Thursday, March 31, 2005

DeLay's war against judges

Looks like Tom DeLay is going to wage war on the judicial branch of government. He is now threatening to impeach federal judges who had the audacity to actually follow the law and rule against reinserting the feeding tube into Terri Schiavo.

I don't get it - aren't the Republicans supposed to be for the sanctity of marriage? DeLay believes he has the right to turn the law on its head and take away Michael Schiavo's right as a husband to be the legal guardian for his wife. This type of arrogance is not only disturbing, it is scary.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Bush: A man of the people!

The President loves the American people - at least the ones who support him. For the rest of us who may want information during his "town hall discussions" about Social Security, we can just forget about it.

Monday, March 28, 2005

More Republican hypocrisy regarding Schiavo

Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay personally blasted Michael Schiavo for pushing for the removal of Terri's feeding tube when he said, "I don't have a whole lot of respect for a man that has treated this woman in this way," he said. "What kind of man is he?"

Michael Schiavo responded to House Republican efforts to intervene with disgust, and expressed particular vitriol for DeLay. "You have Tom DeLay … making absurd statements that Terri said she didn't want to die. How does he know that? He's never met her," Schiavo said on "Good Morning America."

Of course DeLay's hypocrisy knows no bounds. He considers the removal of the feeding tube "an act of barbarism," yet it seems that DeLay took his own brain-damaged father off of life support 16 years ago. It is OK for DeLay but not for other Americans to make the decision?

DeLay is not the only prominent Republican who has contradicted himself. Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's recent comments about Terri being able to recover are at odds with his comments about Christopher Reeve.

It is just ridiculous that George W., DeLay, Frist, Jeb, and the Republicans want to "save" Terri, but they have never even seen her. Michael Schiavo invited Jeb and George W. down to meet Terri, and they have not done so. They want to interfere with the rights of a husband from afar (aren't Republicans for family values and the sanctity of marriage?), but don't want to actually see/meet Terri.

Terri - God be with you and go in peace!

Base upgrades in Afghanistan

The United States is pouring $83 million into upgrading its main military bases in Afghanistan, which all but assures that we will be in Afghanistan for years. Even if we catch bin Laden, this type of commitment is not encouraging for American taxpayers.

No love for Bolton

John Bolton is Bush's choice to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. I have already spoken about how silly the choice is (see March 13 post), but 59 former American diplomats who have served both Democratic and Republican administrations are urging the Senate to reject John R. Bolton's nomination.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Down goes Duke!

My bracket was busted after the first weekend, but at least Duke did not make the Elite Eight. Gotta love the Spartans! Redick played a subpar game, and once Shelly fouled out there was no inside presence to stop Michigan State.

Our friend(?) Pakistan

The choice to strongly align ourselves with Pakistan in the war on terror is a dangerous one that could backfire in the future. Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharaff, was not elected by his people. He was a general in the Pakistani army and came to power in a coup in 1999. He has rewritten the Pakistani constitution in order to secure more power. The fact is that Musharaff is not a democratic leader who we should count on in the "Freedom's on the March" rally call that Bush bellows out from time to time. Yet, the U.S. has recognized Musharaff as a key ally in the war on terror and has awarded Pakistan the status of being a major non-NATO ally because of its efforts against the Taliban. This designation gives Pakistan the ability to purchase sophisticated U.S. military equipment.

Aside from the fact that Musharaff is a military dictator, our military sales to Pakistan threaten India. While relations have improved in recent years between India and Pakistan, the two countries are still close to war because of an ongoing dispute about the Kashmir border state. Kashmir is part of India and borders Pakistan. Unlike India as a whole, which is predominantly Hindu, Kashmir has a Muslim majority. Muslim terrorists supported by Pakistan (NOT GOOD THAT WE ARE ALLIES WITH A COUNTRY THAT SUPPORTS TERROR) have waged a terror campaign against the local Kashmiri government in an effort to secede from India. The ultimate goal is to create an independent Kashmir.

U.S. support for Pakistan is not well received in India because of the ongoing tension with Pakistan. Both nations are nuclear powers, but only India is a democracy and yet the U.S. shows such clear support for a military dictator. If Pakistan and India were to go to war would the U.S. continue to support Pakistan against the world’s largest democracy?

