Archive for the ‘head up his ass’ Category

The Man Who Made His Accountant Cry

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Larry Ellison Loves Himself

What has 23 acres, an 8000 sq. ft. house with two wings, a guest home, three cottages, a gym, a 5-acre lake, two waterfalls, two bridges, and hundreds of mature cherry and maple trees planted among 1000 redwoods pines and oaks?

The $200 million estate of Larry Ellison, the $25 billion, 12th-ranking member on the Fortune 500 list of world’s richest asswipes. The one that had his aptly-named Octopus Holding company buy it from him in 1995 for a deflated $12 million. The one that just “earned” him a $3 million property tax cut based on a professed 60% decline in the home’s value vs. the 6.3% for an average home. An average home - the ones not being foreclosed on anyway - that is being over-assessed because the neighbors can’t pay their mortgages down at Loan Shark Larry’s Savings and Loan.

And the rationale for the cut? It’s even richer than Larry (and apparently God) himself.

According to his tax appeal, the behemoth bungalow in his private redwood grove suffers from “significant functional obsolescence” because there apparently isn’t much of a market for $200 million pimp cribs. He also says the 16th century Japanese architecture, “over improvements”, and “excessive landscaping” are too costly for mere millionaire to maintains, so gee he’d appreciate it if just give him a break willya?

The Woodside White Elephant
In other words, Larry builds a Japanese-bred white elephant that no one can afford to buy, maintain, or want to live in so the taxpayers now owe him $3 million for his foresight in building such an opulent slum. Or as a consumer watchdog group puts into perspective, “Three million dollars to Larry Ellison is the equivalent of $300 to the average home owner.” Oh, and just so you know we aren’t picking on poor beleaguered Larry, Bill Gates did the same thing several years ago with his Redmond, WA-based monument to ostentation, avarice, and greed.

It makes you really admire modest billionaires like Warren Buffett, who actually pay taxes.

But Woodside, CA town manager Susan George says the deal is on the up and up. “It shouldn’t make any difference how much money he has if the process is fair. We’ll miss the money. We always have good things to do with it.”

True enough, but that’s relatively easy for George to say. Cash-flush Woodside is usually the top or near-top median income ZIP code in the country. The rest of relatively affluent - but still within human understandingly affluent - San Mateo County isn’t so lucky. They have people who can’t afford to claim their E. Palo Alto, cockroach-infested apartment is worthless because it’s “significantly functionally obsolete” with a leaking roof and broken plumbing. BTW, East Palo Alto is the other Palo Alto, the one that’s not home to multiple multi-millionaires and Stanford University. The folks in E. Palo Alto suffer from a crippling crime rate and crumbling housing over there on the wrong side of the freeway - the side that isn’t protected by sound fencing like the gracious folks across the road.

Rich Shouldn’t Matter
In principle I agree with the town manager. It shouldn’t matter how much money you have. So I suppose Larry wouldn’t mind if his revaluation was the going 6.3% - just to be fair and all. I’m sure he won’t mind, because he could just recoup the money by delaying the painting of his yacht, the world’s largest. Or perhaps he could stop routinely violating nighttime noise restrictions at San Jose International for landing after hours in his private Gulfstream jet. He was exempted from the noise restrictions too.

Larry is well-known as the infant-terrible of Silicon Valley. He runs his company Oracle based on the principles of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.

He regularly buys out any competitors, frequently in hostile takeovers - and grinds their successful products under his heel in order to buy new sails for his America’s Cup yacht or gas for his aerobatic team. At each hostile takeover, employees lose jobs to feed Larry’s Giant Maw of GreedTM. And it’s a hungry maw indeed. So hungry, that Larry’s accountants warned him several years ago to cut his fantastic spending lest he bankrupt himself.

It’s Tough Out There for a Billionaire Pimp
I guess $12 billion doesn’t go as far as it used to.

I’m a firm believer in capitalism, although I recognize its limitations if left totally unrestricted. I have nothing against people earning money. In fact, I don’t care if a person makes billions - more power to them. But if you make billions you also inherit some responsibilities.

One of those responsibilities is paying your taxes like any other good citizen of modest means without a buttload of full-time shysters to find boondoggle tax breaks. It also comes with a moral responsibility to not deprive others to feed your own hubris and greed. Don’t take money away from schools and hospitals simply because you can. It’s not a frickin’ game to see who dies with the most toys. Don’t lay off employees to get that quarterly bonus that’s just about equal to the money you “saved” by laying them off. I don’t require you to find the light and abandon your Marley-like stinginess like Bill Gates turned away from his once well-known anti-philanthropic ways. Hell, you can even illegally fly your jet late at night provided you pay buy soundproofing for the more modest home owners who will go to work exhausted tomorrow from a lost night of sleep courtesy of your (literally) money-burning flying hard on. In short, all I ask you to do is act like a normal human being instead of a shit stain in the crotch of humanity’s Jockey shorts.

In short Larry, stop being such an asshole.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

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The Big Dick Flips Off America

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Cheney Flipping Off the American PeopleThere’s no doubt the Bush administration has an awfully high opinion of itself. The president once famously said that he couldn’t think of a mistake he’d made in office. But The Big DickTM? He has mondo-hubris.

Listen to this exchange:

Reporter: “Two-thirds of Americans say it’s not worth fighting (the War of Error), and they’re looking at the value gain versus the cost in American lives, certainly, and Iraqi lives.”

Cheney: “So?”

Reporter: “So - you don’t care what the American people think?”

Cheney: “No, I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls. Think about what would have happened if Abraham Lincoln had paid attention to polls, if they had had polls during the Civil War. He never would have succeeded if he hadn’t had a clear objective, a vision for where he wanted to go, and he was willing to withstand the slings and arrows of the political wars in order to get there.”

Um, Dick? I’ve studied Abraham Lincoln and let me tell you, you’re no Abraham Lincoln. I’m suspicious that you’re not even human.

Using your logic, as long as a person “has a clear objective, a vision for where he wants to go” he can do as he damn well pleases. He can ignore advice. He can show contempt for his nation and the laws that govern it. He can play the iceberg to the Titanic. Heck, he can even just toddle off on his buddy’s boat for a day of fishing as people die in the place he just left behind.

Dick, the model for that sort of behavior isn’t Lincoln, it’s Saddam Hussein. You know, that guy you went over to kick out? The one who was a baaad, baaad man who needed to be dealt with? The one who so threatened you? Surely you remember him. He was the one with the WMD that only appears after you sprinkle lemon juice on them.

Dick, I’m going to engage in some of your logic. Here’s my “clear objective and vision”: you are a dangerously megalomaniacal imbecile. You are also a man who deserves to be tossed into the trash bin of loony politicians who became so full of themselves they forgot to adhere to the “polls” that really count - the elections - the elections that put their cholesterol filled, arrogance-fattened asses in office.

I’m sad to say that I respect Saddam Hussein more than you and your idiot savant friend, George DicklessTM. At least Saddam never pretended to be anything other than what he was - a bragging despotic tyrant.

More’s the pity I can’t say the same thing for you.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

The Madness of King George

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Our F*ck Up-in-Chief likes to portray himself as a bold leader who keeps his head while all around him lose theirs. That’s true enough as far as it goes. He’s certainly bold - although brazen might be a better word - and he does steadfastly keep his head. The only problem is that it’s empty.

More than once, people have wondered about the cranial pea he keeps rolling around. First he was criticized for living in a bubble and then conservative pundits like Joe Scarborough began to wonder aloud if he was stupid. Even Nelson Mandella posited that he “couldn’t think correctly” and several foreign ministers have remarked on their low esteem for the boob.

I’m currently reading Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President, by psychologist Justin Frank. In the book, Frank does a little forensic psychology to see if he can determine just why the president seems so bat-shit crazy. Frank definitely has an anti-Bush point of view so I take what he says with a grain of salt. However, many of the things he discusses in the book match up well with known events and continue to surface four years after Frank wrote the book.

