60 Minutes Looked Like the Old 60 Minutes Last Night

I remember the good old days when the scariest thing in the world to any business not doing the right thing was Mike Douglas Wallace (fixed: LOL, Mike Douglas would show up at businesses and sing Danke Schoen) showing up at your door asking to talk to you on camera.  It was like Ex Lax for scum bags the way it would make them shit their pants to have those hot lights exposing their malfeasance, greed, or actual crimes.  So many sweaty upper lips on my TV in those days.

Last night 60 Minutes aired a report done with the Washington Post that exposed how Congress, at the behest of large pharmaceutical distributors not only looked the other way as opioids numbed and devoured swaths of America, they lobbied to change the law to take tools away from the DEA to go after these legal drug pushers.

In April 2016, at the height of the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history, Congress effectively stripped the Drug Enforcement Administration of its most potent weapon against large drug companies suspected of spilling prescription narcotics onto the nation’s streets.

Two of the key Congressshits in this effort were Pennsylvania Representative Tom Marino, who Trump has hilariously nominated to run the DEA.   The DEA!!! That nomination died last night, just like the good old days of 60 Minutes.  Sen. Manchin has asked Trump to rescind the nomination.  If it was anybody but Trump the super embarrassing and totally swampy nomination would have been scuttled by the end of the hour last night, but no, it’s Trump.

The other piece of crap that this should have serious consequences for is Tennessee Congressman Marcia Blackburn, whose own state is in the middle of the crisis.  She wants to run for Bob Corker’s seat.  That effort should be effectively dead, however, these are Republicans we’re talking about, so….

This report is all about the swamp, the real swamp that Trump and his followers have no earthly clue about, where big business captures regulatory agencies, and now even law enforcement, by buying professionals who worked at those agencies, who know their ins and outs, making them high paid whore lobbyists and handing out both campaign cash to Congressshits and holding out those oh so cushy lobby jobs to both them and their staff members.   This is the swamp that keeps government working for people and greases its wheels for the well healed, well connected and generally immoral.

This is like the American version of how the Colombian cocaine cartels bought the politicians and law enforcement that were supposed to be on the side of the people.  Huge, publicly traded corporations use every asset they have to make it easier to do business with no legal or regulatory impediments, no matter how immoral and harmful their products or actions.  Amazing how many good Christians, who incidentally are very tough on drugs, worked to make it easier for their constituents to get, get hooked on and die of these powerfully addictive heroin derivatives.

All legal.  Not even remotely humane or moral.

Republican Operating Procedure is to Pee on America’s Bed to Get Back at Dems

Bush did it too.  When they came in it was all about “we’re not the Clintons”.  The Clintons were worried about bin Laden, well we’re not, watch this drive!!  It was bad.

Trump imagines he’s peeing on Obama’s bed with his ACA destruction and Iran Deal dashing, but no, he’s peeing all over our collective bedsheets.  As Brian Beutler notes:

It is well-documented that Trump is consumed by his vendetta against Barack Obama. “It’s his only real position,” one top European diplomat told Buzzfeed earlier this year. “He will ask: ‘Did Obama approve this?’ And if the answer is affirmative, he will say: ‘We don’t.’”

Republicans shit the bed when they nominated this “fucking moron” and he thinks he’s so clever by befouling it further.  Can we just all get together to push these people out of power and get rational government back?  And if we can pee on their beds so much the better, but really, that’s not even important.

Evidence the Great Recession Was Worse Than the Great Depression

My conclusion as a non-economist, but watcher of society is that the actual downturn may not have been as bad as 1929-1932, but the actions taken to meet that challenge were a lot more active, fulsome, hearty and sincere under FDR.  The workers were put first and all sorts of actions were taken for them, that didn’t happen in 2008-now.  Unions were empowered, minimum wage created, government expanded jobs instead of contracting them, social security enacted instead of threatened and “modified” (ie., cut back), etc., etc., etc.

9th Circuit Says There’s No Right to Sell Firearms – Twist!

Interesting ruling from the 9th circuit that will undoubtedly be pushed up the chain to the Supremes, but really, can they reverse this? Based on the words of 2nd Amendment? Who knows what Gorsuch and crew are disingenuously capable of.

In the meantime, blue states should treat this like red states create ridiculously burdensome TRAP laws to close women’s healthcare clinics. This decision says go ahead and regulate gun sellers anywhich way you want. Raise the licensing requirements, force them to purchase crushing levels of liability insurance, make them raise their floors and lower their ceilings and have to have bathroom facilities for elephants. It doesn’t matter how nonsensical it is.

Whats good for the goose is good for the goose strangling State regulatory scheme.

Not That Worried About Big Brother

Every day a new story of hacks – Yahoo, Equifax, etc. – whereby my PERSONAL information was “compromised” (i.e. stolen). But it was stolen along with a billion other people.  It may be excessively philosophical but if you’ve stolen a billion identities have you really stolen any?

I’m not getting a gun because my crazy racist neighbor has one and I’m not changing my passwords every time some massive global entity gets electronically violated by 400 pound guys sitting on their bed.  It’s bad enough my bank panics seemingly every six months and sends me new ATM cards to the point where I can’t have any ongoing monthly charges.  I’ve grown weary if updating your payment information NY Times!!

Of course I find it unnerving when I do a Google search for lawn care and start getting adds for Scotts Grass Seed on every page I go to.  Not to worry, I’m going to buy some pants at Duluth Trading and then the Scotts ads will be replaced by Duluth ads.  That kind of internet trolling by cookie is so commonplace we don’t think about it.  Big Brother supposedly knows everything we do and (hit the) like (button).

But they don’t!! I am actually heartened by the truly bad information that I keep receiving by e-mail.

Example 1:

My Congressman (R-Ovaltine in Human Form) Leonard Lance sent me an e-mail starting like this:

“Dear Bryan:  We know you”re pro-life.”

Dear Leonard: you know nothing about me.

If my Congressman thinks I’m pro-life then he surely isn’t getting any “intelligence” from any reliable sources.  I’m sure Yahoo, Equifax and my bank know I’m not pro-life and it’s not like that comes up on your credit report.  Of all of his constituents, I’m probably the most open book about these things and so clearly neither Leonard Lance or any of his crack staff reads this blog, or has ever Googled his name and hit upon our humble “thoughtstablishment”.  His office clearly does not actually possess information on who in his district would be pleased with his vote on a 20-week abortion ban, which strikes one as political malpractice, especially considering that it’s a pretty 50-50 district getting younger, browner and more progressive every day.  It’s kind of political malpractice to vote for a 20-week abortion ban in New Jersey to begin with.  So, okay, my oatmeal-like Congressman made a statistically dubious assumption with absolutely no data to back it up, and trumpeted it out like a loud wet fart during the quiet portion of a symphony at the Met.  The good news is the system is stupid, it doesn’t know shit.

Example 2.

ESPN sent me this missive:

“Hey Bryan, you like hockey, right?”

So if my rotting bruised Macintosh apple at the bottom of a supermarket display bucket Congressman doesn’t know anything about me, that’s pretty bad but understandable.  But ESPN?  ESPN is a massive telecommunications organization (owned by a massiver telecommunications organization) that I actually use A LOT!  I watch their programming almost everyday.  I go to their web sites pretty much everyday I have access to the internet and electricity  (which is every day since Super Storm Sandy).  They’re in the business of knowing what I like.  It’s their web site that hits me with the Scotts and Duluth ads fer cryin’ out loud!

Granted they just asked the question “Hey Bryan, you like hockey right?” but the inference in the question is that “we know you like hockey and we’re contacting you to let you know that we have hockey you’re going to like.”  Again, you know nothing of my work ESPN.

No, I don’t like hockey and I’ve never given ESPN the slightest bit of a whiff of an inkling of a notion that I did.  I have not lead ESPN on in this regard.   My sports viewing and web surfing  record is clear on this.  Never have I watched a hockey game on ESPN or searched for hockey scores, or the hockey standings or clicked on even one stupid story about stupid hockey.  My affection for hockey is rivaled only by my great fervency for the pro life position in that both are represented by absolutely zero devotion!  The closest I come to pay any attention to hockey whatsoever is my passionate use of  maple syrup on pancakes and pork belly.  And I do not ever profess that endearment on ESPN, ever, so there’s not room for error here.

The massive global telecommunications behemoth is stupid too.  It too doesn’t know shit, even though I’ve told them so much.

I suppose it’s like what Mrs. Polislice says to me all the time “you hear me but you’re not listening” where I’m trying to listen to her latest story about a conversation with a person I really don’t know or care about, but my attention is split (probably with ESPN). So when she quizzes me on the conversation, and she will, I kind of know the big picture (I’m very confident in my ability to multitask) but the details that she demands I know (why?), elude me.  Like me, companies pretend that they’re listening but collate information in a haphazard way, with no real care to what’s coming in, and so it gets spewed out in the same indiscriminate way.

So no, I do not yet fear Big Brother.  But if I get an e-mail tomorrow like this:

Hey Bryan, you like maple syrup, right?

I’m buying a gun!

When C-SPAN Subtly Becomes Comedy Central

The Monopoly Man showed up to the Equifax Senate hearing.  And got in every shot of the former CEO testifying as to how Equifax blew million’s of people’s personal information.  Hope some Senator asked why they exist at all.

Monopoly Man 59d508f82d000097173089f5

Mr. Moneybags was there to draw attention to Equifax’s get-out-of-jail-free card, otherwise known as forced arbitration.  Another one of the massive scams that business has foisted on American citizens.  When right wingers talk about tort reform, the Chamber of Commerce’s grand scheme to save big business billions in legal costs when they screw up and harm the public, the appropriate response is to point out that forced arbitration already de facto achieves the goal by forcing consumers to accept arbitration.