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The Pharisee and the Publican

Here’s Newt Gingrich telling us unemployed (who paid more in taxes *this* year from my severance than some Georgians will make in salary) to take a shower and get a job (at vastly reduced salaries and no benefits if we can even find one):

By the way, Calista, did you disinfect that thing first?  Just curious.

Frankly, I am not surprised that Newt Gingrich is on top of the polls in the Republican presidential primary race.  My mom once told me that people forget indiscretions.  (Except when they mess with the electoral process.  THAT tends to be unforgivable).  Here’s what I wrote about Newtie last May:

1.)First up, Newt Gingrich is running for president?  Hokay.  The former speaker is a history buff Republican with a petulant streak.  He’s also a movement conservative jerk who pursued Bill Clinton with a vengeance and succeeded in shutting down government, leaving government workers without a paycheck for several weeks.  He’s also one of those authoritarians that Bob Altemeyer and John Dean wrote about.   You know, Conservatives without Conscience? That right should be enough to disqualify him.  He’s an enemy to working familes.

But no matter.  What brilliant winning message will the Democrats and access bloggers respond with?  His fibs about his military experience and his extramarital affairs!  Yes, we have learned NOTHING from the left’s relentless mocking of Sarah Palin’s brain cells.  It wasn’t her lack of intelligence that knocked her back.  It was her careless depiction on her webpage of Democratic Congresspersons’ districts as targets.  It didn’t matter that she had nothing to do with the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords.  It’s just an untimely convergence of events that shined a spotlight on the right’s inflammatory rhetoric.

Listen up, access bloggers: you are NEVER going to bring Newtie down by harping on what a sleazy, hypocritical asshole he is.  As a Democrat, you don’t have the moral authority to challenge a Republican, you godless secular humanist.  Remember David Vitter’s romps with prostitutes in his Pampers?  How about Larry Craig’s bathroom tap dancing routine?  Nobody forced them out of office over their indiscretions.  And just because Newt resigned doesn’t mean that he can’t be rehabilitated by the right.  He’s a Catholic now and he’s been married to his current wife for 11 years.  He’s practically born again.  Look at Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly.  O’Reilly had to pay off one of his staffers because she’d caught him on tape making graphic, sexually harrassing phone calls to her. You’d be amazed at what the Fox News viewer is willing to overlook.

If I were you guys, I’d let the personal stuff go (well, except for the one where he asked his first wife for a divorce when she was in the hospital after cancer surgery.  I’m guessing that senior women who were dependent on their husbands for their livelihood won’t like that very much).  Instead, I’d bring up the sanctions he earned when he failed to report the money he made on the courses he sold.  Hey, if Charlie Rangel could get sidelined and disgraced over bad recordkeeping, isn’t it just as bad, or worse, for the speaker of the house?  Or how about the GOPAC document outlining how to manipulate public opinion by subtlely changing your language?  Yeah, Newtie is responsible for the crap we’ve been putting up with since 1990.  Nice guy.  And he hasn’t wasted a minute going back to his old language habits.  Go look at his presidential bid announcement.  Or why not interview some of the hardworking and retired Americans who waited out Gingrich’s temper tantrum in 1996?  You know, mortgage’s due, heating bills to pay, food to buy for your kids, Newt didn’t give a $#*! about anyone who had to wait for their checks.  Not one little bit.  Is that who we want as our next president?

If you want to take Newtie down, you’ve got to show the Fox News viewer how he’s betrayed *them*, not his wives.

What Republican voters are responding to with Newt is his forceful defense of their values, as wanting, narrow and uncharitable as those “value” may be.  They are protecting their own money and are fearful for their safety.  They don’t like chaos or uncertainty.  Gingrich has made a study of words and is brilliant at manipulating the public through the use of them.  You might say he wrote the book on the subject, because, er, he did.  Newt knows that when his target audience is anxious and afraid of the local occupier camping at the park, it will turn to the man who is speaking the language of order.  Newt doesn’t really have to be talking about reality.  His audience is probably not in touch with reality the way the rest of the younger working public is.  They’re frightened of an Arab spring complete with smashed windows and fires and smelly, poor people who might steal something.

Newt is a proud man.  He’s a rich man.  He is a successful man, or what Republicans define as success.  He is not a humble man.

If I were him, I’d be sure that Michelle serves and tastes the food first from now on.  You never know what the kitchen staff are thinking these days.

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33 Responses

  1. Indescretions only count if it’s a Democrat, you should know that by now. Same for mental instability.

  2. The first thing that popped into my head will not find favor here, but here it is anyway (because I don’t say it often enough to risk spamming the threads).

    ” Get a job? What job? The job you voted to help Bill Clinton ship to Mexico (NAFTA)? Or the job you voted to help Bill Clinton ship to China (MFN for China)?”

