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As Maine Goes So Goes the Nation

November 4, 2009

If that old saw is true, I guess that means we’re a nation of dope smoking free spenders who are absolutely petrified of the gay. Because yesterday Maine voters said “Smoke ’em if you got ’em” to a new medical marijuana referendum, soundly trounced two anti-tax referenda which would have slashed revenue to the point that Maine became a third world state like California and yet these same voters said yes to a referendum overturning the law allowing same-sex marriage which had been passed by the legislature six months before.

Now if this was just the mouth-breathing tea-bagger crowd showing up in force in an off-year election you’d think their knee jerk reaction would have been to pass the anti-tax initiatives and vote down the demon weed too. But that isn’t what happened. Turnout was actually very high. The Globe article linked to above lists turnout at 53% and headlines on the papers this morning in Maine put it at over 60% which in many places is a lot even for a presidential election year. So it wasn’t just one faction showing up to vote and people did put at least some thought into their decisions. So why did voters make sensible decisions concerning taxes and drug policy and yet get confused about what the notion of equality means? This bit from the Globe article explains a lot:

Among the Stand for Marriage supporters were Scott York, 31, a carpenter who voted at the Portland Exposition Building. He said he wasn’t particularly passionate about the issue until he worried, because of advertisements, that same-sex marriage could be taught in schools.

“It’s not my style,’’ said York, who voted to overturn the law. “I just don’t feel it should be taught.’’

That’s right. Thanks to a campaign of fearmongering, insinuation, and blatant falsehood the Yes on 1 campaign was able to convince enough people who otherwise wouldn’t have cared one way or the other that when they asked little Johnny and Susie “What did you learn in school today?” the answer would be that right after gym period they went to their new class on Same Sex Sodomy and Cunnilingus Within the Confines of Marriage 101.

And who exactly were the Yes on 1 campaign? For the most part they weren’t Mainers as the campaign was heavily funded from outside the state by the National Organization for Marriage, the same troglodytes who funded the Prop 8 campaign last November in California. They were able to scare just enough people through blatantly false radio ads and cowardly robocalls that there was a movement afoot to turn everyone gay by any means necessary.

Maine could have upheld it’s motto of “Dirigo” (which means “I lead”) yesterday by becoming the first state in the nation whose citizens and legislature voted for equal marriage rights for everyone.

But they chose bigotry instead.

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42 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    November 4, 2009 11:23 am

    Fuck the stupid Mormons and everyone else who funded this blatantly dishonest campaign against same-sex marriage. I suspect that those who rail against this issue so fervently doth protest a bit too much if you know what I mean. Punky’s Whips comes to mind.

    I AIN’T QUEER
    I AIN’T GAY
    (He’s a little fond of chiffon in a wrist array-ee-ay-ee-ay)

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 4, 2009 2:18 pm

      Bozzio is an amazing drummer. That song pretty much says it all. Glad to see the old timers back on the road with Dweezil.

      Here’s a flashback to one of those early lineups with Bozzio on drums

      It is too bad that the majority of Mainers, like the Californians last year, couldn’t choose to lead on equality and civil rights when they had the chance to shine. Not only is there still too much fear and loathing and gullibility to false persuasion as your post correctly notes, but given the general malaise of the society, I think the generosity of the American spirit is lost. We are as broken and fractured as our institutions.

      This is a really fine post you’ve written. Thanks for sharing a local point of view.

  2. cometman permalink*
    November 4, 2009 1:45 pm

    While the gonzo journalism style of Matt Taibbi, zerohedge and others has been tremendous in bringing much needed attention to the shady and flat out illegal dealings of Goldman Sax, it’s also nice to see more sedate media outlets like McClatchy continue the pounding. Greg Gordon at McClatchy has been writing a series of articles on the rat fuckers at Goldman over the last week or so. Stemella linked to the first two in the comment section of this post and now there are two more out.

