Yes. I busted my ass for Obama the first time around.
Opened my checkbook, campaigned, knocked on doors. Did everything I could to see that he carried Florida in the Presidential election.
Not easy in a place where Fred Thompson signs were as common as plastic pink flamingos at the time during the primary and right wing nuts carried Soviet flags outside of local Obama campaign headquarters. Where women thought Palin was the essence of true feminism. I had the lone Obama sign on my lawn in a sea of McCain - Palin cardboard.
But I got the last laugh. At least I thought so at the time.
We had elected a Democratic President and controlled the two Houses of Congress. And we carried Florida.
Maybe something would get done.
Maybe universal healthcare. Maybe peace would come. Maybe a society which would leave behind racism. Maybe repeal of the Bush tax giveaways to billionaires. Maybe we would spend money on people rather than aircraft carriers. Maybe we would stop torturing people. Maybe Gitmo would close.
Maybe. Read more
Margaret Thatcher visits with Augusto Pinochet while he was under house arrest in London.
Margaret Thatcher is dead.
While we in the United States tend to lionize our departed Presidents, a la St. Ronnie of Santa Barbara, British politics is not nearly so genteel or forgiving. Her legacy will be debated much more critically in Britain than Reagans’s has been in the U.S.
Aging punk-rockers, Irish Republicans and trade unionists greeted the passing of Baroness Thatcher which much less solemnity. On Face book, a movement began to push “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” temporarily to iphone’s number one downloaded song.
Thatcherism embodied the ultimate unrestricted “free market” anarcho-capitalist principles. And Thatcherism did not see industrial unions as part of a “free market”. Her policies destroyed the union movement in Britain and essentially de-industrialized vast swathes of the country. Read more
It’s Monday April 8th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1935, Congress established the Works Progress Administration program, and FDR signed the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act. Not too shabby considering they were in the depths of The Great Depression, eh? It makes you wonder. We were able to find money to help people during the time in America’s history when we were as broke as broke can be. We were able to create jobs, invest in the country, and work together towards what would become America’s golden age. We were able to pass The Social Security Act and form unemployment insurance delivering a New Deal for Americans. This only happened because enough people decided that helping people was the right thing to do. They realized we were stronger together. They were right. Read more
The New York Times front page on 7 March 1930, the day following the march for Unemployment Insurance.
Does it boggle your mind to see working class people using their time to demonstrate for less government involvement, while living off of unemployment or social security checks? What exactly are these people thinking? How can people work so directly against their own best interests?
It's an insanity that Thomas Frank noted in his book "Whatﾒs the matter with Kansas?":
"the country we have inhabited for the last three decades seems more like a panorama of madness and delusion worthy of Hieronymous Bosch: of sturdy patriots reciting the Pledge while they resolutely strangle their own life chances; of small farmers proudly voting themselves off the land; of devoted family men carefully seeing to it that their children will never be able to afford college or proper health care; of hardened blue-collar workers in mid-western burgs cheering as they deliver up a landslide for a candidate whose policies will end their way of life, will transform their region into a "rust belt," will strike people like them blows from which they will never recover." Read more
Labor Day Demonstration against child labor - 1909
So if "class warfare" actually breaks out (we’re not talking about beheading rich folks .... yet!) with what "class" do you identify?
Are you "middle class, upper middle-class, lower class?" These are categories we love to use and always see in the corporate media.
These categories are based on how much you make and how much you consume. They assume you work. You have a job. If if are "lower" or "middle" class you cannot stay home and live on accumulated wealth or on income generated by others working for you. Yet rarely are such folks characterized as "workers".
The broad categories of class are better defined by your relationship to the process of the production of wealth.
You are either a worker, selling your labor because you have no other adequate source of income or you are an owner, a capitalist whose income is generated by others - i.e workers in your factory/corporation or your investments, or your accumulated wealth. Read more
This year I will be 71 years old, assuming I make it and I have close family now into their eighties. I was born in the first year of WW II and my older relatives born in the 1930s during the Great Depression.
When I was a kid grandparents lived with their children and their grandchildren. One of the kids took in their mom and pop while the rest of the kids were expected to kick into the pot to provide for their support.
That’s the way it was before Social Security.
Folks were expected to work until they died which usually wasn’t long. The average life expectancy for a male in the 1920s was 49 years. If you lived longer there was no expected retirement age. You worked until you could no longer work or until you could no longer find work.
Then you were expected to live on your savings. Home ownership at the time was below 20% in the lower working class and the average wage adjusted for inflation in today’s purchasing power was around $13,000. So usually old folks didn’t have sufficient resources to live on.
So you went to your children if you had any. It was expected. Grandma usually got one of the children’s bedrooms. Read more
I thought I would start by listing a group of ideas that are held by the majority of educated Americans. If after you read them you think that no, these are “liberal” ideas, think again. In fact, if you were a Nixon voter, you probably agreed to all of them but the one on climate change, which was unknown at the time. In fact, these are not political ideas at all.
Noah’s Ark is just a fable
Evolution is the founding principal of modern biology (and so modern medicine).
The science is strong that the burning of fossil fuels has started climate change.
Tax rate changes within a narrow range have little to do with the rate of growth in our economy.
Cutting tax rates does not pay for itself through growth.
Gasoline prices are set on the world market and will not be influenced significantly by US oil production.
The free market leads to the fairest price. It does nothing else. Read more
We live under the false notion in the United States that if we just assert ourselves into the situation we can control the out come. This notion isn't new, we can look at Egypt as a classic case of national overconfidence. Between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, the new kingdom of Egypt, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire is the peak of Egyptian power. While the fall of Egypt was gradual compared to other nations, we all know by 1882 the British occupation began and didn't end until 1953. Like other powerful nations before Egypt, Egypt tried to do too much with limited power, even though at a time they were the most powerful nation in the world Read more
Four days before the 2012 Presidential election one enduring mantra from both candidates has been “jobs, jobs, jobs.” With unemployment in the U.S. hovering around 8%, the big question is how to get people back to work. Ro Khanna, a former Deputy Assistant to the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Obama administration, argues that U.S. manufacturing is integral to putting Americans to work and for the general welfare of the nation. His new book, Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America’s Future, delves into the state of manufacturing in the U.S. today, why manufacturing is crucial to the U.S. future, and what policies the country should aim for to strengthen the manufacturing sector. Khanna elucidates his points by using real world manufacturing case examples from his time as a Deputy Assistant. Read more
Patience; this is what I have been recommending all along. The economy has been improving for a while now, the stock market has recovered and making money, and now Americans are going back to work.
It was just reported, unemployment fell for September to its lowest number since January 2009. There were 114,000 jobs added in September, and 86,000 more jobs were added in July and August than originally reported.
This is of course, good news for the Obama Campaign and it should turn the election even more in his favor. Mitt Romney’s job to convince Americans that Obama does not know what he’s doing when it comes to the economy, just got a lot more difficult. Read more
March 6, 1930 - thousands demonstrate for unemployment insurance in Union Square and nationwide - led by the communists. Did you think government just gave it to you? Wake up and smell the coffee.
It’s Labor Day!
End of Summer, back to school, put away the barbecue in New England, last day for white shoes, three day shopping weekend!
Honoring labor!! Yaay!
Huh? Read more
Dear Republicans and Conservatives,
Over the weekend, Mitt Romney announced his VP pick, Wisconsin congressman and Chairman of Budget Committee Paul Ryan, and surprised me. Personally I think Ryan is a dangerous pick, allowing Team Obama to attack his proposed budget but a definitive pick to affirm Romney’s alleged desire to cut spending. I think he should have went with Florida Senator Marco Rubio but to each his own. Read more
I don’t know if the rest of y’all have been watching commodities prices lately, but I have, and what I’m seeing is starting to really scare me. A lot.
The Great Drought of 2012 hasn’t yet come to a conclusion, but we already know that its consequences are going to be pretty devastating. With more than one-half of America’s counties designated as drought disaster areas, the 2012 harvest of corn, soybeans, and other food staples is going to fall far short of predictions. This is going to boost food prices, both domestically and abroad, to go through the roof, and it’s going to cause increased misery for farmers and low-income Americans and far greater hardship for poor people in countries that rely on imported U.S. grains. Read more
by Kim Krisberg
Hunger in America can be hard to see. It doesn’t look like the image of hunger we usually see on our TVs: the wrenching impoverishment and emaciation. Talking about American hunger is hard because, well, there’s food all around us. Everywhere you look, there’s food — people eating food, people selling food, people advertising food, people wasting food, people dying of eating too much food. The obesity epidemic alone is getting so big that it’s slowly swallowing the health care system in billions of dollars of care.
We have a food problem. Read more