Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy New Year

I know I've been taking on an increasing negative tone, and to those of you reading, I'm sorry. I've had a REALLY shitty year. My business has tanked, thanks to the economy's "downturn." Money has been scarce and it's only getting worse. Every deal that's come across my desk has completely died. Even the ones that are supposedly working are in a sort of moratorium right now.

Here's hoping to a better, clearer year.

Shana Tovah to all,

Am Kshe Oref
(And yes, I REALLY do need a neck rub!)

"We're There" Logic

Well, the House defeated the bailout bill today:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives on Monday rejected by a vote of 228-205 a Wall Street bailout bill that would have authorized the Treasury Department to spend up to $700 billion to purchase broken mortgage-backed bonds from banks with the goal of jump-starting stalled capital markets.

Defeated by skeptics from both parties who questioned the need for it and whether it would work, the bailout plan was proposed by the Bush administration on September 20. Congress modified it in just days amid warnings from the White House that urgent action was needed to prevent economic disaster.
As I've stated before, I'm against the bailout. Yes, I know it will wreak economic havoc, especially for the rich and, quite frankly, for poor li'l ol' me as well. My business has taken a complete dump because of the DEPRESSION in which we are now firmly ensconced. And the market crashing also screws my father-in-law's investments, thereby screwing my father-in-law.

So, WHY am I against it? Because reaching this stage should NEVER HAVE HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE. Rampant Republican "profit now, don't worry about later" deregulation has caused this problem. Frankly, as a friend of mine at the Federal Reserve Bank told me, this $700 BILLION bailout would have only been an expensive Band-Aid on a festering wound. In a couple of years, we'd have been in the same situation.

But Republican logic states, as it did with the war in Iraq, "Yes, it was a mistake, but now that we're there, we have to deal with it, and if it costs that much more, so be it." This is wrong-headed logic because, once again, THIS SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE. Now it's time for Wall Street to deal with its own greedy fuck-ups.

Well, we're there now and we're there in the war. But "We're There" isn't any more of an excuse than a person running a stop sign, getting caught, and telling the cop he "didn't know you had to come to a complete stop." Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Neither is pretending ignorance of what absolutely HAD to happen when Congress allowed such rampant deregulation, and neither is claiming "Bush lied to us." Everyone was so gung-ho for the Iraq war that no one bothered to check deeper and find out Bush was LYING to Congress and the public.

But in the present situation, the excuse is even less useful. It's less useful (useless as it already is) because we have historical precedent! How can you ignore that?

Well, you can ignore that because greed blinds all. And now greed has pushed us over a cliff to descend into a VERY deep canyon of a very bad depression.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Great Schlep!

Here's a great introduction (viewer discretion advised):

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Now join the Great Schlep on Facebook and convince your relatives!!! :)

Stupid Seasonal Charedi-ism of the Week

Eating Pas Yisrael during Aseres Yemei Teshuva (the ten Days of Repentance beginning with Rosh Hashana and ending with Yom Kippur).

I know the Shulchan Aruch says it, and it's STILL dumb. As mentioned in this article, the reasons are just ridiculous:

The Shulchan Aruch(O.C. 603:1) rules, however, that during aseres yemei teshuvah everyone should be careful to eat only pas Yisrael. There are several reasons,- all inter-related - for this halachah: 
a) so that we conduct ourselves with an extra measure of purity during these Days of Awe; 
b) to serve as a reminder of the unique status of these days; 
c) to beseech Hashem not to judge us stringently, just as we have adopted a practice which is not strictly required of us.
So, what's the problem? It's akin to a guy going to his priest for confession, being told to say ten Hail Marys, or some such, and he is absolved. Then, the guy feels free to go do the same thing again (especially if it's something minor, like having sex). "Oh, Lord, PLEASE don't judge me too harshly! After all, look! I'm ONLY eating Pas Yisrael during these ten days!! See what a Tzaddik I am? (Oh, and never mind that I'm going to go back to eating Pas Palter on Motzei Yom Kippur...)" It belittles Judaism and halacha. If a person is going to eat ONLY PY, he should do so ALL YEAR 'ROUND, NOT JUST DURING THESE TEN DAYS.

The same stupid reasons apply to the chumra of eating/drinking ONLY Chalav Yisrael during this period as well.

And again, it's idiotic and wrong.

The Bush Doctrine - NOT About Politics (At Least in Times Square...)

Another shining Tina Fey moment!

Hattip: Life in Israel

Debate Note

I know I'm biased, but debate #1 goes to Obama. McCain was full of bluster (as well as other things), COMPLETELY misrepresented Obama's position, continually called him naive DESPITE Obama's very deep understanding of EVERY issue presented during the debate, and, worst of all, McCain NEVER ONCE ACKNOWLEDGED Obama and NEVER ONCE spoke DIRECTLY to Obama. He showed Obama ABSOLUTELY NO respect, while Obama DID directly address McCain SEVERAL TIMES during the debate.

So, along with losing his honor in Vietnam, McCain also lost his manners.

BUT, it IS the Republican way: NEVER acknowledge the existence of your opponent. It makes him less human, and therefore easier to degrade.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pre-Shabbos Laugh!

And it's not even political!!! :-)

Hospital Tells Grandfather, 71, He's Pregnant

PORTLAND, Ore. - A patient treated for agonizing abdominal pain received this surprising news in the hospital's paperwork: "Based on your visit today, we know you are pregnant." Surprising indeed for 71-year-old John Grady Pippen. (Blogger's note: Yes. He's male.)

The staff at Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach gave the retired mechanic and logger the ridiculously happy news this month, along with some pain pills.

Hospital administrator William McMillan says an errant keystroke caused the hospital's computer to spit out the wrong discharge instructions for the grandfather.
'Nuff said!

Sometimes It's NOT SO Bizzaro!

My wife and I are currently watching the 1990s series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. An early episode dealt with killing off the buffalo, a herd animal that used to roam this country by the millions. This species was nearly killed off (thus also causing great hardship to the Native Americans and weakening them beyond belief).

It seems the only solution white folk know is killing off something that is perceived to be in their way, be it Native Americans, buffalo, and everything in between.

But imagine if the white man had sat and thought about this for a while. Imagine if, instead of great herds of cows, they domesticated great herds of buffalo! We'd all be so much healthier. Beef is fatty and causes high cholesterol, which leads to many other health issues. Buffalo, on the other hand, is EXTREMELY lean and VERY healthy. It also happens to taste GREAT, MUCH better than beef! Bison (another word for buffalo) was a major staple in the diet of the Native Americans. And they were a VERY healthy bunch. Instead, bison, especially KOSHER bison, is a VERY expensive luxury, not easily obtainable.

