Archives for posts with tag: 1%

Let’s call some spades, here, OK? Social Security is INSURANCE for which we are forced to pay premiums. Some of us have paid for this insurance for decades and have the right to expect that the seller will deliver the product we had no choice but to purchase. Sounds simple, yes? We pay, we should get what we pay for, like any other insurance (car, home, life) product.

But not according to “Republicans”: they are out to breach our contract and steal our money:

As one of its first orders of business upon convening Tuesday, the Republican House of Representatives approved a rule that will seriously undermine efforts to keep all of Social Security solvent.

The rule hampers an otherwise routine reallocation of Social Security payroll tax income from the old-age program to the disability program. Such a reallocation, in either direction, has taken place 11 times since 1968, according to Kathy Ruffing of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The most cynical aspect of this attack is that it comes from some lawmakers who were helped by Social Security in their own lives. The roster includes Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who received Social Security benefits during his college years, after his father’s untimely death, and now thinks that the nation can’t afford to keep paying them as currently scheduled.

Another is Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), the sponsor of the House rules change, whose father died when he was 2 and then was raised by a single mother on Social Security and veterans benefits. Now he talks about Social Security going “bankrupt,” which is flatly incorrect, and promotes a measure aimed at cutting benefits for all. This is known as climbing the ladder and pulling it up behind you.

Got it, folks? The Teapubbies are doing exactly what they said they would do if elected. They are out to wreck Social Security, pocket our premiums, and throw anyone who is retired or disabled onto the streets instead of giving you the insurance benefits you paid for.

F*** those people. And if you voted for a “Republican”, f*** you too.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

It’s become a cliche’: oppressed people get pushed over the edge, riot, and trash their own neighborhoods. Those in government and media who are not from the oppressed class pontificate from the comfortable safety of their communities. So it goes, again and again. Ferguson today, Watts yesterday, and no doubt somewhere else tomorrow.

Of course, it is stupid to foul one’s one nest. But angry people often do stupid things. And that angry idiocy is the oppressors’ BFF; in fact, that anger is the product of said oppression.

So, you in the 1% (aka the oppressors): whatcha gonna do when the rioters get a clue and stop burning down the slums and decaying suburbs to which you have confined them? When they realize that their destructive impulses could better be directed away from those who are scarcely better-off than themselves? When they learn to focus on the real enemy?

Because, trust-fund turkeys, that enemy is you. You are the greedy motherf***ers who have bought the government and by so doing have robbed the rest of us blind, binging on your wealth while millions starve. You are both the cause and effect of inequality, and are completely dependent on its continuance.

And like many oppressors, you fail to see how precarious your position truly is. Someday, it will happen, as it always has and always will: the foolish will see the error of their ways and will choose a new path: in this case, towards your neighborhoods, your homes, and your businesses. The flames will not stay confined to the dwellings of “those people” forever.

Don’t believe it? Ask Marie Antoinette, or perhaps the Romanovs…oh…wait…you can’t ask them, can you? Because they got killed by those they oppressed, didn’t they? And like you, they thought it couldn’t happen.

Want to avoid that seemingly inevitable fate? Stop being a bunch of short-sighted, self-absorbed greedheads and start paying attention to the plight of those whose fortunes and futures you have stolen. Their present needn’t become your future, but it most surely will if you don’t smarten up yourselves.

Because while it may be stupid of them to burn down their own neighborhoods, it’s even dumber for you to incite them to burn down yours.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

This blog sneers ofttimes at “Republicans” and their stupid-f*** “supply-side” economics. (Here is one example of said mockery.) The gist is: tried and true data-based economic practices are the way to succeed, and Randian, Lafferesque Voodoo economic policies are the way to fail.

In Kansas, one of several states that have decided Ayn Rand was the false Goddess they shall worship, Voodoo economics have had the result most of those in the Reality-Based community have predicted:

In Kansas, the right wing has completely run the show in the state capitol since the 2012 elections, when Sam Brownback (who became governor two years earlier) led a purge of moderate Republicans who were acting as a brake on his agenda in the state Senate. Kansas is now a laboratory for what would happen if conservative Republicans gained full control of government. Empowered state Republicans slashed taxes for the rich, arguing that an economic boom would follow. It didn’t, as job growth in Kansas has underperformed the national average (as has Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, another state that moved hard right around the same time). But what did follow was a huge hole in the state’s budget (while liberal-dominated California is running a surplus and paying down debt).. (Emphasis via Cranky)

In state after state, the predicted results have occurred: Voodoo economics have created a sort of Zombie economy. What might seem just a mildly amusing turn of phrase is in fact a devastating blow to those of us not in the 1% (said 1% motherf***ers not being in the least incommoded by the Undead Economy). The economy is limping along, barely alive as far as most of us can tell, and that is not a sustainable path.

In Kansas, Wisconsin, Ohio, and indeed across the nation, we see the results of “Republican” policies: and rotten results they have proven to be. Using millions of people to test their voodoo theories was unethical at the outset, and has since sucked most of the life our of our economy.

Unlike the zombies one sees in movies, our Repub-afflicted economy can be healed and brought back to life. All that is needed is to lay off the voodoo, apply some healthy policies, and the rotting ambulatory corpse of our nation will be restored to health.

And the first step of that cure? Get out and vote. Vote against each and every “Republican” in every race, in every location. Banish the witch doctors and bring back the trained, educated professionals that had served us so well for centuries. Ditch the dream of Supply-Side, and awaken to reality.

That ‘dream’ turned out to be a nightmare the likes of which even Romero could never have envisioned, anyway.

Mr. Blunt and Crankly

Here is the story of a ripoff being perpetrated on the public by some locations of a restaurant chain called “Gator’s Dockside”. These greedy, larcenous, lying bastards are charging customers a 1% “ACA fee” to cover costs of providing health insurance for employees of the eateries. One teeny tiny little catch: the ACA requirement doesn’t take effect until 2015.

Oh, and the employees aren’t getting the insurance yet. And they won’t until 2015. So the only reason for the fee is theft, plain and simple.

Of course, scam artists abound in America, and there is nothing unusual in thieves committing theft. But this does point up a rather common phenomenon: people using Obama as a scapegoat, smokescreen, or excuse for whatever crimes they wish to commit. And because of the stupidity, venality, xenophobia and racism of so many of us, these con jobs are all too often successful.

Next time you hear Thing One about how ObamaCare is raising our prices, inflating our costs, or other dire predictions of horrible health-care-related problems, remember the lies of these restauranteurs: they blamed Obama for the money they chose to steal from thousands of customers. And beware of the many other crooks who are also lying about the ACA for their own nefarious purposes.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Yes, vulture capitalist Thomas Perkins is a motherf***er of the highest degree, one who f***s his own mother, his wife’s mother, their respective mothers, and indeed, any mothers he can lay his scummy little mitts on. Adding to that is the sense of entitlement to the mothers of the world, an outraged response to anyone who suggests that he leave all those mothers alone, and a proposal that he and others like him have laws passed reserving all American mothers for themselves alone. An honest motherf***er is he.

Mr. Perkins made an analogous proposal recently: that only taxpayers be allowed to vote, and that the richer you are, the more votes you can cast. Said it straight up and did not try to pass it off as a joke. And he has not yet walked it back as he did (partly, anyway) his comparison of people like you and me to Nazis. This is what the rich motherf***er really thinks.

And he isn’t the only one: five Supreme Court “justices” said pretty much the same thing when they imposed the Citizens United ruling on the nation. That ruling made money into speech, meaning that those with more money have a right to more speech. This is the wealthy trying to take over our government, and having some success at it.

But unlike Tommy Boy, most of the other motherf***ers don’t admit to being f***ers of mothers. They talk about “freedom”, and “unfettered capitalism” and other such buzzword-laden tripe, and pretend that their vision is not at all Orwellian. But they want the same thing he wants, make no mistake about it: a plutocracy, wherein the rich rule the rest of us.

But honest or not, he wants to f*** our mothers. And the rest of us. So f*** him.

(Next time: motherf***ers crying about being “attacked”.)

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Today is the official start of the Davos World Economic Forum, during which some of Earth’s richest and most powerful people convene in amazing luxury to decide who will win and who will lose. And wonder of wonders, a few bits of common sense are appearing on the horizon:

Number A: Japan’s recent turnaround, which happened after they finally gave up on Voodoo Reaganomics, was the keynote topic;
Letter 2: income inequality is on the agenda; and
Thirdly: Oxfam’s recent gruesome report on just how badly the rich and powerful are f***ing the rest of us is being looked at.

