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Is it fascism yet?

Unemployment Crisis: Gimme Some Drugs

Yesterday, I was listening to NPR’s “Here and Now” piece on how the jobs debate looks to the unemployed. Putting aside the fact that the debate has been, thus far, over the deficit with precious little done for the unemployed, it was a very interesting, and sad, show. The host spoke to several men and women, of all ages, about their experiences as unemployed people. None would give their full names.

There was the 59 year old guy from Levittown PA with a college degree who can’t find anything. The woman whose full-time job was changed to a contract position, disqualifying her from unemployment benefits: today she has no home, lives on credit cards by shifting balances, and gets by as a pet sitter (which also affords her a bed to sleep in every weekend). She’s stuck in the middle: she can’t get the jobs she qualifies for because her experience means the employer would have to pay more than entry-level wages, and the jobs she doesn’t qualify for… well, you know.

It was discouraging to say the least, especially because I myself am unemployed, looking for work, and not doing so hot. But there was one thing I noticed, and maybe this was a function of the show’s call screeners: of all the things people were doing to get by, not one person mentioned “selling drugs”.

You can make a LOT of tax-free money selling drugs, especially if you have a steady clientele, because of the markup. A quarter pound of good weed, for example, can be had for about $1200: you can sell each ounce for $400 and make a $400 profit. Or you can sell it in quarter ounces at $120 a pop, and make $720 in profit.

The profits on cocaine, crack, oxycontin, and heroin are even greater, but the risk is bigger, especially if you don’t follow NWA’s rule:

To be a Dopeman, boy, you must qualify
Don’t get high, off your own supply!

I don’t know if the callers were embarrassed, worried about drawing attention to themselves, but I find it very easy to believe that a lot of people are filling the hole in their budget by selling drugs. In fact I almost recommend it: if you do it carefully, you can really make ends meet, and if you get busted and go to jail, you still get three hots and a cot, which is more than a lot of people have right now.

And why the hell not? We are ruled by criminals with no respect for the rule of law. Why should the rest of us comply with arbitrary rules no one else seems to?

[yes, this is a satirical “modest proposal”. but barely.]


Roads closed, train service suspended. Gee, you’d almost wonder if something isn’t causing weather to become more extreme….


Too bad our president can’t cop this guy’s style. Imagine the effect it would have if he did:

Some have called Teamsters President James Hoffa’s Monday remarks ill-advised, but he isn’t backing away and, instead, is claiming to have gotten a positive response from his members.

The controversy erupted when Hoffa told a cheering crowd at a Labor Day celebration attended by President Obama, “We are at war! . . . President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march . . . Let’s take these sons of bitches out, and give America back to an America where we belong.”

In a cable TV appearance on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” on Tuesday, Hoffa told host Ed Schultz about the response and how his tough-sounding tack has resonated.

“The phones rang off the hook at all of our locals today,” Hoffa said. “The members are calling in. Finally, somebody’s standing up for us. Somebody’s saying what has to be said. We’re tired of this namby-pamby talk that’s out there. Let’s go out and call these people what they are. Let’s go after the issue of voting. Let’s talk about the war on workers. And let’s make sure we mobilize and vote in November. It was a tremendous response today. The phones rang off the hook in tremendous support from working families.”

Schultz asked Hoffa if he really thought “the Republicans are sons of bitches,” and Hoffa doubled down.

“I think they are, if they’re trying to take food out of the mouth of working people,” Hoffa declared. “What kind of a person does that? What kind of a person tries to take away collective bargaining from public employees, from firemen, from policemen, from teachers? What kind of person wants to go in and take away their pensions? You know what? That’s a bad person, and that’s the kind of people we’re talking about, because that is the war on workers. The war on workers started January of this year. The minute those people got in, one of the first things they did was to introduce right to work in 14 states almost simultaneously. That is the Tea Party, and that’s their agenda. I’m very proud of what we did.”


Or what passes for it in Wisconsin:

(Reuters) – A Wisconsin official has discouraged state workers from volunteering information about free IDs available under a controversial voter identification law that critics complain is designed to suppress votes, a memo leaked on Wednesday showed.

The memo, provided to the press by Democratic State Senator Jon Erpenbach, was likely to fan concerns among critics of the Republican-backed law that it aimed to suppress votes of thousands of otherwise eligible Wisconsin voters.

In the memo, a top aide in the state transportation department told staffers in the motor vehicle department, which is responsible for issuing the free IDs, to “refrain from offering” them to customers who do not specifically ask for them.


The Obama transition team thought he faced a coup if he prosecuted war crimes — so they decided to “look forward,” which is why our country is still being dismantled by the same right wing faction who got away with those crimes. Just so you know!


Go read Rude Pundit.

‘I hope the Greens sue’

Barbara Boxer on the EPA ozone rules.

Uh huh

Millionaire Larry Summers ($20 million) forgets to mention that it’s people like him who are more prosperous with outsourcing — and people like us who aren’t:

Headlining the keynote speakers at the forum was renowned economist Dr. Lawrence Summers, former director of the White House National Economic Council under Barack Obama. Summers, who served as president of Harvard University from 2001-2006, said in his speech that global sourcing is a key to economic success.

“There are those today who would resist the process of international integration; that is a prescription for a more contentious and less prosperous world,” stated Summers. “We should not oppose offshoring or outsourcing.”

Revolution in the air

Someday soon, this criminal Republican Congress is going to sprinkle just a little too much gasoline — and before they know it, their heads will catch on fire:

Richard Cordray, President Obama’s nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, spent his confirmation hearing on Tuesday taking in praise for his credentials and displaying his knowledge of his agency’s workings. Still, key Republicans on the Senate banking panel carried on with their months-old strategy of blocking approval of any director for the new bureau, notwithstanding Democrats’ outrage.

“The purpose of today’s hearing should be to consider whether Mr. Cordray is qualified for that job,” said Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. “Instead, a vocal minority is playing games with the process and holding Mr. Cordray’s nomination hostage.

“This political gamesmanship is preventing Americans from receiving the consumer protections they deserve,” he said. “This vocal minority insists on rehashing the same debate Congress had last year when it created the CFPB as an accountable yet independent regulator.”

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the panel’s ranking member, countered that the hearing is “quite premature,” noting that he and 43 other senators signed a letter in May promising to block any nominees until the Obama administration negotiates a reorganization of the agency to provide for greater input from Congress and the banking industry in bureau decisions.

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