Saturday, November 15, 2003

Yeah, right
Sorry, I don't believe any of this: ["Case Closed: The U.S. government's secret memo detailing cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden"]
First off, there is no smoking gun. There is still no connection made between Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Plus, why has this taken so long to get out? Can anyone believe this memo which is being published in The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, which thinks that the invasion was a swell idea and will be supporting the reelection campaign of President Bush? It should also be noted that Bill Kristol is the editor for The Weekly Standard and also helped draft the invasion plans, via the conservative think tank Project for a New American Century.
And then there is the move by the president to speed up the transition: ["Iraq to Get Transition Government by June, Council Says"]. You can almost hear the gears turning in Karl Rove's head ... "gotta be outta there by the summer ... can't have the troops in harms way during the reelection campaign ... we've ordered the Pentagon to keep the body bags from being filmed, which helps ... but, we gotta be outta there by the summer ..."
Then, there is this: ["U.S. casualties from Iraq war top 9,000"].
And while we are at it, what is all this talk about the "end of the recession"? Says who? So, 126,000 more are employed than last month. That doesn't mean a thing. Everyone knows that retail outlets make most of their seasonal hires in September and October, in order to get the best workers trained and in place for the holiday spending season - November and December. So, how is this normal action by the job creation sector an end to the recession? Well, it isn't. A country can't lose 3.1 million jobs in 33 months and then call 250,000 new jobs in two months an economic recovery. If this continues for another 33 months, then yeah, it would be a recovery.
And what about the increase in the GDP they keep raving about [7.2 percent between July and September]? First, a lot of people spent their money locally last summer during the vacation season and didn't make trips overseas, so whatever money families spent on their vacations, it was spent here. Also, sure, most people who got an extra $2 to $5 in their paychecks per week and those people went out and spent that money. Two hundred million taxpayers spending $5 more a week produces $1 billion in more spending per week. That is $4 billion per month or $12 to $15 billion that quarter. Some people got even more. And if those people spent all of their tax break, that is even more money. Plus, the government borrowed billions more and spent it on things like the war so that would also get counted in the GDP.
However, this doesn't mean the recovery is underway. Now let's look at some of the bad economic numbers:
* Personal bankruptcies: Personal bankruptcies rose 7.8 percent in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, according to data released Friday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. More than 1.6 million people, granted, a small portion of the population, filed for personal bankruptcy this past fiscal year. But it was a record high. Personal bankruptcies have nearly doubled in the past decade. What does this mean? Well, generalizing, people are spending a lot more than they can afford or they have gotten themselves into debt from health care or other problems. Most of this spending was during the 1990s, according to press reports, which means that even during the boom, the spending and earnings were fake.
* Trade deficits: Trade deficits jumped to a record level in September - a $41.3 billion trade deficit - including billions of cheap imports flooding into the United States from China. That is the equivalent of 206,500 homes valued at $200,000 shipped overseas. That is $41 billion worth of goods that could have been produced here, by American workers, who pay American taxes, funding American schools, etc. This deficit follows a $39.5 billion trade deficit in August - or, another 197,000 $200,000 homes. That's the value of 400,000 high-end homes basically shipped overseas in the last two months. No nation can continue on this path. When is this free trade madness going to end?

More poll numbers
Here are some interesting poll numbers from different states.
According to Research 2000 today, John Edwards leads in his home of North Carolina [Edwards 43 percent, Howard Dean 25 percent, John Kerry 9 percent and Dick Gephardt at 7 percent] but he would get clobbered by President Bush [Bush 52, Edwards 42].
In New Hampshire, WMUR/UNH continue to show a Dean lead - 38 percent to Kerry's 16, Edwards and Wesley Clark with 5 percent, Joe Lieberman at 4 percent, and Gephardt at 3 percent.
On Thursday, Wisconsin Public Radio and St. Norbert College reported Lieberman in the lead in Wisconsin with 16 percent, Dean following with 14 percent, Clark at 12, Gephardt at 9 and Kerry with 8 percent.
In New Jersey, Quinnipiac University also found Dean and Lieberman tied with 16 percent, with Kerry at 15, Clark with 11, and Gephardt at 9 percent.
In Dean's home state of Vermont, the former governor has a solid lead: Dean 47 percent, Kerry 18 percent, and Clark at 8.
But in Dennis Kucinich's home state of Ohio, he trails: Lieberman has 18 percent, Gephardt has 14, Kucinich at 12, and Dean and Kerry tied with 9 percent.

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