Friday, May 02, 2008

Two Former DNC Chairs Endorse Obama Now!

In addition to Joe Andrew, former DNC chair under Bill Clinton, Barack Obama has picked up super delegate Paul Kirk, the former DNC chair from 1985-89. Andrew’s endorsement was perhaps a bigger surprise since he had first come out in favor of Hillary Clinton, but has now changed his mind.

Why did Andrew change? Perhaps his quote from a Huffington Post editorial tells it all.

Innuendo is easy. The truth is hard.

Sound bites are easy. Solutions are hard.

Spin is simple and easy. Struggling with facts is complicated and hard.

I have learned the hard way that you can love the candidate and hate the campaign. My stomach churns when I think how my old friends in the Clinton campaign will just pick up the old silly Republican play book and call in the same old artificial attacks and bombardments we have all heard before.

That is a poignant message!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Exxon-Mobil Profits up 17%, Not Enough For Wall Street!

Greed, especially on Wall Street knows no boundaries. Exxon-Mobil turned in a 17% increase in third quarter profits, a whopping $10.9 billion, the second-biggest U.S. quarterly corporate profit ever! The problem? Well, that fell short of what Wall Street expected and therefore people began dumping Exxon stock like hot potatoes. The stock fell 4%.

In the world of greedy investors, making the second biggest profit in US history just isn’t good enough. That says a lot about our country and it’s not good. Seems speculators are always trying to squeeze every dime they can out of anything they touch and the people who pay are the American citizens. The oil crunch is in part brought on my speculators who have moved from the mortgage market to commodities. In part the same thing holds true for rising food prices worldwide.

John McCain On Our Victory In Iraq

He said it would be easy!

Five Year Anniversary Of Victory In Iraq?

Five years ago today, President Bush emerged from a jet on the deck of U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and declared an end to major military operations in Iraq. He strutted like a peacock, his critch bulging in the flight suit harness.

Today as over 4000 American soldiers have died in Iraq, the whole thing seems really obscene.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Obama On Gas Prices

Here's the new campaign ad running in North Carolina.

Hillary Clinton Campaign Behind Deceptive Robo-Calls in NC

Mysterious Robo-Calls have been targeting unmarried NC women voters, telling them they had to wait for “voter registration packets” before they could vote. The calls imply that these women for some unknown reason can’t use their existing voter registration, and that is a scam. Voter registration ended on April 11, the calls are designed to confuse potential voters and keep them away from the polls.

Here’s the text of the calls:

"Hello, this is Lamont Williams. In the next few days, you will receive a voter registration packet in the mail. All you need to do is sign it, date it and return your application. Then you will be able to vote and make your voice heard. Please return the voter registration form when it arrives. Thank you."

The group behind the deceptive robo-calls is “Women’s Voices Women Vote” an organization run by people like John Podesta, former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton. Other big money behind the organization also have direct Hillary ties.

Why the targeted demographic? Well that group is very likely to vote for Obama.

UPDATE: According to Pam at Pam's House Blend the same calls are also going out to black voters in North Carolina as well.

Hillary Gets Endorsement In The Form Of A Gay Slur

Hillary has been using “Swift Boat” tactics against Obama and now Hillary gets an endorsement from North Carolina Governor Easley wrapped in a gay slur! What kind of candidate is she? Easley seems to think she makes “Rocky Balboa look like a pansy”. Why not just come out and say “faggot”? Strange bedfellows she has endorsing her.

If she doesn’t stop her flailing at Obama, the Clinton camp is single handedly trying to give McCain the presidency. Today on Fox News, in an interview with Bill O’Riley, Hillary jumped back into the Reverend Wright thing again. She is really trying her best to create as many controversies around Obama as she can, even when they are non-issues. The tactic may make her the “lesser of two evils” candidate in a match up with McCain, but it’s exposing her as an old school politician who plays the Washington game for blood. That is exactly what this country doesn’t need. We’ve had many years of that crap and it’s time for real change.

McCain Has Affiar Vs. Wacko Preacher!

So let me get this straight. McCain is alleged to have and affair with a hot female lobbyist and the press gives him a pass. Obama’s pastor starts rattling like a teapot and it’s the story that won’t go away. Just how does that mean the press has a liberal bias?

Reverend Wright is certainly fun to watch and makes a great sound bite, but he has absolutely no bearing on the real issues of the campaign. Meanwhile, John McCain has been making statements that directly contradict statements he made previously about the war, taxes, campaign financing and that is just not so interesting.

Over in the Hillary camp, they are chortling at having pushed the YouTube clip of Wright and ignighting the whole thing, while she continues to insist on special treatment in regard to the Michigan and Florida delegates. Hillary lies about her experiences on the tarmac in Bosnia and it dies in a day or two. It just makes me wonder.

Not to be cynical or anything, but I have to wonder if he politics as usual crowd is systematically trying to pull the Democratic party back into the smoke filled room. After all, so many new voters have cast ballots for Democrats recently, it must be upsetting for the party old guard who still want to control everything and reinstate a Clinton dynasty. My hope is that their old school tactics won’t alienate all the healthy new blood that Obama has attracted to the party.

As for the press. Well they will always take the easy route. A story about a wild eyed ranting pastor is much easier to do than something requiring real investigative reporting. Unfortunately the press in this country has become a lapdog for PR agents. Press releases become uncontested stories and research is something there is just no time for in the 24 hour news cycle. Ben Franklin must be rolling in the grave!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bush Speaks Yet Says Nothing

I keep hearing “lalalalalala” when I listen to Bush speak. His news conference today in the Rose Garden showed how little he cares for the American people. His proposals to help lower gas prices are laughable and too little too late. Drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge will have absolutely no effect on the oil situation today and it will take 10 years before a drop of that oil reaches the market.

His administration and his presidency has lost the confidence of the American people. At a time when the economy is going south really quickly, he hums and haws and refuses to see the recession that has overtaken the country.

Someone needs to sit him down and explain to him that he has no allies anymore and he needs to just go away! I sometimes wish we had the British system where once confidence fails there is an election and a new government. In our case that might be every few weeks at this rate.

The Myth Of Clean Coal

Every time I see one of those “clean coal” ads on TV I have to wonder how it is that big companies can bend the truth with impunity to the American public. The statistics quoted in the ads are used to confuse people and make them think that coal is not a part of the pollution problem. When they speak about reductions of emissions they are not talking about greenhouse gasses. Coal-fired power plants belch tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every minute.

The ads also side step the issue of mountaintop removal and the environmental damage caused by this highly destructive mining technique. Additionally coal mining pollutes water and destroys streams. According to the EPA environmental impact statement, more than 1,000 miles of Appalachian streams were permitted to be buried as of 2001.

Coal has to be moved as well. Most of the power plants are far from the coal fields and that means thousands of rail trips to bring it to the generating plants. Rail traffic in American runs on diesel, a fossil fuel that contributes to the pollution and greenhouse gasses.

The Clean Coal campaign is a sham designed to put a happy face on the dirty business of coal mining and burning. We must expand our use of renewable energy such as solar and wind power or we will kill our planet.

I made the switch from an electrical provider who uses coal to one who relies on wind, hydro and solar to generate the power it feeds into the grid. In time, my partner and I hope to equip our house with our own solar panels and wean ourselves off the grid as much as possible. I urge you to learn more and take action to change the way power is generated in this country.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Scalia - Nut Case & Supreme Court Justice

Anton Scalia is not just a far-right nut case, he’s a Supreme Court justice and that’s a dangerous combination. Scalia seems to make his decisions based on a coin toss with very little clear reasoning. He claims he is a strict Constitutionalist and in a recent interview he stated that the “Constitution is not a living document” but dead. He interprets it, supposedly, just as the framers intended.

So Scalia can read minds and channel the Founding Fathers? What is this guy on?

When pressed about whether torture was cruel and unusual punishments he parses his words about as much as George Bush. Someone needs to figure a way to pull him off the court, or offer him a nice big job in the private sector and get him out of public office.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Global Food Crisis - The Story You Might Have Missed

Here in our country we see a limit to the number of bags of rice we can buy at Cosco and it’s big news. Elsewhere in the world there is no limit on rice, there simply is none! The world stands on the brink of a gigantic food shortage.

Drought, pollution and floods have all caused problems in the world food supply and grains are the canary in the coal mine. Add to that the misguided push for ethanol based fuels, where food is converted to fuel and burned and the crisis gets an extra nudge. It is all driving prices through the roof for food.

The Washington Post reports on the global crisis saying,

Food was becoming the new gold. Investors fleeing Wall Street's mortgage-related strife plowed hundreds of millions of dollars into grain futures, driving prices up even more. By Christmas, a global panic was building. With fewer places to turn, and tempted by the weaker dollar, nations staged a run on the American wheat harvest.

Foreign buyers, who typically seek to purchase one or two months' supply of wheat at a time, suddenly began to stockpile. They put in orders on U.S. grain exchanges two to three times larger than normal as food riots began to erupt worldwide. This led major domestic U.S. mills to jump into the fray with their own massive orders,
fearing that there would soon be no wheat left at any price.
The high prices are throwing the world food supply seriously out of kilter and that is leading to political unrest in many countries. Governments from Haiti to Malaysia are teetering because of the food shortage.

Meanwhile, we in this country see gas prices rising to record levels and those will soon be followed by higher food prices. The hike will be a result of not only the increased cost in transportation, but a genuine shortage of food worldwide.

This is a problem the next administration will have to seriously take a look at, and the answers will no doubt be as difficult as the questions raised by the crisis.

Gas Will Hit $4.00 Per Gallon In Dallas In 2 Weeks

I heard an interesting tidbit today. A friend of mine in church told me he was speaking with an acquaintance who worked for a local gas/convenience store franchise. They had just gotten new training on how to deal with irate customers who will undoubtedly crop up when gas reaches $4.00 per gallon in the next 2 weeks.

Right now it’s at $3.55 a gallon. That means they are planning to raise it almost 50 cents in the next two weeks. And President Bush says there is no recession? Consider also that Exxon-Mobil posted the largest profits for any company ever! Something is very wrong here when energy companies carefully plan for a massive hike even as they are rolling in dough.

Sure am glad at least one of our cars is a Prius!