WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

End the Fed by Sleuth

Please No!! People of MA, stop this!

Another Senator Kennedy in Massachussetts?

MA, your state is a laughing stock (just like my state of IL, so I can say this). You choose your politicians based on their surnames. And only one surname is acceptible, it seems. Also, you are going to allow your state assembly to change the laws whimsically, in order that the power brokers can maintain their control? Please, No! Rise Up! Don't let another Kennedy waltz into office for another 50 year "stint"! Don't let your governor and your assembly change the law to benefit a single family. Be assured, you, citizens of MA, will not be the ones benefitting when the the governor signs a bill allowing him to appoint an interim senator. You people have been lazy at the polls for way too long. You've been blind to the fraud and theft your representatives have continually committed. Stand up for yourselves! Call your assemblymen and say no to any change in the law that mandates special elections instead of governor-appointments. Do not allow your governor to put an interim shill/lackey/fall boy in place. Become active. Demand accountibility. Demand an end to this personal agrandizement on behalf of your poltical class at the expense of the citizens of MA.

Do this and you'll be proud as you see the results trickling across the Boston Globe, and local news. You'll see hints that the assembly is maybe not a rubber stamp, that the Kennedys are not the only people you can send to Washington. And just think, this will be good practice for when it comes time to decide whether you want to re-elect Barney Frank this time.

No kidding

"Staff Lunch. One of my favorite things!"
- Fat Bastard Anthony Adams on Twitter

Two papers in one!

Best of the Web:

  • "But the real significance of the spat [between Nevada and California] is that it furthers a dangerous and phony economic myth--that hordes of nomadic businesses are roaming the country, plopping down for a year or two in a tax haven and then packing up and moving on the minute a neighboring state bats an alluring low-tax eye. The fact is the come-hither look is useless: Relatively few businesses, once they're formed, pick up and move across state lines."--op-ed piece, Los Angeles Times, Aug. 27

  • " 'It just made sense for Toyota to pull the plug,' said Dennis Virag, president of the Automotive Consulting Group in Ann Arbor, Mich. 'When you look at states like Kentucky and Tennessee, California just isn't competitive in manufacturing with its taxes, regulations and overall cost of doing business.' The costs apparently outweighed a package of incentives put together by state and local officials in an effort to persuade Toyota to stay in Fremont."--news story, Los Angeles Times, Aug. 28

Just Like Black Widows kill their mates....

Am I simplifying things when I say this is what Goldman Sachs gets for sleeping with the devil? Goldman all but "merges" with our Federal government and another subsidiary of Washington, the AFL-CIO, demands a tax on Wall St. firms that make too much money.
Seems the AFL-CIO has decided it wants a "Wall Street Tax". Huh? Is Wall St. not already taxed? C'mon...

The full piece is at:
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/56789-afl-cio-dems-push-new-wall-street-tax

AFL-CIO, Dems push new Wall Street tax
By Alexander Bolton - 08/30/09 10:17 AM ET


The nation’s largest labor union and some allied Democrats are pushing a new tax that would hit big investment firms such as Goldman Sachs reaping billions of dollars in profits while the rest of the economy sputters.The AFL-CIO, one of the Democratic Party’s most powerful allies, would like to assess a small tax — about a tenth of a percent — on every stock transaction.

Small and medium-sized investors would hardly notice such a tax, but major trading firms, such as Goldman, which reported $3.44 billion in profits during the second quarter of 2009, may see this as a significant threat to their profits.

“It would have two benefits, raise a lot of revenue and discourage speculative financial activity,” said Thea Lee, policy director at the AFL-CIO.

“The big disadvantage of most taxes is that they discourage some really productive activity,” she said. “This would discourage numerous financial transactions. People flip their assets several times in an hour or a day. They make money but does it really add to the productive base of the United States?”Lee said that taxing every stock transaction a tenth of a percent could raise between $50 billion and $100 billion per year, which could be used to pay for infrastructure projects and other spending priorities. She said the tax could be applied nationwide or internationally.

The proposal would hit especially hard those hedge funds and large banks earning hefty profits despite the shaky economy from a practice known as high-frequency trading. High-frequency traders use powerful computers to conduct hundreds of thousands of orders in mere seconds, taking advantage of slower traders.

Treason or Reason

There is this new group that has been playing at a local pub I hang out at. They are pretty damn good (I'm no music expert, but take my word on it). Anyways, this is the one and only song (currently my fave as it is) that they have up on YouTube -



Hope you enjoy it!

Oh! And here is their homepage.

Just get off the grid, Sid

With Obama's trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, inflation and/or confiscatory taxation are not only likely, but inevitable.

TIPs, stocks, commodity funds, and gold will help hedge against inflation. But I'm also concerned about the second risk: confiscatory taxation. A wealth tax on financial assets is possible at some point in the future. Primary residences and retirement accounts would likely be exempt, as they are populist, but bank and brokerage accounts would likely be fair game.

Even if a "wealth tax" doesn't become law, financial assets are likely to be a hindrance for access to any of the ever-expanding menu of government programs on which the populace is becoming increasingly dependent. Financial assets are already used to exclude families from student aid, and means-testing of Social Security is a layup.

The best option for those who share these concerns would be to get a good chunk of your assets "off the grid." Your home and retirement accounts are politically protected and more or less safe, but after you've maxed those out I'd suggest getting to know your friendly neighborhood gold dealer on a first-name basis. Gold bullion coins can be had at about a 6% - 7% premium to spot prices, and that premium is likely to look trivial in the rear-view mirror.

Guns and Death are Network TV

Today I was watching my Bears playing the Broncos with my almost 3 year old and the first commercial came on. It shows a man put a gun to a woman's chest and pull the trigger. The show was called Heros. Isn't it odd how cool and fun death is becoming? I'll catch the highlights of the game later instead.

Too bigger to fail

If the solution to a crisis caused by excess consumption, asset bubbles, and too much debt is more excess consumption, more asset bubbles, and more debt...

then the solution to "too big to fail" must be to make the bad banks even bigger!

The new busing

You youngsters probably don't remember this, but in the 70's and 80's the courts and politicians imposed "busing" on some school districts, so that instead of kids going to their neighborhood school, they would be bused to a bad school on the other side of the city.

