Friday, August 20, 2010

Calling out the wealthy

It's time for wealthy patriots to step up and put America back to work. Buy GM's new stock. In fact, buy any American company's stock.

Remember all that blather back in 2002 and 2003, after the 9/11 attacks, about how not supporting President Bush was unpatriotic?

Of course that was nonsense, but now I'm not kidding. The patriotic thing for wealthy Americans to do now, even Republicans, is to support the American economy by buying anything.

It will bring down the deficit. Invest in America, it's the patriotic thing do do.

And I'm not talking Tea Party here. Most tea-party advocates are middle-class Americans who wrongly think the Obama administration's efforts to stimulate the economy are surreptitious attacks on the nation's core beliefs of self-reliance and individualism.

But the news of the day suggests otherwise. Unemployment claims are going up again, meaning private business hasn't started hiring again, just as banks have refused to lend to small business.

So we call on all patriots who make more than $250,000 a year, either in investment income or from the great private treasuries of Corporate America. Step up and invest that cash you put away during the Bush years.

Buy America and help restore and preserve its position as the greatest economy on the planet!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Democrats' lesson from Dan Maes

"I'm voting against every incumbent; that's my theory."

Denver Post writer Christopher N. Osher quoted that little bit of wisdom from an unnamed Dan Maes supporter in a story on the front page of the Sunday Post about Maes' remarkable Republican primary victory. Photo credit: Boulder County Democrats

Democrats should learn a lesson from the story. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet beat former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in Tuesday's Democratic senatorial primary.

If you've read my blog before, you know I would have liked to see Romanoff win, reflecting the same anti-incumbent sentiment in my Democratic choice as was expressed in the Republicans' gubernatorial primary race, where Maes claimed his victory.

On Wednesday, I contributed $25 to Bennet's general-election campaign, and offered to work for him. If my offer is accepted, I'll have to stop writing about him on this blog, so maybe the Bennet campaign will accept the offer just to shut me up.

The contribution, however, won't silence me on the issue because I believe bloggers, as long as they disclose their leanings to readers, have just as much right to write about politics as anyone else protected by the First Amendment. Working for the guy goes beyond a mere contribution, however, so I'll quit writing about that particular race if I actually do some work for Bennet's campaign.

But until then, I suggest the Democratic establishment, who were the real winners in the Bennet nomination, beware of the anti-incumbent sentiment expressed by the Maes supporter.

Many traditional Democratic voters feel the same antipathy toward the ongoing partisanship of Congress, and don't have much sympathy for Democrats who can't use the legislative majorities given them along with a Democratic president in 2008 to affect the "change" in government they had hoped to see come out of Washington over the past two years.

A public option among health-care reforms is just one of those disappointments.

So Michael Bennet had better keep his campaign rhetoric tilting toward the populist view that Washington remains broke, despite his nomination, and he still needs to help fix it. Making up to his establishment mentors and contributors is no task to be undertaken now -- nor ever for that matter.

Ken Buck is going to be coming after Bennet with the Tea Party in tow. Bennet needs independent thinking Democrats and independents in his camp if he expects to overcome.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hire Bruce Willis, save the world!

Here's a great idea Jay Leno and David Letterman can promote in their nightly comedy routines.

You know that huge ice island that just broke off the Petermann Glacier in Greenland? The Associated Press reported today that the fresh water contained in the ice could keep the Hudson River flowing for two years. Image credit:

Why not muster an international team of construction workers and miners led by Bruce Willis, of course, to break up the island four times the size of Manhattan and ship the pieces to the world's worst areas of drought.

Willis can attack the ice island like he did the asteroid in "Armageddon" and save the world from global warming. The ice chunks will melt and restart streams and rivers flowing in the drought regions and the new humidity generated from those regions will create their own rain storms and eventually the planet will start to cool again.

More importantly, Willis will survive this movie and still be available to save the world again when the time comes. It's just a thought.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Keep the kids out of it

Call me an odd blogger, but what struck me most jarringly in the coverage of Sen. Michael Bennet's defense of himself over the Denver Public Schools pension refinancing, was his bringing kids into the political battle.

The Denver Post quoted Bennet as accusing the Andrew Romanoff campaign of "repeatedly trying to score points at the expense of kids...."

Bennet ought to be careful about such a kid-centered accusation while his own campaign is blatantly using his own children to win support for the appointed senator, their Dad.

A Bennet ad currently running on television has each of his three beautiful daughters saying something nice about their Dad's cleaning up of messes created by other politicians.

The mess their Dad has gotten himself into with a high-finance bond scheme meant to reduce DPS debt but which has been turned around on the district during the collapse of the nation's credit markets is a fine mess for sure, Ollie.

Bennet, who gained a business reputation as an inovative financial turnaround artist, used some fancy footwork to conceivably get his district out of a crippling pension burden, but was treated to a little bait-and-switch by the very markets he was so adept at playing.

The deal so far has cost DPS more money than anticipated and now has it entangled in expensive "wind-down" penalties if it decides to back track on the action. The figures being thrown around here range from $25 million to $400 million to $750 million, perhaps small change to Bennet's mentor, Phil Anschutz, but nothing to sneeze at for an inner-city school district.

Bennet also said the New York Times, which reported on the collapse of the DPS deal while Democratic voters are still filling out ballots that will decide whether Bennet gets to stay a U.S. senator, "got it wrong." Yet when you read the story, its details are pretty convincing that "wrong" was the word Bennet should have considered more carefully when the deal was cut back in high-flying 2008.

The Times sometimes gets things wrong, but their authority is a hard wall to breach. Romanoff is right in calling this one a "bet gone bad." Time to close the casino to Wall Street playing with public money. Kids, even bright-eyed neat ones, have no recourse.