Thursday, June 25, 2009

Celebrities Die!!!

Some celebrities died today. I never wished them ill. They died badly and probably painfully. My heart goes out to their respective people.

For about two seconds...

And then I go back to not giving a flying fuck about people I never met and never meant anything to me, personally.

Call me crazy...

Obama is Poison

I have grave doubts that Obama is going to achieve anything for which a progressive might have hoped. He's shaping up to be a total sell-out like the rest of his party. I don't know why I am surprised, but I am. I guess I thought his humble origins might mean some degree of integrity - you know, the kind that is so sorely lacking in most of our silver spoon type political masters.

I can't vote for him again. Nor for a democrat ever again either.

What else is left? I guess I am throwing away my votes from now on, or simply not voting. That was George Carlin's answer. It only encourages them and legitimizes the manner in which they completely thumb their noses at us.

Yeah, that's not too suggestive or anything...

Melissa McEwan had this to say about it:
It's hard to identify what the best part of this ad is. The appalling lack of subtlety (OPEN MOUTH: INSERT MEAT: HAR HAR!)? The globby mayonnaise suggesting cum? The human woman made up and posed to maximize a resemblance to a blow-up doll? Christ. What a clusterfucktastrophe.

I would argue that BK should be ashamed of themselves, but they clearly lack the capacity.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Who is Robert Reich?

Robert Reich served as the twenty-second United States Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, from 1993 to 1997.

He is currently Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the Ten Most Successful Cabinet Members of the century, and The Wall Street Journal placed him among America's Top Ten Business Thinkers.

On November 7, 2008, he was selected by President-elect Barack Obama to be a member of the President-elect's economic transition advisory board.


Point being that this guy is well-educated, well thought of, and absolutely a D.C. insider. I think we can give extra weight to his criticism of political goings-on. If this guy doesn't know what's going on and what's possible, who does?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Robert Reich on Bill Moyers Journal

[Video and Text]

BILL MOYERS: And the banks, as we speak, are fighting regulation. And they're winning. The banks are actually winning on this issue. Do you see it that way?

ROBERT REICH: Well, they're winning right now because, as these banks come out from under TARP — basically the bailout mechanism — the government has less and less leverage over them with regard to regulations that are going to prevent a repeat of the future. There's still no regulations out there. And there are lobbies. I want to come back to this theme, Bill, because it's important for the public to understand. The lobbies, whether we're talking about healthcare, insurance, pharmaceuticals, or we're talking about the banking system, the lobbies in Washington are enormously powerful.

The only way we're going to have any kind of regulatory regime for the banks that make sense is if people understand what's going on, if they pressure their individual members of Congress if Obama stands up to the banking industry and forces real regulation on them.

BILL MOYERS: You were on the transition team, Obama's transition team. You were a supporter of his. And the coalition, the Democratic Coalition seems to be holding behind him now, progressive Democrats, like yourself, are staying with him despite his compromises on detention, despite his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, despite other compromises he's made, including possibly a compromise on the bailouts and healthcare. When will he show you what you want to be shown? What will you be looking for?

ROBERT REICH: Healthcare and the public option is the first big one. I think that's a big test. And then the real hard, tough regulation of Wall Street to prevent a repeat of what we've had before. Those are the two big upcoming fights. And, but, you know, Obama can't do it alone.

Even though the presidency has all this power attached to it, only has a limited amount of power if the public is not pushing the president to take certain action and pushing Congress as well. There is no substitute, Bill, for an informed active citizenry.

BILL MOYERS: Is there any other way to see what's happening on Wall Street? As anything but a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the financial class?

ROBERT REICH: Well, that's what happens between 2000 and 2007. You had for the first time a lot of people in the middle class buying shares of stock, getting involved, thinking, "Oh, this is great, greatest thing since sliced bread." They were lured into a speculative bubble. And that speculative bubble burst obviously leaving behind a lot of middle-class people who have lost their homes and their savings and their 401(k) plans, 40 percent of them.

The only people left standing — and I hate to say this because I sound like a class warrior and I don't want to sound like a class warrior — is a lot of people at the top. Look, I'm not one to cast blame at anybody. There's enough blame to go around. But the fact of the matter is that as late as 1980, the top one percent by income in this United States had about nine percent of total national income.

But since then, you've had increasing concentration of income and wealth to the point that by 2007, Bill, the top one percent was taking home 21 percent of total national income. Now, when they're taking home that much, the middle class doesn't have enough purchasing power to keep the economy going. You know, that was hidden by the fact that they were borrowing so much on their homes. You know, they kept on consuming because of their borrowing. But once that housing bubble exploded, it exposed the fact that the middle class in this country has really not participated in the growth of the economy. And over the long term, we're not going to have a recovery until the middle class has purchasing power it needs to buy again.

BILL MOYERS: What has happened to capitalism that has led it to the abyss?

