Monday, September 29, 2008

Hastings Votes Against the Economy

Here's his statement:
“I judged this bill on two primary grounds: what could the cost be to the taxpayers and is it good policy for the federal government to seize the financial markets in this way.

The final bill provides more taxpayer protections than the first proposal, yet it still potentially leaves taxpayers holding the $700 billion bag for the reckless actions of Wall Street and that is something I cannot support.

And on the question of increased government intervention in the marketplace, I am just plain opposed to such a massive intrusion into the economy and the marketplace.

As to the crisis about which we are warned, I hope it can be abated, though I do believe additional steps can be taken to allow for the infusion of new capital, instead of focusing solely on preventing a freeze of existing capital. I also believe an insurance-centered approach would allow for relief in a way that places the responsibility for paying on Wall Street and those being bailed out."

The 3 A.M. Call

More of Krugman's thoughts on what faces the next president. Who would you prefer to deal with the future financial fall-out of our current difficulties. A thoughtful, well-advised Obama or a self-confessed unknowledgeable, ill-advised, and erratic McCain?

Another voice against the bailout

Dean Baker invites the banks to pull the trigger on the gun they have pointed to their heads.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Is There Really a Crisis?

Perhaps it is all, as a friend of mine said yesterday, another hot, smelly pile from the people who have a history of successfully feeding Americans other hot, smelly piles.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rot from Within

Robert Reich points out that whatever credit problems there are in the mortgage world are being exacerbated by other consumer credit problems. And these are caused by the long decline of jobs and wages.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Paul Krugman Make Sense...again

Paul warned about this coming problem for years. His prediction has been painfully borne out. So I think Paul Krugman's criticism of the bailout makes sense as well.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Road to Nowhere

Despite allegedly saying no to the bridge to nowhere. But Palin still went ahead with the road to the NOW NON-EXISTENT bridge to nowhere.

Makes You Wonder

From an email that's making the rounds:

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."

*Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married heiress Cindy the next month, you're a Christian.

* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.

* If you're husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jay Inslee Endorses George Fearing

Congressman Jay Inslee endorses Candidate George Fearing
Inslee, a Champion of Alternative Energy and Hanford Clean-up, first elected to US House of Representatives from the 4th District

RICHLAND, WA: Central Washington's Congressional Candidate, George Fearing, received the formal endorsement of Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA). Inslee defeated incumbent Republican Doc Hastings in 1992. Now representing the 1st District in the Puget Sound-area, Jay is championing an initiative in Congress called the New Apollo Energy Project that will marshal the resources of the federal government to support the development, manufacture, and deployment of new clean energy technologies in the United States.

"Voters in Central Washington have a great opportunity to change the direction of the region and the country. George has a lot of energy behind his effort, and it is clear that on a national scale people want to set aside ideology, and solve the problems we face," said Inslee, who received 22.6% in the 1992 Primary before winning the General Election with 50.8%. This year, Fearing took 35% of the Primary vote, which bodes well for the candidate as the Democratic General election outcomes reflect a 16% jump, averaged for 36 years, over the Primary result1.

George Fearing is a public interest attorney in the race in Central Washington's 4th Congressional District. Fearing received more Primary votes than any Democrat in the District's history. Hastings, a 14-year incumbent who pledged to serve only 6 terms when he signed the 'Contract With America' as a candidate in 1994, has received substantially fewer votes, placing him considerably behind gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi in the 4th District.

"We have missed opportunities to support alternative energy1," said Inslee. "It will be great to have a Representative who will work every day to create jobs by advancing alternative energy research, development and production. We need a Representative who will make the region energy independent while creating millions of new, high-wage American jobs in the clean energy industry. George Fearing will employ Central Washington's natural assets to make the region a leader in this burgeoning industry."

"Everywhere we go, citizens are talking about the need for a new energy future," said Fearing. "People want nuclear power, yet the incumbent has done nothing to advance this issue, which would create more than 20,000 jobs and secure our power supply. I am the first Democrat in Washington since Dixy Lee Ray to support the construction of nuclear power plants. The incumbent has not fought to obtain adequate funding for Hanford cleanup, preferring to let our US Senators do the work. People are angry that the incumbent has raised the national debt time and time again, and spending our country into recession. Voters are demanding new accountability and common sense that focuses on their priorities." Fearing added: "Keeping Hastings in Congress is like the country being led by teenagers left alone with a credit card."

More than 90% of the energy produced in the State of Washington is generated in the 4th Congressional District through hydroelectric, nuclear power, wind, and solar. The Grand Coulee Dam was the first major power producer, and research is underway advancing geothermal and wave technology.
"Democrats built this district," said Fearing. "Every major energy, agricultural and transportation project in Central Washington was funded when Democrats representing this district were in Congress. The Grand Coulee Dam. Dams on the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia Rivers. The Columbia Basic Reclamation Project. The Manhattan Project and the Public Power Supply System Reactors. Interstates 82 and 182. It is time we get back to investing in our district and securing our future."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Molesters not a Priority for Palin

The current story is that Alaska public safety commissioner Walt Monegan was fired because he was more aggressive in pushing an anti-molester program than Palin. Evidently she never considered predators to be a priority for her administration.

Ending Terrorism

The RAND Corporation has done a study on what it really takes to bring an end to terrorism. "War" on terrorism is not the solution. It's more like undercover and police work.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Palin Shows Her Lightweight Bona Fides

I watched the first of the Charles Gibson interviews and it was so clear that she is a shallow puddle, about the depth of a layer of lipstick. All she had were worn-out Bush talking points.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Embrace the Pig

Rather than apologize for the pig reference I think the best thing for Obama is to run with it. Sometimes the opposition telegraphs where they are most vulnerable by the nature of their defense. McCain-Palin are uniquely vulnerable an the four-more-years-of-failing-policies issue. This is the pig that Obama needs to use in every stump speech.

McCain = Pig, Palin = Lipstick.

The beauty of this construct is that it is so true. McCain really is an opportunistic, sexist pig and Palin really is nothing but a decoration.

Update: I thought this was my own idea but it seems a number of others with a wider audience have already landed on it.

DEA Tampering

Should we elect a man as president who tampered with a DEA investigation to protect his political career?

God forbid!

From Pigs to Ducks

If it walks like a duck.... Palin is trying to cover her tracks on a clear censorship agenda.
"Yesterday, ABC News' Brian Ross moved the ball forward a bit, with an interesting report.

Ross emphasized an angle I previously hadn't heard much about. Palin was elected mayor thanks in large part to the strong backing of her church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, which, right around the time Palin took office, 'began to focus on certain books available in local stores and in the town library, including one called 'Go Ask Alice,' and another one written by a local pastor, Howard Bess, called 'Pastor, I am Gay.''

Palin became mayor, her church was interested in censorship, and soon after, Palin asked a 'rhetorical' question about how books might be excluded from the public library. When the librarian resisted, she was, at least initially, fired.

The line from the McCain campaign has been that Palin never had any interest whatsoever in banning library books. That seems increasingly difficult to believe."


The problem with having a lightweight as a running mate is that she doesn't know what she doesn't know. Here she talks about Fannie and Freddie without any apparent knowledge of what they really are.

Questions for Palin

I don't have the link but a Times columnist, James Rainey, wishes Charles Gibson would ask these question of Sarah:
* You have been skeptical that global warming is caused by humans. On what basis do you reject the scientific consensus that fossil fuels and human activity have contributed to climate change?

* You asked the librarian in your town about the policy for banning books. Are there books you think should be kept from the public?

* You have claimed credit for killing the "bridge to nowhere," the $398-million link between Ketchikan and Gravina Island. Didn't you support it until it was clear Congress was not willing to pay for the much-ridiculed project?

* You have said students should be allowed to "debate both sides" of evolution. Should creationism be taught alongside evolution in the public schools? Do you believe in evolution?

* What's at the root of the terrorist problem in Pakistan? And how would you make progress, which has eluded the Bush administration, in that dangerous country?

* Your opponents claim you and McCain would just extend the Bush administration for another four years. Cite three instances in which you have differed with the president.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Paul Krugman points out that Fannie and Freddie were privatized back in 1968. The government takeover is more like "firing Blackwater and giving responsibility for diplomatic security back to the Marines."

Winning This Campaign

Given the mysterious popularity of Palin it seems clear to me those who find her appealing are not going to be influenced by any criticism that might be raised. This campaign is going to be won in the trenches. Obama will have to turn out the voters who have suffered under the Republican imperial system. These folks are not going to be swayed by any Palin celebrity factor. They know the source of their pain and Obama has to not only get them to the polls but the Democratic field workers have to take every effort to make their votes count. Basic voter ID and GOTV efforts are critical. And the vote-counting process must be watched very carefully. We need to be prepared to contest every questionable vote fixing activity.

In my local jurisdiction with its vote-by-mail process this means that poll watching will be an activity that lasts over several days. No longer is it a one-day deal. The county staff needs to feel the hot breath on the back of their necks the entire time.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Anne Kilkenny's take on Palin

One Alaskan who isn't afraid to speak truth to power.

Sarah Palin's Record

From the wonks at Crooks and Liars
In 2000, Sarah Palin, as mayor of the Alaskan town of Wasilla, hired a Washington lobbyist to secure federal earmarks for her community.

This is not totally atypical in her state. Alaska’s government receives more money per capita in federal earmark money than any other state, despite being the only state in the union with no income tax and no sales tax. They fund their government primarily with petroleum money, and recently distributed oil profits to its citizens in the form of rebate checks.

But even in her heavily earmarked state, Sarah Palin was the earmark queen.

From 2000 to 2003, she secured over $27 million in earmarks, averaging $6.7 million in federal money every year for her town of about 6,700 people.

