Break with the Bankers
In the calm before yesterday’s election night storm, Howie Kurtz took a moment to engage in his favorite hobby, obsessing about Democratic men’s penises.
If any of the candidates are patronizing hookers, Chris Matthews has the right guest. Eliot Spitzer, on the set.
But Matthews may in fact have had the most logical guest on to interpret last night’s results. As Digby concluded last night,
At this point, the only thing that seems obvious to me is that the super wealthy just aren’t as popular as they used to be. Even in New York City.
You see, regardless of his own considerable fortune and whether he has paid for sex, Spitzer had this to say yesterday (presumably before Bloomberg almost failed to buy a city):
Imagine this: by next spring, an intellectual consensus will have emerged that the concentration in the banking sector that developed from the 1980s until the crash of ‘08 was misguided. Voices as disparate as Former Fed Chair Paul Volcker, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, meta- investor George Soros, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page will be in agreement on this point.A few brave souls on the Right — recognizing that the Republican Party has been bereft of ideas in its attacks on President Obama — will then try to re-define a populist, conservative attack by asserting that the White House has been captured by Wall Street. Real populism and change, they will argue, will come from the Republican, not the Democratic, party.
The power of such an attack from the Right should not be underestimated. There will be a huge first mover advantage that goes to the candidates who grab the real banner of attacking the structure of Wall Street as having been the root of the crash of ‘08.
So the simple question remains: why aren’t we focusing on the problem that got us here in the first instance — the scope, range, and size of the mega-institutions whose risk taking has so far inflicted only enormous harm on our economy? If the Republicans pick up this issue before we do, the elections of 2010 could be even worse than we are now fearing.
The teabaggers failed yesterday, but there’s every reason to believe they will be more successful at mobilizing anxiety and frustration in Florida. And they’ll be doing it all the while downplaying Dick Armey’s considerable financial largesse.
If the teabaggers can then turn their energy into a focus on Wall Street, I do believe they’ll be successful in coming years. Particularly if the Administration continues to coddle the bankers.
Update: Speaking of Spitzer, Gawker has the journalist/flack emails from the first days that scandal broke.
A prophetic voice.
The right generally loves to hate New York and the northeast (and that other coast too).
Shifting that to a more cogent anti-bank argument would be a reasonably easy lift for the team that pointed at Al Qaeda and then invaded Iraq. Big question is whether that team is still on the field.
Well and to the degree that there is some overlap between the teabaggers and the Paulistas, they’ve already been going after banking in the form of the Fed.
And Grayson is just about the only Democrat who’s on top of the Fed story.
Speaking of voters being disenchanted with the super-rich, Corzine’s Goldman Sachs connection couldn’t have helped him. Maybe he should have highlighted how rich the Christie family is too, though. I saw at least one tweet last night that said we traded a rich, corrupt politician for a poor, corrupt politician in NJ. Christie may not be as rich as Corzine, but the family millions being doled out to “charity” to avoid taxes are way beyond the way normal people live.
This is what baffles me so much about Obama’s about face on change. The voting public is not happy with the current state of affairs: watching their jobs disappear over the horizon, while bankers laugh all the way to the bank with someone else’s tax dollars. Meanwhile, people with insurance find that it doesn’t cover what they think it does, but don’t find that out until it’s already a crisis.
The public voted for change and they meant it. If the Dems don’t deliver, then they will lose — not because the Rethugs are better, but just because they weren’t the ones who promised to hold the football for us before yanking it away. Again.
For all the Village caterwauling about how no one really expects politicians to fulfill their campaign promises, the fact remains that we do. What do they think we are doing when we go to debates or town hall meetings (or watch them on TV) or call their offices? We want to know who will deliver on the issues we care about. We invest time and effort into evaluating who best deserves our support. We expect a return on that investment.
The Village can titter behind their fans in their gilded halls all the like, but in the end it is a dangerous business to cavalierly thwart the public will.
It’s not that dangerous if they know that the votes are going to be cast on machines controlled by one company and that they will receive their bribes in the form of campaign contributions from the groups whose positions they endorse and champion while the rest of us wring our hands over the fact that “Oh no! The Democrats have fucked us again.”
