Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2016 GOP Frontrunners Revealed? (Easily Frightened Old People and Rednecks Get Their Day In the Sun) What We Learned Is People Who Work Hard Should Be Able To Pay Their Bills, and Establishment Democrats Who Embrace Big Money Over Economic Populism Have No Future But Attack Ads Win (Welcome to the Polycentric World Order)

people have spoken

Gently lifted from The Rag Blog.

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.

Otherwise . . .

Some very good news occurred:

Alan Grayson Cruises To Victory

Anti-Chevron Candidates Sweep to Victory in Richmond Races

Franken Easily Beat Republican Mike McFadden in Tuesday's Election, A Big Contrast to the Recount that Required Months to Resolve in his Favor During his First Race Back in 2008

Not so good (I urged every young person I ran into this past week to vote and they all claimed they would) also occurred:
A Night of Blown Opportunity:  Why Millennials Didn’t Show Up Last Night
Much worse but expected news (thanks, Little Lookey!) below. Papa Tim should be rolling in his burrow. (Click on link for whole essay.)

How The Cooperative Corporate Media Collaborators Shaped Yesterday's Outcome

Let's not pretend they didn't know what they were doing.

. . . This was MSNBC, mind you. The "liberal" network.
Little Luke (Russert) was practically chortling at how clever Republicans were for shutting down any discussion about Ernst's worrisome and extreme positions, instead repackaging her as a nice, normal, Iowa housewife.
As if it never even occurred to him that maybe, just maybe, it was his job to uncover those positions for voters.
Or let me put it this way:   He was proud at doing his part in obfuscating important information for voters. For instance, that Joni Ernst wants to privatize Social Security.
I didn't think it was possible for me to get any more cynical about the media, but that cheerful little exchange took things to a whole new level.
. . . It's not a fucking game, asshole!
Now, watch the above video. It's not the segment I saw, but it's illustrative, nonetheless:  "Those in the know" told Little Luke that Joni Ernst will be a kingmaker! People in the know told him she was going to be a huge power in Iowa politics! Thank God those consultants came in and told her to watch what she says!
He's a regular Edward R. Murrow, that one.
I rarely watch cable news, except for hurricanes and major earthquakes. It's too easy to spot how they mold and manipulate the narrative - that is, the times when they don't simply fabricate it completely.
This is one of those times when I wished I worked in a supermarket.
Unfortunately, it's our job here to keep an eye on these bastards. So I thought you'd want to know.

Thanks to Bob Reich for the following spot of pure pre-Election Day literary brilliance. (Click on the title to enjoy it in its fullness. The comments are always pithy here.)

An Election Day Carol

Robert Reich's Blog

# reiverpacific

Reich omitted that scene from Dickens' tome which to me, could be most truly representative of the present:  The spirit finally reveals to Scrooge two emaciated children, subhuman in appearance and loathsome to behold, clinging to his robes, and names the boy as IGNORANCE and the girl as WANT, warning Scrooge, "Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased."
It once again quotes Scrooge, who asks if the grotesque children have "no refuge, no resource," and the spirit retorts with more of Scrooge's unkind words: "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"
If that doesn't fit the current push from on high towards the fragmentation, ongoing attacks on the basic education of the proletariat so that they can be easily manipulated against their own interests in moving towards a new Feudalism, I don't know what does.
Remember that as the season in which this book's movie versions are replayed approaches, watch y(ou)r Republican or Tea-Bagger relatives and friends tear up (or sneer, as is more likely in these mean-spirited times) on Scrooge's famous, unlikely, philanthropic renaissance.

Had enough punditocracy yet? How about plutocracy? Is there still time to put up a fight? What about all those suppressed/flipped votes we never heard another word about from our trusted reporters?

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, before tea time:

The mainstream media is spinning last night’s election results as a “victory for Republicans.” In fact it was a victory for the plutocrats who financed the Republican campaigns.

From the electoral maps it looked like a red state uprising. In reality, it was a “white state” uprising. White fear again rules the day in American politics. Not that those who financed the winning campaigns care a bit about the best interests of the white voters in red states – they don’t.

