Links 11/5/14

Bears Discovery Photography: Live from British Columbia Brad DeLong. DeLong does an antidote!

Mama hippo was expecting, but L.A. Zoo staff wasn’t CNN (EM). Cute!

Ninety-year-old man faces jail for giving food to homeless people Independent (Chuck L)

A possible alternative to antibiotics PhysOrg (Robert M)


Good news about Ebola, and its terrifying mortality rate Fabius Maximus (furzy mouse)

New Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone raises fears of new infection chain Guardian

Warnings from Japan for the eurozone Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Europe’s bond yields lowest since 15th century Genoa on deflation, Russia risk Telegraph

Goldman sees new European recession MacroBusiness

EC Slashes Eurozone GDP Forecasts (But Not Enough); Goldman’s Model Shows Europe in Recession Now Michael Shedlock

Euro Zone Sept Retail Sales Much Weaker Than Expected Reuters

THE HEMINGWAY OF LYING – FIGHTING WORDS FROM SPAIN TO UKRAINE John Helmer. A bit rambling, but a lot of intriguing detail.


Syrian rebels armed and trained by US surrender to al-Qaeda Telegraph (EM). Ins’t this movie getting a little old?

“Western Training” And The Fight Against The Islamic State Moon of Alabama

The Islamic State’s Propaganda Network and the Forty-Nine Dollar Challenge ITSecurity (Richard Smith)

The Middle East’s Unholy Alliance Intercept

From the annals of disruptive digital currencies past FT Alphaville

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Creepy New Wave of the Internet New York Review of Books

Election Wrap. We’re keeping this down, in part because it would eat Links otherwise, and because Lambert will have more to say about this tomorrow morning and Thursday morning. So stay tuned!

Republicans Seize Control of Senate, Retain House Wall Street Journal

To Angry Voters, Washington Comes Out the Biggest Loser New York Times

Midterms 2014: Election Puts Extra Pension Funds in Control Of Wall Street Financial Services David Sirota, International Business Times

Are the 2014 Elections a Referendum on Barack Obama? DSWright, Firedoglake. Astonishing that even Wright doesn’t get it on the Democrats and inequality. Voters are saying that Democratic party lip service doesn’t cut it.

California Voters Deal Blow To Prisons, Drug War Huffington Post (furzy mouse)

A Republican Senate Takeover Won’t Doom Surveillance Reform Just Security

American Voters Crazy: How Ebola and ISIS Are Shaping the Election New Republic

Will a GOP Election Win Bring Back Fiscal Headwinds? Fiscal Times

Obama declares Hawaiian lava flow to be major disaster Reuters. EM: “Because lava flows from Kilauea are so *unusual*, dontchaknow.”

Atheists Score Major Win In Federal Court ThinkProgress

Providing Health Insurance Still a Struggle for Small Business New York Times

Pay Rent or Drink Water: The Human Rights Crisis in Detroit Escalates TruthOut

St. Louis police deny no-fly zone during protests aimed at media Reuters (EM)

Whither Markets?

Singer’s Elliott Says U.S. Growth Optimism Unwarranted as Data ‘Cooked’ Bloomberg

Risk-return relationship has been upended John Authers, Financial Times. A feature, not a bug.

Evaluation of quantitative easing Jim Hamilton, Econbrowser

Class Warfare

Infuriating Facts About Our Disappearing Middle-Class Wealth TruthOut

Antidote du jour. Tom T: “Female Elk near Busse Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve — Elk Grove Village, IL (Elk were hunted out of Illinois in the 19th century, but the County has maintained a herd in a multi-acre, mixed habitat enclosure for thirty or forty years. The town was named for the wooded area where native people and early European settlers travelled from Fort Dearborn and early Chicago to hunt for Elk.)”

elk links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Z

    Obama couldn’t be happier now that he will be dealing with republican majority rule in the senate and house.

    Prediction: First, he’s going to come out and try to play the post-partisan “the people have spoken” bs card to lay the groundwork for “compromises” that he’s going to attempt to make with the republicans with the goal of selling ss benefit cuts – which he’s been dying to do since before his presidency – as a necessary sacrifice to get his immigration reform bill passed that will allow illegal immigrants the opportunity to unite their families in the U.S. And we’ll hear some noise about “legacy-building”. Of course though all this is a win-win for his corporate sponsors because they want to cut ss benefits and they want more cheaper skilled foreign labor (increase h1-b visas) to help knockdown tech workers’, as well as others’, wages which happens to be a huge feature in Obama’s immigration bill.

    This has been Obama’s MO from day one: jump upon a cause that he can truly care less about – in this case allowing illegal immigrants to keep their families together in the U.S. though Obama has deported a record amount of illegals – that will keep his dumbass demo-zombie base behind him while he gets what he truly wants done, which is to please his corporate sponsors.

    Harry Reid showed some very rare backbone in fighting back against Obama’s plans to cut ss benefits under Obama’s “shared sacrifice” charade. There isn’t much that I like about Reid, but he deserves considerable credit for that. But Reid will no longer be majority leader.

    So, expect the resumption of Oval Office wining and dining of republicans so that Obama can pull off a win-win for his corporate sponsors and himself while the American people – as usual – are going to primarily sold out in the process.


    1. Ed

      I’ve thought for sometime that the Democratic majority in the Senate was the only thing preventing the triangulation for the Clinton years. With a Republican majority in both chambers, the federal executive only needs to cut a deal with them, and if the Democratic legislatures wants to protect programs popular with their constituents, well screw them. Note that under Nixon and GHW Bush much of the American right complained -and rightly from their perspective- of the president agreeing far to often to this or that Democratic program. However, the alliance between Clinton and the congressional Republican majorities really did alot of damage that seems irreparable, particularly to the financial system.

      1. James Levy

        I am of the opinion that Obama is awful. I am also of the opinion that a fair number of Republicans won’t deal with him no matter what because they despise black people. So I don’t think triangulation will work, no matter how much Obama wants it to. Just as it is unreasonable to doubt that most Democrats are craven lackeys of various factions of Capital, so it is unreasonable to doubt that most Republicans are racists. The evidence for both is just too obvious. In a year, we’ll know for sure.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I would change “despise black people” to “despise anyone who isn’t them.” The attacks against Bill in the 90’s were bizarre. Those same Republicans won’t help Hillary or anyone with a “D” next to their name on nuking Moscow even though they both agree.

          I do think racists are abundant in the GOP, but there is a whole population which sees itself as a population under siege against anyone perceived as an outsider. They will go after McConnell and his lackeys soon enough.

          1. wbgonne

            Much of the GOP craziness is tactical, IMO. They know now that the Democrats will perpetually chase them to the Right so they will never stop going that way. They will go Right until they overreach and fail and get expelled for another round of Democratic failure and betrayal. Are there racist Republicans? Of course. Does the GOP exploit that? Hello: Southern Strategy. But that is no longer the determinant in the equation; it is simply one method of manipulating voters by stoking resentments and fears. The key is the dynamic between the Democrats and the Republicans and the fact that the Democrats are no longer a Progressive party because they, just like the GOP, are owned by Big Money.

