Sunday, July 27, 2008

U.S. Workers Face Long, Hot Summer

If you work for a living, the news just keeps getting worse. Oil prices have reached record levels of over $140 per barrel – 14 times higher than just ten years ago. OPEC predicts it could rise as high as $170 before the end of summer. Choosing between food, medicine and gasoline is now the norm for millions of working class families. Contrast this with the mega-profits of ExxonMobil, which raked in $40.6 billion in 2007 and another $10.9 billion in just the first three months of 2008. While thousands of U.S. troops and Iraqis continue to suffer and die, Big Oil is moving might and main to secure long-term, no-bid contracts to exploit Iraq’s biggest oil fields.

The U.S. is in the worst housing slump since the Great Depression as home prices fell by a record 15.3 percent from a year ago in the first few months of the year. Mortgage defaults and home repossessions have skyrocketed as working people are unable to make ends meet.

For six months in a row, U.S. companies have cut more jobs than they have created; 62,000 jobs were lost in June alone. The official unemployment rate is 5.5 percent, but the real figure is far higher. By the Labor Department’s own estimates, if the under-employed are included, the rate is actually 9.7 percent, up from 8.3 percent in May 2007. Those who do have jobs are having hours cut and their wages do not keep up with inflation.

Andrew Tilton, an economist at Goldman Sachs recently stated: “The labor market is clearly deteriorating, and it’s highly likely to keep deteriorating. It’s clear that the housing downturn and credit crunch are still very much under way. Clearly, there are more jobs to be lost in housing, finance and construction – hundreds of thousands of more jobs to be lost collectively.”

The boom was possible due to increased squeezing of the working class and mind-boggling levels of debt: people spent far more than they earned by putting purchases on credit cards or borrowing against rising house prices. In June, the index of consumer expectations fell to its lowest level since May 1980. At the same time, the index of current personal finances fell to 69, the lowest on record, from 80 in May.

70 percent of U.S. economic activity is based on consumer spending. Now the house of cards has collapsed and is having a knock-on effect throughout the rest of the economy. According to Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics: “Slowing wage growth and falling employment is absolutely toxic if your business is selling anything to consumers.”

Starbucks has announced it will close stores and cut up to 12,000 jobs. Car sales nose dived in June, by 28 percent for Ford, 21 percent for Toyota and 28 percent for General Motors. GM stock plunged to its lowest level since 1955 as investors dumped this once “sure thing” investment and backbone of the American economy.

On Wall Street, the speculative bubble continues to burst; share prices have fallen 20 percent since October. Citigroup and Merrill Lynch will likely have to take further massive write-offs on bad debt. American Express and Discover reported that customers are falling further behind on payments and UPS and Federal Express reported a slowdown in shipments. United Airlines has cut costs and capacity by laying off 950 pilots and may have to delay delivery or cancel orders of new jets from Boeing and Airbus.

In other words, a vicious downward spiral of layoffs and cuts, leading to steeper falls in consumption and even more layoffs is in the cards. Perfectly good factories are being shuttered and thousands laid off. On top of that there is the rapidly rising cost of food and energy. As always, it is the rich who benefit during the boom times, while workers suffer during the slumps.

This is the situation as we head into the 2008 presidential elections, now just a few months away. No wonder Americans are thirsty and enthusiastic for change! “Obama-mania” is sweeping the nation as millions of people – even former Bush supporters – want to believe that the two party system can offer them a way out. But what do Obama and the Democrats really offer working people? Now that he has secured the Democratic Party’s nomination, he is showing his true colors. He is working hard to prove to the real rulers of the U.S. – Big Business – that he is the man for the job. Despite this or that secondary or stylistic difference with his opponent John McCain, he is a staunch defender of the capitalist system.

Is Obama in favor of the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan? Far from it. Does he reject war with Iran? Not at all. While he favors diplomatic engagement, he calls Iran a threat and says he is prepared to use military force if necessary. Does he call for a universal, single-payer health care system that cuts out the greedy and inefficient insurance companies? Nope. Instead, he merely wants to “regulate” the private health industry while giving them billions of public dollars by subsidizing people’s sky-high insurance premiums. Does he call for the repeal of Taft-Hartley and other anti-union laws? Does he support immediate and unconditional amnesty for immigrant workers and their families? Not a chance. But people are so sick of Bush that they see what they want to see in Obama.

And yet the labor movement continues to throw its energy and money behind the Democratic Party. Both the AFL-CIO and Change To Win have endorsed Obama. Between the two labor coalitions, some $300 million – more than five times as much as they spent in 2004 – and countless volunteer hours will be spent this electoral cycle to elect a president that does not represent working people. There are 15 million workers organized in these two federations – that’s roughly one in every four voters that will go to the polls in November. Imagine if all of these resources were instead mobilized to build a mass party of labor that put forward candidates truly fighting in the interests of working people? The labor movement must break with the Democrats!

In the meantime, there are candidates who are fighting in workers’ interests: to stop the war, for universal health care and education, to rebuild the country’s inner cities and crumbling infrastructure. Cynthia McKinney’s “Power to the People” campaign for President and Cindy Sheehan’s campaign against Nancy Pelosi for the House of Representatives show that there are options outside of the two party duopoly.

There are many illusions in Obama and the Democrats in general, and most people will have to go through the experience of a Democratic administration before they realize that we need a complete break from the parties of Big Business. But experience teaches, and the long, hot summer of 2008, with rising unemployment, inflation, and unending war will continue to transform the consciousness of the American working class.

John Peterson


SecondComingOfBast said...

I've always been suspicious of the spend, spend, spend mentality of the Bush economic policy. We have a credit card economy, and the bill is way past due.

I'm not so sure I'd tout Cynthia MacKinney as the way to go, however. And as for Cindy Sheehan, bless her heart I'm afraid she actually makes Nancy Pelosi look sane by comparison.

My idea is simple. Just enforce the constitution and you can't go wrong. I'll take the Bill of Rights as my de facto Ten Commandments any day. Government is really nothing but a fucking pain in the ass when it tries to do anything outside that.

Adhere to that and you give "power to the people" in spades. Just don't put it that way to Cynthia MacKinney she's accuse you of making a racist remark and haul you up on a charge of hate speech.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

GOP economic overreach.

Having said that, the globla economy is in trouble and individual leaders can only take a degree of responsibility, in the UK things are becoming a struggle also, however, inflation is not under control yet because people are still borrowing and to a degree, still have savings from the better economic times.

What lays ahead is unsure.

Mad Zionist said...

Cynthia McKinney’s “Power to the People” campaign for President and Cindy Sheehan’s campaign against Nancy Pelosi for the House of Representatives show that there are options outside of the two party duopoly.

Ren, these two are the biggest laughingstocks in American politics. If you are pinning your hopes on these two as legitimate alternatives that should tell you something about where the movement you support currently resides in America: solidly in the butt of a joke.

roman said...

The article's focus and portrayal of the status of our economy and how it affects workers' lives is fairly accurate.
I do not see any relief from either Mccain or Obama in the short run. McKinney and Sheehan should not have even be included in this conversation. Their aggendas are extremely limited and thus irrelevant in this discussion.

Frank Partisan said...

Mad Zionist: At your blog, when you endorsed McCain, it was reluctant and certainly not based on agreeing with him on every issue. It would be hard to find any US politician who is fully with your program, but I degress. You endorsed McCain because sitting out an election is not positive, when everyone is talking elections. McKinney and Nader's campaigns, are tools to get my comrades ideas out. My comrades when they run themselves, run to win. If Cindy Sheehan even wounds Pelosi, it would make a good statement.

Pagan: My interest in McKinney is that she supports a New Orleans based post Katrina party called The Reconstruction Party. It has a broad working class program. It might be a model for an opposition party to Dems.

Daniel: This recession is unique, due to it being the first world economy recession.

Roman: I have no illusion they'll win. I should make clear I'm not pretending to be a Green Party member, or pretending to even agree with them on many things. I'm for a mass exodus from the Democratic Party, based on a labor party structure. The Democratic Party is the graveyard of social movements.

Most honestly it makes little difference, if Obama or McCain win. What matters is people in the streets, organized in a united front, around principled demands.

celticfire said...

John gave a really good overview of where things in the U.S. are at and he hit the nail on the hand regarding Obama - he is not a leftist, by any stretch.

Off the subject, I found a funny quote from

"Soldiers voting for President Bush is like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders."

Grotesquely accurate. And we could replace Bush with McCain/Obama.

Mad Zionist said...

Ren, McCain may be a terrible candidate with little or no chance to win, but he has an immeasurably better chance at winning than Cynthia McKinney. As bad as he may be, McCain will get at least 40% of the popular vote, while McKinny is unlikely to get more than 40 votes total.

As for Sheehan, she'll be lucky to get anything more than her own vote.

They inspire nothing, they are a joke, and it would behoove you to avoid referencing them as anything except as a punch line.

Frank Partisan said...

