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Based upon the results of a Senate cloture vote on the Buffett Rule (i.e.: “Paying a Fair Share Act,” and/or S.2230), late Monday, what passes for so-called, two-party governance in America these days is little more than a deeply-captured train wreck.

Has the self-evident, complete takeover of the U.S. by the one percent in this election year become so obvious that what we end up witnessing down in Washington D.C. is little more than really lame kabuki and wishful thinking about change that’s going nowhere fast?

That would appear to be the case.

Republicans are behaving little better than terrorists.

And Democrats (as of last night not including the absent Daniel Akaka [D-HI] and Joe Lieberman [Benedict Arnold-CT] and the physically present but mentally absent Mark Pryor [D-Wal-Mart]), in a well-intentioned effort to spin our still-faltering economy’s talking points, frequently and conveniently overlook some very basic and inconvenient facts, often times distorting truths about the degree of status quo capture within our own party. And, which we’re reminded about on the front page of this morning's New York Times: U.S. income inequality, today, is the worst it has ever been, at least since reliable metrics were first implemented to accurately measure this statistic, back in the nineteen-teens.

I’ve written about this quite a bit; most recently HERE, a little over a month ago.

So, what we end up with is a story on Tax Day on the front page of the NY Times which highlights the greater truth that, when it comes to implementing effective policy—such as a relatively paltry 30% minimum tax on the highest income segment within our society, and despite bad-timing of the headline, below--we won’t even “start” to address this disparity anytime soon.

The lead in today’s NY Times…

For Two Economists, the Buffett Rule Is Just a Start
By ANNIE LOWREY
New York Times (Front Page)
April 17,  2012

WASHINGTON

…Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty have spent the last decade tracking the incomes of the poor, the middle class and the rich in countries across the world. More than anything else, their work shows that the top earners in the United States have taken a bigger and bigger share of overall income over the last three decades, with inequality nearly as acute as it was before the Great Depression…

 …“The United States is getting accustomed to a completely crazy level of inequality,” Mr. Piketty said, with a degree of wonder. “People say that reducing inequality is radical. I think that tolerating the level of inequality the United States tolerates is radical…”

… their proposed corrective remains far outside the bounds of polite political conversation: much, much higher top marginal tax rates on the rich, up to 50 percent, or 70 percent or even 90 percent, from the current top rate of 35 percent.

The two economists argue that even Democrats’ boldest plan to increase taxes on the wealthy — the Buffett Rule, a 30 percent minimum tax on earnings over $1 million — would do little to reverse the rich’s gains…

…They have found that the trends have mostly continued. From 2000 to 2007, incomes for the bottom 90 percent of earners rose only about 4 percent, once adjusted for inflation. For the top 0.1 percent, incomes climbed about 94 percent…

…The recession interrupted the trend, with the sharp decline in stock prices hitting the pocketbooks of the rich. But the income share of 1 percent has since rebounded. Data that the two economists released in March showed that the top 1 percent of earners got nearly every dollar of the income gains eked out in the first full year of the recovery. In 2010, the top 10 percent of earners took about half of overall income…

…“Thirty percent is three times smaller than the 91 percent of Roosevelt,” Mr. Piketty said, responding to the Buffett Rule proposal and referring to the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who engineered the New Deal. “And inequality is greater than in the time of Roosevelt.”

Here are links to three excellent graphics on this story…

Graphic: Income Earned by the Wealthiest

Graphic: Who Gains Most From Tax Breaks

Graphic: Whose Tax Rates Rose or Fell

Essentially, when it comes to effectively addressing our nation’s economic problems, what we’re ending up with is…just a little more than nothing.

The majority of jobs that are being created, to use a technical term and for the most part, SUCK. Check out Robert Oak’s excellent analysis on this, from last week: A Peek into the Employment Report Establishment Survey, Economic Populist Blog (4/9/12).

Read more about this here: The US Has the Highest Share of Employees in Low Wage Work, Economist’s View blog, University of Oregon Economics Professor Mark Thoma (4/11/12).

What about the folks that are getting the few decent jobs that are out there? Checkout this: Displacing American Labor Through Foreign Guest Worker Visas, Economic Populist Blog, Robert Oak (4/12/12).

What Today’s Job Numbers Mean
Robert Reich
RobertReich.org
April 6, 2012

President Obama will claim the economy is improving – and, technically, it is. Growth this year will most likely average around 2 percent. The problem is, most Americans aren’t feeling it in their paychecks.…

…The President has already announced that this election is about America’s surge toward ever-greater inequality. He’s right. And this painful recovery shows it.

It would be sadly ironic if Obama lost the election because the economy responded to widening inequality exactly as expected.

If our elected leaders in D.C. keep doing what they’re doing, we will keep getting what we’ve got…or, worse.

And, if you're looking for answers here, such as a petition to sign or a phone call to make, I'm sorry to say that those really don't even appear to be pertinent solutions to the situation at hand.

Regardless of any polls or whether the President gets re-elected or not, this is all either going to, somehow, miraculously be transformed from the bottom-up over the next few months; or, more likely than not, it will not end well.

(I apologize for this being somewhat of a rant...but, frankly, I find this all to be really quite pathetic.)

Originally posted to http://www.dailykos.com/user/bobswern on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Income Inequality Kos, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Jobs Wages and Community Investment Working Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (130+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, ruleoflaw, gooderservice, Gooserock, temptxan, profh, joe shikspack, chipmo, One Pissed Off Liberal, Kristina40, DRo, LamontCranston, Ginger1, Habitat Vic, frandor55, run around, Dallasdoc, roseeriter, jamess, LI Mike, Hillbilly Dem, seabos84, thegood thebad thedumb, lexington50, lostinamerica, psnyder, Cofcos, CA Nana, greenbastard, yoduuuh do or do not, dharmafarmer, Just Bob, prettygirlxoxoxo, MKinTN, Randtntx, Sagebrush Bob, glitterscale, GeorgeXVIII, Danno11, WiseFerret, splashoil, MinistryOfTruth, sillia, 3rdOption, JesseCW, cslewis, jadt65, vacantlook, Nada Lemming, opinionated, Richard Cranium, srkp23, HCKAD, Medium Head Boy, CarolinW, zerelda, Azazello, blue armadillo, greengemini, SpecialKinFlag, terabytes, albrt, Sun Tzu, cybersaur, muddy boots, hepshiba, Publius2008, Horace Boothroyd III, Flint, pat bunny, Meteor Blades, Ed in Montana, BigAlinWashSt, Jim P, tardis10, bryduck, Ken in MN, PBen, sleipner, Claudius Bombarnac, 420 forever, J M F, semiot, mookins, Leftcandid, mkor7, Mr Robert, greenomanic, joanneleon, hubcap, sostos, congenitalefty, drawingporno, 3goldens, blueoregon, Bluehawk, maryabein, dkmich, HeyMikey, No one gets out alive, Crider, hester, CitizenOfEarth, Joieau, FindingMyVoice, Wek, side pocket, Jarrayy, ChadmanFL, rivamer, splintersawry, Mislead, zaka1, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, eightlivesleft, ceebee7, mightymouse, elengul, rick, priceman, JohnnySacks, QDMacaw, quill, Teiresias70, Tennessee Dave, denise b, Sanctimonious, beverlywoods, aliasalias, Tom Taaffe

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

    by bobswern on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:24:14 AM PDT

  •  Rule Would Do Nothing At All to Stop Us From (44+ / 0-)

    transferring the nation's wealth from the people to the rich.

    Even stopping it where the inequality is now is opposed by both parties.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:17:28 AM PDT

    •  Yes...that's how pathetic it is... n/t (17+ / 0-)

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

      by bobswern on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:20:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for calling the Buffett Rule kabuki (68+ / 0-)

        The obviousness of the cynical Democratic ploy to play at economic populism during the election season is distressing to behold.  Even more distressing is the eagerness of the usual media suspects to play their part by somehow pretending that in pushing for the Buffett Rule, Democrats are being brave/radical/somehow effective in pursuing an actual economic policy.  

        That the Buffett Rule wouldn't pass a dysfunctional Senate is a foregone conclusion everybody playing kabuki surely recognizes.  That it wouldn't bring in significant revenue is also universally acknowledged.  That it would do nothing whatsoever to reverse the dangerous rise in income inequality in this country goes unsaid, because that is the Fact That Must Not Be Named in polite Beltway kabuki dialogue.

        An effective political party would be pushing for a rise in the estate tax; a punitive Financial Speculation Tax (somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% or more) on short-term commodities and derivatives trading; a stock and bond transaction tax; and probably a wealth tax on billionaires for a five- or ten-year period.  These measures would begin to address income inequality.  Pushing universal higher education and vocational training with subsidized tuition and costs would help from the bottom up.  Shoving cramdown legislation past the banks' objections would help shore up the housing market.  Increasing the earned income tax credit to reimburse poor people for transportation, childcare and other costs associated with work would also help.  Campaigning against routine Republican use of the filibuster, and creating a popular movement to eliminate it is critical too, to break the deadlock against economic populist measures in Congress.

        These are some measures that a real economic populist party would pursue if it were serious about addressing the problem.  The distance between these measures and the current kabuki performance from the Democrats and the media is the measure of how lame and cynical our politics has become.

        When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

        by Dallasdoc on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:39:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's the thing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lying eyes, Kickemout, HeyMikey
          An effective political party would be pushing for a rise in the estate tax; a punitive Financial Speculation Tax (somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% or more) on short-term commodities and derivatives trading; a stock and bond transaction tax; and probably a wealth tax on billionaires for a five- or ten-year period.  These measures would begin to address income inequality.  Pushing universal higher education and vocational training with subsidized tuition and costs would help from the bottom up.  Shoving cramdown legislation past the banks' objections would help shore up the housing market.  Increasing the earned income tax credit to reimburse poor people for transportation, childcare and other costs associated with work would also help.
          A party pushing for those things will not get elected, which will make them a highly ineffective political party in my view.

          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

          by Whimsical on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:05:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How do you know? (46+ / 0-)

            When was the last time any party made a sustained push for such an agenda?  The last time I remember such a party it was quite successful, and held the House for four decades based on its accomplishments.

            You confidently state facts not in evidence.  And by short-sightedly focusing on electoral calculations that have been proven ineffective again and again you excuse the plutocratic status quo that's killing the middle class.

            When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

            by Dallasdoc on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:10:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because thats not the way the system works (0+ / 0-)

              You get elected first, THEN you push for this stuff.

