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Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Long and Whining Road

Has anyone else wondered just how we got to where we are with the ‘08 Presidential candidates? While most of us cannot remember the original slate of hopefuls without a scorecard, an old newspaper or Google, it has become painfully clear that we might have thrown out the baby with the bathwater. To that end, it might be helpful to reminisce about the field of candidates that are no longer in the race.

On the Dems side there was, Biden, Dodd, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, Richardson and Vilsack. For the Repubs there was, Brownback, Gilmore, Giuliani, Huckabee, Hunter, Paul, Romney, Tancredo and not one, but two Thompsons, a motley crew if there ever was one. But at this late date, they have one character not shared by those left standing. None of the aforementioned had an “unfavorable” rating over 50%.

This alone should give us all pause, that on this Easter Sunday, long after most of America has had primaries, both Democratic candidates’ disapproval ratings are over 50%, with McCain hovering around 46%. It would appear to beg the question: Just how did we get this far along with people that most of us don’t like or approve of???

Well folks, anyone who thought it was a good idea having a 12 to 18 month primary season, is an idiot. All it does is squander precious resources, at the expense of those with little to spare, in the name of “getting to know your candidate”. It allows the media to “shape” an election, while they fill their coffers. And finally, it insults the intelligence of anyone who has discovered that we can pick an American Idol winner, with more voters and candidates in 24 weeks than over 70 weeks, for President, from a field of 15.

And as to “getting to know your candidate”, how’s that Rev. Wright thing working for you? The media sat on this story, video and all, for well over a year, while the Blogosphere went nuts and “unconnected” America swooned over a candidate they knew nothing about, other than he gave a great speech, to the peril of all but one of the Dems. Just imagine the impact of Wright’s tirade on Obama voters last fall, before the first primaries.

Hillary, in the meantime, enjoys nary a peep from the media over her well documented outrageous conduct with staff, employees and security.

On the Right, shaping a candidate is much easier. You just ignore all those that pose a real threat to the last Democrat standing. Paul was never really in it, as he took the old slot left by Perot. Hunter and Tancredo were easy to eliminate, due to their lack of funding and “one song” band approach to immigration and defense. Giuliani was a little tougher even though he had a couple of ex-wives, a crook for a best friend and even a daughter that wouldn’t vote for him. But, he had inflated expectations, 9/11, and being the former mayor of “the center of the universe” which doesn’t play all that well beyond Newark.

Mike Huckabee and Romney were a little tougher to discourage. The media just kept ignoring Romney except for a steady barrage of Mormon questions and a daily tally on the checks he was writing. Huckabee discovered that he was more for comic relief, with his witty banter and upbeat character, than anything resembling a real candidate. And that all he needed to stay in the race, a little longer than Romney’s bank account would allow him to stay, was a plane ticket.

Tommy Thompson didn’t last long after he put up his seed money, while Fred Thompson suffered from the cruelest punishment of all. He refused to commit to a candidacy within the allotted time allowed by the media manipulators. His punishment, a virtual blackout of his message, policies and platform. Fred’s only real exposure was 30 second sound bites speedily crafted during media circuses branded as debates.

No folks, we have gotten here because we were led here. And nobody in this media driven sideshow has once mentioned our obligation to know our candidates and duty to vote under the most precious of Rights, until we are down to the clowns remaining.

Personally, I would recommend a complete “do over” of the entire primary system, not just Florida and Michigan. It certainly makes more sense than continuing with the choices we have now.

But hey, I could be wrong. The Dumbplumber

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dear John--3-22-08

So, you just suspended one of your staffers because they posted video clips of Obama and Rev. Wright on the Internet. Now to be clear, these clips were verbatim passages made by the Candidate and Rev. alike. They were not fabrications, exaggerations, distortions or overstatements. At worse the clips were isolations of some very damning comments by a “rogue reverend” and a man who wants to be the Leader of the greatest nation on earth, with some comedic stuttering added for emphasis. And how does your campaign respond:

“We have been very clear on the type of campaign we intend
to run and this staffer acted in violation of our policy,"
campaign spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said. "He has been reprimanded by campaign leadership and suspended from the campaign."

Well John, if this is the campaign you are planning to run you might as well throw in the towel right now. To be blunt, you are going to relive every gaffe, misstep and mistake you have made over the past 20 years, during the next 6 months. You are going to hear “Keating Five”, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”, “McCain//Feingold” and Freedom of Speech in ad nauseum until your ears bleed, while your 5 years in the Hanoi Hilton will be a fading memory and little more than a rubber crutch.

John this is not Demolition Derby, Cage fighting nor Rugby. They are a day at the beach next to politics, which is a blood sport. Either Hillary or Barack will chew you up and spit you out if you pursue your course of action.

On a personal level, I don’t support you because you are not a Conservative. And the reason I won’t vote for you is because there are many out there far more qualified to be our leader, but gave it up when they tired of the Media Madness that is shaping this election. Well, when it all goes to hell, the Media needs to look no further than the mirror for the fall guy.

Just so you know, I will be keeping the quote, to send back to you when you decide to grow a sack and treat your adversary with all the respect they deserve. The Dumbplumber

What do it mean? March 22, 2008

What do it mean when former President, Bill Clinton, spends Super Bowl Sunday with Governor Bill Richardson, only to have him endorse Obama a few weeks later?

It means that Hillary knew exactly where Billy Boy was and who he was with last Super Bowl Sunday. The appearance of Governor Richardson having lost a football bet is just a bonus.

Unenforcable laws for thee but not for me.

Well folks, Sacramento has done it again. In another lightening strike of brilliance, California lawmakers have once again created a law that will be ignored by all but those living in rural or remote areas. Moreover, it is yet another law that will ONLY be enforced in these areas.

You now MUST turn on your lights, when your windshield wipers are on. Or for those living in Rio Linda, lights on when it is raining. Now I know that it makes sense to turn on your lights when it is raining. If your lights aren’t on, how can the raindrops see you to get your car wet?

No, the real story here is this is just another law that will be enforced only in areas where Andy and Barney park their cruiser behind the “Tasty Freeze” sign for a wink or two. We can now add this to the plethora of what I refer to as “Rural Laws”, laws that are only enforced in rural areas.

Other “Rural Laws” that seem to be enforced are: Window tint, tire size, mud flap(required on trucks with big tires), fender skirts(ditto), front license plate, seat belt, maximum speed, bald tire, or cell phone use, along with a host of others that are routinely enforced in the “burbs” or boondocks, but ignored almost completely on the Interstate and in metro areas.

Like when’s the last time you saw a 500 SEL, full of “income challenged” Americans, pulled over in San Jose or Long Beach being written up for “Limo tint” or missing front license plate? Or for that matter, when did you last see a monster truck-- jacked up to nose bleed level-- without mud flaps or fender skirts, pulled over and cited? These trucks are all over L.A. or San Diego, where they are seen as penis symbols. Just try to cruise either of these moving violations in Grass Valley, Lake Almanor or Yreka, where they are considered income streams for the local economies.

Oh, I know, the Chippies think enforcing these laws on the Interstate would impede traffic. Damn straight it would. Better to pull these jerks over and inconvenience others than let the Sacto legislature keep up the hypocritical lawmaking.

Look, the State’s in the financial dumper. Better lawmakers cut spending, sell assets and trim budgets than pursue revenues under the guise of safety, but only enforced in rural areas.

P.O.’d at the AP

Today’s question is: Does anybody read the crap the Associated Press sends to regional papers for reprint, including the regional papers?

Case in point, the March 18, 2008 story headlined, “Poor Americans most affected by states’ planned budget cuts.” Ok, I get that. Poor Americans are always the hardest hit in budget cuts, but a paragraph within the story caught my eye.

“….states are looking to increase lottery tickets sales, promote
Indian gambling or further raise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. Those taxes disproportionately hit the pocketbooks of the same
poor and working-class that would be hurt by the spending cuts, studies show.”

Now I don’t expect the writer to understand just how stupid this sounds, but I would at least expect his or her editor should have caught the ignorance of this comment. And in absence of that, the editor of the business section of the regional paper should have caught it.

