03.31.11

Economic Treason: Corporate socialism for Boeing gets penalty flag

Posted in Permanent Fail, Predator State at 2:52 pm by George Smith

From AP:

The World Trade Organization has ruled that Boeing Co. received at least $5.3 billion in illegal U.S. subsidies to develop and build new planes, according to a finding of a report first issued in January but made public on Thursday.

The WTO trade panel’s report came in response to EU complaints, which had alleged that Boeing received almost $24 in illegal state subsidies between 1989 and 2006.

The public release of the ruling Thursday is the latest development in a six-year contest and will likely next go to a WTO appeals panel.

WTO say in its ruling that the EU has demonstrated the U.S. gave Boeing “export subsidies that are prohibited” and recommends the U.S. either withdraw them or “take steps to remove the adverse affects.”

The report details findings, which were first issued in private to the EU and U.S. in January. It says Boeing received illegal subsidies such as grants and free use of technology, from NASA, the Department of Defense, and the states of Illinois, Kansas and Washington.

These include $2.6 billion in NASA research and development programs, $2.2 billion in foreign sales corporation export subsidies, and various tax breaks and other incentives from several states and cities. The Defense Department also gave Boeing an illegal subsidy, the ruling says, but “the amount of the subsidy … is unclear.”

Finally, US government bribes routinely paid get the international stink-eye.

Subsidies for the biggest players in corporate America .. and the arms trade.

Cuts and the bottom of the barrel for everyone else.

I hope they’ve enough cases of heartburn and nausea to go around at Boeing today.

Truth in advertising

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Made in China, Rock 'n' Roll at 8:46 am by George Smith

See it now before it gets finked on and the corporate police come to drag it away. On YouTube, corporate America likes all the little future lickspittles who give big wet smooches to the television advertising. The other way round, not so much.

Some will have noted that last night, on MSNBC, General Electric changed its corporate advertising, rolling out a different commercial without the country line dance, one retooled to emphasize it makes stuff — like one big jet engine.

Yeah, we all get it.

Jet engines, one just canceled for being “a waste of taxpayer money,” as part of its corporate socialism arms-manufacturing wing.

The lesson learned. It’s good to get taxpayer money for arms manufacturing and as part of your offshoring corporate tax stunt.

Watch for the workers in the yellow alien suits look up when the lyric “fire all that labor now” arrives. Heh.

Keywords: Ge & Jeff, Jeffrey Immelt, the Income Tax Rumba.

Fire the Big Corporate Jerk movement, finally, courtesy of Russ Feingold:

It’s everything that’s wrong with corporate power today: News broke last week that General Electric, America’s largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in taxes — that’s right, zero dollars in taxes. At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now I hear that GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.

But what really adds insult to injury is the prestigious and influential position Jeffrey Immelt holds as chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. That’s wrong. Someone like Immelt, who has helped his company evade taxes on its huge profits — and is now looking to workers to take major pay cuts after his compensation was doubled — should not lead the administration’s effort to create jobs.

We cannot stand by and watch while we are led down this road. Mr. Immelt must step down from the president’s jobs panel — and if he won’t, President Obama needs to ask for his resignation.

Help us build public pressure on GE’s Jeffrey Immelt to step down or President Obama to get his resignation from the jobs council: Sign our petition at www.ImmeltMustGo.com today!

How can someone like Immelt be given the responsibility of heading a jobs creation task force when his company has been creating more jobs overseas while reducing its American workforce? And under Immelt’s direction, GE spends hundreds of millions of dollars hiring lawyers and lobbyists to evade taxes. All of this at a time when Fox News and the right wing are demonizing public workers, like teachers, as the cause of our economic problems.

Immelt Must Go

Today’s fantasies: ‘Bio-oil’, CIA to fix all that ails the rabble in Libya

Posted in Bombing Moe, Phlogiston at 7:31 am by George Smith

From Yahoo, where the on-line news staff collects a daily pile for your pleasure — stories about the richest places to live in the US, stories about which careers in the US make the most money (financialization, fossil fuel), stories on which cities to flee because of raging unemployment, stories about the most opulent mansions, pieces on which made-in-China gadgets to buy right now and fantasies like the next one — on ‘bio-oil’, the algae cure all, ready to replace the Middle East.

Excerpt of press release journalism:

At a time when companies are redoubling their efforts to find alternative energy sources, the idea is to reproduce and speed up a process which has taken millions of years and which has led to the production of fossil fuels.

“We are trying to simulate the conditions which existed millions of years ago, when the phytoplankton was transformed into oil,” said engineer Eloy Chapuli. “In this way, we obtain oil that is the same as oil today.”

The microalgae reproduces at high speed in the tubes by photosynthesis and from the CO2 released from the cement factory.

Every day some of this highly concentrated liquid is extracted and filtered to produce a biomass that is turned into bio-oil.

The other great advantage of the system is that it is a depollutant — it absorbs the C02 which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

“It’s ecological oil,” said the founder and chairman of BFS, French engineer Bernard Stroiazzo-Mougin, who worked in oil fields in the Middle East before coming to Spain.

Ecological oil, as if the new ‘oil’, when burned doesn’t release all the alleged CO2 used making it. All the laws of chemistry, mass action and combustion rewritten.

Five to ten years and we’ll replace Iraq, says the man.

“US oil giant ExxonMobil plans to invest up to $600 million in research on oil produced from algae,” it is said.

About the same amount of money for the first two weeks of the war on Libya. That’s pretty niggardly, considering they’re going to rewrite history and physics.

“Companies, in particular those in the aeronautic sector, have shown keen interest in this research, hoping to find a replacement for classic oil,” it concludes.

And finally, the dilemma of training and weaponizing the Libyan rebel rabble. Can the CIA do it? Or special ops? And what heavy weapons can we ship them, cadged up from eastern bloc and Chinese surplus on the arms trader market?

Which leads to bringing in the ‘coalition’s’ best fence, Qatar.

On the nature of armed rabble:

They would have more ammunition if they did not keep firing into the air … Decisions are often made after heated arguments or by following whoever shouts loudest and despite the courage of some, the tendency is to flee in disarray …

Don’t forget the talent for V-signs.

03.30.11

Bombing Moe: How to make V signs in pickup trucks/How to lose without airstrikes

Posted in Bombing Moe at 11:59 am by George Smith

Race forward, race back. Pray for American — not Euro — strike planes.


Good times: Yaaaaaaaah!


This is the fifth time I’ve been on the highway back from Tripoli.


Holster those V signs, pardners. We’re heading the wrong way right now.


No blown up tanks to jump up and down on today. Check back tomorrow.

Firings will continue until unemployment improves

Posted in Permanent Fail at 11:18 am by George Smith

Title cribbed from Pine View Farm.

The austerians’ lunatics’ plan, if my reading comprehension is still good: (1) Public sector workers, like school teachers, fed workers, firemen, have to be downsized and the release of newly unemployed will force wages downward for everyone else so when that happen US business will hire more people for much less, and (2) contraction is the new expansion — no explanation necessary — because it’s self-evident.

From Krugman, as its predicted to not work in England, where austerity has only resulted in more misery and protest:

Why? Because the only way the economy can avoid taking a hit from government cuts is if private spending rises to fill the gap — and although you rarely hear the austerians admitting this, the only way that can happen is if people take on more debt. So we have the spectacle of a government that inveighs against the evils of debt pinning all its hopes on an assumption that over-indebted households will dig their hole even deeper.

All in all, it’s quite a spectacle. It would be funny, except that millions of people will suffer the cost of this folly.

So if done in the US, the idea would be to cut things like food stamps so the people on food stamps, who may still have room on their credit cards, go into more high interest debt to the likes of Jamie Dimon/Chase so as to continue eating and preserve the lighting at night.

03.29.11

GE & Jeffrey — the Tax Cheat Boogie

Posted in Permanent Fail, Rock 'n' Roll at 8:15 am by George Smith

Here’s the lead-in from a columnist at the Philly Inky, by way of Frank at Pine View Farm:

Even the most specious arguments are granted legitimacy simply for having been made. Every opinion, however uninformed, is seen as inherently valuable. No argument is too preposterous or dishonest to share …

It’s how so-called conservatives can insist that the Wall Street bankers who crashed the economy should keep their astronomical bonuses, but unionized public employees should give up their hard-won pensions. It’s how President Obama can tap General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to help “reform” the corporate tax structure, even as the New York Times reveals that GE – with worldwide profits of $14.2 billion last year – paid zero U.S. taxes.

Abject illogic is a good way to describe the legal tax cheating practiced by GE and the president’s appointing of Immelt as an economic advisor.

Here’s a song for it:

GE and Jeff (Taxavoidination)

It was inspired by the New York Times feature article on the matter. And the ubiquitous GE ad set to Alan Jackson’s “Good Time” — the one here with the fake employees doing the country line boot-scooting dance.

GE and Jeffrey — with a borrowed Alan Jackson — here.

Jeff Immelt — he understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy. And I am so proud and pleased to chair this panel, my council on jobs and competitiveness, because we think GE has something to teach businesses all across America.” — the President

One now assumes that such advice on competition means giving more of a green light to looting and offshoring labor.

Commies in Hollywood

Posted in Bombing Moe, Permanent Fail, Phlogiston at 7:45 am by George Smith

Posting has been low because I’m taking care of an ailing cat for a friend who has to be away.

Anyway, I was eating dinner with another acquaintance yesterday when I mentioned one line from the atrocious blog I linked to over the weekend.

“How was California lost?” it asked plaintively. Keep in mind, this is from someone who puts a picture of Ronald Reagan at the top while peddling a T-shirt with the somewhat baffling Tea Party-esque motto: “This Abdication Nation will not stand!”

So my friend almost fell off the chair laughing when I quoted this line to him:

Was it the communism and socialism promulgated through Hollywood?

It is momentarily amusing in it’s total lack of clue. Here’s a young guy who has been to the other side of the world — Afghanistan. But geographic travel, even being part of a long war, hasn’t broadened him. He dumbly believes Hollywood was a source of commies.

However, it’s also a pathetic indication of why the US isn’t much of an overachieving country these days unless one counts the executed technical perfection of bombing a feeble enemy’s military.


Next, small items from Bombing Moe. When the A-10 Thunderbolts and Spectre gunships were ordered up for Libya it more-or-less confirmed that we’re in a war aimed at dissecting all of Moe’s military.

These are very close air support assets, used for blowing tanks and artillery out of the way in deserts, hamlets or cities, so the rabble parade of small pick-up trucks with old commie machine guns mounted in the back can pass by and flash the victory sign to western cameras. At those times, of course, when they’re not stopping the parade to jump up and down on one of the blown up remnants of Moe’s army.

The Qatar Emiri Air Force is still listed as part of Odyssey Dawn’s order of battle.

Remember to get those T-shirts ready!

QAF Flying Emirs! Odyssey Dawn 2011! We stayed out of the way and helped fence the oil!


Spam funny of the day: More fake neighborly comment on politics and national debt by the bot-person trying to get an ad pointing to a service that facilitates offshoring and tax-avoidance in Panama published.

03.27.11

Sunday event log of permanent fail

Posted in Bombing Moe, Permanent Fail at 9:43 am by George Smith

From Bob Hebert at the New York Times:

So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home.

Welcome to America in the second decade of the 21st century. An army of long-term unemployed workers is spread across the land, the human fallout from the Great Recession and long years of misguided economic policies. Optimism is in short supply. The few jobs now being created too often pay a pittance, not nearly enough to pry open the doors to a middle-class standard of living …

When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.

