Here we are in the summer of 2008 and already at mid-year, the local and national news has been fed the directives from its corporate masters and informed us that winter 2008-2009 will be appallingly expensive if you, as a human being who needs to avoid freezing to stay alive, want to heat your home. So, I want to know, who told them this? Where has this information come from? Which executives sat down and decided that home heating will be expensive this winter? Give me some names! Who are they? How do they know so far in advance what is going to happen? The media never tells us. We’re just told that the word comes somewhere from on high, so get used to it and tough shit if you don’t like it. History tells us in times of heavy speculation, prices soar. Guess what’s a popular commodity for speculation right now? That’s right, oil and gas. The fix is in folks. Let’s see if the corporate-owned politicians in either of the corporate-owned political parties will do anything about it when it hits. And, since we already know so much in advance, why is nothing being done these many months in advance to stop, avert, or ease the situation, or ensure fairly priced energy to average citizens? We have several months to take actions, but instead we’re just told we have several months to brace ourselves. Last winter, people had to borrow money to heat their homes, or got so far behind in their payments that they’re still playing catch up. Why are basic necessities that used to be manageable, marginal expenses in the monthly family budget, like heating and health care, now luxuries affordable only by Rockefeller types? The more deregulation we’ve gotten, the higher things have gone—which completely puts the lie to all the BS right-wing promises. Old people and families will freeze this winter, but that’s OK; it’s the free market, after all, and that’s the highest good to which we can aspire. Right? Remember when those Enron energy managers were overheard on an infamous telephone tape laughing at making a killing by shutting off power plants so that California’s grandmothers would have to pay out the ass for electricity? It’s happening again, folks. And what kind of answers do we get from apologists for this kind of system? None, just the usual nonsolutions, defense of the energy status quo and tired diversionary epithets: “Communist!” “Socialist!” “Whaddya want companies to give the energy away for nuthin’?” So, just what kind of fucking country and world is this becoming? Who runs the law in this country, corporations or citizens? Congress can pass a price cap in two seconds if we all demand it. But that won’t happen because we know who really runs the country. The Boston Tea Party looms; the warm cushy mansions harboring the fat and satisfied few will be invaded; the revolution is coming folks, and I’m there. -EG
The Fix is In – Soaring Winter Heat, 2008; or, Just Who Says So? And If We Know So Much Now, Why is Nobody Acting to Avert It?August 6, 2008
I didn’t want the recent death on July 4 of North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms (1921-2008 ) to recede too far into the past before offering my own tribute and thanks to that great, stalwart naysayer of Congress.
Never mind that I detested just about everything the man said, did or stood for.
Nevertheless, Jesse Helms—though he did not know it—helped rescue me from many an embarrassing social faux pas, and he did so in a practical, effective real-world way.
Let me explain.
Those of you out there who are hormonally active heterosexual males know that a state of excitation in the presence of interesting females can cause tumescence in the nether regions. In other words, the presence of hot girls can cause a hard on, also known as an erection.
In a public, social setting, this phenomenon of pants bulge certainly can be disconcerting, embarrassing and not at all desired.
The fastest and surest way that I ever devised to combat this occurrence was to imagine in my mind’s eye Sen. Jesse Helms standing and ranting before the Senate, naked to his underwear, his folds of nude fatness bulging and drooping and shaking like jelly all the while.
With this image in mind, my erection would shrivel in seconds flat. It NEVER, NEVER failed to work. Never.
So, thank you, Sen. Helms, for being of some use to this nation’s red-blooded Amurkin fellers (and their little fellers).
I’m sure all of you saw this motley crew of oil execs assembled before Congress a few weeks ago, mainly so legislatewhores could posture and put on an impotent display of righteous indignation in lieu of actually doing anything to push real alternative energy solutions. While most of you out there have been grumbling but continuing to line the pockets of these oilmen (and their multi-wifed brethren in the Middle East) I have been taking the bus to work, in tandem with my bicycle (and yes, winter doesn’t stop me).
It was two years ago this month (April) that I began this daily ritual, and in the process lost 30 pounds, increased my muscle tone and improved lung capacity, heart health, metabolism, blood pressure, circulation, digestion and so on—not to mention notching piles of unread books on the 20-mile journey each way.
Oh yes, there’s much to be recommended about the complete lack of stress resulting from letting someone else do the driving, not having to swerve and avoid maniacs and playing stop and go with my feet on a gas-guzzling pedal. I can sleep, read, dream, whatever. And I’m inside a vehicle bigger than a tank, so it’s pretty safe.
And it costs $29 a month. See how much gas that gets you–and how far you can get on it.
AS for me, I ride for free because one of my perks of employment is free unlimited TARC rides with an employee ID.
But the most satisfying thing of all is that the oil industry and the profit-gluttonous CEOs who are sucking up all that cash from you got no more than $6 from me over the last two years. (Had to fill up my lawn mower a few times; otherwise most weeks I use a gasless Scott’s reel-mower, just like my grandparents did.)
