I saw Leiberman on some cable show last night, and listening to him go on and on about how terrible Dean would be for the country it came to me that at this point the only reason Leiberman is in the race is to keep Dean from becoming President after he wins the nomination! Leiberman knows he isn’t going to get the nomination, and his campaign is entirely anti-Dean at this point, almost as a partner of Bush. He knows that everything he is saying is going to be used by the Republicans, and he is actively inventing new things to harm Dean with. But he is so resentful of the Democratic base for rejecting him, and is so married to this “Dean can’t win” idea, that he is doing everything he can to make it so, just so he can say “I told you so” later.

If Bush Wins In 2004

Here’s what’s in store for us, and the world, if Bush wins. The Hawks tell Bush how to win war on terror: Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, France.

France? Yes. Read this: “we will have to pursue the war against terror far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East, into the heart of Western Europe”

The draft will be the least of our worries. This crowd is not just wingnuts, they are wingNUTS, and they’re in charge now!

Is There A Terror Threat Or Not?

The Bush Administration has a habit of terrifying us with “terror alerts” and then acting like there really isn’t anything to worry about. They won’t fund cargo port inspections, they won’t provide money for cities for terrorism preparedness, and worst of all they politicize the terrorism issue, dividing the country in half. There is no question that they used terrorism alerts politically to get the public stirred up for war with Iraq. (And then, after the invasion, didn’t even bother for weeks to send teams to look for weapons of mass destruction.)

Now we have what they say is the most serious terror threat since 9/11, but they are encouraging people to gather in large numbers. Shouldn’t we be afraid? At least one congressman is acting responsibly – a Republicans no less! Shays’ comments draw fire:

“Some New Year’s-related comments from a Connecticut congressman are getting an angry reaction.

Christopher Shays told a T-V station (W-V-I-T) that he wouldn’t go to New York’s Times Square ‘for anything.’ He also urged New Year’s revelers not to go, citing terrorism fears.

Shays says it’s irresponsible for federal officials to make people think they don’t need to take precautions — like avoiding packed crowds in New York City.”

If something happens tonite we’re going to look back and wonder why they allowed half a million people to gather in Times Square with a terrorism alert in effect. What are they thinking? Is there even a little bit of concern for the public in their thinking, or is it all, all just political calculation?

UpdateThe Mayor of New York:

“New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg accused the head of a House of Representatives panel on terrorism of lacking courage on Wednesday for shunning the traditional Times Square New Year’s eve celebration because of security worries.

Bloomberg, appearing on morning television programs Friday, equated showing up for the street party with defying terrorists.”

Packing half a million targets people, into Times Square to “defy” the terrorists. Right.

Initial Unemployment Claims

The headline, New Jobless Claims Lowest of Bush Tenure.

“The Labor Department (news – web sites) reported Wednesday that new applications filed for unemployment insurance dropped by a seasonally adjusted 15,000 to 339,000 for the week ending Dec. 27.”

The reality: ETA Press Release: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report:

“The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 516,501 in the week ending Dec. 27, an increase of 91,785 from the previous week.”

I report, you decide.

Why Liberals Are Angry

Column: Why Liberals Are Angry:

“Some say liberals are ticked because the rest of the country hasn’t yet conceded that George W. is a duplicitous bumbler with emperor envy. Some say it’s only because liberalism has suffered a long decline. Others say a stolen election, a seedy impeachment, an illegal war and the pack-mentality media account for liberal wrath.

All these are true. But there’s a more seminal cause of liberal anger. In view of it, the only surprise is that the anger took so long to erupt.”

What They’re Going To Do

Here’s what The Party has in store for us. They are going to get Democrats together in focus groups, and they’re going to ask them, “If you learned that so-and-so happened, would this cause you to stop supporting Democratic candidates?” When they find some things that make enough Democrats answer “Yes,” then you’ll start seeing stories in the paper saying that whatever it was that caused them to say yes really happened. Then the stories will turn into whirlwinds and you’ll be hearing the story from all directions. Years from now the press will be repeating the story as fact.

In other words, if they learn that Democrats will stop supporting their candidate if they learn that the candidate said that polar bears should be trapped and moved to France, then you are going to start hearing stories about how the candidate said that polar bears should be trapped and moved to France, even though the candidate never said any such thing.

This will happen over and over again between now and the election, made-up story after made-up story, until even you are so fed up with the Democratic candidate that you’ll be thinking of not voting at all, maybe even voting for Bush.

Get ready for it. It will happen. It’s what they do.

Bush Declares War On PBS

It’s not enough that AM radio, TV and the newspapers are 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week ads for The Party. Now Bush is trying to bring PBS under control. This from Common Cause:

Public Broadcasting Under Siege!

$800,000 buys two seats on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s board!

The Bush Administration has awarded two major Republican donors seats on the nine-member board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Bush appointees Cheryl Halpern and Gay Hart Gaines and their families have given over $800,000 to Republican causes in recent years.

But just as troubling are the agendas that Halpern and Hart Gaines would bring to the CPB. Both have stated views or espoused causes that call into question their qualifications to service on a board whose mission is to promote and fund public television and radio programming.

Halpern, in her confirmation hearings, indicated that she would welcome empowering the CPB board members to intervene in program content when they felt a program was biased. And, Gaines was an ardent supporter of Representative Newt Gingrich (R-GA) who, as House Speaker in 1994, proposed cutting all federal assistance to public television.

Common Cause will not let this issue slip by without public scrutiny. We need your help to bring this to the public’s attention.

