Losing the Forest Behind the Trees

by matttbastard

Via Memeorandum, some of the other progressive bloggers highlighting McHenry’s statement seem to be primarily concerned with how the Dem0cratic leadership in Congress can use the GOP’s apparent lack of ‘discipline’ to partisan advantage. Yeah, um, so what does the obstruction uber alles strategy mean for the economic health of the fucking nation and world, to ordinary people worried about the future?

We’re talking 4.4 million US jobs lost since the recession began (with more losses almost guaranteed to occur), further bank failures, potential state government bankruptcies. And yet it’s still all about scoring points and the perpetual fucking horse race?

Really?

This isn’t a fucking game; this is class warfare, kids.

Sharpen the goddamn fucking pitchforks.

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The Shock Doctrine.

by matttbastard and Sarah J

We’re watching the collapse of capitalism in real time, slow motion.

The economic crisis was largely the result of a vast speculative bubble, one that inevitably had to burst, and those in charge of U.S. and global economic policy knew this, but did nothing to prepare for the impending crisis. The effect was magnified thanks to a deliberate ongoing campaign of ideologically-motivated deregulation for the sake of deregulating. In other words, this didn’t just happen in a vacuum. It didn’t sneak up. It was very much deliberate.

Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine details exactly how we got to this point. The book came out in 2007, but right now serves as kind of a ‘how did we get here,’ with ‘here’ being the new Depression.

It’s a fairly well-known and well-read book in progressive circles, and yet neither Sarah nor I had read it yet. With the bottom falling out of the economy, and inspired by Erik and Rob’s posts on From Colony to Superpower, we decided not just to read the book, but to blog it, reading chapter by chapter, in two places, to see what we each draw from it.

Reading The Shock Doctrine allows us to examine a series of cataclysmic events that have occurred over the past 50 years, so we can hopefully avoid repeating the same mistakes (or allowing the same warped, Utopian ideals to usurp the public debate).

Most importantly, to prevent the same tactics from being applied now, in the wake of the biggest global economic shockwave yet.

Because the more we read, the more imperative we think it is to tie Klein’s thesis and investigations into what’s happening right now, as Friedmanite ideologues continue to preach the doctrine of deregulation and tax cuts as panacea.

So, starting tomorrow, we’ll have posts up once a week, mine here, Sarah’s at Alterdestiny. We agree on lots of things, but come from different backgrounds and areas of expertise, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to draw different readings of the book. We’re inviting all of you, whether you’ve read the book or not, to join in the discussion, and hope we can cross some of our audiences back and forth and gain some insight into the global economic mess.

(x-posted @ Alterdestiny)

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Quote of the Effing Century (Or, On the Original Stimulus Package)

by matttbastard

I rather adore the willy. In fact, when these long, drawn-out discussions about sex happen on radical feminist sites, I sometimes find the urge to hop in, scream “I LIKE DICK!” and run away, giggling like a third-grader. The fact that I haven’t done so is a testament to my general self-restraint and, uh, amazing level of maturity. Or something.

- Natalia Antonova, who, btw, is made of pure, undiluted WIN (and infinite maturity.  Or something.)

h/t Sarah J via email

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Dear Moe Lane

natodutch

FUCK yo couch!

hugs ‘n’ kisses,

The Online Left, who will be sleeping like babies tonight because  most of us didn’t swallow the bullshit sammich served up yesterday by the LA Times.

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Mike Barnicle and Mika Brzezinski: Bloggers != Journalists!!!1one

by matttbastard

Transcript:

BARNICLE: [S]omeone ought to tell governor Palin that there’s a distinction between blogging and what she refers to as journalism. Blogging –

MIKA: Is not journalism!

BARNICLE: I would say 95%; maybe 99% of blogging is basically therapy for the blogger.

MIKA: And it’s anonymous, isn’t it?

BARNICLE: Yeah. You know.

One wonders who serial plagiarist Real Journalist™ Mike Barnicle stole his warmed-over “bloggerz r teh sux0rz” critique from.

Yawn.

Keep the band playing while the Titanic sinks, folks.

PS: ‘pseudonymous‘, not ‘anonymous’. FFS.

h/t Matthew Yglesias, by way of Extreme Mortman.

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I don’t think wingnuts should be anywhere allowed blog.

by matttbastard

DRJ, squatting at Patterico’s pad, plops out this wet, stinky turd-like nugget of what passes for insight deep in the bowels of Outer Wingnuttia, regarding Joe the Plumber War Correspondent’s recent, um, statement on the SCLM and its uber-treasonous war coverage:

I know this drives liberals crazy — they think we’re rednecks. Maybe we are but I love this guy.

No, we actually think you’re an idiot.  The fact that you unabashedly “love this guy” (and have apparently deluded yourself into believing that the Left is collectively pissing its Chinos over the subliterate fauxpulist wisdom of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher) perfectly illustrates precisely why we think you’re an idiot–and why you and your fellow travellers are all now irrelevant.

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Jon Swift and the Best Posts of 2008

by matttbastard

It wouldn’t be year end review time without Jon Swift’s annual survey of 2008’s best blog posts, culled from his huge-ass blogroll and chosen by the bloggers themselves (including yours truly). I can’t think of a better way to spend the first day of 2009 than working your way through the many truly excellent selections highlighted by Swift.  Many thanks to Jon for once again taking the time to do this, especially considering the inevitable crunch posed by the always-busy holiday season.

On an entirely separate note, my sincere condolences to Bill Wolfrum of Shakesville and Shakesquill following the recent passing of his mother. Bill has extensively and eloquently chronicled her journey with cancer, posts that provide a moving testament  to her indomitable spirit and the love they shared.  So, in hindsight, perhaps there are two essential reading assignments to kick off the new year.

Finally, a picture of my cat snoozing, just because:

back off get your own phonebook...

Happy New Year, everyone.

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A Special Note re: the Associated Press

This is Jennifer Palmieri, acting CEO of the Center for American Progess [sic] Action Fund.

Most readers know that the views expressed on matttbastard’s blog are his own and don’t always reflect the views of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Such is the case with regard to matttbastard’s comments about the Associated Press. Our institution has partnered with the Associated Press on a number of important projects and have a great deal of respect for their critical thinking and excellent work product (plus, we totally heart the donuts with sprinkles — thanks, Liz!) They are key leaders in the world of investigative journalism and we look forward to working with them in the future (especially if they remember to bring the donuts — Liz, you are a doll!)

In addition, we’d also like to extend our respectful admiration to the editors at Obsidian Wings and The Atlantic, with whom we hope to partner with on a number of important projects in the near future.

Also, ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO PALMIERI!

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Jane Says

by matttbastard

Like Atrios, I’m not at all thrilled at the prospect of a legacy appointment to the Senate, especially  someone who has never run for elected office. But Jane Hamsher’s recent irony-free HuffPo missive is a classic example of doin it rong:

It seems Caroline Kennedy has decided she’d rather have a US Senate seat than a pony for Christmas[...] Really? She’s “making calls this morning to alert political figures to her interest?” I guess it was either that or get her nails done.

Yes, because the only way one could possibly express opposition to dynastic appointments and elitism in Congress is to blow sexist dogwhistles.  Unless your name is Glenn Greenwald, of course.  Or Chris Bowers.

Well, I’m sure they’ll both make sure to include crude gender-based stereotypes in  future posts.

Jeff Fecke makes an obvious but important point:

If this were Jim Kennedy, would you suggest he was getting a manicure, asking for a pony? Of course not. You might pick out other symbols of idleness, but those quintessentially feminine grace notes would be left out. It’s not enough to suggest Kennedy isn’t a good pick for the seat — she has to be derided as idle and, most damningly, an idle woman.

Bint goes one step further, noting the lack of self-awareness in Hamsher’s chosen line of criticism:

I just love when privileged, white Americans like Hamsher try to pretend as if they have any idea what it’s like to be a part of the world’s “unwashed masses”.

Isn’t it funny that this article was written by the same person who also once wrote:

“No shit. Why is it the women are taking crap for this — from other women? One need look no further than the cracks about blond hair and tits from self-described “feminists” to see the reason for the sad state of feminism in this country today.”

We should all be grateful she didn’t put Kennedy in blackface.

Related: Louise Slaughter for Senate!

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