About this blog:

What if they held a class war and nobody noticed? For decades, liberals and progressives have been bashed for conducting a "class war" every time they suggest that it would be appropriate for the extremely wealthy to shoulder a bit more of the burden of paying for government. Meanwhile, a swarm of far-right think-tanks and political action committees have been working tirelessly to promote the idea that taxes on the wealthy should be lowered further from their historic lows, and that entitlement programs such as social security and medicare are too expensive to sustain (and in any case, immoral). The latest attempts to delegitimize public employee unions are the logical next step in what genuinely appears to be the systematic dismantlement of the middle class. This blog will highlight some of the more extreme examples of this activity that may not always show up in your news feeds.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another Step on the Road to Serfdom

No, not Hayek's libertarian Road to Serfdom, but the real deal, with peasants scrambling for crumbs dropped by the lord.  Let's squeeze desperate people in a tough employment market by making them work for nothing.  It's a totally logical next step.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

George Carlin Knew the Score

Check this out:

From 2005, but it is even more obviously right today than it was then.

Bob Herbert Tells It Like It Is

Unlike most of his ilk, retiring NYT columnist Bob Herbert has not been afraid to call out the greed, violence, racism and ignorance that seem to dominate the landscape in modern America.  Now he is stepping down, and has published his valedictory.  Read the whole thing, but savor this in particular:

"The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

In the Service of Our Galtian Overlords

DougJ at Balloon Juice lays it on the line:  when we snicker about people who live in trailer parks or watch NASCAR, we're doing Jay Gould's work.  At the end of the day, there's the rich and there's everyone else.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

File Under "Nobody Could Have Predicted..."

Ohio's wingnut governor John Kasich has big plans to privatize things in his state, such as turnpikes and prisons.  Here is a story on the sketchy dealings associated with his plan to sell off five prisons.  Punchline: the facts that his former chief-of-staff has been hired as a lobbyist in Ohio by Corrections Corporation of America (the largest firm in the burgeoning Prison-Industrial Complex) and that his chief of corrections is the former managing director of CCA are purely coincidental, and there is no reason to assume that CCA will end up with a sweetheart deal to buy some or all of these prisons.  When it happens, everyone will express surprise, then shrug and say they didn't see that coming.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Did anyone see anything about this rally in Madison on their network or cable news?  Apparently 100,000+ working people protesting an extremist governor and legislative assembly is not newsworthy (unlike some teapartiers riding their Rascal scooters while wearing tricorn hats and waving signs about Kenya, Marxism and "second amendment solutions."

Monday, March 7, 2011

You Can't Forget About All Those Tax Cuts

Here's another angle on the alleged salary/pension crisis being faced by states that is being used to justify taking away collective bargaining rights.  In short:  tax cuts pushed through a decade or more ago were paid for by underfunding of pension obligations.  Now, surprise surprise, there is not enough money.  What's the answer?  Not revisiting the question of tax rates.  No, instead let's squeeze those lazy, overpaid teachers, firefighters, police, etc.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

We've been hearing a lot about how public employees are not contributing enough to their pension funds, which is putting state governments on the way to budget crises.  Hence, the recent spate of efforts to strip them of their collective bargaining rights.  Here is a report from the estimable Dean Baker that rips that story to shreds (warning:  pdf).  Surprise, surprise, the shortfall is due to the bankster-caused stock market meltdown, and is already shrinking due to the recent market rebound.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Perfumed Fops

One of the big problems with gaining a critical mass of middle class people who are aware of the war being conducted against them is the profound failure of the media to report on these issues. For years I have fumed at their bogus "objectivity," in which they would feel obligated to include a right wing counterbalance to any centrist (leftists are mostly shut out entirely from the conversation), whose statements reveal him/her to be either a blatant liar or clinically insane. However, recently we have seen more and mor evidence of major media figures overtly siding with corporations and the mega-rich in any discussion of, for example, taxation (e.g., roll-back of the disastrous Bush tax cuts). This is hardly surprising, since they are employed by multinational corporations, and many are well enough compensated to count themselves among the very wealthy, in not exactly plutocrats.

The media culture in Washington is particularly rank, with constant reminders that these high-profile reporters and pundits count themselves as part of the establishment, sharing cocktail weenies at all the same parties. This dates back at least as far as Sally Quinn's embarrassing screed against the Clintons in the 1990's, leading to the ubiquitous moniker of "villager" for these parochial Washingtonians. An early effort to document the atrocities was launched by the lamented blog Media Whores Online, as well as Bob Somerby's Daily Howler. (The latter repeatedly used the term in the title of this post for the courtier-like behavior of these so-called reporters.)

Anyway, this post is prompted by a recent piece by the Washington Post's Dana Milbank. Milbank has been a bad actor in the past, displaying examples of the "insider/villager" behavior. However, here he blows the whistle on the culture of Washington and the cozy relationship between the media and the politicians.  Maybe we are starting to see a little bit of skepticism...stay tuned.