    NAFTA. WTO. MFN for China. No. I won’t get over it.

    I guess I’m just a bitter bender.

    • You might want to look NAFTA up on the Wiki to fully understand it.

      leaders met in San Antonio, Texas, on December 17, 1992, to sign NAFTA. U.S. President George H. W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas, each responsible for spearheading and promoting the agreement, ceremonially signed it.” But it was Clinton’s fault.

      “In the U.S., Bush, who had worked to “fast track” the signing prior to the end of his term, ran out of time and had to pass the required ratification and signing into law to incoming president Bill Clinton. Prior to sending it to the United States Senate, Clinton introduced clauses to protect American workers” But it was Clinton’s fault.

      NAFTA passed the Senate 61-38. Veto proof but it was Clinton’s fault.

      Meanwhile G.W. Bush passed 24 FTA’s and not a peep out of anyone about them. Were they also Clinton’s fault?

      Ignorance can be overcome.

      • It wasn’t only Bill Clinton’s fault. It was then Gore’s fault and after that Hillary Clinton’s fault. Funny how that works.

      • Your comment deserves the sort of careful reply which would take me several days to compose. Unfortunately this thread will close to comments in a day or so. And since I don’t have my own computer at home I am limited to the small bits of time I can take on the company computers here at work. And since Microsoft explorer is the browser they pick for us here at work, it is physically difficult to offer any links, or even type sufficiently long replies. So I will do my small best under these handicaps.
        I agree that ignorance can be cured on all sides and that every effort should be made. I will take a look at the wikipage you referrence. In that spirit, I will offer in a sub-sub-reply a link to a book about Clinton’s own very determined effort to get NAFTA passed and voted-yes-on in both houses, called The Selling Of ‘Free Trade’.
        I got Canadian News on my cable TV during the late-Reagan and Bush Administrations so I knew at the time all about how our Presidents were conspiring with Mulroney (and then Chretien?) to get NAFTA negotiated and ready to pass. I don’t remember hearing about “26 other free trade agreements” during the Bush Administration; perhaps because NAFTA promised to be so hugely destructive that NAFTA was the one we bitter benders here in Great Lakestan were peeping about. But if you can offer a link to facts about each and every one of those “26 free trade agreements”, then I will learn about what I should have known about at the time. Though if the WTO “treaty” was one of those “26 free trade agreements” you referrence, we knew about that and we peeped against that too, even if the one percenter MSM tried to silence our peeping.
        Back to NAFTA, Clinton ran pretending to “oppose” NAFTA in the form that Bush left it waiting for him. I don’t believe he ever “opposed” it. I believe the so-called “worker rights” and “environmental” provisions were deceptive bait Clinton offered to trick some Democratic lawmakers into thinking NAFTA should be supported, and to give other Democratic lawmakers plausible cover for supporting it the way they wanted to anyway. He and his eager assistants (like Rahm Emmanuel and Daly and so forth) worked very hard and enthusiastically to get the House to vote yes on it along with the Senate. The book I will give a link to goes into some of that. I remember that shortly before the votes were to be taken, the Mexican peso entered a collapse crisis which led to public opposition in America becoming even stronger to any Free Trade involvement with such a political economy. So Clinton’s Secretary of Treasury Rubin played all kinds of tricks within the Treasury Department to find a way to use American Treasury money to support the Peso when neither House would have voted to bail the Peso out. And since the Ministers work for the Czar, I assume Rubin did this in pursuance of Clinton’s determined goal of getting NAFTA passed. If I can find a link to that, I will bring it.
        It is good to be reminded that Gore also supported NAFTA his very hardest. That memory is so painful I try repressing it so it is good that
        a fellow commenter shoved it back under my nose.
        By the way, I notice you did not even address Clinton’s MFN for China. And yes, when Clinton enthusiastically took it up and tried year after year to get Congress to pass it till he finally succeeded, then
        MFN for China is all Clinton’s; along with every gullible dupe and sinister economic traitor in the House and Senate who voted for it. And how has MFN for China worked out for the textile industry in North Carolina?
        This all points to a deeper problem with much of the Democratic Party citizen-membership. A deeply binary feeling has taken hold, that one is either pro-Clinton or pro-Obama. People who support/supported Kucinich/Harkin/Gravel/etc. are forgotten about completely. I am told that support for Hillary Clinton requires support for President Clinton’s “legacy”. I have noted before that I respect the breaking-Gingrich part of that legacy. But I do not respect the Free Trade Conspiracy part of that legacy. And when Clinton embraced the Free Trade Conspiracy, he made it his own. An excessively worshipful nostalgia for Clinton prevents a full and proper analysis of the deceit and evil of the Obama Administration today. What can you
        say about a President who fills his Administration with the very same people that President Clinton filled his Administration with . . . people like Emmanuel and Daly and so forth? The very worst and most hateful thing I can think of to say about Obama is that Obama is a Clintonite. So there it is. Obama is a Wall Street Rubinite Clintonite.
        And while I will “write in” Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election if we can get the Rs to nominate Romney, I will never vote for a Clintonite
        of any sort in any election.

