Tuesday, March 18, 2008

King George Has The Guano Touch

That is to say, everything he touches turns to fertilizer. And I'm not just talking about the stuff that comes out of his mouth. With less than a year left, I thought that Mr. Bush had applied his Guano Touch to just about everything that he could. Turns out I was wrong.

But first, let's review a small sampling of his highlights:

On these points alone Bush's touch would put King Midas to shame.

And that's the edited version. But it turns out that all of the, miscalculations, manipulations and acts of malfeasance were merely the appetizer and entree'. For dessert, Mr. Bush is serving up the coup de'grace:


Now I'm not talking your average, sluggish economy type of recession. I'm talking about a "holy crap, one of the major investment banks went down for the count, better fasten your seatbelts it's going to be a bumpy ride," type of recession.

The evidence:

  • Energy prices, both for crude oil and at the gas pump, are at an all-time high.

  • The value of the dollar against foreign currencies has dropped dramatically. As this is written, one U.S. dollar will get you; .63 Euros, .49 British Pounds, 99 Japanese Yen (the lowest it's been in 12 years) and get this, .99 Canadian Dollars. That's right, our currency and that or our neighbour to the North is essentially equal!

  • A 738 billion dollar trade deficit, which is not the record. 2006 holds that honour.

  • The collapse of Bear Stearns, a top five global investment bank. Why is this important? These are the organizations that move capital into the economy on a grand scale.

  • The delinquency and foreclosure rate for home mortgages is 7.3 percent, the highest it's been since the Mortgage Bankers Association began tracking it in 1979.

Now the Bush White House will tell you now that we're in a severe economic downturn and the truth is, whether it's technically a recession or a downturn, it's getting ugly out there.

Here's why:

The President largely ignored developing a cogent domestic agenda. And when he was paying attention to domestic things at all, he focused on hot button issues; defense of marriage acts, stem cell research, immigration.

While some of these issues are worthy of debate, they tend to be emotional issues that don't really impact the average American on the day to day. What does affect the average American is the rising cost of healthcare, rising energy prices, jobs that are heading out of country, etc., etc., etc. These are foundation blocks of a modern economy and they impact a nation's long term fortunes.

In the end analysis, had the President put effort into developing sound policies instead of throwing a small amount of money at people through tax cuts, we would likely be in a very different economic situation.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spitzer's Got Me Spittin' Mad

Eliot Spitzer, what in the hell were you thinking?

That's the question that's at the top of my mind at the moment. On a day when I knew that I'd be commenting on something, the last thing I expected it to be was a prostitution scandal involving a Governor with a mostly squeaky clean reputation. When I awoke this morning, the news seemed rife with several plum topics, any of which would have been worthy of examination and perhaps even a small rant. Among my choices were:

Any of these Republican led disgraces and catastrophes would have been a suitable topic, but no, instead the headline stealer is my own, apparently, whore mongering Governor. I wrote to him today and here's what I wanted to say:

Eliot **G-DDamn** Spitzer. You stupid, hypocritical motherf**cker.

Here's what I actually said:

"Dear Gov. Spitzer:

It is with deep regret that I find myself writing to you today. I greatly admire the work that you did as state Attorney General and when the time came to cast my vote for Governor, I gladly pulled the lever for you.

As we are just over 14 months into your term, I have become increasingly concerned about your leadership. Early on, it was alleged that you ordered the State police to investigate Senator Bruno, with the apparent hope that he might be caught in illegal activity. While I am no fan of Mr. Bruno's, I found this allegation troubling. Today, I was stunned to hear of your alleged involvement with prostitutes and of what is just short of an admission of guilt on your part. I am used to reading about corruption and law breaking on the part of our Republican counterparts, but from a Democrat and one of your reputation, I am frankly, saddened and disappointed.

If this allegation is true, you have disgraced your office, our party and perhaps most importantly, yourself. I hope with all sincerity that you are able to mend the breach within your family and that together you can heal the hurt. However, I do not feel that in light of this situation it is either tenable or desirable for you to remain as Governor of New York State. Unless you can assure your constituents that these allegations are entirely false, it is in the best interest of New York State that you resign your office."

I expect better from my elected officials, regardless of their party affiliation. In a time when corruption, homophobia and religious zealotry seems to have defined the Republican Party, I especially expect better from members of my own.

If all is as it appears to be, Governor Spitzer needs to leave office, and he needs to do so now.