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Marion On December - 8 - 2010

To say I’m pretty angry at the moment would be an understatement, but then, having lived in the UK for almost 30 years, I suppose I’ve mastered that art. It certainly wouldn’t go amiss in the US, and maybe that’s what’s pissing off so many people of either political stripe: the fact that they spend the majority of the working day shouting down the odds at one another whilst the President rises above all the clamour with a quiet demeanor.

The Right see this behaviour, shout that he “doesn’t get it,” and brand him an elitist. The Left see this behaviour, shout that he “doesn’t get it,” and say that he’s weak and spineless. The Right march in the streets, carrying placards with the President dressed like a jungle tribesman or a monkey. The Left blog angrily about “the Affirmative Action President” or “the house nigger.”

Each night, I watch the BBC News at Ten. The presenter reads the items, all actual news items about events which occurred during the day in Britain and even around the world, in measured tones, with no opinion about anything reported. If an in-depth analysis is sought, a journalist who specialises in the subject being explored is brought in for about five minutes. In Britain, the political media is populated by people who’ve actually followed political procedure and know how the process and the politicians operate. They report the why and wherefore of the facts and leave it to the viewers to form their own opinion. Amongst their commentators, you won’t find any ex-sportscasters, film producers, comedians or socialite ex-wives of politicians. You won’t find a single trust fund kid whose father bought her a newspaper. And although the questioning in the few opinion shows is undeniably tough, there’s no shouting or name-calling.

Although I have lots of issues with the BBC, at this moment in time, I’m eternally grateful for its measure.

At the moment in the UK, the gap between the wealthy and the poor has never been greater. It’s bound to get even bigger, considering that David Cameron’s just cut all child benefits to families earning more than £40,000 ($55,000) and is substantially increasing university tuition fees. This gap didn’t turn into a breach overnight once Cameron got the keys to Downing Street. Maggie Thatcher moved the goal posts, and Tony Blair stole them. So, that’s been a continuously worsening situation for the past thirty years. Sound familiar?

There’s always been rich people, ever since there’s been some sort of civilisation. There’s even a song which says that the rich get rich and the poor get poorer. In Britain, the working class envied the rich, whilst the middle class emulated them.

The America I left in 1981 hadn’t yet succumbed to Reaganomics. Coming of age in the Seventies, I was taught that knowledge was power and that a college degree enabled social mobility; and there has always been an element of keeping up with the Joneses. I guess maybe, thanks to The Gipper, keeping up with the Joneses literally became a way of life. Instead of education empowering people, the sense of wealth provided by plastic money and a loan-friendly financial services system enabled most working class people to dub themselves middle class, fooled them into thinking that the latest electronic equipment in the home, the biggest SUV on the block or the timeshare in Redondo Beach, the annual Carribbean cruise, meant one had finally attained The American Dream. Whenever I would visit home in the 80s or 90s, I always remember marvelling at how well-off and how “rich” people were.

Now I know it was all an illusion, and I wonder if this anger directed at the wealthiest Americans these days, whilst simmering precitiously under cover before, is misdirected anger at the fact that, since 2007, people have realised that, for one reason or another, we won’t get the same opportunity to “play rich” again.

Margaret Thatcher once made an odiously cruel statement, and one that will be synonymous with her tenure as Prime Minister for eternity. She said, “There is no such thing as ‘society.’ There’s just people trying to get by.”

After yesterday’s shenanigans, I’m wondering if what she said isn’t true in America.

Oh, I know it’s always been true of the Republicans – at least the Republican Party as it existed from Reagan onwards – although I can remember the liberal Republicans who fought for social justice, like Nelson Rockefeller and, as unbelieveable as it might seem, George Romney. But now I’m absolutely certain that this anti-societal attitude has pervaded the Democrats as well, from the Blue Dogs to the Progressives.

From Mary Landrieu to Bernie Sanders (yes, pedants, I know he’s not a Democrat) they were united in condemning the President’s recent compromise with the Republicans on extending the tax cuts. You know, I’ve never in my life heard so much venom in the blogosphere against the extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. I guess anger comes easier now once people realise that the lifestyle they lived in approximation of the good life they wanted to attain was pretty facile and transient. They want the good times back, and they want it now. George Bush took it from them, and now Obama’s keeping it, or so it seems.

Yesterday, Barack Obama showed me one thing – that, above all the hype, he’s a man of immense compassion. He put his neck on the line and put his people, the people of America – white, black and brown and anything inbetween – first. I’ve no doubt he didn’t try to get the Republicans to budge on ending the tax cuts for the wealthy; he’s certainly talked about this consistently enough in the past, that I certainly didn’t doubt his sincerity. But they wouldn’t budge. Sometimes you can’t budge a brick wall with your head.

He could easily have said, “Stuff you, we’ll let the whole thing collapse,” and be done with it. Come January 1, everybody’s taxes go up. In a recession. Done and dusted.

In truth, the President tried to get Congress – a Democratic Congress, remember – to vote on this measure immediately before they recessed to campaign. He knew then, as he knew on Saturday, that, although there were votes enough to pass this measure in the House, the votes were lacking in the Senate. It would have failed, but that failure would have sent a strong message to voters about just whose side the Republicans favoured. But the Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill – that’s Nancy Pelosi and Harry  Reid – balked and refused. And then, immediately before yet another week-long recess, a vote on the extension of UI benefits failed to pass.

