Conservatives release hostage demand list


Last day for bleg: Paypal email is

Republicans have leaked their demands for not plunging the nation into economic apocalypse and it’s even more revolting than usual. Would you believe it’s a wish list of tax breaks and cash giveaways to big business and rich people, deregulation, neutering consumer protections for Wall Street, and a big “fuck you” to everyone else? [Read more…]

Pope sets out to make social conservative heads explode


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I don’t idolize money, I just don’t have enough to make through the next few weeks. Fortunately, a bunch of awesome readers have chipped in and I’m now only about 200 bucks away from enough to see me through. If you can join them with a small donation, thanks! Here in the US there is a thing called the prosperity Gospel, rife with scoundrels and conmen fleecing the devout. It’s all about how God-eh wants some to be rich, some to be middle-class, and many like me to be poor.

Pope Francis brought down the hammer on that shit this weekend, saying in part money sickens faith and is indeed a false idol: [Read more…]

The usual suspects want into your private parts and, now, under your hood


Over halfway there guys, paypal email is, thanks!

I’m very grateful to those who have chipped in to help get me through the next few weeks. I’m well over halfway to where I need to be. Here’s an example of the kind of obstacles people like me have to deal with. These clowns want to deny benefits to hungry people who can’t find jobs, and deny benefits to people because they’re frugal and own a functional vehicle: [Read more…]

More legal graft for the private prison industry


I’m already 10% of where I need be to, thanks to several readers. Many thanks guys!

See the Paypal logo above? It’s dire or I wouldn’t ask. Now onto the main course: Sci-fi writer Larry Niven worried about organ banks supplied by convicts, the organ banks were always empty and could extend lives for 200 years, so in no time everything under the sun was a capital crime that got you sent to the organ banks for dis-assembly. Instead what we have are private prisons that profit off of crime and arrest, the more crime and the arrest the better, for them, not us. They would be a bad idea even if the owners didn’t lobby/bribe politicians to make everything under the sun worthy of being locked up or just fabricating charges to generate revenue. For one thing, prison guard is a tough job, but it used to be a viable career. Nowadays, in many private prisons, it barely pays above minimum wage and can be sub-contracted out so the guards are temps with no benefits.

But here’s a good example of another dark path private prisons lead us down even as law abiding taxpayers: [Read more…]

Government shutdown 101

When you hear about interests rates, it’s usually an announcement that they’ve been raised, lowered, or left unchanged. What many laypeople fully understand is it’s not the interest rate on a T-note that changes, it’s the price of the bond itself. The interest rate, what stock-jocks call the coupon, is fixed. What determines the interest rate is what people are willing to pay for that bond. A bond is simply a loan, and the big factors on a loan is how safe is it, when do you get the principal back, and what rate does it pay? The less safe the lower the price people are willing to pay and, since the coupon/interest rate is fixed, the more interest it yields. Obviously, if the loan is going to miss an interest rate or if the agency issuing it is about to default, it’s less safe.

US bonds are considered among the safest investments in the world, people are willing to pay top dollar for a safe investment, but if that changes significantly it crashes the bond market. A crashing bond market crashes pretty much everything else, even currency stashed in a matress might cease to have value. Which is why the Wall Street Journal is telling Teaparty Republicans to STFU about defunding the government: [Read more…]

Three whackaloons walk into a coup


Years ago at the dawn of the blogging era there was a site run by a right-wing evangelical named Joe Carter. The man ran a fun site, in part because he was more than willing to let people like me post harsh criticism in comments about Iraq or creationism. One thing that always stuck in mind from those days, written by Joe during the Iraq debate, was something along the lines of “Democracies do not attack each other.” While most of us understood the hopeful sentiment, it was plainly nonsense and as I recall he was quickly taken to task. Fast forward to 2013, just in case there was any doubt how the right feels about democracy, when that democracy isn’t a compliant pro-western one, it was laid to rest this weekend by these three whackaloons: [Read more…]

It’s not hard to figure out where the new poverty is coming from

I got my first job in 1977, in a nasty, greasy restaurant. It paid about three bucks an hour. What do you suppose that would be today? A little over $11.00 an hour, which is about what I make now. So, I have about the same buying power working for a highly profitable Fortune 500 software company doing complicated tech stuff as I did when I was 15 years-old working part-time washing dishes in a barbeque joint. I am by no means alone, this is one big reason why corporate profits and CEO pay have skyrocketed: [Read more…]