Month: September 2010

The American Recovery Starts Here (I Wish that it Would Start)

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. — Carl Sagan

Great ad, great movie. Click on the image for director Arthur Penn's obit.

(Another obit is here.)

Clearly, the gap between rich and poor must be expanded so… because the Republicans want it! Is any more reason to vote them back into full power needed than that?

We live in an amazing world. Everybody has big budget deficits and big easy money but somehow the world as a whole cannot fully employ itself. … It is a serious question. We are no longer talking about a single country having a big depression but the entire world. Former Fed Chair Paul Volcker. Good news: No one listens to Paul Volcker.

The Republicans are clearly our saviors. They will save us from the awful disaster they created by continuing their disastrous policies and maybe even expand them. They are supported by simple ignoramuses:

Another Republican who must lead us:

(More about this paragon here.)

Doomed! Because the guys who know aren’t setting policy.

Asshole: My next governor, Carl Paladino.

The face of a scumbag: James O'Keefe. Kids, this is what a turd looks like.

Scumbag: James O’Keefe, another deranged, retarded Republican (or, to paraphrase Mark Twain, but I repeat myself).

Say it isn’t so: The teabaggers aren’t independent patriots but simply Republican stooges??

Look! A democracy even less healthy than modern America’s!

Louses.

This would almost make me change my position on capital punishment. Sadly, I’m with Mario Cuomo: Life without parole is so much more awful and doesn’t put us morally on the level of killers.

This is the most important website you can visit today.

I hate Queen but this might be as cool as it gets:

*sigh*
One damn cool radio!
Ad of the day, for sure!
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Still MIA: Reasons for Hope that the World will Return to Normal

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. — Sidney J. Harris

The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum. — Havelock Ellis

The story of our lives, sadly....

Doomed! Again, it took the government stimulus of World War II to take America out of the Depression extended by the premature ending of government deficit spending and stimulus in the late 30s. Our stimulus was woefully inadequate. And it looks like it may be choked to death soon. Now do the math and you too can predict the future. (Link.)

Who’s Iran’s BFF? Our freedom hating leaders! No lie!

No surprise: Republican proposal is empty of specifics, contains only empty rhetoric.

No surprise: Non-believers know more about religions than believers.

No surprise: The idiocy of a rightwing, Republican idiot “journalist”:

Asshole: Gratuitous Islam-hating hicktown supervisor Bob McCarthy.

This piece by U2’s manager on “how to save the music industry” is bull. Briefly: No facts to support the alleged harm or piracy. Me, I think the overwhelming majority is people trying what they wouldn’t buy. In an era of no opportunity to try before you buy — precious little new music can be heard be heard for free like on radio in the old days — and limited wealth, these issues are not addressed. His solution, to the extent there is a coherent one proposed, is like the old media’s solution: settlle for receiving an inadequate sum because it’s more than free even though it’s nowhere near enough. Too, he aims for what I call the 1% solution: Something good for the elite 1%, and worthless for everyone else. Indeed, he overlooks working musicians. And as part of the 1% solution, I suspect he knows nothing about modern working musicians. (When Rock and Rap Confidential and Dave Marsh endorses this guy, I’m sure I’ll change my mind. Til then….) And let me just add that this is, unsurprisingly, the kind of pompous idiocy one might well expect from the manager of a (talented!) band whose hubris-stoned, modestly educated frontman sets up a company to manufacture clothing sold as mad in Africa, outsources nearly all manufacturing to China, then when caught in this dishonest scam (understandably yet inexcusably) has nothing to say in defense, nor, as an allegedly observant Catholic, bothers to confess to his sin, as it were. Then again, he thought he could get George W. Bush to do something of modest principle.

Headline of the day: “Delhi deploys ‘super monkeys’ for Games security

What else is getting screwed up?

Sad? Funny? Can’t say myself.

Aweesome! Incredible:

(More about the video here.)

A parable for our times.

The American Establishment Continues its War on America

Doomed!

This is what you need to know: important people have no special monopoly on wisdom; and in times like these, when the usual rules of economics don’t apply, they’re often deeply foolish, because the power of conventional wisdom prevents them from talking sense about a deeply unconventional situation. — Prof. K. (To which I’d add that they don’t care and there’s no personal reason for them to care.)

The War Against American Freedom continues: The FBI’s inexcusable raids of homes of peace and labor activists. It’s the old days of J. Edgar Hoover: The FBI goes after whoever the director wants, doesn’t bother to identify or go after true threats. And add to this the Pentagon.

