Saturday, December 27, 2008
When will the United States come to reality?
Strangely enough, that will occur when Obama becomes president. It's been easy for the Democrats to be global warming alarmists during the Bush administration. The Democrats could just stand back and toss accusations. Now they're in charge, and if they call a tune, they're the ones to pay the piper.
The first thing the Democrats will notice is that global warming has ended naturally. There's no way anyone can claim that mankind has caused the current cooling.
Next the Democrats will notice that the United States can't afford economy-destroying and wasted expenditures on a phantom problem, when so many real ones are challenging for a share of very limited resources.
As pointed out in the Daily Telegraph article I linked above, the final dose of reality that will strike through our leaders' thick skulls is that we won't be able to satisfy our (and the world's) energy needs through expensive and unreliable alternative energy technologies. Wind, solar, biofuel, and wave are, and will continue to be, expensive and inadequate energy sources. Nice playtoys, but nuclear, coal, oil, and gas will have to continue to carry the world's energy demands.
The only alternative is to deny further development of economies classified as undeveloped and developing, and the peoples of these nations are not going to sit back and have their futures denied by wide-eyed environmentalists living lives of luxury in the developed nations.
They'll revolt rather than have their lives nailed on a cross of carbon reduction.
One man, one Easter, is enough for all times.
Friday, December 26, 2008
They let me pass as a humanitarian gesture. "I know you would do the same for me," a woman shouted. I forged ahead to Safeways, and found it packed with shoppers refueling for their next sorties. I thought the good citizens of Walnut Creek would shop until they dropped, but they have been forged in the heartland of world-class shoppers. There was no quit in them - no stopping, no dropping, just quality endurance shopping.
Mr. Recession never had a chance.
Recessions should be made of sterner stuff.
At least ones that invade northern California.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The carbon offsets are even an improvement over purchased indulgences and Pet Rocks. Unlike an indulgence, purchased to take away a sin you don’t want anyone to know about, that you also promise not to repeat, the carbon offset can be proudly displayed. Rather than hiding your sin, you want the whole world to know how environmentally sensitive you are. Another improvement over purchasing indulgences, you really don’t have to stop flying – you just keep flying, and keep buying.
And the Pet Rock? After the first chuckle, most people realized what a dumb waste of money they were. The joke got old fast. Carbon offsets, on the other hand, are a constant reminder to others that you are “holier than thou.”
All you have to do is pay your money and play the farcical game that what you are doing “makes a difference.” Forget that the developing nations of the world are going to keep pouring out CO2 at ever increasing rates as they progress. Ignore the fact that man-produced CO2 is a tiny component, a fraction of one percent, of the natural greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (water vapor is over 95 percent). Be oblivious that ice core records cited by Al Gore in “An Inconvenient Truth” actually showed temperature increases preceded, not followed, increased atmospheric CO2.
Most of all, be clueless that carbon offsets, unlike Pet Rocks, are a monumental scam because there are no effective mechanisms to measure and audit their promises.
However, in this time of economic travail, let it not be said that I tried to discourage the efforts of sincere individuals to pump some of their excess cash into the economy. Pet rocks, indulgences, and carbon offsets are proof that some fools have too much money.
And that a fool and his/her/its money are soon parted.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
But it was long ago”
(from “Against the wind” [Bob Seger])
That’s right, forty years ago John Kerry and his Swift Boat spent Christmas Eve in Cambodia, listening to President Nixon telling the world there were no Americans in Cambodia. As the stealthy Swift Boat cruised up the Mekong, almost as ghostly silent as a diesel locomotive pulling the incline at Donner Pass, its crew apparently was regaled by the South Vietnamese drunkenly signing carols and exchanging Christmas presents, and occasionally firing a few shots in their direction.
On the floor of the Senate in 1986, Kerry made the following the centerpiece of a carefully prepared 20-minute oration against aid to the Nicaraguan contras:
"I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared -- seared -- in me."
Writing for the Boston Herald in October 1979, Mr. Kerry said this:
"I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real."
It warms my heart thinking of the ecumenism of the predominantly non-Christian South Vietnamese so whole heartedly celebrating Christmas.
Although I was never there, after reading Kerry’s reminiscences it feels like I was. Such clarity, such detail, such historical significance!
I can hear John Kerry now, caroling back to the South Vietnamese:
“Christmas in Cambodia
With all the Swift Boaters I roam”
(adapted from “Christmas in Killarney)
Monday, December 22, 2008
Willie Brown, former legendary Speaker of the California Assembly and far less legendary former Mayor of San Francisco, got a telephone call from Governor Blagojevich. They chatted about Willie's assertion in his San Francisco article last week that Patrick Fitzgerald's case against the governor was very weak because it was just loose talk, and no deal was made.
According to Willie, this is the gist of their chat (click on this for the link to Willie's World):
I can't go into details, but my impression is that the whole mess started because the governor had been considering appointing a political rival, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, to the Senate so she wouldn't be able to run against him when he went up for re-election in 2010.
Apparently, Obama's people weren't happy about the idea of Madigan coming to Washington, and there were some pretty heated conversations between Blagojevich and Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, which I understand will burn your ears off.
Let us reconstruct what this may mean. Blogojevich told Willie Brown that he had conversations (that means more than one) with Rahm Emanuel. Apparently the conversations were very heated, meaning a lot of disagreement should be on Fitzpatrick' tapes.
Meanwhile, We have George Stephanopoulos in George's Bottom Line reporting (in an exclusive!):
Sources tell me that the Obama team's review of contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will show that Rahm Emanuel had only one phone conversation with Blagojevich.
When will we get to the bottom of this?
Is Willie right? Are George's sources telling him the truth, or Clintonesquely parsing it? Will Fitzgerald's tapes declare the winner, or will we be left wondering for all time?
I'm betting that Willie's version is closer to the truth, that there were many contacts, because Blagojevich called him and volunteered the information, one cynical politician to another. I think George was being spun by Obama/Emanuel operatives with the goal of arguing about which contacts between Blagojevich and Emanuel count as Senate nomination contacts.
Regardless of George's bottom line, I think the bottom line on this will end the same as always: "it's not the crime, it's the cover up."
When will they ever learn?
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Now George is helping to give cover to Obama by trying to minimize the significance of Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, playing Senatorial nomination footsie with Blagojevich. His "exclusive,"Obama's Blago Report: Only One Rahm Call to Governor," is an attempt to minimize Emanuel's involvement in the Blagojevich fiasco by reporting Emanuel only made one call to Blagojevich about the nomination. All the other calls he made must have been to Blogojevich's asssistant(s), or were to Blogojevich but not "about the Senate appointment."
You see, it all depends on what the definition of "call" is.
Bill Clinton would applaud.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
They reminded me a lot of Democrat supporters.
My oldest son's in-laws are all Cowboys fans. They're wonderful people, but they've never lived in Texas, let alone Dallas. My oldest son - actually my three sons and I - have been life-long 49ers fans, although since I was born in 1942 and the 49ers weren't created until 1946, I really become a 49ers fan when we bought our first TV in 1954 and I first saw them play.
Although we lived 140 miles north of San Francisco, everyone in the area was a 49ers fan.
The 49ers are considered to have had the greatest team of all time. It's just that it's impossible to determine whether the 1984 or the 1989 49ers was that greatest team. Certainly the 49ers success from 1981 through 1998, including 16 straight seasons when they won 10 or more games, was one of if not the longest period of sustained excellence in professional sports history.
Along the way the 49ers featured some of the greatest players of all time at key positions - Joe Montana at quarterback, Jerry Rice at wide receiver, and Ronny Lott at whatever defensive back position he was playing.
