• pelham commented on the diary post NLRB rules that Northwestern University football players are employees by Masoninblue.

    2014-03-30 16:13:31View | Delete

    The unfairness runs a good deal deeper than the plight — if, with a straight face, one can call it that — of these student athletes. Given the fact that big sports programs are a net cost for nearly every university, the obvious solution is to dump the programs. How can adding any such frivolous [...]

  • pelham commented on the blog post Voting For Neoliberal Democrats As The Lesser Of Two Evils

    2014-03-30 13:35:35View | Delete

    I think the “liberal” in neoliberal comes from the idea that just entrusting everything to some loosey-goosey idea of the “free” market is somehow liberating. I may be mistaken, but that’s the sense I get.

    As for the Democrats, I believe their great deficiency can be defined in a somewhat different way. If you poll the American people on various individual issues, what you often find (certainly not always) is that they tend to lean right on social issues and left on economic issues. But the Democratic Party — supposedly the people’s party — generally inclines in opposite directions, left on social issues and right on economic subjects.

    In my mind, anyway, this raises a question: Would active rank-and-file Dems ever be willing to contemplate a large number of candidates running for national office who more closely align with public sentiment — conservative on social issues like, say, gun control and abortion but left-leaning by, say, advocating a big boost in Social Security payments, Medicare for all and a $22-an-hour minimum wage?

    (I mention gun control and abortion because, even though a majority of Americans now lean left on these issues, those who lean right are more motivated to get out and vote for candidates who think like them on these topics.)

    My guess is that people who describe themselves as progressive or liberals would never tolerate giving an inch on social issues no matter how much they might gain on economic grounds. I can understand that, although I would strongly differ.

    If we give first priority to providing a secure living for every working American and make sure all of us have work and the necessities for a decent life, I believe the social issues where we’d like to make further progress will become much more tractable as people will feel much less threatened by life in general.

  • It’s not about marriage equality. Gays and Lesbians have always had exactly the same right as anyone else to marry someone of the opposite sex.

    It’s a matter of redefining marriage, and society at large appears to be ready for that.

  • pelham commented on the diary post Over Easy: The New Snowden Interview Blackout by msmolly.

    2014-02-07 14:49:30View | Delete

    Re “major media” in the U.S.: Newspapers make up about 90% of what U.S. media are today, as in the past, and newspapers are a tiny fraction of what they were pre-Internet. The assumption that major media have any kind of world view and authority at this stage is a shaky one, at best. The [...]

  • pelham commented on the blog post Democrats Now Own a Troubled Health Care System

    2013-12-16 14:25:35View | Delete

    Good point, as far as it goes. But nothing dictated that the Dems propose a Republican healthcare plan.

    While it would be nice from a progressive standpoint to pin this on the GOP and their ilk, the truth of the matter is that the Democratic Party as a whole supported the ACA, passed it and now owns a system that isn’t merely flawed but is onerous, befuddling and cruel.

  • pelham commented on the diary post VIDEO: The New Giant Sucking Sound … From the East by spocko.

    2013-12-12 05:07:43View | Delete

    I agree that the TPP is horrid in all the ways that everyone specifies.

    However, it does freeze out China. China is not one of the 12 countries negotiating (although it may join). If China stays out, isn’t that worth something?

  • pelham commented on the blog post Bad Roll Out Finally Moves Obamacare’s Polling Numbers

    2013-11-15 05:28:29View | Delete

    But the Democrats don’t give a flip about being popular. They just need to be slightly preferred to Republicans. But above all, they need to satisfy the corporations and banks they serve. So the ACA serves the Dems quite well, even though its poll numbers are dropping.

  • pelham commented on the diary post Russell Brand-Bashing and the Left’s Preferred Powerlessness by Nat Parry.

    2013-11-01 08:25:21View | Delete

    Great post. Agreed on all counts. And this is why I believe the Left is hopeless. What we need is a large pool of people who reject all this identity politics stuff and are open to sweeping, bold ideas that get to the core and foundation of what’s ailing the world. And that would be [...]

  • pelham commented on the diary post Anti-Russell Brand Talking Points by cassiodorus.

    2013-10-26 17:10:56View | Delete

    True, Brand didn’t state a proper set of demands, as such. So I’ll suggest a few that might help: 1) Representative democracy. But not by elections alone. Rather by issue-by-issue online voting that our representatives have to follow; 2) Effective corporate charters. And by this I mean charters that can be revoked by public online [...]

  • pelham commented on the blog post 62% of Florida Voters Would Back Medical Marijuana Amendment

    2013-10-03 13:42:56View | Delete

    Complete legalization of marijuana at this stage is certainly needed, we’re so far gone with common usage of this mind-fogging crap.

    But look at the chart accompanying this item, which reflects several years worth of squirrelly justifications injected into the debate. Doesn’t it strike anyone — including advocates — as just an eensy weensy bit curious that marijuana is now being touted as a palliative for such a wide array of ailments? I mean, come on.

  • Actually, government and industry/financial collusion defines capitalism, dating back at least 600 years to the city-states of northern Italy.

