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Merit Vomit

By Al Schumann on Wednesday November 4, 2009 10:53 AM

The White House says that Republican wins in two governors' races were not referendums on the president.

Well, they would say that, now wouldn't they? I doubt they expect to be taken seriously, but who knows for sure. This pantomime of theirs has its own logic and the mummers are all solipsists. One could peel the onion of their psyches forever.

I can make a case that it was indeed a referendum, and score a few wholesome tendentious points along the way, but it seems far more likely that the Democrats are paying the price, an expected and even welcome price, for demobilizing and demoralizing their base. The Great Liberal Bus is teetering on top of a pile of the people pushed under it. From the very start, the Democrats have fought their activists harder than they've fought the Republicans. They've had them arrested! They threaten defunding and priggishly abandon allies at the first whiff of scandal. This is not the kind of thing that drives liberal, meliorist activists into the arms of the Republicans, but it's hardly inspiring. All they have left, at this point, are the unhinged creepy people Smithee keeps an eye on.

Lest I be mistaken for a concern troll, I have no advice for them — other than drop dead, of course. They're actually doing just fine, by their standards, and following a business model that works perfectly. That's the problem. Over the next few years, they'll go back into feckless "opposition" and wait for the Republicans to so thoroughly fuck the goat that all they have left are their own unhinged creepy people. If you've ever wondered why our national discourse is so spiteful, neurotic, dishonest and infantile, now you know. That's what works best on unhinged creepy people. They're an invaluable resource, for kleptocrats.

There's a point I want to make that is hard to overstate. The Democrats will take a win, if they can get one without changing their model, and will take a loss too, if that's in the cards, also without changing their model. It's a no-win situation for meliorists. If they align with them, they're going to be suckered into a corporate "worse the better" strategy every time. It's amoral collegiality, and it works. The only electoral beneficiary is the Republican Party. The rest of the victory, needless to say, stays with their sponsors.

Comments (17)

Mike Hunt:

Sorry but political Democrats ONLY understand the weak minority stance. They can no longer blame obstructionist Republicans since they hold the reigns of power.
Sure they still do, but the masses scratch their heads and mutter at that particular asinine claim.
The 2012 Democrat motto will definitely be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Mike Hunt:

Sorry, I would have posted this originally.

Political Winds Shifting?


Two Democrats - governors - were ousted.


Taxes, lack of jobs, in short: It's the economy stupid!

The fiscal side of the picture is done. Those who are looking for some sort of fiscal stimulative posture out of DC? Forget about it. We had three of those (at least) which have been announced, and they have done nothing.

Now here's the challenge: The American People have had it with the job loss and with the vast and fast deterioration of their personal balance sheets and, more importantly, their cash-flow statements.

But these problems were two decades in the making with both Democrat and Republican governments. They are to a large degree the consequence of bogus and even fraudulent credit creation - practices that were not intended to help the economy along at all, but rather were designed to siphon off the wealth of ordinary Americans and hand it to a fistful of oligarchs.

This behavior has not only been tacitly approved by the silence of Washington DC it has been explicitly promoted and advanced by both Washington DC and The Federal Reserve - on both sides of the aisle.

Indeed, when it comes to Washington DC the government even went to court to block state laws that would have stopped a big part of the mess from happening - and succeeded.

Worse, the policies of both the Bush and Obama administrations have not addressed the problem nor forced the bad debt created by these policies out of the system - the millstone remains around the economy's neck!

You can't get away from the issues - "more taxes" isn't going to sell in a world of 10%+ unemployment and, whether the government claims it or not, high inflation in the prices charged for food and fuel over the last decade. The impact of this was masked by the fraudulent credit creation and asset bubble in houses, but now that's gone, laying bare the decimation of the average American's cash flow statement. The asset bubble intentionally blown in the stock market by Bernanke and his pals Geithner and Obama cannot make up for this; indeed, irrespective of the "big rally" the average American is still missing 30% or more of his money from the 2007 peak!

Yet now the budget deficits and fiscal debt of the government - the "big carpet" under which we shoved all the defaults of the private sector that should have bankrupted every large financial institution in the nation, now demands to be paid. You can either raise taxes dramatically or cut services dramatically, but in the end you cannot indefinitely grow debt faster than GDP, even if you're the government of the United States.