Obama seized the moment. If the Republicans wanted to retain the tax cuts for the wealthy, he was willing to extend the cuts for 2 years, but only if they would allow an extension of UI for the next 13 months. Throw in a reduction of payroll tax for a year, and the Republicans get their inheritance tax wet dream.

All in all, this increases the deficit – which never has, in my memory, become a major worry for Americans until out irresponsible and whore-panicked media made it so; but it’s also shown us that the only thing which worries the Republicans is serving their wealthy corporate masters, whilst the President went for helping the unemployed, keeping the tax burden down for the middle and working classes, and maybe, just maybe, stimulating the economy a bit more with this payroll tax reduction.

But this wasn’t enough for the fools on the Hill. Talk of filibuster and voting the compromise down, coupled with vicious and snarling attacks from the hate-filled Progressive blogosphere and bully-boy rantings from Ed Schultz prompted the President to reach out and smack some ass on both sides of the aisle. I feel he was right. And I would say to the likes of Rachel Maddow, whom I usually admire, and Keith Olbermann, whose narcissism is so bad that he made his remembrance comment about Elizabeth Edwards all about himself, simply to STFU and take your medicine.

This isn’t about denying Freedom of Speech, it’s about acknowledging something: That Liberals or liberals or even Progressives or whatever you want to call yourselves, people who believe in social justice, think about putting the disadvantaged first, instead of trying to score political points, which end up leaving those same people in a worse condition than before.

I was taught that the Democratic party stood for tolerance and compassion, caring for the less fortunate and championing the rights of the oppressed. Today, one end of the Democratic party answers to the corporations and the other end is a festering pool of intolerant, belligerant, mean-spirited purists. My bad for thinking that purism was the stuff of Sarah Palin and the Tea Partiers, something that smacked of Nazi Germany at its finest hour!

I used to know, via the Internet, a couple of those purists. One was a former local politician, who liked to crow that she was from the “Left Coast.” The other is a writer, teaching in a small Florida university, unhappy for various reasons, with his lot in life and blaming that on America. They were fine and friendly as long as you agreed with their point of view, but they were unable to sustain any divergence of opinion. Discussions escalated into arguments and ended in ad hominem when one made a point to which they were unable to respond, when they listened at all. There’s a special karma in the world for such people. The failed politician was forced, for economic reasons, to abandon her beloved Left Coast for the bowels of Alabama, and Mr Florida had a heart attack. Lucky for him, he was privately insured. The President for whom he’s reserved a special and vitriolic hatred just provided a source of healthcare for the millions of people for whom Mr Florida expresses concern but for whom he actually does nothing.

For all those whining, including the talking heads on MSNBC, about Obama caving, maybe they should take a look at the Dark Side and see what they’re saying. Fox and The Daily Caller were absolutely stymied yesterday. They were confused and confounded by what had happened, and didn’t know how to spin the thing. People were equally confused and dismayed on Michele Bachmann’s Facebook page. There was a sense that somehow they hadn’t exactly got what they wanted, that they were pwned.

On the other hand, the Democrats would do well to think about this: If they filibuster this, or if they vote it down, the tax cuts will lapse and the UI extensions would have been non-existant, with millions of long-term unemployed kicked to the curb. In one fell swoop, the GOP could point the finger and accuse the Democrats, not only of being the party which hiked taxes during a recession, but also the same party who pulled the plug on UI extensions. That’s as much of a surefire win for the GOP in 2012 as is primarying the President.

And the papers are replete with full-throated bayings for that as well; in fact, Michael Lerner, writing in the Washington Post, smugly asserts that, rather than offering a primary challenger, the Democratic party will eschew the primary system all together and force the President not to run for re-election in order to replace him with a big-name ueber liberal – in short, to effect what is tantamount to a de facto coup, by means of eliminating a primary process. This is rich, coming from the party who wholeheartedly embraced the lengthy electoral process as evidence of making the Democratic candidate the choice of the people. Even richer is the fact that the party who bullied through a much-needed and long-overdue Civil Rights’ Act, now becomes the party to ditch the nation’s first African American President.

Who’s the racist now? Perception, after all, is reality.

The Democrats are angry because the President didn’t score points with the Republicans, but many of them ran from his policies whilst on the campaign trail. The ultimate blame for this compromise situation, as a longtime friend pointed out to me yesterday, lies with the voters, themselves – or rather, the non-voters. If the Democrats had bothered to get over their almighty and childish sulk because the President couldn’t undo in two years what it took thirty to achieve, or that he didn’t wave a magic wand and eliminate DADT and end the wars, amongst other things, if they’d manage to “man up” and vote, or if the 30% of the LGBT community hadn’t voted Republican in some sort of perverse protest, the President wouldn’t have been forced to compromise.

