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To Dream The Impossible Dream……

6:08 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Fabulous Freebirds - flickr

So Obama get four more years. and Elizabeth Warren is elected to the Senate along with Heidi Heitkamp and Allen Grayson, Patrick Murphy and Joe Garcia to the House. Among other notables and all those Democratic stalwarts and liberals and other lefties are so convinced that this is the beginning. That truth, justice and the American way will prevail and working with in the system is the only way.


If this were the case we would have national health, solar and wind energy popping up like bean sprouts, rail systems and public transportation systems in every good sized burgh and the jails would be overflowing with Wall Street bankers. And the last I checked the AMA and big Hospitals and insurance companies still call the shots, oil and gas and coal companies are still raking in the dough and our rail systems are falling apart.
Then there are those who firmly believe that if Jill Stein of the Green Party – the soccer mom candidate – or one of the others had been given a fair shake, they would have had half a chance.


Look at the results people. Nearly half the country thought some glorified sleaze bag used car salesman was a better pick than a technocratic Ivy Leaguer with no imagination. And a large number of them because he was white rather than black.

Listen up people this should give you a hint.

MORE ELIZABETH WARREN SPECULATION: FINANCE COMMITTEE? – From a top Hill watcher: “Finance may be a better fit. The banks all have tax issues that are at least as important as regulations, and that’s a better committee in terms of fundraising … and she’ll be in big demand as a Dem fundraiser the next two years. Plus … putting her on Finance would allow Schumer to tell the banks that he did something for them.Politico Morning Money

This maybe a rumor being spread but I guarantee you that neither Warren or anyone else will be allowed to make waves. Once you’re in DC you play by Wall Streets rules or you are disappeared. Assigned to some do nothing unimportant committee to get you out of the way unless you play ball. Do not look for any changes, even little ones.

But keep looking through that rose colored mist if you insist. Cheering your favorite professional wrestler. At least it will keep you out of trouble.

Why do we keep beating the same dead horse?

5:42 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Social Pyramid - flickr

Another election is upon us, wherein we choose who is to head the country. The overall outcome is generally the same. We live in a hierarchical system where those in charge have as their primary concern to maintain this hierarchy and keep those at the top – at the top. Call it what you wish but the general agenda is to maintain this structure. Representative democracy, parliamentary democracy, dictatorship, feudal society….whatever.

In October of 1962 the United States and the Soviet Union were willing to destroy most of the planet to keep their version of this from being conquered by those of the the other version. The other version of course putting different people on top. Generally those just below the top rarely – if ever – have those on or near the bottom truly considered for any place other than where they are.

So why do we insist on having a society set up in this manner? Well lets just see the characteristics of it.

  • For one thing, it’s based on inequality. There can never be equality between any person and/or group since it is a hierarchy by definition. Not between genders, race, income, worth…etc. A worker will never be treated the same as his supervisor. A person with income A will never be treated the same as one with income 10xA. And on and on.
  • Transactions – dealings between people – are mostly based on monetary exchange rather than cooperation and mutual aid. Most of the time if you want or need help or any article, you have to pay for it in some fashion.
  • It promotes envy, greed, egotism, distrust, arrogance and various sociopathic traits and rewards them.
  • Promotes competition for everything rather than cooperation.
  • Most relationships are superficial and detached.
  • It’s easy. Hierarchical systems require little mental excursion. Just follow the rules, and all will be well.
  • Personal responsibility is not required. Just blame your problems on those below and/or above.
  • Discourages social responsibility. The problems of those below and above are not your concern.
  • With few exceptions, one’s place in this hierarchy is based on property. How much of it you own. Be it monetary or physical or both. Property is more important and living things unless those things are themselves property.

One might think that ditching this system is to be utopian. However there are are vast numbers of groups and societies that are non-hierarchical. In fact the first type of group outside our family that we become a part of is non-hierarchical and based on mutual aid cooperation. The kids we played with even when at school. Then there are the 12 Step groups – AA, OA, NA…etc. Native American tribes. In fact nearly all tribal cultures are based on this concept. A lot of clubs and other organization are set up this way.

So why do we as humans insist on organizing ourselves in this hierarchical manner? I think primarily because it is easy. It requires little mental effort and little if any commitment and little if any responsibility and little if any accountability. Which makes it comfortable and attractive.

But these kinds of social systems have another characteristic. They are inherently self destructive. Throughout history none have survived and most have laid waste to the planet in some way to maintain themselves. They are also very, very self centered.

Obama – What does he know and when did he know it ?

9:54 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

There is an old adage concerning presidential races. That it’s difficult to challenge an incumbent since they are privy to information that they alone know. That the challenger does not know and will not know until and unless he becomes president.

This is only true if the divulging of this information does not have a sever negative impact on the country as whole or that the president believes that it will.

My father died of a brain hemorrhage when I was 14. We were in Miami at the time and my parents were about to sign on a house in Coral Gables. The decision made by my father to move from Ohio – which he dearly loved and where is family was – to Florida came as a complete shock to everyone. Especially since he was not known for out of the blue behavior. However he never gave any reason for this action. Only a number of years after his death did my mother confide to us that he had said he was sick. But even to her, he never gave any details nor did he say specifically how sick he was.

Though I suspected all along that there was a hell of a lot more to it than that. It was not until I had made a long over do visit to my cousin in North Carolina when I was in my late 50s that I learned how truly sick he was and that he knew as well but said nothing to us or my cousin’s family except his mother. That he had been into Cleveland and had some special test done after which he went to his mother’s room in my cousin’s house and spent over an hour talking with her. We he died and my aunt went up to tell my grandmother the news, her reaction was surprising as she her self was not surprised.

We could only guess that his decision to move to Florida was to make it easier for us – his family – to carry on when he did pass, which he had to know would be soon. Though it was obviously sooner than he expected. That he had decided to with hold the information he had to keep my mother in particular from going off the deep end and possibly causing more problems that it would have solved. My father was a very, very practical person. He would get angry when ever any of us questioned anything about his decision, like it was our fault that we did not know what he was unwilling to divulge.

I have had this feeling with Obama and especially with those close in to his administration. I am not fond of Obama in the least but do not see him as the evil incarnate that some do even here. And I am no conspiracy nut either having inherited my father’s pragmatism. But from the time he actually took office and maybe just after his election something did not feel right.

Romney is a lier and salesman just like Bill Clinton. I would say the only real difference is that Romney does not play sax. Pity. Both both are very good selling you anything. You really do want to believe that the old beat up Hudson they want to sell you is a steal at any price.

Bush was also a lier but very bad at it. There were a few times when he was lucid and clear. The first was right after he took office and said that economy was in the dumper. I thought this an odd thing for a newly elected president to say regardless of his agenda. The other time I remember was when the crisis was happening and he had announced it on the media. His whole demeanor was different. Not the cooky arrogant Bush we came to know but one who at least appeared to be really concerned about the situation.

Obama is not a good salesman. He is a very good speaker and as we have seen in that past can speak passionately about that which he believes in. However we have also seen that he has a very difficult time doing so when he does not believe. We saw that in the first debate. We have seen it before. We also saw – if we were paying attention – this his whole attitude, his whole agenda, his entire program changed after he had been elected. After he had been complete briefed. After the crisis of 2008.

It was not long after he took office that the topic of the crisis itself began to disappear from his conversation and speeches. That the biggest crisis since the depression of the 1930s became a non-issue be replaced by health care over haul and Afghanistan and Iraq and other items. When economists of all flavors were saying that the course that was being set was wrong and got nothing but derision for their trouble With Rahm Emanuel calling them stupid and other things. Like they were lame for not knowing what the administration knew or believed but refused to divulge.

The word that came out of the White House was they did not know how bad the situation was. This I do believe was a lie. That they knew very well how bad the situation was and they still know how bad the situation still is. But they refuse to admit it to anyone. That there is a belief that if the White House came clean on how truly bad the economy is and shaky it is that it would cause a panic that would bring the whole thing down at once.

