Saturday, August 11, 2012


Voter Purges,
Citizens United,
Voter IDs,
Proprietary Binary Ballots,
Dog Whistles and Road Blocks
(Of all kinds and sizes.)
Can Not Happen! ?

Beware the Coup

Medicare Vouchers,
War Machine Values, 
Stealing the Earned,
Entitling the Entitled,
Criminally Low Taxes
(For the Rich),
Regulation Elimination,
Takers On the Take !

Beware the Coup

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Will That Other David Brooks (and the real one, too) Please Go AWAY!!?

Actually, I really appreciate David, he almost always gets my juices going with all his lies and distortions-- and his self perception as a moderate Republican and humanist.  Today's column  "That Other Obama", is no different, same ol' vile inspiring stuff wrapped in an enigma of "aren't I so dignified?"

In it he attacks the President for his partisanism and "hoary brain dead cliches" attack against the Ryan budget and bemoans --Where is the Moderation?   (Hint DB-- it left with Dwight E.)

Of course it is partisan—you neo-con poop!  (“Sort of a play on words, there.”)  We do not live in a post partisan world—and we all know in his  world of false equivalencies (FE) that Obama is just as much responsible as Limbaugh.

Really “hoary, brain dead cliches” ?   Brooks says  “the Ryan budget has some disturbing weaknesses.” Cliche or in denial-- you choose-- but either way, definitely, brain dead.  It's not weak --it is a full on class warfare assault  and, at last, a rightward moved Democrat is standing up and identifying it as such, in all too mild of terms, but effectively, nonetheless.

He claims the Ryan  budget  “hides” loophole closings. No, it makes allusions to promises that it never intends to keep.  The chasm  which the President only began to illuminate is real.  It is the one that Ryan and his Randian ilk  ( read “Republicans”)  see between themselves as the makers and the rest of us as the takers, when really it is the 1% who have been on the make and take for far too long.

Flying his banner of FE under the banner of Politifact's FE of  a distortion of lie of the year--  now that is quite the image.  Just how is vochureizing and privatizing MediCare  not ending MediCare as we know it?  It is our country’s single payer system for elderly care.  It would become  less care and more profit for  the insurance-pharm industry.  The  prohibitions against  adverse selection and reduced benefits are not worth the vellum  they are printed on.  What is so amazing is not so much that he believes it, but that he expects us to.

That Ryanistas are not recognized as the lunatic fringe is only testimony to how much larger,  if no more lunatic, the Republican fringe has become.  And would the Right stop being wrong and please stop referring to that which we have paid for during our entire working lifetimes as “entitlements?”  

He calls for Obama to lay out a bigger better solution.  I got your  bigger better solution right here, David. The Peoples Budget and Single Payer Health Care—Twice the health care at half the price (REALLY!)

Friday, February 24, 2012


According to David Brooks column today the American and European social support 
structure are more or less equally funded. I do not have the numbers directly at my finger
tips—and apparently gauging from the lack of them in his column he didn’t either.
( Or he did, but ignored them because they disproved his thesis)  The absurdity of which
  is to propose that “the U.S. does not have a significantly smaller welfare state than the 
European nations.” (First of all, David,  congratulations on that “welfare state” buzz word 

Some European governments “offer health care directly”, some just pay for it directly and some have a not-for-profit system  with highly regulated structure .  All of them pay a lot less for a lot better care/outcomes.  He  infers is that our health insurance   tax  structure is welfare.  If so it is primarily corporate welfare—for the insurance companies and the employers.  Much better healthcare is available without these direct subsidies to the corporations.  How do we know—because the rest of the developed world has done it!  So subtract those corporate tax breaks from your “welfare” total.

The same is true for the other areas he mentions—childcare,  subsidies to industry.  The point is rather than his  indirect, unfocused tax breaks, mature societies make mature decisions about where to invest and then invest—not “untax” individuals or corporations.

Brooks adds in the money the  government doesn’t collect and calls it spending?  Really!? What world does he live in?  If we collect it and then use it then it is spending.   If we don’t collect it, his  absurdist $10 billion dollar example notwithstanding, then we are not directing its use for the society. 

That is the theory you all want us to buy . The  middle of his column does seem to acknowledge that this is just a sham for redirecting money upward.   But, surprise, somehow he gives it all another mobius twist and ends up calling for LOWER tax rates, without, of course all those bothersome regulations.

