Thursday, September 26, 2013

They'll be rocking in the projects

Panelists on this week's Virtually Speaking Sundays were Digby and Susie Madrak, with a call-in from Stephanie Kelton, reminding people that the entire debt limit argument is a scam.
Homework for this show:
Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union speech
Yves Smith on another round of budget brinkmanship (but DCBlogger has some nasty thoughts.)
Nicole Bell's Open Letter to Deborah Turness, President of NBC News, in response to Chuck Todd's statement that it's not his job to "sell" Obamacare, it's Obama's job. (Follow-ups: "Why We Fight: Holding Journalists' Feet to the Fire", "Jonathan Alter Corrects Media's Constant Harping on ACA Polls.")

Sam Seder interviewed David Dayen about banks ripping people off and courts letting them do it on The Majority Report. I think that's the show where I pulled the quote out, "You do not know how bad your health insurance is until you really need it."

Lambert in Naked Capitalism on the ObamaCare rollout and how Democrats and Republicans are conspiring to prevent us from having good health care.

Salon interview with Dean Baker:
"Salon: So what has this process shown about the Obama approach to economic policy?
Baker: If nothing else, I think this is kind of a confirmation of what I'm reluctant to believe: I think he thinks things are good. I mean, even if he doesn't want to blame Larry Summers for where we are, I would think he would want to say it's not a good situation, Larry Summers was really important in getting us here, and why go back? I understand [Obama's] got all kinds of opposition in congress. But that you would act as though things are good now, that's to my view close to crazy. But I actually think he and his people might believe that.

Alex Pareene notes that the NYT has uncovered Bill de Blasio's scandalous past as someone who cares what happens to people, suggesting that he might do the same in the office of the mayor!

Paul Krugman recommends an article about how proponents of austerity are lying about their motives. And they apparently assume the other side is doing the same.
Krugman on The Rage of the Privileged

No surprises here: "Close ties between White House, NSA spying review: Stung by public unease about new details of spying by the National Security Agency, President Barack Obama selected a panel of advisers he described as independent experts to scrutinize the NSA's surveillance programs to be sure they weren't violating civil liberties and to restore Americans' trust. But with just weeks remaining before its first deadline to report back to the White House, the review panel has effectively been operating as an arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the NSA and all other U.S. spy efforts."

"Former Gov. Don Siegelman Brings the Hammer Down on Tom DeLay from Prison: Alabama's former Democratic governor issues statement to The BRAD BLOG, slamming the former GOP House Majority Leader for his part in a $20 million 'money laundering' conspiracy to defeat him..." You remember that Siegelman is in jail for the sole crime of being a Democrat, right? The idea that Tom DeLay doesn't belong in jail is almost as outrageous as the fact that Siegelman is still there.

"This Job Can Kill You. Literally." Because being an adjunct professor is no walk in the park.

When Democrats vote with Republicans... "There's something profoundly hypocritical about the DCCC asking grassroots donors to send them money to fight against Republicans who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, just so they can funnel that money into the reelection campaigns of Mike McIntyre and Jim Matheson" - the two Democrats who voted with the Republicans to repeal the PPACA or shut down the government. I don't know why Howie used the word "hypocritical" when, more importantly, it is fraudulent.

It's good to see people protesting the TPP - and maybe making people more aware of it.

The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish

Daniel Webster's speech in the Senate on The Constitution and the Union, 7 March 1850.

Trolling the Veep: "Biden Recruited To Hand Out Free Joints"

Commenter ksix checks out Wikipedia and decides that, using Marxist analysis, Stuart and I are both right! Those New Democrats are two mints in one.

"An Even Dozen Signs We're All Nuts" - most of these are good, but the Justin Bieber crack is just wasted space that could have been used to talk about, say, how we're being ripped off by the medical industry. I don't think pre-teenage girls getting crushes on some boy they think is cute is a sign of anything other than, you know, heterosexuality.

Alan Grayson's Email, "Peace, and Eric Clapton"

What literary character are you? (I think I've come to hate these things, but I'm posting it out of nostalgia.)

What would it be like to be raised by BatDad?

Thanks to the anonymous commenter (oh, it's Matilda) who recommended these gorgeous landscape photographs by Maciej Duczynski.

"When Johnny Strikes Up The Band," live.


  1. It's good to see people protesting the TPP - and maybe making people more aware of it.

    Lest we forget:

    =>LORAINE, OHIO -- At a press conference here today, Obama claimed that Hillary Clinton had to take responsibility for the passage of NAFTA, because "she has essentially presented herself as co-president during the Clinton years."<=

    Of course, Obama resumed negotiations on "NAFTA on Steroids" (begun by G.W. Bush) secretly soon after he was sworn in.

  2. On the "I think this is kind of a confirmation of what I'm reluctant to believe: I think he thinks things are good" that Dean Baker had to say about Obama, the thing you have to remember is that for the crowd Obama hangs with, hears from and is most comfortable with. things are not just good, but great. Remember this?:

    "Increasingly I found myself spending time with people of means – lawfirm partners and investment bankers, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists. ... As a rule, they were smart, interesting people, knowledgeable about public policy, liberal in their politics, expecting nothing more than a hearing of their opinions in exchange for their checks. But they reflected, almost uniformly, the perspectives of their class: the top 1 percent or so of the income scale that can afford to write a $2,000 check to a political candidate. ... They had no patience with protectionism, found unions troublesome, and were not particularly sympathetic to those whose lives were upended by the movements of global capital. ... I know that as a consequence of my fundraising I became more like the wealthy donors I met."

    - Barack Obama in The Audacity of Hope

  3. BTW. by "liberal in their politics", it's pretty clear that Obama meant on "social issues" and not issues of economic justice, truly progressive taxation or trade. He has been exactly what I expected him to be, Only worse,

  4. Been lurking for a while; time to re-emerge since blowing out my knee is giving me beaucoup time to sit at the computer. Anyway, like DCBlogger I had already thought that perhaps the wingnuts and wackos are not just playing games but that they really do want to shut down the government. However, I had a different thought as to why: not because of some backdoor profit scheme on the part of the Kochs, et. al., who I'm quite sure can find ways to profit no matter which way it goes down, but rather because they genuinely do hate the idea that the government has a responsibility to "promote the general welfare" and are quite willing to see tens of millions of others - including many of their own supporters - suffer in service to reactionary ideology.

  5. By all means, if you want to wonk out click on Avedon's ObamaCare rollout link and read that recent Lambert post. However, in the matter of speaking to the general population, an ordinarily unaddressed audience which Stuart Z. has been recommending Democrats try to talk to, here's Lambert getting with that program in the first paragraph of an earlier post of his:

    >>>>>[BEGIN QUOTE] ...By design, ObamaCare doesn’t treat health care as a right, and does not give all citizens equal access to health insurance, let alone to health care. By design, ObamaCare preserves private health insurance as a rental extraction mechanism, along with its complex and bug-prone system of eligibility determination by past (and projected) income, age, existing insurance coverage, jurisdiction, family structure, and market segment. I’ve heard it said in software engineering that complexity is the enemy of quality and, I would speculate, the same goes for social engineering too. In any system as baroque and Kafaesque as ObamaCare, some citizens will get lucky, and go to HappyVille; others, unlucky, will go to Pain City. The lucky are first-class citizens; and the unlucky, second class. In two earlier posts, I gave examples of the whimsical and arbitrary distinctions that ObamaCare makes between citizens who should be treated equally; in this post, I’d like to give two more... [END QUOTE]<<<<<

    It's interesting to me that Lambert makes his effective point, one which should be the very touchstone for liberals and lefties whenever arguing health care, by repurposing the logic behind someone else's winning political rhetoric that, "They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right."

  6. I love the letter by Nicole Belle to NBC.

  7. They rock in the tree tops all day long
    Hoppin' and a-boppin' and singing their song
    All the neo-libs on K-bird Street
    Hate to hear the robins go tweet tweet tweet

  8. After a year-plus sabbatical, Assclowns of the Week roars back with a 94th edition. On the spit this week: The Republican Party, Ted Cruz, Guido Barilla, John Boehner, Sarah Palin and much, much more!

  9. SPOILER ALERT Don't click if you enjoy reading the progblogs in their chronological order. (via)