Tuesday, January 29, 2008

That’s the Ticket

Politics has always been known for its improbable unions and combinations of people who are seemingly incapable of being in the same room without coming to blows. These liaisons are commonly known by the phrase “Strange Bedfellows.” And it is certainly not a new one as it appears in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” written in the early 17th century.
But Willie had nothing on American politics. These days you cannot get anything done unless you agree to sleep with the enemy. The idealism of Frank Capra’s “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” does not exist in reality. In order to get your message heard you need money and backers. These people or organizations must spread your word and get out the vote. And in return for their help you will probably have to change your position to suit their desires.
Expediency rules and in order to stop some in-fighting a Presidential front runner might offer to have one of his competitors run on the ticket as the Vice Presidential candidate. John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson did not get along at all and yet together they made a winning pair.
We may have a similar scenario playing out now on the ‘donkey’ side of the aisle this year as the two leading candidates for the Democratic nomination are at each other’s throats even though their opinions are similar. And theirs is no tempest in a teapot as it is the lead story on many a news program especially the fake ones such as Fox.
The voters might enjoy a ticket comprised of the young Kennedy-backed Obama and the self-assured worldly former first lady Clinton but there are hurdles to overcome before this could be a reality.
Most importantly egos may get in the way. I do not see Senator Clinton allowing herself to be the running mate but if she does not hold the lead going into the convention this could be her only choice. If she comes out of Super Tuesday in the lead Obama may decide to bite the bullet and join forces.
So I hereby request that the two Senators start seriously thinking about a Clinton-Obama ticket and when they do the slogan is ready-made and it’s a winner. A few bucks in royalties and the Fab-Two of the Democratic party will win the White House.

From 911 to 86

You ran your campaign
With but one main refrain
That the city you loved was attacked
But your tune soon got old
And your bid had to fold
‘Cause the country saw all that you lacked

Now I’m sure to get moans
And hate mail from the Stones
And some of you will think it’s wrong
Whether dumb or quite witty
Please sing this here ditty
To the tune of their old famous song

Goodbye RUDY Tuesday
We can pin a name on you
Once you were the New York Mayor
But now you are a loser

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The RACE for the Presidency

It has always been below the surface, lurking around the corner or hiding under the bed. Race and the differences or even similarities therein are always with us. And now more than ever or at least since the time of the 13th amendment in 1865 it is at the forefront of our lives.
Little by little nearly everything said by the two front running candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination is being translated into a sort of race language.
But there is also another issue that should be considered. Equally as oppressive as is the racial divide is the below the surface, lurking, hiding issue of gender. While not as physically violent it is nevertheless as real as its counterpart. Women can point to 1922 and the 19th amendment for their first step toward equality.
And so whatever is said by these two ground-breaking candidates it is also couched into terms of gender.
So and so played the race card while so and so played the victim and cried. Both sides are at fault but neither side can be faulted. We are to blame.
Just by answering the polls we propagate the stupidity.
And many in America commit the worst crime they could possibly commit, VWU Voting While Uninformed. A supposed majority of voters did so in 2000 and most assuredly once again 2004. It is up to us to get past the publicity and the rhetoric. We must understand what is at stake and look at the big picture. The next President of the United States must hit the floor running if we hope to regain our stature in the eyes of the world.
When Senator Clinton made the terrible mistake of attributing Dr. Martin Luther King’s success in his fight for Civil Rights and Voting Rights to then President Lyndon Baines Johnson she slighted her opponent’s supporters. How dare she say that a white president was needed to get justice for the black community? First of all a president was needed to help get the bill through congress and turn it into law. Second of all there have only been white presidents so far. And last of all she was correct. Anyone interested in checking this out please go back and read.
This does not nor should it cast any aspersions on the work of Dr. King but facts are facts and the two men worked hand in hand to get the job done. If our next President is Black then issues and problems of particular concern to the White community will have to be championed in part by that Black President in order to be resolved.
Luckily in this country we have a constitution and a government of checks and balances. And while it may not take a village to get things done it does take more than one person. This makes it hard for any one man, or woman to rule as a tyrant or dictator (sorry W.) Dr. King’s ideals were no-brainers but they could not become laws without changes to our constitution.
After 143 years of struggling for freedom a black or African American man has a very real chance of becoming the President of the United States of America.
After 86 years of head butting against the all too real glass ceiling in our country a woman has a very real chance of becoming the President of the United States of America.
It is up to us. We the People must get past the rhetoric. Both Democratic candidates are deserving of our praise but both of them have their own ideas and ideals. Both of them could do our country proud as president. But if either of them wishes to be President they must put gender and RACE out of the race.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Green This!

