enlist me in his army, and send me out to fight the enemy of the day… as long as the enemy is not the white man, upon whose shoulders he would build his castle… as if eight is not enough.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Matthew Benjamin and Laura Litvan write in Bloomberg:
At today's event, Gramm also defended McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate.
“We went through a process of vetting all possible candidates,” narrowing it down to three before choosing Palin, he said.
When asked later whether he still has a role in the campaign, Gramm said, “I'm a supporter.”
I thought Phil Graham had resigned from John McCain’s campaign.
Gramm, 66, a vice chairman of UBS Securities LLC, stepped down as a co-chairman of the McCain campaign in July after telling the Washington Times that the U.S. is a “nation of whiners” facing a “mental recession”.
And, I thought John McCain distanced himself from Graham because of the comment.
After Gramm's July comments, McCain said, “Phil Gramm does not speak for me. I speak for me, so I strongly disagree.” People are not whining, he said, adding that “America is in great difficulty.
Could it be that Phil Gramm resigned only in word and continued to advise John McCain behind the scene? If so, he lied. If John McCain sought his input on his VP selection, then he is a hypocrite.
Monday, September 1, 2008
This seems to be yet another example of where Republican ideology and reality refuse to accommodaate one another, and so reality wins and ideology is embarrassed.
Palin backed abstinence-only education during her 2006 gubernatorial race. In an Eagle Forum Alaska questionnaire, Palin gave this response to the following question:Well, at least in the case of Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston, abstinence-only education doesn not seem to have prevented this pregnancy as well as a condom and foam might have.
Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?
Palin: Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.
*** UPDATE *** NBC's Abby Livingston adds that a McCain spokesperson in May 2007 said the Arizona Republican supported abstinence-only education, too. "Sen. McCain believes the correct policy for educating young children on this subject is to promote abstinence as the only safe and responsible alternative. To do otherwise is to send a mixed signal to children that, on the one hand they should not be sexually active, but on the other here is the way to go about it.
As any parent knows, ambiguity and equivocation leads to problems when it comes to teaching children right from wrong. Sen. McCain believes that there are many negative forces in today’s society that promote irresponsible and dangerous behavior to our children. The public education system should not join this chorus of moral equivocation and ambiguity.” MSNBC