lexington50 commented on the blog post American Enterprise Institute Wants To Fix The Debt And Also Go To War In Ukraine
Remember the good ole days, c. 2000, when every “report” issued by the AEI warranted a prominent writeup in august publications like the New York Times, who treated it like disinterested scholarly research worthy of serious consideration (and no, not just because the AEI’s donors coughed up for A list catering and all the free booze the Washington press corps could imbibe at the accompanying
What ever happened to those days?
Oh yeah, the AEI issued “report” after “report” filled with shrill warnings that Iraq was on the cup of acquiring WMDs, and the Bush administration used this tailor made propaganda to launch an invasion of that country, which didn’t turn out so well.
Now AEI “reports” are no longer prominently featured in the NY Times. It’s almost like a few members of the press corps clued into the fact they were gamed. Better late than never.
Nice to see that John Bolton, who as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control did so much to birth the Iraq fiasco, and was then rewarded by being appointed the American representative at the UN (talk about lifting a middle finger to the rest of the world), has found a cushy perch at the AEI. It’s another brilliant example of how card carrying members of the American elite are always taken care of, no matter how spectacularly they crash and burn.
lexington50 commented on the blog post Failed UAW Vote At Volkswagen Plant Leads To Existential Questions
Manufacturing, the heart and soul of the union movement, has become much more efficient, and therefore less labor-intensive. And much of the unskilled and semi-skilled jobs, such as in garment manufacturing, have moved offshore.
In the mid 1950s manufacturing accounted for almost 50% of US GDP. The equivalent number today is about 12%. In the last half century the US has offshored almost all of its manufacturing capacity. As goes manufacturing so goes the labour movement.
In spite of this the writer quoted repeats neoliberal talking points about the decline in unionization not being caused by offshoring per se but rather by automation and the offshoring of (implicitly less desirable) “unskilled” and “semiskilled” jobs. Globalization didn’t destroy unions, changes in the nature of the manufacturing industry did! In this narrative it’s all about huge impersonal forces that no one can control rather than the deliberate consequence of trade policies championed by the neoliberal elite.
Having said that unions played a huge role in their own undoing, most notably by failing to aggressively organize the growing service sector even as manufacturing was in consistent long term decline. For a long time unionized workers took a complacent “I got mine” attitude toward the plight of their non unionized brethren.
They also failed to build bridges to public sector unions, and this “two solitudes” model ultimately led to the undermining of both. First the plutocrats went after private sector unions, and the public sector looked on complacently because they weren’t in the private sector. Now having destroyed private sector organized labour the plutocrats are coming for the public sector, and the latter are belatedly realizing that there is no one left to stand with them against the onslaught.
lexington50 commented on the blog post Comcast To Takeover Time Warner In Quest For Monopoly As Regulators Remain Silent
Why aren’t voters demanding that their elected leaders stand up for their interests? The ominous silence from the Obama administration after the courts destroyed Net Neutrality was telling, but even more telling was the silence from Democratic Party supporters who refuse to demand that politicians govern in the interest of the people who elected them, or hold them accountable when they fail to do.
Then these same people whine about how Washington is so corrupt and unresponsive to the masses.
lexington50 commented on the blog post President Obama Has The Power And Opportunity To Implement Postal Banking
Does Wall Street want competition from the USPS?
Is Obama likely to do anything that is contrary to the interests of his biggest campaign donors?
Answer those two questions and the truth will be known.
Frankly I’m embarassed for anyone who still believes Obama might just possibly have a progressive bone anywhere in his body.
After the war Chamberlin and Munich were vilified to keep responsibility away from the capitalists.
Except it wasn’t just the capitalists. No one wanted to go to war to prevent Hitler from annexing the Sudetenland, where the majority of the population was German and which had been given to Czechoslovakia by the victors in 1919 [...]
All I know is I’m done asking how many times Democrats are going to bring a butter knife to a gun fight. I’m done asking how many times they’re going to “compromise” with pathological liars like Boehnor and McConnell and Cruz and Cantor. I’m done asking how many times we’re supposed to endure those humiliating contortions [...]
I wonder why there has not yet been a campaign to get young men and women to refuse to sign up for the volunteer army of poor people willing to get blown apart?
American myths about meritocracy notwithstanding, the US has much less social mobility than any comparable society, because it has a much weaker social [...]
Most unfortunate! Your comment indicates your brainwashed into those left vs right, up vs down, paradigms, shoved down American’s gizzard like an abused Bangkok whore?
Ok, I’ll bite: how does my comment indicate that I’m “brainwashed”?
Lexington? Hope your not like the students from Lexington HS and Concord HS MA, unable to answer a trivia question concerning of the importance of the phrase, “…shot heard round the world!,” or the location of the historical event?
Since you asked I borrowed by pseudonym from the person or people who write (or wrote) the US politics column in the Economist.
Also, I know a little bit about history. So yes, I’m familiar with 18th century American sloganeering and the events associated with the towns of Lexington and Concord.
What a bizarre comment, but unfortunately one that is all too typical.
I don’t get why many Americans subscribe to Christian fundamentalism and elect leaders (including Obama’s predecessor) who hold and regularly espouse antediluvian beliefs that imply a large part of America is intellectually stuck in the 16th century, but I don’t go from there to the conclusion that Americans “aren’t ready for democracy” and are anti-free will.
By the way, where were you when Mubarak was toppled? Don’t recall seeing your name around here at that time.
You got me. I was actually in Cairo engineering Mubarak’s downfall. Can you tell I’m bitter that all my plans have come to ruination?
Seriously, I know you’re reaching to make a point here, I just don’t know what it is.
I’m waiting to hear from all the people here who were ecstatic when the Egyptian military overthrew Egypt’s first democratically elected government. Many of them styled themselves “liberals”.
I suspect I’m going to be waiting a long, long time…
In short, if a nation wants to run a trade deficit, and also wants to have private sector savings, then having a government surplus is not good news for people. It is bad news for them, because it means that the private sector as a whole, and disproportionately households, are losing net financial assets over the [...]
lexington50 commented on the diary post Snowden is a Libertarian, Ron Paul Supporter- It’s Why He Did It by jbade.
Hmmm, I can’t think of a single revolutionary product or service from Norway, ever. Why? Could it be the system itself limits achievement and makes it impossible for anyone to get ahead of others financially? Sure, it could be. But it’s more likely that the problem lies with extremely vague terminology (what exactly counts as a [...]
lexington50 commented on the diary post Snowden is a Libertarian, Ron Paul Supporter- It’s Why He Did It by jbade.
Without getting sidetracked into a sterile debate about what is or isn’t capitalism it isn’t difficult to demonstrate that the countries jblade listed have done a far better job at equalizing income distribution than the US. According to the 2013 OECD Factbook the Gini Coefficient (a widely used measure of income inequality) and rank (from [...]
Enter al-Qaeda. Well, not quite. Although the news media shouts alarming headlines stating that “al-Qaeda” has taken Fallujah and Ramadi, a closer read reveals that ”al-Qaeda” is actually “The Islamic State in Iraq and The Levant,” which is an “al-Qaeda linked” group (whatever that means). The editors at Time prefer to call it an “al-Qaeda franchise.” [...]
lexington50 commented on the blog post Egyptian Military Government Names Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Group
In the very first sentence of the very first post in this thread you unequivocally label the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist organization”, then when challenged by sahpirebulletofpurelove to define your terms you give a non answer which basically amounts to admitting you don’t know yourself what it means.
In America the term “terrorism” is generally applied to any form of politically motivated violence directed at American interests. In other words, it’s a term of propaganda art.
