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Tuesday morning I will have to drive past the "Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway Sign" on my way to a Denver suburb to celebrate Christmas holiday at my sister-in-law's home. You have to understand that every time I see that government funded road side patronizing memorial I want to THROW UP.  

The last time I passed by the sign I realized that none of this ongoing political drama was going to come to pass, where most of the rest of society can begin to actually work on this century's problems is not going to happen until "we", those who are not Right-Wingers, politically and financially break the back of the Right-Wing' support and ideology.  These thoughts are now at the forefront of our minds, as even my usually preoccupied wife is becoming attuned to the threats of the fiscal cliff---what is only best described as a self-inflicted economic wound via a political-collective self-destructive personality disorder.  

Ironically, this part of the highway is only named the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway in El Paso County Colorado, where the only sign commemorating this stretch of America's Federal Superhighway system to the growing mythology and leader of an American revolutionary movement but who himself raised taxes eleven times.

CBS NEWS: Ronald Reagan Myth Doesn't Square with Reality

Reagan is perhaps most often invoked by those who cast him as having held the line against tax increases. Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, for example, often points to Reagan when calling for lower taxes and spending cuts; he says, by contrast, "tax hikes are what politicians do when they don't have the determination or the competence to govern." Conservatives also hail Reagan as a budget cutter willing to make hard choices to keep spending in line.

It's certainly true that Reagan entered office as a full-throat conservative vowing to cut both spending and taxes. And he quickly followed through on part of that promise, passing a major reduction in marginal tax rates. (According to author Lou Cannon, the top marginal rate fell from 70 percent when he came into office to 28 percent when he left.) But following his party's losses in the 1982 election, Reagan largely backed off his efforts at spending cuts even as he continued to offer the small-government rhetoric that helped get him elected. In fact, he went in the opposite direction. [...] But following his party's losses in the 1982 election, Reagan largely backed off his efforts at spending cuts even as he continued to offer the small-government rhetoric that helped get him elected. In fact, he went in the opposite direction. [...] Meanwhile, following that initial tax cut, Reagan actually ended up raising taxes - eleven times. That's according to former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, a longtime Reagan friend who co-chaired President Obama's fiscal commission that last year offered a deficit reduction proposal.

The Interstate highway also is called the "John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway" stretching from the border of New Mexico and Colorado up to the El Paso-Pueblo County Line.

Fortunately no one refers to it by these symbolic legislative gestures, as it is called I-25 by everyone, including the many wingnuts in my current home city of Colorado Springs, unlike the Chicago Expressways where I grew up and started a career listening intently to the dynamic traffic reports on the car radio.

Cook County Illinois gestures were more direct to the nature of local politics and the building of the road system that was the backbone to the modern Chicago economy. First there was an honor bestowed on President Dwight Eisenhower (R) for creating the Keynesian economic program called the Interstate System, the other was for the Illinoisan Democratic candidate, Gov. Adlai Stevenson, who opposed Ike twice while also bestowing a post-humus honor to JFK. They also named an expressway after two other   local political celebrities; the Edens Expy named after William G. Edens, a banker and early advocate for paved roads the other, Dan Ryan Expy, was named for the late Dan Ryan, Jr., once the Pres of the Cook County Board who accelerated the construction of Chicago-area expressways. They made some kind of political and historic sense. Tell me why Reagan or Kennedy in the middle of the southern Colorado Front Range except for patronizing political symbolism, much like most of the House of Representatives work the last two years.  And yes I am back to the final throws of conservative era.

So let us come to terms with the angst surrounding the dysfunctional government led by the Republicans. Collectively this is the democratic form of a Right-Wing Revolution once called the Reagan Revolution, and as with any and all genuine revolutionary movements those who are the true believers, the fighters, the members, they are willing cause great pain and suffering for their cause---even suicide. The mistake most people outside or not living amongst these revolutionaries is that they truly believe the bullshit they espouse. Just listen to a supposedly responsible member of Congress, once a committee chair, about his vision and commitment to the revolution,  Rep. Huelskamp (R-KS) on Morning Joe's MSNBC program's host Joe Scarborough (a former Republican Congressman himself).  

After the rejection of House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” plan to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kans., said there’s no way he’ll ever agree to raise taxes, no matter how many spending cuts are agreed upon.

“I’m not going to vote to put people out of work and that’s what these tax increases do,” Huelskamp said Friday on Morning Joe. “I’m not going to put aside the fact that this tax increase would put anywhere from 200,000 to 700,000 Americans out of work.”

