Saturday, July 29, 2006

Down Goes Joe! Down Goes Joe!

Lieberman is going down. He seems like a nice enough guy, but his views do not reflect those of the Democratic Party - or the majority of the country when it comes to his enthusiastic support of the Iraq War.

Day 1782!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Republican Political Pandering

The Republican Congress won't allow a vote on raising the minimum wage without tying more tax cuts for the wealthy in the bill. That is absolutely ridiculous. Working class families who are struggling to make ends meet can only be rewarded if the wealthy can enjoy even more tax cuts.

Soldiers' Thoughts about Iraq

The Post had a really sad piece a couple of days ago in which they interviewed soldiers in Iraq. here are some of the quotes from the article:

"It sucks. Honestly, it just feels like we're driving around waiting to get blown up."

". . . what did we invade here for? How did it become, 'Well, now we have to rebuild this place from the ground up'?"

"They say we're here and we've given them freedom, but really what is that? You know, what is freedom? You've got kids here who can't go to school. You've got people here who don't have jobs anymore. You've got people here who don't have power," he said. "You know, so yeah, they've got freedom now, but when they didn't have freedom, everybody had a job."

After all of the blood and money we spend in Iraq, one soldier summed up what he thought was gong to happen: "My personal opinion, I don't speak for the rest of anybody, I just speak for me personally, I think civil war is going to happen regardless."

That is what you get when you invade a country with no real plan.

Michael Steele's Homeboy

Maryland U.S. Senate candidate Michael Steele certainly changed his tune from earlier in the week. He ripped Bushie on Iraq and Katrina (among other things) in a private lunch with reporters a few days ago. Then when it became public, he turned around and called Bushie his "homeboy."

Typical politician who has left Marylanders wondering what he believes. I think he owes us voters an explanation for his apparent lies.

GDP Growth Slowing . . .

and inflation is up. Rising energy costs and slowing job creation are also hitting the economy. The Bush plan of reckless government spending to create record deficits and debt accumulation is just starting to hit the economy.

Day 1781!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

U.S. Economy in Danger

We live in an economy that is driven by consumer spending. With our record national debt, huge deficits, and the slowing economy there are significant threats to American economic power. Americans have a negative savings rate for the first time since the Great Depression.

The one part of the economy that has kept us afloat has been real estate. People have refinanced and taken money out to buy "stuff." But it certainly looks like real estate is losing its strength. With rates set to rise in order to control rising inflation - largely driven by rising energy costs - and the need to finance our enormous national debt, there will be continued pressure on real estate. Without real estate, many Americans have little in the way of savings or assets to cover their personal debts. Things are not looking good.

NFL Baby!

It's great to see camps opening up around the NFL. I'm loving it. It's great to see Vince signed.

Of course the Bears have got to be favored to win the North.

How about the Redskins? Toughest division in football and everyone will be better. As I have said, Brunell is the key. I also think injuries in the division will have a big impact.

Gouging at the Pump

It's earning season again and surprise, surprise Big Oil continues to gouge at record levels. The quarterly profits are in:

Exxon Mobil - $10.4 billion.
Shell Oil - $6.3 billion.
BP - $6.1 billion.
ConocoPhillips - $5.2 billion.

These are profits - not revenues.

If Big Oil were simply passing on rising costs to consumers they would not have rising profit margins. They are gouging.

Oh and while we are at it, we should thank George Bush for his 2005 energy policy that provided billions of dollars worth of tax breaks to the suffering oil companies. So, not only are they gouging you at the pump, but they are paying less in taxes for the common good. They can use the money for important things like a $400 million retirement package for the outgoing CEO of Exxon Mobil.

Day 1780!

Monday, July 24, 2006

What? Congressional Oversight of Bushie?

The American Bar Association points out that Bushie's signing statements in which he says when he won't follow a law erodes democracy.

Looks like Senator Spector agrees. He is preparing legislation that would seek to bring a lawsuit against the President to quit it.

More Troops for Iraq

Well, if we have to stay - and this President says we can never leave - then we might as well send more troops to get control of the civil war that has broken out. Why not? Freedom needs to continue to march.

Man, Bush has really messed Iraq up. If you want to see an example of a FUBAR situation, just look at Iraq.

Solution to Iraq and Illegals

Sign them up for the military and ship them off to Iraq so they can become legal citizens. I am just kidding, but our military does actually sign up non-citizens who then fight for our country. That is a bad policy on a variety of different levels.

Day 1777!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bushie and Putin

At a joint press conference, the following quotes caught my attention:

BUSH: . . . I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world like Iraq where there's a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same thing. . . [Bush went on blathering for a couple of more paragraphs.]

PUTIN: We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, I will tell you quite honestly. (laughter)

It is funny, but it is also true which is quite sad.

Bushie Hog Wild

Bushie was just plain giddy in Germany - I would say he was a buffoon.

As he was doing a press conference with German Chancellor Merkel, and he couldn't stop talking about the pig that he was going to eat for dinner. At the press conference he was being asked about escalating violence in the Middle East but it was clear that he was hog wild.

This is directly from the White House transcript of the press conference:

QUESTION: Does it concern you that the Beirut airport has been bombed? And do you see a risk of triggering a wider war? And on Iran, they've, so far, refused to respond. Is it now past the deadline, or do they still have more time to respond?

BUSH: I thought you were going to ask me about the pig.

Pathetic. Ladies and gentlemen, WWIII is possibly breaking out and Bushie is making jokes - either that or he was really, really hungry. When he doesn't know what to say he becomes a child - remember "My Pet Goat" on 9/11?

Day 1768!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Oil and the Economy

Oil prices are starting the day at record levels above $78/barrel. As oil prices rise, gas prices rise. As gas prices rise everything rises because it is more expensive to travel, ship products, etc. Americans do not have slack financial resources and, in fact, have a negative savings rate for the first time since the Great Depression. With rising gas prices, there is an obvious impact on consumer spending. Today we saw that retail sales dropped 0.1 percent - a surprise because it was expected that consumer spending would rise 0.4 percent.

One month does not a trend make, but given that we are a consumer spending driven economy, the dip and rising gas prices are not a good sign of things to come.

Day 1767!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Plame Suing Cheney, Libby, and Rove . . .

for outing her as a secret agent. She was a non-official cover (NOC) agent for the CIA who worked for this country on issues related to WMDs. For political reasons, this White House's actions exposed her and the CIA front company she worked for, endangering the lives of other NOC agents. We will see if the case actually moves through the courts or if it is dismissed for national security reasons.

Bushie Backtracking

First, Bushie has backtracked on torture and says that detainees are allowed protections under the Geneva Conventions and now he is working with Congress to make his illegal wiretapping legal and under the oversight of the FISA Court. I guess he is realizing how bad those ideas were.

Get Ready for $4/gal Gas

Oil hit $76 and the Mid-East is totally messed up. The invasion of Iraq has not spread democracy it has spread violence. We do not have a Mid-East policy that makes any sense. Because Bushie has no real credibility within the region, we have few options. On top of that, we are just one Gulf Hurricane away from gas prices going above $4/gallon.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Friday, July 07, 2006

Paulson Tax Gain

Hank Paulson is leaving a lucrative job making about $40 million a year at Goldman Sachs to become the Treasury Secretary at just over $183,000 per year. The New Treasury Secretary says that he wants to serve his country - maybe. The fact that he is getting to keep $48 million that he won't have to pay in taxes on his stock options certainly helps.

Army Stretched Too Thin

Still more evidence that Iraq is hurting the Army. Because the Iraq War is sucking up so much money, funds have been diverted from other operations and bases. We have bases that cannot pay for utilities, office supplies, or food operations because the money is being wasted in Iraq.

Day 1760!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Record Oil Price

Oil closed above $75/barrel. With the summer driving season upon us and the possibility of hurricanes, don't be surprised if we see gas prices rise up to $4/gallon this summer.

There is little question that it will continue to put inflationary pressure on the U.S. economy. It is also not going to help our record $8.4 trillion national debt. But OPEC is going to love it.

Ken Lay Off the Hook

Looks like Lay is going to avoid prison. I cannot wait to hear the full story on his death. He died while awaiting sentencing at his vacation home in Colorado. I can imagine that he got hopped up on blow (like Tony Montana in Scarface) and just stopped his heart. Of course that is wild speculation and I have no evidence of that, but it seems to me that it would be better to go out that way than to spend the rest of your life rotting in a jail cell - especially at his age.

Day 1758!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Osama bin Forgotten

We are coming up on 5 years since 9/11 and the CIA unit for hunting down bin Laden has been disbanded. Bushie just doesn't care enough to put resources into the search - that is pathetic.

Happy Independence Day!

Just got back from vacation in Chicago - I love that city. Here are a couple of thoughts.

First, thank God for the liberal activists who founded this country. If it were left to conservatives we would still be subjects of an English monarchy.

Second, one of the biggest threats to freedom and democracy is the corporatism that dominates the American media. Five companies now control the majority of what we read, listen to, and watch. This is great if you want to create propaganda campaigns to control the people.

Enjoy the fireworks tonight.

Day 1757!