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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gays to be Executed in Iraq! While We Watch!

Special Note! PapaM, my heart goes out to your wife and her father. I hope he's okay. We will keep him in our prayers. I'm sorry for deleting reader comments earlier, but I had to remove this article after reading PapaM's call for prayers. It was too important. Anyway, here's my post again from this morning.

Hello Papamoka Readers! We have another tragedy unfolding in Iraq! According to the UK Gay News group that, among other things, keeps a watch on gays and lesbians at risk of persecution in third-world countries, the latest gays to end up on death row come from our new ally IRAQ!

"More than 100 prisoners in Iraq are facing execution. Many of them, says an underground gay rights organization in the country, are believed to have been convicted of the 'crime' of being gay, the UK-based Iraqi-LGBT group revealed this afternoon.

According to Ali Hili of Iraqi-LGBT, the Iraqi authorities plan to start executing them in batches of 20 from this week. There is, said Hili, at least one member of Iraqi-LGBT who are among those to be put to death.

And the London-based group, which believes that a total of 128 executions are imminent, is calling on the UK Government, international human rights groups and the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to intervene "with due speed" to prevent "this tragic miscarriage of justice" from going ahead."

I don't know about the rest of America, but this gets me extremely angry. I cannot believe that our young men and women died to free a country that is now supporting an elected government that is actively executing gays and lesbians.

Those Republicans who screamed about overthrowing Hussein due to his atrocities should join me and speak up about this pending Iraqi tragedy. Where is your anger? We need to do something about it, especially since we helped free their damn nation.

I hope you all agree that we should not permit them to commit these atrocities while we die to defend their freedom. We shouldn't allow it! President Obama and the US Government needs to act and STOP the killings. We have a right to interfere as long as we're helping them.

Please, get angry and help me. Join me in calling (202.224.3121 Capitol Switchboard) or writing to your representatives and ask them to get involved to save the lives of those people. I must admit, the whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. We have the power and influence to save them. We need to try.

a VERY ANGRY Michael Boh
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog

Update: Senator Boxer's office responded requesting the source of the news. They said they intend to contact various critical parties to do whatever they can to help. Thank you Senator Boxer and staff! Michael
*****Crooks and Liars has kindly linked to this post.... Thank you!

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Ghost Rider Presidency

All of the doom and gloom from all fronts on the news had me thinking that we have one hell of a tough road ahead of us all. President Obama hasn’t been shy in telling us the truth about that very fact. It’s going to be a tough road to ride but it is one we all have to go down. You don't fix a flat tire on your car if the rest of the car was totaled in the wreck.

Some of the folks out there are not appreciative to the facts that tough decisions and realistic choices have to be made. They have some elected officials actually calling for a revolution, armed revolt, and begging that our President fail. Representative Michelle Bachman last week actually sited Thomas Jefferson in her call for a little revolution now and then. She missed the intent of Jefferson but it fit her ideology at the time. In my eyes and ears that is treason by a member of our government but with Gitmo being shut down I fear they might incarcerate her somewhere comfortable and close to her high standards of living.

There is a very large difference on calling for a President’s impeachment as in the case of former President Bush, and the actual call to arms in a revolt of the current President. That got me to thinking that the people screaming the loudest in pain are the ones that have the most to loose. What do they have to loose you may ask? Huge tax cuts to the top of the income earners and corporations of America. And that my friends makes it pretty damn hard for any corporation to justify spending money on right wing political campaigns.

That brings me to the conclusion that we are on track to an economy built on fairness rather than let them all eat cake. Wall Street needs the bulls rounded up and given a fair policy before we let them loose on the china store we have of an economy again. Same goes for many other corporations. We have a ghost rider in the White House and he is not looking back as he moves the nation forward toward prosperity.

Video Link


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Sidewalk Art

You have to love sidewalk artists. I was sent this link from Stumbleupon today. This is a must visit site to check out the full scale production of getting this entire piece of art completed. Check out LOL and have a ball...

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Do you believe in prayer?

My father in law Ted was rushed to the hospital with a serious breathing problem tonight and I happen to be someone that believes in a "Please God" prayer. He has been in physical distress for some time now but the hospital events are happening more often.

If my wife lost her Dad, it would destroy her right now and that would not be a good thing. She's a tough woman but her Daddy is her world. Say a prayer or think of Ted and ask that he be okay. We both know that he will not be with us much longer but please God don't let it be today.

Thank you!

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Kids Allowance Pulled at GM and Chrysler

There comes a time when every parent has to pull the weekly allowance to their child. When your child outspends or refuses to change spending habits you just can’t give them advances on their allowance month after month. Junior (aka your child) needs to learn the value of a dollar and seek out work to earn their own money to pay for those hundred and fifty dollar sneakers. Junior needs to know how hard it is to earn the dollars needed to pay for an expensive prom dress or tux. Junior needs to know that mom and dad can’t give them everything simply because they want it.

Even as liberal as I am, I have had thoughts of doubt about the recent bailout of the auto industries in America. The auto industry alone is so intertwined with many other industries in our nation that at times I honestly believe that we should be doing everything we can to save them. Then again, we can’t afford as a nation to continually poor dollars down a bottomless well. GM and Chrysler should have cut expenses and costs to the bone by now since the first Bush Presidential era bailout but they really have not. The United Auto Workers should be more than willing to work with them given the number of union members employed at both corporations but they are waiting for the next bailout as well to drop. Suppliers, distributors, show rooms and the list goes on should be contributing to the savings of these two companies but they are not. This all spells bankruptcy for both GM and Chrysler and maybe that is not a bad thing for them at this point in time.

