What else would one expect from a campaign run by a couple who's average monthly credit card balance is $50,000. Or from a wanna-be First Lady who buys $3000 designer pantsuits, three or four at a crack.
"Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his wife reported more than $100,000 of credit card liabilities, according to financial disclosure documents released Friday. The presidential candidate and his wife Cindy reported piling up debt on a charge card between $10,000 and $15,000. His wife’s solo charge card has between $100,000 and $250,000 in debt to American Express. Another charge card with American Express, this one for a "dependent child," is carrying debt in the range of $15,000 and $50,000." (Story)John and Cindy McCain would — if they dared to be honest — agree with their similarly well-heeled friend and financial advisor, former Sen. Phil Gramm, that all this talk of recession is nothing but some kind of working class mass hysteria that has turned America into "a nation of whiners."
Gramm was in line to be McCain's Treasury Secretary if he wins the White House. How about a Treasury Secretary who views those he is supposed to serve as a pack of annoying "whiners." I don't know, maybe that kind of honesty would be refreshing. Instead of telling us to eat cake, Gramm just wants us to shut the f...k up about it.
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Old gag comes to mind:Of course I understand where Gramm and the McCains are coming from. After all, America's super-rich have not had it this good since the late 1920s. Simply put; it's good to be on the winning end of a class war — very good.
Sire!, sire! The peasants are revolting.
King: Yes, they certainly are.
For example, last night I was flipping through my 500-odd Comcast channels of dreck and settled on a show about super yachts. Did you know that the sale of super yachts — - big ass boats that sell for upwards of $40 million each — has skyrocketed over the past five years?
It’s smooth sailing for super-yacht buildersAh yes, "new wealth." That's the key term here. New, as in $1.6 trillion in tax cuts for the rich. You and I got to share $145 billion with 300 million fellow whiners... an average of six hundred bucks each.
July 11, 2008: (AP) — Fuel prices are soaring and credit markets tightening, but the super-rich are still lining up to pay tens of millions of dollars for mega yachts. The well-heeled buyers of the floating mansions are increasingly coming from emerging economies — in the Middle East, Russia and South America. The source of their wealth runs the gamut — technology, venture capitalism, new industries. And, yes, oil.
“There are a lot of people with new wealth looking for relaxation and enjoyment,” said John Dane III, president of privately owned Trinity Yachts, the largest U.S. builder. (Story)
The richest 1 percent — fewer than 3 million — got 52 percent of all the Bush tax cuts. The effect of eliminating just the dividend tax provided those making less than $10,000 a "most generous" $6, while those making more than $1 million pocketed an average $45,098.
So the rich got a lot richer during the Bush/Cheney years, and did so without having to become an ounce more productive. The extra dough just came in the mail from the US Treasury — which is now not only empty but full of IOUs to China and Japan and Saudi Arabia.
Which explains why, while millions of Americans are either losing their homes or afraid they're about to, the latest discretionary bling among the super rich is a gaudy140-foot, 5-bedroom super yacht bobbing at their backyard deep-water dock.
No wonder Phil Gramm and friends view economic conditions through an entirely different lens than the majority of Americans... 85% of whom say the nation and economy are "on the wrong track."
Over the past seven and half years a class war has been underway, and Phil and friends won that war. Now all they ask is a little respect. All they want now is to be left alone to enjoy the fruits of victory without a lot of whining from the losers.
McCain supporters will be quick to admonish me if I fail to admit that the senator firmly disavowed Gramm's assessment. Well yeah. Of course he did. What else could he say?
Here's the deal. McCain can't win the White House simply with votes from the winners of the Bush/Cheney class war. Those folks have rounded up the lion's share of the national wealth, but they still only get one vote. The super-rich represent less than 3 million out of over 100 million likely voters. Which is why McCain must convince tens of millions of Gramm's "whiners' to vote for him rather than for Obama.
You laugh — but it's worked before. Working folk have been snookered time and time again into voting against their own interests. They did it the 1980s when the "Reagan Democrats" jumped on his "Trickle Down Express — only to get tossed from the train after the election. They did it again when they replaced Reagan with Texas oil man, George H. Bush. Twelve years later they put his I.Q.-challenged kid in the White House... not once, but twice.
So there is precedent for this self-defeating behavior by members of America's whiner demographic. It's a puzzling phenomena, sort of like watching Col. Sanders convince chickens to vote for him rather than the candidate supported by PETA.
Here's how it seems to work: Ordinary Americans feel economic pain. But it's unfocused, a kind of free-floating anxiety. Then campaign season rolls around and some guy in a suit jumps out of their TV sets assuring them that he not only feels their pain, but knows who to blame for it — those damn liberals and their flawed social and economic policies.
The most amazing thing about this trick is that it works even when liberals have been out of power for years. The trick works even after years of conservative control of all three branches of government. These guys drive the American ship of state right onto a reef, call a press conference and declare the mess not their fault. They angrily claim that the people to blame, as usual, are those bleeding heart liberals who insisted on laws protecting coral reefs — which have now become a danger to the smooth flow of commerce.
And, they get away with it. Yes, they do. They get away with it every time — so far. It's all pulled off with an extraordinary chutzpah once confined to cautionary works of fiction, such as Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984.
That brings us to the current campaign. The economic and social pain is wide and deep, and it getting wider and deeper by the day. We are all on Maggies Farm again... all of us that is, except for the McCain's, Gramm's and the other one-percenters who've never had it so good. Some Americans, it turns out, really are more equal than others. And if you don't like it, you're a whiner.
So, if you like the way the farm has been run by the current occupants, go ahead, send John and Cindy McCain to the White House. Pantsuits will become all the rage and resentment of the super-rich will be roundly condemned as unseemly "class warfare" by the same people who brought the original class war. They don't want to hear any more about it.
Because the war is over. They won.
How Bush Widened The Wealth GapJohn McCain and his side kick, Phil (Enron loophole) Gramm, are the latest Republicans forced to explain away the fiscal mess created by their own party. Here's a campaign speech given by Herbert Hoover during the 1932 campaign:
Not since the '20s has income inequality been this great
Businessweek: During the last half-century the distribution of income and wealth in America has become more and more unequal. Even during the 1990s, a period of sustained expansion, most of the growth in income and wealth was concentrated among the top 10% of households. By 2000 this group accounted for 44% of total household income, compared with 33% in 1980 (Story).
October 22, 1932, Herbert Hoover campaign speech entitled,“The Success of Recovery,”Phil Gramm couldn't have said it better.
My fellow citizens, the most important issue before the American people right now is to overcome this crisis. What our people need is the restoration of their normal jobs, the recovery of agricultural prices and of business. They need help in the meantime to tide them over until these things can be accomplished and that they may not go hungry nor lose their farms and their homes.
Now I wish to present to you the evidence that the measures and the policies of the Republican administration are winning this major battle for recovery, and we are taking care of distress in the meantime. It can be demonstrated that the tide has turned and that the gigantic forces of depression are today in retreat. Our measures and policies have demonstrated their effectiveness. They have preserved the American people from certain chaos. They have preserved a final fortress of stability in the world.
Recovery would have been faster but for four months of paralysis during the spring months while we were defeating proposals of the Democratic House of Representatives. (Emphasis mine)
Much has been accomplished despite the opposition of selfish groups and sections of our country and the unwillingness of a Democratic House of Representatives to cooperate, and much more must be done. The Democratic candidate says we have been extravagant, and in his various statements implies that we should make a defense of our actions. There will be no defense because none is needed.
P.S. Bet you didn't know until now that the Great Depression was the Democrat's fault.
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