Monday, December 30, 2013

Interview with Alan Essig on the 2014 state budget in Georgia.

In what is becoming year end tradition I sat down with Alan Essig of GBPI to talk about the economy,state budget, and what issues fill be facing lawmakers when they come in to town in 2014.

Georgia Budget & Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that strives to raise the level of public policy debate in the state of Georgia.

For more on their work please check out their website: 

And please consider GBPI in your list of year end charitable donations.  They are great people doing some really important work for citizens here in Georgia.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Opposition to increasing the minimum wage fall under 3 subgroups

1) The foolish: People who really aren't paying close attention and puppet Fox News.
2) The neofeudal: People (usually business owners) who are looking to keep and sustain the current economic environment so that they can continue exploiting the power imbalances that have been created with a large labor supply that keeps workers desperate and willing to work for whatever scraps from the table they are deemed worthy.
3) The intellectually confused: a small but influential crew who have actually thought long and hard about these issues but have taken a number of wrong turns and sloppy logical leaps that have left them with a fundamentally flawed understanding about the origins of money and the way the capitalists economies function.

Letting loose an army of well informed Walmart and McDonalds employees, provided with appropriate number of pitch forks, would solve this dilemma quite quickly--if history is any guide.

Debt: The First 5000 Years - Extended Interview with David Graeber

If you haven't read Graebers book Debt you need to check it out...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Knowledge is power and reading is good for you--- linkfest...

 I've read things; you should too!

Reading is good for you:  5 Studies Showing Why Reading is Healthy! 

Putting a $9 minimum wage in context | Economic Policy Institute 
Raising Minimum Wage to Not Enough to Ensure that Families with Fulltime Workers Live Above Poverty Line | CEPR Blog 
The Minimum Wage: A Crash Course 
Fast-Food Wages Come With a $7 Billion Side of Public Assistance - Businessweek 
Shining a Light on ALEC’s Power to Shape Policy
One In Four American Workers Will Be In Low-Wage Jobs For The Next Decade
Poverty nation: How America created a low-wage work swamp 
Garbage and Gravitas | The Nation Corey Robin on Ayn Rand
You're probably making 10% less than you were ten years ago. The top 0.01 percent is making 76.2% more. 
States losing billions in refusing to expand Medicaid, report finds - NBC 
David Bonior: The South finally coming around on benefits of unions 
Moral Monday Movement Coming to Georgia
Tax Shift Plans Threaten Georgia’s Future | Georgia Budget and Policy Institute 
Parental leave 20 years after FMLA
Union busting is a mortal sin [PDF]
Middle-Out Economics: A Truer Form of Capitalism | The Institute for New Economic Thinking
Cutting Class to Make Ends Meet | Georgia Budget and Policy Institute
Mandela: The Man and the Movement

And for your viewing pleasure:

What have you been reading?

Does politics need more philosophy?

Obviously my degree in Philosophy leads me to believe the answer is a clear cut: yes please.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Rich people don't create jobs"

Afternoon break... #enjoy

“Music... will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.” 
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Keynes’ proposed international currency; and why we need it.

Yves Smith sends us over to a good talk given by Steve Keen on the international financial architecture.

Take some time to watch it.  You'll learn something.

You may also want to check out Keen's well regarded book: Debunking Economics - Revised and Expanded Edition: The Naked Emperor Dethroned?

I haven't read it (but if you buy it via that link you can help me afford to buy it as Amazon gives me a percentage).

If you'd like to skip reading it yourself you can help me buy it so I can learn a few things to pass along to you: donate here.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Its time to Expand Social Security!

Be sure to sign here in support.


And somehow no one has started up an Expand Social Security Facebook Page.  So I did.  Go "Like" it and lets build a movement.

Krugman in the NYT's today on expanding Social Security:
When you look at today’s older Americans, you are in large part looking at the legacy of an economy that is no more. Many workers used to have defined-benefit retirement plans, plans in which their employers guaranteed a steady income after retirement. And a fair number of seniors (like my father, until he passed away a few months ago) are still collecting benefits from such plans. 
Today, however, workers who have any retirement plan at all generally have defined-contribution plans — basically, 401(k)’s — in which employers put money into a tax-sheltered account that’s supposed to end up big enough to retire on. The trouble is that at this point it’s clear that the shift to 401(k)’s was a gigantic failure. Employers took advantage of the switch to surreptitiously cut benefits; investment returns have been far lower than workers were told to expect; and, to be fair, many people haven’t managed their money wisely. 
As a result, we’re looking at a looming retirement crisis, with tens of millions of Americans facing a sharp decline in living standards at the end of their working lives. For many, the only thing protecting them from abject penury will be Social Security. Aren’t you glad we didn’t privatize the program? 
So there’s a strong case for expanding, not contracting, Social Security. Yes, this would cost money, and it would require additional taxes — a suggestion that will horrify the fiscal scolds, who have been insisting that if we raise taxes at all, the proceeds must go to deficit reduction, not to making our lives better. But the fiscal scolds have been wrong about everything, and it’s time to start thinking outside their box.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Chris Hayes and Sheldon Wolin present a picture of Chris Christie that should scare you

Sheldon Wolinin his expose of modern Authoritarian forms of Empire and global capital, the book Democracy Inc.: Managed Democracy and the Spectre of Inverted Totalitarianism, notes that, "the crucial political issue of our times concerns the incompatibility between the culture of everyday reality to which political democracy should be attuned and the culture of virtual reality on which corporate capitalism thrives."  Those capable of exploiting modern communication, who aspire for the power of Empire, are the type of people we should fear and organize against in Wolin's mind.

