Barack the Toxic

September 28, 2010

One key job of a sitting president, especially in an election year, is to conduct oneself in a way that helps your Party win races.  If you’re a popular president, you must tirelessly stump for candidates.  If you’re unpopular, you can still act forceful and in-charge. Even if people disagree with you, their primal instincts will push them toward complying with a confident troop leader.

As president, your legislative calendar should be carefully crafted and timed to boost your comrades fighting for office.  Bills should be introduced that make your guys look good, while forcing the other guys to either dodge or take unpopular stands.  A steady stream of feel-good executive orders & speeches should emanate from the Oval Office throughout the Fall.  “Third-rail” issues should be scrupulously avoided.

Needless to say, obama, neither savvy politician nor experienced legislator, much less a leader, has failed on all these counts.  Ultimately, obama doesn’t care: the common complaint among Democratic candidates this year has been that the White House has told them, in no uncertain terms, that they are on their own.

Even worse than these sins of omission, the obama administration has committed several missteps toxic to an already struggling Democratic party:

Health Care Reform

Way back in 2009, 3/4 of Americans favored health care reform, with at least 2/3 supporting universal single payer.  Possessing momentum, a mandate, and a 60-vote majority, enacting HCR should’ve been a slam-dunk.  Yet the entire Democratic machine stood flat-footed as the nascent TP staged protests against HCR, before belatedly dispatching Nancy Pelosi to engage in a puerile pissing match.  The bill went over like a lead zeppelin in congress, ambushed by blue dogs who’d slipped their leashes.  It was in any case an academic exercise, as the HCR bill exited the White House stillborn; a perverted creation of BO’s secret sessions with industry lobbyists, a Health Care Reform with no “care” and scant “reform” in it.

And thus was an eminently popular idea, whose time had clearly arrived, become an albatross draped about the neck of every Democrat running for office, with Martha Coakley the honorary first recipient.

The Oil Spill

As terrible as this disaster was, it nevertheless offered the obama administration a rare opportunity to gain respect, by presenting a striking contrast of executive vigor to Bush’ callousness & ineptitude during Katrina.

Instead, obama ended up looking even more callous and impotent.  Consequently, in the political chess game, Katrina as a dig against the GOP is permanently off the board.    (Maneuverability on this issue was not helped by the self-coronated “Green Economy President’s” advocation a month earlier for expanded offshore drilling.)

Trying to act like he actually cared, BO blurted out some tough guy nonsense about ‘a boot on BP’s throat’.  Which was as convincing as the muttered oaths of the wimp who’s had his lunch money stolen yet again.

A potential fatal blow to the drill-baby-drillers, the oil spill became instead a Democratic failure.  To add injury to insult, a chance to push for accelerating the transition to renewable energy was lost.


A Bush program that everyone beyond Wall Street utterly abhorred, BO eagerly gobbled up the sloppy seconds.  And, Presto!  The GOP’s plague with the middle class voter, their eternal coddling of the rich & greedy, infected the Democrats as well.


A full 70% of Americans favor increased controls on illegal immigration.  Only proglydites, whose vote you presumably already have, and libertarians & capitalists, whose vote you’ll never get, favor illegal immigration. Yet the obama administration went out of its way to combat Arizona’s SB1070 via legal action and public condemnation.  Now, there were many paths to tread on this subject —  decrying racial profiling while simultaneously announcing a cosmetic boost to border patrol, for example, or simply ignoring it — that skirted a controversial, compromising stand.  Instead, obama firmly linked all Democrats with illegal immigration.  Every news story now includes an obligatory reference to ‘conservatives seek stronger border controls, while liberals (!) favor easing restrictions on immigration.’

The Mosque

The political equivalent of a high voltage power line lying in a puddle, sparking and buzzing,  the Ground Zero mosque was unhesitatingly taken up by obama.

Nearly 80% of Americans oppose the construction of that mosque as insensitive and in bad taste.  Yet the administration spent a good two weeks devoting its efforts to defense of the mosque, raising the canards of racism and 1st Amendment rights.  As a result, the Democrats came across as jihadiphile desecrators of hallowed ground.

Legislative Calendar

On Capitol Hill, the White House has chosen to: half-heartedly launch a repeal of DADT without first lining up enough votes; punt on the Bush tax cuts expiration after a three-and-out botching of the accompanying PR spin; threatened to force on its own congressmen a pre-election vote on a GOP-friendly, White House proposal for a $200 billion tax cut to businesses.

The list could go on.

What kind of Party leader repeatedly takes positions that 2/3 to 3/4 of Americans oppose?  One answer is that obama is simply a bungling idiot, & his “handlers” by extension.

Or, realizing BO’s low approvals were irreparable, the White House may have instead consciously chosen to rally its extremist base.   From the Paris Communards to the Moral Majority, this has been a standard, and not altogether unwise, tactic.

Another explanation for obama’s string of toxic stances exists: that he is a manchurian candidate, a trojan horse snuck into the Democratic Party and designed to destroy it from within.  If so, then BO’s intentionally took these toxic missteps (or at least his creators knew he’d take them).

What will it take for the Democratic Party to realize its leader is poison?   Apparently, nothing short of a midterm clobbering.

(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.

Poor, Poor Rich Folks

September 24, 2010


Allow me to introduce myself. I am Todd, comte du Henderson, and I am trés riches.  But, even though my family earns $400,000, which is eight times more than the average peasant family, (we are at least eight times better than you, of course), we can barely make ends meet.  Nous sommes pauvre!  That’s because the jacobins in the IRS take a criminal 35% of the last $26,350 of our paltry wealth.

I am a law professor, and my wife is a doctor, so you can be assured that we are kind-hearted people with the best interests of you, the peasantry, in mind.  But soon we will be forced to live in some dirty hovel, and eat sewer rats, as you do, because the Socialists in Paris, I mean Washington, are robbing us blind.

Why, for example, must my family finance the government with 1/4 of our earnings?  It’s not like the government does anything for us.  We probably should hire one of those fancy accountants to help us evade taxes, but we can’t afford one.  Marie says we just drank the last d’Yquem and she’s scrounging for loose change in the couch. Those atheist revolutionaries also penalize us for having married and started a family.  How else is overpopulation going to progress if two people are not given tax breaks for having three children?  Talk about perverse!

After paying for a government we don’t use, our next biggest expense, like most white people, is our mortgage.  In the exclusive neighborhood we live in, houses aren’t cheap.  Is it really fair to penalize us for wanting to live far from the rabble?  We pay $15,000 in property taxes. Mon dieu! — that’s nearly what a peasant earns in an entire year!  Half of that goes toward paying for peasant children to attend public schools.  Since we want our own scions to be prepared to one day assume their rightful role among the nobility, we send them to expensive private schools where they can associate with their peers.

Honestly, I have no idea where the remaining $285,000 goes!  We live a practically spartan lifestyle (thankfully, basic cable has FOX), with only a few hundred dollars per month to spare.   We could fire the servants, I suppose, and stop taking the babysitter out to Ruths Chris.  Or maybe cut Fifi’s art classes.  This is scary — we’re this far from losing our house and living in a trailer park with … peasants.  And then what will happen to the entrepreneurs we employ and the “new arrivals” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) they employ in turn?  Surely they prefer working for a noble house like the duHendersons, than having some government protecting their interests!

The bigger question, though, is, by what right does the government collect any taxes at all, then fritter it away recklessly?  My family certainly can make wiser spending decisions.  In fact, I’m not sure why we even have a government.

So, mes amis, s’il vous plait, take pity on us poor rich folks.

(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.

Bloggers’ Roundtable: The Future of Blogging

September 24, 2010

with Cyn, Fionnchú, John W. Smart, littleisis, and tamerlane

** The Bios **


Blog: Double Jointed Fingers

Blogging since: 2000 and Bush v. Gore.  I totally didn’t see that coming and I was so outraged that I started looking around the internet to see if anyone else was as enraged as I.  I ended up at  Kicking Ass, the DNC blog and stayed there until 2008.  A lot of those wonderful Dem friends I had made were not only backing Obama, but vilifying Hillary.  I also blogged at Night Bird’s Fountain, but left in 2004 and started my own blog.

