Thursday, October 30, 2008

Remembering History

Been talking a lot of late about history with others in my neighborhood of my age who are rallied by the Barack Obama campaign to get active again in politics. A lot of the campaign workers are young and there are lots of questions about their feelings and they question our past too. What was it like when we were fighting against Vietnam, etc.

A friend of mine just posted the following YouTube video. I was impressed. And want to pass it on in these closing days of the campaign when we are all tired of campaign rhetoric.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Color Me Blue

I live in a decidedly Red county. We are so Republican here that most of us Democrats whisper. Yeah, whisper. In fact, my most daring move since marching to end the war in Vietnam in the 60's was to put an Obama/Biden magnet on my car. It has definitely chilled the air at the hardware store.

But at the market women friends are motioning me into quiet aisles to shake my hand. This has slowed down progress a bit but made me feel that I was not totally alone in a sea of red? BTW why did the Republicans get red?

Anyway, New Mexico has been a red state on the electoral map the last few elections. But in the last week CNN has been painting it leaning blue. That is the lighter shade of blue given to states that have a history of being heavily Democrat.

And this morning as I was reading the latest polls I discovered that New Mexico is not even considered in contention any more. It is Blue. I'm dancing. Well, not actually dancing but I am no longer whispering. Still I am the only Obama sign in my window on my street. Too early to feel too sure of myself here, but not quite as alone. I may go to the local grocery store and see if I can actually talk out loud in front of the meat and cheese counters.

You know who must be feeling really alone these days is John McCain. His running mate Sarah Palin seems to be stealing all the news coverage (about her fancy wardrobe and hairstyling) as well as drawing all the crowds at speaking events. And Obama's crowds are huge. But he does keep on keeping on. And he is the comeback kid. Heck, even he thought his naval career was over after the Forrestal incident, but Daddy pulled him out.

What scares me at this juncture is that GW (also a very lonely person just now) may allow some terrorist incident to occur just to boost McCain's numbers. For all my UK readers that is not just paranoia. It is how far the political system and our faith in it has sunk here in the United States. Between hanging chads, Supreme Court rulings they had no legal right to make, 9/11, 2004 voter registration and poll number irregularities we won't believe in the result even after it is counted of McCain comes out on top.

Obama needs such a commanding lead going into election day that to pull a switcheroo on the American people would cause rioting in the streets.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Three Party System

This image may be taking the low road but with Halloween just around the corner I could not resist it. Incidentally, it is a real photo. No playing with the digital image. McCain said he made the face because he once again tried to walk off the wrong side of the stage. Message there?

I will leave that argument for commentators. I was more interested in a statistic I read today about the numbers of Republicans and Democrats in the United States. For European readers we are not evenly split. Nor is everyone in the United States Republican or Democrat.

In 2004 these two parties were evenly split with 37% of registered voters each. Which left 26% of registered voters "Independent". Read "Independent" as none of the above which is sometimes the only choice you get besides Republican and Democrat. There are Libertarians, Green Party, American Communist Party and yes, the American Nazi Party in some states. But few of those "also rans" manage to rally to the primaries. So some people, especially here in the Mountain West, will list themselves on the rolls as Republican or Democrat in order to vote in the primary and have a voice that early on. But I digress. That may be an entirely different blog.

Today the Democrats are 37% of the registered voters (less the newly registered which have not been effectively counted yet) and the Republicans are only 29%. That less than a third of the voters in the US is now radically split between the "educated conservatives" (their term) and Joe Six Pack or the "religious right."

So both parties have been playing the the independents to put their brand over the top in this election. This is just a guess but I think the 9% drop in registered Republicans defected to the Independents because of their unwillingness to be connected with that extreme religious right the Republicans have been courting the last few elections.

Do we have a three party system? No, because independents are just that - independent thinkers. And that is especially true here in the Mountain West. Many of us moved here because we did not like the rank and file of corporate America or big city living. We are very right on some issues - we want state control of our water and other resources. And very left on others - for me that is a woman's right to control her own life, but we are very independent on our liberal issues. Getting independents to agree on issues of importance to them is rather like herding cats.

