Friday, June 27, 2008


Interesting: Did you know that the words 'Listen' and 'Silent' have the same letters?

In this Issue: Exxon only has to pay a half-day's earnings for the biggest oil spill in history! Also, a heartfelt (and scathing) letter to Big Oil from John Conley, 100% Disabled Marine Combat Vet — who sent me his Purple Heart for speaking out against Ann Coulter's "extermination speak."

Music can change your life... Before we get into the crimes of the oil giants, I'd like to express love and adoration for COLDPLAY!! Chris Martin: 'Obama As President Would Change America's Image'

He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "If Obama was to be president; it would immediately change the whole outside world's opinion of America overnight. America's public image at the moment is really bad... but over half of Americans are the coolest people on the planet. But they've been so misrepresented."

Here's a sliver lining to Obama's unpopular and I must say, quite un-Progressive acceptance of Bush's beloved FISA bill, which includes offering Telecom companies immunity for illegal spying on Americans (even prior to 9/11!) — not to mention rolling over our Constitutional rights and civil liberties. Maybe he's thinking ahead: he needs the phone companies in his back pocket when he becomes president -- and needs to catch the REAL crooks like Rove, Cheney and other neos.

Yes, I know, I went through a phase where my youngest son played Clocks too much on the piano — and I wasn't into them that much, but after watching all their hits on YouTube, my passion has been reignited. To all the haters out there, you have to go back and listen. “That’s the great thing about people who hate us,” he said. “We can suck out the energy and make it into something positive. It’s like in ‘Back to the Future,’ where you have this device that can turn garbage into a time traveler.”

Chris Martin, whose generosity is so inspiring, said they are 'giving it away for free!' They just gave free concerts at Madison Square Garden and on The Today Show this morning, playing Viva La Vida and hits like Speed of Sound, The Scientist, Clocks, Death and all his Friends.

My son and I are obsessed with their music (ever since "Yellow" for me, but he's a newcomer.) I love The Scientist and Talk. We sat down and watched Chris Martin on Charlie Rose and he spoke of how his music comes from a higher source and it's always better when he just waits for it to come through him, rather than forcing it or over-intellectualizing it.

Listen to Talk:

Speed of Sound:

Oil: Exxon Chairman's $400 Million Parachute - ABC News
Soaring gas prices are squeezing most Americans at the pump, but at least one man isn't complaining. Last year, Exxon made the biggest profit of any company ever, $36 billion, and its retiring chairman appears to be reaping the benefits. Exxon is giving Lee Raymond one of the most generous retirement packages in history, nearly $400 million, including pension, stock options and other perks, such as a $1 million consulting deal, two years of home security, personal security, a car and driver, and use of a corporate jet for professional purposes.

Last November, when he was still chairman of Exxon, Raymond told Congress that gas prices were high because of global supply and demand.

"We're all in this together, everywhere in the world," he testified.

Raymond, however, was confronted with caustic complaints about his compensation.

"In 2004, Mr. Raymond, your bonus was over $3.6 million," Sen. Barbara Boxer said.

That was before new corporate documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that revealed Raymond's retirement deal and his $51.1 million paycheck in 2005. That's equivalent to $141,000 a day, nearly $6,000 an hour. It's almost more than five times what the CEO of Chevron made.

"I think it will spark a lot of outrage," said Sarah Anderson, a fellow in the global economy program at the Institute for Policy Studies, an independent think tank. "Clearly much of his high-level pay is due to the high price of gas."

Also below: Charlie Black's honest but horrific statements and the ugly news about BIG OIL.

Letter to the Editor by John Conley - New York Times
April 9, 2008

It’s tragic that Americans still don’t seem to understand what’s going on in Iraq and why the criminals in the White House consistently refuse to draw down our troops in that meat-grinder.

People need to realize that, at least under this Administration, the troops will never be brought home until Exxon-Mobile, Halliburton, and the other fascist-minded oil companies feel secure enough to begin moving the equipment they’ve staged in Kuwait across the border into Iraq to begin stealing Iraqi oil.

That’s the only reason we invaded Iraq, folks: oil. Anyone who thinks differently is fooling themselves. I remember neoconservatives absolutely ecstatic the day they staged their bogus ‘Mission Accomplished’ in 2003. In fact, some were so beside themselves with delusion they revealed their true intentions with: “Now, on to Iran and Syria!” Huh? Iran and Syria? Osama Bin Laden’s not in either of these countries, either.

Of course, that was hundreds of thousands of American and Iraqi lives ago, but no matter. Our delusional vice president is still trying to concoct a way to attack Iran with the nuclear bunker-buster bombs he’s been so excited about using, ignoring the fact that our military is already stretched to the breaking point, even with Bush’s recruiting waivers that now accept men and women with extensive rap sheets into our military. All we need is another unprovoked, preemptive war started by these psychopaths using Alice-in-Wonderland intelligence.

There’s little doubt in my mind that directing a war from a safe distance is probably the only thing these invertebrates have to make them feel manly and it’s a crime that America’s real men and women have to die as a result of the unbounded greed and insatiable lust for power these chicken hawks and their corporate sponsors are famous for.

If there is any justice in this world at all, then Bush, Cheney, and their criminal lackeys will eventually be tried, convicted, and spend the remainder of their lives in a federal prison pondering their bloody hands.

John M. Conley, US Marine veteran, recipient of two Purple Hearts

Here is the article that sparked Conley's outrage:

New York Times: A Peculiar Deal for Some of Iraq’s Oil

BAGHDAD — Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat.

The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will lay the foundation for the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since the American invasion, and open a new and potentially lucrative country for their operations.

The no-bid contracts are unusual for the industry, and the offers prevailed over others by more than 40 companies, including companies in Russia, China and India. The contracts, which would run for one to two years and are relatively small by industry standards, would nonetheless give the companies an advantage in bidding on future contracts in a country that many experts consider to be the best hope for a large-scale increase in oil production.

There was suspicion among many in the Arab world and among parts of the American public that the United States had gone to war in Iraq precisely to secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract. The Bush administration has said that the war was necessary to combat terrorism. It is not clear what role the United States played in awarding the contracts; there are still American advisers to Iraq’s Oil Ministry.

Sensitive to the appearance that they were profiting from the war and already under pressure because of record high oil prices, senior officials of two of the companies, speaking only on the condition that they not be identified, said they were helping Iraq rebuild its decrepit oil industry.

For an industry being frozen out of new ventures in the world’s dominant oil-producing countries, from Russia to Venezuela, Iraq offers a rare and prized opportunity.

While enriched by $140 per barrel oil, the oil majors are also struggling to replace their reserves as ever more of the world’s oil patch becomes off limits. Governments in countries like Bolivia and Venezuela are nationalizing their oil industries or seeking a larger share of the record profits for their national budgets. Russia and Kazakhstan have forced the major companies to renegotiate contracts.

The Iraqi government’s stated goal in inviting back the major companies is to increase oil production by half a million barrels per day by attracting modern technology and expertise to oil fields now desperately short of both. The revenue would be used for reconstruction, although the Iraqi government has had trouble spending the oil revenues it now has, in part because of bureaucratic inefficiency.

For the American government, increasing output in Iraq, as elsewhere, serves the foreign policy goal of increasing oil production globally to alleviate the exceptionally tight supply that is a cause of soaring prices.

The Iraqi Oil Ministry, through a spokesman, said the no-bid contracts were a stop-gap measure to bring modern skills into the fields while the oil law was pending in Parliament.

It said the companies had been chosen because they had been advising the ministry without charge for two years before being awarded the contracts, and because these companies had the needed technology.

A Shell spokeswoman hinted at the kind of work the companies might be engaged in. “We can confirm that we have submitted a conceptual proposal to the Iraqi authorities to minimize current and future gas flaring in the south through gas gathering and utilization,” said the spokeswoman, Marnie Funk. “The contents of the proposal are confidential.”

While small, the deals hold great promise for the companies.

“The bigger prize everybody is waiting for is development of the giant new fields,” Leila Benali, an authority on Middle East oil at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, said in a telephone interview from the firm’s Paris office. The current contracts, she said, are a “foothold” in Iraq for companies striving for these longer-term deals.

James Glanz and Jad Mouawad contributed reporting from New York. Read more at:


Arianna Huffington: FearWatch '08: Keeping an Eye Out for GOP Fear-Mongering

After McCain's chief campaign advisor said that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil "certainly would be a big advantage" for his candidate, McCain claimed: "I cannot imagine why he would say it." Really, Senator, you cannot imagine why your top advisor would follow in the footsteps of Karl Rove, who made scaring the bejesus out of the American people the centerpiece of GOP strategy for the last six years? Let me break it down for you: fear is a frighteningly effective sales pitch -- one that has worked like a charm for Republicans since 9/11. But things are always less scary when the lights are on, so throughout the campaign HuffPost will be conducting a FearWatch, keeping our eyes peeled for attempts to scare the public into voting their fears. And we'd like your help....


  1. Lydia said"In this Issue: Exxon only has to pay a half-day's earnings for the biggest oil spill in history!"

    Damn I just paid a hell of a lot more than 1/2 a days wages for a stupid speeding ticket..........cronnyism must really pay wonder the repugs wanna stack the courts with blindly loyal cronnies.

  2. Mike, there is so much corruption with the oil companies. When you have time, read that article from the New York Times that I posted - about oil in Iraq.

  3. The U.S. military has been denying wounded soldiers the full amount of their enlistment bonuses, under the rationale that the soldiers are unable to fulfill the full term of their service contract.

    The policy came to light after Jordan Fox, who was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq and sent home three months early, received a letter asking him to repay $2,800 of his signing bonus. Fox had been hospitalized for several months, and still has an injured back and a blind right eye.

    Upon signing up for military service, troops may receive up to $30,000 in signing bonuses. These bonuses are contingent upon fulfilling a specified term of service.

    But according to CBS affiliate KDKA in Pittsburgh, the military has asked "thousands" of injured troops to return part of their bonuses.

    In response to the KDKA report, a military spokesperson replied that the bill sent to Fox was a mistake.

    "If you are ill or were injured while on duty, the Army will not ask you to repay any portion of your recruitment bonus," said Brig. Gen. Mike Tucker.

    But the military has refused to comment on charges that thousands of soldiers have received letters similar to Fox's. In addition, the military has only specified that wounded soldiers will not be asked to repay any of their bonuses -- it has not promised to pay full bonuses to injured soldiers in cases where the bonus was not paid up front.

    And John McCain supports this.

  4. I wonder how much gas would cost consumers if corporate Oil CEOs had the same salaries as - let's be generous and say a bank manager. Now what if they gave up their multi-million dollar Christmas bonuses? Now, let's make them pay for their own cars (hey, the rest of us do), make them drive their own cars, pay for their home security, use airlines instead of corporate jets. Now, let's pass on all the savings to the consumers at the pump. I feel a rant coming on, so I'm going to have a beverage and relax before i blow a gasket.

  5. On June 26, 1963, President Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he made his famous declaration: "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner).

    When the current worst pResident ever visited Europe he made a stupid back rub at Germany's leader, embarrassment of himself.

    January 2009 can't come soon enuf ....

  6. It is all so insulting, blatant, and mind boggling! They just do not give a damn. I am so sick of the Political games that only get worse as our situation does. Yesterday I heard the chief scum say Obama would endanger all His accomplishments and McCain has to be elected to continue on the right course. Can you friggen imagine.? Yeah, distance yourself! McCain's people were saying yesterday Obama would endanger the economy. What? AAARRRGGGHHH! I just don't get it?

  7. What is up with Obama and the FISA bill???

    Mike, anyone -- what is going on with these Dems granting Bush his wishes on destroying the Constitution?

    Obama, as head of the Democratic Party at this point, must take a stand or explain himself.

  8. Lydia, I railed against Obama's decision to back the FISA bill during my last video rant. It was the wrong choice for Obama to make. The way I see it, we need to hold politician's feet to the fire when they deserve it, be it friend or foe. I firmly believe that's what sets us apart from the Rethuglicans who tend to circle the wagons and defend each other to the death. Still when it comes to Obama v. McCain, my choice is easy. We have to stop the Supreme Court stacking by the right.

  9. Lydia Cornell said...
    Mike, there is so much corruption with the oil companies. When you have time, read that article from the New York Times that I posted - about oil in Iraq."

    I read the article Lydia........its a good article but nothing NEW.........ive been reading similar articles for the last 5 years disapointing as that sounds.

    Did you know at the Bush cronnies secret meetings with the energy companies BEFORE the Iraq invasion the Bush admin had a map of Iraq with no cities and NOTHING but oil deposits that people said resembled a butcher drawing a mao to carve up a prize steer..........there is NO DOUBT what this war was all about there NEVER has been for ANYONE with a functioning rational brain.

  10. BTW, thats a priceless pic of that greedy robber baron Lee Raymond..........he LOOKS like a slimy repug troll doesnt he?

  11. Lydia Cornell said...
    What is up with Obama and the FISA bill???

    Mike, anyone -- what is going on with these Dems granting Bush his wishes on destroying the Constitution?

    Obama, as head of the Democratic Party at this point, must take a stand or explain himself."

    Yeah i'm VERY disapointed in him pandering to the fear mongering losers.......clearly he is afraid of being painted as weak on national security........personally i thought he was better than that and not afraid to go toe to toe with the fear mongering freedom hating fascists........clearly i was wrong.

    BUT Robert is 110% right........i couldnt of said it better, despite his flaws OBAMA is our only hope we cant let McSame stack the SCOTUS with MORE Freedom hating fascists, corporate cronnies and Reich wing ideologues.

    Am I disapointed.......yes........i think it was a spineless move...........but i still have high hopes for you said about hillary.........he's doing what he THINKS he NEEDS to to get elected..........I thought he had more integrity but I still support him.

  12. BTW, General Motors stock is at a 53 YEAR LOW.......a low not seen since the Eisenhower Administration..........btw is 53 years alot??????????

    just curious was ANYONE on this blog even alive when Eisenhower was President?

  13. Lets see GM stock is at a 53 year low and oil which was $10 a barrel and gasoline which was 88 cents a gallon 2 years before GWB came to power is NOW $140 a barrel and $4.25 if they were to rise by the exact same amount over the NEXT decade, oil would be $2000 a barrel and gasoline would be $20.53 a gallon by 2018..........all you gotta do is vote repug if THATS what you want .

    HECKUVA JOB GEORGIE!!!!!!!!!!!


  14. Robert -- thank you. I am aware that this is a semi-old issue (at least a week old) but after reading so many articles about how Obama doesn't read blogs, and doesn't seem to realize the netroots are his biggest supporters -- I think he's treading dangerous waters thinking he can keep his base happy (and raise substantial amounts of small cash) if he doesn't act like a true Progressive.

    Maybe he lives in a bubble. I mean he said he doesn't read blogs! The blogosphere is what put him over the top!!

    Also, I very much admire Chris Dodd and Feingold on this.

  15. Lydia, Obama's smart.........I think he will see the light and realize the weak minded knuckledraggers that are susceptible to the fearmongering wouldnt vote for him anyway.............I think he was afraid of being painted as weak on national security and made a very poor i find hard to stomach as the spying is one of the things i detest the most,,,,,,,,,,,,but he's a Constitutional scholar and i honestly believe he values and respects the Constitution and the freedoms and privacies it was designed to protect, and were he elected he would dismantle the slimy police state power grabs of Bush and his thugs.

  16. Oil futures shot above $140 Thursday after OPEC’s president said crude prices could rise well above $150 a barrel this year and Libya said it may cut oil production, as the Bush Depression draws near.

  17. Mike - I hope you're right. And thank you for your great comments.

    If only Obama would simply go by his internal principles and stop thinking of "what they think he should do"

    The truth is so solid, he cannot fail if he does what's in his heart.

  18. Hey I just posted a new idea about Obama's FISA stance - as well as some beautiful music.

    You all may think you know these songs, but really LISTEN to them... (Talk is a favorite)

    The word LISTEN has the same letters as the word SILENT...

  19. Lydia::
    I think that your new insight on Obama and the FISA is interesting...I still think that there is something about it that is unexpected- but that is connected to the future..I am more concerned that he be able to pursue Constitutional Repair and go after the Current Regime Criminals....I have seen him speak about the Illegal Spying- he feels strongly about it....

    I read in the comments that he does not read blogs? O think he does, and also that Michelle does..and I know that his staff does....( I know that for sure)....I think he is trying to keep himself in a position that is more centrist than most of us would like....I did hear some interviews with lawyers- including John Dean- and they pointed out that Criminal Issues can still pursued the way the compromise is we will have to see...
    I hope and pray that he remembers it is little people, like the unemployed, and moms, and hardworking americans that helped him with this movement...and we don't want to see him cave in to pressure or change his stance to appeal to More repugs or Independents....but my gut still thinks it was a strategic move related to the future... we will have to see....

    I loved that you posted Coldplay...they were on Jon Stewart this week too....they are amazing..and their lyrics are always so inspiring- the words for "clocks' always make me cry....

    McCain is here in Ohio today...he was laughing about how bad it is really pissed me off...the economic agony here is palpable...we can NOT let him be elected....

    Keep up the great writing and your postive interviews and thoughts...namaste.

  20. Thanks Enigma.
    Your words are very encouraging.

  21. It used to be that just the entertainment industries wanted to control your computers -- and televisions and iPods and everything else -- to ensure that you didn't violate any copyright rules.

    OnStar will soon include the ability for the police to shut off your engine remotely. Buses are getting the same capability, in case terrorists want to re-enact the movie Speed. The Pentagon wants a kill switch installed on airplanes, and is worried about potential enemies installing kill switches on their own equipment.

    Microsoft is doing some of the most creative thinking along these lines, with something it's calling "Digital Manners Policies." According to its patent application, DMP-enabled devices would accept broadcast "orders" limiting capabilities. Cellphones could be remotely set to vibrate mode in restaurants and concert halls, and be turned off on airplanes and in hospitals. Cameras could be prohibited from taking pictures in locker rooms and museums, and recording equipment could be disabled in theaters. Professors finally could prevent students from texting one another during class.

    The possibilities are endless, and very dangerous. Making this work involves building a nearly flawless hierarchical system of authority. That's a difficult security problem even in its simplest form. Distributing that system among a variety of different devices -- computers, phones, PDAs, cameras, recorders -- with different firmware and manufacturers, is even more difficult.

    Once we go down this path -- giving one device authority over other devices -- the security problems start piling up. Who has the authority to limit functionality of my devices, and how do they get that authority? What prevents them from abusing that power? Do I get the ability to override their limitations? In what circumstances, and how?

    This is a major step toward a one world government their its ability to control our every movement.

  22. In an interview with the Las Vegas Sun, columnist Jon Ralston asked McCain why he didn't choose Gov. Jim Gibbons (in the middle of a messy divorce) to chair his Nevada campaign:

    McCain: I appreciate his support. As you know, the lieutenant governor is our chairman.

    Q: Why snub the governor?

    McCain: I didn't mean to snub him. I've known the lieutenant governor for 15 years and we've been good friends....I didn't intend to snub him. There are other states where the governor is not the chairman.

    Q: Maybe it's the governor's approval rating and you are running from him like you are from the president?

    McCain: And I stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago . . .

    John McCain: A Very Proud Wife Beater.

  23. Alright, so why was THAT deleted? What are you folks afraid of?

  24. Damn, I actually wanted to respond to that it again Will or post it on ANOTHER blog!

  25. I did not delete anything. I will find it and put it back.

  26. Will "take no prisoners" Hart says:

    20% of the cost of a gallon of gas goes to the state and federal government. I don't know, it sounds to me as if there are more than enough villains to go around (not just one bogey-man, in other words.

  27. Okay Mike - please comment. I am curious to hear your opinion because I am confused about what Will said.

    No one is deleting anything. It's impossible now. I can't figure that out.

    Sorry about that Mike -- please open the dialogue back up.


  28. Omigod - I had no idea "Will Hart" was a friend of Rusty (the psychopath Moo Moo clone) What a schmuck! Rusty is beyond wrong and misguided.

    But Mike I really do want to hear your opinion.

  29. Will is a centrist, folks. He is critical of both political parties. In fact, he agrees with George Washington when he said that political parties would have a ruinous effect on this nation. As for his being friends with Rusty, he appears to have friends with a variety of political stripes on them. I've heard that he even gets a kick out of Mike and, yes, enjoys the maxed-out interplay that he and the Ruster always seem to engage in. Above all, though, he looooooooves the ladies!!

  30. You say something Rusty?...........I didnt think so!

  31. Congratulations Lydia on the breaking news! In light of what McCain said about WW3 which is long in the planning and will not be avoided you will find this old news about Bush's covert operations in Iran trying to get this war started

  32. When did st Johnny get the right to "claim" he knew anything about foreign policy?

    After all he doesn't know the Sunni al Qaeda terrorist group hates the Shiite Iranians even more then they hate his senile old ass.

    and this from Juan Cole of course;

    Ahmad Chalabi, meeting in Tehran with Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani, commented on the Status of Forces Agreement being negotiated by the Bush administration with the Iraq government:

    The INC's Chalabi retorted that granting immunity to US military personnel from prosecution under Iraqi law is baldly unacceptable. “The vast majority of Iraqi people and authorities oppose the security treaty and regard it as contradictory to Iraq's sovereignty and security.” Chalabi stated the treaty is counterproductive for Iraq in the long term and what the US is seeking is a binding bilateral agreement for the ongoing presence of its forces in Iraq whose UN mandate expires on December 31.

    Then Chalabi sat there while Larijani warned the US against "adventurism."

    I don't think Chalabi likes the US very much. What is he doing discussing a bilateral US-Iraqi agreement with Larijani in Tehran? And let's see, I'm trying to remember whose idea it was for the US public to give Chalabi tens of millions of dollars and to try to put him in power in Baghdad . . .

    Oh, yeah, thanks to Amanda Terkel for reminding me . . . it was our very own Mr. Foreign Policy Experience (a.k.a 'one is born every minute' . . .):

    McCain welcomed Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), to Washington and pressured the administration to give him money. When General Anthony Zinni cast doubt upon the effectiveness of the Iraqi opposition, McCain rebuked him at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    In 2003, McCain joined four other Republican senators and asked Bush to “personally clear the bureaucratic roadblocks within the State Department” that blocked increased funding for the Chalabi’s group. Also that year, McCain said of Chalabi, “He’s a patriot who has the best interests of his country at heart.”

    Sooooo .... the old fraud was for attacking Iraq even while the Clenis was still president because the Iranian agent Chalibi wanted him to be for it, just like the dick, Cheney was all for chalibi after the supreme court nullified the will of the American people .......

    and these morons get called foreign policy experts by the bobble heads on the MSM?

  33. 20% of the cost of a gallon of gas goes to the state and federal government.

    Lets see, the cost of gas is around $4.00 so 20% of that is $.80.

    But here in KY all taxes federal and state is around $.38, which is one of the main funding sources for rebuilding the road infrastructure let alone new roads.

    Not only doesn't will the moron hart not know his history, but he don't do economics any better then crusty the clown or his favorite senile old foole do.

  34. Even the US Army agrees with our 2005-06 discussions that they screwed up BIG-TIME in Iraq.

    Occupation Plan for Iraq Faulted in Army History

    the "money quote"

    A big problem, the study says, was the lack of detailed plans before the war for the postwar phase, a deficiency that reflected the general optimism in the White House and in the Pentagon, led by then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, about Iraq’s future, and an assumption that civilian agencies would assume much of the burden.

    Damn, we were called traitors (or worse) for saying the EXACT same thing.

    I guess the US Army brass just joined the left wing traitor brigade, or the right-wing stupid trolls were WRONG all along.

    Dolt, Tiny(the welsh)texan, crusty, freedum fraud ...... any comments?

  35. Ah I see none of the dumb right wing trolls have anything to say about the pentagon's agreement with our assessment of Bush's fiasco in Iraq.

    BTW crusty, it looks like Mike was right and YOU were wrong ..... again;

    Back to the Great Depression?

    Wall Street has had its worst June since 1930. How much worse could the world economy get?

    When Wall Street slumped on Thursday, in response to the oil price surging above $140 a barrel and renewed fears about the banking system, the alarm bells rang more loudly than usual.

    Barring a miraculous recovery tomorrow, the Dow Jones industrial average is heading for its worst June since 1930, when it plunged by almost 18%.

    That month is ingrained in the Wall Street psyche. After the crash of October 1929, the stock market continued to slide through the winter. By the spring the worst seemed to be over. Then shares lurched low in June 1930, signaling deep problems for the economy and the stock market.

    America entered depression and the stock market went into a deep freeze that lasted a quarter of a century, taking until 1954 to get back to its pre-crash high. Are there any parallels with today?

    ...This month, however, reality has hit home. “Some of it is clearly to do with the oil price but essentially what we are seeing is a slow-motion car crash,” said George Magnus, senior economic adviser at UBS.

    It's kinda what Mike and I were sayin' a couple of years ago eh crusty?

    I guess crusty is like a Bush economic genius, turning the Clinton great economy into a disaster, sorta like how Bush f*cked up so badly in Iraq.

    Can crusty say Worst President EVER?

    Can crusty say stupid right wing troll?

  36. Here is a good comment explaining what Wesley Clark was saying;

    Will `Ace' McCain Flame Out Again?

    Kelly Patricia O'Meara

    Over the years he's played many roles and worn many titles, including Navy aviator, prisoner of war, hero, congressman, U.S. senator, Washington insider, maverick outsider and, now, presidential candidate. But the one title of which few are aware is that of "service ace."

    John Sidney McCain III is known among many of his Vietnam flight buddies as "Ace" McCain. This title has not been bestowed upon McCain because he destroyed five enemy aircraft. On the contrary: It was five on our side -- in fact, five of his own. Since throwing his hat into the presidential ring, the fact that McCain was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy nearly at the bottom of his class has been publicized. His star-crossed flying, on the other hand, remains unknown to most.

    Robert Timberg, author of The Nightingale's Song, a book about Annapolis graduates and their tours in Vietnam, wrote that McCain "learned to fly at Pensacola, though his performance was below par, at best good enough to get by. He liked flying, but didn't love it." Timberg counts himself a friend of McCain and has written a McCain biography.

    It wasn't long after arriving in Pensacola that McCain racked up the first of his five crashes, beginning in 1958, on his way to becoming a "reverse ace." As told by Timberg, "McCain was practicing landings; his engine quit and he plunged into Corpus Christi Bay. Knocked unconscious by the impact, he came to as the plane settled to the bottom."

    There was, however, no engine failure with the aircraft. According to one of McCain's former flight instructors, "The engine was removed from the aircraft that afternoon, mounted on a test stand and a new propeller installed. [It] was flushed with fresh water and started. It ran just fine. So the theory of engine failure was proven false."

    The instructor added that McCain was "positively one of the weakest students to pass our way, and received consistently poor marks and a number of Dangerous Down grades assigned by more than one instructor. He had no real ability and was clearly out of his element in an airplane, and way over his head even as a junior naval officer."

    The second of McCain's crashes occurred while he was deployed in the Mediterranean. "Flying too low over the Iberian Peninsula," reports Timberg, "he took out some power lines [reminiscent of the 1998 incident in which a Marine Corps jet sliced through the cables of a gondola at an Italian ski resort, killing 20] which led to a spate of newspaper stories in which he was predictably identified as the son of an admiral."

    Crash three occurred when McCain was returning from flying a trainer solo to Philadelphia for an Army-Navy football game. According to Timberg, McCain radioed, "I've got a flameout." He went through the standard relight procedures three times. At one thousand feet, he ejected, landing on the deserted beach moments before the plane slammed into a clump of trees."

    By 1967, McCain was ready for battle and assigned to the USS Forrestal as an A-4 Skyhawk pilot. While seated in the cockpit of his aircraft waiting for takeoff, a freak accident occurred when a rocket slammed into the exterior fuel tank of McCain's plane. Miraculously, McCain escaped from the burning aircraft, but dozens of his shipmates were killed and injured in the explosions that followed.

    McCain's final downing came just three months later when his A-4 Skyhawk was hit by antiaircraft artillery over Truc Bach Lake near Hanoi, North Vietnam. McCain spent the next five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war and, upon return to the United States in 1973, like the other returning POWs, McCain became an instant hero. The POWs had been treated abominably, yet stood up to their torturers and were deserving of the accolades they received. But some questioned the number and types of medals bestowed upon "Ace" McCain, the son of the admiral commanding in the Pacific as well as the grandson of another admiral.

    "McCain had roughly 20 hours in combat," explains Bill Bell, a veteran of Vietnam and chief of the U.S. Office for POW/MIA Affairs -- the first official U.S. representative in Vietnam since the 1973 fall of Saigon. "Since McCain got 28 medals," Bell continues, "that equals out to about a medal-and-a-half for each hour he spent in combat. There were infantry guys -- grunts on the ground -- who had more than 7,000 hours in combat and I can tell you that there were times and situations where I'm sure a prison cell would have looked pretty good to them by comparison. The question really is how many guys got that number of medals for not being shot down."

    "John McCain," says another Navy pilot and acquaintance of that era, "was the kind of guy you wanted to room with -- not fly with. He was reckless, and that's critical when you start thinking about who's going to be the president," The old pilot laughs, and then continues: "But the Navy accident rate was cut in half the day John McCain was shot down."

    On a more serious note, however, there has been no discussion of what actions were or were not taken in dealing with McCain after each of the aircraft losses. Neither McCain's senatorial nor campaign offices returned Insight's calls on these matters. But a Navy insider notes that "after every such incident an inquiry is conducted to conclude the cause of the crash. If it were anyone other than the admiral's son, his wings would have been pulled. But that's where that kind of father comes in handy."

    "Thank God not all pilots are like McCain," jokes another pilot, "or the government would be buying a hell of a lot more planes."

    and this comment;

    I'll take flak for denigrating his military record. But he's the one still making a big issue of it, emphasizing it in his current campaign commercials. He'd have been grounded long before he got over North Vietnam if his father hadn't been an admiral.

    Seems like ST Johnny ain't the military hero he wants us all to believe, but another f*ck-up who uses his family connections and when they run out dumps his wife for a rich young trophy wife to pay the bills while he plays at being a famous war hero senator.

  37. I noticed on daily kos that Mccains son is a member of a secret society of white racists

  38. Blogger clif said...

    20% of the cost of a gallon of gas goes to the state and federal government.

