48 percent of Congress members are millionaires while only 1 percent of all Americans are millionaires.
55 members of Congress have an average wealth of $10 million and 8 members have an average wealth of $100+ million.
During the worst part of the recession 2008-2009, the median wealth of a congressional member rose $125K.
The median wealth of a House member is $700,000+, while the median wealth for a senator was over $2 million.
5 of the 6 Republican members of the new Super Committee for the Budget are millionaires.
Most of these congressional millionaires are opposed to Obama’s millionaire’s tax proposal. Who still believes we elect our legislators to represent us?
TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA:
Times are Hard: One of the law firms that I had been associated with puts out a newsletter for its in-house attorneys and alumni. Its latest edition listed 72 job listings for attorney’s around the country.
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:
Recently, I had dinner with my friend Peter Grennel at Bacco’s an Italian restaurant in Noe Valley, a SF neighborhood in which I used to live and in which Peter still does. We spent much of the dinner discussing the pleasure we received from reading Naida West’s California trilogy. He also sadly informed me of the demise of the Noe Valley Mystery Book Store, a neighborhood institution. It, alas, lost its lease due to rising rents.
I travelled to Sacramento to a few days with Hayden. He seemed in good spirits and not as jumpy. That may be due somewhat to SWAC’s medications. She seemed much less frenzied than usual. She did not once express to me a need immediately to move to somewhere else or to complain about her incompatibility with her son. Nevertheless, upon my arrival she immediately departed for obviously more interesting environment than that afforded by a six-year-old.
I took Hayden to play in his first basketball game. He joined a team of six-year olds called the Warriors that play in a local community league. He had no concept of the sport. Before beginning the game, his coach told him to keep his hands in the air while guarding his man. He spent most of the game running back and forth up and down the court with his hands over his head. It appeared his favorite part of the game was falling on the floor and wrestling for a loose ball. I later found out the game was televised on the local public access system. The Warriors tied their opponents, a team of seven-year olds. Go Warriors!
Hayden and I also had dinner with my friends Norbert and Stevie and got the latest news about things coastal and California State politics. I learned that Peter Douglas has resigned as Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission for health reasons. My liberal conscience and my chthonic emotions are warring over the nature of any comments I may have, so I will make none.
After spending about 5 days in Sacramento, I returned to SF. I travelled by train from Sacramento to Emeryville where I caught a bus to take me across the Bay Bridge into The City. It was a pleasant trip.
San Francisco was enjoying that agreeable sunny weather that seems to exist only in The City, in which one could wear either a t-shirt without feeling cold or an over-coat without breaking into a sweat.
PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:
JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:
Chapter wherever we left off last:
Vince stared into Isabella’s eyes reflected in the make-up mirror.
“So,” he said slowly, “even if I were to agree with your dramatic conclusion, which I don’t, what could we do about it? It is the authors story after all.”
“We can try to change it,” she responded.
Vince broke out laughing with a laugh that was somewhere between mirth and nervousness.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” he said after finishing his show of feigned amusement. “It is the author’s story. The characters can do nothing about it. They only can play their part.”
“I’m not so sure about that,” she replied seriously. “Characters often make the story and the author respond to where the logic of his character leads. Even this author said that he was disappointed in his character Ike. He expected more of him.”
“I do not think that he ment quite what you think he ment, but,” he added thoughtfully, “I admit that I am intrigued somewhat by your suggestion. How do you propose we do this probably impossible thing.”
“Well, I do not really know for sure,” she said, “but we can start by after each scene you and I going over it to try to figure out what the hell is really is going on or what’s actually in the author’s mind, or even if he doesn’t know himself we can try to understand what could happen. We would be sort of like helping the Author along if you will…for our own benefit of course.”
a. I didn’t know that:
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach on to the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or “The Upper Crust”.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of ”Holding a Wake”.
b. The Difference Between a Traditional Conservative and a Modern Conservative:
A traditional conservative accepts that religious beliefs have no place in American government but morality does. The modern conservative insists that religious beliefs control governmental policies, but morality is optional.
c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:
“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
Song of Solomon 2:3
Solomon you rascal!
d. What Adam Smith (considered by some as the “father” of Capitalism) Really Said:
“It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations [Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article 1, pp. 906-07 ]
My god! Was Adam Smith actually a socialist?
e. Profiles in Presidential Courage:
“I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man’s ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.”
John F Kennedy
It is truly tragic that in the two decades after President Kennedy’s assassination the political approach to carry out these uplifting sentiments were altered by his own party to no longer indicate a commitment to society’s progress toward rough economic justice and fairness for all the nation’s citizens, but instead to require a restricted focus on identity politics directed to benefit only those who rightly or wrongly claimed to have not shared in the nation’s largesse. It became an approach directed at pitting the poor and the disadvantaged against the poor and disadvantaged along racial, ethnic, and gender lines while the privileged and secure sat by, clucking their tongues at brutish intransigence of those who had the most to lose.
“[T]he Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.”
~ Obi-Wan Kenobe
“[W]e’re living in a Dark Age of macroeconomics.”
~ Paul Krugman
If Paul Krugman is Obi-wan Kenobi then Milton Friedman is Darth Vader. If then one considers Barak Obama as Luke Skywalker, then Milton Friedman would be Barak Obama’s father. That explains everything.