Mad as Hell, and Getting Madder All the Time

September 30, 2008


“…I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.”

“And we’re just the guys to do it!”

Anyone over the age of 25 35 40 probably recognizes those unforgettable lines from the classic movie, Animal House. I think we’re in a similar situation today, and I’m going to propose a really stupid and probably futile gesture that might at least remind people that we should be angry, and we should stay angry until our elected legislators either fix this vast disastrous economic crunch they’ve put us in, or until they’re voted out of office and some new blood has a chance to prove itself less perfidious.

Until the election in November, we here at Grand Rants will end each post related to the issue with the now-familiar Youtube clip of Peter Finch’s tour-de-force performance as Howard Beale, encouraging his audience to throw open their windows and shout their frustrations to the heavens. If you feel the same way, and if you want to remind your readers that we have every right to be feeling that way these days, we encourage you to end your posts the same way.

Get mad. Stay mad. 


It’s Time for Term Limits & “No Confidence” Vote

September 30, 2008


With the nation teetering on economic chaos (while Congress continues to play the blame game), the Presidential campaign is still moving along… it’s just that our focus is elsewhere. It’s hard to get excited over the upcoming elections when we don’t even know if we’ll be in a full-fledged economic meltdown by then.

Is anyone really excited by the upcoming debate between Sarah “Baracuda” Palin and Joe “Mumbles” Biden?

Or are we more concerned that our 401(K)s may be worthless by this time next week?

How much more can “We The People” take before we are the ones who say, “enough is enough?” And I’m not talking about blaming just the Bush administration. As was mentioned in a recent post, we should all be at the point fictitious news anchor Howard Beale was when he finally shrieked, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!”

So we scream and stamp our feet. It might make us feel better, but it doesn’t change a thing.  What, then, do we do? Where do we go from here?

My thought is this: We suck in our gut and brave the storm. We continue to believe that the free enterprise system and democracy are still the best show in town. And we fix the problem from within.

From within? From within!

Look, we can blame Congress all we want. But the bottom line is we put ’em there. It’s up to us to clear ’em out.

Now is the time to demand term limits, coupled with the ability to demand and implement a vote of no confidence. How ludicrous is it to have Congress in charge of the legislative branch of our country, yet working on a 9% approval rating?  With a “no confidence vote” option on the table, they’d have to spend less time padding their own pockets and those of the special interest groups supporting them, and maybe actually find themselves working for us to protect their own positions.

I don’t know what lies ahead for this country, but we had better all pull our heads out of the sand and start participating at a much higher level. We need to demand term limits so self-serving politicians can’t make Congress their personal piggy bank. We need the no confidence vote option so when folks like Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid prove themselves the incompetents they truly are (I’ll let you fill in the names of an equal number of Republicans as there is no shortage on either side of the aisle), we can run them out of Washington as they so richly deserve.

OK, everybody, altogether now:

“This land is your land.
This land is my land…”

Woodie Guthrie meant those lines as a celebration of what it is to be an American. We surrender that glory when we choose to ignore what our elected officials are doing in detail.

It’s time to sing those lines again, but as a reminder to ourselves and those officials. Not as a celebration, but as a warning: They have been entrusted with the care of this land and our government. Either they start taking that responsibility seriously and start representing our interests or get the hell out of Washington, D.C.

I do feel a new revolution possibly brewing. But it’s not about overthrowing our form of government. It’s about getting rid of the self-serving asses who have run this country into the ground while they served themselves and their special interests, all to the detriment of the rest of us.

The first blow in this revolution can be done legally in the privacy of your voting booth. Rebuke all candidates up for re-election if they have not served your interests in favor of special interests. Put all politicians who aren’t up for re-election this time around on notice also: You’ve got a little while longer, and we will be watching everything you do.

It’s OK to be mad as hell. It’s even better if we choose a course of action to employ that anger in a positive way.

This situation reminds me of another song title that is appropriate at this time: “People Get Ready.”

Gerry Ashley

….And McCain Just Lost the Election

September 29, 2008

Earlier I wrote that “John McCain Just Became the Next President of the United States“. It was all so simple really…

  1. McCain suspends his campaign for public good on Wednesday last.
  2. He goes back to Washington and helps the bailout bill pass before the Asian markets open (and certainly our own market today).
  3. Disaster averted… And John McCain is deemed a true champion of the people.

