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Friday, August 29, 2008

Fantastic Ironies

I've written here before of my strong fondness for irony and ironies. Right now, three whoppers occurred to me so naturally I want to share.

The first is John McCain's pick for his Vice President.

Obama isn't an old white guy so he had to pick one as his VP. McCain isn't a reasonably young person, a minority to boot, with energy who might also have new ideas and creativity so that's what he picked.

How great is that?

The real irony comes in the fact that McCain's been complaining of his rival's relative inexperience and lack of seasoning and testing. So who does he pick as a possible next VP should, God forbid, something happen to him, if he's elected President? (Again, God forbid). He picks a younger person (that isn't the hard part) with EVEN LESS experience than Obama.

How can he now complain of Obama's lack of experience?

It seems he's taken away one of his own talking points.

The second delicious irony comes from quite possibly a really terrible coincidence. I got to thinking how awful it is, right now, like everyone else, that this Hurricane Gustav seems to be headed straight for New Orleans at virtually the exact 3 year anniversary of devastating Hurricane Katrina.

How terrible for the people there.

But the irony here comes from the fact that the Republican Party may have to delay it's national nominating convention that's due to start Monday. Sure, part of it is because some of these party leaders are governors and other legislators who might need to be down there, in case of any emergencies.

But the biggest reason they may need to delay is because it points out how badly this Republican administration--and party, really--mismanaged and mangled the recovery efforts in New Orleans, those 3 years ago.

Can you imagine if there's many problems down there and they go ahead with their convention? The perfect part would be the day this chucklehead President would be giving his speech. Yow. It just couldn't get any better than that.

And then there's my third, final and, I think, best irony of the day/week/month. And that is that the Republican National Convention is being held in Minnesota.

Why, you ask?

Well, because this is the one place that Senator Craig, of Idaho, cannot possibly attend because it was at this airport that he solicited a male policeman for sex in a public bathroom stall and got caught.

One more Republican officeholder, caught in illicit, public, gay sex, when this is the intolerant party that hates gays.


So there you are campers--irony. Delicious, Republican Party irony.

Enjoy.

I know I am.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Worst. President. Ever.

Proof, if--or as though--you need it:

-Iraq War
-Catastrophic, open-ended war
-Misrepresentation of reasons to attack Iraq
-Internationally illegal, unprovoked attack of another foreign, sovereign nation
-WMD's
-Complete lack of WMD's
-Guantanamo Bay
-Torture
-Abu Ghraib
-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
-Undersecretary of Defense Paul (I'm crazy and hungry for war) Wolfowitz
-Attorney General John Ashcroft (who actually turned out to do some good for the country after all, in denying the President and his staff the ability to "have their way" at the Justice Dept., with their illegal request)
-Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez (the stooley)
-Attorney General Michael (the shill) Mukasey
-Vice President Dick ("Darth Vader") Cheney
-Little or no planning for what to do after we, the US, attacked and invaded Iraq, again, against international law
-"Kangaroo" courts
-"Waterboarding" (like it's a fun thing)
-"Black Sites"
-Extraordinary rendition (from and by the United States)
-Halliburton
-"No-bid" government contracts for corporations and other "Big Business"
-$147.00/barrel oil (due, largely, to illegal attack on Iraq)
-Cronyism
-Graft
-Gross Incompetence
-FEMA
-FEMA scandals
-Hurricane Katrina response
-Recess appointments
-Warrantless wiretapping
-Unconstitutional warrantless wiretapping
-"Signing Statements"
-Fired US Attorneys
-Politicization of the US Justice Department, specifically
-Politicization of the US Government, generally
-Plamegate
-Outing an undercover CIA agent for political reasons
-Treason (see line just above)
-Doubling the National Debt
-Denying global climate change
-Undermining the Environmental Protection Agency
-Undermining EPA laws
-Undermining US laws and law
-Stripping the Endangered Species Act of all real power, even though it's US Federal Law, with much precedent
-Housing Crisis
-Credit Crisis
-Deregulation of the Banking Industry (see both lines above this one)
-Faith-based initiatives
-Virtually obliterating the line between State and Church, which is unconstitutional
-Undermining the rights of individuals in the United States
-Asking the Federal Government, through the FBI, to, once again, spy on private American citizens (this is very recent and ongoing)
-Denying homosexuals equal rights and "equal protection under the law", in spite of our Constitution
-Growing--and bloating, indeed, ballooning--the size of the Federal Government
-Cutting taxes for the wealthy and uber-wealthy
-Cutting taxes for the "Big Oil" Companies--at just the time they're making their largest profits--and the largest profits in the History of the United States (yeah, we need to cut their taxes, didn't we?)
-Making it illegal--yes, illegal--for the Federal Government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of medicines and medicinal drugs (Did you remember that one? Then again, did you even know it already? If that isn't FOR big business and against the American Public--the little guy, you and me--I don't know what is)
-Making all records of their own Bush Administration "off limits" from the American Public, once they're out of office (like it was never OUR government--it's apparently his--and we'd like it back)
-The dividing of the country into "us" vs. "them", rich vs. poor, right vs. left, religious believers vs. unbelievers, etc.
-The use of bullying tactics on foreign countries, telling us and them that they are either "with us or against us"
-The use of access to the President, his staff and the administration for reward, when they like someone's work
-The denial of access to these same people and individuals when the administration doesn't like their viewpoint(s)
-The denial of access to the administration to Betty Thomas, the longtime, veteran White House reporter, which actually happened, because they didn't like her and her questions
-The use of the Federal Government to make propaganda in our own press
-The use of the Federal Government to make propaganda in foreign country's press
-The use of the Federal Government and Federal dollars to create propaganda
-The use of the American Press to create propaganda in our own country
-The use of Fox "News" Network, specifically, to create propaganda in our own country
-Declaring "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, when the war had virtually just begun
-Denying freedom of the press
-Denying Americans access to pictures--video or stills--of American Soldiers killed in action, coming back from the war in Iraq, even if their families felt otherwise and made that clear

