Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Republican War on Workers Explained

And explained very well, right here. The key quote:

Since we’re identifying basic goals here, let me name one for the right: degrading the standard of living for the large majority of the American people. You degrade the ability of everyone to make a decent wage by destroying unions, one of the traditional models for how to improve the standard of living of broad groups of the American people. (Including, incidentally, those of non-unionized workers, whose wages were historically inflated due to the threat of unionization.) You eliminate pensions; you replace them with things like 401ks, which don’t provide enough for retirement. You oppose health care reform; in fact, you work to degrade Medicare with a voucher program that doesn’t keep up with the cost of health care. You eliminate social services and government programs everywhere. You do all of it in the name of the free market.

Read the whole thing, as we say in Blogland.

Auggghhh!! Run for Your Lives!!

(Click to enlarge.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Poem: The semantics of flowers on Memorial Day

Historians will tell you my uncle
wouldn’t have called it World War II
or the Great War plus One or Tombstone

over My Head. All of this language
came later. He and his buddies
knew it as get my ass outta here

or fucking trench foot and of course
sex please now. Petunias are an apology
for ignorance, my confidence

that saying high-density bombing
or chunks of brain in my cold coffee
even suggests the athleticism

of his flinch or how casually
he picked the pieces out.
Geraniums symbolize the secrets

life kept from him, the wonder
of variable-speed drill and how
the sky would have changed had he lived

to shout it’s a girl. My hands
enter dirt easily, a premonition.
I sit back on my uncle’s stomach

exactly like I never did, he was
a picture to me, was my father
looking across a field at wheat

laying down to wind. For a while,
Tyrant’s War and War of World Freedom
and Anti-Nazi War skirmished

for linguistic domination. If
my uncle called it anything
but too many holes in too many bodies

no flower can say. I plant marigolds
because they came cheap and who knows
what the earth’s in the mood to eat.

- Bob Hicok, from Insomnia Diary

Hat Tip: My dear friend Paul Claycomb

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Man, I Just HAD to Steal This.



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Are There ANY Lies John Boehner WON'T Tell?

My God, this lying clown repeats just about EVERY single right-wing lie imaginable about the economic meltdown. What a mendacious, viciously dishonest so-called "leader". Media Matters is on the case:

CLAIM: Speaker Boehner Claimed That "Government Mortgage Companies...Triggered The Whole Meltdown" In Our Economy

BOEHNER: And the government mortgage companies that triggered the whole meltdown went untouched.

FACT: Lax Oversight And Potentially Fraudulent Financial Practices Caused The Housing Bubble And Ensuing Meltdown

The Collapse Of The Housing Bubble Triggered A Banking Crisis That Lead To A Massive Recession. From Slate: "The only near consensus is on the question of what triggered the not-quite-a-depression. In 2007, the housing bubble burst, leading to a high rate of defaults on subprime mortgages. Exposure to bad mortgages doomed Bear Stearns in March 2008, then led to a banking crisis that fall. A global recession became inevitable once the government decided not to rescue Lehman Bros. from default in September 2008. Lehman's was the biggest bankruptcy in history, and it led promptly to a powerful economic contraction. Somewhere around here, agreement ends." [Slate, 1/9/10]

Subprime Mortgage Data Do Not Support Claim That Government Actions Triggered Housing Bubble. Barry Ritholtz, who wrote the book Bailout Nation about the housing bubble and ensuing financial crisis, reports:

Federal Reserve Board data show that:

-More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.

-Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year.

-Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that's being lambasted by conservative critics. [The Big Picture, 12/16/10]

Complex Accounting Tricks By Wall Street Firms Contributed To The Magnitude Of The Recession. From Slate: "A bit farther down on the list are various contributing factors, which didn't fundamentally cause the crisis but either enabled it or made it worse than it otherwise might have been. These include: global savings imbalances, which put upward pressure on U.S. asset prices and downward pressure on interest rates during the bubble years; conflicts of interest and massive misjudgments on the part of credit rating agencies Moody's and Standard and Poor's about the risks of mortgage-backed securities; the lack of transparency about the risks borne by banks, which used off-balance-sheet entities known as SIVs to hide what they were doing; excessive reliance on mathematical models like the VAR and the dread Gaussian copula function, which led to the underpricing of unpredictable forms of risk; a flawed model of executive compensation and implicit too-big-to-fail guarantees that encouraged traders and executives at financial firms to take on excessive risk; and the non-confidence-inspiring quality of former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's initial responses to the crisis." [Slate, 1/9/10, emphasis added]

There's more, much more. This is the person we need to throw OUT of the Speaker's chair next year. I'm ready to help. How about you?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The President Announces Bin Laden's Death


Heh Heh Heh!