Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Where's St. Barry, the Mocha Messiah?

Why isn't he front and center with a real, true REFORM plan for the WallStreet "crisis," that would 1) assist setting things a-right, 2) relieve the innocent, 3) punish the malefactors, and 4) pro-actively prevent it from happening again?

Do you think it might have anything to do with the fact that so MANY of his biggest benefactors, his most generous donors, are the 'malefactors,' members of the industry he'd have to re-regulate?

Geez, I dunno, Gampaw. What do YOU think?
Addendum: Where's St. Barry?
The Pale Prince of Political Platitudes checked in today with this:
For the rest of today and as long as it takes, I will continue to reach out to leaders in both parties and do whatever I can to help pass a rescue plan. To the Democrats and Republicans who opposed this plan yesterday, I say — step up to the plate and do what's right for this country. And to all Americans, I say this — if I am President of the United States, this rescue plan will not be the end of what we do to strengthen this economy — it will only be the beginning.
No, sir. I say give us a plan that protects the deserving, punishes the malefactors, and installs preventative policies to preclude recrudescence of the phenomenon. Phuck you and your pious, pitiful platitudes.

Q: What do you call Florida State Police roadblocks set up by the GOPukes to prevent or obstruct rural, black Florida voters from getting to the polls?

A: Barackades, of course...

Monday, September 29, 2008

WallStreet Bail-Out: "A brief note on the etiquette of anal penetration"

Via Walking With Ghosts, untouched (res ipsa loquitur):

Imagine, on some long Saturday evening, you are relaxing and watching television when your lover/partner/spouse walks into the room. They stand in front of you, blocking American Idol or whatever the hell you watch on a Saturday night, and proceed to pull a long plastic glove onto their right arm, and make a fist.

Then they bring out the KY, and start slathering it all over the glove. You can't help but noticing, in a rather horrified fashion, that they've made sure to lubricate it well over half way to the elbow.

Then they tell you to stand up, drop your pants, bend over, and grasp your ankles firmly.

There are two important things to note at this point:

i, You have a perfectly good right to ask "Why?" AND
ii, "There's not enough time to explain" is NOT a good enough reply.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

If Bigamy Were Legal, I'd Move To Canada And Relentlessly Chase Their Two "Naomis"

Under the relentless onslaught of financial shocks being used to propel iniquitous and unconstitutional proposals through Congress, it is well to harken to Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine and disaster capitalism rubric. (Me? Naomi? I could...well I could.)

But there is yet another Canadian "Naomi," who is every bit a gorgeous and brilliant as Ms. Klein. This is Naomi Wolf. I also (HEART) Naomi Wolf extravagantly. Here's why:
Sarah Palin is the "Evita" of an American Police State
Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah "Evita" Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state.

You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand "Palin Power." A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections -- but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you don't have freedom.

I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints. I heard her echo Bush 2000 soundbites ("the heart of America is on display") and realized Bush's speechwriters were writing her -- not McCain's -- speeches. I heard her tell George Bush's lies -- not McCain's -- to the American people, linking 9/11 to Iraq. I heard her make fun of Barack Obama for wanting to prevent the torture of prisoners -- this is Rove-Cheney's enthusiastic S and M, not McCain's, who, though he shamefully colluded in the 2006 Military Tribunals Act, is also a former prisoner of war and wrote an eloquent Newsweek piece in 2005 opposing torture. I saw that she was even styled by the same skillful stylist (neutral lipstick, matte makeup, dark colors) who turned Katharine Harris from a mall rat into a stateswoman and who styles all the women in the Bush orbit --but who does not bother to style Cindy McCain.

Then I saw and heard more. Palin is embracing lawlessness in defying Alaskan Legislature subpoenas --this is what Rove-Cheney, and not McCain, believe in doing. She uses mafia tactics against critics, like the police commissioner who was railroaded for opposing handguns in Alaskan battered women's shelters -- Rove's style, not McCain's. I realized what I was seeing.

Reports confirmed my suspicions: Palin, not McCain, is the FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal. The strategy became clear. Time magazine reported that Rove is "dialed in" to the McCain campaign. Rove's protégé Steve Schmidt is now campaign manager. And Politico reported that Rove was heavily involved in McCain's vice presidential selection. Finally a new report shows that there are dozens of Bush and Rove operatives surrounding Sarah Palin and orchestrating her every move.

