Thursday, October 2, 2008

The VIP Debate

This debate was a strange one.

Palin avoided the tough questions and went on and on about what SHE did in Alaska. Who cares what she did in Alaska where they have oil. Of course they could cut taxes for everyone there with windfall profits taxes . That's what Obama wants to do for every American. She continued to go on and on about what she did in Alaska. She insists on talking about what SHE has done.

As far as health care is concerned, a $5,000 tax credit would not begin to pay for health care for a family. Especially since McCain intends to tax those health care dollars.

She continued to bring up lies that Obama and Biden have continually corrected over and over again. She attacked and he came up with issues. She avoided issues. And it's obvious she knows little or nothing about foreign affairs. She has been briefed just enough to carry on a debate.

She went on and on about the fact that those Muslim leaders hate what we stand for. Freedom. They don't hate our freedom. What they hate is our invasion on their Holy Lands and our unconditional support of Israel.

Biden pointed out that McCain's policies are basically the same as George's Bush's. There's not a lot she could say to dispute that.

Biden said, "We're spending $10 billion a month while the Iraqis have a $80 billion surplus. Barack says it's time for them to spend their own money have the 400,000 military we've trained for them begin to take their own responsibility, and gradually over 6 month -- 16 months, withdraw.

John McCain, this is a fundamental difference between us: We will end this war. For John McCain, there is no end in sight to end this war. Fundamental difference: We will end this war."

She used talking points she had obviously memorized. She changed the focus of Ifill's questions again and again.

A strange moment in the debate, where Sarah Palin refused to answer if her ticket would have to pull back on some campaign promises in light of the financial crisis.

But, to be fair, she did a lot better then I and a lot of others thought she would.

Peace Colloquy

Tomorrow morning I leave for a Peace Colloquy in Independence, Missouri. Some friends are picking me up at 7:00 so I don't know if I will have time to post while I am there or not. It may be Sunday evening before you hear from me again. If I remember, I will take my laptop with me and hope to find the time and a place where I can keep up with you all.

Today, my grandson sent me a new picture of my great grandchild, Sage. We have three but I have more pictures of this one then the others.

I will upload the picture I scanned. This is Sage. She is 5 years old.

From The Nation

"We need a November electoral mandate rejecting reckless unregulated free-market capitalism as a model for our century. Every minute we carry that message in these days before the election, we are building that mandate. We need a peace mandate, too.

If I had a vote, I would vote "no" on the bailout package because it remains completely weighted to Wall Street's interests. Just look at Wall Street's calculation: they will get $750 billion with no new strings or conditions they haven't managed to live with, or circumvent, before. There are no performance standards for reducing foreclosures, bankruptcies and job losses. There are no penalties for failing to achieve those performance standards. There are no oversight mechanisms with new teeth, like a public monitor on private investment bank boards or inspectors-general with subpoena powers within.

Democrats at least should have posted a bill that would contain real countervailing powers, and posed the question whether Wall Street really wants the money, or only public money for private use. "

I agree with Tom Hayden from The Nation. Without effective oversight and careful administration, this bill just becomes a free handout to the CEOs involved in these deals. I believe it is just the final gift of the Bush administration to his wealthy supporters. They have already fleeced the nation with their repeal of all effective regulation. This would be fine if we lived in a perfect world and we could have free markets without regulation but unfortunately, this is not a perfect world at this point and we seem to be moving further and further away from it at this point in history. Greed dominates this society...and the greed of the rich really dominates it to the point where the impact is being felt all over the world.

I fear this "bailout" plan will backfire and not work and they will be back in six months "needing" even more. And if we don't end this terrible war, it will finish bankrupting us. I posted this comment months ago and it still is true:

"The problem with us in Iraq is not just Iraq. This war and the insurgency is the result of a number of things, not the least being that we have supported Israel against Palestine for a very long time. We should, in fact, be neutral on this issue and attempt to help build a Palestinian state as well.

As infidels, we are occupying their Holy Land on the Arabian Peninsula.

US support for Russia, India and China against their Muslim populations.

US pressure on Arab energy producers to try to lower oil prices.

US support for apostate, corrupt, and tyrannical Muslim governments.

Another problem is that we do not understand the culture and find ourselves as infidels on Iraqi and Afghanistan holy ground.

Then there is the fact that the insurgency are simply common people who want us gone because we are occupying their country. Anyone who reads and studies anything knows by this time that this war is all about oil. If someone came here and invaded our country, all of us would be an insurgency. In fact, when we were a British colony, our "patriots" were the insurgency.

As far as rebuilding their country...we've tried that and received shoddy construction and wasted millions and millions of dollars. Let's get out of there if we can't provide some decent construction...and let the Iraqis rebuild their own country with all that oil money. I bet they would be happy to do that just to get rid of us.

As far as Afghanistan is concerned, the Russians fought there for decades and could not win. They finally got out of there but not until after the cost of the war ruined their economy.

To understand the Iraqi and Afghan point of view, it is necessary to put ourselves in their place. Keep in mind that none of the 9/11 attackers were from there. This plan for war was already in place long before 9/11. The Project for the New American Century proved that. The attack just gave the administration reason to get congress to allow them to go to war. They blamed it on 9/11 but it was really all about oil.

Again, we need to get out of there before the cost of this war finishes wrecking OUR economy."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Senate Passes Bailout

Well, the Senate passed the bailout bill. I still think it is a huge mistake if the house passes it too but only time will tell.

Both Kansas Republican Senators voted "no"....I'll give them that at least.

The Huffington Post says this:

This bill does not effectively address the issue of what the taxpayers of our country will actually own after they invest hundreds of billions of dollars in toxic assets. This bill does not effectively address the issue of oversight because the oversight board members have all been hand picked by the Bush administration. This bill does not effectively deal with the issue of foreclosures and addressing that very serious issue, which is impacting millions of low- and moderate-income Americans in the aggressive, effective way that we should be. This bill does not effectively deal with the issue of executive compensation and golden parachutes. Under this bill, the CEOs and the Wall Street insiders will still, with a little bit of imagination, continue to make out like bandits.

A Political Action ad plays the partisan blame game with the economic crisis, charging that John McCain’s friend and former economic adviser Phil Gramm “stripped safeguards that would have protected us.” The claim is bogus. Gramm’s legislation had broad bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Clinton. Moreover, the bill had nothing to do with causing the crisis, and economists – not to mention President Clinton – praise it for having softened the crisis. says:

A McCain-Palin ad, in turn, blames Democrats for the mess. The ad says that the crisis “didn’t have to happen,” because legislation McCain co-sponsored would have tightened regulations on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But, the ad says, Obama "was notably silent" while Democrats killed the bill. That’s oversimplified. Republicans, who controlled the Senate at the time, did not bring the bill forward for a vote. And it’s unclear how much the legislation would have helped, as McCain signed on just two months before the housing bubble popped.

In fact, there’s ample blame to go around. Experts have cited everyone from home buyers to Wall Street, mortgage brokers to Alan Greenspan.

Actually, I think the blame game is pointless. Everyone involved is to blame. Wall Street, certainly, mortgage brokers, and even home buyers. Surely we are smart enough to know whether we can afford to buy a house whether we want one badly or not. If we do not have a down payment and cannot pay closing costs, we cannot afford to buy a house, especially if it comes with a balloon payment in a few months or years. Clinton is partly to blame as well as Greenspan. They should have known better.

The Bush Boom: How A Misunderstood President Fixed a Broken Ecomony

This is a review from this book as found on

Many of you know some basic economic facts...

When Bush became president:
DJIA 11,139, S&P 500 1209, Nasdaq Composite: 2139. USD/EUR 1.07
Median household income: $50,007

DJIA 10,365, S&P 500 1106, Nasdaq Composite: 1983. USD/EUR 0.69
Median household income: $49,901

Now a lot of people would say that's terrible, and note that they'd expect income and stock indexes to rise by at least the rate of productivity growth and inflation combined, but those people are short-sighted.

If that happened, think of all the taxes we'd have to pay? No, instead President Bush has saved us all a fortune on taxes, by ensuring that on average we get poorer every year, and that our investment accounts have no gains, thus sparing us from the capital gains tax.

Finally, a thoughtful explanation of how Bush has cut all our taxes, by destroying all our incomes!

The Word from Bill Clinton

"Senator Obama has spoken a lot about how we oughta relate to the world, and yes, he'll get out and travel some in the first year, we should want him to do it. But he is going to have to be really focused on fixing this economy. That means that role of the Vice President in repairing quickly our relations with the rest of the world will be relatively more important in the first two years of the next presidency.