Tonight I enjoyed watching the Baltimore Ravens take the Cowboys apart in the last game to be played in the Cowboy's old stadium. As a special sweetner, Terrell Owens had an undistinguished game, and will soon probably destroy what little remains of Cowboy team spirit. To Owens, there is one big "I" in team.
The cowboys deserve TO, and they deserved tonight. May they long remember it.
UPDATE: Apparently the Cowboys are not as dumb as Jerry Jones acts. They let TO go, and now he is the Buffalo Bills' problem.
A lack of an energy policy is prominently mentioned, as if President Bush and Republicans tried to block developing viable energy sources. No matter what is said or written, alternative energy like solar, wind, wave, and biofuels are expensive and unreliable, and if developed rationally, would not even keep up with increasing demand for energy, let alone replace dependence of fossil fuels (and don't forget nuclear, like the Liberals have).
Now I would like to apply the author's rationale to linking those causes with what is now cheap gas. How does he explain oil falling over $100 a barrel using the causes he gives for its price rising?
My position has been that oil has been in demand because world economies were booming, and now that the financial crisis has taken the bloom off the boom, oil prices reflect lessening demand.
So did President Bush cause the financial crisis?
Apparently The New York Times in its Sunday issue is going to say "yes."
I guess the corralary to that would be, if President Bush caused the financial crisis, did he also cause the prosperity buddle that carried the rest of the world along for over seven years of his presidency?
When did doing right become doing wrong?
Or are there other forces at play?
I doubt any Liberals will want to give President Bush credit for all the good economic times that overcame huge obstacles like 9/11, islamic terrorism that struck Spain, the UK, Bali, India, and so many other parts of the world (but somehow not the United States) following 9/11, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
You have to be very choosy when you're playing the blame game.
Actually, this isn't hard to do.
The first thing The Times will do is ignore anything done by Democrats, such as promoting easy qualifying for mortgages to encourage the poor to buy "affordable" housing. Then they will have to overlook the shenanigans Democrat executives like Franklin Delano Raines and Robert Rubin pulled in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to enable the practice of making bad loans continue and grow.
A "must-overlook" for the Times definitely has to be the role Barney Frank and the Congressional Black Caucus (go to : Barney Frank Accompanied by the Congressional Black Caucus Choir) played in blocking Republican reforms in 2004 through 2006.
After 2006 the Times must ignore that Democrats were in charge of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. That's an easy one, since a Zogby poll found that over half of Obama's supporters thought the Republicans were still in charge.
"What" you may ask, "is the significance of the Democrats running Congress? Doesn't the president do everything?"
I'm glad you asked, because I'm sure the Times won't.
No, the president does not do everything. Congress has committees, such as the Senate Banking Committee, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and the House Financial Services Committee, among many others.
The House Financial Services Committee, for example, is chaired by Barney Frank, Democrat, Massachusetts. According to Mr. Frank:
Let's see. His Committee oversees all components of the nation's housing and financial services including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities.
The Committee oversees all components of the nation’s housing and financial services sectors including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities. The Committee continually reviews the laws and programs relating to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and International development and finance agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The Committee also ensures enforcement of housing and consumer protection laws such as the U.S. Housing Act, the Truth In Lending Act, the Housing and Community Development Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Community Reinvestment Act, and financial privacy laws
I wonder if anyone at The Times knows this?
We'll find out tomorrow, but I sincerely doubt it.
The Times reporters were probably in the part of the Zogby poll that thought the Republicans were still running everything.
UPDATE: As I anticipated, The New York Times article was written as if Congress and the Democrats never existed. No mention was made of Barney Frank and the Congressional Black Caucus, or of Franklin Delano Raines, Democrat CEO of Fannie Mae, who was found responsible for cooking its books, and given a "hand pat" fine.
The fact that Democrats were in charge of Congress since 2006 is still apparently unknown by most Democrat supporters, including The Times reporters.
UPDATE NO. 2: Damn, I'm good! I nailed The Times article before any of it was even released. As this Fox News release shows, The Times depended on overlooking many things, including reporting they did during the Clinton administration, to enable them to place the blame on President Bush.
The Times knew a lot before they decided to forget.
Friday, December 19, 2008
However, George was too dumb to know how stupid Biden's remark was, and so it got out of Joe's communications Black Hole.
I dropped the following comment on George's website, but since it was about the 1,000th comment, I decided to blog it so at least a few people get a chance to read it.
The same bunch that dug this hole are now going to dig us out of it? In California Democrats propose raising taxes to save us. Of course, that's the ticket to prosperity - taxing ourselves to get there, and having the government pick the winners of the economy lottery. I'm sure we'll get brilliant choices, like brain-dead proposals for hydrogen-fueled cars (it takes more power from conventional fuels to produce than burning the hydrogen produces), and ethanol and other bio-fuels that raise food prices while causing land to be cleared, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere that will take 93 years of reductions to reclaim. How about solar arrays and wind farms in pristine desert areas? Tell Robert Redford that while he's protesting oil drilling in Utah, there's thousands of times more acres in other pristine areas that will be desecrated to produce unreliable and expensive power. Joe Biden's stupid remarks are just one of many illustrations of why Congress' approval ratings are much lower than President Bush's. And we're stuck with these clowns after President Bush is gone.
His reputation as a reformer gave his supporters hope.
What did Obama reform in Chicago and Illinois?
In a very related story, thanks to the Chicago Tribune the Governor Blagojevich scandal may haunt Obama's administration for months, even years. For reasons probably too sordid to be admitted, the Chicago Tribune forced Federal investigator Patrick Fitzgerald to arrest Blagojevich and his assistant just as the investigation was getting to the critical part.
Personally, I think the Tribune caused Fitzgerald to commit "premature indict-ication" in order to prevent his investigators from nailing Senate Candidate No. 5, Jesse Jackson, Jr., with his hands in the Senatorial nomination cookie jar.
The Tribune has been doing its part to protect Democrats, as Chicago and Illinois once more demonstrate why they are both ranked at the top of corruption ratings. The Tribune withheld the Blagojevich story before the election to protect Obama from being associated with the cesspool of corruption in which his political career was founded and nurtured.
Once their mission of getting Obama elected succeeded, the Tribune then undertook a damage limitation mission to prevent other Illinois and Chicago politicians from being pulled down along with Blagojevish. The Tribune's big mistake was that they ended the investigation before Fitzpatrick had much of a case against Blagojevich. Since Blagojevich only talked about a deal, but didn't make one, I have a feeling that this will go on and on since Blagojevich knows the case against him is very weak.
Why resign now?
Hopefully Fitzpatrick will be able to pull some evidence and testimony out of the tantalizing tidbits he collected on the tapes, and eventually nail Blagojevich.
However, I think that Willie Brown, former Speaker of the California State Assembly and Mayor of San Francisco, and a poster boy for cynical insider politics, was right in his December 14 San Francisco Chronicle Willie's World column (Illinois scandal from politician's view) when he noted that if all you got is "just a couple of guys sitting around and talking ... this case could go up in smoke."
At least the smoke will be in Obama's eyes for a long time.
Besides the fact that they're ruled by despots?
Not long ago, when oil was selling at over $140 a barrel, these three oil-producers were the "cocks of the walk."
"We're in charge now," their leaders chorused.
Now that oil has fallen over $100 a barrel, what song are they singing?
"Among emerging markets, Russia has been one of the hardest hit by the global financial crisis and plunging oil prices, the mainstay of the Russian economy. These factors have put the national currency under intense strain and triggered massive stock market losses and capital outflows from the country."
Hugo Chavez in Venezuela was trumpeting the triumph of socialism over capitalism, but the grim reality of socialism is that it only looks good when you have a lot of oil, oil is selling at over $148 per barrel, and the price is rising.
When the price goes under $70 a barrel, Venezuela and Iran have problems. When it goes under $40 per barrel, Venezuela and Iran are economic basket cases.
Russia is a bit better off because Russia actually developed industries and built up reserves during the past fat eight years.
Guess who didn't?
This year, and particularly right now in the United States, we are getting proof up to our hub caps, and beyond. After a year of unseasonably cold weather worldwide, with many record new low temperatures set, the American midwest followed by the northeast are being battered by heavy snow and cold.
The cheery forecast for Christmas? "It looks as if this parade of storm systems will continue through much of the holiday week."
Not to take any wind from the sails of global warming alarmists, but have you noticed how it is much more diffucult to cope with cold than with warm?
Only a thousand years ago, during the Medieval Warm Period, there was a long period when people thrived with average temperatures up to seven degrees F. higher than today.
Just over two hundred years ago, during our Revolutionary War, the world was a lot colder, and right now we're in the long cycle of warming that always comes after a cold period.
And we're on just about to start the next, inevitable, cold period.
When it happens, and it in all certainty will, mankind will wish that they could cause global warming.
And then mankind will adapt, just as the earth has adapted through all the hundreds, even the thousands, probably the millions of periods of natural climate change.
In a universe where change is the only constant, why should climate be different?
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I'm a taxpayer, and I get mugged in DC every April 15.
And I'm a Californian, so I get mugged every April 15 in Sacramento too.
And once in December, and again in April when property taxes must be paid.
California is a strange state in many ways, but one of the strangest is that since Proposition 13 passed many years ago, a new property owner will pay ten or more times in property taxes what his neighbor pays on an identical property he's owned a long time.
Something about equal rights or equality under the law gets missed in all this.
However, as I seeth about what I have to pay, I chuckle at the liberals desperate for tax revenues to spend. The dirty little secret under Prop 13 is that the law applies to businesses as well as individuals. Businesses hold on to properties for very long periods of time, the property becomes extremely valuable, but the businesses only pay property taxes on the tiny prices they paid many years ago (which can only be increased a maximum of two percent per year).
Returning now to my main point, now the California Democrat legislatures have figured a way to raise taxes by billions of dollars and not call it a tax increase. Calling a tax increase a fees increase allows them, they think, to pass the increase without following the law established by Proposition 13 that all California tax increases require a two-thirds vote for passage.
It's amazing that they have found this loophole in the law after about three decades of compliance with Proposition 13. They're either very slow, or suddenly very creative.
Can you be both?
Or it's magical, like the magician pulling a rabbit out of an empty hat.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
After about half a minute of silent walking: “We visited Carol on Maui in January, and then we went to Peleliu for a week. Remember when we were leaving and you asked who won the Super Bowl, and a woman said the New England Patriots? Two days later you learned it was the Giants.”
“That’s right. New York. New England. Very confusing. Then what?”
“We went to Istanbul for a week, then over a week in Budapest for your four teeth implants. It’s a shame that one fell out a month later. On the way back we stopped in New York for ‘Wicked,’ ‘Phantom,’ ‘Chicago,’ Sunday services at the Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem, and a day in the American Museum.”
“The Baptist church choir, ’Phantom’ and ‘Chicago’ were great. It’s a pity ‘Wicked’ wasn’t. I hope that implant can be fixed without a third trip to Budapest. Anything else?”
“Well, in early July went to Temecula for your oldest son Bruce’s and Lisa’s marriage.”
“Of course I remember,” I said, realizing I’d forgotten until Alice reminded me. I congratulated myself that at least I remembered that we went to Guatemala City, Antigua, and the Mayan ruins at Tikal for two weeks in early September. While in Antigua, we hiked several miles up and down an active volcano, periodically in driving rain, with a group of a dozen Israeli students, all much younger than our children. Guatemalan cowboys followed us for most of the hike up. “Taxi?” they kept asking us, waiting for us to wear out and rent their horses. We didn’t, and we kept up with the youngsters.
“Anything else happen?” I asked.
“Well, you know, the President thing,” Alice replied.
“Of course, how could I forget?” Actually, I hadn’t. With all the hours we put in, there’s no way I would forget that Alice is now her Book Club president, and that I’m the president of Gualala Rotary.
2009 will be a bit quieter. We plan a driving tour to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore in May. Then in November, when I should be writing our Christmas letter and mailing the cards on time, we’ll be in India for three weeks. Needless to say, I’ll be in the usual last minute panic to get our cards out, the same as always.
It’s a family tradition.
Alice, Michael, and Buddy
Monday, December 15, 2008
Madoff’s mistake was in being a financier instead of a politician. Ponzi schemes are not illegal when done by a government. As proud as Madoff is of his $50 billion fraud, think of how proud the Democrats are of Social Security’s and Medicare’s $60 trillion unfunded hole. Just as Madoff took money from new investors to pay “earnings” to earlier investors, Social Security takes from current workers to pay retired ones. Unfortunately for Madoff, the financial meltdown caused some of his investors to try to cash out, forcing Madoff to admit their money was all gone. Fortunately for politicians, they can keep taking from current workers and paying retirees until they have to pay out more than they take in (estimated to start in 2018). Then politicians can pretend to pay out of the Social Security “Trust Fund” – actually the money will come from the General Fund income taxes - plus raise payroll taxes on workers because the Social Security recipients and the soon-to-be recipients will have enough political clout to get whatever they want.
Democrats are always very generous with their blame of Republicans.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
This old saying isn't true anymore. Dogs are so well groomed and protected from fleas and ticks, that if you lay down with them they'll probably get something from you.
Which brings us to Obama and the many years he spent swimming through the Chicago political cesspool. Maybe he will come out smelling like a rose, but I think he will need a very powerful deodorant. If Obama was a Republican, guilt by association would already have his political career on life support. Fortunately for Obama, Democrats expect Democrats to be corrupt- they don't trust them if they're not.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
A bailout would be the worst thing we could do to American manufacturers, including the automobile ones. Instead of biting the bullets and remaking themselves into modern competitors, a bailout would prolong their agony, but the end would be the same, and a lot of taxpayers’ money would be gone along with the companies.
I saw a very succinct explanation of the problem by Mitt Romney (Let Detroit go Bankrupt, New York Times, November 18, 2008), son of the former president of the former American Motors. He knows the auto business, and he saw the right and wrong things done to try to save American Motors, and later Chrysler.
The biggest problem facing American car manufacturers is their cost structures make them uncompetitive. Their pensions and health care costs are about $2,000 per car higher than their foreign competitors building cars in American factories. As Mr. Romney pointed out, the foreign competition can sell a car for the same price that has $2,000 more value in it, and shows it.
Another article (A British Lesson on Bailouts, by Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times, November 17, 2008) illustrated the point of the failed bailout of British Leyland in the late 1970s, when poor management, shoddy workmanship, and intransigent unions merely prolonged the agony and to the British taxpayer and delayed the inevitable. It was so bad that soon every MG automobile sold in the United States resulted in a $2,000 loss. Eventually all of British Leyland was liquidated or sold off, and in one of its many dumb moves, Ford bought Jaguar and operated it long enough to lose over $10 billion. Now Tata of India owns Jaguar and Rover, and I have a feeling that they will be able to do much better than the previous British and American ownership because they can rid themselves of the institutionalized high costs.
Al Gore’s parents may have sung him to sleep when he was 27 years old with “Look for the union label” as his lullaby, but don’t you look for the union label unless you want to subsidize expensive failure. It’s bad enough we have to pay top dollar for a mediocre public education system, so when you do have choices, choose wisely.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Since 1998 global temperatures have been lower, and NASA recently had to check their climate records and revise them; now 1934 is the warmest of the past 100 years, and six of the ten warmest years are now over fifty years ago. The Thirties are now the warmest decade, the Southern Hemisphere is on a long-term cooling trend, and the Antarctic ice cap is growing. 2007/2008 are the coldest period since 1980, and Arctic sea ice is back to normal.
