Saturday, September 25, 2010

The GOP "Scorched Earth" Policy Aided By "Felony Blow Job" Charge From "Kooky Cult" (You've Got It!) "The Rage of the Privileged!" & No Criminals Here

(If throwing a contribution Pottersville2's way won't break your budget in these difficult financial times, I really need it, and would wholeheartedly appreciate it. Anything you can afford will make a huge difference in this blog's lifetime.)

Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy, is one heck of an historian/proselytizer for the truth. He speaks plainly always, especially now, and reminds us that the Rethuglicans' lies echoing through the last three decades have denied the United States' citizens their rightful place within the world's educated, productive community (emphasis marks added - Ed.).
The GOP 'Scorched Earth' Policy

The American Democratic party, the party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, was a force to be reckoned with. Most often allied with labor, Democrats - not Republicans - presided over the hard-won triumph over the Great Depression. It was Democrats, not Republicans, who later presided over a thriving economy, an egalitarian economy in the late 40s and much of the 50s. It was the Democratic regimes of FDR and Harry Truman that were the most egalitarian in U.S. History.

This prosperity continued through the JFK years. Not even Nixon could undo the good that had been done. That job was left to Ronald Reagan whose infamous, inequitable tax cut of 1982 breached the wall. Only the upper quintile benefited from Reaganomics of which the infamous tax cut of 1982 was the centerpiece. Only the upper 1 percent have benefited from subsequent GOP largesse.

Over the same period of time, American manufacturing - steel, automotive, appliances et al., - declined. Labor was denied a base upon which to build a movement or even an effective opposition. Out of work and out of money, labor was neutered. As a result, steel is produced in Japan and imported. Appliances are increasingly made in China and imported, denying jobs to US workers. Once a center of world automobile production, downtown Detroit is but a shadow of its former glory. Various suburbs like Flint have deteriorated.

The antipathy shown labor by the American right wing has a long history. In 1911, L.A.Times owner/publisher Gen. Harrison Grey Otis exploited the bombing of the L.A. Times building to win a landmark propaganda war against labor. Two brothers, labor leaders, were accused of this act of 'domestic terrorism' around which Otis rallied opposition to labor despite the fact that the trial ended with a plea bargain. Arguably, the more lasting fallout was the subsequent trial of Clarence Darrow who was accused of bribing prospective jurors.

The GOP has not won the debate with its 'scorched earth' methods and politics. It has merely hollowed out the soul of a nation for the benefit of just 20 percent in the 80s and only 1 percent recently.

The GOP did not defeat labor or its ideals. Rather, it exported their jobs and shut them up. It's the GOP way.

Not just labor, the nation as a whole has paid dearly for this cynical strategy. Confirmation and results can be found at the CIA's own World Fact Book where you will find the U.S. at the bottom of the list with the world's largest NEGATIVE CURRENT ACCT BALANCE; China, with whom GOP Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Bush cut sweetheart deals, is on top.

China prospers. America is near collapse and will eventually be reduced to third world status if it is not there already.

It was all by design. The GOP willingly amputated a nation's leg and arm to save the increasingly stupid head, a ruling one percent which has done little or nothing to deserve is role as the nation's ruling plutocracy! In the meantime, the Democratic party is robbed of its traditional, base - labor.

Thus, was forced upon Bill Clinton the odious 'triangulation' of the increasingly moribund 'center', a strategy for which he was roundly criticized and rightly on principle. In fact, however, it was all that was left him in the wake of the GOP's scorched earth policy.

The U.S. is now a limping, one-legged man where everyone fancies himself an aristocrat but, in fact, everyone but the top one percent are getting poorer. It's a slow boil but coming to a head very quickly now. Interestingly, those benefiting from Reagan's policies were but about 20 percent of the total population. More recently, those benefiting are reduced to just one percent of the population. At what point will the fabulously wealthy one percent become one-half of one percent, eventually, one half or just one quarter of that amount? This curve can be plotted on a graph. A rate of decline can be pinpointed. All it takes is a bit of first semester calculus to plot the very rate at which the GOP impoverishes all of us.

The transfer of wealth upward is deliberate. It's how the the 'pay-offs' are laundered. Clinton reversed the trend but briefly. That he dared get a blow job was much more important than saving a nation from a disastrous fate. In fact, it was all the GOP could pin on him, though he was under a sweeping investigation seemingly from the get go. An investigation in search of real crimes and, finding none, invented the 'felony blow job'.

‎(The Grand Inquisitor) said that Satan's biggest 'trick' was convincing the world that he did not exist. The GOP's biggest trick is convincing the American people that they are a political party. They are, in fact, a crime syndicate with characteristics of a kooky cult. Stanford University studies have proven that GOP-types have more night terrors and horrible nightmares than do normal people. This is understandable. Certainly, the GOP rank and file are insecure, in fact, frightened if not terrified. Nightmares are but dream manifestations of fears and anxieties. Likewise, GOP policy. In short, we, the people have paid and continue to pay for GOP fears and neurotic hang ups. I would think that like me, you are fed up with doing so! Edward R. Murrow: Wires and Lights in a Box

Paul Krugman tells us all about how angry the rich are now that they have been made whole (by us), and how they want no back talk about their past crimes. It's all good. For them. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
The Angry Rich

Anger is sweeping America. True, this white-hot rage is a minority phenomenon, not something that characterizes most of our fellow citizens. But the angry minority is angry indeed, consisting of people who feel that things to which they are entitled are being taken away. And they’re out for revenge. No, I’m not talking about the Tea Partiers. I’m talking about the rich.

These are terrible times for many people in this country. Poverty, especially acute poverty, has soared in the economic slump; millions of people have lost their homes. Young people can’t find jobs; laid-off 50-somethings fear that they’ll never work again.

Yet if you want to find real political rage — the kind of rage that makes people compare President Obama to Hitler, or accuse him of treason — you won’t find it among these suffering Americans. You’ll find it instead among the very privileged, people who don’t have to worry about losing their jobs, their homes, or their health insurance, but who are outraged, outraged, at the thought of paying modestly higher taxes.

The rage of the rich has been building ever since Mr. Obama took office. At first, however, it was largely confined to Wall Street. Thus when New York magazine published an article titled “The Wail Of the 1%,” it was talking about financial wheeler-dealers whose firms had been bailed out with taxpayer funds, but were furious at suggestions that the price of these bailouts should include temporary limits on bonuses. When the billionaire Stephen Schwarzman compared an Obama proposal to the Nazi invasion of Poland, the proposal in question would have closed a tax loophole that specifically benefits fund managers like him.

Now, however, as decision time looms for the fate of the Bush tax cuts — will top tax rates go back to Clinton-era levels? — the rage of the rich has broadened, and also in some ways changed its character. For one thing, craziness has gone mainstream. It’s one thing when a billionaire rants at a dinner event. It’s another when Forbes magazine runs a cover story alleging that the president of the United States is deliberately trying to bring America down as part of his Kenyan, “anticolonialist” agenda, that “the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s.” When it comes to defending the interests of the rich, it seems, the normal rules of civilized (and rational) discourse no longer apply.

At the same time, self-pity among the privileged has become acceptable, even fashionable. Tax-cut advocates used to pretend that they were mainly concerned about helping typical American families. Even tax breaks for the rich were justified in terms of trickle-down economics, the claim that lower taxes at the top would make the economy stronger for everyone. These days, however, tax-cutters are hardly even trying to make the trickle-down case. Yes, Republicans are pushing the line that raising taxes at the top would hurt small businesses, but their hearts don’t really seem in it. Instead, it has become common to hear vehement denials that people making $400,000 or $500,000 a year are rich. I mean, look at the expenses of people in that income class — the property taxes they have to pay on their expensive houses, the cost of sending their kids to elite private schools, and so on. Why, they can barely make ends meet.

And among the undeniably rich, a belligerent sense of entitlement has taken hold: it’s their money, and they have the right to keep it. “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes — but that was a long time ago.

The spectacle of high-income Americans, the world’s luckiest people, wallowing in self-pity and self-righteousness would be funny, except for one thing: they may well get their way. Never mind the $700 billion price tag for extending the high-end tax breaks: virtually all Republicans and some Democrats are rushing to the aid of the oppressed affluent.

You see, the rich are different from you and me: they have more influence. It’s partly a matter of campaign contributions, but it’s also a matter of social pressure, since politicians spend a lot of time hanging out with the wealthy. So when the rich face the prospect of paying an extra 3 or 4 percent of their income in taxes, politicians feel their pain — feel it much more acutely, it’s clear, than they feel the pain of families who are losing their jobs, their houses, and their hopes.

And when the tax fight is over, one way or another, you can be sure that the people currently defending the incomes of the elite will go back to demanding cuts in Social Security and aid to the unemployed. America must make hard choices, they’ll say; we all have to be willing to make sacrifices. But when they say “we,” they mean “you.” Sacrifice is for the little people.

Pooor them. Boo Hoooooo!!!!!!!!! HA! Poorer us (US). The Rage of the Privileged is not something that your political representatives want to evoke. After all, they like hanging out with them.

The Wail of the 1% As the privileged class loses its privileges, a collective moan rises from the canyons of Wall Street.

Please, indulge yourself. Read all about it! Our man on the cynical spot, Glenn Greenwald (our GlennZilla!) reveals to our easily shocked sensibilities the "Obscenity" of Comparing Americans to "Killers and Terrorists". Brrr. Is it Halloween yet? (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

September 18, 2010 Salon A couple of weeks ago, I took issue with some of the objections being voiced by progressive critics of Markos Moulitsas' new book, The American Taliban. In particular, I found this sentence from The American Prospect's Jamelle Bouie - fairly representative of the negative reaction to the book - to be not only absurd but almost offensive in its self-loving nationalism: "Yes, progressives are depressed and despondent about the future, but . . . . it doesn't excuse the obscenity of comparing our political opponents to killers and terrorists." For the reasons I explained, it seems to me that only jingoistic blindness can account for the belief that it is "obscene" to compare the American architects and enablers of the attack on Iraq and the worldwide torture regime (among other crimes) to "killers and terrorists." The former are the latter, by definition. I didn't intend to return to this topic, but The American Prospect's Adam Serwer has now defended his colleague Bouie against my critique, a defense cited yesterday (presumably with approval) by Andrew Sullivan. Beyond that, there's one substantive point raised by this dispute which I think is quite interesting and important and thus merits more attention.

Initially, I must note how odd it is for Serwer and The Prospect, of all people, to be leading this charge, given that Serwer himself six months ago wrote a (genuinely superb) piece for The Atlantic entitled "American Takfiris" which equates John Yoo, Jay Bybee and their "cohorts in the [Bush] Office of Legal Counsel" with Al Qaeda leaders ("takfirism," Serwer explains, is what "allowed al Qaeda to, for all intents and purposes, kill anyone they wanted without violating the laws of Islam": somehow, "American Taliban" is beyond the rhetorical pale, but "American Takfiris" is perfectly acceptable). And then there's the fact that TAP's Editor-in-Chief, Robert Kuttner, wrote an article in February of this year - in that very magazine - entitled . . . . wait for it . . . . "American Taliban," which repeatedly compared the American Right to the Taliban with sentences like this one: "With the complete takeover of the GOP by an American Taliban, the party should be doomed to minority status."

How can Prospect writers possibly rail against Moulitsas as though he committed some grave sin without grappling with these identical "transgressions," including from TAP's own chief editor and from Serwer himself (Serwer claims that his Al Qaeda comparison was narrowly focused on Bush OLC lawyers while Moulitsas generalized much more, but I wonder if Serwer even read American Taliban because Moulitsas is quite specific in citing his culprits, as opposed to Kuttner, who applied the term to the GOP generally).

As for the substance of the argument, I want to be clear: I believe and wrote explicitly (contrary to what TAP's own Editor apparently believes) that in many areas - sexual morality, the status of women, state enforcement of religious dogma, etc. - the actual Taliban is so much more extreme than the mainstream American Right that, shared premises notwithstanding, they are not similar (and in those areas, Moulitsas is using a rhetorical tactic to subvert the Right's own tactics; the efficacy and fairness of Moulitsas' approach in that regard can be and has been reasonably debated). But in other areas, particularly war - which happens to be the title of Chapter 2 of Moulitsas' book - the comparison is more than apt in a literal sense. To see why that is so, just consider this chart, posted yesterday by E.D. Kain (click on image to enlarge, or see it and similar ones here): What's "obscene" is not the comparison between those responsible for this and the Taliban. The real obscenity are those who stand up and say: how dare you compare my fellow Americans who did this "to killers and terrorists" (it should be noted that this chart reflects the most conservative estimate of the number of Iraqis killed). That righteous objection is designed to minimize the breadth and depth of American crimes - oh, it may be bad, but it's not that bad/American warmongers may be bad, but they're still Americans, and thus shouldn't be compared to those inhuman foreign Muslims over there - and that's the real "obscenity."

In a Twitter exchange I had with him, Bouie argued that the number of innocent civilians killed is not the only factor determining one's immorality. That's true, but it's certainly one factor: a very important one. But move beyond numbers. As I documented in my original argument, The Nuremberg Trials established the proposition that "aggressive war" -- which is what the attack on Iraq unquestionably was -- is the supreme crime ("The central crime in this pattern of crimes, the kingpin which holds them all together, is the plot for aggressive wars"), and a central purpose of the Tribunal was to deter future "aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment."

That GlennZilla! Boo! Eat 'em up! Then, of course, there are those stories no one wants to know about (emphasis marks added - Ed.).

Suffocating the Poor: A Modern Parable

They democratically elected a president to stand up to the rich and multinational corporations - so our governments have him kidnapped September 19, 2010 "Independent/" - Today, I want to tell you the story of how our governments have been torturing and tormenting an island in the Caribbean - but it is a much bigger story than that. It's a parable explaining one of the main reasons how and why, across the world, the poor are kept poor, so the rich can be kept rich. If you grasp this situation, you will see some of the ugliest forces in the world laid out before you - so we can figure out how to stop them.

The rubble-strewn island of Haiti is now in the middle of an election campaign that will climax this November. So far, the world has noticed it solely because the Haitian-American musician Wyclef Jean wanted to run for President, only to be blocked because he hasn't lived in the country since he was a kid. But there is a much bigger hole in the election: the most popular politician in Haiti by far, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

He's not there because, after winning a landslide election, he followed the will of the Haitian people who demanded he take on the multinational corporations and redistribute enough money that their children wouldn't starve - so our governments had him kidnapped him at gunpoint and refuse to let him back.

But we have to start a little earlier if this is going to make sense. For over two centuries, Haiti has been effectively controlled from outside. The French enslaved the entire island in the eighteenth century and worked much of the population to death, turning it into the sugar and coffee plantation for the world. By this century, Western governments were arming, funding and fuelling the psychopathic dictatorship of the Duvalier family - who slaughtered 50,000 people - supposedly because they were "our friends" in the fight against communism.

All this left Haiti the most unequal country in the world. A tiny elite lives in vast villas in the hills, while below and all around them, the overwhelming majority of the population live in tiny tin shacks with no water or electricity, crammed six-to-a-room. Just 1 per cent own 50 per cent of the wealth and 75 per cent of the arable land. Once the Haitian people were finally able to rise up in 1986 to demand democracy, they obviously wanted the country's wealth to be shared more fairly.

And you thought that fight against Communism was largely a phantom, didn't you? Silly you. Or US.

One commenter has it straight on.

c.t. 1 day ago

Aristide had to be crushed for the same reason they all had to be crushed. Chomsky called it "the threat of the good example". If any third world leader were to be successful in throwing out the oppressors, lifting his people out of poverty and bringing justice and dignity to his country, that example (and the techniques used to achieve it) would be propagated throughout the third world. For that reason Aristide and those like him have to be destroyed (or co-opted) completely.

Can you stand one more morality tale from PCR? It's a doozy!

The Collapse of Western Morality

September 23, 2010

Yes, I know, as many readers will be quick to inform me, the West never had any morality. Nevertheless things have gotten worse. In hopes that I will be permitted to make a point, permit me to acknowledge that the US dropped nuclear bombs on two Japanese cities, fire-bombed Tokyo, that Great Britain and the US fire-bombed Dresden and a number of other German cities, expending more destructive force, according to some historians, against the civilian German population than against the German armies, that President Grant and his Civil War war criminals, Generals Sherman and Sheridan, committed genocide against the Plains Indians, that the US today enables Israel’s genocidal policies against the Palestinians, policies that one Israeli official has compared to 19th century US genocidal policies against the American Indians, that the US in the new 21st century invaded Iraq and Afghanistan on contrived pretenses, murdering countless numbers of civilians, and that British prime minister Tony Blair lent the British army to his American masters, as did other NATO countries, all of whom find themselves committing war crimes under the Nuremberg standard in lands in which they have no national interests, but for which they receive an American pay check.

I don’t mean these few examples to be exhaustive. I know the list goes on and on. Still, despite the long list of horrors, moral degradation is reaching new lows. The US now routinely tortures prisoners, despite its strict illegality under US and international law, and a recent poll shows that the percentage of Americans who approve of torture is rising. Indeed, it is quite high, though still just below a majority. And we have what appears to be a new thrill: American soldiers using the cover of war to murder civilians. Recently American troops were arrested for murdering Afghan civilians for fun and collecting trophies such as fingers and skulls.

This revelation came on the heels of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s alleged leak of a US Army video of US soldiers in helicopters and their controllers thousands of miles away having fun with joy sticks murdering members of the press and Afghan civilians. Manning is cursed with a moral conscience that has been discarded by his government and his military, and Manning has been arrested for obeying the law and reporting a war crime to the American people. US Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican, of course, from Michigan, who is on the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, has called for Manning’s execution. According to US Rep. Rogers it is an act of treason to report an American war crime. In other words, to obey the law constitutes “treason to America.”

Please read it all. It's the least you can do before our own Nuremberg Trials commence.

And then, we read about the 20 Signs That The Economic Collapse Has Already Begun For One Out Of Every Seven Americans. Hard to argue with these facts (excepting that poor, unfortunate rich 1%, of course, which will argue you to death if they think they can pick up a penny by so doing). (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

September 19, 2010 "Economic Collapse Blog" - For most Americans, the economic collapse is something that is happening to someone else. Most of us have become so isolated from each other and so self-involved that unless something is directly affecting us or a close family member than we really don't feel it. But even though most of us enjoy a much closer relationship with our television sets than we do with our neighbors at this point, it is quickly becoming undeniable that a fundamental shift is taking place in society. Perhaps you noticed it when two or three foreclosure signs went up on your street. Or perhaps it got your attention when that nice fellow down the street lost his job, and he and his family seemingly just disappeared from the neighborhood one day. The Census Bureau made front page headlines all over the nation this week when they announced that one out of every seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009. Every single day more Americans are getting sucked out of the middle class and into soul-crushing poverty. Unfortunately, most Americans don't really care because it has not affected them yet.

But this year, millions more Americans will discover that the music has stopped playing and they are left without a seat at the table. Meanwhile, neither political party has a workable solution. They just like to point fingers and blame each other. The Democrats blame Bush for all the poverty and advocate expanding programs for the poor. Not that there is anything wrong with a safety net. But the "safety net" was never meant to hold 50 million people on Medicaid and 40 million people on food stamps. The number of Americans on food stamps has more than doubled since 2007. So do we just double it again as things get even worse?

I don't agree with all the views that I publish here at Pottersville, but they all have some valid points worth consideration. This one's is that it's time for a real change. Does anyone have a way forward? Or do we all need to prepare to immigrate now that that wealthy 1% (or is that only .1 of that 1% - I forget - the figures boggle little minds like mine) have triumphed?


The Blog Fodder said...

Suzan, you have a good blog with lots of information but it is impossible to read. Stop with the all italics, all bold, many font sizes etc. Use a standard type face and bold or italicize ONLY the most critical points IF you must. Simplicity.

Suzan said...

Thanks for the tips, friend, but as I have many retired blog readers who have specifically asked for the bolding (many would like all bold text with colors!) to ensure their ability to read it, I'll have to take your advice as one more piece of such.

Thanks again for reading.

And I just love advice.


Short Short Stories said...

Hi Suzan,

The Regressives in the GOP have hollowed out their politics and want dearly to fill it with a new GOP called the American Taliban party.

The American Taliban party is filled with intellectually small minded, and fearful followers led by the intellectually lazy, such as Palin, Jindal, da' Boner and now, the financial opportunistic O'Donnell.

It appears that O'Donnell used the race for Congress as a way to get rich in order to pay debts, rent, etc.

It is a form of political evangelizing. The contributions from the corporate elite and the small minded, fearful cheese curl carnivores has paid her way. Just pass the pork rinds.

What makes me sick is how Biden says to his political base, "stop whining", while the upper 3% of the corporate elite administrating over chapter S "small businesses" resting comfortably inside the larger hull of these massive pirate ship corporations want MORE TAX CUTS!!! even though they are swamped with capital and profits.

Biden had an opportunity to go after these predators but instead, he attacked the people who voted in his stupid ass.

When will these stupid, and cowardly Democratic representatives (they are not leaders) pull their heads out and wake up to reality? The Grand Ole American Taliban party (GOAT party) is kicking up their hoofs.

(I believe I just coined a new name for the rising GOP. The GOAT party. They will eat anything, even each other.

Short Short Stories said...

We have two parties: Dem Rats, and the GOAT Pers

Jack Jodell said...

There is a lot of food for thought in this post, Suzan. The rich can be angry all they want, but theirs is an anger based on irrationality and blatant gluttony. They have been getting wealthier, steadily, since 1982. They have achieved this via market manipulation and thievery (outsourcing jobs, freezing wages, cutting benefits, and setting up dummy corporations on foreign soil to avoid taxation, among many other things). When their accumulated wealth interferes with, and is severely detrimental to, the well-being of the huge majority of the population below them, then they will have become, pure and simple, TOO wealthy. The only sensible remedy for their excess is redistribution of that wealth. Cutting their taxes further is NOT a solution. They have two choices for redistribution: have it occur gently, mildly, and peacefully through FAIRER taxation (like we had pre-1982), or this can occur violently, through bloodshed, murder, and destruction. The latter will almost certainly occur if they succeed in turning us into a third world country with decay and poverty widespread. It is up to THEM to decide which option will occur. Will they be smart enough to figure out the wisest and least, fairest, and least destructive course for all? We shall see...