It was as easy as “1,2,3” really. The democrat culprits behind this entire mess would be outed, and McCain would be a shoe-in. It was going to work that way. It had to work that way to avoid putting the global financial system in peril. And yet here we are. (Click on the image below to get a sense of where the BBC thinks we’re at now.)

The vote was 228 to 205 with 133 republicans and 95 dems saying, “Nay.” Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. The liberal press and the Obama machine are going to hound McCain with this, especially if the economy really goes south. Was the bill perfect? No. Does something need to be done to head off short-term disaster? Yes. Does something need to be done to head off long-term catastrophe? Absolutely!

But somehow, the stuffed shirts in Washington couldn’t get past their agendas.

It’s interesting to watch the news (Fox)… The word from the talking heads is that congressional phones have been on fire all day, and people in general are saying, “No!” Our representatives should have seen this coming for years, and yet they were still blindsided. Now this. And guess who’s going to get blamed for it? J.M. Sorry John, but wave bye-bye to 1600. Unbelievable.

You know what? I hope Obama does win. I hope Pelosi and Boxer and Reid and Frank and their ilk have nice long political careers. I hope they drive this country right into the ground. (Lord knows they’ve got a good start.) That will prove once and for all what happens when the Hippie Generation and their spawn run things. Then maybe we can return to the values of the Greatest Generation and put this country back together again.

So from now until the elections, I’m going to include the following video in all my rants…

Alan Speakman

That’s Gonna Leave a Mark!

September 29, 2008


If enough people view this video, it might clarify to the country just exactly who was supporting the corrupt practices at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who was working to end–or at least reign in–those corrupt practices.

Why, oh why will we never see any of this covered in any part of the mainstream media? Okay, it’s a rhetorical question. I know why. And so do you.

(h/t VodkaPundit)


What Really Went Wrong With the Economy

September 28, 2008

On September 24th, 2008, President Bush began his explanation of what went wrong with the economy with the following…

First, how did our economy reach this point?

Well, most economists agree that the problems we are witnessing today developed over a long period of time. For more than a decade, a massive amount of money flowed into the United States from investors abroad, because our country is an attractive and secure place to do business. This large influx of money to U.S. banks and financial institutions — along with low interest rates — made it easier for Americans to get credit. These developments allowed more families to borrow money for cars and homes and college tuition — some for the first time. They allowed more entrepreneurs to get loans to start new businesses and create jobs.

Well, Dubya cut right to the heart of the problem and no one even noticed. “For more than a decade, a massive amount of money flowed into the United States from investors abroad…”

Bush was absolutely right, but where did that money come from? Why is it that we’ve lost so many jobs to outsourcing in India? And why is it that we basically owe 1.7 trillion dollars to China and Japan for stuff like U.S. Treasury and agency bonds?

Throw out all the MBA mumbo jumbo, and face a very simple fact… People who live in places like India, Japan, and especially China (and that’s just the beginning of a very long list) obviously live (voluntarily or otherwise) by different cultural standards. And basically those standards involve a lower standard of living. They work longer hours for less money, and live much closer to the bone.

If this fact isn’t obvious, then you’ve been living in a cave. Their governments pay less for defense, education, health, etc., etc., etc. And to make matters even more ridiculous, when times are looking tight (or not) for other governments like Israel and North Korea, they just belly up to the ol’ U.S. bar and ask for a few on the house. No wonder foreign investors have “massive amount of money” to throw around.

When talking about this bailout, we need to reduce a needlessly long story to an appropriately short one. We don’t live like the rest in this global village.

Oh, this bailout may get us through the mess this time, but sooner or later, a very hard rain is going to fall…

For further reading, check out Financial Sense.

Alan Speakman


September 26, 2008


Lots of folks are liveblogging the debate. I’m not going to do that, I’m just going to make a few notes to myself while watching:

It’s 9:48. I’m going to predict right now that the focus of the review of the debates is going to be “how many times did Senator McCain blink his eyes and how many times did he mumble while Jim Leher was speaking?

I hate to say it, but it’s little stuff like this that people see as a “weakness.” They’ll think he’s nervous. His audible, “uh-huhs” when Leher speaks and his non-stop blinking will be his “Richard Nixon 5 O’Clock Shadow.”

Incidentally, I blink a lot too. It shouldn’t be seen as a distraction, but it often is.

Obama must have an implant in his head, because he’s not stuttering and there’s no teleprompter.

I hope McCain takes advantage of an Obama screw up and NAILS him. So far he hasn’t.

