Posts tagged ‘Enron’

August 11, 2013

The DC Folly Trolley – 08/11/13

Gurgle, Gurgle.

A rising tide sinks small boats.

calming

Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Ludolf Bakhuizen.

Only God can keep our boats afloat.

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Are The Rich Nervous Yet?

If you haven’t watched this short on MoveOn or seen it on Facebook, it’s worth the time. The narrator is Ed Asner, a icon for decades in the role of Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

asner

http://www.moveon.org/share/72e232/

hollywood-legend-ed-asner-has-outraged-republicans

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Blunder Wonder.

I really hate to keep picking on this guy, but everybody else does so why not.

We are of course talking about Larry The Blunder Guy.

Larry Summers is part of the tragic triumvirate that has to share a large part of the blame for The Great Recession. That terrible trio of Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin and The Blunder Guy himself advocated for and signed off on the horror show known as bank deregulation. That crunching sound you keep hearing is an economy still collapsing under the weight of crushed housing and minimum wage junk jobs.

Of course, these Clintonistas weren’t the only law breakers who completely cracked the Glass-Steagall rules that prohibited the merger of commercial and investment banks.

gramm

Former Texas Senator Phil Gramm, arch-enemy of all things government that don’t protect the wealthy.  Got him rich though.

We also have to thank blunder wonders Phil Gramm, Jim Leach and Tom Bliley, Republicans from right wing states, for authoring the Orwellian-named and catastrophic Financial Services and Modernization Act of 1999. This blight on the public trust led to the rise of the so-called “too big to fail” banks and the near collapse of the planet’s economy. But, before we label the miscreants who finagled a wild west environment for the gunslingers of Wall Street as fools, let us not forget that their devilish deeds gained untold wealth for each of these major accessories to the financial collapse of 2008.

Just one example, I’ve read estimates of Bill Clinton’s riches that range as high as $68 million. You don’t accumulate that kind of geedis by blocking Wall Street scams.

Yet among this group of wealthy misfits, Larry Summers stands out. The former Obama adviser is inextricably linked to the infamous Enron debacle.

During the period when Enron execs were diabolically manipulating energy prices in California, Summers told then Gov. Gray Davis in a phone conversation that the state’s regulations were responsible for the soaring prices and that Davis needed to, what else, deregulate. Summers, in effect, thumbed his nose at Californians suffering under a rigged market in electricity pricing.

So the Blunder Guy struck yet again by refusing to help financially strapped residents of the Golden State just when they needed help the most.

(There are many books covering the Enron flim flam. One of the best among them is Ken Eichenwald’s Conspiracy of Fools. You can find a copy in your local library, if you still have one. Also good is The Smartest Guys In The Room by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. Both books illustrate how greed and a callous disregard for their fellow men drive the executives who rule corporations and Wall Street banks).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/05/

larry-summers-enron_n_3708137.html

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breaking news

During a recent press conference, President Barack Obama once again praised the service of Larry Summers . According to reports, the former economic adviser is still on the president’s short list for Fed Chair nominees.

barry larry

barry loves

Only in America.   

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King Of The Hill.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) announced today that he is serious about seeking the nomination of his party to run for president.

king

Peter King of New York.  Going for the whole shebang.

If he wins the election, we will finally have an undisputed “King of the Hill.”

Don’t laugh. He already has Wall Street and corporate payola in his pocket and he has his sights set squarely on the defense/security industry. With that kind of cash, who knows?

According to a spokesperson, King is already taking speech lessons to help him moderate his Noo Yawk twang. He will soon be speaking Iowa English.

You may recall that when former governor Al Smith ran for president, some thought his heavy New York accent contributed to the loss to Herbert Hoover, who won the election easily.

In the next cycle, then NY Gov. Franklin Roosevelt’s aristocratic manner of speaking appeared to be an asset (along with the depression, of course).

Regardless of accent, God save us all if King pulls it off.

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He Did His Best To Tell It Like It Is.

“The real reason we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post “Thou shalt not steal”, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” and “Thou shalt not lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment.” George Carlin, an American hero.

carlin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q

Why didn’t we listen to him?

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Democracy Ends In U.S. Before It Begins.

Well, it’s not like we ever really had a democracy. Not if you consider the overpowering influence of campaign payola versus the vote. To win in U.S. politics, even to begin, you gotta have the geedis. (Geedis-Mafia speak for money).

Speaking of the vote, the vast majority of American citizens were disenfranchised for more than half of the country’s existence.

In the beginning, only propertied males could vote. Women didn’t gain the vote until early in the 20th century and African-Americans, at least in the South, were denied the vote until well past the mid-century mark.

Moreover, for all of its history, the United States Senate has been and remains an undemocratic institution. To wit, some 500,000 citizens in Wyoming are represented in that miserable body by two votes as are the more than 37,000,000 residents of California. So vast is the imbalance in the Senate that small states with a minority of the nation’s population have come to dominate the majority. And you thought we lived in a democracy!

That brings us, rather abruptly, to former President Jimmy Carter, who recently said “America has no functioning democracy.” Carter was referring to the corrupting influence of Wall Street and corporate cash on government. He might as well have included the entire history of the country from its inception to the present.

jimmy carter

Jimmy Carter, a good man but an unlucky president.

Related articles

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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