Posts tagged ‘Privatization’

December 15, 2013

The DC Folly Trolley – 12/15/13

Sign Up Here For Bad Deals.

Want to pay higher taxes for bad service?

Join the millions of Americans who have voted for privatization of public services.

Here is your chance to pay more for parking meters, toll roads, water and a whole host of services formally provided efficiently and at a reasonable price by your government.

Better hurry. Time is running out.

Here are just a few examples of the perfectly dreadful service you can pay higher taxes for through privatization.

These free enterprise companies operating in a competitive free market offer the privilege of paying an exorbitant price for service that ranges from substandard to just plain awful.

Let’s start with the obvious. The Obamacare rollout, a monumental website mess brought to you by, you guessed it, a free enterprise company operating in the competitive free market.

BUT, as we are all too well aware: GUBMINT IS THE PROBLEM.

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Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago and purveyor of privatization, is going after schools, the water system, public health and transportation. Want to go to a park in Chicago. Better have plenty of dollar bills to feed to the turn stiles. And all of this destruction of the public welfare comes after former Mayor Bill Daley privatized parking meters in a sweetheart deal that saw meter fees soar.  

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What about defense contractors. Ya gotta love defense contractors. They’ve evolved the perfect scam, extorting billions of taxpayer dollars in the shell game known as the COST OVERRUN.

It works like this,

First, bid low on a new weapons system and win the contract.

Then run into delays. Technical problems, don’t cha know, like planes that don’t fly right.

Next, and this is a very important detail, never have a technical problem until you’ve suckered the taxpayer for billions of dollars, making the weapon too expensive to cancel.

Now you’ve got ’em by the balls and can overcharge anything you want.

BUT, as we are all too well aware: GUBMINT IS THE PROBLEM.

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Here is one of my personal favorites. The privatized parking meter. Wanna pay five dollars a half an hour to park downtown? You got it. Privatize the damn meters. You use it, you pay for it.

Ah, but here’s the perfect flim flam. If you don’t use it, you pay for it anyway. That’s right. The contract privatizing the meters contains an under-utilization clause. So if nobody ever parks at a parking meter again, the company providing the service is guaranteed to make a profit, compliments of the taxpayer, who shells out cash for services not used..

BUT, as we all know, GUBMINT IS THE PROBLEM.

: Parking meter

: Parking meter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A parking meter, the old-fashioned kind. Still a hassle any way you cut it.

Of course, government isn’t, and has never been, the problem. Corrupt government officials operating in collusion with corrupt corporate executives are the problem; and one so large that deceitful connivance between officials and executives represents a grave threat to democratic rule in America.

And let’s finally be honest with ourselves. The corruption and collusion start with the lowliest local official and rise to the highest office in the land.

(If you want to read more about blunders of free market companies click the following links in The Fiscal Times and The Nation).

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Dems Bed Ryan.

It took longer than expected, but the Democrats finally got in bed with budget butthead and media darling, the seriously serious Paul Ryan, House Austerity Committee chair from Wisconsin.

Patty Murray (D-WA), Senate Budget Committee chair, hammered out an agreement with seriously serious Ryan that delayed sequestration cuts for two years and increased Federal spending by $45 billion in 2014.

The compact also delays any cuts to Social Security and Medicare, although the original deal did extend payment cuts to Medicare providers by two years, a provision that may be removed from the final budget if the House agrees.

The cuts to safety net benefits however still remain on the table and could be addressed in separate legislation if President Obama gets his way.

The deal also squashed any hope of increasing benefits to the millions of unemployed across the nation. If Republicans continue to rule in Congress extended benefits are gone forever.

Tax increases were never seriously considered as seriously serious Ryan squelched that proposal at the outset.

Bad news for pension benefits for Federal workers: They’ll have to contribute more, in effect cutting the benefit and this after a salary freeze and furloughs during the shutdown fiasco.

The seriously serious Ryan however found another way to avoid tax increases: Screw a vet. Veterans will take cuts as the COLA in military pensions will be reduced for all non-disabled retirees under the age of 62 thereby slashing the benefit for some by tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime payout.

RYAN VULCAN

The seriously serious Paul Ryan, whose budgets originate in outer space, is waaaaay out dere.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, promises to review the military cuts. He’s just blowing smoke however since the House has adjourned for the year and no amendments can be offered if the budget is to pass before the holiday hiatus.

So the Dems took a fall and got a budget and nothing else and the seriously serious Ryan and his GOP cohorts offered only delays in the harsh austerity measures that are crushing working Americans.

As the economy continues to tank, the chances of the Obama legacy looking anything but Hooverian are growing dimmer by the day.

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Tanking Economy.

The Ryan-Murray austerity budget holds the promise of choking off the frail economic recovery.

BUT, is there a “recovery” at all. And if so, for whom? Wall Street? Yes indeed. Stocks are reaching all time highs.

Corporations and their CEOs? Yes, of course. Profits and compensation are exploding.

Is the American worker partaking of this so-called “recovery”? Not the millions of unemployed nor the millions more who are under-employed. Nor those infamously designated as “discouraged” workers and no longer counted among the millions and millions of unemployed.

Do you think those numbers are an exaggeration? The fact is nobody knows the real figure when you consider the unemployed, the “discouraged” and the under-employed.

According to John Williams at shadowstats.com, the real unemployment rate is above 20%, a nightmarish figure for President Obama. Shades of Herbert Hoover.

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The BLS claimed a jobs increase of 203,000 for November. Nice number, but it’s as bogus as its rigged unemployment rate of 7.0%. The real numbers must have Obama pulling his hair out.

Here’s a breakdown of the figures reported by Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Treasurer in the Reagan Administration, at counterpunch.

Briefly, more than half the jobs were of the low wage retail and hospitality variety. Others were in low wage home health care and warehousing. If you’re interested in the grim details, click the link above. And if you’re an Obama fan, you may have to suck up to the realization that this president’s legacy is headed straight to Hooverville.

***

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Here are the latest headlines from the Unreliable Press Worldwide wires – UPW, surpassing the mainstream media in reporting worthlessly useless news the world over.

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Debbie Does Dems.

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the chairwoman of the Senate Corporate Agriculture Committee and ostensibly a liberal, agreed with the obnoxious right wing Ralph Lucas, the Republican from Oklahoma who chairs the House Corporate Agriculture Committee, to cut food stamps (SNAP) by another $8 to $9 billion.

According to Unreliable News Worldwide Super Senior Congressional Correspondent Marcy Popindick, who is really, really cozy with a lot of Congressional staff members, the two Congress critters were elated with the cuts and enumerated the benefits associated with diminishing food stamp allotments in a top secret policy statement.

Leaked by a staff associate late one night, Popindick learned from the secret memo that members of the committee believed:

The new policy will go a long way in helping to reduce obesity among little kids in America.”

It will also teach kids not to waste their food nor to complain about the slop served during school lunch periods.”

Going hungry two or three times a week can be an inducement for kids to clean their plates when they do have food and especially eating up all of their vegetables. “

And as we all know, starvation builds character.”

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Debbie Stabenow, building character among the hungry.

The cuts will only affect about 47 million poor people and who needs a bunch of poor people anyways.,” the secret statement continued.

After the unauthorized release of the Agriculture Committee top secret palavering, Stabenow notified the FBI, the CIA and the Homeland Security Department of the infraction and demanded a full investigation of the matter.

When I find out who is responsible for this notorious leak, I’m gonna kick some ass” said the Senator from Michigan.

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And what about the corporate Democrats? What did they have to say about yet another cut to SNAP, the program that benefits much of the Dem base?

If you listen very closely, you can hear their protests.

Are you listening?

Can you hear the silence?

If you can, then you’ve heard everything the Dems had to say on the issue.

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There once was a gal on committee
Who on children she took no pity.
If food they were craving.
They should money be saving.
Or stealing some food from the kitty.
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The kitty was looking quite skinny.
Its purring was sounding right tinny.
For sure it must starve.
There’s no turkey to carve.
For to spare we don’t have a guinea.

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Duh!

President Obama said in a speech last week that income inequality is responsible for declining mobility and a shrinking middle class.

According to Unreliable Press Worldwide Super Senior White House Correspondent Marcy Popindick, who is really, really, really cozy with the White House staff, phone calls went out from high level staff members to CEOs of banks and corporations forewarning of the Obama speech and advising that they not pay too much attention to his words. He was just trolling for votes and nothing more would come of the speech was the message left on CEO voice mails.

During the gush of outgoing calls, the White House switchboard was virtually smoking and some cell phone circuit boards melted.

And since the president abhors leaks, the message also contained a warning to CEOs to drop their phones immediately because the devices would self-destruct in ten seconds.

Not to worry though. Replacing the phones is a tax deductible offense, just like mega million dollar bonuses.

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The president hates White House leaks
That seem to occur when he speaks.
He blows up just like fission
Cause they mess up his mission.
And send gray through his hair in wide streaks.
 
 ***

The Finest Health Care In The World.

Went to the doctor the other day. After waiting in a small room for twenty minutes after waiting in a large room for twenty minutes, a corporate employee walked in.

He wore a white coat and carried a laptop.  Looked like a doctor.

He stared at the laptop and asked name, date of birth, etc. Wanted to make sure he was in the right room.

Next he said “patient complaint.”

I said “I have a constricted anus.”

He stared at the laptop for a long time.  Then said “Don’t have that one. Pick something else.”

I said “That must be a common complaint since Obamacare became law. It’s gotta be there.”

He stared at the laptop.  “Nope. Not there. Pick something else or I’ll have to send you to a specialist. They have bigger keyboards.”

I said “So what choices do I have?”

He stared at the laptop; read a list from the keyboard. Finally he came to UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTION.

That sounds good. Let’s do that.”

He said “That’ll be $192.00.”

I said “Don’t I get a pill.”

He pulled a small hand-held electronic device from his pocket. Looked like an iphone with a prescription app. He scrolled for a few minutes, tapped the pad and said “Pick it up at the front desk. That’ll be $225.00.”

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If you live in America and haven’t had an experience similar to the one described above – you will!!!

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DOCTOR, DOCTOR, DOCTOR, IT HURTS WHEN I DO THIS!

Don’t do that. That’ll be $192.00 – unless you want a prescription.”

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Typing For Doctors.

In keeping with the new skill set required of physicians, The Sardo Institute of Modern Health Care is offering a typing course especially designed for heart surgeons, brain surgeons and foot doctors.

In fact, if you’re a clumsy physician in any medical practice and you’re having a problem navigating laptop keyboards designed for your specialty, The Sardo Institute of Modern Health Care has the answer for you.

For the first time, The Sardo Institute of Modern Health Care is offering an entry level Typing Course for Medical Providers for busy professionals just like yourself. When you have completed this amazing course your fingers are guaranteed to fly across any keyboard with the speed and agility of little girls in freshman high school typing classes. And you are guaranteed to learn these skills in just ten short weeks.

And now, for the very first time, The Sardo Institute of Modern Health Care is offering this specially designed Typing Course for Medical Providers in an online version so you can enjoy the benefits of this amazing training in the comfort of your very own home and all for the low, low price of just $29.95. 

The Sardo Institute is also offering an extended course for slow learners that allows medical professionals to acquire the special set of skills now demanded of the modern provider in just twenty short weeks for the amazingly low, low price of just $39.95.

Included in the price of this amazing course is the cost of The Typing Certification Test which normally costs $9.95.

And if you act right now we will include the cost of a second Typing Certification Test absolutely free just in case you fuck up the first one.

So don’t delay. Go online right now to register for this amazing training at:http//thesardo.instituteof.modern.health.care/

/po.box.555//pasta.fagioli..italy..//.//

55555./.5555.//..

Or if you prefer, you can call 1-555-555-5555 where our highly trained professional staff located in Mumbai, India are waiting to assist you with your registration.

Better hurry. Offer ends soon.

***
 
Limerick Lunacy.
 
A woman was running around
With a guy who refused to be bound
By a ring on his finger.
So with others he’d linger
Till the woman a new guy she found.
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A rumor was going around
‘Bout a gal whose assets astound.
She played with full vigor
Soon the guys would all dig her.
They admired her talents profound.
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A woman was running around
With a really big hunting hound
The dog it would drag her
To a pound where she’d stagger.
As the hounds from the pound came unwound.
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A rumor was going around
‘Bout a woman whose boat ran aground.
She waved to the guys
Who stared with wide eyes.
As she steered the boat toward a sand mound.
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The rumor kept going around
‘Bout the gal now stuck on a mound.
She downed some hard liquor.
Her eyes would soon flicker.
On the mound in the sound her head would soon pound.
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The rumor kept going around
‘Bout the woman now stuck in the sound.
She drank too much grog.
And was bound in a fog.
It took days for her head to rebound.
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The rumor kept going around
‘Bout a gal who had a huge hound.
He jumped in the water.
On the mound he soon caught her.
And pulled her ashore fore she drowned.
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A gal on a hunt for a sale
Went shopping each day without fail.
She found sales galore
But soon came to abhor
A habit she could not curtail.
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A gal on a hunt for a sale.
Got a deal on a horse with no tail.
A horse I can’t use
But a buy can’t refuse
I’m just glad it wasn’t a whale.”
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A gal on a hunt for a sale
Went to buy her horse a new tail.
She looked here and there
No avail to her mare.
Till she met a guy out for a sail.
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A fellow went out for a sail
Saw a horse who was lacking tail.
It swam for his boat
With the poor gal in tote.
Whom he rescued and plied with strong ale.
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So the gal on a hunt for a sale.
Did the guy who went out for a sail.
Though the horse had no tail.
To the gal’s he’d avail
And happily they lived in this tall horse’s tale.
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June 16, 2013

The DC Folly Trolley – 06/16/13

TPP

TPP. Sounds like some new drug the kids are getting high on. But it’s not and what it is will be far more dangerous to their health. And yours.

The TPP, of course, stands for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and if you think you’ve been scammed by NAFTA, CAFTA, the World Trade Organization and the China Trade Agreement, wait until you get a load of this monster.

nafta

Selling us out, us being the 99% in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Representatives signing the North American Free Trade Agreement.

It is an outgrowth of a 2005 agreement between four Pacific rim nations when in 2008 the United States and several additional Asian nations joined talks to extend the previous agreement.

So dangerous to the autonomy of state governments is this abomination that the talks are beheld in deep secrecy. So secret, in fact, the in the United States, not even Congress, the representatives of the people, have been informed of the terms being hashed out by the negotiators.

In a nutshell, the agreement represents the unleashing of global corporations to govern the economic policies of all nations who are a party to the agreement. Corporations will be able to bring before a kangaroo court created by the partnership any grievances it has against nations whose laws interfere with the corporations methods of doing business in any country.

For example, corporations doing business in the United States can challenge and overturn minimum wages laws because such restrictions do not exist in other countries who are a party to the partnership.

Health, safety and environmental regulations are all subject to challenge before the kangaroo court created to enforce the agreement and any and all national and state laws can and most surely will be overturned.

There are numerous articles about the agreement. But as far as the actual terms are concerned, they are top secret. Even the legislatures of the nations involved are being kept in the dark.

Who in the United States is supporting this nefarious arrangement and is largely responsible for the country’s membership in the TPP. If you guessed Barack Obama, you are exactly right.

bo3

Mr Smiley Face. And why shouldn’t he be? He has shown himself to be securely ensconced among the 1% and in a few years he will be one rich dude.

And why shouldn’t he? After all, the TPP represents another great way for the people who paid for his presidency to make a fast buck.

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Privatization Or Don’t Believe Your Lyin’ Eyes.

Turns out getting government out of the business of governing is just another way for industry to make a fast buck.

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The privatizers, a few among many.

Privatization – or profitization as it should be called – is a method of downsizing government by preventing those services that have been traditional the role of government in the first place.

Profitization is supposed to reduce taxes because private industry is so much more efficient at providing a service than government.

Social Security is the perfect example. The SS administration charges a 3% fee to administer the program. Estimates exist that predict the private industry would only charge a 15% fee for providing the same service. It’s obvious that privatization is far more efficient than government. Isn’t it!!!

The same applies to Medicare and Medicaid. Government is so inefficient at operating these programs that the cost to the taxpayer is far less than it would be if the operation of the programs were turned over to private profit making industry. The numbers are approximately the same as they are for SS, about 3% for government versus 15% if the services were profitized. Turning these services over to private companies certainly makes a lot of sense. Doesn’t it???

I bet you thought that was the end of it. Well, if you did, you’d be wrong.

It turns out that sneaking behind the backs of the American people by snooping on their electronic communications costs the taxpayer far more for efficient private companies to perform the evil deed than it does to have government commit the same violation. So here again, profitization is more efficient than government at snooping. Just because it costs the taxpayer a lot more money to utilize the services of a private company, doesn’t mean it isn’t more efficient. Right?  Right.

Guess who is responsible as any president before him for converting economical government services to costly profit making companies? Well if you guessed the “liberal Democrat” Barack Obama, you’d be right.

And why shouldn’t he? After all, profitization of government services is a great way for the people who bought him his presidency to make a fast buck.

Nobody can accuse Obama of being an ingrate.

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Barack Obama, by the way, is responsible for the profitization of one of the largest programs in world history, namely the Affordable Care Act.

The president reneged on the public option shortly after he was elected and when a public alternative was within the grasp of the White House, it selected Joe Lieberman to announce that he could not support a competitive alternative to profit health insurance.

The vote on Obamacare, you may recall, was brought up under the reconciliation maneuver which required a mere 51 votes to pass. When passage appeared likely, the White House, in panicky desperation, appealed to Lieberman to declare his opposition. That sneaky tactic killed the public option for good and Obama, after the scare, finally got his wish and turned his plan in total over to private, profit health insurance companies.

Barack Obama has earned his place among the privatizers.

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Well, here’s yet another article on global warming. Don’t these environmentalists ever give up.

It seems NASA has just discovered that a huge amount of methane is being released from the Arctic permafrost.

You remember the Arctic, right? You learned about it in high school. That’s the place way up north with a whole lot of ice.

It seems that place is in a rapid meltdown and is releasing the gas that is far more efficient at trapping heat and in the process accelerating global warming.

fire

God promised He would never again destroy the world by flood. Is there a fire in our future?  (Painting by Peter Suhr, 1788-1857, of the Hamburg fire of 1842). 

That gas by the way is also highly explosive and if enough of it gets trapped in the atmosphere, you may fire up the grill one Father’s Day and cause a planet wide conflagration that results in another mass extinction of carbon based life forms. That’s us, just in case you didn’t know it.

But it won’t happen today. So don’t worry and happy Father’s Day.

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Sleepy Time Gal.

Don’t look now, but the IMF, as in International Monetary Fund, may be awakening from its decade long somnambulance.

legarde

Eh, you no capiche a de austerity, eh.  (At the World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland, 2007).

Current somnambulist in chief of the fund, Christine LeGarde, said recently the sequester may be stunting economic recovery in the United States. Gee, she musta read a newspaper.

Finally and at last, the IMF has discovered that severe cuts to education, science and infrastructure have led to what LeGarde referred to as an economy “modestly tilted to the downside.”

I guess we have to consider the statement a modest victory in an economy suffering real unemployment measuring in the high double digits and one that is on the precipice of being demolished with the imminent approval of the TPP.

But at least the IMF has awakened from its sleep walk.

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Horse Goes Lame.

Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight, Government Reform and Media Face Time Committee, charged into government scandals like a knight on a galloping stallion.

Poor Darrell, his horse seems to have gone lame.

His investigations into the Border Patrol gun smuggling operation, the Benghazi affair and now the IRS turning up “non-profits” that cheat on taxes are limping lamely along.

It seems his investigations just can’t gain any traction, sorta like a lame horse.

issa2

Darrell Issa, vying with Mitch McConnell for shit eatingest grin in Follyland.

Maybe he should privatize the committee.

What’s the worst that could happen? Let’s face it, a private company couldn’t screw up much worse than Issa has. Of course, it would cost us taxpayers a lot more money.  But then, that’s the point of it all.