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Businessweek has an article up with pretty strong accusations of anti-Americanism against Europe, with a pretty unambiguous title:  More Fodder for the Yank-Haters: The spreading U.S. credit crisis is turning up the heat on Europe's simmering anti-Americanism.

This is worth deconstructing in detail, as it has direct relevance for you guys here on the US left, as it seems to me that you are the real targets of the article:

(From European Tribune)

Dietmar Bartsch doesn't consider himself anti-American. A basketball fan, the 49-year-old from the East German city of Stralsund just returned from New Orleans, where he caught the NBA All-Star Game. "The people were really friendly," he enthuses. But Bartsch's feelings about the U.S. aren't uniformly warm and fuzzy, and he finds Wall Street's shenanigans especially galling. The big subprime losses at banks "confirm a broad feeling that something's not right," says Bartsch, general secretary of Germany's Left Party, which rode discontent with the global economic order to unexpected success in state elections this winter. "The elites are making decisions that aren't tolerable."

That's pretty sneaky (if not down right unporfessional) to use the general secretary of the Left Party for the obligatory introductory anectode. It's also a bit strange to use "East German" to present him - a not-too-subtle suggestion, via a no longer existent entity, that he is a communist leftover.

And the main message of that paragraph, which, remember, introduces an article about "Yank-Haters", is that anti-Americanism is not defined by your attitude to basketball or to New Orleans, or even to American people (because absolutely everybody, even East German communists, loves them), but by your position about Wall Street. and not just about Wall Street in general, but about Wall Street today.

And it's totally unexpected (ie there is no rational reason for it). Thus is must be basic anti-Americanism.

As credit woes endanger the world economy, they're giving Europeans another reason to resent U.S. influence. Anti-Americanism was already simmering because of the Iraq war, dislike for President George W. Bush, and mistrust of rampaging buyout firms. Now, Europe's pundits and politicians are feeding public perceptions that ordinary folks will be left paying the bill for the financial missteps of big banks. "This crisis shows why the market must be regulated. Left to itself, it often produces the worst," says Jean Quatremer, the Brussels correspondent for French daily Libération.

So, not thinking the Iraq War was a good idea is anti-Americanism. Disliking George Bush (approval rate in the US: 25% or thereabouts) is anti-Americian. Mistrust of rampaging buyout firms is anti-Americans. As we say in France, les Democrates sont habillés pour l'hiver... ie it very much looks like Dems are being labelled as anti-American.

I also very much note that the article makes the stupendous claim that ordinary people will NOT be paying for the follies of the banks - in fact, that's just a perception (ie a false one) fostered by pundits and politicians.  Europe, like the US, is in the throes of an evil liberal conspiracy.

It's always hard to measure the practical impact of anti-Americanism on U.S. businesses abroad.

I was initially wondering why, in the paragraph above, Libération is not identified as a left-wing paper. But that first sentence of the next paragraph makes it obvious: by moving on, it suggests that the case that anti-Americanism exists is closed - and thus that discussing regulation of capitalism - any regulation - is anti-American. In that context, making Libération a leftwing paper would weaken the case: you expect lefties in Europe to want to shackle freedom, but maybe not all pundits - so when an apparently moderate, reasonable, unlefty pundit says these things too it is notable - and as the sentence above shows - proof positive that the whole continent is in the throes of the disease.

But this latest outburst could have repercussions. For starters, the Continent's distaste for what it sees as the Ellbogengesellschaft, or "elbow society," found anyplace west of the English Channel is aimed squarely at financial fat cats, who do tons of business in Europe and often face off against regulators there. The atmosphere gets even more charged with actions such as the EC's record $1.3 billion fine against Microsoft (MSFT) on Feb. 27.

"outburst", as in disease, of course. And the battle lines are clear: France and Germany standing in for Europe, and the UK still on the right side of the evil divide.

And, of course, punishing lawbreaking Microsoft is not a sign of enforcing the law, but one, again, of anti-Americanism - duh, Microsoft is American, so any European decision about them is, by nature, anti-American.

As popular European attitudes against the American and British brand of capitalism harden, governments may tilt left (it's already happening in Germany) and economic nationalism will get a boost, as it has in France.

Again, the current financial capitalism is seen as the Anglo-Saxon capitalism, as if it had not changed from the version 30 years ago. what we have today is the "right" kind of capitalism, of course.

And I sense that European governments are seen as wimps for daring follow the opinions of their population, instead of sticking to their guns. Ah, Europeans are such losers - commi populations, cowerdly governments - anti-Americans all. Of course, after attaching the "reactionary" label to the left, now it's the turn of the "nationalist" one, so that yet more traits of the anti-big-business right can be pinned on the left to disparage it.

The resulting backlash could make it harder for U.S. firms to make acquisitions in Europe, and high-risk, high-reward financial products from Wall Street will be ferociously scrutinized.

Ah yes, it's the popular backlash that blocks US companies in Europe, not the fact that they can no longer borrow to pay for acquisitions, or the fact that the euro-dollar rate makes acquisitions in Europe kind of pricey these days...

And yet another jibe at backward Europeans who don't appreciate the innovations coming out of Wall Street, and don't understand simple risk-reward calculations. Stupid paysans... No mention that the high risks have blown up the financial system (notably because the rewards were not commensurate to risk), and I should probably not even note that most of the quants in US and UK banks that have invented all the fancy new products that Businessweek brags about are European mathematicians, notably French ones...

And as Europe's Left uses anti-business sentiment to press for an advantage, it will be much harder for companies to restructure or negotiate globally competitive wages.

So...

  • anti-business = anti-American (because that's all America is about);
  • the left "presses its advantage": how dare they? Don't they know they're supposed to be the brave opposition that shows that we're a democracy but does not prevent business from happening as it should?
  • "globally competitive wages"... ahh, there we are. This is code, of course, for "lower wages", and being anti-lower-wages is, naturally, also being anti-American. As usual, the interests of the population are discreetly replaced by that of the economy, the economy is conflated with the very rich, and the very rich of any country have the same interests as those in the US. Thus, anti-American behavior to not strive for "global competitiveness".

In recent years, Europeans have grudgingly accepted U.S.-style reforms as necessary to compete in the global economy. The French elected vocal Americophile Nicolas Sarkozy. Germans in 2003 swallowed cuts in jobless benefits, while for years unions agreed to below-inflation pay hikes.

Again, progress associated with "reform", which are necessarily "US-style". I wonder what recent policy choices in the US one should look to in practice... the ballooning budget deficit? The pork-laden budget? The destruction of FEMA? Of course not - the only reforms are the tax cuts for the wealthy and the dismantlement of pesky regulatory agencies like the EPA, the FEC or the MSHA. And, of course, the holy grail: lower benefits and lower wages - as explicitly noted above by BusnessWeek, along with the claim that a vote for Sarkozy was thus a vote for lower wages (the French might beg to differ, as Sarkozy's plummeting popularity right now, on the back of massive unhappiness with stagnant purchasing power, suggests...)

But even as economic growth surged and unemployment plummeted, many people felt the benefits went mostly to the wealthy—who critics say failed to pay their fair share of taxes. Suspicion of the rich runs deep in Europe, where labor leaders and left-leaning politicians still speak the language of class warfare.

As was noted above, the article refuses to even acknowledge that inequality is growing, presenting that as something "felt" by many people, ie something not real. And it's only "critics" who say that the rich are not paying a fair share of taxes (a particularly ironic claim in the middle of the biggest tax-evasion scandal in Europe).

And of course, it's just that Europeans are still unrecontructed commies (well, you'd expect reactionaries not to change, heh), hate the rich - and freedom, and America, becuase America is all about the rich.

Of course, Europe's elites are doing plenty on their own to bring the moneyed classes into disrepute. Many of the tactics that led to the subprime crisis were cooked up in London, and European banks such as UBS were among the most avid buyers of the loans. France has Jérôme Kerviel, the trader blamed for $7 billion in losses at Société Générale. And German police have been raiding the homes of people suspected of hiding assets in Liechtenstein. The cover of the left-leaning weekly Stern features a caricature of the most prominent suspect, former Deutsche Post chief Klaus Zumwinkel, clutching a fistful of euros. "What feeds the Left?" columnist Hans-Ulrich Jörges writes in the magazine. "Capitalism—its excesses, its greed, its shamelessness."

It's getting boring to flag this, but again, the article is supposedly about anti-Americanism, and that paragraph talks about the "moneyed classes" being in disrepute. (And I thought "classes" no longer existed, except in the imagination of Europe's lefties?)

Did it sink it, by now?

Criticizing the moneyed classes = being anti-American

But Europeans are so stuuuupid that even their moneyed classes are dumb, get caught in silly scandals, and bring disrepute to capitalism (the only kind there is, cf above). Thus the obvious hint that even rich Europeans are anti-American, through their incompetence in that case. What a sad, sad continent.

:: ::

This article reads like a parody, but it's not - it just incorporates more of the usual tools of the pundit class to get their propaganda across - the repeated use of buzzwords (with both positive "much needed reform" "US-style capitalism" and negative "class warfare", "left-leaning", "populist" signifiers), the easy conflation of disparate notions (America = prosperity = dynamism = business = moneyed class) to have them all in one camp  and claim that any attack on one is an attack on all others, and the permanent steroetyping about both the US and Europe.

But Europeans don't really care about being labelled anti-American, so that would seem to be part of an attack, yet again, on the US left, to associate it with commie, wimpy, reactionary, close-minded and empoverished Europeans.

In any case, the propaganda has only one goal: continue the transfer of wealth from the middle and lower classes to the very rich, and all arguments are good. But hey, as many even on DailyKos seem to agree with that, given how I'm seen as a hard lefty on the site, maybe that's what America really wants.

But it's so easy to ignore that by calling me, in turn, lefty or anti-American, as it's become essentially the same thing.

Originally posted to Jerome a Paris on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:04 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar - 9 March (300+ / 0-)
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  •  We've Been Here Before (28+ / 0-)

    It's like 1928 all over again.  Really.  The same caricatures, the same arguments.  It is really amazing.  And portends ill.

  •  Les Americans (25+ / 0-)

    get very little news from off their large island and have very little awareness of elections or process in other countries. The EU means nothing to 95% of the country despite its importance. Europe is symbolized by countries like France and the French are routinely despised by the same 95%, including a majority of so-called  progressive bloggers. The level of ignorance regarding Europe and much of the world cannot be underestimated.

    Jerome's diaries are one of the few illuminating pieces of writing on Europe and at least enough here have recognized that..thank goodness.

    Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.

    by philinmaine on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:13:17 AM PDT

  •  Read that article yesterday.... (18+ / 0-)

    and was chuckling all through it as it was so ridiculous I couldn't take it seriously.

    And I laughed out loud when they used the Microsoft fine as part of thier proof of "anti-americanism".

    Thanks for de-coding it for us.

    "I am on nobody's side because nobody is on my side" -Treebeard

    by waf8868 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:14:30 AM PDT

  •  All I can say is WOW! (13+ / 0-)

    Do they laugh at Business Week while they write this dribble, or do they wear dour faces, contemplating the seriousness of doing their lord's work.

    you think you're so clever and classless and free, but you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see- J L

    by the fan man on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:15:40 AM PDT

  •  The "invisible hand" (15+ / 0-)

    is rifling through my wallet.

    If we continue to accumulate only power and not wisdom, we will surely destroy ourselves. -Carl Sagan

    by LightningMan on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:18:30 AM PDT

  •  New book needed (22+ / 0-)

    Capitalism for Dummies.

    Chapter 1: Fair labor standards are important

    Chapter 2: Free trade needs to be fair trade

    Chapter 3: Ayn Rand was delusional

    Chapter 4: Regulation keeps you honest

    Chapter 5: Never trust a greedy, incompetent republican to actually run a good economy

    And so on.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:18:35 AM PDT

  •  "anti-Americanism" in Ireland (17+ / 0-)

    If you criticize the Irish govt. for allowing rendition flights and MASSIVE troops movements through Shannon airport you are labeled as "anti-American."  

  •  It has always seemed to me that US pundits and, (23+ / 0-)

    to a large degree, politicians, are acting like domineering lovers vis-a-vis Europe. Any criticism, no matter how well-founded, is akin to betrayal and couldn't possibly be well-meant. And, of course, there is no greater enemy than a spurned lover (or one who perceives him- or herself as spurned).

    Of course, the pundits and elites in the United States have a damn good reason to vilify continental Europe: If Europe shows - and it has demonstrated this very clearly - that social democracy and social capitalism work, then ordinary Americans may begin to wonder whether the American Way is all it's cracked up to be. When people are dying in the gutter, there's something wrong with the country. And such a demonstration can under no circumstances be allowed to happen.