Finally, Reagans tax cuts did not produce any benefits – except, again, for those that didn’t need it.  In fact he raised  taxes several times  primarily on the lower and middle classes to make up for the hole his cuts caused in the economy.  His raising of the FICA was  and is the largest tax raise ever foisted on the middle class.  And now they want that money, too.  So much for the right being concerned about true tax reform.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Francis Fukuyama  argues in the current issue of Foreign Affairs  The Future of History   that"stagnating wages and growing inequality will soon threaten the stability of con­temporary liberal democracies and dethrone democratic ideology as it is now understood. What is needed is a new populist ideology that offers a realistic path to healthy middle-class societies and robust democracies." Almost o.k., as far as it goes, but, actually his main argument is that progressivism has not come up with coherent critique and policy to address the socio-economic and political realities of the time.

There is not so much a dearth of progressive ideas and ideology—but a corporate control 
of policy and minimization of distribution of those ideas.  The little known People's Budget 
of Congress’ Progressive Caucus is an excellent illustration.  It addresses many 
of the concerns raised in this article, yet few have heard of it.  Few, also, know that 
that same Progressive Caucus is the largest such entity in Congress.

In specific, Mr Fukuyama is in error regarding  his statement that  accuses the left of 
“a lack of credibility. (That) Over the past two generations, the mainstream left has 
followed a social democratic program that centers on the state provision of a variety of 
services, such as pensions, health care, and education.”   In fact where the social 
democratic left has been successful it has been in  these very areas.  Especially 
healthcare, where most of the developed world has some form of universal, equitable 
health care-- Always not for profit and often single payer.

Time and space do not allow for  a more  complete response. However, I would posit  
related and relevant points to ponder.  Corporate control of the narrative and  policy 
has curtailed progressive ability to mature the dialog.   That same corporate frame’s  
predominance   has only permitted  the “academic left … postmodernism, multiculturalism, 
feminism, critical theory, and a host of other fragmented intellectual trends that are 
more cultural than economic in focus” to be visible.  This has simultaneously served the right 
as a sop to their consciousness but one they can dismiss for its ephemeralness.   Far 
beyond incoherent scribblings, this progressive economic, social, psychological and 
political philosophy “it's all around if we could but perceive.”   It is in the 
aforementioned People’s Budget, in the writings and critiques of Thom Hartmann, Naomi 
Klein, Jared Bernstein,  Rachel Maddow,  Robert Reich , Paul Krugman and oh so many more. 
 And,  yes, Occupy is one of our distilleries. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I know I should not be, but I continue to be dumbfounded that the likes of Jay Ambrose still grace the national media. His recent column (1/24) accusing President Obama of lying about the Keystone pipeline is, indeed, full of lies-- Ambrose's.

Time will allow for only a partial review. But first, let us note that this is the same Jay Ambrose who,  in defending obvious lies about WMD's, uranium, et al , said that accusing Bush of lying was "hateful hallucinations that poison political discourse." In the first sentence Ambrose accuses the President of being “weasel-worded”. Does this not “poison political discourse” ? Before he concludes that first sentence he accuses President Obama of betraying his country, lying and welshing. (That latter, though I am sure it is far too “pc” for Mr Ambrose, is an ethnic slur.)

A basis of his argument is the inference that the tar sand oils will be used for domestic energy. This a lie that the supporters promulgate implicitly or explicitly. The whole reason the current pipeline is being added to and extended is to transport the oil to Gulf refineries for export. For the profit of the corporations not for the energy of the nation. We, in fact, are not going to  “use” the oil.

He claims that the environmental complaints are about CO2 content and global warming. True enough, but he ignores other issues such as spills-- of which the current shorter pipeline has had at least 11 in the last year . Certainly a great risk to any surface and ground water exposed-- not, as he claims, “physically impossible tainting.”

Ambrose refers to “some Nebraskans complained.” In fact the UNANIMOUS state legislature passed and the Republican governor signed a bill prohibiting the planned route and voting $2 million to study an alternative route. A process that, in itself, will take us beyond the November elections.

If, as he accuses the president, there is a lie in not being sure the pipeline was safe it is in that we can be sure that the pipeline will not be safe. Yes, there is a risk-benefit analysis to be made, but that analysis must be comprehensive, including the need to move away from increasingly more polluting and expensive non-renewables and to move towards investing in cleaner, renewable energy sources.

Again, there is so much more, but let me end with my outrage that this man who has so defended Bush's lies-- about affairs, domestic and foreign-- that got so many people killed, injured and financially devastated, has the nerve to finish his venomous column with accusing President Obama of leaving “this country wounded and bleeding.”