August 9, 2012

Fracking is Our Future!


November 18, 2011

Life Among the 1 Percent — Global Competition Edition


October 21, 2011

Spike Lee Admits Cain Candidacy a Hoax for New ‘Mockumentary’ Film

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion — Tags: , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 12:47 pm

Spike Lee Admits Cain Candidacy a Hoax for New ‘Mockumentary’ Film

Alan Smithee
Film Reviewer
Toronto Post and Mail
Oct. 21, 2011


“I can’t believe it,” a grinning Spike Lee told this reporter yesterday, relaxing in the lounge of the Nikko Hotel’s Star Bar in downtown Toronto. “We thought we might get some media coverage, but not that Herman would get this far!”

In a stunning revelation, the famed American writer/director of such classic hit comedies as “Do the Right Thing,” and “She’s Gotta Have It,” and more serious films such as “Malcolm X” and “Mo’ Better Blues,” explained that he had hired an actor named Grey Goodwin to ‘portray’ Herman Cain for a political mockumentary he’s making with the working title, “Citizen Cain,” about a buffoonish African-American who campaigns for the U.S. presidency as a conservative Republican.

“Man, I just thought we’d get some footage of this cat talking to Republican voters and like that,” Mr. Lee elaborated, “but I never, in my wildest dreams, thought he’d get into these debates or anything.”

According to the writer/director, there is a real Herman Cain, a pizza chain executive, but he’s on a secluded vacation with his family in Switzerland until December. Mr. Lee said that the real Herman Cain is a fan of his films and agreed to go along with the hoax when Mr. Lee presented the idea to him last year.

“See, then I went out and found me a cat who looks and talks like the real Herman Cain to play him in the film, and that wasn’t easy, but we knocked it.”

Mr. Lee went on to say that all of the ‘Goodwin/Cain’s’ policies and speeches have been written by him. “Grey, he’s just such a damn great actor, he really knocked it out of the park on this role,” adding ruefully, “Have you noticed nobody is really getting down and calling Cain out for his ridiculous positions that don’t make no sense? I could probably have him say he’s gonna make a law that we’ll have sunny skies 365 days a year and they’d buy that, too!”

But Mr. Lee was troubled with the success of his hoax, “See, we put this scam over on the Republican voters and the Republican Party, but what really worries me is that so many media people bought it. Now we got Grey’s fake Cain leading Romney in the polls. Can you dig on that s–t?”

Mr. Lee said when he returns to New York next week, he’s going to call a press conference to reveal the hoax, and expects his mockumentary to be finished and released before the American elections in November of 2012. “I may have to go into hiding after this joint,” Mr. Lee said jokingly, ending our interview.

He is expected to accept the Durward Kirby Adult Film Award tomorrow night at Macduff University’s Malcolm Hall North Annex in Southeast Westlake Park.


September 2, 2011

The Self-Delusions of the Wealthy: Are They Really Worth What They’re Paid?

“If the wealthy had to work as hard as the janitor, they’d demand enough money to hire someone else to do the job.”
– Richard Sherricky

As summer slides into fall, if not the financial fall that’s eventual, some things haven’t changed, such as the investment bank aristocracy of Wall Street, already wallowing in obscenely large salaries, apparently believing they actually earn their pay for continuing to peddle worthless paper and hoodwinking their own customers. This addled belief, however, is nothing new.

Having misspent a part of my youth as an advertising executive at a publishing company, I once had an opportunity to encounter wealthy people at business lunches and social functions, and noticed a few habits of hypocritical thinking most of them had in common:

– To a man — and they were all men back then — they believed, even the silver-spoon trust fund scions and coddled bosses sons, that they were ‘self-made’ and everything they had was attained by their own hard work, even if their wealth was derived from dividend income, the result of a long-dead relative fortunately picking the right investments or starting a successful business.

– Speaking of hard work, when these CEOs and corporate presidents drifted in at 10 or 11 in the morning to check the mail and sign a few letters, left for a two-hour lunch at 12:30, and then went golfing for the rest of the afternoon, leaving their overworked and underpaid secretaries to run the place, they would still insist that they had ‘worked hard’ all day. The trust fund scoundrels were even worse; they’d sit in a quiet bar in the afternoon hunched over a drink, or lounge at home in their bathrobe, and their ‘work’ for the day consisted of a few calls to the office to see if everything was all right. As usual, a secretary or senior manager was running the company.

– Whatever their educational institution, Ivy League or state university, they all thought they graduated because they ‘studied hard’ and ‘put their noses to the grindstone’ even though some would laughingly brag, after a few too many cocktails, about how they had hired poor ‘scholarship brainiacs’ or ‘eggheads’ to teach them how to cheat on their tests.

– While most of them abhorred any publicly-funded program that enabled poor kids to get a better education, and especially affirmative action, they were blind to their own advantages, beyond just being born white. If Uncle Joe picked up the phone to make sure they got into the ‘right’ college, or Daddy was once a student and fast-tracked their ‘legacy’ acceptance into a good university, that was fine — just the way the world worked. Of course, left unsaid was how they would have been able to make their way through college if such financially-strapped ‘scholarship brainiacs’ were not there to help them cheat, just one of many mental cul-de-sacs that these sons of privilege passed by quickly, lest they get caught on their own conundrum.

– Although most of them supported the war in Vietnam, none of them came close to serving in it. They either received school draft deferments like Dick Cheney; or, like Rush Limbaugh, had a note from the family doctor describing some dread condition that made them militarily unfit, but somehow didn’t interfere with their golf game. Others had a family-friend Congressman intervene to keep them out; or, like Junior Bush, had the Old Man pull a few strings to get them ‘Weekend Warrior’ duty in the National Guard. Privately, they had little regard or compassion for the troops in the field; in fact, they believed them stupid and that the grunts should show gratitude for the opportunity that military service provided to raise their lowly selves out of the ghetto or trailer park. Should they die or be maimed for life during this process of elevation – well, that’s just the price they pay for not having the foresight to be born in better circumstances.

– Most of them hated paying taxes, the hatred much more intense than that of those lower on the income ladder. Like Leona Helmsley, they thought taxes were fine — for the ‘little people.’ A couple of them were even said to spend more money on lawyers and accountants to avoid paying taxes than the amount they owed in taxes. But they didn’t mind one bit freeloading off poorer folks by using roads, highways, airports, parks, sewer lines and other public facilities partly paid for by the taxes of the non-rich; and they took it for granted their class would receive preferential treatment from cops and firefighters they didn’t want to pay taxes to support. I won’t even get into the courts, prosecutors, and military all arrayed to protect their property that they also didn’t want to pay to uphold — suffice it to say that they didn’t believe in any taxes for themselves, even for those things that benefited them greatly. It would be a mistake to take this as any sort of reasonable consideration on the subject of taxation; it was not – it was a nearly-hysterical emotional reaction born of mindless greed or sheer obtuseness.

Because of my position at the time, I couldn’t easily debunk or refute their various delusions and fits of psychological zoanthropy; to do so might affect my company and my employment there and, frankly, I needed the job. While I would pose a mild question or two — nothing too challenging or confrontational — I mainly just listened to their hallucinations. Two of the great common myths of American culture are that you can’t be too rich or too thin. Anyone who has seen a person dying of anorexia knows the first is false, and anyone who has encountered the wealthy as I did knows that an excess of money can be just as harmful to a healthy mind as eating nothing but candy is to the body. One thought, unexpressed, went through my mind repeatedly as I listened and watched these well-heeled business acquaintances go through the motions: what exactly do these people do that is worth so much money? One-thousand dollars an hour or more for calling into the office or letting your secretary handle things? Doling out a few million to someone who cured cancer would seem appropriate; but paying that to a man who rarely worked and took months off for vacation while begrudging his employees a slight raise and a couple of weeks off for a holiday? It was outrageous and the situation has worsened in the decades since these events happened. Then, top executives received about 50 times more than the average worker; today, it’s about 700 times. Yet, are they working any harder than the top execs of the mid-70s? I’d bet Lloyd Blankfein’s yearly salary of $55 million they aren’t.

(Incidentally, I’m exempting here those who really did start their own businesses from scratch with next to nothing. They worked hard getting the place running and deserve to be paid for their effort if they succeed. That said, I don’t know if that effort is worth billions, but that’s a question for another time. Also, I’m not taking a swipe at artists, entertainers or sports stars; most of them also worked hard to get where they are, generally have brief professional lives, and merit compensation for their talents since it’s usually based on public approval rather than a board of directors stocked with your cronies.)

