clean up the swamp

The rich pay on avg around 19% of income in fed income taxes. Plenty left over! Worry for yourself, not them !

:::click the pics:::

Boston Globe says make room for Buddy Roemer.

Roemer is capable of bringing fresh energy to the long-running GOP show.

It’s even possible to imagine him catching fire for at least a moment…

This is a necessary task, but the unusual roster of candidates this year has made it especially difficult – some heavily credentialed but inert, others capable of juicing up a crowd but poorly prepared to be president.

the money is ours

Public Money for Public Purpose !


Toward the End of Plutocracy and the Triumph of Democracy – Part V

In the end, we are dependent and social creatures, built by nature for social and community life, and for relationships based on love, fellowship and friendship.

The cravings for ever more personal freedom, and for ever more liberation from the responsibilities of democratic government, will only lead to the eventual dissolution of democratic government and the triumph of authoritarianism.

Dan Kervick:

The cause of genuine democracy will, of course, require steps that go well beyond reform of the monetary system.

If we seek a more democratic society, one in which decision-making power over our everyday lives and common futures is more evenly distributed among all of our people, it will be necessary for all of us to embrace the demanding responsibilities of democratic governance.

This can be hard to do in the face of so many decades of governmental failure, where government itself has sometimes seemed to have become nothing but a tool of the plutocracy.

Get some facts. Start here. Guideposts on the Road Back to Factville

not paying fair share

Pew Research.

Nearly six-in-ten (57%) people believe the wealthy do not pay their fair share.

About three-quarters (73%) of Democrats say that what bothers them most is that the wealthy don’t pay their fair share; this compares to just 38% of Republicans who say the same. Independents side with the Democrats — 57% say the wealthy don’t pay their fair share of taxes.

However, Republicans are internally divided. About four-in-ten (43%) say that the complexity of the tax system is their biggest gripe, while 38% are bothered most by their perception that the wealthy don’t bear their fair share of the tax burden.

Just 14% of Republicans point to the amount of taxes they pay as what bothers them most.

There is unanimity among Tea party Republicans: 57% of this group point to the complexity of the tax system as the factor that bothers them most, compared to 22% who say the wealthy don’t pay their fair share.

Oh. One more thing: Voters believe that most members of Congress are corrupt (48%).

we elect deal brokers

Jack Abramoff interviewed via Harvard’s Lawrence Lessig.

horse trading

“…merits are interesting but they don’t usually win.

“Contributions to parties with an interest in the political system are nothing but bribes.”


“Most members of Congress are very subtle. They’ll agree to support your bill …and you better come up with some money.

“It’s extortion. They’re soliciting bribes. Unfortunately it’s spread throughout the system.”

“To stop the corruption, we’ve got to remove the money.”

premature austerity

Steve Keen:

It’s a nonsense neoclassical fantasy to blame this crisis on government debt, when its underlying cause has always been a private sector debt bubble that has now burst.

The last thing we need is for the public sector to also be pulling money out of circulation.

Paul Krugman:

Slashing government spending in a depressed economy depresses the economy further; austerity should wait until a strong recovery is well under way.

Bill Gross, founder Pimco:

…debt is not the disease — it is a symptom. Lack of aggregate demand or, to put it simply, insufficient consumption and investment is the disease.

conservatives or selfservatives?

1) The rhetoric of the 2012 Republicans suggests they want to go far beyond where Reagan or Bush ever went.

2) Paul, Santorum, Gingrich, Bachmann, Romney and Perry stump for the elimination of departments and programs.

3) Republicans seek to dismantle much of the federal government, to leave us with states and cities fighting amongst themselves in a race to the bottom.

A superb plutocratic strategy, ey wot !

Clearly, neither sincerity nor integrity drive these candidates. Merely pandering.

Get this:

Perry officially retired in January so he could start collecting his lucrative pension benefits early, but he still gets to collect his salary — and has in turn dramatically boosted his take-home pay.

Perry has called for sweeping changes to Social Security for average workers and has railed against special “perks”

Perry makes a $150,000 annual gross salary as Texas governor. Now, thanks to his early retirement, Perry, 61, gets a monthly retirement annuity of $7,698 before taxes, or $6,588 net. That raises his gross annual salary to more than $240,000.

On a swing through Cherokee, Iowa, Perry was asked why the Employee Retirement System should be paying his retirement while he’s still collecting a salary.

“That’s been in place for decades. … I don’t find that to be out of the ordinary,” Perry said.

Is it conservatives or selfservatives we’re encountering these days?

no sorrow is doom

Let’s step way-y-y-y back to Friar Giovanni da Fiesole (1387-1455)

Take peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow.
Behind it, yet within our reach is joy.

There is radiance and courage in the darkness could we but see; and to see, we have only to look.

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their coverings, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard.

Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, and wisdom, and power.

The day breaks and the shadows flee away.

Why isn’t peace on anyone’s platform?

Remarkably, the goal of peace does not appear.

IS THE word “peace’’ disappearing from our national conversation?

Armies of talking heads, bloggers, and op-ed opinionators assault us daily on every subject . . . but rarely on peace.

When was the last time we heard a national leader of either party, especially one running for president, put the goal of peace at the center of a political platform or place it among our highest national aspirations?

(Oh, for a long long while, we do know what to do… beterian… to improve.)

merry xmyth

The Massachusetts Congress declared Christmas illegal from 1659-1681.

Another fact: The early Christian church did not celebrate Jesus’ birth at all.

In other words, there were no Christmas Eve services and no pageants and no ministers trying to make sense of it all! Only over centuries, and only after solstice feasts turned really wild and really out of control did Christians seek to offer an alternative, calling it “Christ’s Mass,” or Christmas.

Another fact: Nobody was as hard on Christmas as the Puritans.

Christmas wasn’t biblical. And Jesus wouldn’t have approved of celebrations. Puritans ordered shops to stay open on Christmas. They banned holiday cakes and candles.

There’s more.

Ahh, forget it. Wingnuts don’t use facts !

For the rest of us, love is on our minds during the holidays.

But we can correct our history thought by thought, image by image.

For example, instead of a rowboat on Christmas Day in 1776, George Washington crossed the Delaware on a ferry pulled by a cable and crowded with troops.

kindness high-n-low

Guy Davis.

We all need more kindness in this world
we all need more kindness in this world
You may look high and low, but there’s no
place else to go–we all need more kindness in this world.

We all need more hugging in this world
we all need more hugging in this world
You may look high and low, but there’s no
place else to go–we all need more hugging in this world

We all need more laughing in this world
we all need more laughing in this world
You may look high and low, but there’s no
place else to go–we all need more laughing in this world

We all need more sunshine in this world
we all need more sunshine in this world
You may look high and low, but there’s no
place else to go–we all need more sunshine in this world

We all need more peace-times in this world
we all need more peace-times in this world
You may look high and low, but there’s no
place else to go–we all need more peace-times in this world

We all need more friendship in this world
we all need more friendship in this world
You may look high and low, but there’s no
place else to go–we all need more friendship in this world

cold achiever


He drew a chart called a growth-share matrix with little circles to represent various pursuits: work, family, church. Investing time in work delivered tangible returns like raises and profits.

“Your children don’t pay any evidence of achievement for 20 years,” Mr. Romney said.

yesteryear priorities

Excuse me while we ponder Jefferson’s warning that we must relocate the Capitol each generation or so…

In the Valley, they think of themselves as visionaries. Tomorrow is theirs; and their confidence in innovative products and services depends in no small measure on their belief that the future is not simply influencing their thinking (we are, as it were, all futurists now, at least in these zip codes – if friends in DC will now forgive me a Keynesian allusion) but it will in turn be shaped by their personal and corporate vision.

The future is both their study and their creature.

They have the kind of symbiosis with tomorrow that the District has with yesterday. So creativity, risk, and a long entrepreneurial arc, are their stock in trade.

In the District, a community of generally smart and committed persons, the “corporate culture” could hardly be more different. Pretty much whatever our politics, our client (sorry) lies in the past.