Monday, September 29, 2008

Latest Obama Ad

There are no atheists in foxholes, and no libertarians in financial crises, at least in the Bush administration and the McCain and Obama campaigns.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Round 1

From a purely political view, I'd say McCain did slightly better tonight than Obama. Obama is no Dan Quayle or Sarah Palin, but Senator McCain managed to question the preparedness of the Junior Senator from Illinois quite frequently during the second half of the debate, putting Obama on the defensive. McCain's rosy picture of the Iraqi surge will probably appeal to anyone on the right side of the fence, even though Iraq continues to be the most dangerous place in the world. On the economy, McCain wasn't as effective. When he said something like "a lot of us saw this train wreck coming" I did a double take. This was the guy who was cheerleading for Bushonomics until a few weeks ago. He also said he had been fighting pork barrel spending for years. Apparently he wasn't very successful, since he cited a figure saying wasteful spending has tripled over the last few years.
Correction, I just glanced at
McCain said special appropriation earmarks had “tripled in the last five years,” but he was wrong, since they have decreased sharply.

Deal...or no deal?

John McCain wants to stop campaigning, put politics aside and seek a bi-partisan solution to the $700 Billion bailout. Of course his campaign "implied" that Barack Obama was at fault for the meeting devolving "into a contentious shouting match."
Obama contends that a US President needs to handle several problems at once, so a debate and working on how to give away $700 Billion of borrowed money should be possible, but McCain is demonstrating he can multi-task. When asked if tonight's debate will go forward, McCain said, "I understand how important this debate is and I'm very hopeful, but I also have to put the country first." It's amazing how Senator McCain can be bipartisan, temporarily halt running for president and still question his opponent's patriotism and devotion to country.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Economics Lesson

Easy to understand analysis of the bailout...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Does anybody ever read the platforms?

You can read the full text of the political parties' platforms here:

For a side by side summary of the Democratic and Republican Party Platforms, go here:

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Steven D. Levitt, author of Freakonomics, had this to say on his blog:
"As an economist, I am supposed to have something intelligent to say about the current financial crisis. To be honest, however, I haven’t got the foggiest idea what this all means. So I did what I always do when something related to banking arises: I knocked on the doors of my colleagues Doug Diamond and Anil Kashyap, and asked them for the answers."
Head over to the Freakonomics blog for an explanation of what's happened with the latest econocataclysm:

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Paul Begala on Real Time with Bill Maher...
"McCain actually owns 9 homes, not 7. I've checked the property records-9 homes in 3 time zones, AND a private jet, and he says the guy who was raised by a single mother on food stamps is an elitest? That's insane!"

Leonard Nimoy on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me...
...about a year and a half ago I was at a political event and one of our current campaigners for the office of president of the United States saw me approach and he gave me the vulcan signal -and it was not John McCain.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mission Accomplished

From MISSION ACCOMPLISHED (or How we Won The War In Iraq) by ChristopherCerf and Victor Navasky
"The conflict is...going to be relatively short."
-John McCain, March 23,2003
"I would argue that the next three to six months will be critical."
-John McCain, September 10 2003
"We will probably see significant progress in the next six months to a year."
-John McCain, December 4, 2005
"There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today. The U.S. is beginning to succeed in Iraq."
-John McCain, March 26, 2007.
The next week, McCain did go for a stroll in Iraq, accompanied by 100 American soldiers, three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead. McCain and his colleagues also wore body armor.
"The next six months are going to be critical."
John McCain, September 12, 2007
Meanwhile, Watergate reporter Bob Woodward has a new book out. An article in The Washington Post suggests that "the surge" was not what reduced the violence in Iraq from apoclyptic to mere our of control. At least least three other factors were:
"as important as, or even more important than, the surge." They include "a series of top-secret operations that enabled them to locate, target and kill key individuals in groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni insurgency and renegade Shia militias, or so-called special groups," paying off the "so-called Anbar Awakening," and Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's order to "his powerful Mahdi Army to suspend operations, including attacks against U.S. troops."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Trotskyist McCain: WORKERS UNITE!

John McCain on the Today show, reported in the NY Times:
“Well it’s obviously true that the workers of America are the fundamentals of our economy, and our strength and our future. And I believe in the American worker, and someone who disagrees with that – it’s fine. We are in crisis. We all know that. The excess, the greed and the corruption of Wall Street have caused us to have a situation which is going to affect every American. We are in a total crisis.’’
Mr. Lauer asked if there was something wrong with the fundamentals of the economy that was causing the difficulty.
“There’s nothing wrong with the workers of America,’’ he said. “I believe that they’re the fundamentals. You may not, others may not. I think that the worker of America is the reason that we’ve been the preeminent economy in the world for a long, long period of time. America is in crisis today.’’
“We need a 9/11 commission, and we need a commission to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it,’’ he said. “And I know we can do it and how to do it.”

