Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fast Times at Wasilla High

Sarah Palin played the slacker with her non response to Katie Couric's question on Supreme Court decisions. Her freezing on the question continued her campaign of gaffes. Politico cited the latest:

The Palin aide, after first noting how "infuriating" it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions.

After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.

Here’s what’s odd. Just seven months ago, Governor Palin was on CSPAN’s Washington Journal. At the 3:30 mark, Steve displayed that morning’s lead article in the Washington Post, titled “Exxon Oil Spill Case May Get Closure.” The byline was “Almost 20 Years after Valdez Wreck, Justices to Weigh In.” Sarah’s reply included:

“Finally 19 years later, in front of the Supreme Court asking for justice. And the frustration that we have in Alaska after so many years of waiting for this damages to be paid by Exxon, of course at fault for the spill with a drunken captain that ran the Exxon Valdez ship into Bligh Reef and spilled 11,000 gallons of fuel…..I’m thankful that finally on Wednesday we’re in front of the Supreme Court to argue our side.”

So the energy expert, Governor of Alaska doesn’t remember her involvement in that key Supreme Court decision on punitive damages. Also, she missed the size of the spill by 10.79 million gallons of crude. Does anyone else see a pattern?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout Bill Fails in House

Representatives Boehner, Blunt, and Cantor basically said:

It's about the economy and not partisanship, but Speaker Pelosi gave a political speech and Republicans took offense and voted against the bill.

Doesn't that make it about politics, and not the economy?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Conaway-Bush Invite Truck Loads of Contributions

West Texas Congressman Mike Conaway will host President Bush in a Republican fundraiser on October 2nd. The event will occur at Conaway's Midland home.

A photo and private meeting with President Bush will cost donors $57,000. The campaign did not say how many dump loads of ZooDoo (elephant feces) equate to $57,000, but that option is available to supporters.

Proceeds will benefit Republican Trust 2008, a joint National Republican Congressional Committee and Republican National Committee Fund. The NRCC's bloody nose arose from nearly $1.000,000 in embezzlement and a five year period of fraudulent audit reports. Rep. Tom Cole indicated Republican donor anger produced feces filled contribution envelopes.

Mike plans on bringing the booty. Politicker.com noted:

Conaway, a second term congressman, has been busy on the fundraising circuit. So far this cycle the Midland Republican has supplied the NRCC with $300,000 and GOP House members and candidates with $200,000. This evening Conaway is hosting a Washington D.C. fundraising event with a group of PACs that will distribute a combined $220,000 to 46 members.

As voters are livid, further enraged by the Wall Street bailout, the elephant doo option remains an option. Load up your trucks and head to Midland!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Welfare Mom who Took Down Wall Street

The SEC and FBI search frantically for the mother who took down five Wall Street firms. New York post offices display wanted signs for Shaquilla Hall, a former welfare mother. This reporter was able to obtain an exclusive interview with Ms. Hall.

State of Division (SOD): Lyndie England became the face of American torturing of Iraqi prisoners, now you're the face who took down Wall Street?

Shaquilla: Don't compare me to that dumb white bitch! White trash like her spend money on trailers. Not me! I got more taste than that. Look at this gold tooth!

SOD: It's very pretty. How did you get the money?

Shaquilla: Bill Clinton hepped me first. I had a little socked away when that welfare-to-work program hit. Lordy, lordy, did that end up a gift horse. I got a job delivering sandwiches. You know, those investment bankers eat while working.

SOD: I'm confused, how did a minimum wage job provide you the means to take down a multi-trillion dollar industry?

Shaquilla: Would you shut up and let me talk? It was the dot com bubble. I saw it burst. Those mens was crying in their sandwiches. Being sensitive and all, I aksed them "what's wrong?" You can learn alot by aksing questions. That's when I began watching market fluctuations.

SOD: That still doesn't explain the money.

Shaquilla: For that, I have to thank George Bush. Banks never sent me shit before he got in office. It seemed like every other day, I got an offer in the mail. I accepted every solicitation. That gave me my "cash kitty". The boys on Wall Street let you leverage that further when investing.

SOD: Don't they charge high interest?

Shaquilla: Sure they do! But look at this bling, bling. It shines too. Interest is just something shiny corporations get to show off. And it's tax deductible, too!

SOD: So you got a pot of borrowed money, opened an account, then leveraged it with margin loans. What happened next?

Shaquilla: I saw Lehman Brothers put in that sign that changes colors. I knew they couldn't afford that. So last summer I purchased a bunch of Lehman credit default swaps. Then I shorted the pig.

SOD: Huh?

Shaquilla: Honey, you don't know shit. Ain't you ever gambled? I bet Lehman would fail, then I drove them into the ground with my heel. That $100,000 credit default swap, turned into $10 million when Lehman declared bankruptcy. I had six of them. Plus, I shorted the stock at $65 and bought it back for 30 cents a share.

SOD: That explains Lehman, what happened to AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Morgan Stanley Goldman Sachs, and Washington Mutual?

Shaquilla: Two things. I started me a posse of welfare moms. They was easy to train. They know how to game a system. But the man was onto us, changing rules and all. We had to run our shorts through South Africa, as most exchanges banned the practice.

SOD: Who does your posse have in its sights? Who's your next victim, assuming you aren't caught and tried like that dumb white woman?

Shaquilla: I gots me a plan. Me and the girls are loading up the plasma TVs into the back of our Cadillacs. Lordy, that thing is heavy, even with a gang! We're going to put those credit default swaps in the trunk and drive right through the plate glass doors of ...."

Blam! The sound of a concussion grenade was followed by billowing smoke. By the time I got reoriented, there was no sign of Shaquilla Hall. Had the authorities tracked her down? If so, why didn't they confiscate my digital recorder. Don't tell me, Shaquilla set off another credit bomb...

Friday, September 26, 2008

John Boehner & Eric Cantor Think You're Obtuse

Top House Republican leaders disdain the intelligence of Americans. Sure anger can impede clear thinking, but positing a five day old situation as "root cause" of the credit crisis? That seems insincere, if not nefarious. Here's what the Boehner/Cantor cranial-rectal interface produced:

Instead of injecting taxpayer funds into the market to produce liquidity, private capital can be drawn into the market by removing burdensome regulatory and tax barriers that are currently blocking private capital formation. In short, too much private capital is sitting on the sidelines during this crisis, and it is well past time to unleash it.

The solution to an imploded, unregulated market is more deregulation? But more bait & switch from the Bucking Chadstards!

With their $7 trillion and $2 trillion in derivatives, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs fled an unregulated market last week for the less risky waters of “commercial bank status”. Up until then, they were free to get all the capital investment the world wanted to give. However, their hold was full of rotting fish. They got no takers.

Boehner/Cantor’s root cause is whole seven days old, if that. Were the God of the Old and New Testament as interventional today, the earth might open and swallow this pair. Surely, God wouldn't make a way for those gate crashers...

Wallia's Anthem

Every story needs a theme song. Polgate: Wallia's Toothpaste Squeeze uses a fictional country's dental crisis to mirror aspects of our current financial meltdown. The story lies beneath this musical spoof. Wallia is the country in crisis.

(sung to Ah! Leah! By Donnie Iris from his Back on the Streets album)

Yeah, it's been a long, long time.
Cheap credit, you're lookin' better than a rate has a right to.
Don't you know we're playin' with the fire?
But we can't stop this borrowin' desire, Wallia!

Wa-llia! Here we go again!
Wa-llia! Is it ever gonna end?
Wa-llia! Here we go again!
Like 1929!

I see your lipstick and I wonder what's underneath them.
I never knew how much they favored bacon ham.
We both know we're never going to make it,
but when we fudge, we never have to take it, Responsibility!

Wa-llia! Here we go again!

Wa-llia! Is it ever gonna end?
Wa-llia! Here we go again!
Wa-llia! We ain't learned our lesson yet!

Regulation’s no good. We're just askin' for trouble.
I can save them, but I don't know how to untax you
It ain't no use! We'er headed for disaster.
Our minds said, "No!" But lobbyists are talkin' faster, Wallia!

Wa-llia! Here we go again!

Wa-llia! Here we go again!
Wa-llia! Save me, save me, save me!
Wa-llia! Here we go again!
Wa-llia! Save me, save me, save me!
Wa-llia! We're never, ever, ever gonna make it yeah!
1929, Here we go again!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Polgate: Wallia’s Toothpaste Squeeze

Polgate toothpaste was critical in the fictitious country of Wallia. Wallians prized their white teeth and fresh breath. Their government recognized toothpaste’s critical role in dental health, creating programs to support its availability.

Decades ago, a huge Polgate shortage resulted in needless carries and stained incisors. To prevent future tragedies, Wallia established the central toothpaste repository, since renamed the strategic toothpaste reserve. There, a six month supply of Polgate is stored, in case of disruptions.

Managerial talent worked tirelessly to make this critical product cheaper, thus more available to the general public. It did so by moving Polgate production to Subprimor, a low cost manufacturing region within Wallia. Subprimorians were notoriously poor and grateful for the minimum wage. As most lost their teeth at an early age, employee pilfering was low and dental insurance unnecessary.

Subprimorian managers played the same substitution game as their greater Wallian counterparts. They used cheap ingredients rather than lower cost labor. Substitution worked its way down the Polgate supply chain, until most of a tube’s ingredients were not as labeled. Some were dangerous, even more so when mixed together under compression. When the right ingredients joined in sufficient levels in a tube, ka-boom! The container exploded, causing an intense chemical fire.

Wallia households purchased the Subprimorian produced Polgate, unaware of its explosive potential. As the strategic toothpaste reserve got low, new potentially combustible supplies were added.

In this unusual nation everyone rented their home from any one of five huge housing corporations. As time passed, seemingly random house fires occurred throughout Wallia. They could be traced to bathrooms, but otherwise fire marshals had no clue as to their cause.

Home insurance rates soared due to the high risk. For insurers, the chance of fire had grown too great. Costs needed to be passed on. The price for a year's coverage reached 10% of the home's value.

At that rate, a house could be replaced three times over the property’s 30 years depreciation schedule. The housing corporations would not pay for coverage. They went bare. When a tube ignited, they took a double hit. They lost the rental stream and the full value of the home. The disruptions hit congregate housing complexes, Happy May and Heidi Sue, particularly hard.

It took a long time to track Polgate as the root cause of the fires. By then, the government realized portions of its toothpaste repository were tainted. It could not tell the public the truth. That might cause a run on the good parts of the strategic toothpaste reserve.

So Wallia did the only thing that made sense. It nationalized the toothpaste industry and purchased the bad Polgate from retailers. The government asked retailers to submit the bad product in an orderly fashion. Retailers could conduct Polgate recalls if they wished, but were under strict instructions to minimize any danger to the public.

The Wallian government planned to have two toothpaste reserves, one of high quality, the other of the explosive kind. One polished molars, the other erupted in a literal fire sale.

The problem came in determining which was which. For that they hired experts from Subprimor’s toothpaste industry, employing the people who substituted the dangerous ingredients. After all, they best knew the toxic, flammable components in the product.

The Wallian government stressed, with the bad Polgate gone, the free market could provide good toothpaste and continue protecting dental health. Homeowner’s insurance could decrease once again to an affordable level for the huge housing conglomerates (who would be reimbursed by the government for their fire losses).

Best of all, people’s teeth could remain white and their breath fresh. Does this make sense to you in any way shape or form?

The intent of this story is to highlight some of the relationships in our current financial crisis.

Toothpaste = credit, the ubiquitous product that furthers the common good
Toothpaste makers & dangerous substitutions = one face of Wall Street investment houses, the packaging and selling of junk credit products
Homeowners Insurance = method of covering risk, analogous to unregulated credit derivatives, credit default swaps, which became overpriced due to risk intolerance & speculation
Housing Corporations = another face of Wall Street investment houses, trying to cover risks from bad products
Strategic Toothpaste Reserve = Federal Reserve & Treasury

Bush Invites Presidential Aspirants to CorporaWhorehouse

In last night's speech to the nation, President George W. Bush spoke from the Hall of Shame of the Presidential Chicken Ranch. He promised to answer the following question:

First, how did our economy reach this point?

