Friday, September 02, 2011

Friday Funnies: WTF Edition

   This has been a better week for me than most of the past ones have been thus far this summer. Naturally, things would begin looking up after the season has pretty much passed me by. I love the summer, but, I am more than happy that this one is almost over as it has been no vacation and not at all productive in any manner. That goes not only for myself, but many other Americans who are either losing ground in this economy or are already just getting by. If you live in the state of Florida, then you know what scraping the bottom of the barrel really is, and your criminal Governor Rick Scott and the his band of merry men up in the state capitol are doing nothing to help you because you do not make enough money to pay them off. Our congresscritters up in D.C. are doing nothing other than sucking up to Wall Street and the big corporate criminals to amass more cash for their re-election in 2012.  That hood in the White House is doing the same exact thing, while the rest of us are still hoping for some change that we can believe in. Unfortunately, that change is not going to happen this election cycle be cause you and I are both down to choosing between the lesser of 2 evils in the 2012 run for the White House.

Jay Leno: "How sad is it for the uncle? He got thrown in jail and the only relative he could call for bail money is $14 trillion in debt."

"Dick Cheney's new memoir contains some startling surprises. For example, he is still alive.



Thursday, September 01, 2011

Pelosi NAILS the Class War: Low wages are designed to keep you in debt to the banksters

By  MinistryOfTruth   Tue Aug 30, 2011  


I apologize for using a video from Glenn Beck's website "The Blaze", but this short video featuring Nancy Pelosi is packed with so much truth that its' no wonder Beck and his army of flying monkeys took offense to it.


Pelosi:    "Imagine. Imagine that they are protecting tax cuts for the top 2%, but it's really more, higher than that, lower than that, I mean, a higher percentage of people excluded from who they are looking out for, and it's a stunning thing, because it's a few people amassing money that doesn't really make a difference in their quality of life. I decided what it was about them is this, this is my theory, what more do they want? They have a number of homes, the bigger the yacht, da da da da da, the taller the mast, the whole thing, they have museum quality art, and I decided, if in fact they are advocating for this, which I'm not sure they are, I think Republicans just like to have that position. They want immortality. They want so much money that their names are all, for prestige they could never get any other way, they could buy with endless money. Because what else could you possibly want? That you would say 'I want this at the expense of the middle class, of our democracy, of fairness, of clean air, clean water, food safety, public education and the rest of it, clean air, clean water, food safety, reform on Wall Street, protection for citizens, you name it, forget about it. They are de-funding every initiative in that regard, you wonder, do their children breathe air, do they drink water, why do they not care? But they don't. But they don't.


     When we won the election in 06', and we came in, the first day, in the first 100 hours we raised the minimum wage. It was the first time the minimum wage was raised in eleven years. I bring that up for this reason, it wasn't kept down because people just, you know, small businesses said 'I can't afford", it was kept down for a purpose, it was kept down for the purpose that people would not be able to live on that, they'd have to borrow, against home equity loans, against their mortgages, there this and that, they'd have to live on credit cards, and what are they doing when they do that, their paying fees to the banks, their paying fees to them, so it's a contrived dependence on private credit for millions, tens of millions of working people in our country, and who they are is who they bring to that table, protect the tax breaks for the wealthiest people in our country, do not allow wages to rise with productivity, keep people dependent on paying fees to banks for the use of their own money, for the use of their own money. So this is as progressive a fight as we have ever been in."

    Corporate profits are at record highs, and so is poverty. There is a reason for that. Your poverty is their profit. Keeping you poor means keeping you dependent on the loan sharks on Wall Street. As you get poorer, they get richer. It isn't a coincidence. It is on purpose.

    Republicans like to cry that the government is enslaving us, but the reality is that Wall Street is enslaving us, the rich are enslaving us and starving us so they can charge us a fee to lend us money so that we may have our daily bread, which will keep you mired in near poverty since you will never be able to pay that debt back, just ask anybody with a student loan who can't find a job in this shit plutonomy. Ask anyone who went bankrupt paying their medical bills in this crooked for profit health care rationing private death panel system. Ask anyone who doesn't earn enough to keep up with all these bills at once and has to max out their credit card each month to survive.

   Of course, merely mentioning that the rich are starving us and using our starvation as a shock doctrine means to exploit working class people is enough to send right wing propagandists and their foolish followers a sad, and, by judging from the comments posted to Beck's "The Blaze" video, we can all see just why Republicans hate Nancy Pelosi.

This bitch needs to be run out of office. What a left wing/socialist/Communist rat bastard.

Where does she get off with this shit? What kind of foul, immoral, brain dead left wing twits would ever vote for such a foul, repugnant, abhorant piece of shit.

To hell with her.
GutpileCharlie 1 hour ago

Foul c---, SHE represents the rich how much does SHE give? Did she pay her taxes or like Tom Daschle, Charles Rangel, Timothy F. Geithner and Obama’s handler General Electric FAILED TO PAY ANY TAXES! Screw these fraudulent collectivist elite. Throw them all out!
espada9 1 hour ago
Off with her bat-shit-crazy head !!!
dweber66 3 hours ago
Skeletor's mother right here. Kill her.
tangledweb79 3 hours ago

    Way to keep it classy, teabagging Republicans. When someone warns you the GOP is keeping you poor so they can make themselves rich and let the banksters push you into poverty so they can exploit you, calling that person a "b----", a "c---", and threatening to cut her head off and kill her sure makes you look like you have a sane and rational point of view.

   A few months ago I read an article by Matt Stoller titled "A debtcropper society". In that article, Stoller states . . .

Today, we are in the midst of creating a second sharecropper society. I first heard the term “slaves to the bank” from a constituent fighting a fraudulent foreclosure. The details aren’t so important — this couple had been illegally placed in a predatory loan — but at one point, the wife explained that she and her husband were so scared they would have “given their first born to the bank to keep their home”. That was fear speaking, total unadulterated panic. And as we watch debt-holders use the ornaments of fear, such a loan sharking company that set up fake courts to convince debtors they were losing cases, we should recognize that what the creditor class wants is what they’ve always wanted: total dominance of our culture.

Today, the debts do not involve liens against crops. People in modern America carry student loans, credit card debt, and mortgages. All of these are hard to pay back, often bringing with them impenetrable contracts and illegal fees. Credit card debt is difficult to discharge in bankruptcy and a default on a home loan can leave you homeless. A student loan debt is literally a claim against a life — you cannot discharge it in bankruptcy, and if you die, your parents are obligated to pay it. If the banks have their way, mortgages and deficiency judgments will follow you around forever, as they do in Spain.

Young people and what only cynics might call ‘homeowners’ have no choice but to jump on the treadmill of debt, as debtcroppers. The goal is not to have them pay off their debts, but to owe forever. Whatever a debtcropper owes, a wealthy creditor owns. And as a bonus, the heavier the debt burden of American citizenry, the less able we are able to organize and claim our democratic rights as citizens.

Debtcroppers don’t start companies and innovate, they don’t take chances, and they don’t claim their political rights.
Think about this when you hear the calls from ex-Morgan Stanley banker and current World Bank President Robert Zoellick and his nebulous mutterings pining for the gold standard. Or when you hear Warren Buffett partner Charlie Munger talk about how the bailouts of the wealthy were patriotic, but we mustn’t bail out homeowners for fear of ‘moral hazard’. Or when you hear Pete Peterson Foundation President and former Comptroller General David Walker yearn nostalgically for debtor’s prisons.

   This point resonates with Nancy's words above.

"The goal is not to have them pay off their debts, but to owe forever. Whatever a debtcropper owes, a wealthy creditor owns. And as a bonus, the heavier the debt burden of American citizenry, the less able we are able to organize and claim our democratic rights as citizens."

   And this is why these wingnuts hate Pelosi so much. Because she speaks the truth, and they can't handle the truth.

   As the GOP sells us further into corporate serfdom the people who are the most blind to it because they blame "Socialism" and "The Government" for all their problems do not understand that things are getting worse because of unfettered lawless capitalism. Giving them facts that prove that they are wrong just makes them madder, it just makes them hate you more.

   But calling Pelosi a b** doesn't make her wrong. The banks are ROBBING YOU, and voting Republican is like leaving cookies and milk out for the guy who is going to rob your house while you are away from home.

   The reality is that our economy is a rigged game where you can't win unless you are in on the crime. When Republicans cry "It's class warfare" my answer is "you are damn right, and you are rooting for the bad guys"

   The banksters and the super rich are laying siege on the working class. They are trying to starve us out so that they can push us deeper into poverty and deeper in debt to them, and anyone who tells the truth about that is a "Socialist." Well, then fuck it, I guess I am a socialist. I'd rather fight for the working class then lick the fingers of the rich.


The rent is due tomorrow and I'm screwed. If you'd like to support my writing and help me out, please make a contribution via Paypal. . .

You can purchase your copy of "Americana: By Jesse LaGreca" by making a contribution of your choice to me with Paypal

Peace and love to all

You can follow me on Twitter @JesseLaGreca

Originally posted to MinistryOfTruth on Tue Aug 30, 2011
Also republished by Income Inequality Kos and Class Warfare Newsletter: The Plutocracy VS the Working Class.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Emails from Right-Wingers?

   I am sure that I am not the only one in this country who gets an almost daily allotment of emails from many of my GOP friends telling me how much Obama has increased the deficit and that his stimulus plan did not do any good for the country’s job creation. Oh yes, let us not forget the one email telling us how much Obama has been spending.

   The cure for these kinds of emails, other than listing them as spam?  Hit these misinformed lunatics with the facts, even though it seems that right-wingers are allergic to the truth.

  There are 3 charts with some facts that you can reply to your in-laws and friends with. See how ell they handle the  “ reality based “  information.

   Keep in mind that when you send these to your ignorant friends that they are probably addicted Fox News viewers who cannot stand the fact that a black man is your President.



Government spending increased dramatically under Bush.  It has not increased much under Obama.  Note that this chart does not reflect any spending cuts resulting from deficit-cutting deals.



Notes, this chart includes Clinton's last budget year for comparison.  

The numbers in these two charts come from Budget of the United States Government: Historical Tables Fiscal Year 2012.  They are just the amounts that the government spent and borrowed, period,  Anyone can go look then up.  People who claim that Obama "tripled the deficit" are either misled or are trying to mislead.

The Stimulus and Jobs


In this chart, the RED lines on the left side -- the ones that keep doing DOWN -- show what happened to jobs under the policies of Bush and the Republicans. We were losing lots and lots of jobs every month, and it was getting worse and worse.  The BLUE lines -- the ones that just go UP -- show what happened to jobs when the stimulus was in effect. We stopped losing jobs and started gaining jobs, and it was getting better and better.  The leveling off on the right side of the chart  shows what happened as the stimulus started to wind down: job creation leveled off at too low a level.

It looks a lot like the stimulus reversed what was going on before the stimulus.


    Thanks go to davej for these charts.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gov. Perry’s Texas Sized Lies

  Since this GOP conservative Christian ( no such thing ) has entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination, we have been battered with tales of how great the state of Texas has been doing with its job growth and such other bullshit. It never ceases to amaze me with just how much that those conservative Christians will lie to those who they wish to steal money from for a political campaign.

  Perry ( Gov. for sale ) is no exception, and yet, many of the less fortunate citizens will stop and seriously consider supporting this creep because he claims, falsely, to be Christian. Perry, Bachmann, Romney and the rest are about as Christian as Satan is.


Rick Perry's Tall Tales of Texas

by Michael Winship

Although born and raised and raised in a small town in the Finger Lakes region of New York, I'm the hybrid child of an upstate NY father and a mother from Texas -- they met at Fort Hood (then Camp Hood) during World War II. And you thought different species couldn't mate.

As a result, we were the only kids on the block who said, "Y'all," or had relatives named Bubba, Vade, Hoyt and Cleburne. My mother's father was known in our family as Granddaddy Lloyd. CARE packages of unshelled pecans and Frito-Lay products (then largely unknown above the Mason-Dixon Line) would arrive at Christmastime. And among the books in our house was a buff-covered, dog-eared paperback titled Tall Tales of Texas.

I flipped through it over and over. Inside were wild and woolly stories of the outlaw Sam Bass, frontiersman and Texas Ranger Bigfoot Wallace, Davy Crockett at the Alamo. Even taller were tales of Pecos Bill, with his lasso made from a live rattlesnake, the toughest cowboy in the world; and his wife Slue-Foot Sue, riding down the Rio Grande on the back of a giant catfish.

So, courtesy of some Lone Star DNA and basic reading comprehension skills, I think I know a Texas tall tale when I hear one, and presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry's tales of "the Texas miracle" are as tall as they come.

Between December 2000 and December 2010, the state did have a net gain of 907,000 jobs, more than half the 1.6 million new jobs nationwide during that same period. But a lot of the state's success in job creation looks more like dumb luck than evidence of ole Pecos Perry's political prowess or expertise in governance. "It's not that the emperor has no clothes," Dan Hamermesh, an economics professor at the University of Texas, told the website AOL Jobs. "But he's got little more than a fig leaf over his crotch. It is a true fact, but he had nothing to do with it."

Perry points to deregulation and low taxes, including an incentive program called the Texas Enterprise Fund, said to have created 58,000 jobs, but there were many factors largely beyond his control, including increased trade between the United States and Mexico and the high price of gasoline that pumped revenue into the state, accompanied by new technologies for oil and gas extraction. In the August 15 New York Times, Clifford Krauss reported, "The oil and gas industry now delivers roughly $325 billion a year to the state, directly and indirectly. It brings in $13 billion in state tax receipts, or roughly 40 percent of the total, financing up to 20 percent of the state budget."

What's more, a lot of the increase has been funded -- say it ain't so, Pecos! -- by federal largesse, including President Obama's economic stimulus. In the last ten years, federal spending in the state has more than doubled to over $200 billion a year (thanks in large part to NASA and the many military installations in the state, including the aforementioned Fort Hood, one of the world's largest military bases and the biggest single employer in Texas).

Of all the US government jobs added in this country between 2007 and 2010, 47 percent of them were in Texas. According to Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Joe Biden, "Texas employment wasn't down much at all in these years, as the state lost only 53,000 jobs. But looming behind that number are large losses in the private sector (down 178,000) and large gains (up 125,000) in government jobs." Which shows, Bernstein goes on, that Texas has followed "a traditional Keynesian game plan: as the private sector contracts, turn to the public sector to temporarily make up part of the difference."

In 2009, Governor Perry made a show of rejecting $556 million in federal funds for unemployment, saying there were too many strings attached. In fact, that money was equal to only two percent of the more than $20 billion in stimulus money Texas did accept, including cash used to cover 97 percent of the state budget's shortfall for 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

This, in spite of GOP attacks on the public sector, Perry's claim that the stimulus was failed and misguided and the pledge in the announcement of his presidential candidacy that he would "work every day to make Washington, DC, as inconsequential in your lives as I can." As the August 20 Washington Post noted, "The significant role of government in Texas' relative prosperity stands in stark contrast to the 'go-it-alone' image cultivated by Perry, who credits a lack of government interference for fostering a business-friendly environment in Texas."

For those like Governor Perry who brag about being no-nonsense, freedom-loving cowpokes, it's a delusion that goes all the way back to the early settlement of the American West. As Patricia Nelson Limerick writes in her seminal history The Legacy of Conquest, "At any period in Western history, the rhetoric of Western independence was best taken with many grains of salt." Whether it was fighting Indians or gaining access to public grazing lands, the federal government has always been integral. "Nothing so undermines the Western claim to a tradition of independence," she writes, "as this matter of federal support to Western development...

"And yet humans have a well-established capacity to meet facts of life with disbelief. In a region where human interdependence has been self-evident, Westerners have woven a net of denial." Sounds familiar.

Accompanying Governor Perry's denial is cronyism and patronage, both good ole boy-style and corporate (of the $102 million in campaign contributions raised for his gubernatorial races, Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote, half came "from just 204 sources," and the Los Angeles Times reports, "Nearly half of those mega-donors received hefty business contracts, tax breaks or appointments under Perry.")

So, too, with greed comes hubris and shortsightedness. The Times' Krauss reported, "Critics, among them Democrats... have long complained that the state's economic health came at a steep price: a long-term hollowing out of its prospects because of deep cuts to education spending, low rates of investment in research and development, and a disparity in the job market that confines many blacks and Hispanics to minimum-wage jobs without health insurance."

A report from the policy research and advocacy group Demos and the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities notes "27 percent of Texas workers lack health insurance compared to 17 percent nationally. The ranks of the uninsured have grown steadily as access to employer-sponsored health insurance has declined... Fewer than half (48 percent) of the state's workers have access to a retirement plan at work, a figure that has plummeted since reaching a high of 61 percent in 2000."

Over the past twenty years, college costs in Texas have quadrupled, with the steepest jump occurring since tuition was deregulated by the state in 2003. Former first lady Barbara Bush observed in a February op-ed that the state ranks 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores: "We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma... the United Way estimates that the price tag for dropouts to Texas taxpayers in $9.6 billion every year.” But the state's latest budget cut $4 billion from public schools.

A recent, four part series on Perry's Texas from a team at the Houston Chronicle reports, "After a decade of Perry-style frugality the Texas welcome mat is growing increasingly threadbare as the state struggles to accommodate a booming, young populace hoping to travel its roads, get educated in its schools, drink its water and access its health care system. During Perry's tenure the state has postponed investment or turned to debt to finance crucial infrastructure needs, experts say."

The average urban Texan loses a week a year to traffic delays on the state's "overburdened" highway system. While Perry boasts of luring thousands of doctors to the state, "lawmakers this year cut $805 million from doctors serving Medicaid patients" and "postponed $4 billion in Medicaid costs for payment in the next payment cycle." Texas is 48th out of 50 states in the number of physicians per 100,000 residents.

Perry doubts climate change is real, yet, "As Texas endures its most severe one-year drought in its history, state leaders have identified $53 billion in state investments needed to expand water capacity by 2060 but have not resolved how to pay for it. Unless Texas increases its water resources, experts say 83 percent of Texans will not have an adequate supply of water in times of drought." Perry issued a proclamation urging Texans to pray for rain.

With more bad news ahead, stagnant wages and an explosion in population and the labor force that now has unemployment advancing much faster that Perry's touted job growth, "the Texas miracle" is heading into a ditch.

Which brings to mind another tall tale, the old joke about the Texan who says to an Eastern visitor, "Yessir, I can drive across my ranch all day and all night and still not get to the other end." To which the visitor replies, "I know what you mean. I have a car like that, too."


Michael Winship, senior writing fellow at Demos and president of the Writers Guild of America, East, is former senior writer of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS.