Is John Boehner Just Drunk All the Time Now?

John Boehner looks and sounds like he has just entirely given up on sobriety. He is like your drunk uncle at the wedding.

"For the love of God, don't let Uncle Ray have the microphone!"

Except the wedding is in Washington DC and never ends.

Although to his credit, Ted Cruz probably is "Lucifer in the flesh" and a "miserable SOB."

Death of the Middle Class - A Short Treatise

At one time, it made economic sense to work one job in Corporate America. Pay, benefits, and job security were good enough that you could put all your eggs in one basket and trade your time for economic viability and stability. That was a long time ago. In the 1980s, I think, Corporate America broke this social contract. Nothing was guaranteed anymore and Corporate America collectively adopted a philosophy of profits at any cost, including human cost. Pay and benefits were cut. Job and retirement security were thrown to the wind as companies downsized and liquidated or privatized pension funds. Middle class workers, somewhat surprisingly, swallowed Corporate America's line that these changes were necessary to ensure a strong economy.

What defines a strong economy though?

Isn't it a financially liquid and large middle class? People have to buy things in order for the economy to thrive.

It was during this same time that the two separate American economies formed. The historical economy driven by the middle class shrank while the new financial capitalism (sometimes called "disaster capitalism," though that is a subset of the larger institution) driven by Wall Street speculation (gambling with investor money) grew.

Once the middle class had been fleeced to the point of being unable to support the American economy and run government, except on credit, infrastructure began to collapse. Then Wall Street speculators started betting AGAINST sectors of the American economy to make money, illustrated best by the housing bubble collapse of 2008, but occurring in other sectors as well.

To add insult to injury, after the Wall Street banks collapsed the American and World economies, the middle class was asked* to bail out the banks that had frivolously gambled away their retirement savings, even as bank managers received ridiculous bonuses. Even then, Americans were cowed into believing the banks were "too big to fail" by corporate grafted politicians who warned that the few jobs that existed would be in danger if the middle class did not dig deep into its pocket to save them.

So the middle class has basically been screwed every which way from Sunday and they are pissed ahead of the 2016 Presidential election. Ironically, it is not the rational progressives who are rebelling against the corporate establishment status quo (personified by avowed corporatist Hillary Clinton), but the emotionally driven conservatives, who have sided with anti-establishment (albeit bigoted con man) Donald Trump. I actually have to respect the right wingers a bit, for going all in on rejecting the status quo that favors Wall Street over the middle class. Their fear and hatred is misdirected at minorities and undocumented workers ("They're takin' our jobs!"), when it should be aimed at Wall Street, but their absolute rejection of the other corporate establishment options in the Republican Party is laudable.

Bernie Sanders is the anti-corporate establishment candidate on the left, but progressives are, on the main, rejecting him in favor of status quo keeping Clinton. I can only speculate that, for all their bitching and moaning about Wall Street, the majority of liberals are fairly happy with the status quo, at least enough to fear drastically revolutionizing things, as Sanders proposes to do. It is not surprising that young liberals favor Sanders much more over Clinton, inasmuch as it is their futures that are far more tenuous under the current system. Older liberals who have fairly secure jobs and stable families are not willing to jump ship just yet on the status quo establishment in favor of an unknown. Unemployment notwithstanding, there are still far more liberals with jobs than without, and most of them are in older age demographics. Whereas Trump supporters are driven more by hatred of the "system," liberals are driven more by fear of change.

*Asked is probably the wrong word...as it implies a choice.

Status Quo

I think it's a good sign that status quo corporatist Hillary Clinton is so popular compared to "revolutionary" Bernie Sanders.

It basically means that, whining and blaming aside, a majority of democratic and left leaning voters are pretty content with the status quo and don't want to change anything, in the final analysis.

That supports my thesis that the media is perpetrating this fear and hate based message that America is going in the wrong direction, since Hillary Clinton says she will keep it going in the same direction, advancing current Obama policies and letting Corporate America save us all.

It means the majority of democrats think America is in good shape, particularly minorities, who vote for Clinton in droves. That warms my heart.

I am still for Bernie Sanders though.

Hunt 'n' Pecker

When I was young, perhaps highschool or early college, I was coerced or cajoled, I don't remember which, into taking a typing class. At the time, an ability to type proficiently was a skill akin to knowing a second language, useful but not essential. I had no innate talent at this and failed utterly at the class. Now, many years later, the world has come full circle and with the prevalence of smartphone and tablet technology for written communication, hunting and pecking is the new normal.

I was just playing the long game...

I Predict Frontier Airlines Will Be Out of Business in Two Years or Less

Frontier Airlines is now charging a $30 fee to take a carry on bag on a plane. A carry on!

I'm sorry, but free carry on bags are sacrosanct. You simply don't charge for that.

I'm against fees for checked bags too, but at least I can see the logic there. You don't want people bringing everything they own on the plane.

But carry on bags are so harmless. Yeah, there's always the dickweed with the oversized bag trying to jam it into the overheads until the staff make him check it. But that's part of in flight entertainment as far as I am concerned. Most people don't want to carry on that much stuff, because it's a pain in the ass.

The commercial airlines run their businesses completely wrong. Management does not think like their customers do. They need to change that. I don't know who heads these companies up, but it's no wonder they are all going belly up, and I suspect Frontier Airlines is not long for this world.

A good business pleases customers so they stay repeat customers. That's where the profits are. Business Marketing 101. I'm going to think twice about flying Frontier Airlines next time.

Here I thought I was getting a pretty decent price on my flight, but then at check in they nickel and dime you on fees to pick your own seat (I didn't, I don't care), check a bag (I didn't need to), and now bring a carry on bag onto the plane (I had to...my bag is small, but about 2 inches outside the dimensions allowed, and I am not going to be "that guy" who argues about it at the airport).

The thing that really pisses me off though is that they never tell you about these fees in advance. That's the real dishonesty and breach of customer trust. If only someone could teach them... I'd rather have the $30 tacked onto the cost of the ticket when I paid for it. I mean, it would still be a fairly decent ticket at $30 over what I paid, and I mean who doesn't bring a carry on of some kind? But it's the deception that really does the most damage. Somewhere there is a cube drone at Frontier Airlines' corporate offices who knows this and questions the logic and business acumen of this decision to charge for carry on bags. And higher than him in the corporate hierarchy is a douchebag middle manager who shuts him or her down.

Since I have over 45,000 readers of this blog, I just thought in full disclosure I would all let you know about this travesty. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment.

TGIFF and Colorado

TGIFF.

On a whimsy, I decided to go to Colorado next week to visit family. That's the upside of self employment. I can take time off when I want to. No boss but me will care. However, I do care, because if I am not generating income, I will have a lot of catching up to do when I get back. But it's totally worth it. Being able to spend time with family is priceless.

Bernie and the Uberman

As a part time driver for Uber, I understand that capitalism and socialism are not mutually exclusive things. They go hand in hand.

In order to profit as an Uber driver, I need good, safe, well regulated roads to ensure my customers can get where they are going quickly and safely. Roads are part of social infrastructure, paid for by government. We all chip in via taxes and we all get to use the roads freely and equally. Further, Uber drivers on the road need to be licensed and have a clean driving record. The Department of Motor Vehicles that licenses drivers and the cops that patrol the roads to ensure safety...socialism! They are part of government run infrastructure and they generally are pretty good most places. Imagine the alternative. Who would pay for infrastructure? How would it be regulated? Would private companies cut corners to make bigger profits?

So, socialism is important and essential. I certainly don't fear it. I need socialism in order to succeed and profit as a Uber driver, while keeping my passengers safe and happy. As an independent contractor with Uber, I am responsible for my own health insurance coverage. Obamacare is not awesome, but it's pretty good and better than nothing.

American society has and always will be a mix of capitalism and socialism. Businesses need a working infrastructure of roads, schools, police, firemen, hospitals, and social services (for their underpaid labor) to be more capitalistic.

That's what democratic socialism is and why I am voting for Bernie Sanders.

Also, because this is America and great, I can freely express this viewpoint, wrong or right. And you can disagree, and that's fine. I wouldn't vote for anyone who didn't let me express myself and exercise my civil rights.

Wishful Doing

Something I figured out a long time ago is that if you want to do something you have to DO it. I know that probably sounds obvious on the face of it, but it is actually astounding how often wishful thinking substitutes for willful doing in everyday life.

For example, many people start the New Year with thoughts like, "I am going to work out," or "I am going to quit smoking," or "This is the year I take a vacation to Europe." A year later, though, they are still sitting on the couch smoking cigs and binge watching travel shows on TV. Nope. You can't just think about doing things. You have to do them.

In about 24 hours, I will likely have voted for Bernie Sanders in the Wisconsin Presidential Primary. I want Bernie Sanders to clobber Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin. Now, I can't know what everyone else is going to do...vote or not...or who they'll vote for or why. All I have is my one vote. A lot of people say they support Bernie Sanders and hope he wins. Hope is a bit like wishful thinking and it's valid. But it is not enough to assume your own love of Bernie Sanders will translate to a win. Bernie Sanders supporters have to go out and DO their civic duty by voting for him.

When you support someone like Bernie Sanders, it's easy to say, "Yeah, obviously he's the best choice...of course everyone can see that." But you can't NOT vote on the assumption everyone else will DO your duty for you. Collectively, all Bernie Sanders supporters need to VOTE if he has any chance against the Hillary Clinton Corporate Juggernaut.

So I say to all my fellow Bernie Sanders supporters: Don't simply think. DO!

15 and Stuff

Wisconsin votes on Tuesday April 5. I'll be voting. Will you? Why or why not? I'd really like to understand what compels people to vote, since so few eligible people do, so please share your thoughts in the comments below, knowing that you will have full amnesty to speak your mind and there is no judgment here at 2 Minute Reader.

I'll start. Looking back over the past 15 years, this is what I have seen. In 2001, Republican George W. Bush came into the White House under questionable circumstances. Before he was through his first year, 911 happened and America was cast into a Dark Ages of regressive fear and hate politics that culminated with the collapse of the economy due to irresponsible, unregulated banking in 2008/2009. Barack Obama, notwithstanding black skin and a Muslim name, was elected President, illustrating just how bad things had gotten. The people chose Obama over Hillary Clinton, a white woman, because the latter candidate was associated with the establishment politicians who were dismantling the country. When you think about it, that's huge. People were ready for change. Whether you attribute it to Obama or not, things started getting better while he was President. We made strides toward universal healthcare with the Affordable Care Act. He did some other stuff too, I think, haha. S&P stocks I bought after the 2009 market crash (buy low) doubled in value over the next few years. At no time did Obama "destroy America" as his opponents said he would (and as some idiots still claim he has done...show me!). America is bigger, stronger, and greater than one man, even the President. I am happier and better off today not because of Obama but because of smart choices I made based on rational thinking and observation of what was going on around me, not fear and hate (I can guarantee you that my death will not be at the hands of Islamic terrorists...it will more likely be domestic gun violence or a brain eating parasite, statistically). I am not voting for Hillary Clinton next Tuesday for the same reason I didn't vote for her in 2008. My standards have not gone down...if anything they've gone up, and she still doesn't sufficiently meet those standards to earn my vote (it has value, and it is the only thing I have to leverage in politics). Bernie Sanders does achieve a standard worthy of my vote. I don't fear democratic socialism any more than I fear ISIS and I think he'll do more to protect me from significant threats like domestic gun violence and waterborne brain eating parasites than anyone else. America has and always will be a society based on a balance between capitalism, democracy, and socialism (roads, schools, libraries, clean water, garbage men, cops, firemen, hospitals, social services, etc.). We have three branches of government of which the President is one, balanced by the other two. It has worked pretty well for a lot of years, but in recent years, too much establishment politics and homogeneity has slowed things down. I am ready to stir things up a little so America can get on with the 21st century like the rest of the increasingly democratic socialist world.

Now you...