1. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Obama Announces Student Loan Relief

    In a previous thread earlier tonight, I said student debt would the next “debt bubble” and predicted there would be writedowns. It didn’t take long:

    “Millions of student loan borrowers will be eligible to lower their payments and consolidate their loans under a plan President Barack Obama intends to announce Wednesday, the White House said.”

    Obama’s plan, implemented by executive order (and therefore not requiring congressional action, which is impossible anyway while the Party of No holds the House), will accelerate previously adopted provisions, lower the maximum monthly payment from 15% to 10% of disposable income, and forgive any remaining debt after 25 years instead of 20 years. The plan will lower some student borrowers’ monthly payments by “hundreds of dollars a month,” the White House said. Nearly 7.5 million student debtors could be affected. My guess is it isn’t enough and further debt relief will be coming, including a revision of the bankruptcy laws to allow some student indebtedness to be discharged by bankruptcy courts.

  2. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The whole structure and concept of lending and indebtedness in a capitalist system implies and anticipates that some debts will go bad and be written off. The notion promulgated by some conservatives that all debts must be repaid no matter is an aberration, and as a policy, distorts the economic workings of the credit system. Lenders get paid for taking risk and lending rates include a risk premium. The idea that every cent of every loan must always be repaid under any and all circumstances is nonsense. That’s not how our financial system works. Our system is based on managed risk and spreading losses across the entire customer base. (Those who repay always end up paying for those who don’t.)

  3. 5

    Michael spews:

    Right now people are flat broke and are over their heads in student loan debit. When Obama’s plan goes into effect they will be flat broke and over their heads in student loan debit. They need forgiveness on the principle of the loan.

    This is a fucking joke.

  4. 7

    Michael spews:

    The notion promulgated by some conservatives that all debts must be repaid no matter is an aberration

    It’s certainly not what they do.

  5. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    A federal judge has ruled that North Carolina’s Republican legislators can’t harass women who want legal abortions.

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Personally, I think if GOP legislators want to do this sort of thing, they should be required to compensate their victims for post traumatic stress disorder.

  6. 10

    proud leftist spews:

    2, 5
    It’s a step in the right direction. Obama, given the House, has few other options. I’ll give him credit for at least recognizing the looming crisis. Let the Rs begin their assault upon him for taking this small step.

  7. 11

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 7

    Oh yeah, they regularly skip out on hotel bills, restaurant bills, printers bills. I know a screenprinter in Seattle that is owed nearly $6500 by the Washington State GOP and they have told him IN SO MANY WORDS, that they will not pay him, and he should just fuck off. They have blown him off for over three years now.

    The GOP is rich, because they are mostly thieves, grifters, perjurists and traitors. They sell our enemies weapons, and then charge the costs to the American Taxpayers.

    GOP, The new Fascist Party.

  8. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 I have Republican friends, and when I go to lunch with them, we always eat in a classy place and they never let me pay for my lunch. And we all know many rich Republicans give millions to charitable causes (such as funding symphonies and campus buildings). In my experience, Republicans are generous to a fault with the money they stole from us. I’m not defending them, I’m simply pointing out they believe in spending what they take.

  9. 13

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 12 RR

    Thats the point. THEY DON’T PAY THEIR FUCKING BILLS. Your “friends” are spending money, but how many bartenders did they stiff in the process? How many dine and dashes did they do? How many small shop printers, webmasters, tailors and limo services did they rob along the way?

    Its practically universal.

  10. 14


    This is karma. Fleabagger and freebagger democrats derided the tea party protests, and now that they are protesting themselves, they are getting some karma coming back around on them.

    I’m loving every minute of this!

  11. 16


    Wed Oct 26, 2011 at 07:02 AM PDT.

    Income for top one percent ‘grew by 275 percent’ in the past 28 years

    by Laura Clawson for Daily Kos Labor.

    The Congressional Budget Office has officially confirmed what we already knew: the income distribution has been getting more unequal in recent decades. A new report (PDF) on changes in the distribution of income from 1979 to 2007 shows that average income for the top 1 percent “grew by 275 percent between 1979 and 2007.” In the same time period, the rest of the top 20 percent saw their average income grow by 65 percent. Those in the middle—60 percent of Americans—had average income growth of just under 40 percent. And, of course, the 20 percent with the lowest income saw the smallest income growth between 1979 and 2007, at just 18 percent.