    "Lets see, the cost of gas is around $4.00 so 20% of that is $.80.

    But here in KY all taxes federal and state is around $.38, which is one of the main funding sources for rebuilding the road infrastructure let alone new roads.

    Not only doesn't will the moron hart not know his history, but he don't do economics any better then crusty the clown or his favorite senile old foole do."

    Actually Clif, 20% is an AVERAGE, and a fairly correct one too.

    The state with the lowest gasoline tax is Alaska at 26.4 cents per gallon. The one with the highest is California at 63.9 cents per gallon.

    And that's not counting the federal gasoline tax which is 18.4 cents per gallon.

    That means when Lydia fills up the tank in her Mercedes she's paying 82.3 cents per gallon in taxes.

    (Also, Kentucky charges 36.9 cents per gallon + federal 18.4 cents per gallon and YOU ACTUALLY PAY 55.3 cents per gallon, NOT 38 cents)

    And compare that to the oil companies profit per gallon of 6 to 10 cents.

  39. Well doltron it's funny because the pumps by my house say 38 cents tax, state and FEDERAL............


    I guess Forest Gump was right about you dolt;

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    As for the strong economy?

    Worst June since the Great depression?

    Damn son, you clowns haven't got much right ..... have ya boy?

  40. I'm actually amazed at the number of people jumping on the get-rid-of-gas-taxes bandwagon. Yes, gasoline is too high priced. Yes, most of us are feeling it. Yes, most of us are sick of it.

    But across the board, most states use gas tax money on building and repairing roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Eliminate the taxes, elminate the funding ... eliminate more drivers because the bridge they were crossing collapsed under them.

  41. Sorry I havent responded Will i've had technical difficulties but i'm back online again.

    First though I feel the need to respond to Duncetrons total disdain for facts and lack of honesty.

  42. Voltron said...
    Blogger clif said...

    20% of the cost of a gallon of gas goes to the state and federal government.

    "Lets see, the cost of gas is around $4.00 so 20% of that is $.80.

    But here in KY all taxes federal and state is around $.38, which is one of the main funding sources for rebuilding the road infrastructure let alone new roads.

    Not only doesn't will the moron hart not know his history, but he don't do economics any better then crusty the clown or his favorite senile old foole do."

    Actually Clif, 20% is an AVERAGE, and a fairly correct one too.

    The state with the lowest gasoline tax is Alaska at 26.4 cents per gallon. The one with the highest is California at 63.9 cents per gallon.

    And that's not counting the federal gasoline tax which is 18.4 cents per gallon.

    That means when Lydia fills up the tank in her Mercedes she's paying 82.3 cents per gallon in taxes.

    (Also, Kentucky charges 36.9 cents per gallon + federal 18.4 cents per gallon and YOU ACTUALLY PAY 55.3 cents per gallon, NOT 38 cents)

    And compare that to the oil companies profit per gallon of 6 to 10 cents."

    Behold the lying dishonest troll he posts facts then constructs a lie that even HIS OWN facts prove ridduiculous............First of all gas is a hell of a lot MORE thasn $4 a gallon in California.........I just got off the phone with a good buddy of mine who is in California and just gassed up and he said he paid $4.70 a gallon.

    Now i'll "assume" that the taxes you posted are correct.......(i know assuming your facts are correct is a dangerous assumption...but) YOUR OWN assertions the state with the VERY highest tax California has 82,c cents tax per gallon......that comes out to 17.5% of the price of a gallon...........SO if the state with the highest tax still is BELOW the 20% you CLAIM as a "good average" how the hell can that be a good average.......Alaska's is around 10% or less and Kentucky's is around 13% of the to me Duncetron it looks like 13% would be a MUCH better average than twenty which is not even remotely a factual possibility in the state with the highest tax no less for the average.

  43. Will "take no prisoners" Hart says:

    20% of the cost of a gallon of gas goes to the state and federal government. I don't know, it sounds to me as if there are more than enough villains to go around (not just one bogey-man, in other words."

    Well lets see now your very first few words were a lie.......but I allready addressed that in my last post and i'm well aware that facts are not yours or Voltron's strongsuit.

  44. Will "take no prisoners" Hart says:

    20% of the cost of a gallon of gas goes to the state and federal government. I don't know, it sounds to me as if there are more than enough villains to go around (not just one bogey-man, in other words."

    Yes......if only the evwill evwill goobermint will stop taxing the poor oil barrons and successful billionaires that are supporting this economy and tell the working class to shut up and stop whining.

    What we need is big tax cuts for the oil companies and other corporate robber barrons, along with tax cuts for the ultra wealthy......with no conditions to benefit the unwashed working classes...........we need to scrap all the talk about national helthcare........THATS SOCIALIZE MEDICINE.........we need to finish dismantling or just bankrupt all the other safety nets FDR created for the unwashed working class like Social Security, Unermployment, Medicare etc.....

    Tell you what Will, how's about you and McSame make those campaign issues the repugs are gonna run on and let me know how that works out for ya come November..............oh yeah silly me.........McSame ALLREADY is running on thosde issues.

    BTW Will, lets take a look how all those failed policies have worked over the last 8 years................the TRUTH is they havent the economy is a disaster..........we have RECORD bankruptcies and forclosures and we are talking decades here not months..........GM stock is around a 55 YEAR low.........55 YEARS....IS THAT ALOT???????

    Unemployment is rising the deficits are going to the moon, inflation is raging, oil is going to the moon, debt is at record levels, the dollar is dont have to be a rocket scientist to see that the failed dishonest economic voodoo of the GOP doesnt work for ANYONE but the top 1-5% and that 5% is a big stretch.

    Lets see GM stock is at a 55 year low and oil which was $10 a barrel and gasoline which was 88 cents a gallon 2 years before GWB came to power is NOW $140 a barrel and $4.25 if they were to rise by the exact same amount over the NEXT decade, oil would be $2000 a barrel and gasoline would be $20.53 a gallon by 2018..........all you gotta do is vote repug if THATS what you want ............oh and lets not forget the stock market which is BELOW were it was at 8 years ago and when adjusted for the REAL rate of inflation is less than 55% of where it was at over 8 years ago.

    HECKUVA JOB GEORGIE!!!!!!!!!!!


  45. MCH said...
    I'm actually amazed at the number of people jumping on the get-rid-of-gas-taxes bandwagon. Yes, gasoline is too high priced. Yes, most of us are feeling it. Yes, most of us are sick of it.

    But across the board, most states use gas tax money on building and repairing roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Eliminate the taxes, elminate the funding ... eliminate more drivers because the bridge they were crossing collapsed under them."

    EXACTLY RIGHT MCH.......i adressed this in a previous post as well...........i'd LOVE to know where these champions of American values would get the tax money to repair our roads bridges and highways if they cut taxes on the oil companies and the ultra wealthy.

    Just curious Will and Volt and the rest of the "keep us safe" crowd who "CLAIM" to be obsessed with keeping us safe; where they are going to get the money to keep us safe by repairing our roads and bridges if they cut taxes on the corporate robber barrons and wealthy clowns gonna raise taxes on the working class and poor.........or just neglect repairing our bridges and infrastructure so American citizens die like a certain repug governor did last year.

  46. Its amazing how a certain group can be DEAD WRONG on essentially EVERYTHING........yet still CLAIM they have all the answers......and wonder why know one takes them seriously anymore!

  47. Lenders create a bankruptcy monster
    The bankruptcy reform law isn't working as advertised -- and lenders, whose loose lending standards contributed to the problem, appear to be abusing the system.

    By Liz Pulliam Weston
    Consumer bankruptcy filings are on track to exceed 1 million this year, laying waste to the idea that bankruptcy reform changed anything fundamental about how Americans go broke.
    Furthermore, lenders, not consumers, are the ones that seem to be abusing the system these days. According to U.S. Senate testimony, bankruptcy trustees are seeing "systemic problems" with mortgage servicers that:
    Tack on exorbitant fees.
    Miscalculate how much is owed.
    Refuse to communicate with borrowers or the court.
    Force homeowners into foreclosure without authority to do so, usually because the servicers can't figure out or prove who actually owns a mortgage, which has typically been chopped up and sold to investors.
    In some cases, servicers have tried to push through foreclosures when the borrower wasn't even behind on payments, Indiana bankruptcy trustee Debra Miller told a Senate subcommittee last month. The servicers used the borrowers' bankruptcy filings, which were intended to erase other debt, as an excuse to try to take away their homes.
    Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act, my foot
    The upshot, according to some bankruptcy experts, is that the fairness of the system is being eroded.
    "Each of these practices has been exposed in litigation in bankruptcy courts but continues to occur despite court rulings that such activity is unlawful," bankruptcy expert Katherine Porter (.pdf file), a University of Iowa College of Law associate professor, told the subcommittee. "The upsetting reality is that the current bankruptcy system routinely forces borrowers to pay bloated amounts and permits mortgage servicers to misbehave without serious consequence."
    More from MSN Money

    When to walk away from a mortgage
    Crackdown on unfair credit card practices
    When bankruptcy is best
    Protect your credit in a downturn
    Foreclosure nearby? It's your problem
    If you missed the irony, I'll spell it out. Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 because lenders had alleged that consumers were abusing the bankruptcy system.
    Back then, those in a position to know rejected the idea that consumer abuse was widespread. Bankruptcy judges, trustees and attorneys generally agreed that most people, far from rushing to file, waited too long while struggling to pay impossible debts.
    But the reform act itself touched off a land rush. More than 2 million cases, a record, were filed in 2005 as consumers tried to beat the October implementation deadline for the new law.
    Then filings dropped like a rock, and lenders declared victory.
    Which was entirely premature. Consider:
    Consumers filed 236,982 bankruptcy cases in the first three months of 2008, more than double the number filed in the same period two years ago.
    Filings have continued to rise. They were up 48% in April and 31% in May from the same months a year ago.

    "We're on track to go over the 1 million milestone, definitely," said Sam Gerdano, the president of the American Bankruptcy Institute, a nonpartisan organization that tracks bankruptcy trends.
    What's more, the percentage of Chapter 13 filings has returned to pre-reform levels. The bankruptcy reform law was designed to force more consumers into Chapter 13, which requires borrowers to repay at least some of what they owe, instead of Chapter 7, which allows borrowers to erase most unsecured debt, such as credit card and medical bills.

    When good credit goes bad
    There's been some action lately when it comes to helping people over their heads in debt. But maybe if lessons were learned earlier, there would be less need for intervention today.
    The law seemed to be successful, at first: Chapter 13 filings rose from their traditional level of about 30% of filings to about 40%. But Chapter 13 filings in May were back down to about 32% of the total.
    Lenders created their own problem
    What's driving the upsurge in bankruptcies isn't a mystery. Loose lending practices allowed many consumers to overdose on debt. For a while, many were able to postpone their days of reckoning by tapping into home equity to pay off their more burdensome bills.

    But now we have:
    A troubled economy with rising unemployment.
    Soaring rates of foreclosure.
    Falling home prices.
    Tightening lending standards.
    So we have more people turning to the relief that bankruptcy court offers.
    Should people be smarter about debt? Of course. Anyone who carries credit card debt or agrees to an unaffordable mortgage is asking for trouble.
    But most of those who file had willing accomplices in their lenders.
    I've railed for years about what a terrible law the bankruptcy reform act is. It did nothing to curb lenders' worst practices while raising the costs and complications of filing for those least able to pay. And now we're seeing lenders abuse the bankruptcy system so they can inflict unfair fees and charges on borrowers.
    It remains to be seen whether Congress or regulators will act to rein in mortgage servicers in bankruptcy court. But there are some interesting developments elsewhere. For instance:
    Federal regulators are finally cracking down on credit card companies. Among other changes, regulators want to ban "retroactive pricing," the practice of jacking up interest rates on debt that's already been accrued. Any curbs on credit card issuers' practices may make credit less available, but it's also likely to reduce the need for bankruptcy relief.

    A bankruptcy judge has opened a window for borrowers. In a little-noticed decision, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Leslie J. Tchaikovsky let a California couple off the hook for debt they owed their home-equity lender because the incomes they had listed on their applications were obvious "red flags" that the lender had ignored.
    The couple had jobs as a delivery driver and for an auto-parts distributor but claimed on one loan application that they earned a combined $146,000 a year and, on another, filed six months later, that they made $191,000.
    Tchaikovsky rejected the couple's contention that their mortgage broker and the bank had inserted the phony numbers into the application. But the judge nevertheless said the bank's reliance on those figures "wasn't reasonable" and held the bank responsible for failing to investigate the couple's finances.

    Although Tchaikovsky's decision applies only to the bankruptcy court's Northern District of California, the American Bankruptcy Institute's Gerdano thinks other bankruptcy judges, weary of various lender abuses, may follow suit.
    "Their patience wears out, and you get outcomes like this," said Gerdano, who noted that Tchaikovsky was a well-respected judge and "not just some nut job." "I think it will get the attention of other bankruptcy judges who might be willing to adapt the same reasoning."
    And the impact could extend far beyond the so-called stated-income loans, also known as liars' loans, that have led to many foreclosures, Gerdano said. Credit card lenders, for example, rarely verify an applicant's income when they approve an account or increase a credit limit. Auto and home-equity lenders often don't check either.
    If borrowers can lie on applications and walk away from the debt because the lender failed to investigate, the days of easy credit may be numbered.
    "If stated income is no longer reasonable and the result is a claim disallowance" or the inability of a lender to collect on a debt, Gerdano said, "that's a San Andreas fault situation for the whole commercial credit industry."
    That might initially be bad news for consumers. But over time, saner lending practices may accomplish what bankruptcy reform did not: fewer filings.

  48. Hey Isnt John McSame getting his economics advice from one of the obbyists that helped bring about the mortgage crisis, all the corupt lending practices and all the bankruptcies that are causing our economy to go down the crapper..........Phil graham is giving McSame his economic advice i believe..........which means McSame was actually being honest when he said he knows NOTHING ABOUT ECONOMICS........he must know nothing if he would seek out that corupt misguided charlatan for advice.

  49. There you go erecting strawmen to attack Will>

    First i'm not about to delete you, and i doubt anyone else will either.

    Secondly, YOU are the one who seem to bew afraid of honest dialogue.....I responded to what you said and asked you a simple question.........if you arent intelligent enough to honestly answer thats your problem.

  50. You put statistics out there that flat out were not true......I pointed that out..........I then asked you what YOU would do if you think the oil companies paying roughly 13% tax is so unfair it NEEDS to be cut, and you failed to respond.

    If you feel I mischaracterized your position somehow Will..........please clarify it and enlighten us.......i;m all ears.

  51. BTW Will.......i posted the same thing over at Tomcat's..........just in case you dont have the stones to actually debate me here.

  52. Like usual you clowns didnt address a SINGLE issue i raised just personal BS.........because you cant compete on the issues.

  53. Widdle will seems like a crybaby now doesn't he?

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa .... can't deal with the facts then go back to that echo chamber you call a blog.

  54. Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...
    You gotta lot of nerve, Mike, engaging in a debate.......and are afraid of an honest dialoge."

    HMMMMM this from a guy that his post started with a bald faced lie then deteriorated from there into a position that (correct me if i'm wrong) the tax on oil companies is presumably unfair.......................Yeah and "I"M" the one afraid of anb honest dialog...........tell ANOTHER one Pinochio!

    I havent heard solutions or honest dialog out of you bro.........just being you know fair and balanced!

  55. I know god forbid i attempt to engage in honest factual debate with one of you echo chamber clowns.........silly me I guess i should allow you to just post lies unopposed huh!

  56. Everyone: I am out of commission until after next week. I have 3 books to read this week, rewrites on my book — and kids are home from school.

    On Thursday we have Robert Wexler "FIRE BREATHING LIBERAL" on our show. Today we had Christopher Cerf - and tomorrow Diebold whistleblower Stephen Heller.

    Today we had Christopher Cerf on the show.

    I'm hosting a C-SPAN event tomorrow night for the brilliant Christopher Cerf (Bennett Cerf's son, creator of Harvard's National Lampoon, Sesame Street songs, the institue on Expertology and co-author of the very funny book MISSION ACCOMPLISHSED: How We Won the War in Iraq" Experts on Expertology.

    Please listen in the archives.
    thanks and HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

  57. Hello folks. Bartlebee here.

    I'll be quick.

    If anyone ever wants to drop by and say hi or vent you can find me at

    Lydia, hope you don't mind me posting this little announcement. If you wish to delete it feel free.

    Later folks.


  58. Cool Lydia, good luck with everything and Happy 4th of July.

  59. What Bush hath wrought

    By Andrew J. Bacevich

    FEW AMERICANS, whatever their political persuasion, will mourn George W. Bush's departure from office. Democrats and Republicans alike are counting the days until the inauguration of a new president will wipe the slate clean.

    Yet in crucial respects, the Bush era will not end Jan. 20, 2009. The administration's many failures, especially those related to Iraq, mask a considerable legacy. Among other things, the Bush team has accomplished the following:

    Defined the contemporary era as an "age of terror" with an open-ended "global war" as the necessary, indeed the only logical, response;

    Promulgated and implemented a doctrine of preventive war, thereby creating a far more permissive rationale for employing armed force;

    Affirmed - despite the catastrophe of Sept. 11, 2001 - that the primary role of the Department of Defense is not defense, but power projection;

    Removed constraints on military spending so that once more, as Ronald Reagan used to declare, "defense is not a budget item";

    Enhanced the prerogatives of the imperial presidency on all matters pertaining to national security, effectively eviscerating the system of checks and balances;

    Preserved and even expanded the national security state, despite the manifest shortcomings of institutions such as the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff;

    Preempted any inclination to question the wisdom of the post-Cold War foreign policy consensus, founded on expectations of a sole superpower exercising "global leadership";

    Completed the shift of US strategic priorities away from Europe and toward the Greater Middle East, the defense of Israel having now supplanted the defense of Berlin as the cause to which presidents and would-be presidents ritually declare their fealty.

    By almost any measure, this constitutes a record of substantial, if almost entirely malignant, achievement.

    Bush's harshest critics, left liberals as well as traditional conservatives, have repeatedly called attention to this record. That criticism has yet to garner mainstream political traction. Throughout the long primary season, even as various contenders in both parties argued endlessly about Iraq, they seemed oblivious to the more fundamental questions raised by the Bush years: whether global war makes sense as an antidote to terror, whether preventive war works, whether the costs of "global leadership" are sustainable, and whether events in Asia rather than the Middle East just might determine the course of the 21st century.

    Now only two candidates remain standing. Senators John McCain and Barack Obama both insist that the presidential contest will mark a historic turning point. Yet, absent a willingness to assess in full all that Bush has wrought, the general election won't signify a real break from the past.

    The burden of identifying and confronting the Bush legacy necessarily falls on Obama. Although for tactical reasons McCain will distance himself from the president's record, he largely subscribes to the principles informing Bush's post-9/11 policies. McCain's determination to stay the course in Iraq expresses his commitment not simply to the ongoing conflict there, but to the ideas that gave rise to that war in the first place. While McCain may differ with the president on certain particulars, his election will affirm the main thrust of Bush's approach to national security.

    The challenge facing Obama is clear: he must go beyond merely pointing out the folly of the Iraq war; he must demonstrate that Iraq represents the truest manifestation of an approach to national security that is fundamentally flawed, thereby helping Americans discern the correct lessons of that misbegotten conflict.

    By showing that Bush has put the country on a path pointing to permanent war, ever increasing debt and dependency, and further abuses of executive authority, Obama can transform the election into a referendum on the current administration's entire national security legacy. By articulating a set of principles that will safeguard the country's vital interests, both today and in the long run, at a price we can afford while preserving rather than distorting the Constitution, Obama can persuade Americans to repudiate the Bush legacy and to choose another course.

    This is a stiff test, not the work of a speech or two, but of an entire campaign. Whether or not Obama passes the test will determine his fitness for the presidency.

  60. In a new Gallup poll, 68 percent of Americans say they are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) “would pursue policies that are too similar to what George W. Bush has pursued.” Nearly half of respondents — 49 percent — said they were “very concerned”:

    Aren't we all.

  61. (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp said on Tuesday it plans to close 600 underperforming U.S. stores and cut up to 12,000 full- and part-time positions, as it copes with an economic downturn and increasing competition.

    And the Bush Depression grows near.

