Thursday, September 25, 2008

Your move, Jonnie S and L.

I'm amazed they were able to accomplish ANYTHING with McCain in NY!

'Fundamental agreement' reached on bailout

Top congressional negotiators have announced that they have a "fundamental agreement" on a government bailout of the nation's financial system, granting extraordinary powers to the secretary of Treasury to purchase hundreds of billions in bad debt while attempting to stem foreclosures for homeowners struggling on Main Street.

The announcement came in the Capitol after a three-hour meeting involving a dozen of the top negotiators from both parties and both chambers of Congress.

Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said, "We believe we are prepared to act expeditiously on a package ... and send a message to the markets."

But Dodd cautioned that this is still a "set of principles" and not completed legislative language. Quite often, the nitty-gritty details of bill language can slow the process. Still, Dodd and other key negotiators seemed more confident Thursday afternoon than they have at any other point in the week long bailout negotiations.

The bill could reach the president's desk in a few days, Dodd said.

House Republicans continue to warn that they haven't signed off on this deal, but the bailout ship may sail without them given the pace of legislative activity today.

Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), the top GOP negotiator in the Senate, said, "We have a plan that will pass the House, pass the Senate and be signed by the president, and bring certainty to the markets."

Dodd said the agreement includes a crackdown on executive compensation, but it does not appear to have a bankruptcy provision, coveted by liberal Democrats, which would allow judges to restructure mortgages for people facing foreclosure.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If I were Obama, this would be my response

to Senator McCain's request to postpone the foreign policy debate on Friday.

“I’m relieved to hear that Senator McCain has finally recognized that the fundamentals of our economy are in fact not strong, as he was insisting as recently as six days ago. I also applaud his commitment – which I share – to do whatever is necessary and prudent to turn our economy back in the right direction.

However, I must respectfully decline the Senator’s request to postpone our upcoming debate. I can think of nothing more important right now than the opportunity to stand in front of the American people and speak to their concerns, not only about the economy, but about our failed foreign policy, a foreign policy that has resulted in nearly a trillion dollars being spent on a war that was never needed, a trillion dollars that could have – should have – been spent here in the United States, a trillion dollars that would come in awfully handy right now.

I can also appreciate the Senator’s concern that the current economic crisis stands in the way of preparation for this debate, but I am quite frankly flummoxed by the idea that after nearly three decades in Washington, Senator McCain is unprepared to have a conversation about his foreign policy vision. There’s no question that in a global economy, how we engage the world is intimately connected to our economic health and well-being, and postponing this incredibly important but scant 90 minute conversation is not in the best interests of our country. Surely, an expert on foreign policy like Senator McCain could have this debate in his sleep.”

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kiss My Fannie.

One of the benefits of reading blogs (mine notwithstanding) is catching stories you might otherwise miss because, well, you have a life and can't possibly read every paper and story that is out there. This one caught my attention this morning. Not because of the connection between McCain, McCain's advisors, and the industry that has single handedly sent our financial system back to the 1920's; we all knew that Jonnie S and L McCain was in bed with these guys. What caught my eye was the overwhelming brazenness of the relationship between Fannie Mae (heretofore known affectionately as "my ass") and Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager:

(From the NY Times)

"The value that he brought to the relationship was the closeness to Senator McCain and the possibility that Senator McCain was going to run for president again," said Robert McCarson, a former spokesman for Fannie Mae, who said that while he worked there from 2000 to 2002, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together paid Mr. Davis's firm $35,000 a month. Mr. Davis "didn't really do anything," Mr. McCarson, a Democrat, said.

Let's do the math together, shall we? Rick Davis took in roughly two million dollars to help "my ass" get really close to Jonnie S and L McCain. That's it. No long memos, thick, detailed research books, not even a mani and pedi. Just because my ass wanted to develop a nice little inroad to Jonnie S and L.

Ok, ok, ok. Let me get this straight. Jonnie S and L thinks Obama is part of the "Washington problem" because someone on his staff called the former Fannie Mae CEO to ask a couple of questions. Meanwhile, there are 19 former Wall Street lobbyists who are officially advising Jonnie S and L, including someone - WHO IS RUNNING HIS CAMPAIGN - who earned (I use that term lightly) $2 million to give the Pale Horseman an inside track to his boss. Now THERE'S change you can believe in!

I smell a little anger seeping in to my blog, so I think I should just leave it here. But I do want to point out that Jonnie S and L (I like the way that sounds) is even as I write running ads across the country, claiming for himself the mantle of "Washington outsider" in the midst of this economic Armageddon.

My ass.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Well, that didn't take long.

