• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on How is Hillary doing?  
    Niles on How is Hillary doing?  
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on How is Hillary doing?  
    pm317 on How is Hillary doing?  
    riverdaughter on How is Hillary doing?  
    pm317 on How is Hillary doing?  
    pm317 on How is Hillary doing?  
    riverdaughter on How is Hillary doing?  
    pm317 on How is Hillary doing?  
    riverdaughter on How is Hillary doing?  
    Cbug on How is Hillary doing?  
    JMS on Escape from cruelty and mob…
    pm317 on How is Hillary doing?  
    pm317 on How is Hillary doing?  
    Niles on How is Hillary doing?  
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump 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 John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove 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 OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • You Will Never Be Free of Identity Politics
      (MANDOS POST, people who don’t want to read things they disagree with please stop here) I don’t normally watch horror movies, but I made an exception and recently watched the horror film Get Out. It’s a horror-satire movie that constructs its underlying trope from the concept of racist microaggressions, and it’s one of the best films […]
  • Top Posts

We Told You So!

straitjacket_new1

Another day, another broken promise:

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a challenge to the Pentagon policy forbidding gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, granting a request by the Obama administration.

[…]

In court papers, the administration said the appeals court ruled correctly in this case when it found that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.”

During last year’s campaign, President Barack Obama indicated he supported the eventual repeal of the policy, but he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January. Meanwhile, the White House has said it won’t stop gays and lesbians from being dismissed from the military.

(emphasis added)

Well it’s good to know our red-blooded warriors won’t have to worry about catching teh gay from a toilet seat while they are keeping the world safe for democracy.

(Cue the Obots Failbots explaining that this is more “11-dimensional chess”)

Here’s a tip from Arthur Silber:

Don’t try to keep a list of all of Obama’s broken “promises.” Instead, keep a list of the promises you think he made that he’s kept. In this manner, your work will be brief and undemanding.

At the moment, I can’t think of a single issue of importance that would appear on a list of promises Obama wanted us to believe he was making, and that he has kept. Not even one.

Nonetheless, he has kept one commitment, the overriding one that was obvious from the beginning but that he notably restrained himself from offering explicitly: that he would faithfully serve the interests of the ruling class, that he would increase their already massive power and wealth still more, and that he would entrench them and their particular interests so that they would become impervious to all serious challenge.

It’s gonna be a long four years.

We told you so

Please DIGG!!! and SHARE!!!

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

Whither John Ware, Alberta?

john wareThe promise of breakfast with friends was already being met when I saw Clarence sitting at the booth nearest the kitchen. My heart sung. I’d not seen Clarence for a long time, though he’d been a Saturday morning steady, and I appreciated the opportunity to share his warmth and his wisdom once again.

I excused myself, from those I’d arranged to meet, and joined with Clarence. Steven, also a steady, joined us shortly thereafter.

Clarence had been on a tour of the US, visiting family members and working on the Obama campaign. He was retired. He was now taking care of details before moving to southeast Asia as a way to make the most out of his meager pension dollars.

Clarence is like the archetypal good grandfather. His presence is soothing. His voice is deep. He is African American.

I first met Clarence in the 90s working union construction in our trades. He’s an electrician. We hit it off immediately, though he’s many years my senior. We shared political convictions, namely the one that common decency should govern our actions towards others, unless they create circumstances that require that we act otherwise.
Thankfully, we’ve had many opportunities to share and compare experiences since that time.

Clarence served in the American military between the Korean War and Vietnam. He said the only thing they killed while he was on tour was a goat in Lebanon. His travels and travails, after his military service, lead him here.

This morning, Clarence told us about a time made his way across the border between Canada and the US. He was hitchhiking, as a way to conserve money, and he was told of a good truckstop where he would be likely to catch a ride, not far from the border. When he first arrived there weren’t many trucks so he patiently waited for them to roll in. Twice, he went into the truck stop to use the facilities. The lot was starting to fill with rigs, and he thought his prospects looked good, when he went to use the facilities a third time.

When he exitted the washroom, the police were waiting. Some staff at the truckstop were concerned that he was “casing the joint.” In his disarming way, he tried to explain the situation to the police. It did no good. They ran a check. Clarence had a warrant out for his arrest for failing to pay a traffic ticket back home, 350 miles away.

They put Clarence in jail. He would have to deal with the ticket in the place it was issued. One month in jail time, and three transfers later, he received his day in court. Because he was trying to conserve money, he was unable to expedite the process. The charges were dismissed.

Given the way that I’ve framed this story, it would be reasonable for the reader to be reminded of the sorry state of race relations in the US in the time before Vietnam. The reader would be right to do so, except this happened to Clarence as he made his way down to the US to say good-bye to his family and to work on the Obama campaign. The police were the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He was arrested in Lethbridge. He had his day in court in St. Albert.

Alberta should feel ashamed for treating this good and noble man as a criminal because of the color of his skin.  Whither John Ware, Alberta?

Please DIGG!!! and SHARE!!!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

We own our votes

128879502033110534

As Booman immolates himself in conflagration of Kool-aid fueled stoopidity, one of the asinine assertions he has made is that Obama won the popular vote in last year’s primaries. As evidence for this claim he cites this page at RealClearPolitics showing at the very top that Obama received 17,535,458 votes (48.1%) and Hillary received 17,493,836 votes (48.0%)

The problem for Booman is that those numbers don’t include Michigan. If you count ALL the votes (as shown on the 3rd and 4th lines) then Obama received 17,535,458 votes (47.4%) and Hillary received 17,822,145 votes (48.1%) Even if you include estimates of the caucus votes Hillary still got 176,465 more votes than Obama (.5%)

I can hear Obamanation sputtering now:

“But she agreed the votes wouldn’t count!  She signed a pledge!  Da roolz!

DA ROOLZ!”

First of all, Hillary never agreed that Michigan and Florida would be completely disenfranchised.  The totality of her statements on this issue make it obvious that she expected a solution to be worked out.  Secondly, the pledge she signed was an agreement that she would not campaign in MI/FL and she didn’t (but Obama did.)  Lastly, fuck the rules.

Michigan and Florida held official primaries sanctioned by their state governments and paid for with tax payer money.  Those state governments are the duly elected representatives of the people.  The Rules and Bylaws Committee is an unelected body within the Democratic National Committee, which is itself unelected by the people.

To assert that democratic principles are less important than scheduling rules demonstrates the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of Obama supporters.  Rules should reflect our values and principles, not trump them.  Nor should our values and principles be cast aside in pursuit of some short term goal, especially if that goal is based on a cult of personality.  And as for our lurking Obama supporters, please don’t whinge about “fairness” because Obama was not on the Michigan ballot.  HE VOLUNTARILY TOOK HIMSELF OFF THE BALLOT.

It doesn’t matter what Hillary may or may not have agreed to.  She doesn’t own our votes.  Neither does the RBC nor the DNC.  Obamanation will never understand us until they get it through their heads that we aren’t mad because Hillary lost the election, we are furious because Obama stole the nomination.  It’s not about her, it’s about us.  Those were our votes that were stolen.

———————————————————————————————

A couple of last points for our lurkers.  We understand and accept that Barack Obama is the President.  He stole the nomination, but he won the election.  He is the only POTUS we have, and barring something unforeseen he will be until at least January 20, 2013 if not longer.  But we don’t have to “embrace” or support him.

We will continue to advocate for a liberal/progressive agenda, including real health care reform (single-payer), LGBT rights, freedom of choice, ending the wars in Iraq and Afganistan and environmetal protection.  We will be VERY vocal in criticizing Obama whenever he is less than perfect in that regard.  If you want us to STFU then tell Obama to get his shit together and be FDR II, not Bush III

We are FORMER supporters of Hillary Clinton.  Someday we might support her again, but she isn’t running for office right now.  While we admire her quite a bit, we don’t worship her or follow her orders.  We realize that she now works for Obama and we are grateful to have such a high quality person representing our nation to the rest of the world. But as a member of Obama’s Cabinet she has a duty to publicly support him and avoid criticizing him.  We don’t hold that against her, but then again we don’t have any obligation to agree with her either.

Monday: Connexions

Remember when Lady Catherine De Bourgh condescended to pay Miss Elizabeth Bennet a visit to warn her not to quit her sphere because she had no connections (or connexions in my edition) to benefit her wealthy young nephew?  I always wondered what the heck she meant by “connections”.  It seemed to mean more than just embarrassing relatives.

I didn’t really get it until recently when I listened to my podcast of the day recommendation, The Aristocracy- How the Ruling Class Survives by BBC-4’s Melvyn Bragg.  You’ll note that although the aristocracy in England had its salad days back in the 18th century, Melvyn is using the present tense in his title.  But I’ll get back to that in a minute.

The aristocracy took hold in England after William the Conqueror lucked out at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  The Norman ruling style was radically different from the Anglo-Saxon’s.  To the victor go the spoils might not have originated with the Normans but they did have an efficient way of administering and organizing it as the Doomsday Book will attest.  By the time the aristocracy finally reached their zenith, a little over 700 people owned more than two thirds of all of the land in England.  Pretty sweet if you were an aristocrat; not so much if you were a tenant farmer who owed your lord’s fields more attention than your own measley strips of land.  And since the land was all when agriculture was everybody’s business, you could say the aristocracy had a lock on the country’s wealth.

