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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Did Reverend Wright Derail Obama?

One thing that everyone can recognize is an idiot with an open microphone. In the past several days Reverend Wright has done his best to pretty much kill the chances of an African American like Barack Obama ever becoming the Democrat nominee for President. What the good reverend has done is isolate in fear what every African American is and that does not bode well for a political candidate running on a platform for one American people no longer divided, no longer separated but united as one for one single purpose. Rebuilding a broken America.

Barack Obama declared his total separation from Reverend Jeremiah Wright today, now retired from the pulpit at Trinity Church because of his outrageous statements picked up all over the main stream media. Over at the Washington Post they have this on the event…

By Peter Slevin
Sen. Barack Obama today strongly criticized the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor, saying that Wright's comments about the United States in recent days have been "destructive" and "outrageous."

Using his sharpest language yet to describe a series of Wright performances that he said left him angry and sad, Obama accused Wright of exploiting racial divisions at the same time the Illinois senator is aiming to bring the nation together.

"When I say I find these comments appalling, I mean it," Obama told reporters in firm and somber tones. "It contradicts everything that I'm about and who I am. And anybody who has worked with me, who knows my life, who has read my books, who has seen what this campaign is about I think will understand that it is completely opposed to what I stand for and where I want to take this country."


"I have spent my entire adult life trying to bridge the gap between different kinds of people. That's in my DNA, trying to promote mutual understanding," Obama said. "To insist that we all share common hopes and common dreams as Americans and as human beings. That's who I am. That's what I believe. That's what this campaign has been about."

"Yesterday, we saw a very different vision of America," Obama went on. "I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday."

- Washington Post

Reverend Wright in his mission to make life better for his congregation has grandstanded and used his bully pulpit for his own personal grandeur. In doing so he has drawn the line in the sand that white Americans and black Americans can never be united as one people. For the first time in his own life his pulpit reached beyond Trinity Church and across America simply because he has a black mans opinion and was the pastor of a Presidential candidate. He saw the limelight on Barack Obama and rather than let the new hope for our nation shine he turned the light on himself and the mistakes and ignorance of the past.

It will not be easy for the Obama campaign to overcome the Wright controversy. Even with his announcement today to separate himself from the Reverend, it still sticks in some circles. It raises the question of whether Obama can or will be able to coast through the rest of the election process and simply win because the numbers seemed to look that way. Did Reverend Wright put the nail in the coffin of the Obama campaign?

No matter what thought process or political theory you follow the only winner in the whole mess that Jeremiah Wright instigated is Senator John McCain. Hillary Clinton can not capitalize on this issue because it is a personal matter between a pastor and one man in his congregation. Paint it any single way you want and it just does not spin well as a political weapon against Obama as a Democrat opponent in the rest of the election process.

All of this post leads to beg the question if African Americans would ever forgive Reverend Wright for handing the nomination process to Hillary Clinton simply because he was so angry to be an African American that was wronged over and over in his own life? Then again, Obama and his campaign isn’t about the past, it’s about the future and that is very different than what Reverend Wright could ever have experienced.

Interesting reads on this topic: Pissed on Politics

Syndicated To:
Michael Linn
Bring It ON!
To the Center

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Question to Readers???

I'm wondering for all the folks from all over the world how the site is loading up? Do you find the site slow to load? I'm also wondering if all the graphics on the left side are really necessary? There are some that I find that I can do without and others that seem to slow the pages loading up even on my home computer.

Other questions I have for the readers are about my feed. One of the mind boggling things that I can't get over or understand is that the feed for Papamoka Straight Talk generates more traffic than the actual site? Can anyone take a stab at explaining how that all works? On a regular basis the feedburner feed gets three to four times more traffic than the actual blog does and I'm wondering how that is even possible?

How are the pictures loading up for you on your computer? What about the video's that have been posted? Are they viewable for you?

Just a reminder... If you have a permanent link to Papamoka Straight Talk and you do not see one in the sidebar then please let me know. Family friendly, no porn or mega violence sites.

Needless to say, this is an open post on questions you have about the site and things you might like to see gone or things you might like to see added. Feel free to speak your mind and I appreciate all of your feedback.

Take care of you!

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

McCain Respectful Politics, Wink, Wink

Democrat’s should all be thankful to Senator McCain for wanting to run a clean Republican campaign without all the negativity and nastiness aimed at Senator’s Obama and Clinton. Not that Senator Obama does not have a few skeletons in his closet but it will be nice to see a Presidential campaign based on the issues instead of accusation of who stuck a wad of gum under which lunch table in high school.

Now that the North Carolina campaign is in full swing the television ads from all camps will be flying on the airwaves and we all know about those pesky privately funded advertisements. We all know that the candidates technically can not be held responsible for the actions of any politically active groups supporting their election bid for the White House. Wink, wink, wink!

We can’t hold John McCain liable for below the fray politics if it didn’t come from his campaign war chest or even his lips. Wink, wink, wink! Over at CNN they have this piece on John McCain and his very respectful campaign strategy and we should be truly thankful for his personal integrity on running an issue based election…

After McCain effectively clinched the Republican nomination, he called on his party to run a respectful, above-the-fray campaign.

But the ad, conceived by North Carolina Republicans, appears to defy that call.
"For 20 years, Barack Obama sat in his pew listening to his pastor," the TV ad says.

The ad then airs comments from Obama's pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who says: "And then wants us to sing 'God Bless America?' No, no, no. Not 'God Bless America,' God [expletive] America."

McCain's campaign released an e-mail he sent North Carolina GOP Chairwoman Linda Daves that asked her not to run the ad.

