Thursday, October 29, 2015

Despair From the Third Republican Debate

The responses to the third Republican debate range from “Meh, more crazy” to “These Fuckin’ People” to “It was an abomination, and it was sickening.”

I think P. M. Carpenter hit this one out of the park:
I’m plenty used to it, but there was something about tonight’s government-bashing — it’s bad, government is all bad, it’s wicked and malicious and a deliberate torment — that was indescribably disturbing and, as previously noted, deeply depressing. […] It was an abomination, and it was sickening.—P. M. Carpenter, #CNBCGOPDebate - in 25 words
Jim Wright on Facebook:
Jesus Christ, did, did he just say ... Vince Foster? Seriously? EVERYBODY SHOTGUN A FIFTH! […] I, uh, what? You know what? Fuck it, I’m calling it good. DRINK!—Jim Wright on his own Facebook open thread
Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo slips in the shiv with relative calm: The Six Worst Moments From CNBC's Very Bad Debate Night.

Crooks and Liars, CNBC Debate: It Pays To Bash The Media.

“Take demagogues seriously. Voters love them. And they’re only a joke until they win.”
Rick Perlstein

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tinfoil: Conservatopia

(an outline, perhaps to be replaced by a more complete post)

A few days ago, I tweeted: "The Republicans and conservative Democrats seem to want another Great Depression the way they want another war in the Middle East." And it's true! So I got to wondering what else they wanted that was totally insane. Here's the list I came up with:

  1. War
  2. Depression.
  3. Widespread debt servitude
  4. Privatization of education.
  5. The constant threat of lethal force in public life, both from the police and private citizens
  6. Arbitrary deportations
  7. Abrogation and repeal of the reconstruction amendments (13th, 14th, 15th) to the constitution.
  8. The reduction of Federal government authority to pre-Civil War levels
And there is nothing in that list that I haven't seen one or another Republican official advocating, sometimes from the halls of Congress.

These would lead to:

  1. The return of the segregated South.
  2. Permanent non-citizen status for the children of non-citizens.
  3. Social insurance at the state level only
  4. The restriction of education to the wealthy.
  5. A resurgence of diseases long controlled.
  6. The collapse of Federal regulatory authority
  7. The emergence of multiple currencies.
  8. No effective law enforcement on very wealth individuals and businesses
  9. No effective regulation of the business cycle.
  10. The collapse of interstate and international trade, as products of unknown provenance can no longer be trusted
  11. National economic collapse.
This makes no sense, unless I imagine the there is a faction in the Republicans that is willing to see the USA destroyed, rather than continue as a powerful and prosperous Republic.

F—, what? I mean, really, what?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Not Tinfoil: the names of our betters

And then along comes this article from the New York Times:
Just 158 families, along with companies they own or control, contributed $176 million in the first phase of the [Presidential] campaign.
And, as RH Reality Check points out, two of the biggest are anti-abortion.

Thanks. We needed that.

Tinfoil: Biden His Time

Why is it that Obama is weakly criticizing Hillary Clinton and, apparently, supporting Joseph Biden?

Maybe I know. Maybe…

It's the same faction which kept the administration from prosecuting the banksters, back when. I do not know what hold the financial services industry has over Obama, but it is profound. Biden, long-time senator from Delaware, is also the banks' man, who has to his name some of the nastiest consumer banking law "reforms." Perhaps this shadowy faction prefers their old friend Biden to Hilary Clinton who, although fiscally conservative, is perhaps not entirely their woman.

Perhaps, perhaps…

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tinfoil Hat: The Edge of Collapse

How is it that the United States, a once-prosperous and still powerful nation, is teetering on the edge of internal collapse?

The economy is, and remains, in trouble, with employment low and salaries dropping. (Read Brad Delong's Macro Situation: Things Are Profoundly Different Today from What 10 Years Ago We Thought Would Be.) The wealth of the broad middle of the US population has been looted, leaving an impoverished majority and an extremely wealthy minority. Equally the country has been looted of industrial capital—the organizations, property, and financial systems that made the USA in its time an industrial powerhouse. Extensive propaganda has persuaded a substantial minority of the USA that all the achievements of the past 50 years are of no value, and increasingly incites terrorism. Given the opportunity, this minority would secede.

It is hard for me to believe that this is accidental. The very rich are tearing the economic system apart, and much of that can be ascribed to simple greed. But that the tearing works to impoverish the whole system? The reactionary politics? The paralysis of all the  systems that might hold things together? That all this occurs at the same time?

So let us posit, for a moment, that this is not coincidence but conspiracy. The goal of the conspiracy would be to establish a new aristocracy; a society in which all the wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few. Who are the conspirators? Multiple, I would expect, and with conflicting goals. Oh, they are united in their goal of aristocracy, to be sure. But they all want to rule. No democracy here! Each family for itself and conflict even within families.

And the outcome? Failure and social dissolution. The industrial capitalism that made the 20th century wealthy depends on involving vast numbers of people as designers, makers, and consumers. With the majority impoverished, that fails and the wealth goes. It may be possible to maintain a wealthy technologically-advanced society with many fewer people than are currently required, but no-one knows how, and I see no indication that the very-wealthy have such a secret; they fantasize only.

Ah, well. It is also possible to believe in coincidence. And even if there is no coincidence, this plot may fail. It will, certainly, lead to unpredictable consequences. It is fiction, after all, that has to make sense; real life is much wilder.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jeremy Corbyn - Not a Radical

"OMG - he's read Karl Marx.  He even says that Labour owes a debt to Karl Marx.  He must be a Commie."

Not even close, honey.  The real Communists are all screaming he's not remotely radical enough.

Radical left?  Faugh!  I will believe radical left when I see Chris Marsden elected to head Labour.

Fuck nuance.  Corbyn's no radical; he's a moderate democratic socialist.  "Pragmatic" political responses from the Democratic Party has left the USA on the verge of fascism (what else is Trump?) and with the Democrats  so weak that even their supporters have trouble voting for them.  It was the same with New Labour.  Concession after concession was made to the Tories, and in the end Labour was a center-right party.  Unsurprisingly, their leadership has finally got booted.  Why, one might begin to suspect that pragmatism and nuance are just political covers for something darker.

Now, with Murdoch media and the crappy voting systems in both countries—worse in the UK, where an entire party hated by a huge majority can come to power—this may fail.  But he's no dangerous radical. You're looking for David Cameron.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

On the topic of the day: guns, guns, guns, guns, guns


Political response

A few facts, in case anyone actually cares about them

Things that might actually help

And th-th-that's all folks!

Excuse me, I'm going to go wash my brain.