"And I am just telling you, you can talk to me or anybody else at any time in Washington, and they will tell you there is nobody, nobody in the entire United States senate that understands the political, the economic, and the security challenges and opportunities of the world better than Joe Biden does. He is a superb choice."

If anyone should know, it would be Bill Clinton. He was president for eight years...some of the most productive years in decades where we had the national debt under control. He worked with Biden and should know the score there. Can you even imagine Palin trying to repair the Bush damage to our image abroad? What a nightmare that would be as she tries to explain her foreign affairs experience as living right next to Russia where Putin's plane flies right overhead. Does that make sense to any of you?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lunch Anyone?

A friend of ours from Independence, Kansas, called this morning and asked us to lunch. He came down and we went to the Chinese Buffet. It was very good plus...he picked up the tab. We had a nice visit. It had been awhile. We then took a tour of the flood area. FEMA has bought out several hundred homes that flooded last year and the refinery bought out over 300 too. These were the ones that were victim to the oil spill that happened at the same time as the flood. So the east side of our community is almost gone. We are in dire need of housing here. 2500 people drive in to the community to work each day.

My suggestion would be that the community buy up several dozen houses that are in need of repair and spend some money working them over for sale. I think it would accomplish two things. First, it would clean up houses in need of repair and second, it would provide housing for people who work here.

I want to do a little touch up painting this afternoon myself. The bathroom needs a little help and the inside of the back door needs some paint too.

Monday, September 29, 2008

What Next?

Well, the bailout failed in the house. It will be interesting to see what will happen now. Many economists say that this was just another scare tactic by the Bush administration like after 9/11 and with the Patriot Act. It will be interesting to see if Wall Street can fix itself or if the markets will completely crash. I think one of the problems was that only those CEOs with failed businesses altogether were going to miss their golden parachutes, even though they were to be helped with their bailout. you understand that rewarding those who caused this mess with a golden parachute is something the constituency could not tolerate? The public is willing to lose their shirts rather then to reward those who caused this problem. Regulation is definitely needed in a greed driven economy.

And, if we don't get out of this war, it is going to finish the job on the economy and bankrupt the nation.

"Rice said that, as U.S. Senator, he would only support a plan that includes: Meaningful oversight; a Stake for Taxpayers; and Hard Limits on Executive Compensation. Unfortunately, the final version of the bill that was released to the public Sunday does little to limit executive compensation for firms accepting a taxpayer bailout. In fact, the primary effect may be merely to decrease the amount such companies can deduct from their taxes for executive pay from $1 million to $500,000. Furthermore, the bill does nothing to fix the broken system that allowed abusive and reckless loans, an explosion of risky investments and poorly understood financial instruments, and other excesses.

"This bill gives too much away to the people who created these problems without guaranteeing that it won't happen again," Rice said. "Any bill would need to require much tougher consequences for Wall Street in order to earn my support."

Rice believes that if the Bush Administration and Congress are going to ask American taxpayers to foot a $700 billion bill to bail out financial institutions and the privileged few, the least our leaders in Washington can do is ensure executives are not rewarded for their failures.

"Taxpayer dollars should not be used to line the pockets of the corporate executives who helped create these problems," Rice said. "A message must be sent to Wall Street that reckless speculation and greed will no longer be rewarded.

Monday Housecleaning Day

Well it's Monday again and housecleaning day. I cleaned all morning and still need to dust. I will rest awhile then resume my work. Both bathrooms and the kitchen are clean and the vacuuming is finished. Bob did that. I got the mirrors all cleaned.

The speaker phone telephone battery finally died and Bob had to go buy another one. Then I searched the house for the manuals on how to set everything again. Finally, I found the one for this phone. It's a speaker phone that our daughter gave him a couple of Christmas' ago. He is so deaf even with hearing aids that he must have a speaker phone.

He is getting ready to mow now.

Tonight we will attend a fund raising dinner for a friend who is running for state legislator.

Not a lot going on today. Sorry to be so boring.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another Big Day

This has been another of those days. We had church this morning. I preached. Then afterward I came home and fixed a dish for the PINCH (People for Institutional and Community Harmony) pot luck dinner at the Youth Activity Center. There were only about 50 there and we had expected over 125. But those that were there seemed to have a good time and there was lots of food and entertainment during the meal.

I took my hamburger pie dish and brought home pork and chicken too that was left over. There were probably 17 churches represented this year, just a smaller turnout per church.

I folded tablecloths afterward and did some cleaning up before coming home. I am really tired now and I still have my notes to do this evening.