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Things that tick me off about lefty Hillary phobes

121115310_29ecec608bYou know who you are. You know she’s going to be nominated at this stage but there’s something about her you don’t like. It’s always SOMETHING.*

These are somethings that you would let slide in any other candidate. Please, don’t make me go over 2008 again. It’s even boring me. But before we move on with that, let’s just all get on the same page with 2008. We don’t buy any of the revisionist history on the 2008 Democratic primary. There should have been a floor fight and the fact that there wasn’t one tells us everything we need to know about how pure and virtuous the left can be.

On to stuff about Hillary:

1.) She feels she is entitled. She thinks it’s her turn. Ok, let’s take the first part. If you have as much experience as Hillary Clinton, you should feel as entitled as anyone with similary experience to run for president.

As for it being her turn, I have heard this over and over again from die hard Obots over the last 7 years, that somehow, there’s an unspoken deal that the party or Obama’s financial backers or even the Obots themselves, would allow Hillary to run after Obama prevented any change  presided over the executive branch for eight years. I don’t know where these people got this idea. None of the Clintonistas were in on this deal. In fact, as far as we were concerned, she probably shouldn’t have bothered. Eight years of Obama after eight years of Bush have made it harder for her to make any real changes. I would have just said “You’re on your own” and walked away if I were her. I don’t think it’s a deal that made her run. And anyway, it’s a stupid deal and she’s not stupid.

2.) The vote for the Iraq War. I hated this vote. I was all in favor of Afghanistan. We had to go there. No, no, peaceniks, we really did. But Iraq was a blunder of monumental proportions. I despise that vote.

But you know what? She was one of 100 senators. Guess what? Without her vote, we were still going to Iraq. Yep, going there and ruining the world for no good reason. John Kerry voted for going to Iraq and his long, disjointed, rambling speech made a lot less sense than Clinton’s. John Edwards voted for Iraq. I can clearly remember lefties falling all over themselves over Edwards. He was the one to beat. If he hadn’t been a cad, the Kossacks would have told Obama to take an old cold tater and wait his turn.

But Hillary is held to some higher standard. The way lefties go on about this makes you think that it was going to be a 50-50 tie and she broke it with her one single vote. It was not. It wasn’t even close. The hypocrisy is ridiculous in this area. So, you know, knock it off.

3.) Coziness with the banks. People who voted for Obama should not be bringing this up given his track record, the results of which certainly suggesting very strongly that there was a deal in 2008 in exchange for all their filthy campaign lucre (which the DNC lapped up without protest). But if they must, we should probably see how many times Jamie Dimon visited the White House in Obama’s first term. Maybe Ron Suskind, the author of Confidence Men would have the answer to that query.

And if we’re going to get transcripts of her speeches, we should probably get the transcripts for all of the other candidates, including Obama’s, from 2007-2008. Fair’s fair. If the media thinks the transcripts will tarnish her reputation with lefties, why bother? They’re already there. Her reputation with lefties can’t get any lower. The question is, does she have a record of exchanging money for influence? Her voting record does not show that.

Does it say that she would be ‘captured’ by the banks like Obama clearly was? Time will tell, I suppose. It might help if we could get a regular person on the Supreme Court who would see the sense in overturning Citizens United. Good luck getting Donald Trump to do that.

4.) Libya. I’m getting a little tired of this one. At the time she advocated the air strikes in Libya, there was a humanitarian crisis developing there. It’s the same kind of humanitarian crisis that developed and spun out of control in Syria. But note that we did nothing in Syria. And how did that work out? I mean, for the average, every day Syrian?

There were terrorists in Libya before the air strikes. The head honcho was one of them. This has been proven. Lockerbie, anyone?  Getting rid of terrorists was not why we did air strikes in Libya but it’s not like there weren’t any there before hand.

Failed states. Yes, it is regrettable that Libya is now considered a failed state. And whose fault is that? No, seriously, whose fault is that? What should we have done? Should we occupy another country? Like a pacifist is going to be thrilled with that solution either. We rebooted the country because it was going to crash (like Syria). Isn’t it the Libyans’ responsibility to keep it running?

So now the terrorists are back. But these are not the same terrorists as before. They are a product of what happened in Iraq when the Bushies insisted that we go kick Saddam Hussein’s ass. Which takes us back to the first point. Hillary’s vote in favor or opposed was not going to keep us out of Iraq.

