Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, October 31, 2008

Bush Refuses to Investigate Global Meltdown

If you're a drug user or any sort of protester, or if you know somebody whose second cousin's roommate's brother-in-law once visited the Middle East -- the government is probably watching your every move.

Then again, if you're involved in a huge pyramid scheme to rob billions of dollars from American taxpayers, George Johnny Walker Bush doesn't give a flying fuck. He has Other Priorities.

The FBI has been pleading for more agents to investigate the crimes that triggered the global financial meltdown. Dumbya says no. A retired FBI official said:

"They are bogged down big-time or there would be some indictments by now." He said this is totally different from the FBI's response to previous financial crises. "There are three comparable things ... the S&L crisis, corporate fraud like Enron and health care fraud. There was a clear, well-delineated effort there. I don't see it here. They are bogged down because they are even more under-resourced than when I was there. They are a year and a half into this, and I don't get the sense that any significant indictments are imminent. I just don't think there's a lot of traction."

What kind of sickfuck twisted priorities does this administration have??? We're facing the worst financial crisis since the early 1980s (possibly since the early 1930s) and Dumbfuck doesn't think it's important to investigate the causes? What the fuck is he doing instead, getting both of his books packed up in time for Moving Day next January?

Or maybe he doesn't want these corporate crimes investigated. Hmmm...any suspicious motives here?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Starbucks and the Global Financial Meltdown

Turns out you don’t need no steenking stockbroker. Let Starbucks be your financial guide.

Basically, the greater the concentration of Starbucks’ in a country’s financial capital, the more likely it is that this country is reeling from the financial crisis. Coincidence?

In the U.S., Starbucks is hopelessly intertwined with the real estate and credit markets that have crashed and burned. Out of all the jillions of Starbucks locations, most of them are either in the newest developments of America’s suburbs and exurbs, or in the business districts (especially the financial center) of large cities. (And of course if you have a favorite local coffeehouse with that certain intangible vibe you can't find anywhere else, a Starbucks will spring up next door and put them out of business.)

Most large investment banks have a Starbucks on their ground floor. And the Starbucks nearest to the former Bear Stearns headquarters has already closed.

The author of this article, Dan Gross, says:

“Like American capitalism, Starbucks, fueled by the capital markets, took a great idea too far (high-quality coffee for Starbucks, securitization for Wall Street) and diluted the experience unnecessarily (subprime food like egg-and-sausage sandwiches for Starbucks, subprime loans for Wall Street). Like so many sadder but wiser Miami condo developers, Starbucks operated on a ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy. Like many of the humiliated Wall Street corporations, the coffee company let algorithms and number-crunching get the better of sound judgment: If the waiting time at one Starbucks was more than a certain number of minutes, Starbucks reasoned that an opposite corner could sustain a new outlet.”

Now let’s look at some other countries. South Korea (253 Starbucks locations), England (256 Starbucks’ in London) and Spain (48 Starbucks’ in Madrid) are all reeling from the financial meltdown.

On the other hand, Italy (number of Starbucks’ in the entire country: ZERO) hasn’t had any major bank failures. The entire continent of Africa has 3 Starbucks’ and no major bank bailouts. Ditto for Central America.

Argentina (one Starbucks) is doing relatively well in this crisis. There's hardly any Starbucks presence in Holland and the Scandinavian countries, and their banking industries are also holding up.

The article closes with:

“And so, if you're looking for potential trouble spots, forget about the Financial Times or the Bloomberg terminal. Just look at the user-friendly Starbucks store locator. The next potential trouble spot? I just returned from a week in Istanbul, Turkey, a booming financial capital increasingly tied to the fortunes of Western Europe. It has a storied coffee culture, yet I gave up counting the number of Starbucks stores occupying prime real estate. It turns out there are 67 of them. Watch out, Turkey.”

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

George W. Bush “Shocked!” by World Hostility toward America

President George W. Bush has expressed shock and disbelief at America’s deteriorating image around the world. In an unprecedented display of remorse, he said:

“Maybe I shouldn’t have invaded Iraq. They weren’t a threat to us. I just made up all that shit about weapons of mass destruction and bringing democracy to the Middle East so I could kick Saddam Hussein’s ass and finish what my daddy started, and then Mommy would take me back and coddle me again and quit doting and swooning over Jeb all the time. But I was wrong to let my Oedipal desires dictate America’s foreign policy. Right after the 9/11 attacks, America had the empathy of the entire world. I had a golden opportunity and I blew it. My bad.

“And maybe I should have tried to work with Congress instead of just walking all over them and pretending I was a dictator. And when New Orleans was drowning three years ago, I should've actually gone there in person instead of just peeking out the window of Air Force One as we flew over.

“Daddy, I broke the country. Can you bail me out again?”

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Al Qaeda Endorses John McCain for President

An al Qaeda website wants John McCain to be our next president. Their reasoning is that he's “impetuous” and would be more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words McCain will keep us in the hole we’re already in by continuing to dig and dig and dig.

So let’s see, McCain has the endorsement of Blackwater, Halliburton, the Religious Right, the KKK, the Bush Crime Family and al Qaeda.

Birds of a feather…

cross-posted at Bring It On!


Monday, October 20, 2008

South Africa Watching Election Campaign in Primitive Racist Country

Things have really come full circle when South Africa views the United States as a bunch of dimwitted rednecks.

South Africans of all races are hoping Obama will be the next president. 70% of South Africans are in favor of Obama, according to an international Reader’s Digest poll.

South Africa, like most countries, has lost respect for the U.S. because of its ongoing occupation of Iraq. And like most of the world, they blame the global financial meltdown on America’s Wall Street casino.

Christian Barr is a white South African IT worker who served in the military during the last throes of Apartheid. He said “Obama will be better for us in Africa. I am concerned about the conservative Americans – the Midwest states, they might vote for McCain. Whatever happens, though, Africans must come up with their own inventive ways to benefit from the U.S.”

Lucky Mathye, a black police reservist, said “America looks like a worldwide boss. They want all the power in the world and they don’t want to share it. Maybe Obama will be a peacemaker.”

There's one sharp contrast between the two countries: In the United States, race is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. Instead, everyone uses coded words and phrases. These code words are clearly understood by the intended audience, but if the speaker is accused of racism, s/he can fall back on “what, I didn’t mean anything by that, all I said was _____________________”

In South Africa, with the clear divisions between races and the violent upheavals of the last few decades, race is openly talked about by everybody. As the author (Hamilton Wende) says: “The divisions between black and white have been such an undeniable truth… that people here prefer to acknowledge their existence rather than to pretend that they don’t exist.”

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Factory Farms in California

Most of us are sickened by the treatment of animals at factory farms. And now California — finally — has an initiative on the ballot which will eliminate some of the worst practices.

If you'd like to know more about factory farming, this website has a lot of information, including some gory pictures and videos. Be sure you haven’t eaten recently if you go to this site.

Basically, this initiative requires that all farm animals have enough room in their cages to be able to lie down, stand up and turn around. This will apply to all livestock, but the main opposition is coming from the poultry industry.

A few huge factory farms — mostly from outside of California — have contributed millions of dollars to defeat Proposition 2. As of September 30th (the most recent poll I could find), Proposition 2 was leading: 72% in favor, 10% against and 18% undecided. But we’ll see…

There are still a lot of scary commercials yet to come, and a lot of mainstream and supposedly liberal newspapers (including the San Francisco Chronicle) have come out against it. So far the funniest (but not ha ha) scare story is that if chickens are allowed out of their cages, there'll be an epidemic of Avian Flu. And of course, food prices will go through the roof, thousands of farmers will go out of business, the economy will collapse and the terrorists will win.

Even funnier (in that Orwellian sort of way) is a poultry farmer from Petaluma, CA — Steve Mahrt. According to one of the comments in this article, he thinks chickens are happier when they're crammed all snug and cozy inside their comfy little cages.

Whatever toxic waste products his farm is producing, he's been smoking some of it.

Here are some more links.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

The “Other” Joe the Plumber

Separated at birth: Joe the Plumber and Vic Mackey from The Shield.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

War on Drugs in Jeopardy?

The Wall Street Casino — if you win you get to keep all your profits; if you lose, the taxpayers will bail you out — might not be the only American institution that’s in trouble. With Mexico’s grisly drug-related violence getting worse every day, the Mexican government is about to say “F#$%&!# You!” to America’s War on Drugs. Somebody has to do it.

Most people who favor the War on Drugs are completely removed and sheltered from the unimaginable suffering caused by this war. They're like those chickenhawks who keep talking about which countries “we” should attack. “We” always means Somebody Else.