We must not let partisan insiders wrest control of public broadcasting from balanced board members and threaten the integrity of the CPB from within.

Please send a generous contribution today to help us protect the fairness of public broadcasting!

Click here to find out more: http://www.commoncause.org/news/default.cfm?ArtID=270

Click here to donate to Common Cause: http://www.commoncause.org/support

What They Think Of You

From a roundtable discussion of globalization, with corporate executives and venture capitalists participating:

“There’s something at an individual level that people in the [Silicon] Valley have to sign up to do, as well. In this globally competitive marketplace, you have engineers in China that go to work from 8 (a.m.) to 10 (p.m.). The company feeds them lunch, a great lunch. They have great facilities, equal to the Valley. They serve them a great dinner, and they work six days a week. They go home to be with their families during a month during Chinese New Year. But after that, they’re working hard, and they’re really dedicated to what they’re doing.

And so we have to recover from the sense of entitlement. Individuals have to want to get retrained. They’re going to have to want to work hard. Sometimes I wonder whether or not we’ve lost that in the Valley.”

Got that? It couldn’t be clearer. THIS is the corporate view of your job and your life in the future. You need to lose your “sense of entitlement” and get ready for a six day workweek, working 8am to 10pm, living in a barracks at the office, living only to serve to corporation and visiting your family once a year. (How soon will they be hatching superior workers in test tubes, and raising them from birth to be better workers for their selected job?)

The economists call it the reality of “globally competition.” But the real reality is that this is what happens when you apply “market solutions” to a world with hundreds of millions of unemployed. In a purely market-driven world, NECESSARILY those lucky enough to get jobs will devolve to subsistence wages, the rest will starve off.

When you value people only as economic units, the humanity goes away. In “market” logic the sick or old person should be discarded as a drain on economic resources. In “market” logic there is no point in having a government that looks out for the interests of the public at large — this “gets in the way” of competition. In “market” logic there is no point in recreation, except for its value in making the worker unit a bit more productive. In “market” logic there is no point in educating beyond what you need for your job. In “market” logic your only value to society is the extent to which you will serve the corporation.

A lot of people don’t understand how much has already changed for Americans, with the globalization of the economy and the concentration of wealth. We seem prosperous, and we seem to have a stake in this economy, but it’s all debt. The only reason there is a new SUV in that driveway, and a new family in that nice house, is they are still allowed to borrow money. This borrowing represents our living off of selling the public’s assets — assets sold by the George Bushes of the world to the Ken Lays of the world.

How long will the debt be sustainable? The day when they stop accepting our dollars is the day when America wakes up and realized what has happened to us. The fall of the dollar is a sign of what is happening.

We’re going to have to re-think our concepts of “ownership” before this is all over. Why should the great masses of Americans be forced ever downward economically to the benefit of a few who “own” so much of our resources. With the concentration of wealth that is occurring, this problem is getting ever worse. We should re-think these concepts now, and discuss more equitable distribution of wealth, before things get bad enough that people take matters into their own hands. This is what has always happened in the past.

Who is our economy for? Who will love the people who have no use?

Your Food Safety

I’m watching a “Mad Cow” press conference on C-Span.

Has the Bush Administration ordered an increase in testing for Mad Cow disease? No.

Has the Bush Administration ordered “downer” cows kept our of the food supply? No.

This would interfere with corporate profits. Who the f*ck do you think you are, anyway?

Update – Tuesday the government stopped allowing “downer” cows to be used as food.

Bush Campaigning On Local Radio

Bush’s Campaign Finds Platform on Local Radio,

“While the Bush campaign maintains a low profile on the national campaign stage — content for now to watch the Democrats beat on one another — it is aggressively working the expansive hustings of Republican-friendly talk radio, priming the grass roots faithful for battle next year.”

But if any Democrat wants time on these stations to respond to the 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week Republican Party ad, the answer is NO, we won’t let you. Once upon a time WE THE PEOPLE licensed out the broadcast frequencies for the benefit of the public. Now the corporations have taken them over and are using them to push The Party on the public, full time. This is just like what’s going on in the Congress, Democrats are just not welcome. Our country is only for Republicans now. Bush is President of the Republicans, not the country. The budget only goes to districts with Republican representatives. Government contracts only go to Republican campaign contributors. The things that we — the ones who didn’t vote for Bush and the ones who didn’t vote at all — more than half the country, care about, like the environment, the poor, health carwomen’sens’ rights, gay rights, minority rights, civil rights, Social Security, the right to sue in court, public schools, even public parks, well, that’s “a big Fuck You Democrat, we’re in power now, get over it, dry up and die.”

Jobless Count Skips Millions

Jobless Count Skips Millions:

“The nation’s official jobless rate is 5.9%, a relatively benign level by historical standards. But economists say that figure paints only a partial — and artificially rosy — picture of the labor market.

To begin with, there are the 8.7 million unemployed, defined as those without a job who are actively looking for work. But lurking behind that group are 4.9 million part-time workers such as Gluskin who say they would rather be working full time — the highest number in a decade.

There are also the 1.5 million people who want a job but didn’t look for one in the last month. Nearly a third of this group say they stopped the search because they were too depressed about the prospect of finding anything. Officially termed ‘discouraged,’ their number has surged 20% in a year.

Add these three groups together and the jobless total for the U.S. hits 9.7%, up from 9.4% a year ago.”

Don’t forget the huge number of people in prisons now.