The Widdershins

Op Art in Prose…

Posted on: July 27, 2012

Good morning Widdershin friends — here’s hoping a magical Unicorn fertilizes your world with a little wonderment.

There’s so much to talk about and so little time.  Let’s get at it.

Aurora, Colorado

An unspeakable tragedy that has occasioned untold suffering on scores of families makes me alternatively sad and angry.  Here’s an anger making moment from last Sunday morning.

Senator Ron Johnson, R-WI and Lackey-NRA, was on Fox News Sunday.  The topic of this particular anger making moment was the shooter arming himself with an AR-15, the civilian equivalent of a military M16, that has the ability to fire 50-60 rounds a minute.  The shooter had acquired a mega “drum clip” containing 100 rounds that thankfully jammed.  When asked about limiting these mass murdering, extended killing mega-clips, Sen. Johnson replied, “To limit the size of clips is really to limit our freedom.”

I want to make sure I get this right — to insure the constitutional right of Sen. Johnson and his ilk the extra minute of orgasmic bliss before reloading their civilian M-16’s, we are to say to a dozen families and countless scores of other families to come, “Sorry about your luck, but it’s my constitutional right to have not one, but two solid minutes before I have to reload my automatic weapon.”

And what is gut-wrenchingly grotesque is that there are engineers and public relations people working right now to make and sell a new and improved 100-round clip that won’t jam the next time.  Oh, and by the way, did you know Wayne LaPierre, spokesthug and full-time arse for the NRA makes $970,300 a year — just thought you should know since he‘s the one who comes up with these “freedom“ arguments.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D- NY, a widow courtesy of a mass killing with an enlarged ammo clip has been one of the few lonely courageous voices for sensible gun control and has long been an advocate of limiting these mega clips — she is a profile in courage.

Banking Scandals Update

For those keeping tabs, the JPMorgan losses from its gambling in the great Craps game of derivatives has now grown from $2.0 Billion to just under $6.0 Billion.  Not to worry, we, the taxpayers, are helping out with a $1.7 Billion tax write-off in this quarter alone, but when JPMorgan is making $20.0 Billion a year in profits, who’s counting?

Turning to the LIBOR scandal — before you tune out, if you have a credit card or any variable rate loan, it affects you — it has gotten much more press in Europe than here in the U.S. since Barclays has already pled guilty and paid a half Billion dollars in fines.  Here’s all you need to know — LIBOR is the rate banks charge one another for lending one another money and it is the benchmark for virtually every variable rate consumer loan in the industrialized world.  The LIBOR rate was kept artificially low through an ongoing banking conspiracy so as to not set off any alarms as to the true economic condition of faltering banks.  The LIBOR investigation is just getting underway here in the U.S. — it has all the potential for being really big or being quietly swept under the Wall Street rug.

Finally, the biggest scandal no one has heard about has culminated in the conviction of three big time bid riggers in N.Y. Federal District Court.  I know you haven’t heard a thing about it, but it involves some names you might have heard like GE Capital, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Wachovia, and too many more to name.  The scheme was simple, but the apparatus was complicated — it was an ongoing conspiracy to divvy up the winning banks on the proceeds from bond sale auctions.

The scheme was about stealing from cities, states, and bonding authorities on the construction of everything from roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, nursing facilities — essentially if your city issued a bond for the construction of something, these guys were stealing money off the top.  In many cases it was just a percentage point or two, but when you are talking

I know it’s scary son, but there will be these things called bankers…

about $3.7 Trillion annually in bonding, it adds up.  Oh, and by the way, this has been going on for the last ten to fifteen years.  Matt Taibbi likens it to the mafia in a wonderfully written piece detailing how Wall Street “was stealing money that would otherwise have gone toward textbooks and medicine and housing for ordinary Americans, and turning the cash into sports cars and bonuses for the already rich.  It’s the equivalent of robbing a charity or a church fund to pay for lap dances.”

These scandals are not going to be on the evening news in any great way — they won’t be covered by Entertainment Tonight since there are Kardashians still breathing — but they are important because of one clear unmistakable point — unregulated Wall Street deems itself the ultimate arbiter of what’s best and fair for everyone beginning first, of course, with themselves — not unlike the feudal lords who determined what gristle to share with the serfs.

Odds and Ends

Don’t you wish that there was a Rachel Maddow and Ezra Klein network?

Isn’t it funny that the one thing in Mitt Romney’s entire career that is not negotiable and upon which he has taken an unalterable stand is the release of his tax returns — abortion meh, gay rights meh, Vietnam service meh, but the release of tax returns — no way.  That fact tells me more than his tax returns ever could.

Isn’t it amazing that so many people, who came to fame and fortune working for an institution ostensibly dedicated to the education of young people, were able to turn their backs on the raping of young boys because it might have been bad for a game played on Saturday afternoon with a ball that costs $9.99 on e-Bay?

Paranoia is the ultimate self-help remedy for irrelevance — case in point, Michele Bachmann braying about Huma Abedin being a sleeper agent for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Did you know the Senate Republicans have introduced a “Tax Hike Prevention Act?”  It doesn’t exactly live up to its name.  You see, it does take care of the 1% wage earners by making sure they get a tax cut of over $130,000 a year, but for a single mother in the lowest tax bracket “not so much.”  Her taxes would be going up about $843 a year since there is no provision for the continuation of tax cuts for working families.   So to be entirely accurate, a more appropriate name of the bill would be, “No Tax Hike if you are a One Percenter, but if you are a Single Mother making less than $18,000 a year — sorry about your luck Act.”

This is an “all skate” open thread.


