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Sunday: What to do, What to do?

Susie Madrak has her own radio show on BlogTalkRadio.  On January 17, her guests were Eric Boehlert and Nicole Sanders.  They took a call from a woman whose unemployment benefits ran out last March.  MARCH.  Of 2010.  For almost a year, this woman has had zero income.  No unemployment, no little job, nuthin.  She’s spent all of her savings and is now living on a home equity line of credit to pay her bills.  And she called Susie, who’s doing the best she can with what she has too since being out of work for some time now, and asks what she can do to get lawmakers’ attention?

Susie talked about how the Communist party started organizing back in the Great Depression, preventing people from getting evicted and feeding the poor.  And back then, it got a lot of attention.  There were tent cities and Hoovervilles in Washington.  Evidence of poverty was everywhere.  It was the threat of a public uprising the finally got things moving.

Susie gave the standard answers about what can be done.  Show up at a congressman’s office en masse, hang out in front of the restaurant where he/she and friends have lunch, throw a tent city or two and call the local paper or TV station about it.  Butcha know, I don’t think that’s going to work anymore and as one of them said: the right has the biggest megaphones and they simply won’t report it.

The right knows their voters.  They motivate their voters to vote by romanticizing the fetus, by appealing to their religiosity.  If bad things happen to other people, it’s because they weren’t as pious and good as the typical Fox News viewer.  That same religiosity prevents the religious conservative from doing too much to help the poor by contacting their representatives and demanding action.  It’s because there is so much evil and bad and pain in the world that mankind does not have the capacity to clean it up.  Only god does.  So, we need to just wait for Jesus to come back, which should be any day now.  If you’ve ever wondered what the apocalyptic messaging in right wing propaganda has to do with anything, there’s the reason.  It’s to keep the older conservative voter who sees disturbing things from taking any action.

If Susie wants to know what to do, she is going to have to target these viewers to get involved.  One thing that temporarily woke people up was the sight of so many people suffering in the wake of Katrina in New Orleans.  Which means that the news machine will be very careful to never do that again.  So, if you can’t bring the news to the people, maybe you have to bring the people to the news.

Don’t isolate your older, more conservative relatives.  Tell them what’s going on because you’ve seen it personally.  Tell them what is happening to your unemployed friends.  If they ask why they’re not willing to relocate, tell them the truth.  There are no jobs.  Anywhere.  Be harsh with them.  They won’t want to see you.  But they’ll call and ask why you haven’t come to visit.  Tell them you’re trying to help your friends- who are unemployed and that they just don’t get it.  They’ll go on about how God is the only one who can clean this mess up.  Tell them that’s bullshit and Jesus wouldn’t want them to ignore the poor.  If they tell you that you’re friends did something wrong, tell them the only thing they did wrong was being born in the wrong part of the 20th century.  If they say, yes, it’s true, the older generation has it good in comparison, tell them, great!  We’re moving in with you.  With the bird.  And the kid who likes to play Edith Piaf songs all. the. time. and refuses to speak to you in anything but French and eats like there’s no tomorrow.  When they express some hesitation about that, tell them to turn off the fricking TV news.

As for Susie, I think she has a future in broadcasting but she really has to ditch her propensity to glom onto left wing memes.  I’m not saying stop being liberal.  I’m saying stop letting the left do your thinking.  On one broadcast a couple of months ago, I think Athenae was on, they got so frustrated with it all that they want to just ditch everything and go rustic, which is great if you have no dependents.  But in some respects, it reminds me of the older religious person’s decision to just stay in the house away from the evil men and sexual predators until Jesus comes back.  You can’t run away from the world’s problems when they seem insurmountable.  If you do that, the bad guys win.  They want people to feel helpless.  Learned helplessness is their goal.