G.E. is the nation’s largest corporation. Its chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, is the leader of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. You can understand how ordinary workers might look at this cozy corporate-government arrangement and conclude that it is not fully committed to the best interests of working people.

Not fully committed. Ya think?

I’ve never commented on other posts at SITREP on Globalsecurity but a post today takes the piece of cake.

It’s in the slot for Derek Reveron, a professor at the Naval War College. At SITREP he generally contributes a variety of pep talks on Afghanistan.

The post, is by someone named Gary Good, recommended by Reveron, professor. Good is a soldier who regularly deploys to Afghanistan and the piece is here.

It’s on Afghanistan, too, and leads to the author’s blog. One sentence jumps out.

And not in a good way:

We are here because me must Make Might Right.

Anyway, after reading it I was curious about the contributor’s blog. It’s here, called GoodWrites, where the fellow calls himself “The Writer.”

It’s understandably disappointing.

Wha’ happen’d to California, it asks. Was it the stinky hippies? And all the illegal immigrants cheating up the representation? And what about that 2010 census and all the Democrats?

Here — on how California is lost:

Was it the drugs and free love in the by-gone 60s?

Was it the change in the law that required the Census to attempt to count illegal immigrants and then apportion Congressional seats based on both citizens AND illegal immigrants?

Was it the communism and socialism promulgated through Hollywood?

What was it that killed this wonderful, beautiful state?

Actually, there was no change in law requiring the census to count illegal immigrants. Census-takers, and the census, did not ask whether a human being living in a residence was a citizen or not. It was not part of the mission. And there was no category on the census form for
legal or illegal status.

But it has always been the census’ mission to make the best full accounting of everyone living in the United States, something census workers patiently explained many times to all those polled.

Anyway, I think the appropriate response to this is: We are here because me must Make Might Right.

Me must Make Might Right.

Me must Make Might Right.

Me must Make Might Right.

Oot greet!” — Don Martin


Moving along to Bombing Moe. Readers now know when referring to an armored column, rebel, in Libya, we always mean a line of pick-up trucks with machine guns mounted in the back speeding along Libya’s coastal highway. And whenever the US has blown up one of Moe’s tanks, the rebel armored column will stop, all the men will dismount, run over to the tank, climb on top of it and jump up and down, often shooting their guns in the air.

These are the future leaders of Libya. Or at least the new jailers and militia.

From the wires:

Qatar, which has conducted at least one sortie over Libya, is the only Arab country known to have actively joined with the international force.

DD has made a running joke of Qatar. It’s presence has slipped in and out of the Odyssey Dawn order-of-battle since last week. One day Qatar is going to join, the next day gone.

Today — it’s in, with one transport plane and two French-made Mirages. But no yacht. That’s big.

So a good bet is that the “one sortie” was Qatar’s transport plane flying to Souda AFB in Greece.

So what about Qatar? It’s just the kind of “ally” you’d want to show other Arab nations are supporting the US in this Libyan fight — a very wealthy oil country run by the usual scumbags who import indentured labor to work for them.

From Wiki:

Qatar is a destination country for men and women from South and Southeast Asia who migrate willingly, but are subsequently trafficked into involuntary servitude as domestic workers and laborers, and, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation; the most common offence was forcing workers to accept worse contract terms than those under which they were recruited; other conditions include bonded labor, withholding of pay, restrictions on movement, arbitrary detention, and physical, mental, and sexual abuse.

According to the Trafficking in Persons Report by the US State Department, men and women who are lured into Qatar by promises of high wages are often forced into underpaid labor.

I think this calls for T-shirts. Perhaps with a flag of the country, or the image of the American-made transport plane Qatar flies. Along with the motto:

QAF Flying Emirs! Odyssey Dawn 2011! We stayed out of the way!

However, it’s only fair to mention most of the military action, other than ours, has been token in Odyssey Dawn.

Not to put to fine a point on it, this from the British Ministry of Defense:

“British Tornado GR4 Aircraft, on a mission over Libya yesterday afternoon in support of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 took part in a co-ordinated missile strike against units of Colonel Gaddafi’s Libyan Military.

“The Tornado aircraft launched a number of guided Brimstone missiles, destroying three armoured vehicles in Misrata and two further armoured vehicles in Ajdabiya. Brimstone is a high precision, low collateral damage weapon optimised against demanding and mobile targets.

03.25.11

Bombing Moe: Token orders of battle

Posted in Bombing Moe at 12:29 pm by George Smith

This map from the Pentagon, furnished through Globalsecurity, shows the US still doing the heavy lifting over Libya yesterday. Everyone else, by the images, has virtually token presence. Of course, it may change. Or maybe not. However, the message continues to be that this is a big allied campaign.

The Odyssey Dawn order of battle shifts daily, seemingly dependent upon the unease various members of the ‘coalition’ have with their role and profile, particularly any alleged contribution by members of the Arab league.

For example, while Qatar was said to be sending a force on the first day of action, their yachts and US-made jets have yet to show.

The United Arab Emirates air contribution, said to be six F-16’s and six Mirages, is shown here. Whether they’re actually in action is another matter.

A Turkish diesel submarine, mentioned yesterday, is listed in the naval portion of the Libyan action here. As is Spain’s.

As I said, little submarines (as well as glorified merchantmen) seem to be a big way to get mentioned as a ‘coalition’ partner.

Crazy — the new natural

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Permanent Fail at 10:05 am by George Smith


Good news, lads! Good news! There’s another Sarah Palin, only better and getting bigger.

Michele Bachmann shows up 34 seconds in. Wait for the scene where her campaign sign is upside-down in the background. (Incidentally, the stitch Nazi now seems benign compared to what was elected in Michigan and Wisconsin.)

If I were to do it over, I’d remove the Hitler parody from Downfall. The President isn’t hopeless. Instead, I’m convinced he has a plan.

Mr. Obama knows the Republicans don’t have a candidate who can beat him in 2012. He sees the television news channels and all the pundits enthusing over a Bachmann run and knows the GOP is so dominated by telegenically insane people like her it can’t possibly win a presidential election.

So the President doesn’t have to lead or take chances. He can continue to allow the country to go to hell, to ignore Wall Street looting, to allow the jobless to languish and be forgotten. He can decline to get involved in fighting for unions in the heartland. He can even institute cuts to domestic programs that result in more people being put out of work because he’s adopted a “Firings Will Continue Until Unemployment Goes Down” strategy to co-opt Republicans.

Obama can go to community colleges and make empty talk about winning the future, travel to South America to cement more off-shoring and arms deals for what’s left of US manufacturing. And he can start a pointless war which, unless I’m missing something, will peter out as soon as the US military stops most close air support aimed at destroying Moe’s heavy weapons. Which will leave a lot of NATO overflying of two new failed states, one with Moe in his bunker plus oil, one without those two things, maybe like a big version of Djibouti.

It will continue the war boom in the US. There is no political cost to it.

And he’ll still get elected because the Michelle Bachmanns will move the GOP standard for a presidential candidate into ever more fearful and atrocious territory.

However, Mr. Obama’s plan won’t be free for the Democratic Party. By the time the election rolls around, many of us will again be so alienated and depressed by his inaction and expedient policy that the country will be faced with what happened as chronicled above.

The potential exists for the Tea Party to take the Senate and even more of the House away from the Dems when the base, dispirited, stays home or becomes unenthusiastic about holding its collective nose and voting for people simply because one party is ragingly nuts and inhumane, the other not so.

The popular uprisings in Wisconsin and Michigan aren’t guarantees the tide will turn in Dem favor, particularly now that they’ve been moved off most of the news.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »