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View Diary: How To Destroy An Entire Country (220 comments)

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    •  And how's about we aim at the right targets. (61+ / 0-)

      Remember who the real enemy is....

      We've been hit repeatedly with tax giveaways to the .01%. Internal damage:
      The list is short and sweet:

      -- Reagan's two tax giveaways mainly helped the top 2%.
      -- Clinton halved the capital gains tax from 30% to 15%.
      -- Clinton signed the "carry interest" abomination that converts fees from investment advisor contracts over to capital gains for tax purposes.
      -- Bush had two tax rate giveaways that mainly helped the top 2%.
      That's more than half of the income redistribution. There is one more 800-pounder:
      -- The Fed is giving away $85,000,000,000 a month to the big banks.

      That's with very low interest rates, after inflation a zero rate. "Quantitative easing." (You own or operate a big bank ??? Neither do I.)

      External damage:

      -- China has 350,000,000 "Long Distance Commuters." These are adults who have been forced by changes to  pricing policies for staples to leave their families and go to virtual prisons to keep everyone fed.
      -- They get between $1.50 and $3.50 an hour. You thought the Cultural Revolution was bad? I'd call what is happening now "slavery."
      -- These 700,000,000 busy hands are applied at the coastal export platforms. Families be damned. Communities be damned. Quality of life... from Hell.
      -- Local projects, infrastructure, education are slighted. So of course China has a remarkable competitive advantage in world manufacturing markets.
      Similar situation to England during the first Industrial Revolution. The bottom third lived like dogs.

      Apparently the Democratic Party is shy about tax giveaways and about the impact of those 350,000,000 Long Distance Commuters.

      Also, while we're at it for the 800-pound gorillas, why did Democrats just save the Republican Party from Teabagger suicide ?

      -- The Bircher Wing of the GOP is committed to vastly unpopular government shutdowns.
      -- The loons have been promising to make every budget milepost a voter-screwing disaster.
      The GOP was looking to set to ride teabagger theatrics to a 40- or 50-seat loss in the House come 2014.

      So WTF? Democrats save these holes from cratering with the 2-year budget deal and get nothing for their constituents. No unemployment benefits. No rise to the minimum wage. No reductions to the military and intel. Nothing for reproductive protections. Nothing to limit NSA. Nothing to tighten restraints on the JPMC/Goldmans of the world. Nothing to halt or reverse the giveaways. Upward redistribution continues apace.

      Remember who the real enemy is................

    •  Alan Grayson! (17+ / 0-)

      Every Progressive American's real representative in the U.S.Congress. Unfortunately, he is very rare, and way too quiet!

      My wife, daughter and granddaughters should have more privacy in their doctor's office than I have buying another rifle or shotgun.

      by NM Ray on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:41:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some will claim that I'm being too harsh here... (42+ / 0-)

      ...but facts are facts, no matter how hard the spin:

      Six years ago at the height of his presidential campaign, Senator Obama gave several moving, florid and passionate speeches during the height of this country's financial collapse. His words empathized with the working people who still had employment and those who were out of work. He passionately spoke of hunger and cold and the housing crisis. He articulated what a majority of America's working middle class were thinking: we were being financially, morally and politically betrayed by trans-national corporations and the shills they plugged into our government. Candidate Obama emphatically promised to do something about it if we elected him to office. We did our part and put him there. And then he proceeded to do something about it, all right.

      Here's a very short list of what President Obama has "done" for the Middle Class:

      1 - It took him less than 3 months to find a Wall Street tool in the person of Timothy Geithner to drive the financial industry bailouts, loan the Big Three auto makers truck loads of cash and ignore the fact that almost 20% of America's real estate was financially under water with no assistance from anyone.

      2- After waffling back and forth for over one year trying to find a compromise with neocons who let it be known from the start that they would not compromise on anything a black man in the White House asked, this president finally got a castrated version of a republican health care bill put on his desk for his signature. Just prior to that blessed event, one of his staunch allies in government - Diane Feinstein - was quoted in a response to the possibility of floating a single-payer health care plan: "Don't waste my time." And so the President complied with that request.

      3- He enthusiastically engaged members of South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and other countries in the Far East to develop a "Pan Pacific" free trade agreement that suspiciously mirrors the same kind of sellout agreements that sent better than three quarters of America's clothing, shoe and light industry jobs to South American countries.

      4- He bet the farm and lost when the idea of a sequester in order to attempt to achieve a compromise - AGAIN - with neocons on a budget plan backfired and resulted in the loss of unemployment benefits, women and children special assistance and elderly care.

      5- And, as a key indicator of his thought processes and where his future inclinations for the vision of the country were taking his decision making, he had the unmitigated gall to nominate Larry Summers to the Head Fed... the same guy who was a rabid defender of market deregulation and free-range bankers who use mortgage money and real estate value to bet on the ponies.

      Given all that, how badly were we swindled this time? There's a couple ways of looking at it: on one hand, had Romney won the election, we'd all probably have to buy Rosetta Stone software in order to learn Chinese in order to qualify for employment. However, it's absolutely clear that this country is in no position to tolerate one more corporatized administration - no matter what side of the aisle they purport to belong.

