So, is it or isn’t it? At this point, I guess that should be was it or wasn’t it? I’m talking about that Chinese balloon that floated across the country doing…whatever it was it was doing. If you ask the Chinese, they’ll tell you it was a weather balloon measuring wind patterns. The US says it was likely a spy balloon, taking a look to see what’s what. Once it was safe to do so, the US shot the thing down and is now working to gain the equipment the thing was carrying. They’ll know, soon, what it was looking at and why.
Meanwhile, Former Guy’s namesake – in an effort to prove the mental shortcomings of the patriarch seem to have been inherited – took a shot at blaming Biden for some perceived failure by suggesting that the good people of Montana could “do their thing.” He wrote, for everyone to see, “If Joe Biden and his administration are too weak to do the obvious and shoot down an enemy surveillance balloon perhaps we just let the good people of Montana do their thing… I imagine they have the capability and resolve to do it all themselves.”
This balloon was flying as high as airliners fly. What the hell kind of weaponry does Dumbass Jr think they have in Montana? If the shooters miss, as they surely will, where do the rounds fall? If they hit it, virtually impossible, are there dangers to dropping an unknown piece of equipment from 7 to 11 miles up?
I’ll tell you this: It’s no surprise a con wants to impugn Biden. It’s what they do. But I recommend not making yourself look the bigger fool by just suggesting stupid, stupid stuff just to try to make a political opponent look bad. That tends to boomerang…
That horrifying human being, Marjorie Taylor-Greene is in the news again this morning. She’s out whining that her salary is too low. How’s THAT for disconnected? MTG makes – officially – $174,000/yr. Worse, it seems those clowns work only about half the year to begin with. Even worse? Congress is the only place in this once-great nation where insider trading is officially allowed. They don’t call it that, but as the Bard pointed out, what’s in a name? If a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, a fresh pile of poop, by any other name would still stink. And, in my opinion, Congress critters allowing themselves to profit from their insider information stinks…
Don’t get me wrong. I do actually believe MTG thinks she’s not making enough money. Congress critters have the freedom to set their own pay rates. They USED to vote on annual increases but that took on some tough “optics” as time went on so they just passed an annual increase for themselves. In my personally revised US Constitution, I addressed that problem. I tie the salary of Congress critters to the median annual income of the American people. That way, if Congress critters want more money, they have to improve the lot of the American people. When the fortunes of the masses decrease, so does the pay of the “representatives.”
I’ll tell you this: I get tired of hearing people who make so much whine about how little they make or how tough it is trying to get by on “only $174,000 a year – especially when this same crowd will tell other people they should be able to get by on $15/hr ($31,200/yr). Let’s all be sure to offer MTG the “one finger salute” every chance we get…
There are things in this once-great nation that we all suffer from that have fixes – but people won’t fix them. I say “people” and not just “Congress” because no one wants them changed despite the damage they do. I classify these as things people could fix, should fix, but won’t fix. First up? Homelessness.
Homelessness is not an accident. It’s a manufactured crisis affecting more Americans every day. But no one wants the “fix” because everyone profits from the scam all the way down the line – except the people who can’t keep up anymore. They just suffer. They become the great unwashed and get shuffled from campsite to campsite. Modern day Hoovervilles. It takes too much space to cover over the course of a blurb in a blog properly and in detail. It would take a book to explain and support the position and this ain’t a book so, instead, you get the thumbnail.
Around the beginning of the 21st century, Wall Street had introduced a new investment tool, the mortgage derivative. It was presented as “solving” the problem of loan defaults. Instead, it destabilized the entire mortgage banking industry through fraud. The result was the economic crash of 2008. When the crash came, people started losing the houses they had borrowed too much to buy. Some because they couldn’t keep up with the payments, some through “strategic walkaways.” The banks ended up owning a LOT of houses.
The banks SHOULD have fixed up the houses and put them back on the market, but they didn’t. The houses were now “valued” too high and putting all of them back on the market at once would have, certainly, caused the house prices to fall back to where they should have been. This would have increased strategic walkaways as people found themselves permanently under water. So, the government found a way to protect the bankers AND the artificially increased equity in owned homes. Unfortunately, because the country was already suffering the economic turmoil of Wall Street greed, that meant the masses were no longer in a position to buy the overpriced houses. So, in 2011, the government changed a rule and allowed “pooled money investors” to buy single family homes. Prior to that, they had been limited to strip malls, office complexes, and apartment buildings.
The pooled money investors started buying and haven’t stopped – and they aren’t going to. The fact that they ARE “pooled money” means they have no competition when it comes to bidding on housing. The average borrower simply can not keep up. The tragic phenomenon is summed up in every commercial for companies that will buy any house, cash, at any time, in any condition, with no inspections, no repairs, and you get to pick your escrow length – anything from days to a month. There’s simply no way an average borrower can compete.
The fix? Require the pooled money investors to divest from single family housing and give them a short window to sell off their existing inventory. Yes, the flood of houses would cause housing prices to drop fast and far. That’s the goal. It would “right-price” housing again. But it would also cost homeowners their artificially inflated equity. They don’t want that. Property tax roles would decline along with everything else. Governments don’t want that. Buying and selling properties would become less lucrative. Real estate agents and banks don’t want that. I understand all of their positions. But with everybody protecting their own, private position, they’re all, collectively, bringing America to her knees.
In short, there’s a direct link between the homelessness problem in America today and our “free market” driven greed. Remember that the next time you see a letter to the editor complaining about homeless encampments or the news stories about the encampments being rousted and relocated. Homeless encampments are direct and frustrating evidence of the failure of so-called “free market” Capitalism, the direct product of deregulation. We could do something about it. We should do something about it. But we won’t do anything about it.
Yes, I know, that’s only one aspect of the three-pronged problem of homelessness: poverty, drug (including alcohol) abuse, and mental illness. But fixing the last two requires the same solution: involuntary institutionalization and treatment – and we can’t do that because rich people don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes so we lack the resources – which is stupid. America really IS the richest nation on Earth. It’s just that all the wealth is concentrated in, like, 15 people’s hands…
I’ll tell you this: as their numbers swell, I expect the homeless will get fed up with the unfairness of the whole thing, becoming angrier and angrier. How do YOU think this is going to end? But, hey, for a short, wonderful while, there, some had amazing equity…