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Friday, October 30, 2015

Parts and parcels.

What is this ... another carton? This one's from Madagascar, no less. What the hell. Does it rattle when it shakes? Does it roll? If when it shakes it both rattles and rolls, it might be Jerry Lee Lewis.

For the life of me, I don't know who's ordering all of these packages. They just show up at the door of the abandoned Cheney Hammer Mill (Big Green's longtime squat-house) and subsequently disappear. At first I thought it might be Mitch Macaphee, but he has long since abandoned the notion of ordering goods from various merchants. He just invents whatever he needs, which is a handy skill to have. (Perhaps the handiest!) Then I thought maybe anti-Lincoln was behind all of this mail order, since some of the boxes came from Urban Outfitters. (He's taken to a more cosmopolitan wardrobe of late. Very smart.)

I know, I know - I tend to get a little suspicious, living in a condemned post-industrial hulk like I do. A few months here and you start to see conspiracies around every corner. What are those mice talking about? Do the crows in the courtyard wish me well or ill? Perhaps it is THEY who are ordering stuff from Crate and Barrel. Maybe they need crates and barrels for something, I don't know. Idle minds, right?

A bit too far, Marvin. Just saying.Someone's handing me a note. It reads, "You idiot. It's probably Marvin (your personal robot assistant). Mitch Macaphee just made him wi-fi compatible." Oh, right. So Marvin doesn't even need a smart phone to buy a bunch of useless junk on credit. All he needs is the credit. Fortunately, he doesn't have ... doesn't have ... hey ... where's my wallet? MARVIN!!

Okay, Marvin has been using this magnetic lock gizmo ever since he saw one on Lost In Space reruns. My guess is that he's down in his basement room, frozen like a statue in his magnetic lock, placing orders over wi-fi without even lifting a finger. And the boxes that come are probably piling up around him like a fortress - a fortress of consumer joy! Doesn't that remind you of Christmas?

Anyway, if I'm in the pokey the next time I post, it will be that mindless robot's fault. See if he'll let you use my credit card to bail me out.

More old wine.

We were treated to the spectacle of another Republican debate last night. I'll dispense with my usual comments about the format, style, and proprietary nature of the event - suffice to say that as a wholly-owned property of CNBC, it met the usual low standard of reality television production values. That said, on to what might be referred to euphemistically as "the substance".

First off, it's worth noting that there are way, way, WAY too many candidates on that stage to allow any kind of reasonable debate. Setting politics and policy aside for a moment, I have to wonder what the hell is wrong with the Republican party that they can allow this to continue? The policy distinctions between these ten are minor, at best. Hasn't it occurred to any of these people that, for the good of their party, it might be best to just sit this one out? In other words, sacrifice your own petty political ambitions so that there might be ample opportunity for substantive debate? Apparently not, as not only are there ten main debate candidates, but a kids table with 4 more. Talk about vanity.

Peterson Institute shill.Issues wise, we heard a lot of recycled crap about simplifying the tax code. The flat tax is presented as something new; it's basically Jack Kemp 3.0. The unifying principle is, of course, massive deficits coupled with massive tax savings for the super rich. Sound familiar? Sure it does. Nine, nine, nine, anyone? Yesterday's nines are today's "tithing".

The ironic thing is that there was some talk of stagnating wages for working people, particularly from Fiorina and Huckabee, but the prescription for that ailment is always just more of what's screwing the common folks now. The contextual narrative these candidates are operating with identifies Obama as a socialist who has gotten his way for seven years. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We have been living under a kind of modified austerity, more of less following the principle set by Grover Norquist that Democrats in power should be forced to "rule like Republicans". That has stagnated growth and increased inequality. They want to make it far worse.

Some of the most despicable posturing came from Governor Christie, a media favorite (particularly on MSNBC's Morning Joe), who wasted no time in throwing the media under the bus. Far worse, he continued his practice of carrying water for Pete Peterson:
Let me be honest with the people who are watching at home. The government has lied to you and they have stolen from you. They told you that your Social Security money is in a trust fund. All that’s in that trust fund is a pile of IOUs for money they spent on something else a long time ago.
This is the kind of gas that's been emitting from New Jersey's blimp-like governor for some time now, and it's bogus as hell. Where does he get the notion that money that has been borrowed has somehow been "stolen"? So, is he saying China isn't getting their money back from us? In fact, they are. We can pay ourselves back the same way we pay back all of our other creditors. It's called keeping promises. New concept for that fucker.

Christie's just trying to advance the narrative that Social Security is bankrupt and that we need to privatize it and hand it over to his friends in the financial services industry. I think the fact that those pirates are still slathering over the prospect of getting their greasy hands on it is proof positive that Social Security has plenty of life left in it.

There are other points to cover, but let me stop here and maybe resume next post.

luv u,

jp