Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Google and Nasdaq Fun

Google goes nuts today on Nasdaq. It looks like some Hedge Fund or Firm screwed up. Speculation is that someone in such a fund made trade on 10M shares instead of a 10K shares and chaos ensued.

What a mess, but it does illustrate how you and I play by different rules than the big boys. They make mistakes and the market is stopped and unwound to correct their error. Classic Fail.


Our current income tax plan for 2008 is below. To pay for our Wall Street cleanup, our war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Health Care reform, and Alternate Energy we will need to raise more money. Considering that the Wall Street cleanup will cost us more than the Iraq war to date we should be making sure the wealthiest pay their way. They cost us all so much, and via corrupt, fraudulent methods.

For 2008, the Federal tax brackets for a single (unmarried) person are:
  • 10%: from $0 to $8,025
  • 15%: from $8,026 to $32,550
  • 25%: from $32,551 to $78,850
  • 28%: from $78,851 to $164,550
  • 33%: from $164,551 to $357,700
  • 35%: $357,701 and above

This applies only to amounts above $8,950 (standard deduction of $5,450 plus the one personal exemption of $3,500) for an individual. For example, a single individual would actually pay:

  • 0% of the first $8,950 of income,
  • 10% of the income between $8,951 and $16,975,
  • 15% of the income between $16,976 and $41,500,
  • 25% of the income between $41,501 and $87,800,
  • 28% of the income between $87,801 and $173,500,
  • 33% of the income between $173,501 and $366,650, and
  • 35% of the income exceeding $366,650.

For 2008, The value of each personal and dependency exemption, available to most taxpayers, is $3,500, up $100 from 2007. The new standard deduction is $10,900 for married couples filing a joint return (up $200), $5,450 for singles and married individuals filing separately (up $100) and $8,000 for heads of household (up $150). Nearly two out of three taxpayers take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing deductions, such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.

That is the current setup. What is needed is to add more brackets to income tax and tax each at progressively higher steps.

For instance
  • 10%: from $0 to $8,025
  • 15%: from $8,026 to $32,550
  • 25%: from $32,551 to $78,850
  • 28%: from $78,851 to $164,550
  • 40%: from $164,551 to $350,000
  • 44%: from $350,001 to $700,000
  • 48%: from $700,001 to $1,400,000
  • 52%: from $1,400,001 to $3,000,000
  • 54%: from $3,000,001 to $6,000,000
  • 58%: from $6,000,001 to $12,000,000
  • 62%: $12,000,000 and above

Keep the deductions the same and also increase capital gains tax in similar ways. I see zero reason to have capital gains tax be less than income tax, if anything it should be more.

This would place the burden squarely on those who put is in this mess. I might point out that the top bracket for income tax is quite low considering the US's history and the number of brackets we have now is also low (see chart below). I am not sure how much more money this would raise, but it would redistribute the wealth. We do not need dynasties, they are not conducive to a democracy.

Partial History of U.S. Federal Income Tax Rates Since 1913
Applicable YearIncome bracketsFirst bracketTop bracketSource
1971-198115 brackets14%70%IRS
1982-198612 brackets12%50%IRS
19875 brackets11%38.5%IRS
1988-19903 brackets15%33%IRS
1991-19923 brackets15%31%IRS
1993-20005 brackets15%39.6%IRS
20015 brackets15%39.1%IRS
20026 brackets10%38.6%IRS
2003-20086 brackets10%35%IRS

Dark Bailout

This clip works very well. The Bush/Paulson plan is just an attempt to steal our money.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Colbert and Spidey team up

This is hilarious, Steven Colbert and Marvel Comics working together.

"While "Colbert for President" signs have been popping up in the background of random Marvel comics lately, the publisher has announced that Colbert himself will show up working side-by-side with Spider-Man in October."

I used to be a big Marvel geek. Spider-man has always been a big deal for me. One of the things to remember is that Spider-man still has three of his own comics, not one vehicle and continuity appearances in other mags, three dedicated to Spidey. He is hugely popular and connected to the entire Marvel universe. I think this is a great play by Marvel.

One quote from that article that I loved:

While the script had to be submitted to Colbert's team for approval, Waid said there wasn't a lot of back and forth. "One of the most thrilling and exciting moments of my professional career happened with this," he said. "I've done licensed work before, so I was completely prepared for Colbert's camp to come back and go, 'this is great, but can you put the Silver Surfer in it too?' Or, 'this is great, but can you put Doctor Doom in it on page five?' And instead, the only note I got back was, 'No notes! Go with it!' That was the best part. That was worth it right there, just to get a note from the Colbert camp saying, 'No notes; we're having a geek-gasm; we love it!'"
This is great stuff and it will get me to buy Oct comics from Marvel.