The English  did hang on to one nasty little artifact of Norman administration a bit too long however.  Primogeniture was the practice of bequeathing estates to the first born, preferably males. This was a way to keep the land intact and power undiluted.  The artistocrats who were peers were also ensured seats in The House of Lords.  The problem with primogeniture was that it left out a lot of very well-born children who had inherited no wealth or title.  These children became commoners and their only hope of advancement was through good marriages and connections, which I interpret as some sort of patronage system.  Meanwhile, the eldests went on to lead lives of wealth and privelege regardless of intelligence or character.  They spent lavishly because, well, it was their money and they deserved it.

Those younger sons, some of them tired of waiting around for their older brothers to die off so they could get an instant promotion, took matters into their own hands.  They couldn’t become members of the House of Lords but lo and behold! the House of Commons was wide open!  What better way to rig the game in their favor than to run for office.  And so many of them did.  Before long, both houses of Parliament were run by aristocrats.  Then the peasants started to get restless in the 19th century and pointed to the French Revolution across the channel.  That lead to the Great Reform Acts of the 19th century that allowed more commoners the right to vote.  The rest, as we say, was history.

Which leads me to the second podcast for the day.  (Whoo-hoo! a twofer!)  This is a recent podcast from Planet Money about the compensation of the busy little worker bees in the finance industry.  Oh, these poor souls, so put upon, moving columns of numbers around a spreadsheet and forced to make the same trades day after day.  Certainly they deserved those multi-million dollar bonuses.  Turns out, not so much.  These modern day aristocrats and their connections who have cornered the country’s wealth in their 1% sphere are ridiculously overpaid according to studies.  They just might not deserve it after all.  But the way they got their greesy little mitts on all that money is very instructive.  It all has to do with deregulation that happened in the early eighties when Ronald Reagan was in office and Congress was amenable to a little experimentation.

And then it hit me.  I made my own connection.  Hasn’t the Republican party been the party of entrenched wealth?  By American standards, the GOP is the home of the Rockefellers and the Forbes.  But in the past couple of decades, we’ve seen a lot of very wealthy businessmen buying their way into the Democratic party as well.  Jon Corzine, multimillionaire and former CEO of Goldman-Sachs is a prime example.  These days, you can’t even start a campaign for Congress or the Senate without a massive warchest.  If it turns out that Congress is not responsive to the wretched poor and middle class anymore, it could be that for the most part, they have no connection with us anymore.  We’re in the grip of the aristocrats.

It may seem obvious but the connection goes deeper than one of mere money.  It’s a mindset, a social sphere.  They won’t respond to us because it’s not our country anymore.  It’s theirs.  They own it now.  They appoint the judges to look after their wealth.  And we are going to have to be very clever and tenacious to get it back.

Like, what would happen if everyone who has a 401K stopped contributing en masse?


Please DIGG & Share!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

  • Economy Watch
  • Obama’s Economic Circle Keeps Tensions Simmering

    By all accounts, much of the tension derives from the president’s choice of the brilliant but sometimes supercilious Mr. Summers to be the director of the National Economic Council, making him the policy impresario of the team. The widespread assumption, from Washington to Wall Street, was that the job would be Mr. Summers’s way station until the president could name him chairman of the Federal Reserve when Ben S. Bernanke’s term expires early next year.

    Is it why Larry is always sleeping when the economic team meets?

    Doubts mount over US toxic asset plan

    The controversial US toxic asset clean-up plan, aimed at clearing bad loans from US banks’ books to enable them to raise capital and lend freely, has fallen behind schedule, and may never be fully implemented.

    The Economy Is Still at the Brink

    Mr. Obama thinks that the way to revive the economy is to restore confidence in it. If the mood is right, the capital will flow. But this belief is dangerously misguided. We are sympathetic to the extraordinary challenge the president faces, but if we’ve learned anything at all two years into the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes, it is that a capital-markets system this dependent on public confidence is a shockingly inadequate foundation upon which to rest our economy.

    1Q credit card delinquency rate jumps 11 percent

    Credit card holders who in ordinary years might have used their tax refunds to pay down their balances apparently spent the money elsewhere as the recession deepened in the first quarter.

    Deflation or Inflation?

