Tag Archives: Altercation

The Tattlesnake Them That’s Got and Stan Getz Edition

And This Day in Hell

“Them that’s got shall get,
Them that’s not shall lose”

— From “God Bless the Child (That’s Got His Own),” by Arthur Herzog Jr. and Billie Holiday, and recorded by her for Okeh Records in 1941.

“Free market capitalism — as a faith — really is an inverse of Marxism. It is a theology that believes their system will bring paradise on earth and moral perfection. When their system is in power in the real world, their true believers claim that any problem only happened because their ideology has not been applied with sufficient purity.”
— Larry Beinhart, “The Fall of a Free Market Prophet,” Common Dreams, Dec. 7, 2008.

“Sometimes the Invisible Hand is all thumbs.”
— Jared Bernstein, C-Span, April 16, 2008.

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”
— Ernest Hemingway [Bush reversed the formula, but it’s still true today.]

So far we’ve seen the Top Dogs underline ‘dogs’ of Wall Street and Detroit parade before Congress insisting they need our tax money to bail them out. The former ‘Masters of the Universe’ have made so many stupid short-term decisions they have shamed their MBA parchment into so much worthless sheepskin accorded to those who can pay the tuition, or have the family clout, to squeeze them through college. To add insult to injury, the bankers who have fleeced us for billions in the name of providing credit to keep businesses going have refused to use our money to provide credit to keep businesses going, instead financing bonuses for themselves, luxury retreats at pricey resorts, and apparently precipitating a sit-down strike by 300 union workers at a Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago last month. Not only were these people unceremoniously fired and given one day to clear out, the company reneged on its contract to provide wages and vacation pay owed them and the severance pay they were guaranteed. That’s right Republic refused to pay wages and vacation pay already earned and blamed it on the Bank of America, while they hastily moved their Chicago equipment to Iowa. BoA received $25 billion of our tax dollars to avoid just this kind of situation. Fortunately, thanks to nationwide publicity for this sit-down strike, and support from near-President Obama, the Republic workers finally received their back wages and other pay, but let’s see this for what it was: A naked attempt to bust the union, and it was mostly successful. Republic’s union workers are still out of a job and the company has set up a low-wage non-union plant in Iowa. (Incidentally, inquiring minds would like to know: who is paying the salaries of Republic’s top executives and how much do they make?)

Morality and ethics hardly exist in the corporate boardroom but, if this isn’t wrong, what is?

How to correct it? Let’s hope President Obama takes a page from Franklin D. Roosevelt, especially his Economic Bill of Rights speech delivered January 11, 1944, during the Second World War, which included:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

As FDR concluded: “All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

“Americas own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.”

If we have those rights, the economy will take care of itself.

What Does Late Jazz Sax Player Stan Getz Have to Do with Our Economic Meltdown? Read on:

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The Tattlesnake Big Media Blago Beat Blow Out Edition

Bored and Lazy Big Media Drooling to Catch Obama in Blagojevich Dragnet

Have you noticed? The Big Media have been desperately trying to shoehorn Barack Obama into the ethical problems of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, even though there’s not a particle of evidence that he was in any way involved. The Chris Matthews Crank-It-Up-Loud-and-Stupid Machine over at MSNBC presented a good example of the ugly process in action:

“MATTHEWS: Barack Obama, of course, rose to political power in a city, Chicago, in a state, Illinois, known for corruption. But Fitzgerald made clear that Obama was not implicated today. Here he is, quote, ‘The complaint makes no allegations about the president-elect whatsoever.’ Obama said this afternoon that he had no contact with Governor Blagojevich over who was gonna fill that Senate seat.

“Still, there are many unanswered questions, including that one. What conversation did occur between Blagojevich and Barack Obama about who would fill his Senate seat once he became president? Obama said this afternoon there were none at all.

“What conversations, if any, did Governor Blagojevich have with Rahm Emanuel about his replacement as a Democratic candidate in the special election in Chicago? Will this Illinois scandal in any way distract Obama from dealing with the financial crisis? What happens to Obama’s Senate seat now? Who gets to fill it? The disgraced indicted governor? The state legislature? Who? And what is it about Illinois that seems to make the state’s politics so relentlessly corrupt?”
— Chris Matthews, “Hardball,” Dec. 9, 2008, as quoted by Media Matters.

