Disenfranchised Citizen

Chicago, New Orleans and living a beautiful, angry life between the two…

Posts Tagged ‘Obama

Is it just me, or…

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Love the way you...

…does it seem each time a politician refers to their budget as “bold” or their ideas as “bold,” or their plan to do anything as “bold,” one can easily replace the word “bold” with “stupid,” or “poorly thought out,” or “really screwing the poor and middle class so don’t look too close, go see the Smurf movie instead, it’s family-damn-tastic!”

Take this example from a Think Progress article where John Boehner tried to say the S+P didn’t downgrade US credit because of GOP unwillingness to consider revenue increases, but instead because Obama (kinda-sorta) wouldn’t let them eliminate Medicare:

Boenher said:

“The President and the Democratic leadership in Washington are trying to blame the tea party, because they know this downgrade is on [the Democrats] (Hmm…that’s a lie). When we took the bold step of proposing entitlement reforms, they reacted not by embracing them and joining us, but by demonizing those proposals for political gain.”

See how that works?

Bold…as in, “Hey man, I was thinking we could save a lot on Grandma’s health care if we were to just tie her hands and feet and throw her off the Crescent City Connection, taking that strong an inititiative would be a truly bold move.”

Have a nice day.

Written by Drake Toulouse

August 10, 2011 at 2:40 PM

A Question of Greed…

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S'mores are my favorite...

Since the rule of law is dead:

GOP cuts funding to the SEC because of “budget deficits,” despite the fact money for the SEC does not come from the budget, but from regulatory charges paid by the brokerage firms the SEC investigates, thus saving the same companies/banks that fucked us into a  recession millions while also making it more financially difficult for the SEC to prosecute all the companies that did all the fucking.

Oh, and that recession – nobody in jail, banks made billions.

Oh, and that British Petroleum oil spill – nobody in jail or charged.

Oh, and that Foreclosure Fraud – nobody in jail or charged.

Oh, and the Medical Lobby/hospitals/administrators/insurance companies/big pharma – how many people have died because they couldn’t afford not to? – nobody goes to jail and nobody charged.

Okay then, so does this mean when Republicans and not a few Democrats, including Obama, cut back on the safety net because of the deficit, one debt ceiling and/or budget at a time, while in the same moment, they give ridiculous tax cuts to the wealthy which go a long way towards helping create that deficit…does this mean then, that when I decide to go to the exclusive parts of town or to the Financial District to get my money back, that just like the banks, the oil companies, the insurance and medical industry, that I won’t go to jail or be charged either for theft and/or fraud?

Right, right?

No?

Interesting, then the rule of law must only be kind-of dead, inasmuch as the bottom 99% is ruled by the laws of the top 1%, the same 1% who only calls it class war when the bottom 99 fights back against their greedy, entitled ways…

Have a nice day.

The Taxman Cometh…

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A tax cut for claimants? Hmm, we'll have to organize a study, to set up a committee to see if an investigation is necessary to consider the idea.

Stories abound across the Gulf Coast of people with legitimate claims who have been denied by Feinberg and the GCCF, but what of those who have been approved, who have received checks? Many have been given paltry sums, pennies on the dollar that didn’t come close to making up for their damages or lost earnings as a result of the BP oil spill, and for those people, now they may have a new problem:

The taxman.

He’s coming, and he’s coming only two days before the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

All of the paid claims are taxable income and since Feinberg and the GCCF didn’t withhold taxes on any of the payments, that leaves the recipients responsible. With $2.7 billion dollars paid out, that’s a lot of money, maybe too much to think about on such a large scale…so let’s start small. Feinberg, with his quick payments of $5,000 to individuals and $25,000 dollars to businesses leaves the recipients on the hook for $1,200 and $6,000 dollars respectively. Now, how many of those people who were in need, bad enough to accept this payment had the means to set aside 25% of this paltry sum?

Yeah, that’s trouble and those tax bills only go up from there, levied onto a population that can hardly afford it.

So here’s a thought, since Obama and his new Republican runnin’ buddies are so into the tax cutting business these days, why not go one more and declare these payments tax free. Get the IRS out of the equation, these people got trouble enough.

It would seem the least you can do.

Have a nice day.

Written by Drake Toulouse

January 4, 2011 at 6:29 AM

Bobby’s Bad Day…in Texas

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"You think I need you to tell me about the problems in Texalouisianaflorda? Hardly, if Obama would get out of my way, I'd fix everything."

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, ever concerned about the needs of his constituents, spent yesterday attending to Louisianans in the grand ol’ state of Texas. He gave a speech. He hawked his book. He did a fund-raiser.

Oh, and while Bobby was out of town again…

The National Oil Spill Commission declared that Jindal’s great sand berm idea was ineffective to say the least, largely as a result of them not being built fast enough and also, in the wrong location. In response, Jindal said, “This report is partisan revisionist history at taxpayer expense,” which of course, is another way of saying, “All the people who said this berm idea was faulty from the beginning, and who have now been proven correct by the evidence in this report are either scientists, Democrats, or not hoping for some kind of higher office in 2012, so obviously I must know better.”