So what is there to fight?
Sea levels rose about seven inches in the past century, and there are no signs that the rate is increasing, although the average increase for the past 100 centuries has been four feet per century.
The warming during the past fifty years of industrial development is only an extension of the warming of the past 300 years since the end of the Little Ice Ages. Glaciers have been retreating during the same period, a natural occurrence that began 250 years before CO2 levels began to increase.
The Vostok ice core samples Al Gore proudly referred to in his slide show actually demonstrate that warming precedes increased levels of atmospheric CO2, not causes it. As a wise person – obviously not an Obama advisor – said, the future cannot effect changes in the past.
Governor Schwarzenegger wants Californians to lead the fight against global warming. If he could get all Californians to go back to living a Stone Age existence, except we couldn’t even light campfires for cooking or warming, the CO2 we prevented from reaching the atmosphere would be quickly replaced by the increases from China and India.
Ironically, the monies that are flowing to China and India and other developing countries to reward them for taking actions to reduce some carbon emissions are being used by them to finance coal-burning plants to generate energy to fuel their rapid economic growth.
Actually, rapid increases in energy production from combustion of carbon-based fuels is the best environmental step the world could be taking right now, since the resulting increased prosperity will enable mankind to do what mankind does best, adapt to changes in our environment.
And the earth will continue to do what the earth has done quite well for billions of years: change its climate naturally.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
California gays are in high dudgeon over passage of Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
Many gays are calling for boycotts of individuals and organizations that supported passage of Proposition 8. So far their greatest outrage has been directed towards the Mormon Church. That’s understandable. Mormons in California are relatively few in number and few of them support Democrats.
A few bolder and reckless gays are criticizing the Catholic Church, but most aren’t. The Catholic Church in California is huge, and roughly thirty percent of the voters in this election were Catholics. More importantly to gay activists, many Catholics are Democrats, and Liberal leaders don’t want to annoy them.
“Mormons si, Catholics no” is the Democrat motto for dispensing criticism.
Blacks voted approximately 95% Democrat (about the same as journalists), but roughly 65% supported Proposition 8.
Again, most Liberals and even gay activists are not criticizing Blacks support of Proposition 8.
“Stick it to the Mormons. It’s safe.”
Over half of Hispanic voters supported Proposition 8.
Do you think Liberals or Democrat leaders are going to criticize Hispanic voters?
Liberals and Democrat leaders are like the guy who was pushed around by a big bully, then got even by beating the Hell out of a little guy.
“Churches that act like political parties should be taxed like political parties,” wrote Arthur Evans of San Francisco (Chronicle letters, Nov 12, 200). Heavens, Mr. Evans, from your lips to God’s ear! Churches are in essence taxed like political parties. Neither pays taxes on their “exempt function income,” but both pay taxes on income unrelated to their exempt functions.
For many years Black pastors have preached support for Democrat politicians from their pulpits without Liberal criticism that it violated their tax-exempt status. Alice and I attended a service at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem where the minister directed his congregation to get everyone, including “your crack-head cousin,” out to vote for Obama. Only now after these same ministers urged support of Proposition 8 are Liberals incensed. I’ll bet they won’t be during the next election when the same ministers instruct their congregants to “vote for the Democrat.”
Roughly ninety percent do, almost as high a percentage as journalists.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
But if you ask them about UFO’s, they’ll say, “Of course there are UFO’s, and we have the proof but the Bush Administration won’t let you see it!” (And neither would the Democrat administrations of Clinton and Carter.)
The most recent prominent Democrat believer, joining the ranks of others such as Jimmy Carter, is John Podesta. Although Podesta was chief of staff in the Clinton Administration, and could easily have asked his boss to show him and the World the proof, he’s waited until now to expose one of his weird beliefs (I'm sure he has others, especially about taxes). [ link to news article about Podesta, Carter, and UFO's ]
I’m convinced that Democrats had rules to keep all the weird stuff hidden until after the election. If I were trying to convince the American voters that they could put their faith in a Democrat, I would have put the heavy hand of censorship on nut-case beliefs like UFO’s.
Add UFO’s to the other secular Liberal religions, like “Anthropogenic Global Warming” and “Achieving Prosperity Through Tax Increases.” None have yet been demonstrated in the real world, and that is their prime attraction to Liberals. All they need is faith, all they have to do is believe.
Of course they criticize Christians, but not believers in any other religions, for having faith in unproven, unknowable things, and then have belief systems of their own creation.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
On election night, Obama said, “Even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime—two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.”
I don’t know how Obama defines “our lifetime,” but mine began with wars against Germany and Japan, and included the Korean and Vietnam Wars. To put events in perspective, more American military were killed in Vietnam in an average four-month period during the last year of LBJ’s presidency than the total killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002.
In the 44-day Battle of the Bulge near the end of World War II, over 19,000 U S military were killed. In the American Civil War, almost 5,000 Americans were killed in the one-day Battle of Antietam, more than in Iraq and Afghanistan to date.
“A planet in peril” must refer to the global cooling that will soon (in less than 2,000 years) mark the end of this current warm interglacial period. Since there has been no warming for the past ten years, it looks like our planet has removed itself from an Al Gore-induced peril panic.
As far as “the worst financial crisis in a century” goes, a century is 100 years, 100 years ago would be 1908, and the Stock Market Crash and Great Depression began in 1929 (21 years later). For Obama and his math-challenged followers, it appears that the event considered the worst financial crisis the world has known occurred less than a century ago. The current financial crisis may get worse, but it has a long way to go to beat the Great Depression.
Since Obama and the Democrats created the current financial crisis through their advocacy of sub-prime loans for “affordable” home ownership and their opposition to Republican attempts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and that the collapse occurred after two years of Democrat control of Congress, the obvious solution would be to throw the bums out.
And start working on the real crises, saving Social Security and Medicare from Democrat neglect.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
It will be wonderful if that is true, but I wonder why it should be.
Two other large, easily identifiable minorities in America are more prosperous and successful than Blacks, and neither of them has ever had one of theirs become President. Asians in America as a group are as successful, and in terms of education and median income more successful, than White Americans.
Although not as successful in America as Whites or Asians, Hispanics already do better than Blacks in terms of education, median income, home ownership, and poverty rate.
Blacks can claim that they are still victims of lingering racism and the slavery of some of their ancestors (which ended over 150 years ago), but Asians and Hispanics have also been exposed to racism, not only in America, but often in their former homelands (perhaps even having personal knowledge of slavery). Many came to America with only the proverbial, often wet, shirts on their backs, not speaking English, frequently illiterate even in their native languages, penniless, and thrust into a strange culture. When they arrived they envied American Blacks, who were literate in English and established in American culture and in their communities.
Then in less than a generation many Asian immigrants became more prosperous than most of the long-established Black Americans, with higher median incomes and education levels than Whites.
Amazingly, all of that was accomplished without an Asian President, or even an Asian Secretary of State or Supreme Court Justice.
Friday, October 31, 2008
And the media blames Republicans for not increasing financial regulation.
Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?
Go to: Workers at Top Wall Street Firms Give Millions More to Dems
Media echo liberal claim they represent Main Street not Wall Street, but Democratic candidates receive more cash from firms boosted by bailout. [link here]
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Of course, not for even one moment did I believe that having the Democrats back in power was good for anything in any way. In the immortal words of the dwindling numbers of young Americans, “It sucks!”
