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Yeaaargh!

Here's a little inspiration instead of desperation on this Sunday evening:

Men and women of Steel

If you want to know who the real badass, progressive union is, look no further than the Steelworkers. Their leadership is smart and gets this political moment better than just about anyone.

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Carrots and Sticks by David Atkins

Carrots and Sticks
by David Atkins ("thereisnospoon")

Digby is right, of course, about the fact that a fairly meager tax on millionaires isn't a good trade for big cuts to Social Security and Medicare. In fact, it's a pretty terrible trade.

It's also fairly clear that President Obama's chances of passing the "Buffett Rule" tax on millionaires through the GOP House and corrupted Senate are less likely than his chances of becoming a professional hockey player. It's a political maneuver for election season--but that's a good thing. It's important to put these sorts of "message bills" out there, so that the opposition is forced to vote on them and so that Democrats can say "This is what we want to do if you elect enough of us."

So what is a smart progressive to do in this circumstance? Reading over various blogs and comments, the progressive community seems to be divided into two camps: the defenders pooh-pooh the horrible realities that Medicare and Medicaid cuts would present while arguing that the President is and has always been a a progressive, and that everyone should get behind the Grand Bargain to give the President a political victory lest the GOP take the White House in 2012. The critics argue that Buffett Rule is a cynical ploy to quell progressive anger so that Democrats can make more cuts to the safety net while minimizing damage from core Democratic activists, and that what progressives need to do is spew more fire and anger at the President.

Both approaches to the situation are misguided. The reality is that effective players in politics use a "carrot and stick" approach to policy, essentially creating a Pavlovian response from politicians. This is how effective conservative outfits like Club for Growth operate, and have done so for years. Effective advocates reward good behavior--even a show of good behavior--and attack bad behavior.

If the Administration fails to receive an overtly positive reaction from the progressive community in response to the Buffett Rule, it will rightly conclude that there is no sense even pushing progressive policy agendas for a group of petulant children who will attack them regardless. (This is the same calculation, of course, that the Administration should have been making about Republican politicians and advocacy groups, but that's partly because conservative groups have moved beyond behavioral rewards to all-out war against any Democrat. That's a situation we should as progressives be able to take advantage of to secure policy victories.)

But for the defenders, if on the other hand we all defend the Administration even if the final deal includes no Buffett Rule (as it almost certainly will not) but includes Medicare and Medicaid cuts anyway, then there's little point in supporting the Administration or even being involved in politics at all, outside of setting up a permanent defense against a Republican ever taking the White House. And that's a fool's errand in America's binary political system because a Republican will be President sooner or later.

The smart move is to cheer like crazy for the Buffett Rule. Urge your congressmembers to support it, and refuse a budget deal that doesn't contain it. Let them know that you won't vote for them or support them if they don't insist on the Buffett Rule's inclusion in the final budget. At the same time, rage and fight like heck against Medicare and Medicaid cuts, and urge your congressmembers that you won't vote for them or support them if they allow cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Because in the end, the likelihood of getting Medicare cuts through a Democratic Senate should be as hopeless as the likelihood of getting a Buffett Rule through the GOP House. Much as the bipartisan compromise fetishists claim that sort of divided government would be a horrible thing, that's actually a good thing. It has to get worse before it can get better, because right now only the conservative side is playing for keeps.

But more importantly, Obama Administration critics and defenders need to realize that this shouldn't be about supporting or attacking the President. It should be about engendering a twitch response in our politicians that we'll support them for doing the right thing--even saying they'll do the right thing--and not support them when they don't.

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Help Wanted: bold progressives

My friend Adam Green of the PCCC sent this over. We hear lots of jibber jabber about how we need to stop complaining and start building progressive institutions and this is one of the groups that's walking that walk. I hope some of you apply.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (BoldProgressives.org) knows for a fact that Hullabaloo readers are some of the most well-informed folks out there when it comes to the progressive movement and our critique of today's politics. We also know there are some incredibly talented readers who want to put their skills to work. And the progressive movement definitely needs those skills!

That's why we would like to extend a formal invitation to Hullabaloo readers to apply for a number of positions:

  • A paid PCCC fellowship -- done from wherever you live, with job responsibilities matched to fit your skill set. You'll help mobilize our 800,000 members on behalf of progressive candidates and issues, including pushing Democrats to be more progressive. Click here to apply for a fall, spring, or summer fellowship.
  • Working on a 2012 progressive campaign -- done from the election's location, with a range of positions available (ie manager, finance, field, new media, communications). Click here to apply.
  • The PCCC's "Next Generation Of Talent" initiative -- for those not necessarily looking for a full-time job, but who have awesome skills like video editing, graphic design, computer coding, Spanish translation, music, art, etc. that you'd like to lend to the progressive cause. Click here to see full list and sign up.
Part of what the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is trying to achieve in our politics is culture shift.

