Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Return Of The Pyramid Scheme

A new pyramid scheme chain letter is now circulating that promises to make persons $250,000 to $800,000 in a few weeks. Unfortunately, because it involves persons to send $3 each to seven persons on a list with the request of "Please add me to your mailing list", this latest scam may actually be legal for now and outside the reach of law enforcement.

The problem like all pyramid schemes is that some persons at the top of the list will make some money and persons at the bottom are simply left out. Pyramid schemes are supposed to be illegal, but the request to be put on some mailing list may legally constitute some purchase, which might allow the organizers of this scam to evade prosecution for now.

As the economy sours, many persons including those unemployed or stay at home housewives might be tempted to try some letter such as this. But in most cases they will only end losing money to some scammer who is running the letter scam.

Like most other pyramid schemes, there are most likely faked testimonials on how some down and person suddenly raked in some major money by becoming part of the scheme. The reality is that this most likely never happened. It's all a complete lie. It's also claimed that the pyramid letter was a part of both 20/20 and Oprah Winfrey, however it is not mentioned that this is most likely as an investigation into pyramid scams.

A company that sells mailing lists of names is mentioned in the letter where you can purchase 200 names to mail the pyramid letters for $45. I've contacted this company to ask whether they are a part of this pyramid chain letter or not and awaiting their response.


Some wild new concept sketches of a retro-styled AMC Gremlin has been circulating on web, along with a claim that some millionaire AMC fan business tycoon will bring the company back as a full-line automobile manufacturer once again for 2010.

The reality sadly is that it was just a gag. However, some sketches from HOT ROD Magazine of some retro styled AMC cars have been posted on the web for adoring fans of this car company that was acquired by Chrysler Corporation in 1987.

The Gremlin sketch involves many of the styling cues from the original car line from April 1970 when it was introduced on April Fools Day as a midyear model.

Any fans of these unique little cars cannot help but be impressed at this sketch and probably only hope that it was really going to roll out as new model for 2010. But loyal fans saved the Studebaker Avanti model several times over the years, so if anyone has tons of money and loves the little Gremlin, the mission to bring the car back may be extremely difficult, but not entirely impossible.

Monday, September 29, 2008

McCain Campaign Fighting Off Story About Sarah Palin's Affair

Stuck in a declining campaign with sagging poll numbers, a clear loss in Friday night's debate, and a vice presidential candidate who cannot give serious or intelligent interviews, the beleaguered McCain Campaign is now fighting with THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER over a new allegation story that Sarah Palin had an affair with a business partner of her husband's former snowmobile business that nearly destroyed their marriage.

According to the story run by THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER, while Palin was the mayor of Wasilla back in 1996, her husband, Todd Palin, ran a snowmobile dealership with a business partner, Brad Hanson. And Hanson and Sarah Palin had an affair that caused Hanson and Todd Palin to dissolve their business partnership while the affair nearly wrecked the Palin marriage.

THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER also presented evidence that no less than three members of Hanson's family have confirmed the Sarah Palin and Brad Hanson affair story as absolutely true, In addition, Hanson family insider, Jim Burdett, has passed a polygraph test according to THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER as well, while the McCain Campaign has gone as far as threatening the newspaper with a lawsuit in an effort to stomp out this latest trouble for the McCain Campaign.

The story now becomes the latest problem for the McCain Campaign which has had serious credibility problems with so many of the statements and facts espoused by both McCain and Palin. Palin has already been caught up in nonsensical stories about a state owned jet in which she lost $600,000 for the state that she claimed was sold on Ebay, when that story turned out not to be quite true as Palin had misled voters to believe . Palin has also continued to confuse voters about her actual position on "The Bridge To Nowhere", when there are are actually two "Bridge To Nowhere" projects and Palin has only spun silly tales to look like some hero on the issue when the facts indicate that she actually supported the project, not opposed it as she claimed. The McCain Campaign has also kept Palin from interviews from most serious reporters because she cannot seriously and intelligently answer most of their questions on issues or else makes up some new story about some heroic thing she achieved as mayor or governor in Alaska which fact checks soon dispel as false or not quite true.

Palin was supposed to lure in Christian Right voters and solidify McCain's shaky base among Republican Party conservatives, but now the story about Palin's affair only raises new doubts among those voters about any real commitment to socially conservative issues or so-called "traditional values". Indeed even the 2008 Republican Party Platform had some of the weakest socially conservative language as seen in years because of the control of the convention by McCain delegates.

John McCain was well known to have broken up his first marriage with an affair. His first wife Carol waited five long years for him to return from prison in North Vietnam after being shot down and captured. Carol McCain was even badly injured in an automobile accident, but John McCain soon started an affair with the woman who eventually became his current wife. With the new story of the Palin affair, as well as the known McCain marriage problems, only raises more questions about the honesty and character of both McCain and Palin.

Popular television evangelist and author of over 30 books, Dr. Robert Schuller has long condemned adultery as a trust breaker, and argued that anyone who would cheat on their marriage cannot be trusted in business or elsewhere because they have proven themselves to be dishonest. Now the troubled McCain-Palin ticket is battling more of these trust issue problems and more credibility troubles with the new story about the claimed affair by vp candidate Sarah Palin running in the ENQUIRER.

A DogPed?

You've heard of mopeds. Now some website www.dogpoweredcooter.com on the Internet has some strange new dog-powered scooter devices that it claims promote dog safety as well as provide fun for the dog owner. There are actually a number of designs including for more than one dog.

Yeah, but what if you own chihuahuas or cats?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Senator Obama Might Be On The Verge Of An Electoral Vote Landslide

After an impressive debate performance by Senator Barack Obama he continues to hang onto a six point lead in the latest Rasmussen Poll with many "red states" that voted for George Bush in 2004 very close or else Obama leading in some.

At this point, Obama leads in every state won by John Kerry except small New Hampshire as well as in Iowa, New Mexico, Virginia, Colorado and North Carolina. Ohio, Nevada, Florida are very close. Obama isn't expected to win in tiny Montana, but the polls are fairly close there as a sign of how the Republicans are running weaker this year than 2004. Missouri may be within range for Obama as well. If Obama carries all of these states he could crush the McCain Campaign with well over 300 electoral votes, by several million popular votes, and by a range of six points to even about ten points. This would be a crushing loss for the Republicans.

After the Republican Convention and with the pick of Sarah Palin, McCain enjoyed a solid election bounce that went away with the serious economic problems. And with Obama picking up momentum, and his strong debate performance in what was supposed to be McCain's strongest area, foreign policy, Obama is looking more likely than ever to win this election, and by a decisive margin. The only real question may be how large the McCain loss may be.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Failed Bank WAMU Pays CEO $18 Million For Just Three Weeks Of Work

The collapse and federal seizure of Seattle based Washington Mutual became the largest bank failure in American history. And the CEO, Brooklyn banker, Alan Fishman, who was just hired on September 7, to replace ousted CEO Kerry Killiger, will receive a mere $18 million in pay for just three weeks of work on the job. Ousted CEO Killinger received $14.4 million in pay in 2007.

Since Fishman was hired on September 7, wary customers of WAMU withdrew more than $16 billion in funds from the bank out of fear of losing any assets over $100,000 in bank accounts. The federal insurance limit on bank accounts is set at $100,000 per bank. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has just $45.2 billion in available funds to cover bank failures and only two months ago the failure of California based IndyMac, a giant savings and loan business, drew $8.9 billion from this federal deposit insurance fund. The Immediate sale by the feds to J.P. Morgan prevented the drain of $20 billion dollars from this rapidly shrinking insurance fund.

A large part of WAMU's troubles developed back during the previous housing boom when WAMU was a leader in many high interest home loans loans to higher risk home buyers. WAMU also offered credit cards to many persons with an interest rate in excess of 23%, a rate about 10 points higher than many other credit card giants like CapitalOne where many persons holding their cards are paying 13.90% or less in interest in unpaid balances.

Washington Mutual was founded in 1889, and withstood wars as well as the Great Depression, but simply could not withstand this latest economic crisis in which so many persons could no longer afford to pay for their home loans and defaulted. It is only the latest sign of the serious economic crisis in the U.S.

But you have to admit that for three weeks work $18 million in pay isn't too bad. Makes you wonder what really went wrong here? Persons not getting paid back at WAMU are the shareholders and many bondholders in this bank. These now worthless stock certificates now make Jim Dandy birdcage liners.

The Other Hilton Story

While the mainstream media seems to only cover the Paris Hilton saga, another Hilton saga ran for nearly a year that nearly everyone in the media completely missed. A contract dispute between the management of the Portland, Oregon Hilton Hotel and the Unite Here Local 9 hotel employees union involved a long consumer boycott of the hotel by many conventions, businesses and other hotel patrons that cost this hotel over $1.8 million in lost business.

What held up the hotel from giving in to employee demands were little issues like giving the housekeeping staff a reduced workload from 16 rooms a day minimum down to 14 rooms a day minimum and bus pass subsidy because many of the employees earn too little money to even afford a car to drive to work. Of course there were also some very minor issues like union protection of jobs in the event that the hotel might be sold to some other company other than the current owners. Nowadays, many in business make money by buying other businesses, cutting wages or staff, and then reselling the business like it's some fixer-upper house or car.

Unfortunately, for the media a story where workers are so poor that they have to ride the bus to work is not very compelling reading so they figure that the exploits of Hilton heiress, Paris, makes for much more compelling reading. Even her pet Chihuahua has gotten more press coverage than the hotel workers who just needed a bus pass allowance so they can get to work.

Indeed, there are two Americas. The mainstream media covers the meaningless exploits of a foolish wealthy heiress, while others toil in a life and death struggle in low income jobs with rising prices, high rents and increased medical expenses.

Oh, it's not the glamorous life of a hotel heiress at all for many persons.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Republican Administration, Another Economic Crisis

Wednesday night's economic panic address by Bush is only the latest example of yet another economic crisis during yet another Republican administration. The funny thing is America's #2 political party always wants to run the country, but then never seems to have a clue how to really use power once they are in charge, where their second rate ideology always seems to create a crisis of some sort, usually economic in nature.

But what can you expect from a party that's usually on the wrong side of economic issues important to the average citizen like supporting a minimum wage increase, or allowing workers to unionize for better working conditions, salaries, health or retirement benefits? Republicans even wanted to privatize Social Security, which would have ruined the retirement security of many Americans whose retirement funds would have been invested in the stock market. Stock values of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have soared downward from highs in the $60 dollar plus range to only a little over $1 today. And many other stocks are at only a fraction of their high values. The retirement security of millions would have been ruined if the Republicans got their way on this issue. But Republican John McCain is still advocating for this privatizing Social Security nonsense.

Mr. Bush's economic address seemed to conveniently ignore the fact that it was of course Ronald Reagan who argued that "government is the enemy" and deregulated the financial industry during his Republican rule in the 1980's, setting in motion excesses in the financial industries such as excessive salaries and other abuses that are a major part of this latest Republican economic crisis for the country.

Other great achievements of the Republican Reagan Administration included illegally diverting billions of dollars of Agriculture CCC funds intended for international disaster relief allowing Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to build up a huge military and buy billions in arms from France and Brazil during the Iran-Iraq War. While the Soviets at least declared an arms embargo in the area in an attempt to dry up the supply of arms in the area in an effort to promote peace talks, Reagan allowed years of war to continue that took millions of lives and only encouraged Saddam Hussein to use chemical weapons on some of his own people such as the Kurds who were disloyal during this war. The other great Reagan achievement was of course sending billions of American taxpayer dollars to help build up the Mujahideen fighters network in Afghanistan of the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden and other extremist radicals to fight the Soviets during their invasion of that country. After Osama Bin Laden established terrorist bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight the Russians, often with the help of American Reagan Administration funding, and the Soviets were defeated, then these terrorists only concentrated their efforts on promoting terrorism within the United States and elsewhere in the world. Simply brilliant Republican thinking.

However, when the Republicans aren't turning dictators like Saddam Hussein into regional threats or paying terrorists like Osama Bin Laden to senselessly kill, they're usually proficient at creating bank failures, economic slowdowns, recessions or depressions as history well proves.

1928-1932: Republican Herbert Hoover managed to take a prosperous American economy and drive it into ground and was the father of the Great Depression with massive bank failures where many American lost their life savings and many Americans began keeping their money in mattresses instead. American voters were just too prejudice to elect a Roman Catholic like Democrat Al Smith back in 1928, which allowed Hoover to sweep into office by a landslide and wreck the American economy. Thankfully Hoover ruined the Republican Party's reputation so bad that it wasn't until 1952 that Americans wanted to elect another Republican Administration so the economy could be wrecked again.

1952-1960: Popular moderate Republican war hero General Dwight Eisenhower was by all means a decent and honest man. But he was far better at defeating international villains like Hitler than at managing the strong domestic American economy built on the postwar manufacturing boom under Democrats Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman was turned to rust by Eisenhower's lack of economic understanding and recession resulted that helped to elect John Kennedy in 1960.

1968-1976: Americans once again yearned for more Republican mismanagement of the economy and Richard Nixon's continued Vietnam War efforts were an important key to creating serious inflation problems for the American economy. The U.S. dropped 300 pounds of bombs for every person living in Vietnam, and for every one dollar of damage in Vietnam it cost the American economy and taxpayers $10. More than 700 American aircraft were lost alone in this war. During 1965-1973 8 million tons were dropped on Vietnam and Mr. Nixon needed to print money like crazy to pay for all this bombing activity, leading to such bad inflation in the U.S. that Mr. Nixon had to declare wage and price controls similar to some of the old Roosevelt depression and war era economic stabilization efforts.

1980-1992: Jimmy Carter managed to become the only Democrat since the Great Depression to appoint ineffective economic advisors such as Alfred Khan to mismanage the American economy allowing Republican Ronald Reagan an opening to enact a lawless foreign policy of covert schemes to misuse funds to support a covert war in Nicaragua, prop up Saddam Hussein and pay terrorist like Osama Bin Laden to build up a worldwide terrorist network. The economy actually dramatically worsened for a while under Reagan and it was a rotten time to own a business during part of the Reagan years because many persons didn't have a lot of money to spend. It was only during the later part of the Reagan rule that the economy picked up enough that Americans allowed his Vice President Bush to rule for a term. But like father, like son, the senior Bush managed to create terrible economic times and allowed Democrat Bill Clinton an opening to create a big economic boom during his rule.

2000-2008: By 2000, Americans grew weary of the pants down antics of Democrat Bill Clinton, and it seemed to hurt Vice President All Gore just enough to allow the former drunk and cocaine abusing son of George Bush to win the election which didn't make a lot of sense. In addition, Bush seemed like a major league dumb-crap as well. Voting for him over the highly intellectual Al Gore was like choosing Gilligan over the Professor. And whenever Gilligan got involved, you knew that bad stuff would happen. And indeed it did. The Bush years have been characterized by near nonstop foolishness or problems of some sort. And now the nation is looking at possible bank failures and the most serious economic problems since the Great Depression unless it spends $700 billion to bail out the economy thanks to this latest Republican Administration that makes the Three Stooges look like professionals by comparison.

How much is $700 billion. Why it's only about $4,780 for every American taxpayer. It would build 1,077 Chicago Trump Towers. It would be the second highest government expense after the $738 billion dollar cost of the Iraq War and all national defense combined.

Amazingly, after this serious economic mess, the Iraq War fiasco, and numerous other Bush Administration mishaps and other crazed acts of downright foolishness, Republican John McCain runs close in the polls where some voters are wary of electing the first African-American Democratic President. But in 1928, many voters were just too prejudice to elect a Roman Catholic, so you can judge whether this is some measure of turtle-slow social progress in the U.S. or not that an African-American candidate now has an even chance of being judged as any other candidate would be and winning the presidency after Republicans have made a complete mess of the country once again.

Given their simply horrid economic performance history since Herbert Hoover, it seems like it takes half a mind to keep giving Republicans more chances to botch up the nation and drive the economy into ruin. But history books must be like kryptonite to many Americans, and a real safe place to hide your valuables, because so many don't look at history and realize what a screwy history of economic leadership the Republicans always seem to leave behind whenever they rule. Sometimes when you're the number two American political party it is for a good reason. Real second rate economic leadership is a large part of this.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ohio Likely To Choose The Presidential Winner Once Again

In every presidential election since 1964, Ohio has voted with the winner and the vote has similarly reflected the national vote percentages as well. For this reason Ohio remains as the most important test-lab state in clues as to how the actual election will turn out. Right now, Barack Obama narrowly trails John McCain in Ohio, so a win by either candidate in this state is highly likely to determine the overall winner of the election.

Despite a formerly strong factory economic base in Ohio where many factory jobs are now challenged, Obama's narrow trailing indicates that he still needs to shore up his support among those blue collar voters and convince voters that John McCain only represents more of the same old George Bush economics.

Friday night's debate will be a critical head-to-head test of both candidates ability to cement themselves in the minds of voters as a credible choice as president. The subject will be foreign policy. Barack Obama needs to appear to voters that he has the judgement, credibility and toughness to deal with any foreign policy challenge, as well as a decent understanding of any international issue. McCain's challenge will likely be not to appear as too quick to use military force around the world as well avoiding erratic answers where voters become wary of his role as Commander-In-Chief will be very important. McCain sometimes gives frightening answers where he seems too likely to use military force against rogue states like Iran.

Later debates dealing with economics may give Obama a grounds where he can make the strongest case for his campaign. But the biggest challenge for Obama is likely to appear to be a credible alternative to McCain on foreign policy issues where McCain might be able to make his strongest case. If either McCain or Obama stumbles in this first debate, and fails to move numbers in their direction, then it may be difficult for the other candidate to reverse that trend. It might also be to Obama's advantage that the economics debate will be coming closer to the election. If Obama is to possibly draw or even lose any debate, the foreign policy one might be the only one he can afford to.

But every debate will be vital to both candidates to make their best case to close the deal with the voters. It will be interesting to see how the poll numbers move after the first debate. If one candidate starts moving numbers in their direction, it may be a good sign that they are indeed closing the deal with voters and are likely to win this election.

After the debate, it will also be interesting to watch the polling numbers coming out of Ohio. Whoever gains traction and carries this state is also likely to win the election as well. I fully expect the state of Ohio to vote with the winner once again and by a margin that closely represents the actual national vote as well.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oil Up Over $15 A Barrel During Monday Commodity Trading

Oil prices were up over $15 a barrel on Monday's volatile commodity trading markets. As late as last week, oil prices dipped well below the $100 a barrel mark largely due a confidence fall among all stocks and commodities due to an investor loss of faith in nearly all markets except gold last week. At one point last week, an awful lot of persons were nearly tempted to pull all their cash out of stocks, bonds and banks and stuff their assets under a mattress. Things were just that bad. Then the surprise news of the bipartisan efforts to rescue the economy and bail out some select troubled industries such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and insurance giant AIG emerged.

While the Republicans have grabbed on to the "oil drilling" issue for this election, it is mainly only to neutralize any Democratic advantage on this issue. The fact of the matter is that OPEC controls both the world output levels as well keeps the prices high. And although oil has been far harder to access since about 1977, where even in Saudi Arabia the giant Ghawar oil field requires millions of barrels of seawater to be pumped in each day to raise the oil level to the surface. Many other world oil wells have witnessed lower output levels over the years since 1977. But at the same time there has to really be little real interest among American oil companies to want to actually see oil prices dip much below that $4 level or to spend nearly 10 years and a lot of cash on a process on getting permits, oil exploration, building new drilling sites and new refineries to harness new oil supplies in the U.S. territory when plenty of oil can still be bought on world commodity markets from close neighbors such as Canada or Mexico.

The fact of the matter is that oil prices which includes home heating oil are just starting to rise again, largely due to role of oil market speculation that really has little to do with actual supply levels. Homeowners are going to see higher heating prices than last Winter and motorists will likely soon see gas prices as high as ever soon again. Commodity market speculation more than any variable is driving the price of oil.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Home Foreclosures & The Penthouse Pet

A former September 2008 Pet Of The Month, Kayden Kross, 23, who is also a popular adult film actress with her own website and a large loyal fan base has fallen into a little legal problems in the state of California for her role in a claimed illegal home foreclosure scam.

It seems that Kayden Kross is accused by the state of California in a home foreclosure scheme in which homes that were in the foreclosure process would be bought out by Kayden and other co-investors while the residents were still in the homes, then the homes then rented out to these persons with a later option for them to buy back the property. The problem is that this scheme is illegal under California law. And whether this was a sincere attempt to help people struggling with a foreclosure crisis to eventually reown their home or just a scam that took advantage of vulnerable persons in a difficult crisis is an issue that will likely have to be resolved in a criminal trial.

Kross, former senior at California State University has seen a rocketing career of fame and wealthy since just 2006. She was even featured on an episode of Gene Simmons' FAMILY JEWELS as well since she became a major celebrity in the adult entertainment industry.

According to the attorney for Kross, Jon-Paul Valcarenghi, Kross was only 20 years old and "financially inexperienced" when she and another woman were "victimized by mortgage professionals" who encouraged her to invest with them. The attorney plans to investigate and prove her innocence in any scheme to defraud persons victimized by this foreclosure scam.

Kross started out as a stripper at the age of just 18 as a means to pay for her college education, and was no doubt looking for honest investment opportunities to harness her rapidly rising income once she became a top 20 six-figure income adult industry model and actress.

It is highly likely that this young woman was only looking for some legitimate opportunities for investments and given very poor investment advice by some mortgage scammers with an illegal home foreclosure investment scheme. But it is another example of the widespread problems that run all through the mortgage industry right now and how this current foreclosure crisis is a deep and complicated problem. It is also true that some persons sometimes take advantage of economic bad times with schemes as well.

On October 14, Kross is expected to be arraigned on some criminal charges that are not yet publicly known. And her attorney will seek to sever her case from the mortgage professionals who lured her into these deep legal problems and prove that she is only a victim in this home foreclosure scheme case as well.

In August 2008, during a huge biker organized Boobs On Parade event in New Zealand where a crowd estimated at 100,000 lined up to watch women who were often topless riding on motorcycles, a drunken parade goer punched Kross in the face. But the latest legal problems for Kross are a real problem by comparison as well as the latest strange story to emerge from the home foreclosure mess.

U.S. Economic Crisis Increasing Suicide Hotline Calls

The current U.S. economic crisis is creating an increase in calls to suicide hotline centers as families struggle with job layoffs, home foreclosures, stock collapses, possible bank failures and numerous other problems. In Portland, Oregon for example the local suicide hotline is currently working on a new program to train 30 more persons to work as online counselors to deal with the public depression over economic failures and troubles.

The fact of the matter is that this is yet another Republican Administration that has brought serious economic troubles to the United States once again. Ever since 1932 with Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression, nearly every Republican presidential administration has been characterized by some sort of economic slowdowns or troubles, while under most Democratic administrations the American economy has often boomed with record output levels at times. Only during some portion of the Reagan Administration, did a Republican administration have a short period of boom times, but that was after following some serious economic slowdown times including the sacking of supply-sider David Stockwell.

