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      by Tony Wikrent North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Strategic Political Economy Economist Mariana Mazzucato has demonstrated that the real driver of innovation isn’t lone geniuses but state investment. [Wired, via The Big Picture 10-19-19] ….Mazzucato, an Italian-American economist who had spent decades researching the economics of innovation […]
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More Obama Privacy Creepiness

Hooliganism moves online at The Cave in Chicago, sucking up your private information and harassing your friends

There’s nothing surprising (at least to Clintonistas) that the Obama campaign has been using peer pressure and psychological manipulation to herd Democrats.  But in light of Snowden’s revelations about the extent to the NSA’s reach into our private lives, the Obama campaign’s tactics are deeply disturbing.  If you got an email from a suspicious sender asking you to surrender your address book and a lot of private information so he can harass your friends, you’d quickly change all your passwords and turn on two-step verification.  But when it’s some 20 something Obama fan boy in a cave in Chicago doing it, we’re supposed to trust them?

I don’t think so.  

Anyway, listen to the Terry Gross  interview with Jonathan Alter and think to yourself how different this sounds now than it would have a month ago.  Who believes that the information gathering, retention and mining stopped after the election?  I have bridge in Brooklyn…

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Obama: “It’s the f—— Clintons.”

This new book by Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter sounds pretty weak. Via The New York Daily News, Alter claims that Obama has a terrible temper and that Obama gave General Stanley McChrystal

“A presidential dressing down unlike any in the United States in more than half a century,”

Wow! That sounds pretty impressive. This happened at a WH meeting after McChrystal gave that speech saying he disagreed with the WH strategy and wanted to send more troops into Afghanistan. Here’s what the dressing down consisted of.

The President viewed McChrystal’s comments as a bald attempt to back him into a Pentagon-backed plan more reliant on troop buildups – and he soon ripped into top commanders for what he considered insubordination.

In an Oval Office showdown, Obama told Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus that he was “exceedingly unhappy” with the Pentagon’s conduct, Alter reported, adding that its leaks to the press were “disrespectful of the process.”

ooooooooohhhh! That sounds pretty scary.

Soon after this meeting, Obama agreed follow McChrystal’s advice and send more troops into Afghanistan. That’s showing ’em!

In another incident related in Alter’s book, Obama raged against the Clintons.

Asked during the 2008 campaign what accounted for a drop-off in his Jewish support, Obama snipped to a radio reporter off-air, “It’s the f—— Clintons.” Later, as Obama mulled appointing Hillary Clinton his Secretary of State, he cracked, “Hillary still has some anger issues with me.”

And there’s also a supposedly risque story in which Carla Bruni asks Michelle Obama if she and the President ever held up a meeting because they were having sex. The answer was “no.”

Oh, and Obama called the tea partiers “teabaggers.”

Is it me, or does this book sound really tame? Don’t they usually release the most salacious stories to the media to encourage sale? Is this all Alter’s got?

Sunday: Getting our post-primary dander up

What is it about our culture that demands that women go back for additional training if they want to apply for the same job as a man?  We all knew that a certain amount of sexism was exerting itself early on in the primary season.  Barack Obama lost many of us permanently when he made the “likeable enough” comment during the New Hampshire debates.  And we all witnessed the horror of the gangbang debate in Philadelphia where Tim Russert actually encouraged each of the other other candidates to take a turn with Hillary.  Then Chris Matthews did his thing afterwards and pretty much told her the next day to not cry about it.  I don’t recall her complaining about it.  It was more like “bring it on”.

And they did.

But those instances are merely the outward manifestations of some internal conviction.  The source of the misogyny that plagued Clinton and is now hurled with abandon from the left at Palin is something more sinister and evil.  It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man has native and latent abilities that he merely has to assert that women only acquire by more rigorous and extensive training.  We’ve seen evidence of this in our own lives.  My Brook must repeat a year of pre-algebra while her nationally ranked peers proceed to enriched algebra.  Why?  In spite of the fact that her test scores all year were A level, she didn’t do her homework.  Until she learns to do it, the fact that she scores in the top 2% nationally in math among 12 year olds is of absolutely no value to her teachers.  Or there was my female supervisor who was passed over for head of the department for a man who stayed in the shadows for years, biding his time and not doing much of anything while she picked up the slack and managed the paperwork.

Many of us sat in rapt attention while Hillary Clinton ran circles around her male counterparts in debate.  There wasn’t a subject they threw at her that she couldn’t respond to with confidence and an in-depth knowledge and command of the policy.  Obama was clearly out of his league.  It was embarrassing.  And yet, the next day, the media would fluff him and some of them were even believing it.

The most irritating episode of this spectacle came when Jonathan Alter wrote this column in Newsweek in March of this year, speculating that the Governorship of New York should be offered to Hillary as a consolation prize for her to just drop out of the presidential primary.  Here’s the most puzzling and offensive part of the piece:

In the event that Paterson had to resign, the New York State Constitution calls for a gubernatorial election this November. Clinton would be the favorite in that contest if she were interested. Were a politically wounded Paterson to serve out Spitzer’s term, which ends in 2010, Clinton would no doubt be a strong potential candidate to succeed him.

Under the scenario sketched out by the insiders, serving two years as governor would give Clinton the executive experience to become the prohibitive favorite for the 2012 Democratic presidential nomination.

I’m sorry, say that again?  We are expecting Hillary Clinton, two term senator, former first lady of Arkansas and the United States and aide to a two term president who had her own office in the White House, to take remedial training in governor school before she can compete against a less than one term senator with absolutely NO experience working in an executive capacity at all?

It occured to me that the hatred of Clinton was so extreme among members of the press that they didn’t REALLY believe this.  They were just stating some absurd scenario to get her to go away.  But the phenomenon seems to be seeping into Sarah Palin’s coverage as well.  The President of the US is a position in the Executive branch of government.  You would think that having been an executive of a state as big and as important as Alaska would have given Palin more relevant experience than less than 142 days of experience as a US Senator, which is in the legislative branch of government.  Palin has had almost two straight years of work as a governor before she was tapped for VP.  Obama had slightly less than a year and only 142 days of actual work before he decided he was ready enough to be President of the US in a branch of government where he has never held elective office.  And instead of this provoking any questions about HIS qualifications, it is HER’S that are being dismissed as inadequate.

We are now hearing that it is ‘hubris’ for her to pronounce herself ready to occupy a spot a level down the ladder while Obama is eminently qualified to succeed to the most powerful position in the world.  Indeed, there is virtually nothing that he can not do.

The problem was not Hillary Clinton, though I am beginning to wonder what she did to the media that makes them carry this permanent grudge and unstoppable urge to crush her.  The problem is this deeply ingrained, old-husband’s tale that women are not as good as men.  No matter what they do, no matter what they achieve, no matter how much they give, they will never be as good.  But even more disturbng is the fact that this is a belief that seems to be unique to American society.  In other countries, even one as oppressive to women as Pakistan, it is possible to elect women to high office.  But in the US, the most qualified person for the job was hamstrung by this neanderthal belief that she wasn’t ready, despite her display of knowledge and command and extensive resume as the guy she was running against with the razor thin CV but the leadership brain structure that only needed to be activated.  Is it because we as a country haven’t reached a state of economic desperation that we still have the luxury to let men play at being leaders?  When we get to that stage, will we then be willing to let a woman of greater potential have a crack at it?  Does the entire country have to be on the verge or past ruin before we correctly assess and weigh the experience and abilities of all persons applying for the job and award the job based on merit?

It must be nice to be a man in America.  Your abilities are almost never questioned.  One almost imagines American men waking up in the morning and quietly uttering the prayer, “Oh God I thank thee that I was not born an American woman.”

That’s gotta stop.

In 2008, we have the opportunity to make sure American men get the message.

Hillarious insight from mwb from the comments:

I think we need to add a new term to the lexicon to sum up that prevalent bit of sexism. I’m calling it Penis Years* (not a coincidence that it echoes the term dog years.)

* Penis Years: Each year of any experience of a person with a penis is equivalent to five years of experience by someone without a penis.

Swanspirit has an “extension” to the definition of Penis Years:

The measurements of PENIS YEARS …. as with fishing … are usually not well defined by any specific or traditional system and are always greatly exaggerated

Use liberally.

Sunday- The Ant and the Grasshopper

Ahhh, I think I’ll have another coffee. It’s drizzly in Denver today although yesterday was a drop dead gorgeous spring day. I’ll have another installment of our culinary and *cultural* tour of Denver with Rill later.

But right now, I’d like to talk about something tragic that was completely avoidable: The villainization of Barack Obama. You’ve probably already seen the following items but it’s striking to see them altogether:

  • DisenfranchisedVoter points us to this comment at Greta Van Susteren’s blog:
    Comment by Kim Frederick
    March 29th, 2008 at 11:34 pm
    I am the person in the video. I could write a thesis on dirty tricks that have been going on in Texas…but I’ve been up for about 24 hrs now. We had received a letter from the Obama campaign saying that we were Obama delegates. We also got a robo call from the Obama campaign that we were Obama delegates. We also got a phone call from Meyer Associates who was hired by the Obama campaign. The Meyer Associates group called friends of mine telling them their convention was moved. This group was hired by the Obama campaign. In any case…in this video…we called the Obama campaign because of the Obama robocall. My partner called first and it was REALLY misleading. So I called and decided to videotape it. I am a Hillary delegate and have been volunteering for the campaign for two months. If I wasn’t up to speed on things…I could have been easily confused and decided not to go.
    Greta…if you want the full story of what has been going on…email me…I’ll give you my number, let’s talk.
    Kim Continue reading