Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.
No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.[snip]Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.
Do it for your country.
From the Cunning Realist:
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
“If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down,” President Bush declared Thursday as he watched the $700 billion bailout package fall apart before his eyes, according to one person in the room.“We’re in a serious economic crisis,” Mr. Bush told reporters as the meeting began shortly before 4 p.m. in the Cabinet Room..."
Critics in the financial industry and academia insist the abuses would not have happened if federal and state regulators were doing their jobs.
For instance, banking regulators at federal and state levels failed to monitor lenders that were offering mortgages without following basic industry guidelines on income levels and without requiring appropriate documentation on applications. Those practices led to a high number of risky loans...
...Then there were the failings of the SEC at the federal level and self-regulatory bodies like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which supervises brokers. Those entities were supposed to oversee investment banks and brokers, partly to prevent the recent string of catastrophic financial failures that seemed to catch everyone by surprise.
While no one is pointing to any single regulator, the SEC has the broadest responsibilities, including monitoring the financial health and operations of investment firms.
This is what happens when the the refs get fired... and it's going to be expensive.
I realize that now may not be the time for such partisan venom, and I apologize if I have trampled any delicate tendencies in this contentious election season, but this is demostrative that there are fundamental differences between the two parties and the two men running for president.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
"...Thus our plan in the face of this campaign should focus on the following:
—Serving a blow to the American economy, which will lead to:
a) Further weakening of the American economy
b) Shaking the confidence in the American economy. This will lead investors to refrain from investing in America or participating in American companies, thus accelerating the fall of the American economy …"
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
In medical jurisprudence the term res ipsa loquitur refers to a circumstance of malpractice that is so glaringly obvious that no other explanation is necessary, with the classic example being a sponge left in the abdomen after surgery. Write the check, as they say.
The recent bailout bill proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson speaks for itself:
Section 8:"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
Yeah, right. I realize that Paulson's resume is supposedly unimpeachable, having been the CEO of Goldman Sachs, having sold his half billion dollar stash of stock upon leaving his post for the government... this guy knows money. We should all feel fortunate that individuals of this caliber are willing to serve in the government.
But let's review what Secretary Paulson has told us about housing since he took office a couple years ago:
12/25/06: "I don't know whether [housing] has bottomed out... [Whether housing] has bottomed out, not quite bottomed out, or is going to take a quarter or two longer, the thing that we've seen is that other parts of the economy are doing so well that we're just powering through this."
3/13/07: "It's too early to tell whether [Housing Market] has bottomed. I believe it has. We'll know more in the next month or two."
4/20/07: "All the signs I look at [show] the housing market is at or near the bottom."
6/20/07: "We have had a major housing correction in this country. I do believe we are at or near the bottom."
7/2/07: "In terms of looking at housing, most of us believe that it's at or near the bottom. It's had a significant impact on the economy. No one is forecasting when, with any degree of clarity, that the upturn is going to come other than it's at or near the bottom."
7/23/07: U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Monday the U.S. housing market correction was "at or near the bottom".
8/2/07: Secretary Paulson: "No. ... let me be pretty clear about what I've said before. When I said... that there had been a major correction and the housing market was at or near the bottom, I also have said that I thought this would not resolve itself any time soon, and that it would take a reasonably good period of time for the sub-prime issues to move through the economy as mortgages reset. But that as, even though this, and it is a cause of concern, the impact on individual homeowners, and we care a lot about that, but I said as an economic matter I believe this was largely contained because we have a diverse and healthy economy."
In other words, he's been wrong. Not just "a little off", but stunningly and repeatedly wrong. Wrong when others have been shouting from the rooftops that the housing market and subprime lending and creative Wall Street products are going to take down the economy. What Paulson has told has been wrong, and I don't think it's an accident. He's a white guy in a suit, so you know there's a better than even chance he's lying.
The [Cheney] administration's central strategy has been repeatedly to tell courts that they have no right to review the Leader's decisions. The Military Commissions Act, the Protect America Act, the FISA Amendments Act, the Detainee Treatment Act, and the Patriot Act all provide, to one degree or another, the exact same absolute executive discretion and prohibition on judicial review that the Paulson Plan provides, and in doing so, allows the President to decide which individuals -- including Americans -- are spied on, arrested, detained, rendered, and subjected to all sorts of interrogation methods without any review at all. The administration repeatedly told Congress and courts that what they did -- in general -- was far too secret to allow any oversight or review of any kind.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
[Note: Turn the music off on the right before watching videos on the blog.]
This is not an actor. Yes, despite the zillions of public dollars spent on education, libraries, and media there really are people this piss ignorant.... and, more frightening, THEY VOTE!
