The "Job Creators"
There is one way - and ONLY one way - out of the mess the plutocracy has made of our economic infrastructure during the past thirty years, and it will involve taxes - decades and decades of SERIOUS taxation.
Did I say "rich"? Perish the thought and forgive the faux pas, good and gentle reader! What I meant to say was "job creators". The handmaidens of the ruling class, elected to represent us in Washington, refuse to refer to them as "the rich" anymore. They are now "job creators". Ain't that a fucking hoot? And yet in spite of the Bush tax cuts being in place for over a decade now, they haven't been creating many jobs. In fact, for a while there, jobs were being lost at the rate of nearly half a million a month. The only "trickle down" came in the form of the American people getting pissed on.
Not only do the Republicans refuse to raise their taxes a cent more, they want an extension of Dubya's tax policies - into infinity! This would only send the American middle class (or what's left of it) spiraling further into the economic abyss. Wait, it get's better! According to a McClatchy News report that was printed in this morning's Times Herald-Record of Middletown, NY, fifty-two percent of registered voters agree with that the Bush tax cuts should stay just the way they are. This is the kind of stupidity I encounter every single day of my life. And you wonder why I love this job so much?
Oh, and speaking of taxes, this has not been a good week for Mitt Romney. He won't release twelve years of his tax statements as his father George did when he sought the Republican nomination in 1968. The reason for this is the fact that during the glorious Bush years (and beyond) it's a fairly safe bet that Romney payed very little to the Internal Revenue Service. In fact I'm sure there must be a year or two in there where he payed nothing at all. Call it a silly (and educated) hunch on my part. As of today, he's only released his 2010 returns. He's promised that before the election he'll also release his 2011 returns after his accountants make them available - but that's it. He doesn't dare go any further back than that. Would you if you were Mitt Romney? I didn't think so.
And now it looks as though Herr Mittster might have committed a felony. Isn't life beautiful? It would seem that between the years 1999 and 2002, Mitt reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that he was no longer with Bain Capital - the company that sent so many American jobs to China. But a cursory review of the company's paperwork for those years by some enterprising reporters reveals that Mitt was in fact still running the place during that time. This should get interesting.
FUN FACT: The Texas state Republican party has announced that part of their platform this year will be the demand that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 be repealed. As of this writing there has been not one word of reprimand toward them from the RNC.
This is a party that is beyond political rehabilitation. This is a party that needs to be politically extinguish. I almost used the word "exterminated" but thought better of it. That wouldn't have been very nice. And besides, Josef Goebbels isn't really my style.
Keep your eye on the Republican convention next month. The Tea Party halfwits who now control "the party of Abraham Lincoln" are starting to realize what a mistake it would be to give this guy the nomination. You see, as extreme as Romney is, he's not quite extreme enough for their tastes. The GOP convention of 2012 may very well bring back nasty memories of the Democratic catastrophe of 1968. And do you wanna hear the punchline? The delegates have been encouraged by the NRA to come to the convention armed! This should be just oodles of fun to watch - from a safe distance that is.
One-hundred years ago today, the planet earth was in dire need of some serious shaking up, so Woody Guthrie came into the world. Forty-five years after his death he's still shaking things up.
I saw a sign there, said "No Trespassing"
But on the other side it didn't say nothin'
That side was made for you and me
-Woody Guthrie, 1940
Happy birthday, Woody.
Although never a sports fan, I always took note of the career of Joe Paterno. His first cousin, Joe Gargiulo, was my uncle. He married my father's eldest sibling, Audrey Degan, in April of 1942. The physical resemblance between the two men was always striking. They might have been fraternal twins. Because of this indirect familial connection, I always felt a great amount of pride and admiration for the guy. That his once-sterling reputation could have fallen this low is almost inconceivable to me. It's like a horrible nightmare from which one awakens, grateful at the realization that it was just a dream. Only this is no dream. In fact it's too hideous and real to even contemplate.
I was hoping that, somehow, he would be exonerated. That's never gonna happen - not in this lifetime or any other for that matter. The release Thursday of Louis Freeh's seven-month-long investigation into this sordid affair put an end to any such hope. The kindest thing that can be said of Joe Paterno at this stage is that he was, at best, criminally negligent. A number of people - with a knowledge of the law far more expansive than mine - have said that had he not died on January 22, he would today be under indictment for felonious conspiracy. In an opinion piece in yesterday's New York Daily News, columnist Dick Weiss advocated that the statue of "JoePa" at the campus of Penn State University be torn down. I'm inclined to agree.
A sixty year, unblemished career and reputation have been reduced to ashes at the alter on public opinion. What a waste, and how unspeakably sad. The revelations get more sickening by the hour. What the hell was he thinking?
Uncle Joe passed away on October 6, 1990. Like Woody Guthrie, he would have turned 100 this year. I'm certainly glad he didn't live to see this.
The Boys on the Bus: Riding with the Campaign Press Corps
by Timothy Crouse
I was lucky enough to find a pristine hardcover copy of this book at a used bookstore this afternoon. In 1972 Crouse was part of the two-man team (along with Hunter Thompson) that covered the Nixon/McGovern contest for Rolling Stone. If you can find this one by all means pick it up. It's a very good read; the perfect companion volume to Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.