Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another Oilist Outrage: BP Uses Prisoners, Mainly Black Prisoners, For Gusher Clean-Up

Full story here.

Let me guess why.

They're cheaper?

They're expendable?

They're helpless?

They're uh, you know, prisoners?

In the first few days after BP's Deepwater Horizon wellhead exploded, spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, cleanup workers could be seen on Louisiana beaches wearing scarlet pants and white t-shirts with the words "Inmate Labor" printed in large red block letters. Coastal residents, many of whom had just seen their livelihoods disappear, expressed outrage at community meetings; why should BP be using cheap or free prison labor when so many people were desperate for work? The outfits disappeared overnight.

Work crews in Grand Isle, Louisiana, still stand out. In a region where nine out of ten residents are white, the cleanup workers are almost exclusively African-American men. The racialized nature of the cleanup is so conspicuous that Ben Jealous, the president of the NAACP, sent a public letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward on July 9, demanding to know why black people were over-represented in "the most physically difficult, lowest paying jobs, with the most significant exposure to toxins."

Hiring prison labor is more than a way for BP to save money while cleaning up the biggest oil spill in history. By tapping into the inmate workforce, the company and its subcontractors get workers who are not only cheap but easily silenced—and they get lucrative tax write-offs in the process.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bankster Lenders Discriminate Against the Pregnant

Just when you think Banksters couldn't have any more egg on their faces--or whatever that viscous stuff is--they come up with a new outrage.

Here's a NY Times story about banksters and mortgages for the pregnant--long story short, if banksters find out you're pregnant, they'll screw up your mortgage! Wow!

Mortgage lenders are taking a harder look at prospective borrowers whose income has temporarily fallen while they are on leave, including new parents at home taking care of a baby. Even if a parent plans on returning to work within weeks, some lenders are balking at approving the loans.

“If you are not back at work, it’s a huge problem,” said Rick Cason, owner of Integrity Mortgage, a mortgage firm in Orlando, Fla. “Banks only deal in guaranteed income these days. It makes sense, but the guidelines are sometimes actually harsher than they need to be.”

Back in the slapdash days of easy credit, lenders were more likely to overlook the fact that a parent was out on maternity or paternity leave. But now that lenders have become more conservative, they are requiring new parents to jump through more hoops to prove their income will be enough to cover the mortgage.

So before some prospective parents start spending their Sundays at open houses, they should be prepared to deal with some complications. They may have to delay the purchase, deal with the banks’ bureaucracy (and requests for extra paperwork) or buy a home they can afford on one salary.

“Maternity leave or any other leave of absence often prevents a person from obtaining a mortgage,” said John Councilman, president of AMC Mortgage in Fallston, Md. “There are some who long for the days when such strict proof of income was not required.”

The lenders’ new attitude can be traced, in part, to new loan quality-control measures that went into effect earlier this year. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two quasi-governmental mortgage giants that buy the bulk of conventional loans from lenders, have not changed their rules for qualifying for a mortgage. But the system of checks and balances has been tightened, making lenders increasingly skittish.

Fannie, for instance, now requires lenders to recheck a borrower’s financial situation right before the loan closes. That includes calling an employer to verify employment. Before, lenders required only a statement in writing. Fannie’s new rules went into effect on June 1. Freddie’s similar rule took effect in January.

Both Fannie and Freddie have always required that borrowers have enough income to pay for the loan on closing day — and the lender must document that the income is likely to continue for at least three years.

But here is how some lenders are interpreting the guidelines for, say, a new mother receiving short-term disability insurance for a couple of months (new mothers may receive disability payments while on maternity leave, though the amount and length depend on state law and company policies).

Since the disability payments will not continue for three years, these lenders will not count it as qualifying income, brokers said, and will require the new mother to reapply for the mortgage once she returns to work. (The same logic may apply to an injured employee receiving worker’s compensation.)

That is what happened to Elizabeth Budde, a 33-year-old oncologist who lives in Kenmore, Wash. She nearly lost her mortgage after a loan officer learned she was home with her newborn.

With stellar credit and a solid job, Dr. Budde said she had been notified via e-mail that she was approved for a loan on June 15. But that note prompted an automatic, “out of the office” e-mail reply from Dr. Budde’s work account, which said she was out on maternity leave.

The next day, Dr. Budde received a second e-mail message from the lender, this time denying her loan approval.
Since “maternity leave is classified as paid via short-term or temporary disability income,” the e-mail message said, it could not be used because it would not continue for three years.

Monday, July 19, 2010

And now for something completely different. Again.

Got a lot on my plate.

But shrieking with laughter helps my mood a lot:

Rev. BillyBob Neck on "Soccer: America's Path to Socialism."

Soccer -- America's Path to Socialism.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nobody Coulda Predicted . . . Oilist Boilerplate (or, Oilism Triumphant!)

After the Exxon Valdez disaster, nobody coulda predicted another environmental disaster would happen again.

And nobody did.

Hat-tip to quixote at Corrente, this article from McClatchy, pointing out blatant rubber-stamping of drilling proposals by separate companies who apparently all use the very same same xerox machine, typist, and well, um, the very same rubber stamp!

And y' know what all the identical triplet rubber stamps say?

Environmental impact?


Zero, zip, no way, nada!

No worries!

WASHINGTON — The names, locations and geographical coordinates are different. Otherwise the drilling plans for three oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico contain identical fonts, footnotes, overly optimistic projections and even typographical errors.

The companies employed the same small Houston consulting firm, R.E.M. Solutions, to prepare environmental information to submit to federal regulators for drill sites hundreds of miles from each other. R.E.M.'s analyses read like photocopies, each saying 11 times that an oil spill was "unlikely to have an impact based on the industry wide standards for using proven equipment and technology for such responses."

The Obama administration has cracked down on oil companies and federal regulators for the failures that led to the BP spill, but the private consulting firms that helped prepare many Gulf drilling plans have received far less scrutiny. A McClatchy review of plans approved by the Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service in 2009 and 2010 found that consultants were widely used but that in nearly all cases they wrote plans with the same flaws that experts and members of Congress have identified in BP's.

The Obama administration ordered oil companies on June 2 to resubmit drilling plans for the Gulf of Mexico with more environmental information, but it made no mention of the role of consultants. Some experts charge that these small, little-known firms — based throughout the Gulf Coast and often staffed by former employees of oil companies — are part of a self-serving culture among regulators and drillers that's sought for years to process as many plans as possible while ignoring environmental concerns.

"Since you know exactly what to say — you've been saying it for years and you know that MMS is going to rubber-stamp it — if you're a consultant, you're just going to cut and paste from project to project," said Kieran Suckling, the executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation organization. "Why would you spend any money on doing any analysis if no one's looking for it?"

Department of Interior officials said that federal regulators didn't oversee third-party consultants and oil companies were "ultimately responsible for the information they submit."

In the case of offshore drilling, oil companies included environmental impact information as part of their drilling applications, officials said. The MMS — renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement under a recent major restructuring — could request or seek out additional information before deciding whether to approve a drilling project.

Yet for each of the three identical plans written by R.E.M. Solutions, the agency granted waivers that exempted the projects from further environmental review.

Interior officials said that "a limiting factor" in how the MMS evaluated those plans was a law requiring regulators to approve or reject them within 30 days.

"As part of the reforms we are implementing, we have asked Congress to amend the laws governing BOEM's review of exploration plans to provide the agency more time to conduct the reviews," said Matt Lee-Ashley, an Interior spokesman.

The documents McClatchy examined included the plan for BP's ill-fated Macondo well, which didn't list consultants among the preparers. More than 20 plans the MMS approved for the Gulf in 2009 and 2010 were drafted at least in part by consultants, though.

Interior officials said there were no federal guidelines or licenses pertaining to these consultants, who seem to operate in a small, obscure corner of the mammoth Gulf oil industry.

R.E.M. lists 10 employees on its website and says that it provides "information and documents that will benefit our client, our company and the governing agencies." The firm was founded in 2002 by Connie Goers, who "has over 30 years experience in the oil and gas industry."

Three of the plans that R.E.M. prepared — for Rooster Petroleum, Tana Exploration and Marathon Oil, all of Houston — used the same language to say that the risk of a major oil spill was minimal, the companies were equipped to respond to a disaster and drilling activities posed little or no risk to marine life or fisheries.

Each contains the same typographical error near the beginning of the document, where the word "emissions" appears extraneously in a discussion of the physical impact on the drilling site. "There are no anticipated emissions, effluents, emissions physical disturbances to the seafloor, wastes sent to shore, and/or accidents from the proposed activities that could cause impacts to Eastern Gulf live bottoms," all three plans say.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

BP Oil Volcano Butterfly-effects Cape Cod Wildlife

Nobody could have predicted . . .

ORLEANS — The BP oil spill is creating uncertainty among the people who watch over some of the threatened and endangered wildlife that visit Cape Cod.

Many piping plovers born here this summer, for example, will eventually fly to winter grounds in the Gulf of Mexico, where BP's Deepwater Horizon rig has been releasing oil since April 20. And rare Kemp's ridley turtles, which ride the Gulf Stream to Cape Cod, now face a gauntlet of burning oil slicks and chemical dispersants as they cross the Gulf from their breeding grounds.

Gulf Coast beaches are also the winter home to terns and oystercatchers that migrate to the Cape.

"How do we face the fact that all of our hard-won successes on breeding beaches might be wiped out in an instant, as birds migrate and flock to their familiar beaches, only to find them covered in oil and their invertebrate meals tainted and smothered?" wrote Becky Harris, coastal water bird director for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, in a blog last week.

After struggling to protect plovers, least terns and oystercatchers from oversand vehicles, coyotes, crows, kites and dogs, wildlife experts feel the new threat looms large.

"They've said (this spill) will have a dramatic effect for five to 10 years, and maybe longer. It's sad," Orleans Parks and Beaches Superintendent Paul Fulcher said Tuesday.

Thanks to banding, bird experts have a good handle on the distribution of the Massachusetts population of American oystercatchers, Ellen Jedrey, assistant director of Massachusetts Audubon's Coastal Waterbird program, said Tuesday. "An estimated 30 percent of the Massachusetts population of oystercatchers — about 200 pairs — does winter along the Gulf Coast," she said.

The distinctive-looking oystercatchers — black and white with a long orange bill for opening shellfish — don't get as much press as piping plovers but need the same barrier beaches and marshes to breed and feed. The oystercatchers are relatively few in number — about 11,000 in the United States.

Piping plovers also are likely at risk from the spill, according to field ornithologist Chris Leahy at the Massachusetts Audubon Society. The birds migrate south in August and September to a variety of wintering grounds along the East Coast and Gulf Coast.

"If you look at the wintering range of the piping plover, it would be very good luck if New England piping plovers happened to winter outside the spill. There's a high likelihood that they will get onto wintering beaches where they will be affected by the oil," Leahy said.

The Kemp's ridley turtle, however, is in immediate danger. The rare sea turtle's only two breeding grounds are on the west side of the Gulf Coast, in Mexico and Texas' Padre Island, and young juveniles are believed to float across the Gulf on clumps of algae.

Now the clumps of algae, many covered with oil, are death traps because BP is burning off great patches of oil to keep it from coming ashore, according to Robert Prescott, executive director at the Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary of the Massachusetts Audubon society.

"There's a group of volunteers that is racing around in the Gulf and trying to net as many juvenile turtles as they can before the burning," he said Wednesday. "A lot of organisms, including turtles, are dying."

For years, Cape Codders have followed the fate of the dinner-plate-size turtles, the world's most endangered sea turtle. Each fall, volunteers walk Cape beaches to rescue cold-stunned ridleys that failed to leave the region before the water temperature gets too cold for them.

Globe: Coakley, Greatest Loser

Globe columnist Adrian Walker:

"Six months ago Martha Coakley was one of the most famous politicians in America for a few agonizing and awkward weeks. Her loss to Scott Brown catapulted him to cover boy status, while people wondered what on earth could be next for the suddenly toxic attorney general.

This week furnished some answers. First, Coakley’s office reached a $102 million settlement with Morgan Stanley, after accusing the Wall Street giant of unscrupulous mortgage lending. On Thursday, US District Judge Joseph L. Tauro struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, partly as a result of a suit filed by Coakley’s office.

She also went public with some tough questions about Cape Wind and has the final call on whether a New York investment firm can scarf up the Caritas Christi hospital chain. . .

Yesterday, Coakley, with her usual calm, noted that the failures of her Senate campaign had nothing to do with her service as attorney general.

. . .

While Brown became a national celebrity, Coakley simply went back to work. “It’s great to be back working,’’ she said, “especially when we get these kinds of results.’’

The settlement with Morgan Stanley was the latest — and by far the most successful — of several suits against companies that contributed to the subprime mortgage mess. Morgan backed bad loans by a company called New Century, on which many homeowners defaulted. Coakley successfully argued that the loans violated basic guidelines and that the homeowners had been sold loans they clearly could not pay back. About $58 million will go to beleaguered subprime borrowers.

“I think we were able to shed a little bit of light on the way they operated,’’ Coakley said.

Of course, the fight against the Defense of Marriage Act strikes close to home to many in Massachusetts. In essence, the battle is over whether married gay couples are entitled to the same federal benefits as other married couples.

Coakley’s challenge followed one by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. She was approached by GLAD after it filed suit and invited to play a role, which grew into filing a separate lawsuit.

“We thought it was an uphill battle, but we made a strong argument that the burden in terms of Massachusetts was unconstitutional,’’ Coakley said.

Many observers believe that Tauro’s ruling, which is certain to be appealed, will have little immediate impact. Coakley, however, chooses to take a longer view.

“If you’re a student of constitutional history, you see that changes that are dramatic rarely happen overnight,’’ she said. “There are steps forward and some steps backward. But this is a big step forward for all Massachusetts married couples.’’

For all the scorn heaped on Coakley after the Senate campaign, she is unopposed in her bid for reelection, as the predicted crowd of opponents never materialized.

If she has hit a political glass ceiling, it is in a job she clearly loves.

“We were able to make a little bit of progress in the area of civil rights and able to make life a little better for the people of Massachusetts,’’ Coakley said.

Full story here.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Meanwhile, In Other News . . . .

Exxon Mobile

Morgan Stanley


Securing $3 Billion in Loan Modifications for Homeowners

More here.

Scott "Bankster" Brown: MA's Beloved New Senator

So it turns out that EVERYONE LOVES The Bankster!

From the Globe:

"Now more than ever, it truly rocks to be Scott Brown.

The freshman US Senator, a Republican, is this blue state’s most beloved politician — more popular than even the president, according to a Globe poll this week. Our pollster didn’t ask how Brown’s favorables compare to God’s, but my bet is it would be a pretty close call.

And though it hardly seems possible, Brown is even more popular in Washington than he is here. His phones ring night and day: Everybody — the Treasury secretary, Arnold Schwarzenegger, House and Senate leaders, jobless workers — has been begging him to support their causes.

Five months on the job, and already he’s parting legislative seas.

With all of that love and power, you can’t blame Brown for getting a big head. And as an interview he gave two of his fans on WEEI last Friday made clear, it is pretty darned big.