But, no. Once again, white man thought only of profit and gain, the easy way, the destructive way, the WHITE way.


Why I Quit Working at MBNA/Bank of America

My wife found this great article about shady business practices in the credit card industry, and specifically at MBNA/Bank of America. The part in the middle where the BofA spokesman says this took place many years ago before the BofA buyout of MBNA is a load of crap. Pure bullshit. Don't believe. I worked there. I KNOW this stuff happened AFTER the merger because we were instructed to practice these shady business dealings with customers. It's the MAIN reason I quit!

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two former employees of credit card issuer MBNA, now owned by Bank of America, said on Wednesday they were forced to use aggressive and deceptive practices with customers in order to boost revenues.

Cate Colombo, from Maine, said she signed up for a customer service job but was instead instructed to make insistent sales pitches aimed at getting MBNA customers deeper into debt.

"I was hired to sell money," she said on a conference call organized by Americans for Fairness in Lending, an advocacy group. "We had a goal of selling $25,000 an hour, $4 million per month. And I was one employee among hundreds, just at this one site."

To meet these goals, Colombo said she was told to turn every regular call from a customer into a sales call. She would do this by running the customer's name through the computer and finding out every possible line of credit they had ever obtained through MBNA.

She would then total the amount of credit outstanding and offer it to the customer as a blank check. MBNA was a bit lighter on disclosure details, such as telling customers that taking on more debt would reduce the borrower's credit score and thereby boost their outstanding interest rates.

"If we didn't attempt to max out, we were considered insubordinate," said Colombo.

In July, a U.S. House of Representatives committee passed legislation aimed at curbing credit card billing practices that surprise borrowers with unexpected interest rate increases.

It is unclear if credit card legislation will make it through Congress this year with the legislative session shortened by November elections.

Consumer indebtedness is a major problem in the United States, one that is becoming worse amid a financial crisis that threatens the economy with a recession. Americans had $969.9 million in outstanding credit card debt as of July, according to Federal Reserve data.

A spokeswoman for Bank of America said the bank does not seek to extend credit to customers who cannot pay.

"We don't comment on allegations of former employees, but I can tell you that the allegations cited do not reflect our practices," said Betty Riess, a spokesperson for Bank of America. "Bank of America has nothing to gain by extending credit to people who do not have the ability to pay us back."

"By the way, if you're talking about former MBNA employees, their employment would date back many years ago prior to the merger with Bank of America," Riess said.

Bank of America completed its purchase of MBNA in January 2006.

Colombo said in one instance she was disciplined for not being aggressive enough in "pushing product" to a 90-year-old man who could barely hear over the phone.

Jerry Young, another MBNA rep, said he was asked to intensely target customers in such a way as to leave them little choice but to stretch their finances, to the company's profit.

Travis Plunkett, legislative director for the Consumer Federation of America, said the behavior continues at Bank of America but current employees are too frightened to speak out on the record.

"We can assure you that these same practices are being done up to the present at Bank of America," said Plunkett.

Colombo said another tactic employed by MBNA was to hide the existence of the Soldiers and Sailors Act, which gives spouses of troops on active military duty the right to a lower interest rate.

"We were not allowed to offer that information to them," the former service representative said.

Witch Hunter

Not metaphorically, either. LITERALLY! What am I talking about? Sarah Palin's pastor, who went on ACTUAL witch hunts in Kenya. Witch hunts as in Salem. As in burning at the stake type of witch hunts. This is Sarah Palin's pastor.

I don't know about anyone else out there, but that sounds a whole lot worse the Jeremiah Wright to me!

The part about the witch hunter starts at time stamp 1:15.

Bob Schieffer on the Daily Show: McCain's Blunder - "Suspending the Campaign"

It was an interesting interview, especially the part where Jon Stewart asks Schieffer if Schieffer had ever seen a candidate suspend a campaign in the midst of a crisis and STOP talking to people and telling them what HE would do to repair the damage and avert disaster...

ClusterF&%K to the Poor House Part III: Awkward Position?

You mean, one YOU created?!

ClusterF&%K to the Poor House Part II: "I've Not Had a Chance to See It in Writing..."

Um. Yeah. Ok. Brilliant. So nice to know you're on top of things, McIgnorant.

ClusterF&%K to the Poor House...

He lied then. He's lying now:

AFP Report: Israel Home to Largest Jewish Population for First Time


JERUSALEM, (AFP) - Israel is now home to the largest Jewish community in the world, just ahead of the United States, a semi-governmental organisation said Friday.

There are currently 5.55 million Jews living in Israel and 5.3 million in the United States, according to a report by the Jewish Agency, which is responsible for encouraging and facilitating Jewish immigration.

The two countries account for the vast majority of the world's 13.3 million Jews. The third-largest community resides in France, which has a Jewish population of 490,000, the report said.

Despite a decline in immigration, the net rate of migration remains positive, with some 20,000 Jews moving to Israel in the past 12 months.

Around 20,000 Jews left during that period and another 10,000 Israeli Jews returned from abroad, according to the report.

The numbers were released this week in an annual report in honour of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which begins at sundown on Monday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why Hasn't Obama Closed This Deal Yet?

You know, with the economy in a shambles, the healthcare system broken, more and more jobs lost every day, a recession not just in the works but already here, and a possible Depression (with a HUGE capital D) looming, one would think this election would be a no-brainer. The opposition, in this case, the Democratic candidate, should be a shoo-in to win this election by a huge landslide.

But he's not. It's still VERY much a tight contest that could STILL go the wrong (read: Republican) way. Which would lead to even more deregulation, more perks for the rich and less and less for the middle and working class: less money, less jobs, less everything. While EVERYTHING gets more and more expensive.

And yet, it's STILL not a done deal! Why? Oh, sure, lots of Republicans will repeat the "Obama's gonna raise taxes" debunked bullshit.

I honestly think the truth is, plain, simple, and quite disgusting, is that Barack Obama is black. The reason I think this is that, as I mentioned earlier this week, even a third of DEMOCRATS view blacks negatively.

It's just RIDICULOUS! If Obama was white, this contest would have been over before it ever began. Of course, if he were white, he wouldn't be Barack Obama.

I find this attitude sick and disgusting. This is a well-respected self-made man who has devoted his life to helping people. And he can't close this deal because he's not a white dude.

Ick. If he loses, I will honestly be ashamed to be an American.

Pressing the Fear Button. Again. Dammit.

Another good article:

Just after the September 11th terrorist attacks occurred, George W. Bush went before the nation and made the case that he needed unprecedented authority -- budgetary and military -- to take on the threats poised at the well-being and safety of the country.

Now with the current economic crisis in the United States, Bush is yet again asking for unprecedented powers and budget.

What happened after 9/11?

We saw no-bid contracts given to firms like Halliburton. We saw $9 billion of U.S. taxpayer money "go missing" through the Coalition Provisional Authority. We saw abuses of power, the expansion of secrecy, and the promulgation of norms that seemed to be the very antithesis of what America stands for.

A nation's values and its deep DNA are really only knowable and observable during times of crisis -- when it's tough to stand up for codes that seem a heavy burden during tough times.

We are in a crisis again -- and the Bush administration is again asking Americans to forgo fundamental values.

Tonight, George Bush succeeded I think in scaring Americans that this crisis could be a systemic threat. Bush said "our entire economy is in danger."

That's the fear button. He pushed it. And he said the clock was ticking.

This seems like a bad episode of 24.

What is shocking about the presentation by Bush -- and the deal that is unfolding is that we don't see any acceptance of responsibility for the failure of his team's stewardship of the economy. We didn't hear acknowledgment that the compulsive deregulation mantra of Bush's political and economic allies created a massive bubble where lots of billionaires were created and now tens of millions of less fortunate Americans are holding the bill.

We didn't hear Bush say that it's time to reverse the tax cuts that he put in place to help those who have already benefited from the perverse finance and housing bubble that was pumped up.

We didn't hear a firm commitment from Bush to help the working families who hold these sub-prime and adjustable rate mortgages to stay in their homes and to help stabilize the lives of hard-hit Americans, their neighborhoods and their jobs. All the while, the macro players and big firms and their stakeholders are bailed out.

We probably do need to float major funds into the financial sector -- but there needs to be a quid pro quo written in to the deal, a new social contract that does away with the "winner takes all syndrome" that has helped rot out America's economic promise.

And we need to hear what comes after the bail out. This nation is heading into recession -- and is probably already there.

We need to trigger real growth in the real economy with real jobs -- and that's infrastructure.

We need a serious infrastructure commitment and a capital budget that helps make sure that some of this massive amount of money being let loose into the system actually gets some traction in rebuilding the nation's roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and telecom infrastructure.

That was missing -- and it must be part of this debate.
And it's what McCain's afraid of and why he wants to cancel tomorrow night's debate. Because he know damn well there's NO way he'll be able to go against the lobbyists and his own party and provide what this nation needs: Strong infra-structure.

Great Article, Says It All About this Idiotic "Bailout"

I'm against a Wall Street bailout. Not because I don't care about the US and world economies, but because I strongly feel the US should not be obligated to provide a safety net to the rich few who fucked up the world and walk away with huge profits. What should happen is we should lump every single one of these people together, take every asset and dollar they have, and use THAT to help fix the economy. I know if even every asset and dollar is added up it comes out to a pittance of the funds Wall Street needs. THEN, the government should come it and bail out not Wall Street and its execs, but the rest of the US market and economy. 

Gut Check Time: Will Congress Stand up to Wall Street?
Robert L. Borosage
It's gut check time.

The attempt by Treasury Secretary Paulson to put a gun to the head of Congress and terrify them into forking over a $700 billion blank check to the Bush administration in 48 hours has failed. Now what?

Most Americans would just as soon the Masters of the Universe were allowed to sink in their own folly. They had the party; let them clean up the mess. But, looking at sinking housing values and shaken retirement accounts, most Americans know something has to get done.

Banks and investment houses carry weapons of financial mass destruction. Last week, they looked into the abyss. If nothing is done, the chances for a deep and long depression are very great. So stocks skied around the world when Paulson announced his support for a massive bailout of Wall Street. And stocks and the dollar plummeted, and oil and gold soared when it became clear on Monday that the Congress wouldn't simply salute and go along. Doing nothing is not an option.

Leaders from unions, consumer and citizen groups have weighed in, demanding strict conditions on any bailout. On Monday, Sen. Chris Dodd put forth a draft bill that called for an independent board to run the bailout, required that taxpayers get partial ownership in any firm bailed out, and mandated steps to forestall foreclosures and work out mortgages, helping to keep people in their homes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demands a kickstart for the real economy - extension of unemployment benefits, aid to states and localities, investment in green jobs and basic infrastructure. (But at only $50 billion, a relative pittance for the real economy compared to the sums demanded to rescue Wall Street). Rep. Barney Frank insists on limits on the compensation of executives of any firm that gets bailed out. Together, these conditions begin to make some sense out of a bad fix.

Initially, Bush and Paulson, backed by the slavish Republican leadership in Congress, resisted, calling for the bill to remain "simple and clear." Republican leaders denounced help for homeowners and Main Street as "political" and "partisan" as opposed to bailing out the Master's of the Universe which somehow is an emergency above politics.

But Paulson is a deal maker. As his testimony indicated today, he'll trade nominal oversight and a few bridges for the $700 billion. As someone who made half a billion on Wall Street, however, he's been unbending on limits on pay for his friends, on providing taxpayers with an equity stake in the firms that are helped, and on measures to force work outs of mortgages and a freeze on foreclosures. And he'll resist any detailed measures to regulate Wall Street to insure this doesn't happen again. For all the talk of bipartisan accord, this will be a face off. Democrats will have to stare him down.

With the financial markets reeling, who will blink first? Will the Democratic leadership insist on common sense? Will Paulson be able to panic Congress into folding? Will the financial firm lobbyists now swarming the Capitol like a plague of locusts be able to rent the votes they need?

The decisions will be made over the next few days. If you want to make your voice heard, go here to contact your legislator, or to get more information.

But this staggering bailout - as perilous and costly as it will be -is only a stop gap. Broader lessons need to be drawn; larger and more permanent reforms are needed. One thing should be clear: the conservative era is over. The theology of market fundamentalism has proven to be a false idol once more. As Joseph Stiglitz has argued, the collapse of Wall Street is to the market fundamentalists what the fall of the Berlin Wall was to communism. It's over. The right has proved once more that it cannot be trusted to run the government it scorns. A trillion dollar debacle in Iraq. A trillion dollar bust on Wall Street. Hundreds of billions pocketed by Big Pharma and Big Oil. It is time for a reckoning.

Quote of the Day: What, EXACTLY, Does This Mean

"Let me put it this way: I would rather build a bridge to nowhere -- and put it square in the middle of Sedona, Arizona -- than take money from teachers and farmers and small business owners to line the pockets of the Wall Street crowd that got us here in the first place," said McCain.
He's actually saying here, if you look closely at this statement, that he'd rather use taxpayers' money to build a useless bridge in the middle of Sedona, AZ, thus throwing away those funds, than bail out Wall Street.

Not that I'm for the unconditional bail out, but isn't McOpaque saying here he'd like, no matter what, to just waste taxpayers' money?