19 Responses to "Op Art in Prose…"

The irony is that no matter how well both you and some journalists clarify the liars and thieves who are in charge of our economy, there are enough idiots out there who support them.

It is difficult to simplify the intricacies of these schemes and I should know by now that they make most people’s eyes glaze over, but to not try and explain them is acceding to the thieves.

With communities going into bankruptcy, the trial of the municipal bond thieves should have been on the evening news each night, but I guess it was just too complicated to try and explain in a 30-second slot and there was the part about GE Capital being involved.

It’s not “sexy” enough for full coverage.

Better to shift attention to the latest Kardashian goof up, the adventures of Tom/Kat, or the latest Hollywood couple to break up.

There’s been some excellent coverage of the LIBOR issue by Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone; I was catching up on the articles last night/this early a.m. You can go here to read them starting with this one:

Taibbi is really good at sussing out the intricacies of Wall Street’s schemers and cheats.

Don’t you wish that there was a Rachel Maddow and Ezra Klein network?

In a word: No.

Klein lost me when he became the self-styled “expert” on health care issues when the bill was being developed in Congress. The trouble is, he has no background in it.

Klein was born and raised in Irvine, California, and went to school at University High School. He attended the University of California, Santa Cruz but later transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, from which he graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in political science. While at UCLA, he applied to write for the Daily Bruin but was rejected.

I like Maddow, but sometimes she just doesn’t hold Obama’s feet to the fire enough and lately she’s been doing too much of the “smug liberal-too clever by half” routine.

I know, I know; I sound like I just watched “Grumpy Old Men”. Today I feel like it. 😉

The shooter had acquired a mega “drum clip” containing 100 rounds that thankfully jammed. When asked about limiting these mass murdering, extended killing mega-clips, Sen. Johnson replied, “To limit the size of clips is really to limit our freedom.

I totally disagree with that. There is no need for the average individual to have access to things like that, at least that I can see. Take a look at “tiny” here. I swear this thing has been switched to full-auto or something. And you really can’t aim doing something like this:

Oh, Fredster — we need to get you some chamomile tea STAT. It’s Friday, there’s two days to recharge, and there’s goodness lurking somewhere in the world, we just have to look for it.

I’m going to have to disagree with you on Ezra and Rachel, but that’s okay — I find their intellectual consistency unique on the left, right, and center.

@7, one of the things that really isn’t an issue when it comes to polling about these “mega clips” is that they need to be limited. A vast majority of Americans believe just as you do — there isn’t a need for them.

Trouble is — the NRA whipsaws the argument and turns limiting extended mega-clips into banning guns. It’s effective in scaring any politician who even proposes it except for Rep. McCarthy and she is fearless when it comes to the NRA. In 2011, she had 100 co-sponsors on limiting mega-clips, but it never got to the floor for a vote.

Prolix@8: Well, we’ll just have to disagree. Ezra just makes me see red for some reason. Same thing with Chris Hayes, go figure.

I just cringe at times when I see “smug-liberal” on the teevee. It’s what we always get blasted over by the other side. And, to be honest, there’s still some resentment or bad feelings over 2008 and Hillary with some of these folks.

@9: I think the clip in my Glock will hold 15 rounds. I think I’ve got 8 rounds in there, none chambered and that’s more than plenty for me. From the literature on it:

For instance, many of the elite pilots
of the USAF for instance trust the GLOCK 19 for their efficient defense in emergency situations.

Now they may need those rounds in situations that don’t apply to me. If I’m in a situation where I have to use that thing, if I haven’t stopped a threat with 8 or 9 rounds, either by wounding an attacker or whatever, then I might as well hang it up; they’re going to get me. I don’t anticipate being in any firefights though.

Its been a heck of a week for me on Sunday I had a little accident hitting a curb blowing a tire and a rim then on Wednesday I broke a crown so now I need a new one Yikes! Oh and tomorrow I turn the big 5-0 LOL so hopefully things cant get any worse! Hope every one is good here…Big Fuzzy Bear Hugs!

Oh Michael!!! Hugs sent your way.

Sen. Johnson replied, “To limit the size of clips is really to limit our freedom.”

Well there’s our problem right there…we just haven’t been arguing for our causes properly. When the magic-wand-woman-haters introduce new legislation limiting access to birth control or reproductive services, the argument is that it would really limit our freedom. When they speak out against same sex marriage, the argument is that it would really linit our freedom. When they talk about indefinite detention, that obviously limits our freedom. In fact, everything they introduce limits our freedom. Shoot–it turns out that all of the laws limit our freedom.

Let’s just send Congress home because anything they do will limit our freedom. Think of the money we can save while achieving unlimited freedom.

@13 – LOL Sophie! “Freedom” is this year’s misused and tortured word….”hope” was 2008’s.

I agree with Fredster about Ezra and Maddow, but then, I am not a fan of pundits in general.

Sophie-Good point!!

MB: As I said, the one who really drives me nuts is Chris Hayes. The way he squirms in his chair, and jumps up and down or whatever, makes me think he’s got hemmorhoid problems or something. 😆

@15 – 😆

I don’t watch anyone. I start yelling at the Teevee within five minutes no matter who it is. I am a Grumpy Middle-Aged Woman!!!

Sophie: did you get a chance to see that documentary on HBO on Vito Russo? I thought it was really done well.

BTW Prolix…forgot to say, excellent piece. These freaking corporations are absolutely ruining EVERYTHING. I knew that Albany was corrupt and that the funds for NY’s infrastructure were being stolen, but I didn’t realize just how it was being done.

I am a Grumpy Middle-Aged Woman!!!

I so identify!!

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