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20101008

Meanwhile in Washington...




More here, from America's Finest News Source.

21 comments:

  1. So happy you are posting this material, Nausicaa. Tea Partiers say this election is THE turning point for the United States. I think they're correct in that assessment, and I certainly don't see the organization necessary, as yet, to confront the horrible possibilities of their victory.

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  2. Hi there, hi there, hi there!

    Welcome home, Jazz! Great to have you back; everyone else here is so stuffy! They just don't know how to have fun, the great bunch of stiffs. Imagine that; I had been promoting this great product, I believed to be a most innovative solution for progressive thinkers, and they, the great bunch of stiffs, told me it was politically incorrect on the ground that there was an election coming up and that by focusing on the Dems' behavior the product gave the message that Dems can somehow prevent being victimized and if they don't it's somehow their fault.

    According to them, the date rape drug test is a red herring. They say the test is very simplistic and gives the false hope that Dems walking into Congress with this in their pocket will know if their drinks have been spiked. It's a good point; The Onion has it right: the truth of the matter is that K street itself---not Congress---is the most commonly used place where Dems are taken advantage of.

    Did you know that 70 per cent of Dems are assaulted by lobbyists they know?

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  3. I hate those "fringe" groups. All those imposing, aggressive "special interests."

    Like women.

    Blacks.

    Workers.

    Minorities.

    All those selfish groups trying to get their way and improve their lives. Who do they think they are anyway?

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  4. Then reading the comments I see pretentious self righteousness still has a place in the ether of our hi tech consciousness.

    Apropos of nothing........

    Look. You want to kick the bums out? Fine. Kick the bums out. But let's at least be discriminating. We want to keep those who might change things for the better - experienced, savvy pols with years of seniority - to remain. And to bolster their clout with some new fresh blood. For everything depends on votes. Get enough votes and you can even overcome corporate interests. For no pol will buck the power and majority interests (regarding jobs, etc.) in his own district or state.

    Elementary you say? Not to that segment of the American people who believe it's time to get rid of the Washington insiders. No matter what they're replaced with. Even if this route has often been taken before, bringing in, inevitably, worse bums than the ones we had before.

    Okay, I'm wasting your time with this. But I've known the hard left and have crossed paths with them before including the SWP types who had an office by the UC Berkeley campus who glowered ruefully at all the unenlightened squares passing by who couldn't see what a utopia their splinter brand of Marxism could bring the world. They weren't too different from doctrinaire Communists for that matter. Since ameba-like the CP kept splintering and forming up anew. Always developing a new unalterable orthodoxy. Which is why they kept splintering.

    Marx had his value and may justly be called the best friend working men ever had. But his solution was coo coo. And his followers turned out to be far worse, even if, to justify their point a view, a worldwide emergency was underway. For Capitalism is indeed greedy and voracious. A monster to be tamed.

    But the CP turned out finally to be nothing more than a pain in the ass. Read Richard Wright's wonderful book, 'American Hunger,' to see how foolish, brutal, and deluded the CPUSA could be. Though true enough, at times the CP (which in its own way was most PC) was the only game in town.

    I just grabbed this opportunity to sound off on nothing in particular. So please don't think any of this was meant to be related to anything above. I'm taking advantage of your curiosity, benevolence, patience, or thought processes in general to get this done. That is if you are reading, which you obviously are if you are reading this.

    I just don't like expressions of gratuitous self righteous nastiness.

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  5. Are you saying Dorothy Gale is a commie?

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  6. Like Duh, obviously!

    The red slippers are a dead give away. Read L. Frank Baum's book, 'The Wonderful Wizard of OZ' and you'll see how the whole narrative was nothing but a Communist propaganda piece to corrupt the minds of our children.

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  7. Robert Gibbs did warn us about the "professional left." And so did Glenn beck.

    Check this out:

    Dorothy's journey in her red slippers along the "yellow brick road" (representing the spread of communism throughout the Asian nations at the end of World War II). On her march through the fictional nation of Munchkin land (Lenin, Stalin, MUNCHkin, representing the progression of communist thought), she is accompanied by the Tin Man (industrialization) who needs a heart (the people's passionate participation), the Lion (a strong military) searching for courage (namely the courage to confront the western powers head on), and the Scarecrow (agricultural revolution), who is in need of a brain (political enlightenment).

    Well, they reach Emerald City (emerald symbolizing the vanity of capitalism), a mockery of capitalist "utopia" with endless skyscrapers and seemingly limitless wealth. They encounter the Wizard, the soul of capitalism. He is far less powerful than his reputation suggests. In fact, he is pathetic, a mere master of illusion. Such, the film suggests, is the nature of capitalism: paper tigers and phantom wealth. The most important line uttered by the Wizard is that the group should "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"-- the IRON curtain! Pay no attention to the West! The implication here is that communist nations should not attempt to emulate the west but rather focus their efforts within their own boundaries and wait for the west to emulate them. The group leaves in the knowledge that they already had what they were looking for. All they needed was to see how short-armed those in power really are in order to realize their own potential.

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  8. Speaking of which....

    Of what?

    Expressions.....

    Oh that. Forget it.

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  9. Look, sweetheart, it was an aimless rant. A verbal rope the dope. A gratuitous lob of a live hand grenade into the rough to see what it would flush out. The "professional left" indeed!

    Why is it so hard to explain that simple phrase? To put it simply it erects a hard wall between a practical real view and the rigid dogmas of a minority of so-called progressives. In the heartland they are probably still seen as big city coffee house devotees smoking cigarette after cigarette and discussing Sartre and other pointy intellectual themes. Weirdos, in other words. UnAmerican malcontents who in their antisocial way think they're superior to the rest of us. A new version of the constipated PC. That's all "professional left" means. It’s a put down, a condescending pejorative. And use of the term indicates there's no negotiating with such people. And that polite and reasonable society has nothing to do with them.

    Now, if I may crawl out from under my table, where I passed out a while ago, and slowly but gracefully slid onto the floor, where I have comfortably slept for the past hour or two, allow me to say that, yes, I too am a member of the "looney left." Were I not I would not be hastily scribbling away this way. I would not be offering a simple dissection of a term which has befuddled the professional punditocracy. (Yes, I watch television. And surely am impure! But what other thread unites the country in its overall vision of itself? See! I have an intellectual rationalization for watching TV! And claim not to be an addict!)

    So be it. Some of my best friends are commies. Well, not always. A colleague in the library I once worked in was SWP. We both worked together to oppose some idiocies our administration attempted to impose upon the public and she soon saw me as a ripe candidate for conversion. After all, my father had fought the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War. Frankly, I would prefer to keep my independence. And weave my own truth, such as it is, out of the whole cloth. For you would admit, wouldn't you, that dogma is the enemy of truth?

    What's sad about going after former American members of the CPUSA is that most of them actually meant well. They were struggling for a distant ideal which, in the US, at least, was crushed by an overwhelming political and social machine. And when they were finally forced to recognize Stalin's crimes in the fifties they were crushed yet once again. Today we live with the consequences: that being a respectable looney right riding high upon a fantastic and vulgar veneer of falsehoods and fantasies which could easily be rationally punctured. But our vision of ourselves (meaning the national mythology) prevents that rightwing from ever doing so.

    Stop them fingers boy you're tap dancing your way up and down the keyboard and ya gotta keep a ;hand free to grab a drink. So enough! But what the hell. This was kind of fun.

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  10. Elementary, my dear Quinty, elementary:

    History 101:
    "The criticisms from the Right formed part of a larger attempt to use the fight against totalitarianism—one of the great moral causes of the last century—for partisan gain. Liberals and non-Communist socialists of that era were among the most perceptive, determined, and honorable opponents of Communism. But, as Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon proved, tarring liberals with the pro-Communist brush was a sure-fire recipe for political success."

    This line of disparagement continues on the American Right today as the stock-in-trade of pundits too numerous (and unpleasant) to name. It resurfaced with renewed virulence during the last presidential campaign with signs reading "Obama = Stalin = Hitler". For those who crave certainty, simplicity, and uniformity and who treasure the conviction of their own righteousness, this kind of aspersion has its uses and has served by the past to demean liberal activists and belittle any honest criticism of policies of various administrations in office (including the invasion of Iraq under Bush Jr.'s administration).

    It just does come as a bit of a surprise when, as Sam Yougman (of the Hill newspaper) described it, the press secretary of the Obama administration dismisses the "professional left" in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right.

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  11. And, ah, for the grammarians amongst us (here is what should appeal to jazzolog's sensibility):

    In his interview with Rolling Stones magazine, Obama said "it is inexcusable for any Democrats or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election."

    What do you suppose is the meaning of "or" in this context? Are we looking at an inclusive disjunction here? Or did Obama mean it as an exclusive disjunction?

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  12. Yeah, use of that phrase from within the O administration was a bit of peevishness which made them (the White House) look bad. That ranting "professional left" touched an inside nerve which the WH would like to explain as rightful exasperation. Instead it made them look ugly. And there has been no answer so far to the “professional left’s” many concerns: what happened to single payer, clean energy, Guantanimo, torture, etc. etc. And let’s not leave out the folly in Afghanistan.

    So?

    Look, what we need is Christine O'Donnell to go in there (the White House) and with her broom to clean things up. Not to be smug, or arrogant or self righteous that's what we need? None of this snide holier than thou stuff.

    Christine could slaughter a sacrificial pigeon in the Lincoln Bedroom or the Oval Office’s fireplace and pull the entrails out, tell us the future. Fix everything up. Just as the majestic specters of yesteryear would have it. Christine is in touch.

    So?

    Elementary, to be sure. Elementary.

    Regarding grammatical matters: I think the meaning of "is" is more important than the meaning of "or," which was employed here in a benign manner. When picking through a sacrificial pigeon's guts we should watch out what we pull out. Some of it may be fecal matter.

    But I'm becoming smug and arrogant again. I should know better. No fool like an old fool. And with that I will admit you win. Easy enough.

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  13. Oh, regarding the German CP. Gotta talk about that. Why yes, ol’ Uncle Joe ordered his CP to go after the Socialists instead of the Nazis. How many angels can dance on the head of a Marxist pin? Same thing. The commies could indeed be a pain in the ass, constantly interfering, manipulating, attempting to gain power where they were not wanted. In Spain that happened too. My father, a Socialist - member of the PSOE - had to constantly deal the Communists’ interference during the war. But Negrin would have gone down on ol’ Uncle Joe and asked for more to save the Republic. The situation was desperate. Guns, not exhilarating songs, win wars. The Republic had the songs. The fascists had the guns. This gets complicated and a little beyond the focus of our discussion.. So let’s leave it there.

    Enjoy your evening. Now where’s my beer. Or was it cognac? It’s dark in here. Time to get thoroughly soused.

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  14. Totally off topic, with apologies to our excellent hostess at this table, but has anyone seen Glenn Greenwald's recent article yet about the election funding controversy?

    When Howard Dean was the 2004 Democratic front-runner, a new group abruptly popped up -- calling itself "Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values" -- and, shortly before the Iowa primary, began running an extremely ugly anti-Dean TV ad campaign, featuring images of Osama bin Laden, along with ominous claims that Howard Dean would fail to Keep Us Safe, that he could not "compete with George Bush on foreign policy." (This was the ad: link) The Dean campaign was furious that fellow Democrats would run an ad like this that so obviously relied on (and reinforced) core Rovian, fear-mongering attacks, but more so, they were absolutely incensed that nobody knew who had funded this group, of which the very same Robert Gibbs, having supposedly just left his position as press secretary with the Kerry campaign, was the spokesman.
    (...)
    When Obama chose Gibbs to be his campaign spokesman, Jerome Armstrong -- who had worked on the Dean campaign -- was outraged precisely because of Gibbs' involvement in this ad. He argued (presciently, one could say) that Obama's affection for someone who would be responsible for such a covert, right-wing-replicating, fear-mongering Rovian attack ad against a progressive candidate reflected what type of politician Obama was.

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  15. Apologies not necessary, guys! The conversation has been wandering off topic quite a few comments ago already. We are totally casual here…

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  16. Think I will toddle off, now :-)

    Take care all.

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  17. If I remember correctly Kerry was finally anointed by the "establishment." The mass media decided Dean wasn't qualified and ridiculed him. I never saw anything quite like it. And in just a matter of a few weeks he completely sank.

    In the meantime, unless I'm mistaken, Dean proved himself to be quite intelligent and competent as leader of the party. Inventively coming up with new methods to get the vote out, understanding the situation.

    What's more, Dean was right about the war, which is why so many of us supported him. (I did.) But after being worked over by the media, ridiculed, even a Bozo the Clown like Bush would have acquired some added gravitas in the public eye. And the theme of the campaign would have been Dean was immanently unqualified. That unfortunate scream would have followed him throughout the campaign, demonstrating he was just another looney pie in the sky liberal. And that we could count on Bush to "keep us safe" from the terrorists.

    So who was screwed? We were screwed.

    And how are we going to get ourselves out of this mess?

    By voting the bums out. And replacing them with even bigger bums.

    Attaway to go America!!

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  18. Nausicaa, is it safe now to ask you to dance?
    Quinty plays a mean concertina, should he still be flopped over in the corner.

    Afterwards we can take off all our clothes and march through the streets waving red flags. Quinty & Jeremiah, you guys wanna come too?

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  19. But, but, but Jazz... think of your good name. How is Athens City School going to react to all this when they see the Nine O'clock News?

    Imagine what your name on Glenn Beck's blackboard would look like...!

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