    THIS is what the stupid fucking “troll” is defending?


  12. 19


    Wednesday, October 26, 2011
    Egyptian statement of solidarity for Occupy Wall Street

    By Matt Browner Hamlin on 10/26/2011 09:15:00 AM

    This is a truly remarkable and captivating statement of solidarity from activists in Cairo towards the Occupy Wall Street movement. Not shockingly, it’s one of the most lucid descriptions of what this movement is about and why occupation is necessary. Here’s an excerpt:

    An entire generation across the globe has grown up realizing, rationally and emotionally, that we have no future in the current order of things. Living under structural adjustment policies and the supposed expertise of international organizations like the World Bank and IMF, we watched as our resources, industries and public services were sold off and dismantled as the “free market” pushed an addiction to foreign goods, to foreign food even. The profits and benefits of those freed markets went elsewhere, while Egypt and other countries in the South found their immiseration reinforced by a massive increase in police repression and torture.

    The current crisis in America and Western Europe has begun to bring this reality home to you as well: that as things stand we will all work ourselves raw, our backs broken by personal debt and public austerity. Not content with carving out the remnants of the public sphere and the welfare state, capitalism and the austerity-state now even attack the private realm and people’s right to decent dwelling as thousands of foreclosed-upon homeowners find themselves both homeless and indebted to the banks who have forced them on to the streets.

    So we stand with you not just in your attempts to bring down the old but to experiment with the new. We are not protesting. Who is there to protest to? What could we ask them for that they could grant? We are occupying. We are reclaiming those same spaces of public practice that have been commodified, privatized and locked into the hands of faceless bureaucracy , real estate portfolios, and police ‘protection’. Hold on to these spaces, nurture them, and let the boundaries of your occupations grow. After all, who built these parks, these plazas, these buildings? Whose labor made them real and livable? Why should it seem so natural that they should be withheld from us, policed and disciplined? Reclaiming these spaces and managing them justly and collectively is proof enough of our legitimacy.

    The full statement from Cairo is posted on

  13. 21


    (h/t Digby’s Hullabaloo)

    AlterNet / By Joshua Holland

    The Stunning Victory That Occupy Wall Street Has Already Achieved

    In just one month, the protesters have shifted the national dialogue from a relentless focus on the deficit to a discussion of the real issues facing Main Street.

    October 26, 2011 |

    � Occupy Wall Street has already achieved a stunning victory – a victory that is easy to overlook, but impossible to overstate. In just one month, the protesters have shifted the national dialogue from a relentless focus on the deficit to a discussion of the real issues facing Main Street: the lack of jobs — and especially jobs with decent benefits — spiraling inequality, cash-strapped American families’ debt-loads, and the pernicious influence of money in politics that led us to this point.

    To borrow the loosely defined terms that define the Occupy movement, these ordinary citizens have shifted the conversation away from what the “1 percent” — the corporate right and its dedicated media, network of think-tanks and PR shops — want to talk about and, notably, paid good money to get us to talk about.

    Peter G. Peterson, a Wall Street mogul and Nixon administration cabinet member, has reportedly dedicated a billion dollars of his fortune to the effort since the 1980s. How successful have he and his fellow travelers been? In 2009, the Washington Post came under fire for running an article – in its news section, not its opinion pages – written by Peterson’s Fiscal Times, which the watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting described as “a propaganda outlet … [formed] to promote cuts in Social Security and other entitlement programs.” (It was Peterson Foundation employees, among those from other outside groups, who staffed Obama’s “bipartisan deficit commission.”)

    About fucking time.

  14. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @16 This is what the protests are all about.

    Where did the wealthy get all that money? From us, of course, because they’re certainly not the ones doing all the work — they don’t work. How do you keep them from taking your money?

    One way is don’t buy their stuff — be a non-consumer. That’s what I’ve done for 40 years; I don’t have a houseful of “stuff”; instead, I have a house that I own, and no bank owns me.

    But it’s grown increasingly difficult to keep the wealthy out of your wallet because they’re onto this tactic and have enlisted government to take your money and give it to them. This is done by forcing you to pay taxes to pay for things the government buys from them. Or, sometimes, they don’t have have to sell anything to the government; they simply eliminate that step and “elect” politicians who hand subsidies and cash payments to them in return for nothing of value to taxpayers.

    Everyone knows the game is rigged and the rich are trying to rig it even more. The latest permutation is to make the wealth-transfer-under-guise-of-government process more efficient by eliminating taxes on the rich altogether while further expanding corporate welfare, which will accelerate the transfer of money from workers to coupon clippers. Trust me, if they get their “Fair Tax” or Perry’s “postcard tax,” government spending will accelerate (as will working- and middle-class tax rates) to hasten this wealth transfer. They don’t want to wait 50 years to get All The Money In The World (TM); they want to reach this goal as quickly as possible.

  15. 24


    When Republicans are elected, they are elected upon lies (e.g., 2010 promise of jobs). Republicans have not offered even one bill that addresses the problem of jobs. This is a long-standing Republican strategy — to promise and then do nothing or the opposite of what they promised.

    All elected Republican officials are false and have no real authority beyond what police power can extort. Conservative supreme court justices are illegitimate as well since they were confirmed upon their lies before the Senate. This is easily proveable.

  16. 25

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 11: First rule of providing any goods or service to a political party or campaign: get paid up front. If they really need the goods or for you to do the service, they will find the money to pay you – perhaps in a loan to the campaign fund by the candidate or his/her principle backers. If they aren’t willing to pay you up front, it’s a sign that they think they won’t have the money to pay you at all.

    After the election, nobody has any reason to pay you. Your recourse is usually against a campaign entity which is saddled with other debt and no assets, quite a lot of the debt to the candidate themselves. Fundraisers to retire old campaign debt usually just give the funds back to the candidate in repayment of those loans.

  17. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Police are escalating their use of force and arrests against Occupy protesters. This is a mistake. Once a government starts down the path of violently repressing a protest movement, the protests inevitably grow more militant, gather support and strength, and change their demands from reform to regime change. In Libya,Gadhafi was doomed the moment he began shooting peaceful demonstrations; Assad in Syria, who took the same path, is next. Repression doesn’t break resistance, it hardens it. How many police states can you think of that have survived? They all fall sooner or later.

    Ultimately, the only way you can get protesters off the streets is by buying them off. Intelligent authoritarians are always prepared to give some of their loot back to the people they stole it from. They do this the same way the car industry markets rebates: When you charge people $2,500 extra for a $2,000, they’re all happy to get the $2,000, and most are none the wiser. You can keep this up forever. So, too, a kleptocracy can stay in power indefinitely — and even maintain a facade of legitimacy — by providing “free” education and health care, patronage jobs, etc., to the critical elements of the populace (i.e., those likely and able to rebel). See, e.g., the Saudi government. (Women don’t get as much royal largesse because, frankly, they’re not a potential threat — hell, they don’t even know how to drive!)

    America’s kleptocracy probably could have kept this scam going a lot longer if they had adhered to the old system their fathers perfected in the 1950s and 1960s: Charge students $100,000 of a degree they need to make a halfway decent living, but give back $80,000 in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study jobs, interest subsidies, and loan forgiveness. (Notice the ratio is exactly the same as with new-car rebates; that 4:1 ratio seems to be the magic number for making systematic theft sustainable.) But when baby boomers inherited the theft machine built by their fathers and grandfathrs, they got greedy, and tried to take it all at once. Now, the whole edifice is coming apart. The fable about a guy chasing a goose that lays golden eggs with an axe comes to mind.

    Where is this all going? Well, as I’ve said before, that trillion dollars of student loans won’t all be paid back. The kleptos will take a haircut. Now all we’re doing is bargaining over how much.

    Full Disclosure: Roger Rabbit repaid all of his student loans in full, but that was years ago when they were merely loans (at reasonable interest rates), before college education was reconfigured into lifetime indentured servitude.*

    * The banksters got greedy about that, too; in the old days, you were enslaved for only 10 to 20 years, then gained full ownership of your income and your soul; now they want to turn young people into bonded servants for life. Who wouldn’t rebel when everything has been taken from them and they have nothing left to lose? The way you get people to let you enslave them is to give them a cut of what you take from them. That’s how the American system worked for generations until greedy baby-boom generation kleptos came along and ruined a good thing.

  18. 27

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’m old enough to remember when a “high” interest rate on loans was 6%, and the usury rate was 12%. Then came the 1980’s, and in the name of “making credit more available to those that need it”, usury rates dissapered. My own APR from that period rolled over to 16% right before I got rid of my condo (I’ll never do an APR again), and credit card interest rates have risen to upwards of 30%.

    Now that the fed has lowered interest rates to virtually nothing, banks are continuing to loan hoard cash. Mortgage rates are still at near-record lows (in the 4% range) – if you can get one. Most banks are continuing to hold the cash in the hopes that they can lend it out at higher rates on credit cards with huge interest rates, or that mortgage rates will rise higher.

    I was surprised when I was reading about Robert Morris and the financing during the American Revolution. It seems that unsecured notes backed only by the full faith and credit of the Continental Congress (which had no authority to tax) bore interest rates ranging from 4% to 7-1/2%. At the time, lending money to the U.S. goverment was probably one of the riskiest financial ventures one could imagine. And these interest rates were very controversial, as the farmers who made up most of the population thought it outrageous that the note-buyers should be paid so much for performing no real labor.

  19. 31

    Michael spews:

    So, it turns out chasing a cop with a shovel is a bad idea. Who knew?

    A Royal City Police officer is on paid administrative leave pending investigation of Monday’s officer-involved shooting.

    Ofc. R. Rodriguez answered a possible domestic violence assault call at 200 Hemlock Ave. at 5:10 p.m. that led to probable cause to arrest Pedro Salgado Ceja, 45.

    Ceja resisted and wielded a shovel, chasing Rodriguez on foot. He ordered Ceja to drop the shovel, but witnesses say he did not comply. Rodriguez fired six rounds from his sidearm into Ceja’s torso.

  20. 32


    re 30: Political parties in the U.S. who lose their social utility have historically been abolished and new ones with better ideas take their place.

    Yep — another conservative with a big mouth who shoots from the hip — all hat and no cattle — in the parlance of the day.

    ‘Mission Accomplished’? — not until Obama took the reins.

  21. 34

    Michael spews:

    Dang, that’s a lot of crows and money.;emc=rss
    Every fall, as many as 100,000 American crows choose to winter in this pleasant city of 60,000. It is believed that they are drawn to the closeness of the Wabash River, the bright warmth of the streetlamps, the variety of the cuisine. A hearty lunch in a rustic cornfield setting, followed, perhaps, by a light dinner at one of the city’s finer Dumpsters.

    But Terre Haute would rather shed its distinction as a winter resort for discerning crows — one shared by Auburn, N.Y., and Lancaster, Pa., among other cities. That is why it has created a Crow Patrol, with a mandate to enforce a kind of avian nimbyism.

    Murders of crows, and that is the term, have mugged the quality of life here. If they roost in your trees, their mess will cover your property and their racket will disturb your evenings; you will run, not walk, from door to car. And if they bless your restaurant, bank, or church with their presence and droppings, money is lost, faith tested.

    Two winters ago, Union Hospital spent more than $100,000 to clean up after crows, an effort that included power-washing the parking lots. Last year, a crew shoveled 4,000 pounds of crow droppings from the roof of a building used by the Clabber Girl baking powder company. Trees have been chopped down. Recorded crow-distress calls have been played. Debates have raged between those who love all God’s creatures and those who say the only good crow is a crow that has ceased to be.

  22. 36


    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Oakland cops shoot Iraq vet in head; fractured skull, swollen brain, critical condition (OWS)

    By Matt Browner Hamlin on 10/26/2011 04:21:00 PM

    NOTE FROM JOHN: And when his friends went to try to help the man, who was now lying still on the ground after having suffered a fractured skull and a swollen brain apparently from the recent police attack, the cops attacked again, throwing an explosive device into the middle of the group helping the fallen man, in order to disperse them.

    Beyond sickening.

    This is truly sickening and maddening. First, Oakland police shot Scott Olsen, an Iraq War vet and #OccupyOakland demonstrator, in the head with a “non-lethal” projectile, likely a tear gas canister or flash grenade. Scott is now in critical condition, being treated for a fractured skull and swollen brain. He and his family are in my thoughts. From the Guardian:

    Jay Finneburgh, a photographer who was covering the protest, published pictures of Olsen lying on the ground.

    “This poor guy was right behind me when he was hit in the head with a police projectile. He went down hard and did not get up,” Finneburgh wrote.

    “I’m just absolutely devastated that someone who did two tours of Iraq and came home safely is now lying in a US hospital because of the domestic police force,” Carpenter said.

