Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stray Animals...

Greetings good citizen,

The markets are off 200+ points and the trading day isn’t over yet. Word is this rout was caused by a ‘surprising’ under-performance in the job market. [Update: The market closed down 268 points! Um, you can ignore that exclamation point if you don’t care for it…]

Honestly good citizen, do you think even the liars who continue to insist the economy is recovering are actually ‘surprised’? Just because they pretend to be ignorant doesn’t make it so.

Of course, when one side of the ‘whip hand’ fails to deliver there is always the ‘fall back’ position.

As we see here in tonight’s offering [purloined from today’s Alternet]

Hightower: GOP Is the Party That Thinks Helping the Poor and Hungry Is Like Feeding 'Stray Animals'

Where else can raw ignorance rise to such high places -- and then flaunt itself shamelessly for all to see?

For example, who needs Jay Leno or Conan O'Brien for comic relief, when we've got Andre Bauer? He's the Lieutenant governor of South Carolina (a state, by the way, that really is a comer on the political comedy circuit — especially after Gov. Mark Sanford's madcap schtick last year involving his disappearance, the Appalachian Trail and an Argentine mistress.

But Sanford is leaving office, and Bauer, who is now a Republican contender for governor, is the state's new star joker. He had 'em rolling in the aisles recently when he did a wild, slapstick routine on food stamps at a town hall meeting. Andre proclaimed that much of his political thinking was shaped by his grandmother and that he had learned a valuable lesson from her.

"She told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why?" he asked, pausing for comedic effect. "Because they breed! You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce."

I tell you, Andre Bauer is an absolute scream!

But here's the real punch line: The need for food stamps has been soaring as more and more Americans are falling out of the middle class into poverty. From 2000 to 2008, 5 million more were added to the poverty rolls, and that was before the economic collapse of the last two years. In fact, check this out Andre, and laugh if you feel like it: About 6 million Americans today are living entirely on food stamps — they've lost their jobs and have no other income. That's one out of every 50 of us, and their numbers are growing rapidly.

Now, isn't that a hoot? [It is if you’re a true conservative!]

Well, one who's not laughing is Republican member of Congress John Linder. This far-out Georgia right-winger is irked that America's food stamp program will grow to more than $60 billion this year. "This is craziness," Linder barked to a New York Times reporter.
"We're at risk of creating an entire class, a subset of people, just comfortable getting by living off the government."

Comfortable? When was the last time this pampered lawmaker experienced the "comforts" of the food stamp life? Linder himself has been "living off the government" for 18 years, but at the high end — drawing $174,000 a year in pay, plus subsidized health care, a fat pension and generous perks of office. [But that’s ‘different’, you see, numbnuts knows the score. Ordinary people didn’t put him in office, the powerful gave him that seat.]

Hypocrisy aside, Linder is an anti-government, laissez-faire extremist who buys into Bauer's fantasies about lazy, good-for-nothing strays getting food stamps. [Because that’s what the real thieves want you, gullible conservatives, to think!]

"You don't improve the economy by paying people to sit around and not work," he grumps, adding, "You improve the economy by lowering taxes." [Gee, where has he been? We did that and it didn’t work out too well for anyone who wasn’t already rich!]

Really? Perhaps the gentleman from Georgia has forgotten that he and the whole Washington insider crowd tried that scam again and again throughout the past decade, slashing all sorts of taxes for corporations and the wealthy. Since Linder is a multimillionaire, that economic "plan" undoubtedly worked out splendidly for him.

For the middle class, however, the 10 years since January 2000 are known as "the lost decade." In that period, the U.S. economy lost more jobs than it created — zero job growth. That's the first decade since the end of the Depression that our country has had less than a 20 percent rise in job creation. [You don’t suppose globalization had anything to do with that, do you?]

Also, after the 10-year frenzy of tax-cutting, middle-class families are earning less today, in real dollars, than they did in 1999. Add in skyrocketing health care costs and the plummeting value of people's homes, and we get the harsh reality of mushrooming poverty.

So that "subset of people" on food stamps whom Linder so callously denigrates are his own spawn! The food stamp program has had to grow because the tinkle-down economy that he pushed has wrecked America's middle class.

Does knocking poor people make these guys feel better about themselves? How pathetic. Bauer and Linder are living proof that when it comes to leadership, America has too many 5-watt bulbs screwed into 150-watt sockets.


Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the new book, "Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow." (Wiley, March 2008) He publishes the monthly "Hightower Lowdown," co-edited by Phillip Frazer.

Had to steal this particular post if only because it demonstrates just how dire our collective position has become.

Those who continue to exploit you for the sweat of your brow expect you to hock your future to keep them in the lap of luxury…after they have abandoned you to fend for yourself as best you can!

How can these ignorant ingrates off-shore all of their workers then ask where all of their customers went? We can’t afford to have people THAT STUPID making decisions which effect the well-being of society as a whole!

So we return to capitalism’s ‘hero’, Forrest Gump and ‘stupid is as stupid does’

Unexpected Rise in U.S. Jobless Claims [Really now?]

Published: February 4, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of newly laid-off workers filing initial claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly last week, the Labor Department said Thursday.

And a second report by the Labor Department showed that people with jobs worked harder in the fourth quarter.

Pretty typical, beat the bag out of the ‘survivors’ (in fact, being ‘susceptible’ to this kind of ‘blackmail’ is a determining factor come ‘lay-off time’.) No need to hire more workers, in fact it’s cheaper to pay the survivors overtime than it is to shell out for benefits for new hires.

Which means demand has to pick a whole shit load if we’re going to see any hiring (beyond temps) at all.

Which is to ask if you see the light at the end of this tunnel that the pundits keep talking about but nobody can point too…besides the foolish stock market?

Speaking of which, markets around the world closed down today…so where is this recovery the sellers of stocks keep pretending exists?

Maybe we just need to look a little harder…

Until then…thanks for letting me inside your head,


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