Thursday, October 30, 2008

With Apologies to Willie Nelson

I heard that Joe the Plumber might need some good lyrics and material sometime soon, so I came up with this little ditty by the great one. If Joe can get permission to perform this one, it could be a country music chart-topper.

Mama don't let your babies grow up to be lib’ruls
Don't let 'em vote commie and drive ‘lectric cars
Make 'em cut taxes for plumbers and such;
Mama don't let your babies grow up to be lib’ruls
They'll never cut taxes, no matter the facts is
Even when times are tough.

Lib’ruls ain't easy to love and they're hard to understand
And they're always talkin’ ‘bout givin’ poor folks a hand;
Greenpeace bumper stickers and “Save the Whales” T-shirts
Each day they fight for the cause;
And if you can’t rig the Diebolds and close the polls early
They’ll probably let black people vote.

Mama don't let your babies grow up to be lib’ruls
Don't let 'em tax windfall profits for oil
Alternative energy totally sucks;
Mama don't let your babies grow up to be lib’ruls
They'll never drill offshore and dig up the ANWR
Even for the oil we love.

Lib’ruls like socialized medicine and clean air and water
Health care for seniors and children and illegal aliens;
And we that know better fight funding for college
The free market always works best!
They ain't just wrong, they's different from decent Murkins like us.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Deregulation: A Primer

This thesis was originally intended to instruct a child when the honorable senator, John McCain decided to suspend his presidential campaign to save the economy. It is here presented in its original outline.

Let us examine together the great financial crisis which so suddenly thrust itself upon an unwitting public last week.

1. I guess it's not a crisis until the banks themselves are forced to show their books. Never mind the American people facing foreclosure, these loans aren't worth what they should be to trade on the open market. The truth is that nobody who was holding a traditional mortgage would really be out very much money on a defaulted property, even if it had lost 20% of its value. On a typically amortized loan, the lion's share of the interest is paid upfront. Even if a loan goes into default, after two to five years of payments, no lender is going to come out upside-down. That's just what they want you to think. The loan is sold as an investment. The interest that has already been paid has already been pocketed.

2. The only historical precedent we have to this scandal unless somebody in the Hoover administration is willing to come forward is the savings and loan scandal of the late 1980's. See the "Keating Five" via Wikipedia Deregulation allowed fund managers for savings and loans companies to invest in extremely risky junk bonds. When the losses came flooding, the government made savings accounts whole through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. At least that was a fairly straightforward scam, using existing laws in conjunction with deregulation.

3. As you can imagine, much like pool safety rules and regulations, regulation of industry is supposed to guard and protect the consumer against fraud, abuse and certain eventualities or outcomes that can prove very negative to the consumer. They are usually written by the good guys. They are not needless Lilliputian constraints place upon business as conservatives would have you believe. These are the laws that protect you and me from harm.

4. Deregulation is popular with conservatives, because it usually means businesses can get away with murder. Witness the deregulation of electricity in California. Good regulation could have easily prevented this crisis.

5. All of a sudden Dick and George thought up this bailout plan as the magic bullet as soon as they got the news? I don't think so. It's all part of a plan. They thought it up a long time ago. There's a reason it doesn't include helping out American families with ARM's. They want to give the money to their buddies on Wall Street. Bush resisted calls to limit the salaries, bonuses and golden parachutes of executives of these very companies that are supposed to be bailed out. That's just the way they do business.

6. I know, you're thinking. Money doesn't just disappear. What happened to all the money that was lost in this debacle? Who got to strain it through their baileen before it disappeared? Near as I can tell, they really don't know who exactly will benefit when these scams go down. I guess as long as it's a businessman and the consumer takes the fall, then it's allright. It must have been pretty chaotic this time around, but they know who will make up the difference. That's right. You and me, the American taxpayer.

7. McCain doesn't know what, if anything, that can be done. And indeed, has a track record of going along with this kind of stuff.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Why I am not on board with Obama and the greatest thing to happen in politics today

I am like many people, one who very quickly fell in love with Obama. I saw him give the keynote address at the 2004 convention. By the time I saw Obama girl, it should have been all over. Obama is an exciting, principled and powerful force. His ideas about restoring foreign policy and alliances soothed my ailing soul. But it didn't take me long to fall for Hillary in much the same way. The more that I actually heard her speak and debate, the more I liked her. Of course, we must put aside the differences of this campaign and unite as democrats behind Barack. Unfortunately, that may not be so easy. There is blatant hostility from both the HRC and BHO camps which is unprecedented in the history of our party. I have had to stand idly by while my party was criticized ruthlessly. I could say nothing because every accusation was true. The past several years, seen by most intelligent Americans as a damning record of the many sins of George W. Bush, are really a greater indictment of the collapse of the party that has consistently held dear the dreams of the rank and file American. In my opinion, Obama rises above this system-wide failure. But how do I know? It seems that the donkey has learned from the pig to trust in the joys of the feeding trough above all else. The failure of the 2002 congress to stand up to Bush' threat of war. The no less heinous failure of the democratically controlled congress to oppose any and all subsequent war funding measures. The insider control exhibited by the party elite which stood idly by or else pushed an Obama victory. These are not the earmarks of the party I understood to represent my best hopes. I have many times defended Obama against charges of under-handed attacks levelled at Hillary throughout this campaign. I didn't believe that he condoned or controlled the behavior of those campaigning on his behalf. But once that behavior has been examined publicly many times and yet continues, Obama does not get a pass. I can't ignore the outcry that he has caused in the feminist community. If he can't manage his own campaign, he will have difficulty with a conservative pentagon and CIA. I think he is naive and will get trounced if and when he gets to the White House, just like Jimmy Carter did. Little things count too. His cordiality seems to have a cynical air that he can't turn off. His apologies sound like he is apologizing for anyone simple enough to not understand that his statements were justified. I just don't like him that much anymore. Still I'm hoping against hope that he truly can unite our party and lead us to victory. What choice do I have? I haven't lost sight of what truly is at stake as have many of my friends. But he has wittingly or unwittingly alienated many in his own party.