Monday, March 31, 2008

Whoopee

Its 1930. America is in the grip of the Depression. The economy is down the tubes.

In this cartoon, there's a great celebration going on, but we don't know why, its just happening almost like its New Years. Felix the Cat is drunk, hallucinating, and dreaming. He drinks anything he can get his hands on, he is a 'complete' drunk. His hallucinations shape shift, his thoughts change from loopy to anxious to aggressive to disoriented. His wife is ready to clobber him with a rolling pin for his thoughtless carousing. The world is filled with animals masquerading as people.

The soundtrack is from an all American parade and the roaring 20s.

The animators are freely roaming with their pens, and there is an uncensored flow of ideas.

Its a cartoon but its hard to imagine that a child would find it entertaining. Instead they would see an uninviting adult world filled with boorish galoots.

In the finale, the cuckoo clock bird is shot because it brings the news that its time to rise, time to begin it all again.

Survey


Drop

The upcoming week is going to be a mix of news that will primarily adversely affect the stock market. There will be more negative statistical news about profit losses and job cuts. On the other hand the Fed has made more billions of dollars available for lenders and borrowers, so that may put a slight brake on the depth of the week's losses. This is speaking from the point of observing and comparing to recent weeks.

Reuters: Stocks may trip on jobs, earnings view
Stocks may struggle to make headway this week, with jobs data expected to provide more evidence of recession and more companies likely to revise their guidance as the earnings reporting season approaches.

Economists polled by Reuters estimate a reduction of 58,000 jobs.
Call for a Truce

This is good news because we want to see the violence in Iraq stop. Why this is occurring is another story. Violence is sobering.

AP: Al-Sadr Pulls Fighters Off Iraq Streets
Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said Sunday that he was pulling his fighters off the streets nationwide and called on the government to stop raids against his followers and free them from prison.
Pack Your Bags

If only he would pack his duffel and take a long vacation starting now.

AP: Cheney Road Trip: Pack the Green Duffel
Pack the Diet Sprite—a Cheney favorite. Keep the decaffeinated lattes flowing and tune the tube to Fox News.

Obama at Cooper Union

Obama's very recent and salient speech on the economy - highly recommended.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Gallup 3/29

The Gallup Poll has McCain ahead of Obama by 2 points, and McCain ahead of Clinton by 4 points.

Gallup: McCain beats Clinton in fall ballot, but is in a statistical tie with Obama
According to tracking interviews from March 24-28, John McCain holds a small, but statistically significant 4-percentage point lead over Clinton among national registered voters, while his 2-point lead against Obama makes that horserace to close to call.
Rasmussen has McCain beating either handily, while the newest Pew Poll has either Democrat easily beating McCain.

So much for consistency and all the more reason to read polls with a sense of suspicion.

Toot


A deep operative likes to mention that the weekend is the time to go on a 'toot.'

In this context, a toot is a bender - you spend the weekend blowing your paycheck on women and booze.

Eventually Monday rolls around and the anticipation and longing builds for the upcoming toot.

Its tragic and its a fatally flawed strategy for progressing along in one's life, usually.

Its also a very present and contemporary strategy. I suspect its bigger than ever. Who is to judge, not I, but I do have opinions.

The toot of this weekend goes to -

Drunken Man Awakes Inside Garbage Truck
William M. Bowen woke up after a night of drinking with friends and realized he was inside a commercial trash-collection truck full of waste.

The driver had just emptied a commercial trash bin into his truck and was about to activate its compactor when he heard Bowen screaming.

"He looked up and this gentleman was standing out the top of our truck," said Larry Green, market safety supervisor for the Rumpke waste disposal company. Green said the only thing Bowen said to the driver was that he was cold.

"This gentleman was extremely intoxicated," he said.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Out of Iraq Now

Breitbart: Iraq: More US Airstrikes on Basra
U.S. jets widened the bombing of Basra on Saturday, dropping two precision-guided bombs on a suspected militia stronghold north of the city, British officials said.
Breitbart: The Turkish military says its warplanes have hit Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq.

As we read this, Iraq is being bombed. These two articles tell of bombing in northern and southern Iraq.

The bombing of Iraq by the US and now Turkey, has been going on for over a decade. At what point do we collectively recognize that this is madness. That this must stop. How can the people of Iraq possibly have any semblance of normalcy when they are subjected to this degree and frequency of destruction. An entire generation of children has grown up under the shroud of bombing. We can only imagine the degree of terror that people would feel in this situation.

Back to Normal

Bush: Iraq is returning to normal
President Bush, saying that "normalcy is returning back to Iraq," argued Thursday that last year's U.S. troop "surge" has improved Iraq's security to the point where political and economic progress are blossoming as well.
He is correct, Iraq is returning to the type of 'normalcy' that Bush's occupation started - more death, destruction, and pure chaos.

CNN: Analysis: Iraqis' Basra fight not going well
The Iraqi military push into the southern city of Basra is not going as well as American officials had hoped, despite President Bush's high praise for the operation, several U.S. officials said Friday.
I get this picture of George Bush, humming and whistling tunes with his fingers plugging his ears as his advisers attempt to give him the latest Iraq news.

Perhaps Bush should plan an American surge to get this country back to normal as well.

The Future from the 1930s

The future of fashion as seen from the 1930s -

Recent Pew


Obama Weathers the Wright Storm, Clinton Faces Credibility Problem - National Discontent Approaches 20-Year High, Bush Approval at 28%
Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton hold roughly comparable leads in head-to-head matchups with John McCain. Obama edges McCain by a 49% to 43% margin among registered voters nationwide; Clinton holds an almost identical 49% to 44% edge. Obama and Clinton held similar leads over McCain in late February.
Curiously, conservative pollster Rasmussen has McCain handily beating either Obama or McCain.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
Looking ahead to the General Election in November, John McCain continues to lead both potential Democratic opponents. McCain leads Barack Obama 49% to 42% and Hillary Clinton 49% to 41%...
Should we pretend Rasmussen is not in the polling business...

Rust Belt

America's blue collar manufacturing jobs are on life support, at least what is left of them.

Bush on Tibet

Breitbart: Bush calls for China dialogue with Dalai Lama envoys
US President George W. Bush for the first time publicly pressed China to hold talks with representatives of Tibet's spiritual leader after raising concerns over the bloody turmoil in the Himalayan territory.
This appeal from George Bush rings hollow.

Bush's neo-con advisers would promote any confrontation with China. Yet it is because of his neo-con advisers and their role in crafting the Iraq war/occupation that Bush's words have no power or authority particularly in the world arena.

Exactly what is Bush going to say to the Chinese, "We disapprove of your imperialistic conquests." Its laughable.

