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      In most countries the young vote less than the old (though if someone champions them, as Corbyn did, their voting rates soar). But the young are the very people with the most stake in how society is run. If you’ve got 60 years ahead of you, well, it matters that society is well run for […]
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Cocktail Hour: Resistance September

Update: Bev Hendricks writes that Hal David has died. He was 91. David was the lyricist for many collaborations with Burt Bacharach.  Instead of playing a song, I thought I’d post the lyrics to one of my favorite Hal David songs, Alfie.  Some songs never go out of style and this one is perfect for 2012.:

What’s it all about, alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, alfie,
Then I guess it’s wise to be cruel.
And if life belongs only to the strong, alfie,
What will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above, alfie,
I know there’s something much more,
Something even non-believers can believe in.
I believe in love, alfie.
Without true love we just exist, alfie.
Until you find the love you’ve missed you’re nothing, alfie.
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you’ll find love any day, alfie, alfie.

****************************

Lambert says he thinks the problem is malaise.  Atrios says he just doesn’t think the election matters anymore.

I think it’s a case of learned helplessness.

It’s like being half drowned a dozen times. No matter what you do, someone is still going to try to drown you. After awhile, you stop struggling.

And this has been my point all along. We *KNOW* they’re trying to drown us so we should make it really, really hard for them to do it. As long as we still have a vote, we have the power to make the powers that be miserable. We don’t have to eat our poisoned mushrooms. Resistance isn’t useless.

You shouldn’t be surprised if learned helplessness is exactly what they are trying to create. The people who don’t think these things through all the way seem to think that if they vote for Obama this year that the beatings will ease up. They will never ease up until we decide we’re not putting up with it anymore.

If Obama loses this year, the next two years will be pretty tough on us. But it might be of shorter duration than if Obama wins. It’s not even like the Republicans are the only ones into promoting misery anymore. Only that Obama gets away with it because he has a D after his name.

It would have been better if we had agitated for Hillary this year. That would have shaken them up and there is still time.  Nothing is settled until the balloons drop in Charlotte.  But the left has been very well conditioned against her. So, in a way, they’ve contributed to their own demise. The tools to fight this thing were there all along like Dorothy’s ruby slippers.

So, what’s it going to be, left blogosphere?  Are you going to give in or are you going to resist?  Are you going to jump on Obama’s bandwagon, knowing that he’s going to ignore you or are you going to stand up and step away from the party and give it something to worry about?

What do you have to lose?  Let’s put it this way, what do you have to gain by helplessly letting them deep six you?  Get up and resist.  Let the Democratic party worry about what that means.  You are not under any obligation to give up your vote for nothing in return.  When we say jump, they should ask how high.

This year, we need to seriously consider looking after our own interests.  I’ve proposed an organizational model before.  We need to put something like that in motion.  Call it the Federation for Democratic Reform.  It has a catchy abbreviation.  It could be an umbrella group for various left of center organizations.  We need to draft a platform, organize some committees, get some lobbyists and vet some candidates to run for office.  Discuss.

Rico’s tending bar and the drinks are on me.  I’m having a Blue Moon.

If you’re out there and you’re reading and you’ve had enough, play your own resistance song.

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Save your breath, Obama fans, this one will change your mind

Wall Street wants a cut of Atlantic City’s market

If it weren’t enough that we bailed out the finance industry, gave them billions of dollars, took their toxic assets off their hands, compensated them for their bad bets and ignored every other blessed thing in the country while the bankers plaintively whined, “But what about *me*!?”, the bankers new plan for the elderly and retired people is really the worst.

According to the NYTimes (and they are no Romney fans, let us note), the Obama administration is fully behind the finance industry’s plan to market securities to the elderly and retired people.  You know, those people in your family who watch Fox News, buy gold coins from Glenn Beck and stock in Israeli oil companies?  Just think about it, some massive pension funds gave money to Goldman-Sachs for hinky securities, the brokers called them “muppets” and got away with it, and Goldman got a slap on the wrist when the pension fund lost a ton of money.  Now, multiply that stupidity across a whole nation of elderly former supermarket cashiers and bus drivers with little nest eggs that they are setting aside for themselves and their children’s inheritance.

And the Obama administration is giving this scheme its blessing:

Bipartisan majorities in Congress and President Obama are to thank for this development. Bowing to the financial industry, they joined forces last April to pass a law that requires the Securities and Exchange Commission to lift the ban on mass advertising of private offerings.

The S.E.C., for its part, made matters worse this week when it proposed a rule to implement the law that utterly fails to address the fact that ending the ban will make everyday investors more vulnerable to fraud. While the commission has no choice but to lift the ban, it does have leeway to write the rules to decrease the threat to investors. It has not used that flexibility.

For instance, while the new law allows for mass advertising of private offerings, it also says the buyers of such securities must be “accredited investors,” generally defined as those with at least $1 million in net worth (not counting a home) or at least $200,000 of yearly income. The law also says that private stock issuers must take “reasonable steps” to verify that investors qualify as “accredited.” But the S.E.C. did not impose or even suggest verification procedures to ensure that investors meet the criteria.

Now, if this were a rule that allowed average people access to valuable IPOs, that would be one thing.  I’ve always thought it was unfair that only certain already rich people had access to inside information that would allow them a head of the line pass to make a killing.  But that’s not what we’ve got here.  What we’ve got is a way for the finance industry to sink their teeth into our future inheritances while potentially leaving our elderly parents destitute.  Someday down the road, we’re going to hear some young, hotshot, banker asshole in a bar say something about how it’s not his responsibility to save stupid people from themselves.  He’s in it for himself and he didn’t do anything illegal.  He’s just smarter than the suckers who bought what he was selling.

So, there you go. Obama, instead of leveling the playing field and making sure that all investors get stellar service from accountable brokers, is doing exactly the opposite, as if investing in the market was just what everyone wanted to do with their retirement savings.

I don’t like the way this is sounding.  Why would any senior citizen with a comfortable living from pensions and social security need to risk any of their money on the market?

Unless some of that comfortable living shrinks up and dies away and they need to find some way to replace it?  Doesn’t this sound like the brute force way to privatize Social Security?  Make your Social Security payment so tiny that you are forced to risk money on  the stock market?  Like involuntarily forcing you into 401Ks with risky mutual funds just when you should be sticking it all in a boring, plodding annuity?

It sounds like a finance industry wet dream, like introducing the gambling addicts to a whole new casino.  Instead of rehabbing them, Obama will be enabling them further.  The bankers will not be curbed in the least, nor will they be held accountable when millions of people lose everything they own to them.  I can almost picture them in a room with Obama, talking about “what everyone already knows.  Social Security is dead. We have to force the public to face up to it and give them an alternate way to make money.”  The sociopaths in the bespoke suits and manicured hands look at the president in what passes for what they call sincerity.  They nod gravely at one another.  Well, what can they do?  The world is changing.  Ohhh, so THAT’S the Change!™ Obama was always talking about.

You know how I know that this is the kind of conversation they’re having?  It’s because this is the same schtick I and my colleagues heard from our 401K managers in a seminar on all the fantastic new products they were rolling out to us a few years ago. “Social Security is going to be a thing of the past.  Where else are you going to go?”  They *almost* made it sound like they were doing us a favor since there wouldn’t be any social security anymore.  And then I thought, how do they know that?  Who told them?  Is that part of the plan??  Deliberately remove this leg of the retirement stool and force us all into risky mutual funds?

So all you Democratic loyalists who are screaming about how the Republicans are the worst people on earth and how you can’t trust them and OMG, if you don’t vote for Obama, we are all well and truly *f^&$ed*!, you can save your breath.  He has betrayed you.  You’re just sticking your fingers in your ears singing “la-la-la, I can’t hear you”.  He will never be YOUR president because you ask nothing of him.  And once he has you in his win column, he will ignore you and move on to the tougher nuts, the religious and the libertarians.  He is exactly the same kind of president to the liberal Democrat that Romney will be to the liberal Democrat.

Democratic loyalists need to ask themselves what they are going to get out of this and they should pay attention to who the Obama administration is courting.  You will only get what you want from the party if you deny them  what they want.  Otherwise, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?  The scare tactics don’t work on me because I’m not a fricking pushover.

Stop acting like stupid mooning girls with a crush on a player.

The Democrats in Exile theme song: