Friday, November 21, 2008

Hillary as Sec. of State

Hillary will likely make a good ambassador-type Sec. of St. State is a hugh bureaucracy, and the reports are that Condi Rice has not been an effective administrator.Hillary's resume is weak on big administrative experience. She's been a lawyer, coordinator of task forces, and administrator of a Senate office. She directed a Pres. campaign that had many problems. None of this really qualifies to run a large bureaucracy. Watch who the asst. secretaries are and who appoints them..will it be Obama and the WH or will Hillary have the auhority to appoint her asst. secretaries?Who will be the national security council director? and will this person undercut Hillary?In so far as we know Hillary's foreign policy stands, she appears to be hawkish on Iraq, Iran and Russia.Will she work in partnership with Obama, or will there be clashes? And if so, could Obama really fire her? Probably not. He would tend to ignore her, work around her with the nat. security council director and asst. secretaries in State.

Professor Patricia DeGennaro develops a strong brief against Hillary as Sec.St.Excerpts from the brief:--------------------------She supported the Iraq war, he is against it. Clinton was unapologetic about voting for the war despite pleas from her own constituency to admit it was a mistake. Alternatively, she took a hard stance and further disagreed with Obama's idea of withdrawal.
Under no circumstances does Clinton want to speak with Iran. Obama, on the other hand, stated that he felt speaking to Iran was a requirement for getting them past their nuclear weapons ambitions. Her policy ironically is to use ours on them if they did not submit to US demands.
Further, Clinton has said nothing of changing policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, two issues that were central to Obama's foreign policy platform. Nor has she commented on how to move beyond either war toward a more sustainable peace.
She has shown through her own statements that she is definitely more hawkish than he is. I wonder if she can stand down when he says so.
Appointing Clinton Secretary of State is not what the US needs especially when it is trying to repair its relationships in the world, end two wars and get the Middle East peace process back on track.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pat Buchanan's list of Obama horrors

The tribalist Pat Buchanan lists the horrors of the first 100 days of Obama Presidency and Dem. Congress:
“…..Specifically, we can almost surely expect:
– Swift amnesty for 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens and a drive to make them citizens and register them, as in the Bill Clinton years. This will mean that Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona will soon move out of reach for GOP presidential candidates, as has California.
– Border security will go on the backburner, and America will have a virtual open border with a Mexico of 110 million.
– Taxes will be raised on the top 5 percent of wage-earners, who now carry 60 percent of the U.S. income tax burden, and tens of millions of checks will be sent out to the 40 percent of wage-earners who pay no federal income tax. Like the man said, redistribute the wealth, spread it around.
– Social Security taxes will be raised on the most successful among us, and capital gains taxes will be raised from 15 percent to 20 percent. The Bush tax cuts will be repealed, and death taxes reimposed.
– Two or three more liberal activists of the Ruth Bader Ginsberg-John Paul Stevens stripe will be named to the Supreme Court. U.S. district and appellate courts will be stacked with “progressives.”
– Special protections for homosexuals will be written into all civil rights laws, and gays and lesbians in the military will be invited to come out of the closet. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” will be dead.
– The homosexual marriages that state judges have forced California, Massachusetts and Connecticut to recognize, an Obama Congress or Obama court will require all 50 states to recognize.
– A “Freedom of Choice Act” nullifying all state restrictions on abortions will be enacted. America will become the most pro-abortion nation on earth.
– Affirmative action — hiring and promotions based on race, sex and sexual orientation until specified quotas are reached — will be rigorously enforced throughout the U.S. government and private sector.
– Universal health insurance will be enacted, covering legal and illegal immigrants, providing another powerful magnet for the world to come to America, if necessary by breaching her borders.
– A federal bailout of states and municipalities to keep state and local governments spending up could come in December or early next year.
– The first trillion-dollar deficit will be run in the first year of an Obama presidency. It will be the first of many.
Welcome to Obamaland! …..”
——————————————————————————–As Norman Mailer once described himself, I’m a conservative leftist…liberal,progressive, with libertarian instincts lying just under the surface.
I would say only about half of Buchanan’s “horrors” will likely happen.I would like to see a higher rate for the top 5% wage earners.Ditto having a Social Sec. tax paid by all wage earners, rather than the flat SS cap existing now.The “Freedom of Choice Act” will not happen. Abortions should not be a candy store-like option. They should be rare, safe, and legal.Even Obama’s health care plan would not be universal, except perhaps for children. See today’s NYT editorial on the McCain and Obama health plans, and why Obama’s is better.A revenue sharing stimulus to the states makes sense…with conditions like Medicaid savings.There would be, and should be, a more congenial environment for gays and lesbians, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Comment by gecannonphd — October 28, 2008 @ 10:25 am

Thursday, October 16, 2008

some ruminations

Some ruminations_______________*The DN cover yesterday was super...McCain as the gunslinger coming out of the Last Chance Saloon.
**The Post's dark, twisted cartoonist Sean Delonas had a dark, twisted cartoon early this week. It has ACORN voter registrants at the mouth of the cave asking Osama and his terrorists group to register. It joins together the right-wing twisted, dark campaign against Obama, linking him to ACORN and Ayers radicals and alledged terrorists. Delones is probably the culprit that printed the Rensselaer ballots that had Barack Osama printed on them.***RealClearPoltics has Obama with a national average lead over McCain, 49% to 42%. This has not changed in two weeks.****Sandy Treadwell's tube ads attacking Kirstin Gillibrand are more negative than McCain's. Shame on Treadwell.*****The conservative leaders in Wash. are disasemmbling. Humorless David Frum was on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Mon. evening. He doesn't like her humorous take on events, and didn't like her dismissal of Paul Wolferwitz. Frum should get a life, and a sense of humor.
******CNN;s Nancy Grace is a legal witch. She has no soft core, inner or exterior. She tries legal cases on her show and disregards legal safequards. She has been drumbeating the Casey Anthony case in Orlando. Casey's the mother of 3 year Caylee, missing for 4 months. Grace wanted Casey charged and locked up months ago. Casey has now been charged with 1st degree murder and is locked up. I carry no water for Casey. What I see on the tube is a 22 year girl, immature, but not wacked out...articulate, not a babbling psycotic. Very rarely do mothers murder their child. It is against the female wiring. It happens, but usually with psychoic or manic bi-polar extremes. I've emailed Jerry Spence to consider going down there to help this girl. I would go down myself if I thought I could help. Yes, she may have killed her daughter. But more likely it was an accident, and the immature mother panicked. TOPO AND 11201 WEIGH IN ON THIS ONE.
*******Madonna is getting a divorce. Isn't that a kick in the head (hopefully not with Madonna's pistol heel shoes).Is it true that when she talked to ARod about Kabbalal, he thought she was talking about Polish sausage.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sarah Palin in Florida

Some ruminations______________
*I’m clueless on what a forensic auditor or forensic accountant is? Help me on this!
*Sara Palin(SP) has been roaming around Florida, shouting out how Obama wants to frighten seniors. SP has it wrong. McCain wants to privitize part of Social Security(SS), which will destroy the program. He wants to tax employer health benefits, and then hand back a $2500 or $5000 tax credit to buy health insurance on the open market.
But the Wall Street Journal revealed the hidden agenda in this proposal. And it was part of MSNBC Rachel Maddow’s analysis last night. McCain would only tax the income of an employee, and not the FICA, or SS, tax. This would generate far less revenue than the tax credits would cost. In order to make his health care proposal revenue neutral, he will have to cut Medicare and Medicaid by over $1 trillion in ten years.
Rachel had Florida Cong. Rep. (20CD) Debbie Wasserman Schultz on her show to describe how this would be a disaster to seniors. Schultz is a wickedly bright lady, but her hair style is frightening (to seniors and everyone).
*McCain/Palin are conducting a sludge campaign. They are using rhetoric that suggests that Obama is mysterious, supported by foreigners (Arabs), and is a terrorist in beliefs. It is a dispiciable gambit that can easily create a violent atmosphere. Obama should increase his security, hire his own security staff, rotate the Secret Service security, and reduce his appearances in open, outside venues.
McCain may get down and dirty this evening. If he does, Obama should use JFK’s line in 1960: “I carry a great deal of responsibility. I am the only individual standing between the White House and John McCain.”