As mayor, Sarah Palin managed to secure a thousand dollars a year per person in her city in earmarks, yet…

When Palin left office in 2002, Wasilla had “racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt,” or roughly $3,000 of debt per resident.

Asked in 1996, her first year in office, about her ability to “effectively run” the city, Palin claimed:

“It’s not rocket science,” Palin said, “It’s $6 million and 53 employees.”

Only “$6 million and 53 employees” and yet she managed to bury it $20 mil. in the red in just two-terms. How very Bush-like. And she wants us to trust her to be a heartbeat away from the national budget?

Governor Palin has been quietly undermining ethics inquiry

Palin upholds the proud Republican tradition of pretending to support transparent government while secretly doing everything she can to subvert it.

Lies and Damned Lies

Here's how they do it. Palin makes a statement that is technically accurate, "I auctioned that jet on eBay." Then McCain does an obvious extrapolation, "She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor, and sold it on eBay -- and made a profit!" The fact is, she OFFERED the jet on eBay but she sold it to a Valdez businessman who was a campaign contributor...for $600,000 loss.

America, we are better than this.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Obama Swift-Boating Begins

Here is a nice pack of lies that is simply preposterous. I especially like the images of full-term babies when they are actually talking about unviable fetuses. Of course in their eyes there is no difference, but realism is not a part of their thinking. So such lying with images just doesn't penetrate whatever they actually use as a conscience.

The Born-alive Infants Protection Act that is the crux of the discussion was a clear attempt to move the standard of what is a human life towards conception. It's similar to the so-called "partial birth" abortion issue in that the object of the legislation is a extremely rare occurrence. And like "partial-birth" it is an abysmal basis for good law. I applaud Obama and others for voting against it. It's a stupid law.

What really happens is noted in the above article.
In rare cases, a fetus may have a fatal deformity, (e.g. anencephaly or lack of a brain), but is still born alive. Other fetuses which are normal but are born at 22 weeks or less gestation also show signs of life. In both situations, they have zero chance of surviving long-term. No treatment is possible for their condition. Most hospitals have a policy to give these newborns comfort care. This involves keeping the them warm and well fed. The medical professionals treat any any discomfort that the newborn is experiencing. They typically die within a few hours or perhaps a day or two.

In the black-and-white, good-and-evil world of mentally challenged right-to-lifers there is no room for judgment calls by the people most directly affected by an unwanted or perhaps life-threatening pregnancy. They are the living legacy of the Dark Ages when the Church held that all suffering was the hand of God in action and the it was blasphemous to attempt to alleviate in. We like to think that we are smarter than that now but unfortunately many are not.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hilary Rosen Sums It Up

Hilary Rosen: Am I "Off Message" on Sarah Palin?

So why then do I think that Sarah Palin would be a terrible vice president? Because I also think that John McCain would be a terrible president.

I don't care about how Sarah Palin or John McCain take care of their families. I care about how their policy choices affect my family and millions of other Americans.

-McCain and Palin get their health insurance paid for by the government (hers in Alaska and his in Washington). Yet they oppose giving the 42 million other Americans the same access to affordable healthcare.

-John McCain's kids don't have to worry about paying for college. Yet, he has opposed every single education support program to help others.

-McCain and Palin say they will stand up to oil companies. Yet the only energy policy they support gives millions of dollars in tax breaks to oil companies to do more drilling and he has opposed every piece of federal legislation to explore alternative fuel sources.

-McCain and Palin say they will revamp how Washington does business. Yet his campaign is filled with lobbyists and she has been in bed with Senator Ted Stevens funneling federal money for useless projects in Alaska for years.

-McCain and Palin have refused to answer very real questions about her potential abuse of power in Alaska when it came to her firing a State Trooper because she was on a revenge kick for her sister costing an officer his job. And McCain and Palin have no solutions for Americans worrying about their jobs in a fragile economy.

-McCain and Palin want us to leave their families alone. Yet they want make rules for our families by eliminating our right to make our own choices over abortion; eliminate our access to family planning education or domestic partner benefits; and our freedom from discrimination. They want to control what our kids learn in school about sex and about science. In short, through the policies they promote and the judges they support, they want the government to be more in control over our private lives than at any time in history.

-McCain and Palin now say their campaign is about change, too. Yet, the only real change they have proposed is a change from a suit to a skirt in the VP's office and one man fighting a misplaced war for another in the Oval Office. That seems to me to be the right reason to oppose them in November. It's not the process or the people, it's what they represent. This unconventional choice of VP by John McCain won't stand up to the hype and result in a win in November because they are the wrong choice for the country.

What the Bookmakers Think

According to the bookies:
"The smart money thinks there's a better chance today than yesterday that John McCain will dump Sarah Palin as his running mate."

Palin's Daughter

All I want to say about Palin's pregnant daughter is that this is the natural consequence of an abstinence-only sex education.