Monday, December 8, 2008


As the Democrats move toward a Big 3 bailout package that includes Federal oversight, I find myself leaning more and more toward a preference for partial nationalization. Taxpayer money is being used to bail out a vital industry -- arguably the vital industry -- that has been mismanaged beyond belief. Under the circumstances, we deserve and can legitimately demand seats on the boards of these companies.

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) said the other day on Air America that somewhere in the world there has been one bailout after another since he came to Washington, and he angrily listed them: The S & L bailout, the Asian stock market bailout, the Mexican peso bailout, the Wall Street bailout, and now the Detroit bailout. As Sanders pointed out, each of the first four crises came after a round of deregulation that allowed businesses and individuals to milk an industry for windfall profits until it was on the verge of collapse, after which they turned to the taxpayers for help.

I would put it more strongly: They've blackmailed the taxpayers for even more money with the threat that matters would get even worse without it. Unfailingly, they've gotten the money and the government has then gone on to deregulate even more! Taxpayers across the political spectrum have become understandably resentful. That, and the damage inflicted on the economy by deregulation presents, it seems to me, a golden opportunity for the development of a political coalition based on economic populism and not cultural values and racial attitudes. 

With the collapse of neoconservatism as a politically viable ideology, the Republicans have knocked their intellectual rationale out from under themselves. The party may soon be dominated by no-nothing nativists and yahoos who will fight yesterday's battles on gay rights and abortion, and prate self-defeatingly about the free market. Since conservatives also surrendered any claims on competence, all the Democrats have to do is act responsibly. The danger, of course, is that they'll settle for that, which means that progressives must keep a watchful eye on their side of the aisle and not be reticent to apply pressure. 

Bush and his Republican enablers in Congress have left the country broke and in a mess. Now is the time for universal healthcare access. Now is the time to repair and upgrade infrastructure. Now is the time to invest in education. Now is the time to get out of Iraq and reform the Department of Defense. If not now, when?...

Quote of the Day: 
"The employees, dealers, suppliers and the GM board of directors feels strongly that Rick Wagoner is the right guy and best guy to lead us through these tough times."
General Motors spokesman Steve Harris, in response to Senator Christopher Dodd's call for General Motors CEO Wagoner to step down as a condition of any bailout.


Sylvia K said...

I couldn't agree with you more! Great post and I hope the rest of the country is tuning in to what is needed and how to get where we need to be. Thanks as always!

Anonymous said...

Outside of angry, non-union, white christian gun owners, the Republican freak show appears headed for that great margin of political history. I heard a comical follow up to that quote of the day too _ someone asked what point the board of GM serves in their insistence that they have the right guy -- do they really think their opinion matters right now or that they can sway lawmakers with their expert insights ? Do they even fail to see their own role in this ? I am for the loan and also for the trimming of the 40% of the price of cars that doesn't involve parts (50%) or labor(10%). Let's just start from the top of this dying tree and start trimming...great post

K. said...

The Republican party has turned into the Augean stables of politics, and I don't think that there are enough shovels to get all the manure out. I'd sure hate to be the ones having to do it, especially since their most rabid members will hurl it back as fast or faster as it gets removed. The other day, Newt Gingrich was bloviating about "gay and secular fascists" who want to impose their will on "Christians." That nonsense just isn't going to fly anymore. The R's are practically in a position of hoping that the Democrats screw things up worse than they did.

New Orleans Ladder said...

Hey K, solid post.
Here's where I beg to differ.
Conservatives by definition aren't going anywhere, at least not quickly. Hopefully they'll stick around and get back to being real people again like my parents, two of the smartest most dedicated and diligent people I've ever met... who also both believed that Al Gore Sr was a paid Commie spy. Really. But the believed this honestly and not in the same way that Reagan believe he was doing the right thing in Central America when he didn't even know what we were really doing in Central America: killing 1000s of innocent people by proxy.
But my parents liked Reagan. They just could never get their heads around the honest truth because they are honest people. I realize that may sound contradictory, even self delusional, but you have to understand they came from a country that told each other the truth for the most part during a war against an obvious menace. Little did my Air Force father realize that George Bushe's grand father was helping to finance that menace and indeed sought to usurp our democracy in favor of our enemies' authoritarian fascism. My father did not vote for Bush the second term --not for those reasons, but because my father was an honest conservative.
To think that he or my mother (western civ prof) will be going anywhere but in the face of Democrats or Liberals is laughable at best, ludicrous at worst and downright bourgeois naivety in between.
I have met quite a few younger than you and I who remind me of them. Conservatives aren't going anywhere and that might not be such a bad thing.
You do realize that I speak, present administration excluded.
They are not conservatives. They supported our enemies in WW2. If anyone wants to argue their effectiveness at nearly defeating this country after 8 years I'd like to meet their pharmacists or introduce them to mine. His name is Ramone.
(And those fuckers aren't going away either. They have moved operations, but they stole a lot of money and now have a lot of private soldiers. We have not seen the last of them, which is why I so favor aggressive criminal prosecutions)

I also slide beside the idea that neoconservatism is collapsing. I feel that neocons never really existed within the reality I came to know as conservative described above. The neocons are Not Honest. That does not imply that conservatives are honest. Just that every neocon I met to a person is a liar. They aren't simply confused or uninformed but outright liars. That is why they had to name it something else. While I do agree that they have splintered like a glass bead, I see them coagulating again like impure mercury within the Libertarian Party. That will be a problem, but more manageable.

As for these nattering naybobs of nihilism on meth... I don't want to talk about them. You take'em.

Progressives? Aaaaahhhhh. Just as with my experience of conservatives, progressive has always meant what is said to me.
I always feel a tick in my ass when I hear Democrats claim the mantle of Progressive. How so retrogressive. I still have not forgiven them (or Hillary) for allowing George Bush to steal the election in 2000.
I do not equate Democratic Politics with a Progressive Movement. Sorry. It ain't happening. I vote Democrat but don't like it, until of course our Man came to town. Now that was fun even though I still have one eye cocked to the back door.

All that said...
I am almost terrified to have the hope that I feel in this new administration. It scares me that I enjoy watching and hearing our future President give a press.
Think of how long it has been since we have had a President who speaks in complete sentences and thinks in several paragraphs at a time. Whoa! Dangerous, like Mother Nature. Natural intelligence made finer, human.

Please note my omissions.
You always nail it down tight and right and your economic narrative is no exception. Really, you speak of an assfucking that this country will rightfully feel embarrassed to face for some time.
Here again, I think diligent criminal prosecutions of these bums is in order, rather than letting them get away so we can move forward. No. I want Justice. They left me to die in New Orleans on purpose.
We need to put these fuckers in all these prisons they have built across the country. Hand them over to Big Rufus, cell block 9.

Yes, Now is the Time. But never forget, Time's the Revelator.

Thus spake,

K. said...

I should make it clear that I see a distinction between "conservative" and "Republican," where Republicans are the political expression of the conservative movement. I agree that it is self-evident that conservatives are not going away. However, I think it equally clear that dogmatic conservatives have largely succeeded in purging the Republican party of what they call "RINOs" and what everyone else calls "moderates." As a result, Republicans have a party of ideological purity with limited inherent appeal outside of its own base.

In the meantime, the country as a whole has moved in the opposite direction: We wouldn't have elected a black liberal president were that not the case. Part of this is demographics: The Hispanic population has grown, plus young voters by and large don't care, say, whether someone is gay or not.

Another part is the collapse of conservatism as a credible governing philosophy in the eyes of moderates. Late 20th Century conservatism had four traits:

1. Low taxes and low government spending

2. Foreign policy characterized by belief in a large military establishment, the application of force, and dominance of the rest of the world

3. Rigid adherence to deregulation of the markets

4. Promotion of so-called "Christian values"

Once conservatives actually took power via the Republican party, they quickly threw #1 out the window.

#2 looked fine when the Soviet Union was collapsing and we were taking on such powerhouses as Grenada, Panama, and the Republican Guard. But it failed dismally in the aftermath of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

#3 has revealed itself as a get-rich quick scheme that leaves the taxpayer -- red and blue alike -- with the bill.

That leaves #4, which we will always have with us, but which resonates less and less with voters at large, even -- and maybe even especially -- with people who might have been uncomfortable with #'s 2 and 4 but were squarely on board with #'s 1 and 3 as long as they seemed to be working.

Anyway, I think that the neocon dream of unfettered markets supported by a omni-powerful military has collapsed, probably for generations. Given the condition of the economy, the low tax/low spend government is irrelevant, and any Republicans can't espouse it and pass the laugh test. Which leaves them defined by a narrow, ideologically rigid base.

This situation won't last forever -- nothing does -- but I don't know what they do to dig themselves out of the electoral mess they've made for themselves.

I thought John was the Revelator.

K. said...

I should add that the sexcapades of Messrs Craig, Foley, Visser, sexcetera have reduced the family values plank of #4 to fodder for Jon Stewart and David Letterman. The "Christian agenda" is down to anti-choice and anti-stem cell research (which is a distinct minority position), anti-gay (a long-term loser that fewer and fewer people care about), and Creationism/Intelligent Design.

Today's Republican party has -- through their own doing -- become synonymous with failure, incompetence, hypocrisy, and financial and moral corruption (Rod Blagojevich notwithstanding). Even worse (for them), its so-called "Base" refuses to see this and blames their problems on the media and ruthless, lying liberals.

This is what I was trying to get at: They have major internal issues the nature of which their rank-and-file won't admit to, and even wants to purge those few Republicans who have stopped drinking the Kool-Aid. The party is in the hands of intellectually dishonest true believers.

New Orleans Ladder said...

I have brain problems and really hate those word verification things. Really. Hate. Those. Tests.
Failed them all in elementary school, especially those ones with the little drawings of humans copulating with animals...yeah, right... ink blots my ass.

I will try to rewrite my pristine, choice, well reasoned and long'winded Response, which is encrypted into tiny byte-size googlespaces. Damn.
Jeez Louie, if I could figure out how to get around with both feet in my mouf...

OK. We agree.
1-4 describes my view of the neocon agenda, which can be directly traced through the lineages of this current clear and present junta...

Sorry, I can't get it up again.
Never mind. Gotta go.
Fucking tests make Editilla a dull boy.

New Orleans Ladder said...

K, I apologize for that last... dixlepisode. I often have to make sure to copy a comment in case this happens, as I did before finally sending last night's comment. I am not often inspired throw this much out for many people.
You're Special, K.
And interesting.

I can only remember the last part of my response.
Here we go...
They asked Maynard Keynes about Time and the Invisible Hand of unfettered Markets to right their current economic collapse in the long run, to which he responded caustically (and famously) "In the long run we'll all be dead.
I'd say that makes him The Levelator.

I thought John was The Baptists who ran out of Time.
That other man in the blues song walked a green mile.

As for Revelation?
K... you of all people should know that is within the Providence of the Artists...
You are the one who makes Time!

Editilla the Pun

ps~I realize that I am surely the only person to have a problem with these Word Verifications... but I don't have this on the Ladder and have no problems with bastards offending my readers like this tiny penis from the Corps:

K. said...

Steve_o is overmatched. It's Seahawks v. NY Giants in New York.

New Orleans Ladder said...

T'anks K.
I keep forgetting to point out that today we are...
41 to 41! It is a tie...
...made of hemp rope and set just right around the neck of an idiot bastard son!

New Orleans Ladder said...

Hey, those Manning boys are proof that you can have an intercollegiate family. Egg Bowl around our house was always a very serious affair. My mother cheerled for Mississippi State. But, later, when her grand daughter decided to go to Ole Miss, she pretty much had to pledge the same sorority as Momma. Otherwise...whoa, don't even think about it.

When Archie went to the Saints, he then transcended to the level of One of Our Southern Boys for Momma. She was All Archie Who'dat afterwards... all forgiven.

But really, I fell in love with their daddy, in New Orleans, listening to his am sports radio show, well after he had wasted his talent with the Aints.
That in essence is the tragedy of the illusive "southern gothic" metaphor... we will always love our Saints.

Editilla da'Run
Thank you for making your WV letters bigger, if you did in fact do that. It really helps.
I usually have pretty good pattern recognition software but am just getting older... and it is the middle of the forking day.

Ima Hapynau said...

WoW! This is a whole 'nother blog in itsef. What terrific reading and wrestlin'. It really made my afternoon! You two should write a book together! Seriously.
I go now to MY own WV and it is hotba. Wonder what that be?

New Orleans Ladder said...

Did you marry the Grim Reaper and realize... they ain't all'dat?
What? Come on, it had to be some'ting bling and ding... really special... come ooooonnnn tellustellustellus!

As a regular Hrrmpher I hadn't notices the disappearance of Pissadov...and the emergence of belle Hapynau!

I know what you mean though.
Our Man Is Coming To Town!
This election has cost us all a ton of tears and fears and big-time emotional capital.

I've been feelin'myself (don't go there) feelin'myself like maybe going in for one of those mood-change operation. I certainly could afford to. I mean, has anyone priced face transplant operations lately? Jeez Loooouie! Fuhhhgetaboutit! HA!

So I love the new name... and look!
But I do hope you'll still keep on Hrrmphin!
They jus'don make'em like you anywhere, fuck the mold.


Ima Hapynau said...

K, do you mind if we use your blog to catch up? Ha!!
Always happy to make Editilla hapynau. Changed things last week, wondered if anyone would notice! Glad someone did.........I am not alone in this cold, cruel world, after all.
Nizeta Beluved

Foxessa said...

Ford has announced it will pass on the 'loan' or whatever it is. They are doing relatively well and have money in the bank. GM is a basketcase though.

If we have ownership parity in these corps we should also insist that all the parts etc. be manufactured here in the U.S. Among other things.

As for the neocon thang going away any time soon -- just look at who is taking Dem Vitter's place (he was a cesspool of corruption all to his own self too) as Senator from LA -- Gingrich is going to help him 'reach out to his black constituancy'. Good grief. From what I could tell the Vietnamese immediately established their own mafia that fit in so nicely with the general local Louisiana political scene.

At least the dems have their two most corrupt nests broken up a bit now, with Vitter out and now Blagojevich in Illinois, and prior to the Inauguration.

But the war on Christmas continues. Nope the dominionists and neocons are going nowhere. The only big difference is that a lot of their thinktanks and so on have lost their donors, or their donors have pulled way back, due to the donors having lost so much in the crash.
Love, c.

K. said...

Isn't Vitter a Republican?

As Da Ladda says, the cons we will always have with us. I just think their appeal is shrinking to aging rural white conservatives, which is not the direction the country is heading.

Newtie advising a politician on how to reach out to a black constituency is like Lawrence Welk telling a radio station how to attract college-kid listeners.

New Orleans Ladder said...

Foxessa Coooorecta!
I want a train set that stretches from coast to coast so I can go to Seattle and hang wit'K, or some secret city in Texas where all the cool people live git'mo Hapynau... like with the swipe of my card.

I would like to point out that the Vietnamese have been around the coast of Louisiana possibly longer than the Cajuns, 160+ years?
A wonderful book with this story is:
"Inventing New Orleans
Writings of Lafcadio Hearn"
You will not put this book down no matter how many times you read it. 3 for me.

As well, I loved working with them at the Cafe' du Monde in 1979-80. At one time New Orleans had one of the largest populations of Vietnamese War refugees in the nation. Cafe' du Monde had been one of the first American business to actually do a hiring program specifically targeting those refugees.
I mean, I worked with a man who had been a General. Really. A real General... like my Herollero Russell Honore' ya'know... it ain't something one can shake once they have attained such rank. But you would not have caught that without clues.

Hell yeah they probably got syndicated. We were all beginning to think that way on about the sixth day after the levees broke.
Rest assured, noble Fox, we may as yet know that lash in this country: True American Refugees.
I was there. It can happen here. It did happen here. I can see where any mafia would come in handy since it seems to be a human survival trait. Even with that, what the Vietnamese must have went through in east New Orleans...
I left our crucifying New Orleans in a pick'up truck with my dog Flora, guitar, backpack and bicycle... in a looooooong line of people that couldn't stop looking back.
This actually happened in America. Reel Time.

I would bet they were the first back onto their property. I know they got right to it and with seasoned inscrutability really didn't talk to a lot of folks about it ya'know what I'm sayin? Got right to it.
Another thing I would like you to consider is this:
Those cats know how to live.
As you point out, that IS a Louisiana thing!

You and K et al are so right on right on wit'da neobounce...
I would only add the correct congressional tag is: Vitter R-Pamp.
And speaking of those goddamn dominionists don't get me started... ok you got me started...
Wasn't Sarah Ya'Bitcha just SUCH A PIECE OF HANDMAINDENS TAIL???
But that is what they want: Margret Atwood's "A Handmaiden's Tale". Read it and weep.

This is fun to help me get past the blinding reality of having witnessed that theft of Democracy wit'my own lyin'eyes in 2000. I mean, they really did it.

So, since we warin'on Chrimma, may I leave you wit'dat old Chinese Curse for these scattered but not dead neocoward, Limbaudian, Machiavelli'wannabee, McRhetorical Syllodomites:
1) May you live in interesting times.
2)May you come to the attention of a Government Official.
3)May you profit from it.

Happy Birth of the Dead Man on a Stick Everybody!
Thank you all for pudding up wit'me.
Editilla the Pun

Ima Hapynau said...


mouse (aka kimy) said...

"partial nationalization"

most sensible and ACCOUNTABLE....

excellent post...