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Photos by: joanneleon. September, 2013.


"The Harder They Come" Jimmy Cliff

News & Opinion

So should we start a pool for the date and time when Obama throws Social Security and/or Medicare, Medicaid onto the government shutdown kabuki bonfire?  I've campaigned against chained CPI and the zombie Catfood Commission so many times now that it's hard to drum up the activism again. I mean, when the president sets out to cut Social Security from the day he takes office (or before) and the party that controls the White House and the Senate is determined to cut Social Security and Medicare and finish the job in undermining the New Deal, and they are ready to do it even against the will of at least 80% of the country, what are our chances, realistically, of doing anything to stop it?  

Is Grand Bargain still on the table? Is the Pope Catholic?  Hmm.... Of course it is.  The Grand Bargain is something this president will never give up on.  And time is running out. This dirty work has to get wrapped up long before the 2016 election so it doesn't completely sabotage the next Democratic party candidate.  Despite Harry Reid's and Nancy Pelosi's best efforts to blame it on the "terrorists" "anarchists" "fiscal arsonists" Republicans and the Tea Party, the country knows who the Grand Bargain belongs to and Americans have been surprisingly unconvinced by the two wings of the Corporate Party lately.

Like a lot of other people who have their eyes open, I've been waiting for this. Each time they try and fail to get their cuts to Social Security, we look ahead to see what their next disaster capitalism/Shock Doctrine opportunity will be because we've been watching Wall Street's demands to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block since Obama took office and of course before that when Bush tried it.  I've decided to put the TV on for the morning news shows even though I hate them because (I know, first world problem) to see if they flip the propaganda switch and put it on the table again.  

I see signs that the Tea Party is going to back down on defunding Obamacare.  I have always thought that they'd settle for wounding it and that a lot of their defunding votes were Tea Party kabuki anyway.  I think they'll go after the Medicaid part of it instead and based on the infamous Dick Durbin interview at a Wall Street Journal breakfast last year, which I put a lot of stock in and which I wrote about here, I think the Dem leadership will be down with that and have been planning that all along.  And lo and behold, as I write this, Pat Toomey, is on Morning Joe talking about other ways they can cut Obamacare and walking back their defunding Obamacare/shutdown the government crusade.  Toomey says their plan should be to chip away at Obamacare and to peel away discrete pieces.  Others are talking about how Obamacare is a mess and we need to start over, and how even Warren Buffett agrees with that.  We know that the unions aren't happy. Toomey is a new senator but he holds a lot of sway with fiscal issues.  He was a key player in the House efforts to repeal Glass-Steagall back in the late 90's. He's saying they should start gutting it piece by piece and he's Tea Party.  So it looks like they may switch gears this week.  The Morning Joe show is not focused on the attack in Kenya and has put the budget battle at the top of the agenda, which is a change from the weekend reporting.

If we go back to the Durbin's revelations back in March (here's the transcript)), he wanted to form a Social Security reform commission that would function like the sequester did with proposals that get written up as law and get fast tracked through Congress with no amendments. At the time, he said he was going to bring a bill to the Senate soon to form this commission.  As far as I know, he didn't do that, but I don't know what his definition of "soon" is.  Now it's six months later, which could still be considered "soon", so possibly he make the creation of the commission part of the budget deal.  But he also talked about Medicare and Medicaid and had some really interesting, and frankly very despicable things to say about how to cut those.  Basically he said that Medicare advocates are more sophisticated than Medicaid advocates, so it's going to be harder to cut Medicare.  So it would not surprise me at all to find that Democrats would put the Medicaid expansion part of Obamacare on the table as one of the pieces for Toomey to "peel away", which would hurt those without a voice and without any power most.  