At least with the GOP in its present state you know what you’re going to get, or what you’re going to lose, going in. They don’t hide their obeisance to the rich and powerful until they’ve been safely elected, they accept the cash and the endorsements right up front.
On a completely OT bent: How come during all of the talk about the NJ governor’s race last night there wasn’t the slightest hint that Christie and his deputy, Michelle Brown, might have engaged in illegal behavior regarding their travel reimbursements? Why was there no mention that Christie was connected to Rove? It’s OK to make jokes about Jersey being a mafia state but not to mention that the Rove mafia has put in place people who are going to be around to hurt this country for generations to come?
There is absolutely No Question that the fringe of the super-Right is invested 110% in voting against what we most hope to change. The motivation that worked one year ago, totally f-ing notsomuch. That should be the lesson, and Spitzer is exactly right, IMO.
Last evening Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism cross posted a piece by Spitzer with this same message that origially appeared on New Deal 2.0, and it immediately rang true. There is going to be a populist tsunami in this country in the next few years, and the only question is whether it’s a populism of the left or of the right. If it’s the latter, fascism here we come. I’m one who came to the progressive side after decades of wandering in the centrist wilderness, and I think that disillusioned late middle age (OK, old fartish) ex-moderates like myself are very open to the need for a radical rethinking of where this country has been during our lifetimes and where we should try to steer it for our grandchildrens’ sakes. The financial industry is a great place to start that project.
There is going to be a populist tsunami in this country in the next few years, and the only question is whether it’s a populism of the left or of the right.
The overlap on the bigmoney/bankster issue is right there.
The tsunami is coming for sure.
That’s what I linked in the post.
Ooops! Should have followed all the links. But I plea for mercy since I was writing on my way out the door to an appointment and didn’t have time.
Spitzer posits an open, utopian political environment where politicians are free to calculate policies solely based on what is best suited to win elections. Of course the hermetically sealed two-party US political system is very much a closed system, and where only “two” choices are given, elections are won by, on the one hand, blindly attacking the other choice, and on the other, making vague positive-sounding promises for the future. There is absolutely no need for the Republicans to threaten one of the most massive wealth/power nodes in the US to get a few dumb schmucks to vote for them. Why go after powerful Citi when they can so easily get the same results by pounding pathetic Acorn instead?
Spitzer plays the concern troll convincingly while simultaneously laying the ground work to head off any reform by stating the dangers of one tax proposal that was never going anywhere anyway. It seems the rumbling of discontent by the masses at the current state of the US is finally being felt at the top. The response is self-referential analysis; to try to convince the peasants that there is meaning in the fluctuations within the closed US political system; not mentioning that as any bird needs to keep its two wings moving to fly, the US system needs constant motion for both its wings to convince the citizens that our democracy is still soaring.
And why should Spitzer make any reference to an alternative? The closed US political system finds itself in a position of commanding authority. Not only is there no other international political system to challenge it; there is only miniscule domestic opposition to their monopoly on power; and it is divided on two extreme flanks; the Dennis Kucinich left and the Ron Paul right. As things stand, due to the animosity between these two positions, they can only serve as self-cancelling focal points of discontent and the closed US political system can destroy each in detail. Only if these two factions were to start actively working together could the closed US political system find itself facing a raging two-front political war for legitimacy. Sadly I’m not betting on this happening since both sides are fatally imbued with partisan booby traps that will make future broad growth and consolidation difficult.
With the Obama presidency giving the word underachieving new meaning, combined with the still fresh memories of the mal-achieving Bush Administration, the other lurking danger to the closed US political system is from cynicism from the broad center about the two-party system. Signs of such a movement have been appearing, among other places, on certain economic blogs. Not everyone looking for change will in fact be satisfied with monthly First Family portraits featuring a cute melanin-enhanced family unit while the President actually spends four years running a four corners offense to kill the clock on any substantive change. Nor will others be satisfied with pummelling the straw men of socialism and Acorn for the next three years as the country crumbles. And for these people the only solution the closed US political system has to offer is the distraction of tighter and tighter swings of the pendulum combined with massive amounts of inside-baseball analysis of where exactly the pendulum is heading. These discussions serve the purpose of focusing the public’s attention on the hypnotic effects of the swinging pendulum while denying even the possibility of activity outside the closed system.