Can any two parties pull us into their fold? I doubt it. Can McCain find the right direction to exit the stage? I doubt it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Heart and Soul

I have voted already but as the old redneck saying goes I still have a dog in this hunt. I am still very carefully watching the process of this race for the White House.

Barack Obama is in Hawaii this morning with his gravely ill grandmother, and McCain is on the campaign trail running one of the most misleading and dirty campaigns in history.

Barack Obama has heart and McCain (like GW Bush) has none. Obama took time off of the most important race of his life to give Toot a hug and kiss because he doesn't think she will make it to election day.

McCain came back from Vietnam to rejoin his wife that had been in a near fatal automobile accident and was still undergoing serious reconstructive surgery and began a year long, and not very secret, affair with Cindy. He later divorced the first Mrs. McCain because sbe was no longer the tall willowly model he had married.

Why do we call him a hero? He that abandoned his captain in a burning plane and then went AWOL from the Forrestal while it was still in flames. Nero may have fiddled while Rome burned but McCain sat in the ready room watching his ship burn on closed circuit television.

Obama said on Good Morning America: "One of the things I want to make sure of is that I had a chance to sit down with her and talk to her," Obama told Roberts. "She's still alert and she's still got all her faculties. And I want to make sure that I don't miss that opportunity right now."

This man has heart and soul. And McCain has none. He is all naked ambition and has already proved he will sell his soul and his honor to become President of the United States. He is willing to betray everyone including his own ethics (frankly, after reading the Forrestal incident, I doubt he had any) to become President of the United States.

This sounds a great deal like GW Bush, who was willing to lie to the nations of the world in order to invade Iraq. Something he wanted to do since his daddy left Saddam alive when he pulled out of Dessert Storm.

We are entering (the economists now admit) a world wide recession. Who do we need at the helm of the ship of state? Someone with heart and sould that will feel what we are all going through and try to remedy it? Or someone with his own comforts and goals at heart that will be worrying only about his record as president? Sound familiar. McCain is more like Bush than he will ever admit. Vote NO to four more years of the same thing.

Note: Opening photo is of the Heart and Soul Nebulae

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Have Voted

In part because New Mexico was one of the states investigated in 2004 by the BBC for voting and registration irregularities I drove the three hour round trip to my county seat to vote early.

I drove through the ranch land dominated by McCain/Palin signs on fences to vote for Obama. I had two Democratic candidates I wanted to support and one I decidedly wanted to vote against. I wanted my vote to count. I did not want problems on election day and have to cast a provisional ballot.

I am a registered Democrat but mostly because in this state the Democrats seem to have more people running in the primaries to vote for. If the Republicans have one for every office in the primaries they are doing well. In my youth I even was on the staff of a Republican Senator who was working to end the war in Vietnam. I vote issues and people. Not parties.

Well, until this whole Red State/Blue State crap. I wore blue to vote but I refuse to be so branded. And I think we need serious reform with the Electoral College. States should be able to divide their electors on the basis of percentage of vote. We can divide our Senators and our Congressmen. I voted for Democratic Senator Udall. He has been my US Representative for a good many years and I like his approach to issues and his response to his constituency. His vacated congressional seat is being hotly contested. I don't like the Democrat Lujan or the Republican so I voted Independent. I don't think he has a snowball's chance in the Bahamas but at least I can say I did not vote and am not responsible for either of the other two.

I wish there had been, like on the multiple choice tests of college, a "none of the above" option. There were a couple instances when I would have opted for that. As it was I chose to not vote for a couple choices merely because I wanted it known that I did not approve of any choice offered me.

If either party learns anything from this election it should be that we do not like the electoral college as it stands today. I makes it so possible, as in 2000, for a person not liked by the majority of the people to be made president, and it leads to sharp divisions at a time when we should unite to solve our problems. And negative campaigning just makes it harder and harder to come together after the election.

