*+-Carl Bloice: If the whole, hardly-nail-biting business accomplished nothing else it momentarily diverted attention away from the big budget fight coming up, the one that will probably shape the country’s economic and social reality for decades to come.
*+-Carl Bloice: Some critics have taken the author Stieg Larsson to task for spending time on the state of economic reporting, suggesting that dragging in the issues of the day distracts unnecessarily from the enjoyment of a good murder mystery. For me it was one of the book’s highlights.
*+-Carl Bloice: I guess the message is obvious. The cadre of the “real tea party,” the Tea Kettle party, the truly conservatives and the austerity brigades have one thing in common: if they come to power life will become a lot harder to pubic workers, students, the elderly and a whole lot of others. Class bias speaks loud.
*+-Carl Bloice: The “moderate Republican” has gone the way of the typewriter. As the tea party people and their ilk become more racist and reactionary – and their rhetoric more incendiary, each day – the GOP encourages them and endeavors to pull them into its embrace. Meanwhile the “bluedog Democrats” become increasingly irrelevant with each passing day, their bark more in evidence than their bite.
*+-There are not two groups involved, the young and the old. It’s a continuum starting from entrance into the workforce until retirement. While he says he speaks in the interest of the young, if there is a severe curtailment of Medicare and Social Security those hurt most will be the youngsters when they reach the age where they need them both.
*+-Rightwing populism is dangerous but the greatest potential peril lies not in the presence of some loony or deluded, irrational people parading through the streets. It arises from the certainty that there will always be someone lurking about in a trench coat to fan the flames for their own cynical purposes.
*+-The 30-year class war the rich launched against the working people in this country (and reached its apogee during the George W. Bush years), has left the middle class reeling and wounded. Only bold federal action that puts something concrete in the palms of middle-class Americans can begin to turn these dire social conditions around.