As for the celebrity pundits, obviously, Rachel and Keith, ensconced in their million-dollar ivory towers, have never experienced long-term unemployment nor have they known anyone who has experienced this. They’ve never spent a week, a day or even an hour in the deprevation of an urban ghetto or amongst the poor working class in a Southern or Midwestern town, the latter being the demographic which always votes against its interest, the demographic which Keith’s and Rachel’s followers ignorantly refer to as “flyovers” or “unreconstructed Confederates”, who would be better off actually seceding from the Union so the ueber-tolerant and all-inclusive Progressives wouldn’t have to be bothered by their existance or even share a country with them.

Seems like the President cares about them, though, even though the people they elect, from either party, do. This lot care more about their posturing and their egos than the masses who populate the hoi polloi. They’re only good for votes and only then when they vote the right way.

In all my life, and I remember Presidents from Kennedy to the present one, I’ve never seen a President so hated and reviled on both sides. A pundit/comedian, who likes to think of himself as well-informed, pondered after the elections, how the American people could hand the keys of government back to the clowns who derailed the process the first time. It seems to me that the hubristic Democats, clamouring to abandon the President for some as yet unnamed Great White Hope, are doing the same.

Categories: News & Politics

64 Responses so far.

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    • kesmarn says:

      This doesn’t surprise me, Khirad. People have become so wary. Even though the Prez is saying, in effect: “I hate these tax breaks for the wealthy, too, and I plan to fight against them in two years,” what many are hearing is: “Dad’s going to need a little more booze to get him through the near term, but he has an appointment with Alcoholic Anonymous in two years. In the meantime, he has given us these little tokens of his affection.”

      This is met with an eye-rolling: “Yeah. Right.”

      Nonetheless, with a little tweaking the bill will pass and a bit of time will be bought for all concerned. Sigh.

    • boomer1949 says:

      They never polled me. 🙄

    • bito says:

      Khirad, The President acknowledged that fact, nearly every poll done, even before the mid-terms, have shown the people are against extending them the tax cuts to the upper tier. Democrats get it, Independents get it, Greens and libertarians get it, but the Deficit/debt hawk R’s in Congress don’t get it.
      I don’t think a month goes by, that Kyl doesn’t bring up repealing the estate tax, which covers the top 0.3 % of all taxpayers. He is bought and paid for by them. When is the last time you heard of him visiting Tucson, Nogales or any place other than Phoenix.

  1. SueInCa says:

    OK, I may be dense but I am not sure who the “lizard brain” or leftcoast are. The Divine Ms. A for leftcoast?

    • Khirad says:

      Nope, an actual poster. I’m not sure if I could pinpoint them, either, though. Honestly, what Marion did could have been a composite. I’ve run across several that fit those descriptions in varying degrees.

      Speaking of… thank god I haven’t seen our British Columbian forever. Maybe she got the help she so needed.

      • SueInCa says:

        I am so “not savvy” about the goings on over there. I keep trying to think who British Columbian is and the only one I know is Toronto -- MrsMrDressup so that cannot be her. I am so lame when it comes to that stuff

    • choicelady says:

      Hi SueinCA --

      Hey everyone -- Sue and I met yesterday, and Sue is WONDERFUL. So now it becomes even more fun -- I know what she looks like, neener neener.

      The “leftcoast” is us, Sue; everyone who’s out here from Mexico to Canada. Lizard brain? Not so sure. I’ll leave that to others. We “leftcoast” (left is where it is on a map) people all are supposed to be liberal, drink Merlot, and eat brie. I’m 1 for 3. How about you?

      • Khirad says:


        By the way, at the Mount Vernon Inn you can get fried brie in strawberry sauce.


        Oh, and brie wasn’t my 1st or 2nd.

        • SueInCa says:

          They fry everything don’t they? Also when you are clearing the table, you cannot let the plates touch bottom to dirty top…………they explained it to me and I still did not see their logic.

          • Marion says:

            Who is “they”?

            If you’re talking about Southerners, I take exception to that assumption. Where I come from not “everything” is fried. Not candy, not cheese. These things are as alien to me now as they are when I lived there and I’m back there regularly. And I’ve never heard the spiel about the plates.

            It’s THIS kind of lumping all of “us” as “them” into one category that I can’t abide. Do you all surf and say “for sher” in California?

      • bito says:

        Breaking News!!

        Sue and C’lady drinking brie and smoking Merlot—Film at 11!!!

      • SueInCa says:

        All but the Merlot, Red wine puts me to sleep immediately. We were at some friends and Dan kept bugging me to taste his wine of the month. I only took a couple sips, laid my head down on the table and went to sleep. Not sure how it works but I woke up about an hour later and they were all laughing at me.

        Hey you all, for such a feisty lady, CL is a little thing LOL. I thought she would be about 5.9 with long hair but she is the “good things come in small packages” kind of gal.

        • Kalima says:

          Oh you lucky, lucky girls meeting each other, I think it’s wonderful.

          If we still had the Concorde, and they had allowed the runway to be built, I could still manage that journey. Otherwise you would have to knock me out, box me up and put me in the cargo section, or someone could give me a piggyback ride to my destination. I should be green with envy, but I’m not, I think it’s bloody great! 🙂

          • bito says:

            Khirad, you need try Slow Gin fizzes! 😆

          • SueInCa says:

            Well we could ply you with Merlot and hope it makes you sleep like it does me.

            • Kalima says:

              😆 My kind of girl!

