Nobody's qualified to govern
Unfortunately, the Republicans have already proven that they don't deserve to govern anything either.
We need something else -- maybe a takeover by Finland.
Contributors (otherwise known as "The Aerheads"):
Walldon in New Jersey ----
Marketingace in Pennsylvania ---- Simoneyezd in Ontario
ChiTom in Illinois -- KISSweb in Illinois -- HoundDog in Kansas City -- The Binger in Ohio
U.S. military judge at Guantanamo Bay who once acknowledged facing Pentagon criticism over one of his rulings was dismissed Thursday from the case of a Canadian detainee, a defense lawyer said.
Army Col. Peter Brownback had presided over the tribunal's proceedings against Toronto-born Omar Khadr since last year.
Military prosecutors have been pressing Brownback to set a trial date, but he has repeatedly directed them first to satisfy defense requests for access to potential evidence. At a hearing earlier this month, he threatened to suspend the proceedings altogether unless the detention center provided records of Khadr's confinement.
This month, in case you missed it, [Bush] told an interviewer that he had made the ultimate sacrifice of giving up golf for the war’s duration because “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf.”
Last week, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) contacted us to voice his concerns about seeing videos from several Islamic terrorist organizations on YouTube. We appreciated our dialogue with Senator Lieberman and his staff and wanted to explain to the YouTube community how we responded to his concerns.
First, some background: hundreds of thousands of videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. Because it is not possible to pre-screen this much content, we have developed an innovative and reliable community policing system that involves our users in helping us enforce YouTube's standards. Millions of users report potential violations of our Community Guidelines by selecting the "Flag" link while watching videos.
Senator Lieberman's staff identified numerous videos that they believed violated YouTube's Community Guidelines. In response to his concerns, we examined and ended up removing a number of videos from the site, primarily because they depicted gratuitous violence, advocated violence, or used hate speech. Most of the videos, which did not contain violent or hate speech content, were not removed because they do not violate our Community Guidelines.
Senator Lieberman stated his belief, in a letter sent today, that all videos mentioning or featuring these groups should be removed from YouTube -- even legal nonviolent or non-hate speech videos. While we respect and understand his views, YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. We believe that YouTube is a richer and more relevant platform for users precisely because it hosts a diverse range of views, and rather than stifle debate we allow our users to view all acceptable content and make up their own minds. Of course, users are always free to express their disagreement with a particular video on the site, by leaving comments or their own response video. That debate is healthy.
Dear Mr. Walldon,
The Democrat led Congress has severely misused their power to approve the largest tax increase in American history, deny critical funds for our troops, and sneak through a dramatic expansion of domestic programs.
What's most alarming - they're saving the most liberal plans until January 2009 when they believe Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will be president!
Mr. Walldon, Republican incumbents and candidates need your immediate help to prevent this scenario from unfolding!
Our nation cannot afford to endure a return to tried and true, failed liberal policies. We must stop the Democrats from repeating, or even strengthening their control of Congress - and above all, we MUST stop a potentially unchecked Hillary or Barack!
More tirades from Obama supporters against Mrs. Clinton are not the answer—they will only further alienate her grass-roots supporters, many of whom feel that she received a raw deal.
Nor is it helpful to insult the groups that supported Mrs. Clinton, either by suggesting that racism was their only motivation or by minimizing their importance.
But these presumptions and condescensions are deeply ingrained in pseudo-liberal culture—so ingrained that many white liberals don’t even seem to notice. Libs and Dems have long become quite expert at losing votes this way. We issue sweeping statements about vast groups of people, then wonder why they sometimes get mad.
Typically, white liberals avoid such sweeping assertions about African-Americans (good). But uh-oh! When it comes to sweeping assertions about downscale white rubes, sorry folks—not so much.
At any rate, we agree with Krugman on that point; Democrats would be well advised to avoid making sweeping statements about racist white rubes.
by Kevin Phillips
Billionaire California bond manager Bill Gross calls it "a haute con job." Bloomberg News columnist John Wasik describes it as "a testament to the art of economic spin." More and more shoppers and consumer simply disbelieve it.