Yes, fight the system; nothing very much left to lose:

So. Obomba can’t actually figure out what’s going in Afghanistan and what needs to be done and, generally, how to do it? He can be confused by his advisers? He’s that stupid? And this about the Afghanistan Fail is too depressing to read.

Doomed! Watch this and learn:

Doomed! Because the lenders are driving down home values.

Apparently Big Banks have been socialized (tip: use Google to smash through Rupert’s paywall). Can’t wait for it to trickle down….

Who’s freer: The U.S. or the United Arab Emirates? Apparently, not the U.S. (Longer version here.)

If the Elite Media can’t condemn this, there is no need for them. Yes, to me it’s that simple.

What New York needs — an inept outsider (this is of course going to be an election cycle of awful versus slightly less awful):

What Congress needs: A cold-blooded murderer.

Farewell to Lake Mead. You could say, I suppose, it’s going to Hell….

Truth:

My dream residence.

More Short, Less Sweet

It’s cool to be a daddy’s girl. It’s sad to be a mommy’s boy. — Anon.

The corpse of Harry Truman has reportedly been so pissed-off by Obama’s tongue-tied, puny-spirited defense of his first two highly accomplished two years in office, that it dragged itself across the country and showed up at the White House last night. “Goddammit, it said. What’s the matter with yo“Carry the battle to them. Don’t let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don’t ever apologize for anything.”

Doomed! Because what we need are defaults on credit, not payoffs, and we’re getting nowhere near enough of the former. (Link. More here.)

Doomed!

But now, as then, powerful forces are ideologically opposed to the whole idea of government action on a sufficient scale to jump-start the economy. And that, fundamentally, is why claims that we face huge structural problems have been proliferating: they offer a reason to do nothing about the mass unemployment that is crippling our economy and our society.

So what you need to know is that there is no evidence whatsoever to back these claims. We aren’t suffering from a shortage of needed skills; we’re suffering from a lack of policy resolve. As I said, structural unemployment isn’t a real problem, it’s an excuse — a reason not to act on America’s problems at a time when action is desperately needed. — Prof. Krugman

The idiocy continues….

Surely You Can’t Expect Things to Get Significantly Better?! Specially with that Contract on America Out There

From the D’uh: Stating the Obvious Dept.:

I’m someone who used to have a bit of respect and deference for The People In Charge. You know, Senators and such. Now I think most of them truly suck and worry that elites are going to destroy the country. — Atrios

Re Election 2010: If you want things to improve — see, for example, Atrios’ quote above — who do you vote for? If all you want to do is keep the destroyers from regaining (electoral) power, the answer’s obvious albeit questionable. If you want anything more, well, there is nothing to vote for. Now, explain how that situation can be explained to be part of a healthy democracy. (Of course, not voting isn’t an option either.)

Doomed! If one cares to learn from history:

The 1920s opened with an 18-month recession, an eerie parallel to the 2007-9 experience. It ended with the Great Crash of 1929. — Simon Johnson

The failure of Our Leaders.

Assuming all our leaders are corrupted by the moneyed elite, what else would expect other than this? Why the surprise? For a corrupted pol, it’s all about him, not the party, not beliefs, not the people of the nation.

The American Death March:

It’s great O’Donnell’s avoiding all media outlets other than Fox Nooz. They preach solely to the converted. Everyone else can say what they want — proven facts like she’s crazy, a creep, and a thief.

What amuses me, I’m sorry to say: Blaming the collapse of the housing bubble on sub-prime borrowers. You know, the lenders were pressured by the government to make the loans, the government who ensured there’d be no financial loss, the lenders who were making the loans for the fees because they were going to flip them anyway. (Link.)

The fiscally irresponsible Bush tax cuts must be extended because they were such a failure in the first place that the failure must be magnified. (Link.)

Retard: Loretta Sanchez (D.-Calif.):

Scumbag? Pinal County, Arizona, Deputy Louie Puroll.

See here a list of those who get executed in this nation fighting two pointless wars that both involved upending of societies.

Where’s the elite media crying because their forums and their careers are headed down the toilet? (Flash! CNN headed further down the toilet to complete irrelevancy.) Lies that are destroying our nation:

What else Americans believe:

Now you can be amused:

From the WTF? Dept.; What is this guy on??

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 is coming out in just a couple of months and just as Microsoft has done on the desktop with superior choices like Windows NT, they will quickly dominate the mobile front as well. Microsoft Windows Phone 7 is programmed completely in the industry leading .net programming language and augmented with the unmatched Silverlight technology providing an unrivaled technological platform with which you will only be limited by your imagination for the applications you can develop. Why play around with a tired platform like ios or android (an operating system only tech geeks can use and understand), when you can go with the undisputed leader in computer technology that is Microsoft. Furthermore, the MetroUI as seen on the ZuneHD audio player makes androd and ios look like sad anachronistic throwbacks. No serious developer will even touch aple and googls stuff when Microsoft Windows Phone 7 is unleashed. (Link.)

I unapologetically love Meggie:

Shortish and Sweet-and-Sourish

Doomed:

Is it possible that there has been some rise in structural unemployment that’s swamped by a much larger rise in cyclical unemployment? Yes, conceivably. And let’s talk about that when unemployment gets below, say, 7 percent — which at current rates of progress will happen, well, never. — Professor K.

Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly. — Republican healthcare plan.

Sick, sick, sick (and too good to edit down):

New Rule: The next rich person who publicly complains about being vilified by the Obama administration must be publicly vilified by the Obama administration. It’s so hard for one person to tell another person what constitutes being “rich”, or what tax rate is “too much.” But I’ve done some math that indicates that, considering the hole this country is in, if you are earning more than a million dollars a year and are complaining about a 3.6% tax increase, then you are by definition a greedy asshole.

And let’s be clear: that’s 3.6% only on income above 250 grand — your first 250, that’s still on the house. Now, this week we got some horrible news: that one in seven Americans are now living below the poverty line. But I want to point you to an American who is truly suffering: Ben Stein. You know Ben Stein, the guy who got rich because when he talks it sounds so boring it’s actually funny. He had a game show on Comedy Central, does eye drop commercials, doesn’t believe in evolution? Yeah, that asshole. I kid Ben — so, the other day Ben wrote an article about his struggle. His struggle as a wealthy person facing the prospect of a slightly higher marginal tax rate. Specifically, Ben said that when he was finished paying taxes and his agents, he was left with only 35 cents for every dollar he earned. Which is shocking, Ben Stein has an agent? I didn’t know Broadway Danny Rose was still working.

Ben whines in his article about how he’s worked for every dollar he has — if by work you mean saying the word “Bueller” in a movie 25 years ago. Which doesn’t bother me in the slightest, it’s just that at a time when people in America are desperate and you’re raking in the bucks promoting some sleazy Free Credit Score dot-com… maybe you shouldn’t be asking us for sympathy. Instead, you should be down on your knees thanking God and/or Ronald Reagan that you were lucky enough to be born in a country where a useless schmuck who contributes absolutely nothing to society can somehow manage to find himself in the top marginal tax bracket.

And you’re welcome to come on the show anytime.

Now I can hear you out there saying, “Come on Bill, don’t be so hard on Ben Stein, he does a lot of voiceover work, and that’s hard work.” Ok, it’s true, Ben is hardly the only rich person these days crying like a baby who’s fallen off his bouncy seat. Last week Mayor Bloomberg of New York complained that all his wealthy friends are very upset with mean ol’ President Poopy-Pants: He said they all say the same thing: “I knew I was going to have to pay more taxes. But I didn’t expect to be vilified.” Poor billionaires — they just can’t catch a break.

First off, far from being vilified, we bailed you out — you mean we were supposed to give you all that money and kiss your ass, too? That’s Hollywood you’re thinking of. FDR, he knew how to vilify; this guy, not so much. And second, you should have been vilified — because you’re the vill-ains! I’m sure a lot of you are very nice people. And I’m sure a lot of you are jerks. In other words, you’re people. But you are the villains. Who do you think outsourced all the jobs, destroyed the unions, and replaced workers with desperate immigrants and teenagers in China. Joe the Plumber?

And right now, while we run trillion dollar deficits, Republicans are holding America hostage to the cause of preserving the Bush tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest 1% of people, many of them dead. They say that we need to keep taxes on the rich low because they’re the job creators. They’re not. They’re much more likely to save money through mergers and outsourcing and cheap immigrant labor, and pass the unemployment along to you.

Americans think rich people must be brilliant; no — just ruthless. Meg Whitman is running for Governor out here, and her claim to fame is, she started e-Bay. Yes, Meg tapped into the Zeitgeist, the zeitgeist being the desperate need of millions of Americans to scrape a few dollars together by selling the useless crap in their garage. What is e-Bay but a big cyber lawn sale that you can visit without putting your clothes on?

Another of my favorites, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said, “I don’t know where they’re going to get all this money, because we’re running out of rich people in this country.” Actually, we have more billionaires here in the U.S. than all the other countries in the top ten combined, and their wealth grew 27% in the last year. Did yours? Truth is, there are only two things that the United States is not running out of: Rich people and bullshit. Here’s the truth: When you raise taxes slightly on the wealthy, it obviously doesn’t destroy the economy — we know this, because we just did it — remember the ’90’s? It wasn’t that long ago. You were probably listening to grunge music, or dabbling in witchcraft. Clinton moved the top marginal rate from 36 to 39% — and far from tanking, the economy did so well he had time to get his dick washed.

Even 39% isn’t high by historical standards. Under Eisenhower, the top tax rate was 91%. Under Nixon, it was 70%. Obama just wants to kick it back to 39 — just three more points for the very rich. Not back to 91, or 70. Three points. And they go insane. Steve Forbes said that Obama, quote “believes from his inner core that people… above a certain income have more than they should have and that many probably have gotten it from ill-gotten ways.” Which they have. Steve Forbes, of course, came by his fortune honestly: he inherited it from his gay egg-collecting, Elizabeth Taylor fag-hagging father, who inherited it from his father. Of course then they moan about the inheritance tax, how the government took 55% percent when Daddy died — which means you still got 45% for doing nothing more than starting out life as your father’s pecker-snot.

We don’t hate rich people, but have a little humility about how you got it and stop complaining. Maybe the worst whiner of all: Stephen Schwarzman, #69 on Forbes’ list of richest Americans, compared Obama’s tax hike to “when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.” Wow. If Obama were Hitler, Mr. Schwarzman, I think your tax rate would be the least of your worries. — Bill Maher

Leadership we need ’cause the biggest problem facing America is people having sex:

Has Mr. Bill’s time come again? We are nearly all of us Mr. Bill now:

Awesome — if you know nothing about nothing:

Happy Days are Here Again! The New Contract on America is Here!

An obvious terrorist. Swarthy, bearded.

Honesty from the Republicans: Their plan to destroy America, revealed. (Endorsed by Nobel-Laureate Prof. Paul Krugman!)

There you go: If you’re swarthy with a beard and maybe a turbany cap, you’re a terrorist. If you look like Timothy McVeigh, you get a pass til you kill a couple of hundred people. 9/11 wasn’t a failure of our overgrown, bloated, inefficient intelligence establishment but our failure to snitch. The guide to making America more hateful and less secure is here.

So the clear and present danger isn’t that the G.O.P. will be able to achieve its long-run goals. It is, rather, that Republicans will gain just enough power to make the country ungovernable, unable to address its fiscal problems or anything else in a serious way. As I said, banana republic, here we come. — Professor K.

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. — John Rogers

Team Obomba gives the Republicans a pre-election victory: Congressional vote on taxcuts put over til after the upcoming Republican electoral blowout so none of the fuckers will be embarassed explaining how fiscally irresponsible taxcuts for the undeserving are needed.

Dead! The inventor of celebrity infidelity!

Actually, the Contract on America 2 is bullshit for morons. Wait a minute, it may not be a platform but simply a work of fiction?

The saddest thing you can read today.

Thief of the day: Christine O’Donnell.

Professor K. is so wrong about this: The Blue Dog Dems don’t care about being in a minority. They know Republicans take care of their own and they are truly the Republicans’ own. It’s their personal economies, stupid (and the fact they run in conservative districts where, that notwithstanding, the Dem brand is the superior one).

Leonard Downie, Jr.: An utter idiot? Does he know what he’s talking about? Does he care? First clue is here.

Lovely: Big Agriculture gets federal funding to fight critics of pesticides. I’m sure the GOP Contract on America 2 fixes this problem.

Please. If Virginia couldn’t execute retards, who could they execute?

Just in case you doubt that the foreclosing banks don’t know what they’re doing, there’s this.

What the world needs: The next Tiger Woods.

How sick a mind does it take to be offended by this (liberal “public TV” is, it is):

I wish there were some where they’d matter — but ever since the Raygun years, stoopid roolz:

Lovely: