Newscast from Alaska on Troopergate

September 17, 2008

Troopergate was occupying the media before Palin’s candidacy down here.  Here is a copy of a newscast which discusses inconsistent statements by her and mentions her intention to cooperate.  She has since declared whe will not cooperate and has done everything imaginable to obstruct the investigation.

Newsweek: Palin Least Popular of the 4 Candidates

September 17, 2008

All the negative publicity is beginning to take a toll as Palin slides in the polls.  Newsweek says the events of last weekend precipitated a dramatic decline.

This sinking feeling must be felt by Republican strategists as they have induced CNN to report that socialite Lady Lynn Forrester de Rothschild, among the world’s extremely rich, is going to vote for McCain.  She did back Hillary but in a series of published interviews was unable to articulate a reason for this other than Republicans have a bad track record with the economy.  The Democratic Party, weighing money against principle, put her on its platform committee, a platform from which she will stump for McCain.  No sympathy for the Democrats.  Recent events must have somehow disabused her of her distrust of Republican with the economy.  She said that she could not support Obama because he was an “elitist.”  Read her interviews and see how sincere you think that assessment is.

This is what  the “stampede of women” to McCain has come to.   Palin’s slide apparently accounts for Obama retaking the lead in the current Reuter’s poll.

The Republican Party has adopted its standard procedure in this familiar situation.  It is the same procedure pursued Bush: highly regulated media access, and opaque to entirely obscured “disclosure.”  First, they are trying to block efforts in Alaska to resolve the ethics investigation.  The party against lawyers and courts is once again making liberal use of them. Second they are not permitting her to speak freely.  She is required to read script or be quiet.

This may avert a disastrous episode but is will also deter the groundswell of support for her.  How quickly things turn around

Republican Assurances About the Economy

September 17, 2008

As I discussed earlier the administration went to great pains to assure everyone that the Bear Sternes collapse was the last manifestation of the our financial problems, we had hit bottom.  The problem was solved and we were in economic recovery, mission accomplished.  This theme was picked up by McCain who repeated at least weekly that the crisis was over and the economy was basically solid.  We hear references to whining about the economy from  McCain’s camp.

Apparently American financiers inexcusably believed the assurances of these people who are ideologically committed to making them.   One report: “The whole thing is a mess,” said Kelli Hill, Portfolio Manager at Ashfield Capital Partners. “When Bear Stearns collapsed, everyone thought that was the capitulation, but it wasn’t. It’s ongoing.”

The easy assurances we have been getting since spring were utterly false and certainly this had to be known at the time, as a collapse of this magnitude does not happen overnight.  This is strategy of trying to achieve immediate public relations success has contributed to the depth of the problem by seriously eroding confidence in our financial system.

I can understand McCain’s short term interest in doing this: he wants to get elected.  As we have had to ask about Bush, we must ask ourselves about McCane whether he consciously sacrificed long terms goals for the short term interest in getting elected, or whether he was just ignorant of things.

BIAW: the Voice of Deregulation and the Housing Industry

September 17, 2008

It was reported that nationally new home starts in August were at a 17 1/2 year low. The housing industry sector of the economy is in its worst slump since the Great Depression. By absolutely every credible account this is due to a failure of regulation in the financial industry, the same cause as the Great Depression.

Just as the new breed of Republicans wants to roll back the social safety nets of the New Deal, they also want to unfetter all of industry from regulation. This is why Bush appointed deregulation champions and incompetents to head federal agencies. Having failed to learn from the past we were doomed to repeat it. Once again the failure of regulation has led to economic crisis.

The loudest and most ardent — if not the rational — voice for deregulation in Washington is the Republican attack dog BIAW, which constantly shrieks about getting the government off its back. The BIAW complains bitterly about environmentalists who are likened to Nazis. Officials of local governments, who enforce building codes fare no better in their eyes. Evidence of the benefits to society from growth planning, safety standards and environmental regulation are dismissed as the toxic propaganda of evil doers.

The strength of this ideological fervor is such that it overrides even concern for the interests of the BIAW’s constituency, the building industry in Washington. It is the absence of meaningful regulation — a condition insisted upon by the BIAW and the Republican Party — that created the disastrous economic conditions that are ruining so many construction-related businesses in Washington.

Time and again we learn that unchecked greed is not a functional foundation for an enduring society. Certainly there can be over-regulation but that is not a justification for the utter abandonment of regulatory constraints on society-threatening institutional avarice.

Our society in its blind fervor to reduce government to a military subsidization function, has failed over the last several years in two respects relevant to this topic: First, our tax money, instead of being used for generally recognized governmental purposes is being used to subsidize huge corporations, the profit going to investors and executives, and losses to the government; Second, under slogans promoting self reliance we have repeatedly in the last several years spectacularly depleted retirement funds and the savings of individuals, undermining the end sought to be achieved.

Illegal Money for Republicans in Washington

September 17, 2008

Dino Rossi’s (the Washington Republican candidate for governor)  attack dog the B.I.A.W. suffered a setback at the hands of the Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission. According to reports B.I.A.W.’s cash machine, BIAW Member Services, illegally funneled $500,000 into attacks on Gregoire.

The P.I.’s report has the growling, barking, sputtering, red-faced, dissembling response of the BIAW spokesman. Read the response carefully. There is absolutely no intelligible explanation for the event in question, just knee jerk conspiracy rantings and ravings. These guys are dangerous in that rationality is just not in their frame of reference.

The most interesting step comes next: the matter is referred to Rob McKenna, the Attorney General, and beneficiary of this groups slobbering assaults on decency. Mr. McKenna is to decide whether the State will proceed against the BIAW subsidiary. Talk about being asked to bite the paw that feeds you.

MCCain Invented BlackBerry

September 17, 2008

McCain’s invention of BlackBerry explains a lot of things.  First, we must appreciate the amount of time it must have taken our man to accomplish this task.  This miracle must have been accomplished with greatest tenacity and perseverance, as he modestly disclaims even the meagerest technical capacity.   He is however required to ask others to do email for him.

The time displaced by indulging his inventive genius explains why as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee he was unable to forestall the financial crisis that has beset us.  Obviously his “miracle” was too occupying in its invention to enable him to muster the vaguest awareness of any sort of problem on the horizon or even in front of his face in that critical sector of the economy.

He at least deserves rasberries from us.

Whining About Sexism

September 17, 2008

Saturday Night Live satirized Palin’s lack of knowledge about national politics when compared to the sophistication of Hillary Clinton. McCain’s campaign, according to Joe Klein of Time Magazine, has launched the sleaziest campaign in memory with its attack ads against Obama.

McCain who laughed out loud when Clinton was called a “b__,” feels that it is contemptible sexism to compare Palin to Clinton and satirize Palin’s lack of knowledge. (What, women should only be compared to men?) This of course is the same “sexism card” that Palin said made Clinton look weak when Clinton objected to her treatment.

So according to Palin this strange charge of sexism makes her look weak. But I don’t think Palin went far enough. It makes McCain look like a hypocrit and it makes them both look like shameless whiners.