It’s pretty simple: you can’t advance a progressive agenda, or even one you call “liberal”, that claims to want to combat inequality AND go all out to ram through the Trans Pacific Partnership using the odious “Fast track” authority. Here are the contradictions.
In the midst of the Greek chorus demanding that everyone salute in awe and reverence to the tax proposals set to be unveiled in stage-managed “don’t actually look behind the curtain” fashion, it’s worth a pause to consider what these ideas mean in the big picture of class warfare and the crumbling of the country: meek stuff, clearly driven by the very Democratic/liberal pollsters who got the country into the mess in the first place by being cowards, a bit discriminatory and just long-term…bleh…
That would be the Afghanistan War. Putting aside the death and destruction from this immoral folly, if you want to know where the money for bridges went, or the money …
I detect a president who thinks he’s found a very potent political argument. Having gone soft on the bankers, letting all the big fish skate after wrecking the economy, the president has figured out that people just won’t stand for a tax system that leaves regular people holding the tab while CEOs figure out how to screw the public, day after day. And, so, he’s now personally calling for an end to so-called tax “inversions”
The president just keeps spending our money, his time and a chunk of political capital on the putrid Trans Pacific Partnership, one of the newest corporate-backed trade deal–“newest” because every trade deal since NAFTA has been all about protecting corporate interests. Nothing seems to move this president to understand that this is a horrendous deal. And, while a lot of focus has been paid to the TPP, another very bad deal is in the works between the U.S. and Europe–and it will potentially make millions of people sick. Or kill them.
I wonder what the genius in the White House, who organized the president’s celebration of Wal-Mart this past week, will say now. Or was it the president who thought, “gee, Wal-Mart, now there’s a model to hold up”. Just to aid anyone who had any doubts about the kind of company the Beast of Bentonville really is, Wal-Mart is happy to effectively lie to make sure its executives get their huge bonuses.
Each day comes another example of stupid, confusing, contradictory messaging from the president. Maybe the whole thing about inequality and raising the minimum wage is, for the president, just an exercise in politics. But, man, get the fucking politics right. Which does not include embracing Wal-Mart.
It’s sort of a tiring exercise. Each time some so-called “free trade” deal comes up, the president at the time (read: Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama) trots out a whole series of phony arguments to make the case for a very bad agreement–bad if you are anything but a corporation. You have to willfully ignore past evidence to swallow the same old tired arguments used to ram through these crappy agreements. But, let’s celebrate an anniversary here to trumpet the collapse of any plausible argument being used to sell the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
With one hand, he giveth a few dollars to the people, and with the other hand, he showers huge corporations with a tax gift that is astounding in its…audacity? That’s how I suggest you can look at the president’s executive order to pay more workers overtime (a good thing) versus his budget proposal to…pay attention now..CUT corporate tax rates.
I don’t mind disagreeing with opponents on the merits of one proposal versus another. But, I have very little tolerance for just lying about the facts or, at best, muddling the truth about the reality. And, so, it is with healthcare: the continuing myth, promoted by both the political and media jabbering low-minds, that the president and his former Secretary of State both made the same mistake on health care–they opted for something too “complex” “inflexible”, “secretive” or “socialistic”, or a combination of all of the aforementioned descriptions.
It’s utter nonsense. They did make the same mistake–but it had nothing to do with complexity. It was entirely their immoral unwillingness to confront two powerful industries that have relentlessly killed hundreds of thousands of people, either by bankrupting those people or literally denying them care.
The lunacy of a small group of tin-foil Republicans has caused a great deal of damage — but not in the way most of the discussion unfolded in the media. You see, the lunacy simply obscured the shellacking everyone of us will probably have to absorb in the coming months.
The typical theme you might read in the papers goes something like this: the off-their-rocker Republicans (and they are) shut down the government because of a maniacal obsessive hate of Obamacare but the president and Democrats, particularly in the Senate, are just tough bastards and are holding the line. The problem is: the Democrats have already given in when you look at the big picture.
Really? The White House is saying to Detroit basically “take a hike” when it comes to a bailout — but, don’t worry, pension holders in Detroit, you have a defender…the Republican Michigan attorney general. This is bizarre and troubling.
Every day, if you pay attention, we can get a teachable moment. Today’s teachable moment gives us this: if you are a CEO of a bank, a CEO who makes millions of dollars, and you are in financial trouble — trouble of your own making — you can ring up the White House and, presto, the coffers of the Federal Reserve open up to extend you loans in the billions of dollars. On the other hand, if you are a worker making a modest income, or you are now retired, and you live in a city ravaged by the so-called “free market”, a city that files for bankruptcy, and you ask the White House for help, you are told, “sorry, buddy, you are on your own.”
First things first: I am not at all shocked or surprised by the stupidity flowing from the White House. If you are, you have not been paying attention for the past 5-6 years, or you’ve engaged in willful denial. But, the moronic, and immoral, proposals on Social Security do give us a wonderful moment of clarity about politics and the press.
Yesterday, I wrote that the president’s proposal to hike the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 was a meek proposal. And that it was pure rubbish to argue, as he did, that that hike would help people get ahead. Just to add today a bit more.
Well, bravo for the president for going to fight for a rise in the minimum wage. But, let’s be clear — this isn’t going to do much to raise people out of poverty.
I’m not a big fan of organized religion — a topic for another day perhaps — and I’m not even from the flock of the New Testament (as on old friend, activist and Rev Dyson, used to whisper in faux sotto voce when introducing me, “he’s from the other testament”). But, forgiving is a human quality. And, when you have the power to really forgive, you would think people would jump at it. Some politicians do, some don’t.
I wish this phony debate about the debt and deficit “crisis” would be over because, truthfully, I’m running out of clever new ways to call this bi-partisan exercise the stupidity it truly is. So, sigh, here we go again — but I can leave it to others to call it by its true name.
To make the point again, this is a very, very simple equation: eliminate the scourge of the NRA, drain the swamp of its blood money and you stop the murder of children. Period. And so the question that must be asked of at least the Democratic Party: what is the party going to do to destroy the NRA’s ability to keep advancing an agenda that promotes gun mayhem in the streets and the murder of children and other innocent people?
Some days, I find the whole thing ludicrous and immoral. Some days, I laugh. And sometimes it’s a little of both. As in today’s installment of fiscal Kabuki Theater.
This is no great shakes, which I will point out in an upcoming post. But, ok, it’s better than nothing.
Barack Obama will be re-elected president Tuesday night, and probably by a relatively comfortable electoral vote margin. The question for workers in the US, and around the world, is: does it matter who wins?
This is a simple straightforward post. I have argued that the election was over in the Spring. But, how much was that picture Obama had with Chris Christie worth? I reckon a 300-plus electoral vote win.
The fun part of an election is not listening to the idiots on television or obsessing about polling — those are not things that win elections. It’s the knocking on doors that matters. And that’s why, personally, I don’t worry much about Election Day.
I had a piece in today’s The Australian. Mainly geared to an Australian audience, it made one basic point: not much has changed in the presidential race.
Kind of funny but here’s a simple question: have any of the progressive pundits wringing their hands over the president’s lackluster debate showing ever actually worked on the grassroots part of a campaign? I think the answer is clear.
It’s not surprising that a growing number of workers around the globe are losing faith in political leaders. After all, the economic debate often seems completely divorced from the realities of workers’ lives, whether it’s blaming workers for national budget squeezes actually caused by bankers or CEOs imposing mass layoffs to cover up obscene executive compensation at the heart of bottom-line revenue shortfalls. The debate in the United States is a good example.
Right after the now-infamous debate (or, exchange of sounds bites), I wrote a bit about the fallacy of the exchange on taxes. Just a quick clean up here to underscore an important point — both candidates support, in one form or another, extending some or all of the Bush tax cuts. And that is sheer lunacy.
I guess it’s a function of inflation and/or a numbness to reality but the rhetoric about money isn’t what is used to be. Back in the day, Republican Senator Everett Dirksen (whose name probably means nothing to the shallow commentators who think political history started with Ronald Reagan) is alleged to have said, ” A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money”. Dirksen, who served in the 1950s and 1960s (and probably could never win a Republican primary in today’s wing-nut world), would have been a piker by today’s standards of throwing around figures without regard to reality. Which brings me to the Romney lie about taxes–which the president got right, admittedly, in a clumsy way, but most liberal-progressive pundits are getting wrong.
So, it’s not all bad news in the world. Some sanity prevails when real-life economics, not blather about the glories of the "free market", triumphs and one can hope …
If I was a "one percenter", I’d love the debate under way in the U.S. right now. What’s not to love? You whine and cry about the "Buffett Rule", …
I have a piece in Tuesday’s The Australian (if you are in the U.S. and you catch this on Monday, hey, it’s the time machine effect), basically, arguing that …
Really. When I read The New York Times editorials about the economy, or the truly shallow reporting from most of the paper’s reporters, often I think: the people at …
A few months ago, I spent 5-6 hours interviewing Paul Krugman for Playboy magazine. It’s now on-line here. He speaks candidly–surprise–about the economic misdeeds of Wall Street, the foolishness …
You may join me in the celebration of failure–a celebration I have been urging we look forward to for a very long time. Do not listen to the hand-wringing …