|Another Day, Another Dollar|
The election postmortems are rolling in as fast as the appeals to vote and donate in the days before the election. Between the flaccid faced politicians strutting their new born power and celebrity, the usual sad collection from TV’s endless supply of political experts and the vast stock of internet pundits, this carcass will be sliced, diced and inspected ad nauseum in the weeks to come.
Although it was expected, I’m disappointed in the outcome, but I am glad that it’s over even if it’s only a matter of hours before the next interminable election season begins. Our elections have become the only known human activity that continues longer than a professional basketball season.
I walked into the polls at 8:30 Tuesday morning, approached a table staffed with seriously geriatric poll workers, identified myself, received a ballot, marked it in a straight democratic fashion, turned it in and was out the door in under fifteen minutes.
I knew we had lost. There were no lines, I saw no one under thirty and I saw no faces that were racially different than my own. I knew we would lose.
Bob Cesca at Huff Post describes the “Flailing Rage Factor,” which is as good an explanation as I’m likely to get for this debacle. I see it everywhere I go. By May of ’09 Obama and the Dems were taking a beating from nearly everyone I ran into, family, friends, even some of the most respectable people I know at the local tavern had taken up the republican mantra of “cut taxes and spending.”
Barnum’s line about suckers born every minute is still operative, the only change is that the birth rate has accelerated, there are a lot more of them, the business of fleecing them is booming and will be fully subsidized by our new congress.
The video accompanying this post may seem disconnected from my point, If I have one but I was impressed with what is being accomplished in our workplaces in both the private sector and government while the empire burns.
I enjoyed it, but I noticed that my laughter is beginning to sound somewhat insane. I’m afraid it’s spreading.
By the time I left the house to cast a ballot this today I’d received a couple dozen reminders to vote. Even if I were inclined otherwise the sheer weight of my morning email would have driven me to the polls. When I returned home there were a dozen more and they just keep coming.
I appreciate the get out the vote effort and hope that everyone, at least of the democratic persuasion, is similarly prodded and gets out and votes a straight ticket today. I’m not making predictions or holding out delusional hopes but I’ve got my fingers crossed because I believe that given more time the dems are the only hope to knock down the demons that currently beset us.
Republicans are equipped only to massage the wealthy and continue their class warfare against the working class.
Republicans since Nixon have proven to me that they are unable to govern effectively. The major reason for their inability looms large and is front and center with nearly every breath they take and nearly every sentence they utter. Republicans have no respect for government and they are not bashful in telling us of the fact.
I take them at their word and based on what they say and my personal experience with the results of their attempts to steer the ship I work as hard as I can to keep them away from the helm.
Go vote for Democrats. Go now!
Please vote for the environment and urge your friends to do the same.
Next Tuesday a schoolteacher from Connecticut, an organic farmer from California, and a biologist from Colorado will cast their ballots with at least one thing in common – they will have read this and they will be even more determined to vote to protect our planet.
At my polling station in Dayton, Ohio I will add my voice to theirs and cast my ballot for the environment.
And I will forward this to my friends and family to urge them to vote at least in part on how our candidates will treat our natural world.
Will you join us?
Rally to Restore Sanity: Mock On Dudes!
The grousing and bitching, whining and backbiting over the “Rally to Restore Sanity” has begun well in advance of the event itself. Apparently there is a belief in some quarters that comedy and comedians shouldn’t be taken seriously and there is no place for levity in the world of politics or political activism.
Tell that to George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl or Aristophanes. There is always time to poke fun at the political world and its pretenders, to deride the arrogance and pomposity that rises like scud to obscure the surface of our public affairs.
Stewart and Colbert are at once being accused of “taking themselves too seriously” and making a “mockery of our political system.” To the first I say, wait for the rally. I’ll bet any seriousness will be found buried in a barrel of fun beneath a heap of laughter. (more…)
Citizens United: Before, After, What’s Next?
By Lisa Rosenberg, Sunlight Foundation Blog
The Citizens United case was a game changer in terms of money being spent by outside groups on the 2010 elections—but the question is, how much? This primer (included below) provides a detailed explanation of the before and after, and also includes Sunlight’s policy recommendations for new disclosures needed to ensure that that the midterms don’t become a practice run for even more massive spending in 2012. It’s complicated, but boiled down to its essentials, the key points are these:
• Before Citizens United, if a corporation or labor union wanted to make an independent expenditure—an ad expressly calling for the election or defeat of a specific candidate—it was prohibited from using money from its general treasury. It had to use limited voluntary contributions from its PAC. (more…)
In an essay at Huff Post yesterday, ” Obama’s Critics Are Dead Wrong” Frank Schaeffer wrote:
“Before he’d served even one year, President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds — are sticking with our president. Why? Because he is succeeding. Obama’s critics from the left and right are going to be proved dead wrong.
We Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.
Obama’s steady supporters will be proved right. Obama’s lefty critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and his critics on the right will be remembered as nothing but shriveled hate mongers.”
I’m wildly ambivalent about Frank’s post. I don’t know what he intends with the use of “lefty” here, but I’m a liberal, I’m disappointed with the rate of progress of the Obama administration, I’m not panicky nor easily distracted and I agree and disagree with Schaeffer at the same time.
Did Obama and the Dems get dealt a bad hand? Yes. They were dealt what Bud Abbot told Lou Costello was a “fliddly diddly” as Bud claimed the pot. “What’s that?” Lou said. “No two cards alike,” said Bud as he raked in the chips. (more…)
In my experience the same Republicans who preach so loudly about fiscal responsibility and living within ones budget are nearly always at the front of the line at the great American public appropriations buffet. They address the cameras with carefully powered faces twisted into expressions of shock and concern, their mouths dripping with pecuniary piety and repeat the same mantra over and over again.
They accuse the Democratic Party of being the party of “tax and spend” and pontificate about the way they will save America by cutting taxes on the wealthy, cutting services to those who need and deserve them, then, with open grasping palms, flee into the back rooms with their lobbyist masters and grovel for their cut of the loot.