Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Bush talks Burma to UN audience

Today, President Bush spoke to the General Assembly of the United Nations, and sadly, with three major issues - Global Warming, Iraq, and Iran - dominating all discussion, the president spoke about none of them. He chose instead to focus his remarks on freedom and the plight of the people of Burma.

In some small way, his expression for new sanctions against the repressive regime of Burma may have been an appropriate action, albeit about 20 years late. Recently, Buddhist monks have led marches of over 100,000 people in opposition to the military regime which has oppressed the nation for more than two decades.

The last time there were such large public movements, the military ruthlessly crushed them. Bush's new sanctions may only serve to fuel the outrageous autocratic rule to more oppressive measures.

Most Americans are unaware of the vicious human rights abuses in Burma because they are out of sight. While Bush may have overlooked the more pressing issues of the day, he may have opened some people's eyes to an ongoing tragedy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


You, your kids and the Federal Reserve

Later today, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, will announce some kind of cut in the Federal Funds rate, the base rate upon which the markets take their cue. Currently, it's at 5.25% and it's widely expected that the Fed will cut to 5% or even 4.75%.

What this means for the average American is actually not much on the surface, though what it means down the road and long into the future is important. If the Fed manages credit and risk properly, America generally has a well-functioning, robust economy. Bad management, such as what was committed by the previous Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan, can cost dearly, as we're seeing today.

Greenspan, though he was revered in financial circles as a genius, was actually a credit pumper, ever ready to lower rates at the first sign of a bump in the economy. He's the major reason we have a credit crunch at major lending institutions today and why the housing market may not recover for years to come. Greenspan was far too loose with monetary policy and it's going to cost all of us and our kids, dearly.

Here's hoping that Ben Bernanke is a bit more circumspect and rational in his decision-making regarding not only interest rates, but te future of our country. Today will be a real test for him.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Bush Wins in 17 Minutes

Well, the drinking only got me through one beer and the start of another. I am disappointed. Mr. Bush didn't say "we are winning", the terrorists would "follow us home", though he did say that they could "reach our cities and kill our people" so I took a drink on that.

Sadly, he didn't mention Osama or Uuuusama, the Sheik who died recently or mention the term, "bottomup." However, General Petraeus received five mentions and Iran came in a close second with four.

Due to the paucity of drinking potentialities, I had to fill in with some of my own. The president said "Al Queda" five times, used the phrase "one year ago" four times and the word "reconciliation" three times. Smashing, though not enough to get me smashed.

Thumbs down to Rachel Maddow on this one. She really misread the thrust of the message. Either that or she didn't want anyone to get too schnockered.

Kudos to the media, however. They managed to squeeze the whole speech, the Democrats' rebuttal and some of their own commentary into a half hour. NBC even thrrew in a preview for next season's "The Office." Fabulous. Gloss over the war in a half hour and throw in a promo. Move on. Nothing to see here. American politics at its absolute nadir. Lovely. Drink up. I have extras.


Drinking with George W. Bush

OK, I'm ready. George is speaking and I am drinking according to Rachel Maddow rules, as follows:

If Bush says “we are winning”, drink once.

If Bush says “they’ll follow us home”, drink once.

If he says OSAMA BIN LADEN, drink once.

If he pronounces it UUUUSAMA bin laden? Drink twice.

If he says the name of that Sunni sheik he was photographed with two weeks ago, who got blown up today? Chug half of what’s in your glass.

Any mention of IRAN? Drink once.

Every mention of PETRAEUS, drink once.

If he says the phrase “bottom up”? (Which is the thing they leaked in advance about his new fake-new Iraq strategy)? Then BOTTOMS UP. Chug it.

And lastly... if he says, that actually he’s not just ending the surge, he’s ending the war? He's bringing our troops out of there, totally? Then don’t drink a thing. Because clearly you’re already plastered and are having optimistic auditory hallucinations. See you on MSNBC this evening, and out of the bottom of a bar glass soon thereafter.