Neo-liberals

Obama Lays Claim To A ‘Center’ He Thinks He Found

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The Right Wing Moves The Goal Posts And Obama Caves

Surprisingly statesman-like”. . . Michael Barone (4 Stars)

Chris, the inside story is he beat the Republicans at their own game!”. . . Website analyst Howard Fineman

Masterful. I have all the details in my new book.”. . . Morning Joe hanger-on Mark Halperin

Frankly, the most radically deceptive and truly dangerous moment ever to confront the American people.” . . . . Newt

We won! We own the middle now! There’s no place for Republicans to go! Our recent poll shows it’s succeeding. In the Boulder Colorado 73rd school district, a progressive candidate leads by +5, outside the margin of error”. . . . Usual Suspect Daily Kos Blogs

Isn’t it a fact — a FACT! – that if Obama didn’t move to where Republicans painted the middle, he now would be unemployed? Fact! If he didn’t become a Republican you wouldn’t have a Democrat in the White House? I have worked on the Hill as Chief of Staff of the Senate Finance Committee, Sir! I have been in the room ! You’ll pardon me if I take your dismay as just rank amateur second guessing” . . . Obvious

I just don’t get his socialism.” . . . . Jamie Dimon

Poll: Democrats Want Compromise, The Movement Republicans Prefer To Gut Them Like Sheep Resolve (General Budget Blah Blah Thread)

According to the poll, 68 percent of self-identified Democrats, as well as 76 percent of political independents, say they want Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to make compromises to gain consensus in the current spending debate. By comparison, 56 percent of self-identified Republicans — and 68 percent of Tea Party supporters — want GOP leaders to stick to their position, even if it means the inability to achieve consensus.

After 7 years, Markos, Josh et. al., take pride that you’ve worked that number down to the high sixties.

Waiting For Columna Vertebralis In Obama (Act One)

ESTRAGON: People are bloody ignorant apes.
[He rises painfully, goes limping to extreme left, halts, gazes into distance off with his hand screening his eyes, turns, goes to extreme right, gazes into distance. Vladimir watches him, then goes and picks up the boot, peers into it, drops it hastily.]

VLADIMIR:Pah! [He spits. Estragon moves to center, halts with his back to America].

ESTRAGON: Charming spot. [He turns, advances to front, halts facing America.] Inspiring prospects. [He turns to Vladimir] Let’s go.

VLADIMIR: We can’t.

ESTRAGON: Why not?

VLADIMIR: We’re waiting for him.

ESTRAGON: [despairingly]. Ah! [Pause.] You’re sure it was here?

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Democratic Collapse: 2010 Year In Review – The Short Version

Napoleon Obama Administration: Write a letter to the DNC. Right now and tell them that, what time do you think it is? March 2010? Good. Write and tell them after the year long health care effort, we broke the Movement. Tell them that we won the war 2010 mid terms! We won the war the 2010 mid terms!

Wellington Mitch McConnell: It appears we’re losing the war. Give me more fillibusters, or give me Marshal Blucher Tea Party turnout!

Napoleon Obama Administration: McConnell is beaten. He’s bled to death. Now, now the Old Guard unleash Brand Obama and on to the Dream Act!

Wellington McConnell: I am abandoning my scruples. I want what is left of us here! Every Republican says NO! If the Fox Nation and Tea Party don’t turn out now, they’ll break every bone in my body.

Uxbridge Sam Brownback: Good policy, Wellington, McConnell.

Wellington McConnell: If there is anything in this world about which I positively know nothing, it is responsible governance.

Non-Rightists: Yo Obama Administration, Blucher the Movement is in the woods. Look out! The Movement is in the woods!

Napoleon Obama Administration: I made one mistake in my life. I should have watered down the agenda even more!

Blucher: De Mint Raise high the black flag my children, no pity, no prisoners. I will shoot any man I see with pity in him. On, on my children!

Wellington McConnell: Now Ailes, now is your time !!

Democratic base and Independents: It’s the Movement, run!

Napoleon Obama Administration: Why do you all stand there like frightened children? You call yourself hope and change? The Movement is too late. Too late. The Old Politics are beaten, don’t you understand? Where is your faith? The Old Politics are beaten! I’ve been in this position before with Hillary during the primaries. I lost New Hampshire to Clinton and won the battle back again in South Carolina!

Marshal Ney David Axelrod: Stand with me !!! Are you the non-professional Left? Stand with me! Are you believers in Brand Obama? Don’t you know me? I am David Axelrod. Axelrod, ineffective spokesperson for the Obama inner circle !!

DNC Operatives: The Movement intensity is here !!! The Obama Brand has broken!

Uxbridge Sam Brownback: My God, I’ve given up my Senate seat and am now governor of Kansas.

Wellington McConnell: My God, Sir, so you have.

Beltway Conventional Wisdom Obama, you must water down your policies more! You have to triangulate. You must agree with McConnell. You must move to the Right!

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Sergei Bondarchuk’s stunning Waterloo. Spectacle made real before the brittle cheats of CGI. When Bondarchuk filmed, he commanded the 7th largest army in the world at the time. Plus Orson Welles as a sardonic Louis XVIII. Highly recommended — regardless of your views on 2010.

A Boy King’s Christmas Spirit, Share It Won’t You?


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n.b. As usual, iGadgeteer, you can’t see this. Complain to the black turtle neck guy.

Hope And Change 2008-2010: Last Call

The House lights came up. People are blinking. What’s your last round order? Obama’s sticking with Shirley Temples.

Note: the kitchen is closed. No more ‘Colin Powell Needs To Be WH Chief of Staff Burgers’.

Why Democrats, Obama And Liberals Deserve Obliteration?

Still so clueless about with whom they grapple. Bleating like a beaten baby seal: ‘Where’s the rational dialogue?’ Beyond pathetic. Claire McCaskill Exhibit no. 1. Pure mewling.

We’re not going to repeat for the 10,239th time what the Movement is up to, etc., Weimar, yada, yada, yada. Go read Digby or Greenwald for the ‘shock.’ We can’t be bothered to write it anymore. If a governing majority is determined to yank defeat from the jaws of recent victory, be our guest.

Still depressing. America’s future still steered by the cynical, self-dealing, manipulative class. Their vessel? Poorly educated, white, easily scared and angered, Baby-Jesus-loving mobs with some racism sprinkled in. The same Plutocrats who prospered under the Warlord floating on a sea of venom, hatred and irrationality making steady progress for the Port of Status Quo.

We’ve spent too many hours with people who helped set up ‘Fox Nation’ and communicate with Ailes, Norquist, Newt et al. Their utter disdain for any moral consequences of their political activity is bottomless: especially when overlooking Right Wing moral hypocrisy. Expediency doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. But they know what all the Democrats (netroots aside) don’t — you only need to pretend to believe in democracy to *gain* power. An energized minority can overawe the sheople. Be the wedge for the Dictatorship Of The Entitled to govern. Nazis. Guns. Lynching. ‘Deal With It!’ as the angry internal Fox memos say.

All these Neo-Upper-West-Siders (in spirit if not fact) Starbuckians now on MSNBC crying foul. They wimper and plead for calm discourse over another frappuccino, preferably in NPR tones. They gasp and careen into run on sentences blurting the discovery that lobbying groups are involved! Yeah, for real. Get out !

Democratic consultants tut tut about how these ‘crazy’ tactics ignore pluralism and politics of the middle. What’s the point of supporting the willfully dim? Recall – it took the greatest economic collapse since the Depression to seal the deal last November even with Katrina, Iraq, etc., etc. We’ll know it’s over when Shrum comes out. His declaration on Gregory that it’s all to the Democrats’ advantage is the final act in the farce.

I Just Don't Understand Why You Don't Want To Have A Nice Chat On Health Care Reform !! >.<

The very estimable Frank Rich wonders if we’re getting ‘punk’d’. DOH. See the spectral-looking founder of Politico, Jim VanderHei, equivocate, lamenting that all the town hall shouting and violence makes it hard to see definitively how much *might* be coordinated or a real grass roots phenomenon. He’s worse than a battered spouse – he seemingly yearns for the Warlord’s boot of fear and punitive control. Laurence O’Donnell then ponders the percentage of ‘astro turfing’ or ‘a genuine uprising’ (think about the flinch in those words). But then O’Donnell thinks everything is a sham unless it occurs in the Senate Finance Committee. Did you know by any chance he once ran Committee staff?

Well, we did get Obama out 12 days into August. Should we do cartwheels because Obama had one town hall today? With a gun toting wing nut carrying a sign calling for bloodshed in the audience?

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Changing gears, isn’t it curious to watch Tweety’s back and forth over HRC? The other day we got a Nutrasweet imitation of admiration. Then today his gloating over her curt response to a misinterpreted question. Given how many times Tweety has gone berserk on air — including with Olbermann — isn’t it beyond (what’s the Catholic word for it?) chutzpah ? Although it does beg the question when the State Department will ever get competent translators. The Kennedy worship services with Tweety, the busted fabricater Barnicle and the plagarist Doris Kearns Goodman are also getting old.

