Third Party & Independents Archives

Mesmerized by Melodic Rhetoric

“I’ve been through Y2K and I’ve been through 9/11. I have never seen people so afraid as what we are seeing right now,” said gun shop owner Scott Moss recently. With more guns per capita – easily 250 million privately owned ones – and certainly more people in prisons than any other democracy, the intriguing question in this still worsening economic calamity is: If Americans found the courage for political rebellion now, would it preempt massive criminal violence, social havoc and armed rebellion later?

What we see President Obama and Congress doing and debating seem inadequate to restore financial health and security to the vast majority of Americans before millions more lives are devastated. Billions of tax dollars have gone to banks, corporations and others but have not stopped the hemorrhage of our financial lifeblood. More than half a million jobs continue to be lost a month; 3.5 million in the past year. Millions are losing their homes, health insurance and ability to buy food. Those with jobs are afraid to spend money.

As Nobel Prize winning and gloomy economist Paul Krugman said the other day after condemning what is going on in Washington, DC: “the economy is still in free fall” and we may be “falling into an economic abyss.” Harsh words for a harsh reality.

Recently, President Obama said: “A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe.” But what really matters is exactly what actions the government takes and whether they are what is needed. Besides, about the same time, his senior advisor David Axelrod said on television that “we have an economic catastrophe.” For most Americans, catastrophe seems more accurate.

Meanwhile, the elite Upper Class that stole the nation’s wealth in recent years with their greed and political clout, and destroyed the global economic system, are still sitting pretty in their McMansions, penthouses, private jets and yachts. They still enjoy their $50,000+ cars, still wine and dine in incredibly expensive restaurants, and still retain more wealth than ordinary people can imagine. Brioni men’s suits for $40,000+ are selling fast.

So what are ordinary Americans doing? Are there massive crowds of screaming, sign-carrying Americans in city streets from coast to coast? No. Or outside congressional buildings and the White House? No. Are there riots and looting by hoards of hungry and angry people who have lost a decent lifestyle? No. Do we see anything like the anti-Vietnam War protests? No. Do we see anything like the urban riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.? No. Do we see anything like the rebellion against the British that created our nation? No

What do we see? Millions of people getting notices that they have lots their jobs, getting eviction notices, applying for bankruptcy, trying to get unemployment benefits, standing on long lines to get a shot at few jobs, filling crowded hospital emergency rooms to get medical help, taking their children out of child care they no longer can afford, and buying fewer and cheaper foods or seeking free food.

Compared to rioting Europeans, Americans seem like docile, drugged out sheep herded towards the economic cliff, mesmerized by melodic rhetoric of political messiah Barack Obama.

No wonder our politicians look like dithering, confused idiots arguing among themselves as we continue falling into economic hell. We simply are not demanding enough of those we elected.

It’s as if most Americans are patiently waiting to be rescued by winning the lottery. Is it hope or stupidity?

Meantime, President Obama has successfully stimulated one business sector. Since November, gun and ammunition sales have soared, as have requests for concealed carry permits. "Our sales are up 15 to 20 percent since October," says the owner of Shooter's Service in Livonia, Michigan. "It's not the 40 percent other stores are reporting, but it's good business." Oakland County in Michigan issued 130 percent more concealed carry weapon permits in January than a year earlier. Such permits are up as much as 90 percent in some Western North Carolina counties. According to the FBI, background checks for gun sales in January jumped 29 percent over January 2008; this followed a 24 percent rise in December and a 42 percent increase in November. In many places gun sales have dropped because of shortages.

What awaits us when hope becomes futile and all confidence in the government is lost? Gun owner Chad Roberts in Tennessee said this recently: "With the economy like it is more people are going to be desperate wanting to steal from you.” So, perhaps we will see a contagious, rapid descent into mass criminal violence. As suffering, gun-toting Americans resort to looting, theft, robbery, burglary, assaults and other economically driven violent acts to get what is needed to survive, and other gun owners shoot to defend what they have. The fabric of civilized society ripped apart. Brutal police and military actions result, and for many no police protection. Constitutional freedoms suspended in a national emergency. Government threatened by armed rebellion as gun-toting citizens put their Second Amendment rights to the ultimate use.

This nightmare scenario may happen because free people waited too long, remained too hopeful, put too much faith in elections. Armageddon is closer than most Americans realize. Beyond catastrophe lies mob rule, a doomsday post-democracy, disintegration, collapse, chaos. Americans sucked into the economic abyss where violence replaces politics.

Hope will be a distant memory. One way to avoid the abyss is to give Americans what they have a constitutional right to have, something the Founders in their wisdom knew we would need. They provided an option in Article V of the Constitution that Congress has refused to honor, even though the one and only requirement has long been met. It is a convention of state delegates to consider proposals for constitutional amendments. This would provide a national forum for the public to seriously become involved with possible ways to reform and improve our government structure. Over 700 applications from state legislatures for an Article V convention have been submitted from all 50 states; they are being made available for the first time at foavc.org. Because the convention can only propose amendments that still must be ratified by three-quarters of the states there really is nothing to fear about harming our Constitution. There is now considerable interest in many states to push for a convention.

In these dismal times using what the Founders gave us makes more sense than ever before. Americans need more than two-party politics. They need a serious debate about structural reforms through constitutional amendments that can attack the deep rooted corruption and incompetence that plague the federal government and contributed to creating our current economic meltdown.

Rather than fear a convention, embrace it. It is far more rational to fear sticking with our status quo dysfunctional government or, worse, the degeneration into violent upheaval. Following the Constitution’s path to get reforms should be preferred.

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at February 11, 2009 10:25 AM
Comments
Comment #275383

Hear me singing:

“Seems to me I’ve heard this song before”

Posted by: womanmarine at February 11, 2009 10:40 AM
Comment #275387

“It’s as if most Americans are patiently waiting to be rescued by winning the lottery. Is it hope or stupidity?”

They are patiently waiting to be to be rescued by the government that is now in the hands of their Obama.
They call it hope, but it is stupidity.

Posted by: kctim at February 11, 2009 11:03 AM
Comment #275392

Funny, in Philadelphia last weekend, a group of 200+ people demanded the mayor come down from City Hall and listen to them in the courtyard. There weren’t enough police or security on hand to control them so the mayor just came down and talked to them.

So by that logic if 2 million people come to the door of the Senate, we could actually get some work done.

P.S. Corporate wealthy people will always be idiots.

Posted by: Jon at February 11, 2009 12:13 PM
Comment #275393

Joel wrote; ““It’s as if most Americans are patiently waiting to be rescued by winning the lottery. Is it hope or stupidity?”

Good question Joel. I’ll choose stupidity. Hope here is irrational just as hope in congress choosing the correct public works projects in lottery style is stupid. Congressional spending plans are not focused but scattered among those upon whom they rely for their sustenance and reelection.

A convention of state delegates to consider proposals for constitutional amendments scares the hell out of me.

What confidence should I have in the ability of an electorate that has, over many years, sent such incompetent, greedy, and self interested representatives to Washington?

We have witnessed the fact that many of our electorate are fully capable of relinquishing their duty in favor of “free” crumbs from the table of corruption.

No, allowing such a people to rewrite the only remaining wall between sanity and total irresponsibility is not something to which I could agree. My pessimism is not unfounded, just read the thinking of some contributors to watchblog.

We, the people of today have proven to me to be incapable of improving upon what We, the people of our founding wrote.

Posted by: Jim M at February 11, 2009 12:18 PM
Comment #275394
So what are ordinary Americans doing? Are there massive crowds of screaming, sign-carrying Americans in city streets from coast to coast? No. Or outside congressional buildings and the White House? No.

Of course not, alot of them are like Joe the Plumber and have been convinced that the intentional bankrupting of the country disguised as conservatism is in their interests. And the answer to runaway bankruptcy is of course endless taxcuts forever.

Posted by: Schwamp at February 11, 2009 12:23 PM
Comment #275400

While much is being debated on the home front, what has been happening on the foreign front. What has changed with a new administration? One of my favorite sources of a balanced view is Stratfor Global Intelligence Reports. I recommend reading the following.

Munich and the Continuity Between the Bush and Obama Foreign PoliciesMunich and the Continuity Between the Bush and Obama Foreign Policies

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20090209_munich_continuity_between_bush_and_obama_foreign_policies

Posted by: Jim M at February 11, 2009 2:30 PM
Comment #275402

What about ‘Republic Sentry’ as a name for a new 3rd Party with a different attitude? A Party that is standing guard, ‘Sentry’, for the Republic, not for a Democracy, a Republic. I’m gonna stick with that unless something better comes up. Joel, the big picture as I see it is we have strayed too far towards a Democracy. As has been proven time and again, a democracy will eventually suffer the fate of the vocal minority being in control of the timid majority. That’s where we are today. The 1% that owns 40% of the US and shrouds themselves in the law of Corporate Personhood and Money is Free Speech has, through the best government money can buy, managed to wreck havoc on the working majority. Democracies usually end badly. I’m hopeful that d.a.n is correct, and I believe he is, in that when enough pain and misery is felt by the majority they will decide to take some kind of action.
You would think people would want reform every so often as TJ recommended. Should be easy to put up a parallel front targeting reform; Article V Convention, voting incumbents from office and a new 3rd Party with a different attitude. But, right now folks seem more interest in which Party did right or wrong by the Cuban kid. And, not to mind that we have just put our kids and grandkids into debt to China and Saud for the next hundred years. Just have to be patient Joel, now is not the time for patriotism.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 11, 2009 3:50 PM
Comment #275419

joel
There is a reason why American appear to be somewhat docile at this point. Things have not gotten that bad YET. To quote an old union organizer friend,”Its hard to get a man to fight when he has a pork chop in his hand.”
Another factor is that many people have some hope in the new administration that you apparently denigrate. BHO does get it. If he is allowed to go forward with his agenda there is reason for hope. Perhaps he has learned from the difficulty in getting the initial stimulus package through how futile trying to compromise with those responsible for the economic disaster is. We will see.
You are correct to be concerned about encroaching turmoil. A look at history is in order. The last great depression gave rise to fascism in Germany, Italy, Japan and other countries. It also allowed Stalin to close his fist on Russia.
We have been seeing a good deal of revisionist history concerning The New Deal. The right regards it as an anathema and is terriefied that we will move toward something like it. What they are not seeing ,or admitting anyway,is that although imperfect ,the New Deal kept the US largely peacful. We could easily have gone toward fascism or communism. It gave hope. The UK had a similar plan and managed to stay peacful but it signaled the beginning of the end for the British Empire as it signals the beginning of the end of the American Empire.
At best a Constitutional Convention is like closing the door after the horse is out. It not realistic to place much hope in one. Too late.As for a third party, that will continue to be the venue of egotistical dabblers. A new party perhaps, but only after the failed party of the plutocrats is put out of its misery. Until that is accomplished attempts to build one are little more than diversionary.

Posted by: bills at February 12, 2009 5:54 AM
Comment #275435

With oil at $34/bbl why is gas so high? Phoenix is now the kidnapping capital of the US. More people got killed along the border last year than the total killed in the Iraq/Afghan wars. The federal deficit is now at 70% of GDP, or 75% after they buy the toxic ASSETS. Household debt is at 90% of GDP. Where has sanity gone. After years of Greenspan and Bernake the oversold economy is in serious imbalance. Why can’t we let these mismanaged businesses fail, declare bankruptcy, and let the housing market find it’s true value in market place? To try to prop up an economy so oversold is only going to prolong the situation and cause hyper-inflation, perhaps heading us for a good old depression.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 12, 2009 1:52 PM
Comment #275451

Roy, I think your price is for the march Delivery, What we’re paying now is for February pricing and it’s About $40.Buy your Gas on a monday :)

Posted by: Rodney Brown at February 12, 2009 5:13 PM
Comment #275471

You are right Rodney. I overlooked the lag time to get the oil to a refinery, etc.
Well, it’s clear to me which government is in control. The NAU is pulling away as the winner. How so? Sen. Judd, who at one time had voted to abolish the DOC, gave up Commerce Sec. based in part of the fact that the Exec. was going to pull Census out of the DOC and make Census a responsibility of Rahm Emanuel. Census data is used for reapportionment of political districts across the country. Looks like the Dems wants to use Latino immigration to redraw the lines where they want them.
It’s clear the Dem’s deliberately removed E-verify from the stimulus bill. They carried it to the very last second before they dropped it in conference from the Senate Bill. They let it pass the house and the senate but axed it in conference which they had planned to do from the git go. They wanted the taxpayer/voter to believe it was going to be in the final bill until, alas, too late to do anything about it. From this action it is clear also, that they will axe the ‘buy American’ provision, again passed in the house and senate but will be killed in conference to be sure. The closed door thing ya know. Catapillar wants the stimulus but is against
‘buy American’ as they think it will hurt their overseas sales. They don’t want a half loaf, they want it ALL. I suggest if they want it all they should let the foreign governments bail them out rather than the US taxpayers.
And, wouldn’t you know, big biz and the CofC are still pushing for more H1B viasas. They are fighting the idea that banks receiving bailouts should hire Am. workers first and should not hire temp workers before or after laying off Am. workers. CofC says that is protectionist and to be avoided.
MALDEF is suing a border farmer for apprehending a couple of illegals and holding them for the border patrol. Don’t mess with Mexico!
The SCHIP child insurance program will provide coverage for 8M children, including illegal immigrants up to the age of 32. That takes care of the healthcare. Calif. alone spends $5B to take care of the needs of 2.8M illegals. The stimulus package is estimated to put 300k illegals to work. I would think that is a way low estimate. Estimates are that 7M illegals are working now with 22M US workers unemployed, or 13.9% of the workforce. And, much of the world will get bailed out without a ‘buy American’ provision in the bill. And, later on I predict there will be a bailout for failed mortgages that will keep thousands of illegals in homes purchased through liar loan type programs. While Russia, Japan and others are trying their best to hold on to their illegal population the illegal worker in the US is virtually locked in. With the stimulus benefits in place Congress probably won’t feel the need to bring up amnesty for 4 or 5 years or whenever the stimulus runs out.
I can recall Greenspan making a plea that there should be ‘alternative mortgage’ instruments established to increase home ownership and pump up the market and did the market respond! I’ve watched the actions of Greenspan, Bernake, Dodd, and Frank and would really like to come out and state that this whole recession thing is a conspiracy by the NAU group. But, I would have to suffer the admonishment of Weary Willie, and others.
Instead, I will just call my Congressperson’s and let them know how hard I plan to work against them in the next election. And, keep advocating for reform through a new 3rd Party with a different attitude.
Of the $790T, $200B has been marked as pork.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 13, 2009 9:29 AM
Comment #275474

It will take a LOT more pain and misery than we have today to motivate enough Americans to even do the one simple thing that could possibly have the biggest impact towards better government, which is quite simply to stop rewarding correct, FOR-SALE, incompetent, irresponsible, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates (86.9% in the last 4-NOV-2008 election).

It was several years into the Great Depression (i.e. year 1933) before enough unhappy voters finally voted-out 206 (of 533) incumbent politicians (i.e. 44%) from Congress.
It took 25% unemployment and

Unfortunately, it was too late to avoid a lot of pain and misery that was already in the pipeline, and the Great Depression dragged on for almost another decade.

Today is very similar. It is too late to avoid much pain and misery that is already in the pipeline.

Even if we did everything right from this day forward, there will still be much pain and misery.
Even Obama is intelligent enough to know this, and is scrambling to replace the mantra of hope-and-change with much, much, much lower expectations.

However, in reality, it appears quite likely that we will have something very far from perfect.
The planned stimulus spending ($789 Billion) will more likely result in more debt, inflation, and more long-term economic instability, because:

  • (01) We have probably reached the limits of the level of debt we can carry as a nation; that is, the level of debt is already near, if not already untenable.

  • (02) The already severely bloated federal government is estiated to grow by another 600,000 to 800,000 employees.

  • (03) The massive waste, graft, and pork-barrel continues to grow.

  • (04) Congress is still FOR-SALE, still addicted to pork-barrel, still irresponsible, corrupt, and incompetent because 86.9% of the previous Congress still exists. Congress also gave itself its 10th raise in 12 years, plus another $93,000 for each member of Congress for petty cash and expenses. Cha Ching!

  • (05) These 10 abuses still exist, and these numerous deteriorating economic conditions have never been worse ever, and/or since the Great Depression.

  • (06) The 86.9% re-election rate (for 4-NOV-2008) does not indicate that enough voters are any where near feeling enough pain yet to question their voting habits, despite dismally low 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress.

  • (07) The two-party duopoly does not serve the majority of Americans, but instead serves one extreme that wants unfettered capitalism and other manifestations of unchecked greed for the wealthy, and the other extreme that wants a nanny-state, that rewards failure and mediocrity, and wants to make people dependent on government from cradle-to-grave. Both are equally pathetic, and voters are culpable too. Government will not become more responsible and accountable until enough voters first become more responsible and accountable. Until then, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

But do not despair.
There is a built-in self-correction mechanism.
When things become painful enough, there will finally be REAL change.
When enough people finally get fed-up with all of the cheaters, they will hopefully do the one simple thing that has always been right under their very own noses, and simply stop rewarding irresponsible, incompetent, FOR-SALE, and incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates. That won’t fix everything, but it is most certainly one of the first steps that will result from the harsh education received the hard and painful way.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 13, 2009 11:47 AM
Comment #275475

CORRECTION to 1st and 2nd sentence: … stop rewarding correct , FOR-SALE, incompetent, irresponsible, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates (86.9% in the last 4-NOV-2008 election).

