Tag Archive: framing

On Shame As A Tactic, Or, Betsie Gallardo: She Won…And So Can You!

We have been following the story of Betsie Gallardo lately, she being the woman that, due to a medical decision, was being starved to death in a Florida prison.

She has inoperable cancer, her death is imminent, and her mother was working hard to make it possible for Betsie to die at home with some dignity.

As we reported just a couple days ago, half the battle was already won, as the Florida Department of Corrections had agreed to place her in a hospital so that she could again go back on nutritional support.

On January 5th, the Florida Parole Commission voted to allow her to end her life at home-and that means you spoke out, made a difference, and achieved a complete victory for the effort.

But even as we celebrate that victory, I think we should take a moment to realize that there is a bigger lesson here: the lesson that the fights over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), benefits for 9/11 first responders (the Zadroga Bill), and Betsie Gallardo’s imminent release are all actually pointing us to a political strategy that works, over and over, if we are willing to understand the wisdom that’s been laid before us.

Behold the Grand Misdirection — Lockbox vs the Loan-Sharks

The Austerity Rhetoric is ramping up.

The National Debt is the Issue of the Day.

How in the world are we going to pay for it — especially for all those Baby-Boomers with the audacity to dare to Retire, after working all our lives;

After paying all our lives into the Social Security Trust Fund, as our Govt required us to do.

HOW Dare We — actually expect the Govt to Pay the Benefits that we were promised?  Oh the Nerve!

Here’s the sleight of hand Hoodwink that the GOP Loan-Sharks are preparing to pull off — pay attention, because it’s a classic trick of misdirection — and it goes by fast:

It is the Federal Government that has the Legal Obligation

to payback the Social Security Trust Fund

NOT the other way around !

It is the Federal Govt that raided OUR Retirement “Cookie Jar” —

and it is the Federal Govt that needs to replace them.

What’s left of OUR “Cookies” should be permanently off the Table.

In other words, All cuts to SS Benefits should be OFF the Table.

Forget Elections — Framing Should Be the Focus

(updated for coherencea and now available at DKOS)

Framing is not everything but it contains all the problems we speak of. I see several aspects of this problem:

  1. History: the left and center-left in America have not created a historical narrative that makes sense to most Americans as an alternative to both the MSM corporate narrative that is radically ahistorical, i.e., they pick and choose historical facts to present a pro-corporate narrative simply because it is there. I include the MSNBC and Comedy Central pundits in this–the accept at face values unproven and clearly false historical facts as being accepted truths. Don’t ask me to list them right now–I’m not trying to prove anything here just to spur discussion and thought.
  2. Class struggle: any framing of issues has to be done within the context of class-struggle which is very real in this country. The Democratic Party is very afraid of this because they are worried about cultural backlash–yes, there will be a severe cultural backlash from people who are obsessed with American Exceptionalism (the new buzzword on the right) but it’s time that progressives and liberals desacralize that concept–the data doesn’t lie, we are a deeply class-divided society with an entrenched oligarchy with relatively static social movement. What movement there is comes form immigrants who start out relatively poor and within a generation or half a generation return to whatever social class they populated in their native country, e.g., a doctor comes to the U.S and drives a cab until he/she can get their credentials here.
  3. Pragmatism: the left/progressive movement should emphasize pragmatism as a deep American value and use it to frame issues as much as the class-struggle frame. The right in America has descended into a moment where it traffics strictly in fantasies. I’ve heard various discourses on the right in this country and they bear no relationship to reality. These notions can be dismissed easily. For example, their views on health-care are easily repudiated–why didn’t the left do its job? The “debate” that occurred had no basis in fact because the left, did not insist on using facts, studies and the scientific method but were suckered into the MSM narrative that the rest of the world does not exist and “nobody” really knows how to “fix” health care. There is no and was no ambiguity! The only way you fix health-care is through making it a public utility like the rest of the world does. The right-wing and centrist counter-arguments are basically the equivalent of saying the world is flat–disproving that contention is incredibly easy. There is no reasonable argument on their side! Now, as a counter-example there is a reasonable argument for Empire, there is a reasonable argument for authoritarian rule and social Darwinism thought the right doesn’t even bother to make those arguments except in private. People need to be forced to choose between reality and fantasy–the HCR debate was a debate that was entirely conducted in fanstasyland and for this the left bears a lot of responsibility.

Section 8

The Constitution of the United StatesSection. 8

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

[emphasis added]

Congress is suppose to raise Taxes —

To provide for the general Welfare.

It’s in the Constitution!

Looks like the Congress can clap down on Foreign Trade too —

Hmmm?   I wonder if the includes “the exporting of Jobs” too?

Outsourcing effects the “general Welfare” too,  right?

(It’s hard to “be well” — without a Job.)

‘Deer in the Headlights’ — They’re Not!

Supposedly ‘Uncertainty‘ is the new Corporate buzzword.

Uncertainty‘ is the Mantra that keeps them FROZEN with inaction.

