Tag Archives: 1 percent

Michele, we hardly knew ye (and other notes on the horse race)

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann announces the end of her presidential campaign in West Des Moines

Reuters photo

Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann announces today that her sixth-place finish in yesterday’s Iowa caucuses has induced her to quit her quest for the White House.  

We won’t have Michele Bachmann to kick around anymore. At least not for a while.

Bachmann dropped out of the Repugnican Tea Party horse race after garnering only 5 percent — sixth place — in the Iowa caucuses yesterday. 

Yahoo! News quotes Bachmann’s communications director as having told reporters of Bachmann, “She doesn’t see where she made mistakes. None of us, you know, see where there were mistakes made.”

Gee, maybe that was their primary problem: their inability to recognize their mistakes. 

I remember when “President” George W. Bush, on at least one occasion before a television camera, struggled to come up with any mistakes that he’d made as “president” when a reporter had asked him to list any.

The inability to enumerate any of one’s mistakes is a pretty fucking serious pathology.

Speaking of Gee Dubya, it is interesting that his name rarely comes up in the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential horse race when he was his party’s last occupant of the White House, for a full eight years.

It is as though extraterrestrials shoved memory-erasing probes up our collective national rectum, completely wiping out our collective memory of the years 2001 through 2008, idn’t it? Indeed, we went right from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, did we not?

Speaking further of Gee Dubya, about the only time He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned has come up this quadrennial go-around is when people have asked if we really want another governor of Texas ascending to the Oval Office.

Speaking of Texas governors, unlike even Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Prick Perry can’t take a hint. Despite coming in at fifth place in the Iowa caucuses yesterday (with only 10 percent of the vote), Perry has proclaimed that he will compete in the January 21 South Carolina primary, where, he remarked, “real” Repugnican Tea Partiers will vote, as opposed to those “quirky” Iowans.

Iowans indeed are quirky, although “quirky” sounds like a dangerously minimizing euphemism for “bat-shit-crazy theofascist.” 

However, Perry should have done better in Iowa, with its plethora of “Christo”fascists to whom he is trying to appeal. If he doesn’t appeal to the “quirky” Iowans, it’s difficult to see him appealing to the Repugnican Tea Party nationally.

The Associated Press reports that Perry today “said voters in South Carolina share his values and that he feels confident he will do well there.”

Share his values? Is that code for Texas and South Carolina both being bastions of white supremacists who long for the “good old days” of the Confederacy? (“Quirky” Iowa, of course, never was part of the treasonous Confederacy, but both Texas and South Carolina seceded from the Union before President-Elect Abraham Lincoln even took office in 1861.) 

Prick Perry had an uphill battle as it was, joining the horse race relatively late and reminding everyone of the last governor of Texas who went to the White House — the “president” who was so shitty that the members of his own party pretend as though his two terms hadn’t even happened — but Perry blew it by acting like a drunken Alzheimer’s patient in the nationally televised debates and in other public appearances.

He might do fairly well in fellow secessionist state South Carolina, but only 11 states formed the Confederacy, and Perry would have to do much better than that to win his party’s nomination.

Perry has only himself to blame for his failure, not “quirky” Iowa or anyone or anything else (with the possible exception of Gee Dubya, of course, for having soured the nation, even his own party, on governors from Texas).

Hopefully, though, Perry will do horribly in South Carolina and we’ll be done with him then.

Ditto for Rick Santorum.

However, at least one pundit posits that Santorum, because he trailed permacandidate Mitt Romney, the party establishment’s choice (indeed, 2008 party presidential candidate John McCainosaurus just endorsed Romney), by only eight (yes, 8) votes yesterday in the Iowa caucuses, might make it even beyond “Super Tuesday” on March 6.

I can’t see Santorum winning the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party nomination. Do the Repugnican Tea Partiers really want to front against President Barack Obama a candidate who lost his last election (his 2006 re-election bid to the U.S. Senate for Pennsylvania) to his Democratic challenger by 18 percent, which Wikipedia calls “the largest margin of defeat for any incumbent senator since 1980 and the largest margin of any incumbent Republican senator ever”?

And how can Santorum, whose fundraising and organization lag woefully behind permacandidate Romney’s, catch up now, even if he does get the lion’s share of Newt Gingrich’s and Bachmann’s and Perry’s supporters? (Gingrich came in at fourth place in Iowa yesterday, by the way, which I’d find more encouraging if McCainosaurus also hadn’t come in at fourth place in Iowa in 2008 yet still won his party’s nomination.)

But I can see Santorum dragging the whole mess out, although hopefully not nearly as long as Obama and Billary Clinton dragged out the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential primary season (in which Obama didn’t emerge victorious until June 2008).

Oh, well.

It will, I suppose, provide more blogging fodder, and a prolonged fight between the establishmentarian Repugnicans, represented by Romney, and their “tea party” wing, represented, for the moment, by Santorum, might only swing even more “swing voters” Obama’s way in November 2012.

Obama sucks* and does not deserve to be re-elected, but push come to shove — and you’d have to push and shove me pretty hard — I suppose that I’d prefer his re-election over another Repugnican in the White House. I, for one, have not forgotten the eight long years of unelected rule by George W. Bush.

P.S. How could I forget Ron Paul? He did, after all, come in third place in the Iowa caucuses yesterday (at 21 percent, just behind Romney and Santorum, who were tied at 25 percent), and anyone who makes the top three in Iowa generally is considered to be a viable candidate for his or her party’s presidential nomination.

Well, let’s face it: Paul has a few positions that even progressives like me agree with, and Salon.com columnist Glenn Greenwald is correct that Paul, while wrong on many if not most issues, has brought up some critically important issues that neither the Coke Party nor the Pepsi Party wants brought up in a presidential campaign. But the bottom line is that Paul isn’t taken seriously even by his own party, so what progressives think of Paul is a fairly moot point.

Ron Paul is treated like his party’s crazy old uncle, and having attained only to the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul never really had a chance anyway. (This was unfortunately true for Democratic Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who is treated like his party’s crazy uncle [he was my ideological favorite for 2004, but his nationally presidential unelectability was clear, and so I supported John Kerry, whom I viewed as much more electable] — and fortunately true also for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.)

If Ron Paul wants to run as an independent/third-party candidate, he has my blessing, though. Although many if not most Democrats deny it, it seems to me that the third-party presidential bid of billionaire H. Ross Perot (yet another Texas special) largely was a reason that Bill Clinton denied the first George Bush a second term in 1992.

*The Obamabots have easily toppled “defenses” of President Hopey-Changey — you should read Ted Rall’s recent column titled “How to Talk to an Obama Voter (If You Must)” for a list of a few of these “defenses” and why they’re bullshit. Here, I think, is the money shot:

Obamabot Talking Point: If I don’t vote for Obama, the Even Worse Republicans win.

Answer: So vote for Obama. Or don’t vote. It makes no difference either way. Voting is like praying to God. It doesn’t hurt. Nor does it do any good. As with religion, the harm comes from the self-delusion of thinking you’re actually doing something. You’re not. Wanna save the world? Or just yourself? That, you’ll have to do outside, in the street.

But perhaps Rolling Stone political writer Matt Taibbi delivers the most scathing criticism of President Hopey-Changey that I’ve seen (at least in a long time) in his recent piece titled “Iowa: The Meaningless Sideshow Begins.” The money shot of the piece, I think, is this (the links are all Taibbi’s and the emphases are mine):

… But the ugly reality, as Dylan Ratigan continually points out, is that the candidate who raises the most money wins an astonishing 94% of the time in America.

That damning statistic just confirms what everyone who spends any time on the campaign trail knows, which is that the presidential race is not at all about ideas, but entirely about raising money.

The auctioned election process is designed to reduce the field to two candidates who will each receive hundreds of millions of dollars apiece from the same pool of donors. Just take a look at the lists of top donors for Obama and McCain from the last election in 2008.

Obama’s top 20 list included:

 McCain’s list, meanwhile, included (drum roll please):

Obama’s list included all the major banks and bailout recipients, plus a smattering of high-dollar defense lawyers from firms like WilmerHale and Skadden Arps who make their money representing those same banks. McCain’s list included exactly the same banks and a similar list of law firms, the minor difference being that it was Gibson Dunn instead of WilmerHale, etc.

The numbers show remarkable consistency, as Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup all gave roughly twice or just over twice as much to Obama as they did to McCain, almost perfectly matching the overall donations profile for both candidates: overall, Obama raised just over twice as much ($730 million) as McCain did ($333 million).

Those numbers tell us that both parties rely upon the same core of major donors among the top law firms, the Wall Street companies, and business leaders – basically, the 1%. Those one-percenters always give generously to both parties and both presidential candidates, although they sometimes will hedge their bets significantly when they think one side or the other has a lopsided chance at victory. That’s clearly what happened in 2008, when Wall Street correctly called Obama as a 2-1 (or maybe a 7-3) favorite to beat McCain.

The 1% donors are remarkably tolerant. They’ll give to just about anyone who polls well, provided they fall within certain parameters. What they won’t do is give to anyone who is even a remote threat to make significant structural changes, i.e. a Dennis Kucinich, an Elizabeth Warren, or a Ron Paul (hell will freeze over before Wall Street gives heavily to a candidate in favor of abolishing their piggy bank, the Fed). So basically what that means is that voters are free to choose anyone they want, provided it isn’t Dennis Kucinich, or Ron Paul, or some other such unacceptable personage.

If the voters insist on supporting such a person in defiance of these donors – this might even happen tonight, with a Paul win in Iowa – what you inevitably end up seeing is a monstrous amount of money quickly dumped into the cause of derailing that candidate. This takes overt forms, like giving heavily to his primary opponents, and more covert forms, like manufacturing opinions through donor-subsidized think tanks and the heavy use of lapdog media figures to push establishment complaints. …

President Hopey-Changey can’t even pretend to be on the side of the 99 percent when it’s the 1 percent — the Wall Street weasels and their allies — who gave him many more millions than they gave even to McCainosaurus in 2008.

And it’s the numbers next to the bullet points above that explain why I refer to the Democratic Party and the Repugnican Party as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party: the two are fairly indistinguishable. (I am, by the way, a registered member of the Green Party, and proudly so.)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Let us give thanks to God for pepper spray

I celebrated Buy Nothing Day today by buying nothing today. Not only did I do my part to refuse to contribute to mindless, runaway consumerism, but I avoided being pepper-sprayed, too.

Yes, apparently taking a cue from our wonderful law enforcement officers, some woman at a Southern California Walmart reportedly pepper-sprayed her shopping competitors in order to get to an Xbox. Reports The Associated Press:

Ten people were slightly injured by the pepper spray and 10 others suffered minor bumps and bruises in the chaos, [police Sgt. Jose] Valle said. They were treated at the scene.

“People could have gotten trampled,” he said. “Good thing there were no small kids.”

The woman got away in the confusion, but it was not immediately clear whether she got an Xbox, Valle said. …

The store remained open and those not affected by the pepper spray kept shopping. [Of course.] 

The woman could face felony battery charges if she is found, Valle said.

The AP story also calls the pepper-spray incident “the only major violence reported at a Southern California store involving Black Friday Thanksgiving holiday sales.”

So the pepper-spraying shopper committed “major violence” and “could face felony battery charges,” according to the AP, but according to Faux “News,” pepper spray is a “food product.”

Indeed, “Let them eat pepper spray!” is the attitude of the treasonous 1 percent, the 1 percent’s treasonous thugs (a.k.a. “law enforcement officers”), and the treasonous supporters of the 1 percent and the 1 percent’s thugs, but is this how it’s going to be — pepper spray is just a “food product” if the pigs use it against peaceful protesters, but if anyone else aggressively and not in self-defense sprays someone else with pepper spray, it’s felony battery?

I can’t imagine that the pepper-spraying Black Friday shopper was not inspired by our pigs’ recent abuse of pepper spray. Aren’t the pigs supposed to stop crime — and not inspire it?

Pepper spray is going to become so popular, I predict, that next Black Friday, shoppers will be pepper-spraying each other in order to be the first to get to the cheap fire-extinguisher-sized canisters of pepper spray.

In other Thanksgiving-related news, President Hopey-Changey has taken flak from the “Christo”fascists because he didn’t explicitly thank God in his Internet Thanksgiving address, even though Hopey-Changey did say “God bless you” in his address.

President Hopey-Changey didn’t thank Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, either — because they’re mythical, too.

But seriously, I give thanks for living in such a nation of intellects that they are butt-hurt that Barack Obama neglected to explicitly thank a non-existent Zeus-like deity for whatever. (Actually, in a written Thanksgiving proclamation that he’d issued earlier, Obama did explicitly thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster. In that written proclamation, he proclaimed, “As we gather in our communities and in our homes, around the table or near the hearth, we give thanks to each other and to God for the many kindnesses and comforts that grace our lives” — like pepper spray, which our cops find very comforting, and which must be a kindness, since it’s a food product.)

No, really — I give thanks for living in a nation in which others don’t try to shove their stupid religious beliefs down others’ throats. Because that would be just like living under Sharia law.

P.S. Here’s an alternate graphic for this piece:

And while looking for a graphic for this piece, I saw this one —

— which is only tangentially related to this piece, but which is pretty fucking funny, since some of the green, villainous pigs in the videogame Angry Birds indeed, just like UC Davis Police Lt. John Pig — er Pike — have mustaches and wear helmets…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Stormtroopers gone wild!

Updated below (on Saturday, November 19, 2011)

To anyone who believes that I’ve been hysterical in my last few posts, I offer this photo from The Associated Press:

A police officer uses pepper spray on an Occupy Portland protestor at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland Ore., Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Randy L. Rasmussen)

Associated Press photo

The photo’s caption reads: “A police officer uses pepper spray on an Occupy Portland protestor at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011.”

Yes, that’s not water — that’s pepper spray. And clearly the young woman is such a dire threat to the jackbooted thugs who serve and protect the 1 percent that spraying her directly in the face with a massive amount of pepper spray was necessary for the stormtroopers’ safety.

Where is Barack Obama speaking out against these outrages?

Oh, right — he puts Wall Street weasels on his cabinet and makes them his advisers. He’s on the side of the 1 percent.

Face it, folks, if you haven’t already: Barack Obama just isn’t that into you. He’s not on the side of the 99 percent. He wants your money and your vote — it got him into the White House, after all — but expect only empty promises from President Hopey-Changey in return.

And the message is clear: The 1 percent decide where and when and how the rest of us can protest and demonstrate. They make sure that our protests and demonstrations are so restricted that they can be toothless at best. Our plutocratic overlords even have established so-called “free-speech zones,” for fuck’s sake. If we step outside of these rigidly, plutocratically proscribed “free-speech” lines, we will be pepper-sprayed — or worse.

Look at the news photo above and reflect upon the fact that this is the blue state of Oregon that we’re talking about. If this is what the plutocratic-protecting pigs are doing on the Left Coast, what’s next? Can concentration camps for anti-plutocratic, anti-corporate dissenters be far behind?

Update (Saturday, November 19, 2011):

If you are wondering about the young woman who took the blast of pepper spray to the face, The Oregonian yesterday posted a piece on her. The Oregonian identifies the woman as Liz Nichols, a “soft-spoken 20-year-old who’s only about 5 feet tall,” and reports of her:

Raised in Mountain Home, Ark., a town of about 1,600, she plans to stay in Portland as long as the Occupy movement is alive. She’s motivated to protest by the plight of her parents. Her mother has multiple sclerosis and her father was disabled by a back injury. They’re both surviving on his Social Security disability checks.

 The Oregonian reports of the pepper-spray incident caught by a photographer:

A police van blared a warning, telling people they risked arrest if they ventured into the street. Nichols and others stayed on the sidewalk. Laura Seeton,  a 31-year-old Portlander who locked arms with Nichols, said they had nowhere to go as people in back pushed and the riot police in front shoved back.

“It was terrifying,” Seeton said.

Nichols said a policewoman jabbed her in the ribs with a baton and pressed it against her throat. That made her angry.

She yelled at the officer, saying she was being mistreated. That’s when another officer shot her with pepper spray. A photo by The Oregonian’s Randy L. Rasmussen, which flashed across social media websites, shows Nichols was sprayed from a few feet away.

“It felt like my face, ears and hands were on fire,” she said.

She dropped to the ground, and police yanked her into their ranks.

“She was dragged away by her hair and disappeared into the black of their uniforms,” Seeton said.

Why in the fuck are our so-called “police officers” not only pepper-spraying non-threatening citizens, but also actually dragging women by their hair? This kind of police brutality is different from that practiced by dictators’ thugs how?

I also thought that I would share this cartoon on the topic of nonviolence by Ted Rall:

Ted Rall

That’s pretty much it, in a nutshell, but also worth reading is Rall’s recent column on the topic, titled “The Occupier’s Choice: Violence or Failure.” And if you haven’t read his book The Anti-American Manifesto yet, what the fuck is the matter with you?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Time to fight fire with fire

Seattle Police officers deploy pepper spray into a crowd during an Occupy Seattle protest on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 at Westlake Park in Seattle. Protesters gathered in the intersection of 5th Avenue and Pine Street after marching from their camp at Seattle Central Community College in support of Occupy Wall Street. Many refused to move from the intersection after being ordered by police. Police then began spraying pepper spray into the gathered crowd hitting dozens of people. (AP Photo/seattlepi.com, Joshua Trujillo)  MAGS OUT; NO SALES; SEATTLE TIMES OUT; TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

Associated Press photo

Did you know that cops are using pepper spray against citizens who peaceably are voicing their grievances in canisters that are the fucking size of fire extinguishers?

The caption for the Associated Press photo above reads: “Seattle Police officers deploy pepper spray into a crowd during an Occupy Seattle protest on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, at Westlake Park in Seattle. Protesters gathered in the intersection of 5th Avenue and Pine Street after marching from their camp at Seattle Central Community College in support of Occupy Wall Street. Many refused to move from the intersection after being ordered by police. Police then began spraying pepper spray into the gathered crowd, hitting dozens of people” — including the 84-year-old Dorli Rainey, who has become the poster woman for the police brutality that we have seen in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The use of pepper spray on people whose “crime” is simply refusing to move from an intersection is not justified. Before you argue with me on that point, note that seattlepi.com reports:

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn on Wednesday apologized to protestors, including an 84-year-old woman, who were pepper-sprayed during a face-off with the Occupy Seattle demonstration in downtown.

McGinn said he spoke personally to Dorli Rainey, the former school teacher and activist who was photographed by seattlepi.com with red, swollen eyes just after she’d been doused with pepper spray Tuesday. The photo went international and captured an iconic moment for the Occupy movement.

“To those engaged in peaceful protest, I am sorry that you were pepper sprayed,” McGinn said in a statement. “I spoke to Dorli Rainey (who I know personally) to ask how she was doing, and to ask for her description of events.”

McGinn said he asked Police Chief John Diaz to review the police use of pepper spray and to ensure appropriate commanders are on-scene during such events. He said he did not want overly aggressive enforcement to exacerbate a situation.

He said police agreed that what happened Tuesday night was not “their preferred outcome.”

“My instruction to police and other city departments has been to protect free speech rights, protect public safety of protestors and the public, and protect other legitimate public and private uses of property,” McGinn said.

A pregnant woman and a priest were among those hit with pepper spray during a march from the Occupy movement’s current camp at Seattle Central Community College to Westlake Park. They were marching in support of protesters who were kicked out of Zuccotti Park in New York. The Seattle protesters were blocked by police officers at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Pine Street, where the confrontation took place, according to reports.

A police spokesman said Tuesday that pepper spray was used only on people who refused to disperse or who engaged in assaultive behavior toward officers. …

That obviously is a fucking  lie. We have photographic evidence that the Seattle pigs — and that’s what they are, pigs — wantonly sprayed pepper spray from large canisters all over whoever happened to be in front of them. There very apparently were no surgical strikes of pepper spray only upon those individuals who might actually have been aggressing upon the pigs. (And when a cop claims that he or she actually was aggressed upon by an unarmed citizen, take that claim with a grain of salt unless their is photographic or video evidence to back it up.)

And let’s not act like it’s only a crime if it’s the elderly, pregnant women and priests who are pepper-sprayed without very good cause. Anyone who is pepper-sprayed unnecessarily by the legalized thugs for the 1 percent whom we call “law enforcement officers” is a victim of a violent crime him- or herself.
 
The AP photo above eerily reminds me of images like these:
 
Photojournalist Charles Moore, R.I.P.
 
Screen shot 2010-03-17 at 9.17.17 PM.png
 
 
Non-violence? Bullshit.
 
When those who are supposed to protect us and to serve us — we fucking pay their salaries for them to do so — instead attack us, it’s time for us to attack back. I don’t believe in starting it, but I believe in ending it, and nothing fights fire better than fire. The only effective way to deal with a fucking bully is to give back to him what he has dished out himself.
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized