Posts tagged ‘crisis’

United States of IOU?

California better reckonize!

That bitch has been out there behaving like a first-rate famewhore on the red carpet – totally hogging the ‘We Suck at Solvency’ spotlight! But she better step to the side because hers isn’t the only game in town anymore!

Oh ho no!

A new study by the Pew Center found that double-digit budget gaps, rising unemployment, high foreclosure rates and built-in budget constraints have brought Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin to the precipice of joining Cali in the pageant of impovrished places pockmarking the American landscape.
::: Ten’s a crowd! :::

These states are fucked financially for basically one of three reasons:
1. They rely too heavily on one type of industry
::: diversity of DIE :::

2. They have a history of persistent budget shortfalls
::: finance FAIL :::

3. They face legal constraints that make it too hard to implement major changes, such as tax increases
::: judiciary JAM-UP :::

And it’s all a big ol’ bunch of SUCKS TO BE THEM until you realize that this mess is five slices of Serious Shit Pie  because these piss-poors combine to account for more than one-third of the entire, whole and complete nation’s population and economic output.


“Decisions these states make as they try to navigate the recession will play a role in how quickly the entire nation recovers,” one of the Pew peeps professed.

NO PRESSURE GUYS … but, uhh, could you get with the A program, so all of America doesn’t have to keep suffering?!?

Pretty please with a big ol’ stimulus check on top?


November 13, 2009 at 11:11 am 4 comments

Happy 52nd Birthday Jesus!

Because the U.S. economy suffered its deepest contraction in a quarter century, the S&P 500 closed at 12-year low, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao confirms this New Great Depression hasn’t found a bottom yet and consumer confidence found a bigger, DEEPER cave to hide out in this month — I figured we were due for a little pick-me-up.

And no one can do that like today’s birthday boy – John Turturro!

That hot Italian sausage makes the sun come up every morning in the verdant bucolic mental getaway that is my personal happy place.

Just looking at him makes me tingly – and I know he makes you tingly too!
Don’t lie – I know he does!!
How can he not!?!

That slut is a more delicious morsel of marvelousness than a bacon-wrapped Marshmallow!!

I mean, if you weren’t sitting on the edge of your seat, scratching for just one more sheet at the bottom of the Kleenex box as you held a candle-light vigil and prayed for John Turturro brings the HOTPete to come back – COME BAAAACK! – from the nether-regions of froggydom and rejoin Delmar and Everett on their quest for buried treasure, well, then I think you need to schedule an emergency EKG to be sure you even still have a heart down deep in there somewhere.
That was serious method shit you just don’t find in most cinema these days!

Oh, ho, ho, TURTURRO — from Pino to pederast, Dude — nobody beats Barton Fink!

So – yes. Today I give you JT.
Because you need him.
Because we all do in these hard times where gloom is in bloom everywhere you look; where folks are forced to wear their despair like it’s some sort of fashion; where people just don’t know what to DO anymore!

I give you JT because I think it’s important, nay, IMPERATIVE that we take time to chill, reflect and ask ourselves one question:
What Would Turturro Do?’

… the answers are there, my friends …

February 28, 2009 at 4:50 pm 3 comments

Pontificatin’ & Plannifyin’

I’ve been doing some super-cranial calisthenics in an effort to wrap my peabrain around the cries of convoluted coherence and perceived puffed-up pay-outery woven deep into the fabric of my boyfriend‘s massive stimulus package of distributive distraction.
::: frealz, yo — the Cookster’s give OUT! :::

 I’ve been reading the version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment readingisrad1Act of 2009 that was sent to the Senate yesterday and I’ve been reading the very interesting alternative START plan from Rep. Walt Minnick (D- Idaho) and I’ve been listening to pundits and teevee sprayheads on virtually every channel give praise to, complain about, ridicule and otherwise provide their own personal commentary on ‘the plan’ …

… and somewhere outside of all the reading but inside of all the blah blah it became kind of embarassingly aggravatingly painfully clear that most of the voices chiming in should probably just shut it already.
::: I’m not naming names, but their initials are ‘Everyone At NBCABCCBSFOXMSNBC & SomeNewspaperColumnistsDesperatelyTryingToStayRelevant’ … :::

Pet Projects! Exorbitant Pricetags!! Pork PORK PORK!!!
::: OH MY! :::

Yupperonie — the gang’s all there!
But in this New Great Depression, the salient point just may be that one man’s pork is another man’s PAYCHECK.
::: IJS :::

David Leonhardt of The New York Times writes a compelling and exceptionally well researched piece in the February 1 Magazine that, among other things, reminds “Employing people to dig ditches and fill them up again would qualify … Pork and stimulus aren’t mutually exclusive.”

