Thursday, October 02, 2008

Putin Overhead!

I have to question if it's Putin or Santa Claus.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Even in Magic Valley, Idahoans are starting to get the picture.

More financial woes wait in wings

While many of my fears have come true, there are some biggies waiting in the wings.

Despite propaganda about our economy "recovering," why even pretend that the White House is capable of telling the truth?

Unpaid credit card balances are more than $850 billion and rising fast - and this just for the United States. In the last quarter of 2007, Capital One wrote off $1.9 billion in bad debt. While loosening controls for the greedy allowed the sub-prime crisis, credit card debt has been handled in the same way - 45 percent of the $900-plus billion of it - packaged up and sold. How many businesses will fail because of this?

Free-market policies since Reagan deregulated banking resulted in lack of the oversight that kept Wall Street in check.

Greenspan's failure to address predatory lenders and sub-prime greed will result in a failure of our economic system more widespread than that of the Depression.

Danny Schechter writes in "House of Cards":

"Add to these failures a complicit Congress, with Democrats and Republicans alike dependent on donations from the three leaders of the FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate) economy."

The government cannot allow big institutions to fail (at least until the end of the year), because they're federally insured.

While the courts have abolished protection from usury, real estate lending is reinforced by laws which state: "Whoever knowingly makes any false statement or report, or willfully overvalues any land, property or security, for the purpose of influencing in any way the action of the Farm Credit Administration, Federal Crop Insurance Corp. or a company the corporation reinsures ... shall be fined not more than $1 million or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both."

Getting a little sick and tired of watching big business bailed out with your tax dollars?



Monday, June 30, 2008

Now this is me exercising political correction-ness in Idaho.

Correction. An e-mail to James Wright, editor of the Times-News resulted in this response:


We ran this in the paper. Did you submit it to the website, as well?"

Lord, I love that man!

Define "political correctness" for me, Idaho.

NOTE: To my one reader - this response was posted under the letter, but I guess they're tired of hearing about this as it didn't appear on the web site for reader's comments.


Quit carrying 'political correctness' to nth degree

I hope the rhetoric used by officials of the Idaho Democratic Party is not indicative of the whole.

If it is, the party deserves to lose ground this fall. I am referring to the statements made by Chuck Oxley, the party's communications director, in the Times-News regarding remarks made by a guest on the Zeb Bell talk show. Having not heard the program or the remarks in question, Oxley encouraged advertisers to pull sponsorship from Lee Family Broadcasting. Oxley went on to say, "We think those advertisers should know that he (Bell) has made this clearly racist statement and should think about pulling their advertising." If Bell didn't make the statements (he claims he didn't), then, if there is an apology due, it should be to Bell and Lee Family Broadcasting by Mr. Oxley and a recantation on urging sponsors to withdraw their advertising. Nationwide, liberals cannot compete with talk radio so they're out to destroy it. It may not have been Mr. Oxley's goal in this case but the effect is the same.

In recent years, Lee Family Broadcasting has raised $250,000 for Boys and Girls Club, The Wishing Star Foundation, Camp Rainbow Gold and funds toward the construction of a local high school track. It raised $17,000 for a Christmas dinner and party for underprivileged children. Kat Kountry and local high schools collected over 2,000 toys and presents for kids plus turkeys for Thanksgiving and has helped keep area food banks stocked. Zeb Bell is involved in Meals On Wheels. This year, Lee Family Broadcasting will once again raise money for the Rupert fireworks.

So instead of urging sponsors to pull their advertising, voices with an opposing view should be using radio to express those views and quit carrying "political correctness" to the nth degree.



(Editor's note: Allen Lee is a former president and stockholder in the Lee Family Broadcast Group).

Community Speaks
Story Commenting Forum

Sharon Metcalf (id:sleight47) wrote on Jun 29, 2008 1:17 PM:

"Thank you, Mr. Lee. Finally, someone admits that talk radio, at least, does not belong under the “liberal media” blanket. But let’s look a little closer at what you call ‘ “political correctness” to nth degree.’

Cassidy Friedman wrote in the Times-News: “Both Bell and Lee say there is no audio recording of the show, which Bell admits included unchecked racist statements by his guest. Lee said there usually is a broadcast recording, but a technical difficulty forced them to halt recordings.”

