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September 21st, 2009
Scam of Ages, aimed at me,
Let me hide myself from thee;
Let the sickness and the blood,
From my wounds and years of life,
Be by some miracle then cured,
Saved from bankruptcy assured.
September 3rd, 2009
Since January 20 of this year – which was more than eight months ago – we’ve been handed some rather clever lines of defense for the things Barack Obama is NOT doing with his executive power, with his supermajority in the Senate, or his eminently workable majority in the House. Things we the voters gave him in the first actual electoral mandate of the 21st century last November. We voted for change. We haven’t gotten any.
We’ve been told Obama’s “got this” because he can shoot hoops in the WH basement with skill, and grab flies out of the air like a Kung Fu master. We’ve been told Obama’s playing “multidimensional chess” with his opponents by continuing every single one of the illegal and anti-democratic policies of his Neocon predecessor. And now, with the health insurance reform debate gone all Town Hall during recess, we are told we don’t really need health insurance reform, single payer health care, or even a public option to facilitate the expected mandate we’ll be handed that forces us to pay more money than we’ve got to the murder-by-spreadsheed for-profit industry.
We still have “state secrets” privilege on who’s lobbying in the Oval Office. We still have DADT in the military. We still have two illegal wars going, a new third front opened in Columbia, off-the-books deficits accumulated by the fact that there’s twice as many paid mercenaries in those war zones than U.S. soldiers, we’re still rendering and torturing “detainees” who haven’t been charged with any crimes and haven’t been afforded the status of POWs, and we’re still bailing out Wall Street gamblers to the tune of multiple trillions while not even beginning to address reinstating necessary regulations.
A plethora of Democratic/Progressive activist groups have sprung up to pressure Congress and the White House on these issues as well as health insurance reform, letter-writing campaigns, calls and emails to representatives and senators, mass demonstrations… You name it, it’s being done. And what we get from the WH is insults and dismissals as those of us anywhere to the left of center are repeatedly told to STFU.Balance of Power, Barack Obama, Class War, Corruption, Debates, Democrats, DNC, Elections, For-Profit Insurance, Health Care, Legislation, Outrage, Party Platforms, Policy, Protests, Torture, Universal Care, War Crimes | Comment (0)
July 6th, 2009
Despite beauty queen-like blustering, circular speech patterns full of airhead nonsense, and empty threats against bloggers (like me), Sarah Palin’s hilarious family soap opera got even funnier over the past week. It’s not “Troopergate” that finally ended her quest for national prominence and the highest office in the land – from whence she could dictate how the rest of America’s families should be just as dysfunctional as her own – it was that lovely free house she got in exchange for a cushy construction permit way back when she was just the Mayor of Wasilla.
Seems that fancy big sports complex and hockey rink built with ample taxpayer Pork looks suspiciously like the lake house hubby Todd says he built with his own two secessionist hands (with a little help from some ‘builder buddies’) used building materials ordered at the same time from the same suppliers by the same company that ‘won’ the contract for the complex. Same siding, same windows, same roofing, etc.
And while my grandson who voted for the first time last election thinks that’s rather a nifty perk for being a politician, we did have to explain to him that it qualifies as a bribe – quid pro quo – and is illegal and always has been illegal. As in breaking the law, even in Alaska.
Thus did Sarah hold a hastily called press conference on the weekday federal holiday we euphemistically call “Independence Day” and announce that she will not be finishing out her first (and only) term as governor of the Great State of Alaska. Her reasons were several, they are disjointed, they make no reasonable sense, and if the boredom factor is in any way true, she’s got no business ever having gotten into politics in the first place.Corruption, Hypocrisy, Sarah Palin | Comment (0)
June 11th, 2009
I wrote on June 3 about the murder of Dr. George Tiller in a Lutheran church in Wichita, Kansas. This week another right-wing terrorist – a notorious hater revered in places like Free Republic and Red State but labeled far too extremist by the neo-nazi group Stormfront – walked into the Holocaust Museum in the nation’s capital and opened fire, killing a security guard. In April of this year a younger neo-nazi wingnut hater killed three Pittsburgh police officers in a suicidal shoot-out because he was afraid Barack Obama was going to take away his guns.
Right wing domestic terrorism is all too familiar in this country. Timothy McVeigh was the most notable in terms of body count, but certainly was not the first or last of his ilk. The problem is present at all times, but the most deadly attacks happen more frequently when there’s a Democrat in the White House. The right wing propaganda machine (a.k.a. FoxNews) provides the verbal incitement, the loyal-but-stupid wannabe Rambos among Fox’s white sheet and dunce cap fan base do the shooting and bombing.Anti-Semitism, Corruption, Hate Crime, Hate Speech, Outrage, Politics of Hate, Propaganda, Terrorism | Comment (0)
October 31st, 2008
Janis Joplin once sang someone else’s song very poignantly – “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…” – and that’s semi-true in my experience. We all make choices about what’s important in our lives, and usually become enslaved to that which we choose. At the low end of the scale there’s never enough, just paying the bills is a constant struggle. At the high end of the scale there is also never enough. The thirst for more and more and more rules lives and ruins them too.