    Economic stimulus efforts carry the potential of creating new problems

    U.S. Will Let Some Banks Repay Aid


  • Health Care Battle
  • Democrats stoke grassroots US healthcare campaign

    * Obama supporters expect tough fight

    * Opponents start running TV ads

    * Obama says summer will be “make or break” for reform

    Business groups wary of first draft of health care bill

    Business groups reacted warily Sunday to the Senate’s first stab at overhauling the nation’s health care system, a rift that could complicate President Obama’s goal of achieving bipartisan support for his top domestic priority.

    State Coverage Model No Help for Uneasy Insurance Industry

    In reasserting his support last week for a new government health plan for the uninsured, President Obama stoked the fears of private insurers that they would not be able to compete with a Medicare-like option and might gradually be priced out of existence.

    Harry and Louise Need Health Reform


  • Stenography vs Journalism
  • For journalists, how close is too close?

    Author and former Newsweek journalist Richard Wolffe is refuting charges that he acted more like Barack Obama’s campaign spokesman than as a journalist covering Obama’s presidential campaign. It was Obama, himself, who suggested that Wolffe write his book Renegade: The Making of a President. Wolffe, however, denied that writing the book meant trading objectivity for access.

    Yeah, right! Whatever you say Wolffe.

    Moscow Crime Reporter, Facing His Obituary Daily

    After the most recent attack on Sergei Kanev — attempted strangulation with a wire, in his apartment’s stairwell here — his editor visited him and delicately suggested that he take a six-month sabbatical from crime reporting, in America.
    […]
    A specialist in police corruption and organized crime, he crosses powerful people and half expects to be killed for it.


  • Middle East
  • The Divisions Among Israelis and Palestinians

    As President Obama was arriving in Cairo on Thursday to urge the Middle East toward peace, Hamas militants in the West Bank city of Qalqilya were fighting a gun battle against Palestinian Authority forces in which three men were killed. Israel Radio was reporting that settler extremists had sent letters to an Israeli general threatening him and his children, and comparing the forces that remove settler outposts with the Jewish councils obliged to collaborate with the Nazis.

    Israel’s Premier Promises Major Peace Plan

    Under mounting American pressure to define his intentions regarding peace efforts, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said Sunday that he would make a major policy speech next week mapping out the government’s “principles for achieving peace and security.”

    U.S.-Backed Alliance Appears to Win in Lebanon

    Iraq: Bombing of minibus in Shiite area kills 7


  • Around The World
  • US journalists sentenced to 12 years in North Korea labour camp

    Clinton Says North Korea Charges Against Journalists Unfounded

    In Iraq, Colbert Does His Shtick for the Troops

    Brown Faces New Challenge by Dissidents After Setback

    Gordon the Unlucky (Paul Krugman)


  • Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!
  • Rangel warns of ‘racial polarization’ if Cuomo challenges Paterson for governor in primary

    Rep. Charles Rangel Friday warned of “racial polarization” if Attorney General Andrew Cuomo challenges Gov. Paterson in a primary next year.

    Rangel, who is close to the poll-challenged Paterson, ripped Cuomo on New York 1 last night for flatly not ruling out a run for governor next year.

    Charlie, next time you see a microphone, run. Away from it.


  • Ticking Bomb Scenario?
  • Suspect in abortion doctor death warns of violence

    The man charged with murdering a high-profile abortion doctor claimed from his jail cell Sunday that similar violence was planned around the nation for as long as the procedure remained legal, a threat that comes days after a federal investigation launched into his possible accomplices.

    Calling Dick Cheney and all other torture aficionados.


  • “Strategeries”
  • Democratic candidates adopt anti-Bush strategy

    Many Democratic candidates are planning to run against two Republicans in the next election — their GOP opponent and former president George W. Bush.

    Palin versus GOP

    After being invited — for a second time — to speak to the annual joint fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Palin was told abruptly Saturday night that she would not be allowed to address the thousands of Republicans there after all.

    The Alaska governor may now skip the dinner altogether, and her allies are miffed at what they see as a slight from the congressional wing of the Republican Party.

    Hugging Republicans Until It Hurts

    Hillary’s New Crusade (Just check out some of the comments on this excellent piece)

    Photo A year ago this week, Hillary Clinton ended her presidential campaign—to the relief of many. But even her critics must admit that as secretary of State, she’s been a feminist hero to behold.


  • Tragedy
  • Famed Google mentor found dead in swimming pool

    The tech community has tragically lost its much loved computer science expert, Rajeev Motwani, in a drowning accident on Friday, June 5, 2009. The Stanford University professor Motwani died unexpectedly at his Atherton, CA home on Friday.


    Please — DIGG!! & Share!

    Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

    Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine