Skip to main content


Apparently, it's immoral or something. Sometimes, it feels as if the bottom has completely fallen out, and they are going to just let us fall into the pit, where we will starve to death, and die homeless and ill on the streets. It's not that far-fetched, when you think about the way that the city of Detroit - Detroit! Motown! The American automobile! - is being completely abandoned to die. Childhood mortality in Detroit is worse than Panama or Botswana - but the attitude seems to be, "So what? They are the kids of poor Democrat voters!"

The fgront page of the New York Times prints what we all know:Inequality hollows out the soul. The richest becomes distant and disdainful of those "beneath" the, and lose any sense of community. They suffer from gross narcissism. The poorer lose self-confidence, and move into severe depression. Everyone withdraws from civic life, and from any shared self of identity.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that we become less nice people in more unequal societies. But we are less nice and less happy: Greater inequality redoubles status anxiety, damaging our mental health and distorting our personalities — wherever we are on the social spectrum.
Hope is murdered, whether by despair (It’s too big, and I can’t do anything,”) or cynicism (“Why bother? The system stinks and they are all in on it.”)

Either way, it means that inequality triumphs and the American people have surrendered. Any chance of evading a juggernaut combination of Far-Right Wing Evangelicals and the wealthiest 1% owning our government will be gone. They will own all of America's public assets, finish stealing the Trust Funds of Social Security and Medicare, and kick the social contract back to 1898. We can see if it coming, in the Koch Brothers' plan to buy the 2014 elections, every Senate and House, all 36 Governorships....

Chris Christie would be just the man to be President over that new America in 2017. He would create a political machine like the one in New Jersey, a regime of fear, with his trained assistants running every department and commission, just like they do in New Jersey. He would privatize everything government-run service, from schools to prisons to national parks. He'd sell off those useless public lands. He'd stop Medicaid to all that useless public. He would mock the starving.

Isn't that what we see, and fear? That it can't be stopped?

Continue Reading

Defending the Arts in a Climate of Fear is a  real eye-opener into the way the Christie statehouse operates. Actually, it may just be that your eyes are simply widening in fright. It appears on the front page of “US#1 - PrincetonInfo,” a magazine published in Princeton, NJ, which covers business and entertainment news along the Rte 1 corridor in Princeton and Central New Jersey.

The Jan. 15 issue's front page, written by editor Dan Aubrey, describes ten months of escalating governmental abuse by Ms. Guadagno's office and the office of the state's Attorney General that he endured in 2011. It's a tale of governmental persecution to further a personal vendetta that will induce paranoid nightmares.

In January 2011, Mr Aubrey testified before the New Jersey State Assembly Tourism and Arts Committee, in favor of a bill that would prevent an archeological dig in Trenton named Petty’s Run from being backfilled.

The decision to bury the site was linked to Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. The Republican former federal prosecutor and Monmouth County sheriff had become the state’s first lieutenant governor in January, 2010.

In November, 2010, she announced that she was “to refill the area next to the Statehouse as soon as possible to improve the grounds.”

Newspaper articles explained that Guadagno could see the site from her window and considered it an “eyesore.”

The bill to rescue the site was initiated by two Trenton-area Democratic members of the state assembly: Bonnie Watson Coleman (who at that time had claimed to be bullied by Governor Christie, who would later put her to a “Willie Horton” type of context) and assemblyman Reed Gusciora (later to be labeled “numbnuts” by Christie).

Mr Aubrey  spoke in favor of the preservation bill because he also runs an arts non-profit, and has had contracts with the state Council on the Arts since 2003, under three governors. The bill to preserve Petty's Run passed. The Petty's Run site was eventually completed through private donations, in spite of the state's continuing to push for its demolition,even soliciting bids for the work that May.

Mr Aubrey suddenly found himself in a world of hurt for standing in the way of Ms. Guadagno's personal landscaping preferences. If his story is true, the Lt. Governor of New Jersey, and Gov. Christie's replacement, used the full power of her office, and that of the state Attorney General, in an attempt to destroy Mr. Aubrey.

Continue Reading

Andrea Bernstein of WNYC, New York's public radio station, had a fantastic segment this morning on The Brian Lehrer Show discussing her research into the way that Chris Christie used the Port Authority as his "personal piggy bank," using it to pay for traffic projects that appear to be decided on a political basis.

