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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.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why Do So Many of the Best Articles on the Economy Appear in Rolling Stone?

Here is a good, lengthy and in-depth article about how Grover Norquist and his fellow anti-tax crusaders hijacked the Republican party completely, leading to the relentless efforts to throw more and more breaks to the super-rich.

Die, Old Media, Die!

Atrios links to an editorial in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.  The point of the editorial is to take to task the originator of an on-line petition against Target's requirement that many of its workers come in at midnight on Thanksgiving to prepare for "Black Friday."  The editorial instructs Anthony Hardwick to "buck up" and be glad he even has a job.  This is where we are with traditional media outlets such as daily newspapers and network news shows, and don't even get me started on cable news.  They are happy to toe the corporate line, and do everything they can to put trod-upon workers–or #Occupy protesters, or anyone else pointing out the serfdom being thrust upon most of us–in their place.  Shut up and get back to work, or you'll get us all in trouble.

In contemplating the question, "What purpose do these entities (newspapers, etc.) serve?" I can see how they benefit their corporate masters, but the rest of us, not so much.  I'm sure they'll continue to see their circulation dwindle, and they'll continue to be bewildered about why that might be.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


So, the big flap this week is the decision of Jimmy Fallon's band to play a snippet of "Lyin' Ass Bitch" by Fishbone as Michelle Bachmann came onto the set.  While I find her truly frightening/hilarious, I have to say that this is inappropriate for a presidential candidate, even one who has been proven time and again to have only a passing acquaintance with the truth.  Better would have been not to have her on at all, but if she is an invited guest, she should receive the same level of respect as any other high-profile politician.

Monday, November 14, 2011

How Did We End Up Here?

I used to have a rather negative opinion of the New Yorker's George Packer, mainly on the basis of his credulous support of Bush's excellent adventure in Iraq.  However, he has redeemed himself with a belated admission of having been wrong, and has written a number of incisive pieces on the War of Terror and other misbegotten artifacts from 2001-09.

I am working my way through a lengthy piece he wrote for the September 12 issue of the New Yorker concerning the apparently irreparable rips in the country's political fabric over the last ten years.  In discussing the vicious political attacks from the right wing on anyone raising reasonable, moderate questions about the strategy in Iraq, he writes this:

"From the start, important avenues of inquiry were marked with warning signs by the Administration. Those who ventured down them would pay a price. The conversation that a mature democracy should have held never happened, because this was no longer a mature democracy."

This comment strikes me as absolutely true, cutting to the point.  The US has completely abandoned even the pretence being a serious country.  The spectacle of the current Republican presidential debates merely offers an emphatic punctuation on what has been undeniably true since at least the time of Clinton's impeachment.  We are governed by a crop of elites who have no interest in charting the difficult course the country faces in the new century.  All they seem to care about is scoring cheap political victories and enriching themselves and their wealthy patrons.  

Our elites have given up on the country.  What about the rest of us?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011