            In this instance, I believe the Republicans brilliantly portrayed Obama as wild-eyed radical Leftist. This gave Obama cover for his neoliberal agenda and confounded the dopey electorate. Dick Cheney was the first Republican out there, just after the election when Obama was soaring, attacking Obama as a socialist. When Obama never fought back, it was game over. Whether Obama was complicit is a question for history. What seems undebatable is that the GOP was tactically brilliant, winning with less than nothing. Brilliant tactics. But that’s what you can do when you actually want to win and enact declared policy, rather than dissembling.

            1. Pepe

              “When you look at some of my policies, in a lot of ways Richard Nixon was more liberal than I was.” – Obama

              He actually said that, and similar things since he was elected. Just a lot of people/media refused to took him at his word.

        2. jrs

          Well the Republicans don’t have a filibuster proof majority and you need a filibuster proof majority to get anything done. That’s why nothing gone done in the 1st two years of the Obama administration despite Democrats having all 3 branches of government – the Democrats didn’t have a filibuster proof majority.

          What you mean only Democrats need a filibuster proof majority? Is this deck stacked? It’s like the house always wins or something.

          /sarc – the reality or lack thereof of that whole filibuster proof majority is going to be pretty clear real soon

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        GOP obstructionism and the absence of low hanging fruit prevented triangulation. The Senate is an odious bunch.

  2. Ned Ludd

    Democrats are smug, even in defeat.

    Markos Moulitsas: Big lesson from today is that Republicans win big when seniors dominate the electorate. I’m sure that’s a winning long-term strategy

    The Democratic Party is the party of lies and lip service, and partisans wonder why this is not good enough for the electorate.

    But the issues driving voter sentiment – particularly economic inequality and opportunity – are generally not favorable to Republicans or at least shouldn’t be as, unlike the Democratic Party, the GOP openly celebrates its disdain for taxing the wealthy, regulating Big Business, and protecting consumers. Not a great program for 99% of the electorate.

    Why won’t people vote for the party that hides its disdain for hoi polloi?

    No matter how big the losses, those who got in early (like a pyramid scheme) will still profit, so what incentive is there for the Democratic Party to alienate Wall Street and the rest of its right-wing corporate base? As David Dayen commented, politicians who lost last night will simply “be forced to make more money as lobbyists”.

    1. sleepy

      Kos da joke.

      Thanks for dumping on me, a senior citizen. And btw–after this group of seniors dies out, does he really think they won’t be replaced by, you know, people his age who will also grow old?

      1. Propertius

        The Vichy Dems were willing to throw seniors and soon-to-be seniors to the wolves as part of the Grand Bargain. They returned the compliment. The current generation of Democratic “leadership” (and I’m looking at *you*, Markos) thought they could destroy the old Democratic coalition and live to tell about it.


    2. wbgonne

      Kos is a moron. The intelligent people at DKos know this well. It will be very interesting to watch what hapens now at Daily Kos. There is rebellion afoot but who knows how it will end.

      1. Ned Ludd

        Daily Kos is a place that you can vent about the Democratic Party, a relief valve for liberals. But if you stray outside the party line by advocating for a third party, you will be banned. If you are too insistent on a point of view that Moulitsas finds disruptive, you will be banned.

        I remember, years ago, when people organized vote brigades to drown out criticism of Obama in the diaries. This did not seem to bother Moulitsas as much as people talking about it and exposing the manipulation of the rec list.

        The only successful rebellion would have to happen offsite. If the diaries became too rowdy, he would shut them down, like Josh Marshall did at TPM. For now, they are a place for liberals to wring their hands and complain, while also being reminded that they have to hold their nose and vote for Democrats because there is no alternative.

        1. PhilK

          Nowadays, DKos is little more than the Greyhound bus depot of big, bad Democrat City, a place where the local pimps and hustlers can always find starry-eyed newcomers ripe for the plucking.

      1. Ulysses

        Your kayfabe analysis has the merit of satisfying Ockham’s Razor, unlike the eleventy-dimensional chess nonsense that Obots, and other mainstream D apologists, try to peddle to the gullible.

      2. OIFVet

        I hear lots of talk today that this is an encouraging sign, something to build on. Thom Hartmann in particular. Then in a typical lap dog fashion, he destroys any hope by stating that this shows the mistake of having ran away from such “progressive” policies like Obamacare. Brought to you by the “progressive” Heritage Foundation, of course. Instead of coming out and saying the obvious, that neither wing of the Corporatist Party represents the public’s support for progressive policies, he stands by the “progressive” Obama and concedes that “a few” democrats are bought and paid for corporate shills. It is not like Hartmann is dumb or uninformed, no way. But in a proud ” progressive” tradition he remembers which side his bread is buttered on and says what needs to be said to keep it buttered. And he is one of the less odious “progressive” personalities.

    3. jrs

      Actually if seniors consistently vote GOP then the aging of the population alone would indeed make it a winning strategy.

    4. flora

      da Kos analysis enshrines passiveness. ‘See.. it’s the age group of the voters, not the actions or results of the Dem party… and don’t worry cause when the youngs get going the Dems are gonna fly up to heaven in a demographic, unstoppable wave…. so Dems don’t need to stand for anything or do anything cause the Dem assendancy is just gonna happen…’

      You know, keep powder dry, do nothing, and wait. Passive.

  3. Ignim Brites

    If secular humanism is a religion per our Federal judiciary, it cannot be taught in public schools. With wins like that, atheists don’t need defeats.

    1. wbgonne

      Yup, already saw a Democratic operative demanding that Obama pursue an “aggressively centrist” course. These people are paid to say and think those things and they aren’t going to stop. The voters, however, have seen that the Democratic emperors have no clothes and this party is on the verge of collapse.

        1. wbgonne

          Do you think so? I’m not sure. There is a lot in flux. Will the GOP maintain its course of obstruction above all? Will the remaining Congressional Democrats stand up to Obama and the neolibs? Will Elizabeth Warren run now that she is a backbencher in a dysfunctional body? If you are correct and Obama gets his NAFTAs and his Grand Bargain, that will be the death knell for the Democratic Party. IMHO.

          1. John Zelnicker

            Yes, the GOP will continue to be obstructionist, first and foremost. As for the rest, it is indeed in flux and most pundits trying to predict what will happen in Congress will be wrong.

            We do live in interesting times.

            1. wbgonne

              Karl Rove and the mainstream GOPers desperately want to cut social security and would have done so long ago but for the rabid Tea Partiers. Obama wants the same. The odds are bad but, as you say, we live in interesting times.

      1. sleepy

        On the verge of collapse?

        Well, maybe, but the same has been said of both repubs and dems after every other election for decades. It gives the media something to gab about and allows for the introduction of new models every so often–“hope and change! we really, really mean it this time!”