    Goldman left foreign investors holding the subprime bag

    And a new one from today – Why did blue-chip Goldman take a walk on subprime’s wild side? This ones describes how Goldman bought repackaged and resold loans they knew to be faulty. This part stuck out for a couple of reasons:

    Goldman has yet to explain why it risked its blue-chip reputation and financial health to buy and repackage at least $135 billion in loans mostly originated by companies that have since gone bust.

    Goldman spokesman Michael DuVally stressed, however, that the firm “was not the largest purchaser of loans from any of these mortgage originators, and in some cases was actually quite a small purchaser.”

    First off, that excuse sounds a lot like a father-to-be trying to claim they aren’t responsible for a pregnancy because they only put the tip in.

    Secondly, how the hell does Goldman know whether they are the biggest purchaser or not? Throughout this whole bailout the public has been denied information on exactly who purchased what bad assets and how many were still on their books. So has Goldman been privy to info on other private companies whose business practices are supposed to be confidential, which is the excuse we often hear for not making the bailout information public? And if so how did they get the info? If it was freely shared with them then maybe that’s something an attorney familiar with collusion might want to look into. And if they got the info surreptitiously, some of the other parties involved may be very interested to find out who was responsible for the corporate espionage that leaked info to Goldman.

    Of course, there is always the distinct possibility that Goldman was the biggest player and they’re simply lying through their fucking teeth. Wouldn’t be the first time. Or the hundredth time either.

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 4, 2009 2:51 pm

      GS and espionage – data mining – revolving door with the government – FISA – total information awareness – HFT supercomputers – dots connecting – money flowing rapidly and it ain’t trickling down nohow.

      conspiracy? it’s a theory and if anyone can prove it, it will be tyler durden

  3. Stemella permalink*
    November 5, 2009 7:57 am

    Here’s a clever chart of a variety of econ and finance blogs and bloggers laid out as a Periodic Table of Bloggers

    And here’s Naked Capitalism’s take on the Jeebus lusts Banksters story

    On Invoking God to Defend Mammon

  4. Stemella permalink*
    November 5, 2009 8:21 am

    McClatchy has yet another excellent article, this time about the demise of the smaller banks and the ongoing commercial real estate debacle

    Small banks didn’t cause the mess, but no bailout for them

    • cometman permalink*
      November 5, 2009 10:59 am

      Can’t help but think letting the small banks fail is deliberate. The little guys go down while the big banks get bigger. At the same time states can’t pay their bills and start selling off assets, as Pam Martens notes today.

      The fire sale is being stoked by unprecedented state and local revenue shortfalls. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), “the worst recession since the 1930s has caused the steepest decline in state tax receipts on record…48 states have addressed or still face such shortfalls in their budgets for fiscal year 2010, totaling $178 billion…the largest gaps on record…Fiscal year 2011 gaps – both those still open and those already addressed — total $80 billion or 14 percent of budgets for the 35 states that have estimated the size of these gaps. These totals are likely to grow as revenues continue to deteriorate, and may well exceed $180 billion…These numbers suggest that when all is said and done, states will have dealt with a total budget shortfall of at least $350 billion for 2010 and 2011.”

      Ironically, $350 billion is exactly half the amount the Federal government doled out to the Wall Street gang that proceeded to pay million dollar bonuses, fly staff to lush resorts, or slap logos on sports stadiums.

      We’ve discussed at length that it didn’t have to be this way, that the few large banks could have been allowed to go under while assisting the small banks and individual citizens who played by the rules in order to keep the economy from collapsing, but the oligarchs are calling all the shots and using the problem they created to fuck over everybody else.

      Just like Naomi Klein talked about in “Shock Doctrine”, except instead of the oligarchs foisting disastrous economic policies on third world countries for their own benefit, now there doing it here.

  5. cometman permalink*
    November 5, 2009 8:30 am

    One ex-GoldSucker down from their position of power (and about 73546 more to go). I see that Corzine lost the governor’s race in NJ the other day. I don’t know anything about that particular race but I wonder if his defeat had anything to do with backlash against his old employer.

    Of course the republican who won looks like some wiseguy who just finished whacking somebody and stopped off for a few canolis on his way to the state house, but hey in NJ maybe that’s considered a good qualification for office. But I’m sure he’s a wonderful man who loves his family and goes to church every Sunday…

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 6, 2009 6:08 am

      The last paragraph made me laugh. Sounds like you channeled Tony Soprano. :)

      From reading about the corruption of NJ politics, involvement in illicit organ trading, and ever other sort of shady crap, it is no surprise they’d boot the bankster and go for a different flavor of gangster. I’m sure Corzine will return to Wall St now to further increase his fortunes in the ways he knows best. I wonder if he will be taken back under the tentacles of Goldie? Or perhaps he never truly left.

      • cometman permalink*
        November 6, 2009 8:53 am

        I’m guessing it’s the latter. Can’t have people who know too much walking around with the rest of us.

  6. cometman permalink*
    November 5, 2009 8:36 am

    Jon Stewart summed up what happened in Maine with the Question 1 issue brilliantly last night.

    Here’s the clip – Can’t Get Queer from Here.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 5, 2009 10:35 am

      Here’s another take on the Question 1 issue in Maine and it makes a similar point the the clip above, arguing that the pro- gay marriage advocates were a little too nice and didn’t call out those trying to use religion as a shield on their bigotry.

      Contrast this to Maine, where the Portland Archdiocese put up 1/5 of the cash for the anti-gay side, yet most pro-gay forces refused to call out church leaders for their support of bigotry, let alone blatant violation of their non-profit status. Pro-gay marches and rallies? From what we could see they didn’t happen – except in distant Washington, DC.

      There was some pushback however that maybe the author wasn’t aware of. I heard that a Catholic priest in the midcoast region of the state was proselytizing against gay marriage and his congregation walked out on him on a Sunday morning. But I don’t know if it got any media attention and obviously it wasn’t enough.

      Thayer is dead on with this part however.

      No article about the Question 1 debacle would be complete without commenting about the AWOL status of President “I’ll be a fierce advocate” for gay rights Obama. A few days ago when asked President Obama’s position on Question 1, a spokesman said the White House had “no position” on the initiative.

      This is actually a step backwards from the convoluted position that candidate Obama had prior to November, when he quietly told gay audiences that he opposed anti-gay initiatives while at the same time not being in favor of our right to marry.

      So while the fierce advocate made multiple trips to New Jersey attempting to give life to a corrupt sitting Governor’s reelection campaign, he wasn’t willing to spend a dime’s worth of political capital on the rights of LGBT people. “Fierce advocate” my ass.

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 6, 2009 6:10 am

      There are some times when Stewart distills reality in a way that no one else can come close. He and his writers really are brilliant. His satire and Colbert’s comedy of the absurd are preventive medicine for the mind in these trying times.

  7. cometman permalink*
    November 5, 2009 9:34 am

    Interesting article from Counterpunch on economist Raul Prebisch – The Great Heretic.

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 6, 2009 6:33 am

      Great review of Prebisch’s life and work. This part stood out for me:

      It was also in Geneva that Prebisch came to understand, as Dosman puts it, that “the currency of international trade was power, and the ‘market’ concealed the power relationships that stratified the global system into a core of dominant subjects with a band of heterogeneous peripheral objects.” From 1921, Prebisch began to use the metaphor of core and periphery to describe the geography of international trade, with the core being Europe and the U.S. and the periphery being the rest of the planet (what Marx called the “peasant nations”).

      I wonder what Prebisch would have thought of the recent rise of Brazil among the BRIC nations and the other Latin American nations, which are uniting to throw off the mantle of being peripheral objects to the US Empire. I’m guessing he’d be pleased.

      • cometman permalink*
        November 6, 2009 8:58 am

        I bet he would be. I recognized the guy’s name but I never really knew much about him until reading the article. Might have to add the biography on him that’s linked at the end of the article to my Festivus list.

  8. cometman permalink*
    November 5, 2009 11:08 am

    Now the worthless Congress has gone out of its way to condemn the Goldstone report which accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes. And they aren’t condemning it because Hamas was included.

    Shame on the House of Representatives, and on the Democratic leadership of the House, for pushing through a resolution once again blindly taking the side of Israeli aggression.

    I’m referring to the vote on Tuesday, by a lopsided 344-to-36 margin*, to condemn the Goldstone report on Gaza.

    Good speech by Kucinich in the article, one of the few who voted against the measure. I know a lot of people scoff, but I’m damn glad I voted for that man for president last year.

  9. cometman permalink*
    November 5, 2009 11:35 am

    Cassandra is warning again about the bullshit carbon trading scheme which is supposed to somehow reduce pollution by allowing companies to continue to pollute, but nobody seems to be listening.

    This Harpers article from almost two years ago now warned about the green economy being the next economic bubble boodoggle, we noted in June in the comments of the Go Fish post how some really bad actors were positioning themselves to profit by speculating on carbon credits or the green economy or whatever the hell you want to call it, and Matt Taibbi mentioned it again this past July.

    Today I ran across this Guardian article where Friends of the Earth has issued a report saying the exact same thing.

    The world’s carbon trading markets growing complexity threatens another “sub-prime” style financial crisis that could again destabilise the global economy, campaigners warn today.

    In a new report, Friends of the Earth says that to date “cap and trade” carbon markets have done almost nothing to reduce emissions but have been plagued by inefficiency and corruption that render them unfit for purpose.

    ~snip~

    …FoE fears that the area has been hijacked by speculators on the financial markets. Sarah-Jayne Clifton, the report’s author, said: “The majority of the trade is carried out not between polluting industries and factories covered by carbon trading schemes, but by banks and investors who profit from speculation on the carbon markets – packaging carbon credits into increasingly complex financial products similar to the ‘shadow finance’ around sub-prime mortgages which triggered the recent economic crash.”

    Unfortunately I didn’t see a link to the actual report in the article which I’d like to read.

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 6, 2009 6:46 am

      Here is the report, in pdf

      Smaller, Simpler and More Stable: Designing carbon markets for environmental and financial integrity

      And their home page Friends of the Earth

      • cometman permalink*
        November 6, 2009 9:28 am

        Thanks for finding that for my lazy self :)

        Never knew there was an acid rain market. Sounds like that market was smaller and was not exploited to a great extent but the report doesn’t really go into whether that market really achieved the objective of reducing acid rain. I know we don’t hear about it much any more but that doesn’t necessarily mean it still isn’t a problem. The report mentions factories began using different types of fuel that emitted less sulfur but couldn’t that have been achieved by simply banning the more hazardous fuels outright? And is the problem really fixed or is it just raining acid on some other part of the world? To me that would seem to be the problem with carbon trading. If one company uses less they just sell the right for others to pollute more somewhere else.

        The report made several good recommendations – not allowing offsets at all would be a good idea. And their point about the liquidity of carbon markets was spot on – an extremely liquid market for carbon trading is not a good thing and it should be difficult for those who want to pollute more to find enough people to sell them credits. Otherwise it sort of defeats the whole purpose.

        The thing that discourages me is that even as well-intentioned as this report is and even though they do say certain regulations should be made whether the bankers like them or not, it still discusses the issue in the bankers’ and oligarchs’ terms of some sort of “free market” solution.

        I think it’s time to call bullshit on that idea once and for all because the supposed “free market” is what has put so much life on this planet in such a perilous position to begin with. Stop the “trade” and just institute the “cap” part with lower limits for everyone every year. We already have the technology to drastically reduce emissions from what I understand, and learning to do without a few things would help tremendously as well. How many coal burning power plants do we use just to provide air conditioning in hotels rooms, to name just one example?

  10. cometman permalink*
    November 5, 2009 1:09 pm

    Glenn Greenwald weighs in on the recent conviction in Italy of 22 CIA agents. I can’t even think of an epithet harsh enough to describe the corporate tools Greenwald describes who think this is somehow unfair:

    …this incident underscores — yet again — that our political and media elite simply do not believe in the rule of law or accountability for high government officials. To the contrary, they explicitly believe that such officials should be entitled to break the law and be exempt from consequences. As but one example, here’s a discussion on CNN last night about this matter between Wolf Blitzer and Jeffrey Toobin:

    TOOBIN: This is a real criminal conviction in a country where we tend to honor reciprocal legal arrangements. So they are in a — they are in no jeopardy as long as they are inside the United States, but, if they were to leave, they are potentially at risk for being jailed and brought to Italy.

    BLITZER: Because even if they went to a third country, like England, let’s say, or France, Interpol could have a warrant out for their arrest. They have been convicted by an Italian court.

    TOOBIN: That’s why this is such — so troubling. It would one thing if they only had to stay out of Italy, but, because of Interpol, because of the reciprocal nature of these agreements, they are potentially at risk almost anywhere they go.

    Gee, Jeffy, would they be at risk of someone grabbing them off the street, putting them in prison and them fucking them up to find out who put them up to grabbing someone off the street, throwing that person in prison and fucking them up ? What goddamned bizarro world do these people live in?

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 6, 2009 6:48 am

      Bush world – permanent Bush world, full of clowns and madmen

  11. cometman permalink*
    November 5, 2009 1:17 pm

    Maher Arar’s case against the US government for sending him to Syria to be tortured has been shamefully and disgracefully dismissed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Chris Floyd discusses it here. The basics of the case:

    He [Arar] is the innocent Canadian man who was seized by U.S officials on his way back to Canada and then, at the order of the Justice Department, “renditioned” to Syria, where it was known that the authorities would torture the alleged “terrorist.” They did, brutally. He was finally released, and his innocence was confirmed by the Canadian government, which paid him some $9 million for its part in his ordeal. – The United States, on the other hand, made no apologies, no restitution; instead, the government has resolutely blocked any attempt by Arar to seek justice in American courts.

    Two other pieces on the case from Glenn Greenwald and from Scott Horton.

    The 9th circle of hell is far too nice a place to deposit the torturers in the US government and everyone else who goes out of their way to ignore the law and protect them from accountability.

  12. Stemella permalink*
    November 6, 2009 6:51 am

    Yet another story that makes one wish there was growth in the guillotine manufacturing industry

    Goldman, Fed, Citi Getting Preferential Allotments of H1N1 Vaccine

    The mind reels.

    Speaking of swine, google has a little map widget thing where you can track the flu as it dominates the planet

    Flu trends

    • cometman permalink*
      November 6, 2009 9:43 am

      RRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Someone must have thought vaccinating the pigs at the trough first would allow immunity to trickle down to the rest of us. Absolutely maddening.

  13. Stemella permalink*
    November 6, 2009 7:01 am

    And more about swine news,

    Banks Thwarting Feinberg Pay Model by Changing Bonus Formulas

    And this comes as a shock to Feinberg? Hardly. All this focus on salary and bonuses for only one year from the O-ministration is such a stupid waste of time. Until they regulate and enforce the underlying practices of legalized cheating and theft, separate the banks from the casinos, the game of class warfare will go on unabated. Wait, that is the game they took office to play, isn’t it.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 6, 2009 9:52 am

      Not sure why anybody seriously thought capping salaries would do a damn bit of good. Just another measure to make it seem like they were serious about doing something. If they really were serious, Obama and Congress would say flat out that nobody is going to shed any tears for people who simply can’t manage to live on 5 or 10 million per year and then tax the shit out of any compensation over that amount. I mean, we’re at WAR right????? If they aren’t going to end that anytime soon, then at least use it as an excuse to raise taxes on the super rich to at least the level they were taxed under Reagan. I’d love to see the banksters and the freemarketeers and the republicans have to argue that St. Ronnie was some kind of commie too for denying them what was rightfully theirs.

  14. Stemella permalink*
    November 6, 2009 7:11 am

    Official national unemployment now at 10.2%.

    Here’s the press release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

    In October, the number of unemployed persons increased by 558,000 to 15.7 million. The unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point to 10.2 percent, the highest rate since April 1983. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 8.2 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 5.3 percentage points. (See table A-1.)

    Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (10.7 per-cent) and whites (9.5 percent) rose in October. The jobless rates for adult women (8.1 percent), teenagers (27.6 percent), blacks (15.7 percent), andHispanics (13.1 percent) were little changed over the month. The unemployment rate for Asians was 7.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

    The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed over the month at 5.6 million. In October, 35.6 percent of
    unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more. (See table A-9.)

    The civilian labor force participation rate was little changed over the month
    at 65.1 percent. The employment-population ratio continued to decline in
    October, falling to 58.5 percent. (See table A-1.)

    The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in October at 9.3 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-5.)

    About 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in October, reflecting an increase of 736,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-13.)

    Among the marginally attached, there were 808,000 discouraged workers in October, up from 484,000 a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The other 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in October had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

    Here’s the page for the alternative measures (U1 – U6) which give a more complete view of un and underemployment: Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization for States

    Meanwhile Productivity is soaring! Up 9.5%!! It’s amazing how you can force people to kill themselves working for you with the threats of pink slips, stagnant wages and firing most of their co-workers.

  15. cometman permalink*
    November 6, 2009 9:54 am

    The situation is Honduras is still one big clusterfuck but at least Zelaya has manged not to have some sort of “accident” since he made it back to the country.

  16. cometman permalink*
    November 6, 2009 10:03 am

    More cool pics the upgraded Hubble telescope and even more at the links at the bottom of the article. Yeah, this isn’t exactly what you’d see with the naked eye and they doctor them quite a bit before publishing them, but still it’s pretty amazing the details they can figure out from analyzing the light spectrum.

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 6, 2009 11:20 am

      The one of the two galaxies in collision is incredible. Well, they’re all pretty amazing and mind boggling.

      • cometman permalink*
        November 6, 2009 12:07 pm

        Just wait another 3 billion years or so and you’ll get to see a collision up close ;)

  17. cometman permalink*
    November 6, 2009 10:14 am

    Bernie cuts through the bullshit and proposes legislation which is all of two pages long and extremely simple to understand to break up the big banks.

    The act is straightforward. It would require that 90 days after its passage, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner “submit to Congress a list of all commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and insurance companies that the Secretary believes are too big to fail.”

    Subsequently, one year after the law is enacted, the Treasury Secretary would be required to “break up entities included on the Too Big To Fail List, so that their failure would no longer cause a catastrophic effect on the United States or global economy without a taxpayer bailout.”

    The rest of the details — like, say, how to do that, how the broken-up entities would be structured, and what authorities would be granted for preempting institutions from becoming too big to fail in the first place — would be filled in during the legislative process, Sanders’s office said. The goal is simply to immediately preempt a duplication of last year’s economic meltdown.

    Can’t wait to hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth over this one. But the excuse for trying not to pass it definitely won’t be because it’s too long and they didn’t have time to read it.

  18. cometman permalink*
    November 6, 2009 10:38 am

    The Hofstra guy has another broadside against Obama and the dithering Dems – Can You Hear Us Now? A sample of the tone:

    Obama could have been a bold, decisive and game-changing leader, but he has chosen instead to be Bill Clinton in the time of Franklin Roosevelt. He wants to do something about the Great Depression. But not too much! He want to respond to Pearl Harbor and the Nazi threat to plunge the world into a thousand years of darkness. But only if no one would get hurt! He want to make sure Americans aren’t ill-fed, ill-clad and ill-housed. But only if the Republicans literally seeking to destroy his presidency will go along for the ride!

    Brilliant. He doesn’t get that people want leadership from the president, that they absolutely demand that in a time of crisis, and that they will drop you like so much depleted uranium if you don’t bring it during a time of big, multiple crises. Like now. This guy is fast wearing out his welcome.

    The mood of the public today is anti-incumbent, and the president and his party are the incumbents du jour to be anti against. They have exacerbated their problem by failing to take the steps sufficient to really solve problems, and by focusing on problems other than the one absolutely at the top of the public’s list right now – jobs and more jobs.

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 6, 2009 1:10 pm

      I read it aloud. Very cathartic. I agree with Green. I’ve felt for quite a while that Obama was operating as a President in peace time prosperity, in other words Disneyland, rather than in the reality of 2009 America in recession, war and pestilence. Opportunities lost at every turn and unless something happens out of the blue to turn the tide and action, I fully expect we will be heading straight into full blown fascism.

      Keep your passports up to date.

      This paragraph cracked me up, especially the Mr. Rogers stuff. Someone oughta make a youtube ….

      The guy is a leaky bucket at a time when the boat has been swamped. He’s an pressureless fire hose when the house is in flames. A tattered parachute when the ground is coming up fast. A rusty musket as the Huns come over the ridge. At a time when America needs a bold, powerful and wise leader in the White House – principally to undo the damage of the bold, powerful and sociopathic guy who was just in there – we have instead Mr. Rogers’ pet gerbil. Complete with cardigan sweater and barbiturate-laced water supply. Obama seems to want nothing more than to be liked. In the neighborhood called Earth.

      • cometman permalink*
        November 6, 2009 2:13 pm

        Yeah, the passport thing. I should have gotten mine renewed a few years ago before the new system kicked in. But I wasn’t traveling at the time and never did. Now it’s expired and all the new ones have some tracking system or electronic chip embedded in them if I remember correctly. All part of the new freedom evidently.

  19. Stemella permalink*
    November 6, 2009 11:34 am

    Funny post at ZH Cephalopod meets Cetacea odontoceti

    • cometman permalink*
      November 6, 2009 12:11 pm

      Ha! So in that metaphor, who’s the whale that chows them down eventually? I’m thinking it’s reality :)

      • Stemella permalink*
        November 6, 2009 12:33 pm

        Well we know it isn’t Barry, the elf, cane toad or Bernanke

        Maybe its part Elizabeth Warren, Matt Taibbi and Eliot Spitzer and even a little bit of the Rogues Gallery of the blogosphere (of which this blog is a small part), in other words, yeah, reality! :)

  20. Stemella permalink*
    November 6, 2009 11:41 am

    Another mass shooting today, this time in an Orlando office building. People are going postal again and not only in Texas, where that behavior is sort of normal.

    I would expect this kind of violence to increase as the employment climate deteriorates.

    The desperation in this country will not be silent. Too many people are armed and dangerously enraged for it to be otherwise.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 6, 2009 1:09 pm

      Chris Floyd has a post today lending some historical context to yesterday’s shooting which I was unaware of before.

      Seventy-one years ago, almost to the very day, a member of a religious minority fatally shot a government official – an act by a troubled individual that was seized upon by hateful minds to set off an orgy of blood and destruction against his co-religionists.

      While the Ft. Hood shootings will not spark a rerun of Kristallnacht – the anti-semitic pogrom launched by the Nazis after 17-year-old Herschel Grynszpan shot German diplomat Ernst Vom Rath in Paris on Nov. 7, 1938, in retaliation for Nazi depradations against the Jews – the upswelling of racial, ethnic and religious hatred against Muslims and Arabs we will now see in many quarters will ring with ugly echoes.

      Here’s the wiki page on Grynszpan that Floyd links to. The parallels to the Texas incident are difficult to miss.

      Part 2 of Floyd’s post discusses the media’s already ridiculous reaction while they try to fill time on the story without knowing what is going on. I didn’t hear about it at all until Jon Stewart mentioned the episode in passing on his show last night so I turned on CNN to see what had happened. The were breathlessly reporting “exclusive footage” of the shooter ordering breakfast at a convenience store earlier in the day and playing it over and over as if it had any relevance whatsoever to the shooting. News flash – even pissed off gunmen eat breakfast!!!!! Same damn footage again this morning.

  21. cometman permalink*
    November 6, 2009 12:51 pm

    If I were going to construct a society for the benefit of the few at the expanse of the many, I’d make damned sure those many weren’t heavily armed.

    It’s always seemed a little short sighted to me that the rapacious rat fuckers who call the shots in this nation have done pretty much the opposite. It’s one of the few things that makes me think things will change eventually. The “let them eat cake attitude” won’t be tolerated forever and if the oligarchs don’t change their ways voluntarily, history practically guarantees that one of these days people will go Bastille day on their asses.

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