Tuesday, September 30, 2008

McCain vs. Palin

This is an exert from an article about McCain and his VP pick, Palin.

McCain's fundamental argument in pursuit of the presidency is that he has the background to do the job. He made this point again and again Friday night. "I've been involved, as I mentioned to you before, in virtually every major national security challenge we've faced in the last 20-some years. There are some advantages to experience, and knowledge, and judgment." Or, "The important thing is I visited Afghanistan and I traveled to Waziristan and I traveled to these places and I know what our security requirements are."

And so therefore I picked a running mate who didn't have a passport two years ago? Asked about that by Katie Couric, Palin explained that "I'm not one of those who maybe come from a background of, you know, kids who perhaps graduated college and their parents get them a passport and a backpack and say, 'Go off and travel the world.'"

Instead, Palin said, "the way that I have understood the world is through education, through books, through mediums that have provided me a lot of perspective on the world."

This would be more reassuring if Palin had demonstrated more evidence of having read extensively about history or world affairs. Asked in an interview for PBS' Charlie Rose last year (www.charlierose.com/guests/sarah-palin) about her favorite authors, Palin cited C.S. Lewis -- "very, very deep" -- and Dr. George Sheehan, a now-deceased writer for Runner's World magazine whose columns Palin still keeps on hand.

"Very inspiring and very motivating," she said. "He was an athlete and I think so much of what you learn in athletics about competition and healthy living that he was really able to encapsulate, has stayed with me all these years."

Also, she got a Garfield desk calendar for Christmas 1987 that made a big impression.

Trust and the Economy

In 1929, Meyer Mishkin owned a shop in New York that sold silk shirts to workingmen. When the stock market crashed that October, he turned to his son, then a student at City College, and offered a version of this sentiment: It serves those rich scoundrels right.

A year later, as Wall Street’s problems were starting to spill into the broader economy, Mr. Mishkin’s store went out of business. He no longer had enough customers. His son had to go to work to support the family, and Mr. Mishkin never held a steady job again.

Frederic Mishkin — Meyer’s grandson and, until he stepped down a month ago, an ally of Ben Bernanke’s on the Federal Reserve Board — told me this story the other day, and its moral is obvious enough. Many people in Washington fear that the country is starting to spiral into a terrible downturn. And to their horror, they see the public, and many members of Congress, turning into modern-day Meyer Mishkins, more interested in punishing Wall Street than saving the economy.

The NY Times has a good article regarding the financial crisis and trust.

Rep. Pete Stark has lost my vote

I can't believe that my own congressman voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.

I have friends that can't get loans to purchase a house, because the banks are tied up in knots. When I listened to Rep. Stark talk on KGO, I couldn't believe what he said. When the talk show host said that he couldn't purchase a car because his bank can't figure out if it is going to issue a loan or not, Stark dismissed the possibility that frozen credit is a problem and instead started ranting about people shouldn't buy SUVs, but should instead buy cars with four cylinder engines... like the ones made in the Numi plant here in Fremont.

I was surprised when I read that he cast his vote against the act, but I was even more stunned at the hairball excuses and lame platitudes. Bitching about Bush, blaming people who drive SUVs, and blatantly ignoring the problems credit market was too much for me. I don't plan on casting my vote for Stark again, until he pulls his head out of his ass and figures out that his partisan rancor might be valid, but the stakes are too god damned high to watch the economy collapse just so he can blame the Bush Administration.

I think the best comment on the recovery bill was summed up by an electoral vote website I periodically visit.

For a lot of ordinary Americans, this crisis reminds them of the story "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." As the Washington Post put it: "The leaders of the country said: Trust Us. The people said: Not this time." Too many people still remember about how the administration said we had to invade Iraq right now with no time for debate because, as Condi Rice put it, "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud". Maybe there is a wolf this time, but the administration has no credibility any more.

I can understand why Republicans defected. They foolishly hate even the concept of regulation, and believe that lifting a finger to help the market would doom the nation to Euro-style socialism (which is the new Communism in the 21st century). They might be stupid, but at least they are consistently stupid.

What amazes me about Democrats like Rep. Stark is that they are willing to cut off their nose in order to spite their face. Regardless of Bush's reputation and history of broken promises, even a broken clock is right twice a day. The vote against the idea because the messenger has no credibility is simply beyond the pale, especially when there is more than enough evidence that the credit markets are hosed and this plan (when used in Sweden) actually works and could turn a profit.

