Skip to main content

THE WEAK IN REVIEW:
Politics
Do Me, Beat Me, Impeach Me, oh God!

It's high time we impeached the President, unless we already did that and I missed it. Impeachment is crowding out every other subject on the home front during the Congressional recess, including even the issues of building a fifty-foot wall around the entire United States, or what to do with Syria, or remembering to ask an aide which one is Syria, or even building a fifty-foot wall around Syria, if it turns out to be one of our states after all.

Yes, impeachment of the President is the hot subject during town hall meetings that legislators are holding in various places that still have town halls all across this great land of ours where the flag waves proudly over the purple grain and majestic fruit, and where all that people ask of their Congresspersons is a fifty-foot wall to provide adequate cover for the coming End Times, behind which (the walls, not the End Times) the militiamen will gather with their muzzle-loading muskets and pitchforks to hold off the government agents who have been electronically monitoring their toasters for years.

In Michigan, Congressthing Kenny Berntivolio recently related to constituents the heartwarming story of how impeaching the President would be — and I quote him here with a catch in my own throat — "my dream come true." Bernitivolio said he couldn't think of any charges yet, but he was working on a few good leads. He said that maybe "someone more qualified," such as a Congressional page or perhaps Glenn Beck's hairpiece, could come up with something better, as he feels a little discumbobulated lately due to the fact that his toaster is no longer speaking to him.

It isn't just our House members who have been thinking really hard about this pressing issue. U.S. Senator Tom Coburn told a town meeting in Muskogee, Oklahoma, as well as all the Okies gathered there to sing country songs in congratulatory self-deprecation, that he did not have "the legal background" to know whether President Barack Obama had actually committed high crimes and misdemeanors. However, Senator Coburn apparently did scrape up the legal wherewithal to note that the President is "getting perilously close." Taking comfort in the knowledge that the Senator is almost on firm legal ground, we can all sleep safe in our beds or safe under our cardboard boxes, or wherever it is we are safely sleeping in these tremendous times in this great country where everything would be perfect if not for our Constitution-hating Chief Executive and his unconstitutional, faking-left-and-going-right regulations.

Clearly, Republicans who have placed impeachment Number One on their summer wish lists haven't thought this thing through, since forty years ago this supposedly Socialist President would have been a Republican. Not that our Congresskids couldn't come up with some really nifty charges if they all frowned really hard together at the same time in the same room while their mommies were all gone for the afternoon, because no one doubts that they have it in them. No, the problem is what they would do if they actually came up with something they could convince themselves was an impeachable offense — and then actually impeached the man.

Because then Joe Biden would be President. Joe Biden! I imagine that would be a little like Alexander Haig assuming command of the Nixon White House, only with more preemptive nuclear strikes against political enemies, and definitely way more preemptive nuclear strikes against political allies.

No, Republicans would do well to cool the impeachment campaign. I mean just talking about it is a lot of fun, sure, and wishing really, really hard for our dreams to come true is very American and all that, but even Democrats don't want Joe Biden to be President. Congress should probably just quit while they're ahead. Yeah, that's it, Congress should just quit. Though it's unlikely that anyone could tell the difference between this particular Congress when it was seated and the one that is still back at town meeting, dreaming its wonderful dreams of freedom, and liberty, and a fat Koch Brothers scholarship for yet another term.

(Doohickey alert)

THE WEAK IN REVIEW:
Economy
Mr. Economy Takes on the WSJ

Editor's Note: Please stand back and try not to let the brilliance of Mr. Economy's arguments damage your eyesight. Remember, Mr. Economy is a professional. The class would be well advised to take notes. You'll find crayons below your seats.

The Wall Street Journal said last week that everything would be great and not just great but stupendous and not just a little stupendous but stupendously stupendous, if anyone at all who made any money at all were not to be taxed at all. Why? Well, as everyone knows it's the people who make any money at all who create the jobs, and we need jobs, right? (Don't think too far ahead or even you amateurs may detect the flaw in this argument before the Big Reveal.) Right? Right!

Consider, the WSJ urges, those formerly obscenely rich people who have made all that money from the self-hypnotized Stock Market the last few years. The wealth of these now very obscenely rich people continues to rise so much that they each can afford two adverbs before even getting to their names, even though the other 90% of us never recovered after our household incomes and net wealth crapped out so much that most of us can barely afford adjectives. And forget nouns!