What's the plan? It is this. McCain doesn't matter. Reputable dermatologists are discussing the fact that in simply actuarial terms, John McCain has a virulent and life-threatening form of skin cancer. It is the elephant in the room, but we must discuss the health of the candidates: doctors put survival rates for someone his age at two to four years. I believe the Rove-Cheney cabal is using Sarah Palin as a stalking horse, an Evita figure, to put a popular, populist face on the coming police state and be the talk show hostess for the end of elections as we know them. If McCain-Palin get in, this will be the last true American election. She will be working for Halliburton, KBR, Rove and Cheney into the foreseeable future -- for a decade perhaps -- a puppet "president" for the same people who have plundered our treasure, are now holding the US economy hostage and who murdered four thousand brave young men and women in a way of choice and lies.

How, you may ask, can I assert this? How can I argue, as I now do, that there is actually a war being ramped up against US citizens and our democracy and that Sarah Palin is the figurehead and muse for that war?
You'll have to follow the link for that answer, but the author of "The End of America" once again proves that a decent, basic (Canadian) education is all anyone needs to penetrate the propaganda of the best minds of the USer elitocracy...

Personally I do not underwtand why she gives McC(umst)ain a free pass in all of this. Perhaps she forgives his blindness (or ineffectuality) to his own presidential megalomania. I think Bombin' Johnnie's in it up to his droopy, melanomic left eye, but he's on his last 'glide-path,' so mebbe she's cutting him a break.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ask Murka's Certified-Favorite, National CILF, Sarah "Bailin'" Palin ANYTHING You Want!!! Really! ANYTHING! Just Ask!

Click the image to find how she answers!

(CILF = CandidateI'dLiketoFuck, an already over-filled metaphor, but hey...I'm just human.)

The USofA IS Not Now, And NEVER Has Been, A "Christian' Nation

Americans United presents yet ANOTHER recitation of the obvious facts, supported by historical documents and a legislative history (all of which the Bible-blatherers reject out of hand anyway.):
September 22, 2008
‘Christian Nation’ Nonsense: Americans Need Lessons In History And Civics
"55 percent of Americans told pollsters that “the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation.”
(Which 'fact' does nothing except to reinforce my belief that a majority of "Americans"--say the 55% in question--are too fucking stupid to allowed to operate machinery unsupervised or reproduce at all. Ed.)

Bishop John England of Charleston has always been one of my favorite characters from American religious history.

England, head of the Catholic Diocese of South Carolina from 1820 until 1842, was a staunch advocate of church-state separation. He insisted that the U.S. Constitution gave government no authority whatsoever “to legislate upon religion or morals, directly or indirectly.”

Argued England, “If ninety-nine hundredths of the present population, were to become Catholics to-morrow, they would be morally criminal did they exclude the remaining hundredth portion from any civil, or political, or religious right; and under our Constitution the attempt would be usurpation, and therefore invalid.”

England insisted, “Congress has no power to nurse the Evangelist, nor to frown upon the Papist; it cannot prefer the Christian to the Jew; nor bestow one cent either to plant the Gospel in Monrovia, to build a synagogue at Grand Island, or a mosque in New York.”

I thought of Bishop England last week when I heard the results of the latest First Amendment Center survey on Americans’ understanding of their First Amendment rights.

In contrast to his enlightened views, 55 percent of Americans told pollsters that “the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation.” Only 39 percent disagreed.

On a similar note, 63 percent of respondents thought “the nation’s founders intended the United States to be a Christian nation.” Only 32 disagreed.

These are absolutely appalling results. Are our public schools really doing that bad a job of teaching history and civics? Are Americans really that ignorant of our nation’s heritage of church-state separation and individual freedom?
Follow that link to read the rest. It will NOT improve your mood. In answer to the last question, the US Schools de-emphasized civics and US history beginnning in about 1972, when the "Crook" and his criminal cronies observed that a LOT of the students in the streets demonstrating against and demanding an end to the indiscriminate slaughter of brown people in Indo-China--in addition to the millions of civil-rights demonstrators of the previous decade--had been pretty well schooled in and were well-versed in civics, the rule of law, etc., and were using that knowledge to attack the Regime's criminal war.

Civics has not been a priority in USer schools since at LEAST 1980. So at least two generations of USer school kids are, in fact, abysmally--but intentionally--ill-informed on the structures and workings of the institutions and instruments of self-government.

Which is probably okay--at least with the Elitocrats--since those institutions and instruments have, themselves, been the targets of the relentless onslaught of fascistic practices wrought by EVERY SINGLE US Presidency since Nixon's to quell and suppress them, and are today comatose at best...

(H/t to M_A, on her OWL blog and Diane's WWL, too)...

Great Minds...

Via Scott Horton's luminous "No Comment" blog:
Social and international problems—wars, spiritual crisis, crimes and drug addiction, terrorism, fear of the future, fear of progress—have been summoned into existence through the course of a historical process, they flow from the real contradictions and difficulties of our indescribably complex modern life, first and foremost, from the fundamental conflict that governs our times: the conflict between totalitarianism and the forces of pluralistic, scientific and democratic social development which are firmly opposed to it. Scientific inquiry bears no responsibility for these problems–to the contrary, it is the essential tool for any objective analysis of our situation. I believe that problems of this sort will continue for some time to plague humankind on its path of development, challenging our capacities for reason, humanity, and altruism, as well as our wisdom. This is our greatest examination session, in which humanity must prove its right to exist.

–Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, Interview with La Stampa, Dec. 2, 1979 (S.H. transl.)
In my "Dichos" to the right side here, there's one in which I believe i both echo and condense Sakharov's point:
Humanity is a cosmic experiment, testing if Life can survive intelligence. The jury's still out.
He's far more eloquent, I the more parsimonious.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Bring This Up ONLY Because I Once Danced A Turn Or Two With Cloris Leachman

shooting a really dreadful film called "BeerFest."

The "good stuff" starts about 4 minutes in, after the 'dance..' I can attest that she is indeed every bit as crusty an old dame as she seems...unless she put's it on with the lipstick, and I could believe that, too...

(202) 244-3121 // (202) 225-3121

Tired of all this shit yet?

Figger your money, your taxes--instead of helping people, or building infrastructure, or saving the planetary ecosystem, or anything else practical, are gonna buy big salary parachutes and 'bonuses' for soul-less, avaricious Wall Street brokers, and feather the nests of their lickspittles and toadies? Or a set of tires for a Wall-Street-sponsored NASCAR racers (and WTF is the US ARMY doing sponsoring one of those things??? How many Hum-Vees could that team buy?)

This is the "Grover Norquist Wet Dream," the crisis that drowns public service government in the bathtub of private debt. Whastoever ELSE it does, this 'bail-out' is gonna be USED as the rationale/excuse to suck/squeeze ALL the money out of "social" programs for the next 30 years--you can, I boldly predict, kiss Universal Health Care good-bye. It's history without ever having been current events. Hear the little foot-steps of the REST of the "free-marketeers" lining up for their share of the booty? The automakers and the rest who'll extort 'development' money from the Congress to build alternative energy autos, appliances, and assorted other post-industrial tchotchkes for the "consumer."

If you're as pissed-off as I am, just pick up the phone and BITCH at somebody who just happens to be in the position to DO something about it.

The "244" number is the Capitol Hill Switchboard. The "225" number is the Senate. Ask to be connected with your Senator or Rep's office.

No, you won't get your 'representative,' you'll get an assistant, a paid toady. Be polite, if you can be. But don't worry about it if you're not; do not spare their delicate sensibilities or easily-injured feelings. If they're (typically) obscurantist or seem to be dodging the question, SCREAM AT THEM! The pig-fuckers gotta hear the "people's voice." If that voice speaks in obscenity-laced and/or profanity-purpled prose, well that's just how the fuck it is. Fuck'em if they can't take a joke...

And if they hang up on you, you'll at least know how to vote in November.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Compare Obama's Generalities with Nader's Specifics...

Mary Scott, at MLW, kindly provided the text of Obama's boilerplate. You'll have noticed the Jamocha Hope's (typically) seriously long on rhetoric, short on specifics....

Now, Nader (the "un-serious one"):

1. No bailouts without conditions and reciprocity in the form of stock warrants.

2. No more lobbying for any company that is bailed out.

3. No golden parachutes and get out of jail free cards for guilty executives.

4. No bailouts without public hearings.

5. Reduce the moral hazard in U.S. mortgage markets by introducing covered bonds for the majority of mortgage products as they do in Western Europe. That gives institutions that finance mortgages an incentive to be prudent, because they cannot just unload them and wipe their hands clean of the liability, but are instead on the hook if the homeowner defaults.

