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      There’s been a vast amount of foolishness in the discussion of this. Labour lost for two main reasons: Their base was split by Brexit, and in a real way, no “positioning” could avoid this. There was a vast propaganda campaign against Corbyn in particular and Labour in general. What urban liberals don’t seem to understand […]
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Labor Day and Look-ahead

Happy Labor Day to everyone taking the day off. This year, it’s a paid holiday for me. Last year, it wasn’t. I paid for this day off out of my own pocket. That’s the price you sometimes pay as a contractor. There are a lot more contractors since 2008. The number one problem with this economy as I see it is income instability. That’s when you can’t count on your hours, that the site will stay open, that your start-up might close, that your second job is shopping yourself for the next gig. That’s what’s undermining the middle class. You can’t buy a house, buy a car, have a family, save, take a vacation or keep our consumer based economy going strong when you’re always looking over your shoulder for the guy who is going to lay you off.

Some billionaire entrepreneurs will tell you that fluid labor laws are essential to innovation and making piles of cash. This is not true. Piles of cash were still attainable when we were all gainfully employed in steady jobs.Maybe the piles weren’t quite so high but how many yachts do you need?

In any case, people need breaks or they burn themselves out. So, today, remember the union guys who picketed and stood their ground and gave us the weekend and Labor Day.

Joe Biden and Tim Kaine are in Pittsburgh for a speech and parade. I got up too late to attend but will try to follow up on this later today.

“Let’s fight the right wing, all workers unite”

Best way to fight: VOTE. Pennsylvania residents have until October 11 to register. Do it now.

 

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

Looking ahead:

1.) Today the press starts flying in the same plane as Hillary instead of trailing behind her jet. That should be fun. Her crew has probably thoughtfully replaced the flotation devices in their seat cushions with anchors and the oxygen with nitrous oxide. “Oh, yeah? Who’s laughing now, Andrea??” Maybe Bill will plan the in-flight meals. All vegan. But not the tasty vegan. More of the macrobiotic vegan from 30 years ago with nutritional yeast and bean sprouts. Yum.

2.) The New York Times seems to be going out of its way to Gore Hillary. I’m not linking to any of the articles because why give them clicks? But I will say that after registering voters in predominantly black neighborhoods for the past 6 weeks, I see no lack of enthusiasm for Hillary. The comments on the article were turned off so volunteers can’t give their point of view. Well, we don’t really count anyway, right?

3.) Speaking of getting Gored, the media went on the attack against Gore in 2000. It probably cost him the presidency. Sure, Naderites helped but it shouldn’t have been so close going into the final stretch. Same with Kerry. He was Swift-boated mercilessly and that really contributed to the closeness of the race. Now, it’s Hillary. It’s ALWAYS been Hillary.

I’m trying to find a good explanation why the media seems to be doubling down on her when the alternative is indisputably worse in every possible way. Simplest explanations tend to be the most accurate so I’m going to say that a very large part of it can be attributed to the fact that she is a woman. I say this because the drumbeat of negative coverage of her has been relentless since she went to Washington and from the very beginning defined herself as an atypical first lady. She was clearly feminist, intelligent and not about to let herself get relegated to teas and decorating. There was a cadre of women a little older than her who just missed the cultural revolution, the pill and feminism. And there were plenty of men who weren’t used to talking to a woman as an equal in the halls of power. They weren’t going to let her skirt their rigid rules of gender behavior and get away with it.

But you know, this has gone on for way too long now. Hillary has become a formidable politician in her own right, separate from her husband. It hasn’t stopped the attacks or the coverage of her using the Clinton Rules:

1) Everything, no matter how ludicrous-sounding, is worthy of a full investigation by federal agencies, Congress, the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” and mainstream media outlets

2) Every allegation, no matter how ludicrous, is believable until it can be proven completely and utterly false. And even then, it keeps a life of its own in the conservative media world.

3) The media assumes that Clinton is acting in bad faith until there’s hard evidence otherwise.

4) Everything is newsworthy because the Clintons are the equivalent of America’s royal family

5) Everything she does is fake and calculated for maximum political benefit

As we have seen, it’s not just the Clintons that get this kind of coverage. Gore and Kerry also got it, although Clinton’s seems to be an order of magnitude worse and this has been backed up with a Harvard study.

Curiously, Obama did not get this kind of coverage.

