Saturday, June 30, 2018

Big Surprise! Reactionaries Don't Like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


Odd how the establishment is perfectly fine with this, but rails hysterically against Ocasio

The attacks against Alexandria Ocasio are coming in hot and heavy from a very freaked out establishment worried that their power is being challenged my someone with two much color, two few years, two little fealty to "the system" and too wedded to ideas that, if enacted, would do far more than Trump even meant about draining any swamps. And yesterday, straight from an especially vile swamp, reappears Lloyd Green, an especially repulsive opposition research slime bag from George HW Bush’s 1988 campaign. Green was always a Lee Atwater wannabe. Green was part of the team that portrayed George Dukakis as an out-of-touch liberal elite. Green and his team put together the infamous and disgustingly racist Willie Horton ad. And now Green is back, helping lead the change against Alexandria.

Desperate to fill up space, The Hill gave some of it to this especially unsavory swamp creature-- and without even mentioning the Willie Horton ad-- to soak its readers in his crocodile tears. "Democrats," he wrote, "can kiss swing voters bye with progressive candidates." He then proceeds to join establishment hacks from both parties in attacking Alexandria. He was certainly right about one thing: her ability to defeat the most corrupt Democrat in the House, Wall Street puppet Joe Crowley was a "convulsion." He described her as "an unvarnished leftist. Think of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, just younger and ungrizzled, and she does not bother to hide it." No she doesn't. Perhaps Green should ask himself why polls consistently show that Bernie Sanders is the single most beloved political leader in America while showing the Mitch McConnell is the most loathed.

"Clintonian neo-liberalism and triangulation just got belted with a left hook to the jaw," he wrote, "and the national party’s poohbahs are looking dazed and confused." Is there anyone other than "the national party’s poohbahs" and the Beltway lobbyists and donor class that leach off them who isn't happy about that? Lloyd Green... this Lloyd Green:
Ocasio-Cortez calls for single-payer healthcare, the abolition of ICE, and free college for all. Forget about the underlying arithmetic and how to pay for all of it-- which is either requires sky-high taxation or flat-out sorcery. Rather, this is a cultural manifesto, a cry for open borders, and a demand for one ginormous nausea-inducing free lunch.
Let Stephanie Kelton, among other things, a Bernie Kelton economic advisor, explain how to talk about these things:

Unlike Lloyd Green-- very much unlike Lloyd Green, Oklahoma Berniecrat and congressional run-off candidate Tom Guild was celebrating Ocasio's big win this week. "I’m very proud to run in Oklahoma while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez savors her huge and stunning victory over the corrupt old guard in New York. She is making politics relevant in the Empire State just like Bernie did in his presidential run in 2016. Day care is essential for families across America, an affordable college education is necessary to achieve success for millions of Americans who choose to pursue higher education. If the American economy can’t produce jobs paying a living wage, the government has to lend a helping hand. Alexandria was heavily outspent, but her humble upbringing and hard work on the campaign trail overcame those handicaps. I hope she has a long and productive run in the U.S. House and hope I’m fortunate enough to serve as her colleague on Capitol Hill." It's going to take people like Alexandria Ocasio, Tom Guild, Randy Bryce, Kaniela Ing, Kara Eastman, Rashida Tlaib, Jess King, etc, to move the conversation-- and the country-- forward, not a bunch of old white conservatives from the two establishment parties.

Did you see Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone piece this week, Pundits and politicians are playing point-and-shriek with the new Democratic Socialist contagion?

Another one-- albeit smarter-- than Lloyd is Steve Schmidt. Drawing a blank? Taibbi:
Steve Schmidt-- ex-Dick Cheney aide, new liberal hero and not at all the guy who helped unleash the modern far right by inviting Sarah Palin onto a presidential ticket-- had a few things to say in the wake of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s shocking win over long-serving Democrat Joe Crowley.

Schmidt told MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle that the result was a boon to Donald Trump.