If the parties are not going to work together for reform on elections, the electoral college, and campaign financing then we need to start a movement for a Constitutional Convention to change it ourselves.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I am Totally Confused

Everyday I read the polls. Remember when there used to be just the Gallup Poll? Oh, that it were so easy these days. There must be a hundred different polls out there. And then there are these averages of polls. The New York Times with Really Clear Politics does this and so does CNN with its Poll of Polls.

I too statistics. I know what proper polling technique is and I don't think all of these do it right or there would not be such variance. As if to prove me right I got this poll call yesterday. A national one. Not a state one. I get lots of those. Not as many since the primary is over but being a registered Democrat in a Red State gets me some not always welcome attention. Which is why this national phone call had me scratching my head.

"How sure are you that you will vote in this election?"


"Will you vote early?"

"If I find the gas money and time to drive to the county court house an hour and half from here."

"How sure are you that you will be voting for John McCain?"

"I am absolutely positive that I will not be voting for John McCain.

"You won't be voting for John McCain?

"Correct. I absolutely will not be voting for John McCain."

"Thank you for your time."

After we hung up I wondered why they would call a Democrat in this particular poll which was obviously to boost McCain poll numbers. The questions were not blind and her tone was not unbiased or neutral. I also wonder if they put a check in "will be voting for McCain" just because they didn't have a box for "absolutely positive I will not."

Sometimes it can be fun living in a Red State. Especially one that has just been painted Blue. And today I got called by the Obama Campaign and I am going to be an official Obama Poll Watcher. I am wearing my antique American Flag lapel pin which belonged to my grandmother. It has 48 stars. Sorry Hawaii but I just did not want to wear a star for Alaska. I am so embarrassed by them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Republicans Split?

Found the following interesting article this morning while browsing the web for political news:

The New York Post's Page Six reports that at a recent gathering of Republicans in mid-town Manhattan the other night, opinions were running almost universally against Sarah Palin:

NEW York Republicans are not too thrilled at the idea of Sarah Palin as their vice presidential candidate. The other night, private equity firm New Mountain Capital held a debate between James Carville and Karl Rove at Stone Rose in the Time Warner Center. When the moderator asked the 200 Republicans in the room how many were comfortable with Palin becoming president if something were to happen to John McCain, "only one man raised his hand," an attendee reports.

But here's the thing: If you convened a similar meeting of Republicans in Manhattan, Kansas, chances are they'd be in favor of Palin by a similar margin.

I believe Mike Murphy was the first to point out that Sarah Palin would be a "polarizing" choice, though he was talking about her impact on the general electorate.

But Palin has obviously ignited a split within a portion of the GOP as well. There are some Republicans - generally speaking, the upper class elites who live in the DC-NYC corridor - who are simply aghast at Palin and see her as a "fatal cancer" on the party.

But it's clear that the rank and file of the Republican party - generally speaking, the middle class folks who live in red states and don't have a problem shopping at Wal Mart - are smitten with Palin (judging by how they've been flocking to the rallies) in part because they see her as one of their own.

It has me wondering with McCain's age and iffy health issues and now Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama if there will not be other Republican defections in the voting booth.

There has been a lot of talk about the Bradley effect and whether people that publicly say they are voting for Obama will will let their secret racism carry the day inside the privacy of the voting booth. But now we have the possible Palin effect. Will a lot of Republicans in the west and east be unable to face putting Palin a heartbeat away from the Presidency? Let's hope so.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A question for my learned friends

It has been a vast number of years since I was in college and we sat around and argued the esoteric as if it really mattered. Somehow I think that if all of us had paid more attention to those discussions we might not be in this economic mess we are in today.

One of those discussions had to do with pure socialism and pure capitalism. The USSR has proven their communistic state did not reach pure socialism because of the greed of its leaders. We have just proved we could not reach pure unregulated capitalism because of the greed of our leaders and corporations. Russia is now trying capitalism and we are dipping our toes in socialism.

And I don't mean the socialism that McCain says that Obama will lead us into but the socialism that G. W. Bush has already had voted into practice: the ownership and control over our biggest "industry" the banks and investment firms. McCain wants to continue with deregulation which got us into this maelstrom which means we can yet own more industry in the US. And Obama wants controls that would not just rescue the financial firms that got themselves into this pickle but us lowly members of the middle class that are suffering because we don't have golden parachutes.

So here is the question: If there are always two ways to get to some desired goal - let us say a Utopian society like Plato wrote about - which will get us there faster? Or given that you never reach the ultimate - which will get us closer sooner.

I maintain that if John McCain were to achieve the White House and continue with the agenda that he and Sarah Palin have advocated we would see rioting in the streets. And we would also see a breakup of the United States as we know it (not unlike what went on in the USSR when communism failed). But Republican candidates advocate giving the states more discretion on their laws re abortion, etc. And since they obviously will be giving us and the states we live in less money why play? I say we get our National Guard home, make them a state militia and declare ourselves independent. Hey, Sarah advocated that for Alaska. As a resident of New Mexico I am willing to consider a compact with Utah, Colorado, and Arizona (if it kicks out the McCains).

A part of me really wants this direction. I am not overly fond of the government of late. Like the last eight years. But there would be chaos for a while and I am not sure the majority of our TV fed population could deal with chaos. And that could be a good thing as far as population reduction. I doubt they could feed themselves without microwaves.

Obama, on the other hand, offers the gentle route toward Utopia. I just think because it keeps people fat, dumb and happy (and the microwaves working) it will take one hell of a lot longer to get there. Don't get me wrong. I am voting for Obama but I have my contigency plans for a McCain victory, his death from poison, and the succession of Palin as president. God, what a nightmare.

So what do you think? What are you prepared for? This is more than three days until FEMA shows up provided it has the money to respond to any disaster these days.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Voting Fraud?

In the 2004 election New Mexico was one of the three states investigated by the BBC for voting fraud.

We have always rather excelled at the graveyard vote but this was different. We had those computerized voting machines with no paper trail and evidently a large number of those voting somehow missed voting for President. And then it was shown that with a cell phone votes could be changed from the parking lot.

New Mexico, under the leadership of Governor Bill Richardson changed over to paper ballots in the 2006 election. We were one of the first. Ohio still hasn't fully transferred back to polling with a paper trail. Nor has Florida I understand.

But irregularities at the polling places was not the only irregularity. Here in New Mexico a Republican organization in 2004 made a major drive to register voters. Seems they only registered Republican voters. And when those that thought they had registered Democrat showed up at the polls there was no record of their registration. They were allowed to cast provisional ballots but when no verification of their registration showed up the ballots were not counted.

So a couple months back someone professing to be from the Democratic Party called to ask if I wanted a mail in ballot. They would have one sent to me if I did. They said I could still take the mail in ballot to the polling place on the actual election day if I chose to do that.

My friends choosing to mail in their ballots have all received them. Once said the deadline for returning them was November 4th. I started to wonder about the information I had received over the phone so I called the Secretary of State Office. And she said that no way would I be allowed to vote on the day of the election if I was sent a mail in ballot. She referred me to the Colfax County Clerk who was very helpful. She checked the computer records and no request for a mail in ballot was made in my name. And I would have had to sign the form.

So my choices now are early voting an hour and a half from here or wait to the actual day. But there is something strange about that too. In the dozen years I have lived here we have always voted at the Community Center. They have changed it to the Angel Fire Courthouse - Clerk's office which is considerably smaller and which would require we all stand outside to wait to vote. This in November and with a far heavier than turnout expected.

So next week I am taking a day and driving to the County Clerk's office in Raton to vote. I really do not trust the process after GW cheated his way into office twice. So I am willing to go the extra miles and take the extra time to avoid being excluded from the process.

Paranoid? Maybe.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sticks and Stones

I grew up in an era where kids in my neighborhood were not so much bullied physically as verbally abused. We called it teased in those days. For reasons I have never fully understood I was teased mercilessly. I can remember any number of after school chats with one or both parents after coming home in tears. They tried to assure me that kids only teased me because they liked me. Yah!?