    To make matters worse, while Occupy Oakland demonstrators were rushing to his aid to give him medical treatment and get him away from ongoing tear gas clouds, a member of the Oakland police department then threw a tear gas canister into the crowd that had gathered around him. More from the Guardian:

    Video footage published to YouTube shows Olsen lying prone on the ground infront of a line of police. Around 10 people gather around him in an apparent attempt to provide aid, before a police officer throws an explosive device into their midst, scattering the group. Footage captured after the explosion, which appears to be from a flash bang grenade, shows Olsen being carried away by a group of people.

    This was a peaceful demonstration of men and women of all ages…American Citizens…excercising their First Amendment Rights. Shame on the City of Oakland.

    Oh…and here’s THIS:

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    When GOPers brought military rifles to Obama rallies the police didn’t do a thing

    By John Aravosis (DC) on 10/26/2011 05:01:00 PM

    A friend writes:

    Seems like we’re taking it on the chin in lots of ways, small (Seattle police shining flashlights in campers’ tents all night long asking “are you OK?” to keep them awake) and large (NYC beatings, oakland tear gas). Dan Savage has a post up that an MSNBC anchor actually said that oakland police fired tear gas canisters to “calm the crowd”. How calming.

    I know that the Supreme Court has said the First Amendment isn’t absolute–the famous “time, place, and manner” restrictions apply to the exercise of free speech. But my feeling lately is less indulgent:
    We either have a right to assemble, speak, and petition for a redress of grievances… or we don’t. which is it? especially when it’s taking place all across the country.

    I don’t know. Maybe in each case there was some serious problem developing, but it seems like it’s just stupidity and sometimes it seems like it’s unconstitutional abuse by police. The media aren’t talking about it in any way except to show the pictures.

    When the tea partiers had their assault weapons at Obama rallies, and were protesting en masse, police didn’t do a damn thing. (Not that they should have, but by comparison, the occupiers are less dangerous by and large than those assault rifle-toting idiots.)

    Maybe I’m off-kilter here? am i being too sensitive? the cumulative impact of it all is starting to make me pretty upset.

  23. 37

    rhp6033 spews:

    Among the many things wrong with Perry’s tax plan is that is would result in an incredible reduction in income to the federal budget – becuase under his plan, you could pick either the current system or his new system, whichever one requires the taxpayer to pay the least amount of money.

    Of course, that would explode the federal deficit, which Perry and other GOPers were proclaiming to be the primary problem just a few months ago. Never fear! He says he will simply reduce the federal budget to 18% of GDP!

    How will he do that? Well, Perry says the Social Security and Medicare are off the table. He doesn’t say so, but the military will also be off the table – because it always is during every Republican administration over the last sixty years or so. You also can’t touch payment on the federal debt.

    In fact, there isn’t enough money left in the remaining budget to meet the massive tax cut he is proposing. Even the IRS, presumably charged with collecting the income, would have no budget with which to do so. Federal law enforcement, courts, food & safety inspections, air traffic controlers, etc. would all have to be laid off.

  24. 39

    Michael spews:

    Sales of previously built single-family homes plunged in July to their lowest level since May 1995 as job fears trumped low mortgage interest rates and relatively affordable home prices.

    Sales of existing single-family homes, condominiums and townhouses fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday.

    That’s a 27.2 percent drop from June, about twice as much as analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expected. That’s also a 25.5 percent drop from the same time a year ago. The sales of all these housing types combined was the lowest since the group started tracking the numbers in 1999.

    The results, which measure only completed purchase transactions, are well below what experts who track the market projected.

    Sounds like we need new ‘experts.’

  25. 41

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 36:

    “I know that the Supreme Court has said the First Amendment isn’t absolute–the famous “time, place, and manner” restrictions apply to the exercise of free speech.”

    While free speach can be somewhat regulated, it cannot be so regulated as to be ineffective. What has changed is that the system is set up to render free speech ineffective, as long as it is against the entrenched interests (i.e., Wall Street, other financial behomoths, and the G.O.P.)

    1. Actual free speech was unconstitutionally curtailed during the Bush administration. Anyone deemed to display a position not pre-approved by the administration was removed from public meetings and detained, protestors were confined to “free speech zones” hemmed in by wire fences and suitably out of the sight of anyone who the protests sought to address; etc.

    2. The control over the media has stiffled coverage of any real or effective free speech, in the ordinary sense. The traditional MSM has been gagged by attacks by the right, rendering it capable of little more than “he said, they said” substituting for real reporting. Fox News has become the unabashed propoganda arm of the Republican Party, representing special interests. Against this backdrop you have Fox News and the other media giving outsize coverage of the tea party rallies containing only a couple hundred people and lasting little more than an hour, yet giving little notice of protests by thousands of people, until they continue their protests for weeks.

    3. The role of money in politics has rendered free speech, and public opinion and voting, a mere formality. Only those who are approved by the special interests get coverage and advertising as a “legitimate canditate”, and once elected their votes are already secured by promises made to their special-interest contributors and for money expected to be received in subsequent fundraising.

    Against this backdrop, having a protest march followed by a few speeches and then dispersal will merit little more than 15 seconds on the local news. Anything more, however, will render it more than the special interests and GOP can conveniently ignore, and also fall afoul of the “time, manner, and place” restrictions. The conflict is inevitable. But so it is any revolution – you have to be ready to fight if you want to win.

    The special interests and the GOP have been at war against the little guy for the past 30+ years. It’s time we recognized it, and started fighting back.

  26. 42

    ArtFart spews:

    It seems Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Redneckistan) has been bloviating about doing away entirely with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, and an editorial run this morning by Reuters enthusiastically agrees. Apparently having exhausted the existing supply of suckers, Wall Street and its Capitol Hill army of lackeys is out to force the rest of us–even those with the resources to make a substantial down payment and commit to shelling out a hefty (but constant) amount per month–to become “debtcroppers” living under a sword of Damocles while others place bets on whether or not they can raise our payments high enough to force us to the curb. The rationale, it seems, is that it imposes an undue hardship on banks (oh, the horror…the horror!) to follow a business plan that isn’t predicated on maximizing the quarterly fast buck.

    Now, think about that argument the next time you’re going over your 401(k) statement or rechecking the terms of your life insurance policy.

  27. 43

    Michael spews:

    October 20, 2011

    “Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    “Today’s hearing will examine the pros and cons of the Federal government continuing to subsidize the 30-year, fixed rate mortgage. During the Great Depression, the Federal government established Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration to directly and indirectly subsidize 30-year, fixed rate mortgages. For many Americans, the 30-year fixed mortgage has made homeownership possible.

    “Yet, the failure of Fannie and Freddie and the $169 billion dollar bailout of those institutions demonstrate that the Federal government’s support for the 30-year mortgage comes with a cost.

    Read more:

    Not properly regulating the finical system comes with a cost. We were doing alright (although I do think the 30 year mortgage turns people into debit slaves) until we deiced that banks didn’t need regulated.

  28. 44

    Blue John spews:

    I liked this quote.
    “I am reasonably certain that Jesus would not respond to the poor and unemployed with shouts of “Get a job!””

    What would troll or puddy shout?

  29. 45

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @36 If Mr. Olsen survives, but has to spend the rest of his life in a nursing home, the City of Oakland is looking at legal liability in the neighborhood of $5 to $10 million. (Which is pin money to health nsurance CEOs.)

  30. 46

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Biker gangs are catching up to the times. In Santa Cruz, California, two rival gangs fought with ball peen hammers over the right to hang out in a Starbucks.

  31. 47

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @37 “Federal law enforcement, courts, food & safety inspections, air traffic controlers, etc. would all have to be laid off.”

    That’s already happening in states, where Republicans’ refusal to pay for public services is resulting in dangerous criminals being loosed to the streets. But the rich don’t care because they have their gated communities.

  32. 50

    ArtFart spews:

    @43 Whaddaya mean “we”????

    We have precious little to do with it. The big (and I mean big)-money interests have bought and paid for the Congress, the state legislators, the governors, the judges and at least a 40% share of each of the last half dozen Presidents. They’ve rewritten the laws (or at least the interpretations thereof) so that it’s theoretically legal for mega-corporations to commit acts of grand larceny, loan sharking, fraud, gambling and extortion that make the Mafia look like a bunch of kindergartners.

  33. 51


    29 – You can’t abolish the Republican party..

    Otherwise the asshat @ 30 can’t vote for anyone save the odd losertarian or tea bagging nutjob running as an “independent”…

    Now it’s a separate question if this is a bad thing…