The list goes on and on, longer than this, unfortunately.

Four things come to mind just now, seeing this list:

1) Warren G. Harding had nothing on George W. Bush, his incompetence, his corruption and his graft (just wait 'til he's out of the White House. Then he'll REALLY start reaping benefits from Big Business)
2) I'll be glad when this nightmare is over
3) I can hardly wait for January 20, 2009, when these people are gone
4) I hope we, as a country and, really, as a world, can recover from the damage George W. Bush and his entire administration, for 8 years, has done to this country.

(With thanks to Garry Trudeau and his "Doonesbury" comic strip, this Sunday, August 24, 2008. You can see the original comic here: http://www.doonesbury.com/)

Further reason why I write this blog

I was reminded today of why I first started this blog and why I continue to write.

The outrageousness and ignorance and stupidity and greed and ugliness that comes out of this White House and this George W. Bush administration is just too much.

This blog is meant to give information for some and catharsis for me.

President George W. Bush (man, it has always hurt to say that) was on the radio yesterday for his weekly radio address and, unbelievably, blamed the Democrats for high gas prices.

OH MY GOD...

I couldn't believe it. I still can hardly believe it.

This President, the one from Texas, the one from and for oil companies, the one with a Vice President and Secretary of State and a lot of others both in and around this administration, from the oil companies, has the nerve and gall to accuse the Democrats of being the reason for the high oil prices.

Holy cow.

Don't you think your arbitrary, internationally illegal war in the Middle East which you at least "misrepresented" to us, the American people, had anything to do with it, Mr. President?

It's as I've said the last several months--all Americans, be they Republican, Democrat, black, white, conservative, liberal--all of us, from all walks of American life--should have automatically bought oil stocks in 2000, once this shill for Big OIl and Big Business stole the White House election.

It was one thing we could have counted on--oil prices going up.

We just didn't know how far up.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden?

That's the best we can do?

Joe Biden?

What is that about?

What is this, the "reassuring old white guy to calm down the racists"?

Let's face it, the racists aren't going to vote for Obama, no matter what.

Who, exactly, does Joe Biden bring to the table, in terms of votes come November, that we wouldn't already have gotten?

Hillary would have brought more votes.

Same with Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas--or any intelligent, capable woman on the ticket.

But Joe Biden?

Don't get me wrong, I think he's smart and capable and, yes, God knows he's experienced and he's on the correct side of a lot of issues. His work has been good and admirable. And, sure, he knows how the system works and yeah, we hope he won't just be a "yes man" in Obama's Administration but geez, what exactly does he add to the ticket?

What, we didn't have the requisite "old white guy" on the ticket so we have to counter-balance the opposition?

I don't get it.

What part of "Change" is this?



On a completely different subject and as part of a trend I've described and discussed here in the past, the nation's 9th bank failure occurred last evening, in case you didn't see or hear of it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The closer we get to inauguration day...

...the happier I'm going to be that this reign of terror is over and the madder I'm going to be because, as Bill Maher so aptly put it, "shitkickers voted twice for a retarded guy they wanted to have a beer with and everybody else had to suffer the consequences."

Senator Obama is right about Iraq--still and again

This just out, on Yahoo! news:

Rice says US-Iraq coming together on timetables

So, lets' see, Senator Obama was right about voting against the original invasion of Iraq, to start with, and now, once again, he's right about a "timetable" (ooh, that word!) for having the US military withdraw from Iraq.

Hmmm. It seems there's a distinct trend here, isn't there?

Senator Obama demonstrates good, intelligent and prescient judgement on important national and international issues.

This in sharp contrast to what Senator McCain says, thinks, wants and plans. "McSame" voted FOR the war before it began and now keeps saying he wants to keep us over there, at great personal and financial cost.

The differences--and choice--between the two seems extremely clear and keeps getting more so, don't you think?

(Original story here:http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080821/ap_on_re_mi_ea/us_iraq)

And then, as if that isn't enough, there's this, just out:

John McCain Unsure How Many Houses He Owns

That's gonna hurt.

Full story here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080821/pl_politico/12685

Wanna' see his "cribs"? Go to this link:

http://www.mccainvminnesota.com/cribs.html

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McCain questioning Obama's judgement on Iraq

Unbelievable.

Barack Obama was "dead-on" with his votes on Iraq. Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons and Barack Obama voted against it.

Good for him. If only the rest of Congress did the same.

So first, Sen. McCain questions his patriotism about voting against it. Then, today, he says--yet again--that he's only questioning "whether America wins or loses."

What nonsense.

Man, if people bite off on that one, believe it and vote accordingly, for one, they're not very bright and second, they're gullible to an extraordinary degree.

Let me say again: Barack Obama was right about his vote against the Iraq War.

We were led into it on false pretenses, at least, if not out and out lies and Sen. Obama had the wisdom and courage enough to go down in a vote, saying it was the wrong thing to do even then, with what information he had at the time.

With more time and information, it turns out he was absolutely correct.

And now Senator McCain wants to say he's wrong because he, Sen. Obama, may or may not want America to "win"?

So, all of a sudden, winning or losing is the big issue?

How about right vs. wrong, especially when American soldier's lives are at stake?

That seems to be a much more important factor and facet, rather than whether we lose, particularly since "losing" this war simply means we walk away, smartly, from a wrong war. At this point, it seems we really should work with the Iraqis the way they want us to, organize and get out. Maybe bring in the UN, in the meantime, as they've volunteered, and, again, get out.

Doesn't seem like a loss to me.

"W" in N'awlunz

So "W" is going back again--the 11th time--today, to New Orleans.

Wow.

The guy has nerve or is oblivious or was just forced to go, one--or more--of the three.

With what little he and his administration has done for that city and area since Hurricane Katrina, even he's got to be ashamed. Really.

Fortunately, it looks as though his administration is going to be defined, it's thought, by the Iraq War and this under-reaction to Katrina, at the very least. Oh, that and the corruption, you can't forget the corporate corruption and graft.

He's going down, apparently, to tell them to have hope and that better days are coming, according to the speech that's been released to the press.

Hmmm. Is that like the hope his Mom told the citizens of the city were to have, when they were at the Astrodome, just after the flooding? When she said it must be an improvement for them, compared to being safe and warm in their own homes?

Anyway, "W" says 126 BILLION DOLLARS has been invested in the area.

Yeah. From the pictures and video I've seen, most of the city is still destroyed.

It's 2008, for pity's sake.

This should have been taken care of already.

And for "W" to go now, saying they should still "have hope" rings horribly hollow.

I hope he's just bright enough to be embarassed.

Honestly, I doubt it.

(Original story here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080820/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_katrina;_ylt=AiO3jw_XrF.9YeilOadFG1ID5gcF)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good news, with bad

Bad economic news today in the form of reports inflation is up the most in 27 years.
(Link here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080819/bs_nm/usa_fed_dc).

Thanks again, W, what with yer spendin' an' all.

That's going to be tough on the economy, for sure, and means the Fed will likely have to raise interest rates so we keep inflation in check.

On top of the already-occurring credit crisis, due to the housing loan meltdown, this will likely mean businesses and business could really get beat up.

No one might be able to afford very much.

The good news is that it the dollar will go up because interest rates will likely have to rise and oil may go further down, God willing. It's very likely.

But the overall effect may just be that we have less and less control over what, exactly, the economy is doing due to the string of events of the last 7 years that got us to this point. Hopefully we won't have any serious "stagflation" (stagnant, lackluster economy, mixed with out-of-control inflation).

And that, of course, is where the thanks to our glorious leader, "W", comes in, what with his war and spending and tax cuts for the wealthy and for oil companies and on and on.

Anyway, there's some good and bad, as with most everything in the world, in this news.

As for the banks, there's been some good news in the last 2 weeks, in that none were closed down and taken over by the FDIC on Friday evenings. My suspicion has been held off for a bit. Hopefully held off permanently.

But wait. News today from Reuters shows that the former head of the IMF says a "Large US bank collapse" is possibly (or is that "likely"?) ahead.
(original story here: http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSSP21695020080819)

According to former IMF chief economist Kenneth Rogoff, " 'The U.S. is not out of the woods. I think the financial crisis is at the halfway point, perhaps. I would even go further to say 'the worst is to come.'"

More: "'We're not just going to see mid-sized banks go under in the next few months, we're going to see a whopper, we're going to see a big one, one of the big investment banks or big banks,' said Rogoff, who is an economics professor at Harvard University and was the International Monetary Fund's chief economist from 2001 to 2004."

When you put the sharp rise in inflation together with this possibility--that the "worst is yet to come", it doesn't look pretty, does it?

Hopefully, Humpty, we can put all the pieces back together again.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's a whole other country, all right

Texas. Oh, yeah, like their advertising campaign of a few years ago said, it's a "whole other country", all right.

The proof this week?

It seems there is a small town--Harrold, Texas--that is letting its school's teachers and faculty carry sidearms.

Yeah. Guns.

Whereas the rest of the country--and maybe the world--sees the countryside as bucolic, peaceful and quiet, this town feels it must arm itself "just in case", because it's 20 or 30 miles from the nearest Sheriff's office. Should something happen, they want to be ready.

To me, this is further proof of why I want to stay away from that "God-fearing", gun-totin' state of Texas. Between their right-wing, narrow-minded, again, God-fearing, evangelistic viewpoints and their collective stance on guns, of which this is further proof, I'd just as soon not go. Outside of fun- and music-loving, more liberal Austin, which I'd only visit, you literally couldn't pay me enough to live in that whole, big place called Texas. No, thanks.

There are plenty of people who view Texas the way Californians view--or used to--their state of California. That is, there is no other place to live. But for me, between the heat and these various ways of thinking just become more and more proof of why I want to stay away.

And they won't be disappointed if I do.

See the full story here:
http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/n15386617-texas-guns/

Friday, August 15, 2008

There's not much time left, you know

No, there's not much time left, between now and January 20, 2009, when this administration is no longer with us. It's too much time, though, we're finding out, because these people are really trying to dismantle the environmental and constitutional protections that are already in place.

What am I talking about, beyond my entry a few days ago, when I showed how they were trying to take apart the Endangered Species Act?

Yesterday it was announced that the FBI, via Attorney General Michael Mukasey, is planning on getting rid of rules that were put in place after the Republican Watergate nightmare. Yeah. They want to make it easier yet for the FBI to spy on us, the American public.

Once again, unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.

They've already taken down so many protections that used to be in the Constitution, to protect the American people from the government and now they want more.

Remember Nixon's "enemies list"? That's what these post-Watergate rules were created to protect the country from, for pity's sake. AND THEY WANT TO TAKE THOSE DOWN.

For a refresher course on Tricky Dick's list, it included many, prominent US citizens. Several of them were senators, big-name media people (like Dan Schorr, for God's sake), a governor, the mayor of New York at the time, Union leaders, celebrities--Carol Channing, of all people--business people, heads of corporations, and more. For a complete list, go to this link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_list_of_Nixon_political_opponents.
It's a real hoot.

Ol' Dick (Cheney, this time) must be dying to go after what he--or they--see as "enemies of the White House", ya' think?

In so many ways and on so many different spheres, it seems that we, as a country, as a people, don't learn our lessons from our actions, or preemptively, from history.