The subject of this scorn is the federal government's vaunted Consumer Price Index or CPI. Americans are now beginning to understand that this indicator has its own share of gimmicks not unlike a sub-prime mortgage or the six pages of fine print that accompanies your credit card agreement.
Some of these CPI ingredients -- product substitution weightings, "hedonics" (price reductions for added product quality or satisfaction), and use of owner's equivalent rent (instead of home ownership costs) -- have a comic aspect suitable to mockery by Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart. But in a larger sense, they're not remotely funny. That's because the federal minimalization and misrepresentation of inflation, pursued statistically over the last 25 years, has been the main buttress of Washington's over-favorable and self-serving portraiture of the U.S. economy.
Distortions aplenty have followed. Some of the most pernicious include the shortchanging of federal pension and Social Security obligations and cost of living increases, a parallel shortchanging of cost-of-living increases in wage contracts tied to the federal CPI, the suppression of equitable interest payments on bank accounts and certificates of deposit, and the camouflaging of weak U.S. economic growth through inadequate adjustments for inflation. The benefits to the executive branch in Washington jump out -- huge annual federal savings on Social Security and pension outlays, as well as on the amount of interest paid on the federal government's multi-trillion-dollar debt. Some $250 billion a year could be involved.
If many individuals are losers, many businesses and financial institutions have been winners. Minimal cost-of-living increases favor corporations, while low interest rates make money cheaper to the financial sector. In particular, the gargantuan $10 trillion increase in financial-sector debt since 1994 could become unmanageable if mounting inflation forced borrowing costs up to 8% or 9%. And it is axiomatic regarding equities that when rates rise in the bond market, that competition usually undercuts stock market values.
In short, there have been three big gainers from understatement of U.S. inflation: the federal government, wage-paying businesses and the institutions and markets of the swollen U.S. financial sector. But skeptics have a weighty counter: Okay, it's easy to understand how they all might profit from understating inflation. But if the understatement is patently false, how can they hope to get away with it?
In fact, the belief by many conservative U.S. economists that inflation is under control, despite global indications to the contrary (including soaring commodity and energy prices), has a major ideological component -- their fidelity to monetarist economic principles (that only money supply expansion can create inflation) and to the Efficient Markets Hypothesis (that markets process all available information, so that if inflation were serious, markets would have reacted already). As late as January, monetarists on the Federal Reserve Board, notably Chairman Ben Bernanke and colleague Frederic Mishkin, believed in the new-version CPI and argued that U.S. inflationary expectations were safely "anchored."
Financial economists and money managers generally agree. A late April survey of 120 U.S. institutional money managers by Barron's, the financial weekly, found that on average, they predicted a CPI inflation rate of 2.72% in December 2008 and just 2.79% in December 2009. Elsewhere in the world, central bankers and politicians are worrying about another wave of commodity inflation akin to that in the 1970s, but U.S. money managers take comfort in the Efficient Market Hypothesis and in the wisdom and sanctity of the CPI.
Critics, by contrast, smell a potential disaster. Oil is up over 80 percent in the last twelve months. The New York Times' consumer reporter, W.P. Dunleavy, wrote on May 3 that his own groceries now cost $587 a month, up from $400 a year earlier. That's a 40 percent increase. Reports in the financial press make frequent reference to foreign investors who distrust the U.S. dollar because they calculate true U.S. inflation at 6% to 9% including food and energy.
California economist John Williams, who runs an organization called Shadow Statistics, contends that if Washington still used the CPI measurements applied back in the 1970s, inflation would be in the 10 percent range. My own analysis, set out in much more detail in an article in the May issue of Harper's, comports with that of the cynical foreign investors.
Therein lies the danger. If the current inflation rate is really 6-9 percent instead of the 2-3 percent claimed by government and most U.S. money managers, then Washington's official estimates that the economy still grew at a rate of some 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2008 become nonsense. Subtracting a 6-9 percent inflation rate from nominal GDP growth would identify an economy that was deteriorating and shrinking, not growing. Concerned foreign dollar-holders would become even more concerned.
In theory, a vigilant Congress might want to hold hearings, but in practice I suspect not. Democratic presidents (notably Bill Clinton) have been involved in the numbers game along with Republican administrations. Neither party has clean hands. Far more likely that any serious investigation will be mounted clandestinely by central banks or sovereign wealth funds in places like China, Singapore and Saudi Arabia as part of their ongoing study of just how much longer they can continue to support a deteriorating U.S. dollar. It is not a happy prospect.
|1.Obama has not won in the big states of CA, NY, NJ, PA, MI, TX, OH with large populations of Reagan Democrats and where Clinton has won decisively. Most of these states voted for Kerry in 2004 and is where he won most of his electoral votes.|
The states where Obama has won: WA, IL, WI, MN, Conn, VT, DE represented only a small fraction of 68 electoral votes.
2. Obama wins in caucus states where his supporters can influence people....Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Washington, Maine, Wyoming. What happened to the secret voting booth? Most of these states don't vote democrat or have much electoral impact yet have undue influence.
3. in southern states with heavy black turnout: LA, Miss, AL, GA, SC, NC, VA, DC, MD. With the exception of DC and MD, all of these states have long voted Republican, 2004 was no exception so it is not clear that their influence will be important in in these states 2008.
|John McCain who claims to be a straight-talking maverick is misleading America.. He publicly distances himself from the wildly unpopular Bush administration. But it's just more of the same. Making windfall corporate profits the law of the land. Pandering to the religious right. Endless war. McCain's latest ingenious policy proposal is his idea to lift the gas tax during the summer months to supposedly help ease the burden on vacationing families. McCain's idea is so out of touch that everyone from Paul Krugman to Bush's council of economic advisors thinks it's a horrible idea. McCain's proposal is not about making life easier for families. McCain's real special interest is big oil. They get huge tax breaks to help them continue to rake in record profits, even as prices soar at the pump.|
|From the DC underground|
John McCain has had a field day with Barack Obama's tenuous associations with Bill Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground who is now a Chicago professor.
Obama has said repeatedly that Ayers' radical past (he was involved in a handful of bombings in the 1960s) occurred when Barack was just a child, and he repudiates those actions. Nevertheless, McCain wants more. He claimed recently:
"I think not only a repudiation but an apology for ever having anything to do with an unrepentant terrorist is due the American people."
Now, however, the Chicago Tribune is pointing out McCain's own radical associations with G. Gordon Liddy: How close are McCain and Liddy? At least as close as Obama and Ayers appear to be. In 1998, Liddy's home was the site of a McCain fundraiser. Over the years, he has made at least four contributions totaling $5,000 to the senator's campaigns--including $1,000 this year.
Last November, McCain went on his radio show. Liddy greeted him as "an old friend," and McCain sounded like one. "I'm proud of you, I'm proud of your family," he gushed. "It's always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great."
For those who are unaware, Liddy helped plan the Watergate break-in that would cost Nixon his presidency and landed Liddy a four-year jail sentence. But Liddy's career of inflammatory statements and actions exceed his Watergate actions.
Liddy, on Vitenam:
"I wanted to bomb the Red River dykes [sic]. It would have drowned half the country and starved the other half. There would have been no way the Viet Cong could have operated if we had the will-power to do that."
Liddy, advising Branch Davidians how to defend themselves from ATF agents during a radio show:
"If the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms insists upon a firefight, give them a firefight. Just remember, they're wearing flak jackets and you're better off shooting for the head."
Liddy, on the impact Adolf Hitler had on him as a child:
When he listened to Hitler on the radio, it "made me feel a strength inside I had never known before," he explains. "Hitler's sheer animal confidence and power of will [entranced me]. He sent an electric current through my body."
Compared to Liddy, Ayers is a nice guy.
Happy Mission Accomplished Day
Has it already been 5 years?
MATTHEWS: What do you make of this broadside against the USS Abraham Lincoln and its chief visitor last week?
LIDDY: Well, I -- in the first place, I think it's envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man. And here comes George Bush. You know, he's in his flight suit, he's striding across the deck, and he's wearing his parachute harness, you know -- and I've worn those because I parachute -- and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those -- run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman's vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn't count -- they're all liars. Check that out. I hope the Democrats keep ratting on him and all of this stuff so that they keep showing that tape.