The only way to win is to get together and fight back.  And if Susie hasn’t figured this out yet, the left’s support of Obama in 2008 has resulted in thousands of sparkling shards of leftiness with the incapacity to reform itself.  I keep appealing to people like Susie to stop blowing us off and join with us and let’s do something together.  But the left hasn’t given up on the stuff that doesn’t resonate with their potential allies who work for the big corporations the left condemns.  It’s incomprehensible to me that for all the intelligence the left claims it has that it hasn’t figured out yet that the corporations are not the ogres here.  It’s the rulemakers they help elect.  If the rules weren’t bent or destroyed, the corporations would go back to playing by the rules and merely scheming like grinches instead of running around causing havoc like Thing 1 and Thing 2.   Then there are people like us who voted for Hillary and are still personas non grata.  We’re always going to think Obama was the wrong guy for the moment.  But why would the left cut off half of its strength if it really want to make a change?  Let me ask you this, Susie, why haven’t you asked any of US on your show yet?   Not that we can’t host our own shows but that’s hardly togetherness, is it?

The left’s obsession with perfection mirrors the right’s eschatological fervor.  Neither one addresses the causes and concerns of people in the middle who still bitterly cling to their FDR era programs with track records of success for those who participate.  Both sides insist that if they can’t have everything their way, no one will get anything at all.  In this respect, the left does as much damage to its cause as the right does with its huge megaphones.

If you want to know why no one hears your cries, it’s because you haven’t joined with other voices.  And the men in charge, and it’s ALWAYS men, like it that way.  Power is the ultimate drug and no one is going to wrest it from them without a fight.  As long as the left remains broken, Susie and her tent cities are no threat to the power brokers.

In other news:

So, about that FICA 2% tax break.  I was just talking to my colleague about this the other day.  She was planning to roll that money into her 401K.  Hold off on that, I said, you never know how they’re going to take it out of your hide.  After all, you’re income tax may go up instead.  Sure enough, Carissa at Corrente discovered what the catch is in Making Work Pay Clawback.  You’re not going to like it.  I probably won’t like it a whole bunch more.  As a single person who only gets to claim Head of Household every other year, while still retaining the blessings of parenthood and a healthcare policy that requires that I am the major source of support for the kid, I pay an outrageous amount in taxes already but I’m well below the top tax bracket that actually gets…

wait for it

a break! Yep, if you’re in the 35% tax bracket, the amount of money you can make before you are taxed has risen.  For everyone else, the amount you have to make before the taxes kick in has dropped. Isn’t that special?  So, hold off on adding to your 401Ks, which only people who have paid off their mortgages can afford to fund adequately.  Not only has Obama managed to not soak the rich, he has given them additional breaks, acquiesced to a plan that underfunds social security, transferring that money to the general fund where it will be spent in Iraq, and raised taxes on our income.  In summary, the 2% FICA tax break does absolutely NOTHING to stimulate the economy. Well done!  Is this really the one we were waiting for?

Les Leopold at AlterNet attempts to answer the perennial question, “Why Do People Who Work in Finance Earn So Much More Than the Rest of Us?” Yes, I would like to know the answer to that question, as well as why it is that people who work in the corporate offices make so much more than the people who do the innovation and the hands on work to produce the products that make all the money?  And why is their gym nicer and their cafeteria food better?  Why is it they can use the mail service to ship personal items to international destinations while the people in the facility down the road can’t?  Shit, did I say that out loud?  Well, why???  What is it about dressing up and sitting behind a desk makes the people who make sometimes incredibly bad decisions so much wealthier than the rest of us?  The answer, as far as I can tell is that if you delegate your authority to other people to keep track of the money so that you can get actual work done, you run the risk that those delegates will reward themselves handsomely at your expense, and at a certain level of wealth, you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.  It’s extortion.  That’s my theory and I’m sticking with it.

Leopold does some calculations:

Let’s try a back-of-the envelope calculation of Wall Street’s net social value. Compare their bonuses and profits for roughly the last five years (about $500 billion) with the economic losses produced in the financial crisis the bankers caused (about $4 trillion in value destroyed, not counting the ongoing travails of the 22 million people who haven’t yet been able to find a full-time job). For every dollar “earned” on Wall Street, about 8 dollars were destroyed. (In case you’re suffering from financial amnesia and forgot how the financial sector single-handedly caused the economic crisis, please see The Looting of America. Chapter One can be found gratis on AlterNet.

