Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Guilt

Well; now that the bailout appears to have flamed out we see the stock market dropping faster than Larry Craig's boxers in airport men's room (what? hey, it's just an analogy!). In conversations over the weekend ( I was travelling to visit some friends) I was told by a number of people that the credit crunch was the fault of the consumer. There's no doubt in my mind that a lot of folks, who really did know better than to believe that the loan and real estate markets were sound, borrowed much more money than they could hope to repay if anything interrupted their income stream or devalued their equity stake in their property. There were also, of course, many thousands of businesses, both large and small, that went on spending sprees for new equipment, expansion and acquisitons and are now scrambling in a tightening market to service the debt they generated. However, the major culprits in this situation are the current administration, the financial behemoths that control retail lending and the superbly trained, groomed and accoutred thieves who ran them. I've been through a bankruptcy. It destroyed my credit for 8 years. As a result of proving that I wasn't very good at controlling my spending I was penalized by being refused any credit at less than confiscatory rates (at least I used to think 24% interest was confiscatory--now that seems like a bargain compared to some of the rates I see). I learned a lesson. I don't owe anyone any money at the moment and I hope to keep it that way. I also don't have any money to speak of, when I finish what I'm doing at the house I will be flat broke, most likely. I know that I can't spend money I don't have and expect someone to bail ME out--with no strings attached. I don't think consumers who borrowed money to purchase McMansions (knowing they couldn't really afford them) should be afforded the same degree of relief as people who were lied to and convinced by the bunco artist lenders that their ARM's were "no problem" and they would just be able to re-fi them at any time. Once the "customers" have had their 'taste' of ashes and sackcloth I think it would be both just and proper that we deal with their enablers. I have heard that some bigshot execs have lost their jobs, that they share our pain. Horseshit. The majority of the corporate thugs who were the architects of this house of cards have made piles of money, much of which has been "re purposed" into various stock portfolios, real estate and other assets. I would suggest (fat lot of good it will do) that we set aside some funds and set up a an investigative body to comb through the financial records of the failed institutions and their officers. Where those investigations reveal mis or malfeasance, appropriate penalties--including prison sentences and restitution--should be levied. Mr. Paulson said, last week, that we needed to offer the people that allowed or caused this current fiasco, some incentives to get them to sign on. I think a couple of hundred U.S. Marshalls and T-men with warrants, green eyeshades and calculators would work wonders.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Her Master's Voice Of Experience

I actually put this on someone else's comments, but it strikes me that people keep conflating "experience" with training (including the Obama campaign). So........ The comment that was made, essentially, sais that Palin's lack of foreign policy experience is no more troubling than was Bill Clinton's when he ran for the presidency or Obama's is now. I beg to differ. Assuming this information on Obama: Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles, where he studied at Occidental College for two years.[10] He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations.[11] Obama graduated with a B.A. from Columbia in 1983, then worked for a year at the Business International Corporation[12] and then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.[13][14] After four years in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer for three years from June 1985 to May 1988 as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale) on Chicago's far South Side.[13][15] During his three years as the DCP's director, its staff grew from one to thirteen and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens.[16] Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.[17] In mid-1988, he traveled for the first time to Europe for three weeks and then for five weeks in Kenya, where he met many of his Kenyan relatives for the first time.[18] Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988. At the end of his first year, he was selected, based on his grades and a writing competition, as an editor of the Harvard Law Review.[19] In February 1990, in his second year, he was elected president of the Law Review,(wikipedia)" and Bill Clinton; "With the aid of scholarships, Clinton attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., receiving a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (B.S.F.S.) degree in 1968. He spent the summer of 1967, the summer before his senior year, working as an intern for Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright.[15] While in college he became a brother of Alpha Phi Omega and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.[20] ... Upon graduation he won a Rhodes Scholarship to University College, Oxford where he studied Government.[16] ... After Oxford, Clinton attended Yale Law School and obtained a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in 1973.[16](wikipedia)" to be factual, I would say that either Obama's or Clinton's resume is little better than Sarah Palin's. Sarah Palin has a degree in sports journalism. NO FOREIGN POLICY EDUCATION OR EXPERIENCE. It is silly for anyone to think that any candidate for the presidency has a great deal of foreign policy "experience" as even the U.S. congress really only recommends what path the president and secretary of state should follow in that regard. But if a concentration in sports metaphors isn't trumped by a law degree and a B.S. in foreign policy--well, shucks. Also, it needs to be remembered that JohnnyPOW McCain's campaign touted Sarah Palin's experience in this area. Now they REALLY don't want her to talk about it, outside of totally scripted and managed "interviews". Poor Sarah, the pitbull may wear lipstick but she also wears a muzzle. Obviously there is no "truth in advertising" law that applies to political campaigns--mores the pity.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Chivalry may be dead, but cynicism is a squalling 800# baby gorilla

Well, we had a deal, but it appears that the GOPimps in the house are now saying that the guy they sent up to the hill had his fingers crossed... "But a House leadership aide said that there had been no bipartisan negotiations with House Republicans. The aide said Rep. Spencer Bachus, who had been meeting with Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd, head of the Senate Banking Committee, had no authority to speak for them. In a statement before the meeting, Bachus said that he had made it clear in the meeting that "I was not authorized by my colleagues to make any agreement on behalf of House Republicans." So, now it would appear that we don't have a deal. Our economy is tanking (has been for quite some time, actually) and the reptilicans are going to use this crisis as another chance to fuck the rest of us and at the same time make political points with the morons that support McCain/Palin or Bushco V1.1, if you will. They say that the Chinese have an ideogram for "crisis" that combines "danger" with "opportunity". I think the GOP has one that combines "cynicism" with "talking points". Here's a great MPalincCain ad. http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1831461 enjoy!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I can't make this shit up

I watched a fair amount of Olbermann's show from last evening on a podcast and about eight minutes of Letterman, all having to do, oddly enough with the McPalincain presidential campaign. I'm not sure what's stranger; the surreal aspect of both Palin and McCain's obvious disconnect with what they say when they know they're on camera and what they've said in the past or say now, when they think they're off the record--or the fact that most of the media is STILL blissfully pumping out whatever passes for the truth from CampaignMcStain. Don't take my word for it, google Olbermann, google Letterman (Jay Leno's got to be seething that McCain didn't "diss" him). Check out Mudflats blog. I don't think we're seeing that the emperor's naked, I think we're seeing that his spleen is enlarged, he's got fibroid entanglements in his brain and he's suffering from Madrunningmate's disease. That's okay, Reverend Muthee, the witchdoctordoctor will save the senator and his team from that evil sorcerer O Bam A.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wall street gets drunk, we get the hangover

And a bright "good morning" to all! I have been puzzling over the claim by Bushco apparatchik Henry Paulson that not making a quick, uninformed decision about the $750,000,000,000 welfare program for the downtrodden CEO's of Wall Street. See, I don't got me no degree in economics or finance or nuttin, so I can't begin to see how badly we're really being fucked if this thing goes through. What I can do is google and I'm half decent with numbers, so.... $1M in "Benjamins" = the following: Total area: 103.389471 square meters Total weight: According to the U.S. Treasury, "In $100 bills, the weight of $1million is about 22 pounds." [that's 10 kg.] Total height: Stacked singly, 48.82 inches high. Total length: Laid end to end, 5083.333... feet long. So, here are the figures for Bushco's Golden Airborne Division bailout. Total area: 77,542,103.25 square meters or 29.939173442746206 square miles (for purposes of comparison, Manhattan's total land area is 22.96 sq mi.) Total weight: 7,500 metric tons or, 8267.334... Tons-short Total height: Stacked singly, 577.888... miles high. Total length: Laid end to end, 722,064.346... miles long More fun facts: If we go for this Ponzi scheme, and take out a "home impoverishment loan" we can look at the following schedule. Loan amount: $ 750,000,000,000.00 Loan term : 30 Years Interest rate: 5.750% (We ARE well qualified buyers) Monthly Payment: $ 4,376,796,423.33 a month Totals--Principal: $ 750,000,000,000.00 Interest: $ 825,646,712,398.80 Grand Total: $ 1,575,646,712,398.80 (you can forget about the .80; just round it down.) Dividing this figure by 150,000,000 taxpayers (an arbitrary number; I just plucked it out of the air, unlike Mr. Paulson) I come up with a per capita number of, let's see $ 10,504.31 or about $29.18 per month. Why, it's just like a "Christmas Club savings account. The CEO's get to open their gifts for the next 30 years, we get the bill! And this will secure my future? how? The good news for me is that there's little or no chance I'll be paying for the whole term of the note--I'm 58. I don't know about you folks, but I don't want to get asked over for dinner and then get stuck with paying for the house.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Willful blindness

I went out this evening to get a few beers and some chicken wings. When I was getting ready to leave the bar I ran into a guy I know and another guy that I met once before. We talked for a few minutes and the fellow I knew told the other guy that I was renovating my house and he mentioned the sidewalk. At this point the other said that I should have had the city do my sidewalk. I told him the city wasn't about to take care of my sidewalk. He then informed me that you just have to "know the right people". It went downhill from there. I told him that people who are connected get things done, at the expense of the rest of us, he didn't like hearing it. People like him never like hearing that they are, in fact, gaming the system--just like all those welfare cheats they always talk about. I know the other guy is a staunch republican and try to avoid discussing politics with him. But the whole thing got going with both of them reciting the GOP's talking points about Obama. One of them went so far as to to say that it's not okay for the MSM to call Obama a black guy, but it's okay to make fun of Sarah Palin and ask if she's done her laundry today (something I've not heard on ANY news outlet). When I asked him if he felt like Obama was the "black guy", he tried to act as if it wasn't what he said. I was quite pissed and had to leave. It's not that I can't accept people having convictions about their candidates. It's that I can't abide people who are being willfully blind to the truth. One of they guys said that Bush had given everybody $600 and, now, Obama was "bribing" people to vote for him by promising them $1K. The other guy said Obama has done nothing, gotten no bills passed, during his 4 years in the U.S. Senate. Neither of them had any opinion, apparently, on Sarah Palin's absolute lack of knowledge or meaningful experience in dealing with issues affecting significant populations. Nor did they have anything to say about Bushco's $700B bailout plan for WS, which they either think is a good idea or they have no thoughts about at all. When I encounter that sort of mindset, willful blindness is as charitable a description as I can muster for that sort of attitude. Selfishness, cowardice and cynicism are, I think, a good deal closer to the mark. I almost forgot to mention that they will both be voting for McCain.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Deregulation

Deregulation is good, according to the folks who have to deal with all of those burdensome regulations. If it wasn't for the courage of the deregulators we would have horrific pollution, unsafe food and an economy in a shambles. Thank GOD we have some brave men--one of whom is an EX-POW, my friends--who will not let themselves be steamrolled by the nattering nabobs of regulativity. The market will, left alone, correct itself. If this isn't obvious to those of my readers who have watched the developments in the financial markets this week, then they must be socialistically blind. The market got into trouble because of FDR's failed social programs and if they hadn't pulled themselves up, by Mr. Paulson's bootstraps, their shareholders would be left holding the bag. As it is, they used their own gumption and resources to have their lobbyists go talk to the same lawmakers who let them get where they are today to extend a little credit. It's not their fault that the credible boobs they've loaned money too can't manage THEIR financial affairs. I think it's worth noting here that the Chinese who were often praised, and rightfully so, for doing such a bangup job of choreographing 8,000 dancers in the opening ceremony of "Leni II--Triumph Of The Will, Beijing" were not afraid to devote the resources necessary to achieve that feat. Hopefully, now that the olympics are over they will be able to send a few of the dancers back to their "day jobs" as builders and baby formula inspectors (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/16/world/asia/16milk.html?ref=worldbusiness). Regulation is the last refuge of the scaredypants. If you insist on regulation then the terrorists have won.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The politics of fear

I was going to write something about the wonderfully crisp early autumn air, but... I was chatting with a couple of folks last night and they were taken a bit aback by my characterization of John McCain as a lying piece of shit who would sell his soul if ever had one. They are not and were not going to vote for him in any case, but they thought I was a bit harsh in my assessment of McCain's charachter. They were, also, largely ingnorant of his various acts of self-aggrandizement and malfeasance over his nearly 30 years in public life--never mind his personal lapses of ethics and morals. But, they were shocked, shocked I tell you, at the level of my vituperativeness. One of them actually said that I was not going to be able to convince people on the merits of my candidates qualifications if I was so obvious about my dislike for McCain and his campaign consort, Sarah Palin. Ummm, okay, I don't care. The GOP has made fear the centerpiece of their campaigns for at least the last 50 years. Fear of the commies, fear of racial mixing, fear of tax and spend liberals, fear of Islam, fear of a liberal education, fear of government regulation and, now, the fear of eternal damnation. The GOP has cynically and deliberately made this presidential election a referendum on the will of GOD. Sarah Palin was chosen, as is becoming increasingly apparent, solely for her attractiveness to a group of voters, the "social conservatives" (who, in actuality, are sociopathic reactionaries) of the GOP's "Base". Her lack of expertise in most areas of governance and her all too obvious certitude that GOD has her back would be hilarious, if it were just a spoof by Tina Fey. But, it's not. Once again the GOP has cranked up the machineries of hate and has ginned up the cross and robe constituency that will vote for whichever candidate they are told to by their ministers and the rightwing smearosphere. So, the GOP has their politics of fear. Well, I got my politics too, the politics of outrage. I am outraged that the same cabal of bastards who have done their utmost to further enrich the wealthiest, remove the safeguards put in place to protect the rest of us from those same people's depradations and plunge us into a war that is as apparently unwinnable as it is interminable dare to ask for another chance to right the ship of state--a ship that they themselves ran aground. I don't know what informs the Obama campaigns rhetoric in the face of a blizzard of lies and bullshit from the right. I do know what informs mine. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to make nice, anymore. Steve Earle's 2005 Album, "The Revolution Starts Now" has the following chorus in his song, "Fuck the FCC" "So fuck the FCC Fuck the FBI Fuck the CIA" I'm livin’ in the motherfuckin’ USA" Profane? yup; nasty, ditto. Add the GOP, the AFA and every other lying group of fear mongering bastards that are the "special needs" children of Lee Atwater, may he rot in his troubled sleep. Let's not allow the "Liars for GOD" to interpret our silence as fear.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another poem from one of my several ms.

I got something in my head that's slipping gears at the moment, I'll get to it, after bit. I'm putting another poem on here. The way to make me stop is to beg for them until I run out (there's only a couple of hundred left). Then I will have to go into seclusion (which means a bar with cheap draft and a bunch of other garrulous old geezers like myself) to write some more. This one's for my pop (note: The price of gas is, obviously, from those dark days when that criminal Clinton's treacherous perfidy was still hobbling the profitability of the energy sector). Delta 88 "Want to go for a ride?" he'd ask. My father liked company on his drives to the store or the post office. I really think any of his kids would do. But he especially seemed to enjoy the rides we took together, It was like sanctuary on four wheels. The place we did not fight. The place where we could, briefly, almost, be equal. My dad drove a lot, it was a part of his job, the part he loved. He grew up in a little town; Del Rapids, South Dakota. Limitless skies, countless pheasants, good black earth. He traded it for city living, but you cannot take the farm out of the boy. He spent 10, maybe 15 years, criss-crossing Nebraska and parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas. Selling was the excuse to get behind the wheel and point the car at the horizon. He flew when he had to, drove when he could. 400, 500, 600 miles in a day-- 1,500 in a week. A tankful of .19/ Gal gasoline, 2 packs of Philip Morris Regulars and a thermos of strong coffee. He favored Olds Delta 88's; massive, powerful, sleek and comfy. He loved to put his hand over the speedometer and with a voice full of mischief say, "let me know when you think we're going 75." I would wait then, knowing I was wrong, I'd give the signal. He'd take his hand off the speedometer and I would be watching the needle flicker at 100, 105, a bit more. The car rode like it was on rails His car was a refuge, the one place where, even though it was always in motion, he felt grounded. We had very little in common, so few areas in which we agreed. Two things we shared were a 7-3/8 hat size and our love for the road. I drive a compact truck, gave up smoking and drink de-caf: I love to get in the car and point it at the horizon. Gas is about $2.00/ Gal and there are very few places you can just put the hammer down. But the car is a refuge, a movable sanctuary. An altar to the idolatry of mobility, perhaps. I pull on my 7-3/8 fitted baseball cap and shove an Orbison tape into the deck; I look in the rearview mirror, Dad smiles back. 6/1/01

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Listening to the "experts"

