Friday, April 28, 2006

You're Fired!

On the eve of the NFL draft, here is a story about a team owner in the National Indoor Football League firing her entire team because they complained that they were not being paid.

Good for Specter!

Republican Senator Arlen Specter is tiring of THE DECIDER not being forthcoming in his explanations of the warrantless wiretapping program. He is threatening legislation to cut off funding for the program.

So Much for Spreading Democracy

Oil trumps democracy. What about THE DECIDER's dream of spreading democracy? I guess freedom needs a break from marching.

Day 1690!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

In Vince We Trust

Great column on Vince Young. He is not only gifted physically and an excellent football player, but he has incredible leadership skills. I don't recall Leinart being held up as THE leader at USC, but there is no question about Young.

Day 1689!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Where Will Vince Go?

To be honest, I am not really clear. I don't think he will fall past the Raiders at #7. He is projected to go to Tennessee at #3. However, if New Orleans does not take a QB, Tennessee will take Leinart (Norm Chow seems to love him). Then, who knows? The Jets may take him, but they may also be in love with Cutler. Green Bay and SF already have young QBs.

I don't know, but I am really looking forward to the NFL draft this weekend.

More Americans without Health Insurance

Health care costs are rising for those with insurance, so it is not surprising that the percentage of uninsured in America is also rising.

This creates a vicious cycle, because more uninsured causes premiums to rise even further. Why? Because uninsured folks still get medical treatment but then cannot pay. In order to make up for unpaid bills, hospitals and doctors just bill insurance companies for those who are covered more.

Of course, I don't see THE DECIDER or the Republican Congress doing anything to try to address this very serious and growing problem. By the end of his presidency, Clinton was reducing the percentage of uninsured - but that is yet another trend that Bushie has so completely turned around.

Day 1688!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"Ron Mexico" is free

Michael Vick (AKA Ron Mexico) settled his ongoing legal battle with the woman who claimed he gave her herpes.

Not really a major story, but I always laugh when I read that he used the alias, "Ron Mexico."

Day 1687!

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Decider Perplexed About Gas Prices



I don't know what to do about gas prices. Heh heh heh.

Another Bushie Low

CNN Poll puts THE DECIDER at another record low - 32 percent approval rating. It is hard to believe that he may actually fall into the 20s.

Osama bin Forgotten

Unless you were under a rock over the weekend, you heard that OBL has released another tape. It just goes to show that after nearly 1700 days, Bushie cannot get the worst mass murderer of Americans on our soil in history. THE DECIDER should get on it.

I laughed when I saw some guy on Fox News saying OBL is cornered and has few options. How the Hell does he know? You would think that it would not be hard to find a guy who is over 6 feet tall - which is an anamoly among Arabs - and has to undergo kidney dialysis treatments five times a week. The latter would seem to indicate that he has a significant power source, and likely access to a sterile environment. I would not be surprised if we out that he is not actually in some cave, but rather in a populated area.

This Sucks!

A hole opened up in this guy's kitchen and he was apparently swallowed up by the earth. That is some bad luck, bad Karma, or both.

Day 1686!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Governator vs. The Decider

That would be an awesome movie. Arnie could play himself and Sly could play Bushie.

But back to the story, Arnie criticized Bushie's plan for helping shore up California's weakened leavees as "unacceptable."

Day 1685!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

LaVar Playing 'Skins Twice a Year

He signed with the Giants. I love it. It will give me some reason to watch those two games each year. I really hope he sticks it to Danny Boy and the 'Skins for how they treated him.

More Evidence of Bushie's Lies

Apparently, the CIA explicitly told Bushie there were no WMDs in Iraq before he gave the invasion order. More evidence of his lies.

Another "Toy"

If you cannot afford the Caparo, the Ariel Atom 2 is much more affordable and seems fun to drive.

Day 1684!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Oil Over $75/barrel

Holy s**t, we will be paying over $4/gallon this summer at this rate. I hope THE DECIDER gets on the case.

Trekkies' Dreams Come True

Looks like there is going to be a new Star Trek film with new actors playing all the classic roles - Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scottie, Sulu, Uhura, Chekov, Yeoman Rand, etc.

