Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The cockroaches are crawling out of the woodwork

by Rich Miles

I have to confess that I'm surprised we haven't seen more of this:

An idiot on the radio named Tammy Bruce has embarrassed all white people, all broadcasters, and all racists (yes, I meant that too) with an on-air tirade in which she repeatedly referred to the Obama family as trash in the White House. There is much to be said for not giving Ms. Bruce the publicity that comes with making her actions known, but here it is. This hurts my heart even to present it to you, but I think it needs to be done:

Tammy Bruce Acts Out Like Total Racist Slag She Is

I sometimes despair of my country. This is one of those times.

If you can stomach it, read some of the comments.

My poor, bleeding nation.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bad habit overcome - for the moment

by Rich Miles

I have had a very bad habit in my life - failing to see and take note of significant events in the news, etc.

The best, or one might say the worst, example of this happened when the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was taken over by militant students in 1979 - an event that almost certainly toppled a U.S. regime, and had many other far-reaching ramifications to it over its 444 days' duration, and far into the future after it was over.

I didn't understand it.

Or rather, it might be more accurate to say that I didn't realize how important it was.

I remember thinking, when I first heard of the seizing of the embassy, "Well, there goes another U.S. embassy - not the first, certainly not the last, but no big deal."

It's pretty clear today how wrong I was back then.

I've done this many times before and since - just simply failed to notice how important an event was, and thus failed to learn anything from it, among other things.

But today, I am here to announce that I actually got out in front of one: I was a day ahead of the national outrage over the bonuses at AIG, and I am very proud of myself for having done so. Frankly, when I wrote that piece on the 13th, I thought it might just cause a little flameout, and then would disappear, as do so many such stories in recent months. In fact, AIG was at the center of another story about the payment of bonuses late last year, and that one did fizzle and die after a few days.

I don't think this one is going away so fast, and I'm glad of it. And glad for any little part I may have had in the story growing legs. I'm under no illusion I am responsible for it, but if I've been able to prop up the legs a little from my little corner of the world, that's great.

So AIG is getting a bit of its own back - that's great, too. I sincerely hope the bigwigs at AIG keep trying to make excuses for themselves. It will only make them look worse and worse. And then, I want to see a bunch of the ol' boys working behind the counter at Arby's or some such. All of 'em - 6 bucks an hour or so. I want these morons who've been making 6 figures or better since 4th grade to learn what it's like to have to sweat a bit to make ends meet.

I don't really expect that to happen - but I'd sure love it. As someone important said, payback's a bitch!

Ain't it?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Idle Threats

by Rich Miles

There's an article in today's New York Times that, in essence, makes it clear that, come Hell or high water, AIG is going to pay $165 million in bonuses to executives of its financial services division, despite the obvious truth that these morons drove the company into the ground, and have had, so far, to be bailed out by the government to the tune of about $170 BILLION.

The basic premise of the article is that AIG HAS to pay these bonuses, because of contractual obligations entered into before the company's collapse. Well, that all sounds right and honorable, until you read the part about this money being "retention bonuses", to get the executives to stay at the company. Which brings to my mind at least the two following questions:

1) Why would you want to retain executives that killed your company, and damn near took the entire national economy down the toilet as well? Let 'em go, fer cryin' out loud, and

2) Where are these mugs going to go? If you refuse to pay their "retention bonuses", and they quit in a fit of pique, WHERE ELSE CAN THEY GO in this market atmosphere to do any better? Who's going to hire the architects of one of the greatest financial collapses in the history of the WORLD, much less America? I mean, can you imagine their resumes? "I took down one of the biggest companies in America. Let me do the same for your company!"

So obviously, as usual I'm missing something here. What *I* think I'm missing is the "old boy network camaraderie", that will cause these guys to take care of each other no matter how big fuckups they are.

Yeah, you can't let a former classmate at Yale or Harvard or whatnot fall by the wayside just because he's an incompetent boob. I mean, that would ultimately harm ALL incompetent boobs. And might even lead to the imprisonment of one or two of them. Like, for instance, GWB II. He was/is the ultimate incompetent boob raised to a level far above his competence. Can't have HIM called to task for his mistakes. God knows what that will mean to the rest of them.

The average American taxpayer (whatever "average" means in that context) is being reamed up the ass with a hot poker, and all these idiots can think about is "retention bonuses".

What can we do about this? I'm open to suggestion. But I'm just sick about this. And you should be too.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Wholesale Theft Begins in Earnest

by Rich Miles

There's an article on the front page of today's (March 13th) Courier-Journal that lays out the numbers for how Kentucky's first installment on the Obama stimulus package will be spent.

In essence, David Williams is, as we might have expected, going to get a lion's share of the money. Of the $442 million appropriated, Williams' district is going to get over $80 million - nearly 20%, in a corner of the state where are ensconced something like 3% of the people, and only about 8 percent of the roads - many of which have been recently paved. In fact, in one portion of Clinton county, part of Williams' district, they had so much money for roads and so few roads needing the work that they paved the SHOULDERS of the roads, rather than leave them in gravel as is usually the case. This was BEFORE the recent federal appropriation.

And Jefferson County, the largest and most populous region of the state, got about $36 million. About 7-8%. Less than David Williams' district. Less than the second-largest allocation of funds, $59.5 million to Ed Worley, D-Richmond.

Let me just close by suggesting this: get used to it. Every time the federal government allocates a portion of the stimulus package to our state, just assume that the fat cats will get the biggest piece, regardless of who or where needs it, and the rest of us will get the crumbs.

I suppose that's how it's always been. I just guess I hoped that this huge chunk of change would somehow be allocated a little more honestly.

But as I have mentioned in previous posts, I believe in the Easter Bunny, too.