The Widdershins


Posted on: March 21, 2017

Yesterday felt like I had been at the carnival too long. I had ridden the Tilt-a-Whirl too many times and eaten too much cotton candy. I was dizzy and jittery. Sensory overload.

There was just too much news yesterday. It was a carnival sugar high leaving me craving something savory – wanting something real. No what ifs – no fake news – just what’s real.

This story is real.

Imagine an eighty-something guy – let’s call him Marty. Marty is a retired AT&T employee. Not a sophisticated investor, Marty had accumulated a sizable chunk of AT&T stock at discounted prices. It was a nice nest egg, except…

In 2008 Marty watched Jim Cramer of Mad Money on the Today show say, “Whatever money you may need for the next five years, please take it out of the stock market right now.”

So without consulting financial advisers or knowledgeable family members, Marty sold his AT&T stock. This was October 2008. Wall Street was beginning a bout of serious bulimia after gorging itself on the mortgage/derivative/credit cotton candy fraud scheme. Selling was neither smart nor prudent.

If Marty had reinvested his funds, the S&P 500 total return would have been 192%. Within just five years, reinvestment would have returned him 98%.

In the popular vernacular: Sad!

Here’s where it starts getting real. Marty’s last name is Bannon. Marty is Steve Bannon’s dad. And Steve Bannon lays his entire life philosophy around the “Rosebud moment” of Marty losing money in the stock market in 2008.

The elevator pitch offered by The Wall Street Journal is this:

There were many factors that turned Steve Bannon into a divisive political firebrand. But his decision to embrace ‘economic nationalism’ and vehemently oppose the forces and institutions of globalization, he says, stems from his upbringing, his relationship with his father and the meaning those AT&T shares held for the family.

“Everything since then has come from there,” Bannon told the Journal. “All of it.”

Let’s break this down, shall we? Marty was 80-something then, he’s 95 now. He watched Jim Cramer screaming on the teevee. He didn’t call his son Steve who worked for Goldman Sachs or his other son who also worked on Wall Street. He didn’t reinvest. He was overleveraged in AT&T. He didn’t diversify. And here’s the kicker…

Marty probably didn’t lose $100,000. Without getting all wonked up, given the time Marty worked for AT&T he most likely paid a lot less than what he sold for. In fact, when he sold, the stock was trading at a 2006 level, far above Marty’s accumulation dates from 1945-1995.

If Marty had sold at the high point, most likely he would have made $100,000 more, but he didn’t lose money. Marty made a stupid mistake. I’m sorry that he did, but he wasn’t the only retiree who suffered because of Dubya’s lack of SEC enforcement and the greed of Wall Street.

What’s different is that Marty’s son is using this as his personal “Rosebud moment” – his excuse for being. So what does Steve Bannon do to protect the little guys – the Martys of the world?

Like Sancho Panza, Steve Bannon hitches his wagon to the millionaire, pussy-grabbing heir to a real estate fortune. A fortune siphoned-off renting to blue-collar hardworking Joes and Josephines as long as they were lily-white. To everyone’s surprise, this legacy heir wins the presidency.

Bannon pedals his tricycle to the White House where he is tickled to see a bevy of Goldman Sachs buddies occupying every nook and cranny. Within a week, Bannon has dinner and helps send a Navy Seal, someone’s husband and son, to his death. Not to be deterred, Steve then sets his sights on taking away the insurance of 24 million ordinary Joes and Josephines. The demonic irony is that by denying these folks insurance it will ensure the one-percenters an $800 Billion tax cut.

I can’t begin to capture the hypocrisy as well as Francis Wilkinson does:

So if you want to know why Steve Bannon ran a website that became a digital drag bar for neo-Nazis and racists, or why he is determined to ban desperate, war-ravaged Muslim refugees from reaching American shores, or to deport mothers of American children to nations they haven’t seen in years, or to stop subsidizing health insurance for the poor and middle class, or to eliminate environmental safeguards, or to deregulate Wall Street so that it has fewer constraints in exploiting vulnerable investors, or to deliver vast tax cuts to extremely wealthy people like Steve Bannon — all while the president of the United States conceals his tax returns and sells the presidency for profit, well, it all comes down to what the elites did to poor Marty Bannon.

“Everything since then has come from there,” Bannon said. “All of it.”

An illegitimate President being served by his own kind – a Decepticon, perhaps named Optimus Subprime. Bannon is fake. His whole “supposed philosophy” is an ontological excuse for believing in nothing. A real Rosedud.

What’s on your mind today?



51 Responses to "Rosedud…"

98 Prolix
March 21, 2017 at 9:25 am

Thank you Prolix! I was just about to post downstairs when I saw your comment. Love it.

Now to reading your thread post with my first cup of coffee at work. (CA time zone + daylight savings) 😉

So poor little Stevie has decided that if his father sold $100k of stock without making a yuuuuge profit, then anyone that isn’t rich should have their healthcare, clean air and water, housing and way of life destroyed.

Bannon will go down in flames at some point and I will be there kicking him when he’s down.

Bannon’s ‘reasons’ make no sense. He’s just mean.

@2 & 3, I try and stay away from clinical type comments because you have to be stark raving mad to be adjudged legally incompetent, but Bannon does seem delusional to go with being “just plain mean.”

I did not know about this story. I guess I’ve avoided reading about Bannon… It’s completely insane. Not a surprise. But – also not a surprise – astounding how something so trite can lead to something so all-consuming and destructive.

@4, good points. Not competent to make moderate to serious medical decisions is usually still legally competent (sigh). And I wasn’t meaning a clinical diagnosis. But nonprofessionally I’ll venture that he’s delusional and paranoid as well as mean. He thinks he’ll feel better if he hurts others.

Someone on twitter is pointing out how odd it is that the story about stolen Secret Service laptops has disappeared from the news… It seems like it was a big deal, no??

@6, Luna, I was just talking about myself, I’d take your diagnosis to the bank twelve ways from Sunday. When it comes to be being plain mean, Bannon has found where he needs to be with the Rethugs.

This health, or non-health, bill they are trying to pass doesn’t do a thing about expenditures or the deficit because of the tax cuts. In fact, it increases the deficit, so they are going into debt to hurt people. Who does that? Who takes out a loan to hurt people? And to attract the real hard conservatives, they had to make it harsher by a work requirement. Who thinks like that?

@5 & 7, DYB, I ran across the Bannon story and while I wouldn’t ever read a general story about him, what makes him tick fascinates me. He’s the antithesis of what Dolt 45 seeks out in others — he looks like a drunk, coke fiend, dresses like he just crawled out from under a bridge, and is monosyllabic by all accounts. Why and how has he gotten Dolt 45’s attention? This story tells me Bannon is just a malleable lump of goat cheese who can be thrown on any old fifty cent bed of greens to dress up an otherwise boring salad. Those are dangerous people when they attach themselves — they are the remora looking for a shark to suck onto. Bannon found his.

It looks like there are still enough freaky Freedom Caucus members to defeat the American Health Care Atrocity.

@11> The scary part is they want to defeat it because it’s too liberal!

IMO, Bannon was attractive to Dumpster because he ran Breitbart and probably played with Dump’s ego like Putin does.

@12, and these “no” votes are not from the districts Hillary carried. It is high noon in crazy town.

@13, I agree totally. It is total and complete ego masturbation.

The FBI Records Vault, the one that started Tweeting pro-Trump and anti-Clinton messages after 2 years of being silent before the election, is gone rogue again.

What a weird story. Bannon seems like a psycho to me; seriously, I wouldn’t put anything beyond him. Like the Rosebud analogy. Yes, yesterday was just bizarre, and too much for my poor old brain. I did think that our socal guy Adam Schiff did an excellent job.

@16, what does this mean? I clicked on it but didn’t get anything. Is it a spoof?

I just called Bill Kristol a butthole on twitter. It may be time to leave work and go home.

@16 & 17> socalannie, no that’s not a parody account. That’s the official FBI Vaults account that just before the election ended a 2 year silence. It tweeted out some pro Fred Trump messages (calling him a philanthropist) and then the Mark Rich pardon documents from Bill Clinton’s days, among other random anti-Clinton items. Today it tweeted out the letters Comey sent Jason Chaffetz about Hillary Clinton. Louise Mensch discusses the bizarre behavior of this account in her writings. FBI initially claimed the tweets praising Fred Trump and anti-Hillary documents (going back to Bill’s days) tweets were done automatically in response to FOA requests. But that’s nonsense, nothing would do this automatically and this account would not randomly tweet out document dumps. Someone is operating this account. Mensch’s conclusion was that it was run by the rogue NY FBI gents. Today’s tweet of The Comey Letter is bizarre and random – but yesterday Comey testified to Congress… So what the hell does it mean?!

@17, yes, yes, yes, if there were more Adam Schiffs in Congress, it would be a body worthy of its stated purpose. Schiff was spectacular yesterday. I think he might have choreographed the whole Dem show. It was a political Fosse moment.

@18, if I was Ding Don, I would be careful. Once you outlive your usefulness to Pootie Poot, bad things seem to happen.

@19, Bill Kristol is out flailing around these days, you might have been his last good, best friend. You know at some level he and Ding Don have lots in common, they both know at some level their fathers lived each and every day in disappointment of them.

BTW, what made Griff such a hard grader?

@1: Thank you Prolix! I was just about to post downstairs when I saw your comment. Love it.

Welp, I’ll remove the “follow” button because it appears that did no good.


@22, that is really sad. Another 9/11 responder who died from brain cancer. He seemed like a really nice man. Much, much too young at 44.

@16: LOL, I opened the pdf of the letter and Comey’s sig at the bottom looks like “James Blowme”.

Here’s a real takeaway:

More people would be uninsured if Trump/RyanCare passes than if they just repealed the ACA.

In other words, the massive $800 Billion tax cut provides the added incentive of denying One Million more poor people insurance. That is some Ayn Randian planning by the granny starver.

Amerika is a great country.

Does anyone here know where MoonOnPluto went??

@25 on Kristol> The only reason he is not a Trump supporter is that Breitbart doesn’t like him. If white supremacists liked Bill Kristol, he’d be all in for Trump.

Prolix, what do you mean “hard grader?”

I’m sorry about this:

@31, “hard grader” — that’s hillbilly for someone with exacting standards — someone who can’t be taken for a ride by silliness.

@32, Playbill statement:

Patrick Stewart inhabits the Microwave Barbie, Kellyanne Conway.

@21, that is some scary shit. Rogue FBI. Glad I’m a “little person”. I saw some people wonder on twitter if the military will follow Dumps orders in the event he wants them to do something insane.

Yes, Schiff in the House and Franken in the senate. I hope they both go far in their careers.

Shadow, sorry, haven’t seen her.

@30: Never heard of him or her.

My internet has been very slow the last couple of days, hence why I haven’t been around as much as normal. It is just crawling at times.

I’m watching the repeat of Maddow and she’s talking about how the Russians through Albania, Macedonia ip addresses and others, infiltrated many Sanders websites, facebook pages, etc. to post anti-Hillary comments and such. I’ll have to try to catch it again.

@39, perhaps that’s all the new Putinbot Twitter and Facebook accounts frantically working away with “news.”

@18, ….while helping plumbers install a jacuzzi. Ah-yep, that sounds plausible. Purely co-in-ci-dental to being on the case Preet Bharara was fired from. Amazingly the guy is still alive. Hope he leaves the hospital, and in better shape than entering it.
Wonder if Donald has enough grey matter to know he should be worried.

Because Repugs aren’t cruel enough yet.

Not sure if Maddow was referring to this or not

My state is lucky to have Murray (and Cantwell) as our senators.

@43, I recall reading that article earlier. Rather telling that the Sanders fans were so easily fooled. After all, Sanders didn’t have a record to back up all his talk about getting legislation passed.

@45: She was showing a screenshot of a McClatchy article about this:

and then went into the bots for Bernie thing.

@46, Critical thinking is our vaccine against bots!

@41: When I ran a traceroute Luna I saw a lot of “dead” hops going to the destination. It could be with Charter/Spectrum, just not sure.

However, I’m about ready to walk away from it for awhile. I click “Post Comment” and it just keeps grinding away. Grrrr…

It looks like the gloves are off in NY.


Fredster, that’s got to be frustrating. Hope it clears up soon.

Prolix, good to see such strong pushback. Seems crazy that it’s come to this level of callousness in politics. Most decent healthcare providers are feeling shell-shocked now. Most thinking people are.


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