Friday, May 30, 2008

Letter to My Congressman Re: Criticism of Franken for Satirical Piece in Playboy

Congressman Ellison:

As a constituent and supporter I am deeply disappointed with your quoted comments on Al Franken's satirical piece in Playboy 8 yrs ago. Please, "I have to ask myself, can I explain it to my 11-year- old daughter?" So you feel the need to discuss an 8 year old satirical piece in Playboy with your 11 year old daughter?

For someone who was the target of the Republican propaganda machine's smear tactics last election why on earth are you doing Norm Coleman's bidding with such inane and unthoughtful comments. I expect more from my Dem. Representative. Shame on you, clarify your comment and refocus on Coleman's record and real issues. This is another example of the Republican propaganda's machine's diversion tactics to get the electorate to focus on non-issues while they sell out the middle-class and support Bush Administration policies 98% of the time.

Come on Keith you are sounding like another Washington politician and you are better than that.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Double Trouble: Sovereign Wealth Funds and the Commodities Market, Why Oil Will Hit $200 a Barrel Before Year's End

Increased demand for oil from emerging economic powerhouses India and China? Tight refining capacity in the United States? Uncertainty in supply from oil producing countries like Nigeria, Sudan, Iraq and Venezuela? All of these factors play a role in shaping the sky high price of oil these days, but very few people are talking about the real culprits driving the frenzied greed that is the oil futures market: Sovereign Wealth Funds and to a lesser extent pension funds and other institutional investors.

Due to a cooling stock market and the pathetically weak dollar, OPEC countries are shifting their investments out of U.S. Treasury bills, bonds and the like and taking their windfall oil profits and putting them in managed funds called Sovereign Wealth Funds and buying up oil on the commodity futures markets for a double whammy effect on the world oil market that makes old man Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Monopolies of yore look like honest businesses. While refusing to increase capacity on the production end, and at the same time artificially driving the futures market in oil through the roof on the other end, it is no wonder that Goldman Sachs is predicting $200 a barrel oil by years end. See "Tighter U.S. commodity trading laws may be boon to foreign exchanges", By Isabelle Clary and "Sovereign Wealth Funds A King's Ransom?" by Christopher Owen

What can we do about this unfair manipulation of the market? Regulations including prohibiting big institutional investors, especially Sovereign Wealth Funds from investing in the futures market? Unfortunately, it may not work. Dubai is rushing ahead with the start up of its own energy futures market most likely since they can see the writing on the wall and some, including the U.S. Senate are finally beginning to pay attention. Therefore if the U.S. and other Western financial markets tighten their regulations to reduce the unfair manipulation of the markets, the OPEC countries and other unethical money managers will simply pull out of the regulated markets causing a liquidity crisis in the U.S. and other responsible financial markets.

The solution has to be international cooperation and pressure to reach an agreement among all financial markets that everyone must play by the rules. I am sure that some of these same countries that are shaking us down with their monopolistic manipulations of the oil market would be the first to whine and howl if the food surplus producing countries played the same dishonest games in say the futures market for grains and livestock. While I do not advocate food as a weapon, the OPEC countries like the Republicans in this country have to understand that if you crush the middle class around the world and bring on a world wide depression, we all lose.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Why Hillary May Be the Stronger Candidate

Attention John Edwards and the rest of the not so "super" delegates, Hillary makes an extremely sound argument as to why she would make the stronger candidate come November.

The following news article says it all:

(Reuters) - Democrat Hillary Clinton defeated Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary, a victory the New York senator said showed she had the broad support needed to recapture the White House.

Obama, however, still holds a narrow lead in popular votes, delegates and states won. Here is a list of which Democratic candidate has won each of the nominating contests held to date in U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories:

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama:

Iowa, South Carolina, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Utah, Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington, Maine, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Vermont, U.S. Virgin Islands, Democrats Abroad, Wyoming.

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton:

New Hampshire, Michigan*, Nevada, Florida*, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, American Samoa, Pennsylvania.

*Results of Democratic contests in Michigan and Florida do not count because of a party dispute over the date of the contests.

(Compiled by Patricia Zengerle in Washington)

Add to the above states in the Clinton Camp, her 40 point landslide in West Virginia.

Now compare the states the two candidates carried and it is clear that Hillary carried the states crucial to a Democratic victory in terms of the electoral college.

Although the latest Head-to-head matchups of candidates, according to the latest Reuters/Zogby poll, show Hillary trailing McCain in the popular vote 45% to 39% and Barack leading McCain 44% to 42%, as we know all too well from the last two presidential elections, its the electoral college that counts, stupid!

Compounding my unease with candidate Obama is the anticipated smear campaign about to be launched by the GOP and its unethical surrogates including the swift boaters. We can absolutely expect the race card to be played hard by the so called "religious right" as well as the false accusations and innuendo concerning Obama's religion and associations. In light of this country's pre-occupation with everything "American Idol" and "Deal or No Deal" and an attention span that has resulted in an ignorance of current events or even a working knowledge of the real issues that face us as a nation, both foreign and domestic, I am not optimistic that my Red State brethren can be counted on not to succumb to their base, shallow and ignorant instincts.

God forbid, when we are in the second year of a McCain/Pawlenty Administration with gas prices over $5.00 a gallon and Americans continuing to die at the rate of over 40 per month in Iraq, and an economy in shambles thanks to McCain selling out the middle class by endorsing making Bush's tax cuts for the ultra wealthy permanent just to win election from the greedy pigs who are the GOP, John Edwards and the rest of the so-called "super delegates" will rue the day they jumped the gun and climbed aboard the Obama bandwagon before the primary races were even finished and before taking a deep breath and accessing their role as the wise elders of the Democratic Party. As Gomer Pyle used to say: Shame, Shame, Shame!

She Did It Her Way

And now, the end is near
And soon she’ll face the final curtain
My friends, I'll say it clear
She stated her case, of that I'm certain
She ran a race that was sometimes bull
She traveled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this, she did it her way

Regrets, she had a few
But then again, too few to mention
She and Bill did what they felt they had to do and saw it through without exception
She planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, she did it her way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure we all knew
When Bill bit off more than she could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
She ate it up and spit it out
She faced it all and even though she has no balls, she stood tall and did it her way

Sometimes she cackled and laughed and in New Hampshire cried
But now thanks to Bill, she’s had her share of losing
And now, as tears subside, we find it all so bemusing
To think she did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, not Hillary, she did it her way"

For what is a woman, what has she got?
If not herself, then she has naught
To say the things she truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows Monica took the blows and did it her way!


Yes, it was her way

Sampling credit: “My Way” (P. Anka, J. Revaux, G. Thibault, C. Frankois)