(For more information and the original story, go here:
http://www.truthout.org/article/fbi-get-freer-rein-gather-domestic-information)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Obamacans"--all over the 'net and news right now

Former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa, former Senator Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island and former Alaska legislator Jim Whitaker announce their support for the Democratic candidate.

Barack Obama likes to talk about "Obamacans" -- Republicans who he says approach him at political events and quietly pledge their support for his presidential candidacy.

See the original articles here:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-trailleach13-2008aug13,0,515257.story?track=rss

http://www.projo.com/news/politics/content/campaign_journal_13_08-13-08_SPB6UGG_v10.403bead.html?npc

All this while McCain kind of explodes with declarations that we should, figuratively, go kick some Russky butt, over in Georgia. There's some level-headed thinking.

It just keeps gettin' better 'n better, I think.

But it's a long way to November.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No surprise--with the fox guarding the chicken coop

Mukasey: No prosecutions in Justice Dept. hiring scandal

He "used his sharpest words yet to criticize the senior leaders who took part in or failed to stop illegal hiring practices during the tenure of his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales."

Gosh.

Laws were broken, sure, and the constitution was trampled on, once more, by these clowns but, hey, no big thing, right? Just get back to breaking our justice system--I mean, to your work. Get back to your jobs.

Get a load of this quote, from AG Mukasey: "Not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime."

Whah?

What did he say?

Not every violation of the law is a crime?

I thought that was the EXACT definition of a crime--a violation of the law.

Oh, yeah. I get it. Not every violation of the law THAT THEY COMMIT is a crime.

Sure. I see that.

It's the way they operate in this Bush Administration.

Boy, when the Bushies went looking for a lapdog to head the Justice Department, they sure found it in Mukasey, in spite of Congress' best intention.

Original article here:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080812/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/mukasey_lawyers

Monday, August 11, 2008

How much longer 'til these clowns are out of office?

I knew this would happen. I knew the Bushies would try to slip their friends in the corporate world more and more bonuses and gifts in these last, waning months of the administration and here it comes, today:

Bush administration to relax parts of Endangered Species Act (AP)

Check this out:

"Parts of the Endangered Species Act may soon be extinct. The Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants."

"New regulations, which don't require the approval of Congress, would reduce the mandatory, independent reviews government scientists have been performing for 35 years, according to a draft first obtained by The Associated Press."

I said it much earlier in the year. That is, that these clowns will try to dismantle all they can while still in office this year, in an effort to give Big Business more and more of what they want. It was an easy prediction and like I said, here it is.

But these guys get really pushy and outrageous. Look at this quote: "The draft rules would bar federal agencies from assessing the emissions from projects that contribute to global warming and its effect on species and habitats."

What a hoot. Not only do they want to roll back our already-established laws but they "bar federal agencies from assessing...emissions."

Man, they're good, aren't they?

Unbelievable.

What chutzpah.

These guys have major cajones.

They are, in effect, rewriting our laws, all by themselves. They take out Congress. They take out the courts--everything and everybody. It's just them. They are the only branch of government. Period. It's done.

There needs to be major lawsuits over this. This is against the constitution, once again, from this administration.

Then, to add insult to insanity, they say they're doing it to "protect...species".

Yeah, no kidding.

Interior Secretary Dirk ("Diggler") Kempthorne said "We need to focus our efforts where they will do the most good. It is important to use our time and resources to protect the most vulnerable species. It is not possible to draw a link between greenhouse gas emissions and distant observations of impacts on species."

But wait. As usual with these guys, there's more:

"If approved, the changes would represent the biggest overhaul of the Endangered Species Act since 1986. They would accomplish through regulations what conservative Republicans have been unable to achieve in Congress: ending some environmental reviews that developers and other federal agencies blame for delays and cost increases on many projects.

"The changes would apply to any project a federal agency would fund, build or authorize that might harm endangered wildlife and their habitat. Government wildlife experts currently perform tens of thousands of such reviews each year."

'"If adopted, these changes would seriously weaken the safety net of habitat protections that we have relied upon to protect and recover endangered fish, wildlife and plants for the past 35 years," said John Kostyack, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Conservation and Global Warming initiative.'

So get this straight: your own government, headed by George W. Bush, is stripping the EPA and government of its own ability to evaluate the effect emissions will have on nature and then saying they're doing it to "protect the most vulnerable species."

If this isn't more Orwellian double-speak, there isn't any.

