Oct 03 2011
whut’s this? A momentarily functioning press corpse?
Sep 19 2011
Wouldn’t it be nice if Russ Feingold challenged Obama in the Democratic primaries?
Wouldn’t it be nice if Bernie Sanders challenged Obama in the Democratic primaries?
Wouldn’t it be nice if Elizabeth Warren challenged Obama in the Democratic primaries?
Wouldn’t it be nice if Howard Dean challenged Obama in the Democratic primaries?
Wouldn’t it be nice if Dennis Kucinich challenged Obama in the Democratic primaries?
Well, they aren’t. Aldous Tyler is. He describes himself thus:
I am what I am – a 39 year old longtime activist, husband, father, who has lived almost his whole life in the Great Lakes region of America, from Detroit to Minneapolis to Madison. Professionally speaking, I’m a worker who is fortunate enough to have two paying jobs (on top of my volunteer radio program) to work in this economy. I’ve worked most of my time in the copy and print industry, with additional forays into web design, database management, technical support and industrial equipment resale.
Tyler has announced. He is raising the $5,000 to file with the FEC and launch his ballot access effort, and he has begun to campaign. Now progressives have to deal with it.
Sep 15 2011
On the Open Salon version of my previous entry, some right-winger who supports Obama kept trying to lay the blame for next year’s results on the left for failing to properly support the candidate who has done far more to pass the Republicans’ agenda than any GOP office-holder could have.
I am about certain Obama will be a one term president–and that one of the Republican clowns will win in 2012.
Most of the blame for that will fall with the unrealistic expectations and shortsightedness of people devoted to a progressive agenda.
Sep 09 2011
So now we’ve heard Barry’s big “jobs speech” and it turns out to be the exact opposite of what is needed to rescue the crumbling nation. No surprise there.
Obama’s so-called “jobs plan” is huge cuts in the payroll tax that are designed to manufacture a real future shortfall in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which will then be used as the rationale for imposing deep cuts on, or even the elimination of, all three programs. Corporate tax cuts will drain even more revenue from the treasury, which will make extending unemployment insurance for the unemployed who currently qualify, not to mention infrastructure repair, highly unlikely.
Sep 09 2011
Kill Off Social Security.
Yeah, that ought to work.
(From the links. ek)
Plan’s Focus on Social Security Taxes Reflects Its Modest Ambitions
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM, The New York Times
Published: September 8, 2011
WASHINGTON – The centerpiece of President Obama’s job-creation plan, a proposal to further reduce Social Security taxes, is emblematic of a package of modest measures that some economists describe as helpful but not sufficient to lift the economy from its malaise.
The cuts, which would deprive the government of about $240 billion in revenues next year, are the largest items in the president’s $447 billion job-creation plan, which includes payments to unemployed workers, incentives for companies that hire workers and increased federal spending on infrastructure. All of the measures will require the support of Congressional Republicans.
But some advocates, noting that temporary tax cuts have a history of becoming permanent, worry that reducing direct Social Security revenues could undermine political support for the program by making it seem more like a form of welfare.
Obama Pushes Medicare Cuts In Jobs Speech
Zach Carter, Huffington Post
9/8/11 10:53 PM ET
WASHINGTON — In his jobs speech before Congress Thursday night, President Barack Obama appeared to call on congressional Democrats to cut Medicare, a politically toxic proposal that undercuts a previous Democratic campaign strategy.
As Ezra Klein reported for the Washington Post on Wednesday, Obama is planning a separate deficit reduction package that liberal groups expect to include raising the eligibility age. Making this change for both Medicare and Social Security hits poorer participants in the programs hardest, since they are more likely to die at a younger age.
Sep 05 2011
Salon.com has a piece up urging Democrats to dump Obama and go with a candidate who will restore their party to its New Deal era politics. According to the column by Matt Stoller, there are a number of reasons why they should, including:
If would be one thing if Obama were failing because he was too close to party orthodoxy. Yet his failures have come precisely because Obama has not listened to Democratic Party voters. He continued idiotic wars, bailed out banks, ignored luminaries like Paul Krugman, and generally did whatever he could to repudiate the New Deal. The Democratic Party should be the party of pay raises and homes, but under Obama it has become the party of pay cuts and foreclosures. Getting rid of Obama as the head of the party is the first step in reverting to form.
This is an institutional crisis for Democrats. The groups that fund and organize the party — an uneasy alliance of financiers, conservative technology interests, the telecommunications industry, healthcare industries, labor unions, feminists, elite foundations, African-American church networks, academic elites, liberals at groups like MoveOn, the ACLU and the blogosphere — are frustrated, but not one of them has broken from the pack. In remaining silent, they give their assent to the right-wing policy framework that first George W. Bush, and now Barack Obama, cemented in place. It will be nearly impossible to dislodge such a framework without starting within the Democratic Party itself.
In other words, party inflexibility has a price. If the economy worsens going into the fall, and the president continues as he has to attempt to cut Social Security, Democrats might be facing a Carter-Reagan scenario. Reagan, at first considered a lightweight candidate, ended up winning a landslide victory that devastated the Democratic Party in 1980. Carter wasn’t the only loss; many significant liberal senators, such as George McGovern, John Culver and Birch Bayh, fell that year.
Stoller nails it by pointing out the extreme inflexibility inherent in the Democrat Party today. Its leaders have decided that they want it to be the party of Big Business, and they don’t care what base voters think – so long as the Republicans are content to be the party of overt extremists, as opposed to the Democrats’ “covert” extremism, they reason, voters will at the end of the electoral season either shut up and vote for them anyway or else not vote at all. Either way, that suits Democrat Party leaders just fine, wanting all the perks of power but none of the responsibility. Stoller continues toward the end of his column by writing:
Obama has basically endorsed every major plank of George Bush’s administration, yet Democrats still grant their approval. What we’re finding out is that Obama’s pathologically pro-establishment and conflict-averse DNA was funded by party insiders and embraced by liberal constituency groups in 2008 for a reason.
Political parties need to be flexible enough to allow for new ideas to come into the process, or else third parties or civil disorder are inevitable. All it would take to provide this flexibility are well-known Democratic elders who understand that rank and file Democrats deserve a choice, and a few political insiders who realize that they can increase their own power by encouraging a robust debate. I don’t think this will happen.
Stoller rightly points out that the disastrous presidency of Grover Cleveland necessitated the removal of him as the Democrats’ candidate in 1896 in favor of William Jennings Bryan, who pressed for many populist reforms and began laying the groundwork for both the Progressive Era of the early 1900s and the New Deal Era of the 1930s and 1940s. But for that to happen, there had to be widespread acknowledgment within the party that the path being taken could only lead to its ultimate collapse – self preservation instinct had to take over in order for the party to save itself, and in the 1890s, that realization rose and was accepted by party leaders.
Many disaffected Democrats still presume to think that they can take back the party from the corporate interests that have seized it. But not one of them has dared come up with any serious roster of candidates willing to risk political suicide by running against Obama next year. Corporate money, and therefore corporate influence, is so entrenched within the Democrat Party that it is now beyond all hope of repair. Thomas Hartman does offer advice for retaking the Democrat Party from the corporatists, but it’s probably far too late for that. The party has so alienated and disillusioned voters with its pro-war, anti-labor, anti-civil liberties, pro-corporate, anti-democracy nature that it is now highly unlikely that enough citizens trust that their activism will result in any significant reforms.
A serious effort to build a strong, viable third party organization can send the needed message to Democrat leaders that they can no longer take voters for granted, that we do have alternatives and we will turn to them if Democrats keep refusing to live up to their obligation to represent the public interest. In 1992, H. Ross Perot’s strong showing of nearly nineteen percent of the vote in that year’s presidential election demonstrates that it is possible within our own era to gain significant votes to fundamentally alter the political landscape. Progressives, laborers, and traditionally oppressed citizens can and should begin building that third party effort now, while the iron is white hot. While we are doing that, remaining progressives within Democrat ranks can begin their takeover of the party by gaining precinct committee seats, especially executive committee seats, to obtain more control over the candidate-nominating process. Sun Tzu admonishes students of warfare not to fight on multiple fronts, but to instead force the enemy to do so, thereby dividing his forces. In World War II, Nazi Germany lost because it faced the dual military threats of the Allied forces in the West and the Soviet forces in the East, each of which operated in tandem with the other to close in around their mutual enemy and destroy him. In politics, the same strategies and tactics apply.
Now, Democrat Party loyalists will cry foul, claiming that any attempt to run a primary opponent against Obama or draw voters to third parties will almost certainly result in a Republican victory next year. But the way their party is doing things now, that result is practically inevitable regardless of what progressives do. Obama and corporatist Democrats at the top are leading their party off a cliff, and no amount of hope will cause them to deviate from their chosen path. What’s more, Republican vote-rigging is already well underway with highly restrictive ballot access and voter ID laws to prevent poor and minority voters from exercising their right to vote. By running as the party of continuation with George W. Bush’s extreme right-wing policies, Obama and his sycophants are guaranteeing a close enough electoral result that Republicans will easily be able to steal 2012, just as they did in 2000-2006. That they have such enthusiastic help from Democrats themselves makes GOP electoral “victories” all but inevitable.
Sep 01 2011
Barry Obama has conceded the 2012 election for U.S. dictator more than a year before it even takes place. According to a story posted on Yahoo News, Obama has rescheduled a planned jobs speech in order to avoid upstaging a Republican dictatorial debate, forcing him to compete with the NFL for viewers.
Obama agreed to schedule his address on Sept. 8 after [John] Boehner balked at the president’s request for a Sept. 7 speech.
Obama’s address still gives him a grand stage to unveil his economic agenda, though it falls on the same evening as the opening game of the National Football League season. White House officials were working on the precise timing of the speech in hopes of avoiding a conflict.
The change will allow a planned Sept. 7 Republican presidential debate in Simi Valley, Calif., to proceed without Obama upstaging it.
If Obama won’t even fight for his right as the occupant of the Oval Office to decide when he will deliver a speech, instead allowing the opposition to determine the time, why should anyone waste time volunteering on his re-election campaign or voting for him? He obviously has no interest in winning, or he would be telling the GOP to stuff it. Oh, hey, Barry? I heard that Boehner will next object to your even being on the ballot at all next year. I guess this means you’ll drop out now so you don’t hurt the Republicans’ feelings. You’re gonna have to order Democrats not to bother running in any elections next year, too. After all, the GOP will probably object to them being on the ballot, too.
Never before have I seen a sitting occupant of the White House bend over to please the so-called opposition like this guy has. Even Bill Clinton, unless I have totally missed something or forgotten it completely, didn’t reschedule a speech just because the Republicans demanded it. And Bill Clinton loves to suck Republican cock – he always has and he always will.
Don’t bother bitching about third parties gaining votes Democrats think they’re entitled to next year. Obama is clearly going to throw in the towel no matter who else tries to run for the office of president.
Aug 15 2011
We gotta grow some jobs, and that’s a fact, and we probably aren’t going to be able to do it with big ol’ jobs programs funded by the Federal Government, what with today’s politics and all, and that means if this Administration wants to stay in the jobs game they’re going to have to find some smaller and more creative ways to do it.
They are also going to have to come up with ideas that are pretty much “bulletproof”, meaning that they are so hard to object to that even Allen West and Louie Gohmert will not want to be on record saying “no no no!”; alternatively, solutions that work around the legislative process entirely could represent the other form of “bulletproof-ery”.
Well, I have one of those “maybe bulletproof” ideas for you today, and it has to do with how “Made in USA” the things are that our Government buys.
Aug 06 2011
It was just a couple of nights ago that Keith Olbermann was challenging us, in one of his “Special Comments”, to rise up in the streets and take back this country.
He pointed out that the only way those on the left were going to be able to fight against those who are looking to get all “Tea Party” is to be as angry and as organized and as aggressive as the Tea Party community, and if we’re smart, we’ll take him up on that challenge.
But if you really want to push “professional” Democrats to the left, most especially this President, and you want to do it in time to impact the ’12 cycle, the only way to do it is to run a candidate in primary contests that either moves the conversation your way…or leaves you with a surprising new Candidate.
And right here, right now, we actually have a chance to do exactly that – and that’s why, in today’s discussion, I’m going to challenge Olbermann right back.
Aug 01 2011
So everybody’s hearing the news, right?
There is a tentative debt ceiling deal, and this Administration and Congressional Democrats seem to have won everything they wanted: Republicans get to have multiple “we don’t approve” votes before 2012 on raising the debt ceiling, there won’t be any new revenue, there’s going to be another “hostage-taking” event around Christmastime, for many Democrats the issue of the Ryan Budget and the dismantling of Medicare is likely off the table for the 2012 electoral cycle, and the Administration seems to have figured out a way to not involve itself in shaping the way that entitlement reform will work out.
All in all, it’s some pretty slick negotiating, and I’m sure this Administration and Democratic Congressional leaders must be very proud.
Even on bad days, however, you gotta have some fun, and that’s why I’m encouraging everyone to take a minute today to say #thanksalot.
Jul 24 2011
So I disappeared for a full week, right in the middle of what should have been a busy writing schedule, and I have to claim some “personal days” to cover the time we missed here at the blog – but it won’t be time entirely wasted.
Instead, I’m going to jump into my own personal life for today’s story, and I’m going to do it so that we can stimulate some thinking about where we really need to go to if we ever hope to make some sense out of the crazy way we deliver health care in this country.
Since this appears to be the weekend that a lot of decisions are either going to be made about the future of our “social safety net”…or they wont; we’re entirely unsure…let’s talk about how it actually works for a lot of us – and how it could work a lot better.