Grave concerns about Cap and Tax treaty

November 3, 2009

I am in favor of engaging in practices that protect our environment. I urge great caution signing a treaty that undermines the U.S. Constitution and our ability to be agile in the world economy.

I’ve been pretty distracted with many other important issues as of late and have not kept up with this particular issue. Many Americans are equally distracted and lack insight into this proposed treaty.

Today, I received a message from a good friend asking me to look at this 4-minute long YouTube video:

The Obama Administration needs to be very careful about “doing the right thing for America” with respect to this opportunity. If it does not meet our needs and/or undermines the US in any way, we should reject this treaty unless it is appropriately modified.

A huge signing party is apparently planned for next month in Copenhagen. The US need not get caught up in the moment. If it isn’t right, don’t bind us to it. As it stands right now, it should not be ratified by the U.S.

What do you think?

Democrat Dave


70% Say Sarah Palin Not Qualified

October 28, 2009

Seventy percent of “those polled” say Sarah Palin is not qualified to be President of the United States.

What’s wrong with thirty percent? Should the figure not be 100%?

What do you think?

Democrat Dave


To the Cheney’s: please go away

August 31, 2009

I’m not looking for your opinions on terrorism, the actions of certain CIA operatives during the Bush Administration, or anything else.

I, along with half the American population and 80% of the world’s population, endured 8 years of your crap.

I don’t want to hear or read about any one with the last name of Cheney in the news.

We know your positions. Please go away and stay away. Thanks!

Enough!

Democrat Dave


Top 5 health care reform lies

August 11, 2009

Courtesy of MoveOn.org:

The health care fight has turned ugly, fast. Right-wing mobs are crashing congressional town halls,1 lies are spreading via anonymous email chains,2 and Sarah Palin bizarrely said that President Obama was going to set up a “death panel,” whatever that is.3

Many of these claims are just incredible—but if we don’t fight back with the truth, the right will continue to poison the health care debate. So as part of our Real Voices for Change campaign this August, we’re working to set the record straight.

Check out the list below: “Top Five Health Care Lies—and How to Fight Back.” Can you spread the word by passing this email along to 10 of your friends today?

Also, if you’re on Facebook, please post the list today by clicking here: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51746. If you’re on Twitter, retweet: @MoveOn Check out the Top 5 Health Care Lies—and How to Fight Back. http://bit.ly/Bncs5

Top Five Health Care Reform Lies—and How to Fight Back

Lie #1: President Obama wants to euthanize your grandma!!!

The truth: These accusations—of “death panels” and forced euthanasia—are, of course, flatly untrue. As an article from the Associated Press puts it: “No ‘death panel’ in health care bill.”4 What’s the real deal? Reform legislation includes a provision, supported by the AARP, to offer senior citizens access to a professional medical counselor who will provide them with information on preparing a living will and other issues facing older Americans.5

Lie #2: Democrats are going to outlaw private insurance and force you into a government plan!!!

The truth: With reform, choices will increase, not decrease. Obama’s reform plans will create a health insurance exchange, a one-stop shopping marketplace for affordable, high-quality insurance options.6 Included in the exchange is the public health insurance option—a nationwide plan with a broad network of providers—that will operate alongside private insurance companies, injecting competition into the market to drive quality up and costs down.7

If you’re happy with your coverage and doctors, you can keep them.8 But the new public plan will expand choices to millions of businesses or individuals who choose to opt into it, including many who simply can’t afford health care now.

Lie #3: President Obama wants to implement Soviet-style rationing!!!

The truth: Health care reform will expand access to high-quality health insurance, and give individuals, families, and businesses more choices for coverage. Right now, big corporations decide whether to give you coverage, what doctors you get to see, and whether a particular procedure or medicine is covered—that is rationed care. And a big part of reform is to stop that.

Health care reform will do away with some of the most nefarious aspects of this rationing: discrimination for pre-existing conditions, insurers that cancel coverage when you get sick, gender discrimination, and lifetime and yearly limits on coverage.9 And outside of that, as noted above, reform will increase insurance options, not force anyone into a rationed situation. 

Lie #4: Obama is secretly plotting to cut senior citizens’ Medicare benefits!!!

The truth: Health care reform plans will not reduce Medicare benefits.10 Reform includes savings from Medicare that are unrelated to patient care—in fact, the savings comes from cutting billions of dollars in overpayments to insurance companies and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.11

Lie #5: Obama’s health care plan will bankrupt America!!!

The truth: We need health care reform now in order to prevent bankruptcy—to control spiraling costs that affect individuals, families, small businesses, and the American economy.

Right now, we spend more than $2 trillion dollars a year on health care.12 The average family premium is projected to rise to over $22,000 in the next decade13—and each year, nearly a million people face bankruptcy because of medical expenses.14 Reform, with an affordable, high-quality public option that can spur competition, is necessary to bring down skyrocketing costs. Also, President Obama’s reform plans would be fully paid for over 10 years and not add a penny to the deficit.15

We’re closer to real health care reform than we’ve ever been—and the next few weeks will decide whether it happens. We need to make sure the truth about health care reform is spread far and wide to combat right wing lies.

Can you forward this email to your friends today? And remember, also post it on Facebook by clicking here: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51746. And on Twitter, by retweeting: @MoveOn Check out the Top 5 Health Care Lies—and How to Fight Back. http://bit.ly/Bncs5

Thanks for all you do.

–Nita, Kat, Ilya, Michael and the rest of the team

P.S. Want more? Check out this great new White House “Reality Check” website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/ or this excellent piece from Health Care for America Now on some of the most outrageous lies: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51729&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=1

Sources:

1. “More ‘Town Halls Gone Wild’: Angry Far Right Protesters Disrupt Events With ‘Incomprehensible’ Yelling,” Think Progress, August 4, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51733&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=2

2. “Fight the smears,” Health Care for America NOW, accessed August 10, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51729&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=3

3. “Palin Paints Picture of ‘Obama Death Panel’ Giving Thumbs Down to Trig,” ABC News, August 7, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51728&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=4

4. “No ‘death panel’ in health care bill,” The Associated Press, August 10, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51747&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=5

5. “Stop Distorting the Truth about End of Life Care,” The Huffington Post, July 24, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51730&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=6

6. “Reality Check FAQs,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed August 11, 2009.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq#i1

7. “Why We Need a Public Health-Care Plan,” The Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51737&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=7

8. “Obama: ‘If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep Your Doctor,'” The Wall Street Journal, 15, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51736&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=8

9. “Reality Check FAQs,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed August 10, 2009.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq#r1

10. “Obama: No reduced Medicare benefits in health care reform,” CNN, July 28, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51748&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=9

11. “Reality Check FAQs,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed August 10, 2009.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq#s1

12. “Reality Check FAQs,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed August 10, 2009.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq#c1

13. “Premiums Run Amok,” Center for American Progress, July 24, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51667&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=10

14. “Medical bills prompt more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies,” CNN, June 5, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51735&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=11

15. “Reality Check FAQs,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed August 10, 2009.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq#c1

Sources for the Five Lies:

#1: “A euthanasia mandate,” The Washington Times, July 29, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51732&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=12

#2: “It’s Not An Option,” Investor’s Business Daily, July 15, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51743&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=13

#3: “Rationing Health Care,” The Washington Times, April 21, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51742&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=14

#4: “60 Plus Ad Is Chock Full Of Misinformation,” Media Matters for America, August 8, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51734&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=15

#5: “Obama’s ‘Public’ Health Plan Will Bankrupt the Nation,” The National Review, May 13, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51744&id=16778-7179639-h3aVIex&t=16

Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.


Birther movement can stand down

July 23, 2009

There are still a couple of people who question whether or not Barack Obama meets the citizenship requirements necessary to be President of the United States of America.

He does meet the requirements.  Check out this video clip (double-click the word “video”).

Is John Stewart the only reliable source for journalistic investigation?

What do you think?

Democrat Dave


Screw the GOP on universal health care

July 20, 2009

The Republican party as the party of  “no” (as in “no ideas,” “no solutions other than the status quo”)  is doing everything they can to undermine universal health care.   You can sense the fear in them that the status quo they created is about to be history.

These buffoons led by Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh really don’t care about America–they care about power and doing everything they can to undermine Barack Obama to give the GOP a chance to win in 2012.  It’s not going to work.  The American people are smarter than that.

We have all the frickin’ money to pay for wars that the last Republican administration got us into to yet we can’t take care of  ourselves with respect to health care?  I think not.

This isn’t an issue of money; it’s an issue of priorities.

The GOP has the wrong priorities for America.

The GOP doesn’t want government involvement in health care as they don’t want government making decisions for Americans yet they forget that, for those who are fortunate enough the have health insurance, insurance companies make decisions ever day with no oversight from anyone.  Who do you think is benefiting from that?

The World Health Organization has US Quality at 37th and ON PAR with CUBA and Slovenia and below Chile and Costa Rica !

Rank Country

1 France
2 Italy
3 San Marino
4 Andorra
5 Malta
6 Singapore
7 Spain
8 Oman
9 Austria
10 Japan
11 Norway
12 Portugal
13 Monaco
14 Greece
15 Iceland
16 Luxembourg
17 Netherlands
18 United Kingdom
19 Ireland
20 Switzerland
21 Belgium
22 Colombia
23 Sweden
24 Cyprus
25 Germany
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
28 Israel
29 Morocco
30 Canada
31 Finland
32 Australia
33 Chile
34 Denmark
35 Dominica
36 Costa Rica
37 United States of America
38 Slovenia
39 Cuba

The GOP needs to take a sabbatical and quit blocking and tackling merely in the hope that they will look more attractive in the next election cycle.

The GOP continues to be the party of FUD: fear, uncertainty and doubt.  They aren’t the party of ideas–they just want to throw stones at anyone and everything that doesn’t think like they do.  They think that “doing the right thing” such as providing health care for our citizen is “socialism.” As far as I’m concerned, they are guilty of ignoramus-ism and buffoonery.

It’s important to remember that only about 21% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans.  Let’s not let that small minority undermine something this important to American.

I urge the Democrats to fashion the best program they can and vote it in.  Don’t wait for the GOP to get on board.

What do you think?

Democrat Dave


Sarah Palin not leaving politics

July 12, 2009

The Associated Press is reporting today that Sarah Palin is not leaving politics. Now, I can truly say my prayer has been answered.

I can’t begin to tell you how happy this news makes me.  Ever since the ambiguities in her stunning July 3rd announcement, I’ve felt a lot of trepidation that she might be leaving politics all together.

Thankfully, we’ve learned today, that that is not the case.

Let’s do some quick math to really understand the impact of this news.  70% of Republicans like Sarah.  Impressive.

However, only 21% of the US population today identifies themselves as a Republican.  So, that means Sarah has the support of a little less than 15% of the US population.

Hmmm.  She’s going to need to pick up a few votes from Democrats to pull this off.   But, with her charm, charisma, eloquence and interviewing skills, it should be a piece of cake.  She’s magnetic.  All she needs to do is avoid contact with that mean ol’ main stream media, and, everything should be just fine.

Sarah’s staying in politics is great news for the US taxpayers as well. The comedy industry won’t be in need of stimulus package for the foreseeable future.

The contrast Sarah provides against the Democrats is dramatic!  Sarah Palin in 2012!!

What do you think?

Democrat Dave


Ahmadinejad Likens Obama to Bush

June 25, 2009

Right.  I have to laugh at the utter foolishness of this sentiment.

It shows what an out of control mad man Ahmadinejad really is.

After Barack Obama’s speech in the Middle East, just about every Islamic group understands that there is a significant difference between Bush and Obama.  Even Hammas is saying that the situation is different now.

In order for people like Ahmadinejad to survive, he needs to create the image of the “evil empire” (that would be the USA) being anti-Iran and anti-Islamic.

This metaphor isn’t going to work.  People are smarter than that.

It’s time for the will of the people to be heard in Iran.  It’s time for the people to thank the clerics for what they do, but, to separate church and state.

Is this a pro-Iranian position?  Yes.  Yet, I’d bet Ahmadinejad would suggest otherwise.  He’d probably accuse me of being like George Bush.  Sure.

What do you think?

Democrat Dave


Welcome home, Senator Specter

April 28, 2009

I’ve always admired the integrity and courage of Senator Arlen Specter…today my admiration for him has never been higher.