    Of course, such bravado might have unexpected and destructive consequences for the US. WHat if Europe decides that a country which routinely ridicules and abuses its friends is not one with whom it's wise to cooperate and maintain an alliance? What if the world's two major high-tech production centres (Europe and Japan) decide to abandon the US?

    Sure, our European elites are even less capable and educated than the US elites - but they still have their pride, and realising you will never be more than a second-class citizen in the global order tends to convince you that such an order isn't worth supporting.

    Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

    by Dauphin on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:20:35 AM PDT

  •  I've seen your political compass score (12+ / 0-)

    Mine is "down and to the left" on the EuroTrib chart, making you a raving bloody moderate :-P
    I'm SO tired of "it came from America" being used as a synonym for "it's good." There are many wonderful things about my home country, and several others--its economic rapacity being one of them, its lack of understanding about the need for a strong and organised working class to cement REAL social stability is another--that are not.
    F*ck the rich. There, I must be an anti-American. Better go beat myself up...

    "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between." -- Oscar Wilde

    by expatyank on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:20:54 AM PDT

    •  That's a question of fashion. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass, mofembot

      People will always adopt what's currently fashionable, even if the conseqences are dire, since, well, they won't consider it rationally.

      To give you an example: In 1883, Alphonse Bertillon managed to finally introduce anthropometry as the first scientific method of identification. During that time, however, dactyloscopy (fingerprinting), a far more efficient method of identification, was already being researched.

      In 1891, Juan (Ivan) Vucetich, a Croatian expatriate living in Argentina, developed the first practically useful system of fingerprint identification and was the first person to solve a murder using fingerprints. Argentina then introduced a fingerprint database and was the first country in the world to do so. What happened? Following the fasion of ''whatever comes from France has to be good,'' they banned fingerprinting and reintroduced anthropometry with a law.

      Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

      by Dauphin on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:57:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Progressives in Spain are rooting for Obama (18+ / 0-)

    Europeans are much too rational to confuse the US population with Wall St. Although here in Spain people started really wondering about US IQ's after Bush was reelected in 2004. So the fact that there is a serious contender for the Presidency who has lived abroad, was against the war in Irak from the start, thinks it's important to TALK with world leaders excites them. But the primary process in itself has Spaniards in admiration- the fact that Obama has come this far, and is in fact ahead, in spite of having the basic Dem Pary structure rooting for Hillary from the beginning. People say: "Now THAT is democracy,"  in spite of the fact that no one understands why money, campaign funding, should be so important in US elections. So Obama's candidacy is a source of enormous prestige for US voters. What no one would understand would be if superdelegates chose a candidate that had not won the pledged delegate count.  It would negate the very point of holding primaries.

  •  comme Sartre a dit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snakelass, jfdunphy, mofembot

    During the Vietnam war Sartre called the U.S. a "rabid dog."  

  •  Norm says- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snakelass, ER Doc, mofembot

    "It's a rat race Sam, and the rats are winning."

  •  Thanks for this, Jerome. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lupin, ER Doc, nlight, mofembot, pelagicray

    It seems to me that your work here goes very well with the analysis of the rhetoric of violence presented by Jeffrey Feldman yesterday.  In this climate, when the critique of current policy/U.S. capitalism is understood to be anti-American, then dissent has been rendered a threat to the social order, rather than the heart of democratic deliberation as it ought to be.  

    Seul l'incrédule a droit au miracle. - Elias Canetti Road2DC

    by srkp23 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:26:36 AM PDT

  •  "Outburst" is Not Disease (7+ / 0-)

    But this latest outburst could have repercussions. For starters, the Continent's distaste for what it sees as the Ellbogengesellschaft, or "elbow society," found anyplace west of the English Channel is aimed squarely at financial fat cats, who do tons of business in Europe and often face off against regulators there. The atmosphere gets even more charged with actions such as the EC's record $1.3 billion fine against Microsoft (MSFT) on Feb. 27.

    "outburst", as in disease, of course.

    "Outburst" is not "as in disease". "Outbreak" is in disease.

    Overall I agree with your analysis. Business Week itself should be called Corporate Week, as in disease, of course.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:27:33 AM PDT

  •  U.S. arrogance on display (10+ / 0-)

    As popular European attitudes against the American and British brand of capitalism harden, governments may tilt left (it's already happening in Germany) and economic nationalism will get a boost, as it has in France.

    Translation: A country that does not conduct itself in the same manner as the U.S. is not "different" than the U.S.  Instead, it is "anti-American."

    Are you with us or against us?  The wonder is the extent to which so many people still tolerate the U.S.

    sláinte,

    cl

    Religion is like sodomy: both can be harmless when practiced between consenting adults but neither should be imposed upon children.

    by Caoimhin Laochdha on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:28:23 AM PDT

    •  You nailed it. (7+ / 0-)

      That is the 'war on Terror'.

      GWOT is actually a war on people.

      If you take care of your people , you are a terrorist regime.

      If your people demand to be taken care of, protected from exploitation, they are terrorists.

      It's very simple, really.

      Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal.

      by k9disc on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:48:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For many that is the test. (4+ / 0-)

      In particular the test for many U.S. business and "conservative" political types is whether or not a country adopts the U.S. model closely or not. Time after time I've read an article that suddenly rates another country on how closely they adopt our "correct" model as a test of whether they are progressive or not. Often it is precisely the progressive aspects, worker's rights in particular, that are rated as "not ours" and criticized.

      It is almost a fundamentalist religious test. You adopt our creed or you are wrong, against us and must be converted.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:31:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jerome, this may be only occasional in Europe, (15+ / 0-)

    but here in the US, these logical contortions, and general anti-European, anti-Economic, postulate-rich and highly ideological thinking that masks itself with economic terms, are nearly mandatory. To the point that they are included in most mainstream 'economic' reporting, let alone commentary.

    It has been like this certainly since the Euro arrived, and probably since the European social reforms in the first half of the 20th century.

  •  Really It's Just CYA (11+ / 0-)

    This article is blaming America's economic problems on anti-americanism in Europe. The political handwaving is just a way to redirect proper American (and European, and global) anger away from the rightwing politicians who reconstructed our economy onto debt, corporate handouts, wasteful war and Welfare States. And onto some foreign boogeyman Americans are jealous of because their money is actually worth something.

    All that talk about classes and European journalists, parties and Europeans "hating America, but somehow not Americans", is just a way to make it seem that anti-americanism, not America's undeniable failures, are the cause of our problems.

    How else would America's corporate journal cast its own partnership in creating those real problems, that profited its corporate readers immensely while most Americans suffered, and now finally have to be paid for by someone? And who should pay it but the Americans those anti-american Europeans still love, instead of the American corporations they irrationally hate? If you're Business Week's editorial board, it's all just business as usual.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:35:40 AM PDT

  •  When the Euro was first issued ... (13+ / 0-)

    ... the US dollar was worth 1.20 Euros, today the US dollar is worth 0.66 Euros.  Somehow that doesn't seem to be consistant with the "success" of US style capitalism, or, more correctly, US style corporatism.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear." W.E. Gladstone -8.25 / -5.64

    by carver on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:37:00 AM PDT

    •  the euro's are atleast twice as corporate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Venom

      national champions, high levels of protectionism, mercantilism.  infact if we then move the definition a little, the biggest success story in europe in recent history(ireland) based nearly its entire success on corporate friendliness.

      •  The Irish success (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        carver

        was paid for by German tax payers who allowed the Irish government to give tax handouts to big international corporations.

        "The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

        by Ritter on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:59:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  International corporations... (0+ / 0-)

          ...pay little if any taxes, owe allegiance to no country, negotiate sweetheart deals with countries in economic trouble and outright rape 3rd world countries by buying off corrupt leaders with chump change.
          We are no longer fighting national wars we are the proxies fighting corporate wars.
          The worst blights on the planet: arms trade, unchecked pollution, wrecked economies, poverty, starvation, etc. can be laid at the feet of the international corporation.
          Other than that they are a swell bunch of guys - you might even want to have a beer with them.

          Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear." W.E. Gladstone -8.25 / -5.64

          by carver on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 07:06:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  paid for by german tax payers? (0+ / 0-)

          I hadn't even heard that conspiracy theory before.  

          •  You sure (0+ / 0-)

            don't know anything about the EU Regional Funds which transfer (tax) money from rich Member States to poor Member States. Germany is the biggest net contributor to the Regional Funds and Ireland one of the biggest beneficiary countries. Ireland used the German money to attract international corporations offering them free infrastructure and low taxes.

            There goes another of your "free markets work" brain farts....

            "The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

            by Ritter on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:44:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  "les Democrates sont habillés pour l'hiver" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    naltikriti, dconrad, mofembot

    The Deomcrats are dressed for winter???

  •  Americans are very parochial (18+ / 0-)

    As an American who has lived outside the country for 40 years but still has ties in high places in both parties, I see the parochialism in Americans perhaps more clearly than other Americans.  One sees it in the best, not the worst of our countrymen, among the persons of good will whose ignorance of the rest of the world would be merely amusing were it not so appallingly dangerous.

    People of my generation who grew up in the 50s and early 60s viewed America as the world's 'last great hope,' and so it then seemed even in the midst of the Vietnam tragedy.  We understood it to be a terrible mistake, but we didn't think it undermined what we believed to be the core of the American spirit and mission.

    I've revived my views on several scores.  The one that comes most to mind, because it comes closest to my own area of expertise (economics) is the unthinking worship of the 'market', and the corrolarly view that it coordinats selfish actions into a greater good.  This is a hard view to break, and it has had devastating effects on the supply of all kinds of public goods.  Europeans see the effects, as do Canadians, and they know that they are materially better off for having a larger and more compassionate public sector.  Americans don't see it.  Most of them still see the rest of the world as it was in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.  People are nice everywhere, but only Americans are real.

    I could go on with respect to the 'mission', but I think this gives the flavour.  Americans are decent people, as are people all over the world.  They are simply mor narcissitic.  Education takes a long time, and it's often painful.  We are going to  receive some painful education.

    •  Truth is, most americans cannot afford (9+ / 0-)

      to travel outside the country, and our standardized tests don't make them learn almost anything about the modern outside world. They don't live next to a dozen first-world countries with unique languages.

      But frankly, the Travel Channel and Rick Steves on public TV have probably had quite an influence on Americans who used to think that "europeans are poor". Now Europe is a full-color vacation destination that you see on TV on a regular basis.  Long term, that will help undermine the argument that Europeans are worse off and that their health care, in particular, isn't as good.

      As for being "more narcissistic" I completely disagree. When living and traveling in Europe I found people there every bit as narcissistic and sometimes even as parochial as Americans. Most people I met there never traveled outside their own country, even if they lived in a very tiny country.

      •  True... (0+ / 0-)

        but they don't live in countries (for the most part) that muck around in the rest of the world on a mission to export capitalism and democracy.

      •  Would visiting change us? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timbuk the Second, dconrad

        Decembersue, I know people who haven't even left their own county!  But you are right, it is expensive for the average working person here to travel to Europe.  I wonder, if there was an affordable way, that if many could go and see Europe, would that have an affect on our politics?

        •  Travel is a vector . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timbuk the Second

          . . for developing sympathy and a sense of an alien culture as no longer other. It is not the ONLY way of doing that, of course. A thread in modern teaching is multi-cultural education, which seeks to use a broad based curriculum from a variety of cultures. It can work, but most often it is given lip service. How many teachers have seen a "Black History Month" bulletin board, and wondered if it means anything to their students. It takes real effort and constant integration into instruction for it to work.

          Of course, that means having teachers who see the value in this, and so many teachers are chasing their own tails, trying to meet AYP for NCLB and teaching to the test. Most of the educators I know are very hard working individuals, but the values in education have shifted from supporting the growth of a healthy, broadminded and capable young person to demonstrating achievement on a chart. A soulless system, shortsighted and selfish. And, oddly enough, those are adjectives that can be applied to how the US is perceived abroad. I sense a connection here.

        •  Perhaps in some ways. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jerome a Paris, dconrad

          I am often shocked by the level of ignorance in the U.S. about simple facts about Europe in particular. A fair amount of it seems to be based on what Knut mentions; a 1950s or even 1960s view of a much poorer Europe.

          I had one person go into absolute disbelief when I was talking about the integrated public transportation system of modern Europe. After pointing them in the right direction on the web they were very curious and began asking why we couldn't have something similar.

          Just on that basis, if we could get them off group tours, travel could make a change for anyone living in urbanized areas of the U.S. The simple fact that in many, if not most, European cities one can walk a few blocks and be into a continent wide net is striking. The convenience of having a system rather than as hoc transport modes is something I first ran in to in Japan forty years ago. Why the hell does one land at a major U.S. airport and not find themselves in the bus/rail/local transit system? It is downright backward!