Those who are masters of exploiting reality--via the tools of Public Relations, and propaganda spin machines (often called "conservative think tanks")--have awesome power at their finger tips to do whatever they damn well please.  As was proved to devastating consequence during the GW Bush first term of office.  It appears that Governor Chris Christie is the next master of media manipulation and virtual reality.  Not only are the elite media failing to do their job in holding a check on Chris Christie's power--by fact checking his spin--they are feeding the flames with the gushes and accolades; Hurricane Sandy has become Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will in far too many ways for the Christie political machine.

Governor Chris Christie, his failure to help Sandy victims, and the Media Spectacle that is catapulting Christie into the spotlight as the "Sandy savior" was elucidated quite nicely by Chris Hayes the other night in his segment: The Real 'spirit of Sandy'.

Again I must turn to Sheldon Wolin's excellent book Democracy Inc.
Lying is more than deception; the liar wants the unreal to be accepted as actuality, so he sets about to establish as true what is not actually the case, not really real.  A lie by a public  authority is meant to be accepted by the public as an "official" truth concerning the "real world." At bottom, lying is the expression of a will power.  My power is increased if you accept "a picture of the world which is a product of my will."
 Chris Christie appears to be a master manipulator of reality.  If there is one "name to fear" in 2016 for Democrats I'd argue that rather than the flat earth society Ted Cruz who seems to only have the trust of a small faction of dying off Dixiecrats and Libertarian curmudgeons, Chris Christie is the true Republican to fear.  Christie has a capacity to enthrall in the way that Reagan did--the herd of Nietzsche's "Last Man" who blink.  Wolin speaks of this "performance president"
The roles Reagan played in her earlier career were an apprenticeship for his original contribution to American government, the creation of "performance president" who fashioned illusion (a tough leader who had learned to throw a crisp salute) from inauthenticity (almost persuading himself that he had been present when inmates were freed from concentration camps). With little or no interest in policy and the details of governance he took on the task of evoking nostalgia, overlaying the present with an idealized past, warmer, believing, guileless, "a shining city on the hill" that provided an illusion of national continuity while obscuring the radical changes at work.  The other element characterizing his administration was a presidential entourage that included hard-nosed, ideological zealots and operatives from the corporate world and the public opinion industry. These agents were intent on expanding the power of the president,reducing governmental oversight of the economy, overriding environmental safegaurds, and dismantling welfare programs; simultaneously they expanded vast sums in order to build up a military sufficiently intimidating to stare down an "evil empire," causing it to collapse, exhauste, unable to compete, its power spent from being outspent.
Wolin then goes on to note in the next few paragaphs the damage wrought by our next Master of Performace GWBush.  Christie, I would argue, is the next "Master" waiting in the wings.  Nietzsche reminds us  the Performance President has one role and one role only--inspire the herd to blink, so that the corporate raiding of social wealth can go unchecked.
alas, the time is coming when man will no longer give birth to a star. Alas, the time of the most despicable man is coming, he that is no longer able to despise himself. Behold, I show you the last man.
     'What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?' thus asks the last man, and blinks.
     The earth has become small, and on it hops the last man, who makes everything small. His race is as ineradicable as the flea; the last man lives longest.
     'We have invented happiness,'say the last men, and they blink. They have left the regions where it was hard to live, for one needs warmth. One still loves one's neighbor and rubs against him, for one needs warmth...
     One still works, for work is a form of entertainment. But one is careful lest the entertainment be too harrowing. One no longer becomes poor or rich: both require too much exertion. Who still wants to rule? Who obey? Both require too much exertion.
     No shepherd and one herd! Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.
     'Formerly, all the world was mad,' say the most refined, and they blink...
     One has one's little pleasure for the day and one's little pleasure for the night: but one has a regard for health.
     'We have invented happiness,' say the last men, and they blink."
from Nietzsche's Thus spoke Zarathustra

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Knowledge is Power. I read some things this week.. so should you.

Special Investigation: How Insurers Are Hiding Obamacare Benefits From Customers

If the GOP Repeals Obamacare, 137 Million Americans Could Get Cancellation Notices | Mother Jones 

Quote: David Cutler on ACA implementation | The Incidental Economist

Robert Reich--The Democrat's Version of Health Insurance Would Have Been Cheaper, Simpler, and More Popular (So Why Did We Enact the Republican Version and Why Are They So Upset?)

The Legislative Attack on American Wages and Labor Standards, 2011–2012 | Economic Policy Institute

US public investment falls to lowest level since war -

 The Crippling Politics of Public Investment | New Economic Perspectives 

The Great Recession may have crushed America’s economic potential

Naomi Klein: How science is telling us all to revolt 

Social Democracy in the South - In These Times

Reclaiming Comrade Orwell | Jacobin

 Daily Kos: Ga Sen : Branko Radulovacki seeks Dem Nomination to replace Ga. Senator Chambliss in US Senate

 BBC News - NSA leaks helping India become 'Big Brother' state? 