  62. U.S. consumers who want the new iPhone but cannot or do not want to sign up for a two-year contract with AT&T Inc will eventually be able to buy it for an extra $400.

    Apple Inc has said the new iPhone will go on sale July 11 at $199 for the model with 8 gigabytes of storage and $299 for the 16-gigabyte version. These prices apply to customers signing up for a two-year AT&T contract.

    Those who don't want to be locked into such a contract, or do not have adequate credit, can buy the iPhone for $599 or $699 as long as they sign up for some kind of AT&T wireless subscription, AT&T said on Tuesday.

    An AT&T spokesman could not yet say when that option would become available.

  63. Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday its US sales tumbled 28.1 percent in June compared with a year ago with sport utility vehicle sales skidding over 50 percent.

    The number two US automaker said weak consumer confidence had dented overall sales and the surge in fuel costs has accelerated a move to more fuel-efficient vehicles.

    Another sign of the coming Bush Depression.

  64. Larry said...
    In a new Gallup poll, 68 percent of Americans say they are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) “would pursue policies that are too similar to what George W. Bush has pursued.” Nearly half of respondents — 49 percent — said they were “very concerned”:

    Aren't we all."

    I know I'M concerned with McSame's policies!

  65. McCain Mutiny

    By Max Blumenthal

    Just as the presidential nomination process begins in earnest, Senator John McCain has suffered a stinging defeat in his home state. For the Republican media darling declared recently by Chris Matthews to be the one candidate who "deserves the presidency," it was an unlikely loss, and so far it has gone unheralded by the national press corps that McCain once half-jokingly called "my base." This defeat was the handiwork of his presumed actual political base--a ragtag band of local conservative activists led by a 65-year-old retired IBM middle manager named Rob Haney.

    Ari Berman: The Republican candidate's maverick image obscures his cozy relationship with lobbyists.
    McCain: 'Aware of the Internet!'
    Presidential Election 2008

    Personal Democracy Forum : A McCain tech aide claims his candidate doesn't need to use the internet to be aware of its impact. Right...
    Obama and the Power of Symbols
    Electoral Politics

    Gary Younge: Does Obama's candidacy represent a progressive paradigm shift--or is he just another mainstream Democrat?
    Why Do Women Give McCain a Zero?
    Reproductive Rights

    Brave New Films : Here's a sneak peek at what a women's health clinic could look like if John McCain is elected president.
    Obama Makes History
    Electoral Politics

    The Democratic nominee is betting on the basic decency of the American people, their hunger for a discussion of issues and their desire for real change.
    Out of Place
    Conservatives & The American Right

    Corey Robin: How conservatives have turned a sense of exclusion into a powerful philosophy of self-styled truancy.
    » More
    Inside Obama's Christian Crusade

    Max Blumenthal: With little to lose and everything to gain, Obama has lifted high the cross. But are there invisible strings attached?
    The Real Mike Huckabee
    Presidential Election 2008

    Max Blumenthal: An interview with a preacher and longtime political confidant reveals that Huckabee's not the sunny figure the media's leading lights have conjured up.
    A Hoax Exposed at Princeton
    Conservatives & The American Right

    Max Blumenthal: When a strait-laced Princeton student claimed he was attacked by liberal thugs, the conservative establishment rallied around him--until it turned out to be a lie.
    The Swift-boating of Mitt Romney
    Conservatives & The American Right

    Max Blumenthal: Christian conservatives play the porn card in an attempt to discredit Mitt Romney and advance the cause of Fred Thompson.
    Agent of Intolerance

    Max Blumenthal: Jerry Falwell is best known for crusading against abortion and homosexuality. But early on, he skillfully used race to galvanize the Christian right.
    Porn Cop vs. US Attorney
    Attorney General

    Max Blumenthal: A federal prosecutor fired as he was launching an investigation of a GOP Congressman now stands smeared by the White House and its antiporn crusader.
    The Porn Plot Against Prosecutors
    Attorney General

    Max Blumenthal: A US Attorney fired just as he began investigating a GOP lawmaker for corruption is now being smeared by the White House and its top porn cop.

    Who is Rob Haney? He is the Republican state committeeman in Arizona's District 11, McCain's home district. In the past, Haney and his fellow committee members would meet from time to time to review their annual budget, vote on bylaws and pass resolutions. If anyone represents Arizona's Republican Party, advancing the causes of faith, family and freedom, it is the folks from District 11. Yet their importance, let alone their existence, seemed to matter little to their state's famous and ambitious senior senator.

    All that changed when Haney organized a revolt that hardly needed encouragement. "People would be calling in to [state committee] headquarters every week, absolutely enraged, threatening to leave the party because of some comments McCain made," Haney told me. "The guy has no core, his only principle is winning the presidency. He likes to call his campaign the 'straight talk express.' Well, down here we call it the 'forked tongue express.'"

    Rank-and-file Republicans are disgruntled about McCain's support for campaign finance reform and gun control and his opposition to a federal ban on gay marriage. Conservative anger reached a boiling point in 2004 when McCain led the opposition to Prop 200, a state ballot measure restricting public services for undocumented immigrants. In the summer of 2005, months after Prop 200 succeeded with support from nearly 70 percent of GOP voters, Haney introduced a resolution in District 11 to censure McCain for "dereliction of his duties and responsibilities as a representative of the citizens of Arizona." After the resolution coasted through the district, it was introduced before the GOP committee of Maricopa County, Arizona's largest, encompassing Phoenix and Scottsdale (once home to Barry Goldwater).

    At the time, McCain and his handlers were working to burnish his conservative credentials to win over wary Republican primary voters. The effort began with McCain's May 2006 graduation speech at Liberty University, a school founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, whom McCain had dubbed an "agent of intolerance" during his rancorous 2000 run for the presidency. His makeover continues on February 23, when he is scheduled to speak before the Discovery Institute, the right-wing think tank that has attempted to introduce into public school biology classes the teaching of Intelligent Design.

    Although Arizona is somewhat off the national radar, Haney's resolution posed a threat to the McCain makeover. Apparently alarmed, the senator dispatched his chief of staff to the Maricopa County Republicans' meeting to warn against the resolution. At McCain's behest, Arizona's other GOP senator, Jon Kyl, sent his own chief of staff as well. But Haney's resolution passed by a nearly unanimous vote. "No one in the party structure would dare say anything about McCain and the grassroots was enraged, so I voiced their concerns," Haney said. "And McCain and the party establishment came down on me hard. They said, 'You're going to destroy his chances in the presidential campaign.'"

    Not content to let the purely symbolic resolution stand, McCain recruited a slate of candidates to oust Haney and his allies in last November's state committee elections. McCain supporters formed a political action committee, Grassroots Arizona PAC, to bankroll this effort. Forty percent of Grassroots Arizona's funds were provided by two Democratic donors from San Francisco apparently enraptured with McCain and his "maverick" image, Gregory and Lisa Wendt, which added fuel to the flames of Haney's revolt. McCain's slate was formidable, including Fife Symington, a former Arizona governor coaxed out of retirement to come to the rescue of his old friend. So worried was McCain about being rebuked by his own party that he threw his own hat into the race, announcing that he would run for state committeeman.

    When the votes were counted, McCain and his entire slate were resoundingly defeated. Despite endorsements from virtually every Republican member of Arizona's Congressional delegation, Symington, who had never lost a race in his life, was crushed--as was McCain. Adding insult to injury, in January another key McCain ally, Republican political consultant Lisa James, was defeated for state GOP committee chair by Randy Pullen, a prominent McCain critic and anti-immigrant activist who headed the campaign for Prop 200. James's defeat could complicate McCain's presidential ground game because she was to have used her position at the top of Arizona's Republican apparatus to secure the state's primary for McCain.

    McCain is still likely to win his home state's primary. But according to Haney, the senator's failed attempt to oust his critics has galvanized his conservative opponents. "If McCain had just been quiet about me passing those resolutions," Haney said, "the whole issue would have died. I mean, it is unheard of for anyone to care so much about district committeemen."

    McCain's botched revenge has solidified his reputation in Arizona's Republican circles as a divisive, untrustworthy and even dangerous figure. Haney hopes the general public meets this side of McCain before his penchant for angry reprisals is invested with the powers of the presidency. "This just shows that McCain is mentally unstable and out of control and vindictive," Haney told me. "If he is determined to go through that much trouble to attack a district committee chairman, what does that say about his ability to handle real political problems?"

    In other words McCain is a Deranged Old Liar.

    McFlipflop: McCain Surrenders His Principled Stand against Swiftboating

    Of all John McCain’s reversals of longheld positions — his 180s on taxes, offshore drilling, intolerant Christians and even torture, to name just a few — nothing is sadder or more disgraceful than his flipflop on Swiftboating, a practice he decried when it was used in 2004 to defame the Democratic presidential nominee, his former friend and fellow Vietnam veteran, Sen. John Kerry.

    McCain’s sudden embrace of Swiftboating — which today is synonymous with a concerted effort to lie about an opponent’s history — is all the more deplorable because he has hired retired Col. George “Bud” Day, a proud member of the group that Swiftboated Kerry — and someone McCain once described as having “tunnel vision” — to lead what McCain is calling his “Truth Squad.”

    At Huffington Post, Sam Stein reports that “[during] the 2004 campaign, [Day] said of Kerry: ‘My view is he basically will go down in history sometime as the Benedict Arnold of 1971.’ And after appearing in a national advertisement for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign, Day formed the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation, an extension of the Swift Boat effort.”

    During a McCain campaign conference call with reporters this week, Bud Day was asked how his work for McCain will be different from his efforts to Swiftboat Kerry four years ago.

    “The Swift Boat attacks were simply a revelation of the truth,” Day told reporters. “The similarity does not exist here. What the Swift Boat campaign was about was to lay out John Kerry’s record. John Kerry has never produced any evidence to deny that. We are producing the evidence of these attacks right now to show that those remarks were completely inaccurate.

    “One was about laying out the truth,” Day said. “This one is about attempting to cast a new shadow on John McCain.”

    Just four years ago, John McCain had a very different view of Day’s attacks on Kerry. According to Media Matters:

    In other words McCain is a Deranged Old Liar.