Looked at is good, but acted upon would be better. The report’s gist is that across the world (as in America since Reagan) the rich and powerful have rigged the game and are gleefully piling up filthy lucre, which is putting billions of people in a no-win, guaranteed-loss situation:

The Oxfam report found that over the past few decades, the rich have successfully wielded political influence to skew policies in their favour on issues ranging from financial deregulation, tax havens, anti-competitive business practices to lower tax rates on high incomes and cuts in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, said the report.
This “capture of opportunities” by the rich at the expense of the poor and middle classes has led to a situation where 70% of the world’s population live in countries where inequality has increased since the 1980s and 1% of families own 46% of global wealth – almost £70tn.

The 1% of the world are a load of purblind fools who have either never read history, or stupidly think they are smarter than billions of other humans, so let’s make this plain for them, shall we? Oxfam’s report clearly (and correctly) points out that this fleecing of the many to benefit the few is creating instability. In other words, revolution is around the corner.

It happened in France. It happened in China. It happened in Russia. It has happened, can happen, and will happen anywhere that people are being treated unjustly and feel that they have nothing to lose. And right now, Gentle Reader, nearly 3/4 of the world’s population feels that they have nothing to lose.

In America, it will continue until the “Republicans” who were and are behind the scam get voted out of office. And if they don’t get voted out of office soon, shit’s gonna go down sometime. And it will be bloody and destructive in a mammer such as the world has never before witnessed, and will not be confined to our shores, because the great robbery has happened around the world.

And it’s ridiculous. Can you wear more than one suit at a time, eat more than one meal at a time, drink more than one drink at a time? Hell, no. Beyond a certain point, acccreting further wealth becomes useless and meaningless. As well as dangerous and destructive.

You. Cannot. Keep. Abusing. People. Forever. Eventually, even a dog will bite back; people will do it sooner than dogs. And the “bites” of humans will do a lot more damage, too. Earth to Davos: you have the people gathered in one place, at one time; the people who can change this horrible state of affairs (many of whom helped to create it, and who have benefited from it). If you don’t change what’s happening, then you can’t change the outcome.

And regardless of of what the 1% may think, the outcome will destroy them, just as it will will the 99%. Davos: you can change the outcome; and if you don’t, well, even all your riches won’t buy enough soap to wash the blood of billions from your greedy, clutching hands.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Racial equality wasn’t all that big a deal to the plutocracy (AKA the 1%), because they weren’t going to lose any money from it. But when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. started the Poor People’s Campaign, that’s when s*** got real. A multi-racial, cross-class movement for economic justice? That was gonna cost some change.

And if you think about it, the leaders of every movement that tried to empower the many and free them from the oppression of the few have been so treated. Jesus, and Gandhi, to name a few. Others survived (like Mandela) but suffered horribly as they were made an example of by the 1% of their day.

Because ultimately the color wars, the culture wars, the party wars, all are of relatively little import to those who would use the world as their own private slush fund. They matter to US, we who are not of the Plutocratic Elite, but all they care about is cash and control. When wealth and power are put on the table, that is when people start getting killed, to protect the fortunes and privileges of the few. If they can mute the voices of freedom and justice, they will do so: but kill they will, if they deem it expedient and to their own benefit.

The leaders of Occupy managed to avoid King’s fate, because they refused (wisely) to have one single person as their capital-L Leader. Their message was marginalized by less drastic means. But marginalized it was, because when it comes to wealth, any and all means will be used to maintain the positions of the Plutocrats.

Remember, Gentle Reader, as you honor Dr. King on this day: he did not only die because he wanted people of color to be free: he died because he wanted all of us to share in the fruits of our labor. That is why he was murdered, as were other warriors before him. And we can best honor him by carrying on that fight.

Mister Blunt and Cranky

PS: This is not intended as slight on those who have bravely fought for justice based on color, creed, class and culture. Those are serious struggles and are very important to the vast majority of us. This post is about the economic aspect of Dr. King’s legacy, which is ofttimes overlooked.

20131113-083522.jpgAs you may have heard, Congress’s approval rating just hit another record low: only nine percent of Americans think they don’t suck. It is hard to be disliked to a greater extent than that, but hey, they might be able to pull it off.

Of course, they COULD look at that chart up there, and by making a single change, raise their approval rating by 30 percent. That change? Why, doing their f***jng jobs, that’s all.

The 39% approval rating they had back in 2009 was not earned by their moral goodness; nor was it a result of diligence, comity, or even treating each other with much dignity and respect. It was earned by passing bills that needed passed, confirming appointments that needed confirmed, even though they were acting like ill-tempered toddlers much of the time. They worked, fought, debated, argued, and then compromised for the good of the country. You know, what COngress is supposed to do in the first place.

How about it, boys and girls? Would you like an approval rating close to that of Obama’s? Act like you did in 2009, and you’ll get ratings like you did in 2009. Or, keep on f***ing off and f***ing up, and see if you can get down to a 1 % rating.

Which would be weirdly appropriate, if you think about it.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Mr. Blunt and Cranky was made to study entirely too much history in his youth, and after reading Twain and Dumas chose to study the French Revolution in more depth. Recent events in our own country have brought that bloody, mindless, and savage period back to mind: and the parallels are eerie. A few examples:

Number A:  Poverty and malnutrition were increasingly common due to economic instability, governmental ineffectiveness and a distribution network that failed to deliver food to those who needed it. Indeed, the nation’s overall  infrastructure was antiquated and crumbling, and no one was willing or able to take the needed steps to update and repair it.

Letter 2: Previous wars of choice had left the French government deeply in debt, and the dire economic situation led to a steep drop in revenues, effectively bankrupting the national treasury.  There was a huge wealth gap between the very small percentage of the nobility (and other rich folk) and the rest of the population. The legislature spent its time taking potshots at the head of state (and each other) instead of addressing the problems of the nation.

Thirdly: Those who had wealth and power were disconnected from the vast majority of the nation.  While Marie Antoinette did not exactly say “let them eat cake”, the aristocracy did express such sentiments: this further inflamed the anger of a population who were already frustrated by the actions of disinterested royals, priests and plutocrats.

The resulting revolution destroyed an entire culture, killed uncounted people, and left much of Europe destabilized for over a decade.  If the monarchy had listened to their ministers and adopted the needed reforms, it is likely that any needed societal changes would have been made in a far less traumatic fashion. As we know, the ruling class did no such thing, and they (and France as a whole) paid with their lives.

This writer trusts that the present-day situation is sufficiently similar to his readers as to not require a long-winded explanation: many Americans are suffering while a very few live high on the hog; we have members of the new aristocracy like Carly Fiorina, Mitt Romney, Lloyd Blankfein  et.al. saying very Antoinette-ish things; and the legislature is far too busy playing reindeer games  to solve the urgent problems that are slowly destroying the social fabric of our country.

If we do the same things that France did in 1789, we will have the same results. Want to avoid winding up like they did? Work to change the current paradigm in a firm but peaceful manner. Or just sit around hoping for divine intervention, and watch centuries of progress go up in flames.

Next time: why a revolution would be even worse this time around.

Mr. B & C

Mister Blunt and Cranky has been mulling over the Presidents he has dealt with in his adult life, and what made some of them better or worse than others.  He has come to the conclusion that the best Prexies were the ones who understood what it meant to be an average American, and the worst were the ones that did not.

Starting with the first one he ever voted for: Gerald Ford.  The child of a broken, working-class home, he had a simple but demanding job  as Nixon’s replacement – calm the country down after Tricky’s constitutional crime spree, and did that job well.

Jimmy Carter: Born into affluence and comfort, he was a brilliant intellect who never really connected with voters. After leaving the White House, he showed how much more he was capable of, but while in office, his record was mixed.

Ronald Reagan: came from modest means and showed an amazing ability to connect with voters. Pity he drank so much Supply-Side Kool-Aid, but one cannot deny that he sussed what it was like to be an average schmoe.

Bush The Smarter: Born into wealth and privilege, he stepped out of that comfort zone for a while to be a war hero (yes, he really was), and then stepped back into the bubble. A good man but a mediocre president.

Billy Bob Clinton: A trailer trash horndog but a bona-fide genius. If he could have kept it in his trousers, he would have been an excellent President. Still, he did a good job of stabilizing the economy, cutting the deficit , moving people off the dole and into the workforce. Bubba understood life on the margins and in the under-and-middle classes.

Bush The Dumber: Exemplified all that is wrong with being born in the bubble of privilege and never venturing out of it. Tried everything his daddy succeeded at, and either fumbled through it or failed miserably. Wrecked the economy, enabled terrorist attacks, trashed our freedoms, and turned the United States into a bankrupt pariah state.

Barack Obama: Child of a broken home, barely above the poverty line at times and shuttled around the globe willy-nilly by a platoon of relatives. Devoted (or dumb) enough to run for President during a national crisis. Well-intentioned and able to understand the plight of the lower and middle classes. Has done a good job of triage and trauma care on a nation that was left bleeding and broke by the previous idiot.

Here’s the conclusion: the more humble your childhood origins, the better President you will make. Remember that as you choose between the lower-middle-class mixed-race kid and the snotty rich brat this November.

Mr. B & C