As Wall Street melts down we’re suddenly informed we must Spend, Spend, Spend!!! They can never make up their minds. Either we’re not saving enough or we’re not spending enough, it’s always our fault. I call bullshit. Slave wages have not even kept up with the cost of living, they can’t have it both ways.
I read about a 50-something day care worker yesterday who a coworker noticed sitting in the corner crying. When asked what’s wrong, she finally said she couldn’t feel her face. The coworker was alarmed, saw one side of her face drooping as they were talking, speech slurring. She drove her friend to the hospital, but the woman just cried harder and wouldn’t get out of the car. Said yes, she must be having a stroke, but if she walked in the door she’d lose everything – house, car, meager income (job)… she was terrified. Her friend finally talked her into going, she is still in the hospital and her coworkers are trying very hard to raise the tens of thousands she’ll need to pay for the care. There is no insurance at that end of the scale.Barack Obama, Class War, Corruption, Depression, Economics, Eugenics, Foreign Policy, Gay Rights, Hate Speech, History, Hypocrisy, Market Crash, Osama bin Laden, Outrage, Politics of Hate, Propaganda, Religion, Sarah Palin, Universal Care, Voting Rights, War | Comment (0)
October 13th, 2008
The news from the Alaska State Legislature on their investigation of governor Sarah Palin’s abuse of power was not good. The Branchflower report [pdf] was released last week with some damning conclusions about the Palin’s personal vendetta against her ex-brother in law and Todd Palin’s immediate misuse of state resources and personnel to further their attempt to get Trooper Wooten fired from his job and denied worker’s compensation for an on the job injury. Beginning the very day after Sarah was elected governor.
Sarah Palin, now John McCain’s vice presidential candidate, spent the weekend expressing how happy she is that the investigation showed that she broke no laws, even though the actual report demonstrates clearly that she did violate ethics regulations – which is illegal. Especially in terms of allowing her husband, who was not elected to any office, to use state resources and personnel to pursue his family feud.Campaigns, Corruption, GOP, Hypocrisy, Politics of Hate, Republicans, Sarah Palin, VP Candidates | Comment (0)
October 1st, 2008
Okay, I have to make a couple of observations about this whole economic meltdown thing. Before they vote to bail out the system – and they will – just not on Paulson’s terms.
First, despite the desperation that brought Paulson to beg for money right now or the sky will fall tomorrow, the sky didn’t fall tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next week. Sure the markets are “adjusting” with big swings up and down (obviously someone still has money), banks are continuing to fail, and now the credit market is frozen. But the world is still turning, the billionaires are buying up bargains on their own (infusing ready cash here and there), and the dollar still remains stronger than it will be after we print another trillion of them.
Second, it’s beginning to look like it really was an end game scam, one last big robbery before their power runs out. Paulson isn’t going to get the absolute power he tried to grab, nor is he going to get any waivers on oversight or blanket immunity from judicial review. Which means he can’t just pass out billions to his cronies and benefactors. The robbery didn’t go off as planned.
The “assets” we have already bought – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are riddled with evidence of felonious behavior and the FBI is hot on the case. AIG’s books don’t look to be any less felonious, they’re being investigated as well. People will likely go to jail.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There will be a bailout because the economy must keep going. The rich will get way more than they deserve, the rest of us get stiffed as usual. So don’t believe any of them when they claim to care about We the People. They don’t. One of these days wwe might decide to inform them in no uncertain terms that we don’t care about them either. Until then, best of luck to us!Filed under Class War, Corruption, Economics, Federal Reserve, Market Crash | Comment (0)
September 23rd, 2008
What happened today on Capitol Hill:
Secretary of the Treasury and ex-CEO of Goldman-Sachs Henry Paulson called Congressional leadership for a get-together. He tells them something – no doubt using charts and graphs – so horrifying, so absolutely terrifying that they all come out looking like Moses (er… Charlton Heston) after meeting the burning bush. Hair’s grown a foot and is stark white, their beards fall to their bellies, they’ve all got that far-away look in their red-rimmed eyes, and their hands are shaking. None dare breathe the edict: Set My People Free!
