Friday, August 30, 2013

Known Knowns

Donald Rumsfeld
"There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know."
I remember this wonderful bit of nonsense from this clown. 

So does the rest of the world it seems. Why else did John Kerry keep saying:

"we know that the Assad regime has the largest chemical weapons programs in the entire Middle East. We know that the regime has used those weapons multiple times this year, and has used them on a smaller scale but still it has used them against its own people, including not very far from where last Wednesday’s attack happened.
We know that the regime was specifically determined to rid the Damascus suburbs of the opposition, and it was frustrated that it hadn’t succeeded in doing so.
 We know that for three days before the attack, the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons personnel were on the ground in the area, making preparations.
And we know that the Syrian regime elements were told to prepare for the attack by putting on gas masks and taking precautions associated with chemical weapons.
We know that these were specific instructions.
We know where the rockets were launched from, and at what time. We know where they landed, and when. We know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas and went only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods."
 And on and on and on about what we know. Because you see, the liars in The Bush Regime, spent our reputation, our troops and our treasure on a war about, ironically WMD's. Weapons that were no where to be found.  People probably don't believe we know anything.  Who can blame them?
Thousands of innocent Syrians have died.
 Would we have been involved sooner, if not for a war weary public and a government that doesn't even want to take care of it's own citizenry because we're broke? 
I think that what Assad did was reprehensible and he certainly deserves to be punished. Let's see, who's with us? The U.K. uh no.., France won't talk of war, but is talking sanctions.
I hear Turkey and Australia are with us. Germany? Nein,  Spain? Maybe.  
That's funny, I wonder why no one really wants to side with us against Syria?
Maybe because of our so-called "Iraq experience."
"And I will tell you it has done so more than mindful of the Iraq experience. We will not repeat that moment." 
No, we won't, because at least people believed us then.
Some people think this is all about oil all over again.  But a lot of people are sick of our meddling in the Middle East. Not only that, but this is not the first time Assad gassed his own people. I do think this is and has been a serious situation. But I don't know one person who wants us to get involved in any more war. 
When people behave with impunity, Like the people who forced us into a false war, for a false reason, this is the result. American people that deeply distrust the government and it seems we are not alone. The rest of the world doesn't trust us either. I guess Mr. Rumsfeld would call that, a "known known."

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I think one of the hardest things most people need to grasp is the equation of politician=money.
The politician is only concerned with constituents only insofar as to persuade them that they are working for them, the people. In reality they are being wined and dined by lobbies. They cater to lobbies and lobbies cater to them. It is what is known as a "revolving door." When a congressperson or senator leaves office or gets voted out, they aren't out of work for long, the door is opened for them at their favorite lobby. Now you might think that Republicans and Democrats would each have separate lobbies, that may be true. But what I am interested in are the lobbies that both Democrats and Republicans work for, in an effort to get over the idea that there is a difference between parties. Because there isn't. It's all surface.
Politicians either start their own lobbies or work for one. When you go on the OpenSecrets website and look for lobbies the one at the top of the list is Patton-Boggs. This is a lobby that both Democrats and Republicans work for." the lead lawyer for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign (read our "5 Minutes With..." interview with Ginsberg), as well as former Democratic Senator John Breaux and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Associates described the firm as offering a “revolving door” between government and law." The Inside View - Patton Boggs LLP
 What really got me interested in this and I guess I woke up late in the game, is President Obama's promises and the way he governs being two separate things. He made certain promises that he didn't carry out or just plain avoided, and I wondered why that would be? A lot of us thought that he would go with an F.D.R. style first 100 days in office.  He is obviously no different than any other politician, however, when he first ran on a platform of change, he created a profile of being different. Turns out he's not. People like to blame Congress for the no progress agenda and there's no shortage of blame to go around but, nothing is going to get done because there's no incentive to do anything. Unless someone has the courage to get rid of lobbies and in turn, get the corruption out of government.
My thinking is that an anti corruption party would work in uniting people. Some of the estimates are 40% of the American people don't vote. When I talk to people about why they don't vote, it's not only that they think their vote doesn't count, it's that they feel they are voting for criminals that don't care.
So there is this vicious cycle, of the revolving door in politics, that some people know that politicians don't give a damn about them. Until this stops, nothing's going to change. That will take some kind of revolution, that will probably very ugly.
One person I know who is running on an anti-corruption platform is Alexei Navalny in Russia. He was recently sentenced to 5 years in prison, but was freed due to the amount of protest from the people taking place.
Google this: American politicians running on anti corruption platform.
See what you get.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Economics 101

