Saturday, October 31, 2009

Grayson Tolls the Dead: 44 THOUSAND/Year

C&L collects Alan Grayson, reading from some of the stories of the neglected, who perished in consequence of NOT being able to acquire (affordable/available) health insurance, which have been left on his site, Names Of The Dead:
Every year, more than 44,000 Americans die simply because they have no health insurance. Add your story and watch Congressman Grayson read your stories on the House floor.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

I like the way this guy operates, turning the bullying tactics of the Pukes back on 'em. He does NOT gladly suffer fools, and his demeanor bespeaks the contempt with which he regards the "other side." I'd like to see him with a chainsaw...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

RIP Gerald Bracey: Another Good Man Gone Down

Gerald Bracey, one of the foremost scholarly critics of the horrible hash made of USer education by the corpoRats and the edu-fascists, died last week, at age 69. Damn, damn, damn. I knew him. A good man, scholar, and advocate for democratic education. He's one of those whose voice will be sorely missed. From an obituary at schoolmatters blog, which was on USAToday, written by Greg Toppo:
(Bracey wrote) Setting the Record Straight: Responses to Misconceptions About Public Education in America, tackled 20 "myths" about U.S. public schools, giving advocates ammunition to rebut critics. For instance, one chapter begins, "What do I say when people say, 'Schools won't improve until they're taken over by private companies and run like businesses'?"

But it was likely Bracey's annual Rotten Apples in Education, an over-the-top mock awards newsletter, that made him the most fans and the most enemies.

It took no prisoners and pulled no punches. In 2006, after then-Education Secretary Margaret Spellings compared the No Child Left Behind education reform law to Ivory Soap, saying it was "99.9% pure — there's not much needed in the way of change," Bracey awarded Spellings "The 99 and 44/100ths Pure Crap Award."

While he held President George W. Bush and No Child Left Behind in especially low esteem, Bracey was bipartisan in his loathing, most recently calling out President Obama and his Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, on what Bracey called "test abuse," quipping at one point, "These guys don't have a clue."

He took Obama to task earlier this year on the President's assertions that three-fourths of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma.

Not really, Bracey said. Look it up.

Last August, when the topic on the EDDRA listserv turned to Obama's proposed education reforms, an angry Bracey wrote, "How long will it take for people to realize that the education 'reform' proposed by Obama-Duncan is no different from the Weapons of Mass Destruction from Bush (I say this as a depressed person who canvassed for Obama, campaigned for him, donated for him, and voted for him — with my entire family — in Virginia before moving to the blue-secure state of Washington.)"

"He wasn't afraid, but sometimes I know that got him into terrible trouble," Iris said. "He just wanted the truth to come out."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Do NOT Understand Why Women Would Want To Join The US Military

I am a veteran of the USAF. I was in for four years. It was four years of institutionally rationalized coarseness--sexual, moral, and behavioral. When I was in, there were far fewer women enlisted than today. With increased numbers of female enlistees, there has grown up a much greater occasion for sexual abuse. Outnumbered, surrounded by a culture in which rape, in some contexts, is an acceptable form of aggression, and embedded in a culture of rigidly patriarchal hierarchy, the deck is stacked against them.

The stories of abuse are heart-breaking. Democracy Now yesterday did a deep analysis, with a French film-maker who has followed the cases of several such women for a documentary called "Rape In The Ranks: The Enemy Within."
As with suicides, the rate of sexual assaults within the US military now exceeds that of the general population. A Pentagon report earlier this year found one in three female service members are sexually assaulted at least once during their enlistment. Sixty-three percent of nearly 3,000 cases reported last year were rapes or aggravated assaults. Rape in the Ranks: The Enemy Within is a documentary that focuses on the cases of three female service members victimized by rape and other forms of sexual assault. We air excerpts of the film and speak to filmmaker Pascale Bourgaux.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Everybody's Talking: Sen. Franken Schools A CorpoRat Shill

Takes the arrogant slag down a peg or two, though it didn't make him a new friend...

This was pretty much ubiquitous last week. See it again and enjoy...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nation's Morons March On Washington...


Above: A pack of certified imbeciles makes its feelings known three time zones from the nation's capital.
Courtesy or The Onion:
OLYMPIA, WA—With random cries of "Enough is enough," "Do something now," and "Huh?" thousands of the nation's biggest morons descended on Washington State this week, some 3,000 miles from their intended destination of the nation's capital.

The march, which had no discernable goal or message, and no official organizers, began at approximately 8:45 a.m. in front of what the morons called the National Mall, but was actually the courtyard outside the Olympia Public Library.

"More government accountability, and transparency, and accountability!" shouted grade-A moron Tammy Caldwell, 37, addressing no one in particular. "On behalf of me, and all the [morons] who came here today, listen up, greedy Washington fat cats: We're not going anywhere until each and every one of our voices is heard."

"To the Lincoln Memorial!" added Caldwell, pointing to a nearby monument dedicated to the memory of Washington State governor John Rankin Rogers.

Following a stop at what the morons believed to be Arlington National Cemetery, protestors reportedly marched east on State Avenue, south along Plum Street, paused bewilderedly when they failed to see the Reflecting Pool at the intersection of Union and Plum, and then found their way back to State to begin their march over again.

While authorities maintained that the gathering was largely peaceful and most of the fires were set purely by accident, demonstrators appeared visibly angry about a range of topics, including war, peace, food, music, money, baseball, cars, the people following them around as if this were some kind of rally, siblings, animals, plants, colors, and movies.

"Come on out of that precious little palace of yours, Mr. President. We're right here waiting," Pennsylvania resident Kip Callahan yelled toward the marble-columned State Insurance Building. "I didn't come all this way to be ignored. I got kids!"

"No Social Security for Medicare!" Michigan idiot Kevin Liston added. "Not in my backyard!"

Throughout the day, the number of protesters grew to include not just morons, but more than 6,000 nimrods, 3,500 dunderheads, and approximately 12,000 of the biggest fucking dipshits known to man.

In all, 75,000 of the simpletons turned out, though dozens were killed after walking out into traffic, and hundreds more were lost after wandering into nearby Trillium Park.

"I'm against things," longtime North Carolina resident Pam Beucher said. "I'm for things."

"America!" she added.

"I didn't know Washington, D.C. had Seattle in it," said Connecticut resident Kyle Hinton, an idiot. "Anyway, stop the war! No more hate! Swine flu! Iran! Pharmaceutical companies! Illegal immigrants! Never again!"

At press time the morons had been walking for 10 minutes into a concrete wall in Kennewick, WA, where they eventually stopped to pay their respects to those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.

"This is—," NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams said Wednesday while broadcasting video footage of protesters shouting "four more years" at the base of Mount Rainier. "Actually, I don't know what this is."

Clearly moved by the marchers' plight, both houses of the United States Congress announced Wednesday they had begun work on a $3 trillion piece of legislation that would completely overhaul the nation's education system.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spitzer Sez "Break The Fucking Banksters!"

Former governor of New York, and attorney general, Eliot Spitzer criticized the White House this morning for being "the only institution that doesn't get" the continuing danger of having massive banks that are 'too big to fail.'

Alan Greenspan is now saying break up the institutions... Volcker in his testimony a few weeks ago said we should not be insuring these big institutions to do proprietary trading. A bank has to be a bank... The White House seems to be the only institution that doesn't get this. You still have Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, and maybe Ben Bernanke out there saying let's keep the status quo.

Spitzer was joined on the panel by Rob Johnson, a former Soros fund manager as well as the former chief economist for the Senate Banking Committee during the Savings & Loan crisis. The panel discussion ranged from reforming the banks to public outrage that firms like Goldman Sachs are back to making enormous profits that are only possible because of earlier, large infusions of public money that staved off disaster.
Fed Chair Balks At Speed-Up Of Credit-Card Rules

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has told Congress that accelerating the effective date of credit card reform legislation would be good for consumers -- but that credit-card issuers need more time to adjust to the new rules.

Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee are pushing a bill to move up the effective date almost three months, to December 1. The law protects consumers from some of the worst credit card abuses, including sudden interest rate increases. While some of the provisions went into effect in August, others aren't scheduled to go live until February and August of next year.

"This bill is needed because too many credit card companies have been using the period since the bill's signing -- the period they pressed for, to prepare for the changes in their business -- in a way that betrays the confidence of their customers," Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said in September. After President Barack Obama signed the law in May, some banks responded by raising interest rates and fees.

Bernanke, though, argued in a Tuesday letter to Rep. Spencer Bachus, the senior Republican on the committee, that while moving the effective date up to December "could benefit consumers by providing important protections earlier than scheduled (including protections against applying increased rates to existing credit card balances)," it could lead to problems for credit-card issuers. "Issuers must be afforded sufficient time for implementation to allow for an orderly transition and to avoid unintended consequences, compliance difficulties and potential liabilities."

Bernanke wrote that it would also force the Fed to implement the law "without providing the public with advance notice and the opportunity to comment," as the Fed wouldn't have time to solicit comments.

His protestations didn't impress reform advocates. "For 14 years these are the arguments that have been used to allow abuses of consumers to continue. I'm sorry, but how much more abuse can consumers take?" asked Center for Responsible Lending spokeswoman Kathleen Day. "We have to cut the banks' addiction to bad practices. It's too bad, but they should have thought about this beforehand."

"This is just another example of the Fed putting the interests of consumers behind those of the banks," Day said.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Clean, Safe and High-Value" People Wanted

Michel Foucault would be proud of the following observation: "It’s common to have racism without “racists.”"

Indeed it is. Because, of course, 'racism' is not solely or even particularly about individual acts of bias, bigotry, or discrimination; it is about the SYSTEM of agreements, arrangements, policies and practices which permits, and approves--indeed, often, still, even encourages--the naturalization of those biases, bigotries, and discriminations. The recent 'debate' over reforming the health-insurance morass highlighted that aspect in ways that usually slip beneath the social radar.

And one arena in which those 'arrangements' are still strong is housing. On AlterNet, the other day, there was an excerpted chapter of a recent book by Rich Benjamin, "Searching for Whitopia": That same law which in it's majesty prohibits both the rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges "does not forbid segregated or discriminating neighborhoods. It simply forbids intentional discrimination."
In twenty-first-century America, how do so many Whitopias hatch and flourish?

A few white readers may protest that their neighborhood’s appeal has nothing to do with its racial composition. The homogeneity of where they live is “irrelevant” or “coincidental,” they say. But divorcing a Whitopia’s appeal from its predominantly white composition is like extracting the marshmallow from the s’more. Impossible. Each is fundamental to the other.

Whites may not move to a place simply because it teems with other white people. Rather, to many Americans, a place’s whiteness implies other qualities that are desirable. Americans associate a homogenous white neighborhood with higher property values, friendliness, orderliness, hospitability, cleanliness, safety, and comfort. These seemingly race-neutral qualities are subconsciously inseparable from race and class in many whites’ minds. Race is often used as a proxy for those neighborhood traits.

Through most of the twentieth century, racial discrimination was deliberate and intentional. Today, racial segregation and division often result from habits, policies, and institutions that are not explicitly designed to discriminate. Contrary to popular belief, discrimination or segregation do not require animus. They thrive even in the absence of prejudice or ill will.

It’s common to have racism without “racists.”

The law does not forbid segregated or discriminating neighborhoods. It simply forbids intentional discrimination. Successful plaintiffs in a discrimination lawsuit must prove that someone intended racial bias.

And the legal standard to establish proof of that intent is very high
: The plaintiff must present a “smoking gun” and this particular gun is often impossible to furnish. The 1973 Supreme Court decision San Antonio v. Rodriguez held that a school funding system based on local property taxes that perpetuated egregious disparities in per-pupil spending between mostly white districts and mostly minority districts does not violate the Constitution, because the plaintiffs could not prove that the funding differences emerged from intentional racial discrimination. Another landmark Supreme Court decision, Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp (1977), reinforced this “intent doctrine”: The court ruled that a suburban village did not discriminate, because it did not intend to discriminate when it set-up zoning that disproportionately harmed racial minorities.

There is a terrible disconnect between our everyday experiences and the law: In day-to-day life, racial inequity continues without intent, yet courts require evidence of intent before the law can acknowledge or effectively confront discrimination. Regrettably, the absence of explicit intent has become a common crutch that justifies private decisions that wreak racial havoc upon minorities.

Not to know what has been transacted in the past is to be always a child, said Cicero.
Cicero considerably antedates Santayana.

This is the shiny, happy face of "red-lining."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just Say "No!"

Going Green Means Having Fewer Kids

By Emily Badger, Posted October 19, 2009.
There are already just too many people on the planet. What are we supposed to do about it?

Andrew Revkin, an environmental reporter for The New York Times and author of the paper's Dot Earth blog, warns that the math is pretty depressing.

There are about 6.8 billion people on the planet today, a number projected to get to 9 billion by 2050. Americans, the world's greatest per-capita emitters of greenhouse gas emissions, produce about 20 tons of the stuff per person, per year. If we were to cut that in half, as emissions rose with the quality of life in much of the Third World, and everyone on the planet met around 10 tons per person, per year, simple multiplication says we'd collectively emit 90 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually come 2050.

That's three times the already problematic current number.

When we start to think about that number, 9 billion, a lot of "cheery suppositions" about what the world can do to curb climate change evaporate, Revkin said (via carbon footprint-minimizing Skype from his desk in New York). He spoke to an event in Washington discussing population trends and climate change, and the media that seldom correlate the two.

The interrelated topics aren't likely to get much talk when global leaders meet in Copenhagen in December for the next round of wrangling over a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. But at least the media could start highlighting the sensitive relationship, as was suggested at the talk hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center.

A couple of mental roadblocks emerge, central among them the sentiment that, well, there are just too many people on the planet, so what are we supposed to do about it? Any answer trips up against the politically touchy topic of family planning (a distinctly different concept, reproductive-health advocates stress, from "population control").

"The single most concrete, substantive thing a young American could do is not turning off the lights or driving a Prius," Revkin said. "It's having fewer kids."
I am proud to announce that I bucked the trend of my generation and refused to have children. So opposed to it was I that I "went to the Vet" in 1982 (though likely I was always shooting blanks, due to mumps as a teen).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Presidential Job Descriptions

What IS the President's job? There are a lot of mythical answers having to do with protecting the nation and upholding the Constitution, and stuff.

But it became evident to me that the ostensible job definition--described in the political mythologies of democracy and such--and the real job description were quite distinct. I figured it out concretely during the Bushevik regime. Bush's real job was to consolidate corpoRat power.

Obama's "Job" is to give "white" voters somebody to hate MORE than they were growing to detest the Bushevik GOP, and whom they could blame for the Bushevik clusterfux, while not relinquishing or diminishing corpoRat power.

I was reminded of the "job" of the President on another site earlier today, and I recalled that back when Bush was in office, I often disputed the claims by his critics that he was "incompetent." If, I thought, his "job" was properly understood, it could hardly be imagined that anyone had ever better succeeded. Because, properly understood, Bush's "job"--what he was installed to do--was always to undermine and diminish, to the greatest extent possible, any and all of the institutions and instruments by which the People--the citizens of the country, the "95%"--could resist the wholesale appropriation of the "civil" State by global corpoRat interests.

Obama's job is to make the People forget just how successful Bushevism was at its assigned job, and to displace onto a despised "minority" (either race or gender would have worked)--and onto the Dims, the "junior" party, party of the "minorities"--the responsibility for the rage of the people at the success of the Pukes.

I thought it was a genius move by the Owners to put a "novelty" candidate in the White House, one which--for too many reasons to now recount--could not do anything but FAIL to rectify even the least controversial of the Bushevik clusterfux: the economy, which Bush torpedoed in October, 08; the wars, including "Obama's War," Palestine, and soon Iran; the climate crisis; health-care; the growing class divide, etc.

Neither Hillary--had she been selected--nor Obama had ANY chance to solve ANY of those problems. They are, in effect, insoluble under the current, dominant political relations and arrangements, and the nearly complete CorpoRatization of our politics, the destruction and privatization of our commons.

It's working.

Either one would have served equally well to polarize 'popular opinion' (the inevitable consequence of the hypostatization of the Big Lie in the wonderfully hospitable environmrnt of the 24-hour news cycle). Political speech has become completely meaningless.

As anticipated, "White" people are finding and mining their inner racist. Obama is REALLY hated by the cracker nation (which contributed 46% of all the votes cast last year), far more I judge than Bush ever was detested and abhorred by the Left, even by 2007 or '08.

I am pretty sure Obama and the Dims will lose 'majority' power next year, and will lose the government again in 2012.

And the theo-fascist Right will reassume the reins, revoke anything Obama accomplishes, and drive us right off the cliff again.

Just the way "God" planned it...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cool Water

At Alternet yestiddy, a very affecting musing on the state of H2O:
Considering that less than 1 percent of all the water on the planet is usable freshwater, we’re not nearly as careful as we should be with this precious resource. Here are some amazing facts to put things in perspective.
1. Set in the desert of Dubai, the Tiger Woods Golf Course uses 4 million gallons of water every day to maintain its lush appearance.

2. Since 1950, water usage in the United States has risen 127 percent (per capita).

3. Even though each person only requires 48 liters of water on a daily basis, individuals in the United States use an average of 500 liters, those in Canada an average of 300 liters and those in England an average of 200 liters.

4. Of all the water that enters each household, about 95% of it ends up down the drain.

5. With access to just 5 liters of water each day, more than a billion people in water poor regions around the globe survive on the same amount used to flush a toilet or take a 5-minute shower.

6. If you shorten your showers by just a single minute, you can save approximately 700 gallons of water in a month.

7. Letting the tap run when you brush your teeth wastes up to 4 gallons of water every time.

8. It takes an average of 300 gallons to water your lawn. During the summer, this can account for almost half of your water usage.

9. Every time you throw your clothes in the washer, you use about 50 gallons of water.

10. Another wasteful desert endeavor, the proposed Waveyards water park in Mesa, Arizona will require up to 100 million gallons of groundwater every year in an area that receives a mere 8 inches of rainfall in that time.
So, what can we do? Learn more about water conservation, and check out 100 ways you can conserve water.
I have a xeriscaped yard that needs little or no water in addition to what is naturally available here (not much). I have suspended using my evaporative cooler in the summer. I have long since learned to shut off the water when I brush my teeth. I no longer shower every day unless I have exerted myself sufficiently to break a sweat (I'd shower in pairs, if I had a pair). I don't flush every time, only when I poop. I only wash clothes when the washer is full, and the washer is super-efficient, using only about 15 gallons per load, And I don't wash my vehicles, ever...

My one excess: I have a fish-pond which I keep full.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Taibbi On Obama's Nice, Million-Dollar "Prize"

The Nobel Peace Prize Isn't About Peace:
It's a Way for Westerners to Pat Ourselves
on the Back and Change Nothing

Not to put tooooooo fine a point on it:
The Nobel Peace Prize long ago ceased to be an award given to people who really spend their whole careers agitating for peace. Like most awards the Prize has evolved into a kind of maraschino cherry for hardcore careerists to place atop their resumes, a reward not for dissidence but on the contrary for gamely upholding the values of Western society as it perceives itself, for putting a good face on things (in Obama’s place, literally so).

Even when the award is given to a genuine dissident, it tends to be a dissident hailing from a country we consider outside the fold of Western civilization, a rogue state, "not one of us" -- South Africa from the apartheid days, for instance, or the regime occupying East Timor.

You never, ever get a true dissident from a prominent Western country winning the award, despite the obvious appropriateness such a choice would represent. Our Western society quite openly embraces war as a means of solving problems and for quite some time now has fashioned its entire social and economic structure around the preparation for war
This is NOT something Obama has demonstrated any enthusiasm for changing. Yes, he's slightly reduced the USer military footprint in Iraq (though not the contractors). But he is on the verge of disastrously INCREASING the size of the USer commitment in Afghanistan.

But at least he isn't the Chimp, nest paw:
More likely the Obama critics who believe that Obama won this award for not being George Bush are right as well. The problem the international community had with Bush wasn’t that he believed in war and the use of force, it was that he believed in the unilateral use of these things. Bush did not believe in the use of force as an expression of a whole society’s values, he believed in it as an expression of his own machismo.

He was like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove, flying through history with a bomb between his legs, shouting "Yee, haw!" It wasn’t so much that this behavior was wrong, it was just unseemly. (Bush) was like the drunk at a Victorian tea party who during the soup course makes jokes about the hostess’s secret pregnancy in France. We Westerners, we just don’t do things like that. Decorum, sir, decorum!
This is what Barack Obama did to "earn" the Nobel Prize. He put the benevolent face back on things. He is a good-looking black law professor with an obvious bent for dialogue and discussion and inclusion. That he hasn’t actually reversed any of Bush’s more notorious policies — hasn’t closed Guantanamo Bay, hasn’t ended secret detentions, hasn’t amped down Iraq or Afghanistan — is another matter. What he has done is remove the stink of unilateralism from those policies. (Just as his election "febrezed" the stench of endemic USer racism. W.)

They’re not crazy-ass, blatantly illegal, lunatic rampages anymore, but carefully-considered, collectively-run peacekeeping actions, prosecuted with meaningful input from our allies.

You see the difference? The Nobel committee sure did!
I have no idea what his award means, but I do know one thing; it doesn’t have a lot to do with peace.
Not a fucking thing, thank you very much!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back, back, back back-backback! Outta Here?

This Grayson feller shore knows how to use these Ewe-tuber-thingies:

Gee, when ya put it that way....

The Problem: Jewish Girls Put Out

NPR has a piece up this morning about Israeli girls who are 'going out' with Arab boys, and the vigilantes--Israeli men--who are trying to intervene in such liaissons. Apparently, Arab men pursue Israeli girls because they are not as "conservative" as Muslim women--which I took to mean that they "put out."

So sue me.
Throughout Israel, young Jewish men are forming vigilante groups to end interracial relationships between Arab men and Jewish women, which are occurring with increased frequency as Jewish settlements dig deeper into Arab territory. The vigilantes say Arabs lure Jewish women with money and "bad boy" personalities.
Here's the link to the story.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Eight Conservative Horses' Assitudes

Listed below in bold, are the standard translations of the maxims Jesus is alleged to have set forth in "the sermon on the Mount," in which he is said to have articulated the form of 'godly' action that would assure the citizens of Palestine 2000 years ago a smooth passage into the lap of Yaweh. In italic, beneath each one is my suggestion for the "new, improved, Conservatard Bible."

So, for instance:
* Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 3) becomes:
Stupid are the poor in spirit. Good luck with that.

* Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. (Verse 4) becomes:
Easy are the meek, for they are easy marks and pushovers.

* Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Verse 5) becomes:
Grateful are the whiners, for they shall get on TV.

* Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. (Verse 6), becomes:
Thinner are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for that shall be called a "diet."

* Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Verse 7) is then:
Foolish are the merciful. Kick 'em while they're down.

* Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. (Verse 8) henceforth is:
Horny are the clean of heart, for they shall not get laid.

* Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Verse 9) is now:
Wealthy are the warmongers, for they shall reap righteously of the slaughter.And finally:

* Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 10) hereafter shall be:
Fucked are they who suffer persecution for justice' sake, for they shall ALWAYS be persecuted.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Name Just One

Chris Floyd, at Empire Burlesque, always an acerbic critic of establishment cowardice and equivocation, offers a pertinent challenge:
Try and name any powerful interest that Obama has taken on. The Pentagon? Whatever minor internal squabbles there may be about the exact details of escalating the "Af-Pak" war (which Obama firmly assures us will go on and on, apparently forever; pulling out is "not an option," he says), the American war machine (and the mercenaries and servicing industries that augment it) continues to grow unchecked -- in terms of size, scope, budget, destructive power and political influence. The health-care conglomerates, bane of most ordinary Americans? We all know that Obama has cut a cynical deal with these barracudas, pledging to protect (and expand) their profit margins in exchange for vast wads of cash for Democrats. The security organs? Obama has been steadfast in his support and protection of the torturers, death-squadders and black-opsters of the intelligence services, and his legal minions are constantly in the courts, seeking to uphold and expand the authoritarian encroachments of the Bush Regime. Wall Street? Please. In his cabinet choices and his "bailout" policies, Obama has given Wall Street the keys to the Treasury, to use as they please to cover up – and continue – the criminal recklessness that has plunged millions of people into misery around the world.
Floyd generously concedes there is ONE group to whom Obama has stood up: the poor and people of color. "But let's give credit where it is due" he says:.
Obama has bravely taken on one very powerful faction which exercises enormous, dominant sway over American society: poor blacks. Time and again, he has used the "bully pulpit" to admonish black men for being bad fathers, and to exhort black folk in general to quit whining about the deeply ingrained, systemic injustice and inequality of American society, which perpetuates an ever-deepening cycle of deprivation and abandonment that undermines generation after generation. They should get over this already, he says – while his wars and his Wall Street bailouts and his health-care corporate aggrandizement plans drain billions upon billions of dollars that could go to, oh, say, supporting education, nutrition, economic opportunity, neighborhood security, transportation, infrastructure legal aid, prison reform, recreation, culture and much else that could that could improve the lives and chances of the poor, of whatever race – as well as everyone else outside the tiny golden circle of the elite and their sycophants.

No, he's not afraid to stand up to African-Americans and tell them to get their own house in order. But to the Pentagon, Wall Street, war criminals, and corporate barracudas, the only message is: "Can I take your order? What do you need? Here's a blank check; just fill it in."
And do not expect any changes, anything that would upset or otherwise exorcise the demons of the USer/global right-wing establishment:
...Obama, like Clinton before him, has no real idea of what he wants to do in government, or what he wants government to do: he just wants to enjoy the props and perks of power for awhile, to play the role of president, like Michael Douglas or Martin Sheen in a Aaron Sorkin fantasy, then bask in celebrityhood the rest of his days. The only real agenda of the Obama Administration is keeping Democrats in office, as Joe Biden revealed the other day, and winning a second term for the Prez. And then? Big book contracts, lucrative speaking engagements, corporate directorships, some charity PR....whatever.

The main thing is not to upset the golden applecart of the Empire and its Establishment. Thus the appearance of "weakness" consistently shown by the Administration is not due (or not solely due) to its own pusillanimousness; rather it comes from the inherent disconnect between the vague rhetoric of reform that it was forced to adopt to win popular support, and its real business: servicing the most powerful elements of a militarized, oligarchic state.
As I have inquired repeatedly: What kind of delusion is necessary to imagine that someone who is much a creature of the Owners--who owes them so much, without whose care and currying would still be a Chicago community organizer--would EVER turn on those to whom he owes soooo much. If he lives, his future is made: a lifetime of expensive speeches, appearances, honors, and the rest of the appurtenances of being the "first Black President. All he's gotta do is live through the next three years...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Who Is REALLY To Blame For Drowning New Orleans?

The US Army Corps of Engineers, basically, as this devastating look at the devastation demonstrates:
A just-released book describes the most dangerous project built by the US Army Corps of Engineers in regional New Orleans.

The book, Catastrophe in the Making describes how the MRGO (Mississippi River Gulf Outlet) put New Orleans and nearby St. Bernard Parish in harm's way by allowing salt water intrusion that killed protective cypress forests and buffering wetlands.

Futher, the book explains how similar, equally harmful projects are going on in many places including the California Delta and metro St. Louis.

The more exposure this book gets, the better, because it tells the true story of why New Orleans nearly drowned.

You can help get the word out!

Watch this 3-minute video and forward to your family and friends.

I'm with Susie on this one: Gimme MORE Grayson!

Alan Grayson (D-FL) is 100% right. The Pukes don't care (and neither do a vast majority of the Dims) is anyone lives or dies for lack of health care, as long as, while they're dyiong, they spend their fortunes doing it, and the proceeds go to the corpoRat interests that support 'em.
More Grayson

Oct 6th, 2009 at 4:39 pm by Susie (Suburban Guerrilla)

The more he says, the more I like him:
In an interview on the local radio show Doc & Grace in the Morning, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) explained that his comments about Republicans have been twisted into meaning that they somehow want Americans to die — when the real truth is that they don’t care.

“You know, this is being transmogrified into something else,” Grayson complained. “Honestly, the people I deal with, the people I actually am across the aisle with every day, I don’t think they care about ordinary people. I don’t think that the Republicans in Congress actually have a heart. I’ll be honest with you.”

“But that’s not the same as saying that they want you — I mean, let’s get straight what I said,” he explained. “I said their health care plan is ‘don’t get sick,’ and if you do get sick, then die quickly. And what did I mean by that? Because if you get sick and those bills are mounting, and you’re in the hospital and you’re feeling weaker and weaker, and you’ve got no way to pay for this, then what are they gonna do for you? Nothing. They’re gonna do nothing.”
Doing "nothing," of course, is doing "SOMETHING," i.e., letting you die.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

FDR'S "Economic Bill Of Rights"

Michael Moore uses FDR's Fireside Chat as a "coda" to his new film.
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won
(this was OVER 60 fucking YEARS AGO! W.) we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.
SIXTY FUCKING YEARS, friends. The capitalist oligarchy has stood in the way of the provision of these puny, miserable conditions for SIXTY FUCKING YEARS. Basta! Enough. If the Congress and President cannot meet these simple conditions for the health and well-being of the people, they deserve no loyalty, no esteem, no respect.

They deserve to be flogged...all of them. They bear no stake in these matters. If their bodies were in peril, then we'd get some action. As long as there are only 'electoral' consequences, they'll just continue to fuck us. And they won't stop until and unless their jellied asses are on the line.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What'll It Be, Folks? Water Wars or Food Wars?

Jon Stewart survives Hannity Water Torture, returns the favor, with interest.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Where the Riled Things Are
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview

Hannity and his ilk are seriously trying to instigate a Constitutional crisis by delegitimizing Obama's administration. They are, I believe, trying to provoke a "populist" (i.e., "white") Middull Murkin rebellion which, they believe, the white power structure will not be able to oppose with any seriousness (i.e., 'violence"), for fear of appearing to attack white people in favor the interests of "the niggers" and "others" over those of their "white-majority" constituents.

I think this is a real danger.

"Too Much, Too Soon, Too Fast"

The stock market's putative, speculative, probably specious "recovery," that is.

This "recovery" has been "too much, too soon, too fast," according to rogue (and usually right) economic pessimist Nouri al Roubini, quoted today on Calculated Risk.
Roubini: Investors Too Optimistic

by CalculatedRisk on 10/04/2009 11:30:00 PM

From Bloomberg: Roubini Says Stocks Have Risen ‘Too Much, Too Soon, Too Fast’
“I see the risk of a correction, especially when the markets now realize that the recovery is not rapid and V-shaped, but more like U- shaped. That might be in the fourth quarter or the first quarter of next year.” [Roubini said in an interview in Istanbul on Oct. 3.]
“The real economy is barely recovering while markets are going this way,” Roubini said. If growth doesn’t rebound rapidly, “eventually markets are going to flatten out and correct to valuations that are justified. I see a growing gap between what markets are doing and the weaker real economic activities.”

As I've noted several times, a V-shaped or "Immaculate" recovery seems very unlikely.

Futures are up slightly ...
Futures from

Bloomberg Futures.

CBOT mini-sized Dow

CME Globex Flash Quotes

And the Asian markets are mixed.
Best to all.
This is the "Tinkerbelle economy." Keep clapping, and enjoy the sardonic good wishes...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Here's the BAD News: You know "Globalism?" Yeah, it "worked"

Globalism, the system by which the worst of USer predatory capitalism was universalized:, the necessities of life were privatized, while the costs were socialized. Capitalism works when you can make the workers pay.

From the very good folks at TheRealNews

More at The Real News

Jomo K.S.: "Before the crisis, finance accounted for 15% of the economy, but had 40% of the profits."

And of course, one percent of the workforce earns receives 50% of the wages, and one percent of the population owns more wealth than the lower 95%. Wealth distribution was not this inequitable even in the "Golden Age" of the robber barons.

Friday, October 2, 2009

IOC Rejects Chicago Olympics-'16 Bid

This news has spawned a veritable torrent of vituperative hilarity from GOPhucktard trolls on several sites at which I read and sometimes comment. Since Obama's support and apparent sponsorship of the Chicago bid became political fodder for the GOPhucktard commentariat, the outcome became freighted with much more (howbeit specious) significance, such that this result now will certainly be acclaimed by the birthers/tenthers/t-baggers and other, assorted racist fux, as a failure by "thePrez," and therefore a victory for themselves.

Such craziness.

I think there were several contributing factors, economic, and geo-political. But you'll have to take The Jump to read about 'em...

For one thing, I think the world took a look at the sorry-ass state of civil rights in the USofA --in particular, the apparently random official interference with privacy and property--under the regime of the PATRIOT ACT, and its many off-spring, and decided that there would be

too many hassles, from
too many dumb cops, and
too many troglodytic TSA "inspectors," and
too many ignorant, uncivilized, parochial
dickheads involved
who would stupidly, arrogantly interfere with
too many people and athletes
from too many countries
on too many lists, for
too much trivial shit
and that would or could discourage both travel and competition.

And so they said Phuque the National Security States of America...As I, under the same circumstances, would also have done.

Plus, the IOC, being one of the last semi-public strongholds of the Oligarchy, would prefer Rio's bid because there is a far greater likelihood for successful graft, theft, and embezzlement, while offering the local oligarchs an excuse to "clean out" some undesirables from favelas and colonias, which will be condemned to make land for the Games...Think of the the opportunity that the Beijing Olympics presented to the Chinese plutocrats!

I also think Obama made a mistake personally appealing for the Games, risking and now losing political/symbolic capital, given the almost certainty of him failing--in view not only the distinct unpleasantness of the US attitudes towards visitors lately, but also because of the geographic claim Rio exerted, being the only South American bid ever to reach this stage.

Chicago's problem was compounded, then, by too much oversight and not enough room for really large-scale corruption.

And then there was that business about renaming the Sears Tower (pictured above). Who's to say the sumbitches wouldn't try to change the names of the Games?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dept. of Dr. Woody's Fearless Predictions: "Null Proc" on ALL Bushevik Crimes

One of the persistent threads across any number of pages in the Left-B'sphere is the quaint, desperate, plaintive concern that someone, somewhere, somehow, some day will gather the courage and will necessary to bring the Busheviks before the bar to answer for their all-too-evident and often self-confessed crimes against the People, the Constitution, and the decent opinion of the rest of the world.

Today it was Jacqueline Marcus on Buzzflash, whose pleas took the form of a comparison to the pursuit of Roman Polansky.
Oh, I see, former Vice-President Cheney can commit mass murder by ordering an illegal invasion of a sovereign country and ordering torture practices on prisoners -- and that's okay; indeed, his daughter can even run for office, but if you're a film director who has the indescretion of fooling around with a minor (32 years ago), GET HIM!
Arrest Cheney? Ha! Nagahapun. Gay-ron-TEED, chers...

The biggest obstacle to pursuing the Busheviks for their evident, egregious crimes is the lack of precedent. The only even remotely related incident would be the Nixon resignation. And they pardoned the fucker, without his ever having even to acknowledge his crimes. And compared to the Busheviks, or even the Raygunsels, Nixon was a piker.

So now, when there is again evidence of nearly depraved malfeasance against the Laws of the land, there is no previous law to which to appeal for the authority to pursue justice against the Bush/Cheney regime.

There is another reason why "thePrez" is hesitant to go after the Busheviks, and that is that if he does, he has absolutely guaranteed he himself will be hauled up on charges--no matter how petty, as the Clenis proved--and subjected to the same treatment, no matter how spurious the charges. The "press" will never again be anything but the megaphone for CorpoRat interests, and can be confidently predicted to jump on any GOPuke-sponsored lynching of Obama when his term is done.

And finally, there is a third reason there will be no prosecutions of the Busheviks, no matter their crimes. All any accused Bushevik has to do is to claim they were "protecting the Nation," and a quarter to a third of ANY jury anywhere would act to nullify the charges. A subset of this jury issue is the fact that 46% OF THE ELECTORATE VOTED AGAINST OBAMA. So there is a close to 50% chance that half the jurors will be political supporters of the war Party and predisposed to acquit out of either loyalty to the Busheviks or in SPITE of Obama and the Dims who'd have the temerity to try a white man for treason.

So, I fearlessly predict, again, for perhaps the 100th time, there will be NO prosecutions of major figures of the Bushevik regime, and no successful prosecutions of any minor figures above the rank of MSgt/GS7...And no "contractors" either...There will be no what is charmingly called "accountability." They had that moment in 2004, as the Chimp smilingly reminded us...

It's too late now. It should have happened in '06, when the Dims took back the House. It should have started then. But that gutless, wide-eyed, smarmy clothes-horse Pelosi took it "off the table."--the legal term "null proc," short for "NOLLE PROSEQUI" (no prosecution), being the prosecutor's declaration that they will 'proceed no further' to prosecute an alleged infraction of law.

At that moment, as anyone with the cognitive acuity of a banana slug knew immediately, there were going to be NO consequences for ANY of the departing regime, no matter what...