Celticfire: "Soldiers voting for President Bush is like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders."

Afghanistan is next.

I never find electoral politics talked about much at Maoist blogs. The local Maoists are wildly for Obama and against the "Republican Agenda." They are identical to what they call revisionist, the Communist Party.

Are you doing electoral work?

Comments didn't work at your blog.

Frank Partisan said...

MZ: The term is a protest vote.

In some countries my comrades are involved with serious electoral work to win; Venezuela, Pakistan and even the UK. We always campaign based on our program. In Benazir Bhutto's party the PPP, we run on a Marxist program, as the Marxist wing of the party.

I support the Reconstruction Party, a post Katrina New Orleans based party. I talk to people about that party.

With Cindy Sheehan, you can talk about Iraq. You don't need to talk about her melodramas.

Again you supported McCain, to move your own agenda, you can't do, outside the electoral arena alone.

Frank Partisan said...

I always had problems with the statements about Israel being responsible for US foreign policy. I found this link, from a liberal Jewish group that was interesting.

What Cindy Sheehan Said on Yom Kippur at Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in S.F.
from Rabbi Michael Lerner

Beyt Tikkun synagogue traditionally has a break between the Musaf service and the Mincha service and we invite speakers/teachers to talk about various social issues for which we in our country need to make atonement. This year we had Cindy Sheehan talk about the Iraq War and Kevin Danaher of Global Exchange talk about environmental issues.

Cindy Sheehan’s presence caused a bit of a stir in the Jewish community and I had demands from the local Jewish newspaper to be able to cover the event and take notes and photographs. I refused. Our synagogue is on the traditional/hallakhic end of the Jewish Renewal spectrum, and we do not allow people to write or in other ways violate Jewish law with regard to the observance of the holiday. The Jewish newspaper reporter seemed outraged, apparently unfamiliar with Jewish religious practice.

The reason for the stir is that Cindy was accused of having said in an email (the authorship of which she denies) that her son had died for Israel. The implication was that because some Jewish neo-cons in the Defense Department had been big advocates for this war, along with Ariel Sharon and his supporters in AIPAC in this country, that this was somehow a Jewish war.

The very first thing Cindy said was that she had heard about these accusations and that they were false. She does not blame the Jewish people and she does not blame Israel for the war in Iraq. Instead, she said, it would be ludicrous to do that, just as it would be ludicrous, she said, to blame the English people for the war just because their leader Tony Blair had been a big advocate for it. Cindy told me privately that she was aware that 78% of Jews had voted for Gore in 2000 and for Kerry in 2004, and that if the rest of the country had voted the way the Jews vote that there never would have been a war in Iraq.

Cindy went on to discuss the war, why it was immoral, why it hurt our country and the Iraqi people, and why we should be advocating to get the U.S. out immediately. She pointed to the emptiness of the argument that “our people in the armed services should not have died in vain” by insisting that she and many other mothers did not want to see more people killed in the name of justifying the deaths of their own already dead children. No mother, she said, should have to bury their own child as she had.
Then she cried about her son. It was a sad and solemn moment for all of us.

During the question and answer period that followed her talk she was asked if she would unequivocally denounce David Duke, the Nazi who had apparently invoked her name and supported her on his website. Cindy responded simply and unequivocally that she had never authorized her name to be used in conjunction with Duke, that he was in fact a racist and anti-Semite and that she wanted to have nothing to do with such people, and that she completely rejected him and his message.

She was asked if she would consider running against Diane Feinstein, the California U.S. Senator who had cheered the day that Bush landed troops in Iraq, has been part of the faction of Democrats who talk about increasing troops as a solution to the problems the US faces there now, and who consistently votes for every new appropriation for the war. Cindy acknowledged that it would be important for the anti-war movement to run a candidate against Feinstein. But she said she would not do it because, as she put it, “I don’t know enough about a lot of issues, like social security or tax codes—what I know about is the war in Iraq, and I know that that is wrong and that Democrats who support it by voting for appropriations are doing something wrong. But I don’t know enough about other things to be a good U.S. Senator.” I do not remember ever hearing any political person acknowledge their own limitations so clearly and forthrightly. Her humility was stunning and moving.

We ended up feeling very proud that we had given Cindy Sheehan a venue on Yom Kippur, but also deeply saddened that our government is playing such a destructive and even self-destructive role in the world today, so we had yet more issues to focus on as we concluded the services that day.

