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The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing

July 7, 2011

Used the same musical accompaniment in a different context in this post a couple years back but it is more appropriate then ever with today’s news that Bushwa Barry is set to slash the country’s social safety net to benefit his Wall Street pals, using the blatantly hypocritical excuse that the government cannot simply just raise the debt ceiling, which of course they could if they actually gave a damn about anything other than enriching their cronies. This isn’t really news to anybody who’s been watching Barry’s sharp right turn ever since election day but it is a little surprising that he’s pushing to slash more than even the republican troglodytes had demanded. Glenn Greenwald has an excellent summary of the latest here so I won’t blather on too much about it. The George Carlin video that Greenwald included gives you all you need to know if you hadn’t already learned it from Frank –

In other news, SPAM futures skyrocketed today.

If people in this country are actually going to fight back, now would be the time to do so. Otherwise, start stocking up on the potted meat.

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30 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    July 7, 2011 11:41 am

    Been waiting for a good time to post this cartoon. Today seems about right –

  2. cometman permalink*
    July 7, 2011 12:07 pm

    I’ve just about had it with this bullshit.

    At one point I thought the answer might be a tax revolt. If enough people who worked for a living simply filled out a new W-4 with their employers and declared a dozen or so dependents, that would put a serious dent in government revenues. But you’d have to have a critical mass of people doing so before it became effective and it sure seems like the vast majority of people in this country are content to continue sitting on their thumbs.

    So now I’m thinking, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Costs about $50 to get yourself an LLC in Delaware or Nevada with very few if any questions asked. Costs nothing to get thousands of dollars in unsecured credit from any number of parasitic credit card companies flooding your mailbox with bullshit offers. So make yourself into a corporation (or two or three – they’re cheap!), get some free $$ from the leeches that you won’t pay back, use that to hire a lawyer with few scruples (something that shouldn’t be hard to find), and then have them instruct you how to start shuffling the $$$ and paperwork around and dazzle ’em with bullshit. If it’s good for the Blankfeins of the world, it ought to be good for the rest of us too. Extra bonus if you use the $$$ to get the hell out of this country before the shit really hits the fan.

  3. cometman permalink*
    July 7, 2011 12:33 pm

    Dean Baker shows how easy it would be to fix this whole debt ceiling mess. Simply write off the debt

    As a solution to the impasse over the debt ceiling in the United States, Mr. [Ron] Paul suggested that the Federal Reserve Board destroy the $1.6 trillion in government bonds that it currently holds. This act would put the government far below its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling providing perhaps two more years before any action needs to be taken to raise the ceiling again.

    ~snip~

    …since the Fed is an agency of the U.S government, the bonds held by the Fed are literally money that the government owes to itself. In fact, each year the Fed refunds back to the Treasury the interest earned on its assets in excess of its operating costs. This means that the interest that this is paid on the bonds held by the Fed is effectively interest that the government is paying itself.

    In this context, it is very difficult to see any downside in eliminating a bookkeeping entry. The Fed would lose $1.6 trillion in assets and the government would lose $1.6 trillion in liabilities and suddenly be far below the debt limit.

    • artemis54 permalink
      July 8, 2011 1:30 am

      And repudiate the rest.

      Yr suggestion is definitely on the right track.

      All these headlines about the entire world in debt. Everyone, all these countries in debt. To whom? How can the crisis be that everyone is in debt? How can the world end because it is in debt to itself?

      Repudiate the debt and renounce the debt supposedly owed to you, ye Christians by name. Declare Jubilee all the way around. The next morning you wake up with the same amount of food, water, resources. Maybe a few parasites aren’t quite as paper rich as they were yesterday. Who fucking cares?

      Yeah I’m a little fed up too. This is idiocy itself.

      • cometman permalink*
        July 8, 2011 9:53 am

        Exactly. Some parasites who are less paper rich is all that would happen and yet we’re supposed to believe that Armageddon is around the corner if the bankers don’t get their pound of flesh.

        Here’s the one that really got my hackles up and prompted my comment above about joining the bastards. And since it’s a Supreme Court decision it sets a precedent for future behavior by these crooks – Top court rules for Janus in securities case.

        In a nutshell, some investors sued Janus because Janus lied to them and knowingly making false statements to potential investors is (or was) illegal. But the Supremes ruled that it was a subsidiary of Janus who made the false statements and the subsidiary was just a spokesperson for the parent company and therefore the parent company was not liable. What the hell kind of assbackwards “logic” is that?!?!?!?!?!? So now the Supremes have given these crooks a blueprint for how to fleece their customers with absolute impunity in the future. I’m thinking that the Cometman Corporation should not be held liable for the actions of cometman the spokesperson either, and if that means a bunch of credit card companies get fleeced along the way, tough shit – that’s just one of the costs of doing business. The precedent has been set!

        • cometman permalink*
          July 8, 2011 12:50 pm

          Note to self: when implementing the Cometman Corp. plan, be sure to use some of $$ taken from credit card parasites and use it to donate to political advocacy groups. That way you can have your buds in Congress make sure you won’t be audited – I.R.S. Drops Audits of Political Donors.

  4. cometman permalink*
    July 7, 2011 12:43 pm

    Grizzly bear 1, hiker 0. Those always make me feel that some balance has been restored in this crazy world.

    In other news, how much large cosmic masses appear to weigh depends on the methods used to weigh them. “Missing” mass is what has brought about the theories on dark matter and other measurements related to mass have been used to show that the universe is expanding. I’ve always wondered how astronomers could really be sure they’d seen everything that was out there. In recent years, the more we can see with ever more sensitive instruments, the more confusing the universe appears. Is it made of strings, branes, expanding forever, speeding up, slowing down, who knows? I suspect though that Fred Hoyle is chuckling somewhere….

  5. artemis54 permalink
    July 8, 2011 9:25 am

    Chile bans shark finning. The vote in congress was unanimous.

    Finning is also now banned in the Bahamas. This is a no brainer for a country that relies on tourism for half its GDP.

  6. artemis54 permalink
    July 8, 2011 9:56 am

    The WikiLeaks You Missed

    I like the Indian MP with $25 million “lying around the house” in case of emergency need for a bribe or payoff.

    • cometman permalink*
      July 8, 2011 10:15 am

      Nice. I enjoyed Chavez sticking it to the US fast food companies. Not sure why that is supposedly “bizarre”. And the diplomats calling his reaction “comical” (mentioned in this link). Yeah, it’s a real laugh riot that some people might want fewer burger chains and more rain forests so the world doesn’t turn into a fucking desert.

  7. artemis54 permalink
    July 8, 2011 10:08 am

    From California Academy of Sciences: Penguin Cams! Feeding times 10:30 am, 3 pm Pacific

    Audio during feeding times.

    Also available as free phone app.

    • cometman permalink*
      July 8, 2011 12:51 pm

      Gonna put that one on the sidebar links. Thanks!

  8. cometman permalink*
    July 8, 2011 1:02 pm

    Some notes-

    Nice to see Rupert Murdoch getting some comeuppance in the UK. Saw one estimate that said his family likely lost a few hundred million just on Wednesday when they shuttered one of his papers due to fallout from the scandal. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy! Hopefully my cancellation this week of the DirectTV service I never wanted to begin with makes it hurt just a little bit more.

    NATO begins bombing oil facilities in Libya. The hypocritical justifications for the action are really astounding. One example –

    Rear Admiral Harding stressed that only the refuelling facilities were being hit and not the oil tanks. Speaking at Nato HQ in Naples, he continued: “It is not the case that this will be affecting babies in incubators at Brega hospital. If the hospital in Brega is being used, it is being done by Gaddafi forces.”

    That seems to transalate as “We aren’t going to be harming any civilians like Gaddafi is, but if we do, they are assuredly somehow related to Gaddafi and therefore their deaths don’t matter”. Really don’t know how people like this asshole sleep at night.

