Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Up in the Air": The Sequel

The actors are all dutifully playing their parts in PASS THIS JOBS BILL RIGHT NOW Theater.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn't even have the votes to pass it in his own party, so he's stalling.  Minority Leader Mitch McConnell knows it can't pass, so he tried to force a vote on it RIGHT NOW. President Obama was out of town, busily raising millions from wealthy donors, so he can keep his own job. It's a race to the top of the pile of gold, and his goal is an unheard of $1 billion war chest.  More than 90 percent of the time, elections are determined by who raises the most money -- economy or no economy.

Obama must be concerned about jobs, because when he presented the George W. Bush-contrived Free Trade Trifecta to Congress this week, he made sure it contained a renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance to compensate the thousands of workers who will might lose their jobs to South Korea, Panama and Columbia.  Of course, there is nothing in the bill which actually funds such compensation to the American victims of free trade rape. But it's fun to imagine a remake of the George Clooney movie "Up in the Air", with Obama taking over the role of the charming hatchet man who fires people by video conference. 

The presidential bullshit will take its inspiration directly from the cinematic script.  Obama might stage an internet town hall for the newly redundant whose jobs have now been shipped to slave wage factories in South Korea, whose pensions were stolen and now sit in nouveau-legal tax havens in Panama, whose livelihoods were sent to the jungles of Columbia where hired thugs can murder with impunity the trade unionists standing in the way of corporate profits. 

 He will flash his famous grin and intone: "Anyone who ever built an empire sat where you're sitting right now! Save for college, tighten your belts, win the future." And a group of shell-shocked unemployed people will be sitting in back of him as living prop temps, dutiful grins frozen on their faces, their termination packets containing no federally funded severance pay, in their laps. (I wouldn't be surprised, though, if the packets contained info on how to volunteer for OFA and learn some new skills.)

Obama will then tell them if they want the compensatory benefits he promised them to just CALL CONGRESS RIGHT NOW!  And like George Clooney, he will obsessively continue racking up his millions of frequent flyer miles in his obsessive quest to rack up millions of dollars at fundraisers.

Oh, and about that Air Force One.  It is manufactured by Boeing, whose CEO just so happens to be the chairman of the Business Roundtable (BRT), Obama's most favorite corporate group, and who just so happened to be the first to congratulate Obama on toeing the corporate line on the new free trade deal.  And why not, since Obama named him to the White House Exports Council last year!  Who said the deal will cost us jobs, anyway?  Not James McNerney of Boeing!  According to a statement he put out yesterday, the deal will ADD 250,000 new American jobs.  Of course, he may have simply meant the jobs will be provided by corporations who have some of their land holdings within the continental U.S.  He did not actually specify the geographical location of the new hives of worker bees.  He did not actually mention anything about why the compensation rider for dispossessed American workers was necessary to give Barry some cover with the hoi polloi, either.

Fingered!!! Free Trade Lovers Caught in the Act

 Remember, it was the BRT that urged Obama to scrap smog emission standards last month by pointing to a study they themselves funded showing it is perfectly safe to breathe polluted air.  So I would take McNerney's 250,000 American jobs claim with a huge grain of salt.) 
But the NAFTA-like bill enjoys bipartisan support!  Isn't that what the pundits tell us we all count as our top priority?

Well, there are skeptics, inconveniently comprised of most labor unions and liberals, who are raining on Obama's feel-good program of fake job creationism in anticipation of the state visit later this month by the South Korean president. "As with any such agreement, there will be winners and losers," according to John Feffer, a Korea specialist at the Institute of Policy Studies. "The problem is that most of the winners are the wealthier players, namely major U.S. and South Korean manufacturers and financial institutions. The losers will be U.S. workers, Korean farmers, probably the environment in both countries."

And then there's chronic spoil-sport Dennis Kucinich, who writes:  "Hundreds of thousands of American jobs have been displaced and outsourced as a result of our pursuit of trade policies which are adverse to the economic interests of the American people. My home State of Ohio is one of the top-ten states posting the biggest job losses since the passage of NAFTA."