How interesting. Zeb Bell’s cries of innocence must be echoing around the studio, mixed with his murmurs of freedom of speech. I mean, Bell can’t be held accountable for statements made by his friend, Frosty Wooldridge, can he?

Of course not–even though this is an easily recognizable ploy used by corporate media. Guests who perpetuate hate-mongering are simply exercising their right to free speech. The fact that the talk show host doesn’t disagree with his guest’s curdled reasoning is all the confirmation his regular listeners need.

Rory O’Connor’s book “Shock Jocks” product description:

“The highly politicized and often factually challenged world of talk radio dominates a sizable portion of America’s airwaves. But the dirty secret of talk radio’s success is the use of hate speech masquerading as free speech. In this book, Rory O’Connor tackles the “hate talk establishment” and shows how huge media conglomerates not only make hate talk possible but make it enormously profitable. He profiles the country’s ten worst shock jocks, including Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage, and describes how they use the guise of “not being politically correct” to ratchet up their anti-gay, anti-woman, and overtly racist language. He then shows how their celebrity leads to a climate that not only tolerates but actually perpetuates racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic attitudes — making America a coarser, more dangerous place.”

...Until people realize that hate-mongering, terrorist alerts, haircuts and skin color are merely meant to occupy the unwashed masses while our “leaders” recreate an America of master and slave...And they’re well on their way.

Objecting to this sort of radio show is NOT “political correctness to the nth degree.” It’s the awakening of citizens who want the real issues addressed and the diversions stopped. "

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Take note, Idaho. Nate is great!

Sometimes it's difficult to even say the word e-e-e-election after the last 7 years. The resurrected Swift Boaters are eating money and preparing to take a BIG DUMP of you-know-what all over the Dem candidate; the flatus so far is merely a whiff.

Recently, someone whom I consider to be an exceptionally intelligent Democrat actually related one of Sean Hannity's bile-soaked statements as if it actually deserved consideration. My advice to him was to realize how many hugely important stories don't reach print in the US. Find trustworthy Internet sources and read foreign newspapers to see what this country is doing.

As for TV, I can only watch Bill Moyers, Keith Olberman, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report without totally stroking out. Note that entirely half of my TV time is meant to provoke laughter--one of the few fitting responses to the policies of this administration. It also enhances our sense of well being.

Nathan (above) is one of the youngest members of our extended family; he's an example what this next election is all about.

Nathan may be Spiderman's greatest fan. He recently saw Spiderman 3 in which Spiderman's suit changes to black. Nathan's whole-hearted embrace of Black Spiderman had some interesting consequences.

Returning home from work 2 days ago, Nathan's mom was greeted with an entirely naked child who had taken a black marker and colored his entire body, only missing the part of his back he couldn't reach.

You may wonder why Nathan's imagination was allowed to fly. His grandfather babysits while mom works. Grandpa's health is poor and Nathan quietly playing was probably a welcome experience.

He's a delightful child, but dismissed by George Bush like so many others...and he makes us laugh.

Did you know that Black Spiderman's genitals are black too? Nathan does.

Founding daughter

Friday, May 02, 2008

But, but, imported radioactive material can always be credited for Idaho's overwhelming Bush support!

Is there nothing about which this administration does not lie?

Mark Morford writes: "The truth is as sad as it is revolting: You have been
lied to, again and again, perhaps even more than you imagined...perhaps like
no other time in American history, in a more carefully orchestrated and
widespread effort than any presidential administration has managed to
attempt in the past."

George W. Bush and seven top officials made at least 935 false statements
just in the two years after 9-11 concerning the "threat" posed by Saddam

Surge success: Besides adding 30,000 more troops in Iraq, the US created
militias from at least 80,000 Iraqis, the majority Sunni militants some of
whom previously assaulted American forces, who are paid $10 a day and
operate outside the control of Iraq’s government.

Since 2003 about $20.4 billion has been approved for training Iraqi Security
Forces to take over US missions. See recent news reports on Basra.

KBR has avoided taxes by classifying its American workers as employees of
Cayman Islands shell companies for at least 4 years. There is a great loss
to the government, especially Social Security and Medicaid trust funds.

Bush’s claims of vet importance aren’t matched by his budgets. He killed
emergency funding in 2003 for $275 million for Veterans’ medical care; his
2004 budget fell $1.9 billion short of maintaining what we know is
substandard care. His 2005 budget cut funding by $13.5 billion over 5 years.

VA-provided number of suicide attempt in 2007 was 790. A recently uncovered
e-mail revealed a same-time e-mail: "Our suicide prevention coordinators are
identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among veterans we see in
our medical facilities."

Add the military experts' "support" for the Iraq fiasco coordinated by the
White House. Look it up.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Make Sense of the World? Let's Make Sense of Idaho First

Story published at on Sunday, April 20, 2008
Last modified on Monday, April 21, 2008 7:59 AM MDT

Our agenda? Helping you make sense of the world
By James G. Wright
What's our agenda?

Lots of people think we have one, though none can agree on what that agenda might be.

Last week we ran a letter from a reader who suggested that we ran another letter - actually a compilation of bad jokes at the expense of President Bush - because of some agenda he didn't bother to define. In fact, we run almost every letter we receive because we want to provide an open forum as a service to the community.

Another reader recently e-mailed me to suggest that we have some other undefined agenda that drives us to cover up news about mercury emissions from gold mines and smelters in northern Nevada. Had he done a little research he would have known that we have published a dozen stories and editorials about the issue.

We're apparently deeply conflicted souls here at 132 Fairfield St. West, if you believe some of our critics. We have a pro-dairy agenda that clashes with our anti-Holstein bias. We're anti-education yet we support public schools. We're opposed to downtown revitalization even though we support it in editorials and as a member of the downtown improvement district. We're a bunch of commies working for one-world government and maybe even dancing on Sunday while simultaneously being money-grubbing corporate capitalist greedheads who canceled "The Born Loser" just to boost profits.

So what's our real agenda?

Lean in closer and I'll whisper it in your ear…closer…closer…that's close enough:

We want to give our readers in-depth, reliable and useful news and information about their community. And we want to be their indispensable resource in making sense of the world around them.

Pretty shocking, isn't it?

In a way, I'm somewhat flattered that some people think we could have some secret agenda or be part of a big conspiracy.

That implies a laudable level of organization - one I doubt we could pull off.

Put a dozen journalists in a room and ask them about anything - even just a lunch order - and you'll get at least 18 different opinions.

Throwing around the A-word is something of a cheap shot - one that generally comes from someone unable to dispute the truth of an article and instead tries to undercut the facts with an allegation of a sinister motive or bias on the part of the author, the editor, the publisher, the newspaper owners or the vast and ill-defined "media."

None of this means that journalists don't have personal beliefs and opinions, or that we're always able to divorce them from our work.

But for the most part, we go where the news takes us and we use checks and balances to catch unintended or unrecognized failure to remain objective - a reporter writes an article, at least two editors read it and then a copy editor checks it and writes a headline. It's not an infallible system, but it keeps us from tilting too far out of balance - or from promoting anyone's personal agenda.

Community Speaks
Story Commenting Forum

Grant Uptain (id:x2ox) wrote on Apr 20, 2008 4:00 AM:
" You do a pretty good job. I have no complaints, but I am bowing out of the blogging. I wish there was a greater sampling of Magic Valley computer users. I am afraid many people of my age just fell behind the learning curve for computer use. Best wishes. "

Herman Neuman (id:herospeaker) wrote on Apr 21, 2008 9:21 AM:
" Dear Grant,

Please keep blogging if it is not too troublsome for you. Although not everyone will be in agreement with what gets posted here by anyone, it is important that you share your wisdom. "

Sharon Metcalf (id:sleight47) wrote on Apr 21, 2008 2:02 PM:
" I'm with you, Grant. It brings to mind the old "casting pearls before swine." All of the facts in the world aren't going to get some of these people to listen, and quite frankly, I find too many of their posts routinely substitute hatred for reason.

I envision the Twin Falls of the future were it up to certain unnamed people whose blogs routinely approach lunacy. "

Herman Neuman (id:herospeaker) wrote on Apr 22, 2008 7:42 AM:
" Dear Sharon, isn't it amazing how the emotions of so many people are stiffling their abilities to think clearly and objectively? What are the causes of this? "

Sharon Metcalf (id:sleight47) wrote on Apr 22, 2008 12:51 PM:
" Fear...of truth...of being so wrong there's no excuse for it...of Bush's bogeyman...of learning that basing their self-worth on just being an American won't suffice anymore...of admitting that this administration is guilty of so much destruction and manipulation that it belongs nowhere but in a courtroom; ergo what does this say about unwavering support for a bunch of crooks...of losing their claim to humanity...of realizing that freedom of speech bears responsibility...that truth, justice and the American way are just words.

