Paul Krugman uses the “D” word and its potential for undermining another “d” word.
Michael Kinsley, viewing the class war through the lens of those who started it, displays once again the fogginess with which so many of the old media elite continue to enshroud their arguments.
The protest movements are indeed against Big Business—a perfectly justified cause—and against “governments”. What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties—which then hand their democratic mandate and people’s power to the banks and the derivative traders and the rating agencies, all three backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of “experts” from America’s top universities and “think tanks”, who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalisation rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters.
The proposed rules that Corzine helped quash would have made the capital markets a safer place for everyone, to say nothing of MF Global’s customers — who are still wondering what the firm did with $ 1.2 billion of their money. Bending regulators around Wall Street’s fingers, while not illegal, should make all Americans’ blood boil. …
Such was Corzine’s standing in the capital that when rumors surfaced last summer that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner might resign and return to New York to be with his family, Corzine’s name was at or close to the top of the list as a possible replacement.
Debra J. Saunders is speaking here of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the death penalty. You’ll never catch her employing the same words against the Koch Bros.:
Imagine a democracy in which key players are committed to making sure that duly-enacted laws don’t work. These players slow things down. They hire confederates who also want to sabotage the system. Then they shrug and claim that, while they want to enforce the law, success is impossible and, besides, prohibitively expensive.
Steve Clemons explores Rick Perry’s naked bigotry and the ad that has spawned almost as many parodies as it has thumbs-down on YouTube, where it is now the second most disliked video ever.
Jonathan Bernstein explains, with reference to Teddy Roosevelt, why and how President Obama should get tough on recess appointments:
Throughout 1903, the Senate minority was blocking several nominations put forth by the White House. President Roosevelt should have been able to wait for that Congressional session to adjourn and make his recess appointments before the next session was scheduled to begin, by Constitutional mandate, on December 7 of that year. However, House Speaker Joe Cannon refused to go along, keeping the House in session throughout the break.
In response, the Senate leadership concocted a plan. On the big day of December 7, the Senate convened, adjourned, and immediately began an entirely new session. As The New York Times report had it the next day:
The conclusion has been reached that between the time of the falling of President pro tempore Frye’s gavel signifying the conclusion of the extraordinary session and the calling to order of the Senate in the regular session of Congress, an appreciable lapse of time occurred. In this time the appointments technically were made. … There was but one fall of the gavel, but one stroke, and but one sound.
And in that instant, Roosevelt made 168 military promotions that normally would have to have been approved by the Senate, as well as “about 25 civilian appointees.”
Was it legal? No one knows with certainty, as it wasn’t adjudicated in the courts.
Vivian Gornick sees a evocation of Emma Goldman in Occupy protests:
“Unmediated” was the operative word in the ’60s and ’70s—and not for activists alone. The prevailing spirit of unmanaged release acted not only as a prod to break up social ossification but as a catalytic reminder of something deep in the human psyche that, ironically enough, attracted even as it alienated. In the ’60s, when the ordinarily respectable citizen was being confronted (swamped, invaded, deluged) by social rebels—in your face morning, noon and night—the sheer concentration of their outrage took your breath away. There was in it something primeval: some undiluted purity in the naysaying that thrilled even as it dismayed.
Gingrich’s false and primitive protestations about the poor were distinguished by what he left out. The GOP’s newest presidential frontrunner failed to mention the constellation of forces that conspire to marginalize and degrade poor communities–including policies he and his party have long championed.
Kimberly Kagan and Frederick W. Kagan didn’t want the U.S. troops in Iraq to come home. But since they lost that argument, they now insist President Obama needs to meddle there in other ways.