I think that corruption should be included in any economic research. I wonder what the August corruption index will be? I wonder how much per capita bribe money resides in the bank accounts of U.S. politicians? We should have a graph showing that. 
Why, oh why, is consumer confidence down? I am kind of surprised it was even in the news. In this Tale of Two Cities, the Tale we usually hear is that happy days are here again. Inflation is a thing of the past. "Things" are getting better. 
You have to have money to spend money.
The unemployment rate is a low 7.4% supposedly. But here's the thing, what kind of jobs? There's no such thing as a full time job that you work at for 20 years with benefits and a pension. So these jobs are part time, for crap minimum wage. So, could it be that no one has any money? Where could all the money be?
The price of food and gas keeps going up, let's see, where's that report? "Stripping out energy and food, prices rose 0.2 percent for a third straight month". Ok, I just want to know, where are the people who don't have to buy any energy or food? In other words we don't know what the real rate of inflation is. 
Lets see, people not getting decent wages or raises + food and energy costs keep rising + only Walmart, fast food, part time jobs = no recovery from the 'Great Recession Depression"
Could it be that we have antiquated  system of reporting on the economy? Or is it purposely being manipulated this way? 
 The economy has changed, but unfortunately, nothing else seems to have changed.
We have a banking system that needs to be broken down and a more regional system, that is not to big to fail to be put in place.
For God's sake why don't we have a bullet train or some kind of mass transit system? Instead we have a road system based on 100 year old highways, that are falling apart. 
There is no aspect of government that is functioning properly. We have perpetual war, lie after lie thrown at us, corporations are in charge and we live in a police state. Washington D.C. politicians should be thrown in jail. We need to overhaul the tax system and make the offshoring of profits that should be taxed, illegal.
We have a choice, we can either live in a cooperative society or we can continue living under a gaming system where thieves and the wealthy are in charge.
It looks like the infinite growth model is no longer working, the economic marginalization of wage slaves means people aren't buying anything. The status quo corrupt government means nothings going to change. We are living in an age of depleted natural resources and the climate can change but we can't.
I want to know, what investments are being made that are beneficial to the American people? 
It might be that rampant capitalism that has led to the current surveillance state might have bit the 1% in the ass. People have lost confidence in the lie of our bright and shiny democracy that only works for some of the people, some of the time. Is it any wonder that people don't want or have money to spend on useless crap that's made in China?
Why should we pay any attention to economists that failed to see the coming of the 2008 crash? We are still living under the same economic model that failed in the first place. Economic inequality was barely a thought in the 60's and now at all time record levels. These conditions are not conducive to economic growth or consumer confidence. Nothing is going to change as long as it's profitable for politicians to become millionaires from all the bribes they collect from corporations. there isn't a "recovery" and there will not be one until we get enough political will to make the corruption in our government illegal.
Oh hey look! Even China is prosecuting corrupt politicians, China's fallen former high-flyer Bo to stand trial Thursday | Reuters You won't see that happening here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

No Salon, I Didn't Vote For Cory Booker.

There was a pretty good article in Salon called  "Don't Vote For Cory Booker Today" Don't worry Salon, I won't.
 No, it wasn't because I got caught in a tornado here at the Jersey shore. I just  refuse to vote anymore. There is just no use in it. My first vote was for Jimmy Carter. Unfortunately not a real effective President. But I do believe he was an honest one. Since President Obama has been in office it's just one amazing thing after another, his campaign promises and governing are seemingly not related. Congress critters and Senate snakes, these people can't act like leaders and can't get anything done. They have salaries, benefits and perks no normal American could ever get. I can accomplish more in one day than they can and I also wouldn't have to lie to anyone to do it. I'm so over it.
I refuse to be part of a system that proclaims it's a democracy. It's a corporatocracy.
The whole reason why we are having an August election for Cory Booker? It's not because of the death of Frank Lautenberg, so we need someone as soon as possible. It's because Christie didn't want a bunch of Democrats coming out to vote for Booker and maybe voting for Buono, the woman who's running against him, in November. Christie’s Calculated Rush for a Special Election |
It's common knowledge that the timing of elections are being manipulated by those already in power. Then, you can't trust the Diebold or whoever's electronic voting machine. What's left? You get to take a chance on which clown is going to drive the clown car down the parkway to Trenton.
There is not a whole lot of love for Christie here at the Jersey Shore. There is still so much suffering from the Hurricane, Superstorm or whatever you want call it. People are mighty pissed and I keep hearing they are not "Stronger Than The Storm."
 People are pretty angry that an $8 million dollar boardwalk was seen as a priority, but everyday here, people are watching homes being torn down or struggling to pay to have them raised. We have the highest taxes in the country and they will be going up even more because of the lost revenue of so many homes and businesses that have been wiped out. Good to know Christie spent $7.4 million on ads, using federal aid money, featuring himself. So no Salon, I didn't vote for Cory Booker, I won't be voting for Christie either. Until the corruption is over, I am over voting.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summers Nights

 There's a lot of talk about Larry Summers taking over for Ben Bernanke this fall.
Larry Summers will probably become chairman of the FED, he was one of the engineers of our ruined economy. At least Bernanke didn't work for Citigroup like Summers. With the way things are going it will probably happen.
Why would the President even consider this man for this position? Well, why is Jack Lew secretary of the treasury? A man who  was "chief operating officer of Citigroup's Alternative Investments unit, a proprietary trading group. The unit he oversaw invested in a hedge fund "that bet on the housing market to collapse."[21] During his work at Citigroup, Lew had invested heavily in funds in Ugland House while he worked as an investment banker at Citigroup during the 2008 financial meltdown.[22] Lew also had oversight of Citigroup subsidiaries in countries including, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and Hong Kong; and during his time at Citigroup, Citigroup subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands increased to 113.[23]"   
Larry Summers was mentor to Timothy Geithner.
It's all one big happy corrupt family of government ruling over us peons. 
No one who has worked for a bank should be in any Treasury Department position period. If these people were prosecuted for the rape and pillage of the American people it wouldn't be an issue.
I love Bill Moyers and I also love Rolling Stone's  Matt Taibbi. Neither of them have any love for the banks.

 Why? Why, aren't any bankers in jail?
So many people I know have had their lives ruined, houses abandoned to the banks, jobs lost, working 2 jobs or not being able to be hired after being laid off in the financial meltdown years ago. When I refinanced my house in 2004 I was offered a huge, no doc, home equity loan which I declined, knowing there was no way I could ever pay it back, (I was a substitute teacher at the time and recently widowed, just so you know how evil these loan a-holes are.) my friends were not so lucky. Back in 2004 the economy was booming and no one ever dreamed that their way of life could come crashing down around them.
Empty houses litter so many neighborhoods. I used to count them on my way to work. There are over 20 on my 20 mile commute.Our jobs have been shipped overseas and American corporations offshore their money to avoid paying taxes to the country that made them wealthy. It's all legal. It's all wrong.
I am pretty pissed off about my tax dollars paying for NSA spying, I still can't believe President Obama insulted Putin, because he wouldn't give up Snowden, like we have never taken in any Russian defectors. Really? This gives me a real good idea about how the President's mind works, that we're all just sullen school children if we don't go along with him. I realize that Putin is a bad character, but if you can't outsmart this guy then you aren't right for the position of President.
I think that some people are starting to get mad and are doing something about it. US fast-food workers in vanguard of growing protests at 'starvation' wages | World news | The Observer 
It's going to take a lot more than this to end the corruption in our country. I have no doubt it's going to get ugly and I might not see it happen in my lifetime. When the you have nothing to lose, I guess that's when you start fighting back. So keep it coming. Disenfranchise more people. Tell them to eat cake. Maybe heads will roll. I hope so. 
   But in the meantime, Let's celebrate Summer!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Civil War

Congress gets from Aug 3 to Sept. 4  vacation. A month. Who gets that? Why? These jerks can't get anything done and they get a month off? Oh and that's not all, their average salary? $174,000per annum
Let's see, Congress has an approval rate of "a historic low of 10 percent" 
10% of what?
Their next big do-nothing plan? Overhaul the tax code.
“Obviously, we’re both committed to working very hard to make this reality because we can’t afford to wait.” Um, yeah, there's a lot I know I can't afford, but overhauling the tax code is only going to work for Max Baucus and all his rich friends. It ain't going to help any working soul in this country. Trillions of American dollars are offshored to avoid taxes, is anything going to be done about that?
 Oh, I get it, the little guy is going to be taxed even more.
Who votes for these people? 
I'm not very concerned about anything these assholes threaten to do, since they aren't capable of doing anything. The fact that they earn 3.4 times the average salary really pissed me off. Just thinking about their benefits that WE pay for gets me really mad. Limousines, iPhones, secretaries and fancy dinners. WE pay for that and they can't get anything done.
While on vacation, public enemy No. 1, Mitch McConnell is trying to campaign for his 6th term on a platform of repealing Obama care. Kentucky has the highest poverty rate in the country, it's easy to see why McConnell doesn't want any poor people in his state to get free healthcare. Apparently he's the only one who's allowed to have that. "“If Mitch McConnell’s doctor told him he had a kidney stone, he’d refuse to pass it,” said Grimes, drawing a big laugh from the crowd." This is what his competition said about him. Her name is Alison Lundergan Grimes, I hope she wins, but I doubt she will. Since people often vote against their own interest, the state is probably gerrymandered anyway.
126 days a year, that's how many days McConnell actually works in DC. 239 days off. What a life he leads. No wonder these assholes can stay in office till their 90 years old, they NEVER work. It's like being retired, only you travel for FREE!
"House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced that the House would take a day off during the first week in session. Why? Was there a national emergency? Maybe a catastrophic storm? Not at all. It was because of the championship college football game between Oklahoma State and Florida State." This is the only reporting that I can agree with on Fox News. It's crazy to me that no one notices or even cares that these ancient assholes are running our country. The 1% get richer and the 99% pay and pay.
There a big election coming up in my state. Chris Christie is going to win big. He's such a regular guy. Most people have no idea that he's Karl Rove's darling.
"Christie became a lobbyist for energy companies in 1998, positioning him to become a top fundraiser for George W Bush's Republican presidential campaign in 2000. In 2001, Bush nominated Christie to serve as United States Attorney for New Jersey" Yeah he was a lobbyist, then he got elected. Why? Bush political guru Karl Rove had given Christie the job as the spoils for his fundraising efforts." A vote for Christie is a vote for Rove. Likewise for McConnell.
There is the opinion that there is a GOP Civil War going on. I think it's no longer about Democrats or Republicans. They are all on the take. If there's going to be a Civil War it should be the 99% against these Congress Critters and all the corrupt politicians in this country. That would be one hell of an epic battle.