As long as I’ve been alive, but certainly since my first political awareness, a loud minority of Americans, through their well-financed and politically influential mouthpieces, have relentlessly hammered home the demented idea that “government” was some malevolent, faceless, money-grabbing bureaucracy that existed only to trample our freedoms. Funny, I thought, I had always learned that our government was, uniquely for the time, one in which we, the people chose what form it would take.
|By: cocktailhag Thursday December 27, 2012 8:00 pm|
In any normal country, there would be no particular reason to expect 2013 to be an awful year. The right-wing Presidential candidate, who preached austerity, family values, and military adventurism, was soundly defeated by the center-left candidate, who favored, well, austerity-lite, personal freedom, and a fiscally convenient “peace dividend.” Overconfident and overfunded Republicans were similarly trounced in the House and Senate, losing seats in both despite stunning structural advantages.
It seemed that the Right’s perennial hobby horses, from favoring the wealthiest above all others and demonizing minorities of every type, to demanding that every non-military expenditure be slashed to the bone, had clearly been sent to the glue factory by the electorate. Alas, things are never what they seem in Washington.
|By: cocktailhag Thursday December 13, 2012 8:00 pm|
One of the deepest divides in our alarmingly escalating Class War is one of mutual misunderstanding between the two sides about what money is for: The Job Creators can’t comprehend why the Lower Orders should have such fripperies as food, housing, and medical care (or worse, cell phones and TV’s), while those being steadily ground into mush under their well-shod heels can’t understand why people with enough money to buy their own states don’t at least buy states where the weather is better.
|By: cocktailhag Thursday October 4, 2012 8:00 pm|
I was unable to watch the debate, last night, a fact for which I now feel oddly grateful. Watching MSNBC immediately afterwards, I already got to experience the sincere disappointment of Rachel Maddow, the bombastic outrage of Chris Matthews, and the deflated fighting spirit of Ed Schulz. All agreed that Obama had failed to deal Romney the knockout blow he so richly deserved.
|By: cocktailhag Thursday September 20, 2012 8:00 pm|
One of the most pernicious delusions that plagues American political discourse is the association of wealth with what once was called “class.” I use the word in the same sense John F. Kennedy did when he commented simply but accurately after hearing a particularly snarling, whiny statement by his 1960 opponent, Richard Nixon: “No class.”
Class is, after all, a slippery concept; like obscenity, you only know it when you see it. “No class” is much more concrete, and it seems to be the defining trait of the modern Republican party, and despite his untold (heh) millions, Mitt Romney has no class.
|By: cocktailhag Wednesday August 29, 2012 8:00 pm|
The increasingly surreal reality show that is the Republican Convention is rapidly shaping up to be one of the most offensive displays of mendacity, racism, and bloodlust the Republicans have yet performed, as evidenced in the “color” stories coming out of it. From a black CNN camera operator pelted with nuts by some slack-jawed cracker slurring, “this is how we feed animals,” and a Puerto Rican billionairess speaker shouted down by the mob chanting, “USA,” Ann Romney waxing lyrical about her “real” marriage, to a bloated and surly Chris Christie bragging about union-busting in his laughable fake Sopranos style, the whole undeniably engrossing spectacle, harried by a hurricane, is just a few midgets shy of a Fellini movie.
|By: cocktailhag Thursday August 9, 2012 8:00 pm|
My 30-year high school reunion is this weekend, and the occasion has given me cause for reflection, in addition to the dieting. Although Reagan had been in office for two years, leading to a grinding recession that hit Oregon particularly hard, the horrors of our current political era had only barely manifested themselves at that moment of my misspent youth.
|By: spocko Wednesday August 8, 2012 7:10 pm|
This week Darcy Burner, a candidate I supported got beat by a rich candidate. Recently, some groups I supported, SF Ocean Edge, The Sierra Club and The Audubon Society lost an appeal to stop seven acres of natural grass from being ripped out of the west end of Golden Gate Park and replaced with artificial turf and 150,000 watts of stadium lights for soccer fields. The project is funded by a rich family, the Fishers, whose father founded the Gap.
|By: cocktailhag Thursday July 26, 2012 8:00 pm|
It’s fitting, really, that Mitt Romney’s first significant experience in the Old World involved riding a bicycle, since his latest seems to require a helmet, with or without the bike. One thing we do know is that a gangly, draft-dodging 20-year old yammering about Golden Tablets and whatnot is considerably less newsworthy (and funny) than a presidential candidate (!) making an even bigger ass of himself, once the charm of youthful earnestness has long since been so utterly trampled under the stomping hooves of arrogant, plutocratic cluelessness. If he had any sense, Romney would try one of two things: A) Get his act together, or B) Make the trip onto a comedy tour, before it’s too late.
|By: SouthernDragon Sunday July 22, 2012 1:59 pm|
One of the long standing taboos in the US is an open discussion of our capitalist economic system. Mainstream economists talk of business cycles, recessions, depressions, upturns, downturns, etc, in an effort to avoid discussing just how unstable capitalism is. In 2009 that changed. Professor Richard D Wolff, a PhD who taught economics at UMass for many years, published a book entitled Capitalism Hits The Fan, a compilation of articles and essays written between 2005 and 2008. Since that time he has been on a whirlwind of personal appearances and radio/TV talk shows discussing just how capitalism has worked, or not worked, for people over the last 50 years.