Daily Archives: July 28, 2011

Angry Senior

Crude Language/Angry Citizen

Alan Simpson, Senator from Wyoming, Co-Chair of Obama’s deficit commission, calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he compared “Social Security” to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats.

Here’s a response in a letter from a unknown farmer in Montana…. I think he is a little ticked off! He also tells it like it is !

“Hey Alan, let’s get a few things straight..

1. As a career politician, you have been on the public tit for FIFTY YEARS.

2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63).

3. My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a bunch of zero ambition losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would have made Bernie Madoff proud.

4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and your ilk pulled the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to age 67. NOW, you and your shill commission are proposing to move the goalposts YET AGAIN.

5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now you morons propose to change the rules of the game. Why? Because you idiots mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal money from Medicare to pay the bills.

6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why? Because you incompetent bastards spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you
come to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt.

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To add insult to injury, you label us “greedy” for calling “bullshit” on your incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for YOU.

1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political career?

2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the American taxpayers?

3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?

4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?

It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators called Congress who are the “greedy” ones. It is you and your fellow nutcases who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers. And for what? Votes. That’s right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic political careers. You know it, we know it, and you know that we know it.

And you can take that to the bank, you miserable ASS.

To which friend Gwen replied:

No doubt about it. Why doesn’t this side of the story — the accurate part — get coverage in the American corporate media. Even the best of the media lot — Rachel Maddow, and her cronies at MSNBC, and Keith, now at Current, do not broadcast this information.

I’d like to know why — except for this person, and a few others — the guts, gall and balls to tell the truth about the con played on citizens gets — not short shrift — but NO shrift (definition: to receive confession and absolution). I looked it up.

Why does the truth have to be politically correct? When someone plops dung on your head, are you not allowed to voice the appropriate expletive? >:o

Whether Social Security or a private pension fund, or as in Illinois and other states, for state employees, their mandated savings plan, the assumption by such creeps is that the American workers have been sitting on their duffs waiting for the dole for 30-50 years. Where did these guys park their brains?

And consider how many private pension funds are pulling out, short changing their retirees. And those guys want ALL retirement plans to be “in the market”? 😦

For these people there is nothing called “The Social Contract,” the unspoken arrangement and agreement from earliest tribal history where the TRIBE worked together, supported one another, and cared for those who had contributed when they no longer could.

Even the law of the jungle is more real than this “dog-eat-dog”attitude. Elephants assist their ill and aged, carefully, and lovingly, to the burial ground.
Thanks,
Gwen

LUV Newsletter

ARE WE STAYING IN IRAQ?

The Bush Administration negotiated a deal in which all American troops would leave Iraq by the end of 2011, but the Obama regime has offered to keep 10,000 troops there, according to British news this morning.

Iraqi officials, as corrupt as any client government in the Empire, have not yet made the deal, likely fearing a backlash from the Iraqi people, who have good reason to hate being occupied, but they are considering it.

President Obama doesn’t appear to want to end any of the wars, as he offers up Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to cut spending as his budget deal.

PRIVATIZING PUNISHMENT

Even as our government leaders beat their breast and whine about how we must protect the wealthy from being taxed, government privatization, with the taxpayer providing profits, continues.  Florida is privatizing 30 more of its prisons in order to transfer more wealth to the investment class in which one fourth of one percent own over half of all the investments.

This is being done because the private prison industry puts some of their wealth into campaign bribes.  The end result is that the wealthy will profit greatly through the increased misery resulting from privatized prisons, in which we are sometimes amazed that inmates even get food, since the rich could make more profit starving them.

The imperative today is to lock up more people, in order to provide more profit to those who are too wealthy to pay taxes.

Back in the ’70s, Mary Adelaide Mendelson wrote a book called Tender Loving Greed, which dealt with the scams unearthed in the nursing-home business — which had become a lucrative business thanks to guaranteed government money and those all too eager to skimp on granny and make a buck. In 1973, Jessica Mitford wrote Kind and Usual Punishment: The Prison Business, a lesson we’re doomed to learn again.

You may also seen this link on our Facebook page yesterday, about the privatization of schools and the thinly veiled motive behind the establishment of charter schools: Investors who put up the money to build the charter schools get to basically virtually double their money in seven years through a 39 percent tax credit from the federal government. In addition, this is a tax credit on money that they’re lending, so they’re collecting interest on the loans, as well . . . The result is, you can put in $10 million and in seven years double your money.

As always, follow the money. The plutocrats will squeeze every penny possible out of society — and speak from the other side of their mouths in glowing terms of a “greater good.” Yeah, right.

Borowitz Report

China Puts US on eBay

‘Government Sold Separately,’ Sales Listing Says

BEIJING (The Borowitz Report) – Showing its impatience with the debt ceiling stalemate in Washington, China today took the extraordinary step of putting the United States of America on eBay.

Officials at the online auction site said they believed it was the first time a major Western nation had been listed for sale there “if you don’t count Greece.”

In Beijing, the Chinese Finance Ministry said that it had considered waiting until August 2 to see if the US would ever pay back its multitrillion-dollar obligations, but ultimately decided to cut its losses.

“We think we’ll attract a buyer on eBay,” the Ministry said.  “Say what you will about the US, it’s still one of the top fifty countries in the world.”

The sales listing for the US contains some interesting information, such as China’s description of the former superpower as being in “fair to average condition.”

The listing also includes the stipulation “government sold separately,” which the Finance Ministry took great pains to explain.

“We thought that including the government in the sale might turn off potential buyers,” the Ministry said.  “Plus, the US government isn’t ours to sell anyway – it’s owned by the Koch brothers.”

With no bidders in the first 24 hours on eBay, China admitted that it would be challenging to unload the US, but it still held out hope that a buyer would step forward: “We’ve got our fingers crossed for Zuckerberg.”

At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney said that he understood China’s decision to sell the US, but warned that a buyer would have to turn up on eBay before August 2: “After that, the Internet gets shut off.”

Has S&P Become Our Rupert Murdoch?

Until recently, no one in the UK dared cross Rupert Murdoch thanks to his influence on the political process.And although Murdoch is going down the same path in the US, of using political power to increase his economic power, the rating agencies seem to have easily trumped him on this one.

Jane Hamsher chronicles the brazen way in which Standard & Poor’s is throwing its weight around in the budget negotiations:

Standard and Poors is evidently meeting with high-stakes gamblers and letting them know where to place their bets as they manipulate the global economy. But they are also playing a much more sinister game. Like a cat toying with a mouse, they are also inserting themselves in the political process and setting themselves up to be kingmaker in the 2012 election.

An item in Politico’s Morning Money caught my eye:

BEHIND THE MUSIC – S&P’s John Chambers has met with a number of big investors include Pimco’s Mohammed El-Erian. Apparently he is telling them he prefers Reid’s plan.

CNN’s Erin Burnett also tweets that the “source who met with Standard and Poors says SIZE of Boehner plan is the problem.MIGHT not be enough to avert downgrade,needs to be closer to $3TR all at once.”

If these reports are correct, S&P is meeting privately with big investors and giving them information that they are not giving the public about about what their research says, what position they will take, and what they intend to do with regard to a potential credit downgrade of US debt.

This appears to be “selective disclosure” to big investors on the part of Standard and Poor’s. And while putting a $4 trillion number on a deficit reduction package might be in violation of the IOSCO code of conduct, “selective disclosure” is in violation of SEC rules.

If you read the consent order issued by the Massachusetts Securities Division in June of this year (PDF), that’s exactly the activity that got Goldman Sachs in trouble. Goldman was selectively giving information to “large institutional investors” that it did not make available to the public.

Prior to Dodd-Frank, credit ratings agencies were exempted from selective disclosure regulations. Dodd-Frank removed that exemption. S&P is now subject to the same laws that Goldman Sachs is.

But S&P’s activities have the potential to be much, much more sinister than Goldman Sachs’s

An issue that Hamsher noted in an earlier post is that ratings, per the industry’s code of conduct, which S&P has adopted, is that raging agencies are not to tell clients “if you do X, you’ll get Y rating.” The rating agencies allowed themselves plausible deniability in CDO land by making their models available so clients could fit their CDOs to how the agency would look at it. But what is happening here is explicit and unabashed. Back to Hamsher:

It’s not a coincidence that Timothy Geither met with Standard & Poor’s in April to lobby them heavily not to downgrade the US debt.

Nor is it a coincidence that RNC Chairman Rence Priebus was egging S&P on, tweeting that “It is alarming that the WH would encourage S&P to suppress a damaging fiscal report for Obama’s partisan speech.” Or that Darryl Issa is out there saying “we should be downgraded.” Everything in our current environment gets reduced to a battle for partisan political advantage.

S&P is coming in on the side of the Reid plan now, even though that plan appears to be indistinguishable from the Boehner plan in just about every meaningful way. But that plan does not meet the $4 trillion number they prescribed…. its inevitable failure will be used to justify S&P’s decision to downgrade, and it allows them to shrug and say “we weren’t playing politics, we supported the Democratic plan.”

But no matter what political stagecraft is orchestrated, there is a very serious chance that a ratings downgrade will trigger an economic downturn that would cause unemployment to rise dramatically….

I don’t care whether you’re rabidly pro- or anti-Obama, a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent or a Green or none of the above. What S&P and the other CRAs are doing right now is completely illegal and outside the boundaries of their own codes of conduct. They’re acting as Wall Street’s tasers in Shock Doctrine 2.0, and making themselves the key player in determining what happens not only with the 2012 election but with the world’s economic future. They are playing a very dangerous game with the world economy that could have devastating consequences for all of us, regardless of what your partisan identification is.

Hamsher notes in an update that S&P is now piously denying that it is supporting the Reed plan, but there are too many sighings otherwise to make this claim credible.

Hamsher calls S&P a “kingmaker” and this isn’t an exaggeration given the effect their actions are having. Either way, they will shoot the economy in the head. Either the negotiators come up with package that suits their demands, which will lead to steep enough cuts that the economy will weaken in 2012, making an Obama loss highly probable (fresh polls not only show his popularity falling, but independent voters now rate the Republicans as able to do a better job on the economy). And failure to reach a deal soon before Treasury runs into cash flow constraints and/or a downgrade is almost certain to hit the economy even harder. So even if Obama were to have a brain transplant and realize that the path he has committed himself to is irresponsible and destructive, S&P has a gun to his head and will allow him no retreat.