Posts Tagged Politics

Weekly Tags and some ideas, too

Some ideas:

How can we finance our schools?  Today, in California, up and down the state, school districts are voicing a similar plea.  Can you donate $400 to our school for each of your student bodies?  Apparently, this is the agreed upon amount no matter where the school is located and even though there is a demonstable difference in the salary scales from district to district across the state.  Now some school critics, especially those opposed to teacher tenure laws, will see this as an opportunity to finally get rid of the chaff.  But teacher layoffs will be based on seniority not ability so that hope is just wishful thinking.  Some critics who say the time of public education for all has seen its day will say, finally, close the damn schools and lets figure out a new and more complete way to go about educating ourselves.  Still, the question won’t go away even though the presidential debates will avoid addressing it.  How can we finance our schools?

Real Estate seminars the do’s and the don’ts – Take my advice and leave your credit cards and check books home.  Sit up front so you can really look in the speaker’s face and hear the questions from the crowd.  Make sure you ask about what you don’t understand.  Beware the one on one meetings at the back of the room.  That’s where the sales staff lies.

 Weekly Tags:


  • I had just completed this post and then turned to my email box where I came across this post from JD at Get Rich Slowly.  I couldn’t help but note that he is doing here what is really a good habit for all bloggers who care about their audience to do.  That is, reviewing a subject he has already addressed.  And yes, I always try to post first before doing anything else on the computer.


  • At Jon Taplin’s blog (see blogroll link) last week we were discussing Obama and his level of cool in the face of the spurious questions on Tuesday’s debate.  As I have said before, and probably will again, surfing the net by tracking a commenter can take you to some very useful and I think amazing places.  This is one.   


  • Finally, this connect which I got from my alternet email but was originally posted on the Huffington Post is just downright hilarious and demonstrates again why a sense of the humorous is one of the best ways to get you to think.



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Some say yea, some say nay,

We have reached one of those defining moments.  Questions abound as to what is the solution to take to deal with the credit crisis.  On the one hand, the government in power apparently believes in the approach of patching the tire.  Soon or later they guess we will get to a gas station and we can buy a new one and then continue on our trip to the free market future.  Meanwhile, they want to throw in some new rules for the drivers, read lenders here, and the passengers, read you and I and all the rest of the taxpayers here.

The government not in power, has some suggestions too.  If you are going to patch anything, they say, it ought to be the consuming, bankrupt home owning, middle class wage earning, and health care without ordinary person.

Then there are the people not in power, bloggers just like you or I, who have some ideas too.  Hellasious at Sudden Debt says don’t fix anything while Jon Taplin at taplinsblog say we need to address the budget with a view towards a new Federalism.

Where we will be tomorrow no one really knows.  Really.  But I am open to suggestions if you care to make them.

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$30 Billion and counting . . .

No one can forgive the past. As Obama might say, we just don’t have enough time to keep on repeating it. I don’t think Obama is perfect, and I certainly dislike it when I hear the waffle in any of the candidates that makes it seem like they are trying to think of the most politically acceptable response. I don’t like answers that use the other candidates for context.But that ain’t what I want to discuss. I had to leave during my earlier post just as I was getting to something I actually think is a realistic way to actually “stimulate” this economy. It sort of goes with what Jon at jontaplins blog was saying about Uncle Sucker and what Obama was sayingin yesterday’s interview. about the CEOs and their big dollar parachutes.

I think it would be much more stimulating to this economy if the bail out money went directly to the real people who are in trouble.$30,000,000,000.00 is a lot of money.How many people’s mortgages could that pay off? I say the hell with the lenders who should have known better, they are after all in the business of lending and borrowing money. Give the money to the borrower. Let him or her or them payoff/pay-down the mortgage. This would be a bottom up stimulus instead of the same old “trickle down” shit. This whole bailout thing smacks of a bait and switch, a shell game, a long con that benefits the rich and keeps the poor paying off the tax bill once again.

I am sick of it. I am definitely sick of a President who thinks it is alright to do things like this without asking for my vote on the matter. I am sick of the lack of transparency in government and business, it is the major cause of our paranoia and our fearfulness.

So I will vote for Obama for no other reason than that I believe that he will continue to be transparent in his answers and with his plans, and that will be the welcome change this country needs.

I will vote for Obama because of the three that are left he seems the most likely to create programs that will do something like what I outlined above and because he acts like someone who isn’t afraid to try and do things differently.

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Three Trillion is a very popular number

these days.  Some folks say that it means $138 a month for every American citizen for the rest of their life just to pay off the interest.

Other folks predict it’s the eventual cost of the war in Iraq.

But  Charles R. Morris author of the Trillion Dollar Meltdown predicts it is the amount of the “avalanche of asset write-downs that will rattle on through much of 2008” and includes discounting everything but the kitchen sink for many more than the next several quarters.

Here is a crude gauge of the credit bubble.  Not long ago, the sum of all financial assets — stocks, bonds, loans, mortgages, and the like, which are claims on real things — were about equal to global GDP. Now they are approaching four times global GDP.  Financial derivatives, a form of claim upon finacial assets, now have notional values of more than ten times global GDP.

Over the last several days the Fed has decided to pump more than 400 billion dollars into the bank and credit industry in a not so transparent attempt to stave off the inevitable.

Welcome the world of taxation without representation folks.  In truth, if we are to continue in a free market economy then the issue of transparency in our economic infrastructures may become the hottest issue of this coming election.

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More thoughts . . . On Beauty

Yesterday I posted this question “Does government have the responsibilty to even the odds or should it rely on the free market to resolve the dilemma?” while discussing the outcome of Zadie Smith’s On Beauty.  Then yesterday afternoon while at the laundry I picked up a copy of one of our city’s street newspapers called San Diego City Beat.  One of my favorite columnists is writer Edwin Decker who writes the column Sordid Tales.  His subject this week, The Difference Between Right and Privilege

As you might know, I am a firm believer in the serendipitous.  So when I saw the sub-title, a quote from Hillary Clinton that said, “I believe universal healthcare is a right, not a privilege.”  I knew I was onto something. 

The notion that we have a right to health-care ignores two univeral truths of the human condition – we all must fend for ourselves and nobody owes anybody a damn thing.   Edwin Decker

When Decker’s, and I must admit my, idea is put into the context of Smith’s story then it is clear that the problem of government, any government is how to balance the scales without taking away the freedom to choose.  To much control and it becomes Smotherhood.  Not enough regulation and we get the sub-prime lending mess.  Right now as the Presidential debates and primaries run their course, one of the major issues that we as voters have to decide is which candidate and which party can walk the line.  NAFTA will be re-visited if the Democrats win.  It won’t if the Republicans do. 

As Edwin points out in his article, “The point is that there are no true rights or privileges, just an interminable debate raging every day among millions of people . . .” and “when you boil it down, you realize that what people are really saying is, ‘I have rights, you have privileges.’ ”

Is it true?  It seems to me that there is another way to see this.  A right is something I have.  A privilege is something I get.  And in a free society everyone should have the opportunity to exercise the difference.


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What do I think the war in Iraq is really about?

It’s about:    Old men letting boys and girls do the fighting while America is on its way to the mall.  Control of the oil that powers our days and lights our nights, that fuels our consumerism past satiety.  Proving once again that our way is the best way if “they” would just see the truth in our words not our behavior. 

It’s about:  The oligarchy putting more money in its pocket.  The munitions makers continuing their relentless march to making the world need more and more weapons.  Fear in the populace that doesn’t want its  life “style” disturbed by something unless its shown on TV.  The need in our President to one up his Dad, to outdo his bro, and to out smart his friend, Bin Laden.  The use of fear as a political bludgeon to control the voter, to manipulate the outcome, and to keep the Repugnants and Democants in perpetual power.

 It’s about:  The real inequity that the government of Iraq, under Hussein, visited on its people.  The wonderful belief that a democratic government is a fair and balanced entity.   The powerful belief in the saving grace of Christianity.  The real doubt that people felt when confronted with the reality of the Twin Towers. 

It’s about:  The denial that all of us seemed to be gripped by.  The willingness to blame someone else for our problems.  The selfishness that keeps us consuming while a large portion of humanity goes hungry.

And it’s about this election and what our choice for President will say about our future.

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Fascinating stuff . . .

One has to wonder about the way this world works when best selling books are designed not to educate and elucidate but to provide more fodder for the continuing battle between the liberals and the conservatives.  Why do we buy into this crap?  I only ask because I came across this quote from an interview with Jonah Goldberg the author of a new book entitled Liberal Fascism which ought to please TRM over at D=S no end.

SCARBOROUGH: But you’re not suggesting in this book, though, that you can draw a line from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton or Mussolini to Barack Obama, are you?

GOLDBERG: Well, I’m saying you can draw a line, but it’s not a straight one. It goes all sorts of different places. I’m not saying that today’s liberalism is the son of Nazism or the son of Italian fascism. I’m saying it’s sort of like the great-grandniece once removed.


GOLDBERG: They have some common DNA, some common themes, some family resemblances that come up.But we also have them in the Republican Party today. I think compassionate conservatism is essentially a right-wing progressivism, and it’s very scary which way that can go.

BRZEZINSKI: Oh my gosh.

Luckily, the only media that seem willing to take him seriously are those on the conservative side.  Gosh, I wonder why?

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