Saturday, August 2, 2008

Strip club ads in the Concord Monitor, the tax cap, and other issues

OK, it's been a long time since I cleared out my Bookmarks area with saved links I just never got around to posting. Here are some interesting things I have seen online plus some extras [Part 1].

First, some Politizine readers might be interested in these two recent posts from in reaction to some things in our local daily newspaper, the Concord Monitor. First, there is this about strip club ads in the newspaper: ["Strip club ads in the Concord Monitor"], and then there is this, about the Monitor's editorial board coming out against the tax cap: ["No surprise: Monitor against the tax cap"].

Moving on to international news, I wonder if there is any truth to this: ["Cheney, Neocons Considered Killing Americans in Pretext to Attack Iran"]. We all know that there has been saber rattling. But are these people stupid enough to get us into a full-on war with Iran before or after the election? Maybe.

How bad are things? Well, read this: ["Evidence of the US Banking System Teetering on the Brink of Collapse"]. I especially liked this line:
9. The SEC issued a protective order to protect those most responsible for naked short selling. As long as the investment banks and brokers were making money engaging in naked shorting of stocks, there was no problem. However, when the bears began using the tactic against the big financials, it became time to selectively enforce the existing regulation.
You know, I never really thought of it that way until I read this post. Essentially, it was OK if the banks were doing it to make money. But when other folks started betting against the banks, well, now we can't allow it! Of course, it should have never been allowed in the first place! Clearly, more regulation was - and is - needed.

If you read this Vanity Fair article about the situation at Bear Stearns, the problem becomes even clearer: ["Bringing Down Bear Stearns"]. While shuffling tons of debt around may not have been the way to run a business, I wonder about this. It looks as if things weren't so bad there until someone started spreading rumors about insolvency and CNBC went with the rumor! At this rate, just about anyone could start any kind of rumor about anything and ruin people's lives with the click of a mouse. Wow indeed.

Here is another failure by the Democratically-controlled Congress: ["Fairness Doctrine Vote Not Happening, House Majority Leader Says"]. This is such a no-brainer. And when voters get back from vacation, and start getting hammered by the handful of rightwing talk radio shows programmed on thousands of radio stations, to tens of millions of voters, they'll realize how stupid they were to let this opportunity go. The simple fact is that we, the American people, own the airwaves. Broadcasters are awarded the right to make money on our airwaves. But they should not be awarded the right to manipulate and lie to the American people without a balance of opinions offered on our airwaves. The fact that Democrats don't get this - or continue to turn a blind eye to it - will ultimately be their doom.

While we are speaking about ways to save money, here is a court ruling that is quite interesting: ["California judge rules early cell phone termination fees illegal"]. These fees trip up the free market, keeping customers from finding the best deal possible. Conservatives will say that this ruling is judicial abuse. But this is a very consumer-friendly ruling.

Everyone should have "hope" for the future when you see articles like this popping up: ["Clinton for VP drive folds, as hopes for dream ticket fade"]. You gotta love these politicos sometimes. In the end though, we will all benefit from Hillary not being on the ticket with Obama. But this reminds me of all the Nader-haters who put up a slew of Web sites in 2004 to capitalize on Nader-hating. There should be more regulation of the financial transactions between these entities.

Speaking of Nader, he is on 15 state ballots at this point and is tracking as high in 6 percent in recent national polls. Of course, national polls don't matter, only state polls do. But with Bob Barr and Cynthia McKinney in the race, it could get very interesting. How about a five-way debate? What are the powers that be so afraid of?

Speaking of McKinney, I failed to mention that she easily secured the Green Party nomination even though I believe Nader won more votes and delegates in the party's primaries.
I still think that a Nader/McKinney Green Party ticket would have been the way to go this year. And I also believe, like the need for a right-of-center conservative party that isn't the GOP and/or a strong Libertarian Party, the country needs a strong left-of-center party. Ideally, a four or five party system in this country would be a service to the voters. Since South Africa has more than 20 political parties, why can't we have four or five? Here is a recent article on McKinney campaigning in North Carolina: ["McKinney Blazes NC Trail With Incendiary Speech"].

More later ...

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