The plan includes money for rural agriculture programs and for the expansion of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966; money for anti-smoking programs and for the refurbishment of national museums.

There’s money for road construction, bridge work, military housing, law enforcement, energy, natural resources, community development, national security and a whole superhaulin’ truckload of other things.
::: OH MY! :::

Bob Barr (the AJC’s resident blowhard) calls PORK! on the $75,000,000 for `Facilities Capital’ at the Smithsonian …
… but conveniently neglects to tell the reader the the money is “for deferred maintenance projects, and for repair, revitalization, and alteration of facilities owned or occupied by the Smithsonian Institution” …
whiiich is billspeak for construction, plumbing, electrical work and technological upgrades …
… and what do we call those nifty things again, kiddies?

That’s right!

Barr and several sprayhead politico wannabes also call PORK! on that anti-smoking provision — buuuut *WOOPSIE* they all leave out those puffbothersome little things called ‘details’ — like the fact that the provision is part of a broader set of initiatives aimed at addressing “chronic and infectious disease rates and health disparities” including “evidence-based interventions in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, tobacco cessation and smoking prevention, and oral health.”
You know — all that pesky preventable shit that drives up health care premiums and actual care costs almost exponentially every year as we become fatter … and sicker … and poorer.

Oh but hey, what are you gonna do?
Read the bill to find out if they’re telling you the truth?!?

Nah …
…  but I did!
::: I’m one cross-eyed, sleep-deprived, headachy ho because of it … but at least I’m an informed ho!! :::

My thought was –  before I open my yap and spew forth vitriol against something I have only a surface understanding of – I might be better served by reading, factifying and performing my own  super serious researchification … and then I can open my yap and spew forth vitriol!
::: RADICAL! :::

Except that once I’d started reading … and reading … and reading —  I didn’t want to channel my inner acrimony. I wanted to read more!
::: … and sleep … :::

I mean, sure – we can all continue to stand around and bitch and moan about the pricetag of the plan and point fingers without ever digging deeper or really knowing anything about any of the shit we’re bitching and moaning and pointing fingers about — and we’ll feel justified this time because of the colossally disastrous way the bailout bill was handled because that makes our cries of ‘NOT AGAIN’ seem valid …

… except they aren’t.
Because it is different.
Because it’s not just spending for spending’s sake (you listening TARPers?!?).
Because it’s growth.

And “growth is the only way for a government to pay off its debts in a relatively quick and painless fashion, allowing tax revenues to increase without tax rates having to rise.”

And before you (and you know who you are!) come at me with crap about who it came from — don’t disagree just to disagree or because you don’t like the backing or you don’t agree 100% with everything you ‘heard’ was in there — read.
All you can.
::: … I think it’s kind of, like, a civic duty or some shit … :::

History — especially post-World War II economic history — is the bombest bitch, dawgs!!

Check it if you can … just don’t blame me for your Visene addiction!

Gat DAM this box is high up!


“Throughout the nation men and women, forgotten in the political philosophy of the Government, look to us here for guidance and for more equitable opportunity to share in the distribution of national wealth … I pledge myself to a political campaign. It is a call to arms.”
—- Franklin D. Roosevelt

February 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm 14 comments

Rank … and File 13

Dear Earth,

I know it’s been a while since my last letter and I hate to be the bearer of even more bad news for you because I know you’ve been under your weather for a really long time, buuuut – remember how I told you the folks at the Pew Research Center were doing a survey to figure out what people think President O’Beautiful’s priorities should be?

Well, they’re done and … gosh, I, I just don’t know how to say this other than just to come right out with it …

About those priorities?
You’re not one.

I mean, your movie was off the chain and all – and you know how hot Al Goregous makes me (kind of like the way burning fossil fuels and deforestation make you feel) – but the bottom line is that we’re all just beginning the long journey out of the darkness of this New Great Depression and, well, you don’t put food on the tab … oh wait – ok, you sort of  do … ummm, uhh, what I meant to say is that you don’t pay the bills.
Yeah, that’s what I’m trying to say.

You don’t pay the bills, and so we have to make fixing the economy Priority Numero Uno right now.

Now, I know we made a big deal about you there for a while and, gosh, I sure hope you don’t take this too hard … it’s just that there’s just so much to fix!!

What with the economic situation, the health care situation, the education situation, the social security situation, the crime situa … well, just all the other situations we’ve been so so busy not fixing for the last eight years.

But you are important to me!!
You are!

Increased heating bills, higher cooling bills, rising insurance bills, ever-expanding grocery bills … I know you’re a part of making all of those bills higher … if only you could help pay for them …
… but you can’t and so folks were all ‘Global Warming Schmobal Schmorming, Earth Schmerth! – I need to get straight up PAID, bitch!’ when it was time to prioritize.

Soooo … you know, like, I’m sorry and all and I really do hope you feel better soon.
Maybe next year … right?!?

Yeah … ok … well, umm, see you at the rally in April



January 23, 2009 at 3:54 pm 10 comments

And the scary part? She’s serious!

This is the day you can thank your lucky stars that you aren’t yet locked in a psych ward survived long enough in the New Great Depression to be given the keys to the kingdom.

Take a seat and prepare to be amazed!!

San Francisco’s Mariposa Leadership Inc., has just released their 2009 You’re Fucked Any Way You Slice It Guidebook Game Plan to Conquer Fears and Down Markets — and CEO Sue Bethanis says business leaders can “not only survive but thrive ” in this shit hole economy if they adopt her two-pronged, six-step, no-shit, big-duh, blah blah, slap-me-in-the-face-with-obviosity plan.
::: YAY! A PLAN! WE’RE SAVED!!! :::

Short-Term Game — Be More Productive
::: mmm hmm, got it – productivity good! :::

“1. Calm down and assess your fears. Fear can shut a leader down OR can incite them to greater productivity — it’s all in how leaders frame feelings and thoughts. The best thing for leaders to do right now is slow down and assess how fear, itself, is hindering productivity.”
::: I fear our company’s 12th layoff will leave us with zero workforce, thus having a negative impact on productivity … does that count??? :::

“2. Become an efficiency champion. In a recession leaders need to pare back and do more with fewer resources. Before engaging in ad hoc cuts, though, they need to take a look at the big picture: what initiatives best support the mission of the organization? What processes are driving team members apart, rather than bringing them together? What tasks are redundant or unnecessary?”
::: The company is hemorrhaging money but the rank and file got pissy when we laid off that last thousand. But seriously – how else were we going to finance the officers’ year-end bonus?!? Corporate Catch-22 bummer!! :::

“3. Over-communication is key. This is not the time for leaders to disappear into their offices and resort to command and control procedures. All this does is breed rumors and hamper productivity. Increased transparency works best: Leaders should talk directly to their employees to identify and solve problems.”
::: Hi everyone! It’s me, Wanda, with your ‘Every-hour-on-the-hour Job Status Update’. It’s not 100% set in stone yet so I can’t say for certain that you’ll be losing your jobs, but that’s largely due to the delay in stone delivery. Otherwise we are five by five … until the end of the day earnings report is released and then we’ll be in ‘reassess’ mode. Stay tuned for the 4 p.m. update to the updated 3 p.m. update when we’ll try to update you further! :::

Long-Term Game — Be Innovative
::: YAY Innovation – out boomtime friend is back!!!! :::

“While corporations are making headway in their productivity, it is important to simultaneously focus on the long-term game: Ramp up innovation to thrive when the recession subsides.”
::: Be creative people! Don’t spend any money to do it but goddammit – BE CREATIVE – it’s our only hope!!! :::

“1. Clarify the strategic roadmap. It IS possible to prepare for the future without knowing exactly what it will bring. Teams which create alternate scenarios, and plan for how to respond to each, will be better positioned. Teams need to be involved in strategic planning, so the leader is not the one and only savior.”
::: Ok, so we can’t be sure it’ll happen, but if we DO have to cut the biz/dev group we’re gonna put Bob in charge of making that announcement since his group will naturally have to assume 100% of those duties with 0% of the pay. Everyone on board? Ok … 1-2-3 TEAM! :::

“2. Double-down on innovation with a “Think Tank.” Despite what may be a leader’s best instinct, now is not the time to retract and focus only on existing products and services. In order to survive the pruning of the recession-and to thrive once the recovery begins-leaders need to challenge the status quo and set aside resources for research and development to find the next breakthrough.”
::: Let’s allocate resources we don’t have that we can’t pay for and lock them away to put on their thinking caps to save the company and prepare for a future we probably won’t be around to see. Ok! Now, which cost center does that come out of? :::

“3. Retain your best people through creative engagement. This means give them interesting, challenging assignments and coach them to reach new goals. It also means giving them a level of autonomy and responsibility that allows them to thoroughly buy into the success of the company. The stronger their loyalty, the less likely great employees are going to jump ship. The best talent is mobile, even in horrible economic environments.”
::: Shit! We laid them all off last September! NOW WHAT?!? :::


January 14, 2009 at 12:42 am 5 comments

Felonious free-for-all?

So the New Great Depression is kind of a bummer for most folks, what with losing their jobs, their houses, their entire life savings, their health care, their identity and their self-respect and all …

… but do you know who it’s good for?

FELONS, that’s who!
:::  … always two sides … ::: 

With state budgets in Defcon 5 panic mode – governors, legislators and prison officials across the country are rethinking that whole ‘justice for all’ concept and making policy changes that would put Big Stan, The Ox and Lester the Child Molester back on your block aaaaany time now.
::: Get the Welcome Wagon ready! ::: 

Prior to this fiscal crisis, legislators could tinker around the edges – but we’re now well past the tinkering stage,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, which advocates alternatives to incarceration.
::: Putting the hood back in your ‘hood one day at a time! :::

“Many political leaders who weren’t comfortable enough, politically, to do it before can now,” he said
::: ‘I’m sorry Parolee # 286998 hacked your family to death — but think of the money you’ll save on tuition! :::

All aboard the freedom train!

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is proposing early release of about 1,000 inmates.
::: Thugtastic! :::

New York Governor David Paterson wants early release for 1,600 inmates.
::: Shankerific! :::

And Kentucky recently implemented a ‘temporary’ cost-cutting program that’s given early release to nearly 2,000 inmates … including murderers and other violent offenders!
::: ‘cuz why should child-touchers and embezzlers have all the fun! :::

“There’s a new openness to taking a look,” said Michigan Senator Alan Cropsey, a Republican who in the past has questioned prison-reform proposals but — now that everyone can blame everything on the economy — isn’t gonna waste precious time thinkinating and solutionizing.

And who would?
Pansy ass liberals – that’s who!

Wussy hippie alarmists — like Thomas Sneddon, executive director of the National District Attorneys Association — are all ‘uhh, maybe there’s a better way guys???’

“I don’t think the public at large has any idea of who’s in these prisons,” he whined. “If they went and visited, they’d say ‘My God, don’t let any of these people out.'”

Actually, it’d be more like ‘ OH HOLY FUCKING SHIT! He’s in for WHAT?!?’
But who cares! A penny saved, right? 

Cue BCO share takeoff in 3 … 2 …


January 10, 2009 at 11:21 pm 17 comments

Not THAT’S using your thinkin’ cap, Scooter!

Because no one can trust banks or bankers or tellers or the NASDAQ or the Nikkei or the S&P or the Hang Seng or the Dax or their broker or their broker’s secretary or the guy who cleans the lint out of the air-conditioning filter in their broker’s office in this New Great Depression … wait … damn, my train of thought derailed …what was I talking about?

Oh yeah …


So we’re  turning to the time-honored and trusted children’s treasury — the last bastion of guarded depositry left in these sorry times … The Piggy Bank!

Following a 2.8 percent rise in personal saving in November, stores are reporting a uptick in the sale of coin banks as broke-ass folk embrace their insolvency and look to the cob roller to safeguard their scratch.
::: … uh huh, that should work … ’till Uncle Nestor runs out of ways to pay for his ‘little problem’ … :::

“We definitely noticed a trend with the piggy banks,” said Erin Mara of Washington’s Homebody design store. “People were very upfront about the need to save … the pig is very symbolic of that sentiment,” she said.
::: ummmm, well yeah – unless you’re Buddhist, Jewish or follower of Islam — all of whom view the swine as definitely not devine … but hey, WHATEVER, right — using blind generalizations to make your point is a big, shiny bag of F-U-N!!! :::

And just how awesome is it all it took was losing our homes and jobs and cars and savings and self-respect to get us to keep a closer eye on our cash?
::: yeah, sure, awesome :::

And just how totally mega-über-ultra-awesomeriscious is it that our solution to making it through the worst financial crisis since the Old Great Depression is to use a child’s toy to guard our gravy?!?
::: Nine thousand gold stars, people!!! :::

So … like …



January 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm 4 comments

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