Bush: Investment banks such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers found themselves saddled with large amounts of assets they could not sell. They ran out of the money needed to meet their immediate obligations. And they faced imminent collapse.

Recall these firms had access to billions in borrowings from the Federal Reserve. What cratered so badly, that borrowing billions wasn't seen as a viable alternative from their leaders and board members?

Bush: Other banks found themselves in severe financial trouble. These banks began holding on to their money, and lending dried up, and the gears of the American financial system began grinding to a halt. With the situation becoming more precarious by the day,

The Fed pumped $30 billion of liquidity into our economy last week, and lending still dried up? Why did rich banks and Wall Street houses stop loaning to each other? Why didn't they trust each other to make good on their debts. The "coverage" for credit, derivatives known as credit default swaps, soared last week. A year's "insurance" on Morgan Stanley's debt rose to $900,000 for $10 million of their credit. A year ago Goldman Sachs associated swaps went for $100,000 for the same amount of debt.

The government's top economic experts warn that without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic, and a distressing scenario would unfold:

The big money boys already panicked, as they faced payday loan rates for their borrowings. They don't pay those kinds of rates, so the credit market froze up. The bailout will buy up Wall Street produced junk debt and their fake insurance of credit default swaps. Since no poor people buy mortgage related securities or $100,000 derivatives, the Bush administration added second liens, student loans, credit cards debt and car loans to what the Treasury will buy.

They need the common debt welcher as a diversion for funneling trillions in taxpayer money to their big money friends. From their words, Lehman Brothers failed because some welfare mother drove her Cadillac (with her big screen TV in the back seat) through the front window of Lehman's Wall Street high rise, before detonating her credit bomb. That's but a ruse for other shenanigans. Today, John McCain and Barack Obama make their pilgrimage to the Corporawhorehouse on Pennsylvania Avenue. Is it 1600 or 1001? The White House or The Carlyle Group's corporate office?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Palin-McCain's Republican Multiple Personality Disorder

CBS’s Katie Couric noted that the governor has said, “John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business.” “Can you give us any more examples of his leading the charge for more oversight?

COURIC: I’m just going to ask you one more time - not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.

PALIN: I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.

Here’s where you see the Sybil nature of the McCain campaign. Recall the outrage over Enron and WorldCom? John McCain voted along with nearly every Congressperson in D.C. for Sarbanes-Oxley.

Now, Republicans are using the financial credit meltdown to get rid of Sarbanes-Oxley. How can McCain brag about it, if he wants it gone? The many faces, all of which can be seen simultaneously, of John McCain.

Bait & Switch: Blame it on Fannie

The current Republican myth is that mortgage giants sucked the credit lubrication from America's economic engine. That's odd, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over on September 7, backed by the full faith and credit of Uncle Sam. Investors and the stock market cheered the action.

How did that oil intervention not work? The financial house of cards collapsed September 18, the day Morgan Stanley's credit default swaps soared to $900,000 for one year's peace of mind on $10 million of their debt. That's 9 times last summer's $100,000 amount, already considered junk status. September 19th, the Treasury Chief declared emergency and an intent to meet with Congressional leaders. That meeting took the oxygen out of the room.

Paulson & Bernake stated in their Senate Banking testimony that credit derivatives were critical to America’s financial system but didn’t have the infrastructure to deliver on their promises. Normally, when you sell something and fail to deliver, it's called fraud.

Lehman held $740 billion in derivative investments when it failed. While not all were credit derivatives, this off balance sheet area provided the greatest risk to Lehman Brothers. Goldman and Morgan Stanley hold alot more risky derivative instruments, in the trillions.

Goldman Sachs held $2 trillion in derivatives as of November 20, 2007, (page 148 of their latest annual report). That is the firm's maximum payout amount. Morgan Stanley had $7.1 trillion in derivatives, (page 147 of Morgan's report).

They also package and sell such instruments. This comes from Goldman's latest 10-K:

Credit Products. We offer to and trade for our clients a broad array of credit and credit-linked products all over the world, including credit derivatives, investment-grade corporate securities, high-yield securities, bank and secured loans (origination and trading), municipal securities, and emerging market and distressed debt. For example, we enter, as principal, into complex structured transactions designed to meet client needs.

In addition, we provide credit through bridge and other loan facilities to a broad range of clients. Commitments that are extended for contingent acquisition financing are often intended to be short-term in nature, as borrowers often seek to replace them with other funding sources. As part of our ongoing credit origination activities, we may seek to reduce our credit risk on commitments by syndicating all or substantial portions of commitments to other investors or, upon funding, by securitizing the positions through investment vehicles sold to other investors. Underwriting fees from syndications of these commitments are recorded in debt underwriting in our Investment Banking segment.

This is the linkage (as referred to by President Bush) that seized up last week. The bailout was caused by a huge gaseous backup in unregulated financial instruments. Uncle Sam intends to manage its discharge. It is clearly intended to save the wealth of the rich.

Fannie and Freddie were already saved when overpriced credit derivatives started backing up Goldman’s colon, putting severe pressure on its rectum. Thus, they called their ex-CEO for some relief. Uncle Sam stands ready with cases of Gas-X and money to buy $700 billion of crappy corporate credit.

Offshore Drilling Ban Is Gone

There are four months ahead with no offshore drilling bans. If the Bush administration is as adept at corporawhoredom as I think, look for a stake in the proverbial sea bed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Corporafornication: Disaster Capitalism 3.0

What a week for corporate interests! The Bush administration threatened recession if their Wall Street bailout isn't passed lock, stock, and barrel. And Congress capitulated on offshore oil drilling. The Congressional ban will expire next week.

The big money boys and slippery oil execs are lubed up and ready for business. Bush facilitates corporafornication.

Michele's Corporafornication

Could the media please interview someone with a brain? David Gregory, ex-White House reporter who participated in Bush's version of the Lincoln Bedroom, asked Michele Bachmann for her prescription for our nation's financial ills, in light of her support for John McCain.

