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Another one bites the dust...

By Owen Paine on Monday January 25, 2010 10:26 PM

Thus a sorta well-known former blogger, whom I think Owen used to read, on one of my lefty mailing lists:

Just heard my ex-colleague Jared on Rachel Maddow defending the proposed Obama spending freeze. I felt like I was fixin to die.

It won't balance two dead flies on the scale of eternity, but I am officially off the Obama bus. I am sorry I ever said a good word about him. I will be putting my two cents onto TPM Café. It's about all I can do.

It tickled me that's going to loose the fateful lightning of TPM Cafe. Admittedly, its a bigger site than this one, but it still seemed funny to me, somehow. A cat can laugh at a king, to mash-up two old proverbs.

The "Jared" that my mailing-list comrade is talking about is, of course, Jared Bernstein:

I love the way Maddow keeps yammering about "responsible economists." If you ask me, they're all responsible.

Comments (16)


this spending freeze is just brutal.

That's Krugman, Thoma, DeLong, and who knows how many others off the bus


I love how Bernstein keeps yammering about the middle class. It's like the rest of the country doesn't exist.

Phillip Allen:

This 'middle class' does not itself exist. The term is an incantation that spreads an illusory scrim over actual class structures. Similar terms of deception are 'homeland' and 'national interest'. For courtiers like Bernstein, the concern trolling on behalf of the 'middle class' is just smearing petroleum jelly on the lenses so the proles won't see the details of their lives being made sausage for the plates of their masters.


btw i didn't author the frame to this excurpt or suggest it's selection
father has brought us this
borsch belt apostasy
by saint max

to me
senor allen
"middle class " is a perfectly servicable word
used in contrast to a narrower label middle income
and a more precise label like wage earners
but hardly a scrim like national interest
or a low voltage misty eyed jingo word
like homeland

"proles "on the other hand
has a certain lather cap pinko smell to it
for use during regular commuting hours

as to this poliicy turn
it adds zero
to the obfuscation process
making sausage out of "proles" ??

one might call that a tad hyperbolic

and this "cut"
after all is itself
but a fart in a wind storm
25 bills in year one ??...please

my guess it's an old scam
now deeply out of keeping
with the rush of events
ie post
the lightening flash
we know as the scotty brown hour

i don't take it seriously at all
it got to go public before the state of the unich address
prolly cause it will add to the "luster"
and boldness of turn
embedded in whatever cranked up
jobs initiative obs has to announce

next morning lede:

less then a week after the white house released a plan to cut domestic expenditures
the president in dramatic fashion has reversed direction and tackled the jobs stagnation head on .....blah blah blah

the lion must roar ...ready or not..
coward or not


"and this "cut"
after all is itself
but a fart in a wind storm
25 bills in year one ??...please


i don't take it seriously at all "

Sounds about right. The thing I find amazing is that it doesn't appeal to anyone. Is there any sort of political advantage to be gained by these bush league antics, or is the WH really just stupid? It's spitting in the eyes of the pwog base, and on the other side it's viewed as a worthless stunt. I hope you are right that it is setting the stage for a bold shift, but more and more it seems like the White House and the dems are totally incompetent.

Al Schumann:

Bob, you make a very good point. I too have strong doubts about even a public relations driven CYA meliorist attempt. I risk becoming tedious with this, but there's a bone-deep mediocrity to be considered. The elected officials climb the kiss-up kick-down ladder. They select for marketing ability in that effort. Those are their defining characteristics. Some of their fuck-ups can be partially salvaged at an administrative level by the civil service, courts and quangos. But even when they pursue their own bread and butter agenda, they're arrogant paranoid hacks.

The overall effort is 100 percent a marketing op. They are going to try to repackage Zero. Plouffe is coming back to try to coordinate it.

Big problem, though, is that now people have experienced the actual product, and know the box is empty at best. Hence, there will be no more efforts to trick the great mass dangling off the left end of the voting population. They are going to target "the swing voters" and lose all the talk about change. This will be a leap farther to the right, contra Cockburn. For show, they may fire one or two advisers, but they will be replaced with equivalents.

Whole thing can't and won't work, of course.

Well, having come from a classic 60s/70s "middle class" background, I can tell you from experience that it harbors some of the most selfish, greedy and ignorant people in the whole population. You wouldn't believe the whining and bitching that went on at civic assocation meetings (my Dad was Prez of our local CA for a couple of years in the '70s) about how bad they had it, and how tough it was making ends meet, after which the next order of business was to bitch and whine about all the poor people that'll be living in the low-income housing going up in the next town over, and then adjourn to go home and pretend that they're rich. Everytime I hear one of these doorknobs on TV invoking the Middle Class™, I roll my eyes up so hard that I sprain the little muscles that control my eye movements. Middle Class, p'ah; it's like they're friggin' holy to the goddamn' politicians and wonks: "The poor? Who the hell are they? A bunch of dumb niggers who don't vote? Fuck 'em."

I sorta kinda bought into that whole mythology for a while until Iraq War 1.0 rolled around, and I suddenly saw the Middle Class™ with yellow ribbons on their SUVs and their filthy, bloody imperialist hearts on their sleeves.

Y'know what other catch phrase bugs the shit out of me? "Working Families". What the hell is that supposed to mean -- families in which pretty much everybody who can is working so they all aren't thrown out into the street? Is it some meaningless hacked-together phrase designed to appeal to old-skool trade-union types and "values voters" (the "Families" part)? My theoretical money is on the latter.

Every time I hear some Donkeycratic Party hack use the phrase "Working Families" on TV or in the op-ed pages, I want to beat the living shit out of them just for not bothering to have an original thought in their lives, never mind pushing an idea that totally leaves out single people who, while not raising families, are also "working" and who also have rent and heating bills to pay and who are also being fucked until their assholes bleed.

Actually, y'know what else...? I really like the look frozen on Maddow's face in the "poster frame" of the embedded video. She's like, "c'mon, gimme a kiss, you great big gorgeous hunk of Progressive, you know you're loving this abuse! Come here and kiss your Mistress!"

...and anyone who actually saw this interview will know what I mean about abuse.

"Middle class" is how these corporate politicians talk about class without talking about class. It allows them to exploit class anger and fear without questioning that all "Americans" are really in the same general situation, with the exception of the underclass, which simply refuses to participate in opportunity.

The only class worth talking about is the overclass, which owns the rest of us and dictates what we will and won't be able to do. It's also the only class that's unmentionable in corporate media and politics.

op --

If you ask me, they're all responsible.


Michael Hureaux:

I don't listen to anything they say anymore. Haiti was the last of the last straws. Even now, they can't stop being shits. Who wants to listen to them?


The ritual invocation of the middle class is simply Obamaspeak for, "someone is going to get reamed, but don't worry, it won't be anyone that matters."


swinging families

'The ritual invocation of the middle class is simply Obamaspeak for, "someone is going to get reamed, but don't worry, it won't be anyone that matters"'

That is true, but what continues to amaze me is that the people getting reamed in this country never realize who's doing the reaming. Oh yeah, they *know* they're getting reamed, but they couldn't tell you who's fucking them in the ass. It's the Republicans one election, the Democrats the next...

And they never catch on.


to extent def hawks force real neolib austerity upon 'middle class',
we could very well have a few social explosions.
... and then

and then the line becomes truly clear

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