      We need a whole Congress full of Alan Graysons to put back together what 30 years of conservative intellectual syphilis has destroyed... but that's obviously impossible. There's much talk of a Hillary presidency, but voting for a novelty candidate who is merely another side of the same tarnished old coin is a dangerous move... and if her husband's track record is any indication of her leadership inclinations, this country would be relegated to a third world economy with no other means to pay for its own defense except to tax the remnants of the Middle Class out of existence while her friends in The Hamptons light their cigars with $100 bills.

      Obama probably meant well - but so did my daughter when she was 3 years old and tried to cut her own hair with scissors. And now his populist rhetoric has returned, right on time, one year before another election cycle. Time to stock up on a few more cases of Rolaids.

      •  I remember years ago (20+ / 0-)

        reading "The Shock Doctrine", and wondering vaguely if it could happen here - while not really believing it could.

        But it did.

        •  Well, what do you know... (9+ / 0-)

          I figured someone would beat me to it. I wanted to give a heads-up to Rep. Grayson, since from reading the diary it seemed apparent that he hadn't had a chance to read Naomi Klein's seminal work. I think he would really appreciate the book and referral.

          It's been happening here for a while, now. It's just more insidious. The old Chicago School of economics cult--no matter how often their theories are disproven and don't pan out, Democrats and Republicans alike keep going back to the well. There's a quote about that, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

          As detrimental as the sequester, balanced budget amendment, and lack of additional stimulus programs has been here, it doesn't come close to the suffering in Greece and other places that have undergone mandated austerity measures, which always seem to end up doing more harm than good.

        •  Why Would You Think It Wouldn't Happen Here? (10+ / 0-)

          Unlike so many Americans, I knew exactly what kind of shit was being pulled in foreign countries ever since we rigged elections if Italy and Greece in the late 40's, through numerous coups in Latin America and elsewhere right up until the 2000's when we were plum out of countries to pillage. Finally, they'd caught on to us.

          As it turned out, all that was just practice runs for the biggest "bust out" (the Mafia's term for this rip-off technique) of all- America. From Katrina forward, "The Disaster Doctrine" will be what's employed everywhere it's possible. The sell off at fire sale prices is just getting going. As more and more cities have to BK out of not having a tax base any more, their assets will go on the block.

          As more and more attacks of increasing viciousness are launched on public facilities and institutions like the schools, they'll eventually be taken over and "privatized" by politically connected companies. If pukes aren't stopped, in the states they control, using tax cuts, they'll run up state deficits so huge that the RW noise machine will start demanding more sell offs of States' property. Particularly sell offs that involve "lease back" provisions on State Buildings will be favored by private equity firms which will sprout up like mad to suck up all the assets that'll be going on the block.

          And then the biggies come, again, if they're not stopped and get control of Congress and the White House again, they're likely to run deficits so high that they'll have their rich cronies lining up to buy Federal property. The Federal Gov't. owns over half the real property in this country. The wealthy salivate over it and the mineral rights that go along with it. Once they're done all this, they'll be in position to have the ultimate fascist nation. It's not a marriage of Corporations and Government, nope, much more than that. It will be the outright ownership of the nation and once that happens, the wealthy will have whatever government they want. One that doesn't govern them but does us in spades, no doubt.

          This is what I've seen coming for many years now. If they are not stopped, it will happen just as I described.

          "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

          by Dave925 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:26:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What must be repeated (4+ / 0-)

            over and over again until it finally sinks in to all of us is that they aren't "anti-government". They just don't want a government that serves and enables all of us to pursue happiness. They want it to serve them but encumber and oppress those not in their exclusive club.

            liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

            by RockyMtnLib on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:19:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's a book title. nt (0+ / 0-)
          •  The logical conclusion of such a sell out of all (0+ / 0-)

            federal property to the 1% would be to replace the Federal Income Tax with a stiff head tax with the death penalty for failure to pay--that would be a great excuse to exterminate the poor for the crime of POVERTY!  The rich would probably reserve the right to commute some death penalty sentences to life at hard labor so they could keep a few for doing their scut work.

      •  Well, the substance of your analysis (0+ / 0-)

        isn't necessarily too harsh, given the facts, but your description of Obama's health care legislation as "castrated".... you might want to revisit your use of this particular analogy, with this particular President.

        Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

        by Dale on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 01:13:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  When legislation is signed into law... (6+ / 0-)

          ...that gives the institutions who stand to lose the most from its implementation a 4 year deferment before the major provisions kick in - and during those 4 years, 192,000 preventable deaths (that's the 48,000 fatalities per year who were unable to afford the care they needed to prevent their deaths) happened - just to give the insurance industry some lead time to "ramp up", I am fully confident  that I chose my words exactly.

          If some foreign entity had been responsible for 192,000 preventable deaths on American soil, there would be cries from the rooftops to turn that country into a sea of radioactive green glass. But not a f---ing peep from this administration or anyone else in government. Why? Because, god forbid, we should piss off some insurance company boardrooms and freak out investors.

          The law was castrated by both the neocons and the DINOs - it offered no immediate relief for the people who needed it the most.

          I don't give a damn what color or gender the occupant of a public office happens to be. If the results of their performance is bad, it's not "black" bad, "white" bad, "male" bad or "female" bad - IT'S BAD. All too often, many Progressives waste their energies looking for meaningless details around them while the big picture gets buried in their pursuit of hostile trivia.

          •  About this: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Elizabeth 44
            I don't give a damn what color or gender the occupant of a public office happens to be. If the results of their performance is bad, it's not "black" bad, "white" bad, "male" bad or "female" bad - IT'S BAD. All too often, many Progressives waste their energies looking for meaningless details around them while the big picture gets buried in their pursuit of hostile trivia.
            Well, that's your prerogative, to think like that, I suppose. But I've got to tell you, if you think that the legacy of lynching of black men is "trivia" -- because it's that harrowing legacy that you invoke when you cite the "castration" in relation to a black President -- then you will probably wind up alienating a good chunk of those folks that you'd like to convince on this topic. Because many people do not experience these histories of brutal oppression as "trivial."

            I've been among those who have been repeatedly critical of President Obama, particularly on the compromises inherent in the ACA. But I find myself repeatedly frustrated at the basic indifference of many progressives towards the fact of President Obama's racial identity, and the complexities it must raise for any progressive worth the name in assessing his legacy or his performance.

            President Obama faces a basic refusal, among a sizeable constituency of conservatives, to recognize the legitimacy of his office. We're not talking heated policy disagreements here; we're talking about a fundamental refusal to acknowledge the fact that President Obama occupies the Oval Office through the legitimate instrument of the electoral franchise, and that he has every right to be there and to implement policy.

            In that context of basic, overriding racist contempt, it shouldn't be surprising that President Obama has moved more cautiously than someone else might have, and that he has embraced the Grand Bargain and its politics of compromise. It also shouldn't be surprising, in that connection, that the first African American President in American history should turn out not to be a progressive firebrand.

            And in that context, any progressive worthy of the name must attend to the complete, three-dimensional picture of what "progressive" means. It is not a situation where race, gender, and sexuality are "peripheral" or "trivial" side issues that can be jettisoned to get to some pure politics of socioeconomic disparities, shorn of all troubling distractions.

            In any event, I need no primer in the reality of "death by spreadsheet." But legislation doesn't originate from any lone author. An entire Beltway of cynical hacks got together to ensure that the ACA legislation should have the particular shape that it does.

            Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

            by Dale on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 04:05:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Since I'm ex-military from another era (6+ / 0-)

              that was trained to assess the performance of someone according to their rank's requirements and salute the uniform instead of the person inside it, I guess that in my mind I just don't get the connection you infer to a lousy, poorly implemented law that was toothless by design and intent and

              the legacy of lynching of black men
              associated with castration. You DO understand that the term is conventionally applied to the emasculation of a thing as well as a person, no?

              If every single act that Obama has done or will do in the future in his position as CIC and the standard bearer of his party has to be assessed through the filter of race, it's horribly clear that to me that nobody on either side of the issue has made any progress since 1964

              . Which is a sickening thought.
      •  Critique of Obama is incomplete without estimating (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chrisculpepper, jqb

        what McCain and Romney would have done.  Those were the choices. Remember when left wingers claimed that Gore was not different from Bush II?
        Bush proved that wrong when he torpedoed the world effort on Global Warming in his first year.  Not to mention starting a "war of choice" in Iraq, giving huge additional tax breaks to his class.  Look at his court appointments.  Still claim no difference with Gore?
          Personally, I am very very glad we have Obama and not McCain or Romney. No new wars and gradual ending of the Bush II wars.  Reasonable appointments to courts, etc.  Limits on ability of health insurance corporations to put profit over health care, increasing % or US population with health care, etc.

      •  economic suicide (0+ / 0-)

        Very well put. Please send this essay to Wisconsin and Michigan. Can't understand why they don't get it. We used to have so much respect for these two states.

      •  Some of what you say is true (0+ / 0-)

        But let me help you with some of the statements.
        #1.  Geitner was just another drone for Wall Street.  Problem is, would a noninsider done any better.  An Academic just didn't know the inside network.  I'd like to see Robert Reich give it a try.

        #2. Feinstein was simply stating a political reality: a single payer system would never get through the House.  The Right owed their souls to the Insurance industry.  I woud love to see a Single payer system and I will soon.  I go on Medicare in 2014.

        #3. Japan and SE Asia was happy to sell their stuff to us, but not accept ours with trade barriers.  This made it a 2 way exchange.

        #4  Agree, but it did start pairing down Defense.  Maybe that is why the Right was eager to find a budget?

        I can't agree more that more Grayson's is needed.  He is the Congressman from an adjoining district, we've had only losers and lap dogs who nod their heads at whatever the TP tells him.  Best keep him in Orlando, and for us to find our own Grayson.

    •  Awesome. I Understood US Banks (0+ / 0-)

      created the economic snafu in Greece, where they 'loaned' them huge amounts of money, then like an ARM cranked up the interest payments until they went broke.
      They were doing it here too, like a County borrowing to build a 1.5 billion dollar sewer upgrade that bankrupted them too.

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