The tragedy of it all for Tibet is that they now have a window of opportunity with the world community, especially with China wanting to present itself favorably to the world with the upcoming Olympics. China does not want to be seen as an imperialistic demon with Tibet. Unfortunately for the Tibetans, Bush has no moral authority, Iraq, torture, Abu Ghraib, and a his long dirty laundry list leaves Bush with no relevance and no higher ground leg to stand on.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rumba Table

From a deep operative.

The Musical Rumba Table from MusicalFurnishings.com

Double Vision


K + dd = Love

The photo is of Kristin, alleged prostitute service provider- number two - of former governor and prostitute employer Eliot Spitzer.

And there he ho's again

Regarding Spitzer, a clear visual pattern of the man's tastes is amply emerging.

Clinton - Negativo

CNN: Poll: Clinton's negatives reach new high
According to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, the New York senator's personal approval rating has dropped markedly...
Personally I am sick of viewing our political candidates from the point of view of how low they are flopping about in the bottom muck of the polls. Isn't this part of the 'drama' of the Bush failure. We watch with amazement to see if there is anyone left in the country that thinks George Jr. is worth his weight in fine wool and flag pins. I'm sick of it and I'm not voting for Clinton at least not without a clothes pin and an aerosol deodorant.

Torture and Tony Blair

Breitbart: Britain admits its troops abused Iraqi prisoners
Britain's Defense Ministry is to admit that its troops tortured and breached the human rights of nine Iraqi men they detained in southern Iraq in 2003, opening the way to potentially large compensation claims.
Put the "winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqis" reason for war card to rest forever, thank you.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lost in Space


In case you might want to have your remains launched into outer space, contact memorial spaceflights.

Its true.
Space Services makes it possible to honor the dream and memory of your departed loved one by launching a symbolic portion of cremated remains into Earth orbit, onto the lunar surface or into deep space.
Call me old fashioned, and I don't enjoy being judgmental, but why do I keep feeling people have lost their f***ing minds.

Tokyo Stocks

Breitbart: Tokyo stocks fall on U.S. woes, stronger yen, Japan tax deadlock+
Tokyo stocks fell sharply Thursday morning on grim signs of a U.S. recession, a stronger yen, and political deadlock over the passage of a Japanese government tax bill.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 225.65 points, or 1.78 percent, from Wednesday to 12,480.98.
If you are reading this Wednesday Night, although I don't know for sure, I would probably bet on the NYSE stocks dropping throughout Thursday.

Corporate Welfare

Its interesting, when the government hands billions of dollars over to a corporation like Bear Sterns its called a 'bailout.' It is in fact a form of welfare, and its handed out instantaneously.

People who were on the short end of the Bear Sterns fiasco, the actual home owners who face foreclosure, protested at Bear Sterns headquarters in NYC.

Its an effective protest.

Sense

Bio-fuels may not be all they are cracked up to be.

Sure, plant corn on all available land the world over and we might run most cars on ethanol for a while. This would be aside from using 1 gallon of oil to make 1.25 gallons of ethanol. Is that.25 energy boost enough to make food so expensive that it becomes a luxury, not in most of America, but worldwide.

Breitbart: Diverting food products to make biofuels is foolish: Indian finance chief
Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday criticised countries like the US for diverting farm products to produce biofuels, saying this had led to soaring global food prices.

While growing demand was one reason for skyrocketing food prices, the use of agricultural products to make biofuels was another cause, he told a public lecture organised by the Lee Kuan Yew School Public Policy in Singapore.
Clearly Minister Chidambaram did not get the agribusiness/oil company memo.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Shotgun

The guitarist in the back is Jimi Hendrix.

Plastic

Plastic Logic is a company based in England.

They produce plastic electronic devices - for example, a plastic screen the same size as a piece of paper that is actually a computer screen.
Plastic electronics technology has the potential to transform the economics of key segments of the electronics industry by printing electronics on thin and flexible plastic substrates using a process scaleable for large area, high volume and low cost.

Independent experts from IDTechEx forecast plastic electronics will be a $30 billion industry by 2015, and could reach as much as $250 billion by 2025.
Check it out.

The company is privately held.

One Quarter

BBC: Credit crunch 'at $1.2 trillion'
The report says 40%, or $460bn, of those losses will hit US banks, brokerages and other institutions.

Goldman estimates that US financial firms have already reported losses of $120bn since the credit crunch began.
Recapping some numbers - The article is saying that US financial firms have reported $120billion in losses, presumably as a result of the sub prime mortgage fiasco. But there is still another $340billion that is yet to be reported!!

The suggestion here is that we are only 1/4 of the way into this recession/economic crumple! Anyone who is watching stocks, the value of the dollar and how this affects worldwide inflation on things like the price of oil, unemployment, financial investment banks like Bear Sterns, and such, would literally do a flip over Jupiter if all of that only amounted to 1/4 of the problem. Is this for real? That is a scary thought.

Truce

We read that a truce between the military arm of Muqtada al-Sadr's followers and US - Iraq troops is still in effect but might be on the verge of breaking. The truce is a key element of the Bush alleged success of the 'surge.'

The news is sketchy, but the fighting is heating up.

FT: Iraqi forces battle militia in Basra
Iraq security forces launched an offensive against militias in the southern port city of Basra on Tuesday, triggering heavy fighting in which dozens of people were reported killed.

The move comes amid increased tension between the Iraqi government and the radical Sadrist movement, which has called for a campaign of civil disobedience to protest against government actions.

Miles Beyond Nixon

Lewis Black on George Bush

Lewis does exasperation better than anyone.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mini - Dem

Dems consider mini convention to pick nominee
Democrats...are pondering a new idea: an unprecedented "mini convention" to bring their punishing presidential season to an early close.

The proposal surfaced during...a growing concern that the party may be hurting itself beyond repair.

Without some resolution, they fret, Republican John McCain will win the presidency.
Yes, they are hurting themselves, and yes they are pushing the election into McCain's hands.

Frank Rich sums it up nicely -
For Republicans, the prospect of marathon Democratic trench warfare is an Easter miracle. Saddled with the legacy of both Iraq and a cratering economy, the G.O.P. can only rejoice at its opponents’ talent for self-destruction. The Republicans can also count on the help of a political press that, whatever its supposed tilt toward Mr. Obama, remains most benevolent toward John McCain. source

Addendum: Jeffrey St. Clair has an interesting article over at CounterPunch.

He suggests that Clinton (s) is deliberately trying to wound Obama in an effort to gain the election for McCain. The idea is that Hillary would run against McCain in 2012. McCain is very old, suffering from cancer, and committed to the Iraq war/occupation.

Its a cruel thought but it is plausible.

Blonde Ambition
...Hillary must mortally wound Obama as candidate in the fall race against John McCain so that she can run against McCain in 2012.

McCain is at best a one term president...McCain...is already an old man, older than Reagan when he was first elected. He is plagued by a cancer..., a war he refuses to end and an economy that is collapsing beyond the point of recovery...His political fate will be sealed before he even swears his oath.

Key Article

Editor&Publisher: 5 Years Ago: Why Was Public So Misinformed on Facts Leading to War?
...what motivated Americans to back their president throughout the winter of discontent — when much of the rest of the world strongly disagreed with the need for war now?

...57% of those polled believed Saddam Hussein helped terrorists involved with the 9/11 attacks...

Yellow!


Remember the "Homeland Security Advisory System", green is low, all the way up to red for severe. This is the terrorist alert graphic.

Well, it turns out its still in use.

Department of Homeland Security: Current Threat Level
March 24, 2008 — The United States government's national threat level is Elevated, or Yellow.

The U.S. threat level is High, or Orange, for all domestic and international flights. Only small amounts of liquids, aerosols and gels are allowed in carry-on baggage.

While there continues to be no credible information at this time warning of an imminent threat to the homeland, the department's strategic threat perspective is that we are in a period of increased risk.

- All Americans should continue to be vigilant, take notice of their surroundings, and report suspicious items or activities to local authorities immediately.
Recapping: We are at yellow.

Shelling

Breitbart: Green Zone Shelling Mirrors Militia Ire
Rocket attacks on the U.S.-protected Green Zone may carry a message with implications across Iraq: rising anger within the Mahdi Army militia.

The Shiite fighters led by anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr are reorganizing their ranks, taking delivery of new weapons from Iran and ramping up complaints about crackdowns by U.S. and Iraqi forces that could unravel the Mahdi Army's self-declared cease-fire, according to militia commanders.

Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking during a visit to Iraq this month, reiterated Washington's claim that Iran seeks to destabilize Iraq through support of armed Shiite factions.
Listening to the news on the radio today (Monday) we heard General Petraeus talking about how the weapons that were fired into the Green Zone were made in Iran. All roads keep leading to Iran.

Will Bush fulfill the neo-con dream and bomb Iran...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Insulted


Reading the wise words of spiritual masters is a good thing to do.

Here Chagdud Tulku, a master from Tibet, gives straight forward, practical advice on how to work with insults. I've posted this a few times before and I will probably post it again.
'When someone insults us, we usually dwell on it, asking ourselves, "Why did he say that to me?" and on and on. It's as if someone shoots an arrow at us, but it falls short. Focusing on the problem is like picking up the arrow and repeatedly stabbing ourselves with it saying, "He hurt me so much. I can't believe he did that." Instead, we can use the method of contemplation to think things through differently, to change our habit of reacting with anger. Imagine that someone insults you. Say to yourself, "This person makes me angry. But what is anger? It is one of the poisons of the mind that creates negative karma, leading to intense suffering. Meeting anger with anger is like following a lunatic who jumps off a cliff. Do I have to do likewise? While it's crazy for him to act the way he does, it's even crazier for me to do the same."

PBS NewsHour "Domino Effect" - Housing crisis explanation Part 2

PBS NewsHour "Domino Effect" - Housing crisis explanation Part 1

Jungle Rhythm

The period around the Great Depression is of interest.

The stock market crash began on October 24, 1929. October 29, 1929 is called 'Black Tuesday.' The stock market lost $16 billion in value during October of 1929. That amount was huge at the time. Now its merely a few months cost for the Iraq occupation.

I've been looking at cartoons that were made around that time to see if they reveal anything about that period of economic upheaval. How was the mood and feeling tone of the country expressed.

I'm looking at this to see if there are any familiar signs or correlations to our present period. We are not in a parallel economic situation. We have our own particular problems and there is the possibility of further degradation that could create that greater sense of recession moving into depression. If we asked the people who had invested their retirement in Bear Sterns, they might say a depression is already here.

The stock market has lost billions in value if not trillions, homes have lost trillions in value, there is an overproduction of paper money - printed to ease, we are in a war which is sapping billions each month, there is high unemployment, debt levels are off the charts, and there are many more problems.

This Mickey Mouse cartoon was released on November 15, 1929. That would be a few weeks after the stock market crash of October.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bailing it Out


Paul Krugman is an outspoken thorn in the side of the Bush administration.

He is relentless, talented, and spot on. He also happens to have a great megaphone as an ongoing contributor to the NY Times.

Here he goes after the Bush administration's deft-free handling of the economy. He warns of a long hard slump if Bernanke fails to get the water bailed out of the sinking US economy.

NYT: Partying Like It’s 1929
...the stock market crash of 1929 wasn’t the defining moment of the Great Depression. What turned an ordinary recession into a civilization-threatening slump was the wave of bank runs that swept across America in 1930 and 1931.

The financial crisis currently under way is basically an updated version of the wave of bank runs that swept the nation three generations ago. People aren’t pulling cash out of banks to put it in their mattresses — but they’re doing the modern equivalent, pulling their money out of the shadow banking system and putting it into Treasury bills. And the result, now as then, is a vicious circle of financial contraction.

More Tragedy

NYT: 4 Americans Killed in Iraq; U.S. Attack Leaves 6 Dead
Three soldiers were killed when militants attacked their patrol with a roadside bomb northwest of the capital on Saturday, the military command in Baghdad reported. Two Iraqi civilians also died.

The fourth American soldier was killed south of the capital on Friday by indirect fire, which normally refers to mortar shells or rockets. Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack, according to a military statement, which did not provide any more details.
Iraq Coalition Casualties has recorded 3996 American soldiers killed in Iraq.

Age 101


Every once in a blue moon there is an inspiring human interest story. You have to look for them carefully and/or with a magnifying glass because sadly they are few and far, far between.

This man is inspiring.

ABC: He Sings, He Runs and He's Only 101
Buster Martin is an unlikely candidate to set a marathon record. He drinks beer, smokes cigarettes and stays out late. And he's 101.

Martin says that in the last weekend, he's completed a 13-mile half marathon that took him a little more than five hours. It would have been faster, he says, but he says he stopped for a beer and a cigarette.

Martin was also part of the seniors' rock 'n' roll group called the Zimmers.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dick Cheney: International Man of Misery

Hey, I joined RedLasso!

Free Tibet

There appears to be a small ground swelling occurring. There is a greater expression of disapproval for the Chinese government's harsh tactics during the Tibetan protests.

Germany Warns China Olympics at Risk
Germany's foreign minister has warned China that its response to the crisis in Tibet may jeopardize the Summer Olympics in Beijing, a newspaper reported on Friday
Hopefully more countries will fall in line behind Germany.

