• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    riverdaughter on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Propertius on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Monster from the Id on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Sweet Sue on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    katiebird on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Mr Mike on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Mr Mike on The Politics of Personality…
    Sweet Sue on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    godtisx on The Narcissism Epidemic
    Propertius on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    abc on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    bellecat on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    Kali on The Employment Index: Wish me…
    gwoman on The Politics of Personality…
    redscott on The Employment Index: Wish me…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama big pharma Bill Clinton Chris Christie cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos debate Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean Joe Biden John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Keith Olbermann Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare occupy wall street OccupyWallStreet Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    September 2014
    S M T W T F S
    « Aug    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    282930  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • Another fake terror threat
      Ah yes, I remember when the Obamabots kept explaining to me how much we needed the constitutional law professor in the White House, so fake wars would never happen again! Funny, how few of them admit they were wrong. Glenn Greenwald: Even more remarkable, it turns out the very existence of an actual “Khorasan Group” […]
  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Looks like Scottish Independence is a “No”
      The calls are coming in. Assuming they are correct, I think this vote is a mistake, and I note that having been given a clean vote to leave and a chance to live their own values, but having given in to fear; for me, at least, Scottish complaints about privatization of the NHS and other [...]
  • Top Posts

Conflict unavoidable

“Rash and inexperienced traveller, we will now seriously devote ourselves to a little high tension”

The New York Times has an article today about the unavoidable conflict between Clinton and Obama.  They’re both on Martha’s Vineyard this week. For all I know, it’s manufactured by the flying monkeys in the media who seem to be salivating for a Krystle vs Alexis fight in The Pond.  But there are some encouraging utterances from the Clinton camp:

Mr. Obama is fast becoming the past, not the future, for donors, activists and Democratic strategists. Party leaders are increasingly turning toward Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as Democrats face difficult races this fall in states where the president is especially unpopular, and her aides are making plain that she has no intention of running for “Obama’s third term.”

Thank goodness for that.  I don’t think I can take another four years of careless conservatism spouting from the mouths of clueless young Ivy League males.  We have been waiting for six long years to hear what Clinton really thinks about Obama.  Yeah, it was great that she was able to swallow her pride and anger and play nice for the sake of “unity” but enough’s enough.  Even if she doesn’t run, I am looking forward to her informed critique.

I especially like the bit where Clinton says “ ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,”

Amen to that.

I am desperate to hear someone talk about their organizing principles.  No, I am not kidding.  That “put everything on the table and we’ll negotiate” crap has been an utter disaster.  And like Katiebird, I’d like the conversation to move away from foreign policy to economics.

On the other hand, this is probably not the best way to raise a lot of money from political donors who want to retain their iron grip on all the money in the universe.  Let’s hope Clinton can convince some of them that it’s in their best interests.

The Party, on the other hand, seems to think this is still 2008 before the crash:

Christine Pelosi, a longtime Democratic activist and daughter of the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, said her phone and email “just exploded” after Mrs. Clinton’s remarks.

“Now is not the time to second guess the commander in chief, particularly when you’re a former member of his cabinet and national security team,” Ms. Pelosi said.

Oooo, really?  And when would the best time be, Christine?  I mean, he’s already opened up the tax payer safe to the finance industry, took a backseat to the foreclosure crisis and long term unemployment, presided over the dismantling of our research and development sector, and locked us into a two tier class system when it comes to health insurance.  When is any Democrat allowed to criticize him?  No one ever gave Bill Clinton that kind of deference.

Anyway, here’s to a little high tension.  It’s about fricking time.

Additional thoughts: We were the target of a troll attack yesterday.  It was wildly fun, by the way.  Katiebird and I are just warming up.  Bring it on.  But we did wonder what the heck triggered it.  It reminded both of us of the days in 2008 when the Obot trolls fired barrage after barrage from different IP addresses.  In fact, we both thought it was a good idea that we hadn’t gotten rid of those addresses in the banned list for the spam filter.  Now, we can go through the IPs at our leisure and figure out if there’s a common thread.