  67. A New Low in Republican Hypocrisy Has Been Reached

    By Jon Ponder

    This is not a joke. A pair of Republican U.S. senators who disgraced themselves with extramarital affairs have signed on as sponsors of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would prohibit same sex marriage anywhere in the United States.

    The senators are David Vitter of Louisiana, who admitted he consorted with prostitutes over a long period of time, and Larry Craig of Idaho, who pleaded guilty to a charge of soliciting sex in a men’s room.

    Both Vitter and Craig were 2007 nominees to Pensito Review’s GOP Adulterers Hall of Fame.

    The amendment states, “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”

    Those Republican Moralists just won't shut up.

  68. What does McCain mean by ‘we’?

    There was a vote last night in the Senate on the war supplemental, which included the Webb/Hagel GI Bill. The spending bill, including the expanded education benefits for veterans, passed overwhelmingly (92 to 6), and will be added to the $165 billion that the House and Senate have already approved for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The roll-call is online; every Democrat, and most Republicans, voted for the bill. John McCain, as is now common, didn’t show up for work. Barack Obama was there, and he voted for the funding.

    What’s especially interesting, though, is McCain’s response to last night’s vote.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, McCain, campaigning in Ohio, told voters, “I’m happy to tell you that we probably agreed to an increase in educational benefits for our veterans that not only gives them increase in their educational benefits, but if they stay in for a certain period of time than they can transfer those educational benefits to their spouses and or children. That’s a very important aspect I think of incentivizing people of staying in the military.”

    Is that so. McCain is “happy” to promote a bill “we” passed to help veterans with their education benefits.

    You’ve. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.

    As regular readers no doubt recall, McCain opposed the Webb/Hagel GI Bill. He actively fought against it.

    Remember this?

    The Senate approved a $194.1 billion wartime spending bill Thursday that promises a greatly expanded GI education benefit for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan…A Vietnam veteran himself, McCain has opposed Webb’s bill as overly generous to veterans at the expense of career military officers and NCOs. McCain did not return to the Capitol for Thursday’s votes…

    Indeed, McCain’s opposition nearly scuttled the bill.

    What’s more, when the Obama campaign began hitting McCain over this, he got pretty touchy about it.

    And now he wants voters to think he supported the bill all along? That “we” — by implication, including himself — increase “educational benefits for our veterans”?

    Even by McCain standards, this is pretty outrageous.

    In other words McCain is a Deranged Old Liar.

  69. BTW, just for fun, today Senator wearing diapers while visiting prostitutes (Vitter) and Senator I have a wide stance in mens rooms (Craig) both are sponsors of the "defense of marriage act".

    So soliciting prostitutes while wearing diapers and hitting up on male undercover cops in mens rooms are forms of defending marriage?

    I never knew that .......

  70. Surprising fact: Half of gun deaths are suicides

    The Supreme Court's landmark ruling on gun ownership last week focused on citizens' ability to defend themselves from intruders in their homes. But research shows that surprisingly often, gun owners use the weapons on themselves.

    Suicides accounted for 55 percent of the nation's nearly 31,000 firearm deaths in 2005, the most recent year for which statistics are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    There was nothing unique about that year — gun-related suicides have outnumbered firearm homicides and accidents for 20 of the last 25 years. In 2005, homicides accounted for 40 percent of gun deaths. Accidents accounted for 3 percent. The remaining 2 percent included legal killings, such as when police do the shooting, and cases that involve undetermined intent.

    Public-health researchers have concluded that in homes where guns are present, the likelihood that someone in the home will die from suicide or homicide is much greater.

    Maybe the Supreme Court is on to something, right-wingers do need MORE guns in their homes. (especially this year.)

  71. On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule after 156 years as a British colony.

    Unlike the reichwingers false claims the world did not come to an end.

    Wanna bet if we give Iraq to IT'S people and bring OUR troops home the world won't end either?

  72. Dont get me wrong here, i think its great McSame served his country and i'm not questioning his patriotism when he was tortured...........But since Obama's character and qualifications are being examined with a fine toothed comb as were Kerry's Gores and Max Clelland' about we look at McSame's military record.........I mean fair is fair.

    His Father and Grandfather were BOTH 4 star admirals and YET the Navy didnt even think he deserved a single star.............Now I have a ton of friends in the Military who i have asked this and they all state that is highly questionable.

    upon further examination there is evidence McSame almost flunked out of Westpointed, crashed his first air mission, and unlike the other Military people who later became president McSame never actually commanded an army, navy, airforce whatever.............his record seems VERY similar to of incompetence,,,,,,,,,,sure McSame actually had the guts to go into a combat zone and endured years of torture but the patriotic career military men in the Navy obviously felt he wasnt competent enough to even get a SINGLE star despite the fact both his father and grandfather were 4 star admirals........add to that the fact he crashed his first combat mission and his competence and leadership looks highly questionable.

    Particularly when he has NO executive experience a medicre Congressional and military career and freely admits he KNOWS NOTHING about the economy.

    that doesnt inspire loads of confidence in my book particularly when his judgement is so poor that he is on the wrong end of EVERY key issue just like GWB was, whose daddy also help fix all his screw ups and failures and push his military and political career MUCH farther than it would have ever gone on his own merits.

  73. Lydia
    Enjoy the 4th and the time with the kids if you get it. I look forward to hearing about the interview with the fire breathing Liberal. Wexler is fantastic! I saw him on Fox and I wish we had more like him! Take care!

  74. New Meme: McCain is too "thin skinned" and "hot headed" to be President

    This latest dust up over Wes Clark's comments has deteriorated to the point where the McCain campaign appears to be lashing out at anyone who has anything critical to say about their candidate. I think the McCain campaign is overplaying their hand, and this creates an opening for the Obama campaign. His surrogates need to start emphasizing how cool headed Obama is. How he's taken everything Clinton and McCain have thrown at him in stride. And how, in contrast, McCain is thin skinned, short tempered, hot headed. Even McCain's friends know he's got a problem keeping his temper in check. And the press, much as they love McCain, know this too. So Obama's campaign needs to turn this around and start baiting McCain by saying he's overreacting and suggesting that he's termperamentally unsuited to be president. This puts McCain in a no win situation -- he either pulls back and reinforces the impression that this was all manufactured outrage, or he escalates, and reinforces the Democratic argument that he's too hot headed to trust in the Oval Office.
    But reichwingers have always been thin skinned cry babies, the slimy trolls here for example willchicken hawkhart, dolt I'm a goin' to Iraq ... but for some reason two years later never made it theretron, and of course the lost children, tiny the welsh texan and of course freedum fraud .....

    McCain's slimy flip floppin' and cryin' every time he is questioned on the truth about his military service, and denying he said what people have him sayin' on video tape, he is truly one of the 26% backwash reichwingers after all.

  75. clif
    I really want a one on one with McCain and Obama! I think despite what McCain says it should not be a controlled town hall meeting and McCain will screw himself over real quick without a handler at his side!

  76. BTW wanna know who Steve Schmitt is?

    Well he is the guy McSame picked to run his day to day ops in the losing campaign he is a runnin' right now.

    Before this Schmitt also;

    Chief strategist in charge of Supreme Court nominations of Samuel A. Alito. and Chief Justice John Roberts for the George W bush Administration.

    Counselor snd spokesman for Vice President Dick Cheney.

    Member of the exclusive "breakfast club" led by top White House adviser Karl Rove that ran President Bush's re-election campaign. (2004)

    Some wonder why we call him McSame.

    The McSame crass operators tryin' to foole the sheeple once again .....

    the McSame tired old talking points ......

    the McSame dishonest claims which have never actually helped America in the last three decades .....

    So McSame's takin' a page from Hillary's campaign play-book, campaign a floundering?, change the "people" causing it to flounder instead of tryin' to do what the voters really want; like change the course in Washington from the failed policies which have afflicted us all ever since Ronnie Reagan began his campaign to undermine the future of this country for the greed of a few well connected right wingers.

    Oh and no 100 years in Iraq, McSame seems not to understand unborn generations really don't want this war and their living future ancestors really don't either. (Talk about spending people's money with no representation. Didn't some people long ago fight against that idea?)

  77. Oops both the DOW and Nasdaq are now in bear territory;

    DOW 11215.51

    nasdaq 2251.46

    That means both have dropped at least 20% from their previous highs.

    Dow 14164 (all time high)

    nasdaq 2,859.12

    Could 144.12 a barrel for oil be part of the reason;

    I though Cheney had an energy meeting early in the bush criminal administration and had a plan?

    Oh right that Iraq war thingy ......

    I guess it didn't turn out as he and PNAC planned back in the late 1990's did it?

  78. George W Bush's true legacy;

    Deepening Cycle of Job Loss Seen Lasting Into ’09

    Experts say the troubles dogging the economy will be stubborn, leaving in place a combination of tight credit and scant job opportunities perhaps well into next year.

    He trashed the good economy from the Clinton years and has the US embroiled in his illegal wars.

    heck of a job BOZO.

  79. Who knew?

    China Inspired Interrogations at Guantánamo

    An interrogation class at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was based on a 1957 study of Chinese Communist techniques used to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.

    Oh right those of us who aren't bedwettin' cry baby chicken hawks;

    pagin' crusty, doltron et al ........

  80. Car Sales at 10-Year Low

    Sales of new vehicles plunged in June, as high gas prices and a weak economy kept consumers away from showrooms.

    Could it be because a C- economics student was selected by five right wing judges instead of the will of the American people, and he f*cked up the job on the economy as badly as he f*cked up in Iraq?

  81. Lookie;

    Not Winning the War on Drugs

    Despite the billions of dollars the United States has spent battling the cartels, it has hardly made a dent in the cocaine trade.

    Another war Bush is a losin' .....

    It seems the only war he is a winnin' is his war on the American Middle Class.

  82. A very, very good roll up of how clueless McSame and his merry band of right wing fooles really are;

    McCain And His Swiftboat Crew

    Read it an ask how St johnny is gonna out smart the Chinese if he is this foolish with something which has little to do with real Americans lives?

  83. It seems St Johnny is going all Rove after all .....

    McSame even more, with Rovian sycophants runnin his campaign.

