On Koch: Mental health, Martin Luther and martyrs…

Martyrdom? I could build you some crosses...

It would seem if one wanted to get an idea of a person’s mental health, about their emotional disposition, one thing to do would be to take a look at their reactions to receiving hundreds of death threats. Would they brag about it in the media? Would they become introspective? What would they do, especially if they were very wealthy and a captain of industry and the founders of Tea Party activist group called (couple of) Americans for Prosperity?

Well, now’s our chance to find out…

Charles Koch recently gave a phone interview where he said, “We are under attack from various directions, both with threats of violence against us personally, and with threats of attacks on our business.”

Okay, so like I wrote, if one receives death threats, a lot of death threats, it would seem there are a couple of ways to go with this…

1.

Stop a moment and think, why do all these strangers hate me so much, what am I doing that they consider so wrong? Is there anything I want to change about these practices or at least, perhaps, really listen for a moment to what to others might be saying?

2.

Ignore all that by way of megalomania, and then proceed to take a martyr position.

So, let’s see what happens…

“The threats,” Charles Koch continued, “are obviously worrisome to me, but I kind of relate to what Martin Luther said ‘Here I stand; I can do no other’…the importance of helping to save America from a financial disaster that is going to hurt everyone…the threats against us are nothing compared with that disaster, if we fail…”

Jesus…so I suppose we know which way he went on that one.

Yep, Koch then goes on to say how continued spending will cost America its competitive edge, and lead to the decline of its culture and political system…

Interesting…

Interesting that he leaves out the part about our competitive edge diminishing because our nations schools are falling apart over lack of funding, our culture is imploding in part due to lack of cultural programs in our schools, again because of lack of funding and our political system? Well, the majority of Americans believe it’s a shambles in large part because of decisions like Citizens United which allows people like the Koch Brothers to form Super PAC’s and flood election campaigns with corporate money for corporate favors, all the while drowning out the voices of your average everyday American…and, of course, when tax codes and loopholes are kept in place to allow the wealthiest in this country to not pay their fare share, this is when we run into all this economic inequality and revenue problems that lead to all this lack of funding for education and basic needs which then destroys our competitive edge…

But them’s just details.

Not to mention, Koch gave this phone interview from Koch Brothers headquarters in Wichita, a city in a county doing so well financially they recently had to stop prosecuting domestic violence cases because the county cannot afford to prosecute them any longer…

So, I don’t know…

If Koch really wants to play martyr, maybe his significant other could just, you know…because it’s not like she’d be prosecuted.

Read the article:

Charles Koch, employees reveal e-mailed threats from past year

Have a nice day.

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Not my usual subject matter, but sometimes one can’t resist…

It really doesn't matter how much surgery you have...you're old, your music is cartoonish and your acting...good lord it's awful. Money may buy notoriety, but it don't buy talent.

So, I keep reading these bits about Madonna, about her freaking out because some fan gave her hydrangeas, as in flowers, and it turns out she hates hydrangeas so she trashed the flowers in front of the fan, and not content to humiliate the person once, she then made a spoof video where she trashed the flowers again so the moment could live on in internet history.

Maybe the whole thing was a big gag, maybe not. In any case, soon thereafter at the Toronto Film Festival, apparently some sort of tradition exists where orange-clad volunteers get a big thank you at the end of the show and word is, when Madonna presented the film she directed, these volunteers were ordered to turn their backs and not look her in the eye. Again, maybe it was all a big joke but if not, then the joke would apparently be…well I suppose the joke would be Madonna.

So, why might I write about something like this?

Simple.

I often write about equality, tolerance, about simple care for other people. I loathe any type of caste separation, which is becoming more and more prevalent in the world and in this country. Sure, nothing politically or culturally official in America, at least not yet…but when politicians refer to welfare recipients as raccoons, or right winged commentators say the poor shouldn’t be allowed to vote and when Tea Party assholes cheer, suggesting an uninsured patient should be allowed to die, what are we supposed to think about what this future might bring to the United States?

Anyways…yeah, Madonna’s a good business person, but artistically she’s a con artist and a hack and not worth this country’s spit, while these political commentators, politicians and tea party types, they deserve nothing more than the back of this country’s hand, hard, painful and ugly…and repeatedly while we read them the Bill of Rights and discuss how we’re only as strong as our weakest link, and weakest ain’t necessarily about how much money you got.

It might have something to do with your character, and those idiots previously mentioned? Oh, they got a lot of self-righteousness, ego and money, but character?