But it was a friend that taught me the rhyme, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me," that helped the most. But words can hurt and do hurt as G.W. Bush proved in his last presidential election with the Swift boating ads, and his constantly calling Kerry a Flip-flopper. It certainly left a very bad taste in my mouth and put me back in those school yards with the verbal bullies. I am firmly convinced they did not like me.

Senator John McCain, perhaps to set himself apart from the Republican administration promised a civil campaign on the issues and then, sorry about this, Flip-flopped. He called in the big guns (Palin has killed moose and advocates killing wolves from airplanes) and went the route of schoolyard bullies everywhere. Even worse is that his nasty and underhanded rhetoric was inciting violence among his followers. He and Sarah were stirring up racial hatreds we all thought long buried. And was a lesson for me. Today if I had used that sticks and stones rhyme I would say it silently so people would not consider it a mandate to check it out.

To McCain's credit he did on at least once occasion try to nullify the hatred he was stirring up. Too little? Too late? Where will these stirred up radicals go or do if McCain loses? And it is beginning to look like he just might. Seems I am not the only independent thinker that was teased as a child. Polls show that the electorate is responding quite negatively to the nasty campaigning of Sarah Palin and John McCain. And they are in increasing numbers disparaged by McCain's choice of Sarah as attack dog.

These are serious times it seems. And the voters, especially those still sitting on the fence, want to hear some serious answers from the presidential candidates. They are abhorred by McCain's about face regarding his campaign, and no other single decision has more aligned him with the president we all love to hate, GW Bush. We don't want more of the same as we have endured the last eight years. And that goes for policies, campaign style, and lack of looking presidential. God, but I am sick of him leaning drunkenly on the podium!

So it seems that John McCain has seen the handwriting on the wall (national polls) and is trying to clean up his act. Tonight he has the opportunity to act like an adult in the debate unlike the little finger pointing brat of the last debate (boy, but it reminded me of my brother and that isn't good). The question is whether it is too little, too late. I hope so.

But I am most concerned about the damage his rhetoric has already done to race issues here in the United States. Once you set the dogs loose it is not that easy to call them back. Will we see a rise in hate crimes here in the US because of those things a schoolyard bully with national coverage said? I certainly hope not. Shame on you John McCain.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McCain's Tragedy at Sea

As McCain continues to lean on his war record as a hero more and more blogs and websites come up with revealing "truth" and official records that counter McCain's glorification of himself.

Because both his father and grandfather were Navy Admirals there is no doubt that McCain was allowed to get away with things like his plane crashes due to foolish stunts that would have gotten other Navy pilots assigned ground duty or swabbing decks. And he admits that his father interceded more than once with his son's commanding officers.

But Truthdig has a very comprehensive and revealing article on the Forrestal incident. I urge all my readers to not merely read this report but e-mail it to your friends. Senator McCain is using lies to bolster his run for President, but McCain's actions immediately following the fire (and while it was still burning) put his line about "knowing what all men on deck means," which he used when canceling his campaign and debate because of the economic crisis.

Is this the man we want at the helm of our ship of state?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Less Than a Heartbeat?

A lot of doctors and interested parties have been calling for a complete release of Senator John McCain's medical records. He claims full disclosure. And sometime back he did hope some 400 or more pages of his medical history to a group of reporters for 45 minutes or less. Of the 22 reporters only two had medical degrees. Would you know where to turn in a medical file to find relevant information?

Or know at a glance what is relevant?

I have a sister who is a nurse and speaks in that medical jargon that at times leaves me dazed. And due to a very serious accident I got to spend a lot of time review a lot of my own medical records. Doctors speak in codes. You need to know the language to understand what you are reading. I spent hours on the Internet looking through sites such as Med Line trying to decode my own records.

Dr. S. Gupta of CNN was one of the doctor/reporters that was present during this "full-disclosure." At the time he said he saw nothing to be of concern but the medical records did not address McCain's mental health. He has since spoken of worrying signs that all is not okay with this aspect of the Republican candidate's health. Dr. Gupta is a neurosurgeon. McCain has crashed five airplanes and been beaten in a POW camp. He has suffered brain trauma.

So maybe the four melanomas coupled with his age is not the only thing to be concerned about. Those two factors put him with a 1 in 6 chance of dying within the next five years on the actuary charts that insurance companies use. This alone puts Sarah Palin uncomfortably close to being president of the United States. She already thinks it is the Palin/McCain ticket.

But perhaps even more worrying is McCain's erratic behavior and mental slips. He has some classics that I am frightfully aware of because of my closed brain trauma (CBT) six years ago. His repeating of a tag line or information multiple times in a speech and not for effect, bad temper when being question, not finishing sentences and substitution of any word that begins with the same letter, and not being able to remember the make of his car or how many homes he owns are not just "senior moments." As posted on Firedog: A McCain Brain Watch site they are indications of failing short term memory and memory of memorized or frequently accessed memory.

Deficits in these two areas impair your ability to make decisions or to access all the information necessary to make an informed decision especially when stressed or tired. This is critical with that 3 a.m. call on the redphone at the White House.

I can fully relate. For the first few years after my head injury I could come up for appropriate plans to go away for another MRI only by putting each necessary task on a 3 x 5 card and then spreading those cards around my dining room table and trying to put them in the proper order. My CBT has gotten better. And obviously for a period of time so did John McCain's. But I would never subject myself to the stress of running for high office or presume I could be President of the United States. I am fully aware of my limitations. And the prognosis for the future.

CBT puts you at greater risk of stroke, cerebral bleeds, Alzheimers, dementia, and inability to function when stressed or exhausted. It makes you quick tempered when you cannot perform to your expectations of yourself. Coupled with melanoma and his age it is not a pretty picture. But that is assuming the lapses in McCain's memory are due to the CBT and not cancer which has spread into his brain as in the instance of Senator Ted Kennedy.

So maybe it is really a Palin/McCain ticket. It has me worried enough that I have been doing research on what happens if McCain dies before the election, after the election but before the Electorial College vote, after the EC vote but before the confirmation of the vote by the House of Representatives, after that and before the inaugration. Even if I was a Republican (and I have even worked for a Republican Senator in my past) I would be totally unwilling to take the risk of voting for this ticket.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Been There, Done That

Real Clear Politics had the following quote:

"I went through this hatred that so many of the American people are going through now, but fortunately I got over it. I had all this anger for this loss for our country, a serious eight-year loss, and now I just want to say you've got to laugh, a little bit, about this whole thing. It gets so painful that humour is the only antidote. If you didn't, you'd go bonkers. You'd become a raging lunatic on a blogosphere, writing anti-Bush screeds." - Oliver Stone, in an interview with The Guardian explaining why his new movie "W." isn't "angry."

I am not sure I can say that I have gone beyond my anger at GW. And that he cheated his way into office to do this. I personally think he will rank beside Hitler and Stalin in my list of world leaders that have done the most harm. And if you argue that he did not foster the mass murder of thousands to millions I give you the Iraq War: the illegal invasion and occupation of an independent nation. We list our dead on a daily basis but seem to ignore those we have killed. Or would that seem more like a score card?

Had anyone but a United States President invaded Iraq the United Nations would have been there with troops to expel them. And if you doubt that just look at how we reacted to Russia going into Georgia.

In the eight years GW has been in office he has totally turned off all our once allies in the world, invaded an independent nation, made us a nation that tortures, thrown out all our civil liberties and rights to privacy, and gotten us into the worst financial crisis since the great depression. Yes, I said it, the Great Depression. Notice how everyone is dancing around that with other phrases?

And every single act since the Supreme Court put him in office has been illegal in the World Court or illegal in regards to the United States Constitution. But to even act like we wanted to impeach him has invited the worlds unpatriotic or traitor and the not so subtle but unspoken threat of Gitmo detention. I was Googling some aspects of the constitution the other day (can I get a law degree through Google) and discovered that who should have decided the problem of the hanging chads in 2000 was the House of Representatives. But that legal body was controlled by the Democrats. The would have sided with Gore.

So not only am I still angry with Bush and all that have conspired with him to bring us to this place in history. I am a bit disappointed in my fellow citizens. Why didn't we riot in the streets? Call for a constitutional convention? Demand his impeachment? Only one reason - 9/11. Did he allow that to happen in order to forestall all he could see happening because of his illegal occupation of the White House?

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Non-Answer Answer

I watched the debate last night. After the CBS interview with Palin that went so horribly wrong how could you not? And as circumstances happened I was pet sitting for a neighbor and went there to watch it on a real television.

And this morning I have been up reading the early media comments and blogs on the subject. Most put Senator Joe Biden as winner but some say Palin won in that she did not fall flat on her face.

She has obviously been heavily coached in the last couple of weeks and spent a lot of time reading from her notes on the podium. She also fell back on the non-answer answer that politicians have so mastered. When she did not have an answer to the question posed by the moderator she substituted an answer to a question not asked. In a college debate forum she would have lost points. Seriously lost points.

As it was she did lose points with CNN's panel of likely voters for her colloquialisms. I frankly would have slammed her for the winks and those cutesy little wiggles of her head that teenage girls do when trying to curry favor with the boys. But she is not a laughing stock of YouTube like she was after the Katie Coric interview. But she also did not provoke Biden into attacking her even when toward the end she resorted to giggles while he was answering the questions. I frankly would have slapped her and said, "Grow Up. This is serious business." I hate women that want to play on a level playing field with men and then resort to female tricks that should be beneath us even when dating.

But what was really interesting in the analysis afterwards is that most people thought she hurt McCain. Not satisfied with the Mayor-Governor-Vice President accession she was trying to position herself for a 2012 run for President. God Save the Queen. We may need to throw ourselves on the mercy of the Brits again. "Sorry, your majesty, we apologize for that tea party thing a couple centuries back. Just take control again, please."

But Joe Biden made me proud. He gave answers to the moderator's questions and stayed on subject. But I was especially for his closing statement. While Palin fell on canned campaign rhetoric (much stolen from the Obama campaign) the Senator spoke from the heart. I almost stood up from the couch and waved the flag.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bankruptcy is the American Way

Dr. Phil on his television show about four years back said that bankruptcy should be considered the one time only "Get out of jail free" card.

At the time I was recovering from an extreme on job injury and despite what everyone tells you worker's compensation did not pay the bills. I had great credit and lots of credit cards and was sure I could catch up until I encountered the bank games of raising rates if you are late (with a head injury being on time is a challenge), etc. Hey, at the same time they are raising your credit limit they are charging more and more for the privilege. So after much soul searching (and thankful both parents were dead and would not know) I filed Chapter 13. I am still paying into that trustee account and will for another year.

G. W. Bush almost immediately toughened up the bankruptcy laws to protect his credit card issuing friends, but the truth of the matter is few people enter into bankruptcy lightly and in the majority of cases it is because of medical problems and debts.

Nobody bailed me out. Nobody is bailing out those in foreclosure or those in bankruptcy. But GW wants to bail out the investment banks that created these foreclosures and bankruptcies. We will end up paying more to rescue these banks and investment firms than they are worth. They need to go bankrupt. In a reorganization bankruptcy they can get out of the golden parachute contracts. And their bad investments can be sold for what they are really worth and not some inflated figure they are cobbling up for the bailout.

Bankruptcy does not mean these firms will cease to exist. It means they will be revalued to what they are really worth and others will probably buy them up. They are currently reluctant to take offers on the table because they see a golden parachute for the whole company in this bailout pig with the lipstick calling it a rescue plan for the economy. And they are even refusing to lend money they do have to force us into urging this bailout as opposed to bankruptcy.

Yes, there will be a readjustment period but we need that. Home prices are artificially inflated. And congress needs to work on putting regulations back in place over investment and lending institutions. And the $700 billion (the ultimate price tag will probably be a great deal higher after all the blackmailing going on) can be spent to invest in our infrastructure putting people back to work at good paying jobs here in the United States building bridges and railroads and developing green energy sources.

Write your representatives and tell them to point the way to the bankruptcy courts. Do not pass go and do not collect $700 billion of taxpayers' money.