Palin's Favorability Ratings Tumble (per The Politico)

"Gov. Sarah Palin's favorable/unfavorable ratings have suffered a stunning 21 point collapse in just one week, according to Research 2000 polling. Last week, 52% approved and 35% disapproved of the GOP vice presidential nominee (+17 net). This week, 42% approved and 46% disapprove (-4 net).

Earlier this week, Newsweek also saw the drop in other polling. "Over the course of a single weekend... Palin went from being the most popular White House hopeful to the least."

Now, one MIGHT look at these numbers and proclaim this as evidence certain that the liberal media has it in for Sarah Palin (and Republicans in general), and this is a direct result of the terrible "disrespect" she has received from the Fourth Estate.

Or, one could look at it in a more circumspect way. I think the sentiment that best captures this viewpoint is "it's about damn time." Or perhaps, "what took you so long?!"

God forbid the media expose a candidate for they sham they are, rather than get lambasted as anti-American, Commie-loving socialists, as they are typically called when daring to criticize those on the right.

What's funny to me is all they really did was ask questions. For once, all they really did was do their job. It's about damn time.

Meanwhile, if you critically analyze her favorability numbers, you'll see her support is essentially the same percentage as those who indicate they will vote for their Republican candidate for Congress this fall (the generic ballot). That to me make makes complete sense - knowing what we do about her, who the hell would really like her other than those who are diehard Republicans anyway??

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sometimes, life is better than fiction...

From the AP:

Wayward squirrel cuts power to Clemson campus
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CLEMSON — A squirrel caused a weekend campus-wide power outage at Clemson University. Campus officials say one of the critters crossed power lines at the main campus substation around 10 a.m. Sunday, causing a massive outage.

University spokeswoman Robin Denny told The Greenville News it took more than seven hours to get all the power back on.

Clemson has been battling with squirrels for years. Graduate students are testing contraceptives to try and control the population, which is estimated at 12 squirrels per acre of the 1,400-acre campus.

So here is my question: why are the Clemson graduate students testing contraception? Wouldn't it be easier to just stop having sex with the squirrels??

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mad As Hell

Sometimes, you don't even need to comment. All I'll say is this guy has PASSION. I like it.

Oh, and I wish people had listened to him. He was clearly on to something. This was recorded in August of LAST YEAR.

(Click on the title)

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's A Wonderful Life?

I am a tempest of mixed emotions this a.m., and I thought I would share a few of them with you, my dozens of readers....

First, I should start with my beloved Gamecocks, who proved yet again that you can be good AND mediocre at the same time. God bless 'em, though, because at least it was an entertaining game. And for the record, you CAN put more crap into a four year old than what she actually weighs (M&Ms, cotton candy, some frozen strawberry concoction, and so on.)

Now, my wife and I are far from wealthy (oh yes, we are rich in love), but turning on the TV this morning, one has to wonder if the end of the world is nigh, and if so, will the High Horse of Death be ridden by none other than Gordon Gecko? And is he coming to take away my paltry life savings as a down payment? I grew up in the age of really bad movies (I mean really good, but far from what film critics would call "good"), highlighted by one of my favorites, "Wall Street." (How can you not love to hate and hate to love Gordon Gecko?!?) Point is, it's hard to feel bad for some of the detritus living fat on the cow of the American working man and woman while they cascade ever so violently into the abyss (as I write the this, the Dow is down like 300 points in 25 minutes).

And so while the financial markets give us their version of the bank run of "It's A Wonderful Life," I am torn between glee and real fear. This type of collapse is never good for anyone, and with the economy already struggling, the last thing we need is Ma and Pa Clampett taking their stacks of old, worn dollar bills and hiding them in an empty cookie tin that they keep on top of the fridge.

Why glee? Well, two reasons, really, somewhat unrelated. One, as I mentioned earlier, I've no love for an industry whose raison d'etre is to MAKE MONEY (I know, I'm a commie).

Two, considerably more important, is that despite the cornucopia of screw ups the weekend has revealed from the McCain-Palin campaign, I would REALLY like to see a return to the issues, which I've always believed heavily favored the Democrats. The collapse of Wall Street - predicated on the failure of the mortgage industry - should provide a nice, wide avenue for Barack and co. to start taking well-shaped body shots at the other team. The sooner the race can be framed around a referendum on the Bush economic plan, the better for Obama.

Like I said, who doesn't love to hate Gordon Gecko? He was a Republican, right?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Note to Obama: Hire Funnier Writers.

So I woke up this morning at my usual time (6:00 AM, if you are interested), padded downstairs, got a cup of coffee and started reading the morning news. What to my surprise did I see is a note that Senator Obama was on Letterman last night, and was planning to address - in a funny way - the whole lipstick/pig thing. GREAT. Can't wait to see this. It needs to be addressed, funnily, and then put to bed.


This is what he had to say:

"Keep in mind, technically, had I meant it this way, [Palin] would be the lipstick. The failed policies of John McCain would be the pig, just following the logic of this illogical situation."


My four year old is funnier than that. In the morning, when she's half awake.

I don't think it is possible to script something that screams "intellectual elitist" more than what Obama had to say on Letterman. This is the best Obama's writers can offer up?

I have a few suggestions I would like to offer to Team Obama, were they to ask for said advice:

1) Please, for God's sake, just stop talking about her. You aren't running against her, and it's beneath you to keep talking about someone who's running for VP. Let the 37,459 surrogates at your disposal speak about her.

2) Focus on McCain. The man has offered up a buffet of material that rivals the all you can eat Chinese place my father eats at twice a week. THIS is the man who you are running against. Evidence that McCain is weak? I haven't seen or heard from him in over a week - which is probably due to the fact that my mother taught me not to go messing around in married women's skirt folds, which is where I suspect he is hiding.

3) Put an APB out on your funny bone. Someone done stoled it. And if you can't find it, please hire some people who know the difference between a joke and what you said on Letterman last night. I know funny. That wasn't it.

4) Get mean. Grow a spine, buy some brass knuckles, and take shots. You are getting hammered by the Empire and the best you've got is some lame commentary on an illogical situation? ILLOGICAL SITUATION? This is politics, man. Wake up. Logic will send your butt right back to Chicago. Or Harvard. Or Hawaii. Anywhere but the White House.

There's a lot of news about "whispering" among Democrats that you are letting this election slip away. I don't think we've gotten that far yet, but I can sure see the sharp bend in the road ahead.

Two more words of advice, if you really want to take this by the reins: Bill Clinton. 'Nuff said.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sugar and Spice and everything nice...

So for all of this talk about Sarah Palin and women and the glass ceiling, it occurred to me the other day that I lead an incredibly blessed life. I have wonderful friends and family, a great job, and though I work hard and often look at the bank account wondering where it all went, I generally lead a life free of want and certainly absent some of the terrible conditions I know so many suffer.

SO WHAT, you might be asking, does any of that have to do with Sarah Palin? Nothing really. What really occurred to me is that I am surrounded by incredible women - or at least those without a Y chromosome. I have a beautiful, talented, smart(ass) wife, two wonderful, curious, far-cuter-than-I daughters, a female cat, and I'll bet even all of my fish are female.

But let's speak frankly for a minute, if we can, about this "sugar and spice" business. I am a man of many flaws - I know this because I am married - and so it certainly isn't for me to point fingers at other people. But let's face it; little girls can be mean. And the author of this little "sugar and spice" ditty was either A) a little girl, or B) delusional. Or, perhaps, the writer was struck by lightning before being able to complete the stanza (ok, it was probably Robert Southey).

I would like to, in the interests of artistic license, take a whack at this. Here is the original stanza:

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That's what little boys are made of !"
What are little girls made of?
"Sugar and spice and all things nice
That's what little girls are made of!"

And here is Father Boxt's version, leading off with the little girls part:

What are little girls made of?
"Sugar and spice and all things nice
That's what little girls are made of!"

What more are little girls made of?
"3 am screaming and punching in the crotch,
fighting to take baths and more TV to watch,
Yelling in the car and pooping in their pants,
Crying that their lollipop is covered in red ants,
Dessert without dinner, pushing little sis,
throwing tantrums on the stairs, yes they DO do this."

But the real truth?
"The most beautiful thing I see, on any given day,
the sight of my girls smiling in their very own special way.
The words "I love you Daddy," nothing sweeter to the ear,
what little girls are made of, is everything I hold dear."

I know, I'm a cheeseball. What can I say? Guilty as charged.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

If it smells like an elephant, it must be elephant crap.

This is a tough post for me, because in my heart I want to believe that I am a forgiving person, not a mean, vindictive, petty, shallow person. But after months of hedging, dodging, and plain ignoring, I have come to the conclusion that Joe Lieberman must be tossed, ass over tea kettle, out of the Democratic Party. No different than Zell Miller, this man has become an embarrassment to himself, his party, and the millions of people who gave their time and money to help elect him Vice President.

First, and this is no real crime in my book, Joe expressed a true and undying friendship with John McCain. Fine. I have a few of those too. No biggie.

Then he decided to support him for President, though he pledged at the time this was not about Obama, but really about John. And the war. Fine. I get it Joe. You're a hawk. I've had some of those tendencies myself over the years. And there are plenty of Dems who supported this war in Iraq. No reason to revoke your card on that count (despite the protestations of many).

