Elections

Local, state and national election coverage on KBOO community radio

Shockin n Rollin

 Once again, Digby nails it.

The fundamental purpose of the shock doctrine is to use crisis to push through unpopular and unjust "solutions" that favor the wealthy. We are seeing this battle take shape on several fronts. The right is working feverishly to discredit the New Deal at the same time that outside groups of so-called elder statesmen are lining up to screech about the deficit and entitlements. All of this obscures the real source of the current problem and obstructs the president's ability to do what's necessary to solve it.

If Obama were to succeed in fixing the economy, re-regulating the financial system, enacting health care and a modern environmental and energy policy, the right would be discredited for a couple of generations --- and the wealthy would lose many of their unfair advantages under a fair and equitable system. They not only do not want to take that chance, they also see this crisis as an opportunity to bury liberal economics and end the government programs that ensure a stable and prosperous society with a vast middle class. The stakes are huge for both sides.

This gets back to something we've touched on repeatedly over the years on the Abe and Joe show: the decades-long -- and largely successful -- endeavor by the monied class to undo the New Deal. As Digby notes, it's no accident that we're seeing an attempt in the news media to discredit the efficacy of the New Deal even as the President-elect and prominent economists like Paul Krugman call for a new, FDR-esque reinvestment in old and new infrastructure.

This has been going on for some time. The marginal personal and corporate income tax rate topped out in the World War II era at 94%, and with a few exceptions, has been in decline ever since. At the height of the Depression, in the late 1930s, the highest bracket was in the low 70% range. And during both crises -- depression and war -- we spent like drunken sailors and obtained solid results. And after the war, we kept on taxing and spending like the New Deal Democratic nation we were -- flaming leftists by today's standards. Hell, under Ike, the quintessential conservative of his age, the highest rate was over 90%.

But here's the thing. Consider what we did during that postwar era*.

We sent millions of ex-GIs to college. We built the interstate highway system. We rebuilt our conquered enemies. We built the most extensive public university system in the history of humanity. We put people on the moon. We saw sea changes in race and gender relations. We birthed history's first truly large-scale, educated middle class. We witnessed a riotous explosion of culture, as every imaginable tradition and heritage collided.

And people got rich. Lots of them. While paying high taxes.

But more importantly to the monied class -- and I think that these would-be assassins of the New Deal are oblivious to this, perhaps willfully so -- the middle class of the postwar era had money to spend on the products made by the monied class. Our ownership elite owes its exalted status to the fact that we and our parents and grandparents all spent money in the industrial economy.

So the attempt to bury the New Deal, organized labor, and the very notion of liberal Keynsian economics, is self-defeating. If you kill the middle class, there's no one to buy your useless crap. Now is the time to whip out that well-tuned sense of irony I've been urging you to develop.

Now is also the time to contact Obama and urge him to do the right thing with his economic policy. It's time to rebuild the middle class and invest in schools and solar power plants and high-speed trains and universal health care. It's time to bury conservative supply-side economic dogmatism for a good long time.

-A

* Yes, we also kept military spending at wartime levels. Yes, we started striking devil's bargains with brutal men in exchange for their nations' resources. Yes, we built an arsenal of doomsday weapons. Yes, we meddled ceaselessly all over the world. Yes, we presided over the maturation of the brutally exploitative global capitalist system. Yes, we waged cynical wars in far-flung places, both overt and covert. Yes, we perpetuated the global subjugation of the non-European peoples. Yes, we allowed the wholesale corporate acquisition of the wheels of government. Yes yes yes. I deny none of it. But we also did the stuff I said.

 

Index of leading asshattery indicators

 I love Harper's Index.

For those of you not familiar with it, Harper's Index appears near the front of every edition of Harper's magazine. It presents a sort of snapshot of current affairs by way of assembling a bunch of seemingly obscure, but ultimately telling, statistics. The index can really help break an issue down to irrefutable numbers in a way that cuts through ideological trappings.

Take the current iteration of Harper's Index, for example. It's all about the legacy of the Bush years, the whole fucking war-ridden, corrupt, incompetent, greedy, murderous, filthy lot of them. Here's just a few choice nuggets:

 

Percentage of Bush’s first 189 appointees who also served in his father’s administration: 42

Minimum number of Bush appointees who have regulated industries they used to represent as lobbyists: 98

Date on which the GAO sued Dick Cheney to force the release of documents related to current U.S. energy policy: 2/22/02

Number of other officials the GAO has sued over access to federal records: 0

Number of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and North African men detained in the U.S. in the eight weeks after 9/11: 1,182

Number charged with an immigration violation: 762

Days since the federal government first placed the nation under an “elevated terror alert” that the level has been relaxed: 0

Percentage of the amendments in the Bill of Rights that are violated by the USA PATRIOT Act, according to the ACLU: 50

Minimum number of laws that Bush signing statements have exempted his administration from following: 1,069

 

... and on and on. It's an itemized chronicle of catastrophic mis-government. Read the whole thing, and then print it off and give it to your Republican co-workers.

-A

More Talk Radio

Program: 
More Talk Radio
Air date: 
Mon, 01/05/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am

Hosts Cecil and Celeste speak with Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. The group is organizing with other secular and faith-based groups "Camp Hope: Countdown to Change" in Chicago, four blocks from Obama's residence there. The camp begins on New Year's Day and continues to Dr. Martin Luther King Day. Kelly says "Large lobbying groups, including some of the large corporations, are pushing Obama around the clock to preserve the status quo, wage war and provide for unbridled greed. What we're asking is that the money spent on the military be spent instead on soluble problems such as lack of healthcare."
 

Democracy Now!

Program: 
Democracy Now!
Air date: 
Fri, 01/02/2009 - 7:00am - 8:00am

A special program featuring a lecture by Howard Zinn, professor emeritus and author of "A People's History of the United States." It was his first speech following the election of Barack Obama as President.

Special Programming: Public Affairs

Air date: 
Wed, 12/31/2008 - 10:00am - 11:00am

Ken Arnold and Connie Kirk, publishers and editors for the new Ken Arnold Books, join forces to read from "The Palin Prophecies." They also talk about their press and on-demand publishing. They say that "The Palin Prophecies was brought to them by an Alaskan Pentecostal sports reporter, Brent Mooseburger. He clamis that withe the cooperation of God Almighty, he channeled Sarah Palin in a daily blog in the weeks leading up to the election. Ken is a poet, non-fiction writer andprize-winning playwright. Connie is a poet, essayist and children's book author. Brent Mooseburger is a suspicious character.

Obama's Education Secretary

Categories:
program date: 
Sun, 12/28/2008

 

The CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, Arne Duncan, has been chosen to be Secretary of Education in the Obama Cabinet.  What does his track record suggest is ahead for schools?  It's not a progressive picture.   Clayton Morgareidge reads from an article by Henry A. Giroux and Kenneth Saltman that appeared on t r u t h o u t

 

7:49 minutes (4.48 MB)

Old Mole Variety Hour for December 22, 2008

program date: 
Sun, 12/21/2008

Hosted by the intrepid Laurie Mercier, braving the biggest snow fall in 40 years to reach the KBOO studio, this  program features Laurie's discussion with attorney Mike Snedeker of developments in the law this past year.  We also hear how  vampires are becoming more romantic and less dangerous than in years past as Frann Michel looks into the meaning of Twilight, the series of novels and the movie.  Finally, Bill Resnick talks with Sarah Anderson about what the Obama administration may, and may not, bring in how the US acts around the world.  Hear the whole show by clicking on the arrow above, or individual pieces by following the links below.

1.  2008 in the law.

51:49 minutes (29.65 MB)

Foreign Policy in the Obama Years

program date: 
Sun, 12/21/2008

Where will US foreign policy go under Obama?  How might it impact the poorer nations of the world.  Sarah Anderson,  Director of the Global Economic Project at the Institute for Policy Studies,  provides her insights in this conversation with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick.  

19:23 minutes (11.09 MB)

Old Mole Variety Hour for December 8, 2008

program date: 
Sun, 12/07/2008

Hosted by Clayton Morgareidge, the topics on this show include
•    the music and politics of John Lennon,
•    two movies about Harvey Milk
•    the hearts and minds of anti-gay marriage voters, and
•    the auto industry bailout

You can hear the whole show by clicking on the arrow above, or separate pieces by following the links above.  

52:22 minutes (29.97 MB)

Inside the Anti-Gay Heart

Categories:
program date: 
Sun, 12/07/2008

Many liberals are angry at the voters who passed the anti-gay marriage ammendment in California in November.  In this commentary, Clayton Morgareidge tries to probe the hearts and minds of those voters. 

9:41 minutes (5.55 MB)
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