June 2010

Kagan Going Through the Drill

It's the Supreme Court nominee confirmation drill. The President sends a person up. The nominee appears humble, modest, honored. -- Honored to have his or her resume examined in a public hearing by such worthy and honored Senators in the opposition. Honored to be on the receiving end of a public flogging. Cheerful -- that is considered having the correct temperament.

Elena Kagan is holding up just fine to the drill -- Being bipartisan, non-partisan, reciting the the magic words of the ritual that raise ordinary lawyers to the august court.?

Elena Kagan's Confirmation Hearing

The process of being confirmed for a Supreme Court justice position is particularly intense. Every aspect of your life and what you have done is put under a microscope, and people who are deeply skeptical of you or downright don’t like you will sit there for hours asking you             questions about whatever they please. You have to answer, unless it would compromise some later decision you may be faced with making if you are on the court later.

The Stock Market's Emotional Downward Dive.

And then there’s the stock market. As if things weren’t bad enough, the U.S.’s’ stock market plunged today after a slew of bad news. I was at a cookout last Saturday and I asked my father, who is about to be in his 60’s, what he thought about his 401K. A whole lotta O’s, not so many 4’s or 1’s and a lot less K’s than there were a few years ago. He furrowed his brow and talked about a new money manager and diversification. I’m sure he was not happy about what he saw today’s market do. It may mean that he has to work an extra year or two. You never know.

The Benefits of Socialism

As a strong anti-capitalist and supporter of socialist models I am often asked why socialism? Given the current political climate, and hostilities towards the “s” word, there are a lot of misconceptions about Socialism and its many benefits. So, let us examine the benefits of socialism and how society might benefit from a social model.

First it is important to point out that socialism is an economic system, not a political one. So all of the political propaganda is just that, propaganda. There is nothing about Socialism that is unconstitutional, illegal, or in anyways hinders a democracy, in fact, socialism would tend to have more people involved in the democratic process.

Political Heavyweight Fight

Wait, wait a second.  Not so fast.  Former President Bill Clinton isn't falling in line, as he's going against the national Democratic Party in endorsing challenger Andrew Romanoff, instead of incumbent Senator Micahael Bennet, for the Senate seat in Colorado.  Clinton wrote an email to supporters, reported by CNN.com saying he supports Romanoff, "and I hope you will too. Please make a generous contribution to his campaign today," and went on to write, "Colorado is far better off today because of Andrew Romanoff's leadership. America will be too."

Afghanistan Keeps Getting Worse

What in the hell are we doing in Afghanistan? Fighting Al Qaeda? Right?

The Speaker of the House, that noble and wise lady, Nancy Peloski, is fed up with Afghanistan. Yesterday, the HuffPost Hill reported -- "In some of the strongest terms she has used to date, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared last Friday that the United States will see 'a serious drawdown' of forces in Afghanistan by July 2011 and that the House may use the power of the purse to ensure the drawdown takes place. In an exclusive interview with the Huffington Post, Pelosi made clear that while recent talk has hinted that the administration's stated goal of a June 2011 start date for a troop drawdown may be open to change, her commitment to it remains firm."

A good reading of the Constitution

The Supreme Court decision to uphold the Second Amendment was expected and is welcomed. This morning, Monday, the Court, by a 5-4 vote, held Americans have the right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they live. Justice Samuel Alito said for the court that the Second Amendment right "applies equally to the federal government and the states." Under the ruling states and localities are allowed to regulate but not to prohibit private gun ownership.

Barbour Bellying Aching for Fed Aid

The Mississippi Governor, Haley Barbour, sees oil! Yes, oil from the BP busted gushing well has reached the shoreline and continues to flow into the waters around barrier islands, and the Gov. Mr. Barbour says he's pressing BP and federal officials to increase resources in Mississippi!

While the oil was on its way, the Gov was out fund raising, and raising hell to just about anyone who wanted to criticize BP and big oil. Last week, while he was fund raising for a possible 'Haley Barbour for President' effort, he attacked President Obama for forcing BP to put $20 billion in an escrow account, to be made available for reimbursements, and he refused to deploy more than 58 out of the 6, 000 National Guardsmen made available to fight the slick. The word was that more wouldn't have looked good for tourism -- And Mr. Gov. attacked the press for covering the disaster.

Saying No To Off Shore Drilling

Charlie Crist 's Republican critics are saying that Charlie Crist is looking more and more like a Democrat everyday. Maybe, only because the Democratic Party has a broad perch, much broader, by far than that narrow little one of the Republican Party, which only has room for wing-nuts. Mr Crist was a member of the Grand Old Party, but he was having no fun, because the wing-nuts in the party made it clear to Mr. Crist,  the party was over for him -- in the GOP it was is. In the wider world of Florida politics, the party is just beginning for Mr. Crist. He jumped out of the GOP just ahead of the boot that was coming his way.

Kagan Drill

The Kagan confirmation hearings have begun. Today, Monday, is the day. The Republicans being Republicans are besides themselves struggling like ants, attacking rye bread. They would attack whole wheat or rye, any kind of bread tossed at them. that came from the Obama bag.

What's The Fuss About?

The G20 leaders, the leaders of the top 20 industrialized nations, met in Toronto, Canada, for two days this past weekend, and they pledged to cut their national deficits in half by 2013. And they provided the world's media with plenty of opportunity for photo ops, and they drew protesters, some of whom the police said got violent and were arrested.

About a small group of the protesters engaged in vandalism, burned four police cars, et.al, et al. A much larger group peacefully protested. About what? What  the G20 is doing or isn't doing. Some protesters think the G20 shouldn't meet at all, because the group is a harbinger of the New World Order, that is coming, and that will sweep aside the US Constitution and all personal liberties everywhere. Really?

Robert Byrd Flies To Glory

Robert C. Byrd, the conservative West Virginia Democrat, the longest-serving member of Congress in history, a defender of the institutional power of the United States Senate, the man who rebuilt West Virginia with vast amounts of federal money, died early this morning, Monday. He was 92.

Senator Byrd was elected to the US senate in 1958, re-elected eight times. He was born in poverty, worked his way up, going to night school. In his early adult years, he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He later denounced the klan, and said he regretted his association with it.

Oil Invested Judge Disallows Moratorium

What will become of the Gulf Coast?  When will the happenings turn around to be anything close to positive?  Hopefully it'll be soon, but for now there is so much negative.  Another report comes from the Gulf Coast that Martin Feldman, the U.S. District Court judge who overturned the moratorium of the deep-water drilling, has significant investment in the oil and gas industry.  Is this surprising?  No.  Is it ethical?  Not even close.

Can BP Pay for its Mistakes?

I’m not up on what is the Blue Chip stocks right now, but I’m pretty sure that if you ad asked someone last year about what the chances of BP stock being a good 5 – 10 year investment wre, they would have said you’re pretty golden on that one. Or blue, as in chip. Now you would be blue (as in sad) because there  is no way your BP stock is ever going to really recover from your losses.

BP stock just hit a 14 year low, and they’ve lost more than half of their value on the market. Oh, boy. “A heavy inversion of both credit yield and equity volatility suggests the market is concerned about a near-term credit event around BP.”

To: Mr. Obama, From: Mr. Medvedev

To My American Colleague in International Politics,

I would first and foremost like to express my gratitude for your hospitality in the United States, Mr. Obama. It brings such warmth to my heart to see our two great nations, which were at odds for too long in the past, coming together as brothers reconciled in front of our family, which is the entire world. I wish I could say I felt as welcome in your country during the previous administration's lengthy tenure. The accommodations provided for me and my family were more than adequate and I must say that my son, Ilya, is quite impressed with your country's selection of sugary drinks. At 15, I need not tell you how difficult it is to coax a smile from the boy. As for your choice of venue for our lunch meeting, I must express my concern for the message it will likely send to the rest of the globe.