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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 07/29/2012 - 08/05/2012
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Gore Vidal: The only regime change that need concern [us] is in Washington.

i've been waiting for the right quote to mark the passing of gore vidal... it's in the post title taken from the following excerpt of an essay he wrote for the nation magazine in july 2002...

from common dreams...
[N]o matter how corrupt our system became over the last century--and I lived through three-quarters of it--we still held on to the Constitution and, above all, to the Bill of Rights. No matter how bad things got, I never once believed that I would see a great part of the nation--of we the people, unconsulted and unrepresented in a matter of war and peace--demonstrating in such numbers against an arbitrary and secret government, preparing and conducting wars for us, or at least for an army recruited from the unemployed to fight in. Sensibly, they now leave much of the fighting to the uneducated, to the excluded.


Despotism is now securely in the saddle. The old Republic is a shadow of itself, and we now stand in the glare of a nuclear world empire with a government that sees as its true enemy "we the people," deprived of our electoral franchise.

he will be sorely missed...

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Headline of the day from Germany: 'Romney Has Already Disqualified Himself'

ya gotta love it...

from a round-up of german views on romney's big european adventure 

from spiegel online international...

'Romney Has Already Disqualified Himself'

Center-left daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

"Travel educates. As a result one should assume that Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger of Barack Obama, wants to learn something during his visit to Israel. Wrong! Almost everything that the candidate organized in Jerusalem fuels the impression that he doesn't want to try understanding how complicated the Middle East situation is. Instead, Romney paints the crisis region in black and white: Israel is good and the rest -- the Palestinians and the mullahs in Iran -- are lumped together."

"This one-sided world view is less dumb than it is coldly calculated. Romney is soliciting campaign donations in Jerusalem (the minimum price for two plates at breakfast is $50,000.) And he is ensnaring Jewish voters at home."

"The trip to Israel may help Romney in the short-term. But in the long-term the Republican has done damage. The Middle East needs the US as a mediator. As such, the presidential hopeful has already disqualified himself."

how wonderful that we can send a candidate for arguably the most powerful office in the world to represent us in europe and display his masterful command of foreign affairs and diplomacy... it certainly makes ME lean toward supporting the guy, doesn't it do the same for you...?

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

When the 2012 election is over, here's who will own the country (not that they don't already)

our overlords...

Meet the 26 Billionaires Buying the 2012 Elections | By Sen. Bernie Sanders

So far this year, 26 billionaires have donated more than $61 million to super PACs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And, that’s only what has been publicly disclosed.

This $61 million does not include about $100 million that Sheldon Adelson has said that he is willing to spend to defeat President Obama; or the $400 million that the Koch brothers have pledged to spend during the 2012 election season.

These 26 billionaires have a combined net worth of $146 billion, which is more than the bottom 42.5 percent of American households (equal to nearly 50 million families in the United States).

note: there are only 23 listed because #2 includes the three koch brothers and #12 includes two marriotts...
Here is a list of the billionaires:

1. Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands Casino, is worth nearly $25 billion, making him the 14th wealthiest person in the world and the 7th richest person in America.

While median family income plummeted by nearly 40% from 2007-2010, Mr. Adelson has experienced a nearly eightfold increase in his wealth over the past three years (from $3.4 billion to $24.9 billion).
Forbes recently reported that Adelson is willing to spend a “limitless” amount of money or more than $100 million to help defeat President Obama in November.

While $100 million sounds like a lot, it equals the same percentage of Adelson’s wealth that $300 to $400 does for the typical middle class family (with a net worth of about $77,000).
Sheldon Adelson owns more wealth than the bottom 40.2% of American households or 47.2 million American families.

2. The Kochs (David, Charles, and William) are worth a combined $54 billion, according to Forbes. They have pledged to spend about $400 million during the 2012 election season.

3. Jim Walton is worth $23.7 billion. He has donated $300,000 to super PACs in 2012.

4. Harold Simmons is worth $9 billion. He has donated $15.2 million to super PACs this year.

5. Peter Thiel is worth $1.5 billion. He has donated $6.7 million to Super PACs this year.

6. Jerrold Perenchio is worth $2.3 billion. He has donated $2.6 million to super PACs this year.

7. Kenneth Griffin is worth $3 billion and he has given $2.08 million to super PACs in 2012.

8. James Simons is worth $10.7 billion and he has given $1.5 million to super Pacs this year.

9. Julian Robertson is worth $2.5 billion and he has given $1.25 million to super PACs this year.
10. Robert Rowling is worth $4.8 billion and he has given $1.1 million to super PACs.

11. John Paulson, the hedge fund manager who made his fortune betting that the sub-prime mortgage market would collapse, is worth $12.5 billion. He has donated $1 million to super PACs.

12. Richard and J.W. Marriott are worth a combined $3.1 billion and they have donated $2 million to super PACs this year.

13. James Davis is worth $1.9 billion and he has given $1 million to super PACs this year.

14. Harold Hamm is worth $11 billion and he has given $985,000 to super PACs this year.

15. Kenny Trout is worth more than $1.2 billion and he has given $900,000 to super PACs this year.

16. Louis Bacon is worth $1.4 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

17. Bruce Kovner is worth $4.5 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

18. Warren Stephens is worth $2.7 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

19. David Tepper is worth $5.1 billion and he has given $375,000 to super PACs this year.

20. Samuel Zell is worth $4.9 billion and he has given $270,000 to super PACs this year.

21. Leslie Wexner is worth $4.3 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year.

22. Charles Schwab is worth $3.5 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year.

23. Kelcy Warren is worth $2.3 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year.

we will all be working directly or indirectly for these people (if we aren't already)...

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Larry Summers wanted a flagging economy so he could torpedo Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

this goes back to a point i've made countless times here... there is nothing whatsoever incompetent about how our super-rich elites are running the show... the constant carping about incompetence under george bush made me crazy... those bush administration bastards knew exactly what they were doing and so do the bastards running the obama administration... they're carrying on with the same agenda that's been vigorously pursued since ronald reagan - shredding of the social contract and making sure that those who have the money and the power not only keep it but add to it significantly... and, guess what...? it's working splendidly...!

What [Obama’s chief economics advisor, Lawrence Summers] wanted was exactly what he got, a slow, underperforming economy with high unemployment and huge deficits. Does anyone really think that an economist with Summers’ impressive education and experience could be $1 trillion off in his calculations? (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was eventually whittled down to $787 billion) It’s ridiculous. Summers wanted a flagging economy so he could torpedo Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These were the targets from the very beginning.

As for Obama, well, he probably figured that the $800 billion fiscal package would be enough to carry him over the finish-line in the 2012 elections, but not so big that it would subvert the goals of his chief economics advisor who was beholden to Wall Street and big business. In truth, Obama wanted the same thing as Summers, a justification for attacking the meager programs that keep the elderly and vulnerable from destitution.


Obama could allocate $300 billion per year to rehire the 650,000 teachers and other state and local workers who’ve been laid off since the crash. That would be the easiest thing to do. Skip all the red-tape connected to infrastructure and gov job’s programs and just rehire the people who got their pink slip after the crash. The money spent on jobs would more than pay for itself by raising state revenues and boosting economic activity by many orders of magnitude.

Have you seen a graph of how many (state and local) jobs have been lost under Obama? It’s shocking! Take a look:
We need to get these people back to work so they can feed their families and pay the bills. If we can afford $11 trillion to bail out crooked bankers, we can certainly afford a measly $300 mil for hard-working middle class families. It’s just a matter of priorities.


Obama is just as committed to gutting Social Security as Romney. The only difference is that he’s a better pitchman. Much better.

and where do you suppose all that money will go after social security and medicare lie in ruins...? hmmmm...? that's right... the social darwin .0001% are closing ranks, raising the drawbridge, flooding the moat and heating up the barrels of oil... when the peasants finally storm the castle, they want to make sure their fortress is impenetrable...

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The psychologically destructive conundrum of war: ’Thou shalt not kill’ vs. ‘Go get ‘em and kill for your country’

bill moyers...

What It’s Like to Go to War

excellent interview... i wish everyone could listen and absorb this kind of thoughtful exchange about the ugliness of war...

as a vietnam army vet and with 8 visits to afghanistan under my belt (fortunately not connected with the military), i never cease to be amazed at how constricted and narrow is the "news" reporting from the regions where our prized young adults and the future hope of our country are being psychologically scarred, physically wounded and dying... not only is our media reporting all about glorifying our troops and body counts (theirs and ours), it is also conspicuous in its complete disregard for the fact that the "enemy" consists of fellow human beings who, for the large part, want nothing more than we want - food and clothing for their families, a roof over their heads, access to education and health care, the chance to live in peace and quiet, and the opportunity and means to support themselves... dehumanizing those we are told we must kill is just part of the brainwashing...

i have received my health care from the veterans administration for the past ten years and it is among the finest health care i've been privileged to receive... i would strongly recommend that every american citizen should regard it as his or her sacred duty to spend one hour a year in the lobby of a va hospital to personally witness the ceaseless parade of human wreckage that is the legacy of our endless wars...

as a final comment, i object strongly to the use of the term "warriors"... in our society which has already been heavily indoctrinated to accept endless war as a way of life, substituting terms like "warriors" and "warfighters" for "soldiers" and "members of the military" is a subtle means of further glorifying the means by which our rich elites send off struggling members of the lower classes to insure that their access to even more riches goes undisturbed...

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