There could be several reasons for this. One is that racism was a shameful thing 8 years ago. Two is that it was a “change election”. Three is something a little less tangible and something I have been trying to explain for 8 years now: Obama is one of them. He is from their class. He’s the Harvard educated lawyer with a fondness for the conventional values and ambitions of the country club Republican class. Note that Michelle was not actively (or publicly) involved in creating policy. She’s the Stay At Home Mom with the garden. That was dog-whistling to the media that he wasn’t going to break any new ground culturally. He’s the guy the financiers love because he’s got status written all over him. He was their human shield against the rabble who wanted the bankers’ heads and higher taxes for the upper crust. Well, we couldn’t have that. They’ll never trust Hillary because they suspect she’s just a bit more liberal than they’re comfortable with.

Anyway, we’re all worse off because the media decided to jump on the bandwagon to gore Gore and Swift-boat Kerry. Hillary seems to be holding her own right now. Trump seems to have a ceiling because he’s only been able to capture the white male vote. There’s a good probability that Hillary is going to be president. But there’s still some volatility too. None of the volunteers I work with are taking this race casually. And we are still getting people who are volunteering voluntarily. I witnessed this yesterday when one of my young black female millenial volunteers registered another young, black millenial female who then OFFERED to volunteer for us.

Take that, New York Times.

I get the feeling that the media right now is reveling in the scads of money they are making off this election. Pumping up Trump and Sanders paid off big for them. It narrowed what should have been a blowout for Hillary. And they sort of have to keep the pressure up now because the candidates are so unequal in every way that to portray them accurately at this point would make it clear who the president should be. There really is no question. But the media needs a photo finish. I guess they think that even bad news is good and if the worst happens, they can always tell Trump that they made him and they can unmake him.

That’s a dangerous game because this guy will hold a grudge forever and use every trick in the book, which is formidable for a president, to take down his enemies. We aren’t talking about a Nixon here. Nixon was subtle compared to Trump. Letting this genie out of the bottle will backfire badly for the media. They need to think this over and decide if they can live with a Madame President who’s a feminazi libtard or a malignant narcissist with his own white nationalist militia and the power to make their lives a lot more miserable than alfalfa sprouts and squishy veggie burgers on Hill Force One.

Gently Smiling Jaws

160723152029-tim-kaine-july-23-miami-florida-large-169

Getty Images

We had to wait until almost 2pm before Hillary and Tim Kaine showed up at the field house. There she was, cheery in robin’s egg blue. He was tall and relaxed in an open collar shirt. She gave a very pointed speech about Trump and his rule of one. There were some memorable lines. And then she did a magic trick.

Tim Kaine took the podium and nailed it.

Wasn’t that awesome? And there was Hillary sitting in back on her stool, looking perfectly content to let him have the stage and grinning from ear to ear as if to say, “Do I know how to pick them or what??”

She does indeed. Between the two of them, they have every branch of government covered except the Supreme Court. These are the two people who will get to nominate the next justices. Woot!

Meanwhile, Kaine gave his biography. He’s a really decent guy. Even his colleague Republican Senator Jeff Flake congratulated him. He also ticks every possible box Hillary Clinton could want in a VP pick:

  • From a battleground state- Virginia
  • Former Mayor and Governor
  • Faced a serious gun related incident during his tenure that compelled him to…
  • Take on the NRA to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands
  • Roman Catholic who likes Pope Francis
  • Actually went on a mission trip to Honduras where…
  • He learned to speak fluent Spanish

I could go on but you get the point.

But don’t be deceived. Behind that smiling face is the mind of a shrewd politician. He delivers his killing blows with neatly spread claws and gentle demeanor. I have no doubt that he’s companionable, competent and experienced, just what a VP should be. He can take over without any rookie mistakes. And he got to this place because he plays the game very well.

Can I just say that it’s about time we got people with experience running the executive branch? You know, people who don’t have to do on the job training, or will start the bargaining from a position of weakness, and who know how the web is structured so they know what threads to pull to get the whole thing moving in their direction? Politics is for politicians and this country has had plenty of really good politicians. They’re not all bad.

By all accounts he is a decent, hard working, god fearing, civil rights championing ex-governor with a heart. And he looks deadly for Trump and Pence.

Well done, Hillary. I have no doubt that she was rational and strategic and made this decision all by herself. There was no indication of second thoughts or buyer’s remorse. She also claims to be “afflicted with the responsibility gene“. As an eldest child, I know exactly where she’s coming from.

This was her first big decision and it was brilliant.

The two of them were like a crisp, bracing, joyful wind blowing away all the sturm und drang of Trump’s RNC convention speech translated from the original German.

All you lefty guys out there can relax now. (You know who you are, Joe Trippi and others too numerous to mention) This is what we saw in Hillary all along. She’ll take it from here.

 

Helen Dragas disparages without disparaging

Helen Dragas is an amazing piece of work.  She’s the rector of the Board of Visitors that forced UVA president Teresa Sullivan to resign.  A new hearing to potentially reinstate Sullivan is scheduled for Tuesday but leading up to it, Dragas is digging in her heels about the rightness of the board’s original decision.

Yesterday, she released a statement explaining why the board forced Sullivan to resign.  It turned out not to have been written by her.  The geeks unpacked the electronic copy to discover that some hack at the PR firm Hill and Knowlton actually wrote it.  Then the professors weighed in and picked it apart.  Jeez, you do not want to get on a Wahoo’s shit list.  They’re having a field day.

Governor McDonnell laid down an ultimatum: get this issue under control by Tuesday or I will ask for the resignations of the whole board.  I’m not sure this works in UVA’s favor though because McDonnell is a Republican and half of the board members were appointed by Tim Kaine, the previous governor who is a Democrat.  That includes Helen Dragas.  The board actions look like they cross party lines, however.  What the board members seem to have in common is that most of them are in the 1%.  To them, party distinctions are irrelevant.  They’re used to getting their own way.

In response to McDonnell’s ultimatum, Dragas fires back a nasty little ditty of her own.  Here are the money quotes:

I also agree with him on the importance of providing clear explanations of our actions, as I aimed to do in my statement yesterday, while being mindful of the constraints of the confidentiality of personnel matters and the non-disparagement agreements in the President’s contract.

I appreciate the Governor’s leadership in affirming the importance of Board governance, and that we alone are appointed to make these decisions on behalf of the University, free of influence from outside political, personal or media pressure.

I look forward to a respectful and dignified meeting on Tuesday, and to an important discussion of the implications of any decision we make on the ability of future Boards to lead the University.”

Let’s leave aside the sheer chutzpah required to tell the Governor to BTFU, what Helen appears to be saying here is roughly the equivalent of “I am prohibited by law from telling you that Teresa Sullivan is a goat fucker.  If I said that, that would be disparagement.  And anyway, that information is confidential.”

I know I should be blogging about the election or the new, incredibly boneheaded and damaging “Fast and Furious” scandal that provoked Obama to claim executive privilege. That scandal seems to have depressed even Jon Stewart.  But this event at UVA is riveting because it is a microcosm of what is happening everywhere in this country, an easy to digest story of  overreach by the privileged for mysterious reasons that may or may not have to do with making money. It’s happening at a historic university, founded by one of the most famous founding fathers who penned the Declaration of Independence.  Jefferson knew all about the motto Sic Semper Tyrannis. There is a lot of Americana and symbolism. The 1% have been doing this very same thing to this country for decades now to different segments of our economy and society.  And the privileged class started crossing party lines to take over the Democratic party in 2007 as well.  But never mind that right now.

What is it that drives Dragas?  There’s a timeline convergence happening in July where the board members are up for renewal.  It doesn’t look like Dragas will be reappointed*.  Is Dragas taking one for the team?  Is she trying to accomplish something before her term is up? Is something big at stake here for her to assert the board’s sovereignty?  Is that why she won’t resign?  Her statement of reasons why Sullivan was “fired” from yesterday seems to be superceded by the statement from tonight where she implies that there’s a blot on Sullivan’s permanent record.  What is this all about? There must be a strategy, because I can’t believe someone would go this far out on a limb without one.  Maybe it only appears to be a Komenesque self-destructive event.

And what are we to make of Sullivan’s confidence?  If she’s been fucking goats, she doesn’t seem to mind anyone finding out about it.

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

*Update: @cvillnewscom tweets that a reliable source in the Governor’s office says that Dragas will be reappointed.  If true, the board is determined to get its way and this is going to be a very ugly power struggle.

I saw this quote on twitter in a tweet on #UVA:

“When wrongs are pressed because it is believed they will be borne, resistance becomes morality.”