Saturday, March 3, 2012

They shouldn't take shelter when the storm comes

Every year the storms are worse and more numerous. It's simple math, 5% more moisture in the atmosphere from global warming will produce those results. Still the right-wing base repeats the talking points on cue just the way they were trained.

When the F-5 is bearing down on you right-winger, just stand there and insist that it's not real.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's not only the good who die young, sometimes those on the right are recalled to the home office

For those on the right that are in mourning, Andrew is now in the bosom of his creator, and surely Satan has a plan for him. For those on the left, even though Brietbart now has the potential for even greater evil with his next appearance from the Hell-mouth, you can take comfort that Dick Cheney is green with envy. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bumper Stickers

The Obama - Biden 2012 bumper sticker keeps getting longer. Among the Bush blunders reversed so far: Bin Laden Dead, Iraq war over, GM #1 again, North Korea nuke free. North Korea needs the food badly, and a peace deal would give it the chance to really ramp itself up as the cheap labor factory floor for both China and South Korea.

You could say that Obama is close to WWIII with Iran (the corporate media says so), but there are rumors that just the opposite is true. Why would the Axis of Evil give up its Nuke-U-lar ambitions? Maybe they can deal with Obama, and believe the Bush Crime Family is out of power permanently.

Iran is being hurt pretty bad by the sanctions against its banks, but Obama has so far been unwillingly to cut them off completely from the international bank clearing house, Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, even though the banking hub has publicly agreed to do so, in order to meet US demands. Or, more likely the bankers which are supposed to be non-political and neutral, are unwilling to back the US’s play. If the do this then China could demand the same be done against Taiwan, and China (unlike the US) is still a super-power.

However, the US is not declining quite as fast as previously thought, with 4th quarter GDP growth revised upward to 3%. This is respectable growth for a mature economy like the US, mature in that it’s dominated by old rich people who steal everything, at least where they can pull up the nails that are holding it to the floor.

The stock market fell below 13,000 today on news that the Fed Chairman doesn’t believe more money printing is needed right now. The Dow doesn’t really like good news, although Ben Bernanke did say unemployment would likely rise later in the year, and that did buoy Wall Street sprits somewhat.

Job creation has actually been quite brisk according to the household survey, with the number of new jobs created on the order of 500,000 in 2 of the last 3 months. New February numbers will be out soon, and we’ll be able to see if this is a real trend.

Oil market analysts (the ones that don’t work for Wall Street) are predicting that gasoline is more likely to be $3 by summer than hit $5. There is simply too much gasoline sloshing around, supplies on hand are at record highs. Europe is slipping into recession on top of declining demand in the US and this makes it almost a certainty that the speculation bubble will burst.

I hope the gas price goes way down so I can afford to drive something big enough to hold my Obama bumper sticker.

Monday, February 27, 2012

zì yóu (freedom)

In the United States unions are rapidly becoming something quaint from history like the Grange. Third world countries don’t have unions and don’t have a middle class. Union airline pilots have seen their wages and benefits slashed, working conditions deteriorate and pensions disappear into the hands of Mitt Romney and his friends at Bain.

It’s not all gloom and doom for the pilots however, the last remaining super power is rapidly expanding its airlines and will hire as many experienced American pilots as it can get. They offer 50% more pay and excellent benefits for anyone willing to relocate to the Peoples Republic of China. In fact experienced managers and technocrats of all sorts across the business spectrum can leave the Great Depression behind and find a first world career in China.

There is a small fly in that ointment however, you can bet all the co-pilots and  junior executives speak Mandarin as their first language. The children and grandchildren of these American ex-pats can look forward to jobs back in third world America. A place where non-union airline pilots make the same pay as a manager at the local “fries with that” establishment, and the pay for all middle class jobs continue to slide downward.

I mentioned the Grange in the first paragraph, they were the first large scale “union like” movement, but it was organized for farmers. They were largely responsible for pushing through the Progressive reforms in the late 19th and early 20th century. They played a big part in the New Deal which made labor unions possible. Unfortunately the Grange never really got the hang of collective bargaining despite getting a Federal law passed to make it possible for farmers. They simply faded away.

A new more aggressive collective bargaining group organized farm strikes and secured contracts in the mid sixties. LBJ used the DOJ to kill that movement with court injunctions, having the law on your side isn’t always enough. The labor unions sat on their hands while this happened, and now they are gone too. How does the parable go? Something about, “first they came for…”, you know how it goes. In this case it was, they came for the farmers, but I wasn’t farmer, I was a Reagan Democrat.

We have never really stuck together as Americans for any length of time. The billionaire exploiters have been far better at dividing the 99% into 99 factions than we have been at organizing. We can’t all emigrate to China, of course there is a pretty good chance they’ll just come here. The Republicans think they are the big dogs on the block, but they could be learning to respond to “sit, stay, and lie down” in Mandarin, and they will obey.

In 1776 it was liberals that fought the British East India Company while conservatives collaborated. Sometime in the distant future, say 2176, when the liberals rise up to liberate the American colonies and create a new democratic government, will the new Constitution be written in Mandarin? Or will it happen sooner? The Constitution we have is a pretty good one, it just needs those clauses added that the original framers wanted in it to ban corporate monopolies.