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“There is no way in the American political system to vote against the interest of Goldman Sachs. It's impossible. Or Exxon Mobil.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges

They really don't give a shit who we vote for anymore. The Plutocracy wins whichever way it goes. The Obama presidency proves that. Times two.

So now we're treated to the sorry spectacle of very-rich politicians giving up a trivial portion for their salary in symbolic solidarity with the poor.

Spare us your salary sequestration stunts.

Rich guys with their noses three feet up Wall Street's ass giving up 5% of their salary is just a stunt anyway. It's reminiscent of Romney saying to poor out of work people that he was unemployed too. Poverty is just a joke to these assholes. I'm sure the rich guys in the White House all got a good chuckle out of it. Probably thought it up on April Fool's Day.

What are we to make of the Orwellian named 'Grand Bargain?' Bad negotiating? Bad 11th dimensional chess? Why not call it what it is? Betrayal. It could also be called more of the same. Or SSDD, Same Shit Different Day. It's what we get for all our efforts. We get to make the rich guys richer while we get the shaft.

As usual, the heroes are few and far between. But there are a few. We can always count on Bernie Sanders and then there is this from Tom Harkins:

"If anything, the Social Security benefit should be increased, not cut."
Right on Senator. How shocking that an American politician would realize that most people have it plenty hard enough in this once promising country, thank you very much. It's about damned time that someone stood up and spoke the obvious truth – Social Security (and all other components of the 'safety net') need to be expanded and strengthened, not gutted. We need more of a safety net, not less of one. Sadly, this seems a lot like what I call Liberal Lions on a Leash Syndrome. We are allowed a few at any given time, saying what we all feel...just so long as they don't make any real trouble for the owners.
All systems of power are the problem. And it is the role of the artist, the writer and the intellectual to defy every center of power on behalf of those whom power would silence and crush. This means, in biblical terms, embracing the stranger. It means being a constant opponent rather than an ally of government. It means being the perpetual outcast. Those who truly fight for human rights understand this."

“Whether the mask is labeled Fascism, Democracy, or Dictatorship of the Proletariat, our great adversary remains the Apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military … ,” Simone Weil wrote. “No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this Apparatus, and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.

Chris Hedges The Hijacking of Human Rights

Sad to say, but neoliberals like Clinton and Obama now define the Democratic Party. They no longer represent the rank and file or 'the base,' but they represent pretty damned well what the party leadership has become - just another bunch of corrupt and greedy lackeys carrying water for the 1%.

Instead of doing the right thing for the American people and strengthening our woefully inadequate safety net, they are doing the bidding of the greedhead billionaires and slashing it instead. It's time for the little guys to fight back. Screw these corrupt, greedy, plutocratic assholes. And if a Democratic President, with the cooperation of the Democratic leadership, succeed in trashing Social Security when they should be strengthening it, it'll be the end of the charade.

The 'Grand Bargain' is a death knell for Democrats IMO. If we can't trust the Democrats to have our backs, the party's over.

Serious revolt is the only option left. That's what Chris Hedges says in his new book, Days of Destruction Days of Revolt.

"The American dream, we now know, is a lie. We will all be sacrificed. The virus of corporate abuse – the perverted belief that only corporate profit matters….has brought with it a security and surveillance state that seeks to keep all of us on a reservation."
In an interview at Truth-Out, Hedges says:
The importance of the Occupy movement, and the reason I suspect its encampments were so brutally dismantled by the Obama administration, is that the corporate state understood and feared its potential to spark a popular rebellion. I do not think the state has won. All the injustices and grievances that drove people into the Occupy encampments and onto the streets have been ignored by the state and are getting worse. And we will see eruptions of discontent in the weeks and months ahead.


You do not fight tyrants because you are going to win. You fight tyrants because they are tyrants. Yes, we do not have the tools or the wealth of the state. We cannot beat it at its own game. We cannot ferret out infiltrators. The legal system is almost always on the state's side. If we attempt to replicate the elaborate security apparatus of our oppressors, even on a small scale, we will unleash widespread paranoia and fracture the movement. If we retreat into anonymity, hiding behind masks, then we provide an opening for agents provocateurs who deny their identities while disrupting the movement. If we fight pitched battles in the streets we give authorities an excuse to fire their weapons.

All we have, as Vaclav Havel wrote, is our own powerlessness. And that powerlessness is our strength. The survival of the movement depends on embracing this powerlessness. It depends on two of our most important assets - utter and complete transparency and a rigid adherence to nonviolence, including respect for private property. This permits us, as Havel puts it in his 1978 essay "The Power of the Powerless," to live in truth. And by living in truth we expose a corrupt corporate state that perpetrates lies and lives in deceit.


The American political system, from top to bottom, has become an abomination and a perversion of everything it was meant to be – government of, by and for the people. We can acknowledge that horrible and difficult truth and find ways to deal with it, or we can go on pretending it's not happening, just as we have with global warming. We can knuckle under, clap louder and live in denial, or we can live in truth. Our choice.

When the uprising comes, it will be unarmed and peaceful. That is mandatory. Otherwise they will crush us like they did Occupy.

They think that we are a beaten people but we are not. An uprising is coming. You don't have to be over familiar with history to sense it. I think OWS heralded it or may even be it or a major component of it, we'll see. History, while tricky, seems to have a bit of a rhythm. It doesn't repeat but it rhymes, as Mark Twain said.

The particularities of our moment in time will no longer yield to a bygone misapprehension of reality. Our old models are increasingly useless to us now. We can't vote our way out of this. Outmoded structures are collapsing and falling away. Those who can't keep up are sinking into a vortex of irrelevance. A much belated sea change is coming. It gathers pent up strength like a tsunami.

Our upper classes, who have so cruelly manipulated our society for so long have painted themselves into a gilded corner by not knowing when to fucking quit. They steal and squeeze then steal and squeeze some more. They observe fewer and fewer limits. They undo human progress for fun and profit. They fear no consequences of their own actions. They're as oblivious as Marie Antoinette to the notion of a backlash. They think we cannot possibly ever prevail against them because they have force of arms that we could never dream of matching. But they miss the point. We don't need arms. Arms are for the weak.

"The government does not want your guns; it wants your obedience.  It’s not afraid of your assault weapons; it’s afraid of your noncooperation.  An abusive government has no cause for concern as long as people believe that violence is the field on which to compete."

David Swanson

The people, when united, have always had great force. That's why they work so hard to divide us. But when they finally do enough to us to cause the peoples will to coalesce, they better watch the fuck out. The people united are unstoppable. Will we reach that point? I think we may.
It's Eerie -- The Global Climate Disaster Is Happening Right Now... and Humanity Is Just Pretending It's Not Happening

Goodbye, Liberty! 10 Ways Americans Are No Longer Free

18 Vets Kill Themselves a Day: We Hail Them As Heroes Then Treat Them Like Garbage

Crazy Country: 6 Reasons America Spends More on Prisons Than On Higher Education

10 Most Obscene Lifestyles Choices of America's 1% Elite

We May Be in for a Movie-like Apocalyptic Event: Hunger Games for Real

Former GOPer: How Republicans Went Crazy, Dems Lost Their Mojo, and the Middle Class Got Shafted (Bill Moyers)

Rights Groups Denounce Dropping of CIA Torture Cases

John Cusack Interviews Law Professor Jonathan Turley About Obama Administration’s War On the Constitution

Money in Politics: Where Is the Outrage? (Bill Moyers)

No Accountability for Torturers

“We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the CIA.”  

General Barry McCaffrey

Obama Ruling Shields Torturers by Ray McGovern

The Fake Election: 10 Arguments The Republicans Aren’t Making

We Are Writing the Epilogue to the World We Knew

Democratic Party platform weakens commitment to climate change action

Democrats Retreat on Civil Liberties in 2012 Platform

Was free speech on mute during the conventions?

Speculating Banks Profit as World's Poorest Go Hungry - Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley among those accused of reaping financial harvest from growing food crisis

Carney recasts Obama words on Afghanistan

Barclays makes £500m betting on food crisisOutrage as bank revealed to be major speculator while millions face starvation

When Did Dissent Become a Crime? America's Police State on Steroids at the Conventions

'NAFTA on Steroids': New Round of Secret Trade Negotiations Begins

'Unprecedented,' 'Amazing,' 'Goliath': Scientists Describe Arctic Sea Ice MeltArctic Sea ice levels continue to drop below record set on Aug. 26

Who is held to account for deaths by drone in Yemen?There is a history of Yemeni officials lying to protect the US, and the Pentagon and CIA greeting queries with obfuscation

Simpson-Bowles References In Obama, Biden DNC Speeches Vex Media, Progressives

Obama Housing Official to Join Wells Fargo

“He brings to Wells Fargo deep industry experience and understanding of mortgage capital markets,” said Ms. Adams. Mr. Ryan declined to comment.

And now they're coming for our Social Security.

The ruling class's contempt for us is mind-boggling.

The political class has abandoned us.

“He who doesn't resist evil cooperates with it.”

Martin Luther King

I saw the need for revolution back in the 60s. I saw clearly then, as did virtually my entire generation, that the levers of power had been seized by evil bastards who did not mind one bit feeding our unoffending youth into the contrived meat-grinder of Vietnam for the CIA, the Military Industrial Complex, Dupont and Halliburton and that our culture had become superficial and meaningless. The lives we had shoved down our throats amounted to mindless servitude to the greedy and thoughtless rich to no end other than to make the hideously rich even richer - and nothing, not dead babies, massacres or torture would stop them. The savage rape and murder of the planet must go on. Posterity be damned! There was no depth to which they would not stoop. And we were on to them. I saw the youth of America reject the war mentality, the profiteering, the hatred, the bigotry, the cruel manipulation, the dysfunctional relationship to humanity and to the earth. I saw them rise as one to defy the status quo. And I saw the fine energy and proud hope of an entire generation of bright-eyed idealists, whose worst offense was to try to lead us to a better place, brutally crushed by the power of the state, condemning us to the present moment.

The conditions that cried for revolution then and cry for it still have only gotten worse. All while the energy of the perpetually screwed masses is sucked into the dissipation machine that is our political system – and then people wonder why we can't get beyond this pitiful fiesta of greed, theft and evil. Why are we stuck with a rigged system? Why can't we get rid of our corrupt officials? Why is the Military Industrial Complex still wasting our nation's treasure on bogus made-up wars? Why can't we have universal health care? Why can't we have free education? Why is Wall Street rolling in the dough while main street is getting their social safety net cut out from under them, their pensions stolen and their jobs shipped overseas? Why are the evil few winning against the righteous masses? Where is it written in stone that the rich must get richer and the poor must get screwed? How come the good guys lose even when we win? When is the moral arc of the universe going to bend back toward justice?

If you think that more and better democrats is an answer, you're not thinking big enough. Our political system contains us and empowers them. It is a perfect system for the 1%. It gives us just enough of a voice to feel like we have a role, but then shoves the will of the 1% down our throats. Seriously, who among us wants to cut Social Security? This is a bridge to far. Why are our objections not being heard?

Look at all those heroes, from the Berrigan Brothers and Martin Luther King to guys like Meteor Blades, Ben Masel and all the other progressive activists down through the ages who have sacrificed so damned much for so damned long to change the system so damned little. We'd have accomplished more meaningful change by now if the system itself didn't prevent it. But it does and it does so masterfully and all but absolutely. The only beneficial change that ever happens is that which is allowed to happen in order to pacify the masses, and they have allowed precious little of that over the past few decades as they tightened the screws on us all. The only people who have any right to be happy about it are the bankers, the warmongers and the greed-monsters in the 1%.

Under our present system of government of, by and for the 1%, 'let them eat cake' has become 'eat shit and die.'

I am sometimes criticized for pointing out problems, or bitching and whining as it is often put, without providing solutions. Well here's your solution. Rise up in peaceful revolution. It may not be what you were hoping for, it's not what I would hope for either. The time has come when it no longer matters if it is a good solution, a workable solution or a desirable solution. It's all we've got.

Watch for the uprising, whether it comes back as OWS, in some other guise, or as an involuntary spasm, and support it as best you can when it comes. Good luck to us all.

“Serious revolt is the only option people have left.”


DailyKos Blogathon -- Week of April 8th

(All times are Eastern, diaries published by the Pushing back at the Grand Bargain group)
Monday, April 8
10:00 a.m. Roger Fox
12:00 noon eXtina
2:00 p.m. Guest crosspost by Yves Smith
3:00 p.m. poopdogcomedy
4:00 p.m. Horace Boothroyd III
6:00 p.m. slinkerwink
8:00 p.m. joedemocrat

Tuesday, April 9
10:00 a.m. Guest crosspost by Bill Black
12:00 noon Livestream Event diary/Team
2:00 p.m. joe shikspack
4:00 p.m. Roger Fox
6:00 p.m. Priceman
8:00 p.m. TomP

Wednesday, April 10
11:00 a.m. Liveblog budget announcement press conference
12:00 noon  Words in Action
 1:00 p.m.  bobswern
2:00 p.m.  One Pissed Off Liberal (OPOL)
4:00 p.m.  Puddytat
6:00 p.m.  Tool
8:00 p.m.  SouthernLiberalinMD

Thursday, April 11
10:00 a.m. Letsgetitdone
12:00 noon  CitizenofEarth
 1:00  p.m. Words in Action
2:00 p.m. Liveblog event diary
3:00 p.m.  LeftHandedMan
4:00 p.m.  Unitary Moonbat
6:00 p.m. cosmic debris
8:00 p.m. angelajean

Friday April 12
10:00 a.m. Reserved
12:00 noon
2:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m. Reserved


1. Call your senators and representatives and tell them "Hell No!" with a priority on contacting senators.  U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.  You can find email contact information here

2.  Contact the White House and tell them "Hell No!".  Switchboard: 202-456-1414.  Email contact page is here.

3.  Petitions.  There are a number of petitions available.  Choose from the following or preferably sign them all.

a. White House petition calling for no cuts to Social Security.
b. AFL-CIO petition calling for no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and calling for more jobs, repealing the sequester and ending tax loopholes for the wealthiest individuals and corporations.
c. Sen. Harkin's petition telling Pres. Obama not to cut Social Security.

4. Social Media.  Share this diary and promote this blogathon on Facebook and Google+ using the buttons at the top of the diary.  Send this out on Twitter and add the hashtags #HellNo and #NoGrandBargain.

Blogathon diaries you might have missed
Hell No! #NoGrandBargain: "Pushing back at the Grand Bargain" by Roger Fox
Hell No! Chained CPI will reduce eligability for EITC #noChainedCPI by Roger Fox
Hell No! Dan Pfeiffer: "The President's Budget Shows That He is Serious About Solving Deficits" by eXtina
Guest Crosspost, Yves Smith: Obama Wants to Be the President Who Rolled Back the New Deal by Yves Smith via joanneleon
IA-Sen: Tom Harkin (D) Needs Our Help Telling Obama Hell No To The Chained CPI by poopdogcomedy
Hell No! Stop crushing the poor by Horace Boothroyd III
Hell, No! Social Security Contributes Nothing To Deficit by slinkerwink
Hell No! No Grand Bargain: Chained CPI: Social Security Means So Much To So Many by joedemocrat

Bill Black: “Wall Street Uses the Third Way to Lead its Assault on Social Security” by Bill Black via joanneleon
Hell No! Livestream. Petition delivered to White House. Millions of signatures. 12:30pm by Lady Libertine
Hell No! No Grand Bargain. Are "Progressives" Destroying the New Deal? by joe shikspack
#HellNo ! #ChainedCPI : $65 billion income tax increase on working families #noChainedCPI by Roger Fox
Hell No! Chained CPI is a Cut. You Either Care About People or You Don't. by priceman
Hell No! No Votes or Money To Dems Who Vote To Cut Social Security. by TomP

Originally posted to Pushing back at the Grand Bargain on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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