The Party of the Rich Versus the Party of the Super Duper Rich

This interview does a pretty good a job of illustrating the fundamentally conservative nature of liberalism (as represented by the donkey party) in this country, while at the same time attempting to portray conservatives (as represented by the elephant party) as a bunch of out-of-touch rich guys.  Excuse me, did I say “rich”?  I meant “very rich.”  No, scratch that: “super rich.”  Ah, fuck it, what I really mean is “very, very rich.”

Here, at least, is a mildly refreshing bit of honesty:

I’ve heard from people who worked in the White House that he doesn’t like rich people. I don’t actually think it’s true. I think he has a kind of Harvard Law School sense of kinship with these guys. He’s a member of the same technocratic elite. He could have taken that path. He has an admiration for those skills. But what he doesn’t have at all is a belief that the pure fact of having made a lot of money makes your views more valuable, or makes you more interesting or smarter than anyone else.

So what we have here is an exercise in hairsplitting, in which a distinction is being made between two subsets of the “technocratic elite”: straight-up businessmen and those who come from essentially the same background but who choose, instead of merely making money, to pursue more selfless, civic-minded endeavors, such as running for the job where you get to have kill lists and a fleet of lethal remote control airplanes for your own personal amusement.

This notion that there’s some great antagonism between Obama and the big money people is yet another iteration of the classic fairy tale about how the Democrats are the party of the little guy and the Republicans the party of Wall Street.  Except it seems to be losing traction.  Even a hack like Ezra Klein doesn’t really seem to believe it, as demonstrated by all the effort to impress upon us that Romney’s backers were more wealthy than Obama’s.  Who gives a shit?  If Obama and the Democrats were really perceived as a threat to the bankers, they would have been out collecting ballot access signatures with the Constitution Party instead of cruising to a second term.

Vote for Sale

One good thing about it being election day is that there won’t be any more robo-calls from Ann Romney or the super-PACs, or any more Obamanoid canvassers knocking on my door to make sure I know where my polling place is.  I noticed that most of these were targeted specifically at me, and I can only assume that it’s because I’m a registered independent and therefore, in theory, my vote is up for grabs.  So since my vote is apparently such a sought-after commodity, I’m thinking that maybe I should consider taking monetary offers.  Not bribes, really.  More like donations, or, even better, “contributions.”  Of course both campaigns are welcome to contribute, so I can’t make any promises.  All I’ll say is that your generosity, or lack thereof, may be taken into consideration when I’m inside the booth (if I bother to go, that is).  Some come on by.  I’ll be accepting checks or money orders right up until the polls close this evening.  Remember, freedom isn’t free.

United States: The US and Israel

I didn’t waste my time watching the foreign policy “debate,” but I caught a recap on RT last night.  They edited a bunch of clips together of Obromney and Rombama heartily agreeing with each other.  In one segment Obama was smiling as Romney fell all over himself in an attempt to demonstrate his approval of one of the president’s war-mongering policies.  I was waiting for Obama to say, “You know, Mitt, I kinda like you.  You’re not nearly as much of a douche as my supporters say you are.  I have an idea.  Why don’t we quit all this pointless debating [big air quotes around that last word] and work together?  I have a cabinet position that I’m sure you’d love…”

In a similar vein, here’s Raimondo on how the debate was more like a contest to see who loves Israel more.  I used to think the idea that Israel has too much influence on Washington was just an obsession among Alex Jones listeners and other fringe types always on the lookout for threats to “our democracy” or “our sovereignty,” depending on whether they were coming from the “left” or “right,” but at this point you’d have to be deaf and blind not to notice that demonstrating fealty to Israel has become all but an official qualification for any serious white house aspirant.

Cigar Store Candidate

Been trying to avoid the RNC as much as possible, but I can’t help noticing that the Romney camp is anxious that their candidate is coming across as a bit of a stiff on the TV.  The other night I caught a clip of Mitt’s wife assuring us that one of his defining characteristics is his sense of humor.  I’m sure he’s a riot in person, but something tells me the “who would you rather have a beer with” contest has already gone to Obama.  Ol’ Mitty is the Republicans’ answer to John Kerry.

In that vein, this morning I caught some conservative talk radio host bemoaning this whole emphasis on personality.  He said (paraphrasing), “What’s it matter if Romney is wooden.  The only thing that should matter is whether he’s competent for the job.  We’ve seen what Obama’s done.  He’s destroyed America…”  This was followed by some guttural noises and gnashing of teeth, then the signal went dead.

I guess you go to “competence” when you know you have a dud on your hands, because of all the meaningless ideas crapped out during these ridiculous campaigns, the notion that we’re looking for a “competent leader” or “the most qualified candidate” has got to be the worst.  The president’s job is to do things like sign the checks when Wall Street comes asking for a bailout and order the troops to invade or bomb whatever country is next on the foreign policy establishment’s list of intolerable threats to freedom.  He doesn’t need to be competent.  He just has to be compliant.

Transparently Full of Shit

The newly formed congressional supercommittee’s 12 members are charged with finding more than $1 trillion in budget savings this fall. Their clout could attract more campaign contributions, and lawmakers are demanding greater accountability for the money the panel’s members take in.  [emph mine]

NPR

Nah, you think?

Good thing, then, that we have men of high principle on this supercommittee, such as The Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz (or is it The Tin Man?):

Earlier this week, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) told the Boston Globe he’d decided not to do any fundraising while he serves on the supercommittee. However, possibly out of deference to colleagues who do plan to raise funds, Kerry downplayed his decision when asked about it.

“I think that too much is being made out of that. People are doing business here in the United States Senate all the time,” he says, “and unfortunately, because of the nature of politics, they have to raise money too. So I’m not going to get into that discussion.”

Too bad he’s not in a position to do anything about “the nature of politics”—you know, like a position of power or something.  And I guess we’re supposed to believe that Kerry is taking the high road by refusing to do any fundraising.  That’s because he’s not going to need to—his mere presence on that supercommittee will be all the fundraising he needs.  Notice he didn’t say “refuse to accept any funds.”

YeeeeeeeeHawwwww!!

In case you haven’t heard, some guy named Rick Perry, who looks like Mitt Romney’s country fried half-cousin, has entered the race for the GOP presidential nomination, and apparently he’s even more of a “know-nothing” than George W. Bush and Michelle Bachmann!  Since when is knowing something a prerequisite for being president?  That’s what they hire advisors for.*  I mean, what does Barack Obama “know,” other than how to give a speech that sounds vaguely like some civil rights leader from back when and how to make self-satisfied liberals feel even better about themselves than they already do?  The only difference is that Rick Perry has to pander to religious yahoos, global warming heretics, and people who are skeptical of the diktats coming from Chairman Ben over at the Fed, instead of the Whole Foods set.  He knows all he needs to know.  As for how he would govern in the event that he somehow manages to bamboozle his way into the white house, I imagine it wouldn’t be much different than the way his predecessor did.

(*Phil Giraldi at Antiwar.com has a piece that also compares Perry to Bush, and also portrays Perry as a know-nothing—in this case, somebody who knows nothing about foreign policy and who is, therefore, an easy mark for those wily neocons who are grooming him so that in case he gets elected president he’ll be ready to…continue running U.S. foreign policy as it’s been run for the last, I don’t know, 40 years or so.  Again, I’m not sure what knowledge has to do with anything here.)

Delusion

I had a nice laugh this morning when I pulled up behind a silver SUV and saw a bumper sticker on the back of it that read: “DEMOCRATS – Change that matters.”  I saw another one of these over the weekend (though I was too far away to read the second line, which is in smaller, lighter print–a hint of shame maybe?).  Must be the latest slogan for the upcoming WWE Donkey vs. Elephant smackdown.

The Human Rights Hoax

Every time a US president visits his Chinese counterpart, or vice versa, there’s always the same tired chatter in the media about “human rights,” as in: “President Red White & Blue is expected to give a stern talking-to to President Red over his country’s human rights violations.”  Alas, this time is no different:

The formal White House arrival ceremony – the 21-gun salute is reserved solely for visiting heads of state — was a display of pomp and circumstance that stood in stark contrast with the tough rhetoric the Obama administration is employing in its relationship with China on issues from trade to currency and human rights.

And indeed, Mr. Obama did not entirely abandon that rhetoric Wednesday morning. After promoting the virtues of Chinese and American cooperation, the president – the 2009 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize – used the ceremony to deliver a gentle reminder to China, which is holding the 2010 winner of the prize, Liu Xiaobo, as a political prisoner.

“We also know this,’’ the president said: “History shows that societies are more harmonious, nations are more successful and the world is more just when the rights and responsibilities of all nations and all people are upheld, including the universal rights of every human being.’’

Ooh, boy.  Watch out for that “tough rhetoric”!  Of course, Hu could just as well have lectured Obama, and Shrub before him, about the human rights violations committed around the world by the United States on a daily basis, otherwise known as US foreign policy, but apparently Chinese politicians don’t have quite the same appetite for hypocrisy that American ones do.  Not to mention that if Obama were really concerned about “the universal rights of every human being,” he might give a little shout-out to, in addition to the political prisoner du jour, the virtual slaves who toil their lives away in Chinese factories so Americans can stay awash in cheap consumer goods.

Rudy Never Fails

We hear them sayin’
Now first you must cure your temper
Then you find a job in the paper
You need someone for a saviour
Oh, Rudie can’t fail

Rudy thinks it should be easier to involuntarily commit somebody who’s exhibiting “bizarre” or “frightening” behavior.  I have to say, I agree.  I hereby submit that Rudy Giuliani be taken to the nearest psychiatric hospital for an “appraisal.”  I mean, look at the fucker:

American Politics 101

The political establishment, helped by the mass media and intelligentsia, has long played a game in this country. It consists in depicting the competition for power as between two blocs: one hostile to business in the name of social justice, the other friendly to business in the name of “the free market.” Each bloc’s talking points and pet projects are calculated in superficial ways to reinforce its signature theme. Whenever the blocs need to rally their respective bases, they accentuate their surface differences. The “antibusiness” bloc accuses its opponents of being, say, Wall Street lackeys, while the “pro-free-enterprise” bloc accuses its opponents of being, say, socialists.

It’s all a sham that serves each side’s interests. The rivals actually want two variations of the same thing: the corporate state, a system of economic privilege that transfers wealth via government from market entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers to well-connected business interests.

Sheldon Richman, The Freeman

The rest here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.