Saturday, August 11, 2012

Going down with the ship

Mitt Romney stood in front of the battleship USS Wisconsin to announce his VP choice. It really is fitting that he stand in front of a ship that was obsolete and useless when it was built, just like the Ryan budget. Also fitting that he stood in front of a ship that Ronald Reagan dragged out of mothballs and fooled away billions of dollars on. Reagan did this in order to mask the collapsing economy he was creating with his trickle down voodoo economics.

Reagan added 400 ships to the Navy built around the four Iowa class floating money drains to "confront the Soviets". He did this because the Evil Empire had secret nuclear submarines, according to Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. The CIA said no they didn't, but that only meant the Russians were keeping them secret. No matter that the CIA said the Soviet Union would collapse, and did so right on time. This is always touted as a huge accomplishment for Reagan, but it's like the King who comes out and plunges his sword into the already dead dragon and then takes credit for slaying it.

Reagan's biggest sins however were failing to enforce the laws against monopoly capitalism allowing a flurry of mergers and acquisitions, and worst of all the decriminalizing of leverage buyouts. This allowed the looting of companies assets, pension funds, and so on. Sound familiar? Maybe you've heard of Bain Capital, everything Romney is today he owes to Ronald Reagan. So Romney and Ryan appearing in front a monument to one of Reagan's biggest lies is really poetic. The kind of poetry that will make you cry.

The people in Romney's profession have destroyed 250,000 factories since Reagan re-christened the Wisconsin. The bad guys that the Iowa class battleships were built to fight in 1942 couldn't have dreamed of doing that much damage to the United States.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The odds are not in our favor

According to the rocket scientists at NASA (and I mean that in the good way) we are at a point in climate change due to global warming that they were predicting in the 80s we wouldn't reach until the end of the 21st century. Not only that, but a phenomena has developed that they didn't foresee. Unusual weather events like extreme drought (think Dust Bowl in the 30s, 500 year floods) things that used to be rare, events only occurring 1 in a 1000 times, these extreme weather events are now happening 1 out of 10 times. The odds are that as more heat becomes available to drive these weather patterns this will only get worse.

People who like to think of the US as number one in all things might take note of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac). They are poised to begin direct competition with Boeing and Airbus in 2016 with their version of the 737, and larger planes are already being developed. China is now the world's largest aircraft market, passing the US, so they could easily become the dominate manufacturer. To lure worldwide carriers, the state owned aircraft company has unlimited funds to develop and market deeply discounted aircraft of all sizes. From 1790 until 1980, the US spent money to develop its industries, what are the odds that will ever happen again?

The standard response from slow thinking conservatives is, "who would fly on a Chinese airplane?" Well, you do. Where do you think all the new parts come from? When all the major US airlines send their planes for overhaul in Costa Rica they come back with lots of Chinese parts. If you are lucky they all came through normal suppliers and not black market, un-inspected channels. Helicopter crashes have been traced to black market parts, what are the odds this will happen to a jumbo jet?

Hospital Corporaton of America's (HCA) own panel of inquiry has found overwhelming evidence that several of their hospitals in Florida were regularly preforming dangerous and unnecessary cardiac procedures, oh and they were also highly profitable operations to perform. If you think the name HCA sounds familiar, it's because it was founded by the current Governor of Florida, and it paid a record fine of $2 billion for Medicare fraud. The rightwing talking point is that Rick Scott "wasn't involved", he did however take the 5th during testimony something like a hundred times to avoid incriminating himself. Yeah, you can guess the odds that he wasn't involved.

Hey some good news, we now have the most job openings in the private sector since before the Bush banking crash in 2008. Small problem, it's all over the corporate news that businesses are holding back or even cutting back because of the "uncertainty" of politics, worries about Congress, the deficit
s, the economy, etc, quack, quack, quack. These are the same corporations that continue to show record profits and hold $5 trillion in cash. The odds are that they are deliberately holding off on hiring to affect the election.