Talk about political double speak!

Even Joe Biden's Gotta Take His Licks!

Gotta admit, it WAS pretty funny!

Unprecedented Access...

Just wait for it...

And I didn't know talking about Hamid Karzai's new baby constitutes gaining foreign policy experience...

McCrisis Cancels Appearance on Letterman to "race to Washington to Deal with the Economic Crisis?"

Well, that's what he SAID. Of course, as usual, he McLied. Turns out, while Letterman was actually taping his show, McCain, AT THAT VERY MOMENT, was in another studio being interviewed by Katie Couric! Does this idiot NOT understand he can't pull this crap and get away with it?

See it teased on Keith Olbermann's Countdown:

And see the LIVE feed while of Katie Couric's interview WHILE Letterman was taping his show! And this AFTER he praises McCain... And ridiculing McCain for wanting to suspend his campaign...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCstalling... And Obama's Response

McCain wants to "suspend" his campaign to deal with the economic crisis. You know, the one the Republicans said didn't exist, the one that couldn't POSSIBLY happen because the "fundamentals of our economy are strong." He wanted to actually delay the debate scheduled for September 26!

Obviously, this is just a stalling tactic. McCain KNOWS he can't POSSIBLY win a debate against Obama, ESPECIALLY one about the economy. So, dressing up his delay tactics in "concern" for the US and the economy (do you HONESTLY think HE'S feeling the pinch?), McCain asked to postpone.

Obama's response? Right on the, excuse the pun, money:

"It's my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess," Obama said at a news conference in Clearwater, Fla. "It's going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once."


Even as McCain said he was putting the good of the country ahead of politics, his surprise announcement was clearly political. It was an attempt to try to outmaneuver Obama on an issue in which he's trailing, the economy, as the Democrat gains in polls. He quickly went before TV cameras minutes after speaking with Obama and before the two campaigns had hammered out a joint statement expressing that Congress should act urgently on the bailout.

And while McCain's campaign said he would "suspend" his campaign, it simply will move to Washington knowing the spotlight will remain on him no matter where he is.
Well, we'll see how this plays out...



What's a Snood?

Random clip from the Daily Show from 2004. Talks about that whole really stupid controversy "Rabbi" Elyashiv and his "askanim" started regarding Indian hair wigs, going, by the way, AGAINST Reb Moshe Feinstein's (Z"L) ruling that these wigs ARE permitted...

Note how the chareidi/yeshivish idiot belittles people who DON'T think this was a problem... Of course, the guy's a Lubavitcher, probably a Meshichist (based on a statement he makes that others BESIDES Jesus have risen miraculously from the dead), and his favorite book, of course, is Tanya.

Daily Show Bill Clinton Interview

Really good, and very insightful.

Part one:

Part two:


Finding a vein on a failure junkie...

Never saw it coming...

And there's the part where our brilliant Idiot, I mean, president, says "it turns out there're a lot of links in our financial system."

No? Really? Who'da thunk it?


What? AGAIN?!


McCain has tied Obama to Fannie and Freddie's troubles and has called on Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines — both Obama supporters and former Fannie Mae executives — to return large golden parachute payments they received from the corporations after leaving.

McCain's campaign released a new television ad that says Raines is among those advising Obama on housing policy.

Obama's campaign released a statement from Raines, who says he is not an Obama adviser.
But wait! It gets even BETTER:
WASHINGTON - Almost up until the time it was taken over by the government in the nation's financial crisis, one of two housing giants paid $15,000 a month to the lobbying firm of John McCain's campaign manager, a person familiar with the financial arrangement says.

The money from Freddie Mac to the firm of Rick Davis is on top of more than $30,000 a month that went directly to Davis for five years starting in 2000.

The $30,000 a month came from both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the other housing entity now under the government's control because of the nation's financial crisis.

All the payments were first reported by The New York Times, which posted an article Tuesday night revealing the $15,000 a month to the firm of Davis Manafort. The newspaper quoted two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

In response to the latest disclosure, the McCain campaign issued a statement saying that Davis left the firm and stopped taking salary from the firm in 2006.

A person familiar with the contract says the $15,000 a month in payments to Davis' firm started around the end of 2005 and continued until the past month or so. The person spoke on condition of anonymity.

The connection between Davis and the housing giants that figure centrally in the global financial crunch emerged after the McCain campaign unleashed a sharp attack on Democratic rival Barack Obama.
Gee. REALLY? Nah. Couldn't be! After all, isn't John McRathole a good, upstanding citizen, NEVER involved *cough*KEATING FIVE* in any kind of underhanded, not quite above-the-law activities?
Robert McCarson, a former spokesman for Fannie Mae, criticized the McCain campaign's attack on Obama, given the five years of payments to Davis.

"It's either idiocy or hubris" on the McCain campaign's part, McCarson, a Democrat, said in an interview.
Hm. I'M gonna go with hubris...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ahmadinejad rails against Zionists, U.S. bullying

So what else is new?

The real question is, why do they let this madman even speak? Who the hell wants to listen?

Dad Update

So, my father is recovering in MICU (that's Medical Intensive Care Unit) at the hospital. He's awake and talking. And he got some more bad news today. Turns out he's got stage 3 cancer, which means he's going to have to go through about four weeks of chemo therapy.

I told a friend of ours who is a lawyer the whole morbid story. I asked her opinion about a lawsuit, and she said it does sound like me might have a case, at the VERY least against the insurance company. She works for a firm that has a branch office in Las Vegas (where my dad lives) and is going to try and help find a malpractice lawyer out there. Thanks, K!!! :)

So, should anyone out there feel like praying for my dad, his name is Yaakov Aharon HaKohen ben Esther.

Changing the DNC Mascot...

It's a donkey. An ass. Perhaps it's time to change it to something that shows more strength. Like a dinosaur. An Apatosaurus. Gentle, yet giant. Big enough to know how to bat off and fight off any Republicans. I mean, predators. WITHOUT Jesus riding it...

Or maybe a Triceratops. Again, gentle, non-hunting, yet VERY strong and not afraid to use those horns...

And again, WITHOUT Jesus riding one...

Caribou Barbie! And She Even Lies!!


McCain's Scapegoat -

George F. Will - McCain Loses His Head -

Stinking Rathole...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Obama Spells It Out and Give a One-Two Punch

NY Times Pisses Off McHypocrite

Steve Schmidt, McCain's campaign strategist hates that horrible, liberal rag:

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AFP) - John McCain's White House campaign Monday lashed out at the media and declared the venerable New York Times was "150 percent" behind Democratic hopeful Barack Obama.

McCain senior strategist Steve Schmidt rebuked journalists he said had failed in their duty to submit Obama to intense scrutiny and accused news organizations of hounding McCain's running mate Sarah Palin.

