Friday, November 30, 2012

All the Clouds'll Roll Away

Ian Walsh was on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd talking about how our sociopathic elites don't care and won't improve their behavior unless we make their lives miserable.

Sam Seder talked to Stephani Kelton about what's really going on in the economy on The Majority Report.

Big news in the last few days is the Palm Beach Post story, "Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law", confirming from several former GOP officials and some current operatives - er, "consultants" - that voter fraud was never a concern, but legitimate voters were. "Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer says he attended various meetings, beginning in 2009, at which party staffers and consultants pushed for reductions in early voting days and hours. [...] Wayne Bertsch, who handles local and legislative races for Republicans, said he knew targeting Democrats was the goal. [...] Another GOP consultant, who did not want to be named, also confirmed that influential consultants to the Republican Party of Florida were intent on beating back Democratic turnout in early voting after 2008. [...] Crist said party leaders approached him during his 2007-2011 gubernatorial term about changing early voting, in an effort to suppress Democrat turnout."
Ari Berman on The GOP's Voter Suppression Strategy: "In a little-noticed yet significant development on election day, Minnesota voters defeated a constitutional amendment that would have required them to present a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot. It was the first time voters had rejected a voter ID ballot initiative in any state." People are getting clued-up.
This is a good little video about voter suppression, even though it leans a bit too hard on racism. But it's about more than that, since the real threat to the oligarchy isn't black people or any other minority, it's everyone finally seeing what's happening and turning on them.

The Democrats put on a show about protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, but it's just the usual kabuki. Digby: "Yesterday the White House met with business leaders and the president of the Chamber of Commerce so I guess this was "get the left onboard" day since they trotted out Dick Durbin (an odd choice considering his total cave on Simpson-Bowles) and a big meeting with all the important unions and assorted lefty groups." Dday: "Overall, Durbin tried to put a happy face on a grand bargain deal expressly to encourage the Professional Left in DC. Many of them came out of a meeting at the White House encouraged by the Democratic line as well. I think there's a serious case of 'trust but verify' needed here. And it should be noted that this is where the party is at before one minute of negotiation with the other side." Trust? No. Trusting the White House and Democratic leadership makes no more sense than trusting the Republicans. And I'd make Durbin spell it out for me: Where do you want to cut costs? Because if you mean cutting benefits, you're not serious.

I wonder what they threatened Barbara Lee with to make her withdraw her bid for the House Dem leadership, clearing the way for one of the bad guys in the name of "unity". Breaks my heart, though.

Paul Krugman is saying "Bruce Bartlett Is A Mensch" for writing a piece in The American Conservative, "Revenge of the Reality-Based Community", in which he details his trajectory from a comfortable nest within, and then complete alienation from, the conservative movement and the Republican Party as he became increasingly aware that they were wrong: "I hit upon the idea of ignoring the academic journals and looking instead at what economists like John Maynard Keynes, Irving Fisher, and others said in newspaper interviews and articles for popular publications. Recently computerized databases made such investigation far easier than it previously had been. After careful research along these lines, I came to the annoying conclusion that Keynes had been 100 percent right in the 1930s. Previously, I had thought the opposite. But facts were facts and there was no denying my conclusion. [...] On the plus side, I think I had a very clear understanding of the economic crisis from day one. I even wrote another op-ed for the New York Times in December 2008 advocating a Keynesian cure that holds up very well in light of history. Annoyingly, however, I found myself joined at the hip to Paul Krugman, whose analysis was identical to my own. I had previously viewed Krugman as an intellectual enemy and attacked him rather colorfully in an old column that he still remembers. For the record, no one has been more correct in his analysis and prescriptions for the economy's problems than Paul Krugman. The blind hatred for him on the right simply pushed me further away from my old allies and comrades." You can see why Krugman is so impressed (I'd sure love to see certain individuals admitting that I was right and they were wrong about Bush's response to 9/11, for example). Thers, on the other hand, wasn't nearly as impressed, and Atrios called all this conservative breast-beating boring Narcissism.

Bradley Manning gives evidence - of being tortured. He's pleading guilty to charges that carry 16 years worth of time. It is an outrage that Manning, and not the president who has allowed his torture, is the one on trial.

I don't think this will measure up to Tim Leary and G. Gordon Liddy's tour together, but Bowles and Simpson get $40,000 for telling audiences our country can't afford a decent retirement system.

Mark Warner has announced he doesn't plan to run again for the gubernatorial seat in Virginia. Of all people, Terry McAuliffe has announced a bid for the seat. Fortunately, Tom Perriello says he might run for the seat, too, which might save Virginia from McAuliffe.

"Indiana State Police Chief Advises Lawmakers to Legalize and Tax Pot." Of course, "Governor-elect Mike Pence's (R) office insisted in a statement on Tuesday that he would oppose any attempts to make marijuana legal."

Chris Hedges, "Elites Will Make Gazans of Us All. Gaza is a window on our coming dystopia. The growing divide between the world's elite and its miserable masses of humanity is maintained through spiraling violence."

"You are committing a crime right now. Are you reading this blog? If so, you are committing a crime under 18 USC 1030(a) (better known as the 'Computer Fraud & Abuse Act' or 'CFAA')." (via)

"The Peasants Should be Revolting." We need some old-fashioned solutions to the latest outbreak of elite greed.

"Steve Israel Insists He's Not A Dismal Failure And That He Did Just As Well As The DSCC." The measure of Steve Israel's success is not in the percentage of seats gained in the House, but by how much he failed to re-take the House when that goal was actually in sight.

Juan Cole on Egypt: "The Egyptian religious Right (the Muslim Brotherhood) and the secular liberals and leftists had been allies in overthrowing Hosni Mubark in Jan.-Feb. 2011. That alliance frayed once the Brotherhood won the presidency last June, but the rhetoric of unity had continued. Morsi's high-handed executive orders on Thursday has decisively split the religious and secular wings of the revolution, who now confront one another. Asma Mahfouz of April 6 tweeted that Morsi was taking the country to civil war. Even some figures on the religious right, such as Wael Ghoneim (formerly the head of Google in Egypt), broke with the Brotherhood over these decrees. Ghoneim was quoted as saying that 'The revolution was not made in search of another dictator.''

If you want people to organize, you'd better ask them. This isn't about elections - they come last. First, you need to get people involved in the real issues. "There's this weird cultural thing that happens between the Democratic Party and the labor movement, which plays out in a number of ways. One is how pollsters have almost replaced organizers in the American labor movement. It's like labor doesn't talk to workers any more. They talk to pollsters who talk to the workers. I would argue that any good organizer any day of the week anywhere knows before any pollster whatever he needs to know about what the workers think. Period. That's what good organizers do. [...] The mistake is that how you win an election and how you win change are fundamentally different. The election of the right people is a prerequisite to fundamental change, but all we do is help them get elected, and then we don't do anything in the governing period except put everyone to sleep like a switch. If you think about the talent on the Obama team, what are they going to do for the next three and a half years? They basically go home. If you have the best campaign team during the election, those people actually need to stay and keep organizing the base every damn day, to actually create a left base to allow these people to run to the left when they're governing."

Just a reminder that there's still good reason to think 2004 was a stolen election. "Sancho began investigating the problem after watching the votes come in during the infamous 2000 presidential election. In Volusia County precinct 216, a memory card added more than 200 votes to George W. Bush's total and subtracted 16,000 votes from Al Gore. The mistake was later corrected during a hand count." Hand counts. In the precinct, in public, on the night. In Britain, they manage to do this even though the polls don't even close until 11:00 PM. Which is another thing. Why do polls in the US close any earlier than that?

I had no idea this cover existed. All these years, I would have been thinking of it as a Beatles track rather than discovering it later as a Fats Waller tune.

Christopher Lee reads The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Django Reinhardt - "Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away)"


  1. re: legalization, this post was at Kos this week

  2. I think Thers is being too hard on Bartlett. The main problem with the GOP is not their policy, but their inability to pay attention to facts and admit to being wrong. That Bartlett publicly admitted to error is evidence that he really has changed.

    As for Bartlet's tactic of reminding people in 2008 that Democrats had been the party of racism prior to, well, 1948 really, but still dependent in 1964 on racism for holding electoral power isn't wrong. It's true, for one, and it's a good reminder that no party is without stain to its virtue. The only additional question to ask to perhaps get Republicans to think is where did all those people who endorsed racism go after 1964? They certainly didn't suddenly cease to exist.

  3. In case you've all been wondering where I've been for the past week and a half, this ought to answer at least some of your questions.

    1. Actually, we hadn't even noticed.

      (Yes, of course I'm teasing. Jeez....)

  4. Completely off-topic: Moose and Squirrel is no more.

    Also, thanks for reminding me about the organizing article; organizing is one of the important parts of the work. Otherwise we're just applauding the king and going home.