This Monday night, October 17th, starts the Jewish holiday of Succot in which Jews are commanded to dwell in a temporary shelter (the sukkkah, a flimsy shack-like agricultural hut) for 7 days. The focus is on dis-connecting to the world of material things, acknowledging that our lives are fleeting and that nothing is permanent, and living and celebrating nevertheless in the face of radical impermanence. Yet nothing drove that impermanence more forcefully into consciousness than listening to the sad story of how Cindy Sheehan’s son had allowed himself to be talked into enlisting by an armed services recruiter who told him all kinds of fanciful stories about the rights he would have in the army. Our psalms say: “Do not trust in princes, in the son of man who has no salvation.” We’ve learned instead to trust in the God of the universe and in the goodness of ordinary human beings. Cindy Sheehan massively reinforced our belief in that goodness lurking near the surface of most people on the planet.

For more information about Tikkun and the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives, go to For more information about Beyt Tikkun synagogue, including a listing of our holiday events and weekly Torah study, plus our weekend re-introduciton to Judaism course (for non-Jews as well as for Jews who have never heard the systematic presentation of a progressive spiritual vision), go to

CHRIS I. G. said...

Very interesting..I am going to look further on this

SecondComingOfBast said...

Maybe she has mellowed out some over the last couple of years, at least where her rhetoric is concerned. That in and of itself is not a sign that she is worthy of support. Speaking out against the Iraqi War is one thing. Speaking out against the Afghan War-which she did-is something else again. People with her opinion should not be listened to in terms of foreign policy, and probably not much of anything else. It would be akin to national suicide.

There would never be any assault or other provocation against the United States that would be egregious enough to warrant war. That is completely unacceptable from the vantage point of most Americans. Including, by the way, most working class Americans.

Una said...

What is happening in the U.S. occurs in all parts of the world, we have experienced over our economic potential, and losing the Spanish good habit of paying in cash, we are fond of credit cards to get things faster.
We have forgotten the oil crisis of 70 years, always hope that someone fix the problems and we all, everyone in the world in a circle consumerist that feedback and already has a life of its own, there is no ruling on earth that can fix it without anyone leaving lost everything. And who are those who lose everything? The disadvantaged, the poor people, small middle class who live on a salary.
Globalization came to the unpleasant, begins the butterfly effect.
The Balearic Islands this quarter grew by 1% when last year was 3%.

Frank Partisan said...

Chris: Thank you for visiting.

Maria Teresa: It is a new experience to have a truly worldwide recession.

In the US, the government is forced to discourage borrowing, at the same time they lowered interest rates.

Capitalism in the US, is about making money from paper, and not about productivity.

Pagan: I was concerned about that Israel controls US policy. She always denied making it, in an email to a reporter. Even I know how to make fake emails.

It's not about her winning. It's a campaign to talk about the war, and with luck hurt Pelosi.

When we run our own candidates as in Pakistan, we win.

I'll do posts on Afghanistan more. The antiwar movement is finally orienting to it.

We installed Karzai as mayor of Kabul.

Ducky's here said...

"This recession is unique, due to it being the first world economy recession."

That's probably true. The depression of '29 didn't include a large portion of the world population.

Also the world economy is much larger now and many economists, mediocre predictors under normal circumstances, don't have a good grip on how this is going to move or how quickly.

This could be ugly and what absolutely shocks me is that working class America doesn't understand that they are first in line when Mr. Market decides to give someone a good screwing. Always has been, always will be.

Sadly, they can't vote their self interest because there isn't much of a choice although Candidate McCheese is clearly stupid enough to attack Iran so he's a must avoid.

Check out today's story about Richard "Psycho" Perle going into the oil business in Iraq and then we can remind ourselves what runs the world economy and what we are doing in Iraq.

Ducky's here said...

And be careful about pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan. War spending is about the only thing showing any positive growth in this economy. Without it everything immediately goes in the crapper.

SecondComingOfBast said...


"Pagan: I was concerned about that Israel controls US policy. She always denied making it, in an email to a reporter. Even I know how to make fake emails."

Do you know how to disguise yourself as Cindy Shehan and make such dumb ass statements on the O'Reilly Factor as well?

I'll give you this much though, I'm all for hurting Pelosi.

Mariamariacuchita said...

Interesting letter. I'd like to say something perhaps slightly off-topic about Cindy, and I apologize beforehand.

Cindy Sheehan elicited the same type of rabid women-hating backlash visited on Jane Fonda during Viet Nam. In fact, she told me she has had many death threats because of this hatred.

Why are women dissidents targeted in this personal kind of way?

After all, there were male antiwar dissidents during the VietNam war who also went there, yet who remembers their names? "Hanoi Jane," though, is still memorable decades after that war. It is still unforgiveable to many Americans when a women bucks the system, without white gloves and Pelosilike restraint.

What Cindy did was speak up when her son was killed. She become the pivotal point which started an organized resistance to the war. Was this treasonous? Yet all she did was sit in a tent on the side of the road in a small backwater Texas town and grieve the loss of her child.

Is she electable? Maybe not. Is she mainstream? No more than Kucinich. But, as they say in my state, being mainstream ain't got many bragging rights on in this country at present. Speaking and acting on one's truth seems much more remarkable.

Cindy and Dennis Kucinich agree on many political and social issues..yet she is the one painted with the loony brush, while he is a mere "rogue politician with the hot wife."

I met with Cindy several times, in fact, I interviewed her and took her birthday portrait in Crawford last sumer.

It's clear that Cindy has been swiftboated. Busheney absolutely wanted her discredited. Bush wanted her silenced in the worst kind of way. Something to perhaps think about before jumping to conclusions that what we read in the press is the truth about a person. There have been many many distortions and outright lies..all making her into some kind of histrionic personality. The real person is far from that.

Ok, back to the economy.

Larry Gambone said...

Both Cindy and Cynthia would be electable in Canada or most European countries. The first could be in the Canadian Liberal Party, the second in the NDP. They are written off as loons in the USA because of the brutal sexism there and the fact that the allowable political spectrum is skewed so very far to the right. For example, Obama would not be out of place in the Canadian Conservative Party, yet Yanqui wingers see him as a raving socialist.

Frank Partisan said...

Ducky: Iraq has resisted every single US initiative. In the end the oil contract, will go to a country not involved in the invasion of Iraq. If Maliki gives away the oil industry, he faces being overthrown. I'll read the Pearle news.

McCain couldn't get away with attacking Iran. When Bush and Cheney made that noise, the CIA undercut them, by exposing a report on Iran's arms readiment. The US ruling class is divided, and so is the Israeli. Not going to happen.

The war theater is moving back to Afghanistan. I was reading about how the CIA, to get the Pakistan military to support the Afghan jihad against the Russians, infused the Pakistan military with Islamism.

Pagan: O'Reilly's technique is long interviews off camera, then editing. Sheehan denies the Israel statement. We both know from blogging, some unapologetically believe Israel controls the US. Sheehan to her credit, denied it.

Maria: I never knew Cindy to backtrack from what she actually says. If she denies saying something I believe her. I never investigated the issue before. Many say what she was accused of saying, and don't deny it.

Larry: To get on the ballot in Texas as an independent, you need 90,000 signatures from people who won't support anyone else in the primary.

SecondComingOfBast said...


Jane Fonda, at the time she made her trip to Vietnam, was a well-known actress, from a well-known entertainment family. That is the reason she attracted so much attention, not because people hated her exclusively for her feminist views (though that probably was a part of it too).

You say Cindy Shehan is being "swiftboated"? Where do you think that phrase originated? Swiftboating was a term applied to attacks circulated against John Kerry, who so far as I know is a man (though I wouldn't bet the farm on it) due to his actions in opposition to the Vietnam War.

Cindy Shehan quickly became the public face of the Iraqi War opposition. Because of this, she became a magnet for a lot of vitriole. It had nothing to do with her being a woman.

Is Michael Moore a woman? He tends to get at least as much derogatory remarks hurled his way as Shehan. Actually, he probably gets a great deal more. I have heard many people who dislike and even hate Shehan at least grudgingly express sympathy for her loss. The same people express nothing for Moore but extreme dislike.

Your statement that people are against these women because they are women is simply inaccurate. That is like saying people that don't like Barak Obama dislike him because he is black, and they are racists.

No, most people that dislike Barak dislike him because they think he is a socialist, and they dislike Cindy Shehan, and Jane Fonda, for similar reason, that they are far left extremists who they believe are unpatriotic. In Fonda's case, she has yet to answer very credible charges of treason.

Frankly, if she were not at the time a well-known actress with a fairly large following, she would probably have been prosecuted for treason, and I have no doubt she would have been convicted. This was never pursued, but it was for political reasons.

Jane Fonda got off the hook. The reason? Class. She is one of the privileged people who are given a special pass. I thought leftists were against that sort of thing.

If you want to be consistent then you should demand that she be treated the same as any other person that might do the same as she. After all, if she is not a hypocritical bitch, and she really believes what she purports to stand for, she should be willing to walk the plank to set an example to all her followers and apologists.

