It’s still the economy, stupid candidates

President George W. Bush and presumptive Republican Presidential nominee John McCain claim the American economy is robust and healthy.

Try telling that to the thousands of employees of the Bennigans restaurant chain who reported to work this week to find the doors locked and their jobs gone without notice, severance pay or benefits.

The same fate awaited those who worked for Steak & Ale, another "theme" restaurant chain owned by the same company, which filed for Chapter 7 liquidation without notice.

In Arizona, John McCain’s home state, 43,000 people have lost jobs due to the trade deficit with China.  In Pennsylvania, a key battleground state in the upcoming Presidential election, 85,100 manufacturing jobs have been lost to China since 2001.

Home foreclosure rates are up 60 to 100 percent, depending on what area of the country you call home. Too many Americans ran through their unemployment benefits. The lives they had are gone.

Besides Bennigans and Steak & Ale, the list of closed businesses reads like a who’s who:

  • Starbucks: Closing 600 stores nationwide.
  • Sharper Image: Chapter 7 liquidation.
  • Mervyn’s Department Stores: Chapter 11 reorganization.
  • Linens ‘n Things: Closed. Chapter 7.

Some 25 towns, counties and cities have filed for some form of bankruptcy protection. Police Departments park their cars because they can’t afford the gas to go on patrol. More banks have failed in the last month than in the last five years.

So tell us Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain: Where is this robust and healthy economy that you claim exists here in America?

Next year’s federal deficit is expected to be a record $490 billion: Almost a half a trillion bucks. The Iraq war continues to eat into what little is left of the American economy and all the Republicans can do is talk about how good we have it.

That same Iraq war was supposed to drive the cost of oil down. That’s one of the many false claims the Bush administration made in a long list of lies used to justify invading a nation that posed no threat to the United States.

Instead, gas prices zoomed past three dollars a gallon faster than a NASCAR racer and topped four dollars a gallon before dropping, slightly, back down. But some analysts say $5.00 a gallon gas is in our future.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Congress passed a "housing relief" plan that provides bail out funds for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and provides mortgage relief to some but does nothing to help the millions out of work or the millions who have already lost their homes.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama goes to Iraq, blows off a visit with wounded troops, tries to be the new JFK in Germany and comes home to court big buck fundraisers and tell them he is now the frontrunner. Some polls say he is, some say he is not.

In 1992, Bill Clinton rode a tide of voter discontent into office by claiming "it’s the economy, stupid."

Today, 16 years later, it’s still the economy.

And our choices are a slate of candidates who are still too stupid to deal with the number issue facing this nation.


  1. darknyt4

    “and all the Republicans can do is talk about how good we have it.”

    Doug, you MISSED the point. The “we” the Republicans were talking about were themselves. They doing give a flying f*ck about the rest of us. They have proved time and time again that the only people they care about are the class of billionaires that keep them in power.

    And PLEASE do not take my criticism of the Republican as partisanship. It is not. The Democrats are equally complicit as they have proved time and time again.

    But I will vote for Barack in November, because the thought of John McCain as President is just a BIG BOWL OF WRONG.

    As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you
    can’t drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against ’em anyway, you don’t belong in office.-Molly Ivins

  2. Hoosier_CowBoy

    These business closings are indicative of a most troubling part of the economic slowdown. Bennigan’s, Steak & Ale, and StarBucks are all beneficiaries of discresionary income consumers used to have before oil prices skyrocketed.

    You could afford to pay 5 bucks for a double-mocha-whatever at Starbucks when you were only paying 3 bucks for gas. Living takes maintenance and maintenance, food, gas , heat is getting more expensive.

    We will witness more of these types of businesses flounder in the future, rising interest rates will put the final nail in our economic coffin.

    Who’s the lucky one? Whoever loses the Novemeber Presidential Election.

    I cannot imagine a bigger mess than taking over the government in 2009.

    If I were McCain, I would prefer shooting 18 on the links and having a Bud instead of sweating out the next 4 years in D.C..

    If I were Obama, shooting some hoops and lighting up a Lucky would certainly be preferable than tackling the Beltway crowd.

  3. pollchecker

    It’s all a game called politics. Every time you open your mouth, you risk saying something that can be used against you.

    Obama is looking presidential and McSame is looking old. What they say is not as important as the message they convey. After all, the majority of people that will vote probably couldn’t name all 50 states.

    The economy will be the deciding factor but people need to realize that it is directly tied to this so-called war on terrorism.

    It’s common knowledge that we covertly funded Afghanistan against the USSR and literally caused them great economic grief. Today the same tactics are being used against us.

    It’s not that GW is too stupid. It’s just he doesn’t care anymore. It’s a make your money now and leave the mess for someone else.