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:46:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Gee, Bush invades a country that had nothing... (7+ / 0-)

    . . . to do with 9.11 and now we occupy it, with no end in sight.  Oh, and that would be a country in the Middle East.  Oh, and, besides that, Bush and his cadre of dumbasses can no more distinguish between Sunni and Shia, between Arab and Persian, between friend and foe (or even ally-of-convenience) than he/they can their asses and a bunch of holes in the ground.

    Bush & Company have done more to recruit terrorists than Bin Laden could've ever imagined in his wildest, most fevered and maniacal dreams.

    BenGoshi
    _____________________________________________________

    "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

    by BenGoshi on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:42:31 AM PDT

  •  As far as criticizing the monied classes . . . (5+ / 0-)

    I say it's about time.

    The catch is, of course, that almost anyone who has regular access to post here on DK would find their standard of living reduced were we to distribute wealth evenly across the board, for EVERYONE.

    Now, this is not a bad thing, and it might even be fair, aside from the fact that the powerful would not agree to it even if there was a way to administer it. So what is to be done?

    I miss Edwards. Not because I necessarily bought his feelings of solidarity with those in poverty, but because he insisted it be an issue. The Shrubites have handed us almost 8 years where the focus has been on helping the rich get richer. I hope that, no matter who the next Pres is, this trend will not be allowed to continue.

    •  Define everyone? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mofembot, Valhalla

      I make less than the average salary in the US, so if by everyone you mean everyone in the US my cash flow would go up.  Now admittedly, by supplying the means to purchase to everyone, prices would inflate as well, as demand would be greater, but I'm not sure which would go up more, my wages or prices.

      If you mean everyone in the world, then suddenly you're talking about rewarding people for having children.  I should have as many children as I can, so that my 'family' will get as great a share of the wealth as possible.  But since I responsibly decide not to have children and thus increase the demand for resources in a world already stretched to the limit, I get punished for not overpopulating past available resources.  Joy.

      I miss Edwards too, and I'd love a more level playing field in the US, but we've got to get our own house fixed before we go around exporting our (apparently lousy) ideas overseas.

      What is to be done?  How about a return to real Democratic progressive tax rates?  Not this namby pamby 3% rate rise on the obscenely rich, but boost it back to at least 50%?

      Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

      by drbloodaxe on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:27:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, I meant _EVERYONE_ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mofembot

        I always do, when I say everyone. It's one of my pet peeves.

        I think everyone deserves to be torture free, and have access to health care, and be accorded civil rights etc. which is why things like Guantanamo, and rendition get right on my last nerve.

        I think we forget how much we have, materially, at least, is what I'm saying, and how little other people have. I feel undeservably privileged to have what I have, although I do not count myself as even middle class on the US scale.

        •  Good reply (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mofembot

          Most folks generally don't mean what they say, just use shorthand, so thumbs up for actually meaning it.

          Agreed that the US is unbelievably wealthy compared to much of the world, and really, a 'drop' in standard of living might actually be good for us, if it means less focus on pointless material possessions and consumption of overly processed 'foodstuffs' that aren't really food.  

          Props again for your second paragraph.  I think we need to get past 'American law' and create a code of law that we apply equally to any human being, not based on nationality.  We shouldn't torture anyone, as you say.  There should be no differences in humane treatment based on nationality.

          Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

          by drbloodaxe on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 12:47:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And regarding population . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mofembot, Maevpmcc

        . . . I hear what you are saying, but I also know that that choice, while it certainly rates as a moral one on my scale, is not an easy one.

        I am not a fan of platitudes, aphorisms, etc. Any wisdom that can be easily distilled can be easy to misunderstand or misuse, but I do like this quote from the Mahabharata: When we prefer our children to the children of others, war is near.

        Resources, whether necessary to survival or simply desireable, are limited. Competition for resources begets war. What is SICK, however, are the times that we go to war over resources that are not necessary to survival.

        Why do we in the US or the West or the developed countries need to have such an overabundance when there are people in real and desperate need? And how do the people who are the poster children for greed, the wealthiest among us, manage to convince us that they truly merit what they have and that their success is due, at least in part, to some superiority, with moral overtones.

        Max Weber had some things to say about Capitalism and Protestantism and how they intersect. I think I'm seeing alot of that in the American plutocracy. And I am ashamed.

        •  wealth isn't apportioned, its created (0+ / 0-)

          which is one of the reasons communism is such a hilariously morbid failure.  

          •  Basic Physics: Matter can neither be (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drbloodaxe, fsbohnet, cs

            created nor destroyed, right?

            Same with wealth. Finite, physical and intangible resources exist and as long as we agree to some idea of "ownership" of these resources they are apportioned.

            They are constantly reapportioned, sure, in different ways, but aside from the very rare instances in which a new idea makes money out of nothing (I'm thinking Youtube, etc.) most reapportionment takes place under rules which favor those who have.

            It's a skewed system. And, you may note, that I did not advocate communism as a solution. I do not believe that we as humans can or will give up enough self interest to make that system work. What I will NOT agree to is the kind of excess we see constantly flaunted by the wealthiest people/nations in the face of the dire needs of others. It is the definition of obscenity.

            •  if you believe that (0+ / 0-)

              then you're too stupid for words.  and it figures you're one of those "too bad communism is impractical" communists.  

              WEALTH IS CREATED, technology and innovation...CREATE WEALTH.  literally.  you are 100% wrong, the exact opposite of correct.

              •  Goods and products are (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                drbloodaxe, fsbohnet

                created whereas wealth must be  extracted from witholding pay to the workers in order to accumulate it.  

                What kind of capitalist ideologue are you if you don't even know these essentials!?

                "The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

                by Ritter on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:24:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  True (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ritter, Maevpmcc

                  As you note, in almost all instances the wealth generating idea is siphoned from the creators to further enrich the capitalists who bankrolled the innovation.  Most people aren't Edison, they can't afford to sit around thinking up patentable ideas all day.  They may come up with 1-2 good ones in a lifetime, but have to give them over to their employers, who will then gain far more from it than the creators.

                  The capitalists will say 'Well heck, I employed that person even before they came up with the idea that 'paid me back' for employing them'.  In reality, you get paid as little as they can get away with, and if you weren't making them a profit even when not having flashes of creative genius, they'd have fired you.  For profit companies simply do not employ people out of the goodness of their heart.  They always intend to make a profit off their labour and ideas.

                  Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

                  by drbloodaxe on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:16:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  yah like all the internet pioneers (0+ / 0-)

                    who are now millionaires.  they are just poor suckers who gave it all up to the capitalist pig dog.  god you've been fed some pretty moronic lies.  and the average risk/return on venture capitalism is not especially high.  obviously there's a few hits with enormous returns and a lot of misses which are massively cash negative.

                    •  So you're saying (0+ / 0-)

                      Venture capitalists are, as a whole, stupid?

                      Because only a stupid person or one who has so much money that it doesn't matter would throw money at a losing enterprise.

                      'All the internet pioneers who are now millionaires'?  All of them?  Last time I looked, 99% of them weren't.  Some small select few made enomrmous profits.  Bill Gates, for instance stole tons of work from the Xerox Palo Alto research people to start Microsoft.

                      Yes, some few people do get wealthy on their own work.  Most do not.  That's because you do not create wealth.  You can add value, but not create wealth.  You gain wealth by exchanging something of lesser value for something of greater value, to someone who values it more highly.

                      I'm hungry, so I give you $6 for $3 worth of food.  I'm thirsty, so I give you $3 for a bottle of fricking water worth pennies, because I'm at a concert venue without drinking fountains.  I feel the need to listen to music, so I pay $50 for a portable cd player that cost $5 to make.  and on and on.  The wealth is transferred because the purchaser believes that they are getting 'reasonable' value for their money.  The seller knows better, but wishes to accumulate cash.  If you believe anything different, then you must believe that people sell things at cost.

                      Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

                      by drbloodaxe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:31:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  no, thats ignorant crap (0+ / 0-)

                  wealth is created, not siphoned.  if I invent a new method of production I am not siphoning anything from anyone, I am creating wealth.  wealth is created in many more ways, but i'm afraid that battling marxists its best to stick w/ some of the more obvious ones.

          •  Communism isn't on the table (0+ / 0-)

            the miserable failure we're talking about here is the Market God's paradise that's currently crashing about our ears.

            "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

            by johnmorris on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:14:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  like it did in the 80's? (0+ / 0-)

              even if we take the worst collapse of american capitalism, 1929.  if you were born in 1929 your college years would have spent with america as the most powerful and economically successful nation on the planet.  

              the "crashing about our ears" that all you haters of capitalism revel in will end, and as long as we still hold onto the ideals of capitalism through it we will become massively wealthier in time.

              •  Bullshit bob. (0+ / 0-)

                I was born in 1942 and I did in fact, grow up in the most economically successful and powerful nation on earth. It was tightly regulated and had a steeply progressive tax structure. Wealth was widely distributed and the highest incomes were taxed at rates above 70%. "Capitalism" took over again in the 1970's as a result of what Hillary Clinton was to call the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. It trashed that country, plunging us from #1 to # 17 in all important international economic categories except two; percapita billionares and cost of health care. We lead in those two sad categories. here: learn something:

                http://tinyurl.com/...

                "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

                by johnmorris on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:25:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  the tax rates had to go down (0+ / 0-)

                  america at the end of WWII had an enormous economic advantage.  a huge surplus, we produced HALF the world's oil, we were the only industrial country that wasn't bombed into dirt, we could get away with a lot of bad economic ideas.  the world changes though, and that enormous natrual advantage can't last forever.  no matter how much ignorant marxists would like it.

                  •  Face it man (0+ / 0-)

                    you guys screwed the pooch. You and the theory you love so has been in uninterrupted control since 1980 and its fucked up the economy. Its falling down.

                    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

                    by johnmorris on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:38:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  that would be a horrendously idiotic idea (0+ / 0-)

      communism as a successful idea is dead.  inequality in a meritocracy is a virtue.

      •  There is no one here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timbuk the Second, Maevpmcc

        espousing communism. You and Freidrich Hayek are whipping a dead dog. The opposite of unfettered capitalism is humanity, not communism.

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:18:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the same basic objections and the same basic (0+ / 0-)

          solutions are still around.  they got renamed because unfortunately communism killed a few ppl.  neo-marxist rants are very common.  and are espoused regularly on dkos.  now maybe the dkosians being relatively ignorant are getting these rants as unattached second hand information and therefore are unaware of their ideological source.  I don't know.  

          and btw, numerous countries have communist parties.  india's communist party has significant power.  and several european ones have communist parties or socialist counterparts.  chavez recently revived communism in venezuela as "bolivarian socialism."  

          •  you mock ignorance of history by others. (0+ / 0-)

            and gllefully mix communism and socialism as if they were the same thing...

            It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

            •  they are very similar (0+ / 0-)

              and their proponents walk pretty easily between the two.  bolivarian socialism is modeled heavily after cuban communism.  then you have the trotskyites the marxists, the stalinists, the lenninists.  all claim to be different, obviously.  but the basic idea is a very similar line.  their basic attack of capitalism is almost the same and their basic solution is very similar.

              •  "Bolivarian socialism" (0+ / 0-)

                doesn't even resemble Cuban Communism. Venezuela maintains a market economy and a free press along with regularly scheduled multiple party elections. Chavez has increased social spending on health care, education and basic sanitation and the oligarchy, who have lost the last three elections and failed in their latest coup attempt, are screaming about it on their multiple TV stations that are free to broadcast in the country. Do you just make this shit up or is someone feeding it to you?

                "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

                by johnmorris on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:30:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  not if chavez has his way (0+ / 0-)

                  he has already shutdown some of the opposition media and setup HUGE amounts of heavily propgandized government media.

                  and chavez takes a lot of his ideas for further "socialist revolution" from cuba and from castro.  even including his desire to rule for half a century, as he has stated he would like to do.

                  again you just prove how similar they all are.  the anti-capitalist screeds are a dime a dozen.

    •  I very much fear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maevpmcc

      that "what is to be done" is to wait for the fundamental stupidity of our investor class to destroy the world's economy so that we can get about the business of rebuilding it the way we did from 1932 to 1972, when they started their last comeback.

      "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:07:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, since I am American (5+ / 0-)

    and a member of Die Linke/The Left, that makes me...

    anti-myself?

    "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:47:41 AM PDT

  •  Gee whiz (7+ / 0-)

    A business news publication stroking the business decision-makers and gently telling them, "It's not your fault. It's all those awful cwitics complaining about our great economy.  Just when we've succeeded in globalizing Reaganism."

    Not surprising at all but indicative of how hammered business folks are beginning to feel about their own creation.  Yes, I can use the word "feel" too.

  •  Hmmm. (7+ / 0-)

    What's startling is the lack of sophistication in, for example, characterizing UBS as a European firm. Sure, their headquarters are in Zurich. That said, their stock ownership is globally distributed, they have huge presences in New York, London and elsewhere, their hiring is nothing short of global, and their revenue streams originate practically everywhere. The same applies to Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley. These companies can't meaningfully be described as having home nations or even home continents any more.

    In short, what these articles try to frame as Europe versus America really has more to do with the divergence between the interests of the middle and working class and those of the transnational firms that aren't meaningfully tied to any locality. In that sense, the parallels between the increasingly populist mood here in the United States and the anti-globalization backlash in the European Union are of greater weight than the claimed divergence.

    One more thing, about the Left Party - Linkspartei - in Germany. That party is the successor of the old East German state party, and treats anti-Western resentment as a core means of differentiation in its eastern strongholds. Normally, that's directed at West Germany; but since the party expanded into the former FRG, my guess would be they needed a new other to define themselves against, and for that, George Bush's America seems tailor-made. So their statements may reflect more of their internal positioning than any sincere argument.

    Excellent diary, tipped and rec'd.

    Ils n'ont rien appris, ni rien oublié. - Talleyrand

    by MBNYC on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:49:24 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the post. (8+ / 0-)

    Let me get this straight. Disapproving of Bush, the war in Iraq, the subprime mess, Wall Street shenanigans, and Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior makes you anti-American. I guess most Americans are anti-American.

  •  Capitalism always eats its own in the end (7+ / 0-)

    The creation of wealth and investment eventually gives way to absorbing the wealth created by earlier generations.  When exploitation of labor is no longer possible, capturing of public investments and encouragement of public indebtedness follow, resulting in meltdown.  And this occurs in 50-60 year cycles, two generations typically.  Wonder why new books on the WPA and the New Deal are appearing?  That's why.  

    If Hillary is elected will we have to have his and her libraries?

    by djohnutk on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:55:50 AM PDT

  •  OT - This diary would be perfect in a composition (4+ / 0-)

    class, to show how to go about analyzing a text.  Except that the content might be a little out of reach for my freshmen.

    Excellent diary, as usual.

  •  Cher Jérôme : (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mofembot

    Ce qui m’amuse, ce n’est pas qu’on accuse certains d’être des anti-américains de gauche, mais qu’on ait commencé par identifier les Kerviel et autres aux Américains!

    Bonne chance! J’espère vous envoyer sous peu mon bouquin, « Les Silences de l’Amerloque », à paraître chez l’Harmattan.

  •  That article is pure propoganda (7+ / 0-)

    I did run into some genuine anti-americanism a few years back, but that was in Britain, which according to this article, is practically a US state.  Upper class English college students at that time were flat out hostile to American exchange students like myself. Still not sure what that was about.

    The French, Spanish, and Irish, and Italians I've encountered in their native habitat, however, were all incredibly friendly.

    I must live in some sort of bizarro world...

  •  Anti-europism or anti-french-ism (8+ / 0-)

    The political discourse in France is often anti-American, whereby "America" we mean "the political system of the U.S. of A." It's hardly ever directed at the American people; the only exception being wrt fat people (as in, Americans are seen as fat).
    On the other hand, anti-French discourse in the U.S. is downright racist (broadly speaking), whereby French people are dissed as surrender monkeys, tyrant-loving traitors, and so on. There is no, I repeat NO instance I can think of of the French media doing anything remotely like Douchebag O'Reilly on Faux News.
    But once again, what we have here it the typical reichwing habit of accusing others' of one's faults.

    A "centrist" is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.

    by nicta on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:07:32 AM PDT

    •  The French (6+ / 0-)

      Sometimes your best friend is the one who tells you that you really do look fat in that dress.  The French were precisely correct about Iraq and I regret that: a) our government did not listen and b) that so many people jumped on the "cheese eating surrender monkey" meme with such stunts as "freedom fries".  It made me embarrassed for my country.

    •  The Washington Post (5+ / 0-)

      had a sneer editorial about the French heat wave in 2003 - the one that killed 13,000 people. Maybe you saw it?

      I couldn't believe it when I saw it - I was utterly shocked and ashamed to live in the same country with those offal (sic) people. I must admit that I couldn't find any Americans who defended it at the time, but it made me ill.

      I have seen snootiness and petty anti-Americanism from a small minority of Europeans and Canadians in the late '70s, and resented it then.

      But I have never seen anything resembling the disgusting attitude directed by a large minority of Americans toward the French for not supporting the Iraquian Busherie.

      The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

      by dabize on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:33:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But . . . but Jerome, (5+ / 0-)

    I don't criticize the moneyed classes, I condemn them.  

  •  Thanks, Jerome... (6+ / 0-)

    Shorter version: Oppose Bush = Anti-American. Apparently 70% of this country is anti-American.

    -5.12, -5.23

    We are men of action; lies do not become us.

    by ER Doc on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:11:39 AM PDT

  •  I have been improving my mind (10+ / 0-)

    and reading the comics online. Here's a terrific editorial cartoon that pretty well sums up the entire Bushco era. It seems rather pertinent to this morning's discussion.

    The degree to which you resist injustice is the degree to which you are free. -- Utah Phillips

    by Mnemosyne on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:11:54 AM PDT

  •  it's about economic classes... (6+ / 0-)

    Criticizing the moneyed classes = being anti-American

    It's about classes, all right.  I think that one of the dismaying consequences of 1950's era McCarthyism in the U.S. is that it succeedeed:  very few Americans can or will talk about classes in their society, and when and if they do they are pounced on as being un-American.  It would take a lot of work to re-establish this rhetorical ground in American political discourse, and it ought to be done, as it is being done here.

    The ironic thing about the article that's being deconstructed here (excellently) is that Europeans don't care whether they're being anti-American or not.  It's a category that is important to Americans.  The Europeans just call 'em as they see 'em.  And as America's hegemony in the world declines (thanks to all the antics of BushCo, Inc., and the increasing weaknesses in the US economy's foundations--pyramidded financing, along with increasing reliance on foreign oil, foreign workforces, foreign debt financing, foreign technical innovation, foreign leadership on environmental policy, foreign leadership in moral vision, etc. etc.) "Anti-Americanism" will become the cry of a whiney nation that just can't get what it wants in the world.  Bush, hat in hand, goes to OPEC; OPEC, reasonably enough, says no.  We'll see more of that in the future, and more articles purporting to explain this by referring to the idea that the world just doesn't like us.

    •  I credit the myth of the myth . . (10+ / 0-)

      (ok, gotta stick with me on this one)

      There is a myth in the US. The myth is that socio-economic classes in the US are a myth. For whatever reason, some part of some of us buy into the idea of equal access to unobstructed upward mobility. Clearly, if one can simply APPLY ones-self and achieve economic success then the hard borders of class do not exist.

      Yeah, and the studies that have been done, tracing the patterns of wealth across generations, is that what they come up with? HELL no. If you are rich, you are likely to stay rich, if you are poor, poor. Yes, there are exceptions but they are few and far between. We simply don't want to own up to the idea that pulling yerself up by yer bootstraps is impossible if you lack bootstraps to begin with.

      Why is it, when I reflect on the distribution of wealth and especially the lack of access to basic goods and services I am tempted to shout: "1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a class war!"????

      •  it's far easier to fall out of the upper (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mofembot, pelagicray, Eric Zencey

        or middle classes than it is to claw your way up and in. That much is for sure.

        "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between." -- Oscar Wilde

        by expatyank on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:17:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm.. (4+ / 0-)

        See, I have seen people move from very poor to very wealthy so I know it can be done.  But these folks had another type of wealth (tremendous religious faith and/or tight supportive family and/or enough natural smarts to self-educate).  I think that's why so many immigrant families have done relatively well (a combination of all three). But for too many poor Americans, who don't have those support systems, it becomes nearly impossible to join the middle class.  That's why something like Head Start is critical.  That's why we need good public schools.  That's why we need higher minimum wages -- it allows for one parent to maybe work fewer hours and spend more times with their kids. Of course, a poor immigrant family from Senegal can come to New York and do well -- if mom & dad are married, if they get help from the local mosque, if thinking about their poor cousins back home inspires them to work hard at school.  But what about a single mother in Philly, who stopped going to Church  cause it doesn't feel right, who has no extended family nearby, who doesn't have an education?  What hope do her kids have if there's no Head start, no after-school problems, no support system? Not all poor kids have the same chance.  We can praise the immigrant parents and diss the single mom (as Repubs might) but these kids did not choose their parents.  We've got to have systems in place to make sure the kids without any support system still have a chance.

        "It is time to be patriotic about something other than war" - John Edwards

        by Valhalla on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 12:36:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True, people _can_ move (5+ / 0-)

          Valhalla, but they are by far and away the exceptions. The truth is, the circumstances and resources necessary for that one exception to make it are SOOOOO scarce that it is impossible for every person to achieve what we consider wealth. And yet we will continue to claim that it is universally available, and that if you are not wealthy, you are simply not trying hard enough. Bleah.

          I am so with you on kids, though. I am an educator in rural Kansas, and I see kids that don't have coats and don't get regular meals. Sometimes their parents are simply selfish and inattentive, but sometimes they have hard working but struggling families. Those who oppose protecting children use variations on the classic "welfare mom" as arguments against programs like Head Start. They ask questions like: "Why should we take on the burden of caring for this child. It's the parents' responsibility."

          We are our responsibility. Each of us has a responsibility to each other that, IMHO, trumps selfish self-interest. And providing the basics for those members of society who CANNOT provide for themselves should be something we should expect, not something we can deign to contribute to if we feel like it.

    •  "Irrevelant" is beginning to be the word. (5+ / 0-)

      My impression is that the reality of Bush's second term seen as our pulling off a mask and the decline economically the rest of the world is beginning to rather casually accept U.S. irrelevance as a workable model. Despite knowledge of our racial and other social issues the public face of the U.S. was often seen as naive and progressive at the same time. With Bush's policies and our national reaction to 9/11 tossing aside the good will of the world to engage in an orgy of "us against them" the mask was off.

      We've made our borders almost as inhospitable as the old Iron Curtain. International and domestic organizations are having to reschedule meetings elsewhere so that respected scientists and others can attend. In our neoisolationism the rest of the world is finding we really aren't all that essential and is moving on.

      The adage "a good reputation is difficult to obtain and easily lost" applies. And, yes, the response for many is to increasingly whine about anti-American attitudes. That will only drive the process faster.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:00:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is it common to seperate UK from Europe? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mofembot, Neon Vincent

    I always thought they were part of Europe.

    Love that "power of the purse!" It looks so nice up there on the mantle (and not the table) next to the "subpoena power."

    by Sacramento Dem on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:22:36 AM PDT

    •  Yes and no. (6+ / 0-)

      One of the very interesting aspects of all this is how many of the things we liberal/progressive types do not care for here stem from the British model. Look closely at the model for finance and you see a close correlation between the U.S. and U.K. models with much less between both of those and the Continental model.

      Many in the U.K. resisted the E.U. entry and the U.K. has always held itself quite separate from "The Continent" in fairly fundamental ways. An economist here can probably nail those concisely. There is also a fairly deep cultural difference related to being across that moat and sometimes at war (Napoleon, Hitler) with Continental forces.

      The views on sex, particularly in politics, are sometimes specially amusing. The U.S./U.K. "Victorian" views are not an accident. They are cultural. It ain't just climate that discourages topless and nude bathing off the Continent! After all ice cold North Sea beaches are frequently full of frolicking nude Germans.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:46:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heh (10+ / 0-)

      They are formally part of the EU, and of Europe, but many of the British (or, probably more precisely, the English) don't consider themselves to be part of Europe.

      As their foreign policy was, for centuries, to divide Europe so that no country or alliance would become powerful enough to endager (invade) the UK, they are still profoundly unconfortable with the explicit EU goal of "ever closer union."

      The fact that a large chunk of their media is controlled by rapidly anti-EU Murdoch (yes, the Fow News owner) does not help them get objective info about Europe, which is usually presented as a flawed, intrusive, useless, wasteful bureaucratic machine (fact: the EU has fewer bureaucrats than any medium sized city).

      But their policies over the past 25 years have been to try to build the EU as freetrade zone and slow down all attempts to create more political legitimacy for the Union.

      •  Hmm (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jerome a Paris, mofembot

        As a free press is necessary national infrastructure, the EU should disallow foreign ownership and nationalize (unionize?) any foreign owned media ;)

        Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

        by drbloodaxe on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:51:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I beg to differ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mofembot

        I think that neither UK nor USA experienced officially acknowledged fascist rule, so xenophobia is not as discredited as elsewhere in Europe.  I mean, my impression is that in Continental Europe, xenophobia definitely exist, but is far less persistent.