Do you guys remember the crazy rhetoric in Congress back in 2003-2008 when anyone suggested we dial it back? Remember “cut and run”, “Freedom Fries” and “If you don’t like <fill in the blank>, then the terrorists have won”? Remember the Patriot Act??  Remember Russ Feingold? Hardly anyone does. And that’s the point. You cast a nauseating vote that you can do nothing to mitigate and live to fight another day.

As for the air strikes in Libya, they happened in 2012. So, this problem has had 4 years to fester. There have been 4 years for the Libyans to get their shit together. Why are we not asking the Libyans to step up? Why are we not pointing the Libyans to Kurdistan and saying, “look guys, you have the same oil reserves, the same crazy ass religious relatives, and YOU aren’t landlocked. Why can’t you be like Kurdistan? We gave you a chance to get your shit together and you sqaundered it.”

Why are we blaming ourselves for this?

I only ask.

BTW, if you are a Republican who is cowering in your bedroom because you are afraid that a Muslim is going to behead you, you have only yourself to blame. Iraq was entirely preventable. In fact, your insistence that we go get the WMDs and steal the oil in Iraq has put the entire world in danger by making the rise of ISIS possible. Colin Powell said we would break it. We were warned. So, you know, we’ve had enough of your less than helpful input.

I don’t like warhawks and I don’t like isolationists. They’re two sides of the same coin. Neither is thinking ahead.

Now, I have plenty of problems with the way Hillary is running her campaign this year. The economy is not nearly as good as her ads make it out to be. I understand the need to not make us feel like losers. I get it. But I really do feel like she is neglecting the suffering that a lot of us have had to endure because we have had an ineffective president and an obstructivist congress.

And there are very few people that I know who have benefitted from Obamacare. There is almost universal dislike of it. Her “never, ever” comment came off like a lead balloon and more than a little paternalistic. Like, “You’re not going to Ashley’s house for a sleep over and that’s final. Don’t even ask.” or “I’m tired of going over this and over this. We aren’t dredging this up again.”

That’s a mistake. That feels like inevitability. That makes people feel like they have no choices. But as Stephen Covey says, people always have choices. And they are really beginning to hate nudges.

America may still be great, I wouldn’t argue with that. But we are not addressing the problem that the people who live here are increasingly seen as crops to be harvested instead of people. To the rest of the developed world, what is happening here is horrifying. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.

So far, I haven’t heard Hillary talk about the exploitative profit mining of the American people and I think it’s time she started to discuss that. What is she going to do to reset the balance of power and what is she going to do about income instability?

Everything else is New York Times getting its money’s worth on the deal it and WaPo and Fox News struck with an opposition research company last year.

* Someday, we’re going to have to talk about what really bugs lefties about Hillary Clinton. I think Anglachel was on to something when she discovered the Male Graduate Student problem.

 

 

 

 

We want answers from the pols: Why do Americans have to put up with Exploitative Profit Mining?

(This was written in steam of consciousness mode.)

This is an invitation to the politicians out there to answer this question.  Why are Americans expected to tolerate exploitative profit mining by the wealthy and well connected?  Why are we supposed to just sit here like crops to be harvested?  As soon as there is even a teensy bit of disposable income, that we are supposed to sock away for the future, some capitalist on steroids has to find a way of siphoning it off for his own use and profit.

We all know the game is rigged and yet we’re expected to put all of our precious savings in the stock market or in the hands of fund managers or pay a steep tax penalty to cover our living expenses if we have the misfortune to suffer periods of extended unemployment before we turn 59.5.

We’re all expected to get a college degree if we have even a prayer of getting a good job but then we are tied to these monstrous student loan debts or we spend years pursuing a PhD in a difficult subject only to find we have to take a series of $37K/year jobs.

We’re all expected to pony up hundreds and thousands of dollars for lousy health care policies and an ACA that has separated the country’s workers into two classes.  But the minute we ask for a fairer system that imposes cost controls on medical costs and profit limits on insurers, you’d think we were being irreligious.  Same with internet providers who can’t be bothered to improve their infrastructure even while they intend to reduce competition and split the proceeds from mergers amongst their shareholders.  Apparently, there is no one in Congress or the executive branch who thinks it is possible to stop what consumers think of as destructive mergers and loss of net neutrality.  Why are we expected to put up with that?

Every business and industry has figured out how to extract the maximum amount of pain and we rely on Congress to help us have a say in the matter and they do nothing to stop the extraction.

There’s got to be a better reason than the fact that campaign finance reform is broken.  We want answers as to why we are expected to tolerate the intolerable.

It’s one damn thing after another and no one is buying the excuse that nothing can be done because of the Republicans.  We’ve been watching this unfold for more than a decade and we haven’t even seen you Democrats putting up much of a fight.

Why does exploitative profit mining seem so unstoppable among the politicians that we elected to keep the playing field level so that we can all benefit from the fruits of our labors?

We want answers.  Feel free to use the comment thread below to provide them.  I think we have a right to expect a response of some kind.

Come on, Al Franken.  We supported you from the beginning.  What say you?  How about you, Elizabeth Warren?  And you, Hillary Clinton?  Enough of the foreign policy.  We want to hear about domestic issues.  What are you going to do about this?

Narcissists, scapegoats and the golden child

A few months ago, I said I would be revisiting the topic of narcissists.  It might have been Phillip Zimbardo’s book, The Lucifer Effect, that lead me to read more on narcissism and malignant narcissism.  Or maybe it was one of those moments that we all have from time to time when something we see that is out of focus suddenly snaps into place.  I had interactions with many narcissists last year in every possible area of my life.  The one at work was particularly awful. But whatever it was that finally clued  me in, I realized how narcissism has been allowed to run amok.

We all have the capacity for narcissism. Most healthy human beings have to be somewhat narcissistic to survive.  In this economic environment, we have all been pushed a bit further on the spectrum because a false sense of scarcity has been created and we are all competing for the same piece of the pie.  It pays to be more selfish, to project more confidence and talent than we actually have, and to adopt an “every woman for herself” attitude.  But most of us do not have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a way of seeing the rest of the world as merely actors in the play we wrote ourselves and are directing.

Here are the characteristics of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD):

  • A grandiose sense of self-importance (may be shown as an exaggeration of abilities and talents, expectation that he or she will be seen as superior to all others).
  • Is obsessed with him- or herself.
  • Goals are almost always selfish and self-motivated.
  • Has troubles with healthy, normal relationships.
  • Becomes furious if criticized.
  • Has fantasies of unbound success, power, intelligence, love, and beauty.
  • Believes that he or she is unique and special, and therefore should only hang out with other special, high-status people.
  • Requires extreme admiration for everything.
  • Feels entitled – has unreasonable expectations of special treatment.
  • Takes advantage of others to further his or her own needs.
  • Has zero empathy – cannot (or will not) recognize the feelings of others.
  • May be envious of others or believe that others are envious of him or her.
  • Behaves arrogantly, haughtily.

– See more at: http://www.bandbacktogether.com/adult-children-of-Narcissistic-parents-resources/#sthash.HtiA1zJT.dpuf

Based on the number of politically tone deaf statements from the plutocrats about how the rest of us envy their success, it has become painfully obvious that there is a surplus of narcissists at the top. But you might be surprised by how many people with NPD hide behind religion.  A very religious person is very hard to criticize and our social structure gives them a convenient cover screen.  How could a person who praises the lord and loves Jesus (and lets you know about it all. the. time.) be selfish, manipulative and malicious? It’s a brilliant place to be if you want control but want to come off looking sweet and pious while simultaneously believing that you are superior to others because you have The Truth.  Many cult-like and high control fundamentalist religious organizations encourage this kind of narcissism in their converts. The Duggar family is a perfect example of this mindset.

And then there is the right wing noise machine that seems to encourage a base narcissism in its target audience.  The unlucky “deserve” what they get while the rich “deserve” what they’ve gotten.  And what’s wrong with saying things that are racist?  You’re allowed to be a racist if you want to be.  (I’m just paraphrasing the incredible things I’m hearing from the Fox News crowd lately.  Personally, I think racism is revolting in thought, word and deed.) Putting people down to make yourself look superior is a hallmark of a narcissist, although I doubt that these same Fox News watchers would be as comfortable saying it’s Ok to be anti-semitic.  Just a guess.

The relationships that develop in a family poisoned by a narcissistic parent illustrate on a micro scale what can be projected to a wider audience in the political sphere.  In a family when one of the parents has narcissistic personality disorder, the children in the family are frequently pitted against one another.  The NPD parent designates one of the children as the scapegoat.  The role of the scapegoat may rotate but it’s usually one particular child that is targeted.  This child is usually the more sensitive child, the one who doesn’t play the game and flatter the narcissist, the truth teller.  When the NPD parent injures this child using emotional manipulation and encouraging the others in the family to “mob” (bullying by group), the NPD parent gets a whiff of narcissistic supply.  They get off on control and their ability to make someone else feel inferior, to sabotage and limit their success. The goal of the NPD parent is to make the scapegoat bend to her will by using ostracism, mockery, malicious gossip and alienation.  Yeah, imagine living with that.

The golden child, on the other hand, can do no wrong.  No matter how much the kid screws up, the NPD parent will make excuses.  It’s not his fault.  The problem started before he came along.  He needs time to mature.  He will never suffer the consequences of his behavior nor will there be any criticism of his limitations.  Indeed, any minor accomplishment is made to look magnificent.

And then there are the flying monkeys.  Flying monkeys are the siblings, and others, who act as the hit men for the NPD parent.  They are sent on missions to obtain information from the scapegoat that gets reported back to the NPD parent.  The parent then uses that information to spread rumors, gossip and malicious mockery through his or her own actions or the actions of the flying monkeys.  The gossip may contain a hint of truth but this is usually blown out of proportion.  The more voices that propagate the gossip, the greater the negative effect on the scapegoat.

So, here’s my leap from micro to macro and what we will be subjected to for the next two years until the presidential election.  The narcissists are in charge.  They control the horizontal and the vertical.  All the moneys are belong to them and they are determined to extract every penny of what they think they are owed.  They will do this by conscripting the US government to cover their debts even if it means impoverishing the tax base.  They don’t see labor as consisting of real people.  Labor is a resource to be used when it is needed and discarded when it is not.

I’d like to use the term exploitative profit mining to describe the effect of unfettered narcissistic capitalism on the general public and predict that this will continue to result in economic instability and eventually, the dangerous undermining of democratic governments.  The early and mid 20th century saw the negative fallout of this kind of behavior with WWI, the Great Depression and WWII.  I’d hate to think we are going to have to live through those kinds of upheavals again but the rise of ultra right wing and nationalistic parties in Europe in the wake of austerity, as well as the political chaos caused by the Tea Party fanatics here in the US have me very worried that we’re headed for trouble.

Over the past 6 years, we have become all too familiar with the typical behaviors and attitudes of narcissists.  Do not look to them for any sense of empathy.  They do not possess it and the only mechanisms for keeping them in check have been abandoned at this point.  Check out any review of Tim Geithner’s book, Stress Test, if you want to know what he,  the lieutenant of the narcissists, did on their behalf.  Keep in mind the characteristics of narcissists as you read it.

Their most significant triumph to date has been to get their golden child elected.  The scapegoat is Hillary Clinton.  Look at any comment section of a left leaning blog and you will find this is true.  Obama inherited the financial crisis.  That’s why the economy sucks.  The Republicans hate Obama.  That’s why the ACA is FUBAR.  Obama didn’t start the war in Iraq.  So, it’s not his fault if the void we left when we pulled out of Iraq has destabilized the country.

(Sidenote: Dexter Filkins of the New Yorker was interviewed on Fresh Air yesterday.  In the last 4 minutes of the interview, Filkins lays out the culpability of the Obama administration with respect to the current crisis in Iraq.  It’s not pretty. Expect Filkins to suffer some scapegoating for truth telling about the golden child’s “accomplishments”.)

Hillary can do nothing right.  Everything she says is scrutinized in order to put the worst possible spin on it.  She’s not perfect, that’s for sure, and right now, unless I see her move to the left boldly to take on the exploitative profit miners, it will be hard for me to justify voting for her.  But, golly gee, nobody is as bad as the left seems to think Hillary is.  According to the left, she and her husband wrecked welfare and imposed an unconstitutional piece of legislation on gay people while single handedly destroying Glass-Steagall.  Then they wickedly danced around the fire while chanting incantations, laughing evilly at the suffering of others and killing the bees.  It’s an image of the Clintons that completely cuts out the crazy Whitewater scandal, the crazy Monica scandal, the hours of congressional hearings and special prosecutions over billing records, and the millions of dollars that they and their friends and everyone who ever worked for them were forced to spend on what turned out to be harassment suits.  This during the Newt Gingrich years.  Remember Newt??

