Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cajun water

I can't say why, but I was passing some time trying to come up with an expression for salesmanship similar to, "So-and-so is such a good salesman he could sell a nun a baby carriage."

Here is what I came up with, applied to Bill Clinton:

"Bill Clinton could sell powdered water to a Cajun."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A reminder

Here is the final scene from "The Great Dictator" by Charlie Chaplin.

The machine men are as tireless as they are tiresome, but they are mortal nonetheless.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pin the tail

George Lakoff is one of the few messaging maestros that I like to read. In a recent article he writes:

" If conservatives succeed in cutting government by the people for the public good, our lives will still be governed, but now by corporations. We will have government by corporations for corporate profit. It will not be a kind government. It will be a cruel government, a government of foreclosures, outsourcing, union busting, outrageous payments for every little thing, and pension eliminations."


It is a well written article and I recommend you read it. It was so well written it made me believe, at least for a little while, that the problem with the democratic party was messaging.

What I truly believe is that their messaging was sufficient to get them elected in droves, but their natures  dispirited a once-hopeful movement. Caesar learned that betrayal cuts deep and I fear the emptiness of spirit I see everywhere. If Brutus Obama really knew how much everyone was ashamed of him he might be less smug in his betrayal.

A mole by any other name

The president Obama is doing such a thorough job of turning opportunity into defeat for the democratic party that I am starting to wonder if he is a GOP mole.

He is costing the party money

He is costing the party credibility:

He is dividing the party by routinely inflaming supporters.

His actions suggest that he believes in his bones in the right of corporations to rule.

He is essentially doing those things that a good GOP mole would, isn't he?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A divorce made in heaven

The president Obama seems to enjoy betraying  his supporters.

The president Obama doesn't want me.

He is either a fool or a tool and I believe the latter.


Thomas Jefferson once said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

How many of our modern papers would rather coddle corruptors rather than expose them? How many will sit idly by as Julian Assange is railroaded into prison for publishing leaked documents? How many would refuse to publish the epic Napalm Girl photo? How many refused to publish the Danish cartoons?

What is being lost, and what is being gained?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Drowning, not waving

The Obama administration is flailing about in the political waters while our "ship of state" is sinking.

My advice is this, "find the people that were wrong and replace them with people that were right."

For instance...

Paul Krugman said from the beginning of the financial crisis that the stimulus was too small to be effective, and as soon as the first wave of spending ran out the recovery would stagnate. He was right and even the Fed seems to concede the point via its recent actions.

Howard Dean is a fighter that knows the democratic party doesn't have to concede defeat in every red state, and on every issue. His 50-state strategy was a huge success and he was quickly thrown under the bus.

Kevin Drum keeps offering reasonable solutions on Healthcare, on Social Security, and on tax issues.

Washington is broken because what works cannot be spoken of and what doesn't is courted with polished shoes and dirty deals. A president must advocate throatily for what is right to be an agent of Change.

There is no  Greatness without Goodness.

Friday, December 03, 2010


"One of the major reasons for government secrecy is to protect the government from its own population"

Noam Chomsky

Source: Democracy Now, November 30th, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

In the name of clean energy

News like this makes me wish GOP charges against Obama (i.e. that he is "liberal" or a "socialist") had an ounce of merit:

"In the name of job creation and clean energy, the Obama administration has doled out billions of dollars in stimulus money to some of the nation’s biggest polluters and granted them sweeping exemptions from the most basic form of environmental oversight, a Center for Public Integrity investigation has found."

Polluting our way to prosperity

Obama never spent a day in the whitehouse representing the interests of liberals.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Of capes and spandex

Something tells me that democrats would fare far better politically if they listened to people like Roy Temple, who makes the case for heroic narratives:

How heroes help

The more I think over what Mr. Temple has to say, the more I am convinced he is spot-on.

I suppose I would add to his analysis that a hero needs to stand and fight, for instance for a single-payer health-care system, to have any credentials in support of heroic rhetoric. Superman wasn't one to compromise with Lex Luthor.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A porno scanner solution

My solution to the porno-scanner fury is twofold:

1. Let people keep their shoes on if they use the porno scanner (at least this cuts down on inconvenience - which is trebled for the elderly).

2. The scanners would be doing TSA a favor, as well as making the scanners less offensive to people, if they didn't produce a body image. I can say with confidence that a gun floating in mid-air is more noticeable than one sandwiched between a pair of breasts.

I have no idea if number one is feasible, I guess it depends if the porno-scanner can notice whatever the carry-on scanner notices. Number 2, however is self-evidently doable because what can see skin can choose to ignore it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chris Hedges

Christopher Hedges is writing powerfully these days.  In a recent article, he writes:

"We have reached a point where stunted and deformed individuals, whose rapacious greed fuels the plunge of tens of millions of Americans into abject poverty and misery, determine the moral fiber of the nation. It is no more morally justifiable to kill someone for profit than it is to kill that person for religious fanaticism. And yet, from health companies to the oil and natural gas industry to private weapons contractors, individual death and the wholesale death of the ecosystem have become acceptable corporate business."

