Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Defend the Bank of AMERICA

Those New York liberals!  Suing the bank of America!  It's the Bank - of - AM-ER-IC-A ferchrissakes!  What are they trying to do, bring down the whole free enterprise system?  So a bunch of bankers - who just HAPPEN to be filthy rich already - see a scam that's working.  And purchase it fair and square in the free market. 

So they scam is to trick people into bad loans.  So they cheat people.  So-called "POOR" people [eyes rolling, fingers making quote marks].  And then they pawn it off on the federal government.  So WHAT?

It's that what America's ALL ABOUT?

How are honest capitalists supposed to make money (OK, MORE money) if they can't lie, cheat the poor and steal from the taxpayers?

Somebody start a petition!  Before it's too late!  We have to help them!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Votes, Bees & Watermelon

When South Carolina legislator Alan Clemmons saw an email comparing poor and black voters to "bees going after a watermelon" - and answered "Amen!" - he didn't just tell the world how stupid he is.  He didn't just let on that he's a bigot.  He didn't just reinforce all the old stereotypes of racist white Southerners (as if THAT needed any more reinforcing!  More on that later - whew!).  Clemmons also let the cat out of the bag about what these voter ID laws are really all about: keeping poor folks from voting.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Scrooge McDuck Goes to Washington - Again

Have you ever noticed how the ones who are crying the loudest for more money are the same ones who aren't gonna spend it anyway, not because they're scraping by, mind you, but because they're FILTHY RICH?

Friday, August 3, 2012


Alex Cockburn is dead.  Now I can finally subscribe to The Nation.

But will I be sorry when I read it after he's gone?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

We need a shorter work week

Ever wonder where little countries like, oh, France ... the USA and most of Europe ... , got the idea that making people work longer before they retire, ... or laying off government employees ... was just what the doctor ordered in a recession, with unemployment riding high?  Wait.  Does that sound 100 percent loose-screw, squirrel-nest nuts to anybody else?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Secret reasons to vote for Romney

According to David Brooks-No-Logic, Mitt Romney has a secret plan - which Romnibus has shared in some secret chamber with Brooks, and which makes Mr. B all quivery inside - for health care.  We are supposed to think, we can only assume, that 'Romneycare' does everything good and nothing bad, which is of course why we aren't allowed to see it.  Who would vote for that?

Probably has a secret plan for fixing the economy, too, without raising taxes or letting the rabid rich off the leash to tear into the raw meat of the huddled masses, a plan that will magically lead to Utopia, Heaven on Earth, and Xanadu, all rolled into one great big gumball-machine-prize.

Personally, I'm a big fan of the part of his secret plans where we invade Planet X and claim their utopia as our own.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Salt in open wounds

As a native Mississippian, let me just say: Surprise! Politicians in my birth-state have screwed the hardworking average Joe and Joan again - a new law making it harder for injured workers to get workers' comp. 

Demand demand

We demand more demand!

And an economic policy that goes with it.

P.S.  It's the opposite of 'supplyside' baloney, and it's based on the crazy idea that when workers make money, we spend it; when our wealthy overlords make money, they hoard it or play the stock market with it.  Duh!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Obamascare II: Now What?

One danger in the Obamascaredebate’ (more like dueling stampedes: water buffalo vs. bison) is the part we may forget in the effort to score coup on our opponents’ hides.  That is, what working people should be coming together to achieve.  Single payer.  Universal health care.  Promote the general welfare – including well-ness.  No profiteering insurance companies.  No corporate ‘death panels’.  That is, not the imaginary ‘death panels’ of Sarah Palin LLC, but the ones that actually exist – the specialists who kick people out of the coverage sphere just for getting sick, or turn people away for being sick, too sick to be insured, or deny coverage for treatments prescribed by doctors, the high-priced lawyers who use all their showmanship in support of said pig-greedy insurance Scrooges while the patient dies, and their acolytes.  No more “are you insured?” or “may I see your card?” – just “what seems to be the problem?”  Some day, we hope.

As one of our local working-class heroes here in Champaign-Urbana, Claudia Lennhoff of CCHCC, says, "I believe that you can be both a single payer supporter/activist, and someone who ALSO sees how the health reform law will benefit millions of people, AND how it will help pave the way for universal health care and even single payer in our country (both through the content of the law, and also through the community organizing possibilities implementation of health reform presents)."

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Is the Obama Administration's health care reform package the end of American freedom and the beginning of broccoli-chewing fascism, or a monumental breakthrough in the centuries-long struggle of ordinary citizens yearning for full participation in society and government finally returning to 'promoting the general welfare'?  Well, it may be neither, but it is a rare instance of the average Joe and Joanna stranded at the garage or busstop debating a US Supreme Court decision and how it impacts the most regular working-class folks.  Is that good?  I'm biased towards 'yes,' you know, because it ought to be good when the hogs look up from the slop, right?  'Course, most of these debates, it seems, are happening 'totally unencumbered' by anything resembling facts.  And there are ways to check facts these days.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Health care for all, or many, sometimes, at a cost

Let’s not pretend this is the bill it could have been, folks.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Supreme Double Talk

OK, so let me get this straight ... the recent US Supreme Court decision on Arizona's immigration ridiculation says essentially, "Immigration is a federal issue, and the states should butt out ... but Arizona can still make their cops check for papers?"

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Joe Bageant, RIP

Just started reading this guy's stuff this summer with Deer Hunting With Jesus.  Now I find out he's dead.  That's really not at all what I wanted to hear.  We could really use his ongoing class-based no-nonsense analysis and essay-writing.  Not that I agree with what I've read so far 100 percent - but when is that likely to happen?

P.S. Speaking of summer reading, Chavs.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Godsavethequeen - we mean it, man!

Attended a Royalist tea party the other day.  Friendly neighbors of in-laws in England celebrating 60 years of Elizabeth's rule.  Wandering down the street and they waved us up to join them.  You have to wonder why anybody would celebrate.  Ten million pounds (over $15 million) just for the celebration, not to mention the day-to-day upkeep of the whole in-bred family.  Then there's the recession and all.  Kinda like a hurricane party, I guess.

But the very nice man whose patio we were on said, grinning from ear to ear, "Somebody said to me the other day, I didn't know you were a Royalist.  I said, I thought we all were!"  I was fascinated.  "She pledged herself to us 60 years ago," he beamed, "and she has never wavered from that."

Hm.  "Well," I offered cautiously, "what else would she do if she left that position?"

"Eh?" asked her enthusiast, looking as if he must not have heard me right.

"I mean, she's not going to get a job washing dishes, is she?"

He stared at me.  "She meets with the Prime Minister every week," he said cheerily, pointing at the corners of his mouth, "and she has to smile..."

Ah, well.  "It is a long time," I said.

Later someone was describing a choir of black children singing for the Queen, and how beautiful it was.  "Reminds you of the Old Empire," interjected my enthusiatic friend above.  Ugh.

Strange, someone else told me later,  the same hard-working man had been spotted on a train once before trying to persuade someone to go on strike with him.  The assumption was that the guy was bright, knew what time it was, and was anything but a brainless bootlicking lemming. And all that may yet be.

Just goes to show, just because someobody knows what side of the bread their butter is on one day, the next day they may well cheer with the mob at their own hanging - if the executioner waves the right flag.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sickness in Health Care - A True Fable

If you were lucky enough to get the word and have the availability to attend a recent lecture by Ralph Martire of the Center for Budget and Tax Accountability, you got a real faceful of yucky-tasting-but-very-good-for-you info.  And excellent economic analysis.  No chewy, hard-to-digest economese, just plain talk and the facts to back it up.  It's a wonder he hasn't been drone-targetted yet.

One side comment was a particularly nasty piece of news.  Ready?  I don't think you are:

So Ill-annoy is famously in a budget crisis.  A manufactured one, created by years of toadying to the rich by suck-up politicians, but a crisis nonetheless. One of our less-than-inspiring "Democrat" governor's latest ingenius schemes, you may have heard, is to cut Medicaid - and reduce Medicaid payments to hospitals.

Background flash: Illinois earns big bucks through Medicaid by the following unbelievable (unless you're an Illinois-news-watcher) shell game: local governments pay the State money for services to Medicaid patients.  The State then pays the exact amount back to local governments.  Why?  Because, the instant they pay out, the State is eligible for federal MATCHING FUNDS.  No shingle.  Really.  So the State makes millions by pretending to pay for services to poor people. 

This game is smarter than some politicians, however, who routinely cry publicly about how much the State's Medicaid obligations are costing.  So how do Medicaid cuts actually help the State when it means that we lose federal matching funds?  Oh, you naive little things!  It 'helps' the State only if the State = the rich.  That is, people with lower incomes are required to serve the rich in any capacity the rich need at the time.  But if they have a certain economic safety net, they will - well, not exactly refuse to serve, but they will draw a line - say, at leaving small children at home to go out and slave for pennies in dirty jobs that destroy their health.  Things like that.  But if the State reduces their benefits ... ah, now you begin to see, my pretty, eh?

But this is only half the healthcare skullduggery deal currently unfolding in the halls of power and influence in Springfield.  Hospitals, you see, are unhappy with their rates being cut.  And the hospital associations get access to political ears about a million light years ahead of the poor who stand to have their services cut.  After all, what's a mere loss of life or health, compared to a negatively impacted corporate bottom line?  (You see, we do understand them!)

So how do politicians get the hospitals to go along with this plan? Hmm... Aha!  What if the hospitals were offered something else they want?  Like an easing-up on their charitable obligations, their obligation to treat a certain volume of charity cases in order to keep their tax-exempt status? Hmm... 

It would be a double-whammy on the poor, in other words, an extra bonus for the rich!  Ta-da!  Nothing up the sleeves.

Background flash: for Urbana residents, we know all about this, don't we?  Our hospitals have been failing to meet these obligations, and face a big fat tax bill (ironic, and giggly for anyone who has ever been badgered by them for not paying a bill to the hospital).  But now, there's an opportunity to make it all go away.  And all the hospitals have to do is screw its neediest patients.  Easy choice there.

Yep, you guessed it.  They're bringing out the big stamp of approval for this one.  It's a little-known exception to the Hypocratic Oath: you can kich whoever to the curb if it means big bucks for you and your identified social class.

And that, children, is how a state budget crisis is a VERY useful thing to have around and why you'd really, really want one (if you're filthy rich).  Welcome to reality.  Sorry it sucks.

Time versus Money

I owe an explanation, I think, to anybody who actually reads this stuff.  For the long gap, I mean.  Well, it's the time to write.  Nothing more complicated that that.  In the current economic order, we often face a choice: time or money.  You can work more to earn more money and you will not have enough time to do some of the things you love, spend time with loved ones, etc.  If you work less, by choice or not, you may have more time, but unless you are very lucky you will face a bloodless economic reality.  Well, nobody ever said life (in a world ruled by rich plutocrats) was fair.

I've been working more.  But I'm going to try to find time to blog a little more.  On the off-chance that anybody's listening.  And if you are, thanks.