She outlined the estimated $3.3 billion that Wildstein and Baroni steered to New Jersey for highway and transportation projects, including several that "went to state facilities not under the Port Authority's purview."

No wonder Christie is lawyering up with the Guiliani big guns, and stonewalling investigations that lead to corruption that he doesn't consider "appropriate." Citizens of the state may discover just how he has been using their tax dollars and supreme Executive power to enrich himself, his cronies, and the national Republican party.

Details after the jump.

Continue Reading

"Slush fund"  is a term that became famous during the Watergate hearings. We'r hearing it again,  along with many other Watergate phrases, as Bridgegate unwinds. Apparently, the Christie administration used Federal Sandy aid funds as a slush fund to pay for the $4 million that Christie spent making his "Stronger Than the Storm" campaign ad. We'll probably see it mentioned more frequently, now that those ads have attracted the attention of both New Jersey and Federal authorities.  

But I'm not talking about that piddly $4 mill slush fund. I am talking about the behemoth of all slush funds - one so huge that you could probably buy the Presidency and the House and Senate too. It would probably be the largest corrupt scheme, monetarily, in the history of the United States. This slush fund could eventually add up to $2 to 2.5 Billion (yes, Billions), and all of it would be entirely secret.

For the GOP, the most delicious part of it would be that Obama will have unwittingly enabled their planned takeover of the country's governance by giving Christie the money to fund it.  I'm not as naive about NJ politics as he is. I'm New Jersey born and bred, and know that we make "the Chicago Way" look like beanbag.

You can follow my reasoning and some of the facts that this "left wing blog conspiracy theory" is built upon, after the jump.

Continue Reading

Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 03:06 PM PST

Some of Christie's potential felonies

by Louise

Whether you watched Christie's entire two-hour press conference, or just catch the highlights, you are certain to pick up Christie's major theme: "I am humiliated and embarrassed." "Someone I trusted betrayed me." "I'm sad." You might think that this was just monumental ego on the part of New Jersey's Governor, since he portrays this scandal as far more of a personal betrayal than a gigantic act of governmental malfeasance that caused full-scale disruption of commerce, put public health and safety at risk, and may have contributed to at least one death.

But this approach isn't about Christie's ego per se. It's about Christie's freedom. As a former prosecutor - one who put many,  many Democratic lawmakers into the dock for "public malfeasance" - he knows exactly what his legal stakes are. That is why he must reiterate the "I knew nothing" apologia front, center and always. "I knew nothing about this until I saw it on my iPad on Wednesday morning at 8:50 AM.'"  

What are some of the legal consequences Christie knows he faces? Additional details after the squiggle.

Continue Reading

"Out, Out, Damn Spot!" Yes, Rush is trying to scrub away the evidence of his guilt. The Atlantic Wire reports that the on-air transcripts from February 29 and March 1 in which he called Sandra Fluke a "slut" and demanded a sex tape as a thank you to taxpayers for subsidizing her birth control have disappeared. Only white space remains.

This man is such a pile of chicken manure that he rivals the output of the Perdue factory in Delmarva. But it doesn't matter - scrub all he wants he cannot erase the stain.

Continue Reading

Occupy Wall Street has moved far beyond Wall Street. It's in the public spaces - the parks and plaza - from New York City to Portland, Oregon, to Dallas to Oakland and more, cities and towns across the country.

The sight of actual occupiers camping in the actual physical public spaces has its benefits - visuals on the news, coverage in the newspapers, and a forceful intrusion into the consciousness of the citizenry. But there is also a disadvantage to occupying actual physical space: law enforcement at all levels knows how to break up such public demonstrations. Police units all across the country, from the smallest of local forces to large cities such as Los Angeles and New York, have been collecting the most technologically advanced riot gear manufactured, all funded by grants from Homeland Security. They are prepared to deal with the actual bodies of political protestors: breaking heads, gassing, handcuffing, detention for days without arraignments, and legal charges of potential felonies that can strip the voting rights from a convicted citizen for life. Bloomberg and Quan think they can get rid of the OWS movement by moving the people out of the actual public spaces. They cite their laws unfairly; they pass dead-of-night, secret resolutions; they send in black-helmeted, armored storm troopers with batons, gas grenades, and sound bombs.

What the law-and-order forces don't understand is that they can't control public space with actual riot squads. They can't stop the OWS message "We are the 99%" from reaching the public. That's because "public space," which has has been defined as physical space by the city governments, is now also virtual space. The public square now exists wherever there is a public debate happening on newspaper comments boards or blog spaces. These forms of public space reach hundreds of thousands of readers. The drumbeats are much louder in virtual space. These are the hundreds of virtual public parks and squares that we must now occupy, and thousands and thousands of our fellow citizens pass through them every day. By standing up and bullhorning our messages in these spaces, we testify to the entire community that, yes, we are here, where they live. We are their neighbors. We believe that the 99% deserve to have power in this country, not the 1%. We want them too know that they, too, are in the 99%, and that we have mutual interests.

How do we create an "Occupy Wall Street - Virtual Public Spaces" wing? We do it by flooding the comments and LTE pages of every on-line version of our state and local newspapers, new virtual publication, every internet magazine, and every blog in the country. By broadcasting our message into virtual public space, we can even begin to get the message into the ultimate "space" of the public: the space in their heads, the space in their consciousnesses.

Continue Reading

Rick Perry appeared on "late Show with David Letterman " last night. He wore a sharp suit (which David commented upon) and a broad grin. He was there to deliver the "Top Ten List" - the "Top Ten Rick Perry Excuses" for his stunningly poor debate performance.

This is all a joke to Perry. The Presidency of one of the largest economies in the world; the position of Commander in Chief of the largest military in the world; possessor of the "go codes" for over 5,000 nuclear weapons, and leader of a nation of over 300 million people - it's a big yuck. By watching this segment, you can see exactly what a Rick Perry Presidency would be like.

Perry is trying to become the Horsetrader-In-Chief of our Commonwealth by yucking it up.  As Matt Taibbi explains so deftly in "The Best Little Whore in Texas," Perry has "... one driving passion: selling off government to the highest bidder."

But that is the entire raison d'etre of the Republican Party at this point: to take over government as privatize the entire nation, spreading the profits for selling the military, the tax system, the post office, the public lands, parks, monuments and works of art, even its people's labor, amongst themselves. This is the entire reason the the Plutocrats, as embodied by the Koch Brothers, are involved in politics: they themselves want to own everything that "American people" do at present.

The worst part of their decades-long conspiracy to steal the country? They have made cynics of the entire populace. It began when they began calling us "consumers" instead of citizens. They mock the idea of public service. They state that anyone who wants to work for the society in general, and for the government in specific, is either a fool or a thief. They have separated the very citizens from their own sense of what it means to be a part of America.

They have done everything they can to destroy the idea of "we, the people" as an actual living, creating entity. For that,they should have the undying enmity of every patriot - and they should be fought against on the field of political battle with every ounce of strength we have.

Discuss

There is an electoral strategy that can win the entire Congress for us next year. We can turn the energy and determination of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and of the Wisconsin and Michigan  demonstrations, into an absolute electoral route of the forces of the Oligarchs next year. We can save our shared dream of a fair, just, egalitarian and truly compassionate nature of the United States, and save its Constitutional nature. But we don’t do it by running a man. We do it by running a message already shown to be favored by more than 50% of the electorate, as represented by candidates pledged to a platform built on those popular positions. We do it by electing a Populist, activist, Democratic Congress, and by a large margin, in 2012.

To do this, we use the Constitutional remedies built into the Constitution. We create an upstart third party, Americans for a Representative Congress. Its motto? “A Congress for the 99%.” ARC finds candidates who will run on a commonly-shared platform of popular policies - and then immediately begins to run them in every Democratic Primary, in every district. It has one sole purpose: to take back Congress from the guys with million-dollar checkbooks, so that it can pass the following platform of popular policies:

•    Higher taxes on the wealthiest members of our society; Congressional action to directly create jobs;
•    Direct Congressional effort to start a huge jobs program;
•    Reduced spending on war, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan;
•    Infrastructure development, both repairs to our vital assets and investment in new technologies;
•    Protection of Social Security and Medicare;
•    Public options for healthcare, so that all Americans have access to medical care;
•    Protection of our common wealth: our National lands, our environment, our children;
•    Meaningful punishment, including jail time, for the men and the financial institutions that created this depression.
•    A fair tax system that rewards long-term investment and job creation for American citizens on American soil;

These are the policy positions that consistently poll above 50% when voters are surveyed. Some of them – like higher taxes on the wealthy, or vastly curtailing our occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan– actually reach almost 70%.  These policy positions are neither Right nor Left, Liberal or Conservative. They are popular We might give the name of “Progressive” to the Congress that actually passed all the above-listed policies into law.” But the more accurate name would be “populist” because it would pass popular policies and programs. By promising to enact legislation that is actually what the  American voter wants to see adopted, Americans For a Representative Congress can win elections in 2012 – enough to carry both Houses of Congress.

Continue Reading

The Republicans are masters of the "Long Con".
 

"A "long con" is an extended setup in an attempt to rob or cheat someone else. it usually involved an elaborate story that is executed over many weeks to months, aimed at convincing the target that the con artist (or thief) is legitimately a friend and trustworthy resource. at the end of the long con, the con artist gets the victim to voluntarily put themselves in precisely the position the con artist wants them in.

GOP fiscal and foreign policies are all con games, designed to move money from the pockets of the poor and the middle class, into the offshore bank accounts of the wealthiest plutocrats to ever inhabit the globe. Every single one of their great legislative actions is a "con." But since these are played out over a long period of decades, Americans don't even recognize what's occurring.

One of the longest Cons, and perhaps the most monstrous, has been the GOP  "bait and switch" with Social Security.  If you've been employed during the past thirty years, you're one of the marks. Rick Perry is just the wind-up accomplice that finally reels  in the "pigeons" - the American taxpayers.

And this crime is even greater than you might know - because its origins are all but forgotten today. Some of us were even been born when this con started, back in the 1980 Presidential election.

Continue Reading

Brad Friedman at Mother Jones has posted a two part article based on secretly recorded audio tapes from the June 11 secret Koch Cabal held in Vail, Colorado. The Kochs hosted a meeting of approximately 300 Far Right politicians, media figures, corporate CEOs and presidents, and wealthy donors. This is one of the two fundraising and strategy sessions that the Kochs hold every year. In the audio, you can hear the plans that are secretly being formulated for the 2012 election, which Charles Koch declares will be "the mother of all wars."

Those of us in New Jersey (actually, anywhere in the US) will be especially interested in the Keynote A dress. It was delivered by a meteoric GOP star, none other than our state's own Governor, Chris Christie.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This hidden Koch cabal is a covert group of furtive men, who intend to destroy America as we have known it in order to rule over the people and the commonwealth. These conspirators have disguised their true intentions with the language of patriotism, all the while financing and plotting ways to steer more and more of the control of the government from the people to their own for-profit enterprises. If they were honest, they wouldn't do it in secret - they would be open about their goals. But since their goals are only to enrich themselves at everyone else's expense, they will never be honest about what they want. They know thatthe people would rise up and stop them.

What the Koch cabalists see, however, is that their goal of achieving ultimate power is at last within their grasp. As long as they can keep Democrats distracted, the unemployment rate high, the economy in the tank, and their followers in thrall, they believe they will win this war. They will hold all the reins of power. They will be able to completely dismantle the New Deal, all business regulation, all consumer protection, all voting rights, and all social programs. They will be able to remake the tax code to keep themselves and their heirs perpetually wealthy. They will be able to fight endless wars against non-state actors (such as Al Qaeda and Mexican drug cartels, which will provide not only more wealth, but also an excuse for tightening the domestic security noose.

Continue Reading

Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:50 PM PDT

Here's REAL anger for you!

by Louise

Orrin Hatch is angry that so many working people don't pay taxes because they get a "refundable tax credit." 51% work and file tax returns, but don't end up owing and Federal taxes. Hell, 23 million even get more in a refundable tax credit" than they pay in FICA taxes!

Watch Orrin get angry! He's not angry at the "truly poor" - just all those people who work but "don't have skin in the game."

So who does Orrin want to pay Federal Income taxes?  He certainly doesn't want the people who live off interest and capital gains to pay more in taxes. He's angry that the working poor, and retirees receiving taxable pensions, aren't paying taxes. Why aren't they paying any taxes?

Because these qualify for the largest anti-poverty program in the country.

Orrin Hatch isn't half as angry at them as we should be about HIM and the entire Republican Party.

Continue Reading
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.

RSS

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site