I hate to break this to the educators but, it turns out if you really want your students to learn something, testing is one of the best ways to do it.  You know those endless stupid projects you have our kids doing where they have to map everything out on big pieces of expensive poster board with connections to all of the other concepts in the unit?  Turns out that might be a waste of parents time.  What researchers have discovered is that those projects impose an artificial organization and categorization system on students that is more easily and naturally achieved by simply testing them on the material as soon as possible after they learn it.  Go back to the pop quizzes, teachers.  Save yourself and your kids and their families a nights of exhaustion and despair.  From the NYTimes article:

Why retrieval testing helps is still unknown. Perhaps it is because by remembering information we are organizing it and creating cues and connections that our brains later recognize.

“When you’re retrieving something out of a computer’s memory, you don’t change anything — it’s simple playback,” said Robert Bjork, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved with the study.

But “when we use our memories by retrieving things, we change our access” to that information, Dr. Bjork said. “What we recall becomes more recallable in the future. In a sense you are practicing what you are going to need to do later.”

It may also be that the struggle involved in recalling something helps reinforce it in our brains.

It makes sense.  If you impose a little bit of stress on the student in the form of a quiz or test, they are forced to rapidly organize the information and discover where they are deficient so they can revisit the information later.  If you impose too much stress on them by forcing them to adopt another organization method, you not only screw up their intrinsic method but you create a life long hatred of projects.  JMHO.

Anyway, it’s in the journal Science, which is a stickler for peer review and details and stuff like that so as much as you may dislike the concept of testing for retention, you can’t completely dismiss this paper.  Well, you *could*, but it would be pointless.

Another article from the NYTimes proclaims that Obama is to press a centrist agenda in his SOTU address.  So, it looks like after three years of playing the political philosophical mystery man, Obama has finally found a place to dig in his heels and plant his flag — right down the middle.  Which has moved significantly rightwards since he became president.  Uh-huh.  I see this as a way to head off Bloomberg and his silly No Limits soiree.  Which means, the vast majority of people who are not making $200K a year and have to work for a living without a safety net are still screwed and unrepresented by this President.  Obama has finally found his constituents:

Mr. Obama previewed the themes in a video e-mailed Saturday evening to supporters who had helped in his election campaign. But the video made plain that his speech would be geared more broadly toward the political center, to independent voters and business owners and executives alienated by the expansion of government and the partisan legislative fights of the past two years.

The rest of you scientists and airline pilots and mathematicians turned uber programmers and burger flippers and unemployed journalists and part time morticians can go take a hike.

Lovely.  By the way, NYTimes reporters, the economy is *not* “picking up steam”.  My friends are just as unemployed as ever and the rest of us are in danger of joining them.

I’m so glad that I can say with pride that “I didn’t vote for him”.

About that abortion clinic from hell, Alternet has a followup.  Well, there are a lot of articles on this subject.  The story is very gruesome but just goes to show you that desperate women will overlook unsanitary conditions, illegality and their own health to get abortions when they decide they need them.  There is nothing that a senior citizen mainlining Fox News can do about it.  These women are never going to bond with or have any warm and fuzzy maternal instincts for the fetuses they carry.  There’s no amount of shame or inconvenience you can foist on them that will deter them.  The only thing you accomplish by stigmatizing abortion and forcing poor women to “Chase the Fee” is that you end up risking two deaths instead of one.

This is the first but certainly not the last legal clinic that resembles a back alley abortion mill.  There will have to be a lot more of them before the anti-choice contingent starts feeling the weight of all of the deaths and destruction and infertility it has visited on women.  They will have to feel it and be made to take the blame for it.

66 Responses

  1. There’s a wonderful tent city in Guantanamo. Thats exactly where you’re likely to end up by erecting tent cities and getting in the face of your Congressperson now. Homeland Security with their intrusive tactics will see any protest as a threat and unless your numbers happen to be so great that they are overwhelmed, forget it. As for moving for a job, not only is there nowhere to go, but that costs money. Lots of money. In the old days when there was the rush of masses to the west coast for jobs people camped along the sides of roads, under bridges and just about anywhere until their gas ran out. Now, you’d be thrown in jail for vagrancy. There is no camping allowed anywhere unless you can pay. Tent Cities? Not in Washington. After Katrina, people were given trailers and $2000. Where are they now? Dispersed all across America so they couldn’t gather together. Of course we always have our “Faith Based Initiative” kinda help if you’re willing to turn to Jesus and give up your heathen ways.

  2. As crappy as things are, maybe we haven’t hit the bottom. Apparently some people still have some equity in their homes & are “living on a home equity line of credit” … other people can raid their retirement savings (at great penalty)

    But, if we get that promised/threatened double dip it’ll be about the time that stuff disappears. And then what?


    When Katrina stuck those left homeless could be moved someplace else But when the double-dip hits, where is someplace else then?

    Because there’s little hope that the Obama Administration will pull out a secret stash of jobs.

  3. I’ve been reading quietly these past couple of days trying to figure out where I “belong” in the blogosphere these days. Sadly, it seems as if I am stuck with a list of labels that get applied to everyone.

    I am not a Tea Party person. I am not a Republican of any stripe. I am not a Blue Dog democrat – in fact I don’t consider myself a Democrat – at least today’s Democrat, anymore either. I know that I am more “progressive” than the Blue Dogs and I hate that term because Obama tries to tag himself with it. I have always been a liberal thinker – but your posts are blasting liberals, too.

    All I know is that I am sick and tired of it all. I can’t stand politicians of any/either party. I can’t stand elitists. In 2008 I found the first politician in my life to really support: HRC. Why? Because she was smart, effective, caring and understood the people’s positions and needs. Would she have been perfect? No, of course not. But she is and was the smartest person ever to run for POTUS in my 65 years of life.

    Now what? I am truly lost. What would Hillary do is the only mantra that I have left. But where does that take me???????? Is there a place for me? Or do I turn off the monitor (as I have the TV) and cease all involvement? That idea kills me because then all of the rest of “them” win.

    • I think we shouldn’t worry about labels. There’s something new coming.

    • I understand exactly what you are saying as I am the same way. Using the labels is a way to describe “where you’re at.” I wish I had the answers. I’m not sure the “something new coming” is going to be good for the better of us.

    • Marsha, I feel exactly like you.although I have always cared about elections and spoke out , Hillary’s campaign is the only one that I volunteered to work for.. And even though bush’s “elections” were not what I thought this democracy was about , I thought Democrats were different. Now I know better and like you said it’s hard to know if there’s any place that that I fit in or even if I would want to. I liked to think that I am thinking for myself but now everyone is hyper sensitive so if you don’t follow the thinking exactly be gone! Those of us dissatisfied need to unite and get over the smaller differences.

      I used to go to a particular blog that i felt was really informed and liked the discussions but now they are full fledged republicans ,SP bots that seem to hate the very candidate{Hillary} and or Bill} that they said they knew everything about and now they attack them for what they had to know if they were really paying attention., nothing seems rational.

      • If you find a spot for yourself, please let me know.

        I used to walk, talk, donate, argue and vote for Democrats – sometimes simply because they were Democrats…or, at least, not Republicans. There’s not a one that I will even look at these days because at the bottom of it all, they are all Obama supporters….which I will NEVER be.

        • I was the same. I have run county organizations for democratic candidates. I never voted for anyone but a democrat.
          Now I vote for women. I do not believe there is ever going to be a third party worth anything, I wouldn’t pee on the green party if they were all on fire. In order for for a third party to gain any power in our winner take all system they would become just like the other two parties, same funding, same media.
          The only hope we have of changing anything is to elect women and to do that we have to be willing to vote for republican women and stop allowing the chants or “abortion, abortion” trick us in to believing that men on the left are any more interested on our rights and welfare than men on the left. It seems that when push comes to shove all women will be more liberal, more populist, less elitist and less greedy than men, preferring to take care of the community no matter what their political party.
          Anyway, do not loose hope something has to give.

      • link me, I would love to go argue with them.

    • Take heart, I am a liberal and I blast liberals all the time. When I complain about liberals, I mean all of them that are not us Hillary supporters.

  4. No need to poke fun at religious people. The right succeeds with a mix that applies to a large spectrum of people: anti-gay and anti-abortion to religious people, the pride of the South to poor people in the South, guns for the rural areas and hunters, pretension of policy to Politico and other primitives in the Washington area and “strong” on defense for the patriots. They add their CEOs money and a little of Wall Street, Fox and lately the fake constitution zeal of the Teabagger they created themselves.

    What is left of the left is pathetic. They ran after Obama with heavy blinds and The Nation that knew the Wall Street part of Obama. The only left is non-middle class elite and the labor unions that are not protected even by the left non-middle class elite (count the number of time labor unions are mention in the left blogs). Sadly, the left is dead and the caller to Susie is an orphan.

    • I’m not poking fun of religious people. I feel sorry for them. They’re being used.
      But I will say this: If Obama makes a lot of references to God in his sermon SOTU address tomorrow, it’s because he’s going after those Fox News voters too.
      And where does that leave the rest of us?

      • We should write Obama off and simply ignore him. He dictates nothing, influences nothing and his value is priceless for Republicans only.

        • He does bring the country down by being the wrong person at the wrong time. He was out-of-his- league and a drain on constituents when he hired a Harvard-trained election consultant to eliminate all competition for Alice Palmer’s seat, his first “elected” office. Obama is similar to Reagan in that the latter wiped out the communal aspirations of boomers and relaxed them with hyper-consumption–the yuppie ideal. Obama co-opted the self-identified left-leaning voters away from the real game changer–Hillary Clinton. She really did need to be stopped to maintain the status quo. Then when the media-endorsed post-Bush
          saviour fails (no convictions/no leadership qualities/little gained from the elected offices handed to him), it’s time to give up on politics, not change it by removing the profit motive and demanding publicly financed elections. My vote for McCain was both a protest against the faux candidate and a resounding affirmation for his taking public funds, as Hill would have done. Obama knew he could never win with a level-playing field. He’s such a loser, unfortunately for the good of most of the country. Hoping for him to rise to whatever one was waiting for–Godot?– is futile.

          • REPLACED, not relaxed. Auto-correct scores again, and I can’t revisit the top of a longer post on an iPad.

          • That’s Obama. Never a level playing field. Go behind the scenes and sell your soul to whoever will tilt the field and wipe out your competition before the game even starts.

            Fits right in with being a good tool of the Daleys, of Exelon, of the Kennedys….

      • the fundy religious right is not the majority of republicans. But don’t let facts get in the way of your favorite broad brush prejudice. So what if ignorance and narrow mindedness makes you a less effective advocate for the left? What is solving the problems of a nation to feeling smug and superior?

        Where the rest of us are left is where we have always been, kicked to the curb because we are afraid to really change the way we think about electoral politics.

        • Did you actually read what I wrote?? I said that the right motivates it’s voters to go to the polls. And a lot if those voters are older, conservative, religious women, some of whom don’t even consider themselves to be republicans. There’s a reason why fox amps up the fear, abortion, missing white women, religion and eschatology. That’s because it works.
          Jeez, pay attention.

      • Is SOTU tomorrow or Tuesday?

  5. The Dems are Trickle Down, the GOP is Dog-Eat-Dog. And the choice between the two is no choice at all. Unfortunately Obama’s historical skin color continues to prevent liberals from uniting against him.

  6. On testing: there are two kinds– tests that measure and tests that teach. The second is difficult in that it should be frequent, perhaps even daily. I’ve often ended a semester with 50 to 100 grades to crunch per student. Macros & Excel do that the edge off– assuming the IT department doesn’t get in the way of doing anything efficiently.

    • LOL! The IT department! The bane of every determined working person’s existence. Jeez, those buggers are EVERYWHERE!

      The good news is that technology should make the whole process easier in the future. Pretty soon, ipad like devices will replace standard textbooks and you will be able to pick students to answer questions through their tablet and if the IT borgs get their acts together, all of it could be sent to a cloud server where all of those grades will be entered and analysed and packaged for parents.

      I toured a private school with Brooke in 2009 that had implemented some of this technology already. The students were using iphones but ipads will make it a lot easier.

    • what is it with the IT department. They screw everything up and still treat you like you are an idiot because you can’t fix your own computer software problem.

      • They let you fix your own computer software problems?? What kind of heaven do you work in? I would LOVE to fix my own software problems. I could be done in no time instead of 1.) calling the help(less) desk 2.) describing the problem in painful detail 3.) waiting for the helpdesk to locate someone who will take responsibility for fixing the problem 4.) waiting for the guy who has the extra special secret password to either log on to the computer or come around to take a look at the problem in person. 5.) if in person, watch him fiddle with the computer trying out a bunch of solutions until he finds a workaround that doesn’t fix the problem but allows you to function if you stand on your head and stick your elbow in your ear without breathing too hard 6.) calling the help desk back when the computer crashes repeatedly from the workaround. 7.) have the tech come back to “reimage your disk”. Uh-oh. Those are the three words you never want to hear. 8.) spend all morning backing up your disk to a network server, if you can still do this. 9.) watch as tech erases everything to put a new, fresh build on 10.) negotiate with the helpdesk to reinstall the one piece of software that was erased and that you can’t live without and was not the cause of the failure in the first place. 11.) wait an interminable length of time after you have filled out the requisite paperwork and have it approved from your supervisor’s level up to God until the application has been extensively tested to the point where the license is almost expired before you get it back in your programs directory.
        If I had admin access to my PC, this would be sooooo much easier.

        • One of the good things about being a computer programmer was that I had to have that admin access — I couldn’t write my programs without it.

        • Luckily, my IT department is lazier than it is meglaomaniacal. They have a DHCP server that allows almost anything to be hooked up to the internet. My co-worker was the wireless password the IT department gave him because they didn’t want to bother setting it up.

          I let them set up my computer (3 calls) but I keep all my important stuff on a separate HD. I also keep all the installer programs so I can put them back on from a blank system.

  7. Somerby at the howler goes on and on about the current discourse being mostly shirts vs. skins and our tribe vs. their tribe and how trashing the “other” is not the way to win friends and influence people. Makes sense to me.

  8. The so-called left consists of a bunch of silos, each having all truth in their beliefs, and refusing to work with anyone else.

    And the so-called progressives are the worst. Not only are we the divided by Obama lovers vs. those who saw through him, even among those who saw through him we can’t work together.

    One website owner, in particular, bans people who agree with him on 99.9% of the issues just because they say things that are true about Obama, but that are also said by the right. If you say anything that the right also says, even when they’re not lying (a rare instance, admittedly), you’re a Republican.

    I’ve long thought that money is the only cure. It’s what the right used to become so powerful. So if I could only win the lottery, I could prove my hypothesis.

    Carolyn Kay

    • There’s a difference between trying to lure Clintonistas who went to the tea party back into the fold and agreeing with every nonsensical thing the tea party believes.
      I don’t want to insult the people who are angry and frustrated, for good reason. But I draw the line on sanctioning the ideas of movement conservatism just because they are in opposition to Obama. Obama is just a person, a person who has no principles, but he’s not the only politician in town. Joining with the tea party to get rid of obama is not the answer. It will only make things worse. The key to making things right is to not go right, It’s to go left. So, to the tea partier former clintonistas, I say, develop an identity that is liberal and working class. There are a whole lot of people out there who fit that category.

