Friday, January 30, 2009

How the greedy blood-sucking half lives

So Exxon's earnings were down this quarter, yet they still managed to break the record for earnings by an American company--their own record, that is, set the last time they fucked us over for a whole solid year--in 2008 with $45.2 BILLION in profits. This for the company that gave us a drunken oil-tanker captain, a huge oil spill in Alaska, and insurmountable credit card bills for all of us just trying to buy enough gas to get to work and back.

They're really suffering, too! No really!
Irving, Texas-based Exxon said net income slid sharply to $7.8 billion, or $1.55 a share, in the October-December period. That compared with $11.7 billion, or $2.13 a share, in the same period a year ago, when Exxon set a U.S. record for quarterly profit. It has since topped that mark twice, first in last year's second quarter and then with earnings of $14.83 billion in the third quarter. Revenue in the most-recent quarter fell 27 percent to $84.7 billion.

Both the per-share and revenue results topped Wall Street forecasts. On average, analysts expected the company to earn $1.45 a share in the latest quarter on revenue of $69.1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Shares rose $1.52, or 2 percent, to $78.52 in early trading. (my emphases)
Yeah, life really sucks when you don't make quite as much stinkin' blood money as the last time you posted record blood-money profits, and when even your "sharp" decline is STILL better than what those fucking vultures on Wall Street forecasted.

How is this kind of thing legal, as many of us lose money and jobs? Guess there really are two systems of justice: one for the people who are allowed to just keep on chugging, raping the environment and getting financial (and literal?) blowjobs from our oh-so-willing government, and one for the rest of us.
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In other news, Prez O yelled at the filthy corrupt parasites on Wall Street who, despite their tales of woe and misery and bailout billions, managed to give out over $18 billion (collectively) to their loser-idiot execs last year. That's $18 billion of OUR money, folks. Sen. Chris Dodd says he'll be "demanding" that the aiders and abettors at the Treasure Dept get the money back; I'll be neglecting to hold my breath while waiting for that to happen.

. . . . . . . . . .

Down in the Land o' Lincoln, Blago the Hair God is OUT.Despite his full-court-press media tour to proclaim he's as innocent and heroic as everyone from Gandhi to Jesus, the Illinois state congress tossed his ass out of their government. Good riddance, you amoral freak.
. . . . . . . . . .

And finally--speaking of the filthy and the rich, the 400 wealthiest Americans saw their income jump to an average of $263 million. That's an increase of 23% over the previous year. Wanna know the best part?

"The top 400 paid just more than $18 billion in federal income taxes in 2006, or an average of $45 million, on a record $105 billion in total income — the lowest effective tax rate in the 15 years since the [I.R.S.] began releasing such data." (my emphasis)
Nice to know the tax system is about as "fair and balanced" as Faux Nooz.

And who are these filthy rich? you might well ask. Predictably, the top ten list includes Bill Gates, a quartet of Walmart Waltons (but NOT John Boy, Mary Ellen, Erin, or Jim Bob), a Buffett (not Jimmy), and a Bloomberg (Hello New York!).

Another day in paradise. For them, anyway.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If you think YOU'RE having a bad day

...take a look (if you haven't seen it already) at this classic clip of the angriest man in the universe trying to film a commercial for the "Mini Winnie" Winnebago vehicle. (here's a screen cap and the link--I don't know how to embed videos)

I first saw the entire video (not just the hilarious strings of cussing but more of his actual lines mixed in with his flubs and colorful language) way back in 2000 or so, and it was always one of my favorite things. For some reason, I thought of it today and I found this edited version on the yootoobs.
So whenever you're having a bad day, one of those days when you feel like you can't do anything right -- just watch this guy, Jack Rebney, and remember that at least you're not him.
P.S. I myself am having a bad day. Long story, but I suppose at least it's not work-related.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quick thoughts on a cold morning

Boy, what a whirlwind of exec signing statements our new prez has been been generating! Closing Gitmo in a year, opening up government docs to the FOIA once again, and pretty much undoing some of the crap of the former administration (I'm not going to use THAT NAME again!). It's good to know that Prez O isn't pulling a Bill Clinton and choking back on campaign promises right off that bat.

If you still don't believe the planet's getting hotter, peep this. Good thing I'm not moving to the coast of California, or I'd soon be needing some hip waders.

Caroline Kennedy's decided not to try to replace shiny new Sec of State Hillary Clinton. I have to admit it was kind-of a stretch, given her lack of experience in politics, but it would've been cool to have two Kennedys in government again. Still, I don't blame her for not wanting to get into that mess.

Sarah Palin refuses to shut the hell up. Her problem? She still thinks the media did her in, rather than her own stupidity and ignorance. Look in the mirror and listen to yourself, sweetie--then say "goodnight."

Oscar™ nominations are out! I haven't seen ANY of the movies in contention for any of the awards, but I'll offer my predictions (on the big awards) anyway based on my vast and far-reaching knowledge of The Academy's ways.

BEST PICTURE--First, no way Milk wins. The Academy doesn't like teh gay. I doubt they'd pick a Brad Pitt film for a serious award, and Slumdog Millionaire is too popular. They'll go with Frost/Nixon; mark my words. But I wish they'd choose Milk; I hear it's fantastic.

BEST ACTOR--A tough choice here; Langella's old and The Academy loves to give old guys the big gold. Mickey Rourke is already being over-hyped, so I doubt he'll win. Sean Penn has pissed off too many people in his life, but the words "Brad Pitt" and "Best Actor" should NEVER be uttered in the same sentence unless it's followed by a hearty guffaw. I'm going with Langella, who will look stunning in his tux and be very gracious at the ceremony.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR--I really hope they do the posthumous thing and give Heath Ledger this award. The guy fuckin' ROCKED in The Dark Knight.

BEST ACTRESS--Wouldn't it be wild if Anne Hathaway beat out the likes of Winslet and Streep? I don't see Streep taking this one, because they're already doing the sentimental pick with Langella, and Angelina Jolie will win another Oscar when hell freezes over. Who the hell is Melissa Leo? I see this one as a battle between the tested and incredibly sexy Kate Winslet and little Anne Hathaway. It's hard for me to say this, but what the hell--I'm going with Hathaway. She'll be the wild pick this year.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS--I love love love Amy Adams in everything she's in, from the beauty-queen-turned-exotic-dancer in Drop Dead Gorgeous, to troubled-generic-character on a "Charmed" episode I've long since forgotten, to put-upon-but-can-do-it-all aide in Charlie Wilson's War. I would love to see her get this award because the girl has paid her dues.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE--Good god, I hate modern animated films. Let me just close my eyes... WALL-E! Who cares?! They're cartoons, created solely for money and to give computer nerds something "creative" to do when they can't break into the tough world of comic books! (I don't know anything at all about the worlds and/or businesses of computer animation or comic books; I just hate computer-animated films.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Welcome to the new America, fellow citizens!

No matter how bad it gets over the next four years, it's still gonna be great because the bushes are no longer in Washington.

The next time I mention that cursed name, I just hope it's in connection with a prison sentence.

And I give Darth Cheney's cyborg innards another day or so before he creaks and groans one last time and then breaks down, a machine well past its usefulness or warranty. Put him on the scrap heap of history as just another obsolete piece of junk.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Random stuff

1. My car just hit 30K miles. I'm pretty sure this means I need to do some sort of "routine" maintenance. Will the smart people of the world please tell me what that might entail? Thanks.

2. I should've realized when Niblet jumped on my clothes I'd spread out on the bed for work this morning that it was a mistake leaving him alone. I took a shower, came back in the bedroom to dress, and didn't really notice anything amiss until I got to work:Yes, he nibbled little holes in my pants. On the ass part! (No, I never iron, so they're all wrinkly from sitting.) Look at that big hole by my pocket! Sheesh. You can see my dark-blue-plaid boxies under there! Dammit, bunny!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Things I'm blatantly ignoring today

with the assistance of my lovely cashmere hat from enc at observationmode.

1. Bush's "passionate" sniveling drivel of insincere revisionist bullshit, because The Great Helen Thomas has his number--and it's ZERO.

2. writing about the genocidal war on Gaza by Israel, because The Great Bill Moyers has the ultimate piece on it

3. Ben "Hanky-Panky" Bernanke's claims that we need MORE bank bailouts despite the fact that no one will tell us where the other bailout money went

4. that whole Russia-Ukraine energy for Europe thing, because I don't know what the hell is going on over there (besides the fact that Russia is run by former KGB mobsters)

5. that rumbling in my tummy

Monday, January 12, 2009

...because I needed cheering up

...I went to Go Fug Yourself, which is always good for a hysterical laugh. I won't comment on fashion or whatever--I mean, I wear SHORTS to work and call it "business casual" because I pair it with the inimitable golf shirt. Still, I must comment on these "separated at birth" candidates:

I. Drew Barrymore's hairdo at the Golden Globes and Drop Dead Gorgeous finalists Molly Howard's and Michelle Johnson's uber-bouffants:
Drew the other night

the beauty queens

So what is up with that boof? Did she, as GFY suggests, have sex in the limo? With how many people?

II. Glenn Close (whom I LOVE--really--it pains me to do this) at the Globes and Helen "Broadway doesn't go for boooooze and dope!" Lawson in Valley of the Dolls.

Glenn at the Globes

Helen about to have the big fight with Neely O'Hara (definitely click on the yootoob link)

Oh dear--I just realized: there's also this potential triplet:

Glenn. Honey. Never do that again.

Just another reason...

...I voted for Driftglass. Nobody does it better, folks.

As these reichwing fascist nutjobs on Faux Nooz and other such media outlets continue to allow (and abet) the BushCo Revisionist History Project, I shake my head and keep on blogging for another day. (My meager efforts make little difference in the big scheme of things, but at least I have some place to vent.)

Still, it frightens the piss out of me to think that an asscrack like Brit Hume can say things like this and basically go unchallenged. (h/t to Driftglass for that link) Hell, look at the front page of Media Matters and you see nothing but wingnuts lying on TV for fun and profit.

How low can they go? How much history can they rewrite? Will anyone--besides bloggers--ever call them on it? If there's one trend I've noticed since Bush took office and started his grand fucking of the globe, it's this one:
1. politician and/or "journalist" pretty much lies right to us
2. blogosphere goes nuts
3. politician and/or "journalist" keeps his/her job, continues to lie right in our faces

I'm reminded of a post I did a while back, where I expressed my feeling that there are two levels of reality in this modern world, two universes---one in which those in power operate and get rich, and another in which all of us regular people toil and pay for everything that those in the other universe do. We see them, we get screwed by them, we cry out--but they don't even know we exist.

Will it ever change? Are we hurtling toward the future Orwell predicted? Can we believe anything we hear or read in the mainstream media?

In other random-thought news, I've been noticing with continued disgust and disappointment that it's getting harder and harder to listen to NPR these days. I noticed it a lot during the election and it's just gotten worse. Then today, I found this blog on Liberality's 'groll, NPR Check. Just started reading it, but soooo much of the ranting I've been doing when I have listened to NPR is echoed on this site. Makes me feel like I'm not the only one who's noticed that people like Steve Innskeep and the rest of the Morning Edition crew are just shills for Bush and the reich, though they're not as in-your-face about it as Faux Nooz.

Perhaps that's how they kept their government funding; who knows?

Anyway--as I said, I haven't read a lot of the posts on NPR Check, but if you too have noticed the shift to the right on NPR, give it a read.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The census data is out!

I know: statistical excitement! Still, there are some interesting pages to view in the 2009 Statistical Abstract.

Here's a table looking at "Money Income of Households—Percent Distribution by Income
Level, Race, and Hispanic Origin, in Constant (2006) Dollars: 1980 to 2006
." Note the median income in dollars during this period:

1980 - $41,258. Wow, that's pretty decent for 28 years ago. (When you break it down by race, you see a mostly sad story: White=$43,527, Black=$25,076, Hispanic=$31,802, and Asian/Pacific Islander=$57,500.)

1990 - $44,778. The median went up only 3520 bucks during the Reagan/BushI decade. Thanks, you bastards.

2000 - $49,163. A couple years of Poppy Bush, then eight years of Bill Clinton and an increase of 4385 bucks. Better than the hell years of Reagan, but not that much better. Still, we didn't know how lucky we were.

2005 - $47,845. What's that? A DROP during the miracle of the Bush Economy? I can't believe it! The best part is that we're not even dealing with a decade; in the five years between 2000 and 2005, the median household income dropped $1318. Wow.

2006 - $48,201. The median still hasn't even caught up to 2000 levels. Heckuva job, Chimpy.

As mathematics and statistics tend to cause my mind to congeal into a cement-like state, I'm only looking at this one table. I imagine geniuses like Matty Boy and Distributorcap will be knockin' 'em out of the park with all these numbers. They likez da numberz.

Monday, January 05, 2009

16 Things you don't know 'bout me

Beth Coffey at Cup of Coffey tagged me on Facebook to do this meme, listing 16 things you don't know about me. The task is a little daunting, but I'll give it a whirl.

1. I don't have a middle name; neither does my brother or two of my sisters. Only the youngest, Nora (Aida), has a middle name. My parents have never explained this.

2. I have always been a Dallas Cowboys fan, although I loved Super Joe Montana and often rooted for the Niners to win (unless they were playing the Cowboys).

3. The name of my college cover band was "The Score."

4. My favorite newspaper comic is "Mutts."

5. I am apparently (I've been told) a very private person and reveal very little about my thoughts and emotions, preferring instead to ask questions of and learn more about other people. It's not that I won't tell you about myself; I just would rather answer questions than think up stuff about myself, so just ask if you want to know.

6. I've been a vegetarian for almost seven years, mostly because I love farm animals and don't like to think of hurting them just so I can eat. I also do it for environmental and political reasons.

7. I like birds and nature. (I'm throwing this one in as the "Duh!" parallel of the obvious #1 that Beth used.)

8. I lived in Texas my whole life before moving to PA in 2003, and I always thought I'd never leave -- until I left. Now I hope never to live there again, as I've discovered that other places are more beautiful and offer more opportunities. When I move to California, I'll be singing, "Two girls for every... girl!"

9. I have no biological clock. Even back when I was young and thought I'd marry and have kids, I always figured I'd adopt. I just have no desire to bring more babies into the world or "experience the miracle of childbirth," or whatever -- not when there are so many babies out there up for adoption. (But I'll likely never adopt; I'm too old now.)

10. I love love love the Harry Potter books, and I've read each of them at least ten times. In fact, I usually re-read books I like.

11. I love love love "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (the TV series), and I own the Chosen Collection, thanks to Matty. I watch at least one episode six out of seven nights a week. Yeah, I love it that much. Matty and I find some new bit of Joss Whedon genius or trivia almost every time we watch. The latest: I realized last night that the vampire Sandy, whom Riley meets and eventually allows to bite him in Season 5 (when he's being an over-the-top emo moron), is actually the same character and actress that Vampire Willow sired in "Doppelgangland" (Season 3). Sadly, though, I just googled and found out I'm not the only one who noticed this stunning little bit of Joss Whedon magic. Still--Matty hadn't caught that one yet!

12. I'm a woodworker. I love to build useful stuff like shelves, tables, etc.

13. When Matty and I move to California, the first thing we'll do after we've put Niblet in the house is drive to the beach. I love the beach!

14. I try to learn new things as often as I can, whether it's just something I read in the paper or a new job skill or whatever. A day without learning is a day wasted, at least for me.

15. The easiest way to get me to open up is ask me what kind of work environment I enjoy. (Step back.)

16. (oh man, I didn't think I'd make it to 16!) I didn't think I'd make it to 16! Kidding. Um... I'm trying to lose at least 20 lbs before we move to California.

Done! Okay, all you introspective people who are looking for something to blog about--drop and gimme 16!

Check out my head!

I was so happy to receive a cashmere hat from enc at observationmode! Here's what I had to do to win. Thanks, enc! It's soooooo warm.

Um, why are my eyes different sizes? And wow, what's with the bags underneath them? Holy shit. I guess I should be happy I'm not more wrinkly, but that's just because I'm so pudgy. Hmph.

Here's my pal Niki, getting all happy because the hat is soooo soft:

New year, new bloggy header

As discussed previously, the header for this blog has changed to "...other dreams" (though the URL remains the same), because Nancy Pelosi and the other chicken dems in Congress can't seem to show any regard for our laws, our Constitution, or international law. The War Criminal in Chief is still in office for a few more weeks, and all we can hope for is the appointment of a special prosecutor (preferably Patrick Fitzgerald) to charge him and his buddy Darth Cheney with war crimes, treason, lying to the American people, illegal invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation, and whatever the hell else you want to add to the indictment. I'm thinking "grand theft" should also be thrown in, as he and his pals have fleeced us out of billions.
Until then, we'll keep dreaming here at the bloggy. You do the same.