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These are the Only Candidates We Can Field?

9:30 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

The Barack Obama faithful are enthusiastically lining up behind their man even as a healthy heap of Democrats and moderates are either going elsewhere or sitting on the fence. It’s early yet, but polls already show Obama making few inroads against a gaff-prone, non-committal, out of touch boob of a pandermeister. That is not a good thing, early or not.I’ll confess up front that I wasn’t a dyed-in-the-wool Obama man in 2008. I felt as I usually do in Presidential elections – we have more than 300 million people in this country and these are the best we can field? At one point or another I toyed with almost all the candidates and found each of them lacking – some more than others.

However, I was sure of one thing. John McTheusela and Moosilini Mom were potentially even worse than George the Lesser – and those are big cowboy boots to fill. The nation was in the crapper and a cranky, serial panderer with skin as thin as a condom paired with an illiterate, half-term governor with an expensive clothes jones would only make things worse. So, it came down to a razor-thin choice between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama…and an opportunity to be called sexist by Hillary supporters and racist by Barack supporters depending on who I eventually voted for. Either way, I was pre-convicted in the court of public “isms” with only bad choices available.

Even though neither candidate was perfect, as none will ever be, I looked at both sets of campaign promises and found each acceptable to vote for.

Prepared for the Unpreparable

Those promises aside, I felt Hillary was as prepared to become President as anyone could be for a job for which nobody is truly qualified. My biggest knock against her was a belief that Republicans would make her an even more polarizing figure than she was as First Lady and that weakness would make digging out of the Bushole even tougher than it already was.

Barack had something the Cowboy With No Hat sorely lacked for 8 years – charisma and an ability to speak with a degree of intelligence while not sounding like an ignorant, shit-kicking goat-roper wearing Presidential Seal boots. Still he had a disturbing habit of speaking with his chin up and slightly pouted lip not unlike Mussolini. I also had dim hopes he could weasel at least some bipartisanship out of the MMA ring that is American politics. However, I didn’t completely buy into the whole Hope and Change thing. I may be a skeptic, but there’s a reason they call politics politics and some sunshine in the air never lasts, especially when Mitch “Yertle the Turtle” McConnell announced getting rid of the Kenyan Communist was his first, and only, priority for the next 4 years. Mitch may be an asscake, but he is true to his word.

While the current Obamunites have many good points proving things have gotten better, the general populace is still restive for some good reasons.

Yes, the previous Crapweasel-in-Chief tanked the economy, but the O-Man’s successes since then have been modest. When you sit in the Big Chair all issues great and small become your issues on Day 1, fairness and the poor ability for Presidents to cure economic ills notwithstanding. It goes with the crappy job. Besides, Obama’s economic cures started as small retools of flawed Bushian solutions he timidly deployed and including provisions – like excessive executive pay redress – falling by the wayside. Selecting a fox from the chicken coop for TreasSec, Timmy Geithner wasn’t a way to get tough with Big Ballsy St. either.

Sure, he sneaked a sort of health care past the perpetually healthy and wealthy crowd, but he did it by conceding plenty before his minions even entered the negotiation room – a used car salesman he clearly isn’t. He also picked it as his signature issue and decided to do it as his first big order of business – a rookie tactical mistake.

Pandering Isn’t an Altogether Bad Thing

LGBT rights were a general success, though he still straddles a line between saying what’s good for gays is good for the country and waffling on his “personal” belief that letting no man tear asunder God’s assertion that marriage doesn’t apply to gays. But he got it largely through, proving pandering isn’t an altogether bad thing.

But he’s not only been worthless on my core issues, he’s actually taken the Bush line and made it worse. Civil rights and a reasonable expectation that drones won’t be colonoscoping my kiester are hardly mentioned anymore. There is still a de facto suspension of habeas corpus and you can’t talk on your unregulated phone without being tapped and spied by ubiquitous street-corner TV cameras. Watch the TV show Person of Interest for a real reality show way more true than Snooki and Co.

