Elections


For me the current elections are so much different from the 2000 and 2004. I feel relaxed.

In the past, I felt like the country is attacked by the evil empire and the majority of population is cooperating with the aggressor.

This time, I have no negative feelings toward any of the candidates. They both are very decent people, deserving respect and capable to be among the leaders of this country.

What is driving my choice now, besides the obvious parallel with teh FDR, because the country is economically in the similar condition compared with 1930s and requires similar policies, is pure qualification.

What I see is that one candidate is very smart, definitively much smarter than I am. When I watch him answering questions I understand that I’m simply not capable to think that fast. He is also perfectly educated, better than I am. In him, I see what I want – a manager. A macro manager to lead the country. A micro manager to deal with every small issue, in complex or separately.

Then I see another candidate. First on all I doubt that he is smart at all. Maybe he is simply lost when he speaks to the camera, but it looks desperate. I can answer almost every question better than he does. Sometimes I feel that he has nothing to say and he simply squeezes out some meaningless word soup.

I also see how badly educated he is. His education is far inferior to mine. I don’t even compare him to another candidate’s education – that’s just a joke. I compare him to myself and I see that compared to me he is almost a high-school dropout. But I’m not running for president – he does.

I also see his judgement in action. The most important desision before elections is to pick a VP. And he chose the candidate even less qualified than himself. That is worrisome, because in order to be a successful president he must chose every single cabinet member to be at least 10x smarter than himself. And I doubt that he can.

Otherwise, he is a very nice guy and I wish him long and happy life. Somewhere away from the White House.

Please go and vote. That’s not only a duty, that’s more a privilege, one of those rare days when your opinion is worth more than zero.

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The older I get the less I believe into conspiracy theories. You know what is the “Plunge Protection Team“? It’s a group of top US financial officials reporting directly to Prez that is responsible to prevent catastrophic stock market crashes like in 1987 or after 9/11/01. Yes, it’s probably a right thing to do, as public sometimes overreacts in the short term, like the crashes listed above were, certainly, an overreaction.

While there are many forces inside the Beltway that monitor and control each other I think the PPT was mostly restricted in its actions to just prevent market overreaction. But sometimes, when too many Republican stars are lining up on the Milky Way, I suspect that PPT is doing a little bit more than that. Now the economy just became a little bit too much political. The Lame Duck Prez took too much of Republican credibility for stake this time. His ridiculous tax cuts and enormous budget and current account deficits will backfire badly for the whole GOP gang if the economy turns badly before 2008 elections.

The PPT, or the gang of four, is definitely a team of extremely competent economists. They do understand that you cannot prevent the recession when the economy’s pendulum is swinging back from growth to contraction. The recession is totally normal economic event, it has to happen in any healthy economy on the regular basis. There is absolutely nothing wrong in the recession. Except when it happens during the last year of the Lame Duck Prez, before the critical elections. What they need is that recession happens after 2008, not before. The PPT does understand that it is possible to delay the recession, but the cost will be that the recession, when it finally happens, will be much worse.

Looking in retrospect at the stock market of the last 1-2 years I frankly don’t see any smoking gun, except just two cases. First, the March plunge recovered a little bit too fast. Second, the action of July 12 looks completely disconnected from the reality, especially in the face of declining consumer and panic on the credit markets.

I do smell some manipulations in the last three days. Why this is bad? In short, they spend taxpayers money to help the Pigmen unload their stocks, because you can’t really engineer a big multi-month rally. If fundamentals point down, down it will go, few months and tens of billion dollars later.

McCain wants more of our troops in Iraq. I think that’s wrong.

We already had over 400,000 troops in Vietnam and we’ve spent 13 years there. And we lost. Iraq is different, but not that different.

What complicates the situation is not only that forces that we fight wear no uniform, do not display arms and do not speak English. The civil war in Iraq is a proxy war between Iran and Al-Qaeda. After the elimination of Saddam and destruction of Iraqi economy Iran remained the most powerful and influential country in the region. But unfortunately Al-Qaeda, which was almost finished after Tora Bora, got a new fresh battleground and resourceful sponsors in Iraq. Initially, when Al-Qaeda was founded by anti-Soviet forces during the war in Afghanistan, they were a pan-Muslim force. The blend of Egyptian and Pakistani fighters with American money and training created a powerful force that eventually won over Soviets. Bin Laden was working with both Sunni and Shia.

But now Bin Laden is dead. Al-Qaeda got new sponsors, Sunni and arab states, to fight against the raise of Iran. From pan-Muslim force they became Sunni and there is no way back. Probably that’s one of the biggest accomplishments of Iraqi war.

