Monday, September 15, 2008

Recession post vol. seven: I am mad as hell

Since we all woke up to the joyous news that Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch are going down the tubes courtesy of McCain-Bush-Trickle-Down-Rebuplicanomics, I thought I'd do another recession post today.

This is my toilet. My toilet says a lot about the sort of person I am. The two bottles in my toilet are not full of scotch or cheap wine or hidden cash like some candy-ass suburban Easy Rider nest egg. They're filled with sand and water. They limit the amount of water per flush, which translates to a few dollars in savings when I get my quarterly water and sewer bills. I did not put the bottles in the toilet tank in order to take this picture. I put them in there about a month after we moved into this house 16 years ago.

I live in the absolute middle of America with all the rest of the people who pay for everything. You are welcome Fannie and Freddie.

There are three toilets in my house. They all have bottles exactly like the ones in the picture. Putting bottles in my toilet tanks and buying Suave instead of Pantene and knowing how to stretch a pound of sausage into three meals is how all of us in the middle of America are paying for Fannie and Freddie. I have no idea how the Lehman thing will find it's way into my pocket book, but I'm pretty sure it will.

I am so goddamn mad, I could kick George Bush square in the balls.

John McCain was a big supporter of all the deregulation that put this country's economy in the toilet. He calls his standard-issue Republican behavior being a "maverick."

I am 43 years old and I have never incurred one cent in credit card interest. Neither has my husband and he's 51. We will pay off our 30-year mortgage in about 19 years, maybe sooner. I drove my last car for 12 years. The Mini Cooper's going on six and I'm not gearing up to sell it anytime soon. My husband's car is seven years old.

I am not bragging or asking for praise. Most of this is very familiar to you, the average American. You understand my sort of living. It looks a lot like your sort of living and includes paying taxes on time. That our sort of living has funded the goddamn Republican debacles, including the filthy McCain/Bush war, infuriates me beyond words.

I doubt Cindy McCain clips coupons.

Look at what they're doing to the toilet paper. They're shrinking it in width. Guess it's time to find another way to tighten the goddamn belt around here.

And anyone taking a good look around my bathroom and wondering how I tolerate the horrible goddamn tile and peeling wallpaper, I tolerate it because I have to. And when we get enough money to redecorate it, we will. Until then I just have to suck it up. I don't take out loans just so I can shower in beautiful surroundings.

John McCain's trickle-down economic tenets are exactly those of George Bush and the Republican party. Obama's economics turn the funnel the other way around. This is one of the fundamental differences between the donkey and the elephant.

The State of Alaska is expecting a $5- to $9-billion dollar surplus next year. They always have surpluses on account of their oil. Alaska does not have state income tax. None of this is to Palin's credit. She walked into all of it. So no, I don't have any faith in that woman's ability to figure out my $9.6 trillion debt.

This is the end of the line. There is no more room for poor Republican judgment and excess.

This is the end of the goddamn line.

Obama 2008


Velvet Fog said...

Cindy McCain's dress at the convention cost her 300,000 dollars. Yes, they are in touch with America...

Helen Mansfield said...

Well what do you expect from one of the Keating Five? McCain will take care of his wealthy buddies like he always has.

Sadly, the line for corporate hand-outs is going to grow. More banks, then the airlines, then the Detroit car dealers. I can't feel sorry for any of them.

While airline employees at United tightened their belts and took pay cuts so they could keep the airline afloat and keep their jobs, the company's CEO and share holders savored bonuses for their cost cutting measures.

If the U.S. car manufacturers aren't making cars that people want to buy, that's no one's fault but their own. I'd love to see the government bail out the employees, but no. Like Erin said, it's going to be a "trickle down" plan and the employees and tax payers are the ones who will be screwed.

Anonymous said...

Old Chinese proverb states: "She who keeps ducks wearing sunglasses will have money go down the toilet."

There, is a book "Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age." by Larry Bartels, a Princeton academic that is touted as using objective economic data to show how the economy actually performs better under Democratic administrations, and how the rich/poor gap widens under GOP admins. If I didn't already have six other books on my desk I need to read I'd prolly buy it. But in my case, I suspect he's preaching to the choir.

"Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!" — Jay Gatsby


Anonymous said...

great Gatsby quote up above.

and Erin, on the heels of this Lehman collapse, Merrill's impending sale, and AIG request to be bailed McCain is in favo(u)r of regulation.

Trée said...

