Posts Tagged 'Political Wonks':
Our Invisible Revolution (Blogpost)
Tue, 10/29/2013 - 10:05 “Did you ever ask yourself how it happens that government and capitalism continue to exist in spite of all the evil and trouble they are causing in the world?” the anarchist Alexander Berkman wrote in his essay “The Idea Is the Thing.” “If you did, then your answer must have been that it is because the people support those institutions, and that they support them because they believe in them.”
Far from posing a progressive alternative, the Democratic Party represses the revolutionary energy of workers to keep them firmly within the system. Many of us on the left have been kettled at demonstrations: surrounded by a wall of police, herded into a small area, and prevented from reaching our goal. The term is a translation of kesseln, the German military tactic of enclosing an enemy force within a tight cordon of troops and gradually wearing it down rather than attacking it directly.
What is a revolution? We used to think we knew. Revolutions were seizures of power by popular forces aiming to transform the very nature of the political, social, and economic system in the country in which the revolution took place, usually according to some visionary dream of a just society. Nowadays, we live in an age when, if rebel armies do come sweeping into a city, or mass uprisings overthrow a dictator, it’s unlikely to have any such implications; when profound social transformation does occur—as with, say, the rise of feminism—it’s likely to take an entirely different form.
How Corruption Is Strangling U.S. Innovation (Blogpost)
by James Allworth | 8:00 AM April 26, 2013 Tesla. Uber. Netflix. Most economies would kill to have a set of innovators such as these. And yet at every turn, these companies are running headlong into regulation (or lack thereof) that seems designed to benefit incumbents. The reason? The devastating impact of money in politics and how it discourages disruptive innovation among new businesses. Click through this explainer to learn more about legal bribery and U.S. competitiveness:
Letter to my Congressman (Blogpost)
Sold out and left to die are the majority of Americans by the people serving in the federal government. More so, and to hold exact truth, the federal government is an invading, foreign influenced, Empire which is at war with the decent people of the USA. Congressman, you are part of this un-American force bent on devastating the citizens of this country. A state of war exists here, in the United States of America. The war is real and it’s un-Acceptable. How many more people of this country will be killed and murdered by the federal government?
Thursday, March 28, 2013 There's certainly a palpable feeling that bureaucratic scale is simply outrunning our rate of regulatory evolution. If so, either systemic collapse or massively disruptive reform is imminent. The vast majority fear it's the former. Our current methods aren't driving results and we aren't changing our methods! Have we already lost control?
Private indebtedness, unlike government deficit expenditure, binds the majority of individuals more tightly to the wage labor relation. Workers with mortgages or other debt obligations will be more subservient in relation to their employers, and less likely to risk their present positions in negotiations over wages and conditions.
Obama, Housing and the Next Big Heist (Blogpost)
counterpunch.org | February 15-17, 2013 For those who missed President Obama’s latest giveaway to the Bank Mafia, we’ll repeat what he said here. This is an excerpt from Tuesday’s State of the Union Speech: “Part of our rebuilding effort must also involve our housing sector. Today, our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. Home prices are rising at the fastest pace in six years, home purchases are up nearly 50 percent, and construction is expanding again.
Why we need a new story that gives meaning to the world By Charles Eisenstein | December 29, 2012 Every culture has a Story of the People to give meaning to the world. Part conscious and part unconscious, it consists of a matrix of agreements, narratives, and symbols that tell us why we are here, where we are headed, what is important, and even what is real. I think we are entering a new phase in the dissolution of our Story of the People, and therefore, with some lag time, of the edifice of civilization built on top of it.
The Real David Petraeus Scandal (Blogpost)
The circumstances of Petraeus's departure from the CIA are a little alarming. But the circumstances of his arrival at the CIA a year ago were more troubling. by Robert Wright | The Altlantic | Nov 12 2012, 5:56 PM ET ...The militarization of the CIA raises various questions. For example, if the CIA is psychologically invested in a particular form of warfare--and derives part of its budget from that kind of warfare--can it be trusted to impartially assess the consequences, both positive and negative, direct and indirect?
2012 US Elections: Obamney vs. Rombama (Blogpost)
War, economic collapse, and personal devastation await Americans no matter who they vote for – and what we should do instead. By Tony Cartalucci | Global Research, August 25, 2012
by Matt Taibbi | September 20, 2012 Wall Street lobbyists are awesome. I’m beginning to develop a begrudging respect not just for their body of work as a whole, but also for their sense of humor. They always go right to the edge of outrageous, and then wittily take one baby-step beyond it. And they did so again last night, with the passage of a new House bill (HR 2827), which rolls back a portion of Dodd-Frank designed to protect cities and towns from the next Jefferson County disaster.
by Kevin Carson on Aug 24, 2012 in The Art of the Possible - Recovered Since the general theme of this blog is an anti-authoritarian entente – or even coalition – of diverse liberal and libertarian elements, one question that comes to mind is: “What are the most objectionable features of both establishment libertarianism, and establishment liberalism, from the standpoint of achieving such a coalition?”
by Matt Stoller | Wednesday, September 5, 2012 As the Democratic Convention continues, and generates positive headlines due to competent storytelling and effective use of show business tactics, it’s important to recognize that the ultimate meat of governing – policy – is disconnected from the election. It’s not that the election doesn’t matter to people, because clearly, people care deeply about which icon is on their TV telling them about their political system. But recognize that the showbiz is not the policy, that the showbiz isn’t even related to the policy.
By Guest Writer for End the Lie Everybody likes to have hope, myself included, so that’s what every politician promises come election time: hope and change. In fact, it’s not over-simplifying to say that the candidate that wins the election is the one that convinces the most people that he will bring hope and change. He never actually does of course, but if he’s a good talker and convinces enough people, he wins. There seems to be a quality in most of us, a soft spot in our consciousness like the one in a baby’s head, which, if pressed or stroked in the right way, reduces us to giggling children with mouths full of candy. I call that spot “The Hope Button.”
By Dan Froomkin | August 27, 2012 To the extent that there has been any attention paid to public policy issues amid all the mud-slinging in the 2012 presidential campaign, the most frequent subject has been jobs—and which candidate can create more of them over the next four years. So far, that debate mostly involves attacking the other guy, rather than advancing any real solution. The Obama campaign has been trying to define Mitt Romney as an effete champion of outsourcing (with some justification) while the Romney camp has dwelled on Barack Obama’s failure to reignite the job market (also with some justification, though in some significant part the failure is because of GOP obstruction).
Middle-class confusion about class war (Blogpost)
by George Lakey | August 28, 2012
September 17 (Blogpost)
Occupy started on the 17th of September, correct? What else, long ago, happened on the 17th of September? You've got 60 seconds to answer, GO! Don't look below. The proposed new Constitution was finished and signed, in convention, 1787, then sent to Congress which then called for each state to call ratifying conventions. Coincidence? There are no coincidences, only connections.
My Response to the TPP Response e-mail (Blogpost)
I faxed this to my Rep., however, it was after they took their recess. Dear Fellow-Citizen, Since Wilson spoke of this same subject 100 years ago, you know, about our domestic markets not being sufficient to sustain "... Our industries...", and the need for expansion abroad. He too voiced this notion of imperative, "The economic imperatives,...." ** So, again, and more strongly - HOW DO WE KEEP EXPANDING ON AN FINITE PLANET?
Dear Citizen-7 (Blogpost)
Dear Citizen, When citizens of a society have no or little control over their government, there is little or no actual legitimate and legal government, because government, by definition, protects the people of the society which created it, and without control over government, people can not be protected from government acting against them.
The Concupiscence of Hierarchy (Blogpost)
Posted by Kevin Carson on Aug 9, 2012 Shrinking or dismantling the state through political processes — running candidates, lobbying against various policies, etc. — is mostly a waste of time. The system’s rules are set up to favor the interests of those inside the corporate-state power structure, against those on the outside proposing fundamental change. And the big corporate players that benefit from the interventionist state will always have more lawyers and money to play the game with. But outside pressure on the state as a side-effect of shifts in public consciousness and culture — and using that pressure to exacerbate and encourage the divisions that inevitably emerge within all elites — may be very fruitful indeed.
Paper on Anti-Democracy Decision (Blogpost)
Here's a paper on the Citizens United decision advocating its reversal. It may be worthwhile to read. This person's wording may be useful in explaining the issue to others. Plus there are 474 footnotes to back up his proposition.
The Myth of the Greater Good (Blogpost)
Wendy McElroy · August 11, 2012 In entry-level philosophy class, a professor will often present a scenario that seems to challenge the students’ perspective on morality. The argument runs something as follows: “The entire nation of France will drop dead tomorrow unless you kill your neighbor who has only one day to live. What do you do?” Or “You could eliminate cancer by pressing a button that also kills one healthy person. Do you do so?” The purpose is to create a moral dilemma. The questions pit your moral rejection of murder against your moral guilt for not acting to save millions of lives.
Time after time, Obama's lawyers defending the NDAA's section 1021 affirm our worst fears about its threat to our liberty by Tangerine Bolen | guardian.co.uk | Friday 10 August 2012 09.00 EDT I am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial.
Number 5 (Blogpost)
Dear Fellow-Citizen, One of the errors raised about our Constitution of 1787 is it didn't do anything for women's rights. True. I agree. There are no positive parts declaring a single thing regarding women. There is nothing prohibitory towards women either. The Constitution never references men or women, male or female, etc. Only with the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, is there a reference to the right to vote for male inhabitants who are citizens.
Number 3 (Blogpost)
Dear Fellow-Citizen, Federal Usurpations, by Franklin Pierce, 1908, has some interesting parts. You'll need to get past the male-centric language of the period. He was a lawyer writing in response to T. Roosevelt's progressive agenda. While progressivism is in vogue today, it was then too. Roosevelt also railed against some of the same problems which occupy rails against today.
Number 2 (Blogpost)
Dear Fellow-Citizen, The purpose of my last post was to show the size of the non-voting block. It's of a significant size to ask several questions:
To Whom It May Concern (Blogpost)
Dear Fellow-Citizen, After much research, some conclusions regarding the political situation of this thing commonly referred to as the United States are presented below.
Then, Who DID Build It, Mr. President? (Blogpost)
by Anthony Gregory | Research Editor, The Independent Institute | 07/24/2012 9:36 am Conservatives have had a field day over Obama's comments in Roanoke, Virginia, where the president said: If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.
One-Sided Contracts (Blogpost)
by Kevin Carson | Center for a Stateless Society | Jun 20, 2012 A Twitter friend facetiously raised the question today of whether the Constitution is America’s “Terms of Service,” following up with “[Expletive]. I knew I should have read the fine print instead of quick scrolling down to the bottom and hitting ‘Agree.’”
Prisons, privatization, patronage (Blogpost)
By Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist | June 22, 2012 3:42 p.m. Over the past few days, The New York Times has published several terrifying reports about New Jersey's system of halfway houses - privately run adjuncts to the regular system of prisons. The series is a model of investigative reporting, which everyone should read. But it should also be seen in context. The horrors described are part of a broader pattern in which essential functions of government are being both privatized and degraded.
The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia (Blogpost)
How America's biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy - until they were caught on tape By Matt Taibbi | RollingStone.com | June 21, 2012
What is the State? What is Society? (Blogpost)
Wendy McElroy · June 16, 2012 Last Saturday’s column distinguished between two strategies for achieving personal freedom from an invasive state: “Gulching” and “Going Galt.” Gulching, named after Galt’s Gulch in Atlas Shrugged, means withdrawing from society into an isolated community. Going Galt, named after the early strategy of John Galt in the same novel, means removing your support from the state without leaving society. For example, a businessman might retire rather than deal with ruinous taxes, a maze of regulations and bureaucratic paperwork.
On Leaving Cable News (Blogpost)
Posted by Dylan Ratigan | MoneyOutPack.org | June 11, 2012 Dear Friends, I left a fifteen year career in financial journalism amid the crisis of 2008. I did this to join the traditional cable news ranks with a clear goal of revealing the ruthless truth about our biggest problems and telling the inspiring stories of those who are resolving them despite all odds. After three years at MSNBC, two national roadshows and one book, (and a couple of rants), my objections to our current political process and our dominance-at-all-costs culture that gives us all less, while we pay more is well documented.
Never Give In (Blogpost)
Never give up.
America's Rising Shadow Wars (Blogpost)
President Obama has expanded secret military operations worldwide—a policy that carries serious risks. By Andrew Bacevich | Tue May. 29, 2012 12:51 PM PDT This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website. Click here for our 2008 interview with Andrew Bacevich, and here for some of his reading recommendations.
It may be to a lesser extent than the Republican candidate, but the US president is a frontman for financial interests by Mehdi Hasan | guardian.co.uk | Thursday 24 May 2012 Poor Mitt Romney. Despite defeating a weird and wacky line-up of candidates in a gruelling Republican primary race, and despite selling himself as "the CEO president", he can't seem to shake off his image as a slash-and-burn private equity boss, a modern-day incarnation of Gordon Gekko.
The Rise of the New Economy Movement (Blogpost)
Activists, theorists, organizations and ordinary citizens are rebuilding the American political-economic system from the ground up. by Gar Alperovitz | AlterNet | May 20, 2012 As our political system sputters, a wave of innovative thinking and bold experimentation is quietly sweeping away outmoded economic models. In 'New Economic Visions', a special five-part AlterNet series edited by Economics Editor Lynn Parramore in partnership with political economist Gar Alperovitz of the Democracy Collaborative, creative thinkers come together to explore the exciting ideas and projects that are shaping the philosophical and political vision of the movement that could take our economy back. # # #
by Barbara Ehrenreich Individually the poor are not too tempting to thieves, for obvious reasons. Mug a banker and you might score a wallet containing a month’s rent. Mug a janitor and you will be lucky to get away with bus fare to flee the crime scene. But as Business Week helpfully pointed out in 2007, the poor in aggregate provide a juicy target for anyone depraved enough to make a business of stealing from them.
We Have Reached Peak Government (Blogpost)
by Charles Hugh Smith | OfTwoMinds.com | May 17, 2012 As the foundations that supported an expansive centralized State crumble, the entire centralized State is revealed as unsustainable: We have reached Peak Government. In previous entries this week, I have detailed the profound unsustainability of government pensions and entitlements such as Medicare. These are symptoms are a larger phenomenon: Peak Government, the realization that Central States cannot sustain their current budgets or future promises.
Why Barack Obama is the More Effective Evil (Blogpost)
No matter how much evil Barack Obama actually accomplishes during his presidency, people that call themselves leftists insist on dubbing him the Lesser Evil. Not only is Obama not given proper credit for out-evil-ing George Bush, domestically and internationally, but the First Black President is awarded positive grades for his intentions versus the presumed intentions of Republicans. As the author says, this “is psycho-babble, not analysis. No real Left would engage in it.” Why Barack Obama is the More Effective Evil by Glen Ford at the Left Forum
Brother Love's Show (Blogpost)
MEET THE NEW HYPER-HAWK PARTY “Hot August night And the leaves hangin' down And the grass on the ground smellin' – sweet” In the election of 2008, the U.S. sought to elect a candidate, not based upon merits (for he had virtually none of those), not based upon experience (for he had virtually none of that either), but on a single strand of hope that somehow he would bring change; somehow an inept, inexperienced individual who came from nowhere could fulfill a litany of grandiose promises which he, like a traveling evangelist healing the lame, shouted from the pulpit. “ “Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies And everyone goes, Everyone knows,
The Emperor is Naked (Blogpost)
Source: Karen Roche and JT Long of The Gold Report (5/4/12)
Obamacare’s Contract Problem (Blogpost)
By George F. Will | The Washington Post | Published: March 23 2012 On Monday the Supreme Court begins three days of oral arguments concerning possible — actually, probable and various — constitutional infirmities in Obamacare. The justices have received many amicus briefs, one of which merits special attention because of the elegant scholarship and logic with which it addresses an issue that has not been as central to the debate as it should be.
The Money Masters Are Living in Fear (Blogpost)
By Rudy Avizius | 2012 Feb 15, 2012 - 07:05 AM “Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry and commerce…and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.” – President James Garfield, 2 weeks before his assassination.
By Anthony Gregory | Wednesday February 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM PST Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in attempting to highlight an emphasis on the middle class in his platform, said a politically foolish thing. “I’m not concerned about the very poor,” he said. “We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it.” In an apparent effort to soften the harshness of his remark, he added: “We have a very ample safety net and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. But we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor.”
by John T. Burke, Jr. | TheCenterLane | January 26th, 2012 It’s become a stale joke about the Obama administration. Every time a demand is made for the White House to take decisive action on an important issue ... the President’s solution is always the same: Form a committee to study the matter.
by Derek Thompson | The Atlantic | Jan 26 2012, 10:58 AM ET President Obama's State of the Union speech was surprisingly bullish on reviving manufacturing, prompting one very clever person on Twitter to say something along the lines of: "Democrats want the economy of the 1950s, while Republicans just want to live there." It got me thinking: What did the economy look like in the 1950s? If you could organize all the jobs into buckets and compare the paper-shuffling professional services bucket to the manufacturing bucket, what would they look like around 1950, and how has the picture changed in the last 60 years?
Tuesday 17 January 2012 by: Rob Hager and James Marc Leas, Truthout | News Analysis
by Jim Horn | Published on Friday, January 20, 2012 by Common Dreams In a piece for The Nation last week, Linda Darling-Hammond demolished most of the remaining chunks of any size within the crumbling structure of corporate education's most ironically-titled reform ever -- No Child Left Behind. NCLB is now rubble, even though many unseen victims continue to be buried beneath its mammoth pile.
by Ellen Brown | OWSnews.org | January 15, 2012 An electronic database called MERS has created defects in the chain of title to over half the homes in America. Counties have been cheated out of millions of dollars in recording fees, and their title records are in hopeless disarray. Meanwhile, foreclosed and abandoned homes are blighting neighborhoods. Straightening out the records and restoring the homes to occupancy is clearly in the public interest, and the burden is on local government to do it. But how? New legal developments are presenting some innovative alternatives.
The Tax Breakdown Project (Blogpost)
I've long had the idea of a tax form that looked like a really, really long public services shopping list, with a line in front of each proposed item that wanted funding from The People. To pay taxes, you would divide your total income by whatever, and then write how much you were willing to pay for each service right there on the line in front of each item. Once all the forms were collected and datacrunched, the total given to each service would be allotted to that service as an operating budget for the coming year, and the services that The People got would be exactly what The People were willing to pay for. I had that idea when I was a teenager, but I never really thought seriously about what that form might actually look like. Until tonight.
NDAA: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (Blogpost)
Submitted by Word. on Tue, 01/03/2012 - 2:07pm
By Golem XIV on December 15, 2011 Is there a plan B? That question is usually asked of governments regarding their attempts to ‘save’ the banks domiciled in their country. But has anyone asked if the banks have a plan B? Does anyone think that if our governments fail to keep to their austerity targets and fail to keep bailing out the banking sector, that the banks will just shrug and say, “Well, thanks for trying” and accept their fate? Or do you think the banks might have a Plan B of their own?
Post 9/11 Neo-Fascism (Blogpost)
by Citizen Journalist Tim Pool | OccupyLosAngeles.org
Nice While it Lasted (Blogpost)
Indefinite Military Detention Measure Passes On Bill Of Rights Day from OccupyLosAngeles.org “ . . . they say that granting the military explicit authority to investigate and detain terrorism suspects -- including Americans -- is vital to ensuring the nation can keep up with an adaptable and changing enemy threat.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/15/indefinite-military-detention-b...
Tuesday, December 13, 2011 By Matt Stoller, former Senior Policy Advisor to Rep. Alan Grayson and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. Cross posted from New Deal 2.0 The FOMC is far more secretive than most government agencies, and after reading the transcripts of its meetings, it’s not hard to see why. The people that really run the world are not elected, but sit on the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve (FOMC). This is the crew of Fed insiders — mostly regional reserve bank presidents hired by banks as well as finance-friendly Fed governors appointed by the president — who set monetary policy. They are the ones who decide whether interest rates go up or down and whether to heat or cool the economy.
The 1% Election (Blogpost)
Posted by Tom Engelhardt at 5:58pm, December 11, 2011. Their Bread, Our Circus Sometimes words outlive their usefulness. Sometimes the gap between changing reality and the names we’ve given it grows so wide that they empty of all meaning or retain older meanings that only confuse us. “Election,” “presidential election campaign,” and “democracy” all seem like obvious candidates for name-change.
As of late, I am beginning to think the U.S. congress has designs on abolishing the United States Constitution. You know, that piece of paper they took an oath to support and defend? Too bad congress refuses to honor that oath of office they took, but, instead they choose to wipe their asses with it. Can you imagine what we, the working-class voters, would stand to lose if congress succeeds in abolishing our Constitution? The very foundation this country was built on? Here's what we stand to lose: Women's right to vote, presidential term limits, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, protection from cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to a fair trial. That's just the tip of the iceberg! Here's the current list of Constitutional amendments:
What OWS and the Tea Party have in Common (Blogpost)
It should be immediately and mathematically apparent to anyone who considers the situation for half a moment that in order to truly be "the 99%" we must give up all disputes that divide the union of right and left. To put it metaphorically, this plane will never get off the ground if it's missing either of its wings. Or, to put it in more simply: Not Left. Not Right. UP. NOTE: This graphic came from an anonymous source. If anyone knows the original author to credit, please let me know!