But it does make us wonder, why bother?  Obama isn’t running for another term, we don’t have nearly the readership that we had in 2008 when we peaked at something like 56000 hits/per day.  And the left has not sought to deign us with the pleasure of their revenue stream by adding us to their blog rolls.  In fact, I’d say we were true blue all the way through the last six years but hardly worth the effort and attention.

And yet, in spite of our anonymity compared to 2008, we still seem relevant enough to send a bunch of psych-out shock troops.  We can’t dismiss the possibility of a Republican attack but yesterday’s seemed so familiar.  It left that whiff of O-zone behind it.

Go figure.

Flattery gets you nowhere

tdraicer brought this post by Andrew O’Hehir at Salon to my attention.  Poor Andrew is just so disillusioned that Obama turned out to perpetuate George Bush’s policies.  It’s especially painful because the primary reason O’Hehir and his buddies voted for Obama was his position on the Iraq War.  Actually, did we even know what Obama’s position on the war was?  I mean, he said he was agin’ it but we don’t have him on the record voting for anything.  And from my recollection, there were plenty of Democrats willing to overlook John Edwards Iraq War vote but not Hillary’s.  Hmmmm, curiouser and curiouser. Well, anyway, let’s just say that I don’t believe that the vote on the Iraq War was the only reason they spat upon Hillary and hitched their wagons to Obama’s star.

Putting aside the latent sexism lurking in the Democratic party, I suspect one of the most influential factors in the primary campaign of 2008 was the degree to which the Obama campaign was willing to fluff the egos of people like Andrew O’Hehir.  Remember how they were called the “creative class”?  They shopped at Whole Foods?  They drank PBR?  They were smarter, more attractive, funnier, moraler and just better people?  I used to call them the “swimsuit models with PhDs in architecture” while we were “the stupid, uneducated, menopausal, working class, sino-peruvian lesbians”.

Well, we might have been the losers but at least we knew the devil when we looked in his eyes.

Why is this man struggling??

Correct Dope Slap administration

Jesus Christ on a Cracker, Obama is angsting over whether to sign an executive order to make sure that the LBGT community is not discriminated against in federal contracts.  The religious leaders involved, RELIGIOUS leaders who you would expect to be above petty shit like this, are demanding to be excluded from working next to people who do “unnatural” things with each other in bed.  That would include almost everyone, gay or straight, married or un, over the age of consent.  Yes, Rick Warren, married heterosexual couples engage in sodomy of one kind or another.  You might even be one of them.

Obama might not be in this predicament if he hadn’t made use of the Office of Faith Based Initiatives to give taxpayer money to churches like Warren’s in exchange for favorable sermons to the parishioners before election day.  The rest of us were very skeptical when Obama made an alliance with evangelical leaders in 2008.  Remember how women were supposed to consult with their clergy before getting an abortion?  Remember how we all were concerned with the signals that Rick Warren’s inaugural presence would send to the LGBT community?

Ok, nevermind all that now.  We’re dealing with a crisis situation.  We can’t go back and dope slap Obama and his short- sighted campaign droogs, although I did mention back in 2008 that the scorched earth policy against women was going to come back to bite us.

Here’s the correct response to these so-called “Christians”, and I do use that term very loosely.  Sign the damn order for the following reasons:

1.) It’s the right thing to do.  Treating people like dirt and unequally to make people in your tribe feel superior is the signature hallmark of narcissists.  It’s just wrong morally and ethically.  It’s very strange for an agnostic panentheist non-Christian like myself to be pointing this out but, what can I say, the country is in the grip of some weird juju right now and the people who should be upholding the rights of others, I’m looking at you Rick Warren, have lost their fricking minds.

2.) It’s for their own good.  Slight digression: Alan Turing was a code breaker extraordinaire and computational genius.  He was also gay.  Without Turing, it would have been very difficult for England to triumph over the Nazi’s.  That guy should have been a national hero until he died.  Instead, Alan Turing’s life was destroyed by some very nasty anti-gay laws.  He was barred from serving his country and his security clearance was denied.  He committed suicide.  Congratulations, Britain.  If Obama doesn’t sign the order because the Rick Warren’s among us stamp their little feets and threaten to hold their breaths, he will be denying the rest of us the talents and gifts of American gays and lesbians. It’s just not a very smart, long term move.  But then, when have we ever seen Obama and his campaign guys look to the long term?  Amaze us for once.

3.) It’s none of their G-d damned business.  Seriously, these evangelical so-called “Christians” need to learn to respect other people’s boundaries.  Or at least be consistent.  If it’s sodomy they object to, they need to find out what their married employees are doing too.  If they don’t like to contemplate what other people are doing in bed, they need to demonstrate some self-control and STOP THINKING ABOUT IT.  Get a life.  I guarantee you that the liberal side of the spectrum does not drive itself crazy thinking about all of the permutations of what body part goes into what orifice.  We drive ourselves crazy thinking about the melting point of the earth and whether we have passed the point of no return.  We stay up nights worrying about more important things we can, you know, actually do something about.  Ending gay sex forever does not rank up there among our insomnia inducing scenarios.

4.) Ignore the evangelical so-called “Christians”.  Obama doesn’t have to run again.  And the people who are really freaked out by the fact that might have to work cheek by jowl with people whose cheeks and jowls might have been touching the cheeks and jowls of a same sex person the night before are never going to vote for you anyway.  In any case, they will never respect you if you give in to them.  That’s because they have been encouraged to become narcissistic and any ground you give will just encourage them to exceed their boundaries in other areas.  Today it’s gays, tomorrow they’ll threaten not to vote for you if you don’t eliminate evolution from the school curriculum everywhere. Trust me, they don’t know there is a line.  You need to make them see that there is one or the establishment clause will become meaningless.

Like you’ll listen to me.  You’re the one who gave us the ACA and how did that turn out?  I don’t mean, “how is the propaganda spinning the ACA?”.  I mean, how did the ACA actually turn out for the little people who have to deal with it.  (Don’t even get me started.  It’s a disaster.  Someday, the brain trusts are going to correlate the falling GDP with that piece of crap legislation.  Mark my words.)

But signing this executive order to protect gays and lesbians is a no-brainer.  It’s the right thing to do.

Therefore, I predict Obama will screw it up somehow.  He’ll qualify it just enough that he will plant the seeds for further evangelical so-called “Christian” mischief down the road.

 

You’re so cute when your angry

James Buchanan

Gail Collins has an editorial in the NYTimes this morning about how those of us who see the Obama years as a colossal failure are wrong.  Apparently, there was some poll commissioned that revealed that many people think Obama is the worst president since WWII.  I personally don’t think this is true.  No, I think he might rank right up there with Buchanan. So, that predates the Civil War.  And the reason I think this is because under Obama, the plutocrats have gained so much ground that we average working people will have to replay the entire twentieth century to gain it back.

I’m getting pretty tired of hearing from serious and semi-serious people (I’m looking at you Paul Krugman), that those of us who desperately wanted a true Democrat in 2008 are now closet Republicans and racists because we aren’t sufficiently supportive of Obama’s many subtle “achievements”.  I guess you just have to be a poor schlub to really

Warren Harding, he’s so dreamy

understand what has been lost.  It does not help their cause when they tell us we have no right to be angry at the positively shitty job Obama has done since he was elected.  He’s made stupid excuses for his fecklessness ever since he took office and his chorus line has been saying “It’s not his fauuuuult.  He inherited all this crap from the Bushies!” since before the inauguration.  If he didn’t think he could handle the job, he shouldn’t have run.  He should have stepped aside for more qualified candidates.

The NYTimes also has a short article on internal and instrumental motivations.  It turns out that internal motivations, like liking what you are doing, having an interest in it and striving to be the best, are more important to success than instrumental motivations like fame, fortune and promotions.  In Obama, we see a perfect example of internal versus instrumental motivations.  He may have gotten the fame and renown, but as a president interested in using politics to govern well and carry out his vision, he sucks.

Please stop trying to tell us he’s not that bad.  He is.  The fact that we are even debating whether his legacy is in the same league as Warren Harding is telling and if the ACA gets cemented in place, there will be many future generations who will curse his name for hooking them up like cash cows to the insurance industry.

Thank god it will all be over by 2016 and we can look at the smoking ruins and start to rebuild.

Well, of course he’s going to meet with the suits

I’ve read posts by Charles Pierce, Digby and Atrios lamenting how Obama has decided to hold a “leadership” meeting with the big bank ceos who got us into this mess to discuss the details of the Grand Bargain.

It sounds a lot like crocodile tears.

Look, you guys KNEW when you were cheering for him (or cheering against Mitt Romney) last year that he kisses the bankers’ collective asses.

What I can’t understand is how it is that such a bunch of smart people could only see two possible options last year.  You didn’t even try to challenge Obama and put the fear of God into him.  So, stop your “shock!” and righteous indignation or pointless navel gazing about why the “culture of smartness” does what it does and cuts ordinary people out of directing their own fates. You’re either useful idiots doing the party’s work or you’re not nearly as smart as you think you are.

There are always multiple solutions to the problem.  You need to think outside the box, possibly take the long view and stop being such whiny ass titty baby cowards about what is happening to your formerly safe spot in the Democratic party.

They moved your fucking cheese.  Get on with it.

O-care

Paul Krugman’s latest column is about the mess of our national health care system.  He makes a good point about how social insurance programs make us freer people, allowing us to change jobs and start new enterprises without the fear of economic catastrophe.  But I’m not sure the so-called “jahb creators” care about economic catastrophes that happen to ordinary people.  To them, the only thing that counts is success.

I’ve got to admire Paul’s sunny optimism about Obamacare but, frankly, I think it’s a pretty fricking bad piece of legislation that didn’t rein in health care costs, locked us into a decidedly UN-free marketplace  with zero competition, and was only achieved by throwing women’s right to an abortion under a bus.  So, you know, there’s that.  I don’t particularly like Obama’s method of getting universal healthcare.

It beats me why he didn’t take his own state of Hawaii as a model for healthcare where employers can choose from several tiers of coverage for their employees, from basic coverage to more swank.  Oh, wait, that sounds more like what Hillary proposed during the 90s.  You know, the system that everyone whined was too complicated?

At this point, I would take even a basic plan.  My COBRA coverage runs out at the end of this month. I can’t complain about my insurance provider, except for the outrageous premium, even with group rates.  The coverage was superb. That’s what my French company negotiated for us. But getting insurance on the open market is fairly terrifying.  I will be looking into CHIP programs for the kid.  It’s going to be an adventure.  Spending hours and days trying to justify my need after the decades I spent as a hard-working taxpayer is not how I want to spend my time.

But you already knew that

crocusesMy new house, and some other stuff, has been consuming all of my attention lately.  You really feel the price of gas when you have to make long and/or repetitive trips.  The good news is that work is getting done on the new house.  I was there last Saturday, the birds were a-chirpin’ and the crocuses were a-bloomin’ and from my front porch, I can see for miles and miles almost down to the Allegheny River.

Anyway.

I followed some links from this post at Corrente to a James K. Galbraith piece at a German site that spells it out for the terminally slow (or in this case, the Europeans) out there in case they didn’t pick up on it during the 2008 election.  Galbraith boils down my five years of panic and alarm ringing succinctly:

Obama is no progressive


The debt deal will make things clear. The President is not a progressive – he is not what Americans still call a “liberal.” He is a willful player in an epic drama of faux-politics, an operative for the money power, whose job is to neutralize the left with fear and distraction and then to pivot rightward and deliver a conservative result.