It was several years into the Great Depression (i.e. year 1933) before enough unhappy voters finally voted-out 206 (of 533) incumbent politicians (i.e. 44% of those up for election) from Congress.
It took 25% unemployment and massive foreclosures and economic instability to finally get their attention.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 13, 2009 11:59 AM
Comment #275479

I fully agree d.a.n. People are no where near torked off enough to take any real action against the duopoly. However, if the bailout should go badly, and I’m hopeful that it goes well, we could enter a prolonged period of recession whereby the middle class might begin to get serious about their plight. Otherwise, we can keep advocating for reform. I support the idea of a parallel front by the Friends of Article V Convention, www.foavc.org, Vote Out Incumbents Democracy, www.voidnow.com, and a new 3rd Party with a different political attitude, www.demreps.com, to fight the klepto-plutocracy. Having Congress agree to an AVC would surely result in a balanced budget amendment which would go a long way toward righting the ship of state. And, advocating for VOID will let folks know there is a tool available to sweep the duopoly from office when the time comes. I think the most effective tool is a new 3rd Party with a different attitude. If folks support a 3rd Party with an agenda focused on reform issues and hold their elected officials accountable for carrying out the Party’s agenda then we can accomplish broad reform of government. Right now it’s like pushing on a string. But when the ship of state breeches on a reef folks will be looking for a way to shore.
Advocating for these three political entities will have some immediate effect on the duopoly. Perhaps best measured in inches than miles, but a good place to start


Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 13, 2009 2:09 PM
Comment #275480
Roy Ellis wrote: I fully agree d.a.n. People are no where near torked off enough to take any real action against the duopoly.
Not yet. But it will almost certainly happen in time, because that’s usually the end result after an era of pain and misery resulting from decades of corruption, greed, and rampant fiscal and moral bankruptcy.

However, at the moment, there are many (if not most) Americans who still believe that THEIR party serves the majority of Americans.
Neither in the two-party duopoly actually does, and that will soon most likely be proven true when these 10 abuses still continue to be ignored, which continue to hammer most Americans, and continue the deterioration of numerous economic conditions growing dangerously in number and severity.

Roy Ellis wrote: However, if the bailout should go badly, and I’m hopeful that it goes well, …
The bailouts and stimulus will most likely only make a bad situation worse, because they try to treat symptoms rather than treat the disease; rather than address the numerous abuses hammering most Americans. The federal government could do MANY things to help the majority of Americans, but they aren’t doing those things. Congress is doing little (if anything) to:
  • (01) Stop these 10 abuses now.
  • (02) Stop the dishonest, usurious, predatory, lending practices of the banks, or Stop the Federal Reserve’s Ponzi-scheme which steeply leverages debt-to-reserves (i.e. 9-to-1 fractional lending). Banks are essentially loan-sharking, jacking up adjustable rate mortgages (foreclosures be damned) with ridiculously high interest rates (commonly up to 10%-to-20% and as high as 64%) and other predetory lending practices. Banks are also preying on the young, poor, minorities, financially naive, and people deep in debt due to outrageously expensive medical fees.
  • (03) Stop growing and eliminate all of the massive bloat and waste in the federal government now. We don’t need all of this bloat: www.akdart.com/gov1.html
  • (04) Stop the war in Iraq;
  • (05) Stop or reduce our involvment the war in Afghanistan too perhaps? Insist that other nations help or suffer the consequences of refusing to help in Afghanistan. The terrorists are now mostly in northern Pakistan. Is the presence in Afghanistan working? Will it turn into an other quagmire?
  • (06) Stop the U.S. military presence in 132 nations around the world. That costs a LOT! Is all of that necessary? No. Reduce that presence significantly (if not totally), without becoming excessively protectionist.
  • (07) Stop throwing money, subsidies, tax breaks, and welfare at failing banks, financial corporations, the wealthy, and Wall Street; stop rewarding failure;
  • (08) Stop rampant corruption by increasing and enforcing more transparency and accountability;
  • (09) Stop Constitutional violations; reduce lawlessness; enforce existing laws (e.g. Article V); stop illegal immigration and $70-to-$327 Billion in annual net losses due to illegal immigration;
  • (10) Stop plundering Social Security surpluses; $12.8 Trillion has been borrowed and spent, leaving Social Security pay-as-you-go, with 77 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching;
  • (11) Stop regressive taxation: One-Simple-Idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#Taxes
  • (12) Stop killing 195,000 per year due to preventable medical mistakes. Between 1999 and 2004, over 1.5 million people were killed by preventable medical mistakes. That is more than all the American soldiers killed in the American Revolution (4,435), the War of 1812 (2,260), the Indian Wars (1,000), the Mexican War (1,733), the Civil War (462,000), the Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam War (58,209), Korean War (36,574), the Iraq Gulf War (529), and the current Iraq war 19-Mar-2003-to-24-Jan-2009 (4,232), combined! Create a non-profit national health insurance system (get rid of the millions of unnecessary middlemen); build non-profit hospitals and clinics.
  • (13) Stop Congress from rewarding itself with a raise almost every year (Congress recently gave itself the 10th raise in 12 years; the raises are actually automitic and a BILL is required to stop the automatic raise; must be nice, eh?). Is that necessary? No. What arrogance! ? ! Especially when U.S. Troops go without armor, adequate medical care, promised benefits, and have to do 2, 3, or 4+ tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.
  • (14) Stop pandering politicians who are virtually are FOR-SALE. Allow only equal public financing of elections. Otherwise, politicians will continue to sell-out most Americans!
  • (15) Stop pork-barrel; pass a ONE-PURPOSE-PER-BILL amendment;
  • (16) Stop career politicians and judges; pass TERM LIMITS for all offices;
  • (17) Stop the unfair incumbent advantages: One-Simple-Idea.com/FAQ.htm#UnfairAdvantages
  • (18) Stop the deterioration of public education; eliminate the bloated, over-paid, and incompetent adminstrative staff; More education solutions: One-Simple-Idea.com/Education.htm
  • (19) Stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and/or corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates. Stop rewarding corruption, or suffer the painful consequences: One-Simple-Idea.com/NeverWorse.htm
  • (20) Stop all unnecessary and wasteful spending. Do as Obama recommended; go through the budget with a fine-tooth comb. Shift unnecessary spending to spending that doesn’t result in net losses. Work on making the U.S. more energy independent. Work in the most important infrastructure projects. Work on more efficient transportation. Develop a non-profit health insurance system amd possibly more non-profit hospitals, clinics, and healthcare centers.
  • (21) Create jobs to research, develop, and implement better and more renewable energy resources and rebuild and improve the nation’s infrastructure (which will create long-term savings and benefits);
  • (22) More solutions: One-Simple-Idea.com/Solutions1.htm
Roy Ellis wrote: However, if the bailout should go badly, and I’m hopeful that it goes well, we could enter a prolonged period of recession whereby the middle class might begin to get serious about their plight.
Don’t worry. They will (most likely). Congress will most likely make things worse since the debt if very likely already near (if not already) untenable. Any stimulus spending should be done very carefully, and that doesn’t appear to be happening. Most likely, for every stimulus dollar spent, it is offset completely 100% or more by more wasteful and irresponsible spending (not to mention Congress giving itself it 10th raise in 12 years, and another $93,000 per Congress person for petty expenses).
Roy Ellis wrote: Otherwise, we can keep advocating for reform. I support the idea of a parallel front by the Friends of Article V Convention, www.foavc.org, Vote Out Incumbents Democracy, www.voidnow.com, and a new 3rd Party with a different political attitude, www.demreps.com, to fight the klepto-plutocracy.
Ditto. As the level of pain and misery rises, the more likely it will give rise to a 3rd party, or a massive ousting of incumbent politicians (such as occurred in year 1933).
Roy Ellis wrote: Having Congress agree to an AVC would surely result in a balanced budget amendment which would go a long way toward righting the ship of state.
There are a LOT of people that would strongly disagree with that at this time.

I personally doubt such an amendment will come about (if ever) until after an economic meltdown, and we appear to be well on our way.
The debt bubble continues to grow larger every day, and so do numerous other economic conditions.
As a result, the risk of high inflation (i.e. double-digit) and/or hyperinflation are 51% or greater, because:

  • [01] NATIONAL DEBT: The $10.7 Trillion National Debt per-capita has never been larger BOTH as a percentage (170%) of GDP ever in size and per-capita ($35,081 in year 2008 versus $21,719 in year 1945 in inflation-adjusted 2008 U.S. Dollars). At $40.15 Billion per month ($481.8 Billion per year), it would take 164 years to pay down at only a 4.5% interest rate ( One-Simple-Idea.com/NationalDebt_$10.7Trillion.jpg ).

  • [02] TOTAL FEDERAL DEBT is UNTENABLE?: The current total federal debt ($23.5 Trillion = $10.7 Trillion National Debt + $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching) is near (if not already) untenable. At $79 Billion per month ($948 Billion per year), it would take 120 years to pay down at only a 4.0% interest rate ( One-Simple-Idea.com/23.5Trillion.gif ).

  • [03] LARGEST TOTAL FEDERAL DEBT EVER: The total current $23.5 Trillion of federal debt and has never been larger ever, BOTH as a percentage (170%) of GDP and per-capita ($77,049 in year 2008 versus $21,719 in year 1945 in inflation-adjusted 2008 U.S. Dollars).

  • [04] TOTAL NATION-WIDE DEBT: Total nation-wide debt has never been larger in size, as a percentage of GDP, and per-capita (per person):
    • Private domestic financial sector debt=$15.8 Trillion;

    • Household debt= $13.88 Trillion;

    • Business debt=$10.16 Trillion;

    • Federal government National Debt = $10.7 Trillion

    • State and local government debt = $2.2 Trillion;

    • Other private sector foreign debt = $1.8 Trillion;

    • __________________________________________________________

    • Total nation-wide debt = $54 Trillion (excluding the $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching);

    • Total nation-wide debt = $67 Trillion (including the $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security);

    • Total nation-wide debt of $67 Trillion is 4.83 times they GDP of year 2007 ($13.86 Trillion);

    • Total nation-wide debt is $220,000 per-capita, which has never been larger, and has almost quintupled from 100% of GDP in year 1956 to 483% of GDP in 2008.

    • At $233.333 Billion per month ($2.68 Tillion per year), it would take 433 years to pay down the $67 Trillion nation-wide debt at only a 4.0% interest rate ( One-Simple-Idea.com/67Trillion.gif ).

    • Source: MWHodges.home.att.net/debt-summary-table.htm

  • [05] UNACCOUNTABILITY of BAIL-OUT MONEY: The Federal Reserve will not disclose a full accounting of $3.2-to-$8.5 Trillion (www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-113008-fi-pricetag-g,0,5292528.graphic) in bail-outs and hand-outs for banks and Wall Street. Some of the money was used for parties, vacations, bonuses and exorbitant salaries to executive manamgent who were largerly responsible for wide-spread mismanagement that created this economic mess. Some of the money was used by some banks to buy other banks. It must be nice to be able to create new money out of thin air at a ratio of 9-to-1 of debt-to-reserves, and then receive interest by loaning it out. Cha-Ching!

  • [06] INCESSANT INFLATION: The federal government and Federal Reserve have perpetuated inflation for 52 consecutive years and more inflation will almost certainly continue by doubling, tripling, or N-tupling the money supply by creating massive amounts of money from thin air (since the massive amounts being spent can’t all be borrowed from China, Japan, or other nations). Moderate or double-digit inflation can lead to hyperinflation. Although hyperinflation is caused mainly by excessive deficit spending financed by excessive money-printing by a government, some economists believe that social breakdown leads to hyperinflation (not vice versa), and that hyperinflation’s roots lie in political rather than economic causes. It is probably BOTH. That is not encouraging since 86.9% of Congress was re-elected on 4-NOV-2008.

  • [07] FEDERAL RESERVE: The Federal Reserve is a dishonest, usurious, predatory, inflationary Ponzi-scheme, creating new money as debt at a steep leveraging ratio of 9-to-1 (i.e. banks are only required to have 10% in reserves, which obviously isn’t enough to weather a significant economic down-turn).

  • [08] ABUSES: These 10 abuses (One-Simple-Idea.com/Abuses.htm) have been (and still are) hammering most Americans for severeal decades (corroborating the theory in [08] above that the root causes of hyperinflation may be political instead of economic?). It appears most likely that a number of these abuses will continue (such as illegal immigration: see [13] below).

  • [09] FOREIGN OWNED U.S. Dollars: Over $11 Trillion U.S. Dollars are foreign owned. Inflation could motivate the spending and dumping of those U.S. Dollars (i.e. a run on the U.S. Dollar).

  • [10] UNEMPLOYMENT: There are 11.1-to-24.6 Million unemployed (more than the 12.83 Million unemployed in the Great Depression), and growing by over half-a-million per month. The federal government can’t employ all of those people. Then administration plans to create 2-to-3 million jobs, which may still leave 9.1-to-22.6 Million unemployed.

  • [11] FEDERAL BLOAT and WASTE:

  • [12] ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already introduced an immigration bill (S. 9) to be used as his vehicle for a sweeping Illegal Alien Amnesty.
    The amnesty of 1986 quintupled the problem, and another amnesty will most likely make the problem worse too (again). Importing by the millions of the less educated, less skilled, more diseased, and more impoverished is not helping the nation (except for those wanting votes and cheap labor). The federal government appears determined to continue to despicably pit Americans and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits disguised as compassion. Americans will continue to lose an estimated $70-to-$327 Billion per year in net losses due to illegal immigration.

  • [13] DECLINING GDP: GDP ($13.86 Trillion in year 2007 in 2007 U.S. Dollars), in inflation-adjusted 2005 and 1950 U.S. Dollars has been falling between year JAN-2007 and JAN-2009, and the decline has never been larger since year 1900 (if ever). During the period there has also been record level deficit spending by the federal government.

  • [14] INFLATION: Year-to-year inflation is rising (though it has decreased in the last few months of 2008): 2002=1.59%, 2003=2.27%, 2004=2.68%, 2005=3.39%, 2006=3.24%, 2007=2.85%, 2008=3.85%, 2009=??.?? . There has been positive inflation (sometimes double-digit) for 52 consecutive years, and it appears there will be many more years of inflation.

  • [15] LIES: The federal government lies about many economic statistics. Do you really believe average inflation for year 2008 is 3.85% ? Not according to the previous methods of measuring inflation, before the calculations were modified in year 1983 and 1998. One of the changes was to give more weighting to items falling in price than items rising in price, resulting in an inflation number that is about 40% of what it used to be, and that error is compounded year-after-year. By the way, Social Security increase are based on inflaton. The federal government also fudges other economic statistics, such as debt (e.g. there is no Social Security surplus), GDP, and unemployment.

  • [16] MOST MONEY in the U.S. is DEBT: 90%-to-95% of all U.S. money in the U.S. exists as debt, because money is created as debt at a ratio of 9-to-1, requiring banks to only have 10% in reserves. Where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on so much nation-wide debt when that money does not yet exist? Creating new money out of thin air is a sure way to create inflation. If there is too much inflation, it may cause a run on the U.S. Dollar, since $11 Trillion U.S. Dollars are foreign-owned.

  • [17] FALLING U.S. DOLLAR: The U.S. Dollar has already been falling (One-Simple-Idea.com/USD_Falling.htm) significantly for years againast many major international currencies.

  • [18] HISTORY OF HYPERINFLATION: Dozens of nations over the past 150 years have already tried to money-print, borrow, and spend their way to prosperity, and it destroyed the currency. Double-digit inflation alone could cause enough fear to trigger a run on the U.S. Dollar. The gargantuan size of the total federal and nation-wide debt (both of which have never been larger per-capita or as a percentage of GDP) could cause enough fear to trigger a run on the U.S. Dollar. Also, with $11 Trillion foreign-owned U.S. Dollars, inflation is more dangerous.

  • [19] MOST AMERICANS TAPPED-OUT: Most Americans are tapped-out and in-debt. 20% of Americans have negative net worth. 40% of Americans have (on average) ZERO net worth. That’s a death nail for an economy that is 70% consumer driven. Money is created as debt (at a 9-to-1 ratio of debt-to-reserves) and 90%-to-95% of all U.S. Dollars in the U.S. exist as debt. How can the money-supply increase if most people can borrow any more? Recognizing that dilema, the federal government and Federal Reserve are now making plans to create and/or borrow money and give it away. However, that will most likely create more inflation (which has been positive for 52 consecutive years), which will devalue all money that already exists, wages, pensions, savings, and entitlements. Who does inflation really help most? Inflation has been used for decades to slowly but surely extract wealth from the middle-class and funnel it to the banks. And even if times are tough, the federal government and the Federal Reserve will bail-out the banks and Wall Street.

  • [20] WEALTH DISPARITY: The wealth disparity gap in the U.S. has been growing larger since year 1976, and have never been larger since they Great Depression. The wealthiest 1% owns 40% of all wealth. 80% of all Americans own only 17% of all wealth in the U.S. 20% of Americans have negative net worth (i.e. debt). 40% of Americans (on average) have ZERO net worth.

  • [21] LIQUIDATION is ALREADY in PROGRESS: Foreign owned assets in the U.S. has quadrupled from about $6 Trillion in year 1997 to $24 Trillion in year 2007. Why? Because Americans are selling off assets to pay their debts.

  • [22] 70% CONSUMER-DRIVEN ECONOMY: A 70% consumer-driven economy is not sustainable. Politicians constantly speak of growth instead of sustainability. However, most Americans are going backwards. Real median household incomes have been falling for decades (especially when including regressive taxation, $70-to-$327 Billion per year in net losses due to illegal immigration, more workers per household, more national debt, and a more bloated and wasteful government of nightmare proportions;

  • [23] REGRESSIVE TAXATION: Warren Buffet, the 2nd wealthiest person in the U.S., pays a lower percentage of income to federal taxes (e.g. 17.7% on $46 Million in year 2006), than his secretary (who paid 30% in federal taxes on an income of $60K) and many Americans. Warren Buffet told Tom Brokaw on “NBC Nightly News” that the U.S. tax structure is unfair. Warren Buffet performed an informal poll in his office, where the average tax rate was 32.9%, compared to his 17.7% percent, citing that as evidence that “the tax system has tilted toward the rich in the last 10 years”.

  • [24] CREDIT DEFAULT SWAP BUBBLE: A $455+ Trillion Credit Default Swap (CDS) bubble and derivatives bubble still looms (e.g CDSs, SIVs, ABSs, CDOs, subprime CDOs, squared CDOs, CPDOs, SPVs, VIEs, etc.) of over $455 Trillion (source: www.reuters.com/article/rbssFinancialServicesAndRealEstateNews/idUSN1472586720080915 );

  • [25] 11.1-to-24.6 Million Unemployed (DEC-2008): There are more unemployed today than the 12.83 Million unemployed in the Great Depression. While the percentage is 7.2% today (versus 21.7% in 1934), the 11.1-to-24.6 Million unemployed probably couldn’t care less what the percentage is. At any rate, so many unemployed equates to less tax revenues, more welfare and unemployment expenses, decreased consumerism, more foreclosures, and more people without health insurance.

  • [26] TRADE IMBALANCES: Massive imports (versus exports) has created a steady flow of wealth out of the U.S., and millions of jobs have left the country. The federal government even gives tax breaks and subsidies to some corporations who move jobs out of the U.S. Unfair trade deals have created numerous abuses. Since Congress is FOR-SALE, it is unlikely this pattern will end any time soon. Greed and profits drive corporations to move operations out of the U.S. and when wages in those foreign nations rise too high, the corporations go somewhere else, ensuring a source of cheap labor should they return later. Also, since environmental and labor laws are weaker and/or non-existent in many nations, corporations can commit abuses, pollute, and avoid costs and laws prohibiting such abuses. It’s a race to the bottom. While it may be difficult to stop all of these manifestations of unchecked greed, the federal government should not be rewarding corporations for such abuses. But then, Congress also shouldn’t be rewarding itself for it either with 10 raises in 12 years. Since Congress is FOR-SALE, and voters repeatedly reward incumbent politicians in Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, it is very unlikely Congress will stop this or a number of abuses.

  • [27] GOVERNMENT BLOAT and WASTE: There are more jobs in government than in all manufacturing. The federal government is the largest employer in the nation, and recent estimates claim that the federal government will grow by another 600,000 to 800,000 employees.

  • [28] MORE of the STATUS QUO: 86.9% of Congress was rewarded with re-election on 4-NOV-2008. And Congress just gave itself its 0th raise in 12 years. It is very unlikely Congress has turned over a new leaf?

Roy Ellis wrote: And, advocating for VOID will let folks know there is a tool available to sweep the duopoly from office when the time comes. I think the most effective tool is a new 3rd Party with a different attitude.
Both will most likely occur, unless something worse happens first (e.g. civil war, revolution, a coups d’état, or some other less peaceful over-throw of the government, or a major war with other nation, nations, or enemies).
Roy Ellis wrote: If folks support a 3rd Party with an agenda focused on reform issues and hold their elected officials accountable for carrying out the Party’s agenda then we can accomplish broad reform of government.
True. Voters could do that now and every election by simply not repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with re-election. Until voters do their part too, all parties will grow corrupt (if allowed; and especially if rewarded for it).
Roy Ellis wrote: Right now it’s like pushing on a string. But when the ship of state breeches on a reef folks will be looking for a way to shore. Advocating for these three political entities will have some immediate effect on the duopoly. Perhaps best measured in inches than miles, but a good place to start.
I agree. Voters have a peaceful solution if they want it. The danger is that things deteriorate so badly that voters become too impatient to wait for the next election or peaceful solutions. If that happens, then Joel’s scenarios are not far fetched.
Roy Ellis wrote: Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.
That’s right.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 13, 2009 3:51 PM
Comment #275485

An item I failed to post about contracting for the purchase of a Chinese Xray: “The $2.4-million equipment, designed to scan cargo and purchased with a federal national security grant, has failed field tests and will be returned to the manufacturer, port officials announced.The Port of Los Angeles said Wednesday it plans to cancel a controversial contract with a Chinese company to buy an X-ray unit designed to scan cargo for dangerous devices.”

d.a.n your first #15 could include a ‘read the bill act’. Congress is voting on an 1100 page, $8T bill that has two and three pen and ink changes in places and not one congressperson will have read the entire bill. Just this one issue alone should incense people to want to axe the klepto-plutocracy. Republican’s are complaining the lobbyist received copies of the bill before they did. Just a few months ago with the Rep’s in charge we heard the exact same thing from Dem’s. I’ve heard that there is a small portion of stimulus covered by ‘buy American’. Heard nothing on e-verify. Probably won’t know until tomorrow, after the Senate vote this pm.
Have we heard Obama stand up for E-verify or ‘buy American? I suspect we can’t be cherry picking this bill, etc. Gotta rush it thru to prevent a catastrophe. What this government has done to the workers in this country is unforgiveable in every sense of the word.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 13, 2009 5:23 PM
Comment #275488
Roy Ellis wrote: Have we heard Obama stand up for E-verify … ?
Nope. Not really. There’s more interest in passing another shamnesty.

Roy, you’re right. BILLs should be read first.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 13, 2009 5:44 PM
Comment #275489

Every Time you turn around Something is Missing or stolen. Or Shipped or Landed in the wrong place, What’s Going on Here! Now It’s Computers .69 computers missing from nuclear weapons lab.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090212/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/los_alamos_computers_5

Posted by: Rodney Brown at February 13, 2009 7:40 PM
Comment #275490

””“No classified information has been lost, spokesman Kevin Roark said.”“” That’s what they always say!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at February 13, 2009 7:43 PM
Comment #275495

Roy et al

If we slide into a deep depression we will indeed go through political turmoil. A third party may well rise. It will not be like todays third parties, the relm of narcissistic dabblers, but something far more ominious. It will likely be led some ostensibly reasonable Napolean that will use the old standby,xenophobia and racism to rise to power. The Jews are too powerful to attack and besides,thats been done. The Blacks are too likely to fight back and Asians are considered apprentice white people. That leaves only one easily identifiable ethnic group to pick on. Mexicans or more correctly Latinoes, especially those without papers as they are easy targets. Its disgustingly predictable and is likely to move quickly. Anything to displace peoples hatred from the real culprits responsible for their hardships.

Posted by: bills at February 13, 2009 11:38 PM
Comment #275501

I could not have said this better myself…Bob Cosca at his finest, talking about the neo-republicans:

They have indeed totally lost their shpadoinkle and despite purely involuntary spikes in my blood pressure, it’s so much fun to watch. By successfully debunking their lies, rising above their bait and merely presenting a contrast of character, President Obama is making the Republican A-listers appear small, petty and absolutely befuddled. They’re frantically struggling to figure out how to counterpunch, so they’re grabbing, borrowing or downright plagiarizing ideas from anywhere, irrespective of the general quality of the idea. And if the Republicans are at all interested in continued survival, someone they respect should probably smack their hands and scold: Drop that filthy Limbaugh quote! You don’t know where it’s been!

But if this is their “voice” and they’re satisfied with it, I for one welcome the new Republican “voice” and wish them a hearty and very sincere: Good luck with that.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/president-obama-is-litera_b_166152.html

Posted by: Marysdude at February 14, 2009 10:16 AM
Comment #275503

“Mexicans or more correctly Latinoes, especially those without papers as they are easy targets.”

you mean illegal aliens. after all thats what people in this country “without papers” are. they have no legal right to be here, and should be forced to obey our laws just like we are expected to do. trying to blunt the truth by using PC terms like undocumented, and “without papers” doesn’t change the fact that they are here illegaly, and most cases have displaced american workers in the name of cheaper labor.

Posted by: dbs at February 14, 2009 10:21 AM
Comment #275504

the huffington post has no credibilty except with those on the FAR LEFT, not really a good source for backing up an opinion.

