When a Tea Party guys talks about ‘Freedom,’ what they mean is that they want to be free to do this.
When a Tea Party guys talks about ‘Freedom,’ what they mean is that they want to be free to do this.
Shrubya II aka Gov Perry backs off his calls for secession. Damn it! What a wuss!! Well to hell with him, we should host a plebiscite and just kick ‘em out! And we can build the wall/fence/flashing lights border thingie between us and The Baptist Republic of Texas!
…but when Bachmann says “regulations were overburdening food producers” you gotta wonder if she ever gave concept of the relative ’overburden’ (consumer+ ecoli = death, versus business + regulations = lower profits) of the parties involved. Worse, you gotta wonder about the brains or sanity of somebody who’d be stupid enough to vote for her (excepting the small percentage of voters who are executives in large food producing businesses).
The tea-leaf readers infer that Rick Perry’s secret plan regarding the future of the program is to save Social Security by destroying it. Similar to what the Reactionaries did so successfully with unions – create a multi-tiered benefit system. The strategy is simple – scare the seniors and the soon-to-retire Baby Boomers by calling Social Security a ‘Ponzi Scheme,’ then buy them off by guaranteeing that their benefits remain sacrosanct in exchange for creating a new tier of lousy benefits for those dumb young workers who don’t bother to vote. Quite the opposite of what Perry’s forked-tongue campaign manager claims:
“”I think he’s been clear that those who are on Social Security now, it’s not going to be scrapped,” said Perry’s campaign manager, Rob Johnson. “We’ve got to start the conversation for the younger generation so that there is a program for them.”
To decode Reactionary Speak here is the translation:
“We’re gonna buy off the seniors who vote and rely on the fact that young people don’t bother to vote, or even to read the news. Hey kids! I got your Social Security program right here [Grabbing crotch for visual effect]!”
Unless we Libs get off our asses and raise some consciousness among ‘the young’, the Rich will be able to chalk up another win in the Class War.
During their 8-year Reign of Error, you’d think there wasn’t a war the Republican’s didn’t like. However, there was much gnashing of teeth when Obama decided to join with our NATO allies and blast Qaddafi’s planes and tanks from the skies. Now that the Libyan Action is pretty much concluded, let’s do a compare and contrast of Regime Change that Republicans like versus what they find unacceptable:
|Difference||Republican's Iraqi Fiasco||Obama's Libya Intervention|
|Length||8+ years||5 months.|
|U.S. Lives Lost||4,474||0|
|Museum artifacts looted||15,000||0|
|Ancient books burned||417,000||0|
|Fissile materials looted, kilos||10||0|
|Conservatives support troops?||Y||N|
|Conservatives okay with criticizing Prez during wartime?||N||Y|
By any measure, the Libyan Regime Change seems more effective, but there’s not a peep of support from the Wrong Wing. Conclusion? Republicans only like the wars they start, Democratic wars be damned!
Seems like the ad deluge has already begun. I imagine that the Citizens United decision has flooded the election with unprecedented (and obscurely sourced) amounts of money, so the Reactionaries are going hog wild! The main focus so far seems to be to get the 4 remaining seats in the Senate to accomplish…whatever the focus demographic wants.
Senator Cornyn provides this choice nugget:
It took just 4 years… 4 years for Democrats to unleash a wave of big government: ObamaCare, energy taxes, government takeovers, and nearly a doubling of our debt. They have left America on the brink and it’s going to take all of us working harder than ever to save this great nation.
This month marks the most critical FEC deadline. If we don’t raise $210,412 by June 30, we won’t have the resources to take back the Senate and put an end to the most liberal agenda in the history of the United States. We already made huge gains in 2010, taking back 7 Senate seats from Democratic control. The real test lies ahead, capturing the 4 seats standing between repealing the Obama agenda or failing every generation before us that lived up to their American duty.
The most liberal agenda in the history of the United States? Presumably Mr. Cornyn slept through American History class, or assumes that his potential voters did, as I don’t think Obama’s agenda really stacks up against somebody like say FDR. Or Johnson. Hey even Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act, the EPA and Affirmative Action! I was down in the Central Valley (a reactionary part of California) over the weekend and saw a recent McCain attack ad similar in message to Cornyns, but focusing on ObamaCare.
How realistic are their chances of snagging a majority? Pretty likely, according to Paul Bedard. Of course Bedard is a self-serving conservative. Myles Spicer has a more optimistic outlook. I say there is still quite a bit of road to hoe between now and the election, but undoubtedly paid-for speech could win the day for the Forces of Reaction. Wikipedia has a good write-up of the 2012 lineup.
…no, just seriously stoopid. I’ve noticed that of late, as the HuffPos and PajamaMedias of the blogosphere emerge, fewer and fewer people ‘cross over’ to visit blogs and media of the opposing camp. With all this Tea Party noise about the deficit, I thought I’d take a peak at one of the bigger conservative blogs to see what they had to say about it, and perhaps, as a self-professed ‘balanced budget’ guy, I might find some common ground.
Quite randomly, I found this diatribe by Repair_Man_Jack on RedState with the premise that we can’t cut the U.S. Defense budget without increasing security risk. The crux of his argument is that there are some potential flashpoints out there such as the Korean Penninsula and the recent Chinese military buildup, and that we need to keep the sea lanes open for trade.
I’m guessing Repair_Man_Jack hasn’t really his homework if he thinks all of the defense budget goes to the cordon sanitaire around N. Korea and into policing the sea lanes. I can think of many potential cuts that we can take immediately to tip the scales back in the direction of balance.
First, what are we paying per year for Shrubya’s occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan and other misc overseas adventures? Something like $171 Billion a year….that’s a lot of scratch! Presumably Jack the Repair Man is still a Believer in these invasions, otherwise undoubtedly he would have seen the Elephant in the budget room.
Then there is Shrubya’s unproven ‘Missile Defense” program, a costly $18B/year!! Beyond the fact that what few tests that have been conducted have had extremely dubious results, I’m hard-pressed to understand exactly what threat this is supposed to protect us from – the North Korean missiles might have the range now, but their guidance is questionable. If either China or Russia get pissed at us and decide to send missiles our way, most likely those would come out of subs off the coast, a ‘use case’ not covered by Shrubya’s Star Wars.
And what of the $8+ Billion a year we are paying to support our nuclear weapons program? Weren’t we supposed to be decreasing the number of bombs in our stockpile? ConservObama is not just continuing Shrubya’s handouts to aerospace in this filthy industry, but actually increasing the size of the defense and energy budget to support nuclear weapons and nuclear power research. We haven’t hit the point where the US can get rid of all our stockpile and do no further maintenance, but seriously, how many H-Bomb-equipped MIRVs do we need to wipe out N. Korea, China and Iran? Let’s close down one of the weapons lab and pare the remaining one back to a core function of reducing our stockpile further, and maintaining a enough weapons to wipe out Jack the Repairman’s overblown threats abroad.
Anyway, I’ll spare you further commentary, just take a look at this list of astronomical military boondoggles if you want to find another trillion or so (over time) in defense spending cuts that we can safely make without provoking a N. Korean invasion of the Fatherland.
As for Repair_Man_Jack, I suggest you stick to repairing drywall.
It seems like only yesterday people were screaming “Fission, Baby Fission!” The Media gushed over a few environmental leaders who had converted to the cause of nuclear power in the face of (or with a face full of) fossil fuel emissions warming the biosphere. During the BP Oil Spill (anybody still remember that??) I pulled out the old crystal ball and reminded y’all about Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and mused if it would take a similar incident to remind folks of why nuclear power sucks so badly…and sadly, here we are - a couple of explosions at Japanese nuclear reactors following the ‘quake, some venting of radioactive gas, and a strong chance remaining of partial reactor core meltdown.
As a Californian in particular, I can’t help but be concerned as we have 2 similar reactors at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon, situated not far from active fault lines.
It’s bad enough that industry and their Capitol Hill whores have been clamoring for new nukes here since the dark years of Bush’s Reign of Error, even stuffing lots of glowing pork in the awful Energy Bill ’03, but what’s worse is that they only plan to create more of the inherently dangerous ‘light water reactors,’ not the somewhat safer reactor models in which other countries are investing. As we had already learned at Three Mile Island, the light water reactors rely on active safety systems in order to keep from melting down. If something goes wrong, like say an earthquake forcing the plant to go offline and destroying the diesel backup generators in the process…the reactor core overheats, risking a meltdown.
I’m against nuclear power for a variety of reasons, but if we must have it shoved up our asses, at least let’s go with safer reactors as well as use heavy-metal/fast neutron reactors to burn up a larger % of the fuel and the long-lasting transuranic elements.
There have been a couple of important articles discussing the New Plutocracy, first the seminal piece by Chrystia Freeland who describes the rise of a new global elite who have achieved an Anti-Marxian class consciousness and have transcended the nation state, leaving workers increasingly in the dust about the planet, and another by Kevin Drum in Mother Jones about how the current battle in Wisconsin over public employees’ colleective bargaining rights is the Waterloo of class warfare (in which, I am interpreting, Drum is suggesting the workers are playing the part of Napolean’s forces).
I really need to see if I can dragoon the busy (and now possibly mythical) Fubar into helping me restore our posts between ’04 and ’08 – I had been musing along these lines for some time.
Neither article cited outlines any possible solutions to this dilemma, they are both along the lines of “woe is us, with unions in their death throes, there is no significant funding of a liberal agenda on Capitol hill, and any progessive agenda without funding is dead on arrival.”
