March 22, 2009

The Tattlesnake – Red Tails in the Sunset Edition

Wall Street Will Soon Become Insignificant to Our Financial Future

“The reality is that the American overclass has just been on the most amazing feeding frenzy for three decades now, to the extent that they’ve simply lost any sense of proportion, whatsoever. The sense of predatory entitlement has become what water is to fish. It is so much a part of their world view that they no longer even have consciousness of it, or any alternative to it, any more than a tuna ever wonders what it might be like to walk on two legs and breathe air.”
David Michael Green, “Barack Obama and the Altar of Greed,” Common Dreams, March 20, 2009.

With a large majority of the public in the mood to Merrill Lynch the whole obtuse gaggle of scoundrels on Wall Street, current marquee malefactor AIG (American International Group, Inc.) dispatched its ineffectual new Dollar-A-Year CEO Edward Liddy to Washington last week, apparently just to prove he’s vastly overpaid.

While assuring the Congressional committee that he was there solely to serve virtuous honesty and glassine transparency, he found cause to do a Connecticut Yankee’s imitation of a Mafia kingpin by consulting his attorney before responding to certain questions, no doubt to strike just the right tone of forthright candor.

Liddy’s presentation was comically anemic when it wasn’t blandly soporific. He noted he had kindly asked the ruthless dark dead things who inhabit the senior slots at AIG – the Servants of Hades that designed the complicated ‘credit swap’ shell game that caused the firm’s collapse – to please voluntarily return half of the bonuses they ‘earned’ for turning AIG into a smoking ruin that had to be bailed out by Uncle Sucker. (Yes, that’s right – a Million-Dollar Baby would have to pout with a mere $500K to mollify any hurt feelings after burning down the house by playing with matches. In giddy Liddyland, this passes for sanity.)

The new CEO only displayed human emotion when asked to reveal the names of his employees who insouciantly demanded a hefty tip for giving the customer food poisoning that nearly killed him. Breaking a polite patrician sweat, Liddy seemed most concerned that his fellow well-dressed vermin might be hounded by angry rabble with pitchforks, or, worse, subjected to an interview with Jon Stewart, should their identities be known. He even dolefully cited a missive that had come to his attention wherein the author threatened to garrote with piano wire all the top executives at AIG, which undoubtedly struck foreclosed homeowners and those who have real jobs as extreme only in its leniency.


March 21, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Bailout

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , — RS Janes @ 4:44 am


October 17, 2008



October 13, 2008

Ohio Shooting Puts Face on Foreclosure Crisis

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — kerry @ 12:43 pm


Ohio Shooting Puts Face on Foreclosure Crisis

Sunday 12 October 2008

by: The Associated Press

A neighbor points to the bedroom where Addie Polk, 90, shot herself while facing eviction from her home. (Photo: AP)

    Akron, Ohio – By the time deputies came to escort Addie Polk out of her home of 38 years, the 90-year-old had taken out her life insurance policy and placed it next to her pocketbook and keys in the neatly kept house.

    She shot herself in the chest Oct. 1 before she could be taken away from the foreclosed house, which was worth less than its mortgage from the day she took out the loan.


October 8, 2008





Execs’ posh retreat after bailout angers lawmakers

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer Tue Oct 7, 10:57 PM ET

WASHINGTON – Days after it got a federal bailout, American International Group Inc. spent $440,000 on a posh California retreat for its executives, complete with spa treatments, banquets and golf outings, according to lawmakers investigating the company’s meltdown.

AIG sent its executives to the coastal St. Regis resort south of Los Angeles even as the company tapped into an $85 billion loan from the government it needed to stave off bankruptcy. The resort tab included $23,380 worth of spa treatments for AIG employees, according to invoices the resort turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.


September 29, 2008

The Tattlesnake – McCain’s Bonfire of the Inanities Edition

The ‘Stop Making Sense’ Campaign Just Did

“Never mistake motion for action.”
– Ernest Hemingway

In one of the topsy-turvy, fun-house-mirror aspects of this election, the hypothetically conservative Palin-McCain bid for the White House is being run as the most post-rational, incoherent, chaotic, image-driven, short attention span, non-factual, theatrical, emotional, ‘truthiness’-spewing political campaign in our history, worthy of the amorphous meanderings of a liberal French deconstructionist or a parody of reactionary outrage by Stephen Colbert.

Sure, we know that the Bush neocons like to create their own reality and let the rest of us catch up but, eventually, as has happened to King Junior, reality does come thundering down — as it has in Iraq, in Katrina, in our economy — where it can’t be ignored anymore, but the wildly lurching Palin-McCain extravaganza has decided to tempt fate and test the limits of the public gag reflex one more time by resurrecting every sordid, dishonest battering of reason and civility that Atwater and Rove have ever dreamed up.

Like the TV show “Seinfeld,” it is really a campaign about nothing: McCain’s economic policies – cut taxes and wait for a miracle – are a sour joke that we are feeling the punch line to as BushCo asks for a $700 billion bailout for trying the same thing; McCain’s phony Surge – which was really mostly just bribing the warlords to keep quiet — has worked successfully to keep our combat forces tied down in Iraq with no end in sight; his health care proposals will actually cost middle-class families more money for health insurance, and on and on it goes. Slip the rug out from under the rubes and call it real conservatism while you soften the fall of your rich cronies with golden parachutes – McCain should more accurately use the campaign slogan, ‘Country Club First.’

That McCain, a man who once campaigned against the interference of religion in secular politics, signed on as his Veep pick a born-again Christian zealot who knows more about the Rapture than she does the world she lives in and wears her narrow-minded ignorance and screwball religious beliefs as a badge of pride, to cynically solidify his hold on what remains of the Republican base says more about the current corrupt state of his character than five years in a POW camp in North Vietnam thirty-five years ago.

So, this is the shell game McCain and Palin are running: It’s not about what he or she would do as president or vice president – that’s archaic thinking — but rather the two-word message and the photo-op – McCain putting ‘Country First’ by suspending his campaign, yet still airing ads and keeping his campaign offices open, and jetting to Washington to appear for the cameras as if he’s already president, supposedly to deal with our economic crisis that he helped create and still doesn’t fully understand. That he just sat on his hands with no real authority is a reality trumped by the man-in-motion image – or so his Rove-trained advisors hope. There’s Palin, now appearing in several interviews and displaying her keen memory for brief neocon clichés and homey aphorisms provided by her handlers, but little grasp of what she’s babbling about, culminating in the low spot of her performance thus far, appearing in frothy TV talk-show spots with Hamid Karzai, Bush’s installed president of Afghanistan; a bulbous and lethargic Henry Kissinger, and a bemused President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, wondering if this insipid woman will help him get more foreign aid if he cooperates. She discussed babies with Karzai, emitted vacuous platitudes with Uribe, and flattered Kissinger’s obese ego in his blubbery senility. (Perhaps, for a fleeting moment, he thought he was dating Jill St. John again.) She increased her knowledge not one iota, but she ‘knows’ world leaders – see we have pictures!


September 25, 2008

The Tattlesnake – October and Other McCain Surprises Edition

Or, St. John and His Cowardly Lyin’

“Presidents have to deal with more than one thing at a time.”
– Barack Obama, Sept. 23, 2008, as quoted by Business Week.

All politicians lie to some degree; it’s a gloomy fact of national politics in America, and the higher the office sought, the more likely and frequent the infractions of the truth.

Some self-servingly shade reality intermittently, others cross their fingers behind their backs and deliver the quasi-whopper occasionally, and then there are the full-out Nixonian scoundrels who’ll tell a lie at the drop of a hat in the ring.

John McCain, in his conduct since becoming the Republican nominee, has crossed the Nixon threshold of deceit, most recently by calling David Letterman at the last minute and telling him he couldn’t appear on his show September 24th because he had to urgently drop everything and fly to Washington to delve into the bailout crisis.

McCain’s prevarication to Letterman blew up in his face when the talk show host discovered McCain was still in New York City for many hours after that phone call; indeed, McCain was being interviewed by CBS’ Katie Couric not far from the theater where Letterman tapes his show and could easily have stopped in and kept his commitment to Letterman. As Dave said sarcastically, showing a live feed of McCain talking to Couric, “Need a ride to the airport, Senator?”

This is self-destructive blowback of the first order: Letterman reaches tens of millions of viewers across the land, many of them the politically semi-literate that McCain is trying to reach with his over-simplified messages of ‘maverick reformer,’ ‘reliable leader’ and comfortable ‘regular guy,’ and Letterman spent most of the show last night, including his notorious Top Ten list, savaging McCain for his absence, his suspension of his campaign, and asking the pointedly mocking question of why Palin couldn’t simply step in and take McCain’s place. He even had McCain’s harshest Big Media critic Keith Olbermann on to further pound the stake into the Republican candidate. Presidential campaigns in America are really won or lost in the comedy sketches of the late night TV hosts and viewers form their opinions of the candidates’ characters based on the kinds of jokes disseminated – by that measure, millions of late night TV viewers now know that McCain is a bald-faced liar; a treacherous old codpiece willing to deceive their trusted TV friend Dave. Hmmm, what else might he lie about as president? Not only was this a nuclear one-night hit, but McCain has now made a foe of David Letterman, an enmity that will carry on until the election – it could very well make the difference in November.

Something else that will make a difference, and also presents McCain as a perpetual dispenser of falsehoods and humbug, is his bizarre abandonment of his former friends in the Big Media and Punditrocracy. McCain’s campaign has lately made it a badge of honor to snub and treat with contempt the very same ‘Guys and Gals on the Bus’ who protectively guarded and excused McCain for his gaffes and deceptions in the past. Once heralded for his access to the media, now only pre-tested loyalists are invited to speak with the coddled candidate on his campaign jet, and the rest are shuttled off like cattle to stand behind a shield of sour-faced campaign staff. The turning of opinion amongst the press corps is growing obvious.


Powered by WordPress