So. What was it, exactly, that Paulson told them? Gee, we dunno. Nor are we allowed to know. Just as if this were top secret intelligence pinpointing WMDs that don’t exist right in Saddam’s palace, we don’t get to find out. Even though it’s supposedly OUR trillion or three or four they MUST have right now to bail themselves out. With a laughable “emergency” plan that, Deputy Admin press secretary Tony Fratto said just today, was drawn up over the course of months.
Months. Not days or even weeks. They sure as shit knew it was coming, and simply waited for just the right moment of panic to spring it on us as if the end of the world is mere hours away. Ah, the lively tune reverberates in my mind…
“It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!”Analysis, Appointees, Class War, Corruption, Economics, Federal Reserve, Humor, Market Crash, Outrage | Comment (0)
September 19th, 2008
Ahoy, mateys! Ye olde Jolly Roger is flying high o’er the poopdeck this blustery Talk Like a Pirate Day, sun’s high atop the meridian and it looks like clear sailing from here to Zanzibar (where we get to meet the Zanzibarbarians)!
Of course, that flag’s been flying off the deck atop the mizzen gib since the Fourth of July, our old Old Glory having been ceremoniously burned on the beach at Tortuga some time ago due to unraveled edges and holey star-field. Roger was the only flag we had left to fly, so we did.
As it looks like those scurvy bilge rats privateering for effete Frenchies have managed to once again rob the Armada blind by stealing the fabled treasure of Wall Street, we of the honorable fellowship of brigands and pirates vow to take it back in the name of Good King Barry-O, our one-eyed Cap’n, in his bid to earn full knight-ship by saving the fleet from mass plank-walking.
Arrrr! Un-pantaloon yer blunderbusses, mates! We be makin’ for those Outer Banks before dawn! Weigh anchor, unfold the sheets – it’s on to glory and booty!Filed under Barack Obama, Campaigns, Class War, Corruption, Economics, Humor, Talk Like a Pirate | Comment (0)
July 15th, 2008
George Bush lifted bans on offshore drilling, explaining that this will not only increase our domestic supplies, but will also remedy recent drastic increases in the price of imported oil. Now, oil companies already have more than 2,000 leases on offshore oil that they haven’t even begun to drill, and then there’s all the producing oil wells in Texas and Oklahoma that Ronald Reagan’s administration ordered capped (and labeled ‘reserve’) after taking office in 1981 (and which caused a rather drastic immediate recession in those states as well as contributing to the infamous S&L collapse. The very first bank to collapse – Penn Square Bank in 1982, was heavily invested in those producing wells when they were ordered shut down. That cost We the People $150 million. The current and ongoing bank failures will cost us a lot more.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports a Possible Industry Role in Energy Shortage, as Big Oil companies sought as long as five years ago to cut refinery output to increase profits. And cut back on new refineries is just what they’ve done.
But fear not! Bloomberg reports that Kuwait may build a refinery in Louisiana to help the US boost its capacity for refined petroleum products. As we fall further and further into deep recession/depression due to $5 a gallon diesel, $4 a gallon gasoline, and the fast-rising price of food, shelter and clothing based on that.
I probably don’t need to say it, but this is really bullshit. Bush/Cheney aren’t done robbing us blind yet? We’ve something MORE for them to steal before escaping to Paraguay? We’ve been set up for a fall, and now that we’re actually falling (with no sign of bottom yet), they expect us to clean up their mess with wealth we simply don’t have anymore? They looted our retirement funds. They screwed us on our mortgages. They blew everybody big time on WMDs in Iraq. And now… NOW we’re told…
…that the US oil industry is exporting a record 1.6 billion barrels a day of refined petroleum products, up a full 1/3 over last year.
Now, I realize that I’m not that smart about this sort of capitalistic crap-shoot, but it occurs to me that if the US had those 1.6 billion barrels a day of gasoline and diesel fuel we might not be falling off the economic cliff at an accelerating pace. And it occurs to me that we’re being told that the BushCo oil wars (now threatening to ignite the entire ME) are all about ‘securing our supply’ – even though the truth is that our biggest foreign supplier is Canada, NOT Iraq, Iran, or even Saudi Arabia.
And with all this bruhaha about domestic supply – selling offshore and protected wilderness areas for drilling, capping producing wells, exporting a third of our domestic production – I’m wondering if the price of the oil they’re importing and charging us an arm and a leg for is LESS than what they receive on the world market for what they’re exporting.
I get the very strong feeling that they’ve screwed We the People yet again (that feeling just never goes away), seriously planning to turn us into just another Third World “Resource Region” for their total expoitation.
It’s their End Game. We have no choice but to play it.Filed under Analysis, Corruption, Depression, Economics, Energy, History, Market Crash, Recession | Comments (2)