Archive for the ‘U.S. Politics’ Category

Instead of Romney, let’s just elect Bain Capital President

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Making government as small as possible makes for less corporate influence, or so I heard one pundit say. Our government right now is on some kind of psilocybe freefall, reality slowly slipping away as democracy’s remnants emit a deathly stench like you’d smell if your granddad had just contracted gangrene.

I realized how bad things had gotten only yesterday when I heard about the Ag gag rule, which prevents video taping conditions at farms and companies processing animals. It seems a pretty good slap in the face of freedom of speech, but then the founding fathers didn’t have video. Good thing. We have video on every street corner, every parking garage, every store tracking the movements of ordinary people. But when it comes to farm animals, that’s where society draws the line.

This morning, the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial by former FEC chair Bradley A. Smith bemoaning the fact that whenever ordinary folk smell the whiff of corporate involvement in politics they don’t like, they have a knee jerk reaction of boycotting the products associated with said corporation. I’ve got to agree with him that sometimes these boycotts border on the absurd.

One boycott often leads to another, creating a damaging snowball effet. For example, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin is asking fellow conservatives to boycott companies that succomb to liberal boycotts.

On the other hand, this is a brave new world. We’ve never had a corporate run entity like the American Legislative Exchange Council, which writes entire laws. We’ve never had a Supreme Court ruling like Citizens United which lets corporations donate unlimited money to elections. It used to be you could throw the bums out by entering a voting booth. What the hell else can you do but boycott when democracy’s life support is about to be removed.

I’d go so far as to say that boycotting is the new voting. It would be nice if one of these 24 hour cable news outlets could just run a nightly list of corporate sponsored laws and the corporations that sponsor them in order to decide just who they ought to boycott. Or maybe a banner could run under television ads letting the viewer know the political donations made by the advertiser. Anything to make the public more informed boycotters. If we could do that, I’d even accede to a world without democracy.

Lobbying against single payer healthcare, Brawny Towels. Ha! Cloth works just as well as your paper products!

The Corporate Way

Oh and the above cartoon is from 2002 or thereabouts. It’s not like we had some revolutionary war to get our new government. We were like boiling frogs and never noticed the change until it was too late.

We Elected these Geniuses? Grilling the Suspects but Pretending they’re not Suspects

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Azam Akhmed came up with a stellar article about MF Global.
Stellar because it had all the facts and only the facts, ma’am.  You get tired of the newsmen trying to pull one over, saying the customer funds at MF Global “vaporized” or fell victim to “sloppy bookkeeping.”

Yesterday, a congressional hearing convened in order to get to the bottom of the MF Global missing funds.  It was an odd hearing.  It started off with rancorous partisanship, with the Democrats accusing the Republicans of not sharing key pieces of information.  Afterwards, the individuals testifying were assured that this wasn’t a criminal investigation.  It was as if the members of the committee hadn’t been made aware that the missing customer funds were indicative of a crime called theft.   That the congressmen went on to being frustrated by a less than communicative panel seems pretty funny since the people in front of them were all de facto suspects in a potential criminal prosecution.   Seriously.  Edith O’Brien made everyone’s life simple by just saying no to any answers to any questions.   

The bottom line to the hearing was nobody knows anything.    Sort of the same line Jon Corzine back when he testified.    Neil Barofsky does probably the best analysis of the more serious side of the hearing.   It’s gotten to the point where the biggest question isn’t what anyone know, but where’s the sheriff when you need him?

Opinion: Romney and the Understated Terror Biz and A Flat World for Journalists

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Newt Gingrich has taken it upon himself to revile Newt Romney as a businessman.  This means taking apart the business model of Bain Capital, of which Romney was Ceo.   It’s appealing to the Occupy Wall Street types to villify Romney for what is essentially a pretty typical business model of  a corporate raider.   However, it mostly shows Gingrich up for being a guy who has government bureaucracy stuck where the sun don’t shine.   Anyone who things a hard nosed businessman is going for the jugular when there’s money involved lives in LaLa Land. After all, Romney did offer to bet ten thousand dollars to Rick Perry during a nationally televised debate.

Perhaps Gingrich is doing Romney a favor.   By making Romney’s business activities so benign, he’s obscuring Romney’s starting gate.  The horses he’s fixing to run are guys like Cofer Black and Michael Chertoff, businessmen whose paycheck depends on friendly relationships with government funded defense and security.   When your advisors are Black and Chertoff, there’s no way the federal government looks anything other than a great big piggy bank.

Every time you have have your picture taken by one of those Rapidscan make you naked machines, it’s money in Chertoff’s pocket.  Black is the head of Total Intelligence, a subsidiary of Blackwater Worldwide.  He’s pushing for preventing a cyber 9/11.  Since he’s been recently fingered as a big part of why the original 9/11 happened,  his sitting in the Romney campaign ought to make a voter sit and ponder.

You would hope that perhaps a highly paid newsperson over at NBC or ABC or CNN would take Gingrich’s ball and take it to the same extreme that I’ve just done.   If I can do it, any idiot can.  Apparently, however, the news only rolls with Gingrich.  Beyond what his group of supporters feed the media is quite possibly the end of the world, as it is flat for journalists, and they just might fall into oblivion.

 

 

 

Buh Humbug Payroll Tax Cut

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

The Payroll Tax Cut takes a mandatory contribution to Social Security and makes it available for purchasing last minute Christmas gifts.    Why House Republicans balked at this excellent first slice of the Social Security Pie put on the plate of private enterprise is anyone’s guess.   Probably, it had something to do with the love of keeping the congress hostage for a few days simply to see the legislators scream “Uncle”.   Democrats managed to make it seem like Republicans were backtracking on a promise to cut taxes.  Thanks goodness for the yammering talking heads on CNN able to inject this view into the vein of American thought.   Of course, you’d think Democrats would yelp at the thought of squeezing Social Security, but in today’s politics, up is down, white is black, and it’s anyone’s guess what the hell is really going on.

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