Monthly Archives: September 2008

The United States of Corruption

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John McCain declared yesterday that both Washington and Wall Street were corrupt. By Washington, I can only assume that he means the U.S. government comprised of both the Congress for which he has been a member for more than 20 years and the Bush administration. By Wall Street, I assume that he means the back bone of our financial system and the international emblem and symbol of America’s economy.

I am not saying that this statement isn’t true. It may very well be. But it seems kind of strange coming from the mouth of the country’s greatest patriot and hero. First, I can’t recall a U.S. presidential candidate or statesmen ever so boldly criticizing his country. In the U.S., we call Venezuela corrupt and we call Nigeria corrupt, but we would never look in the mirror and bravely accuse Amurika (as McCain pronounces it) as being equally rotten. If John McCain really believes what he said, then kudos to him for finally speaking out.

And that’s precisely my next point, finally! McCain has been in Washington for how long? Is he one of the Washington corrupt? If not, who is corrupt in Washington? The Bush Administration for the past eight years? The Republican Congress for six of the last eight years? Or did this corruption just start in the past two years? Maybe they are all corrupt, each and every one of them except for John McCain. He has spoken out against pork and earmarks, but surely those are more wasteful than corrupting. Surely, pork and earmarks did not lead to today’s financial crisis. How has McCain’s 90% pro-Bush voting record or insistence on deregulation of the financial markets thwarted corruption? If McCain hasn’t been able to put a dent in corruption between 1982 and 2008 in Washington, how is he going to change things now?

From a purely pragmatic standpoint, how responsible is it to call the U.S. government and banking and financial systems corrupt? What effect does it have on the market, on value of the dollar and U.S. debt, and on global confidence in the American economy and businesses? Or the future of Wall Street (and the U.S. for that matter) as the financial center of the world? If you thought factory jobs were heading south, wait until there is white collar flight to less risky markets like London.

One last question: were John McCain president of a foreign nation, would he negotiate with the corrupt United States without conditions?

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Campaign Media Analysis

From a recent installment of the Bill Moyers Journal, we finally get some serious questions into why there are no serious questions about our candidates. Here’s Bill Moyers’ intro to “Campaign Media Analysis: Brooke Gladstone and Les Payne“: Continue reading

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Admiral Wasilla Hussein

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What do McCain, Palin, and Obama have in common? They are all linked through the Arab language. Barack Hussein Obama isn’t the only one with an affinity for Arabic. Both McCain’s father and grandfather were Navy Admirals, and as we all know, the word “admiral” in English is derived from the Arabic “Amir al bahar” meaning “the prince of the sea”.

And guess what small town U-S-A town means “affinity” in Arabic? You got it, Wasilla. I wonder if Fox News will now start referring to Palin’s tiny mayoral caliphate as having an affinity with the Arab world each and every time they allude to her extensive down-home qualifications and values, just as they do with Barack Hussein.

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The Craziness

Is it all so absurd that we need Matt Damon to say the obvious? Why have we come to this?

Two of the most prestigious firms on Wall Street have just taken fatal beatings — much of this with the help of Senator Phil Gramm’s deregulation of the banking industry, with John McCain’s full support. Yet, no one is paying attention to the obvious. Yes, you can read what the Washington Post or the New York Times says about it, but serious journalism is now considered somehow untrustworthy.

Thanks to my friend, Nadia, for sending me the video.

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A Republican’s Wedding Night

Is there any precedent out there, other than a Republican’s wedding night (Bristol not included) where a total lack of relevant experience is celebrated as a virtue? Why is this election turning into a made-for-TV movie? What is so wrong with this picture? Shouldn’t we all be disturbed?

Today, the New York Times wrote an editorial, “Gov. Palin’s Worldview” that very nicely echos what I have saying all along, including my specific concerns after Palin’s interview with NBC News. I think my friend, Jens, was right when he said that her interview skills wouldn’t last her three minutes in the Donald’s board room. In any event, I definitely recommend that you check out the Times editorial (which I am posting below). Remember that the New York Times endorsed both Hillary Clinton and John McCain in the primaries, in part on the grounds of experience.

If you happen to disagree with the editorial, I’d love to hear why. And don’t tell me that the press is elitist or that Obama is inexperienced. Both of those may be true, but neither make Palin remotely qualified.

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Palin Disses McCain?

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Finally, we get to hear Governor Palin in an interview — even though that interview is being released in bits and pieces over the next few days. Palin showed a degree of confidence and almost a lack of humility in her ability to step in as president. She also reminded me of a person trying to use vocabulary above their ability and ends up sounding simply and silly — like a guy at the gym trying to impress the girls by lifting weights that are too heavy for him. Nevertheless, I will give her credit for trying and for a rookie effort. But, I still believe that it is a very, very sad day in America when a potential acting president must be trained, like an actor learning her lines, on the eve of elections (remind anyone of Bush?).

In any event, one of my favorite answers that Sarah Palin gave — after she explained her extensive pre-2006 international travels (before she had a passport) to Mexico and Canada, was her view on why her lack of exposure to foreign experience somehow qualified her above others:

. . . Charlie, again, we’ve got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody’s big, fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state … these last couple of weeks … it has been overwhelming to me that confirmation of the message that Americans are getting sick and tired of that self-dealing and kind of that closed door, good old boy network that has been the Washington elite.

Did she just diss John McCain with his decades in the Washington establishment and meetings with heads of states? Does she mean that the country is sick and tired of dealing with politicians like John McCain? Is she more qualified than John McCain?

When asked, “What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?” she gave a very literal answer, “They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.” Yes, very true. But I don’t think that Gibson meant “sight” — as in “what can you see” — by “insight”. So yes, she can see Russia from an island in Alaska, but I wonder if she knows that Moscow is roughly the same distance from Anchorage that it is from Washington, DC (give or take a few hundred miles).

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I Have a Problem

Drinker Cezanne

The first step in overcoming a problem is admitting to having it. Yes, I have a problem — and this time it is not Sarah Palin. Continue reading

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Lipsticks and Pigs

The outrage, John? You gotta be kidding me. Another sad day in America.

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The Lipstick

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What’s the difference between Sarah Palin and George W. Bush?

The lipstick. Continue reading

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The Dream Ticket and Hindsight 20/20

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A few nights ago, I dreamt that I was trying to convince Obama that he had made the right decision in not picking Hillary Clinton as his running mate. I know that sounds weird, but my whole life I have had these dreams where I argue policy with various different politicians including Bush 41, Bill Clinton, Zapatero and others. Continue reading

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