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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Shame on Bingaman and Udall

Below are the 39 cowardly Democrats in the Senate that should be ashamed of themselves for voting for the ill-advised Conrad/Gregg Budget Commission. The Republicans have been trying to destroy Social Security and Medicare for years. This budget commission was the perfect tool to get the Democrats to do it for them. It just shows how soulless, stupid and incompetent the Democrats in the US Senate are. I have come to accept this out of Bingaman but Udall? Sadly he's gotten the Senate disease quicker I had expected. No one in their right mid should trust either of them to protect Social Security and Medicare.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yes we have two parties but they ain't what you think!

Sometimes things just hit me -

I now realize that yes we do have two parties - problem is that they ain't Republican and Democrat or even Demopublican and Republocrat but rather they are Corporate and ????.

Once you take this view the recent Health Care squabble is really an argument between the hard line Corporatists (the Republicans) and more moderate Corporatists (a good chunk of the Democrats{the DLCers, New Democrats, Blue Dogs & etc-}). The constant fight between the Repubs and the Dems is just fighting to see how Corporate the US Government will be.

Sometimes clarity makes me sad - the delusion of hope is always easier to bear.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This is about leadership and in Washington there ain't any!

Brown is an idiot and the folks of Mass will tire of him quickly – he just tried to pawn off one of his daughters from the stage during his acceptance speech. He thought it was cute but the rest of the folks are going to see him for the clown he is. Expect him to provide more comic entertainment in the Senate until his term is up –

This isn’t about Brown or the boring plain vanilla Corporate Democratic Coakley - its about folks looking for real leadership in DC and finding none. Obama’s Presidency is over – we are in a holding pattern until a real populist leader shows up. Obama's first act tomorrow morning should be to fire Rahm and anybody in the White House that looks or thinks like him but we all know that won't happen.

When a real leader actually shows up his/her first task will be to run Senators like Bayh, Baucus, Bingaman, Conrad, Reid and their other disgusting collegues out of the Democratic Party and trash the New Democrats in the House for good measure. Until the Democratic filth in the House, Senate and White House is drained the Demopublicans and Republocrats are all the same. Who’s President or who controls the House or Senate until that happy day is really quite irrelevant because the Corporations are running the show. One thing for sure - its gonna get lots worse before it gets better.

Obama's Presidency is over!

January 20, 1999 - January 19, 2010

Today Obama's Presidency is officially over.
It lasted just a short time but died of self-inflicted wounds brought on by cowardice and beltway-based stupidity.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

Thanks Taylor!

I've become a fan of Taylor Marsh. She is one of those rare upper level bloggers that just doesn't seem to care what the elites of the Democratic Party think of her.

I reached a new level of appreciation for her when she responded to this comment by a reader called Don:
What do politicians do when a vote is called, and they realize that voting either way is a loss for them?
They abstain. They understand what to do. It works for them.
Taylor says:
Exactly correct. On a ballot, you can vote for people who represent your views, but no matter the Dem, when they don’t support your views, you don’t have to support them.

After all, for many Dems currently in power, it really wouldn’t be that different if a Rep. took the seat.

At some point, a message has to be sent.

Another issue is that the two-party system is crumbling from within the behemoths. We’re at a point in history where things could begin to shift, though it certainly will take some time to evolve.

Again thanks to Taylor and to Don. They both understand that its way past time we stopped voting for anybody just because they have a D after their name. From now on I plan to leave some blanks on my ballots where I just don't vote for this or that bad Democrat.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Even the Huffington Post lets a good one through -

Not sure what's happening but the Dem elites definitely were asleep when they let this one through at HuffPo.

Ms. Williamson really caught the spirit of things in the Democratic Party. But while she speaks truth here I also found the comments sadly interesting. The level of denial exhibited by the Obamanistas while they complain about this post is really amazing. They have drunk the kool-aid and do believe! So far I'm seeing two forms of delusion: 1) Obama is smart and in the end he will preform a miracle and all will be well in the Universe, and 2) we are all just whiny liberals and don't know what is good for us. We just need to shut up and do what our dear Corporate leader says to do. When they finally see what's happening boy are they gonna be pissed.

Marianne Williamson
Posted: January 2, 2010 09:00 AM

It's hard to own the disappointment I feel over our moderate corporate Democratic President. The whole Obama phenomenon brings up memories from my distant past: the good-looking guy who talks real good, whose line you don't buy immediately but whose charm is so dazzling that he gradually convinces you that this time it will be different.

Yeah. Right. Really different.

What the current administration is giving us is minimal change. And not because the President hasn't had the time to do better; if he had truly wanted to make fundamental change, he would have gone in there fast and done his own version of shock and awe in the first hundred days. And not because he didn't realize how mean all those Republicans can be, either; Obama knew what he was getting into, and if he didn't, then he was as unprepared for the job as his opponents said he was. I see so many people now -- many of them men, interestingly enough -- tangled up in an almost school-girlish, co-dependent, apologetic relationship with this President. As though "poor baby" should be tacked onto the end of every description of his failures.

I see all things political in light of the immense unnecessary suffering in the world. Republicans see it and say, "Wow, it's sad about all that suffering, but the government has no proper role in assuaging it. Hopefully the private sector will do something. That would be nice." The Democrats -- not all of them but enough of them, and definitely this President -- see all that suffering and say, "Wow, it's sad about all that pain people are going through. Let's try to assuage it."

And yet they're refusing to do anything to challenge the underlying forces that make all that suffering inevitable.

I remember Bobby and I remember Martin. I remember when there was a moral force
at the center of the Democratic Party. I see it sometimes still, in a Sherrod Brown, a Dennis Kucinich, an Anthony Weiner. But they're not reflective of the general tenor of the Democratic Party anymore, and I think we would all do well to wake up to that fact. We elected Obama and then he sort of became someone else. He's doing a lot of good things in various areas, but he's certainly not changing the new bottom line: that corporations get to run the world.

He bailed out the banks, but he didn't stipulate that they had to start lending again. He got us health care, but he wouldn't say a word about single payer and he wouldn't raise a finger for the public option. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, but accepted it with a speech that was an apologia for war.

Democrats seem to have no idea what dark wave is rushing towards them in the form of the 2010 mid-terms. They have no idea how many people will be too depressed to go vote, who'll be thinking, "We tried so hard last time, and what did it get us?" They have no idea how many people are thinking, as I am, that it's time to face the facts, no matter how painful they are. If Obama doesn't retrieve his spine and retrieve it soon, then his Presidency will go down in the history books as one of the biggest disappointments in American history.

In the meantime, we should be looking at our options. In "Healing the Soul of America", I wrote about Ghandi's notion of soul force in politics and why it matters to stand on your truth. Should we re-brand the Green Party perhaps, or draft another Democrat to challenge Obama in the primaries in 2012? I don't know what we should do, but I know one thing that we shouldn't do: pretend to ourselves that this man is delivering on what he promised when he first won our hearts.

Sad wisdom over at Open Left

Its a shocker but over at Open Left somehow they let a real post pass through. It contains none of the pointless lists or why or why not progressives should do this or that and why kowtowing to the power structure/elites always makes good sense. All the stuff that Open Left is known for.

Enjoy and cry - its all too true.

Why Democrats Are Trying to Commit Electoral Suicide
by: Ian Welsh
Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 00:01

Forty-five percent of the Democratic base now says they aren't going to vote in 2010 or are thinking of not voting. This is a direct result of Democrats in Congress and the Presidency doing things the base disagrees with or not doing things the base wants to see done. It appears politically stupid to act as they have, and yet, they did. So why?

Elected Democrats at the Federal level are members of the national elite. If they weren't a member when they were elected, they are quickly brought into the fold. They are surrounded by lobbyists, other members and staffers who were lobbyists, as a rule. They learn they need to raise immense amounts of money in the off years when normal people aren't giving, and that the only way to raise that money is for corporate interests and rich people to write them. They also receive the benefits of elite status, very quickly. It's not an accident that the every Senator except Bernie Sanders is wealthy.

Whatever Americans think, whether they support a public option or single payer; whether they're for or against Iraq or Afghanistan; whether they agree with bailing out banks or not, elite consensus is much much narrower than American public opinion. It starts at the center right and heads over to reactionary (repeal the entire progressive movement and the New Deal, taking America back to the 1890s).