      • there are a lot of people on the left (called leftists) who aren’t liberals and think women’s issues are “gonadal politics” and when we just install socialism of some type all women’s problems will be solved. Of course since I can’t really think of a powerful socialist/communist leader who was female I think they are more or less full of sh*t just like a lot of men in the democratic party.

        • ???
          There are a lot of people on the left who don’t represent most of the people in this country. They need to get with the program too. After all, they were the ones who shoved Obama down our throats in the first place.

  9. Crap … I’ve got a seven letter word and no place to hang it.

  10. You know – you’re ‘thousands of sparkling shards of leftiness’ comment got me to thinking….

    How are we ever going to come together to build enough force if we keep splintering into more pieces? You realize we are ALL doing this to ourselves…right?

    I mean – when do we let our egos go already?

    Here – for example is this great Blog that is building up Critical Mass – only to purge some of it’s members because of some sh*tty disagreement – that in the scheme of things really isn’t more important then how we found each other to begin with.

    Then – it builds up steam again, only to splinter again… and then again. At this rate we’ll be two-bit again before ’12.

    I mean if you’re really serious about ‘coming together’ shouldn’t everyone be committed to not giving a ratsa** about SWMNBN or the Tea Party or I/P or Religiosity or whatever is not as important as HOW WE GET OUR PARTY TO STOP IGNORING IT’S CORE VALUES.

    You provide one of the greatest things in the blogosphere – a ‘safe’ place for refuge. Even when there is disagreement – pretty much, by and large, the moderators keep the place safe…. now from time to time the moderators also get their egos out of check and moderate with ‘vengeance’ rather than neutrality – but at least there was moderation (I’m talkin’ to you Kos).

    If we can’t find a way to come together enough over small potatoes – how are we ever going to come together enough on something HUGE? – like Influencing Policy (which will only happen if we’re super rich or en masse).

    I love your blog. I come here and lurk and read for all the fascinating things you bring to the table – but now I have to read I don’t know how many blogs where everyone is a friggin’ egomaniac about ‘this is my house’, etc…. Where do we go to come together if every ‘home owner’ can’t get over crazy uncle Ed and his one or two looney issues?

    So what if we talk about a subject ad nauseum that some don’t like – generally there are a bunch of other topics those people like to talk about ad nauseum that some or the rest of us hate. The point is we were coming together as a group – building up a following – critical mass. Can’t all of us just set aside our own personal agendas and egos from time to time to actually stick together for a meaningful while!?

    I’m pissed.

    You guys talk a good game about how we need to get together and influence this person or that person – and everyone knows we’re Democrats (in exile I guess) and that we’re not Tea Partiers or Sarah Palin supporters – but say what you will about Tea Partiers – they set some of their smaller issues aside to have INFLUENTIAL NUMBERS that effect change within their party. The Repubs were dead 24 months ago…. and now they’re resurrected. This should be an example of how a group of people can actually come together and influence, and instead we sit around complaining about Koch (brothers) and Dick (Army) – sorry I couldn’t resist.

    If we don’t get our collective sh*t together pretty soon – we’re just going to be steamrolled again in 2012 and beyond…. now if that’s OK – or it’s too much work to change, then stop pretending we ‘need to come together’ – because it sure looks like protecting one’s empire (metaphor) is more important then the greater good you speak of so eloquently.

    There are I don’t know how many blogs out there that fly under the radar – and this is a HIGHLY respected blog with semi-influential numbers – there are many more like you (and smaller)… When are you guys going to all get together and set your personal ego’s aside and UNITE to effect change? Don’t you think all of these blogs/sites put together can rival a small mainstream Obot site? (or even a big one?)

    I am sh*t lazy (and busy)… and you had me smoking some stuff that made me want to get off my butt…. So what now?

    With that kind of power over people – what are you going to do?

    • PS – this is not an attack of any kind… it’s meant as a call to arms…

    • Um, what happened on this blog was not the result if some shitty disagreement. There were too many people here who were too conservative and who felt the need to control the conversation. I think you should withhold judgement if you don’t know the internal history of this place- and you don’t.

      Not one of the frontpagers here was chased away. If anything, many of them left the second there was any attempt to impose even the slightest limits on them. And I mean very slight.

      That indicates to me that there are a lot of very touchy people who were posting here. In the future, I’m going to have them take an MMPI before they’re allowed to post.

      • What is an MMPI?

      • I don’t know what happened this time or the last time or the time before that… and like any disagreement/divorce, there are usually two sides. The only way two sides that disagree to stay together is to back off their own egos and swallow some pride and suck up for the common good.

        This statement was not directed at you per se – you cannot control others if they want to leave – I get that.

        But… you do have influence over a number of people here – maybe you don’t realize how much you influence the people here… You also control a popular blog and thusly are part of the ‘Bloggeratti’.

        We’re all busy. I run a business with a bunch of rag tag employees… but if you want us to ‘come together’ to effect change or pressure the party well then – use your ample megaphone to get some of these other Bloggeratti owners to (wo)man up and join you by way of our mutual need to get our Party to STOP foresaking it’s core values (and the working class).

        If you don’t have time to do that, that’s cool – just don’t get me energized like I might have a responsibility to follow you ’til death to help make it happen.

        Downthread Bemused refers to the old PUMA moniker – which I know you think is dead… fine… come up with something else (Democrats in Exile? – that’s your excellent term – try that)… approach these other blog owners who have to have some respect for you – and maybe they will give you an audience to have a connected network.

        If you still don’t have time for that, maybe someone here can volunteer to contact these sites… if we have no critical mass, we have nothing.

        Lastly – none of this works NONE, if all we do is look at our pettier differences – as said somewhere else much better than I – during the Primaries, Fox News treated Hillary more fair than the ‘Liberal’ Networks… I’m not advocating for Conservatives or their favorite channel (or Glenn Beck, etc)… but I don’t dismiss them outright anymore either (but probably 90% of the time their a good laugh).

        I don’t get how we cannot stick together….

    • And for the rest of the answer, I’ve already made suggestions about organizing. No one has stepped forward to lead the initiative. I’m not an organizer and even if I were, I work for a living. There are plenty of people in the blogosphere who have a lot more time and could step up to the plate.
      But before any of that can happen, the left has to agree that it wants to get together again.

      • YOU have Power. You may not know it, you may not want it, but you do… As the old saying goes – “with power comes great responsibility”

        • Agreed. But I have a teenager living at home and I’m the only adult in my family with a full time job and health insurance. I wouldn’t be doing any movement any favors if my mind was on my responsibilities at home all of the time. It wouldn’t be fair.
          Of course, if I get laid off, all bets are off and I’m in.

    • Having multiple blogs didn’t hurt the PUMAs in summer 2008. http://dailypuma.blogspot.com/ is still going well.

    • ???
      I thot he died a long time ago. Are you sure ge didn’t die a second time?

    • You know, if he’d taken better care if himself, he would have lived a lot longer.

      • Mr. LaLanne changed everything when it came to how the American public viewed exercise.
        1) He thought everyone should do it.
        2) He showed them how to exercise with no special equipment (which made it affordable).
        3) He encouraged both men and women to do weight training. (This is particularly helpful for women to lower bone loss.)
        4) He made it fun.

        He had a great life, apparently a great marriage and he was fit and active pretty much all of his 96 years. I wish we could all be so lucky!

        RIP, Mr. LaLanne — bless you and thanks!


      • I was thinking, my Aunt died at age 95 a few months ago. She never exercised a day in her life and ate all kinds of crap. I mean she ate things I crave but deprive myself of. So, I figure if if have a choice between Juicing my life away and beating up on my body to live to 96 –or having a good time and all the linguini I want til I’m 95, it’s No Contest. Hey! This could be my epiphany…

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