Bob's Links and Rants

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Oil new high, dollar new low

For today, that is. AWol is pResident for another 14 months. When aWol was misinaugurated in 2001, oil was about $27 a barrel and you could buy a euro for 90 cents. Today, oil is at $98 a barrel and a euro costs $1.47.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ted Rall on Shillary

I haven't had time for a good Hillary-sucks rant for a while. Fortunately, Ted Rall wrote one for me:
But a funny thing happens when Democrats and Republicans talk about 2008: they find common ground.

"I can't stand Hillary," the Republican opens.

"She's disgusting," the Democrat agrees. At last, a Uniter.

Half the electorate hates her--and not just members of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.
Every voter has his or her limit, a moment or an act or just a general sense about a politician that makes the idea of voting for them feel so unpleasant they'd rather cross party lines, or stay home on election day. For me, and for a lot of people, it was Hillary's vote to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guards a "foreign terrorist organization," unleashing new sanctions and U.S. military "instruments"--a step toward war--against Iran.
As I said, I'm the forgiving type. I get it: Hillary can't apologize for her Iraq vote. It would make her look weak. As she said in September 2006 on ABC News, "I can only look at what I knew at the time because I don't think you get do-overs in life. I think you have to take responsibility. And hopefully, learn from it and go forward. I regret very much the way the president used the authority he was given because I think he misled the Congress, and he misled the country."

Except...except...she did get a do-over. The same president who misled her, Congress and the country, asked for her vote on yet another resolution based on phony intelligence that starts us down the path to war--this time against Iran. She had a chance to prove that she'd learned her lesson. She voted yes. Again.

President Hillary won't close Gitmo. She won't stop torturing. She won't stop listening to our phone calls. She won't stop the war in Iraq, much less in Afghanistan. Heck, she might even start a new one.

Fool you once, shame on Bush. Fool you twice, I stop thinking how cool it would be for the United States to finally elect a woman president.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Quote de l'année

I can't even pretend to have a quote du jour any more. But here's one from Bob Harris, commenting on poll results that show that the leader for the Democratic presidential nomination is a woman half of American voters say they'd never, ever vote for:
Shouldn't we all be stepping back to marvel at just how dysfunctional our electoral system so obviously is? Bad enough our campaign finance structure and winner-takes-all system limit the spectrum of "mainstream" political opinion from conventional suck to full-blown delusional. But we're still more than a year away from the actual election, and our most likely leaders for the next four years have already been winnowed down mostly to people we already can't bloody stand.
I should point out that that poll was obviously flawed. Dennis Kucinich came in second as a candidate Americans said they'd never, ever vote for--at 49%. And you and I both know that the percentage of American voters who have never even heard of Kucinich is way more than 49%. And I'd suggest that Hillary's 50% is low--every Republican and half of the Democrats despise her. The Dumbos demonstrated in 2004 how to lose an unloseable election, and they can do it again if they nominate Shillary.

Fire and Water

Bob Morris at Polizeros writes about the California fires and the related and ultimately more threatening water shortage in the west. We've got tens of millions of people living in a region capable of only supporting tens of thousands. And not just living--growing cotton and cattle, playing golf, maintaining ridiculous lawns. Immense amounts of resources (water, energy, money) have been wasted over the past century to make this possible. But more and more it appears that it was possible only for a short time. The piper is at the door, demanding to get paid.

Meanwhile, W, having declared that $35 billion is too much to spend to save the lives of American children, believes $196 billion is needed to continue destroying the lives of Iraqi children. And keeping much of the California National Guard far away from where they're needed. Quite possibly the most evil person ever to live. And the Dumbocrats who have done nothing to end his reign of error are probably the most craven.

Friday, October 19, 2007

From Chris Britt.

What People Want

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Records

Oil over $89 a barrel. Dollar at a new low against Euro: The dollar will now buy 0.704 of a euro, down from over 1.2 euros back in December 2000.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

There goes the neighborhood

Back in January (no, it wasn't my last post) I wrote about how Pfizer was pulling its 2100 local jobs out of Ann Arbor, and how they were abandoning a huge, expensive facility that they were continuing to expand right up until the day of the bugout announcement.

Well, nine months later, many of the employees are gone, taking the local housing market with them. While construction finally stopped, the "Construction Traffic Only" sign remains:

However, the only traffic lately has been moving vans

and a big crane,

which is removing some valuable piece of pharmahardware to be hauled to its new home in Connecticut (which will be built where the old homes of some old people were).

The moving vans have been departing regularly for the past week or two. The "invisible hand" of the "free market" efficiently allocating resources? Hardly. No, it's evidence of an immensely wasteful and corrupt economic/political system run solely for the benefit of the very wealthy few.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fed Up?

That's the subject of an e-mail I got from Carl Levin, Michigan's senior senator and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He wants me to contribute to his 2008 re-election campaign to scare off any potential challengers:
We can force potential challengers to think twice before entering my race, by taking action today. A contribution before Sunday's critical end-of-quarter deadline will show any opponent that we're ready.

Click here to make an immediate, secure contribution of $50, $75, or more. Your support before September 30 will force Republicans to think twice before trying to silence one of their toughest critics.
There is no military solution to the political problems in Iraq. That's why I keep introducing my plan to begin to reduce our forces. It's the only way to force the Iraq political leaders to take control of their own destiny.

Time after time, Republicans have blocked my plan to get our troops out of Iraq. The one time we succeeded in getting it passed by Congress, the President vetoed it and there weren't enough votes to override his veto.

If you are as fed up with the Bush Administration's policies as I am, please make an urgent investment in our campaign today. Together, we can send a clear signal to the White House that their plans to defeat me--and silence one of their toughest critics --will not work.
That's right! It's your chance to prove once again that money trumps democracy in America! Our worthless senator wants to run unopposed so he can keep introducing his plan until the cows (but not the troops) come home. That his plan isn't working, of course, is irrelevant in his mind to his status as one of the "toughest critics," and even if it were, its failure is all the fault of a scandal-ridden Repug minority, a pResident with record low popularity, and a practically non-existent Iraqi puppet government. How can one man in an extremely powerful position possibly overcome such formidable opposition?

Stopping the funding of the war can't be vetoed--which is probably why Levin won't support it. He'd much rather complain about the Repugs and the Iraqis foiling his "plan" than actually come up with a plan that would work.

Fed up? You bet I am.

Still here

To any loyal readers I may have left: I'm still here! I've been teaching a computer programming course at the U. of Michigan, which has taken up most of my spare time. I still check in and read some of my favorite blogs, like A Tiny Revolution, Empire Burlesque, You Will Anyway and Whatever It Is I'm Against It, wondering if the fact that those blogs have much cooler names than mine is what keeps them going. Anyway, most blog posts I might come up with these days would be just regurgitating what I read on those blogs--so just click on over and read there what you might have read here.