I still have to strip to my skivvies to catch a flight and stand in a long, ill-tempered line for the privilege. Gitmo’s still an open sore on our international reputation and corporations and their Gods-on-Earth still run amok. And, despite quasi-draw downs both Iraq and Afghanistan are still wars no matter how you look at them. We fly drones over our erstwhile ally Pakistan with the same impunity we use them to spy on our own people and prop up an Afghanasshole who pisses on our shoes while we say, “thank you sir, may we have another squirt?”

No doubt, Obama has made headway and should get his just props, especially while doing it with an anvil tied around his neck. Am I, like the American people, demanding too much of a mere mortal? Yes, but we vote to get Gods, not Joe the plumber. We’re Americans. We’re funny that way.

No President ever measures up completely, but some do a much better job than others. All things equal, if I had a viable choice, I’d be looking for my God elsewhere. But, Mittens is not only unviable, he looks suspiciously like a Stepford Husband. As the election grows near, I’m shopping for a clothes pin for my nose and getting ready to vote for Mr. Obama.

And, wondering how we can have 300 million people and these are the only candidates we can field.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture.

God Needs a Better PR Team

4:56 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

God Wants Low Wages

GOD WANTS LOW WAGES – Pay them nothing and they will teach.

I’ve only half-joked for years that God really needs a better PR team here in the temporal world. Some of the most log-headed charlatans, grifters, and just plain logically-challenged people claim to speak on His behalf. Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard, and the ethically inept Newt Gingrich are just a few who work non-stop to tarnish God’s image.

Unfortunately, there’s another PR flack trying to grab a share of the ignobility. AL state Sen. Shadrack (Shadrack, really? Shadrack?) McGill is currently charming the nation’s electorate with the fanciful notion that God has issued an edict that teachers should be underpaid, perhaps as foretold in the Book of Ignoramus.

“It’s a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach. To go and raise someone’s child for eight hours a day, or many people’s children for eight hours a day, requires a calling. It better be a calling in your life. I know I wouldn’t want to do it, OK?”

Oddly, though not surprisingly, McGill doesn’t extend the same “logic” to lawmakers. Last year he voted for a 62% increase in his pay.

Lawmakers: Bribed, Not Called

I suppose this illuminates his idea that lawmakers don’t need to be called to serve, they must be bribed to take on the job. It’s not unlike paying a large retention bonus to the CEO who ran the company into the ground because his expertise is essential to rebuilding the business.

But in his defense, McGill reasons that by paying lawmakers more they’re less susceptible to bribery – apparently bribery from someone other than the unbribable legislators themselves.

Head-scratcher, ain’t it?

It doesn’t do much for his credibility that he voted to tie legislators’ pay to the average Alabama teacher’s pay last year and reversed course this year. It’s OK though, flip flopping is a venerated sport at the Statehouse Country Club and the all seeing, all knowing God won’t really notice a little free play with facts.

Darby McGill and the Little People claim Alabama teachers are the 4th best paid in the country. Now I don’t know about you, but most people know that pretty much everything in Alabama education sucks a big weenie. They usually joust with Mississippi for the 49th or 50th spot in everything – although Propped 13 California is a strong up and commer. The true value of an Alabama teacher’s pay actually ranks 31st in the National Miseducation Sweepstakes.

Smite That Rascal Lord

Hey McGill, wait a minute. If that No. 4 standing is correct aren’t you overpaying teachers and attracting a bad crowd of the unmotivated kind? Shouldn’t you work harder to lower Alabam’s No. 4 ranking to 49th – or at least 45th?

If you’ll excuse a minor blasphemy…my God. If you claim to be serving as God’s on-scene commander, the least you could do is get your story straight. It might also sit better with the Big Guy if you didn’t stand behind his robes and yell, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but my words and actions will never haunt me.”

God, I know you and I haven’t been on a first name basis for close to 45 years now, but I like to think we at least have a workable truce. So I beseech thee, if you’re really there control people like McGill. They do a disservice to you and just really chap the pants off the rest of us – You-fearing and not fearing alike.

Smite him o’ Lord. Cast him into the fiery pit of the unelectable. Just take away his 62% pay hike before you give him the eternal shove.