"Whatever the New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization," said Schmidt on a conference call with reporters.

"It is a pro-Obama advocacy organization that every day attacks the McCain campaign, attacks Senator McCain, attacks Governor Palin, and excuses Senator Obama.

"This is an organization that is completely, totally, 150 percent in the tank for the Democratic candidate, which is their prerogative to be, but let's not be dishonest and call it something other than what it is."

"It is an organization that has made a decision to cast aside its journalistic integrity and tradition to advocate for the defeat of one candidate -- in this case, John McCain."
What? You mean as opposed to that "venerable vehicle of truth and journalistic integrity," the F*CKS NOISE NETWORK (wait, sorry, I meant to say Fox Noise Network)? Because, um, their even worse.

Then the McLies campaign defended its shielding of Sarah Palin from the awful media:
The McCain campaign also defended Palin over her lack of contact with journalists, saying she had spoken to ABC News and Fox News and would soon do an interview with CBS.

"If anybody ever asked us to make a choice between seeing 60,000 people at a rally ... or spending an hour with a reporter, I don't imagine that we'd have many questions as to what we'd rather do," said Davis.
Yeah. Sorry, but one can see WHY they've kept Sarah away from the media, and it's NOT a time issue (Obama had time for plenty of rallies and plenty of interviews). Now, I only saw snippets of the F*CKS NOISE NETWORK (sorry again, that's FOX NOISE NETWORK), but it seemed to me the questions were tailored to belittle the democrats, NOT to question Palin. And the ABC interview with Charlie Gibson? That, for Palin, was a disaster. The idiot didn't even know what the Bush Doctrine is! And she's running to be a heartbeat away from the presidency!!

And, us "60,000 people at a rally?!" Which rally was that? An Obama one? Because Palin and McLiar have NEVER drawn that big a crowd, except maybe at the Republican National Convention. 60,000 people! What a laugh.

Finally, Obama responded, quite effectively, I think:
The Obama campaign mocked Schmidt's comments as a "laughable screed" and sent journalists a list of 40 "probing" stories the paper had written on the Illinois Senator.
That's an awful lot of stories...

Is the McCain campaign SO naive they think the rest of us are just a bunch of idiots who don't see through their "phony outrage" at perceived wrongs? All the more reason NOT to vote for this person. How do you think he'll treat us if, God forbid, he's PRESIDENT?

Not Quite as Good as Last Week's Opener...

... But just as true!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obama on the Economy and the Current Crisis

Read about his economic plan and other issues here.

Remember THIS?

Captain Kirk's rendition of Rocketman!

And his reflections on his performance:

Olmert Resigns... Finally!!

Scandal-hit Olmert formally resigns.

It's about damned time!

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert handed his resignation to President Shimon Peres on Sunday but the scandal-hit premier could stay in office for weeks or months until a new government is formed.

"Prime Minister Ehud Olmert submitted his resignation to me tonight," Peres told reporters at his Jerusalem residence.

Olmert, who faces criminal indictment in corruption probes, said earlier at the weekly cabinet session he was stepping down "in accordance with good governance" and history would judge the achievements of his administration.
HAH!!! Yeah, pretty much the same as how history will judge Governor George W. Bush: VERY harshly. They are both the worst leaders these countries have EVER had! Seriously, as leaders go, they both REALLY SUCKED!!!

Worst. Leaders. EVER.

White Folk are DUMB!!!

Is it possible to be a reverse racist? I don't mean a black person hating a white person. I mean a (ostensibly) white person (like myself) just hating other white people (though I guess I can't REALLY be considered white since I'm Jewish...). Why? Because many of them are just so incredibly stupid. Take, for instance, the following:

Poll: Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama
By RON FOURNIER and TREVOR TOMPSON, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks — many calling them "lazy," "violent," responsible for their own troubles.

Seriously? I just don't get it. These are DEMOCRATS! These are the people who are supposed to be more understanding, more likely be beyond these idiotic prejudices. And yet, they sound almost as though they're members of the KKK! What the hell is wrong with these people?!

Further, regardless of their feelings toward African-Americans in general, what has that got to do with Barack Obama? Why would Obama's race (who is half white AND half black, making him both or neither, but certainly not ONE or the other) make a difference in how one votes? I've never gotten the impression Obama is lazy OR violent. Quite the opposite, in fact. He's worked EXTREMELY hard to get where he is. He is NOT a violent person. He HATES war. He HATES the growing division this country faces and wants to make it, as he says, not the Blue States or the Red States but the UNITED STATES.

Further, it's not like African-Americans haven't faced racism. They STILL do. And civil rights laws have NOT been in effect for that long, especially compared to how long blacks had been slaves before the emancipation.

Wow. I expected better. One THIRD of Democrats believe this.

Well, on the other hand, it probably means WAY more Republicans (what, TWO thirds or more?) feel this way as well... And I'll bet most of one third of Democrats who feel this way live down South. There, even many Democrats are quite conservative.

Here's the rest of the article.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dear Mr. President

My fantastic wife found this:


"Dear Mr. President"
(feat. Indigo Girls)

Dear Mr. President,
Come take a walk with me.
Let's pretend we're just two people and
You're not better than me.
I'd like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly.

What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Are you proud?

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye
And tell me why?

Dear Mr. President,
Were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
How can you say
No child is left behind?
We're not dumb and we're not blind.
They're all sitting in your cells
While you pave the road to hell.

What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye?

Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Minimum wage with a baby on the way
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Building a bed out of a cardboard box
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work
You don't know nothing 'bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work

How do you sleep at night?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Dear Mr. President,
You'd never take a walk with me.
Would you?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Teach Your Kids?


Poll: People Prefer Obama Over McCain as Teacher
Well, DUH! At least Obama won't lie to them...

They would also prefer watching a ball game with Obama rather than McCain, says the same poll. Again: DUH!! Who wants to watch a ball game with someone likely to croak from the excitement?!

Palin's Favorability Ratings Tumble -- Political Wire

Should Palin cry "WHIPLASH?" Because this tumble must have hurt.

On the other hand, she hasn't actually hit bottom yet. But when she does, it's gonna HURT!

Not That Polls Mean ALL That Much...

... But it seems Palin-Mania is all over!

Let's hope Obama's upward trend continues. I'd LOVE to see a landslide Democratic victory this November.

Somebody's REALLY Power Hungry...

And it AIN'T John McSucker:

WASHINGTON - The What and What administration?

Sarah Palin flipped the Republican presidential ticket around this week when she spoke about things the "Palin and McCain administration" would do in office.

To be sure, the vice presidential candidate is the top draw at joint rallies with her boss, presidential nominee John McCain. But he's still the top of the ticket and the one who gets to order the drapes in the Oval Office if they win.

Palin made the comment at a rally Thursday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, when she said she and McCain want to cut taxes for small business:
"That's exactly what we're gonna do in a Palin and McCain administration." Later in her speech, she reverted to the normal order in speaking about the "McCain-Palin administration."

Palin also referred to McCain as "my running mate" Friday in Green Bay, Wis., as she did twice in Iowa the day before. Vice presidential candidates are usually referred to as the running mates, no matter which one is speaking.
Hm. I wonder who would wear the pants in THAT relationship should, God forbid, John McSucker gets elected. Or should I say Sarah Palin gets elected?

Arianna Huffington: How Obama Can Demonstrate Real Leadership on the Economic Crisis

Arianna Huffington: How Obama Can Demonstrate Real Leadership on the Economic Crisis

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Father...

Ok. As many of you who are personal friends of mine know, I don't really get along well with my my father and there's not much love lost between us.

HOWever, there's something that's been going on with his health that finally came down to an operation yesterday that should have been performed nearly five months ago.

A bit of background: On the second day of Passover (April 22, 2008) my father was rushed to the hospital with abdominal pain. He'd been having them for several and finally couldn't take the pain any longer and had to go to the ER. He was taken to UMC (University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where my parents live) and admitted shortly thereafter. They took many CT scans of him, attempted several Colonoscopies, and discussed with him the possibility of exploratory surgery to remove a mass he might have had.

All talk of surgery ended abruptly when, apparently, the insurance company wouldn't approve it. He was sent home. A day or two later, he went back in terrible pain. He was sent, over the following weeks, to three different hospitals. None would even consider doing the surgery even though several doctors indicated he might have a blockage in his stomach or intestines.

Again, he was sent home. At this point, he couldn't even get up from his own bed to go to the bathroom. A nurse came once a day, and the rest of the time, my mom was on her own to clean up the, um, "mess," if you get my drift. He was home for several weeks. During that time he fought with the insurance company and his GP to get the surgery done. The insurance company finally allowed him to see an insurance company-approved surgeon. The surgeon requested all the scans done on my done during the previous months. When my dad finally got taken in for a consult, which was a huge hassle as well since he couldn't walk and had to be helped, the surgeon simply dismissed my dad out of hand and said he saw, despite recommendations in the notations on the scans by the radiologists, NO REASON to perform the surgery. He dismissed my my dad and sent him back home to wallow in some more pain.

Well, the pain finally became more than he could bear about a week and a half ago. He had himself transported to yet a fourth hospital, Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas, where after a minimal number of scans (I think they performed two CT Scans on him and an ultrasound), they found a mass, didn't hide the fact they'd found a mass, and finally operated on my dad yesterday.

The operation took about three hours. Now, again, as many of you who know me personally know, my dad isn't exactly the healthiest of people. Until this bout started five months ago, he weighed close to five hundred pounds (which is why his knees blew out, coincidental to his stomach issues, which is why he hasn't been able to put any weight on his knees). He has diabetes, cellulitis, pulmonary issues, heart problems, and a whole slew of other crap caused by his weight (which is why I'm doing everything I can to get qualified for bariatric surgery - I DON'T want to go through all that!). There were fears he might not come out of the surgery, but the surgeons decided to go through with as it was less dangerous than allowing him to continue as he was (by the way, my dad lost about 150 pounds in the last five months - he hasn't been able to eat and been barely able to drink).

Well, they removed a rather large mass. IT WAS CANCEROUS. Thank God it had NOT metastasized. They were able to remove the entire thing.

This is where our health system has taken us. We now have doctors who have taken the Hippocratic Oath, which does have relevance to how one practices medicine today: "Never to do deliberate harm to anyone for anyone else's interest."

Instead of following this rule, the doctors listened to the insurance company because they feared not getting paid.

I'm going to be working with my dad and a malpractice attorney in Las Vegas to pursue a lawsuit against the insurance company, the GP (who did NOT advocate for my dad as he should have and instead capitulated to the insurance company), UMC, one or BOTH of the other hospitals to which he was shuffled before being sent home, sicker than he had been when he arrived (what the fuck kind of a hospital sends home a sick person, much less someone who was even more ill than when he arrived?!), the surgeon who apparently followed the insurance company's instructions to NOT recommend surgery because he "saw no reason for it," and against the individual surgeons at these hospitals who refused to operate, apparently because the insurance company wouldn't approve the surgery.

I'm sorry. This is ridiculous! I just understand how the government has allowed insurance companies to become the nation's doctors, dictating treatment and not allowing real medical care to take place! How did the government allow these companies to become so incredibly powerful that a sick person can no longer be treated?!

If anyone out there knows of a good malpractice attorney in the Las Vegas area, please let me know. My father has no money, but I'm pretty confident, once this is over, the fee the attorney receives out of either an out-of-court settlement or after the trial (should it go to trial) will be quite substantial. Further, should the attorney work pro bono, the court will probably award a fee to be paid by the doctors, hospitals, and insurance company.

So, what the insurance company basically did here was NOT approve a surgery in the interests of saving money, hoping, quite likely, the patient, in this case my father, would just die and problem would go away.

The only problem with that theory is my father is too damned ornery to die like that.

And now, God willing, they're going to pay through the nose...

And thank God for this last hospital decided to ignore the insurance company and go ahead and take out a CANCEROUS MASS FROM HIS STOMACH.

And this is the result of allowing the Republicans to remain in power for far too long, ignoring the basic needs of the American people in favor the greed displayed by big business.

And this is why we have to work VERY hard to NOT allow another Republican government to keep the power and keep things as they are.

From DovBear

Several bloggers are asking their readers today to send the following letter to the editorial board of the Jewish Press (and if you have your own blog, we ask you to post it as well.) It states, simply, that we are tired of the culture of kanois (zealotry) that has made it impossible for our community to solve its own problems. Please make your own objections known by sending the letter that follows - or one like it - to the Jewish Press at As it says on the wall of a famous museum in Washington D.C.: Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

To the Editorial Board of the Jewish Press:

I would like to express horror at the intimidation and harassment of Dr. Benzion Twerski for his efforts to protect our children from molestation, and to salute you for your courage in publishing an Op-Ed column condemning it. I feel that exposing the actions of the kannoim (zealots) is the first step in reversing their campaign of terror against members of our community.

I am fed up with the fact that the extremists in our community are allowed to intimidate peaceful citizens with threats and I would like to see the people who do this arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

If there are any acts of intimidation or threats of violence to Dov Hikind's next appointee to the Child Safety committee I intend to join and support a massive email drive to our elected officials – on the local, state and federal levels – and to ask them to step in and protect those who are helping to protect our children.

I respectfully ask you to run an editorial next week condemning this disgraceful intimidation of Rabbi Twerski that acknowledges the number of these emails that were sent to you and also calls on our leaders and rabbonim to publicly distance themselves from acts of intimidation and violence each and every time they occur with the same fervor reserved for other actions that contradict our holy Torah – and to declare the acts of violence as the sins they are.

Sincerely yours,

Am Kshe Oref
Or, to put it more succinctly and clearly: Kanaim suck.

Emily Post 101


I'm not as big a fan of Colbert as I am of Jon Stewart, but this is just GREAT! And I think I may become a bigger fan...

We Just Bought and Insurance Company!!!

Jon Stewart hit a homerun. Again!

I'd Like to be a Fly on the Wall When THOSE Two Meet Each Other...

The Naysayers Say No Recession, And Claim They Have "Hard Data" to Prove It, But...

... ... The Wall Street Journal Says It's the "Worst Crisis Since '30s, With No End Yet in Sight..."

So, who am I going to trust? Some dumb RWNJ Schmuck?

Or the Wall Street Journal.

The reason I keep harping on this dude in the above link is he really came down on me but is obviously completely wrong and swallows the lines the RWNJ Republican Party feeds him hook, line, AND sinker. And because so many have, we're sunk.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Obama on the Economy

And his economic plan to get the United States back on its feet and back into a world economy leadership position.

Sarah on Monday's Wall Street Hiccup!

Basically, as Jon Stewart says about three minutes in: "She only got specific enough to completely contradict herslf! 'We need more regulation so that we can get the government out of the economy...' And then normal people's brains can explode..."

And McStupid STILL insists: The fundamentals of our economy are strong...

Oh, yeah, I meant to mention that one too. He says this, backtracks (read: flip-flops) and then says what he means by this is that the fundamentals of our economy is the American worker.

You know. The one that's out of work because John McCain's Republican party allowed complete big business deregulation and allowed that American worker's job to go to China. Yeah. That fundamental part of the economy. The one that's shrinking on a daily basis.

It's REAL strong, Johnny. Real strong.

Flip-Flop, Flip-Flop...

While the Republicans accused Kerry of being a flip-flopper four years ago, it seems that award (regardless of whether justly given to Kerry in '04) most certainly goes to McCain, now nicknamed McFlip-Flop this election year. Of course, never mind that he's also totally plagiarizing and trying to capitalize on Obama's message of change. So, why the awards?

Well, two major reasons. first is his famously stupid comment that the economy is "fundamentally strong." He continued to make these claim on Monday when Wall Street got all screwed up. He finally woke up and realized maybe the economy isn't QUITE as "fundamentally" strong as he thought. Then, all of a sudden, "we're in a crisis." Yeah, no kiddin', McDenial (which is NOT just a river in Egypt).

Next, up until very recently, the whole message of his campaign was voting for experience, voting for someone who knows Washington, for someone who KNOWS how Washington works. All of a sudden, he's actually STEALING lines from Obama. He's actually using one of the Obama campaign's slogans, "Change We Need." Wow. Remember when Obama was accused of plagiarism? That was nothing compared to this! At least then, Obama UNINTENTIONALLY omitted his friend's name after using a part of his friend's speech WITH permission. In this case, McCain is BLATANTLY, KNOWINGLY using Obama's lines and is CERTAINLY not giving credit. Not only is this different than the Obama case, this is WAY worse! This is a case where McCain is taking advantage of his opponent and trying to gain political points in doing so!

Speaking of which, McCain THEN went and accused Obama of using the Wall Street debacle this week as a political moment for political gain!!! My answer? "Damn straight, he is!" What's happening on Wall Street is a DIRECT result of REPUBLICAN deregulation of financial institutions, deregulation with which MCCAIN himself was involved. OBVIOUSLY, this is COMPLETELY appropriate! This is a beautiful, though no pretty, and VERY clear example, of what happens when Republicans allow big business to run Washington for their own interests instead of those of the country.

I don't care what some dumb schmuck's cold, hard data tell him. The fact is, if the economy WASN'T weak, probably in a recession at this point, if not plummeting toward a DEPression, the events of the last few days (Lehman Bros, Merrill, AIG) would NOT have happened. Those things don't happen in a STRONG economy. They happen as an introduction to depression. Remember, before October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday), there weren't really any indications of a looming Depression. In fact, GDP (Gross Domestic Product, one of the main factors upon which the above linked RWNJ idiot relies to "prove" there's no recession or depression coming at all) looked pretty damned good through at least the middle of 1929!

So, yeah, I think it's a REAL GOOD thing that Obama is using this crisis for what McPOW calls "political gain." That's EXACTLY what events like this, in election years, no less, are for!!!

But I guess, as the venerable Phil Gramm said, we're all just a "nation of whiners in a mental recession." Sure, Phil. Sure.

And let's not forget that, If McCain had had his way, that'd be OUR Social Security money Wall Street would be losing.

This is the "leadership" half this country wants?! Ridiculous.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fantastic Speech - Obama in Pueblo, CO, 9/15/08

Jon Stewart: Financial Hiccups, Paying for Your Own Rape Kits, Blinking, and Crab Porn...

And yes, apparently Sarah Palin, while mayor of Wasilla, made rape victims pay for their own rape kits, which is against the law in Alaska.

Brilliant segment!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bariatric Developments

So, after my bust of a bariatric seminar at one of the local hospitals, which won't do my surgery because I'm too damned poor and no matter what I say or do the insurance company will only cover $10,000 out of the $16,000 or so I need to pay for this elective procedure my doctors say is a medical necessity based on family history (once again, insurance companies get to have it both ways...), I found, as I mentioned in the above-linked post, a clinical trial at another of one of the two big hospital systems here.

When I called them, the coordinator said I was a bit above the desired BMI, which they want to be above 40 and below 50. She gave me an October 6 preliminary appointment and an October 20 full appointment (nutritionist, psych, surgeon) and told me to get my BMI below 50 so I can qualify.

So, I've actually managed to lose about ten pounds at this point and would like to lose about another ten (the first twenty, as I've mentioned previously, are easy; it's after twenty that I have a problem). The dieting is going well and I anticipate (I REALLY HOPE!!) weighing in well below the 50 BMI cutoff.

If I qualify, I will get to undergo a newer type of bariatric surgery that seems to be designed for patients in my weight class.

I know the surgery isn't a magic bullet. But I do know it will help me where other methods have failed miserably.

Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton...

Well, OK, not really...

Hillary: "I oppose the Bush Doctrine."

Palin: "I don't know what that is..."