I thought the Paulson/Bernake plan was already a tasty banquet for America's financial firms, but Michele rented out a whole Hooter's and invited corporations completely outside the banking realm. Here's what Rep. Bachmann added to the menu in her free market, capitalistic solution:

1. Incentivize the marketplace to put equity in
2. Drastically reduce income taxes
3. Suspension or elimination of capital gains taxes
4. Do away with Freddie and Fannie
5. Make the American business climate friendly to receive equity
6. Change the marketplace so we're more business friendly

Michele, you might want to give Senator Elizabeth Dole a call. My guess is she knows what happened, given her credit default swap question at today's Senate Banking Committee hearing.

A completely unregulated, as in totally free market went a kilter the last week or so. Credit derivatives, specifically credit default swaps are the "insurance" or peace of mind that moves corporate backed securities. In the case of Goldman Sachs, what cost $100,000 last summer roared to $900,000 last week. That's an eightfold increase in coverage for one year's worth of peace of mind on $10 million in Goldman debt.

For the free market buyer to make any money, interest rates need to shoot up drastically overnight. Or the paper needs to be discounted dramatically. The buyer won't purchase without some risk protection. Thus, nothing moves. Credit dries up in this totally free market. And why? Because the big money boys don't trust each other to make good on their bets.

Knock, knock, Michele! A ten year run of your totally free market solution failed miserably last week. The investment houses fled to safer, regulated waters to avoid shark-like risk.

So what does, Rep. Bachmann offer, other than the next page on the blueprint of disaster capitalism? Nothing. Welcome to corporafornication and the complete death of the American media as messenger of information.

Bush's Disaster Capitalism Spreading Beyond Mortgage Credit Bailout?

CSPAN reported Bush wants the credit rescue to spread beyond “mortgage related securities”. The reporter said President Bush wants to include student loans, credit card debt and car loans. Hank Paulson called it the "troubled asset purchase program" in his Senate Banking Committee testimony. The Treasury Chief squirmed mightily on the now wider asset class under grilling from Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY).

More disaster capitalism! Guarantee the big boys' money. Recall last week’s precipitating event came because the fat cats charged payday loan rates to each other to move investment house credit.

Goldman Sachs' credit default swaps, the peace of mind for their unregulated credit products, ballooned from $100,000 in July 2007 to last week's eye popping $900,000. That's for one year's coverage on $10 million in credit.

President Bush talked about allowing banks to price risk on credit cards. Last week's risk pricing in credit default swaps seized up the credit markets overnight. I took the liberty of altering Bush's words to reflect the current bailout.

“It would constrain banks’ ability to price risk, until that risk became so great, the taxpayers would need to absorb it.”

Is it yet another disaster capitalism move, evidenced by the latest Bush bait and switch? The Carlyle Group is ready to benefit, and benefit mightily. The Bush years have been very good to that private equity underwriter, PEU.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wall Street's Vanilla Sky

Wall Street investment houses, severely mauled by the financial crisis, called for "customer support" last week. Their lucid dream came to an end with the conversion of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to commercial banks. It's their latest attempt to replace reality with a better life, under Monet like skies.

The story had the supportive father figure of wholesale home ownership, the loving girlfriend of fast credit, and the chiseled good looks of investment bank good health. They were all fake. After seeing its reflection in a high rise window, mortally wounded Wall Street confusingly cried out “customer support”. Treasury's Hank Paulson showed up to help manage the consequences.

Hank knows, because he helped write the program which allowed unregulated products, off balance sheet items, and widespread use of credit derivatives, legalized gambling to provide "peace of mind." The glitch in the program turned peace into mental torture. Hank asked:

“What is happiness to you, Goliath?”

“I want to live a real life. I don’t want to dream any longer.”

Time to wake up America. Time for life without Wall Street and it’s fake love of enticing credit.

“I’ll see you in another life, when we’re both cats…”

Welcome to Bush’s Vanilla Sky, the fake world of high finance that's imploding. Time to live....

Soaring Cost of Protection Ended Wall Street's Run

The five big investment houses on Wall Street are no more. Two merged, one failed, and all are now under a more regulated commercial bank status. What happened this past week that accelerated the crisis? Why did storied Wall Street flee the benefits of free markets for the protection of more regulated financial waters?

Piecing together stories from across the financial world with information from Lehman Brothers' annual reports, I believe the cost of credit "peace of mind" became prohibitive. It happened virtually overnight.

The risk of unregulated mortgage backed securities can be covered by a derivative investment known as credit default swaps, also unregulated. Think of them as "Mafia protection money." When the neighborhood is good, the cost of protection is cheap. But as the block becomes more dangerous, the price of protection increases to cover the higher risk.

That happened recently. The Wall Street Journal reported:

In the past week, a jump in the value of credit-default swaps tied to Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set off similar concerns at both firms. On Thursday morning, swap sellers were charging buyers more than $900,000 annually to insure $10 million of Morgan Stanley's obligations from default over five years, a price typically associated with highly risky or distressed companies. The prices had doubled from Monday and tripled from the week before. On Friday, after the SEC announced its short-selling curbs, the cost fell to $560,000.

The five year cost of protection decreased from 45% to 28% after Uncle Sam took action! For the investor to come out whole, annual interest rates would need to increase over 5% overnight. That would kill credit.

Yet, no one wants to buy uninsured or uncovered credit in today's market. Without credit default swaps, the mortgage backed securities can't move.

The Wall Street Mafia protection market went flippy-floppy the last week or so. Why the surprise? The big investment houses trade derivatives off balance sheet. Lehman had almost $740 billion in those instruments, more than all of the company's assets. A seize up in trading derivatives could take out Lehman overnight.

I believe the reckoning came in credit derivatives. Their collapse took out storied financial firms and locked up the credit markets. Of course, President Bush and Treasury Chief Hank Paulson don't want to tell the American public the truth, Wall Street failed from gambling and Mafia like protection schemes.

But that's why we're bailing out firms holding "mortgage security related products" to the tune of $1 trillion or more. I'm concerned about the taxpayer backstopping asset backed mortgage securities. I'll be livid if I'm paying for credit default swaps. What happens on Wall Street should stay on Wall Street....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Republicans Need Distraction: War or Whore?

The multi-trillion dollar bailout of innovative Wall Street firms isn't going down well on Main Street. Bush never cared about the common man, but his party has a Presidential election in process. Thus, the people need a diversion. The question is which kind, sex or violence?

Shortly after New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's op-ed in the Washington Post blistering the Bush administration for greasing the skids of the subprime mortgage crisis, Spitzer's whoring around hit the news stands.

The current Republican crisis involves John McCain's mouth. Virtually everything he said this past week was inane. He closed his bad run by reiterating private Social Security accounts and encouraging health insurers to innovate "like the banking sector." With wholesale financial products imploding, McCain couldn't have picked a worse time for his endorsements.

McCain's only leg left is his military service. Might George W. start shenanigans with Iran to prop up John's flagging campaign? Or does some high Democrat has their Johnson in some one's mouth? War or whore, what will it be?

Homer McCain's D'oh! Week

Presidential hopeful John McCain had a Homer Simpson like week, one with seemingly unending bad luck. It closed with John's reiterating his call for private Social Security accounts while citing America's financial innovation as a model for health insurance change. McCain wrote:

"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."

Financial innovation led to the current meltdown and up to $2 trillion taxpayer bailout. Sure John, that's the tonic for my retirement and health care coverage...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

McCain Wants to Spread the Underwater Pain

Presidential hopeful John McCain picked a terrible time to propose emulating America's financial innovation under the Bush administration. As trillions in assets disappear by the day, McCain reinforced his call for private Social Security accounts. Part of this week's bailout of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG related to retirement concerns.

Consider this assessment from last November, after pension funds loaded up on mortgage backed securities and collateralized debt obligations.

Thomas Martin, president of the Homeowners Consumer Center, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group, estimates that pension funds will take a $1 trillion hit from the devalued securities. 'This is going to be scary,' he said in an interview with Thomson Financial News. 'We think the Fed will have to step in and bail out at least the pension funds.'

The lawsuits against money managers have been rolling in from angry investors and employees who have incurred losses because of lenders' risky involvement in the subprime market. Countrywide Financial, Citigroup 's 401(k) plan, State Street Corp., Bear Stearns, and AIG are among those who have been sued.

Republican hopeful John McCain wants Americans to be able to invest a portion of their Social Security retirement in innovative investment instruments, the anchor threatening to drown the American economy. But that's not enough for the deregulator.

McCain wants private health insurance to be as innovative as our financial sector. I can only assume Republicans want Social Security and health insurance to drown in Grover Norquist's bathtub. In addressing the crisis, Congress plans to raise the federal debt limit by $1.5 trillion to $11.3 trillion dollars. Glug, glug...

Friday, September 19, 2008

McCain Not Windless on Fannie Connections

John McCain's latest ads highlight his opponents connections to failed mortgage issuer Fannie Mae. They include past CEO's Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines. It turns out Mr. McCain has a log in his eye with his relationship with Kenneth Duberstein, a long running Fannie Mae Board member and Chair of the Assets & Liabilities Committee. Ken's consulting firm pocketed over $1.8 million over a five year period, helping to keep the regulatory wolves at bay during an accounting crisis.

Duberstein helped McCain with his Presidential run in 2000, before heading up George W.'s White House transition team that same year. While John McCain runs from his close association with President Bush, he also avoids airing his ties with Fannie's Duberstein. Something stinks, and I think you know what it is.

Knowing McCain's Ken Duberstein

This morning Senator John McCain cited two past executives of Fannie Mae in his criticism of Barack Obama. They symbolize the first level of failure in the mortgage debacle, that of management. The public knows their name and some are aware of their aggressive accounting practices, which maximized their executive incentive compensation. Incentive pay is different than the golden parachutes, the compensation McCain currently berates.

Who structured the large management bribes, otherwise known as pay for performance? Who gave Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines those cush retirement agreements? The Board of Fannie Mae, the second level of failure. For years the Board approved management strategy, accepted the annual financial audit performed by professional accounting firms, and worked with leadership they hired, evaluated and rewarded. None of these names were mentioned by Mr. McCain.

Yet, one should have been, Kenneth Duberstein. Ken served on Fannie Mae's board from 1998 to 2007, through both the Raines and Johnson debacles and golden parachutes. (Ken also serves as Boeing's Chair of their Board level Compensation Committee.) The Fannie Mae Chair had this to say of Mr. Duberstein's retirement from the board:

Fannie Mae Chairman Stephen Ashley praised Duberstein for his "valuable strategic counsel, leadership and service."

Yes, the valuable strategic counsel, leadership and service that led to the implosion of the company. Duberstein not only served on the Board, his consulting firm advised Fannie Mae on regulatory matters, netting over $1,000,000 in fees over a three year period.

So what's the relationship to McCain? Ken helped John evaluate his chances for President in 2000. Newsweek shared what Ken did for John eight years ago:

Duberstein offered contacts (his corporate clients include Goldman Sachs and General Motors) as well as sage advice. He began to quietly expose McCain to corporate bigwigs (and potential campaign donors), hosting a breakfast for 25 business leaders with Henry Kissinger in New York that December.

Ken has a long history of Republican service. In the 1984 Republican National Convention he crawled onto the stage behind George Herbert Walker Bush to pull his pants leg. Just as John McCain is pulling ours now.

The third level of failure is government oversight. McCain has a twenty six year record of opposing the most basic regulations. Republicans are sprinting from their record. Duberstein even removed his nine year Fannie Mae governance from his biography. You won't know McCain's tainted team member names.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain-Palin to "Shake Things Up" in White House Snow Globe

Alaskan Sarah Palin continues to pull a snow job on Americans. Republicans paved the road for the current economic crisis. Sure, Democrats sat sleeping in their police cars while corporations cranked up the greed cycle, but George W. Bush and a Republican controlled Congress did most of the damage.

Palin promised to bring transparency back to D.C. This from the woman who won't cooperate with her own ethics investigation? Now, that's a hollow promise!

Sarah promised to shake things up in Washington. Hardball host Chris Matthews isn't buying the campaign narrative. He noted McCain-Palin's fleeing from the Republican brand.

In Chris' mind Republicans are taking off their uniform in the middle of the battle. They've abandoned George W. Bush and his dog food White House. They're running away from their long control over the Congress and legislation that precipitated the financial abuses, now coming home to roost.

McCain said this of the change he'd bring to Washington, "Frankly you're not going to like it." I'm sure that's the case. I don't want the Bush snow globe shaken up, such that the current Republican insider snowflakes fall in a different location on the White House lawn. Chris Matthews said McCain would employ the same folks and enact the same strategies as George W. Bush.

I want the current Bush/Cheney snow globe shattered. McCain and Palin are incapable of such. But they will take their mantle and proudly give it a good shake. Then hundreds of McCain lobbyists will fall softly around the White House lawn.

The Party of Lincoln Savings & Loan

President Bush talked about America's serious economic crisis when he addressed the country. CNN's business talking heads mentioned the Resolution Trust Corporation, the 1980's entity created to wind up failed savings & loans.

Recall one of the big failures, Lincoln Savings & Loan? It was led by Charles Keating, the same Keating who approached five Senators for aide, one of them John McCain. The corruption investigation concluded McCain exercised "poor judgement".

Deregulated Savings & Loans undertook high risk loans, which failed in droves. Sound familiar? Only today's problems are much worse. Wall Street did more than package bad loans and sell them as securities. They innovated credit default swaps, securitizing what is now financial vaporware, to the tune of a worldwide $62 trillion.

The boys on Wall Street cranked up the risk/reward angle. What made them boatloads on the way up, cuts off limbs on the way down. Blood is in the streets.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hyperbolic Competition Over "Elitism"

When a Rothschild calls a political candidate an elitist, that's hyper-hyperbole. After calling Obama "arrogant," Lynn Forester de Rothschild flew from one of her two homes (in London or New York) to Washington, D.C. to endorse John McCain.

Lynn Rothschild is a top Hillary Clinton fundraiser and member of the Democratic National Committee's Platform Committee. Rothschild has said she thinks Barack Obama has difficulty connecting with average Americans.

She was one of Clinton's top fundraisers, bringing in more than $100,000 for her presidential campaign. She built a multimillion-dollar telecommunications company before marrying international banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. Of course, several average Americans attended the McCain fundraiser sponsored by the Rothschilds in London in March, 2008. That's how Lynn learned of Barack's arrogance. The event was held at the Spencer House on St. James Place.

Lynn is the third wife of the 77 year old Rothschild. Of course, the ex-Chair of The Economist is a down to earth, warm and fuzzy, regular guy. This is all so bloody laughable...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Save the Commission Money, McCain

Presidential hopeful John McCain suggested forming a 9-11 style commission for the Wall Street economic meltdown. What? Didn't Congress fulfill its oversight role the last eight years? Why kick the can down the road with a study? Here's my analysis:

Three levels of “leadership” had to fail with Bear, Lehman, Freddie and Fannie. First, management had to take high risk strategies. Second, the board of directors had to approve them. And third, regulators had to stay hand’s off while the shenanigans occurred.

The current debacle is a testimony to greed. Republicans paved the road. Democrats sat sleeping in their police cars as big Wall Street investment houses sped by in pursuit of gargantuan profits. Now we have tax payer rescues, finger pointing and a commission? Please.

Another assessment came in this morning's Jerusalem Post:

“An irresponsible policy, stemming from companies that leveraged themselves in a crazy manner, abandoning all basic rules of economic conservatism” was responsible for the collapse of American investment banks'---Teva Chairman Eli Horovitz told Army Radio.

Assessment done, what are your solutions Mr. McCain? The McCon-Pullin' ticket: "We guarantee Greed & Corruption".

Monday, September 15, 2008

McCain Vows to Fight Himself

John McCain promised to root out "greed" and "corruption". Well, he might want to start with his campaign. Several hundred lobbyists work for or donated to McCon's Presidential effort.

As for tackling corruption, John needed to check with his V.P. Sarah Palin. She just announced she wouldn't cooperate with an investigation into her possible abuse of power as Alaska's governor.

McCon-Pullin' "The Greed/Corruption Ticket"

Fishy Palin Announces Non-Cooperation with TrooperGate Investigation

If George W. Bush can hide hundreds of White House e-mails after Hurricane Katrina, then Sarah Palin can avoid cooperating in an investigation into her behavior as Alaska's governor. Besides her Bush-like claim of executive privilege regarding her e-mail communications, Sarah broke her promise to meet with investigators.

The ethics panel is made up of three Republicans and two Democrats. If Bush/Cheney are above the law, then McCon/Pullin' expect free sailing. However, they might be carrying too much sail. The economic gale is here. An electoral gale is building on the horizon. Sheet out!

Palin is Slippery Vote Sucker

Reformer, ethical Sarah Palin is a fictional creation of the Republican Party. In truth, Palin is a Bush style, hyper-competitive, unethically secretive, self serving politician. She knows the buzz words that get people excited, reform, transparency, accountability, clean up, and throw out.

While Wall Street reels from the failure of Lehman Brothers and the outright sale of Merrill Lynch, Palin talks about cutting million dollar CEO payouts. That may sell votes, but doesn't solve the root cause. The problem is incentive compensation, the never ending bribe of extrinsic motivators.

Sarah doesn't want to address the cycle of greed that permeated the housing crisis. The Bush/McCain/Palin party wants to spread incentive compensation to your physician's office. There it can poison your health.

Sarah Palin is a leech, a lamprey on Barack Obama. If the McCain-Palin ticket wins, she will be a leech on your pocketbook. Health insurance will be dumped in your lap, in the form of increased taxes or outright responsibility for premium payments.

Don't buy the con that Sarah and her backers are selling. She doesn't have the record, even hiding what should be a public record of her communications as Alaska's governor. A Bush with lipstick is not what America needs. The giant sucking sound is your draining wallet under a John McCain-Sarah Palin administration. There are more big businesses in line for Republican rescue.

Another Hollow McCain Promise?

How can John McCain say he will bring "transparency and accountability" to Wall Street, when he won't provide it for his running mate, Sarah Palin? A coordinated effort is underway to stifle the Alaskan investigation into Sarah's possible abuse of power. The issue arose when Governor Palin tried to get a state trooper fired. The trooper is the ex-husband of Palin's sister.

Sorry John, your promise is not credible given Palin's "Me First" posture...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sarah Palin Preemptively Insults Tony Perkins and Values Voters

Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin insulted her rabid followers weeks in advance of their political gathering. Conservative religious pundits panned Barack Obama's pretentious columns and Sarah hit them hard in her talk at the Republican National Convention:

"When the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away, when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot – what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?"

Uh oh! CSPAN just showed Tony Perkins and Ren Broekhuizen speaking in front of Greek columns at the Values Voter Summit's Gala Dinner. I believe these folks seriously want to turn back the waters and heal the planet, or at least they follow one who did.

That's when they're not advocating "Pulpit Freedom", learning how to organize a voter registration drive, fretting about illegal immigration, trying to end abortion, nixing the dreaded death tax or forming their political action committee (PAC). Of 134 candidates the FRC PAC supports, 132 are Republican and 2 are Democratic candidates.

Who spoke in front of pretentious Greek columns at the Values Voter Summit? Who else did their imitation of Apollo, Sean Hannity's derisive description of Obama in front of the columns?

Chuck Colson, Chairman, Prison Fellowship Ministries, Board of Directors
Mike Huckabee, Governor (1996-2007), R-AR
James Dobson, Founder, Focus on the Family
Robert George, Member, President's Council on Bioethics
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
Bill Bennett, Talk Show Host, Salem Radio Network, Morning in America
Ren Broekhuizen, Board Member, Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty

Haul 'em back to that studio lot, just like Sarah said. Let the planet healing begin....

Bush Flip Flops on Israeli Bunker Busters

What a difference a month makes! In mid August, Israeli media reported the Bush administration refused their request for bunker busting bombs. Advice from Secretary of State Condi Rice and Pentagon Chief Robert Gates kept Bush from selling the advanced weapons.

At least, it did until this past Friday. Haaretz noted the flip flop on the sale:

The U.S. Department of Defense announced it would sell the Israel Air Force 1,000 new smart bombs, rumored to significantly enhance the IAF's military capabilities.

The Pentagon's announcement, which came on Friday, said the U.S. will provide Israel with 1,000 units of Guided Bomb Unit-39 (GBU-39) - a special weapon developed for penetrating fortified facilities located deep underground.

Bush/Cheney, only months left to make war.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Republican Presidential Narrative: "Two Little Pigs"

John McCon-This little piggy loves special interests, as he has hundreds working and funding his campaign. His running mate, Sarah Pullin' claims Bush like executive privilege in an abuse of power investigation. Oink! Anyone sick of BushCo should send this porcine pair packing.

Lipstick Grants Interview

ABC's Charlie Gibson got the first crack at interviewing Republican V.P. candidate Sarah Palin. When asked about national security, as President George W. Bush made the world more dangerous, Palin deflected. She substituted her energy experience.

Charlie missed the follow up. "So energy is the reason for our security policy? Does that mean we invaded Iraq for oil?"

I'm sure Sarah would've diverted that question as well. "We have lots of oil in Alaska. Sometimes, we spill a wee bit. Did you know the Exxon Valdez spilled 11,000 gallons of fuel?"

Gibson would botch his second opportunity for follow up, failing to cite the 10.8 million gallons of crude oil spilled by the Valdez.

"But you're an energy expert and capable of keeping the nation safe?" noted Charlie.

"Yes, I am," said Sarah between snorts.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mr. Piggy Runs for President

Who knew there would be such a furor over a pig wearing lipstick? Soooo-whhheee, Maybelline! Of course, John McCain used the very line, he later took umbrage over. Is that another Porcine flip-flop?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

McCon/Pullin: "Fabric '08 America"

The McCon/Pullin team needs you to believe their fictional narrative. Never mind the fact that John wore clear through the soles of those "Maverick" boots. All that shuffling between Arizona and the right Reverends' Universities, Liberty & Regent, took the hide right off those heels.

Sarah is such a frail story, the campaign hides her from public. One might expect the most experienced executive, the one with the "strongest record of reform," to interact with the media. But no.

The ticket is McCon/Pullin. Their motto is Fabric '08 America. Spread the word...

OIG Cites Culture of Exclusivity in Executive Branch

The Minerals Management Service took its cues from the White House. Is everybody in the Bush administration above the law, unaccountable to the public? Three Senior Executives and eight employees worked hard to emulate Bush/Cheney by doing whatever the heck they wanted, regardless of legality.

The investigation revealed "an organizational culture lacking acceptance of government ethical standards, inappropriate personal behaviors, and a program without the necessary internal controls in place to prevent future unethical or unlawful behavior."

Some of the identified behavior was shared with the Bush Justice Department, which chose to do nothing. Sound familiar? For those wanting disturbing details the report is available on the Interior Department's website.

Bush Coaches Palin on Executive Privileges

President George W. Bush put his arm around the pretty Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, currently under close scrutiny for her qualifications to be one breath away from Commander in Chief.

"When those pesky other branches come asking questions, just do what I did," offered President Bush

"What's that?" asked Sarah

"Claim Executive Privilege, then 'lose' the evidence. You do have a delete button on your computer," George replied.

"Sure. Is it that easy?" asked Governor Palin.

Bush nodded, "Yep, just press the easy button. Now I want to know more about you. John says you're easy on the eyes. How are you on your back? You do mate like a bunny..."

Slap! "How dare you!" said the offended Palin.

"Damn woman, I thought if we could talk about screwing the American people, that might put you in the mood. I guess not." George W. picked up the phone, "Shrill bitch removal, Oval Office."

Mavericks? Hardly

The Washington Post story noted how quickly campaign falsehoods turn into accepted truths. It's time for some truth in advertising.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bauer Grills McCain for His Source

Jack Bauer used Bush approved, enhanced interrogation techniques to find the identify of the "Ice Princess" and her mission. Overheard was:

Bauer: Who is she? Who is the lady in the glasses?

McCain: I'll never tell

Bauer: Where the bridge money?

McCain: You won't get your mitts on it. The money is already spent

Bauer: And the plane?

McCain: Sold on EBay for a profit

Bauer: Bullshit, no one makes money on planes or boats. You're lying to me. I don't have time for this shit!

McCain: Wait! I bought her a new one?

Bauer: Why? You'll be singing if you don't tell the truth!

McCain: To bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran?

Palin's Newest Plane

"Why little fella, put that thing on EBay. And be sure to sell it for a profit! Like Nancy Pelosi, I need something bigger to meet my needs..." McCon/Pullin '08

McCon/Pullin Lobbyists Expect Whole Bills, Not Loose Change

John McCain redefined "special interests" much like George Bush did "torture". With dozens of lobbyists integral to his Presidential campaign, McCain clearly offers hollow words. At least 20 McCain/Palin fundraisers lobbied for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, netting over $12 million in fees.

While Sarah Palin lies about her reformer record, John pretends he will clean up Washington. I don't believe it for a minute. Just like Bush doesn't "torture," McCon/Pullin will throw out "special interests."

Their sinister redefinitions mean McCain's speech at the RNC should have said "under tough Vietnamese interrogation techniques" instead of torturous treatment. I shudder to think of how John operationally defined "special interest". It's likely along the lines of something that makes him very, very angry.

McCon/Puilin lobbyists expect whole bills, preferably in large denominations. They won't settle for loose change...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Fight with McCon/Pullin Against "Your Interests"

John McCain says he wants to fight special interests in Washington, D.C., yet he has lobbyists galore working on his campaign. He continually calls for tax and regulatory policy beneficial to corporations. I can only conclude John wants to strongly support corporations.

If businesses and their hired guns aren't "special interests", who does that leave? That leaves churches, nonprofits, unions and other community organizations. Mostly, it leaves individuals.

How is a corporatist, far right winger going to “fight special interests” in Washington? Is it by defining anything non-corporate as a “special interest”?

Think this is too Alice in Wonderland-ish? Remember what they did with "torture" with the POW’s support!

Fighting special interests = aiding corporations in McCon/Pullin lingo

Sunday, September 07, 2008

No Need to Vet a Narrative

The McCain camp staunchly defended Republican vetting of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. They did so, despite Alaska's highest GOP leaders' confession that no one contacted them regarding Sarah's qualifications.

Bush reality is "what they say it is." McCain agrees 95%. Thus, Sarah has strong executive experience, is a reformer, and she took on special interests. This person should be front and center, debating rivals at short notice, granting interviews where she successfully shows her depth. Unless, that's all fiction?

If Sarah Palin is a narrative, then she must be hidden, protected. If the story is shaky, then prudent risk management is required.

Interviews must be tightly controlled, in location, scope, content, and even who does the questioning. Charlie Gibson of ABC News got the first plum. What did he have to give up to be first?

Say John McCain only vetted Sarah for her fictional role. He already showed his vindictiveness in defending the Sarah hologram by cancelling his Larry King interview with CNN. Media that maintain the fiction will get access. Those that challenge the Palin myth will pay.

If they can't run an open and transparent campaign, how will they run the country?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

God's Will for Republicans to Lie and Belittle? Sarah Joins Bush

Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin claims her religion is her inspiration. President Bush speaks of his nightly talks with the big father. However, both misstate their opponents position, a form of false witness. Both deride their political rivals. I matters not that it's couched in humor. An attack is still an attack.

President Bush earned his record low approval rating. Sarah enjoys public adoration, much like George W. after 9-11. How long before her act wears thin?

Recall Bush's pledge to run an ethical administration? Usually those are open and transparent. The McCain camp seems as secretive and vindictive as their twin team in the White House.

If Sarah's going to market her faith in God for votes, then she should be prepared to expound and clarify that faith. The New York Times reported:

Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign, said Ms. Palin had been baptized Roman Catholic as an infant, but declined to comment further. “We’re not going to get into discussing her religion,” she said.

John McCain's policies line up nicely with Bush's, while Sarah Palin's faith is a mirror image of George's. I'm sick and tired of the Bush curse on our country. The current mythical ticket of reformers McCain/Palin might as well be Bigfoot and Paula Bunyan. It's that accurate...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Rocky's Entourage to Take on Apollo Greed

In light of the week's political events, I offer the following scene:

Rocky's trainer yelled out, "You're going down, Apollo Greed!" The fighter's glasses clad wife hid from the media glare.

The large, heavily muscled black man laughed heartily. "You think you can knock Apollo Greed off K Street? Why, you're just an old man and a mousy woman (wink, wink)!"

After more heated words and a brief scuffle, security separated the pair. The media eventually left the scene.

Greed put his arm around the old man. "Beer? Your turn or mine to buy?"

The trainer said, "I think it's yours. Hey Adrian, it's safe to come out. The media left."

"Thank God," she offered. "I thought they'd never leave." Eyeing Greed, she added, "Now who's your friend with bulges in all the right pockets?"

Might the fight be a fix? Republicans sold George W. Bush as a uniter not a divider. America was clearly bait and switched. Why should we believe today's Rocky entourage ticket? Do they have the punch to knock greed off K Street? Or is it all a show for public consumption, scripted to theme song "Eye of the Tiger"?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Palin the Energy Reformer

Source: Sarah Palin's description of the Exxon Valdez spill during her interview on CSPAN's Washington Journal

Palin Halfheartedly Tries to Pull a Harry, While Republicans Hide Bush

Last night Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin took on Washington. It felt as if Adrian Balboa had been sent into the ring to fight Apollo Greed. Schooled by Rocky's trainer Mickey, her running mate, Sarah swung mightily. But her punches had no sting.

I thought George W. Bush would pull a Harry Truman, expecting him to slam the "do nothing Congress", even call them back early to work on energy. But no, McCain/Palin is running against Washington, which includes "he who shall not be named," incumbent President Bush.

Sarah invoked the specter of "small town values" Harry early. She returned to the Democratic leader to attack Congress. Yet, her words fell flat. President Truman cited over and over in 1948 what he asked Congress to do, and they did nothing. Sarah hadn't asked them to do anything, other than give Wasilla millions in earmarks during her term as mayor.

But she hit a low when she talked about John McCain's being tortured by the Viet Cong. Thanks to John & her Repugnicant party, that word now has no meaning. Does it mean McCain was exposed to the pain associated with organ failure or death? What did Harry have to say about human rights, including those of prisoners?

Any denial of human rights is a denial of the basic beliefs of democracy.

The only person who can clean these people's clocks is John Stewart. Why is that? If Democrats act similarly what conventions will be undermined? Consider Truman's words, some years ago:

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself.

I believe I heard such idiocy last night. At least it felt that way...