I have some initial thoughts on who should play the main characters - Sly and Arnie would be awesome as Kirk and Spock. Any thoughts.

White House Bungles Again

Many of you probably saw the protestor who screamed out at the Chinese President. The amazing thing is that it was on the South Lawn of the White House. THE DECIDER and his folks screen audiences when he goes on the road giving his nonsensical speaches, but it appears that they cannot even get that right anymore.

The visit by President Hu did not yield any concessions by the Chinese on Iran or Iraq, and there is no leverage THE DECIDER can use to try to improve the trade deficit we have China. Basically, THE DECIDER has to beg China to revalue its currency. It is likely that this will happen, but only on Chinese terms - not as a result of external pressure.

33 Percent Approval

THE DECIDER has fallen to a new all-time low of 33 percent approval in the Fox News poll.

The 30s are horrible, but I would not be surprised if he falls into the 20s.

Day 1683!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Iran and the Bomb

As I have been saying, Iran is years away from being able to build a nuclear bomb.

Get Your Free Breast Exams!

This guy really had some nerve. He pretended to be a doctor conducting door-to-door breast exams. I like the picture of the phony - it reminds me of Harry Caray.

Tornado Statistics and the Environment

We are on pace to see a much higher number of tornadoes this year than the past three years and the average for the last three years. Environmental changes are happening and will be super expensive to recover from. Last year we had Katrina destroy New Orleans, what will it be this year?

Do you actually think Bushie has fixed the problems with FEMA. I don't think so, but I am certain we will find out when the next major disaster hits.

Cost of Iraq

The Washington Post had a front page piece about the rising costs in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. taxpayers are now paying $10 billion/month - mostly in Iraq. On top of this, all of our military hardware (tanks, planes, helicopters, Humvees) are being spent and will have to be replaced. Quoting from the article:

"To fully re-equip and upgrade the U.S. Army after the war ends would cost $36 billion over six years, and that figure assumes U.S. forces would begin withdrawing in July and would be completely out of Iraq by the end of 2008."

Not at all likely. The DECIDER has already said that the next president will have to decide whether to bring the troops home from Iraq. As far as Bushie is concerned, freedom is on the march and will continue to march throughout his presidency.

Iran Thoughts

It is pretty clear that we have no real military option for dealing with Iran. Aside from the fact that they are years away from developing the technology for a nuclear bomb, they sit on enormous amounts of oil - (#2 producer in OPEC, #4 oil provider in the world). They have insulated themselves from sanctions with their economic deals with Russia, China, India, and Pakistan, not to mention their inclusion in OPEC.

But Bushie likes to talk tough as if we are actually considering military strikes. Iran knows it is a bluff and just mocks us, so it does nothing but make it harder to solve the problem diplomatically. It does however help to send oil prices even higher because it spooks investors.

So, yet again Bushie hurts average Americans with his ridiculously foolish talk of military strikes. Thanks to Bushie, we will be paying over $4/gallon this summer.

Bushie on His Spokesliar's Resignation

Yesterday, Bushie accepted the resignation of his Press Secretary Scott McClellan. It is clear McClellan was shown the door, but Bushie offered some kind words as he kicked McClellan out. I laughed out loud when Bushie said, "One of these days he and I are going to be rocking on chairs in Texas, talking about the good old days and his time as the Press Secretary."

What "good old days" is he talking about? McClellan has had to deal with Iraq, the (non)search for bin Laden, the CIA leak scandal (AKA "Plame-gate"), the Dubai Ports deal, Cheney shooting a guy in the face and covering it up, record deficits, enormous debt accumulation, mediocre job creation, frozen wages for American workers, high oil prices, rising inflation, Jack Abramoff, etc.

Our best days are ahead of us, as soon as Bushie leaves office.

Day 1682!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Bushie Impeachment

Carl Bernstein wrote a great piece in Vanity Fair on the need to investigate Bushie and possibly impeach him. Obviously it is not likely to happen, but he makes a thoughtful case for why.

Conflicting Stories about Beheadings

It seems that there are now conflicting reports and the teacher beheadings may not have happened. That would be good news. Isn't that pathetic? The good news out of Iraq today is that the previously reported beheadings of two teachers may not have happened.

The King of Pop is Coming Back!

Michael Jackson will be releasing a new album next year. That should be great.

I am sure Deepie will be moonwalking to the new tunes as he watches the Redskins win the Super Bowl. I don't want to even think about what JD will be doing in the corner at that Super Bowl party.

Bushie Press Spokesliar Quits

Scott McClellan was forced to resign. I guess he isn't able to lie as well as the Administration needs. It should be interesting to see who pops up in his place. I think this was more of a "mercy killing." McClellan was getting beaten up pretty badly in his daily briefings and had lost credibility due to the CIA leak case.

Great Birthday Presents for Guys

Want a 103 inch plasma TV?

How about a 1000 horsepower Caparo? It can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds.

More Progress in Iraq

Two teachers were beheaded in front of their students. Nice.

With current Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari refusing to resign it looks like the stalemate on creating a new government will continue. The Sunnis and Kurds (as well as the U.S.) want to see a new Prime Minister.

Day 1681!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Oil, Gas, and Inflation are Rising

Oil prices are at a new high today. With gas prices rising rapidly, we are seeing a hit to inflation. This virtually ensures that higher interest rates will follow.

With all of the saber rattling about Iran - the number 2 oil producer in OPEC, and the world's #4 oil producer overall - I would not be surprised to see gas prices over $4/gallon this summer. The good news is that oil supply inventories are currently high, but the start of hurricane season in about 6 weeks and Bushie's plans to nuke Iran are making investors nervous. Brace yourself.

Cubbies!

They got a gem of a game from 40-year old Gred Maddux (3-0) last night. If Zambrano can get some control of his pitches tonight it will be a pretty good sign. Looks like Prior will be back in the lineup soon. If Prior and Wood can get healthy and just be decent, the Cubs will have a chance.

Day 1680!

Monday, April 17, 2006

U.S. Debt Accumulation

Just last week we went over $8.4 trillion on the National Debt. We have added $237 billion in debt in 2006. The rate of accumulation is unprecedented and should be alarming, but most Americans don't pay enough attention.

When Bushie took office, the National Debt was at about $5.7 trillion. The scary thing is that we still have a couple of more years of Bushie.

U.S. Debt

The February figures on foreign holders of U.S. Treasury Securities came out. This is the amount of U.S. debt held by foreigners.

In just one month, we added another $29 billion owed to foreigners - that is $1 billion/day. Most noteably, in February we racked up another $3 billion ($265 billion total) owed to China, and $7 billion to OPEC ($85 billion).

While we are bleeding and burning cash in Iraq, and social spending cuts are being implemented here in this country, America is being sold right out from underneath us by Bushie and the Republicans.

Power of Barter

This guy is working on trading up from a red paper clip to a house. He has made amazing progress.

I Guess He Doesn't Like Cats!

A dispute between neighbors led one guy to capture his neighbor's cat and then have it euthanized at a local shelter. I love his response when he was called for comment, "there are two sides to every story" and then hung up.

I cannot wait to hear his side.

Day 1679!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

More Bloodshed in Iraq

Dozens of Iraqis and at least another 4 Marines were killed in Iraq - that is 47 American military deaths this month. It is shaping up to be the worst month of 2006, in terms of American casualties. We are seeing exactly what happens when there is no plan.

Day 1678!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Rising Rates

The Fed is likely to raise short term interest rates in May, and probably in June. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes is now over 5% - the question is how high will it go?

The effects are starting to be felt in home mortgage rates which are almost at a 4 year high, and likely to continue to rise. Of course, this impacts home owners, as we are now seeing rising foreclosures nationally. Not good at any time, but really bad for an economy that is driven by consumer spending and foreign investment.

Big Brother Bushie is Listening

It appears that AT&T allowed the NSA direct access to its network that carries voice and data as well as its massive databases of stored telephone and Internet records. The implications of this type of widespread domestic spying is astounding. How likely do you think it is that a judge actually approved such an operation - not likely.