The Olympics put the spotlight on China and the bad publicity will hurt them. The Chinese do not want that.

If I were a magician, I would try to sway more political leaders to boycott the Olympics. This is the time to put the spotlight on the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Pelosi urges world to condemn Beijing
...US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after meeting the Dalai Lama, the Tibetans’ spiritual leader, that the free world would lose its moral authority to speak about human rights if it did not condemn Chinese oppression in Tibet.
Until the US gets out of Iraq, our moral authority is not on solid footing.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bush at 5


President George Bush marked the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War/Occupation with a speech at the Pentagon. With all that we have come to know about what has occurred in Iraq since shock and awe began, I can only read Bush's words with a sense of mortification.

Here are a few excerpts.

President Bush Discusses Global War on Terror
The men and women who crossed into Iraq five years ago removed a tyrant, liberated a country, and rescued millions from unspeakable horrors....

Because we acted, Saddam Hussein no longer fills fields with the remains of innocent men, women and children. Because we acted, Saddam's torture chambers and rape rooms and children's prisons have been closed for good. Because we acted, Saddam's regime is no longer invading its neighbors or attacking them with chemical weapons and ballistic missiles. Because we acted, Saddam's regime is no longer paying the families of suicide bombers in the Holy Land. Because we acted, Saddam's regime is no longer shooting at American and British aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones and defying the will of the United Nations. Because we acted, the world is better and United States of America is safer. (Applause.)

The battle in Iraq has been longer and harder and more costly than we anticipated -- but it is a fight we must win.

The terrorist movement feeds on a sense of inevitability, and claims to rise on the tide of history. The accomplishments of the surge in Iraq are exposing this myth and discrediting the extremists.

Buyer's Remorse

Buyer's remorse - Buyer's remorse is an emotional condition whereby a person feels remorse or regret after a purchase. The common condition is brought on by an internal sense of doubt that the correct decision has been made.

Yahoo: Clinton takes lead over Obama in Gallup poll
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has moved into a significant lead over Barack Obama among Democratic voters, according to a new Gallup poll.

...Clinton (has) a 49 percent to 42 percent edge over Obama...
Incidentally, Gallop also has McCain beating either Obama or Clinton.

So why the buyer's remorse for the Democrats?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

President McCain


I have been writing about this for a while now and I hate seeing it actually materialize.

If the election were to occur today, McCain wins regardless of the Democratic candidate.

Will McCain continue to lead the Democratic candidate right through to November? Its still a ways off and many things can happen. McCain seems to be more than capable of the jaw dropping gaffe, but his folksy delivery seems to smooth over it, or so it would seem.

Reuters: Obama's lead over Clinton narrows: Reuters poll
McCain leads 46 percent to 40 percent in a hypothetical matchup against Obama in the November presidential election, according to the poll.

Matched up against Clinton, McCain leads 48 percent to 40 percent, narrower than his 50 to 38 percent advantage over her in February.
America wants more of the Bush administration. They want more neo-cons, war, and deft-less handling of the economy. They want more Patriot Acts, invasion of privacy, and torture. They just can't get enough.

Tibet

The recent civil disobedience by Tibetans and the response by the Chinese military is the source of great consternation throughout the world. Tibet was invaded by the Chinese in the 50s and since that time, the Chinese have aggressively worked to destroy the cultural integrity of the Tibet. Its a shame and its an outrage.

The US government generally sides with the Tibetans in rhetoric only. This has the appearance of nothing more than lip service with a wink and nod under the table.

A few online sites with petitions are:

Stand with Tibet

Take Action: Tell your Congressional Representative to Support Tibet!

I think one of the most culturally insulting images I have ever seen was in the film - 'Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama.' In the film we see the Potala, the seat of the Dalai Lama in Tibet, in the background. In the foreground we see an amusement park. The Chinese had turned this important center of Tibetan Buddhism into an amusement park.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Worth - It


President Bush just reiterated his talking point of the last week.

The Iraq War is worth it, worth all of the sacrifices, worth every life, and every dollar.

AP: Bush Says Iraq War Was Worth It
President Bush says he has no doubts about waging the unpopular war in Iraq despite the "high cost in lives and treasure." He says that retreat now would embolden Iran and provide al-Qaida with money for weapons of mass destruction to attack the United States.
Cheney along with McCain recently made the same statement in Iraq while 'negotiating' with Maliki. We must assume the coordinated efforts of Bush, Cheney, and McCain are based on a political gambit, America will learn to love Iraq even if they hate it.

Chicago Tribune: Iraq violence greets McCain, Cheney - Visiting senator, VP laud progress
"If you look back on those 5 years it has been a difficult, challenging but nonetheless successful endeavor ... and it has been well worth the effort," Cheney told a news conference in Baghdad.
Republican Presidential candidate McCain on the other hand offered the reason why we must stay in Iraq and what his presidency will be about.
John McCain warned Monday against withdrawing U.S. troops until the country is stabilized.

"I will be glad to stake my campaign on the fact that this has succeeded and the American people appreciate it," he said.
And there you have it. McCain will gladly continue with Iraq as we have come to know it through Bush and the neo-conservatives.

My own suspicion/fear is that McCain wins. I have little faith in America's ability to elect a man whose mother is white and whose father is black, regardless of how eloquently his words attempt to soothe the racial divide and how persuasively he professes the need to move beyond racism.

Blinded by the Light


As everyone knew and predicted, the Fed cut interest rates. Now its down to 2.25%.

Also as anyone predicted and knew, the stock market responded with enticing gains for Tuesday. Investors like that optimistic stuff, and they respond with - investing.

Now watch how the stock market responds on Wednesday. Will this good news keep revolving and generating. Hardly.

BBC: Federal Reserve slashes US rates
The Federal Reserve has cut US interest rates sharply in an attempt to restore confidence to nervous financial markets and boost the ailing economy.
Oh happy day - now there will be no more housing foreclosures, unemployment will disappear, inflation will be without relevance, and American productivity will increase - the recession is over!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bimbo's Initiation

More Depression Era cartoons - looking to the past for clues about the present. Some might call the present economy similar to that of the early 30's.

This particular cartoon is anxiety laden and surrealistic. Most cartoons are surreal but in this case it is the instantaneous changes in the material qualities of the environment that Bimbo has fallen into that are more unusual.

Hapless Bimbo is in an unknown life threatening fun house initiation that he resists yet it scares him senseless. Its only through his seduction and desire fulfillment that he finds relief. Along the way there's a decapitation, gravity is upended, a growing phallus/sword/shark threatens his behind (sic), there's humiliation, garden variety perversions, and a black faced violent mob, most of which is set to happy go lucky Americana music.

Bear Continued


BBC: Markets rattled by bank worries
Markets worldwide recorded heavy losses in reaction to the emergency bailout of US investment bank Bear Stearns over the weekend.
I like to follow a few different stocks, stocks that represent different aspects of the economy, from Microsoft to Google to biofuels to cars to military contractors and such. Its more information on the state of the world and the USA, information of a particular nature.

Google went to a new low on March 17th at $412.11 per share
Google's high value over the last 52 weeks was $747.24 per share on November 7, 2007.

Precision Cast Parts, which makes hardware for the weapons industry among other things, came close to its yearly low on March 17th closing at $95.83 per share.
Precision's high value over the last 52 weeks was $160.73 per share on October 5, 2007.

And least we not forget, Bear Stearns ended March 17, 2008 valued at $4.81 per share.
Bear's high value over the last 52 weeks was $159.36 per share on April 25, 2007.

Not all stocks have lost that much value. Some are stable.

Inflation Update

CNN: $5.20 per gallon gas in California

OK, that is for full service.

Cheney in Iraq

It would be interesting to be a bug on the wall in this meeting -

Gulf News: Cheney and Maliki meet in Iraq
Al Maliki said he and the vice president discussed ongoing negotiations over a long-term security agreement between the two countries that would replace the UN mandate for foreign troops set to expire at the end of the year.
The UN mandate for Iraq:

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF MULTINATIONAL FORCE IN IRAQ UNTIL 31 DECEMBER 2007, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1723 (2006)
Excerpts: Responding to a request by the Iraqi Prime Minister, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the multinational force in Iraq until the end of next year, deciding that it should be reviewed at the request of that country’s Government or no later than 15 June 2007. The Council also declared that it would terminate the mandate earlier if requested by the Government of Iraq.

“Affirming the importance for all forces promoting the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq to act in accordance with international law, including obligations under international humanitarian law, and to cooperate with the relevant international organizations, and welcoming their commitments in this regard...

“The people of Iraq are determined to establish a stable and peaceful democracy for themselves and a proper basis for building a vital economy. This vision for the future of Iraq cannot become a reality without the help of the international community...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Measured Dissonance


The two party system strikes me as being very inadequate.

I think, the country could really use several parties. I know they already exist, but I am talking about 'viable' parties. I'm not sure the Greens and the Libertarians are viable, at least not yet. Yes, they have won a few elections here and there, and yes this is pessimistic thinking, but the gap between the dominant and smaller parties is enormous. Anyone can see that.

Having said that, and personally desiring to see more than two viable parties working out the business of governance, I am taking limited and measured pleasure of a very restrained and prudent nature in seeing the recent crumpling spasms of the war party err the Republican Party.

Are they deserving of such crumpling?

Its like a scene from a mob movie - "I mean no disrespect, your brother is a fine man, and he does his job, and I would never say anything bad about him, but Tony, he's a real ass####."

Republicans See Storm Clouds Gathering
"...You have a very unhappy electorate, which is no surprise, with oil at $108 a barrel, stocks down a few thousand points, a war in Iraq with no end in sight and a president who is still very, very unpopular. He's just killed the Republican brand."

Inflation

FT.com: Fears that new liquidity cycle will stoke inflation
The Fed is expected to cut US interest rates by 75 basis points to 2.25 per cent, following its recent, more aggressive policy moves to improve liquidity conditions.

...the clear danger is that easier monetary policies will cement a new regime of higher global inflation...

House of Cards

Remember the political leaders of the present administration telling us that Iraq's oil would pay for the war/occupation.

We are already aware that the war will cost the US taxpayer several trillion dollars. That amount of money works out to several thousand dollars for every single man, woman, and child - all US citizens.

Let's say that piece of fiction was dispelled a while ago.

Turns out Iraqi oil is paying for the war, not the US side of the war, its paying for the insurgency.

NYT: Iraq Insurgency Runs on Stolen Oil Profits
On a good day, 500 tanker trucks will leave the (Baiji) refinery filled with fuel with a street value of $10 million.

...at least one-third, and possibly much more, of the fuel from Iraq’s largest refinery here is diverted to the black market

“It’s the money pit of the insurgency..."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Balloon Land

The only enemy of the balloon people is the pin cushion man. Figures.

Utterly bizarre cartoon from 1935

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Reaction to the Neo Con Mess

The NYT posted some realistic responses to one of William Kristol's nonsense pieces about Iraq and McCain, the necessity to stay in Iraq, and Kristol's perception of a maturity gap among Obama supporters. Here are a few excerpts. Why the NYT ever hired Kristol is still the stuff of incredulity.
- (Our troops) are sacrificing on behalf of an administration that made a terrible mistake and stubbornly refuses to acknowledge it or change any of the policies that led to it.

- If only we as a nation had spurned the “feel-good promises of irresponsible” neoconservatives in 2003, we wouldn’t be in Iraq today, and the estimated $2 trillion total cost of the war could be used to ameliorate many of the other pressing problems we face.

- ...didn’t realize how far (the conservative movement) had fallen until I read William Kristol refer to Clarence Thomas as “the most impressive conservative in American public life.”

Bear

This is a very big deal. A major investment bank in the USA is on the brink. It is being bailed out, and the financial problems that are at the heart of the worldwide economic plunge are still not completely evident.

BBC: Bear Stearns gets emergency funds
"The rescue of Bear Stearns demonstrates that the worst of the global credit crunch is not yet behind us," he said.

He says that if Bear Stearns had been allowed to collapse, it could have put the whole financial system at risk.

Bear Stearns shares dropped as much as 53% to $28 on the news.

"In just the last 24 hours Bear Stearns came close to running out of the cash or liquidity it needs to meet its daily requirements..."
The statement - "...collapse, it could have put the whole financial system at risk" - is the catcher.

What happens when the financial system collapses?

BBC: Q&A: Bear Stearns banking crisis
The company had invested heavily in sub-prime mortgage instruments and other securities which are now seen as highly risky, and which have fallen sharply in value.

And it had less capital than its rivals, such as Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, who were also heavily exposed, to plug the gap.

Eco Bye Bye


The image is of an Ecopod coffin.

Ecopod Coffin

That would be a 100% recycled paper product coffin. That would be a 'green' coffin as it were.

The information was sent by a deep operative. Were they telling me something?

As a purveyor of information, I have few discriminatory guidelines, so I'm passing it along.

Personally I am leaning towards cremation.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Unconscious


All great truths begin as blasphemy - Oscar Wilde
No Saddam - Al Qaeda Link - One More Time

A particular segment of the population will not be able to see this article.

McClatchy: Exhaustive review finds no link between Saddam and al Qaida
An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network.
Can we shout it out from the rooftops.

You could wave this directly in the face of a certain 30% of the population, and they will not be able to see the document, literally.

Its inconceivable to that 30% that all of the implied and stated reasons for invading Iraq turn out to hold virtually no truth whatsoever.

There is no helping unconsciousness that wishes to remain unconscious.

By the way, the document is not being released to the public. The Bush administration is afraid that the document will further undermine its fragment of credibility.

McClatchy: Pentagon cancels release of controversial Iraq report
The Pentagon on Wednesday canceled plans for broad public release of a study that found no pre-Iraq war link between late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the al Qaida terrorist network.
The tragedy of the Iraq war/occupation comes forward in a multitude of ways. Although there was no connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda, the war/occupation has brought Al Qaeda into Iraq.

Yahoo: U.S. sees long fight to oust Al Qaeda in Mosul

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Desire

Adieu

As I write this, I am reading that Spitzer will resign.

Not much to say here. Clearly he was very stupid. Somehow he thought he was not vulnerable and could escape detection of his habits. With a White House that prosecutes Democrats over Republicans at a rate of 6 to 1, and being so high profile, what the hell was he thinking.

We know sexual desire is hard to ignore but my lord, he could have weighed his responsibility just a wee bit better. What a terrible waste of a very promising career.

Iran returns

The Iran NIE which stated that Iran was not making a nuclear bomb, be damned. Iran is again returning as the desired theatre for war.

With Fallon resigning, there is much speculation out there on the likelihood of war.

6 Signs the U.S. May Be Headed for War in Iran
1. Fallon's resignation

2. Vice President Cheney's peace trip
I would refer you to the article for the complete list with explanations.

I shudder at the thought of a war with Iran erupting right now. We are in a financial decline of massive proportions. The stage is set for a huge societal change towards more totalitarian structures.

Torture

We recently read that the US has taken China off a list of nations that violate human rights. Not sure about that one but -

Canada recently took the US and Israel off their torture watch list.

Reuters: Canada takes U.S., Israel off torture watchlist
Canada's foreign ministry, responding to pressure from close allies, said on Saturday it would remove the United States and Israel from a watch list of countries where prisoners risk being tortured.

Both nations expressed unhappiness after it emerged that they had been listed in a document that formed part of a training course manual on torture awareness given to Canadian diplomats.
Considering Bush recently vetoed a ban on waterboarding and other 'enhanced' interrogation techniques, this seems like an act of extreme political pressure.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fundamental Issues

Very good present economic downturn 101 summation article from Boyd DeLanzo at ZNET: “Death, Debt, and Taxes”

A few of the facts and figures he presents are:
-Real wages...from 1966 to 2001, the average worker's income (adjusted to inflation) grew just 11 percent.

-...Americans have taken $5.2 trillion dollars of debt since 2001.

-...there are three costs that are bankrupting...(the poor and middle classes)...more than any other: education, healthcare, and military spending.

-...74 percent of American students at the top 146 U.S. colleges have come from the highest socioeconomic group, compared with just three percent from the lowest.

-...if the US had a normal military budget, like any other industrialized state in the world, it could easily pay for both a universal health care and education program with money to spare.
How will it be possible to get the USA to be a regular industrialized nation and have a 'normal sized' military budget.

Do the planners and elite power groups really envision an America in which the resources of the country are ever increasingly poured into military spending. How come only someone like Ralph Nader or Kucinich can come forward as a political figure and say as much.

You can talk about Obama and Clinton all day long. Perhaps they won't have the hardcore neo-cons as their inner advisers but so what, their advisers will still push the military budget. Somebody besides a few progressive candidates have to get this message into their heads and start promoting it to a wider group.

New York State of Mind


Yes, its Guiliani.

Spitzer on the ropes


This is really a tragedy. Spitzer had a tremendous upside. He sure has his enemies as well.

Because he didn't resign immediately, I was beginning to think he would ride out the storm and see if he had a chance of recovering.

(Addendum: Till he actually resigns, this may still may be true, he may ride it out.)

I suspect they have the goods on him from the point of view of allegedly committing a crime. With the present Federal Justice Department, Democrats need to dot and cross everything, impeccably.

NYT: Aides Say They Expect Spitzer to Resign
Top aides...expect the governor to resign...the timing of the resignation remains uncertain.
Also

BBC: Deadline to quit for NY's Spitzer
His top Republican opponent in the New York Assembly gave him up to 48 hours - until early on Thursday - to resign. (or face impeachment)
No doubt this will come back to haunt the impeachers, it always does.

Speaking of recession

CNN: Credit markets upended by widening worries
The biggest single cause of that depletion of capital is the ongoing drop in the value of American homes.

...signs of recovery are few and far between.

...inflation destroys the value of all forms of debt. That’s because borrowers pay back the lender with dollars that have less purchasing power than they did when they borrowed the money.
Speaking of inflation

BBC: Oil sets fresh record above $109
The price of crude oil has set a fresh record at $109.72, its fifth day in a row of historic highs.
I wonder if George Bush has heard of $4 per gallon gas yet.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pimp My Governor

Oh dear.

Governor Spitzer of NY appears to be joining the ranks of the Mark Foleys of the world.

I guess it depends on the meaning of the term - "linked to a prostitution ring." (Just trying to invoke Bill Clinton.)

I am disappointed in that I really liked Spitzer. He was a tiger against corporate plutocratic behaviors.

Now what - does he resign?

Like Beowulf, Spitzer can subdue the mightiest of foes, and also like Beowulf falls on his face to what the Buddhists would call, 'deva putra mara.'

Like Foley's predilections, I don't really care where the Governor's personal tastes are. Its the hypocrisy that is always problematic. In Spitzer's case, its going after prostitution rings.

Chasm


One of my deep operatives gave me a book recently. Its "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle.

He's a type of new age spiritualist with his foot in Buddhism, Judeo/Christian traditions, Hindu and Yoga, and some philosophy. The message is more or less based in a caring kindness for the world community and for some, reading this book would be helpful.

Personally, I'm not looking for another Guru.

There is a quote in the book that seems to efficiently articulate the deeply felt and experienced divides that we witness in the world. In this quote he does not state to whom or about whom he is writing but I am thinking particularly about the Israeli - Palestinian endless conflict. He writes:
"...Both sides believe themselves to be in possession of the truth. Both regard themselves as victims and the "other" as evil, and because they have conceptualized and thereby dehumanized the other as the enemy, they can kill and inflict all kinds of violence on the other, even on children, without feeling their humanity and suffering. They become trapped in an insane spiral of perpetration and retribution, action and reaction."
The question remains, it is still there. We know all this but how do you convince two groups of people to understand the sentiment in a way that would change behavior. How is the cultural experience of this mechanism altered or changed for the better.

Do we change, one person at a time, slowly. Is there a way to change everyone, both sides, quicker, maybe by what we call 'the law.'

