Thursday, July 31, 2008

2Truthy's Lunchbreak: Big Chief Donald Harrison Quintet

Here is a fascinating article I came across at, very special thanks to writer Larry Blumenfeld and Big Chief Donald Harrison Quintet. Enjoy!

"Well, the eighth annual Deer Isle Jazz Festival, on a tiny island in Down East Maine, was an unqualified success -- a presentation of the beauty and intensity of New Orleans music within a larger context of its social and political implications. The festival itself has been a labor of love for me, as volunteer producer since its start. This year, it blended with my commitment to and passion for New Orleans -- a city I adore, am concerned about, and miss right now, as I sit and write in Brooklyn."


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Third Party Candidates are the New Black in 2008

(Photo credits very special thanks to Elaine Meinel Supkis)
The Power of PISSED OFF People:
Third Party Candidates are the New Black

When it comes to making a compulsory selection between the “lesser of two evils” (McBama) on this hopeless and unappetizing pre-fixe menu of a two-party dictatorship for the upcoming presidential election, are you starting to feel a little like Jim Carrey in the scene from Liar Liar where he excuses himself from the courtroom to go beat himself up in the bathroom? Why do voters keep beating their heads against the wall by voting for candidates whose interests serve against them? 

In an interview with Brian Lamb on C-Span yesterday, former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges announced his support for third-party candidate Ralph Nader. LWOH readers will recall The Neo-Frat Boy Corporate State: Chris Hedges on "America's Democratic Collapse" where Hedges summarized the broken two-party system and the need for voters to get it right this time around with this excerpt of his keynote address to Furman University graduates:
“We are being impoverished-legally, economically, spiritually and politically. And unless we soon reverse this tide, unless we wrest the state away from corporate hands, we will be sucked into the dark and turbulent world of globalization where there are only masters and serfs, where the American dream will be no more than that-a dream, where those who work hard for a living can no longer earn a decent wage to sustain themselves or their families, whether in sweat shops in China or the decaying rust belt of Ohio, where democratic dissent is condemned as treason and ruthlessly silenced. I single out no party. The Democratic Party has been as guilty as the Republicans. It was Bill Clinton who led the Democratic Party to the corporate watering trough. Clinton argued that the party had to ditch labor unions, no longer a source of votes or power, as a political ally. Workers, he insisted, would vote Democratic anyway. They had no choice. It was better, he argued, to take corporate money.”

Also yesterday, Andrew Kohut’s NY Times Op-Ed article The Power of the Protest Vote simultaneously and unarguably called out voters to finally abandon the doomed McBama choir as both candidates do NOT represent the interests of American voters but instead those of corporate global elites:

Don’t be surprised if third or fourth party presidential candidates garner enough votes in November to make a difference in some of the hotly contested swing states. The polls show more than enough Republican disaffection with John McCain’s candidacy to make a case that Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate, or another right-of-center candidate could take votes away from the G.O.P. standard bearer. And on the Democratic side, Barack Obama has to worry about defections of not only Hillary Clinton’s supporters, but also of liberals, who are beginning to grumble that he is moving too much toward the center.”

The groundbreaking Nader/Gonzalez campaign continues to gain support while a few blogger Democrats welcome support for Libertarian Bob Barr, “even if it is for the wrong reasons” to grab McCain votes. As always, some of the best features of Op-Ed pieces are the comments:

“How about Nader, Barr, McKinney, not being characterized as “protest candidates” at all? When the two major party candidates do not represent majoritarian issues, those third party/independent candidates provide a viable choice.
I am so over the idea that we have to choose between Coke-D or Pepsi-R. What about Sprite, Dr. Pepper, root beer, or diet soda? For me, Nader is like filtered drinking water (i.e., good for ridding the body of toxins).
Why are we limiting ourselves to a broken two-party system that has left us in disrepair?”
— Posted by Jessica V. Cortez


“Unfortunately Barack Obama has lost my vote with his support of the FISA Bill. This incredibly fascist vote I feel will lose the election for him. I will now probably vote for Nader or McKinney of the Green Party.
Maybe the pendulum has not swung far enough too the right yet and progressives must wait some more for a true candidate of change. Obama did change something he changed my mind about voting for him after I supported and campaigned for him throughout 2008.”
The reason he won was because the people do not want politics as usual and he said he was going to be a peoples candidate. Well the FISA vote proved he is not what he claims and the votes that he got to beat Hillary came from the progressives, the alienated and the desperately hopeful.
He has thrown that away and feels that these supporters have no where else to go but they had no where to go before he became the NEW people’s candidate.
Obama has lost many many many more votes than he will ever gain with his dash for the center.
To think I had the audacity to hope!”
— Posted by Ron Meisels

While Elaine Meinel Supkis explains how and why this economy is drowning in a sea of red ink and we are going down with it, third party candidates are – make that have got to be --- the new black in 2008.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

2Truthy's Happy Anniversary

July 25, 1987

It seems like only yesterday when I insisted to our wedding planner that I wanted a bouquet of rubrum lilies and that Spiaggia Restaurant and the Drake rooms brim with them from floor to tables to ceiling.

Last night we celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary by first having dinner at an awesome Fusion/French/Vietnamese restaurant where we dined on the outdoor patio. The weather was California beautiful, the sky was crystal clear, bright blue (finally, no smoke), the candles were perfumed with honey and the floral ambiance was gorgeous -- never mind the great champagne, food and live entertainment consisting of one male singer with a guitar and a mighty fine folksy/bluesy voice.

After a couple of glasses of champagne and an appetizer, I remarked to Mr.2T that the musician ought to sing “Angel from Montgomery” and asked him to request it. So off walks Mr. 2T to the stage area and the next thing I know, I hear the singer announcing to the now packed restaurant that yours truly was going to come up and “sing the next song.”


