Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Another one bites the dust (UH!)

Muammar Gaddafi orders takeout for the bunker.

Delivery may be delayed by the fighting in Tripoli

Well, with Congress in recess, we usually take a few weeks off in August, but we will leave that for next week and the Labor Day weekend. As luck would have it, the rebellion in Libya looks like it is finally going to get rid of dictator Gaddafi.

Now I know some people opposed aiding the Libyan rebellion because we had no business mucking around in a country’s internal conflicts–as if we had any business mucking around in Afghanistan’s and Iraq’s internal affairs when there wasn’t even a resistance in either country when we shot our way in. And other people thought that while this adventure was justifiable, we had no business getting ourselves into a THIRD quagmire (and I know, I was one of those). But it’s beginning to look like those fears might have been groundless, now that the rebellion has taken most of the capital and Gaddafi is nowhere to be found.

We did one thing right to ensure we would not be getting into Quagmire 3. No boots on the ground. We gave support to the people who had taken the responsibility into their own hands and were fighting to free themselves and their people from a despot. Sure, he became our friend sometime in the Bush Administration. But remember, this is the guy who ordered the bombing of Pan Am 103 (the Lockerbie bomb). Kinda hard to give bro-hugs and become chums with, yanno?

Anyway, Gaddafi blamed the rebellion on hallucinogens. Or al-Qaeda. Or a bunch of other things. Sometime today (or maybe later this week), the rebels should take all of Tripoli and we’ll find out that Gaddafi has 1) skipped town, 2) buried himself in a spider hole, 3) gotten captured, 4) pulled an Adolf, or the Libyans have 5) pulled a Mussolini. In any of those cases, good riddance.

Hey Muammar, how you like how them hallucinogens now?

I will be off next week and the following week for Labor Day. I’m expecting to be at Anime Mid-Atlantic 1/2 in Richmond VA on September 3 (hopefully running a table in Artists Alley) , so come on by, buy a T-shirt or a book (or even a button!) and say hi.

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Corporations Are People Too

Mitt Romney sings a paean to corporations to the tune of 'People'.

With apologies to Barbra Streisand

Ah, Mitt! You’re our favorite candidate named after a piece of baseball equipment. And sticking up for the poor corporations like you did! Why, of course, they’re people. People who can live forever as long as they make money, who make scads of money but don’t have to pay taxes on it as long as their HQ is somewhere outside of the 3 mile limit, and who can commit all sorts of crimes, but never be sent to jail! Why, that just makes them SuperPeople. I’m certain the Roberts court will agree.

Enough, here’s the lyrics to ‘Leeches’ in case it’s too small to read on the monitor:

Leeches
Leeches who leech people
Are the luckiest leeches in the world,
Bloodsuckers, needing all you “suckers”,
With statements geared to mislead
they hide unrestrained greed,
Acting more like bandits
Than bandits.
Bankers are very special people,
They’re the luckiest people
In the world.
With two journals, two very special journals,
A mortgage deep in the hole
which should be crap,
looks like gold
Making profits untold
for corporations
Who’re just people.
Leeches who are people
Just the luckiest people
In the world!

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9 out of 10 economists agree–Revenues Reduce Deficits

Adam Smith is compared to Isaac Newton.

Amazing, Holmes. Elementary, my dear Watson!

Well, it only took about a week to recover from Otakon…and the preparation for same. This year’s biggest anime convention on the East Coast gathered over 31,000 participants–most of whom I didn’t see because I was down in the bowels of the Baltimore Convention Center, plying my wares. Thanks go out to Matthew from the Artists Alley staff for checking with legal about parody status. And thanks to everyone who stopped by my table to admire my art-hi Alanna!–and double thanks to anyone who bought anything!–as well as to my neighbors in the surrounding tables. especially Hooked on Chibis and Lori of Pandora. Lots of other people, too many to name (including a lot whose names I forgot to get–old age :-/)

In the meantime, one national crisis ended–we actually decided to pay our bills–and another began. After months of wrangling over whether or not we’d actually pay the money we owed people, Standard and Poors decided we couldn’t be trusted to actually pay our bills when the invoices arrived. Duh! No brainer there. If you loudly complain about how you’re not going to pay your bills, won’t your landlord get a bit antsy about whether or not you’re going to pay the rent? Same as our landlords. The Chinese.

Of course, we’re incensed that S&P actually downgraded us. Hey, we complained, but we’re paying–aren’t we? And what about that 2 TRILLION dollar error in your calculations? Huh? Hey–aren’t you the guys that said Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were good risks?

Well, S&P fessed up that this was more of a political decision than an economic one. Ooops, never mind that profit-taking by the bear market over there (I’m sure that THAT was more than a bit of consideration as well). But you can’t fault the political judgment. We spent months in a virtual standstill over whether to pay our bills because a minority in Congress is holding our government to ransom. Give in to our demands or we’ll shoot the dog. Ahh, patriotism!

Buried on page 4 of the S&P apologia–which no one seems to have read besides Louise Hartmann–damn liberals, flaunting their literacy!–”Republicans in the Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues.” Now while this does not actually reference the reason why we were downgraded (to forestall the fish-shaking by the one or two conservatives who might actually read this), but it DOES state why we’re in a deficit crisis. We’re losing money because we refuse to raise taxes, especially to raise taxes on the people who might actually have the money to pay them! What a concept–it’s positively Newtonian in scope. Maybe someone in S&P has actually READ Adam Smith instead of simply bowing at his statue in the halls of Capital.

As long as we are held by this insane up-is-down notion (based on the appropriately named–and discredited–Laffer Curve) that somehow lowering taxes will raise revenues–and by the solemn oaths taken to Grover Norquist, whose avowed goal is to drown government in the bathtub–we’re going to have problems with out-of-control deficits. Unless we cut every government function except the Defense Department–and we’ll have trouble there too as we continue to farm out the legions to the auxiliary barbarian mercenaries (based on the notion that for-profit armies are somehow cheaper than the government-sanctioned one). And we’ll deserve a less-than AAA rating. Hey, I have an idea, why don’t we eliminate the salaries of elected officials as well? That way, only people who could afford to hold office could actually run. We could call them, I don’t know, the nobility?

I’m afraid Paul Krugman is wrong–we’re not going back to the Gilded Age. We’re headed back to feudalism.

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