I have been accused by quite a few noders of being very negative about Senator Hillary Clinton, one of the two Democrats who will either quit or fight after the Pennsylvania primary some weeks from now.

I have been anxiously awaiting a much more fleshed-out and complete biography of Senator Clinton here on E2. Now, that's the first time I've said that so don't go to your magical computerized redactors and start typing just yet. There's really a lot more to come. That's why I haven't dug my heels into Barack Obama nor John McCain.

Let me tell y'all something. Senator McCain is my kind of moderate. He's my kind of Republican. There's one problem; he believes, as do so many other Conservatives, that we must somehow "win" in Iraq. Heck, one of my favorite guys, Richard M. Nixon, lost in Vietnam. Yeah, that's coming from the mouth of a supporter of the military-industrial complex. We fucking lost. And why not? We spent years there poking our noses where they didn't belong, holding on to the belief that if South Vietnam went, the rest of Southeast Asian would fall to the "wicked Communists" (Reagan had not yet coined the term "Evil Empire.

Hindsight is, of course, 20/20. Do I think that Nixon would have condoned the carpet-bombing and the loss of American lives if he thought we'd lose? I think not.

Now we have a larger problem. A war that's been going on for thousands of years. The cool thing about it is that whether they like it or not, the Arabs are going to have to deal with peak oil sooner or later (later, in my humble opinion). As much as he may hate us and we may find him distasteful, Chavez will have plenty of Argentinian oil for us to buy. We also have options that, regrettably, are being severely hindered by Environmentalist whiners who're quite fond of Whales, Seals and the like. These same Environmentalists blame the cost of oil in the United States on "Corporations." Well, if we could do away with a few seals and whales, these evil "corporations" could explore in more areas on our own turf, and bring the cost of gasoline back under $2.00. I also must remind you that in the EU, gasoline is going for 3-4 times that rate; so count your blessings, America. Oh, and also keep buying eight-cylinder SUVs so your family will be safe. Would that all Americans could visit Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain or other European countries. They zip around in cars made to accommodate two persons. The engines of all but the sport models of these cars struggle under the weight of two couples headed out for dinner.

Oh, ain't that a nice, neat catch-all phrase. "Corporations." Under the laws of the United States a Corporation is no more than the aggregation of the votes and investments of its shareholders. So tell your friends who've just invested in McDonald's and reaped a very handsome reward, that it ain't really the Board of Directors that pulls the strings; it's the majority shareholders. McDonalds, nearly a week ago, gained $2 a share, and made a whole lot of people rich, despite the nay-sayings of some economic advisors. Why did this happen? The Corporation responded to the market's needs for inexpensive snacks (their "Dollar Menu") and weighed in more heavily in its promotion of premium coffee, now mixed by the server (a la Dunkin Donuts, which charges twice as much for their coffee). This "horrible" Corporation is feeding America's poor. Let's face it. If you hold shares in McDonalds, which many astute investors do, you're making your money from people who can't afford a $7.50 combo; they order a $.50 cup of coffee and a small hamburger for $.99.

The lesson to be learned here is that those who market to the U.S. consumer must fill their needs; not try to convince them they have needs that they don't need (I'm not a Microsoft basher in general, but I must say that Vista's been off to a very poor start, and there are plenty of persons who wanted to be the "first on their block" to have the new software that now feel cheated by the fact that Microsoft reduced the retail price of its Vista software. And the whole bit about charging for "Service Pack 1" and offering the high-price purchasers a deal is a bunch of marketing baloney that we can all see through.

We can look at government as a poor emulator of business. George W. Bush just gave me a check for over $2,110 dollars. That consists of my tax refund and also my allocation for his "rebate" plan, which he hopes will stimulate spending. UPDATE 05.15.08 23:53EDT I've since been informed that the amount I describe was a tax refund, not a real break in that a lot of that money's been encumbered in medical expenses. My "economic stimulus" check (spell b-r-i-b-e; Bush wants to be able to say he gave us all money. What he's giving out we can't afford as a Country and will do little good for individuals. Suffice it to say, it ain't major go-to-Vegas folding money...

Bush might have well given away American Express credit cards with thousand-dollar limits. Why? Do you really think that the American people who have so long suckled upon the teat of high-interest rate credit; whether it be cards or home-equity lines of credit, will pay down their debt with this windfall? Oh, no. And this is just what Dubya planned. We're all gonna see each other on the beaches of Bermuda, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, or perhaps on a cruise ship sailing the seas off of Alaska looking for whales.

My wife and I will spend our "rebate" checks like most Americans will, not reducing our debt (that's been planned for carefully and is at the level that our business plan estimated it would be in this year). We're indeed going to go on a vacation.

If you're a citizen of the United States, use your rebate check wisely. If you're not, I've just given you a picture of what financial life is like in these here United States of America.

Now, should Barack Obama or his competitor for the Democratic Nomination for President be elected by their delegates; I wish them well. It's gonna be a tight race against Senator McCain. Since Bob Dole, pen in palsied hand, ran for President I've been yelling at the top of my voice that we need a war hero and a leader. Absent a great communicator like Ronald Reagan, we're going to have to settle for a little less.

Senator McCain, astonishingly, after six years as a prisoner of war of the North Vietnamese (not nice people, I can tell you from research), continues to say that we must "win" in Iraq before this nation pulls out. Oh, for Christ's sake; the Sunnis and the Muslims and the Hoopy-doopies and whomever they are have been fighting amongst themselves for thousands of years. In fact, they did better if they lied about their political affiliations to the soldiers of Saddam Hussein than they're doing now, now that their enemy doesn't have Hussein's soldiers to keep the peace.

Senator McCain is also a moderate, who will raise taxes and cry "yippie-kai-oh-kai-aye" when the Fed lowers interest rates yet again. That's backwards. That's what Nixon did and did we prosper? Nope. However, did our status in the scheme of world politics thrive under Nixon; a resounding yes. Don't forget that before you dismiss him as the "President who Resigned lest he be Impeached."

What we all need to do is keep current with our debts. Realize that our home is our "castle," and therefore should not be second-mortgaged in the name of granite kitchen counters and Italian Tile bathrooms.

This is a bitter pill to swallow. However, a humble lifestyle is the ideal of the Buddhist religion, of which I am a member. Many other religions require a vow of poverty or something like it. It's about time we all look at what we've been listening to in Church, Temple or Mosque. And those who choose not to believe in a superior being, why not ponder for a moment the promises of those who would be elctected President. And think. Everyone think. This is one of the most important races in American History. Get out, vote, and vote according to the research you've done on each and every candidate. You "party line" voters may find a surprise in store.

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