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Gender: Male
Hometown: Chicago
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Fri May 4, 2007, 12:12 PM
Number of posts: 5,532

Journal Archives

The Sneaky Way Austerity Got Sold to the Public Like Snake Oil


Orsola Costantini, Senior Economist at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, is the author of a new paper, “The Cyclically Adjusted Budget: History and Exegesis of a Fateful Estimate,” which exposes the fascinating — and disturbing — history of how a budget approach cloaked in a scientific and technical aura became a tool to manipulate public opinion and serve the interests of the powerful. In the following conversation, she reveals how austerity has been sold to the public through a process that damages the lives of ordinary people, consolidates knowledge and power at the top, and compromises democracy. As economic inequality reaches new heights and austerity programs are debated around the world (most recently, in Spain and Portugal), understanding how a lie becomes political and economic “truth” has never been more critical.


Austerity is so powerful today because it feeds off of itself. It makes people uncertain about their lives, their debts, and their jobs. They become afraid. It’s a strong disciplinary mechanism. People stop joining forces and the political status quo gets locked down.

Even the name of this tool, the “cyclically adjusted budget,” carries an aura of respect. It diverts our attention. We don’t question it. It creates a barrier between the individual and the political realm: it undermines democratic participation itself. This obscure theory validates, with its authority, a big economic mistake that sounds like common sense but is actually snake oil — the notion that the federal government budget is like a household budget. Actually, it isn’t. Your household doesn’t collect taxes. It doesn’t print money. It works very differently, yet the nonsense that it should behave exactly like a household budget gets repeated by politicians and policymakers who really just want to squeeze ordinary people.

Proper Xmas Tree Disposal - Hunter S. Thompson Style

GOP Lawmaker Calls For U.S. Immigration Policy Based On ‘Skin Pigmentation’

These regressives are emboldened and increasingly letting their 'inside-the-head-voice' get out.
They also realize the demographics are against them, so they are in full freak-out mode, with Trump at the throttle.


Republican Rep. for Alabama, Mo Brooks, has (sic) believes that Donald Trump was right to call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, but that the policy simply did not go far enough. Speaking on The Matt Murphy show earlier this week, Brooks called for immigration policy based on “skin pigmentation.”


According to this Republican Congressman, President Obama is conducting some sort of white genocide on the United States, and only a race-based immigration policy will fix the problem.

This isn’t the first, and will likely not be the last time Brooks makes an unwelcome contribution to the race debate in America. But in an interview with TPM earlier this year, the congressman let slip an even more cynical reason that he doesn’t want anymore non-white people floating around his state, or any state.

8 reasons a Bernie Sanders presidency would be great for Trump supporters

My title would have been something more like "How to convince your mouth breathing acquantances that Trump won't help them."


1. Health Care Reform

The Affordable Care Act of 2010, aka Obamacare, has brought health insurance to at least 16.5 million Americans who were previously uninsured. The remaining Democratic presidential candidates acknowledge that the ACA, in its present form, doesn’t go far enough: Sanders would ultimately like to replace it with a single-payer system while Hillary Clinton calls for expanding the law and strengthening its protections. But instead of supporting universal health care, the modern-day GOP has fought it every step of the way. And sadly, there is no shortage of poor, aging whites with diabetes or heart disease who remain uninsured yet vote for the Republicans who would like to keep them that way. Some of the very people who need health care reform the most—struggling working-class whites who remain uninsured at 50 or 55—can often be found at Trump and Cruz rallies applauding their desire to abolish Obamacare.


6. Taxes

Many Republicans buy into the notion that the ultra-rich are unfairly taxed in the U.S. and that the poor don’t pay enough taxes. But America’s poor pay plenty of taxes, from sales taxes to utility taxes. If Fox viewers knew their history, they would realize—as Sanders points out—that under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the ultra-rich were taxed at rates as high as 91%. According to Sanders, “I’m not that much of a socialist compared to Eisenhower. But we are going to end the absurdity, as Warren Buffet often reminds us, that billionaires pay an effective tax rate lower than nurses or truck drivers.”

Thanksgiving thread to highlight Obama's success and debunk BS from your Fox Newz watching uncle.

I never start it at Thanksgiving, but I ALWAYS finish it. Please post your success stories and debunks below (with links), show up armed with the facts and leave them sputtering sentence fragments "...but, but Benghazi...Socialism."

Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with everything Obama has done, but many of us are headed into enemy territory tomorrow and it's time to power up.


Here are just a few from the linked, although somewhat stale article. It's worth reviewing as my wingnuts ruminate over their favorite talking points.
Improving the Economy, Preventing Depression.

Obama pushed through and signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package,” despite the fact that not one Republican voted for that bill. In addition, he launched recovery.gov, so that taxpayers could track spending from the Act. http://1.usa.gov/ibiFSs http://1.usa.gov/e3BJMk

In his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy 3.5%. http://reut.rs/i46CEE
(Now more like 12 million jobs)

Obama completed the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, and recovered virtually all of its costs. http://1.usa.gov/eA5jVS http://bit.ly/eCNrD6

As a longtime DUer, I've put a lot of thought into this...I am leaving!

...to go shovel the 9" of snow accumulated in this early (for the Chicago area) season storm.
Be back in a little bit to have some hot chocolate and see what you durty librul hippies are up to.

Up next on BBC4...fresh-faced American Singer Songwriter, Neil Young.

With surprisingly good audio...enjoy!

DU is rapidly approaching 70 million posts!

Thanks to Skinner, EarlG, Elad, MIRT, Forum Hosts and all you durty librul hippies for making DU so enjoyable!

Ben Carson weighs in on archeological wonders - Easter Island edition.

***unOFFICIAL GOP Clown Car Debate thread #1***

Have at it...
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