Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Going Negative, Nicely

So, Newark Mayor Cory Booker felt all pukey inside when he saw that anti-Romney ad comparing Bain Capital to a blood-sucking vampire. And then the pundits said his career was toast, and then the Obama campaign staunchly defended the bloody verbal imagery in the commercial.

But lo and behold, other Democrats have begun slithering out of their own corporate closets in nauseous solidarity with Booker. Leave capitalism alone, they plead. For this is the week that the party of FDR, the party of labor and civil rights, the poor and oppressed, is very publicly acknowledging that it is indeed just the other half of the Money Party.

But other Dems remain closeted, "privately worried" that their Wall Street blood money is going to dry up because of presidential negativity. And, going full circle, the ever-skittish Obama campaign is now pushing back against the pushback against the pushback:
In an indication of how rocky the day was for Obama, however, one surrogate for the president generated controversy in his defense of the ad against Romney.
Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), the third-ranking House Democrat, said Romney’s business practices amounted to “raping companies and leaving them in debt” for his own profit.

The Obama campaign quickly distanced itself from those remarks, telling media outlets it “strongly disagrees with Congressman Clyburn’s choice of words — they have no place in this conversation.”
Okay, everybody got that? Bain did indeed sink its cruel lecherous fangs into  tender flesh, sucking and sucking away in a frenzy until the victim was drained dry and fell down in a dead heap. But it absolutely did not have forceable sexual relations with that company. 




Denis Neville said...

American Amakudari

Matt Stoller at Naked Capitalism tells us why Corey Booker and all those other slithering Democrats reacted so strongly against criticism of private equity:

“The dirty secret of American politics is that, for most politicians, getting elected is just not that important. What matters is post-election employment. It’s all about staying in the elite political class, which means being respected in a dense network of corporate-funded think tanks, high-powered law firms, banks, defense contractors, prestigious universities, and corporations.

“The most lucrative scenario is to win and be a team player, which is what Bill and Hillary Clinton did. The Clinton’s are the best at the political game – it’s not a coincidence that deregulation accelerated in the late 1990s, as Clinton and his whole team began thinking about their post-Presidential prospects.”

“I never had any money until I got out of the White House, you know, but I’ve done reasonably well since then.” Bill Clinton

“The reason Obama won’t prosecute bankers, or run anything but a very mild sort of populism, is because he’s not really talking to voters. He just wants to be slightly more appealing than Romney. He’s really talking to the people who made Bill and Hillary Clinton a very wealthy couple, his future prospective clients.”

What the Japanese call amakudari, meaning literally "descent from heaven."

As for the rest of us in the 99 percent, “When you're cold, don't expect sympathy from someone who's warm.” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Grung_e_Gene said...

This is why Scott Walker doesn't give a hoot in hell about the recall. If he wins fine, he'll go back to Koch work, but if he loses fine. He'll be employed by the Kochs to give speeches on how tough he fought against greedy teachers and how evil unions and liberals are and how much he and other right-wingers need to be elected to destroy government for the Plutocratic Elite.

Zee said...


If you haven't already found it, here's a link to a pdf version of Levinson's article The Embarrassing Second Amendment.

The source for this article is the somewhat dated Second Amendment Law Library,

which apparently is being "rebuilt" by the Constitution Society.

On that same web page, the Constitution Society also has its own Second Amendment collection.

The Second Amendment Law Library contains articles and other resources that are both favorable and unfavorable to private ownership of firearms.

Neil Gillespie said...

Thanks for the links Zee.

Bush v Gore is back in the headlines. Monday retired Justice Stevens publicly criticized how the Supreme Court gave the Bush the presidency. Borrowing from James Clyburn, I call this the rape of the Constitution and the rape of the American people.

The ABA Journal reports: "Retired Justice John Paul Stevens took aim at Bush v. Gore on Monday, criticizing parts of the controversial opinion as misleading and its reliance of the equal protection clause as lacking a "coherent rationale.""

The New York Times ‘Taking Note’ blog reports: "He wrote an essay for The New York Review of Books denouncing capital punishment, arguing that "regrettable judicial activism" had created an unconstitutional system tainted by racism, without appropriate safeguards to minimize the risk of putting an innocent person to death."

"And on Monday at the annual meeting of the American Law Institute, Justice Stevens sounded off on Bush v. Gore—the decision that turned the White House over to George W. Bush. Naturally he didn’t put it that way, but he did call the majority decision "misleading" and criticized the "absence of any coherent rationale supporting the opinion’s reliance on the equal protection clause.""

Seems to me that the stolen 2000 presidential election may have been a test, to see just how far The Powers That Be can push the American public. Since there was no real objection by the people, no riots or disruptions or any significance, TPTB may have felt emboldened.

Maybe encouraged enough for a false-flag 911?

The 2008 financial rape of the American public? (another hat tip to James Clyburn)

What else am I missing? It makes me sick just thinking about it.

Valerie said...

Personally, I thought the anti-Romney commercial a great one. I even liked Newt's infomercial on Romney. Romney IS a blood-sucking vampire - He even has the hair!

It IS ironic and ever so hypocritical that Obama is running anti-blood-sucking-vampire ads considering he is in bed with so many of the biggest B.S.V.'s

I guess my attitude is the more of these ads the better. Let the public understand how destructive unregulated capital is - let them see the people - the decent hard-working people - who are destroyed in the name of huge profits. Let the public say, "Hey! This isn't right!" I would be happy to see the Republicans run ads showing how complicit Obama is with the BSV's - all the corporate welfare he is hands out - all the favours he does for the BSV's.

Sadly, too many people still think there is a difference between the two parties. The sooner that myth is destroyed, the better.

Denis Neville said...

@ Zee

One nation, under the gun - a fundamental American problem

Between 1970 and 1989 at least sixteen of the twenty-seven law-review articles favorable to the N.R.A.’s interpretation of the Second Amendment were “written by lawyers who had been directly employed by or represented the N.R.A. or other gun-rights organizations.

Former Chief Justice Warren Burger said that the new interpretation of the Second Amendment was “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special-interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

For many conservatives, District of Columbia v. Heller (which invalidated a law banning handguns in the nation's capital), the Supreme Court (2008), vindicated two of their pet causes: originalism and gun rights.

There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million handguns, a hundred and five million rifles, and eighty-three million shotguns. That works out to about one gun for every American. The United States has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. Yemen has the second highest, but the rate is only half that of the USA. No civilian population is more heavily armed than America. While most Americans do not own guns, 75% of people with guns own two or more guns. Forty per cent of the guns purchased in the United States are bought from private sellers at gun shows, or through other private exchanges, such as classified ads, which fall under what is known as the “gun-show loophole” and are thus unregulated. In an average year, roughly a hundred thousand Americans are killed or wounded with guns.

Gun-control advocates say the answer to gun violence is fewer guns. Gun-rights advocates say that the answer is more guns. That is the logic of the concealed-carry movement. We now have armed citizens patrolling our streets. Is that how we want to live? Is not the carrying a concealed weapon for self-defense a failure of civil society?

The many myths about guns in our culture seem to ensure that nothing effective will be done to reduce the carnage. Despite the utopian dreams of gun control advocates, guns aren't going anywhere.

Zee said...


You raise many serious questions and issues that I'm not sure that I want to get into in this forum, where I will probably only anger—once again—many of the participants.

I view firearms ownership as a fundamental right granted to me by the Constitution, a right that—at the moment—has been upheld by two recent, major Supreme Court rulings. Which could change yet again...

Still, I regard it as a right that (1) comes with personal responsibilities, and, (2) which, as stated in the majority opinions of both Heller v. District of Columbia and MacDonald v. Chicago, is subject to reasonable legal restrictions that are yet to be explored in future court reviews.

Some time ago in response to questions that @Valerie posed to me in this forum, I sent her a 6pp.+ essay outlining—among other things—many “reasonable controls” on my gun ownership that I might be prepared to accept if certain conditions were met on the other side. These would include major changes to the way firearms can be legally transferred in this country, viz., eliminating the “private-transfer loophole.”

The condition that “the other side” needs to meet—in my eyes—is to establish in no uncertain terms where the “reasonable restrictions” on my right END. This would probably have to occur via the longest Constitutional amendment on record.

Every discussion of the latest victory on the part of gun-control advocates ends with them saying “It's not all we wanted, but it's a good start.”

I don't want to hear about “good starts.” I want to know up front what “reasonable restrictions” to my right are finally ENOUGH, and that what I own is FINALLY SECURE.

In one way or another I have been fighting this battle since my father bought me my first .22LR bolt-action rifle at the age of twelve, and I'm weary.

So if gun-control advocates can tell me what amount of gun-control is finally enough—and total bans and/or storage for me by the “authorities” are not options—I will give the total package serious consideration for my support. Otherwise, this battle will be fought hand-to-hand through the courts over the next few decades.

As you say, there are approximately 300 million firearms in this country. Any hope of eliminating guns from our society short of a national, door-to-door police search— proposed by liberals—is naïve.

So this nation needs to learn to live with firearms. As I have conveyed to @Valerie, I am willing to compromise. Where's the other side on this?

One final remark. A couple of threads ago you quoted Mark Twain regarding liars, damn liars and statistics.

The statistic that you quote is generally accurate though it may differ by year. Let's break it down a little bit. This from Wikipedia:

“There were 52,447 deliberate and 23,237 accidental non-fatal gunshot injuries [75,684] ...during 2000. The majority of gun-related deaths ...are suicides, with 17,352 (55.6%) of the total 31,224 firearm-related deaths in 2007 due to suicide, while 12,632 (40.5%) were homicide deaths”.

@Neil Gillespie has remarked upon this before, that gun-control advocates are fond of conflating gun-related suicide and homicide rates to inflate the figures.

But while suicides are always regrettable, they are not necessarily contingent upon the availability of firearms:

From Wikipedia, selected suicide rates per 100,000 population, various years:

Japan (Gun ownership is non-existent): 23.8
Peoples' Republic of China (Gun ownership ?): 22.2
Ireland (Handguns & semi-autos banned): 11.8
United States (Wild West): 11.8
Canada: (Gun ownership tightly controlled & licensed): 11.3
United Kingdom (Gun ownership non-existent): 6.9

Shall we outlaw razor blades and ropes?

Zee said...

@Denis and @All--

I had not intended to run off at the mouth on the topic of firearms in America--something about which I should know better--but it is a topic about which I am passionate. (In case no one had already realized.)

One of the first things my dissertation advisor taught me was "If you don't stand up for your ideas, no one else will."

This was after having my ears pinned back in 1974 by a know-it-all professor from MIT at the conclusion of my first national conference paper as a grad student. It is a lesson that I took to heart, perhaps too much; though I think that lesson did serve me well through 35+ subsequent years in scientific forums.

(And in the end, thanks to the intervention of my great advisor, I think we won the argument.)

As a consequence, I tend to be forceful in my arguments, indeed, perhaps overly emphatic. As one journal reviewer once (more-or-less) put it to me, "Hey! I already buy your argument. So you don't have to be bombastic about it!

I tend to use various forms of emphasis in my comments here, from italics and bold-faced fonts to capitalization and/or exclamation marks.

I do this to emphasize things that are important to ME, not to suggest that they are "Truth."

I think I am always willing to hear the other side, and, yes, to acknowledge when someone else has the better of the argument.

But sometimes, I think, there is no corner on truth; only differences in values and lifestyles that may have no logical unilateral resolution even after calm discourse. Compromise then becomes the only available course of action.

That is the spirit in which I approach our discussions here, and I hope that all of you out there will take what I say--emphases included--in the same spirit.

It is not my intention to come off as a bully, but sometimes the 4,096 character restriction forces me to be, well, abrupt.