Opponents of the system must create an alternative — yes a third party — that can act as a focal point of discontent, that can serve as a magnet for the many who are on the verge of abandoning the closed US political system. Just as it is hard to convince passengers to leap from a sinking ship directly into the rough waters in the middle of the ocean; it is difficult to convince people to abandon the current political system without at least the semblance of a sturdy lifeboat to carry them. And while discussions on Too Big To Fail are important; the even more fundamental problem that the closed US political system refuses to address is the on-going evisceration of US manufacturing capability. Two hundred years ago Alexander Hamilton found the intellectual arguments to protect infant industries, today we urgently need to save “geriatric industries”, while staying mindful of the dangers of outright mercantilism.
There’s a glimmer of hope in getting around the two choice problem, at least here in MN. Yesterday for the first time Minneapolis conducted its municipal elections using the ranked choice/instant runoff system and it worked well. It wasn’t a factor in the mayoral race. Rybak received about 70% of the #1 choices and thus the instant runoff process didn’t kick in. In many of the below-the-fold races, however, no one reached the 50%+1 threshold of #1 choices and the election judges are still doing their thing. Also, St. Paul passed a referendum calling for the use of RC/IR elections in the future. If the DFL can electe a governor here for the first time since 1986 and hold on to both houses of the legislature we might have it statewide by 2012.
You’re dead right about the potential political consequences of the Dems ignoring Wall St. corruption (there’s also the teensy little issue of the economic consequences).
I think there’s a tie-in to what I believe is the real reason for Corzine’s defeat: the STAGGERING corruption of the democratic party in NJ. Sure, local GOP is just as bad – but they don’t run the show. And Corzine did nothing about it. Nothing.
The central GOP meme (aside from the race card) is that government is bad. And these Dem government servants who do nothing strengthen the point. I don’t know if I could have brought myself to vote for Corzine if I lived in NJ – though I know this is wrong, and CC is horrible.
Meanwhile – you’re right again – our inspired media hounds are on the scent of the sex story…
There were two races linked in some of the commentary o n MSNBC last night:
IIRC, Corzine is a wealthy ex-Goldman Sachs guy, and Bloomberg’s win was much smaller than expected, despite spending a record amount of his own money. Put those two together, and perhaps we see a bit of a public revolt against moneyed Wall Street politicians, regardless of party.
This casts EW’s Spitzer quote in the right lighting, and should be placed in the context of Obama’s reliance on Wall Streeters Tim Geithner and Larry Summers.
Bob in AZ
3rd party, na’gun’ happen.
For a Congressional election being subservient to the bankers should be very easy to target if they continue to water down the legislation which Obama wanted or give the important new regulatory powers to an opaque agency such as the Fed.
It has been apparent for some time that Charlie Crist is one of the more moderate Republicans that the Rethugs might run in 2012. Matthews has focused some on how the wing nuts in the Republican party may target Crist to try to knock him out of play.
Chris Matthews double standards on blowjobs and extra marital activities is oh so apparent he has obsessively slammed Clinton for his BJ’s and yet has Spitzer on with no problems and does not attack Spitzer’s affair otherwise. Obvious double standards.
Matthews interview with the smug ass Eric Cantnor was over the top for me. Cantnor did as expected spinning the thugs wins as a huge win and a new direction or some horseshit like that. Matthews did try to remind him that the war, the failing economy, the implosion of this country is a result of a Republican controlled presidency and congress.
Canor so reminds me of a Frat boy who would get some young woman pregnant and then say “see what she did to herself”
Taking no responsibility for the decisions made by him or his team for where the country is at right now. One big smug asshole that Eric Cantor
basically his spin is the Republicans were not there the last eight years. Trying to drop the responsibility of this mess in Obama’s lap. A real weasel Eric Cantor…a real weasel
Unable to find the exact link of his creepy spin that spilled out of his mouth last night on Hardball. I wish Matthews would have challenged him more instead of repeating that he thinks Cantor is a rising star
i don’t suppose the fact that republican family man and fornicator chris christie just got elected as governor of new jersey would be of any interest to howie the gossip.
