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Lessons that should be learned from Coakley’s defeat, but probably won’t be.

Jon Walker makes a very effective argument about why learning the wrong lesson from the defeat of Martha Coakley in yesterday’s Massachusetts Senate race will lead to disaster.

Not only will Democrats lose badly if they adopt this strategy, but they will be laughed at. Republicans never had 59 Senate seats, and that did not stop them from passing the legislation they wanted. Trying to explain to the American people how, despite controlling everything, Democrats cannot do anything, because a mean minority of 41 Republican senators won’t let them, is a message that will go over like a lead balloon. If you try to use that excuse, people will think elected Democrats are liars, wimps, idiots, or an ineffectual combination of all three.

Boston Globe reports: “Nearly half polled say Obama not delivering on promises.”

According to the Boston Globe, nearly half of Americans polled believe that U.S. dictator Barack Obama is not living up to his campaign promises.

Nearly half of the Americans surveyed said Obama is not delivering on his major campaign promises, and a narrow majority had some or no confidence that he will make the right decisions for the country’s future.

More than a third saw the president as falling short of their expectations, about double the proportion saying so at the 100-day mark of Obama’s presidency in April. At the time, 63 percent said the new president had accomplished a “great deal” or a “good amount.” The percentage saying so in the recent poll dropped to 47 percent.

Although the article does not mention the loss of left-wing support as reason for the drop-off, choosing instead to focus on right-wing discontent, the overall attitude indicated by surveys is that he is either incapable or unwilling to make good on public expectations of change away from the institutionalized horrors of the Bush-Cheney regime.

The signs are everywhere that at least one chamber of Congress will revert back to Republican rule, though the public is unlikely to notice the difference.  Obama really shot himself in the foot by raising people’s expectations without having any intention of meeting them.  No one thought he would be able to work miracles, and no one has claimed that he would end eight years of devastation overnight.  But with a year now behind his dictatorship, Obama has not made even token efforts to undo the policies of the Bush-Cheney regime – and in some cases, such as government secrecy and illegal spying on Americans, he has exceeded them.  The public is not stupid.  We do not enjoy being lied to, used, taken for granted.  And we will punish those who do so.

Bloggers Behaving Badly: Jason Rosenbaum pulls a Hillary Clinton.

FireDogLake’s resident Obamabot-with-power, Jason Rosenbaum, reacted to a user diary the author of which stated that she will no longer vote for Democrats unless they earn her vote by posting a dishonest, condescending, bullying entry in which he exhorted disaffected progressives not to “be Naderites.”  Surprisingly, the diatribe earned well over 750 comments, most of which come from people smart enough to know what they were reading and who are having none of it.

This further illustrates what I wrote about in my previous entry exposing the utter hypocrisy of self-appointed, phony progressive “leaders” in the blogosphere.  It is important for us on the left to identify our enemies, not only on the right, but on what passes for the left as well.  Bloggers like Rosenbaum are a large part of the reason progressive voters either stay home or vote third party.  They are overgrown children who treat adults like children, engage in extremely hostile behavior toward those whose support they claim is so vital, then turn around and whine, just as Hillary Clinton did in 2008, about how we’re too “stupid” to realize how much we need them.

Progressives really deserve better leaders in the blogosphere.  The question is, who’s going to step up to the plate?

Bloggers Behaving Badly: Closed left is as bad as Daily Kos

I see that another Bowers-instigated flame battle is going on over at Closed Left.  I lurk the site from time to time to see just how much progressive issues are being censored in favor of the Chris Matthews-type drivel Bowers favors, and I saw this posted on the front page:

It turns out that if I delete content from a website that I–quite literally–own, then I am engaging in censorship.  I don’t remember the part of the first amendment that declares everyone is allowed to use everyone else’s printing press.

The latest mess appears to have begun when someone posted a quick hit to call Obama an ass clown.  Okay, nothing controversial about that since Obama is, in fact, an ass clown.  But the site administrator didn’t like it, so the QH was deleted.  After the fact, the justification was fabricated that the term “ass clown” is somehow homophobic, even though there is no evidence to suggest that it has ever been used in such a derogatory manner.  The comments are divided along the usual lines, with Bowers and his sniveling, lying little sycophants defending the action and others crying censorship.

This isn’t surprising at all, seeing as how Bowers routinely violates his own site’s rules only to turn around and chastise others for committing far lesser offenses.  For example, a while back the owner of Closed Left posted a snarkfest taking others to task for using the Quick Hits feature to call other people out.  Later, Bowers proceeded to use the quick hits section to call out another poster, whom he banned for voicing criticism against him.

When I posted about this glaring act of hypocrisy in both a diary and a quick hit, I was banned from posting.  The rules that apply to everyone else at Closed Left do not apply to the site owner, who is free to act like a child while treating grown adults like children.  The result?  More of the same bullshit that goes on at the Mediocre Orange Hype: scolding lefties to sit down, shut up, and drink the Democratic party Kool-Aid while pretending to be outsiders crashing the gates.  The left deserves better from its self-appointed “leaders.”

Full Court Press: Creating the Points, Part One

After taking time out from blogging, I decided that it’s time to start crafting the points discussed by Jeff Roby in his entry, “For a Full Court Press“.  This obviously isn’t going to be completed overnight.  It should be designed with as much input as is reasonable and with time enough to include all the relevant details while listening to all interested parties.  But we do need to get the ball rolling now.  Already, some states have seen their filing deadlines for Congressional races pass.  If we’re to lay the groundwork for the Full Court Press, and test it out on at least a smaller scale this year in preparation for 2012, this is the time to do it.

And so, without further adieu…

Please send money, food, and job postings.

Just when things are looking about as down for me as they can get, I find the bottom dropping out again.  I am currently registered with Cuyahoga Community College for the spring semester, reliant on what financial aid I can get to pay for classes and transportation, as well as food when money allows.  I can’t get a job.  Often,I must raid the student food bank just to have enough to eat for the week.

This past semester I learned that my financial aid would be cut off because I had reached the maximum number of course credit hours (93), and would have to file an appeal for further financial assistance.  I did that, got the paperwork months ago, got it filled out, but was told repeatedly by the financial aid office to wait until December, when grades were due to be posted.  So I handed the paperwork in on December 8th, when I was told to, and was informed that it would be two weeks for the process to be completed.

I found out yesterday that the process may take another two weeks or more, partly because of the holidays and partly because FAFSA has decided to take its sweet time.  I have until January 6th to make payment arrangements with the campus business office so I can remain registered for courses.  If I am not approved, or if I haven’t made payment arrangements by the 6th, I will be dropped from my courses and will receive no money from FAFSA.  Payment arrangements must be made with a deposit up front.

This isn’t simply a matter of wanting to remain in school to finish up the required courses to earn my degree.  It’s quite literally a matter of survival.  Because I can’t get a job (no one will hire me), financial aid is all I have to live on.  Without it, I have no money for food, no money to pay for my telephone and Internet connection – I need at least a phone line for prospective employers to get a hold of me, no money for transportation, to say nothing of money for classes and textbooks.  Everything depends on the dubious mercy of FAFSA getting around to reviewing my appeal some time after the first of the year.

So I am typing this entry now, at a public library terminal, reduced to begging you for money, food, and any job postings on Cleveland, Ohio’s west side.  Bear in mind that the only transportation I now have is my own two feet after the 31st of this month, so it has to be within a reasonable walking distance from where I live.

I am willing to provide my full name and mailing address for those of you able to donate money, food, or both.  PayPal locked me out, and I have no other online means of accepting donations.  You can reach me by e-mail here: [email protected]

I’m in a pretty dire situation, so anyone able to help out please do so.  I’m not too proud to beg, not after more than two straight years of unemployment and existing each and every day under the threat of homelessness and starvation.

Support Full Court Press Foundation-Building

I posted an entry on the Mediocre Orange Hype this morning regarding the Full Court Press, or to be more specific, laying the foundations for it.  It’s a rewrite of what was posted over at Closed Left that got me banned again.  So far the results are favorable; more people supported it at last count than not, but I want to make sure the entry makes the rec list.  If it does, more people will vote in the poll, and we’ll have a better idea of how much support there is in the blogosphere for Jeff’s Full Court Press idea.  I mean, if a large enough number of Kos readers are willing to go with Jeff’s idea, then we can certainly get large numbers of other blog readers to go with it.

Real News Network – Climate Debate

Part One (posted December 17):

More at The Real News

Part Two (posted December 18):

More at The Real News

Part Three (posted December 20):

More at The Real News

Daniel J. Weiss is making a very disingenuous argument in his “we should only go for what’s possible” approach.  He keeps falling back on the “perfect is the enemy of the good” line, as though anyone seriously expects or asks for perfection.  He also ignores that when Medicare, Social Security, the Civil Rights Act, and the Clean Air Act were passed, the political environment was very different – Republicans could be rolled far more easily than they can be today.  What’s more, by starting with the accommodation first and working down from there, substantive policies are not being passed.  Weiss doesn’t even acknowledge the obvious tactical reality at work: obviously demanding everything from the start is not going to get us everything, but it can lead us to some actual compromise that everyone can live with.  Daphne Wysham, who is advocating for stronger policies and takes the opposite argument, could have done a bit more to press the counterarguments I just mentioned, but overall it was a spirited and informative discussion.  It’s certainly nothing like what you’d see on any of the cable news programs.

A Realistic View of the Health Care Blowup

In two separate entries, here and here, Chris Bowers discussed what he feels are the likely consequences if the nightmare bill now in the Senate doesn’t pass.  He’s assumed the worst-case scenarios in every one of them, it seems, and is using them as an excuse to say we shouldn’t kill the health care reform bill in the Senate.

This to me is an utterly defeatist attitude to take.  We shouldn’t fight this because Rahm will run right-wing primary opponents against our people, something he’s already been doing for years and will do no matter what, and that’s why we should give up now?  With all due respect to Mr. Bowers, this is neither realistic or helpful.  I don’t think the people who are telling us we need to pass this bill realize what the public really thinks about health care reform or the likelihood that we will end up with something that will force us to buy unaffordable junk insurance under penalty of increased taxation we can’t afford to pay — all without doing a thing to bring down costs.

I think we have the Democrats by the gonads here, but how many of us really know it?  Every single member of the House is up for reelection next year, as is a third of the Senate.  Why can we not call them up and threaten to withdraw all support — money, votes, and campaign volunteers — if they don’t kill this bill and pass something acceptable, and then follow through on it?

We need leaders in the progressive movement, but we don’t seem to have any.  Not here, not at Kos, not at any of the other blogs, and certainly not in Congress (with the exception of Dennis Kucinich, but most people — even folk on the nominal left — treat him like a clown).  This too is unacceptable.  If we don’t fight this monstrosity now, what will we fight for?  The realistic scenarios are thus:

1.) Progressives roll over and the bill passes.  Rahm Emanuel runs right-wing candidates against progressives in next year’s primaries anyway.  We lose more ground because we’re not fighting and playing hardball, and the public doesn’t support politicians who don’t fight on its behalf.  Worse, there will be no fixing the law later, because Dems will probably be out of power for a good long time after next year and even if they keep it, the excuse will be that they’ve already done reform, so why bother going through another year of hell trying to pass a fix?

2.) The bill passes, but progressives are seen fighting it with everything they have to the bitter end.  The conservative Dems lose their seats, most progressives keep theirs, and therefore have a chance of increasing their numbers going into 2012.

3.) The bill fails, we get to start over from scratch.  This is not the nightmare scenario some people seem to think it is.  As early as February, polls were showing a majority of Americans in favor of single-payer health insurance (Source).  As recently as July, Kaiser polling was showing 58% support (Source), and if you go state by state, you’ll find that support is high (like in Pennsylvania).  Finally, has posted a six-part series showing that 2/3 of Americans really do support single payer or a public plan closer to it.*  So the chances of voters punishing Democrats for failing to pass a massive bailout of the insurance industry are actually quite low.  Chances are, however, quite high for retribution at the ballot box next year if Dems pass the monster as-is.  We have nothing to lose by killing the bill, and a lot to gain.

There really is nothing to be gained by giving in on the health care reform battle.  This close to an election year in which the public is good and angry, and we’re not going to seize the opportunity to force the conservative wing of the party to blink and do as we say?  If we fail to do this, then we really do deserve to be out of power.

So here’s the House Phone Directory and that of the Senate.  Call them up and demand that the insurance bailout dies a horrible flaming screaming death, and passage of something good, or else no money or votes next year.  Not one penny, not one ballot, goes to any Democrat who votes in favor of passing the bill.  We can do this.  We just need the will.

*: Here are the links to the series on single payer support.………………

Just in case you missed it…

Anger is flying at Mach 1,000 and everybody who isn’t a member of the Democratic leadership wants to punish the Democrats for their endless betrayals, broken promises, lies, and capitulations.  Well, I seem to remember someone posting ideas for how we can do something more than just bitch and complain.…

Just thought I’d remind you so we can start holding discussions for how we can implement these ideas.

Fake Liberals: Why They Deserve Our Scorn

It’s no secret that the far right loathes anyone and everyone to the left of Adolf Hitler.  Just try to get into one of Sarah Palin’s Nuremberg-style rallies; you’ll find plenty of evidence for that statement.  But a certain branch of liberalism is hated even by unapologetic left-wingers.

In a 1996 column by Adolph Reed, reproduced this week on, the progressive writer summarized the reason for his hatred in one paragraph:

during the ’80s liberal opinion gradually accommodated to Reaganism by sliding rightward. Two rhetorical justifications emerged for this adaptation. The Democratic Leadership Council called for a new centrism, jettisoning egalitarian politics and the constituencies identified with it. Additionally, an excesses-of-the-’60s-as-fall-from-grace fable propelled this slide and justified the smug dismissal of those of us who didn’t want to go along. This new liberalism curtly demanded that we grow up and accept the realpolitik; Reaganism was all our fault for going too far anyway.

That evaluation is echoed this week by self-professed socialist and writer Chris Hedges, who writes:

They talk about peace and do nothing to challenge our permanent war economy. They claim to support the working class, and vote for candidates that glibly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement. They insist they believe in welfare, the right to organize, universal health care and a host of other socially progressive causes, and will not risk stepping out of the mainstream to fight for them. The only talent they seem to possess is the ability to write abject, cloying letters to Barack Obama-as if he reads them-asking the president to come back to his “true” self. This sterile moral posturing, which is not only useless but humiliating, has made America’s liberal class an object of public derision.

Robert Scheer blasts Obama for wearing the mask of a reformer while continuing business as usual.  Glenn Greenwald reports on the creepy, cult-like devotion of Obama’s remaining supporters, exposing them for the false leftists they are.

Can one really begrudge these guys their bitterness?  John Conyers can bitch all he wants about everything from witnesses thumbing their noses at subpoenas to continual waffling by Obamacrats, but at the end of the day he still cannot be counted upon to actually follow through on his frustrated-sounding rhetoric.  The tired old man who had the power to start impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for two years and refused sure as hell isn’t going to start playing hardball with Hopey McChangerton now.

The same holds true for the rest of the so-called liberals, who have proven as dangerous to America and the rest of the world as any right-wing, fascist Republican.  These are the same people who regularly denounce anyone to their left as “purists,” as though not selling one’s principles for access to power is somehow a bad thing.  These are the same people who promote half measures as the only reasonable things to push for, proceed to accept less and less when told no by the powerful, and then lecture us on the left for calling them on it as though we’re made up of children who can’t handle the grim realities of political activism.

Small wonder they earn the scorn of genuine left-wingers.  Perhaps it is time for all of us who haven’t thrown away our principles to look upon these pseudo-liberals for what they are: shameless phonies masking their true right-wing ideology.

Information you might like to have direct access to.

As you may already know, I have my own blog site,  What you may not know is that soon, very soon, it might no longer be around.  To make a long story short, a while back I made an online donation to someone who'd been asking for them to maintain what he called a news web site.  I found my PayPal account banned thereafter, with the company refusing even to accept my payment information.  It turns out that the guy I gave money to runs a forum that contains adult content, and PayPal has a zero-tolerance policy for adult content.  This being the case, he is on PayPal's shit list, and anyone and everyone who donated to him is similarly locked out.  It's my own fault for not taking the time to verify where my donation through PayPal was going.  Unfortunately, it has consequences that will probably result in my blog being shut down.

 The reason for this shut-down has to do with soapblox only accepting payments through PayPal.  They don't have any other method for paying for a soapblox blog.  The issue was never resolved.  I have gone months without receiving any invoice whatsoever, since PayPal handled that matter.  Nor has the soapblox owner responded to my e-mails since earlier this year.  I don't know when or if Progressive Independence will stay past the end of the year. So before this happens, if it happens, I want to share with you the links I've set up that allow visitors and members alike to gain access to information.  The greatest weapon we on the left have is information, because voters and activists cannot accomplish anything substantive without it.  Part of P.I.'s mission involves providing the tools necessary.  In that vein, here are the links I currently have on the web site, which are below the jump.

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