Monday, September 28, 2009

Why Hugo Chavez Hates America

Everyday there is more poverty in the United States, everyday there is more uncared for people who don't have medicine, doctors, or even education. This country is eating itself from the inside. What's happening to the American, how do you say it, Dream [in English]. I believe in the American Dream, but the dream of Martin Luther King Jr., not the dream of consumerism, unbridled capitalism or individualism, that craziness, that's not a dream it's a nightmare. Now, the recalcitrant right attacks Obama hard, calling him a socialist... -- Hugo Chavez

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

i sure love me some barney...

thanks to steve benen -- hardest working blogger in the 8-5 edt slot...

Friday, August 14, 2009

John Cole Should Just Shoot Me

I still contend health care reform is over. The GOP and the fringe right will just move on to something else they find “objectionable” like this absurd accusation that voluntary counselling amounted to a panel of experts determining who should and should not live, the senior citizens seem overwhelmingly content to suckle at the public teat in regards to medicare while giving everyone else the bird, the insurance industry is playing both sides, half the Democrats are spooked by their own shadows, and the other half are in bed with the FIRE sector.

It is just over. And the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves. If the Republicans had majorities like the Democrats have right now, they would have abolished the IRS and the Department of Education, Bernie Madoff would be running social security, there would be an oil well in every backyard and off every inch of coast, we’d have mandatory prayer in schools, and the defense department budget would be doubled so we could have excellent adventures in Iran while we liberate Georgia from oppressive Russian rule. And we’d be doing it all with a top marginal rate of 3%.

Get ready for three more years of debating school uniforms.

Also, they killed off the climate bill was no one was looking. Thank the usual suspects- Nelson, Dorgan, Baucus, and Lincoln. Any of you think the Democrats have the nerve to deal with immigration in an election year. HAHAHAHAHA! And forget about regulating Wall Street. -- John Cole

Monday, August 3, 2009

The sheer brilliance of depressing insight of atrios

No, Democrats aren't going for a government takeover of health care and I'm cautiously optimistic that whatever finally gets passed will be a nontrivial improvement over the status quo. Still, I don't think it's crazy for people to be concerned that whatever comes out of the sausage factory might be worse. Whatever it is will be a rube goldberg plan which preserves health insurance profits, keeps hypocritical fiscal scolds happy, has the goal of controlling costs, and can pass the Senate and keep enough blue dog wankers happy. It certainly isn't crazy to be worried that such a plan might, in fact, suck. -- Eschaton

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Quote O' the Weekend

I’ve always thought that if Palin were just a touch less ignorant and frightening, the national media might have loved her. -- Doug J

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Healthcare for Americans is just a game (of profit)

"Approximately 114 million Americans are expected to leave private health insurance. Why? Their employers will drop the insurance because the taxpayer-subsidized plan will be 30 to 40 percent cheaper. This action will collapse the private health insurance market, and then the Federal Government will own the health provider game."

-- Michelle (Mary Tyler Moore on the brown acid) Bachman

thx -- slinkerwink/fdl

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Gatesville" -- I like the ring of that for the city in Massachusetts formerly known as Cambridge

Professor Gates was driven to his home by a driver for a local car company. Professor Gates attempted to enter his front door, but the door was damaged. Professor Gates then entered his rear door with his key, turned off his alarm, and again attempted to open the front door. With the help of his driver they were able to force the front door open, and then the driver carried Professor Gates’ luggage into his home.

Professor Gates immediately called the Harvard Real Estate office to report the damage to his door and requested that it be repaired immediately. As he was talking to the Harvard Real Estate office on his portable phone in his house, he observed a uniformed officer on his front porch. When Professor Gates opened the door, the officer immediately asked him to step outside. Professor Gates remained inside his home and asked the officer why he was there. The officer indicated that he was responding to a 911 call about a breaking and entering in progress at this address. Professor Gates informed the officer that he lived there and was a faculty member at Harvard University. The officer then asked Professor Gates whether he could prove that he lived there and taught at Harvard. Professor Gates said that he could, and turned to walk into his kitchen, where he had left his wallet. The officer followed him. Professor Gates handed both his Harvard University identification and his valid Massachusetts driver’s license to the officer. Both include Professor Gates’ photograph, and the license includes his address.

