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“I love everyone. I love EVERYONE, man”

This video was taken by a guy who survived the Joplin tornado in a walk-in refrigerator. Words cannot adequately describe the panic as children are separated from their mothers or the sheer terror of knowing that this could be your final moments on earth.

This is not disaster porn. This is a very short story about quick thinking, the force of nature and the kindness of strangers. I’m particularly impressed by the consideration the members of the group show for each other: the cameraman who is concerned that he’s on top of someone, the woman underneath him calmly telling him he’s on her back, the firm voice of a leader telling everyone to stay calm while other voices pray.

A year from now, these people may be swearing at each other in traffic. But if I were them, I’d mark this anniversary every year to remind each other how close they came to joining the dead in Joplin and how much they depended on each other to get through it.

Holy hemiola.

Monday: Not even wrong

Engine, engine number nine, going down Chicago line, if the train should jump the track...

I read Robert Cruikshank’s analysis of the problems facing the Democrats and now I finally understand why the party is f^&*ed up beyond all recognition.  Cruikshank thinks there are two factions, the neoliberals and the progressives, that are fighting each other.  If that’s what he and other party loyalists think is happening, it could be because it’s part of a “divide and conquer” strategy being played by operatives.

But it is particularly unhelpful to slap labels on Democrats and then sort every Democrat you come across as belonging to either the neoliberal or progressive camp.  If those are the only choices, if those are the only people the Democrats see, no wonder they are having problems keeping their act together.  They have completely lost it.

The rest of us are working people of all professions and education levels who don’t give a damn about these petty ideological squabbles.  No.  Our issues are economic ones.  We care about jobs, wages, health care.  We are socially liberal and technically savvy.  We like green, but we’re not going to get our knickers in a twist over nuclear power.  I guess Cruikshank would stick us with the neoliberals because we’re not afraid of business.  What he seems to have missed is that we care about rules that strengthen and protect working people.  We want to re-establish the rules that held sway after the Depression and before Reagan wrecked the place with his rugged individualism and “red sky at morning” in America.

If you remaining, die-hard Democrats, want to spend your time ripping each other to shreds because you must have hard and fast categories that do not cross over while simultaneously ignoring the concerns of the working people who once supported you, knock yourself out.  Your petty squabbles are increasingly irrelevant to us.  You messiah worshipping Obama supporters can leave on the same banker sponsored pony you rode to town on.  You purist-pacificists can go native and chew some wild hickory nuts.

We. Don’t. Care.

Until you address the ECONOMY and UNEMPLOYMENT and reinstitute NEW DEAL PROGRAMS and RULES that protect us, your message will continue to fall on deaf ears.  We’re tired of purists on either side of the Democratic party insisting on poison pills that demonstrate time and again that they are not aware of all of the ground we working people are losing.  The problem is that the two factions as they have decided to split themselves, are sitting way too high up on Maslow’s pyramid while the base is literally and psychologically sliding towards the bottom. While we are very concerned about erosion of our civil liberties, now is not the time to turn on everyone who does not, at this very minute, prevent all wars around the world, while without any sense of contradiction, insist on protecting all non-combatants in every geographical location on the planet, simultaneously preserving original, generically unmodified corn crops from autism causing vaccinations.  It’s not the time for insisting that we unemployed stop whining and learn to deal with the new normal while we become masters of our brave new 401K portfolio toting world while we never age or become sick at our jobs in some wildly fabulous creative industry at the companies we started ourselves with venture capital.  When all the men and women who have unjustly lost their jobs in the past few years have meaningful employment again and our safety net is repaired, we can turn our attention to these things. We’re tired of being used as part of some political strategy, pawns to be sacrificed or rescued to score political point.  And we’re tired of having our votes either trashed or taken for granted.  We own our votes and won’t be scared into giving them away to undeserving candidates.  Obama does not represent us nor does anyone, apparently, that the current Democratic party is shoving down our throats.

If people like Cruikshank want to win next year, they’d be better off losing the fricking labels and hire the best man or woman for the job to handle a very tough economic environment.   Cornell West academic types are abandoning the party.  Unions are abandoning the party.  Regular working and middle class people who got royally screwed by the Obama contingent in 2008 have already left.  If all that remains are two clueless contingents with tunnel vision who think they are fighting for the same territory, than the party is in worse shape than I thought.  No amount of coalition building is going to help a party that leaves most of its base, and the vast majority of voters it needs to win, out of the negotiations.

The only thing the vast majority want to hear about in the next 18 months is what are the candidates going to do about unemployment.  Anything else is a distraction.

The Party’s over.