2Truthy has NOT sung on stage for years and had a total and utter stage fright attack, waving off the guy and glaring and the smiling Mr. 2T who was now sitting with a group of people at their table in front of the stage area who are all shouting “happy anniversary, come on and sing.” I reluctantly walked up to the singer and tried to quietly explain that I had not sung for years as he started playing the opening chords to “Angel from Montgomery.” As soon as I hear the music, I fell into song and began warbling out the first bar. My heart was racing as I have never felt completely comfortable singing for live audiences. Acting, now that’s another story…After the song was over, the whole restaurant clapped and shouted “encore”. I thought they were kidding, as I was convinced that I was terrible. But my favorite worst critic said I was great and when the music guy asked me to sing another song with him, I didn’t want to press my luck so I opted out.

After dinner, we headed off to a nightclub where we bumped into a couple that we have over the years occasionally socialized with through work. One, a software sales person and the other a computer scientist. BOTH said that over this past year, they had both been laid off. One of them, the salesperson, said that she has completely left the tech industry and is now doing “body work and hypnosis.” (I don't know about anyone else, but I think I'd rather take an icepick to my head than turn into a bodyworker... I think this has something to do with the fact that I prefer being paid to use my brain.) The other said that he has taken a lesser position in a company doing software development on spec without benefits. Their joint income is now greatly reduced. If one of them does not find work soon within a corporation that provides healthcare, they will soon be without insurance completely. Other than that bit of all too-typical news, we had a great time as they toasted and roasted us on our anniversary celebration. I hope very much that this couple finds their angel.

To believe in this living in this country these days is just a fucked up, hard way to go, brimming with sociopaths and snoops but to ever get a chance to sing this song with Susan Tedeschi would be a dream come true. One can dream…In the meantime, I’ll take just being able to sing it a tenth as amazingly awesome as she does.


Barack Obama's German Adventure

“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.”
-Edward R. Murrow-

Here in the United States, we are all as anxious as anyone else to pass this current kidney stone of a president.

Meanwhile, the hills are alive...with the sound of Barry…but will a spoonful of sugar really help the medicine go down?

Americans of all stripes are most desperate to unload this horribly embarrassing, tax-payer looting, English-language mangling, war-mongering, pro-outsourcing, anti-privacy rights Mafioso of a Bush Administration -- even if it means, among other exciting ventures, taking off for the Moon with eight nations. With the presidential election less than four months away, it baffles the minds of many Democrats as to why over 18 million Hillary voters in their disgust of Obama would even remotely think about casting their ballots for the anti-affirmative action, corporate welfare, job killing Carly Fiorina suppwhoreted Republican candidate, John McCain, over the only anti-corporate welfare candidate running, Ralph Nader. If the PUMA PAC crew is so dedicated to democracy as they say on their website, why wouldn’t they all file over to a thinking anti-corporate welfare, third party candidate? As talented American software engineers, IT, financial and journalism professionals are increasingly given the sack to be replaced by millions of cheap, third-world workers to take their jobs here at home, it is a wonder why any self-described Democrat would ever consider voting for either candidate who both support outsourcing, McBama.

Last week, Barack Obama enjoyed the overwhelming support of 200,000 Germans – yes, REAL ones --- by traveling all the way over to The Hinterland to get it. (Many Team Obama fans are even wondering if annexing Germany as the fifty-first State mind not be a bad idea.) Think it- you’ll be it! This is, after all, the only candidate peddling “hope” and as sure as eating a waffle and refusing press chit-chat in a Scranton diner, one can dream… even when the harsh reality is both candidates (McCain and Obama) offer the promise of more disappearing jobs, access to healthcare, and corporate welfare programs to decimate America’s middle class. The only difference is that one candidate attempts to do it by getting Joe-Sixpack to willingly pick up a shovel and dig his own grave.

Can you guess which one?

With the Democratic Convention just around the corner, Obama’s foreign oration dress-rehearsal to a stadium sized audience was, to say the very least, an overwhelming success. Of course, the unkindest cut of all would be to remotely intimate that
Bush is an easy act to follow, and yours truly has, if nothing else -- always maintained that if any soto voce can mesmerize a crowd by saying just about anything, it is Barack Obama.

But here is what one Hillary supporter had to say in this No Quarter blog post about voting Democratic in November:

“This really isn’t about Hillary or Obama as much as it is about democracy and the democratic process (small d). I do think Obama is a bad candidate and I think Hillary is a GREAT candidate, but what has made me leave the Party is their corrupt machinations during the primaries. The undemocratic actions of these people are bad enough, but what really is pushing me toward McCain is that I believe the Democrats would not have divided their own party and stolen people’s votes to try to get this inappropriate man in the WH unless they have some sinister, autocratic agenda they want to implement.
The country has been so stratified that lots of Americans think we must have a Democrat to counter the Bush mistakes, but if you just look around at Democratic officeholders in the country, many are just as criminal and opportunistic as Republicans under Bush. I believe Barack Obama would be worse than Bush.”

After eight horrendous years of Bush Administration thuggery here and around the globe, the new Democratic “Leader of the Free World” presidential contender did more with this Berlin speech to erase eight years of embarrassment and oppression with his trademark “meet the new guy and get recharged” brand of whitewash to cover up the failed Bush Administration. But Obama’s peeps know that starving people are hungry for change and sometimes, the plebians get so hungry for “change and hope” that the starvation clouds their ability to see that what we actually have here, folks, is an economic trainwreck that feeds itself on the continued sell-off of blue collar and now white collar jobs. It is amazing how many self-described progressive blogs including AlterNet, Salon, The Nation and others go out of their way to cover up or ignore the number one issue of the day: Increasing immigration with decreasing numbers of jobs.

With skyrocketing costs of food, gas, housing, healthcare and travel, none of this would be a problem if Americans were afforded the right to at least apply their educations to meaningful, well paid jobs. People all around this country are losing their jobs due to legalized economic policies that open up the floodgates of immigration to decrease wages and take jobs and homes from Americans here while the Democrats approve and/or continue to stick their heads in the sand.

To paraphrase populist Huey P. Long to the Robber Baron industrialists and "free market" capitalists ruling America in 1920's:

"You got into the banquet room first, ahead of everybody else, and you ate all you could hold. You got plenty to take home to your children, and even to your children's children. But then you loaded up all that leftover food, way more than you could possibly eat, or your children could eat, or your children's children could eat [pause for effect], or WEAR, or USE, or LIVE IN, and you left with it! And you left an entire room of people hungry! Now you go back into that room and you put some of that food back on the table for the rest of us."

When it comes to reevaluating our free-market economy as it relates to the everyday lives of American citizens, for the first time in modern history, human capital is being equated with spare parts and traded on the open market, degrading and taking our collective human net worth along with it.

Wise free-marketers will see the economic parallels between current times and the 1920's and unless we want another Huey P. Long - style strong arm dictator, citizens here and not in someone else’s country like Germany must hold these candidates and their corporate welfare enablers accountable to demand labor reforms no matter which party takes the White House and Congress in '08. That, or get out your jackboots and goosestep right along with the One Party of Big Money Leader to digging your own economic graves.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Obama Declares War On Santa Claus (But Loves Sleepovers!)

Obama Declares War on Santa Claus

Ok, that’s it.

In addition to losing the war on arrogance and hubris, Barack Obama has stunned the nation -- no, let’s make that the whole world --- by revealing to People Magazine in this shocking interview that he prohibits Santa Claus from making annual Christmas stop-overs at their expansive, three-story Georgian style Hyde Park mansion in the leafy, exclusive Hyde Park neighborhood he calls “home” on Chicago’s South Side. Meanwhile, Barry is parading around Germany as horribly boring rumors circulate that a big, fat October Surpirse is in the works for the Democratic hopeful leader of the arrogant world.

But don’t worry. Obama wants you to believe in nobody else but him. Period. That way, you’ll no longer have to donate money to your favorite churches or charities or heaven forbid, blow it on a family member.

Determined to “teach some limits” around the Hyde Park household, the Harvard educated, iron fisted father and disciplinarian of two elaborated on the draconian measures he takes by emulating Dickens as he pays one of his daughters a measly $1 dollar "allowance" per week for performing undisclosed acts of child labor. As if that was all he did to ensure servitude, the O-Man maintains a unique McBamaScrooge policy of entirely skipping birthday presents for his two young and adorable girls each year!

In People Magazine’s exclusive interview with his wife, Michelle, and his two young daughters of Santa believing age, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee officially declared his war on Christmas and how much birthdays are for low-lifes with these words:

PEOPLE: Someone told me today that you don't do birthday presents.

Michelle: No, because we spend hundreds of dollars on a birthday party and movie tickets and pizza and popcorn ...

Barack: That sleepover is enough. We want to teach some limits to them. And their friends bring over presents.

Michelle: They get so much stuff that it just becomes numbing. Malia believes there is still a Santa Claus even though she's a little wary because some of her friends are non-believers. But Malia says, "Ma, I know there is a Santa because there's no way you'd buy me all that stuff." [Laughing]

Hahahahha, but wait! There’s good news!

The Obama’s DO have SLUMBER PARTIES and they sound soooo exciting! I wonder if Barry allows the girls to smoke? (No, scratch that thought.) Yum-yum-yummy…

So what does a slumber party at the Obama house look like?

Barack: They're pretty noisy.
Michelle: The older they get, they just talk a lot. But they're at the age where they're pretty self-sufficient. [For Malia's birthday] we're going to go swimming, see Wall-E, make pizzas, have sundaes.
Barack: I usually go for the swim but this time I want to go to the movie just because Wall-E has gotten great reviews. I find actually that children's movies are the best movies these days. But I'll probably, after that, peel off until the cake.
Michelle: [Laughs] "Peel off."

Happy Friday, Loserettes!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Matt Taibbi: It's a Class War, Stupid

-How to Hatch a War on America's Middle Class-

-It’s the HUBRIS, Stupid-

Well, Bastille Day has come and gone and so far, no signs of a repeat performance any time soon, despite the fact that the middle class is being K.O.ed’ by eating so much goddamn cake they can’t shoot their diabetic arms up straight as a few greedy corporate elites and their beltway lapdogs enjoy the show. Meanwhile, LWOH operatives are deeply wondering if the Googlers down the street at the HQ Dump have finally, finally figured out a way to “seamlessly and transparently” emit teh Kool-Aid out of the computer screens already!

Matt Taibbi’s article "It's a Class War, Stupid"
in the current issue of Rolling Stone is one of the very best short-of-tell-alls about Corporate America’s War on the Middle Class to come down the pike since Lou Dobbs’ all-but-forgotten book attempt to unite and then rile (albeit unsuccessfully) – docile America’s doomed middle class. Yours truly encourages all LWOH readers to imbibe. Taibbi offers an excellent account of how our government is spending two and a half billion dollars a day in Iraq which is “essentially subsidizing new swimming pools for the contracting class in northern Virginia” while my ninety year old, recently widowed aunt in Longmeadow, MA worries that this winter, she will no longer be able to afford to heat her home.

It’s all in the hubris…People like Bill Gates, to name one, must really, really hate America’s upwardly mobile, educated middle class enough to go to Congress and demand that American citizens who have invested heavily in their educations be replaced with “unlimited” amounts of H-1B visa imported workers to take their jobs. But Gates is only one of several of the “Hubris Class” who are best defined as those snivvely, insufferable corporate executives with a distinct brand of “hate thy neighbor” that is so easily spotted on any Silicon Valley outing whether it be the office, the mall, or merely driving down a city street with one of these over-caffeinated, petty and perpetually insecure Escalade drivers barreling down on anyone who might threaten their mean-spirited and bunkered existences. Why? They know that as resources including everything from oil, gas, food, titanium, uranium, stock options, affordable boob jobs and S. sea remote island vacations are on short order, they could never imagine anyone who looks like them to actually have a piece of that, too. And of course, what could possibly be more delightful than tripping over a few of those smelly, toothless homeless guys in the street on your way to Coco who used to manage your IT department? "American taxpayers who subsidize cheap foreign workers to take their jobs don't HAVE a right to a job, stupid!"

Hell breaks loose (insert shock here) all at once: On this note, does anyone wonder about the “timely convergence” of the sub prime mortgage crisis, the loss of access to healthcare, the pillaging of social security, pensions and retirement benefits and here it is – the granddaddy of them all --- the wholesale outsourcing and sell-out of our jobs from manufacturing on up to the rampant disappearance of our white collar jobs to imported third world workers to move in and take all these “problems” off the hands of the corporate overlords? Everywhere you look, crops of tenement style cheap, multi-story housing are sprouting up and covering the once beautiful mountain and ocean view landscapes in Silicon Valley to accommodate the hordes of cheap workers and their families of dubiously labeled “best and brightest” from the third world to take the jobs of educated, middle class Americans for a fraction of the compensation required to meet the standard of living in the Bay Area.

Who (as in which individuals) is behind the Great American Middle Class Sell-Out to China, India and Dubai and why is it that whenever we read such valiant attempts by journalists to paint a large picture of the Big, Bad, Corporate Wolf, why do they stop short of revealing the investigative part of the journalism that the plebes never, ever privy to knowing? You know, “investigative” as in who these actual asshats are, how much $$$ they haul, who they schmooze with, on which community committees they serve and so forth?

Take THAT, you despicable, American Middle Class Swine: During a time when heating oil, (a subject that truly frightens my elderly aunt and millions of others in this country) along with automotive transportation are “about to join health insurance on the list of middle-class luxuries”, Taibbi points out that home heating and car ownership are slipping away from the middle class thanks to exploding energy prices which he explains is “the hidden cost of the national borrowing policy we call dependency on foreign oil, "foreign" representing the Arab and Chinese nations that lend us the money to pay for our wars.” I say, this is China and India’s way of saying “we own your jobs and your houses now, so die American middle class swine.” Or something to that effect...The question is, if we didn’t borrow the money to pay for the exploding costs for foreign oil, as Matt suggests, would our problems disappear? Could be a good start -- but that’s only half of it, at best. The real problem here is not the pricing increases of gas, heating oil, food or your personal trainer but the ability to pay for it. How do we pay for things we need? Unless your name is Farquhar, most people born into families without trust funds who invest heavily in their educations and earn degrees, often more than one – do it the old fashioned way by being gainfully employed.

For all you inquiring minds, Matt uncovers an inside glimpse into the earmarked wasteland of DOD budgeting below:

“According to a recent report by the GAO, the Department of Defense has already "marked for disposal" hundreds of millions of dollars worth of spare parts — and not old spare parts, but new ones that are still on order! In fact, the GAO report claims that over half of the spare parts currently on order for the Air Force — some $235 million worth, or about the same amount Sanders unsuccessfully tried to get for the community health care program last year — are already marked for disposal! Our government is buying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Defense Department crap just to throw it away!"They're planning on throwing this stuff away and it hasn?t even come in yet," says Bernie Sanders. According to the report, we're spending over $30 million a year, and employing over 1,400 people, just to warehouse all the defense equipment we don't need. For instance — we already have thousands of unneeded aircraft blades, but 7,460 on the way, at a cost of $2 million, which will join those already earmarked for the waste pile.”

Massaging the Military budget and diversifying corporate and personal investments from fossil fuels to “Green” is only washing one hand with the other or painting broad brush strokes on the canvass of “bait and switch” to feign any honest attempt at what can be done to rescue America’s middle class from this highly orchestrated war on America's Middle Class. As long as this country is dedicated to legal policies that legally replace American citizens’ jobs with imported cheap labor, this country can look forward to joining the third world ranks of serfdom that a few elites here are pining for: Old Colonial status. In fact, with the exception Matt’s fine job of describing what a DOD earmarked wasteland looks like, I’m not so sure this article is any different than others I have read that accurately point out one aspect of “what’s going on” by paying lip service to the issue of middle class eradication and then omitting the whole who’s screwing who part and what can be done. So here it is, folks…

An Immigration Overhaul is Overdue: Resources are scare and jobs are vanishing. For the last eighteen years, a few greedy, hubris drenched elites from the Neo-Dark Ages known as Corporate America have used legal immigration from India and China to eradicate educated Americans from the labor pool, drive down wages down here, and now kick them out on the street without access to healthcare, pensions, social security, etc. What we have seen over the past two decades is a mantra of “global this and global that” which have become the buzzwords to make the Left look Right and smile while the corporate overlords pull out the rug from under the middle class. Oh, yes, we bleed for the global poor while we allow our own middle class to fall into the ghettoes of places like Obama’s Chicago S. Side digs so he and a few elites like him can disproportionately prosper at the expense of the middle class. This country needs to put the brakes on its Immigration policies that have allowed a few to personally profit from outsourcing jobs by holding every lawmaker and corporate whore responsible for this annihilation responsible to fix it. Now. This country must demand of its local, state and federal lawmakers a complete overhaul of immigration to slow down or halt the flood of cheap labor in this country when there are clearly not enough jobs and depleting resources to go around.

Americans want to work again, and do not want welfare – particularly of the corporate welfare variety -- which is the defining hallmark in this War on America’s Middle Class. Putting Americans to work again may not be a hubris soaked, corporate executive’s dream come true, but these assholes have sucked the air out of the room for the past two decades. It's time for guys like green businessman Al Gore, who is BFF to these hacks, to find a humility and sense of community backbone and take these immigration attorneys and the corporate execs they rode in on to the wood shed to overhaul this whole croc of a GREAT AMERICAN LABOR SHORTAGE ruse with reforms to navigate our way out of this Neo-Dark Age run not by sociopathic, twitty, corporate ghouls in Escalades.

A good friend of yours truly who owns a software company has repeatedly said this over the years, “Make enough money and you can afford what you need.” Simple enough, and how true. Everything is possible with good paying jobs, but for some reason, the closest thing that our lawmakers and corporate executives come near to the topic of “investing in society” is NOT investing in our own CITIZENS ande local communitites, but rather in somebody ELSE’S citizens via importing cheap workers from third world culture here. To better understand what this means, Taibbi’s article provides an example of how carefully lawmakers reveal that it is NOT our own CITIZENS whose needs should be invested by quoting Bernie Sanders with this soundbite: "Corporate America is going to have to reinvest in our society," says Sanders. Ok.

Reinvest”? What exactly does Bernie Sanders mean here? – WHOSE society does he refer to? Invest in WHAT and/or in WHO? I suspect he is referring to the transfer of fossil fuels to Green Tech, a wildly profitable, lucrative scheme for those with the right contacts. Of course, the only beneficiaries of the emerging green tech set are those showered with options and the imported, cheap workers the Colonial Class is hell-bent on bringing over here by the millions to take the jobs, healthcare and homes from the American middle class citizens. More have/have not talk and nothing more. The next time Sanders visits Silicon Valley, how about a few self-described progressives hitting up Pampas for lunch with a few hubris soaked V.C.’s to see what they have to say about putting the brakes on imported cheap labor for at least fifty years? I would love to be fly on that wall. Hmph. Maybe I’ll organize the outing.

Yes, Matt is absolutely right. It’s a class war, only I’ll stop short at calling anyone stupid who actually gets “IT’S THE HUBRIS, STUPID.” Taibbi concludes the article by summarizing the political abyss, asking us to, at the very least, question where our tax dollars are going and to redefine the “national interest” as he most truly redeems his humility mettle:

“These fantasy elections we've been having — overblown sports contests with great production values, decided by haircuts and sound bytes and high-tech mudslinging campaigns — those were sort of fun while they lasted, and were certainly useful in providing jerk-off pundit-dickheads like me with high-paying jobs. But we just can't afford them anymore. We have officially spent and mismanaged our way out of la-la land and back to the ugly place where politics really lives — a depressingly serious and desperate argument about how to keep large numbers of us from starving and freezing to death. Or losing our homes, or having our cars repossessed. For a long time America has been too embarrassed to talk about class; we all liked to imagine ourselves in the wealthy column, or at least potentially so, flush enough to afford this pissing away of our political power on meaningless game-show debates once every four years. The reality is much different, and this might be the year we're all forced to admit it. And while we've all heard stories about how much waste and inefficiency there is in our military spending, this is always portrayed as either "corruption" or simple inefficiency, and not what it really is — a profound expression of our national priorities, a means of taking money from ordinary, struggling people and redistributing it not downward but upward, to connected insiders, who turn your tax money into pure profit.”

Memo to Matt: This white collar labor shortage myth is a croc.

Let's see if Rolling Stone's humblest dickhead -- so far with a pair --- will take a closer look at who's driving this war on America's educated middle class and begin the dialogue on this class war against our neighbors.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

MillerCoors Merger: Chicago New Home for Beer Behemoth

-99 Bottles of Swill on the Wall-

Chicago, IL (AP) Bottoms up, everybody! MillerCoors, the newly merged entity forged between Miller Brewing and Coors Brewing—has announced it will locate its new headquarters along with an expected headcount of 300-400 employees to downtown Chicago. Roll out the barrels, DraftFCB! Let’s drink to the proposed River North location!

So how much taxpayer money courtesy The Department of Commerce (better known as Rod's Goodie bag) did Blago dispense on the beer behemoth’s invite to the Windy City? Here’s how much. With substantial state and local subsidies, MillerCoors reportedly was pledged $18 million in state assistance, including $17.5 million in corporate income tax credits (over 15 years), a $500,000 grant for capital improvements, and $325,000 for employee training. The City of Chicago will provide between $2.5 million to $5 million in tax increment financing, depending on which of the three downtown Chicago sites offered the company is selected.

Plenty of rumors and intrigue may be swirling and hurling as Mayor Daley and other leaders cite major gain for the region’s economy, but the deal has raised a cloud of suspicion about the role of public subsidies in business location decisions.

Why Chicago? One unidentified, completely shit-faced former trader overheard an imaginary, completely off-the-wall, unidentified insider hallucinate at a seedy Michigan Ave. watering hole called Spiaggia Cafe that Chicago's "access to an attractive base of talent (doublespeak for more hot ladies and metrosexuals per sq. mile than Milwaukee), transportation (code for “try finding a freakin’ train that runs after midnight in Golden”) and business resources (here it is again…access to Rod’s Goodie Bag!!) made the Dallas location look like a "twist off top" compared to Chicago!

With Chicago landing MillerCoors at a price of over $20 million in state and city subsidies, another question in economic development circles is raised as high as the glass in your hand: Would it have come here anyway, even without an aid package?

The high life: Why does 150,000 square foot of office space (approx. cost $30M to build) and 400 management and senior management jobs for a company which is wildly profitable, merit $25.5M in tax give-aways? More corporate welfare at taxpayer expense? We don't know! But we DO LOVE beer!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Floating Down the River Styx: More Prattle for the Plebes

-An Inconvenient Trip Down the River Styx-

Oh goody! A Lou Dobbs video (above) and maybe this time, America’s educated white collar plebes will finally stop getting their style cramped and their vibe chilled with the help of recent “The Uprising” book author David Sirota who used to talk about the Great Labor Shortage Lie and the Great Labor Shortage Myth to find out “who’s screwing who…” as healthcare, jobs and houses are being yanked away (surpise!!!) by a few elites from millions of America’s white collar middle class…

Let’s watch and see…

David Sirota appeared last week on Lou Dobbs Tonight along with authors David Cay Johnston and Paul Muolo who all delicately, and with gravitas politely discussed how this country is most seriously going to hell amidst the sub prime mortgage fiasco as Dobbs indirectly queried whether or not we are already rafting down the River Styx yet. Of course, no voices were raised and a good time was had by all -- but for what must surely be the overwhelmingly entertained viewing audience, many questions were once again, predictably left unanswered. Throughout the discussion, plenty of buzzwords like angry, lobbyists, energy, gas prices, mortgage crisis and anger, junk bonds, SEC and "the rich" flew freely but never once were any names named. But that's ok. It's not like this is Entertainment Tonight or anything, right?