Huelskamp said he would never vote for tax increases, even for millionaires, because he believes it will hurt jobs.  Emphasis added

So where did this absolutism come from? Understand it has its tap roots all the way back to the Great Depression and the fact that these revolutionaries are all off-spring of parents who lived or were instrumental in causing the Great Depression but deeply believed that America got it wrong during FDR. Understand this, when Eisenhower was elected he was not part of them, he was a hired gun to gain back the White House. But when Kennedy was elected he was hated more than Obama, and they can't stand he beat the Soviets. Kennedy also lowered taxes.
The president finally decided that only a bold domestic program, including tax cuts, would restore his political momentum. Declaring that the absence of recession is not tantamount to economic growth, the president proposed in 1963 to cut income taxes from a range of 20-91% to 14-65% He also proposed a cut in the corporate tax rate from 52% to 47%. Ironically, economic growth expanded in 1963, and Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress insisted that reducing taxes without corresponding spending cuts was unacceptable. Kennedy disagreed, arguing that “a rising tide lifts all boats” and that strong economic growth would not continue without lower taxes.

WHAT?  more below the orange waves of change.

As I volunteered before upon interviewing a number of former local political officials in El Paso County, Colorado to better learn the political landscape being the base of conservatism and right wing political movements, some of who included a former Congressman's senior aide, former County Commissioners, Mayor's and City Council Members', what came out was a consistent theme that ran through practically all of them which one now reformed and now admitted Unaffiliated registered voter described as the Republican Conundrum: Three unspoken, unwritten and rules that all Republicans ascribe as a core belief when elected into office:

1. Don't do anything that hurts existing wealth.

2. If you must cause financial pain to existing wealth, ensure that lower-income tax payers pay more than their fair share.

3. Don't do anything that increases the cost of corporation's or business' bottom line.

Now understand this in its simplest form. Practically every Republican politician understands that their mission is to protect existing wealth---meaning the 1% or at least those who believe they are wealthy let us say the top 10%, as in small businesses, agribusinesses, doctors and other professionals who are fixated only in making money.
When I ran this by my father of eighty-five years who until recently was a loyal Republican of that top ten percent or better he responded like Olympia Dukakis in the movie Moonstruck when she it was finally revealed why "men chase women"?

My father said; "Someone actually admitted it? We always complained about taxes as taxes are something everyone complains about, as in "who the hell likes paying for something that goes to someone else! But when you get older you realize you are paying for something that will benefit yourself. But you also understood that we all have to pay it just was the progressive rates seemed so unfair. Now they are so unfair the other way and these bozo's are willing to take down the entire country to keep it unfair. But now this explains it more, it used to be that politicians were somewhat independent and had a conscience, now they seem to be soldiers for the extreme wealthy."

Yet this last election what really was exposed the 1%'ers of the 1%'ers, who were committed in contorting and warping the election to the point of making one-man-one-vote irrelevant, no different than how shareholders hold any actual power in corporations. This became evident during the Republican primary, where it turned into something worse than pretzel logic, not even old guard Republicans recognized any reality. The reason is that it used to be that a campaign's life was always about its cash flow from many donors, now it is about pleasing one large donor. So now the system is about some renegade Tea Party rebel who challenges an incumbent who Republicans fear, it is the money behind one of those Tea Party candidates. Ask yourself why this happened?Just ask Dick Armey.

Mother Jones obtained the email on Monday, and Armey has confirmed he sent it. The tone of the memo suggests that this was not an amicable separation.
"The top management team of FreedomWorks was taking a direction I thought was unproductive, and I thought it was time to move on with my life," Armey tells Mother Jones. "At this point, I don't want to get into the details. I just want to go on with my life."
A handful of key FreedomWorks officials said Monday that they, too, were leaving the organization. According to Roll Call, Max Pappas, the former vice president for public policy and government affairs, and campaigns director Brendan Steinhauser are both quitting the group. Two staffers who worked with Steinhauser have also departed.

FreedomWorks president and CEO Matt Kibbe and several of the group's board members have not returned calls for comment.
 

Take my word for something I know. A payout of this magnitude and departure this broad based is not simply a philosophical disagreement is about Armey and staff not being necessary anymore. FreedomWorks which originated from an earlier campaign called Citizens for a Sound Economy in 2004. Citizens for a Sound Economy was established and unwritten by none other than David Koch. Citizens for a Sound Economy then merged with Empower America in 2004 and where it was renamed FreedomWorks, when Dick Armey, Jack Kemp and C. Boyden Gray served as co-chairmen. Empower America focused on charter schools and school choice where Matt Kibbe as its President and CEO. was founded in 1993 by Bill Bennett, Jack Kemp, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, and Rep. Vin Weber. This is a very small world.

To get a big picture may I suggest reading Chrystia Freeland's book, Plutocrats, NY Times has a great archived intro written by Freeland herself to reference.

IN the early 14th century, Venice was one of the richest cities in Europe. At the heart of its economy was the colleganza, a basic form of joint-stock company created to finance a single trade expedition. The brilliance of the colleganza was that it opened the economy to new entrants, allowing risk-taking entrepreneurs to share in the financial upside with the established businessmen who financed their merchant voyages.

Venice’s elites were the chief beneficiaries. Like all open economies, theirs was turbulent. Today, we think of social mobility as a good thing. But if you are on top, mobility also means competition. In 1315, when the Venetian city-state was at the height of its economic powers, the upper class acted to lock in its privileges, putting a formal stop to social mobility with the publication of the Libro d’Oro, or Book of Gold, an official register of the nobility. If you weren’t on it, you couldn’t join the ruling oligarchy.

The political shift, which had begun nearly two decades earlier, was so striking a change that the Venetians gave it a name: La Serrata, or the closure. It wasn’t long before the political Serrata became an economic one, too. Under the control of the oligarchs, Venice gradually cut off commercial opportunities for new entrants. Eventually, the colleganza was banned. The reigning elites were acting in their immediate self-interest, but in the longer term, La Serrata was the beginning of the end for them, and for Venetian prosperity more generally. By 1500, Venice’s population was smaller than it had been in 1330. In the 17th and 18th centuries, as the rest of Europe grew, the city continued to shrink.  

If you understand the these two points of references, the three unspoken and unwritten rules of every Republican Party elected politician and this reference of today's plutocrats where they have created a system that there is no turnover of capitalism, that they are permanently protected and removed from society and its responsibilities you see begin to understand that there are few options remaining but to break the back of their political support system that is protecting the plutocrats power.

This is why I think Obama and Company know this as well. That politically he needs to maintain the high road, the willingness to compromise and be rational while those who hold the nation hostage are exposed. I don't have any confidence that there will be a deal before January 3rd or even January 20th until the economic pain is so severe on the 1% and those who support the 1% and still they will not relent. Howard Dean on MSNBC on the Ed Show last night.

Howard pointed out that he felt we are headed over the fiscal cliff and he was happy about it. That we need the revenues and a down payment on the debt and need to take down defense spending. Now he is saying he believes that the President actually wants a deal but he also believes the Tea Party wants to take us over the cliff. That we will have two quarters of recession but will be better off for it.

That was the question my father-in-law inquired, how could we be better off? As I thought about it, the only prism that one could be better off is to have marginalized the Right Wing where politically they lose the support of the business and corporate classes, even as they were put in place to protect them. The thing I know about the business and corporate class is that they are short-term as in quarterly and monthly financial reports and in cash is king, cash flows. No matter what corporate business is based on available credit and credit demands payments on a regular intervals. Devalue the corporate collateral as in stock values and available credit has a hair cut. Reduce the market and currency acceleration and corporate cash flows are harmed.

Now this is a form of war, an economic war so the rest of us will also take hits. Yes there will be job losses, there will retributions made by the 1%'ers. Now let us not get too giddy this is a long back breaking effort. Remember the Plutonomy memos  of Citigroup.

1) the world is dividing into two blocs - the plutonomies, where economic growth is powered by and largely consumed by the wealthy few, and the rest.

Plutonomies have occurred before in sixteenth century Spain, in seventeenth century Holland, the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties in the U.S. What are the common drivers of Plutonomy?

Disruptive technology-driven productivity gains, creative financial innovation, capitalist- friendly cooperative governments, an international dimension of immigrants and overseas conquests invigorating wealth creation, the rule of law, and patenting inventions. Often these wealth waves involve great complexity, exploited best by the rich and educated of the time.

2) We project that the plutonomies (the U.S., UK, and Canada) will likely see even more income inequality, disproportionately feeding off a further rise in the profit share in their economies, capitalist-friendly governments, more technology-driven productivity, and globalization. [...]

4) In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”. There are rich consumers, few in
number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take.

There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie. [...]

The first, and probably most potent, is through a labor backlash. Outsourcing,
offshoring or insourcing of cheap labor is done to undercut current labor costs. Those being undercut are losers in the short term. While there is evidence that this is positive for the average worker (for example Ottaviano and Peri) it is also clear that high-cost substitutable labor loses.

Clearly, the analysis of the top 1% of U.S. households is paramount. The usual analysis of the “average” U.S. consumer is flawed from the start. To continue with the U.S., the top 1% of households also account for 33% of net worth, greater than the bottom 90% of households put together. It gets better(or worse, depending on your political stripe) - the top 1% of households account for 40% of financial net worth, more than the bottom 95% of households put together. [...]

Was the U.S. always a plutonomy - powered by the wealthy, who aggrandized larger chunks of the economy to themselves? Not really.  [...]

Society and governments need to be amenable to disproportionately allow/encourage the few to retain that fatter profit share. The Managerial Aristocracy, like in the Gilded Age, the Roaring Twenties, and the thriving nineties, needs to commandeer a vast chunk of that rising profit share, either through capital income, or simply paying itself a lot.

Low-end developed market labor might not have much economic power, but it does have equal voting power with the rich. [...]

A third threat comes from the potential social backlash. To use Rawls-ian analysis, the invisible hand stops working. Perhaps one reason that societies allow plutonomy, is because enough of the electorate believe they have a chance of becoming a Pluto-participant. Why kill it off, if you can join it? In a sense this is the embodiment of the “American dream”. But if voters feel they cannot participate, they are more likely to divide up the wealth pie, rather than aspire to being truly rich. [...]

A related threat comes from the backlash to “Robber-barron” economies. The
population at large might still endorse the concept of plutonomy but feel they have lost out to unfair rules. In a sense, this backlash has been epitomized by the media coverage and actual prosecution of high-profile ex-CEOs who presided over financial misappropriation. This “backlash” seems to be something that comes with bull markets and their subsequent collapse. To this end, the cleaning up of business practice, by high-profile champions of fair play, might actually prolong plutonomy. [...]

Breaking their back is all about exposing them as destroying society for the sake of the 1%'ers. This means marginalizing the political support system where it is evident that there is no compromise the same as there was no compromise regarding slavery. In the Great Depression the 1%'ers were voted out of the majority. In 1937 they regained some power and threw the country back into a second recession and got voted out again. The long game is to show that nothing will change until they are voted out in 2014 where everything must be done to put them out. Included in this war is to revive the Sherman Anti Trust Act and begin breaking up the plutonomies. Next is prosecuting the malfeasance across all lines.

So understand this is not going to change until we break the backs of the right wing and all we got is are our votes, our voices and our economic power to move away.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Premise is absurd. Reagan was a reactionary. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      J M F, 313to212, Al Fondy, ozsea1

      There was no Reagan revolution. There was an angry majority of white people concerned that they were losing white privilege. The empowerment of black people and minorities threatened the power structure.

      LBJ said it well when he said that the Dems would lose the south for a generation after he passed the Civil Rights Act.

      Old people were scared to death of the "hippies".  Only it wasn't actual hippies that were singled out for punishment. Reagan got his leg up in politics by attacking free speech at U.C. Berkeley. Intellectuals were targeted and the whole university system, the model to the world for state university excellence, was attacked.

      These were classic reactionary tactics to separate the masses from the intellectuals.  Once Dems abandoned their ideas to appeal to the "Reagan Democrats" they lost their footing and moved hard right. There was no revolution, just calculated reaction and divide and rule by appeal to racial anxieties.

      The notion that the man, who chose Larry Summers as his chief economic advisor and Tim Geithner as his Secy. of Treasury, has a grand plan to lead a revolution against the 1% is preposterous.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:11:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was a revolution, though (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Al Fondy, a2nite

        "Greed is good" was bound tightly to the "USA is great" mom-and-apple-pie sensibility of most adults in the country - especially the yuppie generation - and enshrined deeply into the consciousness of what it meant to be an American by the Great Orator.  He created a mythology that hid Republican intentions for at least twenty years since taking office, IMHO.  Much of today's damage was due to his PR that led and provided cover for the machinations of Republican true movers in the upper stratosphere of government and finance.

        Where did our pensions go?  The rise of Wall Street in everyone's lives due to 401K as less responsible replacements for businesses to offer was truly ramped up under Reagan.  Jealousy and hatred of unions, public workers and government, itself?  Specific emphases under Reagan.  Forget about the environment, because money and trappings are all for the USA?  Reagan's lead (throwing Carter's efforts under the bus), again.  PNAC and everyone+everything that led to ignoring Osama Bin Laden and creating a war in Iraq for defense contractors + more USA bases?  The list goes on.

        The diary is accurate on many points, though we have only certain tools now to work with - that should be accepted as we use them best ways possible.  Our economy is still defined by Reagan's legacy, it takes people who understand that horrid culture and can work within simply to keep it afloat while any measure of changes can be made, incrementally, over time against a tide of Reagan-era expectations on how wealth and its distribution should flow.  Nobody turns the aircraft carrier around on a dime, regardless of intentions.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:29:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A con job is not a revolution (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1, Mathazar, wader

          Reagan was a damn good shill for rich white males, but he was not a revolutionary in any way, shape or form.

          Restoring the plutocracy of the Gilded Age was not a revolution..

          It was the greatest con job the world has ever seen.

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

          by FishOutofWater on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:43:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Excuse me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wader

            but a revolution isn't defined by it's ideological character. It is simply a radical overturn of the status quo.

            The idea that you can't have a right wing or reactionary revolution was at the root of major disasters for the left and the world during 20th century. There is no reason to think that such self coddling notions will lead to anything other than further disasters.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:42:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Considering that he fully redefined the notion (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a2nite, FishOutofWater

            of what it means to be a USA citizen in proper standing within the mainstream, across most ideological boundaries, and that led to the world changing in significant fashion from the ripple effect (as I pointed out above), perhaps you're simply being a bit too pedantic on your view of its definition and digging in on that position more stringently than needed to more readily accept that he was the PR headpiece for a much broader uproot of the status quo here and worldwide.

            I supported Reagan I and lost my religion in time to oppose Reagan II, for most of the reasons above that were either evident then or easy enough to see coming.  The world was at play, not just our economy and social objective flipflop to come.  This was Goldwater's worst followers having their way with the world, using the largest, most effective tools that they could get their hands on: this country's assets under their political reach.

            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

            by wader on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:31:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  "Counter-revolution" would be a better term (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, FishOutofWater, wader

          Reagan harnessed the resentment of white Americans who lost the civil rights battles of the Sixties and Seventies, but never surrendered.

          He campaigned on reversing California's fair housing laws in his campaign for governor. His genius was never to attack integration or people of color directly, but to sublimate white resentment into hostility toward "big government" (which, in fact, had been instrumental in desegregating schools, workplaces and neighborhoods).

          My hope is that by electing America's First Black President, and inciting a backlash by racist extremists, we will ultimately drive a wedge between Wall Street and working-class conservatives. This inflicted a big loss on us in 2010, and there's going to be more strife while this plays out.

          The TeaPuppets are doing a pretty good job of monkeywrenching the one-percent's ability exercise minority-rule.

          If Wall Street cannot bring them to heel, the 1% may simply abandon the Republican Party and attempt to take over the Democratic party... where they already have established a beachhead.

          Have you noticed?
          Politicians who promise LESS government
          only deliver BAD government.

          by jjohnjj on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:47:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes. Great comment. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wader

            The 1% has hedged their bets, especially the financiers.

            look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

            by FishOutofWater on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:04:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Certainly, Reagan was following a playback (0+ / 0-)

            of dog whistles, as laid out rather clearly by advisors such as Atwater, but which had begun to grow and be experimented with in public for years before Reagan's formal 1980 election campaign, IMHO.

            The 1% simply go where the money is, I feel - there're no allegiances beyond that goal after a certain level.  Only mutual secrets to maintain, which is easy enough to do.  Democrats are politicians and can be corrupted as easily as any other party in play, but while they remain the underdogs in society we have a bit of time to help push for better directions in the public consciousness through their policy attempts . . . before they become the more bought-out party, perhaps.

            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

            by wader on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:35:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The John Boehner Memorial Highway (42+ / 0-)


    1. Don't do anything that hurts existing wealth.

    2. If you must cause financial pain to existing wealth, ensure that lower-income tax payers pay more than their fair share.

    3. Don't do anything that increases the cost of corporation's or business' bottom line.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:46:44 AM PST

  •  You forgot in NW IN: The Frank Borman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chmood, rightiswrong, wader

    And I think 88 out around Aurora is the Reagan or something like that.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:47:58 AM PST

  •  Because people, including rich people, (19+ / 0-)

    live in a bubble, the rich don't understand that they are killing the golden goose (the Waltons, the Kochs, the others that want to pinch every penny from their workers). Voters too, live in bubbles. The object of the game is to penetrate those bubbles (at least the voter's bubble) with our message.  This has been hard because 1) our bubble is different and we don't have the "code" words for the other's bubble and 2) we don't own the wurlizer and 3) we haven't had a grand strategy.

    I believe we could overcome 1 and 2 with a great 3.

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:00:03 AM PST

  •  I with breaking the back (15+ / 0-)

    I think the mass media is the greatest obstacle to progress. The brainwashed Fox Noozers and the reality TV junkies, how will we get through to them?

    Things are more the way they are today than they ever were before. -Jimmy Flynn

    by onionjim on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:38:05 AM PST

    •  Really I think we just have to get the MSM (4+ / 0-)

      To report the truth and throw away their false equivalencies.

      Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

      by Smoh on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:02:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The media is a big part of the problem (7+ / 0-)

        All the Republicans infesting the Democratic Party (sometimes referred to as "blue dogs") are another big problem. When voters see next to no difference between the two parties, particularly on economy/jobs issues, it's easy for them to throw up their hands in exasperation.

        For a couple of weeks there, after the election, there actually was some hope we'd break out of that endless loop. Then Obama, for no reason at all, put Social Security on the table...
       

      "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

      by Buzzer on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:33:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Numbers (viewers and money)... (0+ / 0-)

      You do realize how few people actually watch Fox vs. the actual population of the country, or (relates to post below) vs. how many actually watch the Sunday shows? Yet Fox commands all this attention and fretting!

      As to getting the trad media to challenge this meme? Yeah, who pays them and who owns them? Get over any consideration that this needed change will be easy...

      "We will find fulfillment not in the goods that we have, but in the good we can do for each other." ~ RFK

      by paz3 on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:59:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looking at the big picture: (10+ / 0-)

    Here's a quote from Gary Snyder's "Four Changes" :

    Since it doesn’t seem practical or even desirable to think that direct bloody force will achieve much, it would be best to consider this a continuing “revolution of consciousness” which will be won not by guns but by seizing the key images, myths, archetypes, eschatologies, and ecstasies so that life won’t seem worth living unless one is on the transforming energy’s side.

  •  We are not there yet. We need to find a way (16+ / 0-)

    to break through to all the stupid people in this country.

    I work with a lady on the lower end of the pay scale in our organization.  She is close to retirement as well.  She was spouting off right wing talking points at work:

    "Boehner just said Obama better get serious".

    "We cannot increase taxes on the rich.  You want to see the poor suffer?  Just raise taxes on the rich".

    I said to her:  "Well, Obama is compromising with Republican's.  He has just agreed to change social security indexing so that retires will get less in the years ahead.  That is what Republican's want, and he is giving in to them".  

    Now I may or may not be correct in what I said to her....I know that is being debated here on KOS, but the dumb, confused look on her face that said "oh?  Republican's want that?" was absolutely PRICELESS.

    Those people vote.  And we need to whittle away at their numbers to win each cycle.

    Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

    by lighttheway on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:05:37 AM PST

  •  Obama's long game (14+ / 0-)

    Thanks for posting this. My thoughts have been very close to this logic. I believe the vision is really focused on 2014 with the goal of beginning to reverse the damage done to this country over the last 40 years. That damage became accelerated by the Reagan Administration and reached supersonic speed in Bush II. The change in demographics that Obama utilized so well in 2012 has been an acknowledged fact for several decades. What we are seeing is a panicky plutocracy attempting to blunt this shift through regulations, laws, and court decisions designed to enshrine their dominance over society for decades to come. As an example, we already have anti-marriage equality amendments in state constitutions that will take decades to neutralize. The RW lunacy is being exposed perhaps at a national level which is why we see an apparent acceleration of activity at the state level. Rather than one battle, it will be necessary to fight 30 or 40 of them in order to undo the plutocrats' hold on power. Watching the number of governors refusing to establish health care exchanges is like watching a benign civil war. This passive aggressive resistance has all the earmarks of an attempted coup de tat. How much better can you describe what is going on in the House of Reps and in state legislatures? These people even describe themselves as "insurgents", not legislators. They DEFY the will of the people, not act upon it.
    And so yes, this insurgency, this cancer must be excised partly by eliminating the "blood flow" to it, the funding by the Koch's etc. That is one of the unspoken objectives that raising taxes on this class has. Based on this most recent election, plutocrats have way to much money for the good of our democracy.

    •  Well, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kansas Born, lcrp, greengemini, majcmb1, ozsea1

      you are absolutely correct, but we may not need 30 or 40 laws to undue what they have done at the state level on some of these issues.  We can undo them at the Federal level, but we need the House.  And we can undo some of them in the Courts, and so again, we need to win at the Federal level so that we can appoint the "next" Supreme Court as well as District Court appointments.

      Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

      by lighttheway on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:28:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A great point is at the end (5+ / 0-)
    A related threat comes from the backlash to “Robber-barron” economies. The population at large might still endorse the concept of plutonomy but feel they have lost out to unfair rules. In a sense, this backlash has been epitomized by the media coverage and actual prosecution of high-profile ex-CEOs who presided over financial misappropriation. This “backlash” seems to be something that comes with bull markets and their subsequent collapse. To this end, the cleaning up of business practice, by high-profile champions of fair play, might actually prolong plutonomy.
    This is true among probably 80-90% on this website. They call for prosecuting the bankers and Wall Street reform, lauding the election of Elizabeth Warren and the Dodd-Frank reform.

    Wall Street doesn't need to be reformed; it needs to be destroyed. The only thing "reform" does is prolong the status quo. Isn't this what all the reforms are about? Some or even many bankers were dumb, stupid, purposefully criminal ... meaning that all the rest of us lost out because of some unfair practice that needs to be banned? No, it's not that! The system is rotten.

  •  Existing wealth is served. (5+ / 0-)

    For the rest of us, the State of Nature, war of everyone against everyone. No arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:34:07 AM PST

  •  Go after managerial corporations. (5+ / 0-)

    Managerial corporations (= large companies with boards working for a widely-distributed pool of shareholders) are the root of the problem. The Regan mythology exists to distract people from figuring out where their interests really lie. Regan himself was the mangerial corporation's biggest friend.

    One example for clarity. Wayne Teabilly, a low information voter, has a 401K pension plan and he thinks that America should be "run like a business" because the CEO class are the best and the brightest. They're not "politicians." But fat CEO compensation packages, peer-determined and routinely passed by controlling shareholders at various annual meetings, mean less money for Wayne. Worse, since much executive compensation comes in the form of stock options, the board will not be motivated to build up the underlying value of the company (e.g., invest in new machine tools to improve production capacity) so much as to drive up share prices on or around prospective executive retirements. So Wayne's retirement portfolio ends up with a bunch of hollowed-out companies servicing big debts.

    One reform: allow minority shareholders (e.g., pension funds) a greater say in determining executive compensation and creating sustainable, long-term shareholder returns.

  •  Herbert Hoover Highway Section! (0+ / 0-)

    Is the much-jammed and sometimes potholed 99W from Newberg to Sherwood in Western Oregon. As with a great many of these four lane divided highways of the 1930's it is possible to go the wrong way at about every 1 mile interval. NICE!! It IS scenic, tho, in a Route 66 sort of way. We have Roadside Attractions! And whineries.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:09:16 AM PST

  •  Break their backs and pop their bubble (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, ozsea1

    I see some coming around, the first realizations they are getting the shit end of the stick, that their favorite media whore (FAUX News) lies to them but it's never easy coming to grips with the realization you've been taken for a fool.

    Here's the NRA getting every tv camera in the land while AARP with 10x as many members would never have that kind of pull (In this case it worked out in our favor since they shot themselves in the foot) and the imbalance of power bothers me when the few are calling all the shots for the majority of us.

    I converted a republican this year, if each of us did even one each it would start to make a dent.

    The next two years and the 2014 mid-terms will entail some heavy lifting but I think we can get a bunch of them unseated.

    Year of the Weakest Tea

    by 2014 on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:35:42 AM PST

  •  the "fiscal cliff is a scam" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome, jck, ozsea1

    And the more I read the more I hope we pass Dec. 31st without a deal.

    Economist Jamie Galbraith explains in this video.

    It's from Nakedcapitalism and "It explains how the fiscal cliff scare was created and why Obama and the Republicans are united in fomenting a false sense of urgency."  Along the lines of the Shock doctrine.

    Beware of Good Cop, Bad Cop dynamics.

  •  Side topic: name roads/bridges for what they DO. (0+ / 0-)

    The "Triboro Bridge" in NYC has described itself well for many decades.  It is indeed a Tri-boro bridge, it connects the 3 boro(ugh)s.  But nooo.  Now we have to rename it the RFK Bridge.  Don't get me wrong, I respect the late Bobby Kennedy as much as most of us.  But it's so much more helpful and on point when a bridge or highway is named for what it actually does, where it goes, etc.

    I'm still calling it the Triboro Bridge.

  •  Being willing to "be responsible and compromise" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Al Fondy, ozsea1

    is what has gotten us into the fix we're in -- I.e., with the center of the political discourse WAY to the right of where it was 40 years ago. (Well, that and the penile impulse disinhibition syndrome of the best two Democratic politicians in the last 40 years. Who knows where we'd be without Chappaquidick & L'Affar Lewinsky?).  We've been running from the '72 election for 4 decades now, electing to 5 terms as President three Blue Dog Democrats*  (aka liberal Republicans -- on most domestic economic issues Nixon was far to the left of Clinton & Obama), abandoning our institutional base in private-sector unions, and relying more and more on the good will and dollars of the plutocracy.   How's that been workin' out for us?  

        Hint:  The 2010 debacle, which is directly responsible for the next House being in Rep. control despite Dem. candidates totaling 1.2 million more votes, was due in some very significant part to PBO's having managed to destroy the enthusiasm of his progressive base during 2008**-2010.  And did he gain many independents or credence with the Reps. by being reasonable and comprimising by appting Geithner, not pushing for a larger stimulus or a public option?  Fat chance.  Earth to Dems in deep space:  Republicans have not done reasonableness and comprimising since that radical lefty Bill Clinton stole the Presidency from them.  

         Another hint:  PBO got re-elected in large part by peddling progressive rhetoric -- OWS Lite -- the substance of which, of course, he then unilaterally abandoned in the near-delusional belief that the Republican House would meet him, oh, say, a quarter of the way.

         If you look in the encyclopedia under "Einstein's definition of insanity," you'll see a drawing of the Dem. donkey and a picture of PBO.  There's a large amount of psychological research about why people compulsively throw good money after bad; and, as common sense would suggest, a major motivation for this self-destructive behavior is the reluctance to admit that one's initial strategy was wrong.  Thus, as Einstein said, people keep doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

    *A close friend of Tip O'Neill also happened to be a close friend of my parents.  According to this former Congressional staffer and eventual high-level lobbyist, O'Neill despised Carter, partly because he was a terrible politician as President and partly because he was, in O'Neill's eyes, a faux Democrat whom he couldn't trust.  

    **I say 2008 because so many of PBO's cabinet and high-level advisory appointments were so typically Blue Dog/corporatist, with Geithner and Summers at the top of the list.  Of course, Geithner's apptment was also terrible politics because he was already tightly bound in the public mind to the hated TARP program.  Plus, of course, he chooses a  Larry Summers closely associated with Rubin's massive failures as a bank director and with the disastrous bank & derivatives deregulation pushed at the end of Clinton's presidency not just by Greenspan and the Rep. pirates but by Summers himself.  Of course, as a bonus, PBO managed a gratuitous slap at feminists by appointing Summers with his history of beyond-idiotic statements as Prsident of Harvard about "innate" gender differences in math and science ability.  Just who DID like Summers' appointment except Rubin and his fellow banksters?

