Posts Tagged ‘joe scarborough

05
Feb
09

Politicians: Corporatocracy Whores

It seems most politicians are members of three clubs: former big biz, lawyers, and academics. Of course, there are exceptions. Ron Paul, Bill Frist, Howard Dean, and Tom Coburn were also doctors. California offers up actors from time to time, and Jesus give us his peeps:  Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Mike Huckabee. Sarah Palin crawled out from under a rock in White Trashville, as will have Joe The Plumber when he undoubtedly attempts to run for some public office.

Maybe we need to take a closer look at where our politicians come from and what type of background offers the most successful selections. By successful, I don’t mean longest-serving or highest-ranking. I mean most effective, the politicians that benefited the American people the most.

In pondering this topic, the most pessimistic observation regarding the state of our government is that there is an undeniable rotating door between government and big business. As I’ve said, this is not a democracy, but a corporatocracy. Lobbyists and politicians are one and the same and this is true of both Republicans and Democrats.

Sure, this is a well-known reality. So, what could have triggered my need to blog on the topic today? Well…

On Morning Joe this a.m. Joe Scarborough, in his usual pithy tone of egotistical disgust and certitude, derided Obama who, just like Bernanke, Joe said, is a professor. They’re just professors. And this is true. But maybe, just maybe, it’s not a bad thing.

Yesterday, Robert Scheer pointed out in his Huffpo blog entry, Runaway Wallstreet, that Geithner’s choice for top aide is Mark Peterson, Goldman Sachs VP and lobbyist. “It was confirmation that Goldman Sachs runs the Treasury Department–no matter which party is in power.” He also sites The NYTimes’ “The Guys From ‘Government Sachs'”, which details Goldman alumni in the government – Paulson, of course, but also Joshua B. Bolten, Neel T. Kashkari, Robert Rubin, World Bank Pres. Robert Zoellick, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and a BUNCH, bunch more.

Goldman Sachs is one of the many Wall Street, financial institutions with a revolving door between itself and the Treasury Dept., the Fed, the SEC and more. What about Rahm Emanuel and Michael Bloomberg? And, most recently John McCain was greatly considering naming shamed former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain – you know the one who spent $1.2 million redecorating his office – for his Treasury Secretary. How can our government be expected to enact the best policy when they are all big biz wankers who have no priority over increasing wealth among their ranks?

The financial industry isn’t the only extreme conflict of interest in the government. Remember Dick Cheney? Yes, that ex-Halliburton CEO called in major energy execs to help write the government’s energy policy. No wonder Bush thought Kyoto was a bad idea. No wonder Bush wouldn’t let California set high fuel emissions standards. No wonder Detroit refused to acknowledge the growing demand for greener autos. No wonder Halliburton, its subsidiaries, and other companies close to Bush & Cheney received no-bid contracts in Iraq worth billions while our underfunded military continued to fight wars on two fronts. Nothing new – former head of Enron Ken Lay would trip over himself licking the heals of Bush I, leaving little surprise that the company was able to get away with manipulating the California energy market before its bubble collapsed.

Where do you think Tom Daschle went after his senate career? Yeah, a lobbying firm with clients in the health care sector. He would have made a great health care secretary. No conflict there. And you know how recruited him? Bob Dole. Even Bill Frist went to work for a health care investment firm after leaving the senate.

And there’s always a new crop of big biz lackeys knocking at the door all the time: Mitt Romney, Carly Fiorina, and  Meg Whitman are biding their time, waiting to make their big break on the national circuit. But it’s not just the politicians – it’s their spouses, their children, congressional aides, government inspectors for the FDA, SEC, CDC and more – everyone around these politicians are in bed with lobbying firms and corporations. Lower level government employees, eying big dollar jobs in the private sector, push their bosses toward pro-biz legislation and deregulation. The mainstream media, dependent on sponsor dollar, rarely publicize the siamese twins our government and big business have become.

And the American people suffer for it. In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry mandated the vaccination of teenage girls with Gardasil – interesting because of his ties to Gardasil’s maker, Merck. The governor thinks he can issue executive orders regarding the health of our children, ordering them to take a new drug with multiple questions regarding its side effects. The man should be jailed. He also tried to rush the building of coal plants before new “clean coal” (cough, cough lie) regulations were put in place. Yeah, we got a winner down here in Texas. Hey Perry – this isn’t a fucking autocracy! Asshole.

Now, sure most of the Democratic politicians are lawyers  – funny how they want to study law before becoming professional legislators. And many other government participants are academics. The main attack line against these people – and we heard it quite a bit this last election – is that they never ran anything. Somehow the recent big biz execs are winning elections to become today’s politicians on platforms that they were in charge in the business sector. And the last eight years have been the most pro-biz in recent history. Do you see what I’m getting at?

Maybe before we jump to criticize these professors and lawyers, we should take a look at how well the big biz peeps fared. Last I looked, our civil liberties were greatly reduced, we spent far more on a war sold with lies than we did on education the children of our country, a credit bubble formed and popped, health care costs became astronomical, unaffordable and the leading cause of bankruptcy, speculation drove oil & gas prices sky high and unemployment reached record levels.

At least the top 400 richest people doubled their wealth while Bush was president. The poverty sector grew by leaps and bounds, but who cares about those people? We have a corporatocracy on our hands and until we establish policy on data, information, evidence and reality and leave ideology and theory in the books where they belong, we will continue to suffocate the middle class. And without a healthy middle class, a healthy American economy cannot exist. The idea of a free market has become a joke, a myth. There’s nothing free about our market. It’s very, very expensive. And it’s not the rich who are paying for it.

14
Oct
08

Surge Truth on Morning Joe

This morning, Joe Scarborough hosted Peter Galbraith, author of “Unintended Consequences: How War in Iraq Strengthened America’s Enemies.” After Joe asserted he believed the troop surge was the cause of reduced violence in Iraq, Galbraith answered the reduction in violence was more the result of the Sunni change in attitude. He did not mention the payoffs to the Sunni militias and their leaders by the American Government, but asserted that after Sunnis had become displeased with Al Qaeda activities, they turned their loyalties away from the terrorist organization.

I would like Sunni payoffs to receive greater acknowledgment by the mainstream media and politicians as a significant factor in the reduction of violence in Iraq. Such an admission would reduce the politicization of the troops and the surge by politicians, namely McCain, Lieberman and Graham.

You can click here, to watch the interview.

Previous blogs regarding the truth about the surge:

Decreased Violence in Iraq – More to do with Money than the Surge

Lieberman Using Surge Resolution for Shady Politics

Finally, Honesty About the Surge

Lieberman Continues Playing Politics with Our Troops

Update On Decrease In Violence In Iraq

02
Sep
08

Conservatives Blast Liberal Bloggers

Think Progress reported Sept. 1 that during a panel discussion hosted by The Huffpo, Conservatives railed against “liberal bloggers” claiming, according to TP:

Joe Scarborough: “it’s so ugly now in some parts of the internet’ that good people are being dissuaded from running for office.”

Peggy Noonan: The commenters “are much like what you would have gotten in 1880 if you walked into a bedlam with a megaphone and said, ‘I’d like to say a few words.’ It’s wild, it’s crazy, and it’s awful, and it’s often quite vicious.”

Tucker Carlson: People are “really underestimating the vitriolic dumbness” that’s out there. “I don’t think there’s any way to understate it. … It’s mostly on the left,” he said, and it’s “totally intolerant.” It’s “the least liberal thing I have ever seen — the default position is ‘I don’t agree with you; you are either stupid or corrupt,’” he said. “I think it’s actually hurting the country.”

Frank Lunz: “You’re right,” he said to Tucker. “Mean would not describe it. It is as humanly vicious as it possibly can be,” he said, adding that it is “deliberately insulting.”

Apparently, it’s just fine for the Right to promulgate “vicious,” “vitriolic dumbness,” “deliberatly insulting” commentary that “hurts the country.”

Rush Limbaugh:

  • The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.
  • I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.
  • It’s one thing to have a sizable minority like the Democrats stand in your way, but it is just unacceptable when a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of Republicans in Congress also rear up in opposition and join the liberal Democrats to derail an agenda. At some point that has to be faced. It has to be faced because these RINOs, these moderates, are undermining our agenda on taxes; they are undermining our agenda on spending; they are undermining our agenda on oil drilling, and they are undermining the war on terror — and I’ll give you some names. You want some names? Here they are: Olympia Snowe, John McCain, George Voinovich, Mike Castle, Christopher Shays, and about 30 to 35 others.
  • (on Nancy Pelosi) She’s got about as much respect as an iguana swimming around in your bathtub. (okay…i’ll give him this one. it’s funny.)
  • Screw the world. Do you really think we ought to govern ourselves based on what the world thinks of us?