Instead, she is eating caviar and yucking it up on daytime talk shows while others who have done no worse than she are either in prison, or have criminal records.

In another time, if she were not a celebrity, she would be hanged by the neck until dead. I have no respect for people who get a free pass due to their class but hey, that's just me.

SecondComingOfBast said...


Sorry, I heard Shehan say with her own mouth that the American government is controlled by "Zionist" interests. I don't know anything about O'Reilly's interview style, but one thing I do know is he can't put words in people's mouths.

She said it.

Mariamariacuchita said...

larry, nice said so concisely what I was trying to articulate.

Ren- I also think she would own up to her views or anything she wrote or said.

memo to pagan temple- as we all know, there is racism, classism, religious bigotry, homophobia, misogyny, etc. in this country and sometimes people act on those feelings.

There is also a spectrum of behaviors that show this contempt ranging from language that degrades one group all the way up to rape and murder of individuals because they belong to a certain group.

One example of the type of talk that specifically degrades women and I would also argue degrades the speaker is language like, "After all, if she is not a hypocritical bitch..."

I have no problem with disagreeing views, but I do find the language you used offensive.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Jane Fonda IS a hypocritical bitch though. What am I supposed to say, that she is a hypocritical nice, sweet lady? I hardly think so. Yeah, I get emotional on the topic, because Jane Fonda put American soldiers-you know, people that were mostly from poor, working class families, by the way-in a very bad spot by her antics. She purposely collaborated with a foreign enemy, with soldiers with whom we were at the time engaged in a police action that amounted to a war in all but name, a technicality.

Instead of being prosecuted for it, as she should have been, she got a free pass by the government, who chose not to prosecute her for political reasons. If I had done the same thing as she had done, I would be prosecuted and sent to prison, and rightfully so.

No matter how you feel about any certain war or policy, there are certain places you just don't go and certain things you just don't do. She went there and she done that, so yes, she's a bitch.

She's a traitorous skank slut, which puts her on a different level than somebody I might disagree with on abortion or gay rights or any other policy. I'm not about to pretend that I respect the bitch, because I don't.

Cindy Shehan I can even overlook to a point. As Mad Zionist stated so succinctly, she is nothing but a punch line anyway. Jane Fonda is a whole different kettle of fish, and that, and SHOOOOOIEEE, but kettle of fish smells pretty damn bad. You can make that out to be a sexist remark too, if you want. You would probably be accurate.

Ducky's here said...

renegade, I'd like to believe you concerning Iran and what you say makes sense but remember that the military didn't want to invade Iraq and President Chucklenuts just removed commanders till he got a really inept one (Franks) who was willing to do the superficial stuff and then retire and play the ponies.

Rather than hoping that someone is there to put the brakes on Candidate McCheese I would rather avoid him, step back from the ledge and give progressives some momentum.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


Is this tat still going on?

Mad Zionist said...

If Sheehan and Mckinney are highly electable in Europe than one can be certain their steady decline into irrelevance will continue downward into oblivion.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'll take that as a yes then?


celticfire said...

I've softened on the electoral politics thing, but no I don't identify with the politics of the Fight Back! folks. At the moment I have no work involved with elections, as it still churns my revolutionary stomach.

That's one thing I agree with the WIL/Ted Grant people: democrats are just the otherside of the same capitalist coin. I think that is entirely correct.

However, there are good, progressive even radical-minded people who all excited about Obama, and anyone serious about building mass movements need to know how to connect to them.

SecondComingOfBast said...

I almost forgot to mention something regarding mariamaria's point about how people supposedly give Dennis Kucinich a pass compared to Shehan because she's a woman and he's a male.

I don't know where you come to that conclusion, maria. To me, Kucinich is a little nut, and if anybody gives him a pass, it's because he's as big a punch line as Shehan. In fact, I've posted about him numerous times. I call him "The Little Smurf From Cleveland".

As for his wife being so hot, I don't even agree with that. She looks hot standing next to Kucinich. Put her in with a group of average women and no one would notice her. She's just good looking enough she gives some validity to Kucinich's claims of having seen UFO's. One might suggest he married one, as no normal woman from earth would marry the little nut, that's for sure.

Ducky's here said...

Since you bring up wives. Do you really want four years of that hideous botox queen, Cindy McCain, whose face looks like it would explode if you touched it?

Frank Partisan said...

I'm going to reply tonight more to the comments. A few short responses.

Celticfire: I realize that Obama's supporters are not a monolith. Without a specific program to talk to them about, your rhetoric sounds like support for Democratic Party formations.

Getting labor to break with Democrats, is our 1917 St. Petersberg.

Daniel Hoffman-Gill: Another rule for actors, is not to wear white or red stockings on stage.

Heated discussion is different than the troll problem. I set up my posts purposely for getting a reaction. It helps to strengthen and get rid of flaws of my opinions.

Pagan: Kucinich is the worst scoundrel in the Democratic Party. His role is to bring people who would split with the party, back to the fold. He runs bait and switch campaigns. He is antiwar, then endorses the Democratic Party nominee. In another words, you don't understand his role to the Dems, he is important to them.

Ducky: McCain would lose to a broomstick.

McCain alone wouldn't buck his masters. Even Bush started talks unconditionally with Iran.

Maria: More tonight. I like it that you are willing to fight for your positions.

MZ: I could care less about their vote totals. I read your endorsement of McCain. You use politics as I do, to promote the agenda you agree with.

More tonight.

SecondComingOfBast said...

You and me share a goal, Ren-getting organized labor to break away from the Democratic Party. Of course, I have an idea you are wanting them to go in an entirely opposite direction than I do, but at least we see eye to eye up to that point.

I don't think Kucinich is smart enough to be that underhanded. He is just savvy enough to know if he wants to stay in Congress from Cleveland he has to stay with the Dems, but that's about the extent of it.

As far as his actual beliefs, I give him high marks for honesty and integrity, but there were honest Nazis of integrity too. It's called being misguided.

You describe Kucinich about the way I would describe Ted Kennedy, Pelosi, hell, about all Democrats, and a hell of a lot of Republicans too.

Labor shouldn't be so quick to endorse anyone based on party affiliation. If they stayed independent they could start a real bidding war for their votes, on the national and state levels.

Labor bosses should also stay attuned to the pulse of their rank and file, if they want their endorsements to mean anything.

Frank Partisan said...

Maria: Pagan's language doesn't match jane Fonda, who was essentially pacifist, not a bitch.

celticfire: However, there are good, progressive even radical-minded people who all excited about Obama, and anyone serious about building mass movements need to know how to connect to them.

This reads like code, support for Obama.

Pagan: Kucinich doesn't hide, he is running to save capitalism, and to keep people in the Democratic Party. He is as honest as can be. He plays a rotten role. He is savvy enough to make you believe he is radical.

It is funny how the right complains about Nazi analogies. Comparing liberal Democrat Kucinich to a Nazi is ignorant nonsense. Talk about making Nazism frivolous.

The history of Labor with Dems, goes back to Stalinist support for FDR, and opposition to a labor party.

Jane Fonda didn't get a pass. She was at one time a class traitor, and was treated as such, until she left politics and married a Democrat.

Ducky: There will not be 4 years of McCain. He'll never win.

He made a commercial attacking Obama for not visiting wounded soldiers, with a visual of him visiting wounded soldiers. That is not what winning campaigns do.

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ducky's here said...

Godard did a pretty good deconstruction of Fonda on "Letter to Jane" after she starred in "Tout Va Bien".

Both films are on Criterion's release of the latter. Godard wants to know how "star power" is of value in the people's struggle and why Fonda is talking and not listening (i.e. "pulling a Kissinger") in the photos of her trip to North Vietnam which were published in L'Express.

It was Godard's last effort with the Dziga-Vertov group and well worth a look.

SecondComingOfBast said...


Come on, I wasn't calling Kucinich a Nazi, I was drawing a parallel comparing his honesty and integrity, as I see it, with the fact that there are people of honesty and integrity within all movements-Nazis, communists, liberals, conservatives, etc. The point being that honesty and integrity is not necessarily always a good thing if you are following a misguided path.

As far as Kucinich trying to keep people in the Democratic Party, I don't see where you came up with that. He might well think he is doing that, but if anything, guys like Kucinich are the very ones who tend to drive people away from the party. If more Democrats were like him, people would leave the party in droves.

Sure, some would stay, and others would join, but they would lose at least two for every one they gained and kept.

As far as your statement that he is trying to "save capitalism", one, capitalism doesn't need saving, it is doing very well-some might say a little too well, depending of course on your perspective, but that's another matter.

Two, I don't think Kucinich ever tried to put himself across as a revolutionary socialist, or a communist, or whatever, and he never so far as I know pursued any kind of agenda that involved dismantling capitalism. Well, not purposely dismantling it anyway, though that might very well be the unintended consequences of his policies.

Many of his policies are socialist,to one or another degree, but so far as I know he never claimed to be a socialist any more than he is a proponent of laissez fairre capitalism, so I am not sure I see what your point is.

Mine is he is just too way far out in the ozone to be a realistic option for the average voter. A good example of this is his call to create yet another cabinet department he calls the "Department of Peace". Hoooo boy, if that don't tell you he's too far out of the mainstream for MOST VOTERS nothing will.

He would make Jimmy Carter look like a far right extremist if his policies were pursued in total.

It would be one big massive government bureaucracy, one after another, running the country and competing for tax dollars, and boy would they ever get them. Hell if he had his way we would probably join the European Union.

As for Jane Fonda, she was a private citizen, who made a trip speaking to enemy combatants during a time of legally declared hostilities. In doing so she caused grave damage to the moroal of our uniformed soldiers, and in fact there are credible accusations that she inadvertently caused greater mistreatment of some prisoners of war.

The accusation is that some soldiers tried to pass her a note telling her of their true conditions, which were not what she was told, and instead of passing it on to someone here in this country, she said nothing and passed the note on to one of her Vietnamese hosts.

Like i said, I don't know if it's true or not. Maybe it is not, but the main point is, she never should have put herself in that position to begin with.

No matter what she says her purpose was, she crossed the line even making the trip. I couldn't get away with doing that. You couldn't get away with doing that. No one who reads this blog could get away with doing that. Why should see get away with it? That's what I meant by her getting a pass. Her ass should have been thrown in the slammer just like all the rest of us would rightfully be.

But, because she was an actress, "Barbarella", and Henry Fonda's daughter, she got a god damn pass, and I resent the hell out of it.

Ducky's here said...

Pagan, the note passing story has long ago been thoroughly discredited. It's the pure stinky cheese.

Anonymous said...

Ducky: as long as you're here, may I ask why you revealed Bluestein's name? You see long ago he threatened to release my name if someone released his so now if someone looke me up online they will get all kinds of garbage. Thanks, Duckster...

SecondComingOfBast said...


I heard about that, but I never heard for sure one way or another, that's why I said it might not be true.

Mainly, she harmed the troops morale with that escapade, and most important at all, she just should never have gone there. She strikes me as one of these people that thinks, "hey, I's such and such a person, I can do what the hell I want, laws don't apply to me like they do those regular fucking commoners."

Bottom line, she should have been arrested for cavorting with and giving aid and support (if only moral support) to the enemy, just like you or I would be were we to do the exact same thing.

What could she have been thinking? She was not in the position to accomplish anything by that visit but to turn herself into a propaganda tool for the Viet Cong, which is the sum and total of her accomplishment.

At the very least, she displayed a remarkable degree of abject stupidity.

Frank Partisan said...

Eitan: Blustein's name is old news. I knew it through several other people.

Ducky: I vaguely remember that Godard film.

At the time in the 1970s, when Jane was active, the extreme left, was attacking her as bourgeoise.

Pagan: Kucinich supporters are often the left of the Democratic Party. He always endorses the Democratic nominee. He would be useful if he told his followers the Democratic Party, will not do much different than the GOP. He endorsed Kerry and Obama.

Jane made errors by becoming the issue, with her celeb status. Morale down is not her fault. The Vietnam War was unwinnable, due to the resources needed.

After Tet, the US lost. Nixon was provincial and adventurous like Bush, and kept on fighting. The ruling class had to get rid of Nixon.

Foxessa said...

A lot of women have a lot of umbrage to take when political criticism and negatives of a person who happens to be a woman are expressed as demeaning sexual/gender-based ugliness. I loathe and despise Ann Coulter for instance, but there are many ways of expressing that and explaining that without using demeaning phrases that are based in her gender.

Love, C.

SecondComingOfBast said...


Kucinich has done that in so many words. He is always going on about corporate greed and influence. That's probably the best he can do. He has to endorse the party's nominee, if he didn't, the party would be inclined to not support his re-election campaigns if he ever needed extra funding.

He wants to influence the party platform, but first he has to get enough delegates to use as a lever, and he just can't seem to do it.

Foxessa-Calling somebody a bitch in the pejorative does not always have to have a sexual or a sexuality basis. Bitch can be a cold, hard, harsh, callous, self-centered person and can be a man as well as a woman.

I've called lots of men bitches. Like they say, if the shoe fits-

Plus, I like Ann Coulter. Even when I disagree with her, I think she's a hoot. I can see though where others might call her a bitch. It's just a word. Don't make mountains out of molehills.

I've been called names too. I've seen names on this and other blogs people call others that I take exception to, that's just life. It can be-well, a bitch.

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