The Earth is choking; or rather we are choking it. But Mother Earth will survive us even if we don't see the error of our ways. The problem is we the sheep are following the lead of the so-called world leaders. We are doing as they say even though they are not.
We the people are conserving.
We the people are recycling.
And we the people are moving toward alternative fuel vehicles.
However we would move quicker if we did not have to wait for multi-national corporations to figure out ways to harness the new found morality and turn it into mega-buck profits for themselves and their friends. Alternative fuel and fuel solutions are here and have been for quite some time. The reason we have not been able to use them is simple; the Exxon’s of the world have not figured out a way to control its use and thereby reap the huge profits. The “Fat Bastards” must be allowed to make their obscene salaries and bonuses or they will not let you and I off the hook, the gas pump hook. You need only watch how Bush’s eyes light up when he sees his lover, the Saudi prince. He actually holds his hand and has been caught on tape dancing with the SOB!
It has been almost six years since I answered the call. I agreed to accept and test an electric vehicle, the Think - a smart car for New York State and the Ford Corporation. I paid a $200 per month lease for the privilege of driving this really cool car.
A two-seater with a hatch back this car allowed me to go shopping and bring home a surprisingly large amount of groceries. It could reach speeds of around 55 to 60 miles per hour and was able to prove itself a safe vehicle on highways. I drove the Think around town, to movies and on errands. When I drove it to the train station on my way to work I was allowed to park in specially positioned spots that were also charging stations. When needed I could plug the car in in the morning and return to a fully charged vehicle at night.
The Think could get up to 70 miles on a charge so it was not good for long trips but it certainly took care of all the intermediate ones. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that it saved me hundreds of dollars on gas and saved the environment hundreds of dollars worth of gasoline caused pollution.
I drove the car for two years and was forced to return it to Ford to be thrown out after logging 6,666.6 miles. The mileage is not an exaggeration or a mistake. I made sure that when I turned the car back to the bastards who were unceremoniously stopping this wonderful experiment that it showed that number symbolic to some of the Devil.
Our government, currently in bed with so many special interest groups and Arab oil producing scum of the earth leaders that it would put any of my readers to sleep before reading them all decided that the electric car was just not viable. But don’t take my word for it, go out and rent the great documentary, “Who Killed the Electric Car.”
Find out what American company bought out the patent for an amazing electric battery that could power an electric car to over 300 miles on a charge and do zero to 60 in 6 seconds.
The government loves to debunk conspiracy theories but this one is real and is only the tip of the iceberg. And while you’re at it go see an iceberg soon because they’re disappearing faster than you can say Inconvenient Truth.
Kick OPEC back to Hell where they belong. Demand alternative fuels. The sheep of the world can continue to follow the path and recycle and buy ‘green’ and do the right thing but until the governments of the world, and most especially the good old United States of America own up to the reality and stop sleeping with the enemy we haven’t got a chance.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Two Wrongs Still Make No Rights

Last month the Fed lowered the interest rates that banks and businesses pay by ¼% or 25 basis points. This was supposed to ease the pain being caused by the "Sub-Prime" mortgage meltdown caused by earlier Fed moves. Unfortunately the "market" and the world financial people were hoping for 50 basis points. As a result the stock market dropped and those of us invested in it lost a great deal of value in our retirement funds and portfolios.
This week the Fed realized the urgent need for further action and lowered the prime rate by ¾% or 75 basis points when most people were expecting ½%. This made the total of the two moves a full percentage point (the same as if they did it ½ each time.)
But the world markets plummeted once again.
Simply because this second move sent a signal that the Fed was afraid of the "R" word.
And all you have to tell an economist is that you think we are heading for a recession and, well you know.
Had the Fed made two moves of ½ point the end result on the rates would have been the same but the panic may not have been realized. Now there is almost a certainty that the geniuses will lower the rate one more time at their next meeting later this month.
The two earlier wrongs make the third move a necessity! One can only hope the third time is a charm.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Super Bowl XLII Head Games

There are 12 days until this year's Super Bowl as I write this and the papers are filled with the rumor that Tom Brady's foot is in a walking cast. There is even a video on the internet showing the QB limping outside of his girl friend Gisele Bundchen's apartment. Are we sure the limp was caused on the football field?
Nevertheless the possibility that he could be injured and not able to play up to his record breaking abilities is both a shame and a tempting thought to New York Giant and Miami Dolphin fans.
However before printing up the 18 & 1 signs and featuring Eli in the "I'm going to Disney ad" there is one very important point to remember. Football is filled with strategy and "psyche you out" mental games.
The Pats are obviously hoping that the Giants will prepare for the game with an eye toward a back-up QB and not work as hard because they think Brady will be a spectator. Then at game time Willis Reed, I mean Tom Brady will come running onto the field and do a head flip. The game will essentially be over and Bellichik will smile a quiet 'gotcha.'
If the Jints are smart, and contrary to many people's beliefs including mine they seem to be, then they should prepare hard and expect a Brady at 110%. Injuries are never quite as bad when the championship is on the line. And let's face it, even if he is a little banged up he has the entire Spring and half a Summer to enjoy recuperating.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Stimulate This!

Over the past few days the stock market has tried to rally early in the day only to fall back to deeper and deeper losses. Many pundits are saying that we may be in for a prolonged period of bad times. Luckily we all have short memories and a little while after hearing the doom and gloom we start to buy and the market returns on it's upward slant.
Unfortunately we also have a moron in the White House who, along with his idiot Fed Chairman Bernanke seems to enjoy stopping prosperity for the masses. Every time the market has shown signs of life in the 'bull' sense of the word Bush and Bernanke (henceforth to be known as B&B) announce a new economic stimulus package and the market heads for the hills.
But stimuli are good, right?
Of course that's right.
Unless the stimulator is also the 'Decider.' The same man who has proven himself to be decidly stupid when it comes to, well just about anything.
The last stimulus package B put forward was back in his first year. He annouced tax rebates which returned around $400 to every household in America. This money was to be spent at the malls and thereby put back into the economy. Naturally in this world of no free lunch the money that was rebated was also taxed the following April so any household that spent it had to then scramble to pay the piper.
Wall Street and the average investor on the regular street are way too smart to be fooled by the same flim flam again. In the words of a World leader, "Fool me once, shame on, uh, shame on you. Fool me, uh, umm, you can't get fooled again." So as soon as B&B made the annoucement that they were looking into stimulating the economy the Dow dropped faster than an English teacher's jaw listening to a Bush speech.
The Dow started to recover and then B&B explained their package.
The result?
The Dow was up 160 points at 10am on Friday January 18th. Then B&B opened their respective mouths and the Dow lost 320 points in less than two hours.
Will it recover? Of course it will. After all we do have short memories. Unfortunately we also have 10 more months of B&B idiocy.
In the words of all the Bush supporters who wanted him as President because he was good to have at a barbecue, May God help us!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy

Now that it appears that former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's Presidential bid is nearing an end there are reports that he is thinking about a new venture.
He is going to open a string of always open and very secure convenience stores to be called "Rudy's 9-11."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Politics 2008 Style - Why Bother?

It is a long known fact that all politics is local. This means that you can take all the polls, and pollsters as far as I am concerned and place them where the sun don't shine. People will vote the way they feel in a manner that concerns them, their family, and their community and in that order of importance. And they will do so behind that curtain that hides the lever they pull that is the only true poll that matters.
But unfortunately there are some who are influenced by others. They don't seem to have their own opinions or at least are not sure of them if they do. These people will change their minds based on what they believe to be the right thing to do merely because many others are doing so. This is quite unfortunate and has become increasingly dangerous as technology and the belief that the media is all knowledgeable continues to grow in the minds of the masses.
For example in a presidential election the media has agreed to hold off their "projected winners" of races in states until the polls in those states have closed. But they broadcast those winners nationally even if the percentage of votes counted is ridiculously small. You may a have a "winner" announced with less than 1% of the precincts reporting.
With huge states and electoral votes still undecided (and that is a whole other issue) Texans and Californian who may not have voted yet can turn on the television and find out that they candidate they wanted is very far behind. That could alter their vote especially if they want to join the crowd. The citizens of Hawaii must truly feel left out as they are 6 hours behind the Eastern Time Zone and 3 hours in back of California. By the time some Hawaiians vote the outcome is almost always moot.
Sometimes polls are so wrong as to be laughable. Just ask Truman, Dewey and the people of New Hampshire.
This should stop. Winners should not be projected until after ALL the nation's polls have closed. This way 'local politics' can stay that way and our nation, which is made up of 50 different States with tremendous numbers of districts within them and covers 6 time zones can be a little more fair to all the people.
Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about the primary situation. By the time some states hold their primaries many of the candidates that could have garnered support have long since dropped out of the race. They are victims of the opinions of people in states that had early primaries!
Why should Iowans decide for the rest of us who even gets a chance to run for the top job in America? The Iowa electorate makes up around .5% of the voters in the country. No offense Iowa but who the hell are you to filter out my candidate?
Just like the polls and pollsters telling those of us who were not polled how we think and who we should vote for so too are the early primary state results attempting to alter our opinions.
Perhaps it is time to just get rid of primaries. If a candidate wants to run then he or she should be able to. After all isn't this the land of opportunity? Isn't America the place where all dreams can come true if you work hard and stay focused?
New rules:
No more primaries!
No more electoral college.
No more polls. (If you are polled continue to give dumb answers. "I am supporting Alfred E. Neuman.")
And finally, New Rule: No more "projected Winners" until all polling places are closed.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Crime & Punishment – 21st Century Style

A terrible crime has been committed but the culprit has been apprehended. The public can breathe a sigh of relief as the dastardly perpetrator has been captured and removed from society. Justice is served once more and this criminal shall not harm us again. The world is safe at last.
Who is this dangerous individual? Did this person circumvent our Constitution or cause the deaths of thousands of our citizens? Was this person a member of the government found negligent in his or her duty? Did this person commit treason by outing a spy or secretly torturing prisoners then cover it all up?
No, this crime was so heinous as to make the front pages of the Nation’s newspapers and the lead story on many news programs for days. It even pushed Brittany Spears back a few minutes on cable news programs.
I am of course speaking of the infamous Marion Jones. Ms Jones admitted to the awful crime of drug induced enhancement of her natural born talents in order to succeed and break records in the world of track and field.
Do not get me wrong, I believe that if we as a society have laws against certain acts we find reprehensible then by all means we should prosecute the people who break those laws. But we must be consistent in our prosecution.
Marion Jones proved an easy target. First of all she is a woman. Secondly the sport from which she is being removed and her records expunged is not our National pastime. She is also not a current or past member of the Bush administration. So while she did a heck of a job on the race track she will now cross the finish line in jail. Instead of receiving the Medal of Freedom she will be stripped of her Olympic medals.
And while it was in fact a crime it was nowhere near the crime of the century. One can only hope that we will treat all crimes in the same manner because while records were made to be broken, laws were not.