6. Maintain neighborhood stability and housing security by passing a law with a sunset clause allowing below median-value homeowners facing foreclosure the right to rent-to-own their homes at fair market value rates.

7. Avoid future housing bubbles by removing implicit government guarantees for new mortgages that exceed thresholds of greater than 15-20 times the annual fair market rent value of the home.

8. Make the Federal Reserve a Cabinet Position, so it is accountable to Congress, as well as making sure all Federal Reserve Bank presidents are appointed by the President and answerable to congress.

9. Reduce conflicts of interest by taking away power for auditor and rating agency selection from companies and placing it in the hands of the SEC to be administered on random assignment.

10. Implement a securities speculation tax, starting with derivatives to deter casino-style capitalism.

nagahapun, you say? Prob'ly.

Now ask yourself why NOT, and why Obama isn't more specific.

I won't try to affect your thinking,except to mention that Obama's adviser in all this is (GOP stalwart) Robert Rubin who, if he didn't collaborate with Gramm, Leach and Blilely, was at least compliant and cooperative...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Obama's Up To His Neck In The Economic Sleaze

You should go listen to Democracy Now, from Wednesday, this past week, n ot only for the comprehensive critique of the whole 'collapse' narrative, but especially--if you're one of those who believes we'll be saved by the Great Mocha Hope--for the discussion of who are Obama's advisors on this, and the politics of his replies.
HUDSON: ...You’ll see big fish eat little fish. The strong are going to win out. The people who are not going to be bailed out are going to be the pension funds, the labor funds, the small investors. You’re going to—the government has come down on the side of the sharks. And what they did yesterday is to lock in and prevent any Democratic administration from coming in and cleaning up the mess. The people who’ve made the mess are now in control.

AMY GOODMAN: But Obama is not against this.

MICHAEL HUDSON: You know, that’s true. He is not against it, and it was, after all, a Democratic president, Clinton, who repealed Glass-Steagall. And it was a Democratic Treasury secretary, Robert Rubin, who supported all of this. So they’re the—

AMY GOODMAN: (Rubin...)Top adviser to Obama.

MICHAEL HUDSON: That’s right, the Treasury secretary. Yes, and still the top adviser. So, you’ve had both—I guess you could say the Republicans are a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street, the Democrats are a partially owned subsidiary.

AMY GOODMAN: Nomi Prins?

NOMI PRINS: Well, yeah. Robert Rubin was at Goldman. So is the current Treasury secretary, Hank Paulson. So are a number of people in Washington. And you have that situation where you have people with speculative sort of minds running this concept of free market through Washington, which has created this complete catastrophe in the financial sector.

It will get worse, because the fact is these new conglomerates—the JPMorgan/Bear Stearns, the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch—they are larger, more risky entities than they were before the happening, and they have not disclosed the risks that they have. I worked in some of these companies. You cannot merge risk—you know, you cannot merge risk systems between the products within your own company. So when you start merging tremendously big companies, there is no hope in any sort of short timeframe the you are going to actually understand that risk. And there’s no need to report it to our government, because it’s not required. So it will get worse.

MICHAEL HUDSON: Nomi used the word “free markets.” Obviously, this is not a free market. They say they’re acting on behalf of Adam Smith. Adam Smith said that no government has ever repaid its debts. And it could be said that no private sector has, either. So, this is not a free market; this is a guaranteed gamble for Wall Street against industry and against labor.
It has been said so often I am sure everyone is tired of hearing it, but:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rude Pundit: Cunning Linguist Hannity Tongue-Diddles The "Sarah-cooter"

After minimal foreplay, RP gets right down to it:
"...Hannity sucked a little on her clit's hood so that he didn't even notice when she lied, "It was a time of asking the girls to vote on it, anyway. And they voted unanimously, yes. Didn't bother asking my son because, you know, he's going to be off doing his thing anyway, so he wouldn't be so impacted by, at least, the campaign period here." Yes, yes, Palin thought, this one knows how, this one has some skill, not like that Gibson who glanced at her cooter and gave it an unenthusiastic finger or two.

Pulling his tongue across her taint, ever so teasingly hitting the rim of her anus and moving back, Hannity began to get a feel for the ex-mayor's clit, a bit bigger than many, but not as monstrously huge as he had been told. Moving it up and down, asking about the meltdown on Wall Street, rotating it a bit, which made her get a bit defensive about John McCain saying "the fundamentals of the economy are sound," he got the moan he was looking for with an X-shaped motion, which was when he asked, "Is Senator Obama then using what happened on Wall Street this week? Is he using it for political gain? Is there a danger of a presidential candidate is saying to the world that America's situation of economic crisis is the worst that we've seen in decades — which was words that he was using yesterday — is there a danger in terms of the world hearing that?"

Palin, sucking her cheeks in, adjusting her ass ever so slightly, leaning in to Hannity's skilled tongue (although, truth be told, she did miss lips on her lips), her talking points flowed out of her like juice from a ripe plum: "Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we're talking about today. And that's something that John McCain too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must surpassed to deal with an issue like this."
There's more.

Never too much of a really good thing; another course of mockery, humiliation, scorn and derision. RP RULZ!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Constitution Day!!!!

Here's the complete version.

No, it ain't perfect, being often (justly) derided as the vehicle by which a latent aristocracy tried to hold onto its privileges while muting the cries of the people for liberty.

But it's as good as we're gonna get.

There's no point in trying to write a new one, or rewriting this one, even. I would NEVER entrust the construction of such a document to the "tender mercies" or presumptive "good offices" of the vast public relations/propaganda machineries of the CorpoRat State--which is, of course, where the event would occur.

Frequent polls reveal the people wouldn't ratify the 1st, 5th, or 14th amendments at all, if given the chance today...But NONE of the protections provided to individuals against the intrusion of the State into their private lives could possibly survive that assault from CorpoRat Murka, or either of the two parties.

The 1st Amendment is already moribund, smothered and barely breathing inside a cocoon of so-called Faith-based initiatives. The 4th is effectively deceased with the murder and burial in 2007 of the principle of habeas corpus; the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 14th are in IC, on life-support. None of those would survive a CorpoRat rewrite.

And, if somebody'd stop the fascists from destroying it, piecemeal, that would not be necessary (I have little hope for this actually happening).

So, bend an elbow, tip a flask, spill a libation to the spirit of Enlightenment Liberality embodied in this document.

Think of it as a wake... .

Monday, September 15, 2008

Video Of VPILF Palin In Church Where She Was Saved Censored By YouTube

Sarah Palin's Churches and The Third Wave from Bruce Wilson on Vimeo. YouTube pulled it down after almost 160,000 hits, for "inappropriate content."

You think the VIPLF got "nekkid"?

Well, sorta...

Ya Think Lehman'll Get Their Money Back?

Goldman Sachs $474,428,
Ubs Ag $298,180,
JP Morgan Chase & Co $282,387,
Lehman Brothers $274,147,

National Amusements Inc $265,750,
Sidley Austin LLP $251,657,
Citigroup Inc $247,436,
University of California $239,944,
Skadden, Arps et al $228,520,
Exelon Corp $226,661,
Harvard University $225,891,
Jones Day $213,825,
Google Inc $192,808,
Time Warner $190,091,
Morgan Stanley $190,026,
Citadel Investment Group $173,950,
Kirkland & Ellis $163,126,
Latham & Watkins $160,842,
WilmerHale LLP $155,788
Jenner & Block $151,447.
(The source is reportedly opensecrets.org. I do not know the date to which the particular figures apply, pre- or post-primary, etc.)

(Nota bene: Ubs Ag $298,180 is, I believe, the nominal employer of John McC(umst)ain's de facto Secretary of the Treasury, the former Senator from Texas, the Hon. Phil Gramm.)

Now, for an all-expense-paid trip for your whole family to colorful, historic, and romantic Skokie, Illinois, whose (corporate) donors are those? In what industry, recently under fire for mismanagement, ethical lapses, and other kinds of chicanery, do the corporations whose names are highlighted operate? Have you seen their names in the news recently?

To win the fabulous prize, all you have to do is to tell us again, please, in 300 words or less, why YOU think any significant change is coming?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Contest/Poll: "If Obama's 'elected,' what should be his first "act"?

There would be many votes for 'ending the war.'

Probably, there would be much sympathy for prosecuting the departing Busheviks, assuming there were any them who had not been pardoned by the Chimp/Cheney on the way to Paraguay/Dubai.

But if it were me, the first think I'd do would be to summarily fire EVERY person the Bushevik regime hired, in whatsoever position they now occupy, wherever they might be. It is vitally necessary to dispel, disperse, dismiss and deconstruct the nests of poisonous, toxic GOPuke moles planted throughout the Federal infrastructure over the last 8 years. They have burrowed in deeply by now and become, in effect, bureaucratic 'terror cells,' tasked with impeding, obstructing, or derailing any efforts to erase the Bushevik/CorpoRat "reforms."

Probably this would be illegal, under the provisions of the Civil Service acts and regulations. But it was precisely those laws which the Bushevik regime violated by hiring "career" employees on the ("plausibly" deniable, but still illegal and unethical) basis of ideological purity and party loyalty in the first place. So it would be at least consistent with precedence.

There is, imho, very, very little chance of any change occurring in the fundamental operations of the State under a President Obama. There is NONE without rooting out the residual, toxic Busheviks, seizing their hard-drives, and driving them out of Government--since we would probably be prevented from blocking the doors from the outside and razing the place with them still inside...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Bet A New Line, "Hanoi Hilton" Pajamas, Would Sell Like "Hotcakes"

Over at ThinkProgress, there is a report from the Values Voters Summit, that certain vendors were doing brisk business selling the "humorous" product featured here to the right.
At the Values Voter Summit this weekend, vendors sold an item called “Obama Waffles” featuring a racist cartoon of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) on the box front — with “popping eyes and big, thick lips” — and another image of him wearing an Arab-like headdress on its top flap. Its creators, Mark Whitlock and Bob DeMoss, said it was meant as “political satire,” and sold the box for $10 from a booth at the Family Research Council event. CNN’s Lou Dobbs stopped by the booth and exclaimed, “My wife will love this!” A photo shows Dobbs (the satisfied customer) with a box of the mix in his hand. From the NYTimes article
From the NYTimes article:
Asked if he considered the pictures of Obama on the box to be racial stereotypes, Whitlock said: "We had some people mention that to us, but you think of Newman's Own or Emeril's -- there are tons and tons of personality-branded food products on the market. So we've taken that model and, using political satire, have highlighted his policies, his position changes."
And besides, he's not a war hero/POW. He's not white. He's just another "uppity" Kneegrow! No big deal...

I bet somebody and I could make a lot of money for our cause if we put out a new line of sleepwear, labelled "Hanoi Hilton" pajamas. Keith Olberman could pimp 'em for us. How about a foto-shop of McC(umst)ain's wattles waffled, over a headline: Not Even Mrs. Butterworth could save that mess from the trash!

Fuukin BRILLIANT, right?

Addendum: Turns out everything's okay. Those guys responsible for the "product" were just a couple of fellas trying to have a little good, clean fun over the election. They didn't mean anything by it, right? Just a coupla good ol' boys:

PS: I think somebody over on TP, where the piece first surfaced, tracked down Whitlock's url/e-mail. Check the tread, near the bottom...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Support the Employee Free Choice Act

Over at Huff-Post, Mark Weisbrot wrote about it:
While it hasn't gotten much attention, one of the most important issues that our elections this November could decide is the future of organized labor in the United States. This is important not just for the 15.7 million workers who happen to be in unions, but for the vast majority of the entire 154 million-member U.S. labor force. The wages, benefits, and working conditions of most employees are affected by collective bargaining even if they don't have a union. For example, employers who want to keep unions out will sometimes have to offer their workers such amenities as health insurance.
Reform legislation called the Employee Free Choice Act would give employees a fighting chance to regain some of their lost rights. This bill would mandate that an employer recognize the union if it obtains the signatures of a majority of employees. There would be no need for the long and costly - especially to the workers who are fired - election campaign.

A poll by Global Strategies Group this month found that 68 percent of middle-class Americans support the Employee Free Choice Act. Polls also indicate that tens of millions would join a union if they had the choice.
This law would probably change Americans' lives more than any legislation since the New Deal brought us Social Security. The political influence of millions of new union members would also bring us closer to such basic reforms as universal health care. It's all long overdue."
Obama says, if president, he'd sign it.
It passed the House, last year, 241-185.
But that won't get it through the Senate, where the Pukes have used the cloture threat to prevent a vote and suck ass for their corpoRat paymasters.
So the question is, if he has any, will a President Obama actually devote political 'capital' to the passage? It will need 60 votes in the Senate. Will the Dims 1) have the numbers and, if they have 'em, 2) will they actually do the deed? Cuz it's easy to be "for" legislation that has no chance of passage. So, if he's actually insatalled in the Office, this could be an early test of Obama's leadership in his wing of the Party...

Me? Given its wide-ranging potential for expanding union power in the work-force, I'd say "Don't hold your breath; or at least have somebody standing by with oxygen.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fannie/Freddie Bail-Out: What's Left Is No "Change."

This just pisses me off! Where the fuck is Barack Obama on the FannieMae/FreddieMac bail-out? William Greider, in The Nation's The Notion blog wondered the same thing, although he generously includes McCumstain in his speculations. But actually, we know where he is: CHICAGO (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Sunday the U.S. government's takeover of mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie make was necessary to prevent a deeper economic crisis.

"Given the substantial role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in our housing system, I believe that some form of intervention is necessary to prevent a larger and deeper crisis throughout our entire economy," Obama said in a statement.

"I will be reviewing the details of the Treasury plan and monitoring its impact to determine whether it achieves the key benchmarks I believe are necessary to address this crisis."

American voters are like the lambs being led to slaughter and at the very height of the presidential campaign. Yet not a peep of protest from John McCain and Barack Obama, not even a hint of the righteous anger injured taxpayers will rightly feel as they figure out the deal for themselves. The rescue of the two giant mortgage firms is another huge expenditure of the public's money--one or two hundred billion dollars this time--to reassure bankers and financiers the government stands by them in their troubles, whatever the costs.

Think about it. Candidates Obama and McCain are wagging their fingers at the governing system in Washington, both warning they intend to make big changes if elected. Meanwhile, business-as-usual doesn't wait for the next president. The financial system needs the capital right now, and so Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has opened up the spigot. Obama and McCain meekly bless the deal. This sequence of events makes them look look the political goats, their grand talk of change pushed aside by what Wall Street demands. The 2008 election may be close, but it looks like the status quo has already won.

There is a lot more pain and embarrassment to come. The nation is in the midst of an historic financial crisis--more bank failures are ahead and probably another bailout of even larger scale. Yet the two major parties act as though this subject is too complicated for ordinary Americans to understand. Neither candidate has found the nerve (or decency) to explain the full dimensions of what the country is facing. Both men are no doubt told to say as little as possible, for fear of touching off more panic among investors. Voters can safely be left in the dark.
It is not for nothing that the Murkin voters are regarded as 'sheeple.' If you needed any MORE evidence of the synonymy of the ends in view of the two marginally different wings of the Party of Property, let this be a fucking lesson to you...

Monday, September 8, 2008

"Woody's Affiliated Blogs"™ Announces the Arrival of Our Latest Member

Fresh from our 50,000th hit, please, join in the festivities welcoming the arrival the latest whelp in my bloggie litter, "Have a GREAT Day!"

On the new Blog, the effect I'm going for is "It Goes Without Saying." Or, as the lawyers say, "Res Ipsa Loquitur."

The rubric, obviously (I hope), is the transience of smug satisfaction. Schadenfreude is a wonderful thing.

I'm not going to headline anything, and I shall post no text that is not in the image or the vid presented.

I will happily publish images/vids sent in by contributors, who will be acknowledged by a "Doff Of The Old Fedora" (DOTOF™) under submissions that are posted.

So, welcome to the latest emanation of my fevered imagination. Please, play!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More Bank Failures Looming, Bigger'n Shit!

One of the things that happens when "the Government" takes over a "company" like Freddie Mac and/or Fannie May is that almost all the investors lose most if not all of their money. A lot of the money that's going to be "lost" when the Government takes over Fannie May and Freddie Mac is represented in common and preferred shares of stock held by small banks and S&Ls. Like the one Neil Bush...er, Andy McCain left just before it went tits up, soaking the tax-payers for several BILLIONS of $$$$.

Calculated Risk sez reading between the lines of the Federal Banking Agency's (The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision) reaction to the collapses, we're gonna see more bank failures. He doesn't say it, because he's careful, but I think, when we're talking the trillions of dollars of liabilities in FannieMay/FreddieMac, the number of failures is not going to be small.

Remember, when somebody talks about losses like these, the money's not 'lost' in the sense of it having gone missing. Somebody's still got all of it, somewhere. But it is "lost" to the people who counted on it.

I'm pretty much resolutely opposed to the death penalty, but: The kinds of mass fraud and other examples of fiduciary shenanigans, effecting the entire lives of hundreds of thousands, even millions of people, reducing them to poverty, looting their savings, destroying their lives, well, I reckon I could make an exception. Convict 'em if necessary, but take 'em over to the graveyard, and hand 'em a shovel, and have 'em dig a hole, and kneel in it, and put a couple of small-caliber rounds through their heads, and cover the corpses with quick-lime.

It may, or may not, deter future criminals; but is cuts hell out of recidivism...

Friday, September 5, 2008

!Viva Las Fiestas! : Light Posting 'Til Sunday

Zozobra, aka "Old Man Gloom" awaits his fiery fate,
on the first night of Fiestas De Santa Fe.

Fiestas de Santa Fe is a festival held every autumn in Santa Fe, New Mexico, usually during the second week of September.


Fiestas de Santa Fe has been held annually since 1712 to celebrate the "peaceful retaking" of the city in 1692 by Spanish colonists led by General Don Diego de Vargas (1643-1704). The Spanish were earlier expelled from the city by neighboring Pueblo people during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and spent the next 12 years in exile in El Paso del Norte (now Ciudad Juárez, Mexico).
The King of Spain appointed de Vargas to lead the exiled colonists in their reoccupation of Santa Fe, which he accomplished without bloodshed--in Santa Fe, anyway; elsewhere the story was different--on September 14, 1692. Eight years after de Vargas' death, a proclamation was signed to establish an annual commemoration of the resettlement.[1]

Festival Highlights

The start of Fiestas is marked by the burning of Zozobra, also known as "Old Man Gloom", a 50ft/15.2m tall marionette that symbolizes the hardships and despair of the past year. The tradition is not ancient, though, having begun in around 1928, by a group of "gringo" artists called "Los Cincos Pintores," led by Will Schuster. This is followed by 3 days of celebration that includes a reenactment of Don Diego de Vargas' return to the city, a children's pet parade, the Historical/Hysterical Parade, the Fiesta Ball and Roman Catholic masses of thanksgiving. During the festival, the Santa Fe Plaza is filled with arts & crafts and food booths, and mariachis play throughout the city. Fiestas concludes with twilight mass at St. Francis Cathedral followed by a candlelight procession to the Cross of the Martyrs.

"Fiestas" are not uniformly loved in Santa Fe, which still is home to a substantial population of 'native' Americans, both in the city and on near-by pueblos. The Native folks do not 'celebrate' the reconquest, howsoever allegedly peaceful it was. They are far more inclined to celebrate the Pueblo Revolt, which was just about the only successful rebellion of indigenous peoples against European colonial expansion anywhere in the New World. It began in 1680, and the reconquest, which Fiestas commemorates, occured in 1692.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no community festival of the same size and duration to commemorate the Pueblos' successful rising against the Spanish. However, the putative leader of the revolt, a cacique named Po'pay, from the pueblo of Okeh-Owingeh (formerly called "San Juan?") is commemorated locally.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Whew! The Big Easy Catches A Break

A big part of what's called "Acadiana" mightn't have been so lucky, this time. Erosion caused by oil development--mainly, channels dug to facilitate platform maintenance and supply--has decimated the shallows and marshes that once protected this fragile coast. Looking at the storm track Saturday and Sunday, I thought Morgan City might catch the brunt. It was apparently worse even east of there, in the so-called "Evangeline" region which, when he wrote the poem, Longfellow had never visited.

NEW ORLEANS - A still-largely deserted New Orleans was spared major damage from Hurricane Gustav, but other parts of Cajun country were not as lucky.

In low-lying parishes across Louisiana's southeastern and central coast, homes were destroyed and towns flooded.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he has received reports of widespread damage across three parishes — Terrebonne, Lafourche and St. Mary — near where the eye of the storm hit. Helicopter crews were expected to search the area for anyone injured or killed.

I was really glad N'Awlins was mostly spared this time. I had the great good fortune to live close enough to the "Big Easy" to enjoy its pleasures regularly for about 10 years and I retain a great fondness for the place.

Hurricane Andrew relieved my house in Baton Rouge of about 60% of its shingles and about a third of its sheating about this time in '91. As soon as the winds died, every male in the neighborhood was out in the streets, organizing ourselves to attack quick patches as swiftly as possible. There were about 12 houses on my street/block and about half of them sustained damage. Storm damage in southeast Louisiana was not uncommon, and everybody had tools and some kinds of materials: tarps, visquine, plywood, nails, tar. We had every damaged roof in the neighborhood patched enough to keep out the rain by sunset.

Youtube had this international photomontage from all over the affected areas.

It seems always well to remember that these events are equivalent disasters to all their victims.