Pledger Rand Paul Slam Dunks “Pig Party”

Then, having been awarded his place in Frat House fame, promptly ditches his hillbilly date. He wanders off to go burn a fattie with a really drunk sorority chick and falls into a deep philosophical discussion on the Aqua Buddha.

Libertarians and Tea Partiers all across America, and especially in Paul’s home state of Kentucky, are stunned and confused by his almost instantaneous abandonment of key elements of  his campaign platform. Most notably wherein he promised to end earmark (aka pork-barrel) spending.

But any girl who was ever socially awkward or from an impoverished home or less than magazine cover beautiful knows exactly what happened. Kentucky, it turns out, was the biggest Pig at the Pig Party.

Rand Paul, son of a doctor, never once got his hands dirty with an honest day’s labor. He’s the dreamy football captain with just a bit of a rebel streak. And when he suddenly invited Kentucky to the Frat Party, she couldn’t believe her luck. A handsome, intelligent up and comer like Paul could take her places. Possibly all the way to the altar in Washington D.C. And there he would give her the life she always dreamed of, but knew she could never have because she didn’t have “it”. i.e. classic good looks, money, connections.

Or in this case: jobs, infrastructure, political clout.

But he asked her anyway. He was charming, flirtatious. He asked her about her snow-globe collection. He seemed interested in her ideas and her ideals. So she passed up a Friday night date with “Herman Norman” to go the Frat House Party.

And once she was there, it all became incredibly, horribly clear. He needed her to get his foot in the door. Winning the Pig Party Prize meant he was “in”. No more hazing, no more low status bullshit. He could play with the big boys now.

All those pretty words floating away like the ashes of burning leaves.

Well, now what?

I lived in Eastern Kentucky for a year, teaching at a University there. One of the notable things about this area was it’s rather activist dislike of the government. A historical placard in town related that the local courthouse had been burned down several times over the years by people who didn’t appreciate the idea of government meddling in their affairs.

I’m hoping Kentucky gets pissed off. I’m hoping she doesn’t just fall into a heap of make-up streaked, blubbering butter cream frosting. To be honest, I’d much rather see her kick off her shoes, hike up her skirt and rally her kin folk. Because there is one thing a true Kentuckian understands and that’s a blood feud. Their philosophy always has been: Never let the government dick with you and never, ever forget it when they do.

Mr. Paul might do well to remember that.

Bailed Out AIG Forces Poor to Choose Between Running Water and Food

Via Alternet

So this is what our tax dollars cum bailout paid for? Rewarding a company that ran itself into the ground with risky derivative trading who took up a side job fleecing the rural poor.

Middlesboro and Clinton are two tiny, impoverished towns in southern Kentucky with a combined population of 12,000. In 2008, Middlesboro’s per capita income was $13,189 a year, only a few hundred dollars more than the average worker earned in third-world Mexico. That is if they were lucky to even get a job. Real unemployment hovers somewhere around 30%, and the state is so broke that half the people eligible for unemployment benefits can’t receive them. Life may be tough and most people live in poverty, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be made a little poorer. That’s the lesson locals learned after bailed-out insurance villain AIG took over their water utility and instantly raised rates to squeeze an extra $1 million in profits out of its new customers, forcing some to consider choosing between running water and food.

They bought the largest privately held utility in the country. Meaning they were not subject to the same stringent standards as a public utility.

AIG had reason to be pleased with its purchase. Water utilities are one hell of a profitable business, with international corporations easily making a 20 to 30% profit margin, according to a 2007 report by Food and Water Watch. In the US, federal regulations limit profits to 10%, a pesky rule that companies easily subvert by shuffling their income around and “investing” it in side businesses. These kinds of returns would be the envy of the pharmaceutical and oil industries. How do water companies do it? According to Food and Water Watch, they charge 50% more for services than public utilities and pocket the difference, thereby unleashing the potential of the free market.

What is, for all practical purposes, a monopoly can charge 50% more than a public utility.  What were people going to do, dig wells? Wells can cost a lot of money. As can any other practical alternative. So AIG could not lose. And when the credit crunch started and they were desperate for cash, they simply instituted a new “billing system” which was designed, in essence, to create revenues through late fees.

They never once offered to bail out the people of Middlesboro and Clinton.

If I believed in vengeance rather than justice, I would suggest a public caning for all involved in the creation of this disgusting travesty.

Ten Thousand People Apply for 90 jobs in Kentucky

from the World Socialist Web Site

The enormous response came within the space of just three days. GE had announced its intentions to add a second shift to its plant manufacturing washing machines in Appliance Park last Friday and began accepting applications on Monday. An earlier announcement by the GE plant calling for 13 maintenance workers who would receive $23 per hour drew 700 applicants.

The GE jobs promised a mere $13 per hour, plus benefits including dental coverage and eye care. The same jobs had previously paid $19 per hour until the decision by the IUE-CWA Local 761 to accept concessions in May, which included cutting wages for new workers and future hires.

Unemployment in Kentucky reached 11.1 percent in August. A total of 3,200 manufacturing jobs were lost in the state in the same month. Over the year ending in August, some 35,300 manufacturing jobs were lost in Kentucky.

Which is why this graph from Calculated Risk BlogSpot is unbelievable but not surprising.

From Comparing Employment Recessions

From Comparing Employment Recessions