It is rare that a politician changes parties.  I changed parties.  I used to be a staunch Republican.  But, no more.

I’m a proud Democrat and I welcome Arlen Specter to our party.  He, too, has finally seen the light.

The Republican party is on the wrong side of issues and Republicans can continue to ignore that fact to their own peril.  They have become the party of “no ideas” and are catering to a smaller and smaller base.

As long as the Republicans associate themselves with Rush Limbaugh, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, et. al., their fortunes will erode further.  Senator Specter gets it!  John McCain’s daughter, Meghan, gets it!

I’m sure many Republicans will be at the bar tonight hanging their heads thinking, “Arlen Specter never was one of us.”   Sure.

Welcome home, Senator Specter–welcome home.

What do you think?

Democrat Dave


The Limbaugh culture & the true cost of Iraq war

March 21, 2009

I was out of town for a consulting conference this past week and got into a direct and terse conversation with a McCain-Palin voter.  She seemed only able to spit out Limbaugh/Fox News/GOP talking points about the contributions Bush and Cheney made during their time in office.  This story would be laughable if it weren’t true.

This woman lives in Virginia, not too far from Washington D.C., is in her 60’s, and continues to be fearful about the events surrounding 9/11.   She believes that:

  • Whatever Bush/Cheney did, it was warranted because we’ve not suffered an attack on U.S. soil since 9/11
  • She doesn’t think that Bush/Cheney should be charged with war crimes
  • She stated “the only reason Barack Obama was elected was because he was black”
  • That Barack Obama has to be corrupt because he comes from Chicago
  • That we were fully justified going into Iraq
  • That Presidents no longer need a Declaration of War from Congress–that has become passe’
  • She blamed Bush’s  and the McCain-Palin ticket’s problems on the “main stream media”

I’d had enough.  As my wife says, you don’t want to get in my cross-hairs on issues I feel strongly about.  While it is uncommon to have such a  discussion in the midst of 10 colleagues, I had to confront her on what I feel is complete B.S.  And, I’m not sorry I did.

You see, one of the women in our group was a Captain in the Army who supported the medical mission in Iraq.  She and her husband both served in Iraq concurrently.  It just so happened this woman’s mother was in our group as well.

I oppose putting any American soldiers in harms way:

  • Under false pretenses (WMD)
  • To support nation building
  • To support a police action
  • For anything less than full-on military battle to win a stated objective

To commit as much money, resources, dead and wounded Americans as a result of an undeclared war is not only unconstitutional but wrong.

This woman seemed disinterested in hearing that (while we focus on the over 4,000 service men and women who have lost their lives in this conflict) about 30,000 have suffered injuries, some so catastrophic that their lives are changed forever.  My sense is that she felt entitled to this benefit because it made her feel safer.

The Captain’s mother told us she had been to San Antonio to visit the troops in a rehabilitation center treating some of the most traumatic injuries.  She said she went up to one person who was disfigured beyond belief including missing limbs, looked at him and said, “Thank you for your service.”  His reply:  “Thank you for looking me in the eyes.”   We knew what she meant–his injuries were so horrific that most could not even look at him.  Oh, my God.  What have we done and for what?

I pointed out that America’s standing in the world increased immensely the day Barack Obama was elected.  My colleague asked how our standing in the world had changed merely because of the election?  She did not seem to understand that Bush/Cheney had diminished our standing in the world. How can anyone be so disconnected from reality?

She didn’t know that back when Bush was re-elected, 80% of the world’s population had wanted Bush to not be re-elected.  She didn’t seem to understand that, even with an outstanding individual such as Colin Powell as Secretary of State, the U.S. forgot how to use diplomacy to explore solutions.

This woman believes that torture is okay as long as it keeps us safe.  How naive!

This woman is in that 30% minority of Americans whose thoughts bewilder me beyond belief.

The key insight I got from this is that it is her personal fear that drives these beliefs.  How sad for us all.

What do you think?

Democrat Dave


Obama & Guantanamo–rash decision?

January 30, 2009

Many (mostly Republicans) believe that Barack Obama made a rash decision to close Guantanamo, the place where the Bush Administration housed people labeled as “enemy combatants.”