Yet Another Headline That Just Says: DUH!!!

Said McRepublican:

McCain: Wall Street Woes Point to Regulation Need.
Once again, no shit, Sherlock. So let's dig deeper, Watson.
In a brief interview, McCain was questioned about the economic woes under eight years of President Bush and six years of GOP control of Congress.

"I think it's a failure of government and I think it's a failure of regulatory agencies," McCain told reporters
Oh, you mean the REPUBLICAN government that has pretty much deregulated all the regulations put in place by earlier administrations, Houses, and Senate to AVOID ALL THIS?

But McCain has blame to spread:
"I would point out that the Democrats have been in control of Congress for the last two years — both houses, so I think there's plenty of blame to go around."
Except for one problem. As mentioned in previous comments, while Bush has used his veto power sparingly (only twelve times, eleven of them SINCE Congress became Democrat controlled), the Republicans in Congress have filibustered AT LEAST 65 as of April 15, 2008. The reason, in other words, this Congress can't get anything done is because the Republicans won't allow anything to get done and the Democrats do not have enough of a majority (at least sixty votes) to override a filibuster or the threat of one. Oh, and that tally in the link DOESN'T count how many times the Republicans have THREATENED filibusters.

So, no, John McLet's-Distort-The-Facts. The reason Congress isn't getting anything done is because you Republicans WON'T ALLOW IT.


Said McLiar in an ad today,

After Lehman filed for bankruptcy: "Our economy in crisis."
No shit, Sherlock. Except, you're STILL saying the "fundamentals of our economy are strong:

So which one is it, John McHypocrite? Strong or weak?

And don't forget what you said when you couldn't remember how many properties you and your wife own: "The economy is fundamentally strong."

Sorry John Mc-I-Don't-Know-Much-About-Economy. It's not. It's really weak. And getting weaker.

But, I guess, as long as big business gets bigger, it's OK with the Republican party, regardless of who gets trampled on the way, right?

Mismanagement Due to Deregulation...

Which, of course, leads to economic hardship, recession, job loss, etc. Wall Street rocked by Lehman failure and Merrill sale.

And yet, there are still idiots out there who only rely on their "hard data," to the exclusion of ALL other factors. What an idiot.

And with all this, deregulation continues, and Bank of America gets to get even larger. Hooray. The reward for mismanagement on Wall Street is allowing huge business to be gargantuan business.

Warned our (hopefully) future president, Barack Obama:

"The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren't minding the store," Obama said in a statement.

"Eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression," he said.

Squarely blaming Republican President George W. Bush's administration for the crisis, Obama warned "this turmoil is a major threat to our economy and its ability to create good-paying jobs and help working Americans pay their bills, save for their future, and make their mortgage payments."

Looks Like Biden's Finally Sharpening His Tongue...


Biden: McCain is Ex-Reformer Turned Rove Disciple.
Ouch! Said our (hopefully) future VP:
"The campaign a person runs says everything about the way they'll govern. John McCain has decided to bet the house on the politics perfected by Karl Rove."


Biden said he came to McCain's defense in 2000 when the Republican came under attack from Bush operatives and supporters who spread "scurrilous" rumors about him in the primary campaign. "And now, some of the very same people and the tactics he once deplored, his campaign now employs."

GREAT Israeli Song

I used to listen to this song all the time when I was a kid in Israel. However, until a few minutes ago, I could never find it. I had no idea who the artist was or where to find this song until a person on YouTube sent me to this video he uploaded quite a while ago. The artist's name is Moti Fleischer, who was a major Pop star in the late '60s/early 70's in Israel (and was considered, because he was so good-looking and because of his sideburns, to be Israel's James Dean) until, according to the Hebrew version of Wikipedia, left the business in 1971 because he wasn't cut out for that fast-paced life, and moved to the United States and deals in wigs. Hey, at least he made some good music!

It's funny. I always pictured way older than he is in this vid, but then, I was only about 10-12 years-old at the time...

1000th Blog Post

And I thought it would be fitting to make it a beautiful tribute, courtesy of Israeli singers Yehoram Gaon and Ofra Haza (A"H), to Yerushalayim, where my heart, no matter where I am physically, always is.

Yerushalayim, by Yehoram Gaon:

Jerusalem of Gold, performed by Ofra Haza (OB"M):


Jerusalem of Gold - lyrics in English.

Have YOU Ever Felt This Way?

We did when we lived in LA. Right off one of the busiest street in West LA. It's been WAY quieter since moving to our peaceful, Midwestern suburb, but oh, yes! We certainly felt this way in LA. In fact there was one time when someone abandoned their Jeep right outside our apartment building (and of course our windows faced the street). The alarm on the Jeep kept going off for DAYS! And we couldn't even call the cops or parking enforcement because it was the beginning of Passover and we couldn't use the phone for the first three days (shabbos and then two days of Pesach!). We were all almost insane by the time the holiday was over and we could call parking enforcement. Even our friends who lived in the back of the building heard the alarm and were going nuts!

Then the stupid happened. They came and towed the Jeep, then BROUGHT IT BACK!!! We actually had to call again and have them take the vehicle away permanently. I don't think the owner ever returned...

That was some Passover...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Some More Republican Hypocrisy


Republicans Fault Both Campaigns for Negative Ads
And what does one prominent Republican low-life, lying, piece of crap say?
WASHINGTON - Leading Republicans on Sunday faulted both presidential campaigns for the increasingly negative tone of their advertising, suggesting the bitter attacks undermine John McCain and Barack Obama's credibility with voters and could backfire.

"Both campaigns are making a mistake, and that is they are taking whatever their attacks are and going one step too far," said former White House political adviser *BLANK BLANK*. "They don't need to attack each other in this way."

"There ought to be an adult who says, 'Do we really need to go that far in this ad? Don't we make our point and won't we get broader acceptance and deny the opposition an opportunity to attack us if we don't include that one little last tweak in the ad?'"


*BLANK* said he believed that Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comment was a "deliberate slap at Governor Palin," saying it came too soon after the Alaska governor's pitbull comment not to be. Rove also said while it might be fair to criticize McCain for being a longtime Washington insider, faulting McCain for not using a computer when he can't type due to war injuries is not.

"McCain has gone in some of his ads — similarly gone one step too far, and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the 100-percent-truth test," *BLANK* said, without elaborating.
Oh. Did I neglect to leave out the name of the person in the above article? Oh. Well. If you didn't already guess, it's Neo-Nazi Fascist Bush Propagandist Karl Rove. Of all people.

And of all the people to be complaining about NOT being 100% (or any percent, for that matter) truthful, Karl Rove is really the last person on this entire planet to complain about THAT!!!

What is this? Buyer's remorse?