Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pottersville Is Capitalist Dream and Bedford Falls Is A Commie Nightmare - Meet the Press Has Been Painful for Years (But It's On Its Last Legs!) Al Goldstein Lives Forever (Be Very Afraid - Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Is Deliberately Shrouded in Secrecy, A Trade Deal Powerful People, Including Obama, Don’t Want You To Know About)

Don't they believe in angels? Then why should they be surprised when they see one?

. . . That's right. Attaboy, Clarence!

I have wondered many times in the past how long it would take some clever scamp (or just someone connected to self-serving money interests) to turn the scenes of It's A Wonderful Life into a Potter-serving landscape.

Not so long as you might think, it seems.

There's a scary/hilarious take-off by "Fox News" just in time for Christmas of It's A Wonderful Life or Mr. Potter and the Commies of Bedford Falls.

See Pottersville (beginning at 2.10 on film) as a high-falutin'  capitalist business Mecca (sharpies, ne'er do wells, drunkards, crooks and barflies running amuck) and Bedford Falls as a Commie plot to give away housing, money and sustenance (oh, horrors - don't they know about the Food Stamp cutbacks?) to the poor and undeserving FOR NO GOOD REASON.

Notice how nicely this intertwines with the prior essay here concerning Ronnie Reagan's vision for the country?

It's all coming true, folks. And we've been watching its steady progress with wide-open mouths.

Try not to gag.

(Please consider making a contribution to the Welcome to Pottersville2 Holiday Season Fundraiser or at least sending a link to your friends if you think the subjects discussed here are worth publicizing. Thank you for your support. We are in a real tight spot financially right now and would sincerely appreciate any type of contribution. Anything you can do will make a huge difference in this blog's ability to survive during this holiday.)

I love Christmas for its unexpected presents and the reappearance of people you've missed and haven't seen in a long time.

TPP is one present none of us want.

But we're getting it.

Ready or not.

Our bestest econ/reporting team lets us in on the "secrets" (not really that secret) in the latest trade deal. Ever think some strange, foreign, exotic noirist hidden presence is trading the quality of your life away right before your eyes as if you were too ignorant to understand and stop them?

Open those eyes now.

No one wants to be outside of this family of secrets.

Yves Smith and Dean Baker on Secrets In Trade

A US-led trade deal is currently being negotiated that could increase the price of prescription drugs, weaken financial regulations and even allow partner countries to challenge American laws. But few know its substance.
The pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is deliberately shrouded in secrecy, a trade deal powerful people, including President Obama, don’t want you to know about. More than 130 members of Congress have asked the White House for greater transparency about the negotiations and were essentially told to go fly a kite. While most of us are in the dark about the contents of the deal, which Obama aims to seal by year end, corporate lobbyists are in the know about what it contains.
And some vigilant independent watchdogs are tracking the negotiations with sources they trust, including Dean Baker and Yves Smith, who join Moyers & Company this week. Both have written extensively about the TPP and tell Bill the pact actually has very little to do with free trade.
Instead, says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, “This really is a deal that’s being negotiated by corporations for corporations and any benefit it provides to the bulk of the population of this country will be purely incidental.” Yves Smith, an investment banking expert who runs the Naked Capitalism blog adds: “There would be no reason to keep it so secret if it was in the interest of the public.”

It would be easier for NBC if they actually decided to do a show that had real politicians meeting a real well-qualified, educated press (if we could find any who haven't sold out to the money boys yet).

But, oh well. At least maybe we'll get down to only five or so morally painful investigative TV shows on Sunday  morning after this one says bye-bye!

“Instead of getting better, NBC News has been getting worse [since (Deborah)Turness arrived earlier this year.] It’s a mess.” In October, the reporter cited rumors about Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski adding Meet The Press hosting duties to their already full 15 hours a week on MSNBC.
Meet The Press, which used to be the perennial first place finisher on Sunday mornings over ABC’s This Week and CBSFace The Nation, fell to a 21-year low over the summer and has been coming in third place behind those two show for much of 2013.


A good part of it is that the administration has done a great job making the role of the press unnecessary. They release stories and photos that are run without modification and combined with the uniformity on the narrative, just provide no reason for additional headcount expense. Most news agencies could gut their reporting staff and run with senior editors and layout staff and do just as good of a job re-reporting what the party and administration press managers give them.

Meet the Press Is Incredibly Painful

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sorry, for family reasons I am seeing the Sunday morning shows. It's amazing these things exist. David Gregory is interviewing Yuval Levin about his book Tyranny of Reason, Imagining the Future, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Left and Right.

The book sounds like collection of painful cliches, the left likes activist government, the right believes in leaving civil society to work things out for itself.

Really? So the patents and copyrights that shift far more money to the wealthy than food stamps and TANF shift to the poor are just civil society, not activist government.

Trade policies that put downward pressure on the wages of most workers, while largely protecting doctors and other highly paid professionals are also just civil society, not activist government. Bank bailouts and no cost too big to fail insurance for the big banks are just civil society, not activist government.

There is a much longer list of such policies in my book The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive (free download available). There is zero evidence that either Levin or Gregory has ever heard of any of these arguments. They are determined to just repeat tired cliches that have nothing to do with actual politics.

The cliches of course do help to advance a right-wing agenda. It sounds much better to say that the rich got really rich by the natural workings of the market rather than by paying off the ref to write the rules to benefit themselves. The reality might be much closer to the latter, but Gregory and Levin apparently don't even want anyone to think about such possibilities.

My buddy, the New York Crank has the incisive comments on Al Goldstein's life that I wish I had made first.

Were you a fan?

You shameless hussy!


I despised the man.
But also, I liked him a lot.

That’s not quite as contradictory as it sounds. Goldstein was both the sort of person you love to hate, and the sort you hate to love, but do. What was loveable about him was his abjectly vulgar and often highly irascible authenticity. He was a man who eventually won a major victory against censorship. True to form, he censored nothing, least of all the language that spewed out of his own mouth.

While you couldn’t be absolutely sure that everything he told you was the truth, it was surely the truth as he happened to see it at the moment he spoke it. And sometimes, things he told you that seemed patently false turned out to be pretty much true after all.

I never read his rag, but I always admired the man who stood for the absolute right of freedom of expression (when it didn't negatively affect others).


Phil said...

Merry Christmas my dear.


Cirze said...

Merry Christmas to you, sweetie.

I hope you and yours are doing fine and well.

Love to all,