Can I get an Amen?

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Billion Dollar Airplanes or Schoolbooks?

2:57 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Anyone who denies there are big flaws in our military’s procurement practices is light on scruples and probably the CEO of, say, Boeing (among others)… or maybe both.

Anyone who believes that if America had no military the world would live in peace and harmony is suffering from dementia. There’s always disagreement over the list of bad guys, but make no mistake, there are creatively evil people out there. Like it or not, America needs a military that can defend and support our interests. The problem is how we buy it.

Military SpendingClick image for larger >> 

The first pig at the barrel is foreign policy. Going off to every piss-hole in the snow costs a lot of money and may ultimately fail anyway. We’re still unraveling ourselves from two unneeded military adventures that, in large part, wrecked our economy. Now, voters expect a peace dividend so the money can flow elsewhere. But it’s not so simple.

Most legislators and corporatists like how big military talk plays at the ballot box. Lost jobs, tax rates, and trying to do right by troops who did what civilian leaders ordered are continuing costs. Costs that proportionately make Medicare look like a game of penny pitching. Iraqistan will cost us for decades.

Military doctrine is also a big driver. The US is equipped for WWIII, not guerilla wars like Afghanistan. Their mandate is to conduct 2 wars simultaneously. That takes lots of people, lots of very expensive equipment, and lots of money to run 0.6 mpg tanks. It ain’t cheap to blow things up.

Congress Says Soldiers Need More Pork Chops
There’s a lot less waste than you might think, not the least of which are the “unfunded mandate”, anti-pork barrel legislators who dangle the pork chops over the Pentagon. Congress sets detailed spending priorities for almost all major military programs – whether they make sense or not. If the military needs a new airplane Congress tells the military whether that is the airplane they want, regardless of whether it’s what the military needs. Almost every major weapons system sends business to all 50 states, regardless if those are the cheapest contractors.

Finally, Monday morning quarterbacking takes its toll. Legislators knowing zip about how to fight a war, along with Congressional and Presidential foreign policies, do their part to jack costs up. Politicians want to use military spending for jobs programs instead of efficient war-fighting, except when something happens. Then, they want to destroy whoever spent all that money on creationism schoolbooks than tanks.

And last, voters make decisions about military spending while knowing even less than Congress or the President. That doesn’t stop them from meddling with the process though. Read the rest of this entry →

One Percenters Have the Most to Lose

12:43 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

The Middle Class and the LionsGOLDBRICKERS – It’s easier to not care about jobs when you already have one.

Tea Partiers often cite the inability to cut budgets through the bone and still run the government on drill baby, drill fumes as a cruel thing to foist on future generations. While we need to cut expenses, the more important task is creating jobs with livable wages – not the French frying legion of Rick Perry’s Clown Star economic miracle nor the too-small-to-live businesses so poorly run and under-capitalized they can’t afford to pay them.

As the OWS uprising shows, 99 Percenters are fed up with economic policies that benefit the few at debilitating cost to the many. New polls show the even the 99 percent are in the throes of economic balkanization among themselves. The income disparity between subgroups that help define the 99% and America’s greatest contribution to the global economy – a sustainable middle class -  show a clear and present danger that taxes will be the least of the next generation’s worries. Read the rest of this entry →

The New LaManchas

11:43 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Flip Floping Romney

FLIP FLOPPER - Apparently Mitt Romney has as much fidelity to his "principles" as John "Flapjacks" McThusela.

Opinions are like bandwagons, everybody has one. Almost all opinions have a grain of truth at their core, but you have to winnow through a lot of crabgrass to get to it.Many people like to compare the Tea Party to Occupy Wall St. I’m sure it’s a delight for the pundits to debate themselves on innumerable news programs and shout fests, but it doesn’t mean much right now. The situation is simply too fluid to predict where it will go.

