THE ECONTRARIAN

A tad askew from the traditional view

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

TODAY'S NEWS

First some good news......Good news?.........How long has it been?....Anyway, we have a valid candidate for Bush's Supreme Court. A church-going, conservative by the name of John E. Jones III ruled in a Pennsylvania federal court that "Intelligent Design" is really a relabeling of "Creationism" and is not a science. Wow, someone who actually puts his responsibilities ahead of his personal feelings. Let's hope it's contagious.

On the economic front, following a five year, 70% surge in mortgage debt to nearly $8 trillion, federal regulators now want to toughen the guidelines on adjustable rate loans, which have previously been reported to account for as much as 60% of the new financing. They think that lenders should actually underwrite an applicant's ability to pay the debt service AFTER the initial low-rate period (DAH!). Is this the mother of all barn-door-closings-after-the-horse-got-out situations or what. Well, at least you can't say the government isn't aware of the ticking time bomb that every day brings us closer to the major crisis that will eventually and inevitably erupt under this segment of the economy.

In the political/ethics area, you may not have read that a bill was introduced in the House yesterday to censure the President and Vice President for lying to the Congress about the reasons for invading Iraq. You may not have read about it because most papers evidently didn't find this to be newsworthy, at least not for today. Now lets think about this for a moment. A few years ago, the opposition party - the Republicans - impeached a Democrat for lying about a harmless affair, and today, the Democratic Party is threatening to censure two Republicans for alleged lies that have so far cost nearly 2,200 American military lives and an estimated 30,000 Iraqi lives. Impeachment vs. Censure. This is nothing more than additional evidence that the Democratic party in this country has become the Party of the Timid. As an opposition party, it is a miserable failure with respect to its ability to take advantage of the glaring weaknesses in the management of our national affairs. Imagine, for a moment, the aggressive clamor we would be hearing from the Republican party if the tables were reversed. It's a sad commentary on the current weakness in our two-party system.

Next, it is reported that the Senate is trying to pass a bill to cut the deficit and that the vote is taking place today, right now. The significance here is not whether the bill passes, because it is a trivial, virtually meaningless measure, but rather what it also tells us about our, so-called two-party system. The deficit, of course in enormous. We know that. It has been caused by a combination of factors, all of which having had the common result of directing a major portion of the government's red ink into the pockets of the wealthiest 1% of our population. So, is the Senate looking to the wealthy to help reduce the deficit? Absolutely not!! If the bill is passed, the spending cuts will be applied to Medicaid, welfare and - the largest target - student loans. There is no alternative bill asking the wealthy to give back any of the trillions of dollars they have pocketed through tax cuts, windfall profits and fat government contracts. Of course, the reason for this is that the democrats are being paid off just as are the republicans and, if you don't think that this is another time bomb ticking under the future security of this nation then you are sadly mistaken.

And finally - and undoubtedly the worst news today - Johnny Damon, the heart and soul of the Boston Red Sox, is apparently defecting to the New York Yankees. Sadly, the great rivalry between these two clubs, that has been so enjoyable to watch over the past few years, is now history. The Sox have now lost their entire infield and two-thirds of their outfield since the end of last season. Mismanagement of this magnitude certainly qualifies the Sox ownership for high government office......

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