Here's what supposedly happened, the WSJ reminds us: because we've only taxed them moderately, these capitalist heroes, these noble Howard Roarkes and John Galts, have been able to pour all their new money directly back into the American economy and thereby they have created so many more jobs in the wonderful, high-paying fields of, of... well, wait a minute while I look them up... {compositor, save several pages here to print the many important industries that saw such tremendous growth in well-paying jobs with benefits in the last five years} ...not to mention a new cadre of young professionals going into short-order fry cookery, or as the French say, "Merde!"

So, sure, it all must be true because with investment capitalism, theory is truth. To put it indelicately, rich people are only too glad to pee goldenly on the rest of us, even those homeless people living directly below the street drains, who get the benefit of "trickle-down." And we should be grateful. I'm sure we are. Grateful enough to demand, "Hey, no more taxes for the rich! They've suffered enough, and besides, their pee is delicious!"

Now I don't want to say The Wall Street Journal "knows not whereof it speaks," mostly because I plan to eschew all archaisms in this and all further editions of The Weak in Review, because our news is already so dated only conservatives even remember when this stuff happened. Still, I'm sure the WSJ-folk have read the same economics textbooks and polemics that I have, only more uncritically. Now, just because all of the capitalistic arguments in most of these books are based on false dichotomies illustrated by straw men apparently kept functioning by hallucinogens fed them by economists who haven't checked their dogmatic ideologies against the actual facts for at least twenty years, doesn't mean that what the WSJ thinks isn't completely bizarre and disingenuous. Besides, I paid good money for those two adjectives and now I'm going to wear the suckers out. However, in their disingenuous writers' defense, let us remember that the Straw Man didn't have a brain in that bizarre movie with the scary flying monkeys, so small wonder that sharpening his bizarre arguments against those of a brainless scarecrow has left the disingenuous WSJ man's conclusions several million jobs short of the observable and by-now-double adverb-bizarre truth.

A few numbers, because we can

Since 1983, more than two million good-paying, good-benefit manufacturing jobs have been sent overseas. When 8.7 million jobs were lost during the 2008 recession, those who found work often had to accept lower-paying jobs with fewer or no benefits. Now the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that in the next five years 30% to 40% of good-paying, good-benefit white collar jobs also will be outsourced.

But we should be grateful to the job creators? They should get even more tax breaks for creating jobs in China and India?

Let's look at a snapshot of the new economy, now that the rich are doing so much profitable job creation overseas, and look at some markers showing how all this outsourcing and free trading might be "helping" America's middle and lower classes. (Courtesy of Harper's wonderful Index.)

Average annual tax savings among top 1% of wage earners under Bush tax cuts: $66,384
Average annual income for other 99%: $58,506
Number of jobs lost by African American women during recession: 233,000
During the first two years of the "recovery": 258,000
Average annual cost after financial aid to attend NYU for a family making $30,000 a year or less: $25,462
Ratio of U.S. tax breaks to tax revenue in 2011: 1:1
Percentage change in the incomes of the top 1% of earners during the recovery: +11.2%
In the bottom 99%: —0.4%
Portion of American households that had a higher tax rate in 2013 as a result of the "fiscal cliff" deal: 3/4
Rank of CEO among occupations most likely to attract psychopaths: 1

The rich and their apologists claim that Americans are just lazy bastards who would rather get federal help than work, anyway. (Plus, it's always the victim's fault!) But every American I ever worked with — every single one! — wanted to do a better job than the CEO! We were interested in quality. The CEO just wanted quantity, to make more money for the stockholders. And these are the people who keep saying if you'd just cut their tax rates even more they will be able to create millions of more jobs. In China and India and not here, but millions more! Think of it!

Yes, as the rich always say: "All of this here's MINE!" "And... (unbuttoning fly) ...this is your'n!"

(Virtual doohickey here)

THE WEAK IN REVIEW:
The Arts: Chapter & Verse
CHAPTER

Israel Hernández-Llach, 18, collapsed and died Tuesday after five Miami Beach, Florida, police officers chased and cornered him, and one then fired a taser into his chest. His alleged crime was painting graffiti on the wall of an abandoned McDonald’s restaurant.
Hernández, whose family recently immigrated from Colombia, had received acclaim in Florida art circles as a sculptor, painter, writer, and photographer inspired by his experiences in Colombia as well as the United States. Using the moniker “Reefa,” Hernández painted colorful murals on the sides of abandoned buildings, an activity the police and some property owners consider vandalism.
Thiago Souza, a companion of Hernández who witnessed the killing, described the officers as patting each other on the back and “high-fiving” after the young man collapsed on the ground. “You should have seen how funny it was when his butt clenched when he got tased,” Souza quoted one officer as saying to him, adding, “It was almost like they were proud of what they did.” — RINF
VERSE

Bridge St. Railroad Abutment

for Israel Hernandez

These tagged abutments, chalked
and painted, splashed with a sprawl
of color, interlocked
by a cuneiform scrawl
from cinders to rusty beam,
might tell you something true
if you believe that dream
informs what's real: in blue
and purple, look — eVolVe!
Then layered next, Get Hi!
and under that, dissolved
by rain and time, Why?

RelaX! might claim it's art
or merely firm command,
but meaning's only part
of message here, and
form's design that knows.
When taggers blazon YES!
to life, and overdose
on glitzy glyphs, suggesting
Truth loves Beauty, and Word
loves World — they still must hide
from city cops who've heard
that art is not on their side.

At night they work; by twos,
or soloing, they dance —
you ever watch them move?
The one who sprays PerChanCe
to dreAm
's alive with it,
his choreography
enhancing vital wit,
a soul you almost see.
When tagging's done, he'll spray
one word on a nearby fence
as rattling boxcars make
their counterarguments.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  This made my day (0+ / 0-)

    as I laugh and cry at the same time. And now feel like I have to go curl up in a ball and suck my thumb.

    Friends don't let friends vote Republican.

    by OhioNatureMom on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 01:48:11 PM PDT

  •  I really like the poetry, which surprised me (0+ / 0-)

    since most "poetry" is drivel, IMHO. Enjoyed the rest of the diary too, thanks.

    •  Yeah, I used to write free verse (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whenwego

      but it can easily become navel-gazing and it's all about ME, you know? So American! I like formal stuff because somehow it just seems more outer-directed and welcoming to writing about OTHERS.

      "A rising tide lifts all yachts."

      by Mike732 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 03:32:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The "science" of economics (0+ / 0-)
    the WSJ-folk have read the same economics textbooks
    Economics' most basic premise is "Everyone acts in their own self-interest." Hahahahahaha! Tell that to all of the idiots who want to defund the ACA.

    The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." -- Wanda

    by the autonomist on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 03:19:50 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, I've been reading Hayek and Friedman (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psyched

      just to see what I'm arguing against. If you start by accepting their false dichotomies and relationships, you might find yourself nodding a bit too vigorously. By God, they're right! And capitalism has its points — if it's properly regulated. Which it's so not, now, here in America. ...But then Friedman and his ilk somehow end up where economics has to be some kind of moral formulation, since the free market offers the only kinds of transaction that can be trusted to come out with an = sign, where both sides agree on a price, a bargain entered into freely, so both sides "get what they want." The only trouble is, I mostly don't want. Is it really going to matter when I'm gone if I drove a Lexus or a Ford? I hope not, because it sure doesn't matter to me now! The only human transactions I care about at all have no bottom lines. Yet we all supposedly have to play by capitalism's rules and seek its rewards and live its values, or we're somehow losers and non-contributors. And all society has to be the servant on the free markets. Sorry, no. The blind pursuit of freer markets is killing the best part of America, not socialistic correctives.

      "A rising tide lifts all yachts."

      by Mike732 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 03:46:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I studied economics in college. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike732

        I kept thinking I was missing something. But I finally figured out that in an unregulated market, in that transaction where you think you are "getting what you want," there is no way to know everything you may be getting - slave labor, environmental pollution, killing unions, on and on.

        The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." -- Wanda

        by the autonomist on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 04:13:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          psyched

          And it's so CW, the free market now, Dems, Pubs, all. You keep seeing these comments, "Well, we wouldn't have any problems at all if we just had real free markets." But the short-term profit need is killing investment as CEOs need to feed the shareholders — and they cut jobs or send them overseas, thus increasing efficiency. Unfettered free markets are NOT good for business. The gov't needs to make a few precise regs to set better rules.

          "A rising tide lifts all yachts."

          by Mike732 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 06:40:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  awesome diary-virtual tippenwreck (0+ / 0-)

    browser doesn't play well with DK4.infinity -

    I think you'll be seeing more of those from me.

    Modern Monetary Theory, anyone?

    “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

    by ozsea1 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:30:38 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site