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Category: 2008

A Fair Deal for the Homeowner

A Fair Deal for the Homeowner

Banks and other financial institutions need capital to replace losses incurred when they bought real estate mortgages that collapsed. Homeowners need capital to replace losses incurred when they signed real estate mortgages for values that collapsed. The United States Congress is bailing out the bankers but not the homeowners. Why? According to the Wall Street Journal 10/1/08, “A chorus of business leaders and trade groups urged Washington to enact a financial markets rescue plan…. General Electric Co…Verizon Communications Inc…Microsoft…AT&T…Caterpillar Inc…The…

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Eliminating Nuclear Weapons

Eliminating Nuclear Weapons

In August 1945, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, bringing death to 300,000 human beings, creating pain and endless suffering in the lives of countless others. Now nine countries have nuclear bombs; many more have the capacity to make them. Today, there are, in combat readiness, enough bombs to kill the world population many times over…And there is no defense. Nuclear war could happen any day – by accident, by design, by miscalculation, by terrorism, by madness….

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Is Bipartisanship Good for Democracy?

Is Bipartisanship Good for Democracy?

In the aftermath of the harsh and bruising 2008 election, there are calls for “bipartisanship”. Literally the word means, “Having members from, or representing two parties”. However, current political usage implies an era of good feeling during which opposing parties cooperate for the common good. Is such a coalition approach to government healthy for democracy? Will the submerging of differences lead to the greatest good for the greatest number? Does it bring us closer to one-party rule? If the Democratic…

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Next Up: A Battle over Unionization

Next Up: A Battle over Unionization

In recent decades the number of U. S. workers in unions has declined dramatically from a peak of more than 35% to below 10%. Some of the factors in the decline have been the weakness of industry and manufacturing in America, the lengthy political dominance (now ended) of the anti-union Republican Party, the rulings of the National Labor Relations Board and the sophisticated anti-union tactics that some employers have used to sway or intimidate workers before the first union election….

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Presidents Promises

Presidents Promises

Richard Holbrooke, US Ambassador to the United Nations from 1999 to 2001, and a likely member of the Obama administration, wrote in Foreign Affairs (October 2008) that “It is a well-established historical fact that what candidates say about foreign policy is not always an exact guide to what they will do if elected.” Franklin Roosevelt promised in 1940 to not send “your boys…into any foreign wars.” Lyndon Johnson stated in 1964 that he would not send ground troops to Vietnam….

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Can Obama Do Change?

Can Obama Do Change?

Immediately after his election, President-elect Barack Obama was properly deferential to George W. Bush and the U. S. Constitution: “We have only one president at a time.” However, it has not worked out that way. Obama has dominated the news every day, with multiple press conferences announcing his teams of advisors and Cabinet appointments while answering questions on foreign and domestic policies. At the same time he makes personal appearances (60 minutes, Meet the Press, etc.) designed to establish close…

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Where is the Change?

Where is the Change?

Is it too early to criticize Barack Obama for his program, his appointments, and his policies? He is not yet president but he is dominating the news and influencing markets and foreign-policy as though he had already been inaugurated. At the same time, he tells us that we have only one president at a time and that president is George W. Bush. Personnel indicates policy, often determines policy, and Obama’s appointments are from the establishment on both domestic and foreign…

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Don’t Help GM and Ford

Don’t Help GM and Ford

Please don’t help General Motors and Ford. Loaning them $25 billion to ride out the world-wide economic perfect storm would be a waste of money. Every patriotic American knows that it is more important to save Baghdad than Detroit, or to put 100,000 Sunnis on the US payroll in Anbar Province for doing nothing, our current policy. Money for the automobile companies could be better spent in Iraq looking for Saddam Hussein’s fictitious weapons of mass destruction. The funds saved…

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Money in Politics

Money in Politics

“Politics has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with.” Will Rogers, 1931 Nothing but money Is sweeter then honey” Benjamin Franklin, 1735 “Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.” President James A. Garfield, 1880 “Knowledge – Zzzzp! Money-Zzzzp! – Power! That’s the cycle democracy is built on!” Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, 1945 How important is money in politics? The Federal Election Commission…

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The War on Recession

The War on Recession

The success of the Obama administration will be measured primarily by its performance in reviving the United States economy, now sliding toward widespread unemployment, corporate bankruptcy, with a desperate middle-class that has lost its life savings. The Bush administration, with the assent of the Democratically-controlled Congress, has initiated fiscal policies that point the way for the Obama administration: give federal government money to banks and other corporate entities considered “Too big to fail;” accept in return partial ownership and a…

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