I took a unwanted hiatus from writing this blog for three weeks and upon my return I see that Obama is squarely ahead in the polls.  My feeling about this turn in events is so incredibly ambivalent, I’m not sure what to write.  Frankly, my real wish is to go back to 2000 and to see the true maverick McCain reemerge at some point during this campaign. That sadly is not to be.  Instead, the new conservative/fundamentalist McCain has turned off independent minded voters including Colin Powell but I find it equally difficult to embrace Obama as well. So I am stuck here ruminating about this election as I watch the death throes of the failed Bush presidency exert even more pain on this country. The economy is still tanking albeit not at the perilous rates of the past couple of weeks and everybody is trying to catch their breath.  Both candidates are doing their best to avert attention from the goings on hoping that Americans don’t wise up and start asking some truly tough questions.  Here are just are my ten questions the ones that “Joe the Plumber” missed asking:

1. It appears that Obama was palling around with terrorists but Sarah Palin has a history of partying out with secessionists while saying “God bless” to them at their conventions.  Yet, does anybody care in the mainstream media care or can they be bothered to bring this topic up with her? I don’t know, if you hang around people who hate the US and want to secede from the mainland, well, in my book, that’s just not cool. And to me, that is more important than focusing on whether or no she can see Russia from her backdoor.  All the secessionists want to do is keep the oil for themselves and give every Alaskan a small fortune for just living in that arctic wasteland.  Who do they think they are?  Saudi princes? Don’t they know that free rides are the province of Washington DC and lobbyists?

2. When billions of dollars are lost on Wall Street and none of theses financial troubles are reflected in past quarterly corporate statements does anybody go to jail?

3. Does anybody now know doubt that the precipitous rise in gas prices was driven solely by speculators and all at the expense of the American consumer?  Shouldn’t markets be driven by long term investment rather than short term gain?  What type of behavior are we driving here with the current tax code?

4. Should we continue to give loans to people who sign mortgage paperwork without knowing if they have a fixed or adjustable rate mortgage?  Can’t there be a legal requirement to state this more clearly?  And rather than give these idiots a bail out can’t we just move them to reasonable fix rate mortgage?  Oh yeah, I forogt without the ARM they couldn’t afford the monthly nut in the first place so never mind.

5. Why the hell would Republicans be interested in bringing to the floor a bill that gives corporations a break on their overseas investments?  We haven’t shipped enough American jobs overseas over the past decade? Can anybody question the short-sighted greedy wisdom of these stupid robber barons? How about a tax break for companies keeping manufacturing jobs here?  You know like the 10% funding the Chinese gave their factory owners over the past decade?  Nobody talks about that subsidy do they now? Not as long as we get cheap Chinese crap created by a multitude of dirty coal-powered plants.

6. Drill, baby drill? Hey morons, that newly drilled American oil is still going to be pegged to the market price of OPEC oil so how does that help save me money at the pump?  Plus, there’s not enough oil in the US to make a dent in the overall world market.  We’re like a crack baby when it comes to oil and its time to kick the habit and embrace other technologies including nuclear. Here’s an idea:  let the USA develop new energy technology and we sell it to the rest of the world. Then we don’t have to worry about the Middle East and Russia can go to hell with their oil. And just maybe we’ll have a positive impact on the global warming trend before we are all truly screwed.

7. Socialism sucks but is this new American economy truly reflective of free market capitalism? We all know the answer to that question and that’s without a course in macroeconomics.  After the bailouts how do we get back on track?  And does more profit necessarily mean more American jobs?

8.  Will anybody ever investigate the story of the WMDs in Iraq and our failed intelligence efforts? Or was the intelligence always there but instead was the intelligence actually missing in the Bush White House? Better yet, what the hell truly happened  on 9/11 and why is Osama Bin Laden still free?  How flawed is our current Pakistan foreign policy that we are not even allowed to take a shot at this prick? Are we even looking or do we need him to justify the hundreds of billions spent on defense?

8. After the hundreds of billions, no wait, make that several trillion dollars,  that were spent to bailout out our banking system and to bring democracy to Iraq is 70 billion dollars for bringing health care to all Americans too much to ask for?  Oh, yeah I forgot, that nagging socialism claim.

10. And finally, who did Lehman Brothers hire as their lobbyist firm in Washington?  With all of the hundreds of billions flying about for financial bailouts those guys truly really suck and dropped the ball. Maybe McCain picked them up to run his campagin with his other lobbyist friends.

With Americans both angry and scared who best to trust, the cool smooth talking Obama or the often angry, cranky old guy, McCain? My guess, barring a complete Obama collapse, is the cool reassuring guy.  I’m not convinced that is necessarily a good thing.

By the way have you noticed that with Obama firmly in the lead Hillary is suddenly more involved in his campaign? No sense in being irrelevent for the next four years she must be figuring.