Skip to content

Forest for the trees on the job #s

2012 October 16
by Ian Welsh

Jack Welch was wrong that the BLS fixed the job #s.  But so what?  He was right on the key point: there is no way in HELL that the economy produced 873,000 jobs, as per the Household Survey.  Ordinary people know this, and all the pundits who argued about whether the BLS fixed the # missed the point: the number does not reflect people’s experience.  If the economy really produced 873K jobs, it’d be the start of a boom. It’s not, and everyone knows it’s not.  To ordinary people, that number is a LIE, and it does not matter if it was fixed, or if it is a statistical artifact.

Obama is unpopular.  Very unpopular.  If Romney wasn’t a horrible candidate, largely because he has to pander to the crazies in the Republican party, he’d be toast.  The reason Obama is a lousy candidate is that the economy is trash.  In absolute numbers, jobs have not recovered.  In relative terms, they aren’t even close. 93% of all gains in the economy have gone to the top 1%.

The US economy, if you are an ordinary person, is trash.  It has never recovered.  Given Obama’s policies, it will not recover.  The same is true of Romney, who is promising an economic apocalypse, but people already know that Obama is a failure.  Romney might be worse, but they might decide to take a chance on him anyway, knowing that the status quo is permanent stagnation.

Ordinary people have seen their wealth crash, their wages decline, and the number of jobs available dive.  Because the job market is so horrible, bosses are free to treat work like trash, so their jobs are much more unpleasant than they were.

This is a direct result of Obama’s policies. It was predictable, it was predicted.  He is responsible for not fixing the economy.  That was his job.  He failed (too busy bombing weddings and funerals, and making individual decisions about who to assassinate.)

62 Responses
  1. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    October 16, 2012

    The “Through the Looking Glass” Election

    Must think of six impossible things before voting

    (h/t L. Carol)

  2. Graham Brown permalink
    October 16, 2012

    Where have you been? Have you been blind to Republican obstruction? Obama cannot do
    anything without compromise.
    Remember what Mitch McConnell swore? If you cannot or do not remember these things
    you cannot just spout this crap!

  3. David Kowalski permalink
    October 16, 2012

    Jay Leno called Bush/Cheney “The Wizard of Oz ticket. One has no brain and the other has no heart.” Now , it seems, we have the Wizard of Oz on steroids. Neither Obama or Romney has a heart and neither acts like he has a brain. As for Biden and supposed “intellectual” Ryan, well they don’t come close although maybe, somewhere beneath all the gaffes, Biden might have a heart.

    I used to comfort myself that when the U.S. really needed it we came up with a Lincoln or an FDR. Guess those times are passed. The closest we come to a Lincoln is the new movie. FDR doesn’t even prompt a movie. Just Obama’s misguided lunacy that FDR prolonged the Depression by not following Herbert Hoover’s plan.

  4. mjames permalink
    October 16, 2012

    Graham Brown: I do not know if you are serious, but who created and still supports the Catfood Commission?

  5. Graham Brown permalink
    October 16, 2012

    And the Catfood Commission has done exactly what????
    Just a lot of talk and dumb Democrats wanting to sound bipartisan!

  6. Graham Brown permalink
    October 16, 2012

    Following your logic, we should then all vote for Moderate Mitt?
    You gotta be nuts!

  7. October 16, 2012

    @Graham, you’ve got a point – but it’s not sharp enough to be driven too deeply.

    Four years ago, I saw a candidate who won the closest thing I’ve seen to a mandate in my years, except perhaps the unfortunate historical tide called Reagan (and that only due to the lingering malaise of the Carter Administration – not all Jimmy’s fault, either.)

    Yes, there was treacherous obstructionism afoot right out of the gate, but a better man would have brought the fight, and he didn’t.

    Because he didn’t want to. That’s the only conclusion that Occam’s Razor allows.

    And no, that doesn’t mean “vote for Moderate Mitt,” or even sitting this one out. While I’m full throat against “lessor of two evils” logic, I mute when it’s this close to the actual election. Realpolitik and all that. Yes – Four More Years! (sigh)

  8. Graham Brown permalink
    October 16, 2012

    This will be my last comment and i’ll leave my logic to you.
    I’m going with the guy who got Bin Laden!
    Until he came along, no one had the guts to take the risk.
    Glory belongs to the bold.

  9. Ian Welsh permalink*
    October 16, 2012

    There is no evidence Obama wants to do more than he did. He did not propose the right stimulus, he kept Bernanke, he appointed Summers and Geithner, etc. He proposed cutting payroll taxes, he didn’t allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, he chose not to prosecute the bankers, to break up the banks, and on and on. He was the person who pushed through TARP, which would not have passed without him bending arms.

