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Whoa! Go Lansing, Michigan!

Virgil Bernero is his name and he is amazing.  He’s the Mayor of Lansing, Michigan.   Listen to him stick up for the working class.  It’s about time someone went on TV and said enough is enough.  Sacrifices need to come from the people who are responsible.  It is time to look up the food chain instead of down for the culprits.

(H/T Sarah at Corrente for the video)

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Who Are These People?

As you probably know already, Bristol Palin did an interview with Greta Van Susteren of FOX News.  This of course caused a predictable reaction among the usual suspects.  Personally, I don’t really see what is so newsworthy about one single mother’s opinion on abstinence, but in reading some of the blog posts and comment threads on this story I was struck by the realization that it was hard to tell the difference between the comments from Left Blogistan and Freeperville. 

So I grabbed samples from various “progressive” and “wingnut” blogs and prepared a little quiz.  Read the comments below and try to figure out whether they appeared on the left or right side of the blogosphere.  Everyone who gets 100% will win an all-expenses paid trip to a tropical resort in Guantanamo Bay Cuba where they will experience unlimited access to the Richard B. Cheney Memorial Waterboard Park.  (answers below the fold)

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QUIZ:

1. Why not just cut off the genitals of all the stupid people? We can start in Alaska. I cannot think of a more necessary procedure.

2.  She was very brave and I admire the fact that she was willing to come forward and talk about it. 

3.  I wish someone would / could fuse her labia so there are no more opportunities for Caribou Barbie’s genes to continue polluting the gene pool.

4.  Damn, those Palins are a horny bunch.

5.  Jesus’ mother wasn’t married when she got pregnant either.

6.  So, has Bristol picked out her wedding dress yet, or is she just going to walk down the aisle in Daisy Dukes and a crop-top?

7.  Bristol Palin’s got a tough row to hoe

Corrected: “Bristol Palin’s a tough hoe to row.” They’re all about accuracy here, doncha know?

8.   I notice a lot of negative comments re: Bristol, but not as many re: Levi.
That is always the way, isn’t it? You have the baby, catch hell, get called a whore, and the father of the baby? He’s free.  I hope she gets as many paid interviews as she can. She’s going to need the money.

9.  Brave girl.  But whatever her views, I do wish the media would leave her alone.

10.  I have two boys, both in their 30’s now. As they each reached their 14th birthday, the first gift they got was a pack of rubbers. That was enough to break the ice and allow me to get into the rather unnerving discussion that ensued. I let them know in no uncertain terms that this was NOT my blessing to do as they pleased, but rather, it took away any excuse they may have for unwanted pregnancies. I believe my last words on the subject to each was something like this. “I don’t condone you having sex for quite a few years, but if you do, you had BETTER use these!”

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Wednesday: Underwater

This could be yours for $150K in Phoenix

This could be yours for $150K in Phoenix

The NYTimes reports on the two groups of homeowners who may be helped by Obama’s bailout.  The first group are the subprimers who got over their heads when their mortgage payments rocketed up.  The second group may include you and me.  These are the people whose houses are no longer worth what we’ve put into them.  Now that the floor is fallen out of the housing market, our houses are worth a lot less.  If we sell them, we may end up owing the bank.

Homeowners in such places may wonder if their houses will ever be worth more than their mortgages. So fairly small changes in their lives — like a reduction in work hours or the breakdown of a car — may lead them to walk away from their homes.

“I would not minimize that risk at all,” said Frederic Mishkin, a member of the Fed’s board of governors until last year.

If even 10 percent of the underwater homeowners walked away, Mr. Mishkin notes, foreclosures would soar, exacerbating the economy’s many problems.

Other economists who share his view are calling for across-the-board programs that would reduce interest rates or otherwise juice the housing market. They are worried that without bolder government actions, the housing market will continue to spiral downward.

That’s a very serious problem for people who have to relocate for work or for people who no longer have a job and have to sell their houses.  In Phoenix, Arizona, housing prices have lost roughly 50% of their value.  That actually works in my brother’s favor as he’s relocating there from PA.  But he reports a disturbing trend.  He says that carpetbaggers from places like Utah are snapping up a lot of these houses at bargain prices in the best neighborhoods.  It sounds like real estate speculators with major mojo for investment.  I don’t know what exactly is going on here but I’d be a little worried if I ended up with a Mormon landlord.

In any case, the Obama bailout plan is going to target the first group of homeowners, not the second.   So, the pain will continue.  Meanwhile, as scary as the bailout mess is as described in the Frontline episode last night, it never ceases to amaze me that no one thought to bailout the homeowner.  And the crisis seems to have caught many people off guard even though many of us sensed that the subprime bubble was bursting.  I’m always surprised when the people who claim to be so smart seem to the the last ones to know what’s going on.

Obama Keeps A Promise

article-1035293-01f0dd9700000578-382_468x286The news media is all a-twitter about President Black Obama’s decision to deploy additional troops to Afghanistan, like this is something newAll accounts suggest the decision is in response to a standing request by General David McKiernan, but, it seems more likely to be a campaign promise fulfilled.  In his own words, here’s what he said in the New York Times in July:

As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan. We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there. I would not hold our military, our resources and our foreign policy hostage to a misguided desire to maintain permanent bases in Iraq.

In January of 2008, the video below was posted on You Tube, and, though he has been accused of blowing off Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the subject, going after Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan is probably the one thing Barack Obama has been consistent about since Day One.

X-posted at Cinie’s World