I've enjoyed your posts, Herman. "

Jill Clark (id:idahoemt) wrote on Apr 22, 2008 10:53 PM:
" Grant,

I am sorry to hear that you won't be blogging anymore. I enjoy reading your posts and I have even learned from you. I hope that you change your mind.

God Bless. "

Max Hatfield (id:7623) wrote on Apr 23, 2008 1:03 PM:
" Man it sounds like you chaps are having a real readership dilemma on journalistic and philosophical objectivity. Let me see if I can help you out. Some of those issues are just beyond my MOS but with respect to your anti-dairy and pro-Holstein dilemma, I am one of the worlds foremost pragmatic experts with over 30 years of hands on experience and can give you some help. To solve the problem of objectivity, each time a journalist writes an article about industrial dairies or an editor reviews it have this person take his lunch and drive out 4 miles due south of Filer on 2200 East and pull over to the side of the road roll down the windows and munch lunch. Have them take their time and savor the wonderful bliss of Silent Spring in the pristine rural Cadillac Desert setting. Just to show you how scientific I am with sampling procedure this person can stop next to the sewage lagoon or go on another half mile and pull over next to the 40 acres of rotten manure festering as compost. From an intellectual perspective this person can reminisce about how the University of Idahos scientific excellence designed both the flush and compost systems of rural beautification. One can realize how honest and forth right our legislature is with environmental control and full disclosure of cow numbers and nutrient management programs. How hard our tap dancing Senator Craig worked to make it illegal to require industrial dairies to measure air quality around these animal factories. Yummy and pass me another sardine and some Gorgonzola cheese or is that just the beans you ate yesterday. The journalist can even get out and walk around but watch where you step and duck when that sewage spewing pivot spays out on the road next to the company car because that would be the closest you would ever come to sucking on the proboscis of a giant blow fly. A journalist is not a journalist unless he is an investigative journalist and with my formula this person and his editor will become expert purveyors of truth instead of simply being English majors with only the capability of bulimic interview regurgitation with grammatical excellence but no substance. There now see how constructive I am. "

Too Many Idahoans Watch Too Much TV; read!

Obama’s remark about small town bitterness arising from lost jobs is all
over the media. The uproar he caused by telling the truth may have caused
you to miss other equally-important news.

There were more than 90,000 March 2008 bankruptcy filings, 30% higher than a
year ago.

The true current unemployment rate is 13%, reported at 5.1% thanks to
government changes to reporting.

ABC News reported that multiple top-secret meetings were held in the White
House starting in 2002 attended by Condoleezza Rice, Vice President Cheney,
Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, George Tenet, and John Ashcroft.
Interrogation techniques for detainees approved by the group included
slapping, pushing, sleep deprivation, simulated drowning called
waterboarding. Another typical Friday afternoon "confession."

Marie Cocco reports that significantly injured Iraq and Afghanistan vets and
vets suffering from PTSD still wait an average of 6 months, alongside
400,000 backlogged cases, for disability claim approval.

Paraphrasing Mike Whitney on the financial crisis: Two years ago, over 65%
of all mortgages were converted into securities and sold to Wall Street.
When two Bear Stearns hedge funds disintegrated, there’s was a scramble to
conceal the real worth of mortgage-backed securities (MBS)–nothing.

By approving the Bear Stearns bailout with JP Morgan, the Fed went beyond
its mandate of providing liquidity to the markets and bypassed Congress'
authority to appropriate funds. The Fed isn't authorized to prevent
privately-owned businesses leveraged at 30 to 1 from defaulting.

Whitney reports that after years of smashing regulations and shoveling
campaign contributions into greedy mouths, the banking crisis was
inevitable. Instead, the public sees Fed and Treasury heroes dousing the
flames of the banking inferno with a stream of taxpayer money.

A Jack Nicholson character yelled, "You can’t handle the truth!" It’s even
harder to take when lies are so much more palatable.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wallets out, Idaho! They even want the moths.

Fear not, America! Those bankers whose push for deregulation resulted in their ability to feed their greed and create the huge subprime crisis have come up with a solution! You!

How about a Federal Homeowner Preservation Corporation they proposed recently to Congress designed to “buy up billions of dollars in troubled mortgages at a deep discount, forgive debt above the current market value of the homes and use federal loan guarantees to refinance the borrowers at lower rates.”

These are the same people who spent more than $100,000 lobbying Congress for the freedom to create this disaster. And now they want your help.

Of course, you don’t get to say yea or nay; the same guys who allowed this mess have that ability; the same ones who gave you the disastrous bankruptcy bill that will make you a servant for life to the corporate world and many of the same ones who spent $200 billion on the savings and loan bailout? Come to think of it, wasn’t there a Bush involved in that, too?

Mike Whitney writes, “The culture of corruption from 7 years of Bush misrule has spread like Kudzu to every jag and eddy in Washington. If we were really a nation of laws rather than nincompoops, federal agents would be busy rounding up every investment banker and hedge fund sharpie on Wall Street so they could get to the bottom of the subprime boondoggle....And, don’t kid yourself; Bush is proud of the damage he’s done by taking a wrecking ball to the SEC. For him, it’s like a good day at the races. He has no intention of reigning in the crooks or restoring the publics’ confidence.”

Saturday, February 02, 2008

"You've heard of the wonders our land does possess...

it's beautiful valleys and hills, the majestic forests where nature abounds, to love every nook I take pills." State Song of Idaho.

NOTE: I managed to derail this discussion of the usual request for more conservative columnists when I quoted a bit of Dan Cooper’s new book “Naked Launch” covering his part in the start-up of FOX News. The discussion is edited. Go to: One of these days I must learn how to do the "link" thing.

Story published at on Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Community deserves more conservative columnists
I'd like to second the letter in Friday's paper commenting on the liberal slant of the opinion columns.

It seems most columns come from either The New York Times, The Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times, the most liberal rags in the country. Already most of the "news" items are from the Associated Press, a very slanted news agency. Maybe the United Press is no longer available and you have no choice, but you really ought to read other national papers for your opinion pieces. JOHN THIEBERT

Community Speaks
Story Commenting Forum

Tom Young (id:bluedarter) wrote on Jan 31, 2008 4:41 PM:
"The reason people enjoy Fox News is because all the OTHER news channels have a decidely, blatant, liberal bias.

I appreciate them telling the other side of the news stories...
Jason Ramsey (id:JRMadness) wrote on Jan 31, 2008 9:44 PM:
"So, the fact that Fox calls themselves "fair and balanced" when they've been everything but for years doesn't bother our conservative friends at all? The fact that they have acted as the propaganda arm for a brutally dishonest administration, thus becoming brutally dishonest themselves, doesn't slightly turn your patriotic gut?...Fox is in for a verrrry uncomfortable next few years. Here's an article that will give even more detail. There's a great bit about a Fox "reporter" getting caught in two lies in a single day, then getting caught in a third lie he was trying to use to escape the first two.
Sharon Metcalf (id:sleight47) wrote on Jan 31, 2008 10:49 PM:
"No (Tom), the reason they irritate me so much is that I have a great respect for truth which, if ever adopted by FOX, would defeat their purpose...they appeal to people either too busy/lazy/ignorant to test the veracity of their "reporting" and simply swallow it to be repeated later. You know, like those sheeple who say things such as, "all the OTHER news channels have a decidely (sic), blatant, liberal bias" despite having no such evidence.

The other side of the news stories?...How can you have two sides to a story that never existed until it squirmed its way up from the murky, hate-filled depths of either the White House or some reporter pandering to the White House...
Grant Uptain (id:95164) wrote on Feb 1, 2008 5:10 AM:
"John, allow me to tack into the wind and say the community has a dearth of liberal news...Did you read “The New Times” when “Pulitzer Prize winner Judith Miller’s series of exclusives about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq—courtesy of the now-notorious Ahmad Chalabi—helped the New York Times keep up with the competition and the Bush administration bolster the case for war. How the very same talents that caused her to get the story also caused her to get it wrong? When the Vice President needed more proof to invade Iraq, who did he call upon? When the Vice President needed more evidence to support the need to invade Iraq, who did he go to? Why he went to his plant in “The New York Times.”

(I) notice that you do not define a conservative or a liberal. You just get out Daddy’s old blunder buss and fire away. Ain’t it fun!
Jared Asay (id:axisofjared) wrote on Feb 1, 2008 9:55 AM:
" "Reality has a well-known Liberal bias"
-- Stephen Colbert "
Tom Young (id:bluedarter) wrote on Feb 1, 2008 5:13 PM:
" Jason - Media you serious??

Their own website: Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting CONSERVATIVE misinformation in the U.S. media. Their contributors are all Democrat Operatives:

Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush. David Brock is the author of four political books, including The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy. Eric Burns...recently served as the communications director for the House Rules Committee and ranking member Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY). Prior to that, Burns was the primary spokesman and a senior adviser to Rep. Chris Bell (D-TX). Scott Collins...He has also worked for the Clinton-Gore 1996 Committee. Ben Fishel has worked as an intern in the offices of Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY).

Do I need to go on?? You hack on Fox News, but cite a source that is equally biased.”
Jason Ramsey (id:JRMadness) wrote on Feb 1, 2008 8:13 PM:
"Tom, did you read the article, or just see the "media matters" in the link and head to and dig up names? Fox is the media arm of a failed administration and is about to be the media arm of a splintered party. Those are facts and no amount of spin can fix it. Seriously, the part about the lying Fox "reporter" is a scream. Take a peek."
Grant Uptain (id:95164) wrote on Feb 2, 2008 5:20 AM:
" Tom speaks barrels of "Truthiness." "
(Submitted this a.m.) Sharon Metcalf
Tom, do you actually read what you write?...To compare an organization that attempts to correct some of the mountain of misinformation/lies shoveled down our throats in the past 7 years with one of the main shovelers is positively farcical.

Are you really saying that Media Matters is corrupt because it consists of Democrats? Gosh, I guess we should have waited for some Republican to be knocked off his/her horse, suddenly remember his/her widely touted dedication to the Lord, and immediately issue corrections.

From the Center For Public Integrity, Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith report:
“President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”

“It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda. This was the conclusion of numerous bipartisan government investigations, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2004 and 2006), the 9/11 Commission, and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, whose "Duelfer Report" established that Saddam Hussein had terminated Iraq's nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to restart it.”

“The massive database...juxtaposes what President Bush and these seven top officials were saying for public consumption against what was known, or should have been known, on a day-to-day basis. This fully searchable database includes the public statements, drawn from both primary sources (such as official transcripts) and secondary sources (chiefly major news organizations) over the two years beginning on September 11, 2001. It also interlaces relevant information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches, and interviews.”

WMD is just one among thousands of examples of outright lies (also known as propaganda) that this administration blankets American citizens with in order to push their agenda.

This is my gift to you, Tom. If you look up the members of every single organization or media group referenced in the CPI database, it ought to keep you busy for a very, very long time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Only in Idaho do mountains of facts fail to impress...

Just last night, Bush said: “In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth;” in Bush-speak the qualifying term is “our.” Not you.

The dollar is poised on the diving board, ready to jump with any more interest rate cuts by the Fed. Those raw materials and goods we import? Think. Will foreign countries still want to provide the same goods at the same price if our money is worth less (or worthless as the case may be)? Inflation is already working on your gallon of milk.

Unfortunately, if they don’t cut the rate, the market will take another turn on the diving board and foreign investors will scatter anyway.

Investigative journalist Dave Lindorff writes, “The Bush chickens–endless deficits as far as the eye can see, and a $2-trillion military debacle that has no end in sight and is sucking money out of the country like a giant industrial vacuum cleaner–are coming home to roost.”

Chalmers Johnson writes, “It is virtually impossible to overstate the profligacy of what our government spends on the military. The Department of Defense’s planned expenditures for fiscal year 2008 are larger than all other nations’ military budgets combined. The supplementary budget to pay for the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not part of the official defense budget, is itself larger than the combined military budgets of Russia and China.

Johnson advises that It is impossible to actually discover what is spent in the name of “defense.” Other agencies even hide some of the costs, e.g., the Dept. of Energy receives $23.4 billion toward maintenance of nuclear warheads; the inappropriately-named Homeland Security gets $46.4 billion; have you ever seen actual results from that department? Separate from the DoD budget, $1.03 billion is for incentives for US Military, up from $174 million in 2003. Veterans Affairs gets $75.7 billion of which 50% is for long-term care of those severely injured in Bush’s war hobby, and pretty damn poor care it is!

Additionally, our Bush-compliant Dept. of Justice gets $1.9 billion for FBI paramilitary activities; military retirement funds to the Treasury Dept are $38.5 billion, NASA gets $7.5 billion for military-related activities, and over $200 billion is for interest on past financed defense outlays. Guess who the nincompoops perpetuating the myth that massive military outlay will make up for the continuing loss of the manufacturing base and jobs?

Johnson adds, “Some of the damage can never be rectified. There are some steps that this country urgently needs to take. These include reversing Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the wealthy, beginning to liquidate our global empire of over 800 military bases, cutting from the defense budget all projects that bear no relationship to the national security of the United States, and ceasing to use the defense budget as a jobs program. If we do these things, we have a chance of squeaking by. If we don’t, we face probable national insolvency and a long depression.”

Everyone should read Johnson’s article, but you might wait for an hour or so for your dinner to digest.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Idahoans, your future was being hijacked...

...even while some of you voted for people like B/Silly Sali.

Economist Jim Cramer appeared on Hardball on January 19, palpably disgusted with
the president’s “incentive” plan, noting that buying the kids new sneakers won’t
save our economy. Especially since mortgage insurance companies have only a
number of weeks before they admit they don’t have the resources to cover the $450
billion in mortgages they insure.

“You’ll not be able to open the stock market,” Cramer said, astounded that nobody
in Washington is talking about it.

Bushies had better start practicing their talking points right now.

Columbia professor Joseph Stiglitz wrote in December’s Vanity Fair: “The damage
done to the American economy does not make front-page headlines every day, but
the repercussions will be felt beyond the lifetime of anyone reading this page.”

He continued, “I can hear an irritated counterthrust already. The president has
not driven the United States into a recession during his almost seven years in
office. Unemployment stands at a respectable 4.6 percent. Well, fine. But the
other side of the ledger groans with distress: a tax code that has become
hideously biased in favor of the rich; a national debt that will have grown 70
percent by the time this president leaves Washington; a swelling cascade of
mortgage defaults; a record near-$850 billion trade deficit; oil prices that are
higher than they have ever been...In breathtaking disregard for the most basic
rules of fiscal propriety, the administration continued to cut taxes even as it
undertook expensive new spending programs and embarked on a financially ruinous
“war of choice.”

Media is pushing the idea that the economy has replaced the war in Iraq as the
number one concern of Americans. Seems to me they’re irrevocably connected.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Living in Idaho is no excuse

While reading an article in a British newspaper online a few weeks ago, I
noticed that most of the comments were from Americans, even to the point
that a Brit questioned whether the availability of similar information was
that scarce in America.

He has no idea.

What have you seen about Sybil Edmonds and what she discovered during her 6
months as a Turkish translator for the FBI? Look hard.

On January 7, Dave Lindorff in The Huffington Post reviewed an article from
The Sunday Times (British) from January 5 regarding Edmonds' discoveries
when working for the FBI and her subsequent experience as a whistleblower.

Lindorff wrote, "...there is enough in just this one London Times story to
keep an army of investigative reporters busy for years. So this
story appearing in a highly respected British newspaper, but not anywhere in
the corporate US media?"

Lindorff also writes, "If Edmonds' story is correct, it casts an even darker
shadow over the mysterious and still unexplained incident last August 30,
when a B-52 Stratofortress, based at the Minot strategic air base in Minot,
ND, against all rules and regulations of 40 years' standing, loaded and flew
off with six unrecorded and unaccounted for nuclear-tipped cruise missiles."

US Navy and Air Force veterans say Defense Secretary Robert Gates'
explanation of an "accident" is not believable.

Lindorff adds, "Incredibly, almost five months after that bizarre incident
(which included several as yet unexplained deaths of B-52 pilots and base
personnel occurring in the weeks shortly before and after the
flight)...there has been no Congressional investigation and no FBI

It looks like the only "accident" was the failure to stop the three
as-yet-unnamed Air Force whistleblowers who contacted the Military Times
newspaper. I salute those three and their partner-in-truth Edmonds!