Archive for Newt Gingrich

Playing the Race Card!

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , on October 5, 2012 by playthell
Crazy Johnny!  A recently minted white man spouting racist drivel

 On Race, Romney and the Republican Party

       While MittRomney’s chief surrogate Crazy John Sununu – an effete clueless old fart with an attitude – fires racist innuendos aimed at President Obama, as the election draws near, the Republicans reveal their true character as the party of angry white racist and greedy Wall Street Bankers.

This is a bizarre political formation; a party that defends the interests of the plutocrats while it’s mass base is composed of poor whites.  It is the Party of Abraham Lincoln, and was roundly hated by whites but loved by black people, when I was a boy growing up in Florida.

Afro-Americans loved the “Grand Old Party” for the simple reason that they opposed the Dixiecrats – the southern branch of the Democratic Party that was populated by unapologetic white racist who favored maintaining a legal racial caste system based on white supremacy.  But in the half century since I quit Florida, the Democrats have become the hated Party of the white majority while the Republicans are flourishing.

This radical transformation of political allegiance was sparked by the critical role Democrats played in passing Civil Rights legislation that destroyed the evil but legal caste system.  President Lyndon Johnson, who signed the Civil rights legislation into law, told his Press Secretary Bill Moyers after signing the 1965 Voting Rights Act that radically changed the political landscape of the south, the Democrats would lose the region to the Republicans for a generation.  He was right, but it has lasted longer than a generation.

Although the old de-jure racial caste system has been destroyed, and millions of whites would give a year off their lives to be able to hang out with Jay Z and Beyonce or Lebron James, and millions more would jump at the chance to spend an evening with the elegant and brilliant Black First Family in the White House, alas deep-seated racist feelings and resentment over black success linger among poor, working class, and especially elderly whites all over America.

These people long for a world has all but disappeared.  And they view the election of Barack Obama to the presidency as irrefutable evidence that the world they grew up in is gone with the wind.  That’s why we hear their pathetic and irrational cry about “taking our country back.” The rabid racists who cannot reconcile themselves to this unprecedented development in American politics that put a member of America’s traditionally untouchable caste in the Oval Office, a great leap forward, may number over half the white population.

Since the princes and powers of the Grand Obstructionist Party know they must attract a good percentage of this untutored mob in order to win national elections, they have been increasing hostile, disrespectful and openly racist toward the President, shamelessly employing age old racial stereotypes that are deeply embedded in the collective consciousness of white Americans.

Within the last two days John Sununu, whose status as a white man would have been an iffy proposition in Florida back in the day, has basically called the president a lazy coon who is too stupid to carry out the duties of the Presidency.  Rush Limbaugh – the philosopher king of the ignorant, racist, powerless white mob that comprise the Republican base – said yesterday that the President is unqualified because he has never had to earn anything in his life – unlike like Mitt and George Bush for instance.

And former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, a decadent old redneck cracker sophist posing as a political sage, said Barack is not a real President because he doesn’t do what a president is supposed to do.

This is the electoral strategy of the Grand Obstructionists Party, endorsed by the Mormon Bishop who leads them, at the dawning of the 21st century.  They have revived the strategy of playing to white racial resentments originally called the “Southern Strategy” that made the Republicans the favored party of the South and put both Nixon and Reagan in the White House.

In 1900 Dr. WEB DuBois predicted the color line would be the central problem of the 20th century and his prediction proved prophetic.  More than a hundred years later that line has been largely erased and become somewhat invisible; yet color prejudice remains a problem in the USA, and the Grand Obstructionist Party is making the most of it.

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

September 5, 2012

Is Newt a Historian or Propagandist?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , on January 27, 2012 by playthell

     “What is this silly motherfucker yapping about?”

 Reflections on a Lying Fat Fraud

Newt Gingrich tells us that he was paid 1.6 million dollars by the quasi-government mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack for his skills as a “historian.”  But Newt has no standing among professional historians.  Dr. Gerald Horn, the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of History at the University of Houston, the most broadly learned and prolific historian presently writing in America, considers Newt a joke, a shameless poseur.

Newt was paid grand theft dough for peddling his influence with former colleagues; the was a ho for dough!  I regard his claim to be a historian as equally bogus: he is a propagandist!  The difference between the two roles is vast.  Who and what a historian is are questions that only professional colleagues can decide based on the standards they set, and one’s work is evaluated through the process of peer review.

Newt constantly refers to his Ph.D. in history, but that’s a credential: It’s the product that matters.  Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a distinguished historian, never got a Ph.D., and Barbara Tuchman – who twice won the Pulitzer Prize for her historical texts – does not hold a Ph.D. either!  Yet I know of no distinguished…or even important historical studies that are cited by professional historians which were authored by Newt.

