Year of Living Dangerously

One year from today we will enter the final two weeks of the Presidential Race. The punditry are making certain predictions they see as “inevitable. But there is a big chance that the radical spirit in the air on both Left and Right as represented by Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party, could prove the pundits wrong.

As to the Republicans, the conventional wisdom is that Mitt Romney is now the “inevitable” nominee of the Republican Party. He may in fact prevail next summer, but it is far from inevitable. Two factors will make this a long and brutal race for the nomination.

    • Money-Rick Perry has raised a lot of money and he’s not going to shrink back to Texas without a fight. Reporting Romney’s quarterly total the New York Times noted.

The amount gives Mr. Romney what is expected to be the second largest third-quarter haul in the Republican field, behind Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Mr. Perry’s aides said last week that he had raised more than $17 million for the period, which covered his first weeks in the campaign.

On the Democratic side, the rise of the Occupy Movement it is making it easier for Obama and the Democrats to fight a Populist Campaign for 2012 which isn’t on Tea Party terms, but on theirs. If Tea Party really does decide to throw their support to the very same Elite Republicans who Limbaugh claims are at war with the Tea Party,it would be a really revealing moment. To decide to throw away the revolutionary attitude and fight in an election—to “Help the One Percent”—(i.e. to have no “Billionaires” surtax). The Tea Party is welcome to fight that war, but it will reveal them to be the Dick Armey Astroturf movement some have suspected as being from the start.

I continue to argue, we are in this wild Interregnum Moment. The very fact that the elite keeps asking that the Occupy Movement create a leadership structure. And they refuse. May be they know what we do to leaders of nascent movements.



This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Business, Economics, reform, Teabaggers, Wall Street and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Year of Living Dangerously

  1. len says:

    As long as the OWS is round and has no cleaving points, it’s tough for any political party to claim ’em, blame ’em or same ’em. This is global now. The Brits are fighting their police. The Canadians are using Super Soakers on theirs (love it). Police roughly arrested people trying to close Citi Bank accounts.

    This is beyond punditry. The Republicans are showing fear and the Democrats can’t even play catch up. I went to an event today. The looks in the eyes of the kids are simply fantastic.

    Where the hell are the limousine liberals? Where are the old guard protest superstars? This isn’t Obama’s, Jon. They don’t trust him either. I listened as they talked. They think he is a sell out, a plant, and a lost cause. How that translates going into the next year is not determined yet. We tend to think we can only choose from two candidates. Progressives may get a nasty surprise. I don’t know that that will be but there are no signs that OWS can be spun as a win for Obama. The “better than the alternative” play may not work. If Obama wants this, you guys better start showing up instead of sitting on your couches cheering and yakking.

  2. Morgan Warstler says:

    Jon, you have it BACKWARDS, but that’s ok, you’re emotional.

    To truly succeed, OWS has to play wingman to the Tea Party.

    Progressives = votes, no money
    Oligarchs = no votes, money
    Tea Party = votes AND money.

    So everything we know about game strategy says Progressives should adopt the parts of the Tea Party agenda they agree with, and make that their rally cry.

    That means we attack Big Business and Big Government, and we side with small business and local government.

    They don’t want leaders! Just like the Tea Party…

    That best expresses itself as NEW FEDERALISM – devolving power and decision making to the states and cities.

    That means FAVORING SMB businessmen over Fortune 1000 business men.

    It doesn’t mean just being anti-business.


    If the dirty hippies would just stand behind the Tea Party guys and forget the socialism stuff, they’d GET to deliver a real kick in the nads to Wall Street.

  3. JTMcPhee says:

    Will SOMEBODY please disABLE Worgon’s SHIfT KEY?

  4. Michael McNutt says:

    The Tea and OWS folks have disgust and anger in common. It really doesn’t matter WHO is elected, we’ll continue on with the wars and killing with robots in the sky, even our own soldiers as well as women and children. I am so afraid for not only our country but the world when we think that electing one more from either party will make a bit of difference. I hate to say it but the biggest criminals/terrorists are the Democrats and Republicans. Maybe they should be arrested or hunted down and shot from the sky.

  5. len says:

    @morgan: If people take their money out of bancomerica and smellslargo and put it in their local credit unions, they will do more than all the TPers and OWSers put together.

    If all the artists trying to make a buck will make a statement and leave it unsigned on a facebook page, they will do what God gave them the talent to do. What do they get? Satisfaction and that’s a lot more then they’re getting from the system that recycles old material into pretty young faces for the profit of old farts.

    It’s NOT a new conversation. It’s a very old conversation and we’ve been too mute for too long.

    Even a little difference will make a big difference.

    If Obama wants to join in, he’s welcome. He will have to raise his hands and twinkle his fingers. Or maybe his fine Harvard trained grandma paid for constitutional mind will get the point: justice is one set of rules for everyone or there are no rules.

    The whole world isn’t watching. The whole world is marching. Get off your Califried honky butts and get down there with them.

  6. Ken Ballweg says:

    If OWS doesn’t turn into something that can move indoors when the weather turns, then it will not carry much momentum into the next elections and become marginalized as much as I expect the tea party to be come the GOP convention.

    Neither group plays especially well to the middle, and what will matter is the outcome of the election: getting the most liberal of candidates on the slate elected, regardless of whether they pass the ideological purity test many on the left are developing, will determine whether the oligarchs seal the deal and drive us into the inevitable depression that comes from the rich hoarding money and power (at least was it so in past cycles).

    Angry righteous indignation on the left doesn’t translate into shit if folks take their ball and go home if they don’t get a candidate who promises sweeping change which said candidate can’t deliver on. Obama did that but didn’t “deliver”. But he didn’t fail because of his “fine Harvard trained grandma paid for constitutional mind” but because congress was stacked against him. The Dems never had the majority needed to implement what he wanted. A Blue Dog is not a Dem in the same way a moderate republican like Snow is a Republican. Even the most moderate republican is closer in practice to the neo-conservative than a BD dem is to liberals and progressives.

    The GOP knew how to kneecap anything Obama did regardless of harm to the county, and would do it again, even if the left managed to find a hard left champion that was electable. And if liberals and progressives get idealistically pissy and fail to vote, they will give the right another four years of tax cuts, unfunded graft to big donors and the MIC and empire, deregulations that finalize the control of government by corporations, and a sixth seat on Supreme Court.

    Look at Morgan’s posts: that’s the arrogant , self absorbed, stupidity liberals and progressives are fighting in this country, not Obama if he gets nominated. Keep that in mind.

  7. Ken Ballweg says:

    Mind, as a 60’s radical disillusioned by the outcome of that “movement”, I’m hopeful this will turn into an actual change agent rather than just another well meaning attempt that peters out in the long run.

    One thing I do find hopeful is this little bit:

  8. len says:

    He hasn’t precisely failed but he doesn’t know how to move the ball. Did ya think a bought Congress was going to roll over for a bought executive branch? If you don’t take a well-skilled team onto the field, they roll over you.

    His fine trained mind has either not grasped what justice means or he is not the man for that job. Simply: had the DOJ not ignored the Black Panthers, begun to go after the pot crops and actually investigated wall street with an eye to ensuring all knew “one set of rules”, he’d be a shoe in. As t’is, he’s the ‘better than than the rest’ and that’s cold comfort.

    But this isn’t about Obama and don’t fall into the trap of making it about Obama. That’s the game they want to play. This is about what is needed. Justice. A country we can believe in because we can believe in ourselves again. Those people in the parks are discovering a way to believe in themselves. That’s hope. Change next.

  9. len says:

    And BTW, a major topic of discussion at the event I went to was to find a room for the winter so the conversations could continue. Most know it’s going to be a long cold winter. OTOH, the weather on the web is always sunny.

  10. Amber in Albuquerque says:

    I have wool and I’m not afraid to use it.

  11. JTMcPhee says:

    Folks, I have it on very good authority that this is actually Dimension 10 of the 11-dimensional chess that The Only President We’ve Currently Got has been playing.

    See how deep the old file is? Letting the Kleptocrats get all cozy and comfortable with the game of counterfeiting and trading Monopoly Money, getting the rest of us to turn over real wealth to the casino operators? Letting the TPers yak themselves into a corner? Taking all the personal heat and hatred, with a little voice ever in the back of his commodious mind reciting Saul Alinsky and Hannah Arendt quotes? “Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design. Your friends, up there on the sanctuary moon, are walking into a trap, as is your Rebel fleet. It was I who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator. It is quite safe from your pitiful little band. An entire legion of my best troops awaits them. Oh, I’m afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive.”

    Whoops, wrong quote…

    Some talking head on the tube just said, after offering his unusual view that the US has enjoyed a 50-year history of “peace and prosperity,” that 71 percent of people recently polled in America say that “we” are a nation in long decline.

    Matt “Mainstream Multi-Millionaire” Lauer offered, for benefit of the rest of us, that that sentiment is clearly unAmerican.

    Amber, what a wonderful mind you have!

    And in case it’s not clear that something is happening here, and needs to happen, how about the mindset of the tiny minority?

    A quick look at what the 1% thinks about OWS

    In Private, Wall St. Bankers Dismiss Protesters as Unsophisticated

    Publicly, bankers say they understand the anger at Wall Street — but believe they are misunderstood by the protesters camped on their doorstep.

    But when they speak privately, it is often a different story.

    “Most people view it as a ragtag group looking for sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll,” said one top hedge fund manager.

    “It’s not a middle-class uprising,” adds another veteran bank executive. “It’s fringe groups. It’s people who have the time to do this.”

    As the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have grown and spread to other cities, an open question is: Do the bankers get it? Their different worldview speaks volumes about the wide chasms that have opened over who is to blame for the continuing economic malaise and what is best for the country.

    Some on Wall Street viewed the protesters with disdain, and a degree of caution, as hundreds marched through the financial district on Friday. Others say they feel their pain, but are befuddled about what they are supposed to do to ease it. A few even feel personally attacked, and say the Occupy Wall Street protesters who have been in Zuccotti Park for weeks are just bitter about their own economic fate and looking for an easy target. If anything, they say, people should show some gratitude.

    “Who do you think pays the taxes?” said one longtime money manager. “Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country and do it well. Let’s embrace it. If you want to keep having jobs outsourced, keep attacking financial services. This is just disgruntled people.”

    He added that he was disappointed that members of Congress from New York, especially Senator Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, had not come out swinging for an industry that donates heavily to their campaigns. “They need to understand who their constituency is,” he said.

    Generally, bankers dismiss the protesters as gullible and unsophisticated. Not many are willing to say this out loud, for fear of drawing public ire — or the masses to their doorsteps. “Anybody who dismisses them publicly is putting a bull’s-eye on their back,” the hedge fund manager said.

    There’s more of the same here, too —

  12. len says:

    “Anybody who dismisses them publicly is putting a bull’s-eye on their back,” the hedge fund manager said

    “Paranoia strikes deep…” – Steve Stills

    The event I attended was conversational. They have even worked out hand gestures for it. It’s cute but a little too “oonyellimon” for my experience. On the other hand, it is precisely this construction and promotion of signs and symbols that signify a linguistic emergence of a culture and some of the kids I talked to (Heidegger in hand) do get that. If the artists begin to really get involved (Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion showed for the Vermont gathering) and hit the web with works focused on the movement, then we can expect it to be sustained and become more viscous. Homemade signs set the style. Go fast, cheap and deep.

    Maybe it’s best if Hollyweird stays away. I’m not sure they can betray their own class and so far, they don’t get it so maybe they should stick to reality TV, chicks in tank tops with guns, and elf-ears. It’s what they know.

  13. Amber in Albuquerque says:

    Here’s something the 1% seem to be missing—while the public face of OWS is, to a large extent, kids w/out jobs who have the time and the energy to get out there and DO THIS THING, people like Len are on their side.

    So are people like me. Since Jon’s hiatus, I’ve gone from freelance tech writer (still doing that) to business owner. I am a small corporation. But I am not the 1%. I stand w/the 99%. I do my best to do right by my few employees and my customers and will continue to do so.

    I think (hope really really hope) the tide may finally be turning. The 1% and their GOP toadies spent YEARS and MILLIONS (hey, if it’s good enough for Morgan, it’s good enough for me) convincing small business owners (via local Chambers of Commerce) that they needed to be on the side of wealth to protect what they had earned. I think that many of those same folks (comfortable, or even affluent) are finally realizing the bill of goods they’ve been sold. They can afford to send their kids to college, but the kids can’t get decent jobs. Their business are suffering because the true nature of unemployment and underemployment in this country is masked by a numbers shell game that the media cannot or will not attempt to clarify.

    In any case, I’m pretty sure this movement encompasses many more people than those who are on the streets. Support for a movement comes in all shapes and sizes and if all I can do is donate money, share info on FB, and make warm hats & scarves for the upcoming winter, well, fine. But I remain the 99%.

  14. len says:

    It’s the movement I’ve waiting for and provoking ever since Bush gave that speech at the UN and I realized he was taking us down the path to stupid war. Not a hard decision.

    Today I worry a little bit about OWS pursuing the same mythos for social organization that drove web emergence. It seems to work but it sets them up for what happened and no one wants to admit came from those means: co-option followed quickly by capture. The web is not successful because of its means but because all of the really hard work was done prior to the web. Trying for consensus has a way of breaking across tribe boundaries later. Again, a see what we shall see but the other end of the ‘consensus-driven’ web design ethos was a very weak W3C and full-up capture but a hand full of now very large companies. Fat to fryer so to speak..

    Then there is the tendancy for those learning ‘secret decoder ring numbers and handshakes’ to look silly. If the mainstream media starts to focus in on that, OWS can start looking cultish. Someone who sits through that call-and-response routine they are doing to ‘start a new kind of conversation’ routine can get uncomfortable: “ooon yellimon”.

  15. rhbee says:

    When last I tapped into this space, we were revisiting the interregnumb and JTMc and Len had fallen into Morganarea. I left realizing slowly over the next few weeks that it was time to get off our collective discussions and yes, Len, take to the streets.

  16. len says:

    Media is fine. They still don’t get it. This is a conversation. If they want to join it, show up. If not, they don’t know what is being said or why it matters. In that sense, Obama is irrelevant unless he joins the conversation.

    And the web, rh. art for evolution.

  17. len says:

    Maybe it’s best if Hollyweird stays away.

    Kevin Spacey may be the exception.

  18. rhbee says:

    That’s quite an image, Obama in the streets and The us of us rallying for real. Gosh, Andy, do you think we can sell it to the net works? I went to our local rally on Saturday. Kids with signs yeah but old farts, too. No cops except way way in the distance, no narks with phones that I could see, no dope, just signs and people filling all four corners of our main street connection talking about one thing. Something has to change. I have to say that there is a faint glimmer in my hope jar tonight because of it.

  19. len says:

    The buzzy class is MSNBC this morning warning Obama to stay away. They say if he embraces this he is playing with fire by playing into the idea of redistribution of the wealth, violent radicalism, blah blah blah. Once again someone did a poll and these people believe that more than the conversation. I saw the same things, rhbee, but they are still looking for Abbie Hoffman in the crowds passing out bricks.

    Somehow the democracy of pirate politics escapes them completely.

  20. len says:

    The second part of that is that unlike the Wall Streeters commenting and saying they don’t understand what this is about, Obama at least acknowledges there is a problem (s) and until someone does that, there is no way they can engage in a conversation about a solution or changes that lead to a solution or discovery of a solution.

    The surveys and polls say at least 70% of the public agrees with the OWS movement. If the only people who don’t see or acknowledge there is a problem are the hard core ideologue types, who are the stupid people in this picture? Emperor, clothes, young boy, old courtiers, etc.

  21. Morgan Warstler says:

    Amber welcome!

    Note my policy agenda:

    Treat profits (not paid as salary) made by SMBs as 0% capital gains (you invested in yourself), not income.

    So you can freely move profits from one venture to another, so if the one you are working on starts to go sideways… you are free to head elsewhere, instead of incentivized to stick with it because you won’t pass taxes on money you keep in the venture.

    Since we are reducing the capital gains on SMBs to 0%, we should raise it on conventional investors – the Wall Street crowd.

    This isn’t radical. It isn’t a drum circle, but the plutocrats pay MORE, and job creators pay LESS.

    Somehow though, my plan is evil incarnate.

  22. Amber in Albuquerque says:

    Morgan, I am a reluctant entepeneur. My business exists for my customers and my employees. I only kept it open so my customers could have (non computer based) insurance and tax prep options in the small rural areas in which they live and so my few employees didn’t lose their jobs and to keep one more piece of commercial property from sitting vacant in a community that has been exceptionally hard hit by this mess. It has come at a cost much much higher than profits. I’m not looking at “other ventures.” If these go sideways, my people go down with them and that sucks and I will do everything I can to keep it from happening. My own wealth is a secondary consideration. I think that’s a big difference between the two of us. This isn’t a game to me. Real people’s real livilihoods (not mine) are at stake here.

  23. Morgan Warstler says:


    Don’t convince yourself you are more serious than I am.

    You miss something basic… if something is going to go down, you are the best judge of where to put your resources next.

    Either way people are helped. These or the next, the human good is the same.

    What matters is: is the idea sustainable. A sustainable idea does more good for others, than any unsustainable idea.

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