The Red Menace

Let's make a new rule: All states have to be self-supporting in terms of Federal tax revenue. That means that states like Alaska, who comfort themselves with a "suspicion" of Washington, would no longer get all that extra Federal money. Neither would Wyoming or any of the other red states.

Because the debtor states are the red states. These people who want Washington out of their lives could start by giving back the excess Federal money they get over and above the amount of taxes they pay.

But isn't it all about the purity? The "we are better than you because we pretend not to have sex until marriage or gay sex" thing?

Yeah, right. Give us back our money and you can be as pure as you want. Then you really don't have to worry about Washington interfering with your life.

So Alaska Is Suspicious of Washington?

Then give back all the money we keep handing you. Don't trust Washington? Thinking of sending a convicted Senator Stevens back to the Senate? That'll show them - but perhaps not what you imagined.


Kill Moodys! Kill Standard & Poors

So these dorks still want to rate bonds? After the shit they pulled? In capitalism, you have the freedom to fail. Congrats!


F*ck You, MSNBC Execs! Go Hardball !!!!

What kind of boneheaded dipshits run MSNBC? The best political program on the air, Hardball, is only finally available in video and then it is hidden and hard-to-find on their web page.

Chris Matthews is the best political reporter in the United States. His interview of that erratic Congresswoman likely changed the outcome of her re-election. He knows his history and has a great understanding of American politics.

Besides, how can you not love the feeling of being a part of an insider conversation about politics? It is the rolling style of an ongoing conversation that is so appealing.

Chris Matthews and Hardball have been sidelined and under-promoted by the MSNBC execs for years, and I'm really mad about it.

I Grew Up in Small Town America, I Lived in Small Town America, I Know Small Town America

Sarah Palin is trying to align herself with small town Americans. The problem is that they aren't all as stupid as she is.

Being from a small town doesn't mean you can't read the Constitution. It doesn't mean that no one knows you are being mean because you are smiling. It doesn't mean they can't remember the McCarthy era hyperbole and its ramifications.

The McCain campaign is reaching for a voting public that hasn't existed for over 50 years. Let's see if they come up out of their graves to vote.


Let's Blame Black People!!

"Weapons of Mass Deception" are the lies about how the housing crisis is the fault the poor minorities who got loans they couldn't afford. But let's be real: the mortgage companies didn't want to give up their racist practices and are trying to punish the regulators with shifting the blame now, when the real blame lies with them.

I got my first mortgage through the ACORN program. I am white, educated, and got no family help for my first home purchase. The ACORN program helped me get that condo and I paid that mortgage in full when I sold it four years later. Let's not blame ACORN.

When I refinanced my house six years later, the interest-only loan was practically shoved down my throat. I still said 'No'. I'm not Econo-Girl for nothing. The mortgage broker assured me "they" won't let the interest rates get too high. In the end, I got a fixed rate thirty year mortgage. But if someone wasn't as informed as me, they would have taken it, thinking it was a no-brainer.

What the free-marketers, bankers, and mortgage lenders hate to admit: they live or die based on the will of the voters. So if we say so, that's it. Jump, boy, jump. Higher.

Don't Sell Stocks!!

You only lose money if you sell stocks. You haven't really lost money unless you sell your stocks. So if you can, don't sell your stocks. Hang in there as long as you can. I know it's scary, but the people who make money, serious money, are not selling or are even buying stocks.


Sarah Palin On Rape and Abortion - She Favors Birth Control

Here is a hidden story. Sarah Palin favors birth control. Not the morning after pill, but she is in favor of contraception.

Would that make her a rational pro-life candidate? She also favors support for mothers choosing to have a baby by making adoption easier.

But here's something I want to know: would Sarah Palin be in favor of forcing a woman to bear a child? That the essential issue in the abortion debate. No matter how much you hate abortion, will you try to force women to bear children they don't want to bear?

I say "try" to force because we all know that women, as they have from the beginning of time, will find ways to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The abortion debate is a power struggle over the power of women to choose to bring a new life into the world.

Abortion will not be stopped with a law.

Worst Week Ever From the Worst President Ever

President Bush, who inherited a balanced budget, spent like a drunken sailor for eight years, and here we are. The amount of American debt that the international community has bought is directly related to the amount we had to borrow to pay for President Bush's profligate spending. Now our entire country is indebted to, and dependent on, foreign money to stay afloat. Since when is that conservative?

George Bush's breed of Republican is interested in power for power's sake. The ideology they chant is only meant to gather support for what they want to do.

Certainly no one can say that President Bush's philosophy of less government, and getting government out of the lives of people, has any relationship to his actions.