Bushie cannot catch bin Laden, but he sure as Hell can listen to Americans whenever he wants. Of course it is in contravention of the law, but hey, that it is becoming increasingly more clear that he couldn't care less.

Day 1676!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

So Much for Standing Down . . .

as Iraqis stand up. Americans are taking the lead again in providing security for Baghdad. We know what that means - more American casualties.

It is pretty clear that the war has been a huge mistake and even if you think it was a good ide, it has been executed pathetically. Bushie is fond of saying he listens to his commanders. Well, there is a rising tide of criticism from former generals who are calling for Rumsfeld's head. We'll see if Bushie will continue to support his idiot in charge at the Pentagon.

Of course Bushie is giving another vote of confidence to Rumsfeld. I wonder if the guy has some pictures of Bushie frolicking with illegals in distasteful ways, or something to that effect.

Day 1675!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

More Record Government Spending

You gotta hand it to Bushie - he just keeps setting spending records and deficit records.

Jerry MaGuire Moment

Matt Leinart fired Leigh Steinberg just three weeks before the draft. Man, that is kind of a shock, but I guess Matt figures Tom Condon can sqeeze out more money and make a better deal.

You know, I don't like what this says about Leinart - he is not loyal. Also, while I think Leinart is a great prospect, the one thing I don't like about the guy is that he does not strike me as a guy who just loves football. He likes the notoriety it gives him and he is famous for hanging out at the Playboy mansion and being good friends with Nick Lachey, but I don't get the sense that he is a gym rat or that he is always in the film room. I may be wrong, but he rubs me the wrong way.

Another Bloody Month in Iraq

Three more soldiers killed today. That makes 36 for the month - it is not looking good for April. March only had 31, so it looks like violence is spiking again.

More Bushie Lies

Turns out that Bushie knew that the "mobile WMD labs" in Iraq were just trailers. Although the White House denies it, there was a secret mission to check out the alleged mobile labs that found that they were not used to make WMD. Has this guy been right on anything in Iraq?

Plame-gate Explanation

I have had some discussions with folks (both online and offline) about the seriousness of the CIA Leak case that is ongoing, otherwise known as "Plame-gate." This is a very serious case in which the White House leaked the name of an undercover CIA operative, Valerie Plame, in order to get back at a White House critic, Joseph Wilson, who investigated the alleged links between Saddam and Niger purportedly to obtain nuclear material. Plame is Wilson's wife.

There is so much ignorance of the case and how serious it really is. I have heard people say that Plame did not work for the CIA. This is patently false. At the time her name was leaked, she was an undercover CIA operative. To make matters worse, she was working on counterintelligence and WMD issues related to Iran. She has risked her life for her country and was outed by a White House who was attacking her husband for political reasons - this is absolutely pathetic.

Since she was outed, it is now known that she worked for a company called Brewster-Jennngs as an "energy analyst." Of course this was a shadow CIA front company that had been created to conduct counter-intelligence operations around the world. But now that it is known that it is a CIA front, it is useless. Think about how much this has cost this nation, and how many other CIA operatives have likely been exposed because the White House got into a political fight.

Finally, who is Joseph Wilson? Is he some flaming liberal hell bent on bringing down Bush? No, the guy is a career civil servant who was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad before and during the first Gulf War. He was put there by Bush Sr. His "crime" was that he pointed out that Bush was mistaken when he said in his State of the Union address leading up to the Iraq war that Saddam was trying to procure nuclear material from Niger. The CIA (through Wilson) had found that claim to be incorrect.

The fact is that the Bush White House endangered national security by its political attack - this should be inexcusable at any time, but particularly in a time of war.

Day 1774!

Monday, April 10, 2006

America: Bought and Paid For

When Bush came to office, the U.S. owed foreign holders of U.S. debt just over $1 trillion - we were actually paying it down throughout 2000. We owed Japan, China, and OPEC nations a combined $426 billion.

Today, after Bush's spending sprees and huge deficits, we now owe foreigners nearly $2.2 trillion. Japan, China, and OPEC nations now hold more than $1 trillion of U.S. debt by themselves.

The Bush economic plan is to borrow heavily from foreigners so that we can fund our government's spending and buy foreign made stuff.

Nice job Bushie! Our kids and grandkids will be paying back foreigners for decades.

Huge Bunny Attacks Countryside

Check out the picture of this monster bunny that was eating away in the English countryside.

Bushie Approval Number

38 percent in the Washington Post/ABC Poll - a record low for that poll.

47 percent of those polled said that "strongly" disapproved versus 20 percent who "strongly" approved. I cannot imagine Bushie's ridiculous and misleading comments related to the Libby leak case are going to help. Basically, he authorized the release of classified information for political purposes.

But hey, why not attack Iran? It is the only thing that is going to raise his poll numbers.

Phone Bill too High?

How about $218 trillion? This guy really should cut down on the toll calls.

Cubbies!

Sweeping the Cardinals gives them early momentum. Hopefully they will be able to carry this momentum for a few weeks and build up a lead. If Wood and Prior can come back strong and remain injury free during the season, who knows? Red Sox and White Sox have broken their long droughts - why not the Cubs? I know it is early, but I can dream.

Iran: Bushie's Next War?

Very interesting articles in the Post and New Yorker over the weekend. Basically, Bushie is drawing up plans for air strikes and possibly even the use of tactical nuclear weapons to strike political and military targets in Iran. The critics of Bushie's strategy are certainly alarmed given our disaster in Iraq and the global implications of such an attack.

This is a oomplete joke. I have to assume that there are some people in the Pentagon and the White House who are not completely insane. Aside from the fact that Iran is, at best, years away from possessing a nuclear bomb, they are the number 2 oil producer in OPEC. They are not threatening us or our allies. They have also struck economic/energy deals with Pakistan, India, China, and Russia, so it is hard to see how such strikes would help us geo-politically. The White House is trying to dampen the criticism, which is a good sign.

Day 1772!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Inflation and Gold Prices

Gold has been surging and if you took my advice from my post on March 2, 2005 you would have bought at about $410 an ounce. Today it is hovering around $600. The economy is sending very mixed signals right now. The major markets are up, unemployment is down and consumer confidence is high, but the downside is that they further indicate that inflationary pressure exists in the economy. So you can expect rates to continue to rise.

Given our record deficits and debt, the record foreign financing (ownership) of U.S. debt, the negative personal savings rate of Americans (first time since the Depression), and the slowing housing market, the crystal ball is murky at best. Without a change in the fiscal policies of the government that addresses the growing deficits, I would still argue for significant pain. Gold still looks good as a hedge, but be sure you lock in any adjustable rates you may have.

Another Record Low for Bushie

The latest AP/Ipsos poll found just 36 percent approval rating for Bushie. I believe he will fall into the 20s, unless something dramatic happens - Iraq improves (not likely), there is a solution to illegals (not likely), the economy rapidly improves (not likely), there is a major terrorist attack (perhaps), we go to war with Iran (perhaps).

To me the only thing Bushie can control is attacking Iran. Hmmmmm.

Given that (allegedly) Bushie was willing to authorize the leaking of classified information for political reasons, I would not be so surprised if the rhetoric on Iran ratchets up in coming days.

Iraq Civil War Worsening

This is not good - another Shiite mosque bombing. You can bet there will be revenge killings in the coming days.

Of course, I loved seeing Condi and British Foreign Secretary running over to Iraq last weekend and offending the Shiites with their snub of al Jaafari. They need to put pressure - sure - but offending the Shiites and coming off as meddling didn't help our position. The incompetence of the Bush Administration never ceases to amaze me.

Day 1669!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bushie's New Political Problem

It appears that Bushie authorized the indicted former VP Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, to leak classified information in response to Ambassador Joseph Wilson's criticisms of the Iraq war. Libby testified that this was the case in his perjury case related to "Plame-gate." Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame is the former covert CIA operative whose identity was revealed by Libby in order to discredit Wilson.

This is not a legal problem for Bushie, but it certainly is a political one. It is the first time that he is directly linked to "Plame-gate" and it flies in the face of his 2003 proclamation that he did not know of anyone in his White House leaked classified info. Technically, I suppose that he could have de-classified the information before releasing it, but that is splitting hairs. It looks to me like Bushie lied to the American people - again.

Day 1668!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Treasury Secretary Snow . . .

is going to be out very soon. He is smart, he realizes the debt situation is horrible and at least if he gets out now he might be able to deflect some of the blame.

New Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten wants a more effective spokesman for Bushie's economic policies. Basically they are looking for someone with marketing skills. Someone with "sizzle" who can cover up the "substance" of Bush-o-nomics which have resulted in record deficits and debt with no end in sight.

Idiot Story

No it is not about Bushie! This California teacher blew off part of his hand with a live round of ammunition that he was using as a paperweight.

Maryland - National Champs

Great NCAA Women's Basketball Championship game last night (certainly better than the men's game). The shot Tolliver made to send the game to overtime was awesome. As Maryland was clawing back from being 13 down, you could really feel the game changing. I am not a huge fan of women's basketball, but I truly did enjoy the game last night.

Homeland Security Idiot

Good to see Homeland Security personnel are well vetted. A 55-year old Deputy Press Secretary for Homeland Security apparently attempted to "seduce" what he thought was a 14-year old girl. Of course, it was a law enforcement officer instead. What an idiot - our tax dollars are work securing our homeland.

Day 1667

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

DeLay is Out

Looks like the "Hammer" got nailed. I love his nonsense about wanting to be a good Republican. The fact that his former Deputy Chief of Staff pled guilty on Friday and cut a deal with federal prosecutors had nothing to do with it - right!

Monday, April 03, 2006

UCLA - Florida Prediction . . .

PAIN! (ala Mr. T. as Clubber Lang in Rocky III). For who? UCLA. I think Florida has too much talent and athleticism at all positions. UCLA is a good defensive team, but I think Florida is better all around.

The Simpsons! The Movie!

I am there. Should be awesome - hopefully it will be full of stars, particularly Sly and Arnie. That would be the summer blockbuster of all time!

The Effect of Rising Interest Rates

I have been saying it for months, and now it is starting to happen. Folks who bought into the rising real estate market with ARMs are now seeing their mortgages costs rise rapidly and they may not be able to keep up. There is no question this is going to have an impact on the U.S. economy which has been propped up by real estate. Quoting from the article:

"Already, in West Virginia, Alabama, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee, about one in five homeowners with a high-interest (subprime) ARM was at least 30 days late at the end of last year. . ."

"Of the 7.7 million households who took out ARMs over the past two years to buy or refinance, up to 1 million could lose their homes through foreclosure over the next five years because they won't be able to afford their mortgage payments."

Not good.

USC Pro Day Thoughts

Bush and Leinart are shoo-ins to be top 5 and likely top 3 picks in the NFL draft. LenDale White - who I thought would be a good pro is apparently out of shape and did not run at the USC pro day. I have to say that he really is an idiot. He would likely be a top 20 pick, but may very well drop. If he cannot get motivated for the draft and to impress now, why would anyone think he is going to keep himself in shape when he is getting paid major dollars.

Iraq and Afghanistan

More of the same in Iraq. As has been the case the last three years, American deaths in Iraq were relatively low in March - "only" 29 killed last month. This follows a trend for the last couple of years for March - I wonder if there are some religious holidays or other reason for the lower number. It could of course just be coincidence.

However, a helicopter was shot down and 5 Americans were killed over the weekend, and today it was reported that 4 died in fighing in the Al Anbar province.

As I have been saying for months, Afghanistan is far from secure. In fact, outside of Kabul the warlords and a growing influence of Taliban leaders rule. Last year, 91 American soldiers died in our forgotten war in Afghanstan - double the 2004 figure. Projections are that it will worsen. Of course Osama bin Laden is still on the loose, but we are tied down in Iraq. Thank you Bushie!

Day 1655!