He is a pompous poot-butt with a Ph.D.  I say he is full of Bullshit: Piled high and Deep….that’s what Ph.D. means when attached to Newt’s name!  A point of clarification is in order here.  While “Bullshit” is the term of art employed by the untutored in order to describe people with diarrhea of the mouth who constantly talk shit, I am also referencing the term as defined by Princeton Philosopher, Dr. Harry G. Frank, in his learned book on the subject aptly titled “Bullshit.”

When I listen to Newt speak, I hear a master bullshit artist and an unprincipled propagandist who will say anything for political advantage; not a careful objective historian whose motive is ferreting out the truth of the matter by the unbiased judicious weighting of the evidence. The dispassionate reading of the record.

This is fundamental to meeting the standards demanded by professional historians, whose primary objective is a faithful rendering of the past so that we might better understand from whence we have come, in the hope that it might shine some light on how we became what we are today.  And the best of all outcomes would be if that knowledge can help us find a way to a better future!  True historians understand that if we lie about it, or attempt to manipulate the facts, we will have defeated our purpose.

On the other hand there are others who claim the mantle of the historian but are labeled “Special Pleaders” by their peers.  The worst thing one who pretends to practice the historians craft can be called is “a propagandist!”  This is because propaganda perverts the objectives of the honest historian.

Whereas historians are studying the past to cast an objective light on the present, the propagandist distorts the past, even lies about it, in order to justify actions in the present.  It is a perfect definition of what Newt is about. The pompous fat fool is a virtual one man propaganda machine, who shamelessly plunders the past in order to fashion lies and half-truths that will serve his political ambitions.

He is convinced that the vast majority of Americans will have no clue as to whether he knows what he is talking about….and on this he is right.  As the cultural critic/political theorist/historian Harold Cruse pointed out, the average American is “anti-historical, anti-cultural and anti-intellectual.”  Hence a pie faced, poot-butt, pretentious propagandist can pass himself off as “a historian.”

There are an abundance of examples I could cite to demonstrate that Newt is more propagandist than historian; but Newt’s recounting of his relationship with the late icon of modern Republicanism, Ronald Reagan, says it all!  In a recent debate Newt cited Ronald Reagan 50 times, yet researchers have produced a record of Newt’s comments during Reagan’s tenure as President that showed utter contempt for Reagan’s key ideas and policies on critical foreign and domestic issues. For instance, he totally dissed Ronnie’s most significant achievement: Détente with a nuclear armed Soviet Union.

I was no fan of Ronald Reagan’s; in fact I think that Clarke Clifford, the ultimate Washington insider and power broker, got it exactly right when he called Reagan “an amiable dunce!”  But as one who served in the Strategic Air Command with a “Top Secret” security clearance, no one understood better than I the real danger of life on earth being extinguished as a consequence of an accidental nuclear war.

Hence I applauded Reagan’s attempt at Rapprochement with Communist Russia, it removed the world away from the precipice of nuclear disaster.  But that’s how a Reagan hater felt about the Gipper’s diplomacy; what about his contemporary acolyte Dr. Newt?  Writing at the website, The National Review Online, Elliot Abrams, a Reagan insider who was an Assistant Secretary of State, recalls “Such was Gingrich’s faith in President Reagan that in 1985, he called Reagan’s meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev “the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with Neville Chamberlain in 1938 in Munich.”

The outrageousness of this statement is completely lost on the average American – even college educated Americans – but those who study the causes of World War II will recognize just how outrageous a statement that is.  It is a consensus of opinion that Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, failed to recognize the evil of Nazism and instead of confronting him appeased him and this gave Hitler a Red light to invade Europe because he considered chamberlain a wimp.  Reflecting on his meeting with Hitler Neville Chamberlain wrote:

 “However much we may sympathize with a small nation confronted by a big and powerful neighbor, we cannot in all circumstances undertake to involve the whole British Empire in war simply on her account. If we have to fight it must be on larger issues than that. I am myself a man of peace to the depths of my soul. Armed conflict between nations is a nightmare to me; but if I were convinced that any nation had made up its mind to dominate the world by fear of its force, I should feel that it must be resisted.

Under such a domination life for people who believe in liberty would not be worth living; but war is a fearful thing, and we must be very clear, before we embark upon it, that it is really the great issues that are at stake, and that the call to risk everything in their defense, when all the consequences are weighed, is irresistible.”

Clearly this was a man trying to avoid a second world war in a generation, but he badly misjudged Hitler’s character and intentions, and disaster ensued.  When events are viewed from the perspective of history hindsight is always 2020, but nobody could have foreseen the full extent of the catastrophe Hitler’s forces inflicted upon the world.

This is the root of the bogus “appeasement” label the Republicans are trying to pin on President Obama…a label that clearly doesn’t fit.  Barack has a record of engaging our enemies that any Commander-In-Chief would be proud to claim. It is the same label that Newt put on Ronnie Reagan.

Hence this was no picayune charge Gingrich leveled against President Reagan, the man he now attempts to channel for legitimacy among right-wing zealots.  But this joker seems to forget there are video tapes, newspapers, radio shows, and living souls who are willing to testify to the perfidy of this shameless charlatan posing as a dedicated public servant.

Reagan insider Elliot Abrams recalls: “As a new member of Congress in the Reagan years — and I was an assistant secretary of state — Mr. Gingrich voted with the president regularly, but equally often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides, and his policies to defeat Communism. Gingrich was voluble and certain in predicting that Reagan’s policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong.”  Enough said, you heard it from the horse’s mouth!  Newt is a lying fat fraud!!!

His attempt to pass off propaganda as history, an exercise in which ideology is substituted for fact, in the Reagan incident, mirrors what he is now attempting to do with President Obama now.   His present knock down drag out fight with Mitt Romney –  who is contesting Newt in the GOP primary for the position of Charlatan in Chief, reveals that he is willing to say anything in his quest for power.  And he is a mouthpiece for hire.  Pay him enough money and he will concoct a version of history to suit your prejudices.

Hence the arch Zionist billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adeslson, promises Newt a few million dollars – 10 mil thus far – for his campaign to win the Oval Office, and Newt comes up with a convoluted interpretation of Middle East history which concludes that “The Palestinians are an “invented people!”  Every professional historian I know scoffs at “Heavy G’s” tirade; they point out that using his standards of evidence and twisted logic it is fairly easy to construct a narrative where the Israeli’s are an “invented people,”  Americans too!

But this  kind of Bullshit is the stock-in-trade of Nasty Newt: a shameless charlatan, and dangerous propagandist who pose as a historian.  The Republican big-wigs know he is a low down dirty Georgia dog; that’s why they are uniting to oppose him and try to wipe him out in Florida.  The Grand Obstructionist Party  is cannibalizing itself and Newt is the Big Barracuda….I love it!  Can’t get enough of it!!!!!!!

Ugly Plastic People

Newt and his Home Wrecking Harlot!

 

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Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

Janurary 27, 2012

Gop Reveals True Identity in Carolina

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on January 21, 2012 by playthell

                        Newt Inciting Scared Sad Sack Southern Whites

 Playing to white Fears and Resentments

In their efforts to win the votes of white Carolinians the Republicans are revealing their true identities: soulless opportunists who are willing to play to the worst instincts of their base in order to win votes.  In South Carolina this means shamelessly playing the race card, stoking the fears and hatreds of white Republicans regarding Afro-Americans and Hispanic immigrants.

Historically South Carolina has been one of the worst states in terms of race relations.  The harshness of the system of white supremacy in this state goes back to colonial times when the African population substantially outnumbered the whites.  At one point in the 18th century the ration was three to one.

This required severe measures to keep the black population under control, which was codified in the law.   The society that emerged in South Carolina was so dependent upon oppressed and exploited black labor, first as slaves then as peons that South Carolina started the Civil War in order to maintain their slave system.

However black enslavement was not just an economic system, as professor Eugene Genovese has shown in “The Political Economy of Slavery,” it was the basis of antebellum southern society.  That’s why the patterns of race relations formed through two and a half centuries persisted for a century after slavery under the system of Segregation, which included denial of Civil Rights and widespread tenant farming or crop lien systems.

This amounted to a de jure racial caste system, enforced by legal and extra-legal police state tactics and systematic terror perpetrated by home grown terrorist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan; whose members often included officers from the local police department.  This was the South Carolina where I often visited relatives during summers as a boy.

It was solidly Democratic and it’s most famous politicians Ben Tillman and Strom Thurman – redneck crackers to the bone – were fire eating racists.  In 1948 Strom Thurman led a “Dixiecrat” revolt in the Democratic Party, when they added a civil rights plank in the party platform at the insistence of Minnesota delegate Hubert H. Humphrey.  However this very same South Carolina Redneck died a stauch member of the Republican Party!

When Lyndon Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act through Congress and signed it into law in 1964, and then signed the Voting Rights Act into law the next year, the white south abandoned the Democrats en mass with the success of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” that systematically exploited white fears and resentments at the dramatic successes of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Republicans used this white angst to cultivate hatred and distrust for the Federal government, which they exploit in their efforts to scrap government regulation of business and lower taxes; measures which are favored by the plutocrats in the Republican establishment. Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows!

This explains why dumb rednecks, “po as snakes without a pit to hiss in,” as my grandfather used to say, have struck a Faustian bargain with the Plutocrats and are supporting a brazen “One Percenter” like Mitt Romney, and a rotund compulsive liar, shameless hypocrite and serial philandered like Newt Gingrich; who has grown fat off the government teat while denouncing the President for extending food stamps to the impoverished masses.  People whose desperate economic condition was created by Republican economic policies that Newt supported!

