Judging by her high school yearbook photo, my guess was that Ann Coulter was voted Most Likely to Blow a Dead Elephant.
The late former House Speaker Tip O'Neill once said that all politics is local. So are our priorities in crunch times but I'll get back to that later.
Today's my 7th anniversary as a blogger. I guess, in blogging years, that makes me something like a grand old man like IF Stone or Sy Hersh. Being a political blogger means exposing myself to tons of topical information and in the course of that exposure, certain erosions have taken hold. Among them are an encroaching paralyzation of how to approach, deal with, cogently define and eradicate racism and other forms of right wing stupidity.
Often I find myself tempted to publicly say, "We need to execute all Republicans, racists and evangelicals immediately if not sooner" when I read of the latest assault on humanity. Knowing that wouldn't fly, I then dial it down a notch and think, "OK, we need to vote out of office all Republicans on a local, state and federal level so the American people can finally advance back into the 21st century."
But I realize even that's far-fetched. Up to a point, you can judge a congressional district, state or even an entire nation by the lunatics it chooses to represent them. When, for instance, Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe keep getting re-elected every six years, you know there's something seriously wrong with the state of Oklahoma. When Florida's 8th district voted out Alan Grayson after one memorable and fantastic two-year term while Minnesota's 6th district re-elected pie-eyed psychopath Michele Bachmann in the same election cycle, it understandably makes one wonder what's in the drinking water supply.
And when I look at the back-sliding this nation of ours has done just in the seven years that I've been blogging, it makes me wonder just what's the use of blogging? Even A list bloggers like Aravosis, Hamsher, Amato, Kos and Duncan Black reach no more than perhaps 1% of the nation. Bottom-of-the-rung bottom feeders like me have reached a tiny fraction of that 1% and even that's taken me years to accrue with much of that traffic coming from misguided perverts and racists.
What's the sense when not only have I not made a difference, my elders and betters have still not been able to keep the right wing from turning these United States into a Terminator-style wasteland in the blind pursuit of corporate profits and the eradication of people who do not think like them?
But the alternative is to give up and to not oppose these obvious sick and depraved people. And this former Navy SEAL is a fighter who knows that the worst possible time to give up is right before you get pulled over the edge of the cliff. Because that's what the cocksuckers want. They loath and fear the power of the First Amendment and only want it for themselves.
And while the jury's still out on the overall efficacy of citizen journalism, as pressing as these issues of the day are, financial worries as well as politics tend to turn parochial and personal during crunch time. Now is such a time.
If you wonder why this formerly prolific blogger goes for a whole week at a time these days without posting, the reasons are manifold. #1, remember what I said about the erosion that the cruel and stupid produces in even the strongest human minds. Sometimes I'm just so overwhelmed and paralyzed by the stupid that's better to not try to launch a coherent response to it.
#2, as with the post-adolescent Dylan Thomas, my writing suffers because of constant money worries. After nearly three years of being unemployed, I'm still stupefied that a man with my experience and skills who had relatively little problems finding a job now almost cannot even get a pre-interview. I and many like me are living but dying proof that there never was a recovery and certainly will not be one until every American who wants and needs a job gets one and to do so for a living wage.
Even when the president, Congress and our various state governments make blatant power grabs designed to undermine working conditions, wages, our Constitutional protections and civil liberties and environment all in the unholy name of corporate profits and power, more and more often I'm unable to concentrate on these things long enough because my landlord, utility companies, insurance brokerage and the city, state and federal governments to whom I owe bill money, premiums and income and excise taxes do not care to hear what my problems are and what problems in the system face us. Life, and bill and tax collection, go on, business as usual, as if nothing horrible and terrifying is happening to our nation.
If you are even remotely able, Mrs. JP and I would greatly appreciate a donation through Paypal (or through snailmail, if you email me for my street address). I know I've alienated many of my readers over the years with what seems to be constant pleas for help these past two and a half years. I even made an appeal on my 53rd birthday which resulted in next to nothing. And that's OK. No one owes me shit. At the end of the month, all the bills are still in my name and my creditors don't give a damn where the money comes from, only that it's there and on time.
So whatever you can do for us would be tremendously appreciated by the two and half members of our household. It's hard enough dealing with the right wing and its surrogates in the Obama administration but it's immeasurably more difficult to do while the wolves are baying outside our door and beneath our windows.
Ampad couldn't pay its debts and plunged into bankruptcy. Workers lost jobs and stockholders were left with worthless shares.
Bain Capital, however, made money - and lots of it. The firm put just $5 million into the deal, but realized big returns in short order. In 1995, several months after shuttering a plant in Indiana and firing roughly 200 workers, Bain Capital borrowed more money to have Ampad buy yet another company, and pay Bain and its investors more than $60 million - in addition to fees for arranging the deal.
Bain Capital took millions more out of Ampad by charging it $2 million a year in management fees, plus additional fees for each Ampad acquisition. In 1995 alone, Ampad paid Bain at least $7 million. The next year, when Ampad began selling shares on public stock exchanges, Bain Capital grabbed another $2 million fee for arranging the initial public offering - on top of the $45 million to $50 million Bain reaped by selling some of its shares.
Bain Capital didn't escape Ampad's eventual bankruptcy unscathed. It held about one-third of Ampad's shares, which became worthless. But while as many as 185 workers near Buffalo lost jobs in a 1999 plant closing, Bain Capital and its investors ultimately made more than $100 million on the deal.
(Editor's note: What follows is a post I had to write to a young man, a friend of my son Adam who friended me on Facebook last month. This kid has the seedier side of humanity pegged, the part about us being materialistic lemmings and automatons who cannot think for ourselves. Unfortunately, my young friend, who's barely out of his teens, thinks this defines Humanity in general and I'm trying to convince him that's only half the story, that there's another side to people that seems to deserve the perks and potential of being a human being, those of us who have a vested interest in actually making the world a better place to live in. I know this message of conciliation to a budding misanthrope is coming from an unlikely source but along with encroaching old age (allegedly) comes wisdom. And my wisdom, such as it is, tells me that not all is lost regardless of the Maya running out of calendars after this year. And I truly hate seeing the young so incurably cynical toward Mankind in the abstract when their adult lives have barely begun. So I'd like a show of hands: Did I give this lad sound advice or am I just blowing smoke up his ass?)
While I had hoped to join South Carolina's conservative congressional delegation in fighting back against Washington's out-of-control spending spree, now is not the time. Instead, I will focus on building my law practice and advocating free market principles here in Horry County.
O’Neal had defended the email, contending that he was only making fun of his own bad hair days. In a statement, the speaker’s office said that “political cartoons are a part of American culture.”
The median average net worth of a member of the House Tea Party Caucus was $1.8 million in 2010. (Financial disclosure forms require lawmakers to value their assets and liabilities only in ranges, so it's impossible to know exactly how wealthy a particular elected official is. However, it's possible to calculate an average net worth for each member of Congress.)
That's significantly higher than the comparable number for the median House member: $755,000. It's also more than 130 percent above the $774,280 average net worth of the median, non-Tea Party Caucus House Republican.
Furthermore, the caucus, a group of 60 House members founded by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), includes 33 millionaires and six members worth more than $20 million, according to the Center's research...
Kelly (Eubanks) works two jobs to support her two kids and is trying to finish up her degree, going to UofA in Fayetteville full time in addition to taking care of her family and working. She went to her Congressman’s town hall (something Womack rarely holds) to ask why he voted to cut the Pell grants she depends on to go to school but wouldn’t cut oil subsidies.