        I would call it planned obsolesence.

        Now at some point I guess the deadwood that constitutes the two party system will collapse, but I don’t think it’s in any way attributable to 1 election cycle.

        1. wbgonne

          I don’t think it is one election cycle. The Democrats were already adrift and heading for HerTurn when Obama “rescued” them in 2007. We have now had 6 years and 2 election cycles of total neoliberal rot and failure. Call me a cockeyed optimist but I think people are beginning to catch on. Now getting escape velocity from the political duopoly is another matter. But I think the Democratic Party is just an animated corpse. Wishful thinking, perhaps, by me.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              It won’t be a mad rush for the exits though, but a maddeningly gradual one with no nucleation point within the existing political realm for alternatives to coalesce around. There is an increasing tension born of the growing dissonance between the rhetoric and the policies put forth by the Democrats, one I am certain the party insiders are well aware of and consider manageable as long as the fiction can be sold that the Democrats are a party of the left. Note that this fiction is hugely useful for both of the legacy parties so naturally goes unchallenged both in the political sphere and in the corporate media that have become mere stenographers for the ruling class.

              The Republican Party, whatever you think of it and its policies, is legitimate. It is a right wing party that generally acts like a right wing party. Every democratic system requires at least one right wing party to represent that proportion of the electorate that tend that way.

              The Democratic Party is a right wing party hiding behind a wall of high dollar marketing sorcery. This high powered reality distortion field is practically all that is holding the party’s constituencies together. There is no legitimate place for two right wing parties in a two party system which is predicated on and requires a party of the left just as it does one on the right. The Democratic Party presently has no reason to exist.

              When and if this becomes widely understood, not so much politically as culturally perhaps, the trickle out the door could quickly become a rush. Culture is much more fluid and dynamic than rigged, set piece politics–look at cannabis and gay marriage–and while those examples pose no real threats to the status quo, both represent erosions of that status quo’s cultural authority. The next cultural flux may not be so benign to that status quo nor be easily managed.

              What happens at that point? I have no idea but I am interested in finding out.

          1. James Levy

            They may be catching on but they are still faced with only two choices when they go to the polls–law, custom, and money all stand for the duopoly. And I refuse to pass over the disgraceful nature of the Republicans because the Democrats drink from the same poisoned chalice. So things are really bad right now, and the collapse of the Democrats would only lead to a situation like that when the Federalists collapsed after the War of 1812–an era of good stealing.

            1. wbgonne

              I certainly don’t give the Republicans a pass. They are ignorant monsters. But since they keep winning elections they have no incentive to change. That is the fault of the putative opposition, the Democrats, who are themselves so corrupt and hypocritical that they can’t beat a party most of the country knows is insane. IMO, the ultra-Conserative GOP is closer to its historical role in our political duopoly than the alleged Progressive alternative, the Democrats.

              If you want the GOP to move Left beat them by running Left. It could be easly done if the Democrats wanted to because public opinion is Progressive (even after Obama’s abysmal and confounding performance). But they don’t because the Democratic Party is owned by Wall Street. Our political system is sick and requires a systemic cure. That the Republicans are horrid is a given. Tbe American people know it but have internalized TINA and simply lash out in frustration, swinging wildly from Republican overreach and excess, only to be betrayed and abandoned by the Democrats. Within that frustration and anger are the seeds of real change. Again in my opinion, the primary obstacle to Progressive governance today is the Democratic Party. Put it down.

    2. Larry Headlund

      That’s half of it:
      When Dems lose, they need to shift further right.
      When Dems win, it is because they shifted to the right and should continue.

    3. lakewoebegoner

      example…. the Democratic Party obviously needs more Rahm Emanuels whose extraordinary popularity helped mobilize voters to re-elect the Illinois Democratic governor!

      oh wait……

      1. OIFVet

        Rahm Emanuel got exactly what he wanted: his BFF Rauner in the governor’s office. Now they can proceed to rob pensions a la Gina Raimondo, who not coincidentally was mentioned by talking heads as a model to follow in Illinois. Mike Madigan wins too, as he never did like Pat Quinn and the two didn’t work well together. All in all, a very good night for both wings of the corporate party.

        1. cwaltz

          The sad thing is that both parties will rob the pensions and who wants to bet that the unions will STILL continue to vote the Democratic legacy party even as they help rob the very money that was supposed to be for their membership’s pensions.

    4. Ned Ludd

      After the liberal Obama years, what other choice is there?

      The Obama years have in effect represented a political trade-off: Democrats largely abandoned the more centrist, line-blurring approach of Bill Clinton to motivate an ascendant bloc of liberal voters. – New York Times

      1. wbgonne

        Obama not a “centrist”? A “liberal”? What planet is that idiot “journalist” living on? The New York Times is turning to shit.

        So the Democrats will be a juggernaut after all the Republicans die of old age. No wonder they’re keeping their powder dry!

        1. OIFVet

          You can’t expect journos to tell the truth when their paychecks depend on them not telling it. And that still assumes that they can even see the truth, something that I very much doubt about many of them. After two years I broke down and tuned into MSNBC last night. The disconnect was complete: Maddow was fear mongering using the Ted Cruz scarecrow, while a bickering Matthews was getting a thrill down his leg talking about Rand Paul. Sharpton was in his own special place talking about voter rights since that’s what the election hinged on (sarc, people!), while Hayes was visibly holding his tongue lest he spills the sordid truth. That’s media today.

            1. OIFVet

              It’s not just them though, the capacity of die-hard Dem voters to delude themselves is amazing. I am in my workshop building my SO a desk, listening to “progressive” talk and puzzling over the unusually bitter taste in my mouth this morning. Figured listening to deluded callers cry and moan to Stephanie Miller about anything from voter suppression to Dems running away from Dear Leader’s record was unlocking some heretofore hidden sympathies for the Democrat Party I didn’t know I possessed. Then it hit me: I am sanding walnut and that walnut dust tastes very bitter. And that the people who call in that show are a pitiful fools.

              1. Lambert Strether

                There was voter suppression. But that’s like saying, “Aw, we lost the game because the other team executed better.” Stop whining, suck it up, and next time stop the problem before it starts. Democratic loyalists never examine themselves in defeat.

          1. Carolinian

            Journos are also clueless. On the Newshour their pundit was puzzling that the public thinks the economy is in the dumpster when all signs show it is improving.

            However the PBS show does allow a ray of light to shine through from time to time–an example being Steve Cohen who was on the other night talking about Ukraine.

            1. Banger

              The Newhour is subtly changing now that Lehrer has less influence on the show. Lehrer is the soul of Washington Conventional “Wisdom” and personifies the attitudes of that town–he has worked mightily to give a venue for public officials and official “experts” to mouth their PR crap. The current people seem a little bit more interested in reality.

