Butt Salad*

Now, if I were a Democrat, I would be looking at 2010 like a fat person at a just-opened buffet, but what do I know?  In the last couple dozen hours or so, “Drill, Baby Drill,” has been turned into an earth-shattering disaster, the Wall Street boys have been forced to open their lying mouths for all to hear,  and Randian Reality has been dealt so many disfiguring facial blows that by now it might even be, at least temporarily, slightly more unattractive than Ayn herself when she just walked out of the beauty salon.  You do have to hand it to these people, really.

For decades, crackpot and utterly untested economic ideas were not only trotted out, but taught as gospel in business schools from sea to shining sea, and as non-rich people were systematically cut out of this sort of significant policy discussion, this risible nonsense became some sort of Holy Writ, until it inevitably collapsed the world economy, and then the blather about it stayed the same, only more so.  The “Free Market,” you see, only failed because it wasn’t “free” enough, which, roughly translated, means that a few rich people might have actually suffered, too, so every effort must be immediately undertaken to prevent the repeat of such an unpardonable travesty.   People being randomly killed, impoverished, poisoned, and whatnot is simply the price we pay for our freedom, as there are always plenty of overpaid dingbats running around on television available to tell us.

If you came from Mars, you wouldn’t believe such facially  sociopathic arguments, and so shoddily delivered, too, would still work, but sadly, if you’re like me, you aren’t from Mars, so you well know that dammit, they sure do.  You can already go to multiple oil industry astroturf sites and find out how government intervention, if not actually causing them, in fact only inhibits industry’s tireless and ongoing efforts to prevent such horrid, “no one could have predicted” cataclysms as the Gulf oil spill.  Please.  At least one more miner died yesterday at yet another coal mine that had 40 safety violations in the last month, and as the Goldman boys got some sort of oath-induced amnesia on national television, a huge oil spill is about to wipe out, biologically, much of the Gulf Coast, so why not prattle on incessantly about the perfidious Brownies, instead?  What would you do if you were in their relaxed fit pants?   (Or miniskirt, if you’re a girl…  somehow on the news there’s a bit of a body type double standard, but the message stays the same).

With a hearty nod to fellow Hag blogger RMP, what we are seeing is the schadenfreude that comes from the many years of watching righties get their way, and waking up with a richly deserved hangover.  Own Worst Enemy, indeed.  After years and years of regaling everyone with their overconfident allusions to facts “on the ground,” as with their wars so goes with their every other idea, down the crapper, and this one might even be too much for Rotor-Rooter.

As I said earlier, I used to be quite worried about November; that feeling is fading.  Democrats have one big advantage, anyway…  Their opponents.

*H/T Tugs Belmont, Seattle….  Long story, but interesting.


  1. Ten toes over the abyss, Hag, and still defiantly whistling a happy tune. And I thought I was a true child of the Enlightenment! In the world we thought we knew, I suppose people do wake up and set off toward Mordor with that unassuming ring.

    But what if it’s not Tolkien writing the script? What if it’s David Lynch? What if all our velvet is blue? (If worse comes to worse, I want that cop’s ghastly yellow sport coat, even if I do have to pay for it with my life.)

    Fever dreams. One too many mornings and a thousand miles behind. Where’s that smartass who put orange juice in my orange juice?

    Oh, and is there a special prize for shoehorning three colors into a single comment? (Other than the conventional red, white and blue, of course.)

  2. nailheadtom says:

    “It’s amazing to watch the civil libertarians hide when Democrats propose the most sweeping intrusions of privacy in generations. In addition to the litany of bad policies contained in the Dodd Financial Reform bill is this nugget on pages 1039-1040. In short, it extends government reach to every deposit account of every citizen.

    Required Acct MonitoringSubtitle G of the Dodd discussion draft bill requires that records be maintained and reported “for each branch, automated teller machine at which deposits are accepted, and other deposit taking service facility with respect to any financial institution, the financial institution shall maintain a record of the number and dollar amounts of deposit accounts of customers.”

    What’s worse, banks will be required to submit these records to the new super regulatory agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (page 1041). The CFPA will be allowed to use this information for any purpose “as permitted by law” under CFPA rules—rules set by CFPA themselves.

    So, lets get this straight—the law requires banks to snoop on its customers MOST PERSONAL INFORMATION and submit it to another government agency so it can be used anyway the CFPA see’s fit.” Big Government

    • cocktailhag says:

      That would be interesting, if true, which of course it isn’t. More right-wing fear-mongering as usual, designed to make a smokescreen for Wall Street to escape under.

      • You’re worried about killing people for a buck. Tom is worried about his offshore bank accounts. I suspect that he’s one of those values voters we used to hear so much about, not to mention that he still hasn’t heard about the banks owning our Congress.

        Sleeping Ugly is what I’d call him. I guess it’d take a kiss from the ghost of Ayn Rand to wake him.

  3. nailheadtom says:

    ” Subtitle G—Regulatory
    14 (a) PURPOSE.—The purpose of this section is to pro-
    15 mote awareness and understanding of the access of indi-
    16 viduals and communities to financial services, and to iden-
    17 tify business and community development needs and op-
    18 portunities.
    19 (b) IN GENERAL.—
    20 (1) RECORDS REQUIRED.—For each branch,
    21 automated teller machine at which deposits are ac-
    22 cepted, and other deposit taking service facility with
    23 respect to any financial institution, the financial in-
    24 stitution shall maintain a record of the number and
    25 dollar amounts of deposit accounts of customers.
    2 Customer addresses shall be geo-coded for the collec-
    3 tion of data regarding the census tracts of the resi-
    4 dences or business locations of customers.
    6 maintaining records on any deposit account under
    7 this section, the financial institution shall record
    8 whether the deposit account is for a residential or
    9 commercial customer.
    11 (A) IN GENERAL.—Each financial institu-
    12 tion shall make publicly available on an annual
    13 basis, from information collected under this sec-
    14 tion—
    15 (i) the address and census tract of
    16 each branch, automated teller machine at
    17 which deposits are accepted, and other de-
    18 posit taking service facility with respect to
    19 the financial institution;
    20 (ii) the type of deposit account, in-
    21 cluding whether the account was a check-
    22 ing or savings account; and
    23 (iii) data on the number and dollar
    24 amount of the accounts, presented by cen-
    1 sus tract location of the residential and
    2 commercial customer.
    4 ing date publicly available, any personally iden-
    5 tifiable data element shall be removed so as to
    6 protect the identities of the commercial and res-
    7 idential customers.
    9 (1) SUBMISSION TO AGENCIES.—The data re-
    10 quired to be compiled and maintained under this
    11 section by any financial institution shall be sub-
    12 mitted annually to the CFPA, or to a Federal bank-
    13 ing agency, in accordance with rules prescribed by
    14 the CFPA.
    16 tion compiled and maintained under this section
    17 shall be retained for not less than 3 years after the
    18 date of preparation and shall be made available to
    19 the public, upon request, in the form required under
    20 rules prescribed by the CFPA.
    21 (d) CFPA USE.—The CFPA—
    22 (1) shall use the data on branches and deposit
    23 accounts acquired under this section as part of the
    24 examination of a financial institution under the
    25 Community Reinvestment Act of 1977;
    2) shall assess the distribution of residential
    2 and commercial accounts at such financial institu-
    3 tion across income and minority level of census
    4 tracts; and
    5 (3) may use the data for any other purpose as
    6 permitted by law.
    7 (e) RULES GUIDANCE.—The CFPA shall pre-
    8 scribe such rules and issue guidance as may be necessary
    9 to carry out, enforce, and compile data pursuant to this
    10 section. The CFPA shall prescribe rules regarding the pro-
    11 vision of data compiled under this section to the Federal
    12 banking agencies to carry out the purposes of this section,
    13 and shall issue guidance to financial institutions regarding
    14 measures to facilitate compliance with the this section and
    15 the requirements of rules prescribed thereunder.
    16 (f) DEFINITIONS.—For purposes of this section, the
    17 following definitions shall apply:
    18 (1) DEPOSIT ACCOUNT.—The term ‘‘deposit ac-
    19 count’’ includes any checking account, savings ac-
    20 count, credit union share account, and other type of
    21 account as defined by the CFPA.
    22 (2) FINANCIAL INSTITUTION.—The term ‘‘fi-
    23 nancial institution’’—
    1 (A) has the meaning given to the term ‘‘in-
    2 sured depository institution’’ in section 3(c)(2)
    3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act; and
    4 (B) includes any credit union.
    5 (g) EFFECTIVE DATE.—This section shall become ef-
    6 fective on the designated transfer date.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Oh, for Pete’s sake, Tom. Can you read? That data is important to determine whether the banks are up to their old, and well-documented tricks of fleecing lower income and minority customers, and belongs in any CFPA. Only nuts like you and Breitbart would see any sinister gov’t plot in that. Might I add that it’s pretty ridiculous how you righties suddenly got religion on privacy matters after Bush left….. I assume you’ve joined the ACLU and everything.

      • nailheadtom says:

        Of course, that’s why they want information about my deposits, and yours as well, they want to help us. Only a nut would object to the state gathering more and more personal information about its citizens. And anything that the state wants to do in this line is just fine since Bush was Hitler. Seen the movie “Counterfeiters”?

        • cocktailhag says:

          Look, Tom, right here in Portland the Bushies broke into Brandon Mayfield’s house, repeatedly, and later arrested him on trumped-up charges. His crime? Being a muslim convert. The data the CFPA wants, disconnected from individual identities, is to ensure that banks aren’t lapsing into their old predatory practices. You flatter yourself to think anyone is interested in you.

  4. nailheadtom says:

    Poster boy for the American Satyriasis Foundation, W.J. Clinton, although a millionaire and then some, lets the taxpayers foot the bill for his niece’s groceries: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/28/macy-clinton-niece-of-bil_n_555043.html

    And POTUS, B.H. Obama, not exactly impoverished himself, stands by while Auntie Zeituni gazes out at the world from a stoop in public housing in Boston, waiting to see if she’ll be deported for illegal entry to the country: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1251192

    But these two philanthropists want to confiscate my funds to feed and house these ladies and others.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Wow, that second piece was especially nasty and bigoted, even for you, Tom. So, do you support every shoestring relative in your family tree? I certainly don’t. And it’s pretty absurd for you to act as though YOU are paying for this? Do you have any idea what a tiny fraction of the budget such aid programs are? I’ll give you a hint… Halliburton costs YOU a lot more than food stamps do, but Dick Cheney is soooo much more deserving, I suppose.

      • nailheadtom says:

        Oh, yeah, 36 million impoverished Americans on food stamps are waiting in line behind Halliburton. You’re the Milton Berle of the neo-Leninists. And Dick Cheney gets all the Halliburton income, too, and probably that of all the oil companies. You’re an idiot.

  5. Until your side starts winning Independents back in any kind of significant numbers, you should probably still be worried about November. Independents decide your elections.

  6. dirigo says:

    The Big Picture, at a glance.

    A public service to all, and for all the Toms of the world especially …


    • cocktailhag says:

      Great article, and a great performance by Levin. It’s nice to hear a politician who seems to get it… So few do, or will admit it.

      • dirigo says:

        Yeah, so while Warren Buffett is saying some deals he’s cut with Goldman were hunky dory more or less, the long-term implications of Goldman’s dealings with Greece and some other EU sovereign fund packages remain unknown.

        What is known is Greece is on the ropes, looking for a lifeline from a combined EU/IMF bailout (but they don’t want to admit it’s a bailout). Other EU member states – Spain, Portugal, Italy for instance – are said to be similarly exposed.

        It’s been reported that Goldman helped Greece cook its books essentially, when it applied for EU membership some ten years ago, and with that, the ancient currency known as the drachma fell into the dustbin of history.

        Gee, whattya wanna bet Goldman chiefs may be hoping they can call in their Greek bonds? Maybe pick up a few choice islands in trade?

        After all, there are over 6,000 Greek islands in the Aegean and Ionian seas. Less than 250 are inhabited. A small airstrip here and a small airstrip there, a bungalow here and a bungalow there, and all you need to say is: “The month of May on Nero! See you there, Lloyd! Fabrice! Don’t forget your snorkling gear, guys!”

  7. retzilian says:

    Dear Tom – I’m a little late to the Paranoid Party, here, but allow me to reassure you with a few salient facts about data collection, privacy, and the modern technological smorgasbord of infinite crap accumulated on a daily basis by various benign and malignant entities.

    Fact #1 – there is no privacy; privacy is an illusion. Your SS# is available to anyone with $29 and an internet connection.

    Fact #2 – you have more to fear from your search engine requests that are data mined than you have letting your bank know your sock size.

    Fact #3 – with all the data collected, rest easy in very little of it is being data mined by any competent analysts. The gov’t doesn’t have the manpower, money or ability to find its ass with both hands. I can give you dozens of examples, but the most recent one should be the Christmas underpants bomber.

    Fact #4 – the vast majority of surveillence cameras are unmanned and the tapes are reused within 2 weeks or less. Who is going to man the proposed highway cameras? And what kind of data will they get? You are letting your TV viewing of ridiculous crime dramas about the FBI and its ability to collect and analyze data in 30 seconds color your paranoia. In reality, unless you are a convicted felon (and even then), you are not on any important databases.

  8. dirigo says:

    Yeah, Tom, yeah, and … and … turns out – citing Retz’s exquisite image of the government’s futility in locating its ass with both hands while confronting the threat of the undies bomber – a street vendor who happens to be a Vietnam veteran last night alerted a New York cop on a horse that something was up with an SUV, which was parked on Seventh Avenue in Times Square, it’s engine running and smoke billowing out a window.

    One man. with recall of what is known in some circles as “situational awareness,” reportedly saved the city from what could have been, if not a nuclear explosion, then surely a large blow with some collateral human suffering.

    This morning, the vet, having spent the night at the police station, waved off the idiot Gotham reporters badgering him as he got into a cab to go home. He said, simply: “See something; say something.”

    Or, one could say: Be a citizen. Engage.


    Update …