is investing in the stock market a good deal?

One of the claims that used to be made was that even if you invested your money at the peak of the stock market in September, 1929 when the Dow was 381.17 you'd still come out ahead if you just kept your money invested with the stocks that make up the Dow.

With the stock market being down a bit I decided to calculate the rate of return if one invested at the peak in 1929. The Dow closed today (yesterday) at 7552.60. It's 79 years, five months. I called it 79.5 years for simplicity sake.

The rate of return for investing in the stock market in Dow stocks is a little under 3.83%. It's not bad, but it's not that much better than investing in certificates of deposit and other more conservative instruments.

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Bush pardons will be classified

Here's an idea that came to me this morning. President George W. Bush will pardon various members of the executive branch for war crimes, including murder and torture. To avoid the bad PR of doing this, Bush will make the pardons classified. If anyone is brought before a grand jury the individual will present his/her pardon secretly to the prosecutor.

This will protect the members of the the executive branch who did bad stuff. And it will protect the Bush, Cheney and officers of the Bush administration from some bad publicity.

If the Bush administration can convince people that that existence of these pardons is classified and a national security matter it could even block Congressional investigations.

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Rep. Peter Roskam on rape and abortion

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL06) is being challenged by Jill Morgenthaler. This campaign is exposing Roskam as an anti-abortion extremist.

Pioneer Press (Josh Singer) interviewed the candidates on the issues. Here's the part on abortion. (h/t Rich Miller)

Morgenthaler... calls Roskam an "ideologue" because, for example, he opposes abortion even in the case of rape or incest. Citing the late Congressman Henry Hyde, who represented the 6th District for 16 terms until 2006, Roskam said people cannot be categorized by the way in which they were conceived and asked in the Pioneer Press interview why women can have abortions if rapists cannot be executed. (emphasis added)

Roskam is a nut.

Please spread the word far and wide. And give generously to Jill Morgenthaler, Colonel, US Army (retired).

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If McCain asks, what should BO say of Ayers?

Kevin Drum seems to worry that John McCain will take the bait and challenge Obama about Bill Ayers.

I guess the Obama folks figure there are three things that could happen. First, McCain does nothing and ends up looking like a coward. Second, their taunts get under McCain's skin so badly that he goes over the edge and does something really stupid. Third, McCain takes the bait and decides to bring up Ayers at the next debate.

The first two possibilities are obviously good for Obama. And the third? I guess they must be really sure they have a dynamite response ready in case McCain decides to unload next Wednesday.

I don't see the Ayers question as particularly difficult to answer.

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Import of Palin sticking to her lies

Sen. John McCain's VP nominee Gov. Sarah Palin continues to make her claim that she said, "Thanks, but no thanks," to the federal earmark for the Bridge To Nowhere. Palin's claims have been debunked by Talking Points Memo and Alaska TV news.

Why is it so important for the McCain campaign to manufacture their own reality on this matter?

How should activists respond to faulty coverage?

As Steven Benen (Washington Monthly) points out, the traditional media has found ways to dodge the fact that Palin and McCain are saying things that are objectively not true.

CNN had a segment this morning about Sarah Palin lying on her opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere, but instead of delving into the McCain campaign's apparent inability to tell the truth, CNN's John Roberts asked why Barack Obama is having trouble making the truth "stick."....

At that point, Roberts did what CNN tends to do -- turn to a Republican to offer a competing side to the truth. In this case, Alex Castellanos said the media should be "a little gentle" with Sarah Palin's obviously false claims. "The amazing thing about Sarah Palin is when she became governor she actually stood up and said no" to federal pork, he said.

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Don Siegelman for VP?

I don't know much about Don Siegelman, but there are a couple reasons that he might be a good selection as a VP candidate.

Siegelman would force the media to discuss the corruption of the Justice Department under Bush (and with Congressional Republicans playing an enabling, if not supporting role).

And Siegelman would insulate the ticket against Rovian attacks. Any time the GOP started a smear effort the media would be asking themselves, "Are we going to ruin this guy's life again?" before circulating the smear.

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McCain ALWAYS for the troops? Not in my experience

I was an active duty Navyofficerfor 7 1/2 years from May, 1989 until November, 1996. From August, 1994 until I resigned my commission I was assigned to Navy Recruiting District Chicago. During this time I investigated misconduct by enlisted recruiters and interviewed applicants for Navy ROTC scholarships.

On July 3, 1996, I made a long complaint to the DOD Inspector General. The complaint included numerous allegations of misconduct. The most serious allegations are listed below the fold.

I became concerned (and later convinced) the checks and balances within the military (primarily the "inspector general" system) were ineffective when the chain of command was culpable in allowing the original misconduct. I documented my allegations through the Freedom of Information Act and contacted members of Congress. I contacted my own representatives, but also members of Congress who were in leadership positions on relevant committees. At that time Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was chair of the United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel.

While McCain was not did not completely ignore the issues I raised--he did sent me a letter acknowledging I contacted him--he did nothing useful and showed no interest in the problems in Navy Recruiting Command or more generally in military recruitment.

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are pro war Congress critters giving military awards near you?

Last Thursday, U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL03, identified as a Bush Dog Democrat) held a forum that was advertised as being about Iraq. It started with giving the family of some guy killed in WWII the Distinguished Service Cross. See Proviso Probe.

I didn't think it noteworthy for anything but being sorta lame until Dave Kalbfleisch told me about U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL10) giving an ancient military award at one of his recent forum in the district.

Are other pro-Iraq occupation members of Congress engaging in the same distraction campaign in other parts of the country?

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Illinois GOP in freefall

Today it broke that Paul Froehlich (R-Schaumburg) will switch to the Democratic Party. See Capitol Fax Blog (Rich Miller).

Miller also reports Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-DuPage County), former chair of the DuPage GOP, made a TV ad for Sen. Barack Obama.

It seems like the Illinois GOP can't even retain the elected officials they have. The recruitment efforts to run someone against Sen. Dick Durbin have been pathetic.

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Congressman Charles Norwood (R-GA) dies

Ben Evans (AP):

Rep. Charles Norwood, Jr., a seven-term Republican congressman from Georgia, died Tuesday after battling cancer and lung disease. He was 65.

Norwood died at his home in Augusta, Ga., early Tuesday afternoon, his office said....

Norwood suffered from a chronic lung disease and later developed metastatic cancer that spread from his lung to his liver. doesn't list any Dem candidates on the horizon.

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