Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cutting Throught the Biparticrap

Now that the gossip rag known as Politico no longer has the Contest Between Two Evils to slobber over, they've taken to slobbering over the imminent bipartisan gutting of the New Deal. Read between the lines of Crafting a Boom Economy by Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, and you will get a frightful peek at the slimy greed creature lurking just beneath the surface of the Beltway Black Lagoon.

Gimme Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses!
 

As Jonathan Chait* points out, the authors have actually written an exposé of oligarchic-political incest without even realizing it, seeming to dwell instead upon the thrill of getting inside access to all those movers and shakers. It's a veritable Who's Who of the Ruling Class and what makes them tick. It gives a blow-by-blow account of how they plan to blow us to smithereens. Some excerpts:
 
Most politicians in the most powerful positions in Washington agree in private that there are a half-dozen or so big things they could and should do that could put a rocket booster on the U.S. economy — but they are too timid to say it in public. (translation: they want to steal from the poor and give so much to themselves that they'll explode with their own gaseous excess. The only thing holding them back is the thought of pitchforks and torches.)
This is the clear takeaway from conversations we have had over the past three months with top lawmakers, officials, their senior aides and the CEOs who advise and lobby all of them. Many of the conversations were private but many were not. (translation: public officials and CEOs are in it together up to their piggy little eyeballs.)

The current tax-and-spending debate only flirts with what these insiders say needs to be done. Instead, top White House and congressional leaders talk privately of the need for tax reform that goes way beyond individuals and rates; much deeper Social Security and Medicare changes than currently envisioned; quick movement on trade agreements, including a proposed one with Europe; an energy policy that exploits the oil and gas boom; and allowing foreign-born students with science expertise to stay here and start businesses. (The Fiscal Cliff is naught but a cynical  smokescreen. The hysterical back and forthing  over the Bush tax cuts is just cover for the planned looting of the Social Security trust fund and the raising of the Medicare age. The private insurance leeches must be further enriched.  The plutocrats want those American job-killing free trade deals, and more outsourcing for cheaper labor and production costs. But they can't admit it out loud, especially the Democrats. Both parties want the tar sands pipeline and unlimited fracking. There's a growing doctor shortage, thanks to the dearth of American medical schools. Rich people, even though they're perfectly willing to cut medical care for others, are paranoically concerned about their own healthy old ages. So bring on the whip-smart immigrants trained at another country's expense, in order to benefit the American Elites.) 
“Both Democrats and Republicans privately agree,” Warren Buffett told us. “They just don’t want to be the first to speak out on their side.” Erskine Bowles, a Democrat who meets regularly with officials at the White House and in Congress, said lawmakers often plead to him: “Save us from ourselves.” ( Blustering Billionaire Bullies Buffett & Bowles Bloviate: "It is the job of the Patriotic Plutocracy to wipe the original sin of acting in the interests of regular people right off the timorous little souls of the politicians.")

The country’s most influential CEOs, who have been meeting with Obama and congressional leaders on these very topics, are telling them if they do some or all of this, investment, market growth and jobs will quickly follow. (Trickle down, trickle down, trickle down. If we throw enough of our crap, maybe some of it will stick to the walls of their minds, before it inevitably trickles down to drown the people at the bottom.) 


Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said long-term commitments to measures such as tax reform and trade would provide a “certainty premium” that would help bring corporate cash off the sidelines. “If we can just allow people to keep their confidence up by getting some of these issues off the table,” he said, “you would see the economy grow and momentum continue to build, and unemployment continue to ease down, and housing starts [go] up and housing prices [go] up. All that will continue to build on itself.” (Repatriate that trillion-dollar stash we've been hiding in offshore bank accounts -- and don't tax it! Trickle down, trickle down, trickle down. The more we can hoard, the more we can lord. You're makin' us noyvous, see, and noyvous bankstahs make dangerous bankstahs. We'll keep up the shakedown, make you an offer you can't refuse because we're God. We can create a world of jobs in seven biblical days.) 

Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is pushing immigration and tax reform. “America is poised to grow faster if we have good policy,” he said. “[Businesses] have capacity, they have liquidity, they’re well capitalized. Housing has turned. The table is being set pretty well. If we add good policy to that, it can lift off.” (Hedge funds are buying up foreclosured homes at bargain basement prices to rent them to the same people who were swindled out of them in the first place. Their elite table is set with the dregs of humanity. But they're still not satisfied. They want to extract every last ounce of blood and treasure as rocket fuel to go to that planet made of diamonds, leaving everybody else spinning without a tether in space, to be inexorably sucked into the Great Black Hole.)

By no means are any of the policy issues easy to resolve. But in almost every case, they are not new — and hardly exotic. They have been litigated by committees, commissions and think tanks for years. Next year represents the best opportunity in decades to do something about some or all of them, according to those in the trenches. ( Please see this 2006 clip of then-Senator Barack Obama pledging allegiance to the Rubinites at the Brookings tank. He will provide the perfect Democratic cover to mundanely destroy the New Deal, beginning next year. Oh, and the thought of millionaires and billionaires sweating in the trenches.... doesn't it make you want to shovel their bipartishit right back on top of them?)

The Politico pundits finally cut to the chase toward the end of their screed:
The critical problem is entitlement reform, and if taxes even have to go up to get an entitlement deal done, that still solves the vast majority of the issue,” said Kenneth Griffin, who founded Citadel LLC, a hedge fund, and is worth an estimated $3 billion. He is a Republican. (If we have to pay a few dollars more for a few years more, so be it. It's well worth the price of admission to the spectacle of watching old people starve to death in the richest country on earth.)
 
* Chait, who recently suggested that the Medicare age be raised to 67 simply to display how magnanimous Obama and the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party can be, actually agrees with the policies of the plutocrats. He declares himself astounded, however, at the clueless insularity of the elites who don't factor in the labor and environmental costs of their selfishness. In other words, if you're serious about being an unmitigated greedhead, the least you can do is pretend to care about how your psychopathy will look to outsiders. And above all, be wonkish, for cryin' out loud. Give us specifics and rith-ma-tic.
  

32 comments:

Charles D said...

Excellent translation of this biparticrap. Obviously no "serious" commentators would consider eliminating the wasteful military spending, or eliminating the failed "war on drugs", or for that matter the failed "war on terrorism (except when our side does it)".

Fred Drumlevitch said...

@Karen:

Great post by you here, great comment by you over at Krugman's Monday column.

I myself commented at Krugman's column, but he/they seem not to have put it up. My comment was nothing spectacular, but it was mostly serious, and nearly the full allowed character count. I was focusing on the service industry as alternative to manufacturing, but noted that many of the service jobs currently are for non-essential services, therefore not robust with regard to economic perturbation, and that we could pivot this nation into a much better one via higher taxes coupled with increased deductions and subsidies for beneficent behavior by both individuals and business. In other words, I was arguing for moral economic priorities, and a carrot-and-stick approach. I concluded that workers would --- instead --- be left with asking "Would you like fries with that" or "Would you like whips and handcuffs with that"! (Presumably that's what got my comment sent down the memory hole! I guess that either economists or the NYT, or both, have no sense of humor.)

Note that there is a piece over at Counterpunch.org taking issue with Krugman's column:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/11/krugman-discovers-marx-and-misses-the-point/

Kat said...

Well, looks like he had the stamp of approval way back in 2006.
What an inspiring speech! Chills were racing down my spine.
Why with a little cleaning up of the grammar, and a little toning down of the fury maybe this man could have been so inspirational. Not sure if he could have been as aspirational though
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL4FOvIf7G8

Pearl said...


Fred: Thanks for mentioning the excellent article in CounterPunch, 'Krugman Discovers Marx and Misses the Point'. Marx knew his economic principles well and foresaw the eventual disintegration of the capitalist system. However, unfortunately, he could not foresee the strong brainwashing of the American public in which fear and manipulation holds sway in addition to ignorance about what other methods of governance might offer. Also the following is not likely to occur in the foreseeable future;

"Marx argued that eventually workers would see the futility of this repeating cycle, reject capitalism altogether, and begin to construct a socialist society built on entirely humanistic and democratic principles".