That kind of busing faded away when anybody with two nickels to rub together got the hell out of those school districts and moved to the suburbs. Read the history here for an excellent illustration of how nitwit do-gooder politicians and judges run into the Law of Unintended Consequences. And this is yet another excellent example of the General Theory of Liberalism: authoritarian judges think they can mandate precise racial quotas in each school, and cannot fathom the possibility that people might leave the district if the long commute is a burden or if the quality of the schools declines.

Anyway, what brings that to mind today really has nothing to do with this story other than that it involves buses and liberals: the new busing. Perhaps this transparent ploy will also prove counterproductive to the goals of the planners.

Obama's "Organizing for America" astroturfing

An in-depth report with photos here.

Mercer Walnut Creek update: desperate seller begging for $165,000 loss after 2 years

We've been tracking the tragicomic saga of Mercer Walnut Creek, an overpriced urban-style condo development in the suburbs.

Today's update is 1655 N. California Unit 322, a 2-bedroom deal some fool paid $785,000 for (plus $500/month in HOA fees!!!) in 2007. Now, a mere two years later, he is begging somebody to let him out of his folly at a mere $165,000 loss.

His glue-sniffing neighbor at #214 didn't get the message and is still holding out for $850,000. And #223 looks like a flipper that flopped, somebody who bought just last year and is still trying to sell at a profit (except for those pesky carrying costs and transaction fees, of course!).

Props to Schwab for new ultra-low mutual fund fees

Schwab has been doing the right thing the past few years after they fired that jackass David Pottruck and put founder Charles Schwab back in charge.

The latest move is to ditch the traditional 1%-ish management fees on funds like the Schwab International Index Fund (SWINX) and go to an ETF-competitive 0.19%. I used to have to use SWINX for dollar-cost-averaging, but then dump it and buy the VEA periodically as the assets got large enough that I didn't want the 1%+ rake. Now with ETF-like expenses in a dollar-cost-averagable mutual fund, they have the best of both worlds.

Talk to Chuck.

French Lessons the SEIU ignores

But of course! This is how the French solve their economic/labor problems....

French Factory Workers Get Naked to Save Jobs

"Our aim is to show there are workers here who will do anything to save their jobs, even take their clothes off."

-French Girl

That's a sophisticated solution, eh? Actually, I think I heard there's a clause somewhere in the Cap and Trade bill that requires workers to do similar things [badumpbump].

But seriously; these laid-off workers are trying to raise money, not to fund replacing the jobs they've lost, not to put food on the ex-workers' tables for a while, but rather, just so they can travel to Italy so that they can protest in front of their Parent Company's building, in hopes of saving some of the lost jobs. All that nudity for such a desparate plan?

Bonus: Have we now finally discovered how Obama is calculating the number of jobs he's "saved"? Maybe he's just counting the number of nude beggars that appear in front of the White House every month and calling each a "saved job". Nude Protesting. Ha. That's soooo amateur. Dear Leader prefers the highly-developed techniques executed by his taxpayer-funded professional protesters.

Two former Enron advisers in one!

Former Enron adviser Paul Krugman on deficits:

Bush's $500 billion 1-year deficit "biggest budget deficit in the history of the world," "comparable to the worst we've ever seen in this country," "bigge[r] than Argentina in 2001," "irresponsible and dishonest"; Obama's $9 trillion 10-year deficits "saved the world" and "we should be doing more, not less"!

Feminists vs. PETA

Instapundit pointed me to this feminist law blog rant against PETA.
The line “We have no intention of changing our tactics until every last animal on the planet is given more respect than woman” barely registers as satire, PETA’s ads are so awful. [...] I don't understand PETA at all.

I'm a proud and loyal member of PETA.

I guess I believe that intelligent women in a woman-founded and women-majority organization have the right to use a little humor, sex, and shock value to get their message across.

Feminists could take a lesson from PETA. A little more humor and less bitter anger might help advance their cause.

But I guess they have different attitudes because of their differing goals. PETA wants to change people's hearts and persuade them to make more compassionate choices in their personal lives. Feminists don't want to persuade individuals; they want to capture only courts and legislatures to advance their goals.

If You hated the Patriot Act, where is your outrage now?

Bill Would Give President Emergency Control of Internet
CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

Sure, it's not yet passed. Sure we could see a real crisis happen on any given day. Sure, potential enemies will definitely try to hack into and destroy our networks and electronic infrastructure. But where are all those people who daily and righteously cited during the Bush years, the famous Ben Franklin quote? "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." -Ben Franklin

And just to get everyone thinking, what would we get if we combined such bills/proposals with Obama's Chief of Staff's infamous quote? "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." -Rahm Emanuel

It has become obvious to anyone paying attention that there is simply no limit to what this administration is willing to do to expand the power of the Federal Government, and it's intrusive reach into our lives.

UPDATE: This site closed for your protection.

Coming soon to an ObamaCare hospital near you

'Cruel and neglectful' care of one million NHS patients exposed:
In the last six years, the Patients Association claims hundreds of thousands have suffered from poor standards of nursing, often with 'neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel' treatment.

The charity has disclosed a horrifying catalogue of elderly people left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffering from repeatedly cancelled operations, missed diagnoses and dismissive staff.

The Patients Association said the dossier proves that while the scale of the scandal at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust - where up to 1,200 people died through failings in urgent care - was a one off, there are repeated examples they have uncovered of the same appalling standards throughout the NHS.

California raising taxes due to deflation

Man, stuff out there is gettin' cheap -- dirt cheap! And you know what that means? That's right. You've got more money left over to give your government!

California, which already raped the working class with a shocking 9.3% tax rate on income over $47,055 for singles and $94,110 for families (by far the lowest income levels of any state for such draconian rate to kick in), will now drop those levels to $46,349 and $92,698 -- plus jack up the rate to 9.55% due to the February Schwarzenegger tax hike.

Hope you're enjoying those famous beaches!

Dear Timmy

Jr. Deputy Account says hello.

Google earth image of Antioch kidnapper Phillip Garrido's hidden backyard camp -- and Street View with van

Here's the satellite image from google maps of 1554 Walnut Ave, Antioch, where Phillip Garrido kept Jaycee Lee Dugard in a hidden backyard tent and shack complex for 18 years.




(click to enlarge)

Garrido had been sent to prison for 50 years but got out on "early release" after 11. Consider that as California legislators consider this week whether to give early release tens of thousands of felons onto the streets of California. Oh yeah, your legislators know exactly which ones are dangerous, and they won't let any of them out among the tens of thousands.

This guy's lawyer is going to have a hell of a statute of limitations argument. I don't know what they can charge him with. The kidnapping was 18 years ago and recently there was no statutory rape or, apparently, false imprisonment, as she seems to have been living there voluntarily and interacting with the locals.

UPDATE: Thanks for this tip, Matt. Watch the van pull out of the driveway and follow the Google Street View camera:












What a coincidence that a kidnapper would drive a kidnapper van!

And Garrido's blog.

Thank you Robert Rubin, Hank Paulson, Alan Greenspan, and Tim Geithner

The U.S. now has exactly ZERO of the world's 30 safest banks.

HT: Jesse's Cafe

President Appoints Chavez-Lover to take control of media

We are about to see an onslaught of Fascism by means of unelected Czars rewriting regulations. For instance, this man's plan is for the FCC to charge radio stations a fee that is equal to 100% of their annual operating costs. This "fee", extorted from private broadcasting business, would go towards funding PUBLIC broadcasting, and is in addition to the actual operating costs the stations must still incur if they want to operate a business. What business can stay in business with fees like that imposed by an angry, out-of-control, fascistic government?

Enter Mark Lloyd. He is Obama's new "Diversity Czar" at the FCC. He wants to take control of unfriendly media channels. He wrote a paper called "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio", which is found on the website of that wonderfully objective political activist group called "The Center for American Progress". (we all know "progressive" is the current word that "socialists" hide behind, right?) In the paper, Lloyd suggests ways of rewriting FCC regulations to correct a particularly hindering and annoying problem: some people's free speech on the radio sounds bad to some people in the government. It challenges their arguments, and exposes them. It was this paper that made Obama fall in love with Lloyd and put him charge of regulating "Diversity" at the FCC. He followed it up with another paper, called "Forget the Fairness Doctrine" in which he tells liberals to:
use the 'localism' requirement to harass conservative stations by filing complaints with the FCC. The FCC would then assess these stations fines, with the money going to (very liberal) public broadcasting.

Or worse - the FCC would rescind these stations' broadcast licenses. In other words, shut them up by shutting them down. Thus, as Lloyd says, no need for the mis-named "Fairness" Doctrine. [quoted from]

So that is clearly good-old Saul Alynski-style Community Activism, designed to achieve government domination of the content that flows through certain communication channels. But we also get a glimpse of Lloyd's other Communist-friendly opinions in this video from the 2008 National Conference for Media Reform, in which he laments the fact that Hugo Chavez's "incredible revolution" was almost thwarted when he says:

"State radio in Rwanda was taken over by one tribe, one group. And they began to put out propaganda, so that the Tutsis were targeted. And what resulted from the fact that State Radio was able to do that was essentially mass genocide in Rwanda. But the state for this particular tribe controlled the radio very purposefully to make sure there was media and social change. In Venezuela, with Chavez, really an incredible revolution, a dramatic revolution, to begin to put in place saying that we're going to have impact on the people of Venezuela. [But] the property owners and the folks who were then controlling the media in Venezuela rebelled- [they] worked, frankly, with the folks here in the U.S. government- worked to oust him and he [Chavez] came back and he had another revolution. And Chavez then started to take the media very seriously in this country."
Of Course, we know that Chavez has been taking control of the media in his country. That's how Statists like Obama roll, y'all! The scorpion stung the frog in the middle of the river because it is in his nature. Well, Communists take control of media outlets because it's in their nature, too.

Democrats vandalize Democrat offices to prove that Republicans are dangerous hatemongers

Sounds reasonable:
Early Tuesday, Democratic Party chairwoman Pat Waak said the damage to her building in Denver's art district was a consequence of "an effort on the other side to stir up hate."

Only problem?
Police said that about 2:20 a.m., 24-year-old Maurice Schwenkler, now in custody, and an at-large accomplice took a hammer to the picture windows displaying posters touting President Barack Obama and his health care reform efforts.

[...]

Schwenkler was one of dozens of paid canvassers bankrolled by the Colorado Citizens' Coalition, a political 527 committee Schwenkler has worked for Democratic causes funded by labor groups and well-known, wealthy liberal donors.

Is this what Obama meant when he told his minions to "punch back twice as hard?"

Before he died, Ted Kennedy tried

What Ted Kennedy Wants:
He's trying to change election rules-again.


Long Story Short: If Kerry had won the presidency in 2004, the law in MA would have had then Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, appoint a replacement to Kerry's Senate Seat. Ted Kennedy didn't like that possibility, because Romney would have appointed a fellow Republican. So Kennedy pushed for a change in the law that would require a special election be held to replace such an empty seat. This was safe for Democrats, because the state of MA is reliably liberal. The law was changed, and the MA law still currently requires a special election.

But then Kennedy himself became gravely ill. In his last days, Teddy requested that the law be changed back to what it was prior to his push for changing it in the first place. He now wanted the governor to be legally responsible for appointing a replacement in the event of an absent seat. Why did he so blatantly reverse himself? Well, the current governor is a Democrat. But the current polls suggest that, in every single state, self-described "conservatives" outnumber self-described "liberals". So the tea leaves said there's a chance the people of MA would choose, in a democratic election, a Republican. Teddy didn't like that. He died before they changed the law to suit his fickle mood swings.

An interesting side-note can be read here, which explains how, if the law he wanted to be in place in his dying days were in place in 1960, it would have likely prevented him from ever being a Senator in the first place.

My sympathies go to his family. I was going to post about this before he died. I don't mean to pile-on.

AFL-CIO President takes over NY Fed Branch.

This is an interesting appointment. The Strategic-Thinking area of my brain is working overtime, producing hypothetical reasons for why this was done and what we should expect to happen next. Obama appointed the New York State AFL-CIO President as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

They [Unions] are searching for relevancy and realizing that collective bargaining does not solve all problems. They want their hands on the levers of economic decision making. They see this as having greater appeal to unorganized workers. They are trying to show, this is not your grandfather’s labor union. Unionization used to be thought of as that movie ‘On the Waterfront.’ This is a new face.

How Barney spent his summer vacation

It seems Barney Frank is crafting a bill that gives even more power over the financial sector to the Fed gvt. I wouldn't argue against any proposed reforms until I see what they are, but it's interesting here that Barney is including in this "sweeping" bill the power of Congress to audit the Fed. He cites Ron Paul as a supporter, as if that assures conservatives that there couldn't be anything objectionable in the rest of the bill. I wonder if he's including clauses that are attractive to conservatives for the sake of passing other clauses that might be too "sweeping" for them otherwise. We'll see.

[Full article here]
As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank is busy assembling a complex bill to give the federal government unprecedented control over the country’s financial institutions. It is as ambitious as any legislation jolting town halls and cable-news programs, and one that calls upon Frank’s lesser-known skills: discreet negotiation instead of the impatient insult showcased last Tuesday night in Dartmouth, when he belittled a woman who accused him of supporting a “Nazi policy’’ on health care.

Don't order the #5

As a UK singer once sang, "There Must Be Some Misunderstanding"


We'll see this kind of headline soon enough in the US when ObamaCare passes. (NHS is the UK's National Health Service.)

Man collapses with ruptured appendix... three weeks after NHS doctors 'took it out'.

After weeks of excruciating pain, Mark Wattson was understandably relieved to have his appendix taken out.

Doctors told him the operation was a success and he was sent home.

But only a month later the 35-year-old collapsed in agony and had to be taken back to Great Western Hospital in Swindon by ambulance.

Mark Wattson, 35, from Swindon may have been the victim of botched surgery after he had to have his appendix removed twice

To his shock, surgeons from the same team told him that not only was his appendix still inside him, but it had ruptured - a potentially fatal complication.

In a second operation it was finally removed, leaving Mr Wattson fearing another organ might have been taken out during the first procedure.

The blunder has left Mr Wattson jobless, as bosses at the shop where he worked did not believe his story and sacked him.

Mr Wattson told of the moment he realised there had been a serious mistake.

'I was lying on a stretcher in terrible pain and a doctor came up to me and said that my appendix had burst,' he said. 'I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I told these people I had my appendix out just four weeks earlier but there it was on the scanner screen for all to see.

'I thought, "What the hell did they slice me open for in the first place?"
'I feel that if the surgery had been done correctly in the first place I wouldn't be in the mess I am today. I'm disgusted by the whole experience.'


[emphasis added]
Read more

Take a dirt nap with Marilyn Monroe

The crypt above Marilyn Monroe's is for sale:
Poncher's late husband was buried face down, looking at Monroe, when he died 23 years ago at age 81, the auction posting revealed.

Bad call, dude! Rock Hudson has the crypt above yours!

But They Promised!?!?

Lord Obama and Darth Bush both promised us that if we spent trillions to bailout their buddies, the recession wouldn't be as bad. Obama even gave us this cool graph in which he expressed what would happen if we didn't bailout his rich, crooked friends. Gateway Pundit posted the graph below in this article telling the early tale.

That's SCARY! Thank goodness Premier Obama knew what he was talkiing about....what?

Alas, as many knew would come to pass, Obama was as accurate with his terror tactics as the Wizard of Oz. See here. Cue the doublespeak:

U.S. unemployment will surge to 10 percent this year and the budget deficit will be $1.5 trillion next year, both higher than previous Obama administration forecasts because of a recession that was deeper and longer than expected, White House budget chief Peter Orszag said.

The Office of Management and Budget forecasts a weaker economic recovery than it saw in May as the gross domestic product shrinks 2.8 percent this year before expanding 2 percent next year, according to the administration’s mid-year economic review issued today. The Congressional Budget Office, in a separate assessment, forecast the economy will grow 2.8 percent next year. Both see the GDP expanding 3.8 percent in 2011.

“While the danger of the economy immediately falling into a deep recession has receded, the American economy is still in the midst of a serious economic downturn,” the White House report said. “The long-term deficit outlook remains daunting.”
But, but, but, but, you promised!?!? Oh well, we still love with unconditional devotion because we know that Jesus never made a mistake. I love Koolaid!

Do I hear a Quadrillion? Anyone?

A debt clock with some extra numbers most debt clocks I see don't include. Charles Payne from their business network helps explain the debt clock starting at about 1:30 into the clip, and says these are very conservative estimates! Look for the winning number jumping out at you at 3:20.
Hint: It's 644 TRILLION (with a 'T')!!

Brownshirts?

Ok did I miss something? In this fantastic video of an ex-marine putting the smackdown on the soon to be ex-representative from Washington, he claims that Nancy Pelosi refers to dissenters of the health care movement as brownshirts. She calls us BROWNSHIRTS?!?

As we've stated many times, going the route of Nazi in one's argument immediately discredits one's argument. But for the Left to suggest this is, well, totally perfect. They call their department thugs outside the oversight of the other branches Czars and now they refer to their opposition as Brownshirts. So who's the leader of this opposition Nancy - Emperor Hirohito?

W.C. Varones ♥ Michael Moore

Politics makes strange bedfellows. We must admit that our bed has never been disgraced by a fat tub of goo like Michael Moore before, but there's a first time for everything.

And if this trailer is an accurate indication of the film, Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story gets the Wall Street coup exactly right.



Welcome to the Tea Party Revolt, Mr. Moore!

The scales fall from their eyes

Rasmussen:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 27% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -14. These figures mark the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President. The previous low of -12 was reached on July 30 (see trends).

Prior to today, the number who Strongly Approved of the President’s performance had never fallen below 29%. Some of the decline has come from within the President’s own party. Just 49% of Democrats offer such a positive assessment of the President at this time.

At the other end of the spectrum, today’s total for Strongly Disapprove matches the highest level yet recorded. The 41% mark was reached just once before and that came one week ago today. Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans now Strongly Disapprove along with 49% of those not affiliated with either major party.

Count me among that latter 49%.

Greenspan's Body Count: Julie and Wallis Fay

Serial killer Alan Greenspan strikes again:
Police say a Dumfries, Va., couple found dead inside their home are the victims of an apparent murder-suicide.

[...]

Neighbors say the husband and wife, identified as Julie and Wallis Fay, had lived in the home for the past 17 years. They describe the two as friendly and were shocked to hear what happened.

[...]

For the past two months the couple had allegedly been facing financial troubles. Neighbors say the couple had fallen behind on mortgage payments and tried to refinance their home but ended up being evicted and had to be out of the house by Saturday.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 105.

Julie Fay
Wallis Fay
Siu Fong Ng
Ernest Scherer Jr.
Charlene Abendroth
J.D. Wood
Cynthia Wood
Aubrey Wood
Dillon Wood
Betty J. Lipply
Dwight Deely
Linda Patrick
David Kellerman
Christopher Wood
Francie Billotti-Wood
Chandler Wood
Gavin Wood
Fiona Wood
Gil Weber
Gregory Graham
Randolph Graham
David Kelley
Ramona woman
Del Mar man
Wayne "Mike" Anderson
Jeffrey M. Pearson
Ervin Antonio Lupoe
Ana Lupoe
Brittney Lupoe
Jaszmin Lupoe
Jassely Lupoe
Benjamin Lupoe
Christian Lupoe
Steven L. Good
Adolf Merckle
Mike Upham
Randy Motts
Kristy Hunt
Joseph Nesheiwat
Tom Brisch
Alex Widmer
Brian Pugh
Marilyn Lewis
Sid Agrawal
Kirk Stephenson
Barry Fox
Dallas Dwayne Carter
David Hetzel
Sharron Hetzel
Cliff Kendall
Pamela Ross
Roland Gore
Mrs. Gore
Wanda Dunn
Karthik Rajaram
Subasri Rajaram
Krishna Rajaram
Ganesha Rajaram
Arjuna Rajaram
Indra Ramasesham
Joe X
Isabelle Jarka
Robert Wagner
Lt. Michael Howe
John Roberts
Palmer C. White
Dianne Pittman White
Ed Boesen
Edwin F. Rachleff
Carlene Balderrama
Troy VanderStelt
Scott M. Coles
Dawn E. Armstrong
Thomas Lizotte
Jonathon Calvin "40-Cal" Jacques
Salvador X
Lupe X
Jade X
Little Boy X
Little Girl X
Kashmir Billon
Bill McMurtry

Lisa McMurtry
James Hahn
Raymond Donaca
Deanna Donaca
[redacted]
[redacted]
Michel Veillette
Nadya Ferrari-Veillette
Marguerite Veillette
Vincent Veillette
Mia Veillette
Jacob Veillette
Maurice Pereira
Natasha Pereira
Mark Achilli
Raed Al-Farah
Andrew Kissel
Rufus Shaw Jr.
Lynn Flint Shaw
Mr. Pierce
Walter Buczynksi
Marci Buczynski
Jason Washington

Larry Flynt on the Wall Street takeover of government

Over at the Huffington Post, Larry Flynt quotes Jefferson, FDR and David Rockefeller in continuing the theme of the Wall Street takeover of government, and calls for a national strike:
The real war is not between the left and the right. It is between the average American and the ruling class. If we come together on this single issue, everything else will resolve itself. It's time we took back our government from those who would make us their slaves.

Flynt has the diagnosis right, but his prescription is naive. Flynt calls for "real campaign-finance reform and strong restrictions on lobbying," akin to requiring regular trimming of pet tiger claws (how's that McCain-Feingold working for ya?). The only way to limit the ability of banks and mega-corporations to run the government for their own interests is to severely limit the powers of that government to hand out largess, which is exactly what our Founding Fathers tried to do all those years ago with a little thing called the Constitution.

Bruce Wiseman on Goldman Sachs

Financial consultant and writer Bruce Wiseman picks up where Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone article leaves off, and documents the characters in Goldman's takeover and looting of the U.S. Treasury. Robert Rubin is the Godfather.

Here's part of the bit on Rubin, but you really must read the whole thing for the dirt on Paulson, Geithner, Summers, et. al.
[...] having served 26 years with Goldman Sachs, ascending to the position of Co-Chairman, Rubin came to Washington with the Clinton Administration, as the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. Bill must have dug the Wall Street touch, because in January of 1995, he appointed Rubin the 70th Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.

This could be called the start of the modern era of what the New York Times has referred to as the modern era of Government Sachs.

The hallmark of Rubin’s years in Washington was deregulation - specifically, deregulation of the financial industry. Turn the financial industry loose. Let the big dogs eat. Let them earn. They have Porsche payments to make.

Working with Greenspan, he kept interest rates implausibly low and ensured that regulatory safeguards were gunned down like victims in an LA drive-by shooting. The Glass-Steagall Act is a prime example. A piece of depression era legislation that kept investment banks and commercial banks from committing fiscal incest, it was repealed - charged with being out of touch with the global financial structure.

What it was out of touch with was an agenda to open the floodgates to unbridled speculation by banks that set the industry up for a financial Hiroshima.

It takes a great deal of power and influence to get a federal law repealed in this country – especially one that has served the country well for 70 years. But Rubin, with a little help from his friends – Larry Summers and Alan Greenspan – got it done.

These and other similar actions helped pave the way for an economic crisis that would soon engulf the entire planet.

“The housing bubble has burst. The financial services industry is a ward of the state. Insurance companies and automakers are tottering on the brink of bankruptcy. Consumer credit is drying up along with consumer confidence. Banks have stopped lending money, and big corporations have started laying workers off. The stock market is at a five-year low. But amid the greatest financial panic since the Great Depression, the market for one asset stubbornly resists correction: the immaculate reputation of Robert Rubin, former treasury secretary and pre-eminent economic wise man of the Democratic Party.

[...]

Let’s set aside for the moment that when Rubin was Co-Chairman of Goldman, the firm underwrote billions of dollars in bonds for the Mexican government. When the Mexican Peso tanked a few years later, Rubin, as Secretary of the Treasury arranged a multi-billion dollar taxpayer bailout which, according to reports, saved Goldman a cool $4 billion. Kind of a dress rehearsal for Hank Paulson’s trillion dollar raid on the US Treasury which channeled tens of billions into the womb from which he came – Mother Goldman. But we’ll get to that.

Rubin did more than pave the road to a financial Armageddon with Maestro Greenspan. His spawn have helped ensure that the crisis came off as planned and that it was solved with the creation of a global financial dictator, who – prepare to be shocked - is also a Goldman alum.

Thanks to Jr. Deputy for sending the link.

Only 9 Trillion More, we hope you don't mind

In the comedy department today:
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated deficits between 2010 and 2019 will total $9.14 trillion.
Folks we're getting to the point that the USofA is going to be no more. We can't possibly put on that much debt and hope to have a country in the future.

All you liberals need to ask yourself one question - 'why do I hate my children?' Because if this comes to pass not only are grandma and grandpa going to be eating dogfood for the rest of their lives, your children are going to inherit the poorest country in history.

So have a great weekend!

August 21st - HAPPY BFF!

Happy Bank Failure Friday everyone. And this was a doozy. The feds finally shut down Guaranty Bank with the following rational:
Guaranty had $13.5 billion in assets and $12 billion in deposits and “was in an unsafe and unsound condition because of the deteriorating quality of its loan portfolio, critically deficient earnings, capital insolvency and strained liquidity position,” the Office of Thrift Supervision, the lender’s regulator, said in a statement.
Now if that's the reason they got shut down than exactly why are BofA, Wells Fargo, and Citi still in business? Ohhhh right, they purchased our government so they get to stay in business. I love zombies!

Three other banks made the list including the popular dot com era bank pioneer ebank.
2. Capital South Bank - Birmingham, Alabama
3. First Coweta - Newman, Georgia
4. ebank - Atlanta, Georgia

That takes us to 81 for the year but don't worry, Ben says were about to turn the corner.

Paid Advocate, Mr Specter.

Another example of the fact that our representatives are merely "paid advocates", funded by their donors. That's not new. That's the way it is.

Here we see Arlen Specter making a case against Nationalized Health Care in 1994. How else to explain such a complete reversal?



And how about Axelrod making $2 million from the Health Care Bill?

"Wealthiest Nation on Earth"? Brunei Objects!


Trying to convince religious leaders to support his nationalized health care bill, Obama used lofty language about our "moral obligations", etc. He added,

"In the wealthiest nation on Earth, we are neglecting to live out that call.” -Barak Obama, 8/19/09

What measurement is he using when he calls us the wealthiest nation? What makes him think we are "wealthy"?

-Is he talking about the escalating rate of mortgage delinquencies, as cited here?
-Or maybe the current state of our Social Security fund?
-Or was he referring to the fact that the United States' Total Debt Obligations, at $78 Trillion, exceeds the TOTAL Global GDP?

Unfortunately for MaoBama, we do indeed count debt obligations when assessing net worth. Is now the right time to point out that "wealthiest" does not mean the same thing as "wealthy"?
One could argue that the nations of Brunei and Palau are wealthier (see CIA World Factbook chart of nations' external debts).

3,000th post?

It looks like this might be the 3000th post to this site. How did I luck out?

There was a time when one can vent on a blog or whatever, but seems those times are soon to be behind us - Skanks for nothing: Google must ID 'anonymous' blogger.

Remember if you call someone a bitch, you must be able to back it up.

Would Governments going Bankrupt be a good thing?

Succinct

No, oh no.... everything Fox News says is evil. We can't have people saying things like this in our socialist nation. It's way too politically dangerous.



A longer version can be seen here.

Pop Quiz

What would you call a form/system of government does this kind of thing?

House Democrats Seek Financial Records of Health Insurance Companies [story]

For Extra Credit: Does a Capitalist, Representative Democracy form/system of government such as that which the Untied States Constitution establishes do that?

I didn't know Obama needed a partner to work his miracles.

Coming from a guy who voted 3 times to block a law in Illinois that would have mandated that doctors give emergency medical treatment to babies who were born alive, having survived abortion attempts, does this quote seem disingenuous as he tries to sell his national health care bill?

"We are God's partners in matters of life and death"- Barak Obama 8/19/09


The level of pandering there is so offensive, quoting the Rosh Hashanah prayer that says that in the holiday period, it is decided "who shall live and who shall die", especially considering that many in that particular religious group are reportedly becoming worried about how his foreign policy seems to be developing.

Dictators, How Does it Happen?

I've often thought about why countries let themselves fall under tyrannical rule. It seem the story is the same. The poor get poorer, the rich get exponentially richer and the tyrannical see the opportunity to take control. But why do the rich get so exponentially richer? Why do they need to get so wealthy? Why do they need to play the existing system to gain that extra billion when it obviously damages the rest of the populations ability to make a living?

I thought of this again today when I read this link I found on Patrick.net.

Bill Gross bought a house for $23 million, and is tearing it down. Doesn't that seem absurd? I mean if you have the money I guess do whatever you want but this guy is one of the faces of American business; don't you think it sends the wrong message? And while millions of people lose their job don't you think you open the door for Left wing radicals? Bill, don't you think your action stinks of arrogance?

I don't suggest any sort of legislation or control over what one does with one's money. I am just commenting that states have fallen to tyranny time and again after their rich almost mock the poor with their success. They control the system that is in place to make billions borderline illegally and certainly unethically. Think of Alan Greenspan's manipulation of the interest rates that caused the biggest housing bubble in history. Who does that really benefit in the end? It certainly causes financial ruin for all those who took the bait but those on the inside, they've already removed their chips. Those on the inside that fail, well, they're to big to fail.

I suggest that if the rich weren't so obviously manipulating the system they manage(Goldman, AIG, JPM, PIMCO, etc.), and that manipulation wasn't so obviously ruining the economy in the long term, it wouldn't be as easy for the Left to rally the less educated, jobless masses.

But hey, Bill needs THAT waterfront property to be happy, so Helicopter Ben, let's keep those interest rates down, keep the QE going, at least until he gets the new house completed. Then what does Bill care what happens to the economy? He's on an island.

Beer Bad, Beating Women Good

The compassionate, religion of peace that is Islam has a little rule that if you drink alcohol you are to be physically beaten under the laws of a supreme being. You know, the supreme being that gave man the ability to create the supreme beverage but then, as the sadistic bastard it is, comes with - you drink it, you pay.

Apparently a model in Indonesia named Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno drank a can of Natty Light, or some like concoction, and has been sentenced to 6 whacks with a wet noodle. The article is here.

Now caning for vandalism, see Michael Fay, if that is the law for vandalism, I got no problem with.

But caning for beer is seriously BARBARIC! I calculated my punishment if I were to be caned for all the beer I have drunk and apparently I'd receive 743,874 whacks. Yikes! I guess I ain't going to Jakarta anytime soon.

Dog Food Coupons

U.S. Representative Spencer Bachus from Vestavia Hills, Alabama, let fly the dirty little news that Social Security may have a "deficit" within 2 years. Just like our financial system is "strong", we're pretty sure this means the destined-to-fail, horrible government pension plan will blow up a lot sooner than advertised.

So as a service to all those senior citizens that regularly voted in clowns that decided debt was good, who believe the AARP actually represents their interests and not the interests of the political machine, we offer doggiecoupon.com. With it's new slogan that we'd love to hear Robert Mitchum schlep like he did for the beef commercials:
Dogfood, it's what's for dinner.

Join S.I.'s 1st Orwellian Acronym Challenge

In the UK, the health-care-rationing agency that makes decisions on what medical procedures individual citizens can have, is actually called "N.I.C.E.", which stands for National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Oh, how nice! Isn't it charming how nicely the UK government denies hip-replacement procedures, and mastectomies?

In this week-long absence of our "fishy" leader (WC), and in the same Orwellian spirit as NICE, I propose we submit our own original acronyms for Obama-care in the comments section for this entry. I will begin the Challenge with my own suggestion:

P.R.E.T.T.Y.

The People's Righteous Entity for Tyrannical Theft of Years

Foreigners' Perspectives: Nationalized Health Care establishes a Permanent Left-of-Center political state

Mark Steyn, who is from the UK, writes this piece that completely devastates the idea of National Health Care. Steyn's take on this reminds me that people from other countries are often better able to explain why the United States is/was such an amazing country. See the incredible book Democracy In America by the Frenchman Alexis de Tocquiville (or the complete text online for free). Steyn's excellent piece begins with this paragraph:
THE NATIONALIZATION OF YOUR BODY

Steyn on America
Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Health care is a game-changer. The permanent game-changer. The pendulum will swing, and one day, despite their best efforts, the Republicans will return to power, and, in the right circumstances, the bailouts and cap-&-trade and Government Motors and much of the rest can be reversed. But the government annexation of health care will prove impossible to roll back. It alters the relationship between the citizen and the state and, once that transformation is effected, you can click your ruby slippers all you want but you’ll never get back to Kansas.

HT: tokenconservative

Missing Argument

Abortion-rights proponents have a slogan they put on bumper stickers, etc...

"Keep your laws off my body".

Why aren't we seeing that slogan being used right now in regards to the issue of government controlled health care?

[Since originally posting this I noticed there are others who've noticed the hypocricy behind "the left's" use of that slogan.]

Canada Is Medical Perfection....or not

Rationing Vancouver (British Columbia not Washington) style: Socialist Medicine eh.

I remember spending a few days discussing this in my Urban Planning curriculum back in college. The communist prof. touted the Canadian system as far superior. But then he showed us a documentary on the topic on one of those huge TV's on a rolling cart with a VCR underneath it (times have changed).

It showed a guy with a heart problem in Windsor, Canada. They filmed his examination in Windsor in May. The doc said he had a serious problem but the earliest he could get surgery was in August. They took him across the river to Detroit to see a specialist there and that doc cleared his calendar for the next morning because the condition was immediately life threatening. Yet in the Canadian system there's room to wait.

Those who look at Canada as health care nirvana fail to do any research. They aren't bad but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that that system is worse then ours. See article above.

HT: BeJohnGalt

Dear California, We Need to Talk

It disappoints me to no end that Candice Reed wrote the letter that I have already penned and was going to post when I finally escaped this communist paradise. And worse still she did a far better job then I could at writing her break up letter.
Dear California,

I've been thinking about this for a very long time, and I've come to the conclusion that we should go our separate ways. I thought I loved you and it would last forever, but I was so very wrong.
...
You've totally lost perspective, and I'm sinking into depression! We can't pay our bills, and the phone is ringing off the hook with creditors calling from all over the world. Children across the state are losing healthcare, more than 766,300 Californians lost their jobs in the last year, and we're at the top of the foreclosure charts. You need to change, and you refuse to admit it. For the first time in our relationship, I'm embarrassed to say that we are together.
...
So that's it, California, it's over. You've cost me too much. I'm starting over, but I can see happy times ahead. Like we once had.

Please don't call my mother to try and find out where I live. You could be a great state again, but I can't wait for you to turn it all around. Good luck!

Hasta la vista,

Candice

Gone fishin'

I'm outta here for a week, off to the Sierra Nevadas. I hope NL, SU, OZ, and Ang will keep things lively.

I'll let you know if I run into Casey Serin living in his broken-down van in the woods.

Lesson #1: The Left Never Stops, Rests, Relaxes, or Retreats.

The Left. Never. Gives. Up. This is from 2/26/09, but it's just another piece of info added to the huge body of evidence telling us that the Democrat Party is (and has been for about 6 years now) steering to the extreme leftward side of the political spectrum and pushing the throttle to "light speed". There are powerful and wealthy people out there who think the President is not enough of a leftist. This is from a blog about an article in the New York Times 2/26/09, but it is relevant because it tells us that it's possible the Democrat Party will continue to go to the extreme left (is that even possible?), especially if such new groups are effective.
Yippie! It seems Obama's glossed-over background story that painted him as a kind-hearted and cheritable "Community Organizer" has inspired the establishment of some entirely new leftist activist groups. Let's all look forward to being disgusted (Soros-willing) by the activities of the brand-new group, "Accountability Now"! Hurray! A.N., Allow me to welcome you to the dismal idiocy of American politics!
MoveOn, Kos, SEIU Push Dems More Left

[Buried in the back pages of the New York Times]:

Bloggers and Unions Join Forces to Push Democrats

By JIM RUTENBERG
Published: February 26, 2009

WASHINGTON — A group of liberal bloggers said it is teaming up with organized labor and MoveOn to form a political action committee that will seek to push the Democratic Party farther to the left.

Soliciting donations from their readers, the bloggers said they are planning to recruit liberal candidates for challenges against more centrist Democrats currently in Congress…

The new organization is in many ways the liberal equivalent of the Club for Growth, a conservative group that has financed primary challenges against Republicans it deems insufficiently dedicated to tax cuts and small government.

Organizers of the new group, to be called Accountability Now, said their intention is to enable Mr. Obama to seek more liberal policies without fear of losing support from the more conservative members of his party serving in Congress. But they did not rule out occasional friction with Mr. Obama, as well.

Sheila Jackson Lee crushes world record for in-your-face contempt

You thought your Congresscritter showed contempt by not having a town hall, keeping it secret from the public, or packing it with Organizing for America paid volunteers?

That's nothing. Sheila Jackson Lee got on a cell phone and started yakking away in the middle of an attendee's question to her.



Sheila Jackson Lee just set the new standard!

Maybe people just don't want their arls inspected

Senator Arlen Specter, who talks like he has a mouth full of balls, is jeered by an angry crowd again. Watch the video. It's great.

Hundreds protest against ObamaCare in San Francisco!

San Francisco?!? If they can get a few hundred against communist health care in the epicenter of American communism, that's incredible!



P.S. Negocios Loucos and Jr. Deputy, your absence is noted and deeply disappointing.

GayPatriot has the story.

What say ye, progressives?

Diversity of opinion is a beautiful thing when it's happening. I value the breadth of opinion of the writers and commenters on this blog. We have our progressives out there, though their voices are often drowned out by the number, frequency, and vehemence of libertarian/conservative posts.

I didn't expect the blog to become this contemptuous; but then I never expected the Obama Administration to be this deserving of contempt. I didn't vote for Obama, but I didn't loathe him like I loathed McCain either. I honestly believed he might govern as a "post-racial" centrist, and I even believed some of the stuff he said about ethics and transparency in government. From my perspective, he's turned out to be far worse than I ever could have imagined.

Please come back, progressives. I really want to know what you're thinking. Are you horrified by the anti-Obama sentiment on this blog, or are you losing your faith in Obama? I suspect a combination of the two.

ObamaCare Protest at Barbara Boxer's San Diego Office

Temple of MUT has the report with pictures.

UPDATE: And great local TV coverage here. They forgot to mobilize the $15/hr craigslist volunteers to counterprotest this one!

The Cost of Freedom...and of Life Itself (link)

justrand at BeJohnGalt wrote an inspiring, must read essay:

The Cost of Freedom...and of Life Itself

Well, if you put it that way...

Britons defend their health care from US criticism:
British officials acknowledge that their system has been struggling to cope and faces a 15 billion pound ($24 billion) deficit. Hospitals are often overcrowded, dirty and understaffed, which means some patients do not get the care they are promised.

UPDATE: I deeply resent the Americans sneering at our health service - but perhaps that's because the truth hurts:
Overall the outcome for cancer patients is better in America than in this country. So, too, it is for victims of heart attacks, though the difference is less marked.

If you are suspicious of comparative statistics, consult any American who has encountered the NHS. Often they cannot believe what has happened to them - the squalor, and looming threat of MRSA; the long waiting lists, and especially the official target that patients in 'accident and emergency' should be expected to wait for no more than four - four! - hours; the sense exuded by some medical staff that they are doing you a favour by taking down your personal details.

Most Americans, let's face it, are used to much higher standards of healthcare than we enjoy, even after the doubling of the NHS budget under New Labour. Of course, the U.S. is a somewhat richer country, but I doubt its superior health service can be mainly attributed to this advantage.

Americans should beware of any proposals that might threaten their standards, though President Obama is right to want to extend them to the poor.

So many unemployed, so much protesting to be done

Gee, what will our government do with all those unemployed people out there? FDR's version of stimulus partly involved hiring citizens to build infrastructural elements, schools, etc. Not that I think FDR did us much good domestically, but at least some of that work needed to be done. Well now, you, too can "work for change", according to the LA Times. [additional comments here]

But, considering that technically our government IS the citizenry, I ask: Isn't there something fundamentally self-destructive about a government hiring and paying people to protest against regular citizens who oppose bills the government is considering? Isn't there something deeply twisted about a government even being able to hire its own protesters in the first place?
The website's large-type headline announces: "Work to Pass Obama's Healthcare Plan and Get Paid to Do it! $10-15 hr!"

It's a web ad on Craigslist: "You can work for change. Join motivated staff around the country working to make change happen. You can make great friends and money along the way. Earn $400-$600 a week."
It seems George Soros has pledged $5 million to fund such "work". Again I ask, what will the government do with the unemployed? Are we going to see an effort to hire most of the unemployed as paid-by-the-federal-government protesters? Will they become Obama's new "civilian national security force" or something?

The Way Back Machine / "Do You Remember The Time"?

Now might be a fun time to think way back to when Obama announced his appointment of Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff. Remember how the media kept telling us that Emanuel was a "moderate" and a "pragmatist", and that this appointment is a sign that Obama intends to govern from the center? We heard ABC calling Emanuel a "centrist", CNN saying he is "on the center to center-right" on the political spectrum. We heard polls suggesting even most Republicans love Rahm Emanuel. The National Journal said Emanuel is "pragmatic enough to keep the administration from veering too far to the left".

I shudder to think of the amount of power that it would take, as measured in any appropriate scientific unit, to keep the Obama administration from "veering too far to the left". My guess is much more power than this comparatively paltry amount:

It'd probably take some amount more along the lines of this, or maybe even this.

Who watches the watchmen?

Jr. Deputy Accountant does.

She caught a bunch of people at the FDIC googling "blackrock and colonial." For those not paying attention, Colonial is a bank that made a bunch of really bad loans with FDIC-insured deposits, and BlackRock is an investment firm in the government's inner circle (kind of like PIMCO, but not as much as Goldman Sachs, obviously).

Think there's one of those deals coming where the FDIC takes all of Colonial's losses and gives the good parts to BlackRock?

France wins

I'm going to try to be everything this blog generally isn't, as my contributions pick up steam. And so, for my first non-lunatic, non-right-wing, non-France-hating post:

We surrender.

Falling out of love

How quickly the schoolgirl crush fades:
Over the last couple of weeks I've been hearing rumblings. They're not from the staged or misinformed protestors at town hall meetings who have decided that shouting down a member of Congress is their right as American citizens. They're not from "the left" -- that wild, unruly group of bloggers and Birkenstockers the White House has called on repeatedly, both in pubic and in private, to be quiet.

They're from the parent who came to pick up her daughter after a play date with my five-year-old, as we stood in the door chatting. They're from my cousin, a family doctor, who called me when he heard about Big Pharma's sweetheart deal with the White House to prevent negotiations on the cost of prescription drugs. They're from a guy I sat next to on a plane this week who doesn't follow politics all that closely but follows closely enough to know that bankers seems to be getting bonuses as homeowners are getting foreclosure notices.

These people aren't "raving liberals." Most of them haven't even gotten word yet that they're supposed to call themselves progressives (and none of them knew the secret progressive handshake). They're ordinary voters who either sometimes or reliably vote Democratic, who were members of the Obama majority in 2008 and were convinced that this time their vote really mattered. Now they're disillusioned.

They can see the economic upturn. They see the Dow rising. They know that corporate profits are no longer in a free-fall. But they can also see that those profits are rising as their own company is considering another round of layoffs -- and that those two facts are not unrelated. And what they feel summarizes what they see: where before they had hope, now they feel primarily frustration and resentment.
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