Real life profession: legal assistant to sole practitioner attorney

Reason I got into blogging: politics

Hours per week spent on my blog: Not that many.  I don’t feel the need to post every day or even every  week, although I did feel the need during the 2008 primary.  For me, blogging helps me let off steam, share information and gives me a creative outlet.

Hours per week on other blogs: Hard to say, as it varies.  I would guess approx. 10 hours per week.


Blog:   Blogtrotter

Blogging since: 2007

Other published or posted works: academic journals; scholarly references;, Amazon US (Top 500 reviewer), New York Journal of Books, and PopMatters websites.

Real-life profession: Medievalist turned Humanities college instructor.

Reason I got into blogging: To share my passion for ideas and get my thoughts out of my mind and beyond the limits of a low-level teaching gig with few chances to find colleagues or students of a like-minded, inquiring, ornery, eclectic, and debatable bent.

Hours per week spent working on my blog: 6 (on average)

Hours per week spent reading other people’s blogs: 2 (I read fast)

John Smart

Blog: JohnWSmart

Blogging since: 2005

Real-life profession: Film Clearance Administration

Reason I got into blogging: Anger at Bush administration lies.

Hours per week spent working on my blog: 20

Hours per week spent reading other people’s blogs: 5


Blogs: You can find me at Liberal Rapture or the Confluence

Blogging since: I was seventeen.

Other published or posted works: I can’t disclose those, this is a family blog.

Real-life profession: Student

Reason I got into blogging: I started paying more attention to politics and entertainment towards the end of High School, after a string of suicides occurred in my graduating class. (Two of them were good friends of mine.) Blogging is the easiest way to shout my opinions at people.

Hours per week spent working on my blog: Depends on the week.

Hours per week spent reading other people’s blogs: Also depends on the week.



True Liberal Nexus

JohnWSmart (guest contributor)

Liberal Rapture (cross-posted hitchhiker)

Blogging since: 2009

Other published or posted works: Myriad client profiles, press releases, newsletter articles, print ads, & promotional brochures; Training Agreements, Helmet Release & Hold Harmless forms; a thesis on medieval knights; a published board game; a privately disseminated cookbook.

Real-life profession: Horse trainer; former jack of all trades

Reason I got into blogging: To protest the Sting of Hillary Clinton and to combat the destruction of Liberalism by the Obamalonian Horde.

Hours per week spent working on my blog: 3? 5? 0?

Hours per week spent at other people’s blogs: I have no fucking clue.

** Roundtable Questions  **

I The Future of Blogging

1. Can Blogging Save the World?

Cyn: I don’t think anything can save the world.  I’ve become somewhat jaded after the 2008 election.  I believe there is only so much that bloggers can do to make a difference.  However, I do see that the Tea Party (however much I disagree with them), are making a huge difference in the Republican party, but I don’t know that it is due to blogging.   I do believe that so long as we don’t lose our hope of being able to make the world a better place, blogging will continue to grow.

Fionnchu: No, given that our voices will be drowned out.

John W. Smart: No. Nor should it try.

littleisis: Anything that speaks truth to power can end up saving the world. Mainstream press seems more concerned with speaking power to truth these days.

tamerlane: No, but it can rescue a scrap of veracity and free, meaningful discourse — our samizdat in the face of Pravda Light censorship and Dancing with the Stars distraction.

2. Will Blogs replace Newspapers?

CYN: So long as newspapers need to turn a profit and remain beholden to corporate interests, yes.

F: No, as we lack the funds to afford to investigate issues on our own without the backing that media gain. We also lack credibility unless perhaps attached to a larger blog site sponsored by a corporation. We don’t get the press respect or the PR clout that enables us to garner review copies, either!

JWS: No.

LI: Eventually they will. I use the NYT to line my cat’s kitty litter.

TAM: They’ll meet somewhere in the middle.  Unlike 99% of bloggers, most newspapers still know how to write & edit, and do proper investigative reporting.  Most bloggers are hacks suffering from the mind-scours.

3. Should a successful blog: a) charge to read it? b) Accept Ads? c) Ask for donations? d) Stay free, free as the wind blows?

CYN: In a perfect world, stay free, free as the wind.  However, if the blogger needs to ask for donations or put ads on their blog to generate income, it doesn’t bother me.  Especially if it is a blog I follow on a regular basis.  I would rather donate than see it shut down.

F: Stay free. I don’t accept ads, I wish blogs were free of ads. I prefer a Net more resistant to consumerism and capitalism. I wish I’d started on WordPress, not Google’s E-Blogger. But, tech- challenged, as I began a few years ago, it’s too late now given the search engine tilts. And, I have a corporation giving me access gratis to make my blog. So, there’s a hidden charge, no free lunch.

JWS: a. no. b. yes. c. yes. d. no.

LI: I don’t know about charging readers, but I don’t see any problem with accepting ads or asking for donations. Regular blogging can take time.

TAM: Computers and the internet place us at the potential dawn of a new social order, with a truly “free” market where people give things away for self-actualization.  Kinda like Star Trek.

II The Blogosphere

4. Person you’d like to see blogging who doesn’t?

CYN: Madeleine Albright.  She fascinates me.

F: Some of my egghead but populist friends in Ireland and here, who prefer anonymity due to their fears of surveillance.

JWS: Edie Falco.

LI: Seriously. She’s brilliant, funny and a great writer. I just have to nab her before TC does.

TAM: John Mellencamp.

5. Does Perez Hilton hurt or help blogs being taken seriously?

CYN: I have no idea as I never knew she had a blog.  However, sight unseen, I don’t think it would make a difference.

F: I could care less. TMZ and C-Span both serve as entertainment in the media we’re dished out. Any arena will attract the strutters and ballhogs as well as us waterboys and peanut vendors. Bloggers are caricatured as kooks by the mainstream, but the MSM funds and uses them too. I think FB or whatever future medium rises will erode blogs more, as people read less. Scanning and Twitter and instant updates also substitute for what a few years ago blogs provided as a method to share tidbits and finds on and off the Net. E-mail dwindles as people don’t use that to share information as links or photos or articles among a list of friends, and as with discussion lists in the late 90s, blogs may fade more in this respect.

JWS: He has no affect.

LI: Not for me to say. Not all blogs should be taken seriously to begin with. Similarly, not all newspapers should be taken seriously. The National Enquirer or the NYT, for example.

TAM: Who’s Perez Hilton?

6. Is the Huffington Post a blog, a newspaper, or something else?

CYN: A blog, and all blogs are not alike.

F: It replaces Time Magazine as a compendium of a safe political slant– combined with pop culture and stupid photos & videos that I admit being surprised to find. I don’t read it but I get links to it via FB posts by friends now and then. This is what the MSM is evolving towards.

JWS: Something else.

LI: A newspaper, because it repeats talking points.

TAM: It’s the air-sickness bag of the proglydite Weltanschauung.

7. Are Kos and Drudge journalists, politicos, or something else?

CYN: In my opinion, politicos.

F: They began as pioneer investigators, but as celebrity bloggers, they’ve capitulated to MSM corporate approval.

JWS: Something else.

LI: Tough question. I’m not even sure if they’re human.

TAM: They’re two little hitlers who’ll fight it out until one little hitler does the other one’s will.

III The Art of Blogging

8. Worst sin(s) a blogger can make?

CYN: Knowingly posting lies or advancing an opinion on behalf of someone who pays you to do so.

F: Not revealing sponsorship or perks.

JWS: Thinking they matter more than they do.

LI: Banning people for financial or business reasons.

TAM: Writing when they have nothing to say; Cut & paste; Blogging Under the Influence.

9. The perfect blog post would …

CYN: Inform me, charm me and make me laugh.

F: Distinguish between cut & paste blather and original insights that the author labored over rather than plagiarized or paraphrased.

JWS: Link to my blog.

LI: Make people think, and laugh.

TAM: Put something in a new light for me.

10. Ideal length of a blog post?

CYN: Personally, so long as it keeps my attention, it doesn’t matter.

F: Less than most of mine. 750-1000 words max?

JWS: Depends on the topic.

LI: It would depend on the subject of the post and whether it’s an open thread.