You can read the entire piece here: Tiny acts of Rebellion

Obama's servitude to Wall Street crystalized America's decline for me like nothing else could. As I watch he and spiritless democratic leaders abandon hard working people to people that are simply hard, it does not evoke Hope in my breast.

I suppose Christopher's writing speaks to me in a language I can relate to these days. He seems to see clearly what I see and rail against it, and sometimes that is all you can do.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Video TSA

Bashing the TSA through song...

On the wings of a dove

Apparently American travelers are fed up with "porno scanners" and "groping searches" by TSA agents at airports. Apparently, the head of TSA is tin-eared about it. Apparently, congress postured haughtily on the subject, then did nothing.

Read all about it

My view is that these measures wouldn't have stopped 911 because box-cutters were perfectly legal. They are useless techniques on pilots, who can crash the planes if they wish. Flying was unpleasant already and now it is getting more expensive in order to fund the increasing unpleasantness.

I suppose when the privacy invasion becomes  intrusive enough people will stop flying altogether and al Qaeda and TSA can both claim victory.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Slop bucket of shame

As George Bush sells books and Sarah Palin coins "Words of the Year", I am reminded that American greatness isn't what it used to be.

We are becoming a nation of shabby-minded, tax-gripers with no vison for the future. We wage war,  not to make the world safe for democracy or defend our allies, but rather to feed the beast. While solutions to some of our problems stagnate on the vine, we busy ourselves closing our eyes to bigger challenges. Gone are the dreams of Liberty for All, replaced with trips to the mall.  Gone are the fighting dems, replaced with dem pushovers. Gone are true conservative Republicans, by which I mean civic-minded lovers of tradition who weren't so bedazzled by money as to betray their own children to the catastrophic effects of Global Warming.

The president Obama, he was visionary until he grasped the Power. Then he became another schmuck in a long line of schmucks, betraying hard-working Americans to ingratiate himself at the slop-bucket of the aristocrats. His words are unheeded because they reek of corruption, and his actions go silently into that good night because they are as nothing to the People.

And where are we going?

Is it to a place where work is rewarded and even the least among us have access to opportunity?

Shall earnest destroyers, portraying themselves as saviors, be trusted with atomic weapons?

It is in moods like this that it strikes me as fitting the milky way galaxy resembles a flushing toilet.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quantitative Easing Explained

Here is the sidewalk version of what happened to the US economy

Monday, November 08, 2010

Take away

Since many commentators are busy broadcasting "Take Away" messages for the democrats in the face of November's losses,  I thought I might add mine.

Don't piss off your base.

For two years the Obama administration treated their base like they were contagious, and it isn't surprising they stayed home because of it.

More words are unecessary.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Jon Stewart's closing speech

Jon Stewart's closing speech at the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear":

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For whom the bell tolls

Chris Hedges has written an article about the death of Liberalism in America, specifically as it relates to the Democratic party.

Hollow shell of a party

He writes with passion these days and seems to be striving to call people to action. I'm not sure what that action is, and perhaps neither does he.

I think that ripping on Liberals is doing Wall Street a favor, and blaming liberals for Wall Streets actions is like blaming a rape victim. Of course, it is hard not to be disgusted by the actions of Democratic party members as they turn so much hope into so much refuse.

Once decline gets to a certain point you're like an easy mark surrounded by hustlers when all you want is to work, eat, and love.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

From Frum


David Frum has an interesting post about California’s Proposition 23, which he attacks as a job killing bill.

Here is the link: Opposition to the Proposition

Mr. Frum’s bread has been buttered with Scientific methods and I suspect his own achievements led to a respect for scientific opinion. With so many Republicans carrying torches against the book-learnin’ I find his voice refreshing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Got enthusiasm?

Are you looking for a reason to vote?

Here it is:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Something other than conventional wisdom.

I sez, "The trouble for D.C. democrats isn't an apathetic base, but the opposite."

If the base were apathetic it wouldn't care that Guantanamo is still open for business.

If the base were apathetic it wouldn't care that president Obama didn't deliver a single-payer health-care system.

If the base were apathetic it wouldn't care that conservative economic policies failed America, but democrats ceded the moment to fill the vacuum.

If the base were apathetic it wouldn't care that D.A.D.T. was not repealed.

If D.C. democrats are hunting for an enthusiasm gap, they should look between campaign pledges and legislative action. That is the same place, coincidentally, where they can locate a solution to their dilemma.

From "Yes we can" to "they won't even worse"?

