Hey, sober realists — get over yourselves

Today, Ruth Marcus joins the chorus of those who feel honor-bound to throw cold water in the faces of Sanders supporters. The steady message is we are stupid, foolish idealists, unrealistic, and blind to recent history. The message is it is wrong to believe you can change a system you find increasingly intolerable. The message is it is foolish to think that if millions of people work together they can make any changes. The message is give up, shut up, and put up with the status quo because that’s the best you can hope for. Wanting anything else means losing everything.

I find these pundits, these adults, these oh-so-smart people increasingly unbearable. I’ll give Marcus the benefit of the doubt that just because she’s paid by big media and lives among the rich and powerful doesn’t mean she can’t have my best interests at heart.

I’m tired of corrupt capitalism run amok. I have little faith in the sacred market and less in the status quo and its advocates. I’m tired of seeing and hearing that democracy is meaningless, sold to the highest bidder. I’m tired of a system that lets the richest people and corporations do and have anything but tells the rest of us to sit down and be quiet.

I’m sick to death of this crap. I’m going to wipe the cold water from my face and vote the way I want to for the change I want. I hope millions of other people will do the same. Change will come.

Immoral Capitalism MUST change NOW

A banker gets paid to make a bad loan. A banker gets paid to foreclose on a home. A CEO gets a huge bonus. A company takes a write-off. Shareholders profit. A family goes homeless.

This is but one reason many of us are furious with capitalism and sickened by fools who blindly worship a fantasy about the Sacred Market. The rich get richer. The rest of us are royally fucked for their profit and pleasure. You better welcome Democratic Socialism, cuz you ain’t gonna like the alternative (blood in the streets, heads on pikes — it’s been done before).

eat the rich!

Sometimes, withering sarcasm is exactly the right tone. [I’m reviving this from 2 years ago.]

Sincere apologies to the filthy rich | ABQJournal Online

By Leonard Pitts / Syndicated Columnist

Dear Tom Perkins:

I’m writing to apologize. ….

You’ve been criticized for what you wrote, but we both know the only thing wrong with it is, you didn’t go far enough. You didn’t mention how one day the rich may be forced to stitch yellow dollar signs to their clothing or have their net worth tattooed on their forearms.

Being forced to pay taxes for the upkeep of schools your children wouldn’t be caught dead attending? That’s exactly like slavery.

Zoning laws that limit you to one measly helipad on your very own land? No difference between that and the Trail of Tears.

Where will it end? Will they make you fly commercial? Buy off the rack? Golf on a public course? Might as well hitch up the boxcars and pack you in.

I confess to having been blind to the suffering of the Affluent-American community. But you’ve opened my eyes. How awful it must be, forced to live in segregated neighborhoods like Brentwood and Star Island in constant fear of metaphorical beatings and rhetorical lynching if you dare get out of your place and whine about the travails of your life of vulgar excess.

Sincere apologies to the filthy rich | ABQJournal Online

There will be more of these domestic terrorists

We haven’t see the last of these pompous, self-serving, insane terrorists. More are out there waiting for inspiration — perhaps god’s voice — to walk into another NWR, a daycare center, your local store, to wave their guns in our faces and feebly attempt to make their addled point that they are more important than an entire nation. Yeah, right.

Arrests of Oregon standoff leaders leaves 1 person dead – ABQJournal Online

Ammon Bundy speaks during an interview at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, near Burns, Ore., on Jan. 5. (Rick Bowmer/The Associated Press)

Ammon Bundy speaks during an interview at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, near Burns, Ore., on Jan. 5. (Rick Bowmer/The Associated Press)

Brand Thornton, one of Bundy’s supporters, said he left the refuge Monday and wasn’t sure what those remaining would do.

“The entire leadership is gone,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “I wouldn’t blame any of them for leaving.”

Thornton called the arrests “a dirty trick” by law enforcement.

Arrests of Oregon standoff leaders leaves 1 person dead – ABQJournal Online

“real change happens only when a substantial share of the American public is mobilized, organized, energized, and determined to make it happen”

Robert Reich (Bernie’s Movement)

Bernie’s Movement

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman yesterday warned Bernie supporters that change doesn’t happen with “transformative rhetoric” but with “political pragmatism” – “accepting half loaves as being better than none.” He writes that it’s dangerous to prefer “happy dreams (by which he means Bernie) to hard thinking about means and ends (meaning Hillary).”

Krugman doesn’t get it. I’ve been in and around Washington for almost fifty years, including a stint in the cabinet, and I’ve learned that real change happens only when a substantial share of the American public is mobilized, organized, energized, and determined to make it happen. 

Political “pragmatism” may require accepting “half loaves” – but the full loaf has to be large and bold enough in the first place to make the half loaf meaningful. That’s why the movement must aim high – toward a single-payer universal health, free public higher education, and busting up the biggest banks, for example. 

But not even a half loaf is possible unless or until we wrest back power from the executives of large corporations, Wall Street bankers, and billionaires who now control the whole bakery. Which means getting big money out of politics and severing the link between wealth and political power – the central goal of the movement Bernie is advancing.

Robert Reich (Bernie’s Movement)

Guns aren’t about freedom, they’re about profiting from fear and violence

Money is made selling guns and ammo without any concerns about the effects after sale. Buyers don’t need to know shit about handling weapons or to give a damn about safety. (Mind you, I know there are many decent, responsible gun owners. What the hell are they doing about the lunatics? Nothing.)

Sex, guns and ammo: inside the world’s largest gun industry trade fair

Guns are a big business, and the industry is raking in record sales and profits as people rush out to arm themselves following a series of mass shootings and out of fear of increased gun control legislation.

Mass shootings and gun sales.
© Provided by Guardian News Mass shootings and gun sales.

While agents struggle to keep pace with demand, gun manufacturers are celebrating record sales. Smith & Wesson, America’s biggest gun company with a market value of $1.1bn, has raised its sales and profits targets and told investors that some distributors are beginning to run out of some of its most popular guns.

Smith & Wesson, which makes 90% of its money selling guns to consumers, expects annual revenues to total $650m to $660m in the year to the end of April, up from the $627m it made the previous year and 57% more than it made in 2012. Smith & Wesson is run by British chief executive James Debney.

The US’s other big-listed gun company Sturm, Ruger & Company has seen its shares rise 44% over the past year. Over the same period, the Dow Jones industrial average index of the nation’s biggest stocks has fallen by 10%.

The other big US player in guns is Remington Outdoor (formerly Freedom Group), which is owned by billionaire Stephen Feinberg’s private equity group Cerberus Capital Management. Remington, which manufactured the Bushmaster XM15-E2S semiautomatic rifle used in the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, made $939m in guns and ammunition sales in 2014, its latest year available. Cerebus had vowed to sell Freedom after the Sandy Hook tragedy but still owns the company and with it Bushmaster and DPMS/Panther, the biggest players in military-style assault rifles.

Jurgen Brauer, an economics professor who specialises in the gun industry, said: “Whenever there is even talk about firearms regulators there is almost immediately an unmistakable increase in sales. Even talk about such legislation translates into sales jumps.” …

“People are buying guns as part of the American dream of freedom and liberty,” said Brauer, who is based at the Hull College of Business at Augusta University. “And also, the hope and the dream of being able to use guns in self-defence.”

People very rarely get to live out that dream, with FBI data showing that gun owners are 78 times more likely to kill themselves than they are to carry out a “justifiable homicide”, which the agency describes as “the killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen”. …

The nation’s biggest firearms seller Walmart, which has guns for sale at about half of its 4,500 stores, refuses to provide gun sales data, but Freedom Group told investors that 9% of all its sales are “made to one customer, Walmart.” Ruttenbur reckons Walmart together with Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabela’s account for 20% of the market.

Sex, guns and ammo: inside the world’s largest gun industry trade fair

Boycott Wal-Mart for a million reasons, including their bleeding  employees while sitting pretty among the richest people in the entire world.

The Supreme Court is the single most important reason to elect a Democrat president

The Supreme Court appointed DUHbya president. The decision was made by “justices” nominated by Republicans. We know Scalia is an absolute mad-dog and Thomas is his shadow. More Republican nominees joined the Supreme Court and they gave us Rich Bastards In Power (aka “Citizens” United). That was a hand grenade tossed into the lap of democracy. We cannot afford another — let alone 3 or 4 — conservative justice to piss on democracy for another generation. We MUST elect a Democrat president. We MUST increase our positions in both houses of Congress. WE MUST.

On this issue, I trust Hillary and Bernie equally. Hillary might be more judicious in her nominee, Bernie might have a better chance of success. I love the notion of nominating Obama.

Why Bernie Sanders’ Misinformed Supreme Court Tweet Matters | ThinkProgress

As a practical matter, any Democrat who wins the presidency in 2016 is unlikely to accomplish much in the legislature. A combination of gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, built in geographic advantages for Republicans and similar factors will make it extraordinarily difficult for Democrats to retake a majority in the House even if they win the White House. Indeed, in 2012, President Obama won the national popular vote by nearly 4 points, Democratic House candidates received nearly 1.4 million more votes than Republican candidates, yet Republicans began the 113th Congress with a 33 seat advantage in the House.

Yet, while control of the House of Representatives is unlikely to change in the 2016 election, control of the Supreme Court very well could be decided this November. When the next president takes office, three justices will be over 80 years-old, and Justice Stephen Breyer will be not that far behind at 78. Notably, two of the octogenarian justices, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy, are Republicans that could potentially be replaced by a President Sanders.

Given the sheer number of vacancies likely to emerge in the next presidential term and the unlikeliness that at major legislation will move forward, the next president’s Supreme Court appointments will likely be their most important legacy — especially if that president replaces a justice appointed by a member of the other political party.

Why Bernie Sanders’ Misinformed Supreme Court Tweet Matters | ThinkProgress