So adding that up, that’s about $5,000 or so that Big Oil didn’t get from me in the past two years.
And although I know this is an overused picture on the Internet, there is just no better F-YOU! photo ever taken than this one of Johnny Cash. So Big Oil, let Johnny Cash send my message to you loud and clear.
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher has never looked better.
Not because he’s tanned, well-tailored and impressive on the stump, which he is. And certainly not because of the arrogance, hypocrisy and scandal that have marked his administration.
No, he’s looking better because Anne Northup is saying bad things about him.
That’s right. Anne Northup—“Anytime Annie”—that stale, has-been, lazy-jowled leftover from the Bushie-DeLay rubber-stamp, do-nothing fiasco 109th Congress. Yes, that maverick leader who voted 91 percent of the time with the Bush-DeLay agenda.
Pulling out that dusty leather discredited old Republican smear playbook that worked so well for the GOP from 1994 to 2004, Anytime Annie proves she’s still ready anytime to go negative.
Of course, vulnerable Ernie has given her the ammo, but on matters that really count—including a morally bankrupt and administratively inept right-wing political philosophy that she and Ernie share 100 percent—Anytime Annie will never really truly criticize Ernie Fletcher.
Still, she wants us to believe, as her slogan goes, that “she’s the only Republican who can win in November.”
I doubt that my Bluegrass brethren out in Hogshit, Ky., believe that one any more than I do. I know very well that lots of folks out there continue to stand behind their governor, for good or ill, just like they do their president.
Rationality ain’t got nuthin’ to do with it.
I also know that discredited Anytime Annie calling Patronage Ernie bad things looks about as credible as Mussolini calling Franco a bad guy.
But, Annie wasn’t corrupt, you say? She didn’t dole out patronage. Or did she? Check out this example of Anytime Annie’s integrity.
So, I repeat, the more bad things she says about Ernie, the better he looks. Call it the “Anytime Annie Effect,” if you will. Go negative and angry, and make your opponent look better. If I was conspiratorially inclined, I might think she was working for Ernie’s campaign.
Or hear that whiny lazy slur as her tongue stumbles around in that mannish maw.
Or contemplate once again what a boring, uninspiring mediocrity she is.
Anytime Annie finds herself prisoner in an Escher-like conundrum: She’s more boring when positive; more interesting when negative. Sort of like how Anna Nichol Smith became more interesting when she killed herself.
Lest this smack of ad hominem, consider this:
Annie wants us to forget that it was just seven short months ago that we ran her outta town on a rail—along with the rest of her Congressional “yes-man” lot–for failing to check and balance a power-mad and ever-remotely arrogant chief executive hell bent on pursuit at all costs of an obsessive, increasingly irrational war, to the neglect of every other festering problem of the nation.
But Anytime Annie is ready and rarin’ to go again because, so she thinks, we owe it to her.
That’s right. She’s ready anytime to be a politician of some sort or another for Kentucky. Anything, anytime—Annie, by rights, should be elected to something big in Kaintuck. For someone who rails against entitlements, she sure comes off as somebody entitled.
In TV ads that mirror the excitement of her half-asleep slurred speech, Anytime Annie says she’s gonna do something about health care and education and the like.
I guess the opposite of the way she did nothing about those things for 9 years in Congress.
Well, she did do something, voting yay on the $400 billion Medicare Bill that Bushie signed into law in 2003—an occasion celebrated with champagne corks popping in boardrooms across the country as the top 1 percent laughed at the rest of us 300 million suckers who were going to pay out the ass with our own taxes for a law written by—yes, the health-care CEOs themselves.
And what thanks did Anytime Annie get for voting the way she was told, anytime she was told to? The disrespect of half the state and Congress and President Bush, none of whom—even after 9 years—seemed capable of pronouncing her name right. You’d thought she was an heiress to the Northrup aviation empire, as many times as she was called that. It’s understandable in Bush’s case, of course; he can’t pronounce anything—plus his war brain dances with visions of military contractors such as Northrup.
Rather than list them here, I’ll let The GOP Auction House give you the record and loyalties of Anytime Annie as well as the disastrous legacy of the leadership of her and her fallen Congressional compadres.
Is that the kind of governance we have to look forward to, Anytime? More years of inertia and corporate welfare?
As a governor, Annie, you’ll have to do something called consensus building. There’ll be no Big Daddy DeLay to build consensus for you like before; none of that “vote like I say, or else” kind of consensus that the lockstep zombie Republican Congress-folk got used to. Nope, it ain’t that easy anymore, Anytime.
The one thing Congresswoman Annie had going for her, along with her fellow DeLay-ites, was doling out lots of taxpayer money on wasteful pork for their districts to help keep themselves in power.