In the above video, Sirota pays current affairs lip service to the Democratic presidential candidate Obama’s support of the Nazi – snoop inspired FISA bill since it is, after all, a “free” issue in that no money is changing hands or food is being taken from the mouths of babes. In this push to merge partisanship (read “funds and investment” into the inevitable bi-partisan, One Big Party of Money, most people on the Left still support Obama (Sirota had endorsed Obama) despite Obama’s obvious ties to the GOOGLE backed corporate trough to censor and police privacy. In other words, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows to figure out that Obama is the corporate marketers dream product/candidate. Forget the Left’s blind allegiance…The question is, who’s pulling his strings?

Dare speak about the vast sums of loot that a cadre of Democratic (oh shudder) corporate and bipartisan political elites is hauling off with via legalized immigration policies that pool the wealth of immigration attorneys that corporate elites and a few politicians and lobbyists team up with to sell out American white collar jobs and guess what? Nada discussion. Zipski!!! Off the radar! Let’s talk instead about Iraq or Darfur or the moron George Bush -- anything but what is happening right here in our own towns in our own country affecting our daily lives. Or even better, let’s get more deep throated “analysis” from the groupthink addled sycophants in the blogosphere who consume such prattle with gusto.

These days, have the sins of omission been downgraded to “junk status” or is it just “unsexy” for the dying breed of journalists to name names in this elitist war on America’s Middle Class?

While listening to the self-described “progressive” David Sirota (who once upon a time had an incisive thing or two to say about the Great Labor Shortage Myth) speak about the Great White Entity known as “the government”, he does so without naming corporate names of individuals and their ties to the entrenched status quo who enable or schmooze with “government” figures/individuals who collude in the sell out of America’s educated middle class through increased LEGAL immigration during a time when there are not enough jobs for our own white collar citizens due to massive layoffs. I mean, what's in a name, anyway? When enough books get written about abstract issues and buzzwords, maybe in another 150 years, people might get a clue. In the meantime, party on, talk show hosts and book authors!

It's a wonder: What are the apathetic people of this country thinking when they read daily of the continuous purge of white collar jobs for educated middle class Americans as they are sold off to the third world? Is there something in the drinking water other than guano run off?

To be sure, the sub prime mortgage crisis has made its way into the “sexy issue” category just as “illegal” immigration has.

Before her untimely death, legendary Texan journalist with a pair, Molly Ivins said this of David Sirota:

"Sirota is a new-generation populist who instinctively understands that the only real questions are "Who's getting screwed" and "Who's doing the screwing."

Let’s face it: No “uprising” is going down anywhere, anytime soon unless the plebes know who exactly is doing the screwing (I bet they don’t bank at IndyMac, either.) Unless we hear about who’s screwing who, isn’t this more empty, politico-speak bullshittainment as Hunter Thompson so notably summarized? Sorry, but yours truly learned nothing from this video other than a few guys want to sell a few books while gatekeeping their corporate masters who arm them with funds and public relations firms for just the right buzz. Swat!

The sins of omission: Watch Sirota deftly not say anything at all about the issue of corporate elites who are selling out white collar jobs to the third world via LEGALIZED immigration BY NOT MENTIONING IT where, in conjunction with disappearing healthcare access, disappearing housing, and disappearing jobs, does he once mention the war on the America’s educated middle class? That would be unsexy and what book deals/stock option tips would come of that? Does he or Dobbs, for that matter -- mention any of the corporate players like, for instance, the uber wealthy GOOGLE businessman Al Gore who schmooze with his presidential candidate pick, Gore/GOOGLE backed Senator “I LOVE OUTSOURCING” Obama. No matter. No one's really listening and besides, the green is good mantra is working out well these days for Al and his acolytes. Why, just the other day while wandering around in the the Home Depot of Foods, Whole Foods, pro-outsourcing Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth was laid out all over the place including at the check out stands. Hmph.

R.I.P. Democratic Party. When I want my car serviced, I call the dealer where I bought it. When I want to find out the best place to stay in Spain, I trust my friends for their advice based on experience. When my dog needs a good veterinarian, I rely on the best references available. And so it goes with our public servants, our politicians -- whom I vote into office: I trust that those persons possess the integrity and unmistakable dedication and intelligence to above all else represent my interests and not to personally profit by the $$$$ schmooze factor that the arrogant and hubris amongst the all but defunct Democratic Party are wont to do to sell out millions of Americans to the third world. Where there once were neighborhoods of people with conviction now stand bastions of “me-tooist” gated communities of mean-spirited, soulless shells of humans, locked and loaded with bunker mentalities and a mighty contempt for those who might be better and smarter or prettier… What a sham the greedy Democratic Party has willfully devolved into, tanking with it a few enterprising media voices who pander to the clueless plebes, however soulless the job. But with Lou Dobbs’ rare and diligent focus on the looting of the American white collar Middle Class, this video fails to offer any impetus for any uprising and is little more than public relations 101 “politics of big money” prattle with new faces pining for old places in this media enabling, One Big Money Party on their elititst snout fest at the trough.

So move along folks. There’s nothing to see here with this Lou Dobbs interview but more of the same old gatekeeping with a few public relations firms steering a few authors into all the wrong places for the plebes on this race to the bottom. Until then, as Porky Pig would say, "That's all, folks!"


Knowing When to Sail and Cut Bait: Roald Amundsen, Norweigian Explorer

Roald Amundsen July 16, 1872c. June 18, 1928
Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen was a Norwegian explorer of polar regions. He led the first Antarctic expedition to reach the South Pole between 1910 and 1912. He was also the first person to reach both the North and South Poles. He is known as the first to traverse the Northwest Passage.

During his exploration of the Northwest Passage, Amundsen most notably spent two years living on land with the Inuits in their igloo village where he learned among other things to understand that due to limited resources, he and his crewman had to move on due to the region's limited resources in the area to sustain he and his men in order for the Inuit's to survive.

Learn more in this excellent NOVA/PBS special Arctic Passage.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

China Recycles Used Condoms


Breaking News

BEIJING (ACP) – Undisclosed LWOH operatives have just learned that used condoms are being recycled into hair bands in southern China, threatening to spread sexually-transmittable diseases they were originally meant to prevent, state media reported Thursday. In the latest example of potentially harmful Chinese-made products, rubber hair bands have been found in local markets and beauty salons in Dongguan and Guangzhou cities in southern Guangdong province, China Daily newspaper said.

“These cheap and colourful rubber bands and hair ties sell well ... threatening the health of local people,” it said.

Despite being recycled, the hair bands could still contain bacteria and viruses, it said. "People could be infected with AIDS, (genital) warts or other diseases if they hold the rubber bands or strings in their mouths while waving their hair into plaits or buns," the paper quoted a local dermatologist who gave only his surname, Dong, as saying. A bag of ten of the recycled bands sells for just 25 fen (three cents), much cheaper than others on the market, accounting for their popularity, the paper said. A government official was quoted as saying “recycling condoms was illegal.”
Meanwhile, China’s manufacturing industry has been repeatedly tarnished this year by a string of scandals involving shoddy or dangerous goods made for both domestic and foreign markets. In response, it launched a public relations blitz this summer aimed at playing up efforts to strengthen monitoring systems.

Cross-posted at BlondeSense

2Truthy's Lunch Break: Turn up the Volume!

-This is cool-

Back by popular demand! Special thanks to John Scatman.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008


--Born July 7, 1940 in Liverpool-
"A Little Help from my Friends" IMHO has to be his best song, ever. Click above link to hear Ringo sing it with friends on Letterman earlier this year.

Want Cheaper Gas Prices?

-This public service announcement brought to you by Mel Toast-


How to Cheat America's White Collar Professionals out of Jobs


Politicians, corporate “leaders” and a bevy of lawyers are cleaning up like bandits as they collude against millions of educated American white collar professionals to replace educated Americans with cheap foreign labor. So far, there is no collective outcry from the public, in particular from the Democratic Party which is supposedly the party of the people. The explicit goal is “not to hire an American worker” as instructed in this C&G [Cohen & Grigsby] seminar.

During this election season, one would assume the Democrats would unite and “just say no” but so far, there is an odd silence. Both tech lobby backed leading candidates, Obama and McCain, have pledged to assist the support of this goal by raising or eliminating the H-1B visa cap.

Enter Brad Reese, who explores the Department of Labor’s audit on a law firm that has been linked to Cisco Systems in this article entitled Cisco's immigration law firm audited for improper behavior by U.S. Department of Labor. Millions of white collar American jobs are increasingly being handed over to legal immigrants with questionable skills who will work for a fraction of the compensation. Now the nation’s largest immigration law firm, Fragomen - Del Rey - Bernsen & Loewy LLP is being audited by the Department of Labor for indications that it “improperly instructed its clients who filed permanent labor certification applications to contact their attorney BEFORE hiring apparently qualified U.S. workers.”

As white collar jobs continue to disappear due to legal immigration policies designed to eliminate educated Americans from professional positions in the tech, medical, financial and media industries, will the fired CEO of Hewlett Packard, Carly Fiorina’s ominous declaration that

“No American has a God-given right to a job”

be the final nail in the coffin for the American professional middle class or will the people of this country unite against this hostile takeover?

In this video Sue Kwon at the CBS affiliate in San Francisco describes what happened to unemployed programmer David Huber, who tells the viewing audience exactly what happened when he applied for a job at Cisco Systems. Here is Brad Reese’s account of what Huber experienced after responding to an ad in the Chicago Tribune for a position:

Dave Huber gave Brad Reese details on his adventure with Cisco and Fragomen, permitting him to share regarding speaking with [Fragomen's] employee here.

"If you recall, I saw the ad on Sunday, June 3, 2007.
On Monday morning, June 4, 2007, I called Cisco's HQ in San Jose and spoke with a random operator.
I confirmed that the person I was talking to was working at Cisco in San Jose.
I asked the operator something to the effect I was trying to contact a xxxxx.
The operator said xxxx didn't work at Cisco, but that there was a xxxx who worked at Fragomen.
I had never heard of Fragomen.
(And, of course, I didn't even know about the
C&G [Cohen & Grigsby] seminar.)
So I googled
Fragomen and found out it was an immigration law firm.
I'm getting more curious now, so I decided to contact the closest Fragomen office to San Jose.
This office happened to be in Santa Clara.
I called the
Santa Clara Fragomen office, and actually spoke with a xxxx.
I asked her about the ad I saw.
I confirmed through my brief conversation with her, that she was the xxxx in the Cisco ad.
At first, she seemed open, and somewhat willing to answer my questions about the ad.
After about 2-3 minutes, I heard a sense of nervousness in xxxx  voice, and she sort of ended the conversation by saying I should just respond to the ad.
My recollection of this was that I was even more perplexed, thinking that something just wasn't right: the newspaper ad; the immigration law firm referenced in ad.
Well, I think the mystery was solved for me when I saw that
C & G video.
After about almost a month (end of June), I decided, just for grins, to respond to the Cisco newspaper ad.
I sent my resume, via registered mail, to the Cisco address in the ad.
I did get an eventual response from Cisco, which I think was a result of this specific ad I responded to with registered mail.
An Indian contracting firm contacted me about a job at Cisco in San Jose, paying the princely sum of about $30 or $35/hour.
This compensation was/is a joke, needless to say."

David Huber is one of millions of educated American professionals who have all invested heavily in their educations to be passed over for more burnt fries. This is legal because?

If Cisco is only one of many large corporations with disproportionate numbers of low wage workers who immigrate here to “do the work that Americans won’t do”, how many more of them are there?

Hey America: Still buying that myth about a Great Labor Shortage?

As long as “new media” channels continue to succeed in getting the asleep at the wheel plebes to look the other way with wedge issues to distract them, this war on America’s middle class to create a nation of serfs is working out just fine.


Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July Barbecue with Quincy, the Islamic Swine


Happy 4th of July, Everybody!

