Get on Board?

OK I'm thinking of throwing in the towel and buying 100 shares of Microsoft on Monday.

What do you think? There isn't anything that's going to stop them. They've got $40 BILLION in cash so they're either going to buy up a bunch of tech companies and/or start giving a dividend.

This is special - if you knew my history with Microsoft (it goes back to 1978 and none of it is good) you would be amazed that I'm writing this, but hey, if you can't beat 'em... Maybe I'll get on board and vote Republican, too. Maybe start smoking again?

I'm serious. What do you think? Should I buy the stock?

Imminent National Emergency

Bush is out campaigning every day now. What happened to the imminent national emergency that required the Congress to vote before the election?

Today's Paper

Two articles from this morning's paper, U.S. retreating on mahogany limit - (Subhead: POSITION ON DWINDLING FORESTS CALLED BETRAYAL)
The Bush administration is backing off a key global environmental initiative launched by the president's father, who proposed restricting trade in the wood from world's dwindling mahogany forests.
and, U.S. ending support of world health plan - (Subhead: WHITE HOUSE, IN MOVE AGAINST ABORTION RIGHTS, REJECTS GLOBAL ACCORD)
The Bush administration has intensified its battle against abortion rights worldwide by stating that it can no longer support a landmark international agreement that established reproductive health care as a means to curb population growth.
Take a moment to reflect on just how stunning and horrible these two stories are, and then a moment to reflect on all the reasons these two stories are not headlines in every paper in the country, with horrified citizens running out into the streets in protest.


The Check Arrived

Looks like Microsoft made sure their check to the RNC arrived on time.

You can not purchase a computer that has Windows and another OS installed. You can not purchase a computer with a non-Microsoft word processor or spreadsheet or database program installed.

The proof is in the pudding. Does the Microsoft settlement open up competition? Answer - not a single competitor has received funding since the settlement. In the time since the "settlement" almost all Microsoft's competitors in these areas have been wiped out. There will be no incentive to invest in a competing company. Companies in areas that Microsoft is thinking of entering will not receive funding.

Everyone will pay more for computers and software. Windows is the most expensive single component in a computer. Microsoft Office costs more than $400 and you can't really use a computer without it.

But the worst part of this is that it demonstrates that the best way to deal with America's justice system is to pay cash to the Republican Party, not to follow the law.


Stocks are bubbling along. Earlier this week stocks rose because the economic data was so bad that investors decided that the Fed will cut interest rates 1/2 point next week. Today's report, stocks are rising because the really bad economic data, though worse than expected, wasn't as bad as it could have been. "Stocks ticked higher in late morning trade on Friday as October's momentum swept into a fresh month with investors reckoning that weak jobs and manufacturing data could have been worse."

The new Standard & Poors "core earnings" - earnings without lots of gimmicks and tricks - showed the S&P 500 at a P/E ratio of 57 last week. Stocks are up since then. The current non-core PE of the S&P 500 is 23.6. For perspective, the PE of the S&P in October 1929 was 21, and of the DOW was 17 - BEFORE THE CRASH. Stocks are currently priced higher than where stocks crashed from in 1929. Using "core earnings" we are higher by a factor of about 2.3 times.



Everyone should go read William Burton's post titled 2004.

Well, DUH!

Bush, and the whole right wing crowd, like to say that taxes "take money out of the economy." The New York Times has an article, Do Lower Taxes Mean Faster Economic Growth?
But the degree of misleading information emanating from both Washington and the media about how taxes affect the economy is disturbing. As I listen to the radio, watch TV news and read a variety of newspapers, it seems that quite a few Americans, including economics writers and media hosts, think that low-tax countries unquestionably grow faster than high-tax economies. Right and left, they seem to attribute more rapid growth in America to lower taxes.

What may surprise them is that there is no evidence for that. "You can make a theoretical case that high taxes impede economic growth, but it is just not supported by the evidence in the U.S. or across countries," said William Easterly, a former World Bank economist soon to join the faculty of New York University.
I thought that this was a settled question decades ago. Redistribution of income from the top to the broad consuming public stimulates our CONSUMER ECONOMY. Clinton raised taxes at the top and cut taxes at the bottom and look what happened. Bush cut taxes at the top and cut services for the middle and bottom and look what happened. Well, DUH!

There's more - the whole article is worth reading.


Are they going to have Reagan die? Seeing the Wellstone effect, the Republicans might have Reagan die this weekend. Check out this at MyDD.

Didn't Take Long

The Bush people appointed William Webster to head the accounting oversight board, when was it, Friday? This was after corporate types got Bush to kill the appointment of a serious investigator who would clean up the corporate mess.

So take a look at this story, SEC to Investigate Watchdog Pick. It seems that SEC Chair Harvey Pitt concealed from the SEC that his choice to head the accounting oversight board had headed an auditing committee of a company facing fraud charges.

These clowns think they can get away with anything. Can they?



Tom Tomorrow points to Fair's page, "Why U.N. inspectors left Iraq--then and now." It has examples of what various news organizations said back when the inspectors were pulled out, and say now to better fit Bush's lie that they were kicked out. Well worth a look. Here's one example:
The U.N. orders its weapons inspectors to leave Iraq after the chief inspector reports Baghdad is not fully cooperating with them.

-- Sheila MacVicar, ABC World News This Morning, 12/16/98

To bolster its claim, Iraq let reporters see one laboratory U.N. inspectors once visited before they were kicked out four years ago.

--John McWethy, ABC World News Tonight, 8/12/02
Soon Winston Smith will be changing old videotapes to reflect today's line.

Sideshow, About Iraq

First I was pretty upset about Paul Wellstone's death. Then I was too busy to write much. Still am. So go read what Sideshow writes about Iraq. My comment, and my entry on the subject, is, "Yeah, what she said."

Well, more, actually. Sideshow writes, "Having already proceeded on a course to create a diplomatic nightmare prior to 9/11..." I've been meaning to say a few words about this. I think US policy leading up to 9/11 deserves more attention. I remember how Bush was swinging US Middle Eastern policy entirely away from the previous (and necessary) role of semi-neutral mediator. After Bush made statements entirely blaming Arafat and the Palestinians for the conflict, I remember saying to my wife that it seemed as though Bush was intentionally trying to start a war. This should be part of any investigation of events leading up to 9/11. Fat chance.

Got a Letter Today

I got a letter today:
This new Bush/Harken insider trading revelation has really got me steamed:

Board was told of risks before Bush stock sale
Harken memo went to SEC after probe

By Michael Kranish and Beth Healy, Globe Staff, 10/30/2002
WASHINGTON - One week before George W. Bush's now-famous sale of stock in Harken Energy Corp. in 1990, Harken was warned by its lawyers that Bush and other members of the troubled oil company's board faced possible insider trading risks if they unloaded their shares.

These fucking pukes. Bush had the audacity to lie to the American people and suggest that matter had been looked into and he had been cleared. But now we learn that not only was he warned by Harken's legal team, they hid the warning form the SEC when it investigated HIM for insider trading. Seems to me that means they or Bush are guilty of Obstruction of Justice, in addition to insider trading.

I gotta go for a walk and calm down. The hypocrisy is of these people is so damn maddening.
So I asked him if I can post the message, and he writes:
You can print it and use my name. I want the whole damn country to know what liars, swindlers and cheats these people are.

The GOP Thugs spent $70,000,000 destroying Clinton over lying about sex under oath and alleged crimes as involving the Whitewater affair. Bush's Harken dealings are text book insider trading dealings, and Harken Energy's off the balance sheet manipulations and phony profit reporting behavior/dealings pre-dated ENRON yet could have been used by ENRON as a how to guide.
But I didn't post his name.


I'm late getting this posted. The Hamster has suggested that a fitting tribute to Senator Wellstone would be to read Wellstone's 2001 book, "Conscience of a Liberal." I agree.

Radio Day

Relating directly to the previous entry, President Bush is planning an election-related "Radio Day" today, with radio talk show hosts setting up on the White House lawn.
The tent will be open from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. for about 50 radio hosts and reporters to broadcast live to millions of listeners. Syndicated conservative hosts Oliver North and Sean Hannity will be there.
Guests for eight- to 10-minute interviews will include Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and Commerce Secretary Don Evans. Even White House staffers who rarely do interviews will make the rounds, including chief of staff Andy Card, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and senior adviser Karl Rove.
All on paid government time, by the way. And what's this with allowing Ollie North back at the White House?

Just how blatant can the election manipulation get, before the public reacts?

No, wait a minute, if you listen to AM radio, or watch TV, or read local newspapers, you aren't going to get a chance to hear anyone suggest that there's anything improper about this -- or about the timing of the Iraq war vote. You're only going to hear about why you should vote Republican, and about how stupid "liberals" are, and about how markets are the best way to decide policy, and about how raising wages costs jobs, and about how estate taxes are "death taxes" rather than taxes on inherited income, etc.

Free Airtime

Republicans are complaining that Sen. Paul Wellstone's memorial service was broadcast on TV in Minnesota. They say it was giving "free airtime" to Democrats.

I guess we'll be hearing that complaint all day, nonstop, from now until the election on AM radio, and on the Fox News Network, and the Sunday talk shows, with no opposing voices whatsoever. We will if that's what the focus groups say works best for The Party.


War and Election

I think the Republicans are planning to try to force the UN to vote just before the election, bringing it back into the spotlight. This will be a test to see how blatantly they can try to manipulate the public and get away with it.


Didn't get it.

A few people didn't get what I was saying. It was like they were saying, "The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat." OK? I guess I was being obscure.

The Only Good Indian

Over the weekend and continuing today I heard a lot of right-wing pundits talk about how Senator Paul Wellstone was such a great liberal, a man who stood on his principles, who stood for something, who was honest, how much they respected him, etc., not like those other Democrats who run with the polls, only do what they need to do to get elected, etc. Listening to them, it would seem that Paul Wellstone was the only Good Democrat.