George Bush likes to blame other people for his problems. Who is getting the blame this time? Is it going to be another "Clinton recession"? That is what President Bush called the recession of 2001. I'm just waiting for the conservative media machine to revisit the phrase.

NASA, Grow Up!

NASA is continuing to embrace triviality to the exclusion of practical, effective projects. In deciding to "launch a super-size rover" to Mars in 2009, once again NASA is choosing a really expensive hobby over any action that could produce practical and tangible results.

Of course, if one tried to actually do something, like create solar-based energy on the Moon, one might fail. You can never fail at cute little adventures. The expectations are very low.

So rather than be held to account for producing something, the coneheads at NASA are diddling around with landing on Mars while projecting that it will take a century before the United States will have a base on the Moon.

But I know a secret. Guess what? It won't take China that long.


What the Stock Market Rally Means

That Americans have more faith in Gordon Brown than Secretary Paulson and George W. Bush.

NPR: DON'T "Tell Me More" !!!

Lynching was the topic today. Are you kidding me? Like we're all not depressed enough? People are already suicidal, and you want to dwell on horrific events in American history?

How is this a help to anyone, exactly? Pull your head out of your butt and talk about something useful in this crisis, or at least something calming. Suggestions:

Living cheap
Eating cheap
Cheap fun
Ha, Ha, the rich people lost money
Avoiding the repo man
Discerning an investment banker and them throwing dog poop on him
Starting a small business

There's a myriad of interesting and relevant topics to chose from.

The thing about the Tell Me More show is it really is slanted towards African-Americans in terms of its choice of topics and speakers.


John McCain is a Man of Honor

John McCain is a man of honor. You may not agree with all of his choices. You many not like the guy. But he is a man of honor underneath it all.

He is unwilling to endorse the extreme, and dangerous, rhetoric of the racist right wing of American politics. Given the American history of assassination surrounding the issues of race and integration, he putting a lid on any implied tacit approval of violent measures to stop Barak Obama. His followers needed to hear that.

"Off with his head" is an implied threat of death. We don't usually have that with American politics. I know that people didn't mean "kill Obama" when they said it. But there is an element of violence in that particular expression of opposition.

People have claimed that John McCain has succumbed to the evil methodologies of Rove in an attempt to win this election. And I would have to agree. However, his action in pulling back the rhetoric demonstrates that he still is decent underneath being a candidate.


Capitalism Has Failed

Our capitalist economic system has failed. Recognizing this, and not willing to be the unthinking arm of tragedy, Cook County sheriff Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is no longer evicting people in foreclosed properties in Chicago.

I would like to meet anyone who says our financial system is working. But in a sense, it is. It's just that the outcome of our current capitalist system is politically unpalatable.

Sheriff Thomas J. Dart's refusal to throw people on the street acknowledges a breakdown of our system of economics and its political implications for the banks. The rhythmic chanting about the marketplace that we've been subjected to for years depends on the enforcement of those mores by society at large.

We, as a society, are no longer willing to adhere to the pure marketplace ideology. The inherent unfairness of allowing bankers and others to make up financial instruments and letting others suffer the consequences is not being tolerated.

This being America, the fancy financial whiz kids can expect to be indicted soon. That will be fun to watch.

So now, following Great Britain's lead, the United States is considering an ownership stake in these wayward banks. NOTE: We are officially Socialists when that happens.

Not that I'm against it. Obviously, we can't let these money guys stray too far from the barn. They can't keep out of trouble. For a group of people who pride themselves on thinking, the financial geniuses need a tutorial on how the world works. They'll find out. All is fine in America until you screw up. And you took capitalism with you this time.


Safe Haven Laws NOW

Other nations accuse the United States of not being a nation of thinkers. The United States tends to think of everyone else as lazy, navel-gazing fools.

But I disagree with those who say Americans are not a thinking people. We are. We embrace an idea to the death - usually someone else's though.

How many times have you heard someone chant "I believe in the free market" or "I believe in a muscular Presidency"? The beliefs are put before the consequences of them.

The rampant idea is that people should take care of themselves and that parents should take care of their children. Even when it is not possible anymore, or the strain leads to death.

People who are cracking under the strain of raising children need an out. Safe haven laws allow kids to be dropped off at a hospital without criminal penalties attaching to the parents.

Isn't it better to acknowledge that occasionally someone is not up to the task of caring for children and give them an option for the care and safety of the child?

Or is it an improvement to watch one tragedy after another flash across our television screens while we shake our heads and lament what should have been.

The Pope and the Bailout

"Repent!" says the Pope - more or less. Pope Benedict XVI has chastised Western culture for being too oriented towards money and material wealth. He's right, of course.

