Friday, September 30, 2011

We have to fight terrorism. But far more people die from not having health insurance than have ever died from terrorists. Republicans hate stuff that most of us think is good Salman Rushdie
Give 'Due Process' to a Terrorist?
AP/Reuters
As civil liberties groups question the legality of killing radical American cleric Anwar al Awlaki in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen, political leaders generally hail his death as a victory in the war on terror.
U.S. Department of Justice asks court to block Alabama immigration law pending appeal blog.al.com
The motion filed Friday afternoon asks U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn to stay her order from Wednesday denying requests to block the far-reaching law and leaving most sections of it intact. The filing argues that the federal government has exclusive authority in the area of immigratio...
Major Blow to al Qaeda
www.thedailybeast.com
Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. born cleric who was a major figure in al Qaeda's Yemen branch, was killed by Yemeni forces on Friday.
Multiple terror plots linked to Anwar al Awlaki.
KRUGMAN
The Conscience of a Liberal.Readers’ Comments
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The bad news: Republicans, aided and abetted by many conservative policy intellectuals, are fixated on a view about what’s blocking job creation that fits their prejudices and serves the interests of their wealthy backers, but bears no relationship to reality.

Listen to just about any speech by a Republican presidential hopeful, and you’ll hear assertions that the Obama administration is responsible for weak job growth. How so? The answer, repeated again and again, is that businesses are afraid to expand and create jobs because they fear costly regulations and higher taxes. Nor are politicians the only people saying this. Conservative economists repeat the claim in op-ed articles, and Federal Reserve officials repeat it to justify their opposition to even modest efforts to aid the economy.

The first thing you need to know, then, is that there’s no evidence supporting this claim and a lot of evidence showing that it’s false.

The starting point for many claims that antibusiness policies are hurting the economy is the assertion that the sluggishness of the economy’s recovery from recession is unprecedented. But, as a new paper by Lawrence Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute documents at length, this is just not true. Extended periods of “jobless recovery” after recessions have been the rule for the past two decades. Indeed, private-sector job growth since the 2007-2009 recession has been better than it was after the 2001 recession.

We might add that major financial crises are almost always followed by a period of slow growth, and U.S. experience is more or less what you should have expected given the severity of the 2008 shock.

Still, isn’t there something odd about the fact that businesses are making large profits and sitting on a lot of cash but aren’t spending that cash to expand capacity and employment? No.

After all, why should businesses expand when they’re not using the capacity they already have? The bursting of the housing bubble and the overhang of household debt have left consumer spending depressed and many businesses with more capacity than they need and no reason to add more. Business investment always responds strongly to the state of the economy, and given how weak our economy remains you shouldn’t be surprised if investment remains low. If anything, business spending has been stronger than one might have predicted given slow growth and high unemployment.

But aren’t business people complaining about the burden of taxes and regulations? Yes, but no more than usual. Mr. Mishel points out that the National Federation of Independent Business has been surveying small businesses for almost 40 years, asking them to name their most important problem. Taxes and regulations always rank high on the list, but what stands out now is a surge in the number of businesses citing poor sales — which strongly suggests that lack of demand, not fear of government, is holding business back.

So Republican assertions about what ails the economy are pure fantasy, at odds with all the evidence. Should we be surprised?

At one level, of course not. Politicians who always cater to wealthy business interests say that economic recovery requires catering to wealthy business interests. Who could have imagined it?

Yet it seems to me that there is something different about the current state of economic discussion. Political parties have often coalesced around dubious economic ideas remember the Laffer curve? but I can’t think of a time when a party’s economic doctrine has been so completely divorced from reality. And I’m also struck by the extent to which Republican leaning economists who have to know better have been willing to lend their credibility to the party’s official delusions.

Partly, no doubt, this reflects the party’s broader slide into its own insular intellectual universe. Large segments of the G.O.P. reject climate science and even the theory of evolution, so why expect evidence to matter for the party’s economic views?

And it also, of course, reflects the political need of the right to make everything bad in America President Obama’s fault. Never mind the fact that the housing bubble, the debt explosion and the financial crisis took place on the watch of a conservative, free-market-praising president; it’s that Democrat in the White House now who gets the blame.

But good politics can be very bad policy. The truth is that we’re in this mess because we had too little regulation, not too much. And now one of our two major parties is determined to double down on the mistakes that caused the disaster.

danawhite Dana White
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER was the #1 cable show of the night with M18-34 and M18-49, #2 with A18-49, and #3 with A18-34. Thank u everyone!


ACLU: Killing of al Awlaki "violates both U.S. and international law." President Obama says killing of Anwar al-Awlaki a "major blow" to al Qaeda.
• Aulaqi killing stokes debate on executive power
www.washingtonpost.com
The Obama administration has refused to reveal its exact legal analysis for targeting the radical cleric.
• Awlaki and the Arab autumn
blogs.reuters.com
The death of Anwar al Awlaki this morning is welcome news, but Washington policymakers should not delude themselves into thinking the drone that killed him is a supernatural antidote to militancy.
• U.S. Department of Justice asks court to block Alabama immigration law pending appeal
blog.al.com
The motion filed Friday afternoon asks U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn to stay her order from Wednesday denying requests to block the far-reaching law and leaving most sections of it intact. The filing argues that the federal government has exclusive authority in the area of immigratio...
• What’s Wrong With Awlaki’s Killing
www.thedailybeast.com
Obama must explain the goals of his drone war to the nation and the ethical rules that guide him.
ACLU: Killing of al Awlaki "violates both U.S. and international law." Obama says killing of Anwar al Awlaki a "major blow" to al Qaeda. ACLU: Killing of al-Awlaki "violates both U.S. and international law." Obama says killing of Anwar al-Awlaki a "major blow" to al Qaeda.

• In Opinion, Paul Krugman writes, "The bad news: Republicans, aided and abetted by many conservative policy intellectuals, are fixated on a view about what’s blocking job creation that fits their prejudices and serves the interests of their wealthy backers, but bears no relationship to reality."

Phony Fear Factor
www.nytimes.com
Despite what Republican presidential candidates are saying, regulation and taxes are not responsible for America’s weak job growth.
‎'Judge Susan R. Bolton, sitting in Phoenix, in a preliminary injunction sided with the Obama administration by ruling that the law would overwhelm the federal government and could hurt legal immigrants and U.S. citizens. The judge's ruling could put the brakes on efforts in a number of other states to pass similar laws.... Requiring police to check the immigration status of those they arrest or whom they stop and suspect are in the country illegally would overwhelm the federal government's ability to respond, and could mean legal immigrants are wrongly arrested. "Federal resources will be taxed and diverted from federal enforcement priorities as a result of the increase in requests for immigration-status determination that will flow from Arizona," she wrote in her 36-page injunction order '"

What a wonderful victory in Arizona
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"She blocked a part of Arizona's law that would require police to check the immigration status of anyone they stopped whom they suspected of being in the country illegally, and a second provision that required legal immigrants to carry proof...... of residency. Bolton said the national system of immigration laws is complex and has various purposes that the state law couldn't take into account. Sh...e also struck down part of the law that said police may not release those they have arrested without first checking on their immigrationstatus. Arizona argued that was meant to apply to those for whom there is reasonable suspicion that they are in the country illegally, but Judge Bolton said the law isn't written that way.

Access to high quality and affordable health care when the free market has failed to provide for it ???? We support a nonprofit, single payer national insurance hc. Do we live in a democratic society? We are told we live in a democracy. The word means “rule of the people,” but how democratic is the United States really?
Access to high quality and affordable health care when the free market has failed to provide for it ???? We support a nonprofit, single payer national insurance hc. Do we live in a democratic society? We are told we live in a democracy. The word means “rule of the people,” but how democratic is the United States really?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Bush administration squandered the surplus of the Clinton years, yet prominent pundits pretend that the two parties share equal blame for our debt problems...
Tax cuts : 3 trillion dollars, Bushs wars : 4 trillion dollars and deregulations = the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Gop's dictionary. 51 million people without HCI = freedom, democracy, the rule of law, civilization

Friday, September 23, 2011

House, Senate clash anew over disaster aid bill
news.yahoo.com
Congress' latest must pass bill is prompting a new House Senate showdown, highlighting a partisan rift so raw that an effort to help disaster victims has become mired in disputes over jobs, the national debt and the discredited Solyndra solar energy company...

o Obama Slams Boehner, McConnell on Jobs Bill
abcnews.go.com
On a politically charged trip to Cincinnati, President Obama took aim at the top two Republicans in Congress, Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R Ky., both of whom he derided for opposing his $447 billion jobs bill. "She blocked a part of Arizona's law that would require police to check the immigration status of anyone they stopped whom they suspected of being in the country illegally, and a second provision that required legal immigrants to carry proof...... of residency. Bolton said the national system of immigration laws is complex and has various purposes that the state law couldn't take into account. Sh...e also struck down part of the law that said police may not release those they have arrested without first checking on their immigrationstatus. Arizona argued that was meant to apply to those for whom there is reasonable suspicion that they are in the country illegally, but Judge Bolton said the law isn't written that way.

‎'Judge Susan R. Bolton, sitting in Phoenix, in a preliminary injunction sided with the Obama administration by ruling that the law would overwhelm the federal government and could hurt legal immigrants and U.S. citizens. The judge's ruling... could put the brakes on efforts in a number of other states to pass similar laws.... Requiring police to check the immigration status of those they arrest or whom they stop and suspect are in the country illegally would overwhelm the federal government's ability to respond, and could mean legal immigrants are wrongly arrested. "Federal resources will be taxed and diverted from federal enforcement priorities as a result of the increase in requests for immigration-status determination that will flow from Arizona," she wrote in her 36-page injunction order '"

What a wonderful victory in Arizona

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stocks plunge as fearful investors rush for the exits
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Stock markets around the world are tumbling on fears that the global economy is falling precipitously and that U.S. and European lawmakers are unable to stop the bleeding. The market is at risk of the biggest weekly drop since the...

"Don't forget what I discovered that over ninety percent of all national deficits from 1921 to 1939 were caused by payments for past, present, and future wars"

Franklin D. Roosevelt

German turmoil over EU bail outs as top judge calls for referendum - Telegraph
www.telegraph.co.uk
Germany's top judge has issued a blunt warning that no further fiscal powers may be surrendered to Europe without a new constitution and a popular referendum, vastly complicating plans to boost the EU's rescue machinery to €2 trillion (£1.7 trillion)....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/from-jesus-socialism-to-capitalistic-christianity/2011/08/12/gIQAziaQBJ_blog.html.From Jesus’ socialism to capitalistic Christianity
www.washingtonpost.com
With a biblical example of holding property in common, how did so many Christians come to reject socialism?..

Arizona was stolen from Mexico

Renee Pera "There already is a mandate- we pay for the uninsured when they go to the hospital. A better mandate is they pay for themseles. DOnt u agree?"


Scholars Rank Obama the 15th Best President - Political Hotsheet - CBS News
www.cbsnews.com
A Survey of Presidential Scholars Gives Obama High Marks Historically, While Calling Former President George W. Bush One of the Worst Presidents Ever Read more by Stephanie Condon on CBS News' Political Hotsheet...

Rachel Maddow Trashes Straw Polls Again (VIDEO)
www.huffingtonpost.com
Rachel Maddow took another swipe at Republican straw polls, trashing the state contests in a sarcastic monologue on her Monday show...

CHRIST WAS AGAINST FREE MARKET

Occupy Wall Street - Day 8
www.flickr.com
Several of these women from the Granny Peace Brigade were arrested by the NYPD Police. "Granny Peace Brigade" "$$$ For Jobs Not War" www.grannypeacebrigade.org..

Stocks up on eurozone rescue hope
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2F&h=kAQDF5UQ6AQBU9MYffVpokRK637ixCO40NpMS3BOlK5gGHA
Global shares rise on hopes eurozone leaders and the International Monetary Fund will agree a package to solve the eurozone debt crisis.

Geomagnetic storm may bring northern lights to you
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Northern lights: Solar flares over the weekend have caused an geomagnetic storm that NASA calls "strong-to-severe"; the result may be increased opportunity to see northern lights...

South Africa stalls on Dalai Lama visa
www.globalpost.com
The South African government, which has close ties with China and in 2009 banned the Dalai Lama from attending a peace conference, is again dragging its heels on granting the Tibetan spiritual leader a visa...

Bachmann warns Hezbollah possibly installing training camps, missile sites in Cuba
thehill.com
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said Monday that there was a possibility that Cuba was working with Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist organization, and warned of the possibility of the group installing missile or weapon caches on the island just off the shore of Florida.
.
Ron Paul: US Shouldn’t Block UN Recognition of a Palestinian State
www.thestatecolumn.com
Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked the UN to recognize a Palestinian state. However, both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama insisted that only direct negotiations could lead to peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict...

Shares up on eurozone rescue hope
www.bbc.co.uk
European shares rise on hopes eurozone leaders and the International Monetary Fund will agree a package to solve the eurozone debt crisis.

Reagan insider: GOP destroyed economy Paul B. Farrell
www.marketwatch.com
“How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy. Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op ed piece, 'Four Deformations of the Apocalypse.'..

Joe Arpaio, Arizona Sheriff, Accused Of Racism, Defends 'Birther' Posse
www.huffingtonpost.com
Local news station KNXV-TV of Phoenix interviewed Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio Monday about his efforts to investigate President Barack Obama's birth certificate and his views on Latinos. "First of all, about 300 people signed petitions," Arpaio said of the investigation into Obama's birth cer.....

Jon Stewart to GOP: It's not the candidates, it's you
www.huffingtonpost.com
As we grow closer to the one-year mark until the 2012 Presidential election, the crop of Republican candidates is ever expanding with a new frontrunner every month. At first it seemed like Michele Bachmann could be the right person for the job, and then Mitt Romney, but that was before Rick Perry ca.....


Throwing Greece under the bus
www.globalpost.com
The euro zone’s end game comes into focus finally...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/30/AR2010043001106.html 1. Immigrants take jobs from American workers.
Although immigrants account for 12.5 percent of the U.S. population, they make up about 15 percent of the workforce. They are overrepresented among workers largely because the rest of our population is aging: Immigrants and their children have accounted for 58 percen...


Occupy Wall Street Day 8
www.flickr.com
Several of these women from the Granny Peace Brigade were arrested by the NYPD Police. "Granny Peace Brigade" "$$$ For Jobs Not War" www.grannypeacebrigade.org..

Myth #2. Immigrants take jobs from U.S. citizens and decrease the standard of living.
Immigrants create jobs and do not take jobs from U.S. citizens. The U.S. Department of Labor has concluded that immigrants keep U.S. industries competitive, increase employment through higher rates of self-employment, and increase wages and mobility opportunities for many groups of U.S. workers. Statistics show that an influx of new immigrants actually boosts the economy. The conservative Alexis de Tocqueville Institute found that U.S. states with high immigration populations have lower rates of unemployment. [DSA flyer, 1995.]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/30/AR2010043001106.html 1. Immigrants take jobs from American workers.
Although immigrants account for 12.5 percent of the U.S. population, they make up about 15 percent of the workforce. They are overrepresented among workers largely because the rest of our population is aging: Immigrants and their children have accounted for 58 percen...t of U.S. population growth since 1980. This probably won't change anytime soon. Low U.S. fertility rates and the upcoming retirement of the baby boomers mean that immigration is likely to be the only source of growth in what we call the "prime age" workforce -- workers ages 25 to 55 -- in the decades ahead. As record numbers of retirees begin drawing Social Security checks, younger immigrant workers will be paying taxes, somewhat easing the financial pressures on the system.

Moreover, immigrants tend to be concentrated in high- and low-skilled occupations that complement -- rather than compete with -- jobs held by native workers. And the foreign-born workers who fill lower-paying jobs are typically first-hired/first-fired employees, allowing employers to expand and contract their workforces rapidly. As a result, immigrants experience higher employment than natives during booms -- but they suffer higher job losses during downturns, including the current one.
It's true that an influx of new workers pushes wages down, but immigration also stimulates growth by creating new consumers, entrepreneurs and investors. As a result of this growth, economists estimate that wages for the vast majority of American workers are slightly higher than they would be without immigration. U.S. workers without a high school degree experience wage declines as a result of competition from immigrants, but these losses are modest, at just over 1 percent. Economists also estimate that for each job an immigrant fills, an additional job is created.
.

Myth #2. Immigrants take jobs from U.S. citizens and decrease the standard of living.
Immigrants create jobs and do not take jobs from U.S. citizens. The U.S. Department of Labor has concluded that immigrants keep U.S. industries competitive, increase employment through higher rates of self-employment, and increase wages and mobility opportunities for many groups of U.S. workers. Statistics show that an influx of new immigrants actually boosts the economy. The conservative Alexis de Tocqueville Institute found that U.S. states with high immigration populations have lower rates of unemployment. [DSA flyer, 1995.]

Roger Ailes Admits Fox ‘News’ Has Conservative Bias
www.addictinginfo.org
Anyone with cable TV has come across Fox News. You don't need to watch for very long to see the blatant conservative spin that every reporter has on its 'news' station. Though some stations, such as MSNBC, have 'liberal' opinion shows in prime time, their news reporters during the day are just that,.....

6 Ways the Rich Are Waging a Class War Against the American People |
www.alternet.org
Denying the very existence of an entire class of citizens? That's waging some very real warfare against them...

6 Ways the Rich Are Waging a Class War Against the American People |
www.alternet.org
Denying the very existence of an entire class of citizens? That's waging some very real warfare against them...

Why ‘Occupy Wall Street’?
www.washingtonpost.com
The demonstrators are protesting not only for a cause but for themselves...

Map of countries that will support Palestine's UN bid for statehood this month. - Imgur
imgur.com
Imgur is used to share photos with social networks and online communities, and has the funniest pictures from all over the Internet...

Senate to vote on FEMA funding as government shutdown looms
www.cbsnews.com
Partisan fighting over a fraction of the federal budget has stalled progress on a bill to keep the government funded for the next two months ..

We have to fight terrorism. But far more people die from not having health insurance than have ever died from terrorists.

Map of countries that will support Palestine's UN bid for statehood this month. - Imgur
imgur.com
Imgur is used to share photos with social networks and online communities, and has the funniest pictures from all over the Internet...

....Obama says GOP would 'cripple' America
news.yahoo.com
President Barack Obama charged Sunday that the GOP vision of government would "fundamentally cripple America," as he tried out his newly combative message on the liberal West Coast.

We do need to arrest and try and convict the bankers and their allies

Police pen up and mace female ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters | Raw Replay
www.rawstory.com
In a disturbing scene from today’s “Occupy Wall Street” protests, a group of peaceful female protesters were rounded up in an orange colored mesh pen by police and subsequently sprayed with mace without any provocation. In spite of multiple reported incidents of possible police violence, major media.....

We do need to arrest and try and convict the bankers and their allies
Daily Kos: Obama to Republicans at Boehner's bridge: What are you waiting for?
www.dailykos.com
President Obama took his campaign for the American Jobs Act to an aging bridge connecting John Boehner's Ohio with Mitch McConnell's Kentucky. Standing before the bridge, which is in desperate need of replacement, Obama delivered his most fiery remarks since unveiling the legislation, calling each o...
http://www.alternet.org/news/152447/9_policies_conservatives_were_for_long_before_they_were_against_them/

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Paul Ryan Calls For Increasing Taxes On Middle Class But Dismisses Millionaires Tax As ‘Class Warfar
thinkprogress.org
Rep. Paul Ryan (R WI) resumed his attacks on President Obama’s economic policy Sunday morning, suggesting that the President’s plan to tax millionaires’ profits from capital gains in order to fund job creation efforts constitutes “class warfare”: RYAN: It adds further instability to our system mor...Paul Ryan supports plan to let unemployed work for free | Raw Replay www.rawstory
Rep. Paul Ryan (R WI) isn’t a fan of President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act, but he does like the idea of allowing people who are receiving unemployment benefits to work for free. The plan is based on a program called Georgia Works which matches job seekers with employers. Under the ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MIA > Archive > Mandel



Ernest Mandel

The Irresistible Fall of Mikhail Gorbachev

(1992)

From International Viewpoint, No.221, February 3, 1992, pp.26-27.
Downloaded with thanks from the Ernest Mandel Internet Archive.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
The attempt at reforming the bureaucratic Soviet regime undertaken by Mikhail Gorbachev was doomed to failure. This confirms the impossibility of an attempt at self-reform by the bureaucracy.

Gorbachev’s failure is in line with that of Tito, Khrushchev, Mao or Dubcek. The Soviet bureaucracy is too vast, its social networks too strong, the web of inertia, routine, obstruction and sabotage on which it rests too dense for it to be decisively weakened by actions from above. Its removal demands the initiative and action of tens of millions of workers, that is, a real popular revolution from below, an anti-bureaucratic political revolution. Gorbachev was incapable of unleashing such a revolution – nor did he wish to. His aim was to preserve the system while profoundly reforming it.

Gorbachev’s course towards a radical reform of the system was not, in the first place, the result of any ideological choice. It was the outcome of unavoidable objective conditions, of the ever deepening crisis of the system in which the USSR was mired since the end of the 1970s.

The main signs of this crisis were:

The continuous fall in growth rates, which remained lower than those of the USA for more than a decade;
The impossibility in these conditions of maintaining at one and the same time the drive for the modernization of the economy, the arms race with imperialism, a constant, if modest rise in the living standards of the masses and the maintenance and expansion of the privileges of the bureaucracy. At least two if not three of these objectives had to be abandoned.
The failure, predicted by Trotsky in the 1920s, of the conversion of extensive into intensive industrialization. This conversion demanded giving priority to problems of quality rather than quantity, exact calculations of costs, transparency of economic mechanisms and the growing sovereignty of the consumers. All of which are incompatible with bureaucratic dictatorship;
The beginning of a pronounced social regression, expressed particularly by the existence of 60 million poor and the marked deterioration of the health system (including for several years an absolute fall in life expectancy);
The loss of any political legitimacy by the regime, with the appearance of broad sectors of opposition (experts, writers, young people, the oppressed nationalities, and workers acting to some extent independently);
A very deep ideological and moral crisis that the bureaucracy could no longer control.
Gorbachev’s defeat is above all the defeat of economic perestroika. Badly conceived from the beginning, changing direction several times, combining increasingly contradictory objectives, perestroika ended up dismantling the old command economy without replacing it with anything coherent.


From stagnation to economic decline

After several somersaults, economic decline followed stagnation from 1990 onwards. Galloping inflation contributed to precipitating the decline. The links between enterprises began to unravel. Consumer goods disappeared from the official distribution circuits, being gradually monopolized by various mafias and the free market, where they were sold at exorbitant prices.

The essential minimal income in Moscow at the start of 1991 was 200 rubles a month per person, which was still covered by the minimum wage. In October 1991 the essential minimum income had risen to 521 rubles according to calculations by the unions. Some 90% of Muscovites got less than this sum. Since then the situation has got still worse. And now we have the massive price rises of January 2, 1992. Given this progressive deterioration of the living conditions of broad masses, Gorbachev completely lost his popular base.

The fundamental driving force behind Gorbachev’s foreign policy was from imperialism to save the sinking ship. This led to counter-revolutionary regional accords at the expense of the Central American and Cuban revolutions, and the liberation struggles in South Africa and the Arab world. In this, Gorbachev was doing nothing more than continuing the long history of betrayals of the international revolution by Stalin, his successors and their acolytes: the betrayal of the Spanish, Yugoslav and Greek revolutions, the betrayal of the opportunities for revolutionary breakthroughs in France and Italy in 1944-48 and 1968-9, and the betrayals of the Chinese, Vietnamese, Cuban (in the first phase) and Portuguese revolutions.

However, if it was illusory to expect Gorbachev to succeed, it would also be an error to close one’s eyes to the profound and positive changes that took place in the USSR under Gorbachev.

These changes are essentially summed up by glasnost, or, if you prefer, the substantial extension of democratic liberties in practice enjoyed by the Soviet masses.

These liberties are of course limited, partial and not constitutionally guaranteed and have been combined with authoritarian features that were accentuated in the last period of Gorbachev’s reign. But these democratic liberties were real enough. Many parties, political associations, social groupings, and independent workers’ organizations arose. A press entirely outside the control of the party’s censorship appeared. Public demonstrations, often of great size, took place. There were an increasing number of strikes. Elections offering the voters a choice of candidates with genuinely different political orientations were organized.

To deny that this was a colossal change for the masses compared to the Stalinist and post-Stalinist regimes, and to describe the Gorbachev regime as “totalitarian”, amounts to prettifying the Stalinist dictatorship.

Under Stalin there were millions of political prisoners. Under Gorbachev there were less than in the USA, Britain, the Spanish State or Israel. Under Stalin all strikes were bloodily suppressed. Under Gorbachev no strike was bloodily suppressed.

Such a mistaken vision of the political reality in the USSR is the result of an ultra-leftist conception of variants of political regimes. In this conception only one distinction exists: the power of the Soviets and the fascist – or fascist-inclined – bourgeois dictatorship. All intermediary forms disappear from view.

The August 1991 putschists wanted to severely limit or even suppress the democratic liberties that existed in reality. They intended to suppress the right to strike and independent workers organizations. This is why the putsch had to be opposed by all means available. And this is why the failure of the putsch should be hailed.

This means the working masses of the ex-USSR must now undertake a struggle on two fronts: for the defense, extension and consolidation of democratic liberties on the one hand, and on the other against privatization. To abandon one of these two central struggles would be to sacrifice the fundamental interests of the working class.

There is no chance of the development and victory of the political revolution in the ex-USSR without the working class regaining its capacity for mass independent political class organization. This objective, in turn, can only be realized by a long period of apprenticeship, of the development of struggles and the emergence of a new vanguard. Without democratic liberties in reality, this process will be much longer, more difficult and would have fewer chances of reaching a successful conclusion. And without such a political revolution, the restoration of capitalism is inevitable in the long term.

Gorbachev was not overthrown by a mass mobilization. Nor was he overthrown by an offensive by imperialism or domestic bourgeois forces. He has been overthrown by a wing of the bureaucracy led by Boris Yeltsin.


Yeltsin: a man of the apparatus

Yeltsin, just as much, if not more than Gorbachev, represents a faction in the top levels of the nomenklatura. Yeltsin, by his whole past and education, is a man of the apparatus. His gifts as a populist demagogue do not permit the modification of this judgement. If there is something that distinguished Yeltsin from Gorbachev it is that he is less inclined to evasion, more authoritarian and thus more dangerous for the masses.

People will say that, unlike Gorbachev, who continued in some vague fashion to call himself a socialist, Yeltsin has come out openly for the restoration of capitalism. This is true. But professions of faith are not enough for us to form an assessment of politicians. We have to look at what happens in practice and what social interests they serve.

From this point of view, Yeltsin and his allies in the liquidation of the USSR in favour of the “Commonwealth of Sovereign States” represent a faction of the nomenklatura distinct from the bourgeois forces properly so-called (essentially the “lumpen-millionaires”, the new bourgeoisie), although they can overlap at the margins.

The most typical cases are those of the presidents of the Ukraine and Kazakhstan who, together with Yeltsin, have “betrayed Gorbachev” (in the latter’s own phrase) to liquidate the USSR.

Both were leaders of the Stalinist apparatus in these two republics at the beginning of the Gorbachev era. Both continue to rely on the local, hardly changed, KGB. At the start both played a waiting game, or even supported the putsch. They have both used the legitimate revolt of the masses of their region against national oppression to convert themselves into “nationalist leaders”.

Their cynicism is manifested by their readiness to associate, at least for the time being, with Yeltsin and his acolytes, who are authentic Great Russian chauvinists.

What we are seeing in the ex-USSR is a triangular struggle between: factions at the top of the nomenklatura; directly restorationist, that is, bourgeois forces in the social sense of the term; and the labouring masses. These three forces are distinct, acting in society according to their own distinct interests.

New putsches are possible. Yeltsin may well rapidly lose popularity, given the anti-worker and anti-popular policies he is pursuing. Behind him can be seen the sinister figure of Vladimir Shirinovsky, the Soviet LePen, who looks for inspiration at one and the same time to Stalin, the Tsar, and Pinochet; he has the support of a wing of the army and is furiously Great Russian, xenophobic, anti-semitic and racist. His popularity should not be underestimated.

We do not today face either a revolutionary or a pre-revolutionary situation in the ex-USSR. Without doubt, the working class is infinitely stronger than its adversaries, far stronger than in 1917 or 1927. At the same time Stalinism is, as we have always predicted, in the process of collapsing. But for it to be overthrown by a political revolution, the working class must act as an independent political force, which is not the case today.

Due to the enormous discredit thrown on the very ideas of communism, socialism or Marxism by the Stalinist dictatorship, the void created by the profound ideological/moral crisis of Soviet society is not about to be filled by the working class. This is active, but only for a short-term immediate ends and in a fragmented and discontinuous way. The right wing has the political initiative.


The broken thread of history

Contrary to our legitimate hopes up until 1980-81 (the first rise of Solidarnosc), the thread that leads from the revolt in the Vorkuta labour camp and the East German uprising of 1953 through the Hungarian revolution of 1956 to the “Prague Spring” and the first steps of Polish Solidarnosc has been broken. It will take time to restore it.

Does this mean that a lasting restoration of the power of the nomenklatura or a real restoration of capitalism are the most likely outcomes? Not at all. They are just as unlikely as a rapid move to political revolution.

Certainly, the Yeltsin government has taken some initial steps towards capitalist restoration. But there is a huge distance between the beginning and the end of such a process.

For a real restoration of capitalism, an extension of the commodity economy – which remains today less developed in the ex-USSR than in the time of the New Economic Policy of the 1920s – is not enough. The big means of production and exchange must also become commodities. This requires at least $1,000bn, a sum which is not available in present conditions, either in the West or the ex-USSR itself.

It is also necessary for labour power to be subjected to the laws of the “labour market”. This implies 30 to 40 million unemployed and a drop in living standards of the order of 30 to 50%; this will meet with fierce resistance.

The most probable eventuality is a long period of decomposition and chaos. Our modest but real hope must be that in this period the Soviet working class will be able gradually to reconquer its class independence. The main task of the small and fragmented socialist forces is to link up with the workers and aid them to overcome the obstacles to that end.



Top of the page

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Tea Party and Ron Paul cheer for the uninsured to die
www.addictinginfo.org
Moderator: But congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?(Tea Party crowd screams YES!)
Republican principle: privatizing profits, socializing losses. Social justice : Fox and Glenn with our money

A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC IS A FORM OF DEMOCRCAY BECAUSE THE DELEGATES ARE ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE THEREFORE ALL CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLICS ARE DEMOCRACIES

WE ARE A REPRESENTATIVE OR INDIRECT DEMOCRACY

Republican principle: privatizing profits, socializing losses. Social justice : Fox and Glenn with our money

WE ARE A REPRESENTATIVE OR INDIRECT DEMOCRACY

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wisconsin Republicans take whole month off, putting jobs measures on hold | The Raw Story www.rawstory.com
Following the unprecedented wave of recall elections last month, Wisconsin Republicans have decided they don't want to return to work in Sept., scheduling just one day for the legislature to be in session despite the public's urging to do something to boost private sector jobs.
Critics say a new one-time fee of $25 that Arizona charges visitors to state prisons is a tax and want it declared unconstitutional. But the law which created the fee also directed all money collected to be deposited into a building renewal fund, to pay for repairing and maintaining Department of Corrections buildings. What do you think? Is the law unconstitutional?
Another way they get you: $25 to enter prison www.cbsnews.com
New Ariz. law charges fee to visitors at state prisons, to pay for building renewal fund; Critics call it a tax
Iran Officially Opens First Nuclear Power Plant abcnews.go.com
Iran celebrated the official opening of the nation's first nuclear power plant today, a worrisome milestone for Western critics of the Iranian nuclear program.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ron Paul Says Eliminating Minimum Wage Will Help The Poor, And Create Jobs www.addictinginfo.org
Tonight during the Republican Presidential debate Congressman Ron Paul was asked if he believes that eliminating the minimum wage would create jobs. He emphatically stated that he does think that eliminating the minimum wage would create jobs, and that it would also help the poor.
Things The Republican Congress Has Done, INSTEAD Of Creating Jobs
www.addictinginfo.org
Republicans said if they took control of the House of Representatives they would start creating jobs. This is a list of some ofthe things they've done, instead of creating jobs.
Swiss Central Bank Move 'Huge Mistake': Jim Rogers www.cnbc.com
The Swiss central bank's decision to set a limit on how much the Swiss franc can appreciate against the euro is "a huge mistake," investor Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, told CNBC.com on Wednesday.

Sen. McConnell Takes Just One Day To Violate His Own "No-Politics Zone" Around Jobs | Political Corr politicalcorrection.org
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R KY), on Monday: "At a time when 14 million Americans are looking for work, job creation should be a no-politics zone."
100 Things You Can Say To Irritate A Republican
August 11, 2011
By Stephen D. Foster Jr.

Image from http://www.skyscanner.net/news/articles/2010/08/007777-76-have-sympathy-for-air-rage-reveals-skyscanner.html
Conservatives are so easy to anger these days. Even the most insignificant statement can set off their tempers. If you want to enrage a conservative, I suggest saying the following:

1. A Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor, for free.
3. Joseph McCarthy was an un-American, witch hunting sissy.
4. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were traitors.
5. The South lost the Civil War, get over it.
6. The Founding Fathers were liberals.
7. Fascism is a right-wing trait.
8. Sarah Palin is an ugly cow (said to conservative males).
9. The Earth is round.
10. Reagan raised taxes eleven times as President.
11. Reagan legalized abortion as Governor of California.
12. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency.
13. Ronald Reagan supported gun control.
14. Global warming is real.
15. Republicans hate illegal immigrants, unless they need their lawns mowed or their houses cleaned.
16. The military is a government-run institution, so why do Republicans approve the defense budget?
17. The Cold War is over and the Soviet Union no longer exists.
18. Paying taxes is patriotic.
19. Republicans: Peddling the same failed economic policies since 1880.
20. The Republican Party began as a liberal party.
21. The Presidents’ full name is Barack Hussein Obama and he was born in the United States of America.
22. George W. Bush held hands with the King of Saudi Arabia.
23. President Obama saved the American auto industry, while Republicans wanted to destroy it.
24. Hate is not a Christian virtue.
25. Jesus was a liberal.
26. Republicans spend MORE money than Democrats.
27. Tea parties are for little girls.
28. Public schools educate all children; private schools are for indoctrinating children.
29. The Constitution is the law, NOT the Bible.
30. Sharia law doesn’t exist in America.
31. The President is NOT a Muslim.
32. Corporations are NOT people. People are people.
33. Fox News isn’t real news, it’s just a racist, sexist, hateful, right-wing propaganda machine.
34. The Federal Reserve was a Republican idea.
35. Women are equal citizens who deserve equal rights.
36. Women control their own bodies.
37. Abortion is a relevant medical procedure, just ask Rick Santorum.
38. Please use spell check.
39. It’s “pundit”, not “pundint”.
40. Social Security is solvent through 2038.
41. Health care is a right, not a product.
42. Roe v. Wade was a bipartisan ruling made by a conservative leaning Supreme Court.
43. G.O.P also stands for Gross Old Perverts.
44. The donkey shouldn’t be the Democratic mascot because Republicans are the real jackasses.
45. Barack Obama ordered the killing of Osama Bin Laden. It took him two and half years to do what Bush couldn’t do in eight.
46. Waterboarding IS torture.
47. 9/11 happened on George W. Bush’s watch, therefore he did NOT keep America safe.
48. Republicans invaded Iraq for oil, so Iraq should be allowed to invade Texas to get it back.
49. Separation of church and state is in the Constitution, it’s called the First Amendment.
50. Muslims are protected by the Constitution, just as much as Christians.



51. Barack Obama is the first African-American President, get over it.
52. The Oval Office is NOT a “whites only” office.
53. America is a nation of immigrants, therefore we are all anchor babies.
54. The white race isn’t disappearing, it’s evolving.
55. God is a particle.
56. Evolution is real.
57. The Earth is 4.54 billion years old, not 6,000.
58. The Founding Fathers did not free the slaves.
59. The Revolution was NOT fought over slavery.
60. Paul Revere warned the Americans, NOT the British.
61. Federal law trumps state law.
62. The Civil War was about slavery, NOT state’s rights.
63. Corporations care more about profits than they do about people.
64. Getting out of a recession requires government spending.
65. Glenn Beck is a nut-job.
66. Republicans: Paranoid since 1932.
67. Republicans don’t want to pay for your birth control, but they want you to pay for their Viagra.
68. Republicans actually NEED Viagra.
69. Fox News is owned by an Australian and has a Saudi prince as an investor.
70. Republicans complain about immigrants taking American jobs, then freely give American jobs to foreigners overseas.
71. Republicans hate communism, so why do they refer to themselves as red states?
72. Labor unions built this country.
73. Republicans hold America hostage as a political strategy; the temper tantrum throwing kind of political strategy.
74. Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian.
75. When Republicans see black, they attack.
76. Inside every Republican is a Klansman or a Nazi waiting to bloom.
77. Republicans only care about children BEFORE they are born.
78. Republicans are hypocrites, they’re just too stupid to know it.
79. The Christian-Right boycotts movies that have violence, and then promotes guns and insurrection.
80. I think therefore I am NOT a Republican.
81. Republicans that oppose gay marriage are most likely in the closet themselves.
82. Churches should stay out of politics, or be taxed.
83. People are too poor to vote Republican.
84. Democrats think for themselves, Republicans form think tanks to do it for them.
85. Republicans hate education because they couldn’t hack it in school.
86. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins and Republicans wallow in it.
87. A little socialism on the Left is better than a little fascism on the Right.
88. The current corporate tax rate is the lowest in 60 years, so stop whining about it being too high.
89. Republicans: Anti-Gay Marriage, Pro-Lesbian sex.
90. Republicans: Terrorizing the American people since 1981.
91. Republicans have their own terrorists, just look up Timothy McVeigh.
92. Republicans love outsourcing, just ask the Chinese Communists.
93. The Republican answer to the oil spill was to apologize to BP, a foreign oil company.
94. Democrats will be working hard to bring jobs to Americans, while the Republicans tea bag each other in the middle of the aisles.
95. Voter disenfranchisement is immoral and un-American, that’s why Republicans do it.
96. Republicans would let your house burn down unless you pay them to put it out.
97. Democrats want to take care of the sick. Republicans take their credit cards and then deny them medical attention.
98. Republicans say teachers are union thugs, then proceed to rape and mug the entire middle class on behalf of corporations.
99. Republicans think rape isn’t a crime, but miscarriages are.
100. Republicans are idiots and arguing with them is a waste of time!

Bottom line? If you want to anger a conservative, tell them the truth.

Edited By: Alexis Atherton
‎''I prefer to have my toenails pulled out with needle nose pliers, then salt poured on them...
''

In terms of promoting economic growth and creating jobs the Bush tax cuts have been a miserable failure. Tax the Rich

The Bush administration squandered the surplus of the Clinton years, yet prominent pundits pretend that the two parties s...hare equal blame for our debt problems...
Tax cuts : 3 trillion dollars, Bushs wars : 4 trillion dollars and deregulations = the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression....
Gop's dictionary. 51 million people without HCI = freedom, democracy, the rule of law, civilization

....

Tax the Rich

Deficit Rx: 1)Tax the Rich 2) Tax Corporations 3) Tax Capital Gains as Income. 4) Raise Soc Sec Tax Cap. 5) Tax Inheritance. 6) End the Wars
Americans Against the Tea Party ..Teabaggers don't want to raise the debt ceiling unless spending is cut even though they raised it for their Lord and Savior GWB 7 times? Ok in exchange for not raising it: 100% IMMEDIATE REPEAL of Bush tax cuts for the top 5%, Immediate revocation of all taxpayer subsidies for big business, Immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, IMMEDIATE revocation of all church tax-exempt status. Deal? MattBean

What's facinating is that the top 0.1% don't primarily consist of the real entrepreneurs, innovators, inventors, computer engineers, breakthrough scientists, or even sports and entertainment celebreties, all of whom make up just a small portion today.

No, the great majority of the top 0.1% today, in contrast to thirty years ago, are executives and managers, both non-financial (about 40%) and financial (about 20%). These are, by and large, people who got to the top by playing the system very well, and by manipulating tax policies, regulations, shareholders, and the political process, rent seeking, in essence, and not by finding clever ways to improve the world. The staggering growth in wealth of the top 0.1% is almost entirely because of their newfound presence, and not because of technological change, which would have similarly enlarged the membership of real innovators in the top 0.1%.

..Why does the GOP oppose stimulus? Ask a psychologist. www.washingtonpost.com
The reason President Obama is going to have such a hard time persuading Republicans to support his jobs proposals has more to do with behavior than policy

Chris Cillizza (The Fix): "Attacking in a debate is like running back a kickoff in football; you can’t always see where the big hit is going to come from." http://wapo.st/owDglT

A Viewer's Guide: GOP contenders go head-to-head www.washingtonpost.com
Find out who is likely to be attacked, or do the attacking in tonight's debate.
Reid Seeks To Call GOP Bluff By Pushing Clean Emergency Disaster Relief Bill tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
Sensing an advantage after some Republicans claimed disaster relief funding should be offset with cuts to other programs, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will hold a vote on a clean, stand alone, $6 billion disaster relief bill.

In terms of promoting economic growth and creating jobs the Bush tax cuts have been a miserable failure. Tax the Rich

The Bush administration squandered the surplus of the Clinton years, yet prominent pundits pretend that the two parties s...hare equal blame for our debt problems...
Tax cuts : 3 trillion dollars, Bushs wars : 4 trillion dollars and deregulations = the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression....
Gop's dictionary. 51 million people without HCI = freedom, democracy, the rule of law, civilization
....
Tax the Rich
Deficit Rx: 1)Tax the Rich 2) Tax Corporations 3) Tax Capital Gains as Income. 4) Raise Soc Sec Tax Cap. 5) Tax Inheritance. 6) End the Wars
Americans Against the Tea Party ..Teabaggers don't want to raise the debt ceiling unless spending is cut even though they raised it for their Lord and Savior GWB 7 times? Ok in exchange for not raising it: 100% IMMEDIATE REPEAL of Bush tax cuts for the top 5%, Immediate revocation of all taxpayer subsidies for big business, Immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, IMMEDIATE revocation of all church tax-exempt status. Deal? MattBean

What's facinating is that the top 0.1% don't primarily consist of the real entrepreneurs, innovators, inventors, computer engineers, breakthrough scientists, or even sports and entertainment celebreties, all of whom make up just a small portion today.

No, the great majority of the top 0.1% today, in contrast to thirty years ago, are executives and managers, both non financial (about 40%) and financial (about 20%). These are, by and large, people who got to the top by playing the system very well, and by manipulating tax policies, regulations, shareholders, and the political process, rent seeking, in essence, and not by finding clever ways to improve the world. The staggering growth in wealth of the top 0.1% is almost entirely because of their newfound presence, and not because of technological change, which would have similarly enlarged the membership of real innovators in the top 0.1%.

Cantor Demurs On Whether Super Committee Should Focus On Jobs tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
Eric Cantor's not sold on the idea that the deficit Super Committee should try to create jobs

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

‎'Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every ...rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.'

~Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th U.S. president (1890-1969) By: Veracity Stew..

Ezra Klein
Columnist
Why does the GOP oppose stimulus? Ask a psychologist.
Text Size PrintE-mailReprints
By Ezra Klein, Published: September 5

Want to know why President Obama is going to have such a hard time persuading Republicans to support his jobs proposals this week? Don’t ask a pundit, or a politician, or a pollster. Ask a psychologist.

It has become common today for Republicans to deride the very concept of stimulus as absurd, to mock Keynesian economics as an ivory-tower fantasy, and to oppose temporary tax cuts as a recession-fighting measure. But during the Bush administration? All that was orthodox conservative policy.

Weigh InCorrections?

Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein is a columnist at the Washington Post, as well as a contributor to MSNBC. His work focuses on domestic and economic policymaking, as well as the political system that’s constantly screwing it up. He’s appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show, Charlie Rose, Real Time with Bill Maher, The McLaughlin Report, the Colbert Report, and many more. He really likes graphs.
Archive

 Washington Post photojournalist Michael S. Williamson is documenting his year-long cross country journey armed only with a smartphone.
Gallery

Stories of unemployment: More than two years after the end of the recession, 14 million Americans remain out of work. The “Help Wanted” project follows six unemployed people from across the country as they struggle to pay the bills, preserve relationships and hold onto hope for the future. The project seeks to show the true impact of joblessness — through the eyes of the unemployed.

Klein: The economic crisis has become a political crisis
Read story

In 2001, Grover Norquist called a national sales-tax holiday “exactly the kind of immediate stimulus our shell-shocked economy needs now.” Norquist went on to quote George W. Bush’s chief economist, Glenn Hubbard, saying we needed stimulus “sooner rather than later.” Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced a bill to that effect.

Around the same time, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) held a hearing in which he invited Kevin Hassett, a conservative economist based at the American Enterprise Institute, to make the case for a fiscal stimulus. “The economists who studied this were quite surprised to find that fiscal policy in recessions was reasonably effective,” Hassett testified. “It is just that folks tried a first punch that was too light and that generally we didn’t get big measures until well into the recession.”

Ryan was delighted by his answer. “That is precisely my point,” he replied. “That is why I like my porridge hot. I think we ought to have this income tax cut fast, deeper, retroactive to January 1st, to make sure we get a good punch into the economy, juice the economy to make sure that we can avoid a hard landing.”

So not only was it non-controversial that deficit-financed stimulus spending was an effective and desirable way to fight economic downturns, but it was taken as obvious by Paul Ryan — Paul Ryan! — that the big danger was that you did too little. Now, of course, Ryan takes the initial stimulus’s inability to fully combat the recession as evidence of the policy’s failure, even though we now know the recession was deep enough that standard calculations — the sort of calculations Hassett was referring to in his testimony — would have argued for a stimulus of more than $2 trillion.

So what happened?

Some say the explanation for all this is obvious: Republicans want the economy to fail because that is how they will defeat President Obama. After all, didn’t Sen. Mitch McConnell say, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president”? How much clearer can it be?

I don’t believe this sort of behavior is quite that cynical. Psychologists and political scientists talk often of a phenomenon known as motivated skepticism. The idea, basically, is that we believe the evidence and arguments we want to believe, and reject ideas and information that undercut our preferences.

My favorite study in this space was by Yale’s Geoffrey Cohen. He had a control group of liberals and conservatives look at a generous welfare reform proposal and a harsh welfare reform proposal. As expected, liberals preferred the generous plan and conservatives favored the more stringent option. Then he had another group of liberals and conservatives look at the same plans, but this time, the plans were associated with parties.

Both liberals and conservatives followed their parties, even when their parties disagreed with their preferences. So when Democrats were said to favor the stringent welfare reform, for example, liberals went right along. Three scary sentences from the piece: “When reference group information was available, participants gave no weight to objective policy content, and instead assumed the position of their group as their own. This effect was as strong among people who were knowledgeable about welfare as it was among people who were not. Finally, participants persisted in the belief that they had formed their attitude autonomously even in the two group information conditions where they had not.”

I tend to think there’s much more motivated skepticism in politics than outright cynicism, much less economic sabotage. But it’s a distinction without a difference, at least so far as policy outcomes go. The bottom line is this: Until quite recently, both parties supported the idea that you combat bad economies with stimulus spending. Now, during an extremely bad economy, the Republican Party has completely abandoned that position. That has left them without plausible solutions — the GOP talks now of things that have very little role in boosting short-term demand, such as deficit reduction and regulatory reform — and has left the Democrats without the votes to pass anything. And that’s left the country deep in the hole.
MattBean

What's facinating is that the top 0.1% don't primarily consist of the real entrepreneurs, innovators, inventors, computer engineers, breakthrough scientists, or even sports and entertainment celebreties, all of whom make up just a small portion today.

No, the great majority of the top 0.1% today, in contrast to thirty years ago, are executives and managers, both non-financial (about 40%) and financial (about 20%). These are, by and large, people who got to the top by playing the system very well, and by manipulating tax policies, regulations, shareholders, and the political process, rent seeking, in essence, and not by finding clever ways to improve the world. The staggering growth in wealth of the top 0.1% is almost entirely because of their newfound presence, and not because of technological change, which would have similarly enlarged the membership of real innovators in the top 0.1%.

.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Raw Story
That's a lot of missing guns.
16,000 guns ‘lost’ from manufacturing plants in last 2.5 years: report | The Raw Story
www.rawstory.com
A report released Thursday highlighted that more than 16,000 firearms have been reported "lost" from licensed gun manufacturing plants before sale since 2009, an average of 18 guns lost per day. Many of these guns don't have serial numbers affixed yet, making them nearly impossible to trace and thus.....
WHY IS OUR ECONOMY IN THE SEWER?

(1) ''First, the tax cut for the rich that we couldn't afford.
(2) Two very expensive wars,
(3) The third is, a very good thing that we did, which was to provide prescription benefits under Medicare for the aged.
(4) The final cause of the change of our framework from the surplus that we had ten years ago, just ten years ago, to where we are today, is the economic downturn'' (Stiglitz)
(5) THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

‎92 percent prefer Swedish model to US model when given a choice Study: Most Americans want wealth distribution similar to Sweden http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/25/poll-wealth-distribution-similar-sweden/.