Archive for the 'stink tanks' Category

How our country got this way

Culture of Cruelty: How America’s Elite Demonize the Poor

Andy Stern is the new John L Sullivan and not in a good way

Andy Stern and the Public Option

I am here today to say I think the employer-based health care system is dead. I think we need to find a system that’s not built on the back of the government. I am here to also say I don’t think we need to import Canada or any other system. We are going to build an American system because we are Americans and we don’t like any other system. So we are going to build our own….. This is now simply a question of leadership and political will. It is not a question of policy. No more policy conferences. (See pages 15-16 of the transcript of the conference proceedings.)

Those were the remarks of Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, a member of the Herndon Alliance and Health Care for America Now (HCAN). Stern made those comments at a June 16, 2006 conference sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the New America Foundation.

It is interesting to consider how similar Stern’s remarks are to those of other “option” movement leaders I have quoted in this six-part series. Like Celinda Lake, Jacob Hacker, Roger Hickey (Campaign for America’s Future) and Bernie Horne (also CAF), Stern has no qualms about promoting the insidious claim that single-payer cannot be enacted in America because “Americans” don’t want it. Like Hacker, Stern preaches opportunism dressed up as political wisdom (he calls for more “political will” and no more stinkin’ “policy conferences”).

War corporatism

There is no social security crisis

The Angry Bear Social Security Series

Pete Peterson wants to steal your retirement and has hired a group of stink tanks to help him do it.

How the NewsHour legitimizes extremism

In its discussion of the controversy about Rick Warren, the NewsHour invited Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. And what is the Ethics and Policy Center you ask?
Right Web Watch

When he founded EPPC in 1976, Ernest Lefever, then a professor of political science, said that part of the role of a “small ethically oriented center” like EPPC was to “respond directly to ideological critics who insist the corporation is fundamentally unjust.” President Ronald Reagan’s first nominee to direct the State Department’s Office for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Lefever was regarded as a fierce critic of President Jimmy Carter’s human rights policy.

In other words, Lefever was an advocate of the use of torture to prop up allegedly pro-American dictators. Is it too much that the NewsHour limit itself to anti-torture institutions?

Here is what SourceWatch has to say about the Ethics and Policy Center:
The Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC, “is one of several [organizations] devoted to improving public appreciation of the role of business in what it terms a ‘moral society.’ It was founded by Ernest Lefever, who expressed his concern that ‘U.S. domestic and multinational firms find themselves increasingly under siege at home and abroad. They are accused of producing shoddy and unsafe products, fouling the environment, robbing future generations, wielding enormous power, repressing peoples in the third world, and generally being insensitive to human needs. We as a small and ethnically oriented center are in a position to respond more directly to ideological critics who insist the corporation is fundamentally unjust.'”

This is a classic example of how the NewsHour uses editorial truthiness to deceive the public. Shame on them. Shame on them. And shame on us for letting them get away with it.

It takes a pillage

Reproduced in its entirety from Avedon Carol’s Sideshow, March 2005, because the times demand it:

After a while those questions at the back of your mind start bubbling up to the point where you start addressing them to others – usually just at the point where you think you might know the answer. The question I’ve had for the last several months has been this one:

Where are Bush and his corporate cronies planning to live once they finish asset-stripping the United States?

When I talk about how they are asset-stripping us, I’m not just talking about things like the bankruptcy bill and other more obvious policies that isolate the United States (such as alienating the UN and forcing Europe to take a containment position toward America), I’m also looking at the way they’ve been moving both military and industrial intelligence to other nations, chiefly China. Out-sourcing means more than just giving your job to some guy in China; it means that while the Chinese are learning to do your job, Americans are not.

This doesn’t appear to be a short-term project. As you may recall, two Bush administrations have been engaged in handing over our top-secret technology to the Chinese. When some of this started to come out during the Clinton administration, the right-wingers on the Internet made sure to blame this on Clinton and obscure the fact that it had happened in the ’80s rather than during the then-current administration. And some people still have their suspicions about the handling of the spy-plane incident early in the first GWB term that gave the Chinese access to our military technology.

Of course, I’ve been worried for a long time about the very idea that the United States can survive as a “service economy“. The minute I heard this theory floating around I thought something was up, because surely no one who understands how money works, and how economies have always worked, could believe it would be a good idea to convert your national economy to one which doesn’t actually produce anything. And yet, all over the so-called liberal media, I could see this idea actually being embraced! What the hell was going on?

Well, I guess it’s just the plan. They aren’t even trying to hide it anymore, they’re just trying to put in the finishing touches as fast as they can before we have a chance to stop them from running off with our family jewels.

And now I read Turning Chinese by Paul Craig Roberts:

The US has apparently lost the ability to create high productivity, high value-added jobs in tradable goods and services. The ladders of upward mobility are being dismantled by offshore production for home markets and outsourcing of knowledge jobs.The BLS reports that the number of employed US technical workers has fallen by 221,000 in six major computer and engineering job classifications during 2000-2004. The largest drops were suffered by computer programmers, followed by electrical and electronics engineers, computer scientists and systems analysts.

So much for the new economy that economists promised would take the place of the lost manufacturing economy.

America’s remaining job market is domestic nontradable services. While India and China develop first world job markets, the US labor market takes on the characteristics of a third world work force. Only jobs that cannot be outsourced are growing.

America is turning into one of those “exotic” places you go to for your vacation. That’s what “service economy” means. Just one great big giant tourist trap, full of desperate people hustling for tips.

How bad will things have to get before economists realize that outsourced jobs are not being replaced? Indeed, many American companies are ceasing to have any presence in the US except for a sales force.Cisco’s CEO, John Chambers, declared recently: “What we’re trying to do is outline an entire strategy of becoming a Chinese company.”

Tom Street at Bad Attitudes says:

Chambers is just being honest about what all the major corporations are doing. It’s not just the brawn. It’s the brains and the heart that are being outsourced. Doesn’t this just make the debate about social security akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic? Can’t say I wish I were in my 20s about now.

Paul Craig Roberts wondered when economists would notice this was going on, but can they really not know? Or aren’t they all just in on the joke?

The other question I really, really wish would be asked in every pundit interview is this:

What have they promised you for helping them destroy our country?

You can aim that question not just at the Republicans and their more obvious shills, but at most of the media and of course at the DLC. Maybe that’s the real letter-writing campaign we should be launching.Update: Charles Dodgson informs us that it’s even worse than I thought.

Desertion scene from Dr. Zhivago

This is why we have to get out of Iraq without delay. While there has been some reporting of declining enlistment and reenlistment, there has been almost no mention of the rising desertion rates. Our depraved ruling class is oblivious to the disaster they have created.