In the archived posts, I had posited some thoughts. First, that the future of American labor lies in the sweat shops of Asia. If American Unions continue in the grand American tradition of navel-gazing, they’ll quickly starve to death and leave a shriveled husk. Labor needs to take a page from the turbulent years of the end of the 1800s and early 1900s, and start organizing the overseas sweatshops.
Dangerous? Hell yes, “Communist” China is every bit as nasty and anti-labor as America during the guilded age, except they are perhaps a bit more prone to just shooting outside agitators. Necessary? Of course. As long as there is a pool of desperate workers willing to take any work at any wage under any conditions, in a world of ‘free trade,’ then how can American Labor hope to compete? Kinda reminds me of the mess in Afghanistan – porous border with a nuclear nation we can’t invade that harbors insurgents and has an unlimited, opium-fueled cash source…unwinnable.
But speaking of free trade, that’s the thing we can influence. While we are helping the sweatshop workers of Asia to unite, why not agitate at home to weaken the various ‘free trade’ treaties here at home? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to restore the other 1800s bad tradition of industry protectionism, with all that entails. Rather, I would like to see the ability of a country to restrict and/or tariff goods on the basis of environmental and labor standards. Sure, it’s easy for Chinese goods created in the midst of massive pools of toxic filth and clouds of noxious air and greenhouse gases to compete against American-made goods – but would they do so well if their price included a carbon tax or a pollutions ‘uplift?’ Ditto goods slapped with a ‘Fair Labor’ tax based on level of compliance with some basic labor standards. I would imagine that would make U.S. manufacture of many goods quite competitive.
But in the face of Roberts V. Common Sense, which completed the final stages of Corporate takeover of the U.S. Government, how might we get any such laws passed? By the only tool that remains to us, sadly, the power of the Boycott. It’s folly to attack the Congressional Whores directly. It doesn’t matter how many hundreds of thousands of folks show up to big peaceful rallies with their quaint, hand-lettered signs, they will just do what their Corporate bosses tell them – it’s how they will get elected, or failing that, where their next job/paycheck will come from in the revolving door of Plutocracy.
Nope, we need to bring pressure on the global elites themselves, in the only way they care about – their revenues. Where to start? How about sending a message to Koch Industries. As Robert Reich points out, they are doing an exceptional job of trying to divide and conquer the other 99% of us. About the only power we have right now, as (for a brief remaining period anyway) the world’s richest group of consumers, is the power of our pocketbooks.
In the meantime, we also need to update those old class conflict theories to the 21st Century to get something we can use to raise our own class conciousness and work to raise awareness both here and abroad.
Mr. Obama discussed the pitfalls — and opportunities — of divided government with former President Bill Clinton during a long meeting this month. . . .
Despite all his time studying the Clinton administration, Mr. Obama told his aides that he had no intention of following the precise path of Mr. Clinton, who after the Democratic midterm election defeats of 1994 ordered a clearing of the decks inside the White House, installed competing teams of advisers and employed a centrist policy of triangulation. In fact, several advisers confirmed, the word “triangulation” has been banned by Mr. Obama because he does not believe it accurately describes his approach.
This has the potential to be the most notable linguistic self-deception by a Democratic president since Clinton claimed that oral sex wasn’t really sex. But Sargent, at least, seems willing to buy the administration’s spin:
Triangulation just isn’t Obama’s style, and his scolding of liberals seems to be rooted in genuine frustration with them for disagreeing with him about what’s politically possible, given today’s realities. To whatever degree Obama is using his disagreement with the left for positioning purposes, it’s more about temperament than ideology: His role is that of the voice of sanity trying to talk sense into uncompromising partisans on both sides. This just isn’t Clintonian triangulation in any sense.
Actually, that “voice of sanity” posturing was what Clinton’s version of triangulation was about. For all the symbolic hippie-punching Clinton may have done, he also stood up to the Republican attempt to shut down the government in order to force spending cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, education, and the environment. In the process, Clinton defined those issues (where public opinion was solidly behind the Democratic/liberal position) as the core difference between him and the GOP, and thereby cemented his re-election in 1996.
Frankly, we would be fortunate if this was the lesson Obama learned from Clinton’s experience. And for those interested in grasping slim reeds of hope, the NYT story does float this possibility:
Mr. Obama intends not only to extend a hand to Republicans but also to begin detaching himself more from Congress and spending more time making his case directly to the American people.
“In a world of divided government, getting things done requires a mix of compromise and confrontation,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “What are the things you can do without Congress? In some cases, that involves executive orders, but it also involves using the bully pulpit of the presidency to make a political argument about the direction of the country.”
Well, golly. If only he’d figured that out before his party lost its clout in Congress!
In the meantime, progressives who feel like Obama has given them nothing but lumps of coal in their stockings all year are hereby informed that the administration has banned the use of that term as well. Please use the phrase “victory nuggets” instead. Merry Christmas!
(Cross-posted at Firedoglake.)