Friday, October 02, 2009

Chicago being told to savor shit sandwich 

Sorry to be redundant, but I don't think it's my fault. More of the same from Osama:

Dave Zirin:

...the very idea that Chicago could be an appropriate setting for the Olympics might have been hatched by Jon Stewart for a four-year supply of comedic fodder. To greater or lesser degrees, the Olympics bring gentrification, graft and police violence wherever they nest. Even without the Olympic Games, Chicago has been ground zero in the past decade for the destruction of public housing, political corruption raised to an art form, and police violence. Bringing the Olympics to this town would be like sending a gift basket filled with bottles of Jim Beam to the Betty Ford Clinic: over-consumption followed by disaster.

It's also difficult for Chicago residents to see how this will help their pocketbooks, given that [Mayor Richard] Daley pledged to the International Olympic Committee that any cost overruns would be covered by taxpayers. This is why a staggering 84 percent of the city opposes bringing the Games to Chicago if it costs residents a solitary dime. Even if the games were to go off without a hitch - which would happen only if the setting was lovely Shangri-La - not even half the residents would support hosting the Games...

The Obamas, former Chicago residents, should be standing with their city. Instead, we have the sight of Barack, Michelle, and Oprah trying to outmuscle Pele and Brazil for a place at the Olympic trough.... [Osama] wants the glitz, glamour, and prestige of the games and he wants it for the Daley machine. What the people of Chicago want doesn't seem to compute.

...No Games Chicago organizer Alison McKenna said to me, "I oppose the Olympics coming to Chicago because instead of putting money toward what people really need, money will be funneled to real estate developers who will be tearing down Washington Park and other important community resources. I oppose the Olympics coming to Chicago because the nonprofit child-welfare agency that I work for had to sustain budget cuts and layoffs, while Chicago has spent $48.2 million on the 2016 Olympic bid, as of July 2009."

There is an urgency to building resistance to these kinds of priorities. Right now, the right wing is shamelessly adopting populist rhetoric and the power of protest to sell an agenda of racism and fear wrapped in taxpayer protection... Now is the time to build a pole of attraction on the left for people furious at corporate greed amidst a recession...

More big show fraud, with Osama at the center of the spotlight making grave, grandiose, and self-aggrandizing pronouncements that mean shit.

Update: I may be wrong on this. According to TPM, Chuck Todd of NBC "is saying that as recently as a few weeks ago, the White House had been resisting pressure from Chicago friends and supporters who were pushing for Obama to make a big push for Chicago."

Thursday, October 01, 2009

ah...that's more like it 

More like this please:

See if only they'd taken loaded guns to the sit-in, they'd be on Hardball by now.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

AFL-CIO about to choke down the shit 

Jane Hamsher:

We hoped it wasn't true. We hoped that when Richard Trumka committed to back a public option and threatened to withhold support from Democrats who wouldn't vote for one that it wasn't just pre-convention rhetoric.

But then the big guns came out -- Baucus decided that rather than taxing the rich, he would tax the health care plans that seriously affected AFL-CIO workers who had given up wage hikes in exchange for comprehensive health care coverage over years in contract negotiations. When Gerry McEntee rightly called the Baucus bill "bullshit" from the floor of the convention, Nancy Pelosi was then dispatched to say they were considering the same thing in the House.

I defy anyone to find me one single example of the White House twisting one arm for a public option. Just one. But when Rahm and Trumka meet today, it will be after a month of very serious threats to the AFL-CIO carried out at the highest levels. It's the kind of "arm twisting" that only the executive branch is capable of, and it has been done to crush support for a public option, not opposition.

I wrote recently about the fact that people within the AFL-CIO were getting tremendous pressure from the White House to push Trumka into backing down. And sources familiar with the situation say that since the other unions outside the AFL have already caved and are kicking Rahm's trigger football, Trumka feels he has little support for his position and no choice but to relent.

Contact the AFL-CIO and let them know that you support Richard Trumka and his commitment to the public option. Let him know that staying true to that commitment is extremely important to those of us who strongly support labor.

Tell Richard Trumka: don't kick Rahm's football.

Just take a second and e-mail the AFL-CIO. Tell them not to give up on the public option.

sign this petition telling Harry Reid to make public the names of the Dems in the senate who would join a Rethug filibuster to prevent passage of a public option under reconciliation.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

what is to be done 

For any of you radio listeners here's an excellent talk by Gar Alperovitz about finding a way out of the logic of liberalism and what "progressives" should really be doing these days.


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