Crash It! *Updated*

September 30, 2008 at 8:02 pm (Politics) (, , , , , )

I’ve been trying since 9:00 a.m. this morning to send an e-mail to my peeps in Congress. Seems like every other American is trying the same thing because they have this message posted: 

The House of Representatives is currently experiencing an extraordinarily high amount of email traffic. The Write Your Representative function is therefore intermittently available. While we realize communicating to your Members of Congress is critical, we suggest attempting to do so at a later time, when demand is not so high. System engineers are working to resolve this issue and we appreciate your patience.

I’ll only assume if I attempted to contact my Senators that I would get the same response. I say CRASH THE SERVER!!! JAM THE PHONE LINES!!!! LET SOMEONE IN WASHINGTON KNOW WE’RE PAYING ATTENTION!!!!

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and talking to people who have a better grasp on this situation than I do. I have a pretty good grasp. I know I had one table today… 1. Uno. One. Our crowd gets thinner everytime something else goes under. If you say it hasn’t hit Main Street yet, you aren’t looking in my bank account. Oh, I no longer have a bank account, so, guess you won’t find anything there. Well then, take a look at my paycheck.

However, from the reading that I have done, its apparent to me that Paulson, nor anyone on Wall Street needs a bailout from the American taxpayers. There are other avenues for solving this crisis. At least, they keep saying that. Obviously one of the biggest problems is the mortgage crisis. Another big problem are all of the corporate leeches who got us into this mess to start with, because they were given the rope to hang themselves by deregulation. What they have done is greedy, reprehensible, and irresponsible and if they walk away from Wall Street with anything more than a boot up their collective asses, I will personally march on Washington, DC with a sign and all.

Does something need to be done? Of course it does. However, I’ve read enough “rush to judgement,” “unknown impact,” and “there are other ways,” from The Washington Post to The Wall Street Journal to convince me that The House did the right thing.  The Irish government made a surprise move today in insuring all of of their banks (there’s four) for two years. Basically, the Irish form of FDIC. The reason banks fail is because some are stronger than others, and rather than risk your money in a weaker bank, you pull your money (or your company’s money) and put it into a stronger bank.

This leaves the weaker bank still weaker and they go under.  One proposal now is the raise the FDIC to $250,000 instead of the current rate. In Ireland, the investors were much happier and their stocks rose anywhere from 7 to 22 percent. I got this information from a gentleman mentioned in the WSJ, Mike Shedlock of Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis.  He breaks down the Paulson Plan fairly efficiently and reiterates a lot I’ve heard from other sources, and what I had figured out myself due to an incredible Political Science teacher in college (re: The Paulson Plan being unconstitutional and the government intervening in free trade amounts to Socialism).

I think this why a lot of those in Congress, including those running for President, and a lot that weren’t,  didn’t say, “Hell yes! Its the best plan ever!” They said they were inclined to vote for it, or that it needed more work, or if certain stipulations were met, they might vote for it. But, most seemed uncomfortable and even Newt Gingrinch said he would have “sadly” voted for it because it was the only thing Paulson would agree to.

Oh. Really?  Too bad Paulson’s position isn’t an elected one.

So, I’m feeling the crunch on Main Street, but, knowing what I know now, I’m glad the Bailout Bill failed in the House. Maybe it’s worthy for all of us to stop, take a breather, and look into this a bit deeper. If they raise the FDIC, it appears as though we can stablize the banks and buy the time we need for real change and boots up asses, not bailouts.

*UPDATE*  I was able to send an e-mail to both of my Senators, however, I’m still trying to get through to my Representative.

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So, This Is Why Economics Is Important

September 29, 2008 at 7:08 pm (Politics) (, , , )

Remember back on September 12th I wrote a post about my head hurting as I tried to wrap my brain around the economic packages that Obama and McCain were advocating?  I take that as my civic duty to inform myself of the issues facing this country and my fellow countrymen.

What I see are a bunch of billionaire fat cats who have stuffed their coffers and gotten the average Joe Blow and his pension plan into some extremely hot water.

I can’t say I am or was in favor of the bailout. At the same time, I can’t say I was against it. I read the layman’s HR bill online and I was happy to see that it had included some of the finer points that one of my Senator’s, Jay Rockefeller, spoke of, such as, not doling out $700 billion dollars overnight and making those with the purse strings accountable in more than one way.

What it didn’t speak of was making those responsible for this debacle pay any of the 700 billion dollars back. Of course, that could include several Presidents, one of which is deceased. It could have something to do with Reaganomics, it could have something to do with the creation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (even though they were created during a time of economic surplus), it could have something to do with the Bush Administration, and it could have a hell of a lot to do with GREED.

I vote we raid the bank accounts of those making 10 million dollars a year, and getting 2 million dollar bonuses, and see if we can’t find enough to fund the bailout with their money instead of ours. You know, us, the regular Joe Blows of the world. I’ve heard numerous people say, “If I fuck up financially, I don’t get a bailout and neither should they.”

I fully understand this and don’t think I haven’t thought it. However, this is not a single household, this is a country in deep financial crisis. What Paulson really said when asked about the banks was, “Their holding their own, but make no mistake, they could fail.” He just didn’t want to alarm anyone and make the situation worse by actually saying that. What he actually said was a non-commental, “They’ve stayed strong so far.” I wouldn’t be surprised if he weren’t crossing his fingers and toes when he said that.

However, some have cited some “bailout” strategies that ole Paulson may be aware of but has not utitilized. I mean, why put anyone making millions of dollars a year in a precarious position when instead you can ask the Government for a handout?

Some financial consultants are still concerned that the banks will either fail or just do a credit freeze. That means that small businesses, like the one I work for, wouldn’t be able to make payroll. Hell, we couldn’t even get product because its all credit based. It would mean that you couldn’t even use your ATM card. It would mean no buying or selling on the Internet except by cash or money order. Oy vey!

So, whether you were for the bailout or against, the ramifications could be far reaching if things get much worse. I have yet to see anyone propose any great alternative to a bailout except allowing those that formed this mess to go down with it. If it were that simple I’d be the first one to hold my middle finger in the air and say, “Suck it!”  If the government, and therefore, the People, bail out Wall Street and it works, I’d say we’ll all be a bit better off. If we bail them out and it doesn’t work or we don’t bail them out at all, well, I’d say you’d better have a crap ton of cash hidden in your mattress or in Mason jars buried in your backyard.

My dad once said that the next Civil War in America would not be over politics, but over money. That it would boil down between the “haves” and the “have nots,” as the majority of Americans were pushed further toward the poverty line, while an elite few were basking in their ill-gotten millions (or billions), snacking on caviar.

I guess money was the wake-up call that America really needed, not just in regard to the Presidential election, but in holding Congress, our state governments and our local governments accountable for their actions. Why did it take so long for so many to wake up?

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My Head Hurts

September 12, 2008 at 11:47 pm (Politics) (, , )

Who knew? Who knew so many people from the same profession can’t fucking agree on anything?!?!?!

I’ve just waded through 2 1/2 hours of economic discussions on the Obama and McCain tax plan proposals. I learned a lot of new vocabulary, I learned that even if you have an Ivy League education you can still use the term “douchebag” to describe someone who doesn’t agree with your political leanings, and I’ve learned that economics is not all about numbers. Its about speculation and differing opinions as to whether lowering or raising certain taxes on certain groups of people is going to help or hurt the economy.

And, as many pointed out, a tax plan is not law and not guaranteed to be law. Its merely a proposal. I never realized economics was so full of theory and conjecture. Maybe that’s why everyone I knew in college who took economics walked around with their eyes glazed over, drooling, and babbling incoherently for entire semesters at a time.

Stranger even, is that I like numbers so much. I crunch numbers at work and I like when my numbers balance, numbers are orderly and operate the same each time you use them. I mean, when was the last time you added 5 + 5 and got 9? 

If it were only that simple. I’m going to bed.

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I Don’t Like Her Hair…

September 12, 2008 at 7:57 am (Crazy Shit, Family, Friends, Politics)

This is what my mother said in relation to Sarah Palin yesterday evening while we had a conversation about the upcoming Presidential race. My mother is a Republican and she’s not exactly happy with John McCain’s VP choice, although I’m not exactly sure why. I wasn’t able to drag much out of her other than she doesn’t like her hair.

She doesn’t like Obama because she’s afraid he’ll put Jesse Jackson in a cabinet position.

My response on both the Sarah Palin hair statement and the Jesse Jackson cabinet position were, “OHMAHGODMOTHER!”

I asked her to remove gender, race, and hair styles from her criteria for choosing the next President, and subsequently Vice President, of the United States and to focus on the issues.

I watched Governor Palin try and talk her way out of her speech in which she said, paraphrased: Our government is sending our troops to Iraq on a task from God.   Charlie Gibson asked if we were in a Holy War. She said it was in reference to Abraham Lincoln saying, paraphrased: That we should not ask God to be on our side during war, but instead hope that we’re on His side.  Those are two different things and in the context of her speech, where she went on to speak of God’s plan, no, good try, Sarah, but I’m not buying it. 

She did not reference Abraham Lincoln in her speech and she did not state that the actions of our government should be based on the hope that we’re on God’s side in the tasks that we undertake.  She didn’t reference it and didn’t infer it either. It was painful and disturbing to watch.

*****

I talked to my sister yesterday while they were on their way to Dallas. She lives in Alvin, TX, which is a suburb of Houston in Brazoria County. They decided to haul ass because they live in a modular home and the area they live in is prone to flooding on a good day. Her in-laws who live close to the Brazoria/Harris County line in the city of Manvel, decided to “hunker down” in their solidly built home. My BIL’s mom probably couldn’t handle the sitting involved with a long trek anyway.

Brighton has also hauled ass and I’m not sure about tinyhands. My cousins that did live in Victoria, TX moved recently to Tennessee, and my other cousin lives closer to Trashman, so, tinyhands, check in, will ya?

And, again, we wait with bated breath.

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Applause???

September 3, 2008 at 10:18 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, Politics) (, , , , , , , , )

I’ve been fired up over Senator McCain’s choice of Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.  I’m so fired up, I don’t know where to start.  If you don’t want my opinion of her, then read no further.

*****

Perhaps I should start with her abortion platform. I am not pro-abortion, I am pro-choice. I do not believe abortion should be used as a continous means of birth control, however, those who make the choice to have an abortion should find it safe and legal. Having an abortion is an extremely personal choice and I believe that is between you, your Higher Power, your conscience, and your doctor. I do not believe in partial birth abortion, unless it is for extreme circumstances.

I believe if you are raped, you should have the right to chose to have an abortion.

I believe if you’re a 12 year old girl who has been raped by a family member, you should have the right to chose to have an abortion (with appropriate counseling).

I believe if your life is in danger, you should have the right to chose to have an abortion.

As a mother, and one who chose to be, I am well aware of life, and how life grows within my body. I hope I am NEVER in the position to have to contemplate abortion, however, if I am, I want it to be my choice, and I want it to be safe and legal.

Governor Sarah Palin believes none of those things.

******

Governor Palin believes in abstinence-only education and will not support government funding of hard core sex education. How’s that working for ya, Gov’na?  So you’re proud of your daughter’s decision to have her baby?  Under your regime, she wouldn’t have any choice. Are you proud that your abstinence education worked? Are you proud to spotlight teen pregnancy and be a “normal family?” That’s an insult to every “normal” family who doesn’t have a teen pregnancy. That’s an insult to me, a mother, who plans on teaching her son the hard core truth about sex and its responsibilities, about the emotional toll, about the possible STDs that can be transmitted, and yes, about abstinence.

I remained abstinent until I was well past 20 years old. So, as far as talking to my teenager about remaining abstinent, I won’t be a hypocrite. There was a very good article on CNN about combining the techniques of abstinence and hard core sex ed by Roland S. Martin. Both parties should listen.

******

Governor Palin’s foreign policy extends to the fact she is governor of Alaska and that’s close to Russia, so… foreign policy via osmosis?  Let me tell you how much more experience I have. I have met with Representatives of the German government and talked politics with them. I have visited eight foreign countries, and lived in one for a year, not as a bystanding-living-on-a-base-attending-an-American-high-school-individual, but as a guest citizen, speaking their language, abiding by their rules, and learning their culture. 

Travel to foreign countries helps you develop a better view of how we are all interconnected and how American policies affect the entire world. Being able to spit on a foreign country from your back door is not the same thing. And being so close to Russia… why hasn’t she ever visited??? And really, the indigenous tribes of Alaska don’t count.

******

She does support the development of oil and natural gas in Alaska, however, she’s not exactly climate or conservation friendly. I am well aware of the need of America to become less dependent upon oil, much less foreign oil, but not wanting to list the polar bear as an engangered species because it would upset your oil and gas business doesn’t set well with me. I have friends in the gas business here in WV and I know what they can do and how they do it because we discuss it over lunch. There can be a balance between obtaining natural resources and maintaining wildlife.

She also believes that global warming is not man-made. I may give her part of that, because I really believe that as everything cycles, so does the Earth, but by the Lady’s eyelashes, we’re not helping anything! You really want me to believe that the chemical plant across the river from me that blew up last week is not releasing environmentally damaging toxins into the air along with the putrid smell and their “everlasting” flame that “burns off” any toxic substances. Yeah. Listen, Gov’na, I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night. I have eyes, I can read the amount of fines they’ve paid in the past years due to their non-environmentally friendly dumping, spillage, and air quality standards. Pfft.

Humans ARE very much responsible for global warming.  Check this out.

*******

I commend the “First Dude” for resigning from his job (for a period of time) as a production manager with BP due to some legislation Governor Palin was destined to be a part of, but, frankly, and I’m not sure the rest of America feels the way that I do, but I’ve had enough of anyone connected to oil. The oil barons have run this country into the ground for the past eight years and I’m done. I’m also not particularly fond of the “First Dude” encouraging those unable to pay for college to become a part of the gas and oil movement. Why not make college affordable? And, by the way, awarding the 500 million dollars in seed money to a Canadian organization to build and operate the 26 billion dollar natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to the rest of us poor Americans, classic.  

That’s a lot of college educations, or, maybe even jobs for those who can’t afford an education. I wonder how many Americans TransCanada is going to employ. I can say, it was a good day to be Canadian.

Maybe she should have used some of Alaska’s government surplus to create a program to help those who can’t afford college.

*******

She believes that being in Iraq is part of God’s plan. What. The fuck. God’s plan for what, exactly? And, pardon me, but who do you think you are to determine what God’s plan is?  Are you Mary or Joan of Arc now? Has God sent down a messenger from Heaven to you? What a crock!  Governor, you seem to have decent intelligence and you’ve got a lot of moxy, which I can really appreciate, but expecting me to believe that the US invasion of Iraq is God’s Will, is as insulting as believing that it is Allah’s Will to kill all Americans or that I’ll vote for you and Senator McCain simply because you have a uterus.

God’s Will does not extend and should not be used as an excuse by any government to justify their actions. Its a sidestep of responsibility that is so HEINOUS I’m ashamed you said it. Appalled beyond belief doesn’t come close to how I feel about your statement and the release of responsibility of OUR GOVERNMENT for their actions by blowing it off on God. I definitely do not know or even proclaim to know in the least little bit what God’s Plan or Will is, but based on what I know, I can only imagine that She’s shaking her heard in shame. Again, classic.

*******

I don’t care that you can field dress a moose, big whoop, I can field dress a deer, and given a dead moose and a fairly sharp knife, I figure I could strip out a moose as well. However, I can say your chances of knowing to stay behind Dick Cheney while he’s hunting, are greater than the average person.

*****

I make no excuses for the way I feel. If you agree, you do. If you don’t, you don’t. You have the right to vote just as I do, and you have a right to blog, just as I do. Feel free to disagree, but keep it clean and respectful.

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