published Sunday, November 6th, 2011

The Statuary

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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AndrewLohr said...

Compare National Review online's cartoon of the day, "We" by H. Payne, on the same topic, debt: And check out NR's previous cartoon-of-the-day also, with the two water fountains.

November 6, 2011 at 12:25 a.m.
BobMKE said...

I come I don't hear anymore that we should have a European type Government? They have great medical care, they don't work long hours, they take care of their people etc. Clay is a Social Democrat and he puts out this cartoon? Is he finally coming around? Do you libs really think that what Greece is going through couldn't happen here? Or has it started already?

November 6, 2011 at 12:41 a.m.
moon4kat said...

BobMKE: It's the "investment" bankers who have created havoc in Europe (as well as in the US); health care is not to blame.

November 6, 2011 at 6:06 a.m.
lumpy said...

I'll trust a banker over a bureaucrat any day. Massive and stupid government entitlements and wasted tax dollars are to blame for the collapse of these countries. Healthcare is very much to blame for it as well. Every leftist created nanny state is a disaster waiting to happen.

If Obama were a banker or an executive he would've been axed 6 weeks into his term.

November 6, 2011 at 8:38 a.m.
najones75 said...

moon4cat: do you want to explain how bankers brought down Greece, or are you just gonna throw out the standard and typical class warfare card without any justification? I don't understand how any reasonable person cannot see what the real problem was there. But you keep telling yourself whatever you need, pal...

November 6, 2011 at 9:10 a.m.
miraweb said...

It is another "Thank You, Goldman Sachs!" crisis. In case you missed the early innings of the Greek debt crisis - Goldman Sachs created the fictional currency swaps that hid vast amount of Greek debt. Basically, they took Greek debt off the books and hid it in "complex financial instruments."

Here is an article from February 2010:,1518,676634,00.html

Thanks, Goldman Sachs!

November 6, 2011 at 9:57 a.m.
miraweb said...

Goldman Sach's involvment was like this:

1) Goldman Sachs makes $300 million in fees to hide Greek debt in currency swaps

2) Goldman Sachs collects fees on derivative swaps it creates to insure against Greek losses.

3) Goldman Sachs makes a little more money selling those instruments back to Greek banks.

4) Greek's debt magically blows past the 4.5% limit it agreed to when it joined the Euro.

Still trust those guys, Lumpy?

November 6, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Greece would never have been admitted to the Eurozone had they not hired Goldman Sachs to show them clever ways to hide the size of their liabilities off balance sheet. Dishonest but legal, no other way to describe it and that is how corrupt bankers contributed to the current Greek/Euro crisis.

Germany and France wanted a bigger trading zone and therefore pushed for inclusion of the weaker southern countries. For a variety of reasons they were a mismatch right from the start. Now Europe is stuck with an unworkable monetary union which cannot survive in its present form.

Bank deregulation in the US allowed the creation of some very creative (read high leverage,high risk) financial products. Greedy bankers adopted those products all over Europe. They out did the Americans with leverage ratios. A quadrillion dollars in derivitives were priced for perfection and perfection is not the general rule. The abandonment of Glass-Steagall has evolved into a time bomb for all of us and the fuse has gotten short.

The huge profits generated by high leverage financial products allowed bankers to overwhelm politicians with money and lobbyists, curruption easily seeps into anything with too much easy money.

It is the bankers who are at the top of the pecking order and they are bringing us down.

November 6, 2011 at 10:37 a.m.
miraweb said...

Clay is dead on with Italy right behind Greece.

JP Morgan Chase was the firm that gave Italy off-books loans structured much the same as the Goldman Sachs deals with Greece.

Bank of America is laying off 30,000. JP Morgan Chase 3,000, Goldman Sachs 1,000, Morgan Stanley 300.

JP Morgan Chase claims it has $15 billion in potential exposure to European defaults - but still ponied up $7.7 billion in bonuses for this year.

Heckuva job, Job Creators!

November 6, 2011 at 10:46 a.m.
ricardo said...

I wonder how many millionaire and billionaire VP's and hedge fund managers will be let go? Bank Transfer Day allows dilution of assets from a very few large banks at the top to many more smaller community banks which are not too big to fail.

November 6, 2011 at 11:12 a.m.

So you libs think banks are to blame for Europe's woes, eventhough they are as regulated by European governments and croney politics as they are here?

Wow! Talk about wanting to believe what you want to believe.

November 6, 2011 at 11:37 a.m.
obviousman said...

miraweb & moon4cat, so following your reasoning it wasn't Greece's out-of-control debt that caused their financial ruin, it was the investment bankers hiding that debt? Ridiculous!

Hiding the debt didn't help the problem, but the problem was their initial debt. Without the huge debt they wouldn't have needed to hide anything.

Greece's path to financial ruin was paved with costly government health care and other social programs. The only thing the investment bankers did was delay the inevitable.

November 6, 2011 at 11:46 a.m.
nucanuck said...


" (un)regulated as..."

You have identified the deregulation, pushed for by bankers for years, has done us in.

November 6, 2011 at 11:53 a.m.
nucanuck said...


I think you missed the point. Greece should not have been allowed into the EU with the debt they then had. GS helped them hide that debt when Greece applied for admittance. Without that corrupt but legal bankster obfuscation, Greece's debt problem would not now be the entire EU's problem, only that of Greece itself.

At this point, even if Greece accepts the EU bail-out, it won't materially improve Greece's financial condition, it will only allow Greece to pay the next few rounds of interest payments before thay need another bail-out.

Greece's best chance to recover their economic health would be to do what a company would do in a similar situation...default/bankrupt on their debts and rebuild with a much lower valued drachma. They would face a horrendous year or two, but they could then regain their economic health.

Europe would be forced to eat the bad loans they made to Greece and Greek Banks. That would likely set off a dirivitives nightmare for the world, but that is coming anyway. We might as well face the mucic for our banker crimes now and get it over with.

November 6, 2011 at 2:17 p.m.
miraweb said...

obvsmn -

Just like it takes two to make a baby, it takes two to make a sovereign debt crisis.

Greece, on its own, has never had the resources to crash the world economy. The side bets, tangled banking system, and unregulated derivitives markets are making Greece's long-term corruption suddenly a world-wide crisis.

November 6, 2011 at 3:18 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

BobMKE said... "Is he finally coming around?"

No, social democrats are just too stupid to understand that the Greek debt crisis has parallels to the problem that has been created by "progressives" in this country so he feels free to satire the problem with Greece.

November 6, 2011 at 3:35 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

miraweb said... "Just like it takes two to make a baby, it takes two to make a sovereign debt crisis."

No kidding. But in this case one of the parties is supposed to be stopping the "pregnancy" from happening instead of happily participating in the impregnation and upbringing. It is odd that you would use something as precious as a baby as a metaphor for an atrocity.

November 6, 2011 at 3:42 p.m.
miraweb said...

That's the funny thing - Germany has a far stronger social safety net than Greece but can manage to keep its books straight.

The GOP strategy seems to thrive on "false choices." A functioning social safety net and a healthy economy are not the opposite ends of teeter-totter.

They work best together and both will benefit when the other is working as it should.

Unfortunately, we now have a poor social safety net and a lousy economy and enough corruption in government to make either hard to solve.

November 6, 2011 at 3:47 p.m.
nucanuck said...


You imply that you, above stupid others, understand the Greek debt crisis. Would you please share some of your understanding in order that we might all benefit.

November 6, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.
BobMKE said...

Milton Frriedman vs Phil Donahue 31 years ago regarding Greed. The full version and other Miltons gems are on the right. Click on and learn.

November 6, 2011 at 5:08 p.m.
nucanuck said...


That quote may be one of Milton Friedman's better contributions to the world of economics.

But Friedman led the US into trickle down economics and financial deregulation via Ronald Reagan and we now fully understand that those policies led to unacceptable levels of income disparity and the debt that is destroying the US economy.

We can all learn from Milton Friedman. We can learn that even brilliant economists can be proven completely wrong over time by having their theories fail miserably. Friedman was the architect of the 1980s changes that led to the elimination of the Glass-Steagall Act that had protected our commercial banks since the 1930 depression. Friedman pushed the tax cuts that set off the 30 year debt bubble that is now bursting.

History is turning on Milton Friedman.

November 6, 2011 at 6:28 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Are there any reasonable people advocating pure capitalism or pure socialism?

The best examples we have today of reasonably well managed societies are capitalist with a social safety net. Make your own list of countries that are doing well, happy, and healthy and they will all likely be social democracies, blending the strengths of capitalism with support of some degree of social programs.

November 6, 2011 at 7:41 p.m.
rolando said...

Well said, nucanuck.

The best government is the smallest government that meets our constitutionally mandated national needs.

One problem occurs when government begins thinking it can run the country's capitalist businesses better than the businesses themselves. That really began in the 30s.

Another occurs when it starts massive socialist programs that ultimately remove half of the population from its taxbase. That one really picked up speed in the mid-60s...the beginning of our decline.

Balance is relative; the health of each depends on the other...and we are a mighty sick nation...probably terminal.

November 7, 2011 at 6:44 a.m.
miraweb said...

Interestingly, Rhode Island just borrowed a German idea for unemployment payments. If a company keeps employees but chooses to cut back hours instead of laying people off, Rhode Island will pay part of the lost salary to workers. No lost insurance, no lost homes, substantially less damage to the local economy.

Here is an overview of German benefits that was written for British workers going abroad:

November 7, 2011 at 7:35 a.m.
alprova said...

Every President issues executive orders that deserve criticism.

For example, Bush signed the executive order, allowing the NSA to conduct warrantless surveillance wiretaps on phone calls, e-mails, and text messages, involving any party believed by the NSA to be outside the U.S., even if the other end of the communication lies within the U.S., in clear violation of the fourth Amendment to the constitution.