However, if another Dark Night of Democrat Rule descends once again upon this proud nation, I will continue to do what I did during previous Dark Nights: love my country, work hard, and try to get sensible government back in office.
I won't act like a Liberal and promise to leave the United States if my party doesn't win [link here].
I can’t blame Democrats for Republican failures. Republicans had Golden Opportunities going back to the Reagan Years to do the “government thing” right, and let them slip right through their fingers. President Reagan showed how direct appeals to the American public could overcome arrogant and ingrained Democrat leadership of Congress. President Clinton then demonstrated how his first two years dedicated to the socialized medicine philosophies of “Hillarycare” could deliver Congress to Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich rallying Americans around the Contract with America.
Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress became what Democrats had been: arrogant and imperious. The American people had elected Republicans to “throw the bums out,” not to be replacement bums. Instead of bringing new ideas, Republicans contented themselves with just tinkering with the old ideas.
When Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, the most important thing to fix was Social Security.
It wasn’t fixed.
Today it’s still the most important government program that needs fixing, but while Democrats run the government, that’s not going to happen.
And as time goes by, it will just get worse.
Maybe in four years we’ll get another chance to do the thing right.
I'll still be here.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
“Dog bites man?” don’t you think?
I really didn’t expect to find any weighty issues on the Chronicle front page, although I expected more when Joe Biden predicted that Obama would be tested by “an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."
“Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawdy, Mrs. Palin, girl you sure look good to me [link to lyrics of Elvis' song],” I said, but then I got serious and added: “This is an astonishing statement from a chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee who has access to the same intelligence as George Bush.” Actually, I was just repeating the words of Patrick Buchanan, who also wondered why the media was so quick to drop such an intriguing prediction by Joe Biden. [link to Patrick Buchanan article]
Actually, the Chronicle had addressed the issue brought up by Joe Biden by running an Associated Press article Fact Check: New presidents often face crises, By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer, Thursday, October 23, 2008. [AP article link]
The problem with the article was that it didn’t address what Joe Biden said. Joe said Obama would be hit by a generated crisis, and all the examples in the AP article were not examples of generated crises. One was the accidental collision between a Chinese and American fighter planes, another the “Battle for Mogadishu,” then the refusal of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to step down after elections, and finally Marxist rebels stepping up attacks in El Salvador with Soviet, Cuban and Nicaraguan backing.
None of these incidents comes anywhere near being a “generated crisis.”
The AP "Fact Check" was more a Joe Biden defense than an informative article.
So I am really interested in finding out, “What does Joe Biden know that none of us knows, including President Bush and apparently Senator Obama, and when did he know it?”
If Joe knows of something on the way, why won’t he let us all in on his little secret so we can do something about it? And if he doesn’t know anything, then what in Hell is he talking about?
Maybe it’s time for Joe Biden to once again invoke the memory of President Roosevelt going on television to calm American nerves about the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
Joe keeps trying to have a “Dan Quayle” moment, but the media keep protecting him from himself.
Now they’re ignoring real news to let us know everything about Sarah Palin’s new dresses.
For some reason - stupidity, ignorance, bizarre belief system, or something equally odd - Lewis Diuguid (I bet his last name is pronounced "Do good") wrote that when McCain and Palin say Obama is a Socialist, they are really saying that he's Black.
I read his article and added the following comment:
When I was young there was an all-white group we called socialists, and they went even further and called themselves National Socialists. Now there are over a billion Chinese who aren't offended when you call them socialists (or state capitalists), about a quarter of a billion of mostly white folk who were formerly in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and another billion Indians who also are slowly emerging from their long, dark night of socialism. But now we have an idiot, Lewis Diuguid, who gazes at his navel and finds an inane piece of lint to wave as a sign of Republican racism and shame. Mr. Diuguid, anyone who votes for or against someone because of skin color is racist, and by that standard, over 95% of American Blacks are well into that category.Then I included a link to one of my recent posts about Black racism as evidenced by their almost total support of Obama. [this is the link I included]
Soon my hit counter indicated that I was getting more visitors in an hour than I usually get in a day. Linking to an article that Drudge links to is a good way to increase blog traffic.
This inspired me to add more comments, and with each comment to add a link to another one of my posts. The hits kept pouring in, and I had the satisfaction of knowing that about eight of my most recent posts about Obama and the Democrats being at fault for the financial crisis were getting good readership.
Then I got greedy, and started commenting and including links to older posts where I condemned socialism generally, and socialized medicine in particular. The hits kept coming.
This afternoon, two days after it began, Drudge dropped the link to the article from his featured items, and the hits quickly diminished.
But now that I have the taste for higher readership, I'm watching Drudge much more closely, looking for his next link to an outrageous main stream media article that I can piggy back on.
It's fun to be read.
At Plank's Constant there is agreement that Lewis Diuguid is an idiot, and his post includes a photo of Mr. Diuguid. The calm demeanor reflected in the photo gives no hint to the stupidity Mr. Diuguid exhibits in his writings. Once again the old adage proven, "you can't tell a book by looking at the cover."
Please click on the link above and sneak a peek. You know you want to.
(To go to the posts I linked to in my comments, click on the "Lewis Diuguid" Articles label below)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Just like Joe Montana and Steve Young did before him.
The only problem I have with Jeff Garcia is that he isn’t still playing for the 49ers, and that’s really a problem with the 49ers’ mismanagement. Garcia made the Pro Bowl three of the five years he played for the 49ers, and last year with Tampa Bay. In the previous two seasons he took Philadelphia and Tampa Bay into the playoffs as Wildcards. At Philadelphia he replaced an injured Donovan McNabb, led the Eagles to wins in five of their last six games and an upset of the Giants before losing to the Saints by a field goal in the Division playoffs.
Meanwhile, the hapless 49ers just fired their in-over-his-head coach Mike Nolan. 49ers mismanagement now is a total contrast to the Eddie DeBartolo days of Bill Walsh and George Seifert. The downturn really became apparent when Steve Mariucci was fired after making the playoffs. As 49ers coach, "Mooch" compiled a 60-43 (.583) record, while the 49ers earned playoff berths four times. Mariucci was replaced by Dennis Erickson, and the 49ers began their death spiral. After going 7-9 in 2003, with a good offense led by Garcia and Terrell Owens, but a struggling defense, Garcia was let go and Owens was traded, and in 2004 the 49ers hit rock bottom at 2-14.
I can’t help thinking that if only Jeff Garcia had stayed a 49er, and the 49ers had stuck with Mariucci, all would have been different and much better. As I watched Garcia play the past three seasons, saving the Eagles season in 2006, taking the Buccaneers to the playoffs in 2007, and playing well this season after overcoming an injury, I can’t help thinking that if he had stayed in San Francisco, he would have been well on his way to becoming the third 49er Hall of Fame quarterback in a row.
And the 49ers would still have a place of pride among NFL elite teams.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Right now Katie Couric sounds like an employee of the Obama campaign. Her comments seem to go only as far as to whether John McCain rolled his eyes a couple of times. However, when she asked an unbiased audience member about the debate and heard that he thought McCain did better, Katie rolled her eyes.
I think the exchange about education was the most significant. The point that we spend more per pupil and achieve less than other nations clearly is a call for reform. I didn’t hear Obama answer the call, particularly when he dismissed school vouchers out of hand, even though so many big-city Black parents are in despair over their lack of school choice.
When Obama said that vouchers in DC didn’t get the job done because there weren’t enough vouchers, and McCain came back something like “so you don’t want any?” I thought he left Obama with big egg on his face. However, Katie Couric and Company studiously avoided noticing.
Then when she asked “Joe the Plumber” what he thought, and he started saying something good about McCain’s health plan, Katie hurriedly cut him off. Joe better figure out something good to say about Obama winning his vote, or he’ll never have Katie bat her eyes at him again.
Obama played down our public education failures very coolly. The Democrat Party, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Teachers’ Union, knows where their support base lies. Teachers have huge political clout through their unions’ political contributions (Republicans need not apply), and also indoctrinate our children in liberal ideology from Head Start through college. It’s a wonder any young people are Republicans.
Had I been McCain’s advisor, he would have done much better. I would have set the stage by describing how Bill Clinton cashed the Peace Dividend after the Soviet Union collapsed and President George H. W. Bush drove Saddam out of Kuwait, and then reaped huge tax revenues from the Dot.Com boom until its bubble popped and we entered the Clinton Recession in late 2000.
I would then have lectured Obama on how President Bush brought us back from Recession until we were struck by 9/11 (planned and organized by Al Qaida during Clinton’s administration), and about how we haven’t been attacked since (although all the “experts” after 9/11 said another attack was inevitable).
Then I would describe how our economy came back and we had a higher rate of GDP growth and far lower unemployment than the developed countries of Europe, and the stock market reached new highs. I would illustrate how President Bush, Senator McCain, and other Republicans tried to increase regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and of how they even described four and five years ago how the economy was in danger of doing exactly what is happening now, and of how Democrats like Barney Frank and the Congressional Black Caucus fought against increased regulation, calling Republicans racist for even proposing it.
And then I would show how all that started to change two years ago when Democrats took control of the House and Senate. The rate of GDP growth slowed, and unemployment started to creep up. At the same time, the “surge” in Iraq was working while Democrats called for immediate withdrawal and, in effect, surrender. To Democrats, good news in Iraq was bad for them, and so was good news about the economy.
When John McCain and 23 other Republican Senators tried again to increase financial regulation in 2006, Democrats once again blocked their efforts while receiving generous contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
If only John McCain could have shown the video clip of Barney Frank and the Congressional Black Caucus repeating over and over how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were just fine, and didn’t need more controls, it would have been all over.
Then as frosting on the cake, McCain could have shown Franklin Delano Raines, former Clinton Budget Director and Fannie Mae CEO, resigning in disgrace in 2004 when he was caught fraudulently cooking Fannie Mae’s books to generate huge bonuses for himself and other high Democrat officers.
John McCain would have wrapped up by saying that the "Democrats set the house on fire, and now they say they're the firemen!"
All this could have been, and should have been, but John McCain never punched through the main stream media filter that protects Democrats from being held accountable for their screw ups.
Now it’s too late, but all of this will come out after Obama is anointed. Then the main stream media, having reached their goal of a Democrat in the White House, will go off in pursuit of their other goal, making money.
We’ll be left asking, as always, “Why didn’t you tell us this stuff sooner?”
Monday, October 13, 2008
Of course, Senator Larry Craig made endless headlines just by tap-dancing in a bathroom while gay. I wonder what higher level of coverage gay Republicans could get if they actually ever consumated their advances, like Democrats do?
Interestingly, Democrats who made a big issue of these had no problem when the late Massachusetts congressman Gary Studds plied with alcohol and had sexual intercourse with an underage, serving page.
Now the Democrat who won Mark Foley's seat, West Palm Beach Congressman Tim Mahoney, has been caught paying money and providing employment to keep a mistress quiet (and getting big bucks from FEMA to please another mistress). Although Nancy Pelosi said she just heard about his affair(s), members of Mahoney's staff said that Senior Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives, including Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), the chair of the Democratic Caucus, have been working with Mahoney to keep the matter(s) from hurting his re-election campaign.
For those whose memories are short, and I'm sure all Democrats will fall in this category, I ask you to recall the criticism laid on Dennis Hastert and senior Republicans about the Mark Foley scandal. As you recall, they were accused of doing nothing when told that Foley made inappropriate e-mail and instant messaging contacts with former congressional pages.
What then will be said of Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, and other Democrat leaders who knew of Mahoney's affair(s), and were working with him to keep the matter(s) from hurting his re-election campaign?
Apparently these two affairs are just the tip for "Hornydog" Mahoney, the Democrats' poster boy for family values when he campaigned for and won Mark Foley's vacant seat two year ago.
The odds-on favorite answer is that nothing will be said. It's just Democrats being Democrats.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Die-hard socialists have their own facts, shaped by their views, not historical events. In a letter to our local paper, a Liberal credited the CIA for toppling the Guatemalan government with a comic-opera 480-soldier “invasion,” then averred that this ignited a 35-year civil war. Since the civil war began after Castro took power and was Cuban communist inspired, I wondered from whence came this “alternative” history?
A little Googling produced the answer. The Liberal’s version of history was displayed “chapter and verse” on socialist websites, none of which noted the civil war followed Cuban communism, and ended with the Soviet Union collapse.
However, the Liberal is not alone in having a personal version of history. Democrats have their own about causes of the financial crisis, blaming Republicans for financial deregulation. Democrats point way back to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 as the cause of the current crisis, even though it passed the Senate 90-8-1, the House 362-57, and was signed by Bill Clinton. A lot of Democrats voted for it, and it was supported by Bill Clinton.
Democrats continue their meme of blaming Republicans, even though President Bush, John McCain, and 23 other Republican Senators tried to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac several times from 2002 through 2008. [click here for documented proof]
Ignored by Democrats, and the main stream media, are a score of You Tube videos showing Democrat Barney Frank, backed by the Congressional Black Caucus chorus, singing “Fannie and Freddie are Fine,” and chanting that more regulation was a racist Republican attempt to deny poor people affordable housing. [click here to see this video]
They cranked up their song’s volume after Franklin Delano Raines resigned in disgrace for cooking Fannie Mae’s books in 2004 to give huge bonuses to himself and other former Clinton administration officials. Raines signed a consent decree, Fannie Mae insurance paid his fines, and Raines and friends pocketed millions in ill-gotten gains.
Democrat crime always pays, because the main stream media are their accomplices.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Then as his accounting fraud was being investigated, Raines resigned, took his bonuses, and ran. When Raines was sued for the fraud in civil court, he signed a consent agreement that only recouped a tiny fraction of his ill-gotten gain.
Who says crime doesn’t pay?
What is the Obama connection? The Washington Post reported that Obama’s campaign sought Raines’ guidance and advice on “mortgage and housing policy matters.” A Washington Post editorial followed that wrote: "Two members of Mr. Obama's political circle, James A. Johnson and Franklin D. Raines, are former chief executives of Fannie Mae." [click here for more information about the allegations]
The Post did not report, but could have and should have, that the leading recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lobbying contributions are Chris Dodd, Democrat, followed by Barack Obama, Democrat. It is easily understood why Dodd receives Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lobbying largesse; Dodd is Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
But why Obama? He has very little Senate experience, and no significant legislative accomplishments. Why is Obama a pet of the scandal-prone Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cartel?
Which are now wards of the government, thanks to their monumental mismanagement.
Mismanagement aided immeasurably by Democrat politicians like Barney Frank and Charles Schumer, who with the rabid support of the Congressional Black Caucus blocked repeated attempts by Republicans, including President Bush and Senator McCain, to tighten the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Interestingly, the Democrat grounds for blocking tighter regulation were their old, familiar, tired cry that Republicans were trying to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because Republicans, in their racism, didn’t want poor people to get cheap loans.
Now they have turned 180 degrees and trumpet that it was the Republicans that blocked tighter regulation. With all the evidence available of Democrats speaking their own words against tighter regulation, you would think Democrats would be laughing stocks.
If that’s what you think, you don’t understand the ability of the main stream media to spin and hide information, and the inability of the American public to get past their media manipulation.
As I mentioned earlier, “Who says crime doesn’t pay?”
Friday, October 10, 2008
Still proving why he is the worst president of all time, Jimmy Carter.
(Here is Bill Clinton agreeing that Democrats caused the financial crisis) [click here]
(Democrats in their own words covering up the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac scam that caused our Economic Crisis) [click here]
(Fannie Mae CEO calling Obama and the Dems the "Family" and "Conscience" of Fannie Mae - while Obama and other Democrats received the highest contributions and pay from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) [click here]
When you click on the above links, you will also see many other related videos that demonstrate the role that Obama and Democrats played in causing our financial crisis. Happy viewing!
Barney Frank’s comments are particularly egregious, because while he was saying all was well at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, his main squeeze was Herb Moses, who was Fannie’s assistant director for product initiatives. Moses worked at the government-sponsored enterprise from 1991 to 1998, while Frank was on the House Banking Committee, which had jurisdiction over Fannie. His "pillow talk" with Barney was worth millions.
Another interesting Democrat enabler of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is New York Senator Chucky Schumer, who is always first and loudest with Republican denunciations at any hint of a problem or crisis.
It is a tribute to the power of the East Coast liberal elite media – New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN – that Americans think that Republicans repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 to deregulate financial markets. Actually, the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed on November 12, 1999, by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which passed in Congress with a 343-86 vote in the House of Representatives, before being sent to conference committee; the final bipartisan bill then passed easily (Senate: 90-8-1, House: 362-57-15) and was signed by President Bill Clinton (one of its chief supporters).
As a further tribute to the media elite, Republicans are blamed for deregulation of financial markets even though President Bush and Senators McCain, Dole, Sununu, and Heath tried several times – 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2006 – to tighten controls on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Each time the Democrats blocked reform, accusing Republicans of discriminating against low-income families by trying to tighten controls over lending practices.
Very recently Democrats still played the race game, accusing Republicans of racism by linking Obama and other Democrats to Franklin Raines, who is black, the disgraced former CEO of Fannie Mae (and until recently, an Obama adviser). This article, The Fannie Mae Gang, by Paul A. Gigot, Wall Street Journal editorial page editor, was written July 23 – over two months ago – and nails the causes for today’s financial crisis.
It should be required reading for all Americans, because you will never hear about it from the elite main stream media, who think their mission is to carry Obama and Democrats further into political and economic power.
As the article points out, the politicians and agencies that caused the mess will come out of it stronger than ever, taking us a long way towards their ultimate objective, state capitalism.
All it takes is to keep buying your votes with deceit and lies.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Then at a later date the insurance provider would wither away, leaving you with no choices except to be a part of an expansion of Medicare and Medicaid (which are already bankrupt).
Obama’s plan would also leave the same old tired, wasteful, employer provided health insurance plan in effect which is increasingly inadequate in the modern world of changing jobs and employee mobility.
Although employer provided health plans have been tweaked and modified over the years in an attempt to better meet employee needs, in the final analysis it is like putting lipstick on a pig.
An example from my own experience: I worked for Lockheed in Sunnyvale, California, after I retired from the Air Force from 1984 until their big lay-off in 1994. During the entire ten-year period I worked for Lockheed, I and all my family members (including my late first wife Marilynn, who had breast cancer) had complete healthcare coverage through the Tricare Prime program because of my military service.
When I told Lockheed that I didn’t need their health insurance, and that they should just pay me instead of Kaiser Permanente the $5,000 annual cost of their healthcare plan, Lockheed said they couldn’t. Therefore Lockheed continued to unnecessarily pay for a healthcare plan for me, and my salary was lower because of its cost.
It could have been worse. One retired military veteran working at Lockheed was married to another Lockheed employee, so they both had unnecessary health insurance instead of additional pay. Getting nothing cost them about $10,000 a year!
However, we were the lucky ones when Bill Clinton slashed the military to cash the Peace Dividend caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resulting big defense contractor lay-offs. For most Americans, when you lose your job (or sometimes just change jobs) you lose your healthcare coverage. Even though Marilynn had breast cancer, and youngest son Jeffrey had asthma, our coverage under Tricare Prime continued.
Others weren’t so lucky, and for those of you who say that their coverage could be continued under COBRA, I suggest you try to survive while paying $1,000 a month for health insurance when you are living on unemployment checks that end after a few months. Which come first? The home mortgage, home insurance, car payment, car insurance, utility bills, food, or health insurance?
As an excellent Wall Street Journal article on the candidates’ healthcare proposals concluded:
On choice, portability, quality and especially equity, the McCain health plan is far superior to Mr. Obama's. The Democrat is merely offering Canada on the installment plan.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I was fortunate last night and had to prepare for and attend a Gualala Lions Club Board meeting that started an hour after the debate began. As I collated a handout and wolfed down dinner watching the debate, I felt I was due for some really interesting and exciting exchanges. Tom Brokaw brought up two of my all-time favorite interests, the unfunded Social Security/Medicare entitlements for Baby Boomers totaling over $41 trillion, and the world energy crisis.
I chortled as I thought of how Obama would squirm trying to explain how the Democrats would save Social Security and already bankrupt Medicare/Medicaid by continuing to do nothing and pretending that there is no problem. Obama didn’t disappoint me. He completely ducked the issue. I couldn’t wait to read and hear the next day in the main stream media (MSM) how Obama did what the MSM roundly condemned Sarah Palin for, not answering the question.
A question, by the way, that has far greater significance and long-term impact than the current financial crisis by a multiple of forty or more.
The MSM punted too. Obama would not or could not answer the question of this century, and the MSM applauded his performance.
The next question went to Senator McCain about a solution to the energy crisis. “Nuclear power,” John McCain said in what today sets the standard for a straight-talking, straight-forward answer.
Of course the answer is nuclear power! It is abundant, cost effective, reliable, scalable, proven, clean, can be located where needed, only requires a fraction of one percent of the land or sea area of wind, solar, or biofuels, and is much less damaging to the environment. Naturally the Greenies hate it.
So does Obama, except last night he said nuclear was OK, sort of. When Obama’s answer on supporting nuclear energy is parsed out, à la a Bill Clinton answer, you’ll find his position the same as Joe Biden’s on clean burning coal: he was against it before he was for it, but hasn’t changed his mind.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
If you vote for or against someone because of their skin color, you’re a racist, aren't you?
Apparently Blacks feel that if you don’t agree with the politics of a Black politician, you’re a racist. Like those who criticize Obama for his long associations with two Leftists who have long been virulent, sometimes violent, enemies of America.
The New York Times recently published a whitewash of Weather Underground bomber William Ayers’ association with Obama, even though The Times omitted and overlooked the substance of their relationship. As The National Review Online notes:
There is nothing "sporadic" about Barack Obama delivering hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of many years to fund Bill Ayers’ radical education projects, not to mention many millions more to benefit Ayers’ radical education allies. We are talking about a substantial and lengthy working relationship here, one that does not depend on the quality of personal friendship or number of hours spent in the same room together (although the article greatly underestimates that as well).
Fully in consonance with the views of Obama’s former pastor the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers’ education theory is that the United States is a fundamentally racist and oppressive nation.
Through it all, Obama acts like a man who sleepwalked through his associations with both Wright and Ayers. Although he proclaims that he was a regular attending Rev. Wright’s church, and declared Reverend Wright his “spiritual mentor or counselor,” Obama apparently zoned out during the many sermons when Reverend Wright repeatedly damned America based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans, including telling his congregation on the Sunday after Sept. 11, 2001 that the United States had brought on al Qaeda's attacks because of its own terrorism.
