Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Occupying Throughout History

A really interesting take from David Dayen:
While occupying a public park or other physical space would appear to be a novel escalation of national discontent, it has actually accompanied other eras of frustration and rage throughout history. Unemployed Americans marched on Washington after the Panic of 1893, forming what was termed Coxey’s Army after Jacob Coxey, the leader of the protest. The Bonus Marchers did the same, seeking their World War I bonuses, and they occupied parts of Washington before getting booted by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. In 1968, the Poor People’s Campaign pledged to camp out in Washington, using actual sharecropper’s domiciles to build a shanty-town called “Resurrection City,” in a bid to achieve better economic outcomes. We will never know the potential success of this event, because Martin Luther King Jr., one of the lead organizers, was shot just before the start of the occupation, and the campaign never regained momentum. The Flint sit-down strike was a non-Washington example of occupations, an event most mirrored by the 2008 takeover of the Republic Windows and Doors building by the workers. And that brings us to the point that there are RECENT antecedents to Occupy Wall Street – the bank accountability campaign, actual protests on Wall Street in 2009 and 2010, the anti-foreclosure direct action movement, and so on.

The point is that there’s nothing particularly new about the premise of occupation. There’s also nothing new about the response – these have historically always caused a reaction by the authorities that led to arrests, beatings, and dismantling of the occupation sites. But in no case did that temper or end the movements which led to the occupations themselves. The common thread underlying these occupations is that they have come at a time of profound economic dislocation, and they heralded a new era of reforms aimed at ameliorating the situation. Coxey’s Army and the protests of the turn of the century occurred hand-in-hand with the Progressive Era; the Bonus Marchers and Flint sit-down strike happened during the Depression; the Poor People’s Campaign adjoined both the civil rights movement and the Great Society reforms. This always happens, in other words. And those occupations never defined the movements they inspired. The movements always multiplied and innovated and went beyond sitting down for rights.

It’s undeniable that this current occupation movement has shown that the right to assembly is under threat, and if you cannot assure this basic right, good luck with the economic agenda that undergirds the occupations. But that’s been true to a degree throughout history. People have been beaten, attacked, assailed, and physically removed for speaking out against injustice, for exercising the basic right to protest. This has arguably become more militarized in recent years, but the dynamic has always been there.

And so has the results. Occupation movements have always existed parallel to a larger movement that did eventually secure a series of rights and protections for the disenfranchised. John Heilemann has this cockamamie story about how Occupy Wall Street will bring us back to 1968, because for everyone in the traditional media, it’s always 1968. But a survey of the historical record shows that the more likely scenario is that this inspires a mass movement that leads to progressive reform, as it always has. The pendulum is swinging back from a time of Gilded Age stratification. This is a familiar theme and you’d think people with any sense of history would be aware of it.

This is also why I am disinclined to offer helpful hints to the Occupy protesters, or a game plan on how they should go about achieving or even determining their goals. The movement energy around occupations has always sustained itself and built a reform agenda. Mother Jones was a Coxey marcher. It’s endemic to a movement like this that it draws the activists most focused on progress and provides a space for them to figure out how to get there. Nobody on the sidelines has any better insight. So the best option is to just shut up and watch history take flight again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Caps Fire Boudreau

As someone who was a Caps fan long before Ovie, sellout streaks and rocking the red, thank you to Bruce Boudreau. The excitement he brought to the caps over the last couple years has been an incredible thing to behold, somesomething that didn't just "happen" because we lucked out and got one of the most exciting players in the game. It was his system and style that brought us there and created that atmosphere. While a change was probably needed, that doesn't dimish the job he did, or the fanbase and expectations he left behind.

Thanks for the memories, Bruce.

Friday, November 25, 2011

At Least Paul Wolfowitz Had A Terrible Thanksgiving

Also, Jeremy Scahill is an American hero. From his twitter feed:
Just randomly ran into Paul Wolfowitz. Told him what I think of him. The words "war" & "criminal" were involved.

Wolfowitz tried to keep walking. A family member of his started screaming at me & cursing, called me a "coward."

I told Wolfowitz he belongs in prison, not asking questions at GOP debates.
It's true, he should be in prison, not asking questions at GOP debates. I had similar thoughts during the debate!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Taking Us Back To The 19th Century

Newt Gingrich has awesome plans for this country:
Speaking at Harvard (to remind us that he's a historian, no doubt) on Friday, Newt Gingrich not only called child labor laws "truly stupid," he did so as his answer to a question about income inequality. His answer had several prongs. First, use student labor to bust unions in schools:
"You say to somebody, you shouldn't go to work before you're what, 14, 16 years of age, fine. You're totally poor. You're in a school that is failing with a teacher that is failing. I've tried for years to have a very simple model," he said. "Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school. The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they would have pride in the schools, they'd begin the process of rising."
"The process of rising" = Firing janitors so that kids can become janitor, which will help with their learning, because they're also janitors for the school, which is clearly a position of respect or something. Newt manages to take some pieces of libertarian thought (ownership breeds betters stewardship) and conservative ideas (Unionized janitors that have it too good!)and combines them into a nonsensical justification for getting rid of child labor laws. This is probably a good time to point people to the quote my dad sent me of Krugman saying that Gingrich is a "stupid man's idea of what a smart man sounds like".

Are we going to be lucky enough that reporters/other candidates don't reach into their constantly expanding Newt opposition research file during tonight's debate? I would really love to see him twist in the wind for a few more weeks, even if it's just for comedic value.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Not a moment too soon:
Capitol Hill sources say that barring a highly unexpected, last minute development, Super Committee co-chairs Jeb Hensarling and Patty Murray will issue a statement on Monday acknowledging the panel’s failure.
The development comes one day before the panel’s drop dead date to submit a plan, and three days before the debt limit law requires them to report legislation to the full Congress. Failure will lock into place deep, across the board cuts to defense and security programs, a two percent cut to Medicare providers, and cuts to other domestic programs. Those spending reductions will kick in on January 1, 2013, unless Congress acts to change the law, or passes more targeted budget cuts and thus agrees to eliminate the automatic penalty.

Those cuts, along with the looming expiration of the Bush tax cuts, promise to be major flashpoints for the 2012 campaign, and lock in a tough legislative food fight over cutting spending and raising taxes.
Putting aside the hilariousness of releasing a statement of failure, it's great news that this dangerous waste of time is coming to an end. The infighting of an austerity commission in the middle of a horrific economic downturn should make for a nice "fiddling while Rome burns" moment for future historians to highlight when explaining our downfall.

Prediction: In the next few years, there will be a new austerity commission, which will be cheered by all the important people for trying to tackle the important issues of our time: cutting social security and medicare.

As Ari Berman brilliantly described, these things don't happen out of thin air, and the same group of people trying to cut social security will be at it again on with new excuses in a few years time.

And if you want your mind to truly be blown, think about the people that probably saved us from a Democratic president signing cuts to medicare and social security into law:
  • Grover Norquist, whose idiotic no tax pledge prevents Republicans from signing onto a deal even if it is wildly in their favor
  • Eric Cantor, for going nuclear on the initial round of "grand bargain negotiations" and leaking his notes to the press.
My head hurts.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Rule of Law

Whoa, this is exciting. David Dayen:
A grand jury in Nevada yesterday indicted two title officers, Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, on 606 counts of robo-signing between 2005 and 2008, a scheme that resulted in the fraudulent filing of tens of thousands of other documents with the Clark County register of deeds. This has the potential to be a groundbreaking case; it’s the first I can think of which actually indicts a robo-signer on criminal charges for fraud. And by going after the title officers, the Attorney General of Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto, appears to be laying out a strategy to go up the chain and hollow out the entire industry and their illegal document fraud.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the two defendants were employed by Lender Processing Services, the leading foreclosure document processing company in the country, and one under a near-constant state of controversy over the past few years of the foreclosure crisis. In the indictment, Trafford and Sheppard are accused of directing fraudulent notarization and filing of foreclosure documents. This included having their employees forge Trafford and Sheppard’s names on the documents, typically Notices of Default, and then having them notarized. So in addition to a robo-signing scheme, where the notaries and affiants have no underlying knowledge of the documents, this was a forgery scheme. And banks filed these fraudulent documents with the country register of deeds, in violation of existing statutes under Nevada law. These are category C and D felonies, in addition to gross misdemeanors. One woman who worked with Trafford and Sheppard says she signed 25,000 Notices of Default this way.

