Archive | Power to the People
Never underestimate the apathy, ignorance or sheer stupidity of young American consumers, especially the “hip” ones:
…There are a few reasonable explanations for why the Urban Outfitters Romney tees exist, actually. For one thing, Urban Outfitters (which also owns Anthropologie and Free People) is owned by a far-right conservative, Richard Hayne. All that youthful, vaguely hippie-feeling merchandise in his stores? That’s just a way to make some dough – dough that Hayne, in turn, gives to right-wing politicians like Rick Santorum. For Hayne, the young people and lefties who shop in his stores are just chumps to whom he can sell $69 peace-sign tank tops while supporting conservative politics.
Now the company is selling shirts that represent Hayne’s political perspective while appealing to hipsters’ penchant for irony, with slogans like “Mitt Is the Shit” and “2 Legit 2 Mitt.” Ironic conservatism: hilarious(ly stupid)! As Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams put it:
What’s revolting about the latest Urban Outfitters gambit is its sneaky ploy of making conservatism seem so uncool it’s cool, all funny and retro and Kelly Kapowski. Which, in turn, is how some doofus winds up using his chest as free advertising for a candidate he’d otherwise never in a million years vote for…
I’d like to see more stories like these. After all, we have no trouble stealing pension funds to pay for tax cuts for millionaires, so why does everyone have a problem with this? Assuming they actually use the money for schools, that is:
Out of nowhere, Santa Clara County officials have yanked $30 million in tax funds promised for the San Francisco 49ers’ new Santa Clara stadium, saying they would rather spend the money on teachers than install “little televisions in the back of stadium seats.”
The 49ers and Santa Clara city leaders strongly and passionately object to the move, saying voters had specifically earmarked redevelopment funds to the stadium and that the county has no right to keep it. Lengthy court battles are likely, launching a rare soap opera in a stadium debate that has been mostly peaceful — and supposedly long over.
[...] The 49ers and Santa Clara officials will be busy this week reviewing how to respond.
The funding grab came Friday by a new board that oversees property tax from redevelopment zones. It was so unexpected that Santa Clara leaders argued it was done in violation of public notice laws.
Dean Baker points out that the Villagers see what they want to see in a new poll:
That arguably should have been the headline of a Post segment discussing the release of new polling data from the Pew Research Center, which Kohut heads. The Center’s poll asked people a series of questions about the budget, taxes, and various programs. Most people answered that they viewed the deficit as a major concern. They were also strongly supportive of all major areas of federal spending with the exception of the military. In the case of military spending, there were almost equal numbers of people favoring cuts as increases. In the case of Medicare and Social Security, those favoring increases outnumbered those supporting cuts by more than 3 to 1.
In the case of Social Security, an overwhelming majority of respondents said that they supported raising the cap on taxable wages (currently $110,000). In addition, an overwhelming majority also said that they would rather see the tax rate increased than face a cut in benefits.
The conclusion of the Post piece tells readers:
“But ultimately, despite listing the deficit as a priority, most Americans — about 60 percent in a 2011 poll — would prefer to maintain benefits than take steps to reduce federal spending. As Kohut explains, this puts legislators in a real bind: ‘They are dealing with a public that is demanding solution to a problem which it has declared to be a major priority, but at the same time Americans are resistant, or divided at best, on the sacrifices that would be required to achieve a solution.’”
Contrary to what Kohut asserted, legislators are not in a bind if they want to follow public opinion. They can easily deal with the problems facing Social Security by raising the cap on taxable wages and phasing in an increase in tax rates over many decades in the future. If ordinary workers again share in the economy’s productivity growth, as the Social Security trustees projections assume, these tax increases would be a small fraction of future wage gains.
The public didn’t “demand” solutions to the deficit — a carefully orchestrated campaign by conservative interests and the media convinced them the sky was falling. The media is just as capable of reversing that as they were of creating it – but that, of course, isn’t what they and their corporate owners want.
What a great keynote from my pal Darcy Burner yesterday at Netroots Nation. Watch this, you’ll like it!
If you can’t attend Netroots Nation this year, you can watch most of it via livestreaming here.
The reason I put this here is because you will feel better after you watch some of these great panels. Trust me on this.
Here’s the player for the main room. I’ll leave it at the top of the page until it’s over:
Our video coverage is made possible by our friends at Five Steps Forward and Free Speech TV, which will also show coverage and behind-the-scenes interviews on DIRECTV channel 348, DISH Network channel 9415, on over 175 US cable access affiliates.
- View our keynotes in Hall A/B, sessions from Ballroom A and special FSTV interviews live here. You can see a schedule of all our keynotes here. You can see a schedule of all panels in Ballroom A here.
- View all sessions in Ballroom B live here. You can see a schedule of all sessions in this room here.
- View all sessions in Ballroom D live here. You can see a schedule of all sessions in this room here.
- View all sessions in room 552 live here. You can see a schedule of all sessions in this room here.
• Union households made up about a third of the electorate, and about two-thirds of them backed Tom Barrett, about the same level of support he received among the group in 2010
• Barrett improved on his 2010 performance among African Americans, those with incomes below $50,000 and independents. Barrett won 95% of the African American vote, up from 87% in 2010
• Both Walker and Barrett retained more than 9 in 10 of those who backed them in 2010. Walker marginally won independent voters by 50%-49%
• About one in 10 voters said they did not vote in 2010 – and they broke heavily for Barrett
• About 9 in 10 in early exit polling said they decided who to vote for before May. Those who did make up their minds in the final month of the campaign supported Barrett by nearly 30 points
9.08pm: More from the exit poll – and it may be tight in the recall race, but Wisconsin voters still appear to be backing Barack Obama come November.
The exit poll has Obama getting 54% to Mitt Romney’s 42% – and that’s a poll that should be more accurate than most state polls at this point, given the circumstances. That must be a disappointment forRepublicans.
9.06pm: Gary Younge sees some last minute stragglers dashing in at the last moment to vote in Milwaukee:
At 7.58pm outside the Keenan health centre, recall supporters chivvied up the stragglers: “Come on blood seriously get in there.”
“You’re the on who came to my door,” said the young man, struggling to run as his trousers sagged halfway down his legs. “I’m here like I said.”
A minute later the polls closed to applause.
Gary adds that everywhere he’s been has had long lines but no problems.
Scott Walker and Tom Barrett.
Love this inspiring new video from Anonymous: