I hate hate hate the locution "Leaders" (capital L) as a generic term for people with actual and different titles and offices in our Constitutional system. It's like airport bookstore-level politics. Heck. it's outright Fascist: Fuherprinzip.
Some Congressional action possible, but in WH view, not necessary. pic.twitter.com/h0FpRZbT1V
— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) September 9, 2014
Actually, things aren't that bad; this is a rose branch I pruned after it broke under the weight of heavy rain; the touch of red reminded me of a Constable painting.
And busy bees: Read below the fold...
Unlike some I still have a thin shred of hope in the power of the ballot because I don't think people are stupid as a whole, just slow to learn and easily influenced.
We've had 40 years at least to prove that neo-liberal, trickle-down, perfect market economics do not work. They have demonstrated failure in tangible ways that show up at your dinner table every day as you CCPI substitute pet food for people food and wear out your cheap off shored rags in weeks and not years. Your quality of life is declining and it's harder to disguise.
This is not the inevitable increase of entropy, it's the result of management decisions made by our government to enrich our elites at the expense of everyone else.
Fortunately conditions like this do not persist. Whenever there are too many of us and not enough of them there is a revolution. The propaganda becomes repetitive and unbelievable, the cognitive dissonance too much to overcome.
You are not alone. Millions of people see the same things you do, think the same things you think. Including the elites, that's why they are worried and are investing so heavily in more propaganda and more coercive tools for the suppression of mass sentiment. Submit to the charms of illusion or the iron boot of oppression, it matters not as long as you submit.
But ultimately they are dependent on your voluntary submission. They make the calculation that they can distract you with bright and shiny objects or so disillusion you that apathy seems rebellion.
My cynicism is dark and deep, but not that deep. Nope, I'm actually an optimistic sort of guy- not that it does any good.
I think that politicians, who remain at least nominally subject to a process of public approval, and pundits/media news people, who are more directly and immediately dependent on their audience, are open to influence from the populace and ignore it at their peril.
Ways to show that are by showing up at the polls and voting Third Party, changing your registration to a Third Party, or by voting for Third Party candidates like Teachout and Wu in major party primaries. If nothing else you can make Chuck Todd's head explode which is always fun.
I approach this incrementally and pragmatically. If we continue to vote for the lesser of two evils, it is still evil. If the current conditions persist more radical solutions than mine will gain urgency.
If I seem like a centrist, I AM! My beliefs are rooted in the core of New Deal Democracy and Keynesian Economics. It is Andrew Cuomo and his corrupt crony capitalism and double dealing 'bi-partisanship' that prop up the corpse of the New York Republican Party as a Boogieman too scary to dare deserting a Democratic Party that has abandoned every principle and promise.
I am not afraid.
I'd prefer that it not come to pitchforks and torches because I'm more comfortable not being poked and fire has a disturbing tendency to spread beyond your magical circle of intent, but you use the tools you have and if you doubt their efficacy in a modern environment I invite a closer study of recent developments where overwhelming power has not produced the desired results. Humans are a recalcitrant and obstinate lot.
Should you live and vote in New York as a registered Democrat I invite you today to take positive action and indicate your disapproval of Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul.
Vote for Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu.
It is really the very least you can do. Read below the fold...
But Canada has its own currency, which means that its government can’t run out of money, that it can bail out its own banks if necessary, and more. An independent Scotland wouldn’t. And that makes a huge difference.
He then goes on to explain the difference between Florida (a non-issuer) and the United States (the issuer of the dollar), and explains how Scotland (as a non-issuer of the pound) could end up just like Spain (a non-issuer) in the EU (the issuer of the Euro). Read below the fold...
For those who came in late, in 2003 or so there were basically two voices pointing out how insane the Bush administration was; you had to be there, and if you were, you remember how amazing it was to find a voice of sanity. One such voice was Krugman, for which he still deserves huge credit, in my book; and the other was Dan Froomkin, who ran a blog, in the days when blogs were new, that was quite literally the only reason to read WaPo, where it appeared. Read below the fold...
I'm interrupting my series on Government Real Fiscal Responsibility to being you this special post, on something Chris Hayes said relating to Real Fiscal Responsibility. Back in February of 2014, he tweeted:
— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) March 1, 2014
Recently, that tweet along with an image has been making the rounds on Facebook as an Alternet photo. The sound bite in the tweet looks great, after the manner of a logical truism.
But, logically, it doesn't follow, because one can easily say that as long as the Government implicit in the statement isn't a currency issuer, but a currency user who must acquire its funds by taxing or borrowing alone, that Government can involuntarily run out of funds. And it is conceivable that funds might be raised to fund a war, while that same Government might not have the funds available to take care of the people who fought for the nation, without defaulting on its obligations. Read below the fold...
Thomas Frank blesses Bill Black's concept of "control fraud," after a defense team in California uses it as their theory of the case
This really is very, very big; I can't imagine why Joan Walsh let it through. Thomas Frank in Salon:
The case started as a routine mortgage-fraud prosecution, brought by none other than the aforementioned U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner. A group of eastern European immigrants had bought houses in California in 2006, in a real-estate market that was in the early stages of collapse. According to the indictment, filed in 2012, these people’s mortgage applications contained blank spots and wrong information; they were accused of getting the mortgages in order to sell the houses to one another at pumped-up prices in what is called a “straw buyer” scheme. Also, they defaulted on the loans.
However, members of the immigrants’ legal defense team—several of them appointed by the state—had read the newspapers over the years and were aware of the kinds of things that had gone on in real estate during the bubble. They knew, for example, that in the go-go days of the last decade, the mortgage origination industry routinely cranked out “stated income” loans—also known as “liar’s loans”—to people who were obviously unable to make the payments. The bankers back then almost never checked on whether the borrower was telling the truth about their income; they just wanted to make the loan. So the defense team in Sacramento came up with a novel strategy: How can the borrower have committed fraud on a mortgage application if the lender didn’t care whether their answers were truthful? Read below the fold...