Posted by: dbs at February 14, 2009 10:25 AM
Comment #275506

Roy

my understanding is that the e-verify was dropped from the bill, or was never part of it. why would anyone not want to make sure those recieving federal tax dollars, be checked for eligibilty. that in itself is a crime IMHO. the democrats are responsible for this one being as they are in control of the process. i guess thier worried about alienating thier biggest new block of voters. punn intended.

Posted by: dbs at February 14, 2009 10:35 AM
Comment #275515

bills, once more for those who missed it. With no planning and no debate, around the 80’s gov. decided to go along with a new world order and globalize the economies of the world. Anti-trust law was ignored to help big biz merger up to conglomerate status to ensure US companies stood on solid overseas ground. Over the last five administrations gov. has subsidized (taxpayer money) the relocation of businesses seeking the cheapest labor markets. Recognizing that in order for US to be able to compete in a globalized economy US workers wages would have to reach parity or near parity with cheap labor. Over as many years the gov. has worked to break the back of the middle class. Pensions, benefits, and wages remain stagnant or decreased while education, insurance, housing and big ticket items have dramatically increased. Purposeful deregulation in many sectors helped move middle class wealth to the upper echelon. 30% CC interest rates, liar loans and obscene money leveraging rates, 90% in some cases, helped soak the middle class who turned to their retirement accounts and home equity as a source of last resort. Several ENRON’s and $5/gal gas prices prices brought about by unregulated hedge traders severely threatened the middle class. No satisfied with the speed and efficiency of breaking down the middle class, some 3-4M aliens were given citizenship through amnesty. Some 23 temporary work visas were established to bring in foreign skilled and unskilled workers equating to 2M per year, and never asked to leave the country. Our universities were open to foreign students and were never asked to leave the country. You remember 9/11 don’t you bills? Drivers licenses, etc. The gov. refused to patrol the Southern border and imported another 12-40M illegals seeking jobs and now being offered amnesty. No border control, even though there were more people killed along the border last year than the total killed in Afghan and Iraq. Phoenix is now the kidnapping capital of the US. 90% of all drugs come across the S. border. That’s how bad the gov wants globalization.
Adding insult to injury, the corp’s and institutions are spewing money to the executives. And, the gov thinks its just fine for the top end to continue reaping obscene wealth while the CofC, Business Roundtable and the gov. push ever harder to break down the middle class.
The gov. had many many alternatives in seeking some kind of world order through trade policies. Instead they chose what I’ve just described. Done in back rooms, in secret, setting up international organizations that are given superiority over the sovereignty of our nation.
bills, you might gain some understanding of where I’m coming from by reading Pat Choate’s “Dangerous Business”, Jerome Corsi’s “The Late Great USA, and David Cay Johnston’s, “Free Lunch”.
Otherwise, I won’t stand for it. I spit in their eye. I’m going to spend the rest of my life to see they are taken down and government reformed.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 14, 2009 12:37 PM
Comment #275518

dbs, I agree with you. Dropping E-verify and ‘buy American’ from the bill just shows how hard the goverment will push for globalization. There is buckets of money to carry the illegals through the recession or until the economy recovers. I made a rough estimate that of the $8T as much as $3T will be used for overseas procurements. That will go a long way in bailing out the world. E-verify will expire in March unless passed into law. Probably won’t hear much on either until Lou Dobb’s on Monday night.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 14, 2009 1:00 PM
Comment #275540

Man, so much corruption, so little time! Don’t know if my fangers can stand up to it all.
Well, let’s get started. According to the Wash. Post the PMA group is being investigated by the feds for possible violation of campaign finance law. Two names listed in campaign finance records as lobbyist for PMA turn out to be folks who have never had any dealings with PMA. PMA, the 10th biggest lobbier in DC, was raided in Nov. by the FBI and DOD. PMA founder, Paul Magliocchetti, a former appropriations staffer close to John Murtha (D-Pa), may have reimbursed some of his staff to cover contributions made in their names to Murtha and other lawmakers. PMA has a long reputation securing ear marks from congressional appropriators and donates generously to congressional lawmakers. Paul M. personally gave $98k last year. PMA has won many ear marks for it’s clients such as Lockheed and General dynamics. Many PMA clients have opened offices in Murtha’s Western Pa. office. In the last election PMA and its clients donated $775k to Murtha’s campaign. Last year those clients received ear marks worth $299M, arranged by Murtha and his colleagues. Two men who were listed together as giving $30k to lawmakers and being part of PMA were not Wash. lobbyist but live in Amelia Island, Fla, where Paul M. has a beachfront home. The each donated identical amounts to the same lawmakers in 12 installments each, almost always on the same date. Rebecca Derosa, listed as a part-time accountant for PMA recently married Paul M and gave generously on PMA’s behalf for several years. Last year she personally gave $73K to lawmakers and PAC’s, $4.25K going to Rep. James Moran (D-Va)

I know I drug it out some on this one but I really distrust this Murtha fellow and his skunk works operation in Pa.

Also, in the Post; an ex-immigration official gets 7 ½ yes for accepting bribes from a Venezuelan firm. Cerado Chavez received $172k and was to receive another $87k before being discovered. Chavez steered $2.8M in contracts for 4w drive vehicles, some armor plated to Blincar of Venez. About 45 of the armored vehicles were later found to be defective and replaced at a cost of $5M.

Well, I’ll cut it short and finish up with this one. Again from the Post. Design and eng. co’s helping to build the nations highways ran up millions of dollars in inappropriate charges, at the expense of taxpayers, including bills for parties, luxury car leases and hefty paychecks for executives. The bills were submitted as overhead but should not have been allowed according to DOT. $355,767 to pay the personal income tax of executives, $301,667 to lease 45 automobiles, including Mercedez, BMW, and other luxury brands, $247,685 for dinners, tickets and sporting events, $60k paid to a consultant on a verbal agreement and, $35,352 for image enhancing items such as golf shirts. One firm charged $950k in unallowable cost, including a political contribution, spa resort bills and alcohol. Auditors say executives overpaid themselves by some $73M. Auditors are ‘concerned’ that D&E firms are generally hired (and this is 2008 folks) without competitive bids. They noticed overhead and compensations costs ‘had been rising for years’. More than half the 41 firms examined had claimed unallowable costs. Auditors found that unqualified accountants were often hired and in many cases “hired firms with whom they had existing relationships.”
The FHWA sez they will clean up their act.

Fingers getting sore, gotta quit. Sleep well taxpayer!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 14, 2009 8:51 PM
Comment #275541

Roy et al
Globalization is ,even with its problems, represents the hope of billions. It has been handled improperly but we cannot close the door without great risk. I would agree that the visa progrm for forign workers is a travesty. If there are not enough US workers trainned to do those jobs then we need to train them. Its a double edged sword. Not only does it displace American workers it also is a brain drain on the countries of origin. That does not mean we should close our doors on importing products from those same countries. There will be downward pressures on wage increases. This can be dealt with at least two ways. #1 is to increase social spending to benefit American workers. For example, universal healthcare and free college. We are moving in that direction. #2 Restrict imports to countries that allow independant trade unions and at least make sure their employers meet international labor standards. If their workers get a fair share of the wealth they just might buy stuff from us.
I would have kept the US steel requirement in the Stimulus package. If we do not use US steel the alternative is not steel from Latvia or the Philippines, it is steel from China with its subsidized industry and unfair currency controls. The provision in no way would close markets outside of direct taxpayer purchases. That is not protectionism, just attempting to get the most economic bang for our buck.

dbs

To quote my favorite third party crackpot,” The Pilgrums didn’t have visas! The Europeans show up, kill off the native people and steal their land and now we want paperwork!”

Point I was trying to make was there will be more and more pressure to attack immigrants. This is American as apple pie during downturns. Its blame-shifting,pure and simple.Madoff is not an “illegal” nor Skilling or the AIG guys. Maybe we should cut a deal with Mexico. For every one of those jerks they take we will take a boatload of of hard working immigrants, trying to feed their families. We would be much better off.

Posted by: bills at February 14, 2009 10:15 PM
Comment #275550

bills


“Maybe we should cut a deal with Mexico. For every one of those jerks they take we will take a boatload of of hard working immigrants, trying to feed their families.”

they don’t have to, they’re already way ahead. if we start from scratch and ship the entire approx. 12 million home then make that deal i might be inclined to side with you on that one. i think they should serve thier prison terms first though.

Posted by: dbs at February 15, 2009 8:47 AM
Comment #275552

Mr Hirschhorn,

So we have this looming, if not already arrived, economic crisis, and you really think that getting a bunch of delegates together from the states, most of whom will be your reviled politicians themselves, to debate constitutional reforms will improve matters? We may as well just give all those pocket Neros a gross of fiddles for them to play while our economic Rome burns down around their ears. Now is not the time to use scare tactics to shove through pet ideas, now is the time for the government to take action so that this economic tailspin doesn’t whirl us into oncoming traffic.

Is this stimulus plan perfect? Of COURSE not! Nothing is ever perfect in a democracy. Could it be better and less pork laden that it is? Of course. That was the price that the Obama administration knew it had to pay for haste. Is the plan risky? Yes. Pumping that much extra money into our economy could put the value of the dollar into freefall if the rest of the world doesn’t believe that it is worth it. However, doing nothing would be just as bad or worse. The stimulus package is not a cure-all. It is a tourniquet on a hemorrhaging femoral artery. We will just have to see if the next stop is the recovery room or triage.

L

(I do like my run-on imagery, don’t I? Sorry.)

Posted by: leatherankh at February 15, 2009 9:27 AM
Comment #275556

bills, I tried hard to help you understand where I’m coming from but I can see I’ve failed.

While one can look at single problematic issues, it is often useful to hunt for a big picture understanding of the totality of our problems. So, I will talk to your issues while trying to put them into a more unified understanding of the problems. You say globalization is the hope for billions. I don’t buy that at all. First, to assume that globalization is free trade is daid wrong. Globalization, as we have it, is nothing more than piss poor ideology. bills, good buddy, in less than 20 years the US has gone from being the world’s principal creditor to it’s principal debtor. Again, I refer you to some books I listed in the previous post. Secondly, Just look at the worldwide recession caused specifically by the actions of US/globalized corp’s; oil, finance and insurance. The gov. of Iceland has declared bankruptcy as their banks failed due to purchasing US CDO’s. Some EU countries are on the brink due to same. Thanks to globalization, going forward, when the US sneezes the world will catch a cold. I really love the people and country of Bolivia. (Peru and Ecuador included) Don’t know of a place in the world where the people are more colorful, stronger and more resilient. While big oil and mining consortium’s have abused the people and thrashed much of their country, they have survived depending on customs, traditions and agriculture dating back thousands of years. From whence came the potato, tomato and corn. They now have their first native President and he has nationalized the oil industry and ousted the US Ambassador. I love that! With many countries on the ropes in his three years in office the President has given Bolivia a $7B reserve. Many in Latin Am. believe that global capitalism is the main reason for growing misery, poverty and unemployment. You agree that globalization was handled badly but no sense closing the barn door after the bull is out. I’m not for closing the barn door either. As I said, the gov. had many, many alternative ways of handling trade. They chose ‘GREED’, or more correctly, “GREED’ chose them as we do have the best gov. money can buy. I see the US gov. as little more than a subsidiary of big business. As cited in our VISIONUSA page, www.demreps.com we call for a ‘fair trade’ policy, along with a balanced trade policy. A needed addition is to mandate anti-trust law that breaks up any biz controlling more than $100B in assets. To big to fail and ignoring US immigration law does not make good trade policy. I heard Greenspan make an AMAZING statement that went something like; the success of the US was brought about by greed and to stymie greed is to create our downfall as the great financial empire of the world. That, because of the greed factor, we will continue to have recessions ever so often. He embraces the greed factor but sees regulation as the enemy of success. He stated that while he had a lot of math courses he did not fully understand some of the new financial algorithms. Buffet calls them ‘weapons of mass destruction.” Greenspan agreed that nobody at any level did and all the while our financial institutions were being run by young grads just out of college. A full admission that all the education in the world doesn’t gain you anything in common sense. Only one hedger was smart enough to take action with the onslaught of the recession. He hedged against the housing boom and made a cool billion in the process. All the guru’s; Robert Rubin, Sandy Weill, Stanley Fischer, William Rhodes, etc. were like deer in the headlights as the financials went over a cliff. Let’s get some common sense into the equation; anti-trust law that will give us smaller banks with smaller risks. Deeming a biz too big to fail is declaring a failure of government.
We both agree the US visa program is a travesty. “not enough US workers trained to do those jobs”. bills, it’s been in the news recently, and I’ve flogged the blog on this same issue, there is no shortage of US trained workers. It was in the newspapers and on TV bills. Bill Gates has been lying. There are thousands of US graduates that were looking for jobs over the last several years and couldn’t find work. That was documented by an educational group that looked at several universities across the country. 20% of the temp visa skilled workers are working for Indian corp’s with offices here in the US. It’s a fact bills, temp visa workers are hired for cheap labor which I correctly refer to as breaking the back of the middle class. The books I’ve read tell me that it is emphatically impossible for US based manufacturing to compete with products produced by the world’s cheapest labor. ‘Increase social spending’ ‘as we are moving in that direction’? Perhaps this is the best approach. I would agree with free universal health and education IF there was a simultaneous effort to increase working wages and drastically reduce foreign participation in these two fields. It is way wrong to force the cost of healthcare and education for the illegals and many foreign students on the back of the US taxpayer. And, how much democracy is too much. bills, we are something over 200 years old, outlasting every democracy in history. I’d like for us to survive a lot longer by restoring some of our lost Republic. Democracy always ends up with the vocal minority in control of the silent majority. Ring any bells bill? Corporate Personhood. Money is Free Speech, Best government money can buy, etc. Let’s hit the lobbyist thing real quik. Between 98 and 04 foreign lobbying = $568,706,399. Same period for US lobbying = $11,361,273,880 for a grand total of $11,929,980,249.

bills, while I appreciate your efforts at solving a couple of issues, like buying US steel or restricting trade in return for unions, it just misses the big picture.

One could recommend that, as a nation, we move away from ‘greed is good’ through education at an early age. Same for being respectful of, and obeying laws. We can work to implement generational change like truly seeking to help thy neighbor. Instead of exploiting the cheap labor and resources of nations, why not provide them with schools, agriculture machinery and processing facilities, hospitals, sanitation systems, etc. Bring them here for training but send them home to build their own dreams. I really appreciate the different cultures of the world, such as South Am. and Africa. I don’t care for a world where everyone speaks English, wears the same wall mart suit with tie and black shoes, ready to jump on a plane and head to the next cheapest labor market for a job, etc. That’s not what I want.

BUT

There is not time for that approach. The country won’t last long enough for generational training. And, be sure, this government cannot, will not reform itself. You will not get fair trade, flat tax, the money influence out of government, six month campaign/election period, election day as a national holiday, etc. through this government. There is only one possible way, and please tell me if you have a better mousetrap, and that is major reform of government through a new 3rd Party with a different attitude. (include my general spiel in here)

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 15, 2009 1:55 PM
Comment #275569

Rodney, here is a yahoo article relating to high gas prices. The stock price you see on the ticker if for W4st Texas crude! Who’d of thunk it? “The recession in America has dramatically cut demand for crude oil, and inventories are piling up. So prices for West Texas crude have fallen well below what oil costs from places like the North Sea, Saudi Arabia and South America.

That foreign oil sells in some cases for $10 more per barrel — and that doesn’t even include shipping.

Brent North Sea crude, which feeds some East Coast refineries — and therefore winds up at many gas pumps around America — now costs about $7 more per barrel than the West Texas crude. Deutsche Bank analysts say the trend should continue.

Historically, West Texas International crude has cost more. So nobody bothered building the necessary pipelines to carry it beyond the nearby refineries in the Midwest, parts of Texas and a handful of other places.”

Kinda like CDO’s and hedgefunds to me.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 15, 2009 4:29 PM
Comment #275576

I read That Roy, inventories are piling up, there about where they were during the first gulf war, maybe they heard you Roy because today they lowered the prices in my neck of the woods 16 cents a gallon that’s rare for a holiday weekend.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at February 15, 2009 6:13 PM
Comment #275578

It’s that crushing Watchblog pressure Rodney.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 15, 2009 6:24 PM
Comment #275581

DBS
Thanks for making my point. Its so much more fun to attack a ethnic group that to repudiate and re-think attitudes and opinions that have led so many to rabidly support one of the worst regimes and their masters for the last eight years and longer.
If we were to expel the 12 million immigrants here without papers Mexico would blow apart. The next wave would be war refugees. What would you do to get your family out of a war zone? It would also mean we would have to repeal posse comitus and bring most of our troops back from all over the world to deal with the actual deportation and the civil unrest that would result plus the food riots as the inevitable collaspe of the agricultural segment comes about.Good thinking!

Roy
I am short on time but I live in the Philippines. Texas Instraments and other big players do a lot of manufacturing here. If they were to pull out and overseas workers were to stop sending remittances the economy would fail. We would be seeing widespread starvation and civil unrest.THis is just one country. That is what I mean by the hope of billions. There is no reason to believe that the US homeland would not be affected. The best way to continue global trade and provide for the US economy is to do things like provide healthcare and free college to the children off American workers to offset wage competition. Good part is these are things we should do anyway.

Posted by: bills at February 15, 2009 10:38 PM
Comment #275589

Who really believes this pork-laden BILL is going to work?

And why?

How many jobs do you really think this BILL will create?

Are these the right kind of jobs to create?

Is growing the federal government (the largest employer in the nation) by another 600,000-to-800,000 employees the sort of job creation we need, when the severely bloated federal government has already grown far beyond nightmare proportions?

Why is it that all of the principles that we should have been embracing in decades past to avoid this economic melt-down are now invalid? Since when did any nation so deep in-debt ever borrow, money-print, and spend its way to prosperity?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2009 10:18 AM
Comment #275595

bills

who’s attacking an ethnic group ? i’m simply saying that why should i obey the laws of this country when i don’t agree with them ? after all thats what illegal aliens do, and every time someone suggests that we start enforcing the laws they’re labeled as a racist. p.o. and his liberal congress are trying to push some of the most extreme gun control laws this country has ever seen. if they pass why should we who believe in the second amend. obey them.

lets be honest we don’t have to deport anyone. all we have to do is crack down on the employers, and make hiring illegals so painful that they’de never do it. you’re quick to bring up the effect an the ag. business, but what about all the other jobs that were always done by americans. i’ve worked in many of them myself. did you ever work as a cook, dishwasher, busboy, or a fast food resteraunt as a kid ? i did. you think kids can get those jobs anymore ? not in ca. or other parts of the southwest. i’ve also worked as a laborer in the const industry. i did job site cleanup, and worked in several other trades many years ago. are these jobs americans won’t do, or is it that the illegal aliens came in and offered to do it cheaper, and displaced american workers ?

i find it interesting that by enforcing one law we will create a global catasrophe, but enforcing the others that only affect the rights of americans is just fine.

Posted by: dbs at February 16, 2009 11:56 AM
Comment #275597

bills, your thoughts just don’t hold water. The US is not, and should not be responsible for the world’s economies. There are as many ‘ethnic groups’ in this country as there are countries. Mexico, Iceland and Pakistan are on the brink as we speak. Iceland has already declared bankruptcy. Unless some military force props up Mexico they are done. Not to worry that we are going to return 10% of Mex’s population at this time. What with E-verify and ‘Buy American’ out of the package congress won’t need to revisit immigration until 2013. The illegals are locked in for now. If TI chooses to operate in the PI that’s way fine with me. But, I don’t like the US taxpayer footing the bill to relocate them there, pay for their foreign advertising, etc. IMO a company operating in a foreign country should have no ties to the US gov. period. They should come under the laws of the country they are in and no other, or certainly not the US. Also, why does the US taxpayer need to interfere with GM in shutting down their US plants? If GM wanted to bail out of China would China pay for their exit? Why does the US taxpayer get stuck with all the bills, bills?
Greenspan recently stated that we will continue to have these recessions caused primarily by greed. Why do we want a world so integrated that if one country sneezes the others catch a cold. That’s pretty stupid. 50% of the junk AAA rated CDO’s were sold abroad. Go figure.

I was of the opinion that Chinese businesses are carrying the big stick in the PI I think I saw where the filipino’s got a WWII stipend from the US. I hope that includes the negrito’s as well.. Glad to see that.

There are better ways to trade and get along with nations bills and I tried mightly to present some alternatives in my previous post.

dbs, I agree that all that is necessary is the enforcement of existing law. But, as I stated above, the illegals are locked in, with care and feeding by the taxpayer, until 2013. It is incredible that by enforcing the law we would create a world catastrophe. But, that is exactly what the intellectually dishonest duopoly would have us believe. If they can make us live with an illegal situation long enough then they are certain the tentacles will be in so deep that we will just say ‘what the hell’ and forget about it. Many have and except the idea of open borders as normal.

d.a.n., I think the majority have opted out of the idea that the bill will speed recovery. More are saying it’s ‘generational theft’. BUT, be sure that it goes FAR in further breaking the back of the middle class. Propping up corrupt and too big to fail corp’s and automakers with no chance of producing cars is just pissing money away, which is the intent of this intellectually dishonest gov with their ‘financial engineering’ that packaged up junk mortgages as AAA rated - - - generational theft no less. Klepto-Plutocracy 863, taxpayer 0.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 16, 2009 1:01 PM
Comment #275606
dbs wrote: after all thats what illegal aliens do, and every time someone suggests that we start enforcing the laws they’re labeled as a racist.
True.

That is just one of the lame tactics used to distract from their lack of substantive arguments.

However, the real villains are the incumbent politicians in Congress and their greedy puppeteers (illegal employers); not the illegal aliens merely looking for work.
It is the incumbent politicians in Congress who despicably pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits from cheap labor, disguised as compassion for the illegal aliens.

Neither party have seriously addressed illegal immigration, and the $70-to-$327 Billion in annual net losses to U.S. citizens.

In Dallas, Tx, at Parkland Memorial Hospital (www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/parkland.asp), 70% of the women giving birth are illegal aliens.

Greed runs all through it.

However, most voters (of the 50%-to-60% that even bother to vote) don’t seem too concerned about any of that, or a myriad of deteriorating economic conditions largely resulting from rampant greed and corruption.

Perhaps when enough voters are bankrupt, jobless, homeless, and hungry, enough voters will finally question rewarding Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, and perhaps do what most unhappy voters did in year 1933 when they voted-out 206 (of 533) members of Congress. Of course, even in 1933, it was too late to avoid another decade of the Great Depression, but later is better than never.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2009 2:01 PM
Comment #275630

Why is Congress ignoring an obvious way to create jobs for the 11-to-25 Million unemployed Americans, and continuing to import 1.5 Million foreign workers per year (not counting the tens of millions here illegally already and the millions of new illegal aliens arriving each year)?

Why do most Americans not only tolerate it, but repeatedly reward THEIR politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates?

Whinin’ and complainin’ about it ain’t gonna change anything. Voters need to start questioning their voting habits and repeatedly rewarding THEIR politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2009 9:30 PM
Comment #275635

Agree d.a.n You would think people would be in the streets, as they are in many cities around the world lately, over the egregious acts carried out in the name of government. Just like Obama will own the legacy of this recession when he signs the stimulus package, Americans have to feel this government is their legacy that will be passed to future generations. I think many, many people are actually afraid to discuss politics in the workplace, with their friends and in social circles. People have been made to feel it is ‘politically incorrect’ to ‘be against’ the duopoly. Other’s are just plain busy and don’t or won’t take the time to get involved. Every time I had a chance to visit Hyde Park in London I’d look around for a ‘citizen politician’ standing in the park ranting against the system. Maybe 2 or 3 three such goings on with 3 to 20 people listening in. I think many believe the political machinery is to big and essentially untouchable by the one man one vote concept. Many still believe that by ping ponging between the two parties the system will be self correcting and not to worry. I can see where one would find political action a daunting task when you are up against the lobbyist empire. I recently posted that between 98 and 04 foreign lobbyist contributed about $568M and US lobbyist contributed about $11B. Just shows to go that our government is nothing more than a subsidiary of big business.
It’s clear the recession will get much worse before recovery comes around. Perhaps people will be more willing get involved in the next election cycle and vote some of the klepto-plutocracy from office. I’m hopeful our new 3rd Party can get registered in a few states and make a showing in the next election. Kinda hung up on a proper name. At the moment ‘Populist Centrist’ and ‘Republic Sentry’ are being weighed. Suggestions solicited.
Fer shure, I’d rather be blogging about possible solutions to our problems than beating up on the system. But, as my buddy Ted Poe likes to say, ‘that’s just the way it is.’

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 16, 2009 11:21 PM
Comment #275662
Roy Ellis wrote: Agree d.a.n You would think people would be in the streets, as they are in many cities around the world lately, over the egregious acts carried out in the name of government.
Yes Roy. You would think more people would be upset.

Perhaps there will be eventually, when enough of the voters are bankrupt, jobless, homeless, and hungry?
It’s hard to say.
It’s amazing how many voters continue to reward Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, despite the voters’ dismally low 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress.
There was a day when Americans wouldn’t have tolerated such an oppressive and abusive governnment.
Not today.
The electorate is so docile today, that it allows these list of abuses to grow, while the federal government also continues to grow to nightmare proportions.
It is more and more appearing that we will have to wait until enough Americans really are bankrupt, jobless, homeless, and hungry.

When enough voters understand that the economy can’t turn on a dime, and the past several decades of fiscal and moral bankruptcy will have painful consequences for many years to follow, then perhaps they will do what most unhappy voters did in year 1933.

However, the sooner enough voters start doing their part too, the better (i.e. better late than never), because repeatedly rewarding an irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates ain’t gonna CHANGE anything for the better. Unfortunately, today, too many voters love THEIR party more than their country, as evidenced by 85%-to-90% re-election rates for Congress, despite the voters’ dismally low 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress.

When enough voters understand that they mostly only have themselves to thank for these numerous deteriorating economic conditions, then perhaps they will finally question their voting bad habits. Perhaps when enough voters are feeling enough pain and misery, enough voters will stop blindly pulling the party lever, and wallowing in the petty, cicular, partisan-warfare.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 17, 2009 11:24 AM
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