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Actor Max Schreck in still frame from movie 'Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror' (1922)
Former Sen. Phil Gramm, seen here after devouring a human soul
Former senator Phil Gramm, who is primarily famous these days as being associated with every major economic meltdown and scandal in the last twenty years, and who said in 2008 that the whole Great Recession did not actually exist, calling it a "mental" recession and saying that we had become a "nation of whiners", wants you to know that the real problem with America is not all that various shit he and his fellow near-crooks have done over the last dozen years but, instead, all of the damn poor people today taking advantage of food stamps and disability and whatnot instead of going out and getting some of those jobs that still do not actually exist:
In 1980 and 1992, only 3% of the American labor force drew disability benefits from the government. Today it is 6%. The number of workers qualifying for disability since the recession ended in 2009 has grown twice as fast as private employment.

How would Presidents Jimmy Carter or George H.W. Bush have fared on their Election Day if 40% of the Americans who were unemployed had instead qualified for disability benefits? How would voters have reacted in 1980 or 1992 if food-stamp benefits had grown by 65% instead of an average of less than 25% during the first four years of their administrations?

During the past four years, the Obama administration's aggressive promotion of the food-stamp program has increased the number of recipients by 18.5 million. Do these people feel the same level of discontent about economic conditions as the rest of the voting population?

See there? The reason so so many people are voting for Barack Obama in this election is that they're not hungry enough. In the wake of the Great Recession. When the first sub-eight-percent unemployment numbers have come in in for-freaking-ever, itself a dismally modest improvement that proved so shocking to conservatives that they have all but convinced themselves that it must be a government plot. Why, if we let those 18.5 million people starve, they'd be much more pissed off—and then they'd go out and vote for Mitt Romney!

This is, mind you, the exact philosophy behind Romney's infamous "47 percent" comments: those damn poor people all have it too good, what with social programs designed to allow them to not die in the streets, and of course people like that aren't going to vote for the good, responsible Republicans who want to bring back "dying on the streets" as this century's hot new thing. It does not dawn on Phil Gramm, who is a remarkable idiot by any standards, that the increases in food stamps and other government assistance are the obvious and expected results of a prolonged and utterly devastating economic downturn—no, it must be because we are just being too damn generous these days. This is the world according to Phil Gramm. He then goes on to complain that Obama hasn't fixed all the various things Phil Gramm and his fellow financial wizards have screwed up in the last decade, so clearly it's time to pass the reins to Mitt Romney so Phil Gramm and his fellow financial wizards can get back to screwing it up worse.

Sweet merciful crap, will this guy ever just shut the hell up already? Economics-wise, he's History's Greatest Monster. He and his wife Wendy were prime shakers behind energy deregulation—leading directly to the Enron scandal and collapse (Wendy both helped deregulate Enron and then went to work for them at a tidy salary, ka-ching, because that is how the Phil Gramm household operates.) His deregulation penchant also brought us all the unregulated glory of credit default swaps, leading Time magazine to call him out as one of the 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis. Oh, and then he fled from the senate to a sweetheart lobbyist position at UBS, just in time for UBS to wreck itself mightily in the subprime mortgage business, get called out for intentionally cheating customers, and be probed for assisting client money laundering. If there's one guy who knows how to cause epic, nation-shattering economic fiascos, it's Phil Gramm. If you told me he was one of the four horsemen of the economic apocalypse, my only reply would be to wonder if maybe he wasn't actually two or three of them.

That pedigree seems to be precisely why the Wall Street Journal editorial page still wants his opinions on things. Any Wall Street wizard can be wrong—and how! Not every captain of the financial industry can be wrong so very, very often, to such devastating effect, and still be able to declare with a straight face that all these troubles today are caused by The Poors.

Wait—yes they can. That's exactly what they all do. It's the only damn reason the Wall Street Journal editorial page even exists.

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Comment Preferences

    •  How's about their top guy ??? Mr. Entitled. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psyched, Larsstephens

      A.k.a.: Mitt.

      And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God.


      "One Mighty and Strong" has been Mitt's nickname, at least among believers in Joseph Smith's "White Horse Prophecy" since he was in the Cougar Club at BYU in Provo.

      The rambling prophecy, itself, is too far out for church leaders at LDS. It is officially not a part of teaching among LDS faithful. But as a Mormon-connected cult, "WHP" is alive and well.

      Research "WHP" with respect to Glenn Beck for more. The text of the prophecy involves a bizarre misreading of the last book of the Christian Bible, "The Revelation of St. John the Divine."

      There, in the 66th book of the bible, the Christian Anti-Christ is the man on the white horse who is the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Strange as it sounds, this is the figure used by Joseph Smith to be his conqueror.

      Love that conqueror !!

      Mormons do not read the Christian Bible. Their appreciation of The Revelation is close to zero. Talking with Catholics and Protestants... not happening.

      So it remains open season for "WHP" cultists to prey on the ordinary Saints using the prophecy.

      Romney's people have pulled out tons of money with this scam.

  •  like all goppers, when Gramm says "poor people" (16+ / 0-)

    what he really means is "black people".  He just doesn't have the ping-pongs to say so out loud.

    •  No, they hate poor whites (6+ / 0-)

      I don't know where you've been. Yes, they use blacks and Hispanics to gin the poor white people up and support the GOP. But the GOP absolutely considers all poor people as having no value beyond being potential cogs in a corporate wheel.
      They want rid of minimum wage laws and worker protections and then want people desperate enough to work a job for $3 an hour.

      Republicans in elected office, by and large are not racists. Much like George McGovern, they just know how to exploit it for political gain.

      Mitt Romney loves women so much, he keeps a whole binder full of them*.

      by MasterKey on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:49:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They hate middle class whites, too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They hate anyone who stands in the way of extracting as much wealth as possible from the US economy and workforce.

        "Mitt Romney is Dick Cheney with more charisma"

        by Betty Pinson on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:29:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Excuse me, George McGovern? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim R, tinfoilhat, MasterKey

        I'm sure that was a typo, you meant George Wallace, right?
        But yes they hate poor Whites too. And Native Americans. And LGBTA and Asians and Uppity Wimin and.....
        It's race AND class AND gender AND preference AND.... It's any division they can sow between any group of people not exactly like them. They divide the Cubans from the rest of the Latin population! And they trade on a long tradition of racial hatred, subtly, in dog whistles, to win over voters that should run the other way.
        When your REAL numbers are in the 10-15% range and you want to rule the world, you have to keep all other groups smaller than 10% and at each other's throats.
           [Here's a little heresy to the Left]:
        Just because you are white, wealthy, male... doesn't mean you are home free. It just means that the primaries are over. Now you have to fight your way up the RichWhiteMale pecking order.
        (I had the extremely unpleasant experience of most of a year of High School in an "Exclusive Preparatory School". They hone the mean streak on each other while they are getting ready to go out and "take on the world")
        They divide the top 0.1% from the rest of the RWM and the riffraff with armed guards and security fences.

        •  Lol, yeah (0+ / 0-)

          Not a typo, just misremembering the George presidential candidate. I did mean George Wallace. That was two decades before I was born, so I mixed up names.

          Mitt Romney loves women so much, he keeps a whole binder full of them*.

          by MasterKey on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 12:05:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Also this (0+ / 0-)
      Do these people feel the same level of discontent about economic conditions as the rest of the voting population?
      "The rest of the voting population" in his opinion is those who fit in Mitt Romney's middle class and up: minimum $200K annual income, a tiny percent of the population who are the only ones that should be permitted to vote.
    •  He hates white trash just as much. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And I've lived in a trailer so I get to say "white trash" any time I want.

  •  Bill Maher's right. (20+ / 0-)

    There needs to be a penalty for being wrong all the time about really important things.

  •  Hey--Phil's looking a lot better these days. (17+ / 0-)

    He's lost weight, bought a new suit, and got himself a  manicure.  

  •  This stuff is working. Everyone I hear (21+ / 0-)

    in person is complaining about welfare, poor people having it good, food stamps, "dependency."

    The problem is the plutocrats are in such a different world that no one really bumps up against them. No one understands that THEY are the problem. That the nation of 300 million is governed on behalf of 400 families.

    I don't know how to solve this dilemma. It's a real problem, and it works for the right wing.

    •  how about making it so "uncomfortable" for them (3+ / 0-)

      that they go elsewhere?  tax the living shit out of them until they're forced to go to some other country where they can be their problem for a change.  

      the problem is, there really isn't another country on earth that seems to have taxpaying suckers as dumb as the us.

    •  We solve this problem of misinformation by (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GDbot, CwV, Blicero

      informing people about who the real enemies of We The People are. People forget and they may never have known who this guy is.He is worth knowing.

      Resentment is an old grudge that is too easily bought.
      We need to sell the truth in a way they can absorb it.
      You start by framing "Foreclosure Phil" with the proper

      People will probably remember the Enron scandal because it robbed so many ordinary people of their pensions.
      People can relate to that. Then give them enough background on this menace to society that makes any association with him toxic.

      Sometimes I think we need to study the art of propaganda to get our message across. Maybe we should book Karl Rove or Frank Luntz for a session.

      •  Well, yeah (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        side pocket, GDbot

        When I talk to those poeople, I say it exactly like this:

        "C'mon, can we be real for a minute? Do you REALLY think this country is run for the poor? C'mon, no fooling, you REALLY think that? Don't be a sucker."

        Then I explain how the entire Wall Street bubble was erngineered so they could skim billions off the top of trillions in trades on a phony economy, then leave us dealing with the mess.

        Sometimes it works.

        •  I use the same scenario explaining baseball (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          How often have you heard "Our club couldn't afford this player, so he went to free agency and abandoned our family--HE'S the greedy one"--from a FAN?

          I have been answering them by saying "Since when can a billionaire baseball club owner NOT afford just about anything he wants? Since when are YOU concerned about what a billionaire can or cannot afford? When was the last time you saw the billionaire ballclub owner's actual books? Never? Why do you accept his explanation blind? Didn't that famous, talented and future Hall of Famer actually create a lot of wealth by selling tickets, TV and radio spots, jerseys and T-shirts, and millions in concessions at the stadium? Why do you side with a billionaire, who USED this man to make hundreds of millions one year, practically making him a SAINT, a pillar in our community one year, featured lovingly in every single advertisement for the team, and a discarded, useless, persona non grata the very next season?

          Like you, sometimes it works. But baseball fans are very American--very, very easily susceptible to billionaires' propaganda and very loathe to change their tribal mindsets. The player 'left' them; they were abandoned; and the billionaire continues to loot their pockets.

          BTW--I speak of Albert Pujols, whose adoring fans now refer to him as "Albert Who?"...

          "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

          by DaddyO on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:59:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Just saw a FB post putting down the poor... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GDbot, Blicero

      And people I know who should know better just piled on.......I HATE what those evil people are doing to this country.

      Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

      by lutznancy on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:58:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I lost a friend due to this shit... (0+ / 0-)

        Can't stand it when this happened, but I simply have no respect for people who demean and devalue their neighbors because they have less than they do...and it's a way for them to feel superior to those who have less. It's a sick, sick mentality and I just don't understand it. :(

        Seen on Facebook: "Rich people are not the cause of a robust economy, they are the result of a robust economy."

        by boofdah on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 06:02:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another Texas Blowhard....whose 15 minutes are up. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, OhioNatureMom, jds1978, Matt Z
  •  Good news: Obama retakes national pop vote lead... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, OhioNatureMom

    he now leads 1.1% in the TPM national poll tracker. Romney has had a solid lead for over a week. Is this a real change in momentum.....

    I suspect LV Gallup may never close to Obama with a 30+ margin of voters in the south supporting Mittens. More importantly, every day Obama keeps his Gallup regional leads in the east, midwest and west. Can't wait to see what it is at 1pm.

  •  Nosferatu (1922) was a great film (6+ / 0-)

    ..but Phil Gramm has always been an asshole.

  •  Oh, so now it's disabled people (13+ / 0-)

    who are moochers? How many of those disabled are disabled because they were sent off to fight in Iraq? I guess it doesn't matter to people like Phil Gramm, they're still moochers.

    •  Their logic (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      swampyankee, Matt Z, elmo

      If there is a single disabled person out there who could be working a real job of some sort (even though those jobs either don't exist or won't hire the disabled when lots of able-bodied people are available), then all the disabled by his definition are moochers and disability should be eliminated.

      PTSD? Quadriplegia? Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!

      •  And I have a very, very good friend (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, elmo

        Who is disabled from severe PTSD, brought on by a horribly abusive childhood.  He also suffers from diabetes and heart disease.  Yes, he lives on disability payments.  But every day he gets up, even when he's in great pain, and works his butt off for an arts program he founded for disadvantaged kids.  He not only provides free art classes for them, he finds them jobs, such as painting murals, so they can experience actually getting paid for being an artist.  Oh, and at least a third of his disability money goes to buy art supplies for them.  

        One of his former students was, as a younger girl, ready to commit suicide because of her unhappy home life.  She was also an incredibly talented artist.  He got her into the program, nurtured her, got her paying gigs as an artist, wrote her a letter of recommendation to a national art competiton - which she won.  The prize?  Two weeks, all expenses paid, to Italy.  She's now a freshman in college on full scholarship, studying art history.

        Sometimes, when he's feeling really rotten, I ask him why he does all this.  He says it helps the pain go away for a while to know that he's giving these kids a way to express their creativity and vision - something he never had as a child.

        My friend may sound like a special case, but I will bet that there are other stories like this, of people who can't work regular jobs, who rely on government help to get by, but who still try very hard to be productive, caring, involved citizens.  

        If this is mooching, the world needs a hell of a lot more of it.

      •  never mind that you don't have feet (0+ / 0-)

        any more.

    •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

      Plus the demographic curve as more boomers age, more bodies are available to wear out or breakdown.  And once someone in their 50s or early 60s loses a job, good luck getting another, particularly if serious health conditions.

      Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

      by barbwires on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 11:50:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you ever play with data over at the world bank (8+ / 0-)

    It's a great time waster for data and geography geeks.

    It's quite instructive. For example, compare Sweden to the United States in terms of employment to population ratio. Almost identical.

    In other words, Swedes have cradle to grave social welfare programs and higher taxes and they are just as likely to get up in the morning and go to a job as Americans are.

  •  The Photographer Caught Gramm's Good Side... (8+ / 0-)

    ...I didn't know he even had one!

    On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

    by stevemb on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:41:01 AM PDT

  •  One wonders (6+ / 0-)

    if Mr. Gramm found himself unable to afford food, if around the second or third day without he'd change his tune.

    Who am I kidding? Nothing that bad will ever happen to him, no matter how badly he screws up, ever.

    Are you on the Wreck List? Horde on Garrosh.

    by Moody Loner on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:41:03 AM PDT

  •  running his pie hole instead (10+ / 0-)

    of making license plates is exactly whats wrong with our recovery. The crooks are still running the show.

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:41:30 AM PDT

  •  rec'd ya. what a great picture of phil gramm! (5+ / 0-)

    i would've recognized him even without the caption  :D

  •  How does that logic work? (3+ / 0-)

    If Dems starve the poor, they will vote for the Repubs who desire them to starve in the first place?
    If Repubs get their way, starve the poor, the poor will vote for them?

  •  Coughing fit. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, OhioNatureMom

    Laughed so hard over the four horsemen...ended up in a coughing fit.
    Very funny, Hunter! And lord knows we need to laugh- this guy has been a destructive deregulating horror second to (possibly) none.

  •  I thought pic was from (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, OhioNatureMom

    William DeFoe

    John Malkovich

    best vampire film I ever saw IMHO

    if so

    Do not relate Phil Graham w/ William Defoe ...

    gives Wiliam DeFoe a bad name!

    "You can't think and surf at the same time" Yogi Surfdog

    by surfdog on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:43:17 AM PDT

  •  Foreclosure Phil, still selling his b.s. (6+ / 0-)

    The real amazement is that there are people still buying it.

    This is why my fellow Kossacks we must stay up to date and vigilant on exposing these menaces to society from the past. People get busy and forget. I know I do.

    This diary is excellent! Thanks for staying vigilant.

  •  "Festering economic boil" excellent, A+. n/t (6+ / 0-)
  •  Speaking of levels of discontent- (0+ / 0-)

    Joe Sestak was just on MSNBC mouthing off about how enthusiasm among Dems is not what it once was because people who voted for Obama are disappointed that their expectations were not met.  
    That should really motivate the base.  

  •  It's a good thing Gram past was too scandal ridden (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    even for a Republican that he could never make a credible run for the presidency.  It seemed to me that he had that ambition back when he was in the Senate.

    It's been well over a decade since he's been of any relevance whatsoever.  His ideas are obviously grounded in the rich Republican fantasy world that Mitt Romney proffered at that Florida fund-raiser.  Why does anybody bother to pay any attention to Gramm anymore?

    -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

    by gizmo59 on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:45:43 AM PDT

  •  Perhaps a little known bit of trivia is that Wendy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, bluezen, murphthesurf

    Lee Gramm is also an alum of Obama (and my) high school.

    That destroys the meme that Punahou is a hot bed of socialism.

  •  When poor people (4+ / 0-)

    do well, so do rich people.  When rich people do well, that's it.

  •  Phil & Wendy Gramm (9+ / 0-)

    Two of the most disgusting people to ever walk the face of the earth.

    I wish that someday they would face justice for the crimes against humanity they've perpetrated.

    Yes, that sounds dramatic. The words "Wendy Gramm" and "Enron" will always remind me of the cousins who were robbed of every bit of their retirement by that piece of excrement and her horrible partners. In addition to all the customers they scammed, Enron bought up small oilfield companies all over the country, absorbed their assets, and liquidated their pensions or turned them into Enron stock which evaporated, leaving the employees penniless and with no health insurance -- which they needed desperately after working in dirty petroleum industry jobs all their lives.

    My cousin died broke, depressed, and in horrible pain from several wasting cancers due to exposure to carcinogens.

    The Gramms should both be prosecuted for their perfidy and left to rot in prison.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:48:14 AM PDT

    •  Phil Gramm Is The Problem™ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Where it begins and ends.

    •  A-men, Brooke! Many folks PO-ed in Houston (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      from having their retirement investments evaporate.  One is reminded of South Park "'s GONE!".  But definitely NOT funny.

      The connections Phil had with Tom Delay and Texas House speaker Craddick, with re-districting, with Enron, etc.  Was he connected with the " $8 billion Stanford Financial Group Ponzi scheme", as The Nation
      's Lee Fang called it (in reference to Rmoney's son, Tagg)?

      There were other scandals, money-laundering, dishonesty, etc. I've not remembered right now.

      I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

      by tom 47 on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:21:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This disgusting scam (0+ / 0-)

        There is no they, We will sink or swim together.... We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness

        by GDbot on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:25:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah yes! The "bet against techers dying" scam. (0+ / 0-)

          I should have remembered this one.  It strikes a familiar chord in my house when growing up, when then-Governor Ronald Reagan tried to balance the state budget using the California State Teachers Retirement Fund.  I say this as the son and brother of public school teachers.  I would only point out that it didn't succeed, and my just turned 93 year old mother continues to enjoy a healthy happy retirement near Santa Barbara, collecting her teacher's pension.  And Ronald Reagan is...dead.

          We should remember that Perry tried this same maneuver in Texas with the state public retirees pension fund.  What IS it with these guys?  And in this case, was Gramm in on it, too?  Or did he just suggest the idea to Perry?  They certainly think a lot alike.

          I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

          by tom 47 on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:59:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Shorter Gramm (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, jds1978, GDbot, Matt Z

    if we starved poor people more, they would vote Republican.  Or die before they could vote Democratic.

    Fair and balanced.  We present, you decide.

  •  from the man who invented credit default swaps (4+ / 0-)

    phil gramm is made of assholes.

    "We have sort of become a nation of whiners," Gramm said. "You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline."

    If only Michael Phelps hadn't smoked that pot...imagine what he could have accomplished with motivation and good lung capacity.

    by papa monzano on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:50:31 AM PDT

  •  "Friends don't let friends vote Republican" (3+ / 0-)

    I think this needs to be a bumper sticker, if it isn't already!

    I know Phil Gramm isn't in the Senate anymore, but he is expressing his party's sentiment about lazy people on food stamps and unemployment. And so many people believe it! It is truly frightening.

    It reminds me of Craig T. Nelson's famous line: "When I was on food stamps, nobody helped me!!"

  •  And Phil would like the working poor to do worse (5+ / 0-)


    Be hungrier?
    Be more homeless?
    Have less medical care?

    I posted a poll asking if America is a humane country.  Most people anwered "No"

    Yet, we hear God Bless America

    is there a caveat?

    "Except the working poor"

    Our hearts are being invited to hate the GOP

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:51:40 AM PDT

  •  Phil Gramm is Disapointed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, GDbot

    that He Can't Steal all the money in Social Security,
    Medicare and Medicaid.

    Which is precisely what will Happen if Mitt Romney
    is elected as the next President.

    Festering Economic boil is appropriate.

    Slimy Poisonous Leach OR Cancerous Parasitic Tapeworm
    are perfectly acceptable substitutes

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:52:14 AM PDT

  •  An absolutely epic rant! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GDbot, murphthesurf

    Gramm was a professor of a colleague at Texas A&M.  The colleague, a conservative Republican but also a fair minded analytical professional, maintains he was crazy even then.

    Reporting from Tea Bagger occupied America

    by DrJohnB on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:53:47 AM PDT

  •  What were the average ages of the work force... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Joe Bob 1980, 1992 and 2012.

    In 1980 and 1992, only 3% of the American labor force drew disability benefits from the government. Today it is 6%.

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:54:10 AM PDT

  •  phil gramm = POS (0+ / 0-)

    a typical right wing piece of doo-doo

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:54:24 AM PDT

  •  I'm shocked that the diarist would (5+ / 0-)

    call Phil Gramm a festering boil.  Festering boils serve a far more useful and meaningful purpose.  It's an insult to festering boils everywhere.

    Seriously, I thought Gramm was dead.  I used to enjoy listening to him speak because I thought he was a dead on copy of the Forest in "Forest Gump".  Can we get the audio?

    This is Phil Gramm, the lead name of the act that repealed Glass-Steagall (Gramm-Leach-Bliley) and helped to grow the size of banks and set up the regulatory failure and helped create the financial crisis of 2008.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:56:11 AM PDT

    •  I'm with you, I actually did not know he was still (0+ / 0-)

      alive; I assumed he had taken his own advice and just stopped parasitizing the workforce and had dried up and blown harmlessly away.  What a bastard.  He's a nation of whiners all by himself.

  •  I am getting very tired of saying (0+ / 0-)


  •  also the reason the Bolsheviks aren't coming for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jds1978, murphthesurf

    Phil Gramm and his ilk. This comment is snark before my connection goes down so don't take it as a call to arms.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:56:45 AM PDT

  •  Attentioln all Walmart shoppers!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Free aluminum foil hats free at meat department.

    Psst!!!......Willard let us see your income taxes.

    by wbishop3 on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:58:33 AM PDT

  •  Phil needs to live on my budget for a year... (0+ / 0-)

    and then tell me just how good I have it. Heck I'd welcome any of them to take that challenge. And I'm not even as bad off as some are, but still, live with our budget for a year and then repeat that bullshit if you can, ass. (Phil, not you)

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:59:30 AM PDT

  •  Phil Gramm was a spy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murphthesurf, GDbot

    He was one of Karl Rove's first clients after he opened up shop as a campaign manager guy after serving as an official in the national College Republicans, which he did while doing dirty-tricks seminars in 1972 on behalf of some aspect of the Nixon campaign. Which isn't clear.

    Gramm was a Dem, which raised some eyebrows because otehrwise Rove was a total Republican. In 1982, it was discovered that Gramm was acting as a spy to the Republican Cacus as a House Dem, in particular duiring the 1981-82 negotaitions for the Reagan tax bills. He was removed from his committees, a more severe action than was done to the other "bolol weevil" Dems who simply supported Reagan. On "principle," he resigned his seat and then ran for reelection as a Republican, costing Texas the cost of the election. He then became a senator and was the person most responsible for for the first time siphoning Social Security funds into the general funds as a loophole to his idiot balanced budget act.

    That he is alive speaks poorly for mortality.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:59:50 AM PDT

  •  Extreme Poverty Breeds Desperate Conservativism (0+ / 0-)

    .....because people are afraid any change to the system will kill them.  When people are not in fear for their lives they start asking why things aren't better.  The GOP knows this, wants people starving.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:00:14 AM PDT

  •  Veterans (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure that all the injured and maimed veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has NOTHING to do with an increase in TOTAL disability qualifications.

    Our Dime: Understanding the Federal Budget

    by Dustin Mineau on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:03:04 AM PDT

    •  A factor, but (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Bob, CwV, swampyankee, Dustin Mineau

      My guess is that most of it involves disabled people who were working and lost their jobs, then couldn't find new jobs in this economy. They never needed to apply for disability before, because they were working and supported themselves. Now they are destitute and trying to work their way through the approval system, which can take years.

      •  That's probably exactly it. (0+ / 0-)
      •  We have a winner (0+ / 0-)

        For those who can qualify, SSI has become a de facto unemployment insurance program. There are many people who lost their jobs, ran through their UI benefits, still couldn’t find work, and turned to SSI as a last resort source of income.

        Of the people I have known in this circumstance, they would all prefer to have a job. Contrary to what Gramm says, living on SSI isn’t a very enjoyable lifestyle.

        Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

        by Joe Bob on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 09:28:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  HA! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murphthesurf, GDbot

    It should be pointed out to Mr.Graham that before he and that clown Pres Reagan came to Washington that union participation in America's work force was about 40%. The wage and guaranteed benifits from these unions created a true middle class. As republicans are fond of saying.."A rising tide lifts all boats". When the wage was set by a union bottom line everyones wage was higher. When rich scum like Reagan, Graham and Romney helped to crush the unions, they drove everyones wage down. As they go around telling everyone that they can fix the problem...remember, they created it!

  •  How dare you?! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I can't believe you called these guys "near crooks" - I am outraged. OK, so maybe a few of them are near crooks, but by any meaningful definition of the term, most of them are crooks. Please change to "crooks and near-crooks".

  •  THANK YOU!! (0+ / 0-)

    I read this POS yesterday and had to force myself to actually finish.  I considered posting a diary about it but I was at work and easily admit I'm not as good a writer than this author.

    The comments above me say everything I could say about PG but I had to say thanks that it was pointed out.

    Now if someone would write about the crap that Rove spewed on the same page my day would feel complete ;-)

  •  What an asshole!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They squander everything, raid all of our pockets, our bank accounts, and our 401Ks, poor people are doing exactly what they have always done.....yet somehow all of a sudden WE THE PEOPLE are to blame for everything???


    (And Tagg wants to take a swing at Obama????????)

    Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. ***Buy ALDUS SHRUGGED on amazon, and ALL royalties will be donated directly to Democrats in contentious Downballot races. @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:13:34 AM PDT

  •  Rupert Murdoch's (0+ / 0-)

    ..Wall Street Journal editorial page

    'Nuff said

    Perhaps one day the Fourth Estate will take their jobs seriously. Or not.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:23:05 AM PDT

  •  So Says (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Hypocrite who has spent nearly his enitre life living at the tax payers expense.

    Recommended by:

    I've brought this up before, but it happens over and over and over and over here. I feel like I'm on a crusade.

    Use quote marks when you are, uh, quoting someone. If no one actually said, "dying on the streets" then do NOT use quotes when you write that. Use italics or something to emphasize your point. (I'm quoting you, so I can do it there. In fact in this case it appears you said it first, then a sentence later you paraphrased yourself and used quote marks to do so. I guess this is better than most of how quote marks are misused here, and in some weird way makes the quotes correct, but not really.)

    I don't think you get how it undermines credibility to do this. In this case, it's buried and not a big deal, but I've seen it, often, in the actual headline for the diary itself. Quoting someone as saying something even though they never did.

    It's a problem because it opens up the diary/diarist to ridicule by people who just don't like what you're saying. They can easily say you're lying about the quote, because you ARE, and then you're on the defensive.

    So stop it, please. Because otherwise the writing is awesome and witty (tons better than I could ever do) and your points are very well made.

    •  I have always (0+ / 0-)

      found it very tempting to use quotes apologetically, as in taking a jab at some misnomer used by right wingers, such as "tax reform." The idea is that the term enclosed is hyperbole or some other form of misrepresentation, not to be taken literally. Of course, I was trained to never do this with quotes. I guess I never learned how to do the job correctly -- to correctly mark or draw attention to some non sequitur or other nonsensical term used by an adversary. You say to use italics. Are you saying the example below is one way to do it? Could you give examples of other ways?

      Wrong: The Republican droned on for two hours about "family values." This is funny because Republicans have done more to destroy families than anyone else in the last few years.

      Right: The Republican droned on for two hours about family values. This is funny because Republicans have done more to destroy families than anyone else in the last few years.

      Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
      Mark Twain

      by phaktor on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 09:12:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Quotes are okay there. (0+ / 0-)

        In that case, SO MANY have said, "family values" that we needn't bother to pinpoint anyone specific and we can be fairly sure everyone knows the phrase and who uses it. It's a common phrase. But when you're being specific about someone(s) and it seems you're putting new words in their mouth, it isn't right.

        This is all just my opinion. I don't really know anything. :-D

  •  Is Phil still making soft core porn movies? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Remember this?

    Could you imagine what would happen to a Dem leader in Congress caught investing in porn movies?


    "Mitt Romney is Dick Cheney with more charisma"

    by Betty Pinson on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:40:27 AM PDT

  •  "aggressive promotion of the food-stamp program" (0+ / 0-)

    ha ha

    When do we get to LANCE this boil? Preferably with a fishhook pitchfork and a burning torch?

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:41:54 AM PDT

  •  USB, huh? (0+ / 0-)

    Before all the USB scandals the company my broker worked for was purchased by USB - he quit and went to another company because he thought USB had outrageous customer fees and he wouldn't do that to his clients.  

    One of his colleagues who stayed with USB called me on a Saturday to ask me to move over to him 'because Dennis has left us."  I told him I had chosen Dennis because of his integrity and was sticking with him for the same reason.  When Dennis called me on Monday I understood perfectly.

  •  Poor Phil. (0+ / 0-)

    He is obviously in the top ten percent of disgusting and shameless right wingers. Phil kisses up to money, everywhere, every time. And he does so in a disgustingly simple and predictable way. The difference between him and w is that Phil's twangy and whiny accent is real, where w's is feigned and far short of genuine at best. People like Phil add to the negative stereotypes of Texans. Although he appears ignorant, and sounds worse, he is actually intelligent enough to be classified as evil incarnate as opposed to simply ignorant and mislead.

    Of course, I will need to be careful about analyzing Phil, even though he is a public figure. I have heard he has a viscous and brutal mean streak, and has been known to stomp on poor people who talk about him.

    Every day Phil has some new epiphany on restoring the rich to their rightful place of absolute power. It is how he stays in the public eye. He has a thousand new and creative ideas on how to wipe clean the slate of history and be done with the hard won rights of the downtrodden -- often in one fell swoop. He uses assumptions which are comical. He presents as a "simple, down home" guy who just can't understand how the world has forgotten the virtues of granting absolute power to the rich in all affairs, including the right of the rich to beat the poor into submission. We lost our way, he thinks, when slave owners and other bosses stopped using bull whips on their victims.

    I wish I had time to completely digest the diary, but there would be few surprises when it comes to Phil.

    Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
    Mark Twain

    by phaktor on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:56:15 AM PDT

  •  How DARE you sully the good name of Nosferatu (0+ / 0-)

    by associating him w/ Sen. Phil Gramm!!

    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

    by bartcopfan on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 09:02:58 AM PDT

  •  When PK Said.... (0+ / 0-)

    When Paul Krugman said there was one individual that was more responsible for the Great Recession than anyone else I did a quick mental tour and thought: Greenspan? Ayn Rand? and then went on and read his choice: Phil Gramm.

    When the great economist set out the evidence I was convinced. Gramm is the absolute worst.

  •  Let's not look (0+ / 0-)

    at which states have the highest disability rates

    or which states have the highest per capita food stamp use either

  •  Uh-oh, I feel another letter coming on..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dear Phil:

    You are right!  We do have it too good, because as poor people, when our checking accounts reach $30.00 left, we have to figure out how to make that last until the end of the month.  Which may be 10-15 days away.  It's a good thing we are good at math, huh?  But we have it so good that that $30.00 looks great to us, at least until we try to buy groceries.  We have to figure out how to make $50.00 worth of gas last until the end of the month, even tho we might have several doctor appointments that month.  We have to figure out how to pay for our meds, even tho we are on Medicare and TriCare!  Do we pay for meds and copays or do we eat?  Hmmmmm, which one?  Well, we don't need to eat, but we have to take our meds and pay the doctor!  Problem solved.  Thanks! I know you were rooting for us!

    Yes Phil, we are sure you would say, "at least you can make the choice or you could die."  We don't get food stamps because we make too much money (really?), and we don't get disability because some of our impairments won't lead to our ultimate deaths, even tho we sometimes feel like we want to die because the pain is so bad!  But, I, personally, am not complaining because Medicare took care of the pain for me by my having two operations on my hips.  Perhaps you would have said I should die, just to save Medicare money.  Am I a moocher, irresponsible, or just plain lazy?  I wonder?

    Believe me, I am not complaining because I have it better than some of my friends, who don't have access to TriCare (I do because my husband is retired military), and they have to worry about paying that 20% that Medicare doesnot cover.  They cannot afford secondary insurance so copays and hospital payments mean a lot to them financially.  I have seen them buy cat food so that they have something to eat.  I have taken food to them but they are too proud to accept it.  So I invite them over for a barbecues.  We know we would never be invited to your place, huh!  

    Yes, Phil, you and all your friends are buttheads who think that the world is here only for you.  You use people, situations, and anything available just to get your paws on dollars.  You should be ashamed, but I am sure you're not!

    Thank you for giving me one more reason not to vote for you or yours, as if I had planned too!  NOT!  Until you learn to treat EVERYONE with respect and care, I hope that the seven plagues fall down on your head!

    Sorry!  That's the worse thing I could think of on such short notice.  I am sure that given enough time, I can come up with more....and I will!  Now I must go make a lettuce salad.  Yummy!!!!!

    Sincerely, A VOTER....and not for you!

    As my friend said," I am not renting out space in my head to anybody."

    by RO45 on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 10:26:40 AM PDT

  •  I resent the Gramm-Nosferatu comparison (0+ / 0-)

    Nosferatu is infinitely cooler.

    Barack Obama is not a secret socialist class warrior who wants to redistribute wealth in America. But I'll still vote for him, anyway.

    by looty on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 10:37:33 AM PDT

  •  My own little Phil Gramm anecdote (0+ / 0-)

    During the 1980s I worked for the Texas state agency that produced wordage for legislators, chiefly in the form of resolutions stroking their constituencies.  My job consisted in dressing up fiftieth wedding anniversaries, winning high-school football seasons, rattlesnake round-ups, etc., in a lot of WHEREASes and BE IT RESOLVEDs.  It was mostly boilerplate writing.

    One day, I got a request to compose a resolution naming the Texas State Reptile.  My first, almost automatic response: "Phil Gramm?"

    That may have been what eventually got me fired from the job -- either that or else my response to a request for a resolution proclaiming (I kid you not) Texas Bottled Water Day: "This is not work for a serious artist."

    "One of the queer things about us human beings is the way the obvious consequences of our actions take us by surprise." -- H. G. Wells

    by Steven Utley on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 11:09:33 AM PDT

  •  Unlike the bankster bail-outs, (0+ / 0-)

    the government does not just hand out food assistance to anybody who asks for it. You have to meet income qualifications. You have to be poor. Not just hard up. Not just struggling. Not just scraping together pennies to put a gallon of gas in the car. Not just "they turned off the power because the bill was past due." Your life has to have shrunk to the daily emergency of having enough to eat. Dirt fucking poor.  

    If the number of people getting assistance rose, then that means the number of people who qualified for assistance rose, which means there are a whole lot more people in our country who have become dirt poor.

    And this dickhead is outraged. Why? Because so many Americans let themselves get poor enough to qualify for assistance, which cost him money in the form of taxes he didn't feel like paying. What a fucking prick.

    "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

    by Reepicheep on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 11:25:42 AM PDT

  •  Phil Gramm misses the OBVIOUS CONCLUSION (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The number of workers qualifying for disability since the recession ended in 2009 has grown twice as fast as private employment.
    If people do truly qualify for disability benefits, then they could have fallen back on this all along. However, they didn't because they were able to get jobs DESPITE their disability.

    So if more disabled people are out of work, it seems to suggest that disabled people are the first to be fired and last to be hired.

    This is a symptom of society's collective biases, not an attitude problem of the poor.

    Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

    by breakingranks on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 01:08:24 PM PDT

  •  poor have it good? (0+ / 0-)

    How can a man of god mock the poor like he does and like the whole republican party does  when the bible says , "if you mock the poor you insult the maker"so i guess since they not only mock the poor but hate them then they must also hate God, everything republicans do and stand for goes against bible teachings, and they are the "religious " party?Both God and Jesus, according to the bible, are against the rich and for the poor.republicans are for the rich and against the poor.totally against bible can anyone with real religious beliefs support the party who hates God?

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