Bailout failed

The Bailout failed, roll call here

I am happy to say my Representative voted against it. The Democratic tally was unfortunately for it. I am disappointed with our leadership.


The problem was Pelosi and Reid wanted a bi-partisan bill. Yet we already know that the Republicans have no morals and will always go for personal gain over the good of the country. The republican’s couldn’t get the 70 votes they promised, and thank God. Though they needed 12 No votes to swap to pass. Those 5 promised but not delivered wouldn’t have made it.

What we need is a partisan bill, passed by Democrats despite the Republicans. The bill should be modeled after the successful Sweden bailout. Without the compromises that working with the Republican's demand we can actually make a bill that is good for this country.

This past bill was dangerous and nothing but a fig leaf on the Paulson plan. They need to move away from Paulson's plan and work with other plans actually designed by economists. Check out this link to two better bailouts

The summary is this:
  1. Force banks to write down assets to market value, stop paying dividends, and raise new equity. We've basically tried this, and except for the top firms, it hasn't worked: Because no investors are dumb enough to invest.
  2. Force banks to write down assets and then recapitalize them by converting debt to equity. This hits both bondholders and shareholders, and it costs the taxpayer nothing. It will also likely be so unpopular with Wall Street--and, more importantly, investors--that it would be politically untenable.
  3. Force banks to write down assets and have the government take equity stakes via preferred stock. This is the way Buffett invested in Goldman (he was comfortable with the carrying value of its assets). It's the way the Sweden did it. It's also the way any responsible private market investor would invest.

As you can see option 3 is the tried and true method.

Morning Commute

The commute in was nice. My legs were noodles last night after the 7 miles ride and dog park excursion. But this morning they felt fine. I am rebuilding my legs from a year out of the saddle. I brought my camera with me today but I don't have a card reader at work so the pictures will have to go up when I get home. I will add the slideshow to the afternoon commute.

It was a nice quiet ride, I do want to get a pouch for my camera so it is more available though. I didn't want to ride with it around my neck. I had a little motivation issues getting out the door but everyone said I was very alert and happy this morning, which is good. I am quite pleased with my morning commute, the route is much better then the ones I was previously using.

Tomorrow I am off, to run errands and double check my registration to vote, so I won't be commuting. But Kristin and I do plan on another pleasure ride if we can fit it in.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dog Park today

Our neighbors Michael and Amy came with us to the dog park today. So we brought Luna (their schnauzer), Casey and Lucy with us to the park. We took it easy but I did manage to snap a few pictures.

All three dogs fetched the Frisbee today so it was a lot of fun. Here is the slideshow.

Sunday's Pleasure Ride

Kristin and I took our bikes to West Sammamish River Trail for a nice leisurely 7 mile ride. I grabbed the camera and took a few shots while I was riding the trike. The batteries ran low so I didn't have many to choose from, but here is a nice slideshow of what we saw.

It was a nice clear morning and a beautiful day to ride.

Bailout idiocy continues

Clap if you want the banks to live h/t Ian Welsh

First, Gretchen Morgenson in the New York Times reports that Goldman and no other Wall Street firm was involved in the AIG rescue talks and an AIG failure would have created a hole as big as $20 billion in Goldman's balance sheet.

I was speaking about this to my father. Here we see Paulson's cronyism, he has been at Goldman Sachs from 1974-2006. Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs were rivals. AIG's failure would have taken out Goldman Sachs, so Paulson saves AIG AND involves Goldman's in the talk. Only Goldman Sachs was involved. ref: naked capitalism

This is one of the major reasons why I am deeply suspicious of the bailout. It seems clear to me that Paulson isn't worried about the markets but worried about his firm Goldman Sachs.

The deal itself is crap. Let me quote Ian Welsh at FDL

In short, while this plan is an improvement on the original Paulson plan, which is saying, well, almost nothing. It's still a plan that, at the end of the day, won't work. That doesn't mean we won't see some short term benefits. Throw 700 billion bucks at the economy and the financial sector and it will do something. That's still a ton of money. But it won't fix the problem permanently, it will only patch it for a time and even during that time, things will continue to get worse. (For example, expect this to cause oil inflation.)

It's a bad plan that won't fix the economy or the financial sector. So we'll be revisiting this issue in 6 to 9 months or so when it becomes clear that the problem hasn't been solved, and that not solving it is costing a hell of a lot of money which could have been used to actually fix things.

For me one of the worst parts about this is no protection for homeowners in bankruptcy. They still lose their house, the bankruptcy judge has no power to save them. And idiots like Mayor Nickels are forcing homeless out of tent cities like Nickelsville when he doesn't have enough shelters to put them in.