  •  Yeah, the Reagan thing really does my head in. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    Great Diary btw.
     I am always frustrated that the Reagan name is invoked, and by Democrats. Before Grover Norquist and illegal immigrant Michael Kamburowski set out to canonize Reagan, historians scored his Presidency as average low, 26 out of 42.
     I was there, Reagan was average at best.
     IMHO 2014 should be about regaining the house, targeting the Tea party nutjobs, and putting a stop to the ludicrous jerrymandering that has the GOP falsely having any leverage.

    Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture

    by nezzclay on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:55:09 AM PST

  •  I think there is a road named for Reagan (0+ / 0-)

    in just about every GOP governed county in the US.

    Or some building, overpass, bus stop, etc ...

    Strikes me as pure propaganda, outside the "My Hero" (wretch) "CEO class", Reagan is either despised or long forgotten.

    If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

    by RUNDOWN on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:08:38 AM PST

  •  We need to revive understanding of what a republic (4+ / 0-)

    is. They easiest way to understand it is to look at what the opposites of a republic are: monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, and plutocracy. Venice likes to still refer to itself as a "republic" but that is a trick to prevent people from understanding what an republic is supposed to be. The quote from Chrystia Freeland's book summarizes how the Republic of Venice devolved into an oligarchy through the internal machinations and manipulations of the rich.

    An oligarchy is always a mortal danger to republican self-government. Therefore, placing a much higher tax on the wealthy, simply for being wealthy, helps to prevent huge concentrations of wealth that the Founders warned could be just as dangerous to our liberty as a standing army.

    The second reason is that the rich simply use their money differently. Many scholars have pointed out that tax cuts given to middle and low income people are almost immediately put back into the national economy as spending, whereas tax cuts given to the wealthy overwhelmingly go into some form of funny-money Wall Street scheme that does nothing to help grow the national economy. Unfortunately, this argument has not been pursued further - and there are some very, very serious and dramatic consequences of this behavior by rich people. Because rich people are far more likely to engage in what professional economists call "rent seeking behavior." And rent seeking behavior has very negative impacts on the national economy. Taking more of the money away from the rich, you restrain to some extent harmful rent seeking behavior.

    How much of an impact does rent seeking behavior by the rich have? In the 30-plus year period since the Reagan tax cuts, the evidence shows that the U.S. economy has been not only de-industrialized, but de-capitalized as well. I summarized the evidence of this de-capitilization a few months ago on Naked Capitalism: Neo-liberalism, De-capitalization/De-industrialization, and the Res Publica.

    ....as a nation, the United States is becoming less capital intense. It is becoming, in other words, less capitalistic. This is a symptom, as well as a function, of the U.S. economy coming to be dominated by rentiers and usurers, rather than producers. On these grounds is the most devastating critique of Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital: their private equity operations, forcing companies to borrow money to pay out fees and dividends to Bain, actually de-capitalize those victim companies. But President Obama and Democratic Party elites are unable and unwilling to attack Romney and Bain on these grounds. The reason, of course, is that the Democratic Party is as much in thrall to rentiers and usurers as the Republican Party is. More on this later.

    The next graph, providing a break down of capital investment by industrial sector, is extremely important, because it shows that almost all the positive growth in capital expenditures is accounted for by one, huge industry – oil and gas. All other manufacturing industries except primary metals, chemicals, and food and beverage products show negative rates of capital investment. Again, in other words, de-capitalization.  This is extremely important because it shows that the U.S. economy is being returned to a neo-colonial status of being a supplier of raw materials.

    In "The American Revolutionaries, the Political Economy of Aristocracy, and the American Concept of the Distribution of Wealth, 1765-1900" (The American Historical Review
    Vol. 98, No. 4 (Oct., 1993), pp. 1079-1105 ) Professor
    James L. Huston writes:
    The revolutionaries’ concern over the distribution of wealth was prompted by a tenet in the broad and vague political philosophy of republicanism. In contrast to nations in which monarchs and aristocrats dominate the state, republics embodied the ideal of equality among citizens in political affairs, the equality taking the form of citizen participation in the election of officials who formulated the laws. Drawing largely on the work of seventeenth-century republican theorist James Harrington, Americans believed that if property were concentrated in the hands of a few in a republic, those few would use their wealth to control other citizens, seize political power, and warp the republic into an oligarchy. Thus to avoid descent into despotism or oligarchy, republics had to possess an equitable distribution of wealth.

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:41:04 AM PST

    •  This is a Fundamental principle (3+ / 0-)

      of US republicanism since its founding. One intentionally obscured and excluded with the fall of reconstruction and the rise of the robber barons. It was only revived by the by the New Deal in the thirties and was one its major ideological underpinnings.

      The failure of many progressives to take cognizance of this and to act accordingly is one of the major weaknesses of the Left.
       

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:27:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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