              That's why we held the House for four decades- because we understood that.  Its when we lost sight of what you so naively dismiss as "electoral calculation" that we became ineffective.

              And trying to get people back on the only path to end the plutocratic status quo  doesn't even come close to "excusing it".

              "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

              by Whimsical on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:01:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nonsense (42+ / 0-)

                Republicans have pushed for stuff since Goldwater, through wins and losses, and have been remarkably successful in pushing through their agenda.  You don't get elected first and then try to pass stuff.  You develop an overarching political strategy and philosophy, build alliances and maintain the effort over time.  That's how change happens in our political system.  What is done in the short term can be undone in the short term.

                We lost the House after four decades because the reason Democrats held it got lost.  Democrats became the party of institutional power and accommodated themselves to the same economic powers they had earlier fought to control.  They screwed their brand, and that basic failure has never been fixed.l

                When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

                by Dallasdoc on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:15:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Inequality will rise. Plan B. Overton w. Backlash. (0+ / 0-)

                  1. Inequality in America will continue to rise, and we can't stop it. We can and should do what we can to blunt its impact at the margins--raise the minimum wage, increase taxes on the wealthy, etc.--but we cannot change the fundamental fact that American incomes will get more and more unequal. Two simple, overwhelming, related reasons: (a) There's a huge labor pool of billions of people in other countries who are desperately poor, and willing to work for far less than a living American wage. (b) Communications and transportation efficiencies make it ever easier to tap that labor pool for the American market.

                  [Note: this means global inequality is shrinking, because the 99% in America are still the 1% globally. Rising living standards for billions of human beings is actually something to celebrate.]

                  2. Plan B: focus on insecurity, not inequality. While it is not in our power to stop the rise of American inequality, it is in our power to combat insecurity. Being in the bottom 10% of Americans would not be such a tragedy if you could be assured of having health care, sending your kids to decent schools, living in a safe neighborhood, and having either steady, meaningful work or a public stipend. If we want to protect ordinary Americans, those are the things we should focus on.

                  "Steady, meaningful work"--why is nobody in the Democratic party proposing a modern WPA and CCC? Would that not call the bluffs of all those Dittoheads who think people are unemployed because they don't want to work? Would it not ease the suffering of millions? Would it not get a lot of useful stuff done for the country? Sheesh.

                  3. Overton window. We should not be afraid of ideas (see: modern WPA-CCC) that have no chance of being taken seriously by mainstream politics in the short term. The GOP did not achieve its present dominance in setting the ideological landscape for both sides overnight. They built a coalition of think tanks and pundits that stuck to the same issues for decades. We should learn from them and respond with a similar long-term effort. We have a natural advantage: the facts are on our side.

                  4. Backlash. If we campaign on reversing the rise of inequality, we're only going to provoke a backlash against us when we fail to deliver. And we will fail to deliver--see #1. Resist the temptation to make short-term hay with propaganda and unrealistic promises. Focus on what we can really do, and deliver that.

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:41:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Nonsense (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dallasdoc, aliasalias

                    1. Tapping that labor pool is based on supply and demand. Scandinavian countries pay a higher age than we do; it's their law and the manipulation of our law, particularly trade law and not demanding adherence to the WTO is what is behind this. Trade union members are murdered in Colombia and we are pushing for another FTA. that's missing from your simplistic analysis. Also patent protections and other provisions allow corporations to sue governments who even try for better wage or living standards.

                    Comments like these show an ignorance about national accounting and national income; when we run a trade deficit as we continually do, any talk about balancing the budget and cutting public jobs as we have been doing is going to make income inequality worse. You need to run a governmental deficit to put the private sector in balance when there is a huge trade deficit because governmental deficits put private dollars into the private sector.

                    So the fact that we can't do anything about income inequality is simply garbage, there's just no will or representation. It's also garbage that  the third world gets a few more crumbs so therefore global inequality being down slightly is something to celebrate. It shows how little you care or know.

                    My  own response to this report was the conclusion that it is long past time to reject the economic models imposed on this country since the 1980’s, brought to us courtesy of Republicans, Neo-Liberals among Democrats and the Finance Industry that subsidizes them. They have failed the majority of the people in this country. They have failed the majority of the people globally.

                    And what model could be used as an example to replace it? In the near term, I suggest we look to those countries that have low inequality, that score the best on the Corruptions Perceptions Index. I suggest we look there and think hard about how those systems could be modified to work here.

                    Also Jared Bernstein admitted there was no appetite for direct WPA CCC work before he left the WH.

                    I'll ignore the amateur Lakoff stuff. And everyone should ignore your Neoliberal propaganda for the good of humanity and knowledge.

                    Pro Life??? Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers! - George Carlin - ROUND 2: Vote! Send me to Netroots Nation!

                    by priceman on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:34:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Calm down. Re-read. (0+ / 0-)

                      You seem to miss the fact that I agree we should raise the minimum wage, tax the wealthy more, and expand the social safety net.

                      And of course, who could disagree with scoring better on indices of corruption? I certainly don't.

                      I have pointed out to other Kossacks that Germany, with an export-driven economy, pays its autoworkers double what our autoworkers make. And, of course, has universal healthcare. So clearly we can pay our workers better, and take better care of them, without hurting our economy.

                      But that doesn't mean inequality won't continue to grow. Basically, I think those who have lots of capital to move around the globe will be able to use increasingly efficient transportation and communications to increase their incomes faster than the rest of us.

                      Your first link actually supports my points. It links to a DKos diary bemoaning rising inequality over the last few decades throughout the OECD (34 mostly developed, rich countries). Compare that with a ranking of the world's fastest-growing economies, which are almost all in poor countries: http://en.wikipedia.org/..._(latest_year)

                      Both support what I said: inequality is dropping globally but increasing in rich countries, including the USA.

                      Another way to look at this is that the income distribution in both poor and rich countries is moving towards the average overall global income distribution. It used to be that rich countries' income distribution was confined within an anomalously high range; and poor countries' income distribution had an anomalously large skew towards the very bottom. But those anomalies are moving towards the global mean, because they were enabled by transportation and communications barriers that are now breaking down.

                      Both rich and poor countries have a long way to go before they converge at the global mean. The great mass of people in poor countries are still much, much poorer than practically all of the poorest people in rich countries. E.g., if 50% of people in desperately poor country X used to live on a dollar a day, and now they live on $1.50 a day, country X's GDP may have increased by 10% or even 20%! That's actually a massive change, both in country X as a whole and in the lives of hundreds of thousands, or millions, of its people; and it's a massive reduction in country X's inequality. But it still leaves those people far, far short of developed-world living standards.

                      And how have those millions of people in country X increased their wages by 50 cents a day? In part--not completely, but in part--by taking some jobs from higher-paid people in rich countries. Which depresses wages in those rich countries, at the bottom--but not the top--of their income distribution. In other words, by increasing inequality in the rich countries.

                      Globally, there are a lot more people in poor countries with growing GDP and lessening inequality than there are people in rich countries with stagnant GDP and increasing inequality. So the net is decreased global inequality.

                      The bottom line is that it is getting harder to maintain a fate that is separate from everyone's fate. It is getting less and less possible to enrich our society at the expense of other societies. But at the same time, it is getting easier for the wealthy at the top of every society to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else, across all societies. The conflicts that matter are less and less country vs. country; more and more, the conflicts that matter are the ordinary people of every country vs. the wealthy of every country.

                      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                      by HeyMikey on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:29:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I read you fine (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Dallasdoc, aliasalias
                        So the fact that we can't do anything about income inequality is simply garbage, there's just no will or representation. It's also garbage that  the third world gets a few more crumbs so therefore global inequality being down slightly is something to celebrate.
                        I acknowledged that point, but it's not a good one overall. It's a way to excuse this administration's failures.

                        Also growing GDP is not the end all to be all with inequality going down.

                        So no, not necessarily true.

                        Both support what I said: inequality is dropping globally but increasing in rich countries, including the USA.
                        Both rich and poor countries have a long way to go before they converge at the global mean. The great mass of people in poor countries are still much, much poorer than practically all of the poorest people in rich countries. E.g., if 50% of people in desperately poor country X used to live on a dollar a day, and now they live on $1.50 a day, country X's GDP may have increased by 10% or even 20%! That's actually a massive change, both in country X as a whole and in the lives of hundreds of thousands, or millions, of its people; and it's a massive reduction in country X's inequality. But it still leaves those people far, far short of developed-world living standards.
                        The corruption's index spans to more than OECD countries. You made an argument that it's the supply of cheap labor in and of itself, and that's simply false. You also said this:
                        1. Inequality in America will continue to rise, and we can't stop it. We can and should do what we can to blunt its impact at the margins--raise the minimum wage, increase taxes on the wealthy, etc.--but we cannot change the fundamental fact that American incomes will get more and more unequal. Two simple, overwhelming, related reasons: (a) There's a huge labor pool of billions of people in other countries who are desperately poor, and willing to work for far less than a living American wage. (b) Communications and transportation efficiencies make it ever easier to tap that labor pool for the American market.
                        Your labor pool argument in and of itself doesn't take into other factors, trade unionists being murdered, corruption, trade law, and countries shown on your link that have growing GDP like China and India without lowering income inequality. In China a minimum standard of living is subsidized so overproduction can continue, but there's also currency manipulation to keep down the prices of their exports. The poor also get the lowest prices from what's leftover from the overproduction. So no, not significantly.
                        And how have those millions of people in country X increased their wages by 50 cents a day? In part--not completely, but in part--by taking some jobs from higher-paid people in rich countries. Which depresses wages in those rich countries, at the bottom--but not the top--of their income distribution. In other words, by increasing inequality in the rich countries.
                        Many of your theories(sounds much like the economist a Neoliberal rag) were debunked years ago by James Galbraith.
                        Finally, it is not true that the remedy to the problems of globalization is “more globalization.” We often hear, for instance, that cutting trade barriers to farm goods from the Third World is the big solution to many development problems. Don’t believe it. Yes, some tropical products (sugar, orange juice) face severe protection. But most do not. And even if all the agricultural barriers came down, few developing countries could get ahead much just by expanding their farms. There are ecological limits. There are limits to the quality of the soil. Most of all, there are severe problems of oversupply. There is too much coffee in the world as it is: New supplies only drive the price down. Sugar would work the same way, and so probably would wheat and beef.

                        Confronting the problems of the stricken Third World will require a balanced approach. What the poorest countries need perhaps most of all is sustainable finance, permitting them to build their infrastructure, their human resources, their public health systems and their industries — both for domestic consumption and foreign trade. This is an old formula. But it is one with a track record: It worked in Europe after World War II, and then in Japan, Korea and in China, each of which saw decade after decade of sustained growth and industrial transformation.

                        Here’s the rub: Pursuing these goals will require placing the world’s private financiers under a degree of regulation and control — such as we used to have in the real golden age of development, from 1945 to 1970. That, of course, is not on the Economist’s agenda. But it should be on ours.

                        However I am sympathetic to this and agree though I take issue with your analysis and your prescriptions.
                        The bottom line is that it is getting harder to maintain a fate that is separate from everyone's fate. It is getting less and less possible to enrich our society at the expense of other societies. But at the same time, it is getting easier for the wealthy at the top of every society to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else, across all societies. The conflicts that matter are less and less country vs. country; more and more, the conflicts that matter are the ordinary people of every country vs. the wealthy of every country.
                        The Oligarchs in our society along with others do enrich themselves at the expense of the population everywhere, but labor rights and human rights do not necessarily enrich our society at the expense of others. In the past 30 years the concentration of wealth in our country has enriched the new owners of our country. We seem to agree on the bold. Maybe you didn't mean it when you said there is nothing anyone could do in this country to combat income inequality and let's hope so, because otherwise you are wrong.

                        Pro Life??? Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers! - George Carlin - ROUND 2: Vote! Send me to Netroots Nation!

                        by priceman on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:30:30 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Common ground. "Combat" vs. "prevent." (0+ / 0-)

                          Only time for quick read & response now.

                          From my original comment:

                          We can and should do what we can to blunt its [rising inequality's] impact at the margins
                          Yes, we can and should "combat" rising inequality. But the most success we might have would be to slow its growth rate; I don't think we can reverse the trend.

                          And yes, I quite agree that we should seek to ensure that workers everywhere have the right to organize and bargain collectively, to work in reasonably safe conditions, with reasonably environmentally-friendly processes, and that they earn a living wage for their locale. This would promote greater equality abroad, slow the growth of inequality in the USA, and provide US and foreign workers with common causes they could work towards together.

                          Worker oppression and currency manipulation in China and elsewhere muddies the picture. But I don't think it changes the fundamentals.

                          Will try to read your comment & sources more deeply later and respond better. Thank you for thoughtful replies.

                          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                          by HeyMikey on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:49:15 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  No. They way the system works is that you (23+ / 0-)

                get elected first, by proposing this stuff, then never push for it.

                Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

                by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:21:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Because! What kind of argument is that? (0+ / 0-)

                Sounds like a mom explaining why her child can't have a 16th cookie.

                "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

                by dkmich on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:11:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  You may be right, but (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dallasdoc, joe shikspack, RichM

            we don't know since it has never been tried.

            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

            by Just Bob on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:38:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  A President Pushing several of those things (21+ / 0-)

            got elected.

            Obama repeatedly supported cramdown as the only real solution during the Primary and the General.

            Can we please stop pretending this is a Right Wing Country, just because our Politicians routinely betray voters?

            Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

            by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:21:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  "Ineffective" is what it can ... (12+ / 0-)

            ...be called now on a wide range of issues.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:21:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Again... (10+ / 0-)

            Political reality vs. reality reality.  If we keep striving for what is only politically viable - we are so fucked we won't even be able to walk across the boarder.

            'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden

            by RichM on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:52:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  But there's always crying about not bringing votes (0+ / 0-)

          to the floors..."oh if we had just brought single payor to the floor it would've totally passed" etc....so now we're criticizing for bringing it to a vote? WTF?

          Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:15:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is what Fox News Radio ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... host John Gibson had to say about the Buffet Rule:

          Sham! For a second day in a row President Obama has dusted off his Class War favorite “Buffett Rule” kabuki dance, wherein he tries to sell the notion of “economic fairness” based on a policy that wouldn’t result in anything of any significance, ....
          Just to let you know what the "other side" is thinking! Cheers!

          "I'm Mitt Romney, and I'm the real Mitt Romney. All the other Mitt Romneys are just mass-debating." -- Mittbot ver.12.0

          by Tortmaster on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:23:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You love distorting my commentary, don't you? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cslewis, JesseCW, cybersaur, Jim P

            The fact remains that this is about our Party being stonewalled in D.C. along with the truth that reality has NOTHING to do with propaganda, in terms of how the Rethugs will capitalize upon this (and distort the crap out of it, just like YOU are doing now), and our very weak recovery in general, as the year progresses...again, read Reich's last few sentences in his blockquote in my post.

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

            by bobswern on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:33:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Is he wrong about its insignificance? (13+ / 0-)

            Gibson's argument is basically correct, as far as that quote goes.  Can you argue that it isn't?  The fact that a Republican mouthpiece says it doesn't make it untrue, since truth is one weapon in a propagandist's armory.  The use to which that truth is put, and the misdirection it can provide, is another matter entirely.

            When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

            by Dallasdoc on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:34:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  President Obama is ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BenderRodriguez, Lying eyes

              ... using actual strategy to get major changes made to the tax law. Start with an idea that everyone agrees with, get everyone behind it, and then once that's passed move on to bigger things (i.e. the "comprehensive scheme" that Plouffe and he talk about). It may not be passed this cycle, but if Democrats can get a working majority in the legislature, the Buffet Rule will be ready for them.

              Moreover, it provides an incentive to voters to get out and vote for Democrats because they want legislation like this passed in the future.

              Republicans can easily see that's what President Obama wants to do -- and they realize how popular the Buffet Rule is -- so they want to demonize it with terms like "kabuki theater." So, in the end, John Gibson only makes sense if you want to try to derail any comprehensive change to the tax code.

              "I'm Mitt Romney, and I'm the real Mitt Romney. All the other Mitt Romneys are just mass-debating." -- Mittbot ver.12.0

              by Tortmaster on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:41:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  It not Kabuki. It's Bukkake. (DO NOT GOOGLE THAT) (10+ / 0-)

          And we're on our fucking knees.

          I mean it people.  You cannot unsee what you have seen.  Don't Google that word.

          Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

          by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:19:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  i agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc

          With much of what you say doc but I disagree that the buffet rule will bring significant revenue. I've read, and these people could be wrong, is that it brings in only 47 billion on the premise of the bush tax cuts expiring, which isn't necessarily a given. It they are extended, if supposedly can bring in decent revenue.

          •  That's $47 billion over 10 years (0+ / 0-)

            Which is chump change for the people affected.  I don't know what the figure is if the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are extended, but if that happens we're even more f***ed than I thought.

            When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

            by Dallasdoc on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:45:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The idea that it would be "Fair" for (6+ / 0-)

      Buffet to pay the same tax rate as his secretary is noxious.

      It's Flat Tax insanity that even Republicans would not have publicly endorsed as recently as the 90's.  

      Of course...in country where we think billionaires opinions carry weight on everything from education to the correct way to treat malaria to tax rates....

      Making a pile of money just doesn't mean you know shit about shit except making piles of money.

      Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

      by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:17:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Our Party? Whose party? (5+ / 0-)

      When the author talks about "our party", I have to wonder what party he is talking about.

      Surely not the republican or democratic parties.  Because both the republican and democratic parties are wholly bought and paid for by the corporatocracy.  The senate vote on the Buffett Rule shows this clearly.  Neither republican or democratic parties can claim to be "our party".

      Mr. Swern alludes to the old adage: if all you ever do is all you have ever done, then all you are going to get is what you have always gotten.

      Regardless of whether Romney or Obama gains the presidency in 2012, the corporatocracy will be the winner.  Hope and change will once more take a back seat.

      Who will you vote for in 2012: BP/Chase or BofA/Exxon?

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:31:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't seem to wrap my brain around... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lying eyes

    the notion that we're going to hell in a handbasket economically.

    Any time I turn on the TV to watch a game, the venue is sold out. And tickets for sporting events aren't cheap.

    Any time a new video-game console hits the market, it flies off the shelves, and there are even people camped outside the big-box electronics stores to get their hands on one.

    Smartphones, iPads, giant TVs, and all other sorts of high-end electronic gizmos are ubiquitous in our lives.

    Car sales last month showed dramatic increases across the board.

    I'm not saying that people aren't suffering economically. Nor am I saying that the problems associated with income inequality aren't real.

    We, as a nation, face enormous challenges. We always have. Economic issues tell one facet of the story but don't paint the entire picture.

    Personally, I don't own a smartphone, an iPad, or a giant TV, and our car is an 11-year-old Toyota. Also, my wife lost her job a year ago.

    Still, we manage to survive, we spend our money wisely, and I simply don't share the sense of overwhelming pessimism that you constantly present on this site.

    America has been through much more difficult times than what it's enduring now.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:26:03 AM PDT

    •  You do realize (22+ / 0-)

      that Apple actually makes less of an item than they think they will need to satisfy demand in order to create the ILLUSION of that crazed demand, right? And your anecdote about there being people at the sports venues means nothing either. Mostly very well off people attend those games and they're doing just fine, thank you. For the rest of us things are still sucking just as bad as they were.  Incomes are declining and benefits have disappeared. Employers use that to abuse the employees they have because they know they can get away with it.  I guess if people start rioting you'll get it?

      ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

      by Kristina40 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:32:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's a link... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miggles, ctexrep, Sparhawk

        documenting iPad sales:

        http://ipod.about.com/...

        Through January 2012, roughly 155 million iPads have been sold.

        That's one hell of an ILLUSION.

        How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

        by BenderRodriguez on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:42:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cheap credit (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          frandor55, JesseCW

          and corporate sales.

          Seriously dude, turn off your tv.  It's painting a big red "sucker" bullseye on your head.

          The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

          by chipmo on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:49:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I present facts. You respond with insults. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk

            Funny!

            How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

            by BenderRodriguez on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:52:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's only an insult if you're defensive. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cofcos

              In truth, it is much needed advice and perspective.

              The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

              by chipmo on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:04:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Here are some facts (9+ / 0-)

              that I did not get from the tv.

              Mind-Blowing Charts From the Senate's Income Inequality Hearing

              I know, I know: "But the baseball game was packed on my teevee!  And I hear that people are buying lots of apple stuff!"  That is some seriously amazing anecdotal evidence!  It's a shame that you weren't called before the Senate to testify and refute the charts in the above article.