Families are once again living in economic uncertainty during Republican control of the White House. Again American families are suffering with economic policies that don't work.

The Bush Administration government came into power as largely an oligarchy government of oil industry and defense contractor interests whose main policy was to restart the old Gulf War in Iraq to gain some control over Iraq's oil supplies. Instead the result was sharply increased oil prices, up to 1.2 million Iraqi dead due to the cycle of violence and up to 2 million Iraqi refugees. And a U.S. economy sent into more problems after the economic problems resulting from 9/11.

It is little wonder that many persons are becoming depressed?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

John McCain's Role In The $160.1 Billion Lincoln Savings & Loan Collapse

This morning in Green Bay, Wisconsin, John McCain, a former major figure in the 1989 Lincoln Savings & Loan Scandal and the $160.1 billion dollar collapse, with his running mate, Sarah Palin, under her own ethics investigation in her state of Alaska by the legislature over "Troopergate", gave an absurd and disingenuous speech calling for firings of some public officials and indictments for some other corrupt persons in business. Yet it is exactly these same sort of a personalities that McCain would either fire or indict that he was himself back in 1989 during the savings and loan collapse scandal that cost the American taxpayer $124.6 billion.

While the Senate Ethics Committee may have found McCain "not guilty" of any criminal conduct and only guilty of "bad judgement", McCain was the most personally involved of any of the "Keating Five" U.S. senators with Charles H. Keating, Jr., by far. Keating was eventually convicted of racketeering and other serious crimes and sent to federal prison for his trail of financial corruption in the scandal that bankrupted Lincoln Savings & Loan.

Interestingly, prior to his conviction as one of the worst white collar criminals in American history, Keating was best known as an anti-pornography crusader, most likely to mislead many that he was some sort of moral figure by fighting against dirty books, while being the most dirty businessman ever himself. But Keating's phony moral crusading was just part of his phony ruse to conceal all of his theft and corrupt financial dealings with crooked senators like McCain and the other "Keating Five" members.

Keating, and other close business associates hoped to use corrupt senators like John McCain to influence banking regulators, and had given McCain no less than $112,000 in political contributions over the five year period leading up to 1987. McCain's own wife, Cindy McCain and her father, Jim Hensley, were also involved in a shopping center business arrangement with Keating in 1986, in which they invested $359,100 in the business deal. In addition, the McCains had made no less than nine vacation trips at Keating's expense, often on Keating's own jet to a resort he built in the Bahamas. All of this acceptance of vacations, jet plane trips and McCain family business dealings with Keating led up to McCain and four other corrupt senators meeting federal banking regulators to hold off any federal regulators from a probe into Keating's conduct as head of Lincoln Savings & Loan using this company as his own personal piggy bank to fund his billionaire lifestyle. Only after Keating fell into legal problems did Senator John McCain make any attempt to repay Keating for all the vacations trips he and his family accepted from Keating, obviously intended to keep banking regulators from acting against Keating.

"Not indicted" or "not guilty" of any crime isn't really a very high standard to prove that McCain is an honest man. If anything, McCain's dealings with convicted savings and loan racketeer Keatings prove entirely the opposite.

Electing someone with a corrupt history of accepting Bahamas vacations on some criminals own jet plane in a resort paid for with money stolen from a business that McCain sought to protect from government regulators is like electing a fox to watch over the hen house.

John McCain is a perfect symbol of old time Washington corruption. And all of his phony rhetoric about being some sort of a government "reformer" is just pure political B.S. that McCain adopted after he nearly lost his seat in the senate because of his corrupt business dealings with racketeer Charles Keating. For a fact, McCain is part of the Washington problem, not part of the solution. Anyone who thinks the opposite is true is just not dealing with reality.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Obama's Secret Election Weapon

If the election remains close by election day, the Obama Campaign may be able to pull off a big election day turnout surprise by registering and turning out as many of the 55 million unregistered persons over 18 out to vote as possible, tipping many close states over to Obama.

Right now many of the unregistered 55 million adults in the U.S. are among some minority groups and younger persons, two demographics that strongly support Obama.

Both political parties are likely to closely organize efforts to turn out their voters in great numbers. But with superior donation numbers, the Democrats may hold an advantage in not only turning out their voters in big numbers but also registering many voters who are likely to support Obama and the Democrats.

And all of bad economic news from Wall Street is only likely to pull the poling numbers closer for Obama as well. With McCain representing basically a third Bush term for many voters, a wave of voters seeking change could send Mr. Obama to the White House.

High Performance Four Wheeled Motorcycles Run Into Importing Troubles

Wild new high performance machines such as the $65,000 GG Quadster which is built in Switzerland, and which uses a powerful 167 hp BMW inline four cylinder probably won't be seen much on American streets, not only because of the high asking price, but the Department Of Transportation and most states legally regard any motor vehicle with more than three wheels as an automobile rather than a motorcycle. This requires air pollution controls, airbags, and other equipment required for automobiles but not motorcycles. This leaves wild fantasy machines like the GG Quadster likely out of reach for anyone seriously wanting to own one.

This is the problem with DOT and state regulations. Creative minds can conceive of wild new transportation ideas, only to find that they are impossible to market in the United States. Further more restrictive driver's license rules for motorcycle use may deter some potential riders from seeking out two, three or even four wheel transportation alternatives.

Sometimes fantasy of the creative mind far exceeds what reality laws may actually allow. But you can't help but be awed at the GG Quadster. It's king of the wild machines, and with a wild price tag to match as well. It's like Tiffany's meets the daredevil show.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin's Wasilla; High Crime, Big Budgets, A Sales Tax & Wal-Mart

While the McCain-Palin Campaign continues to misrepresent Barack Obama's $1000 middle class tax cut proposal by falsely claiming that he will raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000 a year, it was actually Sarah Palin who ran on a sales tax platform for her town of Wasilla while running for city council.

Palin supported a 2% city sales tax which hit every citizen including children anytime they purchased anything including candy or toys. And Palin grew the city budget from $4 million to $6 million for a town of just over 9,000 persons. When Palin planned to run for governor, she lowered the city sales tax to 0.5%. Since the state of Alaska does not levy a sales tax, Palin's city sales tax was the only one of it's type in the state.

Palin also lured low wage big box stores like Wal-Mart to the town. Generally these big box low wage stores tend destroy many small businesses and replace many higher wage jobs with minimum wage jobs. Because of the high cost of living, the average wage in Alaska state is $832. However in Palin's Wasilla wages lagged far behind at just $652, or around 25% less than the state average. How many families could survive with a 25% wage cut?

Another serious area of Palin failure as mayor was a crime rate in Wasilla nearly three times the statewide average rate.

Under Palin crime was high, as were taxes, and Wal-Mart helped to make wages about 25% below the statewide average. On paper it sure doesn't look very attractive at all. This is some record of achievement to run on? Is this how Palin would run the U.S. if she became president. The thought is chilling and the facts sobering.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Will The Pro-Corporate Welfare McCain-Palin Ticket Cut Your Wages Or Benefits?

Just as the right wing McCain-Palin ticket moves into a tiny national poll lead, wrongfully attracting the votes of many working class victims of the failed Bush Administration, these voters need to seriously ask whether this pro-corporate welfare ticket won't reduce their benefits while they struggle to make ends meet?

John McCain has a pathetic 11% voting record in favor of issues impacting working people compared to the stellar 98% record of Obama by the AFL-CIO. And McCain has opposed increasing the minimum wage on a fairly consistent basis since he was sworn into office as a congressman in January 1983. McCain even supported a radical antilabor union bill that would have made the entire U.S. one big "right to work" state, thereby reducing wages and benefits of workers. Millions of workers would have seen huge wage and benefit reductions such as a possible loss of health insurance or retirement security.