Similarly, quoting the National Review article, “Obama was perfectly aware of Ayers’ radical views, since he read and publically endorsed, without qualification, Ayers’ book on juvenile crime. That book is quite radical, expressing doubts about whether we ought to have a prison system at all, comparing America to South Africa’s apartheid system, and contemptuously dismissing the idea of the United States as a kind or just country.”
Either Obama is very thick, or very selective in remembering what he has been doing the past two decades, and who he was doing it with.
Since we all believe he’s smart, obviously he’s a liar.
A worthy Democrat successor to Bill “I never had sex with that woman” Clinton, Hillary “I dodged sniper fire” Clinton, John “I spent Christmas of 1968 in Cambodia” Kerry, Joe “Neal Kinnock plagiarist” Biden, and Al “sea levels will rise 20 feet by 2100” Gore.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Looking back now, the only thing I would change is my age. Make me twenty again, with a stripe on my sleeve, my duffle bag on my shoulder, and permanent change of station orders in my hand.
Heaven to me is doing it all over again, going back to the bases, seeing my friends, having the bull sessions, and then seeing all the places I missed the first time around. It was a very rich life, and we will never see the like of it again.
Most of the bases are closed now, the aircraft retired and salvaged, and the people the same. When I went back to Bentwaters in England, my favorite base and assignment, it had been closed several years. I felt an enormous loss and sadness, because a closed base quickly loses its aura of the people once stationed there, and of what they did and how they did it.
That base was once a true city, but now is a ghost town, one whose ghostly inhabitants were dispersed to far off places, taking their memories with them. When I stood there on the lonely base, no one was around to say "remember when?"
And then I was gone.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Democrat senators Chris Dodd, John Kerry, and Barack Obama were the top three recipients of Fannie/Freddie campaign contributions, and Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank’s efforts to deregulate Fannie Mae throughout the 1990s benefited Frank’s partner, Herb Moses, a Fannie Mae executive at the forefront of the agency’s push to relax lending restrictions.
When even Bill Clinton blames Democrats for the problem, why can’t the main stream news media recognize the truth?
The MSM set low expectations, and exulted when Obama wasn’t wiped out by McCain. They declared Obama the winner because he didn’t lose as badly as they expected. Using their criteria, Sarah was the winner.
However, I’m not a Democrat, so I don’t give wins to a loser that beats the point spread. Based on what I saw, and what I read today – heavily laden with odd remarks by Democrats, such as her blinking, flirting, smiling, making folksy remarks, looking like a doll, etc. – Governor Palin won on her own merits.
She received support from an unusual source. Hillary Clinton said she was a “composed and effective debater.”
For further proof of her effectiveness, there is the carping about what some Democrats perceived, and what they thought of what they think they saw. For example, Chris Matthews said: "You know what I think of people when they come on 'Hardball' and they look at the camera? I think they're dolts."
That tells me a lot about Matthews, and nothing about Sarah Palin. He makes snap judgments on extraneous criteria instead of listening and attempting to understand what is being said. His mind is on what he is going to say next, regardless of what is being said. No wonder he gets so much wrong. Cris Matthews is a dolt whether or not he is looking at the camera.
What was Chris watching while Joe Biden spent so much time looking at the camera, even while Sarah Palin was speaking?
The facts of this debate are clear and simple. If Joe Biden had stayed away, no one would have noticed. It was the Sarah Palin show all the way. The biggest vice-presidential debate audience ever, and perhaps the biggest debate audience of all time, didn’t tune in to listen to more Joe Biden lies (about his late first wife’s death, his education, about the duties of the Vice-President, Obama meeting with Ahmadinejad, supporting clean coal, impersonating and plagiarizing a Welsh politician, even about going to a local restaurant and Home Deport, and his opinion of John McCain, who only four years ago was Biden’s top choice to be John Kerry’s VP).
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Alice was chatting with some friends and Sarah Palin and the coming debate was mentioned. One woman remarked about “how dumb Sarah Palin is.” At that point Alice interjected that Joe Biden was really dumb, and for an example told her friends how he had said that as soon as the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt had immediately gone on television to explain the situation to the American public.
None of the women had heard of Biden’s remark, but one of them said: “Well, of course he meant radio.”
Alice replied, “Maybe he did, but Roosevelt wasn’t President then.”
“Well he soon was, so that’s when he told Americans what was happening,” the woman continued.
“No he wasn’t,” Alice corrected her. “He wasn’t President until three years later. Do you know who was President?”
None of the women knew, so Alice answered her own question: “Herbert Hoover.”
Then Alice wondered why none of her friends had heard of Biden’s remark. Alice assumed that it was because the main stream media chose to ignore it to avoid embarrassing a Democrat.
“That’s not it,” said another of her friends, “it isn’t being reported because it’s just not important.”
“Don’t you think it’s at least as important as Dan Quayle misspelling “potato”? asked Alice. “Don’t you remember the big deal that was made of that? People still talk about it.”
“You know, you’re right,” the woman replied.
The purpose of my presenting this exchange is not to once more prove the already proven, that Americans are history illiterates. Test after test, and example after example has provided ample proof of that. My purpose is to illustrate that people are willfully ignorant, that they call something a “fact” only as it is relevant to supporting their viewpoint.
However, as the last fair-minded Democrat, the late Senator Patrick Moynihan, remarked: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but no one is entitled to their own facts.”
Patrick is rolling over in his grave now, as Democrats and the main stream media place the blame for the financial crisis on Republicans for favoring deregulation, when it is obvious that Democrat policies going back to Jimmy Carter caused the collapse.
To get to the core of this issue, answer one simple question: “Why did lenders loan to very bad credit risks, and make them loans which could only survive if the housing market continued to go up, and interest rates continued to stay down?”
These loans were made with no down payment, low introductory interest rates changing to variable, stated income instead of verifiable (including income not declared on tax returns), and even interest-only loans to be restructured in two years.
So again my question, why were these loans made?
The answer is obvious: because of pressure from Democrats to enable low-income families to buy “affordable” housing. Republicans recognized the potential for problems and opposed the lowering of standards, but Democrats got their way.
It started with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 under Jimmy Carter and the Democrats, which was “reformed” in 1993 by Bill Clinton and the Democrats. According to Robert Rubin, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy: "(In) conjunction with (President Clinton’s) Community Development Bank and financial institution legislation, which recently passed the House of Representatives, CRA reform will generate billions of dollars in new lending and extend basic banking services to the inner cities and to distressed rural communities around the country.”
Banks were to be judged by how well their statistics for loans to low-income families matched the rates for higher income earners. In other words, on a percentage basis the rates for loans to high-risk and low-risk borrowers should be the same.
In 2003 the Bush administration recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis over a decade before.
Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, and the Democrats disagreed and blocked the reforms: ''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Frank. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''
Shortly after Frank’s statement, Congress held a hearing on accounting irregularities at Fannie Mae. By the end of 2004, Franklin D. Raines, former head of the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Clinton, and then chief executive of Fannie Mae, was forced out by the board, accused by regulators of overseeing accounting manipulations to bolster his compensation.
Raines settled charges brought by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight by agreeing this spring to pay $2 million and forfeiting $22.7 million in stock and other benefits – all covered by insurance.
Some think that the distorted profitability numbers Raines reported at Fannie Mae contributed to its current slide.
Still Democrats didn’t learn, and in 2005 and 2006, Republicans including John McCain as a co-sponsor, put forth S. 190 [109th]: Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, “(a) bill to address the regulation of secondary mortgage market enterprises, and for other purposes.”
Again reform was blocked by Democrats, and three of the top Democrats blocking it – Chris Dodd, John Kerry, and Barack Obama – were the top three recipients of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
When you read the articles warning about the consequences of making loans, it is no mystery why or how the current financial crisis occurred. Democrat handwriting is on the Wall - all over the wreckage of Wall Street, that is.