        That said, is Murdoch press rapidly anti-EU or rabidly?

        And the same press, don't they have topless girls on page 2?

        As far as Brussels bureaucracy, it is a historical phenomenon. The government of the union is almost a joke, and yet it is needed.  Hence the amazing power of the bureaucracy.  E.g. a committee meets, and after some deliberation it sets the amount of carbon each country can emit.  And then it is like an act of God.  Somehow, US does not have an efficient decision-making mechanism for those matters.  Mind you, their power does not come from their number or their budget, but from a general conviction that certain things should be regulated, and a general passive-aggressive attitude to necessary (and not-so-necessary) regulations.

        What is amazing that British government is most effective at resisting Union rules on workers' rights, as befits Labour government.  And wrecking any attempt at coordinated foreign policy without actually any rationale, least of all, popular rationale, to do it.  And it is popular, being an act of defiance and independence.

        By the way, is it true that a similar crisis as our "sub-prime mortgages" brews in Britain, only worse?

        •  Xenophobia exists in Europe, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shpilk

          much of it directed toward growing Muslim immigrant populations (Turks in Germany, North Africans in France, for example). Unfortunately, this stands to get worse as economic conditions worsen.

          Book excerpts: nonlynnear; other writings: mofembot.

          by mofembot on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 12:13:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  its going to get really bad (0+ / 0-)

            as the welfare state collapses in europe.  maybe not anytime too soon.  but there are lots of immigrant areas in europe with 50%+ unemployment.  there was a story recently of a muslim pakistani man in britain who quit his teaching job because the welfare payments from his 11 children gave him the exact same amt of money.

          •  It's complicated (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mofembot

            Muslims do a hell of a lot better in US than in Europe because American companies hire them.  Muslims are a lot like Mormons -- their religious entities will take care of their poor so they can do well in a more free-market system.  But before that can happen, you have to be hired and that's the problem they're facing in Europe.  And that's because they're aren't enough jobs to go around in Europe and #2, it's very hard to get fired even if you're doing a lousy job.  In America, we resent it if someone in Miami loses his job to someone in Mumbai but we don't resent it if an Indian-American outperforms his Irish-American colleague and gets promoted over him. From my understanding, if you're not a native to that European country you don't even get to compete and that's a problem I think. While I criticize our economic policies, I am not advocating we carbon copy Europe's.  The tenure system, the strict 35 hour work week, etc. are not conducive to healthy competition. We can liberalize our own systems without taking on some of the problems of Europe. There have been numerous stories about people sending resumes to French companies with different names and getting different reactions.

            "It is time to be patriotic about something other than war" - John Edwards

            by Valhalla on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 12:46:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I should be more precise (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mofembot

            xenophobia is less accepted as political or intelectual concept.

            Thus it is usually a minority sentiment in press and politics, and the electoral success of programatic xenophobes tends to be fleeting -- meaning, so far such parties were either ostracised, or out of power or ruling coalition in few years.

            Also, in the case of British, the press is cheerfully xenophobic against the neighbors, which is a rarity in the Continent.  One could nearly think that English are still sulking after being plundered for 100 years during 100 Year War, occupied by French emperors who tried to eradicate English language, or loosing farms to violent hill folks from France.  Or fed up with swarms of French beggars.

            Perhaps they still smart from succumbing to the metric system.

          •  We don't have Muslims (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bustacap, nicta, the fan man, mofembot

            we have Arabs (in France) or Turks (in Germany). The distinction is important. We don't need to invent religious wars where you just have the normal integration pains of immigrants - no different to what happened with Poles or Italians a couple generations ago.

            •  Well, yes and no. (0+ / 0-)

              Part of the xenophobia I've seen/read about/ talked to French and German people about is driven by real and perceived religious differences: not just Muslim v. Christian, but religious v. nonreligious/secular. My German acquaintances in particular seem very uncomfortable with the notion that religion would dictate how people dress, eat, etc.

              Having been in the school system in France when the "loi de laïcité" was enacted (to the detriment of scarf manufacturers everywhere)... well. Let's just say it was viewed by staff and administrators as a thinly-veiled (pun intended) measure to coerce conformity, at least in dress. "Everyone" knew that for all the hoo=hah about "not wearing large crosses, yarmulkes, etc.," the real targets were Muslims.

              One unfortunate outcome was that girls from devout families (and occasionally their brothers) left the public school system, further radicalizing some and definitely working against the goal of greater integration.

              Book excerpts: nonlynnear; other writings: mofembot.

              by mofembot on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:27:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  rabidly indeed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dave925

          and yes, the topless girls are page 3...

          And yes, the British government resists all social legislation (they got an opt out for the European Charter of Fundamental Rights because it included the right to strike).

          As to subprime, I don't know, but UK banks are exposed to their domestic real estate market, which has been in an even worse bubble than the US.

    •  In the UK it's common (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      espresso, Dave925, mofembot

      Listening to the radio just yesterday, I heard the leader of the Liberal Democrat party suggesting that there should be a "referendum on being part of Europe" (what he really meant was, part of the EU). People in the UK talk about "going to Europe" and most do not think of themselves as "Europeans" until they are making wide comparisons--Europe vs America or Asia, for example.
      It's a funny relationship.
      It doesn't help that the EU government seems very distant, and not very democratic or open.
      One thing I will say in the US's favour is that there is far more grassroots involvement in politics than there is in Britain. Now that the Labour Party has largely jettisoned the unions (except when they are compliant) it's just like the Tories--a group of elites talking to each other and answerable to no one.

      "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between." -- Oscar Wilde

      by expatyank on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:22:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Brits don't consider themselves to be part (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snarcalita, Neon Vincent

      of Europe. "Europe" pretty much agrees with them, considering them to be surrogates for Washington.

  •  The essential core (4+ / 0-)

    "globally competitive wages"... ahh, there we are. This is code, of course, for "lower wages", and being anti-lower-wages is, naturally, also being anti-American.

    all else is gloss and commentary.

  •  The politics of anti-(your name here) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mofembot

    has been worn so thin you could spit threw it.

    Thanks for yet another excellent diary.

  •  Subprime Loans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mofembot, SciVo

    Has anyone looked into how the state-owned financial institutions in Germany (like the Sachesen Landesbank) ended up purchasing $$billions of these mortgage-backed securities?

    My suspicion is that they were channeled through Deutsche Bank, which is the trustee bank for tens of thousands of foreclosed properties in the US.

    Dialog macht Sinn / Dialogue makes sense

    by DowneastDem on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:47:07 AM PDT

    •  They did that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925, mofembot, SciVo

      because dereglation forced them to abandon their old business model and look for new ways to make money - and bang, that new market looked attractive enough.

      The old model was to borrow cheaply on the back of public guarantees, lend long term to local companies (fostering sometimes too cosy relationships), and generally support the local economy more than it would be profitable to do in an open market (thansk to the public guarantee). That was judged anti-competitive and made impossible by rules against public subsidies.

  •  BW should be ashamed (6+ / 0-)

    Our establishment uses the word "anti-American" the way the Jim Crow establishment used the word "uppity"- to refer to people in a subordinate position who are not properly deferential and accepting and accomodating to the system of power.

    Whenever I hear the word "anti-American" applied to a person, I wonder...does this person want to hurt me because I am an American?   If the answer is no, it is likely that they say anti-American and mean "uppity".
     

  •  If being against unregulated financial markets, (6+ / 0-)

    where profits are privatized and losses are fobbed off on the public sector, is anti-American, then I guess that this American is anti-American also.

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:58:37 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary, but we leave ourselves open... (8+ / 0-)

    Jerome, another excellent diary.

    However, IMHO, there are two things going on here: irrational anti-Americanism throughout Europe (which has been percolating at various temperatures for many decades); and, the reality that--by all rights and reasons--we should be shouldering the blame for the current economic crisis in the world.

     It started here.

    Everywhere one hears of anti-Americanism, upon further inspection, it often translates into dislike of our leaders, along with a contradictory embrace for the typical U.S. citizen. One reads this type of comment from many 'round the globe all the time. Even in your piece, today.

    Will that change with a (hopeful) changing of the guard in November? Perhaps it will be toned down quite a bit. But, it won't go away entirely.

    However, this time, there's more legitimacy to the Anti-American sentiment than in years/decades past. It's not just about BushCo., to some extent. But, in other ways, it's about GWB's management during his term in office, allowing an unbridled financial services sector to run rampant with regard to the credit/bond/derivative sector(s).

    The financial services sector knew a good thing when they saw it--huge opportunities to put lipstick on the pigs which they were calling new products at the wholesale level. And, they ran with it. The European financial services community jumped on that bandwagon after considering it for all of a good couple of seconds, too.

    Greed prevailed everywhere. That (worldwide) greed, combined with the exploitation of a lack of regulatory oversight here fed that frenzy.

    This is not exactly new information. (Reference the Olender piece, above; just three months ago Olender was being called nothing less than a fabulist; and, even to this day, our own government hasn't really acknowledged were in a Recession--let alone perhaps  the worst financial crisis this country's faced since the Depression.)  

    But, that is where we are, Jerome.

    Will anti-Americanism continue, as it has for decades? Of course.

    But, when we provide so much fuel to the fire, as we have now, what else should we expect?

    This certainly isn't surprising to folks like Olender. And, it certainly isn't surprising to folks like Treasury Secretary Paulson, the only large financial services CEO (from Goldman Sachs) to actually unload tens of billions of dollars of these fraudulent wholesale mortgage products on the on world markets, around the time he was taking office in the Bush Administration, in early 2006/late 2005, too!

    So, we've poured plenty of fuel on this fire this time. And, we must be shouldering a lot of the blame now, as well.

    The question, in my mind is this: Who's going to pay the price for this here? If history is any indication, it's the middle class that will do 99% of the suffering, covering for a financial services sector-gone-wild. When in fact, it is Wall Street and the entire lending community which really does need to be held accountable.

    Jerome, we (not me, but Wall Street, being allowed to pull off this scam under the guidance of a duplicitous administration's so-called oversight) are to blame--perhaps for the first time truly being held accountable for something that we started.

    Just look at the link above. This has been coming down the pike for months, if not years. Like a slow motion trainwreck.

    Did the financial services sector in Europe jump on this train. You betcha'! But, the U.S. was the station from where that locomotive first embarked.

    Does this feed the fires of those in Europe looking to conflate decades-old (and up until GWB's rule) anti-American hatred due to the convenience of current events? Of course.

    But, this time, our government and our financial services sector is guilty.

    Now, undermining the total and long-term ecomomic well-being of this country would be a truly high price to pay for this problem (it may be too late to do anything about that, IMHO). But, let's not sit around acting like we're not at fault here either.

    That's just more denial.

    Conflation? Absolutely. Anti-American hatred is apples. This world economic mess is oranges.

    Throw the apples right back at 'em. But, the orange juice has turned to acid. And, that is the perceived and legitimate fault of the U.S. government--a government that shirked its regulatory responsibilities and let a financial services sector run wild.

    This is the result at the end of the day.

    And, it is the end of the day.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:24:02 AM PDT

    •  "When the American Economy Sneezes... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925, bobswern, mofembot, Maevpmcc

      the rest of the world catches pneumonia."  One of the horrendous fallouts  of the  meltdown in the financial services sector that started with the subprime mess and has now hit like a tsunami into other segments is the loss of American financial credibility.  Perhaps this is a good thing in the long run from a global perspective.  People will look critically at financial innovation from the wild west.

    •  Greed is everywhere (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925, bobswern

      That's true.

      Reaganism, the Republican Contract on America and the administration of GW Bush have done something America never really had before .. tacit government approval and 'mainstreaming' of greed and corruption, on a massive scale.

      Killing the Republican Party dead would be a good beginning to changing this.

  •  More "rally around the flag" bullshit (5+ / 0-)

    Ah...once again the gang at Swindlers' Inc (aka conservatives, free-traders, Big-R republicans) are tying to pull a fast one on us.  Every time this corrupt losers are on the verge of having their deeds exposed, they try and distract us.  "Nevermind that, look over here, they are (insert the usual chest nut, be it "are going to get us" or "really our enemy" or "anti-America" or "Communists.").  All hoping (and often correct) that enough of us will fall for their scams.  Good post, Jerome, good post.

  •  hard lefty? (7+ / 0-)

    given how I'm seen as a hard lefty on the site

    You're a hard lefty? During the Eisenhower administration you'd be called a Republican. How things have changed. We've got to move the center back to the center. Your insightful analysis helps. Thanks.

    miasmo.com If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

    by miasmo on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:41:30 AM PDT

    •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miasmo

      I don't feel a hard lefty at all; I'm just surprised by the vitriol quite a few kossacks (presumably on the left side in the US) send in my way for apparently promoting communist or socialist ideas (they don't make a difference between the two, usually)...

      •  It's all relative. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jerome a Paris

        Relative to elite consensus in the states, you are significantly left. Compared to the American public, you are slightly left of center, at least from what issue oriented polls show. Relative to me, you are the sensible center.  I guess the fact that some people here think you're hard left, and yet still identify with this Democratic site, really shows how far right the "center" is in this country.

        miasmo.com If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

        by miasmo on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 04:48:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm with you, Jerome (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, mofembot

    The American "Left" -- if it even makes sense to speak of one -- has a long way to go and a lot to learn.

    -7.75, -7.64 www.politicalcompass.org "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

    by scorponic on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:45:26 AM PDT

  •  And Latin America (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, mofembot, Maevpmcc

    Even so-called anti-American sentiment in Latin America always has made the distinction between the government and people. This is true even in countries that have been directly attacked by the US.

    And Latin America has had to live with two centuries of US-backed interventions, terrorism, genocides, death squads, clandestine armies, etc.

    It is no wonder that Hugo Chavez is actually very pro-American. He always hopes that the land of Lincoln and King will join the rest of Latin America. He cares about the Native Americans in Maine and Dakota, just as much as the people of Harlem and the Bronx.

    Here's a quote during the time of the recall referendum (and what country has a similar mechanism to recall its president?)

    First, when asked about what he hopes for from the US, he said—"we could hope for a lot. What couldn´t we accomplish with the US on our side? What couldn´t we accomplish in fighting poverty, fighting for education, for health care, for literacy in the neighbourhoods? What couldn’t we accomplish for all of the Americas, or for the whole world? I would be the first one to ally with the United States for something like that. But we cannot hope for anything like that. I read this morning that the US is about to take Najaf. Instead of withdrawing from Iraq, as Spain did, in a very dignified way, as other Latin American countries did, they are making this terrible mistake, with its terrible consequences, even worse."

    I'm mad as Gravel, and I'm not going to take it anymore!

    by ceti on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:10:48 AM PDT

  •  Great diary... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, mofembot, SciVo

    The only people who won't look at these viewpoints with an open mind are the "fat cats" you refer to.  The people with everything to lose if their precious "ideal" of a "global market" is closely examined in ALL of it's facets.  "They" ALL have a huge stake in making sure the "working class" aka "the people who make all business in all forms possible in the first place", get the short end of the shit stick when it comes to "fairness".  

    Because if we have or had ANY leverage in negotiating a "fairness" in regard to the give and take of business, that would mean less margin for them.  Less "bottom-line".  This is unacceptable to "them".  By "them" I mean the media-megalomaniacs of the MSM world, the oil robber barons, the "old money" self-preservers and, of course, the "Wall Street Types".  

    It IS "us" against "them.  Let's just call it what it is.  This is and has been a war for a long, long time.  Anyone with half a brain could say the "war" is as old as advanced society.  And if it weren't for people who won't take shit sitting down, we'd all be working for a drip of piss a day.  

    "They" have a HUGE uphill battle before "they" get the better of "us".  We've got numbers and we've got humanity on our side.  History shows that THAT is a formidable adversary in the way of "achieving" "their" desired results.

    My main concern is a "fairness" for workers of all stripes and an emphasis placed on safety for product.  Unbridled Capitalism aka American Capitalism has many, many pitfalls.  Some of those pitfalls were addressed early on with the formation of unions.  Now, we need something stronger.  Like GLOBAL unions.  The safety aspect is WOEFULLY inadequate.  At least we have people like Ralph Nader (I know his name is a four-letter word around here, but, give the guy the credit he is due) looking out for us.  

    Remember, in the humanized viewpoint, "fairness" is the ends.  Our means of getting there must be, at least, AS cutthroat as "their" method of getting what "they" want.  

    A bit more moderate than, say, Ghandi. -4.5, -2.1

    by TheKost on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:12:49 AM PDT

    •  This is where Nader pisses on his own legacy (0+ / 0-)

      He could have been part of the power structure, rather than being what he has become a rebel clown with a cause.

      He is a clown, now, poisoned by his own enormous ego.
      Damn shame, because you are right, he had good ideas.

      •  He's always... (0+ / 0-)

        had VERY solid progressive ideas.  I mean look at the legislation moving through with his fingerprints all over them.  It's true.  Ralph Nader, has quietly, injected his (and I must agree with his ideals and bedrock philosophy) deal into modern culture.  Whether you like it or not, Nader HAS made a BIG difference.

        I'm not even going to address 2000.  It's just not worth any argument.

        A bit more moderate than, say, Ghandi. -4.5, -2.1

        by TheKost on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 05:33:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant deconstruction. This made me feel dumb (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, nicta, mofembot

    I would never have seen through that so clearly.  Thorough and masterful.  Thanks, you old commie, rich-hating, anti-reform, anti-American trouble-maker.

    The only frame change that matters: the corporate media = propaganda machine. Americans must find their news elsewhere.

    by geomoo on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:20:21 AM PDT

  •  I live in France and... (6+ / 0-)

    I strongly recommend this diary!
    Well done Jerome!

  •  Merci (6+ / 0-)

    The NYT, for god's sake the NYT ran an article recently commenting on the decline of Sarkozy's popularity and it attributed this to his recent marriage to a model. Too scandalous for bourgeiosie  tastes.
    Not a word about what I thought were  the real causes, the  financial angles. Thanks for sharing the real deal with us over here who are bereft of any real news in international affairs-or domestic affairs for that matter either in our so called mainstream media.
    PS I hope your little one is doing allright.  

    What do we want? Universal health care! When do we want it? Now!

    by cagernant on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:30:07 AM PDT

  •  I see the comments section is full (0+ / 0-)

    of hatred of capitalism and the loving justification of all anti-american feelings.  about right for dkos.

    •  the door to freeperville is is >>>> (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925

      Go wave your flag over there.

    •  It's sad (8+ / 0-)

      that you cannot make the difference between anti-Americanism and criticism of the use of the anti-americanism argument against those that  are critical in any way of big business.

      •  "critical in any way of big business" (0+ / 0-)

        haha thats the largest understatement of the century.  what goes on here isn't benign criticism of big business, its screaming hatred of capitalism.

        •  It's hatred of the rape of the working class (6+ / 0-)

          It's hatred for the gross imbalance of wealth.

          It's hatred for the arrogant imperialism of a violent and greedy nation that threatens anyone that dare stand in the way of 'American Exceptionalism'.

          There used to be a time when America tried  to lead by real values of fairness, of real democracy and set an example to the rest of the world.

          Now, we export our filthy degenerate culture and poison the planet, and if people don't like it, we massacre them wholesale [if they have something we want]. To those who don't have something we want, we ignore them and let them die by the millions.

          Go wave your flag, Bushie.  

          •  the american working class (0+ / 0-)

            is probably the most materially wealthy working class in the history of humanity.  

            but I wouldn't expect your seething hatred of america and capitalism to be buttressed by any understanding of reality.

          •  Bob is not an Ameican Exceptionalist (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mofembot, SciVo

            I am, and trust me Bob is not.  Bob supports a mindset and system that will lead to the destruction of America.  Shpilk, you and I will have to disagree about the exportation of our "culture" -- I actually think it's a good thing if we're taking about feminism, freedom, etc.  Obviously, it's a bad thing if we're talking about Exxon and Halliburton.  I would respectfully ask you not to use the word "we" when you talk about the Bush regime.  There are countless American NGOs that are doing good work and that are still driven by real values of fairness and democracy.  As progressives, we cannot let the GOPs -- the folks who stole 2 elections -- take the label of America, Americans or we.  They are illegitimate and they do not represent me, you, or most American people.

            "It is time to be patriotic about something other than war" - John Edwards

            by Valhalla on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:05:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes capitalism will destroy america (0+ / 0-)

              afterall the savings and loan scandal destroyed america, right?  

              •  Not at all (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jerome a Paris, Ritter

                It just funneled about 500 billion bucks from the taxpayers into the pockets of your oh so meritorious capitalists.

                You have to love a country where you stick up a liquor store for $100 and you get 20 years. Rip off the American taxpayer for half a billion and be revered and worshiped by clowns like you.

                What a country!

                Some people say not to worry about the air Some people don't know shit about the... Air...

                by Dave925 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:00:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I pity you (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shpilk, Dave925, dconrad, nlight, mofembot, SciVo

          I pity you cause you're either an idiot or can no longer tell right from wrong.  

          I'm pretty sure Jerome is a capitalist, I know I'm one.  I just want some sensible regulations and a tax code that makes sense.  Perhaps if we weren't at war, I could see the justification for Bush's tax cuts for the rich, but since we are, it just doesn't make sense. I think you need to read up on Alexander Hamilton, the first Sec of the Treasury and the father of American-style regulated capitalism.  He had more wisdom in his pinky than all of us put together and without him we never would have been the economic powerhouse that we are (or rather were).  Ronald Reagan and his short-sighted acolytes undermined our economy and have put us on a course where we are now in danger of losing our mantle of Superpower to the likes of China, India, Russia and the EU.  Of course, you may well be a Chinese-sympathizer who is glad to see our Economy falter.  If that's so, then your idiotic posts actually start to make sense.

          "It is time to be patriotic about something other than war" - John Edwards

          by Valhalla on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 12:59:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  confusing post (0+ / 0-)

            first you seem concerned with america's role as a superpower.  second you seem to imply that america right now has "unregulated" capitalism, when exactly the opposite is true, we have more regulations now than we have ever had in the history of the united states.  

            as for being usurped, all the people you claim are going to usurp us almost universally have problems in vast excess to ours.  india has possibly the worst beaurocracy on the planet, which has been compared to the AIDS epidemic in terms of impact.  china still has issues with freedom and private ownership, and russia well russia haha.

            •  You are the confused one (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dave925, SciVo, desertlover

              I'm an American first.  I believe in our ideals and our mission.  I do not want China to become the great power in this world.  It's bad for us, it's bad for the world.  We still screw up but we are light years beyond them.

              I don't know what you're talking about re regulations.  The sub prime fiasco is a direct result of relaxed regulations. We need more regulations on banking, we need fair trade, we need to enforce food safety standards, and since we have more folks in the country, we may need a larger bureaucracy. That's fine.  

              Just because the Indian people and Chinese people have problems, doesn't mean that those countries (as well as Russia) will not usurp us one day.  If & when their collective economic power continues to grow, they can and will build militaries that rival ours and they can & will make it impossible for us to check countries like Iran or anyone else who might be a threat to our interests.  They will become the major players in the middle east and other oil markets, they will control energy, and we will not be able to counter them effectively.  Your stupid Bush has put us on a course that weakens America and our influence around the globe.  I am amazed that you neo-cons cannot see how your policies have damaged our country.

              "It is time to be patriotic about something other than war" - John Edwards

              by Valhalla on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:16:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  the FDA has some of the highest (0+ / 0-)

                food safety standards in the world.  and the FDA's drug standards are almost always tougher than european ones.  

                you see this is how it goes, you make some stupid irrelevant point, i tell you a fact that completely rebuts the point and you just go onto some other stupid irrelevant point.  

                what regulation would you have for the subprime fiasco?  disallow ppl from taking out loans they can't repay?  and please tell me what federal regulation was scrapped to allow people to takeout subprime loans on their houses.  I'm interesting in knowing it, but fear in my heart that perhaps there is no such mythical regulation.

                •  I'm sure that you would love to blame Mr. Clinton (0+ / 0-)

                  and indeed you should, for gutting Glass-Steagall. However, to accept the economic reality and blame Mr. Clinton for the tech and housing bubbles, you would have to praise a regulation on corporate activity, and that would make your head explode. Good luck with that cognitive dissonance!

                •  Oh I see (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ritter, pelagicray

                  You mean standards of regulation that prohibits testing cattle for Mad Cow?

                  The truth is big bidness love "regulation" like the above. Regulations that might actually impact their bottom line a little but protect consumers- that's the kind of regulation you and they decry.

                  I am a small business man. I routinely kick ass on big bidness competitors. They can't touch me in either competency or cost in a totally unregulated profession.

                  The fact of the matter is small business, free enterprise and individual entrepreneurship are what builds the real economy the one 99% of us live in. We play by the rules and pay our taxes and we don't whine or buy of congreescritters to get our way either. The machinations of big capital is the antithesis of these things. They are parasites who make nothing and contribute nothing. They only look for where their capital can make the most profit and if that's sweat shops in China instead of pouring money into research and development here, guess where they put that money?

                  Not here. No meritcoracy here, a stoned sociopath is far more likely to accumulate vast sums of capital than any one possibly could on their own "merits".

                  Go back to whatever libertarian fantasy myth sucking site you came from. You are a fool.

                  Some people say not to worry about the air Some people don't know shit about the... Air...

                  by Dave925 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:55:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you obviously don't know anything (0+ / 0-)

                    about the FDA or the american economy besides hysterical anti-american rants you've read.  

                    and america is the best meritocracy in history, and has some of the highest levels of social mobility in history.  so again you are just a moron.

                    •  Bzzzzt Wrong (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Jerome a Paris

                      More myths and when proiven wrong, you resort to the tired sterotypes of real Americans calling for justice that are used to marginalize these voices.

                      Want accountability?

                      Marxist!

                      Want people to have a decent life they work hard for instead of all teh productivity gains of teh last 30 years being funneled into the pockets of the riuling class?

                      Commie!

                      You want some facts? Here's one.

                      Disturbing finding from LSE study - social mobility in Britain lower than other advanced countries and declining

                      Page contents > Press cuttings

                         * In a comparison of eight European and North American countries, Britain and the United States have the lowest social mobility
                         * Social mobility in Britain has declined whereas in the US it is stable
                         * Part of the reason for Britain's decline has been that the better off have benefited disproportionately from increased educational opportunity

                      And

                      A careful comparison reveals that the USA and Britain are at the bottom with the lowest social mobility. Norway has the greatest social mobility, followed by Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Germany is around the middle of the two extremes, and Canada was found to be much more mobile than the UK.

                      Yeah this is indeed from one of those Commie sites- The London School of Economics definitely a hot bed of Stalinism.

                      Like I said, you're a fool.

                      Some people say not to worry about the air Some people don't know shit about the... Air...

                      by Dave925 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:36:47 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  I also don't believe for a second (0+ / 0-)

            that the people in this thread are "capitalists"  capitalism creates big business because it rewards success, capitalism creates inequality in much the same way.  the very idea of capitalism is wealth creation through meritocracy.  what do you hear about in these threads?  about how horrible it is how much wealth we have.  those are communist rants, not things that capitalists would often go into seething hatred mode over.

        •  No, it's criticism of (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dave925, pelagicray, SciVo

          unregulated, laissez-faire capitalism, a beast far removed from creating wealth for the benefit of any (and any-sized) human social unit.

          Book excerpts: nonlynnear; other writings: mofembot.

          by mofembot on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:06:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  screaming hatred of capitalism (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jerome a Paris, Dave925

          from a bank executive? That guy makes bigger deals on a day-to-day basis than you'll ever see.

          Lay off the Kool-Aid, d00d. You aren't a mighty capitalist defending capitalism from the great unwashed hordes.

          You're a cheerleader for capitalism with no more idea of how the free market actually works than the average wingnut welfare recipient.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:04:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  haha (0+ / 0-)

            this whole thread is an exercise in unending hatred for capitalism.  being a "cheerleader" merely implies that I don't drink the marxist kool aid.

            •  No you go for the hard stuff (0+ / 0-)

              The Fascist potables are far more prevalent than any Marxist "kool-aid"- the expression of which is a fiction in your own mind.

              Some people say not to worry about the air Some people don't know shit about the... Air...

              by Dave925 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:27:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  we can believe a French banker (0+ / 0-)

              or we can believe someone like you who judging from your public statements, has as much real-world business experience as a Marxist sociology professor or wingnut welfare state book author.

              Capitalists are people who raise capital, not people like you for whom a business plan might as well be written in Sanskrit or PL/1 for all the comprehension you're going to get out of it.

              Go home and impress your fellow freepers with your knowledge of Limbaugh's radio shows.

              If you want to learn something about business, go out and start a hot dog stand.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:26:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  You do realize that JàP is an investment ba (0+ / 0-)

          don't you? No, you probably don't. That is why you're so full of fAiL.

          A "centrist" is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.

          by nicta on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 05:52:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The "bobisbob" pops up now and then to prove (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nicta, Dave925, mediaprisoner, nlight, SciVo

        the case. Look at the history and you see a GOP sockpuppet full of one or two liner talking points and damn little ability to discuss based on fact.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:14:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yah thats why (0+ / 0-)

          I've factually corrected the anti-capitalist idiocies numerous times in this thread.  

          •  With what? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nicta, dconrad

            Your assertions and strawmen are not "facts". Do you understand what a neutral "cite" is?

            Some people say not to worry about the air Some people don't know shit about the... Air...

            by Dave925 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:05:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  is there something you want to have it out over? (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not writing a research paper.

              •  I wnat you to provide (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dconrad

                proof of what you call "facts". Without proof, you are only making assertions, assertions that smell suspiciously like the usual sack of lying Puke shit.

                Some people say not to worry about the air Some people don't know shit about the... Air...

                by Dave925 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:26:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  to what end? (0+ / 0-)

                  if you object to something we can talk about it.  if you're just going to troll me like the little hatemonger you are then I'd rather not bother.

                  •  You claim your comments are facts (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dconrad

                    Pretty simple to support them isn't it? Apparently not for you angry boy.

                    Notice you have only been HR'd once by me and that was for scurrilous and inaccurate name calling.

                    Now if I were to go to any of your wingnut sites, I would be banned in a new York minute for expressing my opinion. Note that you have not been banned.

                    Funny how that is, huh?

                    Some people say not to worry about the air Some people don't know shit about the... Air...

                    by Dave925 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:41:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I've made numerous posts (0+ / 0-)

                      is there anything you would like to object to?  like I said, I'm not writing a research paper.  I know you being an ignorant marxist you just want to drag this out and make the conversation as dumb as possible thereby in effect lowering me to your level.

                      and I'm a democrat, just not an anti-american marxist asshat.

        •  Ah you're right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dconrad

          I'll step feeding the troll.  

          "It is time to be patriotic about something other than war" - John Edwards

          by Valhalla on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:18:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good idea. It pops up like a GOP jack-in-the-box (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nicta, Dave925, dconrad

            now and then with things like this on another discussion: "afterall millions of democrats have it drilled into their brain that gore won more votes but lost"

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:25:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  is that not the truth? (0+ / 0-)

              I've heard that atleast a thousand times on dkos.  I've seen entire diaries about how the electoral college should be scrapped enthusiastically uprated.

              methinks you just hate the truth.  and are another troglodyte desperately trying to control reality.

              •  Ummm (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mediaprisoner, pelagicray

                50,456,002

                50,999,897

                Which number is larger than the other? The first or second?

                Now, which number should be placed next to the name "Al Gore"? The first or second?

                I know this is difficult for you but g'head, give it a try.

                As for the "Electoral College" it is anti-deomcratic and has no place in an alleged "representative democracy".

                For instance, because of the EC, my vote in California is worth substantially less than someone's in Wyoming. How is that right? That's why you see calls for its disbandment you disparagingly refer to as "enthusiastically uprated" here on dKos.

                You see, unlike yourself, we are real Americans who believe in the professed values this nation peddles such as "one person-one vote", not one person in Wyoming equals 1.75 votes and a person in California equals .6.

                Got it?

                No, I am sure you don't because like all Repukes, if you scratch the surface you find an anti-American authoritarian whose fondest wish is to lick the ass of indolent capital and marry yourself to slick sloganeering you delude yourself into thinking is intelligent analysis.

                I am ashamed to share my country with the likes of you. You belong in a banana republic dictatorship where you can easily find the few Plutocrats who own everything. That saves you a lot of time in finding the right asses to kiss. And this, this you wold call "freedom".

                You disgust me.

                Some people say not to worry about the air Some people don't know shit about the... Air...

                by Dave925 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:43:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  you just proved the exact point I made (0+ / 0-)

                  and but you did like an asshole.  so negative points for being a complete asshole but positive points for proving my point.

                •  Since this guy is so dense here's the cheat sheet (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dave925

                  2000 PRESIDENTIAL POPULAR VOTE SUMMARY from the Federal Election Commission.

                  Al Gore (Democrat)       50,999,897 48.38%
                  George W. Bush (Republican)  50,456,002 47.87%

                  But I see bobisbob still weighs in with nonsense. We will just have to let readers judge his reality base and factual accuracy for themselves. I suppose some will still buy that bridge up in Brooklyn. We can't help everyone reach the shores of reality.

                  The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                  by pelagicray on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 07:42:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  The term "America" has always been (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lupin

        loaded with religious overtones and since I am a non religious person I guess I am anti-American.

        I cannot suffer nationalistic declarations like these of B Obama:

        Obama saying that the United States is the "last best hope on Earth" include:

           * At the February 2, 2007, Democratic National Committee winter meeting -- before he officially announced his candidacy, but after he formed a presidential exploratory committee -- Obama stated: "We all have a responsibility to articulate a new foreign policy for the 21st century, one that refocuses our strengths on the wider struggle it's time toagainst terror and renews America's image as the last best hope America is the last, best hope on Earth." Obama also stated later that "[t]he world needs America to lead again. [It's] time for us to turn the page and show the world why we on Earth."

           * In an April 23, 2007, speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Obama stated: "I still believe that America is the last, best hope of Earth. We just have to show the world why this is so. This President may occupy the White House, but for the last six years the position of leader of the free world has remained open. And it's time to fill that role once more."

           * At the April 2007 National Jewish Democratic Council Washington Policy Conference, Obama stated: "We know these are not the best of times for America's reputation in the world. We know that this war in Iraq has cost us an enormous amount, in lives, in treasure, in influence and in respect. And we know that over the last six years much of world opinion has turned against us. But I still believe and I think most of the people here believe that are still the last, best hope on Earth, why we are still a force for good, still a place where weary travelers can come from all corners of the globe and find hope and opportunity at our doorstep."

           * At the June 19, 2007, Take Back America Conference, Obama stated: "It's time to show the world that America is still the last, best hope of Earth. This President may occupy the White House, but for the last six years the position of leader of the free world has remained open."

           * In an October 8, 2007, energy speech in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Obama stated: "We are a land of moon shots and miracles of science and technology that have touched the lives of millions across the planet. And when that planet is challenged or when it is threatened, the eyes of the world have always turned to this nation as the "last, best hope of Earth."

        ...bullshit!

        "The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

        by Ritter on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 04:01:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Anti-American" is a meaningless word now (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lupin, Jerome a Paris, Dave925, mofembot, SciVo

    We've gotten to the point where the word merely indicates the American media elite's disapproval as opposed to any real antagonism or harmful actions towards Americans themselves.

    Only a fool plays by rules he didn't write.

    by Visceral on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 12:23:35 PM PDT

  •  Apparently Businessweek cannot differentiate (5+ / 0-)

    between America, i.e., the American people, who get along pretty well with the rest of the Universe, and the corporate overlord assholes running many US corporations and OUR GOVERNMENT at present, who are quite simply criminal thugs who should be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned.

    I guarantee nobody in Europe hates these assholes any more than I do . . . and I'm a fucking AMERICAN.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 12:29:08 PM PDT

    •  If you look at the past 50 years, the only (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jerome a Paris, Dave925, bobdevo, mofembot

      difference between GW Bush and the preceding administrations is that Bush is more arrogant.

      Eisenhower's warning was not heeded. The corruption in Washington didn't start with Bush; but only Bush could could call the Constitution a worthless piece of paper.

      We had some major turning points in how corporations have poisoned our political structure, going back to the beginning of this country.

      One major turning point was Reagan - the destruction of unions, the protection and deregulation of the banks and large businesses by way of buyouts - government backed socialism, the rape of Central America and dealing with corporate criminals.

      The 1994 Contract on America was a continuation of Reaganism, which Clinton should have fought, but didn't.

      GW Bush just didn't bother to hide it.

    •  I do! I do! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo

      Every bit as much as you do. But we knew that ;)

      Some people say not to worry about the air Some people don't know shit about the... Air...

      by Dave925 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:31:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Europeans have the same problem (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, mofembot, MizC, SciVo

    we do here, to a lesser degree.

    Democracy needs to defend against corporate influence, and influence of markets to control everything. At least in most of Europe, they admit they can be controlled unduly by these pernicious interests.

    Here in the US, we are bathing in a cesspool of consumerism and materialism. It's the rank arrogance of American imperialism and it's forthright in-your-face culture that really puts the icing on the cake.

    We need a better appreciation of the separation of government and corporations, a bit more humility.

    The United States spends as much on the military as all of the other nations on the planet, combined. Maybe if we weren't so damn arrogant, we could cut back on that a little bit.

    •  europeans have much closer ties (0+ / 0-)

      between governments and corporations.  infact japan and korea have even closer ties than europe.  of the industrialized nations americans have the longest rope between corporations and government.

      •  quite right about japan and korea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mofembot

        The Japanese and Korean models are both based on US models, directly from our direct influence in establishing their economic systems after WWII.

        And yet .. people go to jail there, even in Japan and Korea when they are discovered to be criminals. They have this thing called 'rule of law'.

        Fascinating concept, isn't it?

        •  japan and korea aren't based remotely (0+ / 0-)

          on US models.  and japan and korea have HUGE corporate corruption.  samsung a single corporation, run by a FAMILY, controls 20% of korea's GDP.  japan's system is setup very similarly with huge family run businesses that are essentially political machines.

          japan/korea run a form of protectionist mercantilism, which is NOTHING like america's free trade capitalism.

          economic lessons are needed desperately around here.

          •  The Difference is (0+ / 0-)

            Japan was re-constructed by MacArthur, a reactionary who literally took the same criminal moneyed class that had instituted militaristic fascism in the 20's & 30's and out them right back in power.

            MacArthur was definitely a "top-down" kind of guy and he saw no problem handing the instruments of political and economic power right back to the same fascist bastards who had caused the war. The ruling class remained intact and they evolved the system of government and corporate power we see in both Korea and Japan today.

            In Europe, re-construction was run by New Dealers- hence you got more of a "bottom-up" political system with a mixed economy. These were basically the same goals FDR had in mind for the US but his death and then America stupidly voting the reactionary Pukes back into control of congress in '46, ended any chance of it happening here.

            A pity. A real pity because I would much rather have a government responsive to its citizens than what we have here, now.

            Some people say not to worry about the air Some people don't know shit about the... Air...

            by Dave925 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:30:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  being anti business IS anti american (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, Jerome a Paris, Dave925, mofembot

    because that IS all amerika is about, generally speaking, right now. its just about accumulating material wealth, and screw society( margaret thatchers famous qoute that there is no greater society, just self interest would apply here in spades.) my country does not care about anything as a nation or people besides accumulating material wealth. we dont even care about doing something about terrorism, if we did we wouldnt be doing anything in the middle east the way  we are doing it now.

    remember, we abandoned an entire city and its people to the winds in New Orleans. this is an ownership society , where all that matters is what you get for your self. let me say it again. we abandoned and entire city here after a horrible natural disaster and no one, left or right did anything about it.

    Welcome to the empire. life is not a dress rehearsal My record label: www.11mileswestofnowhere.com

    by johnfire on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 12:43:33 PM PDT

    •  If there were rich moneyed classes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sally in SF, Dave925, mofembot

      that needed help, they would have got it. In fact, the rich in the path of Katrina have "done quite well for themselves", overall.

      If we do not change the way we operate as a nation, we will go bankrupt. Spending one third of our budget on the military and 'security' is the fast road to economic hell.

      If we do not stop poisoning the planet, everyone on Earth will suffer.

      •  all agreed (0+ / 0-)

        and we are going to have to start thinking about what is good for society as a whole, NOT just what is good for the individual. its not about me me me, it should be about us us us... try pounding that into the average Americans brain, almost impossible. on either side, left or right. we live in a country totally polluted by the notion that all that matters is the individual. until that changes nothing will change.

        Welcome to the empire. life is not a dress rehearsal My record label: www.11mileswestofnowhere.com

        by johnfire on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:13:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Last time I went (7+ / 0-)

    over to France a couple business associates gave me a t shirt with:

    Member of
    downtrodden American proletariat.  
    Please do not
    kidnap, torture, or assassinate.
    Thank you.

    on it.

    I wore it (on a dare of course; I took another shirt if it turned into a bad idea) on a tourista Saturday walk between Plouzane and the coast and got nothing but laughs, thumbs ups, and a couple free espressos.  

  •  The same goes for we anti-American Canucks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sally in SF, Jerome a Paris, MizC, SciVo

    Or Soviet Canuckistanis, if you prefer.

    "Anti-Americanism" is a chimera. A shibboleth. A red herring. A fraud, in its most basic construction.

    There are no "anti-American" voices out there, but rather, voices which do no support the hegemony of an arrogant, authoritarian elite in the US. Is it "anti-American" to believe in one's own sovereignty? Is it anti-American to reject fraud and corruption? Is it anti-American to put the needs of other human beings ahead of corporate profits?

    Flip it on its head. If you believe these jerks, it is the quintessence of being American to deny other nations their sovereignty, to endorse fraud and corruption as long as it benefits (some) Americans, to put increased corporate profits well ahead of the needs of human beings (American or otherwise).

    If that is what it is to be "pro-American", surely the world, including a majority of Americans, are "anti-American". And comfortable with it, as they should be.

    There is only one response to accusations of anti-Americanism, and that is to reject the accusation, reject the formulation, and reject any party which seeks to advance the meme. It serves no purpose other than to advance by deceit the interests of a corrupt, and gormless moneyed elite.

    -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:17:00 PM PDT

  •  As the Berlin wall fell I'm sure there were still (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, mediaprisoner

    plenty of Soviet Propagandists that were saying how well things were going in Eastern Europe and how those poor deluded Westerners would have to come around to their way of thinking. Kinda sounds like what we hear from the England and the U.S. now except obviously going the other way.

    Given that many of the Neo-Con's are former Trotskyites (Sp?), I can't help but wonder if the Neo-Con's objective is (was?) to bring about the downfall of the capitalist system by exploiting the excesses of that system. Another case of drowning the baby in its own bathwater. Should I be wearing my tin foil hat for thinking this?

  •  I'm used to it - I've developed thick skin. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lupin, Jerome a Paris, pelagicray, MizC

    What else is new?  We are all constantly being accused of being anti-American.  Hell, the administration was the cheer leader rallying against France after we invaded Iraq in an illegal and imperialistic war because if had the gall to oppose the invasion.  Nobody - foreign countries, citizens of the U.S. and of other countries - escapes being accused of being anti-American if they don't kowtow to our government's military industrial complex, the system of capitalism that feeds it, and if they protest against thing our government does that really works against the best interest of all of us.  That's how they've been so successful for all these years.  That fear card, and the threat of us U.S. citizens being labeled anti-american, is how they kept the sheeple around the world in line.

    But those days, I hope, are coming to an end.  When we have a democratic president (or at least the right one) fear and accusations of being anti-american will wither from the vine.  The rethugs can yell all they want to - their cries will be relegated to the minority, just as our cries for 8 years have been relegated to the minority and ignored.

    Practice random acts of kindness.

    by Sally in SF on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:34:19 PM PDT

  •  I recently lived in the UK (6+ / 0-)

    for 3.5 years -- been back less than a year. We talked politics with lots of people. Some people were blunt the minute they heard our accent and started talking to us. They are also informed (overall) and interested in American politics.

    Our experience was that people were shocked and upset about our foreign policy. They could not understand how anyone could support Bush and his actions. The Brits are far more critical of their leaders than we are. I never came across one person who praised Blair -- not one. Over here, you always find die-hard Bush supporters. People of all walks of life know what's going on with the States and are interested and want to know how the system works here. One time my husband was in a tiny grocery store in a small village in the middle of nowhere (border of Wales). He hadn't said a word, but handed his American debit card to the clerk, who looked up and asked, "Which part of Jesusland are you from?" This was during the 2004 election. It then turned into a political discussion. Delivery men started political discussions. Everyone wanted to talk and try to make sense of what was going on. And... they were always surprised that we were open to discussion and concerned about the state of the country and openly critical of Bush. Everyone was horrified when Bush was reelected with the exception of two bloated, obnxoius aristocrats (both of them sounded and looked like Mr. Creosote) who made racial slurs against immigrants (of color) in an Indian restaurant in front of the waiters, while praising Bush.

    I don't think that any of the people we spoke to took glee in the fall of America. They want things to change here and go back to the U.S. leading the way and not causing international upheaval. There is a lot of Obama support and hope that we'll elect him. The rest of the world needs and wants us to stabilize and return to our principals. That's my take, anyway, from talking to lots of people over a fairly long period and during an election cycle where Bush was reelected. I'm still in contact with a bunch of Europeans and they really hope we'll elect Obama and are incredibly pissed off at us for reelecting Bush.

  •  France's deficit is massive (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder what recent policy choices in the US one should look to in practice... the ballooning budget deficit?

    Due to a variety of issues, particularly health care, France's deficit is massive: on the same scale as the US.  This happened before Sarkozy, obviously.  His election and ideas of reform can be partly attributed to France's ballooning deficit.

    •  What has France got to do with my point? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lupin, nicta

      I'm French, so my arguments are discredited because the French rightwing government is as incompetent as the US rightwing government? Is that your point?

      Or is it another case of your standards being "nya, nya, we're no worse than the French!"? What lack of ambition...

      •  The reason... (0+ / 0-)

        Jerome,

        You made a commentary about policy choices in the US that have contributed to the US deficit.  Yet France has the same exact deficit without having the same policy choices as the US.  You're on a progressive blog, so it matters that those here who envy your system of free health care, liberalized labor calendar, protected state industries, and a powerful unionized work-force, and yet your country has a massive deficit on the same scale as the US (and grew much faster than the US too).  The US should not jump out of the frying pan just to land in the fire.

        Therefore, I'm challenging your presumption that the deficit is tied to Anglo-Saxon economic policies.  Instead, the deficit is tied mostly to spending, attested by your own French economy.

    •  You do know (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lupin, nicta, mediaprisoner

      that Sarkozy was the most powerful minister during the 5 years prior to his election to president, under a rightwing president, Chirac?

  •  Some interesting economic data to be (0+ / 0-)

    reminded of:
     * Foreign direct investment in the US tops $1 Trillion, according to the Congressional Research Service, updated in 2003. This came at a time of about 6 years of economic expansion. The biggest investors by country were England, France, the Netherlands and Japan. In England, in 2003, there were particularly significant investments in the US oil sector by--Royal Dutch/Shell and British Petroleum.
     At about 2004, two interesting things happened, a 13 percent decline in the exchange rate of the US dollar, reversing a long-term trend towards appreciation. (Also giving European investors a $1.69 billion kick in the pants on their investments). And spending was increasing at a great rate in the "conflict" in Iraq.
     As developed countries continue to pony up about 95 percent of the direct investment in the US, it's hard to think of Europe being totally Anti-American.

    •  Yeah right, we know that. (0+ / 0-)

      The US sells 3.5 bn USD worth of debt (T-Bills) every day to China/Japan/the EU/Saudi/Venezuela in order to finance its imports, wars and economic bubbles. 3.5 bn USD x 365 days is + 1 trillion USD debt (Foreign Direct Investment, FDI) per year.

      "The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

      by Ritter on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 04:28:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, technically, you have mis-read (0+ / 0-)

        the meaning of the facts. FDI refers to direct investments by foreign entities into the US; investing in bonds or stocks is counted as indirect investment, since it is co-mingled with investments from all entities. Economics 101, really.

  •  With all due respect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lupin

    I am really not following this at all.  The sub-prime mortgage crisis and impending credit crunch are American inventions.

    The U.S. Court system failed to regulate Microsoft in any meaningful way.

    The average person, both here and abroad, is and will suffer the consequences of the unregulated excess of the past few years.

    It seems to me that an outsider looking in has a right to generalize about these things and state that this is an American problem.  

    This country supported Bush's decision to go to war, initially and then re-elected him.

    Democrats, after regaining control of the House and Senate, have failed to effectively stop him.

    Again, what is inaccurate in depicting an outsider's  objection to these things as Anti-American?  

    Where else did these things originate from? Mars?

    Jerome and others who have agreed with him here cannot pretend that the people who have controlled these areas of the country are somehow not Americans.  They are.

    We may be dissenters to those views, but the fact remains that the things which are troubling those quoted in the article came from America.

    •  they'll suffer that right after (0+ / 0-)

      they suffer the longest most sustained growth in prosperity in human history.  every year the marxists say the world is ending and every year the world gets wealthier, and more affluent.

  •  "Anti-American needs to be redefined (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lupin, Jerome a Paris, Bronx59

    To quote The Princess Bride's Inigo Montoya: "I do not think that word means what you think it means."

    I would like to offer up the following as possible new definitions, in no particular order:

    *Harmful to American workers; outsourcing of American jobs; anti-labor

    *Harmful to the American environment (this would include much environmental damage that takes place elsewhere in the world, as we now know that things such as polluted runoff into the oceans and carbon dioxide emissions have global effects).

    *Tending to transfer capital wealth from the lower classes to a very small group at the top

    *Willingness to sacrifice American lives to benefit corporate interests, most obvious in the Iraq War

    That's a start at least.

    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

    by MizC on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 04:17:32 PM PDT

  •  I'm anti-American (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lupin

    And damn proud of it!

  •  Jérome, if I ever call you a lefty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lupin, Jerome a Paris

    it's meant as a compliment. From one lefty to another, merci mille fois for cutting through the propaganda with your usual trenchant analysis.

    Feed the babies who don't have enough to eat / Shoe the children with no shoes on their feet / House the people living in the street / Oh, there's a solution

    by dconrad on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:52:42 AM PDT

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