"In the strongest terms, I implore you to not run this advertisement," he wrote. "This ad does not live up to the very high standards we should hold ourselves to in this campaign."
North Carolina Republicans refused to pull the ad.

"I can't dictate to them. But I want to be the candidate of everybody. I want to be the candidate of Republicans and Democrats and independents," he said Wednesday.

During one New Orleans appearance, an audience member questioned McCain about an endorsement he received from controversial Pastor John Hagee, who once said on a radio show that "what happened in New Orleans looks like the curse of God."

"When someone endorses me, [it] does not mean I embrace their views," he responded. Later on his bus, McCain elaborated, "I didn't attend pastor Hagee's church for 20 years."

Wink, wink, wink. Key phase from McCain himself is; "I didn't attend pastor Hagee's church for 20 years."

Maybe the press should ask Senator McCain what the definition of the phase “Above the fray” means in relation to respectful campaigning? Get the old Maverick in the hot seat like they had Bill Clinton when he had to define the word “It” during one of his “Personal” indiscretions.

One can picture John McCain reviewing the television advertisement being very disgruntled about the negative content and yet nodding his head and winking in full approval while Karl Rove okayed the ads to run all over North Carolina. Technically, McCain did not approve it but maybe his consultant did? This is of course all speculation but the only speculation that makes sense for McCain to utter the phrase in defense of his association and endorsement with and by Reverend John Hagee.

I think if I had the lesser of two evils and associations that I would prefer Reverend Wright’s every single time. McCain with this remark has proven the fact that he has no intention to run a clean fight against Obama for the White House.


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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Strategic Petroleum Reserve Politics

Deep in the south of America are huge stock piles of oil that our government has been pumping into enormous salt caverns since the days of Jimmy Carter. The oil that is pumped in is bought on the open market and kept in reserve for a reason. In times of national and world distress the American economy can not afford a blip in supply if the nations supplying that oil can not do so.

When it comes to tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) it is at the behest of the President. Something that the current occupant of the White House has failed to do with the run up of commodity pricing on the open markets for his own personal reasons that are known only to him. Some people would say that he has a grudge against American’s simply because he is not popular by even the closest margin of percentage points in the middle and lower classes. Thus he has not tapped the SPR to help American’s where it hurts, not just its people but its businesses that rely on all oil based products.

In to save the day (in her own mind) is House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. Her idea of a temporary fix to save American consumers five cents plus at the pump is to stop filling the SPR and this is what Reuters has to say about it…

House speaker asks Bush to stop stockpiling oil
By Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday called on the White House to temporarily stop sending crude oil into the nation's emergency stockpile.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she was calling on President George W. Bush to work with Democrats to find a way to "temporarily suspend" oil deliveries to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The White House immediately rejected the plea. "We don't believe the fill rates have a meaningful impact on oil supplies," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.
"We continue to fill the reserve to provide an added layer of protection to the American people in cases of severe supply disruption."

Pelosi said suspending deliveries would save drivers 5 cents to 24 cents per gallon at the pump.

As U.S. benchmark crude oil prices hit a record near $120 a barrel this week, the Bush administration insists that filling the reserve accounts for less than one-tenth of 1 percent of daily supply, and has no meaningful effect on prices.

The nearly 701 million barrels of crude oil stored in underground salt caverns in Louisiana and Texas are meant as a supply buffer in case of major supply disruptions like the 2005 hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast oil patch. It was created by Congress in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo.

Current shipments come to about 70,000 barrels per day, while the United States uses about 21 million bpd.
- Reuters

Stopping the filling of the SPR is a very bad idea that will never save a penny at the pump for consumers. The price on the open market for oil will continue to rise simply because the investment potential on the commodity market is driving billions of new money every single day into it. Kiss the nickel or quarter savings away within one weeks time. Supply is not the problem! Market manipulation is driving the price higher and higher and that will not end till the government really thinks about it.

Nancy Pelosi should have the guts to stand up and demand an investigation into the top thirty commodity brokers and open up their books under a federal investigation. What is that old saying about following the money? Does she have the guts to do it and follow it up with a knock out punch? I don’t think so. Neither does Byron Dorgan of North Dakota.

Do you personally believe that the average American family in the middle and lower class has the billions of dollars that is flooding the markets to drive the price up? Where might that kind of free cash flow come from? Anyone other than me thinking that the oil companies with record profits in the tens of billions of dollars per quarter might want to make sure those CEO bonuses continue for the long term? What are these companies doing with all that cash while you forgo the better cuts of meat at the market? What are they doing with all that cash when you have to tell your kids that you have to cancel their after school program because the gas to get them back and forth to practice and games is just killing the family budget? What are they doing with all that cash when a tank full of gas is now approaching a days pay for someone at minimum wage?

Wait this story only gets better. How do you defend the future needs of your nations energy needs? You make it impossible for the SPR to ever pump another barrel of oil. Same article from Reuters…

Democrats in the Senate are also pursuing legislation that would require the Energy Department to suspend shipments to the reserve if prices are too high.

Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota said he would seek to attach an amendment to an upcoming supplemental appropriations bill that would forbid the government from sending oil to the SPR if oil prices are above $75 a barrel.

"I believe I have the votes," Dorgan told reporters. "I think I'm going to be able to get this dome." - Reuters

Why not just put a bullet in my kids energy backup future Senator Dorgan. Why not just tell the Saudi’s and all the other oil producing nations that we give up? You win, feel free to rape and pillage our open market society and have your way with us, our children, and our grandchildren.

The SPR is there for a damn good reason and if the market is out of control then President Bush is obligated to intervene during this energy crisis built up by Wall Street. America’s economy only works if the workers at the bottom of it can get to work and the price of gasoline is slowly making that possibility not probable. Releasing one to two million barrels a month from the SPR till the market calms sends a message that tells the market that this is not something you want to heavily invest in. Secondly, if the President initiated full investigations into the oil commodity market it might just stop the endless run up of what basically will kill this economy and its peoples way of life goodbye.

That will not happen so maybe Senator Obama, Senator Clinton and Senator McCain should pay close attention to this topic. After all one of them will be sitting in the White House come January of 09 and this topic just might come up.


Cross posted at, Bring It ON! , and To the Center

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is McCain Out of Touch?

One of the things you don’t ask in a down economy is if people are better off today than they were four years ago with a silver spoon in your mouth. By all means if you are ever asked that question as a political candidate you don’t offer reasons why people are better off when that is just not true. Our economy is in a freaking nose dive and a millionaire politician has the audacity to tell you that things are just fine?

When it comes to reality and what the real American people are going through some folks just don’t have a clue. I found this little eye opener over at the Washington Post…

I’m just going to assume that Senator McCain does not pump his own gas or go grocery shopping for himself. Maybe he leaves all of those little details up to the little woman at home and the staff at her disposal.

And this guy thinks he is in touch with Americans? I think not.


Thanks to BJ for this tip!

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Chris Matthews to Hillary “Pack it up!”

Using Real Clear Politics delegate count page it isn’t hard to see where the numbers will end up in the Democrat Primary race. Hillary Clinton would have to beat Barack Obama 66% to 34% in every race from here to the end. In my figures I’m using all possible delegates including super delegates.

Chris Matthews has the opinion that this race is over for Hillary Clinton and the media is spinning it just to keep the action going. I’d have to agree with him that a 32 point trouncing in every race left against Obama is not going to happen.

Then again Obama could really screw up? Nope, that isn’t going to happen either.

Pack it up Hillary!


Posted in Diaries

Other folks talking about this issue...
Pissed On Politics

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Penn Primary Part 4

MSNBC 9:04

Clinton 52%
Obama 48%

Tim Russert:

Super delgates that Clinton needs to revive into her corner. Sense of history and who can carry the Electoral College.

Clinton needs to put the question mark over Obama, he can't win the Democrat campaign. Obama people thinking about the spin and they have more votes, more states, and more delegates still. It's mommentum. Hillary is on life support if she can not raise the money.

Terry McCauliff:

He's in the Clinton Tank. Hillary will move ahead in the popular vote. Voters trust Hillary Clinton and she is prepared to run this nation. She has proven she can win the states we need for the general election. 8 million Democrats still ready to vote and Hillary and the voters of PA pulled this one off. Delegates will still be close and who will be ready to take on McCain?

Clinton will speak in about one half hour to the folks.

54% Clinton 46% Obama 9:12PM 9% votes in

Questions raised on money or votes? Which one do you want as a voter in a candidate? The economy is driving this race.

Campaign Funding

Clinton: $9 million Debt: $10.3 million
Obama: $42 million Debt: $ 663,000

Update: 53% Clinton 47% Obama 12% votes in

Clinton nets 14 to 18 delegates

Clinton needs 251 delgates after May 6th to win or 70%-80% victories in delegates per contest from here on out.


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Penn Primary Results - Part 3


Keith Olberman=KO
Chis Matthews=CM

To ealy to call but numbers are 65% Clinton - 35% Obama - 0% numbers in?

Speculation by Pat Buchanan, Rachel Maddow, David Gregory and panel on why Obama is weaker against Clinton and John McCain. Buchanan stating Obama needs a very close loss or the race is over for him against McCain. (I didn't know that McCain was in the Democrat primary)

CM - toss out the early numbers because we know as much now as we knew six weeks ago?

Harold Ford Jr. on questioning Clinton if she should stay in? She thinks that the numbers will show big for her and Bush and McCaine are too close when it comes to the economy. 70% disaproval rating for Bush.

Scarborough: Barack is to liberal and the most liberal member. Old line liberal. But Philly suburbs are huge in numbers, 300k in mass. Suburban Republican Mom's going for Obama over McCain in the fall.

Elderly voters breaking early for Clinton. Reagan Democrats but Obama gets the new voters in large numbers just as well. It will be ugly in the fall.

MSNBC PROJECTS WINNER - Tom Brokaw: Hillary Clinton 8:50PM with 3% of the vote counted and based on exit polls.

Raw vote: Clinton 55% Obama 45%

Clinton camp out of money
Fund raising a huge priority and they are hitting the phones tonight.

CM: The numbers could fluctuate by midnight

KO: Money is key for the survival of the Clinton camp

Most donors have already maxed out for Clinton - Andrea Mitchell

TOM B: Obama is having no problem raising money and Republican's are donating registering as first time Democrat's.

Latest numbers 8:56PM Clinton 53% Obama 47% 3% of the vote counted


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Penn Results Coverage part 2

CNN Coverage:

Nomination is still on trial

Paul Begala:

Bush hid DUI and that came out in the last days and that is what happened to Obama in PA

Donna Brazile:

Record turnout and Obama had some missteps and is fately wounded but Obama will not be defined by every relation in his life then so will McCain and Clinton. People care about the economy and the issues.

Alex Castellanos:

You know who wheres the pants in my family and that is the campaign Clinton is running.

Bill Bennett:

Very one sided and very Republican and one sided.

Hagee mentioned in comparison to Obama preacher problems


CNN is way over the edge and strictly on a John McCain swing fest and love fest.... Donna Brazille is the only objective voice. The panel was skewed with two many single sided thoughts and they all played to their candidates opinion. It was more of a discussion on why John McCain is better than anyone in the Democrat Primary.... Clicking back to MSNBC

No vote count 8:32PM


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Penn. Results Coverage

7:58 PM - polls close in 2 minutes. I'm watching MSNBC and flicking back to CNN. Is it just me or does Chris Matthews look like crap? Kieth Olberman has been asking alot of questions that lean Obama but he doesn't blink when he has a shot at Obama either.

Poplular vote prior to the Pennsyvania results is:

Obama -13,402, 903
Clinton - 12,705,360

Overall Delegate Count:

Obama - 1655
Clinton - 1513

MSNBC - Russert is quoting the Clinton camp is spending $1 million per day.
Obama is buying twice as much television time as Clinton.
Double digit win by Clinton sends the election into June.
Charges and counter charges by the Democrats folding the party and feeding McCain

Brokaw: Super delegates still in play
Dem convention should not be divided against people that voted and establishment
Will of the people is the safest route to go for super delegates

Andrea Mitchell:

Exit polls not the big victory that the Clinton camp hoped for.
Clinton in the red with cash.
Clinton the underdog
Clinton lead evaporated and many staffers owed cash.
Hillary does not trust Nancy Pelosi
Obama flooded with cash and donations


Ed Rendell should talk to Clinton if the big win isn't there?
Others in the party to talk to her about bowing out.
Hillary played up her routes in NE Pennsylvania

Commentary and other points:

Moste Penn. voters decided in the last three days who to vote for.
Women going for Clinton in large numbers.
Philly exit polls show Philly going for Obama 68%

END 8:20 pm

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Penn Campaign Coverage

Just for the fun of it I'll be reporting on the latest and greatest on the campaign outcome. Check back often.


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Clearer Sense of Politics

With all the back and forth of the political process between Hillary and Barack I’m ready to file the divorce papers for them. Not from their respective spouses but from one another as Democrats. Let me explain a little further.

All of the useless politics that have been going on between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has amounted to nothing but great material for Republican talk radio. Over at the McCain campaign they should be writing down all the bashing these two are doing to one another so they can throw it up in the winners face. If I were advising McCain I know that is what I would do but don’t tell anyone about that little factoid. Mum is the word on that topic.

She dodged bullets that never existed in Bosnia and he dodged a comment from his pastor caught in a sound bite when he was not there to hear it. He said, she said is all there is to report lately on this election for the next Democrat candidate for President of the United States of America.

These are the times for campaigns to go mega negative and these are the times that make voters cringe. We won’t see the end of this race in the Democrat primary simply because there will be no outcome accepted by one or both of the candidates. That is not a bad thing because it exposes the reasons why many moderate Republican voters should vote for the eventual Democrat nominee in the general election against John McCain. Looking at the bigger picture John McCain has not one person to argue against on his positions on any issue. He’s omnipotent in this election to date. He has been literally declared the next President by many in the main stream media leaning right on politics even though the people have not voted. That sounds to familiar to the current administration with their Pharaoh like mentality of so let it be written, so let it be done.

Maybe the folks still voting need to look at not just the sound bites on the news but the combined persons that can beat John McCain in the general election. I’ll give the Clinton campaign credit for having the former President’s political machine but that isn’t enough to beat the Maverick McCain. I’ll give the Obama campaign credit for being enthusiastic in engaging the young of America to vote but that is not enough to beat the Bush/Rove/McCain machine to keep a Republican in the White House. So what will work?

Consolidation of the Democrat Party prior to the convention in Boulder, Colorado is the only answer. In no way can this political party go to the convention divided over a delegate count. That would only play to the Republican thought process that the Democrat’s do not know what they want but we do. Common sense begs for a merger of two political machines and if they do not see that as individuals then the Clinton and Obama camp’s can kiss the White House and a Democrat in it in 2009 goodbye.


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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Life After Death Or?

Questions and curriosity about Death are not morbid as much as they are simply human nature.
One of the things that I have always been personally curious about is the question of life after death. Being a somewhat religious man… aka Catholic, I believe that there is life after this world. Having gone to my share of funerals in my life it has always been a question in the back of my head especially when the calling hours were for someone I deeply loved in my life.

I lost my mother when she was only sixty-one. She was a wonderful and amazing human being that raised not only my six brothers and sisters but some would say my father as well. In her life she experienced so many wonderful things and passed on that knowledge to everyone that would care to listen. Being her baby boy I listened a lot and learned even more because of it. Even though she has passed on I still dream of her on occasion and it brings a calmness to my spirit.

I lost my father to Alzheimer’s disease and I can hope to God that I do not follow in his footsteps. Dad was my best friend for life and losing your friend that way is horrible to go through and I’m sure it was no picnic for him. I could see the fear in his eyes when his memory was totally gone and even his first born visiting him terrified him because he could not remember him. That was the last time he recited any of his children’s names. Even though Dad has passed on I still dream of him from time to time and in those dreams there is hope and my best friends guidance.

If you asked me if I believe in Angel’s or Ghost’s or the paranormal I would have to say yes. Do I believe in life after death, yes I do. With that being said I’ve looked into some online research of other people discussing these subjects and compiled some links that I thought people might enjoy looking into. They run the spectrum of Near Death Experiences to Out of Body Experiences to Ghost’s and Angel’s. As time goes by I will be adding to the links and adding subjects to the pages like Prophet’s, Poltergeists‘, Visionaries, Psychic’s and other related topics.

If you have a few minutes then please check out my latest online project called Life After Death Or? If you enjoy it for what it is then visit the sponsors and drop a comment or two on the pages.


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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Newbie Homeowner… Not today buddy!

Not that the cost of gas will prevent you from ever owning a home if that is your hope and dream, stagnant wages will. While the cost of living is going through the roof along with CEO bonuses and mega billion profits per quarter at the oil companies the average Joe is supposed to say “Oh well?”.

Is it just me or does the main stream media not get it? Our jobs are going everywhere but here and everyone in the media is smiling as if there is nothing wrong. Good paying middle class jobs are flooding out of every state because it is cheaper to move the plants and machinery out of America and that is the bottom line that pays the CEO’s. Every single corporation in America is looking to go cheaper and that answer is offshore and out of America. Yes, it makes good business sense but if it is at the expense of all your neighbors is it the right thing to do? If you think like a CEO then it is always a good thing to do. Cheaper labor cost means a greater profit. End of discussion.

When our nations job providers do not offer wages to provide for home ownership then that is the end of the American economic engine. Kiss Home Depot, Lowes and any other home improvement stores goodbye! Then again that may be a good thing when they put more products not made in America on the shelves to sell. Over at MSN Money they have this interesting piece and I urge you to click on the post!!!

Average Joe still can't afford a home


One of the worst things about today's real estate market is that there doesn't seem to be any silver lining in that big black cloud.

Normally, you'd think dramatically falling prices would make homeownership possible for more moderate-income families.

But even with homes more affordable, the median price in many markets is still out of reach for a median-income family, according to "Paycheck to Paycheck: Wages and the Cost of Housing in America," a study by the Center for Housing Policy, or CHP, in Washington, D.C.

Comparing housing costs in 210 metropolitan areas with the wages earned by workers in 60 occupations, the study found that homeownership is often unaffordable for workers in each of the five-fastest growing occupations -- registered nurses, retail salespeople, customer-service representatives, food-preparation workers and office clerks. Registered nurses, who typically have high salaries, were unable to purchase a median-priced home in 108 of the markets
. - MSN Money

I think I should be clear that I honestly believe the housing market is in a tumble it has not seen in decades or even half a century or more. One of the things I know about economics and how an economy works is that housing is the basis for all indicators.

When I owned my home, I put tons of money into that house. From new windows to the latest and greatest technology on heating the hot water. New doors went up on all of the bedrooms, new floors went down in the kitchen, the bathroom was overhauled with a water saving toilet, and the yard was rebuilt to allow a swing set for the kids to play on. Renters don’t do that and can not do that.

We lost our home when a child’s illness had us faced with ten months of hospital medical bills and I’m not sorry for it. My child is well now and that is all that is important to me. Our home was just a materialistic thing that we built around the family. All of the conveniences we added to our home was just that. Something that made our lives easier. We did what we had to do in order to survive and we lost just an address. My baby is still with us so I don’t look at it as a total loss. It was just a house but she is and will always be my baby girl. That is my personal perspective but this issues is bigger than that. The housing crisis is real and it is at our front door as a nation. Some folks call people like me an idiot for making stupid decisions financially but you would never want to be in my shoes when I made them. Hind sight is wonderful if you never lived the tale or circumstances.

It should bother you that our nation is moving in a direction that is lazy or easy. Where once we were a nation of innovators and experimenters on how to do things better we have been sold out by our corporate leaders for the almighty dollar. In some respects I can understand why one individual would condescend to the principal of making the most money for his family but at what cost does that sell out come to his neighbors? Lately it is pretty high.

When American business people realize that the dollar they get by selling out American jobs is hurting their nation then they just might have a clue. Till that time comes you can watch as all the manufacturing jobs go out of our nation and your job is no longer relevant. They call it outsourcing and good for the bottom line. I call it death to the American economy. Either way the bonuses go out to the top executives. Maybe your MIT engineering skills will come in handy to mow their lawn? Skim the pool or do day care for their kids while they go off shopping.

Buying a house on a salary or pay that requires you to ask if the customer wants fries with that is not how you pay for a home.

Not everyone in America will make anywhere near the big bucks of even the middle class but if the loss of hope of ever owning a home is gone then our nation is a failure. That then would be a tribute to the people that have sold all American’s out.

If this were a baseball game the owners would have sold all the players before the game was even over…


Cross posted and to Bring It ON! and To the Center

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Inflation Revolution

Speaking with a very close friend today I was reminded how cruel and absurd the cost of living in America is today. It’s getting to the point of no return and the government just does not see it. Whether you agree or not we have become a nation constantly screwing over the middle and lower class for the betterment of the upper classes. Dropping your change from the store in the Salvation Army Kettle no longer works to help the lower classes.

Most Americans drive hundreds of miles commuting back and forth from work each week and that cost is not offset by pay increases. The pass on of cost increases all across the board of every good we need or buy is reflected in the economics of oil and our dependence on it. No other product in this world has been so effective in its ability to destroy even the best of economic engines than the simple product pumped out of the ground at a cost of $2 per barrel. How it gets to $115 per barrel is an argument we could go over and over again on what the profiteers of the industry are doing with all of the ill gotten gains?

No matter how you look at it, Oil is the cause of our nations out of control inflation. Throw out the numbers from any main stream media outlet and government source. Look at your grocery cart and see three bags of groceries that cost three times what they did just a few years ago.

There is no better way to laugh about it than Victor Borge and his Inflationary Language routine…

Inflation is a funny topic when you think about it. It’s supply and demand but it is also greed. When it comes to the world oil markets it never looks pretty. When it comes to making the American economy move it is a vital statistic that proves out across the board.

It will take no more than an American uprising to end this madness where the cost of living is out of reach for all Americans. With the housing crisis, the cost of food, the cost of everything in order to simply live is beyond the point of regulatory justification. This nation is on the verge of revolution no matter how you look at it. Healthcare, housing, vehicles, tobacco, everything we do is taxed beyond acceptance and we the people had no say!

When our society regulates and justifies our protection from ourselves then we have lost the sight of freedom. We have lost what it is to be an American. That is a huge mistake.

American’s need to speak up and be angry with our government representatives. If you are reading this post then you can Google search your representative in the congress. Do you want to wait for gas to hit $5.00 per gallon before you say enough is enough or is that okay with you?

Maybe we the people need to mass on Washington D.C. and let them know we can’t take any more. We the people are the nation and we should never forget that fact. Then again, we could just bitch and moan about the insanity of the ever increasing cost of living.

At what point do the people say enough is enough? They say enough when they can’t feed their families simply because they are taxed or legislated out of existence. That is coming when the numbers of them verse us overwhelms the folks making all the rules.

Just something to think about. Write and email your Senator, Congressman and even the President. Tell them you can’t afford to live anymore. Tell them that you are fed up! Otherwise, grab your pitch fork and head for Washington D.C. and poke the bastards where they work.


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Vote Here


I should preface my remarks with a short explanation as to why I haven't written in a while. The full truth is never short, but suffice it to say that there are two causes: not being able to see very well, and that other thing.

What is that other thing, you ask? It's not simple in its cause but quite so in its effect. While interested in the world aroung me, I've gotten to where I want to gag at any more headlines about this Little Rascals race for the White House. As a voter I realize that I have two decisions left to me before November, since my state doesn't hold its primary until May 6.

The Republicans took all the fun out of things with their loser-take-all system, leaving no prolonged and nasty struggle prior to their summer convention. The Democrats, meanwhile, concocted a real doozy this time, with accusations, innuendo, and unveiled insults flying all over the place. I'll look at that for a moment:

The choice (if you will be kind and call it that) is between a Harvard law professor turned senator and the wife of a former president turned senator. The professor hasn't quite got the knack yet of filtering his remarks before uttering them. His opponent, whose combined income with her ex-president husband totals a measly $109 million over 7 years, accuses the professor of being an elitist.

If they keep at it, the level of public discourse might actually reach the level of the ocean floor.

Just Wondering over at Vim & Vinegar regularly points out something that is lost in this sandbox-style election: there's all kinds of stuff happening RIGHT NOW that should wake anyone up. Like.....

The economy. Less said about it the better. It stinks, and it's going to smell a lot worse as time goes on. There was a joke going around in the 1970's in which a sign of the times was an unemployed airline pilot waiting in a gas line in his Volkswagen Beetle with $50 worth of groceries in the glove compartment. Back to the future I guess.

In a recent report, the average high school graduation rate was below 44% in a large number of cities. Nashville and San Jose did the best, with almost 77% graduation rates. If you need me to explain to you the long-term consequences of such numbers then you have my sympathy.

The Decider is still deciding, in his own rather spectacular way. His 9/11 speech, his Mission Accomplished speech, his Katrina speech....well, they all sort of got mulched and combined and now his assertive voice proclaims over and over that 1, he doesn't get it, 2, he doesn't care anyway, 3, rich is much better than poor, and 4, the American people may not be worthy of his leadership after all. With all the department creations following 9/11, with all the resources poured into intelligence one seems to have informed the president that $4 a gallon gasoline just might be around the corner. But he isn't worried; all his friends say they're doing quite well, thank you. And that is all that matters.

This is ancedotal, and therefore has no weight except with and upon me. But recently I had to travel to Florida. Toodling along I-95 at 70m.p.h. (causing enormous inconvenience to those needing to go faster) I took note of the large number of rather expensive vehicles heading southwards for the annual Spring Break season.

It struck me that John Edwards had it wrong. We don't have two Americas. We have two completely different WORLDS. In my youth the Best and Brightest launched America into a quagmire. Their sons and daughters have done it again. Difference is, in my time every guy had to sweat the draft to one degree or another. What I saw blazing down the interstate that day was a class of people whose reality is so far removed from the reality in which I live that I'm left almost speechless.

These people have so many choices....ones that did not exist for the majority forty years ago and do not exist now. Maybe I saw a future president, vice-president, or speaker of the house pass me by that day. Years from now they can at least say they didn't avoid the draft, since there isn't one.

But what am I doing here? It's class warfare, right? I fail to recognize that my betters, whether then or now, are imperfect in their decisions yet totally immune from consequences. In fact, the "leaders" seem to crawl out of every bucket of manure smelling like a book-deal rose.

So be it. But the end result is such an imbalance of life; such a fission of realities that one side will never feel commonalitywith the other. Ever. I am a firm believer in the foolishness of having a multi-linguistic society. But I realize that as bad as that is, it doesn't compare to having people living in the same nation so separated.

In his book, TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY, John Steinbeck made the observation that with the then-new (it was written in 1960) vending machines, a person could travel across the entire United States without speaking to a single soul. It came true, but I don't think Steinbeck ever imagined we would travel our nation and not even look at each other.

The price to be paid for this political/economic Tower of Babel will be borne by the many. The few, the lucky, the self-chosen will remain aloof and wait until the dust settles.

The eyes say, "enough!" They blur and halt anything longer than this. The mind, though, travels on, trying to make sense....trying to see that glimmer of hope that the nation that was paid for with blood (not dividends) might return to an even keel.

