Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Victor Laslo Moment


In Casablanca there is a scene where Victor Laslo, defying the Nazis gets the orchestra to play the national anthem of France to drown out the germans singing their own national songs. Everybody who was previously afraid to say anything stands up an joins in. They are part of something now. They no longer believe they are isolated and on the margins.

That moment has arrived. Whoever stands up now and demands the orchestra start playing over Gutless Wonder Bush and the Fox channel gets to be the hero. And not the usual everyday Best Daddie Ever Mug hero either. We're talking Patrick Henry status here.

The naked emporer is singing, a handful of sycophants are singing with him. Sixty percent of the country is not. There's the orchestra, the majority of the room is waiting. Who will stand up?

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Downtime

Too busy keeping up with FireDogLake, the best source on the web for following traitorgate, and the phenominal commentary by Digby and Tristero here

The analysis and commentary over this last month has been so accurate that you could calibrate scientific instruments with it.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

US Business Reporting - Got Perspective?

Business reporting sucks post #1
GM CEO Rick Wagoner: "health benefits add a staggering $1,500 to the price of every vehicle GM makes."
GM has 14 employees per car manufactured. Toyota has 7. Toyota manufactures more cars in the U.S.A. than GM. So does Honda.

Well the CEO of Delphi alone, say again, just this one guy costs $2.71 in compensation per vehicle. How many executives get this kind of compensation? Someone want to add it up? How about corporate jet and helecopter expense? How much would you like to bet that these stratospheric expenses from high-flying executives cost as much as the health benefits (and they get these too).

Calculations: 2.4m produced in first 6 months of 2005, doubled then divide into 13,398,000 compensation for this single executive. I couldn't find all of the executive compensation in the statements put on the web. I see them in the ones sent out for investors to vote on. Hmmm, conspicuous by its absence, yes?

Also, interest expense on their debt calculates to $3041.56 per vehicle. Now, if they didn't have these but-I'm-poor-next-to-Bill Gates one-upsmanship $10 million pay packets, maybe they wouldn't need so much debt. They don't seem to be braying about the cost of their debt which is double the healthcare overhead.

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Flat Tax My Bubble Economy

Shorter Fixed Tax debate: Will the alien visitors be friendly or not?

That's just about as relevant as what is being blathered over discussed in the mainstream media. All media outlets have become so timid about discussing reality that they continue to dance around the most obvious truths. The middle class pays very little in tax--not that there's anything wrong with that (unless that's your agenda). The middle class will continue to have the smallest burden because the pols will pander to the broadest swath of voters they can get to listen between breaks on CSI. Or vote Republican again. You have to admit, they seem to be able to sell people on voting against their interests in the name of superior stances on unpopular people/causes. Hate those gays? We'll kill cut slash reform Social Security as a returned favor!

But nobody, I mean NOBODY, will state the obvious: that paying their fair share would mean tripling (or more) what the typical family pays now. If you don't believe me, take your income, assume it's a restaurant check and figure in a 15% tip. That's your flat tax bill. Now take your jaw and pick it up and try adding some more because it's likely going to be 17% with NO DEDUCTIONS. It's flat, remember? But what about my mortgage interest? NO! Kids? NO!

If you like this arrangement, then congratulations and sympathies because 1) you make more money and 2) there are more of them than you and you won't get it. It's a stealth republican gambit and the jig is up. A stealth republican is a one or two professional income household and therefore upper middle class. They get hit pretty good with taxes. But you'll get no sympathy from those making less and no help from those making more. The 250K and up bracket can buy influence and they have--Bush lowered their rate. If you're 75K to 150K, well you get to pay more than your share.

George H.W. Bush, was an arguably successful president, but he was defeated by a almost totally unknown Arkansas governer. What little was known about the Clintons involved a history of minor but questionable personal and financial activities. But Poppy Bush put tax hikes on the table for possible discussion and lost his base. That alone is a pretty clear statement from the public--I'm all for tax fairness as long as my fairness is better than before.

So can we just stop the bullshit? There is no such thing as a Flat Tax debate. Somebody has to make up the difference and the only question is who will pay more than before. Somebody gets more of the burden and you need leadership to get a consensus on that. None of that is remotely visible on the horizon. We've got a war that nobody has the guts to address in any way other than some hackneyed sports metaphor. How many people want to retch when they hear that resolve word again.

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Brownie Gets Busted

As if you didn't already know Brownie was a liar, now we have proof. His emails have been leaked to the press. Since he has testified in front of congress to the contrary, he may have some trouble ahead. Here's my favorite part:

Later, on Aug. 31, Bahamonde frantically e-mailed Brown to tell him that thousands are evacuees were gathering in the streets with no food or water and that "estimates are many will die within hours."

"Sir, I know that you know the situation is past critical," Bahamonde wrote.

Less than three hours later, however, Brown's press secretary wrote colleagues to complain that the FEMA director needed more time to eat dinner at a Baton Rouge restaurant that evening. "He needs much more that (sic) 20 or 30 minutes," wrote Brown aide Sharon Worthy.
"We now have traffic to encounter to go to and from a location of his choise (sic), followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc. Thank you."


My God, I can only imagine this guy at some point losing it and screaming "What's wrong with these people, it's flooding! Fish swim in water, right? So what's the problem, grab a fish and have a drink! You know what they charge for sushi in D.C?

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Dream Date is Over

Like a stalker that has imagined the perfect date with the perfect woman, the neocons have spent all their effort to front themselves as the perfect match. Imagine a date where the man is so into himself that he does nothing but regale his date with his prowess the whole evening, truly believing that all of the accolades he heaps on himself will surely lead to the most beautiful night of delicious nirvana. Why even HE finds himself irresistable!

Well the goddess of illusion just said good night and gave Bush a sympathy pat before disappearing behind the door. Bush can't believe it! He's standing on the doorstep with his bag of lube and lace teddies! His codpiece swelling with Viagra induced torpidity. How could she not notice such full on manliness? Don't you know who I am?

If there is any small upside to the miserable, soulless cabal that is the Bush Administration, it is that their own insatiable greed for power and influence ultimately causes them cannibalize their own ranks when the goddess of illusion slams the door in their face. Someone's gonna pay for this! And who do they know? Only their own. Somebody fucked up and it wasn't me! The other ratfuckers know the game too. They don't want the failing collossus dropped on their head! They were just being good team players after all--they didn't drop the ball, they did as they were told.

The true beleivers are crecking up. Each is moving to a new way of looking at the situation now that defeat is looming. I didn't fuck up--Bush fucked me! I worked hard to put him in place for victory, not defeat. I was promised a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, now nothing? Fuck this shit!

Well, you reap what you sow you assholes. You picked a good muppet boy and angry puppeteer to start this conflagration and now muppet boy has decided he's Nobody's Fool. President CrazyBananas assayin' he gonna nonominate him some Harry-et Maieerrrrs dagummit. And you feel let down. Boo hoo. He's a burn artist, idiot. He burns 'em when he's done with 'em and now he's done with you. Live with it.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Traitorgate Fans - Alert

I read Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack when it first came out. It is more important as a resource now than ever since it lays out a timeline of events leading up to the war. This timeline is also part of where all of events that the criminal charges will be focused.

Consider that the White House fact checked this book in better times when they were confident of victory (or at least getting along without a prosecuter nipping at them), so there is way more detail in this book than they would ever want anyone to know today.

This is an excellent background story and reads like the best suspense fiction (since this group is strange beyond fiction). It's like being at a party and meeting people who seem normal, but then they start a video and sit in rapture as the Great Glagnar demonstrates manually cross-breeding gerbils to make a master rodent race that will fix the ozone layer by chewing latent seed pods or some bullshit--and then you're rich.

I would like to see the blogs follow up on this tidbit in the book: Hosne Mubarek calls Bush and tells him that Saddam is willing to leave Iraq if he can keep his money. In other words, a bloodless coup was offered up--and discarded by Bush himself. Bush relates this in an interview with Bob. Where have you seen this repeated?

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hoopty Rides: Considering Service Stations

Take a break from the ordinary to see this great blog. I want to retire and do something this entertaining, fun, and useful.

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