              The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

              by chipmo on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:08:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's an old Repub tactic. Anecdotes. (8+ / 0-)

                Zombie Reagan held a press conference at a time when he was taking heat for the unemployment rate being very high. At the presser, he held up the WaPo and thunmbed through it saying "There are 25 pages in the "Help Wanted" section of today's Washington Post. There isn't an unemployment problem." Insinuating that people are just lazy and that the want ads provide the proof.

                The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

                by Hillbilly Dem on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:17:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Interesting stuff. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk

                I couldn't help but notice, according to the Top 1% Share of National Income chart from your link, that in 1976, the top 1% controlled 8.9% of national income. In 2008, the top 1% controlled 21% of national income.

                The economy of this country in 1976 was not good. It's not like anyone's saying, "Gee, if we could only return to what we did in 1976, all our economic woes would be solved."

                So this buttresses my initial comment in this thread.

                I'm not looking for an argument here, and I agree with you abundantly about the unfairness of income inequality.

                I just don't believe it's the only problem -- or even the most important problem -- that our country faces today.

                How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

                by BenderRodriguez on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:19:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Here are some facts about 1976. (6+ / 0-)

                  Cost Of Living 1976

                  How Much things cost in 1976
                  Yearly Inflation Rate USA5.75%
                  Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 1004
                  Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 6.25%
                  Average Cost of new house $43,400.00
                  Average Income per year $16,000.00
                  Average Monthly Rent $220.00
                  Cost of a gallon of Gas 59 cents
                  Plymouth Arrow$3,175.00
                  Cost Of Living 2009
                  How Much things cost in 2009
                  Average Cost of new house $232,880.00
                  Average Income per year $39,423.00
                  Average Monthly Rent $675.00
                  Cost of a gallon of Gas $2.73
                  US Postage Stamp 42 cents
                  1 LB of Bacon $3.19
                  Movie Ticket: $7.50
                  Loaf of Bread $1.77
                  In-state College Tuition $6,585.00
                  Price Of Gold Per Ounce ( September 1st 2009 ) $958.00
                  Price Barrel Of Oil $53.56 per barrel
                  Notice the cost of housing relative to income ratio between the two.  Further, this is 2009, the most recent entry on that page with a decent range of statistics.  The economy in 1976 was NOTHING like what we're facing today.  The parallels between now and the Great Depression are becoming more and more documented, it is only the ability of the corporations and the power elite to control the information channels and "spin" the stats and the messaging that keeps people believing this is just a "bump" and that recovery is just around the bend; no need to stop consuming on shit credit!
                  I just don't believe it's the only problem -- or even the most important problem -- that our country faces today.
                  I don't either.  But the enormity of the other problems doesn't take away from the size of this one.  This is the EASY one, and it's the Great Depression part two.

                  The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

                  by chipmo on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:07:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Again, that's interesting. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pee dee fire ant

                    We could cherry-pick stats all day long to support our arguments, but the bottom line is this:

                    If a politican proclaimed, "I want to return America to greatness, like the way it was in 1976," he or she would be laughed off the stage.

                    I was a kid in the mid-'70s, and I live in Pennsylvania. I remember having days off from school in the winter because of the "oil shortage," which led to schools being unable to be heated properly.

                    I also remember that at times in the mid-'70s you could only purchase gasoline on certain days, depending on whether your license plate ended in an odd or even number.

                    Great times!

                    All generations and all decades throughout our nation's history have faced their own sets of unique challenges.

                    I do agree, though, that economic inequality and greed in this country have grown way beyond outrageous.

                    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

                    by BenderRodriguez on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:29:12 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  so because of an embargo (6+ / 0-)

                      You think the economy sucked?   I was a young man in 1976 and I was able to go to school, pay my own tuition, and pay rent with one room mate, on a part time, minimum wage job.  No student loans.  

                      And jobs were plentiful, so it was common to quit if you didn't like your job and get another one the same day.  Oh sure, my car sat at times.  But I rode a bike instead. Give me those days any day over current times.  

                      If you haven't earned my vote when the time comes, don't blame me when you lose.

                      by Nada Lemming on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:49:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I remember a gas shortage... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Hillbilly Dem

                      but that just meant people waiting in line to spend money.

                      Anyone that was around then, including me, would not agree with your assessment.

                      Today's economy sucks in comparison.

                    •  The oil embargo was in 1972-73 not 1975... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Hillbilly Dem

                      I too was alive during that period and working at a gas station, so I remember the even-odd days and the rising gas prices. Your argument is not well constructed or based on fact, you keep saying the economy is not the primary issue and that inequality doesn't matter as much as other concerns and then, never mention what those other concerns might be. I believe that you are simply attacking the commenters and the post writer out of pique or some misplaced sense of self righteous indignation, which in no way contributes to a reasoned discussion, whether you agree or disagree with either the commeners or the writer.  

                      "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

                      by KJG52 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:48:12 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Where did I say the embargo was in 1975? (0+ / 0-)

                        What I said was that I remember my school being closed in the mid-'70s at times due to the "oil shortage." I was in third and fourth grade when this occurred, which would have been around '75 or '76.

                        Where have I "attacked" anyone in this thread? I heed strongly the words of Kos himself and try not to be a (jerk) in someone else's diary.

                        I do disagree with the diarist and some commenters here, and I politely added my two cents to the discussion sans name-calling or any other nonsense.

                        And yes, this country does face huge problems -- from environmental concerns to overpriced tuition to the dissolution of the family -- and, as I've said upthread, economic inequality is among them.

                        How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

                        by BenderRodriguez on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:10:44 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Standard for Chipmo. Pay no mind. nt (0+ / 0-)

              Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

              by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:16:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Dude? Ummm....did you read your link? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chipmo, splintersawry

          50 million.  I don't know where you got 155 million.

          Also, those are worldwide numbers.

          Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

          by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:33:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You should read my comment, below. n/t (5+ / 0-)

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

        by bobswern on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:43:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I could link to a bunch of annotated support... (18+ / 0-)

      ...for what I'm about to say, but I'll save most of those links for another post.

      A very unusual event has occurred in the credit analytics industry over the past year: the public has placed their car payments ahead of their home payments, in terms of prioritization. The fallout from this is nothing less than...stunning (I spend a lot of my time in the credit analytics side of my software business). It represents somewhat of a sea-change, socially. And, this story has been very underreported...

      Consumers pay auto loans before mortgages
      By Kerri Panchuk
      Housing Wire
      March 29, 2012   9:35am

      When choosing between one debt or another, American consumers are more likely to make a payment on their auto loans before sending in checks for mortgages and credit cards, TransUnion said.

      The credit reporting bureau made that conclusion after finalizing its payment hierarchy study from 2011.
      The trend started four years ago and continues with many consumers prioritizing debt payments in the slow economy.

      A preference to pay off auto loans is driven primarily by every consumer's need for a car to get to work and fear that a vehicle can be repossessed rather easily...

      Savings rates are way down again. (Then again, with 0.05%, why would consumers even bother to save? Think of what this is doing to individual retirement savings, however. Meanwhile, the banks are picking up an easy 2%-3% from the Fed for parking their money there.)

      Subprime credit cards are now being reintroduced to the market at a breakneck pace.

      And, the too-big-to-fail banks are now ACTIVELY and AGGRESSIVELY involved in a very devious form of "lending" which makes the PAYDAY LOAN industry look like child's play. SEE: "Report rips banks on 'payday' loans."

      And, I'm just getting started...after all, this is only a comment... ;-)

      There's MUCH more to this story than just what I've posted in this response to your statement.

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

      by bobswern on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:39:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  paying car before mortgage makes sense! (4+ / 0-)

        as someone who never made over 10 bucks an hour until I was 30 in 1990, and who grew up on welfare -

        I need my car to stay employed, OR, to get another job - I don't need the fucking house.

        rmm.

        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:16:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Many--and I mean MANY--credit scorecards... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nada Lemming, seabos84, priceman

          ...throughout this country, place very extensive weight on home ownership versus renting. That holds true even today.

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

          by bobswern on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:21:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yabbut ... IF I'm short money, (7+ / 0-)

            and I'm on the way down the drain -

            I'm going to lose the house anyway ... or ... maybe I can do blah blabh blah to stay in it -

            the car will get repo'd by some thugs with a tow truck ... and then you're screwed.

            I have a spreadsheet somewhere of how many roommates I've had and how many apartments and

            how many times I've moved with my last $100 bucks and am completely screwed if my paycheck bounces / the new job goes sideways.

            While I see a point - home ownership = better credit rating = get a car ...

            I'm looking at running the scenario of people running out of cash AND losing the car.

            It will take 3 or 6 or 18 months to get kicked out of the house - the car could be gone by friday ... ;)

            pay the car.

            rmm.

            Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

            by seabos84 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:57:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Public transport is nonexistant for most (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KJG52, seabos84

        Public transportation is HORRIBLE where I live, and it's a decent sized city.  Doesn't help that my state won't even accept FREE federal money for light rail.  

        I suspect it's that way for most Americans.  Most of us live in areas with little to no public transportation, so we pretty much have to have a vehicle.  No vehicle usually means no job and no job means no mortgage payment.

        •  I actually can't defend my stance from many (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChadmanFL

          angles  ... BUT ...

          having been unemployed 10 or 15 times, and a few of the times I was freaking ELATED about it, and having to do the chapter 7 ?? or 11 or 13 thing once almost 10 years ago ---

          my first credit card was in ... '83?? and it was a department store and it was a 200 limit. It took 6 or 9 months to get another, better, department store. It took 9 more months to get my FIRST mastercard with a 200 limit. by the end of the 80's the limit on ALL my cards was ... 15k? 20k? by 2000 the limits were ... 70? 80?  I NEVER missed a payment, I was NEVER late.

          in 2004, a few days after my credit cards hadn't got the minimum monthly, my credit was shot - I couldn't get a student loan. the things I did "right" before I stopped paying: conserve conserve conserve cash, move to a cheaper apartment while I had money and 1 year before the back of the envelope crash was projected, cash advance on the cards to have minimum monthly payments AND car payments -

          oh well, what is logical and what is ... just keeping the wolves outside the door ... and what is right and what is wrong ...

          how about it being wrong for a prick manager to wreck people's jobs, hence income??

          oh well.

          rmm.

          Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

          by seabos84 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:47:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The stigma of both filing BK and foreclosures have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        seabos84

        lessened considerably due to the housing crash.

        Stories of foreclosures, short sales, strategic walk-aways, etc. seem to be the norm nowadays.

        You can't survive without transportation and a job.

        You can survive without owning a house.

    •  Turning on your teevee (25+ / 0-)

      ... and looking at your own personal economic situation doesn't really capture the bigger picture.  

      The middle class is being murdered, actively and with malice aforethought, by the ruling class' greed and insatiable appetite for more.  That's what growing income inequality actually means.  The fact that we still have the forms and shell of a middle class belies this fact, just as marbled temples and lavish entertainments disguised the rot in late imperial Rome.  Compared with the 1960's our middle class is moribund and dying, and the trend is rapidly worsening rather than improving.  It will take two or three decades more for the rot to be undisguisable, but by then it will be too late to stop it.  It may be too late already, for that matter.  But we have to assume it isn't, and find new ways to demand more and better from our "representatives."

      When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

      by Dallasdoc on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:44:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A zombified population which is distracted (11+ / 0-)

      by shiny object or lizard brain activities is much easier to take advantage of. Might as well just plug us in to an amusement mainframe a la The Matrix and get it over with.

      "to gobern dat wicked natur, dat is de pint. You is sharks, sartin; but if you gobern de shark in you, why den you be angel; for all angel is not'ing more dan de shark well goberned." Herman Melville

      by ovals49 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:59:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  but none of those are assets to give to your kids (8+ / 0-)

      There is a difference between owning things that matter in life and being able to afford consumables to make life less obnoxious.

      The economic situation has been rigged to the point where the average consumer can afford shitty mass produced foods and the electronic trinkets needed to get by in life or enjoy it.  But they can't afford anything else.  They can't afford to save up money in case they are laid off, they often can't afford a home, and very few of them can properly afford to save for retirement.

      For the wealthy among us they can pass on to their kids more money than most of us will be able to save in a lifetime and their children will never want for anything.  But that's still not enough.  They still want to take away the few safety net items that do exist (which are needed because you can't eat an ipad or a TV), lower wages a bit more, all so those at the top can keep a larger share of the pie.

      Of course its' not going to change.  It's not going to change because the people being screwed have taken violence off the table so they have nothing to argue with.

      "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

      by overclocking on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:11:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I largely agreed with you till the last paragraph. (0+ / 0-)

        And maybe I'm misreading here, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

        Are you advocating violence or rioting or some such nonsense when you say "the people being screwed have taken violence off the table"?

        If you are, that's ridiculous and offensive.

        If I'm misinterpreting you, though, please correct me.

        How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

        by BenderRodriguez on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:25:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not advocating it, what I am saying (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chipmo, KJG52

          Is that nothing will change without it.  Point blank, if you aren't willing to fight, and actually fight, then shit up and roll over and die.

          Past labor movements and past fights over the distribution of wealth always ended with violence.  Until the lords and ladies were worried that the peasants were going to rise up, rape the lady, kill the lord, and parade around with the kids heads on pikes nothing changed.

          They don't care.  They won't change out of the goodness of their heart while you starve in the streets.  History has proven they will keep dancing and drinking and laughing it up.

          You've got two choices, they have to fear for one of two things, their money or their lives.  Right now they aren't exactly afraid for either so why in the hell should they play ball and give you anything.

          We have a situation where those who are crushing us know that we are not willing to actually fight them.  They are laughing all the way to the bank and we still have dolts who think drumb circles will make them change their minds.

          "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

          by overclocking on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:00:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Anything effective (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chipmo, Nada Lemming

          is going to equated with violence by TPTB.  You saw that with OWS, with both the police and DHS.

      •  Last paragraph is just goofy. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bluehawk

        "Take Banker Money; Lose My Vote" is what we should be focusing on.

        Slice the politics-as-usual right at the jugular: the money-flow.

        Smashing things is just a temper tantrum, and has nothing to do with changing real-world power relations. Ask the Greeks. Ask the Egyptians. ... geez, the 1% will PAY people to do that because it justifies their anti-Bill of Rights laws and makes it easy to propagandize the middle class. Plus, push that far enough and ... well, who the fuck has the firepower in the real world?

        Anybody who thinks smashing windows at Starbucks is going to shake the established order is on dope or testosterone. Or a payroll. They sure as hell aren't thinking straight.

        No. The one thing we still have going for us is the pretense of Democracy, so therefore the leverage of our Vote. If we make real change the condition of our Vote we set the political class against each other, instead of uniting against the populace, as we have it now.


        Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

        by Jim P on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:51:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, you're voting 3rd Party? (0+ / 0-)

          Because the banks own both of the mainstream parties.

          The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

          by chipmo on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:24:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, you think all Democrats are so (0+ / 0-)

            corrupt and stupid they'd rather take banker money than win elections?


            Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

            by Jim P on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:36:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm referring (0+ / 0-)

              to the 2012 Presidential election.

              The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

              by chipmo on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:39:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Candidates can return money. (0+ / 0-)

                The issue really is what possible leverage do we have on policy? We'll always be a second or third-tier constituency unless we force a break in politics-as-usual.

                What do we possibly have outside of our Vote? Demonstrations and letter-writing are a nuisance to politicians, but nothing they can't -- and don't -- routinely ignore.


                Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

                by Jim P on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:48:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  I can't wrap my brain around the notion (14+ / 0-)

      that the Empire is falling.

      Every time I go to the colloseum, the padded boxes near the Emperor are all sold out, despite cost 14 times a workmans daily wage.

      The fine silks and spices usually sell before they even make it off the docks!  You should see the lines at the markets!

      Sure, the lives of the plebes are brutal and short.  But the wealthy are still buying chariots and taking vacations abroad!

      Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

      by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:30:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i've come to think of things like the buffet rule (28+ / 0-)

    .... as just a diverting distraction for the chattering class to argue about while government quietly and efficiently goes about the business of stacking the rules even more in favor of the 1%.

    i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

    by joe shikspack on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:28:32 AM PDT

  •  It still amazes me (23+ / 0-)

    how many people around here think that Democratic politicians care more about the "average American" than the average CEO.

    For fuck's sake, who are they more often neighbors with?

    Ted Kennedy and William F. Buckley used to go on ski vacations together.  Obama and Boehner are golf buddies.

    For all that the media and the mass of indoctrinated party loyalists on either side want to portray it as a blood feud, the "distance" between the two parties and the distance between politicians and the elite is infinitesimal.  Money and power bind them, and they all know that WE THE PEOPLE are their prey, not their family.

    The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

    by chipmo on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:32:28 AM PDT

    •  Yesterday, MB had a diary (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobswern, chipmo, greengemini, KJG52

      about Native Americans:

      In just over three years, the Obama administration has done more for American Indians than any administration since Lyndon Johnson called for an end of termination policy 44 years ago. A good deal of that has to do with simply being a good listener. But the administration is also building a solid record of compensating the tribes for decades of government bungling and behavior that, labeled properly, was outright theft.

      The latest move, announced April 11, is the billion-dollar settlement with 41 tribes from Maine to California. Funding does not have to be approved by Congress because it has already been allocated in the Judgment Fund. The settlement ends a 22-month-long negotiation between the tribes and the United States over more than a century of mismanagement of concessions granted to non-Indians by the departments of Interior and the Treasury. Interior oversees 56 million acres of Indian land held in trust by the government. The concessions cover various resources, including minerals, timber, oil and gas, and grazing rights.

      My question is, when do we get compensation for years of government bungling and behavior and outright theft?

      If that is a precedence, me thinks we may have a good class action suit on behalf of taxpayers.....

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:31:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, there is the $25 billion foreclosure (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        squarewheel, ctexrep, KJG52, bobswern

        settlement.  Which would work out to $2,000 per person.  That is, if all the money went to helping out people that were foreclosed upon.

        As it turns out, many of the states receiving the funds are doing what they consider "best" for homeowner.  For instance, the AG of Ohio has decided to spend a third of the money on destroying homes.  Which is pretty dickish considering:
        A) there are a lot of homeless people in the country
        B) that money was supposed to go to help people who lost their homes
        C) this is what the banks WANT.

        But hey, at least it's being spent on something housing related.

        Missouri is looking at its $41 million as a way to keep from raising college and university tuition, as well as make up for other state funding shortfalls. Vermont, Wisconsin, Maryland and Pennsylvania are also looking at nonhousing uses for the funds.
        Boy, what a big awesome piece of shit, I mean, progressive legislation that settlement is turning out to be!

        The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

        by chipmo on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:01:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The swing-vote proportion of Native Americans (0+ / 0-)

        in some states is worth noting in the context of the "doing more for American Indians." I lost the link but it makes a difference in two or three states.


        Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

        by Jim P on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:54:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't care who they're friends with. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      What do they do?

      Comparing Ted Kennedy to Obama is plain dumb.

      Ted Kennedy=the invention of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Family Medical Leave Act.

      Obama=cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  Also handing our public lands over to the oil and natural gas companies to be ravaged, which is kind of weird given that he's been trying to sound like a latter-day Theodore Roosevelt.

      Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:42:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Buffett Rule was a feel good piece of crap. (7+ / 0-)

    It would have done nothing substantive to reduce the deficit.   We need to spend less and everyone needs to pay more taxes.  There, I said it. It's true, and no one wants to face that fact.  Until we do, it will be more of the same.  

    [T]here is no more dangerous experiment than that of undertaking to be one thing before a man's face and another behind his back. - Robert E. Lee

    by SpamNunn on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:42:18 AM PDT

    •  And what incumbant has the courage (10+ / 0-)

      to take on the M-I-C? Our military is bleeding us dry. Sure, if we're going to have an empire we have to have a strong military. So I'm told. Plus, almost every federal politician knows that an opponent would kill them if they were "soft on defense". But where does it end?
            In 2010, the good ol' U. S. of A. spent almost $700 Billion on the military. Second biggest spender? China, and it spent less than $100 Billion. In fact, America spent more than nations 2 through 16 COMBINED. And all but 2 of those nations (China and Russia) are our allies.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:09:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  China spent 143 billion. (0+ / 0-)

        Take Afghanistan out of the equation, and our military spending is not out of line with our mission or our interests.   We could cut it significantly, but that won't solve the deficit problem.   We need to look at all of our spending, set limits on what the Feds do, and then set priorities.   The interest groups (military included) won't permit that.  

        [T]here is no more dangerous experiment than that of undertaking to be one thing before a man's face and another behind his back. - Robert E. Lee

        by SpamNunn on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:44:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  MIC can be taken on if understand real economy (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cslewis, Nada Lemming, KJG52, Dallasdoc

        We have been given the drug of the Free Market.

        The market takes care of everything.

        The market will work it out.

        No need to be a citizen responsible for local communities or the country of the world.

        The market will take care of everything.

        I can fill my head with garbage and be a good little consumer.

        The economy is growing so things are OK.

        **
        What a bunch of crap Americans fall for.

        The country is going down the drain. The media is but another arm of the corporations and the 1%.

        Get ready for hard time in jail if you protest this summer. That is what Obama has set up. All they have to do is to give you the label Terrorist and you are gone.

    •  Austarians have been proven wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, Bluehawk

      everywhere.

      We need to spend smarter, not less, at least in the medium term.

      Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

      by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:39:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do I vote for Money or do I vote for Religious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frandor55, bobswern

    Money?

    I don't know that I can be true to my beliefs by doing either- and that bugs the fucking shit out of me!

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:42:44 AM PDT

  •  I fail to see how your title matches (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, ORDem

    the vote that occurred.  Almost all the Democrats voted for it (minus the usual ones).  

    If you were to change the title to "Country's" instead of "Party's" I could see that.  And it would make sense, considering that a good chunk of the country that claims to want the country better cannot see how those they vote for are ruining it.

    Occupy the voting Booth!

    by anonevent on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:43:43 AM PDT

    •  We are the incumbent party...you're... (9+ / 0-)

      ...conflating reality and facts with the quite salable (but, completely devoid of any bearing or facts pertinent to the real world, of course) propaganda and story line that will be put forth by the Rethugs between now and Election Day.  

      Per Reich's last sentences in his blockquote in my post...

      …The President has already announced that this election is about America’s surge toward ever-greater inequality. He’s right. And this painful recovery shows it.

      It would be sadly ironic if Obama lost the election because the economy responded to widening inequality exactly as expected.

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

      by bobswern on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:57:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was blocked by the filibuster. We had votes (0+ / 0-)

        to pass the bill. You're leaving that part out, which is obviously the most pivotal re: the Buffet rule vote.

        Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:17:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are missing the point of this post... (11+ / 0-)

          ...and, it's the fact that REALITY has little to do--as is the case with MOST national political campaigns these days--with how this will play out amongst the voting public this year.

          Furthermore, the entire Buffett Rule effort was as much symbolic as it was anything else. Financially, it would add only a (relatively speaking) nominal amount of revenue to our country's bottom line. And, the fact that Dems were stonewalled on even this IS what this post is all about.

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

          by bobswern on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:26:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Buffet small step - politicians been bought out (6+ / 0-)

            The Buffet rule is but a small step to what is needed.

            Check out my comment below on the left margin.

            If that book were understood, the politicians would have to face up to what has happened and happy talk would no longer work.

            A major change is needed to go beyond the ideology of capitalism which has been rampant for the last 30 years.

            This is why OWS is so important.

          •  So why is it an "our party problem" then (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bobswern, ORDem

            as the focal point of your title, if we can't even get the Buffett rule passed?

            I know that rule wouldn't have solved all our problems, but hell I'll take a symbolic victory.

            Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:35:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Issue is that both parties have sold out (11+ / 0-)

              There has been in the words of Chris Hedges a corporate coup d'etat.

              The parties provide theater as they go back and forth on stuff.

              The real economy has not been discussed.

              The assault on civil liberties has not been discussed.

              The only hope is to pressure the democrats from the left, or to get a new party.

              That is why OWS is so important.

            •  From a propaganda standpoint...it's all about... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Don midwest, chipmo, opinionated

              ...perception (politics), of course.

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

              by bobswern on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:08:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Based on experience, if it could have passed (6+ / 0-)

              the Buffett rule would never have been mooted in the first place. Hence why it's seen as "kabuki." It has been the practice since the Year Dog that Congress members (both Chambers) will bring up a law they know will appeal to the public AND that will not pass. So you get to say "we tried" to the public and you keep the status quo for your business partners.

              Why do you think Democrats didn't change the filibuster rule, revert to the old-style where you had to stand their for days if you wanted to filibuster, when they could have?

              There's Democrats, there's Republicans, and they both see their main constituent as Big Money. The difference on social issues is the only real difference, and that exists so as to further divide-and-rule. Big Money's power has only grown since the Dems went Republican-light in response to Reagan's victories. And there's nothing in its way.


              Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

              by Jim P on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:05:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  rants (11+ / 0-)

    is how frustration

    gains traction.


    Now how can we re-frame "income inequality"

    in terms that, Paycheck-to-Paycheck Joe and Jane, will understand?


    and avoid that glassy-eyed thousand mile stare ...

    'giving everyone a fair shot' seems
    much too much like platitude-speak, to me.


    thanks bobswern, for your diligent (and now ranty) work,

    to raise our awareness, on this world-shaping little understood issue.


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:51:53 AM PDT

  •  Nothing will ever change as long as the Senate is (22+ / 0-)

    wedded to the artificial 60 vote majority. That blame can be placed at the feet of the current majority party. It won't be popular here, but that is the way I see it. I gives Democrats a built in excuse to never do anything.

    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Harry Truman

    by temptxan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:53:50 AM PDT

  •  If you haven't watched (19+ / 0-)

    Bernie Sanders speech yesterday you should. He spelled it out pretty well.

    "It is absurd that at a time when our country has a $15.6 trillion national debt and enormous unmet needs, the wealthiest people in this country have an effective tax rate that is lower than many middle-class people. It makes no sense that the richest people in America pay an effective tax rate lower than small businessmen, nurses, teachers, police officers and others," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. He cosponsored the measure named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who says it is unfair that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary.
    "Nobody should be talking about cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and education, as many of my Republicans colleagues would like to do, while maintaining huge tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. Today, the top 1 percent earns over 20 percent of all income in this country which is more than the bottom 50 percent.  In terms of the distribution of wealth, as hard as it may be to believe, the richest 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans. The richest people and largest corporations are doing phenomenal well, while the middle class is collapsing and poverty increases.  This is not what democracy looks like.  This is what oligarchy and plutocracy look like."

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:58:45 AM PDT

  •  Rant away: I, as many others, are with you. When (11+ / 0-)

    will the real Democratic Party, or any political entity step up and pass legislation that is of, and for the citizen's of this country.

    When will the voices of the 99%, be they Republican, Democratic, OWS or Tea Party, it doesn't matter what the title, be heard and represented.  When will "we, the people" get our government back, for real?

    Don't place my name in the "optimistic" column as that would be jumping the gun......

    “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

    by LamontCranston on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:00:26 AM PDT

  •  no bobswern, you are not a rant... (13+ / 0-)

    this is all about reality

    too many people just don't give a fuck, they wrap themselves up in their own worlds, only able to make wise cracks about our pols day to day flogging of our democracy

    this will not end well

    •  I told someone last week, (4+ / 0-)

      I can honestly say that I'm glad I'm in my 50'sand not my 20's I fear that all of this will come to no good. My only hope is that if it doesn't turn around, America will simply slip into irrelevance. As opposed to turning into a super-sized Somalia. We'll see.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:23:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Primaries, FIRST ... after 9 years in edu-babble (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, KJG52, splintersawry

    as a high school teacher - I think I've developed a reward system to encourage positive political behavior!

    GIVEN how Lilly Ledbetter or Gay Marriage won't matter that much when we're all working for 3 bucks a week, 12 hours a day and 7 days,

    GIVEN how when push comes to shove there are ALWAYS a few Dem-0-Craps ready to sell us out to push us further along the path to 3 bucks a week ...

    GIVEN how compromise and bipartisanshit has been defined to mean a get screwed less, instead of I get less of what is good,

    HERE is my reward system:

    1 Shitty Vote:

    NO Primary help - NO money, NO signs, NO Phonebanking, NO nothing.

    2 Shitty Votes:

    I help your Primary Opponent - and, as long as they're not drooling & carrying a bible & ranting at a tree, (or ANOTHER DLC third way new dem yuppie sell out) I'm not going to be too picky.

    3 Shitty Votes:

    NO General election help.

    4 Shitty Votes:

    I'm voting "Medicare ForALL"

    By the way - NOT politically gutting a sell out = 1 Shitty Vote.  Joe Lieberman and Blanche and the Nelsons and the Stu-pid-paks do what they do cuz they don't have to pay consequences - and they don't have to pay consequences cuz the Democratic people in Congress do NOT make them pay consequences.

    Guess what all my Seattle Democratic "leaders" have earned , in these last 6 years of "Impeachment is off the table"??

    rmm.  

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:05:13 AM PDT

    •  What are you going to do about the Repubs? nt (0+ / 0-)

      Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:22:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  huh? electing fighters for the bottom 80% of us (0+ / 0-)

        instead of aiding and abetting yuppie sell outs and political pathetics would change things, cuz -

        well, ya see,

        FIGHTERS will stop letting the thugs win!

        200 or 400 fighters might even stomp those lying thugs can cause them to lose!

        Imagine that?

        we gotta have more than Alan Grayson.

        rmm.

        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:43:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oooh, so more Democrats IS a good idea (0+ / 0-)

          I thought we were just primarying everyone and hoping that 40% of the US suddenly turned liberal tomorrow.

          Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:45:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  BETTER Democrats, ONLY. don't need more sell (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KJG52

            outs and political pathetics.

            oh yeah - WTF are you talking about, 40% of the country being liberal?

            I think they're 'moderate'ly left of center, it is just that we got a bunch of dishrags who can't and won't fight the liars on the right, so the definition of 'middle' keeps moving further and further right -

            and now we have a Democratic party which kisses wall street's ass and the asses of the health insurance scum and pharma's asses ...

            is that YOUR definition of 'moderate' and 'center' ??

            ha ha !

            if so, then my stuff is definitely far left ---

            by the way - maybe you could help with a math problem -

            if 70% are in the middle, cuz there are 2 extremes at 15%, how come the DLC sell outs can't win without the dirty fucking hippies? WHY did Dukakis, Gore and Kerry lose?

            rmm.

            Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

            by seabos84 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:06:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  40% referring to conservative. But I was wrong. (0+ / 0-)

              In fact, as of March 8, it was 46-48% as you can see here:

              Link  

              I'm not defining ANYONE, and do not consider myself a centrist at all...and the only folks that use those labels are those who are hard, hard left in ways that are frankly impractical given our current political climate and culture....it's folks like you who seem to be working just as hard against the party as the Repubs are.

              I do appreciate, however, your tacit acknowledgement that you're really about a 15%, not a 51% or 99%.

              Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

              by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:43:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  When polled on issues, not identity, (5+ / 0-)

            the electorate is consistently about 60% liberal; on a few just about majority; on some others 70% or more. It's silly to buy the mass-reach media's definitions of what Americans are about, as they have an interest in distorting it.

            Half the electorate regards both parties as the same, and both Republicans and Democrats last year polled at half their identifieds as wishing they had another choice. Making 75% of the electorate ready to jettison both parties.

            The People do not have representation in the United States of America.


            Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

            by Jim P on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:12:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Link? I provided one. (0+ / 0-)

              Also, you can say "issues" all you want, but we both know it depends on wording, and just because they might individually care more about the issues doesn't mean they'll pull the right levers.

              Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

              by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:40:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Google or better (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                splintersawry

                duckduckgo. This has been standard fare in the press for years. I'll not provide a link for "the sun shines" either. Gay marriage, out of Afghanistan now, punish the bankers, equal rights for women, etc etc etc etc etc etc

                The electorate is liberal on each issue. Everyone knows the game is fixed and rotten, just a few remaining republicanists and democraticists are not coming to grips with the reality.


                Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

                by Jim P on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:19:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Do you really mean what you say? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KJG52, tacet, splintersawry, aliasalias

            Because this has little to do with liberalism, at this point, as far as the American public is concerned.  It has to do with survival, and the fact that they're being fucked over.

            In the first place, your average American doesn't have any idea what liberalism is except for a hazy notion it has something to do with high taxes.  No one has stood up as a liberal and been given attention in the public eye for so long that liberalism is essentially whatever Hannity et al want to hate on this week.

            Secondly, the ideological fight is pretty irrelevant to people who are losing their homes, have no jobs, or are drastically underpaid, and are looking at a retirement without Social Security or Medicare.  They don't see these issues as ideology. They see them as survival. That's why the famous TeaParty lady told Obama to "Keep government out of my Medicare." The important part of that statement was not that she didn't understand Medicare was a government program. The important part was that she liked Medicare and wanted to preserve it. A Tea Partier.

            Populist positions on these issues are centrist everywhere except in DC and the studios of various political pundits.  When over 78% of America wants to preserve Social Security, for instance, that would make it a centrist position to anyone looking at the situation objectively.

            Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:52:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  President Of Iceland: Financial System Threatens.. (12+ / 0-)

    .....threatens democracies: Olafur Grimsson.
    Not just aproblem for the U.S., it is global.

    http://articles.businessinsider.com/...

    How the financial system could pose a fundamental threat to the political and democratic framework of Iceland illustrates the grave political and social responsibility which the market and the financial sector carries, because if a collapse in the financial sector can bring one of the most stable and secure democracies and political structures to his knees, as happened in Iceland, what could it do in countries that have less stable democratic and political history?

    Existence is no more than the precarious attainment of relevance in an intensely mobile flux of past, present, and future.~~~ Susan Sontag

    by frandor55 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:20:33 AM PDT

  •  Rigged government statistics hide real economy (9+ / 0-)

    Is it possible for citizens to understand "the economy" or is this something that must be handled by specialists?

    Why has income inequality suddenly become an issue? Why did it take OWS to even bring the issue to the media?

    Well, the official government statistics have been modified over the years to reduce inflation and to inflate the GNP.

    I was not aware that the Bureau of Economic Analysis switched from the GNP to the GDP in 1991. The GNP subtracts from the total the interest paid to foreigners. In 2004 the GDP was 3.3% but if the earlier GNP number had been used, it would have been 1.9%. It is shown in the appendix that economy actually shrunk in some of the Bush years. If Americans had know this, they would have thrown politicians out of office.

    There is raw data that can be used to recompute statistics using the old formulas. You have probably heard that the unemployment is actually over 20% which puts us at the levels of the depression.

    The rigged Consumer Price Index  hides the rate of inflation.

    The combination of rigged statistics (hiding how bad things have become) with cheap loans (allowing people to borrow as a means to keep their heads above water) stalled and the awareness of how bad things had become.

    This and more is explained in a book that also explains how the country moved to faith in markets, which changed citizens into consumers who didn't have to be engaged in politics and left corporations to take over the political system and shape it for their interest leading to a steep decline in the middle class and much worse consequences for the people at the bottom.

    In the words of the author:

    "Americans have been kept in the dark about the real state of the economy. The government  has rigged its economic statistics to hide declining wages, high unemployment, high inflation, and near zero GDP growth. By making loans cheap during the Clinton and Bush presidencies,  Americans were able to borrow to keep their heads above water. The era of easy credit ended with the financial collapse of 2008. Since then, Americans have discovered how bad things have really become.
    How could our leaders let this happen? They did so knowingly, but for what they believed was a greater purpose. Since Truman, presidents have sacrificed our economy first to win the Cold War and then, after the fall of the Soviet Union, to prop up a military empire. Our presidents have slept peacefully as Americans suffered, for they believed they acted for a higher purpose.  
    The solution for this mess is not radical. It is a return to policies that worked in the past. By reviving the 1944 tax code, and bringing back the protectionist trade policies that made our workers the highest paid in the world, we can return to prosperity."
    The author of this book spent over 5 years starting with getting into the nitty gritty of government statistics.  The book agent convinced him to write a book for a general reader that ties economics to policy. This is the first time I have understood the economics and what has happened in the last 40 years. This book should be required reading for citizens.

    I am a friend of the author. At this time I am the only marketing agent for this extremely important book. If you have Kindle, you can get it for 99 cents from Amazon. Otherwise, you can get two copies for a little over $25 and get free shipping.

    I would appreciate someone writing a diary about the book here or book reviews in any place that you can.

    The author is Keith Qunicy. "Worse Than You Think: The Real Economy Hidden Beneath Washington's Rigged Statistics, And Where To Go From Here."

    •  All you need to know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kristina40, JesseCW

      is the unemployed to population ratio is still in the toilet.

      Our leaders still believe in a financial and military empire.

      •  Need to know more to bring about OWS change (4+ / 0-)

        We face nothing less than the take over of our country by the 1% and corporate power.

        Democracy is about power, not freedom. This is the mantra of the market faith which has dominated our thought and actions as a country.

        The book I wrote about shows the ways that government statistics have been manipulated. But even more important, it provides data to understand the economy and its relation to politics, in other words, political economy.

        After reading this book I hear things differently and read differently. The Sunday NY times is different now that I understand. The Buffet rule is seen as a tiny opening of what could be a major effort through the political system to get our country back on track.

  •  We need a viable new second party (5+ / 0-)

    Democrats and Republicans are two wings of the same party.

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:47:35 AM PDT

  •  Survival is the new American Dream (9+ / 0-)

    Once upon a time the American Dream was that each successive generation could enjoy a better lifestyle than their parents.  Now the dream is to survive; hope you have a job, hope it pays enough to put food on the table, hope your kids get an adequate education, hope the car doesn't break, hope you don't get sick.  The dream of home ownership is gone for millions, the dream of going to college is fading for our kids.  This is how the ruling class gets control.
    The 1% is the new government.  It's their dream now.

    •  Survival has been the new normal for some time (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kristina40, chipmo, Mike RinRI

      but government statistics and our propaganda have hidden the reality.

      The political parties are part of the media theater. Real issues have not been addressed.

      The author of the book I mention above made the following comment, which is not in the book.

      The USA is basically a bottom up country. Things happen at the local level. The founding fathers did not even conceive of a take over at the bottom.  That is what has happened in recent years as seen directly in ALEC. Here is the problem: There is no constitutional way to stop that take over at the bottom.

      The only way forward is direct action like WI.

      In order to last and bring about change, a deep commitment to thinking and engagement is required.

      •  I think Wisconsin has been the exception (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest

        My hat goes off daily to the people of Wisconsin who rebelled when their new 1% government grabbed the ALEC ball and ran over everything in their path but it's still a battle and the final chapter hasn't been written.  But look at Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania etc; these are states where the 1% got their way and where the local governments are trampling the American Dream to create as much damage as possible.  These aren't states that are considered out of the mainstream Yes some of these assholes will be voted out of office but look what's happened in the meantime.  Let's say a less radical government takes over some of these states between now and 2014, how much will they be able to rollback??

        We have a country where a group of "morans" with tea bags hanging from their heads were manipulated by the 1% into staging what is tantamount to a coup d'etat in 2010.  These people voted to discard everything that made this country what it was in order to return to a 19th century society.  They succeeded at every level of government.  The closer we get to November the more concerned I am that it will happen again.

        The republican strategy was brilliant; obstruct everything, keep the serfs chained to debt, underwater mortgages, low pay etc.  The most recent Gallup Poll shows Romney up 47-45 over Obama, whatever one can think about the poll, that's the news that makes the 1% tingly, that's today's news headline, that's what we're up against.

  •  It IS pathetic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, joe wobblie

    people assume that too much in taxes is paid. But in truth, we all live here, we all ride on highways, drink the water, breath the air and such. How much is too much to have good air, water, roads and such? Look at Haiti. They are not overly burdened with any of those things. Is that what these people want for themselves?

    We've had all kinds of explanations as to why people are unable to see the threads of their own undoing. But personally I am a little tired of that. I think we ought to have something real simple to say to them like "You need air? You need water? You need a road to drive that hummer on? Pay up!"

    Congress is at 9% approval rating - within the +/- of making herpes more popular than congress! - Webranding

    by glitterscale on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:00:03 AM PDT

    •  agree but helps if put in context of whole economy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glitterscale

      Simple statements are fine as far as they go.

      But, we have become a country of sound bytes. I totally agree with your point, but to stand up to the power and gain a movement of the 99%, there has to be an argument based on data.

      It is possible to understand political economy with the book I describe above.

  •  From the NYTimes article: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, leftykook
    The two economists argue that even Democrats’ boldest plan to increase taxes on the wealthy — the Buffett Rule, a 30 percent minimum tax on earnings over $1 million — would do little to reverse the rich’s gains.
    That is, it would do little, but it still do more than 0. How can anything that reduces income inequality, even slightly, be said to be just kabuki?

    And where the hell did all this talk of "shadow election" and kabuki come from? The article points out that Republican policies will increase inequality, while the Democrats at worse are not doing enough to slow and reverse it.

    That is a categorical distinction, and not just "kabuki."

    But the deep downturn of the last few years, and Mr. Obama’s election, brought the issue back to the fore. Peter R. Orszag, the former Obama budget director, has said the Piketty-Saez work “helped to point the way for the administration in its pledge to rebalance the tax code.”
    Even if you discount this as self-serving politico speak, you will never get a Republican to say anything along those lines.

    You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

    by tomjones on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:33:11 AM PDT

    •  THIS is what I wrote... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest, pat bunny, chipmo, priceman
      ...what we end up witnessing down in Washington D.C. is little more than really lame kabuki and wishful thinking about change that’s going nowhere fast...
      With all Senate votes, if for no other reason than the fact that it's the WHIP's job, the senior party folks pretty much know the vote before it's taken.

      This legislation IS going "nowhere fast."

      It would be good if it could get passed by the Senate, but that's NOT happening, at the moment, anyhow.

      And, when if it did get passed, the add'l revenue it'd generate would be decent, but not earth-shattering, in and of themself.

      It's purpose, symbolically, IF it was passed, would be important.

      But, none of this appears to have a snowball's chance in hell of being passed (at the moment, anyway).

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

      by bobswern on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:03:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dems display their lack of connection to 99% (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobswern, chipmo

        Looks like just being done for show.

        Not a fight down to the wire for a principle.

        Obama makes a couple of speeches and Buffet rule gets some media coverage, but deep down, on most really important issues, the political parties serve the corporations.

        Democracy is not about freedom, or even freedom of choice as in shopping or free markets, but about power.

        Political parties work to maintain their power which means to follow the concerns of 1%.

    •  You have to start somewhere. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenderRodriguez, burlydee

      There are those who do not think electoral politics as presently consituted can create change.  They could be right, but their alternatives will not create change either, so I'll place my bet on electoral politics and issue activism.    

      Shadow election is like what I said in 2000 when I said the differences between Bush and Gore were not sufficient to get me to vote for Gore.  I was wrong.  

      People forget Bush so quickly.  

      President Obama will not reverse the Great Class Stratification.  he might help some people and start a long reversal.  I think that is worth doing.  Revolutionary rhetoric intoxicates the speaker, but it does not feed poor children.  So I take the reformist path, supporting the re-election of Presdient Obama even knowing that inequality may well be great in 2016 and may only be changed at the margins, because those margins are real people and not theories.  

      I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

      by TomP on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:08:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well said (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP

        And worthy of a diary, IMO.

        You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

        by tomjones on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:24:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Also, I should add: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, splintersawry

        As much shit as we (rightly) give tend Tea Party, there is much progressives could learn from that movement.

        They didn't despair of making an impact through the political process. No, they took an imperfect vessel, in their mind, in the are Republican Party and drove it shapely to the right. They did it through primaries and the threat of primaries, and good old activism.

        This is the "better" part of more and better Dems; but why even try to elect better Dems if the two parties are the same and this is all kabuki?

        You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

        by tomjones on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:33:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tech workers and H-1B (10+ / 0-)

    One of Bobswern's links in the diary is to an article at Economic Populist about how tech companies have gamed the H-1B visa process and displaced well paid tech workers with overseas labor at a fraction of the cost / wages.

    As a tech worker, I saw this coming 15 years ago.  There was no shortage of tech workers, but big tech employers were crying that they couldn't get enough qualified workers.  What they were really bitching about was that salaries and demand for tech workers were skyrocketing as the industry matured.  So, starting with the Clinton administration, the annual H-1B worker visa quota was doubled, then tripled, and now it's nearly impossible for an American born and trained tech worker to get a job.  Over 35 years old?  Fuggedaboudit.  Seriously, I get calls every day from tech recruiters and few of them can even speak passable English.  (Geez, I almost sound like a wingnut here.)

    Income inequality starts at the bottom, not the top, and that's a mistake that we all make when discussing the issue.  In years past, unions were part of the answer to this problem.  Not anymore.  We think of unions as mostly valuable only to the trades and service industries, and honestly that's pretty much what they've been reduced to.  I don't recall a single union raising a fuss about past and present legislation to increase H-1B worker visa quotas.

    Sorry for the rambling rant, but the Economic Populist article touched a really raw nerve for me.

    Please Click here to help me get a round 2 Netroots Nation scholarship! Thanks!!

    by Richard Cranium on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:37:55 AM PDT

  •  Everyone love a tax (0+ / 0-)

    that someone else has to pay.  I think that's why the Buffett rule is such a farse - I read somewhere where it would effect about 4,000 people - 4,000 people, in scale of the electorate, is nothing.

    WHile I agree in principal with the Buffett rule, whats really required is to truly make the system fair - from the top to the bottom.  Congress loves to "social engineer" - that's why there are crazy deductions - if deductions were eliminated - the overall rate could be reduced - and yes, our Government needs to reduce itself - it's too big - it's out of control.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:39:23 AM PDT

    •  Seventy-One Percent.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      ....of the American people think the Buffett Rule is a Good Thing....And the Thugs just blocked it live on C-Span.

      Posters above have been griping about how the Buffet Rule is kabuki, it's meaningless, it's a mosquito bite on the elephant's butt....

      Baloney!  The American People think it's GOOD, and the Thugs just squelched it, while everyone watched!

      THAT is a GOOD THING

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:11:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  just because the majority are for it (0+ / 0-)

        doesn't make it right or the prudent thing to do.

        Many places are against gay marriage - but that doesn't make it right.

        The majority of the people are for the death penalty - that doesn't make it right.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:11:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  non sequitir (0+ / 0-)

          There is a POLITICAL ACTION taking place.

          A huge majority of Americans disagree with the ReThug Party's blocking of President Obama's efforts at getting the people who helped generate and benefited from the financial disaster of 2007-2008 to pay a bigger share...

          The value of it is to "Pin the Trunk on the Elephant"....

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:34:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  4,000 people, if they're the richest 4,000 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tacet

      is far from nothing, given the economic concentration of wealth in this country.

      But I agree with bobswern's analysis of this politically, for sure.  And Dallasdoc's.

      Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:54:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good post, Bob. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, pat bunny, tardis10, mightymouse

    This is correct in my view:

    Regardless of any polls or whether the President gets re-elected or not, this is all either going to, somehow, miraculously be transformed from the bottom-up over the next few months
    I think re-electing Obama is very important, but the Great Class Stratification may well take decades to reverse.  First, we have to identify the inequality and persuade people.  At times, Obama helps in that, but the struggle against inequality is far bigger than any one President.

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:03:50 AM PDT

  •  Been saying from the start that the Buffett rule, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, chipmo, mightymouse

    like the 1% derivative tax proposed previously, are just carrots for the public that do nothing to change the overall problem of wealth trickling, check that, streaming, to the top.  There's no way things are going to change now, this isn't the 1930's with room to grow and expand.  Obama can say all he wants and many will still fall for it.  But his actions and the results tell the story.

  •  That's why... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, chipmo, denise b

    The astute on this site talk about the difference between 'the political reality' and the 'reality reality'.  Take the ACA for instance.  It's a bi-partisan piece of garbage.  Now, does it do some good things?  Yes.  But it fails to do the biggest thing of all - namely, bend the cost curve of medical care and more specifically, medical insurance.  That's reality.  But, there are many on this site that argue - the ACA is the best we can do, given the political reality.  We see evidence of global warming happening faster than any model (scientist, BTW, are EXTREMELY conservative in any model they develop), yet, there is absolutely no talk from anybody about doing something about it.  In fact, the house probably would want to role back some of the renewable energy initiatives if it could.  We've got the Attorney General running around saying he 'probably' could assassinate any US citizen actually in the US.  Do we see any legislation being rushed through congress to clarify that?  Of course not.  Because the 1% know they would never be targeted.  And now this kabuki over income inequality.  The same people that argue against global warming, against evolution and against women are saying if we raise taxes, the entire economy will collapse.  And they are the ones who basically control the economic message.  Reality.

    'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden

    by RichM on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:50:53 AM PDT

  •  Senate. Senate. SENATE. SENATE! SENATE!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    1. Keep it.  We won't reach 60+ but we must keep 51.
    2. Pressure Sen. Reid to eliminate the "gentleman's filibuster" during the rules timeframe in January.  This is the only time it can be done.  

    Every American must understand how Republican Senators can and do abuse them, & how critical it is to remove abusers from office.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:10:45 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:03:48 AM PDT

  •  Heads on pikes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    Tend to focus the minds of those who suspect that theirs may be joining the display.

    What will it take?

    I suspect more than words.

    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

    by No one gets out alive on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:15:54 AM PDT

  •  Corruption is why you can't do your taxes in five (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    minutes - article by Matt Stoller

    article here

    When I cannot sing my heart. I can only speak my mind.

    by Unbozo on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:18:56 AM PDT

  •  When a computer system gets (0+ / 0-)

    compromised you wipe the disk clean and reinstall the operating system after you've done forensics to determine the cause of the corruption.

    I think it's time to do the same to our system as well.

    When I cannot sing my heart. I can only speak my mind.

    by Unbozo on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:36:17 AM PDT

  •  I always saw the Buffet Rule as more of a start (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    as a way of saying "look, Republicans aren't even interested in taxing millionaries as the rest of us."  I think its kind of misleading to imply that anyone said the Buffet Rule would fix income inequality - I don't think anyone said that.  It seems to me the President has from the beginning been saying the Buffet Rule is just a start.  I mean its kind of funny, b/c if they won't pass the buffet rule, they aren't going to pass anything else.  This isn't a typical negotiation where you ask for a lot and hope to get a little.  The President is asking for something that looks good, knows he won't get it, and knows it will make the Republicans look bad.  But make no mistake, the Republicans and their philosophies have to be made to look bad before any real change can happen.  I mean we have speaking glowingly about Ayn Rand in the halls of government.  The situation isn't ripe for a progressive take over.

    So is the president proposing the Buffet Rule to essentially help himself? Sure.  But that doesn't mean people on the left can't benefit.  Its good optics and it was always about good optics.  Everyone is always talking about the Overton Window - this seems like something to push it to the left.  Is it a half measure - yes.  But I've never seen anyone call the Buffett Rule anything but that before.  

  •  Break out the guillotines? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    If there's an Occupy event on May Day within my currently limited travel capabilities - I'm there.

    Taking it to the streets seems to me a better option than just lying down and taking it.

    And - If the polls show any hope in unseating my Republican "representative in congress - I'm in for volunteering plenty of time.

    Walking and chewing gum at the same time isn't that hard.

    The only "left" the Democrats have given us is the last couple of decades is a Southpaw President

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:43:17 AM PDT

  •  Great title! Great diary, my friend! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, Lucy2009

    And it's not paved with good intention income inequality either.

    Pro Life??? Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers! - George Carlin - ROUND 2: Vote! Send me to Netroots Nation!

    by priceman on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:44:53 PM PDT

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