A new Romney ad presents a stirring narrative on how the Salt Lake City Olympics found itself mired in scandal and red ink so they called on Mitt. He turned a $400m deficit to a $100m surplus. What are the odds that they will ever mention this was done by getting a $1.2 billion grant from Congress for the "private sector" Olympics. Sounds like what he really did was fool away an extra $700 million of taxpayer money more than he needed to cover the deficit. That actually makes him worse than the guy he replaced.

On a happy note, the odds of Mitt Romney ever being President are becoming increasingly small. Now if we could just do something about the weather.... what are the odds?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Is your wheelbarrow full of money?

On the first anniversary of S&P downgrading the credit rating of the United States of America interest rates are skyrocketing, the USD is worthless, we can't import oil, and it takes a wheelbarrow of money to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Oh wait, none of that happened and Treasury bills continue to rise in price on auction (lowering the cost to the government). The Republicans bloviate about all the money that Obama is borrowing. Never mind that he's forced by Republicans to continue Bush's spending policies, and he's getting the money for free. 

Sure we have to pay the money back, but since rich people have trillions to loan the government at near zero interest, maybe they could pay more taxes. Debt really is just paper, it can be run through the shredder at anytime. Why the right wants to give a big slice off the top of everything to the "do nothing" rich completely escapes me. They are incensed that liberals would feed the poor, but they spend literally thousands of times as much to feed the idle rich.

"But, but, but they're job creators!" Does anybody buy that line anymore? If we maintain the class of inherited wealth because they provide leadership and moral guidance to the nation, it's really those jobs that need to be outsourced. Or rather, we need to start doing leadership for ourselves after the greedy, useless bastards have been kicked to the curb. We can all have our jobs back, and our small businesses back if we get rid of the incompetent economic "managers". We can have decent education for our children, bridges that are safe to drive on, healthcare that is envy of the world instead of ranked 28th, and on and on. Everything we had before the 30 year conservative nightmare began.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Plodding mule or Dressage horse?

Dressage horses are impressive to watch. They are of course useless in the real world, merely a consumer of resources with no function. Harry Truman liked to compare himself to a Missouri mule plodding along and getting the job done. Obama is in a similar position to what 'Give 'em Hell' Harry found himself in 64 years ago. The Republicans had swept the Congress in 1946 and immediately set about destroying the New Deal, mostly by inaction. The economic damage was so acute that they were swept from office in 1948. They didn't get full control again until 1994 when they set about to destroy America again.

Willard Romney is a Dressage horse, expensive, prancing and useless. If you're worried about (or hoping for) him defeating Obama you can forget about it. The numbers are clear, Obama has a lock on so many states that Romney can't win. And the numbers continue to improve for Obama daily. Just as Obama pulled ahead after McCain showed himself to be unprepared to deal with the collapsing economy, he is simply showing up Romney as well.

It would be easy to say the Republicans rigged things to make Obama win by running such a dolt, but who would they run instead? Even what passes for a reasonable human being in the Republican Party is either not too bright, or a sociopath that can't pass a background check. Anybody else can't get past the tea baggers in the primary. The billionaires can easily stampede the tea baggers and they want a dancing horse that they can train to do whatever they want done.

An October surprise isn't likely, any sort of crisis would simply drive more people to Obama as Mittens can be counted on to open his mouth and reveal how stupid he is. You wouldn't think Reagan could have gotten past Jimmy Carter on that basis, but Reagan in 1980 was still passing for living in this world. And frankly Carter wasn't a very good President by the standards of the time. Reagan, Bush and Bush have elevated Carter's stature considerably.

The real challenge for Democrats is taking back Congress, and it's not going to be easy, but it can be done. Harry Reid has come around to the idea of ending the filibuster. The risk of doing that has always been that there are enough Blue Dog Democrats that there is a risk they could switch parties throwing the Senate to the Republicans (and then with no filibuster). That isn't so likely if the Republicans are defeated this time. It's never a good idea to jump ship to one that is sinking.