    McSame turned into a 100% GOP ass kicker when he realized it would be the only way he would ever get the nomination. He doesn’t even know what he is saying these days, he just mouths “the party line”.

    The same arguments and tactics today against Obama were used against Clinton in 1992. What I don’t understand and I really wish someone would tell me is why these same arguments NEVER seem to apply to the Republicans. Why is experience only important with a Democratic candidate. It obviously wasn’t important in 2000.

  4. ekaton

    “It’s common knowledge that we covertly funded Afghanistan against the USSR and literally caused them great economic grief. Today the same tactics are being used against us.”

    You mean back when the CIA CREATED “AL-QAEDA” ?

    — Kent Shaw

  5. Sandra Price

    I can and do, bring information like this one from "The Rant" to people all over the ‘net. I am labeled a pathological liar when I do.

    I have in my years on the internet opened many credit cards for my own personal use and the fact that in the last 8 years it has been difficult for me to shop in stores. My credit has been turned over to large banks who do increase my interest rates up to where they were during Carter’s Administration. Only at Christmas do I pay this kind of interest and that is often paid off before the time when my taxes are due.

    The closing of so many businesses are the result of increases in our credit cards because people simply stop buying. The value of the American dollar is dropping and soon many will lose more than their jobs but the equity in their homes. The answer is not asking the government to give us welfare checks but to get the hell out of our corporations and stabilize our dollar’s value.

    Many here in Sun City who are retired seniors who had planned on living on a fixed income now that our kids are independent find ourselves with those kids, needing a home for their kids. That is against the rules here and many are selling their investments to find a cheap house where the family can gather until the economy is fixed.

    Will the economy ever be fixed or are we living in a false faith that somebody in D.C. gives a damn? So many seniors are facing being displaced from their homes that even I am thinking about locating an old hotel somewhere where we can find the security in the future that we so carefully planned for. As a hermit who demands my hours free from others so I can read, I find this unacceptable but necessary.

    All the years of paying into Social Security will never cover today’s costs. We knew this in 1964 when Reagan exposed this as a ponzi scheme. In all those years, the government never lifted a finger to fix the system.

    The future for Americans has never been as bleak as in 2008. Pollchecker, it deeper than the GOP vs the Dems but sits on the government vs the people.

    There is no candidate or party in sight who is willing to tackle the mess the GOP and Dems have made. We were sold a bill of goods that Uncle Sam would be our savior! We need to take the government back from the liars and manipulators of the last 20 years or more.

    I thought Communism would be the culprit and did not realize that Empire Building Social Conservatives would screw us firmly out of our retirement funds.

    Time to expose these lying criminals and send them all home to try and handle their own interest payments like the rest of us.

  6. Charlie Couser


    You didn’t go far enough. Yes, gasoline will soon reach the $5.00 per gallon mark; but, not before the November elections are history. The Bush administration, with its strong ties to the oil industry, has managed to make it look as though oil prices are rapidly receding; but, just you wait, the oil industry’s assault on the poor & the middle classes will resume in force shortly after the elections are over — regardless of whom is elected.

    Additionally, the Iraq war seems to be going better because the Bush administration has once again bought off the press, and has convinced them to severely tone down their rhetoric. The media’s new slant is that the ‘surge’ is working, and things are looking rosier every day in Iraq. Bullshit!

    Also, Bush changed his mind and decided to soften the blow to the mortgage & housing industries by signing a bill which rewards lying & cheating. This bill does give the appearance of trying to help the little guy; but, it’s really nothing more than one thief rewarding another for raping this nation.

    And, did you notice that Bush had a change of heart with respect to talking to Iran & to agreeing to a ‘time frame’ for troup withdrawal in Iraq? This was obviously timed to steal Obama’s thunder while he was on his recent Middle Eastern trip. But, more important, Bush is playing for time so that the right oil companys can be put in place in Iraq to make certain their oil will always flow in our direction. Bush will make certain that the next president’s hands will be tied with respect to Iraq — well into the future.

    Yes, thanks to the Bush administration, Congress and the media, things are currently looking rosier for the USA’s future. But, something tells me the worst is yet to come!

    Charlie Couser

  7. Flapsaddle

    “All politics are local”, said the late Tip O’Neill, SOTH from 1977 to 1987, and the same can be said of economies. Our local economy is really not doing too badly at the moment, and at least part of it may be due to the problems with the economy and with fuel prices.

    True, the one Starbucks we have is on the list of 600 to be guillotined, but it was probably not a good ideas for us to begin with – this is not double-mocha latte with Madagascar cinnamon country. And our real estate market is quite solid, because we are in a nice, low density area and have not experienced the hyper-inflation of home prices seen elsewhere. People are vacationing here because of the high price of fuel – they do not have to drive a jillion miles to get nice, clean beaches or pay an arm and a leg for a motel room.

    Yes, other areas are suffering and other areas are doing better than we are. But in all cases, I expect that people will vote their pocketbooks in the same way they have in the past.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  8. ekaton

    “Home foreclosure rates are up 60 to 100 percent, depending on what area of the country you call home.”

    I’ve seen a recent figure of 120% nationwide over the same time one year ago.

    “Next year’s federal deficit is expected to be a record $490 billion: Almost a half a trillion bucks.”

    I wonder if any of that deficit will be forced onto us in another borrowed-money “economic stimulus package” that will have to be repaid double, BY US, with interest, just like the recent one. Even loan sharks don’t FORCE you to borrow from them. I wish I had big bucks so I could loan out the cash buy US Government Bonds that you guys would have to repay ME with interest.

    — Kent Shaw

  9. JudyB

    Are you better off today than in 2000? With the exception of those businesses and individuals dealing in oil, arms or benefiting from this war via government contracts, the answer would be a resounding “NO”!
    Why then I ask, would anyone want to vote for more of the same? I am 70, and have never seen things this bad, it boggles my mind to think than anyone would vote for a Republican president this time around. The committee hearings that are being held and televised should be recomended viewing with a caveat preceeding them,that they contain explicit details and should not be viewed by those with weak hearts or anger management issues. I do not believe that there is a chance in hell that the next administration (or even the next one for that matter)will be able to repair the damages this one has wrought… but I would like to see it at least begin the clean up process and that can never happen with more of the same.

  10. woody188

    And also Saddam Hussein. Amazing how two CIA assets became the USA’s biggest enemies after the 9/11 attack.

    Even more amazing is how Building 7 fell without being hit by a plane.

    Talk about inconvenient truths!

  11. ekaton

    Did you happen to see the YouTube video of a British news reporter telling the story of the fallen building seven as she stood in front of a supposedly live shot of Building 7 very obviously still standing. It could have been a hoax I guess …

    — Kent Shaw

  12. woody188

    Yes, this really happened. The BBC announced Building 7’s collapse before it had actually happened. Watch it here. The BBC later blamed Reuters for the error. Knowing Reuters is a Rothschild asset, I would not be surprised if that was true.

    A whole thread can be dedicated to 9/11 distortions.

  13. Warren

    Not to mention that B7 was never hit by anything much bigger than smoke, and Larry Silverstein is captured on video with a slip-up about “pulling-it”, a term used in the demolition business to mean setting off an intentional, pre-wired, controlled explosion.

    Ahh, yes, we could go on and on. But this is a topic that is off limits for Doug.

  14. ekaton

    It boggles MY MIND that anyone would vote for a Rebublican OR a Democrat at ANY time since both parties are wholly owned subsidiaries of the MIC.

    — Kent Shaw

  15. Timr

    One small point. Obama did not blow off the troops, I guess you have been getting your information on that from either the mccain campaign or maybe redstate. Even Andrea Mitchell-a real supporter of HRC,one of mccains base and no friend of Obama reported that what you said about Obama blowing off the troops-I am assuming you mean the wounded in Germany-was a lie. The bush pentagon actually confirmed Obamas version. If you are talking about Afghanistan then you bought into the so called “E-mail letter” which, as luck would have it, was traced to a Utah NG officer who, after he was identified, said I’m sorry, it did not happen the way I said(I lied)and anyway it was not ment to be public-well it actually was as long as it was anonymous. BTW, once more the Pentagon-the gwb pentagon-also confirmed that Obama did not blow off the troops. I think that my sources are out in the open, and quite clear. What is your source?

  16. JudyB

    Ken Shaw may be right, but Obama and McCain are the two leading presidential candidates currently in the running. It is one of these two that WILL become the next president..not a third or fourth party candidate.. at least not this time around.
    It does not matter if one likes it, OR that its “not fair”… voting for a 3rd/4th party candidate, or by not voting at all, you are in fact, letting others do the choosing between what is percieved as the Lesser of two evils” for you.
    Why this nation has not always been able to support three major candidates, I do not know, but strongly suspect that the computer will eventually change this fact. Ross Perot ran in 1992(recieving only 19%) making him the strongest 3 party candidate to date.
    For me, I intend to do my own choice making in Nov. and can only hope that my vote is counted this time.

  17. Warren

    Some years ago I had an epiphony of sorts. I realized that voting for the lesser of evils is the REAL waste of my vote. If everyone just does that we are doomed to a never-ending chain of mediocrity or worse. Forget about probabilities of winning. Don’t outsmart yourself. Vote for what you believe in. When enough of us do that this country will be a better place. But not until.