With Perry dropping out, Ron Paul lost in space, and events moving so fast Sick Rick Santorum has to run just to say where he’s at;  it looks like the choice has boiled down to these two souless, morrally deformed, contepmtible montebanks.  These power hungry amoral scoundrels are prepared to play to the worst fears of this confused and racist crowd in order to win their vote.  But they could be digging their own graves with their reckless verbal arson, which respects neither truth nor civility, and Barack will bury them in the general election….unless Boobus Americanus proves even dumber than I think!

The Front Runners

 

Face of a serial Killer!

 

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

Janurary 21, 2012

On Republican Economic Amnesia

Posted in Playthell on politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 13, 2012 by playthell

                        A Stockbroker Watching the Market Crash

 Reflections on Republican Denial

President Obama’s outstanding performance in the area of foreign policy and National Security forced the Republicans to rely on economic issues as their propaganda weapon of choice.  But now that the unemployment rate is only half a point from the 8% he promised during the last election, and we have seen three years of economic growth, they are retreating into fantasy, denial, and willfully induced amnesia.

Just this morning Republican frontrunner, Mitt Romney, accused the President’s policies of putting 25 million workers on the unemployment line; even as the non-Partisan Congressional Budget Office credits the president with saving over two million jobs with his economic stimulus plan.

Mitt’s tactics mirror those adopted by the rest of the Republican field; which is to blame Barack for not being able to magically cure the devastation of George Bush’s economic policies while arguing that the economy is coming back in spite of the President’s policies.  The truth is Barack’s performance has been magnificent when the situation he inherited from Bush, and Republican obstructionism in the Congress, is taken into account.

When Barack took office the world financial system was on the brink of collaspe.  George Bush had dramatically admitted the abject failure of his policies when he was forced to ask Congress to rescue the banks and other financial institutions that were “too big to fail.”  By some estimates trillions of American assets were lost in the financial meltdown, and if the shadowy Credit Default Markets – which is estimated to top sixty trillion dollars – had been allowed to collaspe the crisis would have been too big for the government to manage and the world would have plunged into a greater depression than the 1930s.

However in an authoritative report from Bloomberg News of March 11, 2010, about 13 months after Barack took office, we learn the following facts:

“One year after U.S stocks hit their post-financial-crisis low on March 9, 2009, the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen more than 68 percent, and it’s up more than 41 percent since Obama took office. Credit spreads have narrowed. Commodity prices have surged. Housing prices have stabilized.  We’ve had a phenomenal run in asset classes across the board.  If he was a Republican, we would hear a never-ending drumbeat of news stories about markets voting in favor of the president.” 

The Report goes on to note “The economy has also strengthened beyond expectations at the time Obama took office. The gross domestic product grew at a 5.9 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, compared with a median forecast of 2.0 percent in a Bloomberg survey of economists a week before Obama’s Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration. The median forecast for GDP growth this year is 3.0 percent, according to Bloomberg’s February survey of economists, versus 2.1 percent for 2010 in the survey taken 13 months earlier.”

 The private business sector went on to enjoy record profits – three trillion – but decided to sit on the money rather than invest in the country whose taxpayers rescued them from disaster!  Professional economists have pronounced the recession over; which is to say the private sector has recovered.

Unemployment remains high because the corporate sector has decided to ship millions of jobs overseas, where they can maximize profits employing cheap labor with no benefits…These are precisely the policies favored by Mitt Romney at Bain Capital that Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry are now dogging him about.  They argue that Mitt’s financial wheeling and dealing is “Vulture” capitalism rather than “Venture” capitalism. And Mitt has yet to renounce these predatory practices, even as he aspires to become our president.

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               Mitt Romney is a Shameless Charlatan!

A Contemporary Gordon Gieko?

 On Mr. One Percent and Vulture Capitalism

It is amusing to watch Mitt Romney complaining about being misquoted, his remarks taken out of context, when just a couple of weeks ago he approved a commercial that told a blatant lie about President Obama…a far worse offense.   Mitt’s ad presented an edited video-tape in which President Obama was quoting an advisor to John McCain to make it look like the remark was a statement of the President’s position.

It was a blatant lie, everybody knew it was a lie, and yet Mitt tried to justify it as just hard ball politics. In the present controversy Mitt actually said he “liked firing people.”  And when his defenders rush to point out that he was talking about insurance companies, I would hasten to remind them that Mitt has publicly proclaimed “corporations are people!”  You can’t have it both ways.

But since Mitt is a charlatan lying, or otherwise misrepresenting the truth, is his modus operandi.  Anyone who thinks my judgment of the Mittster is too harsh should Google charlatan: “A person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame, or other advantages via some form of pretense or deception.”  Sounds like a perfect description of The Mittster to me.  Not only has Mitt put false statements in the President mouth, he is even trying take credit for the success of Barack’s brilliant strategy that saved the US auto-industry. The guy is such a compulsive liar he seems to forget that there are video tapes of his statements.

The fact is that Mitt Romney vehemently opposed President Obama’s plan to rescue the auto industry.  In a November 18, 2008 Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” he wrote; “If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.  It won’t go overnight, bit its demise will be virtually guaranteed.”  Well, the American auto-industry is not only back, but in grand style.  It is once again leading the world.  This is a genuine American success story.

In his desperation to bask in Obama’s glory, Mitt even went so far as to announce on CBS Wednesday morning: “In the general election I’ll be pointing out that the president took the reins at General Motors and Chrysler – closed factories, closed dealerships laid off thousands and thousands of workers – he did it to try to save the business..”  The real issue here is that General Motors – a company that turned out B-29 Bombers, a flying fortress with 2 million moving parts, every 28 minutes in the middle of the last century – was collapsing, along with Chrysler, and when they appealed to the government for a loan Mitt said let them go bankrupt!  Barack Obama saved them!

President Obama’s speech with business leaders at the White House as I write, outlines a very different vision of American prosperity and unveiled a plan to do it; in fact they are doing it.  This real life Gordon Geiko, who calls himself Mitt, has no answer for Obama’s innovative approach to the economy; that’s why he is desperately trying to take credit for the President’s rescue of the auto-industry. It is unassailable evidence that the slippery rascal is a shameless charlatan!

 Detroit is Back!

 At the Detroit Auto Show January 2012!

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Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

Janurary 12, 2012

 

Politics Make Strange Bedfellows!

Posted in Guest Commentators, Occupy Wall Street with tags , , , , on December 7, 2011 by playthell

               Hypocrisy in black and White

Evangelical Christianity Vs. Free Market Theology

The Republicans held a Family Forum on recent Saturday, in Iowa, the state where a current poll identified 37% as born-again Christians.  Romney and Huntsman did not accept the invitation to discuss the social value concerns of conservatives in Iowa.  The new frontrunner, Gingrich, participated, along with Bachmann, Cain, Santorum, Perry and Paul. 

In a time when the official unemployment rate is 9 percent, homes are being foreclosed in the millions and the economy is growing at a snail’s pace, the pre-occupation of the electorate is not on social issues but on jobs. But there is the intersection of family, morality and economic policy.  In the closing stages of the discourse, the moderator raised the question what is the moral justification for war.  As the presidential candidates spoke, the moderator kept repeating the question as no one was willing to wrestle with the moral question of war.

The Republican Party prides itself with having an evangelical base. During the Bush/Rove years of conservative ascendancy at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the mobilization of the evangelical vote was critical to the electoral strategy.  It is not surprising that Mitt Romney despite the unpreparedness and moral baggage of his opponents has not been able to increase his percentage of support in the Party above 25 percent.  Romney’s baggage is his born-again transformation on abortion.  And there is also the hanging question about evangelicals and whether they are willing to accept someone of the Mormon faith as a Christian.

Mitt the Chameleon and his booster Jersey Fats

 Would you buy a used car from These Mugs?

Ron Paul was a presidential candidate in the previous cycle and as is the case this time around.  He has argued that the United States is a world trouble- maker and the troops should return home and the multitude of bases around the world closed.  Such a position does not sit well with conservatives or neo-conservatives that support the notion that America must be the policeman of the world and must continue to spend handsomely on national security.

The retort given to the moral justification of war was the moral imperative to protect America’s national interest.  Candidates like Santorum, Gingrich, Bachmann and Cain expressed a willingness to order a pre-emptive strike against Iran to halt that country’s development of nuclear weapons.

The Family Forum failed to deal adequately with family or with moral issues.  There is a line of march which every Republican candidate is expected to drink from the communal cup.  All the candidates are expected to be pro-life although the discussion did not get into the controversial ballot issue that went down in defeat in Mississippi that presumably conception began with the release of the egg.

A for real Madman but……

The sanest Republican on Foreign Policy and the Military

All candidates are vehemently opposed to same sex marriage and favor a constitutional amendment that specifies that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman.  Ron Paul accepted the creed but was opposed to “federalizing” the issue as he felt that is a matter for the church and the states.  Family is an important issue in American presidential politics.

Traditionally, America would not elect or select a Party nominee who was divorced.  Reagan shattered that tradition.  Americans want some family togetherness in the White House.  Herman Cain’s campaign has been damaged by the unproven charges of sexual harassment.  Newt Gingrich’s divorces will make his candidacy less palatable to those in the evangelical movement.

The question of family goes beyond that of abortion, divorce or same sex marriage.  A family is an economic entity and is assisted or affected by public policy.  Most advanced European countries offer benefits to a mother after giving birth.  The United States in terms of legislation, offers family leave but not a certain amount of financial support after the birth of the child as it is in the case in Canada.

There is a concern for the child until the child leaves the womb.  Justification is made for the state to protect life in the womb but once that child has entered the world screaming, the conservative values suffer the same fate as the umbilical cord.  In debate after debate, the line of march is that the market is the moral force.  When asked about the foreclosure crisis, the candidates invariably bellowed that the market should be allowed to resolve the situation.

The social gospel of Christianity does not synchronize with economic gospel of the market economy.  In many respects, this is a peculiarity of American politics. In Brazil and other Latin American countries, liberation theology emerged as a social movement that had its origins in the Catholic Church in the 1970s.  The Vatican hierarchy moved decisively to stamp out the social gospel of liberation theology, which took the position that the equitable distribution of wealth and the predicament of the poor were matters that were germane to the mission of the church.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was comfortable connecting the social gospel with the need to fight against the “banality of evil”, using non-violence and mass mobilization throughout the South and elsewhere where Martin Luther King, Jr. fought racism and Jim Crow.  The civil rights movement was integrally linked to the black church.

The Family Forum never raised the issue of poverty in America.  The Census Bureau has redefined poverty in America and has discovered that over fifty million Americans are in the category of near poor.  In a nation of over three hundred million, over a third of the populace are in the precarious position of being poor or near poor yet that is not a burning issue to evangelicals or those concerned with family values.

There is this great disjuncture between the values of Christianity and the market economy.  In the 2008 presidential election, there had emerged cracks in the evangelical movement as the younger generation became concerned with issues of poverty and the environment.  If the market economy is allowed to be the mechanism for solving all our social problems, there will be a tremendous upsurge of unrest all over the country.  People will demand some kind of redress of grievances and demand that the market economy be modified to serve the needs of people who have long since left the womb.

The Republican Front Runner

 Porky Pig!!!

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By: Dr. Basil Wilson

New York City

12/7/11

Chain Of Fools!

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , on June 21, 2011 by playthell

 Leader Of the Pack

 

Why the Republican Party Can’t Solve Unemployment

Well, the Republicans have now provided the nation with our first opportunity to hear from the candidates from which an opponent will be selected to run against President Obama in 2012.  If there were not an epidemic of ignorance engulfing our country just now I’d say they are all sacrificial lambs.  Only which lamb to be slaughtered would remain in question. They all made stiff, unimaginative, silly speeches that were entirely predictable for anyone who has been paying attention to what the Grand Obstructionist Party has been up to; especially since President Obama has been President.  Although they seem not to have noticed; they exposed themselves as the enemy of workers; indifferent to the sick; contemptuous of the poor, and hostile to the public interests.  I cannot imagine a more clueless and insulting bunch of pretenders to the Oval office.

It is astonishing that a major American political party could put forth candidates with the “let them eat cake” positions of these pompous, verbose, buffoons while the country is experiencing a widespread economic crisis that has millions of good, law abiding, patriotic American citizens – many of whom are combat veterans from the Bush wars – on the brink of desperation.  It convincingly demonstrates that these people are such slaves to wacky rightwing ideology that they are badly misreading the real concerns of the majority of Americans. 

The economic rhetoric of the Republican candidates for the Presidency begs the question as to whether they really understand economic realities and the type of policies needed to address the crisis that we are presently experiencing. The first thing they obviously do not understand is that millions of Americans are not going to settle for a life of quiet desperation, constantly struggling against hunger and homelessness.  After listening to the statistics on the increasing disparity in the distribution of wealth on a recent episode of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Micah Berezniki wondered bewilderingly if this country will degenerate into class warfare.

It has long been my position that we are already in a state of class war; it’s just that the rich are the only one’s fighting.  Let’s consider the opinions of the two frontrunners: Mitt and Michelle.  What are we to make of Mitt Romney’s position on the auto-industry for instance?  When confronted with the fact that theUS auto industry is now flourishing when he had predicted in a New York Times Op-ED that President Obama’s policies would bankrupt the auto industry, Mitt continued to insist that Obama had failed because he should have forced the auto-makers to go through bankruptcy proceedings.  Mitt cared not a whit that up to three million people could have lost their livilihoods, so long as it destroyed the United Auto Workers!

How can a rational person pursue such an argument and yet claim to be a patriot who cares about the future of this country?  The auto industry represents the last bastion of the American manufacturing sector that was once the most innovative and productive in the world!  Mitt justifies this reckless and cold blooded position by arguing that bankruptcy would have allowed the company to abrogate their contracts with the United Auto Workers.  And he described President Obama’s successful rescue of the industry using government funds to purchase the auto-companies a giveaway to the UAW. 

If this ain’t open class warfare the pope ain’t Catholic and the Mittster ain’t reading The Book Of Mormon!   These are arguments for morons; their only importance is in demonstrating that the Republicans believe their constituents are imbeciles. And judging by the economic demographics of the most far right segment of the party – poor whites voting anti-union plutocrats and their lackey’s into office, enabling them to control the government  and use the power of the state to drive a stake through the heart of their dreams – they are right in their belief alas!

But the Grand Obstructionist Party is playing with dynamite. The people voted for Barack Obama because they thought he had the solution to their problems…the salve for their pain, which was caused by Republican mismanagement of the economy.  If they switch their votes to Mitt, or some other Republican dunderhead, they are bound to be disappointed.  For they will never receive the relief they are desperately seeking and things will plunge downhill fast for the working class.  The economic policies the Republicans are proposing are reckless to the point of criminality. 

They have sworn not to raise the ceiling on the national debt unless the President accedes to their ideologically driven demands, which would eviscerate government programs that are critical to the life’s chances of many Americans.  Rather than putting the financial security of theUS first, they are driven by far right ideological dogma and have threatened to bring down the world financial system through an American default.  Mitt Romney, who wants us to take him seriously, says he is willing to let the nation default if they can’t get their way.  Even though he knows that to sell American government bonds after the default will cost the tax payers hundreds of millions more in interests.

That’s a crazy as Michelle Bachman’s declaration that she is for a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage but then contradicts herself: “I would not go into the states and tell them what to do,”   It would be hard to find a bigger bunch of boobs anywhere. Michelle Bachman argued in defense of laws forcing women to give birth conceived in rape or incest!  A former corporate tax attorney she is viscerally opposed to taxing corporations while posing as a friend and advocate of the working class.  and while denouncing President Obama’s health care plan as the epitome of the much maligned “socialism” she recently wrote a letter to Obama’s Secretary of agriculture praising the Administration for intervening into the pork market by buying up a lot of the meat in order to stabalize the price of pork!

This is as clear an example of hypocrisy as one is likely to find in public life.  This crazy paleface talks out of both sodes of her mouth sayng different things at the same time.  She speaks with forked tongue!  Although Bachman is well educated on paper, every time I hear her talk it supplies further evidence that the liberal philosophy of education has failed.  Here I am talking about the broad based education in the humanities guided by reason and science, which was supposed to make people think!  Instead the scientific method has been replaced by a slavish devotion to ideology.  Newt Gingrich is a classic case in point: he has perverted the historian’s profession with shameless sophistry; confused prattle about “Freedom” being a function of “Free Markets.” 

 A Political chameleon that constantly changes colors

 This charlatan hasn’t a prayer of becoming President

 The truth is that the Republican economic plan cannot possibly work!  This is because they have so badly misdiagnosed the problem that the cure will surely turn out to exacerbate the disease. The most obvious flaw in the Republican prescription for curing the economic maladies presently crippling theUS economic system is that it is the same economic approach employed by George Bush.  The major features of their economic  policy – if we can flatter such nonsense with the term – is to cut taxes to corporations even more, retain the Bush tax cuts that gave  a windfall of hundreds of Billions to the rich, and no regulation of the Wall Street Robber Barons who recently plundered the economy and almost brought the world financial system down. 

The Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in the last election has put them in charge of the public purse, and they have refused to fund the new regulatory agency whose role is to prevent the kind of wild and often barely legal speculations that wrecked the economy and drove the nation to the brink of collapse just a couple of years ago.  All of these measures will make the rich richer if they don’t smash up the economic system like they did before when the economy went into a free fall.  But these policies cannot solve the problem of unemployment, because they fail to address the root causes of the crisis.  The Republicans present a simple – actually simple minded – analysis of the economy that amount to little more than right-wing dogma.  They argue that further cuts in the corporate tax rate will spur new investment in the economy and presto millions of new jobs will appear.

However the corporate sector is already enjoying record profits, with an estimated two trillion dollars in their coffers.  But they are not investing it in the American economy.   This is why we have a jobless recovery.  The old model of boom and bust business cycles that saw employment rise during an economic boom and decrease during the periodic recessions is a thing of the past. The causes of today’s unemployment figures are structural; which means that it is due to changes in the structure of the economy that has eliminated the jobs formerly held by unemployed workers.  This situation is not just the result of impersonal economic forces, but the consequences of decisions made by businessmen in their amoral efforts to maximize profits.  This explains why the economy is back to the same level of productivity as before the “Great Recession” – which, according to the economist, have been officially over for two years – but has accomplished this with seven million fewer workers!

A front page story in the New York Times of June 10, 2011 explains how this was achieved.  Titled Companies Spend on Equipment Not Workers, we are told, “Workers are getting more expensive while equipment is getting cheaper, and the combination is encouraging companies to spend on machines rather than people.”   Among the people who were interviewed for the article was Dan Mishek, the managing director of Vista Technologies, a company located in Minnesota.  Mishek told the Times “I want to have as few people touching our products as possible.  Everything should be as automated as can be.  We just can’t afford to compete with countries like China on labor costs, especially when workers are getting even more expensive.” 

This is a telling and frightening admission; it portends the bleak future facing the American working class.  Although they have managed to disguise their true position in the American economy, middle class white collar workers are beginning to discover that they are increasingly vulnerable to the phenomenon of economic “Globalism.”  This is because the internet has obliterated the obstacles of time and space that kept their jobs safe. However it is blue collar workers whose livelihood is rapidly disappearing in real time.  “Since the recovery began,” says the Times, “businesses spending on employees has grown 2 percent as equipment and software spending has swelled 26 percent, according to the Commerce Department.”  The Times goes on to tell us “A capital rebound that sharp and a labor rebound that slow have been recorded only once before.”

The Times writer, Ms. Catherine Rampell, observes, “With equipment prices dropping, and tax incentives to subsidize capital investments, these trends seem likely to continue.”  Dean Maki, the chief United States economist at Barclay’s Capital is quoted with the following assessment of the situation: “Firms are just responding to incentives.  And capital has gotten much cheaper than labor.”  The article goes on to show that “equipment and software has dipped 2.4 percent since the recovery began, thanks largely to foreign manufacturing, labor costs on the other hand, have risen 6.7 percent.” 

The upshot of all this is that American companies, despite record profits and abundant cash reserves, are not interested in hiring American workers.  “Many of the companies that are considering hiring say they are scared off by future costs of health care and other benefits.,” says the Times article.  However a single payer national health care system would remove that fear, but the Republicans are passionately opposed to such a program and mislabel it a “job killer.”

The attitudes expressed by people interviewed for this solidly reported article all point to a bleak future for American workers without massive public works projects to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, plus well funded research and development to create an innovative new “green economy” which will produce millions of new jobs, and massive investment in education to produce an American work force that can compete in an increasingly technologically sophisticated global marketplace.  Only the government can undertake a project of this sort.  Just like building the Transcontinental Railroad, the Atomic Bomb, the Interstate Highway System, The Space Program, Boulder Dam, etc. 

The private corporate sector cannot accomplish this and to continue to promote them as the only solution to the protracted economic crisis in America is a prescription for disaster on a scale that we have never witnessed in this country.  It is a formula for the decline of American civilization as an economic and scientific leader in the world.  Just consider the implications of this statement by a top corporate executive: “I dread the process we have to go through when we want to bring somebody on.  When we have a job posting these days, we get a flurry of resumes from people who are not qualified at all: people with misspellings on their resumes who have never been in the industry and want a career move…It’s a huge distraction to sort through all those.”  And these are the people unemployed workers are counseled to turn to?  It is all a cruel hoax! 

Perhaps the comment that workers ought to pay closest attention to was made by Dr. Claudia Goldin, an economics Professor at Harvard, “If you’re doing something that can be written down in a programmatic, algorithmic manner, you’re going to be substituted for quickly.”  And the times writer observes “To add insult to injury, much of the equipment used to replace American workers is made by workers abroad, meaning that capital spending is going overseas.”  Ironically, all of this was predicted by James Boggs over fifty years ago in his prescient book “The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker’s Notebook.” 

James Boggs: Proletarian Prophet

With wife and Collaborator Dr. Grace Lee Boggs

Boggs was a genuine working class intellectual; he was based in Detroit and worked on the assembly line at an auto plant.  From this vantage point, armed with Marxist theory and a free thinking disposition, he predicted the “cybernation” of America’s economy and the elimination of millions of manufacturing jobs.  Boggs argued that Americans were going to have to accept that there were going to be people who are permanently shut out of the work force because the economy would not generate enough jobs.  And then the true character of our civilization will be put to a test. 

That time has arrived; however it is even worse than Boggs had imagined because today’s American worker is not only facing a loss of work through the spread of technology, but they must also compete with workers all over the globe, many of whom are living in a kind of industrial serfdom.  This means that American workers must be willing to give up many of the gains they have won over the last century just to get a job.  Boggs also argued that instead of a conflict between labor and capital as Marx had predicted, we will witness a fight between the employed and the unemployed for the scarce work that exist.  This is where we are in America today…and Republican economic policies can only make things worse!

Bachman: Just Another Ditzy Corporate Shill?

 Or Crazy Like a Fox?

 

*****************

Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

June 21. 2011            

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