Liberalscum Buster

December 2, 2008

WHAT WENT WRONG IN THE US ECONOMY?

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 1:00 pm

1. “Deep Throat” of Watergate fame said it best. FOLLOW THE MONEY ! Some people have gotten much richer lately. Look there for what went wrong.

2. Former Senator and present lobbyist Phil Gramm , a PhD in economics, could talk about economics in simple terms and in an interesting way. If he had stayed at Texas A&M teaching Economics 101, he would have made a positive contribution to society.

3. In Congress and as a lobbyist, he used his didactic gifts to push deregulation resulting in the S&L failures in the ’80s and ’90s, ENRON (his wife was a Director), harmful oil futures trading and the subprime mortgage meltdown.

4. This is the same Phil Gramm who said Americans were a nation of whinners.

December 1, 2008

Bush’s Recession, Rooted in Self-Interest

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 10:57 am

HUFFINGTONPOST BOB BURNETT NOV. 28,2008
Bush’s Recession, Rooted in Self-Interest

While George Bush ran for President as a born-again Christian and “compassionate conservative,” his behavior indicated he was guided not by the principles of Jesus but rather by a narcissistic morality of personal advantage. While making a revealing documentary about the 2000 Bush campaign, filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi asked the candidate why she should vote for him; Bush replied. “It’s in your interests.” Pelosi observed, “He didn’t push my country’s interest – but rather, my own.” Bush’s primary consideration was what’s in it for me?

As President, Bush conflated his personal interests – strengthening his power – with those of the United States and political considerations governed all White House decisions. In late 2001, after leaving his appointment as head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, John DiLulio observed: “There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you’ve got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm.”

Presidential decisions were determined by the toxic alchemy of power and greed. Major legislative initiatives – energy and healthcare – were written by corporate lobbyists to benefit their interests at the expense of average Americans. And the President’s self-centered attitude influenced both Main Street and Wall Street.

Bush promoted a national culture of profligacy. After 9/11, when asked how Americans should respond, he advised us to “go shopping.” Rather than call on our patriotism, the President appealed to consumerism; citizens responded by running up huge credit card debts and dipping deeply into their home equity. During the Bush Administration, Americans borrowed $6.2 trillion, doubling their debts and causing the U.S. to have a negative savings rate.

At the same time, the President expressed absolute confidence in the wisdom of the free market and expanded the dangerous deregulation begun during the Clinton era. Among the consequences of Bush’s extreme laissez-faire ideology were the accelerated flight of decent-paying jobs from the U.S. and pillaging of the environment. As Americans shopped until they dropped, financial-sector profits surged: by 2007 the finance industry represented a record 25 percent of US stock-market capitalization.

Aided by the loosening of regulations, banks such as Citgroup, broadened their scope of business and began to engage in a wide variety of financial activities. With this expansion came problems of control and oversight. The increased size of financial institutions made them more difficult to manage as executives were pressed to make profits beyond the range historically associated with banks.

At Citigroup, earning pressure caused bond traders to increase their participation in risky markets, particularly collateralized debt obligations (CDO’s), which repackaged mortgages – notoriously sub-prime mortgages – for resale to investors. The expansion of this niche business was fueled by its profitability – fees were unusually high and, therefore, traders made million in bonuses – and the lack of oversight. Because of deregulation, there was no Federal oversight of the CDO marketplace. Financial industry supervision supposedly came from rating agencies, such as Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, but they failed to exercise the required due diligence. So did internal auditors, such as Citigroup “risk managers;” who were impeded both by the Byzantine nature of CDO’s and their perceived value as major earnings generators.

As the credit bubble grew, two pernicious moral propositions blinded top managers at Citigroup and other greedy banks to the ever-increasing probability of calamity: everyone else is doing it, so it must be okay and the ends justify the means . Over the course of the Bush Administration, the worldwide CDO market grew to near $500 Billion, resulting in gigantic executive bonuses and corporate earnings. Understandably, none of the participants was eager to jump off the gravy train.

Lurking behind this frenzied momentum was a naïve faith in the wisdom of the marketplace: the belief that whenever excesses occurred, the market would gracefully adjust. Recently, financier George Soros criticized “the prevailing theory of financial markets, which… holds that financial markets tend toward equilibrium and that deviations are random and can be attributed to external causes.” He observed: “This theory has been used to justify the belief that the pursuit of self-interest should be given free rein.”

The President of the United States has a dual responsibility to make key decisions and set a moral tone. By promoting a climate of unfettered self-interest, George Bush precipitated the current economic meltdown. American’s eagerness for the onset of the Obama presidency indicates our need for a leader who will establish a public morality that emphasizes the common good.

November 20, 2008

IT WAS BAD ENOUGH WHEN WALL STREET BECAME A CASINO

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, life, news, politics — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 12:53 pm

NOW IT HAS BECOME A CASINO WHERE GAMBLERS CAN NOT ONLY KEEP THEIR WINNINGS BUT THEY CAN ALSO HAVE A “RICH?” BENEFACTOR PAYING OFF THEIR GAMBLING DEBTS.

Individuals in lending institutions got rich building houses of cards with mortgages are now holding the US economy hostage as they show up in Washington holding tin cups.

Money and capital markets have a necessary function in an economy but I have always questioned the fact that they have taken on lives of their own.

Maybe government IS the problem. A goverment that allows unrestained mischief and greed and profiteering to take place is problematical.

If the justification for financial types making huge profits is because they take great risks in order for free enterprise to take place, then the risk must be real.

What I am seeing here is a perversion of Capitalism, which is just as unworkable as Communism.

Some part of Wall Street needs to die a natural death. We have forgotten the lessons learned from The Great Depression. Maybe we have learned from the experience from our fathers but not from our grandfathers.

I have some big problems with a Washington bailout of financial institutions and the automobile industry. Bankrupcy is a time tested remedy. Maybe we need to create a chapter 15.

November 17, 2008

I tend to agree with Ted Turner about the bailouts.

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, hillary clinton, life, news, politics — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 12:53 pm

The banks made dumb loans and the auto companies made dumb cars and we want to give them money so they can keep on producing dumb goods and services. Turner said they should be making blades for wind farms and solar panels. I say that if we are keeping those enterprises open just to prevent massive unemployment. Would’nt it be cheaper and more meaningful to send them unemployment checks while they are retraining to do something else. I think that the financial function has taken on a life of its own and some of it should be allowed to die a natural death.

November 16, 2008

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS SCREWED UP MAKING BAD LOANS SO WE GIVE THEM MORE MONEY TO MAKE MORE LOANS?

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 4:34 pm

AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY SCREWED UP MAKING THE WRONG CARS SO WE GIVE THEM MORE MONEY TO MAKE CARS.

If Detroit does not know how to make cars ,maybe they should be making windmill blades and solar panels.

If we are worried about unemployment, would it not make more sense to give them unemployment payment rather than to support a system that only knows how to make junk.

Some of the he finanncial sector needs to die a natural death. too much of out effort and talent goes to pushing money around.

November 14, 2008

What Doesn’t Kill The Far-Right Only Makes Them Crazier

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 4:54 pm

For the last eight years, we’ve observed Karl Rove’s non-reality based universe in which logic was entirely abandoned in lieu of whatever reality the administration invented in order to serve its ridiculous policies and to mask its glaring nincompoopery. Intellectually dishonest at best — destructive and criminal at worst.

This didn’t end on Election Day.

Since their thumpin’ last week, the far-right has pushed the crazy to eleven and snapped the knob clean off — an opening salvo of twisted hackery portending an insane four-to-eight years of attacks on the Obama administration. If the last seven days have been any indication, the far-right is shaping up to make the 1990s seem quaint — even erudite by comparison. That which used to be your basic, off-the-shelf intellectual dishonesty has grown into, as Digby pointed out recently, full-on intellectual violence.

Intellectual violence. While not a new term, it perfectly defines what we’re seeing now: accusations and smears that so severely confound logic they literally attack — violate — reality and the human intellect. It’s like a berzerker dervish of argumentative elbows and fists indiscriminately flailing around, thwacking anything in its orbit, so much so that constructing a counterpoint is literally painful, “Why the hell am I trying to debunk this?! Ow! My head. Aw hell, I need a drink.”

The “Impeach Obama” Facebook groups, for example. No, I’m not making that up. They’re real and there’s a constant variety of disgruntled far-right Republicans joining up every day. And, to our total lack of surprise, they’re not ashamed in the slightest to post comments like this one:

“Damn dems stole the election like they always do. GOD wanted McCain and Palin in the White House. That’s why it’s called THE WHITE HOUSE.”
Apart from being a racist, this “Impeach Obama” Facebook member is clearly the most awesome pollster in the world if he was able to sample God. I tried to submit a friend request just so I could ask him if he perchance enlisted a room of undecided cherubim for a Frank Luntz dial group.

Shortly after discovering this, I was talking with a colleague and found myself instinctively trying to form a rational argument about why the Facebook members were wrong. It began with the obvious: “He’s not even the president yet!” And then, after I segued into Article II and the constitutional grounds for impeachment, I stopped myself. What in name of Randall P. MacMurphy am I doing? Arguing against this crap is like explaining to a meth tweaker that the shadow people aren’t real. That’s when I decided that it’d be more fun to just infiltrate one of the groups and post comments like, “The moon landing was staged!” and, “Obama is a bionic — just like his half-aunt! I have proof!”

Then on Monday, Michelle Malkin posted an item in which she referred to the president-elect as the “overlord-elect.” And on Tuesday, Congressman Paul Broun told the AP, “You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I’m not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I’m saying is there is the potential.” Uh-huh. On the scale of probability, “Obama is a fascist dictator” is about as likely as “Broun is a Jedi Master.” But it doesn’t matter. Reality is irrelevant.

The obvious intention here is to cobble together an abuse of power meme against President-elect Obama, despite President Bush and Vice President Cheney having, you know, spent the last eight years consolidating executive power, authorizing torture, suspending habeas corpus, illegally invading sovereign nations, ignoring congressional subpoenas and eavesdropping on American citizens.

Whoops. There I go again, talking about facts and treating the crazy like it’s real.

But clearly the most egregious post-election trespass came to us from John Hinderaker of Powerline. Some back story: following the president-elect’s lighthearted Nancy Reagan séance remark, Michelle Malkin referred to Obama as a “classless jerk” (unlike President George W. “Those Weapons Have to Be Around Here Somewhere” Bush, of course). And she treated the séance comment as if it were part of an on-going pattern of ridiculous Obama gaffes and bloopers.

Picking up on Malkin’s lead, Hinderaker wrote this week:

Bush never gets sloppy when he is speaking publicly. He chooses his words with care and precision, which is why his style sometimes seems halting. In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed. If Obama doesn’t raise his standards, he will exceed Bush’s total before he is inaugurated.
No, seriously. I didn’t make that up. A popular member of the far-right intertubes actually wrote that. On a public website. That people go to and read. Every day.

Come on now. Fess up, Hinderaker, you can’t seriously believe all that. I mean, I didn’t think it was possible, but you succeeded in making Malkin’s “classless jerk” remarks appear respectable — even reasonable — by comparison. Fact: not only is the president-elect one of the finest orators in modern political history, but he far exceeds President Bush in terms of intellectualism and verbal discipline. In other words, a Bush gaffe reveals an inherent lack of intellectual curiosity and a general ineptitude when it comes to, well, talking. An Obama gaffe is an isolated incident, exclusive of his ability to speak, think and reason. Nothing more.

I can’t believe I even have to write that down. But that’s precisely what makes these arguments so violent. They literally crush logical reality, making it almost impossible to ignore.

In a perfect world, we probably shouldn’t react or to take these things too seriously, and yet we’d be making a huge mistake to ignore them altogether — or to underestimate their efficacy. After all, there’s Drudge who somehow remains a bridge between the far-right’s intellectual violence and the establishment press. As we’ve learned throughout the last ten years, it only takes some persistent badgering and a series of red “SHOCK!” headlines for the crazy to travel by osmosis into the mainstream.

So we’re in for many more years of insanity from the far-right. They’re not dead. They’re not as irrelevant as they deserve to be. And they certainly don’t suffer from writer’s block when it comes to outlandish and illogical attacks and smears.

Put it this way, if President-elect Obama so much as takes a long weekend off this August, you can bet that the far-right will crap their cages about Obama being lazy and shiftless.

Bob Cesca Huffington Post 11/12/08

October 26, 2008

JOHN McCAIN’S CURICULUM VITAE AS PER WIKIPEDIA

A SMART CREDIBLE WARRIOR WHO SHOOTS FROM THE HIP. HE HAD ONE SOLID YEAR OF EXPERIENCE OF MAKING SOMETHING GO AS COMMANDING OFFICER OF RESERVE AIR GROUP A TRAINING UNIT

BORN AUGUST 29,1936
Father- John McCain Jr. Naval Officer son of a 4 star admiral and a future 4 star admiral himself
Mother-Roberta Wright Oil heiress called the “Auntie Mame of Navy wives”.

1954-1958 US Naval Academy

McCain’s classmates were impressed by his cramming abilities on mathematics, science, and engineering courses and thought his low grades were by inclination and not ability. His class rank was further lowered by poor grades for conduct and leadership, which reflected his sloppy appearance, rebellious attitude, and poor relations with his company officer.

McCain chose not to conform to the Academy’s rules and some of its traditions. Each year he was given over a hundred demerits – earning him membership in the “Century Club” – for offenses such as shoes not being shined, formation faults, room in disorder, and talking out of place. He hated “plebe year”, the trial by ordeal and hhazing of entering midshipmen that would eventually weed out one quarter of the class. He did not take well to those of higher rank arbitrarily wielding power over him .

1958 GRADUATED FROM U. S. NAVAL ACADEMY 895 IN A CLASS OF 899.

1958-1960 Naval aviator in training, first at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida through September 1959, and then at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas.

He began as a sub-par flier: he had limited patience for studying aviation manuals, and spent study time reading history books instead.

1960 LOST FIRST PLANE
During a practice run in Texas, his engine quit while landing, and his aircraft crashed into Corpus Christi Bay and sank to the bottom. Although momentarily knocked unconscious by the impact, he squeezed out of the cockpit and swam to the surface, escaping without major injuries.

NAVAL AVIATOR 1960-
1962 LOST SECOND PLANE His aviation skills improved, but he had another close call when he and his plane emerged intact from a collision with power lines after flying too low over Spain.

1965 LOST THIRD PLANE
A flameout in his trainer jet over Norfolk led to his ejecting safely before his plane crashed.

VIETNAM RECORD

USS Forrestal
McCain’s first five attack missions over North Vietnam went without incident, and while still unconcerned with minor Navy regulations, McCain had garnered the reputation of a serious aviator

July 29, 1967 LOST FOURTH PLANE Explosion and fire 167 sailors killed, 20 planes lost, Forrestal almost sunk.
Possible that McCain acted heroically but some question of McCain doing a “wet start” causing the iincident. McCain quickly was transfered to USS Oriskany.

USS Oriskany September 30, 1967
He volunteered to fly the squadron’s most dangerous missions right away, rather than work his way up to them.

After a grand total of 20 hours in combat and 23 combat missions he was shot down.

On October 26, 1967, McCain was flying his twenty-third mission, part of a twenty-plane attack against the Yen Phu thermal power plant in central Hanoithat previously had almost always been off-limits to U.S. raids due to the possibility of collateral damage. As he neared the target, warning systems in McCain’s A-4E Skyhawk alerted him that he was being tracked by enemy fire-control radar. He held his dive until he released his bombs at about 3,500 feet (1,000 meters) (he was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for this day). As he started to pull up, the Skyhawk’s wing was blown off by a Soviet-made SA-2 anti-aircraft missile fired by the North Vietnamese Air Defense Command’s 61st Battalion.

McCain reached Hoa Lo (aka Hanoi Hilton) in as bad a physical condition as any prisoner during the war. His captors refused to give him medical care unless he gave them military information; they beat and interrogated him, but McCain only offered his name, rank, serial number, and date of birth (the only information he was required to provide under the Geneva Conventions). Soon thinking he was near death, McCain said he would give them more information if taken to the hospital, hoping he could then put his interrogators off once he was treated. A prison doctor came and said it was too late, as McCain was about to die anyway. Only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a top admiral did they give him medical care, calling him “the crown prince”. Two days after McCain’s plane went down, that event and his status as a POW made the front pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post. Interrogation and beatings resumed in the hospital; McCain gave the North Vietnamese his ship’s name, squadron’s name, and the attack’s intended target.

(APPARENTLY McCAIN HAS BLOCKED ACCESS TO NORTH VIETNAMESE RECORDS SO MUCH OF WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT HIS INTERNMENT IS HIS UNCONFIRMED TESTIMONY. THERE IS EQUALLY UNCONFIRMED TESTIMONY THAT McCAIN GAVE INFORMATION THAT RESULTED IN US AVIATORS BEING SHOT DOWN AND THAT McAIN WAS PROVIDED WITH PROSTITUTES.)

March 14, 1973 McCain released from captivity
Psychological tests, given to all the returning POWs, showed that McCain had “adjusted exceptionally well to repatriation” and had “an ambitious, striving, successful pattern of adjustment”.

Unlike many veterans, McCain did not experience flashbacks or nightmares of his Vietnam experience.

August 1974, he was assigned to the Replacement Air Group VA-174 “Hellrazors”.
Executive officer in 1975
July 1, 1976, commanding officer. This last assignment was controversial
some senior officers resented McCain’s presence as favoritism due to his father, junior officers rallied to him and helped him qualify for A-7 carrier landings McCain removed personnel he thought ineffective and sought to improve morale and productivity by establishing an informal rapport with enlisted men. Dealing with limited post-Vietnam defense budgets and parts shortages.

Although some operational metrics declined during the period the pilot safety metrics improved to the point of having zero accidents. The squadron was awarded its first Meritorious Unit Commendation in twenty-three years, while McCain received a Meritorious Service Medal. McCain later stated that being commanding officer of VA-174 was the most rewarding assignment of his naval career.