Even in polling conducted by the McCain Campaign, there seems to be an obsession to ask those questioned whether they are union members or not. McCain is one of the most antilabor union candidates the Republicans have ever run for office. It is only through labor unions that many Americans have even been able to enjoy a rise to a middle class lifestyle or job security and home ownership. McCain puts this middle class lifestyle at great risk for working people. Is this really the sort of "reform" that working people really want?

Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, who is both conservative and Republican oriented himself, even questions McCain's screwball economics. Greenspan does not believe that McCain can hand the big business community massive tax cuts without also cutting important social services such as Medicare or Social Security. Who wants to give away their retirement security for themselves or their parents just so that big oil companies can get some new billion dollar tax cuts when they are already reaping record profits? This is "reform"?

Neither McCain or Palin have ever run anything any larger than some small elective office with a few staffers. Neither have actually run a business, yet both would direct so much of the economic policies that we all live under including the business community. If McCain applied his record of years opposing decent wages, benefits and labor unions to working people in America, then millions could only see huge wage and benefit cuts and be thrust into poverty. McCain-Palin could certainly make the current economic problems in the U.S. far worse than they already are.

In his short career in the Senate, Senator Obama has at least proven that with a 98% support for working people issues that he won't throw millions of Americans under the bus to give huge tax cuts to the big oil companies or other nonsense like McCain seems to clearly advocate in his shallow one inch deep campaign built on petty personality attacks on Obama and advocacy for a few big greedy corporate interests like big oil. And with his role as a community organizer, Obama has also proven an ability to create lasting changes in a community for the better as well. Organizing poor people to vote for candidates who economically improve their community was an important first step in community improvement.

The fact of the matter is that with such serious economic challenges rapidly making the U.S. a declining world economic power, McCain only promises to worsen things with more of the same, but even worse economic policies than even Bush. The McCain Campaign continues to ridicule Obama for daring to even offer hope or a vision for a better America, instead asking voters to further economically decay this nation with the wrong sort of economic policies instead. McCain and Palin have no real vision for this country. Obama talks about creating millions in new jobs in high tech and alternate energy areas by comparison. McCain only wants to be president because he believes it's his turn because he's one of the oldest GOP senators. That's a pretty poor reason to elect the guy president. The old Soviet Politburo used to elect leaders to higher office based on the absurd same old-age criteria until they finally elected a young reformer Mikhail Gorbachev and improved decades of society economic and civil liberties declines.

Obama is the only major presidential candidate with a clear vision for America. He promises to challenge America to become great nation once again just like John Kennedy once did, when the U.S. became the undisputed world economic powerhouse and greatly respected worldwide. Instead McCain is a prowar candidate only certain to anger many in the world community and further isolate the United States in the world community in the U.N., and in other critical areas where international cooperation are needed among the over 200 world governments.

If you like economic decline and a further loss of U.S. prestige around the world, then McCain is clearly your man. But if you love your country and believe it is supposed to have a great and bright future then Obama is your clear choice. It is a clear choice between a rusted out, run down city on the hill, or a bright shining one with a real future.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It Sure Looks Like A Credit Card Offer, But It Sure Isn't

It sure looks like a credit card preapproval letter for a new "Platinum" credit card with a $10,000 limit for union workers. But it turns out to be nothing of the sort.

Union Workers Credit Services is sending out letters to households at random, union or not, seeking persons to send in $37 as a "Platinum Card" membership fee for what they think is a credit card, but instead only receive a merchandise catalog and a credit line that can only be used for merchandise in the catalog that is often greatly overpriced compared to retail store prices. The information certainly looks like a normal credit card preapproval letter, but then you notice that the federally mandated information about costs of the card are missing from the letter and a $37 membership fee is asked for upfront before you receive more details about the offer. $37 is a big price to pay for a small merchandise catalog. But that's all that your $37 buys. But the company claims that it will credit that amount to your first purchase but nearly item has prices inflated far beyond any $37 from normal retail store prices.

It is typical of both scams and unscrupulous credit card businesses to seek upfront fees. In some cases, some businesses do not even issue any credit card themselves but only search for a card for persons who pay them a fee, something that can be easily done by the individual themselves. But the Union Workers Credit Services is merely an unethical and misleading letter meant to lure customers to a company selling mail order merchandise. Instead of a straight-forward representation of their true nature of business, the letter appears as a credit card preapproval letter that only upon closer examination of some questionable wording tips off the reader that it is a good company to avoid at all costs.

Union Workers Credit Services claims that it offers a low 5% interest rate. However with merchandise selling for absurdly high prices, there is certainly no savings to individuals even if the interest rate is low. And a $10,000 credit line for some persons of lower income status only means years of financial bondage in many cases.

It is very disappointing that the Bush Administration has been so lax going after some companies that take advantage of consumers, let alone the numerous Email scammers. The letter from Union Workers Credit Services is a real good letter to ignore. It is not a real credit card offer for a credit card usable anywhere. Any business can buy some merchandise wholesale and sell the merchandise for full list price and offer a credit line to customers. This is a business with an unethical and misleading way of marketing it's overpriced goods to customers. Avoid this company.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Here's a really funny music video made from a silly old song we only played just once.

Newt Gingrich's Absurd "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" Myths

When disgraced former Speaker Of The House, Newt Gingrich isn't using God to endorse his own ideas, he still finds some other way to generate donations, make some noise, keep his name in the news, sell books, or support his Republican Party with some sort of new nonsense. With a new nonsense battlecry of "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less", Gingrich is giving a phony new election year argument to his Republican Party that few serious economists or even oil industry experts really even believe. The phony battlecry is merely meant to neutralize all of the public anger against high oil prices from hurting the GOP this year and using it to hurt the Democrats instead. It's partisan political nonsense of the worst variety that doesn't even seriously address the nation's increasing oil needs or consumer needs for lower prices.

The fact of the matter is that when Newt Gingrich and the Republicans had control of Congress and the Senate both, there wasn't really very much interest in promoting more oil drilling, especially offshore drilling because of environmental concerns as well as the fact that there is really no way that the very limited supply of American oil could supply all of this nation's growing oil needs for many years at best. Even South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was opposed to any new oil drilling off the scenic resort and hotel beaches of his state, but now supports such drilling since he is involved with the McCain Campaign which is all about favoritism to the big oil industry, even though it is doubtful that the big oil companies are all that interested in the cost and effort of a massive new exploration process when plenty of oil can be purchased on the wholesale market from Canada, Mexico or elsewhere with a lot less expense and effort.

The truth is simply the U.S. has at best has but just 3% of the world's oil supply, but consumes 25% of the entire world oil supply output according to an oil industry expert like T. Boone Pickens. If at best every drop of oil could be discovered within American held territory and ocean limits, there is only a 60 year supply at best. But the reality is that only half or less of this is likely to even be found, limiting the supply to just 25-30 years at most, and then there is no more American oil at all. It's all gone.

Governor Sarah Palin is a huge advocate of new oil drilling in Alaska. But she is simply not forthright about some very serious health and quality concerns with much of the oil coming from Alaska. Much of this oil is heavily contaminated with hazardous levels of toxic benzene compared to most other world supplies of oil. This benzene contamination problem is so serious and such an expensive problem that American oil companies have been given until 2014 by the Bush Administration controlled EPA to resolve the problem with extremely high cost new refineries that cut down this health risk to the public. So far only the British owned BP has stepped up to build a very expensive newer refinery that filters the toxic benzene contamination from the Alaskan oil. Normal automobile air pollution systems simply do not catch this benzene contamination and it passes right out in the exhaust gas creating a serious cancer risk to the general public.

