Austerity kills

It is always worth making the effort to recognize that an unnecessary but not pointless austerity politics creates adverse and, sometimes, existential problems for those individuals without the means or power to solve their personal problems. These individuals can only suffer what they cannot avoid. Scot Rosenzweig of Allentown, PA confronted Pennsylvania Governor Corbett with this issue, forcing him to defend his support for his Healthy Pennsylvania project, derided by its critics as CorbettCare. Corbett notoriously refused to accept the greater Medicaid monies authorized by the Affordable Care Act. Corbett eventually proposed a plan that would limit the scope and efficacy of the health care provided by the state of Pennsylvania to its poorest citizens. Currently, thanks to Corbett’s ideologically motivated scheming, Pennsylvania has neither an expanded Medicaid program nor even the lesser CorbettCare. At least one death can be attributed to this lack:

Her death did not faze Corbett, however.

In the tradition

reagan-shrunk

Today, we have this:

alec

The shutdown: Day two

Norman Pollack’s recent description of the impasse rings true:

The “shutdown issue,” presently mired in the political-ideological battle between the Far Right and the Less-Far Right (House Republicans and Administration Democrats), has little to do with the social welfare of the American people, and instead reveals discernible differences only on the degrees of sophistication informing the programs of each in their determined assistance to corporate capitalism. Republicans in this tableau (a staged presentation going back decades in the roles assumed by each side) are the visceral fascists, striking out at government without realizing how much it helps, assists, and protects business and banking, while Democrats actively, yet with becoming liberal rhetoric to hide from themselves their delusions and treachery, take help, assistance, and protection to a higher level of systemic interpenetration between business and government by means of a regulatory framework written by the affected interests.

Pollack considers the shutdown to be an opportunity:

Shutdown, ideally, equals wake-up, an exposure of widespread impoverishment on one hand, widespread waste, corruption of democratic institutions, and military aggression pure-and-simple on the other. If nothing more, scaring the folks at Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs until the legislative conflict is papered over, is worth the candle, considering that nothing will be done for the poor in any case.

But it should prove to be an opportunity missed by those who need to act to bring Superpower to heel:

Sequestration will ensure the lifeblood of the current American polity and economy, militarism attached to the continuing program of global hegemony, so that neither Republicans nor Democrats find urgency in resolving the present stalemate—and in fact, holding the bottom one-fourth of the people hostage to the utter good will of the political system and the consolidated wealth standing behind it, as the source for a solution, is a good lesson in proper obedience, deportment, citizenship. Dangle just enough social- welfare anticipated goodies before the people to ensure quiescence while simultaneously magnifying ideological differences that hardly exist, and one has the perfect formula keeping the masses distracted from the main show—not shutdowns or debt ceilings, but a foreign policy of global capitalist expansion geared to US-defined financial, monetary, and trade advantages, coupled with necessary regime change for their realization, all wrapped in a framework of massive surveillance at home and the quickening paces for demanding patriotism and conformity.

Today, political accountability originates in the streets. Democracy also. Both originate in the streets because America’s electoral mechanism, its judicial practices and its Congress have proved themselves incapable of protecting the citizenry from the government and, of course, the world from America’s empire. But public action of this kind is now risky and even mortally dangerous. Nevertheless the appearance of anti-system social movements and public protest motivated by a system-critical political culture appear to be necessary conditions for the country if it is to move beyond the current situation.

The ungrateful bastards

The New York Times reports that:

President Obama’s re-election campaign is straining to raise the huge sums it is counting on to run against Mitt Romney, with sharp dropoffs in donations from nearly every major industry forcing it to rely more than ever on small contributions and a relative handful of major donors.

From Wall Street to Hollywood, from doctors and lawyers, the traditional big sources of campaign cash are not delivering for the Obama campaign as they did four years ago. The falloff has left his fund-raising totals running behind where they were at the same point in 2008 — though well ahead of Mr. Romney’s — and has induced growing concern among aides and supporters as they confront the prospect that Republicans and their “super PAC” allies will hold a substantial advantage this fall.

To whom does the Obama campaign turn when the stuffed-pocket crowd has turned its collective back on him?

With big checks no longer flowing as quickly into his campaign, Mr. Obama is leaning harder on his grass-roots supporters, whose small contributions make up well over half of the money he raised through the end of March, according to reports filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission.

As one should have expected after the Supreme Court’s very controversial Citizens United
decision (.pdf), the Republican Super PACs are fat with cash. This has forced the Obama campaign to appeal for funding from the lesser people whose interests he failed to serve during his first term.

Caveat emptor!

Santorum drops out of the race

The New York Times reports “…that while this presidential race for us [Santorum and his family] is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting.”

One wonders if Mitt Romney is up to pimping the hatred as Rick Santorum has been since he entered public life.

Update

If Americans are at all lucky, Romney will choose Santorum as his Vice Presidential candidate! Both have poor favorability ratings, as Nate Silver reminds us. Yet, pairing an oligarch with a Christian fascist includes so many Republicans that the Romney camp might be tempted to take this risk.

Vote for Ugg

Quote of the day

Channeling the spirit of the psychoanalytic Marxist Wilhelm Reich, David Rosen wrote:

Are hypocrites born or made? Is false consciousness a social disease? These are among the unasked questions haunting the 2012 Republican presidential race.

The four surviving candidates are hypocrites. Mitt Romney is the guy-next-door everyman with a quarter-billion-dollars in his pocket; Rick Santorum is the blue-collar everyman who has learned to work the corporate con for self-serving ends; Ron Paul is the white everyman standing before a giant Confederate flag proclaiming that the South was right seceding from the Union; and then there is Newt Gingrich, the shameless everyman who sheds his past like a snake loses its old skin.

Gingrich is the most hypocritical presidential candidate in modern history. But the significance of his hypocrisy can only be fully appreciated in terms of his surprising Jan. 21st primary victory in South Carolina. Approximately 40 percent of registered Republicans willingly accepting his fiction. This is the politics of false consciousness.

What happens in Florida on Jan. 31st will be illuminating. It may well cut the Republican primary field being cut to two plus one; Santorum may exit while Paul hangs on like Ralph Nader did in 2000.

Quote of the day

David Vest took stock of the national Republican Party and its anti-Obama politics:

When the GOP retook the House and promptly made it clear that the supreme goal was to prevent Obama’s re-election, they showed themselves to be united by opposition, as never before. Nothing mattered except turning the president out of office. Nothing seemed more inevitable than Obama’s defeat.

And now look at them: a party dominated by evangelical Protestants, yet forced to choose from a pool of candidates that has so far included two Mormons, a couple of Catholic has-beens, a manifest dimwit from Texas, a wild-eyed nutjob from Minnesota, a singing pizza salesman and Ron Paul.

If there existed a sinister Republican plot to make Obama look like Charlemagne by comparison, how would it be different?

Vest on Newt:

If the media uncovered proof that Newt had stolen food stamps from his blind grandmother, shot three orphans in the back, and paid for a former gay lover’s sex change operation with taxpayer funds, would they dare to report it and suffer the fate of CNN’s John King? If so, Gingrich would promptly gather one hundred evangelicals together and explain that so great was his love of country, that his hard-working patriotism led him into houghmagandy with whoever was handy, in ways that were not always in accordance with his blah blah blah, and besides the elite media loves to use this kind of trash to tarnish America and protect Barack Obama. (Insert standing ovation here.)

Occupy Pittsburgh will hold a rally at Consol Energy Center

The date and time: Thursday October 27th at 10:30 AM. Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, will host a Republican Committee of Allegheny County’s (RCAC) fundraiser. The full press release can be found here.

And try to vote for the lesser evil

Making democracy safe for capitalism

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 136 other followers