As you know, I’m a big fan of parades but I’ve decided to forgo the local 4th of July parade today and instead hold my very first annual Halal barnyard barbecue. This is my very first 4th of July barbecue since my conversion to Islam. Everybody’s invited! Here’s the formal invitation:

Halal Barbecue at the Home of Quincy, the Islamic Swine
-All Infidels are Welcome-

Quincy is the highest profile convert to Islam since Cat Stevens.
Join us for Quincy’s First Annual 4th of July Celebration
Casual attire limited to burquas or speedo swim wear and don’t forget to bring a dish and remember to veto the pork and leave the liquor in your vehicles.

Everybody is asking “Why, Quincy, why? You weren’t born a Muslim and switching religions isn’t like changing TV channels or shopping for new shoes” and things like that.

The prohibition on eating pork played a significant role in my decision to accept the stealth mission to Baghdad last year, where I successfully sniffed out the gay bomb and delivered the dirt on General Petraeus. After being escorted by members of a well-known private security firm into the Green Zone, I wandered freely around Baghdad wearing a burqa and that’s when I seriously considered converting to Islam. After all, any internet hack will tell you there is safety in numbers…

Maybe another reason for my conversion is that I have developed a fondness for Mediterranean food and am receiving deep discounts from a local Turkish grocer for anything I want along with a great hashish connection. Anyway, three cheers for the Red, White and Blue!

Stars and Stripes Forever!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"We Can't Make it Here" Anymore

18 Million Hillary Voters Are Going to go Where?
-Very Special Thanks to James McMurtry-


Is the invisible hand of the War on America’s White Collar Middle Class finally saying “fuck it” by pulling the curtain on the Democratic Party once known for uniting the People and fighting corporate welfare?

With venture capitalists crying about how they don’t want to cut in their peers at the trough, a strange convergence of forces are spinning simultaneously as the economy tanks. While the Democrats (Obama and Hillary, Chairman of the Senate India Caucus) goose-step right along with other third-world outsourcing slave labor Republicans who have all staunchly pledged their allegiance to sell out white collar jobs, guess what? It’s working! Corporate and "new media" elites and sycophants of both parties have little patience these days with the majority of white collar Americans having the audacity to demand healthcare rights for all, a right to work with good jobs, the right to lock and load and privacy rights.

Just when you thought most people are finding the political theatre of the One Big Money Party currently defined by Democrats and Republicans (Obama and McCain) beyond horribly boring, blowback from Team Hillary enters Center Stage to set up camp in the form of a political action committee known as PUMA.

Led by blogger Darragh Murphy of Boston, PUMA (People United Means Action) was launched to question and (among other things) defiantly “critique and oppose the misogyny, discrimination, and disinformation in the mainstream media, including mainstream blogs and other outlets of new media” that led to Hillary’s demise at the hands of the highly criticized DNC Michigan/Florida decision to hand Barack Obama the nomination. For a look at specific “Odds and Ends”, Joe Cannon links to this comprehensive draft offered by Annabelle at Peacocks and Lillies in the Declaration of PUMA Objections.

Speaking of “other new media outlets”…Why oh why would HuffPo’s well-known Obama megaphone, Arianna Huffington, now publicly take her horse, the Big "O" to the woodshed and openly question his *shocking* move to the center with his recent positions on FISA, gun control laws, expansion of the death penalty, and NAFTA? Kabuki moves from the self-described “progressive” or has HuffPo’s head honcho simply grown tired of the techno company, yearning again for the good old Newt Gingrich days? Not. More pleboid entertainment from the viral “new media” linked Arianna... as if “O” ever had left of center politics in mind to begin with... Further, if it were politics for the people that Arianna ever had in mind, she would surely ditch the whole load of them and opt for Nader, the only candidate who talks about the unsexy issues facing American voters like disappearing jobs and no access to healthcare. Thus spake Arianna, who says she is looking at the Obama campaign

“not through the prism of my own progressive views and beliefs but through the prism of a cold-eyed campaign strategist who has no principles except winning.”

Yeah, right. As if Arianna would ever proclaim outsourcing to be a sexy issue or anything... As James McMurtry sums sings, "let 'em eat jellybeans or let 'em eat cake."
Now we have Obama supporters questioning this whole ruse of the “O” messiah, with his key “new media” mama publicly taking him to task along with this new PUMA movement -- all Democrats, imploding from within and exploding at each other. So what’s up with this?
Would this be the time for all voters to say WTF and move to a smart third party candidate who disregards the bullshit both parties have been preaching for far too long? Would there be a “new media” push for it to take hold?

With millions of Hillary votes hanging in the balance – like, 18 million of them ---where will they all end up in November? What worries most hangers-on in what’s left of the torn and tattered Democratic Party is that the votes will go to the Evil Doer, John McCain. Never mind a third party candidate who keeps the issues affecting the majority of Americans front and center like Nader and others as catalysts of change. The Hillary inspired PUMA manifesto is indeed stimulating but neither it nor its members mention the key issues facing white collar American families today without trust funds or access to dubious green tech and social networking start up stock options: jobs and healthcare.

So the question remains: who is behind the PUMA “people united mean action” push? Hillary is Queen of the Indian Lobby in this country’s mission to sell out our white collar jobs at home to the third world. Our citizens either don't care or are too stupid to notice. In this regard, PUMA’s resurrection of Hillary helps us how again? Until PUMA takes Hillary to the woodshed to abandon this white collar job outsourcing lobby and NAFTA in exchange for cheap foreign immigrants to work for plummeting wages, there is nothing to see here other than an accelerated, formal merger of the Republican and Democratic parties into the One Big Money Party.

How to stop this war on the middle class? As Citizen Carrie clearly summarized,

“they don’t have any use for educated middle-class Americans anymore.”

As long as the Democrats (Hillary and PUMA peeps AND “O” supporters) are down with outsourcing and continue to allow Congress and corporate America to sell out jobs and suck up to the insurance lobby, these pleboids and their media enablers have no right to make noise about the fallout. Remember:



Cross-posted at BlondeSense