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Thursday: Saddle point

Do you get the idea that we have reached some kind of turning point?  Is there nowhere to go but up or are we sliding sideways into oblivion?  Will the public finally see what the Republicans really are once they take over the House during the mother of all recessions or has the preincubation of visions of GlennBeckistan done its job?  Will the masters of the corporate universe take a look at the balance sheets and finally realize that outsourcing is wasting the valuable productivity time of their remaining employees or will they keep forcing us into smaller workspaces with fewer resources to show that their beautiful management theories work in spite of all of the ugly facts?

Take the 2012 primary, for example.  Yesterday, Matt Bai in the NYTimes just idly speculated whether it was time for the Democrats to consider alternatives.  Predictably, Matt Bai, being from that tiny but vocal minority of the Democratic party that thinks it’s swell for non-viable personal favorites to run instead of people who actually like to practice politics has floated Howard Dean’s name to the top of the list.  Whatever.  The intellectual masturbation post of Bai’s generated 805 comments before the discussion was cut off (soooo not fair for those of us at work).  Russ Feingold also got some attention.  I have nothing against Feingold but he strikes me as a bit of an enigma.  You get the idea that he votes on principle but his principles are a bit quirky for everyday consumption.  I’m not sure the average Joe will *get* Feingold and, unless you’re living in Iran, the votes of the average Joe are still sort of necessary.  Hillary’s name is floated by many, many people who regret voting for Obama.  LOTS of regrets.

Over at Naked Capitalism, there are hints of another Black Swan event on the near horizon. It turns out that when Obama cut his deal, the nitwit forgot to get a guarantee on raising the debt ceiling from the Republicans.  Since the government will run out of money sometime during the first quarter of next year, we can probably look forward to a government shut down.  (Oh, no they woo-ent.  Oh yes, they would.)  Then there’s some stuff about municipal bonds that will be phased out next year, putting some big states at risk of insolvency.  It’s just so thrilling it makes me squirm with anticipation.  The speculation is that these moves are designed to put a huge amount of pressure on a fragile economic system and that Americans will cut loose their public service unions and slit their throats in order to avoid a major collapse of the global financial system.

If I were the president, I’d call the Republicans global terrorists and have them arrested for pulling that shit on us.  But that’s just me because I’m uncouth and rude while also being sanctimonious and pure.  Picture Joan of Arc with a beer gut.  Come on, Barry, you and Versailles have me all confused.  I have no idea what I’m supposed to be.  Just tell me this, am I still a virgin?

And then there are those annoying liberal Democrats who insist on sticking to their core principles.  Like Al Franken, who has the chutzpah to quote the New Testament and he’s not even a Christian.

(see this link for the rest of Franken’s excellent shellacking of the president and the Republicans)

Ehhhh, what does he know.  Today’s Christians don’t mess around with the New Testament.  I mean, if you read THAT side of the bible, you’d think that Jesus was a fricking Liberal or something.  And Franken keeps bringing up carpenters for some reason.  Jesus was a carpenter.  Of course, if Jesus were alive today, he would have just lost his pension to some greedy con artists on Wall Street who sold his pension fund a bunch of worthless tranches.   Good thing he was the Son of God or he’d be eating catfood.

(Hey, did you know that the Atheists community is the biggest contributor to Kiva?  Who knew?  They beat the pants off the Christians.)

But Obama, who kind of implies that everyone should have a faith or they’re worthless human beings, is a different kind of Christian.  You know, the kind that likes to court Evangelicals for political gain but thinks that it’s gauche to get all wrapped up in values and principles.  They would just get in the way of his “accomplishments”.   Jeez, Barry, why don’t you just take up needlepoint or some charming ideas for a painted table or something?

Anyway, Al’s suggestion that you help out someone in need for the holiday season is a pretty good idea.  Why not buy a disadvantaged kid you don’t know a present for Christmas?  (Or, I’m 1/8 Jewish so I’m entitled to one day of Hannukah, right? )  Your workplace may be sponsoring such an opportunity, like mine has for years now.  Take advantage of it and you will make a kid happy for the day.

Podcast for the day: On yesterday’s Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviewd David Sanger of the NYTimes regarding the Wikileaks document dump from the State Department.  Count how many times they mention Hillary’s name.  It’s pretty hilarious.  They keep dancing around the subject of how well the State Department is doing these days and how forceful its response has been to Iran.  They even go so far as saying that the Iranian sanctions are nothing like what Barry had in mind when he was running for president.  They make a passing reference to Hillary calling him *naive* but are careful not to credit her with the harsher sanctions.

It is becoming more clear to me that if the Republicans are allowed to botch the country into third world status, it will be because Whole Foods Nation progressives just can’t get their heads out of their asses.  They would rather let the country die, die, die! before they let some “Blue dog” {{snort!}}, war hawk, triangulating, DLC loving, New Democrat like Hillary Clinton inflict her steely resolve and competence on Washington DC.

So, if we all end up poor and yoked to our billionaire masters of the universe, don’t blame it on Republicans.  Blame it on the self described “creative class” Democrats who want to replace Barack Obama with candidates who are not capable of winning or running the White House.  Yeah, that oughta learn them lousy Republicans.  Take that.

Ok, sports fans, I’m off to buy a Visa check card for Christmas for a 14 year old girl I don’t know.

Go and do likewise.

75 Responses

  1. What I don’t understand is how, if we are on the verge of being completely broke, is how the oh-so responsible ones think CUTTING their income somehow makes any sense…?

    fools.

    • Because it’s our incomes that are being cut. The “responsible ones” are doing just fine. But they don’t make their money here, and so they don’t invest here. They’ve written this country off and they’re in the long process of shutting it down, exactly as they shut a factory down when the real work has been moved offshore. We don’t have to agree to this, of course, but we do need to prepare ourselves for it.

  2. Embarassingly, I’m frist, but and so Tony Wikrent has this: Do you know how much the financial class takes out of the economy from pushing their paper around? $30 billion dollars a day. That’s $30 BILLION DOLLARS A DAY. That’s 6 million jobs at $50K….

    It’s like the banksters are a giant tapeworm in all of our guts. Any New New Deal — and any candidate in 2012 — needs to take account of this reality, if they’re serious.

    • I call them grasshoppers but locusts are more like it.
      The good thing is that after they wreck devastation, they go into a dormant phase for years.
      Let’s hope they gorge themselves to death pretty soon.

  3. Wow! That Franken speech is fantastic! No wonder Ds let him twist in the wind for months before being allowed to take office!
    Today’s tabloids give conflicting reports on D’s stand on Obama’s deal – which of course means they’ll cave too
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/tabloidswiki-warfare-dems-hate-no-love-obamas-tax-deal/

    • That guy at the end of the Franken clip…Schultz? He made a good point, but was it the Republicans who passed the HCR bill?

      • No, indeedy, it was not. In fact, I don’t think a single republican voted for that POS. And the reason that it was a POS in the first place was so it would appeal to Republicans.
        Democrats do not know how to play this game.

  4. Great post! You managed to elate information that makes me want to cry in a way that had me laughing out loud. Yes, the ole “well run Dean or Feingold”. These people need to get real already. Those guys don’t have a substantial following. They simply would not win a primary contest or a general election for that matter. 100% right about Feingold’s quirkiness.

  5. Oh Lawd…

    Greg Sargeant sayz Obama is not like that awful triangulator Bill Clinton. He’s just being mature:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/is_obama_triangulating.html

    • Riiiiiight.
      No one in the great unwashed even knows who Greg Sargent is. He is speaking to the Whole Foods Nation types who are rapidly losing their religious fervor for Obama.
      The guy who wrote The Authoritarians said that followers will turn on their leaders when they feel personally betrayed. Go read that Matt Bai post for the comments. Lots of betrayal going on an oh do the former Obots feel it.

      • Yeah, Sargeant’s audience is definitely the Obama dead enders. They keep saying we need to “make peace” with Obama’s tax deal. Ok, off to read Bai now.

  6. completely OT: they’ve got a house here in So Cal that is so full of bomb-making materials they’ve can’t even send in the robot (too dangerous)… so today, they’ve evacuated all the residents about a half mile away, are shutting down a major freeway…

    and are going to burn the house down.

    😯

    does anyone else think this may not be the best idea?

    apparently, it has never been tried before.

  7. LBJ knew the Vietnam was lost when Walter Cronkite turned, who in the media will have the same effect on the Obama team?

  8. Anyone see the protests going on in London?

  9. “Picture Joan of Arc with a beer gut.”

    I love it , I love it, I love it! (on back, kicking legs in air)

    Thanks Riverdaughter!

  10. Mr. Mike, that’s an interesting question. Whose deflection will cause the biggest “oh noes!!!” among desperate Dems? Maybe Olbermann? Maddow?

  11. […] the rest here: Thursday: Saddle point Posted by admin | Categories: Uncategorized | Tagged: annoying core principles, beer gut, […]

  12. House Dems won’t bring up Obama’s tax bill for a vote according to CNN.
    Wow, the worm has turned.

  13. In addition to being anti-gay the Salvation Army has really gone over the fundie-wacko cliff:

    “CALGARY — The Salvation Army says it refuses to distribute Harry Potter and Twilight toys collected for needy children because they’re incompatible with the charity’s Christian beliefs.”
    (snip)

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/canada/2010/12/08/16478111.html

    • What kind of Twilight toys are there for kids? Isn’t that about teenage vampire romantic angst?

    • I can’t speak for “Twilight”, but yeah – all those horrible messages in Harry Potter like, love and goodness are things to aspire to, take care of your friends, be honest and make wise choices – all bad messages to be sending to children.

      (Apparently they also missed the Resurrection theme at the end of Book 7, when good triumphed over evil).

  14. But that’s just me because I’m uncouth and rude while also being sanctimonious and pure. Picture Joan of Arc with a beer gut.

    LOL! You’re such a great writer RD 🙂

  15. RD has said it elsewhere. I tried to lay it out it the other day. I just don’t see how the DNC system is set up right now to primary someone else. Folks would have to get a whole lot madder to break up the caucuses, funnel the money away from Chicago and Tim Kaine, change the agreed-upon voting rules etc.

    What I think would change it wouldn’t be right or acceptable,and I won’t say it. That I even had the idea upsets me deeply.

    Under Reagan, whom I thought the scariest man ever, under Bush 2, at least I had the sense that if we hung on we would get through it.

    I don’t think I’ve ever felt this much futility and impotence. Watching others chew this cud is taking sooo long. I know they can’t help it if their nose didn’t tell them astroturf was indigestible, but you would think they would get tired of chewing.

    • I saw a headline today by Joan Walsh @ Salon that was titled, “Don’t Primary Obama–change Congress.”

      Whatever Joan. She is all over the map with her loyalties. I didn’t read it. Maybe she makes some kind of coherent point about not wasting energy, but to leave him as the figurehead to represent the Party is completely unacceptable. He’s got to go.

    • There still isn’t real democracy in the primary process. If the superdelegates want Obama, 2/3 of primary voters would have to go the other way.

      • Yep, that’s what I mean, there is just no way to push someone else through unless a profundity of Dems see the dawning light. We would be better off getting a few more Socialists and Greens to help put Congress back in balance. However, I think we sc**ed ourselves in the last election, since those folks apparently will now get to work on redistricting based on the 2010 census.

        • I’ve voted third part most of my adult life, with a brief hiatus from 96 to 08, where I voted straight Dem. Most of the time, the local papers don’t even report me and the other 2% who refuse to vote for Crook or Crookeder. I noticed during the lead up to the last election, many here were making noises about third party votes, but when it came down to doing the deed, most said that THEIR district was different, and they would be going ahead and voting for the Dem. It’s discouraging — kind of like a kid who has only ever had a choice between grilled cheese and mac&cheese, going into a buffet, looking around at all the choices, and zeroing in on the mac&cheese. I’m with you, roofingbird, I’m feeling thoroughly defeated.

  16. Better explanation of House Dems defying Obama and refusing to take up the tax deal.

    http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/12/09/house-democrats-reject-tax-cut-deal-in-its-current-form/

  17. “Blame it on the self described ‘creative class’ Democrats who want to replace Barack Obama with candidates who are not capable of winning or running the White House.”

    Yup.

  18. Why is no one floating Franken as a possible 2012 contender? Any combo of Franken and HRC would be a dream team in my eyes.

  19. Why don’t we just call them what they ought to be anyway – WAR BONDS! We have years of unacknowledged war debt to pay for and many more years to go. I’m sick of pretending we are not at war, and that it’s clean and pretty. If we are a economy at war, why don’t put our effort into establishing the face of it instead of spending up to 75% of our SBA (Small Business) money on Alaskan Native groups to provide all that private mercenary product to protect bigwigs and do any other odd jobs that the military isn’t in to?

    You wonder why small business is being pushed? It’s got very little to do with small business.

  20. Consider me crazy, but somehow I don’t think Obama FORGOT to ask the Republicans for a deficit ceiling pledge. He’s simply the “good cop” part of the bipartisan team…

  21. Some Obama operatives are acting like secondary mortgage lenders: it was all in the fine print
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/hey-os-you-shouda-read-the-fine-print-now-you-lose/

  22. Ohhh, this is getting interesting. Nancy has a backbone? Or, it’s just more theatre, and they cave eventually anyway?

    House Democrats Reject Tax Plan Unless Changed
    House Democrats vote to reject Obama’s tax cut compromise with the GOP unless modified

    Said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas: “If it’s take it or leave it, we’ll leave it.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=12353675

    • When she was re-elected and made Minority Leader, I knew this was a game changer.
      She had to kiss O butt for at least a couple sessions in the name of the unity pony.
      But the mid terms set her free.

      Now that the curtain has been pulled back on Obama, she can lead.
      California Dem are not going to let this thing float.
      Nancy is a liberal dem and I think she can kill this . She is not going to let it come up for vote .

  23. Spammy ate me again. Loves me lately.

  24. riverdaughter, I don’t care if you print this — in fact, I would prefer that you do not. But this was a beautifully-written post.

    Of course, I’m a Johannaphile from way back. Ever read the bio by Vita Sackville-West?

  25. So now Frankin is quoting from Matthrew?
    He got it all wrong.
    Jesus said “whatever you do for the least of your breathren, you do for me”.
    Correct.
    But Jesus was talking to the individual ‘you’.
    Jesus, as far as I know, never promoted the idea of taking the property from those who’ve earned it and passing it around to others.
    In fact, there is a commandment from the old testament that dampens this kind of thinking. It says “Thou Shalt Not Steal”.

    • Ah, the old “taxation is theft” trope.

      Spoken like a true wingnut. 😛

      Heaven forbid that one cent should be taken from the Malefactors Of Great Wealth, who worked their little butts off for every bit of their money. 🙄

      • So, call me a wingnut.
        Taking even one cent from someone who has earned it, without that person’s permission is stealing.
        There is no other way to define it.

        • What about those who didn’t earn it? (Paris Hilton comes to mind).

        • Very well, Dora, how do you intend to pay for fire protection, police protection, military protection, protection against poverty, roads, schools, all those other things necessary to maintain civilization that can’t be done at a profit, without taxation, which you define as theft?

          A Radical Libertoonian among us. This should be fun… 😛

        • When a CEO of a Health Insurance company takes 23 million bonus annually.
          Has he actually “earned” that money?
          To me..that is stealing.

      • The Gospels say “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”, in other words, pay your taxes.

    • I guess you didn’t read the part about Jesus throwing the moneylenders from the temple?

    • isn’t Jesus pretty much a communist by the time you get to Paul’s letters to the Corinthians? “Have nothing of your own’, etc.

  26. Two things that gross me out this week. Palin’s Caribou and this news story. The word “Pinko” is in this story. Isn’t that interesting RD & Co.

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/12/09/one-nation-under-god.html

    Now, most of us were little kids when that word made an appearance the first time around. WTF gives right now? Really.

    WTF gives?

    It’s effing lawless at this point, practically. A quote from the above:

    “…What’s motivating religious conservatives now, says Campolo, is a vision of America as God’s own special country, and free-market capitalism as crucial to the nation’s flourishing. Everyone who doesn’t see things this way, according to this perspective, is a socialist or a communist—“Pinkos who are subverting America under the auspices of the president of the United States,” he says. “The marriage between evangelicalism and patriotic nationalism is so strong that anybody who is raising questions about loyalty to the old, laissez-faire capitalist system is ex post facto unpatriotic, un-American, and by association non-Christian.” Support for Obama, in other words, equals an abandonment of American principles equals godlessness… ”

    Well. The capitalist system here has outsourced, so I guess the people in that article above better pray. Bigtime. Personally? I thought it was looking like Bastille day two years ago. It really does now. How sick does the country have to get before the politicians actually do something good for a change? One wonders.

    Palin makes me sick, on that Caribou. As in VOMIT. .

