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    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – April 20, 2019
      This post is by Tony Wikrent I have been looking at the work of Cornell University law professor Robert Hockett, who is serving as an economics adviser to Representative Alexandria Occasio-Cortez. I have been delighted to find that Hockett has been working the same angle I have: applying the classical republicanism that informed the creation of […]
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Conflucian Cocktail Party: Fundraising for Franken

The Wiki entry for the French Resistance includes this passage:

In retrospect, the famous résistant Emmanuel d’Astier de la Vigerie gave the image of the resistance having been made up of social outcasts on the fringes of society, saying “one could only be a resister if one was maladjusted.”[34] Although many did adhere to this description, including d’Astier himself, most resistance participants came from traditional backgrounds[35] and were “individuals of exceptional strong-mindedness, ready to break with family and friends.”[36]

Back in the Dark Ages of 2003-2004, Al Franken was one of those {perhaps maladjusted} individuals.  😉  When the whole country seemed to be in the grip of Movement Conservative fever, fear and retribution, Al Franken was the leader of the Resistance.  Along with a few other like minded individuals, he started Air America radio.  I used to record the televised version that would air on the Sundance Channel.  It was comforting to know he was there.  When Kerry lost in November 2004, Al was crushed.  He wept.  But bright and early the next day, there was a message on the Air America web site.  It said simply, “We’re here for you.”

A lot has happened in the last few years.  Air American was sabotaged from inside and outside forces.  It struggled mightily in the New York City market until its weak and staticky signal on WLIB was extinguished.  Now it’s something completely different.  But back in the bad old days, Al Franken was our rock.

Tonight, I’m dedicating the Cocktail Fundraiser to Al Franken, the wiseass running for Senator in the great state of Minnesota.  Hillary is a big fan and I think we can trust her judgment on this.  Al is a committed liberal, wicked smart and will bring a much needed sense of humor and determination to the Senate in what is about to be another dark period in our nation’s history.

Welcome to the Conclucian Cocktail Party.  The bar is to the left of the door where you will find our bartender with flair, Rico.  Tonight, his special drink is a Frosty Nipple (‘cos that’s what everyone’s got these days?). You can purchase a Causmo for $10.00.  Tonight’s Causmo is dedicated to Al Franken.

Tonight’s entertainment is from the Twin City’s Jazz Festival 2008.  Beseme mucho:

Ladies and Gents, I know I can count on you to use your best Minnesota manners.  But if the cold is addling your courtesy, check your trigger words with Florence, our lovely checkroom attendant. The waiters will be circulating soon with squeaky fried cheese curds and hot dish made with cream of mushroom soup.  Please Drink Responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

Also, join me at 10PM EST for Conflucians Say on PUMA United Radio (PURrrrr).

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With “Friends” Like These . . .

So I’m over at TGW and I see a post on how this election may increase the percentage of women in Congress from 16% to 19% and I decide to post this comment:

Gravatar I was still a kid when “Women’s Lib” supposedly happened. That was damn near four decades ago.

By this point women should occupy something like 45%-55% of elected offices.

I didn’t figure that was controversial, but this morning I see this response from someone named “Zee”:

myiq! A foray here, how exciting. However…after a quick look at your webpage, you may be related to Mormons who are “good people” but the cult definitely deserves to crash and burn. I’m sorry, yeah, I hate all religions as they are mostly paternalistic crap, but some, such as Islam where they practice gender apartheid to the point where male firefighters let schoolgirls burn to death rather than TOUCH them and the MORMONS, where the men are “gods” of their own planets in their ludicrous afterlife and women just part of a harem to pump out ghost babies to populate said planets, deserve all the ridicule they get and then some.

“Tolerance” is bullshit in these cases.

Zee was referring to this post of mine, where I called out a commenter at Corrente for religious bigotry against Mormons.  here was my response to Zee:

After we round up the Moslems and Mormons, do we gas them with Zyklon-B and burn the bodies?

Yeah, I Godwined, but I thought it was appropriate.  I don’t know who “Zee” is, and frankly I don’t want to know, but I’m assuming that TGW doesn’t endorse or share Zee’s views.  I’m not endorsing Mormonism, Islam or any other religion.  I practice heathenistic hedonism, but that’s because it scares away the Jehovah’s Witnesses and leaves my Sundays free for watching football.

Freedom of religion (which includes freedom from religion) isn’t just a liberal value, it’s a constitutional right.  Us lefties have demonized Christian conservatives for being intolerant of other religions, and we have seen charges of racism made whenever someone suggests that Obama is a Moslem or even when they use his arabic middle name.

But for the second time in two days I see someone spouting religious bigotry on a supposedly progressive blog.  The first one was more disturbing because despite numerous responses not one person called it for what it is.  It’s bigotry:

A bigot is a person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his or her own, and bigotry is the corresponding state of mind. Bigot is often used as a pejorative term against a person who is obstinately devoted to prejudices even when these views are challenged or proven to be false or not universally applicable or acceptable.

Bigotry, whether in the form of racism, sexism, homophobia, nationalism, religious intolerance or even partisanship is WRONG.  Progressives used to have principles.

Liberals still do.

Alan Greenspan: Who could have predicted?

Alan Greenspan, testifying before Congress today that he had no idea that Wall Street tycoons would abuse the system:

Greenspan was the head of the Federal Reserve for 18 1/2 years. In testimony prepared for the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, he voiced shock over the present turn of events and called conditions deplorable.

He said that he and others who believed lending institutions would do a good job of protecting their shareholders are in a “state of shocked disbelief”. And Greenspan also blamed the problems on heavy demand for securities backed by subprine mortgages by investors who did not worry that the boom in home prices might come to an end.”

Ok, I have to stop right there for a second. The subprime mortgage problem was *completely* predictable. Alan Greenspan worked his ass off to keep inflation low and one surefire way to do it is to depress wages. When mortgages are skyrocketing and wages increase by a lousy 3% for year after year, what else can we expect but that people eventually won’t be able to afford the house they live in? How could he not know that the most productive workers in the world haven’t benefitted from their productivity in the past 20 years? He set the conditions for it.

And as for investors not looking out for shareholders, well, that comes as a bit of a shock but shouldn’t be surprising when human nature isn’t held in check by regulation. But Alan, self-actualized, Ayn Randian, Greenspan didn’t think that the finance industry should be forced to play by the rules of the rest of society. It might inhibit creativity. So, now we have some extremely creative players who found out-of-the-box ways to lose our money. But at least they were allowed to live freely without conformity.

And Greenspan is *shocked* that investors would go gangbusters and be selfish and greedy? Really? I thought that was the point.

Thursday: Resistance- no longer useless

Many of you have lost friends during this election cycle.  They can’t understand why you’re holding out.  Isn’t a Democrat in the White House what you’ve been working for all these years?  And now you’re about to get one and you’re being stubborn, immature and racist.

When I was canvassing in PA, I found that support for Obama was actually pretty soft.  I didn’t meet too many hard core Obama supporters.  Most were in the infatuation stage.  He was the new kid in town.  And there were some conflicted feelings towards Clinton.  What was really weird is that I got people to listen to me only *after* I told them what I did for a living.  Apparently, the fact that I’m a chemist with a degree made me more credible.  Whatever was going on in their heads back in April had a lot to do with perception of who we are or would like to be.  We all know that Clintonistas were old, uneducated working class women- except when we’re not.

I am resisting the party’s ticket for a couple of reasons that have a lot to do with the perception that David Axelrod and the media conjured up about us.  What does it say about the way the Obama campaign, the DNC and the media see us if they treat older, working class, undegreed voters as an embarrassment?  What does it mean when Donna Brazile says that we are the “old coalition”?  What was Jack Cafferty trying to convey last August when he said:

Hillary Clinton apparently hasn’t gotten the message yet that it’s over.

That message was delivered 3 weeks before the convention when Obama’s delegate lead was so slim that the superdelegates would have been perfectly justified in making Clinton the nominee based on her qualifications and the popular vote count.  So, why were voters, especially CLINTON voters, so powerless to affect the outcome in spite of their 18 million votes?

We keep coming back to the fact that the media and the DNC would like to put the older, uneducated, working class, women and eventually, African Americans, on an ice floe and let them fend for themselves.  It appears that the Democratic party no longer intends to represent those groups.  “Those people” represent a vast majority of people in the United States.  The recent brouhaha over Joe the Plumber demonstrates that voters in both parties have woken up to the new reality that they simply do not count anymore and they’re angry.  If this is America, they should still be able to vote in confidence that their wishes are respected and counted and this is no longer necessarily the case.

We are resisting the chopping away at the ice that the priveleged part of the tribe is doing to disconnect us from them.  That is what is fueling the resistence.  And what is happening on Wall Street right now is a bellwhether for what is to come if Obama wins by discounting and suppressing the vote.  It isn’t right to take the taxes of the hardest working Americans and give it to the well connected on Wall Street without those taxpayers having a say in how the money is used.  That is the way the government will operate in the future if the DNC, Obama, Pelosi et al get their way.  For once and all, they won’t have to reach out the Bubbas, as they call us.  They will treat us like non-voting partners in whatever business plan they intend to carry out.

What the Resistance is saying is we all go forward together or we don’t go forward.  The media and the DNC just haven’t gotten that message yet.

But they will.  Very soon.

And no matter what happens, because neither outcome is in our best interests, the PUMAs will be here afterwards.  We stick together and go forward.