But no, we have to say "bailout" over and over again. We toss around "$700 billion" like it's an impossibily huge sum, and ignore not only the $600 spending bill congress passed last weekend and the fact that our economy is 15 trillion dollars. We can't possibly view it as an investment in the markets, to not only insure that our economy doesn't tank, but one that will make money back? I mean, it's not like they are going to toss this money into the sea or set it on fire.

This whole thing amazes me, and I hope that the Senate passes the bill... and give Rep. Stark a chance to earn my vote back by supporting it when it comes back up in the house.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bush's Approval Rating Drops to 19%

In case you are curious, Nixon had a 24% approval rating by the time he resigned.


Palin interviewed by Couric

This is why John McCain doesn't let his VP hold many interviews.

COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land– boundary that we have with– Canada. It– it’s funny that a comment like that was– kind of made to– cari– I don’t know, you know? Reporters–


PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our– our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They’re in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia—

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.


COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? … Instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: Ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions.

This is a bad sign...

Read all about it

Chinese regulators have told domestic banks to stop interbank lending to U.S. financial institutions to prevent possible losses during the financial crisis, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

Lets hear it for the invisible hand of the free market

The Subprime Primer

It's amazing what McCain will do to dodge a debate

Even if it appears to be driving our country closer to a depression.

First, it appears that the Republicans and Democrats have come to an agreement over the bill which will be the difference between depression and recession. Then, John McCain decides to look like a maverick by showing up and "rescuing" the meeting which apparently the banking committee (who is in charge of these negotiations) has apparently resolved everyone's issues. Ie, he is showing up just in the nick of time to show up for the photo op, even though he is part of the crew that caused this mess through massive deregulation of our markets... Unfortunately, his appearance did exactly what people said it would do and injected election year politics into the most important financial decision in our lifetime. Now the Republicans have largely pulled out of the agreement and want to spend some time coming up with alternative measures.

I expected the Republicans to deep-six a bipartian desire to save the country, but I find it even more ironic to hear them say "Country First" while they are doing it.

Lord, I can't wait until I can cast my vote for Obama.

My bank just bit the dust

Fun fun! Washington Mutual is now the largest bank to fail in U.S. history.

The only question now is when JPMorgan Chase will send me the a letter and new card so I can access those ten sheckles in my account that aren't owed to someone other than me.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I was surprised to find that Time has a good primer regarding Palin and Troopergate, which is something well worth reading... considering that she stands a good chance of becoming the 45th President of the United States.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Perry Bible Fellowship

I keep asking myself, how did I live without this comic?

Kira goes to Kindergarten

Kira stepping out the door and heading to school.

Kira with her best friend (and neighbor) Sophia.
Both of them are in the same class.

Kira with Mrs. Dotson, who was also Danica's Kindergarten teacher.

Kira going into class... the first day of school...
with at least sixteen more years to go! :)

Danica playing soccer!

Friday, September 5, 2008

More dirt on Sarah Palin

More dirt on the annoying evangelical VP.


Palin, Earmarks and the Bridge to Nowhere

Palin loved pork before she hated it with John McCain
Alaska receives the largest amount of government pork from Washington, when pressed to reduce earmark requests (from Bush no less), Palin reduced the amount of government money Alaska begs for by a whopping two percent. Let's hear it for the reformer...

From AP:
"John McCain touts Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a force in the his battle against earmarks and entrenched power brokers, but under her leadership the state this year asked for almost $300 per person in requests for pet projects from one of McCain's top adversaries: indicted Sen. Ted Stevens.

That's more than any other state received, per person, from Congress for the current budget year, and runs counter to the reformer image that Palin and the McCain campaign are pushing. Other states got just $34 worth of local projects per person this year, on average, according to Citizens Against Government Waste, a Washington-based watchdog group.

Palin actually reduced the state government's requests for special projects this year to 31 earmarks totaling $198 million, about $295 person, in the wake of President Bush's demand for a cutback in earmarks."

Palin Supported The Bridge To Nowhere
During her unveiling as McCain’s running mate, Palin claimed that she said, “Thanks, but no thanks” to federal funding for the Bridge to Nowhere. But in her 2006 campaign for governor, Palin repeatedly expressed support for the bridge project.

This link is to an article published in the Anchorage Daily News in 2006, which consisted of a questionnaire and answers for the then-prospective candidates for Governor in Alaska.
"5. Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?
Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now - while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist."

Reduced posting rate...

.. that's what happens when work blocks Blogger. ;)

So it goes.