Archive for the Blue States / Red States Category

Title III –> Chapter 17:  Bankrupt States . . . Going Bankrupt (May 1, 2017)

Posted in Bankruptcy, Blue States / Red States, Canada, Cartoon Reference, Climate, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Kleptocracy, Pensions, Supreme Court on May 1, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Who thought the bricks would crumble.  The fifty brick house may not survive politically and will not endure economically.”

J          “The state of the states is dismal and abysmal.  When municipalities fold or water districts dry up, some interior curtain walls are dismantled and the curtains and furniture are sold.  Yet they are all just political subdivisions of the state, not a state itself.  Until recently, interior curtain walls were relieved whereas now the exterior load bearing walls are under stress.”

K          “Pick a metric.  If you input a realistic rate of return in calculating the solvency of state pension funds, most of them are not only under water, they are drowned with no chance of resuscitation or c.p.r.”

. . .

K          “Puerto Rico is the canary in the coal mine, the guinea pig and the alpha testing ground.  Congress concocted Title III’ as part of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) that imports many of the notions of bankruptcy law to address the island’s insolvency.”

J          “Up north, the HealthCare of Ontario Pension Fund directed funds it may not have to bail out the Toronto-based Home Capital Group for investments it never should have made.”

K          “That seems to be some type of capitalistic synergistic entropy.”

. . .

K          “On this Law Day, we should consider drafting and crafting a ‘Chapter 17’ provision to allow a state to file bankruptcy and write the next chapter in the Bankruptcy Code and American polity.  A PROMESA on steroids for the states.”

J          “The legislation may attract bipartisan support because half of the seriously distressed states are ‘red’ states and half of the seriously depressed states are ‘blue’ states.”

K          “Alaska, Kentucky, South Carolina and Louisiana counterbalance Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York among the states that are going.  Going states need some way to go.”

. . .

K          “State supreme court justices use their position and power to advance their economic interests and protect their pensions.  In the court across the street, federal bankruptcy court judges will be forced to distribute a smaller sum of money in a more equitable and efficient manner to all citizens.”

J          “This Republic had such great promise.”

. . . 

[See the discussion of the Peoples Climate March for climate, jobs and justice in “Climate March Draws Thousands of Protesters Alarmed by Trump’s Environmental Agenda” in “The New York Times” by Nicholas Fandos dated April 29, 2017, “Climate March draws massive crowd to D.C. in sweltering heat” by Chris Mooney, Joe Heim and Brady Dennis in “The Washington Post” dated April 29, 2017 and yesterday’s Doonesbury cartoon.]

[See the e-commentary at “Pensions and Other Entitlements: Pt. 1 (April 14, 2008)”, “Pensions and Other Entitlements: Pt. 2 (April 28, 2008)”, “Outsourcing Pensions? (Sept. 7, 2009)”, “Pensions, Conflicts Of Interest And The Illinois Supreme Court (June 1, 2015)”, “May Day (May 1, 2006)” and other e-commentary under the Category on “Pensions.”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Chapter 17 – Coming to a state near you

The United States dominates the world not because it is a “City Upon a Hill” but because it shoots, and shoots regularly, from the top on the hill.

The E-pocalypse:  My Fellow Americans, Our Long National Nightmare Is Beginning (November 14, 2016)

Posted in Blue States / Red States, Clinton, Democrats, FBI, Journalism, Newspapers, Pogo Plight, Presidency, Press/Media, Radio, Republicans, Trumpi, Voting, War and Wall Street Party on November 14, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The national political stage is now showcasing a burlesque reality show with America’s Silvio Berlusconi at center stage.  Donaldo Trumpi.”

J          “If you want to be the laughingstock of the world, you need a fool to make ‘em laugh.”

K          “And to fool them.  Washington has devolved into Rome, so the populace might as well coronate Nero to oversee the cesspool.”         

J          “Circuses and bread . . . and Trump.  P.T. Barnum would be amused.  He only took the peoples’ money and yet gave them a spectacle in return.  The people soon will see that Trump will take their dreams and give them nothing.”

. . .

K          “Post Trumpatic Stress Disorder (PTpSD) is haunting three cohorts this week.  The reflective Bernie supporters who voted for Trump or others in protest are stupefied.  The disconnected voters who did not want Trump in the White House but could not vote for Clinton and were confident she would win are horrified.  And those who simply cannot accept Trump in the White House are terrified.”

J          “We need to adopt a provision from consumer protection statutes to allow voters to reconsider their decisions within seventy-two hours.” 

. . .

K          “I thought the ‘e-pocalypse’ would be an economic apocalypse not an election apocalypse.”

J          “Don’t panic.  That is coming.”

. . .

K          “Trump is the only candidate who Clinton could beat.  Clinton is the only candidate who Trump could beat.  The rules were written so that the voters could not vote for both of them to lose at the same time.  Someone was forced to win.”

J          “In a nation with millions and millions and millions of potential candidates, the number ‘n’ candidate and the number ‘n – 1’ candidate were engaged.  Long before the election, however, the Democrats elected to lose with Clinton rather than to win with Sanders.”

. . .

K          “For the last few months, I could see something bubbling in the background and hovering on the horizon.  The media were trapped in a bubble.  The Clinton campaign was trapped in a bubble.  Neither had an air vent to the real world.  The double bubble was leading to trouble for Clinton.”

J          “An old boy once told me that you should never breathe your own fumes.”

. . .

J          “The decision by the FBI director James Comey to revive the inquiry into Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server was a factor that caused her to lose.  He should be indicted.”

K          “The system is so corrupt that the FBI director can do anything and is above the law.  Only the poor and downtrodden get indicted in America.”

J          “The successful efforts by Republicans in some of the battleground states to purge their voting roles had an impact that needs to be analyzed with care.”

. . .

K          “Madeline Albright’s threat that women who do not vote for Clinton will find a place in Hell did not play well.  Too many citizens are already living a hellish existence.  Telling someone that you have no choice except to capitulate to a candidate rubbed many the wrong way.  Voting the opposite way is the only way to proclaim one’s freedom and independence.”

J          “And worth.  The simple truth is that many uneducated white males were threatened by and unwilling to vote for an educated white female.  I told others to disregard her smug, privileged, arrogant and sanctimonious attitude and vote for someone who is at least somewhat stable.”

K          “Romney’s disdain and dismissal of the ‘47 percent’ in 2012 before a private gathering of old White boys played a decisive role in his defeat.  Why Clinton decided gratuitously to take a page from his play book, disparage the ‘deplorables’ in public and leave voters wondering whether they were worthy of voting for her is stupefying.”

J          “And stupid.  There is no other word for it.  She spent time in Arizona and Georgia seeking to win by a landslide but was unaware of how the tectonic plates had shifted under her.  She never even went to Wisconsin to touch base with the folks.  All she had to do was listen to one legitimate grievance and show some empathy.  Every newspaper in the Badger State would have covered the trip.  Some attention to Michigan and Pennsylvania and perhaps Ohio suggesting a positive message rather than carping about Trump would have served her well.”

K          “If she had truly labored on a salmon slime line in Alaska and learned some life lessons rather than just logging a novel resume entry, she would be POTUS-elect.” 

. . .

J          “Some projected that if Clinton were elected, Whites would flock to and flood gun stores.  With Trump’s election, the flood gates are now open to inflict violence on Blacks and Browns who now need to flock to gun stores.  The threat to them is much more real today.”

K          “The National Rifle Association did more than any other institution to put Trump in the House for Whites.”

J          “And the grand irony in this year of absurd consequences is that the NRA followed the practice of so many voters by voting against its interest.  If Clinton had been elected, gun sales would have exploded.  Gun sales and gun stocks now may go down.”

. . .

J          “His antics earned him a billion dollars’ worth of free media coverage particularly when he was outrageous and offensive and himself.  There is a take home message there for future candidates.”

K          “The candidate who spent more money has won every modern Presidential election.  Except this election.  That fluke likely will never happen again.” 

J          “The new ‘antisocial media’ allowed streams of vile and unfounded invective to pass for political insight and surpassed the effectiveness of Anger Mongering (AM) radio.  Elections may soon be fact-free and issue-barren.”

. . .

J          “Compare the list of endorsements for President published by the top hundred newspapers since the 2000 Presidential election.  They were divided about equally between the two candidates.  Never has a major party Presidential candidate received one and only one endorsement and that from a regional paper.”

K          “The media bubble again.  He also received the nod from the Klan rag.  Not receiving one endorsement from a major newspaper was the most compelling and convincing endorsement for many.”

J          “The hate and fear newspapers present a daily gauntlet of hate and fear to everyone going through the checkout lines at grocery stores.  Repetitive subconscious subliminal messages conveyed on the small bill boards that box in the consumer, even if the rag is not read or even picked up, increased the population’s susceptibility to the messages of hate and fear.  Toss in the trip hammer of hate and fear spewing from the Faux Network at home.  Trump only had to whistle.”

. . .

K          “Trump should read the discussion in “‘Mericanize:  Monetize, Mechanize And Militarize (December 30, 2013)” over at e-commentary.org.  The landscape has not changed since then.  Factories are all automated.  Factories, wherever located, do not employ and will never employ many workers.”