This includes placing smart, competent, progressive-movement people onto congressional races who will encourage candidates to not just win, but win progressively -- working with movement allies to do that. This is a contrast to staffers who may be great at the nuts and bolts of campaigning, but who have only been exposed to the conventional wisdom about how to win. Any Hullaballoo reader knows that opposing the public option, sucking up to Wall Street, and cutting Medicare benefits is not "moderate." It's extreme and politically stupid. It certainly isn't the way to attract people-powered volunteer help or donations. If you have campaign skills (including new media skills) and want to apply to work on a progressive campaign this cycle, click here.

Culture shift also includes replacing DC consultants -- who often charge candidates and organizations too much money for stale, cookie-cutter work -- with a new crop of talent whose work is better, more authentic, more affordable, and rooted in progressive values. Through our Next Generation Of Talent initiative, we found a 24 year-old grad student to make this New York Times ad featuring the names of 400 Obama campaign staffers pushing him to be stronger on the public option. Not only did Keith Olbermann feature this ad on TV, but it won the American Association of Political Consultants' annual award for best full-page ad of 2009. In other words, a regular person's talent actually beat the consultants. If you have skills, even if not much time to spare, the PCCC wants to work with you and/or connect you with progressive campaigns who desperately need your help. Click here to see a full list of skills and sign up for the Next Generation of Talent Initiative.

And finally, culture shift includes building progressive movement infrastructure -- both to grow long-term progressive power separate from any Party and to show the Democratic establishment that being progressive equals political success. That's what the PCCC does.

For the last two months, we led a Draft Elizabeth Warren for Senate campaign -- which organized local grassroots councils throughout Massachusetts, generated lots of positive news coverage, and has now raised over $300,000 for Warren. Many PCCC fellows worked on this effort, with one former fellow (now promoted to PCCC Organizer) from Massachusetts taking the lead locally. During the Wisconsin fight, we made some of the most innovative TV ads out there -- rooted not in scary narrators but instead in telling the real stories of real people. The people in this ad, this ad, and this adwere all found from among our membership by PCCC fellows -- and we showed the establishment that people will donate to air TV ads that are actually persuasive and emotionally compelling. Other fellows who have tech experience, Capitol Hill experience, or online-organizing experience are plugged into projects where they can do the most good. The bottom line is that we're a scrappy team, we try to do innovative work, we think long term in addition to engaging in the short term, and there is plenty of responsibility to go around -- so we need your help! Click here to apply for a paid fall, spring, or summer fellowship.

If I recall correctly, Hullabaloo was the first blog ever to link to BoldProgressives.org when we were first getting off the ground. Thanks to Digby -- and the Hullaloo community -- for being so supportive of our work. And we hope to work with many of you soon.


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Hayes and Maddow talkin’ bout stuff


Here's another enjoyable clip from Chris Hayes' new show, with Rachel Maddow this morning chatting about the proposed new tax for millionaires and deficits and other relevant sundries:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I agree with them for the most part on this, but I will say that I have a bit of a squeamish feeling about flogging the idea of "fairness" in the current context too much. From what I can see, it adds up to asking people who are already falling behind to join in the "shared sacrifice" with those who have been doing extremely well at their expense for a couple of decades now. Basically it's asking millionaires to fork over a tiny bit of their wealth, which they won't even notice, in exchange for asking average people to give up a measurable piece of their meager financial security. That just doesn't seem like "fairness" to me. In an age of extreme income inequality that features dramatic erosion of the middle class downward, I find it hard to accept that it's particularly important to ensure that the wealthy don't feel they're being taken advantage of.

But I do agree with Maddow and Hayes that regardless of where you come down on this, agreeing to "fix" Medicare and Social Security's projected shortfalls in 20 or 30 years in this political environment is a sucker's game. It's being thrown into the deal based upon this absurd notion that businesses are so concerned about debt levels and possible regulations that they are holding back current growth, so if the government agrees to do this difficult task of cutting the programs now, they'll all be relieved and start hiring. (See post below)

We know that's utter nonsense. So, this is a con game and the only question is whether the Democrats are being conned or are among the conmen. If I didn't know that the administration has been determined to do this Grand Bargain from the beginning, I might buy the idea that they are being snookered into selling off the future to buy some cooperation to fix today's problems. But I do.