ROBERT REICH: Essentially, capitalism has swamped democracy. You see, there's no such thing really as pure capitalism without rules and regulations that set limits on profit making, because otherwise it's everybody out for themselves. Otherwise, nobody can trust anybody. Otherwise, it's the law of the jungle.

I mean, we rely upon government to set the boundaries. This can't happen because it's fraud. That can't happen because you're stealing something. This can't happen because you're imposing a huge burden on other people. But unless you have a democratic system that allows the rules to be created not by the companies but by the people and the people's representatives reflecting what the public needs, not what the corporations need, you're going to have a system that is not a democracy and it's not democratic capitalism. It's super capitalism without the democracy.

Go back to years and ask yourself why did we get into the banking crisis we did get into. And what you see again and again is that Wall Street lobbyists prevented the right kind of regulations. Again and again. The Wall Street said, don't do it. Don't limit us. Let us speculate. Let us do whatever we want to do. The market can take care of itself. Well, again and again we learn the lesson and then we forget it...


BILL MOYERS: But for you, as I hear you, the Armageddon that now is before us is the healthcare debate. You'll be watching how he handles this to see if he's tough enough to push back against the Business Roundtable, the Chamber of Commerce, Murdoch's media empire, big pharma, big industry. How he stands up to them you think will, in effect, determine how he's going to handle these other battles?

ROBERT REICH: It will be a clear indication of his toughness with regard to the willingness to twist arms and demand that the public interest be foremost.


I love me some Bill Moyers Journal. Like the man says: "And over the long term, we're not going to have a recovery until the middle class has purchasing power it needs to buy again."

We need unskilled laborers gainfully employed by someone other than Walmart - someone willing to pay to train people up into $20-30 an hour jobs. That's how you create a growing economy that is robust enough to stand up to downturns. We need real industry in the United States - real labor being done, not just pencil-pushers counting beans over labor being done in Mexico, Malaysia, China, India and Africa.

People must work here or you can say goodbye to the U.S. as it once was.

Decisions, decisions...

I voted for the guy so I feel I have every right to complain about how little he seems poised to achieve. Here were my choices...

It's laugh or cry in Obama-town...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bill Maher: "Right now, I'm hoping for a little more audacity."


Nailed it!

That's your hope of reelection slipping away from you...I won't vote for a do nothing president a second time, Obama.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jeremy Scahill on Bill Moyers Journal



JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I think what we're seeing, under President Barack Obama, is sort of old wine in a new bottle. Obama is sending one message to the world, but the reality on the ground, particularly when it comes to private military contractors, is that the status quo remains from the Bush era. Right now there are 250 thousand contractors fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's about 50 percent of the total US fighting force. Which is very similar to what it was under Bush. In Iraq, President Obama has 130 thousand contractors. And we just saw a 23 percent increase in the number of armed contractors in Iraq. In Afghanistan there's been a 29 percent increase in armed contractors. So the radical privatization of war continues unabated under Barack Obama.

Having said that, when Barack Obama was in the Senate he was one of the only people that was willing to take up this issue. And he put forward what became the leading legislation on the part of the Democrats to reform the contracting industry. And I give him credit for doing that. Because he saw this as an important issue before a lot of other political figures. And spoke up at a time when a lot of people were deafeningly silent on this issue. I've been critical of Obama's position on this because I think that he accepts what I think is a fundamental lie. That we should have a system where corporations are allowed to benefit off of warfare. And President Obama has carried on a policy where he has tried to implement greater accountability structures. We now know, in a much clearer way than we did under Bush, how many contractors we have on the battlefield. He's attempted to implement some form of rules governing contractors. And it has suggested that there should be greater accountability when they do commit crimes.

All of these things are a step in the right direction. But, ultimately, I think that we have to look to what Jan Schakowsky, the congresswoman from Illinois, says. We can no longer allow these individuals to perform what are inherently governmental functions. And that includes carrying a weapon on U.S. battlefields. And that's certainly not where President Obama is right now.


BILL MOYERS: You know, you talk about military contractors. Do you think the American people have any idea how their tax dollars are being used in Afghanistan?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Absolutely no idea whatsoever. We've spent 190 million dollars. Excuse me, $190 billion on the war in Afghanistan. And some estimates say that, within a few short years, it could it could end up at a half a trillion dollars. The fact is that I think most Americans are not aware that their dollars being spent in Afghanistan are, in fact, going to for-profit corporations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. These are companies that are simultaneously working for profit and for the U.S. government. That is the intricate linking of corporate profits to an escalation of war that President Eisenhower warned against in his farewell address. We live in amidst the most radical privatization agenda in the history of our country. And it cuts across every aspect of our society.

BILL MOYERS: You recently wrote about how the Department of Defense paid the former Halliburton subsidiary KBR more than $80 million in bonuses for contracts to install what proved to be very defective electrical wiring in Iraq. Senator Byron Dorgan himself, called that wiring in hearings, shoddy and unprofessional. So my question is why did the Pentagon pay for it when it was so inferior?