The Democrats say they are the party of the people. But in truth they are largely backed by one-percenters as well. There are some exceptions, but for the most part the reason the Democrats decline to field candidates who would actually challenge the status quo is that the DNC, like the RNC, is awash in status quo money.

In fairness, the billionaire movement favored the Republicans in this election to a significantly greater degree than it did the Democrats, continuing a pattern that has emerged over the past several decades.
# babalu 2014-11-05 14:55
Has anyone totaled up the "lost" Democratic voters in various states (Texas, Georgia, Florida, etc.) and compared those with the Republican margin of victory?
They had a game plan and followed it to a T! Quietly disenfranchise as many voters as "needed" and delay any legal challenges to(o) close to the election to give the US Sup Ct an out of not disturbing elections!
AND close off debate by following the Repub line for months (e.g., big lies like - Obama is less popular...)

Other than more fear and loathing, I have nothing to offer this after-the-worst-Election-I've-ever-witnessed Day (and I witnessed the Nixon, Reagan, and all the Bushboy ones).

Time for Mr. Destructo?

At least it's time for a hearty chuckle at what the noble politicos and electorate have foisted upon us this time.

2016 GOP Frontrunners

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The midterm elections have come and gone, which means it's time to play a game we've been waiting for since 2012:   Pick the GOP Frontrunners! Another slate of Democrats has been stomped, leaving a fertile field of Republican bullies ready to whip holy hell on Communists, sodomites, licensing firearms, and unlicensed vaginas. Not to mention Ebola.

I know what you're going to say:  there are so many options already! That's true. There's Wall Street creep Mitt Romney. There's (probably a) crook Chris Christie. Almost certainly a crook Scott Walker. There's serial-plagiarist and bong-level political science theorist Rand Paul. All those are good candidates. Very good candidates. That's an impressive roster.

Oh come on. We also have the upright denizens who now serve as Governors of Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Maryland, Kansas and Illinois as sure winners. So many qualified candidates. So much time!

A Bad Election Night for Democrats, But a Great Victory for Workers

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

05 November 14

early everyone in America agrees on two things – people who work hard should be able to pay their bills, and establishment Democrats who embrace big money over economic populism have no future.

Even in overwhelmingly red states like Nebraska, which elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate by a 35 percent margin; Arkansas, which elected a Republican U.S. Senator by a 17 percent margin; and South Dakota, where a Republican U.S. Senator won by almost 24 points, all of those voters agreed to raise the minimum wage.

Even after electing a Republican governor, 68 percent of Illinois voters agreed to tax millionaires to raise more funding for schools, and passed a nonbinding minimum wage increase, putting pressure on the state legislature to follow their will. And as of right now, Alaska is voting to increase their minimum wage by a 2 to 1 margin. That means in all the states where raising the minimum wage was on the ballot, voters supported it enthusiastically. 

To top it off, San Francisco voted to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by a vast majority, and Massachusetts voted for workers to have a week of guaranteed paid sick days. By all counts, working people should be extremely happy about last night’s election.

But let’s be absolutely clear – the American people didn’t vote for a Republican senate because they like Republican ideas, they voted for Republicans when there was no clear alternative. The few Democrats who did win last night, like Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, won by proudly defending Democratic victories on kitchen table issues, like Obamacare providing health insurance for 10 million people, rather than running away from them. Gary Peters, who won Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat, ran on acknowledging the reality of climate change and doing everything he could to stop its acceleration.

The Democrats who lost had no excuses. Martha Coakley lost the gubernatorial election in the Democrat stronghold of Massachusetts, which voted for Democrat Ed Markey on the same ballot and sent Elizabeth Warren to the U.S. Senate two years ago. Coakley’s campaign was just as milquetoast as her failed bid for U.S. Senate in 2010 when Scott Brown beat her.

Mary Burke - the multimillionaire CEO whom the Wisconsin Democrats anointed as their nominee before anyone else even had a chance to make their case – lost to Scott Walker, who says $7.25 an hour is a living wage

Despite Kansas governor Sam Brownback’s tax cuts for the wealthy decimating the economy, and the state budget becoming the central issue of the campaign, his Democratic opponent, Paul Davis, wouldn’t even say whether or not he would repeal the tax cuts and lost handily

And Florida Democrats lost after nominating a Republican to run against a Republican, for chrissakes. And if you need further proof that Democratic Party bosses are completely out of touch with what the people want, Harry Reid thought last night’s resounding defeat happened because Democrats didn’t do enough of what Republicans want.

According to last night’s exit polls, voters by and large can’t stand Republican leadership in Congress, and detest the White House. 79 percent of voters polled didn’t have one good thing to say about Congress. A majority of people said they didn’t like the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. The American people are pissed off that nobody in office listens to them, especially about the bread-and-butter issues they care about the most.

Americans don’t give a damn which party is in power, as long as they get a fair wage for their work and are treated with dignity at their jobs, that they’ll be able to retire at a respectable age, and that they can see the doctor when they need to.

As long as the bosses who run the Democratic Party are calling the shots, they’ll chalk this staggering loss up to not cozying up enough to big money donors or not hiring enough consultants. If the overwhelming majority of American people who want economic justice don’t want wealthy, out-of-touch party bosses to make decisions for us, maybe we should take after the voters of Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, and South Dakota – let’s do it ourselves.

(Carl Gibson, 27, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nonviolent grassroots movement that mobilized thousands to protest corporate tax dodging and budget cuts in the months leading up to Occupy Wall Street. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Carl is also the author of "How to Oust a Congressman," an instructional manual on getting rid of corrupt members of Congress and state legislatures based on his experience in the 2012 elections in New Hampshire. He lives in Sacramento, California.)


# fredboy 2014-11-05 12:23

Hilarious! The Dems again sapped their own strength and killed their chances by dissing their President.

Reminds me of a guy named Gore who did the same during his campaign, tossing African American and working class white votes in the toilet - and losing the Presidency by electoral votes.

Dumb Dems--and I was a Dem for 40 years until I woke up a year ago and went Independent. Dems can't get their act together. They talk the liberal-progres sive talk, then vote for fake wars and ignore key constituencies. Then they diss their Prez. In his worst disgraces - 9/11 , Katrina, October 2008 - did you ever hear the GOP diss W?

Dumb Dems. Your wackiness just gave our nation yet another scalding enema.

The new senator from Iowa doesn't have to concern herself with castrating Dems when she gets to Washington. They simply do it to themselves. I call it the Dem Gelding.

Last, look at the great impact Hillary and Bill had on the outcomes. Duh. My projection: Run Hillary for Prez in 2016 and I guarantee a GOP landslide
# Malcolm 2014-11-05 13:45 

I agree with most of this article. The people had to take things into their own hands to get minimum wages increased, among many other examples, because NEITHER PARTY gives a damn about us working stiffs.

But the author was myopic on one statement:  "Americans don’t give a damn which party is in power, as long as they get a fair wage for their work and are treated with dignity at their jobs, that they’ll be able to retire at a respectable age, and that they can see the doctor when they need to."

I think we American people want many other things, one of which may be the REAL reason so many democrats hate Obombya:  he's too damn busy with extrajudicial murdering and "spending our children's inheritance" by enriching the arms dealers to even bother READING about LBJ's Great Society, much less trying to emulate LBJ (other than allowing himself to be totally bullshat by advisors, a la Robert McNamara's slimy viet nam scheming.)

