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ProfessorPlum

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 11,086

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would it be too much work for the media to actually talk about who politicians are

There have been so many times in my life where I've been following some political story, and then two-three years later I read something more in depth that describes who a politician is married to, or who their father-in-law is, or what their brother does for a living . . .

. . . and all of the scales fall from my eyes. Their motivations become clear, based on who the power base around them is, and their family ties.

For example, Mitch McConnell is a horrible human being. His actions seem to be quite evil. And some of that might be explained by the fact that his wife (who coincidentally happens to be our secretary of Transportation, and prior was a most surprising choice for secretary of Labor by W), is worth at least $24 million and happens to be the daughter of the chairman of one of the most powerful shipping companies in Taiwan, with large interests in the US and China. No conflict of interest there, then, for the Transportation Secretary.

Bill Frist, a Republican senator who was pretty miserable on health care and health insurance issues when he was in the senate, turns out to the be the son of the man who founded a for-profit hospital system called Hospital Corporation of America.

Susan Collins' husband is a lobbyist for a group that represents the health industries.

Ted Cruz's wife works (or worked) for Goldman Sachs

W Bush's various family members profited from his presidency in a variety of ways

etc etc

The media present these people as if they exist in a vacuum, and very rarely, if ever, mention their family interests and ties. How can we battle corruption if it is constantly swept under the rug?



Posted by ProfessorPlum | Wed Sep 12, 2018, 01:00 PM (9 replies)

If M*A*S*H were written by Republicans . . .

I caught some episodes of the classic series tonight with my daughter. It's now running on Hulu. The anti-war, pro-human message is so well carried forward. It made me wonder what the series would be like in today's pro-war, anti-human America.

Frank would be the hero, and Hawkeye would be "anti-American".

Colonel Flagg would be killing people with drone strikes.



The sentiments of the old series would never get made today, even though we have had 16 straight years and counting of continuous war.

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Tue Sep 11, 2018, 09:18 PM (7 replies)

The number of young conservative thieves who will soon be on the S. C.

means that I will never see the good guys win a case again in my lifetime.

This really will mark the start of an unassailable dictatorship.

Schumer better hold his coalition together.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Fri Sep 7, 2018, 08:17 PM (0 replies)

Cory Booker's release of "confidential" information on Kavanaugh was political theater

It was carefully staged, as was his challenge to throw him out of the Senate.

However, having said that, I want more of this please! Well done political theater still demonstrates where we stand, indicates to our voters that you have the ability to at least fake courage (and possibly exhibit genuine courage when it matters), creates a media narrative that independents and conservatives understand also, generates headlines and is a strong signal that Democrats can and will stand up to Republicans, especially where Republicans are so obviously in the wrong.

Even an empty gesture (and Booker's action was not empty) is at least a gesture, and our side can use as much of that as possible.

Give us someone to root for, not just a cast of villains to root against.

More morale-boosting political theater please.

(For the record, I know that Booker has physical courage also, having jumped into a burning building recently. I'd love for him to take less corporate money, but that courage may come in time as well)
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Fri Sep 7, 2018, 10:21 AM (58 replies)

Rational National: Alex Jones Heckles Marco Rubio, Doesn't Go As Planned




Oh, who to root for?
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Wed Sep 5, 2018, 07:42 PM (6 replies)

Why do "Centrists" always seem to favor conservatives, rather than progressives?

I found this interesting little essay about, among other things, why Steve Bannon of all people had been invited to The New Yorker's festival.

http://www.ianwelsh.net/why-did-the-new-yorker-want-steve-bannon-to-headline-their-festival/

All of this is stuff that centrists can live with. High executive compensation, pro-corporate policies, keeping unions and the left down.

...

So the bottom line is that centrists are ok with fascists because fascists are pro-corporate and executive wealth.

...

On the other hand, the left wing is hostile to large corporations and high executive compensation. At the least the left would highly regulate corporations and break many of them up, while slapping on c.90% marginal tax rates and punitive estate taxes.

...

Left-wingers are an existential threat to centrists because centrists are, substantially, supporters of the status quo. How America and the world is (or was before Trump) is essentially good to them. The parts of the status quo that right wingers want to overthrow don’t hurt centrists. The parts of the status quo that left wingers want to overthrow do.


I've seen this kind of thinking over and over again on the part of "centrists", like every time Michael Bloomberg thinks he wants to start a third party. This kind of thinking is rife in the media as well. These people aren't hard right ideologues. Just economic beneficiaries of the status quo.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Wed Sep 5, 2018, 02:42 PM (53 replies)

Uh oh, Duncan Hunter used campaign $ in (at least) five different affairs

that's not going to sit well with his base - one would think

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/watchdog/sd-me-hunter-liaisons-20180830-story.html

The 47-page document also says the five-term Republican from Alpine had “personal relationships” with five unnamed individuals. The federal indictment offers few details about the relationships, and Hunter’s lawyer objected to the turn the investigation took.

...

According to Vega’s letter, prosecutors told the defense that they have pictures of indiscretions.

“While there may be evidence of infidelity, irresponsibility or alcohol dependence, once properly understood, the underlying facts do not equate to criminal activity," Vega wrote.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Wed Sep 5, 2018, 02:19 PM (90 replies)

Kavanaugh is literally a pig in a poke

I wonder just how bad it is that they have to hide it like this. Terrible, I'm guessing
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Tue Sep 4, 2018, 03:25 PM (1 replies)

Gretchen, quit trying to make "monkey it up" happen. It's not going to happen.

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Mon Sep 3, 2018, 06:52 PM (14 replies)

What interests are Trump voters voting for?

It's been said often (I've said it quite often) that Republican voters are voting against their own economic self-interest. One hypothesis is if you could explain this to them in a way they understood, they would start to vote for more money for themselves.

However, a compelling argument I've been reading about lately says that Trump/GOP voters aren't voting against their economic interests so much as they are voting FOR (what they perceive are) their "racial" interest.

In other words, voting for an explicit racist wins them points somehow in their brains. this phenomenon has been seen before, as in the union movements of the early 20th century when racial solidarity in the face of capital broke down because white workers couldn't get over race.

So, in my world, I would vote for better economics for myself and my fellow workers, and more racial harmony.

My conservative relatives vote against their economic health and mine, plus they create a world filled with racial injustice, tension, and strife.

What a great world they are creating - poor and bigoted, versus more shared wealth and racial harmony.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Mon Sep 3, 2018, 06:25 PM (21 replies)
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