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    • The Torture Culture
      Ok, here’s the deal.  Torture does not work to get information.  Period.  You do not torture people to get information, you torture people to send information, or rather, to send a message. What is that message? (Originally from Dec 16, 2010, but it seems worth re-upping for a new generation of readers – Ian.) We […]
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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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Monday Morning News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians! I know I’ve been a bit out of if for the past few days–is that why I have a feeling that there is no news worth discussing? Sure, there is another earthquake, this time in Turkey; there are elections in Iraq, there is a new “Al Quaeda” arrest in Pakistan, and there is the ongoing nightmare of “health care reform.”

So why do I feel as if nothing is really happening? Is it just me, or is this country paralyzed, waiting for–what? The other shoe to drop? Another depression er– “recession?” Is there anything that can get us moving? Can anything force this scaredy-cat President to do something–anything!–to change the disastrous course we are on?

In the big media and at “progressive” blogs Rahm Emanuel is being blamed for the paralysis. The Hill had a long piece by Sam Youngman about this “controversy” yesterday.

A spate of recent reports have portrayed Emanuel, known for his aggressive brand of Washington politics, as either the voice of reason in a weak, liberal White House or the wet blanket preventing President Barack Obama from pursuing the kind of change he promised as a candidate.

Emanuel has become the flash point in those arguments as liberals express betrayal over Obama’s failure to convince Congress to pass a public option in healthcare reform and close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

According to Youngman, “Democratic strategists” are blaming the netroots for the attacks on Rahm, but other anonymous sources say that efforts to undermine him are coming from inside the White House. The article references Huffington Post pieces by Dan Froomkin and Michael Moore. As we at TC know all too well, these “progressives” still can’t face the fact that they helped elect Bush III. They want to believe that Obama is being duped by Emanuel–and the subtext is that it’s the Clinton’s fault. From the Hill article:

But what Rahm represents to the left dates back to liberal anger with Clinton and his kindred spirits at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Emanuel is seen by some progressives as wanting to win, to a fault by sacrificing principles of the party.

“Rahm believes in being elected; not in the glory of losing or failing,” the strategist said.

In another “think piece,” at Business Week, veteran Village insider Al Hunt calls this “faux White House intrique.” Hunt doesn’t seem to want to blame Obama either, but he nibbles around the edges of doing that:

Yet there is a larger self-created problem for which Emanuel and Axelrod are only partly to blame. Go back to the remarkable Obama campaign of 2007-2008. More than any of its rivals, it had a strategic sense of what it was, where it wanted to go.

This provided a shield against setbacks: losing the New Hampshire primary, the candidate’s careless remarks about rural Pennsylvania voters or even the incendiary remarks of Obama’s pastor. These became speed bumps in the strategic narrative.

That is missing in the Obama presidency. Too often it seems situational rather than strategic, reactive more than proactive. Thus setbacks, from minor ones, such as the handling of the Christmas Day bomber, to major ones, like the loss of the Senate seat in Massachusetts, throw team Obama off stride, and leave voters confused.

Hint, hint…but no one wants to come out and say it: Obama is clueless–he has no idea how to lead our country and no goal in mind even if he could lead. How are we going to survive three more years of this kind of inertia? Continue reading

Late Night: The Dog Barks at Midnight

What if there are people out there in the old U.S. of A. who think they are surrounded by forces beyond their control and they are waiting, waiting for a sign, a code, a word…

They have the sense that something is not right about the election but they think they are outnumbered.  They’re wrong.  They aren’t outnumbered.  They are unconnected.

Hey, I didn’t want it to turn out this way.  I think it would be tres chic to have an African-American president.  I just think that the nominee who got this far by manipulating primary results, villifying women and cutting off the working class has Martin Luther King rolling in his grave.  We don’t know who is giving him the hundreds of millions of dollars to run his campaign and we sure as hell don’t trust him.  If we succeed in our endeavor of truncating his meteoric political career, we will not be famous.  We’ll be notorious.  It may be years before anyone recognizes the honor in what we do.  We are only trying to make sure that we all go forward together.  That we leave no one behind.  That lives, fortunes and sacred honor depend upon one another.

So I urge you to Join The Resistance.  Let’s drown out the Haka.  It is big and noisy and intimidating.  But we have heart and a vision.

(Oh, to be Laslo or Rick and have Ilsa look at me like that…)