We're fucked. But the video is funny (especially 2:02 to 2:08 and 3:04 to 3:21). Great entertainment, like watching the stand-up comic on the deck of the Titanic as the women and children board the lifeboats.
"Osama bin Obama. What the hell are you people thinkin'?!"
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
That sounds good on the surface--line up and whup 'em--but it will not be difficult for most defenses to force the Bears to grind it out between the 20s and kick field goals. Orton is an average-at-best starting quarterback (although his career record as a starter--13-6--is pretty terrific.) Chicago's offensive line is an injury away from train-wreck status. And rookie running back Matt Forte, though he opened eyes across the nation Sunday night, probably isn't the next Adrian Peterson.
Thirdly, Greenberg feels that the Bears "will run Forte til he drops" and this is somehow a disadvantage. Forte had 23 carries for 123 yards and took a few good hits. I hate to burst your bubble, Mr. Greenberg, but I'm not sure the Colts put that much hurt on him. He seemed to be able to scamper into the Colts' backfield any time he wanted. The hit you seemed to think was so devastating was inflicted by a safety, not the defensive line.
Greenberg's fourth point was just a sonnet about his apparent man-crush on the Colts' Dwight Freeney:
Dwight Freeney is back. Not to worry about the foot injury that ended the Colts' Pro Bowl defensive end's season in 2007.
A three-play sequence in the second quarter showed why Freeney is such a dominant player. He jumped offside, giving the Bears a first down in Colts territory. On the next play, Freeney powered through left tackle John St. Clair for an 8-yard sack. Then he fought off two blockers to tackle Forte after a 3-yard gain.
The Bears threw too many quick passes for Freeney to be a major factor, but he looked very good.
Freeney "looked very good"?!! OK, let's run this down. Freeney jumps offside and is a non-factor the entire game but, golly, he would have been better if only those nasty Bears would only have thrown the ball to him, and after all "he looked very good." Listen, I know love is blind and Freeney does have a pleasant enough smile and I have no problem with anyone's personal lifestyle preferences (my problem with Jay Mariotti had nothing to do with his life choices), but such inane drivel has no place in an objective evaluation of a football game.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Look at the video comparing Mr. Bush from 1994 to 2004. Ignore the commentary for now, but notice the obvious deterioration in his speaking skills.
According to Mr. Bush's official medical record that is made public, he takes no medication except vitamins and has no major illnesses or diagnoses. Absent, however, is any mention of a cognitive or psychiatric evaluation.
Cognitive dysfunction can occur gradually over many years and can be due to any of several factors including but not limited to infections, atherosclerosis, tumors, neuronal degeneration, substance abuse and trauma. Previous presidents, most notably Ronald Reagan and Woodrow Wilson, suffered catastrophic brain syndromes that very likely started while serving as president, and in both cases the country was put in unknown jeopardy due to a lack of judgment by its chief executive. Nixon reportedly used psychotropic drugs while in the latter days of his aborted term.
President Bush has admitted to heavy alcohol abuse as a younger man, as well as a de facto admisssion of cocaine use, both of which can cause cerebral damage. Also, Bush has been diagnosed with Lyme disease which can also have neurologic sequelae. Even without these risk factors, a high ranking official such as the US president surely warrants some evaluation from time to time.
One difference today is that scientific advances have benefited the diagnosis of mental and cognitive impairment, and also the stigma attached to such maladies has been decreasing. Neuropsychiatric evaluations are commonplace and specialists are available with objective tests that can provide insight into the extent and cause of cognitive impairment.
Why is this important? For obvious reasons the nation's well-being is contingent on having capable people at the helm. The US Constitution provides for a succession plan when the president is not able to perform his duties, and these judgments should not be left to spouses and White House staffers. Some conjecture recently surrounds Bush's conspicuous absence from the Republican Convention as possibly due to his failing mental status, which thus fueled conjecture that the speech was pre-recorded.
A reasonable approach would be to have every president and vice-president undergo a formal neuropsychiatric evaluation upon taking office and then have it repeated every 24 months or upon request of both houses of Congress. Those results should be made available to the ranking members of the Congress for action as necessary.
The planet is becoming a more complex theater of activity and the US presidency is arguably the single most powerful office in the world. We cannot afford to allow mental impairment jeopardize our well-being or the safety of the world.
I don't know if Bush is demented, but I do know that it should be considered. And we have a right and duty to know... especially if we are planning to elect septuagenarians on a regular basis.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that... I can do my job there in developing our natural resources and doing things like getting the roads paved and making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and making sure our public schools are funded... But really all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God.