Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama Smiles, Pelosi Smiles, and Boehner Is Frozen

Most politicians have politically crafted smiles appropriate for every situation. But President Obama infectious smile seems to be genuine. Nancy Pelosi's smile on the other hand seems quite plastic, most likely a result of Botox injections and other surgical handiwork done to her face. Representative Boehner rarely smiles, but given the circumstances of the Republican Party there's not much to smile about these days.

I think the President Obama enjoys life, and he enjoys being president of the United States even under these trying circumstances. Nancy Pelosi enjoys power, lots of power, especially when she's wielding it. She's quite capable of smiling when she means the exact opposite. Therefore, I see her smile as something akin to a black widow spider smiling. Just because she smiling doesn't mean she's happy or that you're safe. John Boehner's smiles are few and far between. Actually, I don't think this is a result of the current situation of the Republican Party. Nor do I think it is a result of his unhappiness with the liberal left agenda of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi. I just think he innately lacks the ability to smile. I don't know if this has anything to do with him being a conservative Republican but I will do further research on this matter.

Both Senator Reed's and Senator McConnell's smiles are rather weak and given their ages not likely to change. I admit I haven't done prodigious amounts of research of these gentlemen during their careers and determine whether they were actually caught smiling at odd moments. I do know there is substantial research that indicates that if a person is genuinely smiling he or she will feel better. Maybe if the Republicans and Democrats smiled at each other, genuinely, things would get better in Washington. Oh well, one can dream.

Monday, February 23, 2009

India Outsourcing to America

It's 30 years into the future and America is still in the midst of the recession. President Obama failed to move the economy enough, and 2012 Governor Sarah Palin was elected president. Her platform of, "I Saved Alaska I Can Save America" was a dismal failure and she lost the following election to some unknown Democrat. The Republicans and Democrats have been arguing for 30 years and haven't compromised on anything. In the meantime the American economy has continued to go downhill and a permanent unemployment rate of 25% and a continuing lower standard of living has become the norm.

India on the other hand, came out of its recession in 2010 and, with the American economy in decline and the Chinese economy suffering as a result of it, India became the number one industrial power in the world. Poverty in India ceased to exist, and wages skyrocketed. In late 2038, Indian companies began to outsource their call centers to the United States. American universities, sponsored by giant Indian corporations with limitless budgets, began to train millions of Americans to speak Hindi. The early efforts are successful and financial and accounting services are outsourced to poverty-stricken New York and New Jersey. Indian consumers become disgruntled over having to talk to Americans with terrible accents.
The Indian National Motor Corporation (INMC) begins building automobile plants throughout the United States which has no automotive manufacturing capabilities.

By 2045, the American economy has begun to revive, and Samuel Raj, the third-generation grandson of Indian immigrants is elected president of the United States on a "JOBS FOR EVERYONE" platform. The Democrats and Republicans are reduced to a fraction of their former selves as the American Indian Libertarian (AIL) takes control of Congress. AIL is able to pass President Raj's complete agenda. By 2050, the American economy has once again become a force to be reckoned with as the unemployment rate falls below 10% for the first time since 2009. President Raj is hailed as one of the great American presidents even before he finishes out his second term

Republican Governors Play Deal or No Deal

Some of the Republican governors are threatening not to take money from the national bailout plan, also known as the Stimulus Package. While there are certainly objectionable parts of this complicated financial effort to stimulate the economy, it hardly makes sense for governors to refuse monies the citizens of their states so badly need. War maybe hell, to paraphrase William Tecumseh Sherman, but politics is often a descent into madness. For a change, Democrats were able to see further than the end of their shoes when they inserted language into the legislation that enables state legislators to request the money even if the governor doesn't.

It's possible that some of the governors may be "posturing" but knowing that for sure would require mind reading, or the abilities of the lead actor on To Tell a Lie. Boy wouldn't that be useful. So far the Republicans have chosen to do nothing. Offering alternatives that they know have no chance of being enacted is not really offering an alternative. I guess that is political posturing.

One of the complaints about the legislation is that it "forces" states to continue to spend money after the federal money runs out. That has been problematical for many decades and is not a peculiar problem of the stimulus package. I'm sure there are other objectionable parts to the stimulus package. However, as the states undergo massive layoffs and roads and bridges continued to deteriorate along with the schools, we must do something were faced becoming a Third World country. If people object to outsourcing to India, think of how much worse it will be when China and India to outsource to us.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Karl Rove: America's Favorite Person

For sometime I have been aware that a number of Americans hate Karl Rove. I have been mystified by these hostile feelings because it is well known that he cares about each and every American, regardless of their race, nationality, religion, or political affiliation. This has earned him the nickname of "America's favorite person," among many, many people. I have even been told that each night before he goes to bed, he says a special prayer for the well-being of liberal Democrats throughout this country. Isn't that sweet.

He was blamed for spreading disinformation about the cause and purpose of the war in Iraq. To the best of my knowledge he consistently stated that we were invited in by the Iraqis to help them overthrow Saddam Hussein. He certainly wasn't responsible for the fact that the CIA and other intelligence sources gave the president and his advisers faulty information regarding the status of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. My inside source within inner conservative Republican circles, Stanislaw Lemsky, a former Soviet school teacher and member of the KGB, told me that Karl cautioned the president about making sure the intelligence information was absolutely correct.

A number of people also accused him of preventing significant numbers of Americans from being able to vote. To substantiate such absurd claims recently inappropriately intercepted e-mail messages with voter names have been used as purported evidence to support this assertion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Karl and his staff worked late into the night to make sure these people who had been targeted by unknown sources are actually assured of their ability to vote in the 2004 presidential election.

Lastly, allegations were made about Karl's involvement in the prosecution of former Governor Don Siegelman of Alabama. I'm sure Jill Simpson meant well, but she probably misunderstood Karl Rove when he allegedly asked her to photograph then Governor Siegelman in compromising sexual activities. Karl probably told her that he wanted some personal pictures of the governor and his wife so that he could hang them. To have said what Ms. Simpson accuses him of saying what have constituted dishonorable and illegal activities, both totally abhorrent to Karl's altruistic, and loving nature.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bernie Maddoff and Millionaire Madness

Sometime ago I heard the expression that "You only have to get rich once." In as much as I'm not rich, nor will I ever be close to it, this comment stuck in my mind. The appendage to that statement was that rich people can stay rich by putting the majority of their money into very safe investments such as double exempting municipal bonds, or U.S. Treasury notes. While I can feel some level of sympathy, but not too much, for the many millionaires who lost their money with Bernie Maddoff, I can only wonder why they were taking such high risks with their fortunes and so many ended up losing it all.

The only rich person I know has had all his money in double exempt municipal bonds for probably 20 years. Let's assume that he has $10 million, which he probably does. If you do the math, 5% (municipal) of $10 million is $500,000 a year. He seems to be squeezing out a marginal lifestyle with an apartment in Paris and a home outside of Denver. My goodness, it's possible to live on $500,000 a year. It boggles my mind to have that much money to spend a year. So what were all the millionaires who entrusted their money with Bernie Maddoff thinking? Oh yes, he had a wonderful reputation etc. but that's not the issue. If these millionaires had followed the basic rule of very conservative investing giving them a more than adequate income, then old Bernie wouldn't have been able to rob them blind.

We have been a nation of greed and are now paying for it. Our houses were never enough, our cars were never enough, and we never had enough goodies. These are tough times for so many of us. We have watched our investments for retirement dwindle. Many Americans have had to make tough decisions, some of them wrong, some of them right. But the vast majority of us weren't rich to begin with, and never had the opportunity to stay rich. What were all the millionaires thinking who invested their money with Bernie Maddoff? The answer is they weren't thinking

Monday, February 16, 2009

War with Klingons Can Save World Economy

Just as World War II brought the American economy out of the Great Depression, a war with the Klingon Empire could do the same for the entire planet. An enormous number of jobs would be created worldwide to build the spaceships and munitions necessary for such a war. Millions of jobs would be necessary just to build the spaceships. Boeing of course, would be one of the world leaders in building the spaceships and smaller fighters. Metal workers, electricians, engineers, and more professions and skills would be needed then there is space here to name. The steel mills of the world would be running at full production. Coal, natural gas, and oil would be needed to run the steel mills. This would generate untold numbers of jobs. The computer companies of the world would be hiring vast numbers of people to build the necessary components for the ships. It's all mind-boggling.

Why would we go to war with the Klingon race? It's the economy stupid. Besides, they're a pugnacious race ready to pick a battle with anyone. The cause for the war? Do wars really ever need causes? If we need a cause, we could send Karl Rove and Joe Biden as ambassadors to the Klingon Empire. Certainly one of them would offend the prickly Klingons into declaring war on us. That's even better! We would be defending ourselves and could appeal to the galactic community for military and economic assistance which would help pay for the war.

The worldwide cooperation necessary to conduct the war would create an era of peace on the planet never seen before. There would be enough factories for the United States, Europe,

Russia, China, India, and etc. there would also be a worldwide wave of kickbacks and bribes enriching lobbyists. The best part is saved for last. If we do this quickly enough, William Shatner could be appointed Admiral and lead the fleet to victory. Angelina Jolie would be the natural choice to lead the ground troops necessary to secure the Klingon world. And who but Dick Cheney could fill the post of worldwide Secretary of War. Glorious days to come.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Republicans against Obama and America

When no Republican member of the House voted for the "Stimulus Plan" President Obama and the rest of the country had more than a hint that bipartisanship wasn't in the air. The Senate response to the plan wasn't much better, and the necessary three Republicans to get 60 votes so that legislation could be passed were able to extract significant concessions from the Democrats. In the meantime Republican leaders went on weekend television, and talked to any media that was willing to listen, about the deficiencies and pork in the Democratic plan. To be certain there is more pork in the plan then the president would like, but for the first six years of the Bush administration an all out pig roast was held in Washington.

What's at stake? The economy and the next 10 or 20 years of the life of this country. What's the Republican response to the economic crisis? The Republican stimulus proposal focuses mainly on tax cuts and tax incentives. There is little, if anything, in the plan to address the fact that the major banks of this country are on the verge of collapse. There is also little in the plan to address the issue of a still mostly frozen lending system. How do the Republicans address the fact that major companies are on the verge of bankruptcy? Economic Darwinism.

The mantra of preserving the free market system lost any meaning when the major banks and financial institutions of this country created trillions of dollars of toxic assets instead of profits. It's amazing how they blame this on Barney Frank. It's as if the Republicans are living on another planet, or see the world so differently that they just don't get it. It's the economy stupid! The Republicans are also busy rewriting the history of the Great Depression. The Republicans are saying that everything Franklin D. Roosevelt did to get the country out of the Great Depression failed. There isn't time or space to get into a debate on this issue, but a lot of books are going to need rewriting to match the new Republican version of history.

The Republicans left in Congress are ideologues who have a particular view of the way society and the economy often function. Their lack of pragmatism hinders their ability to see a variety of alternatives as well as the true nature of the problem. President Obama should quietly bury his bipartisan plans for the present time and get on with the business of trying to prevent a severe recession from becoming a depression.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Octuplets Are Just the Beginning

People who are complaining about Nadya Doud giving birth to Octuplets when she already had six children are missing the point. Sure, there's no way she can afford to feed 14 children unless she works out a million-dollar deal with a publisher or some sleazy supermarket tabloid. However, she has set a precedent whereby we can do away with the old-fashioned concept of having one or two children at a time and begin to produce them by the dozen.

Increasing numbers of young adults are deciding not to have children. If they don't want them, they shouldn't have them. What we need are volunteers like Nadya who will be willing to have a litter of 12 children, or so, to make sure the population doesn't suffer a steep decline, which is what is happening in a number of European countries. This could be a boon to white supremacists who look forward with dread the day when "white" people" become the minority in America. Presently, that looks to be a probability some time around the middle of the century. If white supremacists could get tens of thousands of white women to volunteer to have 12 children, that day could be postponed indefinitely. Bad idea. Color America dark tan or light brown by of end of the century and learn to love it.

Continuing medical advances will make the concept of "assembly-line babies" a reality in the very near future. This will be the culmination of the industrial age which will end with a drastic population reduction and the revival of agrarianism as a way of life in this country. Small-town utopias will rise, as will small and medium-sized farms which are ideal for having 12, or even 24 children. Sex for pleasure's sake will go out the window and sex for procreation only will become the norm throughout society. Hallelujah!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama Seeks deal with Russia to Slash Nuclear Weapons

According to the UK Times online President Obama will convene the most ambitious arms reduction talks with Russia for a generation, aiming to slash each country’s stockpile of nuclear weapons by 80 per cent. "The radical treaty would cut the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each. A Key to this initiative is a review of the Bush Administration’s plan for a US missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, a project fiercely opposed by Moscow."

No doubt President Obama will be accused by the Hawks in Congress and elsewhere of being soft on the defense of this country. The concept of Mutual Assured Destruction, or M.A.D., has long been with us so long that too many people think it is a sane idea. The Hawks will cry out, "If only we had elected Senator McCain this travesty would not be a potential reality." There is a myth that Republican administrations will keep us safer than Democratic ones. This myth has been propagated by Republicans and others who have a vested interest in the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about over 50 years ago.

The Bush administration did not keep this country safe by invading Iraq and wearing down our military forces, while allowing the Taliban its resurgence in Afghanistan. Poorly planned belligerence never keeps America safe. The reduction of nuclear missiles is in the best interest of the people of the world, not just America and Russia. The people of this country are aware that there are forces that pose a significant danger to us. However, having 5000 nuclear weapons will not protect us from terrorists or rogue regimes

The Times article further stated, "Efforts to revive the Start talks were fitful under Bush and complicated by his insistence on building a missile defense shield. “If Obama proceeds down this route, this will be a major departure,” one Republican said. “But there will be trouble in Congress."

It's far too early to predict what the negotiations will look like but the mere mention of the of the missile defense shield will likely raise the blood pressure of conservative Republicans and other like-minded individuals.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Daniel Pearl and the Normalization of Evil

Professor Perl's article is well worth reading.

The history of persecution of the Jewish people is being carried out in Israel's war with Hamas. The Palestinians have become a proxy for Arab anti-Semitism which has existed for over a thousand years. The Palestinians have been wonderful proxies starting from the time they were duped into leaving Israel by the Arab countries who were about to invade it just after it was given statehood by the United Nations. For the past 60 years the Palestinians have been homeless because no Arab nation was willing to give them an inch of land. No Arab nation is willing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the state of Israel which is part of their institutionalized anti-Semitism.

Israel's dilemma is that fighting terrorists means that in order to root them out you have to go into the houses in which they hide. Thus, the Israelis who have been victims for 2000 years, now becomes seen as victimizers. This is not to say that everything that Israel has done has been "good." When you wake up every day fighting for survival for 60 years as a nation, and for over 2000 years as a people, you're liable to commit your own atrocities.

which is well worth reading. We didn't get to the present situation overnight.