One notion says the Tea Party is a laser-focused group of very loud Stepfords harping on taxes, healthcare many of them already accept, and the Obamunist. They applaud anything that agrees with their Pollyanna view and boo anything that doesn’t. By contrast, OWS (there’s an unfortunate abbreviation for you) is a complete rabble of hippies and drifting malcontents that don’t have a cogent message, much less a strong organization culture. They might possibly be Communists or, worse yet, liberals.

Militant Librarians

MILITANT LIBRARIANS - Hell hath no fury like a librarian scorned.

The profile of your average Tea Bagger is quietly in flux. Some of them want limited protest and unquestioning adherence to their own ideology. Some are hammering in a religion plank and are thrilled with Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, the goofiest two candidates who have personal speed dials for God. Mitt Romney, of course, can’t stand on that plank because he belongs to a cult/non-cult called Mormonism. They’d vote Muslim before they’d vote for that quasi-Christian poseur. At least Muslims look different so you can always see their evil or require their papers.

Read the rest of this entry →

The Occupiers vs the Tea Party, Who Wins the Battle of Perceptions?

5:27 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

There’s a lot of rumination over Occupy Wall Street and its steadily growing raft of branch offices. Depending on your rhetoric, The Occupiers are massing to do righteous battle with corporate greedheads, their overpaid leaders, and associated serfs. On the other hand, the right sees The Occupiers as a bunch of gold bricks who want to lynch job creators Fortune 500 CEOs, crooked politicians, and their assorted Tea Partyish fellow travelers.

In many ways it doesn’t matter whether a person’s perception is right or wrong, it only matters they have it. For good or bad that means those with a different perception can either ignore opposing perceptions or work with them and try to change them.

The hallmark of the Tea Party’s ascendency is to ignore counter arguments and scorch the earth of anyone that disagrees.  At the risk of using an over inflammatory analogy, lets say their strategy is akin to a certain western European country launching a “lightning war” against some smaller European countries. Sort of a crush the rebellion motif meted out by self-described rogues.

As the perception of the quarrelous tea sippers sours, more moderate conservatives have begun to move left because they find the unbending ideology-based actions scary. They’re being joined by left-leaning moderates to form what could be a formidable force in 2012.

Queue the ascendency of The Occupiers. They’ve seized on the scariness of Tea Partiers as a strategy to change perceptions. Their message is more palatable – you can’t trust an arrogant Wall Street banker or CEO any farther than you can throw Ben Bernacke.

It’s easier to sell higher taxes on people holding 99% of the country’s wealth while you see your life’s dreams crash and burn as a direct result of the One Percenters actions. It’s also easier to sell real accountability for the those who not only failed to see economic problems they created, but then used the failures to make a profit on them. Oh, and don’t forget the bonuses they awarded themselves for doing such a bang up job creating those failures plus bonuses to retain their “expertise” to solve the problems they created.

The national zeitgeist is bifurcated. The question is whose perception is likely to win. Last time out the Tea Party won the battle of dueling perceptions. This time there’s a new game in town and it looks like people are taking to it quickly. So far, that bodes well for the change perceptions theory and that’s a good thing. Hopefully, The Occupiers are in it for the long haul, don’t ignore the actions of their opposition, and don’t fall into the same short-sighted trap.

That sort of complacency is how we got here in the first place.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Shock and Awe: Class Warfare Isn’t About the Money

4:46 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

The new conservative battle cry is that the upper classes are under attack by a mob of have somes and have nots carrying pitchforks and looking for the closest Gulfstream or mega-million bonus to pillage. But, if there’s a class war going on the poor have clearly lost. The only “war” left is for the victors to scorch the earth from the backs of the Four Horses of the Apocalypse so those damn welfare recipients don’t rise up and steal a government-subsidized, agribusiness produced loaf of bread from the banquet inside the palace.

It’s tempting to think the apacalyptoes are all about simple greed and avarice – just poor little schmoes who feel the need to waggle their tiny dicks in the face of mankind.

Swirly Victims Today, Bullies Tomorrow
You may not like it, but you can understand it. They’re just poor little kids who got their asses regularly kicked and were the recipients of one too many swirlies. It’s sad. It’s a story to tug at the heartstrings. Aside from the ass-kickers and swirly givers, who wouldn’t feel sorry for them?

