Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Waiting for Male Valor (Godot) At Convention Time, Backing Pussy Riots, and Corporate Crassness Guaranteed (R. Crumb Speaks:   US Economy Since Reagan)

They are so proud of what they have wrought.

God's work!

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfien speaks during an interview by the Economic Club of Washington, 07/18/12. (photo: Getty Images)

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein speaks during an interview by the Economic Club of Washington, 07/18/12. (photo: Getty Images)

Big Banks: No Crime, No Punishment

Is this the latest trick from the Roverites?

And doesn't it just solidify the wingnutty base?

Big Story You Missed

"2016: Obama's America," the highest-grossing conservative documentary in history

The new conservative documentary “2016: Obama’s America” is looking like a sleeper hit. The film, which portrays President Barack Obama as a radical hell-bent on downsizing America, is based on a New York Times bestseller by Dinesh D’Souza.

Variety described “2016″ as a “cavalcade of conspiracy theories, psycho-politico conjectures and incendiary labeling.” But according to Entertainment Weekly, the indie documentary “is headed for mainstream success.” Since premiering at a single theater in Houston six weeks ago, it has spread to 169 theaters — and its per screen grosses continue to increase.

On this eve of the Republican Convention I turn to the strident (almost Republican) words of James Howard Kunstler at Clusterfuck Nation to define the now much-bragged-about figment of most of these Republican (and Democratic - hard as it is to believe) male psyches' idea of valor (and ethics and pants-packed alluring pictures and . . .  all the other mythical qualities they strut out on the national stage daily - to sounds of loud recurrent female retching) and on just where on the political reality scale the U.S. really resides at this most propitious moment in time.

A perverse residue of those Civil Rights years lingers on today in the campaign for gay marriage, which affects to be identical in substance, and which is now, ironically, the only vector of action in Democratic politics inviting male valor - while it is also a huge distraction from many far more pressing tribulations we face, from resource scarcity to the well-being of the only planetary ecosystem we call home.

I say, ironically, because gay marriage represents an existential endeavor that seeks to escape or nullify the fundamental tensions of the two-sexed human race.

Like all things fashion-oriented, its essence is novelty, and the essence of novelty is that its charms wear off. Sooner or later, the charm of being not quite a man and not quite a woman will seem less than compelling to those not directly preoccupied by it. I bring it up because the Democrats have (foolishly) made it the public's business to the exclusion of other things. So, for Democrats, the last remaining imaginable act of male valor in the arena of politics is to come out of the closet. Where else is valor found in Democratic politics? What amount of valor has been attached to the act of fighting to reestablish the rule of law in American finance, upon which the fate of the nation truly hangs?

None. Zero. Last week Mr. Obama's Department of Justice dropped its case against Goldman Sachs's CDO swindling operations - a case that was served up on a silver platter by the report from Senator Carl Levin's Senate subcommittee hearings. Not one lawyer in the entire DOJ took a public stand against that act of gross negligence. It's only the latest in a long string of failures-of-nerve in the desperately needed rescue of legitimacy in American affairs. Every agency head, every person in authority in Mr. Obama's government has evaded the single-most pressing issue of our time. From the center of power to the margins of power and everywhere in between,  real masculine courage is absent. 

Where was valor in the face of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, when some Democrat in the two other branches of government could have proposed a legislative remedy, even a constitutional amendment, to clarify the distinction between the standing of citizens and corporations in wielding money as political speech? Who in Obamaland has asked Jamie Dimon to account for JP Morgan's missing $6 billion? And, of course, Jon Corzine is still at large.

In fact, all the male energies in American political economy have been directed lately in the service of a one multifarious enterprise: the support of fraud, which includes the promotion of untruth, the protection of the wicked, and the evasion of reality.

That can only end badly as this vast cargo of lies passes through the event horizon of circumstance and sucks us into the unknown territory that lies beyond the fall of empire. You can be certain of this: genuine male energy will re-emerge from the shadows and that energy will re-engage the still unresolved tensions abroad in this land.  When they do, anything can happen. For now, the election of 2012 remains a mere pussy riot.

The storm churning through the Gulf of Mexico may remind us just how large and uncontrollable the forces of nature are as the curtain rises on the political season of a grievously misled nation.

I have no idea what JHK just said (as most of the people at both Conventions will agree), but I am a committed backer of pussy riots - every nationality.

I can't help but give a shout out to my compadre in fear, Jerome Doolittle, at Bad Attitudes, who shows no reticence in this Convention-hyping essay (warning):

One thing about Republicans, they never underestimate the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.

And to the wonderment of those of us still clinging stubbornly to reality, nonsense works. Consider death panels, birtherism, trickle-down economics and rape-detecting vaginas. Consider this, from a New York Times story headlined “Romney Adopts Harder Message for Last Stretch” —

Mitt Romney is heading into his nominating convention with his advisers convinced he needs a more combative footing against President Obama in order to appeal to white, working-class voters and to persuade them that he is the best answer to their economic frustrations . . .
“We will absolutely be able to get our message out,” said Russ Schriefer, a senior campaign adviser. “We still have an opportunity to tell the story of the last four years of how President Obama has failed the country…”
Mr. Law said his group, Crossroads, had reserved roughly $35 million in advertising for the rest of the campaign and planned to spend more on efforts speaking to their other perception, that Mr. Obama had not been able to deliver.
“These folks know they are not happy with what Obama has done, but they are struggling between, ‘I voted for him, I liked him, but he’s not getting the job done,’ ” said Carl Forti, political director for American Crossroads. “That’s where Mitt needs to take advantage.”
A close textual reading of this compelling new message reveals its meaning to be, “Vote Republican, suckers, because Obama let us sabotage his economic recovery plan.”
It’s a message that could only resonate in empty heads, which ought to make the rest of us very afraid.

And speaking of totally screwing up fixing the financial catastrophe suffered by all below the 99% demarcation:

Not Everything Is Libor


 Bob Diamond grimaces.
It’s been a while since we checked in with the infinity thrillion dollars of Libor lawsuits, but the Journal has a good roundup today and, yeah, eep, this is sort of interesting:

Firms facing the biggest potential payouts, according to Morgan Stanley, based on the financial business they do rather than their assumed culpability, include Deutsche Bank AG, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC, Barclays, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan.
It seems almost unfair: you can very easily put a whole lot of leverage on your employees’ lame criminality; if you’re really really good at selling rate product even a tiny wee bit of criminality can be a disaster.* Shades of this chart – shouldn’t you get more points for being more criminal, not just for being bigger?

But this was the most jarring part:

Fund manager Charles Schwab has alleged it deserves damages related to billions of dollars in fixed-rate investments held by its funds, as well as investments with returns pegged directly to Libor. Schwab alleges in lawsuits it filed last year that the fixed rates were set in relation to Libor.
This is actually true; here is the Schwab complaint, which I’ve seen before but somehow didn’t register this:

Read on for the true tales of corporate crassness.

Black Agenda Report explains why Why We Don't Spend As Much Time Denouncing Republicans As We Do Democrats

And here's the man of any hour. Remember? Got any of those classic comics? Want to sell them?

No comments: