Archive for July, 2013

July 28, 2013

The DC Folly Trolley – 07/29/13.

What Am I Bid For This Seat?

Let’s not be so harsh with our rich brethren. After all they are obeying all the laws they bought and paid for.

And what’s wrong with owning a Senate seat or two anyway. They paid for them; they own them. Simple.

WALL STREET

Speaking of the Senate, Dick Durbin (D-IL) remarked of Wall Street banks, “They own the place.”  No one ever contradicted his statement.

But here’s a new take on corruption in Follyland, DC.

A lobbyist claimed that Congress critters and the White House are engaging in extortion and black mail of Wall Street firms and corporations by forcing these unfortunate businesses to kick in the payola or else.

So the message from our political establishment is pay up or we pass legislation that will harm your business.

Now we all know that government in Follyland is upside down, inside out and backwards. But this lobby critter invented a whole new take on corruption in government. The briber is innocent. It’s the bribee whose at fault.

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Amazing Scientific Discovery.

Scientists at the Sardo Institute of Genetic Research have discovered a gene possessed by rich people that renders their immunity systems incapable of recognizing any notion of corruption from birth to death.

double helix

A depiction of the double helix, the molecular structure of DNA.

The gene produces a hormone that effects brain’s ability to implement conscience. And without conscience, the rich are peculiarly unable to recognize behavior patterns associated with corruption.

So for the rich, it’s not that they don’t give a fuck about everyone else. They are simply genetically incapable of caring about anyone but themselves.

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See No Evil.

Tribalist: Blind loyalty to a group or cause of like minded people.

For example, tribal Democrats are loyal to Bill Clinton even though the former president usurped the label of Democrat. Clinton, you’ll recall was one of the most economically conservative presidents in history. He executed a right wing agenda that it is still impacting the world economy – NAFTA and bank deregulation – and placed in dire jeopardy the nation’s entire middle class. For his efforts, he has been richly rewarded by the world’s 1%. He used the presidency as a stepping stone to enormous wealth – some estimates of his newly found riches number in the tens of millions of dollars.

see no evil

A variation on the Here, See, Speak No Evil theme, adds Do No Evil.

Despite his chicanery – to say nothing of his zipper shenanigans – the man is simply adored by tribal Democrats who can see no evil.

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Heeeee’s Baaaaaaaack!!!

What’s the old saying, you can’t keep a bright, rich man down.

That goes double for Larry Summers. He’s both.

Yet it’s amazing how dumb so many brilliant people can be. And then be totally oblivious to obvious stupidity. But if you’re bright and rich, an MIT grad and a Harvard professor, what else or who else matters.

 tragic triumvirate

The Tragic Triumvirate.

Summers was an apostle of Robert Rubin, the deregulation deity who became Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton. Rubin is a man of enormous wealth who used his position in Treasury as a stepping stone to even greater wealth. So wealthy in fact that the substantial riches of Clinton and Summers together pale in comparison to the deity of deregulation.

But let’s not underestimate the destructive policies of Summers, who as head of Treasury in the waning years of the second Clinton administration, championed even more harmful bank deregulation. The Commodity Futures Modernization Act permitted banks to bundle mortgages into packages, a practice that nearly destroyed the so called “too big to fail” banks and the American economy as well and it was a Summers’ bullying advocacy of the legislation that buried opposition in the administration and eventually led to Clinton’s signing off on this atrocity.

By the way, and this fact isn’t widely known, but the CFMA led directly to the Enron implosion, the collapse and bankruptcy of the giant auditing firm Arthur Andersen and the loss of lifetime pensions and careers for thousands of ordinary workers.

So what does this boondoggle get for Summers. Well, untold riches for one thing. And then an appointment as President Barack Obama’s chief economic adviser.

Moreover, the former Treasury secretary is campaigning for the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve soon to be vacated by the retiring Ben Bernanke. Incredibly, he is said to be the frontrunner on Obama’s short list and the president’s preferred choice.

Abject failure certainly has its advantages in Follyland.

The president went so far as to order a staffer to anonymously leak Summers’ name as the White House choice.

That balloon, however, has apparently popped. The criticism and opposition to an appointment of this Harvard professor has been so widespread, that alas for Larry the fairytale may not come true.

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In related news, the president said the new Fed chairman should consider ordinary people.

Uh, don’t get too excited about that statement. For one thing, it’s good public relations. And for another, Jamie Dimon, he president’s favorite bankster, has veto power over any nominee.

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Our American Heritage.

Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

judy

Somewhere Over the Rainbow – The Wizard of Oz

(1/8) Movie CLIP (1939) HD – YouTube

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July 21, 2013

The DC Folly Trolley – 07/21/13

Carry Me Back To Ole Virginny.

Virginia Attorney General and now goobernatorial candidate Ken Cuccicucci has proposed reinstating a law prohibiting oral and anal sex and other forms of “crimes against nature” in the Commonwealth.

ken c

Ken Cuccinelli, current Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate in Virginia. (Original photo by Gage Skidmore.)

.According to a spokesperson for Cuccicucci, the law exempts dogs, cats, sheep and other mammals from prosecution provided the act is performed with a member of the same species and of the opposite sex.

To ensure that appropriate behavior is being observed by all mammals at all times, the proposed bill would authorize volunteer neighborhood and barn patrols.

Volunteers properly licensed will be permitted to carry firearms and “stand your ground” law against all mammal species will be enforced.

Update: The spelling of the goobernatorial candidate’s name is corrected to Cuccinelli.

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Water Pirate.

No. Not Jack Sparrow. Peter Brabeck-Lemathe. Surely you’ve heard of him. He’s the multimillionaire chairman of Nestle who wants to privatize the world’s water supply. Water, he inferred, should not be treated as a human right.

Could it be that he wants all the water for himself. To profit from. Nestle is already the largest supplier of bottled water on the planet. If the company owned all the water, think of how many bottles it could sell and at what price.

$3.499 per ounce or $41.99 per 12 ounce bottle is not an unreasonable price to pay if you’re dying of thirst. Twelve pack anyone?

nestle

Henry Nestle, the founding father. Do you think he’d care about the plastic bottle pollution his company is now creating? Doubtful at best.

It seems to me another company tried to privatize water some time back and in several countries at that. Now let’s see. Who was that? Oh, yes. It was Enron. Remember that fiasco of a pirateering company?

The executives who ran Azurix, the Enron water gulping subsidiary, privatized water supplies in cities in Great Britain, Argentina and Canada and had proposals on the table to do the same in several U.S cities before losing hundreds of millions of dollars on previous investments in water gouging schemes.

Not to worry though. Before Azurix went belly up its executives pocketed tens of millions of dollars in bonuses – and that was just for screwing up. They screwed up so monumentally that their malfeasance helped crush Enron’s pirating operations in the electricity distribution business.

But the execs got filthy, stinking rich in the process and that’s all that really matters.

Don’t you wish we could get bonuses for screwing up. We’d all be rich.

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Hello? Hello? Is Somebody There?

Worried about NSA listening in on your phone conversations: Home, work and cell. Well, you can put those fears to rest.

nsa1

You can sleep peacefully tonight knowing someone is protecting you. Whether you like it or not.

If you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide.”

That statement applied everywhere in every society throughout recorded history and it applies in modern society. Just one example. Did anyone in Stalinist Russia have anything to fear if no wrong was done? Of course not.

Uh. One small problem: Someone else always decides what’s wrong.

So maybe you better watch out after all.

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The Good Things In Life.

Here’s a book everyone should read. It’s entitled Working Two Jobs At Minimum Wage For Fun And Profit.

The authors based their work on the McManifesto Budget described by Richard Eskow in his article Minimum Wage McManifesto.

Eskow is, of course, referring to the McDonald’s/Visa budget which advances a path to riches by working two minimum wage jobs.

mcd

At minimum wage you’d have to work more than an hour to buy a Big Mac meal.

Luckily for minimum wage workers, the budget omits food.  But that’s OK since eating is bad for you anyway – especially if you eat at joints like McDonald’s.

It also excludes heating. Probably because freezing builds character.

The book includes many helpful chapters. You’ll want to be sure to read:

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Skip The Meals, Buy A Yacht. 

How To Finance An Ocean Going Vessel On A Minimum Wage Salary.

No Heat, No Problem. Sail The Caribbean In Winter.

Ways to Avoid Arrest While Dumpster Hopping After Midnight.

dumpster

Dumpster delights for those living on a minimum wage salary. Cave canes.

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By the way, if you’re a fast food aficionado Sardo’s Really, Really Fast Food Emporium, Home of the ER Burger, has a special, limited time offer.

Eat a Sardo burger a day and if you don’t require emergency room treatment within six months you’ll receive, free of charge, a burger a week with a heaping helping of french fries for the rest of your life.

Offer not transferable.

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Koch’s Dictionary.

You probably aren’t aware of this incredible fact, but many of us who thought we were among the 99% are actually in the Koch family of one per centers.

According to the definition by Sir Charles Koch, anyone earning $34,000 a year belongs in that wondrous economic stratum referred to as the 1%.

How did you get so lucky?

Well, His Lordship Sir Charles considered income across the entire planet to arrive at his annual earnings figure. So if you live in Somalia and reach the Koch defined income level, you are one rich son of a bitch.

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The Jobs Report. Hoo-Ha!

Holy working stiff, Batman. People are working again.

Well, not exactly, Robin.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of jobs created in June reached the astonishing figure of 195,000.

While that number may be factual, an analysis of the types of jobs created paints a dismal picture. The real numbers show America’s middle class is continuing is precipitous plunge down the economic black hole.

Here’s a breakdown.

75,000 jobs in leisure and hospitality. “Kitchen help wanted.”

48,000 new employees in retail and wholesale. “Welcome, to Walmart.”

Business added 53,000 jobs in whatcha call your “building management services. “Be sure to empty all the wastebaskets.”

Home health care, 13,000. “Knock, knock. Who’s there?”

And last but not least about 30,000 in banking and government despite crushing layoffs in both sectors.

frances

Portrait of Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under Franklin Roosevelt, the first woman to occupy a Cabinet post and an outspoken champion of the rights of working people. More like her are desperately needed at a time when respect for labor is rapidly diminishing. (Artist unknown).

As you can readily assess, most of the jobs created are minimum wage, junk jobs. Not that the jobs aren’t hard work. They are. It’s just that hard work doesn’t pay in America.

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July 14, 2013

The DC Folly Trolley – 07/14/13

Deja Vu Vu Vu.

It seems to me I’ve heard that song before.

Harry Reid, you know him, the Senate’s Democratic Leader, has threatened again to end the filibuster, albeit only for White House administrative appointees and not for legislation or judicial nominees.

I suspect Reid will get one or two consolation appointments approved just to mollify him but not much more.

duo

The dastardly duo and masters of Senate malfeasance:  The bluffer and the blocker.  

The Democrats, you see, want the filibuster to continue. They love the filibuster, they adore the filibuster. The filibuster permits them to proclaim loudly in support of legislation that they want to fail in the Senate.

That legislation is mostly suck up bills to appease their base. However, that same legislation would anger the payola – Wall Street and corporations that buy up the seats in that ignominious chamber.

They can then claim to the payola that, that even though they voted for the bill, they really didn’t want the legislation to pass. They just let the GOP do their dirty work.

I really wonder if Reid can get 51 votes from his Dems to implement the so called “nuclear option” to end filibustering.

Long live the filibuster.

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Motorcycle Mania.

The North Carolina House passed a motorcycle safety bill this week and sneakily attached to it a rider that would severely limit access to abortions in the State.

Gov. Pat McCrory, who promised during the campaign not to sign additional anti-abortion legislation, fibbed. He did a voltafaccia, a complete 180 degree turn, and said he would sign the bill into law if it passed the NC Senate.

Could he be sniffing the winds for 2016? His positions have become so radically conservative that he’s now considered a right wing darling. He’s probably maneuvering for a VP nod, a move that would take NC out of play in the next presidential election.

mccrory1

Just another right wing GOP governor sniffing the political winds for 2016.

On a positive note about the bill, it does not specifically prohibit a woman from obtaining an abortion while riding a motorcycle.

That’s a relief.

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The Texas Terrorist.

Ladies who entered the Texas State Capitol building had their purses searched by State Troopers who proceeded to remove all tampons from the handbags.

Texas State Capitol during the Summer of 2005

The tampon-free zone – the Texas State Capitol.  Troopers courageously removed the devices from the purses of ladies attempting to sneak them into the building.

UPW News Super Senior Correspondent Marcy Popindick reporting from Austin, said she overheard a trooper fingering the strange device telling a woman whose purse he was searching that “we doesn’t allow no improvised explosive devices in this here building.”

While removing the tampons, he said, “You just cain’t trust none of these here pro-abortion terarists.”

Firearms, however, were not confiscated.

Ms. Popindick reported that a member of the Texas Taliban state senate, promised to introduce free carry legislation that would allow women to bring tampons into all public buildings in the great land of the Alamo.

rick perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry sniffing the political air to ascertain support for a 2016 run for the presidency. His chances improved dramatically when legislators promised to pass a free carry tampon bill. 

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A Kidney To The Poor.

According to Dean Baker, right wing economist Greg Mankiw, compared progressive taxation to removing a kidney from rich people for transplanting into the poor.

There’s something wrong with Mankiw’s assertion here.

After all, a rich person can have his kidney removed in the private clinic on his yacht.

How much of an inconvenience could that be?

Actually, progressive taxation is a lot less painful and a patriotic duty.

Our pampered rich should skip the surgical procedure and start paying what they rightfully owe.

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Pissy Walmart Exec.

The Washington DC city council is considering a bill that would raise the city’s hourly minimum wage for employees of big box retailers to $12.50. Working 40 hours a week, a person at that rate would earn an annual income of $26,000. In DC, apparently, that wage will get you by.

In response, a Walmart executive threatened a pull out from the city.

walmart

The Walmart shuffle: Bust into a town; demand outrageous tax concessions; pay wages so low that it forces employees to seek public assistance; kill mom and pop businesses; destroy local jobs and competition and crush whole neighborhoods; then claim to be a good neighbor and a job creator while pocketing countless billions of dollars in exploitative profits.

I have a better suggestion. Why not just kick them out instead. Walmart stands to earn hundreds of million of dollars in profit doing business in DC offering poverty level wages and no benefits often forcing employees to depend on food stamps and Medicaid. These public services, by the way, are entitlements to Walmart that it and other corporations benefit from greatly.

And getting Walmart out of the community, any community, would benefit that community in a number of ways, not the least of which is an inducement to private, small businesses to open up shop.

Remember the “mom and pop” stores. Walmart killed them off by the millions thereby throwing millions of workers into unemployment and starving wage jobs.

In fact, Walmart and other big box retailers, have been job destroyers, by some estimates killing off 3 jobs for every 1 created.

When you consider the tax inducements and other breaks the big boxers receive for barging in, it’s easy to understand how such retailers can be a detriment to the prosperity of a community – paying poverty level wages, forcing workers to depend on public services and reducing the overall tax base for the community they brag about serving.

Want to get your neighborhood back on its feet? Consider dumping Walmart and the other big boxers.

How? Raise the minimum wage. Walmart hates it and maybe, just maybe, they’ll get the hell outta town and “downtowns” will spring up all over the country once again.

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A Day To Behold.

The day we long for all year has arrived once again. Is it Christmas? Is it Thanksgiving? Halloween? Labor Day? The Fourth of July?

No, it’s National Nude Day. And today is that day. And why shouldn’t there be a national day for nudity. After all, there are days for condoms and toilet paper and all manner of other events, articles and subjects worthy of celebration.

nude day

And just in case anyone is wondering. No. That isn’t a picture of me. It’s actually a painting by Eugene Emmanuel Amaury Daval (1808-1885) entitled The Birth of Venus).

And here is my paean to National Nude Day.

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There once was a dude quite crude
Who often pranced around nude.
With assets astonishing
But a wife admonishing
The dude so imbued found a feud soon ensued.

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Related articles

July 7, 2013

The DC Folly Trolley – 07/07/13

The Evolution of Cunnilingus.

A study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology revealed that men perform oral sex on their wives to prevent infidelity.

tongue

The human tongue from Gray’s Anatomy with tastes buds for bitter marked.

And I always thought it was fun.

The researchers who performed the study interviewed 243 men and referred to oral sex as a mate-retention strategy.

The conclusion, as near as I can tell, is that 243 men on this planet perform oral sex on their wives to keep them from cheating.

Recently, however, some high school kid discovered that the researchers made a spreadsheet error.

Analyzing their conclusions, you might be led to believe only 243 men perform oral sex on their wives and do it only to prevent them from messing around. In fact, billions of us do it because we like it.

Now I can’t help wondering if Neanderthal males performed oral sex on their mates. If so, the act certainly wouldn’t be necessary to prevent infidelity. I’m sure Neanderthals had mate-retention strategies that weren’t nearly so pleasurable.

neander

Did he or didn’t he? Judging from the smile on his face….

(Photo:  Erich Ferdinand).  http://www.flickr.com/photos/erix/143447820/

Then there’s the matter of female scent, caused by vaginal secretions which contain something called pheromones and which the ladies used in prehistoric times to attract a mate. The scent heightened male arousal and who can tell where that led him.

In any case, I sincerely hope the study wasn’t funded by a Federal grant. Now that would be a waste of money.

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Prize Awarded.

breaking news

Pasta Fagioli, Italy.

The Nobella Prize Committee announced a few moments ago that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has won The Schmuckup Prize. Long a runner-up for this prestigious award, the senator finally garnered the required number of votes necessary to bring home the honor.

McConnell won for his contention that the U.S. Constitution is unconstitutional. The Constitution, he said, must be changed to include a balanced budget amendment. “We’ve tried persuasion. We’ve tried negotiations. We’ve tried elections. Nothing has worked.”

The senator proposed an amendment that would radically alter the foundations of the document.  A balanced budget would overturn the will of the people and the will of their representatives in Congress, virtually declaring the document a dead piece of paper.

MITCHCAR

Just fading away….

And from Think Progress:

It’s worth noting just what McConnell is asking the American people to choke down. Senate Republicans’ so-called “balanced budget amendment” does far more than simply requiring federal spending to equal federal revenues. It makes it functionally impossible to raise taxes by imposing a two-thirds super majority requirement — a provision closely modeled after the California anti-tax amendment that blew up that state’s finances. It would also require spending cuts so steep that it would have made Ronald Reagan’s fiscal policy unconstitutional.

Ezra Klein rightfully labeled this plan the “worst idea in Washington.”

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/

07/13/267791/mcconnell-hates-democracy/

And so McConnell becomes that latest winner of The Schmuckup Prize.

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Winners of The Schmuckup Prize receive a certificate acknowledging the award as well as a forged autographed copy of a photo of Don Alberto Vito Nobella, the originator of the prize.

In addition, winners are given the coveted statuette called The Little Schmucky engraved with the words “Schmucked up beyond all reason.” The Little Schmucky is sculpted of rusted metal stolen from an auto junk yard.

All prizes are awarded while supplies last and unfortunately for the current winner supplies just ran out.

To win The Schmuckup Prize you can’t be an ordinary schmuckup. There are already thousands of those in the nation’s capital. No, you have to be an extraordinarily monumental schmuckup and we are proud to say our most recent winner fits that description.

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Pillar of America:  The Kickback.

Greedy banker to greedy CEO: Say, how about you pay your workers with my debit cards. I’ll charge them hefty fees and give you a piece of the action.

Greedy CEO to greedy banker: Deal!

Just when you think bankers and businessmen can’t get any greedier, they go ahead and disappoint and do just that. Get greedier, that is.

If there’s anything eternal in this life, it’s greed at the top.

money1

Love of money is the root of all evil. Praise be the Almighty Dollar.

We have payday loan companies that charge mob like interest rates, now the debit card flim flam and, if you haven’t heard, credit cards with interest rates that soar above 300%.

Many of the payday loan boutiques are owned and operated by, you guessed it, greedy bankers. And the credit cards with rocketing interest rates are issued by Native American bosses from Indian reservations not governed by Federal or state laws.

One thing we can all count on, however, There’s always a good way to make a fast buck in America.

By the way, some state governments issued kickback debit cards to unemployed workers. Just to rub a little salt into the wounds.

Daily Kos: Employers Pay Workers with Costly Debit Cards

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Eight years was awesome and I was famous and I was powerful. George W. Bush.

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FLAG ON COFFIN 

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Oh, I almost forgot. Happy Fourth of July weekend.

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