Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why we can't win

Newt will keep moving the football.
What Dems can't seem to learn is that no matter how many concessions the make, no matter how many market-based compromises they include in whatever bill, a party concerned more about power than governing will always have more incentive to kill that bill than any modifications to align it with their stated ideology can overcome. Just another reason we should be talking about single payer instead of this watered down crap.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Our Media

I'd blog about the election, the financial crisis, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or something else of great substance and import, but CNN says that there's another missing white woman, so I'll wait.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I've been silent the last few days because the news around our financial meltdown and subsequent plans for recovery have blown away all the crap I was going to ruminate on before.

And boy is this a lot of news. We're being told that we need to fork over somewhere near a trillion dollars (that's $1,000,000,000,000.00) Further, we're told that unless we give this money to the treasury (which intends to give it all to Wall Street) without oversight or preconditions, we'll doom the economy and all our savings to certain ruin. Even further, we are not to encumber this gift with any provisions that might soften the blow to those outside Wall Street, like allowing bankruptcy judges to change the rules for those mortgagees who took out unsound loans. No, we are just to take it as written.

Eff. That.

There have been a lot of good things written recently about this USA PATRIOT Act for banks, this Authorization of Treasury Force. In the words or one anonymous lawmaker, it is a "blank check for $700 billion for those mother fuckers" who have given us the Iraq war, Katrina, and, yes, the current financial collapse. Robert Reich lays out the kinds of reforms that should be tacked on to any bailout. Krugman remains a useful skeptic.

And it looks like the Democrats are paying attention. Pelosi may actually have a spine. That's encouraging, but I think we need to dig a bit deeper.

This failure is not about some handful of mistakes made by a few bankers that somehow lead to catastrophic failure. This is about structural failure, about a systematic destruction of those safeguards meant to defend us from this kind of bullshit, traded for the wealth of a few. If there is anything that should come from this massive scandal, it should be the death of Conservative, Laissez-Faire economic ideology, the final evidence of the moral evil of Thatcherite deregulation. Obama has surprised me with his frontal assault on the Ownership Society lie, and it is now more than at any other time that this kind of challenge to the ideology of unadulterated Capitalism must be given voice. We kill this beast now or we live and die by it for who knows how many more decades.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Susan has an excellent post up about the true nature of the McCain-Palin campaign. Go read it.

On a side note, she links to a definition of maverick that actually surprised me:
mav·er·ick (māv'ər-ĭk, māv'rĭk)
1. An unbranded range animal, especially a calf that has become separated from its mother, traditionally considered the property of the first person who brands it.

So, question is, who was the first one to brand McCain? I just know it definitely wasn't me.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Bob Herbert ate his wheaties this morning:
The idea that Republicans are proud of Ronald Reagan, who saw Medicare as “the advance wave of socialism,” while Democrats are ashamed of Lyndon Johnson, whose legislative genius made this wonderful, life-saving concept real, is insane.

Time to get proud, left-wing activists. This is our time to shine.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Hard Work

David Sirota over at Open Left has an interesting, if longish post about the class-based value sets of the major parties and how that impacts the Democrats' designs on working-class votes this season. Go read it all.

Done with that? Good.

I think what this gets at that really irks me is that a lot of the rhetoric floating around lately seems to denigrate outright the accomplishments of working-class voters who haven't ascended to the mighty heights of presidential candidates. Namely, all this talk about how the Obamas' parents worked hard, and due to that hard work they ascribe their own opportunities and success.

First, yay to acknowledging parents' role in establishing their children's social status. Really, I don't see how we can have an honest discussion of privilege without recognizing the role that historical factors and inheritance have in shaping our experience of the world and our relative difficulties getting through it.

But what the f? Can we please cut out this "hard work" crap unless we're recognizing also the hard work of all those that, you know, don't get rich, can't send their kids to college, and don't become members of the political elite? Michelle Obama and Joe Biden and Barack Obama all had parents and guardians who worked damn hard to provide for their families, sure, but so to did millions of other US Americans who nonetheless could not, due to myriad structural factors, provide that same opportunity to their children. What are we saying to those people, when we ascribe the success and position of our leaders only to the false myth of a hard work meritocracy?


I'm back for election '08, since it seems I won't be able to shut up after all. Also, there seems to be a pretty interesting race going on for president, with some historical implications or something.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Media love Obama

Yes, they sure do. That's why, when McCain makes a tiny 3-market ad buy with the ludicrously cynical claim that Obama intentionally snubbed the troops during his international tour, opting instead to go to the gym, all the major news organizations ignore him entirely.

Or not.

CNN, not bothering to fact-check:

Sen. John McCain's campaign lashed out at Sen. Barack Obama on Saturday for canceling a visit to an American military base in Germany on Thursday.

"The most solemn duty of a commander in chief is to fulfill his responsibility to the men and women who serve this country in uniform," retired Lt. Col. Joe Reypya, speaking on behalf of the McCain, said in a statement. "Barack Obama ... broke that commitment, instead flitting from one European capital to the next."

And in a McCain ad that began airing Saturday, Obama is chided for making "time to go to the gym" instead of visiting with wounded troops.

Yep, I'm sure that ad is running nonstop on the networks. Best $10 the McCain campaign ever spent!