Meanwhile in Baton Rouge, also while Jindal was in Texas, more than 250 people gathered at the state capital to protest the poor job Kenneth Feinberg is doing in compensating the Gulf Coast for its losses as a result of BP’s oil spill. They complained that maids, bellhops and the such at Louisiana hotels are not being compensated from the claims fund, despite them losing money and hours as a result of the drop off in the tourist trade.

Jindal, to make sure his citizens understood how much he cared, even though he was in Texas, sent out his Chief of Staff, Timmy Teepell to inform the protesters that Jindal “continues to have concerns about the fairness, timeliness and accuracy” of the claims process and he will someday address them, from Texas or maybe Florida or Ohio, you know, where he is hard at work taking care of his constituents at fundraisers or book store events, these necessary obligations where Jindal is busy raising funds for…Louisiana.

Maybe this is how he intends to close the monstrous budget gap, continue doing fundraisers so he won’t have to cut back on education, on social services, on medical care…on…and on…and on…

If not, however, perhaps he would be better served by some serious brainstorming on how to fix the problems in his state, listen to his people, attend to their needs…come up with some seriously, creative solutions to blunt the looming damage from the budget shortfall…tor maybe finally admit what many have suspected all along, that Louisiana is a platform for Jindal to higher office and once he flies out of the state for good, he’ll be leaving the people and the problems behind.

Have a nice day.

Bob Dudley…what are we playing for?

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"You bet your life? Hell yeah, I play that game every day baby...not with my life, of course..."

British Petroleum’s CEO, Bob Dudley has provided estimates to the business world and more importantly, to its investors that BP’s share of costs associated with the Deepwater Horizon will not exceed $40 billion dollars when all is said and done. Still trying to reassure his company’s investors, Dudley has even indicated that dividend payments will resume again in the new year.

Course, there is a lot riding on those statements and actually, it is somewhat of a gamble.

In order to meet these two goals, the estimate’s accuracy and the dividend payments, it is becoming increasingly important that BP not be found guilty of gross negligence which would quadruple the per barrel fine, and the recent uplift in BP’s stock prices assisted by these announced goals? Yeah, those stocks would again fall.

So keeping this in mind, there is ample reason for BP to keep pointing fingers at Transocean and Halliburton, according to David Prosser, business writer for the Independent:

“It is important that BP does not have to shoulder the full responsibility for the spill when Mr Reilly (Oil spill commission co-chair) makes his final report to President Obama in the New Year. And not just because sharing the blame might leave BP feeling just a little less uncomfortable. What is more important is that if Mr Reilly finds the British company only jointly culpable for what happened, he is much less likely to say it was guilty of gross negligence.”

Ah, business strategy…well, If there is one thing we all seem to continue learning about British Petroleum, it is just how strategic they are about trying to save money and cut costs, and this would seem to be more important to them than human lives, taking responsibility for their actions or doing what someone of sound conscience would consider to be the right thing, the moral thing.

From the Oil Spill Commission’s document that shows BP’s risky decisions on the Deepwater Horizon to their use of toxic chemical dispersants to drive the oil from sight, from the hiring of Ken Feinberg as arbitrator of the escrow fund to the stipulation that the fund money not paid out be given back to the company, from BP’s new insistence that the government’s estimate of spilled barrels could be off by as much as 50% to their refusal to give Gulf Coast charities further funding in helping residents make rent payments, pay utilities or put food on their tables: all strategy, all cost cutting, all serving British Petroleum’s interests.

BP appears to have never really been about making things right; their actions seem to indicate they are only about making things right enough. So it would seem in very poor taste for Bob to make this gamble, to make his suggestions and estimates, especially when these rosy scenarios appear to be based on BP’s attorneys finding a way for the company to shirk their moral responsibilities to the Gulf, again.

Senator Mary Landrieu and other lawmakers are trying to pass legislation that would direct 80% of the fine levied against BP towards the Gulf Coast and its repair, so when BP is doing all that they can to drastically cut into that money amount by lowballing the government’s oil estimates and avoiding a decision of gross negligence this is more than big business just being big business and trying to protect their own.

This is another example of a company’s failure to live up to the slogans of their public relations TV commercials.

This is a gamble at the expense of the Gulf Coast.

And though it may be legal, this is wrong.

Have a nice day.

I’m back! Return of the New Orleans Assassin…

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Killing, with a conscience...

Hello.

Yes, I still kill people for a living.

And first off, I just wanted to extend a hearty handshake, a nod of the head, I’d even be willing to give a little lead time to every French Quarter resident who voted down the French Quarter Security District.

Yes, that was nice, too kind and now that those two to three security guards won’t be wandering the Quarter and getting in my way, I am completely free to accept jobs there. Just put an “X” in chalk on the farthest left, third pew to the back inside St. Louis Cathedral and walk away. Don’t worry, I’ll find you and perhaps we can do some business. Despite usually doing only government work, I like to oh, I don’t know…”give back” so to speak and keeping that in mind, I am here to let you in on a bit of a secret. Call it a thank you, just a small token of my appreciation.

You ready?

Okay, your government?

They really don’t care about you. I know, I know…big surprise, but I don’t mean that in that in the “disgruntled throw away comment over a beer at your favorite bar – grousing” kind of way. No, I mean, they really do not care. You should hear the shop talk my brethren and I have. You know we refer to citizens as “cogs”? We do, but lately I’ve been thinking even this is a stretch. To imply that people are mere cogs in a machine would indicate that if one of you is removed, the machine might break down and this is simply not the case. I think a more apt metaphor would be like people are the dirt on the floor below the machine. When necessary you’re just swept away, and the machine keeps running, just fine. I know, kind of hurts, don’t it?

Sorry, but I think after you all did me such a solid, I had to return the favor even if that favor is a little painful.

And this brings me to that whole BP oil spill thing. What I want you to realize is the spill and all its after-affects is not a be all, end all to a situation, it is just a symptom of the main problem, kind of like Katrina. It isn’t the disease. It’s merely a symptom to the greater, overall virus.

And the virus itself?

To the top 1%, you are mere chattel.

Sorry.

But don’t take my word for it. Want some proof?

Let’s talk food safety in the Gulf. How many times have you all heard by now from “your” government the food is safe, go ahead, eat away, we opened the waters for fishing, have fun? This is absolute crap of course. Look, your government, what they want are people to have jobs and the tourists to come back, and whereas this could be construed as admirable, unfortunately they are willing to risk the health of everyone in the Gulf Coast in the process. Opening waters for fishing and tourists being about revenue, revenue for states means more government services and fewer cutbacks. This brings about votes for those in power and those in power want to keep their power. So, the FDA uses shoddy tests that don’t detect PAH’s and toxic metals and then go about telling everyone how safe it all is, despite the fact that PAH’s and toxic metals cause cancer. Meanwhile, independent scientists are finding all sorts of goodies in the seafood, even seafood that is already on its way to market for consumption and nobody, I mean nobody seems to want to look at the long-term effects of eating this stuff on a regular basis. You might be inclined to think if the government cares, they should care about the long-term health of its people. Yeah, you’d think that, but they’re far more focused on short-term politics and cash.  A health catastrophe twenty years down the road is a problem for those assholes twenty years down the road.

Want more?

No problem.

How many of you out there have accounts at Bank of America? That “too big to fail” thing is primed for a comeback. Yeah, the largest bank in this country is in trouble and they are doing their best to conceal it, but when appraisers estimate your institution as being only worth half as much as you say it is, it ain’t going to end well. Your government is going to be again put in the position of giving them a bunch of money, all while the bank CEO’s give each other bonuses, all while they use fraudulent paperwork to foreclose on your homes, all while letting all of you out there lose everything.

And while people are losing everything, the Obama administration, as much as I appreciate all they and the previous administrations have done for me, they agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts thus further reward those who are making life so difficult for all of you. With the loss of revenue, there will have to be further cutbacks, and rather than take back the money they so gratuitously gave to the wealthy, Obama’s own fiscal commission has recommended severe cutbacks to the poor by way of social security and medicare cuts, all while suggesting the retirement age be raised to 69 0r 70.

So yes, I’m sorry to be the barer of bad news and yes, I do understand how some of you might wonder how I feel that what it is I tell you could be considered a “thank you,” but it is.

As an assassin, I work in cold, hard facts: trajectory, wind speed, rifles, bullets, distance and time.

And as a citizen, once you realize the facts, this prompts newer, more effective insights, thoughts and finally, solutions.

If your government has broken the “social contract,” is it necessary for you to continue the struggle to fulfill its obligations?If I walk up to you on the street, shake your hand, smile and then slap you in the face, would you continue to stand there while I apologized and then did it again? How about the tenth time? The twentieth? The hundredth?

Your decision.

Think about it.

As for me, as I am sure you can understand, business is booming. Especially now that the French Quarter has been freed up. Still making plans on my condo. The dog’s doing well. I stay away from the shrimp, work out, read when I have the time. Check out Will Self’s “Quantity Theory of Insanity.” It’s a good read, for a Brit. Oh, and if you want an idea about how you might take the power of your community into your own hands, check out Common Ground Relief for a few ideas. If you can’t reform the government, substitute the lost function of government with an organization of your own.

Believe me you, a few of the people running that place are being watched but I won’t accept any of those jobs. I may be a killer, but I got a strong sense of right and wrong.

Have a nice day.

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