In short I am losing hope for humanity. It looks like we are still digging the hole we are in, not realizing we need to do something different to get out of this mess.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Doggy Slideshow

Here is a Friday Slideshow staring Casey and Lucy.

Commute home

My commute home today was wonderful. It was an example of why commuting by bike or in my case trike is so nice. I crossed over the ped bridge at 100th st, I glanced down at other peoples bumper to bumper commute and reflected on how nice my ride was. I ran into another cycle commuter who was coming up hill and we exchanged a few words of greeting. He was happy to be almost home and done with the hills and I was looking forward to my downhill spin.

Next up I rode by what my wife calls "the chuck-it park". I heard someone yelling behind me, so I braked and looked back. A boxer was bounding toward me, tongue lolling, while he ignored his owners pleas to come. I stopped and waited (a benefit of the trike), the big happy dog came up to me and licked my hands as I grabbed his collar. The grateful owner soon caught up to his runaway pooch. Great dog and a nice encounter.

I pedaled over the rise and down to 112th. I saw a women walking two dogs, one of which looked like a rat terrier or jack russell puppy. I stopped and chatted for a bit. The dalmatian was an 8 year old rescue named Hannah and the puppy was an unknown mix named "Jack" I think, also a rescue. Hannah was very sweet and eventually came over to me and gave me a lot of attention, she wasn't scared at all. I was surprised to hear she was abused before "Sarah" (I hope, I got that right) got her as a rescue, she had a lot of scaring on her back but she is a beautiful dog. Very sweet, great coat, wonderful color. I chatted with Sarah for 15 minutes or so about my trike, the day, her dogs and my dogs. Very nice. The trike makes stopping and starting so easy, it really makes conversations like this much easier.

I definitely want to start packing my camera for commuting, there are so many things to take pictures of. I wish I could put up the mental snap shots I have of this ride.

Comments welcome as always.

Some Finance stuff due to Bailout stupidity.

All of this bailout nonsense is driving me nuts. Mostly because I have never seen such a load of crap passed around. First, the proposed plans range from totally bats$*t insane (Paulson's plan, GOP Plan) to sadly deficient. I think it is obvious to all that Paulson's original plan was nothing but a pure power and money grab, a giant theft planned before Bush's sunset. The GOP plan is just an way to show us all that Republicans have absolutely no brains. The want to deregulate their way out of this mess and reduce capital gains while doing it. I feel bad for those Republicans who have morals and a brain, the bulk of their party members are working hard to destroy that brand.

Dodd's plan, Barney's plan are all failed messes that build on the Paulson plan and try to "fix" it without fundamentally changing it. Come on, buying assets at their "book value" will not help a darn thing, it will just leak $700 billion out of our Treasury and bankrupt the country.

Look, the bond market is going wild, the interest on Treasury Bonds is very low. Everyone is trying to find a safe place to put their money. We need to issue more bonds and take this money and use it to buy these failing institutions. We need to invest into our own economy. We don't need to buy the toxic debt and leave these institutions intact making their profits for private enterprise. We need to nationalize everything we can get our hands on, we will lose out on some of this, but much of it will be valuable later. Then we can sell these institutions back to investors when they have regained their confidence and potentially make a profit.

We know we won't make a profit on toxic debt, it is completely worthless. But these companies are worth something. We need a different plan, not a bailout, but a nationalization plan.

Ref: Yglesias,

Nickelsville shutdown and raided

Nickelsville, South Seattle's own shantytown named provocatively after Mayor Nickels was shutdown today (Friday, 9/26) at about 1pm. Tent cities like this don't bother me, it sticks in my craw when cities shut these things down. This is not the time for Seattle to evict homeless. WaMu just crashed for Christ's sake. Have some compassion. Here is the story if you want more.

What is wrong with us that we can't reach out to help those who need it most?

Please let me know your thoughts, leave a comment.

September Slideshow

I was fighting today with the bloger widget to have a slideshow. But it annoyed me too much, too small and it cached too much info and didn't get all my pictures. But luckily Picasa allows me to embed a slideshow directly into a blog post anyway.

These pictures are a selection of older shots with a few taken this month during my commuting.

Thoughts during the ride in

My third ride in of the week. Today was a nice foggy morning. Luckily I installed my light mount last night, I also switched to new shoes for the ride. So riding in with my Jet-Lite starfire pointing the way I experienced a very beautiful eerie ride. Lots of beautiful scenery on my chosen route, especially when it is silhouetted in my foggy white-out. I will need to start packing my camera for the commute.