Everybody seems to be determined to draw exactly the wrong conclusions from last night’s results. Here’s what you need to know.
1. It’s still the Club for Growth (of the Democratic Party). I’m almost ready to start sending those guys money. They are way more effective in electing in Dems than anybody else. Contra our lovely hostess, I say bring on Rubio in Florida. He’ll be way easier to beat than Crist.
2. Being associated with high finance (Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg) is a big negative these days.
3. Dems can’t win if the folks born since 1978 don’t show up (check the VA exit polls).
4. The Dem majority in the U.S. House got bigger last night.
5. The Republican party is surviving at the state level and destroying itself at the federal level.
6. Hey! My hometown (Houston) had a mayoral race, too. With four major candidates the lesbian and the black guy made the runoff while the rich white guy and the Republican didn’t. In Texas… Think about that one folks.
You are correct WO.
However, addressing Wall St. needs to happen.
It’s not Wall St. It’s not Goldman-Sachs, BofA, Citicorp, or the rating agencies. A corporation is not evil.
It’s the bloody thieves that are running the corporations that are evil. We let them hide behind corporate law, fine the corporation an amount that does not materially effect the balance sheet and touch the evil not at all.
Stop going after the corporations. Go after the poeple who make the evil decisions and the lawyers that tell them how to get away with it. And not the law firms, the individual lawyers who KNOW they’re enabling someone to evade the law.
Boxturtle (And jail time works much better than fines)
You may get your wish.
The Supreme Court may soon rule that a “Corporation is a Person”
I thought they all ready did
I thought they already did that. And that Sotomayor was fussing about it.
Well, it might be interesting to read the dissenting opinions.
Bob in AZ
I hear you. My intent of “addressing Wall St.” is addressing the deregulation and other policies which brought us the financial mess.
I agree from a policy perspective. I just don’t think that the Republican party/conservative movement/Beckistas will ever successfully organize around an anti-Wall Street agenda. It’ll be too easy for the Dems to co-opt that strategy. I hope the rightists do move that direction because it will force the Dems to get off their feckless rears and do something.
Oh, I am in no way saying that I wouldn’t prefer Rubio. Just that I think the chances of getting Rubio are much higher now.
I was reacting to this sentence:
I don’t think that they failed yesterday, at least by their own measure. They wanted to send a message to state Republican parties that you can’t nominate somebody in the mainstream of your state (and Scozzafava was slightly conservative for a NY R stage leg.) for Congress. Republican congressional candidates have to be Palin-approved. Anybody who thinks Rubio and Crist will vote differently in the Senate just hasn’t been paying attention. The movement is more interested in flexing its muscle than winning elections. In the long run, this is likely to be bad for the country. All the institutional support for the two-party system will prop up the Republican party long after it should have withered away. Then, in the aftermath of the first presidential election in which the Republicans lose Texas, the party is going to collapse. Nobody knows what will happen then, but I don’t think it will be pretty. In the meantime, the will of nearly two thirds of the country is going to be held hostage to dilletantes like Joe Lieberman. Blecch!
I’ve been mulling over a theory that Sarah Palin will save the Republican Party– but not in the way she thinks.
Here’s how it goes: Like in NY-23, Palin galvanizes the Republican fringe extremists to back unelectable conservatives. This drags the right wing of the right wing party out to a new national Third Party– of the Conservatives & Libertarians. They’ll elect a few Representatives– just enough to give them hope, and encouraging all the tea-baggers to bolt from the Republican party. This will leave the actually electable Republicans, like Bob McDonald, in charge of the party, able to actualize Eliot Spitzer’s dream (nightmare?), leading an anti-bank populist movement attacking a Democratic Party so besotted with power that they like being in bed with Wall Street.
Bob in AZ
Here’s the way that I make sense of it:
People ask what’s happened to the ‘old Main Street GOP’?
I want to say, ‘they evaporated, along with small town banking, local markets, and relatively stable wages in a culture that was fairly egalitarian’.
All the hoopla over the demise of the old ‘Main Street’ GOP seems to me more rooted in economic disparities.
The only way that I see the old Main Street, sane GOP coming back is if we once again have a large middle class full of retailers, engineers, dentists, and others whose economic stability is not wedded to Wall Street-based financial accounting.
I don’t see the demographics for a GOP resurgence.
What scares me is the fear of what originated as the Pat Robertson wing, armed to the teeth by the likes of Eric Prince, and believing that wide economic disparities are somehow ‘natural’ and that the social order is fundamentally wildly asymmetrical.
In other words, conditions unstable enough to put a patina of respectability on extremist views.
The economic disparities skew to that scenario IMVHO.
Which is why the Dems need to get some guts, suck it up, send Geithner, et al into exile, and find some spine to clean up the mess in D.C.
The old regulatory structures are too fragmented to be workable from where I see it all — there’s too much chair-moving on the Titanic by the timid. Won’t work.
I agree with your assessment with one qualification. At the state level I think it’s a state by state thing. The party has some self-destruction going on here in MN, with Michele Bachmann inflaming her 20% (who are concentrated in her and one other CD) while alienating the other 80% to varying degrees, and the consequences of “No New Taxes Never” policies are finally starting to sink in as school districts cut back sports, arts and debate programs in spite of soaring local property taxes, and drivers dodge the Pawlenty potholes on
slalom coursesroadways and hold their breaths when crossing bridges. A big reason Pawlenty isn’t running for reelection is that he was by no means confident of victory. So after doing his best to trash this state he wants to move on to bigger things.
I think Bachmans effort to call people to D.C. to march in the halls of congress against health care reform comes up tomorrow. The woman is a lunatic
I don’t care about party labels. Here’s what I’ll vote for (it’s not all that I want):
— fuck the bankers
— get the fuck out of Afghan and Iraq
— get real about the U.S. economy
What a lively discussion you’ve engendered here, EW!
Want to link this Gitmo news, then back to your article and all the comments.
Justice Department won’t appeal order to free Guantanamo detainee
“Fouad al Rabiah, who the Pentagon says was bin Laden’s logistics chief during the 2001 battle at Tora Bora in Afghanistan, was transferred to Camp Iguana after the Justice Department decided not to appeal a judge’s order that he be released, his civilian lawyer, David Cynamon, said Tuesday.”
That’s one pissed judge. I bet the government lawyers are glad to get out of that courtroom without getting personally sanctioned.
Boxturtle (How many of these must ObamaCo lose before they realize what has been done is illegal?)
The bankster creeps are now twisting the teachings of Jesus!
Profit `Not Satanic,’ Barclays Says, After Goldman Invokes Jesus
“Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer John Varley stood at the wooden lectern in St. Martin-in-the- Fields on London’s Trafalgar Square last night and told the packed pews of the church that “profit is not satanic.”
. . .
“Varley joins Goldman Sachs International adviser Brian Griffiths and Lazard International Chairman Ken Costa as London bankers who’ve gone into London churches in recent weeks and invoked Christianity to defend a banking system that critics say has created wealth and inequality in the U.K.”
I guess there is some C Street/Fellowship thing going on over there, too. At least it does seem the Red Queen is firmly in charge.
Multiple tweets tell us that 23 CIA agents were found guilty in the rendition of Abu Omar. Jeremy Scahill gives us a BBC link.
Somehow, I don’t see those CIA agents being extradited to Italy.
Technically, under the SofA we have with Italy, we can refuse to extradite if we prefer charges ourselves. I don’t see this happening, either.
Boxturtle (Nor do I see the Italian government pushing America to do either)
The US has already formally refused extradition and wil continue to and taken the position that there is no personal jurisdiction, which will be the basis for not having to prosecute here to refuse extradition. Not to mention that, like the situation in Spain, there is a decent chance the Italian government/diplomatic service will refuse to process any extradition effort. I guess it will restrict the vacation destinations available to the 23, so there is that…..
And the Italians are demanding a new SofA because of it as I recall. But I can’t find a link to that story so maybe I’m just confused.
I’m wondering who would honor an Italian arrest warrant on a CIA agent and risk incurring Offical displeasure from ObamaCo and Unoffical displeasure from the CIA?
Boxturtle (well, yeah, France….)
I would think European Union member countries like France would have to enforce if the Italian government actually formally processes the extradition warrant, but, again, I think that is not a certainty at all.
Wouldn’t a Durham for Spataro trade work?
“Since it began in 2007, the trial has faced many complex legal hurdles. That it has reached this late stage is a testament to the persistence of the prosecutor, Armando Spataro, a veteran of counterterrorism and Mafia investigations, and the earlier rulings of Judge Oscar Magi.”
Spataro is likely represented by Scott Boras and is in high demand. I’d be happy to give them Durham on waivers, but I doubt they are interested.
Yes; the WaPo sent out an alert on it, which I happened to use in my class today, when the topic was on globalization…
Bob in AZ
Will the message of how wrong-headed the current approach has been in the WH ever take hold within the WH? Nothing for the people is to be gained by being “middle-of-the-road” (or, more correctly, “right-wing” which is how such a position used to be defined before the definition of the various “wings” got pushed ever right-ward by the right-wads).
The O-mobile’s tires are getting awfully flat. Do they know? Do they care? Are they capable of such analysis or is there some other agenda? This is quite amazing, and not all my questions are rhetorical.
It’s this scenario that keeps me awake at night. Ever read Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here?” The rightwing populist of that novel reminds me so much of Sarah Palin I get the shivers. Populism is going to win the day soon… it’s just a matter of who espouses it first and best.
3. Dems can’t win if the folks born since 1978 don’t show up (check the VA exit polls).
Many of the folks born since 1978 will never show up again. They showed up once, voted for change, but got more of the same. I’d say most are too disappointed to vote again anytime soon.
And I don’t blame em, I feel the same way. Obama and the hope for change turned out to be another forlorn hope, and everyone just got screwed in the end. Again.
“Many of the folks born since 1978 will never show up again. They showed up once, voted for change, but got more of the same. I’d say most are too disappointed to vote again anytime soon.
And I don’t blame em, I feel the same way. Obama and the hope for change turned out to be another forlorn hope, and everyone just got screwed in the end. Again.”
I don’t have a whole lot of patience with the “Alienated for Life” approach to all this. Politics is a life-long commitment in a democracy, and you need to learn to take the wins as well as the losses, and get back up and fight the next fight. Change doesn’t come as a magical silver bullet, it comes through making it clear you are not going away.
I expect that in the next few months we will see Health Care pass — it may not be all we want, but we have to be ready to come back in a few years and perfect what was accomplished this round. I expect some major legislation re-regulating banking and finance. I espect the British decision to force “too big to fail” banks to divest, and the pressure from the European Union to establish something like Glass-Steagall to move Treasury and the Fed. Reserve to do the same thing. Once Health Care is passed, these Financial Regulations need to be the next hot issue.
The young people who didn’t show up need to pick up on a few serious issues that effect them, and organize around them. I would suggest Jobs should be cause number one. If the so called “recovery” isn’t going to produce an adequate supply of Jobs, particularly meaningful entry level jobs, it becomes the Government’s responsibility to create them — perhaps WPA style projects that build things that last many generations, build skills, and generate a living wage. In our system, if you don’t demand things in a loud and long voice, you probably don’t get them. This is a lesson for those who thought one election could cure everything.
Fortunately young people get older, and a goodly fraction of people get better as they get older.
To the extent that there is now open fratricide within the R party: Good. It’s not yet clear what happens after that, and that worries me a little, but this pogrom is going to take some time to play out, and for the duration the only possible net result will be a weakening of the R party and a diminishing of its numbers, and therefore of its election victories.
After that, the relation of the reshaped R party to the banksters is an interesting question. One would assume that your basic moderate, professional, politician-for-life R type is the most natural ally of the bankster, but that’s exactly who’s getting decimated in the pogrom. Hardline Palinite purists not such an obvious ally from a doctrine POV, except for the small degenerate Galty parts scotch-taped to the side. But if those nutters eventually succeed in effecting a takeover of the R brand, and ever manage to re-grow party rolls and electoral successes, then I’m sure the banksters are smart enough to find a way to, and can most certainly afford to, effectively use those future New Rs as a hired front, maybe overt or more likely covert.
sara at 47
“…I don’t have a whole lot of patience with the “Alienated for Life” approach to all this. Politics is a life-long commitment in a democracy, and you need to learn to take the wins as well as the losses, and get back up and fight the next fight. Change doesn’t come as a magical silver bullet, it comes through making it clear you are not going away. ..”
