Saturday, January 05, 2008

Get real, Democratic Underground posters.

You know, a lot of the peolpe who post at Democratic Underground are real idiots. Here I write a sort of quirky post about Mike Huckabee and throw out the idea of an Al Gore write-in campaign, if all we're left with is Hillary or Obama, and I get this wave of hate.

Everytime I write something at DU, I get accused of being a Republican. In fact, I think the first time I ever wrote a post at DU, I was banned instantaniously. All they read was the first two sentences and that was all it took.

Luckily, I had met one of the guys who started DU at a New Year's party back in '05 and was able to sort the thing out, but man, these people claim they're all about democracy and crap but you dare not to follw the party line and they want to tear you to peices -- and then censor you.

I don't think it's too far out there to think that in a country like ours that the probablily of a woman or a black man getting elected as president of the United States is a bit of a stretch, regardless of how bad W. has messed things up for the Republicans.

But I'm the crazy one. Obviously, the good folks sitting all day in front of their lap-top writing snarky three letter responses to posts they took three seconds to scan before they mader up their minds whether they agreed with them or not know a lot better about this stuff than I do. I mean, 200,000 Dems came out in Iowa to caucus! Gosh, Obama might as well get busy fitting the curtains for the White House.

Wake up!

We're in a Huck of a lot of trouble. The Huckabee juggernaught.

I'm getting a real bad feeling about this whole 'Huckabubble' thing going on. Huckabee won the Iowa caucus running away, which wasn't supposed to happen. Supposedly, the pundits are saying he's got no chance in New Hampshire -- John McCain is everybody's new golden boy -- but I don't know. If crazy Ron Paul could get 10% of the vote in Iowa, anything can happen.

What I worry about most is how easily Huckabee is falling into that cozy place in people's perceptions as just a regular kind of guy, one who plays bass and shoots stuff up, the kind of guy you wouldn't mind having a beer with. Sound familiar?

I'm sensing a distinct coat of Teflon emerging in this guy's campaign, too.

Huckabee joked about shooting people who didn't caucus for him a few weeks back, but that's no problem for the media who, apparently, are so taken with him that they sort of missed the fact that there's about one gun massacre every two weeks in this country. Forget Virginia Tech, this guy is charming!

Then there's his take on the Benazir Bhutto assassination. Watch out for those Pakistanis coming across the border, he says! There are so many things wrong with his entire way of thinking on this issue, but you won't hear any of it discussed in the media -- it's the horse race stupid!

What his linking events in Pakistan to immigration tells me about this guy is that he hasn't got one iota of foreign policy experience, which is what I thought was going to be the big thing this year. Voters are supposedly leery of any candidate who knows as little about the world as W. did. See the mess his ignorance got us into?

Now comes Huckabee with his invading hordes of Pakistanis and wham, bam, thank you ma'am, he's the front runner. (And that particular "gaff" is already down the memory hole never to be brought up again.) This time around no is going to dare "ambush" him with any tough questions about who the president of France is, that's for sure.

You may say I'm overreacting. Perhaps. Sure, you may say, he might get the nomination, there's no way he can win the general election, though. I say, why not? He appeals to the Reagan Democrat demo, his "fair tax" idea is a "fiscally conservative" Republican's wet dream. Huckabee may have grown up "one generation from dirt floors" but his sale's tax plan will surely have us all back there in less than a generation, which is manna to his base.

And the relatively well off white guys, either Democratic or Republican, who think they're doing good but they're a little worried about the way the economy is going are not about to vote for a woman or a black guy. There's a lot of primary fever going on right now, Democrats are gushing all over themselves about Obama mania, but the one thing everyone is forgetting is that, this is a country that voted twice (or at least once) for George W. Bush. You don't go from that to electing a black guy or a woman in four years.

People may talk a good game about voting for "change," but when it comes down to it, when they get into that voting both, they're going to go for the white guy who plays bass and wants to cut their taxes. Even if everything looks like it's going to be a landslide for Hillary or Obama, you may wake up the next morning with a nasty shock (no one is going to admit to a pollster they'd never vote for a black or a woman).

As a lifelong Democrat, I have to say we only have two choices facing us: Either we pit our red-neck sounding guy, John Edwards, against their real red-neck guy, Mike Huckabee, or we draft Al Gore to be the nominee. That's the only way we win this election. White middle-class folks, especially upper middle-class folks, aren't going to be in any mood to take a chance with a minority as president, particularly if the economy is in the dumper, which most likely it will be.

Huckabee will have Ed Rollins in the background firing up the economic/class knuckleheads in the party, Huckabee himself has got the evangelicals fired up and how on earth is Hillary going to combat the Chuck Norris contingent? And when things really get nasty, rest assured, from an undisclosed location somewhere in Texas, Karl Rove will be engineering his dirty tricks (for a rather large fee, naturally).

When primary time comes to Pennsylvania, I'm writing in Al Gore. I don't think any of these other candidates have an ice cube's chance in the South of winning a general election, except, as I said, maybe John Edwards.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Bush says the economy is on a solid foundation, just like in 1929!

According to the Yahoo stock ticker the Dow is now down 234.35 points on news that the unemployment rate has gone up to 5.0%. reports: "Last month, employers added the fewest new jobs to their payrolls in more than four years, said the jobs report released Friday by the Labor Department. The report also showed that employment conditions are deteriorating, strained by a housing slump and credit crunch that are sapping economic strength."

Not to worry, though, W. had a meeting with his economic Brains-Trust and they've got it all under control. Despite all he bad news and the roller coaster stock exchange W. assures everyone that, "Financial markets are strong and solid . . . This economy is on a solid foundation." []

Kind of sounds a little like one of his Republican predessesors, Herbert Hoover, who said in October of 1929: "The fundamental business of the country . . . is on a sound and prosperous basis."

Meanwhile, news comes today that the price of a barrel of oil going up to $100 the other day was all the work of a lone trader.

AFP reports:

"The trader has been named by US and British media as Richard Arens who runs a one man oil brokerage, ABS. "The magic figure was hit apparently on the back of a single trade, rumoured to be a local intent on fame," Sucden analysts wrote in a commentary Thursday on the record breaking deal. Arens offered 100,000 dollars on the New York market on Wednesday for 1,000 barrels of oil, producing the much talked of 100 dollars per barrel which sparked anguish across the financial markets. He later sold on the contract for slightly below 100 dollars, taking a 600 dollar loss."

Regulation is really a bad thing, right? Wild West speculation on a vital commodity like oil is what business is all about! God Bless America!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Scary New Year!

News Item:

"NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices soared to $100 a barrel Wednesday for the first time ever, reaching that milestone amid an unshakeable view that global demand for oil and petroleum products will continue to outstrip supplies . . . In other Nymex trading Wednesday, February heating oil futures rose 9.28 cents to $2.7422 a gallon while February gasoline futures climbed 8.07 cents to $2.5717 a gallon. February natural gas futures advanced 26 cents to $7.743 per 1,000 cubic feet "

Luckily, these spikes are coming just after everyone maxed out their credit cards for Christmas. Go out and shop, retailers need a good season!

All of this one the heels of the Bhutto assassination and the crisis and potential disaster in Pakistan. Then there's Nigeria and the problems they're having getting oil to market due to their Delta insurgency. But, what's really behind the high price of oil?

AP: "Trading volumes were about 50 percent of normal Wednesday, meaning the price move was likely exaggerated by speculative buying."

See, now that all the money has gone out of the housing bubble, speculators don't have any other place to go besides jacking up the price of commodities and hoping to pull out just as the botton falls out.

Not that anyone should worry about any of this. Beneazir Bhutto's 19 year old son, Bilawal Zardari (who only took his mother's name "Bhutto" a few days ago) is now in charge of the Pakistan People's Party, the largest and most respected Party in Pakistan, along with her sticky fingered husband Asif Ali Zardari (aka "Mr. 10%"). [NYT]

We're in god shape. And it's only the second!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Bush uses pocket veto against our troops.

News Item Friday:

"CRAWFORD, Texas - President George W. Bush on Friday used a 'pocket veto' to reject a sweeping defence bill because he dislikes a provision that would expose the Iraqi government to expensive lawsuits seeking damages from the Saddam Hussein era." [Canadian Press]

What's this all about? Just a few weeks ago W. was crying 'The sky is falling! The sky is falling! and blaming it all on the Democrats.

On the 15th of this month Bush complained:

"Congress has had plenty of time to consider the emergency funds our troops need. Time is running out, and Pentagon officials say that continued delay in funding our troops will soon begin to have a damaging impact on the operations of our military. . . Congress' responsibility is clear: They must deliver vital funds for our troops - and they must do it before they leave for Christmas." []

Well they did . . . but now he's slipped the bill into his pocket and he's going to let it die on the vine rather than allow a little noticed provision put in by NJ's Sen. Frank Lautenberg to become law.

What about the money in there for wounded vets and that 3.5% pay raise for our troops in harm's way? What about our ability to wage the GWOT? The Pentagon's broke, right?

The real story is that, according to the LA Times, Bush pulled this sneak attack on the troops:

"Because it could revive a lawsuit brought by American prisoners of war during the 1991 Persian Gulf War who say the Iraqis tortured them. Their suit sought to establish the principle that war prisoners tortured in violation of the Geneva Convention were entitled to sue the country that tortured them."

[Using the "pocket veto" tactic during the holidays also avoids the messy business of formally vetoing a bill that supports the troops.]

What are Bush's reasons for this extraordinary move?

LA Times:

"Bush described the new provision as being 'contrary to international legal norms.' [That's rich coming from him!] If signed into law, it 'would expose Iraq to new liability of at least several billion dollars,' Bush said in his disapproval message. It 'would attempt to revive a $959 million judgment against the new democratic government of Iraq based on the misdeeds of the Saddam Hussein regime.' Moreover, he said, the new law could trigger similar suits against the United States. "

That's the real rub, right there. We don't want people thinking they can go around suing the U.S. for kidnapping, locking up and torturing people.

Sen. Lautenberg says says the intention of his provsion would allow victims of the Iranian regime and the Libyans to sue. "My bill would provide victims of state-sponsored terrorism the justice they deserve," he says.

Suing the Iranians is all fine and well, but not he Iraqis and certainly not our newest buddy Moammar Kadafi. That would tend to complicate Condi's visit to Tripoli coming up this year.

Sure, Kadafi was behind a series of terrorist attacks against the U.S. and killed 189 Americans over Lockerbie Scotland in 1988.

But Condi says, all if forgiven:

"The United States doesn't have permanent enemies, we're too great a country for that."
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