In the United States, people worship the free market. As if throngs of self-seeking, short-sighted people have the divine in their brokerage accounts and wallets.

Our tendency is to worship the Invisible Hand of the marketplace. Whose hand, by the way? G-d's, of course. And G-d's Invisible Hand is guiding America's success in the world and our natural dominance over others, right?. So if they resist, they are resisting the work of G-d. This logic plays into our Puritan ethos.

There's always been this theme running throughout American discourse on free markets: that G-d works in free market forces. These would be the same free market forces that brought us slavery and prostitution, by the way.

Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that the marketplace is a man-made creation, and is no more superior to man than our SUVs are. Let's try to live that way for a while. It would make universal health care and free higher education more of a right and less of a privilege. Hey, we're Socialists now, why not?


Fannie Mae Forgives Loan of Woman Who Shot Herself

The woman was ninety years old. Now you know what's going to happen. People all over America are going to shoot themselves when the sheriff comes to evict them.

What is not being taken into account is the human toll of misery resulting from the credit crisis.

And the American people were lulled into the credit lifestyle to support, falsely, the economy.

Imagine - A Note to Bailout Bimbos

Imagine a radical shift in the U.S. economy such that everything is paid for up front. That businesses have cash on hand for payroll, people have the money before they buy a car, and no one uses credit.

I understand the wails of the financial industry: our economy does run on credit. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe we need to shift our mind sets to saving first.

Something I've noticed about saving for something before you buy it: you don't want to pay as much. Even if you have the full amount that you might have borrowed.

We are in for a tough transition, folks.

And the Bailout Bimbos are Paulson and Bernanke for thinking the United States Congress would just hand them $700 billion dollars without accountability.

AOL Time Warner and What's Wrong With America

Yes, I'm still going on about this. AOL Shopping had a pictorial warning older women not to dress too sexily. Cougar, indeed. My initial anger has given way to deeper thoughts 'on this crisis.' (Don't you love that phrase? Will anybody give me $700 billion dollars now?)

Patriotic American electrons are being manipulated, in the form of the Internet, to tell women that they have to buy certain clothes. It's all part of the media machine telling the public to consume, consume, consume.

Remember after September 11? We were not advised to enlist, nor to become a paramedic, but to buy, buy, buy. We have built a culture and an economy based on relentless consumerism. What a surprise it didn't last.

I will be denounced as naive for observing that content is being skewed to sell things. It began so long ago.

But after the financial collapse on Wall Street, hasn't the message filtered down to AOL Time Warner web site staff? Americans can no longer buy-buy-buy. In fact, we will have to stop buying whether we want to or not.

Dress Like A Cougar!! - AOL Shopping Bad Advice

AOL Shopping has a whole pictorial dedicated to How Not To Dress for older women, accusing older women of being "cougars" for sexy dressing. Its admonitions failed - I want to be a cougar. I now want a velour track suit. I never wanted one before. I want to wear excessive gold jewelry and have big hair - all cougar-like signs, apparently.

Oh, and by the way, what's wrong with being a cougar? I'm supposed to hide my sexuality now? To sell clothes?

This is all power-based. As the ultimate glass ceiling is being battered during our Presidential election season, the media machine AOL/Time Warner backlash is against older women expressing self-confidence and power. It's a shame-based strategy. The message is "you will be held up to ridicule if you express your sensuality, even if you do reach the impossible size six. So nothing you do is good enough. Here, buy this."

What a pleasant way to control older women! Like the age-old technique of telling women how fat they are unless they buy your clothes/shampoo/cigarettes, AOL Shopping has a list of items older women shouldn't wear. And how convenient! There are links to things you can buy to wear instead.

This AOL pictorial has made me turn a corner - watch out Juicy! And you, too, Miss Twenty-Something.


Weirdly Cheerful Anchors at CNN Money dot com

Christine Roman smiles and smiles as she chats about the meltdown of my retirement savings. The other one, whatever her name is, does the same thing.

I recognize this trend of having attractive young women reading the news. It's the same sexist thinking that led to the choosing of Sarah Palin. It's the "hey let's get a good-looking chick in there and tell her what to say" idea. "She won't have any ideas of her own. She doesn't need qualifications." And the chirpy Christine Roman is the result.

They can't stop smiling, or in the case of Christine Roman, they can't quite eliminate the laughter in their voice. Not that she's laughing at America. No. She's not up to the task of delivering economic news. Nor understanding it, it seems.

When are we going to get some real reporters on television that aren't misplaced models? Are they really just news readers? They certainly aren't financial reporters.