Any consistent usage of the term would acknowledge that the US is in fact by far the largest sponsor or “state sponsored terrorism” in the world. Well over a hundred thousand dead Iraqis, not to mention (for starters) uncounted Afghans, Yemenis and Pakistanis, bear silent witness to this truth. In the US however any discussion of the similarities between American sponsored political violence and the political violence of others is strictly verboten, except on the fringes of the polity, where it can be safely quarantined from mainstream consciousness, let alone mainstream discussion. Because when Americans do it it’s just different. Everyone knows that, and the fact that everyone knows it renders the fact no one can explain why it’s different moot.
The beauty of the Egyptian military junta labeling their main political opponents a “terrorist organization” is that it reveals how absolutely beholden they are to Washington, even to the point of adopting stock elements of American political rhetoric. Plus they know the Pavlovian reaction Americans have to anything labeled “terrorist” and are counting on it to cement support for their overthrow of Egypt’s democratically elected government.
The utter hypocrisy which the United States has been complicit in the destruction of the Arab Spring in the Middle East’s largest and most populous country simply beggars belief, but even it is exceeded by Americans’ complete tone deafness to their own hypocrisy.
And when the consequences of this policy predictably lead to yet more violence, more repression and more suffering most Americans will express sincere if unwarranted confusion about why this is happening and why everyone blames America.
lexington50 commented on the blog post Saudi Arabia Pledges To Fund Jihad In Syria Alone If Necessary
All excellent points.
Can’t say the same for the OP. The way a few well placed media reports, based largely on information that has been available for a decade, had produced rabid Saudiphobia just shows how easily the American electorate can be manipulated.
Nothing has changed since Dumbya and a pile of fabricated (and largely debunked) “intellgence” convinced them that invading Iraq was a really good idea.
lexington50 commented on the blog post Murdoch’s NY Post Backs Michael Moore’s Bush-Saudi 9/11 Claims
My guess is that the increasing scrutiny on the Saudi elite by America’s media elite has everything to do with the recent friction between certain hawks and Saudi over issues in the Middle East.
I’m glad not EVERYONE went with the easy “well if both left and right -or at least Michael Moore and Rupert Murdoch- say it, then it must be true!!” When you think about it that rationalization really says a lot about the unidimensional nature of public discourse in America. Every story has two sides, one left and the other right, and the truth is always exactly in the middle. Unless the stories are the same, in which case the absence of a contested narrative proves its veracity.
The fact is America’s relationship with the Saudis is on the rocks. Politicians on both sides of the aisle were happy to carry water for the sheiks so long as they kept American cars filled with cheap gas and made nice to Israel. But lately the Saudis have made no bones about their disenchantment with the US over its policies toward Egypt (didn’t support the coup early or forcefully enough), Israel (isn’t taking a stand against more settlements), Syria (isn’t backing the Sunni faction forcefully enough) and most of all the Saudis great bête noire, Iran (looks less likely to start a war with them with each passing day). More to the point, the Saudis see more clearly than most that American power is fading fast and with it America’s ability to enforce its decades old condominium on Middle Eastern states. With American influence in a nose dive in the region the Saudis have clearly decided that the risks of taking the first tentative steps toward striking out on their own are more acceptable than continuing to subordinate their interests to those of an ally who seems increasingly unwilling and unable to provide the regional stability which they crave.
For the Israel Firsters the more Saudi Arabia drifts from America’s orbit the more unpredictable and dangerous it becomes (to Israel, that is). The more America tries to mend bridges, the more likely it is to compromise some of Israel’s interests to curry favour with the Saudis. The simple solution is to keep the US-Israel axis strong by voting the Saudis off the island. Say, by having them swift boated by the NY Post.
Is it all starting to make sense?
Well…I can’t go as far as “nothing”. Even those who don’t think he acted alone generally accept that he purchased the rifle found in the Texas Book Depository, that he took it to the Depository on the day of the shooting (telling his carpool buddies that it was a package containing “curtain rods”), that he [...]
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