Thursday, May 14, 2015

Open Thread

Or, as they say in the free trade biz, a progressive playing field of opportunity and wonder and surprises galore.


Meredith NYC said...

Karen.....Re Obama's Snafu yesterday:

Obama pushes ‘my brothers keeper” and also TPP. Yet lack of jobs is the ultimate cause of poverty and racial problems.

Article NYT... Obama Urges Liberals and Conservatives to Unite on Poverty, May 12 “Obama lamented what he said was a refusal by Republican adversaries to put their concern into practice.”

Cspan showed Obama talking with lib Harvard prof/author Robt Putnam, and conservative economist Arthur Brooks of AEI. That is on video and worth watching---I caught some of it. Obama looked very serious and concerned.

He wants libs and the rw to unite? His constant theme. He still doesn’t see that is impossible in our current politics. Yet he still pushes TPP, harder than he ever pushed anything, and against his own party. Seems to be anti corporate rule is too left wing---we need ‘growth’. That’s a handy word needing definition we all can understand.

Obama announced “a private-sector expansion of a White House initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, (translation please) ----which is aimed at helping young black men reach their potential”..... after Baltimore violence he said “we must strive to break the cycle of poverty and crime.” (the cycle of violence and crime is by the police and by corporations).

Obama.....“If you have impoverished communities that have been stripped away of opportunity, where children are born into abject poverty,” he said it is more likely that those children “end up in jail or dead, than they go to college. ..... “where 30 years ago, anybody in this town who wanted to find a job, they could go get a job. They could go get it at the Maytag plant. They could go get it with the railroad. It might be hard work, it might be tough work, but they could buy a house with it.”

Yet Obama pushes TPP, to take away more jobs? No wonder our politics are schizophrenic.

Meredith NYC said...

re Gail Collins--Jeb Bush's Awful Week.And his Aura of Competence. (this is the type of stuff we'll be reading until 2016, as they lurch from event to event.

I said:
Aura of competence?? Headline with flair. Just what does that mean? An aura, yes, but manufactured. Aura means atmosphere, or impression---or fog--at least per my MS Word synonyms—thus, non factual.

You know who is really competent, in fact expert? The big financier donors and their expert staffs of lawyers, accountants, fund managers. The pickers of candidates and the designers of platforms. The professional fund raisers, public relations specialists, speech writers, and creative advertising teams. They are the engineers of both the candidates and public opinion. They make big bucks and their bosses get great return on investment. That’s the whole point. There’s no higher goal.

Gail aren’t you a political insider? Let’s stop gossiping in their terms, per what they put out this week. This is all manipulated by those fronting for those behind the scenes. Pull back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz. Give us the real inside dope on how it all works. But to do that you’d have to deal with their real aims, in terms of policies all to their benefit, and our loss.

Meredith NYC said...

btw i complained loud about reader comments policy to the public editor's latest blog re various changes at the Times over time.

Karen Garcia said...


I had a bone to pick with Charles Blow's column on Obama v Fox News today. It was immediately framed as a personality piece, rather than as a true policy discussion. My comment didn't get that many votes because it criticized Obama ... when the obvious objective of his piece was to get readers to rally around the president-as-victim and shoot GOP fish in a barrel, instead of rallying around actual poor people. Another commenter named Martin astutely noted that Obama equated the 99% getting angry at the uber-wealthy with the uber-wealthy & Fox dissing the poor. He can indulge in false equivalencies with the worst of the centrists... David Brooks comes to mind.

I will probably expand on this tomorrow, right now I am too disgusted and tired to summon up any more indignation.

I will check out your comment on Sullivan's blog. She is one of the few opinion writers over there who doesn't drive me nuts.

Pearl said...

Reversing Grassroots Win, US Senate Approves Fast Track Trade Measure -

Meredith NYC said...

Karen...Glad you cited Charles Blow—I didn’t even see that column! He has been appearing at odd times. I saw Collins last night, but when did Blow’s column go up? My post to public editor re this problem hasn’t appeared yet.

Yes, as you say, it's personalities not the real issues. The columnists are too busy fighting off OReilly type bullies. That’s how the rw gop network likes it.

But here's a contrast----there were eye opening reader replies to my comment in Friedman’s column last week---Germany The Green Superpower. To my question, one said Germany has no Koch Bros, and another said no Murdoch. So that gets to a myriad of issues.

One said... “Germany doesn’t suffer from the Rupert Murdoch plague. Murdoch tried to set his foot into German TV, but we have rules in place that avoid to concentrate too much media power in one hand.”
(rules in place, wow.)

Another said Germany has a “fee on media consumption paid by every household with a TV, radio and now mobile phone, PC, etc. it is about $200 per year. The fee funds public channels. The importance is that the funding means revenue from commercials is not necessary, and also not contingent on government spending.
The result is a well funded, genuinely independent public press, that is well-respected, well watched.”
(imagine that.)

Another said: “Public TV of meaningful size: if private TV goes propaganda, then you notice it in comparison to public channels and vice versa.”
(Wouldn’t that be nice, here. Our public media is forced into the arms of corporations---like Koch, with programs getting canceled by PBS.)

So, my thought is, our media monopolies force Dems and progressives to talk in rw terms, on the defensive. Limbaugh is quoted in same sentence as the US president, page 1, NYT.

If we publicized how the different media works abroad, as well as their multi parties given free time in campaigns, the contrast might open American eyes. Maybe.