DNC Convention Slogan: “Give Me More Time”

The Democratic National Convention’s message was simple: “Give Me More Time”. Every great speech, or bad speech for that matter, had at its core the argument that George W. Bush wrecked the economy, and slowly but surely, Barack Obama is repairing it. You might not feel it, but as Democratic partisan Paul Krugman notes, “there’s a pretty good case that the stage has been set for a much stronger recovery over the next few years.”

What is striking about the two conventions, and the commentary around it, is there is very little discussion of what Obama’s policies have actually been. Obama, through various programs centering on the Wall Street bailout, basically reinflated financial assets owned by the wealthy while foreclosing on everyone else. The data shows the result – inequality has gotten worse, faster, under Obama, than it did under Bush. There are new jobs, but they are sparse, and low-paying. Corporations are beginning to recognize that the end of the middle class is a permanent condition, and shifting their marketing to a “barbell” model, selling products to the high and low end. And today, while people are focusing on a poor jobs report, negotiations for the large and secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership, the so-called NAFTA on steroids, are going on in Virginia.

The reason there has been no discussion of this real agenda is because Romney agrees with it, as does most of the elite political class. The new shape of the American experiment is taking place.

The larger consequences of having two candidates who share similar policy ideas, who both believe in police state tactics to suppress whistle-blowers, who both are driven by their allegiance to a wealthy political class, are not acknowledged. It isn’t that American democracy is at risk. American democracy was at risk, perhaps four or eight or 12 years ago. Today, speaking of democracy in America is quaint — the country increasingly resembles an undemocratic state, with a free wealthy elite and a much larger poorer populace, constrained by monopolistic corporations that collude with the government.

In fact, the lesson of the 2012 election, if we are honest with ourselves, is simple, and disturbing. America is shifting from a democracy into an authoritarian state. This authoritarianism is soft, with some remnants of an open civil society, and there is as yet no violence used against domestic political actors. Nazi Germany we are not. But after 14 years of political crises, starting with the impeachment of Bill Clinton and the extreme financial deregulation of the late 1990s, it’s time to face the music about what kind of country we have become. The 2012 election is more than a contest of cynicism and disillusionment, it’s an unveiling of a new quasi-authoritarian political system in place of the traditional norms of democratic deliberation.

In this system, there are democratic spaces, but those are restricted to those who fund super PACs. Everyone else is sitting in a different kind of polity, a weird space where there is the possibility of voting, but no possibility of that vote mattering. Obama OMB chief Peter Orszag exemplified this contradiction when he called for mandatory voting, while at the same time calling for depoliticized commissions insulated from voters to make key policy decisions. This is the new model, the form of democracy without the content. Stripped of roughly $7 trillion of wealth in the form of lost home equity over the past four years, the broad mass of Americans effectively have no right to participate in policy deliberations, no access to an increasingly consolidated media, and, hemmed in by a corporate Supreme Court, less and less access to the courts. A peaceful attempt to petition the government for redress of grievances in the form of the Occupy movement was destroyed through the use of paramilitary police forces, mostly commanded by Democratic mayors. The toenail clippings of this new state are the 2012 elections, dominated by big money and a political class led by corrupt actors.

American politics is not broken, it is working well. It’s designed around rules that run the country a bit like a prison full of well-behaved people who mostly willingly submit to whatever it is the authorities want them to do, while ensuring that troublemakers get co-opted or spanked. The really rough stuff isn’t here yet for most people, but when we see another economic shock, it will get very ugly.

The Democratic Convention reflected this. There simply wasn’t any discussion of the real policy framework of the administration, just an argument that Obama needs more time to fix the mess left by Bush. In lacking a real conversation, in either convention, about where our democracy is headed, we are seeing that we in fact do not have one.

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About Matt Stoller

From 2011-2012, Matt was a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. He contributed to Politico, Alternet, Salon, The Nation and Reuters, focusing on the intersection of foreclosures, the financial system, and political corruption. In 2012, he starred in “Brand X with Russell Brand” on the FX network, and was a writer and consultant for the show. He has also produced for MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show. From 2009-2010, he worked as Senior Policy Advisor for Congressman Alan Grayson. You can follow him on Twitter at @matthewstoller.


  1. albrt

    I am reluctantly reconciling myself to the course of action taken by any self-respecting citizen of a banana republic where elections offer no real choice:


    1. Cindy Elmwood

      No. A vote for a third party is always better than no vote, which is indistinguishable from apathy. Find someone else to vote for. I’m voting third party this year for the first time in my 20+ years of presidential elections. Either of the Green Party or Libertarian candidates, different as they are from each other, are vastly preferable to Obomney at this point IMO.

      1. TK421

        Exactly. A boycott hurts a business because they need all the money they can get. But it’s meaningless to a politician who only wants 1 more vote than his opponent. Obama doesn’t want 60% ot 70% of registered voters to vote for him; he just wants 50% and change.

        Now, if millions of people voted for someone else, that might get his attention. And it might get the attention of a better candidate who was thinking of running.

        1. propertius

          He doesn’t even want that, TK. He wants 270 electoral votes – he doesn’t need a majority of the electorate for that.

      2. OMF

        Not so. A vote for a Third Party (almost always a libertarian/religious/wingnut movement) reinforces the perception that extreme choices are the only alternative.

        If people stop voting, sensible people with political views will see that there is a vaccuum which are realistic alternative can actually fill.

        You are better off not voting.

        1. JTFaraday

          No, with some possible exceptions, the Green Party is not that far off from the kind of “you and your families” rhetoric that, say, Hillary Clinton used to cart around on the D-Party campaign trail.

          It’s just the kind of thing pragmatically, as opposed to ideologically, oriented Americans want to hear from their politicians.

          The problem with it is that they’ve heard it so often, that they won’t be able to believe it much longer.

        2. TK421

          That’s utter nonsense. Barely 50% of people voted in the last few presidential elections, yet those millions of non-voters didn’t spur anyone to do anything. Have you ever, EVER, heard a politician say “I won the election, but I sure wish I’d received more voted”?

        1. different clue

          If three people came and two voted for One Candidate and the third voted for The Other Candidate, One Candidate would be declared the winner in a 66% landslide election.

          And it is doubtful you could drive the number of people voting all the way down to three. So it doesn’t seem to be a useful wish.

    2. Cugel

      Yes, of course. Holding your breath is always a great tactic! THAT will show them!

      The endless fallacy of the left is that elections are what matter, when elections have ALWAYS been about who holds power at the present moment, not about change.

      In every election we are always voting for the lesser of two evils. And that includes 1932 and 1936.

      You should go back and re-read a history of FDR and the New Deal if you want to learn about betrayal.

      There is no such thing. If American people allow the corporate fascists to run everything and take away all their wealth then that is what will happen.