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Hysteria, Hysteresis

I just heard Huckleberry Graham use the word "certainty" at least 43 times in one segment. Evidently every businessman in the country is completely paralyzed by the possibility that the government might institute a regulation in the future and they could possibly lose money. And here I thought true capitalists were swashbuckling captains of industry seeking risks and rewards for the sheer thrill of it. It turns out they're a bunch of hysterical old ladies who see threats around every corner and can't leave their rooms. Good to know.

Meanwhile, in the most depressing blog post of the week, here's Krugman:


You can see that there was a mini-version of the current decline in manufacturing capacity after the 2001 recession: capacity basically stopped growing in the face of a protracted weak economy. But this time around, with manufacturers operating way below capacity with little prospect of needing more capacity any time soon, they’re both scrapping equipment and failing to expand. The result is that when we finally do have a real recovery, we’ll run up against capacity constraints much sooner than we would have if there had been no Lesser Depression.

Arguably the same thing is happening in other sectors of the economy,
as the long-term unemployed begin to become unemployable, as the long shortfall in residential construction leads to rising rents (and a small uptick in core inflation) even though demand remains deeply depressed.

Hysteresis can mean that the costs of failing to pursue expansionary policies are much greater than even the direct effects on employment. And it can also mean, especially in the face of very low interest rates, that austerity policies are actually self-destructive even in purely fiscal terms: by reducing the economy’s future potential, they reduce future revenues, and can make the debt position worse in the long run.

The folly of the current policies is immeasurable.


Update: Yup. Suddenly capitalism requires an ability to tell the future or these people are unable to function:

"ERIC SCHMIDT, Google executive chairman, to Christiane Amanpour, on ABC's "This Week": "The real problem is not the business community. The real problem is: The Democrats and the Republicans fight for one point or another in a political sphere, while the rest of us are waiting for the government to do something concrete and predictable. What business needs is predictable, long-term plans. We need to know: Where is government spending going to be, what are the government programs going to be? And off we go.

Right. Why build a business if you don't know what government spending is going to be in 15 years? Best sit on your cash as clutch your pearls.

Or not:


"ERIC SCHMIDT, Google executive chairman, to Christiane Amanpour, on ABC's "This Week": "Business can create enormous numbers of new jobs in America. All we need to see is more demand. What's happening right now is: Businesses are very well-run, they have a lot of cash. They're waiting for more demand. At the moment, business efficiency allows them to grow at 1 or 2 percent, which is what we're seeing today. They don't have to hire more people. And until we solve the problem, people are going to sit idle. And it's a real tragedy.""

Soooo... businesses are sitting on piles of cash because they can't tell the future and just need some "certainty" about government spending or because nobody's buying their products? Eric Schmidt seems a tad confused, don't you think?

You tell me which one of those things makes the most sense from a capitalist perspective.

And then ask yourself why the ridiculous tripe about "uncertainty" continues to spew from the mouths of all these fabulously wealthy CEOs (and their lickspittles like Huckleberry Graham.)


h/t to jh

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More of this, please by David Atkins

More of this, please
by David Atkins ("thereisnospoon")

Well, whaddaya know:

President Obama on Monday will call for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, according to administration officials.

With a special joint Congressional committee starting work to reach a bipartisan budget deal by late November, the proposal adds a new and populist feature to Mr. Obama’s effort to raise the political pressure on Republicans to agree to higher revenues from the wealthy in return for Democrats’ support of future cuts from Medicare and Medicaid.

Mr. Obama, in a bit of political salesmanship, will call his proposal the “Buffett Rule,” in a reference to Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained repeatedly that the richest Americans generally pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than do middle-income workers, because investment gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages.

Does it have a chance of passing the Republican House or the worthless collection of conservative "Democratic" Senators? Of course not. Does that matter? No, it doesn't. It's there to send a political message, communicate Democratic values to the voting electorate, and make Republicans squirm in their chairs. Good. All that is needed now is for Democrats to stand as firm on the Buffett rule as the GOP will stand on cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. If that means no budget gets passed, then fine. Hang it on the Republicans. Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid suck, and Republicans should be blamed for all three: stopping the Buffett rule, trying to cut Medicare and Medicaid, and preventing America from having a budget. A perfect political trifecta. Hopefully the President's advisers can see the obvious.

It would appear that Obama the legislative conciliator has given way to Obama the political campaigner. This is where he is at his best. This is the Obama that cleaned Republican clocks in 2008. Republicans and centrist compromise fetishists in the Democratic Party will no doubt complain about it, and decry that we have moved to the "silly season" of campaign mode in which no legislation can be accomplished.

In reality, this is the mode Obama should have adopted throughout the entirety of his first four years. Conservatives never stop being in campaign mode. That's part of why their message is almost always clear. That's why legislation gets passed that fits their parameters or doesn't pass at all if they can help it, whether they're actually in power or not.

It's Democrats who are so often fooled into believing that when campaign season ends, legislative season begins. There is, in fact, no difference between the two for policymakers who actually want to be successful and implement a vision.

Long live campaign season.

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Grow Your Business or Stay Solo?

Freedom is one of the major reasons to become a freelancer. Freedom from a stupid boss, malicious co-workers, and the whole office politics circle. However, soon you discover that working solo is not that good either.

It comes to your mind that if you grow your business and start hiring people, life will be awesome. Could be but more often than not, growing your business not in the right time and not in the right way brings so much trouble that you wish you knew all this in advance. Failure as a manager isn’t fun!

Common sense says that the purpose of every business is to grow, grow, grow. However, as life proves, growth for growth’s sake is disaster in its purest form. It would have been much better if you hadn’t taken the expansion road but who knew this? If you don’t want to end in a situation like the one above, before you start growing your business, you need to analyze the pros and cons of this. Here are some thoughts in this direction.

What Are the Benefits of Growing My Business?

Basically, you are growing your business because of the benefits an expansion can bring. There are many benefits and here are some of them:

  • You can take larger projects. When you have more manpower, you can take larger projects. When you work solo and you take a large project, it might take you months or even years to finish it and since it is unlikely for a client to wait that long, you just can’t even think of huge projects. Many large clients don’t even bother to work with soloists, so if these clients are your target market, you should really consider an expansion.
  • You can branch into new areas. When you hire new people and they are a good match, they presumably bring new expertise you don’t have, which means you can take new types of projects. For instance, if you are mainly a Web designer and know just a bit about programming, when you hire a programmer, you can diversify your business really a lot.
  • More profits. All equal, the more you work, the more you earn. If you used to make $3,000 a month while working solo and you hire 2 more guys, you could easily make $5,000 or more a month. Of course, your expenses also grow but the net result is let’s say at least $2,000 more a month.

Image Credit: grietgriet

If I am to be honest, I can think of one more reason to grow a business but since this isn’t a sound reason, I won’t include it in the benefits list. This reason is kind of ridiculous and I call it Ego Boosting. In two or three of the companies I have worked for, this was the major reason to expand. The corporate dreams of some of the managers were so big that they didn’t pay attention to the growth negatives I’ll discuss in the next section. No doubt, it sits well on a CV to have orchestrated an expansion and if the managers knew what they were doing, probably the outcome wouldn’t have been that disastrous. I can also think of fellow freelancers who made similar mistakes to grow their business but since they backed off quickly, they couldn’t see the sky falling on them.

Negatives of Growing a Business

Growing your business can be really lucrative, especially if you know how to handle it, but it also could be your worst decision. You also need to know the negatives. Here they are:

Image Credit: jppi

  • More expenses. Depending on what exactly you are doing, an expansion could require minor to substantial investment. If you plan to have an office, you will have to pay rent. Of course, you can use the virtual office model, so you could do without paying rent but sometimes you do need a brick-and-mortar office.
  • Also, unless you hire guys and girls who have their own equipment, you will need to spend money on hardware, software, membership fees, etc. These cost a lot and if things don’t go as planned, you will be in the red.
    Finally, if you hire permanent employees, you will need to pay salaries. If you hire freelancers, you can do without monthly or weekly salaries but if you fail to provide them good income, soon you will lose them. There is another catch with freelancers – freelancers jiggle multiple projects, so you can hardly rely on their immediate availability. If you don’t have urgent tasks, this isn’t a problem but if you need people to be available at all times, this requires more commitment on your side, too.
  • Communication overhead and more difficult to manage. In the growth example from the previous section the profits aren’t tripled or even doubled and this is for a reason. When you triple your manpower, your profits don’t triple because you aren’t doing three times more work. The more people work on a project, the more communication there is. All this communication overhead inevitably slows down the process but if you use good collaboration tools, it improves efficiency.
    Also, you will need to spend more time on management, organization, promotion and synchronization and this eats from your time to do actual work on the project. Managing people isn’t easier than being an employee. In fact, it is much harder and the mistakes are much more expensive. If you aren’t a good manager, it is easy to predict that soon chaos will reign.
  • Creative differences. While this might not apply to other businesses, design is a very specific business and people are unique. Designers have their style and work manners and you can have great designers per se but their creative differences might make it impossible to work together. You need to factor this, too.
  • Will you be able to find the right people? Finally, one more question you need to ask yourself is whether you will be able to find the right people. If you don’t find the right people, as the case with my former employers and fellow freelancers was, this can really sabotage your efforts. Of course, you can’t always expect crowds of top talent dying to work for you but when the best you can find are people with little experience and no potential at all, and you place them in important positions, it becomes a nightmare.

As you see, it is not easy to decide whether to grow your business or stay solo. Very often growth is good but it could come at a price. In many other cases staying solo is the much better alternative. Carefully analyze the options and only then decide which is the best way for you personally. Of course, there is also a middle ground – to stay solo but form loose partnerships with other designers, developers, copywriters, marketing experts, etc. and use them when you need but it also has its downsides. For many freelancers these loose partnerships seem to be the best option – or the lesser evil – and they solve, at least temporarily, the problem whether to grow the business or stay solo.

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Saturday Night At The Movies—- Ahhh-CHOO!! Oh, crap: “Contagion”

Saturday Night At The Movies


Ahhh-CHOO!! Oh, crap.


By Dennis Hartley
















Graffiti with punctuation: Jude Law in Contagion



So you say you don’t have enough nightmarish fodder for those racing thoughts that keep you tossing and turning on sweat-soaked sheets every night…what with the economy, the Teabaggers, the pending demise of entitlement programs, the Teabaggers, the rising costs of healthcare, and the Teabaggers? Are you prone to health anxiety? Do you spend hours on wrongdiagnosis.com in a dogged search to confirm your worst fears that your hangnail is surely a symptom of some horrible wasting disease? And there’s no way in hell I can convince you the glass is half-full, not half-empty? Bubbeleh, have I got a movie for you.


Steven Soderbergh has taken the network narrative/pseudo-Cinema verite formula that propelled Traffic, his 2000 Oscar winner about the ‘war’ on drugs, and applied it to similar effect in Contagion, a cautionary tale that envisions profound socio-political upheaval in the wake of a major killer pandemic (which most epidemiological experts seem to concur is not a matter of “if”, but of “when”). In an opening montage (teasingly entitled as “Day 2”), the camera tails the person we assume to be our Patient Zero, an American businesswoman (Gwyneth Paltrow) returning from an overseas trip, as she kills time at a Chicago airport lounge, waiting for her final connecting flight home. She appears to be developing a slight cold. Soderbergh’s camera starts to linger on seemingly inconsequential close-ups, just long enough to pique our interest. A dish of peanuts. A door knob. Paltrow’s hand as she pays her tab. A creeping sense of dread arises. The scenario becomes more troubling when Soderbergh ominously cuts to a succession of individuals in Hong Kong, Tokyo and London who have all suddenly taken extremely ill.


Whatever these people have ‘got’, it works fast. By the time Paltrow is reunited with her kids and her husband (Matt Damon, as the Everyman of the piece), we’ve watched several of the overseas victims collapse and die quite horribly; in the meantime her sniffles and sore throat escalates to fever, weakness and ultimately a grand mal seizure. Within moments of her arrival at the ER, it’s Mystery Virus 1, Doctors 0. It’s only the beginning of the nightmare. An exponential increase in deaths quickly catches the attention of the authorities, which in turn saddles us with a bevy of new characters to keep track of. There are the CDC investigators in the U.S. (Kate Winslet is in the field, while her boss Laurence Fishburne holds the meddlesome politicos at bay) and Marion Cotillard playing a doctor enlisted by the W.H.O. to look into Hong Kong as the possible ground zero. There are the front line researchers doing the lab work to isolate the virus and develop a vaccine (Jennifer Ehle, Demetri Martin and Elliott Gould). Even Homeland Security gets into the act; Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston is a liaison who tosses out a couple possible terrorist scenarios (could this be a “weaponized” virus?). Jude Law portrays an activist blogger with a large following, who claims there is an existing vaccine that works, but that the CDC is withholding distribution for nefarious reasons (something to do with Big Pharma; certainly feasible). Law is also the recipient of a zinger that I am sure print journalists will be falling over each other to quote ad nauseum; Gould’s doctor brushes him off with “A blog isn’t writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation.”