There are major contradictions in our relationship with Pakistan. They support terror against India, they have exported nuclear technology to North Korea, Libya, and Iran (our enemies), and they still may be doing so. Finally, India is fed up and is objecting to arms sales to Pakistan. As has been the case with other American foreign policy blunders (e.g., supplying arms for Afghanistan and Iraq in the 80s), I just hope we do not find ourselves fighting Pakistani terrorists who are using our own weapons systems against us sometime in the future.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Don't order the chili!

If you like Wendy's, you may want to avoid the chili.

Republican hypocrisy at its worst

If you want to know more about House Majority Leader Tom Delay, read this. Delay had the nerve to use the Schiavo case to try to deflect criticism away from himself.

The whole Schiavo mess is a political play by Bush and the Republicans, pure and simple. If you do not believe it, keep in mind that as governor of Texas George W. Bush signed a law that expressly gave hospitals the right to remove life support if the patient could not pay and there was no hope of revival, regardless of the patient's family's wishes. It is called the Texas Futile Care Law. Under this law, a baby was removed from life support against his mother's wishes in Texas just this week. I did not see Congress jumping in to save the baby.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist who is a doctor, argued that the diagnosis for Terri was wrong based on his viewing of some videotape of Terri. He never saw any medical charts or met Terri, but he was willing to question legitimate medical diagnoses. What a jerk. At least there are a couple of Republicans who have some sense, namely Senator Warner and Congressman Shays.

Shoot, every single day thousands of Americans are taken off of life supporting medical treatment. Not only does Congress have no business examining these cases, they don't have the time. Fortunately the Judicial Branch of government was able to hold its own against an out of control Legislature. Now Terri can die with dignity and in peace.

Mortgage rate and gas squeeze

The Wall Street Journal reported today that interest rates on home mortgages have jumped from 5.66 percent to 6.19 percent in the last month. Greenspan and the Fed raised the short term fed funds rate a quarter point on Tuesday, making it the 7th rate increase over the last 8 months.

The dollar has rallied over the last 5 days on the rising interest rates, which is both good and bad. A stronger dollar brings in more foreign investment which is required to fund the federal deficits (we already have record debt and record debt held by foreigners), but it is likely to make the trade deficit wider because it increases the cost of American products overseas.

I also heard that gas hit an all-time high in the DC metro area this morning. Regular unleaded is averaging $2.18/gallon across the metro area - up 8 cents from last week. I paid $2.19/gallon to fill up my car.

The Republican congress and this president have racked up more debt and increased the size of the federal budget and trade deficits to record levels. They are putting the financial stability of the U.S. economy in peril, as well as the world economy. Although there are some simple relationships between interest rates and government deficits, most Americans just don't see the connections between the economic policies of this president and their prices/costs. The Republicans do a great job of distracting the American public with such things as the Terri Schiavo situation. I wish Americans would just wake up!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

If Bush were a girl . . .

Funny site that shows pictures of Bush as a girl. Again, an effort to leave the Schiavo case behind.

A break from Schiavo: Lakers suck!

At least the judges have some sense and have refused to trample on the rights of Schiavo and her husband. But I am tired of the nonsense.

How about 'dem Lakers? Great move getting rid of Shaq and pushing Phil out because Kobe didn't like them. Oh yeah, Miami is now the best team in the NBA and the Lakers won't make the playoffs. Jerry Buss was an idiot to think that Kobe and his ego were better than the best player in the NBA and the best coach in the NBA. Kobe wants to be Michael, but Michael made the players around him better through sheer force of will. Kobe doesn't - it's as simple as that.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Bush the hypocrite

Not surprising to find that Bush is a politician who only does what is politically expedient rather than what is right. A couple of years ago he signed "right to die" legislation as the governor of Texas, but now he has changed his mind for political reasons.

The only explanations for his actions are that he is a political animal who is being opportunistic, or he knows more than her doctors and virtually every doctor who knows anything about people who are in a persistent vegetative state. I doubt the latter and cringe at the idea that he can be so politically calculating with the stakes so high. If he really believes Terri can recover and deserves more treatment then he should go down and visit her himself. Michael Schiavo asked him to see for himself.

At the very least he could have just signed the law in Texas and not spent $34,000/hour of taxpayer money on Air Force One to get back to Washington.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Wow! Bush returned to DC from vacation

We all know this is a president who loves to take vacations so what is the reason for his premature return? Terri Schiavo. He did not rush back for the tsunami, for military funerals for service men and women killed in Iraq, to investigate 9/11, or even for 9/11 itself, but Ms. Schiavo obviously touched his heart - or he realized that it was good politics. There was a Republican memo that circulated around the Capitol Building that said as much. Compassionate conservatism exists but only when it serves as a useful political tool to shore up the Religious Right conservative base.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

More on the Schiavo mess

For the first time in the history of Congress that I am aware of, the Senate of the United States of America has passed a law that is targeted to just one person. If the House agrees, Terri Schiavo's feeding tube will be put back in against the wishes of her husband, against the rulings of courts, and even after numerous doctors have agreed that she has been in a persistent vegetative state with no brain activity for 15 years.

I think Representative Jim Davis (Democrat from Florida) said it best when he called the congressional action "a clear threat to our democracy." Congress, he said, was ignoring the constitutional separation of power and "is on the verge of telling states, courts, judges and juries that their opinions, deliberations and decisions do not matter." (Quoted from AP article)

That is a profound statement and it should send a chill to all Americans.

Of course, the President values life and just announced his "66 USES FOR PERSISTENT VEGETARDS."

More Bush administration antics

Yet again we find examples of dishonesty on the part of the Bush administration.

The linked article illustrates the lengths to which the administration will go to protect Halliburton, even when they have evidence they are mischarging taxpayers $100 million.

The second linked article discusses the fact that just a few weeks ago the Bush administration told Asian allies that North Korea had exported nuclear material to Libya. Unfortunately this was not true but it was done to create a sense of urgency to address the North Korean issue. What actually happened is that North Korea exported material to Pakistan (our wonderful ally in the war on terror) who then sold it to Libya.

More erosion of the credibility of the U.S. government both around the world and at home.

Why the trade deficit matters

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how concerned I am about the exploding federal budget deficit and the trade deficit. Here is a good, short article that hits the main reasons why we should be concered about the rapidly ballooning trade deficit.

Good thing W is in charge of the military!

Here are snippets from the transcript of this week's Meet the Press on NBC. The discussion is between Tim Russert (NBC) and General Richard Myers (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff):

Russert: The National Guard only reached 75 percent of its recruitment goals; for the first time in a decade, the Marines didn't make their goals. Is the all-volunteer Army being drained to a point where we may have to make some changes?

Gen. Myers: No. The all-volunteer force is working marvelously. . . .

Russert: James R. `Ron' Helmly, chief of the Army Reserve...says `current demands' in Iraq and Afghanistan put his command in `grave danger' of being unable to meet other potential Pentagon missions or help with domestic emergencies, and that the Army Reserve `is rapidly degenerating into a "broken" force.'"

Gen. Myers: . . . our force is in great shape, in my view, in terms of its morale. We think the Army National Guard will come within 2 percent of its in-strength at the end of the year. That's what they predict. The Marine Corps and the Army, active recruiting, think they're going to make their goals by the end of this fiscal year. . . . [WISHFUL THINKING IN MY OPINION]

LATER IN THE INTERVIEW RUSSERT ASKED ABOUT THE READINESS TO ATTACK IRAN AND NORTH KOREA SHOULD A THREAT EMERGE:

Russert: So if the president so ordered, you feel confident we could find and destroy Iran and North Korea's nuclear capabilities?

Gen. Myers: I didn't say that. What I said is we can deal with a security threat that they might pose, and I'll just leave it there. We're getting into operational matters and intelligence matters that I'd rather not talk about.

LOOKS TO ME LIKE MYERS ADMITTED THAT OUR MILITARY IS SPREAD TOO THIN TO TAKE ON NEW MISSIONS.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

My NCAA bracket is busted!

After the play-in game and the first day of games I was 14 and 3 and feeling pretty good. After tonight my bracket is busted as three of my Final Four teams are out - No Wake Forest, Syracuse, or Kansas. At least my projected champion is still alive - Go Illinois! Given how bad my bracket is, I am just hoping that Duke does not get into the Final Four.

Congress should focus on more important things

Congress has not been able to agree on a budget deal, but it finds time to investigate steroids in baseball, and abuse its power by inserting itself into the private lives of Michael and Terri Schiavo. The brain-dead Terri just had her feeding tube removed and Congress has struck a deal to try to reinsert it. While I feel for Schiavo parents and family, and every life is precious, I wish Congress would just stay out of the lives of individuals and focus on national policies which affect us all. Quoting from the AP report:

Schiavo's husband, Michael, who has fought her parents in court for years to have the feeding tube removed, urged Congress to stay out of the matter, saying he is just trying to carry out his wife's wishes.

"I feel like the government has just trampled all over my personal life," he said on CNN's "Larry King Live" Friday. "It is uncomprehensible that a government can walk all over somebody's private judicial matter, because of their own personal feelings."

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Bush tells the world to F-off yet again.

Unbelievable how little Bush cares about building bridges with our international partners. He just nominated Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to take over as president of the World Bank. Wolfowitz was one of the chief architects and major proponents for the hugely unpopular and poorly managed Iraq War. His nomination has been met with little enthusiasm to outright disgust.

To give you a refresher on the guy, in February 2003, Wolfowitz dismissed an estimate by Army Chief of Staff, General Eric Shinseki, that several hundred thousand American troops would be required to pacify Iraq in order to secure peace after the invasion. Wolfowitz called the estimate “wildly off the mark.” I think we know who was right.

After the invasion, Wolfowitz returned to Congress and testified on March 27, 2003 that Iraq "can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon." We are at $300 billion and counting. Every man, woman, and child in America has basically made a donation of $1000 to Iraq, and there is still no exit strategy or end in sight.

Heck, I wouldn't have nominated because I think he is incompetent.

Wondering about Viagra?

If you want to know more about the effectiveness of Viagra I have a great site for you. Hilario prank from a guy who tested Viagra right before going into church.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

March Madness

My rank order for the champion of the men's NCAA basketball tourney.

1. Illinois
2. Syracuse
3. Wake Forest
4. Oklahoma State

I think Illinois is way better than anyone in the country, but they played in a relatively weak conference.

Beyond the above four I like UNC, but man sometimes they just go brain dead and struggle with turnovers. A couple of weeks ago I would have said Kansas had a shot, but they finished the season 5-5. I am also not convinced about Washington or Louisville (weak conferences this year), or Kentucky (love Tubby, but they don't seem to have "it"). As always, I will be praying for the fall of The Evil Empire (A.K.A. Duke) - they better not make it to the Final Four.

Love this time of year. Would love it more if the Virginia Cavaliers were in the big dance, but at least we got rid of Gillen.

More Bush Fiscal Nonsense

The U.S. trade and current account deficits are at all time highs and are continuing to rise. American wealth and the stability of the U.S. economy (as well as the world economy) are increasingly at risk of a major crisis. Bush and the Republican Congress have exploded the federal budget and trade deficits with their economic policies.

If you do not believe it matters you are fooling yourself. We cannot be sure what will happen, but we should be prepared for a major downturn in the American economy. In my opinion the the most dramatic and most direct effect to Americans will be that interest rates will be rising rapidly over the next couple of years. It will be required to provide foreign investors adequate return given the risk of continuing to fund our deficit.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Prepare to pay at the pump!

Gas prices are now at the second highest price ever and a look at the price charts over time is scary. Based on government stats we are now paying about 8% more than just 6 weeks ago and about 15% more than this time last year. It may not sound like much, but how many Americans have gotten a 15% raise in the last year. When you consider that historically, there is a significant bump up in the summer months things look a lot worse. We are probably looking at $2.20 a gallon this summer and there are no fundamental reasons why oil should go down.

At least the oil companies aren't suffering.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Another Bush foreign policy blunder!

There is no question much of the world views the U.S. with suspicion and even disrespect thanks to the policies of our current President. Iraq, Abu Ghraib, fiscal insanity, take your pick, but yet again we see another example of why the world questions the leadership of our President. He has nominated John Bolton to be our ambassador to the United Nations. So what?" you might ask, well take a look at the following discussion from this week's Meet the Press transcript between Tim Russert and Condoleezza Rice:

MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to the appointment of John--nomination of John Bolton as ambassador of the United Nations. . . . the appointment of Mr. Bolton has raised a lot of eyebrows in Europe and around the United States. Comments like these, an interview he gave with National Public Radio. Bolton: "If I were redoing the Security Council today, I'd have one permanent member because that's the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world." Question: "And that one member would be, John Bolton?" Bolton: "The United States." Great Britain, France, China, Russia, all permanent members, pretty much left out. And then this interview comment from Mr. Bolton. Let's watch.