July 1977 McCain was appointed to the Senate Liaison Office within the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs. his office became a watering hole for Congressmen and Senators who liked to unwind there at the end of the weorking day.

As a Senator he is a salty blustery maverick.

October 25, 2008

JOHN McCAIN IS A LAUGH A MINUTE

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 8:44 pm

HERE ARE TWO OF HIS FUNNIES
1, “Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
Because her father is Janet Reno.”

2. Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, “Where is that marvelous ape?”

My friends Senator McCain is a real class act.

October 2, 2008

John McCain, Deregulation Hawk, Criminal

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 6:23 pm

POLITICOR
Political News, Opinions, Ideas

John McCain, Deregulation Hawk, Criminal
Aug 4, 2008 in Uncategorized

John McCain’s affinity for supporting the deregulation of major industries puts him in league with the worlds most notorious corporate criminals. Deregulation is the tool of the super rich corporate criminal class, and John McCain is their poster child.

First McCain supported deregulation of the Savings and Loan industry. All the while accepting lavish gifts and trips on private jets from Charles Keating who would benefit directly form the legislation. This led to rampant theft of customer savings. The Savings and Loan industry then crashed costing the American taxpayers $30 Billion. McCain was indicted for corruption and Keating went to prison.

Then McCain followed that mess with deregulation of the energy industry. This created kaos in the energy markets, the Enron scandal, and cost rate payers across the country $20 billion in manipulated energy costs. Within a year all competition for gas and oil was gone and prices began rising. Further deregulation of the energy commodities market closed the deal. Now the giant energy conglomerates could own the gas stations, the oil rigs, the refineries, and thanks to John McCain, they now could create their own hedge funds to manipulate supply, demand and the financial markets. A sweet deal for Exxon Mobile who this year raked in more profits than any company in the history of the world, and payed their CEO $500 million in bonuses, while spending less that 2 million to develop new sources of oil from the more than 10 million acres of undeveloped US oil leases Exxon holds.

That was not enough for our hero John McCain. He then supported deregulation of the Mortgage industry which led to rampant lender abuse and the current mortgage crisis. Now with the just passed bailout legislation this will cost taxpayers $150 Billion.

See any pattern here? The next time you hear John McCain spouting his support for deregulation remember, deregulation is the tool that corporate criminals use to steal tax payer money. Anyone supporting it is by default either a fool or a con man trying to pick your pockets.

The real problem with ignorant politicians like John McCain is not the erroneous bloviations on policy that they rehearse and spout whenever the audience fits the message. It is that the real intellectual criminals, Charles Keating in the case of the Savings and Loan scandal, Ken Lay in the case of the Enron scandal, and Senator Phil Graham the architect of the Mortgage meltdown, can twist and manipulate these weak minded political tools to their own ends, with the fools like McCain never even realizing they being manipulated.

Let’s all see John McCain for the wimpy say anything to appease voters, corporate tool that he is. No on McCain 2008, No more tools in politics.

McCain, The Deregulation Hawk

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, ECONOMY, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 5:39 pm

John McCain was instumental in our present financial crisis ? Deregulation reduces oversight.

Everyone seems to agree that the current financial crisis was caused by lack of oversight in financial markets.

Google McCain deregulation
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One could argue, quite accurately, that John McCain is responsible for the Nation’s economic crisis. McCain has worked his entire career to deregulate the financial industry – with disastrous results.

In the 1980’s McCain was a key figure in deregulating the savings and loan industry. McCain parlayed it into highly profitable graft for himself. That led to wholesale theft and the collaspe of many S&Ls. McCain got caught in the the ensuing scandal but successfully used his POW line to wiggle free.
McCain’s economic guru, Phil Gramm, slipped the “Enron Loophole” into legislation in the year 2000. This deregulatory loophole was used by that infamous company to game the electricity markets so egregiously that it led to Enron’s own collapse. Since then, McCain has blocked every effort to close the loophole which is now being used by energy traders to game gasoline prices.
The current banking crisis traces back to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. Again Phil Gramm get direct blame for deregulating banks. Again, John McCain followed Gramm like an servile puppy in the effort. The effect is an economic crisis the world has not seen in 75 years.

McCain has said he will make Phil Gramm Treasury Secretary.
McCain’s son, Andrew, ran an Arizona bank into bankruptcy earlier this year under curious, at least, circumstances.

Not content with fucking the nation’s economy, McCain is campaigning on a platform of deregulating health care.
It is true that, as of today, John McCain is urging reregulating the financial markets. Of course that would mean undoing his life’s work. But, John McCain wouldn’t lie, would he? He wouldn’t say one thing now to get elected and do another thing after he gets in office, would he?

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