Again, thanks to all those who voted--even once--for this clown and this administration. We'll be cleaning up his messes for years to come, both here at home, with the environment and our own government and in Iraq and 'round the world, literally.

Go to the following site and tell Secretary Kempthorne to keep our national law and the Endangered Species Act the way it is, for good reason:
http://www.doi.gov/contact.html

Additionally, write your Senators and Representatives about this. Let them know this is completely unacceptable. This is one easy way, right from your computer in your home, to take important action.

(See the original article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080811/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/bush_endangered_species)

I'm Voting Republican!

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Unmitigated gall

I can hardly believe the unmitigated gall--nerve, whatever--that this President shows to the country, other national leaders and nations--the world, really.

Did you see this? Apparently, W is going to talk to Hu Jintao, the leader of China, about his country's human rights violations.

Are you kidding me?

Sure, China is horrible on human rights, in spite of what they want us to think and believe. And I'm not saying we're as bad as they are, even though W's government got us into waterboarding and other tortures, rendition and various other obscenities. But for this guy--W--of all people, who has virtually trashed our Constitution in so many and varied ways, to be telling other leaders of the world how and what to do to run their country's and treat their people right, it's just beyond the pale. It's just too much.

And yet that's supposedly, apparently going to do today.

What nerve. If I were another leader, I'd just put his own country's newspapers and magazines in his lap, tell him to read them, and either change the subject to a lighter one, or walk out.

It's what he'd deserve.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

USA Bank: The next one to close?

USA Bank Reports Operating Results for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2008
Saturday August 9, 11:34 am ET

PORT CHESTER, NY--(MARKET WIRE)--Aug 9, 2008 -- USA Bank (OTC BB:USBK.OB - News) reported a net loss of $383 thousand ($0.07 per share) for the quarter ended June 30, 2008, which is a marked improvement compared to the net loss of $481 thousand ($0.08 per share) for the quarter ended June 30, 2007. This marks the third successive quarter of reduced losses by the Bank. For the six months ended June 30, 2008, the Bank's net loss was $1,129,000 ($0.20 per share) as compared to a net loss of $1,995,000 ($0.35 per share) for the six months ended June 30, 2007.

Complete, orginal story here:
http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/080809/0423542.html

Stay tuned.

Thoughts on our world

Seeing the opening of the Olympic Games last evening, from Beijing, made me think how clever mankind can be, both collectively and individually. We all get together and create and see these wonderful spectacles of sight and sound and cooperation. And then we go back to our own homes and countries and all the intelligence and possibility seems to go out the door, so to speak.

We get back on our own home turfs and start thinking that "those people" out there, whoever we fear, are "out to get us" and that we must protect ourselves from them, whether they're Russians and Soviets or Vietnamese or Koreans or Blacks or Chinese or Communists or gays or whoever just isn't like us.

We let our fears and even ignorance of our fellow man and the world take over.

Instead of working together for all of our betterment, we feel and think we have to work to keep "what is ours" and/or to make sure that, "in the future" we have enough.

And it's true for the stereotypical "hillbilly" from Appalachia from a century ago, right down to some people who are supposed to be leading us in and from Washington, today.

I think it's this kind of thinking that Vice President Dick Cheney, his ilk and those of this administration seem so concerned about. It's why we attacked Iraq, it seems. After all, we must have all that oil, mustn't we?

You'd think that, after all the centuries of struggle, we would all, collectively, come together and work together to solve the issues of disease, hunger, pollution, even war--all our problems.

We could do it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

 
I thought this turned out well, too. No doubt a common flower but, properly cropped, made all the difference. Drama in real life is a pain in the neck. Drama in art is usually a good idea and can be beautiful.
Posted by Picasa
 
I saw this blooming tree about 2 miles from our condominium earlier this week. I thought the pictures turned out well. I'll have to find out what all kinds of this local foliage is. I have no idea. Have a great weekend, y'all!
Posted by Picasa

A big Friday

So oil is down to $115.00/barrel today, the Dow is up, the dollar is up against the Euro and the British Pound--since they didn't raise their interest rates--and the Olympics starts today in Japan.

A big news day, to be sure.

The question for the banks--and the American people--is, will we witness and have to finance another bank failure in the next 24 hours? Will the FDIC have to march into yet another bank this evening and close it up because it's "upside down", financially.

Hopefully not, certainly.

If they don't have to, it would be nice to break the 3-week straight we've had on these things.

Hopefully it's a quiet, uneventful evening and weekend.

Enjoy, y'all.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

No, no, we're not getting off that easy. There's more

So let's see, two days ago we found out the White House, it's been proven, lied to us further and forged a document, saying there were connections between Saddam Hussein and al-qaeda in Iraq, so they could illegally attack them.

Yesterday we learned that Iraq is running a huge, multi-million dollar BUDGET SURPLUS, based on $4.00 per barrel oil--that you and I are paying for.

And now this:

Report: U.S. 'wasted' $560 million on Iraq repairs

original story here:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/07/30/iraq.reconstruction/index.html

So, yeah, folks, by all means, this November 4, when the elections come 'round--by all means, vote Republican. Sure.

Then go blow your brains out.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

And after yesterday's insanity of the White House lies, now this

Iraq's oil-fueled surplus could hit $80 billion, report says

The full, original story is here:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/05/iraq.oil/?iref=hpmostpop

How does it feel?

How does it feel, knowing that we're spending ourselves into outageous, history-making debt, as a country, while the country we're occupying--you know, the one we unlawfully attacked and blew up?--is raking in millions of dollars in budget surpluses while our American soldiers are over there, sweating and fighting and dying for them--and for us, sadly?

How crazy is that?

Good God, is there no level of insanity this administration won't reach?

We're there. We're maxed out. Hopefully, it can get no crazier and more insane and illogical than this. This has got to be it.

"Iraq is raking in more money from oil exports than it is spending, amassing a projected four-year budget surplus of up to $80 billion, U.S. auditors reported Tuesday."

Read it and weep.

For all those who "wanted" this war--who supported it and thought it was a good idea--you pay for it. Not American soldiers. And not those of us who were against it before it started.

More proof they lied

Okay, before we had the Downing Street memo, remember? It proved that the Bush White House was "cooking the books" about intelligence in and about Iraq, so they could take us all to war.

Now, here comes a book from Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Suskind, saying that the Bushies lied to us further and that he has proof.

In his new book, '“The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday,' Mr. Suskind 'claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.'

See the entire, original story here:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308

But wait, there's more!

Indications are that Mr. Suskind's information may, in fact be valid and not dreamed up, as the White House, Republicans, the neocons and Fox "News" would have us believe:

'The letter’s existence has been reported before, and it had been written about as if it were genuine. It was passed in Baghdad to a reporter for The (London) Sunday Telegraph who wrote about it on the front page of Dec. 14, 2003, under the headline, “Terrorist behind September 11 strike ‘was trained by Saddam.’”'

The original article has a great deal more information to it, too, than I will relate here. Suffice it to say, it's pretty condemning and indicting of this administration.

So bury your head in the sand if you wish, but this seems to be further, strong proof that y'all were duped into this high human and financial cost war. Check it out, by all means.

If anything, this should embolden Senator Kucinich, in his quest to impeach the current occupant.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Unfortunately correct and vindicated

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I was correct.

Do you remember last week I said there was a good possibility that we might see a bank--or two--failing each Friday night for a while?

Let me repeat: I was right.

I wish I weren't, truth be told.

According to the news this morning, a small bank in Florida failed last night. It was taken over by the FDIC, of course, and will be quickly sold. See the full story here: http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSN0136691620080802

It was the 8th bank to fail so far this year. (Wouldn't you think Keith Olbermann--or some news junkie--would set up a weekly "bank watch"? Maybe they don't want to give the public reason to panic, since the American public doesn't want to pay attention, by and large).

The good news? It was a relatively small bank. First Priority Bank had "only" $259 million in assets and $227 million in deposits.

The bad news? Its failure will cost the federal fund that insures deposits--read: you and I, the taxpayers--an estimated $72 million.

Chalk it up to our account.

As I also said earlier here, in the 1st quarter of this year, the FDIC had 90 banks on its "watch" list. This article recounts that and states that they also won't tell which 90 banks they are. It's understandable--can you imagine the runs on those banks if they told which 90 they were?

Still, wouldn't you like to know if YOUR bank were, maybe, in trouble?

Once more, I'd like to take a moment to personally thank, with dripping sarcasm, the Republicans, for deregulating the banking industry.

Oh, well, for now, it's the weekend. Go out, work, relax, enjoy, keep cool.

Let's hope there either aren't any more banks that fail (I'm not counting on it) or, that, if they do fail, they are small and few in number.

Cross your fingers.