Until executive compensation is brought into line with actual worthwhile work done, and the wealthy have to pay their fair share of taxes, including payroll taxes and capital gains taxes commensurate with what the average worker pays, I don’t think we can resolve our current economic mess.

That aside, the thread running through all of this is the massive degree of self-delusion practiced by those with wealth. It’s scary enough when they know they’re lying to make a buck; it’s pathologically dangerous when they buy into their own fantasies about themselves as have, it seems, the current crop of Wall Street bunco artists and banking grifters. In this case, it won’t end until Richie Rich, ensconced in an office at Goldman Sachs, dreaming up the next fraudulent financial instrument for his firm to foist on the gullible markets, hits bottom – an inevitability since they refuse to learn from their mistakes — and seeks another ‘loan’ from the contemptible ‘little people’ who pay taxes via the federal Big Daddy and, to mix metaphors, the cupboard is bare.

Then these Masters of the Universe will learn the tough lesson the cosseted Junior Bush as president had to endure: there are times when even Big Daddy can’t save you from the hard consequences of acting like a spoiled brat with too much for your own good.

© 2011 RS Janes.

July 26, 2011

Like Taxes, Responsibility Is For the Little People


April 24, 2011

Petroleum G-Man on Big Oil

Filed under: Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 3:21 am


December 20, 2010

Billionaire Bloomberg’s Devilish ‘No Labels’ Scam

Filed under: Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , — RS Janes @ 6:33 am


December 10, 2010

Sarah Palin: Slouching Back to Methlehem


June 14, 2010

The Tattlesnake — The Alvin Greene Fraud (and More) Edition

Just How Stupid Are South Carolina Republicans?

“I’m the Democratic Party nominee. I mean, I mean, the people have spoken. The people of South Carolina have spoken. The people of South Carolina have spoken. We have to be pro-South Carolina. The people of South Carolina have spoken. We have to be pro-South Carolina.”
– Alvin Greene, apparently accepting the Dem nomination for US Senate from South Carolina, as quoted by

Did the South Carolina GOP really think they could sneak this poor hapless vet through without anyone noticing? Regardless of what the Bias-Belted Insider Punditocracy says, I think the SC GOP, including cynical rump-pimple Sen. Jim DeMint, are a lot more vulnerable than the Big Media Babblelonians realize. It’s the only reason the GOP dirty tricksters would try a lame stunt like this – what with the aftermath of the Mark Sanford scandal and the Republican-run state cratering economically mired in record unemployment, they’re getting desperate.

Sadly, 13-year military veteran Greene resembles an advanced PTSD case in the way he speaks and acts. He may also have a drinking or drug problem that needs servicing. Such people are easy to hornswoggle for money into buffoonish charades such as this. If the SC Republicans abused a brain-damaged vet this way, they should be boiled in BP’s Gulf oil. (They should anyway, but that’s another story.)

It shouldn’t be too hard to find out how an unemployed man who had declared himself indigent a couple of months ago came up with $10,400 to put his name on the ballot, didn’t spend a dime for anything else in his ‘campaign’ (even his t-shirt reads ‘Greene Family Reunion,’ although he wears it as if it had something to do with his senate run), and somehow won against an experienced former judge and state legislator, Vic Rawls, who actually went out and campaigned across the state. (Maybe it has to do with the fact that in SC Republicans can vote for Dem primary candidates, or the state’s easily-hacked, no-paper-trail touch screen voting equipment manufactured and installed by GOP-friendly companies.) This stinks of blatant election fraud and it would seem easy to prosecute the seamy GOP lowlife that is surely behind it.

Not only that, but SC Rep. Jim Clyburn’s Democratic primary opponent, a shit-grinning ‘bidnessman’ named Gregory Brown, supposedly spent $70K to challenge incumbent Clyburn. Curiously, more than a third of that money was paid for ‘marketing strategies’ to a firm owned by Preston Grisham, who worked as a special assistant and campaign manager for Republican Rep. Joe “You Lie!” Wilson up until November of 2009, and was flacking for two SC Republican candidates at the same time he was being paid by Brown. Move along, nothing to see here, stop connecting those dots.