The bottom line is that the American People want "blood", and in fact they deserve it.

We the people, in the main, were scammed.

We didn't just make bad decisions, we were lied to.

We didn't just buy bubble houses, they were sold to us with outrageous misrepresentations of alleged "growth" in price to come; witness David Lereah's two books, and he was NAR's head economist!

We the people failed to understand the 6th grade math, but the banksters and government told us that there was no such thing as immutable exponential functions at work in the economy, and that this growth in a finite world - the world in which we live - was in fact possible.

The pain that is due to be taken has not been worked through the system, and in fact government has made the situation worse. Economic contraction is not over, despite the claimed "GDP" number - as I've said repeatedly if you go to the bank and borrow $20,000 on your credit card you are poorer, not richer, even though you might then spend that $20,000. Cook the books all you want but it won't change the average American's income - only a good job that pays enough to stay ahead of ramping mandatory personal spending does that.

Most of America has the true cost of health care ("insurance") hidden from them. Those who actually write the checks have seen those costs rise 10, 15, even 25% in a single year - every year for the last decade. You who are "W2" employees don't see it directly, but it in fact comes straight out of your pay, as employers do not offer you the salary increases you would otherwise receive - that money is instead diverted to your "free" insurance.

The Republican Party has a tough road here. They need to break up the oligarchs, and deal with the fact that the math is never wrong - and the sooner we deal with it, the better.

It won't be an easy sell, but if they fail to make it, or worse, win on the back Obama's refusal to deal with the banksters and then continue the "anything goes in ripping off America" policies that both Bush and Obama have countenanced and in fact explicitly endorsed, we will suffer a political and economic collapse unlike anything previously seen in the world - a catastrophe worse than Germany in the 1930s.

"May you live in interesting times" has new meaning this morning.....

Al Schumann:

Mike, there's a lot to that. However, I'm aiming at a smaller, more specific target. That target is the ruling tactics and strategy. They define how the Democrats will interact with the people who vote for them. They're a tar baby for meliorists.

Al Schumann:

I may not be doing too well with this, but for what it's worth, the effect of their exercises is keeping the meliorists sidelined. Whether that's their intent, or not, I'll leave to better analysts.

Unhinged Creepy People is the name of my new garage band! But, srsly, if it weren't for the Shakers, Koswhacks, Obots and Demotards, I'd have to go back to writing about their cousins, the freepers and teabaggers and such. And, hell, John Stewart has already cornered that market.


"the Democrats have fought their activists harder than they've fought the Republicans"

in a society thriving
on the fruits of injustice
the party of social justice
has no choice
but to throttled its base

whereas the party of social revival
only has a base
if it successfully
the justice crusaders
as a pack of godless degenerates


"a tar baby for meliorists"

and for america's
carefully cultivated oppressed groups
an exploding cigar


mr hunt

you build your mighty fortress
on paper thin flooring

none of this is necessarily so
including your lethal head shot

"..cannot indefinitely grow debt faster than GDP, even if you're the government of the United States"

why must we assume such
a steam boat race analogy in the first place ??
and even if we do
why with fixed rates not variable ones ??

this line escapes my grasp:

".. the banksters and government told us that there was no such thing as immutable exponential functions at work in the economy, and that this growth in a finite world - the world in which we live - was in fact possible."

unless its meant to say "such a thing as"
not no such thing as"

and even so
are you pulling out the malthus-oidal
clincher ?

our planetary
exploitation of natural resources

"small but equal is inevitable folks "

get use to it
on us here ???

"as I've said repeatedly if you go to the bank and borrow $20,000 on your credit card you are poorer "

what if you don't pay it back ??

Mike Hunt:

Ishmael Reed had this to say about Barky.
What a prophet the man is.

June 24, 2008
The Big Let Down
Obama Scolds Black Fathers, Gets Bounce in Polls


It’s obvious by now that Barack Obama is treating black Americans like one treats a demented uncle, brought out from his room to be ridiculed and scolded before company from time to time, the old Clinton Sistah Souljah strategy borrowed from Clinton’s first presidential campaign when he traveled the country criticizing the personal morality of blacks and wooing white voters by objecting to what he considered anti -white lyrics sung by rapper Sistah Souljah.