TAM: I’ve retained the self-editing habits from writing for print materials with physical size constraints:

  • Daily comment on news: <= 500 words
  • Weekly observation/rant: 750 – 1,000 words
  • Monthly philosophizing: 1,500 – 2,000 words.
  • If you have anything longer, send it to the New Yorker.

11. Ideal format: Minimalist or Glitzy?

CYN: What ever floats your boat or reflects the personality of the blog.

F: Minimal. I hate distractions. But I do like decorating the margins with artworks and piddling with colors. Google is not as generous as I’d have anticipated with how you can customize your templates.

JWS: Minimal.

LI: I prefer glitzy, but I’m a girl.

TAM: Minimalist.

12. Real-life human activity blogging most emulates?

CYN: Dear diary.

F: Chatting with friends about ideas, issues, and trends. Or talking to yourself. Some may say masturbation in public, but haven’t writers, actors, and creative types been long accused by puritans and prudes?

JWS: Walking.

LI: Telling your children you’d like to do what you can to make the world a better place for them.

TAM: Singing in the shower.

IV Your Blogging Goals

13. Head-in-the-clouds goal for your blog:

CYN: I really don’t take my blog that seriously.

F: To gain a patron & recognition for my brilliant acumen so I never have to work again. I keep expecting a MacArthur Grant in my inbox. Acclaim from the academy so I land instant tenure and I can get time to write books rather than entries every other day. I stopped daily blogging when I realized how few people cared about it. But that led to a backlog of dozens of entries, ironically enough!

JWS: Huge profits.

LI: Loyal regulars.

TAM: To have both Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann on the same day mention with disgust the same TLN post.

14. Feet-on-the-ground goal:

CYN: Possibly transfer my blog from Blogger to Wordpad.

F: To keep it up until I die or until some other medium evolves that I can afford to replace it. I feel it’s like a term paper that’s always near due, and it keeps me locked into a self-imposed schedule. It keeps my mind fresher and my thoughts more ordered, as I pretend I have an audience that gets me out of my own self-glorification and makes me aware of the fact someone may take me to account. I have made friends whom I’ve gone on to meet in the “real world,” and that pleases me no end, as such contacts in my daily life are non-existent regarding such comradeship.

JWS: Keep going.

LI: Loyal regulars

TAM: I get lots of hits, but want more comments.

15. Any changes, improvements. additions you’d like to make to your blog?

CYN: I pretty much change my blog design when I get bored with how it looks.

F: I’d like the Google E-Blogger templates to allow more alterations for a tech-challenged type. But now that they have started charging $10 for template changes of some sorts, I wonder. WordPress seems the only competition, but it’s as I mentioned a bit too late to migrate. The Google formats constrict you even as they make it dumbbell-accessible, an inevitable compromise to put such html intricacies in the hands of the huddled masses.

JWS: Yes. There are.

LI: I wish it looked more glamorous, but there’s only so many things you can do with wordpress.

TAM: Tags and shit.

16. If you were paid full-time to blog, would you do it?

CYN: No.  I would feel stifled.

F: Yes, but I’d prefer a MacArthur grant renewed in perpetuity. I might hate blogging if it was my job. As a hobby, it’s fine.

JWS: Yes.

LI: Absolutely.

TAM: Twist my arm.

Charge of the Lightbringer Brigade

September 8, 2010

Ima Puma responds to MoveOn’s latest email blast.

from: Adam Ruben,

to: Ima Puma

subject: Stop the Takeover!

Dear MoveOn member,

I’m actually not a member.  It’s just that the DNC gave you Hillary Clinton’s mailing list.

It’s a perfect storm.

And you buttfucks helped create it.

Polls show record levels of voter anger at Washington.

… at the President.  And Team Pelosi.

Corporate interests are spending $400 million to try and buy Congress….

They already own the White House, so why not run the table?

And Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are whipping up a frenzy of right-wing hatred and coded racism.

Because everything anyone says is “coded racism.”

In short, we’re on the verge of losing this election.

What happened to the thousand-year Progressive Reich you promised?

And if that happens, right-wing Republicans and their corporate benefactors will do everything they can to kill any progressive legislation for the rest of the Obama presidency.

That’d be a bit redundant on their part, now wouldn’t it?

The good news is that we’ve still got a chance to turn the tide.

Because, umm, like, we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for?

We’ve seen before how a massive outpouring of support from grassroots progressives can swing an election—remember what happened in 2008?

Is this where we click our heels three times and chant “yes, we can”?

It’s time to do it again. We’ll mobilize MoveOn’s 5 million members to get out the vote and stop the takeover of Congress. Can you chip in $5?

Wow, that’s $25 million!  Soros & Buffett are onboard again, right?

The last couple years … we’ve all been plenty frustrated with Democrats in Washington.

Those goddamn bluedogs hate on the Lightbringer!

But we simply can’t afford to go back to the days of a Congress controlled by Republicans and their corporate allies.

Shoulda thought of that when you nominated an inexperienced, lazy wanker.

Here’s the plan:

We’ll spin up the massively successful campaign that brought in a million volunteers for Barack Obama in 2008 …

Except now they’ve all seen the real barack obama.

…  and improve it to recruit volunteers in dozens of districts across the country.

ACORN lives?

Expose the corporate cash behind Republicans: We’ll … remind voters again and again that Republicans are backed by the same big corporations that drove our economy off a cliff and fought tooth and nail against health care reform.

While you’re at it, explain Timmy Geithner’s presence in the Cabinet.  And define the terms “health”, “care”, and “reform.”

We’ll hit the phones … for progressive leaders facing tough re-election fights.

Because annoying cold calls from strident idealists always swing tight elections.

It’s an ambitious plan—but it can work if all of us pitch in. Can you donate $5 today?

You betcha!  Just as soon as I park my unicorn under his rainbow.

Love of Labor

September 5, 2010

When you’re on the phone this weekend, talking to tech support in India about your product made in China, try to remember that it’s Labor  Day in America.  The holiday was originally intended to honor the men and women (and, sadly, the children) who labored so hard to build this nation.  Now The Day of the Laborers is just another 3-day weekend, the semi-official End of Summer.  Like the Ramadan cocktail parties in Brave New World, we tend to drain our commemorations of any real significance.

In addition to your last beach visit and your last BBQ, Labor Day will allow you to shop some AMAZING THREE-DAY SALES, with BLOW-OUT PRICES on crap made by Chinese laborers.  Your grille and your beach umbrella come from there, too.

But Labor Day is fun.  The only people who hate Labor Day are conservatives.  For them, Labor = Communism.  They can view society only in Ayn Rand’s false dichotomy of Karl Marx vs. John Galt, of collectivized industry vs. robber-baron capitalism.  Yet there is a middle way, where a truly free market coexists alongside a strong social network, and with regulations to protect everyday people from exploitation.

The archetypical image of The Laborer is a posterized factory worker in overalls, short-billed cap, burly biceps below rolled-up sleeves, sledge hammer clutched in raised fist.   This icon hearkens back to the era when organized labor fought for and won the fair wages, safe working conditions, and livable retirements they deserved.  True, many unions later exploited their power.  The Teamsters, for example, is nothing less than a mafia.   But no one can deny that labor needed to organize to end its terrible exploitation, or that exploiting workers is a bad thing.  No one except libertarians, that is.   The fact that school teachers in America are so dependent on their unions and on strikes to get fair pay is a sad, sad indictment of our priorities.

Too much is made of the strife between blue-collar and white-collar workers, when in reality, the two ought enjoy a symbiotic relationship.  Both classes work, usually very hard, and both make indispensable contributions to our society.  Both should be paid fairly, neither too little nor too much.   As someone who has personally done nearly every kind of job imaginable, I appreciate all honest labor.

We all saw the ugly face of “Creative Class” elitism bared during the obama campaign, but I have often encountered the inverse, what I call “blue collar bushido.”  Once, in a business office, I overheard two secretaries: “what is it exactly that managers manage?  I mean they just sit at their desk all day.  We’re the ones who do all the real work — the typing, the filing, the answering of the phones.”   Years later, when our start-up was struggling, I suggested to my partner that we ask my dad, a retired senior executive, to oversee some projects.  “You and your dad don’t know how to get things done,” she sneered, “you just know how to get people like me and my dad to do the actual work!”  (My dad & I can do both, actually.)  Blue collar and white collar have coexisted since at least the first city-states. They need each other. The rancor of their rivalry should not exceed that of the annual Army-Navy game.