Governor Palin has a heavy special interest in the success of the oil industry in Alaska in order to subsidize deficit spending in the state. In 1976, the voters established the ALASKA PERMANENT FUND which has bailed the Alaska government out of years of red ink by using invested oil royalty funds to prop up the government of Alaska any time it ran into financial problems paying for services to this state with a tiny population but a huge land mass. There was also another 2 billion dollar fund available to the government of Alaska due to a lawsuit against the oil industry as well. Yet in just 18 months in office, Palin has asked the federal government for over $450 million in funds to prop up programs and projects in Alaska when plenty of oil revenue royalties or other income to state were available. Palin was also on both sides of issues such as the famous "Bridge To Nowhere" project as well, asking taxpayers all across the U.S. to fund it despite Alaska's huge oil revenues for the state.

Benzene that passes through automobile exhaust systems can accumulate in the blood, attack the bone marrow and even result in leukemia among other deadly illnesses. It is indeed outrageous that the Bush Administration controlled EPA would give the oil industry a pass until 2014 to continue to allow unhealthy levels of this highly toxic substance in oil coming from Alaska without first mandating that it be refined or filtered down to safer levels.

The Bush Administration also hardly believed that it was possible for the U.S. to self-reliant with oil as well as witnessed with the 2003 Iraq War which was far more involved with placing the Iraq oil supply "under international control" according to testimony of Paul Wolfowitz to Congress before in an attempt to lobby for the Iraq War to the Republican controlled Congress as far back in 1997 when Bill Clinton was still president. Iraq is thought to have up to 225 billion barrels of undiscovered oil which would be a 98 year supply for the U.S., and far more oil than that in the U.S. by far. However, all of the violence associated with the war has made both the salaries and safety concerns so high that only a week ago Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice was in Libya looking to open up their oil supply to the U.S. It is incredible that the U.S. is looking to a former sponsor of state terrorism for new oil supplies, but with demand only growing in the U.S. this is what things are coming to. But it is just one sign of the desperation of the U.S. to find new oil supplies because the American appetite for oil has become so large compared to much of the world. Americans just don't want to give up their huge SUVs and horsepower rich cars in favor of smaller vehicles like Europe or Asia. Americans just like to waste far more than their share of the world's resources. And when they need more resources they invade some poor weaker nation like Iraq under phony national security pretenses.

It is a well known fact that for any new oil wells or offshore rigs to produce even one drop of oil would take about a ten year process of permits, exploration, construction of new rigs or drilling equipment and the costly construction of new refineries. Yet often the big oil companies are not even operating their existing refineries up to full capacity or even making full use of land in which they already own mineral contracts on. It is nonsense to assume that if the oil companies had a free hand to explore and drill as they please that it would produce even one drop of new oil in the short term.

The fact of the matter is that since 1968 the Republicans have had either control of the White House or one or two branches of Congress many of those years, yet any new effort to massively open up new oil drilling in the U.S. was never a really a high priority either for them or the big oil companies. In fact, many of the big oil companies have been perfectly content to purchase raw oil supplies at wholesale commodity prices from foreign sources including Canada, Mexico or the Mideast for many years. It is only because it is an election year that Republicans have seized on false claims of blaming the Democrats for current oil price and supply problems. And you know that OPEC would certainly cut their world production levels to keep prices over the $100 a barrel mark if more supply or lower demand would drop the prices. Even Russia's recent wealth is almost entirely oil related and they also have a huge financial interest in higher oil prices. No one including the American oil companies, the foreign oil companies, has had any real interest in creating a huge supply of new oil on the world market as it reduce their prices. None of these major oil concerns is all that interested in producing more product for less money. It's just not in their interest. It is only the Republicans running for election who have made an election issue out of this and are using footsoldiers like Newt Gingrich to make their phony case in favor of more American drilling reducing oil prices or putting more American oil on the market. But you know that's not really what the big oil companies really want. This is merely a phony election year issue to keep control of the White House and keep the big tax breaks coming for the oil industry which were recently figured at $18 billion while the companies have record profits as well.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The U.S. Paying More Than 80,000 In Iraq A Salary Not To Kill Or Blow Things Up

While both Bush and McCain continue to claim that the troop "surge" was somehow responsible for the roughly 80% drop in violence in Iraq, the real truth is that the U.S. is paying over 80,000 Sunni militia fighters associated with the Sahwa Councils in Iraq a salary of $10 a day not to kill Shiites or blow them up with car bombs and instead target supporters of Al Qaeda. However, among the Sunni community is where the support for Al Qaeda is, so it is highly likely that some Al Qeada members or supporters are receiving U.S. payments as well. In fact, journalist Michael Ware of CNN claims for a fact that the U.S. is paying some members of Al Qaeda not to kill or plant car bombs, etc.

The wide extent of a massive program that pays over 80,000 militia fighters not to be radicals and kill others such as Shiites cannot be understated. It is like a huge national bribe program to stem violence in Iraq and such a massive U.S. taxpayer funded program that is costing over $800,000 a day seems only to have bought a temporary peace as long as the program continues. In fact, many of these same fighters promised a strike or even return to violence if the U.S. payments would stop only recently. And the Shiite dominated government in Iraq which makes a hefty profit from oil estimated at $78 billion has been real reluctant to take over payments to these rival secular fighters.

McCain, Palin and Bush only continue to beat up the Democrats by claiming that they were wrong about the surge. But this turns out to be only a halftruth. The fact of the matter is that the surge may be one of the smaller reasons for the decline in violence in Iraq compared to the huge and expensive program of bribing militia radicals not to kill or blow things up. The biggest problem is that any reduction in violence seems to rely on these payments never ending only locking the U.S. taxpayers into another lifetime overseas financial commitment.

The really interesting thing is that it is Republicans like McCain who rail on about support for cuts to entitlements, social security and social welfare programs to American citizens, while fully supporting massive welfare giveaway programs such as paying over $800,000 a day to armed militia radicals in Iraq to not be quite so radical. I guess as long as Republicans are paying people overseas it doesn't count in their own minds. But the myth of the success of the surge is beginning to suffer under the reality of paying so many in Iraq not to do bad things like planting car bombs. For some odd reason, tens of thousands of persons in Iraq just don't seem to have the good sense not to ruin their own nation and kill their own people unless they are paid not to do so. If anything this is only a serious reminder of just the type of problem for the U.S. that Bush created and McCain supports that will hang around for years as an American problem.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

THE BOMBS START TO DROP Music Video By Paul Hooson & The Inputs

Here's a great little music video I added to an older song of mine. Enjoy.

As Mayor, Palin Inquired About Banning Library Books

As Mayor of the Wasilla City Council in Alaska, Sarah Palin inquired about banning some books from the local library and eventually fired the librarian, but was forced to accept her return after a public outcry.

For progressive voters concerned about civil liberties it is a disturbing example of Palin who was elected with strong support from Assembly Of God church, and sought to use her office to force her extremist political and religious views on the general public and control what sorts of literature may be distributed in public libraries and community businesses. It is a disturbing image of a far right book burner who would use her political office to control the flow of information and the media to only allow her own viewpoints to prevail. It is hardly much different from other dictators such Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong-Il who rule by controlling the press and suppressing freedom of speech. It is a fascist instinct for sure.

Palin's Assembly Of God church also preached about some sort of a bizarre church doctrine that believed that the U.S. was going to be destroyed by nuclear war or disaster, and that Alaska was to be where the "saved" Christians would gather in safety. However, not a single word of the Bible supported such a crazed church doctrine. Further, Palin's church believed in something known as "speaking in tongues" in which members would utter out some strange sounding words claiming this is a gift of the Holy Spirit. However, in Scripture the Apostles were supposed to have the gift of "speaking in tongues" because they needed to understand and preach in foreign nations that spoke in languages other than Hebrew or Greek. For the Apostles it was a language translation gift. Language experts tend to doubt that "speaking in tongues" among some fundamentalist religious groups represents genuine language, unlike the gift that the Apostle Paul used to communicate in journeys to many lands during his ministry. Some language experts believe that modern "speaking in tongues" may be mostly just babble, and not a true language.

Palin now claims to belong to some sort of a nondenominational church. However it is a common practice for many fundamentalists to change churches several times in their lifetime for some reason compared to most people who spend their entire faith in a more established and traditional faith.

Palin may not be a member of a snake handler church. But she tends to find churches with extreme doctrines that are both far from the religious mainstream as well as not supported by Scripture. Her goofy church speeches using God to justify the bloody Iraq War for oil that may have killed as many as 1.2 million Iraqis and left another 2 million as refugees or her call to prayer in support of an Alaska pipeline project that may or may not be built in 2018 are only further examples of the type of nonsense that seems to find it's way into the type of churches that Palin belongs to compared to more mainstream churches.

Assembly Of God churches were sometimes known as "Holy Roller" faiths because of the type of music used and sometimes practices of members or pastors rolling around on the floor and shouting and acting in a radical manner.

Palin also seems to support many other church doctrines associated with the Assembly Of God faith including teaching creationism in public schools and teaching abstinence-only sex education, which seems to have worked out real well for Palin's pregnant unwed 17 year old daughter. The fall of Assembly Of God preacher Jimmy Swaggart seemed to pretty well characterize some of the hypocrisy of some members of this church who preach one thing, seek to impose their will on others, but sometimes live like the Devil themselves. The Assembly Of God church also appears to attract many members of low economic income or low education as well. Whether such persons are capable of understanding complex economic or foreign policy issues facing the U.S. is a very good question, but Palin is enjoying a bounce in popularity due to this demographic who feel that Palin is one of them and believe that she will use her office to promote their religious views. If anything it is naked attempt to establish something of a church-government for the U.S., a concept which is totally contrary to the principles of the Founding Fathers who opposed both England and it's official church-government as well.

Monday, September 08, 2008

American Servicemen Dying From Shoddy Reconstruction Work In Iraq

Shortly after the 2003 Iraq War began, most Americans had hoped that questionable deals such Dick Cheney's former company Halliburton getting a lucrative no-bidder contract for Iraq reconstruction the Pentagon would be the very worst of the questionable reconstruction deals. But then a steady drip-drip of information about shoddy reconstruction work by a number of American firms who were given reconstruction contracts began to surface in the news including leaking substandard plumbing in a major office building that made it nearly useless and it only sat empty after taxpayers paid top dollar for work that a contractor did using the cheapest possible labor and materials.

Now shocking news that a total of 16 U.S. servicepersons have been killed by shoddy and dangerous electrical work in Iraq has emerged under testimony to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

Debbie Crawford testified about her experiences working as an electrical supervisor in Iraq for contractor KBR(Kellogg, Brown and Root), and the shocking conditions that existed with some contractors who sought to cut corners with labor or materials in order to pocket the difference. In some cases, green wires that were supposed to be ground wires were used as hot leads for some electrical work, creating a hazard that would either destroy electrical equipment or could case electrocution or fires.

Crawford was so concerned about the shoddy and dangerous state of some of the work done by KBR that she started a website www.mssparky.com that educates the public on how billions of their tax dollars are being spent with Iraq War contractors that are doing extremely substandard and dangerous work and pocketing much of the money. It is indeed an important website and another bad side of the Iraq War that the mainstream media seems to often ignore. It is also important because 16 servicepersons have needlessly lost their lives to shoddy reconstruction work electrocution deaths.

Crummy reconstruction companies with multibillion dollar contracts since the start of t5he 2003 Iraq War have proven just as lethal as some insurgents to some of our U.S. servicepersons.

Senator Bryon Dorgan(D-ND) has taken note of Crawford's website and was instrumental in scheduling testimony from her and starting a process of cracking down on these lethal Iraq War reconstruction contractors and saving American lives as well as looking out for the taxpayer who is paying billions for terrible work that is often overinflated in price and substandard in safety and quality.

Some Iraq War contractors think that operating outside of the U.S. means that safety standards can be ignored and they can inflate the costs of some projects as long as the taxpayer is paying the bill. With no OSHA operating in Iraq, it is often anything goes in reconstruction quality for many contractors looking to pad profits.

It is also the same old bunch of large GOP donors who were given these huge contracts by the Pentagon and who were big supporters of Bush and now are concerned with elected McCain.

John McCain who claims to be a "reformer" has only so far claimed that his campaign will "review" bundled donations from such long time GOP supporters as Halliburton and it's spinoff KBR subsidiary. Whether this is real commitment to not accept donations from some corporations that some claim to have taken advantage of the Iraq War with rampant profiteering and who endanger American lives with crummy work remains to be seen. It will be another test of McCain's word.

On August 7, a Queen's NY couple with only modest jobs and driving a 1993 Chevy Cavalier made a questionably large donation to the McCain campaign of $61,600 which is probably more than their total yearly income combined. It all raises the question whether big corporate donors are using people of modest means to shield their identity to elect McCain and drive his policies to keep more of the same old government in the White House.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sarah Palin's "Ebay" Jet Lie

Of all of Sarah's loud mouthed tale tales and exaggerations of her achievements in just 18 months in the governor's office, her "Ebay" jet tale has to be one of the biggest of her whoppers.

According to Palin, she sold the executive jet that the previous governor purchased on Ebay, and McCain even adds for a profit as well. Well it turns out that's just not the case. The jet cost the government of Alaska $2.7 million and was probably necessary for a governor to tour the entire state because of it's sheer size as well as bad weather conditions in many parts. It is is true that Palin had the jet listed on Ebay, and the ad was very expensive, but the jet did not sell on Ebay. Eventually the jet was sold to some private businessman for $2.1 million, in a private deal that had no connection to the Ebay ad at all. And the jet only sold $2.1 million, which was a clear $600,000 loss, nowhere near the claimed profit lie of John McCain. Neither Palin or McCain have been very honest about this tale. While losing $600,000 for the government of Alaska, Palin actually has the nerve to paint herself as some hero. Who else but a big mouthed liar like a Sarah Palin can make losing money into some election year asset. But it just the sort of horsepucky that Palin shovels out big time to the voters.

Sarah Palin's whole style is a loud mouthed style that makes up folk tales of what a claimed "reformer" she actually is. She makes up stories that make her seem Paul Bunyan in the minds of voters, even if the real truth is many miles removed. And a more than a few gullible persons actually believe some of these tall tales, which is very unfortunate.

Palin's entire style is that of a phony folk hero, a phony person who claims to look out for the little guy while acting as a major stooge for the big oil companies as the big oil companies rake in record profits and squeeze the average family.

This GOP ticket is lousy one for sure, one too old to be president, and another too dishonest to be vice president. These two blowhards claim to be "reformers" although supporting most of the same Bush agenda that got this nation into such an economic mess and such a high employment rate and foreclosure mess. No matter how McCain-Palin lie about it, it's still McSame.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Glen Beck Defends Sarah Palin's "White Trash" Family Values

In what had to be the very worst defense for troubled vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family yesterday, former alcoholic turned conservative talk show host Glen Beck referred to himself as "White trash" and argued that there are many "white trash families" in America and Sarah Palin should be vice president because she represents those "White trash" family values in a interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Thanks a lot Glen Beck.

As bad as Glen Beck's defense of Palin actually was, the truth of it is that such a tawdry image of the Palin family is certainly beginning to emerge in the minds of many voters and is already proving to be a real drag on the McCain ticket with new polls indicating falling poll numbers rather than any signs of a early convention bounce.

In all fairness, Palin will have a decent opportunity to state her case tonight in a speech at the Republican Convention. But the image of a trashy and troubled family has already been the main image that most voters have seen so far of this Palin bunch.

So far the story about the Palin bunch has hardly been the story of the "Brady Bunch". Palin's pregnant unmarried teenage daughter has been a main news item for the last two days drowning out most other GOP Convention news. The teenage father's MySpace page was taken down yesterday because of all the obscene and offensive language that proved as yet another embarrassment. It seems that the "F" word is apparently one of his favorite adjectives by far. This young guy was also in trouble for illegal fishing only last year. Gov. Palin is also involved in an ethics investigation due to her defense of her sister who has been married no less than four times so far. Her sister's former state trooper husband actually tasered their 11 year old son in one claimed domestic incident. Gov. Palin's husband has been arrested for driving under the influence. And the steady drip-drip of conduct suitable for the very worst of tralier park or carny folk families only continues by the day, not to mention the controversial political issues surrounding this poorly selected vice presidential pick by John McCain. John McCain could not have hardly done any worst with this pick. Right away the troubled vice presidential picks of George McGovern in 1972 and Walter Mondale in 1984 come to mind. The vice presidential pick problems were a main ingredient in both candidates only winning but just one state and the District Of Columbia in the 1972 and 1984 elections. John McCain is also flirting with a looming electoral disaster the longer he hangs on to this troubled vice presidential pick of his and does not request that she leave the ticket.

Where John McCain really went wrong is that Palin's name was not floated around on a short list like several others, which would have allowed for any negative items to surface and McCain could have chosen another less controversial choice. Instead McCain floated the names of some like a Tom Ridge or Mitt Romney like some "Trojan Horse", and nothing really new or startling really surfaced, which meant that these were relatively safe picks, while McCain may have been actually considering someone untested and unproven like a Palin.

But when McCain went for this wild card "Hail Mary" pass candidate when he chose the controversial Palin, there was no real good reason for McCain to make such a politically risky pick. McCain was very close in the polls before he chose Palin, and so far Palin has only depressed McCain's poll numbers as the steady stream of new revelations only makes her into a joke for the late night comics and the gossip talk of the nation for all of the trashy conduct surrounding this family. McCain might have felt that choosing a female would bring in some Hillary Clinton voters, but the Democrats could have hardly been more united last week at their convention. And so far Palin has only been a damaging choice at worst or a pandering candidate at best. Other than Palin being the same gender as Clinton, there is no similarity, and few Clinton voters are likely to jump on the Palin bandwagon which appears to be losing it's wheels as new troubling revelation surfaces.

It is also doubtful that the news will get any better for Palin as the media seems willing to pile on and find some new dirt every day because this whole Palin issue is only snowballing downhill. The only thing that really works is to open the window and let in some fresh air and give Palin the heave ho and choose another vice presidential pick who brings a lot less baggage with her. But McCain probably won't do this and instead ride this downbound train all the way into the ground and an election day disaster.

The McCain Campaign has been plagued with numerous problems with poor selections for economic advisers as well as other critical positions, however none has had the important public image problems like the troubled vice presidential pick of Palin so far. And one of the worst problems for McCain has been the conservative bloggers and the right wing of the Republican Party who only continue to stand behind Palin rather than see the light that she will only mean a near certain McCain defeat in November. Those that continue to stand behind Palin must be too young or too arrogant to remember the 1972 and 1984 electoral disasters of McGovern and Mondale, largely due to their troubled vp selections. But this crowd is into hard core right wing ideology struggles and is blind to political reality grounded in rationality and objectivity. Well, they'll have four years to think about this looming electoral loss.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Obama-Biden Ticket Surges As McCain-Palin Ticket Loses Support

Troubling new revelations related to John McCain's running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, may be having some impact by buoying the Obama-Biden ticket in the latest Rasmussen Poll out just this morning. The Obama-Biden ticket now leads by a 51-45% margin when leaners are figured in. That's the biggest lead for Obama in some time instead of the McCain-Palin ticket enjoying some early convention bounce statistics.

Not only is a family related issue having some negative impact on Gov. Palin, but a troubling ethics investigation in which she has hired a lawyer is another looming distraction for this troubled GOP ticket.

Problems with a vice presidential selections have proven disastrous in the past to other presidential candidates. In 1972, Democratic nominee George McGovern faced a difficult election against incumbent President Richard Nixon, but then problems over some depression related hospitalizations of his running mate, Sen. Thomas Eagleton of Missouri plagued the campaign with distracting news, and Eagleton was off the ticket within a few days. But when Ted Kennedy and others did not wish to run on the troubled McGovern ticket, then the McGovern Campaign had difficulty finding a suitable running mate. In the end McGovern carried but just one state, Massachusetts and the District Of Columbia. It was the worst loss by a Democratic ticket in American history.

In 1984, Democrat Walter Mondale chose Democratic Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York to become his running mate. But as some tax problem news about the Ferraro family developed, Ferraro became a major drag on the Mondale effort and in the end, Mondale carried but one state, Minnesota and the District Of Columbia. It was one of the largest defeats for a Democratic ticket ever.

The important problem for the McCain ticket is whether Gov. Palin will only be a real drag on the ticket as the steady drip-drip of troubling revelations surfaces. It also certainly calls into question the judgment of John McCain to make important decisions such as choosing a running mate.

Instead of choosing a suitable running mate who was carefully chosen, McCain chose one of the least qualified and politically risky choices he possibly could have and now appears to be paying some political price. Whether this current slide for McCain continues will depend on how successful the rest of the GOP convention is and how much more bad news and distractions Gov. Sarah Palin creates for McCain.

John McCain may be on the verge of throwing away any long held dreams of his own to become president by his poor choice of a running mate and new questions about his judgment and leadership, while the Obama Campaign skillfully presented a positive image of competence and leadership to the nation in their carefully organized and planned convention last week.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Alaska Independent Investigator's Abuse Of Power Ethics Report On Gov. Palin Due Out In October

Just in time for the election due out in October is the report from the independent investigator in the abuse of power investigation of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. A bipartisan committee of the Alaskan legislature voted 12 to 0 to investigate Palin after she fired Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan after it was learned that Wooten had refused to fire a state trooper who had been involved in a messy divorce with Palin's sister.

Palin certainly had the power as Governor to fire the Public Safety Commissioner if reasonable grounds existed. However, the situation regarding Palin's sister's divorce and some inconsistent statements by Governor Palin call into question the real reasons for this firing. In fact, Governor Palin had used her Chief Of Staff, Mike Tibbles, her husband, the state's Attorney General and herself to contact Public Safety Commissioner Monegan no less than 24 times in regards to complaints about Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten. Wooten had been the subject of official discipline before for some conduct in the past. But the divorce situation regarding Palin's sister has certainly raised the issue of ethics in this case.

Governor Palin has attempted to justify the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan with claims that he did not adequately fill state trooper positions in the state, however Wooten has claimed that state trooper graduating classes have had some of their largest classes within the last several years which indicates that someone here is not being completely honest. The Alaska legislature has decided to get to the bottom of this matter when it authorized the report by the independent investigator into Governor Palin and her office and not the fired Public Safety Commissioner.

If the report turns out favorably for Governor Palin, then it will no doubt clear her name before the election, however a negative report will certainly be damaging right before the election and will certainly call into question any claims that Palin is indeed some sort of a reformer concerned with ethics.

It seems strange that John McCain would choose a running mate who is the subject of an ethics probe of this sort, which if it turns out badly could damage his chances right before the election. But this only proves what a high risk gamble the decision to choose Palin was in addition to her serious lack of experience should she ever become president in the event of some national emergency. The fact that some former city council member and mayor of a small town of just 9,000 persons could have their finger on the nuclear trigger in the event of a national emergency is a sobering notion when hundreds of far better qualified choices for a running mate were available to McCain, once again speaks volumes about his erratic and strange leadership style. McCain is not so much a "maverick" as he is wild and unpredictable. That's hardly "the steady hand" of leadership that many Americans think of when they think about McCain. But that's the real John McCain.