There are a great number of threads to keep track of in Contagion; fortunately, Soderbergh knows exactly how to bring all the ingredients to a gently rolling boil by the film’s denouement without overcooking the ham, as it were. By reining in his powerhouse cast just enough, and working from a screenplay (by Scott Z. Burns) that largely eschews melodrama, Soderbergh keeps it real (if a tad clinical at times), resulting in an effective and thought-provoking ensemble piece (by contrast, Wolfgang Peterson’s similarly star-studded 1995 thriller Outbreak plays more like an action cartoon). In fact, I can’t help but wonder how many of those folks who flocked to theatres last weekend (and helped make Contagion #1 at the box office for its opening week) were ultimately disappointed by Soderbergh’s relatively unadorned approach to the subject matter. Historically, Soderbergh tends to deliver either sure-fire populist ‘product’ (Out of Sight, Erin Brokovich, Oceans 11 and its sequels), or obscure experiments aimed squarely at the art house hipster crowd (Schizopolis, Full Frontal, Bubble). On occasion, he finds the middle ground (Sex, Lies and Videotape, The Limey, Traffic, and now…Contagion).


Conceptually, Contagion is actually a closer cousin to The War Game, the 1965 film from director Peter Watkins that depicted, in a very stark and realistic manner, what might happen in a ‘typical’ medium-sized British city immediately following a nuclear strike. While the root cause of the respective civic crises in the two films differs, the resulting impact on the everyday populace is quite similar, and serves as a grim reminder that no matter how “civilized” we fancy ourselves to be, we are but one such catastrophic event away from complete societal breakdown. Soderbergh’s film also raises interesting questions, like, are we prepared for an event like this? If the virus were to be a new strain, how long would it take, realistically, to develop a vaccine? How much longer would it take to manufacture 300 million doses (or perhaps a smaller number, give or take the possible attrition rate of, say for the sake of argument, 100 million who might die from the disease by the time the medicine is available). And speaking of piles of corpses, how do you dispose of them, with one eye on public safety? Who gets to be first in line to receive the first batch of vaccine? Who decides? And, outside of Soderbergh’s narrative (just to satisfy my own curiosity), the CDC isn’t one of those pesky government agencies currently targeted for budget cuts by our Republican and Teabagger buds in Congress…is it? I wish I could reassure myself and fellow hypochondriacs with “It’s only a movie.” But I can’t. The best I can do for now is: A gezunt Dir in Pupik! And, er, pleasant dreams.


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“Republicans like Rick Perry are skeptical of everything the government does—except when it executes people”

Boy isn't that the truth. Dahlia Lithwick looks at the death penalty and the Republicans and it isn't pretty.

I have to say that this issue really brings out the beast in the right wingnut. When I tweeted about Perry's death toll during the debate (after he fatuously declared "I always err on the side of life")I was inundated with vicious responses that were barely beyond gibberish. Something about being against executing people when you could simply lock them up for life really strikes a nerve. They want them dead and they don't want to hear about anyone possibly being innocent. In fact, the mere idea of it makes them livid.

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If Bloomberg can say it… by David Atkins

If Bloomberg can say it...
by David Atkins ("thereisnospoon")

New York City mayor and centrist third party favorite Michael Bloomberg today:

Mayor Bloomberg today warned there will be widespread rioting on the streets if more jobs are not created.

As it emerged the number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the U.S. jumped last week to the highest level in three months, the Mayor spoke out, insisting that if nothing is done Americans will start revolting.

'That's what happened in Cairo. That's what happened in Madrid. You don't want those kinds of riots here.'

Mayor Bloomberg added: 'The damage to a generation that can't find jobs will go on for many, many years.

'At least he [Obama] has got some ideas on the table, whether you like those or not,' he said.

His comments were in reference to the recent uprising in Egypt, which toppled president Hosni Mubarak, and protests in Spain by people outraged their government was spending millions on a papal visit rather than on dealing with unemployment.


Bloomberg and I would doubtless disagree and probably quite strongly on many of the policies necessary to change the unemployment equation. Bloomberg thinks we need to do something about "the spending side" of the equation, which sounds a lot like more Grand Bargain talk to toss Medicare and Social Security into the jaws of Wall St. And he no doubt thinks that job-killing "free trade" agreements are lovely.

But at least somebody with "independent" media credibility is putting the jobs crisis in the stark emotional terms it deserves while supporting Obama's jobs program.

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