Jeepers, Tweety, that’s one Olympic leap of pure, empty, pull-it-out-your-keester speculation. Wasn’t Matthews once seen in a public men’s room in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the Republican National Convention? Wasn’t Sen. Larry Craig convicted of soliciting men for sex in a similar place? What does this say about Matthews? And what is it about Minneapolis that seems to attract so many gay men to their public facilities? There are some ‘unanswered questions’ concerning Mr. Matthews’ conduct in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention and the American people demand answers. (See the way this works? Take even the most tenuous, ridiculous association and blow it out of proportion ending with the dire ‘unanswered questions’ malarkey. There are always ‘unanswered questions’ about everyone and everything it’s just that most of them are time wasting and ludicrous. Eating in a restaurant where mobsters occasionally dine does not make you a Mafia kingpin, except in the RNC’s Bizarro World of infinite guilt-by-association and silly questions.)

As far as the ‘relentlessly corrupt’ Illinois, Tweety and his pals should check some other states such as Alaska, Alabama and Florida, all of which ranked ahead of Illinois in the number of political scandals between 1998 and 2007. Wait, as Jamison Foser at Media Matters recently noted, USA Today already did: “[O]n a per-capita basis … Illinois ranks 18th for the number of public corruption convictions the federal government has won from 1998 through 2007”

This is the line of ‘logic’ being used as the BM line up to slather over yet another invented ‘scandal’ for Obama — already they’re trying to make this his ‘Blagogate.’ Even the New York Times has the green-eyeshade on backwards as it attempts to conflate Obama’s passing acquaintance with Blago with involvement in some sort of shady business with the Rodster. As Eric Boehlert points out:

“The larger point is that in order for the Beltway press to gin up the Blago story this week, basic journalism guidelines had to be set aside and in some cases brazenly ignored. That’s the only way this story worked because simply reporting the facts as presented by the prosecutors would have made it painfully clear that, in terms of Obama’s involvement, there was none. In fact, Obama had thwarted Blago’s money-making scheme.”

But the worst of the bad lot was Liz Sidoti of the (Guilt By) Associated Press. In her December 10th article “Analysis: Scandal threatens to dog Obama,” she actually kicked off with these two vapid, meaningless paragraphs:

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The Tattlesnake More Zippity-Doo-Dah From the Fading Right Edition

In the anguished ‘why we lost’ analyses in the days to come from the Fox News-Karl Rove-Bill Kristol neocons and their compadres in the Big Media, still discombobulated over Obama’s landslide victory in what they think is a ‘center-right’ conservative nation the ‘liberal socialist’ Obama of November 3rd even magically transforming into a ‘fiscal conservative’ 24 hours later to preserve this incredible myth — you’ll read much about how the economic meltdown in late September killed McCain’s chances after he had pulled even or ahead in the polls. Horse pucky. McCain and Palin’s sour performance in the debates, the GOP’s over-the-top negative ads, a miserably run campaign, Palin’s exposure as an ignorant nitwit, plus the general public disgust with the Bush Republican Party had as much to do with his loss as the financial crisis. Also underestimated are Obama’s superior organization, discipline, massive GOTV efforts in most of the fifty states, and that the country, already centrist-liberal except in name, has been trending more to the left for many years.

McCain got an expected uptick in the poll numbers following the Republican Convention, which is commonplace after any major party convention, but he was receding even before the banks and markets hit bottom in late September. In fact, except for McCain’s brief post-convention bounce, the individual poll margins had remained consistent since summer with Obama in the lead, as this chart shows:

CNN 6/26-6/29: Obama 50%, McCain 45%
CNN 7/27-7/29: Obama 51%, McCain 44%

CBS 7/7/-7/14: Obama 45%, McCain 39%
CBS 7/31-8/5: Obama 45%, McCain 39%

Ipsos 6/5-6/11: Obama 50%, McCain 43%
Ipsos 7/31-8/4: Obama 48%, McCain 42%

Time 6/19-6/25: Obama 47%, McCain 43%
Time 7/31-8/4: Obama 46%, McCain 41%

Pew 6/18-6/29: Obama 48%, McCain 40%
Pew 7/23-7/27: Obama 47%, McCain 42%

NBC/Wall Street Journal 6/6-6/9: Obama 47%, McCain 41%
NBC/Wall Street Journal 7/18-7/21: Obama 47%, McCain 41%

(Hat tip to Rich Gallagher of Fishkill, NY, who compiled and posted these numbers at Altercation, Aug. 8, 2008.)

Obama-Biden popular vote percentage: 52.3%

McCain-Palin popular vote percentage: 46.2%

Obama-Biden electoral vote total: 365

McCain-Palin electoral vote total: 173

(Final numbers from FiveThirtyEight.com.)