(Videotape, Citizens For Global Solutions Convocation, February 3, 1994):
MR. JOHN BOLTON: There is no such thing as the United Nations.
The secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost 10 stories today, it wouldn't make a bit of difference.
(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: Why are we sending him to the United Nations?

DR. RICE: Because John is a very good diplomat. . . .

Sure sounds like it! Bush really picked a winner for the U.N. and is sure to regain the respect of the world with the choice of Bolton. NOT!!!! To see the full transcript click here.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Gay marriage amendment? What a waste.

Any effort to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage will be long, tedious, and expensive. Hundreds of millions of dollars and countless person-hours will be spent debating the Amendment and in the end it will have no positive impact for the nation. Divisive rhetoric will inflame passions on both sides of the issue, but ultimately even if it passes we will still have millions of gay and lesbian citizens, many of whom will still want to live together in wedded bliss. They will still be our neighbors, our co-workers, and our friends. Then how far will we go to uphold the law? Will we jail those who perform ceremonial gay marriages? Or those gay couples who dare to call themselves “married?” If not, the question is, what will be accomplished?

Finally, I fail to see how gay marriage would have any impact on my marriage. My wife and I are committed to each other in love and friendship. Those who call gay marriage an attack on the “institution of marriage,” including our President, do not speak for us. With over 50 percent of all marriages now ending in divorce, it would seem a better use of time to figure out what the other “attacks” are so we can address those. Perhaps all of the money and resources that would be poured into the debate would be better spent on finding ways to get people to remain committed to each other, rather than preventing American citizens who wish to make the ultimate commitment to each other from doing so.

Beyond all of the above, the government needs to focus on fiscal discipline, taxes, Iraq, health care, and a whole host of other issues before it starts fooling around with people's private lives.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Bush fiscal policy failures will bury us

The trade deficit widened, oil prices touched near record levels, and the result is that the dollar weakened and continues to crash. Of course interest rates are rising (e.g., home mortgages are up about a quarter point in the last 30 days) and American wealth continues to flow out of the country thanks to the complete and utter failure of the Bush economic team.

With the economic crisis looming, 45 million Americans uninsured, and the mess in Iraq, the President continues to say that Social Security is in crisis and apparently is the most pressing thing for the nation. Of course the non-partisan head of the General Accountability Office (GAO) disputed the President's claims about a crisis. It's not that I think he is oblivious to the real problems facing the nation, I think he just doesn't WANT to deal with reality - "It's hard work." At least I can say that I did not vote for him.

Speaking of Social Security, there is a hilarious picture and caption of Bush "eating babies" on the Wonkette's site in her March 11 entry. Check it out.

Free Agency + Redskins = Losing Season

I respect Coach Gibbs as a coach and a person, but he is terrible with the salary cap. He had to call a press conference to explain the approach they are taking to free agency this offseason. The Coles fiasco and the losses of Fred Smoot and Antonio Pierce really hurt the 'Skins and their chances for an improved season. Trading Coles made no sense given the $9+ million hit they took for trading him. The money that is eaten up by Coles leaves the 'Skins with no room under the cap right now.

Thank God Brunell reworked his contract. Look for them to shed some players in order to sign draft picks, because right now they have very little to work with. I have a sense it is going to be a long, sad year in Washington next year and expect more cap hits in the coming years.

Marty Shottenheimer's break down of the team (released or traded 37 players from the year prior to his arrival) helped the 'Skins avoid a salary cap calamity and he was able to keep the team competitive at 8-8 with hope for the future. However, Danny Boy could not deal with Marty and let him go. Since that time Danny Boy, Vinnie Cerrato, Pepper Rogers, the 'Ol Ball Coach (Spurrier), and the rest of the gang out at Redskins Park have worked their magic and destroyed this once proud franchise.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Saturday Night Comedy Special: Bush Funnies

It's Saturday night and I don't want to put much thought in a new post so I thought I would put up some funny stuff about George Bush instead. It's not really all that hard to find. Enjoy:

Bush picture show (some funny, some so-so).

Transcript of Bush's inaugural address (fake, but hilarious).

Bush drunk video from his "younger" days (real, but sad).

I am glad we finished the job in Afghanistan

While Saddam Hussein has been removed from power the real mastermind behind 9/11, Osama bin Laden remains at large. At least we brought democracy to Afghanistan and made it safer for the world. Oops! It looks like we haven't finished the job. In our rush to Baghdad, we left Osama on the loose and a huge void in the Afghan economy that is being filled by the drug trade. As a result, we are now responsible for allowing record opium production to threaten the world.

We also learned this week that Osama is now communicating with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the top terrorist in Iraq, to plan additional attacks in the U.S.

Redskins spinning their wheels but not going anywhere

It is funny how players on winning teams will sometimes take less money to stay, while Redskins players are willing to forfeit good money to leave. I would love to ask Laveranues Coles why?

The Redskins lost Antonio Pierce (lead team in tackles last year) and will likely lose Fred Smoot - two starters from their defense. Coles wants out and they should try to move him. To replace Coles/Gardner, they get David Patten. A nice player, but in 8 years in the NFL he has been a productive but not spectacular player. At 5-10, 190 he is also not that physical presence the 'Skins are going to need, especially if Coles does return.

Oh and by the way, the Redskins identified him as a "deeply religious man." While I can respect that on a personal level, and I am sure Gibbs love that, it does not necessarily make him the right player for the team. Perhaps he will help the Redskins pray their way out of their Danny Boy doldrums.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Talk about a crazy investment!

Question: What will the new U.S. embassy in Iraq cost American taxpayers. Most do not know that it will cost as much as the new Freedom Tower that will go up in New York on the site of the destroyed World Trade Center.

If you do not think we are planning on being in Iraq for awhile, think again.

Talk about stinking up the joint!

There are a lot of easier ways to break up with your spouse. This is not the one I would recommend.

On a more serious subject, U.S. casualties in Iraq topped the 1500 mark and while "only" 58 American soldiers died in February (lowest number since last July) there is no end in sight as the newly-elected Iraqi parliament is having trouble coming together. I would give even odds that Iraq will end up a religious theocracy in the mold of Iran and likely hostile to the U.S.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Lock your rates and buy gold: The Bush fiscal legacy

The U.S. dollar has been collapsing relative to the values of foreign currencies such as the euro or the yen over the last two years. Every few weeks the dollar drops precipitously. For example, on Tuesday, February 22, the dollar fell 1.4% against the previously mentioned currencies which sent shockwaves through all the major markets. There are many variables that impact the value of the dollar – both foreign and domestic – but I have a theory that I hope does not prove true.

We have record budget and trade deficits and an exploding debt. We rely heavily on foreign investors to buy U.S. bonds and treasury securities in order to fund our government’s operations. About $2 trillion of the $7 trillion national debt is owned by foreign banks and investors. Japan and China hold almost $1 trillion in U.S. debt. Basically, the Japanese and Chinese are lending us money so that we can buy products made in their country – talk about a double whammy! Without foreign investment and the steady flow of cash through the sale of U.S. treasury securities our government would cease to operate. The problem is that as the dollar falls, other investments (other currencies, gold, oil futures, etc.) become more attractive. This makes it harder to sell U.S. treasury securities at relatively low interest rates.

My theory is that rates will have to rise just to make U.S. treasury securities more attractive in order to continue to fund U.S. government operations. This will make our exploding national debt even harder to finance because we will be paying higher interest rates. Currently, we spend over $300 billion/year in just interest charges on the national debt. The government only collects about $2 trillion in taxes, so one seventh of the government’s revenues are going in interest charges. As we accumulate more debt at higher interest rates, even more tax dollars will be required to pay back interest (remember there is still a huge principal that we are not paying down).

The Bush legacy will end up being a mess in Iraq and the Middle East, and financial ruin for Americans and our government. My suggestion is to buy gold and lock in your rates because rates are going up!

Good ol' Halliburton

Again we find Dick Cheney's former firm under investigation for bid rigging by the U.S. Justice Department. American taxpayer dollars are going to fund bribes and bid rigging in construction contracts around the world (I should say "allegedly," but given the recent history of this firm I find it hard to believe that it is not true).