JEREMY SCAHILL: This is perhaps one of the greatest corporate scandals of the past decade. The fact that this Halliburton corporation, which was once headed by former Vice President Dick Cheney, was essentially given keys to the city of U.S. foreign policy. And allowed to do things that were dangerous for U.S. troops. Provide then with unclean drinking water. They were the premier company responsible for servicing the US military occupation of Iraq. In fact, they were deployed alongside the U.S. military in the build up to the war. This was a politically connected company that won its contracts because of its political connections. And the fact is that it was a behemoth that was there. It was it was the girl at the dance, and they danced with her.


BILL MOYERS: Do you get discouraged writing about corruption that never gets cured?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I don't believe that it necessarily doesn't get cured. I think that I'm very heartened by the fact that we have a very vibrant independent media landscape that's developing right now. You know, to me, I once put on the tagline of an article that I wrote early on in the Obama administration that I pledge to be the same journalist under Barack Obama that I was under President Bush. And the reason I felt that it was necessary to say that is that I feel like we have a sort of blue-state-Fox culture in the media. Where people are willing to go above and beyond the call of partisan politics to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. This is a man- it's time to take off the Obama t-shirts. This is a man who's in charge of the most powerful country on earth. The media in this country, we have an obligation to treat him the way we treated Bush in terms of being critical of him. And, yet, I feel like many Democrats have had their spines surgically removed these days, as have a lot of journalists. The fact is that this man is governing over a policy that is killing a tremendous number of civilians.


JEREMY SCAHILL: I think that what we're doing in Afghanistan increases the likelihood that there's going to be another attack.


JEREMY SCAHILL: Because we're killing innocent civilians regularly. When the United States goes in and bombs Farah province in Afghanistan, on May 4th, and kills civilians, according to the Red Cross and other sources, 13 members of one family, that has a ricochet impact. The relatives of those people are going to say maybe they did trust the United States. Maybe they viewed the United States as a beacon of freedom in the world. But you just took you just took that guy's daughter. You just killed that guy's wife. That's one more person that's going to line up and say, "We're going to fight the United States." We are indiscriminately killing civilians, according to the UN Human Rights Council. A report that was just released this week by the UN says that the United States is indiscriminately killing civilians in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. That should be a collective shame that we feel in this society. And yet we have people calling it the good war.


Often, the most professional news segments of any week are aired during Bill Moyers Journal. Yes, there are other good sources for information - but Moyers really stands out over a very long period of time. I respect his work enormously even if I don't agree with his religious views.

Scahill presents a frightening vision of what the U.S. is becoming: the PR arm of a fascist/corporatist state in which profit is king. We are literally talking about blood money. The weapons get built and need to be deployed somewhere for the sake of profit. If weapons are not spent in war there is no need to buy more weapons. And that's the whole point: to sell more weapons. All the time, year in and year out.

Look in the mirror and ask yourself this: aren't our "enemies" correct to hate us? Look what we allow to happen in our collective names. Perhaps you feel powerless to stop the moving juggernaut that is the U.S. oligarchy. I know that I often feel powerless.

But if we can't stop it, who can?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Things I Believe But Cannot Prove

1. Campaign finance reform would solve many things.

2. Almost all politicians receive graft monies offshore where it cannot be traced or taxed because it's always party-time in Dubai via the Cayman Islands.

3. Serious political debate should by its nature exclude folks like Dick-Liz Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Mancow, etc. The idea of "serious" is the key: if the intent is to be meaningful then frivolous, inflammatory and uninformed rhetoric entirely for entertainment purposes has no place at the table.

4. The U.S. electorate are marks who deserve what they get because approx. 50% of them believe the lies told by cartoon characters operating as experts on politics.

5. The U.S. is an idea for something that doesn't actually exist - it's a fiction. There is no "land of the free" or "home of the brave." There is only an old world style oligarchy with an excellent PR campaign. This is the best "democracy" money can buy!

6. Thousands of military bases worldwide and the subornation of torture are the legacy of this grand-scale fiction.

7. Average U.S. citizens are no more to blame for the whole nonsense than are the powerless members of other societies for the faults of their own governments. After all, do we control our governments or do they control us?

Welcome to Room 101 - it's the worst thing in the world. The truth. Even when you can't prove it.

Breaking: David Carradine Was Killed By Kung Fu Assassins!!!

Was Carradine killed by kung fu assassins?

David Carradine was killed because he was investigating kung fu crime lords, his family have suggested.


Some secrets should just stay secret I guess. Yes, we have reached the *WTF* moment in this week's episode...

Or maybe Carradine really did just die of auto-erotic asphyxia while wearing lingerie, stockings and a wig. It happens.

For some reason there's no glory in masturbating yourself to death with a rope around your neck and genitals. But if Carradine had died banging some gorgeous Hollywood broad there'd be back-slapping aplenty in the press even as I write this.

Solo sex is shameful. However, dying with some woman at the end of your cock is Über-Macho. Good to know...

Nitey night, Kwai Chang Caine.