Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hooray for Women!

I think I can speak for Judge Hoarse and Nails because we are all Happily married men with children, who do not consume pornography, in stating that good men don't need to view half-naked children nearly everyday as promoted by the mainstream media these days.

Guys everywhere, what's the matter liking a great photograph or painting of a lovely woman? Throw out the kink and come back to the basics.

Try it some time.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Eldorado Outrage

State officials announced yesterday that over 30 of the 50-some 14-to-17 year-old girls from the FLDS compound are pregnant. One is thirteen.

I wonder if this will shut-up any of the folks professing outrage at the state’s treatment of these simple God-fearing people. The same folks that blame Clinton and Reno because Vernon Howell lead his flock to a fiery death, or blame the FBI because that nut Randy Weaver got his wife shot at Ruby Ridge.

Reading “Grits for Breakfast” last week I learned that the Salt Lake Tribune has a reporter, Brooke Adams, that covers the polygamist beat. Could be that the subject of religious nuts is too much for any one reporter. Today’s paper had a story of a couple in Wisconsin charged in the death of their daughter from a treatable illness that they deemed “spiritual,” and news that the Florida House had passed a mandate that the states schools challenge evolution.

I get so P-O’d when I hear people say how religious the founding fathers were. Madison records that a motion to hire a preacher to pray for the constitutional convention failed because the founders were unwilling to pay for a preacher. They voted to save themselves a fight there, and we ought to respect that precedent if we know what's good for us.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

12th Conviction in Abramoff Probe, DeLay Next?

Former Justice official pleads guilty in Abramoff probe

By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer Tue Apr 22, 4:17 PM ET

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department lost one of its own to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal Tuesday as a former high-ranking department attorney pleaded guilty to conflict of interest.

Robert E. Coughlin II admitted in federal court in Washington that he accepted meals, concert tickets and luxury seats at sporting events from a lobbyist while helping the lobbyist's clients. He pleaded guilty to a single conflict-of-interest charge and faces up to 10 months in prison under a plea deal with the government.

The lobbyist is identified in court documents only as "Lobbyist A," but details of the relationship make clear that he is Kevin Ring, a former member of Abramoff's lobbying team and former Capitol Hill staffer who also is under investigation.

Ring was friends with Coughlin and lobbied him during the period in question on issues mentioned in the court papers, including money for a jail for the Choctaw tribe, The Associated Press has previously reported.

Abramoff, the disgraced GOP lobbyist, appears in court papers as "Lobbyist B," but plays mostly a bit part as Ring's demanding boss, pressuring him for action on the Choctaw jail and other issues. The court papers state that Coughlin "never had a substantive conversation with Lobbyist B."

Coughlin, now 36 and living in Texas, accepted the gifts from 2001 to 2003 while working on legislative affairs for the Justice Department. He later became deputy chief of staff of the department's criminal division — the same division handling the Abramoff probe — before he resigned a year ago, citing personal reasons.

"Guilty, your honor," Coughlin said in a clear voice when Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle asked him how he would plead. He made no comment as he left court holding hands with his wife.

As part of his plea, Coughlin agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their ongoing investigation. He has already offered substantial information about Ring's behavior, based on details in court papers.

The court papers detail Ring's attempts to get $16.3 million for a jail for the Choctaw tribe, a major Abramoff client. Coughlin pulls strings to make it happen, including getting more sympathetic officials involved.

The Justice Department probe of Abramoff and his team of lobbyists has led to convictions of a dozen people, including former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and former Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles. At least one current member of Congress, Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., remains under investigation.

Abramoff is serving prison time for a criminal case out of Florida and has not yet been sentenced on charges of mail fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion stemming from the influence-peddling scandal in Washington.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

More Damned Lies

Pentagon Suspends Briefings for Analysts

Published: April 26, 2008

The Pentagon announced on Friday that it was suspending its briefings for retired military officers who often appear as military analysts on television and radio programs.

Message Machine: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand (April 20, 2008)
Talk to the Newsroom: Q & A With David Barstow (April 21, 2008)

A spokesman for the Pentagon said the briefings and all other interactions with the military analysts had been suspended indefinitely pending an internal review.

