“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Friday, May 20, 2005

Ruins and monuments of the Bush age

The week was pleasantly full of Bush age ironies. There was, first, the curious silence of the Bush administration regarding aging LBO king Perelman’s winning approximately 1.45 billion dollars from Morgan Stanley. Trivial law suits? Misuse of the courts? No, it is a misuse of the court when a man gets his arm sliced off in a meat factory and wins a million bucks from the jury. This is because the man is, originally, shit. Low class. A man who couldn’t make second place to a doorman position at one of the clubs Perelman belongs to. Basically, Bush’s liability reform is class warfare in the raw. Reform, whenever it comes out of the mouth of one of the Bush-ites, means entrenching and legalizing some corruption. Invariably. As anybody who pays attention knows, the big court losses are not to slaughter house workers or Mickey Dee’s customers assaulted by palsied clerks with hot coffee – they are to big corporate players. However, since the money circulates among the upper 1 percent income bracket, which is (to a degree of exclusion that would astonish Ronald Reagan) the only class that Bush cares about, there isn’t going to be any dickering with this system. Well, Morgan Stanley might, rightly, use one of their pawns in Congress to reverse the verdict, but shark fights are never about damaging the real interests of the pool of sharks. Their interest, actually, is to do what they do best – which is to bully. Now, LI recognizes that in every society, the bully rises to the top, and that inhuman cruelty is part of what makes this such a rich country for one and all. They may be sons of bitches, but at least they are our suns of bitches. But that Perelman can coolly extract 1.45 billion for the “bad advice” he got from Morgan Stanley about not pouring money into a company, Sunbeam, is a joke. Perelman, in this scenario, is a naïf. A poor shoeless billionaire. He invested in a company that a half hours acquaintance with any Business news index would tell you had basically come to the limit of its market. How did Perelman figure on making a return? He wanted the spoils that would accrue from sending in a criminal named Al Dunlop as CEO to screw those who had spent their lives working for the company while taking apart the infrastructure of the place – in preparation for daisy chaining it to some other company. Who knew that, in spite of his reputation as a thug, Dunlap was also an incredibly incompetent thug. Perelman should know the m.o. – he helped invent it in the eighties. See under Marvel.

But if sharks eat sharks, is a minnow like me going to shed a tear? Not really. Still, one should put down x-es – the best way to trace the intellectual corruption that puts its spurs into our sides at the moment.

Then, of course, there was a more traditional crushing of minnows into fishmeal, with the “bankruptcy” of United Air. There is no God, otherwise, just for amusement, he would have arranged the news for this to arrive the week Bush signed the new Bankruptcy bill that he has so drooled over. The very thought that some low caste widow of one of the suckers who died in Iraq going bankrupt and skipping those wonderful credit card payments – 40 percent and mounting, all usury, all the time – sends a black arrow through the heart of the worst and the vilest. The worst and vilest, while headquartered in the Pentagon, do have branch offices: Congress, the Treasury department, etc. So that widow is going to pay through the nose for the vacuum cleaner, the groceries, the new tires for the care (strumpet luxuries!) On the other hand, contractual obligations that have extended for fifty years can go out the window without a blink from Treasury Secretary Snow. Of course, only a raving Marxist would mention the 15 to 17 mil that United CEOs have received (keeping the company competitive in the labor marketplace) in compensation for their amazing leadership abilities. Those leadership abilities consisted of tracking their options in the high nineties. LI has already written a lot about the catastrophe in the private pension funds that is ticking away – funds that, hey, were not kept in a locked box but invested, just like Bushites want Social Security invested. That equity market, man. It just goes up. It is riskless. Shoe shine boys become millionaires on it. Or executives in companies with advance advice that the company’s profits are going to tank, as Bush did when he was finally skyhooked out of the series of small companies he ran into the ground and put in an essentially harmless position from which he could operate as a rentier. It’s the Ownership society – they own you. If there is ever a “truth in mottoes on coins” law, surely that should be the consensus choice.

Then, the lie that runs through the administration like the Nile, fertilizing every branch, there was the news from Iraq. Seems that a sovereign cabinet member had let the wine of power get to his head and banned raiding mosques. As if the little Mesopomoron didn’t know how business was run in fully democratic Iraq. It is run much as it was run by the Soviets in fully democratic East Germany.

The NYT sank this little jewel of a paragraph in one of their schizo news stories – a week ago Rumsfeld wasn’t bothering to even call the command in Iraq except on alternate Sundays, and only then to discuss the weather and fishing. This week the command is talking about another three, four years meatgrinding Americans – castoffs all, late on their credit card payments – and Iraqis – about which, do we care? Surely they will provide a few more purple thumb moments for us to smile about. And then we get this:

“Another problem cited by the senior officer in Baghdad was the new government's ban on raids on mosques, announced on Monday, which the American officer said he expected to be revised after high-level discussions on Wednesday between American commanders and Iraqi officials.”

LI likes the Soviet sound of this. The high level discussions. The consultation. The our fellow democracy. The brothers in the eternal struggle of liberty lovers.

So: all in all, a banner week.

1 comment:

Deleted said...

The link generator is working again. They had a server crash a while back.

Here, as my contribution, is the link for the Times story.