Hmmm... isn't Ohio one of those battleground states Obama needs for his reelection?  Isn't that the state where he posed in front of a crumbling bridge just last week, shouting himself hoarse in his populist rant of PASS JOBS ACT NOW??  Is Dennis Kucinich due for another mystery ride on Air Force One where it will again be explained to him that his seat is in danger of being redistricted out of existence?  I don't know.  It's all up in the air.

Outsourcing, Inc.


Concernicus said...

Karen, I have been reading your posts here and at the NYT for a long time without posting a comment. Finally, I cannot take it any longer and will not remain silent. You are a hero. You are a goddess! Warren-Garcia in 2012!

James F Traynor said...

Goddess? Gee whiz. And I thought you were an ordinary old New Paltz gal. Say it ain't so Karen, say it ain't so.

Jay - Ottawa said...

Twenty Questions. Wanna play?

Oh no, Jay, not again---

C’mon. Who’s got executive jets?

Lots of serious business types have jets … So what else? More hints, please.

Trashed the economy?

Got it on just two questions: WALL STREET, OF COURSE!

No, no, no. You think you’re so quick. You need more hints.

Well, the corporate elite, then?

Wrong, again. Be patient. Next hint: Is justly disapproved of?

Not the banksters? Or the Kochs? The Cotes? –

Not today. Another hint: a giant rescue package without strings.

Jay, you gotta be talkin’ about TARP and the banksters.


I give up – who, what?



Yeah, Obama. Big jet, right? (And don’t forget those million-dollar buses waiting on the ground when he lands.) Screwed up the economy, right? Increasingly low ratings in the polls, right? And now his personal bailout –

His personal bailout? What bailout?

Well, Obama has a combo bailout and stimulus package. It’s the new normal in American politics. What else do you call the billion dollars he’s amassing in lumps of a million at a time for his campaign chest? That will serve as his bailout for the past four years of abject failure in the White House (according to purists who don’t trust him anymore) and it will be a stimulus package to guarantee his job for the next four years (as recommended by Yellow Dog Democrats). A stimulus package to save one single job, his own. To keep him saying the same damn thing while doing absolutely nothing for four more years. That’s what you get with one of the DNC’s big’D’ Democrats who rarely troubles himself over little ‘d’ democracy. Hey, where are you going?

Anne Lavoie said...

@Jay - Ottawa

A billion dollars is one big golden parachute for Obama for when his plane crashes, metaphorically speaking, in 2012! He'd better not spend it all before then.

Anne Lavoie said...

@Jay - Ottawa

That also explains something George Stephanopoulos noticed during his recent interview with O.

George mentioned to O that he was now considered an underdog. O smilingly agreed, so George, noticing his upbeat response said "You almost seem happy about that" to which O replied "I'm used to being the underdog" and mentioned the poor economy. (It sounded to me like he didn't mind losing because he could blame it on the economy, not himself.)

Being seen as an underdog gets him even more MONEY from the diehard loyalist Yellowdogs, who will be afraid he will lose if they don't. Boy am I glad I won't be losing any more money in his casino where the game is rigged for the rich, and for himself.

I wonder if this time he will throw the game and keep his 'winnings' as his golden parachute. He's had lots of practice at both throwing the game and screwing Democrats. Maybe he'll save it up for a comeback try in 2016, as a Republican I hope.

He's a real winner.

Valerie said...

Right On! Warren-Garcia ticket! Can you see either of them wasting the bully pulpit? I am totally convinced those two would represent us far better than Obama – Biden.

I will respond in some depth about my favourite political issue - "Free" Trade. I hope every union member who sees his job going down the drain is attending protests this weekend.

Fellow Sardonicky Readers:
I woke up this morning and it is 6 October here in Australia. It is D-Day! I only wish I could be there to support the DC protesters! I will now go look to see if we have a support the DC protest for here in Adelaide. If not, that is my daughter and I you see standing on the corner waving the sign that has the name Obama (crossed out) and the message: I WANT ANOTHER CHOICE!

More on the "Free" Trade off-shoring of jobs trade agreements issue later.

Once again, Karen, you prove yourself to be the exceptional journalist you are! Democracy thanks you!

@Fred Drumlevitch

I cannot post on your site and I am wondering if other commenters are having problems too. If you connect an e-mail address to your blog site, I will send my comment to you to post. Thanks, Karen, for letting me use this comment space to reach out to Fred.

Anonymous said...

Great story on Zucotti Park/Occupy Wall Street movement in the Times!

Hope the favorable coverage cheers Val, Anne, Jay, Fred and the gang! It sure made me happy. Maybe we can have a Sardonicky meet-up in Zuccotti Park! I'm aiming for winter, when I know they'll need replenishment.


Justice Network said...

Occupy Tampa tomorrow, October 6 at 9:00 AM

Tampa, FL (October 6, 2011) – The Tampa Bay General Assembly (TBGA) reconvenes on Thursday with a day-long event at Lykes Gaslight Park. Organizers are expecting over a thousand in attendance. The TBGA’s "Stop the Machine!" assembly will coincide with the October2011 movement beginning in Washington D.C. on the same day.

Matt Weidner announcement of events, Occupy Tampa

Occupy Tampa Do’s and Don’ts

Neil Gillespie

Anne Lavoie said...


I wish I could be there!!! If I was still living in New Hampshire where I grew up and went to college, I would be there in a New York minute. But now I'm in the wilds of Montana and dealing with an autoimmune disorder, so I have to stay a bit closer to home. There's a role for all of us though, no matter where we are.

The Garcia Brigade will just have to OccupyCyberspace, not just on Sardonicky but anywhere we can spread the word and lend support to our fellow 99%.

Power to the People! (I couldn't resist, for old times sake)


Jay - Ottawa said...

The "Garcia Brigade": I like the sound of that.

For a brief but encouraging report on the union marches of this evening (Wednesday) between Broadway and Zuccotti Park, see:

Big day tomorrow in DC. Weather forecast: clear with a high of 71 degrees. Goldilocks perfect for a demonstration. Let's hope the windows are open in the Oval Office.

Fred Drumlevitch said...

Karen, if you'll permit me to answer Valerie's comment here about technical problems commenting at my blog (and perhaps of relevance to Sardonicky and other bloggers using

First, try using Firefox. More details at my blog; the first comment on my October 3 post is by me, and addresses the issue in more detail.

If Firefox stops working, or some people for some reason cannot use it (in that case, with Karen's permission, let me know via Sardonicky), then I'll set up an email mechanism for comments.


Good luck to everyone taking part in "festivities" tomorrow in Washington DC, Zuccotti Park, Tampa, and elsewhere.

What do we want? Social and economic justice!

When do we want it? Now!

Valerie said...

I find myself getting a little excited. The Occupy Wall Street Protest is growing and it is finally getting the decent MSM coverage it deserves.

And tomorrow it the big day in D.C. - Many of us can't be there in person, but we are there in spirit. And I can only hope the movement will grow. As someone from Australia (not me) wrote in the NY Times last week, the world is watching and hoping that the American people have the will to take back their Democracy. I find myself so hopeful that this is finally the spark.

Is anyone going or know of someone who is going who can check in with us?