FWIW, this took off into the ether, as soon as I finished typing the title. That's about how much I can listen to the experts without screaming and throwing shit at the radio. Mr. Cokie Roberts is on the Diane Rheem Show this a.m., talking with three of those "experts" about the wholly unforeseen, unpredictable and unprecedented nosedive of Wall Street (which is sucking everyone else's economies into the maelstrom--see, we ARE still important!!). All of those overeducated, underobservant assholes are paid millions to run the companies that are tanking left and right. They are paid that money because they, supposedly, know how to do so. It appears that a lot of them have no fucking idea what they're doing--aside from how to draw and spend those huge, undeserved "compensation packages". I'd like to say its schadenfreude on my part to enjoy their suffering--except it appears that a lot of them aren't suffering. They're walking away with enormous wads of cash (although, in truth, $10-30M or so doesn't buy what it used to!) as a result of deals worked out with the boards. Of course the fact that a lot of the CEO's of various companies sit on each others' boards; that wouldn't in any way affect their judgement on such matters, would it? Nah. Well, that's enough of that, for now. I was listening to a John Gorka tape last night--I am a technoluddite and damned proud of it--! Anyway, I go the Salvation Army thrift store and buy tapes for .99 apiece, great music at the right price. So; I'm litening to the tape and the last song on it is "Brown Shirts". If you haven't heard it, or heard of it, you might want to check it out. It was written in 1992, but it could have been written tomorrow. I know that the Dixie Chicks have been one of the most visible groups or artists to put their careers on the line by voicing their disapproval with and disgust of the "values" of the GOP. There are others, however; hundreds (thousands?) of musicians, comedians, actors and other public figures who use their popular appeal and celebrity to do the right thing and speak truth to power. thus endeth the rant.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Warts'n'all School Of Business

After listening to the news of the collapse of Lehman Bros., the assimilation of Merrill Lynch and the dire forecasts re: AIG, I listened to several "experts" whose hindsight is unbelievably postscient. They can all explain how clear it was that this would happen, but none offer explanations as to why they didn't sound the alarm before or while it happened. I have heard, many times, in the past several days that the structural failures which led to the ruin of the U.S. and world economies in the the Great Depression were the impetus behind much legislation that erected firewalls between speculative investment and traditional banking institutions; and, that because of those firewalls it was much less likely that the sort of things that brought about the run on banks and subsequent. It appears, however, that the U.S. congress has, in the past several decades, undermined or simply removed those firewalls so that they are no longer effective or no longer exist. It occurs to me (not) for the first time that the difference between investing on Wall Street and shooting craps in Vegas is that at least in Vegas they comp the drinks for the marks. The new "conventional wisdom" is that the "housing bubble" and it's reliance on sub-prime mortgages are to blame for the demise of numerous financial institutions. The people who are saying this are, in many cases, the same folks who had been telling us, until fairly recently, that it was the housing market that would draw us out of the recession. It seems that the financial experts and the economists were not blowing hard enough on the dice before they threw them. Much of the blame for the sub-prime mess, of course, can be laid at the feet of people who bought homes during a period of "irrational exuberance". I have heard that many people just wanted to have a home of their own. Count me in that number. I have a lovely little hovel which I bought for $25K because it was pretty much gutted and it sits on a small, crowded lot, in a city, in the upper end of NY; a city whose economy has been in the shitter since about 1975. Purchasing the house took about 1/2 of what was in my small 401K. Then I took a lump sum check for my retirement in order to finance the renovations. So, now I have about 30K in an IRA and this house (which needs about 1000 hours work and $15K in materials to make it livable) what I don't have, at the moment, is any debt--of course I don't have an income either. Now, then; I'm going to be 59 in a few weeks and I'm probably never going to have anything like a good paying job again (I blame a lack of talent and ambition--I am so unfair to my life!). There are lots of people my age who have nice homes, decent amounts of savings, nice cars, kids in college and all of the other accoutrements of the middle class. They also have boatloads of debt. A large portion of their indebtedness stems from reliance on traditional financial instruments, mortgages in the main, to finance homes. However much of the indebtedness is the result of high interest borrowings on credit cards, to finance those things which they were told they needed to be seen as successful. They were convinced, by the lenders that debt was good, regardless that the cost of servicing the debt was usurious. Debt is good, especially if you're not the debtor--AND if, when your position as the debt collector becomes unprofitable, you can ask the government to spare you from the repercussions of the "free market" that you created! Here's the thing that really bothers me about all of this: that dream of constant acquisition, each successive generation having more of everything than its predecessor, is rooted in Ponzinomics. There is a finite amount (and it's quite large, I won't deny that) of wealth that is available at any single point in time. When there is not enough to go around, debt is created--wealth anti-matter, so to speak--some of which is fine. But, when debt becomes the driving force of the economy, it becomes an 800 pound gorilla. Debt dictates how we spend and save. Too much debt means that, first--we can no longer save, and second--that we can't buy more stuff. If it's only for a week or two, no biggie. Otoh, if it's for a few quarters the party in power calls it a period of stagnation (the party out of power calls it what it is--a recession). Ya know what? This is all just my opinion, cuz I never finished college, never mind the Wharton School or Chicago U. But I don't think the homeless (and those who are going to be joining them in the next few years) need degrees in economics to know that they're screwed. Tommorow, class, we will look at how the necessity to be part of Mr. Bush's "ownership society" left us all holding one thing--the bag.

The MSM's little people, aka bloggers

As the title suggests, the MSM looks down on bloggers (including, I suspect, most of their in-house bloggers) as non-professionals who lack the training, experience, discipline and integrity of the so-called, "legacy media". I must admit I don't have my stylebook handy; can someone tell me if they're full of "horse shit" or "horseshit"? It's impossible to know what would have happened without blogs prodding the major news organization, embarassing them by scooping them time and again, but I'm guessing that a lot of the current, genuine reporting being done on the McCain Campaign would not be happening. Most of the news that I'm seeing in the mainstream media about Sarah Palin, for instance, is based on the public record of her time as mayor of Wasilla and governor of Alaska. I honestly believe that the MSM would have been perfectly happy to not investigate her if they hadn't been shamed into it by the "little people". The same goes for the Cindy McCain drug use (and its coverup) story. This information is not new. I read about it back in the day, but it wasn't judged important by MSM, apparently, because it died, just like Cheney's hunting accident, W's Maine DWI & Laura Bush's "accident" which killed someone. I guess I should give credit where it's due. The MSM has been relentless in exposing the dangerous ties between Barack Obama and various unsavory individuals; his former minister, a former black panther and a criminal (who actually went to jail, unlike say SCOOTER LIBBY, for committing crimes). Well, I guess they were just too busy or had allocated too many resources to chasing down every lead about Obama to do anything in the way of "investigative journalism" (aka, reading the old newspapers) to determine that it might be prudent to see if JohnnyPOW and company might not be the wholesome american patriots that they purport themselves to be. Six fucking weeks, people, six fucking weeks. Please pass this one around: "Women Against Palin are asking to be notified of any rallies, peaceful protests etc that get planned so they can pass the info along. Here is their link: http://womenagainstpalin.com/"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cognitive dissonance is just another word for not much left to lose

The news that Lehman Brothers is probably not going to survive (and there's evidence that AIG and Merrill Lynch are not in great shape either) along with the rest of what's been going on in the financial communities would scare the bejesus out of me if I had any money in the markets. The fact that health care and health care insurance are both unaffordable for quite a large number of Americans does scare me (I'm uninsured at the moment). Mr. Bush's failed and unnecessary war on Iraq is sucking billions more out of this nation's economy, billions that might have been spent replacing faulty infrastructure and financing education and healthcare for ALL americans. Now, with all that going on, one would think that the average person who has not been in a coma for the last eight years would realize that it's time to shitcan the CEO, the board and most of the upper management at USA. But, it appears that that the current management team has a better idea. They want to replace the inept, ideologically blinded, fiscally profligate and religiously biased group with a "new and improved" version of the same thing. All they need is your help. A word of advice, "Just say NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

High brow stuff.

As threatened, a poem. This was originally written for Deer Leader, but I think it fits the McHuntress just as well. With apologies to Joyce Kilmer, a sissy poet, who did actually serve his country (he was killed at the second battle of the Marne) during WWI. Neo-contata (After George W. Bush) I think that I will never see a poem as pretty as a Christmas tree. A rough thing from nature trimmed up fine. Covered with tinsel, lights ashine. Kinda puts me in mind of another type of Christmas tree, A thing that keeps our nation free. The one that goes on top of a well after it’s been capped; Only kind of vein me and my friends ever tapped. An oil derrick, big old, clankin’, belchin’ sumbitch of a rig Hooverin’ up the oil, from the earth’s deep bowels, you dig? A tree whose branches all are twined together as is manly, not splayed out, supplicatin’ like, and gangly. It’s proud erection strainin’ against the fabric of the earth While it spurts life givin’ fluids for our capitalist rebirth. I didn’t mean to make this piece short or curt, But poetic thinkin’ makes my head hurt. Excerped from "Towards Self-love, By A Twisted Path--New Work 2001--?"

Pilin on Palin

Poor, poor, pitiful Sarah: This blog: http://mudflats.wordpress.com/ is running this story: ‘Alaska Women Reject Palin’ Rally is HUGE! which I urge people to forward to the MSM. It is fairly obvious that Sarah Palin's management style approximates that of the current Idiot-in-Chief's. She rewards her supporters and highschool classmates (many of them co-religionists) with public sector jobs for which they appear to have few, if any, qualifications. She attacks those who disagree with her and her agenda. This woman is a danger to Alaska as its governor. She will be a danger to the American people if she achieves the vice-presidency. While she may not be as machiavellian as the DorkLordCheney, she is certainly as devious, spiteful and monomanical as his puppet. I wonder; Has McStain tumbled yet, to the fact that he is the lesser of the two on the ticket, in the eyes of the reichwing KKKristianists? Talk about the Pitbull's tail wagging the dog.

Friday, September 12, 2008

McCain Campaign, where the truth goes to die.

It turns out that Cindy McCain may not have been completely honest about her suffering from the Limbaugh Syndrome... http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26671077/page/4/ And, yes, of course, I'm piling on. Attacking this poor little rich girl whose only sin was stealing drugs from the charity she presided over, lying about it, using other people to cover up her activities, lying about it, trying to escape responsibility and "spin" the story in a favorable way by having a "canned hunt" interview with handpicked news organizations, and lying to them about the legal status of her case, maliciously suing a former employee, and lying about it, allowing other people to be hurt by the fallout, doing "outreach" this election season by offering herself for interviews with selected media/entertainment personalities, and lying to them. Oh, dear, did I mention that she seems to have done a little LYING? All of this would be of no consequence, IF she wasn't married to the man who wants to be the "Leader of the Free World" (boy, is that a fucking misnomer). And you're saying, "But, but, she's not running for anything". Neither was Kitty Dukakis, Sara Edwards, Chelsea Clinton--shall I continue? The GOP is quite adept at demonizing and dehumanizing their opposition and has no compunction about dragging the spouses and families of their opponents through the muck--even if they have to create it themselves. Cindy McCain has stood by her lying husband through thick and thin; why wouldn't she? They are, after all, soulmates. I don't want to be hopeful, because it hurts when those hopes are dashed, but WaPo running this story tells me one of two things: They've finally woken up or they are counting on this piece to boost their circulation. démocommié™™™™™©®ç au courant

John McCain, Sarah Palin and the GOP's "Culture of deceit"

Our friend Richard made a comment on yesterday's post, that said in part: "...The Old Shitbag, appearing tonight at that "Service Forum" at Columbia Univ responded to a question about his brand of gutter politics by saying that campaigns are "rough" and that things would have been different had Obama agreed to his proposal for ten joint town-hall meetings "like Jack Kennedy and Barry Goldwater had agreed to do". It's a lie. Kennedy never made such an agreement with Goldwater" Truth and honor, are not, it seems, in these people. This is why I have despised John McCain for as long as I've known of him. It appears that his "soulmate" Sarah Palin IS truly his soulmate in that regard. Were he competent (his naval "career" is illustrative in that regard) McCain would have been made, given his status as a POW/War Hero (not to mention his "legacy" status, being the son/grandson of full Admirals)--the War Hero label undeserved as it may be--an Admiral long before the end of his career. When pressed to release his naval service record, McCain's campaign made available approximately 5% of the record, what does he have to hide? It is obvious to those who can read, and take the time to do so, that McCain's record on aligning himself with Bushco in a majority of his senate votes (as high as 90% of them) makes his claim of being a "maverick" an utter, and deliberate, falsehood. His hiring of the very person who orchestrated the ads that destroyed his chances for a presidential bid in 2000 demonstrate how willing he is to trade his honor and dignity for a chance to be the C-in-C. His marital infidelities and his divorce of a supportive first wife so that he might remarry a younger, prettier, richer woman show us the "real" John McCain, a self-centered opportunist. McCain's ill-temper, which is well documented is covered, barely, with a thin veneer of false bon homie, the "lipstick on the pig", if you will. Sarah Palin. Well, gosh, what can I say? Given her vast (lack of) experience Sarah has, nonetheless, become as accomplished as McCain in lying to the American people, even when her lies are clumsy and obvious. McCain and Palin (or their surrogates) attack Obama and his campaign with distortions, mischaracterizations and outright lies while trumpeting their own (non-existent) christian morality. If the GOD I don't believe in is out there, I hope he is taking note of these two.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I heard a story on NPR a few minutes ago that said McCain and Obama will be at the site of Mr. Bush's most spectacular intelligence failure, laying wreaths, together. The newsreader went on to say that they had both pledged to shelve politics for the day and not run campaign ads. Call me cynical, if you like, but I think that this "pledge" will be ignored--almost certainly by the Rovians--by both campaigns. The reptilican haters are out in force to obscure the McPalinCain campaigns lack of substance by mischaracterizing (or telling outright lies about) Obama and (soon, my pets, very, very soon) Joe Biden. The McPalinCain "StrangeTalkExpress™©®" may have the ability to speak in tongues; it certainly has the ability to speak with a forked tongue. That Sarah Palin and John McCain are liars is not for me to prove. All one needs to do is read their current utterances and then compare and contrast them with others they've made--many of fairly recent vintage. All politicians tell lies, it's a very large part of their toolkit. The thing about the lies is that they fall into one of two categories, imo. There are those lies that are seen as necessary evils of the give and take of governance. I don't like them, but I accept that they are an all-day everyday occurrence. Then, there are the lies, like those currently masquerading as "scary truth" in the McPalinCain ads. These lies are egregious and gratuitous. They are not based on misinformation being given to their fabricators. Nor are they intended to, somehow, clarify the process. Their intention is to distract the electorate from looking at the truth or simply to demonize the opposition by making statements that are demonstrably false. This has been the GOP's stock in trade since at least the late 1940's. Yes the Democrats have told lies--millions of them, I've no doubt--but the current crop of GOP operatives seem to think that lies are not just a legitimate campaign tool, they are the only campaign tool. I'm not taking the day off. democommie--cross posted at Nomi's house

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The difference between "us" and "them".

The difference between us (honest, decent, caring humans) and "them" (reichwing KKKristians) is that even though many of us are not christians--or, in fact, have no faith in a god of any sort--we are moral and reasonable folks. This latest wrinkle in the GOP's pandering to the GODibanic fundamentalists is merely a logical extension of their continual drift to the extreme right. While it appears that Sarah Palin has little or no experience in any area that would be crucial to her governance in the (all too) likely event that she would inherit John McCain's job when he strokes out or dies of melanoma, it does not, in the minds of her rabid followers disqualify her from having that job. To that end, the RNC and the McCain campaign have used their dollars to attack the Obama candidacy with innuendo and outright lies, while attempting to deflect legitimate criticism of both McCain and Palin. Sarah Palin's handlers are, in fact, only making her available to media personalities (calling them journalists would be an insult to those who are) who will treat her favorably. I have read numerous posts and comments urging Senator Obama and his campaign to fight fire with fire. Would that they could. I think there is something about having character, a conscience and a gag reflex that, unfortunately preclude that sort of swinish behavior. For that reason I am announcing, here, that I will be available for that duty. I have virtually no scruples re: doing or saying whatever it takes to wake people the fuck up. Send me you tired accusations, your poorly researched indictments and your wretched truthiness, yearning to be spewed. I will do what I can to disseminate it. Oh, send me some truth, too, it helps to confuse the issue.

Friday, September 05, 2008

GOD must be crazy

Not "The Gods Must Be Crazy"; that was a delightful film about South Africa and some of its denizens. No, this is about the KKKristan GOD and his jihadherents. There is just something about a GOD whose followers are so convinced of their righteousness and everyone else's wrongteousness. The admonition to "Love one's brother as one's self" apparently means just that to them--it's the determination of just who is one's brother that seems to create problems for the KKKristians. Those benighted people of the Mid-east could be their brothers, if they would just eschew their insane, fantasy based religion that excuses their wanton killing and demonization of those who are not them. The same is true of Cath-O-Licks, Jews, Buddhists and all faiths that are not the FAITH of the KKKristians. I have to admit that I was once a Cath-O-Lick and believed in the more dire aspects of God ( I never saw any real evidence for a God of mercy and compassion). But, now, thanks to the fundigelical taliban of AmeriKKKa, I'm an atheist. Where other arguments, mere words, could not convince me, their actions have. If their GOD, the being that they so passionately believe in, is responsible for their existence, then they must be his idea of our hell on earth.