Apparently, Losing At Poker is More Important to John McCain Than the Potential War in Syria

Syria Secretary of State John Kerry

As if any more evidence might be necessary to wake people up to the fact that the men and women calling the shots in the United States government don’t care about the wishes of the American people or the costs of war, John McCain managed yesterday to do something that pretty much speaks for itself in terms of demonstrating that notion for us all.

During yesterday’s hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to debate U.S. military intervention in Syria, McCain was snagged in a journalist’s photo playing a game of poker on his iPhone while the discussion was conducted.   In case anyone reading this is somehow unaware, McCain has been a consistently outspoken and indiscriminate supporter of going to war whenever doing so is possible, and as such has been seizing the turmoil in Syria as his latest opportunity to cheer in ghoulish support of mass murder and destruction.  His behavior at the hearing managed to take the cake for being the most “in-your-face” offensive act of the day to be committed by a politician (and yes, I said, “of the day,” because this kind of debauchery has unfortunately become a daily occurrence).  I have to admit that even I was a little surprised by how blatantly inconsiderate and irresponsible McCain’s behavior was yesterday—I hadn’t expected him to be able to outdo simply just being  John McCain the Warmonger in the first place, in terms of offensiveness.

His tweet about the matter was especially infuriating in a manner that only John McCain could manage:


It’s interesting to me that it was emphasized in his tweet that not only did he care so little about the goings-on of the life-and-death discussion being carried out before him that he played a video game instead of paying attention, but that he ended up losing the game anyway.  I can’t help but be inclined to wonder if his poker skills and seemingly-short attention span might provide any indication of how the war in Syria could possibly turn out, should it in fact come to fruition.   Whether there’s any correlation there or not, however, McCain’s actions yesterday certainly demonstrated that a warhawk such as himself holds no regard for either the cold, hard facts surrounding the conflict in Syria, the wishes of the people he claims to serve and represent, or the loss of Syrian and American lives that will result if he gets his way and the U.S. does take military action against Syria.  But hey, at least he was honest with the public in his tweet about being the loser that he truly is.  I certainly can’t fault him for occasionally being honest with the public every once in a while.




U.S. Treasury and General Motors Go Their Separate Ways


The United States Treasury Department issued the announcement on December 19, 2012 that it would at long last (though, to little avail) be divorcing itself from its partnership with General Motors,  revealing plans to sell off the remaining 300 million shares of the company by 2014.  The decision marks the close of the Treasury Department’s stint enforcing a reign of corporate tyranny, where it served its role in providing private financial gains to various corporations (GM among them) while socializing the costs, leaving the public to foot the bill with billions of dollars in stolen tax money.  The end result of the Department’s corporate and state collusion has been the effective funneling of billions of dollars from the pockets of American taxpayers into the wallets of employees on the payroll of mega-corporations in industries such as automobile manufacturing and banking.

The ownership of GM by the United States government was only one of the questionable partnerships to have been formed back in 2008 during the financial crisis, when companies like GM, Chrysler, and AIG decided that their corrupt and fiscally-irresponsible business models were insufficient to keep them financially afloat.  After instructing members of Congress that they would require roughly $418 billion in funds stolen from taxpayers in order to to resurrect their decrepit rackets from the trenches of well-deserved bankruptcy, many of the corporations that benefited from the enormous bailouts were unable to pay back their plundered loot.  Of these conglomerate debtor companies, the Treasury Department has predicted that the bailed out automobile giants will finish first in the rat race to most efficiently embezzle as much money from the American public as possible.  Once all of their shares have been sold back to the private sector and the partnership between the government and corporate interests has been severed, companies like the aptly-nicknamed “Government Motors” will have done rather well for themselves at the expense of the American people.  Amazingly, however, GM in particular (despite representing the greatest financial loss to the United States government) has managed to bring in profits of over $16 billion for itself in just the last three years–a far cry from the state of pathetic economic ruin in which it had been found back in 2008, when discussions of bailouts between morally-dubious politicians and their corporate higher-ups first began.

Also amazing is the revelation that government officials have openly stated that they never even expected to have all of the bailout funds repaid back to the government (and the taxpayers who fund it) in the first place–even as far back as 2009!  Former “auto czar” (whatever that is) Steve Rattner had speculated in 2009 at the peak of the bailouts that the government would lose billions of dollars bailing out Chrysler and GM alone, but that such an extravagant loss would assuredly be “worth the money” (whatever that means) in terms of the jobs that would be saved by preventing the two companies from going bust.  By the time that all of these morally and financially-bankrupt cash-grabbing shenanigans between the state and its corporate overlords come to an economically-exhausted finale, TARP is estimated to have lost $45.6 billion ($42.1 billion of which comprises a loss to government programs that would have been used to support homeowners facing foreclosures).  It would appear as though the government has determined in its infinite wisdom that if anybody ought to have been bailed out during the financial crash of 2008, it should most definitely have been the largest and most inefficiently-managed corporations (in the hopes that they might continue to provide jobs in the future for the soon-to-be-homeless American public).  After all, who cares where one lies one’s head down to rest at night, so long as one still has a conveyor belt position at a previously-bankrupt auto factory to wake up to and slave over during the next consecutive business day?

Assistant Treasury Secretary for Financial Stability, Timothy Massad, feels as though it’s about time that the government divorced itself from the private enterprises for which it had been playing the role of malevolent parasite, preying upon the earnings of American taxpayers for so long.  Despite defending the bailout policies by remarking that, “The auto industry rescue helped save more than a million jobs during a severe economic crisis,” Massad went on to add that, “The government should really not be in the business of owning stakes in private companies for an indefinite period of time.”  Massad’s sentiments echo those of more economically-conservative market non-interventionists, who agree that six years of government ownership of private corporations would indeed constitute an indefinite period of time, but that a five-year business partnership more reasonably fits within the bracket of time that can be adequately labeled, “definite and brief.”

Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics was among many of those who were saddened to see the five-year relationship between the two sectors come to a bittersweet end as the two begin to go on with their separate ways, each claiming to each other that they just, “Need a little time to think–a break, is all.  It’s not you, baby, it’s me, I promise.”  It is truly a sorrow to witness a relationship of such magnitude fall to the wayside, but nevertheless, Zandi looks back fondly on the flame that had been kindled between the public and the private sector.  “It was a slam dunk success!” he proclaimed.  “It was vitally necessary and proved to be a key to ending the financial panic and jump-start an economic recovery.” He personally expects the final government loss to private corporations from the TARP bailouts to total out at a mere $24 billion (an alimony that private sector companies like GM described as, “an act of pity,” considering all the bullshit that they had had to put up with over the course of their five-year engagements with one another), though sources say that Zandi’s estimate is rather forgiving, to say the least.