The election strategy concocted by D.C. Democrats for the upcoming mid-term election can be summarized as follows:

"You could do even worse than vote for us"

Does that sound like a winning strategy?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Colbert in Congress

Stephen Colbert goes to Congress in character:

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Jon Stewart is on the mark in this clip, which covers a "town hall" meeting recently attended by president Obama:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Meet the Depressed
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party


Monday, September 20, 2010

Mind the enthusiasm gap

I always enjoy when someone takes the time to simplify tortured logic and feed it to me straight. For instance, while lunching with the upper-crusts of Connecticut, president Obama bashed his base. Some idiotic D.C.-thinkers tried to justify the pool-pissing moment, but David Sirota describes it like so:

"The president has decided to not even acknowledge the legitimacy of Democratic voters' expectations - many of which he himself asked us embrace in his "real change"-themed campaign for the presidency. That's right, just as White House press secretary Robert Gibbs attacked the "Professional Left" a few weeks ago, the president has decided to make fun of Democratic voters who dare expect him to fight for the policies he promised. "

Here is a link to the whole article.

Happy Dam a Rahm

If democrats lose as projected in November, will president Obama continue to praise those responsible and continue to cast aspersions at the left?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bad economic news

Whenever I hear the word economist used in the same sentence as Chicago I shudder involuntarily. Chicago economists, in my view, are responsible for shuddering Main Street and turning Wall Street into a casino backed with public money. I am not a fan of president Obama's latest pick to chair his Council of Economic Advisors, Austan Goolsbee.

Isn't it interesting that Mr. Goolsbee is described as a "Centrist Economist" in the story above?

Have you ever heard of a "Centrist Mathemetician", "Centrist Surgeon", or "Centrist Rocket Scientist"?

This political appointment signifies that president Obama continues to place his faith in those most responsible for creating the crisis. That is very bad news since spin doesn't pay the bills.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Not flaming crosses?

The Dove World Outreach Center, a Baptist church, plans to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11.

Religious people seem to enjoy prancing around the frontiers of hatred. Perhaps for an encore they can drop their trousers and moon Mecca?

Hypocrisy alert

Where were all the deficit hawks when Bush was in office?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Dog days

It is a difficult thing to watch the Obama administration in action these days. So many people thought they were electing the next Jack Kennedy and wound up electing a president without a strong sense of purpose, without the ability to control the narrative, and without the necessary toughness to make his words real for the middle-class.

Even as it becomes crystal clear that voters are going to punish this administration for doing too little, president Obama is out there promoting tax cuts for corporations (see here).

Many on the left cling to fantasies that president Obama is being misled by his handlers, but I believe it is they who were misled. The president's actions consistently convey that he believes in the right of corporations to rule, and will only make token gestures on behalf of the middle class.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fish in a barrel

The finding of articles that support my theory that the position of CEO is attractive to morally insane people (or psychopathic personalities) is a job that is all too easy. Here, though, is an article which practically begs the interpretation:

Massey Energy's Blankenship: No shame, but plenty of blame

This is a man that lets no evil outcome deter his purpose or actions. He refuses to take responsibility for his actions, and not only fails to pity those his actions have killed, he manages to feel sorry for himself to boot.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Not news

The tax-cuts passed by president Bush did not have a stimulative effect on the economy.

Spending American greatness for a tax cut is cheap.

The urgency of combating global warming is in direct disproportion to political activity, while being in direct proportion to carbon-fuel subsidies.

Our all-volunteer armed forces can no longer operate without the use of mercenaries (thugs).

Death panels have been operating inside for-profit insurance companies for years. They call their sentences "recission".

Sarah Palin lies a lot, is mean-spirited, and not good at governing.

Fox is to news as Glenn Beck is to a newscaster.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Obama's poll numbers explained

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this week found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe the country is on the wrong track and a majority disapproves of President Obama’s handling of the economy. Nearly two-thirds expect the economy to get worse still.


Unsurprisingly, turning the treasury over to the reprobates that engineered the crisis is bad economics and bad politics.

Unsurprisingly, trading the support of Democrats to court Republicans gains neither crucial votes nor enthusiastic supporters.

A president should not put up with a team that achieves such ignoble results.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Obama's poll numbers explained

Voting is primarily an emotional decision for voters, and nothing highlights this like a poll which finds...

"In numerous polls, the public has voiced their displeasure at the much maligned bank bailout, but most don't know which president signed the controversial act into law. Only a third of Americans (34%) correctly say the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was enacted by the Bush administration"


People are angry and they know what for, but not whom to blame.

President Obama hasn't done much to reverse this public perception, making him a far worse politician than I thought.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Obama's poll numbers explained...

I am always on the lookout for quotes that illustrate why the poll numbers for president Obama are so low. I think this one by Brent Budowski nails it:

Voters pray for action, but all they hear is self-praise from those who don’t listen, and all they see is vanity and self-indulgence from those who don’t care.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Obama's poll numbers explained

Robert Reich writes recently...

Average Americans are hurting. But their pain isn’t coming from government. It’s coming from an economy whose benefits are concentrating ever more at the top, whose giant corporations are controlling ever more of our democratic process, and whose costs and risks are becoming ever more burdensome for the middle class and the poor. Public schools, parks, and libraries are closing or reducing hours and staff. Median hourly wages are dropping. Unemployment is at levels not seen in decades; long-term joblessness hasn’t been this bad since the 1940s. Social safety nets — unemployment insurance, Social Security, and Medicare — are endangered.

Yet corporate profits are reaching unprecedented levels, and the richest Americans — CEOs, other top corporate executives, investment bankers, and hedge-fund managers — are raking in as much or more than before the Great Recession.


I contend that the movement of money from middle-class Americans to rich Americans was facilitated by politicians every step of the way.

I also contend that the Clinton administration did improve the lot of the middle class and that fact explains his popularity and Obama's unpopularity.

We voters wanted real change not spare change.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

More right-wing violence

Here is yet another example of a violent gun-toting white guy spewing right-wing ideology:

Raymond Peake

I wonder if a little fox was whispering in his ears?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The ties that bind

What unites Byron Williams (the man who loaded up his truck with guns in order to shoot up a non-profit organization) with the Pentagon shooter, the Holocaust Museum gunman, the pilot who flew his plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, and the Pittsburgh cop-killer?

Right-wing ideology that's what.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No you can't

I'm all for getting illegal immigrants out of the country, and I'm doubly for getting criminal-minded illegal immigrants out. My support stops with measures that are cruel or treats law-abiding citizens as criminals.

So, I oppose the Arizona law for being hard on citizens, not because it is hard on immigrants. Those people are here illegally, eroding wages, and should be deported. I'm also in favor of jailing the businesses that hire them.

Unlike the folks at Huffington Post, I cotton to this new federal approach which screens fingerprints collected as people are arrested. You can read about it here:

Extra-criminal behavior

Why should we welcome someone that is here illegally and has been arrested on top of it? What's in it for us?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Obama's poll numbers explained

Despite frantic Tea Party exhalations, objective measures say that the Obama administration is tougher on illegal immigration than George W. Bush. For instance...

"The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration's 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007."


While the Tea Party continues to disparage president Obama anyway, he is engaging himself in activities which annoy his base.

Do democrats in Washington spend all their time cooking up schemes that are self-defeating?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Too Big to Fail

Robert Monks discusses the effectiveness of the new financial regulations with respect to "Too Big to Fail".

Once again president Obama seems to think he can sell a weak bill that is primarily a concession as "sweeping" reform. Once again he uncle tom'd his base without a spirited defense of their values.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Quick Krugman

"The only problem Republicans ever had with George W. Bush was his low approval rating."

- Paul Krugman -


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Say it plain

Sometimes, if you say a thing plainly it is easier to understand. In Afghanistan we hear the following from the Pentagon:

If we are not successful in Afghanistan it means we need more troops.
If we are successful it means we need to stay indefinitely.

Is it patriotic to defend America to the point it can no longer pay for schools?

Is the Fed playing Obama for a sucker?

The more I see experienced economists like Robert Reich (i.e. here), and Paul Krugman (i.e. here), raising alarm bells over the economy in conjunction with inaction by "The Fed", the more I find myself wondering if "The Fed" is deliberately putting the brakes on the economy.

Why would that be?

Perhaps president Obama is less in-league with Wall Street than I imagine and more easily duped than I imagine.

Maybe, even now, he believes the old Canard about rising tides lifting all boats?

If this is the case Obama might regret continually snubbing his base and courting the imaginary middle. By the time he turns around he may find himself alone.

Monday, July 19, 2010


What banks seem to be doing at the moment is taking advantage of low interest rates set by the fed to buy Treasury bonds. So, they get money for next-to-nothing and a safe return on their investment.

But, I've been wondering, could we be setting up a Treasury bond bubble?

Should taxpayer money be used to enrich a finance industry that doesn't lend?

It's a good gig, but how can it last?

Obama's poll numbers explained

"71% say that they don't care what economists were saying, that we're still in a recession"


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Obama's poll numbers explained

When Wall Street wants money it gets bipartisan support, lightning quick action, and no constraints.

When those unemployed as a result of Wall Street's actions want assistance, Blue Dogs have tin ears.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Obama's poll numbers explained

When the GOP is in the majority, they get their way. When the GOP is in the minority, they get their way.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Little Cat Feet

Both the democratic and republican parties have abandoned their historical agendas in order to promote corporate interests. Historically the usurpation of government by corporate power is known as Fascism, and it looks a lot like the BP spill.

One mitigating factor of corporate power is populist power, or more properly, democratic power. When the right of the People to rule is not a word on a page, or a blog, but a reality, then there is pushback against abuses of corporate power.

Instead we get treated to sad sycophantic displays of politicians apologizing to BP for being asked to take responsibility for its actions.

Instead we get a president that claims to respect the rule of law clutching undemocratic powers to his chest.

Instead we get bailouts for bank-robbers, rather than jail sentences.

To understand this trend a little better, you might wish to read a new article by Jim Hightower:

Reclaim populism

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Chicago-style economics promotes class warfare in such a way that adherents feel virtuous about plundering. It seems to have finally succeeded to the point where "consumers" (citizens) have lost their "confidence" (money).

It is obvious that increasing "confidence" means putting money in "consumers" pockets, or else finding different "consumers". Because of this, I expect America's next great export to China shall be Chicago-style economics.

America shall become another day older and deeper in debt.

Quick hit

Wall Street and the other biggest global banks, meanwhile, are making piles of money betting against government debt all over the world.


When simple remedies to America's problems evade implementation, then you know America is circling the drain. Is it too much to ask for legislators to stop pulling on the handle?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

State of Corporate Governance

Somehow I doubt a bill that starts out tepid and gets watered-down from there will provide anything like the response necessary to prevent, or even delay, the next crash. I sez that Glass Steagall warded off bubbles for decades, and I think it ought to be a good place to start reigning in bankster power. Another place to learn a lesson might be Canada's economy, which survived the bubble well.

Robert A. G. Monks (longtime shareholder activist, Corporate Governance sage, and Reagan appointee), thinks the model of self regulating business is a failure and he calls the Dodd/Frank efforts to inject accountability "pathetic".

I still think that the best purpose of corporate governance is to protect profit for investors from management, since I believe the tycoon-types are morally insane (the modern term is psychopathic personality). It did not escape my notice, for instance, that Mr. Monks in the above video said...

"The failure was largely attributable to the unaccountability of the Chief Executive Officers who ran companies for their own benefit, and for the benefit of other top officials, without any conscience about the public consequence or the long-term consequence of their actions."

I think that many CEOs are, in point of fact, morally insane. This means they are literally incapable of acting from conscience. This means their conscience and their desires are one and the same thing. This means that everything justifies satisfying a desire.

Proper governance ties CEO wealth to corporate success so that society can follow a psychopath to economic prosperity. It is a gamble whose risk should now be evident to all, namely that the morally insane are hoarders when it comes to Power, and experts at corruption.

CEOs need to be made to believe again that their Power does not come at our expense, but at our profit.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McChrystal out

I wasn't sure president Obama would can McChrystal even though he richly deserved it. It looks like General Petraeus is going to step in. Here is the announcement:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quick link

Here is a link to the Rolling Stone article on Gen. Stanley McChrystal that is currently sweeping other conversation off the face of the news planet:

The Runaway General

This guy sounds a lot like Donald Rumsfeld to me, that is, someone whose arrogance is not tutored by their ineffectiveness. His next order should be his last, and the sooner it is delivered the better.

Clearly he is unfit for his command-post if he thinks bashing allies is something you do in front of reporters.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Quick Hit


Paul Krugman sez, “52 senators voted against extending aid to the unemployed despite the highest rate of long-term joblessness since the 1930s.”


I’ve lost a lot of respect for Nobel prizes since president Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize sans accomplishments, but I have noticed Paul Krugman (and Keynesians) are often right about macro-economics.

I think it is too bad congressional leaders are looking towards Alan “What bubble?” Greenspan, when the evidence everywhere backs up Paul Krugman (job creation is too slow, consumer spending is down, home construction is down, etc.).

I guess I will have to take comfort in the fact that the CEO-types that created the mess are reasonably  comfortable at our expense.

Robert A.G. Monks discusses Financial Reform legislation

Robert Monks discusses the financial reform legislation now before Congress in this clip below. He seems to feel now was the moment for nationalizing corporate governance laws, and that the moment is being lost. What we have now, in his words, "is a race to the bottom".

My favorite line from the clip is, "I have to say that if the answer is the SEC you've asked the wrong question."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quick Hit

According to the work of a group of government and independent scientists under the direction of Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, the amount of oil now being unleashed into the Gulf is between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels per day


There are 55 gallons of oil in a barrel, which means between 1,925,000 and 3,300,000 gallons of oil are spilling into the Gulf of Mexico daily.

This oil is going to continue to come ashore, day after day, well after the leak is plugged. Soon it should make its way around Florida and up the eastern seaboard.

President Obama seems to think a speech will impress the nation, when what is needed is action. Specifically, he needs to place BP into temporary receivership, seize their US assets, and put America first.

If he didn't want the job he should have stayed in Chicago.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quick push

Kevin Drum has "a Modest Tax Proposal" that I like, so I thought I'd give it a quick push by posting a link.

Here is a summary:

"Obama should propose that the corporate income tax be abolished completely, to be replaced by a carbon tax and a financial services tax."

Here's the link for more

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quick hit

"In their attempt to justify the war crime of torture, the CIA appears to have committed another alleged war crime – illegal experimentation on prisoners."

- Nathaniel A. Raymond -
Director of PHR's Campaign Against Torture


Nobel Peace Prize winner Barak Obama made a lot of hay over the policies of the Bush administration, and did a lot of arm-waving over the closure of Guantanamo, but in the end he continued the Bush policies and human experimentation of prisoners happened on his watch.

It is monstrous to torture and conduct human experiments on a human being. Either that, or Adolf Hitler wasn't so bad.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Soothing words of malice

Christopher Hedges believes the Christian right is in the mood for fascism, and sums up their mindset like so:

"The reality-based world, one where Satan, miracles, destiny, angels and magic did not exist, battered them like driftwood. It took their jobs and destroyed their future. It rotted their communities. It flooded their lives with alcohol, drugs, physical violence, deprivation and despair. And then they discovered that God has a plan for them. God will save them. God intervenes in their lives to promote and protect them. The emotional distance they have traveled from the real world to the world of Christian fantasy is immense. And the rational, secular forces, those that speak in the language of fact and evidence, are hated and ultimately feared, for they seek to pull believers back into “the culture of death” that nearly destroyed them."


Intolerant political movements are usually fertilized with rage channeled by blame. When People work hard and wind up in poverty anyway, they search for answers. It is at this moment that disciples of destruction advance with soothing words of malice.

We all know there plenty of economic despair upon which fascists can draw strength. Could this be happening here?

Friday, June 04, 2010

Oil vents

Apparently a freshly "furious" president Obama says "venting" won't help the BP-spill. I am 100% in agreement with that statement, and don't care if Obama is furious or not.

I do want him to take BP into receivership so American interests are foremost, necessary resources can be mobilized, and truthful information can be disseminated. If he wants to do that coldly and expressionlessly, then I'm all for it. If he wants to do that wearing a cowboy hat and spouting invectives like an 18th century prospector, then I'm all for it.

Obama is really showing his stripes on this oil spill. He is a corporate man through and through and seems to have faith, even now, in the right of corporations to rule.

It reminds me of Alan Greenspan's quaint notion that money knows best.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Quick Hit

In 2008, at least 60 percent of vacation spending in Florida occurred in beachfront cities.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Ham-fisted Israel at it again

Israeli politicians seem incapable of acting in their own interests when it comes to accumulating allies. Their latest self-defeating action was to murder humanitarians in international waters to placate the paranoid and the fearful in their ranks.

The US, as expected, moved to negate a UN response. This, however, cannot but impede our war efforts in the Gulf and further endanger our soldier's lives due to the uncritical support it exposes. In other words, this is a gift-wrapped recruitment tool handed to extremists.

Surely Israel just handed its enemies a victory, while simultaneously making it more difficult for its biggest ally to continue support, and also infuriating trading partners like Turkey and Egypt.

I can think of no other nation that behaves as self-detrimentally as Israel does with such regularity. In this case it is metaphorically peeing in its own well (of potential political support) and biting the hand that feeds it (once-again foiling U.S. interests) for good measure.

How long do Israeli politicians think America can continue acting against self-interest?

I would say they are woefully inadequate unless they move to make immediate amends. Here is an example of the type of condemnation they have rained upon themselves. In this case, it originates from U.S.:

Israel's Murderous Attack

ADDENDUM: Egypt has just announced it is opening its border with Palestine to humanitarian aid. This surely indicates Israel's allies in the region are receiving political pressure in opposition to Israel's security wishes.

Open Border

What Israeli politicians have secured by this action is hard to fathom, while what they have lost is becoming quite clear.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Brick by brick

If you have been following along, you know I have a theory that psychopathic personalities are drawn to CEO positions and periodically I offer up a tidbit for your consideration through this lens. My latest offering is a piece by James Kwak, who says the following:

...somehow the bankers came out of it with the same unshakable belief in their own perfection that they had in 2005. The only plausible explanation is some kind of powerful personality disorder.

Source: Wall Street CEOs are nuts

Perhaps Wall Street bankers are behaving as if they have no shame because they have no shame?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A governmental drowning?

When I look at the handling of the BP oil spill I think I am looking at the drowning of the US government in a bath tub.


BP is a foreign-owned corporation that is usurping US sovereignty when it comes to freedom of the press: Details here

BP is also fouling US territorial waters and Barak Obama seems more concerned with raising campaign cash in California than holy hell in the Gulf.

For at least a month oil is going to be sliming its way into bayou country and I don't think the magnitude of that has dawned on the Gulf Coast officials currently busying their giddy little minds about serving BP even more sycophantically. It does seem to have dawned on James Carville, who is out there trying to fire up the commander in chief (small c, small c at the moment).

I find it disturbing that even at the local level politicians are serving up the carcasses of their neighbors to the maws of a global elite. That is what I call systemic servitude! This is government of the corporations and by the corporations, from sea to sheening sea.

I therefore have come to believe that this is dysfunctional government of the type Grover Norquist has long salivated after. I suppose we should all congratulate him on a job well done, but I haven't the stomach for it.

It is depressing to think that "whores for boors" is going to be this generations legacy to the next. It is unlikely we will be known as the greatest generation, or even a runner-up.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Why I oppose the death penalty

The primary reasons I oppose the death penalty are that humans make mistakes, and execution is permanent.

To illustrate my point, I would like to bring two cases to your attention:

1. Raymond Towler was convicted of raping an 11 year old girl almost 30 years ago. His conviction was overturned with DNA testing, which was unavailable at the time. You can read about it here.

2. James Bain was convicted of raping and kidnapping a nine year old boy 35 years ago. His conviction was also overturned with DNA testing and he is now looking forward to "eating fried turkey and drinking Dr Pepper." You can read about his case here.

I expect that both men were viewed as the worst kind of criminals when they were tried and convicted. Had their sentences been execution, then James and Raymond would not see their families again, nor eat fried turkey.

To know these facts and argue for a death penalty anyway is to pay too much respect to violence, and too little to Justice.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Quick hit

Of AAA-rated subprime-mortgage-backed securities issued in 2006, 93 percent — 93 percent! — have now been downgraded to junk status.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just sayin'...

If the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind...
And, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows...
Then, doesn't that imply we can find the answer?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

GOP rejects fiscal discipline for Wall Street

Is the public financing of elections proving to be irrelevant?

I was thinking this morning, after Republican senators covered themselves in partisan shame, that Olympia Snowe from Maine could easily have voted for Wall Street regulation.

Why do I say this?

She is from a blue state, moreover Americans support fiscal reform by a 2-to-1 margin.

If the GOP wants to punish her, she has the option to get public financing for her next campaign.

If she were pushed too hard, any party that could have Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman as members would easily welcome her. In that case, her influence would go up rather than down as she would now represent the majority party.

Michael Steele is widely perceived as incompetent within his own ranks, therefore one could imagine being forgiven for rejecting his advice.

Her main priority is supposedly bolstering small businesses, but Wall Street is destroying their access to finance.

Isn't it obvious that the lure of public financing is not pulling Senator Snowe into orbit?

When not even someone like Senator Snowe will do what is sensible, when what is sensible is also popular, then what does that say about the GOP?

The party of Main Street? It is to laugh!

The party of Fiscal Discipline? I jeer in your direction!

The party of Personal Responsibility? What an unsophisticated delusion!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Insane in the membrane

Accepting the idea that our major CEOs are morally insane, or psychopathic personalities, gets easier every day with exploration. The title of this article by Steven Pearlstein is another brick in the wall:

Wall Street's know-it-alls can't tell right from wrong

All I'm saying is that it is very likely the obvious is True. Wall Street CEOs are not immoral, they are amoral, or literally incapable of weighing moral decisions. They have desires that they satisfy and there is nothing else.

In this context, what finance regulations do is protect profit for the investor from the management.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Penny wise and pound foolish?

The US Chamber of Commerce is an organization that normally concerns itself with Main Street businesses, which is to say small businesses. Lately, however, it is helping Wall Street by backing Justice Roberts Citizens United decision and fighting balance sheet transparency (regulation and oversight).

Isn't the playing field gamed enough in Wall Mart's favor?

I find this behavior as illogical as a Sarah Palin paragraph.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tea Party

I have read the Tea Party plans to be demonstrative today. In their honor I present my watercolor interpretation of the tea party:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Steeling themselves...

I think that the best argument the GOP can make against government is to get their candidates elected.

How can a party that spends donor money at bondage clubs promote fiscal responsibility?

How can a party led by a finger-pointing, race-card playing, unqualified leader promote personal responsibility?

The GOP has more than a personnel problem with Michael Steele, they have a messaging problem.

Perhaps that is why the calls for his removal are growing louder by the day.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Confirmed: Obama authorizes assassination of U.S. citizen - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

When there are treason laws already on the books why would president Obama target U.S. Citizens for assassination?

Confirmed: Obama authorizes assassination of U.S. citizen - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

The Constitution is clear on what Treason is and what branch of government has the authority to address the threat.

Where is the Supreme Court and where is Congress?

For that matter, where is the Tea Party on this very real threat to freedom?


In this segment Keith Olbermann reports on the issue and asks, where are the liberals and progressives:

Part one:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Part two:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Quick hit

"Of $15 billion in income taxes last year, Exxon paid none of it to Uncle Sam, and has tens of billions in earnings permanently reinvested overseas."


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Papal pride goeth

Christopher Hitchens isn't mincing his words when it comes to the recent priest-rape cover-up.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Netanyahu is tone-deaf

Netanyahu's latest speech to AIPAC reminds me how poorly Israel does politics. To have Netanyahu stand on American soil in front of cameras and strive to make a jackass of our president is really too much:

Badly played, and in poor taste

Perhaps the money we normally send to Israel can be put to better use?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quick hit

In France, where abortion is covered by universal health insurance, there are 20% fewer abortions per capita than in the US.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Keynes quotation

This notion that the morally insane would be naturally attracted to power, and thereby to the role of corporate CEOs, has really gotten a hold of my imagination. When I read quotes like the following, I am left feeling as if I've missed the obvious for so long that I am embarrassed by my naivete.

"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."

— John Maynard Keynes -

Apparently, those with a proclivity towards horrible grammar make excellent economists.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lehman Bros Accounting Tricks

Here is a fantastic video that simplifies the mess on Wall Street so that even I can grasp it:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, March 12, 2010


When it comes to answering the question, "Should Health Care Reform pass?", I think it is a good idea to refer to a medical dictum: "First, Do no harm".

If this bill does not go far enough to provide health insurance to all Americans, that is not the same thing as making matters worse. Since doing nothing is what will be harmful to people, then I say hold your nose and pass the bill.

From a political perspective this is an easy decision. Democrats are widely perceived as noodle-armed weaklings that are intelligent but indecisive. To do nothing is to further that perception. To pass the bill, especially over GOP objections, combats the perception on two fronts.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

From Funny or Die

Here is a video which reunites past comic presidential impersonators for a message directed at Barak Obama:

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A crown of thorns

As I watch a single-payer healthcare-for-all die, and climate crisis legislation die, and legislation to police morally insane CEOs die, I become confirmed in my view that America is a one-party system.

The rot seems insurmountable.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quick hit

"The healthcare bill as written is supported by less than 30 percent of the nation. But the public option is supported by almost 60 percent of the nation and 80 percent of political independents."


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Quick hit

In 1980 the highest incomes were taxed at 73 percent. In 2009 those same incomes were taxed at 35 percent.

You'd think that would quiet the complaints of the well-to-do, but it seems only to have emboldened them.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Quick hit

What makes people feel the Citizens United case is damaging to democracy?

It is the underlying belief that our politicians will take bribes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On Brown

What do I make of a GOP senator winning Ted Kennedy's seat?

Democrats ignored their base (it overwhelmingly wants a strong public option), let yellevision rage unrebuked (Canadians pay less for medicine), and didn't get their president on the bully pulpit (something he excels at).

What did they expect?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If the snake suits, bear it?

Here is a wikipedia entry for psychopathy:

A lack of empathy

After reading the book "The Devil in the White City" and reflecting upon capitalism, it occurred to me that immense companies are naturally attractive to psychopathic personalities (or PPs for short). In fact, I have begun to believe our largest institutions are headed by the morally insane, for this belief explains much that I notice about the conduct of Wall Street big-shots.

If True, and the corporation ensures that the wealth of the CEO is dependent upon the wealth of the corporation, then it is a symbiotic business relationship.

If True, and the wealth of the corporation is deemed to be dependent upon the wealth of the CEO (as Goldmann Sachs repeatedly argues), then the corporation becomes subservient to the CEO and you have an unhealthy business relationship.

With this belief in mind statements like that made by Arianna Huffington recently become self-explanatory:

Watching the CEOs, I was stunned by the utter lack of even a feigned sense of empathy for those whose lives the banks have destroyed. Only a complete inability to feel empathy could explain the fact that the bankers are not just back to operating at their old bonus levels, but at their old smugness levels as well.


Expecting empathy from a psychopath is as misguided as expecting good moral conduct from a PP-led corporation. In fact, they are identical delusions.

In this context one should view the Glass-Steagall Act as a way to protect the wealth of corporations for the investors, rather than as a hindrance to the wishes Wall Street CEOs. It should send shivers down one's spine to consider the wishes of the CEO paramount.

I found there is a book on the subject called "Snakes in Suits" that examines PPs in the workplace. I expect it is an interesting read.

It would seem plausible that immense corporations are best served by morally insane leadership, provided that leadership is forced to use its' unique "talents" on behalf of the corporation.

But, such leadership would strive energetically to escape such restrictions. In the event of their success, our economy would suffer even as our CEOs grew richer. Thank goodness no company is so idiotic as to transfer wealth to the leadership at a time they did a lousy job of generating wealth!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quick hit

"American consumers pay up to 55% more for their prescription drugs than Canadians"

Source: Robert Reich

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin