• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    William on A Few Musical Musings
    Beata on A Few Musical Musings
    William on A Few Musical Musings
    jmac on A Few Musical Musings
    William on A Few Musical Musings
    jmac on A Few Musical Musings
    William on A Few Musical Musings
    William on A Few Musical Musings
    Beata on A Few Musical Musings
    brucedesertrat on Imagining a Fifteen-Minute Cha…
    Beata on Imagining a Fifteen-Minute Cha…
    William on Imagining a Fifteen-Minute Cha…
    brucedesertrat on Imagining a Fifteen-Minute Cha…
    Beata on Imagining a Fifteen-Minute Cha…
    Propertius on Imagining a Fifteen-Minute Cha…
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    January 2023
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – January 29, 2023
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – January 29, 2023 by Tony Wikrent   Altercation: Goodbye and Thanks Eric Alterman, January 27, 2023 [The American Prospect] The key question I want to leave people with is this: Given the lack of guardrails, how far are these people willing to go? Trump is as popular as he was before January 6th and has been invited back on […]
  • Top Posts

Authentic Woman

She’s a super heroine.

I saw this clip with David Axelrod aka Ratface, with Jon Stewart about authenticity and Hillary and I know where Jon is going with this but he’s wrong. Take a look at the clip first.


Jon Stewart is a smart man who studied psychology in college. I think his success with The Daily Show had a lot to do with his understanding of human nature. And I won’t disagree that I have had the same reaction to Hillary’s campaign this season. It is not the same as it was in 2008. She’s fighting something.

But where Jon is wrong is about how women become their authentic selves.

The authentic self is all the rage these days for people who are leaving high control or authoritarian religions. It’s that little voice inside you that says, “Wait, that dogma you’re feeding me makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s not quite parsing anymore. Following this is not who I am”. Authoritarian religions are very good at snuffing out the authentic self. They will tell the follower that it’s the devil speaking to them or bad association. The follower will attempt to double down to quash the self in order to “save” themselves. People with a strong sense of themselves eventually surface and throw off the indoctrination.

Here’s the thing that Jon doesn’t understand. In our society, and in most societies worldwide, women aren’t allowed to have an authentic self. Whatever it is they truly are, they have to hide from the rest of the world. For example, most women in the workplace go through their careers carefully calibrating their selves just to get through the day. They have to be careful who they can trust. They can’t come off as too strong or they are “bitchy”. They can’t be too accommodating because then they’ll be too soft and ineffective.

What Hillary Clinton is trying to do has never been done before in America. And as we have seen, it is very, very difficult. What we are watching is the most dangerous and death defying trick ever performed by an American female in history. It has a level of difficulty that Barack Obama never experienced.

She did seem more “authentic” in 2008. But that didn’t work, did it? When her own party turned on her and told her to step aside for someone else, because that’s what good girl team players are supposed to do, what lessons did she learn from that?  What compromises was she forced to accept?

I don’t know what the real authentic Hillary Clinton is. We won’t know until she takes office and even then, she will need to be cautious. At this point in time, she is falling back to a self that many women can relate to, that is, the over achiever, the Girl Scout.

Cut her a break, Jon.

Random Drug Test

The school just called.  It was the nurse.  I’m thinking, “great, she knocked her front teeth out in gym” or “She is throwing up, can I come pick her up?”.  No, the nurse was happy to assure me that Brooke had participated in the random drug test and there were no drugs in her system.

No duh.  *I* could have told them that.  The kid is as clean as a whistle.  How do I know?  She spends all of her free time teaching herself Chinese.  I have the notebooks to prove it.   She just won a prestigious award in German.  She never emerges from her basement lair unless she is lured up with food.  I can’t even get her to hang out with her friends.  WHEN was she going to be doing drugs??

Is there any reason to test her?  No.  It’s just to keep kids on their toes, like some panopticon thing.  Make them feel guilty without even trying.  And what’s this crap about “participated”?  It’s more like coerced.  If she doesn’t hand over the pee, she can’t participate in any after school programs.

Why can’t we suspect a kid of being bad before we jump all over their case about it?

This is where the next round of authoritarian followers will come from.

Back to the nurse, she just wanted to call to tell me that the kid isn’t on drugs, isn’t that delightful?  She always wants parents to know even when there is a good result, just to let them know that we are keeping an eye on everything they do and say and breath.  Yes, it’s a conspiracy between parents and teachers to keep these teenagers as toddlers as long as we possibly can.  They must remain under our watchful eye even when all evidence points to them being really terrific human beings.

I told the nurse that the drug test wasn’t necessary and I am not concerned.  In fact, I think they should have called me BEFORE they pulled her out randomly for a drug test and asked me if she needed it.  Otherwise, I just see it as a violation of trust and her civil rights.  Of course, the board of ed could always argue she’s a minor and therefore doesn’t have any civil rights.  But it does make us suspicious of each other.  Parents learn to immediately suspect the worst of their children and children learn that nothing is off limits to scrutiny even when there is no reason to suspect anything.

Oh, and the school is in lockdown mode because of some rumor of something happening in another school district somewhere else.  For gawdssakes, this is the most boring suburb on the face of the planet.  Nothing happens here.  You can’t even crowd surf the hallways in the last week of school without being barred from graduation.  So, no one can leave the school grounds during lockdown.  Like they were breaking down the doors to get out on a normal day.  Doesn’t “lockdown” sound like a prison term? It’s overkill.

Home schooling is looking pretty damn good right about now.

What we’re up against

Chosen for you

I had lunch with some former colleagues last week and told them I was going to Occupy Congress next week.  Some of them looked like I had lost my mind while others were curious.  One of them grew up in the former Soviet Union.  Once I assured him that I wasn’t marching for a grand socialist solution, we had an interesting conversation. He told me that in his country, the KGB put a label on you, he gestured to his forehead, and never let you alone.  He said, “Don’t misunderstand me, I am on your side, but what you are dealing with is not just in this country.  It’s global.”  And then he gave me a knowing look and, ya’ know, I think I got it.  That was a weird feeling and not necessarily in a good way.

I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating, we are now engaged in a struggle between global authoritarianism and small “l” liberalism.  This is a global event.  It’s the shock doctrine on a universal scale.  It’s why there’s a push for austerity everywhere.  Too often, Americans see their politics on a small scale, as if what happens here is just like the political superbowl between two teams that meet every four years.  The media covers the players in the same way with statistics and color commentary.  The primaries are like the playoffs leading to the big one in November complete with nachos and guacamole and a lot of beer.  It’s a process unique to Americans, just another Detroit vs Green Bay.

But that’s not what’s happening anymore.  Our electoral process seems local but it’s part of a global pattern where the players are picked by a small evil group to which no one we know belongs.  And they are presented to us in a process where the outcome is pre-ordained.  In fact, I don’t think we Americans have actually picked our president since 1996.  In every electoral contest since then, the good guys have lost.  I am not referring to McCain.

You THINK you have a choice but you don’t.  It’s time to face up to that fact.  If progressives were smart, they would stop playing this game and at least expose it, even if they feel (incorrectly, IMHO) they can’t do anything about it this go around.  As long as they still think that this is a contest between Barack Obama and whoever the Republicans pick, progressives are dooming us whatever the authoritarians want.  The answer is not to try to influence the Republicans.  You are wasting your time and playing their game.  The answer is to try to put the screws to the Democrats.   And it is a very good idea to find out who the authoritarians most fear.

Otherwise, we may wake up in mid-November to the same situation they have in Hungary right now where the ruling party has rewritten the constitution and has cemented its future electoral victories in place for a couple generations.

Have courage, friends.  The days of comfort for the soft American are over.

I’m off to Philly today to do some work type things.  Later Taters.


As Jane Caro, Australian writer, recently said, what we are seeing across the globe today is “a struggle between authoritarianism and small “l” liberalism”.  In the past couple of decades, the authoritarians have really stepped up their game.  Back in the early 90s, the right thought they had a lock on the presidency.  Bill Clinton was not supposed to win the White House, much less win it twice.  Well, that would never do, so the right subjected the Clintons and us to 8 years of distractions.  That time could have been better spent reforming health care and catching Osama bin Laden.  And that was the point.  Clinton wasn’t supposed to get anything done.

It’s been all downhill from there.

We know why they do it.  They never liked the New Deal, they hate Social Security and over the decades, many of them are convinced that regular workers in the 99% are just lazy, parasitic slackers who have a lot of illegitimate children and take drugs.  We have the audacity to own refrigerators.  We are getting above our station.  Am I right, David Brooks?

Now, how are they doing it is another matter altogether.  This is where the former Jehovah’s Witnesses who are now apostates can explain how it’s done and know where the resources are that spell it all out.  If  Caro’s hypothesis is correct and the authoritarians are trying to put out our light, that suggests that we are being treated to high control group tactics.  Cults are one extreme of a high control group but let’s not kid ourselves, politicians and political parties are not above using high control tactics.  And who owns the politicians?  They’re the same people who own pretty much everything in this country, especially the media.  And they have been using their ownership and power to shut down independent thought.  Just yesterday, the area in a building that houses GlobalRevolution, Occupy Wall Street’s livestream, was closed by the city.  Officials claimed that it was “imminently perilous to life”, which is weird because there was someone living right down the hall who didn’t have to leave.  Ooooo, a livestream is so threatening to the 1% that they have to stuff a sock in it.  Actually, that’s kind of a good thing, isn’t it?  It means the message is getting through in spite of the filters.

Information control is only one part of the BITE model of mind control.  I would put it in the realm of propaganda techniques on steroids.  BITE stands for Behavior control, Information Control, Thought control and Emotional control.  It’s one thing to fling Orwellian references around. It just *feels* Orwellian.  It’s quite another thing to go through the list of the examples of each one of these control tactics and realize that they are uncomfortably familiar. We might not even realize what they are at first.

Take Behavior Control, for example.  I can see at least three items on that list that we have all experienced.

Rigid rules and regulations– have you flown anywhere lately?  Applied for a passport, drivers license, voters registration?

Financial dependence– Do you worry about losing your health insurance, house and savings if you lose your job?  What about your retirement funds?  Are you strapped into a 401K that you can’t get out of?

Individualism discouraged; group think prevails– Did you put a yellow ribbon on your car after 9/11?  Did the Obama campaign convince you that you were a racist in 2008 if you didn’t vote for Obama?

Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment and vacations.  Afraid to take a day off for fear you’ll lose your job?  Have so many jobs that you can’t focus on anything else?  People who are overwhelmed with tasks don’t have time to rebel.

Need for Obedience and Dependency– Have you bought into the idea that the Occupy Movement is just a bunch of trouble makers who are challenging the system in the wrong way and that they deserve to be beaten up and peppersprayed for being disobedient?  Do you have a kid in school who can’t breathe without permission?  I have two daughters, 14 years apart, and their childhoods could not be more different.  One had a normal childhood, playing outside and sleepovers in 4th grade and seeing friends in an informal setting.  The other kid was on lockdown.  Oh, she went outside to try to play with other kids but there wasn’t ever anyone out there.  It was like a street scene from “I Am Legend”.  Eventually, she gave up.  School is even worse.  They have video cameras everywhere now watching everything you do.  You can get an in-school suspension for saying your math class is boring.  I’m not kidding.  It’s awful.

It’s hard to dismiss the feeling that these kids are being conditioned for something.  The question is, what?

Now, not every item on this list will strike a nerve.  There may be things they just haven’t gotten around to yet.  And in some cases, the change has been so gradual that we weren’t even aware of what was going on until we were forced to go through a half hour ordeal in the security line at the airport.  But there is no doubt in my mind at least that the small evil group to which no one we know belongs is engaging in high control tactics against us.

The worst of it is that those of us stuck in the middle chronologically are flanked by older, more conservative voters who are vulnerable to the high control tactics of Fox and the right wing, while younger voters are vulnerable to the high control tactics of the Wall Street financed Democratic party.  It’s worse for younger voters because they were just children during the Clinton years and it’s very easy to convince them that the Clintons were evil because it’s so easy to control information and shape thoughts.  Just rewrite history and drop comments everywhere.  I don’t mind critics as long as they’re honest.  No one is perfect.  But the smear job on the Clintons is purposeful because, I suspect, they aren’t as pliant to the high control group as someone like Obama. If you grew up in the 60s, 70s and 80s, you may remember that America didn’t use to be like this.  That’s why the middle will be torn to pieces economically.  They’ve got too much cultural memory and might start clamoring for the old days.  Let’s distract them with saving their financial lives.

This is what we’re up against.  And what we need to figure out is how to deprogram an entire country and the rest of the world.  That’s probably why GlobalRevolutionTV was kicked out of its studios.  It is trying to reverse the indoctrination and it is succeeding.

As Donald Rumsfield once said, “it’s going to be a long, hard slog”.

Entitlements and Smoke Filled Rooms

I recently received an email from someone I worked on a campaign with a couple of years ago.  I’ll call her Daisy.  Daisy is one of the most talented campaign volunteers you wlll ever want to meet.  I hope someone pays her big someday.

Anyway, Daisy and I had an email exchange that eventually boiled down to “I didn’t support Hillary because she had a sense of entitlement.”  (not her words exactly but that’s what stuck with me)

Now, I’ve always wondered why this meme more than all of the others managed to stick so well with so many Democratic activists who ended up supporting someone else.  It could be that the Democratic party used to pride itself on the idea of merit and equality of opportunity and perhaps Hillary’s personal connections gave her an unfair advantage.  But we saw how Hillary started off strong at the beginning of the primaries and then just got stronger right up until the end when she was still winning primaries on the last day even after the rest of the party had cut a deal with Obama in the smoke filled rooms. She earned her support the old fashioned way and not as Chris Matthews once opined, that everyone felt sorry for her.

And then it hit me.  Weren’t the voters the ones who should have had a sense of entitlement?  That point continually gets lost in the argument that Hillary had a sense of entitlement.  The entitlement goes to the people who vote.  It is their prerogative to give their votes to whomever they choose and not have their choices overturned by party operatives cutting a deal because they don’t like the way the election is going.

I was stunned by the hyperaggressive attitudes of the Obot coalition last year who thought it was just political hardball to steamroll over the voters on their quest to install Obama.  They seemed to think it was OK to characterize Hillary voters as racists and stupid, old ugly hags because that made it easier to justify depriving them of their entitlement to their own votes.  Right, guys?  Admit it.  That’s how you felt.  If we were going to be dumb old hicks who were bitter guntoting politically incorrect racists, then we didn’t deserve our votes.

I know a lot of you keep wondering why I come back to the primaries.  Why doesn’t she just let it go, you wonder.  Dwelling on it doesn’t change anything.  Well, I keep bringing it up because last year, our democracy was subverted in such an egregious way by the Democratic party that it could have been concocted by someone with direct access to Karl Rove’s wet dreams.  Who would have thought that te Democratic party could be taken over by a bunch of authoritarian nutcases who would usurp the entitlement of the voters and make back room deals to cut out their voices?  And they did it because *they* knew better than *us*.  They were going to be our social conscience and our Big Daddies who would take care of things on our behalf.

This is what happened to the party. It put itself, and our votes, in the hands of the back room power brokers and completely ignored the voices of the voters.  And we said that if Obama and his friends weren’t going to listen to the voters before the election, he had no obligation to listen to them afterwards.

Now, take a look at Dan Froomkin’s first post for The Huffington Post.  It’s about health care and the deals that the Obama administration is cutting behind closed doors, without the input of the voters.  In fact, going out of his way to cut out a significant number of voices that want Medicare for All.  Froomkin writes:

Despite an abundance of public remarks, Obama’s actual strategy to achieve health-care reform still remains largely cloaked in secrecy. While the media’s focus has been on the unseemly public wrangling in Congress, the White House has been doing two things: 1) Trying to influence legislators behind closed doors and 2) Making deals with industry leaders behind closed doors.

And disturbingly, the crucial endgame will apparently be played behind closed doors, as well. In a conference call with bloggers last month, Obama anticipated that the bills that eventually emerge from the House and Senate will, even then, still leave the most controversial issues basically undecided.

To recap: primaries were pretty much evenly split.  But party operatives got together behind closed doors and gave the whole show to Obama, cutting out a little more than half of the Democratic voters.

The financial crisis is killing the middle class and generating a lot of outrage towards bankers and Wall Street over their outrageous bonuses and cavalier attitudes towards our financial security.  But the Obama administration got together with those same bankers behind closed doors to cut deals.

Health care reform shows that there is strong support for a public option or Medicare for All or single payer.  But the party operatives got together behind closed doors to cut deals with the insurance industry.

See the pattern?

If you voted for Obama and thought it was OK for the party to stomp all over the Clinton voters because you were giddy with powerlust, *this* is what you voted for.

THAT’S why I keep bringing it up.

Please Digg!!! Tweet!!! Share!!!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine