Two depressing videos

The first I found at NakedCapitalism.  It’s a post election summary on Real News Network about what is going to happen in the next four years.  That we’re going in the direction of favelas is no surprise to me.  But what most interested me was the bit in the last 10 minutes or so about what might happen in the vast sea of red in the middle of the country (and parts of Pennsylvania).  We are talking about nationalism.  I think the little diatribe that Rush Limbaugh went on today, as described by Matt Taibbi, suggests the germ of that is already out there.  There’s a bitter resentment about how Latinos, women, the LBGT community and african americans have exerted their “special privileges”.  As the economy falls deeper into recession due to ill-conceived austerity measures, we might see what seems like the sudden emergence of a true brown shirt movement.  Liberals will be the ones who stabbed the good citizens in the back when they elected Obama (not me!  I voted for Anderson and I have the iphone pic to prove it).  Anyway, just watch it.  It makes me think that the right wing conservative who watched Schindler’s List can not make the connection because liberal Democrats are not Jews.

The other video features Dave Swanson who argues that it is time for the left to start an movement/voting bloc independent of the Democratic party.

Wow! That’s original.  That would be like the idea that I had that we form a federation of liberal and allied groups to organize our efforts, lobby for our causes, vote as a powerful bloc and vet our own slate of candidates.

The difference is that when Dave Swanson says it, no one accuses him of being a racist and irrational Obama hater.  Now, it is chic to be critical of Obama.  It’s a fricking pain in the ass to be four years too early.

Either that or it’s the penis years effect.

Now, I’ve always been the type to say that we need to stop acting like our particular issue is THE most IMPORTANT thing EVER.  And I hate wordsmithing.  But I have noticed that women opinion makers on the left have an extremely hard time getting any kind of recognition or invitation to express their opinions- to anyone.  So, if Dave Swanson or Matt Stoller or anyone else is considering reinventing the wheel that we suggested a couple of years ago, it is my opinion that there MUST be a gender quota in the leadership and public relations department.  I’m even setting the bar pretty low at no less than 34% representation of women in leadership positions and as mouthpieces on TV and internet.  It’s the bare minimum.  To really be secure about our rights, we need to have a representative on the finance committee  Do you think I’m stupid??  The Board of Ed is not that much different than any other political institution.  It’s just on a smaller scale.  And we all know that Finance is where the action is.  Initiatives need funding and women’s initiatives need to be taken seriously.  So, no less than 34% representation on Finance.

If the left is getting the band back together, it’s time for the guys to stop bogarting the microphone.

Bribing North Korea

It looks like Karl Rove and his Crossroads GPS group are in a heap of trouble.  Very wealthy people gave mucho dinero to Karl and all they have to show for it is pretty much the same thing they had before the election.

But these guys didn’t get to the top by playing pattycake.  There’s a reason why many industries committed genocide against their employees.  They don’t want to be tied down.  They want to be “weightless”.  All the pension, social security and health benefits costs were keeping their hard earned money out of their own pockets.  So, they went on purges and listened to consultants from McKinsey and Boston who made them believe that they could get much of what they wanted by stressing the superstars to the breaking point and outsourcing everything else.  And what they couldn’t produce themselves, they could license in from the desperate startups.  Right?  You know I am.

Of course, that won’t really work out for many reasons that are unfamiliar to them.  If you’re a scientist, you’re better off developing your hobby for photography or serving tables in a restaurant than in an insecure startup or the crazy world of the corporate lab where all your hard work could get you laid off at any moment.  Or relocated to an expensive area of the country.  And then laid off again. As a lifestyle, it sucks.  But at some point, they’re going to have to hire some of us back.  Maybe there will be some nasty superbug that will need an antibiotic that no one has been working on or maybe the “Christians” will need medication to help them adjust to reality.  Social Security is still out there weighing the wealthy down.  They find it profoundly irritating.

Anyway, regardless of the sturm und drang on the Republican side and the fact that they are just now getting around to asking whether they made the “Christians” too hard assed, self-righteous, condescending, rigid, judgmental, mean-spirited, sex-crazed, irrational, willfully ignorant and just plain unbearable to be around, they aren’t going to give up trying to gut social security while they still have a lame duck session.  And when they have so many legislators retiring or leaving involuntarily, the billionaires still have a few tricks up their sleeves.  For instance, if those newly liberated reps and senators don’t do this one last favor for them, they’ll never work again.  How’s that?  You think you have a posh office at some K Street lobbying firm waiting for you when you get out or a nice Board of Directors appointment or financial industry position?  Think again. They can make all of that go away and leave you with nothing but a rented U-Haul for you to cart your papers back to Indiana.

Maybe there’s an opportunity here for the rest of us.  This situation reminds me of North Korea in the Clinton years, always threatening to go nuclear if they didn’t get what they wanted.  The answer to ratcheting down the threat was to pay them off.  We fed them during a famine, if I recall correctly and sent them oil.  If it kept North Korea from behaving badly, it was a small price to pay.

So, maybe we can offer to pay these retiring and defeated legislators to go away and do it without hurting anyone.  And anyway, if they gut social security to save their cushy jobs, they might have a fat bank account but they may never be safe again from the raging grannies and people from New Jersey who will break their knees (metaphorically).  It would be an ignominious demise, heaped with utter shame and disgrace.  They might have to leave the country.  But if they’re willing to take the money from the rich and powerful to cast a final vote in favor of the people who already have too much money at the expense of the ones who will soon have none, then shame might not be a problem for them.  You might as well take money from the middle and the left.  Our money is good.

So, name your number.  How much will we need to collect to make you go away without touching Social Security or changing Medicare?  We can all chip in and put the money in an escrow account called the “Retired Legislators and Mashie Niblick Lifestyle Readjustment Fund” or something like that.  We promise not to invest in mortgage backed securities with it.  Then, after you leave office and your successor is sworn in, we will dispense the funds to you.  Consider it our parting gift, a nice little nest egg for you to start the next phase of your life.  (Sorry, no Obama Phone.  We’re talking about serious payoffs here.)

No, don’t thank us.  WE will thank YOU.

Whaddya say?  Get back to us ASAP because I think there are some people in New Jersey who are doing practice swings with their lead pipes.

{{KIDDING!! Just kidding!}}

So, here’s a poll for all of you who want to retire someday on the money that you pre-paid for decades:

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