So Many Plutocrats, So Few Guillotines …

I don’t wonder how these folks get their money or their positions.  However, I do wonder if any one even listens to them.  Oh, wait.  One of them is running for president and the other is taken seriously in the media.

Where’s a guillotine when you need one?

Here’s the Romney example from my old home town of Council Bluffs, Iowa where my Dad owned a Ford Dealership for 30 years from KPTM TV.

Dianne Bauer opened up her cafe to Mitt Romney and his campaign for a small round table discussion Friday morning before his speech at Bayliss Park.

This isn’t the first politician that has asked Bauer to use the Main Street Cafe in downtown Council Bluffs.

“With Rick Perry he made a point of stopping in the kitchen before he ever went to the other side to address the public and the media to thank us and introduce himself to us,” said Bauer. “That’s what I thought we would get here, just normal. This was all out, like you’d think Obama was here.”

Bauer’s issues with the campaigns staffers started the night before when they started staging the cafe for the event.

She described many of their demeanors as “arrogant”.

She says her cafe was not treated with the respect it deserved.

“Stuff got broke. My table cloths they just got ripped off, wadded up and thrown in the back room,”

She says the boom truck she allowed the campaign to borrow to gain access to the roof now has an 8-inch gauge in it that she’ll have to take the time to repair.

The campaign told her to send them an itemized list of anything that was broken, and they would pay for it, but Bauer says that won’t fix everything.

“My dad’s picture, an emblem my dad gave me, it got broke. Those aren’t things you can replace,”

Bauer says she never even got to meet the candidate she closed half of her restaurant down for.

“Every time we tried to go out or look, secret service was right there,” she said.

She was complaining about the event to a friend when reporters overheard her and posted about it online.

That’s when Romney called Bauer himself. She says he explained that it was just a misunderstanding that she did not get to meet him, but the phone call didn’t smooth things over for her.

“He responded ‘well, I’m sorry your table cloths got ripped off, wadded up and thrown in the back room’ and I took it as mocking,” she said. “We’re the ones he’s wanting to get the votes from, you’d think we would have been treated better.”

She says the whole experience left her wondering.

“With how he treated me, is that how he’s going to treat others? You know, if he gets in office is he going to be that way to us little people?”

The always guillotine-worthy David Brooks proves to his again exactly why he is a public menace.  He whines that there just aren’t any good ‘followers’ out there any more.  I guess he’s in search of a new generation of true believers.  I’m going to let you read  Dean Baker who rips him a new one.

Nope, I’m not kidding. His column today is devoted to “the follower problem.” He is upset that people are cynical and don’t seem to trust the elites. Brooks tells us:

“I don’t know if America has a leadership problem; it certainly has a followership problem. Vast majorities of Americans don’t trust their institutions. That’s not mostly because our institutions perform much worse than they did in 1925 and 1955, when they were widely trusted.”

Let’s leave aside 1925 since it was a very different world. In 1955 the economy was growing at a healthy pace with workers up and down the income ladder sharing in the prosperity. They were seeing rapidly rising living standards and it was a virtual certainty that children would enjoy much better standards of living than their parents.

Brooks may have missed it, but the economy collapsed in 2008. This was not due to any external event like a massive drought or asteroid strike, it was due to fact that the people who design economic policy were too brain-dead to see the largest financial bubble in the history of the world.

The result of this failure is that tens of millions of people are unemployed, underemployed, or out of the workforce altogether. Millions more are facing the loss of their homes. And a huge cohort of baby boomers, many of whom spent their lives working at decent paying jobs, are approaching retirement with nothing to support them but their Social Security.

It’s enough to make me take up knitting.

OOPS wrong musical …

15 Comments on “So Many Plutocrats, So Few Guillotines …”

  1. northwestrain says:

    The cafe owner – Diane Bauer — says more or less what the MA focus group said about Romney when he was running for Gov of MA.

    On the other hand 0bowma has no concept of rural — perhaps his knowledge of geography has improved.

    What I’d like is a virtual reality program or app — a game that will allow the player to guillotine the bad guys — and avatars could be created for the politicians etc. Link the app or program to the news and then judge the imaginary character in the game on the words of one of the jerks running for an office.

    Or a real time app or program that we can use to send a thumbs up or thumbs down whenever the politicians etc. remark reach the media. Can you imagine using computers, smart phones, android devices to send a message? The numbers % thumbs down could be recorded for phrases or stock campaign double talk.

    • northwestrain says:

      Don’t take up knitting — take up crocheting — only one hook needed. Much better for relaxation — retro crochet is back in style.

      • dakinikat says:

        I actually know how to crochet. My mom was an avid crochet junkie. I had all that crocheted 70s stuff from her like the vests and caps and ponchos.

        • Loved the musical reference Dak! But remember the way things are now a days, you can even take a crochet needle on a plane, in a court house…or probably at a sporting event.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        The plutocrats are well on their way to installing a corporatocracy. The SCOTUS paved the way for this with the Citizens United decision. Money buys elections and if Romney BUYS his way into the Oval Office everything goes up for sale, SS, Medicare, Education, Military, Federal property, etc. When the social compacts are completely destroyed, and that is the goal of the GOP/Koch Bros/TP, the “we’re all in this together” philosophy that has kept this country from blowing apart at the seams, will be lost forever. At that point I don’t think we’ll have time to crochet, we’ll be too busy trying to figure out how to swim up a shit-stream 🙂

    • Well, politicians better get on the ball and start practicing how to connect with minorities. Will 2012 be the Last Hurrah for Whites? – William H. Frey –

      As you read that link, just keep thinking about that Jon Stewart bit Jon Stewart Tears Apart FL Gov. Rick Scott’s Curiously Targeted ‘Voter Purge’ | Mediaite

      I guess that is the way they are handling the “brown” voting population.

      • northwestrain says:

        Which is why soon to be ex-Senator Brown wants to keep the Senate white? He wants to keep the mutts out. So many people in the USA have a little something besides white. I really doubt that pure white exists anyway.

        In the end we are all just part of the human species. Blue eyes are are mutation which happened in one individual.

        Oh well the Republicans don’t really have to work hard at looking like fools. What would Jon Stewart have to fill his show with — if not for the bigotry and ongoing stupidity of the gopers.

        Where is that guillotine app?

  2. ecocatwoman says:

    I just got home & haven’t had a chance to read this yet. I just heard Robert Reich on Marketplace & his piece made me smile. If only!

    Kat, are you a fan or not? I have, in my amateur opinion, agreed with what he has said in the past all but once. IMHO, I think he’s a darn smart fella.

    • dakinikat says:

      I like Robert Reich but I’m not quite in the fan category. I usually read him. He’s a bit generalist for me. I am a big fan of Stiglitz.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        The fact that he is a generalist is probably why I understand him. Personally, you & a little more than half the time for Krugman are the only economists I’ve read that I can actually understand. I think a statistics class in college was as close as I came to an economics class.

      • dakinikat says:

        Yup.This is as crystal clear as it gets.

        Rarely in history has the cause of a major economic problem been so clear yet have so few been willing to see it.

        The major reason this recovery has been so anemic is not Europe’s debt crisis. It’s not Japan’s tsumami. It’s not Wall Street’s continuing excesses. It’s not, as right-wing economists tell us, because taxes are too high on corporations and the rich, and safety nets are too generous to the needy. It’s not even, as some liberals contend, because the Obama administration hasn’t spent enough on a temporary Keynesian stimulus.

        The answer is in front of our faces. It’s because American consumers, whose spending is 70 percent of economic activity, don’t have the dough to buy enough to boost the economy – and they can no longer borrow like they could before the crash of 2008.

        If you have any doubt, just take a look at the Survey of Consumer Finances, released Monday by the Federal Reserve. Median family income was $49,600 in 2007. By 2010 it was $45,800 – a drop of 7.7%.

        All of the gains from economic growth have been going to the richest 1 percent – who, because they’re so rich, spend no more than half what they take in.

        Can I say this any more simply? The earnings of the great American middle class fueled the great American expansion for three decades after World War II. Their relative lack of earnings in more recent years set us up for the great American bust.

        Reich’s a public policy guy. He’s not technically an economist but he understands a lot of it and explains it well.

  3. northwestrain says:

    breaking news on Huff Po

    Trade document leak — 0bama is breaking a few promises made 4 years ago. As WE expected he would. With the secrecy the information in this leak isn’t surprising.

    A critical document from President Barack Obama’s free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises.

    The leaked document has been posted on the website of Public Citizen, a long-time critic of the administration’s trade objectives. The new leak follows substantial controversy surrounding the secrecy of the talks, in which some members of Congress have complained they are not being given the same access to trade documents that corporate officials receive.

    “The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of [trade] negotiations,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch in a written statement.

    Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has been so incensed by the lack of access as to introduce legislation requiring further disclosure. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has gone so far as to leak a separate document from the talks on his website. Other Senators are considering writing a letter to Ron Kirk, the top trade negotiator under Obama, demanding more disclosure.

  4. ecocatwoman says:

    Love the title ’cause I’ve been calling for guillotines myself for quite a while. Great post. Only one thing – Camelot (and Richard Harris, oh my) is darn near my all time favorite film. Yes, I know it’s What Would the Simple Folk Do & I cry whenever I hear it. He’s trying to find their way back to being in love again because Jenny (Guinevere) is moving away from him. Yeah, there’s still a foolish romantic hidden deep, deep within me. I get your point, but I can’t divorce myself from what that film & music means to me. Just ignore me while I weep.

  5. Red Dragon says:


    Funny….I don’t hear the Daily kooks and their ilk screaming about this at all! Seems Obama can get away with whatever he wants to and no one seems to care. Be it Romney or Obama…We are screwed either way!

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Did David Brooks mention that rich people and corporations paid taxes in 1955? Lots of taxes.