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Another anti-propaganda post from NotYourSweetie

A Public Service Announcement from the 1%

I was going to break down why the Buffet idea about focusing all of our attention on reducing Congressional pensions and salaries is about the stupidest thing I have ever heard when NotYourSweetie, who wasn’t born here, put up a post about the use of propaganda in her home country.  She’s seen this stuff before:

In the old country, they were not skilled at propaganda. They never tried to disguise it as entertainment, or news or sports. It was just that: propaganda 24/7, pretty much displacing entertainment, news or sports. Everyone knew what it was, but was helpless to do anything about it.

The first time I knew I had to get out of there because it was messing with my brain was a time they decided to reduce pensions. Not stop COLA, but reduce them. I was young and couldn’t care less about that. But then I started seeing old people on TV cheering and explaining to me why this was a good thing. My threshold for absurd just exploded.

Once I came to the US, It took me a while to find the nicely packaged propaganda (about one months I would think). I comfortably kept it at a distance, along with advertising with my  superpower my voyage bestowed on me (kinda like Superman could fly because on his planet….)

But very soon, I’ll fly into the same threshold of absurdity, ironically on the very same topic: old people will tell everybody why it’s good they’ll be put on an ice floe.

I’m betting that she’s as disgusted as I am that Americans are proving to be so unforgivably gullible and stupid.

Turn off your TVs and radios.  The only reason propaganda is used is to make people agree to do something their common sense and wisdom otherwise tell them is brain dead stupid, like getting into a land war in Asia or voting for a less than one full term senator who came out of nowhere with bucket loads of cash.  We know that it is propaganda because even the media is referring to it that way.  It’s got to be bad.

And stop listening to rich people who want you to think that pensions are something you pay for instead of deferred compensation.

One other thing: for years, those of us in the Pharmaceutical industry were subjected to a fear campaign about the “patent cliff”.  That was when the major blockbuster drugs were scheduled to go off patent.  It was going to mean catastrophic losses for the companies.  You would think that Big Pharma would have spent the decade before strengthening their research divisions, working with Congress to modernize the FDA, disentangling itself from the financial industry yoke that punished them every quarter for not meeting expectations or doing a whole host of other things that would have protected themselves.  But no.  What it did instead was engage in frenzy of mergers and acquisitions and merciless slashing of the research divisions in order to please the shareholders.  Now, these companies are hollowed out.  EVERYTHING is outsourced and hundreds of thousands of careers are ruined.  The scientists were asked to sacrifice everything they worked so hard for in order that not one shareholder had to take a loss for executives making a decade’s worth of incredibly bad decisions with known consequences.

This “fiscal cliff” is no different.  There will be a merciless slashing of anything that will lead to greater productivity and prosperity just so a tiny handful of exceedingly rich people don’t have to pay taxes or be accountable to anyone.  They want to be free of any political or national obligation.  It will be done for the shareholders, in this case, the 1% who gave money to Obama and Congress members.

That’s what is going to happen if the propaganda succeeds.

Pass it around.

************************************************************

Now would be a good time for Stephen Colbert to put his PAC to use with anti-propaganda material.  I mean, if he’s not running for president anyway.

Topics off limits at TC for 2012, topic 1: Hillary 2016

Why wait?

I’ve brought this up before but those of you who keep hoping for Hillary in 2016 and are clinging to any assurance from the party leadership and media that she will run, do not yet understand just how powerful you are.  Otherwise the party leadership and media wouldn’t keep floating this nonsense.  In fact, it is precisely because you former Clintonistas are so powerful that the idea keeps surfacing the minute the economic news turns sour.

But I don’t want to talk about it here.  Nope.  As far as I’m concerned, the Hillary 2016 meme is a Democratic party talking point and you should know by now that I don’t repeat party talking points here, no matter which party.  The Confluence is not a platform for spreading party propaganda or memes or psychological manipulation.  In the case of Hillary 2016 or it’s partner, Hillary as VP, this is exactly what I’m talking about.  Let me explain how this works:

1.) This is 2012.  What happens in 2012 is important.  The election of 2012 will determine what will happen in the next 4 years.  The “presumptive” nominees in this race are Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  Please note the use of the word “presumptive”.  They are not formal nominees and their names are not yet on the ballot in November.  Let’s dispense with the idea that the party primaries mean anything to the Democratic party.  That myth was exposed in 2008.  They’ll nominate whoever brings in the most money and/or who they think can win.  Obama was a historic candidate in 2008.  They could very easily replace him with another historic candidate at the convention. We already know that the party and the Obama White House floated the idea of replacing Jon Corzine with Richard Codey after Corzine won his party’s nomination in NJ in 2009 so, let’s not pretend that there is an obstacle to replacing candidates.

2.) There is a lot of discontent in the Democratic party.  The former Clintonistas have a very good reason for being mad as hell and unwilling to take it anymore.  Obama was forced down our gullets against our strenuous and legitimate objections.  Whenever there are headlines in the news about how the unemployment rate stays stubbornly pegged at 8.3% or that the economy is about to take another downturn, the party starts to worry.  It can throw all kinds of crap at Romney but none of it will stick if pressure on the middle class continues unabated.  If Obama can’t be shown to have effected positive improvement by November, the Republicans will be more motivated to go to the polls to oust him than the Democrats and their independent supporters will to be to make sure he stays.

3.) So, whenever the headlines are bad for Obama, the Hillary 2016 meme gets floated.  I saw it make an appearance recently, along with Ed Klein calling Hillary fat.   Here’s what this former editor of the NYTimes said about Hillary.  Um, he calls her fat and tired looking:

At this very moment that we’re speaking right now, Brian, [they] are already thinking seriously about running in 2016. She’ll be 69 years old. And as you know — and I don’t want to sound anti-feminist here — but she’s not looking good these days. She’s looking overweight and she’s looking very tired. [...]

I think she’s going to take some time off, get back into shape. And if her health holds out — that’s a big if, of course — if her health holds out, there’s no question in my mind she and Bill — two for the price of one — will run in 2016.

Yeah, that’ll work.  Like half of the population will be delighted by some political jerk calling the most admired woman in America fat.  By the way, why is this former NYTimes editor so dead set against a Hillary Clinton presidency? He has to be because I can’t imagine him thinking she’s svelte and youthful in 2016, can you?  Whatever.  The reason it gets floated is because the party wants you to postpone your demand for Hillary until 2016 and make you accept the presumptive nominee for 2012, Barack Obama.

Here’s why you are powerful:

The party has to keep doing this because they think you will defect.  Don’t be surprised if the Hillary VP thing comes up between now and the convention too.  But that’s not going to happen either.  Hillary is not a stupid woman.  If you put her in as VP you relegate her to political oblivion and she knows it.  She will be powerless.  And you can bet that the minute that such a thing happened, the Republicans would be all over it, pointing out that the Democrats took their strongest politician and made her a nobody just to get the Clintonistas onboard.  They’d make a field day of the fact that nothing will change policy wise.  Obama and his banker loving dudes will still be in charge.  They will laugh and say how we’ve been had. Not only that but they will have buried the most powerful feminist in America.  How will that make you feel?  It will suck in a monumental way.  In fact, it will underline the fact that the Democratic party thinks that it’s best woman politician is only good as a second fiddle to a man.  Would you really vote for that hoping that Obama met with some crisis that would force him to spend more time with his family?  No, of course you wouldn’t.  Hillary VP is not going to happen.

But if you accept the Hillary 2016 meme, you allow the Democratic party to treat you like children.  When Pelosi or Hoyer or someone else says wait until 2016, that’s the equivalent of mommy saying, “we’ll see”.  You know how it goes, you want something so badly and you keep asking for it because you know it will change your life and the parental unit keeps putting you off with “We’ll see”?  You know damn well they’re just stalling, hoping you’ll forget all about it.

And the reason they have confidence that Hillary will never run in 2016 is because she won’t be a viable candidate in 2016.  Forget her age.  Ronald Reagan was 69 when he ran for president.  If people really want her in 2016, her age wouldn’t be a problem.  The problem is that by that time, there will be other candidates who might be more viable and in the public eye, like Kirsten Gillibrand or Elizabeth Warren.  But this version of the Democratic party will never let them run.  This version of the party is definitely not into representing the people.  It’s into the moneyed class.  So, by 2016, the destruction that Obama has wrecked on the party and the way he will have fundamentally changed it, will be too far gone to turn around with a Hillary Clinton.

Not only that, the Clinton legacy will be 16 years behind us.  That’s 5 presidential elections.  Now, I am not a political scientists but I’m going to bet that there is some kind of metric that indicates the dissipation of the effect of a presidential term over time and 5 election cycles seems like a pretty long time to me.  Someone with better poli sci creds should jump in here.  In other words, you will be so consumed with the present that the legacy of a president 16 years ago is going to look unfamiliar to you, or to a lot of newer, younger voters.  I’m willing to bet that the metric, if it exists, will need to be updated to account for the effect of technology.  Since Bill Clinton took office, the internet has had an astounding effect on the culture at large and has sped up the way we operate.  Our culture is undergoing a period of rapid change even though we don’t realize the full effects yet.  Our generation will be the most influenced and influential of any since the invention of writing.  And in this period of rapid change, all bets are off but you can be sure that the political landscape will look completely different 4 years from now.

The question is, will we evolve in a positive or negative direction?  Towards more or less authoritarianism?  Perhaps the recent push towards more authoritarianism is a consequence of this rapid change.  From where I sit, it looks like the authoritarians have taken advantage of the recent chaos causing technological effects by putting in their candidate to make sure they will be in charge from this point forward.  This is what you are voting for when you vote for either Obama or Romney.  The authoritarians have the most to lose if any other candidate gets to be too popular, especially one that is not beholden to them.  So, it is to their advantage to make sure that Hillary 2016 is floated out there for the Clintonistas to cling to so that they will abandon that hope in 2012.

As Rocky Anderson said in his video, this election is about morality.  If you were paying attention to the Occupy movement, ie actually going down to their sites and talking to them or marching with them, you would have known this.  Who does this country belong to?  Who has a say in how it is run and how we spend our money?  Who is accountable to whom?  What do we value?  Where is our moral compass pointing?  Do the richest and most powerful get the final say or do the hard working people who live here?  Where is our compassion?  Are some people more equal than others?  Are some children more equal than others?  And do the American people have the right to speak on these issues and petition the government about its grievances?  This is what Occupy was about. If share these concerns and you are not one of the 1%, then you Occupy. You are an American citizen with a vote, your life is valuable, you have dignity and you have a right to be heard.  If you didn’t bother to go to a site, if you instead listened to the cable news programs who you know lied to you in 2008, do me the favor and shut up about what you *think* Occupy was all about.  You would only know if you had first hand experience.  You should know better when if comes to listening to anything the media says.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah, when you former Clintonistas see the “Hillary 2016″ meme in the papers, you should be secretly delighted.  Yep, that’s the moment when you should get on your blogs and beat relentlessly on the Hillary 2012 theme.  Replace the top of the ticket altogether.  Urge the party to go bold.  Say that you KNOW that if they don’t even consider it, they aren’t really serious about making the country work for real, working people.  Hillary 2016 means that working people will stay invisible to the party power brokers.  Hillary 2012 means the party knows it is beholden to the voters.  At the very least, you will be exposing the hypocrisy.

Which message would you prefer to project if you were the Democrats?