    • Are you a vegetarian? TLC did post a warning before airing the hunting part.

      • No. I think the way she uses the media is disgusting. Maybe those wolves she shoots will turn on her. Karma.

        • Don’t you think you are using a double-standard on her? I don’t see why male ceeb pols don’t get called disgusting?

          • Well, I think the ALL are disgusting…I call them “charisma candidates”….no substance, write books, get media attention. Palin is the latest incarnation…

            As for the word “pinko” …..when I was a kid, my father used to day “Pinko did it” whenever I sort of avoided taking the blame for something I did that I wasn’t supposed to do.

            Little did I know then…

  27. Has anyone noted here that on MSN’s website (I know, but that is where I have my hotmail account) they have an article about how Harry Reid and other top Democrat’s have been trying to help a Chinese energy farm obtain 450 million dollars in U.S. Federal Aid to build wind farms in west Texas and in his home state of Nevada!

    How much lower is it possible to sink?

  28. The Christian Appalachian Project serves some of the poorest citizens of the USA.

    http://www.christianapp.org/

  29. I have trouble getting on this bandwagon about O the Repug in Dem clothing and the Repugs as the evil death bringers. I thought this batch of Dems were beyond stupid and incompetent when they trashed HRC and Big Dawg. But then they gave us not just Ozero but a health care bill that is crap. The trillion dollar stimulus was the crucible bowl for forging a liberal agenda to prosperity and employment—they gave us a trillion $$$ worth of pork and total unaccountability.

    Frankly, the tax cut deal is not all that bad in my book. The millionaire/billionaire classes don’t deserve a tax cut extension but if they did not get it they would just bail out of the country to a tax haven somewhere else and we would not get as much out of them as we do now. One way to look at this deal is as a stimulus package that is going going directly to the American people (all of them) in the form of getting to keep more of the money they earn. They will not f#$X% up how they spend it any more than the DC idiots who wrote the 1st stimulus package and everything that came thereafter.

  30. 3% of $10,000 = $300.
    3% of $1,000,000 = $30,000.

    Obviously, it costs the coffers way more to extend the tax cut to the larger amount than the smaller amount. It is also a much greater advantage the the rich than the poor.
    The Bush tax cuts were sold on the basis that it was wrong for the federal government to run a surplus. (As long as there is a national debt, I don’t agree.) What possible rationale can anyone use for extending tax cuts given the government’s present fiscal dilemma?
    And on the subject of filibuster: pick yer topic and let ‘er rip! Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Unemployment extension, it doesn’t matter. It’s high time we let the Repubs wind up, and then wind down, all in full view. Nothing is getting done anyway… let them show themselves as fools for as long as they like. Backing down in the face of threatened verbosity is tantamount to agreement.

    • The tax cut for the rich is 700 billion over 10 yrs. The middle class cut is 3,400 billion over 10 yrs. As individuals, the rich benefit much more, but there are more working and middle class people of course. The wealthy income tax and estate tax cuts are unconscionable imo. And for BO to say there would have been no middle class cuts if the wealthy cuts were not also included is disingenuous. That’s a Republican talking point. Republicans would never have given middle class cuts the shaft. It’s a game of poker, but BO and the Republicans are playing for the same team…namely the wealthy creative class. And will the wealthy creative class invest in American workers with that 700 billion? Probably not…more likely they will invest overseas.

      • I don’t believe it would have killed the economy to let them all expire. We would have just been back with the Clinton tax rates. As I remember, those were not onerous.

        • Perhaps. Rates today at all levels are much lower than they were at the start of Reagan’s first term. But we are still in a deep recession no matter what the Wall Street people say, and I tend to agree with Krugman that we still need more deficit spending to stimulate the economy.

    • Actually, the extension of the unemployment benefits is the most stimulative item, because people who get them HAVE to spend it on things they need to survive.

      For every $ spent on the extension, there is $1.50 benefit in the economy. Tax cuts, gets a contribution to the economy of just 40c!!!

      According to the discussion I heard today on NPR, the least beneficial is the estate tax bit.

  31. The DNC must be getting desperate. I went back to being an Independent and called the DNC and said I wanted off their list.
    Silence for 2 years, now, suddenly, they have rediscovered me (nearly 60, female, previously unwanted) and have called me TWICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    UGH!

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