Understand what was going on. In the interest of speed – and certainly not accuracy – Trafford and Sheppard had other people sign their name on legal documents, notarize them (attesting that the signature was legitimate and the content of which they had no knowledge was legitimate as well), and file them with the register. These are the documents that would be used to kick people out of their homes in Clark County, Nevada, where as many people have been foreclosed upon as anywhere in the country.
Prosecuting mortgage fraud, holy crap!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Glorious Super Deal That Never Was

As atrios says, the fact that people in the White House were dumb enough to think the politics of a huge austerity deal would be good is more troubling than almost anything else:
For most of this year, the White House has thought that the surest path to President Obama’s reelection was to strike a big deficit deal with Republicans, or at least be seen trying to strike a big deficit deal with Republicans. The debt-ceiling debacle proved it wrong. The White House was unable to reach an agreement, and the sorry sight of its ineffectual efforts led it to sink in the polls. Since then, it has moved toward a more confrontational stance with the GOP, and has seen its poll numbers tick up slightly. So White House officials do not consider a supercommittee deal crucial to their chances. Perhaps that’s for the best, as the Democrats on the supercommittee think it would be harder to secure Republican support for a deal if the White House were more involved.
It's hard to conceive how they thought that would be smart politically. I know I rant about this a lot, but it really was incredibly stupid, and that needs to be pointed out.

Even if you think talking about the deficit is smart, it really hammers home that many people in the administration have simply no clue about the political climate we live in. Facts don't matter. Actually doing something to show you "care about the deficit" doesn't matter. Republicans don't care about the deficit in the slightest, yet they run on it every year. Why does it work? Because the one party has realized that the press isn't doing their job and are taking advantage.

Does this mean our side should lie like they do? Of course not. But it does mean that we should spend less time worrying about showing we're serious about the deficit, showing we're strong on national security/illegal immigration, arbitrary figures for the cost of policies (stimulus/healthcare) and so on. They're gonna say you're a gay Muslim Mexican loving tax and spend democrat no matter what you do. You might as well focus on getting the policy right. There are no bonus points for fawning David Brooks columns.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sometimes Good Things Do Happen to Extremely Privileged People

Having snapped up budding journalistic talents Luke Russert, Meghan McCain and Jenna Bush, NBC News continued their their hiring spree of America's best and brightest: (via Glenn Greenwald)
NBC announced Monday that it has hired Chelsea Clinton to become a full-time special correspondent for NBC News.

Chelsea Clinton will be a special correspondent for NBC News.

The appointment was immediate. Ms. Clinton will begin work on stories that NBC expects to use as part of its “Making a Difference” series, which runs on “NBC Nightly News,” said Steve Capus, president of NBC News. 
As ridiculous as this is, it isn't at all surprising. What is somewhat surprising is how candid NBC News was about their decision making process:
Mr. Capus said an intermediary contacted him in July with word that “she was kicking around what she wanted to do next.”

Mr. Capus said he had met with Ms. Clinton and had a long conversation that began with a simple question. “I asked her: ‘What are you interested in doing?’ ”

Ms. Clinton told him, he said, that during her mother’s campaign for president in 2008, she had been moved by stories of people making personal contributions.

“What we talked about was if she were to come on board that’s the kind of thing she would be interested in doing. We knew she wasn’t going to do the lead story. But having somebody who was going to do really captivating feature assignments for the ‘Making a Difference’ franchise really kind of synced up,” Mr. Capus said.

Those feature reports, which have become popular on NBC’s evening newscast — and which may be added to NBC’s new prime-time newsmagazine program, “Rock Center With Brian Williams” — spotlight people who are making volunteer commitments to improve the lives of others in their community.

Mr. Capus said Ms. Clinton had said to him, “That’s the kind of thing, if this were to happen, that I would really like to do.” He added, “It’s not about Chelsea Clinton saying, ‘Here I am; I want to be a TV star.’ ” 
He's right, this isn't about her saying "I want to be a TV star". It's Steve Capus, the president of NBC news saying "Hey, you have a famous last name, I will find a way to put you on TV despite a complete lack of TV or journalism experience".

And hey, maybe she'll be smarter than Luke Russert (BREAKING: She will be), but that really doesn't matter. It's more the idea that the head of NBC news is bragging about seeking her out and asking "what she is interesting in doing" the way a team approaches a sought after free agent. But that's been the life of the rich and privileged in this country, it just isn't usually this obvious.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Man, the GOP race is going to strange places:
Two new national polls of the Republican primary race show very different results in the horserace, but do agree on one thing: Newt Gingrich is rocketing upwards.

The new CNN poll, among Republican respondents: Romney 24%, Gingrich 22%, Cain 14%, Perry 12%, Paul 8%, Bachmann 6%, Huntsman 3%, and Santorum 3%. In CNN’s previous poll from a month ago, Romney had 26%, Cain 25%, Perry 13%, and all others in single digits (including Gingrich at 8%).

And the new numbers from Public Policy Polling (D): Gingrich 28%, Cain 25%, Romney 18%, Perry 6%, Bachmann 5%, Paul 5%, Huntsman 3%, Santorum 1%, and Johnson 1%.
So this will last about 2 weeks, until right wingers realize he made an ad with Nancy Pelosi talking about climate change, or the second anyone anywhere reads this:
After going to the doctor for a mysterious tingling in her hand, [Marianne Gingrich] was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Early in May 1999, she went out to Ohio for her mother’s birthday. A day and a half went by and Newt didn’t return her calls, which was strange. They always talked every day, often ten times a day, so she was frantic by the time he called to say he needed to talk to her.

“About what?”

He wanted to talk in person, he said.

“I said, ‘No, we need to talk now.’ “

He went quiet.

“There’s somebody else, isn’t there?”

She kind of guessed it, of course. Women usually do. But did she know the woman was in her apartment, eating off her plates, sleeping in her bed?

She called a minister they both trusted. He came over to the house the next day and worked with them the whole weekend, but Gingrich just kept saying she was a Jaguar and all he wanted was a Chevrolet. “‘I can’t handle a Jaguar right now.’ He said that many times. ‘All I want is a Chevrolet.’ “

He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused.

He’d just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he’d given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, “How do you give that speech and do what you’re doing?”

“It doesn’t matter what I do,” he answered. “People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
In seriousness, what this tells me is that there are a large chunk of GOP voters who despise Romney and are searching for anyone (and if Newt Gingrich is leading, we mean ANYONE) to stop him from getting the nomination.

This would all be funnier if we weren't another economic downturn away from one of these asshats being president.

Friday, November 11, 2011

6 Things Obama Could Do to Improve The Economy

It's a slideshow, so it's hard to quote, but it's interesting stuff, and it's a reminder that the presidency isn't totally powerless when crazy people control one house of congress.

Worth a read.

#7: Don't oppose a financial transactions tax. Mitch McConnell isn't forcing them to do this, it's just a really, really stupid policy position.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


It's an odd feeling, but a massive slate of victories for progressives last night:
Democrats romped, as expected, in Kentucky, where Gov. Steve Beshear won a second term, and Dems carried all statewide races except agriculture commissioner (a Republican hold). The reverse was true in Mississippi, where GOP Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant was handily elected governor and Republicans retained every statewide post except attorney general (won by incumbent Jim Hood).

The good guys also won big on the three major ballot measures up last night: Ohio Issue 2 (repealing a bill that limited collective bargaining rights for public employees), Maine Question 1 (restoring same-day voter registration), and Mississippi Initiative 26 (turning back an amendment that would have defined personhood at the moment of fertilization). Not one of these three votes was even close, and the Ohio result in particular is a monstrous black eye for GOP Gov. John Kasich.

Democrats also held on to a crucial state Senate seat in Iowa, where Liz Mathis cruised to a double-digit win, ensuring the narrowly-divided chamber remains in Dem control. And two Republican state legislators were recalled: Sen. Russell Pearce in Arizona (who lost to fellow Republican Jerry Lewis), and Rep. Paul Scott in Michigan. (A special election will be held to replace Scott sometime next year.) In the OR-01 special primaries, Suzanne Bonamici cleaned up for the Dems and Rob Cornilles did the same for the GOP, as expected. They will face off on Jan. 31, 2012 for ex-Rep. David Wu's former seat.

The one big black mark appears to be the Virginia state Senate, where Democrats look to have lost two net seats to drop the chamber into a 20-20 deadlock. Though GOP Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling would presumably break ties, some commentators are suggesting that a power-sharing agreement might be necessary.

Much of the talk will be how the Obama campaign responds to this result, and who honestly knows. After the 2010 elections, they thought that the country wanted a president who was friendlier to big business and Wall Street, and it's hard to see how that could have been a more colossal failure. In the last few month's the Administration seems to be at least publicly acknowledging that people care about not having jobs, so he's talking about those issues more, and he's flirting with using his executive power to do a few things, but who knows.

You'd think that this election would make the White House less squeamish around populist issues, but then again this is a president who thought getting further in bed with Wall Street was a good political strategy as recently as a year ago.

The most important message in these elections (particularly Ohio) is the warning shot other governors looking to attempt the same in other states. We will fight back, and the people are on our side.

R.I.P. Heavy D

Damn, gone far too soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The War on Voting

An under reported story in the past year has the GOP's "keep in the vote" efforts in many states:
Today residents of Mississippi will decide whether voters must produce a government-issued ID in order to cast a ballot and voters in Maine will choose whether to keep or overturn a new law banning election day voter registration, which had previously been on the books since 1973.

These votes occur amidst the backdrop of an unprecedented, Republican-led war on voting. Since the 2010 election, at least a dozen states controlled by Republicans have approved new obstacles to voting—mandating government-issued IDs, curtailing early voting, restricting voter registration, disenfranchising ex-felons. Five million voters could be negatively impacted by the new laws, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which found that “these new restrictions fall most heavily on young, minority and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities”—in other words, those most likely to vote for Democrats.

A key component of the GOP’s campaign has been orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which receives substantial funding from the Koch brothers. ALEC drafted mock photo ID legislation after the 2008 election and in five states that passed ID laws in the past year—Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin—the measures were sponsored by legislators who are members of ALEC.
It is rather absurd that while democrats in the house were too chicken shit to attempt legislating during the last 6 months of their term, Republicans make their majorities count, with long term, structural reforms that make it easier for Republicans to remain in power. Unions usually campagin against me? Eliminate collective bargaining! Too many of "those people" voting? Institute laws that depress voter turnout!

Say what you will about today's Republican party, but they are committed to the cause.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Outsourced Blogging

Worlds are kind of collapsing right now, so blogging may be lighter this week. However, I'll try always give you some sort of content, even if it isn't the vulgar poorly worded class warfare you've come to expect.

I thought this Sam Seder interview with Chris Hayes was really good. Also, if you're not listening to Sam Seder's podcast, or watching Chris Hayes's new show, fix that immediately. TV and podcasts that interview smart people and make you smarter! What a concept!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sexual Harassment? Ehhh, Who Cares?

I made the point on twitter the other day that while allegations of sexual harassment may seem like a bad thing for you or I, neither one of us is voting in the Republican primary. I feel like folks on our side do this in attempting to understand the Republican party on a regular basis, and the Republican nomination is no different. In order for Cain's sexual harassment allegations to hurt him politically, they need to change the mind of people who have already decided/or are seriously considering voting for Hermain Cain for President of the United States. That is why I'm not at all surprised by this polling data:
Herman Cain entered the worst week of his presidential campaign at the top of most national polls. And for all the missteps and seething allegations of past misconduct, he is ending the week where he started—at the top.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Friday morning found the former corporate executive locked in a statistical dead heat with Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney with 24% and Mr. Cain with 23%. The poll was taken between Monday and Thursday, just as the wave of news stories broke about allegations that Mr. Cain sexual harassed at least two women in the late 1990s while working as a restaurant lobbyist in Washington, charges that Mr. Cain denies.

The findings mirror a number of polls taken over the last month, that have shown Mr. Cain essentially locked in a tie nationally with the former Massachusetts governor. Mr. Cain’s support was up seven points from last month’s ABC News poll. A Rasmussen poll out Thursday found that 26% of likely GOP primary voters supported Mr. Cain while 23% supported Mr. Romney.

The survey found that a solid majority of Republican or Republican-leaning independents were unruffled by the allegations. Nearly seven out of 10 said the controversy would have no impact on their support for Mr. Cain, while just under a quarter said it would make them less likely to support him. Nearly six out of 10 said the allegations were not a serious matter.

That said, Mr. Cain is far from in the clear. Should the controversy continue to balloon, the pollsters warned,  “Cain’s support could be at risk,” as nearly four in 10 likely GOP voters saw the charges as serious. (Just under a quarter of Cain supporters polled regarded the charges as serious.)
It's hard to predict a group of which you're not a member (I thought Michelle Bachman could win!), and this scandal could be enough of a black eye that it dents his support based on competence issues alone. However, it is worth pointing out that 60% of Republican voters DON'T SEE ACCUSATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AS SERIOUS!!!

Holy crap!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Eleven Dimensional Medicare Cutting Chess

The Democrats on the super committee are so hell bent on cutting medicare it's frightening: (TPM, via Digby)
“As I have thought about it…under the Affordable Health Care Act we provide subsidies for people who have really chronic illnesses and people who have limited incomes so they can afford health care insurance in the private sector,” Bowles told the panel during an exchange with Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). “And that didn’t exist before the Affordable Health Care Act. That means that people 65, 66, 67 will still be able to get health care insurance. So as I think about it I could support raising the health care age for Medicare since we have other coverage available under the Affordable Health Care Act.”

In private budget negotiations earlier this year with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), President Obama entertained the same idea — a slow increase in the Medicare retirement age — provided Boehner find votes for over $1 trillion in new revenues. The discussions quickly fell apart.

The proposal infuriates progressives, and other defenders of single-payer Medicare, who note that the proposal is regressive — hitting elderly minorities and poor people who have lower life expectancies hardest — and shifts costs on to seniors, states, employers, and other federal programs. And it doesn’t save much money.
Ok, so it's not just that Kerry is proposing benefit cuts to medicare, but the argument he is using is particularly maddening. His logic: because of Obama's health care bill (you know, the one that very well may not exist after 2012), we should begin to dismantle Medicare, the only thing resembling a good health care system that we have in this country.

This is bringing back all of my angry health care bill emotions, so bare with me for a minute. During the negotiations, there was a step by step argument that supporters of the bill used to ridicule the complaints of those that were seriously concerned that it didn't address the fundamental problem in our health care system (which to many of us, is the lack of genuine competition to private health insurance).

First we were told that expanding medicare and single payer were great, just not feasible, and that a shitty public option that couldn't even be tied to medicare rates was the best we could do. With hopes that it might be improved later, many people reluctantly accepted this compromise, and figured that strengthening the stranglehold that private insurance has over our system is worth it, as long as something resembling genuine competition could happen in the future (this made sense to me at the time? What the fuck was I thinking?)

We all know how this ended, with Lieberman killing a medicare buy in, and the Obama administration having negotiated away the public option early in the summer while falsely claiming it didn't have the votes to make it in the final bill. So we ended up with a bill that further regulates our shitty private system, while fundamentally cementing it's place in our health care system, with no expansion of medicare or a public option in sight. A lot of people begrudgingly excepted this, thinking this was the best our system could do, and that at least 30 million more people would have access to health insurance who didn't have it before.

But let's be clear about one thing: Never, ever during the endless year that we debated health care, did anyone make the argument that the shit sandwich the were proposing was just as good as medicare, which is exactly what John Kerry is saying. He's proposing we dismantle the closest thing we have to a good health care system in this country, and using Obama's far from good (and may not even be attempted) health care bill as the justification.

And think of the payoff! Now that we've spent 2 years parroting right wing proposals to hurt the economy... DEFICITS ARE FINALLY OFF THE TABLE!

Why are the off the table? Because we said so! Is there even a table? Maybe. Is there anything stopping us or the Republicans from trying to destroy medicare and social security further? Well, no, but you see, they're off the table now, and that means something!

It's also fairly ironic that two years after getting our hearts broken by Douche Lieberman's refusal to vote for the medicare buy in, the Democrats are now proposing a reveres medicare buy in, where shitty private insurance replaces your ability to get medicare.

Everyone who questioned the administration's embrace of austerity has to admit that going from proposals to expand our nation's only successful health care program to proposals that severely weaken it in only 2 years' time is damn impressive! Heckuva job guys!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fearing Democracy

The prime minister of Greece is attempting to put the latest austerity package from the IMF/EU/ECB up for a national referendum vote.

He is now facing a no confidence vote.

Austerity is so awesome, what is everyone afraid of?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

General Strike!

Insanely busy, and had a pretty incredible last couple of days. In the meantime, keep your eyes out for this tomorrow:
OAKLAND -- From schools and downtown stores to the nation's fifth busiest port, Oakland is bracing for Wednesday's citywide general strike, a hastily planned and ambitious action called by Occupy protesters a day after police forcibly removed their City Hall encampment last week.

Occupy Oakland has since returned to Frank Ogawa Plaza, but the leaderless group is still asking workers and students in the city to take the day off to come downtown and protest economic inequality and corporate greed.

Major goals will be protesting at banks or corporations that refuse to shut down for the day, then marching in the evening to the Port of Oakland to try to shut down the night shift.

Some employees and businesses downtown, where the core activities are scheduled, intend to participate, while others plan to carry on as normal - hoping there won't be a resumption of last week's violent clashes between protesters and police.
General strike = HUGE fucking deal. Occupy Oakland's call is bold as hell. Best wishes to everyone in the bay area!