Far be it from me to tell anyone how to conduct their private lives, rich or poor. However, if you are poor, you might consider another type of entertainment other than shoving--your hard earned, or our misguided tax dollars--into an Indian casino slot machine, one quarter at a time, ditto on the bi-weekly Lotto tickets. Moreover, given that smoking and drinking are not only expensive, but hazardous to your health--which taxpayers are apparently responsible for as well--the concept of moderating or quitting altogether should be considered.

It has not escaped me that the rich and poor alike should share some pain in tight financial times. But that concept has apparently not occurred to the Associated Press.

But hey, I could be wrong. I’m just a Dumbplumber.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Last Clown Standing

Now O’Reilly has really pissed me off. On his 3-08-08 show he had the unmitigated gall to imply that Rush Limbaugh was interfering or otherwise trying to meddle in a national election. O’Reilly points out the encouragement of Limbaugh to have Republicans cross the lines in Texas to vote for Hillary, so that both candidates could continue more bloodied than ever, with the farce that is the ‘08 elections, was to O’Reilly sullying the character that is American politics.

Well, I have news for the self-esteem of his no-spinness Mr. O’Reilly. The character and reputation of national politics was sullied long before Rush Limbaugh got involved. And as to interfering with the ‘08 elections, the Media--both t.v. and print--have had far more influence than Rush Limbaugh would ever hope to have. Case in point, from the 16 or so initial candidates for the presidency, look at the clowns left standing.

If there ever was influence in this election, including the survival of John McCain we have to look no further than the media. On the Left we have Hillary, the presumptive nominee, who has had ten times the coverage in life, as Anna Nicole Smith had in death. But her inevitability has been usurped by “messiah come rock star”, Barack Obama, who was never challenged as to principle or platform until everyone else was gone but Hillary.

McCain just got lucky because he wasn’t smart enough to turn out the lights and go home, when he ran out of money and support. Like Huckabee, but with a richer wife, McCain just kept on keeping on. He showed up at the photo ops-- disguised as debates-- where he spouted a sound byte or two to entertain the political cannibals and burn the primary candle.

Romney, on the other hand, got tired of the endless explaining on the non-story of his Mormonism, while the media absolutely ignored Barack’s Muslim upbringing and Hillary’s sordid past.

Fred Thompson just got tired of being ignored. Fred, who had policies and positions from the get go, faced wholesale marginalization, because he refused to play the, let’s spend an extra year squandering precious resources, while voting America goes camping, just so the 24/7 news and daily rags would have something to pick apart.
Of course, he did this just to NOT be one of the sausages processed, in the first 6 months of the presidential campaign. And I would remind everyone that Limbaugh endorsed no one at this time. His only comments were that Fred was the only TRUE conservative and had declared his policies, procedures and principles from the day he jumped into the deep end of the candidate pool. I heard no mention of this from the NO-SPINMEISTER.

Mr. O’Reilly, your self inflicted ignorance of the political process is palpable, if not strangely odious. Like your Liberal media brethren, you should have questioned the lack of policy and positions by most of the candidates late last year, when you still had a few to ask. Scrutinizing a candidates credentials and intentions now is just hypocritical.

For those of us who have witnessed the exit of the qualified candidates, what is left really is fodder for comic relief. If Mr. O’Reilly believes picking our president was such a serious matter, he should have thought about it when we actually had a field to chose from. Right now the dregs that are left will make G.W. Bush and Bill Clinton look like elder statesmen rather than the Saturday Night Live characters they are.

Big Oil Spill

Much is being made of the price of oil today, tomorrow and next month. However, little is being reported about “WHY” oil is so expensive. Reporters, pundits and pinheads alike would have us believe that oil company executives in Secret Societies or on encrypted satellite conference calls are colluding, manipulating and escalating the price of crude oil. This is the popular misconception conveyed, not disputed, explained or corrected, even by Big Oil. The silent truth is deafening.

Well folks, the truth is far more brutal. Commodities brokers, foreign investors, hedge funds managers, even pension funds are making plays against inflation and the falling dollar to bid up the price of oil, not oil companies. But you are never going to hear this on the 6 o’clock news. In fact the reason for obscene oil prices is us, you and me, not Big Oil.

For decades, however, the major player in the cost of gasoline has been the Environmental Movement, who took a page right out of the timber industry playbook, suing an entire industry into submission. Through lawsuits, Environmentalists discovered they could force all of America to hang pollution control devices on their vehicles, just to clean up the smog in the L.A. basin. Embolden with early successes, they began similar lawsuits to stop, not only oil refineries, but nuclear power plants as well, the most logical replacement for fossil fuel energy. Today, anybody with a third grade education knows that vast oil reserves are being discovered around the world, but control of those reserves and the limiting of refining capacity and storage is major cause of $100 oil.

This is not to mean that oil companies don’t try to control the price of oil, they do. However, their control is generally limited to exploration, monopolization of oil leases, production of crude, or distribution, not the price, which is set by the market and profiteers.

To put this so the Looney Left can understand it, if there is only a 10 day supply of oil at $100 dollars a barrel, why in the world would an oil company want to increase production and sell the same oil for $50 per barrel? Ergo, by way of their lawsuits preventing more refineries being built, Environmentalists are far more responsible for the price of gas than any oil company. It’s really basic economics.

You see folks, it is us to blame for the price of gas, not Big Oil. If we weren’t squandering oil like drunken sailors squandering their paychecks; if we would allow development of refining and storage capacity and if we would make prudent strides to develop other sources of energy to compensate for our gorging on cheaper fossil fuels, the price of oil would drop precipitously under market forces.

And if you want to know why gas is so high, or who benefits from the high gas prices, you will never find it on the nightly news or in your local newspaper. That would be information deemed too lofty for the common viewer, considered to have a mentality of a 14 year old.

So, while that sinks in, you might try to get your head around this. In California oil companies make about 7cents per gallon of gas, while State and Federal governments milk almost 30 cents out of every gallon we pump. It is really up to you to figure out where the rest goes.

So the reality of $100 oil is ugly. It stymies the economy, plunders financial resources, paralyzes all on low fixed incomes and stifles productivity and entrepreneurship. However, not until the “butt ugly” truth of WHY we are in this situation is finally realized, will America point the finger of blame squarely where it belongs, on those whose job it is to give us the WHO, WHAT, WHY, and WHERE.

But hey, I could be wrong. I’m just a Dumbplumber.

Economic Stimulus Package

President George Bush yesterday said that, “America is on top of the current economic crisis and will do something about it”. Well George, government has been “doing something” for years now. Memo to George: The things you and Congress have been doing has got us here.

So, I’m begging you STOP, STOP now. Don’t doing anything for awhile and let the system correct itself. Stop regulating us to death; stop taxing us to death; stop shipping our manufacturing to communist China, which now owns a huge chunk of our debt; stop shipping our technical support to India, which is one red button from a nuclear war with Pakistan; stop shipping our hard earned dollars to OPEC, so they can fund wars against us.

If you want to turn this economic nightmare around, first you need to grow a sack, instead of letting a handful of eco-Nazis lead you around the courtroom by your foreskin. Tell the environmentalist whackos that you represent all of America, not just the ignorant, but rich, minority that can hire a platoon of lawyers to shut down this country.

Are there things you can do? Yes, you can stimulate development of our energy and alternative energy, but not at the expense of our breadbasket or our national security. You can stop the Far Left from marching us into oblivion, with their ever expanding, unending, senseless and counterproductive pseudo-environmental dictates. Time to stop the molly-coddling of the slackers, deadbeats and gamers of our entitlement system, which is dragging us into a vortex of hopelessness. Time to end the class warfare which is the gulf between the pay and benefit packages of government employees and the private sector.

And it is well beyond the time that you end “earmarks” or make the ear markers famous every night on the 6 o‘clock news. As for Congress, for God’s sake, stop spending money you don’t have and act like an adult, not the frustrated post adolescent power mongers you have become. Money is not a penis, especially when it is our money, but it is hard to tell with all the urine stains on the Capitol walls.

You can start there and get back to me when you get these done.
The Dumbplumber