Tag Archives: The Oligarch Kings Blog @ PoliticalDog

Harvey Is Nothing To Do With Global Warming…..


It ain’t no shark and it ain’t no warming neither

Houston’s flood this week is due to hubris and bad planning rather than global warming.  But hey would we not have to blame someone if it was planning?

Houston for those of us who have never passed through it, is one of those enormous post second war urban sprawls that ooze out across the West.  It was never the cowboys, John Wayne or General Custer that tamed this land, more like General Electric, General Motors and Westinghouse.  The air conditioner, personal cars and the refrigerator opened the land around Houston to become the huge 627.5 square mile of monster city it is today.

And it’s the way you build them that causes much of the problem.

Houston is low lying and near the coast.  And in what might possibly be a clue, much of what has been built on, was swamp.  So it always was prone to flooding.  This is not something new.  And then we need to factor in that much of the rest of the unchecked unregulated development was on prairie.  Now prairie is an interesting eco-system being grass with very deep roots that go far underground.  It is permeable to a fault.  The grass itself grows high and so when water hits prairie there is plenty of places for it all to go, sucked up into the grass above ground or sequestered down in the roots.  What the City fathers in their planning regulations, and the developers only out for a quite sale, have done is turn a sponge into a bathtub.

So, the developers paved over all that prairie with housing, roads, car parks, concrete, concrete, concrete etc, and hey they only discovered afterwards that the water had to go somewhere.  Surprising absolutely no one in particular, it ends up in areas that had not flooded previously.  Because, well it had nowhere else to go.


And its all downhill to downtown

Next despite what might pass for common sense, the developers filled up the existing flood plains with more buildings.  Even as far back as 1980 there were concerns about building on floodplains and next to bayous.  But noone did anything.  Hey it was Boomtime what could possibly go wrong?  And naturally these developers did not have to put their hands in their corporate pockets to ensure that as they developed the housing they upgraded the infrastructure to allow cast water to be taken away.  And no one seems to have asked them to do that….


Obama wins at Iowa…The Oligarch Kings…..

by  @ The Oligarch Kings….

“Oh God …It is him!”
Picture Los Angeles Times

So what does the Iowa result tell us?  Well the first thing is to remember that it is hardly an election, more a sort of glorified vox pop of the keener elements within the activists and keenest of the republicans.  In all the state of Iowa, in all its 99 counties, only 122,000 chose to come out and cast their vote.  Large perhaps by European standards, but down considerably on the Democrat count of 200,000 last time round. Mind you the Obama and Hillary show had more class about it than this dishevelled rabble.  And Mitt polled less votes than he did the last time he lost.

What does the snap shot tell us?  Well it shows that the time of the circus of entertaining fools and hopefuls is closing.  The Bachmann and Perry show is over.  We enjoyed the laughs, we will miss their shining eyes, and sweating palms, but the time has come to go.

Newt is down too, however he will not leave without fighting clawing and kicking all the way.   So we should expect him to be around for a few bouts more.

Paul has done well to stay in the fight.  Respected and indeed admired I just like the fact that at his age he can get out the youth vote.  He should last a bit longer before funding starts to fade.

Above all Iowa shows how divided the Republicans are.  They simply cannot settle on a candidate they are happy with.  They just couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm yesterday could they?  Rather than turn out in January weather they stayed at home grumbling and sitting on their hands.   A low turn out, grudging support, and with the effort split across the wings of the party it all shows a decided lack of focus.  It’s not a good start.

However Romney won Iowa.   He will now get the extra money and publicity he needs to move on nationwide in the show that runs and runs.  Santorum will also gain a boost, at least until his campaign leaves the rural side of America, and goes where his flavour of anti-abortion politics and sexualised religion finds less favour.   A more anti woman candidate in an already anti woman cadre would be hard to find.  Santorum also suffers from poorer campaign organisation which will certainly begin to tell against him as we move through further bouts.  He can’t personally visit every county of every state he fights primaries in!  However as he represents the other wing of the republican party he may garner support from the others as they go down.  I do not think he will win the nomination, but he will help open the old wounds in the party and make the process that much more interesting for the rest of us.

As before the race will go to the candidate with the strongest Oligarchical connections.  Oligarchs win, that is the inescapable rule of American politics, especially Presidential elections.  Romney has the oligarchical connections, and the others do not.  Romney will win the republican nomination.  And then he will lose to Obama.

Whose Fingerprints On The Frame? The DSK Affair….The Oligarch Kings lays things out in Detail….


The big summer legal story is just starting to break in New York City.  It’s finally hitting the fan as we wind down for summer.  Expect long discussions in the Sundays, or late night reviews.  The timing, as throughout the entire affair, has been exquisite.

Dominique Strauss-Khan is probably not a household name in the United States yet, but he is really big in France.  He is certain to become a true cause celebre.

One of the delights of the internet is that with caution and persistence one can winkle all sorts of interesting facts out of the global woodwork and see them in a new pattern.  So before I get carried away I’d like to note my indebtedness, and thanks, to two excellent people who have far more knowledge than me, and have shared their insights on the web.  One is Professor Michel Chossudovsky of globalresearch which is worth a visit, and John Helmer a journalist with a vast knowledge of Russian matters who writes Dances with Wolves, also worth reading.

The story breaking this week is that Dominique Strauss-Khan, politician and darling of the French left, onetime probable candidate for the Socialist Party in next year’s French Presidential elections, and the former head of the International Monetary Fund, has been released from his bail in relation to the charges against him of sexual assault on a chambermaid in his hotel when he was staying in New York in May.  The whole thing is unravelling in short order.

The accuser, a 32 year old asylum seeker from Guinea, is now said to have lied.  Multiple cash payments according to the New York Times have been found in her bank accounts in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.  She has been linked to various unsavoury individuals with criminal or drug connections.  This accuser, a Muslim chamber-maid has been seen drinking and partying.  There is clear panic in the prosecutor’s office as it all comes undone before them…..

Please continue here for thorough look at the case and a lot of unanswered questions…..

Political Demonstrations – A Very British Approach…The Oligarch Kings

Picture brianhaw.tv

In my previous post I noted the heavy-handed approach of the Park Police at the Jefferson Memorial in stifling what was a peaceful expression of the people’s will.  Now whilst I accept the point of JamesB in the comments section that this may well have had a political element to it, it does not however excuse the violence of the police.

Interestingly, the British too have lately needed to deal with a rowdy, raucous political demonstration in an equally iconically charged historic setting.  Their handling may show some interesting differences between the two societies.

The gentleman above is one Brian Haw the leader of a small but dedicated group, who rain, snow or shine have camped out in Parliament Square for 3662 days or just over ten years, shouting at politicians, passers-by, and journalists through a bull horn about Britain’s continued involvement in the Iraq War.  It is fair to say that his intervention has been seen by those in the establishment as a thorn in their sides.  He even has his own web-site.  Mr Haw himself is presently in Germany for treatment for lung cancer but his supporters keep vigil in the square. They have been shoved off the grass itself to a camp on the unpopular far side.  Even so it still rankles.  Colin Barrow, the leader of Westminster Council a man who clearly has had enough has said “We of course support the right to protest and continue to do so, but camping out for years on end has made the point.  It is time to reclaim the square.”

Such statements in America, or indeed the middle east, might be the cue for the Police heavy mob to move in, duff up the demonstrators and throw them off their pitch.  But this is Britain and they do things differently there.

The Mayor of London tried saying that Haw was causing an obstruction and sought a ruling from the Courts to move him on but this failed.  The Council is now trying to say he is “an obstruction to the footway” and “a hindrance”. Since Mr Haw is on the far side of the square where there are few passers-by (hence the bull-horn) this too is unlikely to fly.

So, they are planning to construct a pedestrian crossing to his site, and once this in finished he will be moved – for being next to a pedestrian crossing and thus causing an obstruction!

Now that’s the British way…..

The Oligarch Kings….

Note.….Read my answer back to my friend Dave at his site…

Winner Take All Politics : A Book Review…..The Oligarch Kings…

One of the delights of the Christmas holidays is a chance to catch up with the latest books.  And “Winner–Take-All Politics” by Jacob S Hacker and Paul Pierson is definitely one to consider if you are off for a post prandial wander round the bookstore.

The thrust of this book will not be a surprise to readers of this blog.  Hacker and Pierson tackle the shift of money, and by extension political power and influence from the middle classes and working man, to the elites of the super rich.  They suggest that American democracy has moved from a position of a broadly based and shared prosperity, to one of an inequality unmatched in the western world.

They take a rather detective-story approach to find the guilty parties and attribute blame.   It’s a bold claim, and they have approached the task with a wealth of closely argued propositions backed with solid detail.  And yet, despite it having been written by professional analysts – Jacob Hacker is Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale and Paul Pierson is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at University of California Berkeley –  it avoids econo-speak and the dry-as-dust academic report. It is eminently readable.  Indeed, it is a must read……


Bloomberg Goes For President – Again…The Oligarch Kings…

Image Guardian

A couple of days ago I did a piece on Chafee’s successful bid for Governor of Rhode Island.  I used a photo taken on 2 November at the climax of the campaign.  It featured the cheery candidate and one other – the Mayor of New York –  there to endorse Lincoln.

So what was he doing that for then?  Apart from the fundraisers?  The answer is he is now drumming up support for his own campaign, and seeking likely independents he helped out to support his bid for President.  Lincoln being a like minded opportunist – he is being buttered up.  A place in a coalition?

Bloomberg believes that with American support for your standard cookie-cutter party man or woman at an all time low, there is a chance, maybe even a good chance, for an Independent to run and succeed to the White House.  And that Independent might as well be that nice 68 year old Jewish New York Mayor – himself.

He has his supporters.  Mark McKinon of the Daily Beast is giving Bloomberg a real shove along……

More @ The Oligarch Kings….

Jeb Bush Is Running For 2012…..The Oligarch Kings…..

Picture newsev.com

Believe me Jeb Bush will be running in 2012.

On Sean Hannity’s interview with George W Bush on Fox News, about his new book the only thing anyone can remember about the interview or the book (ok apart from that bit about picking up dog poo) was the emphatic restatement of the regrettable stance of brother Jeb, who simply will not be drawn out to fight for the Presidency in 2012.

No sir, not likely, no how.

Aye right.

George had said “I wish he would (be President), (but) he has to run first. And he has made it clear he is not running in 2012. And, when the man says, “I’m not running” he means it. I wish he would run”. There we have it then. The man is firm of purpose, standards, unswayed by personal ambition or the blandishments of family and friends.

Perhaps, but I have always said Jeb is playing a clever game. Realising that the very name “Bush” is anathema to whole swaths of the electorate, Jeb has to burn off some of that toxic taint his name carries. He cannot risk being seen as an oligarchic sprog riding his brother’s name to the Presidency. He may be a Bush but come on, he has standards – he sure as hell doesn’t want to be thought a Kennedy……

More ….

A British Tea Party?….The Oligarch Kings…..

The endless obsession of the British for importation of the lowest elements of American culture and mores, from hula hoops, CB Radio, squeezy cheese, obesity for the masses, and day time Jeremy Kyle style confessional TV, seems both inevitable and irreversible, so perhaps it was natural in the immediate heat of the mid terms for the BBC on Saturday morning to seek to find a British Tea Party faction so that we too can join in the fun.

Richard Littlejohn of the Daily Mail had been the first of the scribblers that I could see to come out on Friday 3 November with the idea that Britain too should have its fair share of the ignorant, the poorly educated and the frankly deluded coming forward to tell us that we must by turns break with Europe, bring back hanging birching and flogging, embrace smaller government (except in defence and other Littlejohnian pet projects) slash welfare for the poor and stop any immigration from anywhere for ever.

The Guardian’s Martin Kebble in “Boris Johnson could be the Sarah Palin of a British Tea Party”  however, took a slower more reasoned and infinitely more tongue–in-cheek approach advocating  the happy flop haired Mayor Pooh Bear of London for the role

Unable to spot satire when it bites, this only seems rather to have encouraged them…..


After The Tumult 2010……The Oligarch Kings…..

So the election came and went.  The result was somewhat less disastrous for Obama than some had predicted, expected or indeed hoped for.  Sure he has lost the House and limps a bit in the Senate but all is not lost.

Because you see the Republicans have now won so much they are bought in on what happens in the future.  (Yes I know the mess is all their fault but people have short memories).

If they decide to block everything to spite Obama then when it all goes belly up – as it might well still do- they will get as much of the blame as the Democrats at the next election, and given the mood of the US, that will be pretty bloody.  The votes last night were not for the Republicans or against the Democrats so much as they were against anyone who had been in politics when the problems happened.

So, the Republicans may make a point to start with, and then join in some bi-partisan stuff to get things moving.

The Tea party faction can still be over-ruled.  But only until the next time.

And it only works if you think Governments can actually influence anything on this mess.  They are trying out QE2 this evening and no one has a clue if it will work or not.  There is nothing left if it doesn’t……


Gods, Guns, and Gays……The Oligarch Kings……

The Tea Party was born in the white heat of the working man and woman’s righteous anger at the folly of “the experts”, those self appointed, self aggrandising front men for the banking elites of Wall Street. The fools of university economic experts who never saw it coming,  the corrupt, lazy, lackadaisical legislature that took it’s focus off regulation because it was boring and hard work, but took the businessman’s  funding anyway, and turned their blind, stupid eyes away…and who all let the financial system crash.

It reacted to the vile sight of the foolish and mendacious being rewarded for their greed and incompetence,  being bailed out with the money of the common man and who then continued to pay themselves their bonuses whilst simultaneously foreclosing on the homes of their saviours.

And it is being hijacked.  Diverted from its truly revolutionary insight to cast out the parasites, it is being lured by the media to revisit it’s favourite bête noirs and rail against smaller causes

The Swash – an excellent, well written, and righteously angry blog – angry about all the things it is right to be angry about, has a post at “Dylan Ratigan Slams Tea Party Borg Hive” quoting Karl Denninger of FedupUSA, that the Tea Party Patriots have been successfully neutralised from being a really effective almost revolutionary force that threatened the “banksters” who usurped power by extorting a bailout of their financial mess.

Denninger believes these to have been, at best, civilly actionable, if not actually criminally fraudulent.

Now, I don’t agree with all he has to say……..More…

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