No, not so much. Not that I’m all that much better, but at least I’m honest about it… Oh, and when we’re done explaining how people of a lower tax bracket don’t need to be made to feel like 2nd class citizens in this oh so great land of equality, we’ll take some time to stuff your mouths full of hydrangeas, lots of hydrangeas, a ton of hydrangeas…and not one single solitary slice of cake.

No offense…

Have a nice day.

In case you missed it…reflections of a former Republican staffer

"No, he meant the other Republicans, surely..."

Required reading from Mike Lofgren at Truthout:

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

“Barbara Stanwyck: “We’re both rotten!”

Fred MacMurray: “Yeah – only you’re a little more rotten.” -“Double Indemnity” (1944)

Those lines of dialogue from a classic film noir sum up the state of the two political parties in contemporary America. Both parties are rotten – how could they not be, given the complete infestation of the political system by corporate money on a scale that now requires a presidential candidate to raise upwards of a billion dollars to be competitive in the general election? Both parties are captives to corporate loot. The main reason the Democrats’ health care bill will be a budget buster once it fully phases in is the Democrats’ rank capitulation to corporate interests – no single-payer system, in order to mollify the insurers; and no negotiation of drug prices, a craven surrender to Big Pharma.

But both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern GOP.

To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.

It was this cast of characters and the pernicious ideas they represent that impelled me to end a nearly 30-year career as a professional staff member on Capitol Hill. A couple of months ago, I retired; but I could see as early as last November that the Republican Party would use the debt limit vote, an otherwise routine legislative procedure that has been used 87 times since the end of World War II, in order to concoct an entirely artificial fiscal crisis. Then, they would use that fiscal crisis to get what they wanted, by literally holding the US and global economies as hostages…”

Continue reading:

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

Have a nice day.

In a nutshell – another reason Jim DeMint and the Tea Party are complete frauds…

“No, I know for a fact the Constitution expressly forbids global warming, therefore, anyone who speaks of it is committing treason…”

Jim DeMint, Senator and self-described Tea Party Rock Star who never saw a constitution he actually wanted to read, recently had this to say about job creation:

“DeMint argued, businesses want the government to oppose unions and eliminate regulations, which he said would create “certainty.” “What they want is some certainty. They want the regulators off their back. They want the National Labor Relations Board to stop pushing the union agenda and try to help companies that create jobs. So I don’t think the president is going to come out with things that are really going to create jobs,” DeMint said.”

Course, the actual nationwide survey of small business owners by McClatchy found that Jim DeMint is full of shit.

“None of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it. Some pointed to the lack of regulation in mortgage lending as a principal cause of the financial crisis that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-09 and its grim aftermath.”

Yeah, but what these business owners don’t seem to get, as Jim DeMint would gladly tell them, is what they feel is important hardly fits the Tea Party profile and/or makes their campaign contributors money so it is quite obvious, those small business owners are horribly wrong about their own businesses, and probably socialists too.

Jim DeMint, what a self-serving asshole…

Have a nice day.

GOP…if not the economy, the environment…

Nice place for a family picnic...GOP style

Seriously?

“The House of Representatives, led by anti-environmental Republicans, are sharpening their knives to gut key health and wildlife protections that could benefit millions of Americans,” Marty Hayden, Vice President of Policy and Legislation at Earthjustice, said in a statement. “These are no small cuts; this is a complete butchering of environmental safeguards. Riders attached to the EPA spending bill decimate protections for air, water, lands and wildlife,” he continued. “Even before this bill reached the House floor for a full debate, Appropriations committee members attached 38 riders that shred our safety net for protecting against pollution in our air and water, saving imperiled wildlife, and protecting iconic places like the Grand Canyon from uranium mining.”

In its current form, the legislation would prevent the EPA from regulating a number of pollutants by gutting the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The bill would restrict EPA’s authority to regulate coal ash disposal, exempt the timber industry from pollutant discharge permit requirements, allows pesticide applicators to spray chemicals directly into waterways, cut off funding for EPA to implement limits on mercury and other air toxics from power plants, and restricts the scope of “Waters of the U.S.” protected by the Clean Water Act. The bill would also blocks EPA oversight of mountaintop removal mining.

Okay, so now reducing spending not only means defaulting the government, but destroying the environment and threatening the health of millions of Americans.

Creating certainty in the marketplace not only means holding the economy hostage, but ensuring each and every American gets an increase in pollutants.

Creating jobs not only means large tax breaks for the wealthy, but destroying governmental regulation so the wealthy can destroy your water supply.

The House of Representatives:

Cut – governmental regulations that help keep your air and water safe.

Cap – the average life expectancy of Americans by way of toxicity…old people are expensive.

Balance – the interests of corporate donors versus the interests of the financial industry…you know, so everybody wins.

Hmm, and with all this budget cutting and slashing stuff going on, wonder what that means for New Orleans levees and Louisiana coastal restoration?

Read the article:

House spending bill slashes environmental protections

Have a nice day.

The Most Irresponsible Post I’ll Ever Write…on the Debt Ceiling

Remember: they did it to you, responsibly...so whatever you do, don't respond in an irresponsible way towards them, their institutions or the industries and high finance that props them up...

Responsibility and irresponsibility to whom, a people, a political party, a pledge…

As we’ve sat back, watching this debt ceiling debate rage on, I continue to be struck by what Democrats and Republicans deem to be okay, what they consider to be responsible.

It is responsible for both parties to give three trillion dollars in tax breaks to the richest people in this country, under the pretense this will create jobs…but it won’t. It didn’t when Bush first gave these hand-outs to our country’s wealthiest and since Obama renewed the tax cuts…nope, no jobs yet.

It is also responsible to call Social Security and Medicare “entitlements,” even though they aren’t. I’m paying for them now under the understanding I get them back later…how about you? But, it is responsible for both the GOP and the Democratic President to take this money away from you, to reduce a deficit the GOP created with those tax cuts for millionaires and a few odd wars. It is responsible to bail out banks who caused the recession that led to a drop in revenue, while at the same time leaving the middle class and poor to suffer even more by not helping them with their foreclosures, which are being done fraudulently by the same banks the government bailed out after causing the recession…and it is responsible for us, the American people to ignore this cycle.

Oh, and it is responsible to sign  pledges to help oneself get elected to office, despite the fact these pledges keep one from being free to exercise conscience when it is needed most.

Also, it is responsible to play politics and tricks while the economy inches closer to a crash, displaying loyalty not to your country, but to a political party. It is responsible to do a short debt ceiling deal so each party can take another crack at the narrative, all over again, and during an election year when politicians are always known to be at their most responsible. Why? Because it is responsible for everybody to distort and misrepresent facts (lie) for the party’s political gain.

It is responsible to preside, willingly and knowingly, without attempting any sort of change, over the greatest separation of wealth in any industrialized country, by far, just as it is responsible for both parties to allow the deregulation of commodities markets which drive the prices up on food and oil, thus allowing financial institutions to  make even more money on the extra money you pay and place it directly into their already burgeoning vaults.

And through this debt ceiling debate, it is responsible, as the people’s representatives to blatantly ignore what every poll of the American people has to say: make a deal built on balance: tax the rich and cut spending). Why? Because it is responsible to place more importance on a pledge to one man (Grover Norquist) than to the populace of your nation.

Essentially, the White House, Republicans and Democrats are deciding it is responsible to cut programs for the poor that help keep people from destitution, while at the same time keeping programs for the wealthy to help those with a great deal of money, get even more and most importantly…it is the responsiblity for us, the American citizens to sit back and accept what they decide is in our best interest, the politicians, the financial institutions, their lobbyists…all because we will have the chance to engage later in very responsible acts, such as voting.

Yes, it is the height of responsibility for us to accept our political representatives utter disregard for what we, the people of this country feel is most important.

Why is that?

Perhaps because truth in fact, Democrats and Republicans in the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court know little to nothing about responsibility and irresponsibility…to us.

A demonstration perhaps?

Simple, all one need do is take a look at what these elected leaders would consider irresponsible, should we, as Americans decide their responsibility is anything but…responsible.

They would consider it irresponsible for Americans to, on the same day, suddenly withdraw all funds, save the minimum at the following banks: Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase, because crashing the banks that crashed our economy would be the height of irresponsibility.

They would consider it irresponsible if we demanded these corporations, lending institutions and investment firms begin to at least pay the same tax rates we have to pay, because those same corporations, lending institutions and investment firms find it responsible to stop lending and to defraud investors, while the corporations cut the jobs they are supposed to be helping create.

They would consider it irresponsible to consider, there might be a better way to manage our affairs then a one party system that is equally corrupted by high finance, these same institutions that place profits over Americans well-being, confidence and security…

They would consider it irresponsible to take protests personal, to the homes of every CEO involved in causing the recession, and every politician who did nothing to prevent, stop or fix it.

They would consider it irresponsible to shut down Wall Street by demonstrably large protest…every day, after day, after day…

They would consider it irresponsible for Americans to be upset over the fact that if a debt ceiling deal is not reached, while Social Security checks, Veterans Benefits and the like may not go out, Congress will continue to receive their salaries.

They would consider it irresponsible if demands were made to actually take care of the elderly, the disabled and the sick.

They would consider it irresponsible for American citizens to start demanding justice, and stop being content with platitudes and condescension, especially if we demanded jobs programs through infrastructure repair, or that rather than defunding the EPA and Planned Parenthood, we demanded they defund the insurance industry and oil and natural gas companies.

They would consider it irresponsible to begin considering laws optional, much in the same way Wall Street and politicians do, everyday.

They would consider it irresponsible to imagine a Robin Hood scenario being played out in every town and every city across this country, just as they would consider it irresponsible to stop paying for food, and it would be especially irresponsible if people tried to align with the police to defend us against political and financial encroachment.

They would consider it irresponsible to engage in widespread, community meetings, and begin to have conversations about how everyone can help take care of each other, especially if your community organizations start linking up with other community organizations to the point we started to do it ourselves, for ourselves…and if successful, should any politician try to step in and take some sort of credit, it would be irresponsible to marginalize their presence the way they marginalize our hopes.

They would consider it irresponsible for American citizens, as a rule, to interrupt and sabotage any live remote news coverage by any major news channel, especially by pointing out that each of these news channels are owned by the same set of corporations that profited and continue to profit on your suffering, just as they would consider it irresponsible to start engaging in selective, but mass property damage on a nationwide scale…again targeting the institutions that made it possible for this country to default, for you to lose your job, for your pension to have suddenly been disappeared.

Why?

Because they would really consider it irresponsible if people watched less television, consumed less and had a lot more conversations about just how responsible politicians and their supporting industries were being, and also about what the people might do about that sense of responsibility.

They would consider it irresponsible if politicians were no longer able to go out-of-doors anymore without having to clean off the spit once they’ve returned back indoors, or for me as a social worker who works crisis lines to point out how many more calls I am getting from people who are unemployed, out of options, and the places they would normally go to for help, either are out of funds or no longer exist anymore because wealthy people didn’t have enough money to create the jobs they forgot to create.

A few politicians would also find it irresponsible to point out Ayn Rand was not an American icon, she was a parasite who fed off the government she claimed to both detest and find obstructive, and she deserved to be disappeared, just as quickly as the financial institutions disappeared your savings.

Oh yes, and one party would consider it the height of irresponsibility for their constituents to wake up and realize gay discrimination and God won’t keep their jobs from being outsourced, their health care rates from going up and their future options being undone, while another party would consider it equally irresponsible for their constituents to wake up and realize how they no longer represent the middle class and working people because they need the same campaign contributions the other party does, and how they have been coasting on legacy since the Carter administration…and financial institutions would consider it irresponsible for either parties constituents to wake up…

…Ever.

Especially if citizens should, when they wake up, consider their notions of irresponsibility and responsibility to have been in error, and consider that now is as good a time as any to make the institutional predators of this country very uncomfortable.

And some might wonder, would doing that be irresponsible, or responsible?

Hard to say for sure…

Have a nice day.

And now, a word from General Electric…

Kneel before Zod!

My fellow Americans…

We here at General Electric feel it important to take a moment, pause from your Gulf Coast coverage to remind everyone out there just how much and why, we love America.

Our love, it’s a lot.

Simply, because all you people out there, our trusty employees, our consumers and our NBC viewers, you people will read what follows in the coming paragraphs, maybe get upset about it for a minute or two, but then go about your business soon enough.

We here at GE are counting on you…by now, you may have heard the story about how General Electric, the largest corporation in America made profits of over $13 billion dollars without paying a dime in taxes; we actually received a rebate of $3.2 billion dollars from your very own government.

It’s true…amazing, but true.

Our tax guys are really good…how much in taxes did you pay last year?

I know, I know…frustrating isn’t it, especially considering how the Dems and GOP are getting together these days to talk about how broke the country is, demanding all those cuts in services to you people, cutting away all those programs that help the least fortunate in this, our great country…stuff like Energy Assistance, Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, (Social Security…shhhh) and don’t forget the unions. Remember everybody, it’s the unions that are bankrupting this great land, with their demands for livable wages or health insurance that actually covers health care, maybe even something to retire on.

Yeah, we know…those greedheads.

You people don’t have livable wages, why should unions? Let them get a second job too, and retirement? Let people in the unions play the lottery like everybody else.

We here at General Electric follow the trends and we agree with the GOP, the unions want too much, which is why we, as a corporation have decided that despite making a profit of over $13 billion dollars, despite paying no taxes on any of those profits and actually getting $3.2 billion dollars back, we have decided this is not enough.

We want more.

This is why we are preparing demands from our own unions, all 15,000 members, and they’d better accept these concessions:

“The elimination of a defined contribution benefit pension for new employees, a move the company has already implemented for its non-union salaried employees. Likewise, GE is signaling to the union that it will ask for the elimination of current health insurance plans in favor of lower quality health saving accounts, a move the company has already implemented for non-union salaried employees as well.”

Oh, and we might want a wage freeze as well. And if we don’t get it we might just close our plants in Schenectady, NY and Louisville, KY.

At GE, we do understand some are getting upset about the growing wage disparities and austerity cuts in America. We get it, but we do our part by giving jobs to this country, and we feel this is more than enough.

Period.

To ask any more would simply be un-American, not that you can’t go ahead and try…feel free. We all have our first amendment rights. We all have a democracy. Admittedly, it works much better for people who can afford it but we didn’t make the system, we just exploit it. Patriotism means never having to say your sorry, or undergoing sacrifice once you hit a certain income level.

Now, we here at General Electric understand that this news, or maybe even our attitude might be upsetting to some of you, and we have taken this into consideration. We’ve debated this amongst the highest levels of management. We’ve even spoken to a few of our larger shareholders and of course, the entire news department at NBC News and after much careful consideration, we’ve prepared the following rebuttal to any possible criticisms of GE policy:

Fuck you.

Yeah, that’s right…fuck you.

We love you America, frankly we can’t conceive of any other country where we could pull this off, not even China so again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We here at GE need these, uh concessions, um…we need this to remain, uh, competitive in the global marketplace…and uh, Free Trade! Open Markets! Down with Socialism!

Everybody aboard the Tea Party Express, Bitches!

Oh, and if you’d like to know who you might complain to…why not try our CEO, Jeff Immelt. He’s easy to find. Your President, Barack Obama, just named him as head of the Presidential Jobs Commission.

Yes, we’re serious and no, we didn’t believe it at first either. We thought it was a prank but go ahead, ask him yourself: you can try to reach Jeff Immelt at:

705 West Rd
New Canaan, CT 06840-2518
(203) 972-2680

If angry, don’t worry, it’ll be over soon enough so just get back to work, you don’t really have the time or energy to worry about it. Relax, turn on the television instead and don’t forget to watch the NBC Nightly News featuring Brian Williams, where none of the latter will be discussed, ever.

Have a nice day.

And thanks for being so hospitable…we now return you to the Gulf Coast where British Petroleum apparently lost a certain laptop computer…oops:

Read the article:

Laptop containing Gulf of Mexico oil spill damage claims with BP is lost

And remember loyal viewers:

Jay Leno and the Tonight Show at 10:30 central!

He’s a hoot!

And now, a word from our sponsors…I’m having a “moment” version.

And now, a word from our sponsors…

Gave Up – Nine Inch Nails, featuring Marilyn Manson

The hidden subtext?

Obviously…

“Throw it away…Throw it away…Throw it away…”

Kinda seems what our national politicians are doing these days. The political process is threatening women, children, the environment, life…politicians out there are actually doing detective work on miscarriages to make sure they weren’t secret abortions?  The poor and middle class are getting screwed again. Teachers are told to sacrifice while the Wall Street assholes who screwed the entire economy are getting paid. Unemployed tea partiers put their head in the gallows and cheer the blade as it falls. And the same conservative financial rapists now coming back for seconds are celebrated by Fox News viewers because the TV told them fraud is good and man, thinking for oneself is so, so tired. 

The logic of all this is as dead as the globe.

Me?

Well, I’m torn between my social worker instincts that give a damn about people and their suffering, versus my own sense of antisocial disgust that screams, “You voted in these morons who are allowing the next great Rock n Roll swindle, so ya get what you deserve!” But, as always, when the moment passes and compassion returns, so too does the recognition that we have to be there for our community, we have to because nobody else is guarding the outhouse for us, not anymore.

“We all get to heaven on the arm of someone we’ve helped”

– Neal Cassady

Have a nice day.