Monday, August 1, 2011

Bipartisanshipwreck, Part Two

Both parties are claiming the Nouveau Deal is just dandy.  I don't know, I haven't read the fine print. I have been, and shall remain, deeply suspicious and shocked and appalled and crushed. Both the White House and Boehner have been lightning quick to roll out their power point presentations., which were probably drafted in secret weeks ago so as not to pre-empt our State of Fear. The spin is spinning and it is only Monday morning.  What I find most intriguing is the possibility, though faint, that Nancy Pelosi may go all passive-aggressive rogue on Obama and not bother to whip her base to go along with him.  But this may be pure play-acting circa the "I will not vote against any plan without a public option" uproar of 2009.  The Progressive Caucus is to meet later this morning.  Stay tuned.

Paul Krugman, of course, is calling the plan a catastrophe:

For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.

What really bothers me the most about this plan, other than the fact it gives Republicans everything they want, and is being forced down our throats as a result of a manufactured shock doctrine of a crisis, is the "Committee" being formed to enforce deficit reductions.  If the rank and file of Congress go along, this Politburo (comprised of a dozen legislators, equally divided by party and chamber) will have until Thanksgiving to come up with more cuts.  Their decision will then be fast-tracked through the legislative process without debate.

The White House spin on the committee is that it will not be allowed to touch Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and programs for the poor, Pell Grants or burden working families and the middle class.  If the Republicans don't make cuts, an automatic trigger cutting Defense will be their punishment.  If the Democrats don't get with the program, there will be cuts to Medicare providers.  This seems like a gimmick in both instances.  Defense always has a way of getting itself funded through back channels.  CIA, anyone?  State Department and its mercenaries and security forces?  Of course, we won't cut off Medicare.  We'll just lower payments so much that providers will no longer accept Medicare patients.

Another thing to really hate is that the package not only does nothing to address a defacto 20 percent unemployment rate -- it contains absolutely no provisions to extend unemployment benefits.
Cynical, pathetic, abysmal, crapola, hellish.  All the negative words in the lexicon do not do our elected officials justice.  Even Bernie Sanders is calling for shared sacrifice, when we all should be clamoring for shared prosperity.  More later.  And please weigh in.  The comments sections of the NY Times are constipated with all the reader outrage waiting to erupt, but there's plenty of room here to vent, as well as over at


Anonymous said...

Obama is like a spouse with an unexplained absence, who shows up reeking of sex, claims all is well, and professes his devotion to you. (never mind that charge on the credit card for Motel 6)

Anonymous said...

The only way we could have "shared prosperity" is to sell more or import less. Until we do one, the other, or a combination of both it will be " shared sacrifice".

"shared prosperity" requires putting the private sector that generates prosperity ahead of the public sector which consumes prosperity. How popular will that be here?


James F Traynor said...

Time for steak tatar a la Forbes. Or Burnt Norquist. Then there is minced Mellon. The Kochs? Cat food.

Hester Prynne said...

Robert Reich wrote an excellent article titled "Ransom Paid" Brilliant, Obama is just a hostage in this whole situation, just a helpless victim, because he's the great compromiser, and he allowed the United States to become a hostage too. This country is in the stages of a civil war. Only the tea partiers are in charge while everyone lays down like a dog. Where is a Teddy Roosevelt or a FDR or a Winston Churchill statesman we so desperately need? The people (including Obama) we elected to represent us do no such thing. If I performed my job the way they do I would be fired. I hope to god someone other than Obama can lead progressives and democrats in 2012. I don't know anyone who would vote for Obama again. Because really all we are voting for are corporations and rich people. I guess people are going to have to be pushed to the brink of starvation and dying in the streets before the real civil war begins.That's what this is all coming down too. I am not an extremist but I see no way out of this tragic situation

Karen Garcia said...

@Hester and readers,
There is a link to Reich in the Blogroll.

Fred Drumlevitch said...

According to an item this morning on the newsbreak of the University of Arizona radio station, Congressman Raul Grijalva has denounced the accord and says that he will vote against it. (I wonder if his position is getting any significant mainstream media attention. I doubt it).

I heartily applaud his decision --- and just wish (undoubtedly in vain) that enough other Democrats would have the courage to do the same.

The more I think about our present situation, the more I believe that progressives need to move beyond talk, to a serious presidential primary challenge or third-party candidacy. And that work needs to begin, in earnest, NOW.

Fred Drumlevitch

James F Traynor said...