But as it turns out, they’re bigger dicks (not meant in the anatomical sense) than the school yard bullies ever were. Sure, there’s plenty of good old-fashioned greed and avarice, but theirs comes with a twist – it’s psychopathic.

Don’t take my word for it, look at a study produced by German University of St. Gallen. In comparing the behavior of big time rogue stock traders to the behavior of criminal psychopaths at Switzerland’s Pöschwies prison researchers found the class warriors, “more reckless and manipulative than the psychopaths.”

My word, that sounds a lot like a bunch of supposedly financial geniuses who managed to bring the world economy to its knees…and then took large bonuses for it.

A Bat Up Side the Head
The study found money was only secondary though. In reality, the class warriors weren’t all about big money, they were more interested in destroying the competition. Or as researcher Thomas Noll put it, “it was most important to the traders to get more than their opponents. And they spent a lot of energy trying to damage their opponents.” It was,”as though their neighbor had the same car and they took after it with a baseball bat so they could look better themselves.”

Who knew?! We’re not being pillaged by a poor school yard bully’s victim, but by a disguised school yard bully on steroids.

Aside from the behavior being quantified by scientific methods, the results shouldn’t come as a surprise. At the least, these miscreants are tone-deaf to the issues of a common citizen. At worst, they steal grandma’s nest egg out from under her skirts while crashing the international financial system … in plain sight so that everyone could see them do it … and then use a baseball bat to beat up the car grandma was living in for good measure.

Even giving the rich the benefit of the doubt and there is class warfare going on, it doesn’t seem like a very fair fight. The pitchfork and rock carrying classes are up against an enemy where the richest companies and most shameless politicians in the world are commanded by a handful of people with the wealth and power of a medium-sized European country.

Talk about your shock and awe.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Dimon Should Change His Name to ‘Demon’

2:40 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Dimon the Demon

PUT 'EM UP! - Chase CEO Jaime Demon will go to the mat to block banking regulations that are anti-American. He apparently doesn't feel the patriotism for American regs either. Click photo for more >>

There are few things Tea Partiers and I both believe, but this is one: there should be as little business regulation as possible. Past that, the brewerskies start making tea while wearing tri-cornered hats and carrying signs that read, “Don’t Tread on Me”.

Then, I tune them out when my ears begin to bleed.

 

The baggers argue there should be little or no regulation so that businesses make a lot of money (this is the true part). They argue that the dearth of regulations (this is the not so true part) will allow them to make enough money to hire more workers and have the economy fixed as quick as they can toss the regulators’ gavels on the dung heap.

The lack of regulations frees business to act as businesses normally do…profit becomes a Holy Grail that overrides everything else, including the safety of their workers and real public damage from companies that continue to do unscrupulous things, even when they know a lot is at stake.

For instance, there was that little oil spill a while back. The one where BP said all that leaking oil was only a smidge of the total volume of the Gulf of Mexico so things were A-OKAY…I’m sure the fishermen and crabbers totally agreement with that.

Regulations? Regulations? We Don’t Need No Regulations
The latest example of a corporation that just doesn’t get it is JPMorgan Chase – a bank that ends up on many, “Worst of the Worst Lists“. Chase CEO Jaime Dimon thinks most international banking regulations are a bunch of piffle that are “anti-American.

“I’m very close to thinking the U.S. shouldn’t be in Basel anymore,” Dimon said. “I would not have agreed to rules that are blatantly anti-American.” In other words, he can’t agree with current regulations unless he writes them and gets to vote on whether he’ll follow those pesky laws he didn’t write. Read the rest of this entry →

Carol Bartz, There’s a Job Pumping Port-O-Potties If You’re Interested

2:33 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

The Fucked Me Over

THE 'YAHOOFUS' SPEAKS - Yahoo dumped CEO Carol Bartz this week and boy was she pissed. "They fucked me over," she said.

Not Safe For Work Unsavory language

The talk around cappuccino makers across Sillycon Valley this week has been all about the firing of Yahoo CEO, Carol Bartz.

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