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    • The Younger You Are the More Your Vote Should Count
      In most countries the young vote less than the old (though if someone champions them, as Corbyn did, their voting rates soar). But the young are the very people with the most stake in how society is run. If you’ve got 60 years ahead of you, well, it matters that society is well run for […]
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Open Thread: “Barack Obama is dumber than a bag of hammers.”

bagofhammers2 Now here’s a writer who tells it like it is. and he’s darkly funny too. David Michael Green writes:

Barack Obama is dumber than a bag of hammers.

I never thought I’d say that about the guy. I thought he would probably disappoint me with many of his policies. I thought he would probably fail to be bold enough for his times. I thought he might miss opportunities to do great things because of his seeming desire to be Mr. Rogers, complete with cardigan. But I never expected him to be really dumb.

But if you’re willing to risk the entirety of a potentially great presidency on making sure that a handful of already wealthy sociopaths who got rich destroying the global economy are not denied massive taxpayer-funded bonuses to keep them in jobs they’ve already completely mishandled, despite the fact that many of them took the money and left the job anyhow – if that’s you, and you’re the new president of the United States with a load of challenges and lots of public good will solidly behind you – well, then, you’re dumber than a bag of hammers.

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FRANKLY MY DEAR, I DON’T GIVE A DAMN!

Truer words uttered by Rhett Butler to his whining spouse can also be applied to those members of congress who couch those same words in flowery prose but whose meaning is just the same.

Don’t let their supposed umbrage over the latest financial fiasco fool you. They truly could not care less about the rest of us unless we are the “hometown crowd” who are the only ones to make the cut when it comes to election time. Grandstanding and speechifying are essentially aimed at those constituents who lay claim to the right to “vote the bums out” or in when the time comes around once again to send them back to congress where all the “pickings” are left to be plucked and plundered.

Who cares what they think in Portland, ME as long as those regional voters are satisfied when one of those congress critters shows up with the ready smile, the pat on the back, the “how’s the family” query and he/she calls you by your first name? Aren’t they bringing home the bacon year after year and aren’t we proud of their name recognition and how often their lying talking head appears on tv on the Sunday morning talk show circuit?

They are beholden to no one but themselves. And if this means climbing into bed with the lobbyists and the special interest crowd, so be it. You really need the money to secure and ensure those congressional seats and if it means playing “kissy face” to achieve that end who are we to argue with how it plays out? If Wall Street is inspired to back their candidacies then Wall Street deserves a break!

After all, we sat back and let Cheney and the gas and oil barons write our energy policy. Is it such a stretch to conclude that those financial geniuses should not enjoy the same rights and fashion policy made in their own image? If it requires deregulation and the absence of oversight who are we to protest? If allowed during one Administration then why not in another?

How else to secure the representation we crave unless we are willing to look the other way on behalf of the fool who is promising to change the incestuousness that prevails? And if he is unable or unwilling to complete that promise than it is safe to say it is the fault of the “other side of the aisle” who keeps on preventing success. Maybe next time.

As Joe and Jane Bagadonuts teeter on the edge of financial ruin, who really gives a rat’s ass? Losing a job, which also signals the loss of healthcare and the possible loss of their home and income, is surely the fault of “the other guy”.  Some nameless, faceless, heartless entity, who lurks in the shadows but is never wholly accountable. Not our guy! Mr. Congressman Senator is out there working for you!

Hasn’t he told you that often enough over the years and years he has sat on his fat ass in DC, filling his election coffers with money donated by the movers and shakers? Or weren’t you listening?

Who gives a damn? Nobody. Not your congressperson, your senator, your president. Too busy playing slap and tickle with the Leno’s of the world. Too busy picking winners during March Madness. Too busy flying all over the nation and gazing at us from 30,000 feet to give a flying f*ck about where we go from here.

And where do we go from here? Who knows but before we get there it promises to be one bumpy ride. But rest assured, the answers and the road map will be decided by those whose only interests lies in their next election cycle. But we can all do as Rhett did when he finally had enough: walk away and not look back. Vote them out! And in our own words this time: frankly, my dears, we just don’t give a damn!


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Friday: Be very afraid?

Last night on Conflucians Say, we discussed anger and why it’s sometimes a very useful emotion.  You have a right to be angry if someone has abused you or has done something untrustworthy.  Keeping anger inside or giving in to pressure that says you shouldn’t get angry because it isn’t polite can lead to frustration, depression, health problems and passivity.  Healthy organisms with good survival instincts get angry and do something about it when they are treated badly.

So, why didn’t we get really angry after 9/11?

Because if there was ever a time to get really overwrought, sharpen those pitchforks and march to DC to demand answers and George W. Bush’s criminal ass out of the WH, it was immediately after 9/11.  Terrorism might not be entirely preventable and let’s face it, the US was past due for someone to strike us over something, but there was plenty of evidence that the people in charge *knew* 9/11 was coming and they did nothing to stop it.  Not only that but some of us believe they let it happen on purpose to usher in their brave new world of unfettered capitalism shock and awe.  Maybe they didn’t think it would be so spectacular but the odd passivity of the administration coupled with weird coincidences (military jets on exercise that day?  Really?), can make even perfectly sane people reach for the Reynold’s Wrap.

So, why didn’t we storm the castle and toss the inhabitants into the moat?  I think it was because of fear.  Many of us were scared out of our wits, a situation that was exaccerbated by the introduction of the terrorism alert system.  We lived in a state of code red for years.  And every time the fear level subsided a little and voters started to ask questions, the director of Homeland Security would up the red end of the spectrum.  A little jolt of fear does wonders for keeping the populace in line.

I’m bringing this up because the news about the economy is grim.  It’s very serious.  We didn’t live through the Great Depression but we can read all about it and consult our grandparents, if they’re still around.  Our 401Ks are depleted, our jobs are disappearing, our way of life is going the way of the dinosaur, or so it seems.  It’s very frightening.  And now there are people at various websites scaring the pants off of us with even more dire scenarios.  Ian Bremer of the Eurasia Group gave an apolcalyptic scenario on Planet Money on Wednesday where he basically said that the little people, and by this Oh Best Beloved, he meant *us*, do not have the luxury of being angry about the bonuses.  We should be worried about our own subsistence and meeting the basic needs of food and shelter.

Oh, really?

Fear is also a useful emotion.  If can provoke the fight or flight mechanism.  But it can also short circuit the ability to reason.  It makes us vulnerable to emotional manipulation.  It can make even normally sane people do crazy things, like re-electing the bastard that got us into the mess in the first place.  So, let’s assume that the people who are suddenly worried about economic Armageddon are being honest.  What is the logical thing to do?  Preparation is everything.  Don’t take on new debt right now.  Liquidate some assets so you have a cushion in case you get laid off.  Start making a plan B in case the worst happens.  Start a vegetable garden.  Run for public office.  Contact your congress critter and let them know you’re how you feel.  Turn off the cable news idiots. Pay attention to signs in your environment as to how the wind is blowing.

But for gawd’s sakes, don’t let anyone tell you that you haven’t got the luxury to be angry.  Feel the rage over what the laissez faire capitalists have done.  Be frothing mad over the way that the last administration and the current one have allowed the greedy bastards to do whatever they want without any kind of regulation.  Now that we know what they are up to, what is keeping the Obama administration from reining them in?  Even now, AIG is funneling, tunneling, billions of dollars to Goldman Sachs and nothing is being done about it.  The bankers get away with murder and are never forced to take a haircut while union workers in Detroit have to give up their compensation packages and Obama introduces the concept of merit pay for teachers.  Why is it that the people at the top are NEVER held accountable? We are talking about the siphoning away of billions and billions of our hard earned money.  Screw David Broder and the Village idiots he rode in on, we are frakking angry and we’re going to stay that way.

Now, short of violence, vandalism  and death threats, go forth and get angry.  The times require it.

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