Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 10:38 pm

Odds and ends, school break edition

I’m really enjoying not having to study, but I haven’t been hit by the inspiration for anything lengthy. So here’s what’s going on:

* * *

Pretty much everybody thinks Rupert Murdoch isn’t fit to run a media company. And, hell, we know that. But when Parliament thinks Rupert Murdoch isn’t fit to run a media company, well, that could have real-life, tangible, bottom-line consequences. Because the UK doesn’t let just any old thieving, lying, wiretapping raper of the hopes of the parents of kidnapped children own a media company the way the U.S. does. No, News Corp. could have to actually divest itself of its 40% share of BSkyB. Ouch.

* * *

So on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, Obama shows up in Afghanistan and commits this country to spend, at the current rate of $2 billion a week, one and a quarter trillion dollars over the next dozen years in that country. One and a quarter trillion dollars, I hasten to add, that the United States cannot spare. I mean no disrespect to the victims of 9/11, and a great deal of respect to the Americans who have had to fight the resulting military campaigns, when I ask: Tell me again who won the war on terror? and/or, Have you people never heard of Pyrrhus?

* * *

I see that not only do the Republicans want to wage war on women, they insist that only straight men can join the fight.

* * *

Finally, Fec reflects on MLK’s call for a national guaranteed minimum income, varieties of which have been endorsed by such wild-eyed liberals as Milton Friedman (who called it a “negative income tax”):

Consider, if you will, that the oligarchy, by virtue of access to the Fed’s ZIRP [zero interest rate policy — free loans to banks], has already achieved the status of guaranteed income. Was MLK in reflection so terribly wrong? As we contemplate the end of unemployment benefits for 700k of our citizens, and underemployment for many more, do not the ravages of outsourcing and global corporatism render a circumstance where the least of us is just as entitled to at least a wage of existence as the bankster supping at the .25% discount window, especially as the proceeds are immediately fed into a gamed engine of guaranteed profit?

If we are bailing out the Europeans for their folly, is it nor more just to provide subsistence wages to our own whose only fault is absence of opportunity, particularly by design of the corporatists who enjoy the very same protections manifold?

Are we not finally at the point where Bernanke‘s famous helicopter drops cash upon the least of us, as it has surely rained bountifully upon our most fortunate?

I assure you that the poor have no wish for anarchy or the imposition of some stringent biblical reconstruction. They merely wish to enjoy those essential things we all aspire to: a full belly, a comfortable home and freedom from financial worry.

To those cretins who proclaim such an idea is socialism, I reply they are too late. Socialism is rife among the fortunate; it is merely those left out who have yet to commit this supposed sin. Is not the greatest act of fairness to now include everyone with income, given that the most criminal among us have already lined their pockets to the point of embarrassment?

If we are headed toward a great conflagration of currency devaluation and hyperinflation, is it not right that the poor finally be allowed to join the bacchanal before its end?

Actually, of this much I am sure: No matter exactly how this country goes down, it will go down never once having given any serious policy thought to the true needs of the least among us. That just isn’t how we roll.

(Also, although I am somewhat sympathetic to my friend’s view of the Occupy movement as it manifested itself today on what was supposed to be a big, national show of strength, I also am somewhat sympathetic to Charlie Pierce’s take: “From the start, I said that the best thing about the Occupy movement was that at least they were yelling at the right buildings. … What I do know is that, if it weren’t for the people in the streets last autumn, the Obama people would be running a very different campaign and Willard Romney wouldn’t look half as ridiculous as he does.”


  1. And meanwhile :

    Obama receives four Pinocchios from the WAPO facr checker

    Joe Wilson was right

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, May 2, 2012 3:02 pm @ 3:02 pm

  2. No, not really.

    Here’s what a guy who actually uses the bridge in question every day has to say. Unsurprisingly, he takes issue.

    And here’s what I pointed out a year ago about Glenn “Fact-checker” Kessler: He’s OK on facts but lousy on context and therefore congenitally incapable of discovering the truth.

    Comment by Lex — Wednesday, May 2, 2012 3:15 pm @ 3:15 pm

  3. I am honored and must remember not to blog while drinking.

    Comment by Fec — Wednesday, May 2, 2012 10:34 pm @ 10:34 pm

  4. I am shocked that you, without fail, find fault with ANYTHING criticcal of BHO.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, May 3, 2012 12:40 am @ 12:40 am

  5. Fred, Glenn Kessler is simply a bad reporter. That has nothing to do with Obama per se and everything to do with his own lack of skill and the lousy editing he’s getting.

    As for your claim about my attitude toward Obama, once again you conveniently overlook the fact that I have PUBLICLY AND REPEATEDLY CALLED FOR HIS IMPEACHMENT FOR ASSASSINATING U.S. CITIZENS WITHOUT CHARGE OR TRIAL, which is way more than you did with George W. Bush for his crimes of torture and ordering an illegal military invasion.

    There absolutely are grounds for legitimate criticism of Obama. I’ve pointed out several myself, ranging from the above to the fact that the ACA was a sell-out to the fact that he hasn’t pushed hard enough for the kind of economic measures that would actually, you know, PUT LOTS OF PEOPLE BACK TO WORK.

    Unfortunately, the GOP political operation, having been taken over by the delusional, focuses instead on BS and hopes that if they wave enough shiny objects, people will vote for Romney. Meanwhile, the GOP nominating framework, with Michael Steele and Reince Preibus at its head and Citizens United setting the financial parameters, has given the party its weakest presidential nominee-presumptive in more than a century. I’ve got a lot on my conscience, but not that.

    Obama is the weakest option except for the others, and the weakness of the others is mostly the GOP’s own doing. So our choices are an anticonstitutional nut who at least won’t make the economy worse or appoint Christian Nationalists and fascists to the federal courts, and an anticonstitutional nut who WILL make the economy worse AND will appoint Christian Nationalists and fascists to the federal courts. As I said before, it’s a lousy choice, but not a particularly difficult one.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, May 3, 2012 8:33 am @ 8:33 am

  6. Lex’s axiom: All journalists who criticize Obama are ignorant, bad reporters or rightwing lunatics.

    Lex throw away the crutch about your calling for Obama’s impeachment. It is risible and simply diminishes your crediblity when you claim you would vote for someone who you shout should be removed from that very office.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, May 3, 2012 1:56 pm @ 1:56 pm

  7. Awfully big straw man there, Fred. No, all journalists who criticize Obama aren’t ignorant, bad reporters or rightwing lunatics.

    My point is that Kessler is demonstrably bad at what he does in ways that go way beyond Obama (and, for that matter, partisan politics generally). I can’t help it if most of the conservative criticism of Obama is B.S. — all the reasonable conservatives have been driven out of the discussion by their batshit brethren.

    And it is risible for you to criticize me for criticizing Obama for extrajudicial assassination when you defended Bush for torture and violations of Geneva, unless you ALSO want to defend extrajudicial assassination. That would be legally and morally wrong, but at least would be logically consistent.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, May 3, 2012 3:38 pm @ 3:38 pm

  8. ” A lousy choice but not a particularly difficult one”… Lex

    Maybe not for you:

    A President who hired Communists and hung out with terrorists says Romney must rebuke extreme voices

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, May 8, 2012 1:37 am @ 1:37 am

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