@Hester Prynne

No, you're not an extremist. They are. And it is difficult to fight extremists without becoming one yourself. In the coming years that will be a problem.In this climate the first violence must be official violence. We, on the left, must do all we can to demonstrate peacefully. But we must demonstrate. The longer we wait the more difficult it will be to change the course of this country.

I believe Obama is our Hindenberg, a faux block to the rise of fascism. Whether he wins or loses in 2012, the die is cast. We have to prepare for the fight to come. And it will come. Time to fish or cut bait.

Janet Camp said...

There were hardly any familiar names in NYT comments today, the "constipation" you refer to I guess.

My own house is divided on this: I'm bouncing between anger and despair and the other half is, much more "moderately", claiming it's not such a bad deal.


Where is your evidence for the tired old canard that:

"putting the private sector that generates prosperity ahead of the public sector which consumes prosperity"

a) is true?

b) is even a complete argument?

The private sector is sitting on billions creating zero jobs (in this country anyway) after 30 years of tax cuts. Where is the evidence that any of this nonsense works?

Napoleon said...

As Karen said, this is "Cynical, pathetic, abysmal, crapola, hellish." Also, as she said, we don't know all the workings of the bill.

In Ezra Klein' Washington Post article under front page caption "The trigger that ended the impasse", he states his understanding that "In the initial $900 billion in cuts, almost half will come from “security spending” (which includes defense, homeland security, veteran’s benefits, the State Department, etc)", and that in the second half of cuts, "Fully half of that comes from defense spending. And note that I didn’t say “security spending.” The Pentagon takes the full hit if the trigger goes off."

He also, however, states that "If negotiations over taxes fail, the Bush tax cuts expire and revenues rise by $3.6 trillion." By this, he seems to mean that the debt ceiling deal says nothing about the Bush tax cuts, which automatically expire at the end of 2012. This will, over the 10 or 11 years, provide revenue.

However, this revenue won't stop the spending cuts unless someone was crafty enough to tie the cuts to additional revenue, and not just to the debt. Thus, there are dangers and opportunities ahead. But progressives need leadership, and, as Karen notes, it is absent.

I don't blame Pelosi in this except for not issuing a clarion call at the outset and saying the matter was too important to be left in Obama's hands unless he acted as a genuine head of the Democratic Party and not as mediator equal distant from both parties. I do blame Pelosi for letting the Democrats engage, without rebuke or sanction, in ridiculous and embarrassing pork barrel politics on the stimulus bill and the health care bill. Others, of course, share this blame.

Politics isn't dead. Ridding ourselves of Tea Party elected representatives in Congress, and not perpetuating triggers such as the debt ceiling trigger could at least return us to the terrible old days before the 2010 elections. But we are off to a bad start.

The future seems bleak. However, with respect to any action we take, or propose, we should consider the question in Judy Collins' song "Anathea": "Are you mad with grief and sorrow?"

James F Traynor said...

This morning our illustrious governor, Rick Scott, presented himself in his new togs. Brown shirt and shiny black boots. Verrry interesting.

Pollyana says,"But the shirt is not saturated with color, it is more beige than brown. and the boots are not jack boots, they are cowboy boots. We must be positive."

Yes Polly, crematoria to the left, workshops to the right. Maybe we'll go to the right - some of us. Keep talking, maybe it will all go away.

Anonymous said...

DreamsAmelia said....

Even my ultra-conservative, pro-defense (retired) Dad ripped his Obama sticker off his car this morning(he turned Democrat after Bush II--he was for reasonable defense of the country, not rabid militarism that ignores the actual findings of intelligence work). Both my retired parents are gnawing their hands off. My mother, who just retired at age 69 from the federal government to get the most of the top three years of salary for her pension, is apoplectic. She lived her entire career with threats of "privatization" of The Department of Justice. Now she is just one of a mass casualty incident against the sick, the working and the retired (i.e., everyone!), who have no recourse if they find their pensions cut or social security reduced.
Our condo is about 2 miles from the Pentagon--and the disgust is PALPABLE. We are surrounded by a lot of relatively young "double-dipper" retired military service people now doing private contractor work (or, just active duty military) and even THEY are furious, when, technically, the plan favors them, if anyone. But they have children in the public schools, they want clean air and water, they love the Smithsonian, National Institutes of Health, public t.v. and radio, METRO, ad nauseum...they recognize that there is far more to a nation than a few mansions strewn on hillsides like detritus of a Monopoly game after the banker throws a tantrum.

Yes, to Hester Prynne, "we are in the stages of a civil war." I wouldn't say it is a bloodless coup, because the economic damage is equivalent to slavery--if you are drowning in debt and can never retire, what is the difference? Yet it is a bloody coup without cannons, guns, and visible carnage...instead, it reminds me of the legend that spread around my elementary school in the 1970s of The Scary Russians who supposedly had a "silent nuke" that could vaporize just one single person from thousands of miles away. Hundreds of millions of Americans are going to just work until they drop, more than likely sick, if they can find work at all.
The press will continue its day-in-day-out coverage of the horse race calling these some 98% of working people in the U.S. "The Left," "The Base." As we vaporize one by one, the beat will go on while they punditize about elusive triangulation between Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

Denis Neville said...

"A particular kind of State does not appear out of nowhere. What engenders a particular regime is the material and ideological relations existing among a country's citizens. It is to these material and ideological relations that we need to devote serious thought; the nature of these relations is what should appall us." - Vasily Grossman

At, Marie Burns wrote on “Low-information voters are one of the high costs of democracy.”

And a very, very high cost indeed!

The disaster we face today is the ominous manifestation of this ignorance. As Krugman said today, “What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question.”

According to Andrew Hacker in the current New York Review of Books, “current House Republicans received a total of 30,799,391 votes in the 2010 midterm election. Barack Obama received more than twice that many, 69,498,215, in the 2008 presidential.”

Yet Obama, “Our Incredible Folding President,” has allowed the radical right to take power.
The radical right has risen to power because so many low-information Americans know so little about our nation’s political and intellectual history.

As Krugman asks, “how can American democracy work if whichever party is most prepared to be ruthless, to threaten the nation’s economic security, gets to dictate policy?

Anyone claiming that Obama was involuntarily forced by crazy tea partiers into massive budget cuts at a time of almost ten percent unemployment, needs to as himself, or herself, why did Obama place himself on the side of these deficit chicken hawks at a time when growth and job creation were by far the country’s most urgent needs? The politics of blackmail by the Tea Party Republicans will not end with this deal.

This deal is also a victory for all those politicians who spent the last decade creating the huge debt with their endless wars and tax cuts for the rich. It will impose even more hardship on already-suffering citizens, while the Wall Street puppet masters, who are prospering more than ever, sacrifice nothing despite their responsibility for the 2008 financial collapse that continues to cause economic misery for so many.

Will Obama’s fear-mongering campaign in 2012 work?

Former British Labor MP Tony Benn clearly elucidated how Americans [those low-information voters] have forgotten what it means to have a truly representative government:

"Because people in debt become hopeless and hopeless people don't vote.... If the poor in Britain or the United States turned out and voted for people who represented their interests it would be a democratic revolution. So they don't want it to happen. So keeping people hopeless and pessimistic.... See I think there are two ways in which people are controlled. First of all, frighten people. And secondly, demoralize them. An educated, healthy and confident nation is harder to govern, and I think there's an element in the thinking of some people - we don't want people to be educated, healthy and confident because they would get out of control. The top one percent of the world's population owns 80 percent of the world's wealth. It's incredible that people put up with it, but they're poor, they're demoralized, they're frightened and they think perhaps the safest thing to do is take orders and hope for the best."

That is what Obama and the Democratic Party are hoping for in 2012.

Kat said...

Well, I have this dream: The Congressional Progressive Caucus says "We're not going to raise the debt ceiling. And that means no money for military contractors and no 0% interest loans for the big banks. We're going to hold it hostage until we see a jobs program, investment in infrastructure and the end of the Bush Tax Cuts. (And perhaps you could fix that abomination of a health care bill)"
And then Obama walks in the room and tells them to stop behaving like children. The end. We can't even win in my dreams.

The Black Swan said...

I hardly even know what to say. We are witnessing the end of the United States of America. I had hoped that it may be a slow burn that would take a decade or more, and that maybe we could slowly turn things around. But now... when the government engages in actions that directly harm We the People, our government has become our enemy. If a foreign power caused this much harm, we would consider ourselves in a state of war, but when our own government does this we are supposed to just sit back and take it? Mankind is in for some rough times. The modes of governance that have existed since the beginning of civilization have all failed. Now with globalization, this failure will not be contained. Everyone will suffer. We can not think of ourselves as Americans anymore, we need to see ourselves as Humans, sharing a planet. We need to embrace our commonalities as well as our differences.

And to think that my tax dollars are being spent in a manner that directly harms myself, my family, my friends and my community. We are all paying for our own destruction at this point in time.

Jay - Ottawa said...

I feel like a defendant who has been framed, by none other than the authorities – people I had helped into office -- and now I await sentence alone in my cell.

These days in our democracy rumors and tidbits precede and replace the full facts. Other than a tentative report that the Bush Tax Cuts may be allowed to expire, I hear nothing hopeful about the creation of jobs and fresh revenue from payroll taxes or the restoration of a progressive tax scale. At the core, all solutions considered over the past few weeks, whether from Republicans or Democrats, have been about cuts, cuts, cuts. At that point, before any dismal plan among those entertained was chosen by “the leadership,” we knew we were lost. All plans were death. The debt ceiling shell game was merely a consolidation of the coup.

The New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Great Society programs are dead. After so many deep cuts to vital programs you have a sentence that amounts to death by serial amputation. The millions of people sliding into economic misery cannot hope to work themselves out of the pit and back to fiscal equilibrium because there are no jobs and there will be no jobs. What is left to us in the hands of Ayn Rand’s children, they who with pride scorn fairness, solidarity, empathy and our labor itself?

There has been a coup by the Ayn Rand crowd -- more details to follow, but we should get the picture by now. And we used to mock them when they spoke of themselves as “Masters of the Universe,” when they said they were “doing God’s work.” You can still say that, but don’t smile anymore. They were right. As for President Obama, the savior who declared he would reverse the Bush Years, one has to reach back to Benedict Arnold for a comparison. Most Democrats will vote him a second term as TLOTE. Get used to it.

As Anthony Romero, the executive secretary of the ACLU said to a large meeting last year: “I’m going to start provocatively…. I’m disgusted with this president.”

Me too.

Anne Lavoie said...

Reading about 'low-information voters' reminds me of the fact that, once again, Washington pulls its dirtiest tricks year after year during the summer months when people are either vacationing, outdoors, and/or tuned out from the news.

I suspect it wasn't just the idea of deliberately creating a useful crisis that lead them to postpone dealing with this debt and budget issue until now. It was to take advantage of their summer window of opportunity to minimize public opposition, at least until the foul deed is done.

Anonymous said...

May I quote:
There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Classof65 -- I think the author is Stephen Stills in the 60s -- still appropriate.

James F Traynor said...

I don't think it's so much low information voters as wrong information voters. I work out 6 days a week for about 2 hours in a wellness center gym run by the local hospital here in Charlotte County. The only news program consistently on the five tv sets is FoxNews. I thought this an anomaly until I read that FoxNews, as a percentage of viewers, is the dominant news source for the people of the U.S..

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I think Tony Blen, as quoted by Denis Neville, is right. People in this country feel hopeless and demoralised - and this is the way those in power like it because it makes those who are being downtrodden more controllable. I wouldn’t be surprised if our politicians and their “handlers” have psychologists on staff to predict the effects different policies will have on different groups within their constituencies. It wasn’t so long ago – two years - we were filled with hope and dared to believe that if we elected Obama to office that we could turn our country around - take it back from the Dick Cheneys of the world and go back to a time when the Middle Class mattered. That raising of our hopes only to have them dashed by Obama’s consistent betrayals, has had a discouraging effect on those who were willing to get involved and work for change. That deeply felt loss of hope and the fact that Obama is blocking the way for a REAL Democrat to get into office are my two biggest gripes against the man.

Anonymous said...

Here's a comment from someone over at Salon after GG's post today. Pretty much sums it up for me.

"There is egg on my face, no chicken in my pot, innocent government-murdered brown people everywhere, rich bankers walking around with my money and my senator in their pocket, and the Feds are listening to me complain about it."

-- William

Jay - Ottawa said...

On Sardonicky today we've read news of the absurd, and despair, and elegies on the demise of the Progressive Era. The Progressive Era is dead.

Long live the Progressive Era. Yes, it's still alive. Check out the preamble for the Progressive Platform from the New Progressive Alliance (address below).

The NPA's preamble is composed of great chunks from the Populist and Progressive platforms of 1892 & 1912. Those passages fit our own case foursquare. You will be amazed at how closely the list of their complaints from 1892 & 1912 match our own in 2011.