The Garcia Brigade! I agree with Jay, it has a nice ring to it!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, just started reading your posts. I'm pretty much in agreement with this particular post, but your anger does leave me with a question: Who do you propose as the saviour to rescue us from the governmental-industrial complex? You are great at identifying the problems and the associated villains, but I don't see the name of the person who could put a fix to all of our woes. It reminds me of the young man Ed Shultz was interviewing at the end of his show tonight, a participant in the demonstrations in NYC. When given the mike, this person had a laundry list of grievances, but when Ed asked him for a solution, be it at the ballot box or by other means, he just looked to the crowd and yelled "We are the solution!" No further answer was necessary to him I guess, but I assume since voting was not the answer for him, and I'm assuming violence was not his way, I guess he thinks tweeting and Facebooking will change the world. And so far, the demonstrations to me in NYC have looked like an embarrassing remake of the old Michael jackson video "Thriller." The Wall Street fat cats have to be laughing their behinds off right now. So, who's the man or woman that you think can get past lobbyists, Wall Street and the career politicians? I'm thrilled to have an alternative to the tea-partiers, but if it's going to be "Wild in the Streets" circa 1968 again, then the people out there had better put down the iPads and the cell phones and get serious, and I don't think they have the first notion of what to do if the batteries go dead.

Justice Network said...

Change you can believe in? Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list'

"(Reuters) - American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials....Liberals criticized the drone attack on an American citizen as extra-judicial murder....Conservatives criticized Obama for refusing to release a Justice Department legal opinion that reportedly justified killing Awlaki. They accuse Obama of hypocrisy, noting his administration insisted on publishing Bush-era administration legal memos justifying the use of interrogation techniques many equate with torture, but refused to make public its rationale for killing a citizen without due process."

You can’t make this stuff up, it would be too unbelievable. And Obama is a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Lesser or greater of two evils?

Neil Gillespie

Anonymous said...

I'd like to respond to "Anonymous" at approx. #14:

First, I think you misperceive both this movement, and the very nature of popular revolt. If European history (or history in general) were better taught in U.S. schools, you might have a stronger appreciation for what's happening in Zuccotti Park. This isn't a Duncan-Hines cake mix - you don't just add water and get a uniform result. This is a start, and IMHO, a very impprtant one.

If you buy the media line that these kids lack direction, let me make a recommendation: get out there and lend them some. It's not as if they're excluding you.

Secondly, Karen's an excellent critic, as you note, but your assumption that she's never put forward any solutions is flatly wrong. Further, your assumption that a "saviour" must be identified is off, to put it mildly. This is a democracy, not a religious war. We're not looking for saviors, we're looking for solutions.

-Camp Obama, H.E.

Anne Lavoie said...

Credit goes to Valerie, in an older post, for coming up with the name 'Garcia Brigade'.

@Neil - thanks again for the link. It is an absolute outrage!

Glenn Greenwald also has an excellent piece called 'Execution by Secret White House Committee' at

Obama is now running a criminal Hit Squad like a two-bit Dictator who simply ignores the protections afforded private citizens under the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

He should be impeached and also charged and tried under the RICO act, The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Leaders of a syndicate can be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them.

Obama runs a secret committee that recommends the murder of private American citizens. It is secretly done without court review of evidence, without charges, without trial, and possibly in cruel and unusual ways. Here, dear voter/protester/citizen, have a little poison with your coffee!

Is it pronounced Executive Orders or Execute-ive Orders? Same thing, either way.

If he is not charged or at least impeached for this, then we should simply dissolve this government because the laws mean nothing.

Kat said...

@ Camp Obama,
Very good point. There does seem to be this notion that EVERY protest movement in history was disciplined, organized, and had a very specific agenda from the get go.
I just consider it something of a miracle that here in America we're finally talking about class and income inequality (and more importantly, its perversion of democracy). This is very worthy in itself, and if nothing else is "accomplished" I say this is plenty!

Valerie said...

I’d like to address Karen's most excellent post. The bottom line is we MUST re-examine "Free" Trade if we want to really deal with the job situation in our country. No new green technology or WPA is going to solve our problems LONG TERM. Of course, we should be encouraging green technology and of course the government should step in and create jobs through a WPA like jobs program in order to kick start our economy and start repairing on our decaying infrastructure - but to see them as solving our shortage of liveable wage jobs in America is naive. If we really want those jobs, we have to junk “Free” Trade. First, of all, it is NOT free. There are huge human (on both sides of the ocean)and environmental costs WE ARE ALL paying in order to have all these cheap goods, with short built in obsolesce, available on our shelves and clothing our bodies. The corporations shipping the jobs overseas, which have free access to our markets – THAT’S THE FREE PART - are enjoying huge profits at the expense of ALL workers. The fact that Obama is trying to expand “Free” Trade, a job-exporting proposal, while putting forth a jobs bill is the height of hypocrisy and is nothing more than a shell game.

The corporations benefiting from “Free” Trade have controlled the debate for so long that they have been pretty effective in drowning out any reasonable opposition. It reminds me of America after 9/11. People like me who were against the wars were seen as crazy and unpatriotic. Well that is the same attitude about Free Trade. Anti-“Free” Traders are brushed aside as old-fashioned. “Let the really smart people handle this, dear. You are clearly not up to understanding modern economics.” But the truth is, “Free” Trade is destroying our country and the sooner we get that fact out into the open, we cannot hope to rebuild our economy.

In closing, I want to stress I am not against international trade in general. We can have separate trade agreements with countries – we should have trade agreements. But let’s have ones that benefit the American people and the small business owners and not just the huge corporations.

mac gordon said...

I'm glad you mention how important it is that, here in the US, class and caste is finally being discussed, and recognized for what it is.
It was something I noticed when I moved here to attend college. I'm originally from the UK, and I saw many similarities in class structure between the two nations.
But, the AMERICAN DREAM always obscured the obvious.
The illusion of EQUAL OPPORTUNITY reigned supreme.
For the first time in many years I feel just a tiny bit optimistic.
Americans are quick studies, and our 'revolution' will be uniquely american.

Anonymous said...

Hey all,
Why won't the Times tell us how many people are in NY "occupying" Wall Street?
It seems very hard to get an accurate #.
They kept telling us last week it was only a couple hundred, but then, like "magic" NYPD managed to bust over 700 on Brookoyn Bridge per se, which means there were probably at least 3,000 protesting in the Zuccotti Park area last weekend.
Now I am starting to hear numbers like 30,000 and 20,000.
What is the approx. Number???!!!
Camp Obama

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I rarely quote Bob Dylan, but in response to the naysayers like "anonymous", I can't resist:

"Because something is happening here,
But you don't know what it is.
Do you, Mr. Jones?"

-Camp Obama, H.E.

Valerie said...

I woke up at 4:30 this morning and couldn’t wait to jump out of bed and read about the People’s Protest underway in DC. I have been feeling so hopeless these last couple of years as I have watched both the Democrats and Republicans sell our country and the American Middle Class down the river. While I would LOVE a Tea Party of the Left to organise and become a movement (and block of voters to be reckoned with) saying these protests at most could only result in a fringe group/party (that is a joke to much of the population) as the MSM is now doing, is undervaluing the potential of these protests to affect meaningful change. What we, the 99%, are fighting for are fair and reasonable policies and a government that is more responsible to the people than the top 1%. We are more than a mere one issue political side-show.

I don’t know if you are even reading this or if you just “graced” us with your message of hopelessness. As Anne said, we are not a religion and we are not looking for a saviour. But we are open to a leader with wisdom and integrity who is in politics to govern on behalf of the 99%. The problem is that both political parties are only offering us corporate lackeys for President and “there’s the rub.” We must insist that the DNC give us more than Obama or take matters into our own hands and organise a write-in candidate.

Go to Elizabeth Warren’s website and get a whiff of what wise and principled leadership looks like. Listen to Bernie Sanders and other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Despite corporate efforts to squash or trivialise politicians wanting to work on behalf of Main Street, they are still out there talking – the problem is the Main Street Media isn’t covering what they are saying. They have been pretty silenced and marginalised up till now, but they are out there and they have good ideas and good solutions. Many of them, given enough support, could lead American Citizens in taking back our government, our economy, and our country from the corporations. Let’s see which politicians are out front supporting the protesters. I have no doubt, if these protests are heavily attended and the protests spread, that many politicians (political animals that they are) will jump on the bandwagon eventually. But I want to know who the true believers are.