Well I guess, a lot depends on what kind of ‘Action’ — were looking at.

America’s Corporate Cash Cushion

Jonathan Cheng, WSJ Market Beat — Sep 17, 2010

The Federal Reserve put out its quarterly report on fund flows today, which shows corporate balance sheets more or less flat at $1.845 trillion, compared to $1.847 trillion in the first quarter of 2010.

[…]

Companies weren’t stuck like a deer in the headlights because of regulatory or political uncertainty,” he said. Instead, he says corporate directors have been spending on capital expenditures, M&A, and buybacks and dividends.  [ … according to Anthony Carfang, from at Chicago-based corporate treasury consultancy Treasury Strategies.]

Dividends and buybacks, like the ones announced after market close yesterday by Texas Instruments, are on the rise […]

Be afraid, be very afraid, people — Or so the Corporate Speakers are telling us.

This is Democracy? Meet the GOP’s one man Toll Gate

“It is my understanding Jim DeMint has had a standing hold on everything throughout this two year process,” Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) told the Huffington Post on Tuesday. “When I have had amendments on a couple of occasions, I have been told: ‘Absolutely, we in the Republican leadership are fine but you are going to have to clear it with Jim DeMint because he has a standing hold on everything.’

DeMint Has Had ‘A Standing Hold’ On All Legislation For Past Two Years

Sam Stein, HuffingtonPost — 09-28-10

“… but you are going to have to clear it with Jim …”

This is Democracy?

Sounds instead like the GOP’s own version of American Idol — where Gopher DeMint is the lone ‘Simon Cowell’ on the Jury.

Ed and Bernie take on the ‘Chamber of Outsourcing’

Ed and Bernie take on the Chamber of Commerce Outsourcing …

They urge Congress to pass this Act designed to slow the pace of Outsourcing:

Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act



http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30…

WHO in the World — Does the CHAMBER work for, anyways?

Cuz it aint you and me.

Olbermann Removes the SMALL {Attention Spans} from “Small Business”

The main GOTP argument for keeping the Bush Tax Cuts in place for the Top 2% — pivots on how it will “hurt Small Businesses” if we don’t.

This simple slogan, fails to take into account one VERY SMALL stat.

[Mitch McConnell] says President Barack Obama’s plan to limit future tax breaks to couples earning less than $250,000 would subject 50 percent of small business income to a tax increase, stalling the job creation engine.

[…]

McConnell’s 50-%-of-income figure is based on a July 12 finding by the Joint Committee on Taxation, … that 1/2 of about $1 trillion of business income in 2011 will be reported on some 750,000 personal tax returns filed by people who pay the top marginal rates.

He calls those small businesses. Yet the report says the data “do not imply that all of the income is from entities that might be considered ‘small.’ ” Almost 20,000 of those businesses, for example, had receipts of more than $50 million, it says.

Would Ending Bush’s Tax Cuts Hurt Small Business?

Ryan J Donmoyer, BusinessWeek – 09/23/10

Behold the GOTP — Defenders of the $50 Million-aires!

Imagine it’s the year 2020

Imagine it’s election season in 2020 … you look around the economic and political and media landscape in America — and you’re asking yourself “What Happened?

VP Paul Ryan is Leading in all the Insta-Polls.

Ryan is considered a shoe-in after spearheading President Pence’s Ultimate Govt Diet Plan for the last 8 years.  Even though Ryan’s only real accomplishment was leading American Prosperity’s many market research programs.

Ryan must be credited with figuring out exactly How to Sell the Dog Food — and making it “palatable to the majority of the people”.   Afterall, the Pundit Class was stunned when Mike Pence eked out that Win in 2012 — given how he insisted on running on the GOP original slogan:  Time to Deconstruct Run-away Government.

With that surprise upset-win, which sent Obama packing, VP Paul Ryan seized the opportunity to get out of the number-crunching business, and move into the world of high-octane Messaging …

Who knew that an Ultra-Conservative — turned Marketing Guru — could actually become the “Leader of the Free-Market World“?

The 2020 Polls are ticking …

GOP Pledges to Replace Health Care Reform with more Health Care Reform

Link

GOP’s ‘Pledge To America’ Replaces Affordable Care Act With Provisions From Affordable Care Act

By Igor Volsky, ThinkProgress.org — Sept 22, 2010

Ironically, today Republicans are also unveiling a new “Pledge To America,” an agenda that promises to “repeal” all of these benefits — as well as the entire health care law — and replace it with “reforms that lower costs for families and small businesses, increase access to affordable, high-quality care and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.”

The document provides almost no specifics about what the [GOP] party would do to control health care spending, improve quality, or pay for its reforms.

And at least 7 of the GOP’s ideas on health care are already included in the health care law:

Insurance Across State Lines

High-Risk Insurance Pools

Pre-Existing Conditions

Lifetime and Annual Caps

Recissions

State Innovation

Conscience Protections

WTF!  What Kind of Pledge is that?

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