Tag Archive: Nancy Pelosi

Feb 25 2014

Politics is Uninspiring in the Age of Hopeful Delirium Affecting the Deranged Changed Masses

They forgot what they said about getting involved to help out the lower and even middle classes. Instead, they make asses out of anyone who believed, thinking they achieved, something through the pretense of taking a stand for a brand.

Mar 05 2013

“Strengthening Social Security” and Other Euphemisms

strengthen

Strengthen – example 1.)  

As a seventh grader, Victor Alcantara towered over his peers. Already six feet tall and a substantial 190 pounds, Victor was well prepared by nature for what gave him the greatest pleasure – being a thug.  Victor was not driven by circumstances into his chosen career field. He had an unremarkable but perfectly serviceable intellect.  

His father was a University professor and his mother was a lawyer.  That Victor lacked their passion for academic acheivement was something of an irritant to them as were the frequent calls from school administrators and the irate parents of Victor’s victims.

Victor had wisely chosen to form a strategic partnership with the next largest boy in seventh grade, Mark Ballis, who had been held back a couple of times  making him the oldest seventh grader in the entire school system.  Mark was neither tremendously bright nor capable, but generally not a bad sort of kid and Victor had decided that he needed something of a life remake.  As part of Victor’s remake, he had renamed him, “Spike” and had had spent considerable effort on tutoring him as to how to comport himself with a certain thuggish silence and an attitude of cool equanimity.  Spike became a perfect henchman.

Victor and Spike, while often scheming greater exploits mostly engaged in classic bullying, shaking down kids in the halls and at recess for their lunch money.  Victor’s instincts led him to choose the social misfits, the nerds and the fat kids as his victims, steering clear of the popular kids.  

One day, Victor and Spike had cornered a recently arrived fat kid on the playground.  Victor got close up to the kid so that he had to look up at him at a sharp angle and pressed his demand.  “You kind of bother me looking like that, I think that you should give my associate here Spike your lunch money.”

Normally, the implied threat of violence and the innate desire to flee caused most kids to hurriedly comply with Victor’s demands, but this kid did not seem to be in any hurry to comply.  Victor leaned closer as the kid asked him, “What do you need it for?”

Nobody had ever asked Victor a question that went to the purpose of his enterprize before and he didn’t have a quick answer ready.  His brain raced as he stalled for time.  He fixed his portly interlocutor with an angry stare, the kind he had practiced in the mirror hundreds of times, but the kid just stood there, relaxed and expectant.

Then, from somewhere, Victor knew not where, the words came to him and he delivered them with a patient, but subtly insistent tone.  “This isn’t about our needs.  This is about you.  You need to lose some weight and toughen up a bit.  We will strengthen your ability to help yourself by removing one of the causes of your problem.  Now, are you going to hand over the money or do we have to work harder to strengthen you?”

Victor, now an old man sitting in his favorite chair, reflected that this was the turning point in his life where he transitioned from being a mere thug to becoming a politician.

Strengthen – example 2.)  

Victor sped into the Gas and Go on Bynum Road. He hopped out of his gaudy Hummer with enormous graphics that read, “Alcantara – County Executive” adorning all visible sides and the hood.  Heading straight for the office, he bellowed out to the man behind the counter, “Johnson, I need to talk to you now!”  

Walter “Butch” Johnson closed the cash register, signalled to the pimply faced kid dispensing a hot dog to a customer to take over and shuffled into his office.  Victor was seated behind the desk looking around at Butch’s family pictures on the left by the stapler and the calculator.  “Sit down Butch,” Victor said.

Victor Alcantara, now in his 30’s was the owner of a chain of gas station convenience stores and had recently been elected County Executive.  Victor now needed to scrape up some money to purchase a sand and gravel pit.  All of the pieces were in place.  He had installed Mark “Spike” Ballis as the County’s head of Public Works who would approve the contract with the County for sand and gravel and then the taxpayers could contribute directly to his success.  Now all he needed was a bit more capital to swing the deal.

“Butch,” he started, “I really appreciate the hard work you’ve been doing here, doing without an assistant manager, working double shifts and keeping down the costs of hiring kids to work the store in these tough times.”  Butch nodded and wondered when the pain would come.  “So I’ve been trying to find a way to reward your efforts.  I wanted to be able to tell you that we’d finally be able to give you and all of the managers a raise, but, the money’s just not there for that.”  Victor paused and gave Butch the compassionate look that he’d been working on in the mirror and had deployed repeatedly at events while campaigning for office.  Seeing the look, Butch thought to himself, oh damn, here it comes now.

Victor launched back in to his spiel, “So I thought, I don’t have the money,

because times are tough.  Let me tell you, though your store is a consistent performer, Butch, there have been a number of times I’ve thought that maybe I’d have to shut down a few stores.  So I thought,  what other sort of thing can I do for my people?  Then I got to thinking about you, Butch.  You’ve got a family and what you need is security.  The security that comes from knowing that the company you work for is strong and can continue to keep you employed.”

Victor suddenly got to the heart of his pitch. “So, I’ve decided to strengthen you by strengthening the company, Butch.  From today forward, everybody’s pay will be cut back to minimum wage.  Your paycheck won’t need to go down, you can keep on working all of the hours that you want, Butch, and the company can afford to keep paying you and everyone else.  So, that’s what I am working to give everybody here, a strengthened company and strengthened employees.  That security should really help you, Butch, now that your third child is on its way, right?”  Butch nodded his head while still in the process of making some mental calculations as to how the hell he was going to keep his family afloat while Victor sprang to his feet, slapped Butch on the back as he worked his way out the door and thought to himself, “one down, 27 to go.”

Strengthen – example 3.)

Victor sat in the den surrounded by mementoes of his long political career.  His eyes scanned over the walls covered with pictures of himself with presidents and other congressmen. There were assorted awards and trophies imparted by a mixture of lobbyists, corporations and organizations, pictures of himself on the podium at the Republican National Convention, CPAC, playing tennis at Kennebunkport.  His eyes fell on the picture given pride of place in the room that had hung in his congressional office for years.  It was a picture taken when he visited an industrial hog farm many years ago. It showed him and the farmer in the foreground, and as far as the eye could see were pigs, tightly penned in row after row of cages with mounds of food in front of them and a conveyor belt behind them to take away their poop.  The picture had become for Victor a visual metaphor for his constituents and the public in general.

Victor looked down and began to read aloud from an article on his laptop:

Congressional Democrats, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), signaled greater willingness on Wednesday to cut Social Security benefits … Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill that a cut proposed by President Barack Obama in the fiscal cliff negotiations would in fact

strengthen” the program, echoing the claims often made by Republicans about entitlement programs they want to slash. …

The cut involves swapping out the traditional method for calculating cost of living increases, based on the current standard for measuring inflation, for something called a chained CPI, or chained Consumer Price Index.

The cuts would start small, but wind up costing beneficiaries thousands of dollars over time … Pelosi wrapped both her arms around it Wednesday, insisting she does not regard it as a “cut.”

Victor stared at his laptop in disbelief for a moment and then erupted, “Goddamn, I can’t stand that Obama, but I have to admit, the man has cojones!  Strengthening Social Security my ass!  If I had proposed a scam like that in my day, they would have relegated my ass to the “crazy uncle” wing of the party!  That son-of-a-bitch is sending ’em off to the slaughterhouse and they still think he’s just the nice farmer that gives them all that damned food!”

Victor emitted a gutteral cackle startling his trophy wife’s cat who was yet again demonstrating his feelings for Victor by peeing on his rug for the umpteenth time.

Dec 12 2012

Obama and Boehner’s Grand Betrayal: Gullible Democrats Buy Into Good Cop, Bad Cop Theatre

Yes, we know what is driving the latest performance behind this fiscal sham.

It’s basically good cop, bad cop; or bad cop, worse cop theatre to get you to sign off on this grand betrayal as UKMC economist William K. Black aptly calls it.

Jun 11 2012

Lame Ducks Cooking Up A Catfood Christmas for Country

A perfect storm is brewing in the elite backrooms where policy is made and it is beginning to bubble up from the factory floor into the media where their policies are sold.  Prepare the vital organs of your body for a “December Surpise” as some are calling it. The debt ceiling will be reached before the elections, sequestration from the Budget Control Act of 2011 will be going into effect (and huge military contractors are already threatening massive layoffs). The elite rhetoric about the need for austerity will likely be at a fever pitch on the campaign trail and in the media.

It’s going to be a mighty (if completely contrived) crisis.

Fortunately the elites have already got the answer to all of the problems that are being prepared to come to a head.  Never fear, they’ve been working on it for decades.

A “Grand Bargain” will solve everything.  

May 09 2012

The Democratic Gutting of the Social Safety Net

It will be a Democratic Congress and President that will destroy the social safety. Ryan Grimm at Huffington Post reports that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi supports the Simpson-Bowles plan:

During a recent press conference, and again during an interview with Charlie Rose, the California Congresswoman said that she would support what’s known as the Simpson-Bowles plan, a budget proposal that was created by the co-chairs of a fiscal commission set up by President Obama (dubbed the “Catfood Commission” by progressives). The plan was rejected by members of the commission, failing to win the necessary votes to move to a vote in Congress. Yet the co-chairs — former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Morgan Stanley director Erskin Bowles, a Democrat — have worked recently to revive it, and the political class speaks of it as if it passed and is an official recommendation of the commission.

At the end of March, a version of the Simpson-Bowles plan was given a vote on the House floor. It was annihilated, 382-38, with Pelosi and most Democrats voting against it.

But Pelosi, the day after the vote, said that she could still support the plan if it stuck more closely to the original version put out by Simpson and Bowles. “I felt fully ready to vote for that myself, thought it was not even a controversial thing … When we had our briefing with our caucus members, people felt pretty ready to vote for it. Until we saw it in print,” she said. “It was more a caricature of Simpson Bowles, and that’s why it didn’t pass. If it were actually Simpson-Bowles, I would have voted for it.”

Yet when the Simpson-Bowles plan had been originally unveiled, Pelosi called it “simply unacceptable.”

In early April, Pelosi was asked about her initial opposition. “My problem with it was what it did as far as Social Security is concerned. Apart from that we said, there’s a lot to work with,” she told Charlie Rose. “It was a good framework in terms of revenue and in terms of cuts, in terms of defense spending and the rest. It was very bold.”

The Simpson-Bowles plan is a mix of tax increases and spending cuts that trims four trillion dollars off the deficit in ten years. Its cuts to social spending and entitlement programs made it “simply unacceptable” to the Democrats’ liberal base almost as soon as it was announced. Pelosi’s rhetorical retreat from that hard-line position has progressives worried they’ll have nobody left to defend the social safety net, even Medicare and Social Security.

Progressives need to be really worried, as Gaius Publius at AMERICAblog tells us the “push is on” to “compromise” on Social Security:

All you need to know? Pete Peterson lives for one reason only – to kill off Social Security. Every crazed billionaire has a project. This is his. (No exaggeration; check the link. It’s an excellent William Greider piece.)

From the “Summit” invite (but click fast; pages that name these names disappear fast at the “Summit” website). The underscoring below is mine:

   

Media Advisory

   PETERSON FOUNDATION TO CONVENE 3RD ANNUAL FISCAL SUMMIT IN WASHINGTON ON MAY 15

  Participants to include President Bill Clinton, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, Senator Rob Portman, Congressman Paul Ryan, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, and National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Co-Chair Alan Simpson

   NEW YORK (May 08, 2012) – Against the backdrop of the upcoming elections, and with a series of key fiscal deadlines approaching at the end of the year, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2012 Fiscal Summit: America’s Case for Action will feature the nation’s leading experts and elected officials in discussions about the fiscal, economic, and political crossroads facing the country. …

   This year’s summit will explore opportunities for compromise and establish the urgent need for action on these challenges, as well as highlight the voices of engaged citizens from across the country. The 2012 Fiscal Summit will work to generate the momentum necessary to motivate lawmakers to take action essential to preserving the American Dream.

Two videos that Gaius featured are significant because as he points out President Barack Obama is on the same page Bill Clinton, Paul Ryan and Pete Peterson.

5-25-2011 Leaked cell phone footage of Bill Clinton cozying up to Paul Ryan. The day after the stunning upset in the special congressional election in upstate New York, Rep. Paul Ryan is a man under fire.

Barack Obama’s speech on April 5, 2006 at the launch of The Brookings Institute’s Hamilton Project where Obama says that “most of us are strong free traders” and praises the goals of the Hamilton Project.

This is the “real grand bargain”

The real Grand Bargain isn’t between the Dems and Republicans. It’s between both of them and you. They’re offering to sell out your children’s Social Security, in exchange for letting you keep your own.

Send Nancy a message. Sign the petition and tell her: Draw a line in the sand on cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits

Nov 03 2010

Alfred Hitchcock Presents… The 2010 Elections in Editorial Cartoons w/Poll Closing Times

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Docudharma

Alfred Hitchcock Presents… The 2010 Elections



Psycho by Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see the large number of reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press