Saturday, November 15, 2008

Give till it hurts 

Everyone's tapped out, but just think, Saxby "Saxby Chambliss" Chambliss could lose his seat in the Senate on December 2.

Nice, huh?

His opponent, Jim Martin, is catching up in the $$$ department...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bakunin, Kropotkin, Goldman, Proudhon...O'Reilly 

Papa bear reveals that he's an anarchist:

wherein I disseminate Tom Engelhardt's writings because he agrees with me (albeit regrettably only several days after I agreed with myself) 

It's a natural reaction -- and certainly a commonplace media reaction at the moment -- to want to give Barack Obama a "chance." Back off those critical comments, people now say. Fair's fair. Give the President-elect a little "breathing space." After all, the election is barely over, he's not even in office, he hasn't had his first 100 days, and already the criticism has begun.

But those who say this don't understand Washington -- or, in the case of various media figures and pundits, perhaps understand it all too well.

Political Washington is a conspiracy -- in the original sense of the word: "to breathe the same air." In that sense, there is no air in Washington that isn't stale enough to choke a president. Send Obama there alone, give him that "breathing space," don't start demanding the quick ending of wars or anything else, and you're not doing him, or the American people, any favors. Quite the opposite, you're consigning him to suffocation.

Leave Obama to them and he'll break your heart. If you do, then blame yourself, not him; but better than blaming anyone, pitch your own tent on the public commons and make some noise. Let him know that Washington's isn't the only consensus around, that Americans really do want our troops to come home, that we actually are looking for "change we can believe in," which would include a less weaponized, less imperial American world, based on a reinvigorated idea of defense, not aggression, and on the Constitution, not leftover Rumsfeld rules or a bogus Global War on Terror.

The rest of "Don't coddle Obama"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Early this morning, commuters nationwide were delighted to find out that while they were sleeping, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had come to an end.

If, that is, they happened to read a "special edition" of today's New York Times.

In an elaborate operation six months in the planning, 1.2 million papers were printed at six different presses and driven to prearranged pickup locations, where thousands of volunteers stood ready to pass them out on the street.

Articles in the paper announce dozens of new initiatives including the establishment of national health care, the abolition of corporate lobbying, a maximum wage for C.E.O.s, and, of course, the end of the war.

The paper, an exact replica of The New York Times, includes International, National, New York, and Business sections, as well as editorials, corrections, and a number of advertisements, including a recall notice for all cars that run on gasoline. There is also a timeline describing the gains brought about by eight months of progressive support and pressure, culminating in President Obama's "Yes we REALLY can" speech. (The paper is post-dated July 4, 2009.)

"It's all about how at this point, we need to push harder than ever," said Bertha Suttner, one of the newspaper's writers. "We've got to make sure Obama and all the other Democrats do what we elected them to do. After eight, or maybe twenty-eight years of hell, we need to start imagining heaven."

Not all readers reacted favorably. "The thing I disagree with is how they did it," said Stuart Carlyle, who received a paper in Grand Central Station while commuting to his Wall Street brokerage. "I'm all for freedom of speech, but they should have started their own paper."

You can see the front page here.

Like, OK, God 

It's what she always does:

Palin, who could seek re-election in 2010 or potentially run for president in four years, said she will rely on faith.

"Putting my life in my creator's hands -- this is what I always do," she said. "I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door ... And if there is an open door in '12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Our Famous President" 

Monday, November 10, 2008

rumble rumble 

Silver, Sifry & Giordano in Chicago:


If anyone has the corresponding photo of Clinton giving Bush his "president-elect" tour in 2000, please supply it. The symbolism is important. In the former: competent president conceding power to brain-damaged infant who just staged a coup. In the latter: brain-damaged, enfeebled, elderly infant conceding power--probably gladly--to competent, democratically elected human being.


Scats, you are right. Our job is now to construct a real public sphere. Often this term is misconstrued as simply meaning "in public" or "the public," as though anything that appears on TV is entering the public sphere. In fact, Habermas had a very specific idea in mind: a smaller group of citizens focused on the common good who would engage in public dialogue, come to consensus on the quality of government policies, and then appeal to that government to place pressure upon it.

Under the Bush administration, there was only what I would call an anti-public sphere, the semblance of such a group and such pressure without the reality or efficacy (i.e., a near absence of press criticism of Bush, which has been masked these past few months by its opposite, which is not really critique of present policy but condemnation of the past). Obama supporters, through their sheer visibility, have opened a new space for transmission to/at the White House. I received this today. It is apparently emerging from the Nader campaign, and I think this is a great position for them to occupy (as opposed to, say, contributing to Republican victories-- but who remembers 2000?).

-----Original Message-----
From: Lee Metcalf <leemetcalf66@earthlink.net>
To: Lee Metcalf <leemetcalf66@earthlink.net>
Sent: Mon, 10 Nov 2008 12:33 am
Subject: post election involvement



Above is a link to an group that seeks to organize people in each of the 535
congressional districts nationwide. Their goal is to eventually enlist 2000
people in every district, out of which one or more citizen representatives will
be sent to Washington as lobbyists for the public interest. This strategy is
designed to both counter the inordinate number of corporate lobbyists which
currently dominate Washington politics, and as a way to put direct and continued
pressure on the President and Democratically elected congress to make the
changes that the majority of Americans favor, such as:

Universal Health Care
Immediate end to Iraq and Afghanistan wars
Reduction of the military budget and a dramatic increase in social spending


Obama's win is highly significant and cause for celebration, given the history
of racism in this country and also in light of the 8 year national nightmare
from which we are now emerging, but we should not have any illusions as to what
the President and this congress will be willing or able to do without a
proactive citizenry demanding meaningful change.

Please take a moment to sign up and show your support and then forward to all
others that you feel may be interested.

Thank you,


Sunday, November 09, 2008

gimme the shot, gimme the cure 

La Peste:

Fortunately, there is no need of lobbying for new federal funding to find a cure:


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