Thursday, October 09, 2008

Get a Job

Why must the unemployed refuse to help repair the economy?

The Bush administration remains both clueless and callous:

During today’s press briefing, White House press secretary Dana Perino suggested the Bush administration would oppose any effort to extend jobless benefits — a stance the White House has taken before. She explained their position by saying, “we want people to be able to return to the workplace as soon as possible.” The suggestion was that extending benefits somehow prevents people from returning to work.

She concluded by saying that “the best way to help” the economy and unemployed people is for unemployed people to simply “get back to work.”


The Beginning of the End

The White House announced plans Thursday for the first post-Sept. 11 presidential transition, which will begin before Election Day for the first time in the nation’s history.

President Bush announced a Presidential Transition Coordinating Council that will meet next Wednesday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, with representatives of the White House and both presidential campaigns.


Political Chicanery

The Republicans are already at it:
U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy issued a scathing order Wednesday lambasting the Montana Republican Party for challenging the registrations of thousands of Montana voters, but stopped short of an actual ruling in the case.

In his 19-page order, Molloy denied a temporary restraining order to the Montana Democratic Party, which sought to stop thousands of GOP-led voter challenges from moving forward. Molloy wrote that Secretary of State Brad Johnson “astutely” asked counties not to process the Republicans' voter challenges, which effectively alleviated a crisis that would have required a restraining order.

Johnson is a Republican. Molloy did not rule on the Democrats' other arguments that the GOP effort violated federal election law, but scheduled a hearing on that matter next week.

However, the judge left little doubt about his thoughts on the voter challenges.

“The timing of these challenges is so transparent that it defies common sense to believe the purpose is anything but political chicanery,” Molloy wrote.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Um, this is rather a disturbing Freudian slip, I have to say:

In delivering this pledge, McCain committed a verbal bobble, which quickly made its way onto YouTube.

"Across this country, this is the agenda I have set before my fellow prisoners and the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent," said McCain, who often speaks about his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. His prepared remarks said "fellow citizens," not "fellow prisoners."



I thought it was supposed to be Democrats who looked at big problems simplistically and then just threw money at them:
Ordering the government to buy up bad mortgages to cut homeowners' monthly payments might sound good, but experts are skeptical. They say the plan John McCain is promoting is unlikely to solve the housing crisis that's pushing the economy toward recession.

One big problem: The vast majority of the toxic home loans that are clogging financial markets and freezing up credit have been sliced, diced and repackaged into complex investments that the government would be hard-pressed to unravel and buy.

Even if the government did gain access to the mortgages, it would have to pay far more than they would ever be worth, housing specialists said Wednesday. That would effectively bail out banks and lenders with taxpayer money to a greater degree than Congress and the Bush administration are already doing through the $700 billion financial industry rescue enacted last week.

"The mortgages that are causing this credit freeze are generally mortgages that aren't available for purchase," said Alan M. White, Valparaiso University specialist in consumer law.

"It's not quite as easy as the McCain campaign thinks it is," said Andrew Jakabovics of the Center for American Progress.


Emergency Rate Cut

Didn't help all that much:
A stock market empowered by an emergency interest rate cut tried to find some stability Wednesday, rallying several times before another late-day drop left Wall Street down for the sixth straight day. Still, the pullback, while fed by comments from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, was milder than the massive declines of earlier in the week.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Satan Fish!

Trying to dupe us into believing in evolution!

In what could be a first in the world, a fish species known as cichlids has been observed by scientists in the act of splitting into two distinct species in Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake and one of the world’s biggest fresh water bodies.


Still Falling

So it goes:
The misery worsened on Wall Street Tuesday, with stocks piling on losses late in the session and bringing the two-day decline in the Dow Jones industrials to more than 875 points amid escalating worries about credit markets and the financial sector.

The Dow lost more than 500 points and all the major indexes slid more than 5 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index saw its first close below 1,000 in five years.


Don't Remind Us

Bush's influence, alas, will be with us for a long while:
President Bush reminded Americans Monday that his eight years of appointing conservative judges will affect the nation for decades, hoping to secure his legacy but also help fire up Republicans in must-win Ohio a month before the presidential election.


Here's Hoping

I am far more cautious than optimistic about this, but I hope he's right:
A French scientist awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering the Aids virus has predicted there would be a 'therapeutic vaccine' for the disease within four years.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Crazy Brit

Bigotry isn't just for American fundies:
A Church of England priest is under fire after calling for gays to be forcibly tattooed with a sodomy warning.

The Rev. Peter Mullen, who is chaplain to the London Stock Exchange, made that remark and other incendiary homophobic comments on his internet blog.

Mullen said the forced tattoos would be similar to warning placed on packages of cigarettes.

“Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan ‘Sodomy can seriously damage your health,’ their chins with ‘Fellatio kills.’


10 Years Later

Lest we forget:

His story is one that is often told and one that should always be remembered.

It was shortly after midnight on Oct. 7, 1998, when 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, an openly gay University of Wyoming student, was tied to a split-rail fence in Laramie, Wyoming and left for dead in the cold of night. He was found almost 18 hours later by a cyclist who initially mistook him for a scarecrow.

Six days after being discovered, Matthew died from his wounds.

According to a coroner at the trial of his attackers, he “was hit at least 20 times by blows so hard they fractured his skull six times[.]“ The damage was so disturbing that jurors, “winced as they viewed graphic photos of [his] bloodied face[.]”


Cutting Us Off

China is none too happy with us, which could be problematic down the line, given how much of our debt they own:
China has abruptly canceled a series of military and diplomatic contacts with the United States to protest a planned $6.5 billion package of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, American officials told The Associated Press on Monday.



Another new record:
Wall Street suffered through another traumatic session Monday, with the Dow Jones industrials plunging as much as 800 points and setting a new record for a one-day point drop as investors despaired that the credit crisis would take a heavy toll around the world. The Dow also fell below 10,000 for the first time since 2004, and all the major indexes fell more than 7 percent.

The catalyst for the selling was the growing realization that the Bush administration's $700 billion rescue plan and steps taken by other governments won't work quickly to unfreeze the credit markets. Global banks, hobbled by wrong-way bets on mortgage securities, remain starved for cash as credit has dried up.