President Obama spoke today on this very subject and Yahoo News has it covered with the full speech…

In recent months, my Auto Task Force has been reviewing requests by General Motors and Chrysler for additional government assistance as well as plans developed by each of these companies to restructure, modernize, and make themselves more competitive.
Year after year, decade after decade, we have seen problems papered-over and tough choices kicked down the road, even as foreign competitors outpaced us. Well, we have reached the end of that road.

We cannot, we must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish. But we also cannot continue to excuse poor decisions. And we cannot make the survival of our auto industry dependent on an unending flow of tax dollars. These companies -- and this industry -- must ultimately stand on their own, not as wards of the state.

That is why the federal government provided General Motors and Chrysler with emergency loans to prevent their sudden collapse at the end of last year -- only on the condition that they would develop plans to restructure. In keeping with that agreement, each company has submitted a plan to restructure.

But after careful analysis, we have determined that neither goes far enough to warrant the substantial new investments that these companies are requesting. And so today, I am announcing that my administration will offer GM and Chrysler a limited period of time to work with creditors, unions, and other stakeholders to fundamentally restructure in a way that would justify an investment of additional tax dollars; a period during which they must produce plans that would give the American people confidence in their long-term prospects for success.

What we are asking is difficult. It will require hard choices by companies. It will require unions and workers who have already made painful concessions to make even more. It will require creditors to recognise that they cannot hold out for the prospect of endless government bailouts. Only then can we ask American taxpayers who have already put up so much of their hard-earned money to once more invest in a revitalized auto industry.
- Yahoo News UK/Ireland

Before you call me a UAW or Detroit automaker hate filled monster hear me out. GM and Chrysler need to grow out of the bankruptcy as better companies just like your child would do so on learning that they have to stand on their own and pay for what they can realistically afford. Something has to give and the truth is that everyone involved with making a profit from GM and Chrysler products has to own up to it and decide if they want to work for and profit from the same company in the next couple of months or twenty years down the road. Everyone involved in these two companies survival needs to knuckle down and offer savings to save paychecks and jobs at all levels of the corporations survival structure. That works from the guy or gal cleaning the toilets to the people supplying steel, Union Workers, health benefit suppliers, guys and gals on the production floor in management, and retired workers. Everyone getting a piece of the GM and Chrysler pie needs to push a slice back. President Obama more or less fired the CEO of GM today because he came to the taxpayer trough. It was Rick Wagoner’s job to save GM. He didn’t act fast enough and he got his just reward. The details don’t matter, he didn’t do his job and his stock holders should have tarred and feathered him over a year ago!

Nobody wins if either company fails.

A very good point was made today by the Governor of Michigan, Jennifer M. Granholm, we can’t support them but they do play a part in our national security as far as having an industrial complex that can convert quickly for full scale military production. I’m thinking she was talking about WWII and the complete military industrial transformation. That isn’t a good selling point to the discussion but it is a point to really think about.

I’ll toss my cost savings into the ring, I bet that I could save GM and Chrysler millions per year each if they changed their supplier standards and let a guy like me quote their wire and cable needs. They won’t, but I could save them a bundle and the product I would supply would all be made in the USA and the same regulatory safe product they use today. The standards and requirements built into wire and cable design for all of the automotive industry adds hundreds of millions to the cost per year when a simple guy like me could supply the same damn product for mega savings without all the extended BS specifications that limit competition. Email me if you are a buyer at GM or Chrysler!

I’d put the email address in this post but I have enough offers from African nation people willing to split millions with me if I just give my banking and personal contact info.

I’m just one guy willing to bid competitively on their business. Who else is out there willing to jump in to save GM and Chrysler some serious cash in the supply chain? Step up boys and girls and be heard here! My company is willing to save GM and Chrysler some money, who else is willing to step up to save American jobs?

Interesting article over at the Gun Toting Liberal on this same topic...

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Who Are the Republicans Talking To?

Hello Papamoka Readers! As any regular visitor to my blog knows, every now and then I feel compelled to write about the Republican/conservative talking machine. Did you guys watch some of the political talk shows yesterday? I don't know about you, but the ones I looked at were filled with Republican hyperbole and obfuscation.

The "repetitive monkeys" as I like to call them - because they're "intellectually challenged" - are at full volume these days. They are constantly beating on us at the moment about spending, and none of the talk show hosts challenge them on the facts. Not one host asked for alternatives. Not one challenged the GOP's spending habits. Their lies and deceit went completely unchallenged yesterday. It was disgusting!

The fact that they spent tens of billions to successfully spend us out of a serious recession after 9/11 is never questioned. The fact they are responsible for 90% of ALL FEDERAL DEBT, much of it caused by their tax cuts, thus leaving future generations with few options, is never discussed. They get away with painting themselves as fiscal conservatives, which is maddening when you know the facts.

Most of the Republicans this weekend danced around the serious issues and never offered specifics. They were throwing around absurd, unsupportable accusations. The media did little to help with fairness, since they were too busy enjoying the foaming and the frothing. Right-wingers kept saying how they were "intellectually honest with the American people." What a joke! I only hope the American people know better, because the facts certainly don't support it.

Since we're on the subject, allow me to say the worst, of course, is FOX "News" and that triumvirate of media MORONS Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. Listen to any one of them and you walk away with more crap than a public toilet. They are a boil on America's bottom. They would have been great working at Pravda during the worst years of the USSR. They are selfish, disgusting propagandists using issues like morality and patriotism to line their own greedy pockets. They are the truly UGLY side of America's modern media.

I hear their crap often during dinner party debates. Defending against them is like trying to get out of a brier patch. No matter what you do, you're going to get scratched up. They train their sheep to always change the subject when seriously challenged. In my opinion, after debating many of their flock, I've decided there must be some kind of brainwashing involved. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure out if the hosts are brainwashing, or if their flock is just more susceptible to being brainwashed. That is the question.

Btw, there is good news. It's true they attract millions every night, but what they never tell you about their ratings is how they rarely attract over 25% of the American audience. In other words, almost every conservative watches FOX "Noise," while the rest of us watch a multitude of other news sources. It's clear Republicans love to hear themselves talk. The rest of us, our ratings, are spread out across multiple media. If it cheers you up, the FOX "Nitwits" primarily talk to the same people every night. They are the special interest media, which goes a long way to limiting their power.

The other good news is beginning to unfold behind the scenes in back rooms, where serious Republicans are beginning to wonder whether they can continue being "helped" by FOX/Limbaugh-style echo-chambers. They are beginning to question whether stifling serious debate helps their party grow. They're starting to question their self-made Republican bubble.

What can they do though? The Republican sheep love their media. The conservative media love their sheep. Both love the biased reporting. They all seem to love the echo chamber. It's very sad. I've written about it before on this blog, we need to reinvigorate the great American political debate. We need to end the shouting matches. We need to shut down the propagandists. We need one set of facts. We need to care about this issue more.

Michael Boh
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Been There and Done That

One of the things I truly enjoy is attending a well done musical play. Most of the plays and musicals that we have seen have been small productions by community acting groups and I do have to say that they were pretty damn good.

That had me wondering how was it that I caught this bug? Back a few years we go in the way back machine… It was Evita that was playing at the Auditorium in Worcester. My wife had bought the tickets for my birthday and my first thoughts were that she didn’t buy the tickets for me. You know the thought process, you buy your wife a circular saw for her birthday because you really want the latest model saw. And you know damn well she hates all forms of power tools but you do it anyway. Don’t get me wrong, the thought is what counts. Thus we reverse the process, she bought me tickets to a musical knowing that up to that point in my life I had opted out of every possible opportunity to actually be forced to attend one. She on the other hand had previously attended dozens of them and loved each and every single one.

I was so amazed at the production of Evita that I bought the sound track cassette on the way out. I’d listen to it over and over to the point that the wife was ready to hang me by the soundtrack tape. Ever since then we have attended many more plays and musicals and most of the time, yours truly buys the soundtrack on the way out with one rule of law understood, headphones are so I can enjoy the music and not annoy everyone else.

Video Link

I apologize to all you Evita fans for putting this song back in your head. I woke up this morning humming this particular song. Posting this video was the only way I could get it to stop playing over and over again in my own head. You don’t want to know what words my brain was using in place of the actual lyrics.

Now all I have to do is find where the actual soundtrack is in the house? Think like the wife and where would she have hidden it?


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Friday, March 27, 2009

Nadya Suleman Birth Video

It's Friday and it has been one long and very busy week. You deserve a break and for that I must revert to my (Mentally) sick friends video library. Nadya Suleman was the young woman that just gave birth to eight little babies recently and I believe we are scooping this story. An excerpt of the actual birth is right here in this little video...

Video Link

If you enjoyed this then please tell your friends where you saw it first!


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World Wide Web Visitors

I was looking at traffic for the site and our ClustRmaps indicator blew me away. It’s rather humbling to see so many people around the world visiting little old Papamoka to see what our writers have to say. This is a map of visitors since October of 2008.

I put this blog eye candy in my sidebar about two years ago and I love it. It doesn’t capture all of the visitors and where they are from but it does a good job finding many of them. ClustRmaps keeps track of the visitors to the site for a one year period. I was in mourning when they had to archive my previous years traffic. All of my little red dots around the world were filed away in some cold dark computer. But, as you can see, their brothers and sisters came back home to Papamoka.

Thank you all for visiting.


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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Republican Genocide on… Themselves

Politically, you can do nothing more idiotic than attack an elected officials wife. The wives of elected officials to any seat in our government did not ask for anyone’s vote. I wouldn’t blame a single one of them for voting against their own husband but that is another point for another Papamoka discussion. One thing these ladies from both sides of the political aisle do not deserve is ridicule and out right name calling that is frankly disgusting. Call her a bitch, mock her, degrade her, and more or less label her as fair game at the start of hunting season. It is wrong to do so and you pay the price for being a political idiot in doing so! Pure and simple it is dead wrong! It is beyond the sense of politics on what is right and what is wrong when you attack the spouse of any elected official. Mostly, it is out right nothing any politician should do to make their political point of view known. If you have a problem with the politician, then argue that point on what he was elected on. Leave his wife and family out of it.

Over at Politico they have the latest on the GOP going after the First Lady, Michelle Obama, again, cowardice and anti American if you ask me…

GOP transparency push seen as attack on Michelle O.

House Republicans are pressing for a change in federal law that could force Michelle Obama and future first ladies to do more of their policy work in public. But Democrats warn President Obama may take the attempt personally “as an attack on his wife.”

The GOP effort is being led by the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), whose initial salvo was rebuffed recently at a contentious committee markup session. Under Issa’s amendment, any government policy group that Mrs. Obama or another first spouse regularly participates in would be subject to a law requiring meetings to be announced in advance and, in most instances, public.

At the March 10 markup, Issa’s proposal triggered more than 35 minutes of impassioned debate. I’ve linked video of the exchange below, but Democrats clearly seemed to be recoiling at what some viewed as an effort to target Mrs. Obama.
- Politico

I need to be clear that I think that Michelle Obama, our First Lady, is an outstanding woman that could have gone far in life on her own without ever being First Lady. Michelle is highly educated, was making a hell of a lot more than her husband in private practice, and would have been very happy just being Michelle Obama if her husband wasn’t elected President. She gave it all up for America. She didn’t have to? She could have told her husband to hit the road if elected, because she didn’t need all the MSM crap that comes with her husband being President.