i feel the same way.
on another tact,
it is a long-time nostrum in american politics (and probably in most all free-voting politics) that americans vote against candidates, not for candidates.
this makes sense in explaining new jersey – why elect a sleaze ball like christie on merit?
virginia is more of a puzzle, but i suppose the best answer there is more along the lines of “craig deeds ran a campaign with not a scintilla of light or heat in it.”
bloomberg, too, had trouble so i read, and he is a (nominal) republican.
democratic politicians are not meeting voters emotional “needs”; republicans exploit those needs solely to gain power.
at present our society is politically labile, if not just plain unstable.
Here’s about all that I know for a fact this evening:
1. My local (Democratic) Council member cost me easily $45,000 from political fellatio to local develpers. So last week, in my ballot, I voted for the GOP son-of-a-bitch and I don’t give a shit who wins that race.
2. I didn’t have state races. I’m not sure that I would have voted.
My state has cut $700 million from education this biennium and someone told me today that a local school thought they had a budget of $68 per child (paper, library books, etc), only to discover today that they have only $24 per child. That has huge economic ripples, and that’s only one single ‘tea leaf’.
3. Last week, I looked at my mutual funds and some other ‘savings’ that have seriously declined despite moving them to ‘low risk’ activity in 2007. I’m not toast, but I’m not happy. Meanwhile, I get to read about bank bailouts, no one can figure out where $700 billion in TARP money went, and the concentration of wealth continues to escalate.
4. In 2006 and in 2008, I gave small political campaign contributions to Dems, Dems, and more Dems – so that the Dems could recapture control of Congress. Now, the GOP is intransigent and the Dems act like they’ve been politically castrated by threats of fillibusters. If some asshole wants to filibuster, they can damn well do it in public and be exposed as obstructionist, vain, dillatante shills.
5. I got home late today and clicked an online segment of MSNBC’s “Morning Meeting” today with Gentler of the Commodities Future Trading Commission as the guest. And the butt-covering bullshit that he shoveled out made me so angry that I was literally shouting at my computer screen – an unusual thing for me to do. His wankering on about how we have to wait for the US to coordinate with Europe sounds good in principle, but from what I can read between the lines in the biz news, Barney Frank is basically giving a legislative blow job to the banksters, and Gentsler doesn’t sound like he could stand up to a donut, let alone a bankster.
So I see teachers working their asses off, I see small businesses working their asses off, and I see butt-covering cowardice in government.
Eliot Spitzer may be an asshole, and he’s my kind of asshole.
Why is he the only guy who seems to ‘get it’?
God help me if the teabaggers take control.
The Dems are incompetent cowards, God help me.
But the teabaggers are flipping loons.
Can we clone Eliot Spitzer and morph him with Jim Webb and Sheldon Whitehouse?
Like, by noon tomorrow?
(Thanks for letting me vent; I’m so pissed at Gensler’s limp-wristed excuses and pallaver that I’m beside myself. Meanwhile, why is Dylan Ratigan one of the <very few people in the media who can ask the right questions these days?! )
I’d sure like for Gensler to go explain to all those teachers why their kids don’t have paper or new library books this year. And then, I’d like him to go explain to my local businesses (and my auto mechanic) why one single derivative or transaction is allowed any kind of ‘exemption’ from fully transparent reporting.
Sorry to vent….
But Spitzer is right on target.
Sorry to vent.
But after the news that I’ve encountered today about local budgets, and then contrasting that with the business news and the absolute inability of Congress to knock Wall Street on its collective keister, I’m really irritated.
Geithner and Summers need to go into exile.
I agree with you about Dylan, and would add Rachel Maddow to my short list of media newshounds who know how to ask good questions. She even got a shout out from Al Gore today.
Bob in AZ
Yeah, I saw the Maddow interview with Al Gore a while ago.
Terrific interview; lots of good information.
And it was nice to see him compliment her research staff ;-))
(I have no clue what passes for ‘research’ at Fox News.)
Nice to get your sense about Ratigan, as well.
We’re mostly powerless onlookers; if the people in the media fail to ask shrewd, informed questions then we all lose.