Here's Audio of Managers Scolding Employees for Wanting to Unionize

 New Poverty Data Underscore Effectiveness of Nutrition Assistance as Congress Considers Cuts to Food Aid | Center for American Progress

How Washington Is Wrecking the Future, in 2 Charts - Matthew O'Brien - The Atlantic 

A Full-Frontal Assault on Democracy in Europe and the United States | Alternet 

Beethoven: man, composer and revolutionary

Plantations, Prisons and Profits -

The twisted mind of “Ender’s Game” - 

My favorite author, my worst interview - 

Noam Chomsky - The Relevance of Anarcho-syndicalism

Was asked by a friend to explain non Marxist Left Wing Anarchy to them. I told them I was still trying to figure that out myself, but I sent them this as a good place to start.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Olof Palme: Why I am a democratic Socialist

[Be sure to have the closed caption turned on for this.]

If you'd like to learn more about Democratic Socialism check out the Democratic Socialists of America website and also follow them on twitter.

Also check out Jacobin magazine for some good reads and tweets.

As the famous Theologian (and democratic Socialist) Paul Tillich noted, "Man is asked to make of himself what he is supposed to become to fulfill his destiny."

Democratic Socialism provides a systematic analysis of the economic crisis facing Americans and a praxis towards which individuals can participate in building (and rebuilding) their own lives for a better tomorrow.

The Michelle Nunn Campaign ---How the 1% say 'Yes We Can"

As soon as anyone who understands policy checks out Michelle Nunn's neoliberal screed they start worrying about having to defend Social Security from Democrats in the US Senate come November of 2014.  That is, if Dr Rad doesn't win the primary down here in Georgia.

The labor movement is starting to raise its voice across the country against Michelle Nunn; since her passionate and "fiscally responsible" defense of the 1% is a quiet but powerful effort to cut the hard earned Social Security benefits of Americans across the country.  Michelle Nunn is nothing short of a textbook profile of the Death of the Liberal Class in action.

I'm not kidding check out this response from Labor in New Hampshire (no bastion of radical Socialism)
The austerity wing of the Democratic Party has played a key role in devastating millions of lives; citizens who will never recover from the policy intransigence of these "fiscally responsible" defenders of the 1%.  Nunn wants to ignore reality and sell austerity on the campaign trail--this is just a glimpse of the damage she would do in DC.

Opposition to Michelle Nunn is not only necessary, but the only moral action a Democrat in Georgia can take in 2014 (and those not in Georgia need to open up their wallets).
 The facts speak for themselves. Nunn wants to go to Washington to continue the austerity shell game.  We have more important things to focus on; but Nunn wants us to focus on austerity--her campaign donors in the 1% insit on it!.  The Michelle Nunn campaign is showing you how the 1% say "Yes We Can".

I'm glad to see people across the country raising their voices in opposition to her campaign to hand the car keys back to the people who crashed the economy.

We do have a choice on election day in the Democratic Primary here in Georgia so be sure to follow Dr Rad on twitter (and give him lots of RT love) to keep up with his campaign. He, unlike Nunn is actually busy on the campaign trail talking to voters. She's busy raising money from the 1%--when she's not in the media making the case that we need to comrpomise with the hostage takers who shutdown Government this past fall.
I'm trying to get Chris Hayes to have a segment where Nunn and Dr Rad debate austerity economics.  If you want to help me inspire Chris to have them on to talk policy be sure to give this tweet an RT
At a time when the much needed efforts to expand Social Security are starting up in the US Senate; the last thing we need to do is send Neoliberal Nunn to Washington DC to fight on behalf of the 1% to cut your Social Security.  No matter if you live in Georgia or not this primary may well decide if we see cuts to your Social Security or not.
The 1% are the ones who crashed the economy and destroyed your 401k--why should we send Michelle Nunn to Washinton DC to defend their interests at the expense of our own?

Its up to the readers of this blog to take actions to undermine the viability of the Michelle Nunn so that she doesn't make it through the primary.  She won't defend us when she's in DC; why should we defend her now?  In fact we have a moral obligation to stop Neoliberal Nunn in her tracks.

For my own part I've set up a political action committee that will be working to get on TV to defend Social Security from the hands of Nunn and her 1% buddies on Wall Street.  I hope you join us in our fight here in Georgia as we occupy the US Senate race and let the 1% know we have not gone away.

Together we our stronger--so go like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, and tell your friends to do the same!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dean Baker and Yves Smith talk about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

Yves Smith and Dean Baker on Secrets in Trade from on Vimeo.

One of the goals of Working Class Georgia, the Political Action Committe I've set up is to increase the profile of these kinds of backroom deals that harm working families here in Georgia and across the nation.

If you are on twitter be sure to follow us here.  If you are on Facebook "Like" us here.  We will have an Act Blue account up soon for your small $ contributions!

Also be sure to tell your friends and family to do the same--so that our efforts get magnified.  The only way we fight back against the 1% is to network, then work to expand our networks some more.

Together we can leverage our power in numbers to educate and empower working people in this country on issues like the TPP and help shine a light on how working people can play a role in fighting back against the 1% efforts to use Government policies to redistribute wealth upwards.

Chris Hedges on the "Death of the Liberal Class"

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Raising billions to defend the 99% at the ballot box and in the streets...

Following in the footsteps of one of my mentors I now have the ability to raise billions to defend the 99% at the ballot box.  I am going to occupy the US Senate race in Georgia in 2014.  What is a SuperPAC you ask?

What am I going to do with my new evil powers?

Why, bring United for A Fair Economy to Georgia to hold one of the uber-excellent popular education workshops in 2014.  Hopefully Atlanta, Augusta, and Savannah; I spoke with them earlier in the week--if you'd like to help on the logistics end contact me--as we are working out the details.

