Twilight of the Oligarghs


This image of Sheldon Adelson wheeling his way out of a busted Romney Victory Celebration seems so telling to me. This sad old man, with his badly dyed hair, who thought he could buy the election, unable to even walk away with dignity. In the end, he did not really understand our country. His own personal piqué at having to pay more taxes is a kind of Madame LaFarge gesture, but the Sans Culottes are right outside the walls of his Venetian Palace and some of them are even inside, cleaning the drunk gamblers barf off the bathroom floor. If there is any justice, he will be in jail at this time next year for bribery under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Can you imagine what Karl Rove’s life has been like for the last 36 hours? All those billionaires ringing him up asking, “what the fuck happened?”, knowing full well that they had bet the house on a loser, not because of any great principle, but simply to keep their tax cuts and get rid of the EPA and Dodd Frank. In the last minutes of his expiring bet on Tuesday Night, when Rove tried to get Fox News to reverse their call that Obama had won, it revealed the smallness of the man and the deep failure of the whole exercise the Rove and Murdoch tried to foist on the American public.

And then there are the true bastards of this game, the Koch Brothers. Almost singlehandedly responsible for the climate change denial industry, they threatened their employees who didn’t vote for Romney. They spent their millions trying to keep from having to clean up all the dirty plants they run that poison our air and water.Good luck with that, boys.

The question must be asked. Do we have to go through this again in two years? Have these assholes learned their lesson? I doubt it. Hopefully some investigative reporter will really uncover the dark corruption of the Super Pac system. How much did Karl Rove make off Crossroads? Who were the secret donors who tried to stop California’s Prop 30 at the last moment? How is the Koch’s Super PAC a Social Welfare organization under the IRS code?

Donald Trump tweeted we need a revolution after his losing bet on Romney failed. If he and his billionaire buddies try to steal an election one more time, there will be a revolution, but it won’t be one the Donald is happy about, because the pitchfork brigades will be outside Trump Tower looking for his comb over scalp.

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36 Responses to Twilight of the Oligarghs

  1. Alex Bowles says:

    As one wag replied

    @realDonaldTrump I don’t think you want a revolution. I know history. Revolutions end very poorly for people with wigs. Very poorly.

    Of course, Trump is a certified clown-show. Romney, on the other hand, was supposed to be level-headed and firmly grounded. Turns out he was equally detached from reality.

    “We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”

    “There’s nothing worse than when you think you’re going to win, and you don’t,” said another adviser. “It was like a sucker punch.”

    Their emotion was visible on their faces when they walked on stage after Romney finished his remarks, which Romney had hastily composed, knowing he had to say something.

    Both wives looked stricken, and Ryan himself seemed grim. They all were thrust on that stage without understanding what had just happened.

    “He was shellshocked,” one adviser said of Romney.

    The irony is that his concession was truly gracious, as if a sudden blast of humility was all it took to produce a flash of genuine decency. But of course, that’s the last thing he’d find in the Oval Office. For the rest of the world a man already as cocooned as Romney would be a catastrophe. After all, if he couldn’t see this coming, even as a slim possibility

    Words fail. What’s clear is this; we have just averted something unimaginably bad. I mean, at least Sarah Palin knew when she was in way, way over her head. Mitt wasn’t even on this planet.

  2. Rick Turner says:

    Here’s what I just wrote to a libertarian friend of mine who does “get it” that a new day is dawning:

    Taxing consumption while making it easier for money to flow into business start-ups, etc….now that makes sense.

    I just keep coming back to the math. The annual deficit equals the cost of the wars, and that cost has NO return on investment worth a damn.

    I do think the power grid should be nationalized and brought up to 22nd Century standards…yes, make it good for the next 100 years. Let anyone pump juice into it, and let the meters spin backwards. If you make more than you use, collect a check. That’s NOT how it works now…if you make more than you use, you just gave power to the utility…that’s how they gamed it. But micro power generation connected to a smart grid…that’ll put some real competition into the power business. Of course we all need to contribute to the upkeep and improvement of the grid. It’s no different from us paying for streets and highways.

    Create a cabinet position to root out governmental waste no matter what branch, organization, military service, or whatever. Make the findings of that cabinet members’ committee abundantly public. No more bridges to nowhere scams. And the pork has to go away.

    Get the super pacs the fuck out of the whole thing. I’d say put limits on political campaign spending. It’s actually amazing how badly the Republicans did given how much dough they put into it all.

    Make FEMA more effective than ever. I do think we need such a national organization. When New York goes down, it affects the entire country, not just New York State. Otherwise, why be a country in the first place.

    Raise the cap on earnings for SSI. I think it’s at $105,000.00 or so. Just take it up to $200,000.00. And yeah, slowly raise the retirement age to 67 from 65 over the next 12 years and then see where we’re at. Those two measures would simply take care of the whole “entitlement” brouhaha.

    I don’t quite know what to think of Obamacare other than I’m very, very glad that Eli cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. I don’t know what you’re doing for health insurance, but I know what it was costing me when I was nearing 65…it was my single biggest expense every month…nearly a grand a month, and for a little while it was over that. You get absolutely screwed if you’re self-employed, and there is no earthly reason for it. I have heard credible tales of people dying because they did not have coverage…one case who was a patient of my pal Meghan’s husband. The guy looked like he might have laryngal cancer, then fell out of coverage, didn’t get the biopsy until it was terminal. The doc said that if it had been caught, it would have been absolutely treatable. So much for Romney’s assertion that the poor will be taken care of in the ER…that being one of the most monumentally stupid things he could have said, especially given that ER coverage is about as expensive as you can get.

    A real game changer economically is going to be the changes in China over the next 20 years. They’re going to lose the huge wage competitive advantage they have, and their own people are going to want the consumer goods they’re making there. I am hearing hints of Africa being the next China, but it’s really fucked up there. Factories would have to be walled fortresses at this point. But it’s the last place with cheap labor, discounting Indonesia, Viet Nam, India, etc. The Pakis and Afghans are way too fucked up to consider.

    And we may yet live to see much of the Middle East become a nuclear wasteland. One crazy Jihadi group could set off a domino effect. If Israel gets hit, they’re not going to stop and try to figure out who done it. They’re going to let loose the hard rain, and it will start with Teheran. Just heard today that Israel has bought six spankin’ new submarines from Germany (how’s that for irony!). They’re cruise missile-ready and hard to find, and you know what they’ll be carrying… It used to be that we counted on the MAD doctrine which depended on rational people being at the big red buttons. That rationale is gone with the Pakis, the Iranians, and the North Koreans…though that may be getting slightly better…

    The reference to Eli is about my 17 year old son who has Marfan Syndrome, a genetic condition that under the old rules, could see him disqualified for health insurance. Now he’ll be covered even if he makes my mistake and becomes self-employed…

  3. len says:

    “There’s nothing worse than when you think you’re going to win, and you don’t,” said another adviser. “It was like a sucker punch.”

    We saw that same look on the LSU fans’ faces a week ago. Exactly the same.

    You can never quite predict open system outcomes. Obama won because his modellers are better at their jobs. They know the electoral system is not a democratic system. They didn’t try to convince everyone particularly the locked South. They gamed the super state electoral domains and swept them. 330 plus electoral votes. Boom. Done. Otherwise with a marginal shift in their direction, Congress is almost the same.

    The cultural domains took some large hits and how these are played next will affect the courts of public opinion. If the BigBads lost, they lost in these and they will be trying to repair these ruptures with new shiny face men, creditable floor managers and more anonymous hatchet men but the same mafia oaths. Religion took some hard hits. That’s a wild card and how these phases states sync or don’t will make big differences in two years.

    The midterms should be a lot of fun.

  4. Rick Turner says:

    The rejection of the religious right is pretty significant. This is not a country where folks are happy with the beliefs of others being jammed down their throats, and I think the constant news about fallen preachers and pedophile priests (and coaches…) has had the real effect of raising the cynicism level of the rising agnostic majority…to say nothing of science-rejecting politicians doing a wonderful job of shooting themselves in their feet. You will notice how fast climate change denial has faded from view, though I do think a more aggressive Obama might have slammed a few more votes away from Romney with Sandy being so politically convenient.

    Who is going to pay for the levees that will have to be built around down town New York? You know that’s a-coming. Maybe the Donald will pay for them in Atlantic City. Let’s see, Washington, DC is on low swamp land, too… I’m at about 30 feet elevation, so I’ll be fine, and then I’ll be dead…

  5. Rick Turner says:

    Funny…or not…just after writing the above, I tuned into “On Point” on NPR to hear the wrap up of a discussion about levees around New York and the strategy of retreat to higher ground which is how it’s going to be for many. You’ll see low lying beach front properties declining in value over the next 20 years as the seas encroach. You’ll also see desperate measures with folks trying to get governmental coverage with levees, buy outs, etc. Do the inlanders bail out the shorebirds? And what of New Orleans…Katrina was just the beginning…

  6. len says:

    The rejection of the religious right is pretty significant.

    The rejection of the wingnuts is significant. Whether or not that is a hit on religion as in a rising agnosticism or is a hit within the church leadership over the church is up for grabs. I’m seeing a rising religiosity but it is taking more forms. Support for wicca, for the Vampires R Us And We Have Rights to Feed nutcases is up.

    Someone said math is magic without the lies. There is always a magical thinking public. Our culture is awash in it from entertainment and the pulpit. Likely the first is more extreme. The second in that they politicized their churches and that is where the hit will and should be realized. Insight can be had by comparing the marketing of Lance Armstrong with the marketing of Apple products. Both have religious overtones and that sense that by identifying with them, one is somehow more elite. Then when it is revealed that Lance was seriously cheating, supporters first attack the attackers and try to wrest their mojo with illogical logics. When Apple shows their oopsie with bad maps, their competitors get a leg up because Apple sold itself as the perfect vendor.

    In both cases, people confuse the utility of a product with the message of the provider. In their humiliation, mostly self imposed, they forget that the bike riding they did while lauding Armstrong did improve their health. They forget that even where the maps are screwed up, they are connecting most of the time, that the other apps are working.

    They forget to rermember what they did, they did. It has value to them.

    The same is true of the church. The message is messed up in some congregations and they need to work on that. On the other hand, those hot meals they are serving to the poor are feeding them as their spiritual basis says they should.

    Baby. Bathwater.

    They should stay the hell away from the hell of modern politics. They should not forget the values that enable them to choose wisely. I think that is precisely what just happened. When it came down to the vote, they voted their values and the loud but on the front pew every sunday philistines lost. As it should be.

  7. T Bone Burnett says:

    Rove is revealed as the snake oil salesman he’s always been. His return on investment in this election was tiny. 1.29% As we know, he became unhinged the other night on live television. He was afraid for his life. The people he just bilked out of a lot of money are not that understanding. Rove eyes looked like tombstones.

    Meanwhile, the thought of Trump calling for a revolution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Is that true? What a wonderful idea.

  8. T Bone Burnett says:

    There is deep justice in the fact that the big rich powerful bullies maligned the community organizer, who community organized them into the dustbin of history.

  9. T Bone Burnett says:

    “On election night, there was one final reckoning. Obama’s campaign, according to Michael Scherer of Time, was running 66,000 electoral simulations every night on a massive database of polls and voter contact information. That’s how the campaign knew its precise standing in each swing state and allocated resources so that it swept all but North Carolina.”

  10. Alex Bowles says:

    @T Bone Burnett

    The Atlantic’s Ta-Nheisi Coates takes the best headline prize.

    “Hippies Wander Into the Lion’s Den, Maul Lions.”

    A more sober and much deeper assessment (the best I’ve seen to date) suggests the lions were really orcs, just as len has maintained.

    His point, in essence, is that the Red / Blue divide has now aligned itself perfectly with the Urban / Rural distinction for the first time in American history. Obviously, this leaves suburbia out of the mix, but in terms of the electorate’s underlying structure, this is the situation. And as Kline notes, the cosmopolitan Blues are profoundly adverse to the Reds nativity, while the Reds want everyone unlike themselves to simply disappear. Because the differences are so firmly tied to geography, it’s not a situation that allows for much compromise.

  11. Alex Bowles says:

    One point Richard Klien overlooks is the extent to which the Red vote owes its power to partisan redistricting. Though they lost the lost both the Presidency and the Senate in un-gerrymandered votes, the same electorate “awarded” as astonishingly unrepresentative 233-192 majority in the House to the GOP. In other words, the one-and-only reason that the GOP retains any power at the national level is because they controlled who could vote for them in the first place. Overt voter suppression was simply icing on the cake.

    The Constitution has never supported strictly proportional representation. It has always given special weight to small and rural constituencies. I think this limited favor is wise and for the best. But it very explicitly locates that structural advantage in the Senate, where it provides two votes to every state, regardless of population. The House, on the other hand, is supposed to be truly representative. Indeed, it is supposed to be the most representative – a popular check on wayward Senators, Presidents, and Justices, all of whom are otherwise shielded, to varying degrees from the People. Thanks to abusive gerrymandering left unchallenged by the Supreme Court, this arrangement has been completely inverted. The House has become the least representative branch. In terms of its distance from democratic will, it is second only to the Court. And after last Tuesday, the GOP owes every ounce of its power to this abomination.

