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‘The Senate may as well not be there’

Bill Moyers is truly a public treasure, and this is from a recent interview on Richard Heffner’s “The Open Mind” where he talks about how Americans can – and can’t – change our politics:

MOYERS: … I, I honestly … I saw a poll the other day … 52% of the American people believe that both parties no longer reflect their interests. And I am part of that 52%. I can no more defend the Democratic Party than I can praise the Republican Party. I mean I don’t understand the weird things going on in the Republican Party. I do not understand this marriage of ideology and the language and, and, and the irrelevance, the immaturity of their political discourse, the sheer opposition that they set out to mount against Obama … that partly due …

But I do know why the Democratic Party is corrupted. They decided that they would go to the same sources of great wealth … corporations and others … and they are today in thrall to many of the same corporate and rich powers that the, the Republicans are.

We have two parties serving corporate business America and no party that serves … ideally … that serves the middle class or working people. And so I, I’m without a party, Dick. I know we always have to make some choices in election … you make a slight degree of … you’ve got to cast your vote so it’s this decision based on this differentiation.

But, as a whole, both parties are, are, are critical reasons for the crisis in our democracy.

Our democracy is dysfunctional. It isn’t working. It isn’t solving a single problem. The Senate might as well not be there.

It is … what it was a hundred years ago when David Graham Phillips, a great muckraker in the, in the vein of Upton Sinclair and Nellie Bly and others wrote a book called The Treason of the Senate. Well, the Senate has betrayed its Constitutional obligations. And so both parties today are contributing to the dysfunction of democracy.

That’s why I think we need … you know, I’m drawn … I’m not a radical, but I’m drawn to the Howard Zinns and the Ralph Naders and, and, and others because change from the outside.

It cannot come from within the two parties today. They are frozen, paralyzed, purchased. And so it’s got to come … Howard Zinn’s great message … and he was a flawed historian … he was … we know that from his life and his records. But he got this right. He said, “Do not look to your leaders to bring about change. Change comes only when people organize and fight from outside the system, when the change that they need … everybody he said … every ordinary people … every ordinary person should be a history maker”.
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Breaking news

Barney Frank will not run for reelection. Holy crap.

Kids living in cars

From last night’s 60 Minutes. This is shameful. All the money in the world for bankers and bombs, nothing to help families like these.

Yet another $13B no one told us about

Via Bloomberg News, we will continue to see the effects of the “extend and pretend” philosophy of propping up failing banks for a very long time. It’s a shame that the European Union isn’t learning from our mistakes, either:

The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.

The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.

Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse.

A fresh narrative of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 emerges from 29,000 pages of Fed documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and central bank records of more than 21,000 transactions. While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger.

The best of all possible worlds

Oy. Where does the Times find these people?

Survivor

You’re officially an old fart when your life begins to center around your illnesses, and trying to stay alive to the end of the last quarter. I just have one more day of antibiotics, and then I’m done. Tomorrow I’m going to my state rep’s office to see if I can’t badger them into expediting my application into the state’s pre-existing condition insurance plan, so I can get this stone-filled gall bladder out.

I know so many people in despair right now that I feel almost apologetic for complaining about my health. Yeah, I’m sick but… there’s a roof over my head and food in the house. Not so bad!

Meanwhile: Blogger James Joyner, a real nice guy, suddenly lost his wife yesterday. She was only 41 and left two little girls behind. So sad. Be kind to each other, you never know.

Turn to stone

Electric Light Orchestra:

Everytime you go away

Todd and Daryl:

1234

Feist:

Walker recall petition.

As in, “I just signed.” The nice ladies said that as of yesterday they had gathered over 2,500 signatures in our little town.

2,500 compared to their goal of 3,000 by January 15th.

Their only instruction was to print your name nice and clearly, so there wouldn’t be any problems with votes being thrown out. I did my best.

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