Don't worry, you can trust me. I'm not like the others.

Banned In China

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hitchens vs. Vidal

This is only moderately interesting. I have thought that Hitchens was a very good polemicist for a long time, he did go completely off the rails after 9/11. Of course he did climb back on once it became clear that Bush and co. were torturers.

This however, really has nothing to do with that. He is attacking Vidal for some of his conspiracy theories. Ones that I have to say I find hard to swallow. Still it does seem to give a lot of people an opportunity to call Vidal an anti-Semite and an old queen, among other things. The worst thing Vidal seems to have done is to have consistently and accurately criticized America and its neo-colonial empire for the last half-century.

Those I find most interesting (in the same way one finds public exhibitionist interesting) are the commentators who jump in by first admitting that they haven't read anything by Vidal, or maybe only one thing many years ago and then go on to slag him for not being creative or not being original. That takes more nerve or stupidity than I have.

He was certainly the the most perfect American prose stylist of the twentieth century and perhaps ever. He was also one of the most widely publish and accurate critics of our empire.

Plutocrats Be Them

The web is all atwitter with the Bernankey vote coming up and the possibility that he might not be confirmed for another term as head of the Fed. Although the administration now appears to be pulling out all the stops to make sure he's confirmed. Much like they did with Coakley (although I would suspect that the Senate is more easily swayed than Massachusetts). It is interesting that they are more than willing to spend political capital on a guy who was oblivious to the disaster that was Wall Street and the American economy in 2007 and 08, than to a person who might in fact be a competent leader of Homeland security or various real regulators that they can't seem to get through the confirmation process.

Of course the guy also made clear that he is more interested in keeping inflation down now than encouraging job creation now. This would of course be the very guy a democrat would want as head of the Fed in the face of massive unemployment.

HCR is another issue that makes me mostly incoherent much like torture. The issue here (like torture) is that I cannot for the life of me figure out what the people in power are thinking. Now they are apparently floating yet another trial balloon that if they cut the benefits even more (in this case making sure only children's pre-existing conditions are covered) and perhaps somewhat fewer than half of the originally stated 31 million will be covered, that will make the bill more palatable. Too who do you think?

What a concept: Make it worse so that even fewer people like it and it helps even fewer people --- that's the ticket!

Who would have thought that we were voting between a republican and a republican lite in the last election (although to be honest, I no longer know which one the "lite" was. To go a little farther, I can't believe that I can only hope that a guy I actually worked for (a little) and voted for fails in all his major legislative endeavors. Before his first State of the Union he has shown himself to be in the pocket of the plutocrats who it turns out really do rule this country no matter what the majority of us want.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Time For Dinner

So I posted earlier, but I completely deleted it because it was nearly incoherent. It's my blog and I can do what I want, so there.

It was on the HCR push to force the House to pass the Senate version with no changes. I got it from Firdeoglake. The stuff from FDL is pretty depressing. I'm not sure what to do about it. I read an interview with Obama where he seems to be oblivious to what he has done to the progressive coalition that elected him, and seems to be oblivious to what happened he says we needed TARP and the Stimulus (yes I know he was "just" a senator when the first monies were shovelled to the banks, but he was the democratic leader at that time and he could have insisted on oversight with the bill as the price for his vote and he didn't. They were all passed with no oversight or control at all. In large part because of his efforts.

All over the web today on the left are arguments about whether or not to pass the Senate bill and fix it later. The ability of some people (even the great Krugman, I'm not in the mood to link) to kid themselves and pretend that the bill will be "fixed" later amazes. I guess not having any kind of reputation that relies on my political or economic predictions kind of makes it easier for me to back off my earlier positions. Although after backing off the prediction that Obama would be better than the alternatives, I've pretty much got to say I was right about most everything else.

Let me not go very far out on a limb and suggest that the democrats are screwed no matter what they do at this point. Not because it isn't possible (in some imagined world) to change course and accomplish things that will both help people and appear to help people, but because the bozos in charge will simply be unable (and more to the point probably unwilling) to do it. I would think that a competent embezzler should be able to graft the money from the dumb poor and shift it to his big buck buddies while making the rubes think that it is golden for them. Obama can't seem to do that.

I suspect that it would be better at this point that nothing at all be passed because by now the only thing that is going to come will place a patina of gilt gloss of a heaping pile of dog shit. And unfortunately for our democratic would be overlords people can currently see through this enough to blame them. In addition, I suspect that it will appear enough to prevent any real reform happening for quite some time.

So there you have it. A shit bill now and no real reform for some time because those in power will be able to convince enough people that that is all the reform you should get or have. Or no bill at all now and those in power will be able to convene enough people that reform is not wanted or needed.

So get ready to chow down cause that's all you're gonna get.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What Are We Ever To Do?

I've been thinking a lot about the recent dust up in Massachusetts.

I wonder about the concept that because us lefties attacked the preznit because we thought he hasn't been much but a shill for the various corporations we are to blame for losing the election there. I wonder who got that idea and how they got it. Which seems to be where No More Mister Nice Blog is (as usual you have to scroll down to Did Pro-HCR Voters Actually Put Brown Over the Top?)

I would respectfully suggest that the people who are making those complaints are full of it. When a candidate in a two and a half month campaign cannot be convinced to go every place she can go to shake hands and talk people up, on twenty hour days, who apparently takes a five day vacation in the middle of it, who makes fun of her opponent for shaking hands, but who can take an evening off to run to D.C. to get money from fat cat insurance and pharmaceutical types, she deserves to lose. Of course it is the rest of us who pay for this shit.

On top of this is the most inept White House national campaign group since Clinton (and which seems to have most of the same losers in it, by the way).

You cannot win elections by telling people that things might be mighty bad, but really you know they aren't as bad as they would be if the other people were in power. On top of that then you go out of your way to screw your base(let's tax previously nontaxable union benefits). You flat out lie and then turn around and grovel to the other side. I suspect that Obama was beat up a lot as a kid and they only way he could protect himself was to give the bullies his lunch money, because that is certainly how he is acting right now.

Finally, the average voter seems (gosh for what reason I don't know perhaps it is because he gives the corporations everything they want with no oversight or controls) to think that Obama cares more about Wall Street than Main Street (I know, I know it is jejune, hackney, and been uses over and over, but it is true). That is how people now look at him.

Look I am not demanding perfection. But a little bit of balls. Make those who oppose real HCR stand up and filibuster. Make 'em talk for 6 weeks. See what happens. But that assumes that Obama wants something that is kind of progressive, doesn't it?

Next Stop Debtors Prison

Gosh I hate to mess up the joint now that I've got it looking spiffy.

However: I see the SCOUS (that's the United States Supreme Court, for those without a computer) has spoken. They appear to agree with the 19th Century French: The law in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

Now it is true that in 21 Century America we are a little more creative. In that we permit the rich corporation as well as the poor to give as much as they might want to the political action of their choice. So you just feel good out there that no corporation is denied the right to spend as much as they want on politics, just be assured that so can you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Obama: Incompetent, Corrupt, or Incompetently Corrupt

Yet another new format, OOH bright colors.

Can someone tell me just what progressive agenda our good buddy has attempted to pass up to this point and what little he has attempted he has larded down with shit for the banksters and for the insurance industry and for big pharma, given the rest of us the crumbs from the rich man's table?

Going beyond that if what Firedoglake reported he has actually tried to prevent independent actions by the so called liberal groups so that he can control it all. That would be why we had a plethora of actions by teabaggers this summer and nothing by the progressive. The veal pen indeed.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nihilism For Today

Nihilism the word of the day.

I am beginning to think that those Russians who threw bombs at random targets in the aristocracy might not have had such a bad idea.

Now the Grey Lady is more than willing to tell us that the reason that the reason Croakley might lose in Massachusetts is because Obama and the democrats have been too liberal (a source which will soon be behind a firewall apparently, ignoring the fact that they make most of their money from ads, which when one links through one sees). Of course by doing this along with Murdock they will limit the ability of the net to provide access to news stories, and so (they think) increase access to their product. Yet another brilliant business model brought to you by the same people who managed to yada yada yada, you know.

Well, back to the original thought: I have been thinking that this would be the way that this will play out for some time. Rahm was able to finally destroy the democratic majority in congress for almost two decades pushing NAFTA and GATT and help destroy the middle class in the process. To be fair he wasn't able to do it alone, but he does seem to be the go to guy for destruction of democratic majorities. At least in my lifetime.

The current leadership of the democratic party is as conservative as it gets (Teabaggers are not conservative, they are Nazis or fascists). They are simply unable to acknowledge their own limitations or perhaps, since they don't seem to be particularly stupid, (although the decision of Obama to appoint the very people who destroyed the economy in positions of power in his administration does seem to indicate a certain lack of intelligence, or perhaps just a willingness to shovel more money to his friends at the expense of the rest of us) perhaps just particularly unwilling to admit the truth.

The concept of killing the messenger is I think at play here. But then Obama lied and lied and lied as a candidate. I can no longer believe anything else. He and his people are not going to accept that they did anything wrong and they will always believe that what is best for AIG is best for America.

So once I say all that what is there to do? I'll be damned if I know.

OPPS: That's Coakley not Croakley, perhaps that is a Freudian Slip.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Health BS Reform

Maybe it is time to provide a new format so I feel like I'm starting new, or maybe not.

This is something, part of the FDL coverage of the Health Care Reform (Insurance Give-Away) I've been thinking about for some time. Aimai has been going slightly crazy about FDL at No More Mister Nice Blog (for some strange reason you can't link to a specific post, so scroll down to Splinter Group) and I commented on that post of hers yesterday, but to be truthful I didn't say what I really thought, which is that she has become hysterical concerning serious criticism of the bill. Very disappointing, because for the most part I like her style and ability to string words together and politics, but right now she appears to have even lost that.

Criticism of the people who want to kill HRC (IGA) seems to be focused on a couple of points: first, Obama never claimed to be that liberal/progressive so what do you expect, stop being so unreasonable and support what you can get (he wants to give you); second, he couldn't really do anything else because of the mean senate so get behind him and realize that we will improve it some time in the future, no really we will. When I guess the senate isn't all that mean anymore. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but the second really does kind of excuse Obama or the first doesn't really blame him, but rather blames me for being so naive and for demanding perfection I guess.

Both positions give Obama a pass either because that is who he is or that is all he can accomplish.

Both suggest that we have to take what is offered and then try to build on that. Although to be honest, what makes anybody think that we will be able to build on a very bad bill that was enacted with overwhelming majorities of democrats in power is beyond me. Particularly when we look at what will probably be happening next year when people simply won't bother to work or vote after being screwed like we have been.

Both positions try to dampen the real, and I feel totally justified, rage people feel about Obama. He ran as something and he lied about what he was. I should I think feel kind of abashed that at my age I believed in his lies, but still they were his lies, not mine.

He twisted arms and makes threats to get his more conservative positions passed (wire tapping, bank bailouts with no oversight, more war) but when it comes to helping the people who actually went out and worked for him, screw us all.

Up next filibuster: What it meant in 1963 and what it means now.

Thursday, January 7, 2010



I have been trying to post here more reliably, but real life keeps getting in the way. In addition, I keep posting little things to Facebook. Oh well.

I've been trying to figure out what to do to accomplish some sort of progressive agenda while Obama and I have finally come up with an answer: Nothing, Nada, Nyet, Nein, Nothing.

It ain't gonna happen. There will be no real progress as long as Obama is president. He and his minions will thwart it. They will always be giving the goodies to the wealthy 1% and brothers and sisters that ain't you or me. Not only that, but when the democratic party gets gutted in the mid-terms it will be us nasty liberals who get blamed. Meanwhile, the people who keep giving him a pass: telling us it's just too difficult, the president just doesn't have that kind of power, and by the way just ignore the deals with the wealthiest behind the curtain will keep supporting him, but they won't work for or vote for those lower down on the party ladder.

So what will happen? The democrats will lose the house and perhaps the senate, but there is a good chance that with the Obama lovers he might be re-elected. To continue Bill Clinton's presidency (and in all important ways Bush's). That is money being transferred to the wealthiest from the middle class at a slightly accelerated rate, but not a lot of difference between the parties really (who ever thought I'd be quoting George Wallace). I even suspect that he will be as personally popular as Clinton, a lot of good that will do the rest of us. As his kids get to marry into the wealthiest families in the country. It will be good for them and screw you.

As long as there is a democrat in the white house, I suspect that the left (such as it is) will be co-opted. Imagine, if Al Smith had won the democratic nomination in 1932 instead of Roosevelt. Well, that is where we are now, with some "safety nets left around from the 30s and the 60s. Watch what happens after the mid-terms though. Watch them finally gut those nets.

So in answer to the original question? Damned if I know, but watch the better and more intelligent "progressive" people keep insisting that it isn't as bad as it might be under a republican so really we must keep supporting this guy cause you know.