    I took the time to deal with the BS obstruction argument a while back (and remember, Mitch WAS NOT in charge of the house for the first 2 years).

    http://www.ianwelsh.net/what-could-obama-have-done-and-what-can-obama-still-do/

    Obama had a Democratic majority in the house and the Senate, and a massive mandate. He did not use it, because he did not want to.

    Anyone who is against the lesser evil argument except at election time is actually for it.

  10. October 16, 2012

    “too busy bombing weddings and funerals, and making individual decisions about who to assassinate”

    He’s making those decisions today, according to that New York Times story from a few months ago. Happy Death Day, or as Obama calls it, tuesday.

  11. October 16, 2012

    Anyone who is against the lesser evil argument except at election time is actually for it.

    More accurately, what I said was that “I mute.” Because I don’t like wasting energy yelling at the clouds. There’s a time for it, for example when the idea of primary-ing incumbents are being floated, or when alternate parties have a shot at getting some populist attention, but when the dust settles “protest votes” in this country mean squat. Hell, most states have rules for write-ins that wipe out even those small whimpers.

    I still make the effort – through things like these polemical exercises – have to work your strengths, not flog your weaknesses.

    It’s not a “for or against” situation, Ian.

    (Sorry to raise an objection against a comment that, taken as a whole, is very supportive of my opinion.)

  12. jonst permalink
    October 16, 2012

    @ Graham Brown….I hesitated, for a brief moment, to respond to you since you indicated you would not post anything further in this thread. So, it’s as if I’m taking a free shot at you. But then I said, ‘what the hell’

    You wrote: “This will be my last comment and i’ll leave my logic to you.
    I’m going with the guy who got Bin Laden!
    Until he came along, no one had the guts to take the risk.
    Glory belongs to the bold”.

    Nothing you wrote could have sounded more eloquent against your arguments than that burst of “logic”. If you do respond, remind me again, what, exactly, was the “risk” the Wise One had the “guts” to take?

  13. Graham Brown permalink
    October 16, 2012

    jonst: Obama admitted that there was a 50:50 risk. I consider that bold and decisive.
    Joe Biden did not support Obama’s decision, he preferred to blow the Abbottadad
    compound to dust with the accompanying collateral damage.
    That is where my argument lies. Please refute.

  14. jcapan permalink
    October 16, 2012

    Ah, a pretty trollery flare. Graham, do you refer to him as your commander in chief too? Partisan subservience is always inspiring.

    And Petro, I’d say the more of us who make our protest votes known the better. Me: Stein. Too many on the left (post-Nader) seem afraid of owning their non-vote, vote for Green et al. And while people who opt to vote lesser evil may not merit derision at the outset, fuckers like Graham and the legion of blame-Nader tribalists sure do. And in the end, we don’t need to fret about alienating the rah rah fanboys–if there’s a future for America or the world worth living, they’re not going to help us get there.

  15. Mary Mac permalink
    October 16, 2012

    jonst
    “If you do respond, remind me again, what, exactly, was the “risk” the Wise One had the “guts” to take?”

    Rather than bringing Osama back for trial, Obama had him murdered. And then buried him at sea. Really? At sea? Really?

    Sorry, but there is a huge part of me that believes no one saw Osama on the day they claimed he was taken down. Or shot in the head. Or disappeared. Or what ever the fuck you want to call it. I call it murder. Another murder doesn’t bring back the thousands murdered on 9-11, or in Iraq or Pakistan or Afganistan.

  16. Morocco Bama permalink
    October 16, 2012

    .

    I’m not voting, but I’d like to see Romney win…just for the hell of it. It’d be fun watching all the Obamabots get their knickers in a twist. However, that won’t happen. Obama will win.

    .

  17. Kim Kaufman permalink
    October 16, 2012

    @David Kowalski. There is a movie coming out about FDR before the end of the year! According to a friend who saw a screening last week (he’s in the biz), it’s about FDR… and his mistresses. It’s also not very good so you may miss it, either intentionally or not.

  18. Kim Kaufman permalink
    October 16, 2012

    I think Obama is popular even though people know in their hearts his policies suck. Otherwise he’d be at about the same popularity as Congress — about 7%, I think. Mitt is just worse.

    Anyone have any ideas of a good country to move to other than the U.S. (Los Angeles)? I’m thinking seriously about taking Ian’s advice to GET OUT. Ecuador? Panama? Unfortunately, globalization = sucks everywhere, I think.

  19. Eureka Springs permalink
    October 16, 2012

    I can’t believe I wasted so many decades in an ongoing criminal organization full of horrible people just like Graham….. thinking somehow they might listen, learn, side with the left/progressives, whatever you want to call us, portion of their organization… stand up for something beyond fear and neoliberalism.

    Thanks for reminding me, G. I can’t put enough distance between your vote and mine, but I am going to try.

  20. Alcuin permalink
    October 16, 2012

    Virtually no one has the guts to vote for Stein. That’s because there is no true Left in this country and it is because all of the liberals/progressives are really sycophants to power. It isn’t about a protest vote, people – it’s about voting your values. If you don’t have the courage to vote your values, then at least admit that you are sucking up to Wall Street by voting for Robama.

  21. Bruce Wilder permalink
    October 16, 2012

    I got the unreal dynamics of this election campaign, when I overheard the (American) ABC-TV roundtable on October 7, in which Peggy Noonan and Mary Matalin took on Paul Krugman, on the economy, and pretty much everything the Republican women said was not only (at least arguably) right, but things Paul Krugman was saying a few weeks or months ago, and Krugman defended Obama, anyway.

    This is why I doubt the argument that Obama is, somehow, the “lesser” evil, when it is clear to me, that he functions as the more effective evil. If you can get one of the most effective and credible voices on the economy to basically mislead people about your performance in office, then your candidacy is destructive to the political discourse and to the reputation of what little is left of Democratic liberalism.

    As for the Romney alternative, I will question Ian’s throwaway, “If Romney wasn’t a horrible candidate, largely because he has to pander to the crazies in the Republican party, he’d be toast.” It seems to me that Romney is the candidate imposed on the Party top-down (as is the custom), by the Republican Establishment (aka the Big Money Boys). In some ways, he is the classic counterplay in American politics — someone with ties to the Northeast, the Great Lakes, the Mountain West and the West Coast; everywhere except the South, where the Republican Party has its base — but in one critical respect, he is NOT the counterplay: he is the vulture capitalist plutocrat personified. Even without pandering to the Tea Party, he is what he is, which is the personification of the Plutocracy, and that makes him a terrible candidate, for the proud Party of the Plutocracy. It is an amazing act of arrogance to even offer him as a candidate in the economic circumstances. And, it is being done without even the charade of a “ranch” in Texas, brush-cutting or the rest.

    I think one cannot reject the hypothesis that Romney the Candidate, as a creation of brand management politics, is intended to lose, and to give Obama plenty of room to avoid populist appeals or anything else that might stir up populist resentments or anger on economics (of which there must be plenty latent in the country). (Heck, if Wal-Mart is facing labor unrest, in this economy, ordinary people are nearing their limits.)

    The Obama campaign, it seems to me, has been doing a course correction to avoid the (clearly unwanted by Obama) possibility of winning big, of riding a wave of revulsion at Romney to Democratic control of Congress, and renewed calls to do something other than repulsive compromises with Republicans. The lack of a Romney “bounce” in the polls after the Republican convention must have set off alarm bells at the Obama White House. (Even the absurd John McCain had a convention “bounce”!)

    Obama is the most gifted extemporaneous orator in high political office in a generation. When he’s on, he can put Clinton in the dust. I watched him, facing the whole Republican House caucus for a couple of hours, put them all down. So, when I saw him “lose” the first Presidential Debate, I rolled my eyes. All Obama had to do, after Romney called for lower tax rates for the umteenth time, was turn to Romney and ask Mr. 14% could have paid 12%, just how low he thinks taxes on $20 million a year in unearned income should be.

    My loyal Democratic friends dismiss this analysis as a conspiracy theory, but I’m not alleging a conspiracy. All of this is being done in the open. Obama is being pretty upfront about what he wants and intends. Its Democrats supporting him that delude themselves, and hear what they want to hear, or like Krugman, re-write recent history into a narrative they can rationalize to themselves isn’t a complete pack of lies. Did Obama, in his speech at the Democratic convention, call for the election of a Democratic majority in the House? It would seem like a required ritual, at a minimum, but I didn’t hear it.

    Romney is a bad candidate, by design. He doesn’t make a lot of attacks on Obama, that would stir up populist anger, and increase the chances for his own election, and he avoids pressuring Obama in ways, that would lead the Democrats to make more populist appeals, themselves, which, even given Obama piss-poor record to date, they could still do effectively to rally support and increased voter turnout.

    Romney demonstrated that he would do whatever he had to do, would endure any humiliation, to keep control of the nomination, and I expect that he will do what he has to do, to lose in a way that facilitates Obama’s continued ability to enact a pro-plutocratic agenda. How long after the election, Democrats finally catch on to the hope-less of their leader’s leadership, I cannot estimate. It really wouldn’t surprise me, to see the Democratic Party self-destruct over the course of Obama’s second-term.

  22. Ken Hoop permalink
    October 16, 2012

    I wonder how many more phony lib-progs would trade tens of thousands of innocent lives for bin Laden, whom even Glenn Greenwald said deserved a trial.

    How many, even after reading that more jihadists are being created than killed by drone bombing?

  23. Celsius 233 permalink
    October 16, 2012

    Frankly; I no longer give a damn. Further; I honestly don’t care who wins.
    I can’t see that it matters anymore. Look at these memes for christ sake!
    Games over!

  24. October 16, 2012

    @Bruce Wilder – I think your perspective is credible. This is how I felt during the clown-car show of the Republican primaries. A great deal of effort seemed to be afoot to keep resurrecting the stumbling Romney during that showdown. Republican populist surges from the various Tea Party-friendly candidates were constantly being undermined in the media. It looked all the world like the backrooms of the GOP establishment were busy putting out small fires.

    Barack Obama has been a very effective “friendly face” for corporatism.

  25. Bernard permalink
    October 16, 2012

    it’s comments like Grahams that show how easy Rmoney is the better choice. choice of who is the lesser evil. as said, Obama is the more effective evil. doing the dirty work for the Republicans while the Republicans move the center even further right of Hitler. that’s Obama’s job and he’s doing what the Republicans put him in office for.

    as they say, if our vote mattered, it would be forbidden. lol

    I’ve been wondering which way to vote if i do, as if it mattered. and the more i listen to Obama says things like, “Rmoney and I have the similar views on Social Security”, the more i realize the best choice might be enabling Rmoney to destroy the house of cards quicker than the slow death by Obama. Gosh, who could the REpublicans want more in office to do the dirty deeds done dirt cheap. no Republican fingerprints and all the benefits. Nixon’s ideal stealth candidate for sure, Obama is as i have said all along, the Manchurian Candidate. from the getgo, with his idealization of Ronald Sir Lord Almighty Reagan, and his “woe is me due the hatred of the Right”, i can’t do anything, excuses, why would the Republicans even want Obama to lose. the game works better with Obama as President.

    the stupidity, the inanity and utter baselessness of the Americans who encourage this traitorous sycophant and then proclaim, “if only.” got to love the wisdom and smarts/ruthlessness of those behind this, those who worship at the altar of Norquism. they deserve the skin of every American who falls for these lies and deceit.

    with all the fockups of Rmoney since he opened his mouth, how in the world could Obama lose. well, i am beginning to see how easy this is for Obama to lose. must be on purpose, cause otherwise such actions are hard to explain. snatching defeat from teh jaws of Victory.aka Democrats

    so this is how the Germans wound up with Hitler. i used to always wonder how such “smart and intelligent ” people could have allowed such evil to take over. amazing, absolutely amazing to watch. not that American are that smart or intelligent anymore. listening to people defend Obama proves that over and over again. with everything Obama has done to create the present circumstances, Rmoney has been given endless chances to win.

    the Republicans only need to make the race close enough where their thievery can be easily occluded by the ineptitude of the Democrats. hey that is the Republican way. and Obama helps, directly or not.

    helps those who are out to get him. willingly and overtly. “Leaders” like simpson bowles, geithner, bernanke, pete petersen, and the endless list of Republican idea men Obama endorses and promotes as his way of working with those that want to gut him.

    i certainly don’t appreciate someone who opens up his belly to the wolves that explicitly state they are out to get him. as a Bipartisan sacrifice. even little Red Ridinghood knew something was up and didn’t willingly offer herself up to the Wolf to be eaten. Either Obama is naive or part of the scam.

    with Rmoney being an admitted “Harvester” of American Businesses for Profit only, i won’t have to worry about being stabbed in the back . no lack of trust issues here. we all know Rmoney is out to harvest America and leave the dying carcass behind. Honest and forthright evil for all to see. aka Bain Capital

    Gosh what a choice this time.
    almost makes me proud to be an American/sarcasm. the Train has left the station and there’s no way of getting out of Dodge in time. interesting times indeed!

  26. October 17, 2012

    Note how both candidates pandered to the masses with promises of ever lower taxes for a nation that is already paying the lowest taxes in five decades and indulging itself in trillion dollar deficits anually. Both should have been thrown off of the stage for that alone.

  27. Ian Welsh permalink*
    October 17, 2012

    Romney has vastly changed his policies from the ones he ran on and governed on in Mass. In the 1st debate he ran hard to the center. During the primary he clearly had to pander to the right or all the top down imposition wouldn’t have worked.

