“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

save the date

Our annual Celebrate Your Monkey Ancestors / War On Christmas party will be held the evening of Saturday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. This will be a very special Monkey Ancestors Day since we will be toasting the new mandate that will finally allow us to enact our agenda (see #23). If you are on the Vino Veritas mailing list, you will be receiving more information soon. If you are not-- and would like to be-- please e-mail us at panhandletruthsquad@yahoo.com.

Plan to join us and learn the best way to upend a Wingnut:


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gawd, this blog is boring!


How can we make this blog better? It seems to be just a few posts here and there. A few comments here and there.

Do we need a makeover?

How do we get the word out about us?


More contributors?

-Prodigal Son

Saturday, November 22, 2008

amarillo globe-news reaches bottom

In a story published Thursday on job cuts, the Globe-News stated:

The exact number of jobs eliminated was not released.
The writer of the story, you see, was unable to get the exact number of layoffs from the anonymous functionary at the massive corporation that cut those jobs. Which might be understandable, except that the headline of the story was:
Globe-News eliminates about 20 jobs
Seriously? I realize that investigative journalism isn't really the Globe-News's, um, thing, but really? They weren't able to call up themselves and ask if it was 19 or 21 jobs? What, was the anonymous functionary's job eliminated before he could provide the number? Or was the writer's job cut before he could fact check his piece?

Rock. Freaking. Bottom.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Save the American Car

Just some thoughts after speaking to an auto sector analyst buddy on how to solve the mess the big 3 are in . . .

1. Buy the big 3 out at current market cap plus 20% (around $10 billion) and put a couple of cpa's in charge who just pay bills. Sell all perks like $33 million jets, and fire board and all top brass. Minimal pensions for these jokers.

2. Combine them all into a single holding company, gov't takes over pension liabilities, (pension benefit guarantee corp (tax payer) is going to have to do this anyway)

3. Stop all manufacturing immediately/retool all plants/ww2 took 5 months to retool keep 10 brands but must all be hybrids or all get minimum 35mpg.

  • sell all current stock at dealerships for cost plus reasonable profit. Taxpayers tote note.
  • construction boost to plant regions.
  • pay workers during process (unemployment benefits anyway if detroit goes boom)
  • employees have to accept pay freeze for 5 years.

4. put all employees on gov't health plan.

When things are going better, allow the company to go public, pay back the taxpayers FIRST.

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hugs and Kisses, and Champagne Dreams

Traitor Joe gets to keep all his toys. The vote was not even close, 42-13 IN FAVOR of letting McCain's number one fan stay as Chairman of the Homeland security committee.

Here is the LAUNDRY LIST of lies/hate/fear from Joe. Thanks a fuc*ing lot Connecticut, and ahhh, isn't that love for each other in the good old senate boys club sweet!

Just asking but how does this jibe with having him in the caucus?

"Feared a 60-seat Democratic majority:
Lieberman made clear that he firmly opposes Democrats gaining 60 seats in the Senate, saying that he “fears” for the survival of the U.S. if Democrats break the filibuster threshold. [11/04/08] "

Can just ONE reporter ask traitor Joe if he still thinks that, since we might actually have 59 solid democratic seats, and Joey making it 60?

I know Obama wants b-partisan, blah, blah, blah. For the moment I will trust the judgement of the Demos and the President-elect.

But if traitor Joe steps out of line, the netroots, the base, are gonna be pissed.

-Prodigal Son

Sunday, November 16, 2008

House of Cards

I have been reading everything I can about our markets, credit, investment banking. Clients are screaming, businesses are nervous. My 401k statement came in and I just shredded it without looking. I already looked at it the day before online.

How? When? What now? Before the what now, we have to look at our macroeconomic journey over the last 30 years, especially the creation of the next big bubble economy rather than one based on things we all can get our heads around, you know, like energy, infrastructure, touchable tech, production for export, etc.

The best article I have read so far has been by Michael Lewis called, "The End" regarding all the subprime mess, and wall street's mentality. Go read it TODAY.

It bugged me, being in the industry, but it can be summed up by a quote in it from Steve Eisman, "These guys lied to infinity. What I learned from that experience was that Wall Street didn’t give a shit what it sold.”

Here is how, "In 2000, there had been $130 billion in subprime mortgage lending, with $55 billion of that repackaged as mortgage bonds. But in 2005, there was $625 billion in subprime mortgage loans, $507 billion of which found its way into mortgage bonds."

Get it? Over the last several years, a big pile of shit, leveraged several times, rated by companies that had no downside models in their calculations, slightly polished said turd, and then it was sold as AAA bonds to your state pension, municipal governments, and retirement plans. It was made larger by hedge funds who shorted the whole mess and provided more funds to continue feeding the hog.

The article gives a great example of wall street's new ideology formed in the in the 80's by the "Reaganauts" when Salomon Brothers went public at the behest of CEO John Gutfreund, "He and the other partners not only made a quick killing; they transferred the ultimate financial risk from themselves to their shareholders. [Bold Mine]

It didn’t, in the end, make a great deal of sense for the shareholders. (A share of Salomon Brothers purchased when I arrived on the trading floor, in 1986, at a then market price of $42, would be worth 2.26 shares of Citigroup today—market value: $27.) But it made fantastic sense for the investment bankers.

Is it sinking in? The economy is not about you, or us, or small businesses, or America. It's about the insiders. And you and I ain't one of those.

And really, can you blame them? Who among us could have passed it up. Big BIG bucks were made.

Speaking only for myself, if someone from Lehman came up in 2003 and said, "We need you to come over and be a collateralized mortgage bond trader, and sell them to XYZ. You will make $10 mm this year"! Would/could I have . . .

1. Staring down that amount of $$$ admitted that, after doing some research, I had no frikkin' clue what the CDO/CMO banking division was doing accounting wise, and NOT taken the job?

2. After I had made some bucks, get out there and faced down all of Wall Street and exposed the now tarnished big shitpile?

Could you? Maybe that says it all. Maybe nothing.

-Prodigal Son

Thursday, November 13, 2008

victory party

It's the dancin' we didn't get to do!!!
We are having a "Victory Party" at 212, Friday night from 7:00 till whenever.
"Shake your groove thing"!!!
Amarillo Area Democrats

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

save the date

Our annual Celebrate Your Monkey Ancestors / War On Christmas party will be held the evening of Saturday, December 13. This will be a very special Monkey Ancestors Day since we will be toasting the new mandate that will finally allow us to enact our agenda (see #23). If you are on the Vino Veritas mailing list, you will be receiving more information soon. If you are not-- and would like to be-- please e-mail us at panhandletruthsquad@yahoo.com.

Plan to join us and learn the best way to upend a Wingnut:


Saturday, December 13. Saturday, December 13. Saturday, December 13. Saturday, December 13. Saturday, December 13.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Revolution Day 4

I am only now coming down from Tuesday's incredible high and, being a workin' stiff, just finding the time to post this. Here are some stream-of-semi-consciousness ramblings.

Great hope: That this country is finally rising up and living out the true meaning of its creed.

Great fear: Dubya, in one last delusional binge, attempts to use a terrorist attack as excuse for remaining in office.

Old friends: The immediate aftermath of victory brought to mind mainly all the faces of folks with whom I have worked for this moment, and my pride at those associations. That's when I bawled like a baby.

New friends: Having landed in a state that is just this side of the purple divide, I'm getting to know some good folks, but finding out that the depth of passion might be greatest where the pickings are slim and none.

Analysis: What the pundits still fail to see is that the source of Obama's appeal is in his character. He has the good will of 2/3 of the public at his back, and an opportunity to remake the electoral map for a long time. He will fulfill his promise not by providing instant gratification to everyone, but by providing a steady hand on the tiller, and progress toward the goals he laid out. That is what is expected of him.

Implication: Barring major mistakes, which the president-elect has not made so far, this is not the low tide for Republicans. They can expect still more losses for some years as they struggle to understand why their current brand of politics has been rejected (hint: it's what Lincoln said).

Further implication: Keep working to turn blue those areas of the country that haven't got there yet. There is more to be gained, especially among the young, who voted and worked in record numbers. There is a whole new generation behind them who will be eager to cast ballots in 2012.

Holiday wishes: Live long and prosper.


Will Democrats ever learn?
-- Amarillo Globe-Republican, 11/7/2004

Yes we can:

More Pictures From the Watch/Victory Party

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yeppers . . .

What An Amazing Accomplishment

Per Jonathan Schwarz

It's September 12, 2001. You're sitting in front of a TV, watching footage of the World Trade Center collapse over and over and over again.

All of a sudden, someone from seven years in the future walks out of a tiny temporal vortex, and tells you: George W. Bush is going to fuck this up so badly that in 2008, the United States of America will likely elect as president a black man whose middle name is Hussein and whose father was Muslim. Oh, and he also admits he's used cocaine.

I think it would have been easier to convince me of the reality of time travel. "No, no, I believe you really are from the future. But the other stuff, that's CRAZY."

-Prodigal Son

Be "more American"

Enjoy your extended trip to the political wilderness, Lorne Tjernagel's of America. You've earned it.

What is best in life?

We Have Overcome

History. And we were a part of it. Not just observers.

Colorado? Obama.

New Mexico. Obama?

Virginia . . . OBAMA!

Surreal . . . amazing. Yes we can? Yes, We DID!

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there," -President-Elect BARACK OBAMA 11/4/2008

This country is closer to it's fundamental ideals than ever before. Tears were streaming down my face watching Obama's speech, and I thought about my kids curled up asleep upstairs, and what Obama and WE have proven. That if a black kid living in poverty in Chicago with a Muslim name in a single-parent home can bust his rear-end to get through school and reach the highest office in the land, what can my children achieve? What can our country achieve?

The top .5%'ers and wealthy republicans have just had the unthinkable happen. Someone who was not from a rich, well connected, blue-blood family is headed to the white house. HA!HA! Get it . . . the WHITE HOUSE . . . anyhoo. . .

Let's celebrate. Celebrate all that is great with America, and what we can look forward to. Obama is our next President, but WE THE PEOPLE elected HIM.

A quick wishlist . . .

1. Our brothers and sisters in Iraq? Time to come home. To rest. To heal and be uplifted.
2. THREE supreme court judge pix.
3. Joe Lieberman? Pack up your shit and take it down to Human Resources.
4. Renewable energy
5. Stem cell research
6. EVOLUTION is not a theory anymore
7. GLOBAL WARMING is not a theory anymore
8. Infrastructure! Infrastructure!
9. DOJ back to normal.
10. Cheney/Rummy/Wolfie/Condi . . . in jail. (Won't happen, I'm WISHING DAMMIT!)

What would you add?

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"That One" Won

Terrorist Fist Bumps All Around

What a Night, My Friends


Preliminary Results


Chip Chandelier, Not a Globe-News reviewer...

Deep Throat...

PanhandleYoung Democrats Watch/Victory Party

We'll be liveblogging. Posts will be under my name, but not necessarily posted by me.



Watch (Hopefully Victory) Party

Party at the NAT Ballroom
November 4, 2008
Located @: 2705 W. 6th
Time: 8:00 PM
Come watch Daniel Katsuik from Spoonfed Tribe and St. John Baptist Choir, eat great food, and party. For those folks coming from afar we have 10 rooms reserved @ La QUINTA Inn off I-40 E(A stone throw away from the party.) $10.00 @ the door for food and fun and history making events. Strongly suggested donation for beer, wine, and spirits. Parking at RR and Aware Amarillo and we will shuttle. Please send to all your contacts and we will see you there.

Organized by Panhandle Young Democrats

This Is Not The Most Important Election Of Your Life

This Is Not The Most Important Election Of Your Life

This is not the most important election of your life.
Though I too would hope for an end of sorrows,
We’re stuck forever between love and strife.

Raise your voice and glass, bang drum, play fife.
Tell your friends that you believe in new tomorrows.
This is not the most important election of your life.

Pretend, if you must, to prefer the spoon to the knife,
But both are for eating, that’s just how it goes.
We’re stuck forever between love and strife.

With the delusion of difference, politics is rife.
From this poison seed, faith in democracy grows.
This is not the most important election of your life.

Politics makes for the strangest midwife,
Birthing only twins. Perhaps only a broken heart knows,
We’re stuck forever between love and strife.

Life will go on, as will friends and foes,
Curses, blessings, smiles and sorrows.
This is not the most important election of your life.
We’re stuck forever between love and strife.

G O     V O T E !

Monday, November 03, 2008

why so serious?

Eight long years gone by now-- and it seems like so many more-- since I told Prodigal Son, in the face of impending disaster, that I still couldn't close my eyes and see George W. Bush as President. He was only the ceremonial leader of a southern state with a weak-ass government designed to keep Reconstruction from ever returning to Texas. In that at least he had succeeded, as had all previous Texas governors. To claim this success, he had only to do the same thing that all previous governors of the Lone Scar State had done-- watch Bob Bullock administer what there was of the state's government. Bullock had run Texas since Texas was a Republic; he knew what he was doing.

Eight long years gone by -- and it seems like so many more-- since I watched the 2000 election approach as uncomprehendingly as Jaguar Paw watching the Spanish ships at the end of Apocalypto. Like those ships, that election would twist our world out of recognition, and I didn't know it. All I could say to Prodigal was, "Well, if he does somehow win, at least it will be a great time for satire. Doonesbury will be better than it's ever been. That cheerleader guy on SNL looks exactly like Bush-- he could do some good impressions."

In that, at least, I was right. In the past eight years, we have buried, buried, the old stereotype of the humorless, politically correct liberal. Doonesbury, yes, but also Franken, and Stewart, and Colbert, and a thousand thousand bloggers have been hilarious. Against them, Fox threw up The 1/2 Hour News Hour, which epic-failed after an unlucky thirteen episodes. Dennis Miller, who had once been funny, found neocon humor to be as elusive as those weapons of mass destruction (remember those? Now that's funny...).

Miller wrecked his career to the point that it is now nearly impossible-- as Tina Fey, the accidental impressionist, effortlessly merges Palin-shtick with Palin-reality-- to remember that he was once the best Weekend Update anchor SNL had ever had. But that was back when he made fun of power, rather than twisting and perverting his talent in the service of power.

So is that it? In order to be funny, is it necessary to be the jester in the court, to speak truth to those in power? Can those who hold the power never be truly funny? Will Stewart and Colbert be required to make fun of President Obama lest they follow Dennis Miller into Thalia's graveyard?

Not necessarily. Comedy is not such a simple formula. The last time liberals were this funny was in the Sixties, a time when conservatives imagine that we held enough power to wreck worlds. Many of the funniest activists held little true political power-- people like Abbie Hoffman, whose Yippies nominated a pig for President; the late, great Hunter S. Thompson; and Lenny Bruce, who kept getting sent to jail for saying a word that is on book covers today. They held little overt power, but it's hard to argue that they didn't define the times. Meanwhile, LBJ-- who wielded enough power to force journalists to interview him while he sat on the toilet-- also had a sense of humor, a sick and twisted one, but a sense of humor.

By the Eighties, things had Changed. The liberal standard-bearers were dullards like Mondale and Dukakis, who (like McCain now) occasionally looked funny but never were funny. And the Republican president, Ronald Reagan, was genuinely funny, whatever else he was. Then there was P.J. O'Rourke, the founder of the reptilian branch of the Republican party and author of "How to Drive Fast On Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink". He once defined the Republican Party Reptile as believing in "minimum government interference in private affairs—unless the government brings over extra girls and some ice." That was funny.

Of course, there were probably funny conservatives during the Days of Rage (and certainly over-serious liberals) and Berke Breathed and Matt Groening, at least, managed to be funny liberals during the Age of Reagan (while George Will has always been pompous, precious and annoying). So the truth is that a sense of humor is relatively independent of political power.

Surely, then, as the pendulum swings and progressivism's star rises, it is neither an inevitability nor a paradox that conservatives have utterly and completely lost their sense of humor. It is simply an indication of the character of neoconservatism that so many of it's proponents seem to have descended into the lowest depths of anger, bitterness, and hate in the face of humiliating loss.

I won't repeat all of the well-documented things that have been shouted about Obama at Palin rallies, won't rehash the inaccurate and mean-spirited e-mails, won't drop my jaw at those who will cut - their own - face to make a political candidate look bad. Instead, here's a smallish anecdote from a morning radio show: A girl dressed as Barack Obama for Halloween. In her own neighborhood, people she probably knew were shouting n-words at her, demanding to know why she chose that costume.

Our trolls will, perhaps, point out that this story is anecdotal. It is still illustrative of the ignorance that underlies the neocon lack of humor, and if you don't want to believe this story, you can look up the well-documented examples and find the same ignorance. Do you really think that wearing a political mask expresses a certain sympathy? Did everyone who ever wore a Clinton or a Nixon mask worship the president whose face they donned?

And so, on this election eve, with a million million reasons to vote for Senator Obama (I already have), there is also this: the coming years will be tough, whoever leads us. We might find much to laugh at in a McCain/Palin administration, but we would be laughing for all the wrong reasons. McCain showed, at the Al Smith dinner, that he could read semi-funny lines-- but Obama read his speech like he was reading something the writers of the Daily Show wrote for him for the first time...and genuinely cracking up. We've laughed at conservatives for long enough. It's time to laugh with progressives. I want to believe that Obama will keep us smiling, and that happy days are here again.