Monday, December 26, 2011

It's not because they're rich

Matt Taibbi nails it:
People like Dimon, and Schwarzman, and John Paulson, and all of the rest of them who think the “imbeciles” on the streets are simply full of reasonless class anger, they don’t get it. Nobody hates them for being successful. And not that this needs repeating, but nobody even minds that they are rich. 
What makes people furious is that they have stopped being citizens.
And then he gives examples. It's a must read.

UPDATE: Says Ministry of Truth, "Let's admit that if corporations are people then they are abusive, sociopathic people who have no sense of patriotism or empathy."

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I didn't realize it had got quite this bad

Holy smokes:
"The Republican Party has totally abdicated its job in our democracy, which is to act as the guardian of fiscal discipline and responsibility," says David Stockman, who served as budget director under Reagan. "They're on an anti-tax jihad – one that benefits the prosperous classes."
And for extra credit, he calls Grover Norquist a "fiscal terrorist."

It's off to Fox reeducation camp for you, Mr. Stockman.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Worth remembering

Worth remembering:
The U.S. does not have oil. Exxon has oil. The Koch Bros have oil. When the oil is in our ground, Exxon (or whoever) owns it. That gives them the right to spend some of their billions to bribe (sorry, campaign-contribute, lobby) our public officials to let them drill it out.
Then they put it on the open market, where we have the right to bid against the entire rest of the planet to poison ourselves with it.

Friday, November 04, 2011

On conservative victimhood

Amanda Marcotte:
Meanwhile, across the nation, people are losing their jobs and homes, and dying of treatable illnesses because they don’t have health insurance. With real victimhood all around us, it’s hard to find an ounce of sympathy for someone who feels victimized because they aren’t teaching creationism in schools, because they have to pay their taxes, or because they have to endure pressing “1” for English when they call AT&T.
She goes on to argue that conservatives are losing their hold on the national conversation. Hope she's right.

Food for thought

A discussion last night on the nature of evil led me to revisit M. Scott Peck's People of the Lie, where he says:
For adults to be the victims of evil, they must be powerless to escape. They may be powerless when a gun is held to their head...Or they may be powerless by virtue of their own failure of courage...Whenever adults not at gunpoint become victims of evil it is because they have - one way or another - bound [themselves] by chains of laziness and dependency....settling for a child's impotence.
And this further from Erich Fromm, The Heart of Man: Its Genius for Good and Evil:
The longer we continue to make the wrong decisions, the more our heart hardens; the more often we make the right decisions, the more our heart softens--or better perhaps, comes alive...Most people fail at the art of living not because they are inherently bad or so without will that they cannot lead a better life; they fail because they do not wake up and see when they stand at a fork in the road and have to decide. They are not aware when life asks them a question, and when they still have alternative answers. Then with each step along the wrong road it becomes increasingly difficult for them to admit that they are on the wrong road.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Occupy Wall Street for Dummies

Hunter explains, in his inimitable fashion:
Here's a helpful tip: if you are a political pundit and you still don't know what Occupy Wall Street stands for, you are an idiot. If you purport to make your living analyzing the political landscape, or from parsing the effectiveness of various political messages, or if you write columns explaining what the American people want based on your deep, intimate knowledge of what the American people want, but you still, after a month, cannot quite grasp what these uncouth people in the streets are going on about, then you are categorically bad at your job. If you find yourself tuttering and tsking over how the protestors are merely a group of fringe figures, and you do not notice or care to notice the polls expressing wide support for the message, you are a fraud. 
[...] Here, I will give it to you in a mere few words: the Occupy Wall Street movement is a protest against rampant income inequality, against corporate excesses, and against a government rigged to protect and worsen both.
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Batshit Bachmann

Haven't been to Wonkette in a while, but today, reading reactions to Michele Bachmann's latest insane campaign commercial, I found this:
Welcome to Batshit Bachmann's Emporium of Insanity! You want Xtian Fundamentalism! We'll push it!!! You want no regulations whatsoever! It's done. No more deficit spending! It's all yours! More War!! No more gubbiment in your Medicare? No Homo?!? Done, done and done. At Batshit Bachmann's we don't do anything smart or sane. You name your deepest darkest craziest desire and we'll do it! Go vote at Batshit Bachmann's where we're flush US America down the toilet in the name of low taxes and Jeebus!!!!
...and as another commenter noted, this could describe the entire Republican platform of late.

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 11

Richard Trumka:
Just 10 years after 9/11, despite our vows, the public servants, construction workers and others who lost their lives or still suffer with the cancerous remnants of the Twin Towers haven’t just been forgotten. They’ve been vilified. The extremist small government posse has turned them into public enemy No. 1, as though teachers and firefighters, EMTs and nurses and union construction workers ruined America’s economy.
 Unbelievably sad.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Obama the Marxist

Glenn Greenwald on billionaire self-pity:
Since Obama was inaugurated, the Dow Jones has increased more than 50% -- from 8,000 to more than 12,000; the wealthiest received a massive tax cut; the top marginal tax rate was three times less than during the Eisenhower years and substantially lower than during the Reagan years; income and wealth inequality are so vast and rising that it is easily at Third World levels; meanwhile, "the share of U.S. taxes paid by corporations has fallen from 30 percent of federal revenue in the 1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009." During this same time period, the unemployment rate has increased from 7.7% to 8.9%; millions of Americans have had their homes foreclosed; and the number of Americans living below the poverty line increased by many millions, the largest number since the statistic has been recorded. Can you smell Obama's radical egalitarianism and Marxist anti-business hatred yet?
UPDATE: I find this chart helpful:

UPDATE 2: Reading Steiglitz today is truly unsettling:
All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow...
And yet trying to reach the people falling behind to get them to turn off Fox News, stop fighting the wrong targets (unions, teachers) and start fighting the right ones (banksters, huge corporations, Republicans) is proving beyond our grasp. What, more letters to the editor? More knocking on doors? They don't hear us no matter what we say. It's like tapping on the window with a sponge.