There’s also a third class, with growing influence in America —  a small, elite cadre of financiers, stock market players, business magnates and investors.  We could call them “gold collar,”  but the term “workers” would be too generous.  Or we could refer to them by their technical name: “Tapeworms.” Though but a tiny fraction of the population, these tapeworms possess most of the total wealth.  Their lust for wealth consumes their entire existence, so they must constantly acquire more — which they do primarily by exploiting the real workers, blue and white.   Even worse, these gold collars don’t actually produce or provide anything to earn their riches.  Like the parasites they are, they simply have positioned themselves in the flow and suck it off their host.  Meet a few of these tapeworms lurking in our collective gut:

Bill Gates:  Rewarded each year with $2,100,000,000 for having once bought DOS for 50 grand off the guy that actually wrote it, then preventing anyone from writing anything else useful;

Warren Buffett:  Won $62,000,000,000 gambling on whether other people made or lost money;

Koch Brothers:  Reap $100,000,000,000 p/a from coal mining that lays waste to entire counties, kills miners both fast and slow.   A slice of their profits is parlayed back into the GW denial industry they single-handedly set up;

Tony Hayward: Collected a $1,600,000 severance package — equal to one year’s salary — plus a $1,000,000 p/a pension for life, for overseeing unethical business practices … oh, and for being the cool-headed, quick-thinking, forceful presence should a crisis ever occur;

Richard Grasso: Director of the NYSE, earned $145,000,000 each year for sending the other parasites home each day by banging a gong. His salary nearly bankrupted the 168-year old Exchange;

Goldman-Sachs:  Like a thick ball of heartworms, GS threatens to choke the life out of its host – America.  GS hit paydirt  — $4,000,000,000 — on the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage bond market which it created.  GS amasses mountains of money by shuffling around other people’s money, and by betting that those people will lose their money in one of GS’s schemes.  When GS bet wrong, we bailed them out with TARP.  GS used our cash to give its executives $1,000,000 bonuses for a job well done.

In ever increasing numbers, these tapeworms are ensconced in senior executive positions.  In my father’s day, most business execs worked their tails off doing real managerial work, and were paid fairly and in proper ratio to other positions.  Of course, many of them were probably like my dad, a son of blue collar workers and grandson of day laborer immigrants, none of whom ever shirked or loafed a day in their life.  Today, the tapeworms at the top of the org charts have no concept of what real work is.  Instead, they are masters of office politics, of posturing, of indulging in privilege and cashing in on power.  Their business decisions concern only the short-term profit of stockholders — and themselves.   The fact that most of them spend all their waking hours at the office says more about their lack of an healthy personal life than their diligence.

One such executive tapeworm is Meg Whitman.  Born with a silver spoon in her mouth,   famous as the former CEO of eBay,  Whitman is running for governor of California on her putative managerial skills.  Meg has a plan to create jobs.  And Meg actually has a long track record of creating jobs — in India and China, that is.  As the California Labor Federation warns in a video, Whitman’s M.O. has been to join a company in a senior position, offshore the jobs of entire departments, make a couple mill’ on the side with insider trades, then move on to the next hatchet job.

In 2002, Whitman also inadvertently axed her own position at eBay.  Notorious for hounding and berating her employees, one day Meggers got so upset with the maid … er, senior marketing director, that she shoved the woman to the ground.  Whitman left eBay pronto to join that squirming mass of bloodworms, Goldman-Sachs, where she’d already been earning (sic) $475,000 to sit on their board.  Proving that, for a tapeworm there’s no conflict of interest when it’s all about your self-interest, Whitman had steered millions of dollars of eBay’s investments to GS.  This year, Whitman accepted a $105,000 “thank you” campaign donation from GS.  And now she wants to apply her work ethic to California.  If Whitman wins, she’ll join a thriving colony of gold collar parasites infesting government.  Worms in the gut are debilitating.  Worms in the brain are fatal.

So this Labor Day, workers of the world, toast yourselves.  And while you’re at it, unite!  After all, you’ve got nothing to lose, except your intestinal parasites.

(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.