The question that I have right now is about whether we should prepare for some activism now and at least organize a blogathon, or something, because when it comes, it will come quickly and the government shutdown date has become a hard deadline (though it always fascinates me how the White House can decide what that hard date is after robbing Peter to pay Paul for months after the actual debt ceiling deadline, and it's interesting how it didn't fall on a date when Congress was on recess, etc.).  There are a couple of progressive organizations who, to date, have had their ear to the ground on this and have done some good organizing. One, of course, is Social Security Defenders and the other is Campaign for America's Future.  They've been both vigilant and have pulled the progressive movement, or what's left of it,  together in the past and have created some formidable push back campaigns.  I haven't been following them as closely as usual so when I checked their site today, the story that is at the top of their page is Richard Eskow's Why We Should Fear – and Fight – An Entitlement-Cutting "Grand Bargain".

So now that I've spent too many words making my point, my bottom line is that my guess is that, starting today, the government shutdown kabuki will pivot and that several things will be put on the table.  The Zombie Grand Bargain will be back, with either chained CPI cuts or Dick Durbin's reform commission shoved into the bill.  Medicare probably won't be part of the deal because changes to Medicare are already baked into Obamacare. But Medicaid will be on the chopping block. The sequester cuts will be reduced, which will be sold as relief from the great pain caused by said (White House designed) sequester.  Remember, the purpose of the WH designed sequester was to force Democrats to the table to cut Social Security. This was revealed by one of its designers, Gene Sperling, the Clinton retread Rubinite from Goldman Sachs, who has submitted his resignation, by the way, and that resignation makes me even more convinced that the Grand Bargain zombie is happening.  

Joe Firestone over at Naked Capitalism thinks Obama and the Dem leadership will be using the government shutdown threat as a way to roll the Zombie Grand Bargain.  He lays out five options that Obama has but it not using and says he is using the Tea Party villain kabuki to achieve his goal of cutting Social Security. I've been waiting for this.  If it does happen, they'll put it in there at the eleventh hour, against the will of almost every voter in the country, based on past polls.

Joe Firestone: Stop the Kabuki: It’s About “the Great Betrayal”

TINA does not apply in this case, and the President’s choices are not limited to just refusing to negotiate or giving in to defunding Obamacare. By framing things in this way, the media are echoing the Administration’s framing of the situation and absolving the President of his share of the blame for the crisis. They are also preparing the way for a compromise, that if it doesn’t defund Obamacare, will, almost certainly, result in hurtful cuts to Government spending including renewed consideration of the Great Betrayal, also known as the Grand Bargain, and probably passage of the chained CPI cuts to Social Security over the objections of a large majority of the American people.


Yves Smith used the list in this recent post to make the point:

“. . . the larger point is that this budgetary Battle of the Titans is a phony war. Obama can finesse the Republicans if he needs to. . . .

So hang tight for way too much unnecessary melodrama over the next month. It’s another round of watching the two parties play chicken, with each posturing that it won’t be the one to steer out of the impending crash. The fact is that Obama really wants his Grand Bargain. All of this high drama is necessary for him to pretend to his base that he was forced to do what he’s been trying to do for years: sacrifice old people since he perversely believes that “reforming” Social Security and Medicare will get him brownie points in the presidential legacy ledger. . . .

In addition, the Grand Bargain, along with the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TAFTA) are three more nails in the coffin of the middle class. We must not let him, the corporate partisans in both parties, and the cable networks drive the first of these nails home by getting people to accept their narrative about the issues involved here.

To stop it from coming about, the first thing we must do is unmask (as Naked Capitalism and many others have been trying to do) the news networks, the cable media, and the village progressives like Ezra Klein, as actively attempting to constrain debate by ignoring the options the President has, apart from a simple “I will not negotiate, or I must cave stance.” Let us make them come to grips with the alternatives and, in doing so, spread the news that there are a number available, and that whatever unpalatable compromises the President proposes, are his choices and his fault; not necessary expedients, he is being forced into because he has no effective weapons to use in countering the Republicans using the debt limit law to take hostages.

Yves Smith.
Budget Brinksmanship is Baaack!