Professor Gates then asked the police officer if he would give him his name and his badge number. He made this request several times. The officer did not produce any identification nor did he respond to Professor Gates’ request for this information. After an additional request by Professor Gates for the officer’s name and badge number, the officer then turned and left the kitchen of Professor Gates’ home without ever acknowledging who he was or if there were charges against Professor Gates. As Professor Gates followed the officer to his own front door, he was astonished to see several police officers gathered on his front porch. Professor Gates asked the officer’s colleagues for his name and badge number. As Professor Gates stepped onto his front porch, the officer who had been inside and who had examined his identification, said to him, ‘Thank you for accommodating my earlier request,’ and then placed Professor Gates under arrest. He was handcuffed on his own front porch.

(thx to Oliver)

Goldman Sachs Are Scum

thx/K of Minta

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Quote of the First Half of Obama's First Year

Obama really needs to start listening to people who have a clue. -Atrios (20 July)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Kid's All Right

My strong sense is that contrarianness reached its apogee in the 1990s when a general sense took over that politics was basically silly and that punditry should be seen as basically akin to the college debate circuit wherein the idea is to construct the most clever possible argument rather than to actually hit on the truth. When this general spirit of the times merged with the elite press’ inexplicable loathing of Al Gore you started getting really bizarre arguments being made with a straight face. People would say that one good thing about George W. Bush was that he was dimwitted, which made him understand leadership. Or that a big problem with Gore was that he was interested in public policy.

This attitude brought us thousands of Americans killed in a terrorist attack, thousands more killed in a senseless war, and eventually the collapse of the world economy. But that in turn has at least to a small extent reminded people that it actually does matter what happens and who’s right.

-- Matt Yglesias


Sunday, July 5, 2009


i'm with atrios -- this shit about "everybody" misreading the economy back when he and obama gave the repugnants every opportunity to ruin the stimulus -- while progressives-with-voice -- krugman, stiglitz et al. -- were "uh-oh-ing" all over the friggin' place that this stimulus was too small even before "obama and them" cut its heart out for the republicans... who then didn't cast one vote fer it.

biden oughta be ashamed of himself -- but moreover, git back to work and get stimulus #2 in the pipeline.

the other disingenuous comments came from the Prez himself, telling us DFHs we should play nice as the healthcare bill becomes smoke and mirrors like they have for 2 generations.

Caution will be the policy that destroys this presidency -- ie (and this is painful to say) being the NOT-BUSH/CHENEY wont work.

I has spoken. (as Mammy was wont to say...)

Friday, June 26, 2009

White House Watched

Just go read...

and god damn the shit-filled entity that is WaPo...

but thanks, Dan, for trying.

why caint we all just get along... indeed


Dip Thunk #6

as far as this country is concerned -- and in particular, its lawmakers -- regarding the global climate deterioration: these "leaders" are teething babies on pablum, and have absolutely no clue what the human species is up against. and many of them don't want to know.

we're seriously doomed because these pricks are such cowardly, greedy idiots...

(this so-called "big day for the environment" -- oh, please... just pass me the bromo...)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

One for the road... one of the best...

Bartender, I'll have what he's drinkin' ...

On Thursday, Rockefeller admitted he expects little bipartisan support.
"There is a very small chance any Republicans will vote for this health-care plan. They were against Medicare and Medicaid [created in the 1960s]. They voted against children's health insurance.

"We have a moral choice. This is a classic case of the good guys versus the bad guys. I know it is not political for me to say that," Rockefeller added.

"But do you want to be non-partisan and get nothing? Or do you want to be partisan and end up with a good health- care plan? That is the choice."

In fact, Barkeep, kindly distribute it to the whole goddamn Democratic caucus -- thank you...


Friday, June 19, 2009

"Behold, I am the sun" -- American version-#3,673

"Well, that election was, what, almost 60 years ago now. The world has changed dramatically since then. And I dare say that you go up to any of those people in Tehran who are protesting in the streets and say, 'Hey, what about the United States meddling in your election in the `50s,' they would shake their heads, like, 'What in the world are you talking about?'" -- Saxby Chambliss

tx/crooks & senators

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

one of the littler reasons i love john cole

"One of the most irritating things about the current Iranian uprising is that I’ve seen a spate of WWRD (What Would Ronnie Do?) posts all over the place. I’m not on my normal computer, so I don’t have my browser history to help me, but I know there was one or two at Hot Air, I know I’ve seen them at the NRO, and I’m pretty sure there was one at Commentary magazine. At any rate, you know what Reagan would do? Nothing. Why? Because he’s dead." -- John Cole

and this just in -- reagan and franco both still dead!
so's nixon... and pinochet!
pinochle anyone?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Question of the Day

If you were forced to live under the sway of a "Supreme Leader,"
who would you choose, Khamenei or Scalia?

Or, would it make any difference?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Now We Just Torture Everybody Until They Believe It

"What Fox did is not just create a venue for alternative opinion. It created an alternate reality." -- Charles Kauthammer

(tx bj@tpm)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dip Thunk #5

Can we quit the Cairo Sunday school class and git down to being a beneficial resource, a wise counsel, and a skilled negotiator?Can we now begin helping to make the Middle East tolerable for the many peoples who live there, now that we have re-established the fact that good Muslims are as good as good Jews and good Christians? I mean, big deal... who knew?

let's hear some policy -- let's see some ON THE GROUND change (and HOPE, while we're at it -- i keep forgetting, for some reason, we're all supposed to be like total hopey changey now...)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dip Thunk #4

Just as the banksters and their guvamint whores were playin' with the big fantasy bubble, layin' in mythic money by the ton, so now-a-days they is still playas, holdin' onto the worthlessness of everything they got -- workin' the short term and putting off the disaster.

whether it's metaphysical 'puts' or metaphysical 'calls' the slime always rises to the top in economics...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dip Thunk #3

Newster Fuckin' Gringrich: The Future of the God Damn Republican Party!


Sunday, May 31, 2009

We are all Uighurs now.

If Obama is an incrementalist, he aint incrementing fast enough...

WATB Jeffrey Rosen

"The blog god made me do it."

dip thunk #2

Ayn Rand is the original flesh-eating zombie and "Going Galt isn't ballsy.

These narcissistic children ought to look at the life and work of the great Charles Bukowski.
Now there's a hero.

Yo, idiots: "Go Bukowski" on us... please.

(aside: and stay off my damn sidewalks, out of my libraries, and quit using my internets, you fuckin' social leeches.)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

dip thunk

Is there something suggested by the dual phenomena of 1) decades of stagnant wages (a total breakdown of "investment in people") and 2) the collapsing of the real estate markets (domestic and commercial) which, for decades, have been over-invested with value, and tapped constantly like -- teh ol' proverbial atm machines?

could there have been a directive gone out by the cabal to freeze labor and pump up property values as the newest, shiniest "greed is good" formulation of capitalism and the gospel according to reagan? Just askin'

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

riverside ny

if the quality of 'terrorist' our homeland security catches is any indication of their expertise... RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!11!!1

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Feds shell companies

This is simply unbelievable. The Federal Reserve has set up three shell companies so that it can buy crappy investments from AIG. Investors get their money out and we get stuck with the tab. Bernanke should be fired and then brought up on embezzlement charges. In a just world that is what would happen. In our world, Obama probably gives him a #!*% medal.

Details in this post.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's good to see that Billmon is writing again

Billmon has a post where he compares Milo in Catch-22 to our financial traders buying and selling the Big Shitpile. He then expands this allegory to explain how the Big Shitpile led to the collapse of our financial system. A very good read if you can slog thru the technical details.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In Defense of Social Security

I think it is time we start working to defend Social Security. This so called "fiscal responsibility summit" is going to be used by some to once again try to destroy social security. Obama has said he wants to "fix" social security, but has not clarified what he means by "fix". If he wants to cut our benefits we need to fight him along with anybody else, democrat or not, who means cutting benefits when they say "reform". Below is a letter I sent to Obama which I think frames the debate as it should be framed.

I intend to modify it slightly so I can send it to my Senator & Representative. We need to start asking our Reps where the stand and finding who supports cutting benefits and who wants to work to maintain or increase them. Don't let them just say they want to reform Social Security. Press them to find out what kind of reforms are necessary.

If you don't think this can happen while the Democrats control the House, Senate & Presidency you need to remember it was Clinton who ended Welfare and passed NAFTA, it was Bush I who raised taxes on the middle class. The elite have a way of getting the Party whose base would most oppose something to pass legislation that directly contradicts the demands of their base. While the base trusts their Party leaders and ignores what they are saying and doing those same leaders write and pass such legislation.

The "fiscal responsibility summit" will take place next week. It is the responsibility of anybody who supports social security to speak up now.

Dear President Obama,

I have read that you are planing to have a "fiscal responsibility summit" early next week. Social Security is sure to be a part of that discussion. I want you to know that I do not believe that there is a Social Security crisis and that cuts in benefits to Social Security recipients and the raising of the age at which future retirees will become eligible for benefits should not even be on the table.

The income to the federal government from the Social Security tax exceeds the benefits paid for Social Security and this will continue to be the case for several years. The fact that current projections claim that benefits will exceed revenues in the not to distant future does not mean that the program is insolvent.

The rest of the Federal government is insolvent. Surpluses generated by the Social Security taxes have been used for decades to cover shortfalls in the rest of the budget. When Social Security attempts to draw on it's reserves it will cause a double budget shortfall. There is no reserve, so the shortfall in SS will have to be covered by the General Fund, and an excess of SS revenues will no longer be available to cover other General Fund expenses.

This is called a Social Security Crisis. But, the crisis is not is the Social Security program and it is not the beneficiaries of Social Security who should bear the brunt of a general budget crisis. For years I have paid into the SS system and I do not feel that the money I will eventually draw in benefits is a gift from the Federal Government. It is a return on my investment in the system. It is not a hand out, it is truly something that I and millions of others are entitled to.

Medicare is a whole different picture. It also is funded by payroll taxes so the two programs often get lumped together. I think for the purpose of your summit next week it is critical the two programs are dealt with separately.

Medicare is truly facing frightening shortfalls caused mostly by run away medical cost and an aging population. Medicare budget concerns can not be solved without addressing the medical delivery system in this country as a whole. I do not know the answer the medical crisis but I do believe that the sooner and more completely we remove private insurance carries from the medical system the better of we will be. I support a single payer health care system and if Congress people want to talk about "fiscal responsibility" that should certainly be part of the discussion.

However, I am not writing to advocate for health care reform, that I believe will be addressed later in your administration. I am writing to advocate against benefit cuts in Social Security. If some Congress people insist on "fixing" Social Security , raise revenues if you must, but do not under any circumstances cut benefits. Eliminating, or raising, the maximum income which are subject to payroll taxes should be the first option considered.

In closing, I want to reiterate the problem is not Social Security. Revenues raised by payroll taxes are not the only revenue to the Federal Government. Since the shortfall is in the general fund, other taxes can be raised to increase cash flow into the general fund.

Leave our Social Security benefits alone.

Thank you for your time and keep up the good work.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Don't touch that Republican, hand me the pliers...

I don't like people trying to take advantage of that [outreach]. This is why actually if you watch my political interactions. I am always best as a counter-puncher. You know, somebody comes at me I will knock them out. If not, I will try to understand their point of view and that actually serves me well. I give people the benefit of the doubt; I try to understand their point of view -- if I perceive that they try to take advantage of that then I will crush them. -- Mr. Barack H. Obama, circa 2007

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welfare to wealthy people

TARP and related expenditures by the FED are a blatant direct transfer of the public wealth of America to the richest people in the world. As such I believe we should start from this day forward to campaign against Welfare Kings. Welfare Kings are people who can't afford to live on less than 500 hundred thousand dollars a year, but due to hard times on the financial market need transfusions of Trillions of dollars from the Federal Government directly into their, and their friends, bank accounts.

Below is a letter I wrote to my Representative asking for his help.

I am writing to ask you to look into ways to limit the current FED program to guarantee bad assets currently held by US banks, and to demand that the FED submit to a full accounting of such guarantees already issued by the FED.

The February 10th NY Times Article titled "Geithner said to have prevailed on U.S. bailout" includes the following passage,

It intends to call for the creation of a joint Treasury and Federal Reserve program, at an initial cost of $250 billion to $500 billion, to encourage investors to acquire soured mortgage-related assets from banks.

It wants the Fed will use its balance sheet to provide the financing, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. might provide guarantees to investors who participate in the program, which some people might call a 'bad bank.'

A second component of the plan would broadly expand, to $500 billion to $1 trillion, an existing $200 billion program run by the Federal Reserve to try to unfreeze the market for commercial, student, auto and credit card loans. A third component would involve a review of the capital levels of all banks, including projections of future losses, to determine how much additional capital each bank should receive.

The capital injections would come out of the remaining $350 billion in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

Lets look at the math 500 Billion + 1000 Billion - 200 Billion = 1300 Billion. Yet the last sentence quoted above says the initial cash for this will come of TARP's 350 Billion. Where is the other 950 Billion coming from?

Today's Washington Post, in an article titled "New Bailout May Top $1.5 Trillion" included this paragraph,

In announcing the plan, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will not ask Congress for more funds than the roughly $350 billion that remain in the Treasury Department's original rescue package for the financial system, though congressional sources said such a request could come later if the new programs are unsuccessful. The rest of the money would come from other government agencies, such as the Federal Reserve, as well as private-sector contributions.

The private sector contributions are a joke, and should be an insult to the intelligence of anybody who has been paying attention for the last twenty years. Private contributions to the Federal Government are made either purchasing bonds, which is really a loan to the Government, or paying taxes which wealthy people have systematically worked to reduce their obligations for years. Are we supposed to believe they have suddenly had a change of heart. Give me a break.

Which means that the FED is going to hand out close to another Trillion dollars to the banks. Is there anyway that we, the American public or the Congress for that matter, can see where that money goes and how it used by the recipients.

Bob Riech, in a post on TPM Cafe, dated January 24, 2009, titled "How America Embraced Lemon Socialism" claims,

While Washington debates TARP II, the Federal Reserve Board continues to buy or guarantee or provide loans for a vast and growing pile of questionable financial and corporate assets, much of which are likely to be worth far less than the Fed has paid or guaranteed or accepted as collateral. We're talking big money here -- so far over $2.4 trillion.

If Mr. Riech is correct we the American taxpayer will be on the hook for 3.4 Trillion dollars for FED expenditures alone. Yet you have no oversight over, or even leverage to cap, the FED's expenditures. The Senate is arguing over peanuts, 100 Billion used to be more than peanuts, while the bankers are robbing us blind out the back door.

Please tell me what you are doing to try to reign in this outrageous theft. (Note: I am not talking about the stimulus plan. I am talking about TARP and this little discussed and unauthorized program that the FED is currently implementing). If we are going to give, and I do mean give, as in handout (i.e.: welfare for wealthy people), Trillions of dollars to people who cannot live on less the 500 hundred thousand dollars a year, then it should be done above board. Please insist that it be done in a way that all Americans can clearly can see who aided these scoundrels in this crime.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Letter to Kay Hagan

I am writing to ask you to support the stimulus bill as it has come to the floor, If there are to be any amendments to that the bill it should be to add spending and/or reduce tax cuts. In specific I am asking you to reject the amendment being put forward by Senator's Collins & Nelson.

The economy is crashing and burning out here beyond the comfortable confines of Washington DC. We need spending by the federal government to help offset the significant drop in spending both by commercial interests and by consumers. Loosening the credit markets, which is the stated objective of TARP, will not be enough.

We consumers are tapped out. We have withdrew all we can from our retirement funds. We have borrowed as much as we can on our houses. We have maxed out our credit cards. We are not spending because we have nothing left to spend. (Note: I have not personally done all of the above. But, the point is as a group we have collectively reached the conclusion that our financial survival depends on us spending less and saving as much as we can. Savings, may mean to many reducing personal debt not actual savings. Either way it is not being spent on consumption.)

Business are not going to invest in increasing productive capacity if nobody is buying what they sell. So, any sensible business is also cutting back, reducing staff, reducing inventory if possible, closing plants etc... In short, trying to hoard whatever cash and assets they have. Hoping that at some point in the future those assets can be put to use for a reasonable profit.

Increasing access to credit will not help business or consumers. Since neither group wants to borrow money right now. Government is the only sector that can afford to increase spending now. We need that spending out here to create some kind of demand. Without it a deflationary spiral will hit us all, most likely before the year is out.

Tax cuts are supposed to increase capital available for investment. Investing that capital is supposed to stimulate job growth. That is the theory which proponents of tax cuts cite as the reason we must cut taxes. Leaving aside that eight years of tax cuts resulted in very little job growth here in the US. There is plenty of capital available to invest right now. What is missing is demand. Without increased demand capital accumulated by tax cuts will be hoarded to be invested in better times. That is why I am asking you to vote for increased spending and reduced tax cuts.

Look at the spending that Collins and Nelson want to cut. "State stabilization money", without assistance States and local municipalities across the country are also going to be forced to cut back. So in addition to consumers and businesses reducing economic activity a huge percentage of the government will also reduce economic activity. "State Incentive Grants", all the talk of the green economy is hog wash if States don't spend massive amounts of money on "greening" their properties. These investments will provide the seed money which will allow companies trying to produce "green" products get into business, develop/improve their products and become financially sound so that future growth will be possible. Funding for education, health care and transportation, all of which will go directly into the economy and generate or maintain jobs while providing much needed service to us, the general population.

These cuts are ridiculous and ideological. While some in Washington are playing politics and posing for photo opps, we are facing a major crisis. You campaigned on the slogan that "Washington is broken". I called hundreds of people on your behalf and told them just that. The absurd "debate" ( a very polite term for what is happening ) that is taking place around this bill is a prime example of the problems in Washington. Voting for increased spending and reduced tax cuts in this bill is a great opportunity for you to begin to make good on your promise to "fix Washington".

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thank you Woody! Thank you Pete!

Pete Seeger in triumph, and goddam does he look great!