"What Trump is doing is radicalizing American politics," the conservative strategist continued. "And he is a beneficiary the more radical politics becomes."

Schmidt pooh-poohed the Ocasio-Cortez platform of a government jobs program, free day care and free college education, among other things. These things can't be paid for, he insisted. Therefore, the Ocasio-Cortez brand of politics is inherently dishonest.

"When we have dishonest progressivism and we have dishonest Trumpism," the former Karl Rove devotee went on, "an alienated middle… surrenders."

Many others agreed.

"Oh, please, she just promised everyone a bunch of free stuff," noted Ben Ritz, director of the Progressive Policy Institute, an offshoot of the old Democratic Leadership Council.

"Democrats need to choose: Are they the party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or the party of Michael Bloomberg?" asked Business Insider columnist Daniella Greenbaum.

Bloomberg is best known as a Republican mayor, although he's apparently thinking of running for president as a Democrat-- hence Greenbaum's fork-in-the-road thesis. The columnist argued we should, of course, take the billionaire-plutocrat turn.

Greenbaum went on:

"That kind of rich-oppressor versus poor-oppressed framework might work in New York's 14th Congressional district, but it is sure to fail on a national level."

First of all, so what? If that kind of message works for the 14th congressional district, isn't that why you'd want a person bearing that message representing the 14th congressional district? This is exactly the purpose of representative democracy, allowing local populations to have an idiosyncratic voice in a larger debate.

Secondly, why is poor-vs-rich messaging "sure to fail" on a national level?

Despite extensive efforts to rehabilitate their reputations, Wall Street billionaires are unpopular more or less everywhere in the United States outside maybe Nobu Downtown...

The concept of a financial-transactions tax in particular has polled well in at least four different surveys since the 2008 crash. And both Republicans and Democrats tell pollsters they believe Wall Street has too much power.

There have been lots of other swipes, both subtle and not, at Ocasio-Cortez in recent days. Headlines often left out her name or used dismissive descriptors like "young challenger" or "Democratic Socialist."

The Washington Times, representing the loony-right section of the media, chimed in with Reefer Madness-level hysteria: "Ocasio-Cortez, New York's Socialist Congressional Contender, An Enemy of America."

Then there was Nancy Pelosi, who last year famously said that voters "don't want a new direction." Pelosi made sure to point out that the results in the 14th mean only that voters "made a choice in one district," so "let's not get carried away." Pelosi is often a trenchant inside-baseball observer of the political scene, but her continual inability to sense or understand the dramatic shifts going on in the electorate are beginning to sound like the famous "Stay calm, this is not happening" routine by Monty Python great Terry Jones, who played an aristocrat smiling as his kingdom disappeared underwater.

A common theme in most of the backlash against Ocasio-Cortez is this idea that allowing the "fringe" inside the tent will lead to total chaos and alienate the great "middle" that supposedly decides elections. It's incredible that leaders in both parties still seem to believe in this concept.

They don’t seem to realize that the vast changes ushered in by decades of economic catastrophes-- the disappearance of the manufacturing economy and the busting of two giant speculative bubbles, among other things-- has left America, and most western democracies for that matter, as top-heavy nations run by increasingly small groups of wealthy political and business leaders, surrounded by massive disenfranchised populations with little or negative net worth.

...[V]oters are making different choices because they've concluded that the "accomplished" politicians were the ones hustling them. What else are people supposed to think, when they hear long-serving elected officials somberly insisting that we can't afford health care or higher education just days after a bill boosting our already unnecessarily massive defense budget by $82 billion passed 85-10 in the Senate?

If we can afford to spend more than the next 10 countries combined on defense, why can't we afford higher education? Really? Who's hustling whom?

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At 10:11 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

One of the reasons for the progressive wins last Tuesday could well have been Ballot Image Verification


After a year of election transparency activists suing election authorities in numerous states, and demanding to see the automatically stored digital images of ballots generated by many vote scanning machines, progressive Democrats have won stunning upsets in primaries this week in states with this capacity.

One victor, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, defeated 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York's 14th Congressional District. Crowley was an up and coming star in Democratic establishment circles, and was vying to be the next Speaker of the House.

Also victorious, in gubernatorial primary contests, were 2016 Bernie Sanders ally and former NAACP head Ben Jealous in Maryland and Rep. Jared Polis in Colorado.

The victories provide an interesting contrast to the recent fiasco in the Florida 23rd Congressional District, where another progressive challenger in a Democratic primary, Tim Canova, saw his ballots destroyed just before a lawsuit demanding a recount. In that race, between Canova and Democratic establishment incumbent Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the Broward County elections supervisor, Brenda Snipes, admitted in a court filing that she had signed off on an order for the ballots to be illegally destroyed. In all federal races, paper ballots and other election documentation are required, by federal law, to be preserved for a period of 22 months.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. It isn't reactionaries. It's everyone who is corrupt and wants to stay that way that fears what she portends... if anything.

It is far more likely that she simply and opportunistically capitalized on her ethnicity rather than the progressivity of her ideas in her district. The fact that she's pretty also helps.

But, as I continue to point out, Pelosi hasn't been a left leader for decades. She HAS been a tyrannical enforcer in her party for the benefit of corporate issues. And with the pretty latina's victory over the presumed heir to Pelosi, it means that Pelosi will continue in her role as tyrannical corporate enforcer.

Even if the pretty latina is sincere in her policy positions, she (and all others that DWT and voters seem so enthused about) will be impotent to affect any of them.

All I SHOULD have to mention is 2009, because that's exactly what happened in that "FDR" democrap congress (harriet reid was her senate cohort in this crusade to ratfuck all those obamanation 'hope and change' voters). Voters were so pleased with being betrayed and ratfucked, 15 million of them stayed home in 2010... and here we all are now.

At 10:14 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Aw poor Lloyd Green & the establishment so upset that an underdog candidate beat his longtime corporate corrupt establishment friend in the primaries boo hoo hoo well it sucks to be him so get used to it you jerk.

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine if you will a nation where the Left side of the political spectrum had a media source as powerful and distributed as the corporatists now do. I somehow doubt that the Overton Window would be on the back porch and headed toward where the trash cans are kept.

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ap215, I see Crowley as the next DNC chairman. His corruption is far too valuable to the 'craps to see him retire to k-street.

The overton window got stuck in stasis back in the '70s. When we elected Reagan we enthusiastically embraced corporatism.
When trump was installed, we enthusiastically embraced naziism, finally, for good.

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone with one half of a functioning synapse can follow the money as it is now being spent. The Pentagon is getting all of the money taken from other sources. The purpose is to make the American military too powerful to defend against. It isn't working.

Take Trump's recent fiasco regarding North Korea. He threatened fire, brimstone, shock and awe if Kim Jong Un didn't kiss his sphincter ring. He used the threat of nuclear war to get Kim to attend the ring kissing ceremony in Singapore, and Trump thought that once Kim agreed to attend, he could bend a little (announcing the suspension of war rehearsals) as long as Kim "squandered his [atomic] resistance
For a pocket full of mumbles, such are promises."

Trump proceeded to live down to the rest of the lyric by not noticing that it was all for nothing, "All lies and jests", that Kim would denuclearize North Korea after being threatened with the fate met by Gaddafi. The conclusion of the lyric explains things better than the miles of column inches of pundit commentary ever will: "Still a man hears what he wants to hear And disregards the rest."

Any bets that if you asked a Trumpzi about Trunmp and Kim, you'd get the response that Trump got Kim to surrender his nukes, all while they have no idea that US officials say North Korea is still secretly enriching uranium and that they have proof via surveillance satellites that that the Yongbyon reactor complex responsible for enriching uranium is now twice as large as it was in the recent past.

The Trumpzis will also still believe the lie that Trump is a master of making deals. They will continue to believe even as some nation's nuke vaporizes them into radfioactive vapors.

Fuck them all.

At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am all in favor of paying for Medicare for All, free college, and other progressive measures through higher income taxes. The financial transaction tax, though, would fall disproportionally on us retirees -- many of whom were forced out of the corporate world prematurely like yours truly -- and who managed to hang on to some savings after 2008 and eke out an income by doing frequent trades. This tax would put me out of business, and tens of thousands of others who have survived our transition into the precariat in the only way we can. Meanwhile, it should be obvious that Goldman Sachs and its ilk will find a way around this tax in the United States, as they seem to have done in Europe (see below). Meanwhile individual investors, particularly us non millionaires, will be hurt badly.

Seemingly because of the abilities of big banks to adapt, the tax simply wouldn't earn that much. For example, in the European Union, the tax collects $23.2 billion Euro annually, far less than the 57 billion Euro originally projected. Not nearly enough to pay for free college. Not nearly enough for free college, despite anything Stephanie Kelton says. Experience (the actual DATA!!) trumps economic theory, be that theory from Kelton or someone like Milton Friedman.

The tax would also violate the core principals of fair taxation: vertical equity, or taxing at a higher rate for those with higher incomes, and horizontal equity, or taxing all sources of income at the same rate. I just don't see what trading my life savings counts as something "immoral" that hurts society. No one has been able to explain that to me.

Moreover, the transaction tax got its political momentum in the US after the Flash Crash of 2011, which was laid at the feet of high frequency trading (HFT). And Obama's SEC could have ended HFT at the stroke of a pen, by simply prohibiting the entering (and subsequent cancellation) of multiple orders to buy or sell stocks from a single account, at speeds higher than a human could accomplish. You didn't need new legislation to do this, and you still don't. It's a matter of using the SEC's existing regulatory powers. Similarly, Obama could have had the bad bankers fired, and prosecuted, in 2008 by using the long existing powers vested in the Federal Reserve and the FDIC.

I would also say this. In 1989-91 I worked for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, and was a foot soldier in the effort to clean up the Savings & Loan scandals of the era. According to Gillian Tett of the Financial Times, 1,062 people went to jail because of our efforts. If you want to clean up Wall Street, send white collar criminals to jail, it scares them. Even though an effective Volcker Rule would be great, the Government has vast powers to regulate the banks and never seems to use them anymore except when tiny community banks fail.

And good riddence to Crowley. Of course Howie has always been right that when given the choice of Republican Lite or real Republican, voters prefer the real thing. I believe that even though I also believe this proposed tax would just discriminates against middle and upper middle class savers while doing nothing to reform the financial system.

If you really want to insist on such a tax, though, do what the Europeans do and tax derivatives (which big banks dabble in, and had a big part in the 2008 crash) and not stocks (which the rest of trade).

At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff 6:50. Except that if you actually read Kelton, you'd know that you don't tax to pay for shit. You tax to balance or compensate the economy for the spending done.

At this point, after not taxing the rich for nearly 4 decades, we need to START to compensate for MFA, free college, etc by raising taxes on the rich, including taxing capital gains from trading and speculation as income. But we also need to tax vast wealth.
Current tax policy reinforces greed as the primary impulse in commerce. Tax policy before Reagan DISincentivized pure greed. It was more effective at this during Eisenhower.

CFMA, pushed for and signed by bill fucking Clinton forbids any and all regs on derivatives. That law should never have been passed and was among the first big paybacks for corporate bribery that bill fucking Clinton suborned when he and a few others first and forever corrupted the party of FDR/HST/JFK.
Derivatives should be closely regulated AND taxed. Why? Derivatives were the biggest cause of 2008 and will be problems in all future 'armageddons' until they are regulated.
Automated securities trades should be taxed. Individual trades... I'm open to talking about. There are more changes to trading that should be done too to make all trades fair...

But suffice it to say that as long as government consists of democraps and Nazis, none of these things will ever happen.


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