Republicans opened up a very larger than life can of worms by attacking the First Lady but they truly don’t understand the argument they are making for a more public reporting of the First Ladies actions. Michelle Obama is a private citizen and so are her children and that in my book makes them immune from media and Congressional attack mobs. Republican’s in Congress disagree but I can only offer my opinion on why they are dead wrong on this issue. Gentleman will always hold a door for a lady, gentleman will always offer assistance to a lady. It isn’t sexist, its just American and common courtesy. Michelle Obama has done nothing wrong other than saying “I do” during a wedding ceremony and her actions as First Lady have always been honorable following tradition of the office of President.

If this is the best strategy or argument against President Obama that the Republican Party has, then I look forward to the next election where many of the same Republican's will find themselves signing up for unemployment benefits in states where they said thier own people should have none. Easy to say if you have a couple of million in the bank like most Republican elected officials. Not so easy if the last paycheck you cashed was your only income.


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Democrats Protect America's Purple Mountain Majesty

Good Morning Papamoka Readers! I have a rare RAVE to offer this morning as I compliment the Democrats and President Obama on passing the largest expansion of the wilderness system in 15 years. It's the Ominbus Public Land Management Act of 2009, and it's FANTASTIC!

The new law, approved in both the House and Senate and soon to be signed by President Obama, bestows the HIGHEST levels of federal protection to over 2 million acres of federal - relatively unspoiled - land throughout nine western states. It's FANTASTIC news!

The Bush Administration and the Republicans loved to claim environmental credentials while secretly giving mineral/mining, logging and energy development rights to their friends on millions of acres of federal land. They did set land (and sea) aside during their tenure, but they also provided access that led to the destruction of more virgin federal land than any administration in history.

Most environmentalists viewed Bush and the Republicans as the 'slumlords" of federal land policy. They were a disgrace. The environment, like so many issues, is another reason not to trust Republicans with government. The Obama Administration has been quietly reversing some of that damage, or at least trying their best.

Unfortunately, the Bush Administration did a good job of committing the federal government to some pretty abusive long-term contracts. WE THE PEOPLE will be screwed by their Republican cronies for DECADES to come.

Anyway, the new bill is incredible! The bill, soon to be a law, will set aside - and SERIOUSLY PROTECT - more wilderness then George W. Bush set aside during his entire eight year nightmare.

The bill is excellent in the way it protects wilderness areas adjacent to urban areas like Los Angeles where I live and enjoy our mountain vistas. Cities should have green belts filled with wildlife within a short ride. It's good for natural balance, beauty, and to offer something to future generations. It also restores rivers devastated by logging throughout the West.

Of course, in predictable fashion, a few bought-and-paid-for Republicans fought the bill, siding with the miners, loggers and oil companies (not to mention they ignored the issue over the past eight years). I especially loved the way Senators like McCain, McConnell, and Chambliss all voted no. Can we guess who their allies are? McCain loves his country houses, but I guess he only cares about the beauty near his own properties.

As always, my favorite California Senators were instrumental in setting aside the largest chunk of land, totalling approximately 700,000 acres. Idaho set aside 517,000, while Colorado took third with 316,000.

Utah, which has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the nation, fought the legislation. Their Republican delegation limited their exposure to 260,000, which is tiny compared to what should be protected there. Of course, it helped that oil and mineral companies lobbied heavily to keep pristine federal land there available for strip mines and drilling.

I guess I'm most excited because the bill protects lands that I hike and camp on regularly - yes, you've probably guessed I have a passion for wilderness. I've been exploring the wilderness areas outside of LA for almost 10 years now, and knew that most would be lost to developers if federal protections didn't arrive soon. So for me, this is a very happy day.

Thousands of acres filled with cougar, bear, coyote, and all varieties of natural things will be available for future generations. The new protections don't even allow them to build roads into most areas, which I think is the best part. Roads offer access to people who often abuse and destroy, and it's important to preserve as much as possible.

I realize that many of you will consider me a tree hugger or a hippie. No, I just believe that mankind is taking too much from this world. Why is it so wrong to want to preserve the best parts of our world? Why should I be ashamed because I want to preserve our purple mountains majesty? Trust me, in this day and age, they don't preserve themselves.

I'm very proud to want a better world. I would rather opt for less driving, less electricity, and less civilization, to preserve what is beautiful about this planet. The opposition needs to stop its quest to conquer the planet. Mankind cannot consume everything and survive. That is a recipe for disaster.

I'm proud of our elected Democratic leaders. They did a good thing, and deserve our thanks. They also set a good example, because we need to balance consumption with preservation before it's too late. Americans, especially wasteful Republicans, need to focus more on conservation and sustainability. We need more balance. I only hope our Republican friends realize it before it's too late.

Michael Boh
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

President Obama Economy Chat

If you happened to miss the Presidents latest heart to heart chat with the nation like yours truly, then you can check out this video courtesy of MSNBC. Word of caution for those on dial up internet service, this video and press conference is over an hour long. It's a message we all need to hear and see...

Video Link

It's an interesting point to make that the President skipped over all the MSM houses and selected questions from mostly the smaller members of the press.


*****Gun Toting Liberal has linked to this post... Thank ya Bro!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We are going to be Okay

For the average person it is understandable that you can’t sort out the facts from the hype when it comes to the economy. I believe we can all chalk that up to massive over speculation on both sides of the Main Stream Media shilling for their political perspective and audience. So what is a guy or gal to do when reading reports about the economy? My answer, nothing. Just live your life like you always have, clip the coupons to save a dollar or more on your grocery bill, research big buys like a new car like you have always done, and just live your life like you always have. Storm troopers are not going to drag you from your bed at night if you lock yourself into the MSM hype and fear engine.

