Friday, August 13, 2010

Progressive Broadside of Obama's Mouthpiece

Yes. Obama's mouthpiece, Robert Gibbs, recently stuck his foot in his mouth, thought it's not sure he realizes or acknowledges it. I'm speaking of the following, from the GLH Blog:

The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.”

The progressive GLH Blog elaborates on why he's pissed off at

'Barack Bush's flunky Robert Gibbs'

in "Barack Bush's Toady Attacks Single Payer".


More on the Left & Right Joining Forces

Maybe you've experienced this. You take interest in something you've not noticed before, say a car of a particular color. Then you start noticing this thing all over the place when you didn't before.

Maybe that's what's going on with me an the thesis I'm pursuing about the potential power of principled people on the left & right joining forces to challenge the power and policy of the establishment. I've been addressing this topic in the past few episodes of GDAE Podcast:

Part 1: (20-min abridged) - The Thesis of the Left & Right Joining Together. Motivations and Defining the Thesis. Real-world example: Challenging the Consolidation of Media Ownership.

Part 2: (30-min) - More than a Hypothesis: Real-world examples of Left/Right Joint Efforts to Challenge the Establishment. The call to "Audit the Federal Reserve."

Part 3: (30-min) - More Real-world examples. The late-1800s Populist Movement & the current movement calling for strict adherence to 10th Amendment of the US Constitution.

Now I'm starting to see more real-world cases and other people observing this social phenomenon. The Tea Party movement, for the most part, is NOT a part of this left/right coming together. That's in part because it's partly co opted by corporate sponsors and demagogues like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck (tho the concerns of its diverse membership are similar).

This is also not about establishment conservatives who reject the Tea Party, or , or at least hold them at a distance. Tho, there can be some intersection these principled establishment conservatives too. One example is the conservative and liberal lawyers who challenged the constitutionality of California's Anti-gay marriage Proposition 8. (The two lawyers were conservative Ted Olsen and liberal David Boies, the two of whom battled each other in the Bush v. Gore 2000 election coup). But lets face it, Olsen & Boies are part of the establishment mindset.

It's hard to pin down this phenomenon, in part because it is diverse and complex. But, when you hear the examples and discussions on the previous podcasts, it starts to take shape. I'll be expanding on more examples in the August GDAE Podcast, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Sense of Desperation

As we hear that the Obama Justice Department reached settlement with Goldman Sachs there are many reactions. My reaction is that the establishment is feeling desperate, fearful of a teetering capitalist system that cannot tolerate the implications of an honest judgment.

Goldman Sachs designed an investment package of subprime mortgage loans that was highly likely to fail, invested in its failure, but sold it to others as a good investment. They get caught, and by most accounts by analysts who understand these things, the record Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) penalty of $550 million is well below the $1 Billion that was expected as a baseline for settling this fraud case. But you don't have to take the word of the analysts, the reaction of Wall Street was a sigh of relief expressed in terms of a rise in Goldman's market value that greatly exceeded the penalty amount.

This is just one example of many in which the establishment's fear of a teetering economic system has led to tepid, dishonest policy. The inability for the Washington establishment to consider a single-payer system is another example. We're told that there simply wasn't the political will, and that the insurance and other health related industries were "too strong." I suspect the real reason is that the capitalist economic system is too weak to endure a transition from the current inefficient, paper-pushing health care system to a more efficient one.

I'm sure there are many other examples.


Cross-posted at GDAE Podcast.