Sunday, September 14, 2008

snl's bullseye

Gov. Sarah Palin's Quaylefication has begun...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Big Iraq Attack

While on vacation in Wisconsin, I asked about military families and how they felt about President Bush as Commander in Chief. Back in the nineties, I remember hearing folks from Wisconsin complaining how President Clinton had ruined the military by underfunding it and the "don't ask don't tell" policy. Now cheeseheads tell me that they send food to their people in Iraq. They won't criticize the present administration like they did Clinton's, but their kids are "hungry all the time" with only one hot meal a day. If Obama wins, it will be nice to hear Bush Republicans suddenly notice that our troops are receiving inadequate medical care, aren't properly equipped and trained, and aren't having their basic needs met.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

lipstick on a pig

It's only offensive if we're talking about a conservative woman, not that harpy Hillary...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why we fight

A year ago Alan Greenspan wrote "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil" in his memoir, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World .
If that is true, then maybe we've lost the war in Iraq...
Iraq Cancels Six No-Bid Oil Contracts

Published: September 10, 2008
An Iraqi plan to award six no-bid contracts to Western oil companies, which came under sharp criticism from several United States senators this summer, has been withdrawn, participants in the negotiations said on Wednesday...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Taxes part 3: Rich old men

Warren Buffett, who is sometimes the richest man in the world, complains that taxes on the rich are too low. He pays a tax rate about half that of his secretary's: most of Buffett’s income is from dividends and capital gains, and is taxed at a 15% Federal rate, as opposed to a Federal rate more than twice that for upper middle class families. He supports Obama.

Meanwhile, the AP reported that Alan Greenspan says the country can't afford tax cuts proposed by John McCain — at least not without a corresponding reduction in government spending.

Bizarro am vote Republican for change!

Doublethink: The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

The Associated Press reported tonight that Republican John McCain accused the Republican Party of indulging in a spending spree and passing on "huge IOUs and perplexing issues to future generations instead of fixing them as they had promised."
"'Change is coming, change is coming,' McCain promised..."
So don't forget to throw the bums out this November, and vote a straight Republican ticket. That'll show those Washington Fat Cats!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I know an unmarried couple struggling with the abortion issue. Both man and woman were a little wild as teenagers, and each ended up having a daughter. Both baby girls had to be raised by someone else. Three years ago they were thrilled to have a daughter together that they could raise as their own. A second pregnancy followed, but my friend was laid off his HVAC job for the summer, and his partner's latest checkup showed the possibility of Down Syndrome. He had second thoughts, she was outraged and was determined "not to kill it." A few weeks later she was feeling weak, went to the emergency room and discovered the leukemia she had once as a child had reappeared. My friend and the doctors brought up the possibility of abortion. His girlfriend refused and for a while was refusing to have her leukemia treated. My friend protested that if she were to die, he would be a single dad raising two children, one with a high probability of Down Syndrome. His girlfriend again accused him of being selfish. To date, she's been in the hospital for over a month and been getting treated for her cancer while still pregnant. My friend has a new job working for a wealthy property owner (but no benefits) and spends his time working, caring for his daughter and staying at the hospital.
If you believe that human life begins at the moment of conception, you'll probably see the logic behind his girlfriend's reasoning. I on the other hand, see no reason to assume human life begins the moment the sperm enters the egg. Others argue that any form of birth control, including condoms, is anti-life and immoral. Who decides what's right? Possibly the Supreme Court, if McCain-Palin win this election.

We're number 42!

A nation's infant mortality rate is the number of newborns who die within the first year of life divided by the number of live births during a year.
According to the 2008 CIA World Handbook, the United States has a rate of 6.30 per 1000. Countries with lower rates are:

41 Cuba 5.93 2008 est.
40 Isle of Man 5.62 2008 est.
39 Italy 5.61 2008 est.
38 Taiwan 5.45 2008 est.
37 San Marino 5.44 2008 est.
36 Greece 5.25 2008 est.
35 Monaco 5.18 2008 est.
34 Ireland 5.14 2008 est.
33 Canada 5.08 2008 est.
32 Jersey 5.01 2008 est.
31 New Zealand 4.99 2008 est.
30 United Kingdom 4.93 2008 est.
29 Gibraltar 4.91 2008 est.
28 Portugal 4.85 2008 est.
27 Australia 4.82 2008 est.
26 Netherlands 4.81 2008 est.
25 Luxembourg 4.62 2008 est.
24 Guernsey 4.53 2008 est.
23 Liechtenstein 4.52 2008 est.
22 Belgium 4.50 2008 est.
21 Austria 4.48 2008 est.
20 Denmark 4.40 2008 est.
19 Slovenia 4.30 2008 est.
18 Korea, South 4.29 2008 est.
17 Israel 4.28 2008 est.
16 Spain 4.26 2008 est.
15 Switzerland 4.23 2008 est.
14 Germany 4.03 2008 est.
13 Czech Republic 3.83 2008 est.
12 Malta 3.79 2008 est.
11 Andorra 3.68 2008 est.
10 Norway 3.61 2008 est.
9 Anguilla 3.54 2008 est.
8 Finland 3.50 2008 est.
7 France 3.36 2008 est.
6 Iceland 3.25 2008 est.
5 Macau 3.23 2008 est.
4 Hong Kong 2.93 2008 est.
3 Japan 2.80 2008 est.
2 Sweden 2.75 2008 est.
1 Singapore 2.30 2008 est.

Sexism BAD!

Flip flop...

Friday, September 5, 2008



liar liar

AP Headline Thursday evening:

Palin: Democrats spreading misinformation and lies summary of Palin's Speech:

Sarah Palin’s much-awaited speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night may have shown she could play the role of attack dog, but it also showed her to be short on facts when it came to touting her own record and going after Obama’s.

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Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. -Margaret Mead