Tag: Status Quo

Obama sacks cabinet, pledges not to run in 2012.


In a bid to pre-empt popular uprisings from far-flung regions of the imploding empire over which he presides, President Barack Obama has fired his entire cabinet and promised not to run again for President in 2012.  


In reality, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Care Bear has decided to test the Ghandi-an peace dividends of Egyptian blood-letting, in order to, as usual, preserve the status quo.  Gomer Pyle was reported as saying, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”  I suppose Cairo is the New Gaza Annex.

Fuck the U.S., Israeli, and Egyptian governments.  May they get in their asses what they give.  God bless the inevitability of history, and amen.

In related news, today’s quote of the day comes from monsieur IOZ:

Growing up Is Hard to Do

Obviously, Islam needs to make its peace with modernity and democracy.

-Robert Kagan, quoted by Maureen Dowd

This is a standard variant on a common observation in the West, that Islam is effectively unmodern, that it is mired in a sort of pre-Reformation dark age, as opposed to what used to be called Christendom, which through religious reformation paved the way for modern nations and Enlightenment and democracy and all that. Leaving aside the weirdness of this characterization of Islam, as a normative history of the Christian West, it is totally crackpot, an attention-deficient skipping stone leaping from the Henry’s first divorce to the Peace of Westphalia to Jean Monet and leaving out everything else in between. In this history, the wars of religion never occurred, there was no Terror, no Napoleon, no Somme, and no Holocaust. The modern western mind is mostly notable in civilizational history for its colossal contribution of violence and destruction. I mean, I guess it’s true that the occasional stoning-to-death of an adulterer is indicative of a somewhat atavistic mind, but by that light, the principal characteristic of modernity is its commitment to the slaughter of millions through the advent of mechanized warfare. Wait, oh, uh, whut? Hang on guys, there’s a transmission coming through. It’s a little fuzzy. You say . . . you say that is the principal characteristic of modernity. Oh, shit. Europe “made peace with democracy” by slaughtering two generations its youth.

How to Murder a Third Party

Cross-posted at Progressive Blue and several other places.

Actually the list of ways to kill off competition from Parties that represent the people is endless. When it comes to getting things done, taking out Third Parties has been one place where the two power parties has always preformed to the utmost of their ability and this is just one New York story.

Some states have evolved Fusion Parties in an attempt to get out from under the scrutiny of these power happy keepers of the plutocracy. One of these upstanding parties is The Working Families Party that has some presence in New York State. They stand for progressive values and labor union rights but this party has endorsed Andrew Cuomo. Reading Cuomo Vows Offensive Against Labor Unions it seems mysterious that the Working Families Party would place Cuomo on the ticket.

Andrew M. Cuomo  will mount a presidential-style permanent political campaign to counter the well-financed labor unions he believes have bullied previous governors and lawmakers into making bad decisions. He will seek to transform the state’s weak business lobby into a more formidable ally, believing that corporate leaders in New York have virtually surrendered the field to big labor.

By following the explanation of Celeste Katz who writes The Daily Politic at the New York Daily News the mystery is solved. Did you know that the Working Families Party has to receive 50,000 votes in the governors race this year to be on the ticket in 2010? Not getting those 50,000 (and it was because of Andrew Cuomo) was how the Liberal Party lost a column in New York State and later withered and died.  

The short version is that Andrew Cuomo used that 50,000 hurdle to blackmail the Working Families Party but below the fold I’ll follow the full explanation by Celeste Katz to understand how a union hating gubernatorial candidate got the endorsement of a party that is suppose to represent labor.

Fire Under Their Seats – Pt 4: Progressives & The Democratic Party

This is the fourth and last segment of Paul Jay’s interview of journalism professor Jeff Cohen of FAIR and the Park Center for Independent Media.

In Part 3 Cohen talked about the struggle for power and direction within the Democratic Party from the days of the Viet Nam War to the present, and wound up with “Frankly… I would love to see a primary challenge to Obama when he’s up for re-election… Because unless you build a base through elections and then you hold the officials accountable, then you’ll never get anywhere.

Here in the conclusion of the interview Cohen expands on those ideas and fills in some of the outlines to draw a rough set of guidelines or roadmap of how to get from where things stand now with the Democrats as out and out corporatists to a world of the kind of progressive populism they have been well known for at various points in history, and how it is going to take a no more Mr. Nice Guy approach from progressives and a lot of very hardnosed and fearless aggressiveness, of the kind that I think  Muhammad Ali meant when he noted so many years ago “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.

Real News Network – February 6, 2010

Cohen: Far right Republicans are dangerous, but also need to primary against corporate Democrats

Part 1 of this interview is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

Fire In The Belly – Pt 3: Progressives & The Democratic Party

Journalism professor Jeff Cohen of FAIR and the Park Center for Independent Media on the struggle within the Democratic Party, starting from the Viet Nam War:

There’s no doubt that there’s an awakening. What concerns me is that the liberal base, the Democratic Party base, has never been more educated, in my view, and that’s because of the independent media. The democratic base is against an imperial foreign policy. The democratic base is for real medicare for all, or at least the strongest public option that would really hurt private insurance. There’s an understanding of history, and again it’s largely because the independent media is giving us the news in real time, every day when we click on the computer and we watch Real News, we watch Democracy Now.

What hasn’t translated is while we have this boom in independent media on the Internet, we don’t have a boom of independent politics.

What I believe are needed are new groups, that will be on the Internet, mobilizing the millions to make the kinds of demands of the Democrats that the right wing base, which has clearly transformed the country, the right wing base in the Republican Party not only took over a major party, they haven’t let up on that party until their agenda is put in place, whereas on our side we don’t have that.

What needs to happen, this is what a few groups are doing, Progressive Democrats of America is one, the idea is we need to take over that major political party.

When people talk about change, and then they deliver only for insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street, you vote them out. You primary them. You know this is what the right wing has done for decades. It’s what they’re doing now.

What we get from MoveOn historically and other groups is apologies for democratic office holders who have faked left with their rhetoric and then governed for big business. And what we need is to primary these people.

Frankly… I would love to see a primary challenge to Obama when he’s up for re-election.

Because unless you build a base through elections and then you hold the officials accountable, then you’ll never get anywhere.

Real News Network – February 6, 2010

This is Part 3. Part 1 of this interview is here. Part 2 is here.

Part 4 is still to come…

Pt 2: Progressives and the Democratic Party

Here is the second part of Paul Jay’s talk with journalism professor Jeff Cohen of FAIR and the Park Center for Independent Media.

Cohen here goes into much more depth about the history and the evolution of the corporate influences that took took both Democrats and Republicans to the far right in a long attempt beginning in the late 1960’s and 70’s at taking over the Republican Party, at marginalizing the left, the antiwar movement, and progressives, and then a corporate movement beginning in the 80’s to coopt the Democratic Party, and how we got into the current political situation.

Real News Network – February 3, 2010

Part 1 of this interview is here.

Part 3 is still to come…

Progressives and the Democratic Party

Jeff Cohen is a media critic and lecturer, founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, a national center for the study of media outlets that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems and news organizations, where he is an associate professor of journalism.

Cohen also founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986.

Here Cohen talks with Paul Jay of The Real News about the larger significance and social context of the Massachusetts election, about the message of “change” that has been a staple of Democratic candidates for decades, and about the the term “swing voter” and what it means in the context of today’s politics, and concludes that the key attribute of swing voters is that they are not ideological at all, and that if Obama and the Democrats don’t deliver real change they will simply vote against them.

In other words it seems that people like your average (if there is such a thing) DD’er are representative of a very large segment of the population, and hold the future of political parties in their hands, from what Cohen is saying here.

He also tackles the question of why it is that Democrats seem to be never able to deliver on their messages of change, and comes out with some very interesting observations.

Cohen’s own site is JeffCohen.org

Real News Network – February 2, 2010

I get the strange feeling for some reason that Cohen might have been reading DD and places like it.

Part 2 of this interview is here.

Framing — the Final Frontier

also posted on on dkos


Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.


a frame refers to the way media and media gatekeepers organize and present the events and issues they cover, and the way audiences interpret what they are provided. Frames are abstract notions that serve to organize or structure social meanings. Frames […] not only tells what to think about, but also how to think about it.


Lobbyists up, voters down. Status quo kicking and screaming

Crosspsoted at daily kos

Top 5 Lobbyists for the First Quarter of 2009

1. Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A.: $9,996,000

2. Exxon Mobil: $9,320,000

3. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America: $6,910,000

4. Chevron U.S.A. Inc: $6,800,000

5. Lockheed Martin Corporation: $6,380,000

    No wonder there are so many alternatives to real reform and real change. If the buck stops in Washington the buck started in a lobbyists briefcase.

    Simply put, if they can afford to lobby, they can afford to change.

    This goes for every Special Interest and every Big Business. While they fight change and kick and scream we here in Real America are fucking dying. We are dying while fighting your wars, we are dying waiting for health care reform, we are going broke waiting for Wall St to clean up it’s act, to make a long point short, Americans know you have the money, and now it is time to ante up.

The Party of NO, is Fighting for the Status Quo

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a Talking Point War, developing around the “validity” of the Public Option.

There is very much at stake in this inevitable War of Words — not least of which is YOUR Future Health, Wealth, and peace of mind.

Of course, the forces of the Status Quo, will do everything within their Financial Power, to convince you that a non-profit “Public Option” in Health Care — is against your best interests!  That it is anti-American!That a Public Option is somehow an “inferior” product.  (says who, btw?)

Just don’t buy what their selling, because really it’s someone else’s “best interests” that those Talking Point warriors, really have in mind:

Beware of Big Business’ next “Bait and Switch”!  

(Whether it be some amorphous “co-op” idea, or some other shiny object, like promising to finally “play nicely now”.)

Your victory garden and your local farmer can change the world

     The concept is very simple. You are what you eat.

     Economically speaking, this also means that you are what you consume.

    Since consumer spending makes up over 70% of our national eonomy, logic dictates that the smarter, healthier and more sustainable our purchasing is as individuals, the more sustainable and strong our national economy will become.

    The simple ripples in the water can have drastic effects, in the long run.

     So, here’s what we do.

    If Americans ate less meat, less fast food and manufactured food and instead ate more locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as whatever food you can grow yourself, we could bring about the change we need without having to wait for anyone to take the lead.

    Simple changes to your daily diet, even if done in moderation, combined with enough people doing the same thing can literally change the world.

Obama’s Victory a Loss for Progressives

Virtually everyone, it seems, is cheering the electoral victory of Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race. The obvious exception is the Republican Party, which is likely to shift even further to the right in the halls of power due to moderate and semi-moderate GOPers losing out to Democratic challengers, but that’s a given.  You can count on them being the most obstructionist minority party in Congress since the Gingrich revolution in 1994, laying the groundwork for a similar event in 2010.

That’s to be expected.  What seems to be going ignored in the victory celebration is that the increased Democratic majority is prepared to waste the next two years accommodating this obstructionism.  Nancy Pelosi, who fended off a challenge from independent Cindy Sheehan, proudly boasted that Democrats would legislate from the right, not the left (though she called it the “middle”).

This should be the first sign that progressives frittered away their chance to shape the political landscape.  Don’t count on Senate capitulation leader Harry Reid to suddenly grow a pair or the Democratic Caucus to cease coddling Joe LIEberman now that the majority has been expanded; electoral fraud is likely responsible for the failure to win the filibuster-proof number of sixty senators, but even if Democrats had gotten it, Reid has bent over backwards to please GOPers and refused to enforce party discipline within his own ranks.  The result, as it was in 2006, is a Senate paralyzed by Republican obstructionism and Democratic appeasement.

We have a president-elect who is prepared to name Rahm Emanuel, a top-ranking Bush Dog, as his chief of staff.  Robert Rubin, a top architect of Clintonian economics and welfare-gutting, is on Obama’s economic advisory team, as are a number of other corporate marketeers.  Don’t expect sound environmental, health care, economic, or energy policy from the White House.  Nor should you expect an end to the occupation of Iraq, the unconditional support of the Israeli apartheid state, the lifting of the embargo on Cuba, or a shift away from imperialism.  There has been nothing in Obama’s campaign or his legislative record to suggest he’ll suddenly do a 180 now that he is prepared to inherit the presidency.

Nothing is more indicative of this than the popular vote.  Obama received a pitiful 51% to Republican John McCain’s 48%, a mere three percent difference.  The new president is smart; he knows just as much as the Republicans do that this election was not a huge repudiation of Bush policies.  Obama did not win so much as McCain lost, and he knows it.  He’ll govern from the right to appease his corporate backers.

We had what was probably our last, best chance this year to force Democrats back to the left.  We blew it.  Neither Obama or the Democrats have any incentive now to even listen to us, to say nothing of governing from the left.  What, then, is our recourse?

We can still walk away from the Democratic Party, and we must do so if we are to have any hope of salvaging the progressive movement.  We must build locally, work our way up to state-level, and finally, organize at the national level.  At this point it’s all we’ve got left.  Enjoy your celebration, for the hangover we’re about to suffer is going to be a long one.