I was just on Mark Thompson’s Sirius radio show, and boy, the callers were really, really angry about proposed Medicare cuts. (And, as I reminded them, Medicaid is what pays for our parents if they need nursing home care.)
I mean really, really angry. And as Mark pointed out, it’s not as if we can go ahead and vote for Michele Bachmann, so what are people supposed to do with that anger? Bloggers are already being attacked for even criticizing Obama, as he reminded me.
It’s maddening and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s feeling powerless. Grrr.
I missed it due to Comcast problems, but here’s David Dayen on today’s White House press conference:
On cutting entitlements, he made his pitch thusly. “Medicare in particular will run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program… If you’re a progressive who cares about the integrity of Medicare and Social Security and Medicaid, then we have an obligation to make sure we make those changes required to make it sustainable on those terms… We won’t make progress on the values we care about without getting our fiscal house in order. If you care about those things, then you’ve got to be interested in figuring out how we pay for all that in a responsible way.” As for Social Security, which he acknowledged is not the source of any deficit problems, he basically said that, as long as we’re doing a big deal, we might as well throw that in. “The reason to include that in this package is, if you’re going to take a bunch of tough votes, you might as well do it now,” Obama said. He did not specify the changes.
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The trail will eventually lead here, and then we’re going to learn something about how Fox News operates.
Jul 11th, 2011 at 12:39 pm by susie
This conservative assault is not just about the enactment of reactionary government policies, it is also about the proliferation of a culture of cruelty whose collateral damage is harsh and brutalizing, especially for young people, the unemployed, the elderly, the poor, and a number of other individuals and groups now bearing the burden of worst economic recession since the 1920s. Cruelty in this instance is not meant to simply reference the character flaws of the rich or to appeal to a form of left moralism, but to register the effects especially since the 1970s of how the institutions of capital, wealth and power merge not only to generate vast modes of inequality, but also to inflict immense amounts of pain and suffering upon the lives of the poor, working people, the middle class, the elderly, immigrants and young people.(19)
What should be clear is that the politics of austerity is not about rethinking priorities to benefit the public good. Instead, it has become part of a discourse of shame, one that has little to do with using indignation to imagine a better world. On the contrary, shame is now used to wage a war on the poor rather than poverty, on young people rather than those economic and political forces that undermine their future and on those considered other rather than on the underlying structures and ideologies of various forms of state and individual racism.
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That a Democratic president is chiding labor for “wasting time” on the enforcement of laws that protect workers’ jobs, or is it just me?
Matt Stoller is a very, very smart person (he predicted the mess we’re in three years ago) and he’ll be my guest tomorrow night on Virtually Speaking Susie. Tune in, it’ll be interesting.