Democrats

Democrats selling ownership rights to the Koch brothers?

I had a rare morning, today, that didn't require two cups of coffer to fire me up for the day.

Instead, NPR provided the spark for my engines when they reported a piece on the status of hiring and focussed on government jobs.   And as has become routine anymore, NPR set the tone of the report with reference to an 'expert' at one of the Koch Brothers' agenda-laundromats, the policy factory of the Cato Institute.

Unfortunately I'm very short for time this morning and I could not devote the energy needed to ferret out the audio report with appropriate excerpts and analysis, for discussion here.  But it's the familiar talking point that government jobs and bureaucrats are unworthy, inefficient, and take what is rightfully due to the corporate person.

On what used to be the other hand, one of our ePluribusMedia friends added some nitro to my caffeine-free fuel mixture, elsewhere, by pointing me to a short piece @ Politico showing that the Kochs will soon hold a vertical political monopoly in this country, from the ground on up.

Michael Collins: Questions for The Money Party - Negative Job Growth for 11 Years

The Money Party is a very small group of enterprises and individuals who control almost all of the money and power in the United States.  They use their money and power to make more money and gain more power. It's not about Republicans versus Democrats.  The Money Party is an equal opportunity employer. It has no permanent friends or enemies, just permanent interests. Democrats are as welcome as Republicans to this party. It’s all good when you’re on the take and the take is legal. Economic Populist

Negative job growth for eleven years is the best evidence concerning our economic troubles.  There were 135 million jobs in 2000 for a workforce of 144 million.  Today, there are 139 million jobs for a workforce of 154 million.  That represents negative job growth when you factor in population growth.

Michael Collins: Obama Embraces The Money Party

Michael Collins

It's time for Plan B. The White House is about to be sold to the same people who bought it in 2008. The front page of today's New York Times says it all. President Obama is on the hunt for campaign cash and the Wall Street crowd represents his main target. After all, he and his "good friend Tim" (Geithner) delivered in the biggest way possible. Obama must be thinking that it's payback time! Pony up fellas.

This much is clear. There will be no federal prosecutions of Wall Street crooks for the 2008 financial collapse, no day of judgment for massive mortgage fraud before, during and after the housing bubble, and no representation for the people the in the White House, no matter who wins in 2012. Populist rhetoric will guarantee a place on the no-fly list for any who stray from the new party line.

The Times article resorts to irony right out of the gate:

"Mr. Obama, who enraged many financial industry executives a year and a half ago by labeling them “fat cats” and criticizing their bonuses, followed up the meeting with phone calls to those who could not attend." New York Times, June 13

Obama to Switch Party

Michael Collins
(Satire)

(Washington) President Barack Obama has confided his plans to become a registered Republican some time before the end of the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress. Speaking to his inner circle, he lamented failing to bring the two major parties together. One of his confidants reported Obama saying, "It's really just one party anyway and clearly the Republicans have the confidence of the people. I can finish my original mission much easier within the GOP." Sources wouldn't elaborate on what that mission is. (Image: juvetson)

Obama clearly signaled his intentions through two recent tactical moves. He relented on ending the Bush-era tax breaks for the top 1% of income earners. The 3% reduction in the top rate accounts for over $1.0 trillion in lost revenues. Prior to the 2010 midterm elections, Obama hinted that he opposed a renewal of the tax breaks. It looked like the president might win this one with speculation that the tax breaks would likely die due to the post midterm atmosphere.

Dem Benedict Arnolds Try to Kill Net Neutrality

Michael Collins

74 Democrats signed a joint letter to the FCC supporting internet throttling by Verizon, ATT and Comcast. Throttling lets carriers slow or block internet traffic. This is a clear attack on net neutrality.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just endorsed net neutrality. But The Money Party is busy buying votes. Here's a Top Ten list of the biggest rake-offs by the 74 Democrats. They had a total take of $2.8 million with an average of $37,000 a piece from industry sources and lobbyists. No telling how many jobs, trips, and other favors were provided. The Money Party is nothing, if not thorough.

Let your member of Congress know how you feel. Complaint letter to Congress

Shorter GOP, Better Dem response: It fits on a bumper sticker

Yes, it fits onto a bumper sticker:

GOP on Social Security and Medicare

And it's pointedly accurate...the last thing the GOP would ever want to see.

Hat-tip dmhlt 66 of DailyKos, from the diary by ericlewis0.

Bradblog - Tea Party Express II: Rise Of The Tea Bags

Parts I and II of Brad Friedman's report from the christening of the second wave of teabagging that has striked stricken struck set out across the country from this departure in Southern California.

Brad allows teabaggers to make their point (which is his point) in a very effective way: repeated invitations to enunciate, for example, the list of freedoms taken away under the Obama Administration, left embarrassing voids or the trailing ellipsis. 

The Health Care Debate: A Head Fake to Distract Us from Politics As Usual

A couple of nights ago, I watched Jane Hamsher, the founder and publisher of the progressive website Firedoglake.com make a startling statement. She was a guest on The Rachel Maddow Show and was speaking about the fact that members of the congressional progressive caucus had drawn a line in the sand regarding the need for a public option, “after it became clear that Rahm Emanuel and Max Baucus were trying to deal a public plan away to the AMA, the hospitals, Pharma in exchange for keeping the money out of Republican coffers in 2010.”  I stopped my DVR and replayed this portion of the interview a couple more times to make sure that I had heard her correctly. It all started to make sense. It made me think about the healthcare debate in a different way. I realized that this debate is not about us – the American people. It is about politics pure and simple.


Healthcare: Why Can't We Get the Congressional Option?

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

There's at least one thing that Republicans do much better than Democrats, and that's marketing their initiatives. It doesn't matter how regressive the idea, Republicans manage to frame it in a way that if you oppose it you look like you're either degenerate, or at the very least, un-American. For example, instead of accurately calling themselves "The Order of Religious Bigots Dedicated to Shoving Our Version of God Down America's Throat," they market their insanity as "The Moral Majority," and instead of being honest and calling themselves "The Public Vagina Brigade," they call themselves "The Right to Life" proponents (even though they're willing to let that very same life starve to death after it's born). Conservatives get a lot of milage out of their creativity in this area, and progressives would do well to follow suit.

The initiative to legalize same-sex marriage would have been much more marketable, for example, if it had been dubbed "The Right to Love."  And the same is true of healthcare reform. Proponents of a public option for healthcare could make life a lot more difficult for opponents in congress if instead of calling it "The Public Option" they simply dubbed it "The Congressional Option" - that way the issue would be self-explanatory. It would force every member of congress who placed the interest of the insurance industry over the welfare of his or her constituents to explain why they want to deny the American people the opportunity to opt into the exact same plan that congress and their families enjoy.

But I only bring this issue up as an introduction to a much more serious problem - demagoguery. All of the public manipulation above is symptomatic of a system that's out of control. It's a clear example of how politicians who are suppose to represent the people, are using marketing and public manipulation to feather their own nests.

The Binary Fallacy and the End of Both Political Parties

(Wash., DC)  The results of eight years of Bush-Cheney at the helm make the demise of the Republican Party an easy call.  Our financial system is on life support.  The major banks are insolvent, according to banking and legal authority William K. Black.  If they're not, they're in intensive care.

No matter how many trillions of dollars worth of infusions they receive, they're not making loans.  The economy is in a free fall with growth down 6% a quarter and job losses running at nearly  600,000 a month.  We're stuck in two catastrophic wars.  Despite President Obama's election, we're viewed with suspicion and disregard throughout the world.

The public knows which party bears the primary blame for all of this and they're not about to forget any time soon.  The Republican Party is headed for the political graveyard.

They're not going to rely on past achievements though.  Through their self-proclaimed national leader, the odious Rush Limbaugh, they've chosen to attack the first Latino nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, for being a "racist."  Former Oxycontin addict Limbaugh said, "She brings a form of bigotry and racism to the court."  He went on to say that nominating her was like nominating Klansman and Aryan Nation advocate David Duke for the highest court.

These charges are quite literally bizarre, particularly with Limbaugh calling anyone else a racist.  Newt Gingrich has joined Limbaugh in a duet of stupidity.  This is appropriate since Gingrich is the architect of the power and policies used by Republicans to drive the nation into its current crisis.

An Evening with William Greider and Friends

Last night Chris and I braved the incredible rush hour traffice in D.C. to attend a book-signing event for William Greider -- the book, Come Home America. The event was co-hosted by Campaign for America's Future Co-director,  Robert Borosage and the AFL, Executive Vice PresidentArlene Holt Baker at AFL National Headquarters.

Seating Franken and Burris: Memo to Congress

Seating Franken and Burris


Al Franken (D-MN) left and Roland Burris (D-IL) right
Image cc
Image cc

Memo to the U.S. Senate:
Try Following the Rules

Michael Collins

We've seen what happens when people don't follow the letter and intent of important laws, particularly those where there is a general consensus and an absence of moral ambiguity.  Consider our history from the implosion of Enron through stock market collapse.  This extreme damage was enabled by the deliberate defiance, evasion, and perversion of rules and laws, all in the service of personal gain for a very few.  Citizens lost $6 trillion in that episode of lawlessness.

President Bush and his administration consistently broke the laws of the United States by illegally tapping phones and emails, "selling" the Iraq invasion based on outright lies, and, in the case of six cabinet officials, participating in the "choreography" of torture sessions.  All of them found the Constitution a nuisance and rendered it meaningless by their actions.  The cost of these violations is incalculable.

A government gains legitimacy through the ascent to shared rules and laws by the vast majority of citizens.  No government can retain legitimacy, however, when the legislature fails to enforce and live by the very laws that they are sworn to protect.

Democrats and Republicans are now unified along party lines in their defiance of the laws.  Is this the new national unity we've been hearing about?

Senate Rules Kill Bailout, Foil Democracy Rigged Game Stops Vote on Bill

Senate Rules Kill Bailout, Foil Democracy

 

Rigged Game Stops Vote on Bill

 

Michael Collins

 

(Wash. DC)  The Unites States Senate voted down a "cloture" resolution last night killing the automaker bailout before it was even considered.  Failure to gain approval for cloture opened the bill up to an anticipated filibuster.  General Motors, the largest U.S. manufacturer, is in terrible shape financially and may not survive the month.   

The company has 270,000 employees.

Harry Reid (D-NV), the Senate Majority Leader, offered these stirring words:  "If there is no agreement that can be reached ... we have danced this tune long enough."  Dec. 12, 2008 Reid joined the majority of Republicans in opposing cloture.

Cloture resolutions require a 60% yes vote to pass.  A simple majority won't do.   The final Senate vote on cloture was 52 in favor, 35 opposed, with 12 not present.  The motion failed to meet the 60% standard by eight votes.  Even with those not present, the resolution would have likely failed.