Tag Archives: Robert Reich

Liz’s new gig: Being the only real Democrat in the room

U.S. Senator Warren stands behind Senate Majority Leader Reid after leadership elections for the Congress in Washington

Reuters photo

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts listens to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada as he announces the Democratic Senate leadership lineup for the two-year congressional session that begins in January.

We may never know exactly how or why it came to be that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has been given a Democratic Senate leadership position created just for her. ABC News has described the position as “liaison to liberal groups to ensure they have a voice in leadership meetings and discussions, according to a source familiar with the role.

The Huffington Post reported this reaction to the news:

“A liaison to liberals? I’ve never heard of such a thing,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), throwing his hands in the air. “I asked her about it and she said she was some kind of adviser. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what that all means.”

I’ll help Tommy Boy out:

With “Democrats” like, say, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who apparently believes that the predictably environmentally disastrous and good-only-for-the-plutocrats Keystone XL oil pipeline should be shoved down our throats in order to help her win re-election that she very apparently cannot win anyway, um, yeah, it’s time for the Democratic Party to finally fucking return to its progressive roots, from which it strayed no later than during Bill Clinton’s presidency, in which he repeatedly sold out the American people for his own political convenience (“welfare reform,” NAFTA, DOMA, etc.).

Undoubtedly, a President Billary would sell us out just as her hubby did, and we’ll see how much the Clintonian Barack Obama will sell us out during his remaining two years in office.

It is long past time for what remains of the Democratic Party to come together and proclaim:

If you are a politician in a backasswards (redundant) red state (such as Landrieu is), then become a Repugnican already. Just do it. Don’t fucking call yourself a “Democrat.” Because if you are espousing right-wing causes (such as the construction of an oil pipeline that is only meant to make a few filthy rich people even richer, the environment be damned), then you are a treasonous wingnut, and your place is within the Repugnican Tea Party. Stop further tarnishing the Democratic Party brand name with your right-wing bullshit and join the enemy already.

I only hope that Elizabeth Warren, despite her assertion that “Nobody’s clipping my wings,” didn’t strike a deal with the devil – namely, such as with the Billary Clinton camp (perhaps even with The Horned One Herself); and specifically, a deal to not run against Billary in 2016 in exchange for the newly created Senate leadership position.

In any event, Warren apparently rejects her job description as a liaison to the liberals. Huff Po again:

“[Soon-to-be Democratic Senate Minority Leader] Harry [Reid] asked me to be a strategic policy adviser, because that’s what I talk about, I talk about policy — college affordability and minimum wage and Social Security,” [Warren] said. “And that’s what I’m supposed to do and that’s what I will do. That’s my portfolio.”

You say potato, I say potato.

The gargantuan problem of income inequality mostly has been ignored by the Democratic Party during Obama’s tenure (as it was during Bill Clinton’s), and while I think of the striving toward socioeconomic equality and socioeconomic justice as progressivism rather than as “liberalism” (really, “liberals” – DINOs – like the Clintons have given the word “liberal” a bad name), yes, indeed, the Democratic Party has come off the rails to the extent that it sorely needs to be put back on track.

So while I personally eschew the word “liberal” because many if not most of those who call themselves “liberal” aren’t at all progressive (they want to be selfish, evil assholes, but they also don’t want the stigma of calling themselves Republicans, since Republicans are so widely reviled, so they call themselves “liberals”), Warren’s new job description – in her own words – does indeed sound like she’ll be a liaison to progressives (at least in part).

Every Democrat in D.C. should be a liaison to progressives, but, I suppose, it’s better to have one than none.

(Well, we have some progressives in D.C., such as U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, but, interestingly, Wikipedia’s entry on the Congressional Progressive Caucus states that while 68 House members are part of the caucus, the entry lists only Sanders as the sole U.S. senator on the caucus. That’s way beyond fucked up. [Sanders, recall, calls himself a democratic socialist – and he’s the only such one in the U.S. Senate. He caucuses with the Democrats but does not call himself one, although he has considered running for the 2016 presidency on the Democratic Party ticket.])

We Americans still sorely need a new New Deal, which Obama at least quasi-promised but never delivered.

And without real Democrats/progressives like Elizabeth Warren – and Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich (whose “Inequality for All” you should watch if you haven’t already) – pushing for a new New Deal, with our help,  it won’t materialize, because the establishmentarian “Democrats” are too fat, lazy and comfortable feeding from the corporate trough to lift a fucking finger for the American people (except, perhaps, to extend their middle fingers to the American people) – which is why, I believe, they lose elections.

Maybe, just maybe, the elevation of Elizabeth Warren to a leadership post is at least the dim recognition of the Democratic Party hacks that without the party’s base on board, the party is weaker and is going to continue to flounder, at least in midterm elections.

