"I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgement Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God." -- Johnny Cash
, from the liner notes to "Unchained," 1996.
Another, more sobering quote:
"One of these years, and probably sooner than you think, the financial markets will look at the situation, and realize that the U.S. government has made inconsistent promises—promises of benefits to future retirees, repayment to those who buy its debt, and tax rates far below what is necessary to pay for all of it. Something will have to give, and it won’t be pretty. In fact, I think the United States is setting itself up for a Latin American-style financial crisis, in which fears that the government will try to resolve its dilemma by inflating away its debt cause interest rates to soar.
You read it here first." That's from Paul Krugman's new book
, a collection of his often blistering columns, "The Great Unraveling, Losing Our Way in the New Century."
But if foreign capital flees, who will pay for the war?
"For most of this year's second quarter, the United States was waging a war in Iraq, with help from the British and not very many others. There were demonstrations around the world against the war.
"But guess who was financing it? The world was
. Figures released this week showed that private foreign citizens bought an unprecedented $129 billion in United States government and agency securities. Official accounts, mostly central banks, added $43 billion more." Foreigners now own 38% of outstanding Treasuries, double the figure of ten years ago. We desperately need that capital because of the monstrous deficit the Bush administration and his flunkies in Congress have created.
Bush asked for "sacrifice" in his speech the other night. Who's doing the sacrificing here? Obviously the troops. Oh, yeah, and the unemployed, laying down their livelihoods to help the economy roar
Oh, and anyone who is in the path of a hurricane this fall. According to a story on "Marketplace
" last evening, the price of the cheapest plywood has gone from $15 a sheet to well over $20. Why? The war in Iraq. The army has cornered the market in plywood for the reconstruction efforts.
Meanwhile, Once Upon a Time in Iran
... The Bushies sure know their priorities.
"Mr. Rumsfeld, who was so alarmed
about Saddam's W.M.D. before the war, is now so nonchalant that he said he did not even bother to ask David Kay, who runs the C.I.A.'s search for W.M.D. in Iraq, what progress he'd made when meeting with him in Iraq last week.
"'I have so many things to do at the Department of Defense,' Rummy told The Washington Post."
The good news seems to be that Bush II has proven Bush I right. Marching on Baghdad has it's consequences.
During last night's Yankees/Tampa Bay game
, did I hear chants of "Yankees Suck?" I'm pretty sure I heard it -- and the game was in New York. Boston fans have earned -- 86 years worth of earning
-- the right to chant that. TB fans have not.
But TB does have quite a centerfielder. Although he and Hideki Matsui
are virtually identical stats-wise (and Matsui is an important contributor to a winning team), I predict that Devil Ray will get the Rookie of the Year award. There is no way the writers are going to pass over a ball player with the name of "Rocco Baldelli