Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Crisis! Coup! Fascism!

Take two hours to listen to This American Life’s programs on the massive credit crisis brought on by unregulated crony capitalism: The Giant Pool of Money, and last Sunday’s Another Frightening Show About the Economy. TAL has easily the best and fairest assessment of the crisis that I have come across.

Representative Brad Sherman on fear mongering and the threat of martial law:

Naomi Wolf on the steps to fascism taken by the current regime:

It’s hard not to dismiss a lot of the points that Naomi makes, but I don’t know if her solutions are that viable, or if we’re in “April of 1933″. Then again, as Schopenhauer said: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

(via boingboing and metafilter)

McCain is a diva

This column by Huffington Post writer Bob Cesca is excellent:

What’s next, McCain? Suspending the election?

So what will a McCain administration economic policy look like? From the lack of foresight and leadership we’ve witnessed so far, we can assume that McCain might choose a new economic policy totally at random, depending on how saucy he feels from minute to minute. “I’ll have a muffin with my Egg Beaters, and replace Bernanke with that hooplehead who weedwacks the knoll.” Two minutes later… “Hey Phil, we don’t need the Nasdaq anymore. Kill it.” Two minutes later… “My God! What have I done! Quickly — nationalize the paintball industry! Go!”

One thing is for sure. Expecting a workable solution to this economic meltdown from a man as knee-jerk, dishonest and incomprehensible as John McCain would be an exercise in national self-destruction. He doesn’t have anything real to say, and what he does say, he can’t sell. He simply can’t do the gig. A vote for McCain-Palin is absolutely a vote for the end of America as we know it.

Seriously, I am wondering if this guy has any idea of what he is doing. He’s like a child throwing a temper tantrum. I’m taking my ball home and now no one can play! My friends!

I always thought nothing could be worse than Bush Jr., but here you have it. McCain is a diva whose gut decisions aren’t the sign of a political maverick, but of someone who is desperately trying to stay in the spotlight. It’s time to start playing fairly, McDiva.

This whole election is a joke. McCain is worse, much worse than anything I could have imagined, and that’s without even considering the bible-thumping mountain momma he picked for a running mate. My own poor mom called me the other day and said she had a terrible nightmare that McCain had won the election. It looks like it is already starting. Just imagine what a McCain/Palin presidency would be like. Totally fucking insane. No accountability. Erratic gut decisions. More deregulation. More extremist war policies. More pandering to the neocons. More Rove. More religious right influence. Creationism. I’m getting ill just typing this out. My country will have not one shred of credibility left.

The United States of France

Now that we have to bail out the champions of an unfettered free market, it’s time to reflect on how we got there. This is a nice satirical piece by Bill Satorito:

This is the state of our great republic: We’ve nationalized the financial system, taking control from Wall Street bankers we no longer trust. We’re about to quasi-nationalize the Detroit auto companies via massive loans because they’re a source of American pride, and too many jobs — and votes — are at stake. Our Social Security system is going broke as we head for a future in which too many retirees will be supported by too few workers. How long before we have national health care? Put it all together, and the America that emerges is a cartoonish version of the country most despised by red-meat red-state patriots: France. Only with worse food.

Link to the article in Time.

(Thanks Mark)

Nader in a panda suit

Ralph muses on the unenthusiastic media coverage of his campaign this year, and wonders if dressing in a panda suit would garner him more media attention. He’s damn right it would.

One thing thing you can say about him is he definitely has cojones. If he dresses up in a panda suit and crashes the debates I might, just might, be tempted to vote for him – again.

George Orwell, the blogger

If there was ever a writer whose opinions chimed almost perfectly with my own, it was George Orwell. Peter Davidson has resurrected him on a blog called The Orwell Diaries in the form of his actual diary entries from 70 years ago, in the days leading up to the Second World War. The blog format is a great idea:

In a curious way, reading what Orwell jotted down so informally as events occurred, domestically and internationally, seventy years ago will be far more intriguing for readers than when they are faced with slabs of print.

Today’s entry, for August 22nd, describing a “warmish day, with showers” perfectly describes the afternoon here in Berlin.

The Anthrax-Neocon Link

In case you didn’t realize the neocons are cynical and manipulative übercreeps, read this compelling article by Glen Greenwald in Salon. After the 9/11 attacks my country was led by the nose into believing that attacking Iraq would solve all of our problems. The Anthrax-Sadaam link, based on dubious information sourced from a U.S. government research laboratory, was just the smoking gun the neocons needed to rally public opinion behind them for their grandiose plans:

We now know — we knew even before news of Ivins’ suicide last night, and know especially in light of it — that the anthrax attacks didn’t come from Iraq or any foreign government at all. It came from our own Government’s scientist, from the top Army bioweapons research laboratory. More significantly, the false reports linking anthrax to Iraq also came from the U.S. Government — from people with some type of significant links to the same facility responsible for the attacks themselves.

Surely the question of who generated those false Iraq-anthrax reports is one of the most significant and explosive stories of the last decade. The motive to fabricate reports of bentonite and a link to Saddam is glaring. Those fabrications played some significant role — I’d argue a very major role — in propagandizing the American public to perceive of Saddam as a threat, and further, propagandized the public to believe that our country was sufficiently threatened by foreign elements that a whole series of radical policies that the neoconservatives both within and outside of the Bush administration wanted to pursue — including an attack an Iraq and a whole array of assaults on our basic constitutional framework — were justified and even necessary in order to survive.

I’d like to see what all those hysterical right-wing bloggers who were so gung ho about going to war, about doing “whatever it takes” despite us “liberal pussies”, have to say about this. Probably not much, as they’re coming to realize they’ve been led by the nose too.

Link to the full article in Salon.

(via Boingboing)

Defiant at the Obama Rally

Berliners turned out in droves to see Barack Obama, and, among the thousands of people, there was one lone McCain supporter, defiantly holding his umbrella with printed-out McCain signs.