Perhaps another real depression is the only possibility for change. How Krugman really feels about all this is not something he is likely to tangle with as it would involve his job and his future, but I suspect he is more savvy about such possibilities. The Russian Revolution and its subsequent implementation failed because of basic human weaknesses which corrupted the whole process. A recent discussion on CNN about the well run Scandinavian countries with emphasis on education, health, honesty in government and financial responsibility is a beacon for the future. People pay high taxes but get their money's worth, especially since they are not involved in huge military expenditures. I witnessed this many years ago during a sabbatical year in Copenhagen. We hated to leave as the atmosphere was so inspiring.

Zee said...

@Pearl--

Just a brief note to remind you that Sweden's economy is a "mixed economy," and generally much more oriented to capitalism than Americans seem to understand. It is not a true, socialist economy (or government) by any means.

From Wikipedia:

"The 20 largest (by turnover in 2007) companies registered in Sweden are Volvo, Ericsson, Vattenfall, Skanska, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, Electrolux, Volvo Personvagnar, TeliaSonera, Sandvik, Scania, ICA, Hennes & Mauritz, IKEA, Nordea, Preem, Atlas Copco, Securitas, Nordstjernan and SKF. Sweden's industry is overwhelmingly in private control, unlike many other industrialised Western countries and publicly owned enterprises have always been of minor importance." (Bold emphasis added.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Sweden#Economy

The rest of the article makes for interesting reading, too.

There is much that even a conservative can find to respect about the way Sweden runs its affairs.

Denis Neville said...

“The table is being set pretty well. If we add good policy to that, it can lift off.” - Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

It's an Ayan Rand wet dream!

“Once you accept that profit and greed as practiced on a mass scale create the greatest possible benefits for any society, pretty much any act of personal enrichment can be justified as a contribution to the great creative cauldron of capitalism, generating wealth and spurring economic growth – even if it’s only for yourself and your colleagues.” – Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Austerity is the end, not the means, for everyone except the posh boys.

“A more accurate term for a system that erases the boundaries between Big Government and Big Business is not liberal, conservative or capitalist but corporatist. Its main characteristics are huge transfers of public wealth to private hands, often accompanied by exploding debt, an ever-widening chasm between the dazzling rich and the disposable poor, and an aggressive nationalism that justifies bottomless spending on security.” – Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

"A nation is truly corrupt, when, after having, by degrees lost its character and liberty, it slides from democracy into aristocracy or monarchy; this is the death of the political body by decrepitude." - Robespierre

Pearl said...

Zee:
'There is much that even a conservative can find to respect about the way Sweden runs its affairs.'

This is an important point to be considered and it is indeed a mixed
economy, hopefully using investments in private companies to benefit the
citizens. The names of companies you listed seem to be mostly of
Swedish origin and hopefully are supervised as to fair conditions for
workers and with financial benefit to their people.

'Sweden is a highly competitive capitalist economy with a generous and
universal welfare state that distributes income across the entire society, a model sometimes called the Nordic model." from the Wiki encylopedia you mentioned.

During a year's sabbatical in Denmark a long while ago,we were impressed by
how the country seemed to be run. The care of old and young was remarkable
and the health care system when we were there covered much more than we have in Canada and it also covered us while in the country. The government regulates building in Copenhagen, for example, so that only people who have jobs and qualify for housing can move in. The parks and city streets etc.at the time we were there were immaculate and we never saw graffiti anywhere. The only 'crime'
that occurred at the time was some foolish students sawed off the head of
the beautiful statue of The Mermaid on the waterfront which enraged
everyone. Eventually they found the original cast and created another head
to everyone's relief. There was virtually no street crime and my children were safe using the buses and streetcars by themselves. Wonderful cultural activities
such as concerts and dance recitals and operas were available at reasonable cost as they were subsidized by the government. Beauty was everywhere with bulbs and flowers in people's windows. We bought a great deal of our teak
furniture to be shipped back much of which I still have.
People we spoke with seemed very happy to be living there and were very
friendly and wordly wise,. The food in restaurants and groceries was
outstanding and I only hope it still is as lovely as I remember.

I would never expect total socialism alone to flourish anywhere these days
(even those with socialist governments or leaders are not "pure" ) and in
order to function nations need the better aspects of capitalism to conduct business and survive in this world. In the U.S. the worst characteristics of unfettered capitalism are in full swing and attacking and preventing any
possibility of moving from right to left. I always laugh ironically when someone accuses Obama of
being a dangerous socialist which people probably equate with a welfare
state structure neither of which he has a nodding acquaintance with.



Valerie said...

Yes, Zee - I was pretty much going to make the main point Pearl made - the wealth is SHARED - as it was when America's middle class flourished - and as a result, they have a good society for all members of it.

Thanks, Karen, for wading through that article so I didn't have to. I don't want to sound too depressing but I don't see anyone stopping them and the one chance American's had to show they were done with the corruption - vote for another Third Party candidate - they allowed themselves to be cowed into voting for O'Bummer who is acting just as we knew he would - for the corporations and against the middle and working classes.

Denis Neville said...

@ Valerie, who said…“I don't see anyone stopping them.”

Neither do I.

When the recent NFL lockout gave birth to the controversial referee call that decided the pro football game between Green Bay and Seattle, it was so controversial the President of the United States Barack Obama, in his frustration, weighed in through his Twitter feed: “NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs’ lockout is settled soon. –bo”

If only “bo” would be more frustrated with the unfairness in our society than a bad call in a professional football game.

Fairness doesn’t stand a chance these days.

"If we believe that we, as Americans, are bound together by a common concern for each other, then an urgent national priority is upon us. We must begin to end the disgrace of this other America." - Robert F. Kennedy

There is an unprecedented level of private money shaping public policy under the guise of philanthropy. Their agenda centers on the radical dismantling of public education, increased privatization, and disruptive reform. As a result of this “educational reform,” many school districts have closed dozens of schools throwing inner cities into chaos and turmoil.

“Our poverty programs do rescue many people, but other times they backfire. Some young people here don't join the military (a traditional escape route for poor, rural Americans) because it's easier to rely on food stamps and disability payments.” – Nikolas Kristof, NY Times

Imagine! They refuse to be cannon fodder for The Empire!!

After his bank’s two billion trading loss, the posh boy Jamie Dimon told lawmakers that JPMorgan had a “fortress balance sheet” despite the loss. He was reminded that “fortress balance sheet” had a moat that was dug by taxpayers to the tune of $25 billion in bailout money and more than $450 billion in loans from the Fed. And now the table, being set pretty well, is waiting for lift off!

Our chief grifters have decided not to prosecute HSBC on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering over because criminal charges could jeopardize one of the world’s largest banks and ultimately destabilize the global system.

Too big to fail, indict or regulate and totally out of control.

Whoever said that “God’s work” must be legal?

Scientists have named a recently-discovered ancient extinct lizard Obamadon gracilis after our 44th president.

Kat said...

@Denis-- Wow, I didn't catch that line in the latest batch of words from the great humanitarian, Nicholas Kristof.

James F Traynor said...

Zee,

Republican fear of Sweden, and the resulting hatred, have been long standing, precisely because they know the truth of what you're saying.

'Bipartisanship' is a snare and a delusion and, especially if you're a registered Democrat, you should let the Dems now this. They have to realize we recognize this bullshit and that there will be a definite penalty if they continue to ignore us and continue the shell game.

Fred Drumlevitch said...

Good discussion here, thanks to everyone. I don't have time right now to comment on everything raised, but I do want to:

1) second @Kat's thanks to @Denis for drawing attention to that outrageous Nicholas Kristof statement.

2) expand on @James F Traynor's point about letting the Dems know that we're onto their use of "bipartisanship" as cover for not adequately fighting for social and economic justice, and that there will be repercussions if they continue the crap. It seems to me that those warnings can only be credible if they have some organized strength behind them. That is, that while a Democratic Party candidate can certainly be defeated if enough individuals get disillusioned and simply stay home at election time, political manipulation has become so sophisticated that many political strategists must think that most individuals will, through fear or other targeted psychological methods, be convinced to vote for the lesser of two evils candidate. (After all, it worked before, including the most recent election, and every election they seem to get better at it).

So my conclusion is that it takes ORGANIZED strength to adequately resist that and therefore to adequately convince Democratic politicians that we are serious in our warning of political repercussions. And that in turn means that such organizing must start SOON, much sooner than six months or even a year before the next election, if, for instance, credible primary or third party challenges are to occur.

As before, expect BO and all his stinkin' co-conspirator Democratic office-holders to work to co-opt challenges, via some good talk/speeches and perhaps some slight but largely illusory movement to the left, but no real changes, and then a hard tack to the right when insufficient time for progressive organizing remains. (And that's the formula I expect to see them use whether we are talking about "fiscal cliff" negotiations, or more generally during the next two to four years).

James F Traynor said...

@Drumlevich

Right on! I voted for Obama, that s.o.b., in full recognition that he and the Clintonistas would try to parlay his victory into screwing us on social security and medicare. You are right! The fight begins not now, but the morning after El Sleazo was elected.

James F Traynor said...

Karen, oh great Goddess of Sardonicky, the verification hoop is raising hell with my shinbones, but I must bow to your omniscience and struggle on. Your obedient servant etc., etc... and so forth.

Jay - Ottawa said...

It’s over. What’s over? Our best chance to change the course of the US is behind us. The best we can do now is complain and hang on, hoping for some Deus Ex Machina. Lots of luck.

As long as Democrats and Republicans occupy the majority of seats in Congress, one or the other party will forever be putting the screws to everyday Americans through maneuvers described on Sardonicky by Karen and just about all of the commenters who check in.

Until voters think out of the box and cast their votes for candidates who are not affiliated with the Uniparty – like Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, we shall continue to gnash our teeth and expatiate endlessly on the awfulness of our predicament until the empire crashes.

Golly gee, why didn’t someone point this out before the election?

Voting for the lesser of two evils has got us right back into the pot of frog stew. As for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the wars, the drones, civil liberties, environmental issues – seen anything different since the good people of the US chose the lesser of two evils? For the nine million people who did not turn out to vote for bo in 2012, as they did in 20008, well, that was a start. But you really must take the next step.

There always was – and there usually is – an organized movement, a real machine, standing by, ready in opposition to just about all the designs of the Uniparty. Its fuel is votes, to include yours, especially in swing states. The only organized opposition that has any credibility beyond hot air as an organized opposition is called a – you'd better sit down for this – third party.

“Horrors” and “ha ha ha,” say the savvy realists. Yeah, right. Acting like a lemming who is convinced he can only save himself by acting as lemmings do is the surest way to go over the cliff in good company. Everybody around you going down, down, down is nodding in agreement about the foolishness of voting third party.

As for savviness, toughness and credibility, isn’t it amusing to hear allusions to pitchforks and torches from people too timid to even cast a secret vote for a third party in the last election?

The only thing stopping progressive third parties from gaining any seats last November was dead-end thinking about the lesser of two evils. Welcome to free fall without the encumbrance of a parachute. Rant on. While you can.

Pearl said...

In the Opinion Section of the N.Y.Times is a photo of a piano on a sidewalk.
It is titled, Solo, Piano, N.Y.C. Press on that under the photo and bring up a wonderful photo video with fascinating comments following. Tells more about our lives than the the fate of an old piano.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/opinion/solo-piano-nyc.html?src=me&ref=general

James F Traynor said...

@ Pearl

Yeah, wasn't that bit on the piano terrific? And the last scene with the woman and her assistant returning, with high hopes and their dollies, to a heap of rubble said it all.