Progressives as such never did take back the White House. But hear this, Realists and Pragmatists of the TLOTE Tribe of 2012: Progressives transformed the Democratic party, locally and nationally, as evidenced by administrations in states like Wisconsin and then on the national level with the administrations of FDR and his followers.

We should not settle for a repeat of 2008 with TLOTE. Between now and then we should kick, scream and work for a repeat of 1912.

The progressive agenda, like liberty, must be won -- or lost -- by each new generation. There is no such thing as a hand-me-down democracy. We've been sleeping on the job too long. Check out the NPA's platform for action from 1912 for 2012.

DreamsAmelia said...

Thanks for the reminder of a perfect song for this moment...Even Krugman has gone lyrical on his blog, for loss of words...But "Sounds of Silence" is appropriate to add, since the vast majority of Americans are left out of this deal, and there aren't riots in the streets. The death of Bin Laden provokes a flash mob in front of the White House...but the death of the middle class is just another day? Watch consumer demand shrink faster than the ice caps that Republicans also deny are melting, as millions of federal employees join the unemployed.

Who's left to buy things? The rich have never even noticed what country they live in. They are so devoid of sociableness that they buy society (depressing article today about the rise of Sugar Daddy/Sugar Baby websites where millionaires buy off college debt of 20-year-old girls for "favors." Leaving them untaxed is the implicit consent of we, the unrepresented, for oligarchy.

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

VLT said...

My greatest hope is that a Progressive Democrat is following the blogosphere and is hearing the calls for a grassroots campaign to upset Obama in the Primary. That person would have to have the courage to go against all the money and the Democratic Machine which is owned and controlled by the oligarchy – but throwing his or her hat into the ring at the last possible moment could work. I would hope that those frustrated Progressives who are going to vote for Obama regardless of his betrayals due to their fear of the alternative Republican would support such a challenger as that would still be a “safe” vote. Of course, there could also be a Third Party Candidate who could stand on an independent progressive, anti-corporate platform. I think many of us are so disgusted we would be willing to “throw away” our votes in that person’s direction. If neither of the above materialise, I hope there will be a concerted effort to organise a write in campaign. In my opinion, there is little difference by Obama (let’s put Social Security on the table and not even try for a public option) and a Republican. Maybe a serious write in campaign would send the message that the population is serious about wanting change.

Jay is right. We should seriously follow what the New Progressive Alliance is trying to do. They are getting an organised effort in place to be able to jump in and support a progressive challenger for the White House if and when that person should step up to the plate. We have to be working toward something positive as opposed to wallowing in despair or cynicism. We are not doomed and it is not yet over unless we give up and choose not to act. The Civil Rights Movement wasn’t a spectator sport and despite their many setbacks, they didn’t give up – and we can’t either.

Anonymous said...


The proof is that the 60% of the money the Feds don't borrow or print comes from the private sector and the citizens. The Federal Government consumes it doesn't produce.

As everyone is doing poetry today here is my contribution it matches the tone of the day.

Dark sea surrounds 

Cold stars above

Swim or not?


Denis Neville said...

VLT said, “there is little difference by Obama (let’s put Social Security on the table and not even try for a public option) and a Republican.”

John Stewart pointed out one big difference … (paraphrasing) … the Republicans were playing chess, while Obama was in the nurse’s office because, once again, he glued his balls to his thighs!

John in Lafayette said...

Richard says, "The Federal Government consumes it doesn't produce."

Tell that to the people of the rural South who probably wouldn't have electricity to this day had it not been for the TVA.

Tell that to all the truckers bringing food and clothing to your town who traveled the interstate highway system to get there.

Tell that to the engineer who designed and built those highways with the college education he received via the GI Bill.

Tell that to the doctor who kept you alive because of the research being done at the CDC.

We could go on and on, couldn't we? But thanks to our "leaders" in Washington we'll get the opportunity to try things Richard's way, as all that discretionary spending will be gone.

Did anybody happen to notice that the one thing Congress and the President managed to agree on is that, even with the agreement to cut trillions in spending, we're going to have to raise the debt limit again. Even if you believe the federal government spends too much, you have to agree we have a revenue problem on our hands.

We can raise some of that revenue by raising taxes (and we should), but the fastest and best way to both raise government revenue and reduce government spending is to PUT PEOPLE TO WORK.

Why is it that everyone outside the beltway gets this, but nobody inside it does?

Neil Gillespie said...

@DreamsAmelia said...

"the rise of Sugar Daddy/Sugar Baby websites"

Okay, this is awful, except that prostitution (at least in this case) is voluntary, and legal in many places, including Nevada, Canada and Europe.

So lets legalize prostitution and tax it. We need the money! Sure its a vice, but so is gambling, and America seems happy to have that revenue, whether from lotto tickets or casinos.

Its also time for America to get over the social stigma of prostitution. From what I read prostitution is wildly popular among our elected officials, hedge fund folks, and almost anyone who’s horny with some disposable income. (present company excluded, of course). Why should America loose a great leader like Eliot Spitzer over a little dalliance? (he paid WAY to much, but that’s another story)

ANOTHER thing that should be on the table is the tax exempt status of religion, at least the property owned by churches. Our local Catholic Church paid $87 (yes, less than a hundred dollars) in property taxes on a 11.72 acre property valued at $3.5 Million! My property tax was $1,084 on a little two bedroom shack valued at $91K. The horror....

So that’s my answer, tax hookers and churches...

"Cat" will do said...

BErnie Sanders for president?

"Cat" will do said...

Obama was clear about who he was throughout his original Presidential campaign. And if you did your homework back then and weren't blinded by what my friend Delthea calls white guilt, you'd a never voted for the guy if you were a true progressive who knew what the work really meant. At least those of us who actually listened to Obama's words and saw him for what he was before the 2008 election don't suffer from buyers' remorse, but that's little consolation. First the judicial coup d 'etat in 2000, then the financial coup d 'etat in 08, now this? What else is there for them to steal? Oh, yeah, the social safety net... Read Primary Lessons

By VIJAY PRASHAD at and be better prepared next time a smooth talkin guy tries to sell you his vision of democracy.

James F Traynor said...

Tired of all the talk - my own included. When you're ready to man the barricades let me know. Meanwhile I'm signing out.

Anonymous said...

@John in Lafayette,

You make my point. The things you listed represented the Government spending wisely. Even though the investment cost money it produced results and jobs. The net result was a benefit to the country.
Where is the same benefit from the almost One Trillion Dollars the Obama Administration spent? Take a look where the money went. You won't see any programs like you listed.


Janet Camp said...


That's hardly "proof". I meant sources. You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts--Richard Feynman, physicist


I am fascinated by your description of what's going on in your part of the world. I have been waiting for some of this to start biting those who thought it was only the "other" who were benefiting from "gov't handouts".

Napoleon said...

I voted for Obama because I didn't want Hilary Clinton. Her views on Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Middle East generally, , North Korea, the Russian-Georgia conflict, and Afghanistan were virtually indistinguishable from McCain and Lieberman. I thought Obama made clear his positions during his campaign, saying he wanted Hilary to advise him, he wanted to be a transformational president like Reagan, he wanted to expand the war in Afghanistan, he wanted to unify people, and he wanted, like the other Democratic candidates, the passage of a health care bill.

The major surprise since the election has been that he is a weak negotiator, that he follows the lead of military leaders, that he was able to pretty much silence Democrats in Congress who opposed the two wars, that his initial words are not a reliable indicator of the final actions he will take, and that as president his speeches have little connection with the public.

As for the suggestion in one comment here that religious bodies should be deprived of their tax exempt status, I don't see how, in light of the 14th amendment's equal protection clause, this could be done without removing the tax exempt status of non profit organizations generally. I take it that the latter would not be a good idea.

I think we see from the debt ceiling vote that the Tea Party has limited influence in Congress except in instances where their vote is critical, such as voting affirmatively on a debt ceiling trigger.

The even split of Democrats in voting in the House hopefully will make them less timid about openly opposing Obama on the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, now that they see and understand him more clearly.

Perhaps, two good things will come out of this debacle. One is that national security spending will decrease dramatically, and the other is that the Bush tax cuts will expire, thus providing needed revenue.

Anonymous said...


It is a fact that Obama's plan helped only the banks and a few big businesses.

It's a fact that unemployment is above 9%.

Where are the marching protesters in D.C.? There is much to protest.

Janet Camp said...


The stimulus wasn't big enough to do the job. Nobody's happy with Obama or the underfunded stimulus or who it mostly went to, but that doesn't translate to "government can't do anything right or good".

I don't get what you're getting at, but I agree with John in Lafayette.

You seem to be some sort of Independent Moderate with Blue Dog overtones and an on and off conservative tic--although I'm just guessing and no insult is intended.