Saturday, September 27, 2008

Great Theater

All of this is better, and more unexpected and unpredictable than any TV show. Unfortunately, so many people seem to view this election as if it was "American Idol."

You have to have some kind of admiration for John McCain. You never know what he will do next, and you never quite know what he is thinking. While this may be great for a self proclaimed "maverick," it is really terrifying to think of a President acting that way. A little stability in a time of crisis could be helpful.

He "suspended" his campaign to run to Washington, as if anyone could suspend a Presidential campaign five weeks before the election. Did he mean that no one should pay attention to what he was doing? I don't think that was what he meant. I think what he meant was: watch me act like I'm concerned, but I rally don't quite know what I'm doing. He also may have been trying to find a way to eliminate the vice-presidential debate, before Sarah tells the world that she knows all about foreign policy because Putin flies over her house.

A good thing is that even many of my clients, many of whom don't pay much attention to who is running their country, are paying attention now. I also think that as Obama continues to be on TV all the time, in ads, in debates, inginterviews, people will begin to see him as Obama, the Liberal Democrat, but much less as Obama, the Black guy. He is just becoming familiar, and that is a good thing for this county.

Unfortunately, Palin is not doing the same for women. She is fulfilling the stereotype of the not too swift beauty-pageant lady, who wants to bring peace to the world but whose talent is baton twirling.

Obama survived the debate about foreign policy, which is supposed to be McCain's strength. It is impressive that McCain has been to all these countries and knows all these people, but his stace seems to be ready to go to war with them all. He doesn't seem to see that going to war hasn't been too successful over the last fifty years.

Obama's lead is building, but who knows, one explosion, a TV appearance by Satan on David Letterman, or Tina Fey coming out in support of McCain, and everything could swing the other way very quickly.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More Obama stuff

So, as I said, I am doing work for Obama. Today, since I live in a very blue state, I was called people in battleground states to see if they could do some work in theri neighborhood. I leaned a few things.
First, most people don't answer their phones, even if they have cell-phones. I think my wife is the last person who believes that if the phone rings you are supposed to answer it.
Second, i seems that so many people in America are moving and struggling. So many phones are disconnected, and so many people who signed up only two months ago are already someplace else.

There was some genuine enthusiasm, so it seems some people are paying attention.

I can't remember an election that has gotten this slimy this early. It seems that McCain will say anything he feels will be effective, but without any attention to truth. I guess he feels that Bush did it to him, so he can do it to Obama. "The Straight-Talk Express" seems to be completely derailed as he and Sarah have no contact with the press. They don't want to be accountable to anyone. Even the ladies on "The View" called him a liar, and he had nothing really to say.

It's sad, because there is so much at stake. For him to suddenly become a fiscal watch-dog, when he himself was censured by Congress during the last banking crisis is as ridiculous as it gets.

But that's they way things are going.

Also, That web-site that was posted as a response to my last post was interesting and worth checking out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Should have seen it coming

About three years ago, looking back from what we know now, I should have known that the financial world was about to implode. At that time I was seeing the usual sixty different people in a month. What I realized even then was that about ten of the people I saw, who had been not doing too well professionally, were suddenly taking exams to become mortgage brokers. Even those who couldn't pass the exams were sell mortgages for their sleazy brother-in-law or cousin. The cousin was often the guy who sold mortgages, and to add to his profit margin, sold cocaine.

I had one woman who had a few relationship problems, but she was selling both real-estate and mortgages, and she was making many, many dollars. She worked constantly, looked stylish, networked with everyone, and knew everyone. Everyone thought they could be just like her.

Well, they couldn't.

But they all sold mortgages to their aunts and uncles and ner'-do-well brothers. They all seemed to have some sense that these people couldn't afford the payments. Many of the people taking the mortgages were taking money out of the houses they had owned for years, believing that the equity in the house would just continue to rise at 20% a year. Often they used the money to pay off the credit card debt they had gotten by buying SUVs, and the trips that came with them.

The banks were encouraging people to use the credit cards, and would sent new ones to people as soon as the old one was max-ed out. The mortgage companies were selling on the basis of low-rates that the Fed had dropped to get the economy going after the stock market bubble burst, without regard to creating a bubble in housing.

Then the bubble popped. Surprise!

It was completely unregulated. What made it worse was the brilliant investment bankers who devised "credit default swaps" and were leveraging derivatives on those at 30- 1.

Then the families who wanted it all now, and was encouraged to put it all on credit, was faced with the reality that they owned much more than they had in assets, and that they now had negative equity in their houses. It was over for everyone.

Now, John McCain wants to tell you he will reform all this, by stopping the greed of the "Fat Cats." Well those "Fat Cats" are the are Republicans he is counting on to finance is campaign. He forgets to tell you that. That's why he wants to keep the Bush tax cuts. That way they get to keep their money.

That's called getting tough.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's OK (almost)

Well football is on. And football and HD TV were made for each other. We are here in America, watching football, drinking a beer, and everything is just fine.

It's easy to forget that we are fighting two wars, one for no reason, and one we are losing. It's easy not to think how today we had to pay taxes and so much of that money is going to to bombs and corruption.

It's easy to forget that houses are being foreclosed at a record rate, that unemployment is rising rapidly, that we are being fleeced by oil companies. It is these same companies that will make more money when we "drill, drill drill" and it won't make the price of gas cheaper.

It's easy to forget that the Justice Department is corrupt and run out of a religious/political office. It's easy not to look at the department of the interior that takes bribes and has sex with people from these same oil companies.

Mr. McCain says he wants to go to Washington and make changes. He doesn't say that he will change any of this. He won't stop the war that spends a couple of billion of my money each month. He won't change the people in these corrupt departments because they are all the same Republicans that are paying for his campaign. He won't change health care and make it affordable or efficient. He will go to Washington and change the face of the man in the White House. Everything else will be the same.

But, hey, football is on. My team is winning so everything must be right with America. Let's not bother with politics. That way we can act stupid, be happy and poor, and probably lose more of our sons and daughters in wars for the oil companies.
But that's a small price to pay for HDTV.

Monday, September 08, 2008

more discussion

It seems that, among others, we have a "Right-Wing-Radio-Republican" in our midst. There are hordes of people who have been out there for over twenty years now who have decided that the best way to enter into a political discussion is to scream, slander, debase, and just throw all kinds of hyperbolic charges at the opposition. It's the "all Democrats are dangerous," and "Liberalism is a disease" type of argument that only leads to greater divisions in the country. Everyone says they are against it untle they realize that it takes only 270 electoral votes to win.

But, as we can see from the last two Presidential elections, it works. Perhaps a lie is still a lie no matter how many times you say it, but then how many people still believe that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 911?

Now we have McCain leading the cheers for Ms. Palin, as if she has become the next American Idol. Her qualifications seem about the same, cute, popular, and can give a good scripted come-back. Ms. Palin may be strong enough to be Vice-President, but she seems to be a kept hot-house flower who is not allowed to speak for herself without a card to read.

Once again, it's great theater. How many times can we run the 9/11 movie?

Obama must be amazed that McCain can flip from being the "experience" guy to being the "new change guy" just because he says so. Who has time to really see if it means anything when you really are worrying about making the next mortgage payment?

Oh, and on health-care. That's the field I work in. Everyday I see how intrusive, wasteful, inefficient, insensitive and expensive our "free-market" system is. It is designed to make people money (even me) much more than to keep people healthy.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Well, we are beginning to get some reactions here. I can't quite call it a discussion when some of the folks seem pretty much off the wall. That often seems to be the way political discussions go these days. I don't know where the raping and killing part comes in. Are people really still that afraid of Black people?

Amanda -- please register and vote, even if it means using a couple of stamps. If I knew where you were I'd forward some to you.

One thing the Republicans are very skilled at is creating symbols. They have been running on the same issues for decades, but they really don't talk about issues. They get people to feel for patriotism, safety and loyalty -- and even when what they actually do is really harmful to the nation they still are able to get people to feel that it is more American somehow, to be that way.

McCain is now running ads that trash his own policies and his own party, and then he blames it on Obama. If McCain wins the only thing that is going to change is the face of the man in the White House, but he poses as St. Patrick, and about to drive all the snakes away.

I really do think that Obama wants to create more of a caring society atmosphere in this country than anything we have seen since FDR. McCain is a true believer in American Individualism -- which ends up beong every person for himself, which then results in those who have more power and influence taking advantage of that and depriving others of their opportunities. Something like good health care really takes the kind of cooperation that this country has not been good at.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Reactions to the Republicans

The Republicans are meeting now and I am watching it on TV.

I have two immediate reactions. NOTE: I am very biased.

1. The Republicans seem to glorify war. The short movie about the Navy Seal who died was moving, and really tragic. This really gallant young man died in a war that didn't need to be fought. He saved his comrades while fighting people who really offered no threat to this county. No one mentions that. The Republican honor soldiers as if they are fighting for the Republican Party, which, sadly, in some ways they were.

2. The Republican convention is always full of white people. This time they can't even find a few Black faces to put the cameras on. This time the convention is not only all white people, it is all old white people, probably all rich old white people. anyone from outside the country who looks in must feel that the USA is a homogeneous nation of war loving white people.

A large part of it is.

And, as Joe Lieberman says, John McCain is not your average Republican. That is true. He is much more often irrational, impulsive, and a man more comfortable in the world of forty years ago.

Just my thoughts. Feel free to react.

Juno in Juneaux?

I'm sure I'm not the first to make that bad pun, but I guess it has to be said. Of course, the daughter of the VP nominee is keeping her child, not looking for a more adult home like the kid in the movie. That's fine with me. I can certainly respect that decision.

What I am having a great deal of difficulty accepting is John McCain's decision. I think that Mrs. Palin and her entire family seem like a fine, likable, fun bunch of people. They read the Bible and they like to hunt, fish, drink and screw. There is nothing at all wrong with that.

BUT, it doesn't qualify her to be Vice-President of the United States! I have many friends who like to hunt, fish, drink and screw. I like them a lot and we have some really good times, but I'm not voting for them.

She basically may be very smart and a quick-study, but she has NO real experience running things. She has just taken an interest in foreign police in 2007 when her kid went off to war. Comparing her lack of experience to Obama's is like comparing someone in their first month of Single A ball to the Major League Rookie of the Year. They are several leagues apart.

Being a devout Christian does not count as a qualification, especially when you really have not managed to stick closely to those beliefs. Yes, we are all fallen, especially me, but that doesn't qualify me to be a heart-beat away from taking over if the oldest candidate ever skips three heart-beats in a row.

I don't blame her at all. She is probably a great woman, but I think it certainly shows how impulsive and manipulative John McCain can be, and I can't trust someone like that to run the country.

But, he doesn't want to fix health care, or make mortgage companies accountable, or relieve the middle class tax burden, and he does want to spend billions more on wars, and on looking for oil -- and she wants to keep drilling for oil everywhere too, that's one things she knows about. If that's your idea of change, then it's clear why they need to bring God into the picture.