McCain has never had to worry about money the way that you or I or most Americans. He also admits he knows little of economic matters. Not my words, his. Sarah took her small town from zero debt to millions in the red when she left, earmarks notwithstanding. Our country is financially ill. It is the cancer within that can't be chanted away with shouts of USA, USA. I drive a twelve year old car and until two months ago, my wife drove a seventeen year old car. We live in a small house with a small mortgage because it is the prudent thing to do. We have zero credit card debt. We average a family vacation once every three years, because that is what we can afford (I make good money but I fund my own retirement plan and I fund one kid in college and one in private school). McCain has worked hard to say, "Hey, that other guy is not like you" insert your own code language here. From my economic point of view, the other guy looks a lot more like me.

The Fool said...

No one seems to be able to mention Palin without connecting it to the surplus or dividend. There is no connection between Palin and the state surplus or dividend. There is no connection between Palin and the fact that our state has no state income tax. The people refuse taxes at every turning with such money in the state coffers. The people are very much against government infringement of any sort. The state retaliates by limiting services. We do have a local tax in our town on groceries and other goods. No, I am not a Palin supporter. No, I will not vote for McCain. I just want to separate the lady from the image being created of our state. Just keeping it square.

Erin O'Brien said...

Hi everyone.

I'm still mad as hell. I'm going to be mad all day.

Fool--I did not give Palin credit for the surplus. I am just pointing out that she is governing a state that has a much different financial situation than the rest of the country.

But there ... I just edited the post and clarified that a bit.

Anonymous said...

Well said. I, like you, have no credit card debt. My car is paid off and I am not rushing to get a new one. I fund my 5 year old college plans with a pre-paid tution program here in Florida.

I too am astounded that voters cannot see that a McCain presidency will be a continuation of the last 8 years. However, I have never been disappointed when underestimating the American electorate.

Zen Wizard said...

The rubber duckies--with cool shades, no less--represent the kind of conspicuous consumption that could only survive in a supply-side driven economy.

Either that, or you got them at the Everything's A Dollar store.

Joe said...

Even Republicans live like that. We could compare the cost of dresses worn by Susan Sarandon at red carpet functions and claim Democrats have no idea how the rest of us live, too. Lets face it the Kennedys are as out of touch with common Americans as the McCains.

The bottom line is I am sick of high taxes. A conservative 65-70% of the budget goes to entitlement programs. I am not in favor of any candidate tha twants to grow Government in our lives. Clearly Obama would put a tax burden of unprecedented proportions if he gets all ge is promising.

I vote with my pocketbook.

Anonymous said...

For anyone who is interested, I found this at the Tax Policy Center: Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans

Anonymous said...

and great idea on reducing water usage with weighted bottles in the back of the toilet! the cost of water is included in our apartment rental fee but we're going to do this too because there's no good reason not to.

Anonymous said...

By golly, I think Hoosierboy has got it. If we cut out all those entitlements, we can GO TO WAR WITH RUSSIA!!

U.S. Military Spending vs. The World

U.S. military spendingTotal Outlays (Federal Funds): $2,650 billion
MILITARY: 54% and $1,449 billion
NON-MILITARY: 46% and $1,210 billion

– Dept. of Defense plus nuclear weapons (in $billions) – is equal to the military spending of the next 15 countries combined


Laurel Miltner said...

The weighted bottles are a great idea — I've never heard of that before. I, too, am an apartment renter who doesn't pay water bills, but it's still good for the environment, and a good habit to get into now.

Also, you may be interested to see this article breaking down McCain and Obama's tax plans (by income bracket):

Unknown said...

Unfortunately, I don't feel like any presidential candidate is in touch with "the common folk." I believe we'll have to be saving our pennies and sticking bottles in our toilet bowls no matter who gets elected in November. Wish I didn't feel that way.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read your article when you get the bill to pay even MORE for everyone's health care!!!! Should be a good one!!!

Helen Mansfield said...

Hosier: The difference between Susan Sarandon and Cindy McCain is that designers usually loan dresses to actresses to wear those dresses on the red carpet as a way to get publicity.

I bet those horrible girls from The Hills have donated more to charity, collectively, than Cindy McCain ever has on her own.

Obama has said time and time again he's not going to raise taxes on the middle class and poor, but rather increase taxes on the rich and corporations. If this is the first time you're hearing this, it's because you're not listening.

Christine Borne said...

In regard to the comment that "clearly Obama would create an unprecedented tax burden" -- this is from the nonpartisan

"We spoke with Len Berman, director of the nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, which has produced one of the most authoritative analyses of the two candidates’ tax plans. When we asked him if Obama’s claim that he would “cut taxes for 95 percent of all working families” was true, Berman told that it was “consistent with our estimates.” Overall, the TPC found that Obama’s plan would produce a tax cut for 81.3 percent of all households, and a cut for 95.5 percent of all households with children.
Under Obama's plan, the TPC estimates that people (or couples) making between $37,595 and $66,354 a year would see an average savings of $1,118 on their taxes.

Under McCain's plan, on the other hand, those same individuals would save $325 on average — $793 less than the average savings under Obama's plan. "

You can read the rest of the article here.

Joe said...

do you really seriously consider the brookings center as non-partisan? It founded by LBJ -- second only to FDR in creating entitlements.

Look you are really stupid if you think Bush raised taxes or Obama can cut them.

Read the Constitution.

I would start with Article 1 and Amendment XIII

Anonymous said...

You are seriously awesome, Erin.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hoosierboy,

You still haven't responded to my question about the publisher of the nonpartisan "Washington Times" that beacon of unbiased news often quoted on Fox and talk radio. The One True Father, Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Does he speak for the GOP?


Erin O'Brien said...

Regarding the comment from Anonymous about when my taxes go up for healthcare: I don't mind taxes. They are a fact of life. I am happy to pay my part for roads, libraries, a strong military and the HVAC system at the Pentagon. I accept that there will always be some corruption and waste. I don't get upset over the $$$ allocated to study the DNA patterns of some bear.

I am pretty much behind most social programs and I try to give back in my own ways. I often speak to kids about writing.

The filthy McCain/Bush preemptive war is a little different. The unchecked downward spiral of deregulation is a little different. Borrowing money from China to finance bogus tax cuts is a little different. Printing money to send out "rebate" checks is a little different.

And hoosierboy, we all know about checks and balances and that congress has to enact laws. We understand the difference between the administration and the legislative branch.

We're talking ideology here. Look how successful Dubya was at getting every single thing he wanted. I especially liked the little trick he pulled by saying so many of his new laws applied to everyone but him.

Christine Borne said...

I have a rule not to respond to comments along the "you are really stupid" vein (as I don't believe it adds anything to the discussion), but I just want to suggest, hoosierboy, that you might've meant the 16th Amendment, rather than the 13th, which outlawed slavery.

Unknown said...

erin, you rock. (and i own the pirate version of your rubber duckies with shades.)

Anonymous said...

Hoosierboy, Amendment 13 officially abolishes and prohibits slavery. I love comments such as yours, because really they stand alone in their obtuseness. I cannot tell you how many times I've been told to go read something or research something that was either off-topic or mis-spelled, or I've been "told off" in bizarre syntax with mis-use of the plural or possessive. Those comments make my day and make me laugh and shake my head.

Anonymous said...

Aha, oops. I see Christine up above me found you out first. Sorry for the redundancy.

Anonymous said...

Some say clouds have a silver lining,

For the past 2 hours (5 - 7 pm central, U.S.) I have heard pretty much every significant news outlet discuss todays Wall Street meltdown. History seems to have made Sarah Pallin irrelevant again. Her name not mentioned once. On the other hand, John McCain is quoted as saying "I believe the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong."

Hey Senator McCain, Bigfoot just walked through my front yard.


Anonymous said...


Bigfoot was hung like a Yeti.


emmapeelDallas said...


You said it better than I ever could have, and I am mad as hell too!



Corn Dog said...

Kick Bush in the balls? Erin, come on. You are assuming he has some to kick around.

Joe said...

Christine you are correct, a slip of the mind, it ids heck getting old. ( I had the XIII Amendment on my mind for other reasons -- ie.; Whoopie Goldberg's idiot commentary). RJ - of course the Rev Moon no more speaks for the GOP than Kos and the DU speaks for the Deems. (at least I hope not). My point is that we should be beyond personal attacks. Does Mrs. McCain's dress price really have anything to do with the election? Of course not, she is rich and can spend her money anyway she chooses. It did not cost you anything. Should we get into hopw the Kennedy's spend their money? As far as GW goes, I think he sucks as a President, with the exception he has kept us from further terrorist attacks. I am far more interested in Liberal vs. Conservative ideaology.

I think it is wrong to take my hard earned money and redistribute it to others. I agree with Erin, there are certain things the Government should pay for. We disagree on what those should be, and I think much of the social responsibilites should be born by the State. I think the 10th Amendment should not be ignored. There are only certain expenitures allowed under the Constitution.

Sorry to take up so much space, Erin. I try to make these arguments on my own site instead.

Anonymous said...

Hey, did you know that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac contributed 6 times as much money to St. Obama in his 3.5 years in the Senate as they did to McCain in the past 20?

Of course you didn't.

Anonymous said...


Did you know that if that's all you can come up with you're sorely


Erin O'Brien said...


Come on over here sugarbaby and let mama give you a hug.

Erin O'Brien said...

Hoosier--comment all you like. Everyone is welcome at this party.

Joe said...

"Ido not take money from Washington lobyists and I never will".

B Obama TV ad seen in Indiana.

I guess he means except from failing mortgage companies run by former Clinton officials?

I say vote for anyone who has NEVER been involved in National politics (even if it is just 143 days!)

Anonymous said...


You're flailing too.

While I was studying the constitution, as you suggested, I ran across this little gem.

Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.(Act passed in 1933 to seperate investment banks and comercial banks to prevent speculation that lead to stock market crash. Glass and Steagall were Democrats.)

Graham-Leach-Bliley Act 1999

"The bills comprising the act were introduced in the Senate by Phil Gramm (R-TX) and in the House of Representatives by James Leach (R-IA). The bills were passed along party lines with Republican support in the Senate and with bipartisan support in the House of Representatives. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.(Veto proof majority in Congress)

The banking industry had been seeking the repeal of Glass-Steagall since at least the 1980s. In 1987 the Congressional Research Service prepared a report which explored the case for preserving Glass-Steagall and the case against preserving the act."

Now, if you'll recall (and I suspect you were orgasmic) the GOP had overturned a Democratic majority in the 1994 congressional elections that Newt Gingrich had labeled "Historic." Ergo, it was the GOP at the bequest of the banking lobby that created the mechanics that have lead to the banking crisis of today.

Just say "Uncle."

Obama 08


Libby Spencer said...

Sing it out sister. I'm mad as hell too and I am so posting your YouTube on my blog.

Love your piece posted at the writer's blog too.


Joe said...

Well RJ, you are a bit dishonest since none of the laws, acts, or bills you discuss are in the Constitution. I comend your research any way. You bring up some salient facts, and I am sure more than one Democrat had to vote for the acts and laws you discussed, especially in the Senate. There is plenty of blame to go around, including bad management and poor business decisions from the banks in question.

I do not recall at all discussing deregulation or the cause of the current financial crisis. I pointed out that Obama IS taking lobyist money when he claims he does not. It is a fact the nortgage giant was run by a former Clinton official.

Like Gradgrind says "facts is facts". Hah, even dumbass Conservatives have a literary reference or two at their disposal.

Anonymous said...


I never claimed any of the acts were in the Constitution. I just said I was studying it when I encountered the data about Glass-Steagall.
The point was that you make a passionate appeal for the conservative approach to the economy which has historically meant unregulated capital markets. It appears to me that the current banking crisis is an example of the failure of that approach.
I'm going to have to read the Bartels book on "Unequal Democracy" because I believe the data shows that the middle class does better economically under Democratic admins. I think the workers intuitively know this but become conflicted in the ballot box because the GOP guilts them into thinking that if they vote Democratic they are unpatriotic, godless, homosexual loving baby killers.
It has always intrigued me that "The Right" screams less government until it comes to matters of personal conduct. Then they somehow claim to occupy the moral high ground and want to control those that don't share their values through oppressive legislation.(Which cost a helluva lot of money to enforce. The war on drugs as an example. Overturn Roe and see where your tax dollars go.)
So have a nice day. In the meantime I'm gonna help Erin and the DNC anyway I can to move Ohio into the Democratic column.


Joe said...

And why we are pointing fingers, you should mention that President Clinton was a big supporter of getting rid of Glass-Steagall and he signed it into law. If it was all a big Republican push, he could have vetoed the measure. He supported it and signed it. The history is available. Robert Reisch acknowlded that on CNN a couple of days ago.

Both parties and a lot of basic greed are responsible for the mess on Wall Street. For either candidate to politicize it is wrong. I guess, Joe Biden is right, I am just to stupid to understand, since I am a right wing blogger.

Anonymous said...


Go practice your free throws. Maybe you can help the Pacers.


Joe said...

as usual, when you liberals can't win the argument -- resort to personal attacks.

Anonymous said...

Yep Hoo,

The Indiana Pacers, the proverbial liberal whipping boy. (although I would have liked to see Reggie win one championship) But ya know what, LeBron James is 23 and he's in your division, ahahahahahaha!


Anonymous said...

More interesting Faniie Mae / Freddie Mac info!

RJ, are you that drunk guy at baseball games that stands up and yells at the visiting team incessantly, until he's led away by the ushers? Thought that might be you.