Mark McHugh

Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

New Vocabulary Phrase – Odious Debt

In Open Thread on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 11:37 am

Here’s a concept people all over the world need to get familiar with:

From Wikipedia:

In international law, odious debt is a legal theory which holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation, such as wars of aggression, should not be enforceable. Such debts are thus considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state. In some respects, the concept is analogous to the invalidity of contracts signed under coercion.

The way I see it, most of our national debt falls into this category.  Clawbacks, anyone?

Why Everyone Hates You – A Guide For Politicians

In Open Thread on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm

The US Congress is welcoming 112 new members this week.  Congratulations, if you’re one of them.  Now get this through your thick, newbie head. No one likes you.  No one thinks you’re smart.  Chances are the only reason you got this gig is because your predecessor couldn’t follow simple instructions.  So stop thinking of yourself as a champion of  __________ or the protector of _________.  You’re hired help, nothing more, nothing less.

The Parable of the Lousy Waitress

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful waitress (with ample bosoms) who believed in holistic medicine or something.  Whenever a customer ordered coffee, eggs and toast, she brought orange juice, tofu-spinach quiche, and healing crystals to unblock their Chi.  People got pissed, so she got canned and became a crack whore.   The End

Before you start taking pointers from the 423 members of Congress that we haven’t voted out yet, make sure you understand the difference between eggs and tofu-spinach quiche, because that is the essence of America’s growing animosity towards its elected officials:  They don’t listen.  Right now, I’ll bet you’re thinking “You’ve never tried my quiche.”   And that’s why we hate you.

Time and time again our elected officials have taken it upon themselves to decide what’s best for us, completely ignoring the will of the people.  Quiche, quiche and more quiche.  It’s getting old.   We never authorized congress to make future generations debt slaves.  We never said it was OK for you to grope us at the airport, or photograph our kids nude.  Funny but I don’t recall even being asked.

As quickly as Hank Paulson managed to cram TARP through, Americans were still asked about it.  We said, “NO!”  53% of Americans agreed “A government bailout of the financial industry would burden American taxpayers and only help the financial institutions that are failing.”  CBS poll – question 50.  Only 34% felt the bailout necessary.  If you’re a new member of congress, chances are you’re sitting in the very seat your predecessor peed in when he decided to vote for TARP.

Fun Fact: TARP never happened.  The money authorized to purchases troubled assets was never used for that purpose.  Yet some members of Congress are still inclined to comment on the success of TARP.  I guess they’re referring to the “bait and switch” they fell for, which is kind of like saying “good thing I fumbled, huh?”

In January 2010, the Senate confirmed the re-appointment of Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, despite a 21% approval rating.  All kidding aside, there are few jobs in this world with more clear-cut directives, yet this egghead managed to screw up these very simple tasks and bring the world to the brink of collapse.  Be sure to thank your colleagues for reappointing him so he could finish the job.  We may as well be praying to crystals at this point….

Enough about the past though.  Let’s turn our attention to the next loogie in our eye.   60 Minutes   just did a poll January 3 asking “What would you do first to balance the budget?”.   Here’s the results:

It doesn’t get any simpler than that, does it?  The only question the 112th Congress should be asking is, “How would you like those eggs?”  But instead, like the lousy waitress, they’ll imagine themselves smarter than the rest of us and start rationalizing that what we really need is some nice quiche.

 And that’s why.