Our favorite reporter Susie Madrak has an election précis to cry for:

Now that I've had a good night's sleep, I'm poking around through the wreckage this morning. The first thing that pops up is, it looks like senior citizens drove this wave. The Ebola-terrified, immigrant-hating, Fox News-loving voters made all the difference:

The nationwide total of nearly 20,000 respondents showed that Republicans led 56 percent to 43 percent among those 65 and older, and 52 percent to 46 percent among those ages 45 to 64. By contrast, Democrats led 55 percent to 43 percent among those 18 to 29, and 51 percent to 47 percent among those 30 to 44.
Similar exit polls were conducted in most states with a competitive campaign for a Senate seat. In at least four states where Republicans took what had been a Democratic-controlled seat, they performed best among the oldest voters.
Of those states, the age disparity was most pronounced in Iowa and North Carolina. Republican Joni Ernst won Iowa over Rep. Bruce Braley by 56 percent to 42 percent among those 65 and older, and 52 percent to 47 percent among those 45 to 64. Ernst lost 43 percent to 54 percent among those 18 to 29, and 48 percent to 49 percent among those 30 to 44. In North Carolina, Republican Thom Tillis’s contest with Sen. Kay Hagan had comparable margins.
But in the states where young people turned out, like New Hampshire, we won. Hmm.
But mostly, we didn't get out our young voters. That's because, more than any other group, young voters are least tolerant of bullshit. For over a year now, Democrats have been touting an economic "recovery" that exists only for rich people. Young people who can't get jobs (let alone good ones), who are still living at home or sharing apartments because there's no way in hell they can afford to get their own - they don't see any recovery.
So what would make them want to go stand in line when, to their minds, they're only asking for more of the same? That's not their fault. It's the fault of the Democrats.
Charles Chamberlain to Democracy For America members this morning:

Senator Al Franken's huge win tonight stands in stark contrast to the implosion of Wall Street Wing Democrats like Senator Mark Pryor in Arkansas. Try as they might, Republicans were never able to make the Senate race in Minnesota competitive, because Senator Franken built his campaign around his strong record of fighting for populist progressive priorities like raising the minimum wage, Wall Street accountability, and student loan reform.

Mark Pryor's Wall Street Wing campaign wasn't alone. Consultants convinced many candidates to chase "swing" voters with conservative messaging, rather than run bold, populist progressive campaigns that rally the base and win Democratic, Independent, and Republican votes.
Alison Lundergan Grimes' decision to run an anti-immigrant ad - while never standing up for the popular idea of expanding Social Security - is a good example of a very bad trend. If we're going to win in 2016, that style of campaigning must end now.
It doesn't matter if it's Harry Truman or Howard Dean who said it best, but if  "voters have a choice between a Republican candidate and a Republican-lite candidate, voters will choose a real Republican every time."
Voters - especially those who turn out in presidential years for Democrats - are looking for bold solutions to the income inequality crisis, not campaigns and candidates that look and sound like slightly better versions of Republicans.
Let's not forget to blame the media. The constant drumbeat of the horse race, the refusal to look at actual candidate positions. I'll have more to say on that later.
But let's not ignore the fact that we don't really have an economic recovery, and bragging about it when people don't see it in their lives was a bad move.

Of course, it's a very long and deep game. And the background to all the moves is never revealed to the voters (who definitely will not like it).

Stay tuned for the real news (as the Iowa idiot's scream carries across the country (untainted by TV pundits' informed commentary)).

I think we need to start showing some courage about where all this twaddle-talk is leading US.

Catch your breath before you begin reading what "they" are not telling US.

Welcome to the New World Order

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Not my headline, but, certainly an attention grabber.

The IMF’s annual report confirms the future belongs to the BRICS

Keeping in mind the post from yesterday regarding the attack on the BRICS nations?

Saudi Arabia, aids the NATO war machine, more oil price cuts - Attack on the BRICS

When it rains it pours. The International Monetary Fund’s annual report on global economic activity shows the world’s economic landscape has shifted dramatically, with western economies declining faster than previously imagined.

In its World Economic Report the IMF says China has unseated the US as the world’s largest economy, with India ranked third ahead of Japan. Germany, Russia, Brazil, France and Indonesia follow, with the UK bringing up the rear. There are four BRICS members in the list of the top 10 economies.
China’s economy is still smaller than America’s in US dollars, but its GDP balloons to $17.6 trillion – vs America’s $17.4 trillion – on the basis of PPP (purchasing power parity). PPP provides a more realistic picture of economic activity because it tells us how much a country’s currency can purchase at home. It is a more accurate way to compare the size of economies rather than using volatile exchange rates.

пустым не оставлять!!
BRICS leadership

What has surprised everyone is how rapidly the western economies are declining in comparison with the emerging countries. In 1990 when the Soviet Union was collapsing and the West stood triumphant, the combined GDP of the G7 was $12 trillion larger than today’s seven largest emerging powers – China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and South Korea. By 2013 the same seven had a combined GDP that’s $3 trillion larger than the G7.

China, for instance, has grown ignoring all projections. As recently as 2005 the country’s economy was less than half of the US. The National Intelligence Council, which oversees the US intelligence community, had predicted China would overtake the US only in 2020.

Shining India is now just a memory but a rebound is just around the corner. The only thing stopping India from growing at an unprecedented 10-15 per cent per year is India itself. Citi Group says India will be the world’s leading economy by 2050 with a GDP of $85 trillion, closely followed by China at $80 trillion and the US a distant third at $39 trillion.

Russia has jumped ahead of Brazil and is only a few dozen billion dollars shy of Germany. In fact, Russia’s rebound is the most spectacular considering its manufacturing sector had collapsed in the 1990s. It seems the more the West attempts to squeeze Russia, the more resilient its economy becomes.
New World Order

In the backdrop of this massive power shift from the West to the East, how much longer can the current geopolitical hierarchy – which has remained unchanged since World War II – survive? Currently, the United Nations, IMF and World Bank are all in the laundry list of reforms.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has highlighted the incongruity of 1.2 billion Indians not being adequately represented at the UN. Indeed, the presence of Britain and France in the Security Council P5 – while India, Japan and Brazil remain outside – borders on the ridiculous.

IMF shareholding is even more bizarre. The US has the single largest share at 16.7 per cent. But China has a 3.8 per cent share – slightly lower than Italy’s, which has an economy one-fifth the size. 
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde realises America’s refusal to ratify reforms – to increase the voting share of China, India and other emerging countries – spells danger for the Fund’s future. She is, therefore, keen on quota reform. “It was due in 2012. It is overdue in 2014,” Lagarde said at a press meet on October 9.

But more striking than economic decline is the defeatism and angst that has set in among westerners. A recent Pew Research Center poll shows only 28 percent of Americans believe the US is exceptional or the greatest of all nations.

The rise of the national security state and the triumphalism of the corporate sector (along with the much publicised growth of great wealth and striking inequality in the country) has been accompanied by a decided diminution in the power of the government to function domestically and of the imperial state to impose its will anywhere on Earth,” says American writer Tom Engelhardt.

“What can be seen is the untracked rise of a Third World country inside a First World one, a powerless America inside the putative global superpower,” he adds.
Because the US is the western alliance’s engine, its sputtering morale is having a domino effect on the rest of the West. Its vassals such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Georgia and Pakistan also face uncertain futures.

As the emerging economies grow in size, it gives them the critical mass to lay down the foundations of a new order that is autonomous from the western international order.
To be sure, the loss of absolute power doesn’t mean the West will be eating grass in the future. Its decline is only relative and it retains many core strengths. The overall quality of life, for instance, in the US and Europe is far higher than in China or India. Western multinational corporations control a good chunk of global manufacturing. Western universities attract hundreds of thousands of students from emerging countries. Silicon Valley’s R&D and innovation is unmatched.
But the days when the West was unchallenged and could steamroll countries are over. With each passing year China, India and Russia get richer and militarily more powerful. The gap in living standards is closing rapidly. By 2050 the 10 largest economies will include new entrants Egypt, Mexico and Nigeria, with only the US representing the West. Welcome to the polycentric world order.

The following graphic, courtesy of Center for Public Integrity partner Slate, tells the story:
Percent of Senate Election Ads That Were Attack Ads
Click here to see the breakdown of ads in each state. Source: The Center for Public Integrity.


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