Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11

It is the ten year anniversary of 9/11 and, since Obama was elected President, there has be less media focus on terrorism. Bush's infamous color code warning system has faded into oblivion. Obama's mission that led to the assassination of Osama bin Laden, was executed while he was telling jokes at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Republicans have been focusing on tax cuts for the wealthy and global corporations, and the acquisition of absolute power. The debt issue, though a truly serious issue, appears to be their way of attempting to destroy the middle class. Democrats and moderates appear to be genuinely concerned about jobs and maintaining the standard of living of the middle class by the creation of jobs through shared sacrifice, greater taxes and government stimulus.

The war on terror is still a critical issue but it is best fought, not on Fox News, but behind the scenes by the intelligence agencies using covert and psychological tactics, much in the same manner the execution of bin Laden was carried out. In this manner, politicians and the American people can focus on the critical domestic issues at hand.

It is extremely important to realize that America's strength in the world is a result of the economic strength of its people and the freedoms we have, things Republican don't really care about. Remember what Perry said about Romney in the recent GOP debate. He stated that Dukakis (A DEMOCRAT) created 3 times as many jobs as Romney did as Governor of Massachusetts.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Are Republicans PART of the Problem?

The principal fallacies of the Right Wing Spin Machine of this Millennium are entangled in dishonesty, selfishness and utter refusal to examine the big picture.  It is great to be in favor of the the historical American values of self-reliance and hard work, but impossible for these values to produce economic security or social justice in a society where there is no longer equality of opportunity and the power elites are rapidly creating an unlevel playing field so that their children can continue to rule the world while brilliant poor children are turned out to crime or hard labor.
It is a shame that the Republican party has turned it's back on it's great presidents like Lincoln, who articulated in the Gettysburg Address the idea that our country would never measure up to the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence as long as we allowed a wealthy class to own a class of slaves; and like Teddy Roosevelt, who understood that keeping government small required government to keep the mega corporations and monopolies of his day (many of which were small by today's standards) less powerful than our nation's government.  Republicans have even turned their back on the not-so-great Republican Presidents like Eisenhower, who at least understood that the way to pay off war debts was to use the graduated income tax, and that the people who profited the most from the "wartime stimulus" that ended the last Depression should be willing to repay the most to put our government back on a sound financial footing.
It's a screwy world out there, and getting scarier all the time, and unfortunately the educational system and free press are under severe economic pressure at a time when we have never needed them more as a society.  And that is not to say that the lies and distortions of Fox News are any worse than the "Entertainment Tonight" mentality of the other major broadcast networks.
In order to solve a problem, you must be aware of the causes of the problem. You can not wish problems away by worshiping with snakes, citing platitudes that may or may not have been appropriate 100 years ago, or fortifying your own position, to "ensure" your own survival no matter how dire things get. And certainly not through the self-delusion of Republican archaism.

My father taught me that cliches are absolute truths, essentially distilled wisdom from the ages. He told me that I should never refute them and should try to never use them. In this case I am going cite one. If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Slick Rick Perry

In the illustrious tradition of Bush and Cheney, the Republicans present America with yet another Presidential candidate, Rick Perry. Included in Perry's endeavors is the insurance scam with UBS that involved "betting" on how long retired school teachers would live. We can all thank God that this derivative scheme did not come to fruition. Slick Rick is in bed with the banks and predatory lenders. And he is salivating like Pavlov's dog, at the thought of getting his hands on taxpayers' money, so much so, that, at least overtly, he is turning his back on some of his supporters, the ones who worship with snakes and believe Japan's recession is a result of intercourse between the Emperor and Sun Goddess.

Perry epitomizes the the notion of the Republican "private sector" vampire in its purest form. Please forgive the Texas analogies, but in the tradition of the new derivative thinkers,  Republicans view Social Security and all government monies and funds the same way they view an oil field. And they seek to extrapolate the monies with a huge windfall "profit". And they view the American people as cattle in a stock yard.

It is very important that the Republican party is seen for what it has turned into: an evil and corroding thread that is killing America.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Republican Pod People


The Republican Party seems to be suffering from the "Palm Beach Trust Boy Syndrome", where the grandfather was an energetic and creative guy who carved out an empire with bold vision. The father was a reasonably competent guy who kept the empire in play while diluting its original purpose and intent. And the son becomes a useless entitled butt head who pisses away his inheritance and trades off the reputation his grandfather established without understanding what it took to build an empire, and without having anything to offer the world in his own right.


Barry Goldwater is credited by many political historians as the founder of the Conservative movement in America politics. I disagree with much of his political philosophy, but I believe his views were held genuinely. And some of what he believed I also hold as true. The Godfather of Conservatism said: "I am a Conservative Republican, but I believe in democracy and the separation of church and state. The Conservative movement is founded on the simple tenant that people have the right to live life as they please as long they don't hurt anyone in the process."  A very ambiguous statement and volumes could be written on what constitutes hurt.
He clarifies: "I don't have any respect for the Religious Right. A woman has a right to an abortion."

Today we have Tea Party candidates, as well as candidates like Gingrich, who appear to be amoral and, upon close examination, really stand for nothing. What they profess to stand for is more often then not, contrary to what they do and the way they live. Most have not served in the military, like their "fathers" Dole and McCain, and view war as a board game. Honestly, didn't you get that feeling about Bush? They view the American people as numbers on a spreadsheet. What they do or say, and what happens to that spreadsheet, really doesn't matter. And they appear to have no awareness or understanding of any of this. Bachmann is talking about $2 per gallon gasoline after she becomes President. It appears that the only amity that all Republicans share in common, when you sort out all the gobbledygook, is their allegiance to the mothership. Sorry, I mean to the acquisition of power and the almighty dollar.

What really is frustrating for thinking people, is the awareness of the fact that it doesn't have to be this way. The problems of America can be solved with intelligent effort and compromise through the democratic process, over the course of time.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Instant Cake

One of the major factors hurting our country and making the American political system dysfunctional is the pervasive notion of instant solutions. The internet, despite its many, many virtues, is a major contributor to this component of American thinking. I spent four years in college, as did many of my peers. Besides studying subject matter in depth, over the course of time, with eminent authorities, who had demonstrated merit over the course of time; I also developed values, understandings, appreciations, and skills. Today, with online schools, a bachelors or masters degree can be earned in half the time or less. One might question what real value these degrees have.

As a young man, I remember being at the helm of a fishing boat while a oil tanker,  in the starboard top quadrant, was bearing down on us. The captain told me to yield the right of way because it would take the tanker over a mile to change course.

In this instant culture we live in, I think most people are not cognizant of this fact. In government, just like in life, meaningful change requires time and effort.  It cannot be accomplished by a buffoon with a chalkboard in 60 minutes.

Since the election of Barack Obama, the Tea Party has introduced a stream of instant candidates. Most of them, despite being enamored by their own self-image, are merely incompetent and lack values and understanding. But the powers behind them are truly dangerous. It has been some time since Tea Partiers or mainstream Republicans have concerned themselves with jobs for Americans, the issue that they campaigned on, and the issue they used to boondoggle the American people. But their instant solution to the deficit in our country,  will destroy the middle class, and ultimately our country. Any thinking person cannot dispute this.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Keep you doped with religion and sex and tv..."

Warren Buffet, an Obama supporter, recently stated that America is engaged in class warfare. Tea Partiers downplay this notion. However, the Republicans have made it abundantly clear that their sole reason for being is to maintain the gains in wealth and power that the 2 percenters achieved under the Bush administration. And they are willing to destroy America in order to achieve that end.

If it is 20 miles into the woods, it is 20 miles out of the woods. And it was the Republicans that marched us into the woods. And now they want to burn the forest down with us in it!

A major reason the deficit is continuing upward, is because of high unemployment. Corporations are doing extremely well and sitting on piles of cash. If you put Americans back to work, they will pay more taxes, and bring down the deficit. Taxes must be restored to Clinton levels and loopholes must end. It is insane for a teacher or a carpenter to pay more in taxes than General Electric. And to steal benefits from workers that have paid into the funds for decades, to bring down the deficit, so the rich don't have to pay taxes, is just plain evil. And, maybe not so ironically, by doing so, it will increase the deficit further.

The deficit must be addressed gradually. To do otherwise, without a question, will create ramifications that are hard to imagine. Information is surfacing that was withheld by the Bush administration. The economic damage done was far greater than we previously realized.

Samuelson to the contrary, supply is adapting to demand. Prices for goods and services in America remain artificially high because of manipulations that include firing workers and cutting production capacity.

By using wealth and power, that was entrenched during the Bush administration, to disseminate propaganda, lies, and fear, the Republicans have effectively co-opted American democracy and broken the capitalist system. Let us not forget that the French gave us the Statue of Liberty. And I will leave it at that.

If Wisconsin is representative of America, even moderately, the 2012 elections can't get here soon enough.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blasphemy

Tea Party Republicans lack much experience, that is either experience in politics or business, and they have not exhibited merit over the course of their lives.They appear to be infatuated, even intoxicated, by their own image. They speak in platitudes. They want small government. They want no regulation. They want no taxes. Like Rep. West from Florida, they do not want to pay their bills. And they want to oust Obama.

They appear to have absolutely no understanding of economic complexities or the ramifications of what they are doing. Some of them rationalize this abhorrent behavior by stating that it is God's will. Essentially this is saying that their untested, undisciplined, inexperienced will is God's will.

The debt crisis illustrates this. Americans better realize quickly, that these people are not merely an annoyance but are truly dangerous.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Do Republicans See Themselves as the "Chosen Ones?" Apocalypse Now!

Any sane person possesses at least a cursory understanding that a default by our country will have catastrophic effects on our country. If our country's credit rating goes down, interest rates on our debt will go up, the "jobless" recovery will be halted, and middle/working America will know pain and suffering that has not been seen for generations. Ronald Reagan understood this as he raised the ceiling 12 times.

Bachmann  recently told Social Security recipients not to worry. The default will be no big deal and America has plenty of money and will continue to issue their checks.

In essence, she is right. Social Security is solvent. But if Rand Paul, Eric Cantor, and the New Conservatives get their way, the capital accumulated in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid for decades through the work of middle/working Americans will be extrapolated and redistributed to global corporations and the super rich in the form of tax breaks and obscene subsidies to fund their corporate jets and regal lifestyles. All this without the creation of any jobs for the American workers that toiled for decades to fund the capital the Republicans are extrapolating. Fair and balanced.

George Bush set the ball rolling and 9/11 couldn't have happened at a better time. The Tea Party, comprised of minions, fools, and employees, either current or aspiring, of the global corporations and the super rich, began this process. Using 60's tactics, these patriots, with their own unique ideologies and fundamental beliefs, attacked our democracy on the populous front and in the media, using convoluted logic and a "take what you want and leave the rest" approach to the US Constitution. At the same time, traditional Republican interests attacked in Washington and the mainstream media with lobbyists and money.

The wealthy (mainstream Republicans) may have accumulated enough cash and gold to be unaffected; or perhaps not. Politics makes strange bedfellows. History will show if the merger we have witnessed destroys our country.

Polls show that America is coming around from the Bush hangover. Now Republicans are saying polls don't matter and Americans don't know what's good for them and the country. The solution lies in Keynesian economics.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

And the Red Queen Lost Her Head

Of the Holy Republican candidates, that include Trump, Palin, and Huckabee, it appears that Michelle Bachmann is the only one that is running for office; or at the very least, using the platform to propagate right wing insanity.

NBC News recently revealed that despite the fact that Bachmann publicly denounces Medicare, her husband receives approximately $137,000 per year from Medicare to run his clinic and $24,000 in government grants to train the clinic employees.

The Bachmanns also receive $260,000 in farm subsidies, get payments from the State of Minnesota for their foster children, as well as her federal paycheck. The Tea Party Caucus Leader is a prime example of small government and "standing on your own two feet". However, if her name was Anindo instead of Michelle, she would be seen for what she truly is, an opportunist of little fiscal conservatism and much government welfare with absolutely no concern for America and its people.

Though I have more of a chance of getting hit by space debris when I walk out my front door tomorrow, then Bachmann does of becoming President, it must be noted that her district has, by far, the highest foreclosure rate in Minnesota. Romney really doesn't have anything to worry about, especially if she partners with O'Donnell. Nor does Obama, for that matter.

However, if we are to restore America, Americans must pass back through the looking-glass.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Democracy and Business

I believe that one of the things that is confusing Rand Paul and the rest of the New Conservatives, besides the fact that many of them have ascended to positions of power without merit, is that they believe that the two concepts are interchangeable.

The purpose of a business is to make a profit for its shareholders. The purpose of a democracy is to ensure that all citizens have a representative voice in the governance of the country. The Tea Partiers understand this as they speak loudly about not having taxation without representation. And though America is taxed moderately, when compared with all other industrial nations, taxes are everywhere, and by all levels of government.

The most important function of a democracy, and there is not one business in the world that even remotely considers this, is to ensure that all citizens are treated fairly according to the dictates and evolving laws as prescribed by the constitution of the democracy. In America it is "liberty and justice for all." Profits on campaign contributions are not a consideration.

One might argue that because of the inherent conflict between the objectives of a democracy and a business, it might be unconstitutional to run America like a business. That is not to say that the deficit shouldn't be addressed. But in doing so all citizens must make sacrifices. And the wealthy and global corporations that have been hoarding cash and avoiding taxes, must contribute a great deal to ensure that the opportunity that they were afforded, will be provided for the next generations.

I believe many Americans cease or fail to remember unpleasant events.  Perhaps some events are reanalyzed in the media until they disappear, Santayana to the contrary. Not many Americans seem to remember September 2008. Freewheeling, unregulated, free-market capitalism, aided by the the massive appropriation of Clinton's surplus by the Bush administration, almost destroyed the economy of America. Do you really want to put these people in charge of our democracy?

Rand Paul recently committed a Freudian slip when he stated on CNN that middle Americans are going to have to suffer. Quickly, he covered suffer with sacrifice.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Is There a Solution?

Recently someone asked me if I thought Ronald Reagan was a good president? And I answered them somewhat sarcastically that, after he fulfilled his promises to the wealthy and the deficit soared out of control, he did a splendid job. He did eliminate long and short-term capital gains taxes- created one rate to hinder tax shelters- and did away with investment credits. Ironically, the loopholes he plugged did, to a limited degree, create jobs and opportunity.

Today we have an entirely different situation. The tax laws that are designed to give corporations and the super rich incentives to invest in America and create jobs, have been co-opted by a generation of self-interested derivative thinkers to the point where it has become anti-tax stupification.

Today US corporations that were born here, and sustained by our country are rewarded by the tax system for investing abroad and, at the same time, closing American facilities and firing American workers. Corporate leaders get capital gains on stock acquired by them in compensation plans, again using tax laws that are designed to create jobs and stimulate the economy, without creating any jobs, except for an au pair or maid.

The real tragedy is that some who recently assumed positions of power, as well as many who aspire to positions of power, have little understanding about what's going on; and liken what's happening now to what was happening during the Reagan era.

If right wing Republicans were seriously interested in job creation, rather than having savings of the rich "trickle down" into contributions for their campaigns and attack ads designed to eliminate Democrats and moderate Republicans from the American political scene, they would require every corporation to disclosed what percentage of their stock float is actually being invested as "capital" in building factories and research facilities, buying equipment and training workers in the US.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Now We Are Engaged in a Great Civil War,"

The title for this post is from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. I do think the New Conservatives, at least some of them, believe that middle class/ working Americans are responsible, themselves, for "being behind the power curve", in a precarious position, and in danger of destitution. The problem is that they are out of touch with reality. As stated throughout this blog, the dynamics of America and the world have changed drastically on virtually every level. And it is either stupidity or evil to hold and advocate beliefs and policy that are supported by fallacious premises. And to have such people in a position of power to impose such policy without understanding or merit is insane and the end of "the last, best hope of earth." Again, this quote is from Lincoln referring to America.

Leona Helmsley once said, "We don't pay taxes. Only little people pay taxes..." For the rest of the New Conservatives, the ones' that are conscious of what they are doing: using their wealth to destroy democracy and the middle class, it is almost criminal.

When the bread gets low- food stamps are cutoff- and the gladiators are locked-out- no football- people may come to their senses. And because we live in a democracy, it will be only a matter of time before the passage of a very progressive Federal income tax.

Finally- Tea Party Conservatives love to divert attention from meaningful issues by spending inordinate amounts of time discussing ludicrous, often trivial issues. Perhaps the new House majority should pass a bill replacing the eagle with the vulture as our national bird. True Americans that love, serve and believe in this country are merely meat for the New Conservatives and the financial aristocracy. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Power Without Merit

All things considered, there are some endeavors that the federal government is capable of administering more efficiently and more cost-effectively than the private sector. Public works, the military and health care are three major examples. The argument that this is not so stems from "private sector" involvement in a non-competitive market in conjunction with the government.

Bush experimented with a private military that included Blackwater, and the costs were astronomical when compared to the effectiveness, which was minimal. And there were some damaging repercussions that are not usually associated with a voluntary army.

Since the inception of Medicare and Medicaid, private sector entities have exploited the systems for profit. And behavior of private sector insurers illustrates that costs will continue to go up and coverage will continue to go down for the vast majority of Americans. If you take the leash off the pit bull, it is insane to believe that it will attack less. 

The arguments of the New Conservatives are rooted in realities that were at least partially true in American history. The notion of "Go West" to a new territory and stake your claim was a viable option. And throughout much of our history, America was the land of opportunity.

With the country settled, and so much manufacturing lost, we have become a country of information and technology and sales. And much of the technology is designed to reduce, not create jobs. I thank whatever gods maybe that be that Obama had the foresight and intelligence to save the American automobile industry which, incidentally, has repaid the loans and is now leaner and healthier than ever.

With the advent of the Tea Party, it has become apparent that one of the fundamental principles of the Founding Fathers has been thrown out the window by the New Conservatives. Implicit in the formation of America was the notion of merit.

Driven by the Kock brothers, whose BC thought process and wealth come from the same place, the Mesozoic Era, Tea Party candidates pooh-pooh teachers and education, democracy and equality, standards, laws and regulations; and more fundamentally opportunity and fairness. Remember the colonists offered George Washington the crown and he rejected it as fundamentally un-American. And Newt Gingrich recently had a lapse of conscience- probably due to all that education and teaching- when he described the Ryan Plan as right-wing "social engineering".

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dumb and Dumber, or Just Plain Nefarious

At the risk of getting additional comments that cannot be posted, I am going to state that most Americans fall into one of these 2 categories. Obama illustrated to Americans and the world, how easy it is for this country to get something done when we are not hindered by the sociopathic right wing element in this country.

The American mind is powered by consciousness, which makes decisions based strongly on the need for self-preservation. From an early age Americans of my generation were taught by their parents, in the classroom, and by our society at large, that we were special. And I believe this notion.

As Americans we are susceptible to fears: Fear that our way of life is in danger, Fear that perhaps we are wrong. These fears make us uncomfortable so we bury them. And we cling to old ideologies and behaviors that served us well in the past, when things were different, even when, all around us, it is apparent that they are false. And we fail to believe that the old notions are detrimental to our very self-preservation and the preservation of our country. Driven by the right wing media, whose sole purpose for being is to fortify and enrich the top 2% in our country, we cling to our ideologies.

Americans are special. But if we are to remain so we must be cognizant of what's happening today. The unpatriotic, amoral selfishness which the right wing parades as rights of individual, has absolutely nothing to do with what the Founding Fathers intended, quite the contrary. We must become aware that our collective consciousness is being manipulated to the detriment of our country.

Since the inception of our country, the greatest strengths of America have been our economic strength and economic sovereignty, and the freedoms and way of life we Americans have been blessed with. These strengths have enabled our leaders to be successful in foreign affairs. I believe we still serve as a power of example for much of the rest of the world. If we continue to be influenced by right wing extremism, the American way will perish, and soon thereafter, America- the country- will end in a blaze of golden parachutes.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Osama bin Laden Dead - "And I'll get on my knees and pray, We don't get fooled again."

The conservative wing of the US Supreme Court is at it again. A recent ruling illustrates clearly that their decisions are political and not based on any philosophical interpretation of the Constitution. The decisions of the conservative wing vacillate between states' rights and federal rights depending upon which interpretation suits the fulfillment of their agenda. The case I am referring to is the recent ruling on AT&T v. Concepcion which preempted state laws designed to protect American consumers.

Bin Laden is dead. And his execution was carried out by a tactical strike that was so efficient that it truly boggles my mind. The political risk to Obama aside, the mission was cost-effective on every conceivable level. First, considering the human factor, there were no American causalities and no civilian causalities. Second, though we presently don't know the extent of it, it is highly probable that a large amount of good intel was obtained.

The only drawback to the tactical strike vs. bombing- which some of the President's advisors advocated- besides illustrating Obama's competency as commander-in-chief, is that defense contractors lost some profits. It should be noted that the Navy Seals make about what the average teacher makes in America. I realize that I am "begging the question" when I say that this action did not seriously increase the deficit.

However, I do believe that it was not in the best interests of the New Conservatives to kill bin Laden. His "lurking" threat allowed them to carryout their agenda in the name of anti-terrorism. And a fearful population is a pliable population as Stephen Colbert pointed out in his counter rally last year.

Finally, it is awesome what the Obama administration accomplished, so competently and cost-effectively, when it is contrasted with the billions the Bush administration spent attempting to do the job, ostensibly. Just imagine if we had done that at Tora Bora; And used all that money to subsidize manufacturing, for research and development, and to repair and build infrastructure; endeavors that would have stimulated the economy and strengthened America long-term. American lives would have been saved. We wouldn't have the debt and we certainly wouldn't be in the situation we are today.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

For What It's Worth

One of the greatest dangers that now faces America is what's happening domestically. It seems that Wall Street and "New Conservative Policy", and not Islamic jihad, may be responsible for creating a domestic environment that could ultimately prove to be the greatest threat to our "national" security.

One of the factors the "New Conservative" Republicans have not given enough attention to in their quest to turn America into a Plutocracy, is the threat of domestic unrest. Though it is impossible to climb into their minds, and lord knows I have tried figuratively; it is somewhat reasonable to assume that Blackwater was a kind of experiment- funded by taxpayers- in creating a private army. The experiment, ultimately, did not go so well.

In a recent interview, Alan Greenspan stated that restoring taxes to the Clinton Presidency levels "would fill in the cracks". Filling in the cracks is a good thing. Are Republicans so stupid that they still share a "collective faith" in a free market and an economy, with no rules, based on borrowing, consumption and endless, exponential  growth? Or are they so megalomaniacal, un-American and unchristian that they just don't care?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blazing Saddles

I hope that I am off track here, but I feel that possibly, one of the reasons for the success of the Tea Party candidates in the last elections; and a major factor in the collective Republican obstinacy, is the fact that Barrack Obama was elected President.

If memory serves me correctly, McCain was born in Panama. And this was not an issue in the election. With Donald Trump jumping on the "birther" bandwagon, it appears that Republicans are using bigotry and fear to maintain and fortify their base.

Unlike Gingrich (Adultery), Palin (Bristolgate & Troopergate), Huckabee (Ethicsgate) and most of the Republican potential nominees, Obama has an almost  impeccable record as a man, as a citizen, and as a scholar. He has a sound family, loves and plays sports, was a law professor, and attended the same Christian church for 20 years. He has stellar academic credentials and he is a self-made man. He is a poster person for Horacio Alger and epitomizes the American Dream.

Remember, the "New Conservative" Republicans of George Bush and Co. all but destroyed this country and Obama was elected by a landslide. The new "dogs", which are essentially the same old dogs, are using any methods they can, including the "birther" red herring, to accomplish their mission. Their style is different, this time around, but their game is the same.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bye Bye American Pie

Writing on behalf of the five conservatives on the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas tossed out the verdict awarding Thompson, a man wrongfully convicted of murder, 14 million dollars. Thompson spent 18 years in prison- 14 of them on death row- and lived through 7 planned executions. The Supreme Court majority decision to overturn the verdict further illustrates the politicization of the Supreme Court. Both Thomas and Scalia recently attended "closed door" Tea Party and Citizens United meetings at no personal expense.

There can be no doubt in the mind of any thinking person left in America that the, the right-wing, autocratic element seeks to destroy America and democracy.

To further illustrate this, if there is any need to, I have a suggestion for the citizens in Florida. Unemployment is around 11%, which means in real terms it's somewhere around 20%. Let's give Scott, Rubio and West an incentive to GET TO WORK and do what they promised. Let's suspend their pay, benefits and expense accounts, as well as, appropriate all income derived from any extracurricular activities, until unemployment is at 4%, as it was when Bill Clinton was President. If and when unemployment gets to that mark, they can receive their compensation retroactively. If it's good for the goose, it should be good for the gander.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Business of Bread and Circuses

Business is neither good nor evil. Business has no soul or conscience. The only consideration of business is to make a profit.

The free market is a concept. In concept the free market should be unaffected by normative judgment. However, whenever people are involved, and there are always people involved in business and the markets, the free market will be influenced by their perceptions, beliefs, and objectives; as well as the power they wield in influencing the market. Put as simply as I know how to, markets are influenced by the people that participate in them and the people that control them.

The more economic democracy we have, the "freer" the markets are. Please understand that I believe that free markets are good and that people should be rewarded for work and merit. I do not believe that the vast majority of the American population should be denied "the pursuit of happiness" because ostensibly free markets are rigged and being controlled and manipulated by politicians and lobbyists  for the benefit of the wealthy and global corporations. And I certainly don't believe that markets that are manipulated by theft, deception and fraud, should masquerade as free markets.

I cannot think of one free market that is operating in the world today; though I can enumerate many "kinda" free markets. The most obvious one is the oil market.

Friedmanites argue that the free markets are alive and well and support their position with flawed data. One disciple of Friedman and Kuznets recently stated that consumption in America is at an all time high, and in the same breath denounced TARP as being a failure. He continued by stating that intervention by the public sector is "forcing out private sector participation."

Have we forgotten September 2008? It comes back to human beings, and perceptions, beliefs and objectives. Without government involvement there is no indication and certainly no reason to believe that the private sector will act according to b school paradigms. And a sick, impoverished population is not able to purchase much in the way of goods and services.

Today, many Americans are acting like the little boy who is whistling in the dark; all the while waving the American flag and consuming McDonalds and watching NASCAR and the WWF.

I will leave you with a couple of quotes. The first one may explain the "rabid dog" demeanor of many Republicans which is characterized by the lower incisors protruding up, onto the upper lip. "It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured." Tacitus

The second quote requires no explanation. "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator. " George W. Bush

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Republican "Private" Sector Vampires


Republicans and their constituents don't want to pay taxes and don't want government to do anything for the benefit of the middle class and working people. However, they are very adroit at extrapolating government funds on all levels. In an odd sort of way they are like addicts that know they are wrong but blame their suppliers for their transgressions.  In current politics, that would be the Federal Government.

The adjustable rate mortgage debacle has been discussed extensively in the April 2010 posts in this blog. Fortunes were made by the top percents and the Federal Government is paying their profits, through a whole array of programs and federal guarantees. As you may know, the government is the rest of us. The most important factor, which many overlook when making comparisons of one administration to another, is that when you severely damage a country's economy, tax revenues go down significantly, even if all other components remain constant. Hence, the deficit went up as a result of the extrapolation by the top percentages.

In Florida, newly elected governor, Rick Scott, an "outsider", is trying to exorcise teachers of their collective bargaining rights. Teachers in Florida are already 47th in terms of pay and benefits. You see paying teachers a living wage will leave less public monies for the top 2% to extrapolate. And we really don't want an educated population anyway.

As previously mentioned in this blog, Scott made his money the old fashioned way. He stole it from the Federal Government and your children's futures. His company, Columbia, HCK, pleaded guilty to Medicare and Medicaid fraud and paid a 1.7 billion dollar settlement, the largest fraud settlement in US history at the time.

The "best and the brightest" are at it again. Now pay attention to this fact. In the United States, student loan debt currently exceeds credit card debt. Republican private sector wizards are working on a scheme whereby students do not have to repay their loans. They take a hefty fee for helping the students and grads stiff the Federal Government, which again is you and me. The punch line is, because the loans were given by private sector entities, and were merely guaranteed by the government; and then traded and sometimes packaged as derivatives, the loans are not valid. The private sector caused the problem and is now profiting again from the situation that it created and already profited from. There is one thing the Tea Party is right about. America is running out of blood. It's time to get out the wooden stakes.