Then he said he wouldn't out and out bash Obama, and even though he was supporting McCain for President, he would continue to vote with Democrats in the Senate. Now, this is a big deal, as the margin there isn't large, and when there were actual things being done in that chamber, we needed every vote we could get.

Now this is where things start to get slippery. Joe then begins to take shots at Obama, even joining in the McCain chorus of questioning his patriotism. Really? Really Joe? Coming from a guy who's had to absorb the very same accusations because of your full-throated support of Israel? REALLY?!?

And then we get to the RNC and the Palin pick. Now Joe, I understand your view that national security is our greatest issue today, and you support John because of Iraq and the war on terror. Truly, I understand. I disagree, but I understand. But I have a few questions for you.

One, who wrote your RNC speech? It's awful. Have you forgotten why you are a Democrat? It's not about choosing sides, or being less partisan, Joe. It's about standing up for the things you allegedly care about, cared about enough to accept the Democratic Party's nomination for Vice President. For a woman's right to choose. The right to organize. The right to attend school without fear of the invasion of religion. The right to access to quality health care. The right to live in a world that doesn't treat its backyard as a junkyard. Or how about enacting some sensible gun laws? Equal pay for equal work? Any of these things mean anything to you anymore?

Because if you bought the line from McCain that national security is our number one issue, how do you rhyme that with the choice of a 20-month tenured Governor from a state with fewer people than Rhode Island? A woman who has been outside of the United States ONCE? Is that the experience you are looking for? She's more experienced than Obama? My school system had more people than the town she was a "two-term Mayor" for. With an administrator. You have to be kidding.

And then there are HER positions. A woman who denies the human impact on climate change. A woman who is opposed to all abortions, even in cases where a woman's health is at risk (she makes Mitt Romney look like a flaming liberal). Pro-creationism. You think Obama's church was bad, Joe? Go spend a few months in HER church. You like Jews for Jesus, Joe? Because HER church does! I don't begrudge a woman her views, or her church. But what is good for the goose is good for the gander. You want to talk about associations, Joe? McCain CHOSE her. And not YOU. That means if HE wins, SHE wins. And when he is done, SHE is next. She really who you want there in the White House Joe? You think she'll do a lot of horse trading given her ideology, Joe? A lot of reaching across the aisle to overturn Roe v. Wade? To "drill here, drill now, drill everywhere, holy cow!?"

And don't get me started on the abuse of power stuff that is already starting to come out. Or how she was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. Or the memo she sent in February to Senator Ted outlining $200 million in federal earmarks she wanted for Alaska.

Joe, if she is really who you want making decisions in the White House about these issues, do us all a favor. Stop the charade. You're an elephant, Joe. And that makes me sad.

Monday, September 1, 2008


So, for those of you who know me, you know that I am a partisan Dem but fairly moderate in my political views. I will admit (painfully) that I was a John Edwards fan, less because of his policies and more for his (get ready for it) character. When he departed, I was left with a very difficult choice, but in the end - for too many reasons to get into here - I voted for Hillary Clinton in my primary. Can I pick 'em or what?

Moving into the general election, I was one of those Dems who would probably in the end vote for Obama, but with less enthusiasm than many in Chicago would have liked to know. McCain today in my view is a far cry from the McCain who got eviscerated by Team Bush in South Carolina 8 years ago, but I could still live with him were he to be elected. That was, until three days ago.

Three days ago was when I learned, along with millions of my friends, that John McCain had chosen a fourteen year old student body president from Saskatchewan with 9 kids and a penchant for killing seals with bazookas as his running mate. Ok, so maybe I exaggerate a bit. My point is that I couldn't give a rat's ass about the fact that she is a 44-year old 20 month Governor (who took off time to have a baby), former Mayor of Wasilla, AK (pop: <10,000), a mother of five (and soon-to-be grandmother), pro-gun rights hunter. What I DO care about is that this woman is against all abortions, AT ANY TIME, is against the use of contraceptive devices, even by married people, and wants to see creationism taught in school.

Is this the version of America you want running around the East Wing?

So, call it all you want - it certainly is a big deal to have a woman with a legitimate chance to be Vice President. And I think getting a young (read: inexperienced) person in the White House isn't such a bad thing. And she has a record of thumbing her nose at the powers that be, which I find attractive.

But in three and a half years, when (if) President McCain is getting ready to wrap up his single term in office, THIS is the person who will be her party's presumptive nominee. Think about that. It scares the hell out of me. And, so, I just put an Obama yard sign up. Because a $3 yard sign is a heck of a lot cheaper than having to move to Saskatchewan.