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Archive for October 10th, 2008

OLD FOOLS

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2008 1:17 pm by HL

OLD FOOLS


17 Innocent Guantanamo Detainees Remain Imprisoned as Bush Administration Continues Stall Tactics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

17 Innocent Guantanamo Detainees Remain Imprisoned as Bush Administration Continues Stall Tactics
October 8, 2008, Washington – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the U.S. government’s request for an administrative stay of District Court Judge Ricardo Urbina’s order that 17 innocent Uighur men be released from Guantánamo into the United States.  Judge Urbina had ordered the release on Tuesday, and the men were due to arrive in Judge Urbina’s courtroom on Friday.  Plans had already been made for their arrival.

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Late Late Nite FDL: Vandaveer

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

Late Late Nite FDL: Vandaveer
Vandaveer, live in Paris, performing “Fistful Of Swoon.”

Vandaveer, live in Paris, performing “Fistful Of Swoon.”

What’s on your mind tonight?


The Meltdown We Really Can’t Afford

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

The Meltdown We Really Can’t Afford
We are in danger of passing an extremely dangerous tipping point, with the frightening discovery of massive deposits of sub-sea methane in the Arctic.


TPMtv: It’s the Surge, Stupid

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

TPMtv: It’s the Surge, Stupid
If you’re desperate to be John McCain’s vice presidential nominee, you better get on TV and start talking up the Surge as the single most important issue in this year’s presidential campaign. And if you’re serious about getting picked it…


Please fasten your seatbelts…the economy will be going through a little turbulence…

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Please fasten your seatbelts…the economy will be going through a little turbulence…

I remember being about 10 years old, flying with my family to South America. I was in the restroom when I heard over the loudspeaker, “Please fasten your seatbelts. We might be experiencing a little turbulence.” I was standing there, doing my business, and I couldn’t just stop. Suddenly, the plane fell violently and my head hit the ceiling. The plane shook up and down and back and forth for about a second or two. Then the plane leveled out. As I came out of the bathroom, I could see that several passengers had cuts and bruises but it appeared that everyone was okay.

I mention all this to say that our economy will be going through the same type of turbulence. I do not think that our economy will fall out of the sky. On the other hand, I don’t believe that this $700 billion “rescue package” will fix everything immediately either.

After 28 years of bleeding the economy dry, we have some work to do to get it back on the right track. We have a deficit that has just exploded over $10 trillion. We have to convince foreign investors that we are serious in paying off our country’s debt. We need balanced budgets, which means we’ll need a tax increase to increase revenues. The tax increase can be levied on the upper five to 10% of wage earners since they make more than the bottom 50% of wage earners.

Consumers have to understand that the credit markets will tighten. For a while, banks are going to be reluctant to hand out loans of almost any kind. Small businesses are going to be in a vise grip for a while. It may be 12 to 18 months before credit loosens up significantly.

I suspect there will be more bank failures. The one extremely positive thing that has come out of this “rescue bill” is that the FDIC will cover deposits up to $250,000.

The underlying problem with our economy is not fixed by a $700 billion redistribution. There is a grave imbalance between wages and home values. This imbalance can be fixed by one of two methods — increased wages or decreased home values. Floyd Norris writes an economic blog for the New York Times. A couple of days ago, he posted a solution that someone had sent to him in jest:

Here is a simple idea that might help address part of this this very un-simple mess. Take $100B and buy 500,000 empty homes for an average of $200,000, and destroy the homes. A shortage of available housing will push the market value of existing homes up, building trades will boom, mortgages will start to happen again (with new terms that NEVER offer less than 15% down) and then we can go to work on how to split up A.I.G. and the three remaining banks in the country…

Having had nine straight months of job loss, it is hard to say that we’re not sitting in a recession. It is going to take a while for us to extricate ourselves from this financial disaster. Black Monday, which was back in 1987, caused some economic hardship but because we made things in this country back then, it was relatively easy to pull ourselves out. Now we don’t make anything. Large portions of cars are made overseas. Computers are assembled in Malaysia and Singapore. The factories which produced all of the furniture and garments in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have been shipped overseas. The making of appliances like washers and dryers has been shipped either to Mexico or to China. We have turned ourselves into a service country. We need to reinvent ourselves as a people who make things because things have value.

Barack Obama has rightly suggested that companies which ship their goods overseas to be made and then ship them back in the country need to have all of that merchandise taxed. Companies who stay in the United States and make a product from beginning to end here in the US need to be rewarded with tax breaks. This is what Barack Obama has proposed. He has also proposed that we invest in alternative energies. Through a combination of tax breaks, grants and tax incentives, we will begin to make things again in this country. Whether it is nuclear plants or solar panels or large wind turbines, we will make things of value in the US again.

We need to buckle our seat belts and prepare for a bumpy ride.


McCain Touts ‘Energy Expert’ Palin’s Credentials By Falsely Claiming She Delivered A Gas Pipeline

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2008 4:33 am by HL

McCain Touts ‘Energy Expert’ Palin’s Credentials By Falsely Claiming She Delivered A Gas Pipeline
Last night on Fox News, host Sean Hannity interviewed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) and asked McCain what Palin’s role would be in his administration. McCain said Palin would be useful on energy issues — presumably because, as he has said before, “she knows more about energy than probably anyone else” […]

Last night on Fox News, host Sean Hannity interviewed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) and asked McCain what Palin’s role would be in his administration. McCain said Palin would be useful on energy issues — presumably because, as he has said before, “she knows more about energy than probably anyone else” in the U.S. As evidence, McCain claimed that Palin “was responsible for…a pipeline, the $40 billion pipeline bringing natural gas from Alaska down to the lower 48.” Watch it:

In fact, there is no $40 billion dollar pipeline from Alaska bringing natural gas to the lower 48 states. As the New York Times explained last month, “the pipeline exists only on paper” —

The first section has yet to be laid, federal approvals are years away and the pipeline will not be completed for at least a decade. In fact, although it is the centerpiece of Ms. Palin’s relatively brief record as governor, the pipeline might never be built, and under a worst-case scenario, the state could lose up to $500 million it committed to defray regulatory and other costs.

Palin initiated the project by giving $500 million in Alaska state funds to TransCanada Corp. for the pipeline. However, the Canadian energy company “is not obligated to build it” and has made no promises to do so.

Moreover, some of Canada’s native tribes must approve the deal and those who live along the pipeline’s proposed route “complain they haven’t been consulted about it and are threatening to sue unless they are compensated.” One tribal representative has said that TransCanada has “very much downplayed the extent of the legal difficulties they face in Canada.”

But Palin has asked Alaskans to pray for the pipeline to be built, which is perhaps what the McCain-Palin campaign website means when it says that “work has begun on a $40 billion natural gas pipeline.”

Digg It!


Anger Is Crowd’s Overarching Emotion at McCain Rally

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2008 4:32 am by HL

Anger Is Crowd’s Overarching Emotion at McCain Rally
WAUKESHA, Wis., Oct. 9 — There were shouts of “Nobama” and “Socialist” at the mention of the Democratic presidential nominee. There were boos, middle fingers turned up and thumbs turned down as a media caravan moved through the crowd Thursday for a midday town hall gathering featuring John McCain…


McCain, Obama Again Dodged Priority Questions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2008 4:28 am by HL

McCain, Obama Again Dodged Priority Questions
Even though questions about spending and tax priorities and “too much debt” were asked again at Tuesday night’s presidential debate, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) once again failed to answer them. In fact, they both perpetuated the fantasy that they can keep all their policy proposals intact — and add new ones — and pay for them with fuzzy spending cuts. “We obviously have to stop this spending spree that’s going on in Washington,” McCain said. “Do you know that we’ve laid a $10 trillion debt on these young Americans who are here with us tonight, $100 billion of it we owe to China?”

Will McCain Make the Investor Connection?
While the presidential candidates were debating in Nashville on Tuesday night, the Asian stock markets were selling off by 10 percent. Earlier in the day, the U.S. market plunged by 500 points. These were big-time drops, yet presidential debaters never talk about the stock market. Nashville was no exception. Roughly $2 trillion in U.S. shareholder capital has been lost in the past 15 months. Stocks are down 20 percent over the last month alone. Those are nasty hits. Stock market people are very unhappy campers right now. And the bad-news financial statements for September are now either in the mail or on the kitchen table. But there were no references to investors either by John McCain or Barack Obama on Tuesday night. This is nuts.