    Awful as it is, fascism is an improvement, acknowledging the needs of every class by putting the nation first rather than just beating down the 99% by forever extending the globalization required in capitalism for its middle and late stages.

  • pelham commented on the diary post Sunday Talking Heads: September 22, 2013 by Elliott.

    2013-09-22 06:22:09View | Delete

    The trailer seems to be getting at the idea that, horror of horrors, we shouldn’t be doing anything that might conceivably devalue our currency. OK. Fine. But if that’s to be the case, we also need to have capital controls that keep investment capital strictly in the U.S. AND away from phony financial instruments like [...]

  • We’ve had exactly two very brief periods of full employment in the 68 years since World War Two — in the early 1950s and late 1960s. That is a lousy, lousy record.

    Until the government guarantees a job at a living wage for every single willing and able American, we can safely judge that any — ANY — proposal to fix unemployment and address inequality is pure horse manure.

  • pelham commented on the diary post Do the Democrats Really Want to Bear the Blame for a Crash that Wall Street Will Cause? by letsgetitdone.

    2013-09-14 08:46:50View | Delete

    The plans sounds good to me, and it might sound good to the Democrats if they defined “winning” the way most of us would like to think they would. I suspect they don’t. I suspect that “winning” for the Dems — or at the very least the party’s leadership, which is what really matters — [...]

  • pelham commented on the diary post August 2013 Jobs Report: “Good” News That Isn’t by dakine01.

    2013-09-06 15:03:01View | Delete

    Excellent points. Note also that in the coverage of the immigration debate by the mainstream media — or what remains of these lickspittles — how meticulous they are about avoiding any mention of the devastating multiplication of H1-B visas. These H1-B folks are — in their vast bulk — tech workers whose visas will be [...]

  • pelham commented on the blog post The Middle Class Is Not for Itself

    2013-08-11 11:16:14View | Delete

    “Middle income voters accept a group of stupid ideas and policies that generally fall under the name of neoliberalism.”

    True, but that’s because the issues are artfully packaged that way by the system, by the two parties. If we had a meaningful representative democracy — ie, one that sensibly represented majority opinion on an issue-by-issue basis — we would have:

    1) Medicare for all

    2) No cuts in Social Security

    3) A higher minimum wage

    4) More gun control

    5) A breakup of the big banks.

    And the list could go on, all of which could be achieved virtually overnight, no muss, no fuss, if we had a truly representative democracy. All are perfectly reasonable, sensible ideas supported by a majority but conveniently rendered “politically impossible” by our public servants in Washington who, collectively speaking, we’re paying to actually thwart the public will pretty much across the board.

    So it’s a matter of issue packaging, as well as any number of other obstructions that we allow to exist because we don’t insist on true representative democracy. Instead, we permit this tag team of doom, the two-party system, to ruin our lives step by step, decade by decade, without any attempt to put a collar and chain on these blowhards and jerk real hard from time to time to make them do what we want.

    Check out the True Republic project at Indiegogo.com. Just 4 days left.

  • pelham commented on the diary post Censored EPA Pennsylvania Fracking Water Contamination Presentation Published by Steve Horn.

    2013-08-05 16:13:28View | Delete

    Fracking is a win-win situation for industry. Not only does it prolong our dependence on relatively scarce fossil fuels, but it also turns a formerly abundant resource, clean water, into a scarce resource that can be sold to us.

    I’m not being the least bit facetious. This is precisely what appears to be happening.

  • pelham commented on the blog post Nancy Pelosi Driving Force Behind Saving the NSA Spying Program

    2013-07-26 12:02:46View | Delete

    Pelosi is the focus here, but is it possible to imagine any other Democrat with any possibility of achieving such a high position in the party being appreciably different when it comes to such issues? The same can be asked of Obama and any Democrat with a whistle of a chance at achieving the presidential nomination.

    It’s not Pelosi or Obama or any other bad apple. It’s the very nature of the Democratic Party, or perhaps of the two-party system. And the essence of the party and the system precludes certain things we tend to assume in the absence of much evidence in living memory.

    We have a representative democracy without:

    A) representation, or

    B) democracy.

    It’s time we did something about it. Check out the True Republic project on Indiegogo.com.

  • pelham commented on the blog post Middle Class Muddle

    2013-07-21 16:29:03View | Delete

    Granted, the situation sucks. And it would be nice to have unions, especially ones that have real clout, are democratic and control political parties with an iron fist. But we don’t.

    But maybe there’s a better solution. These corporations all have to have charters, right? Where do the charters come from? On whose authority? Ultimately, it’s our authority, the authority of the 99%.

    So, let’s start yanking charters if corporations don’t shape up. I know, it’s easy to say that. But perhaps we need a powerfully focused effort to make this possible — and even simple — to do.

    Otherwise, we can hang around and complain all day and nothing’s going to happen.

  • The real brilliance of Obamacare lies in the fact that it’s so infernally complex and the consequences of implementation will be so drawn out that the public at large won’t realize what hit them until the Obamas are long gone from office and well on the way to their first billion in speaking fees and whatnot.

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