You can only make this power work for you if you Don’t Settle.  Don’t give into Hillary 2016.  Tell your elected representatives that you aren’t buying that bullshit.  What do they take you for?  Someone who just fell off the turnip truck?  Tell them you’re going to start looking for a party that will treat you with more respect and like a real thinking person with a brain, not a slow child that can be easily fooled or distracted.  Same with the Hillary VP rumor.  Please, not that shit again.  Turn your back on that.  Tell them you want the truth in all of it’s ugliness- the party wants to stick you with Barack Obama for four more dismal years and you will get nothing from it.  Nothing.  The party intends to do nothing for you except cooperate in giving you the biggest haircut on Social Security that you PREPAID because it can’t afford to force a well deserved haircut on its donors in the banking industry.

You’re not stupid.  You’ve got power.  Tell them to STFU about Hillary 2016, get to work on saving the middle class or face the consequences in November.  If they really think that Hillary is worth having for president- some day- then why wait? There is no time like the present to make that happen. And if they don’t do it, then they’re not really serious.  You have options and you don’t have to put up with the condescending attitude anymore.  Tell them who the real parents are and where they’re going to end up if they continue to misbehave.

In the meantime, I am going to moderate any commenter who promotes the meme Hillary 2016. You know who you are. I don’t care if you’re thinking out loud.  You don’t even have to be a paid troll. Your out loud thoughts look an awful lot like some kind of persuasive argument for those Clintonistas who may be debating whether to stay or leave for other candidates.  I repeat, this blog is not a platform for party propaganda whether it is intentional or not.

**************************

And here’s that blast from the past for the Clintonistas who may have forgotten just what and who we are dealing with.  The people who are working on Obama’s behalf gave us this:

Power in the USA: political string theory in US politics

Puppet_Master
How are power relations shaping the U.S. political sphere? From the primary campaign to the tea parties and the raucous healthcare forums, Americans are out in force. Regardless of their political stripe, are their actions in their own best interest or are they being played? What influences are determining how people perceive the issues, what aspects of the issues are open to debate, and what aspects are not open for consideration? Whom is mobilizing whom and for what?

Steven Lukes, in his classic “Power: A Radical View” offers a framework for analyzing the types of power relations that shape policy and society within democratically-oriented nations. The overly simplified summary that follows is intended as a tool to direct our discussion.

Power, oversimplified, is the capacity of individual or collective agents to achieve their intended outcomes by getting others to act for these outcomes, even when these outcomes are against their own best interests. In achieving these outcomes the three dimensions of power tend to function in a complimentary fashion.

The first dimension of power is the capacity to realize one’s aims in decision-making situations. This is the capacity to acquire a representative majority, whatever form that may take, be it a simple plurality or a Presidential veto. For example, the Democrats now control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency because they acquired a representative majority in all of these areas in the last election.

The second dimension of power is the capacity to determine the agenda, that is, the scope of decision-making situations. This is the capacity to contain and direct deliberation within parameters wherein first dimension power can be exercised to achieve one’s aims while concurrently foreclosing considerations that could undermine one’s first dimension power. An example of the second dimension of power at work is that President Obama and many ranking Democrats, even with their filibuster-proof majority, have effectively excluded single-payer from the healthcare reform options.

The third dimension of power is the capacity to secure prior consent to these decisions by manipulating how people perceive their parameters of choice. In harnessing their choices, one either harnesses their actions, the choices and/or actions of others they have power over, or both. In this way, according to Amartya Sen, the ‘most blatant forms of inequalities and exploitations survive in the world through making allies out of the deprived and the exploited.’

Propaganda, i.e. political spin and sloganeering, for example, exists to seep, and/or be ground into, people’s consciousness to influence their decision making, as Goebbels noted. “Government should not interfere with business“, “Socialism (or capitalism) is evil”, “Free trade brings freedom”, and “Healthcare forum disrupters are all astroturfed Republicans” are examples of such sloganeering propagandizing and Rove and Axelrod practise propaganda architectonics.

Social signs of third dimension power relations include overtly inequitable distributions of natural and cultural social goods within a community; a relative acceptance of these social relations among those disadvantaged by these relationships; and evidence of mechanisms in play that have prevented the disadvantaged from perceiving their circumstances as potentially otherwise. From the perspective of a single payer advocate, for example, I perceive the clusters of people who are making statements about keeping the government out of Medicare as being in the same boat as those who are pushing for Obama’s bait-and-switch private insurance debacle while thinking they are getting a publicly-funded cost effective model. Both groups are actively working against their own interests.

Assuming that the three dimensions of power are alive, well, and very much involved in the continuing mass transference of wealth from the middle class to the elite, what can be done to reverse this trend? As bloggers, and blog participants, what can and should we do?

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Tuesday: Springtime for the NYTimes and Big Lies

It’s been really cold in NJ this spring.  Yep, I know it’s still early but I wore the liner of my trenchcoat yesterday and could see my breath in the chilly rain.  I’m thoroughly sick of it.  If you in the midwest are holding onto the zephyrs, please let them go already.  I feel like I’ll never be warm again.

In the meantime, the NYTimes have two interesting articles up today.  Surprise!  We feel good about the economy since Obama took office. Well, no one *I* know feels good about it but they probably didn’t get polled.  But for the rest of the country who live on some mythical Disneyesque Main Street, it is the triumph of hope over inexperience.

Americans have grown more optimistic about the economy and the direction of the country in the 11 weeks since President Obama was inaugurated, suggesting that he is enjoying some success in his critical task of rebuilding the nation’s confidence, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

These sometimes turbulent weeks — marked by new initiatives by Mr. Obama, attacks by Republicans and more than a few missteps by the White House — do not appear to have hurt the president. Americans said they approved of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy, foreign policy, Iraq and Afghanistan; fully two-thirds said they approved of his overall job performance.

I find his job performance clearly lacking in tangible results, especially when it comes to the economy.  But the propaganda campaign is in full swing and many of my colleagues and friends feel absolutely powerless against the wealthy elite who run our companies and steal our money. (Wait a second. Wasn’t it the NYTimes that helped get us into the Iraq War in the first place? Hmmm…) I suppose the public is feeling that Obama will make them use plenty of lube and make it less painful than it was under the GOP.  Actually, I still sense a great deal of anger over this perceived powerlessness but the anger is directed at the finance industry than the administration right now.  That will change and we will do our best to speed things along.

The other article is all about the newly unemployed who are persisting in their old routines.  It’s a matter of pride, which psychologists suggest could be a good thing.  People who are laid off have lost some of their sense of identity when they lose their jobs.  So, they refuse to give in:

The Wall Street type in suspenders, with his bulging briefcase; the woman in pearls, thumbing her BlackBerry; the builder in his work boots and tool belt — they could all be headed for the same coffee shop, or bar, for the day.

“I have a new client, a laid-off lawyer, who’s commuting in every day — to his Starbucks,” said Robert C. Chope, a professor of counseling at San Francisco State University and president of the employment division of the American Counseling Association. “He gets dressed up, meets with colleagues, networks; he calls it his Western White House. I have encouraged him to keep his routine.”

No doubt, they are equally confident in Obama’s ability to revive the economy.


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Getting through to the idiots in charge

As I mentioned below, the White House press office does not respond to questions regarding the removal of reproductive health benefits for poor women from the stimulus bill.  So, what to do?

Well, if you’re like me, you just received some stupid email from PBO himself asking you to pressure friends, family and politicians to support the stimulus package.  Sort of like a jock strap.  Ya’ know, I’m just not into it.  Put back the birth control and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and maybe I’ll think about it.  The kind of stimulus I can believe in includes preventing women from having to to take care of children they didn’t plan for or using the extra money in their paychecks to spread some of their own personal wealth in the marketplace.

But how do you get through to these nitwits???  Well, PBO *did* mention that Governor Tim Kaine would be recording a special message about the economic plan explaining it to our wee little pee brains.  Maybe we could contact Governor Kaine.  Maybe we could skip the DNC filter and send email and faxes directly to his office in Virginia.  Hey, look here!  There’s a contact form on his website.  Ooo, Ooo!  Maybe he’d be more impressed with fan mail by the truckloads.  He’s got a snailmail address too:

Office of the Governor
Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Phone: (804) 786-2211
Fax: (804) 371-6351



Of course, you could just host an economic recovery house party like Obama suggested. And while you’re at it, you could patiently explain that the reproductive health funds were taken out of the bill as requested by Republicans and then not a single Republican in the House voted for it. Or you could mention that no restrictions will be made on how the bankers compensate themselves with our money. Or you could discuss the lack of funds directed towards homeowners struggling with mortgages. Or you could muse on the creation of a “bad bank” where we would own the toxic assets but none of the future profits!

Fun, fun!  Remember to stock the bar.  If you have any other suggestions for PBO, you can contact his band of deceitful droogs in his cwack propaganda unit at mybarackobama!  They even have a toll free number you can call to tell them how much you appreciate how they are looking out for women, that 51% of the population that pays their taxes and keeps getting screwed.

Here’s the number:  Organizing for America toll-free at 1-877-922-4264

This is how THEY do it.

First, let me apologize beforehand.  I am not trying to make this about me.  I posted the clip of my FOX interview on Sunday, and I am posting it again, but this time it is to demonstrate the tricks of the con men and women that are supporting Obama, and how they will do anything to get him elected.

Our first example of posers to principles is a group called, of all things, News Hounds.

This is the interview as posted by NoQuarter.  Nothing new if you’ve already seen it in the previous post.

This is the link to the News Hounds. I wonder if Ed Rendell’s Hounds have anything to do with it? I don’t have time to research it. I don’t care. Whosever hounds they are, they aren’t very good. They can’t smell the ironic position they are in. The entire site is devoted to being media watchdogs for Fox, yet instead of playing the interview in its entirety, they chopped out the first half, where I talk about the RBC decision.
They don’t even have the excuse of editing for time. The clip is only 3:32 long, but nothing can get in the way of their narrative.
They do not want to talk about the ugliness of RBC. They want to save all their hate for Fox. There can be no critique of Democrats at this point. Later we will hold their feet to the fire.

The next item is a little more ugly business. This article is about Murphy, and accuses her of really not supporting Clinton. As evidence of this. The reader is told that an elections contributions search on Murphy shows only one donation to McCain and none to Clinton. This fits the narrative of their story, that we are all a Republican front group, and Murphy has been lurking in the wings, ready to assume the role of the outraged Clinton supporter to lure others to vote for McCain.
This is so ridiculous, and is easily debunked by doing a search for one’s self. I went to:

Huffington Post’s Tool
I’m so sure Arrianna Huffington is misreporting campaign contributions to help Murphy seem like a real Clinton supporter.

This article just wants to focus on a donation to McCain in 2000, but never wants to show you her donation to Clinton in Q2 of this year.

What a farce. This is the change we have been waiting for? Ordinary little smear artists and propagandists: We can all be one now I guess.

However PUMAs, the noble cat does not feed on this trash. Perhaps an Opossum would eat it, if it wandered to the garbage can hungry enough.
No my Pride, we don’t do this. We are on the right moral side of this issue. We cannot resort to their habits. PUMAs feed on live meat, the Truth.

I’m sure there is going to be a lot of this, and I don’t know if it is worth showing all of it when one of the purposes of it is to confuse people and distract them from the main arguments, so here it is again for you.

On May 31st the DNC broke its own Sunshine rules and went behind closed doors to negotiate a deal where Obama got delegates that came from voters who had chosen Clinton.
We will not condone this act of Anti-Democracy by voting for the candidate you installed. If we do, we are saying we are giving up our right to credible elections.

Super Delegates, listen. Nominate the winner of the popular vote before September, or hear us…

ROAR in November!

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