The Psychotic Break Begins
Now five years along in Iraq, I used to think his reassurances that Iraq was going swimmingly were just the rants of a craven politician angling for better poll numbers. Now I wonder if those weren’t the first clear signs that he wasn’t just disingenuous, he was literally in the throes of a psychotic break.

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An Urgent New Drug Problem!

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

For those of us whose purpose in life is to guard America’s morals — our work is never done. We already have our hands full fighting off the Homosexual Agenda and the Devil’s Music. And now there’s a dangerous new drug from Mexico, just waiting to seduce our youth and sap their moral fiber.

Salvia Divinorum is a hallucinogenic plant that grows in Mexico. And now Americans are starting to use it. Don’t you understand what this means???

A Mexican drug coming into the United States — symbolically, this represents gangs of swarthy Meskins invading our decent Godfearing nation. These lazy hopheads will destroy everything America stands for.

Most of our politicians are unaware of this serious problem. They’re too busy whining about the war in Iraq and our crumbling economy. But fortunately, a Florida state representative is coming to our rescue. Mary Brandenburg has introduced a bill to make possession of Salvia a felony — five years for any dope fiend caught with this drug.

But this isn’t enough. Prison sentences need to be longer than that. And the American people need to be made aware of the hideous effects of this drug. This new menace will destroy anybody who uses it. An ordinary decent American who uses this drug will turn into a pervert; a monster!

We need to spread the word. Perhaps we could make a documentary: Salvia: Assassin of Youth.

Attending a Wingtard Convention: Inside the Belly of the Beast

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

You’ve gotta check out this article. It’s long, but it’s an excellent read: appalling, hilarious, infuriating, absurd…

The author, Leonard Pierce, infiltrated the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC). He got in by posing as a lobbyist for the American Milk Solids Council. We know that two percent of America has gotten rich beyond belief in the past 7 years, and that 19% still think George W. Bush is doing a heckuva job.

Knowing those statistics is one thing, but just imagine being surrounded by thousands of these people. As Pierce describes it, “Here’s a description of Hell: a huge room full of all the people you hate most, and they’re all having a wonderful time.”

There’s a speech by Dick Cheney (of course). During his speech, the crowd starts cheering and yelling “Four More Years!” Cheney gives the usual soundbites about 9/11, telecom immunity and the wonders of torture. But the most telling thing about Cheney’s speech was the observation that: “His defense of torture gets a standing ovation, but his praising of our fighting men in uniform does not. It takes a man to fight, but it takes a train to waterboard.”

Next comes Mitt Romney’s famous speech where he says he entered the race because he loves his country and now he’s leaving (the race, not the country) for the same reason.

And there has to be a speech by Dumbya. Before Boozo the Clown even begins his speech, the crowd starts chanting “Four More Years!”

Bush’s speech itself had the predictable Bushisms: “Dick Cheney is the greatest vice president in the history of the United States.” The Bush Administration “didn’t seek the approval of editorialists…and we darned sure didn’t seek permission from groups like Code Pink and MoveOn before taking action.”

But check out Pierce’s description of Bush:

“In person, he looks a little haggard and tired: no legacy to speak of, no friends overseas (whither Pooty-Poot? a nation turns its starving eyes to you), and another boatload of corpses to go and frown at later today. He won’t last as long as his old man once he’s out of office: With no one to stand in the way of, with no one to infuriate, with no press hanging over his shoulder for him to mutter ‘fuck off’ at, he’ll wither away and disappear, just another burnout boomer with prostate cancer and no hobbies.”

Congress asks the DOJ to investigate Roger Clemens..

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Obviously they have nothing better to do right? No wars, no recession..From MSNBC:

Congress asked the Justice Department on Wednesday to investigate whether Roger Clemens made false statements to a House committee.

The chairman and ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said they sent a letter to Justice.

“We believe that his testimony in a sworn deposition on Feb. 5, 2008, and at a hearing on Feb. 13, 2008, that he never used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone, warrants further investigation,” committee chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis wrote. “That testimony is directly contradicted by the sworn testimony of Brian McNamee, who testified that he personally injected Mr. Clemens with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.

Christ, even a huge sports nut like me thinks this is pure unadulterated bullshit.

Incurious Clarence Thomas

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Why do some conservatives consider it a badge of honor to be as uninformed as your average tree stump? Preznit Poster Boy once bragged that he never reads newspapers - Crazy Clarence Thomasprobably because there was no second grader to help him read The Pet Goat as a warm up. The Big Dick consistently thinks it’s important to get only one side of any story - the one he’s already decided he’s on. You name the branch of the administration and chances are you’ll find someone who wouldn’t recognize a book if you slammed their fingers in one. Now, SCOTUS justice Clarence “Who Has Put Pubic Hair on My Coke” Thomas has come out foursquare in favor of vacuousness.

Stumping for his new autobiography, My Grandfather’s Son, Clancy brags that he hasn’t asked a question in two years and 142 cases. The last one came on Feb. 26, 2006 in a unanimous death penalty case.

“One thing I’ve demonstrated often in 16 years is you can do this job without asking a single question,” he told the Federalist Society. Instead of an intelligent interrogatory, he prefers to lean back in his comfy leather chair, stare at the ceiling, and occasionally share a laugh or two with Justice Stephen Breyer or Anthony Kennedy, his neighbors on the bench. Paraphrasing an old “know it all” Rumsfeld adage, Clancy seems to know all the knowns, unknowns, and potential knowns or unknowns without asking a single question. He’s a regular frickin’ Nostradumbass, he is.

Incurious Clarence says it’s not that he’s against questions, he just doesn’t ask them. “If I think a question will help me decide a case, then I’ll ask that question. Otherwise, it’s not worth asking because it detracts from my job,” he told CSPAN last year. Clarence, here’s a tip dude. If you went two years and 142 cases and didn’t think of a single question, you’re either dead, full of the milk of Bushonian hubris, or clueless.

I don’t expect much from Clarence, I really don’t. At the risk of being accused of conducting another high-tech lynching, I thought Clarence was dumb as a box of rocks when he wiggled onto the court and he’s only confirmed my suspicions since then. The fact that he happens to be African American has zero to do with it. I’d think a white person with as little intellectual curiosity as him would be just as useful a doorstop. Look at the whitest guys around, Daddy and Baby Doc Bush, for stunningly detailed proof.

Along with all the other actions that have eroded our democracy, attitudes like Clarence’s and Shrub’s are a big part of what put us there. To me, it’s one thing to be smart but ideologically opposed - like John Roberts. It’s another to be smart and dangerously evil - like the Big Dick. It’s quite another if you’re simply too stupid to know just how stupid you are - a category topped by Shrub and Clancy. This is one of those times I just want to scream in rage.

“HEY, YOU! STARING AT THE CEILING! Wake up, participate, and STOP CRIBBING FROM ANTONIN SCALIA’S NOTES!”

 


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The World Has Changed Forever

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

On September 12, 2001, George Bush stood atop a pile of rubble in New York and announced the world had changed forever. For the most part, it’s changed in ways few foresaw and without many rational, presumptive changes ever quite taking root, but it has changed, just as he promised.

For most of us, the biggest change has been in how little Dear LeaderTM cares for the individual freedoms he swore to defend and protect. For others - most notably families that lost someone that day - the world changed in a more fundamental and visceral way. Now, these seemingly different types of loss have converged.

El Jefe and the congress are once again at loggerheads over FISA laws. Since Day 1, the flaccid republican and democratic congresses have repeatedly given in to the President’s whims and then some. Congress has proposed a measly 15 day delay in considering a FISA renewal, but the Defender of His FateTM has threatened a veto. And as usually happens when he doesn’t get his way, he launched another fear bomb to justify it, “Terrorists are planning new attacks on our country … that will make Sept. 11 pale by comparison.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

The Prez Who Cried Wolf
This terrorist threat is identical to dozens of other admonitions. Under that blanket excuse, he’s rolled back just about every civil liberty we once enjoyed, while the final word has never been validated by the courts. He admits he’s spied on US citizens in an apparent contravention of the Constitution. However, instead of an apology he simply demands more power, like Congress giving telecom companies protection from prosecution if they broke the law (which they already have).

His justification?

“If these companies are subjected to lawsuits that could cost them billions of dollars, they won’t participate. They won’t help us. They won’t help protect America.

Loyalty, At a Price
In other words, we must pay multinational phone companies to retain their loyalty, rather than being the upstanding, selfless citizens we expect ourselves to be. That sounds a lot like buying off an Afghan warlord to be our BFF (and likely with similar results). It’s the type of behavior we’ve come to expect from the administration and is directly linked to the dubious premise that prisoners can be held without trial and without adequate legal representation. That’s hardly a fairness exemplar for “emerging democracies” like Iraq.

As some of the Guantanamo “disappeared” start preparing for trial, it’s obvious that “trials” in Bushspeak mean something very different than what most of us expect under the law. In Dubya’s steely legal mind, “trial” means take away anything good for the defendant and allow the prosecution to do anything they damn well please. This seems curious behavior for an administration that claims to have mountains of evidence condemning the detainees, yet can’t allow the defense to see any of it, even under strict secrecy provisions. It suggests the World’s Sole Remaining SuperpowerTM” might have some intelligence that doesn’t stand up in a legitimate court of law - which brings us to the families victimized by September 11.

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What does Jonah Goldberg mean by “Liberal Fascism”?

Friday, February 8th, 2008

This:

‘I promise …’

In the full knowledge of the commitment that I am freely willing to undertake as a student, I promise to respect each and every member of the college community without regard to race, creed, political ideology, lifestyle orientation, gender or social status sparing no effort to preserve the dignity of those I will come in contact with as a member of the college community. I promise to Bergen Community College that I will follow this code of responsibility.

1. Honesty, integrity and respect for all will guide my personal conduct.

2. I will embrace and celebrate differing perspectives intellectually.

3. I will build an inclusive community enriched by diversity.

4. I am willing to respect and assist those individuals who are less fortunate.

5. I promise my commitment to civic engagement and to serve the needs of the community to the best of my ability.

At least as originally proposed,

“The pledge would not be optional,” Susan Baechtel, a college spokeswoman, said Wednesday. “If you don’t agree, it is President Ryan’s vision that you cannot attend the school.”

She said students who violated the code would be subject to judiciary hearings now reserved for offenses such as assault.

Eugene Volokh, professor of and expert in constitutional law, explains the problems, from a constitutional standpoint, with this here.

Bill Helff, president of the college’s faculty union, explains the problem with it from a slightly different standpoint:

“I’ve been there 38 years and I’ve never sworn to embrace anybody,” said Helff. “Next I’ll have to be nice to administrators?”

Thing is, see, this is America. We dig our freedom…the freedom to not be nice if we don’t fucking feel like it and to think others are bone-headed assholes for trying to take away our freedom in the name of enforced niceness, and to say so without being sent away to the re-education camp or expelled from the community altogether.

Bush outlines his plan to kick start the economy

Friday, January 18th, 2008

As I sat and listened to the Idiot-in-Chief, I wondered if he actually believed what he said or just hopes to hell that we believe it.

He wants the tax cuts for the top one percent to be made permanent, but the ones he is outlining for the rest of America should only be a one-time deal.

Of course the following part really jacked my jaw: Folks at the extreme bottom of the economic rung shouldn’t get squat..because that is considered welfare.

Fark you Frat boy.

Here it is, what the Jackass-in-Chief wants and what lies and half-truths he spewed. Some lowlights:

The economic team reports that our economy has a solid foundation, but that there are areas of real concern. Our economy is still creating jobs, though at a reduced pace. Consumer spending is still growing, but the housing market is declining. Business investment and exports are still rising, but the cost of imported oil has increased.-Ok, the December report on how American’s spent their money showed it was in the toilet, the worst since 1991. The New York Times stated: Strong evidence is emerging that consumer spending, a bulwark against recession over the last year even as energy prices surged and the housing market sputtered, has begun to slow sharply at every level of the American economy, from the working class to the wealthy.

Sorry Bush, but your full of bat guano on that first point right out of the box. The way the government fixes it’s statistics on job growth have been crap for years. Too many variables that should be included in that statistic aren’t.

Wages are stagnant and good paying jobs disappear while the income of the top one percent of Americans that don’t actually work for a living and that love their stocks and hedge funds has continued to grow. To say we are growing and jobs are being created might be true..but what is the average wage of those ‘new’ jobs? The NYT article linked above shows how the lifestyles of average American’s has changed drastically:

One consequence is an upending of the traditional pattern, in which middle-aged children take in an elderly parent. As $15-an-hour factory jobs are replaced by $7- or $8-an-hour retail jobs, more men in their 30s and 40s are moving in with their parents or grandparents, said Cheryl Thiessen, the director of Jackson/Vinton Community Action, which runs medical, fuel and other aid programs in Jackson and Vinton Counties.

The Economic Policy Institute, EPI tells you and shows you graphs and charts on how wages have suffered for the working part of America:

With the release of today’s consumer price index for December—up 0.3% for the month and 4.1% for 2007—we can now examine how real hourly and weekly earnings did over the course of last year (comparing this December to last December).

As shown in Figure 1, both hourly and weekly earnings fell in 2007, a sharp reversal from the gains in 2006. After growing by about 2% in 2006, both hourly and weekly earnings fell, after adjusting for inflation, by about 1% last year.

More from The Shrub’s speechifying:Passing a new growth package is our most pressing economic priority. When that is done, Congress must turn to the most important economic priority for our country, and that’s making sure the tax relief that is now in place is not taken away. A source of uncertainty in our economy is that this tax relief is set to expire at the end of 2010. Unless Congress acts, the American people will face massive tax increases in less than three years. The marriage penalty will make a comeback; the child tax credit will be cut in half; the death tax will come back to life; and tax rates will go up on regular income, capital gains, and dividends. -Notice that he really wants to keep those on top of the foodchain safe, but not anyone else. God forbid their taxes go back up in the form of capital gains, dividends and the estate tax.

For the 99% of American’s that actually work for a living, their income isn’t growing like the income for the wealthy at the top of the economic food chain. From the latest data that is complete:

From 2003 to 2004, the average incomes of the bottom 99 percent of households grew by less than 3 percent, after adjusting for inflation. In contrast, the average incomes of the top one percent of households experienced a jump of more than 18 percent, after adjusting for inflation. (Census data show that real median income fell between 2003 and 2004. Average income is pulled up by gains at the top of the income spectrum; much of the 2.3 percent rise among the bottom 99 percent seems to largely reflects gains by households in the top decile of the income spectrum. In contrast, trends in median income capture the experience of households in the middle of the income spectrum.)

 

The top one percent of households (those with annual incomes above about $315,000 in 2004) garnered 53 percent of the income gains in 2004.(emphasis mine)

Sadly the reality is..it’s worse than that. The CBPP explained that the enormous gains at the top of the income foodchain caused a rise of income as a whole. But average income dropped between 2003 and 2004, and has not risen appreciably since then. In short, while the top one percent get richer, the middle class is shrinking, as economist Paul Krugman pointed out in a speech earlier this year:

By the time World War II was over, we had become the middle-class society that the baby boomers in this audience grew up in. We had become a much more equal society. That high degree of equality began to go away — depending on exactly which numbers you look at — during the late 70’s, maybe a little earlier than that. And at this point we’re basically back to pre-tax and transfer to the levels of inequality that we had in 1929.

What happened in 1929? The Stock Market crashed and burned.

The final blurb from our Frat Boy in the White House: In a vibrant economy, markets rise and decline. We cannot change that fundamental dynamic. As a matter of fact, eliminating risk altogether would also eliminate the innovation and productivity that drives the creation of jobs and wealth in America. Yet there are also times when swift and temporary actions can help ensure that inevitable market adjustments do not undermine the health of the broader economy. This is such a moment.

I don’t really want to call our Decider-in-Chief a delusional moron or better yet a lying sack of crap, but if that shoe fits… you hold him down and I will stick it on his foot, while I put the other one where the sun doesn’t shine, otherwise known as his behind.


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