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Note to Dems, before you get stomped on (again) like hapless chinchillas, go rent ‘Terminator':

Kyle Reese: Listen, and understand. That terminator Ring Wing Movement is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Tattoo *THAT* on your foreheads you idiots.

Pedagogically Spell Bound

Skip!  Slow down, damnit !  I need more quarters !

Both Skip Gates and Obama were right the first time. Even the birthers know it.

A Long Time Ago, In An America, Far, Far Away . . .

Three men are in a bland GMish car. They are departing from an evening gathering featuring massive consumption of liquid refreshment. A more innocent time. Before Reagan and all that ‘Just say no’ nonsense. Everyone assumed ‘Animal House’ was a simple documentary. That particular gathering had run out of key ingredients. So the stalwart three had volunteered to venture forth and procure more. Back in a flash type thing.

After duly making the rounds and heading back, cue sirens. What follows at first is the usual script . . . ‘license and registration’ . . . ‘do you know how fast (erratic) you were going?’ Blah, blah. Adam 12 stuff.

The stopped vehicle positively looked like an aluminum recycling pick up site. Crammed on top of the empties and packed against the windows? Fresh, gleaming, cold unopened receptacles and various colored bottles, some of which would catch fire if lit. Today, this would trigger a Homeland Security Orange Alert. But this America was untainted by either Bush. All the men had to do was sit out the usual unnecessarily long wait with the spot light on the vehicle. We’ve all probably been there — twiddling thumbs in the bright light as officers pretend to look things up. It’s all a charade. Everyone knows they’re trying to enforce psychologically their, er ‘digit’ is bigger. Back in that day without Internet or computers they’re likely flirting with the dispatcher via radio.

Is It Against The Law If I . . .

Eventually, the caucasian officer dawdles back up to the vehicle’s rolled down window. The script now starts to go horribly wrong. Before he can speak, the caucasian driver asks “Is it against the g*****n law for me to call you a g****** m*****f*****g c***s*******g Iranian (hostage time) d**l******g . . . ? For literally about 45 seconds. A run on beat down lasting 45 seconds can be an eternity. Or it can be an epiphany of sublime supernatural inspiration. This one was beyond sublime. And given the amount of refreshment already consumed, one must acknowledge with accolades there was not one repeat of a phrase the entire 45 seconds – and very little slurring.

So the beefy Man with the Badge replies, “Well, there is some controversy about that in the courts . . .”

And the driver jumps back in and says, “So, I can call you (repeat 45 second brutal beat down) !!” The Man with the Badge tosses the ticket. And off we all went. (The Driver became a senior partner in one of Washington D.C.’s bluest of blue chip law firms and law review graduate. Passenger No. 1. became a pediatrician. And you know what happened to the Stiftung). All happy to pitch in and cover fine costs. There oddly is not much excitement or febrile reaction in the vehicle. Some laughs. But not in the OMG stratosphere. An inconvenience over and done with. The police, you see, were not seen as Towering Unchallengeable Platonic Figures of Authority. Yet.

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Waiting For The Man

Im waiting for my man
Got 26 dollars in my hand
Up to lexington 125
Feelin sick and dirty
Huh, Im waiting for my man

About two weeks ago, we got an email from a long time Republican friend. He successfully ran a Republican presidential campaign. In the email, he simply asked the Stiftung when we thought McCain would be unleashing Army Detachment Steiner. We laughed for all the multi-dimensional reasons.

He’s right, of course. And so is another VRWC Wall Street friend emailing from a late nite Dial Town Car today. He wonders when Palin will send McCain the telex asking if she should take over under the rites of succession given McCain’s untenable position. (Kristol’s betrayal an essential mis en scene backdrop).

Which brings us to Jesse Jackson’s infelicitous predictions about Israel and the Israeli lobby in a Boy King regime.

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where “decades of putting Israel’s interests first” would end. Jackson believes that, although “Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades” remain strong, they’ll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

Those sentiments, observations and hopes are broadly shared by large percentages of the ‘Foreign Policy ‘Establishment’ [sic] ‘, what’s left of the non-radicalized Republican foreign policy apparat, and the Usual Worthies. The prospect of snapping the Neocons’ spine and banishing them to think tank intensive care rallies people of otherwise divergent philosophies – libertarians, Left, traditional conservatives and the vacant trendies.

The Boy King is wise and also correct to emphasize that support for Israel is unwavering. Implicitly he makes that case that Neocon radicalism is Something Else. Segregating those two political memes is essential for a post-Warlord recovery. Jackson because of ‘Hymie Town’ and other colorful incidents blurs everything. All Democrat duct tape is on Biden?

It’s not a snarky observation. Neocons, like ticks, abandon a used host for a more healthy ride. They abandoned Democrats for Reagan. Kristol et al. in 2004 threatened the same stunt on the Warlord. You may recall his petulent memo (it was printed over at STSOZ 1.0?). Kristol threatened to take the Neocon ‘base’ (no snickering, please) to the Democrats and become ‘Neo-Liberals’ because the Warlord showed insufficient ‘resolve’.

You might laugh thinking about 2009. Who would ever be so dumb as to allow their memes to infiltrate a Boy King regime? Sadly, the answer is longer than the phone book. In fact, most of the so-called ‘Oppositionist’ foreign policy liberals are actually more in agreement even now with Neocon fundamental memes and world views (and most, like Peter Beinart, are too dim to know).

Unfortunately, the Boy King is a blank slate and too inexperienced to be classified in an intellectual philosophy. Biden is an intellectual (and verbal) bloviator. The Democratic foreign policy sages in the Boy King’s orbit may be multilateralists, may be more comfortable with (what’s left of our) soft power, may be in the stale Nye-ism ‘owls’. Yet they are in the main definitely not Realists. They view and intend to deploy American power on emotional, abstract ‘values’ and ‘truths’ without the hard calculus of geopolitical realities.

The election by itself is only a small step in breaking the Neocon contagion. Like any good medical treatment, the antibiotics must be administered for the full course. Otherwise the infection can mutate and come back another way.

Just remember. We talked about it here. Give it till 2010. ‘Neo-Liberals’.

Change: Who Whom?

It’s a frightening thing to contemplate without illusion; the U.S. will indeed see change. Yet many cling to the pretense that we are still masters of the change.

Poll swings aside here or there, this is what we get:

Mr Obama released a two-minute advert – four times the length of most campaign commercials – in which he set out his plans to deal with the financial crisis. He pledged to “give a $1,000 tax break to the middle class… end the ‘anything goes’ culture on Wall Street with real regulation… free [America] from our dependence on Mid-East oil in 10 years… crack down on lobbyists… and… bring a responsible end to this war in Iraq so we stop spending billions each month rebuilding their country when we should be rebuilding ours”.

Mr McCain, in his campaign ad, vowed to “reform Wall Street and fix Washington”, stressing that he had “taken on tougher guys than this before”.

That’s it. Taking on tough guys. Wiring Bud Fox to trap Gordon Gecko. Or the Boy King’s ‘Come Home, America’ — except he and those around him such as Zbig et al. know that an Iraq wind down will still take years and financial commitments will remain regardless. Like the ephemeral and ultimately worthless derivatives and leveraged debt, so to our ‘leaders’.

Paulson and Bernanke at least understand the interlocking systemic dynamics while attempting even a controlled crash landing of an orderly market clearing solution. As we all know, essentially the Fed and Treasury are seizing direct control of the ‘commanding heights’ of the U.S. money economy. Still, one should not panic. Nancy Pelosi is sending Barney Frank on a ‘fact finding mission’.

What we are witnessing may be the greatest destruction of financial wealth that the world has ever seen — paper losses measured in the trillions of dollars. Corporate wealth. Oil wealth. Real estate wealth. Bank wealth. Private equity wealth. Hedge fund wealth. Pension wealth. It’s a painful reminder that, when you strip away all the complexity and trappings from the magnificent new global infrastructure, finance is still a confidence game — and once the confidence goes, there’s no telling when the selling will stop.

But more than psychology is involved here. What is really going on, at the most fundamental level, is that the United States is in the process of being forced by its foreign creditors to begin living within its means.

That last sentence is the crux. The Warlord’s reign demonstrated the thin veneer of liberal democracy. We all know the Movement’s radicalism. What remains untapped is the radical energy and potential of the politically disinterested ‘consumer class’. Today fear and unease over poorly understood, complex and technical financial instruments impose a sense of shock and dismay. Empty bromides from both candidates in an odd way help maintain the quiescence. That likely will soon give way to deep, unfocused anger and resentment.

When does ‘change’ segue into something more? When does it cross the line into a more profound political morphology? This door we believe now is at least unlocked. Still shut. What it will take to open it and when is more unknown than the September market trajectory.

The American financial model is over. Moreover, we are no longer masters in our own house. When that brutal and unforgiving reality sinks in culturally, politically and personally, then what?