Yearly Archives: 2011

The Euro Crisis in 7 Simple Charts: They’re telling you a real pack of lies

The Real News has the article, The Euro Crisis in 7 Simple Charts: They’re telling you a real pack of lies. No the charts aren’t telling you a pack of lies.  The charts are uncovering the lies you have been told.

The crisis of the euro currency zone is an excellent example of how flagrant lies can successfully be converted into accepted wisdom. Almost every generalization about the crisis found in the mainstream media is false. As a result, the mainstream punditries on the crisis are ideological polemics masquerading as analysis. Further, often progressive critiques of the reactionary “austerity” policies by the euro zone governments accepts the mainstream faux-facts about the crisis, fuelling the There-Is-No-Alternative (TINA) syndrome.

These charts provide the support numbers for  exactly what Dr. Heiner Flassbeck was describing in the videos posted in my previous post Eurocrisis: “Democracy is Not a Given”.

Lizza List: Top Five Electoral Outcomes Journalists Are Secretly Rooting For

The New Yorker has the article Lizza List: Top Five Electoral Outcomes Journalists Are Secretly Rooting For.

5. Rick Santorum wins Iowa and much of the English-speaking world Googles his name.

Try it yourself, but please not at work or when children are in the room.

Now how can you resist a challenge like that?  The reason for this comment was not far down on the list of items returned by Google.

I also found the explanation for this in a Mother Jones article, Rick Santorum’s Anal Sex Problem.

Now, aren’t you glad my blog is here to keep you informed on such important matters?

Ron Paul on Job Creation

It is hard to imagine getting this more exactly backward than Ron Paul does in this video. Deregulation and tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy are some of the causes of the problem. They are not the cures. Deficit spending at the wrong part of the economic cycle is a huge cause of the problem. Reducing deficit spending in the exquisitely timed wrong part of the economic cycle would spell disaster.

Just because Ron Paul talks about arcane economic topics doesn’t mean he knows his donkey from his elbow when he speaks. Somebody needs to counter this horrible mis-education of the voter by this dangerous man.

The housing bubble could have happened in a higher interest rate environment just as easily. If the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act deregulating the banks had not happened, it is much less likely that the bubble would have occurred. Had George W. Bush not stimulated the economy with his huge deficits at a time when the economy was already humming along, there would have been less investment money to chase the mere pushing financial derivatives around in the absence of any more productive investment possibilities.

Taxing away some of that ill spent money of the super wealthy would also have helped rein in the bubble. Instead George W. Bush instituted tax cuts. This is just one more reason why the tax cuts in the middle of two wars, an already overstimulated economy, and an unbalanced budget were totally insane.

Admittedly, the Federal Reserve could have stepped in and raised bank reserve requirements when they saw the bubble forming under Alan Greenspan’s tenure as head of the Fed. Instead of wondering over the irrational exuberance of the market, Greenspan could have figured out the problem and done something.

The non-ideological economists were pleading with Greenspan to get up off his donkey and take action. Ron Paul may be half-donkey right about Greenspan’s idiotic policy of low interest when the economic cycle required higher interest. This just added more fuel to the fire that George W. Bush was fiscally promoting with his deficits and tax cuts. Raising the interest rates during the current phase of the economic cycle would also be almost perfectly mis-timed.

Would an automotive analogy help any? When faced with a car whose engine is revving out of control past the red line and whose gas tank is full, you do not pour gasoline anywhere near it. That will just set it on fire. However, when the engine has stalled because the gas tank is empty, that is exactly when you need to pour gasoline in the tank. (For my British readers, for gas and gasoline, put in the word petrol.)

The Big Lie: Wall Street has destroyed the wonder that was America.

The article The Big Lie has the subtitle “Wall Street has destroyed the wonder that was America.”  At first, I wondered if the big lie was that Wall Street has destroyed the wonder that was America.

I think the following quote from the article should set the matter straight:

As 2011 slithers to its end, none of the major problems that led to the crisis point three years ago have really been solved. Bank balance sheets still reek. Europe day by day becomes a financial black hole, with matter from the periphery being sucked toward the center until the vortex itself collapses. The Street and its ministries of propaganda have fallen back on a Big Lie as old as capitalism itself: that all that has gone wrong has been government’s fault. This time, however, I don’t think the argument that “Washington ate my homework” is going to work. This time, a firestorm is going to explode about the Street’s head—and about time, too.

This article calls for a level of retribution, and perhaps violence, that the Occupy movement specifically abjures.