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunday with Bush

H2O + C17H18F 3NOHCl + sildenafil citrate


Don't Drink the Water

There is a controversy over what is the best water to drink, tap water or bottled.

Certainly the following article which finds that parts of the water supply contain low levels of virtually all of the pharmaceuticals that people take.

Yeow!

AP: AP Probe Finds Drugs in Drinking Water
People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.
Its the sort of news we want to pretend we didn't hear. That just can't be good.

But then more confusion arises with reports that claim that tap water is fine. This articles more or less refutes the first.

ABC News: Is Bottled Water Better Than Tap?
Many scientists have run tests...and have consistently found that tap water is as good for you as bottled waters that cost 500 times more.
So what's the best thing to do?

Its not clear, but taking the responsibility to look into it is probably in your hands.

There are lots of sites up that rank the various home water filters.

Comparisons and Recommendations

The EPA states that the American water system is one of the safest in the world. That could be true but that doesn't mean that it is good for you.

The level of safety is the issue.

EPA: Drinking Water and Health: What you need to know
...national statistics don't tell you specifically about the quality and safety of the water coming out of your tap. That's because drinking water quality varies from place to place, depending on the condition of the source water from which it is drawn and the treatment it receives.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Spotnicks

1962 - From Sweden, The Spotnicks play 'My Bonnie'

Do we smell Devo.

Please Please Me

Apparently Bill and Hillary are interested in sharing the ticket with Barack.

This is fishy. Obama appears to be in the lead, it would be his decision to determine the V.P.

The ticket would be Obama - Clinton, if he so chose.

Why would they want to articulate a 'pre-emptive' ticket decision.

The primaries are not over yet, and depending on how the situation is resolved with Florida and Michigan, they may very well rely on the super delegates to determine who the winner is.

The thing that seems a little disingenuous about the suggestion is that it is almost a plead for power of some form, from the Clintons. Do they sense that Hillary might be toast.

Yes the V.P is often the runner up, but not always.

CNN: Bill Clinton: A Clinton-Obama ticket would be 'unstoppable'
"I know that she (Hillary) has always been open to it..."

Hi


Every so often there appears a double take article.

Initially I missed this one.

Brietbart: Moses was high on drugs: Israeli researcher
High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week.

(Moses mind state was) produced by concoctions based on bark of the acacia tree, that is frequently mentioned in the Bible.

Decided


Tortured

Bush is clearly demonstrating to the world that the US is no longer the champion of democracy, justice, and humanism.

Just the opposite, the US has joined the thug ranks of a gulag run by a messianic colonel destined to joined the lowest echelon of world leaders.

When you find people that support Bush on this issue, recognize that you are always suspect in their mind. Violence of this nature is a projection of one's own internal world. Approval of torture allows you to gain a glimpse into that internal world. It is an impoverished world.

AP: Bush to veto waterboarding bill
President Bush is poised to veto legislation that would bar the CIA from using waterboarding — a technique that simulates drowning — and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects.

"The bill would take away one of the most valuable tools on the war on terror..."
The tragedy continues.

If McCain comes to power, will he also approve of such measures. He is attempting to gain the approval of Republicans by looking the other way.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Slim

Slim Gaillard Trio 1946

Is this the original power trio?

Quagmire

Foreign Policy in Focus has put together an up to date list on the real costs of the Iraq war/occupation. The numbers tell the story. Follow the link to get the entire picture.

Foreign Policy in Focus: The Iraq Quagmire
79% of Iraqis oppose the presence of Coalition Forces.
78% of Iraqis believe things are going badly in Iraq overall.
64% of Americans oppose the war in Iraq.

70% of the Iraqi population is without access to clean water.
80% is without sanitation.
90% of Iraq's 180 hospitals lack basic medical and surgical supplies.
The numbers point to an abysmal, catastrophic human disaster.

Peace or USA


Re-Stupid

Apparently, the Democrats have shot themselves not only in the foot but the posterior as well.

The presidential primary votes of Florida and Michigan are now needed to boost Obama or Clinton into the presidential candidacy proper.

Michigan and Florida did not obey the party rules by moving their respective primaries up to earlier dates. Now the obey or you break the law attitude has come back to haunt us. Intentions are a great thing, but pragmatic practicality is very close to the core of politics.

CNN: Florida, Michigan re-votes come down to money
A re-vote in Michigan could cost $10 million or more.

Another contest in Florida could cost as much as $25 million.
President Bush is working for you

AP: Bush to react to new US jobless figures
...official figures showed 63,000 lost jobs in February.
Those figures are always lowballed. Politicos always try to minimize the damage, otherwise they are soon unemployed.

This news will take two directions. Bush will talk phony Texas style jive and do his infuriating little hat dance around the topic. Whatever he says will be completely off the mark and have no relevance.

Then Wall Street will react and stocks probably will continue to slide.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Cool

Cooldent toothpaste and antifreeze

So cool you'll think you're brushing with antifreeze...

Breitbart: US companies sued over toxic Chinese toothpaste
The FDA issued a warning about DEG in Chinese-made toothpaste known as Cooldent...

DEG is commonly used as a thickening agent as well as in solvents and antifreeze.
Tata Update

Tata Motors is India's largest auto company. They are ironing out a deal to buy Jaguar/Land Rover from Ford. Tata interests me because they appear to be actively working on the compressed air car. This is an exciting prospect for an alternative to the gas powered engine. The compressed air car produces very low emissions.

Tata-Ford deal announcement expected next week
The US car major Ford Motors is likely to confirm the agreement with Indian automobile giant Tata Motors for the sale of the luxury brands, Jaguar and Land Rover, by next week.
Concerning the compressed air engine and Tata -

Tata Motors Signs Agreement with MDI for Compressed Air Engine
Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile company, has signed an agreement with MDI (Moteur Developpment International) of France for the application in India of MDI’s compressed air engines. MDI has already applied its CAT (Compressed Air Technology) engine in a prototype city car, the MiniCAT.

Proportions


Comfort Zone

Clinton wins in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island do help her rekindle her aspirations. Both candidates need the super delegates to reach the 2,025 needed to secure winner status. Its not over yet.

There is the idea that the drama of the race between Obama and Clinton will be so powerful that it captures the imagination of the media. In other words, it might become the hottest topic, even if McCain is out there revisiting Bush's talking points.

If this is true then the prolonged race between Obama and Clinotn could benefit the Democrats.

There's always a justification for any perspective, right? I'm searching for some comforting perspective here myself and this media frenzy notion seems helpful.