But it doesn’t matter.  Hillary Clinton is facing flying monkeys on the left as well as the right.  And while we can’t do anything about the flying monkeys on the right, I just have to wonder if the flying monkeys on the left have thought this through.  The books I’ve read say that the flying monkeys are not always aware of what they are doing.  The narcissists controlling them make them feel included, like they’re one of the club.  And it’s fun to get that sip of narcissistic oxygen that comes with watching the scapegoat flailing and not succeeding.

There’s a danger to this though.  If Hillary truly is the last great hope of the left in 2016, and she sees that the narcissists and flying monkeys on the left are determined to see her fail, then her only choice to win the White House is to appeal to the disaffected voters of 2008 who abandoned the Democrats for the Tea Party.  That wouldn’t be me.  I’m still in exile.  I’m talking about the more socially conservative Democrats who felt snubbed by Obama and his supporters writing them off, calling them religious, gun toting, bitter knitters.  She’s got to get her votes from somewhere and if the crunchy lefties and snobby lefties are going to get prodded by the narcissists to go after her non-stop from now until 2016, then she’s going to have to appeal to the Reagan Democrats.  At this point, the left is all but conceding that she is the inevitable candidate (why they say this is anyone’s guess but it’s out there).  And if it is true that the left is finally, reluctantly, going to get behind Hillary, it’s going to be undermining its own candidate if it keeps telling the world how loathsome it thinks she is.

That’s something to think about.

On the other hand, Hillary has to come to terms with her scapegoat role.  Once you have become the scapegoat, there is virtually nothing you can do about changing it. Defensiveness doesn’t do much good. The scapegoating will continue until the narcissist dies or the flying monkeys get a clue as to how and why they are being used.  As long as the flying monkeys are getting off on what they’re doing, finding it successful, and the golden child remains protected, don’t expect anything to change.  The scapegoat has a choice.  Go along with it or divorce the whole family.  You can never appease the narcissist enough to be your own person.

This site supports teachers and their unions

Lord knows I have had my issues with teachers.  They can be pedantic, rigid, overly sensitive, autocratic and, occasionally, disrespectful to parents.  I assume this has something to do with having to spend all their day with developing human beings who need a firm hand and that they sometimes don’t know when to stop.

BUT

I could never do what they do.  I don’t have the patience or organizational skills.  I don’t have the passion or mysterious magical ingredient that would make me want to spend all of my working day in a classroom herding cats.

So, when I read about what Philadelphia is planning for negotiations with their teachers’ union, my blood boiled.

These are working people who earn a living.  Taking a 13% cut in pay is not an option.  In fact, reducing the power and wages of the teachers’ unions comes back to bite all of us in the ass.  We shouldn’t be pointing our fingers at them asking why their lives and wages are secure.  We should be asking ourselves how we can get what they have.  Not only that but the school systems of our nation should not be just another source for exploitative profit mining* for the well-connected.

It doesn’t serve American ingenuity or our future to have everyone stressed out to the max about where their next meal is coming from or how we’re going to pay hospital bills without go ing deeply into debt.  And when we start inflicting that kind of stress on our teachers, it’s going to affect performance in the classroom.  They’re human beings, not saints.

Honestly, I don’t know what’s up with Philadelphia’s finances.  Maybe this is all just a giant scare tactic to illustrate what’s going to happen if we fail to fund our governments and go through with sequesters.  But I’ve driven through parts of North Philadelphia and am shocked by the condition of the place.  Houses are falling apart and trash is strewn everywhere.  People LIVE there and it’s like a third world country.  Do we want to add to that destitution by depriving people of their ability to free their minds?  It’s disgraceful.  What’s next?  School fees like the kind they have in Africa where families have to decide which kid gets an education?

So, count me among the supporters of Philly’s teachers and teachers everywhere.

*Exploitative Profit Mining- the practice of seeking new profit streams from the exploitation of unprotected working people either through non-transparent financial transactions or privatization of public services.  Add it to your lexicon.