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Number of posts: 170
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Posts by Monica Smith:
- Mitt Romney refuses to release multiple years of taxes, ignoring decades of precedent.
Bring me men to match my mountains,
Bring me men to match my plains.
Men with empires in their purpose,
And new eras in their brains.
Willard Romney likes poetry, especially if it’s short and if it connects him to a person whose respect he craves. That’s why, as the Washington Post reports, he’s been reciting the four lines he learned from William Koch…
Don't Say Anything At All
Does this bit of folk wisdom account for notoriously gabby conservatives resorting to euphemisms as a matter of course? Not being able to keep their opinions to themselves, do they feel compelled to make the nasty sound nice? If so, then can we conclude that this apparently innocent habit just sort of morphs into a pattern of communication in which nothing is as it seems — i.e. the web of lies in which much of the nation is enmeshed just developed by happenstance?
Threatening the Implausible
The “burning of the cities” in the 1960s continues to haunt conservatives. When they’re not concerned with “drowning government,” something’s “burning.” The latest iteration is a screed in the National Review by one Stanley Kurtz who’s trying to convince himself that the heir of the burning cities now has his eye on the suburbs.
Frankly, I don’t intend to even read the whole thing, but the first paragraph of “Burn Down the Suburbs?” seems worth dissecting.
Eat Less Chicken
t used to be that competition was defined as more than one person striving for a common goal. The object was, as in a foot race, to get there first and, through the process of measuring oneself stride for stride against the others, keep improving. Competition, ideally, increases efficiency and improves the quality of products and talented people.
At some point, this traditional understanding of competition got transformed into something else.
His stash of cash, mostly. Why? It goes with the territory. Obsessive accumulators hide things. Squirrels do it; pack rats do it; and so do the bees in their hives. Hoarding and hiding are like that proverbial horse and carriage.
Barack Obama’s operatives are more verbose.
Boiling It Into A Conserve
Every person is unique. However, we do share common behavioral patterns, based on our characteristic functions, by which we can be categorized. We walk, talk, touch, imagine, invent, reproduce and recreate.
Speech is a good example of how the patterns are then set, into distinct languages, in response to the influence of our environment. While almost all infants make sounds, it’s their environment which renders some meaningful and some meaningless, depending on the response to the prompt.
I don’t know if that’s true, but it may account for why Dr. James Kroll has moved on up to Wisconsin to become the Deer Czar and convert Wisconsin’s public lands into private enclaves so the deer herds can be more properly managed and controlled. As if there weren’t enough reasons already for Governor Scott Walker to be recalled!
If you love deer hunting you better vote out Walker!!! Walker is currently in the process of creating a system where public hunting lands will be turned over to private companies..
People Are Corporations
By prompting people like Lynn Tilton to decide that “enough is enough.”
Well, to be honest, as a neighbor tells it, Lynn Tilton is responsible for the rescue of the paper mill in Gorham, NH because her father came to her in a dream and said that taking the two million dollars from the settlement of her sex discrimination law suit and retiring early was the wrong way to go.
Take & Take
Government by the people is the ultimate DIY enterprise. Mainly, we benefit each other by taking turns. Conservatives are people who, for whatever reason, do not know where their interests lie. And, having no basis for comparison, aren’t able to divine others’ interests either. They are self-centered without being self-aware. From a societal perspective, they probably exist to be recipients of other people’s creative ministrations. After all, for the shoemaker to perfect his craft and experiment with style and design and criteria of comfort, he needs people other than himself to use his product.
Know Before You Owe
A two-fer, if ever there was one. According to the White House Press office, both the First Lady and the President spoke. However, despite Republican carping about the President using the official plane to campaign, this visit to northeast Georgia had an official purpose — to explain and sign legislation that reforms how veterans interact with college programs and, one hopes, avoid getting ripped off.
White Collar Criminals
Pre-conceived notions are funny. They make a sunny day cloudy. They make the successful Department of Justice prosecution of banksters and fraudulent mortgage brokers, like Lee Farkas, look like a failure because every conviction can be appealed to a higher court. Even the staid New York Times found it necessary to point out that sentencing Farkas to thirty years in prison fell far short of the 385 years the prosecution had suggested. And somehow, trying the case in Virginia for crimes committed in Alabama and Florida counts as a demerit.
Keeping the Peace
“To know that you can’t walk down the street at night in your own neighborhood,” the councilman said. “That’s a terrible shame. That’s a terrible feeling. No one should be subjected to that.
“This is Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Henderson said. “We should have the ability to stand out on your porch anytime, day or night, that you want to.”
No doubt, Jack Henderson, the Commissioner for the Tulsa District, in which five people were shot by a guy in a pickup truck, is sincere in his statements. People should be able to walk (up or down) the street…
Self-Centered Myopic Pricks
Some people do not have a sense of time passing. They don’t perceive time as a linear sequence of events in which the past, present and future are distinct entities and, especially the past is over and done with. So, they exist in an ineffable present in which what was, what is and what could be are all muddled together. The result, not surprising, is that such persons are in a state of constant insecurity and whenever they do something that fails to satisfy, they can’t help but think that had their mother had a choice, they might well not be here. Which is why, just to be on the safe side and in case a miracle occurs, no babies, dead or alive should be taken from the womb prematurely.
Mouth of Mass Destruction
Newton Leroy Gingrich has to have a good showing in Georgia. He’s admitted that’s important, if he’s to continue as a candidate for the presidency of the United States. Which, presumably, accounts for the message he delivered Friday in Brunswick, on the Georgia coast.
“Barack Obama clearly has a vision, but it’s the wrong vision,’’ Gingrich said.
Obama’s vision is of a socialist structure guided by politicians in Washington, Gingrich said.
“Like Barack Obama, I’m a visionary,” Gingrich told the crowd. “It’s just that my vision is directly opposite from his.”
He’s right. President Obama is looking forward and Gingrich is looking back to the jobs he claims to have created before he was forced to resign from Congress and to fixing a tax code the chief executive has no ability to legislate.
Our Empire's Distant Outposts
Every couple of months, I check the Google to see what’s happening at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. My interest in the place, one of the largest U.S. military bases ever built and the obvious prototype for what was being built in Iraq, goes back to 2005 when Kellog, Brown and Root (KBR) was engaged to supervise the leveling of hillsides and the filling in of valleys to accommodate a U.S. watch-tower in the Balkans.
Who is John Galt?
“[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.”
—United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Rumsfeld left out one category – the unknown knowns. Randians are the people do not know what they know – nor what they want to do.
Both Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, and Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the U.S. have made the point, in discussing the $25 billion settlement agreed to by four of the major banks involved in the mortgage fraud scam, that this is a beginning and that no criminal or civil suits would be canceled out by this action.
So, as if to prove the point, the Department of Justice announced on Friday a separate fund, over and above the $25 billion, to compensate members of the military services whose rights had been abused
Super Bowl Politics
There has been much discussion by the pundits about the significance of the “Half Time” ad for President Obama’s reelection. Democrats have a hard time understanding the Republican Clint Eastwood’s motivation in associating himself with a project that highlights one of the President’s singular accomplishments.
The rescue of the American automobile industry is the President’s to claim. No doubt about it. But, that’s from the perspective of the people who design, manufacture and sell the cars. From the perspective of the financial engineers, who thrive on breaking companies up and selling the parts as so much scrap, the “rescue” was an intrusion on their standard operating procedure.
Voting Them Off The Island
Forbes, the money publication, reports on who’s giving money to the Super PACs in hopes of affecting the upcoming elections so the flow of assets from the public purse into their pockets isn’t interrupted. Since there aren’t all that many billionaires, their donations, as reported to the Federal Elections Commission, are easy topics for lazy journalists. Having them aggregated in so-called Political Action Committees makes them even easier to track. Like the votive candles in a rack, donations attest to the devotion of the congregation.
The exploitation of their own kind being promoted by conservatives and their politicians (it is a mutual admiration society) is not prompted by the race or gender of their victims. While it is natural for the victims of unprovoked attacks to assume they must have done something to prompt this irrational behavior, exploiters don’t require a prompt, just as a lion doesn’t need a prompt to go after a kid for lunch. Besides, and this is why I keep getting exercised by the suggestion that a victim is in any way “responsible” for an assault, when we focus on the victim, the perpetrators get off.
A Consumer Win
Anyone who’s ever been hassled by debt collectors calling incessantly to collect a debt, especially one that’s not even owed, will be glad to learn that the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, a consumer protection agency, have been working together to rein in some of the worst debt buyers. In United States v. Asset Acceptance, LLC, a suit brought in the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida, in Tampa, the defendants have agreed to a settlement which imposes a fine of $2.5 million and a number of changes in their business practices.
Then Our Leaders Will Make Millions?
If the stories coming out of Wisconsin are to be believed and Scott Walker was, indeed, oblivious to the fact that his county staff were running a political operation from work, the conservative mantra about “running government like a business” apparently means “one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.”
If that’s the case, then we’re left with the question whether oblivious management is a flaw or a feature. Both the “Peter principle” and my version of “up and out” suggest that…
The 99 Percent
In a story for the Associated Press, Eva Vergara reports on a maid in a suburb of Santiago, Chile whose pedestrian adventures have set the country atwitter.
CHICUREO, Chile — Felicita Pinto arrived early at the gates of the luxurious community where she labors as a maid, but the minibus to her employer’s home was late. So she decided to walk six blocks to work, on streets lined with broad lawns and imposing homes.
Security guards quickly chased her down and forced the 57-year-old widow back to the gate. Pinto’s employer protested, as he had before, against the community bylaws that forbid servants to move at will.
In Line for the Throne?
Republicans are royalists. They’re groupies, attracted by star power and into hierarchies which hold out the promise of taking a turn in the spotlight for even the briefest moment of fame.Although the Latin scholars among us know well the ‘re’ in Republic refers to ‘res’–i.e. the things or concerns of the people (publius), Republicans think it’s short for ‘rex.’ That makes it more consistent with their preconceived notions about how society ought to be organized–in layers. Similarly, the ‘re’ in responsible is cut off and reduced to signify repetition.
Question: Should two of the richest men in the richest country on earth set up a separate company to handle public relations if they want to remain reclusive in Wichita, Kansas and Manhattan Island, New York?
I’d say, since that’s what Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch have done, their concerns about privacy can be rightfully questioned. Tasking Melissa Cohlmia, Director, Corporate Communication, Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC with chiding Art Brisbane at The New York Times for the kind of coverage provided, especially in the opinion and culture sections, suggests a concern over style, rather than substance. The coverage is great, but they’d like it to be more Koch-friendly.
Profiting on our Children
On one level, it’s called privatization. The overt justification for privatization is always an increase in efficiency and higher quality. But the real reason lies in the fact that public officials don’t savor being actually accountable to the public. Shoving their obligations off to private enterprise via contracts strikes them as an opportunity to retain influence without having to actually do anything. And private enterprise is willing, regardless of the likelihood of failure, because American enterprise has a long tradition of exploiting public resources and assets, suckling at the public teat.
Abusing the Trust
Madison- Gov. Scott Walker announced a plan Wednesday to lift the enrollment cap on a state long-term care program – a move he made two weeks after federal authorities told his administration it had to take that step.
Walker touted the $80 million plan with advocates for the elderly and disabled at a Capitol news conference, but he made no mention of a recent order from the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, or CMS, directing his administration to lift the cap in the Family Care program.
Abusers are punitive. They get away with it by being selective in their targets, so those who escape feel grateful to have been spared…
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
Do the 2014 elections look promising for the Democrats? Not so far as I can tell. Do the Democrats have a bold plan to inspire the American people to turn the House back over to them? Not so far as I’ve heard. Is there a solution available? I think there is. We’ve got a Supreme Court that just doubled down on its disgraceful 2010 decision in Citizens United, continuing in the new case (McCutcheon vs. FEC) to pretend to believe that opening the floodgates still wider for big money to flow into our elections does not corrupt our political system. And we’ve got poll Read on →
Ever hear of "due diligence?" That's a term often seen in business stories, particularly when public accountants are working at checking the financial background of companies who might want to buy or sell to one another. Some people at the University of Georgia apparently don't understand or use the term "due diligence," especially when it comes to recruiting football players. One group defines "due diligence" in two ways: 1. An investigation or audit of a potential investment. Due diligence serves to confirm all material facts in regards to a sale. 2. Generally, due diligence refers to the care a reasonable person should take before Read on →
The modern oil industry, vertically integrated exploration, extraction, refining and distribution of oil on a mass scale, began no later than 1825 in Tsarist Russia. In 1825 Russia produced 3500 tons of crude and refined it, mostly into kerosene. By 1850 the Russian output had doubled to over 7000 tons. By 1906 Russia had a pipeline over 400 miles long stretching from the oil fields in Azerbaijan to the Black Sea port of Batumi, the first major pipeline in the world. By the 1900 there were great strides being taken to develop oil fields in the United States and at Read on →
How many of you are aware that Albert Einstein taught a physics class at Lincoln University (an HBCU in Pennsylvania) in 1946? In doing so, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist once said, "The separation of the races is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.” Another noted figure, Martin Luther King, once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” But we have become silent, for I don’t see the human outcry about where we are today. We have be Read on →