NYT: Clinton Success Alters Delegate Race’s Dynamic
Mr. Obama now has 1,299 delegates, compared with 1,180 for Mrs. Clinton, based on a count of pledged and projected delegates prepared by The New York Times. A candidate needs 2,025 to claim the nomination, a figure that neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Obama can reach without the votes of so-called superdelegates — party officials and elected Democrats who are awarded automatic seats.
Equity Crisis

The article is ridiculously small but the words are disastrous. I will copy it in its entirety.

Breitbart.com: Alert
The Federal Reserve says Americans' percentage of equity in their homes has fallen below 50 percent for the first time on record since 1945.
That's a big deal and shows the sorry state of economic affairs that many have. 45 is the end of WW2 and that is a critical point in the economic upsurge of Americans. We are moving into pre-WW2 disparity and functionality. What's next - a major depression? Let's hope not. Wall street will not take the news well.

The Bush economic policy in the simplest terms

Take as much publicly held money and resources as possible i.e. taxes, land, property, anything of value, and proceed to transfer that wealth into the hands of large corporations, particularly those corporate individuals that are friendly to your administration.

The upside - A few greedy SOBs get ultra super wealthy.

The downside - Just take a look around - recession, inflation, foreclosure, unemployment, endless war, record debt, etc etc etc etc.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Primary Color


Like many, I got caught up watching the returns from Tuesday's primaries. I stayed up a wee bit too late. Yes, I am dragging it today.

Why did it take the media so long to call Rhode Island and Ohio for Clinton.

In Ohio, she's leading Obama by a football field and there's 50 something percent of the vote in, and no projected winner. We see projected winners with zero percent of the vote in all the time. It smelled a little fishy to me.

When we look at the vote for Texas and Ohio we see -
Texas Primary

Clinton 1,452,776

Obama 1,354,553

McCain 707,622

Huckabee 521,951


Ohio Primary

Clinton 1,202,024

Obama 976,368

McCain 632,575

Huckabee 323,074
Add up the Democratic and Republican voters and you've got a million more Democrats going out to vote than Republicans in each state. So why does Rasmussen have McCain beating either Obama or Clinton handily.

Could it be that a million Republicans are not bothering to go out and confirm McCain, a rather unpopular candidate to many Republicans. Or "He's going to win anyway, why bother?" Or is Rasmussen F.O.S.

Speaking of McCain: Bush endorses McCain in US race
Mr Bush said his one-time rival would be a president with the "determination to defeat an enemy and a heart big enough to love those who hurt".
"a heart big enough to love those who hurt", excuse me while I barf. What about a cool objective dissociative ignorance for benefiting humanity on any level. Hey, if we're passing the baton, let's get a good grip on it.

The mugshot is Mussolini, arrested as a youth. If the fascist shoe fits...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Stasis


I realize everyone is tuned into the primary results especially for Ohio and Texas. This is clearly the big news for the day, except for the continued slide of the American economy.

Obama could deliver the knockout blow, Clinton could reemerge as a very viable and probable candidate, or there could be a leveling of the field as it were, with both getting an even amount of votes and delegates.

Personally I hope its not the last scenario. I want to see the damn thing wrapped up.

Hey if everybody thinks it ought to be Obama, then that is the 'wisdom' of the American people.

If Obama gets in, and I apologize for saying this again, he is going to make or break.

If he breaks, America becomes Neoconia in 2012. The backlash from a broken Obama presidency will probably be ultraconservative and ugly. That's my fear. After we witnessed almost 8 years of Bush, any belief that it will all work out for the better, is completely broken. This is America.

A few stories that caught my attention -

Stocks Continue to Slide

AP: Stocks Sink on Bleak Corporate Forecasts
Stocks tumbled Tuesday as troubling outlooks for Citigroup Inc. and Intel Corp. again underscored for investors that U.S. companies, led by the financial sector, are getting hit by a weak economy. The major indexes each gave up more than 1 percent, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling more than 180 points.
There were a few interesting technology type of articles on Tuesday.

BBC: Microsoft targets the mobile web
Nokia's S60 platform, which uses Symbian, will be the first to take advantage of Silverlight.

Silverlight is seen as a competitor to Adobe's Flash, which is already used by popular websites such as YouTube.
More American hybrids.

Money: GM To Launch New Hybrid System For Use On More Models
General Motors Corp. (GM) on Tuesday said it will produce a new version of its GM Hybrid System in 2010 using a lithium-ion battery to deliver three times the electric boost of its current system...

The new GM hybrid system will offer a 15% to 20% improvement on fuel economy over the base model, depending on the type of vehicle. The current GM hybrid system offers a 10% to 25% improvement.
I'm failing to see the advantage here. The old system was capable of a 25% improvement of gas mileage, while the new one that comes out in 2010 can offer a 20% improvement in gas mileage. That sounds like going backwards.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Elephant in the Room


Little articles seem to be cropping up regularly that point to the state of the economy. Articles that are not directly related to the recession in a dramatic way, but more in a serious tangental way. When seen as a totality the message is disturbing and distressing.

The Republicans seem to be taking the road of - see no evil, hear no evil. Recession? What recession? Say whatever it takes to get re-elected. Its utterly disgraceful. We know about the American comprehension disorder, but still millions have noticed that the ship is collecting water.

Did you happen to see Bush say the problem was too many houses, that's right, too many houses were built. That's why the economy has lost trillions of dollars of value.

How about this for a final act of civil disobedience with Bush. We all get together and ship truckloads of brush to the White House. Bush can cut brush and loves it. He would see it as a sentimental gesture.

AP: Bankruptcy Makes Gift Cards Worthless
You know that Sharper Image gift card you got for Christmas? Right now, it's worthless. And other gift cards in your wallet could lose their value, too.

As more retailers file for bankruptcy or go out of business, more than $75 million in gift cards are at risk of becoming worthless pieces of plastic this year.

"If I knew this was going to happen, I would have used them right away," said Jon Tapper, a public relations executive from Boston who received two Sharper Image cards as business gifts just a few weeks ago. Their total face value is $50.
I got a Barnes and Noble gift card for the holidays. I used it pronto. I believe they are still solvent, regardless.

AP: Buffett Says US Economy Essentially in a Recession, Expects Rough Ride for Insurers in 2008
Billionaire Warren Buffett said Monday that the U.S. economy is essentially in a recession even if it hasn't met the technical definition of one yet.

The technical definition of a recession most economists use is two consecutive quarters of negative growth in the nation's gross domestic product.
Pedophilia in Dubai

Gulf News: Ski Dubai sodomy suspect tells court he was drunk
A student has claimed that he was "very drunk" and could not recall any details of attempting to sodomize a 12-year-old boy in Ski Dubai last November...

"I had imbibed liquor and I don't recall any details of what happened," the 25-year-old Saudi suspect, S.B., told the Dubai Court of First Instance.