“So, last night I got off the plane and I’m driving through Wrentham saying, ‘Man, I just can’t believe I’m a United States Senator,’ ’’ he crowed to his adoring interlocutors. “And then Tim Geithner calls me on the phone and says, ‘Scott, I just wanted to go through some things that we’re working on right now . . .’ He just called me a minute ago, too . . .

“Obviously, I am the key vote. They know they have to keep me in the loop.’’

No matter what Brown does, he’s a populist hero.

For example, repeatedly voting against an extension of unemployment benefits for laid-off workers, and for extra money to preserve services for the mentally disabled, makes him a hero because he’s holding down the deficit, saving the Average Guy taxes down the line.

Nobody seems to care that lots of folks, including some respected deficit hawks, think that’s a shortsighted, destructive stance in a recession.

“We need stimulus now and restraint later,’’ says Isabel Sawhill, a budget expert at the Brookings Institution. “On strictly economic grounds, it makes sense to extend the payments, otherwise these groups will be a tremendous drag on the economy.’’

Talk to the truck, ma’am.

Or take Brown’s stance on the bill Treasury Secretary Geithner was calling about: A Wall Street reform package aimed at taming the Wild West that is our financial system.

Voters sent Brown to Washington partly because he promised an end to backroom dealing. But it turns out he’s rather an ace at it himself: Holding his vote over Democrats’ heads, he got them to weaken restrictions on the kinds of risky bets that led to the financial crisis.

Having secured that gift for banks and hedge funds, Brown voted for the Senate version of the bill — even though its cost would add to the deficit.

Then, after House and Senate negotiators found another way to pay for the bill — namely, $19 billion in charges imposed on the biggest financial institutions themselves — Brown jumped ship.

He wasn’t protecting banks, Brown said. It’s just a coincidence that they hated the charges. He was looking out for the Little Guy, since the banks would just pass along the $19 billion to customers in higher fees.

It didn’t matter that the new rules would make it harder for banks to raise those fees. And it didn’t matter that any other way of funding the new system would also use taxpayer money, only more directly.

Brown’s balk was praised as another heroic, populist move. It sent 43 legislators sprinting back to a conference committee to come up with another way to pay for the bill: They’re now proposing to use leftover bank bailout money — taxpayers’ money, of course. Brown . . . says he needs the July Fourth recess to decide whether to vote for the Wall Street reforms.

But he needn’t lose any sleep. Whatever he decides, Scott Brown can do no wrong."

But wait!

Maybe he can do wrong! Maybe he must!

With his coming vote on Kagan, which way will the Bankster go?

Will it be flip? Or flop?

WASHINGTON — The upcoming vote on the Supreme Court nomination of former Harvard Law School dean Elena Kagan will present Republican Scott Brown with the most defining ideological test yet of his young Senate career, forcing him into a stark choice that is bound to anger some of his supporters no matter how he decides.

Kagan’s solid performance during committee hearings last week all but assures her confirmation by a comfortable margin, so Brown is not in a position to affect the outcome. But analysts say the political stakes are high for Brown personally.

If he supports her, Brown risks angering conservative activists across the country, an important source of campaign contributions. If he opposes such a highly accomplished woman with strong Massachusetts ties, the state’s independents, particularly women, may question his assertion that being a “Scott Brown Republican’’ does not automatically mean toeing the GOP line.


In beating Democrat Martha Coakley in January, Brown won two-thirds of critical independent voters, according to exit polls. Independents, many of whom lean left politically in Massachusetts, will again be a key constituency in 2012.

“Due to the lack of concrete issues with Kagan’s candidacy offered by her critics, it would be difficult for Brown to vote against Kagan and not expect some electoral consequences particularly among independents and female voters who turned out for Brown’’ in his race against Coakley, said Tatishe Nteta, political science professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst.

I'm still enjoying the electoral consequences of those voters who turned out for the Bankster, believe me. How about you?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Say, sir, would you care for a little class warfare garnish on your spanky new pro-am blogframe?

This is interesting article by Chris Bowers, who is suggesting a new division of labor: amateur bloggers versus "pro" (sic) bloggers, in his article "Amateur Blogosphere: RIP."

[Say, might that be pro-blogese for "STFU, the rest of you bloggers who aren't yet corporate and/or special interest shills?" Oh, okay, maybe not.]

Pro blogs are, like, money blogs. And they count, see. Because of the money. Tom Paine, alas, was no pro blogger. Bummer.

Anyhow, one of the blogs he names as a super big fab pro blogger is--HuffPo.

Now, I dunno about you, but when I look at HuffPo my heart sinks and I have to take a real hefty suck on my inhaler, because so much of HuffPo is not about politics, but about sleazy, tabloid-y, sexist, ageist, intrusive, superficial, ridiculous, rabid-mob-hysterical, unapologetically- Mean-Girls-Mean-Boys-High-School mean, worthless.

I think, "what a waste of bandwidth."

I'm not buyin' HuffPo as pro, as in pro = good.

And what's up with Bowers positing this split?

Why's he cooking up this bloggy dualism about pro versus am? Cui bono?

Like we were in need of raising our class consciousness?

Like we hadn't heard of the ol' "Us" versus "Them"?

Haves versus have-nots?

It's kinda classic. Uh--one-up? One-down? Ring a bell?

Why mention it at all?

Guys and gals, might it not be a smoke-and-mirror cover-up frame to obscure the fact that the very definition of this awesome (sic) pro (sic) status is that it's All About the Benjamins?

You betcha!!

Only five years ago, the progressive political blogosphere was still predominately a gathering place for amateur (that is, unpaid or barely paid) journalists and activists unattached to existing media companies and advocacy organizations. Those days are almost completely over. Now, the progressive blogosphere is almost entirely professionalized, and inextricably linked to existing media companies and advocacy organizations.

This transformation has been brought about by three developments (fellow bloggers, please forgive me in advance if I fail to mention your or your blog as an example):

1. Established media companies and advocacy organizations hiring bloggers to blog, full-time: The Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Center for American Progress, Salon, CQ, Atlantic, Washington Monthly, the American Independent News Network, and more have all hired hired bloggers to blog, full-time. Many of these bloggers, such as fivethirtyeight, Unclaimed Territory, or the Carpetbagger Report, operated their blogs independently of any established organization, and were key hubs in the "amateur" or "independent" progressive blogosphere. Now, those bloggers do pretty much the same thing they did before, they just (quite understandably) do it for a much better salary from an established organization.

2. Previously "amateur" progressive blogs became professional operations: Another trend, less common than the first, has been for blogs like Daily Kos, Firedoglake and Talking Points Memo to transform themselves from hobbies into professional media outlets and/or activist organizations. These blogs have increased their revenue stream to the point where they can hire multiple full-time staff.

3. Bloggers translate blogging into consulting and advocacy work: Many bloggers have also found a way to make a living by combining their blogging with blog-friendly advocacy and consulting work. This is actually the path I am currently following, as are, I believe, Oliver Willis, Atrios, Jerome Armstrong, and more. This involves finding part-time or full time work in politics that is conducive to still maintaining a full-time blog (which also generates a part-time income).

Add up all three of these paths, not even to mention the emergence of the utterly dominant Huffington Post, and the progressive political blogosphere is now both thoroughly professionalized and integrated into the progressive media an political ecosystem.

That didn't take very long. The progressive blogosphere really first emerged onto the political scene in late 2002 over fights like the run up to Iraq, the 2003 Democratic primaries, and Trent Lott's comments at Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party. In less than eight years, it went from a loosely knit, rag-tag network of amateur outsiders into a fixture in the world of professional political advocacy and media.

I want to make it clear that I know there are still "amateur" independent blogs around. Also, I do not begrudge a single person for taking any of these various routes to professionalism. Hell, I have wanted to be a professional blogger since Kos first began selling ads in late 2003. I am simply describing a trend that has, quite obviously, been underway for years now. In fact, my first post ever at Open Left was on this very subject).

It was, really, inevitable. Avant-garde, "outsider" developments which prove to have real support are invariably co-opted by any successful, institutional establishment. At the same time, these avant-garde movements are often willing to be co-opted, since established institutions usually have vastly greater resources than the independent, shoestring distribution networks of the avant-garde. Before I became a blogger, I was an ABD graduate student in English, and I was going to write my dissertation about this phenomenon in 20th century American poetry. I am quite thrilled that instead of writing that dissertation, I was able to participate in a real-life example of it.

Wow, dude! Kewl! You've made it! Isn't Townhouse List da bomb?

Genocidal Red Chinese Tap Selves to Pick Next Dalai Lama. Is That Egg on Their Faces, or Something Even More Embarrassing?

Yes, it's true.

Noted experts in cultural genocide, the Red Chinese, apparently consider themselves experts in the ins and outs of esoteric Tibetan Buddhism. Considering they prolly can't even name the four noble truths, much less practice them, it's quite a stretch.

Anyhow, they've just decided that they're going to pick the next Dalai Lama after this one (Nobel prize-winning Number 14, above, wearing Red Sox hat in Foxboro) clags it.

It's hilarious.

If they only knew how much they're embarrassing themselves, they'd probably stop.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Serfin' U-S-A: A Reprise of No Blood for Hubris' Post Written for the 2006 CorruptCo Blogfest

How do we love thee, Bushist fascist corporate corporations of America?

Let us count the ways:

We love thee for pimp-slapping us out of the very notion of pensions.
We love thee for pimp-slapping us out of the very notion of job security.
We love thee for pimp-slapping us out of the very notion of health benefits.
We love thee for pimp-slapping us out of the very notion of a single job being enough to support anyone, much less a family.

We love thee for destroying unions and making us love you for it lest we lose our jobs.

We love thee for disabusing us of the notion that "factory workers at successful companies can achieve a secure, relatively prosperous middle-class life for themselves."

We love thee for creatively creating useless products like Coke and Pepsi which have no nutritional value and yet make beeg money.

We love thee for creatively creating and selling useless products like Camels, Marlboros, etc. etc., totally unecessary & addictive items which actually ruin health and/or kill and yet make beeg money.

We love thee for creatively creating and hypnotically selling products like McDonald's and Burger King and Wendy's junk food made out of junk which contribute to obesity and illness and yet make beeg money (see Left of Center's Corruptco post here on high fructose corn syrup and bring your barf bag).

We love thee for successfully poisoning the natural environment and getting away with it, so far.

We love thee for buying and installing Preznit Toad-Exploder who has never actually held an actual job, like both his daughters and I think his mother, and who therefore is able to slap an innocent lady citizen on the back as congratulations to her for her good luck to be living in a country like America where she can hold three jobs--three!--at once.

We love thee for buying and installing Preznit Toad-Exploder who exploded toads in his youth.
We love thee for buying and installing Preznit Toad-Exploder who thinks that invading Iraq and thus making money for Halliburton, the Carlisle Group, and KBR and the rest of the military-industrial complex is way more important than the actual lives of actual troops or the actual lives of actual citizens.

We love thee for always putting profits before people and therefore providing us a sense of security in this impermanent world.

We love thee for your iron grip on corporate media, and your continuing hypnotic hold on the American populace.

We love thee for Enron's happiness at successfully stealing money from little old ladies in California.

We love thee for replacing the notion of American labor with the notion of American serfdom; for replacing noblesse oblige with pure greed and ego; for replacing three classes with the classic two: haves and have -nots--and for blaming the have-nots for not having.

We love thee for not giving a shit about anyone but yourselves.
We love thee for thinking that giving a shit about anyone but yourselves is somehow "quaint," not unlike the Geneva Conventions.

Not only do we love thee, but we worship thee and to thee we bow down.


This post is part of the CorruptCo Blogfest, created by LosetheNoose.