Perhaps this is to be expected in a state that spawned the late Lee Atwater and his nasty and devious approach to political campaigning, but certainly Eric Holder’s DOJ can take action to charge those responsible for such obvious, and stupid, attempts at defrauding South Carolina voters – these were elections for federal office, after all.

Read more:

“Clyburn’s Dem Challenger Denies He’s A ‘Plant’ — But Hired GOP Rep.’s Aide”
– Christina Bellatoni and Justin Elliot, TPMMuckraker, June 11, 2010.

“Clyburn Alleges Conspiracy To Plant Candidates In Three Dem Primaries In S.C.”
– Christina Bellatoni, TPMMuckraker, June 10, 2010.

“The Alvin Greene Interviews; a TPMtv Original Video”

© 2010 RS Janes.

June 11, 2010

Sharron ‘Double R for Ridiculously Right-wing’ Angle’s Political Makeover


June 5, 2010

Is America Waking Up to Big Oil’s P.R. Routine?


May 30, 2010

CNN: BP’s ‘Top Kill’ Has Failed

CNN reported Sunday morning (5/30) that BP’s ‘Top Kill’ scheme to staunch the flow of oil gushing from the seabed of the Gulf of Mexico has failed. (Read the CNN story and see the video here.)

Next up, BP plans yet another ‘cap’ that won’t work any better than the first one.

Carol Browner, former head of the EPA and an adviser to President Obama, has confirmed that this is the worst environmental catastrophe in American history.

For an appreciation of just how horrible and far-reaching is this disaster, read “10 Things You Need (But Don’t Want) To Know About the BP Oil Spill,” by Dana Perdomo, Alternet, here.

I have to wonder: How much is BP playing us? I’ll bet gas will be up to $5 a gallon by the end of summer and it will be blamed on the big oil spill – BP and their corporate colleagues will rake in even more billions while the oil continues to flow from the bottom of the Gulf.

The only thing that will stop this from happening again is criminal prosecutions for negligent homicide, gross malfeasance, and fraud, with senior BP execs going to jail and the US government seizing their assets and disallowing any past, present or future profits from this mess. Of course, common sense would also dictate that all offshore drilling leases should be cancelled.

I won’t hold my breath, made shorter by air pollution from the byproducts of BP’s main source of income.

May 26, 2010

Bankey McPhail on the Bank Bailout


May 19, 2010

The Tattlesnake – Even Kids Know Bristol’s Bunkum Isn’t Worth 30K Edition

“Bristol Palin will earn $30,000 per speech to talk about getting knocked up!”
– The Zeitgeisty Report, May 18, 2010.

Mom picked up her precocious 8-year-old daughter from school and, on the drive home, as was their custom, she told Mom how her day went.

About once a month, daughter’s teacher presented her class with the question, ‘If you could be anyone, who would you be and why?’ and that was the big event of this school day

“Oh,” Mom said pleasantly, “and who did you want to be?”

“Bristol Palin.”

For a fleeting instant, Mom fought back a strong urge to stop the car and throttle her progeny while cursing the kid’s pinheaded Republican grandfather on her father’s side. Instead, she asked calmly:

“Uh, do you mean Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol?”

Daughter toyed absentmindedly with a shoulder strap on her neon pink knapsack, “Yeah.”

“Why would you want to be Bristol Palin?”

“It said on the news she was going to get $30 thousand dollars a speech. She doesn’t know anything, so I thought I could get a hundred times that much for a speech ’cause I know more stuff now than she does and I won’t have to have a baby or hang around with her awful mother to get the job.”

Mom laughed, amused and relieved: At least her only daughter could always make a living as a stand-up comic.

© 2010 RS Janes.

March 18, 2010

2010 Astroturf Teabaggers Just 2000 Brooks Brothers Rioters Redux


Rachel Maddow video: Reviewing the History of Fake Conservative Protests

“Bush’s Conspiracy to Riot”
– Robert Parry, Consortium News, Aug. 5, 2002, updated Aug. 5, 2009.

“Brooks Brothers Riot”
– Wikipedia

February 2, 2010

Crime Does Pay — If You’re a Health Insurer


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