  84. OUCH;

    Comical Ignorance

    Except it isn’t funny. Pitiful perhaps, dangerous maybe but, funny it aint. “It” is the response of the reich-wing bloviators I half heard on CNN late at night responding to General Wesley Clark’s well considered denunciation of the idea of flying and/or crashing a fighter plane as qualifying one for the job of POTUS. I suppose it will come as a shock to no thinking person that General Clark is waaaaaayyy more likely to be right when it comes to military issues than the chickenhawk guild. However, there are a couple of points worth expanding.

    In the USN, unless you are the CO or XO of a squadron, a pilot is in command of nothing. (S)He does not lead men and flying is not generally considered a command path. Even the term/job “plane captain” does not refer to the pilot but instead, to the enlisted (wo)man who has the responsibility for just damn near everything on the bird except when it is actually in flight. Yes, pilots are officers but, few of them turn out to be leaders. Their training focuses on what they can do to avoid costing the U.S. and USN a shitload of money by giving gravity primary control of an airborne plane.(Such training apparently did not take with McSame as evidenced by his time as a POW.) They also receive some training on delivering death, destruction and mayhem on command. As a general rule, with acknowledged exceptions, O3 and below flyboys know less about leadership and command than your average E6 and up. Yea, sure the E6 will have to salute the O3 but that is more tradition and general orders than it is respect.

    “Line” officers are the command path officers. They learn to drive boats and head up divisions on a ship and they cross train in a lot of different shit. In running a division, they will be the leader of the enlisted men who make up that division (if the Chief lets them) and they can dream of their own command. Interestingly enough, John Kerry was a line officer with command experience. When he was being unfairly dissed and outright lied about by veteran and chickenhawk alike, such experience wasn’t especially valuable to the GOP. Even to the point of the rank and file rethugs making graphic fun of Purple Heart earners at the national convention.

    In short Barack Obama has just as much command experience as John McSame. Both have “commanded” political campaigns. It is comical ignorance indeed to believe that all military service is the same or that all military jobs are command prep. But, these comically misinformed individuals have huge misinformed audiences. Even worse, none of them seem to even want to know the truth. The relevant truth here is that Clark is right. Flying and/or crashing airplanes is in no way, shape, form, or fashion, suitable or significant preparation for the job of POTUS. Serving as a POW does not give one special insight into how to prosecute a war or, how to lead the nation in times of peace. Physical suffering for one’s nation does not entitle one to high political office. It just doesn’t.

    I interacted with a lot of officers during my time in the military and, like just damn near any other enlisted puke, I learned to size them up pretty quickly. If I was being recalled into the military tomorrow and I had to choose one of the two presidential candidates to be the officer I reported to, the nation would be in trouble because with my life on the line, I would pick the intelligent, analytical, clear-headed, quick thinking one of the two. I’d pick Obama.

    Wingnuts heads exploding in 3…2….1……

  85. Is the American Dream in business?
    With barely four months to go to the day of the US presidential election, the BBC's James Naughtie finds Americans worse-off than they were seven years ago - and worried about the future.

    East Grand Boulevard in Detroit is still handsome, in its way. There are wooden and brick houses on spacious plots, with trees front and back. They have that early 20th Century confidence that American architects were able to exploit, with high chimneys, wide porches and plenty of room inside.

    But many of them are not homes any more. They're empty, bricked up, maybe open to the sky or burnt-out. As a street, it represents a generation of inner city decline.
    You can find plenty of prosperity around the edges of Detroit. But take a trip down East Grand Boulevard and into the enclave of Hamtramck, which was the heart of the American car industry, and you can sense the economic angst that's gripping the country.

    It's not simply that there is poverty in Detroit - which you can find at the busy soup kitchens that were established in the Great Depression - but that a city which once boasted some of the best-paid industrial workers in the US is in steady decline.

    James Naughtie's series, American Dreams, continues on BBC Radio 4, on Mondays, at 2000 BST
    Or to the first programme in the series

    People who thought they would remain reasonably comfortable are discovering that rising medical bills, falling wages and petrol at $4 a gallon are making life difficult. Add to that the pressures from the banks and mortgage lenders, and you find trouble.


    More than 73,000 homes were repossessed in the city in the second half of 2007 because the owners couldn't keep up with loans: Detroit is a prime example of a contagion that's sweeping the whole country.

    In the course of this year, between two and three million homes are expected to be the subject of "foreclosure".
    This is one of the painful facts that lie behind the rhetoric of the presidential campaign. The reason why both John McCain and Barack Obama talk about "change", is that most Americans feel that this election year marks some kind of watershed.

    They're not agreed, of course, about which way the country should turn. But there is a general sense that after the eight Bush years, in which the country has been tormented by post-9/11 national security worries and war, and in the course of which government spending has soared and personal debt has become an obsession, this electoral choice will be important.

    Searching for the worries that give rise to that belief, you first of all confront the lack of economic optimism.

    Although you can find those who talk of a cycle that will turn once again, about the long-term inevitably of recovered prosperity, it's much easier to find people who are starting to question their birthright. Is it true, as they've always been taught, that the next generation will always be better off than the one before it, that hard work will produce rewards and the freedom to choose a lifestyle?

    In short, is the American Dream still in business?

    'Katrina-like crisis'

    I found in Detroit that there are doubts. Among car workers, who were once the elite of the labour force, there is deep gloom.

    The weakness of the dollar overseas can be seen a measure of the troubles of the superpower

    While I was in the city, a strike at the component manufacturer American Axle was settled with a deal in which the workforce accepted much lower wages and health benefits. They got what they could, and it wasn't much.
    Talking to some of those who are losing their homes through foreclosure, having stumbled into loan agreements that allowed interest rates to be ratcheted up, I became quickly aware that the problem is not one that is confined to what might be called, over-simplistically, an "underclass".

    As one woman put it, it's a "Katrina-like crisis" - the waters are lapping around the feet of those who never thought that their homes would be inundated.

    In America, it's always important to balance bad news or public anger with the country's innate capacity for ingenuity and recovery. But, as Joe Stiglitz, Nobel-prize winning economist, put it to me: "The reality of each generation being better off than the last is becoming destroyed."

    Most Americans, he says, are worse off than they were seven years ago. So, when they come to make their political judgements this autumn, this is what will affect them most.

    Remembering the effectiveness of Ronald Reagan's question in 1980 after Jimmy Carter's four years - "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" - you realise how important this is. Many Americans aren't convinced that this downturn is another blip in a cycle that will quickly correct itself; they worry about something deeper.
    They know that China holds much of America's public debt, and that jobs are going overseas. And they're aware that the weakness of the dollar overseas can be seen a measure of the troubles of the superpower.

    They wonder, therefore, whether they can assume that in the 21st Century their country will remain an economic superpower, even if its military strength is still unmatched.

    It's a deep question, lying far beneath the surface of a presidential campaign in which the personalities of the candidates and a speech here or there often determine the headlines and the tone of the exchanges.

    The truth is, this is a troubled nation. And one of the problems is this: change may be necessary but where should it lead? In the next four weeks that's what I'll be trying to find out.

    To the Bush Brothers and John and Cindy "Prescription Princess" McCain the economy serves their purpose well.

  86. The funds states use to pay unemployment benefits are running low, raising fears of higher taxes on businesses and less money to help out-of-work employees during tight economic times.

    Thirty-three states have funds below recommended levels, meaning they're at risk of running out in less than a year unless they're replenished as required under federal law. Nearly half the states could run out in less than six months.

    The funds, totaling about $38 billion today, are in worse shape than before the last recession, when the total was about $54 billion.

    The Bush Economy: Leaving Americans Poor and Destitute.

  87. American Airlines expects to cut nearly 7,000 employees by the end of the year, or about 8 percent of its worldwide work force, as it reduces flights and grounds aircraft because of high fuel prices, the airline told employees Wednesday.

    The job cuts, which appear to be twice as big as those announced so far by any other carrier, could include as many as 900 flight attendants.

    McCain and Bush don't care: They use private jets for the rich and arrogant.

  88. The price of crude oil was little changed yesterday after rising during the day to a record above $143 a barrel on concern Israel may attack Iran over its nuclear program and disrupt supply from OPEC's second-largest producer. Pressure on Iran to end uranium enrichment and the falling value of the U.S. dollar may drive prices to $170 a barrel.

    The Bush Depression is growing near.

  89. In a new Gallup poll, 68 percent of Americans say they are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) “would pursue policies that are too similar to what George W. Bush has pursued.” Nearly half of respondents — 49 percent — said they were “very concerned”:

  90. Interesting Larry, corporate greedy CEO's are layin' people off just as their bought and paid for sycophants in Washington's economic policies are causing unemployment benefits to run low on funds.

    How convenient eh?

  91. BTW, George W Bush has 201 days left to screw up the country even more.

  92. Watta ya know, after experiencing it Christopher Hitchens thinks water boarding IS torture;

    Hitchens Gets Waterboarded: “Believe Me, It’s Torture”

  93. Every indicator on the horizon says the Depression has already begun. It isn't as bad as it should have been because in spite of all of Chimpy's efforts, a piece of the safety net still catches people here and there. The monkey has done what he could to rip the middle right out of it, though.

    I do know what you mean about the music, though. Joe, Henry, and Jello spoke words I understood all too well way back when. Hell, they're STILL doing it; Jello hasn't changed a bit (and remember that he hated DINO Feinstein 30 years ago,) and I never miss Henry Rollins on TV. Joe, he was such a great guy, and it's such a shame he isn't here now to tell us what he thinks about all that has happened.

  94. mike said,

    BTW, General Motors stock is at a 53 YEAR LOW.......a low not seen since the Eisenhower Administration..........btw is 53 years alot??????????

    just curious was ANYONE on this blog even alive when Eisenhower was President?

    I think you'll appreciate my take on this yesterday.

  95. Did your sister make you go find another place to sleep again, rusty? Buy a bottle of Boone's Farm and go apologize.

  96. Looks like rusty took my advice...

  97. Employers cut jobs for sixth straight month

    Employers cut jobs for sixth straight month; jobless rate holds steady at 5.5 percent

    heck of a job Georgie and your reich wing clowns

  98. Just saw on cnn that Mccain is hiring staffers from Rove so he can get dirty in the election

  99. I just posted this item about ROVE taking over McCain's campaign. Now is the time to get the word out about this Machiavellian thug.



  100. My oh my. All those America-hatin' military guys hatin' on Big Oil.

    The GOP base shrinks with each passing day.