    Pelosi says there will be no benefit cuts to SS or Medicare. I’m assuming that’s true only after they redefine the words “benefit” and “cut”. Why anybody would believe a word coming out of this harridan’s surgically adjusted mouth is beyond me.

  9. cometman permalink*
    July 8, 2011 1:09 pm

    Going on vacation so probably not much posting for the next week or so. Feel free to keep the place warm. Keep your gardens weeded and play nice while I’m gone :)

    I’m out!

  10. cometman permalink*
    July 18, 2011 12:55 pm

    Back from vacation and trying to catch up on what transpired while I didn’t pay any attention to the news for 10 days or so. Looks like the same old bullshit.

    A few notes –

    NASA’s Dawn spacecraft becomes the first to enter orbit around an asteroid.

    Not surprisingly, Barry tells Elizabeth Warren to go screw and she will not be appointed to head the CFPA as somebody more to the ratfucking bankers liking is chosen instead.

    The whistleblower who spilled the beans on Rupert Murdoch’s voicemail tapping scandal is found dead. No foul play suspected from the initial reports. Quite the coinkydink though, huh!

  11. cometman permalink*
    July 20, 2011 1:01 pm

    One of these days I’ll find the time to put up a new post, but for now a few more notes –

    Rupert Murdoch gets a well deserved pie to the face. The perpetrator explains why he did it.

    The FBI evidence against the now dead Bruce Ivins in the anthrax case becomes even flimsier.

    And this was fascinating – The Face of a Frog: Time-Lapse Video Reveals Never-Before-Seen Bioelectric Pattern.

    The Tufts biologists found that, before the face of a tadpole develops, bioelectrical signals (ion flux) cause groups of cells to form patterns marked by different membrane voltage and pH levels. When stained with a reporter dye, hyperpolarized (negatively charged) areas shine brightly, while other areas appear darker, creating an “electric face.”

    “When a frog embryo is just developing, before it gets a face, a pattern for that face lights up on the surface of the embryo,” said senior author Dany S. Adams, Ph.D.

  12. cometman permalink*
    July 21, 2011 12:48 pm

    Rupert Murdoch once again shows his true colors with this rather disgusting editorial cartoon in one of his papers today.

    According to Eliot Spitzer, there is already ample evidence that Murdoch has also broken US law. Yves Smith explains why the Barry’s DOJ won’t do jack shit about it – Calpers Waves Wet Noodle at Murdochs, While DoJ Appears to Be Sitting On Its Hands.

  13. cometman permalink*
    July 21, 2011 12:57 pm

    Some financial notes-

    Next round of billionaire bailouts can’t be too far off. Yves Smith notes that despite claims to the contrary, BofA (and Wells Fargo too) are still looking pretty damn insolvent – Is Bank of America At Risk of a Death Spiral?

    About the only public servant I’ve actually liked over the past two decades, Robert Reich, explains how the Dodd-Frank legislation has accomplished exactly what Dodd and Frank had hoped it would: absolutely nothing.

    Taibbi notes that the slatterns in Congress are beginning to jump at the chance to include another massive corporate tax holiday in the deal to avoid the debt ceiling which already includes slashing entitlement programs. Really wish Bernie Sanders wasn’t about the only one calling bullshit on this nonsense.

  14. cometman permalink*
    July 21, 2011 1:12 pm

    Some unrelated notes –

    How to build a better wind farm.

    In the small victories dept., a judge has dealt a setback to the tar sands project by ruling that excavation equipment cannot be transported across Montana, at least until further studies of the environmental impact are done.

    More evidence Dominique Strauss Kahn is quite the horny little weasel, with ‘weasel’ in this case used as a synonym for ‘rapist’.

    Unfuckingbelievable. Over the weekend, Bay area cops gun down another black guy for the oh-so-serious offense of not paying his BART fare. The commentary on this news is worth noting:

    The Hungarian-Marxist Philosopher Georg Lukacs once remarked that economic crises have a demystifying and revealing effect on the class relations of a capitalist economy. Capitalism is predicated on the indirect domination of the majority of people in society by a relatively small minority of the owners of the means of wealth; the indirect-ness of this domination results in a situation in which the domination itself doesn’t necessarily appear as such. In a crisis, the violent social relations that undergird the system are laid bare.

    Of course the truth of this observation has recently been on display worldwide, almost since the beginning of the economic crisis that erupted in 2008. From Greece to the UK, from California to the Arab world, street battles and their necessary consequence, state murder, are on the rise. The scale of them may be different but the problem is the same: capitalist social relations, the social relations that determine who gets what, who lives and dies, who is free and who is incarcerated, are ultimately backed up by extreme violence. When the “ideological apparatuses” that maintain the normal reproduction of social relations fail, the cops step in.

    And lastly for today, astronomers have discovered a new moon around Pluto. This is why I have questions about the problems of cosmologists with “missing” mass. Supposedly they are getting pretty good measurements of very massive galaxies thousands of light years away and finding that there isn’t enough measurable mass to account for the galaxies’ existence. And yet the same precision instruments are just starting to discover these small dark objects in our own solar system. So this cosmological dilettante would like to know how they can be sure that they haven’t missed a whole bunch of these little rocks in the rest of the universe?

    • artemis54 permalink
      July 23, 2011 2:33 am

      More on the rule of law in the rotting corpse of the United States:

      In Texas, Marco Sauceda was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine for resisting arrest in his home after police barged in and mistook him for a burglar. Mr. Sauceda does not speak English and is described as having “the mind of a child.”

      In Georgia, Raquel Nelson faces a possible 3 years in jail after being convicted of “homicide by vehicle” for jaywalking with her son. The man who struck and killed him was drunk and doped up at the time, and had two prior hit and run convictions. He served a grand total of six months for killing the four year old. The details are chilling.

      You don’t have to be a minority to experience such “justice,” but it sure stacks the deck. And everybody knows about Texas, goddamn. Texas courts have disallowed appeals on the grounds that defense attorneys were drunk or passed out, ruling that the defendant had only a right to counsel, not to counsel that was sober or even conscious.

      • cometman permalink*
        July 25, 2011 12:15 pm

        Sigh. I just don’t understand our “justice” system anymore. I’d really like to know whether the types of things you mentioned above are actually happening more often than they used to or we just hear about them now because of the interwebs.

        I thought it was unbelievable that the bay area cops gunned down another black guy. Now I’m even more incredulous after reading that the cops are now trying to claim that the victim that they murdered, Kenneth Harding, Jr., accidentally shot himself while fleeing even though none of the multiple witnesses saw or heard Harding fire a gun and no gun has been found even though several cops were in direct pursuit and surrounded him while he lay on the ground bleeding to death. If there really were a gun, which I’m pretty sure there wasn’t, you’d think the cops who noticed it would have picked it up as evidence right after the suspect dropped it.

        Really tired of this damned ‘thin blue line’. Murder is murder no matter who commits it and if the cops are shown to be lying they ought to throw those whose fired the shots in prison right along with the other rat bastards who tried to cover up for them.

  15. cometman permalink*
    July 25, 2011 12:37 pm

    A few notes –

    In order to “fix” the “debt crisis”, Congress has come up with a novel way to be even less accountable to the people it purports to represent – a shiny new Super Congress. If anyone in the US still gives a shit, the time to unleash the kryptonite and hit the streets pissed off would be NOW, not after both parties pass the goddamn austerity measures they’ve wanted to pass all along.

    Pretty good rundown of how the recent crimes committed by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway went down here.

    • artemis54 permalink
      July 25, 2011 1:12 pm

      Ah yes, the extra-legal, extra-constitutional unaccountable Supreme Council for State Security and Related Matters. It is a disgrace to even suggest such a thing, and those backing it should be hanged for treason. (I have a lengthy list.) It is an abdication of any and all responsibility.

      What if they split 6-6? Do they appeal to Pope Norquist, or let the various other gangs of DC fight it out in the streets?

      This is San Giminiagno, this is the little exurbs I was looking at this morning where everyone buys a little knob of ground and builds a house on it, with the lower ground sterilized for easier security monitoring.

      • cometman permalink*
        July 26, 2011 12:17 pm

        I vote for fighting it out in the street. Line up everyone in Congress for a death match, give each the weapon of their own choosing, and the last person standing wins. We’d be rid of quite a few useless parasites and think of the TV ratings!

        May be a lopsided fight though. Bachmann with her innate stupidity would probably turn everyone’s brain to mush in a matter of minutes just by opening her yap. And if televised, way too much potential for collateral damage there…

  16. cometman permalink*
    July 25, 2011 12:57 pm

    Here’s the best article I’ve seen so far on the end of the space shuttle program (which includes some decades old criticism on the shuttle program from cephaloblog favorite Richard Feynman!) The author writes not to praise it, but to bury it.

    The most important thing to realize about the space shuttle program is that it is objectively a failure. The shuttle was billed as a reusable craft that could frequently, safely, and cheaply bring people and payloads to low Earth orbit. NASA originally said the shuttles could handle 65 launches per year; the most launches it actually did in a year was nine; over the life of the program, it averaged five per year. NASA predicted each shuttle launch would cost $50 million; they actually averaged $450 million. NASA administrators said the risk of catastrophic failure was around one in 100,000; NASA engineers put the number closer to one in a hundred; a more recent report from NASA said the risk on early flights was one in nine. The failure rate was two out of 135 in the tests that matter most.

    A more minor quibble that I wholeheartedly agree with is that the program was not “cool”. The shuttles always looked like on overstuffed jumbo jet that had eaten too many of the shitty airline meals intended for its passengers. Who knows when the US will get any sort of manned space flight program up and running again (All stupid nationalism aside, I found this quote hilarious)-

    Our borrowing the Soyuz is like Rocky asking Ivan Drago for a lift because he backed his Thunderbird into a Dumpster.

    – but when and if the US does, I’d suggest a vehicle that’s a little more jazzy looking and, to steal an idea from NASA critic, engineer, and scifi writer Stephen Baxter, piloted by genetically engineered intelligent squid.

  17. artemis54 permalink
    July 25, 2011 1:03 pm

    One little point of pride: NW congresscritters, led by Jay Inslee and Earl Blumenauer, are blasting away with everything they’ve got against this godawful abortion of an Interior Dept bill the gop is trying to foist off on us.

    Inslee:

    Teddy Roosevelt is spinning in his grave.

    I will work for exactly one poltiical campaign next year, the election of Inslee as governor.

    • artemis54 permalink
      July 25, 2011 2:09 pm

      Turns out they were merely leading the parade. Sarbanes, Grijalva, Sheila Jackson Lee all blasting away and gop not liking it too much.

    • cometman permalink*
      July 26, 2011 12:19 pm

      He’s running next year? Good for him. One of the few I actually like.

  18. artemis54 permalink
    July 25, 2011 8:50 pm

    Before Utøya and Oslo have been cleaned up, before the body count has even been finalized, style-challenged Pepto-Bismol spokeshog Maggie Gallagher promises she and her goon squad will make a “bloody mess” of New York state before they are through:

    Classy. Note her claim of 10,000 protesters in Manhattan. Got any footage of that, you lying bitch?

    • cometman permalink*
      July 26, 2011 12:25 pm

      Don’t sowbugs and the other arthropods see multiple images through complex eyes? Could be something similar going on with that battleaxe….

      Let the people vote she says! Why is direct democracy only a good idea when it comes to advocating bigotry and not for things like whether we’d like our social safety net torn to ribbons or not?

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