To borrow from and paraphrase T.S. Eliot,

This is the way the nation ends,
not with a bang, but with a very profitable whimper.

Cross-posted at

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Housing Crisis Numbers

Browsing through the Worcester Sunday Telegram I came across some interesting numbers on how the home foreclosure crisis is effecting Worcester County. Every week the paper lists all property transactions and from whom to whom. This is just a sampling of some of the real estate transactions in this little corner of Massachusetts so it had me wondering how bad things really are across the nation?

There was a total of 207 transactions and of those 84 were listed as a bank transfer. That works out to 40.57% of possible foreclosures for the entire county. Then I looked at the transactions by city and town and the probability of predatory lending sneaks out.

Fitchburg 5 transactions 4 for the banks or 80%
Gardner 3 transactions 3 for the banks or 100%
Grafton 4 transactions 2 for the banks or 50%
Marlboro 7 transactions 4 for the banks or 57.14%
Milford 8 transactions 4 for the banks or 50%
Oxford 4 transactions 2 for the banks or 50%
Ware 2 transactions 2 for the banks or 100%
Winch. 4 transactions 4 for the banks or 100%
Worcester 45 transactions 33 for the banks or 73.3%

Just some numbers to think about. Have a nice day…

Cross posted at Bring It On! and To the Center

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

American Catholics and the Pope

In my life, my Catholic faith is a foundation to live by. It isn’t by any means binding in the full teachings of the church as an American. More or less it is a standard of faith in God and Jesus Christ and how I should proceed or act in my life. It isn’t an easy faith to follow when everyone else is playing by different rules or no moral rules at all. That by no means states that I’m a jerk and the confessional gives me a pass on forgiveness. What it means to me is that I treat people with respect no matter their lot and life and when I can I offer help to all in any way that I can, I do.

From my personal perspective, I look at any kindness I show as a pay it forward sort of event. When shown kindness and compassion it is hoped that the person receiving it pays it forward to another person in their life. I don’t see the results of my actions but then again I do. Many people have touched my life when I needed it most and it isn’t important to give names because the act of caring for someone else is self rewarding. You know when you are helping someone and that warm feeling in your belly is all that you need to know that you are doing good. That is the goal that Jesus would have wanted for me as a person to follow.

As a Catholic somewhat involved in the faith I know the many good deeds that the church does for the many in need. It isn’t broadcast on the news or spoken of in the halls of government. They just do what they do and many that have been helped have come back to give help to the poor and down and out. Doing something that helps another person no matter who they are is something that is addictive and it begets more action by those helped. Helping out someone that is down and out no matter what action you take is addictive. That is something that you never need to go to meeting for to overcome this particular addiction. That is somewhat the foundation of the Catholic faith when you really think about it.

In America, the Catholic faith has been under strong attack for many misgivings and rightfully so. Pedophile Priests are not something we as Catholic’s want in our flock. It is a shame on our church and something we as members bare on our shoulders every day. When the church does not correct it with undoubtedly sound results then it is a cross the members of the faithful have to face and carry.

It is pretty clear that the years of child molestation by very mentally sick Priest’s will carry forward for many years to come. I have no sympathy for the animals and bastards that harmed children and yet as a Catholic I am supposed to forgive. Forgiveness comes far more easily when the monster disguised as Priest’s are behind bars. That is what an American Catholic thinks in the nutshell. A crime against children is a crime against the future of families. How can you raise your family as Catholic if the crimes are passed over or ignored by the people that are the leaders of the church?

I wish Pope Benedict a fruitful trip to his flock in America but he should think deep into his heart and soul and ask for the forgiveness of his lost flock. The issue of pedophile priest’s will not go away over night or for a generation or two. Shame of his flock and our church goes deep into the American spirit and festers with the neglect of the church policing itself. Where they saw a wrong doing they looked the other way and that was wrong no matter how you look at it.

In the mean time, the faithful of the church will still give and give again and again. The work of serving the poor never ends and in that respect I am proud to be a Catholic. In the numerous cases of child abuse I am somewhat ashamed to be a Catholic and that is a dilemma that many American Catholic’s face.

Pope Benedict in his visit to America can change that ideology of American Catholic’s if he has the courage to do so.


Cross posted at To the Center

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

McCain, Not the Compassionate Conservative

Many Americans fell for the BS story that current President Bush spread around that he was a compassionate conservative politician and now we all know what one is not. As the unmitigated candidate from the Republican Party, Senator McCain is giving lip service to the little people we all call the middle and lower class. After repeated criticism for lack of any plan on the housing crisis and that he has a plan. Or is it just more lip service from a want to be Presidential candidate?

Conservative principals are less government intervention in individual rights and less government and taxes overall. Is the distinguished Senator from Arizona playing politics with his plan to help but not help homeowners facing the loss of their homes? Over at the Washington Post and On the Trail they have this to say on his latest speech…

McCain Refines Plan for Homeowners
By Dan Balz

BROOKLYN -- Two weeks after drawing criticism for saying he favored only a limited federal role to help deal with the home mortgage crisis, Republican presidential candidate John McCain sought to assure Americans he is prepared to use the government where necessary to help ease the impact of a declining economy on working families.

In a campaign appearance with small business owners in Brooklyn, McCain also addressed the spreading economic downturn with proposals to help families facing foreclosure restructure their mortgages and to give workers who have lost their jobs more flexibility and incentives to seek retraining and a speedier return to the workforce.

McCain plans a more comprehensive economic speech for next week, but came here today to blunt criticism from Democratic rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that he is insensitive to the plight of ordinary Americans.

"Let me make it clear that that in these challenging times, I am committed to using all the resources of this government and great nation to create opportunity and make sure that every deserving American has a good job and can achieve their American dream," he said.


Instead, McCain proposed a federal program that would require individual homeowners to seek help from the federal government and, if they qualified for assistance, emerge with a restructured mortgage that would allow them to stay in their homes.

"There is nothing more important than keeping alive the American dream to own your home, and priority number one is to keep well meaning, deserving home owners who are facing foreclosure in their homes," he said.
- Washington Post, The Trail

Senator McCain’s plan is more government? Is that even remotely Conservative or Republican? Then you have to love the part of “deserving homeowners”. What’s the classification or status as to what American deserves to keep their home Senator? Is there a nobody making under X amount of dollars gets a McCain thumbs down? Same article, same link…

There are some limitations. Those families who can afford the terms of their current, albeit higher, mortgage would not qualify. And the assistance would only cover primary residences and only go to families that can truly afford the new mortgage.

McCain economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said the housing assistance would reach an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 families, with an estimated cost of $3 billion to $10 billion. He said McCain's goal is to use federal money only for those families "who really need help." He also called McCain's approach superior to some Democratic measures because it places primary emphasis on the individuals in need, rather than the lenders.

Hello to the Senator! If they could afford the mortgage payments they were lassoed into they would not be in foreclosure? That is the first clue to the big picture that John McCain and his political staff have no clue as to what is really going on down in your neighborhood.

One of the only things in his speech that made sense was demanding a Justice Department investigation. Shouldn’t he be doing that from his Senate office where it would actually be a formal request? Something that someone that in our government that cares about all Americans should have done a year or more ago? Politics is a learning curve for the McCain camp and they are pretty much amateurs. He’s still on the same page as Bush.

You get what you pay for Mr. McCain. Or in the case of homeowners facing foreclosure you get screwed. Same thing, different geography.


Cross posted at and To the Center

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

McCain Cries, Rockefeller and Obama Cave

Hold the freakin’ presses! John McCain takes offense to the truth? The latest hubbub is that Senator McCain was offended by remarks from another Senator simply because he spoke the truth. If that isn’t a Bushism then I do not know what is? McCain demanded an apology from the Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama simply because the Senator in question endorsed him?

How dare his fellow politicians say that McCain couldn’t spot a regular guy if they were cleaning the windshield of his car in DC. That would probably be a homeless PTSD Veteran but that is another topic for another day. Over at the New York Times they have this latest political blow out on McCain…

West Virginia Senator Apologizes for Comments on McCain

Published: April 9, 2008

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV personally apologized to Senator John McCain of Arizona on Tuesday after remarking in an interview that Mr. McCain’s years as a Navy fighter pilot would not have given him an understanding of everyday issues faced by Americans.

In an interview in his home state, West Virginia, on Monday, Mr. Rockefeller, a Democrat, told The Charleston Gazette that Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, could not relate to the everyday concerns of people on issues like health care.

According to the article, Mr. Rockefeller said: “McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they get to the ground? He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.”

On Tuesday, the McCain campaign demanded an apology, not just from Senator Rockefeller, but also from Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, because he has received the West Virginian’s endorsement.
- New York Times

Why don’t we all apologize for the plague in the fifteenth century and of course for that dreaded Cain and Able incident. Better yet lets be mega politically correct and apologize for the inquisition, Attilla the Hun, Alexander the Great, and just to be on the safe side, that dreaded New Coke mistake a few years back.

Senator Rockefeller and Presidential candidate Obama should not be apologizing for the truth. Was John McCain not a pilot that dropped bombs from thousands of feet up? Did John McCain ever see the effects on a personal level when those bombs dropped? Is it not a fact that John McCain wants the markets to find the “Floor” on the housing crisis thus proving he does not understand the middle and lower classes? Is it a fact that he has said himself that he is not well learned on the economy? Something that effects the common man every single day. It’s all true so why are they apologizing?

I’ll give McCain credit for his service to our nation in our armed services but that does not give him a free pass on the truth. While many of our citizens have served, just as many have not. Does military service make him immune from political questions? It’s freakin’ politics! Rockefeller and Obama blinked and it was an idiotic blink. It showed a wimp mentality in each of them simply because McCain played his military history card.

Where the hell was McCain when all the mistreatment of our military troops was going on at Walter Reed? I’ll tell you where he was, he was at Walter Reed again and again and again. He did nothing till the whistle blowers screamed loud and clear in the press. John McCain did nothing because it didn’t serve his cause till he needed to play it. Those troops in squalor didn’t matter till it was advantageous to McCain and then he spoke loud and clear on the air with Imus in the Morning.

It’s ironic that McCain is playing his military service card and demanding apologies. What about an apology from McCain for our troops still fighting to survive in our own nations military hospitals. What about an apology from McCain as a US Senator that allowed Veterans Administration funding be cut on his watch for all our aging veterans? What about an apology for WWII Veterans as they are told there is no place in the hospital for them? What about an apology from McCain for the current status of care for wounded veterans that only lasts for a few years and then they are screwed? Wasn’t he in the Senate when all of this bashing veterans benefits legislation was passed?

John McCain is a hypocrite hiding behind his military record. Being a soldier does not make you a God! Forgetting those that served and ignoring their needs while caving into the Bush administration makes McCain just as bad as the Concierge of the Hanoi Hilton.

My humble apologies to all Veterans but the truth is what it is.


Cross posted at To the Center
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