If you think of “Drugs!” as just some awful menace you keep hearing about in the news, then a “war on drugs” — a big crackdown! — might seem like a good idea. Then again, if you keep finding mutilated corpses in your neighborhood — the collateral damage from the wars between rival drug gangs — you might think drug laws are the problem more than the drugs themselves.

So far this year Mexico has had about 3,500 murders attributed directly to the drug wars. A lot of these murder victims include women and children. It isn't just gang members killing each other.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón started out as a gung ho drug warrior. But on October 2nd, he proposed legislation that would decriminalize possession of marijuana, cocaine, meth and heroin. It would just be small amounts for personal use. But still, Harry Anslinger and J. Edgar Hoover must be turning in their graves.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox wanted to decriminalize marijuana several years ago, but he was shouted down by the Bush Administration. That was when Dumbya had a lot more political capital. Things are a little different now.

Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said:

“President Calderón's proposal to decriminalize personal possession of illicit drugs is consistent with the broader trend throughout Western Europe, Canada, and other parts of Latin America to stop treating drug use and possession as a criminal problem. But it contrasts sharply with the approach taken in the United States…Looking to the U.S. as a role model for drug control is like looking to apartheid South Africa for how to deal with race.”

My sentiments exactly.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Lee “Willie Horton” Atwater Comes to Washington State

He may be dead (rot in Hell scumbag) but his ghost is all over the map.

It’s hard to believe that a liberal state like Washington might be sending a Republican to the Governor’s Mansion. The two candidates are running neck and neck. If you live within broadcasting range of Washington, you’re undoubtedly sick to death of their TV commercials.

Republican Dino Rossi is running against Democratic incumbent Christine Gregoire. The same two candidates ran against each other four years ago; it was possibly the closest election in American history. After several recounts, Gregoire won by a handful of votes. There's been a lot of bitterness and accusations and countercharges since then.

Washington isn't a swing state. I haven’t yet seen any TV ads about McCain or Obama. Instead we’re getting bombarded with jillions of commercials for Rossi and Gregoire.

But anyway, about Lee Atwater: Dino Rossi’s newest tactic is to exploit a massive bureaucratic fuckup that had nothing to do with the governor. The state government has lost the addresses of 1,300 paroled/released sex offenders. This is intolerable, and heads need to roll.

And now the Republican Governors Association has spent $2 million on a “Willie Horton” campaign to blame Christine Gregoire. Letters (with grisly photos) have been sent out to hundreds of thousands of Washington households. It’s a combination of fear tactics (“this swarthy predator is loose in YOUR neighborhood!”) and the Atwater School of Character Assassination.

Law enforcement is furious at the Republican Governors Association for this sleazebucket attack. A group of police officers from throughout the state has sent a letter saying:

“We are writing to express our collective outrage at the Republican Governors Association (RGA) for broadcasting misleading television ads that distort Governor Gregoire's record and slander the hard work we do every day….These attacks trivialize the work we do every day and exploit a parent's worst fears. And to what end? So that in less than thirty days a parent will be frightened into putting a check mark next to Republican Dino Rossi's name. These attacks are disgusting, unethical and desperate.”

The letter also mentioned that Gregoire has supported law enforcement “every step of the way,” she’s pushed for tougher sentencing for sex offenders, and that Washington’s crime rate is the lowest it’s been in fourteen years.

Here are some more links to this scandal.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

World to America: Go Stand in the Corner

Go on, scoot over there and just stay out of the way. It’s embarrassing to admit, but globally our country has turned into that ancient doddering relative who graces every family reunion. No longer able or willing to help out with anything, s/he just bores everyone with the same tired anecdotes. “We saved your sorry asses in World War Two you sniveling ingrates” is no longer a relevant response to the criticisms we’ve been getting.

Our five and a half year quagmire in Iraq has pretty much grounded us from any more foreign invasions or occupations. Our last “coalition of the willing” was just that — the last.

Besides, with Russia and China surging ahead — militarily and economically — we’ll be returning to the days before the Soviet Union collapsed. There'll be several superpowers dominating the world instead of just one. I think most of the world would rather have several 800-pound gorillas keeping a wary eye on each other, rather than having one giant arrogant complacent bully who just knows the rest of the world is his own personal chessboard.

And now our Wall Street Casino has collapsed and taken the rest of the world down with it. Sort of like at a skating rink where somebody starts to fall, so they grab onto somebody else and bring that person crashing down too. Gee, why does the rest of the world hate us?

The good news (at least I think it’s good) is that our next president — whoever it is — will be a lot more restrained, more accountable, more hamstrung than his predecessors. We can't afford to invade any more countries. And even if we could, we no longer have any allies who would help us.

And Wall Street is facing a shitload of new oversight and regulations. If our own government doesn’t have the ‘nads to do this, international organizations will probably step in and do their jobs for them. When or if we recover from this meltdown, we need to make sure that no more drunken unaccountable powercrazed tycoons can grab the keys to Wall Street and crash it. If our government won't prevent this, the international community will.

Thomas Friedman says:

“The next president’s ability to act unilaterally on anything other than vital national security issues is going to be reduced. As the old saying goes: He who has the gold makes the rules. Well, we no longer have as much gold, and until we get some, we will have to pay more heed to the rules of those who lend us theirs.”

The United States might redeem itself by serving as the anti-role model for the rest of the world. We could be like those reformed drug addicts who travel around the country, telling high school kids “If you don’t want to look like me, don’t do what I did. Stay clean.”

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Economic Meltdown and Class Warfare

Molly Ivins wrote a few years ago that the most lucrative investment you can make — nothing else even comes close — is to purchase your own congressman (or several). How’s this for a Return On Investment? The financial sector has contributed $2 billion to Congress since 1990.

Talk about a payoff! Make $2 billion worth of bribes to Congress and get rewarded with a $700 billion handout from the taxpayers. Now THAT was some shrewd investing.

The Institute for Policy Studies has suggested a transaction tax of one penny for every $4 invested. This would add $100 billion a year to the Treasury. If this tax had been in place since the Enron meltdown in 2001, the Treasury Department would now have $700 billion.

Getting rid of overseas tax shelters would also yield hundreds of billions for the U.S. Treasury. Just imagine if these corporate bailouts were paid for by the people who created the need for them in the first place. Large corporations having to take responsibility for their own mistakes, just like regular people do — what a concept.

A member of the Institute for Policy Studies said “Many of these things have been examined, but not implemented. Congress essentially punted on how to pay for the bailout.”

The author of this column, Derrick Z. Jackson, ends his column with: “If Congress is the punter, the people are the football being kicked once again far downfield as Congress and the CEOs high-five with relief from the skybox.”

If you're in the mood for a little more class warfare and socialist rhetoric, check out this article by Michael Moore. During the past seven and a half years, the 400 wealthiest Americans have increased their personal wealth by about $700 billion. Again, that number is — Ahem! — $700 billion. (see above)

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Marie Antoinette is Alive and Well on Wall Street

And we all know what happened to her. Public fear and anger are reaching a boiling point. Don’t think it couldn’t happen again.

Yesterday’s congressional hearing uncovered some unbelievable sociopathic attitudes that are just begging for another guillotine (or maybe something else that isn't as quick). Lehman Brothers CEO Richard S. Fuld, Jr. was questioned by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He at least had enough sense to act humble and cry the requisite crocodile tears:

“This is a pain that will stay with me for the rest of my life…Until the day they put me in the ground, I will wonder.” Yada yada yada…

Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) made Fuld do some serious squirming. But then John Mica (R-Shitstain) tried to trivialize the whole procedure by telling Fuld: “If you haven’t discovered your role today, you’re the villain, so you have to act like the villain.” Hahahahahahaha. Millions of people are scared to death that they won't even have a job or a home next month. Let’s make fun of them. Douchebag!

And some interesting internal e-mails were uncovered. Last June, some executives from a Lehman subsidiary — Neuberger Berman — suggested to Fuld that Lehman’s top executives give up their bonuses this year. This would “send a strong message to both employees and investors that management is not shirking accountability for recent performance.”

Can you say “Lead Balloon?”

Fuld shot down the idea. And another Lehman executive, George H. Walker — you guessed it, he's part of the Bush Crime Family — was even more appalled by that socialist outburst. He sent an e-mail to the rest of the executive committee: “Sorry team. I am not sure what’s in the water at Neuberger Berman. I’m embarrassed and I apologize.”

And you thought Dumbya was the biggest asshole in the family.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

John McCain’s New Motto: “It’s NOT the Economy, Stupid!”

“We can't win on the issues. If America’s voters are smart enough to notice the collapsing economy, we’re fucked. Our only chance is to distract the voters with shitsmears and Swiftboat attacks. It’s not my fault; I'm a sleazebucket and that’s what sleazebuckets do.”

The above isn't an exact quote, but the meaning is pretty close. Here's the actual quote from McCain adviser Greg Strimple. He promised “a very aggressive last 30 days” of the campaign, and then said: “We are looking forward to turning a page on this financial crisis and getting back to discussing Mr. Obama’s aggressively liberal record and how he will be too risky for Americans.”

“Turning a page on this financial crisis” — WTF?!?!?! We’re teetering on the edge of the worst financial disaster since 1929. Taxpayers have just handed over $700 billion (or is it $800 billion now?) to the Wall Street criminals who caused this whole catastrophe, and nobody knows whether this massive giveaway will even work.

But according to this dickwad, we’re about to “turn the page” on this little nuisance (it’s just like swatting a fly) and then we can quickly get on with Operation Sleaze. Asshole!

Barack Obama said McCain and his aides “are gambling that he can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance. They'd rather try to tear our campaign down than lift this country up. It's what you do when you're out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time.”

Tens of millions of Americans are scared shitless of losing everything they own. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are trying to come up with solutions. Songbird and Winky are telling everybody “Hey, look over there! It’s the Weather Underground!” “Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim teeheeheeheehee.”

Will the voters fall (again) for these bullshit Swiftboat attacks? If they do, then Matt Taibbi is right in his scathing indictment of Americans.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Friday, October 03, 2008

How to Coddle a Downtrodden CEO

This sure is a tough time to be a CEO. Every time you open a newspaper, all you get is “Waaaaaahhhh!!! I lost my job.” “Booooohoohoohoooo, my home is being foreclosed.” Goddammit, the world doesn’t revolve around the riffraff.

Senior executives have expenses too. Your golden parachute and bonus package might be in jeopardy. And don’t you just hate it when your Lexus payment and yacht club dues are both payable on the same date? Ouch!

The public just doesn’t understand. And that damn liberal media isn't helping anything with their one-sided reporting and their constant gloom and doom. And all this talk of class warfare and redistribution of wealth — those fuckin’ Commies! It’s all just sooo stressful.

Well, VIPs — Help is on the way!

Finally, you can have the empathy and understanding you deserve. For three glorious days, you can be pampered, cooed to and have your ego (and maybe a few other things) stroked. Now be forewarned, this taste of paradise isn't free. It costs $15,000. OK, so you might have to forego a few dinner reservations or fire one of your gardeners or whatever.

Your three days of ecstasy will take place at the Moonview Sanctuary in Santa Monica, CA. These coddling sessions are officially known as “Executive Resilience Summits.”

They're put on by Jerry and Laurie Ann Levin. Jerry and Laurie Ann are saying that executives are “facing possibly the toughest times in their careers.” This 3-day workshop will help beleaguered CEOs to “bounce back from this crisis while maintaining balance in their professional and personal lives.”

Hey, the New Age touchy-feely ‘70s are back. But only if you can afford it.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Being Sarah Palin

Hat Tip to Ken Grandlund (here and here).

Why should Mooselini have all the fun? Now, YOU can talk just like her.

No longer do you have to wait for her next interview to be leaked out in dribs and drabs. Whenever you start craving some Sarah-tainment, just click here, sit back and enjoy.

It’s your very own Sarah Palin Quote Generator™.

When she becomes Vice President, just think how she’ll dazzle everybody with her unique way of, well, you know, like about the importance of the economy and educating today’s children for tomorrow’s employers and lowering taxes and developing energy sources and churchgoing values for freedom that John McCain said.

It’s always been Dumbya’s trademark to mangle individual words — especially them big ones with more than one syllable. Sarahpoleon’s unique talent, on the other hand, is to take several keywords and string them together into one long incoherent non sequitur, and then hope and pray that her rambling non-answer actually touched on the question that was asked.

Hope you'll bookmark this site and forward it to your friends. Just imagine if everyone started going around talking about prosperity for all Americans and shooting a moose brings you closer to Jesus so freedom in the Middle East that patriotic Americans will again be proud to work hard.