            • SueInCa says:

              I have had those sort of days/nights/Nine holes with Margaritas. My sister and I took a gallon jug to a Little Leauge game one time. My nephew was playing. You would have thought it was the world series after a few glasses full. We were drinking through straws and it hit fast and hard

            • bito says:

              I ‘ ll match your Margaritas to Piñas Coladas on the beach. ( I think, 😆 Whew!!)

            • Kalima says:

              Wow Sue, I think that my head would explode, but I love Cointreau and also amaretto.

              I remember once having 4 cups/mugs of Irish coffee, and a friend literally carrying me home on his back in the late afternoon because we were in an outside café, and the outside air hit me harder. Embarrassing because of nosy neighbours.

            • SueInCa says:

              I am the top shelf margarita gal. Cointreau, margarita mix and Sauza and I am good for the night. That cointreau is like 20 dollars a bottle, but it is way better than Triple Sec. If you ever order a Top Shelf margarita make sure they are using Cointreau. My friend sold it and the distiller has a trademark. No one is supposed to sell top shelf unless they are using Cointreau

            • Kalima says:

              😆 Khirad, sounds like you’ve had fun too.

              I always left my shoes standing at the side of the dance floor, who needs shoes to dance in anyway. In the morning someone would call me from the club to say they were keeping them safe for me. I’d collect them the next time, then leave them another pair. 🙂

              As for the rum and cokes, who’s counting, that would spoil the fun.

            • Khirad says:

              Seriously, you might as well bring me the whole bottle .

              I was being coy with the polite one to two glasses thing. 😆

              But sipping all night long, on the edge of a buzz like that, accumulating as it does towards the end? Screw that. Fix me something strong quick!

              The only problem I have had with rum and cokes at the nightclubs is that I quickly lose track which number number I’m on (a ‘thank you’ to my drivers).

            • Kalima says:

              Hey, we are only talking about red wine here, and I was talking about a bottle. We had friends who used to do wine tasting evenings years ago, I was always wide awake the whole evening, but eventually couldn’t talk or walk. Odd feeling.

              Now if I had vodka with orange or Bacardi and coke (not that one) I could dance until 4 in the mornings nonstop. 🙂

            • Khirad says:

              Right K, I’ve never had a few sips, so maybe that is what the sweet spot is for getting drowsy.

              But, after a glass or two I’m anything but sleepy!

            • Kalima says:

              Actually red wine doesn’t make me sleepy, it just makes me dozy, as in silly. I’d probably start singing opera arias in the cargo hold, and giggling like a 4 year old. 🙂

  2. SueInCa says:

    Good post Marion. From across the pond, it seems you were able to take yourself out of the melee here and look at things realistically. Truth be told, there has always been a corp class and the rest of us here in the US. It has been so since the 1700’s and has only been fine tuned along the way.

    I am not one of the people who got on the “credit” gravy train. No, I did not have a 5000 sq ft home like some, but my homes were nice and I could afford them. I still can but it does make me somewhat angry that I have lost my equity because of other’s bad choices. When I was talking about the “housing bubble” being a dangerous prospect, people thought I was just some tightwad who refused to live like them. I was the rebel who lived in a home she could afford, but a home is what you make it. It is love, trust, mutual respect and sense of family that makes a house a home, not the mortgage payment or the sq footage or the wood flooring(although I do have that).

    We have a “microwave” crowd in the US which is why it was so easy to lead people down the path of destruction.

  3. Khirad says:

    House Democrats reject tax plan unless changed


    This will be interesting to hear more about.

    • choicelady says:

      I’m still waiting to see what Pelosi demands. I tried to send a FAX but can’t get through. Will try in a bit when it’s more quiet.

      The plan is good. Imperfect, does keep the rich richer, but so what? We got stuff we’d NEVER get piece by piece, and it is all for the benefit of ordinary people. The DailyKos piece is brilliant, Lawrence O’Donnell went after folks again, Ezra Klein backed him up along with Robert Greenstein from Center on Budget & Policy Priorities. The Dems just have to stop snarking, liberals have to stop snarking, and we have to look at who REALLY benefits. O’Donnell said to Alan Grayson -- are you prepared, when you’re out of office on Jan 1, to tell really low income people WHY their taxes just rose FIFTY percent???? To my sorrow, Grayson would NOT own that. Sad, sad state of affairs.

    • bito says:

      And this will get how many R’s to change their vote? I’ve heard 12,000 times that the people are against the extension for the top, so? There R’s don’t care!!! Especially the enfants terribles in the Senate.

      • Khirad says:

        That’s what I was getting at. I hope they have something really magnificent to pull out of their ass.

        Otherwise, it may just be theater… with consequences.

        A “beware what you wish for” hard times lesson if ever there were one.

        But you know what,I don’t want it with this, but the whiners need to see it done “their way” to see that “their way” is mostly about smug optics and visceral satisfaction -- not about getting solutions.

      • kesmarn says:

        Irresistible force meets immovable object…

        What a mess.


        I do respect Nancy Pelosi, Elijah Cummings, Barney Frank, Marcy Kaptur and many others who have made this decision. I’m trying to get inside their heads. Are they thinking that a bloody show-down is inevitable anyway, and it’s better to get it over with sooner rather than later?

        • boomer1949 says:

          Immovable = brick wall.

          But, the Democrats could have avoided all of this had they acted back in September or October, but no, no one wanted to jeopardize his/her chance in the election. Had some of them, any of them, taken care of business then, maybe they would not be packing it in for 2010 and going home for good.

          Moreover…do ANY of these people (and I mean every last one of them, Democrats and Republicans alike), do any of them realize the emotional havoc and distress they are contributing to the already distressed for God’s sake?

          Now who are the terrorists? Now who are the hostage takers? Looks like the Democrats have entered a joint venture with the Republicans.

          All of them are effing and messing around with the Moms, Dads, Little Kids, Elderly, the UNEMPLOYED and..TWO WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS?

          My mother always told (and I hate to quote my mother) me to choose my battles and it seems to me those who wanted to do battle should have made the choice months ago.

          President Obama made his decision because they were to wimpy too handle it themselves and it isn’t even his job. But, it is theirs and It is why they get paid.

          If anyone is to blame it is Congress — both sides. They sat on their hands — woo hoo! Now they have warm hands and numb asses; I sure would like to kick a few right now too!

    • kesmarn says:

      Elijah Cummings on MSNBC is saying that the Dem caucus is opposed and Pelosi won’t allow it to come to a vote in its present form.

      He’s saying that the tax breaks for the rich will add greatly to the deficit and “in a few months, the Republicans — and I know them! — mark my words, they will cite this and call it ‘Obama’s deficit’.”

      • Khirad says:

        Count on it.

      • bito says:

        Oh, they are already ! Tarp, The Recovery Act, The auto bailout….They (House Dems) are to blame also, by not taking the vote before the midterms. Water under the bridge, now, what will get passed in the Senate??? What?
        I hate the deal, the rich get 2 more years of goodies, but they want the President to risk the the rest of the economy, for what? Is it principal or petulance because next month they will be in the minority? They may win the battle, but on the backs of those struggling.

  4. escribacat says:

    Another great post, Marion, especially your description of that lizard-brain that I see more and more of over “there.” (Incited on an hourly basis by the yellow headline writers.) The first time I noticed that ugly mob mentality on the far left was right after Obama was elected and the news about the banker bonuses came out. Suddenly there was a huge rush of comments over yonder about picketing their houses, stalking them, harassing them, and a fair number of comments threatening violence against them. The bankers are easy to hate, obviously, but it was way out of control, a “virtual” handing out of torches and gathering of the foaming mob. Very scary. I saw a lot of similar posts yesterday and today, expressing pure hatred for the president. Suddenly, it’s Obama’s fault that there are rich people and poor people. The guy literally gets blamed for all the flaws in our society, apparently because he didn’t wave a magic wand and turn the USA into Shangri La. It’s stunning.

    • choicelady says:

      There was a mob forming to attack the insurance execs at their annual meeting, too -- and it was RIGHT OUT OF THE OPERATION RESCUE playbook. It was SO scary to read words I’d helped fight in court -- “Wanted” posters, insistence that there be “citizens arrests” of execs for “illegal practices” (no they did nothing illegal -- just immoral) and other OR tactics. I went nuts because it has led to murders of doctors, and we can’t prove all liberals are totally wrapped tightly. Mob mentality is everywhere. It’s getting REALLY scary out there.

  5. Khirad says:

    Take, for example, this discussion of the tax deal from BBC World Service at the 14 minute mark.


    And while we’re on the topic. Yet another poll came out today. Yup, the majority of Americans are still against the rich keeping their tax cuts.


    One thing I will pick out of this article that has irked me more than others.

    I forget when it was exactly, but it was after the Republicans got crushed in 2008 and were moving to the right and instituting purity tests. Well, we on the left mocked them for it. Not much later, when HCR was getting contentious, these same people instituted their own litmus tests. I wanted to wring their necks -- and more so -- for all the people who didn’t hold them (the talking heads, the Jane Hamsters, etc) to the shit they’d said not months earlier, to call them, and themselves for being hypocrites. All the things you were calling them: narrow, intolerant, Nazi, etc -- were now being displayed by the left. It made me want to pull my hair out, it was so blatantly myopic. I called some on it on HP, and got the response one usually gets when one has made a point that is embarrassing to acknowledge… it was ignored.

    • escribacat says:

      When I expressed support for HCR over there, I was accused of being a kapo.

      • choicelady says:

        Holy crapo, a kapo???? You’ve GOT to be kidding?????? OK -- I know you’re not. That’s the kind of knee jerk response that is being flung over there. When I mentioned concern that Wikileaks could “out” human rights activists in dangerous parts of the world -- some troglodyte wrote, “Boo hoo crybaby.” Do these dorks even READ what they write?

  6. choicelady says:

    Marion -- I do think this should be sent far and wide. It’s REALLY good. BTW -- as for Rabbi Lerner: I know him (though he’d never remember me; I’m too inconsequential to him) and have tried -- really, really TRIED, to work with him and his Network of Spiritual Progressives. What happens is that he wants everyone in all the faith communities to do HIS bidding, but he will never cooperate with anything anyone else is doing. NEVER. When he was hiring an Executive Director for his massive (in his mind) revolutionary (in his dreams) new program of economic reform, the ad for the job said that anyone taking it ‘had to be in total agreement on every issue with the NSP founder.’ Now one of his plans was “the new corporate bottom line”. He was going to get corporate CEOs to sign a pledge to work and play well with their employees, the communities, etc. and be good corporate citizens. Only one problem -- over the last 20 years, corporate law for all major companies FORBIDS the consideration of workers’ rights, environment, community impacts if any of that affects the bottom line. ANY of it. Lerner was told -- by me -- of that legal barrier to his “sign on pledge” and refused to believe me or take any note of it at all. So you know how many corporations have signed? NONE. They can’t. He refuses to learn, to listen, to heed. He has ALL the answers. And because Obama did not immediately end Israeli -Palestinian conflict, Lerner (who IS good on that issue) has washed his hands of Obama. (Except -- today Obama refused an arms deal for Israel. They are NOT getting the weapons they took for granted they would get. That is HUGE.)

    Lerner is probably the quintessential progressive zealot who is as unthoughtful and unyielding as any ‘bagger. It’s truly scary to see such hate and ego on “our” side.

  7. javaz says:

    Here’s an article that might be of interest :


    As for your suppositions about people’s feelings about the rich --

    I do agree with most of what you say, but my feelings of distaste for the wealthy, not all, but a good percentage of the elite is for different reasons.

    I just want the rich to pay their fair share in taxes and not be able to use loopholes in the tax laws or off-shore accounts to avoid paying taxes.

    I’ll never forget Leona Helmsley -- “Taxes are for the little people.”

    I also despise the rich for their belief that they deserve ‘entitlements’ as in the form of free stuff such as free 2000 dollar shoes or free designer/haute couture fashions, because they are rich and seen gallivanting about, so they should get free stuff as to help advertise the merchandise.

    But besides that, there are rich people that believe they shouldn’t have to pay for expensive meals or even Starbuck’s coffee.

    Or when in airports that certain wealthy individuals are whisked from waiting in TSA lines and escorted onto the plane and served champagne while the remaining paying customers must go through security.

    I get that the rich have many privileges over the rest of us, and that’s fine, but when lawmakers tell us that it’s time for us all to make sacrifices that should also include the rich!

    The rich should not be rewarded for just being rich, imho.

    • bito says:

      A bit of a switch for the Kos from yesterday, I believe. This is worth posting:

      # Working families will not lose their tax cut. A typical working family faced a tax increase of over $3,000 on January 1st. The framework agreement includes a mutually agreed upon solution to the impasse over taxes by extending the 2001/2003 income tax rates for two years and reforming the AMT to ensure that an additional 21 million households will not be hit with a tax increase.
      # $56 billion for unemployment insurance extension. According to the Council of Economic Advisers, passing this provision will create 600,000 jobs in 2011 alone.
      # $120 billion payroll tax cut for working families
      # $40 billion in tax cuts for our hardest hit families and students
      # 100% expensing for businesses next year
      # Child Tax Credit: The $1,000 child tax credit will be extended for two years with the $3,000 refundability threshold established in the Recovery Act. This extension will ensure an ongoing tax cut to 10.5 million lower income families with 18 million children.
      # Earned Income Tax Credit: The Recovery Act included an expansion of the EITC worth, on average, $600 in additional assistance to families with 3 or more children. It also helped working married families by reducing the marriage penalty in the EITC. Continuing this tax cut for two years will benefit 6.5 million working parents with 15 million children.
      # American Opportunity Tax Credit: The Recovery Act included a new, partially refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 to help students and their families cover the cost of college tuition. This deal fully extends AOTC for two years, ensuring that more than 8 million students will continue to receive this tax benefit to help them afford college.
      # A 2-year extension of the R&D tax credit and other tax incentives to support business expansion.

      More at whitehouse.gov.

      • choicelady says:

        Thanks for this, bito -- I posted to our members much the same thing today. MOST people were fine with it, found it eye-opening and hopeful. Marion -- you nailed it -- Obama found a way to do many things for those in peril by granting a TWO YEAR extension. Still one person hollered at me (via email) that we were immoral for creating a $700 billion deficit. Except -- that’s a 10-year projection, not 2 year. And the person who yelled runs an organization boosting the well being of working women. Well, whom does she think benefits from the EITC and the preservation of the tax cuts???? Her population is not well paid. The lowest income people would have gotten a FIFTY PERCENT tax HIKE -- the LOWEST income people -- if the cuts all expired.

        What we GOT, for those of us who care about justice, is simply awesome!

        I hope most of you caught Lawrence O’Donnell on “The Last Word” laying it out AND laying into so-called progressives who were fine with letting the poor fall -- until O’Donnell called them out on it. Jane Hamsher from FDL simply LIED about what had happened, and he hollered at her about here total incompetent drivel. He pointed out that of the people present, only he, as Moynihan’s Chief of Staff, had EVER written tax law, and that it is vastly more complicated than what a couple of the goons were portraying. I have a particular fondness for O’Donnell because I was good friends with another Moynihan staffer, and I knew a lot about what was going on in those years from him. As O’Donnell pointed out -- if Senators such as Voinovich and Landrea are now pretending that keeping the cuts for upper incomes is “immoral” then where the hell WERE they both to lobby their peers AND to vote. Voinovich did not even VOTE. If the Blue Dogs, Feingold, and Voinovich had voted -- it would have passed cloture.

        But then -- would we ever have secured the rest? The EITC, the tax credits for college and kids, 13 months of unemployement extention, and the other benefits? No. We’d have gotten even with the rich for their voracious greed -- and nothing more. I HATE the cuts for the rich. I detest the dislocations in income SO much I once gave a friend a T-shirt that said, “Eat the Rich”. But I lobby. Like O’Donnell I know what works -- and what does NOT.

        This agreement is imperfect. But it secured, spectacularly, benefits for those teetering on the brink that otherwise we never would have had.

        It buys time. That alone is worth something. We will never get another benefit for those in need so long as the House is in GOP hands. I’m thrilled we got this -- it makes ALL the difference to those in peril, and I for one am proud this president and vice president crafted such a moral bill. Now -- let’s lean on Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, and the other progressives and TELL them that. LETTERS -- more LETTERS (only FAX them so they don’t sit in the mailroom waiting for anthrax checks) and CALLS, CALLS, CALLS. It is imperative our voices be heard because the naysayers are out in droves -- and they pretend they are friends to the poor. They are only angry. And that does not make good policy.

        • bito says:

          C’Lady, do I like everything in this agreement? No. Has the the President achieved a compromise for all the people? Yes! |
          When are these “progressive pundits” going to realize that we are not a left or center left country? We are at best a moderate populace (many polls say we are center-right.) I am angry at many of the progressive voices right now. They can yell,, scream, hold their breath till they turn blue and not a single R vote is going to change. The Republicans in the Senate blocked a vote on a 250 dollar adjustment for Social Security recipients today (yes, the majority did win, while the bill lost), they are not going to budge an inch. The President got a very good deal for the people, the economy and for the lesser in society. What part do people not understand: The Republicans can and will block any vote not to their liking, or even some they like, but it was proposed by Obama.

          Yes I did watch Larry O’Donnell’sshow last night and it was excellent. He allowed Jane Hamsher to show what she often is, a whiner and ignorant of How Government Works. Mr. O’Donnell and Ezra Klein looked liked geniuses on the show. Not only does he, L.O., have passion, but he has knowledge and facts on the workings of government (sounds like YOU.)

          I am getting irritated by these self- proclaimed pundits (doesn’t that mean expert?), who are employed, fed, warmed and housed, saying that the President should gamble with the plight of millions, to fight on to the last warm bed/meal of the unemployed and poor, just for political points. The President is showing leadership for all the country.

          ( Senator Landreau, has a a lot of chutzpa, she was one of the few Dems that voted for the Bush tax cuts.)

          This is part of last nights show, I hope everyone will watch.

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

          • Khirad says:

            So, how does it feel to get smacked around by someone half your age Jane?

            More importantly, why do we care what she has to say?

            I will say I do prefer Adam Green when it comes to purists though. At least he offers up alternatives that could have been considered, in his view. Barnstorming, for example. This, too, is pretty weak, but it’s not as noxious.

          • boomer1949 says:

            On the other hand, when this is the stuff many feed off of. it’s know wonder. And this one, Arianna Huffington, drives me nuts. She is everywhere, like a bad skin rash, just when you think the Calamine lotion has made it go away, it pops up again, and again.

            Arianna On Conan: Jeggings, Naked Divorcees, And The Only Kind Of Internet News People Will Pay For


            Arianna: Tax Cut Deal A ‘Complete Capitulation,’ Not A ‘Compromise’


            Just two of thousands of examples of an “all-knowing-pundit($$$)/journalist(not)/expert(not)” elevated to a pedestal she has neither earned or deserves.

            Of course, if it were the “Pedestal of Hypocrites”, then I might reconsider.

          • choicelady says:

            Thank you for saving and showing the debate from last night, bito!

            I was OVER the moon at O’Donnell’s fury with the selfishness of the snarky so-called progressives. Tonight was almost as good though he gave AH a pass because he has blogged on her site. She, interestingly, tempered HER comments when O’D teed off at Grayson and she saw that O’D was not interested in blather. I liked Grayson, but he was AWFUL tonight and refused to take ANY responsibility if the cuts all expire and the bottom rate goes up 50% -- on POOR people!

            We may be in a whole new ballgame with O’Donnell. As I noted, he’s a former colleague of a friend, so I’m feeling VERY proprietary. Don’t worry -- I don’t know how to stay puffed up. There’s always someone writing me to take me down a peg or two. It’s just my 15 seconds of vicarious fame…

            • escribacat says:

              I guess I should have unmuted the show, C-lady. I had the show on and saw AH there and the rest and figured it was just another whining, O-bashing session and just couldn’t listen to another second of it.

  8. TakeInAPlay says:

    I agree on many points and being an activist in Los Angeles, I’m proud to say that my hours of work in the last campaign did result in one of the few victories on Nov. 2. And I have also said that Obama is not pushing a progressive or liberal or even Democratic agenda as much as he’s looking out for the country as a whole regardless of political affiliation. That’s what we elected him to do. But what I’m upset about is not that he’s folding, it’s that he’s folding when he has all the cards and he’s not getting anything in return. That’s what chaps my ass, so to speak. Truth is, it’s been so long since we’ve had a truly non-partisan President that we’ve forgotten what it looks like. It’s been so long since we’ve looked at this country as a whole and not as red or blue that we forget that the people who’ve been hurt the most don’t care what color their state is, they care that their fridge is empty and jobs are non-existent. Our country could do well by a little more ‘there by the grace of God go I’ when looking at those fly over states. We’ve become too invested in not letting the other side win to be fully committed to protecting those who have already lost.

    • kesmarn says:

      “There but for the grace of God go I,” is something we need to hear a little more of, TIAP. This evening when I was out, I heard a couple of guys in their late 20s--early 30s at the next table talking, and I caught a few phrases: “Why don’t they just throw the money out in the street? It’ll do as much good.” “Yeah those guys who sleep under the bridge? How much of that money that they get d’you think is going to trickle up?”

      I thought to myself: they actually don’t know the difference between the unemployed and the homeless, and they resent them both. (Obviously a lot of people do fall into the category of the homeless unemployed, but I would wager tha vast majority of the people who are going to benefit from this extension are not sleeping under bridges!)

      How can they be so cock-sure that this will never happen to them??

    • escribacat says:

      Great post, TIAP. I vividly recall his victory speech on the day he was elected. He spoke to those 48% who didn’t vote for him and said, “I’m your president too.” It was a memorable statement for me.

      • bito says:

        Barack Obama Acceptance Speech November 4 2008 Grant Park, Chicago Illinois PART 1

        Some have already forgotten this and the harm from W!

  9. ClusterFoxWarrior says:

    Over at HuffyFluffy, the leftist posters are talking MAD shit about President Obama, one poster even said they hate Obama worse than they do Bush!

    Both the left and the right want President Barack Hussein Obama to be a one term President. The left wants him to be a one termer because he’s not far left, and the right want him to be a one termer because they believe he’s some foreigner from Kenya. Both sides could care less about actually getting things done.

    The left (or more specifically, the anti-war left) praises Kuchinich like a demigod, but what has Kuchinich gotten done, other than flip flopping on a LOT of his stances to run for President just to lose? Kuchinich couldn’t get Bush convicted of war crimes or get single payer passed.

    As for Bernie Sanders, he’s a hypocrite all on his own. He had no problems supporting Obama’s healthcare legislation without a public option, but NOW he has the nerve to cry foul with Obama taking this compromise.

    I’ve got to say, I’m angrier more at the “left” than I am at President Obama. While I don’t agree with the stance he has taken, he has taken his stance with class and dignity. The “left” continues to treat him like a slave boy, like he’s their President only. Have any of these angry “progressives” actually contacted their Representatives and Senators (lest they be Republican), or are they just lashing out at Obama just because they can?

    I’ve criticized Obama for flip flopping, but in no way shape or form am I ready to start treating him like scum, the way these “progressives” have.

    I consider myself a conservative, but I am probably more progressive than these so called “progressives.” I advocate progress, no matter how big or small it is. As much as I didn’t like the tax cuts for the rich extended temporarily, at least the unemployed who need their UI will be able to have access to it. What kind of “victory” would it have been to end the tax cuts for the rich, only to have UI denied to those who need it? A tax cut isn’t going to help those who aren’t making any money right now.

    Like many have pointed out, President Obama was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He took the middle ground, which angered both the left and the right. The left is angry because he kept the tax cuts for the rich, and the right is angry because he is keeping UI. Both the left and the right need to concede defeat, as neither side got what they wanted 100%.

    This is why I laugh at political clubs and those who take them seriously. Neither political party has your best interests in mind 100% of the time, that is why our Founders were staunchly against political clubs. If our politics is ever to actually get thing done for the people, perhaps we need to end this “My team is better than your team!” squabble that makes kindergarten squabbles seem mature in comparison.

    In short: I disagree with President Obama, but admire that he took the middle ground as opposed to playing partisan party line politics. The left and right can suck it, he has more spine and conviction than they accuse him of not having.

  10. boomer1949 says:

    Excellent Marion.

    May I suggest you submit it to the editors of NYT, WSJ, WaPO, and any other major newspaper or news source, MSM, including Rachel and Keith, PBS, NPR, any of them you can think of; OpEd, letter to the editor, makes no difference.

    Start faxing girl, start faxing!!!

    PS — for dogs, the Blue Dogs are not very loyal — the real dogs have them beat paws down! My cats are even embarrassed…

  11. VegasBabe says:

    Your RIGHT ON AGAIN and frankly, I WISH I could write it as well but I’m so pissed, it’s difficult to put two sentences together without screaming obscenities at just about everyone you named especially the whiny ass lib-progressive crowd. He’s played a hand, and it ain’t a bad one. NOW, if Dems don’t like it, then get off your duff and start FIGHTING for a change instead of WHINING and allowing the POTUS to take ALL the heat and ALL the responsibility. WHO sent the memo out two years ago come January that once Obama was IN office, THAT WAS IT? No need for anyone to do anything else. HAD I gotten a copy, I could have cleared that up immediately. Dems haven’t faught like they need to for so long, they’ve forgotten how.

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