        No more Wall Street Rubinite Goldman-Sachs ObamaClintonites.
        Never! Never!
        No more.

        • Here is the link to that book I mentioned.http://books.google.com/books/about/The_selling_of_free_trade.html?id=TvIpzZNzxC4C
          Here is a link or two about Rubin’s role in the Mexican Peso bailout of the Clinton NAFTA conspiracy.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_economic_crisis_in_Mexico

        • >>What can you say about a President who fills his Administration with the very same people that President Clinton filled his Administration with…

          I’d Say that Obama learned nothing from Clinton’s mistakes. But you’ll note that Hillary did not choose her husband’s old advisors.
          As for NAFTA, it’s probably the only trade bill I could ever support, provided the labor portions of it were strngthened. Didactic ever notice we don’t get freaked out over Canada taking our jobs, only Mexico. Not that there is any cultural bias going on or anything….

          Reducing trade barriers between our two closest neighbors gave us the opportunity to eliminate a lot of bureaucracy. And while a lot of labor did initially go to Mexico from places like north carolina, a lot more of it went to china. By the time nafta was signed into law, the steel industry had relocated from Pennsylvania to Japan over a decade earlier. Same with a lot of appliance manufacturers to Asia, and agricultural machinery. I ordered a pair of Ethan Allen chairs when I was stupid enough to buy them at their vastly inflated prices. They told me when I ordered them that they were made in north Carolina. Wrong, they were made in china. In fact, I can’t think of one thing I have bought recently that was made in Mexico. .

          And when it comes to STEM jobs, I’m not worried about some dude named Jose. I’m worried about the Sebastiens and Weixins and Dieters. I guess we could keep bringing up nafta like some horrible, catastrophic trade agreement but that would be exaggerating. Hyperbole, actually.

          You have every right to be angry about the lack of labor protections in these trade agreements. But the true agreement that was covered between these three nations in particular? Um, no, I’m just not breathing too hard over it. It’s would be like having a tantrum over the Benelux agreement. Geographically and economically, it makes sense. Maybe the other trade agreements don’t but it’s hard to argue that nafta was vastly more damaging to the American economy because frankly, there is o evidence of that.

          Now, the fact that the Obots used nafta as an excuse to deny 18000000 voters their right to be counted at the democratic national convention in 2098? That’s a far bigger and more long lasting violation than nafta. What ever gave them the idea that they could exchange their judgment for 18000000 voters is beyond me. The catastrophe that resulted from that is almost incalculable. Who can legitimately argue that we wouldn’t have been better off with a strong Democrat during an economic meltdown?

          But all we ever hear was nafta, as if Hillary passed it herself. Or the Iraq war resolution, as if her vote carried more weight than any other senator’s. Like John Edwards. Hillary Clinton’s vote in the IWR was way worse than 99 other senators combined. Right? And everyone knows that Obama would never have voted for it. Yeah, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you really cheap.

          Was Obama worth it? Maybe we should ask the unemployed. No, it was not worth it.
          The issue in 2008 was economic. It went about rehashing some flawed trade deal. It wasn’t about a resolution than no one could stop. It was strictly about who was most capable of cleaning up what bush left behind and seen from that perspective, I can’t understand why anyone in their rig mind would pick a guy who had only been in the senate for 142 days before he decided to run for office. You’d have to be stunned silly to let a trade deal influence your vote. And I can’t believe anyone was that dim. I’m going with sexism until some one proves otherwise.

          • Typing on an iPad sucks, er, is of low quality

          • Well, I let it influence my vote for Kucinich in Michigan’s primary. He was the only one I trusted to be against any more such agreements. When he dropped out, I stopped following the campaign in detail. I knew I was going to vote for whichever Democrat ended up being nominated because I did not want angry old McCain to be President.
            Here in the MidWest, the damage wrought by NAFTA as well as other such agreements was and remains very real. The rejection of NAFTA was based on the complete absence of labor rights, environmental standards, living wages, and so forth in Mexico. The purpose of NAFTA was to greenlight American bussinesses re-locating their production into Mexico so as to work the differential costs arbitrage rackets between Mexican cost structures and American cost structures. The reason MidWesterners did not fear
            job-loss to Canada is because Canada has labor and standards costs as high or higher than America has, so NAFTA would not be used to mass-exile American jobs into Canada. Accusing opponents of NAFTA of cultural bias seems to me like accusing opponents of Obama of racial bias. Resentment for NAFTA and MFN for China and
            membership in WTO remains very real here for the reasons I gave.
            And Whirlpool has just recently announced yet another round of job relocations from Benton Harbor to Mexico. Not Canada. Mexico. To work the cost difference arbitrage rackets. Score another one for NAFTA.
            (If memory serves me I believe BENELUX stands for Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg. If so, that was an agreement between societies with similar cost structures, wage-rates, social standards, etc.
            Now . . . if BENELUX had tried including Turkey . . . a sort of BENELUXTURK if you will . . . so that Benelux jobs could be mass-exiled to Turkey . . . then the BENELUX comparison would be better).

            (And if one cares about Mexico, one might consider the mass destruction NAFTA has wrought to Mexican society. Mexico was forced to de-protectionize its agriculture sector. That allowed MidWestern corn to flood Mexico’s market and destroy the rural economy and rural living for millions of Mexican small farmers. And that is what has sent fresh millions of rural Mexican economic exiles from Mexico into America where they could be used to lower wages and standards still further here, exactly as was intended by NAFTA right from the start).

            I would still click any link offered to the Bush trade agreements. And a truth and reconciliation study of the job loss engineered by each of those agreements and by NAFTA and by MFN for China and by WTO should all be compared and contrasted. And hopefully before Obama can get his new PAFTA negotiated, signed, and ratified. But I would not trust any Free Trade Conspirators to conduct such a study. And I would prefer it to be a truth and revenge commission rather than a truth and reconciliation commission. And I would like the endpoint to be the formation of a political party devoted to abrogating and repealing every single one of those agreements. I will be interested to hear what any of the “Democrats” say about that in the 2016 primary.

    • Bill and HIllary have always been a ‘two for the price of one’ team. In 2008 Hillary said these agreements haven’t worked out as well as hoped, and need changing.

      Is it true that Hillary to some extent opposed them in the 90s? How strongly? How sure are you that Bill is the only person in America who should be bashed for this?

      Or are you bashing Hillary too?

      (PS. I made a comment on Gingrich that’s in moderation.)

      • you comment is sexist. Hillary is not Bill’s rib. When they said two for the price of one, they didn’t say the secound was a mindless clone. Hillary has her own brain. It always amazes me how the left is every bit as sexist as the right. Thanks for reminding me.

        ps….NAFTA was George Bush the Greater’s doing.

        • What amazes me is that no one knows G.W. Bush signed 24 free trade agreements while in office yet the one that Bill Clinton did not fight out of respect for the former President is blamed on Bill Clinton and Bill is roasted for it at every opportunity. Yet the other 24 Bush FTA’s signed between 2001 and 2008 are not as bad as one FTA finalized in 1993. Even though Clinton made the Republicans add worker rights.
          ps… Wonder why the press never mentions that NAFTA was Bush the Greater’s doing. We really need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to straighten out all the lies and half-truths over the last 30 years.

          • I voted for Clinton in 1992. I did not vote for Clinton to have him “show respect” for Bush’s NAFTA. I voted for Clinton to have him show conTEMPT for Bush’s NAFTA. I thought 1992 was a “hope and change” election, even if such words were not used at that time. Silly me?

            And it is not that Clinton merely did not fight against Bush’s NAFTA.
            He actively fought FOR it. That is what that book I offered a link to is about. And he actively fought FOR MFN for China and for WTO as well. So “Legacy” Bush supported Herbert “Opium Poppie” Bush’s stored-up trade agreements? I expect no better of a Republican President. But I used to expect better of a Democrat. The bitter disabusement I have suffered on that score has made clear to me and to others the difference between Democrats (who are fading away)
            and DLC-Third Way One Percenters who currently own the so-called “Democratic” Party.

            Does Senator-SecState Clinton decisively reject DLC Third Wayism and the International Free Trade Conspiracy? Obviously she can’t overtly reject Obama’s “PAFTA” (Pacific Area Free Trade Agreement)
            and be a Secretary of State and member of the team. But if any Real Democrats (if any such even remain) can work with any Economic Nationalist TeaPublicans to prevent whatever PAFTA emerges from the secret negotiations from being passed; then an Elder Stateswoman
            Clinton will have an opportunity to speak clearly for or against PAFTA
            in 2012. I eagerly await her stated viewpoint. (Why do I say Elder Stateswoman? Because I think she will see the presidency as such a poisoned chalice in 2012 that she will not want to be in the same room with it in order to avoid the risk of having to breath its fumes. But if Obama’s image is so attrited and degraded before election time that the party bosses feel they need to perform an emergency candidate-transplant, and if Clinton ends up being the transplanted candidate; I will see if she picks advisers who have no taint of DLC-ThirdWay-Golden Sacks-Free Trade Conspiracy history or involvement. It wouldn’t be that hard for her to do, conceptually speaking. She could ask Catherine Austin Fitts whom Catherine Austin Fitts would like to see as Secretary of Treasury, Attorney General, etc.; in order to launch a vast and massive Truth And Revenge operation from withIN a theoretical Clinton 2.0 Administration. And if Catherine Austin Fitts felt that Catherine Austin Fitts would be the right Avenger in the right post, then Clinton would really impress me by stating that Catherine Austin Fitts would have just exactly that post in a Clinton Administration. For example).

          • And I’m telling you that NAFTA, in the great scheme of things, is much bigger in your mind than in reality.
            People were coming to work here in the US from Mexico for a long time. Didn’t we already have an amnesty of illegal immigrants from Mexico before Clinton? Someone correct me if I’m wrong.
            Also, whether the jobs go to Mexico or Canada hardly matters, if they’re still gone.
            What I’m telling you is that there is this myth that somehow NAFTA created this flood of jobs to Mexico and that’s not the way I remember it. That flood of jobs was already in progress. Yes, there were some businesses that relocated to Mexico after NAFTA. But it’s not like that trend wasn’t already happening.
            There are a lot of things wrong with NAFTA. Labor standards are one thing. Then there are trade-economic-currency things that I cannot even begin to understand because I am not an economist. But it simply isn’t true that NAFTA punctured some hole in the virgin barrier between our country’s labor market and Mexico. That was already happening. And Mexico has historically been a poorer state with cheaper labor than the US.
            Finally, as a US president, it is impossible to undo all of the harm of your predecessor. That is not to say you can’t immediately start making changes to policy that will take your country in a different direction, something Obama has yet to learn. But just because Bush Sr. left behind some unfinished business does not necessarily mean that the business should have been left unfinished.
            And while I do blame Obama for not being more aggressive about the economy here because that was something he could definitely have been more proactive about, I don’t blame him for not ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan right away. The reason being that the Bushies had so fucked up central asia that pulling out too quickly could have destabilized even further a very volatile and dangerous part of the world, especially in the Pakistan region. They had deliberately set the area up so that we couldn’t leave. It was part of their plan.
            Where was I? Oh, yeah. I think NAFTA is a lefty construct whose actual effects on the US economy is much more modest than lefties think.

        • Huh? Hillary was the top brain of the team all along. She deserves at least half the credit for the success of the Clinton Admin in the 90s.

          Of course Bill was not a ‘drone’ either. They were TWO very smart functioning adults in the Arkansas and the US capitols for the price of one. (The term t w o f e r was used in the 1992 campaign.)

  3. I’m so relieved that the Pharisee = so many GOP (and some Dem) candidates. I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently and was wondering if I was the only one.

    • No, you aren’t the only one. When Congress itself is composed primarily of the 1%, you can be sure that a fair number of them are Pharisees patting themselves on the back for being so virtuous.

  4. just got back from the first General Assembly of Occupy Brooklyn. It took place in a plaza directly in front of a Target entrance of a downtown shopping mall. The first thing they did was go over the waggle fingers bit and how that works and how the meeting would proceed. There were four items on the agenda. The agenda was decided by those present.

    The first item was a bill currently being considered in the House entitled the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) H.R. 3261 and it’s equivalent in the Senate the Protect I.P. Act (S. 968). Two members of the internet working group gave an overview of the act and why Occupy Brooklyn should oppose it. This agenda item was given 20 minutes for discussion at which time the group voted (by finger waggling) to oppose it. Afterwards it occurred to me that no one discussed exactly what form this “opposition” would take.

    The next item was a discussion of whether Occupy Brooklyn need to actually “occupy” a space and whether that space should be indoors or outdoors. This item generated a lot of discussion but the end result was that a working group would do the ground work to come up with possible locations to “occupy” and this matter would be revisited in the spring.

    The last two items on the agenda were taken together because they were related and they were how often should there be General Assembly meetings and should they be held in the same location and time or varying locations. The consensus was that for the short term they should be held at the same place and time, once a week.

    Then the meeting opened up for identification and description of various working groups that have already been formed and how to join them. There’s also an Occupy Brooklyn.org web site already set up.

    So that was it in a nutshell. Anyone who cares to can check the Occupy Brooklyn.org site where the minutes will be posted for any discrepancies with my report.

    So my takeaway: As I was walking home it hit me that my support for OWS slipped a bit tonight. And then I asked myself why? I think it was my estimation of the group as the various discussions ensued. There were roughly 75-80 people there (yes, I did a rough count) There was a more or less equal number of men and women and the age mix was young as in twenty somethings and middle-aged as in fifties and older. But I got the feeling that a lot of these people, especially the older ones, had been activists before on a variety of issues. And that they had had little or no success and what was drawing them here was the opportunity to get a new set of hands and feet to continue with their pet advocacy project. That feeling was also reinforced by some of the working groups that have been formed.
    For me it’s the economy, stupid. and it struck me that not a single working group addresses any economic issue. The word “job” didn’t come up once all night; or anything else economic.

    To be sure there are a lot of problems in this country, but at this stage, I’m not looking to join a group that hopes to address all of the country’s ills. That’s just me. At any rate, I signed up for two working groups because I still want to give this thing a chance and this was only the first meeting. But the sense of drift is already there.

    • “The word “job” didn’t come up once all night; or anything else economic.”

      I can see how that would be a blow to your interest. What would happen if you asked to add the issue to the agenda? Maybe something from the list of outrages that was published a month or ago could be borrowed?

      Will there be any activities between now and the next GA?

      • I don’t know what would happen and I was there mainly to listen and learn and my problem wasn’t so much with the agenda because a lot of it was concerned with logistics. things like how often we should meet and what would be the nature of our “occupation” did we really need to have a location that we would occupy. Someone suggested “pop up” occupations that would last for a day or two or some other relatively short duration.

        I think these were legitimate issues for our first meeting. Somebody said occupying in the sense of Zuccotti Park was just a tactic and just one of many tactics that would have to been used in this struggle and I agreed. I had started to feel that there came a time where OWS became more about holding the park than the issues that led to the occupation. I was more troubled by individuals in the group and what they wanted to go forward with. Between now and the next GA, the working groups will meet and do their thing

        • On this occasion, logistics sounds like a reasonable focus. Means, not ends.

          And when it’s time for repeating talk about about ends — why ‘jobs’ rather than ‘the economy’ or ‘economic injustice’ or ‘economic abuse’, which would include jobs as well as foreclosures, loan-sharking, etc.

    • Joanie, the SOPA bill is very important. It is one of the most important pieces of legislation on the agenda right now. For those of you not familiar with it, SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act. The purpose of the bill is to prevent copyrighted and other IP materials from unauthorized use on the internet. It sounds good but the devil is in the details. It makes ISPs responsible for monitoring their subscribers’ use of the internet, every one of them, or pay significant fines. Since it will be impossible for ISPs to do this for everyone, there will have to be some censorship of users’ ability to post content because it is too easy to inadvertently post copyrighted stuff. Consequences to the user and provider could be steep. There are proposals in other countries to permanently ban users from the internet after three strikes. You heard that right- permanently ban them. That means you name goes on some kind of watch list and you can’t sign up with any new providers. People will find a way to get around the ban of course but what this will do is make people think twice about posting any new content of their own. If there is any possibility that someone can accuse them of being derivative from some other source, that material could get the ISP and the user in trouble. Sometimes, I put pictures in my posts. I don’t want to take copyrighted materials and avoid any pic that specifically has a copyright symbol on it. But under this bill, I wouldn’t dare put anything up there that I hadn’t drawn or photographed myself. Maybe that’s as it should be but I think it makes it harder to be spontaneous and make the kind of creative connections that make some posts more pithy than others.
      So, yes, the SOPA thing is bad legislation.
      What does it mean for OWS to oppose it? I don’t know. But this is not one of the special interest thingies. This has wide implications for everyone.
      Yes, I agree that some people at OWS are lifelong activists and that OWS needs to focus in the short term only on economic things. The oil economy that Klein refers to is part of the problem but that is going to take education of a lot of people. First you have to address their immediate concerns with jobs and money. Then you can talk about getting off fossil fuels. All the rest of the crunchy granola stuff should take a back seat for now.

  5. “So, to correct the record, here is what happened: My mother, Jackie Battley Gingrich, is very much alive, and often spends time with my family. I am lucky to have such a “Miracle Mom,” as I titled her in a column this week.

    As for my parents’ divorce, I can remember when they told me.

    It was the spring of 1980.

    I was 13 years old, and we were about to leave Fairfax, Va., and drive to Carrollton, Ga., for the summer. My parents told my sister and me that they were getting a divorce as our family of four sat around the kitchen table of our ranch home.

    Soon afterward, my mom, sister and I got into our light-blue Chevrolet Impala and drove back to Carrollton.

    Later that summer, Mom went to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for surgery to remove a tumor. While she was there, Dad took my sister and me to see her.

    It is this visit that has turned into the infamous hospital visit about which many untruths have been told. I won’t repeat them. You can look them up online if you are interested in untruths. But here’s what happened:

    My mother and father were already in the process of getting a divorce, which she requested.

    Dad took my sister and me to the hospital to see our mother.

    She had undergone surgery the day before to remove a tumor.

    The tumor was benign.

    As with many divorces, it was hard and painful for all involved, but life continued.”

    Because even if I really don’t want to see Newt Gingrich become president, I’ve had it with “I can see Russia from my house” and all of the other untruths that keep getting repeated. You used to be above things like this.

    • Elliesmom, you really need to learn to read. Let me clarify for you:
      1.) I never was a supporter of She-who-must-not-be-named. I certainly understood the people who were attracted to her- but only so far. Her alliance with Glenn Beck was my stopping point. Anyone who hung with her after that point had more anger than sense.
      2.) I never called her stupid. In fact, she is a fairly talented politician and you will never hear her make the mistake that Michelle Bachmann did with regard to the herpes vaccine. The “russia from my house” thing never happened but she does have a valid point that her job as governor of an oil rich state with two international borders was unique and presented challenges that other governors didn’t have.
      3.) I warned other lefties that calling her stupid was going to backfire on them and drive people sympathetic to her over to the dark side. It has.
      4.) That doesn’t mean I approve of her or her behavior. I found her use of target imagery on her website with reference to Democratic congresspersons prior to the shooting of Gaby Giffords to be careless and dangerous. Her defense of that imagery and “American exceptionalism” and whatever the hell she considers to be Uniquely American is revolting to me. I don’t want any part of her ideal of America. No, do not even bother to defend her here. We’ve been through that already ad nauseum and I won’t be dragged into another pointless argument with someone who will absolutely fail to convince me otherwise. What she did was abhorrent to me. I don’t agree with her worldview and I refuse to defend her or her followers for sticking with their carelessly negligent regard for the physical safety of people who do not agree with them. They crossed the line for me.
      5.) You can whitewash Gingrich’s past if you want. That’s what conservatives do. They decide that the person they want will uphold their way of life and traditions and protect their property and persons from harm no matter what the cost. That’s what is important to them. And people like Newt understand this about his voters. That’s why he goes out of his way to use language that will make the conservative voter think that their property and personal safety is being threatened.

      He’s also a philandering hypocrite, tax cheat and all around fat, ugly, arrogant gasbag. But if he’s your guy, go for it. Your selection of him tells me more about you than you realize. I already know enough about Newt and his agenda that I don’t want to vote for him. But people like you will always be suckers for Newt and he knows how to play you.

    • Well, I’m holding on to my vote until I see results. 🙂

  6. As for Gingrich, istm that the main point is not just the tactics he used against Bill Clinton (vile and insane as they were) — but the fact that he wanted to impeach Bill at all.

    The twofer team of Billary did the best job of any administration since FDR. Gingrich showed himself opposing all their good results. He showed his own opposite goals as something we should reject then and now.

  7. Can someone enlighten me as to who likes uncertainty and chaos???

    • We fear chaos. We learn to live with uncertainty. The book, The Authoritarians by Bob Altmeyer of University of Manitoba, reviews many studies that demonstrate that one of the primary characteristics of a person who has an authoritarian mindset is inability to deal with uncertainty. Such individuals crave hard, fast answers. They don’t like shades of gray. People like New Gingrich are drawn to such individuals because he gives them unequivocal answers. There is no subtlety or nuance with Newt.
      As for chaos, it too can be used to drive people to conservatism. Conjuring up inmages of wild eyed dirty people who envy your stuff can lead a listener to conclude that life is spinning out of control and that they need protection. The politicians who offer this kind of protection are conservatives of an authoritarian mindset.
      You can look it up. You might not like the conclusions but there certainly has been enough data collection in the field of study. I read a lot of this stuff back in 2007 and it made a lot of sense then and now. Once you figure out Newt’s trick, you can cross him off your list of candidates. He’s bad news.

      • Your first paragraph just sounds like you are describing men – my experience shows they are not big on the gray areas.

        The next about chaos driving people to conservatism – again, my experience says that the older you get the more conservative you get…perhaps it’s all the hassle of dealing with reality like paying bills, raising kids, etc. I have friends who, like myself, are still registered democrats. But engage them in political issues and they are suprisingly conservative – they just don’t realize it.

        As to the candidates, right now they are all crap in my opinion…it will come down to whose crap smells worse and is harder to get off the bottom of your shoe.

        • Well, I raise kids and pay bills but I’m not stupid enough to believe that liberalism has caused my unemployment problem. If your friends can’t make the proper connection, i suggest you stop talking politics with them. Clearly, they have learned nothing from the history of the great depression.
          As for conservatives, I have found that people who claim to be conservative are actually quite liberal in support of programs they like. Like social security, Medicare, Tricare, veterans benefits, unemployment insurance (when it’s *their* turn) and a whole host of other things they take for granted. But if you want to talk about the virtues of conservatism and the way people naturally drift into it when they age, maybe you should seek out a blog that actually respects that. This one doesn’t.

          • Being socially liberal and fiscally conservative, I don’t really feel at home anywhere. Your last comment seems to be a bit harsh…respect is something that should be a commonality among us all, as long as the individual isn’t completely devoid of humanity. I respect you and your blog, even if I don’t always agree. It takes guts – among other things – to put yourself out there.

          • Sorry if that sounds harsh but to me it sounds like people are trying to find excuses for the stupidity of others. The best thing you can do for them is laugh at their silly conservatism and mock their favorite TV pundits.
            Btw, if you don’t like your choices for president next year, leave the top spot blank or vote for a third party or write a different name in. It seems like people are so afraid of a bad president getting into office that they get duped into supporting someone who promises to do nothing for them. Face it, is Obama promising you anything? No, of course not. And neither are the Republicans. That is not to say that there’s o difference between the parties. That is to say that you are not obligated to reward either party for not talking better care of the country.
            Your friends are watching too much Tv news. Figure out a way of turning it off.

  8. And I’m telling you that NAFTA, in the great scheme of things, is much bigger in your mind than in reality.
    People were coming to work here in the US from Mexico for a long time. Didn’t we already have an amnesty of illegal immigrants from Mexico before Clinton? Someone correct me if I’m wrong.
    Also, whether the jobs go to Mexico or Canada hardly matters, if they’re still gone.
    What I’m telling you is that there is this myth that somehow NAFTA created this flood of jobs to Mexico and that’s not the way I remember it. That flood of jobs was already in progress. Yes, there were some businesses that relocated to Mexico after NAFTA. But it’s not like that trend wasn’t already happening.
    There are a lot of things wrong with NAFTA. Labor standards are one thing. Then there are trade-economic-currency things that I cannot even begin to understand because I am not an economist. But it simply isn’t true that NAFTA punctured some hole in the virgin barrier between our country’s labor market and Mexico. That was already happening. And Mexico has historically been a poorer state with cheaper labor than the US.
    Finally, as a US president, it is impossible to undo all of the harm of your predecessor. That is not to say you can’t immediately start making changes to policy that will take your country in a different direction, something Obama has yet to learn. But just because Bush Sr. left behind some unfinished business does not necessarily mean that the business should have been left unfinished.
    And while I do blame Obama for not being more aggressive about the economy here because that was something he could definitely have been more proactive about, I don’t blame him for not ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan right away. The reason being that the Bushies had so fucked up central asia that pulling out too quickly could have destabilized even further a very volatile and dangerous part of the world, especially in the Pakistan region. They had deliberately set the area up so that we couldn’t leave. It was part of their plan.
    Where was I? Oh, yeah. I think NAFTA is a lefty construct whose actual effects on the US economy is much more modest than lefties think. I think Anglachel had a better understanding of why Clinton was hated so much by the left and it has nothing to do with a trade deal. Her theory is that lefties have a problem with actual politics. They associate the practice of politics with something that is unclean and that people who do it well are somehow from a lower class, or are bubbas. Some lefties, and people like Chris Hedges and Chris Blowers fit this description, prefer the cool cerebral types to the kind of politicians who are crude movers and shakers. They don’t want their politicians to actually be politicians because that involves a level of wheeling dealing and back scratching and touching people that is too oogy. And the reason she comes back to this is because of the way the press treated the Clintons almost from the moment they arrived on the scene. It didn’t matter if they were well educated at some of the finest universities the country has to offer. They were from Arkansas and Bill Clinton had a reputation as being one of those charming rascals who did not just sit in his oval office, isolated, and think about politics. He was fully engaged. They didn’t like that about him. He was too hands on. It violated their perceptions of themselves. And then he had the audacity to call them on their bullshit the first weeks after he was in office telling the villagers that he was on to their game. Well, they never forgave him for that so they went out their way to show him who really owned Washington.
    I voted for the Clintons and until Monica, Bill didn’t disappoint me the way Obama did. I could see Bill Clinton out wit the Republicans on a regular basis because even though the Republicans were bastards and made everyone’s life more miserable, Clinton prevented them from totally getting their way. And you have to remember that for a good chunk of his time in DC, Clinton was working with a very hostile Congress and was fighting the media in ways that no other president had to.
    But the left chooses to ignore all that and concentrates on a trade agreement that in the end didn’t amount to a hill of beans. And welfare reform, as if people on welfare loved the system as it was set up. They focus on things that don’t really matter. Why? Why were they so willing to overlook a much more serious violation of their voting rights and allowed themselves to get side tracked by NAFTA? There is no equivalence. You can always renegotiate a trade agreement. But once your vote is rendered meaningless, it is extremely difficult to recover your power as a citizen. But there you go. The left voluntarily emasculated itself for Obama over a trade agreement.
    Of course, we know that’s bullshit. It emasculated itself in order to prevent a woman from coming into office and because Obama’s cool demeanor and civil rights symbolism, even though he had done NOTHING for civil rights in his life, made a lot of baby boomers feel young again. And the campaign operatives knew exactly where the fault lines were in the Democratic party and exploited them ruthlessly.
    Nafta was alway a maguffin.

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