Cartoon: The People and the 1%.

This sums it up:


After thirty years.

H/t Don.


Michael Moore in Oakland.

From Oakland Friday:


Michael Moore at Occupy Oakland.

A note was handed Mr. Moore: “The mayor would like to see you.”

His reponse: “I will not meet with the Oakland mayor. I am not . She should come and face the General Assembly. We’re a peaceful ppl.”

“This one could take them all down.”

From Times Square, New York:

From 1:35 – what to look for the coming weeks.

Chris Hedges:

What happens is in all of these movements … the foot soldiers of the elite — the blue uniformed police, the mechanisms of control — finally don’t want to impede the movement and at that point the power elite is left defenseless … the only thing I can say having been in the middle of similar movements is that this one is real, and this one could take them all down …

Slow days.

Reading books, feeling even more nauseous about July and national politics as time passes by. The trajectory can’t get much worse – but it could stay like this for years to come. No signs of progress, lots of signs of poverty and third-world America.

Things really are broken.


Anatomy of a crisis.

It happens slow at first.. then all at once.

So many big news at once these days.. An inadequate debt-deal, a hurtful process, treasury downgrade, two days of diving markets. And gloomy outlook.

But it might be useful to look at this summer in the bigger picture – that of hurtful policies over three decades, with unsustainable budgets and unsustainable distribution among the population. That model for running a country could work well for some decades – but it always breaks down. More wants more, and the rest are increasingly left without food, work or a place to live. You might fish more than the natural breeding in a pond for a while, but it will always be empty in the end.

And while the recipe for a fix right now is quite simple on paper – you cut spending on defense and entitlements, and raise some taxes – you just can’t get it through. A few people have too hard a grip on the government, and a huge part of the population are deliberately dis-educated and fed nonsense and delusional thinking over generations.

Thus a crisis evolves – and not just a tough debate with a reasonable outcome.

So let’s just hope the moderate right speaks up more strongly pretty soon – which they probably will – as most of them are rational people with habits of long-term thinking. And when that happens, maybe the progressives and moderate left could grow stronger as well, so the loud fringes get marginalized.

In the meantime, more market dives and noise might in some ways be just necessary steps on the path to better days. And America has survived and emerged stronger after much worse crises than this.

Slightly up.

As of 9:30am – we’re up about 100 on the DOW. But who knows what the day will bring.

Third day of slide or a rebound..?

In other news:

  • The President flounders about “US always AAA nation”
  • Congress might get to work in September to fix this
  • The President will have some “recommendations” in a few weeks
  • Eric Cantor digs in on taxes

But either way – the dive and downgrade has already happened, and it’s powerful ammo to both sides in the ongoing political civil war.

Tension and process

A tough summer. (©NyTimes)

Each day the stakes are growing a little bit higher and the tensions a little bit stronger. And this week, finally, the leverage seemed to be tilting towards the pragmatic, fact-based, majority-supported and straight-forward attitudes of finding a right mix and get moving. How many years are we supposed to be hampered by this nonsense and gridlock in times of crises.. There are so many big and more important issues to solve, and the problems are only growing.

But in some ways it feels like the most significant watershed moment was during the presser on Monday. The President seemed to realize that niceness and optimism doesn’t solve these issues anymore. And the reports from yesterday largely confirm those impressions. As well as the sudden spikes in pressure from wall street and clear symptoms of panic among the right-wing leadership.

Now, some reflections:

  • The process is working in brutal ways. The psychology and fear of another crash is slowly changing the minds of those involved. Some get hardened, some get paralized, but most are getting more realistic.
  • The crash will not come Aug 2nd, but probably before. Moneypeople behave in herds, and once a few start panicking – the rest follows.
  • The business-community is solely focused on the debt limit, not taxes. As many of them admit – taxes means nothing in terms of cost of running a company, and affects nothing in terms of hiring.
  • The rightwing game of whipping up blind ideology to gain seats in congress backfires in some very bad ways. And everybody loses. It’s like discovering a shortcut, only to realize two steps later that it maybe wasn’t such a good idea after all. And then you don’t really have the time to go back and do it over.
  • The President might be growing as captain and pull it off next week. If he could keep his good, positive nature – and add some realism and do the necessary yelling and retribution once in a while – he’ll do good.
  • The news and movements from the talks are coming much faster than expected. Maybe the stakes are just too high to settle this on the last day.
  • Finally, things seem to have slowly reached an end-point for the theory-driven kill-government mantra many seem to enjoy that much. And to some irony, the pushback is coming from business and brokers – who might partly realize that a healthy and sound Government and State is essential for their own existence. If that is a lesson for some people, we’ve had a very productive summer. At a silly price.

But in the bigger picture, let’s hope this summer will be a turning-point after a decade of dogmas and hurtful policies. Let the disease of hyperpower and ideology slowly ease out, and let’s get back to work, pragmatism and setting some inspiring goals for the future.