          2. susan the other

            On journos, I enjoyed John Helmer’s “The Hemingway of Lying” book review of Amanda Vaill’s “Hotel Florida” re the Spanish Civil War years. Very brief little piece really. But very to the point because it is describing an archetype of human communication and the biological desire to have your story prevail. Bullshit a la mode. I am old enough now in my disillusionment to wonder what sort of world we would have if we didn’t survive on hubris and denial and total fantasy.

            1. Chauncey Gardiner

              STO, I enjoyed it too. The parallels between specific journalists’ and media entities’ behavior and coverage of the civil war in Ukraine and that of Hemingway and Gelhorn of the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s was enlightening. Gave me a different, albeit unexpectedly critical view of Hemingway through the historical lens of some Russian operatives and supporters of the Republic in the Spanish Civil War.

              Still,”For Whom The Bell Tolls” and Hemingway’s other writings about the Spanish Civil War have no recent parallels of which I am aware. And bottom line I still wonder where the truth lies regarding Hemingway as the wounds from the Spanish Civil War are not yet healed.

              Sadly, due to subscription cost considerations I am not a subscriber to HBO and so did not see the HBO special about the relationship between Hemingway and Gelhorn which the writer discussed.

        1. James Levy

          Of course you are correct, but the conventional wisdom seems to be that if you don’t want to strip gays of their rights and ship them off to reeducation camps, or deny women the right to vote and own property, you are a liberal. I once at Salon tried to delineate to some cluck what Obama would be for and what he’d be against if he were a “leftist” (which this idiot claimed he was). But I soon realized that those things–for single payer, a more steeply graduated income tax, a huge inheritance tax, the end of loopholes for corporations and trust funds, and against domestic spying, torture, and rendition–were now so far outside the mainstream of discourse that realistic labels no longer counted for much. Not wanting to privatize everything, take all restraints off of capital markets and PE firms, and gut the social safety was now the “left” of the political spectrum, which was seen as having no positive program because such a program was no longer mentionable in public discourse. So a gutless half-measure compromiser like Obama could, because he was not an overt “ultra”, be portrayed as being “liberal”. Liberal now effectively translates in the mainstream media as “not being a reactionary Republican.”

          1. fresno dan

            I think your analysis is correct and pretty good.
            But I think it misses an important point, that I also think explains the lack of a “real” democratic opposition. Corruption is what drives our politics – getting elected, which means getting bought, means that what you campaign on is irrelevant.

            indeed, a more accurate determination of what substantive policy will occur is that it will be the opposite of what the candidate, both republican and democrat promise.
            small government
            humble foreign policy
            deficit reduction (enacted largest medicare benefits ever without paying for them, tax reductions. is that “conservative”)
            OH, everybody here knows what they are

            As lies and inconsistency drive our politics, any discussion about where anybody stands is pointless and inaccurate. Certainly Obama is not a liberal – but it doesn’t matter if Obama reinstituted slavery – Republicans would call it liberal!

            Politicians are all for the rich getting richer, and more war. Gay rights and abortion are just marketing that are trimmed and hedged in various markets as necessary, and maybe to maintain the illusion, like professional wrestling, that a big fight is going on.

            1. susan the other

              Since becoming an economic power house in the late 1800s, we, the USA, has been a one-trick pony. When we can no longer expand via a Civil War, or the Gold Rush, or any number of other rushes, including the drug trade, fittingly, we go full war monger – which accomplishes the same thing only faster. It gives all the power to the “capitalists” who invest to their own ends. So now Obama and Yellen, in the hangover from their own exposed politix, have had a little meeting at the White House and it is being fudged as a talk about the TPP. Yes their meeting was about the TPP and how it would stimulate exports and might even help the US farmer. Translation: The Fed’s new assignment is to keep US corporations alive long enough to achieve the TPP and toss something in for US agriculture which is sure to suffer in a new globalized food market. And I’m wondering if it logically follows that any US corporations that really don’t have a future in a race-to-the-bottom world of exports, any corporations that will not survive in the already-planned future are to be somehow cut off from the Fed’s largesse. Just thinkin’

          2. Ned Ludd

            Rachel Maddow:

            On Tuesday’s “The Tonight Show” on NBC, the host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” told Leno her ideology is to the right of former Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s presidential platform, and she might identify herself an Eisenhower Republican.

            “Over all of history — I think that politics has moved so far to the right over the decades that if you look at the Republican Party platform from like the ’50s — I am as liberal as they come. But it is to the left of me. The Republican Party platform from the ’50s — I am so liberal I would be an Eisenhower Republican.”

    5. Jason Boxman

      I expect Obama now has his opening to nuke Social Security. In the spirit of bi-partisanship, of course!

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Obama’s flunkie Van Jones didn’t seem like he was being delusional about last night. He understood the Democrats perceived as centrists lost, so I take that as a sign the White House may have arrived at a similar conclusion.

            1. wbgonne

              Yes, and this was the post this morning from one of Daily Kos’ neoliberal front-pagers:

              There’s a case where the issue is the economy, stupid, and in a surprising way: income inequality. NY Times:

              The issue that the White House might have expected to boost Democratic candidates — the economy, which by many measures is in far better condition than it was even two years ago — may have in fact proved to be a negative for the president and his party. In preliminary exit polls of voters conducted by Edison Research, a large majority of voters described the national economy in negative terms and most said the United States economic system favored the wealthy.

              Democrats weren’t just punished for it happening on their watch (the WH and Senate), they were punished for looking like they wanted nothing to do with addressing it. Call it “the revenge of Occupy.”

              1. Banger

                The Democrats understood all this–they knew that most people don’t think the economy is doing well and that their children will do worse than they are doing–this is a pessimistic age and the Democrats offered us nothing other than not being as bad as the Republicans. They’re fine with that and they’re fine with losing–the Senators will just end up making more money from the “friends” they made in office, the political operatives always land on their feet–believe me. The Democrats don’t care if they lose–in fact, it offers many of them an easier life.

                This is why anyone who describes him or herself as a traditional FDR/Hubert Humphrey liberal or progressive should no longer support the Democratic Party–leave it to cynical pols like Cuomo and his pals to run their little rackets. And as for DKOS–bomb it out of existence! It is where progressives go to die–there is no future there–get out! Hopefully a real progressive general interest site will emerge where you don’t get thrown out for relatively minor breaches of political correctness.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  “…not as bad as…”

                  That’s like a lot of mutual fund managers – when I only lost 15%, when the S&P index went down 20%, my shareholders should be satisfied.

                  This ‘mission creep,” I believe, started when students asked their professors to grade them on a curve. Everything went south from there.

                2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  May I suggest, or I should say, I recommend, the links section of this website as the general interest site for all those former or would-be-former Kos readers?

    6. Banger

      The Democratic Party needs to die. It is just another semi-criminal enterprise–their message amounts to nothing as far as I could see in my contested state of North Carolina. Hagan ran as someone who would keep things as they are as much as possible–that’s it. She deservedly lost and did not get votes from people like me.

      Direct democracy is the right path–no more political parties–just us “folks.”