Now all this pearl-clutching perpetuates the canard that Obama could be forced to shut the government down to preserve cash in order to avoid defaulting on Treasuries. No, folks, even if the Republicans miscalculate, Obama can easily prevent a crisis, so if the government indeed were to shut down, it’s entirely his doing. Ditto with diluting or delaying Obamacare or making any other concession.

Joe Firestone describes how the mouthpiece of Democratic orthodoxy, Ezra Klein, is “terrified” because Boehner has lost control of the rank and file, which is determined to play hardball, and Obama is similarly refusing to negotiate.
But here’s a full list of the ways out of this impasse:

1. a selective default strategy by the Executive, prioritizing not paying for things that Congress needed, and perhaps not paying debt to the Fed when it falls due and working with the Fed to get the $1.6 Trillion in bonds that it was holding canceled;

Of all the items on the list, option 1 looks far and away the most likely, although an Administration with more guts might try a bit of option 2 along with it.


The fact is that Obama really wants his Grand Bargain. All of this high drama is necessary for him to pretend to his base that he was forced to do what he’s been trying to do for years: sacrifice old people since he perversely believes that “reforming” Social Security and Medicare will get him brownie points in the presidential legacy ledger. This staged impasse is hard to take it as seriously until there’s evidence that this iteration of budget farce really is different from its predecessors.

I agree with Richard Eskow.  But it's not a "face saving deal".  Please. It's been the plan all along.  Now my question to Eskow is why aren't you organizing like you've done before?
Why We Should Fear – and Fight – An Entitlement-Cutting “Grand Bargain”

It’s autumn, when a politician’s fancy turns to thoughts of a Grand Bargain.

Right now it looks as if the two sides are at an impasse. But the President’s “no negotiations” posture only applies to the debt ceiling, and his budget still includes the “chained CPI” cut to Social Security. The Republicans who are attempting to force a showdown over Obamacare are still railing against the programs they call “entitlements.”

They’re all looking for a face-saving deal, and Social Security and Medicare could very well become that deal’s Ground Zero.

[Emphasis added]

That independent, not a Clapper led, NSA review panel?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stung by public unease about new details of spying by the National Security Agency, President Barack Obama selected a panel of advisers he described as independent experts to scrutinize the NSA's surveillance programs to be sure they weren't violating civil liberties and to restore Americans' trust.

But with just weeks remaining before its first deadline to report back to the White House, the review panel has effectively been operating as an arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the NSA and all other U.S. spy efforts.

The panel's advisers work in offices on loan from the DNI. Interview requests and press statements from the review panel are carefully coordinated through the DNI's press office. James Clapper, the intelligence director, exempted the panel from U.S. rules that require federal committees to conduct their business and their meetings in ways the public can observe. Its final report, when it's issued, will be submitted for White House approval before the public can read it.
The panel's advisers work in offices on loan from the DNI. Interview requests and press statements from the review panel are carefully coordinated through the DNI's press office. James Clapper, the intelligence director, exempted the panel from U.S. rules that require federal committees to conduct their business and their meetings in ways the public can observe. Its final report, when it's issued, will be submitted for White House approval before the public can read it.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Mornin' Happenistas. ☮ ♥ ☺ (15+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't mind a Peace Dividend for a change but I guess our gifted leaders know best.

    We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled War.

    No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle. 🍞 & 🎪

    by CitizenOfEarth on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:41:52 AM PDT

  •  Morning tune (12+ / 0-)

    Makes me want to get out my 12 string edition

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:41:57 AM PDT

  •  morning (14+ / 0-)

    drinking from a fire hose

    thanks for all the comments and links

    will the government pull off a bait and switch on the social programs?

    can the military attack on Syria which was stopped by Russia and Syria taking away the chemical weapons issues which were used as the justification

    can the military, industrial, corporate attack on the US be stopped like the Syria drama?

    what are the chemical weapons like issue? Is it the deficit? Is it the sense that government cannot solve problems? Is it racism as described by the noted historian on ML King, Taylor Branch who notes that progress in this country led by efforts on race and today the collapse of parties is at base racism?

    how can the lies and propaganda be outed and an effective action be pulled together?

    joanneleon provides an excellent summary of the multi  year effort of Obama to gut social programs - and of course, the Republicans have been after these programs since they started decades and decades ago

    the legitimacy of the government and the parties have been reduced with the many events of recent months including the Syria war threat and the NSA and other spin offs

    side comment - today on Democracy Now is a long, maybe the whole hour, with the executive editor of the Guardian

    one thing I had not realized before is when Glenn Grennwald and Lora met with Snowden, they sent along a long time Guardian reporter Ewen MacAskell to ensure regular journalism was followed.

    Excellent interview.

    In the past, seems like so long ago, the NY Times or WA Post would have had the NSA story. This is but another example of how far we have fallen from our democracy.

  •  morning again (10+ / 0-)

    we have been learning more and more about Clinton

    I had never heard the name Doug Brand who was President Clinton's man to organize him and was responsible for the post presidency building of Clinton's legacy. This is a long article just out in the New Republic.

    It is an example of how power players play their games but Doug has gone too far and shady characters are getting ensnared in legal issues.

    Doug can get the biggies together in one room: W Bush, Clinton, Peterson, etc., etc.

    One Thursday evening last September, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Tony Blair met in New York to conduct what was supposed to be a high-minded discourse on terrorism, geopolitics, and the global economy. The setting was elegant—the beaux arts ballroom of the Essex House, an iconic tower on Central Park South. The 78-person VIP guest list included Harvey Weinstein, Eli Broad, Blackstone co-founders Steve Schwarzman and Pete Peterson, Silicon Valley impresario Sean Parker, Billie Jean King, George Pataki, and New York City police chief Ray Kelly, along with CEOs and top executives from companies like Dow Chemical, Coca-Cola, BP, and Bank of America. Somehow, these onetime world leaders, corporate titans, and other notable personages converged in the center of New York without the event ever being noticed by the press.

    The guests had been wrangled, persuaded, flattered, and otherwise enticed to attend by Doug Band, a tall man with genial, unmemorable features and a deferential demeanor. In fact, the gathering was taking place in his own building, underneath his expansive eighth-floor apartment, and it represented a major triumph for him.

    Scandal at Clinton Inc.
     How Doug Band drove a wedge through a political dynasty

    It was on one of their many trips together that Band hit upon the way to lift Clinton out of the murk of the early post-presidency. As Begala tells it, the idea came to Band at that font of grand ideas, Davos. Given that Clinton’s political stock was still languishing, Band was “astonished with the billionaires and CEOs standing in line to talk to him,” Begala says. “He was rigorously assessing the president’s strengths and attributes and maximizing them. I remember him saying, ‘The president has a convening power, the power to bring people together.’ ” Why not create an annual event that harnessed the desire of wealthy celebrities to get close to Clinton to advance the aims of his foundation? Thus, in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was born.
    Clinton has received $105 million in speaking fees.

    Are there any institutions no longer corrupt?

    •  Did you catch (8+ / 0-)

      any of the interview with Clinton this weekend? It was on CNN. Fareed Zakaria did at least some of it. I'm blanking out on whether or not there were more interviewers.  I was really surprised by it.  I thought he seemed to be failing. At times he was clear and strong but at other times, particularly when he was talking about Syria, his speech was halting and he seemed really weak.  Maybe he's just not as good at thinking on his feet like he used to, on issues where he's not being particularly honest or when it's complicated or not his area of expertise.  The things he was saying about Syria and the need to continue arming the rebelse made no sense.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:30:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  morning everyone ! (9+ / 0-)
     Obama really wants his Grand Bargain

    It's disgusting that we are letting a Democratic President do

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.'' George Orwell

    by lostinamerica on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:01:11 AM PDT

  •  morning folks! (10+ / 0-)

    it's a little brisk out there this morning.  very nice. way to go weather gods! B)

    IMG_1841 (Small)

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

    by joe shikspack on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:12:59 AM PDT

  •  this (7+ / 0-)
    and Americans have been surprisingly unconvinced by the two wings of the Corporate Party lately
    is what's happening in my neighborhood.
    good analysis. thanks
  •  Good mornin', good People (7+ / 0-)

    Today is catch up day at work after being at the shore last week.  Be back at lunchtime to read.  In the interim, a good day and love to all.

    joanne, i left a recipe for you in yesterday's WH.  :-)

    •  your granny must have talked to mine... (3+ / 0-)

      chopped cabbage and bay leaf seasoning is an absolute in my veggie soup (tomato based of course)!

      thanks dharmafarmer, reading your recipes yesterday put me in a mood to cook again

      In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.'' George Orwell

      by lostinamerica on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 07:42:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks so much (3+ / 0-)

      for the soup recipe!

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 07:59:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh wow (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostinamerica, dharmafarmer

      and an heirloom recipe too! Wow, I am really appreciative of that.

      You mentioned gluten and Hashimoto's. I think that's what my mother had. It's a thyroid disorder right? I'm not sure if she knew it was an autoimmune disorder (or I could be mixing things up).  She ended up having her thyroid and parathyroids removed because a goiter developed.  The Hashimoto's probably went undetected for a long time.  I tend to develop all of the same ailments and diseases that she had, so I should be on the watch for it. I've had thyroid issues since the Lyme developed to advanced stages. My Lyme doc said this was common.  So I do take thyroid meds but as I recover from Lyme, I wonder if that will change.

      In any case, much appreciation for the recipes and yes, I'm interested in the gluten free ones too.  

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:05:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're welcome, joanne (0+ / 0-)

        I have posted that recipe from my Granny here at DK at Thanksgiving time on a couple occasions and got a good response.  It's one of the bread recipes I've had fair success with (which means it will be positively scrumptious if you make it).  It's a hearty one and great with soups.  

        I have a couple other good ones for you, if you are interested.  In particular, I'm thinking of a braided loaf with white, wheat and rye ropes and also a stromboli stuffed with cheese and salami.  Interested?

        Hashi's is an autoimmune disease that destroys the thyroid, yes.  The immune response is directed specifically only at thyroid cells (although the thyroid regulates metabolism and affects the function of every organ in the body, so there are all sorts of symptoms).  I hadn't really thought of Lyme in connex with thyroid problems, but that makes sense since Lyme affects the endocrine system.  

        Do your meds work well for you, joanne?  I had the synthetic brands of thyroid hormones initially without good results.  I had to switch docs to get the natural version which works much, much better for me.  I also take straight T3 (what I used to call "good shit" back in the day) b/c I have a conversion problem - probably b/c my Hashi's went undiagnosed for along time.  So, yes - definitely, please do have a thyroid panel done now and then, joanne!  Hashi's is a lot more manageable if caught early.

    •  dharmafarmer, the AP article on NSA Review Group (3+ / 0-)

      that joanneleon included today -- didn't you & I read the rules about how such a review is supposed to be handled?  This would have been around the time that Obama had the press conference announcing his 'independent' review, and I think the source (the clue) to finding the review rules was in the memos between Obama and Clapper.  I remember pointing out the fact that 'the rules' allowed for a number of different (identified) government entities, all outside the intelligence sphere, to perform the review.  Today, in the AP article, we learn that Clapper changed the rules to retain secrecy.

      My health difficulties are acting up, and I'm not in shape to review my research or write about this.  Would you consider a review of this material?  The saber-rattling over Syria began immediately after the Review Group was set up, and these issues sort of fell off the radar.

      Now I'll go find your recipes -- I missed them when they were posted.  Made a surprisingly good cream soup out of a rutabaga (aka 'swede') yesterday, based on a Gordon Ramsey video.  Time for autumn cooking again!

  •  I'm in no mood to listen to "Grand Bargain" BS (8+ / 0-)

    From Obama or the Dem Party.

    Obama was ready to start Yet Another Pointless War in Syria with No Consideration Whatsoever for what it would cost taxpayers (and I don't think he has given up on a Syria war yet, just postponed it).  Obama has been pissing away Taxpayer Treasure down the Afganistan Rat Hole for 5 years. This has been 11D Fiscal Lunacy.

    Sorry, but here's my opinion on a "Grand Bargain" that guts SS and Medicare: Fu*k Obama and Fu*k the Dem party if they try to pull this Bullshit.

    No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle. 🍞 & 🎪

    by CitizenOfEarth on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:38:11 AM PDT

  •  Cool beautiful morning (5+ / 0-)

    this morning for walking the dogs downtown.

    Will the all out assault on the American People by our elected officials ever end?  I remember being so happy and proud that we had elected Barack Obama in 2008.  Now, I feel nothing by disdain for him. I wonder how he even sleeps at night knowing that his "Grand Bargain" will harm those who are most needy among us.

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West speaking to Occupy Tallahassee on January 18, 2012

    by gulfgal98 on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:53:33 AM PDT

  •  Good morning! (6+ / 0-)

    Monday. Yay?

    It's time to mobilize against the President's goal of the Grand Bargain. Time to make phone calls to our congresspersons. I don't know why Obama wants it and I don't care. But I do know that we need to do whatever it takes to stop the centrists/neoliberal cabal from destroying the Social Safety Net.

    They're literally trying to steal from all of us. And we need to stop them.

    The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

    by cybrestrike on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:54:54 AM PDT

  •  Goede middag uit Duitsland / hello from Germany. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, cybrestrike, dharmafarmer

    Well, Chancellor Angela Merkel's in for another term, but she'll need a new coalition partner — probably the Social Democrats in a "grand coalition."

    The anti-euro party AfD, only a few months old, narrowly missed clearing the 5% hurdle which would have given them seats in the Bundestag.

    Merkel's former coalition partner, the Free Democrats / FDP (or "Liberals" in the classical "laissez-faire economics" sense) failed to clear the 5% hurdle and is shut out of the Bundestag for the first time in over sixty years.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ☮ ♥ ☺

    by lotlizard on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:04:03 AM PDT

    •  I was surprised (4+ / 0-)

      that she won by a landslide.  I'm seeing that as a bad omen.  I'd like to know more about why she was reelected so easily. Seems there were no consequences for the surveillance stuff and though I didn't expect a lot of backlash for the way she's treated other European countries I thought there would be some consequence.

      A landslide?  WTF.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:17:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  excellent article... (5+ / 0-)

    RIP, the middle class: 1946-2013

    The last president who had a plan for protecting American workers from the vicissitudes of the global economy was Richard Nixon, who was in office when foreign steel and foreign cars began seriously competing with domestic products. The most farsighted politician of his generation, Nixon realized that America’s economic hegemony was coming to an end, and was determined to cushion the decline by a) preventing foreign manufacturers from overrunning our markets and b) teaching Americans to live within their new limits. When the United States began running a trade deficit, Nixon tried to reverse the trend with a 10 percent tariff on imported products. After the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo suddenly increased the price of gasoline from 36 cents to 53 cents a gallon (and just as suddenly increased the demand for fuel-efficient German and Japanese cars), Nixon lowered the speed limit to 55 miles an hour and introduced the Corporate Average Fuel Economy law, which gave automakers until 1985 to double their fleetwide fuel efficiency to 27.5 miles per gallon.

    Had Nixon survived Watergate, he might have set the nation on a course that emphasized government regulation of the economy, and trade protection as a response to globalism. We might also have preserved more of the manufacturing base necessary for a strong middle class. But his successors dismantled that vision, beginning with Jimmy Carter, an economically conservative Southern planter. Nixon’s answer to inflation had been wage and price controls, an intrusion into the free market that would be unimaginable today. Carter deregulated the airline, rail and trucking industries, hoping that competition would result in lower prices. It didn’t, but it gave the newly liberated companies more leverage against their unions. When inflation nonetheless reached 14 percent, Carter’s hand-picked Federal Reserve Board chairman, Paul Volcker, responded by tightening the money supply, raising interest rates so high that Americans could not afford loans for cars or houses. Ronald Reagan also chose low prices over employment, refusing to free up money until inflation declined. Car sales hit a 20-year low. In the fall of 1982, the national unemployment rate was 10.8 percent, the highest since the Great Depression. Walter Mondale accused Reagan of turning the Midwest into “a rust bowl” – a term reformulated to Rust Belt. Buffalo, Cleveland, Flint and Detroit still haven’t recovered. Neither has the middle class.

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

    by joe shikspack on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:10:52 AM PDT

  •  I think it's almost identical to Iraq. Syria is (3+ / 0-)

    Iraq.  I say that because of how many people I see who believe that Assad did it and who believe that he must go one way or another for the betterment of the Syrian people.  No different from Saddam.  People are still believing the lies and make no mistake, this is another attempt by the ruling elite to lie themselves into another war.  And they will go for Iran as well.  It's a shame more people can't catch on but if they watch and read only the MSM, they simply will not.  We're getting the same "dictator lover" bullshit, everything.  There are people calling me a fanatic and worse, like they're really really angry because of my stance against the war.  They hate me for it.  That's people right here on this site, hating people for being against war.   That's something.  Which people belong in the Democratic party?  

    •  maybe bigger question is (3+ / 0-)

      how did we let third way centrism co-opt the Democratic party and what can we do about

      The term Third Way refers to various political positions which try to reconcile right-wing and left-wing politics by advocating a varying synthesis of right-wing economic and left-wing social policies.[1] Third Way was created as a serious re-evaluation of political policies within various centre-left progressive movements in response to international doubt regarding the economic viability of the state; economic interventionist policies that had previously been popularized by Keynesianism and contrasted with the corresponding rise of popularity for neoliberalism and the New Right.[2] The Third Way is promoted by some social democratic and social liberal movements.[3]

      In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.'' George Orwell

      by lostinamerica on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 09:14:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am seeing a lot of the same things too (3+ / 0-)

      and let's face it, the public picked up on the similarities to Iraq right away too. That's saying something.  That can't be emphasized enough. Even with the full court press, the graphic images and videos, people were just not buying it.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 10:02:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We see what the GRAND bargain is, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, lostinamerica

    the simplicity
    of why we are under poverty oppression. MIC
        That anti-trust is no longer in the lexicon of the US government.
        Where we are now. A troop core that is so thoroughly, TIRED.
        Debt. An infrastructure falling apart & a climate change a churnin.
        A population drugged eating food that has no evolution. Angry, shadowed. Prompted with atoms of negative radiation. The manipulators scurry in their false.
        An attempted theft of the future & rewriting of the past.
        A time warp.
        The good news: WE see what it is. The rest of the world sees what it is. The internet, knowledge & younger gens. Future historians will write of those that SOLD out, with not only their souls, to the Insane 1%er's. The posers. One has to live with oneself, look at in the MIRROR and face the maker in TIME. I still walk proudly down the road and dig that I'm a regular somewhat decent human being. Most people are good. I dig that.
        The rest of the world will meld into a solution. Of that I have no doubt.
        Mind over matter. WE matter. What OUR capacity is.    Their plan has been seriously thwarted, by actions of whistle blower heroes. Grasping at straws would be an understatement :)

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 09:18:05 AM PDT

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