• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    riverdaughter on S}#% I just don’t underst…
    jmac on S}#% I just don’t underst…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Fitness month.
    Propertius on Fitness month.
    Propertius on Well, that was fun while it…
    riverdaughter on Fitness month.
    Beata on “Kiss Me Deadly”
    eurobrat on My Minority Opinion on Simone…
    eurobrat on My Minority Opinion on Simone…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Fitness month.
    centaur on Well, that was fun while it…
    riverdaughter on Fitness month.
    riverdaughter on Well, that was fun while it…
    centaur on Well, that was fun while it…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Well, that was fun while it…
  • 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

    April 2010
    S M T W T F S
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    252627282930  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • Tornado night
      I spent a half-hour tonight sitting in the hallway, waiting out a tornado warning. It never hit here (I don’t think we got more than a sprinkle of rain) but it did hit the Hellmouth, where I used to live north of here. It hit the local mall, and took down a nearby car dealership … Continue reading Tornado night
  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 1, 2021
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 1, 2021 by Tony Wikrent Strategic Political Economy U.S. Population Growth, an Economic Driver, Grinds to a Halt [Wall Street Journal, via Naked Capitalism 7-26-2021] America’s weak population growth, already held back by a decadelong fertility slump, is dropping closer to zero because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In h […]
  • Top Posts

Paul Rosenberg: The latest access blogger to go racist

Paul wakes up but is it in time??

Paul wakes up but is it in time??

Just kidding, Paul.  We know you’re not a racist, even if you don’t think that Barack Obama derives his (so-called) formidable political skills from the unavoidable fact that he is the first black president evah!  For us, it was never a matter of race, which is why we held our candidates to a higher standard.  No one got a free pass at The Confluence because they could make more melanin.  Neither melanin production nor gender,  are qualities cross linked to political ability, as far as I know.  Integrity, experience and principles probably are.   I will admit to being choked up the night Obama won.  The joy evident in the crowd in Grant Park was something I waited my whole life to see.  But the sentiment was fleeting.  There were more pressing issues on my mind.

Of all of the front pagers at OpenLeft, you and Natasha were the ones I was pulling for, and now you have delivered and how.  I never thought I would see the day that a progressive blog would allow “Barack Obama” and “Political incompetent” to be in the same paragraph together.  That kind of $#@% only happens on the bad liberal blogs like yours truly, Correntewire and Alegre’s Corner.  Your “They Just Don’t Make Recoveries Like They Used To” post to me is like watching someone waking up to the fact that there’s a pillow over his face and that someone really *is* trying to kill him:

One could argue, “Well, he’s a very good politician, you just don’t like what his politics are.”  But a politician who undermines his party and his country cannot seriously be regarded as a competent politician.  Presiding over the ongoing destruction of America’s middle class with Bush-like cluelessness is not competence by any kind of remotely rational standard.  And if the previous chart didn’t quite get through to you, then consider the following one, which includes the 1980 “recovery” that lead directly into a “double dip” recession.  The following chart shows every recession since 1980 (see chart at OpenLeft):

In fact, he’s not even trying to be a competent politician.

In short, Obama’s indifference to the suffering of tens of millions of Americans may or may not result in Democrats’ loss of Congress in 2010 and/or his own loss of re-election in 2012.  Because Republican victories would be utterly catastrophic, I have to hope that these losses don’t come to pass.  But Obama’s governance so far has been disastrous for the middle class. Supporting disaster as opposed to catastrophe is not my idea of a good place to be politically.  And a politician who gives us that choice is not remotely a competent one.

And that’s not saying anything about his utter failure to even fight for a credible response to global warming, or his continued support for the Bush/Cheney “long war” approach to the “war on terror”, the very existence of which is a victory for al Qaeda.

This is incompetence on a breathtaking scale.  This is Nero fiddling while Rome burns.  And the fact that Obama is a superb fiddle player (first black fiddle player evuh!) does not even come close to making any sort of difference at all.

Welcome to the club, Paul!  Myiq will send you your “So you’ve decided to become a racist!?” complimentary white sheet and hormone replacement therapy starter pack.  That is, until you decide to diss us so you don’t become contaminated with “a certain class of woman” as Jane Hamsher would say or a closet Republican as Big Tent Democrat likes to refer to us.

{{sigh}}

It’s one of the burdens we carry for being prematurely right about Barack Obama.  And it really is a burden because the Obama branding committee was so successful at turning the rest of the party against us.  It’s just so hard to believe we saw through him early on we just HAD to have some screws loose, right?  We saw how some of you guys deep down really did know that Obama wasn’t all that but you didn’t want to say it for fear of losing face, or losing access or losing your friends or losing your ad revenue.  That’s OK, we understand.  It’s human nature.  Axelrod and company played that nature for all that it was worth.

The question I have for you now, Paul, is what are you going to do about it?  Are you going to stand out there alone, apart from Chris and tell it like it is?  Are you going to acknowledge that we are your natural allies?  Or are you going to be like BTD and Jane and a dozen other liberals who have turned your backs on us and embraced your cynicism so that you don’t have to be tainted by us, the new demographic independent liberals?

If you go your own way, the incompetents win.  They love it when you act like being seen with us is embarrassing.  With the left divided, no one will be able to hold them accountable for anything they do.  But if you acknowledge us, you take the first steps to reconstituting the left.

United we stand and all that treacly sentimental stuff.  Once upon a time, there was a reason why it was important.

//

Saturday Morning Musings on Corporate Control and Internet Freedom

Good Morning Conflucians!!

It’s so nice to wake up to sun pouring in my windows after the horrible rains of the past couple of weeks. I guess I should consider myself fortunate that all I had to deal with was some water in the basement. And since my ex-husband liked to buy every kind of tool and gadget, I happened to have a sump pump and a shop vac down there.

Yesterday it was 70 degrees here in the northwestern Boston area, and it looks like the nice, warm weather is going to stick around for the next week.

Ah…Spring! The forsythia is coming out and lots of green stuff is appearing in the yard. Soon the cherry trees will be blooming all over the place. Somehow it’s a little easier to be optimistic at this time of year than in the dead of winter.

In my Saturday morning ramble around the blogosphere, I came across an interesting piece by Cory Doctorow: Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either) I found it thought-provoking, not because I was agonizing about whether to buy an iPad–I’m not even slightly interested in it–but because the arguments Doctorow makes are relevant to innovation in every area of life, including politics. Doctorow’s main point is that “incumbents make bad revolutionaries.”

I’ve spent ten years now on Boing Boing, finding cool things that people have done and made and writing about them. Most of the really exciting stuff hasn’t come from big corporations with enormous budgets, it’s come from experimentalist amateurs. These people were able to make stuff and put it in the public’s eye and even sell it without having to submit to the whims of a single company that had declared itself gatekeeper for your phone and other personal technology.

Doctorow argues that once any entrepreneur, no matter how visionary and innovative, gets enough power and control over a market, that entrepreneur/corporation/politician/journalist will try to corner the market and become a “gatekeeper” for what the rest of us are allowed to do, see, read, and buy.

We become nothing to them but anonymous “consumers” who will fork over our money and time and take whatever the controllers want to dole out to us. He says these gatekeepers have contempt for us as consumers–they want to “infantilize” us, keep us dependent on them, and prevent us from sharing the products we buy with others and modifying those products in ways that work for us as individuals.

Doctorow uses the example of a new iPad app offered by Marvel Comics. Not being a “comics person,” I don’t quite understand what it is, but here is Doctorow’s explanation:

I was a comic-book kid, and I’m a comic-book grownup, and the thing that made comics for me was sharing them. If there was ever a medium that relied on kids swapping their purchases around to build an audience, it was comics. And the used market for comics! It was — and is — huge, and vital. I can’t even count how many times I’ve gone spelunking in the used comic-bins at a great and musty store to find back issues that I’d missed, or sample new titles on the cheap. (It’s part of a multigenerational tradition in my family — my mom’s father used to take her and her sibs down to Dragon Lady Comics on Queen Street in Toronto every weekend to swap their old comics for credit and get new ones).

So what does Marvel do to “enhance” its comics? They take away the right to give, sell or loan your comics. What an improvement. Way to take the joyous, marvellous sharing and bonding experience of comic reading and turn it into a passive, lonely undertaking that isolates, rather than unites.

Isn’t this what is happening in every area of our lives these days? The internet has changed how we get our information and form our opinions; and the mainstream media, politicians, corporations, and the entertainment industry don’t like that one bit. They are going to fight to death to maintain control over the populace–making every effort to keep us passive and willing to settle for less than what we really need and want. As Doctorow says,

I think that the press has been all over the iPad because Apple puts on a good show, and because everyone in journalism-land is looking for a daddy figure who’ll promise them that their audience will go back to paying for their stuff. The reason people have stopped paying for a lot of “content” isn’t just that they can get it for free, though: it’s that they can get lots of competing stuff for free, too. The open platform has allowed for an explosion of new material, some of it rough-hewn, some of it slick as the pros, most of it targetted more narrowly than the old media ever managed. Rupert Murdoch can rattle his saber all he likes about taking his content out of Google, but I say do it, Rupert. We’ll miss your fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the Web so little that we’ll hardly notice it, and we’ll have no trouble finding material to fill the void.

Politicians are in the same boat as corporations–no wonder they have joined forces with big business in their joint efforts to control us and keep us consuming all the crap they want us to buy from them! The health care reform debacle is certainly a case in point. Most Americans want a single payer health plan–just expand Medicare to everyone and be done with it. Medicare already covers 40% of Americans, why not all of us? Medicare has very low overhead, so why should we have to buy insurance from corporations with 30% overhead?

It makes no sense, but the politicians tell us not to believe the obvious evidence that Medicare for all would be the best plan for the American people. They are going to do their best to try to convince us that we want to be forced to buy crap insurance from whomever they tell us to buy it from and that it was a fair trade-off for women to lose their reproductive freedom so that approximately 25 million more people can have crap health insurance that probably won’t provide the health care they actually need.

In 2008, the Democratic Party, along with the giant corporations who control the mainstream media, decided to force voters to sit back and just be consumers of whatever crap they decided to force down our throats. They selected a candidate for us instead of listening to what we wanted in a President. They weren’t interested in listening to us, and the President they chose for us isn’t interested in listening to what we think either.

Clearly Barack Obama and his corporate backers saw the danger of a vital, rough-and-tumble liberal blogosphere, and they realized they would have to deal with the big liberal blogs in order to win the Democratic nomination.

David Axelrod had a long history of running astroturf campaigns, and he knew just what to do. First, he needed to get young people involved. They would be attracted to a candidate who offered hope of “transformative change.” He introduced him to the product, Barack Obama, as a “transformative leader” and “inspirational speaker,” a “messiah” would would save the country from the Bush/Cheney gang.

Younger people wouldn’t know the difference. They wouldn’t really remember John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, or even Bill Clinton, all of whom were better speakers and who implemented much more transformative policies than Barack Obama was offering–even the campaign before he reverse himself on nearly every issue.

Axelrod organized Obama camps where these enthusiastic young liberals could be trained to be “ruthless for Obama,” doing whatever was necessary to sell the new product on the internet and in person.

Then he sent these young people out to infiltrate the prog blogs, especially the biggest ones–Daily Kos and Democratic Underground. What the Obama crowd didn’t bank on was people like us who were a little older and/or wiser and just weren’t all that impressed with the packaging of the product. We wanted blueprints, details and specifics. We wanted to know what the guy really thought and believed. We looked past the packaging, and we decided not to buy the product.

Since, as Marcos Moulitsas likes to say, “it’s a big internet,” we headed out into the wilderness and started our own liberal blogs. No wonder they tried so hard to kill us off during the primaries. We weren’t interested in just being consumers of a product. We wanted to have a say in our own futures. We saw the government and the Democratic party as our employees, not our masters. We wanted freedom of choice.

Now that the banks, corporations and media have won the battle, now that they have their chosen front man and they have turned the “progressive blogs” into “access bloggers,” they are still doing everything possible to limit our choices so they can stay in control of the political system and keep us from gaining any real power over our lives. They are going to fight to the death to limit our control over our own internet experience, our choices of what media to consume.

We must be eternally vigilant in preventing the government and corporations from completely neutering the internet. Interacting with each other–with more and more people around the country and the world, freely exchanging ideas and information, is our best hope for saving what is left of democracy in America. They may have won this battle, but they have not yet won the war.

I’d love to get your take on this, but as always, please post links to what you are reading in the comments. Here are a few other stories that caught my eye this morning to get you started. Have a great Saturday everyone!!

Apple’s iPad hits store shelves


The Militia Man Next Door


Urologist Posts His Politics on His Florida Office Door


Terrifying Sea Critter Hauled from the Ocean’s Depths

Finally! Scientific proof that greasy breakfasts are good for us!