In press release after press release, Anytime Annie, like her mentor Free $peech Mitch McConnell, boasted about how she was bringing home the bacon for homefolks, as if the bacon was hers (and his) to begin with.
Time and time again, Mitch and the Bitch forgot to mention the fact that me and the 3.5 million other Kentuckians funding the pork should have been the ones mentioned above the politicos in those press releases. If it’s my own goddamned money I’m getting back, then how is somebody giving me anything? They ain’t, that’s what.
Like Poke Salad Annie, Pork-Barrel Annie rustled up the dole-outs, including lotsa collards and hamhocks of the faith-based variety to curry favor with the Republican disinclined African-American wards.
She went black, and still she never went back—‘cause she got shitkicked out.
And you have to question the efficiency of any political campaign that would put me on Anytime Annie’s email list. They couldn’t have found a less sympathetic voter to spam. Is that the kind of efficiency we can expect from her as governor?
Like the first Anytime Annie—a morally loose gold-digging chorus girl in the classic 1933 film 42nd Street—our Anytime Annie pretends that she wants you, forcing a smile like a weary street whore. But her haggard eyes tell you the real story.
Like a political crack whore, she needs to get off the stuff and get a real job. Would somebody please give her one and get her out of our sight? I’m sure she can do something productive.
Yet, Anytime Annie still wants us to believe that she can fix all the things as governor that she ignored or worsened while in Washington and mend all that has gone wrong under her fellow Republican Ernie.
Do you really want to give her that chance?
[I posted this in early 2007 in the hopes that our derelict Congress would finally do its job of checking and balancing, but a year and a half after the great Democratic sweep they having proven so wimpy and impotent that they’ve managed the amazing feat of garnering themselves even lower approval ratings than Bush himself. I repost this article in memory of my former optimism. -EG]
“The time has passed for accepting this administration’s assurances at face value. The human cost of its repeated assurances is too great.”
(-Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill.)
Scratching their underarms, stretching and yawning, and batting their sleep-laden eyelids, our hibernating legislators are emerging from their caves to behold with a double-take the wrecked landscape—the result of six years of blissful somnolent denial, of handing the unchecked reins of government to a cultic, fanatical cabal then turning over to snore and get another 400 winks.
Yes, finally, maybe, the Congressional Iraq War debate is a sign that our absentee representatives have checked the alarm clock, seen that the time is way past for them to get up, brush their teeth and hair, dress the part and then hurry up and race to work to get busy and do their jobs, part of which is to check and challenge and, yes, even deny and disallow the extreme inclinations that obsess and self-delude the out-of-touch royals holed up in their fantasy palace of Versailles.
The sacrifice of those delusions is never borne by their well-heeled, secluded, blanket-wrapped originators; only by those easily persuaded or in denial themselves. Now that in our vengeful fury tens of thousands more have died and been injured than in the 9/11 attacks—very few of whom were actual terrorists and none of whom were the original 9/11 terrorists and most of whom have been our soldiers, innocent civilians and people who have since converted to insurgency as the result of our occupation—it is finally time to say enough is enough.
Saddam is dead. The weapons of mass destruction are elsewhere. They are wherever the old Soviet stockpiles are ending up, not in Iraq. Mission Accomplished. We’ve stirred the hornet’s nest; we whipped up this civil war. The glue that kept tribalism at bay, however heinous, is dissolved. We’re traipsing around lumpenly, fighting the wrong enemy in the wrong place, and leaving a mess—one that won’t be cleaned up or cleared up or organized any better or any more efficiently than the derelict and mishandled response to Hurricane Katrina. There are those who say we have to stay and finish what we started. At least they have one thing right, we started it. Neither Osama nor his minions were in Iraq, now they are. The Project for a New American Century couches its realpolitik in grand words, just like Bush. The subtext of the Project’s idealism becomes clear in action: to wage perpetual war. With living wage jobs shipping offshore, war keeps the remaining American business interests fat. It’s quite elegant in a way, send a taxpayer-funded war machine into a country, destroy it, then send more taxpayer dollars into the coffers of the privatized profiteers to “rebuild.” But when is the rebuilding done? When does the broken seive that is this gravytrain end? It’s kind circular in a way. My American dollar goes from my wallet into the wallets of Cheney’s pals, ensuring the widening income gap and prepping us all to accept the lower New World Order wagescales. Iraq is the place—appropriately enough, the front—where this money exchange takes place. Like a Mafia money laundering scheme, more money goes in than seems to come out. It has been well known for several years (if you’ve paid any attention to the rightly skeptical alternative media) that $9-plus billion of your taxes have disappeared, unaccounted for, into the nebulous morass that comes with shady bribes and payoffs, no-bid contracts and unaudited overcharges. Only now is some of this actually being addressed.
So congratulations Congress. You’ve finally taken some wobbling, timid steps up to the plate. So hit a good one and bring all the runners in, and bring our young men and women home.