I'm also going to be raising money to put a professionally made TV attack ad on Comedy Central and other cable outlets to protect Social Secruity from politicians looking to slash benifits in subtle ways.

To help raise the cash I have to exploit my cache of protest pictures and punk rock music to raise the profile of the PAC so I'm making youtube video's.  Here is my first one...

I'm still waiting for the FEC to get back to me with my #  so that I can get my Act Blue account up to start bringing in the billions so hold off on those big $$$'s for now. (And I guess I need to open that bank account to transter your billions from Act Blue to my occupy coffers).

Anyways thats it for now.

Oh, go give me some RT's...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day Three of my efforts to Draft Colberts Lawyer... I need a theme song!

So as many of my readers now know, this week I became a SuperPac so I could Occupy my US Senate race and fight the 1% here in Georgia.

Whats a SuperPac is on the lips of almost everyone I meet.  So for more on my newly acquired evil powers I'll turn to my mentor to explain.

Free speech is indeed an awesome thing.  And there is much the 99% must fight tooth and nail to protect from the 1%.

And now that Working Class Georgia is up and running we need to raise the money to do some serious damage to the 1% next year in Georgia.  TV ad wars are expensive!  Also complex.  So I need a lawyer.  Which got me an idea to turn to my mentor for help.

Today is day three of Operation Draft Colbert's Lawyer [code name: dude where's you lawyer?] to help me navigate my new found powers; also Operation Draft Colberts Wallet to pay for Colberts Lawyer [code name Dude he's expensive].

So far everything is going as planned--meaning total radio silence.
 My mentor's gatekeepers must think this is a joke.  But its not, and persistence pays off--I will wear them down.

Day Two
[If a minion can track down my day two tweet I don't have the time to scroll my twitter feed and find it to embed at this second it be appreciated thanks]

But I'm realizing this may take a while.

So what my little minions need (my SuperPAC volunteers who are helping Retweet me) is some music as they go about the boring hard work of building an occupy army.

So who better than Fat Mike to write my Occupy the US Senate theme song?  If Occupy LA can have a Theme Song then why not an Occupy SuperPAC?

So Day Three of Draft Colberts Lawyer is also Day One of Draft Fat Mike to write me a Theme Song [code name: Write my Theme Song Bitch].  Which I can then sell to my little minions as they do the boring hard work of retweetiing, making phone calls, knocking on doors, and attending economic justice workshops all over Georgia.

Please RT me and help me get this occupy army a theme song!'

Resistance is futile Mike.  Get to writing!

Didn't Democrats learn anything from the Iraq War vote in 2003?

So this morning I caught a great tweet.
That is what is going on right now in Georgia.  The pols are saying "move to the middle" as if going after "swing voters" which is also known as the least informed voters of all.  Michelle "No Backbone" Nunn is "the only candidate who can win".  Or so say a lot of politico's who will reap jobs and appointments from having a Democratic Senator in DC.

But working class families in Georgia don't get to reap the spoils of a party machince.  So "swing voters" are a must for politico's but why? Might it be that the voters who show up to the real world a few days before the election to make their choice between the few trivial facts they know about the candidates be the smartest voters?  Or couuld it be that the dumbest most ill informed voters are a prop in a Side-show act?

Why are we fighting to win over (over a year before they'll pay attention) the opinions of swing voters?

The fact is, "No backbone" Nunn is a liar--and a neoliberal.  Ms. 1% isn't trying to be a "conservative Democrat" so we can win in November.  She is trying to convince the base that the interests of the 1% are the same thing as what "conservative" voters want.

This is a card trick for Democratic activists who aren't paying close enough attention to the hands of the politco's and elected officals who are busy saying Michelle Nunn rulz!!!

We need a Democrat with the backbone to stand up to the Tea Party.  If we learned anything by the war in Iraq; its that when we have Democrats with no backbone in DC real humans die and suffer needlessly.

This isn't a game.  We have no choice but to work like hell to keep the neoliberal wing from winning the Georgia Democratic primary.

Friday, October 25, 2013

To be a good human being...

“To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the condition of the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it’s based on being more like a plant than like a jewel, something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility.”― Martha C. Nussbaum

The real wealth of the world is in its people.

Martha Nussbaum, "Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach"

Unreported Drone Reports, Tackle Poverty?, and CNN's Pro-Nuke Propaganda

The banks got bailed out. We got sold out.

I am busy this morning so all I'm going to say is go over and read Bill Black over at Yves Smith's Naked Capitalism today: The New York Times Publishes the Most Ironic Sentence of the Crisis « naked capitalism . #epicFail

The only answer is to occupy (I could use your help).  Now I'm headed to work as the trucks won't load themselves...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

With the help of the Supreme Court I'm occupying the US Senate race in Georgia.

So i'm pulling a Colbert.  I am a SuperPAC 

No more talking to, or volunteering for, US Senate candidates for me.  I'm going to be busy fundraising from my former professor's and their cohorts (a perk of taking a decade to finish my philosophy degree).  

Very Serious People beware---Election 2014 is the year the reality based community occupy the US Senate race in Georgia....

I told the wife the surprise with...  "well the good news is I'm not running for office in 2014..."

But no matter how small a cable buy it ends up being, rural Georgia will have a Professionally made Social Security attack ad directed at whatever joke makes its way out of the GOP primary.  Count on it.  I learned on the campaign trail in 2010 that no matter the party, people wanted Social Security protected from efforts by the 1% to make cuts.

The recent Jane Fonda segment of the Georgia Gang was the straw that broke this Teamsters back.  The reality based community has been shutdown and shut out of the debate in Georgia politics by the crew that just led and fed the inspiration for the GOPshutdown.  The Chamber of Commerce is busy trying to take back the GOP from within the party.  I'll help with a punch or two directed at the Tea Party nuthouse currently running the show in Georgia.  As Chomsky has always noted, we must expand the scope of the debate if we are ever going to be heard.  I think I can help give a little tiny push to help make that happen.  Work hard, hit harder and do lots of homework on the issues. 

Its not like Michelle "No Backbone" Nunn and her band of DC big donors didn't know this was coming. They should have been listening to us.  It took a coordinated FBI led corporate-state suppression effort to disperse us.  Be we are still here.

And thanks to the Supreme Court, rural TV viewers in Georgia will hear one of us (I'll need some help ya'll) say loud and clear Protect Social Security.   Free Speech rules!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Very Serious People beware---Election 2014 is the year the reality based community occupy the US Senate race in Georgia....

No Backbone Nunn and the Potemkin Primary the Beltway Big Money folks have tried to buy here in the Georgia in the Democratic US Senate Primary gave me an idea...

Er, well after I watched this video I got an idea... as this is a dialectical thing on my part.  Just watch...

The AJC's Jim Galloway notes:
You don’t generally find WAGA’s “Georgia Gang” on YouTube, but clearly an interested party wanted to document Sunday’s discussion of the campaign contribution made by actress Jane Fonda to the U.S. Senate campaign of Michelle Nunn – a fact that the Insider’s Greg Bluestein reported last week.
Watch it above. Boiled down:
Alexis Scott: “That population has aged right out, and Jane Fonda has made a comeback.”
Dick Williams:  “If Michelle Nunn is with Jane Fonda, I don’t need to know anything more.”
Consider the exchange just a foretaste of what’s headed our way next year. But also note something of a family connection here. Fonda’s ex, billionaire Ted Turner, is a major underwriter of former U.S. senator Sam Nunn’s efforts to corral “loose nukes” around the world.

Jane Fonda isn't the actual issue in this segment that stands out the most--its the Tea Party nutjob who is calling No Backbone Nunn a radical leftist.   So we are caught between crazy and the 1% and we need some fresh air and sunshine to fight off this impasse.

Even No backbone Nunn was able to come out after the polls had been conducted to stand firm agaist the Tea Party fringe.  No more Shutdowns!!!  Sadly she couldn't say it in the middle of the crisis when her leadership could have helped push the agenda more towards reality.  No, what this segment shows is the real problem in Georgia politics and its not Jane Fonda.  Its the spineless politicians and crazy fringe who have taken this state and this country down the wrong path.

No backbone Nunn who is busy raising money from the 1% and is obviously going to be a center-right Democrat along the lines of Obama is some kind of radical leftist!?!?  Lol... it'd be satire if it wasn't a mainstream political talk show here in Georgia.

The Very Serious people tell us that candidates have to play it safe and not get caught in the cross hairs of nutjobs who make up whatever they want to and just happen to have the bully pulpit and a radical faction controlling gerrymandered districts here in Georgia.

But the reality based community knows better.  We need politicians with the backbone to have open honest debate with the Tea Party types and stand up for the best ideas; not try to poll test their way to 50% + 1 of the vote.  Between the Tea Party and "swing" voters who don't pay attention till two weeks before election day we've allowed our elections to be reduced to letting those least qualified set the policy and agenda for the US Senate race.

If you were listening to the Very Serious People about the war an Iraq, deregulation of Wall Street, the public option in the health care plan, they would have given you an answer and it would have been dead wrong.

Those same Very Serious People are telling us all that the Democratic Primary for US Senate is a done deal.  Now we all know I've tried to recruit Jason Carter; to a whopping 26 signatures.  And I think Dr. Rad is awesome even if he doesn't have name recognition to beat Nunn (I even donated and became a monthly donor which will obviously stop today once you read further).

But the Tea Party circus that controls the GOP and the Fix the Debt crew who have bought and sold the Democrats have one thing in common.  They both feed off of spineless Politicians who either a) don't have the backbone to stand up to the nutcases with calm sober facts, in the case of the Republicans or B) don't have the backbone to turn down dollars from the 1% that demand selling out the working class on policy issues.

The Very Serious People have sucked all the air out of the US Senate race in Georgia and its time the reality based community have someone working hard and hitting harder for them here in Georgia.

Therefore, i'm out of the US Senate candidate recruitment/support business.

I'm taking my cue from Stephen Colbert and am going the Citizens United Route:

So I went to How to Start a Super PAC

Step 1: Pick a Cause or Candidate

The US Senate race in Georgia and the cause?  Giving voice to the reality based community.

Step 2: Pick a Clever Name for Your Super PAC

Stop The Spineless PAC --- because its a Super PAC to stop the spineless politicians not willing to speak out on the issues.

Now the paperwork to the FEC 
To officially launch your super PAC you will need to file what's called a Statement of Organization, or Form 1, with the Federal Election Commission. Check box 5(f) under "Type of Committee."
Also, write a short cover letter to the Federal Election Commission. Here's a sample. You'll want to be sure you make it clear your new committee will be functioning as a super PAC.
You can do that by including the following paragraph verbatim:
"This committee intends to make unlimited independent expenditures, and consistent with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision in SpeechNow v. FEC, it therefore intends to raise funds in unlimited amounts. This committee will not use those funds to make contributions, whether direct, in-kind, or via coordinated communications, to federal candidates or committees."

Yeah that is hitting the mail.... (even before the wife knows ---"at least I'm not running for office this year, dear")

Step 5: What To Do With Your Super PAC

As the proud new owner of a super PAC, you are permitted to raise unlimited amounts of money from people including your friends, neighbors and families. But you can also solicit money from political action committees, corporations and labor organizations.
You can turn around and use all that money to produce and air TV commercials or take out a massive billboard along a busy highway to roundly criticize a politician you don't like. Have fun and be creative!
So if I'm able to raise the money we'll be up on TV in Georgia swinging away at Spineless politicians not willing to stand up for good policy.  

If I'm not up on TV in Georgia for the primary and then the general election it won't be my fault. It will be the fault of you, dear reader, for not opening up your wallet (I'll figure out if Act Blue can be the donor route for online donations); and the unions and corporations who fail to give me the unlimited donations I'll now be able to raise thanks to the Supreme Court and "liberty lovers" everywhere who understand that money is speech and we can't be against free speech...ever.

So I have a shitload of work to do.  Bank accounts, raising money, (eh, any of you people know how to make a TV commercial?).  So I guess I'll close with this

A Note of Caution: What You Can't Do With Your Super PAC

This is pretty simple. You are not allowed to use all that money you've raised from corporations and unions to make "direct contributions" to candidates or their political action committees. You also can't take out TV ads or billboards in coordination with any of those candidates or their PACs. This is a fairly gray area, so play it safe and steer clear of planning your attacks with any candidate or elected official.
Sorry Dr. Rad, I won't be able to do that monthly $25 like I had committed--but best of luck and I'm glad you are running.  You seem like a stand up guy, in it for the right reasons.  I don't want to get in the gray area's.  You are new to politics so this might be the first time someone has broken their word to you about money and support they'll be giving you.  But it won't be the last time.  Believe me. But its for a good cause.  I just have to play it safe. The reality based community needs someone working hard and hitting harder for them here in Georgia.  But we can't discuss any of that.  I wish you the best because No Backbone Nunn is clueless, she really is .  But this is a system problem and calls for new approaches, and getting back to basics such as your campaign has been doing.  Keep it up!

For the rest of you readers... Luckily I'm an under-employed, newly minted philosophy grad, and a pissed off Teamster so I've got time on my hands since the Very Serious People have done nothing about the unemployment crisis in this country.

I'm not letting a bunch of beltway insiders in DC buy a Democratic primary--or going to let Tea Party nuts have the only bully pulpit next year when the circus gets done on the GOP side.

Campaign 2014 just got real.  Or should I say... occupied?

The mail hasn't been picked up at my house so I'm reprinting the first form and changing the name to Working Class Georgia .

30 years late, but....have SuperPac will fight back!

----update part deux---

We are live: but not quite ready for all that cash you are going to send me online.

I just pulled a Colbert.  Rural Georgia will have a pro Social Security TV comercial October of 2014 beamed in to living rooms--mark my words.

The 1% are right--- Free Speech rules!!!!

Don't like political polarization or economic discord? Do something about it.

Far too many people want to shake their head in opposition to the rising political dischrod, the rising economic instability, and yet want to do nothing about election reform or anything to stop the focus and fixation on allowing and promoting Government policies that transfer the bulk of the gains uppwards.  Michelle "No Backbone" Nunn, loves to complain about the things "Washington doesn't get" and has a vapid empty response about leadership.

Gerald Minack has a good post over at Naked Capitalism on the rise of Us vs. Them economy which just so happens to mention nothing about empty platitudes as a part of the solution.

 Us Versus Them « naked capitalism 
Rising political polarisation in the US has gone hand-in-hand with rising income inequality, falling top-end tax rates, lower taxes on business, rising leverage and higher asset prices. These trends may be coincidental, but they seem to reinforce each other. The medium-term risk is that some of these trends reverse, as occurred after the 1920s.
Congressional political polarisation and income inequality in the US are at multi-decade extremes (Exhibit 1). The polity is split; incomes are unequal.
Screen shot 2013-10-23 at 2.35.00 AM

The rise in polarisation partly reflects electoral gerrymandering that has sharply reduced the number of contestable seats (Exhibit 2). Only 20% of House of Representatives seats would change hands on a 5% swing. This increases the centrifugal influence of the party members who dominate the increasingly-decisive party primary elections.
However, rising political polarisation pre-dates the decline in contestable seats: it started as incomes became more unequal. Inequality has not risen because the rich got richer faster than the poor. It increased because the income gains of the past 30 years have gone to the top 1%. Average income for the bottom 99% is now unchanged in real terms over the past 40 years (Exhibit 3). The rising tide did not lift all the boats: it floated a few yachts.
In 2012 the highest-paid 1% earned 21½% of total income, according to academic Emmanuel Saez ( This is the highest share since the 1920s. The lift in top-end income mainly reflected a rise in business income and salary payments. Exhibit 4 shows the source of income for the highest paid 0.1%, as a percentage of total US income. The income share of the highest paid did not increase just because capital has done better than labour: it also reflects the increase in the share of salaries going to the highest paid.

If we want to all play nice and get along then we have to do something about the massive spread in Gini coefficient, its that simple.  If we do, we'll all be happier and live longer because of it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Political rights do not originate in the Legislature...

"Political rights do not originate in parliaments; they are, rather, forced upon parliaments from without. And even their enactment into law has for a long time been no guarantee of their security. Just as the employers always try to nullify every concession they had made to labor as soon as opportunity offered, as soon as any signs of weakness were observable in the workers' organizations, so governments also are always inclined to restrict or to abrogate completely rights and freedoms that have been achieved if they imagine that the people will put up no resistance. Even in those countries where such things as freedom of the press, right of assembly, right of combination, and the like have long existed, governments are constantly trying to restrict those rights or to reinterpret them by juridical hair-splitting. Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace . Where this is not the case, there is no help in any parliamentary Opposition or any Platonic appeals to the constitution."
— Rudolf RockerAnarcho-Syndicalism: Theory & Practice, 1947[14]

Michelle "No Backbone" Nunn strikes again...

In the middle of the #GOPshutdown fight when it was time for real leaders to stand up and speak out  against the hostage takers and Tea Party crazies--Michelle "No Backbone" Nunn was afraid to take a stand...

Well, now that the dust has cleared (and obviously the polls taken) and everyone from the Grandma down the street, to the US Chamber of Commerce, and even Grover "drown the Government in the bath tub" Norquist is criticising the #GOPshutdown Nunn has finally decided to be bold and side with the rest of us and call for No More Shutdowns!!!

Way to take a stand Michelle, it'd be hilarious and such a classic reminder of why Nunn is wrong for Georgia if it wasn't so pathetic and dangerous since she's the candidate funded by the 1% this election.

Nunn is probably making symbolic gestures that say and show absolutely nothing about who she really is fighting for and what policies she actually supports because she can't take an actual stand on issues that matter.  The 1% won't allow her to stand up for working people of Georgia.  Michelle "No Backbone" Nunn is looking to hand the keys to the 1% once in office.

Nunn's economic views have been called nonsense by Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research
and she's done nothing but use Pete Peterson Fix the Debt talking points all campaign.  That's why Nunn is making an empty statement after the crisis has passed and even GOP members of Congress are admitting it was a mistake.   Now that no one wants to shutdown the Government again Nunn is calling for us all to stand with her and say NO MORE SHUTDOWNS!!--This is the kind of bold Democratic leadership[sic] that got us in to Iraq.

Orwell once had some insight about the political language and vacuous statements coming out of the Nunn campaign this election.  It has been an exquisite model in saying a whole lot without saying anything at all and we as Democrats have been down this road before...

Better to vote for a No Name this primary than "a name" funded by the 1% who has no spine...  

Costly grace is not always enjoyable...or popular

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” 
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Secret footage of Michelle Nunn and Pete Peterson discussing the US Senate race in Georgia.

Tyler Durden has released to me secret footage of Michelle "No Backbone" Nunn and Pete Peterson discussing the upcoming US Senate race here in Georgia.

The 1% has plans for the Georgia US Senate race... by jim.nichols on GoAnimate

More footage to come...

Monday, October 21, 2013

What Jane McAlevey and 2000 Bush/Gore recount can teach us...

Its good to see labor out fighting on Social Security.    If we are to protect Social Security we have to raise some hell.

I haven't seen it here in Georgia yet from unions; I'm waiting for the posts and leadership to start rallying the troops locally (cough cough).

But while I wait for Georgia labor to mobilize on Social Security, I'm reminded of something I've learned from Jane McAlevey's excellent book on organizing Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement--we have to raise expectations and raise some hell if we ever expect to make political gains vs the 1%.

I found her book via an excellent Doug Henwood interview she did which you need to check out. After buying her book, my own organizing in the workplace blossomed in to some really awesome work which i've learned and grown from in so many ways.

I think McAlevery's book provides some important context to why I've been hitting Michelle Nunn hard for her policy positions and her failure to publicly hold positions that protect and empower working people.  

Lacking backbone is a DLC/Fix the debt trademark of the past 30 years for the Democratic Party and labor has been acquiescence in the decline.  McAlevey opens her book talking about the Bush v Gore ballot recount and the failure to fight embedded into the playbook of Democrats and labor and its worth a read...
Palm Beach County was the land of the butterfly ballot and the hanging chad. Butterfly ballots were punch card ballots with the candidates and issues displayed on both sides of a single line of numbered voting marks— an arrangement especially liable to misinterpretation by people with poor vision, such as the elderly. Hanging chads were tiny bits of paper that should have fallen out of the ballots when voters punched in their choice of candidate but hadn’t, leaving a trail of ambiguity that could be used to obscure the intent of the voter. Thousands of ballots were being discounted or contested due to this rather archaic paper voting system. 
Finally, our plan took shape. Each of the senior staff would be given a team of organizers and we would start knocking on doors and collecting affidavits from people who would swear under oath that they had meant to vote for Gore but, confused by the butterfly ballot, had accidentally voted for Bush or Pat Buchanan.* Other teams were dispatched to grocery stores, and some were sent to a candlelight “protest” vigil. I was given a team of organizers, an attorney or two, a van, and a stack of maps indicating our assigned condominium complexes, mostly inhabited by senior citizens, and we raced off to collect affidavits. 
It was like shooting fish in a barrel. From the first complex we hit until we were pulled off the assignment a few days later, it was hard to find an elderly voter who hadn’t screwed up the ballot or didn’t want to make a sworn statement. These places were full of funny, highly educated, cranky New York Jews. I was a New Yorker myself, with a partly Jewish upbringing,† and these people felt like home to me. I adored them. And they were really pissed off, especially the ones who thought they had accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan (“ the SS guard,” they called him). There were holocaust survivors, and sons and daughters of holocaust survivors. What’s more, many of these folks had been union members in the Northeast before retiring. You would knock on their door and it was as if they had been sitting there impatiently wondering when the union would finally show up. Soon there were long lines in the community rooms, because we hadn’t anticipated such an outpouring. These folks could hardly stand up, there were walkers all around, but no one was leaving until they’d all met the lawyer, told their stories, and filled in the affidavits. And they were ready to do much more than that. Affidavits? Lawyers? Hell, these people were furious. 
I reported this every morning and evening at the  debrief meetings for lead organizers. “So when can we actually mobilize them, put these wonderful angry senior citizens into the streets and on camera?” I would ask. But we didn’t do anything of the sort. Instead, we did a candlelight vigil, which was an awful, badly organized affair, just the kind of event that makes me crazy. First, because it could have been huge, and second, because everyone who came was bored— a good recipe for how to get motivated, angry people to stay home the next time they get a flyer. But it got worse. Big-shot politicians from across the land were starting to show up, and they all came to the vigil to calm people down. It was a mind-blowing thing to watch. Were these guys idiots, did they want to lose, or what? 
I heard someone from the press mention that Jesse Jackson was coming in two days to do his own rally and march. Hmm. Why hadn’t we heard of that? Then, later that night, during the regular debriefing on legal updates on the recount and the next day’s assignments, a higher-up said, “Jesse Jackson is coming to do a big march. We won’t be participating in it. 
” I thought I had heard him wrong: “Um, sorry, can you repeat that?” 
“The Gore campaign has made the decision that this is not the image they want. They don’t want to protest. They don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want to seem like they don’t have faith in the legal system. And they definitely don’t want to possibly alienate the Jews— you know, it’s Jackson— so we are not mobilizing for it.” 
While my heart was sinking my head was exploding. The American electoral process is breaking up like the Titanic and we don’t want to rock the boat? 
“I’m sorry, something doesn’t seem quite right here. As the person leading a field team in largely Jewish senior complexes, and, frankly, as someone raised by Jews, I can tell you that we need to take people into the streets. We need to let them express their anger. Republicans are starting to hold little rallies demanding that Democrats not be allowed to ‘steal’ the election. We need to either support this rally or do our own or both. 
” I also knew that to turn them out would require some resources, beginning with transportation from each condo complex. Most of these people didn’t drive or didn’t like to drive, which was why they lived in the condos, but that also meant they were generally home where we could find them. We had an instant mobilization in waiting; we could have 30,000 people in the streets in two days. I knew that the only outfit in Florida with the money, staff and experience to make this happen was organized labor. 
What was on the table here was more than a rally. It was a question of what sort of power was going to be brought to bear on a defining national crisis. The Gore people not only wanted to project a nice image, they wanted to be nice. They wanted everyone to go home and hand everything over to something called “the legal process.” This was ridiculous, because when and how and where this went to court was deeply political. Al Gore himself appeared to actually believe that if he could politely demonstrate that more Floridians had voted for him than for Bush, the “democratic system” would award him the election. Gore was right in the sense that he had won the state. There were other Democratic Party honchos who were not so naïve, but they lived in a world where you deal with these things behind closed doors. They were completely unprepared for the hypercharged political street theater exploding in Florida, and couldn’t understand the difference between a narrowly conceived legal strategy and a mass mobilization direct action strategy. They thought there was no difference. 
OK. That was the Democratic Party. We were organized labor. We didn’t represent the candidate. We represented thousands of union workers whose votes were being stolen, and millions more who would suffer if the whole damn election was stolen. We knew how to mobilize and we had the resources to do it. We had the Florida voter lists. We had the computers. We had an army of smart people on the ground, ready to go. And we had a base of literally millions of really angry people. We could have had buses of senior citizens chasing Katherine Harris, 
Florida’s secretary of state and the Bush campaign’s hatchet woman, all over the state— a Seniors Truth Commission of lovely, smart, appealing, telegenic elders lined up with their walkers outside every single meeting Harris was in and camped outside her house at night while she slept. Don’t Let the Republicans Steal Votes from Your Grandparents. All they needed was a top-notch lead organizer and an experienced field team, a lawyer, a communications team: in short, exactly the big support we had on hand. They could have operated 24/ 7, like in a strike. Unions know how to do strikes, don’t they? 
That moment, when we could have supported the Jesse Jackson rally and didn’t, could have organized something big of our own and didn’t, was the turning point, the moment when the Gore campaign and their unquestioning AFL-CIO cohort snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. And by the way, it wasn’t like I was a big fan of the contemporary Jesse Jackson. But Jackson could turn people out and give a good speech— the same one he’d been giving for thirty years. The fact that our choice was between joining a rally led by Jesse Jackson and not doing anything at all was beyond pathetic. Oh, well. All that was at stake was an endless war in Afghanistan, an unprovoked war on Iraq, American torture, warrantless wiretapping, eight years of doing nothing on global warming, not to mention a relentless class war against workers and their unions, all building up to a second Great Depression. No big deal.
McAlevey, Jane; Ostertag, Bob (2012-11-13). Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement (Kindle Locations 55-118). Norton. Kindle Edition.