What A Coincidence!

McCain flexes his southern strategy, only this one is south of the border…thinking….how many electoral votes are there in Columbia?  This is just a photo-op to show that he has foreign policy experience.  I ask who paid for this trip?  The US taxpayer or the McCain campaign?

Ok now for the coincidence.  Not a single shot was fired in Wednesday’s rescue mission, which snatched from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the four foreigners who were its greatest bargaining chips.  The Colombian government with the help of US intel agents have come up with a veryt successful plan to free hostages.  All this on the basic eve of a McCain visit.  How fortunate for the candidate.

My problem with it is that I do NOT believe in coincidences in politics–nothing just happens.  Why am I skeptical?  McCain has been linked to a lobbyist that works for the Colombian government and plus this was all too convenient with the dialog that has been had recently questioning McCain’s actual experience to be president.

This event gives McCain a free ride and a PR boom to his campaign.  Coincidence?  I think not!

GM’s Financial Woes

“As goes Chevy, so goes America”, an old saying that I do hope is not true.

General Motors Corp. stock closed below $10 per share Wednesday — its lowest level since Dwight Eisenhower was president, power brakes were new and the Bel Air was the automaker’s hot new car — after dreadful June auto sales led one analyst to write that “bankruptcy is not impossible.”

Even if GM management feels it doesn’t need to borrow the money, doing so probably would ease investor anxiety.

Although bankruptcy could make it easier for GM to shrink its brand and dealer network to the size it truly needs in North America, “for a consumer-product company, it’s a fearful prospect to contemplate because of consumer perceptions,” Phillippi said.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization might help GM become more competitive, he said, but it would have to worry that customers would stop buying its products for fear parts and service wouldn’t be available or that the company wouldn’t survive.

“We believe that the weakness in demand and deteriorating mix through the first half of 2008 are just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a more severe downturn than even the most bearish industry observers expected,” Murphy wrote. “In the wake of a deteriorating economy, a weakening consumer and rising gas prices, we expect industry volumes to decline significantly.

Professor’s Congressional Scorecard

My monthly feature of scoring how our dynamite US Congress is doing continues. They spent more time in hearings than on anything of substance, but I found a few issues that they weighed in on.

So far in 2008, here is how I see the Congress.

Jan–1 step backwards
Feb–No step–a stand still
Mar–2 steps backwards

Apr–1 step forward

May–3 steps forward

Some far after a slow start in the first of the year, the Congress seems to be moving in the right direction, but will it last?

Here is how I graded the month of June 2008.

1–Paper on the misleading on Iraq–Backward

2–Failure of Global Warming init.–Backward

3–Failure of windfall profit tax–backward

4–Bill to give more visas for fashion models–backward

5–Bill for unemployment extension–Forward

6–Pass of war funds–no step–only because there were provisions in there for the benefits of the vets.

7–Pass the FISA Bill–Backward

The score for the month for our Congress is a total of 4 steps backwards.

May was a good month for the Congress, but they did what they do best–neutralized any good by going in reverse.

Please remind me, why we voted these guys into office in 2006.

Today In Labor History

03 July

Children, employed in the silk mills in Paterson, N.J., went on strike for 11-hour day and 6-day week. A compromise settlement resulted in a 69-hour work work week – 1835

Feminist and labor activist Charlotte Perkins Gilman born in Hartford, Conn. Her landmark study, “Women and Economics”, was radical: it called for the financial independence of women and urged a network of child care centers – 1860

Wall-E: Much To Do About Nothing

Lots and lots have been said about the new Pixar movie, Wall-E, seems right wingers say that it is sending a left wing message.  Their problem seems to be that the movie may imply that humans have caused all the problems on the planet like pollution, global warming, etc.

Why the uproar over Wall-E?  What about another movie, “The Happening” by M. Shyamalan?  This movie is about the result of Global warming that trees are giving off a neuro-toxin because they are being damaged by pollution and such.  The results of this toxin is that people start committing suicide and in ways that is just gruesome.  Basically this movie is saying that humans are filthy, greedy and deserve to die for screwing up the planet.

I ask why this movie has not acquired the ire of right wing nuts?  Maybe it is because most of them watch movie cartoons and not the  more adult movies.  Please stop looking for a left wing conspiracy and enjoy the movies and your popcorn.

McCain And The Experience Thingy

This will be the last time that this will reported on in Info Ink, in the last couple of days I have been blasted for my piece on the Clark McCain experience piece, so I decidied to comment one more time.

Stopit! Stop it! Before we go forth please take a moment to flush the emotional BS down the toilet.

I do not think that Wes Clark or myself are impuning McCain’s service to this country–to do so would be political, societal and cultural suicide. Because there is no definitive definition to the word patriotism or national hero, it is purely subjective. To use an obscure concept to say that is experience to be president is absurd. Even McCain has admitted this in past conversations.

As I have said before, a uniform does not make one a patriot, but rather a soldier. The National Hero label is a label and nothing more. To call someone a hero just because they served in the military is to belittle those who have actually done heroic acts.

Few people who have been president have actually had the experie3ncxe to hold the title of president. To get emotional because someone questions another’s experience claim is just dumb and usually comes from those who have no answer to the “real” question of experience.

Try to move past the BS and on to the issues that are most important to the American people. You know those silly issues like the economy, health care, education, war, etc–if we allow the candidates to keep circumventing the issues, then we will have 4 more years of the same BS that we live with today.

America! Get over it! Move on!

ConEd Update #2–A Possible Deal

ConEd and the union have reached a possible deal as reported in the NY Daily News.

Con Ed’s lead negotiator Claude Trahan, the company’s vice-president of human resources, agreed to the contract terms with union president Harry Farrell. The union represents almost 9,000 Con Ed workers in all of New York except Staten Island as well as Westchester County.

Both sides were still hammering out details of the contract hours after the handshake, and would not immediately discuss how it resolved their other sticking points, including a wage increase and health care costs. The union’s membership must vote to ratify the deal, which could take place within a month.

Con Ed prepared for the strike by posting managers in its control rooms and operating centers, telling them to be prepared to work 12-hour shifts.

The company was poised to bring in outside contractors and shift managers from other Con Ed divisions, as well as to halt routine maintenance and meter reading during a strike.

Con Ed prepared for the strike by posting managers in its control rooms and operating centers, telling them to be prepared to work 12-hour shifts.

The company was poised to bring in outside contractors and shift managers from other Con Ed divisions, as well as to halt routine maintenance and meter reading during a strike.