And his is the kicker. That Obama and the White House also believe that they is no way they or anyone else can fix it and the best they can do is let it down as easy as they can.

And there are others who believe this is the case as well.

Our economic and political system is in collapse and there’s no way to fix it from inside the system.

It’s a systemic crisis. The systems we rely upon aren’t viable.

They haven’t been for a long time. Every year we are worse off than the year before.

A political fix, switch, or reform isn’t going to do the job.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that we didn’t see a wholesale collapse in 2008. When people lost faith in the financial sector. What prevented it? At first, it was the US government’s ongoing bailout of the financial sector’s gambling debts.

Since then, it has been the ability of the US government to spend enough to keep 41% of the economy afloat.

As long as the US government continues to borrow at those levels, we’ll avoid a sudden economic collapse like Greece and Spain.

However, this spending won’t fix the system. Far from it. We’ll still be in a slow and steady collapse. – Resilient Communities

This I do believe the Administration knows or believes to be true but nobody dares say one word about it. Obama is not stupid nor is he inattentive. Far from it. Is he trying to prop up the economy ? Well if that’s the case, he’s doing a really bad job of it. No I think he is just trying to let it down easy as possible.

And whoever becomes president will be briefed on this as well. If it is Romney he may or may not accept it.

Where the Left and the Right get it wrong on Obama….mostly

8:57 am in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Bean Bag Obama - Donkey Hotey/flickr

Another conspiracy theory from republicans…now it’s the jobs report. At the same time the apologies from the democratic regulars and Obama supporters  at at a fever pitch and those further left are as convinced as ever that Obama is a closet Nixon or Reagan or both. Whatever. The right want to see him as a socialist or extremest or Muslim lover or …… And the democratic followers as some new born savior.

They are all wrong. What you see is an illusion.

To me now the answer to the question Obama is fairly simple, though I will admit it was not always thus.  Like David Seaton I was pretty certain he was a question mark with multiple choice answers.  Not what he wanted us to see him as.

A very good clue came from the first of the debates – and I use the term very loosely.  One of the best analysis of which is given by Doug Henwood on his blog

Unlike Franklin Roosevelt, who famously said that he welcomed the hatred of the rich, Obama wants to flatter them. He made the mistake of calling them “fatcats” once, so his former fans on Wall Street turned on him. That has something to do with why he didn’t mention the 47% thing, or tar Romney as the candidate of the 0.1%. That would be divisive and offend the people whose admiration he craves. FDR came out of the aristocracy, and had the confidence to step on the fancy toes of the rich now and then. Obama came out of nowhere, was groomed for success by elite institutions throughout his impressive rise, and no doubt wants some of those nice shoes for himself.

I do not agree however with Doug’s assertion that Obama is a narcissist. I have personally known people like that and Obama does not really fit the mold. What he does fit is that of a “people pleaser“. People Pleasers are not necessarily narcissist nor are they totally sociopathic.  What they are – if I may use the vernacular – are suck ups.  Constantly wanting and  needing the approval of those they deem to be higher up.  Afraid of rejection and confrontation, especially face to face – they will do or say whatever they think is wanted by those above them.

I know I have worked for them and was more than a bit of a people pleaser myself for a while. But old age and some professional help cured me of it for the most part.

But this is not all that surprising when one considers his background. A child of mixed race not really fitting in on either side. Whose father left him at an early age and moving around quite a bit.  I would almost bet he had few, if any, real close friends but constantly seeking the approval of those around him. Becoming the first black president of the Harvard law Review and chumming around with those of similar ilk.  But never actually seeing himself as an equal. Needing to be the best to get any approval at all.

So his performance during the debate with Romney – possibly expecting Lehrer to come to his defense and be the assertive one – so not confronting Romney directly but only after the debates from a safe distance is no real surprise to me. It fits the pattern to a tee.

The democrats themselves have been the corporatist party from the get go. Unlike the republicans who worship money and those who have it, the democrats are envious of it.   Not bowing down with praise but sucking up and wanting it. So Obama in a lot of ways fits right in.

This is not to apologize for Obama or even a heavy critique.   He is what he is. He is a con but for his own self worth unlike Romney who is a con for money and property. Romney will steel your bank account. Obama your sanity.  He will appear as whatever he thinks you want him to be and is very good at it. And as Doug Henwood notes.

Romney believes in money. Obama believes in nothing.

Most liberals want to write off Obama’s bad performance as a bad night. It’s not just that. It’s a structural problem.


Another Obamabot whines about Michael Moore taking Obama to task..

6:14 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

As well as others taking the democrats to task as well. Beginning with this segment of The View.  The second part is here.  What Moore points out is that Obama is really no different in his policies and views than the people on Wall Street and those whose incomes depend on them.   I find it very interesting that these people who go ballistic over anyone holding the president’s feet to the fire as well as the democrats in congress and yet still call themselves liberal. A president that’s been the best republican since Richard Nixon and a democratic party that would  make Everett Dirksen and Barry Goldwater proud.

Then goes on to whine about a post  here in FDL – a post that was highly edited by the staff, a twitter post from someone with the NPA (an organization that has the effrontery to suggest that someone other than Obama would be a better president – horrors) and an article by Robert Kuttner suggesting that Obama might be just a little too wussy to actually press for jobs in the black community.

I am guessing that this particular Obamabot ran out of google entries or just got bored.

I sometimes wonder how much real work these bourgeoisie neo-liberal Latte sipping clowns ever really did. Like laying sod or hauling bricks or crawling around in an attic crawl space during a hot humid summer day, then being tossed aside like yesterdays newspaper. Their unyielding support for Obama and the democrats in congress would make teen age groupies jealous. But is it any wonder though. They come from the same socio/economic backgrounds and are very OK with the status quo. But sooner or later their high paying white collar jobs will be outsourced and/or replaced by a computer as well. Just before the market crashes and they lose their 401Ks and savings.

Maybe then they will sing a different tune but I doubt it.

For those who have a strong stomach here is a link to the entry.

In the age of Obama and Rick Perry – A look back at the prototype, The Kennedys

8:32 am in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

From a piece by Sam Smith.

More revelations on the Kennedys have been reported by Rick Klein of ABC News: “President John F. Kennedy was so ‘worried for the country’ about the prospect that Vice President Lyndon Johnson might succeed him as president that he’d begun having private conversations about who should become the Democratic Party’s standard-bearer in 1968, Jacqueline Kennedy recalled in a series of oral-history interviews recorded in early 1964.

“’Bobby told me this later, and I know Jack said it to me sometimes. He said, ‘Oh, God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon was president?’ she said.

“The president gave no serious consideration to dropping Johnson from the ticket in 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy recalled. But he did have some talks about how to avoid having Johnson run for president in 1968, at the end of what would have been Kennedy’s second term, she said.”

History would show that while Kennedy’s administration was largely devoid of significant achievement (excepting postponing our Nixon years), LBJ’s was in league with the New Deal as the most positively productive administrations in our history.

One reason this is not generally understood is because with Kennedy we learned to regard the presidency as a form of show business rather than politics. Television had introduced us to the idea that how one looked and talked was more important than what one did. It is a major reason why Rick Perry is leading the GOP pack at the moment.

LBJ, on the other hand, was a classic political scoundrel, unjustifiable in personality, integrity or style, but amazing in getting things done.

This conflict was far too complicated for the new television age of politics, so we just settled in to choosing our future based on style rather than on achievement.

And it was the Kennedys who introduced us to this curse.

“based on style rather than achievement” or substance.

How Obama and His Friends Are Selling Everyone Down the River – An Interview With Michael Hudson

7:16 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Obama and his Wall Street Friends

An excellent interview with Michael Hudson by Bonnie Faulkner. How Obama has boxed in the Democrats and sold his constituents to Wall Street at a bargain price. You can download the mp3 here.  But here are some of the high points. Read the rest of this entry →