As in Clinton’s case, Obama’s June 14th finger wagging at black men was a case of pandering to white conservative voters. This follows a pattern of using public perceptions of black men fanned by the media and Hollywood to win political favor. Bush One and his sleazy cohorts won votes by depicting black men as dangerous. After the Willie Horton ad, featuring a black rapist, was aired, support for Bush soared to 20% among southern white males, according to Willie Brown, former San Francisco mayor. Obama, by depicting them as irresponsible, saw his poll numbers climb to a 15% lead over McCain, according to a Newsweek poll. With his speech, he received a bounce in the polls that was denied to him after he gained the democrat nomination. He also enjoyed the bounce in the polls from Pennsylvania and Ohio.

According to pundits, the reason he lost these states during the primary was because he couldn’t bowl His Father’s Day speech was meant to show white conservative males that he wouldn’t cater to “special interests” groups, blacks in this case. This was the consensus of those who appeared on MSNBC and other opinion venues of the segregated media on 6/16/2008 even the progressive ones. (Segregated? Not quite. The two percent of African Americans who support Bush all seem to have jobs as pundits, columnists and Op-eders). Michael A. Cohen, writing in The New York Times, June 15, 2008, acknowledging Mr. Obama’s Sister Souljah moment wrote “Indeed, just yesterday, Barack Obama had his own mini- “Souljah moment” as he decried the epidemic of fatherlessness and illegitimacy among black Americans. While it is a message that Mr. Obama has voiced before to other black audiences, speaking unpleasant truths about issues afflicting the black community may provide political benefit for a candidate whom some working-class white voters are suspicious of — just as it did for Clinton 16 years ago. ” ( When is Cohen going to air “unpleasant truths about issues afflicting” his community?).

The talking heads also concluded that Obama’s speech before a black congregation in which he scolded black men for being lousy fathers and missing in action from single parent households and being boys, etc. , was cleary aimed at those white male Reagan democrats, who, apparently, in Obama and the media’s eyes, provide the gold standard for fatherhood, which fails to explain why there are millions of destitute white women, “ displaced housewives”and their children whose poverty results from divorce, or why, according to one study, 90% of middle class white women have been battered , or have witnessed their mothers sisters, or daughters being battered. A smug John Harwood of The New York Times said that Obama was telling black men to “shape up. ” As long as men of Mr. Harwood’s class dominate the avenues of expression, who’s going to tell white men to “shape up?”Judging from my reading American men of all races, ethnic groups and classes need to shape up when it comes to the treatment of women.

Blaming black men exclusively for the abuses against women is a more profitable infotainment product. Hypocrisy is also involved. MSNBC host, Joe Scarborough, who welcomed Juan William’s latest demagogic attack on blacks, printed in The Wall Street Journal , still hasn’t addressed the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of his staffer, Lori Klaustis (http://www. whoseflorida. com/lori_klausutis. htm) who was found dead on the floor of his office or why he had to resign abruptly from Congress. And is Juan Williams, whose career has been marred by repeated sexual harassment complaints against him really one to criticize the personal morality of others? Is Bill Cosby?

According to the Census, a woman’s income on the average is reduced by 73% after divorce in a country in which 50% of marriages end in divorce. Moreover the Times revelation, shocking to some, that elderly whites are taking to cocaine and heroin, a genuine epidemic, hasn’t drawn a response from the legions of columnists and commentators and book publishers who profit from any signs of social”dysfunction” among blacks. Nor has Harwood, George Will, David Brooks, Pat Buchanan, who are always scolding blacks for whatever , commented on the rising incarceration rates of white women. Apparently, Lindsay and Paris are not alone, nor are the Barbie bandits.

Don’t expect Obama to bring up this rampant substance abuse before a white congregation. He had to just about whisper about the values of blue-collar whites, those whom he said clung to guns and religion;he was exposed by a woman who recorded his comments, furtively. Even though the media, which rank ratings above facts, continue to criticize him for these remarks and have made them a campaign issue, sixty percent of Pennsylvanians, according to an April 17, Zogby poll, agreed with him. (The media were also wrong to suggest that Hillary got the worst of it from the press during the primary. A Pew study from Harvard contradicts this. )

Predictably, Obama’s verbal flagellation of black men, who don’t have the media power with which to fight back, was cheered on the front page of The New York Times, which places a black face on every story about welfare, domestic violence and unmarried mothers, and uses Orlando Patterson to parrot these attitudes on the Op-ed page, yet a study published by the Times showed a steep decline in the rate of births to unmarried black women over the decade while the rate among Hispanic women has increased, contradicting what Cohen described as an “epidemic of illegitimacy” among blacks. An indication that the Op ed editors at the Times are so willing to believe the folklore perpetrated by such writers as Cohen that they don’t fact check a writer whose assumptions are at odds with the reports from The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that they published on Dec. 6, 2007, and at odds with their token black columnist, Bob Herbert, who said on 6/20/08 that illegitimate births have “skyrocketed” over the decades.

Patterson, Williams and Herbert have to rough up the brothers and sisters from time to time in order to hew the editorial line set by their employers. This was the conclusion of a study (Times, 6/23/08) by Bob Sommer, who teaches public policy communications at Rutgers and John R. Maycroft, a graduate student in public policy. They examined 366 opinion articles published in The Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Star-Ledger. “At each newspaper” they found, ” 90 to 95 percent” of the published article agreed with the editorial page stance on the issue at hand. ”

Moreover, why aren’t Obama and other tough lovers acquainted with a study cited by Michael Eric Dyson in Time magazine, 6, 30, 08? In his Viewpoint piece, The Blame Game, in which he also takes Obama’s blame the victim speech, he refers to research by Boston College social psychologist that found “black fathers not living at home are more likely to keep in contact with their children than fathers of any ethnic or racial group?”

I asked for a correction of both Herbert and Cohen’s assertions and received an automatic reply from the Times. Since the CDC report indicated a higher rate per thousand of births to unmarried Hispanic women, why don’t the legion of politicians like Obama, writers like The Manhattan Institute’s John McWhorter, Fox New’s Juan Williams, Harvard’s talented tenthers, all of whom scold blacks under the guise of tough love, love Hispanics, the country’s largest minority group? No box office appeal? No publishing contracts? No votes from Reagan democrats?

A 2007 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed some alarming statistics. “Latino high school students use drugs and attempt suicide at higher rates than their black and white classmates.” In addition “Latino students were more likely than either blacks or whites to… ride with a driver who had been drinking alcohol, or use cocaine heroin or ectasy. ”

Other studies show that of the 300 gangs located in Los Angeles, over sixty percent of their members are latino. Most of the nation’s drive by shootings occur in Los Angeles. Over fifty percent of the nation’s school dropouts are Hispanic.

It’s been over a month since the 2007 report and I haven’t read a single tough love column about the conclusions. Not even from the handful of Hispanic commentators or syndicated columnists, who, like the Colored Mind Doubles, are restricted about what they say lest they alienate the white viewers or readership by appearing to be angry. I asked Jonathan Capehart, the genteel editorial writer for The Washington Post, whose assignment from MSNBC is to link Rev. Wright to Barack Obama, why he didn’t explore the relationship of Senator Clinton and John McCain to pastors who’ve made outrageous statements? I mentioned McCain’s buddy, the late Rev. Fallwell’s remark that the Anti Christ was a Jew. Capehart answered that this wasn’t the topic.

While white commentators might range over a number of topics, the black commentators have to stick to their assignment lest they appear to be out of control or “angry. ” That’s why the black commentator who spends the most time on camera at MSNBC and elsewhere is Michelle Barnard, president of the far right Independent Women’s forum. She apparently puts the white audience at ease. People For The American Way provides some information about The Independent Women’s Forum at their website:

* The International Women's Forum (IWF) is an anti-feminist women’s organization founded to counter the influence of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and "radical feminists" on society.

* Frequent targets: Title IX funding, affirmative action, the Violence Against Women Act, full integration of women in the military, and those who oppose President Bush’s controversial judicial nominees.

* Opposes the United Nation’s Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

* IWF’s credo/mission: "The Independent Women's Forum provides a voice for American women who believe in individual freedom and personal responsibility. We have made that voice heard in the U. S. Supreme Court, among decision makers [sic] in Washington, and across America's airwaves. It is the voice of reasonable women with important ideas who embrace common sense over divisive ideology."

* IWF was organized in defense of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas during his controversial nomination hearings.

* In the words of Media Transparency, “The Independent Women’s Forum is neither Independent, nor a Forum. Not independent because it is largely funded by the conservative movement. Not a forum because it merely serves up women who mouth the conservative movement party line. " Two other black MSNBC favorites are Ron Christie, former aide to Bush and Cheney and Joe Martin, Republican strategist.

Either Obama and the pundits don’t love Hispanics or there’s more money and political opportunity in exhorting blacks. Racist appeals played a role in the election of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Both Bushes and even Clinton, but there is such euphoria among many African Americans about the possibility of a black presidency that his dumping of a bunch of lazy clichés on them will be forgiven. They will forgive him for throwing them under the bus as he did Rev. Wright, whose criticism of American foreign policy and remarks about the toxic attacks on the inner city were based upon facts. He provided his corporate media critics with a bibliography, but they apparently were too busy paling around with the people whom they cover to read it.

Blacks will overlook Obama’s snubbing of the distinguished panel of black educators politicians and intellectuals who appear on Tavis Smiley’ annual “State of the Black Union, ” and overlook the fact that he found the time to appear before AIPAC where he made belligerent threats against Arab nations and even promised Israel an undivided Jerusalem, he got so carried away, which undercuts a notion held by Maureen Dowd, and Susan Faludi that he is the feminine candidate. When it comes to seeking Jewish votes and putting down black men, in order to obtain votes from white male conservatives, he can become John Wayne.

Finally does anyone doubt that the hypocrisy exhibited by some leaders of the conservative movement in recent years doesn’t trickle down to many of their white working class followers in both states, who are idealized like a Norman Rockwell by talking heads like Hitler apologist Pat Buchanan.

I had a glimpse of these talking heads’ lifestyle when walking toward a restaurant called The Bombay Palace, last May, located across the street from CBS. The street was lined with chauffeurs awaiting the talking heads, who pose as experts on the white working class.

And if many African-Americans agree with John McWhorter that racist attacks on African Americans, including predatory mortgages, racial profiling, capricious traffic stops, racism in the criminal justice system, job and medical discrimination, outlaw drug experiments and the exoneration of police who murder unarmed blacks will end the day after the election of a black president, they’re in for a big letdown. Again.


"a catastrophe worse than Germany in the 1930s."

nonsense mr hunt
if we must play that
europe between the great war's game

we are britain not germany
and china as america i think shows the silliness of forcing this analogy
to go where it don't belong

I didn't know Karp was excerpted on TWT. He's possibly the most overlooked analyst of American politics, and certainly one of the best.

Al Schumann:

I re-read him recently, prompted by one of your comments, as it happens, and completely agree with you.

A while back, I put together a list http://skookumgeoduck.blogspot.com/2005/06/recommended-reading.html of Karp's intellectual peers.


karp was the perfect harper's house pinko
which gives him a leg up on
the nation's imported house pinko
alex cockburn

he had an earnestness and home bred sense of indignation
louche mr C lacks
i doubt he saw himself as a pet gad
or a kept pit viper

a hissing srepent
that is non the less
suitable for handling
by show off editors

so i respect him greatly
as i respect his editor

can we still learn at his knee ???

u all answer that one

being a calcified remnant
i can't

Al Schumann:

Interesting question. I like it and yes, I think we can. In fact, the older and more idiosyncratic the analyses the better. The distance in time and the differences in style from the immediately contemporary lets me put more into the reading.


super Al

"The distance in time and the differences in style from the immediately contemporary...."

couldn't agree more
but for me its more like
a comforting yule log
if i could but chip the calculus
off my yellowed fangs

Thanks so much [upthread, Jay Taber] to the link to a gathering of Karp. I miss him, he gave me most of my political education... back when Harper's was worth a lot more than it is now.


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