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January 21, 2010


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May I suggest a couple of initiatives, one technical, one policy?

1. Every dollar a corpse gives to a political campaign is to be matched by $2 given to a general philanthropic fund for feeding, clothing and housing US (former, now fictitious) citizens.

2. No cash allowed in corporate campaign giving. Only some specie that can provide instant transparency - i.e., at the moment of transfer the giver, receiver, amount, locus of the wealth, and reason for giving instantaneously appear on all USian TVs during American Idol. A cheaper alternative might require the new specie to smell like sick whale breath.

Phil Cubeta

Well, if all goes as it should, television will remain free, ad supported like Google, but free. Corporate support for politicians means that our governance is free.


There will always be TV. Individual families may not be able to own one and afford cable, but giant outdoor public screens - you know, like Orwell's - are ready for deployment. It'll give a more fun community feel to things.

Jon Husband

We don't, can't, won't assert our rights in mounting protests, and now we pay the price that disorganized patsies always play when concentrated power takes their measure.

Too long to tweet, therefore it doesn't really matter. I saw several links to one of the SCTUS judges' dissent, but history has already washed over it.

Check with MasterCard ... freedom is priceless, but you can still buy the experience.

Phil Cubeta

Unrest comes from the tea-baggers. To stir that up only takes money. Grassroots: Hollister, for example. An educated populace is the key to a democracy beyond demogoguery. We get dumber, it seems, day by day.


"disorganized patsies" = balkanized, ignorant, i.e., TV viewers. The era c. 1948 - now is the era of the illusion of televised community. We thought we were sharing a moment. We were, though, voyeurs of non-moments; fictional Gilligan's Isles filled with Gullibles.


ERIC ALTERMAN: But Melissa, you know what? I mean, you're absolutely right. But they didn't do it either. They had the Organize for America. They had 13 million emails. And they don't want a Democratic Tea Party. They don't want an outside-

BILL MOYERS: Who doesn't?

ERIC ALTERMAN: The White House.

BILL MOYERS: Does not want an activist revolution on its left?

ERIC ALTERMAN: All they do is send out an occasional email saying "Don't feel bad. Give us another $50."

MELISSA HARRIS-LACEWELL: Yeah, that might be the Rahm Emanuel of it all.

ERIC ALTERMAN: They don't want the difficulty of having a movement they can't control. That's why to got rid of Howard Dean. So, to some degree — I mean, you're right. We should have done it without them. But they could have been an enormous help. They made a conscious choice not to build that organization into an independent organization that could pressure Democrats. That's what they were afraid of. It wasn't going to cost Barack Obama himself — people still love Obama. But it's Democrats like, you know, they don't want you going after Charlie Rangel. I mean, if anybody should be gone after it should be Charlie Rangel. My congressman.



You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.
-Rahm Emanuel, Nov 21 2008


Harris-Lacewell: "Yeah, that might be the Rahm Emanuel of it all."


After issuing caution, Klein offered the Loyola audience cause for optimism and a few possible solutions to the current shock doctrine policies. The author's democracy-reclamation project begins with campaign finance reform. She framed the current economic atmosphere as a dichotomy of people power versus the corporate lobby, with the business set holding a stated advantage until election financing is made more equitable.
Klein closed an excellent speech with a deeply relevant anecdote harking back to the New Deal era. President Franklin Roosevelt was well known for maintaining a dialogue with the electorate. At town-hall style meetings, Roosevelt would hear his political base's calls for change and challenge them to "go out and make me do it" - effectively admonishing the public to force his hand on policy.

Klein positioned President Obama as an executive caught in a tug-o-war between corporate and democratic interests, and one who needs to be pushed as FDR was. She stated that, "one scandal at a time, government has failed to extract any kind of meaningful reform." She's hopeful that the American public can remove government from its current position as a "corporate valet."

-re Naomi Klein speech, Jan 29 2009


Jon Husband

Supreme Court: Moloch Unchained"

Phil Cubeta

From the link via TM above:

"Beware. The elite are coming to the realization that the Supreme Court’s decision is just the ticket. Officeholders see a new source of cash. Consultants, who work for candidates and corporations, are getting teary eyed at their potential windfalls. Pundits work for corporations. So do journalists.

The Court’s decision repudiates the Framers and the principle of free speech. It is a kind of ultimate empowerment of Moloch that spits in the face of humanity’s ancient search for liberation and equality.

Only a full-bodied revolt from Americans of all political stripes will undo what the court has done. Small, incremental legislative solutions should be pursued, but it will take a constitutional amendment or a new Supreme Court majority to reverse this awful ruling.

Sing, America, like it is our last song."

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