What to do? First of all we should not try to stand in between Al-Qaeda and Iran. That’s just stupid. We should pick sides. I understand that U.S. has long history of positive relationships with Al-Qaeda, but after 1998 and especially 9/11 they are no friends to us anymore.

Which leaves us to work with Iran. I think we have good bargaining chips on the table. Iran should stop its nuclear efforts, after all the bomb is no help against Al-Qaeda anyway. And we will help with their fight. After all, we need a stability in the region, and for this to happen one side should win. It’s better that we pick the winner ourselves and get something in exchange for help.

Unfortunately we can’t expect Bush to make anything positive. Not just what I propose – anything. Bush is very un-diplomatic person and also stubborn and “intellectually incurious”.  We should eye the next prez. So far McCain is proving to drifting us the wrong way. He is no good.

Now, after cleaning out our champagne glasses, I want to say to my fellow bloggers – we did it!

Bush came to his office 6 years ago when blogosphere was virtually non-existing. We, the people, lost badly then and our voices were muted. Two years ago, when blogosphere was still in its infancy – and we lost again. Now, when we are finally strong and we can fight – we did it!

Millions of people lined out this past tuesday to kick G.W. Bush into his stupid fat ass. I saw him yesterday on TV and his ass was swelling and it was red like a tomato. Not even a baboon has it so bad.

Me, and a million of my fellow bloggers, we give and accept congratulations for the great job we did for this country and its people.

Congratulations!

I can only applaud Sen. John McCain for his opposition of Bush pro-torture stanza. As he knows what the torture is on his own proper ass, he is against it and is not afraid of the anger of Turd Blossom and Co.

I value his integrity and his hearty desire to be a good man in the party of assholes. But I still wonder – how come he is still a Republican?

Barry from Big Picture is reporting that Americans came second to last among civilized nations in answering the simple question:

Is that true that “Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals”?

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As you can see the heads of about 50% of Americans are full of crap, comparing to just few % in civilized countries like France or Japan. This just confirms the soundness of Republican’s favorite motto:

We don’t want Americans to become smart, we just want stupid people to vote for us

Indeed.

Any economy, besides explicit taxes, carries on many hidden taxes that people can or have to pay. For example, those countries with excessive tax rate are actually taxing the honesty, because honest people will pay more than those who cheat. Countries with huge crime rate are actually taxing the law obedience, because any connection with criminal activity may improve the citizen cash flow.

In those examples, low taxes and low crime are actually helping the system to be more fair toward good, honest people. U.S.A., thanks democracy, has no significant tax on being a honest person.
Many countries have a tax on age or disability, for example the high inflation rate is wiping out savings, effectively transferring money from old people to younger ones. The high cost of health-care is taxing those who needs medical help. Not visible yet, U.S. has those taxes pending in near future. Believe you or not, there is no way that the Uncle Sam will fulfill his Social Security obligations, those money are already spent on many more interesting things, like wars or taxcuts for riches. The retiring boomers will eat shit and die sick.

All countries have certain tax on stupidity. One example is a lottery and gambling, where stupid people are losing money but smart people do not participate. The U.S., a very effective tax on stupidity is the Wall Street, which constantly transfers money from stupid to smart. In fact, for a smart person is not hard at all to make money on stock market, unlike the lottery, the smart strategy has all the odds to win on regular basis. I should confess, I’m actively playing on stocks for about 10 years and the results are improving every year.

But sometimes the tax on stupidity is amplified by reckless economic policies. Mr. Greenspan was lucky enough to create two bubbles. First bubble burst when Nasdaq fell by 80% from 2000 to 2002. That was a spectacular transfer of money from fools to prudents.

Many fools survived that shipwreck with no money but their houses left and jumped straight into second, real estate bubble. The ghost towns in Florida and a trillion of adjustable mortgages pending for reset are all helping to witness a loads of stupid people floating belly up. For smart people the ongoing crash of real estate is regrettable, but hardly fatal. Moreover, this will help creating opportunities for really smart people.

What this has to do with elections?

In short, the G.O.P. and Bush got their 50% of votes from 5% of the most rich people and 45% of most stupid people. All the brainwashing and garbage coming from Bush mouth, the WMD in Iraq and reckless foreign policies, the tax cuts and intelligent design, “the war on terror” and the war on gays, the policy based on fear and hate are all attracting the most stupid people out there.

And those are exactly the people who will be hurt the most when the real estate prices return back to their 2003 levels. Will they associate their financial losses, defaults and bankruptcies with Bushnomics? They probably will, at least some of them. The big political question is that who will capitalise on hordes of bankrupt fools with ballots. We certainly will see.

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