      Voting is mandatory, unless you think that going back to the situation in the early 1820’s prior to the Jacksonian era when only a few percent of the white male population were allowed to vote is a good idea.

      Formal democracy is here for a reason and that reason is that no other system has long-term stability. Neither fascism nor communism can promote the long term interests of the top 1%. They always lead to instability.

      Of COURSE it will “get ugly” during the next economic collapse. The problem is whether the American people can recapture the police and military forces that will be used against them. Using the police against a few “hippies” is one thing, but even China has trouble finding military forces that will obey orders to shoot down large numbers of unarmed civilians.

      They had to import such troops from Mongolia into the capital during the Tiananmen Square Massacre because their ordinary troops were compromised by contact with the protesters. The same thing can happen in America.

      1. Carol Sterritt

        Uh, although I don’t know a great deal about the Great Depression, but one thing I do know – some thirty five states forbade foreclosure on a primary residence by the mid- 1930’s. This was done, of course, on the state legislature side of things. It proves how much more toxic the society has become in our day and age. Last year a piece of legislation was before the California legislature that would have taken away, just a wee little bit of the the banks’ ability to screw the average person. So what happens? The lobbyists move in, and in the end two Democrats capitulated, so the bill didn’t get passed.

      1. TK421

        That would be awesome!

        Look at it this way: in Nevada, voters can vote for “none of the above”. Naturally, the two legacy parties don’t like this and the Republican party has sued to remove “none of the above” from the ballot. They don’t care if people don’t vote–in fact they would prefer that to people voting for someone else.


    3. Westcoastliberal

      Please join me in expressing your displeasure with the cabal that took over our country in 2000 by voting for Jill Stein, Green party candidate for President.

    4. Ernest

      I have to disagree with the statement that: “American politics is not broken, it is working well.” Not only in fact is it broken….but its also highly disfunctional as well. It has been broken since the days of Mr. Nixon’s Watergate, and the sacred trust with its citizens has also been irreparably broken. Cynicism and skepticism has ruled the nation ever since and it does not bode well for a country still seeking its moral compass.

      1. Bev

        I believe most people have been or would easily be for the monetary reform where money is not debt to profit bankers but rather spent by government debt-free for the public good.

        I think in many ways voting and elections have been the same as the control fraud in place in the economy. Else wise, people would have already helped themselves, their neighbors, cities and nation.

        Please consider the following which may help us regain our democracy in order to regain our economic justice.


        United We Count!



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  2. TK421

    I just had to laugh: 96,000 jobs created last month, where some were predicting 150-200 thousand? Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from going mad.

  3. Jill

    That’s an excellent analysis Matt. For Democrats this harkens back to early days in the Obama adminstration. The saying was: “It takes a long time to turn the ship of state around.” That might make sense if the ship of state actually was being turned around. Instead, it was steered toward the bottom 90% of the iceberg.

    What competent person, truly intent on changing things, appoints the very people in charge of the disaster to high level posts in his administration? Who would do that? Only someone who agrees with those policies and plans to keep on implementing them. That is what did happen, that is what is happening and that is what will happen if Obama is reelected. I don’t understand why people won’t look at that. It’s surrealistic to think people will actually fall for a pitch that writes Obama’s term of office out of existence. It is known, it is knowable what he has done.

    Similarly, it is quite clear that Republicans share this financial “vision”. Yesterday I decided to name this by calling the presidents, DBA. Oligarchy, DBA Bush became DBA, Obama, could become DBA, Romeny (likely to stay DBA, Obama). Like Blackwater, the name changes but the hideous crimes remain.

    1. Westcoastliberal

      Jill, I’ve gone over this a million times and it seems to me the “Obama” we elected in 2008 is NOT the same as the Obama we see today.
      Seems to me he’s following the orders of the cabal that was annointed by Scalia by stopping the Florida recount in 2000.
      The only question I have today is whether Obama was their straw man prior to the 2008 election, or they “had a meeting” prior to his inauguration.
      In any case, seems to me he’s on the neo-con track.

      1. dandelion

        Obama had over $90 million in the bank before he even announced he was running for the presidency — that’s just about the amount McCain spent on his entire general election effort.

        Now where do you think that money came from? Hint: a street somewhere in Manhattan

      2. Jill


        On this site and on Black Agenda Report there is info. on Obama’s gigs prior to being nominated. There is also his voting record. Those do match up with Obama today. That information was suppressed during the 08 election and it isn’t all that widely available today. I can also tell you from personal experience that those of us who spoke out in 08 were actively trashed and outright banned from posting or writing articles on so called left-wing sites, a practice that continues today if one strays too far in one’s criticism of Democrats. That’s why I think Obama is confusing to people of good will. Accurate information about him was and is suppressed.

        Whatever the case, we have to base our actions on the actions of this govt. The govt. appears to me to be some unholy amalgamation of wall street, war contractors, energy and other mega corporations and elected politicians. Whatever is the cause of how this govt. and its officials behave, we know how it behaves. That is where our effort as citizens should go. We should withdraw consent whenever the rule of law is abrogated. We should withdraw consent from all war crimes, anyone who commits or justifies them-they do not get our support, they get our peaceful opposition. Anyone who commits or supports financial crimes earns our opposition as well.

        If we stay consistent in peaceful resistance, opposing wrongdoing no matter who is doing it, we have a chance. Not a great chance but a chance. This govt. does not expect resistance. That’s a weakness in their stranglehold.

      3. propertius

        I don’t know about that WestCoast, he looks exactly like the Obama who:

        – In May, 2007 said that his health care program would “give insurance companies a seat at the table”

        – professed his admiration for Ronald Reagan

        – shunned public financing for his GE campaign in favor of big-money donors

        – flipped on telecom immunity (unlike every other Democratic candidate)

        – proposed unrestricted drone warfare on Pakistan during the Democratic debates (a campaign promise he’s actually kept!)

        – said he didn’t want women getting abortions because “they felt a little blue”

        That’s the Obama I saw in 2008, and he’s turned out precisely the way I expected.

      4. Richard Kline

        So Westcoast, BO was a wholly owned subsidiary before he ever left Chicago; seriously. propertius only covers, though covers well, the obvious evidence from the campaign cycle to Nov 08. Even a cursory look at Barack Obama’s _voting record in the Senate_ had him as a made man and those who swooned at his feet as feeble types with a great need to swoon.

  4. Dan Kervick

    Obama’s whole message last night was, “I’m not going to be able to accomplish anything important over the next four years, but I will veto anything really crazy that the Republicans try to do. You folks are pretty much on your own, but the economy will bounce back gradually on its because you guys are so awesome.”

    It was basically a very conservative message of no change. Obama is promising to keep things the way they are and hoping fear of reactionary Republican lunacy will be enough to carry him.

  5. Clive

    They used to say this about Japan (where it actually applies less now than it did) and the cap fits perfectly well for America:

    “A First World country with Third World politics”

    Much of the third world actually looks better than the US now. It’s either cleaned up its act or else the totalitarian rule is at least overt, explicit. Better that than the faux Land of the Free nonsense you have now.

  6. Jill

    I want to relay my experience protesting the torture and illegal imprisonment of Bradley Manning.

    As two people tried to enter the office to deliever a letter to Obama on Manning’s behalf, the staffers locked the door and closed the curtains. That says a lot. But here’s what I thought was most interesting.

    They weren’t prepared for protest. I am convinced peaceful protest is a good avenue to pursue. They think they’ve locked everything down, that people are too afraid, too tired, too progagandized to take them on. They need to know that isn’t true.

    And here’s one more thing. They wouldn’t let anyone in while we were picketing. If there was a large enough group to form 24 hour picket lines around the Obama and Romney campaign HQ’s, it might be worth trying. It would be necessary to offer voter registration while picketing because this is offered at the HQ and this should not ever be stopped. But if their response to protest is to shut down their office, well, it’s something to think about!

    1. TK421

      Those are some excellent thoughts. It would be great to shut down an Obama office for a long period of time. I almost think that even though the letter wasn’t delivered, the protest turned out well anyway, maybe even better than planned. After all, it made Obama’s team look really bad. What do people who took part think?

      And gosh, I’m just so surprised that after choosing to hold their convention in an anti-union state, they weren’t expecting the kinds of protests that are fueld by unions. What a shocking coincidence!!!!

      1. Jill


        I didn’t know everyone who was there. The people I did know were compelled by their conscience to speak up no matter the outcome. In my heart there was Omar Khadr, the drone victims, all the other torture victims, and the civilian prisoners who are so often treated with incredible cruelty. (In truth, many of the “interrogation” torture techniques in Iraq were brought over by civilian prison guards–see the book: “Fear up Harsh” for more info on that.)

        Two women coming to volunteer were given information about Manning. I really doubt it made any difference to them but perhaps it did. Few people were driving by but of those who did, several gave a thumbs up.

        We are too small to do 24 picketing but a city like NY or Chicago could probably do it.

        1. Richard Kline

          Which is exactly why the convention was held there. A money-tech center weak in unions; what could be better for Barack Obama?

  7. Shutterbuggery

    Gimme, gimme, gimme. Thats all we hear from Obama. Give me more time. Give me more sacrifice. Give me more of your sons and daughters to die in idiotic wars.

    No. Hell, no.

  8. Sharon

    We want to blame politicians but then even when we have a chance to make a change we vote in the same old bull. The perfect example is Lisa Epstein who would have changed Palm Beach County for the better and she lost.

    The sheeple are alive and well.

  9. Working Class Nero

    The main point of this election is really about getting legitimacy from the voters to cut entitlements, both Social Security and Medicare. And just as only Nixon could go to China, only Clinton could cut welfare, only Bush II could sell nation building, only Obama can deliver on SS and Medicare cuts.

    Bourgeois Leftists will accept this because the ruling elite are more than willing to accommodate them on cultural issues in return for economic concessions in favor of the rich. Liberals have abandoned the working and middle classes economically long ago, with their enthusiastic support for the off-shoring of working and middle class jobs as well as their rhetorical flourishes in favor of in-shoring cheap third world labor. All Bourgeois Leftists will ever demand from Obama is that he be the lesser of two evils.

    The wealthy elite are smart enough to realize that by putting one side up that demands 2X amount of cuts; if they put another candidate up that grudgingly agrees to X amount of cuts (the amount the wealthy actually want) then most dumb shit Liberals will see cuts at the lower level as a victory. Simply put Romney / Ryan tacking to the hard right gives Obama the political space he needs to make more cuts to SS and Medicare than he would be able to without the Republicans around. And by running Republican cultural Neanderthals, the wealthy elite know this will help Liberals lick their wounds after the eventual SS cuts become reality – well it’s bad that Obama cut SS but at least abortion is still legal and rape is still prosecuted!

    Only brain-dead partisans actually believe there is a real election going on. If Romney / Ryan were actually elected, there would be a huge counter reaction against any SS and Medicare cuts. Just like there would have been a huge reaction had a victorious McCain tried to push RomneyCare had he won in 2008. In the end only Obama could sell America on RomneyCare, the Left would have been outraged if the Republicans had basically given private insurance companies the privilege to levy taxes; when Obama does it, they call in victory!

    The political system craves legitimacy; the only way for the informed citizen to withhold giving their legitimacy is to not vote for either legacy party.

    1. Waking Up

      Well stated. “The wealthy elite are smart enough to realize that by putting one side up that demands 2X amount of cuts; if they put another candidate up that grudgingly agrees to X amount of cuts (the amount the wealthy actually want) then most dumb shit Liberals will see cuts at the lower level as a victory.”

      Unfortunately, all of this is part of the propaganda machine which creates the illusion there are differences between the parties which are in reality non-existent. When the current Democratic party decided to destroy Social Security and Medicare, it should have been apparent that the two legacy parties only represent powerful and wealthy interests.

      Keep in mind, the wealthy and powerful, in spite of the belief that they are living in a bubble in the beltway or elsewhere, are very much attuned to how the public at large reacts to politicians and programs. With Obama, they hit the jackpot. Almost four years of policies which have consistently favored a very small segment of the wealthy and powerful, yet, some people still are making excuses.

      When I see people standing up and cheering for Obama, I know one of two things: 1. they believe in “assassination lists”, the loss of civil liberties, that the wealthy “deserve” special treatment among other things, or 2. they are completely clueless on what is happening in this country. And yes, the same applies to all those who are cheering for Romney.

    2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      …only Obama can deliver on SS and Medicare cuts.


      And you can expect the Opologists to come out in force and claim 1) they aren’t really cuts, 2) it’s better than if the Republicans did it, and/or 3) he wouldn’t have had to do it if only we’d loved him more.

      1. MontanaMaven

        Yes, see my link below to “Democracy Now” where Glen Ford takes on Michael Eric Dyson’s argument that Obama is the best progressives can do. So rather than criticize him, we have to “get in the game”. “In the real world you can’t stand on the sidelines flinging mud”, he said to Glen Ford. He called what Glen Ford is doing “the politics of disgruntlement” and “rhetorical narcissism.” He demands that Ford and other leftists come up with “achievable political goals” in the real politik.

        Obama apologists, like Dyson, live in that world that Suskind described in the Bush administration when an official/hack said, “We create our own reality.” In Dyson’s world, the sick are now being taken care of, predatory lending has been curtailed, and American foreign interventions are necessary and good. He accuses Glen of being a mere mud slinger, but it is transference at work here. Dyson is the mudslinger. He lobs all kinds of mud at Glen from his cozy inside place. I constantly admire Glen’s remarkable dignity in the assaults on him by liberals.

    3. Richard Kline

      So WC Nero, while I agree with the tenor and substance of practically all your conclusions, in much the same verbiage, your ongoing, and I may say bizarre, invention of these nonexistent ‘Bourgeois Leftists’ for whom you reserve the most special portion of your choler just discombobulates the reader.

      You’re not happy with _somebody_, of that much I can be sure. You seem to have invented some nonexistant ‘educmacated’ cadre, and I can’t see the point. Bourgeois Centrists? Plenty of them. ‘Liberals?’ They live and love for vehicles like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to coattail upon. Some rhetorical jiujitsu to paste the taste and policy of such like, who are NOT leftists, onto actual ‘leftist’ leftists seems to lie somewhere between underhand and just plain cracked. You have some legitimate disagreements with other _actual_ leftists perhaps? Well, that I could understand, having some myself. If might be better if you sharpened your remarks to that end, rather than pretending that actual leftists you dislike endorse or participate in programs erected by and for the center, or left of center maybe. You seem to have a class-based beef with other people on the left held lovingly as a chip on your shoulder as far more important to you than the substantive grievances against sell-outs in the center or crypto-fascists on the right. Which says to me that twenty years from now you’ll be on the right beating up on those same pseudo- or actual leftists you now decry as ‘too uppity,’ because that is the typical trajectory in my experience of those who spend most of the time firing on their own side.

      You understand that _actual_ leftists make perhaps 3% of the population in the US AT MOST? And even so are split into mutually abrasive factions to the number of a dozen or more?? And no, your attempting to call out the rest of us by laying centrist positions on us we don’t endorse doesn’t lend you any cred. In case you were wondering.

      1. Working Class Nero

        Left and Right are relative terms, just like Rich and Poor, and there are no fixed, objective definitions or standards for these terms. It all depends on the context and the criteria being used. For example in certain countries in Africa, only around 20% of the population has access to indoor toilets. Thus taking a dump indoors is one sign of being rich in these countries. The income level required to be in the global top 1% is around $48,000 a year according to the site Global Rich List; $25,000 a year to be in the global top ten percent. But of course indoor toilets and $25,000 a year salaries are not signs of wealth in first world countries. And further complicating the Left / Right definition is these labels not only apply to economic areas but to cultural areas as well.

        So what are the actual signs of being a Bourgeois Leftist? First for the Bourgeois part I would define as belonging to the top two income quintiles, being college educated, and culturally being attuned to the type of phenomenon described in the blog Stuff White People Like (but to be sure people of any race can be Bourgeois, the title of this blog is ironic). And just to be clear, a society needs both a Bourgeoisie and a Working Class; I have nothing against this class of people and indeed in many ways I now belong to this class (I was raised and lived many years as an adult in a Working Class environment).

        People naturally defend their class interests. Working Class people are currently quite obviously failing to defend their class interests. The key definition of a Bourgeois Leftist is an upper middle class person who defends their economic class interests over Working Class people with culturally “Leftist” dogma. Let’s look at a few examples:

        Globalization is basically a class warfare tool of the Rich and Bourgeois using Capitalism against the Working Class. The antidote to Globalization is Nationalism. If there is one thing that Capitalists detest it is national borders. Capitalists by their very nature are supra-National, borders limit their access to the cheapest labor and/or limit products made by the cheapest labor from reaching the richest market. In short, national borders limit the Capitalist’s potential for maximum profit. In a healthy nation, the various social classes act as a sort of cartel against Capitalists by combining together as citizens for common benefit by limiting the Capitalist’s access to cheap labor and by forcing the Capitalist to use local labor in return for access to a local market.

        What Capitalists do like about the state is its ability to create a flowing river of money into which all Capitalists want to have unfettered access to so they can gorge themselves of these waters, whether it be indirectly from military / social spending or directly through bailouts like TARP.

        Bourgeois Leftism, in alliance with Capitalists, is hostile to nationalism and the nation state and especially national borders. One manifestation of this hostility is the fierce resistance to any efforts to enforce border controls to limit the Capitalist’s ability to import cheap labor into a country. Bourgeois Leftists, for cultural reasons, deep in their hearts despise their native working classes, and at the same time they also clearly want to pay as little as possible for working class services and therefore are very happy to have a third world reserve army of cheap labor ready and willing to work for them. Happy of course as long as the inevitable social problems associated with third world immigrants is compartmentalized into Working Class neighborhoods. So they denounce efforts to control immigration as “racist” and use their considerable rhetorical skills to create “Dream” narratives in order to distract from the nightmare realities of declining Working Class standard of living.

        Now to be sure some opponents of mass immigration are indeed racists, just as some Abolitionists or other opponents of slavery were racist. So while some people may have wanted to stop the importation of black slaves into the US for for the wrong reasons, this fact does not somehow magically turn the importation of black slaves into a “good” thing.

        As for the off-shoring of well-paid working class jobs to the third world, many Bourgeois Leftists will invoke the injustice in the differing wealth levels between the first and third world as justification for the destruction of their native Working Class habitats. They certainly love their Apple products and will quietly tsk tsk about how those American working stiffs just can’t work as hard as the Chinese. Challenges to off-shoring are again often met with taunts of racism; this time against Chinese people. But this is one area where the Bourgeois Leftist is on less certain ground; one of the highlights of the otherwise limp dick Occupy movement was the symbolic blockading of ports. But as the growing cancer of Globalization continues to erode the quality of life for even the middle classes, the Bourgeois Leftist will conveniently point the accusing finger of blame away from Globalization and instead towards his favorite partner in class warfare crime, the Bourgeois Rightist. As the two perform an entertaining but ultimately empty political Capoeira; after an enthralling “battle” over useless cultural issues, both martial art dancers walk away richer as the process of Globalization further destroys the standard of living of increasing numbers of Americans, to the benefit of the top two quintiles.

        The media reaction to the recent political conventions leaves no doubt that the Bourgeois Left’s battle cry, “Workers of the World, Compete!” is the official ideology of the US press. To show a slight bit of contrast one needs to look to Australia to see a society where the selling of Globalization has not been entirely outsourced to the Left. There is only one major politician in the Western world that could be labeled a Working Class Leftist and that is Marine Le Pen. She basically espouses a MMT, post-Keynesian economic program that includes tough border enforcement against both immigration and cheap products coming from the Third World. Only with these border controls does MMT make sense. Her one possible deviation from MMT orthodoxy is when in her attempts to propose Keynes’ Bancor, she makes reference to an international gold standard. One would think MMT’ers would be pleased that such a major politician was pushing their ideas. But no, only Bill Mitchell from Billy Blog was brave enough to even mention the connection.

        On the other hand rich industrialists across the world decades ago realized it was better to farm out the selling of “Workers of the World, Compete” to do-gooder Bourgeois Leftists like Tom Friedman and Barack Obama. Foolishly, in Australia the richest woman in the world, Gina Rinehart, who amassed her $20 billion fortune among other ways by avoiding paying Australian wages by importing cheap Indonesian miners into her country, doubled down on greed by openly calling for Australian workers to directly compete with African workers earning “two dollars a day”. Next time she will more intelligently hire the photogenic child of an Indonesian laborer who ended up being class valedictorian to push her agenda to equalize first and third world Working Class wages.

        I see I have rambled on a bit but I hope you have a better idea where I cam coming from…

        1. skippy

          That is quite the retort, clarification of perspective. Can’t wait for part dux if its in the offering.

          Skippy… Richard?

        2. jonboinAR

          +1! Nationalism has indeed been attacked from the right as “socialist” or anti-free-market, and from what you call the “bourgeois-left” as xenophobic or racist, but one result of the weakening of nationalistic economic protectionism seems to be the gradual diminishment of working class wage earners out of the middle class and toward third-world like impoverishment and abject serfdom.

          1. jonboinAR

            I’d feel more content with the “bourgeois-left’s” defense of the third-world poors’ right to compete for our factory work if they actually moved to defend those factory workers against (truly) abject wage slavery and also their environments against degradation. I would advocate for tariffs as the stick. You pay your workers 3/4 of our standard (I can’t think of how the details might work to prevent a “race to the bottom”, but I really imagine it can be done) or we tax the difference on your imports, something similar regarding environmental standards.

            The carrot? We already are applying that. You get to sell into the largest market in the world.

        3. Lester Barnwell

          That’s pretty good. I’d say it’s a shade more realistic perspective than what seems to inform most of the essays or comments I read here.

  10. Systemic Disorder

    It has been obvious for a couple of years that Obama’s campaign would rest entirely on “But you have to vote for me, look at how much worse the other party is.” But when we see the police-state tactics not only against Occupy, but against dissent in general, the secret Trans-Pacific Partership, the Wall Street-dictated financial polices et al., all the pretty words and soaring speeches become meaningless.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership is truly a nightmare — it would effectively ban regulation of financial markets, make environmental protections toothless if allowed at all and tighten control of the Internet: http://wp.me/p2cpPS-2x. The Obama administration is even negotiating rules that, if it has its way, would grant speculators the right to recover the full value of government bonds bought at discounted prices!

    If there is a difference on these issues between Obama and Romney, it’s microscopic.

  11. Systemic Disorder

    Jill, glad to hear of the work on behalf of Bradley Manning. I’m not surprised to hear that response you received. Dissent is intolerable; there is no daylight on this between Bush II and Obama.

    1. Jill

      Systemic Disorder,

      Thanks! At least we didn’t get chairs thrown on us like the veterans did in other Obama offices!!!

      Still, isn’t there enough information to go on yet? Give Obama more time and he’ll have that police state and the removal of all rights (to include women and LBGT) removed in no time! Jesus, he does all these amazingly violent and illegal actions since 2008–mind you, that’s while he still needs people to vote for him. What do they think will happen when he doesn’t even need to pretend to care for vote getting purposes?

      1. Systemic Disorder

        When a Republican does it, progressives go into the streets. When a Democrat does the same thing, there is silence. It makes me wonder what the “lesser evil” really is. Organized labor and others are supporting Obama while asking for nothing. And nothing is what they are going to get.

      2. TK421

        When you mention veterans who had chairs thrown at them, do you mean the ones who returned their medals at the NATO conference, or was this something that happened at the convention? Either way, shameful.

  12. dSquib

    I found what I saw of the convention to be immensely depressing, a colossal drain on any positive energy. Just like the RNC with Clint, the only “real” moment, the vote on God and Jerusalmen moment, was seen as its ugly pimple, airbrushed away.

    Thousands of politicians have applied the vague emotive power of words like “hope” and “change” before, yet Obama has somehow made them synonymous with himself. What is there to be hopeful about then, if not Prez Kill List? You must be in the despair camp. I’ve honestly seen people making this leap. Obama is the actual embodiment of your dreams. McCain mocked the repeated utterance of these words in 2008, and even “smart” pundits like Jon Stewart implied McCain was aiming a broadside at hope itself.

    Leader worship such as this is actually not that common in the world, except in authoritarian systems. As a Scot this is the one thing for which I’m thankful for the Queen. Leader worship is there but directed at a largely powerless relic and her dimwitted progeny, the Prime Ministers seen as simple politicians, “first among equals”.

  13. MichaelC

    One of the best embodiments of this shift from a democracy to an authoritarian state is Spencer Bachus.

    He is the Representative from one of the poorest states in the union (although his district is one of the staunchest republican districts in the country). JPM has decimated his fellow Ala citizens in Jefferson County, yet he is, as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, one of the bankers best and most loyal supporters.

    He has run unopposed since 2000. If the Republicans retain control of the House, he will remain Chairman of the HFSC.
    Have a look at the Committee’s website,
    http://financialservices.house.gov/ , to get a taste of the direction his committee is headed in.

    The result is that the banks have become an de-facto Congressional District, represented by an unbeatable Congressman notable for his excellent constituent service.

    Can you really be considered to have won and election if you don’t run against anyone?

  14. Supraequatorial Guinea

    Most of electoral politics is emotional manipulation designed to embed your identity in words like freedom and democracy. Once that’s accomplished, the ruling class can count on your own cognitive dissonance to resist awareness of intensifying state repression and predation, because you can’t be rational about your identity. First of all you have to accept that you live in a totalitarian state. No doubt North Korea is full of young pioneers who grapple furiously with the precepts of Juche to improve their lives, as hopelessly as progessives do here. The only hope, there and here, is outside intervention: pressure by the international community and internationalism from below. As ANC and Hamas will tell you, their problem was a problem for the world. Stop pretending that the state has earned its sovereignty – the US government is not a sovereign state. It’s time to go over its head to the world. That’s the import for Americans of the universally-acknowledged concept of R2P.

    1. Nathanael

      You are wrong about outside intervention.

      Outside intervention is crucial in *small* countries, or rather, countries which are *relatively powerless*.

      In *big, rich* countries, they tend to change on their own.

      Did the French Revolution come from outside? Did the Russian? Not really.

      Things will go slowly in the US *because* it will have to be homegrown change. But history tells me that homegrown change is inevitable given an unsustainable situation, and this is unsustainable.

      (Of course, it could change into a *sustainable* bad situation; there are at least three I can think of, the most likely being a competent populist dictator.)

  15. kevinearick

    agency creates a distribution of behavior, which it then wants to address with laws to pay itself…

    but the root is individual lack of responsibility that gives agency the opportunity…

    and the scapegoating runs amok exponentially, until it hits the wall of demographic collapse…

    at which time…

  16. El Snarko

    C’mon Matt! You’ve got to be kidding me! Who were youexpecting FDR? Please tell me what year since 1965 (as far back as I remember…well ok 62) that your analysis was not at least partially applicable? Ditto (Whoops) the Brits, the germans, the French….we have been and remain the biggest pygmy in the democratic village since at least the Reconstruction Period.

    The railroads, the trilateral trade, the tobacco business, the canals, the Panama canal, the entire Golden age….all were inthe service of elitist/connected opportunists. Still we fared better than anyone else, because our pricks were better at it and our resources were superior. Not an excuse just a fact.

    The solution is for the educated population to realize that if there will be globaliation they are not exempt from it and thier wages and earning will have to float down with the rest of us, although there will always be exceptions. The trick is to make sure that exceptional payoffs do not become habitual and the result of political distortion.

    It is now clear to me that the prime motivator of the conservatives in all parties is fear. They realize the market forces they live by is a two sided boomerang with a homing signal, and that the only way to maintain their status quo is to have enough excess to absorb the coming damage. Welcome to Medieval times.

  17. dirtbagger

    Why do people think that any President has much control over the economy? Presidents love to pass the buck on a bad economy and take credit for the good time, but there are basically 3 policies used to help a distressed economy rebound. 1) tax policy, 2) deficit spending through grants, infrastructure etc, and 3) interest rates.

    Tax and spending are the domain of congress and interest rate targets are set by the Fed. The Fed Chairman is appointed by the POTUS and approved by congress, so it is debatable at whoose pleasure the chairman serves.

    It is a bit tiring reading Obama should have done this or should have done that to fix the economy. These are totally unrealistic expectations. There are plenty of policies on which Obama can legitimately by criticized such as coddling bankers (NC has been very good covering this), war policy, and civil liberties. Expecting him to have a magic wand to fix the economy is over the top.

    Consumers are in debt to their eyeballs and it is going to take years to pay this down. Wages are not rising in tandem with COLA. Under this scenario how can demand (ergo economic growth) be anything but sluggish?

    Should the R’s win the presidency and retain congress, contray to their deficit rhetoric, expect a big unfunded spending program to goose the economy. I will take odds on this bet.

    1. TK421

      Well there was HAMP, which Obama and his team had carte blanche to design. They could have built it to help ordinary people, but instead crafted it to help big banks at the expense of homeowners. Congress had no influence as far as this went.


      Then there’s all the free-trade agreements Obama has negotiated. They are full of anti-union pro-offshoring measures when they didn’t have to be. And Obama froze the pay of federal workers, hurting millions of working class people.

    2. noah to woah

      “Expecting him to have a magic wand to fix the economy is over the top.”

      I’ve not noticed anyone seeing sparklies around Obama except those who will vote for him no matter what nonsense he imposes.

      As to “goosing the economy”, Democratic appointees have been magicking away the national treasure for a while already. And his Golden Goose, Obamacare, certainly affects the economy by tossing the eggs to the ogres under the bridge.

      Sweeping the red cape of consumer debt over Obama’s constant trick of pushing-the-coins-upward is supreme magic ala dirtbagger. Good show! (applause)

      What with “everyone drowning up to their eyeballs”, we need a sparkling little pony for everyone but oops, Obama’s stable has gone inexplicably empty. Must be that hungry giant at the top of the beanstalk, at it again. Smart money always bets on the Giant until Jack comes around.

      Paging Jack…Jack to the seedsaver exchange, please…

      1. dirtbagger


        I have no problem with your criticisms of Obama, but I take issue with you on the Health Care Act. It is not a perfect policy and was mostly a result of back room deals and many political give aways and compromises that did not benefit ordinary citizens. Like it or not, this has pretty much always been the way political policies get implemented.

        The health care act did give insureds some protections that did not exist prior to it’s passage. For us that have loved ones with medical conditions, knowing that some form of medical insurance will continue to be available is a tremendous benefit and huge relief.

        The incessant whining about Obama has gone from adolescent to prepubescent. Get over it. So he didn’t deliver on a lot of his promises, what politician ever has. Wall street financed his first campaign and he repayed them by putting his thumb on any serious prosecutions from DOJ and SEC. This exchange of favors has been the MO of every politico for milleniums. Now for some reason, when Obama behaves like a politician everyone is suddenly outraged and surpised.

      2. noah

        It’s sensible that you have no problem with my criticisms of Obama, excepting the issue of health care. So we disagree on some things–normal, right?

        Why then, do you pull the old canard about “whining” from your donkey’s hat and wave it around? And then flash the adolescent/prepubescent card? Not only is it without charm, but it’s become a kind of collective guilt-tripping riff intended to shame people back into the corral. I’ll let you in on a secret: recipients of such rudeness aren’t going to be inclined to join you. What is its purpose, really?

        “So he didn’t deliver on a lot of his promises, what politician ever has.” I see that you actually do have problems with my criticisms of Obama. Imagine that. Are you running for office, too?

        “Everyone…is suddenly outraged and surprised” People saw signs of trouble when Obama tucked Geithner into office, ummm, first week of his tenure, I think. “Outrage” is something that builds after long betrayal. “Surprise” would be you facing the truth about the state of elections this year.

        But don’t believe me. Glen Ford is much more eloquent and gracious when presented with exactly the same smears as you present here. (Strange!) Give it a listen:

  18. dSquib

    Meanwhile the Times has reached new levels of devotion to Obama. Timothy Egan seems genuinely bewildered at the prospect of anyone not voting for the guy, that is, other than “the haters” who may be casually dismissed. If ever a candidate was designed to appeal to the “benign” authoritarianism, the strategically deployed social liberalism, the corporatism, the warmed-over third way politics that the Times so delights in. Oh.

    It does not criticize Obama, it may sometimes have halting reservations. Their recommendation upon the leaking of Obama’s Kill List? Publish “clear guidelines”. Hey at least he reads Aquinas. The treatment of Bradley Manning may be “worrying”. It likes to think Obama agonizes about the death of 16 year old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. The surge in Afghanistan, HAMP and the admin’s various housing policies? They may not be ideal, but ah well. Worth a try, eh? You say, Obama has deported a record number of people? The guise of deporting only “violent” undocumented workers is bullshit? That is troubling, indeed, but look at those beautiful DREAMers!

    1. TK421

      “Troubling”, what a great word. It conveys the appropriate level of disturbance for an apparatchik; after all, only unwashed crazies get angry or revolted over presidential actions.

      1. dSquib

        True, and reflects the presumed goodness of Obama. You can only become “troubled” from an initial state of being at-ease with Obama generally. If Bush pulled these things, that’s Bush being Bush, flanked by Darth Cheney. If Obama does it, it’s “troubling”, though there must be some intelligible if possibly misguided reason for it.

