Category Archives: oligarchy

The oligarchy’s latest ‘War on the Family’

https://i1.wp.com/www.mypraize.com/images/rsgallery/original/greedy_santa.jpgHere’s something I could be thankful for: the  toxic new retail trend that has stores opening on Thanksgiving Day (some as early as 6am) to attract more shoppers turns out to be . . . a bust!

Wouldn’t it be swell?

Want to see some income inequality? This is ugly

With a hat tip to blogfriend Tit4tat, here is a nice clear depiction of what’s really been going on. Most economists place the beginning of the income stagnation somewhere in the late 1970’s. And then along came Reagan; from there it was full speed ahead.

http://scotterb.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/chart.jpg

It’s all about the little guy

https://i1.wp.com/newsbusters.org/sites/default/files/main_photos/2013/August/Hannity%20Limbaugh%20O%27Reilly.jpghttps://i1.wp.com/blogs.kansas.com/weblog/files/kochs7.jpg

Never doubt that these people care deeply about the vast swath of Americans who believe their every word! Never doubt it!

They know America will be destroyed if everyone can afford health care for their kids. Destroyed I tell you!

And, according to them, they’ll save us from health care, a dismal fate, and they are brave. Brave I tell you!

  • Rush Limbaugh – NET WORTH $400 million
  • Sean Hannity – NET WORTH $39 million
  • Rick Scott – NET WORTH $85 million (down from a reported $250 million in 2010 after he spent $75 million of his own money on his 2010 campaign for FL governor and since it’s rumored he’ll spend $100 million of his own money for the 2014 election . . . puzzling numbers but then I was never very good at math.)
  • Koch brothers – NET WORTH more billions that I can count
  • Sarah Palin – NET WORTH $16 million
  • Rupert Murdoch – NET WORTH $13 billion
  • Donald Trump – NET WORTH $150 million
  • Anne Coulter – NET WORTH $9 million
  • Glenn Beck – NET WORTH $150 million
  • Dick Cheney – NET WORTH $12 million
  • Bill O’Reilly – NET WORTH $75 million
  • Newt Gingrich – NET WORTH $7 million (which is a disgrace since he’s earned $100 million since he left government)

 

A little vulgar, but an important question

And it’s not about Obama specifically; it’s about US policy that increasingly turns away from very serious threats to freedom and democracy. But of course they’re only ideals. So, you know . . .

~Liberty~

Looks like today is ‘Posting-a-bunch-of-pictures-and-graphs-day’

Like this one via cousin Liz (family day too?) – this is from her Facebook page where she says “Now it’s all coming together . . . “. So much for “Representatives’ being representative.

congress wealth

Now this IS big news

pope%20francis%20laughingPope Francis has formed a commission to investigate the Vatican Bank. What makes this move very important is that the commission is to report to him directly, and bypass the Vatican bureaucracy.

Pope John Paul I a man with a very kind face

John Paul I (he had such a kind face)

 

 

 

A number of books have been written about the corruption – and sometimes criminality – emanating from that bank.

It’s long been rumored that Pope John Paul I was murdered (in 1978) because he was about to focus attention on the bank. He was a humble man, perhaps in the style of Francis –  the first pope to forego a ‘coronation’. John Paul I lasted 33 days. He was 55 when he was found dead in his bed. (Some of the theories about his death are here.)

So this is a big deal.

Sorry FOXers, this isn’t about ‘envy’ or whatever your current word is.This is danger, a threat the future of the nation.

What David Frum called the conservative entertainment complex continues to dismiss and even mock any expressed concern about income inequality in the United States. They honestly don’t know what they’re talking about. This is one of the very best explanatory videos I’ve ever watched. It’s pretty viral right now, so you may have seen it. If not, take the full six minutes to watch; every moment of this is clear, precise, informative and ultimately of course quite alarming.

Any country that lets this continue dooms itself to oligarchy, to instability, civic unrest . . . a nasty future awaits and denying it doesn’t make it not so.

h/t friend Brian. (Nice to see you at the theatre too!)

Where is Dylan Ratigan?

Neither his website nor his Facebook page show any activity after June 2012.   Many of us remember his infamous “rant heard round the world” on his MSNBC show in  August of 2011, after which nervousness ensued in various quarters. It was full of ugly truths and made plutocracrats across the planet very very uncomfortable. And, I’m sure, angry. Shortly after, Ratigan abruptly announced he was ending the show and said he’d be launching some kind of collaborative activist entity. He put up a website, got on the Twitter and FB, sold his loft in NYC and went – where?

Here is a vid of the rant, and  his own follow-up post about it. The transcript itself is below the fold if you would rather read, but the passion in the video is powerful and I think it’s well worth the three plus minutes of your time.

I picked up most of this at a blog called The Golden Age of Gaia which is, unsurprisingly given the name, a very metaphysical place. (The post is here.)

Dylan Explains his rant:

I’m Mad As Hell. How About You?

August 10, 2011

Yesterday, on TV, I exploded. I spent two minutes giving a primal yell at our political system, demanding the extraction of our money and dignity end. It was my most heartfelt and emotional moment on television, ever.

And the emails poured in. I hit a chord, because it’s something we all feel. Take a look.

With the markets in turmoil and the global financial architecture groaning under the weight of fraud and corruption, it’s a good time to think about what leadership would look like. Believe it or not, we have had good leadership, purpose, integrity, and aligned interests in this country.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy faced a dilemma — how could he direct our intense competitive passion with the Soviet Union in a direction other than war? The answer was his call for America to beat the Soviets to the moon. Kennedy understood power; if he did not lead us towards peaceful productive competition, that same animus would have turned violent (see this key memo on the real rationale for the space race). So he took the passion and focus of our society, the technology of war and missiles, and turned it into a great mission to explore space. He gave us a shared goal.

But that’s not the full story. Kennedy also demanded we use the finest scientists and engineers to design the rockets, and made sure that the path to the moon was based on the best possible solution to get there. For large rocket boosters, he was open to chemical, nuclear, liquid fuels, or any combination. He did not put a commission of astrologers in charge, and he did not put political cronies with no scientific background in charge of designing the rockets.

Continue reading

WalMart ought to try it

They’re up and running now and the Walton family own more wealth than 40% of the country combined.

(Via Brian from NYC, a once fellow-blogger and WW commenter, who now seems to have an actual life, so the only time I catch up on what he’s doing these days is on facebook which is where he posted this.)

The arc of history sets the narrative. Not presidents.

Now that we’ve heard from the candidates, here’s some reality. This overshadows everything. It’s not a national problem – it’s a global problem like so many of the other challenges we face these days. As has been said, by whom I cannot remember, ‘demographcs is destiny’.  Which may be why the increasingly insular plutocrats of this globe are systematically separating themselves from the rest of us. They know very well what’s happening and will create their ‘safe zones’.  Soylent Green guys, Soylent Green. (I really have been in a foul mood. Working on it.)

Age_5_And_65

 

 

 

Let us entertain you

This exchange is from a chat below with Jim Wheeler on the state of the media. I’m sharing it here because my reply to Jim pretty much summarizes my  own evaluation of the current state of TV “news”.  (Also because copy/paste is this lazy woman’s way of posting some thoughts even from my current land of Unbloggistan.) I agree with everything Jim said.

JIM: Faux News is solidly in the grip of conservative politicians, and those politicians are solidly in the grip of corporations. That includes not only the Military Industrial Complex and the Medical Industrial Complex, but also Big Energy, a,k.a. Big Oil and Big Coal. Thus we are seeing the ramifications of the Citizens United SCOTUS decision made real in what we used to think of as television journalism but which has now become a form of corporate oligarchy. Profit trumps environment and the future is never more than one fiscal quarter away.

MOE: The traditional network news shows are just shells, filling their 21 minutes a night with a few headlines, some syndicated video and a few press releases from the likes of Big Pharma or the military about cool new things. CNN is useless; they simply do an awful job (and until they remove Wolf Blitzer from the air, I cannot watch). FOX, as you say, is indeed in a class by itself, happily acting as transmitter of whatever meme suits that oligarchy. And of course, changing the narrative as instructed and  doing it with absolute aplomb. MSNBC started out well, but seem now to be doing the ‘outrage of the day’, all day. Even so, they still have some good shows, Chris Hayes weekend show being the very best because it’s’ not the same old people, and is always about things that aren’t talked about elsewhere.

That said, my secret vice is still Chris Matthews. I cannot quit him. He’s frequently fact-challenged or ignorant of the current state of a story, but the guy is passionate, loves politics, loves the minutia of government and knows his political history unlike anyone else on air. I forgive him a great deal because of that.

Ultimately, we agree that since the majority of people get their information from TV, it’s not looking to good for the future – an ignorant citizenry, no sense of civics . . . it’s all Monday Niight Football.

Thank you Ann Romney for the confirmation

Last week I said this:

Romney is increasingly sounding like someone who believes that whatever he chooses to share with the electorate ought to be enough for them. Noblesse oblige and all ya’know.

Yesterday Ann Romney said this.

Ann Romney dismissed concerns about her husband’s tax returns Thursday, contending that the two of them have “given all you people need to know.”

. . . “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life,” she added later.

I don’t think it could be any clearer – we’re little people and we should just be satisfied with what they choose to let us know. It’s really not our business. Just like, as she says, it’s not our business how they live their lives..

You might want to check the Republican platform Ann – it’s all about how your party thinks we should we live our lives. It’s conservative orthodoxy that a morality, apparently a Christian inspired one, must be imposed upon those of us who don’t fit.

Also, I want to know if you guys wear that magic Mormon underwear. Because if you do, isn’t that likereligion requiring men wear a beard and women cover their heads? Isn’t that kind of like Sharia?

Suck on this ALEC. Your day is passing.

Sometimes the blinders are lifted. And sometimes people do the right thing. ALEC is bleeding members. Really important members. Take that you damn NRA.

Now maybe a few of our State legislatures might try writing laws themselves again, if they haven’t forgotten how.

Five more companies, including Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), the No. 1 computer maker, have left the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) since the Feb. 26 killing of Trayvon Martin, 17, in Sanford, Fla

ALEC is a Washington, D.C.-based group that lobbies for laws in state legislatures, including the “stand your ground” law. George Zimmerman, 28, who’s been charged with second-degree murder in the case, has cited the law as part of his defense.

The others to resign are CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE), private MillerCoors LLC and BestBuy (NYSE: BBY), respective giants in drugstores, tractors, beer and electronics retailing.

Last month, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), the No. 3 PC maker, quit ALEC after the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and other liberal groups launched anti-ALEC activities. Nearly 30 companies and nonprofits have quit by now.

Make the insanity stop – or give me his job, and then I won’t care

(I’m pasting-in this clip from the WSJ to show that this  is a bona fide story and not something out of a Muslim commie Kenyan anti-colonialist way gay anti-American dream factory.)

Despite his short-lived tenure, Mr. Johnson will receive exit payments worth as much as $44.4 million, according to Duke.That includes $7.4 million in severance, a nearly $1.4 million cash bonus, a special lump-sum payment worth up to $1.5 million and accelerated vesting of his stock awards, according to a Duke regulatory filing Tuesday night. Mr. Johnson gets the lump-sum payment as long as he cooperates with Duke and doesn’t disparage his former employer, the filing said.

The Duke board voted for Johnson’s resignation, and since Johnson was eligible for severance if he quit for “good reason,” he is able to collect his $44 million. Grist calculates that Johnson’s pay package comes out to $5.5 million per hour, if he actually put in a full 8-hour day.

Clear enough? Any questions?

This is Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, testifying in front of Congress today. See the cufflinks? Like them? They carry the seal of The President of the United States. Doesn’t matter which president – could be any one of them. (Good looking guy though . . . )

Onward, Christian soldiers, with your pitch-perfect suicide mission

When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the American flag and carrying a cross.”                                                               Sinclair Lewis

Chris Hedges wrote this article in 2007 –   before there was a Tea Party, before the world economic meltdown, before the dysfunctional congress . . . and before Citizens’ United.

Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told his students that when we were his age — he was then close to 80 — we would all be fighting the “Christian fascists.”

. . . He was not a man to use the word fascist lightly. He had been in Germany in 1935 and 1936 and worked with the underground anti-Nazi church, known as the Confessing Church, led by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Adams was eventually detained and interrogated by the Gestapo . . .

Adams understood [then, in 1988] that totalitarian movements are built out of deep personal and economic despair. He warned that the flight of manufacturing jobs, the impoverishment of the American working class, the physical obliteration of communities in the vast, soulless exurbs and decaying Rust Belt, were swiftly deforming our society . . .

The mounting despair [now] rippling across the United States, one I witnessed repeatedly as I traveled the country, remains unaddressed by the Democratic Party, which has abandoned the working class, like its Republican counterpart, for massive corporate funding. . .

. . . the powerbrokers in the Christian right have moved from the fringes of society to the floor of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Forty-five senators and 186 members of the House before the last elections earned approval ratings of 80 to 100 percent from the three most influential Christian right advocacy groups — the Christian Coalition, Eagle Forum, and Family Resource Council

Again, he wrote this in 2007. And I agree with him, it’s the thing I fear most, and now our stateless corporate oligarchs have been given the gift of the Tea Party as hapless ground troops. And the poor sods will celebrate in the streets when they take Congress.

I’m in a very bad mood.