James F Traynor said...

Last night I saw an interview of Jeffrey Sachs by Charlie Rose (not one of my favorite people). Depressing. You can find it on Rose's website.

I hope Sachs is wrong, but I fear not. The son of a bitch came to the same conclusion I did many years ago during the Reagen administration. I won't go into the details. I can't stand them. I ignored my conclusions and soldiered on. But the Scandinavians were right all along. And I knew they were.

Anonymous said...


I just want to chime in and iterate how important this protest is.

We all need to think about how we will support this protest over the next three months, six months, year, and years. This will take a long time, but this is an essential and essentially vibrant moment.

I would also like to say how proud and relieved I am that this movement came from "the left", even though I consider myself a moderate Dem. Having met many tea partiers, and having a reasonable amount of respect for them, I will also admit that I would not want a movement of this size (are we really talking 30,000 people in New York?) and with this level of COMMITMENT (700 arrested on Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday!) to have come from the Koch Brothers, who do not actually represent the people showing up at tea parties.

I also don't want to lose the moment. "The left" (which apparently includes not only moderate Democrats like myself, but many of my conservative friends who've come to reassess their positions on banking regulation and the wars) has been so dogged and beaten down over the past 11 years, but especially since being so betrayed by the man who said he would deliver for us, as Val has pointed out.

But this, THIS huge protest, THESE people young and old and from all walks of life, this is an incredible show of force for reform.

Please, let's not lose sight of just how important this is, and what kind of commitment even a moderate success from it will require from all of us. This is the momentum we lost when Obama betrayed us - but this proves that it was potentially only a temporary loss.

-Camp Obama, Homeless Edition

Kat said...

@camp Obama: (and anyone else!)
another Sinclair Lewis quote for you:
“I think perhaps we want a more conscious life. We're tired of drudging and sleeping and dying. We're tired of seeing just a few people able to be individualists. We're tired of always deferring hope till the next generation. We're tired of hearing politicians and priests and cautious reformers... coax us, 'Be calm! Be patient! Wait! We have the plans for a Utopia already made; just wiser than you.' For ten thousand years they've said that. We want our Utopia now — and we're going to try our hands at it.”
― Sinclair Lewis, Main Street

I cam across another quote that cracked me up and deiced to see if it was out there, floating in the internet. No, but I came across this one. I read Main Street in high school but don't remember much of it. I'm thinking I'm going to reread it. It probably did nt resonate with me as I had little experience in the world.

Valerie said...

I am quoting a comment written in response to Paul Krugman’s blog site at the NYTimes. It was written by Markel (#46) from Boston

“Corporate media wants to know the protesters’ specific “demands.” So they can trot out David Gregory and Andrea Mitchell to ridicule them. . . In reality, Occupy Wall Street is making a very clear demand, but the media cannot recognize it. It is calling for a middle-class republic. . . .Every effort at real change has been met with the finger-wagging and tut-tuts of “political reality.” So the protesters have set out to change that reality.”

Valerie writing:

That is it! We want a Middle Class Republic! And we are out to change the “political reality!” I am sick of being told my only choices for president are Obama and a bunch of heartless idiots whose idea of governing is to cut taxes and wipe out what is left of our safety net. Why do we have to go along with that “political reality?” Why can’t we demand another choice? Why can't we demand a better leader?

Fred Drumlevitch said...

So many valid points and so much good discussion here today, I don't know where to begin! --- and my apologies because I don't have the time to respond to everyone's comments.

Just a quick response to a few points:


"Let’s see which politicians are out front supporting the protesters. I have no doubt, if these protests are heavily attended and the protests spread, that many politicians (political animals that they are) will jump on the bandwagon eventually. But I want to know who the true believers are."

Yes. While it's not impossible for someone to have an epiphany and change, I'd rather trust someone who takes a progressive position long before it's popular, when they are actually risking something. We need genuine progressives, not politicians who put on and take off progressivism like a coat.

@Anonymous - COHE:

"We all need to think about how we will support this protest over the next three months, six months, year, and years. This will take a long time, but this is an essential and essentially vibrant moment."

Yes, the powers-that-be expect that most of these things will eventually peter out. Standard Operating Procedure for the powers-that-be in many of the so-called democracies: Wait till the protester numbers go down, wait till the media loses interest, declare a "health emergency" or some other pretext, then, probably in the middle of the night when few cameras are around, swoop down and scoop up the remaining protesters. Scoop them up like those garbage trucks did in "Soylent Green". The ordinary people have been treated like garbage for decades, but the real garbage is the plutocrats and corporate chiefs and politicians who do the bidding of the wealthy --- with nary a care for the ordinary people whose situation grows increasingly difficult.

It will be hard to maintain protest momentum in the middle of a New York winter. Protest needs to be a movable feast.


Good quote from Sinclair Lewis, Main Street

Jay - Ottawa said...


The implication of your comment is that citizens who reject Obama should find a replacement before they jump ship. That puts you pretty much in the same boat as Yellow Dog Democrats. Stay the course, ride out the storm, stick with the captain even though he keeps heading for the shoals, tacking away briefly then heading for the rocks again.

We – “we” being the 99% who are forever ignored -- are already drowning. Why? Because Captain Obama keeps throwing lifesavers in the wrong direction; and he dispatches all the lifeboats to save the 1%. The 1%, who represent money and privilege, think nothing of plunking down $35,800 a plate to dine with Obama one more time. I’m not pulling that number out of the air. The going rate for a seat at an Obama fund raiser is $35,800. That’s why Air Force One with Passenger One is so often “up in the air.” It takes a lot of air miles to collect a campaign chest amounting to $1 billion.

No man can serve two masters. Do you really suppose Obama can serve both the 1% and the 99%? Obama is for regular citizens -- the 99% -- about as much as Mitch McConnell or Bill Daley. Tell me about realism, pragmatism.

Here’s how many of us look at it, Anon. No allusions to scripture this time; rather, a truism attributed to Albert Einstein:

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Voting for Obama over and over and expecting different results is just plain nuts.

Yes, we’re still hoping for someone to step forward to challenge both major parties. If no challenger appears, the honorable thing to do is to write in the name of someone who works for justice. To do otherwise makes one an accomplice to more war, more assassinations, more homelessness, more joblessness, more penury, more sickness, more bloated security, more propaganda, more environmental degradation, more corporatism and the continued shredding of the Bill of Rights. With respect to this long list Obama in three short years has already bested Bush in his eight long years.

Why on earth should we consent to give him four more years to cater to the top 1%, to betray us again?

Will said...

If you're looking for excellent coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests, just go to and Amy Goodman will hook you up. The Thursday (10-6-11) edition of her show truly captures the growing power of this movement.

You know what's funny? It turns out that we really ARE the ones we've been waiting for after all--minus Barack, of course.

Anne Lavoie said...


iMagine iAmerica!

Yes, yes, yes. We are the ones we've been waiting for! It's amazing that the movement that grew up around Obama has now outgrown him, like adults standing on our own instead of as children. "Time to put away childish things" Obama quoted the Bible at this Inauguration. Yes, We Can!

We have now shed the man and awakened the Spirit of the movement. Who knew that he would such a useful tool. We were burnt out and hopeless after he threw us in the trashheap, but now like Phoenix we are rising up from those ashes. This time we will not sell ourselves to ANY phony politician. We stand for something way too valuable now.

This morning I can 'iMagine' (thanks John Lennon) a new America with a whole new Democracy called iAmerica (thanks Steve Jobs)

It will not be a rehash of the same corrupt system. It will be a new, innovative product that serves We the People. Steve knew about making things for the future. We should be innovative too. Now is the time to start iMagining that new iAmerica.

James F Traynor said...


Congratulations on your Krugman comment today.But from Krugman himself, and many of the comments that followed, I can see that the bourgeoisie simply have not gotten it. And never will.

The inarticulate have risen. And it is an unpleasant sight. Unwashed, barely washed and washed (but, oh my, the coiffure, the dress or the lack of it!). One can hear the music of the tumbrels over the cobblestones! And one never knows where it will stop! We simply cannot, will not, listen to these people until they adopt a reasonable dress code.

The only thing that worries me about this is
remembering that Lavoisier got the chop

Suzan said...

Those jobs won't be in SC.


Thanks for your wisdom, Karen.

It's been a pleasure to partake of your repartage.



James F Traynor said...

Very interesting article by David Sirota on TruthDig, 'Stoping the Insanity'. I would like to hear Kate Madison's opinion on it. Kate, are you out there? Somewhere?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Sinclair Lewis quote!

An interesting idea to move the protest, but I see value in having it stay in NY. Not just because I want to go, but because I think the location and brutal coming weather will give it heft, even if the total numbers decline. Both ideas could be accommodated, actually.

I was watching livestream of the protest meeting last night and they didn't look unwashed or unusually coiffed. The middle-aged blonde organizer taking questions looked like corporate middle management. And that, to me, is kind of the point - a lot of the protesters are just ordinary middle-class people who have woken up. The waking is radical, but their aims are, as I see it, conservative in the true (and not political) sense of the word: They are trying to conserve the purest ideals of a great democracy. They are trying to conserve what is left of the power of the citizenry.

-Camp Obama, H.E.

Valerie said...

I agree with @Will. Yesterday's Democracy Now has to be one of the most inspiring hours I have spent watching television in years. And Naomi Klein is wonderful. Don't miss the second part of her interview. She reiterates what we all have been saying here - forget about the Democrats and Obama - build your movement independent of the Democratic Party.

I would like to note, I am a little concerned, in a bid to keep the corporate machine going, the DNC could throw out Hillary as an alternative to Obama. After hearing her talk about the Palestinian State and the Obama position to punish UNESCO for supporting Palestinians, there is no way that I think she is going to be significantly different from Obama. We need to demand radically different leadership in the Democratic Party before we give it our support.

James F Traynor said...


Tongue in cheek, dear Anon., tongue in cheek.

Three Quarks Daily has a wonderful Indian rendition of Brubeck's Take Five. My iMac didn't do it justice, so I put on my headphones. The bass end is remarkable, very primitive. I understand that the part of the brain that lights up to math is the sames area that responds to music. Very soothing.

After years of field biology and ecology (the nuts and bolts kind), I've lost my taste for the rustic. I hope you have access to a bathroom and shower in your present accommodation - instead of trowel and spring water. And, if you can plug in, do listen to that rendition of Take Five. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

"I've lost my taste for the rustic. I hope you have access to a bathroom and shower in your present accommodation..."

You'd be surprised what I have access to... said "access" being one of the absurdities of tenting it in one of the wealthiest parts of the country. As for troweling, I always found it dubious, environmentally speaking, and I have, as you know, a regular commute, and, well, a digestive system that's amenable to waiting.

Still it's a shame you've lost your taste for the rustic... Especially since in your case, it's optional. You're missing some of the most beautiful sunrises in the world, and the opportunity to "re-connect" with the natural environment. Maybe you'll reconsider?

-Camp Obama, H.E.

Kate Madison said...


..."Now comes a new study from Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen showing that the most successful of the global financial elite probably pose more of a menace to society than known psychopaths."

Just a paragraph picked at random from Sirota's article, but a good one. I have long maintained that the lust of GREED and the illness of psychopathy are evil twins, or twin evils. Pick one. This is the norm in the field of high finance. I would guess most modern banksters have more than a touch of psychopathy. As well, most politicians. Winning and gaining wealth has become everything in our culture. And being UP--while others are DOWN. Otherwise, there is no game! We are sick puppies!

James F Traynor said...


Thank you.

Proactvoice said...

Excellent blog, Karen. It is right on the mark and one I would like to reprint in our blog site as we have already begun to circulate this original on Facebook!

Tom Baldwin