Several weeks ago, I was of the opinion that we shouldn’t close Guantanamo.  I believed the correct answer was simply more transparency of everything going on there.

Now, after further reflection, I can tell you that I agree with Barack Obama.  Guantanamo has become little more than a international symbol of disgrace for the United States due to the lack of transparency by the Bush Administration.

Barack Obama certainly got it right. We should close this installation as quickly as possible.  Transparency is not going to overcome negativity in the international community.

What do you think?

Democrat Dave


Republicans looking to jumpstart the economy

January 26, 2009

After driving the economy into the ditch, do the Republicans really think they offer the leadership and insights to “jumpstart the economy?”  What a ludicrous thought!

Thankfully, the GOP lost the last election cycle.  Can you imagine if McCain and the GOP were in charge now?

The standard GOP refrain is to simply “lower personal income taxes” not to spend money on a stimulus package.

Excuse me, but, how does “lowering personal income taxes” help the person who doesn’t have a job?  How dumb does the GOP think we all are out here anyway?

The stimulus package is a lifeline to create meaningful jobs to bridge us from where we are to where we need to be.

I, for one, am not looking for any additional GOP “leadership” about how to fix the economy anymore than I’d be looking for Captain Hazelwood–the Captain of the Exxon-Valdez–to offer suggestions about how to maneuver an oil tanker through Alaskan waters.

Every day of delay further puts our economy at risk.  Under GOP “leadership”–George Bush and Henry Paulson–we’ve already sunk about $700 billion in bailouts to Wall Street and I’ve yet to understand how we are better off.  Can anybody explain this to me?

As far as I’m concerned, the GOP needs to shut the f__k up on matters of economic policy and let the Barack Obama lead the way.  If the GOP continues to look like obstructionists, things will only get worse for them in the 2010 election cycle.

Barack Obama correctly pointed out that “he won” the election.  We need change.  GOP–get out of the way.  Try to become part of the solution rather than remaining part of the problem.

What do you think?  Democrat Dave


Bush-Cheney nightmare is over

January 22, 2009

It’s absolutely wonderful to awaken knowing  the 8-year Bush-Cheney nightmare is over.

You could see the joy in the faces of people at the inauguration.  Nearly 2 million people showed up in person in Washington, D.C., to celebrate President Obama’s election to the highest office in the land and the departure of one of the least popular administrations in our nation’s history.

I am absolutely in favor of prosecuting the prior administration for its illegal acts, particularly for any war crimes that were committed.

When the President of the United States announces to the world, “We do not torture,” and then allows and even condones “aggressive interrogation techniques” previously defined in international law as “torture,” we cannot turn the other cheek.

Prosecution of war crimes is not a partisan undertaking.  It establishes that no one is above the law, even the President of the United States.  We can allow the international community to pursue such prosecutions–that is certainly acceptable to me.

I understand that Barack Obama does not want to be distracted from the critical tasks at hand nor does he want his administration to get bogged down in what many would say is a partisan issue.  But, his administration can’t simply ignore past illegal acts.

Today, Barack Obama enjoys the approval of more than 80% of the American people.  I’m delighted that he and his team are in charge and wish them well leading us back from the brink.

What do you think?  Democrat Dave


20 days and counting–no more Bush-Cheney

December 31, 2008

I can’t wait until Noon on January 20th, 2009, when Bush and Cheney head off to retirement.  I won’t miss that smirk.

I’ve had a quiet few weeks and have not posted much since the election.  I needed to take a break, sit back and observe the political world while I attended to some business matters.

If you’re like me, you probably wish the Bush-Cheney team had stepped aside back before Thanksgiving, yielding to the Obama-Biden team.   While there is still the vacuum of leadership from Bush, he’s apparently been busy looking for ways to erode environmental and labor protections.

What am I excited about?

  • The incoming Obama-Biden team replacing Bush-Cheney
  • Our troops get a new Commander in Chief
  • The new cabinet is getting praise from Republicans  and Democrats alike
  • Colin Powell’s candor just before the election
  • A really smart, capable guy is going to be President in 20 days
  • The Iraqi government has expressed the intent to get our troops out just as Barack Obama had suggested for months
  • That the McCain-Palin ticket didn’t prevail in the last election
  • Al Franken becoming a U.S. Senator for the state of Minnesota

What irritates me?