The elites are convinced they know what has to be done. Not necessarily what's "best", but what is possible given the constraints they believe America operates under and the pressures which elected officials work with. So Obama can say, and mean, that if he were creating a medical system from scratch, he'd go with single payer. But he "knows" that's impossible, not just for political reasons, but because there are huge monied interests who would be horribly damaged or even destroyed by moving to single payer. On top of that, he looks at the amount of actual change required to shift all that money away from insurance companies and to reduce pharma profits, and to change which providers get paid what, and he sees it as immensely disruptive to the economy. In theory, it might lead to a better place, but to Obama, the disruption on the way there is unthinkable.

The same thing is true of the financial crisis. The banks may be technically insolvent, but the idea of nationalizing them all, or shutting them down and shifting the lending to other entities would mean that the most profitable (in theory, not in reality) sector of the economy would largely be wiped out. Add to that the fact that Obama was the largest recipient of Wall Street cash of the major candidates for the Presidency, and the immense influence the banks wield through their alumni who are placed throughout the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and other departments, and the idea of actually radically reforming the banking system becomes unthinkable. Virtually every technocrat giving Obama, or most Senators advice, will be against it.

Moreover they understand that with a few exceptions, the financial economy is the American economy. It's what the US sold to the rest of the world: pieces of paper in exchange for real money which could be used to import real goods, so Americans could live beyond their means.

Shut that down and what's going to replace it? How are you going to avoid an immediate meltdown of the US standard of living? How are you going to avoid a large part of the elite being wiped out? You or I may have answers to that, except to wiping out a large chunk of the elite, which is something which needs to be done, but those who grew up under the system, who believe in the system, and who ran the system don't. What they've done all their lives is what they understand. And more to the point the system has been good to them. The last 35 years may have been a bad time to be an ordinary American, but the elite has seen their wealth and income soar to levels even greater than the gilded age. The rich, in America, have never, ever, been as rich as they are now.

And if you're a member of the elite, your friends, your family, your colleagues—everyone you really care about, is a member of the elite or attached to it as a valued and very well paid retainer. For you, for everyone you care about, the system has worked. Perhaps, intellectually, you know it hasn't worked for ordinary people, but you aren't one of them, you aren't friends with them, and however much you care in theory about them, it's a bloodless intellectual empathy, not one born of shared experience, sacrifice and the bonds of friendship or love.

So when a big crisis comes, all of your instincts scream to protect your friends, your family, and the system which you grew up under, prospered under and which has been good to you. Moreover, you understand that system, or you think you do, and you believe that with a twiddle here and an adjustment there, it's a system you can make work again. Doing something radical, like single payer or nationalizing the banks or letting the banks fail and doing lending direct through the Fed and through credit unions: that's just crazy talk. Who knows how it would work, or if it would work? Why take a chance?

And so, until disaster turns into absolute catastrophe, the elites will fiddle with the dials, rather than engaging in radical change. When the time comes when it becomes clear even to them that radical change is required, they are far more likely to go with their preconceived notions of what's wrong with the US, which are very reactionary, than to go with liberal or progressive solutions.

So you're far more likely to see Medicare and Social Security gutted, than you are to see the military budget cut in a third or Medicare-for-all enacted. You're far more likely to see a movement to a flat tax (supported by idiot right wing populists) than you are to see a return to high marginal taxation.

To the elites, ordinary Americans are pretty much parasites. It's not the bankers, with their multi-million dollar bailouts who are the problem, it's old people with their Social Security and Medicare. The elites made it. They are rich and powerful. They believe that their success is due entirely to themselves (even if they inherited the money or position). If you didn't, then that means you don't deserve it.

Democratic party elected leaders, as a group, are members of this elite, or are henchmen (and some women) of this elite. They believe what the elites believe, and they live within a world whose boundaries are formed by those beliefs.

They have no intention of engaging in radical change which threatens elite, which is to say, their, prosperity and power. The financial industry must be saved, the medical industry must be saved. Social Security and Medicare, which they don't need and don't benefit from, not so much. The military, which funnels huge amounts of money to them, must continue to expand (in real terms military spending is now twice what it was in 2000.)

As long as elected Democrats at the Federal level are members of this elite, or identify with the elite they are not going to make fundamental changes against the interests of that elite.

And so, no, there is no "change" you can believe in from this class of Democrats. There is no "hope" of an America which is better for ordinary people.

That doesn't mean things are hopeless, but it does mean there's little hope for anything radical from this Congress or President.

As Adam Smith pointed out, there's a lot of ruin in a nation. America's going to have to endure a lot more of it before things actually change.