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The case against McCain/Palin, Part 1

This is Obama/Biden’s election to lose. The electoral map is shrinking for McCain. The independents are beginning to move to Obama, and the Reagan Dems. are looking at their retirement funds and moving in the same direction.
Right now, it looks like the far West, Cal. ,Or., and Wa. are Obama’s (73 electoral votes). Add Minn.,Wi.,Mich, Pa Ny, Florida, and Va. and you have 202 electoral votes).That leaves only 68 votes to gain victory.
The problem for McCain is his inability to engage the bottom-up theory of economic rebirth. He can’t endorse a domestic Marshall Plan…a $300-400 billion program to rebuild our schools, infrastructure; and move to universal health care; and transform our energy infrastructure.
McCain’s image of the US is that of gated communities of the wealthy hiding from the demands of the bottom 80% of our population.
Yes, unfortunately both Obama and McCain have given support to, and voted for, the Peterson bailout. This bailout will create budgetary cuts that will not allow any progressive programs under an Obama Presidency. Obama will be politically impotent.
The strong current of change that is rippling through our communities will be stopped in Washington

Additional ruminations

Some ruminations_____________
*O.J. is found guilty. Good golly! He played football without a helmet.
*The bailout passed Congress. It’s a disgrace. Where is the $800 billion coming from? It will have to be borrowed…probably from China.Where does the fed. bailouts stop? Can any private corporation make strategic errors, and then ask Wash. to take the bad elements of the company.All of these supposed bad mortages have a tangible asset, the house. The investment houses are giving these houses a value of zero, or what is called “mark to market”. If the house can’t get anything today, it can still have a good value in the future.We need a domestic bailout. Andy Stern, pres. of SEIU, is calling for a $350 billion bailout for domestic programs….education, universal health care, infrastructure, and renewable energy.
*Novelist Erica Jong takes on Sara Palin:“Sarah Palin is a character out of Lewis Carroll. No one can translate that smile. She’s the Cheshire Cat.
She is the woman politician advertisers have been waiting for — all style and no substance. Full of confidence and full of beans, the walk of feminism without the talk. Nobody can object because there’s nothing to object to. Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro had ideas you could disagree with. But Sarah Palin is perky and inscrutable at once, you betcha. She talks. We listen but we have no idea what’s been said.
She is the female candidate of GOP dreams. She talks, she smiles, she flirts, she never opposes. She makes mistakes but nobody seems to care. We watch her lips go up, go down, go sideways. We watch her eyes glisten behind rimless glasses. The beauty pageant promoters removed her soul so it wouldn’t get in the way. How can we dismiss her or debate her? She’s a bubble. She’s fizz.”

Palin ruminations

The young girl Sara Palin survived…did not make any really goofy comments.In that sense, she did alright.She answered in broad strokes, generalities, and tried to use her “hockey mom” demeanor to sway voters.But as liberal E.J. Dionne writes, “this hockey mom is on thin ice…”She is not qualified to be vp.We are facing the most dangerous period, perhaps in our history. McCain would be the oldest Pres. in history…Palin would be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.In early 1960, Pres. Ike was asked at a press meet when was the last time he consulted, and listened, to VP Richard Nixon. Ike said he needed a week to think of the occasion.On what issue would McCain consult with Palin as VP?Biden kept his cool and did well. On a debate scorecard, he won.If that girl had accused me of “raising the white flag and surrendering (in Iraq morass)”, as she did to Biden and Obama, I would have converted her into moosemeat in front of 50 million viewers.Analyst Bob Beckel has it right when he said “she engaged in homespun platitudes, and repetitive inane comments..”

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Change in seasons and in politics

Some ruminations______________
**The leaves are turning...the color will be glamorous this year.
" To everything, turn, turn, turn.There is a season, turn, turn, turn.And a time to every purpose under heaven.A time to be born, a time to die.A time to plant, a time to reap.A time to kill, a time to heal.A time to laugh, a time to weep.
To everything, turn, turn, turn.There is a season, turn, turn, turn.And a time to every purpose under heaven.A time to build up, a time to break down.A time to dance, a time to mourn.A time to cast away stones.A time to gather stones together."Pete Seger
"How many years can a mountain existBefore its washed to the sea? Yes, n how many years can some people existBefore theyre allowed to be free? Yes, n how many times can a man turn his head,Pretending he just doesnt see? The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,The answer is blowin in the wind."Bob Dylan--
***"life will somethimes hand you a magical moment. savor it" Life's Little Instruction Book, V.II,#639.
It is Obama's FDR moment. Change is in the air, and, if elected, Obama wil have difficulty holding back the tsumani waves of change.
***"If McCain has supported Bush 95% of the time, then one is redundent"source unknown.
*** Let's remember as historians revise Richard Nixon that he had Paul Newman high on his Chuck Colson dervived "enemies list".
***Is it true that NYT's Maureen Dowd has been banished from McCain's Straight Talking campaign bus?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The bailout and Newman

Some random ruminations------------------------------------
"Never buy anyhing electrical at a flea market" Life's Little Instruction Book, V. II, 662"Never wash a car, mow a yard, or select a Christmas tree after dark" Life's Little Instruction Book, V.II, 638.Or draft a $700 financial bailout after dark.It's still too early to know what is in this bailout draft. There's appears to be some Main St. safeguards, such as equity shares in the some financials, caps on CEO pay, and help on mortgage foreclosures. Kudos for those.
Is this the mother of all October political surprises? The Bush family needs forsenic accountants. Papa George allowed the S & L scandals, and the son has allowed this Wall Street scandal. What's a forensic accountant?
45% of the public oppose this bailout. The Main Street Republicans don't like it. Too much unchecked executive authority, too much money, and too little oversight. Could McCain throw a long pass, and vote against the bailout bill?
Those Congressional politicos look silly wandering around the halls, dazed from lack of sleep. Barney Frank should stop using the Barney name. It, and his personal demeaner, are too cartoonish. He looks like a lost high school algebra teacher. Our senior Sen. Schumer always likes the camera lights. Never stand between Schumer and a camera? You will be trambled.You call this a deliberate legislaive process. Agreeing to outlay up to a trillion $s w/o hearings?
Is Hank Paulson an authoritian, or what? He has little knowledge, and lots of contempt, for Congress. His wristwatch looks like a miniature Blackberry. By the way, Speaker Pelosi confiscated all the politicos' Blackberries.-------------------------The Glens Falls Post Star this am has a front page line "Actor dies". What a pitiful way to announce Paul Newman's passing on. Newman was a "Hollywood" island of morality in an entertainment sea of sleaze.He was also a politically active liberal...and there is nothing wrong with that.
I recall sometime last century when he visited Storrs, Ct., when my wife and myself were attending the UCt graduate school. He was campaigning for Yale's Joseph Duffy in the primary against Chris Dodd's father, Tom Dodd. It was the Vietnam war issue. I felt compelled to block my wife's eyes so she could not stare at Newman.
In memoriam to Newman, all of us should buy one of his family's food products or coffee.RIP, Paul.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saratoga Springs, the Civil War and the bailout

It's a beautiful day in Saratoga Springs. The city is a beehive of activity. There is a Civil War encampment in Congress Park. The Civil War was such a massacre....over 600,000 deaths, I believe. Does anyone believe Lincoln could have avoided this civil war? Speaking of experience, Lincoln had less Washington experience than Obama.
There is a running marathon in the city. I wish I could walk a mile, let alone run.--------------------------------The Feds. are going to borrow, or print, $750 billion early next week. That's in addition to Bear Sterns-$24b;Fannie and Freddie-$200b;AIG-$85; and other bailouts totaling $400 billion. A trillion here, a trillion there. Pretty soon it begins to add up.
Our buddy, neighboring Vt. Senator Bernie Sanders, has some suggestions on this bailout, some very cogent:
"..a) Impose a five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for single taxpayers. That would raise more than $300 billion in revenue;
b) Ensure that assets purchased from banks are realistically discounted so companies are not rewarded for their risky behavior and taxpayers can recover the amount they paid for them; and
c) Require that taxpayers receive equity stakes in the bailed-out companies so that the assumption of risk is rewarded when companies' stock goes up.
(2) There must be a major economic recovery package which puts Americans to work at decent wages. Among many other areas, we can create millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and moving our country from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. Further, we must protect working families from the difficult times they are experiencing. We must ensure that every child has health insurance and that every American has access to quality health and dental care, that families can send their children to college, that seniors are not allowed to go without heat in the winter, and that no American goes to bed hungry.
(3) Legislation must be passed which undoes the damage caused by excessive de-regulation. That means reinstalling the regulatory firewalls that were ripped down in 1999. That means re-regulating the energy markets so that we never again see the rampant speculation in oil that helped drive up prices. That means regulating or abolishing various financial instruments that have created the enormous shadow banking system that is at the heart of the collapse of AIG and the financial services meltdown.
(4) We must end the danger posed by companies that are "too big too fail," that is, companies whose failure would cause systemic harm to the U.S. economy. If a company is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. We need to determine which companies fall in this category and then break them up. Right now, for example, the Bank of America, the nation's largest depository institution, has absorbed Countrywide, the nation's largest mortgage lender, and Merrill Lynch, the nation's largest brokerage house. We should not be trying to solve the current financial crisis by creating even larger, more powerful institutions. Their failure could cause even more harm to the entire economy. ...."

The US Senate

The US Senate DOES matter. And it could be be a very, very good year for progressive Dems.
Of the 35 Senate seats up in Nov., 23 are currently in GOP hands. Assuming the Dems hold all the 12 Dem. seats, they would only have to win 8 or 9 of the GOP seats to get a veto-proof majority. As an added bonus, it would allow the Dems to send Joe Lieberman into space.
The Udall cousins, Mark in Colorado and Tom in NM, should win. The Udalls are good politicians, and long standing members of the Mountain political establishment.
Mark Warner should win in Va.
Former NH Gov. Jeanne Shaheen has good progressive instincts and should beat that antidiluvian John Sununu.
Al Franken hopefully will send Norm Coleman packing in Minn.
The corrupt curmudgeon Ted Stevens should easily be retired by Mark Degich in Alaska. Has Sarah spoken out against Stevens?
We can all pray that that Okla. wierdo James Inhofe will be defeated by Andrew Rice.
GOP Senators Gordo Smith (Oregon) and Maine's Susan Collins are not without redeaming qualities. Gordo may lose to Jeff Meakley.
That's nine Senate seats that should go Dem. That would be more than enough to send Lieberman into that ethereal, vapid atmosphere reserved for cynical political opportunists.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Obama's FDR moment

Some Cannon ruminations____________________Is it a beautiful late Summer Saturday morning, or what? The leaves are beginning to turn. All is right with the universe.It was then Senate GOP leader Everett Dirksen who once said about fed. spending,. "a billion here, a billion there. After a while, it begins to add up..." LBJ used to bring ol' Eve to the Wh, fill him with scotch, and Eve would say "yes" to everything LBJ wanted.
The supreme financial bailout will cost us between $700b and $2 trillion. What's a trillion here, or there? It will be borrowed from the Chinese and the Walmart family.-------------------------Who said "Sarah Palin doesn't know her Fannie, from her Freddie"? It sounds like a Barney Frankism or a Joe Bidenism. Anyone out there know who said that?"_______________
A forthcoming book by a Fidel Castro aide says he bedded 35,000 ladies over a 40 year period-2 or 3 per day. Now that is speed dating excelisor. It's a dubious perk when you are the Supreme Commandant. Fortune Mag. has also estimated that Fidel's personal wealth is over $1 billion.
Why would you favor democracy when you can have all the wonderful perks. that come with being a dictator?
With the possible exception of universal, free, health care, Fidel has been a disaster for Cubans. JFK and RFK were probably morally correct in wanting to assassinate Fidel. Fidel's female slave trade would have been disrupted. Joe Kennedy, the father, wanted to buy Cuba and then sink it. Should've happened.________________________Does 2008 resemble 1932, or what? The economic sharks that have encircled the US are described by Kevin Phillips (Bad Money)....a good read. It is Obama's FDR moment.
George Bush is no Herbert Hoover. Hoover was a traditional conservative, slow and reluctant to use the State to arrest the Depression. Bush is a corportist neo-conservative. Yesterday, he outlined a plan that will have the State intervene in the private sector never before seen. Those crazy neo-cons believe in privatizing profits, and socializing losses.
The 1930ies Depression resulted from the excesses of the 20ies Guilded Age. The current crisis is a result of the new Guilded Age..Wall Street excesses, finanical casinoism, income inequality, and corruption.
Obama should win the WH in a walk. The fact it is a close race now is due to other factors. Assuming he wins, he should invoke an FDR-type 100 days of action. Michael Moore describes 10 actions that Obama should do quickly (Mike's Election Guide 2008). Most are good, a few are silly:
1)Institute a military draft. But only draft the 18-26 yr. old children of the richest 15% income earners (about 1.4 million). This would check the power structure from invading countries too quickly;
2)Force the rich to pay Social Security tax (6.2%) on all income over $102k. This would make SS solvent through the 21st century. And bury, forever, the canard of privatizing SS;
3)Ban all commercials in movie theaters;
4)Defeat Al Qaeda by building wells in the 3rd world. 2 billion people have no santitary sewers and 1 billion have no drinking water. Building wells for them would cost $10 per person, and create tremendous good will;
5)Free HBO for everyone;
6)Ban high fructose corn syrup, which has turned us into an overweight, diebetic-inclined nation.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sarah Palin, Tina Fey and Maureen Dowd

Tina Fey was good. Global warming is "God just hugging us closer" was funny. Fey/Palin saying she is experienced in foreign policy because she can "see Russia from her window" is also right on.
When JFK was asked if he had listened to Vaugh Meader's record, JFK said he thought he sounded more like Teddy than himself.
Carly Forina, former H-P ceo and McCain head counselor, ripped into the NYT editorial page this am on George Step.'s ABC show. Forina didn't like Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd and even Tom Friedman's comments this am.
Actually Dowd was right on. She ripped into Palin, writing from Alaska:" Two weeks after being thrown onto a national ticket, and moments after being speed-briefed by McCain foreign-policy advisers, our new Napoleon in bunny boots (not the Pamela Anderson kind, but the knock-offs of the U.S. Army Extreme Cold Weather Vapor Barrier Boots) is ready to face down the Russkies and start a land war over Georgia, and, holy cow, what business is it of ours if Israel attacks Iran?......
Sarah has single-handedly ushered out the “Sex and the City” era, and made the sexy new model for America a retro one — the glamorous Pioneer Woman, packing a gun, a baby and a Bible.
Her explosion onto the scene made Obama seem even more like a windy, wispy egghead. Like W., Sarah has the power of positive unthinking. But now we may want to think about where ignorance and pride and no self-doubt has gotten us. Being quick on the trigger might be good in moose hunting, but in dealing with Putin, a little knowledge might come in handy. "

Friday, September 12, 2008

This silly campaign

Columinist E.J Dionne says it best:“The campaign is a blur of flying pieces of junk, lipstick and gutter-style attacks. John McCain’s deceptions about Barack Obama’s views and Sarah Palin’s flip-flopping suggest an unedifying scuffle over a city council seat.The media bear a heavy responsibility because “balance” does not require giving equal time to truth and lies. So does McCain, who is running a disgraceful, dishonorable campaign of distraction and diversion.
But Obama bears responsibility, too: His task is to remind Americans that the stakes in this election are far higher than the matter of who said what and when about Palin. He isn’t doing it.”
Obama must begin stinging like a bee, and stop floating like a butterfly. He should ignore Palin, and attack McCain’s radicalism. McCain’s tax cuts will cost $700 billion yearly. He will have to cut Medicare,Medicaid and Social Security by 20%. McCain believes in war, and that “wars are quagmires only until someone figures out a way to win them”.
Obama should proclaim his adminstration will be a new liberal hour, a liberal schock doctrine (Rick Perlstein in The American Prospect, Sept. 08.). He should proclaim that the time is now for “universal health care, a sustainable energy policy and a sane and secure internationalism”. He should proclaim that McCain is Bush 3- the 3 C’s-a continuation of corruption, cronyism and conservative neoism

Obama, and McCain, and H.L. Mencken

"Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.
When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. "
H.L. Mencken
"I float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee."Mohammad Ali
Obama needs to begin stinging like a bee, or he will lose.The two recent scurrilous McCain ads on the charge that Obama supported sex education to kindergardeners and the pack of running wolfs going to Alaska treat the voters as unthinking nitwits. McCain's campaign has read Mencken.
Obama should ignore Palen, drop the law professor demeanor, and attack like Truman, Humphrey and JFK. He should borrow JFK's line in 1960, that he carries a great deal of responsibility. He is the only one standing between Nixon and the White House. Obama could say he carries a great deal of responsibility. He is the only one standing between the White House and Bush 3....a continuation of the neo-cons wars, deficits, corruption and cronyism.
Obama's comments yesterday that we will put Bill Clinton to work was arrogant. The Clintons will do the minimal campaigning, and bide their time to 2012

Thursday, September 11, 2008


You can put lipstick on a $500 billion annual deficit, and it still is obscene.You can put lipstick on 47 million health uninsured Americans, tell them to go to ER, and it is still obscene.You can put lipstick on an illegal, unending invasion of Iraq, that will likely cost $2 trillion, and it is still obscene.You can put lipstick on the receivership of Freddie and Fannie, that will cost Americans $200 billion, and it is still obscene.You can put lipstick on a 6.1% unemployment rate, that is closer to to 15% when part-timers are excluded and those no longer looking for a job are included, and it is obscene.You can put lipstick on the feds' Interior Dept which is in bed (literally) with Big Oil, and it is obscene.
Lipstick as a commodity is really sexist. The 60ies feminists rejected lipstick as a cheap marketing scheme to undercut the natural woman. Lipstick is a marketing tool for females to help capture males. How sexist is that? In fact, the psychoanalytical (babble?) basis for bright red lipstick was to replicate the female gentilia. How sexist is that?
Did Rudy wear lipstick when he would go drag?How much time would a pig need in the morning to apply lipstick?
I've always had a negative vibe toward lipstick since middle school. One day a cute girl blotted her lipstick on a kleenix, throw it at me, and yelled (to all the class) that that was the closest I'd ever get to her lips. Well, after climbing out from beneath my desk, I yelled back that that was the closest I'd ever want to get to her lips. That's when her football center boyfriend jumped from his desk, grapped me by the nape of the neck, and told me to meet him outside under the big tree. After school, I took my 100 #s to the very small tree far away from the school.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sarah and the Big Green Purse

My daughter is a complete vegetarian. That was her decision, and she didn't ask my advice. But there's nothing wrong with that (as Seinfeld would say).
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends we all have one meatless day a week. It would do more to slow climate warming than any other activity. (
Females guide our consumer spending. As Diane MacEachern, Big Green Purse) says, even when us males go into Home Depot we call the women to get a list of what to buy.
Sarah, the Terminator, the Barracuda, the Hockey Mom pitbull (what female nicknames) should be asked her opinion of MacEachem's 3 R's...Reduce buying, Reduce what we have, and Recycle our throw aways.
Sarah should be asked if we should add the human element to our chemistry table of elements.
The 1968 Presidential campaign was trumatic. During the campaign, Gene McCarthy said he would have an "automobile advisor" in the White House. Bob Kennedy said we should revise our GNP, to include the human elements, our consumption patterns, and quality of life. Suppose we had an auto advisor in the WH early on. We have 40 million cars on the road. The car forms our life patterns. The car culture is no longer sustainable.
ABC's George Step. asked Barack is he would go one-on-one on the basketball court with Sarah. He said he would win, but he wouldn't go target hunting with her.
Sarah should be asked if she would forego Mooseburgers one day a week.

McCain and Sarah

McCain has thrown a long pass in selecting Sarah. She is a fresh, and brash.She may get a small % of the Hillary 50+ women. Although it's an insult to these women that they would vote for a female, regardless of Sarah's far right views. It's so sexist.
Why would a woman or Reagan Dem. vote for Sarah?She would outlaw abortions. Abortions should be very rare, safe, but kept legal.Sarah didn't talk about health care in her convention speech. A GOP high-level advisor and Bush says NO ONE lacks health care. The 47 million w/o insurance can use ER. Using the ER, no one lacks care or insurance. The GOP view is absurb.Sarah supports oil drilling in Alaska. That is so parochial and is no real solution.Sarah has foreign policy views, but they're hidden now. When they emerge into the sunlight, they will be strident neo-con nostrums.
Let's get real. Again, as Gloria Steinhem said, the only similarity between Sarah and Hillary is a chromosome.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

High Noon

Grace Kelly/Sarah Palin and Gary Cooper/John McCain___________________________________________
Bill Kristol’s The Weekly Standard has a great cover,High Noon, with McCain as Cooper and Palin as Kelly.
Comparing Palin to the Quaker Kelly in the movie is a stretch. The only similarity is Palin carrying a rifle.
Being a Quaker would require a more gentle Palin. Palin says the only difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick. That is not a Quakerism.
It’s also an insult to pit bulls. I wouldn’t have one (my dog of choice is a collie). But I understand pit bulls have to be trained to attack. Am I right on this?
Comment by gecannonphd — September 6, 2008 @ 9:45 am
In Kristol’s column in the Weekly Standard referred above, he states:
” First: Thank you, Barack Obama. He lacked the confidence or the strength to ask Hillary Clinton, recipient of some 18 million votes, to join him on the ticket. Such a ticket, uniting and exciting the Democratic party, would have been hard to beat in this Democratic year. Having ruled out Clinton, Obama then lacked the nerve to double down on the theme of change, by selecting, say, Virginia governor Tim Kaine or Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius. A change versus experience election wouldn’t have been a bad bet for Obama. Instead, he settled on an unimpressive vice presidential pick, a long-time, long-winded overrated senator from a safe state, who gave him no lift at all in the polls, and offers no prospect of doing so.
Second: Thank you, John McCain. He showed guts with his pick of Sarah Palin. He also demonstrated a shrewd strategic sense. He knew that running on experience would carry him only so far–most likely to a respectable defeat. He understood the implications of Obama’s passing over Hillary–not that Clinton voters would vote for McCain-Palin (though if even a few do so, it could make a difference), but that his pick of Palin when compared with Obama’s shying away from ”__________________________Everyone assumes Hillary wanted the vp and would have accepted it on the ticket. That may not be correct at all. Hillary was vp, in clout and policy involvement, during the 90ies. She been there, and done that.
Interesting that Kristol supports Hillary as the better Obama choice. If, in fact, it was Hillary, the Kristol neo-cons would make Palin’s hockey mom pit bull look like a collie. I agree that Obama going with an outsider (from Wash.) would have been interesting. But experience is gong to be an issue in this election.
And ignore the polls now. They are not significant. It will be a close election, and the talking heads will likely be on the air into the wee hours of Weds, after election day.
Comment by gecannonphd — September 6, 2008 @ 9:46 am
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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Michael Moore says Gustav is from God to disrupt the GOP

Michael Moore says that Gustav's arrrival, and the resulting GOP convention turmoil, proves "there is a GOD."
GOD, in all his/her visibility, is likely apolitical. I can't imagine GOD being a neo-con or New Deal liberal. Perhaps a libertarian, but not a card carrying party member.
To understand the coming of Gustav, I would want to check the Bible's Revelations and Nostrodomus. There you will find earthquakes and hurricanes tearing up the Earth, and leading to the end times.
Gustav also proves there is an Al Gore and climate warming. The warming of the oceans, and the Gulf waters, are producing more severe storms. Gustav is ,as this is typed, perhaps the mother of all storms.
Gustav and climate warming are a national security issue. The Pentagon has published its' analysis of the national security danger with warming and costal storms forcing millions of evacutees moving to higher ground.
Gustav is a Scandinivian name meaning "god's staff". Perhaps Moore is right that Gustav is a part of God's army come to slay the GOP neo-cons.
Now Sarah Palin cannot stop Gustav, even being a member of the NRA and an expert moose hunter.

Gustav, New Orleans, and the GOP

Gustav, New Orleans, and the GOP-----------------------------------------------I was once an intern with NY State. I was enticed to accept a position as Adm. Asst. to a Commissioner. The carrot held out to me to accept the post was the promise of a trip to The Big Easy. I accepted the post. The Commissioner lied about everything, except the trip.
I spent 3 glorious days in New Orleans, visiting Tulane U. and the French Quarter.
The Big Easy is worth preserving. Lots of history with the Big History. Even though the serious plotting of the JFK murder took place in New Orleans, the city is still worth preserving.
As I post this, the city may not survive. Gustav may throw history to the winds.
Bush may go to the Gulf Coast, as a symbolic gesture. McCain may also go, again as a symbolic move.
NO Mayor Nagin continues to appear as a mindless soul. Gov. Bobby Jindal appears with it.
The Katrina New Orleans planning is a good example of the neo-con. adversion to effective government. The neo-cons. want to control Wash,, but they don't want it to be effective. Someone suggested that if you had a choice of a competent, experienced neo-con administrator and an incompetent neo-con ideologue, the neo-cons have to appoint the incompetent neo-con. It would show people that government doesn't work, as Brownie and FEMAproved.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama's acceptance speech

It was a lollapollaza,spectateur extravanganza. What an awesome sight when the camera's scanned the entire Invesco stadium. 80k people, waving the American flag. They were fired up, and they are ready to go. Sheryl Crowe and Stevie Wonder were fantastic.The ending fireworks were a colorful climax.
Barack's speech was strong. It was great poliical rhetoric. It took the offensive to McCain, and summarized Barack's modest reform agenda.The stress on national security was also a good offense against McCain.
I personally would have liked to have heard stronger populist language. Barack could have done a political riff based on the man from Indiana, Barney Smith, who wanted Wash. to pay more attention to him, Barney Smith, rather than Smith Barney
I would like to have heard more speech repetitive attack, similar to Hubert Humphrey when he asked who supported all the postive programs of the last 30 years (in 1968), and ended each sentence with "..not the Republicans."
George McGovern had one of the best nomination speeches of the 20th century in 1972, but nobody saw it live at 3 am. The 1972 Dem. convention was revolutionary, but the democratic thrust was untidy and excessive.In that speech McGovern called on our better instincts, and called for us to "come home":
".....Come home to the affirmation that we have a dream. Come home to the conviction that we can move our country forward.
Come home to the belief that we can seek a newer world, and let us be joyful in that homecoming, for this “is your land, this land is my land -- from California to New York island, from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters -- this land was made for you and me.”
National security includes schools for our children as well as silos for our missiles.
It includes the health of our families as much as the size of our bombs, the safety of our streets, and the condition of our cities, and not just the engines of war.
If we some day choke on the pollution of our own air, there will be little consolation in leaving behind a dying continent ringed with steel.
So while protecting ourselves abroad, let us form a more perfect union here at home. And this is the time for that task...."
Barack/Biden have gotten a bounce, and by later today, the total gain will be over 10 points.
Bring on the GOP. McCain will likely choose Romney this am...a good choice. McCain cannot match Barack's rhetoric. The GOP would like to hold the final day of the convention in a football stadium, but may have to settle for the 18th hole at a country club.
Posted by gecannon on August 29, 2008 9:42 AM

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hillary, Biden and the vp

Yes, Hillary should have been the choice for Obama. But, again, why would she want vp? She had more clout during Bill's Presidency than vp under Obama would give her.
The Clinton's will play nice this week, thru November. But their history is to do what serves the interests of the Clintons.
Hillary will survive an Obama loss, and will at least plan for 2012. But no human in recent history has wanted to go thru the primary/caucus torcher a second time. And the Dem. base always rejects any politico that tries a second time. Hillary may be different.
The Politico writes that McCain is seriously (?) looking at Colin Powell for vp. Don't believe that will happen. First, he is pro-choice on abortion. I hate the terms pro-choice and pro-life. As Sojorner founder James Wallis suggests, let's move beyond these awful terms. Nobody favors abortion. It should be be rare, safe, but legal under very limited conditions.
McCain will announce his vp in Dayton Ohio on one of his 20 houses. Bill Kristol suggests that Biden's pick increases Romney's chances slightly. McCain needs a vp with gravatis and debating experience.

I happen to believe that being here in Saratoga Springs on this bright , sunny Summer Sunday is better than being in Denver. As I play with the tube remote, I appears everyone is in Denver. There are more horses,more walking possibilites (with the stroll down Broadway), and less smog in Saratoga. And Mary Lou Whitney is here, not in Denver. And what has happened to her face? Did she have the same plastic surgeon as Kenny Rogers?
I also believe the "deep political system" is far more important than the party conventions. The political class is important, but they are water carriers for the power brokers operating within our deep political system.
It is the corporate state that is far more important. What's the name of the Dem. convention location, the Pepsi Arena? Pepsi needs more attention than Joe Biden.
Rudy Guiliani says that Obama NOT picking Hillary is a sign of weakness and fear. After all, Hillary got 18 million+ votes, half the total in the primaries/caucuses. Hillary would have been the logical choice, if she wanted it. Perhaps the Clintons told Obama there would be no interest.In addition, Michelle Obama was opposed to Hillary, and Obama's wife is a player with clout.
Posted by gecannon on August 24, 2008 2:14 PM

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Britney,Paris, and McCain's ad

What a beautiful Summer morning in Saratoga Springs. The crowds are filling the Broadway walks. The horses are ready. When I waited for several horses to cross to the racetrack, they turned to me and laughed as they made me wait in my box of iron car.
I caught some of the morning pol. jabbering. Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Senator Tom Daschel went at it on Fox . As Graham went on to attack Obama, Daschel said he was nuts. Graham did look like he was foaming at the mouth. Lindsey is irritiating.
Graham and the McCain Rovian farm team are arguing that the Iraq surge has worked, and Obama would have defeated our troops. It is a silly argument. Our Iraq invasion was unnecessary. It will ultimately cost trillions. It has cost over 4K American soldiers lives, and thousands of wounded. It has enbolded Iran in the Middle East. It has diverted attention and resources from Afghan. It has, in the short term, made Israel less secure. It has led to a hugh spike in oil prices. It has created budget deficits and lowered the dollar on the international markets.
On Sunday Morning with George Step., George Will has returned to wearing a bowtie. Not a good omen. On the show, the McCain ad with Britney,Paris, and Obama was discussed. Analyst Jake Tapper talked about the subliminal racism within this ad...the Harold Ford attacks in the Tenn. race in 06. The elephant in the room is racism. The ad can subliminally suggest the highest fear of white Americans...the canard that black males want to capture our young blond females..
I posted on this on Friday, and will paste the quote of another analyst on this:
"What's with the McCain ad comparing Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. One take on this is subliminal racism.
Mark Karlin has a good explanation on this:
"Now, McCain is unleashing what has become known as the Harold Ford "Black Man is Keen on White Women Primal Racism Fear" ad. Why toss tabloid fodder like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in with Obama? Yes, perhaps to claim that he is all celebrity and no substance, but it was also to subliminally bring the "Harold Ford" factor into play: you can't trust a black man with white women"
Posted by gecannon on August 1, 2008 3:32 PM -------------------------------Let's use this blog as a focus group on this ad. Watch it on YouTube and post your reactions. Is it subliminal racism being used by the MacCain Rovian farm team?
Posted by gecannon on August 3, 2008 12:29 PM

Friday, August 1, 2008

The tracking polls, Obama, and Hillary

The tracking poll data (summarized below from RealClearPoltics) is not good for Obama. True, polls now are of little import. True, it does not breakdown by electoral college votes. But the problem is that the Dem., Obama, should be leading McCain by 10-15 points. All the consellation of issues and voter dissatification with the direction of the country should have Obama leading by a large margin.
He should be looking to Hillary for VP. It could not hurt him.
Poll Date Sample Obama (D) McCain (R) SpreadRCP Average 07/18 - 07/31 — 46.6 43.9 Obama +2.7Gallup Tracking 07/28 - 07/30 2679 RV 45 44 Obama +1.0Rasmussen Tracking 07/29 - 07/31 3000 LV 47 46 Obama +1.0CNN 07/27 - 07/29 914 RV 51 44 Obama +7.0USA Today/Gallup 07/25 - 07/27 791 LV 45 49 McCain +4.0Pew Research 07/23 - 07/27 1241 RV 47 42 Obama +5.0Democracy Corps (D) 07/21 - 07/24 1004 LV 50 45 Obama +5.0FOX News 07/22 - 07/23 900 RV 41 40 Obama +1.0NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 07/18 - 07/21 1003 RV 47 41 Obama +6.0
See All General Election: McCain vs. Obama Polling Data

The Terminator,Paterson, and the Shock Doctrine

Gov. Schwarzenegger is threatening to cut thousands of state jobs and move thousands to the minimum wage. While it is a bargaining chip with the GOP legislature to move them to pass a budget, this draconian approach is another example of Noami Klein’s Shock Doctrine. The doctrine says that Milton Friedman radicals will use political or natural crises to impose radical economic policies.
Gov. Paterson is using the same shock doctrine. He is ignoring the better approach to taxes and spending during a recession. It is better to stimulate consumer spending by using the state to promote economic activity. Cutting programs, employees and expenses is the wrong way to go. He is ignoring the good advice of Nobel prize economist Joesph Stiglitz. See his letter to Paterson (linked below).
The conservative forces, like the Empire Center, are using the current economic crisis to reduce government services. The Center’s policy director E.J.McMahon suggests state spending will increase 11% next year. That is an increase that most analysts disagree with.
These same shock doctrine troops want a property tax cap. This is a bad idea, and could have serious consequences. A circuit breaker is a better way.———————-If the polls continue to show a tight race, Obama should go with Hillary for vp.

Digital tranistion

Environmental greens are saying it could be 30 million or more. That's the number of analog tvs that may end up in the landfills in Feb. next year when the digital replaces analog.
For those of us that still have analogs, and have a sinking feeling commercial TV is dumbing us down and numbing our brain cells, we may take our analogs and antennas to the back yard and hammer them into oblivion.
The feds are giving away $40 converter boxes, but to date, less than 30% of analog qualifiers have applied for them. There can be millions of analog households that line up at a Best Buy on Feb. 17 to buy a digital tv.
That's probably what the Bushies want. It will stimulate the economy.
Who really benefits from the digital transition. I understand that there will be over 5,000 new digital channels created. But they are all "stolen" already. The FCC and Congress stipulated that Big Media could get 3 additional channels for each license they already hold. The 5,000 new channels are all taken. Big Media got an estimated $85 billion present, for free.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gov. Paterson and the Shock Doctrine

Gov. Paterson and The Shock Doctrine______________________________
Gov. Paterson is applying the Shock Doctrine.
Naomi Klein's bestseller, The Shock Doctrine, is a good read. Her thesis is that the Milton Friedman radical economists use natural and political crises to impose radical private market policies. These radical policies would never be supported by the mass citizens under normal conditions.
Klein uses the examples of New Orleans, Iraq, Chili, and the current Bush call for off shore oil drilling as examples of the Shock Doctrine in practice. Post-Katrina New Orleans has become the petri dish for radical Friedman shock therapy.
Gov. Paterson is using shock to possibly impose Friedman-type radical private market solutions.
Selling off state bridges, roads, and other assets is radical.A property tax cap is radical and can have long-term negative consequences . Why not propose a circuit breaker instead?Projecting budget deficits three years out is radical and not realistic.Even calling the Legislature back 3 months before an election is radical. And could benefit the Senate GOP Conference.
One thing is for sure and that is the state is far too dependent on Wall Street revenues.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Yada, Yada, Watergate and Troopergate

Yada,Yada, Watergate and Troopergate***********************As the lovable Seinfeld characters would say, yada, yada, yada.Troopergate is much jabbering (yada,yada) about nothing.In case anyone missed it, Fred Dicker compares Troopergate to Watergate. On his radio program,Ch.6 news, The Post, and Arebetter's NY Now, Dicker is a legend in his own mind.When he looks in the mirror, he sees Woodward or Bernstein.
I'm a believer in the Watergate revisionist school. Watergate, itself, was a tempest in a teapot. Nixon was brought down by the revenge of the bureauratic nerds. Many of his actions treatened strong Wash. bureaucracies.And he should have burned the tapes.
Troopergate is a tempest in a teapot; a vindictive power play unworthy of adults. Spitzer broke the bipartisan entente between the Gov.'s Office and the GOP Senate Conference. He acted to aid the Dems in taking control of the Senate.
Joe Bruno, like others,was abusing the use of state aircraft. Spitzer apparently misused the State Police to gather very detailed info. on Bruno's travels. Having said this, the issue itself is overblown. The Albany political honchos have long misused state aircraft.
Spitzer appears to have had a temperment unsuited for the Governor's office. He covered himself in a cloak of an idealistic reformer, but had a vindictive elitist personality. He was a Type A personality functioning in a Type F Capitol environment. He likely used his Blackberry in the shower. Hopefully, he is getting good therapy in anger management; and, hopefully,his wife doesn't shoot him.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 4th ruminations-part 2

July 4th ruminations-part 2______________________
If Obama becomes President, he should call for the transformation of our political institutions...the audacity of hope.
The Presidency should be one 6 yr. term, with voters voting on whether to expand the term for 2 more years during the sixth year.
Eliminate the Electoral College, or replace it with a majority vote system. The latter would have states making up a majority of electoral votes to agree to vote for the national majority vote winner.
Public financiing of the President either/or public or private financing.
On primaries/caucuses, have rotating regional primaries; only primaries, no caucuses which are undemocratic; weekend and online voting; winner take all; and no superdelegates.
The House of Reps. should be 4 year terms, arranged to run also during the Presidential election.
The Senate 2 per state should be changed, and based on population. R.I. could still have 2, but Tx, NY,Cal.,Fl. Pa would have at least 4, or 6 or more.
The Supreme Court justices should be term limited, one 6 year or 8 yr. term.

July 4th Holiday ruminations on political transformation

Some July 4th political ruminations -part 1---------------------------------------------------------In a recent NYT letter, eminent Political historian James McGregor Burns declared that this presidential election should be a transforming one...transforming an 18th political system to meet the transforming needs of the 21st century.
Historian Gil Troy (Leading from the Center) makes the case that our best Presidents have been moderates, governing from the political center.
If that is true, the liberal bloggers (see daily kos and Huffingtonpost) should not get their shorts in a twist over Obama's move to the center. The NYT editorial board is also upset. In a lead editorial on Friday (New and Not Improved), the Times is concerned by Obama's flips on private campaign financing, electronic wiretappng, death penalty, gun control, faith-based initiatives and possibly Iraq.
The portion of the 50 million Millenials that gave Obama his caucus/primary victories may revote against Obama if he continues his rapid flip to the center.
I am also concerned by Obama's flips. I'm enough of a realist to expect him to move to the center. But the times call for a transformational leader. He should not govern from the center. Once taking office in January, or in his inaugural address, he should call loudly for a 100 days of transformation.
The 100 days should first deal with what conservative analyst Kevin Phillips calls the 6-7 sharks that are circling the US (see Bad Money). They are financialization of our economy; level of debt;peak oil;collapse of home prices;global commodity inflation;lousy economic indicators; and ,perhaps, Rush Limbaugh
The first hundred days should also deal with health care, a move to universal coverage. Obama should give Congress 100 days to put a universal health care bill on his desk. After 30 days, he should address Congress to bring this bill home in 70 days. It is what he should call the urgency of now; the urgency of hope. In his address to Congress, he should give them a ringing call, asking them if they are fired up and ready to go?
There are more transformational moves that are necessary. See part 2.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Happy holiday weekend to all.*****ABC News has a story that flat screens are an enviromental timebomb. NF3 (nitrogen trifloride) is used in their manufacturing. NF3 is not counted in the Kyoto Treaty list of environmental gases. I never liked big flat screens myself. The tube should be a marginal existence in all our lives.*****Obama may refine his Iraq withdrawl timetable after visiting Iraq this month. It is a pattern of his to now move rapidly to the political center. The liberal grassroots are getting angry, including Arianna Huffington.
The times call for a transformational leader. Obama is evolving into a pedestrian opportunist.*****The reports say Madonna is worth $600 million and has no prenup with Richie. Is Madonna going through menopause? Is she ok?Her hubby may be a nice guy, but the divorce lawyers will be fighting for big bucks (they get 10-25% or more). What is the purpose in Madonna breaking up A Rod's marriage? Is it to show how immature the $295 million A Rod is? Is it to show Madonna's dominance? One could easily see how A Rod is guided by his genitals, rather than his head. But a 50 yr. woman is seldom guided by the same .What does Kabbalah doctrine say about all of this?
Posted by gecannon on July 3, 2008 4:48 PM

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Supreme Court and Pres. election

"So little time, so little to do"Oscar Lavant"Sunshine on my shoulders amost always makes me high."John Denver________________If McCain wants to continue to use old age jokes, a Post writer used this one as a lead this am: "I'm so old, if I walked into an antique store, the salesman would keep me!"________________
Conservative Post op.ed. writer and National Review editor Rich Lowry writes that Supreme Ct. swing Justice Anthony Kennedy engages in "vaporous moralism".
His criticism is misplaced. It is Justices Scalia and Thomas , the two extremists, that engage in "vaporous moralism."
Their positions on Presidential power are extreme. Their rewriting of the Constitution through judical fiat is extreme. Scalia's recent statement that the Court's decision to stop the 2000 Florida recount saved the country is extreme and silly. Their recent opinion on 2nd Amendment gun rights is extreme and dangerous. Their opinions upholding Bush on 4th Amendment rights are extreme and dangerous.
A blogger has offered to give the conservatives the 2nd Amendment gun rights if they would give Americans back the 4th Amendment protections on search and seizure. The blogger doesn't believe the rightwing will accept the offer; and I agree.
There are mega issues in this Pres. election. Some suggest Obama can be a transforming leader-an FDR. He could also just be a pragmatist making marginal changes.
What is clear is that Obama (or McCain) will likely transform the Court. Two in the liberal bloc (Ginsberg and Stevens) will retire or die in the next 4 years. Obama or McCain can make the Court strongly liberal or conservative for a generation.
This is important enough for everyone to vote!
Posted by gecannon on July 1, 2008 4:30 PM

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A NY State gasoline reliefbate

The Center for American Progress has a proposal for helping households on the gas price increase. It calls it a "reliefbate", giving households a rebate check ranging from $453 for low-income houses to decreasing amounts at higher income levels.See below:
A Fuel Price “Reliefbate”Middle- and lower-income families need immediate help to cope with record fuel prices. We can help these families by providing a “fuel price reliefbate” check of up to $450, which will cover some or all of the higher fuel price costs faced by working families due to the increase in gas prices over the last seven years.
The fuel price reliefbate would be applied progressively to families who need it the most. The amount households in each income group would receive in offsets is calculated using the average annual fuel expenditure increase between 2001 and an estimate for 2008 (see methodology for more details). The fuel price reliefbate would reimburse 100 percent of the higher cost of gasoline since 2001—or $450—for families earning less than $10,000 per year. Families with higher incomes would receive a progressively smaller offset. Families earning $50,000 to $75,000 annually would receive $200 or one-fifth of the total annual average increase for gasoline between 2001 and 2008. And families earning more than $75,000 annually would receive no aid. Overall, this portion of the fuel price reliefbate would provide some reprieve to 80 percent of all households and cost $22 billion.
This proposal would also provide independent truckers with a $4,000 fuel price reliefbate, which would offset, albeit slightly, the exorbitant rise in diesel prices. This portion of the fuel price reliefbate would cost $1.2 billion. There are over 306,000 self-employed truck drivers who spend on average over $110,000 annually on fuel, driving an average of 130,000 plus miles per year. Each independent truck driver would get $4000, which is five percent of the difference between the annual 2001 fuel expenditure and an estimate of his/her fuel bill in 2008.
This short-term relief proposal should be followed by meaningful, long-term solutions.
Closing Tax Loopholes and Recovering Lost RoyaltiesThis fuel price reliefbate may sound like a lot of money, but it could easily be paid for by closing several oil tax loopholes and recovering lost royalties. The bipartisan “Energy Advancement and Investment Act of 2007” had several provisions to close tax loopholes and recover
Posted by gecannon on June 28, 2008 2:06 PM
In my post yesterday, I described the Center for American Progress's "reliefbate"-a progressive check to holdholds to help pay for increased gas prices.
Let's do this at the state level. Gov. Paterson should cost this out and announce the program in July. It would cost less than a $1 billion, but the monies can be found.
Paterson should announce this as an executive order, using already budgeted monies. He should ignore the dysfunctional legislature. They have already gone home anyhow.
Posted by gecannon on June 29, 2008 12:09 PM

Carole King, Upton Sinclair, Iraq and Big Oil

"Hidiho, Hydi,Hydi,Hydiho, going to get me a piece of the sky..."Carole King from Tapestry.
Hope everyone is cool this super Summer weekend.
The flick There Will Be Blood is engrossing. It's about oil. It's also about bloody violence in the early oil fields.It's also about the irrelevance of fundmentalist religion in opposing the oil market competition. It's an adoption of Upton Sinclair's Oil.
Daniel Day-Lewis is an awesome actor. This is not, however, a flick for children.
Is Upton Sinclair's muckraking still relevant in today's new Guilded Age. I think so.
Oil is also still relevant, at least for now. The violent oil wars are still visible. Our Irag preemptive war had alot to do with distroying Saddam's nationalized oil production. The ensuing religious civil war is a good replication of There Will Be Blood.
Big Oil joined Bush/Cheney in the Iraq invasion. Big Oil is now on the cusp of getting Iraq to agree to favorable no-bid oil contracts. Bush/Cheney are also pressuring Iraq to agree to our long-term military presence in Iraq to protect Big Oil. McCain is in Iraq now to pressure for this.
Everyone agrees on the need to transform our energy infrastructure. We need to move to a post-oil era. But that's like turning around a large ocean carrier.
Pessimists like my friend, the Saratoga suburban critic James Howard Kunstler, argue that all the alternatives to oil are marginal solutions. Some optimists disagree. Let's split the difference and hope that at least our reliance on imported oil can be eliminated.
As an aside, I rented Blood from a supermarket Redbox...those non-personal machines. Whe I returned it, the machine ate it and did not give credit for returning. When I called the Redbox #800 , I couldn't get a live person.
Help me here, Carole King and Upton!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Some rambling political ruminations

SOME RAMBLING POLITICAL RUMINATIONS ON THIS WARM JUNE SATURDAY—————————————–***The Unity NH rally made for good pr. It should not imply that Obama will pick Hillary as vp (assuming she’s interested). Current polls show Obama doing very well against McCain in blue and swing states. If these polls hold in July, Obama has no incentive to consider Hillary.
***The subterranean creature, Joe McCarthy/Roy Cohn clone Roger Stone thinks the MTA chair has raised his NYC rent as payback for his alledged harassment of Eliot Spitzer’s dad. Stone doesn’t really undertand the deep politics involved here. I am using all of my modest clout to work to put Stone under his rock permanently.*****A Charles M. Blow has a NYT oped this morning arguing that McCain should not joke about his age. He uses recent surveys suggesting that 20% of the total national voters believe age is a negative for McCain.
If McCain wants to do another cameo on SNL, he can use the old man from Maine old age jokes printed on Daily Koz (with the old man saying even he knew what a fist bump was):
“Cheers and Jeers: Wednesdayby Bill in Portland MaineWed Jun 11, 2008 at 04:58:49 AM PDTFrom the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…
I am an old man
My hair is gray, my bones are brittle, my skin is leather, my eyes are dim, my liver is pickled, my wrists are carpal tunneled, my libido is shot, my lips are botoxed, my toes are corned, my memory is fading, my nose is sprouting weeds, my bottom is diapered, my teeth are loose, my stomach is a bubbling cauldron of acid overproduction, my hips are flabby, my knees are knobby, my hands are spotted, my Amigo is being unloaded from the UPS truck as I speak, my AARP card is tattered and torn, my cardiologist is on speed-dial, my joints are calcified, my food tastes like wood, my mood is sour, my wattle flaps like a flag, my head shakes, my TV volume is set to 45, and I never plan anything more than a month in advance.
But even I know what a fist-bump is, E.D. Hill”
Comment by gecannonphd — June 28, 2008 @ 11:14 am
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Senator Joe Bruno's retirment and George Carlin

“…Live every day as if it’s your last and eventually it will be. You’ll be fully prepared…”
“”Politicans don’t decide things, they determine them….They don’t tell, they advise; they don’t answer, they respond; they don’t read, they review; they don’t form opinions, they determine positions; and they don’t give advice, they make recommendations….and so it is, after each politican has responded to other’s initiatives, and after they have reviewed their responses, made their judgments, determined their positions and offered their recommendations, they begin to approach the terrifying possibility that they now may actually be required to do something.”
George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

We wish Mr. Joe well in his remaining years. Mario Cuomo used to call him the best looking guy in the legislature. And so he was, and probably still is.
But he led a Senate GOP Conference that favored big government, or at least big spending on local schools, member items, and economic development.
The great schism within the national GOP is between the Big Gov. Wall Street, country club crowd and the main street ,anti-Wall Street, Ron Paul liberatarians.
Mr. Joe is a member of the former, not the latter

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Some political ruminations this rainy Sunday

Susan Arbetter, on NY Now, had the heavy hitters, as she described them. Fred Dicker, Karen DeWitt and Jay Gallagher . They all agreed that this Albany legislative session is very bad. Well, it is an election year.
Karen is such a lovable, delicate flower. She needs to be protected from Dicker; and Susan seems to do that.*****
"Politics is like takes three things to win. The first is money, and the second is money, and the third is money"Someone said this somewhere, at some time.
Obama has opted out of the public finance option. He could raise 300m-500m for the general election. Both Hillary and Obama spent close to $500m during the recent primary/caucus battle. It is obscene to be spending a billion to live in the WH.
Obama will not lose votes by rejecting public financing. But it is hyprocrisy to run as a reformer, and spend this amount to win.*****"It will be said of Bush...he was a far better politician than his father, but as a statesman and world leader, he could not carry the old man's loafers..."Pat Buchanan
I would not even go as far to say GW is a better politician than his father.
I really do think impeachment charges should be brought against both GW and Cheney. The subversion of the Constitution is no small matter; and there needs to be accountability for those doing the subversion,*****C-Span had a segment of a forum at the JFK Library on Robert Kennedy's last campaign. It is the 40th anniversary of the campaign. It is good to relive this 1968 traumatic year.
It is also perhaps good to remember that George Wallace was also anti-Vietnam war in 1968; and it contributed to his strong support that year. In fact, he campaigned on a pledge to pull the plug on the war in 90 days if it was not winnable. Of course, Wallace may have used nukes to win the war.
RFK's campaign was generally positive. Although one can get Kennedy fatigue easily.
There is the story of Jimmy Hoffa going to RFK's office when Robert was AG. Hoffa was kept waiting for over an hour, while Robert walked his dog. Outside the AG's office, Hoffa grapped RFK around the neck and would have likely choked him without others intervening.
The irony is that the reverse happened in 1960. In James Rosen's biography of John Mitchell, The Strong Man, the story is told that RFK went to Mitchell's office in 1960 to ask the strong man to manage his brother's presidential campaign. Mitchell kept RFK waiting and then threw him out of his office.
Speaking of the Kennedys, Mitchell, Nixon and Watergate, Geoff Shepard (a Nixon partisan) makes the case that Watergate was blown out of proportion as a plot by the Kennedy forces to make Ted Kennedy President (The Secret Plot to Make Ted Kennedy President:Inside the Real Watergate Conspiracy.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bush and Big Oil

Gov. Paterson renewed his call for a summer gas tax holiday. Senator Bruno drove a 13-gear diesel truck around the Capital.
Both actions provided nice media sound bites. Both were full of sound and fury. Both signified nothing.
The gas tax holiday is DOA. It was always a popular soundbite for politicos, but bad public policy. As some suggested, it's putting a band-aid over a tumor.
Bush's call for off-shore drilling is another sign of the Bush and Big Oil synergy.This synergy is also displayed in the news that Big Oil is about to close a deal on Iraquie no-bid contracts. That was what our invasion of Iraq was mostly about. The major goal was to destroy Iraq's nationalized oil operations; and return it to a free market for Big Oil.
Even if the off-shore oil can be extracted, it would take 5-10 years minimum to begin refining it. It could, at most, supply our domestic needs for 3-5 yrs. at most. See yesterday's NYT good editorial on this.
Off-shore drilling and tax holidays are political pandering. Transforming leadership would guide us into a post-petroleum world. Oil is the antiquated past. Renewable energy is the future.
The hugh spike in oil and gas prices are a wakeup call. It's a call for all of us to become "masters of our domaine" (as those lovable Seinfeld characters would say).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bush and Big Oil

The NYT reports today that the major oil majors are close to completing deals on no bid contracts in Iraq. ExxonMobil, Shell Total, BP , Chevron and others are involved.

Aren't these the same giants that Cheney met with secretly in the early Bush tenure?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The national and state polls are currently looking good for Obama. He is even up slighlty from McCain in Ohio, Florida, and Pa.
These polls seem to show that he does not need Hillary as VP to win. It's also unlikely that Hillary would want the job.
Look for a major October surprise from Bush and the GOP. One possibility would be the capture of Bin Laden. Another would be the bombing of Iran.

Fred Dicker, Albany's Deep Throat and Property Tax Caps

Fred Dicker defended his story that Gov. Paterson privately called Mayor Bloomberg a lier. Although Dicker alledges that he has a good source for this, the source remains Albany "deep throat" source.
It's a non-story. Politicians do lie..both big and small lies. If we put Bush's lies on the ground, they would stretch from Washington to Baghdad.
Dicker needs to give his reporting a bit higher emphasis.
Take the issue of property tax caps. Paterson and advocates are taking a narrow view on this. Think big! The Senate GOP Conference is floating the idea of eliminating the property tax entirely. Now that is pushing the envelope; thinking BIG!
Is the Confeence proposing to fund education through State revenues? Would a more progressive income tax provide the revenue?
Let's engage in a serious dialogue on this issue.