  • Bush and Cheney will likely get away with war crimes
  • That the Bush administration was able to undermine our Constitution, our economy, our environment, our regulatory processes, our standing in the world, and will face no consequences
  • There’s no accountability for Paulson and Bernake
  • I don’t know if any of the $350 billion Paulson has spent is yielding or will yield economic benefits–can anyone explain this to me?
  • That Paulson and Bernake made a case for the urgent need to buy up “toxic mortgage debt” to get the economy moving and then bought none
  • Why we’re focused on what little bailout money the U.S. auto industry is receiving ($17 billion) yet we aren’t keeping our eyes on the Wall Street bailout which continues to move along under “cover of darkness”
  • AIG’s bailout money has quietly increased from $80 billion to over $125 billion–how come?
  • How the SEC–after being tipped off about a scam Bernie Madoff was perpetrating on investors–looked the other way and how this negligence has a price tag of $50 billion.  Madoff is spending his days/nights in his luxurious New York apartment while his victims spend their days living with untold anguish.
  • The arrogance of Bush, Cheney, Ted Stevens, Norm Coleman and Blagojevich

What do you think?

Happy New Year!!    Democrat Dave


Bailout the U.S. auto industry–ludicrous statements from leadership

November 17, 2008

The U.S. automotive industry is about to fall off a steep cliff.  They are asking for bailout money.  Yet, here’s the posturing taking place:

  • The United Autoworker’s Union (UAW) is saying they will make no concessions as the problem is with the economy, not with anything related to the UAW.  Right!
  • Rick Wagoner, the Chairman of GM, says he isn’t willing to take money if there are any conditions associated with the receipt of bailout funds.  Sure!

Earth to auto industry–earth to auto industry:

  • The UAW will make significant concessions.  If they don’t, they’ll force the auto makers into bankruptcy which will eliminate all union contracts immediately.  How would they like that?
  • The management of these companies will accept conditions–they can’t risk “standing on principle” and letting their companies go down the tubes.

No one is happy about the idea of bailing out the U.S. auto makers.  If it weren’t for the larger impact on the economy, it probably would be a reasonable idea to let them die.  They’ve adopted the wrong strategy and are horribly positioned for the current economic climate.

The incoming Democratic President and the Democratic Congress are going to have to “do this right.”  We can’t simply throw good money after bad.

And, finally, the auto industry management and UAW are going to need to come to terms with the notion that they lack little bargaining power at this juncture.  Fundamental change has to occur and occur as a condition of bailout funding.

What do you think?  Democrat Dave


$700 billion bailout–how are we doing?

November 12, 2008

The bailout isn’t going well from my perspective.  Paulson is making stuff up as he goes which is pretty much what he told Congress he wanted to do just prior to the legislation passed granting him authority to spend the first $350 billion of the $700 billion bailout. 

Henry Paulson has a lot of control and no real accountability for how this money is allocated.  If he’s right, then we–the taxpayers–might benefit.  If he’s wrong, oh well–it sucks to be us.

Back when this “program” was sold to Congress, a big portion of the plan was to buy up “toxic assets”–mortgages that had gone bad and created a liquidity crisis of historic proportions. 

Today, Paulson announced that he’s decided to go in a different direction and not buy the toxic mortgage assets.  Huh?  This was at the root of the crisis just a few weeks ago.  Now, it’s no big deal?  What’s wrong with this picture?

The markets are in a turmoil over Paulson’s sudden change in direction.  Buying the “toxic assets” was the core rationale for the bailout.  This latest Paulson decision seems to be nuts.  Wall Street agrees.  Main Street has to be asking if Paulson really knows what he is doing. Or, is Paulson like the Wizard of Oz–the guy behind the curtain making adjustments that may not matter?

AIG, the insurance giant, was to be the beneficiary of an $80 billion bailout.  [Note: This $80 billion is NOT part of the $700 billion bailout.]  This week, AIG needs another $40 billion.  Really?  Are we sure?  Of course not.  It should be noted that the former president of AIG, Hank Greenberg, stated that he could have saved the company with $20 billion.  He didn’t get the chance.

The auto industry is falling off a cliff.  They’d like an additional $25 billion over the already committed $25 billion.  And, what does this do?  Give them cash which they will blow through like a cocaine addict blows through cash.  We can’t bail them out unless there are systemic changes to correct the auto industry business models that simply no longer serve them or the consumer.  You can’t keep throwing good money after bad.

One of my consulting colleagues up in New England tells the lobster fishermen are loosing their butts this year as the current market price is $3.50 a pound, less per pound than I’m paying for hamburger to add my dog’s food out West.  Yikes!   My colleague claims they may be looking for a bailout. Why not?  Will a billion do it?

What do you think?  Democrat Dave


It’s Veteran’s Day–a day to give thanks

November 11, 2008

Today is the day we honor our veterans and active-duty soldiers for their service to our country.  I encourage you to take a moment and reach out to those who have served or are serving this great nation and tell them how much you appreciate their service to our country. 

American Heroes

American Heroes

One of my close friends, a gentleman named Hank up in Reno, NV, served on PT boats in the South Pacific during World War II.  I feel lucky to know him–a lot of people like Hank didn’t make it back home.

Hank claims the “heroes” are those who have died in service.  We don’t agree on this point.  The heroes are those who serve, not simply those who die.

Democrat Dave


What’s Up with Alaska Voters and Ted Stevens?

November 9, 2008

It’s hard to believe that Ted Stevens is leading in the vote tallying going on in Alaska for a U.S. Senate seat.  Ted Stevens, also known as ConvicTED Stevens, was found guilty of 7 felonies for failing to disclose gifts he received as required by Senate disclosure policies. 

He’s proclaimed his innocence (like the vast majority of convicted felons) and has stated that, until his appeals process is completed, he’s considered innocent.  Really?

Sarah Palin and John McCain called for him to step down after his conviction but, since the election, Sarah Palin has backed away from her request–perhaps she doesn’t want to alienate a large block of Republican voters–those who support Ted Stevens.

Does anyone else find this ironic?  How could Alaskans vote to re-elect Stevens?  Why do they want a convicted felon representing them?  What must they be thinking?

My gut tells me that there may be a method to the madness.  The Republicans want him to win now so when he’s kicked out of the U.S. Senate, there’s a greater chance a Republican will secure the seat he is forced to give up.

But seriously–voting for a convicted felon is over the top.

What do you think?  Any Alaskans care to weigh in?

Democrat Dave


Protect yourself from voter fraud

November 2, 2008

From the Obama-Biden campaign, comes this informative video:

Please vote Obama-Biden on November 4th!! Democrat Dave


Sarah Palin pranked by Canadian radio DJ’s-complete audio

November 2, 2008

Congratulations to Sarah Palin’s staff for doing such an effective job protecting her from this prank.  That this happened is unbelievable. Enjoy!

Obama-Biden in 2008! Democrat Dave


Sarah Palin–the face of the Republican party in 2012

November 2, 2008

I say “hooray” to this idea.  Her brand is just what America needs to ensure there’s a Democrat in the White House.  Bring it on, Sarah!!

Democrat Dave


Special measure on San Francisco ballot to honor George W. Bush

November 2, 2008

Voters in San Francisco on Tuesday will decide whether to rename the city’s wastewater treatment plant as the ‘George W. Bush Sewage Plant.’  [Note: I’m not making this up.] 

Should this measure pass, there’s talk of an orchestrated plan to have everyone flush at high Noon eastern time on inauguration day as a final send-off to President Bush.  Unorthodox?  Perhaps.  Inappropriate?  You decide.

Democrat Dave


“My Friends: The Musical”–the McCain-Palin campaign

November 1, 2008

This is a bit over a 3-minute look at the McCain-Palin campaign. Very informative and entertaining!!

What do you think?

Enough! Obama-Biden in 2008!! Democrat Dave


Colin Powell endorsement of Barack Obama–another look

October 31, 2008

Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama is certainly one of the high points of the 2008 Election. 

As we enter the final 4 days of the campaign, Colin Powell’s words from the October 19th “Meet the Press” bear repeating, especially for an undecided voters at this point:

I know both of these individuals very well now. I’ve known John for 25 years as your setup said. And I’ve gotten to know Mr. Obama quite well over the past two years. Both of them are distinguished Americans who are patriotic, who are dedicated to the welfare of our country. Either one of them, I think, would be a good president. I have said to Mr. McCain that I admire all he has done.

I have some concerns about the direction that the party has taken in recent years. It has moved more to the right than I would like to see it, but that’s a choice the party makes. And I’ve said to Mr. Obama, “You have to pass a test of do you have enough experience, and do you bring the judgment to the table that would give us confidence that you would be a good president.” And I’ve watched him over the past two years, frankly, and I’ve had this conversation with him.

I have especially watched over the last six of seven weeks as both of them have really taken a final exam with respect to this economic crisis that we are in and coming out of the conventions. And I must say that I’ve gotten a good measure of both. In the case of Mr. McCain, I found that he was a little unsure as to deal with the economic problems that we were having and almost every day there was a different approach to the problem. And that concerned me, sensing that he didn’t have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had.

And I was also concerned at the selection of Governor Palin. She’s a very distinguished woman, and she’s to be admired; but at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don’t believe she’s ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made.

On the Obama side, I watched Mr. Obama and I watched him during this seven-week period. And he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this and picking a vice president that, I think, is ready to be president on day one. And also, in not just jumping in and changing every day, but showing intellectual vigor. I think that he has a, a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well.

I also believe that on the Republican side over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican Party and Mr. McCain has become narrower and narrower. Mr. Obama, at the same time, has given us a more inclusive, broader reach into the needs and aspirations of our people. He’s crossing lines–ethnic lines, racial lines, generational lines. He’s thinking about all villages have values, all towns have values, not just small towns have values.

And I’ve also been disappointed, frankly, by some of the approaches that Senator McCain has taken recently, or his campaign ads, on issues that are not really central to the problems that the American people are worried about. This Bill Ayers situation that’s been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign.

But Mr. McCain says that he’s a washed-out terrorist. Well, then, why do we keep talking about him? And why do we have these robocalls going on around the country trying to suggest that, because of this very, very limited relationship that Senator Obama has had with Mr. Ayers, somehow, Mr. Obama is tainted. What they’re trying to connect him to is some kind of terrorist feelings. And I think that’s inappropriate.

Now, I understand what politics is all about. I know how you can go after one another, and that’s good. But I think this goes too far. And I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It’s not what the American people are looking for. And I look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign and they trouble me. And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that’s what we’d be looking at in a McCain administration.

I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian.

But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.”

This is not the way we should be doing it in America. I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards–Purple Heart, Bronze Star–showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross, it didn’t have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life.

Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I’m troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions. So, when I look at all of this and I think back to my Army career, we’ve got two individuals, either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time?

And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities–and we have to take that into account–as well as his substance–he has both style and substance–he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president.

I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world– onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I’ll be voting for Senator Barack Obama.

Wow! Colin Powell makes a compelling case for the Obama-Biden ticket in 2008.  Democrat Dave


What to do with Sarah Palin’s $1200 energy check to Alaskans?

October 31, 2008

From my esteemed colleague at Mudflats (http://mudflats.wordpress.com) comes this gem:

I got my $1200 energy rebate check from Sarah Palin a couple weeks ago, and so did every other human being in Alaska.  This money, which came from the wealth of oil companies doing business in Alaska, got spread around by the Governor to help Alaskans defray the rising costs of energy that made the oil companies profitable enough to provide Alaska with the money for the rebate check that defrays the cost of energy…..(you get the circular idea).

At the Alaska Women Reject Palin rally here in Anchorage, a woman drove by as I was returning to my car. She leaned out of her window and said, “Are you going to get a $1200 check this year?” “You mean the rebate check? Yes,” I said. “So how can you hate Sarah Palin!?!” she quipped, looking angry and smug at the same time. “Are you going to SPEND it???” she spat. I said the first thing that came to mind, “Yes, I’ll probably donate it to the Obama campaign.” She screeched away.

And I didn’t tell her the whole truth. I’ve actually spread my wealth around to lots of good progressive candidates, both in Alaska and outside.

Priceless.  Democrat Dave