McCain McTongue McSpecial McChallenge

From the Democratic Underground, I present just a few of the entries of the PHOTOSHOP McTONGUE CHALLENGE!

Freaking LOL funny stuff.

Mississippi Sheriff Racially Profiles High Falutin’ Black Man

Southern Sheriff Pulls Over Obama Campaign Bus For Broken Taillight

FOXWORTH, MS—Despite obeying the posted speed limit and having all inspection, registration, and insurance documentation up to date, Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign bus was stopped for nearly four hours by Marion County deputy sheriff Dewey Clutter while en route to a Jackson, MS speech, sources reported Tuesday.

According to those on board the bus—including various journalists, members of the Secret Service, and Obama campaign staffers—several minutes passed before Clutter exited his cruiser. Witness statements all mention hearing the sheriff’s jackbooted footsteps along the gravel roadside as he slowly approached the vehicle’s passenger side. These reports also assert that, prior to reaching the front of the campaign bus, the sheriff paused momentarily to smash the right rear taillight of the bus before dragging his still-drawn baton along the entire length of the vehicle.

“Where’s the fire, son?” Clutter, 42, was overheard saying to the Illinois senator and 2008 Democratic presidential nominee. “Driving like that in these parts, what with a busted taillight and all, fella like you liable to get hisself into a whole mess a trouble.”

Obama protested briefly before Clutter interrupted the graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, brusquely informing the senator that he could “detain [Obama's] uppity ass for 48 hours without charging [him] with shit.”

“Huh. Illinois,” Clutter said while scrutinizing Obama’s driver’s license from behind a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses. “You a long way from home, ain’t ya?”

“Now Barry, someone ’bout your height, ’bout your skin color knocked over a Piggly Wiggly up in New Hebron just a coupla hours ago,” Clutter continued. “But you wouldn’t know nothin’ ’bout that, now would you?”

Clutter then turned to Obama’s wife, Michelle, looked her up and down, and wiped his mouth with a handkerchief.

After questioning the New York Times best-selling author and presidential frontrunner for several minutes about his business in Mississippi and politely asking the Caucasian women on the bus if they were all right, Clutter claimed that he smelled marijuana smoke and initiated a search.

According to Clutter’s police report, the sheriff then ordered everyone to exit the bus and to place their hands on the side of the vehicle. Clutter then reentered the campaign bus, emerging a few moments later with a stack of documents.

“Well, well, would you looky here. If it ain’t Barry’s comprehensive plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq,” said Clutter, setting the proposal on fire with a lit cigarette while blowing smoke in Obama’s face. “Smart, well-dressed boy like you, I’d a-thought you’d take better care of your things.”

“Now ain’t that a shame,” Clutter added.

Following the search, witnesses said that Clutter allowed everyone back onto the vehicle with the exception of the senator. Twenty minutes later, a visibly agitated Obama climbed aboard the bus. He reportedly refused to discuss what had happened, and instructed the driver to continue on to Jackson.

According to Obama insiders, this is not the first time on the campaign trail that the former president of the Harvard Law Review has had to deal with this type of treatment. While attending a rally in Savannah, GA, Obama was closely followed around the town hall by several armed guards to ensure that he didn’t steal anything, and the senator reportedly had trouble canvassing voters in Baton Rouge, LA after everyone he approached crossed to the opposite side of the street.

“Sen. Obama has been incredibly patient and courageous during this election,” campaign chief of staff Jim Messina said while looking nervously over his shoulder. “Despite some setbacks, we feel that we’ve made incredible progress.”

“It’s a new day in America,” Messina added.

h/t The Onion

Thriving Businesses In This Economy: Pawn Shops, Flea Markets, and Yard Sales

It is Friday and as I drive through my neighborhood, I see more ‘Yard Sale’ signs than any time I can remember. There are more ads in the paper this week, then I can remember seeing. There are Pawn Shops in town that just a year ago looked like they should shutter their windows and doors, who now look to be thriving. The flea market in town is a weekly event (weekend) and it is already packed this morning, even before I get started with work.

As I drove through a small town last week, trying to get home, they had the entire town setup as a gigantic flea market and yard sale mecca. This is not common for this small town that lies outside of Nashville.

And McCain believes that Ebay is the next great business for each and every American and even mentioned adding Ebay’s founder as some economy chief in his administration.

So, to carry on in this theme, I wanted to share a little article from McClatchy:

Hard times bring big business for pawn shops

To find out how hard, how tough, how economically desperate America’s crumbling economy is becoming, follow Kevin Brandon into the back of his shop.

“Come on,” the 43-year-old retired Kansas City, Kan., street cop says, waving you on back — away from the glass counter with the hocked jewelry and watches and DVD players, into the rear warehouse of National Pawn on East Truman Road.

And there it is: the stuff of people’s lives, some 2,600 items: mowers, ladders, wheelchairs, stereos, bikes, televisions, saws, golf clubs, clothes …

More and more of it is being pawned, he says, not by regulars, but by an ever-growing stream of “people struggling to survive.”

“It’s the economy. It’s just killing people,” he says. “Like this…”

He points to two sewing machines, tells a story. A woman comes in, maybe late 60s, maybe early 70s, carrying the machines. Her husband just died of cancer. She’s broke.

“She never pawned anything in her life,” he says.

She’s not alone. There’s the woman in the $80,000 Mercedes. He’d never seen her before a recent visit, but it wasn’t long before she was back again. And again. She’s hocking her jewelry.

The customers who arrive in motorized wheelchairs — yes, customers, plural. They ride through the door, struggle to stand, pawn their chairs for ready cash and then hobble out the door.

U.S. Industrial Production Declines Further

The Financial Times (10/17, Pimlott) reports, “U.S. industrial production suffered its sharpest drop in 34 years yesterday, manufacturing in parts of the northeast contracted sharply and inflation pressures eased as the credit crisis spread into the real economy.” According to the Federal Reserve, “industrial output fell 2.8 percent last month, the fastest drop since December 1974, as the impact of the global credit crisis joined forces with hurricanes Gustav and Ike and a labor strike at Boeing, the aircraft maker.” Additionally, according to the Philadelphia Fed, “its index of local manufacturing conditions suffered its worst ever monthly drop in October, falling from 3.8 percent to minus 37.5 percent.” Analysts say that “only in the depth of recessions had the index hit lower levels.” The Times notes that “the fall was partly down to a dramatic fall in new orders, which had their lowest reading since 1980.”

According to USA Today (10/17, Hagenbaugh), “a trio of reports out Thursday pointed to gloom at U.S. factories.” According to the Federal Reserve, “the decline” in manufacturing production “was broad-based.” And, in addition to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s “index of manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region” declining “at the fastest pace in its 40-year history,” the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI’s quarterly index of manufacturing activity “fell to the lowest since the end of 2001.” USA Today notes, “Approximately 13.4 million people, or 10 percent of the workforce, are employed in the manufacturing sector. The manufacturing industry has shed jobs every month since July 2006.”

My work puts me in a visionary position for the SE USA, as far as manufacturing goes. I had my best year ever in 2001 (remember that my pay lags the economy about 6 months… in other words, I see about 6 months into the future, as far as people automating process. Unfortunately, I am also the last to get money when things come back around.

Since 2001, I have made less and less money AND had more and more overhead, especially my family’s health care. I average about $25K out of pocket every year and it is growing every year. My fate is the same of many in the SE, unless you happen to work in the Asian automotive sector, such as Alabama’s huge base shows. Or military, medical, cosmetics (at least for the time being).

Most decent jobs are leaving and few replacements are coming in turn.

I see a major fall out soon. Things coming to a head and we can do one of two things: continue the crazy Empire building or reinvest back into America. One will cause sure doom and devastation, the other will help us all, but slowly. Neither way is a quick fix and people better be prepared to weather the storm.