• comment on a post A very depressing poll for us...sigh! over 9 years ago
    Maybe you should consider moving to a place where there is intelligent life.

    Democracy Corps is a DLC type org and Greenberg is an Al From/Bob Shrum "centrist."  It's these folks that have had an undue influence on the party for a decade and have been the cause of many recent defeats, up to and including Kerry's.  A lot of them think that in order to beat the Rethugs we have to be more like them. UGH.

    That said, he may be right that lots of people think Dems have no core values. Pols like Kerry and Joe Biden just may have something to do with that. But the poll numbers to watch are Bush's.  Low and dropping.

    As the Dalai Lama would say, we must have compassion for our enemies. After all, they are so deluded one should feel pity for them.  Love thine enemy. It drives them crazy.

  • on a comment on Iraq Exit Strategy: 1, 2, 3 over 9 years ago
    That's kind of insulting, since I happen to be Jewish and a strong supporter of Israel.

    Further, your whole comment is silly and off target. Kicking Saddam out of Kuwait, which I supported (and which never would have had to happen had we not originally supported HIM and sent him mixed messages - remember April Glasby?) was not the cause of 9/11.

    None of these points are related to the terrible idea of occupying a foreign country.

    Wise up.

  • comment on a post Are Democrats Afraid to Attack Bush? over 9 years ago
    No, I don't mean to say you're stupid, just snarking on a shopworn phrase.


     delusions of being President


    This is exactly what's going on.  And if, by some God-awful evil twist of fate any of these hacks - Kerry Biden or Clinton - makes it to the nomination I fear we will lose again.  What will it take for them to learn that appeasement is not even good political strategy, let alone good policy strategy?


    Why are Biden, Clinton and Kerry putting their personal ambition ahead of speaking truth to power and speaking truth to the American people?


    You answered your own question when you wrote: "An honest man and a strong leader knows when to admit a mistake" These fools are neither honest men nor strong leaders. They voted for the war resolution and can't admit they were bamboozled by a con man. It may sound harsh but have past the point of giving them the benefit of the doubt.
  • on a comment on Iraq Exit Strategy: 1, 2, 3 over 9 years ago
    This had been infuriating me for months. What is wrong with these people, the Bidens, Clintons, Liebermans, the Kerrys?

    I think this is one of the reasons Kerry lost. People did not see that he had any coherent message on Iraq that was in anyway different that Bush's, because he didn't. He essentially said I'll make the same mistakes, except I'll make them more competently. Not a particularly stirring rallying cry.

    When will Dems wake up, stop being afraid of being called "weak" and tell us the truth. Thre is no way to win this war.  Even the WSJ realizes that.

  • Investigate!

    Let's not put the cart before the horse. Don't forget that a long investigation by Starr preceded the Clinton impeachment.

    What we need is along, detailed investigation, on several fronts, by several congressional commitees. What is exposed wil be as harmful as an impeachment. If, after this, sentiment in the country is so riled that impeachment gains widespread support, then impeach, even if he has six months left in his term.

  • comment on a post Iraq Exit Strategy: 1, 2, 3 over 9 years ago
    I agree with your assesment of Iraq 100%.

    The insurgency is dedicated to getting us out of Iraq, and will not stop until we leave. We cannot solve the problem because we ARE the problem.

    Unfortunately, too few are making this case, so it seems out of the mainstream. This leaves it open to ridicule such as expressed above.  You will be called weak and tarred with the "cut and run" slander.

    Worse, I do not know the political answer to this.  Perhaps moderating the position somewhat to bring people around slowly.  Perhaps a long hard slog of education.  Perhaps convincing more Dems to understand the situation the way you do.  Perhaps more and more tragedy. Perhaps a combination of all this. It took us so long to get out of Vietnam.

    In any case, good luck.

  • comment on a post Biden Launches Unite Our States PAC over 9 years ago
    It's a great weight loss plan. It's simple, cheap and effective. It only has two steps , here they are:

    1. Look at Joe Biden and listen to him.

    2. Lose your appetite.

    I saw Biden after Bush's speech. He was disgusting. Smiling like a crocodile and saying how great things were going in Iraq, how much progress had been made, etc. and basically combing the nits out of Bush's fur. UGH!

    Did he even leave the Green Zone? This guy has been a Bush enabler all through this debacle of a war. Oh, yeah, he complains how they're not doing things right, blah, blah, but has he ever had the guts to say what we all know, namely that this war was a blunder and a disaster from the beginning, built on lies? If he had, I haven't heard it. He still thinks we can "win" this.

    Biden is trying his hardest to be the Democratic John McCain, without the creds. If he thinks he can either garner the Dem nomination or win the presidency with this kind of crap, he need look no further than the fantastically successful run of Joe Lieberman.

    When are these people going to wake up and realize that Iraq, like Vietnam before it, is unwinnable. How many more deaths, how much more money will it take to remember that a foreign power can not win against a local insurgency that believes it is fighting for its own sovereignty?  We cannot solve the problems in Iraq. We are the problems in Iraq.

  • comment on a post The McCain Factor over 9 years ago
    All good questions.  I think if this administration implodes, which seems more and more likely these days, it will be quite different from Nixon.

    Nixon was taken down by his criminal behavior and that of his closest staff.  If this admin comes down it will be because of systemic attitudes of hubris, corruption, secrecy, a total disregard for truth and disastrous policy decisions, not individual criminal behavior.

    Consequently the effects on Bush's party, and his coaliton, will be far worse.  It will be systemic, not personal. They, and their governing policies, will be discredited, including radical conservatism.  It would be more like the repudiaton of LBJ combined with the corrupton of Watergate and the anger of a public that was lied into a costly and unwinnable war.

    I don't see clearly how McCain benefits from this. Sure, he's a "moderate" and moderates will benefit from the repudiaton of extremism, but how could he benefit more than the Dems? In comparison to Bush, or a Santorum, or a DeLay he, and others like him such as Hegel, may come out smelling like a rose, but he is/was still too close with W, especially after campaigning for him so publicly, to escape untainted.

    He will gain a lot of power within what will surely be a fractured Republican party, and maybe even become its leader, but that is a two edged sword as his "maverick" status and attendant ability to evade responsibility for bad policy, will be gone.

    If Bush goes down big time, no rethug will escape unscathed except those who will be scrambling to change party affiliations.

  • comment on a post Foreign Purchases of US Debt 30% Below Estimate over 9 years ago
    Wouldn't this have adverse effects on long term interest rates? If bond sales fail to meet expectations, or needs, what other choices than making yields more attractive does the bond seller have, aside from political arm twisting?

    As always, Bonddad, appreciate the info and insight.

  • Yeah, bonddad, scary is exactly the right adjective.

    WIth the eternal disclaimer that I could be wrong, things seem much worse now for housing. Especially in regards to more, shakier types of loans and even less supportable pricing structure.  In '91 loans were  averaging at around 8%, now they are below 6%.  That's a 25% difference, so a rise in interest rates would be even more devastating.

  • ... they simply do not see the problem because the M$M lens that they view the news through is filtering their perception of the problem.

    They not only do not see the problem, they are the problem

  • comment on a post Fed Governor Warns of Decreasing Credit Quality over 9 years ago
    I remember the late eighties/early nineties when bankers would take us to lunch, and tell us just how we could jimmy pro formas in order to justify edgy loans on commercial properties.  We're in the business of loaning money, they'd say, help us out. Since we were in the business of syndicating properties (mostly multi-tenant) we listened since our business depended on making deals, as well. It wasn't long after that that the whole thing blew up.

    Now, even so, some of those deals worked out, and years later proved to be even quite profitable, but many went upside down just a couple of years later.  Naturally, we and the bankers kept our fees and commissions, but on the sour apples a lot of investors lost money, and a lot of banks ate crap, big time. Remember The Resolution Trust Co?  Hundreds of billions in bailouts for failed banks.

    Well, it's baaaack. Except that the multi-tenant and commercial market is not as shaky, because it is not, as yet, as overbuilt as it was back then, but the SFR segment on the other hand, is far riskier than it was.  And far bigger in both dollars and participation.

    Just a historical note:  Median housing prices declined 27% between 1991 and 1993 here in Los Angeles. They did not recover to earlier levels until 1998.  Now they are 200% over those levels.

    Bubble?

  • don't bullshit myself into believing that I'm not buying a product effectively made by slave labor

    If you think most goods from China are made by "slave labor" you are seriously misinformed.

    Have you ever been there?  I have.  The workers in China are developing into what might be called a (lower) middle class.  Yes, their pay is far below what we might consider but that is in part due to distortions in the currency exchange rate. Their fate is far, far better than their parents who were in many cases urban truly poor or impoverished farmers.  Not to say that poverty does not exist in China, of course it does.  It also exists here.

    Go to a Chinese factory making furniture, machinery, cars, clothes, computer chips or whatever and the chances are you will find a well fed, well clothed, highly trained worker efficiently using the latest, most modern equipment with a great deal of pride in their work.

    They live in modest, but clean and generally adequate houses and apartments (the managerial class often lives in newer and rather impressive condos), there is plenty of cheap and healthful food in well stocked markets and crowded restaurants, and clothes are stylish and cheap. Gone are the Mao jackets of old, which only old people still seem to favor. They are proud of their economic achievements and have great hope for their kids who are all being educated to take their place in a modern society.

    Five or ten dollars a day may seem like slave wages to you, but not when a pair of shoes can be had for 85 cents, a brand new, decent quality bicycle for $30. and a really good dinner in a restaurant with table clothes and excellent service is $3.50 (and that includes a couple of beers). Or, for poorer folks, healthy, delicious, hot meat filled buns are a nickel and make a great lunch and the busses, which are clean and go everywhere,  cost 12 cents. That plus government old age pensions and subsidized housing.

    Slave labor?

    Get real.

  • I have been a lifelong Democrat.  My parents were lifelong Democrats.  I think most, if not all, progressives have long associations with the D party.

    Two things come to mind.

    One, Gore's loss in 2000 may have soured some as to the viability and wisdom of third party campaigns in our political system.

    Two, this realization has made many understand that if we are to have a real voice in American politics and policy we need to do it in the framework of the Democratic party and what we have to do is effect change within the party to get our voices heard. Howard Dean both clarified that understanding and provided a rallying point.

    God bless him. And I mean that literally.

  • ...It's well known that Merle was, and probably still is, a big pothead. He's often said the song was written tongue in cheek.  When you think about it, it is really a sly sort of putdown.  And Merle ain't from Oklahoma, neither.

    He is, however one of the great singers of our time, with an absolutely magnificent voice and style. Check out "That's the Way Love Goes."

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