    Obama is not as unpopular as “Congress” but that means nothing: Congress is not as unpopular as Congress. That number is generic, most Congressmen are going to be reelected. Obama is more unpopular than any president in post WWII history who has been reelected. He is unpopular.

    I don’t think Obama is a great Orator – name one idea he is well known for? His speeches are empty, and they leave nothing behind to be remembered for. And he isn’t that great a debater, he lost the debates to Hilary, by the #s, though he avoided a blowout.

    A simpler explanation is that he agrees with Romney on a lot of issues, and Romney agrees with him on a lot of issues. Neither of them do populist attacks, because neither of them believe in them. I also don’t think he really wants a second term. After all, that’s 4 more years during which he doesn’t get his payout.

  28. madisolation permalink
    October 17, 2012

    I mailed in my absentee ballot vote for Stein. Not that I’m all impressed with the Green Party, which is lackluster at best, but because it would be nice if any third party can attain 5% of the vote. Fat chance, but maybe that will happen.
    Maybe it would be better if Romney won for the following reasons: 1.) Romney’s got his money, so promises of post-presidency gold won’t sway him as much as Obama, 2.) Romney’s lack of charisma will not bring people to his side: when he decides to bomb another country without Congressional approval, or cut Social Security, the loyal Democrats will rant and rage, 3.) Romney in the past has shown he has a bit of a conscience hidden somewhere inside, and 4.) Democratic politicians won’t know how to act: will they vote for legislation that Romney proposes and Obama would have proposed? They can no longer hide behind Obama’s skirts.
    So maybe it’s best if Romney wins. There’s a chance of blowback from the population if he does, and it’s better that blowback comes sooner rather than later, for the sake of the planet.

  29. Celsius 233 permalink
    October 17, 2012

    madisolation PERMALINK
    October 17, 2012
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I’ve actually considered that; but my blind hatred of Mormonism keeps me in check; so-to-speak.
    But I really don’t care who wins; the game is rigged and the fix is in.
    Either one will suffice; the spice must flow…

  30. madisolation permalink
    October 17, 2012

    Celsius,
    Yes, either will suffice or rather, not suffice. Lin Dihn wrote:

    “The only positive of any US election is that it can postpone, for a few months, the empire’s worst excesses. We’re scaling back our war crimes to allow the President and his handpicked opponent to huff hot air rhythmically up our collective muffler. Enjoy it while it lasts, citizens.”

    and he then asked the question:

    “Suffocated by unpayable debts, unemployed, underemployed and/or reduced to dwelling in a foreclosed home, tent, car, garage, tool shed or dead mall entrance, will we wise up soon enough to unite and fight back against this military banking complex that’s ruining us all?”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/17/post-election-bombs/

  31. Morocco Bama permalink
    October 17, 2012

    .

    What amazes me is how even otherwise intelligent people believe a word of what either of these two Pitchmen have to say. Surely all of you have figured out by now that politicians lie. Considering that, why would anyone spend any time analyzing the detritus that spills forth from the mouths of either of these brands. Both these brands, and any brand that would be proffered, belong to the same Company, Plutocracy, Inc., but essentially they’re the same formula with different packaging, and that packaging, and its associated advertising, is a pack of lies. If Romney were to be elected, things would not be any fundamentally different than what we’ve seen since the Washington Consensus fomented some forty years prior. Why do intelligent people continue to fall for this nonsensical trap?

    .

  32. Soullite permalink
    October 17, 2012

    You all got played. This O-bot troll derailed your whole thread of discussion. Notice how it took a thread about jobs and turned it into a discussion of everything but jobs, which is exactly what the troll wanted. Because the last thing an O-bot trolls wants is for people to start talking about jobs.

  33. S Brennan permalink
    October 17, 2012

    In my state a vote for either Obama is a wasted vote, Obama will take the state with ease due to Democrats goosestepping in sync with a guy who blew up a non-warring country in order to support KKK-like terrorists who then rounded up and lynched black folks in that country.

    The troll above was right when he said that no President before Obama had the guts to use the US military to help a KKK-like organization lynch black folks in Libya. It’s said, only Nixon could go to China…surely, only Obama alone of all modern presidents would help lynch black folks.

    To make my vote count in my state, I’m voting for the Jewish girl.

  34. October 17, 2012

    Ian, this is one of the most repeated tropes surrounding Obama i.e. that he is a great orator. If you define oratory as taking stock phrases and using a sing song rising and lowering voice to deliver them though, he fits the bill. He does use stock phrases but I have always found his voice high pitched, strained, and kind of more like yelling. But still the pundits must repeat the now old chestnut that he is a great speaker. As we have seen in these debates and from the ones in 2008, he is a terrible talker too. He is not “thoughtful”. He barely listens to the question.

    Also, He has not put forth one original idea and never has and so he is not a constitutional scholar either. A scholar publishes an original thesis. He taught a law class.
    Both of these candidates are the careless people F. Scott Fitzgerald talks about. They leave others to clean up their messes.

    I am surprised that most of my bright good-hearted friends wish to believe this disinformation or misinformation rather than carefully use their own eyes and ears. Why do they not understand that politicians are pitchmen and con artists? It’s emotional and not based on reality for some. For others it is more cynical. It’s that they believe in something called pragmatic reformism rather than believe in concepts of justice and equality. They honestly believe they are being adult by putting away their ideals. They believe with this president that the arc of the moral universe is long but it eventually will bend towards justice, so sit down and shut up. I believe that the arc is long, but it is we who make it bend towards justice. It doesn’t do it by itself.

  35. Alcuin permalink
    October 17, 2012

    @MM – right on! Also, how many people have given consideration to the amount of pleasure folks derive from engaging in tribalism and bashing the other? So much energy wasted there – energy that is better used to step back, look at the big picture, and chart a way out of this morass. But the brain is wired for pleasure. Liberals/progressives are merely rats pressing the button for more treats…

  36. October 17, 2012

    ” the amount of pleasure folks derive from engaging in tribalism and bashing the other?”

    That’s for sure. I know Obama supporters who spend more time spewing hatred against Romney (and his wife) than they do praising their candidate. Some of them have Facebook walls that are nothing but “Romney sucks! Romney sucks!”

  37. October 17, 2012

    Obama is unpopular. Very unpopular. If Romney wasn’t a horrible candidate, largely because he has to pander to the crazies in the Republican party, he’d be toast.

    These facts are very tightly interdependent.

  38. October 18, 2012

    “I know Obama supporters who spend more time spewing hatred against Romney (and his wife) than they do praising their candidate.”

    Are you kidding me? Is there any other kind of Obama supporter? Show me one liberal blog that has anything good to say about Obama or posits any reason to vote for him other than that he is “the lesser evil” or that to do otherwise would put the evil Romney in the White House.

  39. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    October 18, 2012

    Is there any other kind of Obama supporter?

    Is there other kind of supporter of any politician in either major party (well, apart from the ones on the payroll)? And yet those anti-supporters add up to an overwhelming majority support for those same parties.

    Americans are such easy marks for party apparatchiks, that it defies belief. They’ll submit to anything, merely because of the specter of the other party, which is backed by the identical (oligarchic) interest groups, and supports the identical policies, but doesn’t emote their idiotic tribal markers. The sleep of reason indeed…

  40. Towner permalink
    October 18, 2012

    @Bruce Wilder. Your comment represents the most lucid (and damning) arguments I’ve read anywhere. The understanding has been there of course, replete with countless examples, but you’ve really nailed it here in your formation of “brand management politics.” Well done and thank you.

    @MM. “pragmatic reformism” is of course the very language of “libertarian paternalism,” those powerful “choice architects” whom Obama employs or serves. You’re right, Obama has not put forth one original idea. I’d think more people would have seen the very deliberate signals Obama put forth during the 2008 campaign; always being seen with copies Thaler and Sunstein’s Nudge (and Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World). Obama really does subscribe to and practice this unoriginal yet deeply anti-democratic crap. Nudge simply provides faux academic cover
    for the unscrupulous practice of corporate driven brand management politics.

  41. October 18, 2012

    @Alcuin. Yes, you used an important word. Where should we put our “energy”? Joe Bageant has some ideas in his “Escape from the Zombie Food Court”. http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2009/04/escape-from-the-zombie-food-court.html
    @Blizzard of Oz. Yes, Bageant doesn’t use the word apparatchiks, but he identifies a managing class that does the same thing. So we are actually more like the Soviet Union than we may think. He puts this managerial class of teachers, doctors, lawyers, pundits, lobbyist, media, accountants, trained at colleges at about 20%. They managed the 75% for the 5%. Interesting that some of the non college educated class instinctively know that they are being managed. They call it “g.d. government” and “less regulations”. Are they so far off? If only the 75% saw that solidarity is the answer and not the loney go-it-alone route. And thanks for the link to “The Sleep of Reason.” Gonna use that on my website.
    @Towner. Oh, Wow. Thanks for the reminder about his carrying “Nudge” and Zakaria. I was appalled. I think Susan Jacoby calls this “middlebrow”.