Rating this debate will be difficult, but because Obama’s expectation were so low and McCain’s so high, I’m guessing the polls will have Obama as the winner of this debate unless something major happens in the balance of the debate. 

Obama is a smartass. But he’s looking and sounding far more confident than McCain who just stands there blinking his eyes and looking nervous. And that’s, unfortunately, what a lot of America’s dumbass soundbite eaters respond to.

To the educated, McCain makes more sense. By far. But it all depends on which group of Americans go to the polls. And Obama’s people are swarming the malls down here helping people register to vote.  Nobody here doing anything similar for McCain. Obama was trailing down here now looks like he’s gaining. Makes sense.

This is Idiot Central down here. McCain’s biggest hope is that these folks are also too dumb to find the voting polls (or able to figure out how to use them if they do find ’em)..

Checking housing costs in Costa Rica. Gotta go.

Wow… Ever notice how a jet engine doesn’t give you instant response, but when it kicks in, it KICKS ASS?  It seemed to me that McCain took a bit of time to find his stride, but when he did, Obama didn’t get ANYTHING past him. 
And by the time Obama said, “Uh, I’ve got a bracelet too,… Representing, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh…  ”  it was clear the McCain was spanking the big “O” without even having to raise his voice.
No surprise: NBC has Babbling Biden to review the debate.  An invitation was given to Palin but was declined. Bad move… It makes it look like they are still afraid to put her in front of the media. She’d better field dress Biden on Thursday.  Rudy’d doing a good job though.
In the end, McCain kept picking up points as the debate went on.  I’d have to say this was McCain by a comfortable margin. Now if he could just work on that blinking…

Gerry Ashley

Note To David Letterman – Quit Your Whining!

September 26, 2008


Last week Barack Obama appeared on Late Night with David Letterman with his “Change” mantra.  On Wednesday of this week, Senator John McCain was scheduled to be Letterman’s guest. However, with the economic crisis, McCain felt it was not appropriate to appear on an entertainment program, and notified Letterman he was suspending his campaign and returning to Washington to help work on the solution to the crisis.

Forced into an uncomfortable position of having to scurry for a backup guest,  he settled on Keith Olbermann, the man who put the exclamation point on the sentance, “Responsible Journalism is dead!”

During the opening monologue Letterman, known to be a hot-head, felt put off, especially since he had previously described McCain as a true hero. But after McCain cancelled, Letterman stated, “This doesn’t smell right. I think somebody’s putting something in his Metamucil.”

During his segment, Olbermann repeatedly confirmed his image as an ass… excuse me… a DEMOCRAT kissing liberal. He informed Letterman that McCain was actually there, in the CBS studios, giving an interview to Katie Couric. Letterman asked for (and got) a live feed from the studio where McCain was indeed preparing to be interviewed by Couric.

For the record, I think McCain cancelled the Letterman appearance for the right reasons. However, I feel it was a mistake to do so, then stop to give Couric an interview without giving Letterman an explanation. Yes, of course, Couric’s interview was an opportunity to focus seriously on the current financial crisis and it was important to get that message out through the mainstream media.

However, I believe that McCain could have ALSO delivered the same message to an even bigger audience consisting of a different demographic than those who watch Couric. And that may come back to haunt him.

Of course Letterman, the Sultan of Sarcasm took McCain to task, and has done so for the past several days. Not satisied to ridicule the Senator during his monolog, he’s also targeted McCain in his “Top Ten List,” a   segment that stopped being funny at about the same time he took his show from NBC to CBS as payback to NBC for not giving him the Tonight Show.

He’ll probably continue hammering McCain tonight. As such, I feel compelled to write this as an open message to Dave Letterman:

Quit WHINING, you self-absorbed little snot! While it’s unfortunate that you had to scurry about to get a fill-in guest (and it must have really sucked to find out that Keith Olbermann was the best you could come up with), the bottom line is, we’re in CRISIS mode and Senator McCain made the decision that addressing the crisis was more important than appearing on your TV program.

Your reaction was comical at first. But as usual, you don’t seem to be able to recognize when the horse is dead. Stop beating it. Get over it and move on, you whining little wanker!  And while you’re over it, get over yourself! There’s a reason you constantly rank behind the Tonight Show. This was a perfect example as to why…

Gerry Ashley


September 26, 2008


Ed Morrissey at HotAir noticed that the indictments are flying. It seems a federal grand jury would like to speak with some of the friends of Angelo Mozilo, the beleaguered CEO of Countrywide Mortgage, who got sweetheart deals on mortgages and loans–deals not available to the common folks.

Already public among these “friends of Angelo” are Senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad, Donna Shalala, Richard Holbrooke, Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson, and many others. We now discover that the woman many feel was behind the intelligence failures leading to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Jamie Gorelick, is also a good friend of Angelo Mozilo.

Of course, if she were still just a lowly Deputy Attorney General, she and Angelo might not have been so chummy. However, after her “Wall of separation” and 9/11 Commission “experience,” little Jamie came up in the world. Despite her seeming lack of economic experience, she was deemed fit to be named Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae. During her tenure there, she not only took in $26 million, but her company was embroiled in a multi-billion dollar accounting scandal, out of which Jamie got a bonus of nearly a million dollars. Here is a woman worthy of being a friend of Angelo, indeed.

And what a friend Angelo was! His “special friends” unit handled her $960,000 mortgage re-finance with kid gloves and, no doubt, low interest rates and fees. And little Jamie claims she was unaware of the preferential treatment. I’d like to think that a person bright enough to help head up Fannie Mae is bright enough to know when she’s getting a break on interest rates and fees. Is she stupid? Or is she lying? Neither choice is flattering to her, or to any of Angelo’s other special friends, who are already making the same claim.

I’m sure there are times when we all wish we had a “friend” like Angelo. On second thought, maybe not. I don’t like the kind of “invitations” his friends are currently receiving. And while having to choose between stupidity and perjury is less than appetizing to any of them, I hope they all choke on it.


Coinage of the Realm

September 24, 2008


It got to the point a long time ago where we coined a new term, stubris, to describe Obama’s stupidly hubristic words, ideas, and actions. The list is quite long already, and we’re about to add to it:

  • Sen. Obama complains about the price of arugula to the common folk.
  • Big “O” hand symbol
  • Soviet-style glorification posters 
  • “Vero Possumus” faux Presidential seal
  • O-Force 1, the campaign plane with two Obama seals painted on it but only one tiny American flag
  • O-Force 1, with the royal throne with “President” embroidered on it
  • The “citizen of the world” speech in Berlin
  • Grandiose staging with Greek columns for his address to the Democratic Convention

Most of those pale in comparison with the latest. As reported by the Birmingham Post, a small company in Birmingham is making commemorative coins for the ever-optimistic Barack Obama. The obverse of the coins show the profile of Sen. Obama superimposed over an image of the White House. It has not been reported what the reverse will show, but based on past behavior, I have a few ideas:

  • Obama with olive branches in one hand and 13 arrows in the other
  • Obama in a Roman toga in front of Roman columns
  • Obama posed as Rodin’s “Thinker
  • Obama holding the world on his shoulders, a la Atlas
  • Obama parting the Red Sea
  • Michelangelo’s Obama giving the spark of Life to Adam

I’m sure there are other ideas out there. Please share!


McCain Trumps Obama

September 24, 2008

 McCain Trumps Obama: Suspends Campaign, Returning To Senate To Address Financial Emergency, Calling For Bi-Partisan Effort

In a brilliant display of LEADERSHIP, Senator John McCain announced moments ago that he is suspending his campaign effective immediately in order to participate in the Senate hearings to address the financial crisis.

This is a brillant move on the part of McCain that undoubtedly has the Obama campaign kicking themselves for several reasons:

  • It’s the right thing to do. This is the biggest financial crisis this country has faced yet. Warren Buffett described it today as “An Economic Pearl Harbor.”
  • For either Senator to continue campaigning and passing at the opportunity to part of the solution would be the ultimate display of indifference to the American Taxpayer.
  • McCain got it and acted on it. Obama didn’t. In time of crisis, you want the person who knows how to respond and does so first to be your leader. McCain clearly scores in this area. Such is the value of a leader with EXPERIENCE. 

Where was Obama? Holding a rally at Knology Park (minor league baseball field in Dunedin, Florida). 

McCain announced he is requesting the debate Friday be postponed until Congress has addressed the bailout issue and says he is contacting Obama and requesting that he join him. The breaking news now is that Obama requests a “joint statement” with the McCain campaign. Translation: You trumped us on this, now we want the chance to appear Presidential too.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve just seen a sampling of how each man would run the country as President in time of crisis: McCain knew his priorities and TOOK ACTION.  Barack had to be informed the right course of action and immediately took steps to try to make it look like it was his idea all along. Again, the difference is EXPERIENCE and McCain Just showed us all how important that is.

Stay tuned.

Gerry Ashley