In 2001, Bush signed an executive order to create the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. It was created to develop policies to allow religious and community groups in America to compete for federal funding for fighting social problems such as poverty, hunger, homelessness, and drug addiction. The program was unconstitutional, since it gives federal money to programs for spreading religion. The First Amendment says the federal government may not respect an establishment of religion, which means to favor one or more religions over others.

Abe Lincoln violated the Constitution by suspended the writ of habeas corpus, which resulted in American newspaper reporters and editors, among many others, being jailed without charging them with a crime in the 1860s.

In 1798, President John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts into law, which made it a crime to criticize the President or Congress. Those who did were often thrown in jail.

In the 1830s, members of the Cherokee nation were forcibly uprooted and sent to live hundreds of miles west, through the issuing of an executive order. Andrew Jackson was the President in that case.

Thomas Jefferson violated the Constitution when he issued an executive order to make the Louisiana Purchase.

Skirting laws is nothing new or shocking. Given the do nothing sentiment by the Republicans in Congress, purposely being a Republican initiative in order to make Obama look bad, I don't blame him one bit for bypassing Congress to address that which needs to be done via executive order.

People need jobs, now. College graduates, who are having trouble finding decent paying jobs need a little relief and time to repay those outrageously high education loans. Assisting Americans avoid foreclosure on their homes is the right thing to do. It's too bad the banks aren't doing it for their own self-interests. And who in their right mind agrees with "No child left behind?"

Obama has been forced into bypassing the Congressional Republicans and taking care of business that they apparently have no intention of addressing, because the constituents they choose to represent are not dealing with such difficulties at the moment.

November 7, 2011 at 10:26 a.m.
acerigger said...

Pres. Obama has been playing "let's get along and work together " for much too long! I'm glad to see him standing up for American's best interests.

November 7, 2011 at 11:45 a.m.
jesse said...

maybe he FINALLY grew a set!!(BUT i don't believe it!!)

November 7, 2011 at 1:16 p.m.
mymy said...

Anybody interested:

The home page discusses SS solution and what happends if Greece defaults.

Under the Free to Choose is a 10 part series. I am going to work my way through it over several days.

November 7, 2011 at 1:19 p.m.
mymy said...

The Bomb is incapable of growing anything except our debt!

November 7, 2011 at 1:55 p.m.
rolando said...

Rhode Island will pay part of the lost salary to workers

And where exactly will Rhode Island get the money to do that, miraweb?

Don't strain your brain thinking overly much about with all state governments, the money will come from....wait for it.....the taxpayers.

You should know who those guys are...they are the ones actually working to support themselves and their families...and now, Rhode Island workers.

No doubt RI will ultimately cry, whimper, and moan about it all the way to The Obama [provided he is still around, which is doubtful.] He, in turn, will either soak us for it or just print some more, making ours worth even less.

November 7, 2011 at 2:20 p.m.
rolando said...

mymy said..."Anybody interested::

No one on the left, mymy.

They don't do common sense anything...

November 7, 2011 at 2:23 p.m.
mymy said...

rolando: and that's the truth.............

November 7, 2011 at 2:58 p.m.
mymy said...

The Death of Common Sense

By Lori Borgman

Three yards of black fabric enshroud my computer terminal. I am mourning the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense. His obituary reads as follows:

November 7, 2011 at 4:57 p.m.
miraweb said...

rolando --

Simple - someone did the math and found it is cheaper to pay part of a salary for reduced hours than a full unemployment benefit. Plus, the companies get to keep staff who are already trained. For skilled workers the cost to recruit and train one person is generally estimated at 50% of the salary for a year.

It is a win for government and a win for business. Who knew?

November 7, 2011 at 5:19 p.m.
dude_abides said...

Can anyone tell me where to find the latest news on Herman Cain? As of 7:30 I can't seem to find a whisper on this "left wing rag".

November 7, 2011 at 7:31 p.m.
acerigger said...

Hey dude, last I heard, Rush said the accuser's name is "buy-a-lick". this is for sure all part of a vast left-wing conspiracy to trap and smear ol' Herm I'll bet!

November 7, 2011 at 10:19 p.m.
dude_abides said...

HA! So now we're down to Roadhouse Rick and Mitt's Magic Mormon Manpanty Mania.

I guess Herman was trying to get her interested in his 9-6-9 plan.

November 7, 2011 at 10:33 p.m.
tderng said...

nah,he got his plan from a German maid who said Nein!Nein!Nein!lol I have to take all of this as bullcrap since Gloria Allred has entered the picture.She has been known to bring false charges out looking for publicity.Any time she joins the modern day lynchings I figure its been too long since she had her face on tv and she wants some publicity

November 8, 2011 at 8:14 a.m.
kousuke said...

What a funny great work, Mr. Bennett!

November 8, 2011 at 8:21 a.m.
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