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that since 2002 the Pentagon has cultivated several dozen military analysts in a campaign to generate favorable coverage of the administration’s wartime performance. The retired officers have made tens of thousands of appearances for television and radio networks, holding forth on Iraq, Afghanistan, detainee issues and terrorism in general.

Records and interviews show that the Bush administration worked to transform the analysts into an instrument intended to shape coverage from inside the major networks.

Military analysts have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated. Several said they had used their special access as a marketing and networking opportunity or as a window into future business possibilities.

A Pentagon spokesman said the decision to halt the briefings, which was first reported on Friday by Stars and Stripes, was made by Robert Hastings, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.

The decision came amid criticism and questions from members of Congress.

Driftwood Charts

The latest Driftwood song charts fo 2008!

#1 Since You're Gone - 6000 listens.
#2 Miserlou - 3400 listens.
#3 Honky Tonk Princess - 3300 listens.
#5 Unspoken - 2200 listens.
© 2000 Liquiddaddy Records, Inc.

*all numbers * 1000

Friday, April 25, 2008

Comings and Goings

I feel like I've been away for too long, but sometimes I have to take a break from helping to save the world because of the demands of daily living. Fortunately, Judge Hoarse has been superlative in the writing of his recent posts. Everybody should try to show him some love - he deserves it.

We had to sell the Holiday Rambler Imperial. The good folks on the right, from Ft. Worth, took it off our hands. We wish them best of luck, and hope the fishing is good, Bill. That guy is 80 years-old, believe it or not.

Speaking of getting old, we are praying for Catherine and Bob, my close relatives who are very ill. I've had to spend some time to help with some of the necessary affairs that come from Bob being infirmed, which also contributed to my recent absence.

This is me and Liquidmommy, the incredibly hot country and western star, Lucy Hill, kicking back from shear exhaustion.

I've had to do some work on my car; a never ending endeavor.

This is our newest member, MoMo McWeazel, who was complicit in the murder last night of our smallest pet, Hamilton "Hammy" Hamster. May he rest in peace.

So I hope everyone has a great Fiesta weekend, and I look forward to playing a more active roll in the coming week.


Criminal Mischief from Rick Perry and Greg Abbott

Pacifica Radio’s Progressive Show this week hosted Steven Rosenfeld talking about his article in the the latest Texas Observer, “Vote by Mail, Go to Jail.” In it he chronicles the latest efforts of Texas officials to bag that Republican shibboleth, voter fraud.

Their instruments in this pogrom are little-publicized new rules concerning the signing and delivering of absentee ballots. This enforcement effort has been funded by a $1.5 million grant from Governor Perry; a federal “Byrne Grant” such as crooked cop Tom Coleman used to frame some 30 black residents of Tulia Texas on drug charges, sending them to prison until they were finally pardoned and paid millions in reparations by the state of Texas.

The Attorney General’s “Special Investigations Unit” has been prosecuting Democratic activists for not properly signing envelopes used to return absentee ballots, and for assisting people not disabled enough to vote absentee. Miraculously, these heinous crimes only seem to occur in Democratic precincts.

“In September 2006, Gerry Hebert, a former chief of the US Department of Justice’s Voting Section-which oversees the nation’s voting rights laws- and now executive director of the Washington-based Campaign Legal Center, filed a suit challenging the Texas attorney general, secretary of state, and a 2003 Texas law that criminalized practices often used to help the elderly vote by mail.”

The center’s lawsuit goes to court this spring.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shoot 'em all in the head!

Though I had sworn off gangster movies a few years back due to the graphic violence, foul language and despicable characters with no redeeming qualites, "The Departed" came on cable so I watched. It was a pretty good plot and the acting was real good, but the dialogue was peppered with way too many F-bombs - does anybody really talk that way? Martin Scorsese got crazy and substituted Italians for Irish, so it was kind of like Goodfellas with an Irish brogue. Anyway the movie was coming to a climax and I was wondering how the brilliant genius director would end the thing. Well, everyone got shot in the head and died - good bad guys, bad bad guys, bad good guys and good good guys alike - POW! One shot to the head. Of course they were all standing in front of nice white backgrounds so the blood spatter and brain matter would show up real good. I was disappointed, until I decided to think of this movie as a spoof on Scorsese movies. I hate it when talented people seem to stop evolving and become outrageous caricatures of themselves. Do us a favor Martin, try a comedy for a change, it could even be a dark comedy for christ sake.

State of the Quakers

I found these comments from one Guido Santa in a “Crooks and Liars” thread about the Pennsylvania Primary:

We need to frame this entire conversation differently:

1.The reason the Democratic primary is still a contest is because of the strength of the candidates. The Republican field narrowed so quickly because none of those guys held up in the light of day.Just like Mc Cain won’t when the MSM finally starts asking some hard questions about him.

2.This is what democracy is all about. The Democratic party is not an organization that takes its orders from the top and marches accordingly (like the Republicans). A prolonged debate about the issues isgood for America. Democrats are good for America!

3. Democrats are registering and turning out is record numbers for these primaries. We don’t just have an energized base, we have an energized party.

4. Both Obama and Clinton are running circles around Mc Cain’s paltry fundraising and voter turn out.

5. The big story coming out of Pennsylvania is that Ron Paul got 16% of the vote: with no media coverage and almost no spending. Mc Cain’s is a hollow campaign.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Zero Tolerance

We’ve all heard stories of schoolkids getting in major trouble through accidental rule violations of Zero Tolerance policies, the girl busted for an asthma inhaler comes to mind, small infractions we’ve all committed or seen happen that nowadays carry serious sanctions.

Sunday’s Chronicle ran a column from Veronica Garcia of the ACLU of Texas Foundation that should open some eyes, here’s some:

“Last month, when a United Nations committee urged the United States to make sweeping reforms to policies and laws affecting racial and ethnic minorities, one of the specific problems to which they referred was the school-to-prison pipeline, the intersection between our education and criminal justice systems. It's the criminalization of student behavior through zero tolerance policies that embrace punishment over education.

These practices disproportionately target minority students, as well as students with disabilities, for nonviolent, noncriminal behavior.

A 2006 report by the U.S. Department of Justice cites a consistent decrease in juvenile crime since 1994; yet, between 1995 and 2006 Texas increased the number of juveniles in custody. Also, in 2005, Texas had the third highest adult incarceration rate in the country.

Such high rates of incarceration have a greater impact on people of color and are not sound policy decisions considering the high rates of recidivism and the economics of maintaining these facilities.

We must address and change the reasons Texas students are removed from the classroom.

The ACLU of Texas calls on our state leaders to act on the U.N. recommendations to address the systemic discrimination and injustice that exists in our own back yard.”

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fallout from Bogus Debates

See this from Susan at

April 19 - We get some dandy ideas ---

Hi Susan, it's your buddy from the state that is not going to have a spring this year, we're still hoping we'll have a summer.

Wedns, night, after I quit tearing my hair out, I got to thinking about how gawd awful the debates are. Every last one just sucks and I just hate the idea that the network, rather then being a good American, actually makes money off of airing them. I always thought the airwaves belonged to us. Stupid huh?

Then I got to thinking about the old days when the League of Women Voters were in charge. So I googled to find out why they quit, and came across this on Wiki...

"The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates ... because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates' organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public." Do they have it right or what?

So, I got to thinking we Democrats have to make it clear to the DNC that we should have NO more debates unless the League handles them. And I think we should organize and I don't have the slightest idea how to get started and you popped into my mind, which is the reason for this post. Maybe you have some ideas.

Tukwila, WA

Chupacabra Report

News that gets my goat:

Did you see that Hugo Chavez is threatening to shut down a Venezuelan TV station for broadcasting The Simpsons? I could never get much hate on for somebody that called Bush “the devil,” but, eat my shorts Hugo!

I heard a “Marketplace” economist discuss McCain’s proposed Memorial Day to Labor Day gas tax holiday. Scientifically speaking, if this tripe could pass Congress, (it won’t) it would result in increased demand for, and therefore, increased price of, gasoline; benefiting only refiners and foreign suppliers.
Will we fall for this?

More worrisome than the price of gas? How about the cost of air. It rises everyday as it is polluted. If you think bottled water is silly, wait till they sell canned air like in Spaceballs. Water too should rise in price, so that we would value it. My mother in law is from West Texas. She is incapable of letting water go down the drain. Someday we’ll all be that careful, but out of necessity not out of virtue.

Last week the Supremes gave the go-ahead for the states to resume executions. Rick Perry and Greg Abbott were celebrating the opportunity to whip up their base at the cost of the lives of some miserable bastards on death row. Cast that first stone.

I won’t list arguments here opposing the death penalty, referring you instead to Sister Helen Prejean, who just published another book on the subject. ( I would point out that polls show that people who favor capitol punishment are in the minority, as are people advocating a ban on abortion. And most Americans want our troops out of Iraq.

If we have the numbers, why aren’t we winning?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chupacabra Report

News that Gets My Goat:

Petraeus & Crocker reported to Congress last week that they saw progress in Iraq but warned that it is reversible. There was also some baloney about a bottle of champagne in the back of the refrigerator. It’s like these guys are highway contractors that are building a useable road but can’t tell you where the road goes. They are asking us to keep pouring blood and money into this project until next January, when Bush will helicopter to his compound in Paraguay.

The Sunni insurgents we were fighting are now on our side, as long as we meet payroll. The administration is now leading us to war with Iran. Notice that when you hear them use the name “Al Qaeda,” you also hear the name “Iran,” often in the same sentence. They did the same thing when they were ginning up the Iraq war, just keep repeating it, and many people will believe it.

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

The most appalling news last week was Bush’s cynical announcement that Army tours in
Iraq would be shortened from 15 to 12 months, see fine print for details;
such as the fact that this limit doesn’t apply to troops now in Iraq, and
wouldn’t go into effect until August 2009, when Bush is out of office.

Last year the Republicans defeated the Webb-Hegel amendment to the defense
appropriations bill which would have required that troops be given a year
stateside between one year deployments overseas. Now Bush is trying to have
it both ways.

"We have always been at war with Eurasia."

Last week “Frontline” aired “Bad Voodoo’s War,” video from National Guard troops in Iraq. I learned that soldiers are prone to urinary infections because they have to drink lots of fluids in the heat, but can’t leave the vehicles to pee. They get kidney stones from drinking too much Red Bull to stay awake. I saw the guys tie field dressings around their door-side extremities so that if they’re hit their buddies have a better chance to bandage them before they “bleed out.”

And the administration is trying to “run out the clock” so they can turn this whole mess over to the next president. God damn.

Chickens for Colonel Sanders

From E.J.Dionne’s latest column about Clinton and Obama helping the McCain campaign:
“It has been sickening over the years to watch Republicans, who always rally to the aid of the country's wealthiest citizens, successfully cast themselves as pork-rind-eating, NASCAR-watching, gun-toting populists. To have the current White House occupant (Yale, Harvard Business School, son of a president) run as a good old boy should have been the final straw.
But here are the two remaining Democratic candidates, Obama by speaking carelessly and Clinton by piling on shamelessly, doing all they can to make it easy for Republicans to pretend one more time that they are the salt of the earth.”

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Bitter Pill

You would think the idea trafficked around lately that Mr. Obama might have acquired some "elitist" tendencies from his ivy league education and fast-track to political stardom is like calling him a pedophile, or something horrible like that.

Personally, I worry that the "party of the people" took a wrong turn into Prissy Town a long time ago, especially in Texas. Hell, tossing out all the wonks and metrosexuals, the last guy we elected with any balls was Ann Richards. As sages lots smarter than me have pointed out at times, if you want to be of the people, you have to be with the people. And people are pretty icky, what with all their humanity and stuff. Funny smells and food - shit like that. Plus, they so dumb.

Here's what Mr. Obama said:

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

And the resulting acrimony, quite predicable to any who have survived rural living, has made some in the lefty blogosphere howl like stuck pigs:

"If I lived in one of these mythical small towns where regular folks are supposed to live I'd be spitting at my teevee on a regular basis. I'd be annoyed that was being represented as part of some community of simpletons whose comfort zone is so narrow that they all freak out if someone dares to drink a different brand of beer."

- Atrios

"Look it's bizarre that the two candidates whose net worth is far and away elite are calling the guy worth about 2% of their estates the "elitist". Not to mention, since when has a Yale alum been able to call a Harvard grad an elitist and get away with it?"

- Attaturk

"By cynically twisting Obama's comments about small town voters in a way that confirms every right-wing demagogic caricature of her own Party, Hillary Clinton has adopted the frames, lies, stereotypes and destructive clichés long embraced by the likes of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. She has clearly decided that the road to victory runs through scorched earth. The question is, if she succeeds, what kind of Party will she be left to lead? She's burning down the village to save it -- or to prove that she would make the best fire chief. But the village won't be saved; only one house will be left standing. A house with room for just two occupants: Hill and Bill."

- Huffpo

The "yeah, I said it, but you suck!" defense might be smart, but I don't think so. HRC didn't make Obama say that. She didn't make Mike Dukakis ride around in a tank looking silly. She didn't make John Kerry ride a wind sail, go hunting or ride a Harley on the Tonight Show.

Country folk know elitism when they see it, and they are the ones who will decide when it's a problem. Brother rolled a gutter ball. He'll get over it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Current Events

Massive compounds of religious weirdo's are fairly common-place in Texas. Take Crawford Ranch for instance. That's one of the things that makes the state so wonderful and interesting. As far as we're concerned, if a guy in Texas can't appoint himself God; round up girls, guns, and cash for a meth-fueled orgy of twisted sex, paraniod violence, torture, and humiliation down at the "ranch," then where in hell can he? We call that freedom. Ask the castrated gimps and zombie killers, er, I mean Deacons, used to help wipe things up.

The only thing sexier, evidently, than forced coitis on a terified, brain-washed 12 year-old on a sweaty, serum-stained, cot in the "Temple," is a hundred church ladies writing down every descriptive detail for later private "reflection"?

Even though the folks in El Dorado and San Angelo were perfectly content to pay absolutely no attention to child rape and slavery under their very noses, the folks at "Big Boner for Yahway Ranch" were very lucky not to have been exterminated (one way or the other) for having brought this unfortunate bit of Americana to everyone's attention.

I guess my point is, in light of all this, a perverse culture of woman/child hatred is alive and well in this country, and growing stronger every day. We have an opportunity before us to forcefully reject institutional misogyny through the current election. We should refocus on the matter at hand.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Published on Saturday, April 5, 2008 by Salon.comThe US Establishment Media in a Nutshellby Glenn Greenwald

In the past two weeks, the following events transpired.

A Department of Justice memo, authored by John Yoo, was released which authorized torture and presidential lawbreaking.

It was revealed that the Bush administration declared the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights to be inapplicable to “domestic military operations” within the U.S.

The U.S. Attorney General appears to have fabricated a key event leading to the 9/11 attacks and made patently false statements about surveillance laws and related lawsuits.

Barack Obama went bowling in Pennsylvania and had a low score.

Here are the number of times, according to NEXIS, that various topics have been mentioned in the media over the past thirty days:

“Yoo and torture” - 102

“Mukasey and 9/11″ — 73

“Yoo and Fourth Amendment” — 16

“Obama and bowling” — 1,043

“Obama and Wright” — More than 3,000 (too many to be counted)

“Obama and patriotism” - 1,607

“Clinton and Lewinsky” — 1,079

Saturday, April 05, 2008

It Ain't Over

No, the contest for the Democratic Party nomination for President certainly isn’t over. Eight states have yet to vote or caucus, that’s 566 votes right there that could put either candidate closer to the 2,024 total to clinch the nomination. Folks in those states are sure to be excited about having a say in this race, too.

The Democratic Party’s proportional voting rules probably ensure that after June 3rd, neither candidate will have the necessary delegates locked up, even including their committed superdelegates, leaving the uncommitted delegates the job of choosing which candidate will prevail.

I saw some lefty professors and consultants on CSPAN yesterday discussing the “inside baseball” that is the nomination process and was left with the feeling that this prolonged campaign is not the disaster that so many are wringing their hands about.

James Thurber, Director of American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies (Wouldn’t you love to be named “James Thurber?” I once knew a man who looked like James Thurber, but his name was Tom Collins, which is also way cool.) suggested that all this may bring advantages to the Dems, by allowing them to dominate news reports and mobilize new voters.

Professor Anthony Corrado of the Brookings Institute said that because the candidates are forced to run everywhere, they will be well known in every state, which could give them an edge in fundraising, organization, and training that should pay dividends in November.

Democratic strategist Tad Devine, who worked on the Kerry campaign that won a record number of votes in 2004, said that Obama has improved as a candidate in the course of the year, and noted that he has run TV ads in almost every state. He spoke of the race reaching a tipping point after June 3rd, when the superdelegates could step up and call the winner.

I heard some new terms, such as the “standard of conscience” that binds delegates to their pledges, at least through the first ballot, and “the iron law of reciprocity” to describe the back scratching and log rolling that can change preliminary results.

Corrado discussed some worst case scenarios possible if there’s no decision before the August convention, such as floor fights over the Michigan and Florida delegations, rules challenges over superdelegates, and how the target numbers change as these issues are resolved, to which Thurber replied “we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.”

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It's Over?

I haven't had too much to say lately. But as I watch the MSM's daily calls for HRC's exit from the race, I realize that this is 2000 all over again: the kewl kids are picking our nominee, only to dash our hopes in the general with their true favorite, John McCain, the man's man. You think Chris Matthews' leg is tingling now, just you wait.

I feel no great urge to have a one-man race, and yet Dark Lord Kos has been throwing out little shit-bombs like this for awhile now:

"Clinton's campaign has one premise -- victory at all costs. If that requires sundering the Democratic Party, so be it. She doesn't care. Therefore, there is no logic that applies. The popular vote only matters if it favors her. The pledged delegate lead only matters if it favors her. Michigan and Florida only matter if it favors her. States only matters if they vote for her. Groups and communities in this country only matters if they supports her. Super delegates only matter if they cast their lot with her.

Clinton personifies the worst of the "with us, or against us"-type thinking that has gotten us in trouble with the rest of the world.

So we have a campaign that is losing by every metric imaginable. And now that campaign says that it doesn't care if she's losing by every metric imaginable. Her campaign will carry on regardless.

No one can say that Clinton doesn't play to win. In some circumstances, that is admirable.

The only problem is that she already lost. At this point, this is just pathetic."

I think what's been lost on the public is that the Democratic Party is a private club. They don't take public money, and they pick whomever they want. Ask Estes Kefauver.

And this fetish with the popular vote! It is like insisting Sanjaya win because he had the most votes before the end of the show. Besides, Obama has racked up most of his states through caucuses that represent the voting public not at all. He is a shrewed, well-organized, career politician just like HRC. The whole thing is ridiculous and cynical.

Let's be patient and see how it shakes out.

Inmate To Run Asylum?

I know it’s only been a week since the last one, but I can’t resist running another picture of Phil Gramm. I’m looking at an article by Jonathan Weisman of The Washington Post about John McCain’s economic team.

Weisman gives some history of how in 1999, as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Gramm lead the repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall law that separated regulated commercial banks from unregulated investment banks, setting the stage for investment banks, such as the now infamous Bear Stearns, to take over 70% of the US lending market.

And for Gramm to resign from Congress and become a Vice-Chairman of UBS.

This is what I was talking about when I wrote about smart business guys talking like they had re-invented the wheel, when it was really a case of public officials re-discovering “the world’s oldest profession.”

Another shoe dropped this week when Gramm’s employer, Swiss bank UBS revealed that it had lost $37 billion in the US housing market. I wonder if the Fed’s bail-out will include Swiss banks.

The article quotes UT economist James Galbraith, (son of the late Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who worked in the Kennedy White House)

"Phil Gramm's career was as the most aggressive advocate of every predatory and rapacious element that the financial sector has," Galbraith said. "He's a sorcerer's apprentice of instability and disaster in the financial system."

Here’s another bit about Gramm from the late, great Molly Ivans:
When he ran for president in 1996 and finished fifth in Iowa, all the profiles written of him included the line “Even his friends don’t like him.” Self-righteous and strident, Gramm demonized his opponents and used bitter, polarizing rhetoric. During a Senate debate over Social Security, a member pointed out that the proposal under consideration would hurt 80-year-old retirees. “Most people don’t have the luxury of living to be 80 years old,” Gramm scoffed, “so it’s hard for me to feel sorry for them.” Well, there is that.

You can be sure that should you lose your home under a McCain administration, it will be due to some lack of personal responsibility or moral failure. However, should the bank holding your mortgage become insolvent, it will be a direct result of high taxes and onerous regulations; grounds for a rescue by taxpayers.