What we progressives cannot allow Warren’s promotion to be is a substitute for the actual progressivism that the Democratic Party abandoned some time ago.

We allow DINO Billary Clinton into the White House at our own peril.

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Dinner with President Hopey-Changey? No thanks

Democrat president Barack Obama preparing for a meal out

Associated Press photo

Robert — I need to ask you one last thing before tonight’s midnight deadline:

If you know you’re going to donate to this campaign eventually, what’s stopping you from doing it right now?

You were one of the people who got this movement off the ground. In fact, you were a part of all this before I was.

If you’re going to be a part of history in 2012, it’s time to get off the sidelines.

So, before midnight, will you chip in what you can and say you’re in?

This has never been about Barack and me.

We’re just two guys. It’s folks like you out there who will decide this election.

And what you’re capable of is incredible — if you decide to do it.

https://donate.barackobama.com/Friday-Deadline

Thank you,

Joe

P.S. — That deadline also applies to the dinner Barack is having with four supporters. Donate today and you’ll be automatically entered for the chance to be there.

That’s the fundraising e-mail that I received today under the signature of Vice President Joe Biden, since I haven’t donated a penny to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, since I haven’t jumped at the chance to have dinner with Obama, his latest apparently desperate fundraising gig.

(Obama would not want to do dinner with me, and since he has taken to assassinating American citizens as of late, in blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution [but for which the Obamabots, as always, forgive him, no doubt], for me it might be a fatal mistake to dine with the man, since if I were in his presence I couldn’t see myself mincing words.)

Speaking of Joe Biden, he has been in the news today for having said in a Florida radio interview yesterday that the Obama re-election campaign will have to suck it up even though the Obama administration inherited the economic mess from the unelected Bush regime (“unelected Bush regime” is my term, not his — the spineless Dems would never talk like that, since it’s the truth, since it’s strong language, and since they are horrified of the possibility of offending those who would never vote for a Democrat anyway).

Reuters reports that Biden stated, “Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that’s not relevant. Right now we are the ones in charge and it’s gotten better but it hasn’t gotten good enough…” and “Understandably, totally legitimately, this is a referendum on Obama and Biden, the nature and the state of the economy.”

Biden’s remarks have been considered “controversial” by the Obamabots, but Biden was just telling the truth.

Blaming the BushCheneyCorp for the economy won’t win Obama re-election, even though the BushCheneyCorp is the No. 1 reason that the economy is in the toilet. Politics isn’t fair.

However, while we can’t blame Obama for the mess that he inherited, we can blame him for how he has handled it.

How has Obama handled Wall Street after the Wall Street weasels (redundant) tanked our economy through blatant fraud?

He has given the Wall Street weasels billions and billions in bailouts, he has appointed Wall Street weasels as his economic advisers, and his justice department hasn’t put a single Wall Street weasel behind bars.

Obama has ignored the good advice of such progressive economists as the Nobel-Prize-winning Paul Krugman and Robert Reich (Bill Clinton’s former labor secretary), who were unanimous in declaring early in Obama’s presidency that Obama wasn’t doing nearly enough for economic recovery.

Obama hasn’t been supportive of U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Warren, who, entirely unlike Obama, has had the balls to take on the Wall Street weasels.

I gave Elizabeth Warren a donation of $25 today for her bid for the U.S. Senate for Massachusetts.

I haven’t given Obama even the bargain-basement amount of $3 that he has been requesting for the chance to have din-din with him.

The Obamabots, I suppose, would say that I and other white liberals no longer support Obama because he’s black. They find this race-baiting lie to be comforting, although this lie and its repetition can only hurt Obama’s re-election chances, which right now already are looking like a snowball’s in Hades as it is.

The fact is that I give my money and my votes to those who do more than pay lip service to progressive principles, regardless of their race or gender.

Elizabeth Warren has been fighting the Wall Street weasels. Obama has been putting them in his Cabinet.

I see my money and my vote as an investment in my own future. Elizabeth Warren appears to be a good investment, and I donated hundreds of dollars to the efforts in Wisconsin to preserve its public-sector labor unions, since Obama couldn’t be bothered to lift a fucking finger to help the working people of Wisconsin in their battle against the union-busting far-right wing, and I consider that to have been an investment in my own future, too.

As an investment, Barack Obama, on the other hand, is a junk bond. He promised, promised, promised, but he hasn’t delivered. He punk’d me once. (In the 2008 cycle I gave him hundreds of dollars and my vote.) Never again.

Speaking of Wall Street, young people whose futures President Hopey-Changey has compromised by fiddling while Rome burns for the third week now occupy Wall Street in protest of its abuses that Obama hasn’t been much bothered about.

Instead of asking people to pay for the chance to dine with him, perhaps President Hopey-Changey might buy dinner for some of the young protesters who now occupy Wall Street.

It’s the least that he could do.

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Glenn Beck is NOT just like you (and other observations on the sorry state of the marketplace of ideas)

Wingnut kingpin Glenn Beck, who, despite the cover of his upcoming book (uh, does he actually write any of his books?), is worth tens of millions of dollars, wants you to believe that he’s just like you.

I like to check amazon.com’s top-100-selling books periodically to see how the marketplace of ideas is looking.

Unfortunately, it usually looks like the actual marketplace is looking.

I’m always dismayed to see the number of wingnut titles that make the top 100, and I wonder whether wingnuts really read these books or whether they just get a high from buying them.

At No. 18 on amazon.com as I type this sentence, for instance, is Dinesh Dikshit’s The Roots of Obama’s Rage. On the cover is a stern-looking Barack Obama lacking only horns and a Hitler ’stache. Obama is shaded red to show his rage:

Except that I can’t recall ever seeing Obama enraged. He always plays it as coolly as a cucumber. How would we even know that Obama is angry?

Indeed, Obama apparently has learned to avoid, at all costs, looking like an “angry” black man to the point that he shows about as much emotion as does a Vulcan. (White men, especially rich ones, are allowed to be angry, but a black man, even one living in the White House, isn’t; an angry black man is just violent, out of control, deranged, savage, animalistic, etc., you see.)

The Roots of Obama’s Rage is published by Regnery Press, which publishes only wingnutty dogshit, and on its page on amazon.com, Dikshit’s book is endorsed by Newt Gingrich, who reportedly finds it “stunning.”

I find it stunning, too — stunning that blatant crap like this actually sells.

But probably even worse that Dikshit’s shit is Glenn Beck’s upcoming load of horsecrap titled Broke.

Glenn is on the cover looking broke.

Poor guy.

He feels your pain.

Really.

Except that Wikipedia notes of Beck’s income:

In June 2009, estimators at Forbes calculated Beck’s earnings over the previous 12 months at $23 million, with 2009–2010 revenues on track to be higher. Although the majority of his revenue results from his radio show and books, his website’s 5 million unique visitors per month also provides at least $3 million annually, while his salary at Fox News is estimated at $2 million per year.

Additionally, Beck’s online magazine Fusion sells an array of Beck-themed merchandise, while his website offers a web subscription service called “Insider Extreme” where for $75 a year one gets access to behind-the-scenes footage and a fourth hour of his daily radio show. In April 2010, Forbes calculated Beck’s earnings for the previous year (March 2009 – March 2010) to be $32 million.

They say that money can’t buy happiness, but we should ask Glenn Beck how happy he feels.

Beck’s millions come from Joe-the-Plumber-like dipshits who believe that Beck is one of them. And that they, too, can become a millionaire. Except, of course, that 99.9-repeating percent of them never will. But they’ll buy Beck’s book on how to get rich — which will only make Beck richer.

And I’m sure that Beck’s book, which right now is only at #184 on amazon.com but surely will climb higher in the coming weeks, advises you to buy gold. (Wikipedia also notes of Beck’s income: “Goldline International also sponsors Beck’s radio show and was the exclusive sponsor of Beck’s 2009 comedy tour; their sponsorship has brought Beck criticism.”)

Then there’s The Coming Economic Armageddon: What Bible Prophecy Warns About the New Global Economy, now at No. 69 on amazon.com (because you’d trust a faith healer over a smarty-pants surgeon, right? So fuck those egg-headed economists!), and Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama, which is yet another Obama-hating book (right now at No. 89) with the premise that it’s downright fucking TYRANNY!!! if your stupid white male candidate loses the election but isn’t given the office anyway, as was the case with George W. Bush.

Speaking of the devil, not be outdone, George W. Bush has a book coming out next month, just in time for Christmas:

Called Decision Points, and already at No. 37 on amazon.com’s top 100 right now, I’m guessing from its title that it’s not a coloring book, as I’d have expected from Bush, but that it’s a connect-the-dots book.

But seriously, what don’t we already know about George W. “Decider in Chief” Bush and his Big Decisions?

We know that he decided to steal the 2000 presidential election with the help of his brother (then-Florida Guv Jeb), then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, the wingnuts on the U.S. Supreme Court and some others, and that he decided to launch his illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War against the wishes of the United Nations Security Council and against world opinion for the war profits of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other oily war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp.

And that he decided to ignore the August 2001 presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” and the August 2005 presidential daily briefing titled “Hurricane Katrina Determined to Strike in U.S.”

There: I just summed up the Bush II presidency for you. Save yourself some money and buy something that will make you smarter, not dumber, such as the latest by Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, actual economist Robert Reich or even Jon Stewart, whose comedy at least is intelligent.

Because ultimately, dipshittery is treason.

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