        1. ForReal?

          Won’t it be funny if, after 8 years of “incomprehensible” reprehensible governing and a constant litany of “he’s playing 20 dimensional chess” defenses from his brain dead liberal supporters, Obama just writes a book (for a staggering sum, to be sure) and come straight out with it. “Yeah, I was a conservative potted plant from the very start, and for a guaranteed personal fortune and everlasting legacy as the first black prez, I quite GLADLY sold out the interests of all you rubes who supported me, who, after all, were stupid to figure it out even after EIGHT LONG YEARS!!! Caveat emptor bitches! For crying out loud, they’re teaching THAT in freaking HIGH SCHOOLS these days! Well, yeah, maybe not PUBLIC high schools, but the ones my daughters go to anyway.”

          1. Lester Barnwell

            I don’t really think you can say Obama “sold out” unless he originally intended otherwise.

            There’s no evidence he ever intended to help anyone but himself and those he saw as members of the higher-ranked peer group to which he aspired.

    2. dandelion

      I wonder how troubled they’ll feel when the next Republican president also uses Obama’s proclaimed authority to kill American citizens without due process.

  19. Borsabil

    The DNC/RNC are made for teevee events, carefully stage managed and utterly artificial. How could anyone be ‘disappointed’ that policies are not discussed? Or perhaps the writer was simply being rhetorical?

    We’re seeing the biggest ponzi scheme in the history of mankind slowly unravelling, and the utterly mad attempts by central planners to put Humpty back together. All that supposed wealth held by the 1%? For the most part a chimera of promises to pay that never will be.

    “but when we see another economic shock, it will get very ugly.”

    We all know what’s round the corner, absent the discovery of the fabled gold defecating unicorn, and we also can see how western governments are acclimatizing their citizenry to increasingly intrusive state control. However the problem with the US is that millions of us wingnuts are armed to the teeth, and if recent events are a guide, can shoot a lot straighter than the cops. Things may become a lot more chaotic when the free stuff tap is turned off than in say Germany or Japan.

    1. different clue

      The wealth held by the 1% is mostly unrepayable ponzi promises? Really?

      There is a kernel of hope in that, if that is really true. What can we the 99% do to make sure that the 1 per centers’ promises are really and truly evaporated and NEVER EVER paid back? What can we do to shrink the economy from the top down . . . shrink-wrap it around the heads and faces of ObamaRomney’s backers and owners to cut off their financial air supply?

      1. Nathanael

        Well, it’s already happening. People with too little money to live off are transitioning to the “off-the-books” economy, which provides them with vital advantages.

        Only those of us who still have significant wealth from the “on the books” economy have a strong incentive to stay on the books.

        Once enough people are in the “informal economy”, the government’s and bankers’ money powers start being illusory, as they are in so many third world countries. They become “just more gangs”, and not the most powerful gangs, either.

  20. kevinearick

    in a bipolar world, one side sees the artificial tree and the other sees the artificial forest, feeding the artificial creator.

  21. F. Beard

    “Give me more time.”

    No, you’ve wasted enough time on a needless depression. The population needs MONEY, not more time to make increasingly difficult payments to the counterfeiting cartel.

    Vote 3rd party!

  22. Expat

    Realistically, Robama or Omney is going to win this election, no matter who you vote for, or if you don’t. And turnout does not matter: Bush won 5-4. Admittedly, this was a higher percentage victory than polls had predicted.

    Thinking back, the best case (which is very unlikely) would be a Democratic Congress (both houses, like it was for 40 years) and a Rebublican WH. While the Dems are so untrustworthy that they will destroy Social Security under any scenario, they can fake saving it better if they run Congress.

    1. Lester Barnwell

      Your thoughts remind me of a mortician, who loves prettying up the corpses as if they were still living people.

      Your indirect suggestion that people should aim for a D-run Congress is hilarious. You want to eat your cake, and yet have it too. You want to pretend you distrust the Ds, but you want to see them have power.

      Is that supposed to be some kind of jaded hipster perspective?

  23. Ms G

    “and there is as yet no violence used against domestic political actors.”

    Sorry Matt, but the militarized police responses to OWS in California and New York involved violence against domestic political actors — on full display on dozens of youtubes across the web.

    We’re already there, though you are right that there are still a few outward symbols of a “free society” here and there.

      1. Nathanael

        Meanwhile, the economic mismanagement puts control further and further out of the grasp of the elite.

        Look how useful the police state apparatus was to the “old guard” of Soviet Russia in the 1990s. (Not useful at all.) It simply made it easier for someone else to push the old guard out.

    1. happy helots

      World’s largest prison population with laws and prosecutorial discretion to lock up any non-elite who’s worth the effort. Routine recourse to torture, disappearance, and extrajudicial killing with complete official impunity. Mass surveillance and NKVD-style Kompromat to insert informers and provocateurs into the all the scattered remnants of civil society. Focusing on America’s lesser body count is just whistling past the graveyard. Americans are more firmly under control, that’s all.

        1. different clue

          Well how about a Mass Leaderless Economic Rebellion, then?
          Strictly within the Letter of the Law, and without any assassinatably visible charismatic leaders? Starting with the kind of things that an individual could do without permission or instruction (except at the how-to level) and which would only make a cumulative difference if enough millions of people separately and individually decided to do their separate versions of the same thing?

          Your permaculture might be distributable and weaponizable
          in that effort. So might the kinds of regionalized and localised approaches to money and monetized work and production pursued by Catherine Austin Fitts and Woody Tasch and endless hundreds of other people. So might conventional and traditional forms of backyard gardening. And what if those methods were made so suburbianly tasteful and acceptable that they could be mainstreamed and frontyarded to additional millions of suburban acres?

          No one is goin to knock on my door at midnight for having just now written that, or knock on anyone else’s door for just now having read that, so we still have that much freedom to move information around.

          Why not read and apply some Ran Prieur and/or some John Robb (Global Guerillas and lately Resilient Communities) and/or some Kurt Saxon (Kurt Saxon’s Survival Webpages) and/or some Backwoods Home Magazine and/or etc. etc. etc.?
          It still is that free a country here.

          1. Nathanael

            This is very similar to Dmitri Orlov’s ideas for “closing the Collapse Gap”. I think it’s all a very good idea.

          2. different clue

            Well . . . and Dmitri Orlov too, why not? Many thinker-doers are thinking-doing interesting things and no one has stopped them, no one has stopped them from writing about what they do, no one is stopping us from reading what they write, no one is stopping me from writing this right now or you from reading it whenever you read it if you so choose.

            That is the freedom we still DO have, so why not use it while we have it? And we can pull some of this information down from here-on-cyberspace, and turn it into real action back in meatspace where we really live.

            And so why not also read and learn from Sharon Astyk, the Contrary Goddess, and thousands of others whom I hope are mentioned in these threads from time to time?

            Every dollar is a bullet on the field of economic combat.
            Nobody owes the rich a living.
            I am not my keeper’s brother.
            With a head full of plans and a heart full of hate, we can make things happen.

    2. Ms G

      @ Lambert. My comment was a direct response to Matt’s general assertion of “no violence against domestic people” yet. That’s inaccurate — the violence against peaceful domestic people has already started. Regardless of whether it has reached “Algeria, Chile” levels — in the street (as the astute commenter above clarified). The renditions and captures are actually very similar to the “desaparecido” phenomenon.

    1. different clue

      What if there is also a Reverse Catch-22 which says: “we can do anything they can’t stop us from doing”?

  24. david j michel jr

    oh shit,you said what I have ben thinking ,now I am scared for my children.time to buy more 308.

  25. Rob

    Well,at least there are a lot of people here that seem to be aware of the deception afoot.Too bad we don’t amount to a united front.
    here in amerika,the 99percent happens to be under a mass delusion…..we all see the way it is,why don’t they?
    Hell,most everyone I know believes in some form of BS,either party,American dream,experts,intelligence,religion,something to make things make sense to them.They just can’t believe in the big lie. it is like everything they worked for doesn’t count….like the truth is a personal slur to them and the edifice they believe in.
    When you look at the history of the mind control programs that started with LSD in the forties,to other psychoactive substances in the fifties sixties and seventies with MKULTRA and the like….which were largely unsuccessful until the chemical reactants were replaced with electronic manipulations……these conspiracy theories are just a coincidence?right?the modern day HAARP program,the ionospheric heater…..despite knowing THEY are not that good at anything…..I can’t say from the way things are that the mind control programs weren’t /aren’t working……how else can it be that people are so far off of there sense of reality?……I know,the Jesuits were right,education against education,knowledge against knowledge,teaching bad knowledge so the people believe the story…cover by blown cover….yada,yada,yada…..and on it goes……here we go dancing with the beast…who is the central scrutinizer?we are?

  26. Rob

    Well,at least there are a lot of people here that seem to be aware of the deception afoot.Too bad we don’t amount to a united front.
    here in amerika,the 99percent happens to be under a mass delusion…..we all see the way it is,why don’t they?
    Hell,most everyone I know believes in some form of BS,either party,American dream,experts,intelligence,religion,something to make things make sense to them.They just can’t believe in the big lie. it is like everything they worked for doesn’t count….like the truth is a personal slur to them and the edifice they believe in.
    When you look at the history of the mind control programs that started with LSD in the forties,to other psychoactive substances in the fifties sixties and seventies with MKULTRA and the like….which were largely unsuccessful until the chemical reactants were replaced with electronic manipulations……these conspiracy theories are just a coincidence?right?the modern day HAARP program,the ionospheric heater…..despite knowing THEY are not that good at anything…..I can’t say from the way things are that the mind control programs weren’t /aren’t working……how else can it be that people are so far off of there sense of reality?……I know,the Jesuits were right,education against education,knowledge against knowledge,teaching bad knowledge so the people believe the story…cover by blown cover….yada,yada,yada…..and on it goes……here we go dancing with the beast…who is the central scrutinizer?we are?
    Are you watching?

  27. Rob

    Well,at least there are a lot of people here that seem to be aware of the deception afoot.Too bad we don’t amount to a united front.
    here in amerika,the 99percent happens to be under a mass delusion…..we all see the way it is,why don’t they?
    Hell,most everyone I know believes in some form of BS,either party,American dream,experts,intelligence,religion,something to make things make sense to them.They just can’t believe in the big lie. it is like everything they worked for doesn’t count….like the truth is a personal slur to them and the edifice they believe in.
    When you look at the history of the mind control programs that started with LSD in the forties,to other psychoactive substances in the fifties sixties and seventies with MKULTRA and the like….which were largely unsuccessful until the chemical reactants were replaced with electronic manipulations……these conspiracy theories are just a coincidence?right?the modern day HAARP program,the ionospheric heater…..despite knowing THEY are not that good at anything…..I can’t say from the way things are that the mind control programs weren’t /aren’t working……how else can it be that people are so far off of there sense of reality?……I know,the Jesuits were right,education against education,knowledge against knowledge,teaching bad knowledge so the people believe the story…cover by blown cover….yada,yada,yada…..and on it goes……here we go dancing with the beast…who is the central scrutinizer?we are?
    Are you watching?

    Not a duplicate

  28. Hugh

    Obama sits atop an imperial Presidency with vast unConstitutional powers. He backed multi-trillion dollar bailouts to banks and Wall Street but did shit for the unemployed and distressed homeowners. Now he wants four more years because the “job” is not yet done. Of course, the job including slashing Social Security and Medicare.

    He doesn’t deserve to be President. He can’t run on his record. All his record qualifies him for is to spend the rest of his life in a jail cell.

    And Romney is no better. He has no record to run on either.

    Both propose making America a better place by looting it down to the wiring. I really am beginning to have doubts that our country will survive in its present form for 4 more years with the likes of these two and the parties and interests they represent.

    As for Krugman, he is the quinessential Establishment liberal and Democratic shill. The only reason to pay any attention to him at all is to find out what the current Democratic propaganda line directed to the liberal side of the rubiat is.

    1. Lester Barnwell

      “Obama sits atop an imperial Presidency with vast unConstitutional powers”

      Hmmm. So it’s the Constitution that’s our keystone here?

      I don’t think the Constitutional-or-not qualifier makes the case very well. It muddies the suggestion of imperial aims as if imperialism is contrary to the Constitution’s aims. There isn’t much (if any) historical support in that idea, not by examining the exercise of Article III powers.

      On the other hand it does suggest to some readers, I suppose, that the Holder-faced DOJ’s rubber-stamping of these “unConstitutional powers” shows how Obama’s DOJ is as authoritarian, punitive, and plutocratic as the worst Republican DOJ ever was.

      But that still goes to suggesting Constitutional-or-not is just a rhetorical game, and not a real issue that troubles anyone who is “elected” to “public service” in the hallowed halls of any of the Constitution’s 3 branches of government.

  29. CB

    Is there “a pretty good case that the stage has been set for a much stronger recovery over the next few years”?

    I don’t see how systemic criminality sets the stage for anything good.

  30. The Gizmo51

    Yes, give President Obama and the Democrats more time WITHOUT the republinos blocking everything and the world will be a much better place to live and will actually feel like playing again.

    1. Hugh

      Yes, without Republican obstruction (to protect tax cuts for the rich), Obama would already have succeeded in looting Social Security and Medicare. So by all means let’s give him 4 more years so he can get the job done. Don’t see how that makes for a better world but YMMV.

  31. Nathanael

    Oh, this is mostly true — but the system isn’t working.

    The reason it isn’t working is that the elite are *stupid*. They’re dismantling the very things which made their rule *stable*, and unless they are removed by third-party action soon, they will be removed by warlord action later. Because they’re creating the circumstances under which a clever would-be warlord can win popular support for beheading the existing elite.

    Sadly, they don’t *realize* that the system is failing them in this way — they’re too locked into short-term thinking.

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