If you are lucky enough to have a job in a stable company then go the extra step to help the company out by finding cost savings, new ideas, or just doing the job they are paying you to do. In the long run the economy will fix itself because of the American way of life. We as a people don’t like old appliances, old cars, old anything when you get right down to it. Our nation has a built in mentality that the best product on the market is what we want for our families and somebody is always coming out with the latest replacement for the 8-Track player. America is a nation of cutting edge technology on everything under the sun and other nations copy it cheaper and provide it at a better price for the average consumer. As sucky as that sounds it is the way of the world today, have you shopped at Wal-Mart lately?

Back in the 1980’s I worked for a company that was always experimenting with new product ideas. Vendors of the company participated in the experiments and out of that practice makes perfect trial and error experimental process came a product line that boomed for the company for almost a decade. Cheaper copies of the same product hit the market eventually but the company was already working on dozens of other new products by then. Ingenuity and willing to take a risk is what drives business and it isn’t always about the bottom line of today. Same goes for America, we have to reinvent ourselves every couple of decades to make sure we know that we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. If you look at all of the products made in China today, most likely they originated in the USA a decade or more ago! It’s what we as Americans do, and they duplicate and sell ten years afterward.

My two cents on the economy is that President Obama and his team are on the right track, Wall Street loved his recent news so much that the market jumped the highest percentage in over seventy plus years in one day. That my friends is the first step in building confidence in the American economic engine that actually runs the world today. President Obama is the voice we need to hear, it’s the voice business needs to hear, and it is the voice that the American people elected to hear.

Franklin Roosevelt faced a barrage of skeptics under his New Deal theory and the economy was in far worse shape than it is now by a margin of mega proportions. Opponents fought him over every single idea he raised but he stuck to his guns and managed to get the best of them passed. Not all ideas in Congress get a green light and you shouldn’t expect that from this President either. George Bush wanted to privatize Social Security, aren’t you glad that didn’t work out now?

Healthcare, jobs, and education is the agenda for President Obama and he has always said that throughout his campaign for President. The collapse of our economy is an added bonus having him in charge instead of a “Hand’s Off” right side of the aisle leader. All I have to say is that it is damn well time for the sun to shine and this video covers it…

Video Link

Go about your life like you always have, there is nothing to see at this accident other than some bankers and insurance executives asses being spanked for being arrogant and over zealous for mega profits. The next wave of the American innovation experiment is about to begin and its going to be one hell of a political ride to get it started.


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Trust, But Scared!

Good Morning Papamoka Readers! I must admit that after reviewing the Obama Administration/US Treasury's new plan to buy up toxic assets clogging the financial system, I've decided to join with Paul Krugman and call the plan ill conceived and misguided.

I hope it works, but Krugman sounds wise when he questions President Obama's - the plan's - trust in the banks and the bankers. That could lead to billions more being wasted on Wall Street scam artists, and we cannot now afford the risk.

The "Public-Private Investment Program for Legacy Assets" will be funded with $75 to $100 billion dollars from the government, which officials say could lead to private investors generating "$500 billion dollars in [immediate] purchasing power." They also say the plan could expand to one trillion dollars of government investment if necessary. That sounds expensive and risky to me. How about you?

However, God forbid, I don't wish to say NO for the sake of it, like most Republicans these days. How about a friendly YELP! to signal serious worry and slight panic. There's no way around it, I - probably like most Americans - am worried about any plan that involves the banks right now.

Wow, I can't believe I'm questioning President Obama so soon after writing a piece just a few days ago suggesting how we should all support him during these dark days. I just hope you know what you're doing Mr. President, because it's too complicated for most of us.

The hitch in the giddy-up as a friend of mine likes to say (I call him Rumsfeld-like when he says it) is that we are being asked to TRUST WALL STREET again! It sounds insane! How many times do we have to risk getting burned by these greedy, low-life scumbags. I guess President Obama knows what he's doing, but the rest of us don't seem to have a clue.

Paul Krugman rightly points out how sick the banks are, and how they show no signs of improving their lending skills anytime soon. Without some kind of government institution forcing them to act, it seems unlikely that anything will change - at least to help average Americans. I guess Secretary Geithner knows something we don't know, but I doubt it.

Krugman's opinion in the New York Times gives me the feeling he sees President Obama's optimism about the market as a liability. I kind of do too. I guess we could be wrong, but he seems to trust the Wall Street brain trust too much. For God's sake, they got us into this mess! The whole thing is quite unnerving.

I'm sorry Mr. President, I support you and trust you, but this one scares me. I think you would be better off taking a more radical approach, perhaps one that sidesteps, or at least controls, Wall Street more. I just don't see the motive for the banks. With all due respect Mr. President, the plan doesn't sound like it goes far enough in terms of financial control and [middle-class targeted] impact, sir.

Krugman says it best. "The Geithner scheme would offer a one-way bet: if asset values go up, the investors profit, but if they go down, the investors can walk away from their debt. So this isn’t really about letting markets work. It’s just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets." That makes me VERY NERVOUS!

I trust the President, but I also want to go on record that I don't trust Wall Street and the American banker. Their reputation is ruined. They have proven themselves crooks and cowards, and I have no patience for any of them. I will support you Mr. President, but I think you may be risking a lot on this one.

Michael Boh
Papamoka's Left Coast Contritubor

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Right Wing Attacks Michelle Obama

When it comes to writing opinion about what is happening in our nation it is fair game to attack, ridicule, even call the President foul names and degrade him. Hell, I’ve called George W. Bush more names than I can think of but never, not even once, not even one single post, have I ever thought to attack his wife simply because she is his wife. Former First Lady Laura Bush didn’t run for Governor and she didn’t run for President. She was simply married to a man that won both political offices and in my book she was first class. I was very proud to have her representing my country, our country, as our First Lady.

In politics, you can hate the messenger, love the messenger, and even be enthralled or disgusted with the person in charge of our nation. They are fair game to attack and outright beat up in the press and all across the internet. Not for a minute is it okay to attack, ridicule, or degrade his spouse for political opinion gamesmanship. Take for instance this ass over at Town, Burt Prelutsky, that thinks its okay to go so far as calling the First Lady, Michelle Obama, a racist. Over at the Huffington Post they had some strong words and quotes that I didn’t happen to find in the Prelutsky piece but it could have been edited out since the post was put up on Here is what is currently up on Town Hall from Burt…

It’s not just the politicians, but also their mates, so long as they’re Democrats, who get the star treatment. Take Michelle Obama…please. Every time I turn around, there she is on a magazine cover. Now, normally, like the Mafia, I lay off the spouses, but inasmuch as this particular spouse attended the same racist church as her hubby for 20 years, I’ll make an exception in her case. After all, in spite of the fact that affirmative action got her an Ivy League degree and a $7,000-a-week salary and, moreover, has sent billions of dollars for no particularly good reason to Africa, she insists this is a mean country.

Naturally, the left-wing media is now trying to convince us that this James Brown-look-alike has all the allure, glamour and fashion sense of Jackie Kennedy. I have even heard her upper arms described in the sort of language Wordsworth devoted to flowers in the morning dew and that Keats lavished on nightingales. Frankly, if I were Mrs. Obama and the geeks started rhapsodizing about my triceps, I might consider wearing sleeves.
- Town Hall

Now here is what was posted over at the Huffington Post as a quote? These two things don’t match up? But the intent and attack is clear on Michelle Obama as the target of hate.

Take Michelle Obama...please. Every time I turn around, there she is on a magazine cover. Now, normally, like the Mafia, I lay off the spouses, but inasmuch as this particular spouse attended the same racist church as her hubby for 20 years, I'll make an exception in her case. After all, in spite of the fact that affirmative action got her an Ivy League degree and a $7,000-a-week salary and, moreover, has sent billions of dollars for no particularly good reason to Africa, she insists this is a mean country. The burning question in my circle is: if the First Family gets a female dog, will she be the First Bitch or will she have to settle for second place? - Huffington Post

Personally, I don’t care what side of the political aisle you sit or hail from, you just don’t attack the President of the United States wife, AKA the First Lady. It’s just rude, ignorant, and shows that you have no argument to forward your personal political objective. Then again, I’m just a liberal blogger with some common sense ethics that were instilled into me as a child growing up, you never hit a girl, and you are always respectful to ladies. I used to think that Republican’s raised their children in the same way but I just might be wrong. No disrespect intended to Republican mom’s married to an ass.

Thus I end this post with a well intentioned “Screw You” Burt Prelutsky. He’s probably just pissed off that Michelle Obama looks a hell of a lot better in her dress than he does.

Just one additional thought, Michelle Obama is a knock out! Barack is one lucky man to have such a beautiful wife and friend. Oh, and Burt, you don’t want to mention the Mafia in an article or those pesky FBI and Secret Service guys and gals will want to know what you know and when you knew it. AKA Kennedy conspiracy theories.


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Monday, March 23, 2009

AIG Bonuses Returned by Employees

After the recent outrage all over the news about bonuses being dolled out like air at AIG there is finally some common sense coming into the subject at hand. Many of the folks working at AIG are returning the massive bonuses and to them I say thank you.

When it comes right down to it, there isn’t a law in the land that could tax them out of it, force them to decline the bonuses, or Constitutionally take the bonuses away from them. It took some pressure by the media and all of us little bloggers to force the issue on Washington and embarrass the President in doing so but it needed to be made right. And the ones making it right are doing it willingly and they work at AIG. Over at the New York Times they have this to say on it…

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced late Monday afternoon that 9 of the top 10 bonus recipients at the American International Group were giving back their bonuses.

He also said 15 of the largest 20 bonus recipients in A.I.G.’s financial products division had agreed to give back the money, for a total that he estimated at about $30 million. “Those bonuses will be returned in full,” Mr. Cuomo said during a conference call with reporters.

The attorney general noted that about 47 percent of $165 million in retention bonuses was awarded to Americans, accounting for nearly $80 million. All told, Mr. Cuomo said, A.I.G. employees have agreed to return about $50 million in bonuses.
- New York Times

I have to say that the folks at AIG that gave the money back deserve a pat on the back but I’m sure they already know that. Doing what is right makes sense even if you worked your ass off to earn the bonuses. It’s fair to say that not everyone at AIG was a corrupt idiot out to make a fast buck but the public perception is what it is. All it takes is a few bad apples and the pie tastes like crap.

As far as the rest of the public showmanship in Washington goes, it needs to continue to reign in the rest of corporate America that thinks they can take part in their own little corporate crusade and think that it will not have dire circumstances down the road. Washington will never tax one business to the extent they were going to tax the AIG bonuses because the big money political machines will never buy it. Do you think for a minute that the executives at Exxon, GE, Dupont, and the like would stand still while the door was pushed wide open on taxing their future personal profits and gains? Not likely.

Thank you Memeorandum for the tip…


*****Yahoo News has linked in. Thank you!
*****Gun Toting Liberal has linked in. Thank ya bro!

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Volunteerism Is Cool Again !

Hello Readers of Papamoka!

Been some time since I have posted but I have something that I am passionate enough to speak about.

This past week the House past legislation for $6 billion in funding over the next 5 years to create roughly 175K new volunteer positions within AmeriCorps. The GIVEact (The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act) will increase funds to state and national AmeriCorps programs to be able to support volunteers. Strong criticism from conservatives, who up until last year were almost sure that more AmeriCorps programs would be cut, is now seeing the reality of a democratic administration moving forward with volunteerism. The House did pass this with a 321-105 vote, meaning law makers do understand the importance of America’s youth helping America. GIVEact also wants to get more Baby Boomers involved in community service through VISTA programs.

This legislation hits me close to home. I am an AmeriCorps Alum who spent two years as a corps member in AmeriCorps NCCC. Those two years were the most rewarding and demanding years of my life. I was only a year out of high school and not sure what I would do with my life. I was not ready for college but I did not want to be a barista at the local Starbucks forever either. I was Class 5 & 6 in the NCCC; the program now is in year 15 of existence. I grew up in a family that believed in giving back, doing our part as a citizen of this country. So committing to two years of service was very easy for me, I wanted to be that person that made a difference in someone’s life. I believe through out my travels in those two years I was able to positively affect many peoples lives, for this I am proud.

Back in February of 2006 I wrote on trying to save AmeriCorps NCCC, at this time former President Bush’s put through to cut funding for the NCCC program, saying that falls class would be the last to graduate from the program. I fought hard; this was not something I would let happen to a program that made me who I am today. Feel free to read my post on Saving AmeriCorps NCCC.

Now being 2009, and knowing that such programs will not be cut and in fact will be improved. The small stipend that I received will increase, this allowing people more flexibility in joining AmeriCorps. Knowing that there will be an increase to the education award is promising also.

This issue is not a left wing/right wing issue, this is an American issue. Volunteerism is American; it is what formed the core of this country. The chance for youth to give back without having to become a member of the Armed Forces benefits everyone. The many programs I worked on while a corps member addressed the fact that it was needed, that there was a gap in what private and government funding could cover with tax dollars. I was able to help low income families complete tax returns and get money back into their pockets, I was a mentor to young girls who got lost in the system and built houses for the Lakota’s of South Dakota.

A similar bill will go before the Senate called the “Serve America Act” which will also aim at improving AmeriCorps programs. This would be setting up additional Corps under AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Creating corps that focuses on the big three issues for the country right now, Clean Energy, Education, and Health Care.

With the lack of jobs right now, what better than a high school or college graduate giving back before entering the “real world?” The passing of both these bills would make for some much needed advancement in service work.

Article on Fox News about the passing of legislation.

AmeriCorps Website


Thats me 3rd from the right!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Forwarding Email Laughs

I got this one from my bro-in-law... Thank ya Kenny! Yup, I'm the one...LOL!

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Iraq Celebrates Six Years of American Generosity

Hello Papamoka Readers! I must be brief today so I thought I would share some quick thoughts on the illustrious six year anniversary of the Republican-led Iraq war and our miserably long and expensive occupation.

It was so gratifying this morning to hear that thousands of Iraqis are celebrating by burning American flags across the nation in street demonstrations. It warmed my heart when I heard the interviews with dozens of Iraqis complaining about us as occupiers and murderers. It made you proud to be an American. For my Republican friends, that's called sarcasm, and I do hope they are listening.

Recent Iraqi Polls are depressing in the way they highlight how we aren't even seen as a helpful security force anymore. Both Sunnis and Shiites credit Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki and the IRAQI SECURITY FORCES with the peace and security they enjoy. Isn't that nice? We don't get any credit for risking our lives and spending billions we DESPERATELY NEED HERE AT HOME!

So, they don't give us any credit for the peace and they want us to go home. I say let's give them what they want and get the FREAK out of there. We should stop wasting our billions on those miserable, ungrateful people and haul ass home. WAKE UP President Obama! Stop listening to Secretary Gates and the Republican military machine. Get us out of that thankless country!

Our young men and women should not be risking their lives for such ungrateful people. We've paid our dues. We've made up for the miserable mistakes of George "the screw up" Bush and Dick "the dark lord" Cheney. The billions we've spent over past years to clean up their mistakes is enough. Let's get the HELL OUT NOW! SIX YEARS IS ENOUGH! We've wasted enough money!

I just finished watching another news report, this time on BBC News, featuring more Iraqis cursing America for their six years of misery. We spent over $1 TRILLION - of money that we now desperately need - on that miserable dust bowl of a country and all we get is cursed for trying to help. What a freaking nightmare!

The Republicans are great at spending our money on unappreciative foreigners, but scream bloody murder when we try to spend it on ourselves. Screw the GOP! I wish those Republicans who led us into the worst mess in American history would fly over there and face those Iraqi street demonstrators. They might just learn how INSANE and out-of-touch they've been over the past eight years.

The Iraq War was a Bush, Cheney, Oil Industry, macho, military-industrial-complex, arrogant, STUPID IDEA! We would be better off today if we had just let Hussein run that miserable country into the ground. They didn't deserve American lives, American money, or American help. America has suffered enough losses. I say SCREW THE REPUBLICANS AND THE IRAQIS!

I hope every Republican realizes just what a debacle their elected leaders created for the world. They've killed and wounded countless Iraqis, thousands of Americans, and practically bankrupted the U.S. all for nothing. Let's stop fooling ourselves, let's put an end to the ungrateful misery that is America's - or the Republicans - attempt to help Iraq. It's been six awful years, and all a horrible waste of lives and money.

Michael Boh
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog

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President Obama on Leno Video

If you missed the late night talk show with Jay Leno and President Obama then you can check it out here...

Video Link

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

White Collar Wall Street Crime

Just to get a comedic perspective on all of the Wall Street criminals run rampant, Jon Stewart’s guest Larry Wilmore offers his opinion in this little piece that I laughed my butt off over…

Video Link

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
The New White Face of Crime
Daily Show Full EpisodesImportant Things w/ Demetri MartinPolitical Humor

You just have to love the Daily Show on Comedy Central. Too damn funny! Don’t you find it ironic that everyone in the Main Stream Media (MSM) took Jon Stewart as a real life reporter on ripping Jim Cramer of CNBC a new ass? Now that was classic journalism comedy! Loved it!!!


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Republican Slight of Hand

Hello Papamoka Readers! The news lately has been filled with both Republicans and Democrats screaming bloody murder over the completely unjust bonuses being paid by AIG. I agree there have been lots of mistakes made and that everything should be done to stop those payments, however, I also believe the right wing is driving the scandal to distract from the more important reforms.

Republicans haven't had a lot to crow about lately, so they're thrilled the Democrats dropped the ball involving something as controversial as bonus payouts to failing Wall Street bankers. Sure, AIG under the Obama Administration should have seen this coming, but it's still a GOP distraction.

The GOP operatives pushing this scandal are only interested in political gain. It's a scandal within a scandal. They are conveniently ignoring the fact that Bush and Paulson paid the first installment without any congressional involvement and without excluding bonuses the same way, because they too were afraid of employee lawsuits. Subsequent Capitol Hill and Treasury negotiators were also concerned about employee lawsuits. They were worried about increasing liabilities, something lawmakers care a lot about these days. They all had bigger fish to fry.

That's at the heart of the matter, yet nobody seems to have the balls to talk about it. It's all about politics now, and the Republican spin machine is doing its best to strum the last Democratic nerve. The only thing the Republicans are concerned about is a "gotcha" moment, and the Democrats on Capitol Hill are falling for it all hook, line and sinker. Only President Obama has had the nerve to take responsibility while asking us to focus on the big picture. I agree with him. Let's do it!

The AIG Financial Products Corporation, which is now being dismantled by government appointed executives, is the real scandal. The bonuses are horrible, but the real story is why the financial products division of AIG ever came into existence. Let's not forget the regulatory changes led by Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, Newt Gingrich, and the rest of the Republican Congress during the waning days of the Clinton Administration started this national nightmare. They know it, but for some reason rank and file Republicans ignore it, and average Americans never talk about it.

Sure, Clinton signed it under extreme pressure, and he was wrong to do it, but the real culprits were the Republicans who destroyed the walls that stood between banks, speculative investment brokerage firms, insurance companies, and the rest. Those protections were put in place after things went horribly wrong during the last Republican depression. They were designed to manage greed, PROTECT the free market from its darker side, and in the end keep the wolves out of the hen house. It was the REPUBLICANS WHO DESTROYED IT!

Of course, their deregulation was made worse by the fact that regulators were undermined by the Bush Administration. Oversight was weak at best. The Bush Administration was without a doubt a REACTIVE regulator. They didn't believe in the protections. They didn't do their job. I don't care what my right wing readers say, the Bush Administration could have done more to prevent the crisis. They had the data, they knew about AIG and the $50 TRILLION plus DERIVATIVES market, and they knew about the risk to the whole economy. They did NOTHING! They were at least negligent, and at worst conspiratorial.

My dinner party debates always feature a Republican blaming Congressman Barney Frank, Senator Christopher Dodd, and the usual Democrats for not reigning in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. What they never admit is how the Bush Administration had the authority, through dozens of regulatory agencies, to reign in the risk across the board. Many economists feel that most administrations would have done so. It was the Bush Administration, along with the Republican belief in small and unobtrusive government, that failed the American people.

Therefore, let's be angry about the greed on Wall Street, but I think it's more important to keep our eyes on the prize. Let's make sure the Democrats and the Obama Administration do everything necessary to reverse the regulatory changes that allowed the Bush Administration to look the other way. Let's FORCE future Republicans to regulate the risk by creating strong and principled new laws.

Let's reform until we can't reform any more. AIG is the critical patient that needs to be isolated and treated, but it's the Republicans and their broken philosophies about government and the market that represent the deadly contagion. Let's find a vaccine and a cure! Let's make sure we never become victims of their greed and stupidity again.

Michael Boh
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog

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Fannie and Freddie Paying Bonuses Too

Everyone pull your pants pockets inside out to show Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that all we have left is pocket lint. Just when the bon fires over AIG are starting to roar, the good folks over at Fannie and Freddie are passing out “Retention” bonuses. Yahoo News and the AP have an interesting piece on it…

This makes no sense to me but you know how them pesky bankers are, they charge you a hefty overdraft fee when you already didn’t have enough money to have the check clear in the first place.

The good folks in the government need to clarify what the term “Retention Bonus” really means. Yesterday on the news they had one congressman drilling AIG CEO Liddy on this practice and he asked one very pertinent question that left Liddy sputtering like Porky Pig. Paraphrasing - “You mean to tell me that with all the layoffs on Wall Street, you can not find anyone qualified to do the same jobs as these people?” Good point Congressman, very good point. As for having to pay “Retention Bonuses” to the very people responsible for the business collapse is frankly idiotic and unethical. I’m pretty sure that anyone is replaceable in any job in America. President Obama or Timmy Geithner could walk down to Wall Street today and put up a help wanted sign for AIG, Fannie, and Freddie and I’m pretty sure a long line of applicants would begin to build. Even without the promise of bonuses!

A few years back I worked for a privately owned manufacturing company that for almost thirty years in a row paid a profit sharing bonus of fifteen percent of your annual gross pay. As long as the company was profitable, employees worked hard, watched out for waste and cost savings then the payments would continue. Long story short, the owner eventually retired and sold the company to a conglomerate where the stock price and quarterly profit were the live by standard. The new owners ran the company on stocks and leveraged the company down the drain. Profit sharing disappeared for the most part with all of the additional executive salaries that were piled on top of the companies bottom line. Ten years after they bought it, the doors to an 800,000 square foot plant were closed and what was once lifetime jobs for some four hundred people were gone.

My point to my little story is this, it wasn’t the people running the machines in the plant that caused its failure, it wasn’t the people in the offices answering the phones or buying the raw materials that caused the failure, it wasn’t even the plant manager or even the general managers fault that the plant failed. It was pure greed from the executives and junior executives that didn’t even have an office at the company that brought about its demise. They had no sense of pride or ownership in the company because all the company was to them was a number on the quarterly profit statement.


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