      1. James

        The good news Banger, is that they’re well on their way. Not quite there yet, but might be time to strike up the dirge. After the HillaBeast either goes down in flames or withdraws during the run up to 2016 I think it might be time to call the coffin maker for a proper fitting.

        Not sure just us folks can do any better, but we damn sure couldn’t do any worse!

        Peace, out!

  4. Mark Gisleson

    I raced home from my father’s funeral in Iowa to make sure I got to vote. I live in Paul Ryan’s congressional district, and had been looking forward to voting since moving to SW WI fifteen months ago. Despite voting in the primary and school board elections, I discovered I’d been purged from the voting rolls.

    Fortunately, WI is a same-day registration state and I was able to re-register and voted, but the voter registration person told me I was one of 150 voters who registered that day, mostly existing voters who’d been purged.

    The Republican legislature changed the rules on almost everything in WI. You now put down your physical address on everything, even though countless Wisconsonites only get their mail through their P.O. boxes. It took me three months to get a drivers license because the outsourced California firm kept sending it to the no mail delivery address. I am all but certain I was sent a post card at the physical address, it bounced and they purged me. This is caging the vote, and usually Democratic Kenosha County went Red yesterday as a result.

    Voters are clearly disgusted, but I doubt the Republicans could have won the Senate without massive voter suppression. The Supreme Court only stopped their plan in WI because the fix was already in. Needless to say, I voted with a paper ballot because there is no reason to think your electronic vote is counted.

    1. John Zelnicker

      “even though countless Wisconsonites only get their mail through their P.O. boxes”

      I have a suggestion which has worked for me for many years. Use a two-line address with the physical address on the first line and the po box on the second. Use the po box ZIP code. This works because gov’t agencies and companies read the address from the top down. However, the post office processes mail reading from the bottom up and will see the po box before the physical address. If there is no second address line just put the po box after the street address.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        John, thanks but when I did that to establish my residency (hard to produce a utility bill when you move in with a homeowner), I did that and the postmaster told me he couldn’t guarantee I’d get all my mail because my box and street address are in two different zip codes.

        This would be very easy to fix, but the lege doesn’t want this to work because it enabled this week’s vote caging to successfully disenfranchise a significant amount of voters.

      2. susan the other

        thanx for this tip. I hesitate to give my street address because it always gets screwed up like above.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Dear George Bullshit Hier,

        The online form may be different. The one I filled out for my license at the DMV forced us to write the PO Box off on the side, and they ignored it. Did you also look online to see if I voted in the school board election a couple of months ago? Can you explain why my name disappeared from the voter rolls less than three months after my last vote despite my not moving?

        Given two addresses to mail to, a voter caging operation will always pick the one that mail isn’t delivered to. It isn’t about verifying your right to vote, it’s about making sure you don’t get to vote, period.

  5. diptherio

    Re: the history of Crypto-Currencies

    While I generally agree with FT’s take on the potential for “currencies” like BitCoin, DogeCoin, LiteCoin, etc., there are, in fact, models of successful supplementary currencies that do actually connect to the real economy.

    But these currencies are not seeking to replace national currencies, but rather to provide additional purchasing power to people in order to allow goods and services to be more efficiently utilized. The Bangla-Pesa, in Mombasa, Kenya, is my current favorite example:

    Mombasa, Kenya — How can people in the world’s poorest slums increase their businesses – even when they don’t have enough money to buy food every day?

    One solution found by residents in a slum on Kenya’s coast is simply to print their own money.
    Bangla-Pesa works by allowing barter between small business owners. Since Bangla-Pesa is accepted only in “Bangladesh,” the cash stays in the community, allowing people to save their Kenyan shillings for bigger purchases.

    For example, a motorcycle taxi driver may have the capacity for 20 trips a day but only takes five. At the same time, a fish vendor throws out 20 percent of her stock. With Bangla-Pesa, the fish vendor can buy a ride to the market instead of walking; the taxi driver can buy the excess fish, or something else.

    The Bangla-Pesa acts as a voucher for the trade.

    “The whole idea of alternative currencies is to help communities manage themselves with local economies and local leadership,” says Will Ruddick, an American economist living in Kenya who introduced the Bangla-Pesa last May, sparking a large outcry from Kenya’s central bank that he was undermining the shilling.

    After government charges and a brief arrest, Mr. Ruddick went free as he explained that Bangla-Pesa allows people to tap into excess goods and services that already exist in their community, but that go to waste because residents don’t have enough capital to buy them.

    We’ve got local currencies here in the US, too, as well as a history of creating and using supplementary currencies in times of distress:

    Depression scrip was used during the depression era (1930’s) as a substitute for government issued currency. Because of the banks closing temporarily and the lack of physical currency, someone had to come up with another form of currency to keep the economy going and a way for trade to continue. Therefore the old idea of local currency was reborn. Paper, cardboard, wood, metal tokens, leather, clam shells and even parchment made from fish skin was used. At one point, the U.S. Government considered issuing a nation wide scrip on a temporary basis. But that idea was quickly shot down by the Secretary of the Treasury William H. Woodin. Instead, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing was tasked with increasing their printing of new Federal Reserve notes. Take a look at the different categories under the picture archive heading to the left to see the hundreds of different forms of depression money and scrip.

    In summation: alternative currencies can have a salutary effect on real economic conditions, but they need to be 1) locally-based, and 2) intended to encourage trade, not make people rich.

    1. not_me

      In summation: alternative currencies can have a salutary effect on real economic conditions, but they need to be 1) locally-based, and 2) intended to encourage trade, not make people rich. diptherio

      Our banks (broadly including credit unions) issue what are essentially alternative currencies, ie. bank credit, and sadly and unjustly, the only alternative to bank credit is to deal with actual physical fiat.

  6. abynormal

    90 yro jailed for feeding homeless & last week 5 more US cities initiated same law…here it comes:

    “It is fatal to look hungry. It makes people want to kick you.”

    Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London
    “In famine, a focus on women and children highlights biology: here is a mother who cannot feed her child, a breakdown in the natural order of life. This focus obscures who and what is to blame for the famine, politically and economically, and can lead to the belief that a biological response, more food, will solve the problem.”
    Sharman Apt Russell, Hunger: An Unnatural History
    “By defining the problem as “hunger,” the emergency food system is helping to direct our attention away from the more fundamental problem of poverty, and the even more basic problem of inequality.”
    Janet Poppendieck, Sweet Charity?: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement
    “Coca cola and McDonalds is spreading. Just like hunger and poverty.”
    Tim Goossens
    “Jeremy Bentham argued that ‘even in the best of times the great mass of citizens will most probably possess few resources other than their daily labour and, consequently, be always near indigence’. As long as working man was near indigence, hunger would remain an effective tool to goad him to labour. Bentham argued that an important task of government was to ensure conditions of deprivation, thereby guaranteeing that hunger would [be a constant motivation to work].”
    Linda McQuaig, Cult of Impotence
    “In the end, the art of hunger can be described as an existential art. It is a way of looking death in the face, and by death I mean death as we live it today: without God, without hope of salvation. Death as the abrupt and absurd end of life”
    Paul Auster
    “Hunger quashes man’s will to help his fellow man.”

    Kang Chol-Hwan, The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

    1. pretzelattack

      rule of law–if we let this guy slide, next thing you know the rich and connected won’t get prosecuted.

      1. cwaltz

        Here’s to hoping he gets the same treatment as the rich trust fund kiddie diddler who was able to not spend time in jail because “he wouldn’t do well in a prison population.”

    2. wbgonne

      If Jesus was to preach what He preached in Galilee,
      They would lay poor Jesus in His grave.

      — “Jesus Christ” by Woody Guthrie

    3. fresno dan

      November 5, 2014 at 8:44 am

      excellent references – Thanks!!!

      (SARC) I think its do to terrorism….you know, cooking utensils…..and in those cooking utensils, pressure cookers….you can’t be too careful. Think of the children…
      or they hate us for our freedoms (to be hungry….)

    4. ChrisPacific

      There seems to be an increasing trend of governments cracking down hard on any community-based, non-profit organization that (a) performs a function that should arguably be provided by government and (b) does an obviously better job of it. Occupy Sandy was another good example.

      I can understand why. If communities discover that they can be more effective by self-organizing and helping each other out, it’s only a matter of time before they decide that their current system of government isn’t working out for them and should perhaps be replaced with something better. It’s an existential threat to said government and its backers.

  7. Eureka Springs

    Whaaaat? Allow Lambert a few hours sleep while complete results come in as well as the ability to digest the information before reporting on it.

    How civilized. It’s almost as if NC is practicing insistence upon fact/issue based elections in this country…) Thank you.

    And a message to my fellow American Dem/Progs. You can cry me a river only because you haven’t noticed I quit listening to you, your O’Romney not care, war mongering, love of the rich class warfare neoliberalism, abrogation of rule of law years ago. Shut up and look in the mirror for gawd sakes!

  8. Carolinian

    “The Hemingway of Lying” is good stuff but doesn’t really explain the weird Putin hatred that pervades major news outlets. For newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post it’s obviously not just a matter of making money from war reporting (and as he says their reporters are faceless functionaries, not ego driven big kahunas). Given the shallowness of our current journalistic elites one almost suspects it’s simply another example of their high school Heather-ism. The leaders of the pack get to decide who is blackballed from the club. It’s a token of their power and leadership.

    But of course it’s also a deeply unserious approach to the world. Harper’s has a Hillary profile out that says her principal characteristic is her complete mediocrity. This same analysis could apply to many. The dirty little secret about our “elites” is that they aren’t very elite….just hangers on in an empire at the end of its string.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Msm outlets are stenographer outfits. The MIC needs enemies and creates enemies, and then they create press releases or release stories to their reporter friends. Terrorism and Iran aren’t working. The Asian pivot was a dud. The msm could barely contain it’s boredom, so super-Hitler enters the scene. If Put in had hair, they wouldn’t try this.

    2. fresno dan

      November 5, 2014 at 9:07 am

      “Harper’s has a Hillary profile out that says her principal characteristic is her complete mediocrity.”
      I think that is a profound insight.
      It makes me wonder about Bill Clinton – is going to Oxford so elite, or is it more like being a boy scout and acquiring merit badges? As Woody Allen said, 90% of life is showing up, and if your willing to sit on your ass all day at events no one with common sense would spend 5 minutes at, maybe your reward is “elite”

    3. susan the other

      The reason for the “West’s” hatred of Putin and Russia is because Russia has truly vast oil reserves. John McCain famously said “Russia is not a country, it’s a gas station.” And Russia can single-handedly screw up our economy forever. Because our economy is based on pretend assets.

      1. James

        And John McCain is not a politician, but he plays one on TV. Don’t know what Arizonans are thinking. Even the sun-baked, petrified, old corpses of his generation.

    4. James

      Pretty simple really. Putin has the nerve to do what they don’t: speak honest truth to power, at least regarding recent US misadventures in the ME and Ukraine. No, Putin is certainly no Boy Scout either, but the longer he stands up to and in contrast to Obama and the west, the more he starts to look like the Second Coming. While the USSR and the “Red Menace” have long since been consigned to the history books, the US, with the willing assistance of its so-called “free press,” remains, as ever, psychotically punching at imagined ghosts.

  9. Banger

    The “shock” of a Republican landslide should not be that surprising. The Scott Walker election should prove something is going on with the American electorate that progressives don’t understand. Why did a highly divisive Koch-controlled, evangelical Christian thrive in a state not known as an Idaho-like state? I think there are a lot of reasons but one that the left needs to understand is that the RP, compared the the DP, is the party of Action. Americans feel we are drifting into some kind of trouble–they have no clue what that trouble is but Republicans want to take some kind of action to change something. That they want to do things that will be, in the end, harmful to most people doesn’t matter because few Americans are able to think rationally. They just want some assess kicked–that’s why Walker did well after his confrontations with public empolyee unions. He didn’t negotiate much he mainly kicked some ass humiliated the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party that lies, today, curled up in a ball getting its ass kicked by people who are confident, active and not at all vulnerable to feelings of compassion, inquiry, contemplation or any of the rest of that liberal nattering nabobs of negativism. Thought, reason, science, learning is not something Americans want. They want the Old Testament God of smiting enemies.

    I have, for a long time now, believed that the Democratic Party was worthless as a vehicle for the left–in fact it is a casket–it has killed the left more than anything the RP has done. “Liberals” are always going to be a minority–reason is at its lowest ebb of popularity today but the left cannot grow unless it coheres. The American left is diverse but we can come together on the basis of compassion and reason–the heart and mind together and stand for that without compromise like the RP stands for the opposite. Even when in power the DP does nothing other than make things worse and further the interests of their own families, operatives and narrow constituencies–they don’t care about us, they really don’t–and I’ve seen these characters up close–in a word they tend to be hypocrites. Republican operatives I’ve know, in contrast, are more interesting and, on a personal level, honest, straightforward, generous (privately) and personable.

    What we need is a political party that is honest–it may only attract 15% of the populace but unless we create an alternative that does point out that the villains are not the poor but Wall Street, not the Muslims, but the MIC and that our disease is not caused by our lack of chemicals in our system but stress and that stress is caused directly by the assumptions behind our capitalist system, i..e, human beings have no worth other than their productivity. I believe that if such a party were to be formed the American people would gradually flock to us. This election has shown the total bankruptcy of the Democratic Party and it’s time is over and all of us need to spread that message and do what we can and join together with others.

    1. James

      As it came down to the wire, the annual D vs R grudge match had certainly been one for the books. Led by their sophomore sensation Barry “The Mad Bomber” Obama, the Ds had the game tied at 45 all with the ball at the Rs 14 going in. Obama had revolutionized the long passing game with his surgical bombing strikes in his first two seasons, and now as the clock wound down on the latest edition of the big rivalry game, the presumptive Heisman Trophy winner and unanimous All-American quarterback was poised to win the day yet again and cement his legacy as one of the all-time greats in D history.

      As they huddled up, the always confident Obama barked out the play. “Ok guys, student body left on one, got it? STUDENT BODY LEFT LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW!” As they broke for the line, Obama smiled almost imperceptibly, knowing the subterfuge he had planned would be all the more successful with even his own team kept in the dark. At the snap, the Ds dutifully pulled left and the Rs all just as dutifully followed. Just as Obama knew it would, the resulting alley to the right was wide enough to drive a US carrier group through, and after first feigning left for appearances, he doubled back and followed it.

      But just as Obama was about to break the goal line for the deciding points, he stopped, reversed his field, and raced 99 yards unmolested in the opposite direction for what seemed to be the deciding two point safety for the Rs. In the stunned confusion and bedlam that followed however, the refs mistakenly awarded the Rs a touchdown to go up 51-45 with only a single tick left, and before the refs could stop the game for a review, an equally befuddled Joe Biden hustled on to kick the extra point for the Rs, and the game ended with the 52-45 triumphant Rs carrying Obama off the field to their locker room.

      As the press gathered around Obama in the jubilant locker room afterward, the obvious question came up. Just what IN THE WORLD were you thinking in handing the Rs this historic victory Barry and how do you think this will affect your legacy? Obama paused for a minute while taking several tugs off his massive victory cigar to reflect and then simply answered: “Listen boys, it’s not about who wins and loses the game or legacies for that matter either, it’s about the fact that I get to score the winning points and ensure that big fat contract waiting for me after my career is over here.”

    2. Jim

      “The American left is diverse but we can come together on the basis of compassion and reason…the heart and mind together.”

      Your concept of the heart and mind together is a potentially worthwhile foundation for political recruitment that, I believe, could eventually appeal to a much broader segment of the American populace then what is traditionally defined as the American left.

      But now the really hard work must begin. The dots must begin to be connected. It sounds as if you are starting your analysis from a cultural not an economic or material base. All of the key phenomena in this realm (the nature of mind, the nature of reason, the role of the brain, the role of emotion and the irrational, the role of cultural conditioning, your assumptions about human consciousness) should be spelled out and debated in more detail. For example, you seem partial to the psychological/Freudian analysis of Christopher Lasch with his emphasis on the culture of narcissism. How are culture, mind, brain and the pathology of narcissism connected in his analysis What is his causitive hypothesis?

      The majority of the commentary on NC tends to accept the primacy of material(biological) and the economic. But I believe this perspective is no longer adequate for political mobilization or for generating genuine insight into the multi-dimensional crises that we now face.

      For the materialists (both economic and biological) culture and consciousness are mere epiphenomena.
      In a general sense, from this perspectives causation proceeds from brain to mind, with culture being viewed as largely a disguise for the material world– whether economic or biological.

      But if I read you correctly you seem ready to take on this perspective (in both the biological and economic realms) with alternative hypotheses and perhaps the spelling out of a different causal dynamic that might eventually lead to the articulation of an alternative politics which as you state might result in the coming together of compassion and reason.

      1. Banber

        I think you got it right. Indeed one has to start, at this point in history, from essentials. For example, what is consciousness, what it the meaning of our life and so on. I believe there are very simple “answers” to these questions and I am in the process of formulating a way to get this across somehow.

        I don’t completely accept all of Lasch’s ideas, btw, but I think he coined the term “culture of narcissism” and I like him. Others that have influenced me are Lewis Mumford, Ivan Illich, Neil Postman, Buckminster Fuller, Jacques Ellul and many more contemporary thinkers particularly, lately, Gabor Matte and his work bringing a number of ideas together to synthesize some really interesting insights. I think, outside the mainstream academy which is as bankrupt as the political system there’s a lot of ferment and stimulating ideas. We need to not only get out of the world of corporations but also out of the world of education including normal “schooling” which is unchanged since the 19th century and simply exists due to inertia, the system itself and the inability of our contemporary society to think straight about anything (precisely because the educational system at all levels completely sucks).

        I believe we need to organize holistically perhaps starting with deconditiioning from the most obvious fallacies and idiotic concepts that are at the heart of almost all of our assumptions. The mind needs to develop rigor and actually find out what real science has been telling us about the nature of human beings and reality. At the same time, my background is also in spirituality or what Aldous Huxley called “the perennial philosophy” which from my POV is deeply rational and scientific in its own way.

        Indeed you are right about the materialism here at NC which believe is why discussions don’t get very far. The focus here is on finance I and economics which, to me, are trivial issues that society has made central because we are afraid to look deeply into things because we have too much to think about and we are suffering deeply from “future shock” things are moving too fast–the structures we once thought were real aren’t and so all we have left is money and how it flows–which is both our religion (so-called Christians are just as bad as anyone else–even a bit worse) and the one solid thing we can hold on to.

        I don’t think we’re kind of stuck here–this is a place to vent, hang out–we need something specific to do, to create. I have some ideas on that.

  10. dearieme

    “Ninety-year-old man faces jail for giving food to homeless people”: what sort of lunatic would lock up a ninety year-old for that?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Unlike, say 40 or 50 years, today, 90 is like 70.

      At least that’s what they say – that I look 30ish.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        People who make it to 100 tend to be healthier than people in their 70’s. My 100+ grandmother likes to talk about doctors she has outlived.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          She’s fortunate.

          My Chado teacher is 90+ and still teaches 5 or 6 times a week. She’s got aches here and there, but otherwise relatively healthy, remarkable memory. She attributes it to green tea, but I suspect being full engaged in life is also a key.

          That’s why work is good, but we don’t necessarily need jobs – to pre-empt any controversies, I will just note it depends on the definitions of work and job.

  11. dearieme

    How could anyone ver have doubted that Hemingway was a fake? It was obvious to me when I first read him, and I was a teenager.

    1. Carolinian

      Hemingway was a great writer. That doesn’t make him a great man or change the fact that, as is true with many writers, his later stuff didn’t measure up. By the thirties he had “gone Hollywood.”

      1. MikeNY

        ITA on Hemingway’s greatness.

        IMO, For Whom the Bell Tolls and A Farewell to Arms are masterpieces, works of genius, for what EH says about the human spirit and for how he says it. Regardless of whether Hemingway was personally a cad or a fraud.

    2. craazyman

      People really shouldn’t believe anything that writers write.

      It’s always a lie. But if they write well enough it seems like it’s true. That’s what Hemingway did. He made it up so well he convinced everybody.

      is it morning in America? or is that just light from an oncoming train?

      It could be the morning train! Oh well. At least it’s finally change you can believe in.

  12. Jay M

    15th century Genoa–isn’t that when we rode dinosaurs?
    So looking forward to the Mitch McConnell years. Chance of a bromance with hopey changey in the WH,maybe?

  13. Garrett Pace

    This week in gerrymandering:

    Utah Republicans have redistricted Democrats out of the US House of Representatives.

    Helpful map:

    This isn’t new, but notice how all four districts meet in a point close to Salt Lake City. That’s the state’s democratic stronghold, and it got carved into four pieces.

    Despite casting 35% of overall votes, Democratic voters find themselves represented by zero out of four Representatives.

    On the plus side, now the Republicans have their own Obama:

      1. James

        Not sure how the braids will play with the R crowd, but who knows? Crazier things have happened. I’d expect a full scale mobilization against the dreaded HillaBeast, and if the Rs get caught up in proving their street cred, they just might do the unthinkable and put her on the ticket someday. My money’s on the Jebster for the big seat in the early running for 2016 though. He’s got that down home “aww shucks” white boy charm and old money patrician respectability that always gets the Rs’ hearts a thumping. And that would make for quite a show right there, with HillBillary tag teaming against the family Bush for all the marbles in 2016! Might be the first pay per view election in history!

        1. Garrett Pace

          Oh come on, do you really think the R’s would throw an unknown female former small town mayor from a sleepy western state on to the ticket as a stunt candidate, just for some diversity bona fides? :)

        1. ambrit

          I thought that the braids meant she either has lots of free time or ‘assistants’ to do the job for her while she multitasks. (Now if she were to ‘come out’ she would be unstoppable. It doesn’t have to be true. She would only have to ‘play one on TV.’) She’s from Utah! Pair her up with Romney!

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Time to switch from the Democratic Neoliberal Index Fund to the Republican Neoliberal Index Fund???

    Neither is progressive, but the power bases are different and a different set of corporations seems destined to prosper in the near term…

    1. James

      Go long on defense, my son! Go long on defense! Prisons and firearms remain outstanding plays as well of course.

      1. cwaltz

        Heh, it’s so nice that even the little people can prosper by screwing each other over. Hooray Boeing gets to build planes for $7.25 an hour and I get a dollar from the cost savings on labor! Woohoo!

        1. James

          And just think how good you’ll feel after finally saving up for your first Boeing and how proud you’ll feel seeing it in the driveway! Won’t the neighbors just be green with envy!

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Team R wants the pot that had been going to the DC metro area, so it will be interesting how that shakes out. The GOP on a year to year model did not do well, and they know the map is a problem in 2016.

        1. cwaltz

          Never underestimate the ability of the Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It’s their specialty. I’m sure even though by 2016 everyone will remember exactly why they got rid of a Republican Congress in 2006 that the Democratic Party will pick a resounding message that won’t resound with anyone other than their overpaid consultants.

  15. McMike

    Pretty good rant, not a lot to disagree with….

    An Election—and a Nation—Lost in Vietnam & Afghanistan

    The GOP/corporate coup d’etat is nearly complete.

    The Republicans now control the major media, the Supreme Court, the Congress and soon the presidency.

    Think Jeb Bush in 2016.

    All throughout America, right down to the local level, buried in a tsunami of cash and corruption, our public servants are being morphed into corporate operatives.

    Our electoral apparatus is thoroughly compromised by oceans of dirty money, Jim Crow registration traps, rigged electronic voting machines, gerrymandering, corrupt secretaries of state.

    The internet may be next. Above all, if there is one thing that could save us a shred of democracy, it’s preserving net neutrality. This fight could in fact outweigh all the others, and may be decided soon. Whatever depression you may now feel, shake it off to wage this battle. If we now lose the ability to freely communicate, we are in the deepest hole of all.

    The roots of this corporate coup reach where they always do when empires collapse—useless, cancerous, debilitating, endless imperial war…. [more]

    Harvey Wasserman

    1. hunkerdown

      Meh. Better to assume that the government fancies itself your supervisor 24×7 and route *around* them, which is the Internet’s best skill. Certainly, it’s going to be a bad year for municipal Internet, but hey, it’s all good, Democratic spokeswoman Rachel Maddow just outed herself as to the right of Eisenhower, which pretty much suggests that the D party is *also* the target.

  16. regarding election results

    Versus seeing California as a hold out for Democratic Ideology, which, according to mythology, we were all taught: values all humans living within, and outside, its borders; far more sane to see California as the Billionaire Ridden State where the reality that the Democrat and Republican Parties are actually One, is clearly obvious.

    For just one example:

    11/04/14 Residents of Nation’s Biggest Homeless Encampment [In “The Heart” of Silicon Valley], “The Jungle” in San Jose [California], Protest Port-A-Potty Closing Time, Police Sweeps

    … people who live in “the Jungle,” across the street from Happy Hollow Zoo, accused the city of “inhumane treatment” at their pre-election protest and news conference Monday.

    Residents and homeless advocates said they’ve been left in a very unsanitary limbo: They want the city to drop its time restrictions on portable toilets installed on the premises. Right now, they can only be used from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    words can’t fully express. ….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Don’t people in Japan commit petty crimes on purpose, just to get some free room and board?

      1. hunkerdown

        Have you considered just how kind and reasonable prisons are in other countries with developed economies? In the US, you only try that sort of thing when you want boxing practice.

    1. James

      Nice link, especially considering a good portion, if not most, of JFK’s brain went up in a pink mist as soon as the bullet from the grassy knoll finished him off. Oh, but that’s right, Lee Harvey What’s-His-Name was the lone shooter, and in a physics defying act only a Soviet trained traitor could have performed, caused his head to explode backward in the same direction the bullet came from. Because government experts, or something like that.

      On the sunny side, no chance Barry O’s still controversial “brain” will go missing anytime soon. Absence of evidence does not constitute evidence of absence just yet, unfortunately.

      1. ambrit

        My favourite idea about Le Affaire Dallas is that JFK was accidentally shot by one of his own bodyguards. The book “Mortal Error” plausibly put that theory forward.

  17. subgenius

    Are people really still thinking that the r vs d debate is in any way worthwhile???

    After a lot of observation I fail to see any functional difference between the 2 sanctified choices….but all the discussions indicate I am in a minority.

    1. OIFVet

      I think that you are wrong: most people here would probably share your view that there is functional difference between the two wings of the Corporatist party. To me, it is a discussion about how truly awful the Democrat wing is and how richly it earned its drubbing for selling out the regular people it pretended to serve. And hopefully the discussion opens a few eyes and minds.

    2. proximity1

      Well, count me in your (i.e. subgenius’ ) camp. Our politics is pure “Money-ball” and Democrat vs. Republican is–currently and for quite a long time now–a con for suckers. Unless one finds electoral muscial-chairs interesting, nothing happened Tuesday other than that our corporate-owned political system’s masters reconfrimed what was never in question: their outright and uncontested ownership.

      That doesn’t mean that I count partisan politics as always and everywhere a hopeless and futile matter. If we had anything resembling a democratic set of political institutions, then there’d be every reason to hold and to participate in regular elections. But, until such time as there are such institutions established, such participation only serves to legitimize what is grotesquely illegitimate.

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