Laboring day

Turkish, our local version of the IWW Sabo-Cat, takes a Labor Day break from his duties, whatever those might be.

Turkish, our local version of the IWW Sabo-Cat, takes a Labor Day break from his duties, whatever those might be.

Holiday, schmoliday. I had to work this morning. Not very hard, or for very long, but still.

The prez was working, too, calling for a $50 billion public works plan that seems to have absolutely no hope of coming to fruition before the Congresscritters scurry home, running like rats for re-election, proving yet again that they care more about whether they stay employed than whether we do.

Kevin Drum, another poor sod at the keyboard instead of the grill, is dismissive of the proposal, calling it “too small to be more than a pinprick.” Steve Benen speaks more gently of the plan, saying “it’s good to have lawmakers put on the spot before the election, taking a position on sensible, effective economic proposals like this one.” He also reminds us that Rep. John Boehner (R-Tanning Salon) is an idiot.

And Paul Krugman, drawing parallels with FDR’s situation in 1938, moans that “politicians and economists alike have spent decades unlearning the lessons of the 1930s, and are determined to repeat all the old mistakes.”

He adds: “And it’s slightly sickening to realize that the big winners in the midterm elections are likely to be the very people who first got us into this mess, then did everything in their power to block action to get us out.”

True dat, Paul old sock. Buckle up, folks, it’s gonna be a rough ride.

• Late update: To celebrate Labor Day Herself and I attended an Arlo Guthrie concert — yes, that Arlo Guthrie — right here in Bibleburg; in fact, only a few blocks from Chez Dog, in a park behind the Fine Arts Center. He didn’t do “Alice’s Restaurant,” but he did sing the great Steve Goodman tune, “City of New Orleans,” “The Motorcycle Song,” his fabled Woodstock number “Coming Into Los Angeles,” a couple of Leadbelly bits and (of course) his old man’s “This Land Is Your Land.” We sang along, a few thousand elderly hippies plus a few young folks who must have grown weary of their generation’s “stupid fucking tuneless horseshit,” as Thomas McGuane has accurately described it. It was great. “Take a good look around, Toots,” I told Herself as we strolled in. “This is what my nursing home is gonna look like.” Arlo must have been thinking along similar lines. At one point he quipped, “I’m what’s left of me.” Me, too, bruh. And I wasn’t even at Woodstock. At least, I don’t think I was. …

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8 Responses to “Laboring day”

  1. jaf Says:

    We old folk need to start covering (and screaming about) the Catfood Commission. This most cynical of all Barry One-Term’s chicanery is a packed with corporatists star chamber featuring all significant meeting held behind closed doors. The results will be released well after the mid-term elections and have drawn substantial support for a no amendments up or down vote. This is the change we voted for?

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Reich explained it in the link below. There is nothing to be gained through smoke and mirrors. All the bullshitting and Federal spending of borrowed money won’t accomplish much unless the underlying economic skewing to the rich is reversed.

    Hope you listened to Michael Moore on Democracy Now today.

  3. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Hey, K … the Reich item is a breath of fresh air; what a shame so few of our fellow Americans read The New York Times, or trust it when they do. But I can’t bear Michael Moore. He’s like fingernails on a blackboard to me. Good message — just the wrong guy to deliver it. I dislike our noisy assholes as much as I do theirs. Unless the noisy asshole is me, of course.

  4. Larry T. Says:

    Sad to think just two years later it’s another one of those “vote for the least bad option” elections but anyone who thinks things will get better sooner with the same party in-charge who got us (mostly) into the current mess is simply insane. Everyone who is NOT insane needs to vote in November or we’ll soon be worse off than we are now.
    Michael Moore — who else has the guts and money to get that “good message” out there? He can certainly be annoying and goes too far quite often – his attacks on Heston in his anti-gun movie went so far as to make ME feel a bit sorry for Chuckie! He might do more good by being a little less polarizing, but he’s usually saying things that need to be said … by someone.
    Reich’s bit is spot-on, but I can hear it now, “Oh, he’s the Clinton guy. We hate Clinton. He got a BJ in the White House. We don’t care that the economy was going well when he was prez, taxes were too high. We want all of our rich friends to have lower taxes even if in the end it screws us over. It’s about honor and freedom and Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. We need to help them restore our country.”
    We’re working harder than ever on moving to Italy!

  5. Steve O Says:

    Lower taxes … I don’t get it … most of us saw the lowest tax rate of our lives this past year and we’re not happy because the top 1% aren’t getting a better deal? It’s the lottery mentality that makes jurors reward millions to folks who spill coffee on themselves at the drive-thru: could be me next. Won’t be, but could be.

    But here’s what I figured our recently. I was never impressed with Karl Rove, even when everyone else was calling him a genius. He won a lot of elections, but he always beat the most incompetent of opponents. Kinda like saying the Harlem Globetrotters must be the world’s best basketball team, because they keep beating the Generals. But I think I’ve figured out his real long-term strategy. He got Bush into the White House, then he did everything he could to make our government suck. At first, folks just wanted Change ®, and Rove was okay with losing one battle to win the war. But the years and years of ineptitude took their toll, and the next thing you knew, it was suddenly patriotic to hate our government. (Think about that: it’s patriotic to hate the thing that makes our country special, the thing our Founding Fathers worked so hard to create.) But who’s “the government” now? Yep, the other guys. Brilliant.

    jaf: you’re making the same mistake the liberals made in ’04. all i ever hear from you is how bad one side is, but elections aren’t about one party’s approval rating — they’re about a comparison of one to the other. a 20% approval rating will beat a 10% any day of the week. not sure if you remember, but there was this guy named Bush, and everyone agreed he was a dweeb and a dolt. and the liberals’ strategy to get rid of him was to slap “No W” stickers on everything. but they forgot that you can’t actually vote against someone on election day, that you have to check a block for someone else. and the someone else they came up with was the only guy who made Bush look good. how’d that turn out for them? if you really want Barry out of office in ’12, you should take just 1% of the effort you spend coming up with witty zingers against him and put it into telling folks why they should vote for the other guy. dust off your history books … the prerequisite for negative campaigning to work is that you have to have an established quantity on your side. From Daisy to Willie Horton to Swiftboating, focusing on attacking the other guy only works when your guy has met a certain threshold of acceptance. So, yes, there’s this big anti-establishment fervor right now … but, for instance, in Alaska, where Palin was whipping up the tea-partiers to support her man Joe, only 28% of registered GOP’ers bothered to vote. you might convince a whole lotta people not to vote for BHO next time around … but you still have to convince them to turn off the Price Is Right or 700 Club and go vote for your guy, or he’ll still win. 51% wins, whether it’s 51% of all of us or 51% of the handful who show up on election day.

  6. John Says:

    O’Grady, I’m surprised that you aren’t more of a fan of Michael Moore. In the liberal versus conservative fight we’ve complained for so long that the left has consistently brought a knife to a gun fight (more like a Popsicle stick most of the time), while here this guy at least fights them at their own game. The way he says it might be obnoxious at times, but at least it’s the truth. You can’t say the same for the other side (read any Ann Coulter lately?).

  7. khal spencer Says:

    I guess to some degree I am right at home with Michael Moore, esp. when it comes to movies like Roger and Me, Pets or Meat, and Capitalism: A Love Story. He definitely goes over the top, as Larry pointed out. I take some of his stuff with a sack of salt.

    Like Mr. Moore, I grew up in the Rust Belt and my old man worked in a car factory his whole life. Old Man ruptured two disks in his back as the result of an assembly line accident, had surgery, and was re-trained as a machinist, spending the rest of his career in the tool and die shop of a Chevy gear and axle plant. Hence my support of labor unions. Like Michael Moore watching Flint implode, I watched Buffalo self-destruct. All the jobs and the money went offshore. I guess to some of us, its just too visceral having watched it happen to our friends and family in slow-motion/real time. I cut Moore some slack, esp. as the Wops and Micks in Buffalo generally stuck together.

    So I can’t hear the sound of the fingernails on the chalkboard. There is this deafening silence of open fields that used to be plants filled with thousands of union-scale jobs. As Reich says, there has to be a balance in the economy or it falls apart. My concern with comparing government bailouts now to those in the thirties is that in the thirties, we still had an industrial base in this country to fall back on and China didn’t. Now what do we fall back on other than our fat asses?

  8. Hurben Says:

    I’m just sad because I didn’t get to see Arlo 😦

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