"What we have here is a failure in communication." A wonderful piece of video - but so damn sad, yet funny in its way.

Holy Fool said...

The same James F. Traynor who once called us 'Holy Fools' because we supported a third party candidate over Obama is now making the following statement:

'Bipartisanship' is a snare and a delusion and, especially if you're a registered Democrat, you should let the Dems know this. They have to realize we recognize this bullshit and that there will be a definite penalty if they continue to ignore us and continue the shell game."

Notice the word 'continue', twice. Does 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me' ring a bell? The fact is that we were admittedly fooled by Obama the first time, but not the second. The shame is not ours.

Some of us recognize delusions and bullshit and empty threats of a 'definite penalty', whatever that would mean. The hand-wringing Obama voters now seem be turning into hand-washing to rid themselves of their bloody spot.

Better to be a Holy Fool than it's opposite, which I guess would fall into the Evil Genius category. Anyone come to mind?

James F Traynor said...

@Holy Fool

I voted the first time for Obama because I thought that he could have re-regulated the banks and laws and regulations governing Wall Street. I didn't have high hopes then and I have even less now.

I voted for him the second time because not voting for him or voting third party in my state of Florida would have been a tactical error, helping to put in place a man who, to my mind, is a dangerous sociopath.

Holy fools wind up getting burned at the stake more often than not. I prefer to kill the killers before they do me. I hope it doesn't come to that, but it might.

Valerie said...

"
As for savviness, toughness and credibility, isn’t it amusing to hear allusions to pitchforks and torches from people too timid to even cast a secret vote for a third party in the last election?

The only thing stopping progressive third parties from gaining any seats last November was dead-end thinking about the lesser of two evils . . . Rant on. While you can." Jay-Ottawa.

Well, said, Jay, well said.

Denis Neville said...

Karen said, in response to Krugman today, “watch as the GOP fizzles. They may think they're De Bomb. But they bombed. They're a dud.”

The Kansas GOP bomb is anything but a dud.

ALEC has effectively taken control of the State of Kansas.

Republican Governor Sam Brownback wants job creators to thrive in the state of Kansas.

So he and the Republican Kansas legislature imposed massive, draconian tax cuts as the quickest route to Kansas prosperity. Kansas now exempts many businesses from income taxes.

And, of course, devastating further cuts to education and social service funding.

The gospel of individualism, independence, austerity, privatization, and market triumphalism reigns supreme in Kansas. Tax-evading vultures, true believers, getting fatter on road kill Kansans.

By eviscerating public services and reducing them to a network of farmed-out private providers, Kansas has begun to dismantle the fabric of the state.

The Kansas austerity bomb!

James F Traynor said...

Again, and again, and again. The Democratic Party, as it stands now, is the ultimate danger, the Republican Party is the proximate danger. It was that way before the last election and it is that way now, except for the fact that the proximate danger has been somewhat lessened. Is the solution a third party? No.

Why? Because, first, we don't have one - not really. Second, because we don't have a parliamentary form of government, not even proportional representation. Third, the painful fact is that we don't even have a real two party system. Not even a duopoly anymore since the advent of the Clintonistas and the Obama who has OutClintoned the Clintons.

What to do? Change the government to a parliamentary system? Really? I think not.

Revolution? Well, they seldom end well and are very costly in lives and property.

Create a real two party system? That, I think, is our best bet. And we can do that by taking over the Democratic Party. The structure is there and there are progressives already within the party to work with as a nucleus. In other words we have the troops. And it can begin with the off year election in 2014.

Kat said...

I liked the phrase "hepatic glow"!

Zee said...

@Denis--

What does "ALEC" stand for?

James F Traynor said...

American Legislative Exchange Council

Denis Neville said...

Today 27 people – 18 of them young children – are reported killed in the shootings at a Connecticut elementary school.

Obama’s press secretary said today is not the day to talk about gun control laws.

As Digby wrote in July, “We are not supposed to talk about this mass murder [Aurora] except to share clinical details about what happened and express condolences to the victims. The shutting down any discussion of the social, cultural and political implications of yet another horrific act of deadly gun violence is becoming more and more successful after each event.”

Sadly,

“We aren't shocked anymore when children are killed. It's become a normal part of American life…We will mourn the casualties the way we mourn the deaths of those in hurricanes and tornadoes. Gun violence is now a "natural" event in America, as unpredictable as the weather, and there's nothing we can do about it except gather together in the aftermath to help the victims. Indeed, the only enduring threat these events foretell is from those who would question a culture that deifies the gun as if it were a religious symbol rather than a lethal weapon.” – Digby, http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-real-crime-is-talking-about-causes.html

spreadoption said...

Regarding the latest shootings... We are a goddamned stupid, sick nation.

We had another one out here in Oregon just 3 days ago, two adults killed in a mall. I don't think that one was widely reported.

Bloomberg is reporting that America is essentially the only country in the world where this kind of thing happens... and it happens here all the time.

I'm disgusted with my country, for this and so many other reasons mostly political; that's all I can say right now. The basis for all of it defies all reason.

Anonymous said...

Once again we witness American shock and grief over the killing of American children.

What about all those innocent children who are routinely killed more frequently and in larger numbers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia as a result of our Peace Prize winner's drone warfare.

Those grieving parents don't get the slightest bit of sympathy, no media attention, and not even the usual Obama pretense of wiping a dry tear from above his upper eyelid. As a gesture of sympathy, it's as fake and empty as his conscience.




Denis Neville said...

@ anonymous

Orwellian propaganda by the Obama administration - "a hallmark of our counterterrorism efforts has been our ability to be exceptionally precise, exceptionally surgical and exceptionally targeted” - in describing its drone strikes.

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.” – George Orwell

Drone strikes have killed three times as many children as terrorist leaders, “Living Under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan,” http://livingunderdrones.org/

All those innocent children killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia…

The loss of a child is the worst possible grief. The death of a child is like no other. Parental grief is boundless. It touches every aspect of a parent's being. There is no word for a parent who loses a child, that's how awful the loss is!

Disgusted in Australia said...

Yes, Obama is such a great liberal on the issue of gun control. What a surprise that he doesn’t use the bully pulpit to attempt to effect meaningful change. What a great leader we have elected in this country.

No offence, @James Traynor, but Ralph Nader is a hell of a lot smarter and more well-informed about how Washington works than you are - not to mention has demonstrated the courage of his convictions and supreme integrity. He thinks the solution is to abandon the Democratic Party - which is hopelessly corrupted - and vote for a Third Party. So I will go with Ralph over you.

And truthfully, I grow weary of the hypocrites who voted for Obama and now are complaining about him as if they had no part in giving him the power to do his evil. He is acting exactly like we knew he would. If people like you, @James, had voted for the candidate who represented your interests and your so-called political convictions, the Third Parties would have made a strong enough showing to possibly scare those in power into realising that the apathetic, manipulated 90% isn't quite as malleable as they thought. What you did was put the bit between the teeth of the “Corporate Democrats.” So thanks so much for coming on this site and handing out suggestions on how to fix the mess you and others like you made when you caved and voted for Obama.

This business of "holding Obama's feet to the fire" after he has been elected is frankly laughable. Good luck changing the Democratic Party. The best organisations that were put into place with a cogent platform and good leadership were The Greens and The Justice Party. You need look no further. But again, good luck waiting for Gudot to provide you with the ideal organisation that will fight corruption within the Democratic Party and bring about a new era of good leadership in this country.

James F Traynor said...

@Australia

Yeah, I take offense over being obliquely called a hypocrite. And if people like me had voted third party in Florida it would probably have gone for Romney. I voted for Nader on at least one occasion. I remember also voting third party on more than one occasion in New York State. I also think Nader and you are wrong about the Democratic Party. Oh, and by the way, hero, do you have a name, other than Disgusted in Australia, to put in front of your opinions.

James F Traynor said...

Oh, I would like to amend my last comment:

I also think Nader and you are wrong about the Democratic Party being hopeless.