"When I get new evidence I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes
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- If, during the long course of ages and under varying conditions of life, organic beings vary at all in the several parts of their organization, and I think this cannot be disputed; if there be, owing to the high geometric powers of increase of each species, at some age, season or year, a severe struggle for life, and this certainly cannot be disputed; then, considering the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of existence, causing an infinite variety in structure, constitution, and habits, to be advantageous to them, I think it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variation ever had occurred useful to each being’s own welfare, in the same way as so many variations have occurred useful to man. But if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce offspring similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection. [Charles Darwin (1859) On the Origin of Species]
- “It is essential to such a government, that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic.” James Madison
- All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it. -Benjamin Franklin
- Eye-Poppingly Gorgeous Underground Stations from Around The World May 19, 2013The history of rapid-transit began 150 years ago, with the opening of the Metropolitan Railway in London in 1863. In the next century and a half, dozens of architects and engineers have worked on underground tunnels and stations. Some are abandoned now, but others are as good as new. Here are some of the most wonderful underground railway stations. Read more […]
- Superpowers and hope fill first trailer for Alfonso Cuarón's Believe May 19, 2013Earlier today, we got a peek at the script for Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams' Believe. Now, NBC has released the first trailer, giving us a look at Believe's superpowered ten-year-old girl in action.Read more... […]
- Carnivorous plant doesn't have time for any of that junk DNA May 19, 2013In the human genome, only about 2% of our DNA are genes involved in coding the proteins essential to our existence. The other 98% is noncoding DNA, often called junk DNA because there's no clear purpose for it. That name might seem a bit pejorative, but a new study of the bladderwort genome suggests it's oddly accurate.Read more... […]
- Crowdfund a collection of Osamu Tezuka's short manga and more May 19, 2013There are tons of great crowdfunding projects running this week, from tiny robot sculptures to a book by the Godfather of Anime. You can also crowdfund a short film about dinosaurs on the hunt, simple programmable robots, and much more.Read more... […]
- Sarah Connor needs to tell Doctor Who there's no fate but what we make May 19, 2013Seriously, you know what would have been awesome on last night's Doctor Who? If Sarah Connor had popped up, preferably the Lena Headey version, and told the Doctor and his friends there's "no fate but what we make." And then blown up the Great Intelligence with a pipe bomb or something. That's not what happened, though.Read more... […]
- Eye-Poppingly Gorgeous Underground Stations from Around The World May 19, 2013
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- Printrbot Simple Debuts at Maker Faire May 20, 2013
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Tag Archives: barack Obama
Obama Blue Vote Skew
Obama for America’s model squished Bain’s model–so to speak. As it turned out, the technology of the Romney GOTA scored a fail well-matched to Romney’s own badly executed campaign.
In a moment, time to roll up our sleeves.
My brother Crede came up to Cleveland, his family’s hometown, and helped spearhead the effort to video the vote. Things went smoothly!
Hat’s off to the local crew, especially Jane, Dell, Catherine, of Obama for America. I had the honor and pleasure of canvassing last weekend with Jim Lardie, a veteran organizer and salt-of-the-earth elder. Thanks!
I am especially grateful for Charles S. Pierce, the main political blogger for Esquire Magazine online. He’s a great, deeply witty, and earnest writer and patriot. He was my main source for keeping sane and balanced and amused. His summing and view going forward is, like all of his reporting, essential: The Greatness of Barack Obama Is Our Great Project.
I’ll have more to say later. I do note it was a “turnout” election that swept in, in very close races, several very fine new Senators. Plus more!
The gasping of old guys who yearn for the 1880/1980′s is audible, but I do not see radical post-Conservatism and Randian post-capitalism sustaining its grip–as the waves of demographic transformation alter the USA’s political geography.
There has certainly been a persistent and growing gap between elite and non-elite progressive attitudes towards the 44th president and his administration. Liberal elite defections from the Obama camp started early and have spread steadily.
First off the grid were those angered by TARP and the coddling of miscreant CEOs and other elements of the financial community. They were quickly followed by civil libertarians upset by the failure to reverse Bush policies on surveillance and treatment of terrorist suspects; foreign policy doves alleging broken promises on Iraq and Afghanistan; and economists pining for mega-stimulus. The health reform debate produced another cohort of progressive dissenters baffled by the administration’s successive concessions to private health industry lobbies and Blue Dogs, while many environmentalists denounced a watered-down climate change bill before that entire effort was abandoned. In the months since the appalling 2010 midterm elections, progressives have largely deplored the president’s “cave” on expiration of the Bush tax cuts and, with ever-greater intensity, his advocacy of deficit reduction and “entitlement reform” as paramount national priorities.
Suffusing all these sources of discontent on the left has been a growing impatience with Obama’s steady commitment to bipartisanship in the face of Republican disrespect and obstruction; frustration over his apparent inability to articulate progressive values and goals in a way that mobilizes public opinion and gives hope to down-ballot Democrats; and contempt for suspected incompetence in such quotidian matters as executive and judicial appointments. To say that liberal elites are “disappointed” with Obama is a great understatement; terms of moral opprobrium such as “betrayal” and “sellout” are now routinely tossed at the White House.
But so far, this profound unhappiness has failed to translate into any tangible intramural challenge to the administration, in a way that defies all precedent. Why the liberal base has so little leverage with Obama Ed Kilgore Salon July 25, 2011
civil libertarians upset by the failure to reverse Bush policies on surveillance
Yeah, that one… Still…between stiff plutocrat-wannabee Willard’s incessant mendacities and the ridiculous performance art of the porcine, cosmic narcissist Gingrich, I’d be hard-pressed to not want to look forward to the festivities promised by the conjunction of Citizen’s United with Obama’s thin and newly rediscovered populism.
What haunts the Obama administration is what still haunts the country: the stunning lack of accountability for the greed and misdeeds that brought America to its gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression. There has been no legal, moral, or financial reckoning for the most powerful wrongdoers. Nor have there been meaningful reforms that might prevent a repeat catastrophe. Time may heal most wounds, but not these. Chronic unemployment remains a constant, painful reminder of the havoc inflicted on the bust’s innocent victims. As the ghost of Hamlet’s father might have it, America will be stalked by its foul and unresolved crimes until they “are burnt and purged away.”
After the 1929 crash, and thanks in part to the legendary Ferdinand Pecora’s fierce thirties Senate hearings, America gained a Securities and Exchange Commission, the Public Utility Holding Company Act, and the Glass-Steagall Act to forestall a rerun. After the savings-and-loan debacle of the eighties, some 800 miscreants went to jail. But those who ran the central financial institutions of our fiasco escaped culpability (as did most of the institutions). As the indefatigable Matt Taibbi has tabulated, law enforcement on Obama’s watch rounded up 393,000 illegal immigrants last year and zero bankers. The Justice Department’s ballyhooed Operation Broken Trust has broken still more trust by chasing mainly low-echelon, one-off Madoff wannabes. You almost have to feel sorry for the era’s designated Goldman scapegoat, 32-year-old flunky “Fabulous Fab” Fabrice Tourre, who may yet take the fall for everyone else. It’s as if the Watergate investigation were halted after the cops nabbed the nudniks who did the break-in.
Obama’s Original Sin by Frank Rich – New York magazine, July 3, 2011
The Republican thrust to shrink the public sector rapidly enough to sink the recovery, to get to the drowning part as-it-were, offers the political payoff that President Obama can easily be pinned with the result of Republican policy through an act of deflection, something like, ‘too little, too late were the budget cuts.’ I think there’s a good chance this will be a successful strategy simply because Obama has not shown any awareness of what the only principle at stake is about. This principle is about Republicans wishing to destroy the Obama moment. This has been the one true principle since the 2008 election.
I don’t buy the GOP/Tea Party combination of Christian and patriotic piety with personal responsibility (writ to the level of the government living within its means,) at all. It’s hokem. I’m sure, once back in power, the GOP won’t move quickly to implement the Randian utopia. After all, trickle down economics hasn’t ever been thoroughly tried for obvious economic reasons.
But, President Obama has been so much more interested in rubbing the left tilting plutocrats the right way that he’s made no time to do the one thing that might turn the tables: get extremely exercised in public at those who have been hoping for his political demise for almost three years.
Obama had taken office at a true populist moment that demanded more than this. People were gagging over their looted 401(k)s and underwater homes, the AIG bonuses, and the bailouts. Howard Dean rage has never been Obama’s style—hope-and-change was an elegant oratorical substitute—and had he given full voice to the public mood, he would have been pilloried as an “angry black man.” But Obama didn’t have to play Huey Long. He could have pursued a sober but determined execution of justice and an explicit, major jobs initiative—of which there have been exactly none, the too-small stimulus included, to the present day.
I’ve given up hoping for Obama to unleash his inner FDR. Alas, Obama has turned out to be a beautiful coward in an environment where those who fiercely oppose him offer a cruel, un-doable fantasy. Still, Obama is already doing a slow-motion roll-over prior to the July roll out of a bi-partisan thrashing of the working class, working poor, and poor.