J          “He does not care about ideas.”

. . .

K          “By November 5, the Republican Party was pronounced dead on a few websites and then resurrected three days later.  During the early morning hours of November 9, the Democratic Party was put on life support and left in a coma.”

. . .

K          “The undigested anger is still festering.  None of the underlying problems will be addressed.  The anger will find another outlet.”

. . .

J          “Now what?”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Boycott Red America (January 3, 2005)” and “‘Mericanize:  Monetize, Mechanize And Militarize (December 30, 2013)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The election apocalypse (hereinafter “E-pocalypse”):  Coming to a Republic near you

Did America just repudiate its sanity, decency, humanity and integrity?

Fake quotes will still ruin the Internet.  Benjamin Franklin

The future is certain and the end is already here.

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you get what you do not need.

Suffer Clinton.  The Devil.  We know. (November 7, 2016)

Posted in Blue States / Red States, Elections, Political Parties, Politics on November 7, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The ‘D’ division of the War and Wall Street Party foisted a candidate who passionately believes in pursuing war and protecting Wall Street.  The ‘R’ division of the W.W. Party forwarded a candidate who may not be as passionate about pursuing war and protecting Wall Street but then with him who the devil knows.  He is a nativistic, nihilistic and narcissistic nut job.”

J          “Add Nazistic to that list.  And misogynistic, racistic, and xenophobic.”

. . .

K          “He is also supported by the Middle Finger Party.  Some of the more reflective people who support The Donald are thoroughly disgusted with a government and economic system that is corrupt to the core.”

J          “The Middle Finger Party is not the Middle Way Party.”

K          “I am confident that the only profitable party – The War and Wall Street Party – is the Wrong Way Party.”

. . .

K          “Her entourage includes punks, thugs, grifters, drifters, shop lifters, lifers, ex-cons, cons, future cons, neo-cons, neo-libs, criminals, war criminals, war mongers, inside traders, outside traders, traitors, terrorists, ne’er–do–wells and cattle rustlers (hereinafter “Kennedy School/Goldman Sachs” archetypes).”

J          “His gang includes punks, thugs, grifters, drifters, shop lifters, lifers, ex-cons, cons, future cons, neo-cons, neo-libs, criminals, war criminals, war mongers, inside traders, outside traders, traitors, terrorists, ne’er–do–wells and cattle rustlers (hereinafter “Wharton School/Fly By Night REIT” archetypes).  But we do not even know who he will put on the public payroll.” 

. . .

K          “Clinton is a globalist and Trump is a nationalist.”

J          “So that means that Clinton will usher in a World War and Trump will usher in a Civil War.”

K          “They do not call it the Peace and Wall Street Party.”

. . .

J          “I concede that Clinton privately supports and will sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership because it benefits the international corporations that fund and bribe Clinton, Inc.”

K          “Trump’s challenges to the international trade agreements, if genuine, are challenging because truly free trade can provide mutual benefits to many but not all.  He cannot reject all of the treaties carte blanche with executive orders.”

. . .

K          “Three score years ago, Adlai Stevenson ran against Dwight Eisenhower.  Statesmen both.  The nation could not go wrong with either candidate.”

J          “In two generations, a ‘win-win’ option then is replaced with a ‘lose-lose’ dilemma now.  That must be what they call progress.”

. . .

J          “Vote against Trump.  And for Clinton.”

K          “In the final analysis, it all comes down to the Supreme Court.  Vote for the crook over the crazy man.  With extraordinary reluctance.  Then despair.”

J          “It has gotten old.”

. . .

J          “Vote.”

K          “Vote.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Better the crook we know than the crazy man we don’t?  Applying The Conservative Tie Breaker. (June 20, 2016)”, “The ‘War and Wall [Street] Party’ On The War Path (February 1, 2016)”, “The Donald:  The Consummate Republican.  Sort Of. (March 28, 2016)”, “On Male ‘Diss’ ‘Coarse’ And Electioneering (March 21, 2016)”, “A Second Party:  Trump or Sanders? (March 14, 2015)”, “Trans-Pacific Partnership / United Nations Convention On The Law Of The Sea (May 25, 2015)” and “The First Look At The ‘Second Political Party’ (January 3, 2011).”)

Bumper stickers of the week:

Vote.

Vote Clinton.  With extraordinary reluctance.  Then despair.

A Decade Of Fun (January 5, 2015)

Posted in Blue States / Red States, Writing on January 5, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

S          “Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity. Guidance from the handbook for ham operators.”

J          “Abstruse, Bloviated and Cryptic.  . . .  On occasion?”

S          “Hamming it up.  On more than one occasion.”

. . .

S          “One week a law review, the next an economic journal, followed by a foreign policy tract and then a social discourse.  And every week, ‘e-commentary’ aspired to be a weekly literary adventure.”

. . .

S          “Tom Clancy observed that most military and defense secrets are publicly available in ‘Aviation Week & Space Technology’ magazine and other sources.  He stirred plot and characterization into the mix to cook a potboiler with insight.”

J          “An international thriller every few weeks this year?  That should be thrilling.”

S          “Every week is a thriller.  First understand the ‘Box.’  Assemble all the available and inscrutable and obscure and arcane information in a pile.  Connect two dots cautiously and carefully pencil in to craft the first line.  Proceed with caution and care to connect a third dot and proffer a plane.  Pen the right lines, erase connections between the wrong dots, and then distill, titrate and edit to craft a convincing and compelling production.”

. . .

S          “If I could see the bar, I raised it.  And then raised it again for good measure until it was out of sight.  And measured twelve times, wrote once.  The final product may be . . . measured and out of sight?”

. . .

S          “After ten years of careful observation, ‘blue’ and ‘red’ not only cannot see eye-to-eye, they cannot see each other and cannot stand each other and cannot sit down together.”

J          “They just do not play well with others.”

. . .

J          “Forget it.  ‘Conservatism-cum-a-four-digit-I-Q’ as a political, economic and social movement will never catch on.  You only get one word.”

S          “That gets one back to the fundamental challenge.  Why even try?  They say there is nothing that one can do.  They are right.  Yet I write.  Is that absurd or insane?”

. . .

S          “And a lot of fun.”

. . .

[See the discussion at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/arts/writers-say-they-feel-censored-by-surveillance.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news.%5D

[See the e-commentary at Writin’ (February 17, 2014) and So Many Words, So Few Ideas (Sept. 21, 2009).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

investigate, interpolate, extrapolate; titrate, distill, edit

Measure twelve times, write once

Peg it, and peg the fun meter.

Midterms 2014: A Verdict On Race (And Concerted Ineptitude) (November 10, 2014)

Posted in Blue States / Red States, Citizens United Decision, Civil War, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Elections, Marijuana, Minimum Wage, Race, South, Southern Strategy on November 10, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

M          “The election came down to the Republicans putting an elected official who was not even running for office on every ballot in America.”

L          “And putting him on trial.  This race was about race.  American politics is a perennial battle between fear and hope.  The midterm elections were a verdict on whether a Black man should be President of the United States.  And the verdict is in.  Those American people scared into voting are more than uncomfortable with a Black man and his very Black woman in the House for Whites.  And then toss in Ebola and ISIS or ISIL or whatever it is and fear cripples the citizenry.”

M          “In recent decades, every President who has won a second term and had a Senate majority to lose has lost the Senate majority.”

L          “The Republicans could not say that a candidate is in the same party as the ‘n-word’ guy.  ‘Reggin’ and ‘monday’ are too blatant.  They unleashed a cacophony of dog whistles. ‘Romney – Obama Care’ passed as the ‘Affordable Care Act’ and was excoriated as ‘Obamacare.’  Republicans accused all incumbent Democratic Senators over and over and over and over of casting the deciding vote for ‘Obamacare.’  ‘Obamacare’ is the socially acceptable substitute for the ‘n-word’ today.”

M          “Money carried the message and the day.  They say the sword is mightier than the pen, but the pen that writes the campaign checks is mightiest.  Justice Roberts’ plan in Citizens United is unfolding like a carefully choreographed chess game.”

L          “It is always about money.  Obama won in 2008 in substantial part because he rejected public financing and substantially outspent McCain.  Americans were fearful then, but in the perennial battle between fear and hope, hope triumphed over fear.  Bush had made such a mess of the economy and foreign affairs that a continuation of Bush was frightening.  The fear of another Bush combined with the hope espoused by Obama was right for the times.  In this race, spending by the mega PACs bought the elections for Republicans by appealing to race and avoiding any concrete policies.  Few of the Republicans were honest enough to concede that the Republicans have used all available resources to stymie legislation and then blamed Obama.  The public voted against what they were told is ineptitude in Washington.”

M          “In 2008, in their gut, many devout Republicans said they simply could not stomach ‘President Palin’ at the helm.”

L          “Many pundits proclaimed that America was ‘post-racial’ then, yet America was and is still very involved in the racial mix and maelström.”

M          “When the finals are held in 2016, virulent racism will not be on the national exam.  Gender is much less incendiary.  America is much closer to a ‘post-gender’ electorate.”

. . .

M          “Maryland and Massachusetts are lapis lazuli blue and yet both elected Republican governors.  At some point, citizens tire of taxes and regulations.”

L          “I was heartened to see that four red states – Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and North Dakota -–adopted provisions to increase the minimum wage.  And the blue city of San Francisco joins the Emerald City in adopting a minimum wage.  You cannot spend money if you do not have money.”

M          “Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia adopted more rational and realistic marijuana policies.  Reduce civil rights violations, increase tax rolls and cut spending on prisons.  Regulate marijuana like alcohol and discourage and dissuade the use of both.”

. . . .

L          “Save your Confederate dollars.  The South is rising again.”

M          “Will they substitute as the world’s reserve currency?”

. . .

[Fall of the Berlin Wall:  Yesterday – 25 years]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Deal race, buy votes

Save your Confederate dollars.  The South is rising again.

Lee surrendered.  I didn’t.

The New Confederacy – Same Old Same New

The New Confederacy – Same as it ever was

Humanity’s Motto: To Enslave And To Colonize (January 27, 2014)

Posted in Blue States / Red States, Economics, Immanentizing The Eschaton, Markets, Pogo Plight on January 27, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

A          “You can now add Bezos to the legendary ‘CDEs’ of exploitation – Carnegie, Disney and Edison – who made their fortunes exploiting others.”

B          “And the kingpins of exploitation – the Waltons.  As humans, we seek to enslave and to colonize, not to nurture and to develop.”

A          “Take one’s liberty and take one’s property.  It’s the human way.  We established a Constitution to protect life, liberty and property.”

B          “He too seeks to enslave.  Amazon has become the CyberWalmart.”

A          “Like Walmart, the prices are very low and allow some shoppers to afford to make it through the day.  Some of the customers may be the same employees who cannot subsist on Walmart wages.  The Amazon prices are usually lower and the guarantee is objectively better than the guarantees offered by locally owned businesses that may be going out of business in part because of Amazon’s competition.”

B          “By contrast, Costco pays a living wage and offers health care and retirement to its employees while offering very low prices and an unconditional guarantee to its customers.” 

A          “Walmart is a Red State company headquartered in a Red State.  Costco is a Blue State company headquartered in a Blue State.  Amazon is an anomaly – a Red State company headquartered in a Blue State.” 

B          “Look at the state they leave the employees in when a company pays slave wages.  Slaves don’t make profitable consumers.” 

A          “If there are no consumers, you can’t have seventy percent of economic growth fueled by consumer spending.”

. . .

[The author has no financial interest in Amazon, Costco or Walmart and has shopped at all three institutions.]

[Pete Seeger – May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014]

[“Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.  The World Economic Forum has identified economic inequality as a major risk to human progress, impacting social stability within countries and threatening security on a global scale.”  http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

To Enslave And To Colonize.  Hey, it’s who we are.

Past Time: Exercising The “New Clear Option” (November 25, 2013)

Posted in Blue States / Red States, Civil War, Congress, Courts, Filibuster, Hypocrisy, Judges, Law, O'Bama, Presidency, Race on November 25, 2013 by e-commentary.org

. . .

P          “It is about time.”

Q         “It’s way past time.”

P          “After stepping on your neck for years, they promise to step on your neck even harder if you try to wrench their foot off your neck.  It may be past time.”

Q         “They have used the logic embraced by the oppressed to oppress the patient and mature legislators.  It’s way past time.”

P          “Why not try to wrench their foot off, because when they get in power, they will be no less vindictive.  Now the oppressed legislators can compel the Senate to adhere to the constitutional duty to advise and consent rather than to delay and deny.”

Q         “Delaying legislation is a legislative prerogative.  The fight today is about denying executive branch appointments and undermining the executive branch.  At core, the fight is over separation of powers and the independence of the presidency.”

. . .

Q         “The war also is being fought over another branch – the courts and the judiciary.  Everyone in the know knows that there is no law, there is only ideology.  They are fighting over which ideologues get to don the wigs and dictate policy from the bench.”

P          “The vote is another skirmish in the continuing Civil War in America.”

Q        “That national experience provides historical perspective and ironic understatement.  Yet the war today isn’t civil.”

P          “At core, the clan of confederates is furious that a Black man is in the White House.”

. . .

[See the article titled http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/22/us/politics/reid-sets-in-motion-steps-to-limit-use-of-filibuster.html?hp&target=comments&_r=0#commentsContainer.]

[The benchmark price of .22s in November is not available because .22s are not available.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Mind your Ps and Qs