Showing posts from 2010

My New Year Resolutions

I will not call right wingers, wingnuts, I'll try to be polite and call them Wing Nuts.
I will not tell them they are corporate tools over and over again, two or three times each day will suffice.
I will try not to laugh too hard when their only reply is a three word talking point (TP), aka slogan, given to them by right wing radio.
I will try not to laugh too hard when they repeat one of their essential TPs that MSM is liberal.
I will try not to think of them as uneducated simpletons even when they get all their thoughts from Beck, Limbaugh, Fox, or the vast right wing echo chamber.
I will try to seriously believe they only woke up after Obama's election to deficits and massive wasteful spending.
I will try to take seriously the Tea Party's whining about government public policy even as they collect social security and benefit from Medicare.
I will try hard to think that Wing Nuts must have more on their minds than just taxes, taxes, taxes.
I will try to forget the failu…

What the Census Means

Conservatives and republicans are an odd bunch. First the census is an invasion of privacy and an enormous government conspiracy. Some even said don't send it in. Then it becomes proof that people moving to other parts of the country is proof of some magical correlation. Remember folks, Obama won some unexpected states. Counting your chickens before they hatch can be hazardous. Texas grew because of Hispanics, a few of the blue states dropped because of aging population and weather. Remember the boomers. Many of our boomer friends have moved South.

American remains a liberal progressive nation, we have passed healthcare, repealed DADT, improved food safety, we are gradually moving out of Iraq, extended child healthcare, created thousands of jobs, improved consumer regulation, two great SCOTUS choices, and got America back on her feet even if a little unsteady. No republican administration from Coolidge/Hoover to Reagan and the Bushs ever accomplished feats to match these - NEVER …

Is Fox making America dumber?

You decide.

"Those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe that most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely), most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points), the economy is getting worse (26 points), most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points), the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points), their own income taxes have gone up (14 points), the auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points), when TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points) and that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points). The effect was also not simply a function of partisan bias, as people who voted Democratic and watched Fox News were also more likely to have such misinformation than those who did not watch it--though by a lesser margin than those who voted Republican.


Julian Assange and Hypocrisy

I find the outrage over Wikileaks hypocritical. It is curious how we so easily defend truth and then when it is uncomfortable run and hide. What happened to all this horsepucky about freedom of the press. Where is that 'liberal' media we hear about so often? What about the Pentagon papers or Deep Throat, were they not helpful in presenting just a bit of the backroom shenanigans? Or are the insiders the only ones allowed to spread information even when it is total BS.

A single day of Fox talking heads is so full of distortion, lies, and omissions that a person's head should spin. The nuns told us omission is sin too! Remember Colin Powell's pack of BS to the UN? Is that OK but truth not? Consider the distortions in the New York Times, as well as most MSM, leading up to Iraq, was that OK. Thousands died over that bit of baloney. Can Beck, Limbaugh, Coulter, and other right wing talking heads say any idiocy so long as it is untrue or exaggerated? Consider the WMDs that…

It's all about getting reelected....

'The Spirit Level'

As the rapacious republicans and the gutless democrats ruin the nation through debt and immoral tax policy, these book examine the consequences so obvious today in America.

"In 2005, 21.2 percent of US national income accrued to just 1 percent of earners. Contrast 1968, when the CEO of General Motors took home, in pay and benefits, about sixty-six times the amount paid to a typical GM worker. Today the CEO of Walmart earns nine hundred times the wages of his average employee. Indeed, the wealth of the Walmart founder's family that year estimated at about the same ($90 billion) as that of the bottom 40 percent of the US population: 120 million people." Tony Judt 'Ill Fares the Land'

YouTube video.

YouTube video.

"This disposition to admire, and almost to worship , the rich and powerful, and to despise , or , at least neglect persons of poor and mean conditions... is... the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral…

'a Call for Reform'

'Have we learned the lessons from the last financial crisis or are we planting the seeds of the next one?' from Amazon Q&A see link below.

"He was known as “Dr. Doom” — a perennial pessimist in the often sunny world that is the dismal science of economics. And in 2008 his predictions of disaster — delivered two years earlier — came stunningly, frighteningly true, as the entire global financial system teetered on the brink of the abyss. Cassandra had belatedly become a much-celebrated prophet...."

"Taking the reader on a fast guided tour of several centuries of capitalism, Mr. Roubini points out how the patterns of boom and bust are predictable, from the rise of asset bubbles to the spread of collapse to other countries that share similar types of excess. "Lack of transparency," he writes, "underestimation of risk, and cluelessness about how new financial products might behave when subjected to significant stress are recurrent problems in many…

Note to Obama

Politics today in America is not about representing the people of the nation, it is about power and getting reelected. Clinton faced the same do nothing republicans and moved too far right in my opinion in order to pacify the corporate wingnuts. Note to Obama: it didn't work for him and moving right won't work for you. They still hunted Clinton, wasting millions on investigations about nothing. Obama needs to face the reality the republicans only want control and will only support the monied interests to gain back control. The scene is so obvious and yet the Dems too play act their part and move like unprincipled pawns for reelection.

Working people will only count when they rebel in the voting booth - this is tough as neither side is very good - or rebel as the workers did in the thirties, or the Blacks did in the sixties. Power and money resist any change that moves towards justice and fairness for all.

"In the political turnover in the United States in the autumn of…

Government and Freedom

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary." James Madison

Discussions about government and freedom usually go the way of mythology. I'm never sure what freedom means for the person arguing we need more freedom? For what exactly? Democratic nations and even less democratic nations provide an environment in which the individual can live freely even though she must obey certain laws that may or may not support the nation. The laws can be simple or serious. Consider smoking, seat belts, helmets for kids as the sometimes simple and maybe silly. If you want to be free to kill yourself smoking, have at it. It is the serious law that has the most effect. Consider Enron, Worldcom, or the recent banking meltdown as areas in which abuse of law can have great effect.

But culture and government get entwined and the result for some is finger pointing at the other. Markets and regulations come to mind, some have this naive - in my mind - idea markets are just super great t…
Taxes Taxes Taxes

"'Practical' politics, it is held, calls for policies that appeal to the fortunate. The poor do not vote; the alert politician bids for the comfortable and the rich. This would be politically foolish for the Democratic Party; those whose primary concern is to protect their income, their capital and their business interest will always vote for the party that most strongly affirms its service to their pecuniary well-being. This is and has always been the Republicans. The Democrats have no future as a low grade substitute." John Kenneth Galbraith 'The Good Society'

Federal taxes have been reduced under Kennedy, Carter, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush Jr, but you would think it was only the republicans who lowered taxes. State taxes are another issue and often dependent on property value and class. Class gets little press in America and anyone who mentions class is marginalized, after all this is the land of the free and you picked your class. Didn'…

'An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper Tantrum'

"In forty years or so, maybe fewer, there won’t be any more white people around who actually remember that Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Opie-Taylor-Down-at-the-Fishing Hole cornpone bullshit that you hold so near and dear to your heart.

There won’t be any more white folks around who think the 1950s were the good old days, because there won’t be any more white folks around who actually remember them, and so therefore, we’ll be able to teach about them accurately and honestly, without hurting your precious feelings, or those of the so-called “greatest generation” — a bunch whose white contingent was top-heavy with ethical miscreants who helped save the world from fascism only to return home and oppose the ending of it here, by doing nothing to lift a finger on behalf of the civil rights struggle."

Read article here.

Where to now?

It will be interesting to see if the republicans now cut Medicare and the military machine, both are the largest expenditures, and places where their words would mean something. SS is solvent for a long time. Reduced taxes did nothing good under Reagan or Bush Jr. Medicare change would cost the republicans the 2012 election, so what will really change? The military war machine plays on fear and it also benefits all their benefactors so ultimately it will be education, children and the infrastructure that suffer - same as always. Nothing changes sometimes.

"Capitalism leads to dole queues, the scramble for markets, and war. Collectivism leads to concentration camps, leader-worship and war. There is no way out of this unless a planned economy can be somehow combined with freedom of the intellect, which can only happen if the concept of right and wrong can be restored." George Orwell

Republican accomplishments since Reagan

Voodoo economics
Invaded Granada
Invaded Panama
Lowered taxes for wealthy, raised taxes, raised taxes, raised taxes
Removed worker rights legislation, fired workers
Made government the bad guy
Banking deregulation
Bailed out S&L after real estate bubble burst
Brought down Russia by giving speeches and spending money
Spent gazillions on star wars which failed first second and last time tested.
Presented great ad campaign Contract for America, nothing changed
Gave speeches and spent money, Axis of evil, didn't work this time
Failed to read, understand, or act on information about some guy and an attack
Created Homeland security and read your email
Stacked the SCOTUS with fascists who think corporations are really people
Kept Americans safe after Beirut and after 911
Watched the destruction of New Orleans
Gave medals to complete failures
Figured since they couldn't get Bin Laden they'd get Saddam
Showed 8 by 10 glossies of wmds in Iraq at UN
Invaded Iraq
Uncovered wea…

'Supreme Court Inc.'

Would it be fair today to consider our SCOTUS a part of corporate America and not a part of all America?

"The headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, located across from Lafayette Park in Washington, is a limestone structure that looks almost as majestic as the Supreme Court. The similarity is no coincidence: both buildings were designed by the same architect, Cass Gilbert. Lately, however, the affinities between the court and the chamber, a lavishly financed business-advocacy organization, seem to be more than just architectural. The Supreme Court term that ended last June was, by all measures, exceptionally good for American business. The chamber’s litigation center filed briefs in 15 cases and its side won in 13 of them — the highest percentage of victories in the center’s 30-year history. The current term, which ends this summer, has also been shaping up nicely for business interests." Read article here.

"The 20th century has been characterized by three deve…

Elect Republicans, your nation needs them....

You say you want a revolution....

A fair view of America today presents a picture of great diversity. Many diverse groups occupy this mixed salad of a nation. This would be a good thing if all the groups shared in the pie, but tragically a large portion of America live near or just above poverty. And many Americans in the middle class fear a loss of work, spiraling healthcare costs, or even forced retirement could place them among the underprivileged.

So the moral and societal question would seem, why is this so in a nation of such wealth? Could it be left to their own self interest or personal schemes there can be no such thing as justice or fairness in an unregulated capitalist society. Alternatives political structures offer few solutions as they all include the same element, humans. John Kenneth Galbraith wrote, "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite." So where to next?

When you read the following quotation, try to guess the …

The Glenn Beck Method of Historical Analysis

The simple and recommended way to view life and politics in America.

Note: While Glenn Beck is named in the title, this method applies to many political, historical writers, and opinion makers. In today's partisan culture some can do no good and others no wrong. Balanced critical thought has vanished from the American landscape.

If you have ever read a book by a socialist, communist, or Marxist you are a socialist, communist, or Marxist.

If you have ever criticized business for exploiting labor you are a socialist, communist, or Marxist.

If you have ever thought democracy should serve all the people, you are a socialist, communist, or Marxist.

If you have ever thought helping people is part of the government's function, you are a socialist, communist, or Marxist.

If you have ever thought 'Welfare' could have a positive impact in America, you are a socialist, communist, or Marxist.

If you have ever had your picture taken with a person who believes society operates for…

'Tea Party Anarchists?'

"Anti-government rhetoric is once again all the rage (pun intended) in the United States. Neoconservatives, indomitable Reaganites, and the Mad Tea Party all inveigh against the federal government—its taxes, its programs, its bureaucracy, its regulations. Unlike the political Left, they are not worried about domestic and international injustice, exorbitant military spending (the one portion of the national budget they would not reduce), or the diminution of civil liberties. Nonetheless, given that anti-government rhetoric, it’s worth considering whether the Mad Tea Party and the libertarian Right have anything in common with anarchism itself."

Caroline Hamilton, an Americanist, teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Her most recently scholarly article was published by The Journal of American Studies in the Spring of 2010. She is writing a book about Alexander Hamilton.

Read article here.

'The Good Society'

Even when you disagree with him, John Kenneth Galbraith is worth a read. This book while short touches on key aspects of a just society, a society Americans experienced after the Great depression till recent times. What happened that America became so divided and so separated by wealth and privilege? The ideas contained in this short book point to what American values were not too long ago.

"In this slim volume, eminent economist Galbraith tackles the question of what, exactly, is a "good society." Most Americans would agree with the components of Galbraith's "good society": economic growth; universal access to education; and protection for the young, old, disabled, and the environment. He parts company with the pundits in his disbelief that the "good society" can be obtained through adherence to a particular ideology, arguing instead that rigid philosophies must be abandoned and each issue considered in all its complexity. With his usual eleganc…

'The United States of Inequality'

Excellent piece that covers many parts of the economic and job puzzle.

"In 1915, a statistician at the University of Wisconsin named Willford I. King published The Wealth and Income of the People of the United States, the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. The United States was displacing Great Britain as the world's wealthiest nation, but detailed information about its economy was not yet readily available; the federal government wouldn't start collecting such data in any systematic way until the 1930s. One of King's purposes was to reassure the public that all Americans were sharing in the country's newfound wealth.

King was somewhat troubled to find that the richest 1 percent possessed about 15 percent of the nation's income. (A more authoritative subsequent calculation puts the figure slightly higher, at about 18 percent.)"

"...Today, the richest 1 percent account for 24 percent of the nation's income. What caused this to happen? …

Republicans deserve another chance!

After all, if you fail and fail and fail, isn't it just like Americans to give you another chance. Think of the Chicago Cubs or the Boston Red Sox. It could be there is just a curse on the republicans since Coolidge and Hoover, and this time they may just do well. Americans have short memories. Remember Newt Gingrich, he tried didn't he? Oh, I don't mean marriage. And the real estate bubble, S&L Scandal and bailout under Reagan/Bush, just small potatoes compared to George W. Bush. And let's not mention the Great Depression. Who needs safe food, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Healthcare, child labor laws, secure banks, safe investments, folks, have faith, this time they may actually do OK. Why consider track records when you have their rhetoric?

- Our first republican commentator:

"The magnitude of the fiscal wreckage and the severity of the economic dangers that resulted are too great to permit such an easy verdict. In the larger scheme of democratic f…

Labor Day and the American Worker

Thumbs up for all who bought and buy American made. Read and pass on.

Ideas can be powerful things, and when used for the good can result in good.

Ideas have power and if the idea that buying American, buying in stores that pay fairly is a good thing, and looking at where things are made becomes a way of thinking, then we have accomplished a big thing. There is no need for tariffs and other regulatory complications, all that is necessary is that America makes products that are reasonably priced, and Americans buy them even when the cost is slightly higher than the import. That seems simple, but isn't simple when the very workers who create many of these goods, in Unions particularly, are seen in a negative light.

Instead of whining about America as the Tea party does, why not push the idea that buying and supporting one of the foundations of our current lifestyle, Unions and 'made in America,' is still needed today, get out there and spread around ideas that praise the Ame…

Rich And Poor Jobs And Wages

"There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand.  Resolve, then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tiny blasts of tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us."  Pogo

According to a recent Harper's Index 10,149 US companies are now foreign owned. The average net worth of a white woman between 36 and 49 is 42,600 dollars. For a non-white woman it is five dollars. The CEO of Nike, Philip Knight is the sixth richest man in America. He is worth five billion dollars. "By 1992, Nike had eliminated nearly all of their U.S. work force in favor of low-wage Asian producers."

'As of 2004, the richest one percent of Americans possessed sixty percent of all wealth in the country, while the bottom forty percent accounted for a whopping two-tenths of a percent.' 791 American companies listed in URL below outsource their work …

'Would the Tea Party Exist....'

"Actually, there is no alienation that a little power will not cure." Eric Hoffer

Would the tea party exist if McCain had won?  No, it would not. Even a leading tea party organizer admitted that aspect of the organization on Chris Matthews. So why? If you ask a tea party sympathizer they would tell you because McCain would be different. Of course he would be different, he would be a republican. Is that the only difference. The tea partier would of course say no.

So we know there would be no tea party if the republicans had won. That much is clear. If the tea party were a legitimate grass roots organization concerned with government and debt they would have attacked George W. Bush. They did not. So then next question, how is Obama different from Bush Jr? Well, he is not different in any fundamental way. Obama's policies so far differ nada with Bush Jr. OK then, why and whither the tea party?

Some would argue there are big differences between Obama and Bush, but a comparis…

'This Is Not a Recovery'

Interesting article by Paul Krugman.

"The administration has less freedom of action, since it can’t get legislation past the Republican blockade. But it still has options. It can revamp its deeply unsuccessful attempt to aid troubled homeowners. It can use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored lenders, to engineer mortgage refinancing that puts money in the hands of American families — yes, Republicans will howl, but they’re doing that anyway. It can finally get serious about confronting China over its currency manipulation: how many times do the Chinese have to promise to change their policies, then renege, before the administration decides that it’s time to act?"

Read Article Here. 

Requirements for whining about the Obama administration

Requirements for posting, whining and otherwise engaging in criticism of the Obama administration

In order to gain a perspective on why someone could or would have the moral and political wherewithal to criticize the Obama Administration after just a year and a half of governance, it is essential that their ideas and values concerning the past eight years be consistent. To be consistent one must have engaged in the following:

You criticized and condemned the Bush administration for its lack of action on immigration.
You criticized the Bush administration for its neglect of the intelligence concerning 911.
You wrote your representatives to protest the unnecessary invasion of Iraq.
You protested the loss of American life in the unnecessary invasion of Iraq.
You protested the trillions of dollars spent on wars that were either unnecessary or unwinnable.
You protested the Bush's administration inability to focus on the task in Afghanistan.
You condemned and protested the Bush administ…