Say "Squeeze"!!!

"When we read about the middle class squeeze, we tend to think blue collar -- the machinist who used to make $25 an hour now making $15, the vocationally trained worker whose job just got cut. But what about the social worker who makes $30,000 a year, the environmental scientist who makes $40,000, the college professor who makes $50,000? The rules of the game have changed. The educated professional middle class experience no longer guarantees two cars in every driveway, or even the driveway itself. Instead we face relatively low-paying jobs in fields requiring a high-cost education, increasing mortgages, student-loan and credit card debt, less employer or government help with health care, retirement, education and child care, and an overall higher cost of living. As the gap between the rich and the middle class widens, a huge segment of that once-comfortable center section is finding that reality means plummeting financial and emotional security and lack of control over our lives."

Nan Mooney
author of (Not) Keeping Up With Our Parents


Fears For Smears 2008 Election Tour

"Invading Iraq in response to 9/11 would be like Franklin Roosevelt invading Mexico in response to Pearl Harbor."

John Kerry

FRESNO, Calif. - A top adviser to John McCain said another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be a "big advantage" for the Republican presidential candidate, drawing a sharp rebuke Monday from both the presumed GOP nominee and Democrat Barack Obama.

Charlie Black, already in the spotlight for his past lobbying work, is quoted in the upcoming July 7 edition of Fortune magazine as saying such an attack "certainly would be a big advantage to him." Black said Monday he regretted the comment.

Black is also quoted as saying the "unfortunate event" of the assassination of former Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto in December 2007 "helped us."

"Does the Republican Party want our votes, no strings attached--to court us every two years, and then to say, 'Don't call me; I'll call you'--and to not care about the moral law of the universe?...Is that what they want? Is that the way the system works? Is this the way it's going to be? If it is, I'm gone, and if I go, I will do everything I can to take as many people with me as possible."

James Dobson

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - As Barack Obama broadens his outreach to evangelical voters, one of the movement's biggest names, James Dobson, accuses the likely Democratic presidential nominee of distorting the Bible and pushing a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution.

The criticism, to be aired Tuesday on Dobson's Focus on the Family radio program, comes shortly after an Obama aide suggested a meeting at the organization's headquarters here, said Tom Minnery, senior vice president for government and public policy at Focus on the Family.

The conservative Christian group provided The Associated Press with an advance copy of the pre-taped radio segment, which runs 18 minutes and highlights excerpts of a speech Obama gave in June 2006 to the liberal Christian group Call to Renewal. Obama mentions Dobson in the speech.


Limited, Just, Unjust, Whatever...

"From a certain point of view—let's call it, for shorthand purposes, the libertarian point of view, or the view associated this year with Ron Paul—every dollar that government spends comes at the cost of freedom. The premise of this view is that government and freedom are opposites—that all government is oppression. By this way of thinking, limited government is simply limited oppression, differing in magnitude but not in kind from tyranny. Interestingly, this notion does not come originally from any libertarian thinker or friend of freedom. It comes from Machiavelli, the great analyst of open and hidden power, of force and fraud. From Machiavelli's point of view, there's no difference between just and unjust government, which are the same phenomenon called by different names. All government, whether considered to be just or unjust, is oppression. Just government is the kind we happen to agree with and profit from, and unjust is the opposite kind."

Charles Kessler
Editor, Claremont Review of Books


Xenophobia On The Borderline

Stumbled across an interesting website -- Flame Warriors by Mike Reed -- that has some excellent cartoons with insightful definitions explaining various participants in the blogosphere. The cartoon tittled "Xenophobe" reminded me of what goes on over at the www.ontheborderline.net blog when someone wanders on to that blog and ties to interject debate on a post. Here's the definition for the picture above...

Xenophobe is usually a long-term discussion forum participant and he thinks of the forum as his private compound. Xenophobe regards new forum arrivals as mentally deficient and perhaps even having criminal tendencies, and they are invariably approached with suspicion and condescension. Xenophobe will mount a furious attack if a Newbie has the temerity to make critical observations about the forum's social dynamics, or questions its prevailing opinions.


Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

"[Iran is] already sitting on an awful lot of oil and gas. No one can figure why they need nuclear, as well, to generate energy."

Vice President Dick Cheney

Here's a quick geopolitical quiz: What country is three times the size of Texas and has more than 300 days of blazing sun a year? What country has the world's largest oil reserves resting below miles upon miles of sand? And what country is being given nuclear power, not solar, by President George W. Bush, even when the mere assumption of nuclear possession in its region has been known to provoke preemptive air strikes, even wars?

If you answered Saudi Arabia to all of these questions, you're right.


Free Market v. Politics: Tinker Tanker Tailor Spy

Ran across a couple of interesting stories in the Wall Street Journal this week concerning the battle over over the selection of a European consortium to to build the next generation of mid-air refueling tanker for the US military. Boeing lost out in the bidding and the US Government Accountability Office has found some irregularities in the bidding process.

Here's what some of the concerned parties have to say in the battle:

"The decision by the [U.S. Air Force] to purchase Airbus tankers reinforces the openness of U.S. markets and is the most recent example of the growing willingness of the U.S. to look to global sources for vital equipment.”

Bob Stevens
CEO Lockheed Martin

(These would be the "free market" perspective of the deal.)

"The Air Force's decision in February ignored serious implications for the national security and readiness of our country ... I'm pleased that the GAO recognized the importance of protecting our nation's war fighter and industrial base."

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell
Democrat – Washington state

(Obviously Cantwell is a liberal democrat who is no doubt a proponent of the teachings of Karl Marx and obviously anti-capitalism. No doubt she is being a political puppet to her home state. But wait...)

"It has been clear all along that the process was flawed, as evidenced by the clear recommendations made by the GAO. This is a great victory for Boeing, Washington state and every American who values our nation's economic and homeland security."

Congressman Dave Reichert
Republican - Washington

(This must be a misprint! A Republican Congressman bringing up the "homeland security" issue. Trying to scare the children. Well, he is from Washington -- the home state of Boeing.)

"The American worker who...pays for the defense of the free world ought to be able to make [equipment for] the defense of the free world.”

Duncan Hunter
California Representative
Ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee

(What? A Republican standing up for the workers of the world...at least the United States. He sounds so Marxist.)

"Senator McCain helped steer a tanker contract to a European company for which seven of his campaign advisers and fundraisers then lobbied -- a bidding process the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, is now saying was full of errors."

The Democratic National Committee

(No, I though McCain was through with this campaign contribution slime.)

Looks to me like the ideology is getting stripped away in favor of the local constituents. Likewise, the "free market" sounds good in theory, but it looks like it will get trumped by politics.

Here's two related articles from the WSJ of the tanker issue:

Air Force Contract Review Fuels
Critics of Bid to Buy From Abroad

Democrats Press McCain on Defense Deal