What Barack Obama got from the debt deal was exactly what his sponsors have wanted: a long-term lock-in of domestic spending cuts, and a path toward severe cuts in the core New Deal and Great Society insurance programs – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And, of course, no tax increases at all.

To see the arc of political strategy, recall that from the beginning Obama handed economic policy to retainers recruited from the stables of Robert Rubin. From the beginning, he touted “fiscal responsibility” and played up the (economically non-existent) “problem” of the budget deficit. From the beginning his team sabotaged economic recovery with optimistic forecasts and inadequate programs – in the clear interest of protecting the banking system from reform.

[...]

For European observers, one key to understanding how such things can happen in America is to remember that our presidencies are short. The professors who joined Obama for his opening act have already gone home. The advisers who remain face dreary futures in think-tanks funded by the likes of Michael Milken, our premier financial ex-felon.

Maybe, if they are especially loyal to their true masters, then like the former budget director Peter Orszag they can go to work for a bank. This surely accounts in part for their present actions.

And the President too is a young man. Unlike say Lyndon B. Johnson or Jimmy Carter, when his term ends he won’t be able simply to go home. He’ll need a big house in a gated suburb, with high walls and rich friends. And a good income, too, from book deals and lecture fees. He may be thinking about that now.

The good news is: it won’t save him. For if and when he ventures out, for the rest of his life, the eyes of all those, whose hopes he once raised will follow him. The old, the poor, the jobless, the homeless: their eyes will follow him wherever he goes.

I think that last sentence is true.  Barack Obama will go down in history as the worst president we’ve ever had, a true Sheriff of Nottingham.  Not only that but I fear he has set back the progress that African Americans have made in the past 50 years.  How ironic is that?  He’s certainly done a number on women.  But don’t fret too much for him.  I’m sure his post-presidency money will make up for that.

In the comments of that Corrente post, I found a link to this CounterPunch article that shows how the faux progressive movement works.  Once again, the author has the benefit of five years to finally put the pieces together.  Some minds work faster than others, but because we documented it in real time, people didn’t take us seriously.  Either that or the progressive meme that we were racists scared decent people away- just as it was intended to do.  From the article, The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats, we get this nugget from Patrick Barrett at the University of Wisconsin:

“What gets lost in all this faux movement politics,” said Barrett,  “is any real challenge to the growing imbalance of social, political and economic power. Quite the contrary, the ultimate impact of their actions is to reproduce if not  aggravate that imbalance. What we’ve got here is a deeply symbiotic relationship between a pseudo-movement that derives its raison d’etre and financial vitality from a vilification of the right, which it has helped to create and without which it would have no reason for existence. Indeed, the more extreme the right becomes, the better it is for them, since they live off of fear-mongering. To oppose the right in a meaningful sense would put them out of business. That isn’t to say that there is nothing to be feared in the right or that some of these folks don’t think they’re fighting the good fight, but rather that the two work in tandem, much like a good-cop-bad-cop team. As the right becomes ever more extreme, this Democratic Party cum non-profit industrial complex moves further and further to the right itself, thereby giving the Republicans and their ilk ever greater leash and making it easier to frighten the “progressive” masses.”

Barrett concluded, “Lest anyone think that this is some kind of conspiracy theory, it’s important to emphasize that this is primarily a function of social and economic structures and political institutions that create a market for these sorts of pseudo-movement leaders, who will flourish if the conditions are right. That’s why we need to focus our attention on altering those conditions, something these people have little or no interest in doing.”

If anyone has spent the last five years wondering what happened to DailyKos, Josh Marshall and Digby, there’s your answer right there.  And if you’re wondering what happened to all the liberals in the Democratic party, well, we’re still in exile.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 460 other followers