Compassionate Conservatism? An Open Letter to Newt Gingrich From the Child of a Janitor

A friend of a friend on Facebook led me to the article Compassionate Conservatism? An Open Letter to Newt Gingrich From the Child of a Janitor.

On more than one occasion my father, a janitor, had to take up a collection for a student to send home to their family, to help them buy a ticket if there was an emergency, or to subsidize the funeral expenses for one of his crew, or the part-timers, who didn’t have his years of seniority, and pay.

No child could do that job.

Why is it so easy for a person like Newt Gingrich to forget the humanity behind the people he disparages?  I suppose it is the same justification that applied to George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism”.  If you don’t really know any people outside your “class”, it is easy to wage class warfare without realizing you are doing it.  And that is being very  charitable to Gingrich and Bush.

Marisa DeFranco in Debate Among U.S. Senate candidates

I have edited the video of  debate at Stonehill College on December 6, 2011 to focus on Marisa DeFranco’s responses.  The intent is to give you easy access to her positions on various issues.

It cuts the video from of the whole debate from 90 minutes, to just under 23 minutes to focus on Marisa DeFranco.  This edit is not a commentary on what the other candidates might have said in the debate.

Notice how Elizabeth Warren also puts emphasis on public involvement in getting legislation to pass through the blockades in Congress. That is what I find so frustrating when Elizabeth Warren refuses to use her time in the limelight to educate the public on the issues that require their involvement.

Crackpot Anti-Islam Activists, “Serial Fabricators” and the Tale of Iran and 9/11

Truth Out has the article Crackpot Anti-Islam Activists, “Serial Fabricators” and the Tale of Iran and 9/11.

Behind a mysterious December 22 Associated Press story about “finding of fact” by a District judge in Manhattan Friday that Iran assisted al Qaeda in the planning of the 9/11 attacks is a tapestry of recycled fabrications and distortions of fact from a bizarre cast of characters.

Please remember this Truth Out article  when you hear the administration using this supposed connection of Iran to 9/11 for going to war against Iran. Past history of this administration and its predecessor makes it a near certainty that this fabrication will be used to get us into another war. This time it will be Iranian oil that is the real reason.  Just like Rudy Giuliani, it is “blah, blah, blah, 9/11.”

Wake Up Elizabeth, Wake Up

Not to be disrespectful, but in case you missed the allusion to the Everly Brothers song, I could have titled this piece “Wake Up Little Lizzie, Wake Up”

The Boston Globe ran the article Scott Brown seeks underdog role in today’s newspaper.  This is the article I was thinking about in my previous post, The Elizabeth Warren Train Wreck.

Here are a couple of paragraphs to kick off my flame.

He pointedly referred to Warren’s claim to be the “intellectual foundation’’ of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which he said rejects the capitalist, free-enterprise system.

His comments reflect a theme that is expected to dominate the upcoming Senate race.

Here is an example of Scott Brown using this line of attack.  The second sentence reflects The Boston Globe‘s reporter recognizing that this theme will reappear.  Rather than explain the “intellectual foundation’’, the Warren camp seems to be trying to ignore this comment that she made, and is posted on YouTube.  Perhaps she thinks this will all blow over.  Are Elizabeth Warren and her campaign the last people to be able to see what is coming?

In October 2011, she did defend her remarks.

The number of people who saw this response on New England Cable News is miniscule compared to the number of people seeing the Karl Rove attack ads. Does she really think the Republicans are going to let her get away with a single response, and concede the point to her. They know that in advertising, repetition is the key to success. By the time they are finished, very few will know anything about her response. All they will know is the charge. She doesn’t expect her opposition to tell people what her answer was, does she?

Other items from The Boston Globe article:

Brown, who used a South Boston diner yesterday for a round of brief, 15-minutesit-down interviews with Massachusetts reporters, sought to paint himself as a bipartisan, moderate Republican.

While he touted himself as the most bipartisan senator, Brown did not hesitate yesterday to draw on Republican talking points when he accused the Democrats of stirring class strife with their call to raise rates on wealthy taxpayers in order to ease some of the cuts that both parties agree are needed to deal with the federal deficit.

Democrats are only starting to fight back in the class warfare that the Republicans have been waging for over 30 years. The typical response of Democrats to this accusation is to back off because they don’t want to come across as too radical. Is defending yourself being radical? Silence on the part of Democrats is not going to make this go away. If you are going to fight back against something the other side has been doing for 30 years, isn’t it rather foolish to think that one attack on their war is going to suffice?

He said the Democratic efforts are aimed “to single out particular classes of people and to start this class warfare thing.’’

“I don’t know when we started to demonize success in this country,’’ Brown said.

When a single class of people is responsible for making huge profits from almost destroying this country’s and the world’s economy, don’t they deserve to be singled out? Are we supposed to pretend that they didn’t do what the evidence clearly shows that they did in the hopes that they won’t do it again? Those who are responsible for the disaster would surely love you to believe that. Can you imagine the “law and order” Republicans treating people who commit other types of crimes in this way? Do you have to ask, “Whose side are they on?”

During the depression era Bonnie and Clyde became folk heroes to some. In this era it is the rapacious ultra-wealthy that the Republicans are trying to turn into folk heroes. Their kind of success is great for them, but it is killing the rest of us. It’s not like the banks forcing people into foreclosure are building anything for America’s future.

He also suggested that attacks on the rich can hit middle-class families that have large incomes. “Remember those are the policemen and teachers and nurses who are working overtime to pay the bills and have the mortgages and the two cars and two tuitions, in Massachusetts especially,’’ he said.

Large incomes, my donkey. When the question of taxing the rich comes up, we are not talking about millionaires who have managed to save up this amount of money as a nest egg over a lifetime of work. We are talking about people who earn a million dollars every year. That is, they earn over $90,000 a month. The latest proposal that Brown voted against was to tax them $200 a month.

Yesterday, Brown described Warren, his leading Democratic rival, as a “very competent, credible candidate’’ and pointed to her credentials as Harvard Law School professor. But, he added, she is “very, very liberal.’’

Elizabeth Warren used to be a Republican before she did some research into the lives of people filing for bankruptcy. She found that the Republican fantasy about who these people were was grossly mistaken. For that she has sought to relieve the conditions that force people into bankruptcy. Yet, she still holds many conservative ideas. Too conservative for me, in fact.

The Warren campaign’s response is not to defend the effort to protect the middle-class from going bankrupt, but to try to prove that she is not a liberal.

Warren needs to talk facts, not labels. She needs to educate the public about what she does stand for and why it is important to stand for these things.

No matter how many times I communicate this message to the Warren campaign, they are too afraid of public reaction to act on my message.

I tell them that even if they manage to win the election, she won’t be able to accomplish what she wants to as Senator if she wastes this opportunity to educate the public about why she wants to do the things she wants to do.

Six years from know, I can hear her re-election mantra. “Yes, I wanted to do a lot, but I had to compromise, given the political landscape.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a Senator who said in six years, “I accomplished a lot, because I took the political landscape as I found it, and with the help of an informed electorate, we changed that landscape.?” Marisa DeFranco is the Senate candidate most likely to be able to make the triumphant request for re-election. I am afraid that Elizabeth Warren will be the one to try to give us the Obama excuse.

Elizabeth Warren cannot depend on the fact that the Republican party will run such a bozo against her that she will be a shoo in. Martha Coakley already tried that approach with disastrous consequences.

Besides, even a bozo can look great if he is able to tell his fiction with no adequate response from the other side. Scott Brown proved that, and he is about to prove it again.

Ted Kennedy wasn’t called the lamb of the Senate. He was called the Lion of the Senate. It is time we heard some roaring from our side. Marisa DeFranco is the one to do it. She just needs the people’s mic to go into action and amplify her roar.

Flame off.

A Simple Way To Help Marisa DeFranco

One very simple thing you can do to help Marisa DeFranco get her message out is to post on your Facebook page that you like Marisa DeFranco’s Facebook page.

I had thought of the idea of going to her Facebook page,, and just clicking  the Like button.  This is something you should do, but it is not quite enough.

I found that though the fact that you like her page  does show up in your info page on your Facebook profile  as to your Activities and Interests,  it does not standout.  This information won’t scroll into oblivion as time goes by in the same way that posts to your wall do.  So it does have that benefit, but people really have to go looking for it to see it.

Maybe you think you do not have any political power.  Maybe you think that your monetary contribution to her campaign won’t be big enough to make a difference.  Here is something that you can do that won’t cost you anything but a minute or two of your time.  Making her Facebook page go  viral could have a huge impact on getting the people of Massachusetts to know about her.  Can you think of a better way to have a huge impact with so little effort?

For other web pages for Marisa DeFranco, see my previous post, Marisa DeFranco For U.S. Senate from Massachusetts.