    Kline summarizes the landscape (actual and political) like this:

    Patches of blue surrounded by huge, thinly inhabited seas of red; mutually antipathetic, distinct in their political parties. This is the present of American politics and will be the future through the rest of our lives. What does that imply? There are too many unknowables, but several things stand out. Rural Red is demographically in decline, a process which appears irreversible, though it may have leveled off economically. The absolute share of the electorate they represent will only decease from here. That said, they are quite large enough to a) completely operate one of our two permitted political parties, and b) prevent any other faction from governing effectively.

    It’s the “rest of out lives” part that I’d mark with an asterisk. It’ll be true until we remove redistricting from partisan hands. How long that impasse will take to break is anybody’s guess. Filibuster reform will keep minority rule from spinning into the Senate, and growing public awareness of the problem could prompt the Court to recognize it for the problem it is, and rule to correct it properly (much more likely after more Obama appointments). And I wouldn’t be surprised to see Obama’s formidable election machine relentlessly chipping away at the base, starting today.

  12. len says:

    The most revealing maps to me are the ones that show the red-blue binary approach is flawed to the core. Yes, the electoral maps show the now familiar outline that follows the Confederacy, but if the actual popular voting is mapped, the colors are considerably less stark. If you need to change a culture, you have to be able to push ideas contiguously and even if the signal is weaker in some domains/geographies/communities, it is still there. IOW, even a minority at some strength still counts if it can carry the idea into the small where it can emerge in the large.

    This is important because many other campaigns are not up-down votes. They are dynamic shifts of perception about issues which can be affected by steering opinions down to specific persons and communities. Studying how the Obama machines operated to steer opinion will reveal much about how to market other important ideas, for example, the fight against IP piracy where flawed ideas that hurt our culture have taken root like weeds in a rock garden.

    The game has to be played long term and ahead of the curve. No one surfs successfully by swimming behind the wave or not far enough ahead.

  13. Fentex says:

    I wish the U.S would get the Red and Blue around the right way. It’s consistently very confusing to see maps and diagrams of U.S politics where everywhere else in the world Blue is the right wing/capital/conservative colour and red the left wing/labour/progressive one.

    I’m surprised JP hasn’t been by to note how ineffective the Republicans money appears to have been as another plot point on a chart demonstrating that greater expenditure on political speech does not seem to currently correlate in the U.S to winning elections.

  14. JTMcPhee says:

    The thing about technology and the social sciences is that anyone can play. A fifty-percent-and-a-tiny-bit election achieved maybe as much by symbol manipulation as by GOTV, and all those models? Carville and Matalin and the even smarter-than-Gergen-and-Rove smart-asses who are coming along behind, and learning old, and new, tricks, will be playing soon in a district near you. And money goes a long way toward buying expertise and hardware and even server time and more subtle trolling in all those places where the New People get their information and connections. Anyone really think that the Red-Kochs, playing their long game, are about to vanish into the weeds? They are still very busy down there in the grass roots. Cutworms and dollar weed are nowhere as persistent as they are. And Gerry and Mander are very much in it, and the Texas “educators,” and all the rest…

    And in the end, this year, what do you get? Wall Street still unchained, an MIC on the way to seeing and “dominating the planet” from the planet’s axis to the leading edge of the shock wave from the Big Bang that never happened. Obamacare as “the best we can get,” and any bets on how far over backwards Obama and advisors will bend (if that’s what they are doing, not just playing bit parts in a bigger production) in achieving a Grand Bargain? (Even the fucking phrase makes me want to puke.) And Bradley Manning, and the NDAA, and drones and littoral combat and all the more subtle and more deadly stuff that maybe Jon knows about from his Innovative work.

  15. len says:

    As a blue pixel working on turning the immediate red locale a little purple, this says it for me dead on:

  16. JTMcPhee says:


    The so-called “fiscal cliff” is a good thing for Washington because it will force both Democrats and Republicans to cede ground on core issues, Whitney Tilson of T2 Partners said Friday on CNBC.

    Tilson, a supporter of President Barack Obama and fundraiser for his re-election campaign, said that he expected resolution of the “fiscal cliff” would involve increasing taxes and eliminating deductions, as well as one important area: “Democrats are going to have to touch the third rail for them, which is entitlements, and Obama, I think, is willing to do that,” he said on “Fast Money.”

    “Every Democrat I talked to is willing to do that, but only in the context of Republicans giving on the tax and deductions side aimed more at wealthiest folks in this country who are the ones that can afford to give more.”

  17. JTMcPhee says:

    As in “the Red Leaders will give back (well, actually, retain a tiny bit less of all they take) and you dumbshit liberals will shitcan the safety net and that other Grand Bargain that bought these rich mothertruckers some ‘social peace’ and the opportunity to rob the rest of us for the last 60 or 70 years.”

  18. Alex Bowles says:


    The game has to be played long term and ahead of the curve. No one surfs successfully by swimming behind the wave or not far enough ahead.

    You’ll appreciate this.


    And money goes a long way toward buying expertise and hardware and even server time

    Assuming it was spent well. In this case it wasn’t. “Massive con job” is closer to the mark. And speaking of marks, I think these guys picked the wrong ones. TBB’s right about tombstones in Rove’s eyes. Never being able to raise another dollar is the least of his problems.

    My suspicion is that the Republicans won’t prevail until they’re raising a substantial part of their war-chests from the people they’re also counting on for votes. The cynicism that prevails within their current scheme seems to repel the best while attracting the worst; hustling voters, fleecing backers, and running like hell when it goes all Lord of the Flies. They’ve created a monster, it’s deeply angry, and now Karl Rove Piggie must die.

  19. Fentex says:

    The opening credits of the British topical news show, where a panel comments and jokes about the news “Have I Got News For You” are animated and usually a summary of recent news tropes.

    For a few years they have ended with Obama tossing a basketball across the oval office. Early on in his presidency the ball went through the hoop. But after a while he was shown missing.

    In the week Bin Laden was killed he got it through.

    Needless to say he got it through this week.

  20. T Bone Burnett says:

    @Alex Bowles

    From the comments:

    WarEagle01 • 14 hours ago −

    I donated to the Romney campaign. Not much, but it was what a could afford. I think it came out to about $300. That’s grocery money to feed my family. That’s gas money to get my kids to school and for me to get to work. And this is how it was spent? To line the pockets of wealthy charlatans? Words can’t describe how angry this makes me. And this “good man” allowed this to go on right under his nose. Mitt Romney owes me and a lot of other Americans a huge apology.

  21. len says:

    Yes, Alex, I like that a lot. We really don’t want to repeat 2010. Respect will go a long way toward the bigger prize: A United States.

    Good, T-Bone. That is exactly the right way. The Southern Man is proud and often a pighead, but he hates more than anyone else to be played. That is why his color is more nearly purple than it has been in a generation.

    And what do you say to WarEagle01: ROLLL TIDE!! He understands that.

  22. Edward says:

    I’m happy with the election results but I hope the left (especially in California where they may have a super majority) is cautious. The right was full of nonsense during this election cycle, but progressive overreach can and should be avoided. Entitlements can be poorly targeted and done wrong can offer incentives against individual initiative and for dependence. Liberals should shore up entitlements but also target and evaluate unexpected consequences. Public sector unions have been unfairly bashed by the right, but they are just as susceptible to corruption and cronyism as corporate fat cats. A progressive who wants to govern and keep governing, would support legislation which supports oversight of public sector contract negotiations. Otherwise we will give the right more than fantasies to shout about. As for the repudiation of the right’s social agenda especially marriage equality, I have no reservations. It’s simple fairness. Bravo.

  23. T Bone Burnett says:

    Roll Tide like a muthafutha, I say.

    I’m still excited about the Trump Revolution. Maybe we can have it at one of his casinos. This sounds like the finest revolution imaginable. The most exclusive revolution in history! Just my speed.

  24. len says:

    No joy in Tuscaloosa. :(

    OTOH, not being a gambler, the only revolutions I show up for are on vinyl.

  25. JTMcPhee says:

    Is it just me or does this sound like an attempt at subtle trollery?

    Yeah, we should, like, really fear “progressive overreach?” We need to be so very careful to institutionalize “oversight over public sector contract negotiations?” Where the “public sector,” from what I read and see as a nurse working with disadvantaged people, has been taking it in the shorts for what, a decade and more, shrinking in numbers actually and getting paid less for the same work, at least the ones who actually do what I would consider “public service” and don’t have power over military contracting and the distribution of natural resource leases on public lands and collection of lease payments, and several other areas. You really can say with a straight face that public unions are “just as susceptible to corruption and cronyism as corporate fat cats”? Yeah, SEIU, ACORN, and all that shit, right? Where do you get that odd notion? From the Koch brothers’ anti-American pro-kleptocracy cousin, ALEC? Yeah, I’m really scared about “giving the right more than fantasies to shout about,” given the volume and idiocy and disingenuousness (big word, right?) of all that folks on that side of the mess have been excreting and ejaculating for the last umpty-rump years.

    “Liberals should shore up entitlements but also target and evaluate unexpected consequences.” Wow, that sure sounds like one “liberal” offering advice to another. There’s a whole flood of the same kind of dreck coming out of the Ministry of Truth in Losing MurdochLand, urging “caution” and “deficit reduction at all costs” and “stay near the center” and it sure seems like Obama is all about STILL going way more than halfway to the idiot “conservative position,” so I bet you are probably happy in your heart of hearts that it’s likely that the people on all “sides” of the Hill and in the West Wing and of course in the Supreme Court and all those admin agency offices are already such a sick shade of imperial purple that the “governing” will be just to your liking — another middle finger extended toward the vast majority of us, whether we are public employees or just Walmart slaves.

    I would discount your applause of “equalityfairness,” since the Reds know they are going to have to get off their fat asses and start sucking up to LGBT and turning Latinos to the Dark Side of selfish greed and wedge politics if they want to keep running everything into the ground.

    Your bug-juice “invitation to sweet reasonableness” and implicit warning of horrors to follow any “move to the left” (which ain’t even close to moving back to “center,” so far) sure has more than a whiff of bitter almonds and saccharin about it.

  26. Hugo St. Victor says:

    Jesuslord, JTM. If Edward’s impersonating anyone, it’s Pat Moynihan. What’s wrong with that? Not my cup of tea, because I loves ever’body ‘septin’ dey Progressive heathens, but that Edward should think to enter this gloating bloodwaller with some thoughtfully pragmatic caveats — watch this shoal, watch that one — I take as a tonic of sobriety. Precisely because he’s pretending for a moment that the winners did not take all, because the winners neither constitute nor command us all. And nor are the losers justly portrayed as excrements of cartoon fat cats, of whom each party has thirteen who should be shot, rather than as Voters as civically serious as is anyone here. Elections in a democracy may well have gauche street-ass “consequences”, but never the consequence of banishment by sore winners.

    You and I both are unionists, as we found some time ago. To me this election’s stakes were clear, dead-serious and twain: an “economy” that eats family’s for breakfast and a Barney the Purple Dinosaur foreign policy likely to kill naughty toddlers, other Cabinet Members, and mature persons alike — in very large numbers. But so long as grown persons insist on national management-by-emoticon, in whatever time remaining let’s just say that the fact that the Labor Movement yet lives after all, and still has legs and even breath, really is owing to the spirit and faithful commitment of Barack Obama. And I don’t know about you, but for me that’s a really impressive Presidential accomplishment, in such a short time.

    But let’s not pretend that all labor unions are Movement-oriented, and none sociopathically self-interested — indeed as greedy as any Madoff — as the expense of the commonweal! I lock in solidarity more intense than “The System” could ever see coming, should you sisters and brothers in health care summon our aid-in-kind. But, in my field, well NEA, I give you. Good God! But then I’m an old bombthrowing Shankerite, AFT, AFL-CIO, and to us those dickwads are the labor equivalent of AARP, or of the Gift Shop at the National Holocaust Museum. Moses Burgers at the bus stop of the Tour of the Holy Land. There’s Labor, and then there’s labored fraud.

  27. T Bone Burnett says:

    Hope and Change

    “Meanwhile, the Romney campaign was openly dismissive of the Obama ground game. Why are they wasting so much money with neighborhood offices, they asked? (In Ohio, for example, Obama had almost 100 more offices than Romney.) In retrospect, the Romney team is in awe and full of praise of the Obama operation. “They spent four years working block by block, person by person to build their coalition,” says a top aide. They now recognize that those offices were created to build personal contacts, the most durable and useful way to gain voters.”

  28. len says:

    You can fear the voters or embrace them. In a democracy, guess which approach wins.

    Same for business. You can share the labor and profits with the employees or sell it and buy a bigger pile of rocks.

    The old man stands by the door broom in hand watching the children fresh faced and lusting to be a picture on the wall. Everyone in those photos had a day in the sun and then it passed, but for the old man with the broom watching and listening to the music, the sun shines every day because it is the music he loved first and until the day broom stands alone in the corner, he will keep the door open.

    O Domine quam mirabilia sunt opera tua.
    Salvator Mundi
    Coelum et Terra.

  29. Rick Turner says:

    We are entitled to entitlements. We paid for them. We also got fooled into paying for a lot of shit that returns NOTHING to us and a lot to the plutocrat warmongers of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex. Pull out of the Middle East, shut down a whole lot of embassies and consulates, and spend the money here…and spend it wisely.

    Tax breaks galore for all new construction that is solar ready. More breaks for actually installing systems on roofs…both photovoltaic as well as hot water. Get off the oil tit. Tax breaks for buying hybrid or EV cars. Encourage new building patterns that include good mass transit. Encourage live/work situations. Encourage co-housing developments. Etc., etc., etc… And pay for it all by reducing the military by 50% and turning it into a true defensive force plus deterrent force…and that probably means more subs with cruise missiles, and yes, some should probably be nuke tipped…just in case…

    But the end game should be that we rebuild the US into a shining beacon of what can be; that we lead the world by example, not cudgel.

  30. Dave says:

    It’s cyclical, there are always predictions that the GOP is going to fracture, remember the “Big Tent”? But somehow they hold all those factions together and vote lockstep. I don’t know how they do it, I mean how are the anti-abortionists still holding hands with the moderates after all this time?

    Romney was a bad candidate who was not credible. But in 4-8 years time, a candidate with more charisma and credibility may be able to tell people they pay too much in tax, others are living off their hard work, and the Dems are suctioning the American Dream into a Stalinist hell.

    The difficult thing for me to reconcile is how the GOP has managed to shift the whole discussion to the right. Clinton and Obama are moderate Republicans compared to prior eras.

  31. len says:

    That’s simple, Dave: they tied their fortunes to their church memberships. And that determines their neighborhood and who their children marry.

    Old fashioned and it works.

    People in 15 states are gathering signatures to secede from the union. Meanwhile the left wingnuts keep talking about “the slave states” as if Obama’s victory is permission to punish the right. We won’t get much done if we let the extremes of any persuasion continue to dominate the conversation to the midterms.

  32. Rick Turner says:

    Len, that shit is just pathetic. It’s like buying an island off the Maine coast and declaring it a sovereign nation. Don’t forget that when Texas was burning, Gov. Perry went running to Washington for help. Texas can’t take care of itself. Simple as that… Not unless they get foreign aid from Venezuela… And does Texas want to deal with the Mexican border all on their lone star lonesome? And any of the other states? It’s simply not real, much less realistic. Deluded wing nuts… The mentally ill… Petulant 10 year-olds is more like it…

  33. len says:

    I agree, Rick. Unless they get a lot more signatures than I think they will, it’s a distraction. On the other hand, it’s a sign of things to come.

    What we saw was beautiful. Those long lines said it all. America is not for sale. OTOH, the orcs are out there trying to keep the trolls stirred up. Let’s let them keep staring into the dark hole that used to be Mordor.

    There is work to do. Clean energy, education, trying to balance powers and principalities on the Internet, ways to balance defense and spending, and, yes, the roles of religion in a rational society that quite smartly legislates separation of church and state. Worthy conversations.

    But the noise will be considerable until the orcs finally realize it just ain’t working. Good time to find out what the Big Tent Theocrats are saying to their sheep.

  34. Rick Turner says:

    Len, you’ve always had those Stars and Bars waving “South will rise again” types raging around below the Mason Dixon Line. It’s the Hank Williams, Jr. crowd of mostly drunk wannabe more successful than they every could be, ex-second bench football players whose glory days were as high school seniors…and it was down hill from there. And we have the equivalent in the North and West as well. They’re the guys who put the red in both neck and states. The have no idea what being a nation is about, and they can barely tolerate the concept of a next-door town, much less being a part of a country that is 3,000 miles wide with a lot of people whose skin color does not match theirs and whose lifestyles are different.

  35. len says:

    Do tell. And I’m related to them. :(

    Sure do like the weather here. Started a new job today. At least I’m out of hell but there are no easy jobs. 12 reports and two direct minions. Nice office big window. Decent insurance. The American Dream.

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