Ann Coulter

  • I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo.
  • If Gore had been elected president, right now he would just be finding that last lesbian quadriplegic for the Special Forces team.
  • Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity (as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of ‘kill everyone who doesn’t smell bad and doesn’t answer to the name Mohammed‘).
  • There are a lot of bad Republicans; there are no good Democrats.
  • The Democrats are giving aid and comfort to the enemy for no purpose other than giving aid and comfort to the enemy. There is no plausible explanation for the Democrats’ behavior other than that they long to see U.S. troops shot, humiliated, and driven from the field of battle. They fill the airwaves with treason, but when called to vote on withdrawing troops, disavow their own public statements. These people are not only traitors, they are gutless traitors.
  • God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, ‘Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.’
  • (On Islam) We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

Michael Savage

  • The radical Democratic left is an army of soulless ghouls. Being of the living dead, they live in a world of death and try to impose it on we the living. Witness who led the charge: a radical homosexual, Barney Frank. A radical abortion Mafiosa, Barbara Boxer.
  • You know, when I see a woman walking around with a burqa, I see a Nazi. That’s what I see, how-do-you-like-that? A hateful Nazi who would like to cut your throat and kill your children.
  • My ancestors fled here because they wanted to become American. They wanted to imitate and ape the white man, while retaining some of their background. They didn’t want to impose their background upon the society, like so many immigrants do today, thinking that they have a right to impose their fetid societies upon us, the very stinkpots that they ran from.
  • They make homosexual wedding the law of the land, when 90 percent of the American people find it repugnant! And sickening! And disgusting! And don’t wanna accept it! And don’t wanna live in a degenerate nation!

Bill O’Reilly

  • I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s Restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks. Especially the black patrons: there wasn’t one person shouting, “Hey, m’fer, I want more iced tea.”
  • I just wish Katrina had only hit the United Nations building, nothing else, just had flooded them out, and I wouldn’t have rescued them.”
  • Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you’re not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead. And if Al-Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.
  • Many parents are worried in America about the gay agenda and indoctrination of their children to see homosexuality in a certain way.

Glenn Beck

  • I find this guy [father of Michael Berg] despicable. Everything in me says that sluts are to be a better people today than I was yesterday says he’s a dad, he’s grieving, but I don’t buy that. I’m sorry, I don’t buy it. I think he is grieving, but I think he’s a scumbag as well. I don’t like this guy at all.
  • Cindy Sheehan is a tragedy slut.
  • Good for you, you have a heart, you can be a liberal. Now, couple your heart with your brain, and you can be a conservative.
  • Al Gore‘s not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. The goal is globalization. The goal is global carbon tax.…You need to have fear. You needed to have the fear of starvation. You needed to have the fear of the whole place going to hell in a handbasket. Which–do we have that fear now with global warming?…Then you have to discredit the scientists that say ‘That’s not right.’ And you must silence all dissenting voices. That’s what Hitler did. That’s what Al Gore, the U.N., and everybody on the global warming bandwagon [are doing].

Who spews vitriol and anti-intellectual, inane, mindless drivel? And who gets more airtime? Talk Radio and now Fox News (and CNN) has given these hate machines a stage for years. Furthermore, the blogsphere is populated with more Conservatives hell-bent on caging those who are either different or disagree with them. Yet it’s the “angry liberal bloggers” who are criticized. Well, I take any criticism from Karl Rove as a compliment and vindication I’m doing something right. The Conservatives are simply trying to take the focus off the fact that their policies hurt Americans in the economic lower 95 percentile. The hyprocisy is palpable.

The Internet has given every person an ability to raise their voice and express their opinions. It is an invaluable tool preserving our democracy in a day and age when the mainstream media is either in cahoots with those they cover or are merely subject to the almighty dollar. We protect freedom and ensure transparency. We speak our minds without fear of intimidation. We are informed and pay attention and will always do so.

Are we angry? You’re damn right we’re angry! Our government has been hi-jacked by an authoritirian regime killing our civil liberties and guaranteeing our developed-nation achievements are only accessible to the wealthy. Only someone with their head in the sand could not be angry.

These righties would like us to surrender, to give up our message and treat them with kid gloves. Screw that. We are taking back our country, we are countering the hate-spewing by the Right that has gone unchecked for so long. Take the plank out of your own eye, Righties, and remember that we actually help this country and we’re here to stay.

29
Aug
08

Reaction to Night 4 of the Dem Convention

Obama’s speech was spectacular. It hit the right notes, had the right cadence – punched back at McCain’s petty and reprehesible attacks effectively and accomplished the convention’s task of firing up Democrats in preparation for the hard slog of the general election ahead. David Shuster got ahold of some bad information when he said it was just going to be a workman’s speech.

That said, I’ll now offer a few opinions on the evening’s earlier events.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine must have said the word “faith” fifty times. As a rationalist, non-believer, that was a huge turn-off for me as well as his use of scripture. I’ve never gotten a good feel for the guy anyway, but now that I know he’s the Huckabee of the Democratic party, I am incredibly thankful he was not chosen as Obama’s VP. I’m having a hard enough time putting my full support behind Obama because of his FISA vote, his capitulation on off-shore drilling and his prejudice against gay marriage. If he had picked Kaine and I had to hear the word “faith” every other minute during the general, Obama would have absolutely lost my vote and MANY of those I know. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again, religion has no place – none, whatsoever – in the political arena.

Now, Gore hit the mark as well. I enjoyed his speech far more than I enjoyed Bill Clinton’s and thought the former VP was one of the highlights of the entire convention. I’m happy he didn’t start open-mouth kissing anybody, that was a big improvement from 2000. I’m not sure if he’d been asked to speed things along, but he spoke so quickly, I was having flashbacks to the Micro Machine commercials from the 80’s. While I’m not sure his speech brought any votes over for Obama (not a ton of environmentally concerned voters headed McCain’s direction in the first place), he did what he came to do: deliver a message on the environmental intentions of Obama and remind everyone how the Republicans have wrecked any solid pro-green legislation.

After Gore’s speech, MSNBC aired McCain’s commercial congratulating Obama on his nomination. With the black curtain behind him and McCain looking down at the camera (so he’s looking down at Obama… didn’t think I’d get that, did you, McCain people?!), he looked like Darth Vader. The words coming out of his mouth were completely disconnected from the visual. The visual said (imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice), “OBAMA. I WILL BURY YOU. I WILL MAME YOU AND EAT YOU FOR BREAKFAST. YOU ARE GIRLY-MAN AND IT IS OVER FOR YOU. I HAVE BAD BREATH.” Perhaps he just shouldn’t have aired an ad rather than air one that was obviously insincere and meaningless. Good college try on being a uniter, not a divider after all that Paris/Britney debacle. Whatever.

To further my record of pointing out the least important of observations, I would just like to say that Michelle’s incessant wearing of ugly little flowers around the collar of her dresses has got to stop. She paraded those things at least three times this week. I can’t tell if they were part of the actual dress or just broaches her kids made or what, but a couple of times they turned a very nice dress into an artsy-craftsy debacle and were utterly distracting for someone who can be as shallow as I can – and that’s most people.

Now Obama’s speech is what a Democratic Convention speech should be, complete with zingers and sound bites, given in an insprirational tone that had the crowd standing the whole time. Not only will I talk about it with my peeps this whole weekend, but I’ll remember those rebuttals every time McCain tries to attack him on any of the topics Obama mentioned last night.

McCain will simply be unable to match Obama’s performance. He can barely read from a teleprompter, let alone stand as long Obama did without tripping over his words or making a gaffe. His staff should have him practicing his speech at least five times a day this close to the Repub Convention and taking gingko biloba pills. Probably won’t help, though.

It was distracting at the end of the night when Obama developed a little pocket of spittle on the left side of mouth, though. I felt for the guy, I really did and kept urging him silently to wipe it away when the cameras were busy capturing some doe-eyed girl in the audience looking like she was at Jesus Camp. Playing that country music song at the end of the speech was also a mood killer. Bad call – when there are so many other awesome choices. I would have chosen The Chemical Brothers’ “Galvanize” or something from Wyclef.

And, obviouly, Obama did not heed my MEREDITH VETO when he ended the speech with “If John McCain wants to debate…..” All the MSNBC commentators kept gushing about it afterward, saying Obama lifted it from Aaron Sorkin’s movie, “The American President,” or “The West Wing” or something. No biggie, though.

The big loser of the convention, I must admit, is MSNBC. The on-air fighting and snideness was entirely unprofessional. I really like MSNBC. They’re not as vanilla and boring and appropriate as CNN. While they have plenty of liberal commentators on, they include Scarborough and Buchanan and other righties all the time. But Olbermann’s ego has gotten out of control, Scarborough acted like a complete old white man jackass when he went off on Shuster and the constant shutting up of Chris Matthews during his lengthy philosophical meanderings was just pissing him off – I had to switch to hi-def PBS because I didn’t want to witness Matthews having an on-air aneurysm.

Brian Williams and Tim Brokaw have to be utterly embarrassed. Either way, some big dick over there has got to come in and get the troops in order. Perhaps it’s the absence of Russert and his leadership that has all the alpha-wannabees vying for dominance. Either way, MSNBC was getting painful to watch. The Huffington Post used to have all the reports under one big heading: MSNBC IMPLOSION, but now they’ve separated them all. The clips are all worth watching though. It’s like toddlers in a sandbox throwing poo at each other.




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