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Hometown: Not disclosed
Home country: USA
Current location: Not disclosed
Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
Number of posts: 14,207

About Me

Counselor, economist and public servant.

Journal Archives

'He's an insider': Ramaswamy's deep ties to rightwing kingpins revealed

Source: The Guardian

Vivek Ramaswamy has described himself as an “outsider”, accusing rivals for the Republican presidential nomination of being “bought and paid for” by donors and special interests.

But the 38-year-old Ohio-based venture capitalist, whose sharp-elbowed and angry display stood out in the first Republican debate this week, has his own close ties to influential figures from both sides of the political aisle.

Prominent among such connections are Peter Thiel, the co-founder of tech giants PayPal and Palantir and a rightwing megadonor, and Leonard Leo, the activist who has marshaled unprecedented sums in his push to stock federal courts with conservative judges.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/aug/25/vivek-ramaswamy-rightwing-elite-close-ties-leonard-leo-peter-thiel

So...just another shill for billionaire parasites - drill baby drill, open coal and gas all the way, blah, blah, blah. ALL ABOUT WALL STREET PROFITS.

Fucking hypocrite.

Proposed talking point in 2024 election, to be pivoted to in any debate or on any Sunday

morning show:

How can the Republican party even justify its existence when its leader has been indicted and faces 91 felony counts. Hush money to porn stars, compromising national security by hoarding top secret documents and showing them to God-knows-who, attempting to overturn legitimate election results, and then inciting an insurrection in an attempt to hold on to power after losing an election?

Let's talk about THAT, because clearly the GOP has no actual policies to help Americans or even govern the country! So...(whomever the Republican shill at the time is), why should ANYONE in this country take your party seriously when it seems to have become a criminal organization.

I'd like to see a Democrat on one of the Sunday talk shows lead with THAT.

And, if the GOP person tries to squirm out of it, pivot to:

So, your party has taken away abortion access from half the labor force, wants to build border walls when what we really need is a business-friendly immigration policy, and absolutely refused to do ANYTHING about mass shootings. You were against forgiving student loans, against the infrastructure bill and against prohibiting insurance companies from lifetime caps on medical coverage and denying people for pre-existing conditions. Tell us, what DO you stand for?

It's time to POUND on these fucks.

I want to talk a little bit about freedom here in America.

Why, here in 'Murika we be free!

Free to...what?

Be slaves to debt? You bet. Consumer debt here in 'Murika has topped $17.05 TRILLION.

Total student debt - $1.6 TRILLION
Total healthcare debt - $88 BILLION in 2022
Total credit card debt - $986 BILLION in 2022

But hey, our grandkids are FREE to get gunned down in their schools, or in malls, or in theaters, or while shopping, or while watching a parade! And right-wing nut-jobs are FREE to buy up all kinds of assault weapons. Heck yeah!

And we're FREE to pay out the nose at the grocery store for stuff in smaller packages being sold at higher prices. They are calling that GREED-flation, and that is darned right.

We're FREE to not get medical or dental care we NEED because it costs so much. And we're FREE to have crummy, rationed healthcare with financially crippling copays!

We're FREE to pay out the nose for inadequate health insurance and dental insurance is a SICK JOKE. And we're free to go bankrupt with an average of $43K in healthcare debt! Sure, Democrats are trying to remove healthcare debt from credit reports - the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a severed artery.

Sigh...so may ways to be FREE here in 'Murika...

But Wall Street is doing GREAT, and there are more billionaires here than ever before! I know that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy all over. That bronze bull-idol on Wall Street that has replaced God be hungry for more shareholder PROFITS. And we are free to hold those same shareholder PROFITS above human life, worker interests, consumer welfare and the earth itself.

And we individual taxpayers are FREE to pay in 84% of the federal government's total tax revenue while corporations pay only 9% but get all those tax breaks. And dirt-bags like Trump pay a few hundred in tax on millions in profits.

So, no we don't celebrate the 4th in my house because FREEDOM HAS BECOME A JOKE thanks to the Wall Street greed lizards, the billionaire parasites, the corporate takeover of the republic, the disgusting and immoral imbalance in wealth, the lucrative fear industry that has awakened racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, gun violence, white nationalism and religious intolerance...

But hey, isn't all this FREEDOM great?

Drunken driver in Colorado tries to claim his dog was driving.


Some people are just stupid. This is from an AP article dated May 15. This happened in Springfield, a tiny little town on the eastern plains about 40 miles south of Lamar. Hot, flat and lots of Trump supporters and Q people.

Here's an excerpt - I'll put the link in but it is only worth reading for a couple additional chuckles:

SPRINGFIELD, Colo. (AP) — A driver, who was pulled over for speeding, tried to switch places with his dog to avoid arrest, police in Colorado said.

An officer watched him maneuvering inside the car before he got out on the passenger side on Saturday night in Springfield, a town of about 1,300 people on the state’s Eastern Plains, police said in a Facebook post Sunday.


This is Teacher Appreciation Week, so...

I thought I would publicly acknowledge a few of the teachers who shaped my life.

Ms. Shep - who shepherded me through Kindergarten.

Ms. Howard, whose son was killed in Viet Nam c. 1966.

Mr. Akiyama, a true Nissai Regiment WWII war hero, and a humble, genuinely good fifth grade teacher.

Ms. O'Meara, who told me I should take AP English in high school, but I stupidly refused because my 'friends' were not in AP classes.

Mr. Stratton, who taught Latin and inspired me in many ways.

Mr. Guy, who told us about how anti-war demonstrators were treated (he was one).

Teachers take a lot of crap, you know? They are maligned, grossly underpaid, and probably want to vomit every time some person who wears his ignorance on his sleeve utters the tired old cliche, "Those who can..."

But you know, I had some real good ones. Bad ones too. But mostly good. Dedicated people who shaped me in those long ago years to become who I am now.

May all the teachers who go in, day after day, and give their life force to help young people along the way be warmly blessed and appreciated!

Video: Arnold Schwartzenneger on Auschwitz and the easy path of hatred.

Usually I do not post videos because I am old fashioned and prefer to read articles. But this video speaks to the qanon and other haters about the horror of hatred, racism, anti-Sematism. This is a video worth watching.

Today, shortly after noon, in 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

May he rest in peace in perpetual light.

We should remember.

That is all.

Health care in America.

My wife awakened this morning weeping from agonizing pain. As she has for the last two weeks.

Four weeks ago she had a shoulder replacement surgery on top of two unnecessary surgeries earlier this year - one in March to flush out a non-existant infection, and another in May to install an antibiotic plastic temporary shoulder to fight this nonexistant infection. She also had to have two six-week picc lines (essentially an needle keeping a vein open so the patient can inject antibiotics once or twice a day. It takes about half an hour each time).

How do we know her infection was non-existant? Her infectuous disease physician (with whom the surgeon had minimal contact, because...well, I don't know. But 'evidence based' is sounding increasing like bullshit to me to be honest) told her he didn't think she ever even had an infection.

Bottom line, we finally, after the second surgeon went off on her, became furious when she confronted him with what the infectuous disease guy had told her (the surgeon had used a test usually used for infections in metal prostheses, like shoulders and knees, and not for 'native joints'). The wife researched that on that bane of all the god-playing doctors, the internet, and found out the surgeon had probably misused this test on her to find 'infection.'

She complained formally, like that would do any good.

She had the final shoulder replacement, which was reverse, so she'll never have full use of the arm. And what was really wrong, you ask (if you have read this far, which I don't expect many of you will)? She had agressive rheumatoid arthritis in multiple joints, which if the HMO had read the warning signs instead of worrying about collecting copays and coinsurance and premium payments, they could have done some simple tests YEARS AGO and my wife wouldn't even have had to have shoulder surgery.

Evidence based = trial and error. Let's all be honest. THE PROFIT MOTIVE IS IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH OUR INTERESTS AS PATIENTS. Evidence based is just a CYA song they all sing. Because in my wife's case the evidence was THERE all along - swollen fingers, surgery to remover an arthritis-twisted bone in her hand, a second knee replacement back in 2012. All there. But the cost cutting greed-measures in this system designed to serve Wall Street greed-lizards and shareholders rather than patients make me, at least, want to hurl.

And I'm TIRED of hearing how the Democrats took Medicare for all Americans off the table in '09 because they didn't have enough votes, and it wasn't good politics. It would have been moral. It would have been the right thing. I volunteered for Obama's '08 (and '12) campaigns BECAUSE HE CAMPAIGNED ON HEALTHCARE. Michelle's dad got shitty service because of inadequate insurance, bean counters denying payment for meds he needed, and a hospital much more concerned with cash flow than with actual patient care.

There are around 850 people who have been elected to high office, and if they wanted to do the right thing they could do it now!!! NOW!!!

Oh, but wait. The health insurance lobby! Oh no! We cannot possibly hurt SHAREHOLDER PROFITS!

Now, she's calling the nurse care line for what good they will do. We have to wait in a socialized medical system you say, but we had to save for two years to pay the financially crippling copay in 2019 for the hand surgery, and we had to TAKE OUT HEALTH CARE DEBT now, in our sixties, when we should be doing better than we ever have financially.

We need Medicare for all Americans NOW. It is the right thing, the moral thing, and FUCK SHAREHOLDER PROFITS.

OK, rant over.

Concerning Anti-Sematism being on the rise, racism and the billionaires looting the treasury

My father was in the Pacific Theater in WWII.

He was in the Battle for New Guinea on Morotai.

It took the world upwards of sixty million lives and years of economic ruin to get rid of the Axis powers.

Dad had a friend, Herb, who was in Patton's Third Army and he had stories about liberating Buchenwald. Other stories, too. Patton really did tell his soldiers to grease the boogie wheels of their tanks with German blood and guts.

Hitler awakened nationalism, blew the ember of anti-Sematism into a raging fire and loosed the 'dogs of war' upon us all.

How in the world did WE here in America get to this almost exact parallel to Germany in the 30s?

Oh, that's right.
- The 1971 Powell Manifesto
- Death of the Fairness Doctrine
- Nixon's Southern Strategy
- AM hate-talk radio
- Growth of the Republican news (propaganda) machine (Fox, Sinclair, others)
- Sarah Palin waking up the ugly, stupid, ignorant, racist base of the GOP
- Trump and the 'good people' at Charlottesville
- Rise in right-wing militias (the American Stahlhelm and Sturmabteilung)
- Moscow Mitch packing the Supreme Court with Dominionist Christians

In the meantime Wall Street roars:
- The Espionage Act that put Eugene Debs in prison
- The legal doctrine of Shareholder Primacy in 1919
- The Taft-Hartley Act which made general strikes illegal
- Systematic union busting with little support for workers in the US Congress (1950-1990s and even later)
- Supply-side Chicago School economics (trickle down) calling for taxes for corporations and billionaires to be cut, cut, cut in order to transfer the burden of paying for the Federal Government to individual taxpayers, who now shoulder 86% of that burden while corporations are only paying in 6.8%.
- Supreme court rulings easing corporate corruption of elected officials, culminating in Citizens United
- The constant drumbeat about how government is bad, bad, bad
- The constant drumbeat about the national debt (only when Dems are in power - OK for GOP wars, though)
- The discipline of GOP talking points - right now, the words 'far left agenda' are being put forth in ads all over the US
- Immediate condemnation of anything that would materially help Americans and their families as SOSH-A-LIZM
- The neoliberal mantra of 'privatize, deregulate, and gut social programs'
- Bush trying to privatize Social Security in 2004

You get the idea. Lots of money behind creating a system THAT FUNNELS TAX MONEY FROM THE US TREASURY TO BILLIONAIRES AND CORPORATIONS. Make no mistake, please, EVER. This is and has always been about money, and more money for the uber-wealthy and corporations - from the days of the rise of Hitler to these unhappy days we're living through now. The racism and anti-Semitism is incidental in that DEMOCRACY IS NOT SUPPORTIVE OF OLIGARCHS.

It is far easier for oligarchs to steal money from taxpayers in a fascist state, after all. Trouble is the fascists tend to war and genocide, and the oligarchs ALWAYS foolishly think they can be controlled.

This, people, is why I call them BILLIONAIRE PARASITES.

This is a CLASS WAR and has been since the first time the people rebelled against aristocrats. Silly us, eh? Wanting better lives and all!

So, you take umbrage at my attack on capitalism. Note: I cited two factors.

The FIRST is capitalism. Let me explain: we see ads on TV, the classic is a law office telling us about the Camp Lajeaune water lawsuit and lamenting 'profits over people.'

'Profits over people' is not just a left-wing trope. It is an actual legal precedent, brought forth in a MI Supreme Court ruling in 1919 against Henry Ford. It seems Ford raised the wages of his people on the factory floor so they could afford to buy the cars they made. The Dodge brothers sued Ford on the basis that these 'excessive wages' were irresponsible because they deprived them of PROFITS to which they were entitled as shareholders. And they WON.

Officially, this doctrine is called 'Shareholder Primacy' and what it means on the ground is that if you are the CEO of a publicly traded company, your ONLY job is to protect and increase shareholder profits. Period. So, your first act will be to bust the union, if there is one. You will also cut corners on benefits, try and steal the pension fund if you can legally get away with it, turn a blind eye to any wage theft, and compromise safety on the floor. You will also challenge every workers comp claim, and fight against any legislation or regulation designed to help workers. And you will spend capital to automate as much as possible.

As to consumers, you will cut costs by using less costly (and lower quality) materials, and shrink the size of the packaging but leave the price the same (Brits call this 'shrinkflation'). Also, if your product is dangerous, if it hurts a few people sometimes (think Ford Pinto and J&J talc), you will do a cost/benefit analysis and make a decision as to whether it is better FOR SHAREHOLDER PROFITS to simply pay off the people who sue or recall the product and incur the cost of fixing it. Seriously. We can find a number of examples of this.

Concerning the environment, the CEO of the publicly held company will foul the environment as much as they can get away with because environmental damage the company does not have to pay for is called an 'externality.' And, if there is a spill, the company will work hard with members of Congress they have corrupted with campaign donations to pass the cost of cleanup onto the taxpayers so SHAREHOLDER PROFITS aren't hurt in any way. Ever wonder why Republicans apologized publicly to British Petroleum after its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? They wanted to pass the cost of cleanup onto us taxpayers, that's why. And that darned Obama instead made BP pay $20 billion.

This is coupled with the Chicago supply-side (we call it 'trickle down') economics which holds that if you cut taxes for corporations, they will create so many new jobs that the greater number of workers paying payroll taxes will offset the corporate tax shortfall. Now, think that through - this is a systematic transfer of wealth (oooh! A wealth REDISTRIBUTION). Essentially, it puts more of the burden (at this point 86% of the burden) of running the federal government on to taxpayers, while corporations saw their tax contribution to the federal government go from ~35% back in the 1960s and 70s down to 6.8% today. Maybe even lower - I haven't looked at this data for a couple years.

Ah, you ask...how to these scamps get away with stealing us blind like this?

If you obtain and read the memorandum Lewis Powell wrote to the US Chamber of Commerce at its request way back in 1971, you will get some good insight. It is colloquially known as the 'Powell Manifesto,' and lays out the entire plan for a corporate/Republican 'news' (propaganda) network by building out talk radio, and creating a Republican 'news' network. This is why operatives like Rove, Rumsfeld and Cheney had the snake Reagan kill the old Fairness Doctrine in 1987. This pocket veto opened the door for Fox 'News' and later the growth of massive right-wing syndicates like the Sinclair Media Group who gobble up local channels and force the newscasters to read national news from their scripts. Also, have you noticed that networks like CNN no longer take emails from us? The Hill and Huffington Post cut out comments? There is a reason, and it is that the monied groups (I lovingly call them billionaire parasites, and every billionare really IS a failure in tax policy) push back on truth HARD, and they do not want readers to realize that a large number of Americans don't agree with the content - both 'factual' and polemic.

This is why the right-wing's (it is called NeoLiberalism, don't you know - why? Maybe to fool us) mantra is 'privatize, deregulate and gut the New Deal. Lately, we have heard that key Republicans have promised to shut down the government if Democrats don't agree to massive cuts in Social Security and Medicare, have we not?

And, of course, we can round all this off with the constant drumbeat that government is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad...Reagan also started this by saying that the government isn't the solution, it's the problem. This is why some of the right wing-nuts hate government so very virulantly - they do not see, due to exposure to YEARS of propaganda, that the real enemy is the billionaire parasites and Shareholder Primacy.

So ends my soliloquy on capitalism. Now to population.

The SECOND factor I brought up was overpopulation. The earth could still support us but if you go to sources like World Counts https://www.theworldcounts.com/, you will see that around 9 million people die per year of hunger related causes in the face of trillions in amassed wealth (by the few), and that we need 1.82 planet earths presently to support us all.

So, yeah. Capitalism and its attendent pollution (lots of info on that in World Counts) and the carbon induced climate change that threatens to make this planet uninhabitable is one factor, and overpopulation another.

When, we wonder, will our species GROW up, put aside pride, greed, anger, hate, war, and all the rest, and start organizing around keeping the earth in good order, controlling our population growth, and ensuring that people have enough.

Remember John Lennon - You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...

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