Crossing the ped bridge, I see that I missed the normal sign team that holds up political signs for the drivers to see as they sit stalled in traffic below. I guess the fog chased them away. Too bad, nice people, I enjoy chatting with them in the morning. Passing the spot made me think of the bailout and how I have to oddly grateful that Republican self-interest has managed to derail the proposed plan. Now if only the Democratic leadership can grow a spine and ram a good bill before Congress rather than some mickey-mouse giveaway with no relief to homeowners.

I definitely need more pictures for this blog. Speak up if you are visiting, I have the comments in my Google Reader feed. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bailout blues

I called both my Senators and Congressman today. I let them know my opposition to the bailout plans and desire for equity, mortgage relief, oversight and a much smaller bailout such as the $125 billion that Senator Chuck Schumer proposed. I didn't manage to fit in my belief that any Democrat who votes for this will face a challenge in the next primary as I was trying to remain polite and civil. I did manage to get compensation caps into the conversation though.

I recommend you use the Senate web site to find your Senator's phone numbers and call them. Your representative can be found at the house web site. Here are some talking points and some of the details of the bailout.

Why do we need Congress to take the time to get this right? Because according to Forbes, the Treasury Department admits the $700 billion price tag is "not based on any particular data point. We just wanted to choose a really large number."1

Our phone calls are working. The New York Times reports on members of Congress across the political spectrum hearing from constituents angry about the bailout:

The backlash, in phone calls as well as e-mail messages, is putting lawmakers in a quandary as they weigh what many regard as the most consequential decision of their careers: whether to agree to President Bush's request to spend an estimated $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue the financial services system.

Around the country, Republican and Democratic voters are rising up in outright opposition to the White House plan or, at the very least, to express concern that it is being pushed through Congress in haste.2
Last weekend, Barack Obama helped define what it would mean to put Main Street before Wall Street:

* No blank check. We must insist on independent accountability and oversight.

* Invest in the real economy to avoid recession. We need an emergency economic plan to help working families—a plan that would help folks cope with rising gas and food prices, create infrastructure jobs, etc.

* Help homeowners stay in their homes. We cannot have a plan for Wall Street banks that does not help homeowners stay in their homes and help distressed communities.

* Taxpayers should be protected. This should not be a handout to Wall Street.

* Rescue requires mutual responsibility. Institutions that benefit from taxpayer help must help protect American homeowners and the American economy. We cannot underwrite continued irresponsibility.

* Build a regulatory structure for the 21st Century. We should commit ourselves to new rules of the road for the 21st Century economy.

* A global response. The United States must lead, but we must also insist that other nations, who have a huge stake in the outcome, join us in helping to secure the financial markets.3

Last night's prime time address by President Bush was intended to force Congress to approve his bailout deal for Wall Street without helping Main Street. To keep Congress from caving, we must keep the public pressure up today.

Please if you are reading this, take action and make some phone calls. Heck I called my Congressman twice since I read the deal was almost made. This is freaking me out and I need to say something.

Thursday thoughts - Bailout

I haven't posted about this subject but the entire bailout idea totally stinks. This is nothing but a Wall Street giveaway with nothing in return for Americans. We need to bailout individual failing banks instead with loans and take an equity stake, just like we did with AIG.

700 Billion will crush any plans we have to fix anything in the next 8 years. This plan is just #$%#% insane. It can't pass. With that said, it probably will. What we need to do is get a solid block of progressive Democrats in the Senate and Congress who are willing to force the Legislature to deal with them. A block of 20-30 should work. I will be keeping my eyes out for likely candidates and promoting them on my low traffic blog. One example in WA is Darcy Burner. I recommend you donate to her if you can.

My view on this is that I will donate and organize for any progressive candidate since I can only vote for 1 representative and 2 senators directly. We need a whole lot more than that to create a block that can work for us in the legislature.

Our dogs

I just went through my pictures and put a bunch of dog pictures in our online picasa albums. My wife and I are dog people. You can see in these pictures Casey (pictured below), Dot (a friends dog), Lucy (our Jack Russell) and Kristin and myself.

We love our dogs and they changed our life, for the better.

From Doggy pictures

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Commuting home in the rain

My ride home tonight was a bit wet. A good test of my gear and ride in wet conditions. Everything passed. I don't have my accessory mount yet so I was without a headlight but the ride wasn't bad without it.

I looked like this today:
From September Commuting

As you can see I was wearing my cycling clothes. Performance pants, my fall ones, they handle the rain very well and work as long as it is above freezing. I should get a second set, they were perfect today. I had a rain slick on which is a gift from my Dad as he doesn't ride anymore. I used my Ortlieb Panniers, which are just amazing and I wouldn't replace them. Rain proof, nearly indestructible and so easy to take on and off. I used shorty gloves which I was glad to have in the rain.

So now you see what I look like today, 40lbs heavier than the picture in my profile. The last year has been a rough one for weight gain. But I am pushing hard to lose it now. With my newfound desire to ride every day it should drop. I will be doing some upper body workouts as well.

Regarding commuting I was very pleased at the ride today. The hill wasn't so bad, the route was reasonably fast for a first day back in 1 year, and the rain was not a problem.

Cycle Commuting - First day back on the trike

So today was my first day back on the trike for commuting in over a year. As part of my new QOL improvement strategy I am cycling commuting again. I did a bit of prep before I started again.

  1. Cleaned out the garage so I have a cycle maintenance area.
  2. Cleaned and lubbed the chain.
  3. Cleaned the trike and adjusted the seat forward a bit.
  4. Installed a new cateye rear blinker (works great attached to the rack)
  5. Bought new shoes, my current shoes are 7 years old and a bit worn.
  6. Ordered a new accessory mount for the lighting system. (terracycle mount, jet-lite system)
I pre-packed my clothes and panniers for the ride this morning after a test ride last night. I decided to go with the full change of clothes method vs riding in work clothes. Apparently my winter cycling pants still fit, which shocked me but I did gain most of my weight in my stomach. I rode a new route. I took 7th Ave up the hill, turned left at the tracks and cut over to 100th ave. I then rode to 124th heading south to 90th, then turned down 90th to get to my office. As routes goes this worked very well, the ped bridge at 100th is nice and wide. The inclines weren't horrible. I prefer this to my 80th st/kirkland ave route. That hill is brutal, as is the ascent to the ped bridge at 80th.

Today's ride was awesome. Felt great and everyone waved and smiled as I passed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Interlude - cycling

I have been focused on getting back into shape this week. I decided that cycling and cycle commuting is the way forward. I commuted for 7 years straight on a bike, so this is familiar territory.

My chosen commute vehicle will be my trike seen here in a picture taken last year:
From Blogger Pictures

I am going to add a new accessory mount to it to replace the one you see in the photo above. This is the one I am going to use:
(follow link in picture to see it at terraclycle.com)

I added some lighting and other gear to the trike. Additionally I cleaned out the garage so I can turn it into a work area for my trike and my Wife's Rans Cruz. I am going to put a Metolius Slim Gym in the garage too.

This means I have to sell the other bikes in my stable. First to go is my Fuji Cross 2003. Lots of added gear -
2003 Fuji Cross,
52 cm Frame,
Carbon fiber front fork,
Compact Double crank,
11-34 rear cassette,
Shimano 105 components,
Rear derailer Shimano XT,
Speedplay Frog pedals (cleats available),
Richey rims,
Rear Rack installed,
Detachable Fender kit included (easy on/off works great),
From Fuji Cross 2003

The album has more pictures if you follow the link.

Friday, September 19, 2008

McCain - An opportunistic Lying Lier.

McCain's credibility is absolutely shot. Anyone who believes him is completely delusional or has a guarantee (i.e blackmail). He is literally just making crap up now and throwing it against the wall. I won't bother with a list of his false claims as I can't type fast enough to list them all, he and his campaign lie at a blistering rate. Palin is no better and arguably more frightening.

I don't understand how they think that lying more than any other politician in my experience will get them. Heck their surrogates won't even claim to be Republican when interviewed. The Hardball - Chris Matthews vs Cantor clip was amazing in its display of Republican cravenness and doublespeak.

McCain doesn't even know the Prime Minister of Spain. And his area of expertise is supposed to be Foreign Affairs. Sadly he and his campaign even lie about that and instead say that he was deliberately classifying Spain as an adversarial state. You know, Spain, the democratic NATO ally in Europe (not Latin America as McCain seems to think). Is this the kind of negotiator we want? One who won't even ask for clarification when he doesn't understand questions, who can't even get the right hemisphere when asked about an important allies Prime Minister? Who covers up his mistakes by deciding that our ally in Afghanistan is now an enemy?

Really?!? Lets be honest here, if you support McCain after this, you are either massively misinformed and delusional or morally bankrupt. Unfortunately it seems there are a lot of people who fall into both categories. Many in both.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Its the Economy Stupid!

With Merrill Lynch bought to protect it from bankruptcy and Leyman Brothers in bankruptcy while AIG teeters on the edge, it becomes pretty darn obvious that the US economy is in dire straits. I am personally pretty freaked out. I am not sure where the bottom is and I don't think anyone does.
  • Will this affect the funding of my company?
  • Will this affect our product launches in the near future?
  • Will I ever be able to buy a house now?
  • Will I lose my job?

I have to think that these are the thoughts of countless Americans now. So what does McCain say today? "despite fears over the "turmoil" on Wall Street, "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

I don't care if you are a Neo-con, a Republican, a Libertarian, a Democrat, or an Independant, how the heck can you support that statement. The man is so out of touch that he is dangerous.

Here is Biden addressing both the economy and McCain's statement today. This clip is his stump speech in Michigan.

This whole mess can be traced to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, the Gramm in the act is Phil Gramm, McCain's economic advisor. This bill was passed through a Republican Congress and Senate in 1999 and gutted the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which was put in place post-Great Depression to prevent exactly the kind of mess we are in now. Gramm is also tied directly to the Enron debacle and the UBS fiasco.

I can't imagine any reason to support a campaign that subscribes to Gramm's policies. Even if you are a billionaire, vote for Obama, it's the Economy stupid!

Updated: This clip from The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources illustrates the point nicely.

During the hearing, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island asked a question:

: Gentlemen, we’re in the middle of a near total mortgage system meltdown in this country. We have a health care system that burns 16 percent of our GDP, in which the Medicare liability alone has been estimated at $34 trillion. We’re burning $10 billion a month in Iraq.

This administration has run up $7.7 trillion in national debt, by our calculation. And there is worsening evidence every day of global warming, with worsening environmental and national security ramifications. In light of those conditions, do any of you seriously contend that drilling for more oil is the number one issue facing the American people today?

(Long silent pause during which nobody answers.)

WHITEHOUSE: No, it doesn’t seem so.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Planned Parenthood attack ad

I like to cover the ads. I don't get to see them and neither do my neighbors, we live in a state considered safe, Washington. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the feeling that McCain gets all the coverage and runs all the ads. The national media loves to play McCain ads, even those with limited or non-existent ad buys.

But there are Obama ads and they play in battleground states. This one is from Planned Parenthood which is notable for a couple reasons.
  1. It is not from the Obama campaign. The 527s are loose now. Obama has backed off his stance that the 527s should not attack McCain. He can't coordinate directly but he signaled and Planned Parenthood and NARAL both heard that signal.
  2. It is a good ad and it paints McCain as the villain he is, an opportunistic villain who has a record of voting against children issues.

I am glad to see this ad, and hope to see more like it. Let loose the hounds of truth!

Sarah caught out by Gibson

Here we see another damned soul lying to the public in a play for power. Sarah Palin obviously knows she has been lying, she finally changed her tune a bit in this segment. But it just illustrates how she knows she has been lying for 15 days on this subject. Her introduction to the national stage was with this among other lies.

It is good to see Gibson pinning her down. The man has risen to the occasion and has managed to show her true character while remaining deferential. I must say that he has been hitting harder than I expected, much harder. With Hannity getting interview #2 I am sure it will be much easier on her.

McCain is a Liar on the View

What is our media coming to when the hardest hitting interview to date with McCain is on a celebrity interview show like the View? Here we see the women of the View kicking McCain's ass. Calling him out as a liar and exposing his hypocrisy. It is sad that CNN, ABC, CBS and FOX News can't do this.

Here is the first clip. Joy Behar opens up with the Lipstick on the Pig ads and asks why McCain lies and if he endorses them?

As you can see, he is a bit blindsided but recovers by saying his ads are absolutely true. Even Barbara joins in on this one. Just sad to see this man sell his soul for an attempt to be president. There can be no doubt here, he is a liar and a damned one at that.

Here we see the View again later in the same interview. They talk about Palin and her earmark problem. McCain lies again. Really, his soul is black with the smut of all these lies. He surely isn't repentant, he repeats them again and again with full knowledge of his duplicity.

I am not going to embed the other Video where Joy (someone should pick her up for a news program) again skewers McCain, this time on his flip flopping and marching in lockstep with George Bush. He has the gall to say "What specific area have I, quote, 'changed?' Nobody can name it," McCain said..

Shocking. Thinkprogress took up this challenge and easy came up with a list of 42 flip flops which included the 4 areas McCain himself cited as examples of areas he has been especially clear and focused on. By the way Steve Benen compiled a list of 76 flip-flops here

Atrios on Urban NIMBYism

Atrios can be seen here commenting on urban NIMBYism and its single-minded focus on parking. Which he argues is odd as more parking has the effect of bringing in more cars and consequently reducing the appeal of the neighborhood. For myself, I agree with Atrios and not just because we share a first name. I think people focus on parking way too much. Parking is part of our car culture and this is a large part of what we need to change. For instance, I like Portland and its lack of downtown parking but providing ample bike lanes (including a double-wide one), light rail, trolley and dedicated pedestrian/cyclist pathways.

I deeply hope we can start moving to a more transit focused development style in this country. We need to do this to free ourselves from the shackles of oil.

More Campaign ads

This is an ad from the Obama compaign. It reminds us that McCain entered the Senate in 1982 and hasn't changed since then. I like it, the hit on not using a computer and not being able to email resonates with me, but some others say they don't love it. Let me know what you think.

This one is Obama addressing what Change means to him and for the US in this short ad piece. Nice, simple, powerful. I like the 1982 ad better but most seem to like the Change ad more.

Finally we get to a new McCain ad. This ad is typical McCain, full of lies.

The truth of the matter is that Sarah Palin IS LYING . That is why the quote in the ad shows "... is lying..." so that the context didn't betray the facts.

McCain - Campaign of Lies

I am going to quote FDL

  • Lies.
  • Distortions.
  • Untruths.
  • Deceptions.
  • Dissembling.
  • Misstatements.

Out-of-context snippets.

Andrea Mitchell: "That literally is not true."

Joe Klein: "...Senator Honor's daily lies and bilge--his constant attempts to divert attention from substantive issues..."

Jonathan Martin: "factually shaky"

Joe Garofoli: "Now McCain is lying about Factcheck.org."

Newsweek: "why kick off your campaign with an ad that's full of falsehoods?"

John Sidney McCain III is not running an honorable campaign. It's an unpatriotic campaign. It's a dishonest campaign. Every ad his campaign has put on the air since his convention has been untrue. The campaign is full of untruths, distortions, and lies. He knows he can't win a campaign based on the truth, so he lies to the American people to win.

Haven't we had enough lies? Haven't we had enough?

Have you had enough?

The time for this to end is now. We need to all be aware of his falsehoods and call him on it every time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Puppies in Yakima

Photo Album
My wife Kristin went with her friend Kris to visit West Valley Jack Russels in Yakima, WA. They were adorable and Kristin had a great time and Kris did reserve Ashton here in the photo. These puppies are about 4 weeks old in the photos. All the dogs were very sweet, the mother and the father both, very calm and affectionate. Exactly what Kristin wanted to see. We aren't looking for a new dog, Casey and Lucy are both wonderful but two dogs is enough in an apartment in Kirkland.


I have been trying to avoid talking about Palin, preferring to talk about real issues. But unfortunately reality intrudes with her massive baggage of scandals and lies. Worst of all is her complete lack of knowledge and ability as demonstrated in the softest of softball interviews with Charlie Gibson.

Scarecrow at FDL says it better than I can here

More Observations today

I thought I was done posting today but I read this post at FDL by pheonix woman. She examines the approach of Bill Clinton handling his WTC attack in 1993 vs George Bush handling his in 2001. It is an excellent read and I recommend it.

It stuns me how inept GWB's administration is.

Updated: see this link for more about the Dept of the Interior scandal. Remember the revenue from this office is the second-largest source of revenue for the Federal Government after the IRS.


First things first - check out this segment; Ari Melber from the Nation takes down Brad Blakeman regarding the McCain attack on Barack Obama regarding educating 5 year olds on Stranger Danger aka sexual predators. I was pretty impressed how this went down.

Secondly, I stole this image from Ezra Klein.

As Ezra Klein states, this is the primary solution that Sarah Palin and McCain propose. How the heck is the yellow area in the graph going to help anything?!?

Now we get to the Dept of the Interior scandal. Huge mess right now, still more news to come out of this. But emptywheel skimmed through the data dump and found yet more instances of Murkasey declining to prosecute real crimes. In this case sexual assault of a subordinate. Come on now, this is beyond the pale. Murkasey is shaping up to be the worst AG pick yet of the Bush years. Read emptywheel's take on this here

More details on the Dept of Interior mess here at dailykos. There is a lot of corruption at the Dept of Interior, and much much more will come out of this. Thinkprogress has a lot of data on it as well. It is too much to handle in one post alone.

On to more happy news. Checkout this ad from the Obama campaign.

It hits McCain hard on Education. Great ad, hope to see it play strongly.

That's all for now. I am looking for more videos to post as I like to see the ads from Battleground states since I live in WA, relatively safe territory that no-one is fighting over.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

WOW - bicycle lanes in NYC have changed

This picture is Prince St in NYC. I am stunned. Awesome bike lanes, I just wish they even had bike lanes in any reasonable density on the East Side, next to Seattle.

Here is the link to the article I found this in.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rachel Maddow on campaign lies.

I loved watching this segment from Friday nights Countdown. I catch it on Tivo so it takes me a while to get to stuff like this. I still have a backlog of Eureka episodes to watch.

But this was excellent reporting by Rachal Maddow as usual. Both my wife and I were impressed by her, again.

Nice Obama Ad

This is what I have been wanting to see. Hard hitting, direct, accurate.

Tracking lies -re: Bridge to Nowhere.

19 and counting ...

ThinkProgress is tracking McCain's campaign's lies regarding the Bridge to Nowhere that Sarah Palin supported. Check here for documentation on each lie and who tried to sell this pig in a poke.

The unchecked lying is one of the things that really gets my goat. The complicity of the mainstream media drives me nuts as well.

excellent campaign ad.

This is an excellent example of a political ad. I hope to see more like this, esp. targeting McCain.

Ezra Klein on Senator Presidents

Ezra Klein's op ed in LA Times is a very interesting read. It talks about the difficulty of dealing with the Senate and Congress and how familiarity with the legislative branch helped LBJ pass such historic legislation as the Civil Rights act, creation of Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps, Head Start and the National Endowment for the Arts.

It is quite an evocative read and very powerful especially in light of the nearly uncontested claim that executive experience is most important for the POTUS. Personally I find the arguement very persuasive especially as I find it stupid to discard experience that is directly related to the position of President. As far as executive experience, the compaign that Obama has been running has been amazing. Given how different it has been from the normal Democratic compaign with its 50 state strategy, reliance on individual donations, spurning of 527s I see very strong executive abilies on display. Obama has vision and the will to bring it into existance.

quoting Eschaton today

I found this quite powerful


A perceived lack of gratitude for his awesomeness has long been part of the narcissist-in-chief's worldview. But you'd think even someone with his dim grasp of reality would kinda get that it went something like:

Day 1: Yay! No more saddam!
Day 2: Rumsfeld: Freedom is untidy (uh, wuh?)


and that no matter how awesome day 1 was, days 2-present sorta, you know, sucked ass.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Triumph @ RNC -video

This one is too funny. You need to see it to believe it.

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at the Republican National Convention. Includes Karl Rove, Tim Pawlenty, West Virginians, and more.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Today I am going to share a number of blog posts that I found interesting and worthy of sharing. Almost all of this is political, but it is election season. All of this can be found on my google reader share page here. This page has more commentary on the various links.

  1. Joe Biden on Fire - great speech. I link to commentary about this below as well, but this is the raw video and jedreport is always a good read. I was very impressed on Joe Biden's delivery and he does bring up the way that Sarah Palin really does feel like that bitchy popular girl. You know the one that always made fun of every you wore and did. Joe didn't use those words, he was more elegant in bring up the comparision.
  2. Job Growth comparison between Clinton years and Bush years - A pointed chart that illustrates how the last 8 years have hurt us in job growth. Good chart, nice presentation.
  3. Rep Chris Smith - Pushing God in the Schools. - Here we go, an idiot Republican congressman who thinks that God must be in our schools. This is just a warning, these radical nuts are out there and we will be living in a theocracy if we let them remain in power.
  4. The Politics of Resentment - nice commentary from emptywheel regarding the video I link in #1 above. I found it an excellent read and companion to the speech above.
  5. The Hollow Men - from Crooks and Liars. This one is very important. It talks about how the Republicans at the RNC had no problems with their double standard on torture. They all claimed outright that John McCain was tortured (he was, no doubt) but their own parties standard on torture (which John McCain supported) says none of the actions the Viet-Cong performed on him qualify as torture. I find this deeply distrubing and the torture issue and the disregarding of the Geneva Convention will be one of things that we will feel echos of for decades to come.
  6. Real Vetting Roundup - dailykos. More Palin crap. If you aren't fully armed and ready to talk about why she is a liar, a crook, an eager consumer and seeker of earmarks, a pentocostal who believes we are approaching the endtimes, a member of a violent successionist organization, yada yada yada, click there and get some more info.
  7. Best Daily Show ever? - more Jedreport. I haven't watched this yet but I love the Daily Show and trust Jed , if he says it is good, then watch it. The link goes to Jedreport but it has each of the portions of the show in embedded frames within it. That is easier then teasing out each segment on the indecision2008 web site.
  8. Boxer fights back - Senator Boxer responds to McCain's acceptance speech. She does a bang up job here, very impressive.
Well, that's it for this morning. Take a look at these links and let me think, consider this an open thread. Though with the blog 1 day old, I doubt I have any readers besides my wife.
UPDATED - added one more - too good to pass up.

Friday, September 5, 2008

First Blog Entry

This is my first time blogging. Basically this will house various thoughts, pictures and videos that I find interesting and wish to save and share.

In general you will find I am a liberal minded Democrat who is concerned about the direction the US has been going in the last 8 years. Because of this many of my posts will be political, but not all. My other interests are rock climbing, cycling, recumbent trikes and software development.