  42. slapanobotwinacookie permalink
    October 18, 2012

    Ha ha Ian, you were right again.

    Check this out http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/18/u-s-unemployment-claims-rise-again-after-sharp-fall/

    Morris Berman was asked why he even bothers giving a shit when no one listens to him and he said that he does it because being right is like an addiction. Ha ha!

  43. S Brennan permalink
    October 19, 2012

    For those who are in decided states, or understand the inevitability of Obama wining:

    http://avedoncarol.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-purpose-of-voting.html

  44. David Kowalski permalink
    October 19, 2012

    Let’s do some simple comparison here. The unemployment figures traditionally used for FDR and those used for Obama are not comparable. FDR’s numbers excluded those employed in government programs thus sharply overstating unemployment. Obama’s number excludes those not “actively searching” for jobs, thus severely undercounting unemployment.

    Real unemployment when FDR ran for re-election had been slashed from 20.6% in 1933 to 9.9% in 1936 (Wikipedia article on the New Deal). Even the traditional figures had fallen from 24.9% to 16.9%. Help came both short term and long term. The banks were immediately audited and unsound ones were closed. Deposits were insured on the sound banks. Unemployment compensation, minimum wage, Social Security, the right o join a labor union, massive rebuilding of the infrastructure had all been put into place. The slide in housing prices had been reversed (and it was less deep than during IObama’aThings were better and people could see the improvement for then and the future in their own lives. The result was an epic landslide for FDR and congressional Democrats.

    By comparison, real unemployment under Obama in 2012 is markedly worse than it was for FDR, Not 9.9% but more like 14%. The growth rate is no 8% a year, that is for sure. Unlike in FDR’s time when taxes on the rich were sharply raised, the rich have gotten richer and the rest of us not. Wealth has been re-distributed but the malefactors of great wealth have been the profiteers. Obama doesn’t even bother to address the poor, the disabled, and the uneducated. He appeals in words to the middle class while his policies continue to crush them for the benefit of big corporations (especially financials) and the wealthy.

    And yes, FDR even talked better than Obama.

    One last thing. As a country we need to drop this nonsense about basing the choice of President on personal morality. Jesse Jackson famously observed that he’d rather have Franklin Roosevelt in a wheelchair than Ronald Reagan on a horse. Well, I’d rather have FDR or Kennedy/Johnson complete with personal pecadillos than W or Obama who don’t sleep around (except in doing their real job).

  45. October 22, 2012

    “Is there any other kind of Obama supporter? ”

    Well yes, there are liars. “Obama got us out of Iraq! Obama passed universal access to health care!” Etc.

  46. October 22, 2012

    For instance:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/10/22/battling_reckless_romney/

    Then there’s Tbogg, but I’m not even sure what he’s trying to say anymore.

  47. Celsius 233 permalink
    October 25, 2012

    Nate Silver says O is a shoe-in. The stink isn’t the worst, no?

  48. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    October 27, 2012

    Spain and Greece are very similar for job losses. El País reports the latest:

    http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/10/26/inenglish/1351255301_873612.html

    but the government is only interested in balancing its budget, excluding all else. Watch Spain to see what happens, it will probably happen in Spain first.

  49. Celsius 233 permalink
    October 27, 2012

    Formerly T-Bear PERMALINK
    October 27, 2012
    Spain and Greece are very similar for job losses. El País reports the latest:
    http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/10/26/inenglish/1351255301_873612.html
    but the government is only interested in balancing its budget, excluding all else. Watch Spain to see what happens, it will probably happen in Spain first.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I figured Greece first. Spain huh? Hmm…

  50. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    October 27, 2012

    @ 233ºC
    Greece will be asset stripped and abandoned, its contribution to european GDP is minor, not consequential (except to the Greeks), or so Chancellor Merkel appears to believe should worst case happen, no mercy in or from that quarter.
    Spain is big time, IIRC 4th largest european economy (about €1.2 Trillion GDP), too large to be bailed out even if bailouts worked. To do so would drain German assets to dangerously low levels and place Germany at the tender mercies of the bond vigilantes. Not. Gonna. Happen. Spain’s governing body is not capable of reversing their ideological programming and adopting policies commensurate to the economic needs of the country; Spain is at a tipping point with unemployment as it is, some marginal event can initiate large scale consequences. 14 November is slated a countrywide general strike, huge (some 70%) numbers have no confidence in this government (as well). All Spain lacks now is an effective demagogue.

  51. October 27, 2012

    “Nate Silver says O is a shoe-in”

    Well that will reveal to more people the bankruptcy of the Democratic party. (Might as well look on the bright side)

  52. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    October 27, 2012

    Addendum to above. Al Jazeera has this report today on Spain:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/10/20121027185635884352.html

    “For the want of a nail, a shoe was lost …”

  53. Celsius 233 permalink
    October 27, 2012

    Formerly T-Bear PERMALINK
    October 27, 2012
    @ 233ºC
    Greece will be asset stripped and abandoned, its contribution to european GDP is minor, not consequential (except to the Greeks), or so Chancellor Merkel appears to believe should worst case happen, no mercy in or from that quarter.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Thanks, your analysis seems spot on. I checked your first link and will follow the Al Jazeera link now. AJE is quite a good news source and I’m a regular with them. Cheers.

  54. Celsius 233 permalink
    October 27, 2012

    Notorious P.A.T. PERMALINK
    October 27, 2012
    “Nate Silver says O is a shoe-in”
    Well that will reveal to more people the bankruptcy of the Democratic party. (Might as well look on the bright side)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I wish I could see a bright side; it all looks like doom from here.

  55. Celsius 233 permalink
    October 27, 2012

    Notorious P.A.T. PERMALINK
    October 27, 2012
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Additionally; I think the employment and GDP numbers are being seriously screwed with (and I’m not even talking the 800K+ B.S.) for O’s benefit. Sort of a weak version of the 2000 election fraud.

  56. Celsius 233 permalink
    October 27, 2012

    Formerly T-Bear PERMALINK
    October 27, 2012
    Addendum to above. Al Jazeera has this report today on Spain:
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/10/20121027185635884352.html
    “For the want of a nail, a shoe was lost …”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Fuck, shit, piss! I would just love for somebody to explain just what the difference is between our “position” and that of the med-evil serfs.
    Before answering, be sure you know what the life of a serf was, erm, is.

  57. Celsius 233 permalink
    October 27, 2012

    Above is an all inclusive you; not at you T-Bear.

  58. slapanobotwinacookie permalink
    November 2, 2012

    @Notorious P.A.T.

    I have a sinking suspicion that Tbogg has some sort of mutant growth making its way through his cranium, because only a deluded freak would write the nonsensical unfunny shit that he spew forth. I remember he was cracking jokes during that whole Norway shootings, so he may very well be a sociopath.

    He reminds me of that asshole in school who thinks he’s funny and witty, but isn’t, and each further attempt at humor just makes you cringe, because it’s so bad that it’s BAAAD. I can forgive him for being an asshole, but failing at comedy? Unforgivable.

  59. November 2, 2012

    @slapanobotwinacookie (pretty aggro handle there):

    To my chagrin, I’ve “enjoyed” years of TBogg’s goring of the elephant, even as I’ve winced at the “Mean Girls” tone of his sarcasm. It just took a few hippie-punches from himself to fully awaken my empathy for his righty victims as well – even the execrable Malkin.

    I suspect there are many on the left who have, in like fashion, snickered over the TBoggian wit in the past, and he’s done himself a disservice (and the rest of us a service), by turning his wit and his sarcastic clique against the “other side.”

    He’s all-the-world like the popular senior bully. He thinks he’s mature and on the “right side” with all of his practical Democratic Party realpolitik, but that has to crack at some point, right? He was really shook at one point, in a past post, when he thought he lost Glenn Greenwald (but then Glenn stopped by and reassured him)… sadly Hamsher keeps stepping in at key points to get his back as well. He clearly likes being “popular.”

    Still waiting for his come-to-Mumia – or his take-my-ball-and-go-home – moment. I’m not sure that he’s a sociopath – but I’m not ruling it out.

  60. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    November 5, 2012

    Al Jazeera has this report on national strikes in Greece, the government is getting hammered from the working class and labour unions and they are not letting up.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/11/201211514919904471.html

    Not the stuff of US milquetoast unions.

  61. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    November 5, 2012

    @ 233ºC 27 October 2012

    One thing I can think of being different is the serf of the middle ages only worked about 120 days in the year to make their annual income. For the innumerate that is 240 days a year hollidays, or there about. Are you doing better?

    Familiar with the plural of you, in the south it’s y’all or NYC it’s yous – not to worry about a small lingual deficiency.

  62. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    November 5, 2012

    @ 233ºC 27 October 2012

    One thing I can think of being different is the serf of the middle ages only worked about 120 days in the year to make their annual income. For the innumerate that is 240 days a year hollidays, or there about. Are you doing better?

    Familiar with the plural of you, in the south it’s y’all or NYC it’s yous as in yous guys- not to worry about a small lingual deficiency.

Comments are closed.