Our republican democracy remains closed, shut, hijacked – call it what you will. Watching the bare-knuckled tactics of the GOP immediately brings to mind another term, the all too familiar privatization ruse – Disaster Capitalism. Hostage politics, make no mistake, fosters the very same conditions of escalated crises that creates a space for radicalized privatization and private sector encroachment onto the private sector. In the GOP’s shutdown scheme the obvious place where that brass-knuckling occurs is in the negotiation phase where the political extortionists demand what is most dear to We the People, and under hostage conditions it is highly likely they will receive what is most dear – our Progressive legacy. This is the time to shred the safety net. And that negotiation phase is where all eyes focus intently. Perhaps too intently.

For while the nations’s eyes focus intently on the concessions, in the unhallowed chambers of the House of Representatives, is another Progressive Legacy that we can’t reclaim once it is lost to the ruthless extortionists. That legacy is our public parks, our public, our public body.

While the nation itself grinds to a halt, the GOP is moving at a nauseating clip. A mind-numbing clip:

The U.S. government remains shut down, thanks to House Republicans’ refusal to fund the government without defunding the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, 401 national parks across the country are closed to tourists and vacationers, provoking “pretty livid” responses.

But the fact that the government and parks are closed hasn’t stopped Congress from holding hearings, including one Thursday in the House Natural Resources Committee on a bill that would force a fire sale of 3.3 million acres of public lands.

 

And of course, while national parks are closed to the public, they remain open to oil and gas drilling.

This is Disaster Capitalism at its finest.

The Center For American Progress report on the peril of our national parks and public lands since the Tea Party take over in the House:

1. Gutted the budget for America’s national parks and public lands. Since 2010, the budget to operate national parks has been slashed by 13 percent in today’s dollars, or $315 million. Chronic underfunding of national parks and public lands has contributed to an estimated $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance at national parks.

2. Forced seasonal closures of national parks and visitor centers. As a result of mandatory funding cuts under the sequester, the national parks were unable to hire 1,900 workers for the busy 2013 summer season. Several national parks, including the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, had to implement seasonal closures, reduce visitor-center hours, and cancel interpretive programs. Twenty-nine national wildlife refuges had to close for hunting in 2013 as a result of the sequester.

3. Halted the creation of new parks and wilderness. The last Congress was the first since World War II to not protect a single new acre of public land as a national park, wilderness, monument, or national wildlife refuge, and—unless something changes—the current Congress is on track to become the second. This freeze on land conservation has resulted in a massive imbalance between how much public land is being leased to oil and gas companies and how much is being protected for recreation and public use.

4. Moved to eliminate America’s premier conservation program. In July, the House Appropriations Committee passed a 2014 budget that would—for the first time in history—eliminate the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses a small portion of offshore oil and gas revenues to fund the protection of parks, battlefields, trails, and open spaces. The House proposed diverting the revenues for unrelated and unauthorized spending.

5. Selling off America’s parks and public lands. Even amid the closure of national parks and public lands this week, House Republicans are moving ahead with legislation to sell off public lands in western states to the highest bidder. Other recent proposals in the House would have sold off approximately 3.3 million acres of public lands, despite polling that shows that 71 percent of westerners oppose selling off public lands.

Sandwiched between Starving the Beast and Disaster Capitalism, our public lands and national parks will be squeezed out of existence. The GOP’s Shut Down  has the potential for permanently shutting down the Progressive Legacy of our public lands. We the People must not forget this moment. We must remember the extent to which Republicans will go to eliminate any vestige of our society of individuals that can be deemed public.

 

35 Responses to Extortion Politics and Disaster Capitalism

  1. John Casper says:

    PJ.

    1. isn’t what you intended to say: “…and private sector encroachment onto the private sector.”

    2. What is “…This is the time to shred the safety net. And that negotiation phase is where all eyes focus intently. Perhaps too intently….”

    3. It certainly looks like you’re channeling Paul Ryan’s we have to make cuts to “save,” Social Security.”

    4. Four days ago, you weren’t channeling Ryan. You were channeling Ronald Reagan about Social Security and you were 100% right.

    “…The payroll tax hasn’t anything to do with federal taxes to fund the government. There’s no reciprocity between them.”

    http://bloggingblue.com/2013/09/30/where-has-paul-ryan-been-as-a-federal-government-shutdown-looms/

    Reagan makes the same point you did in this 37-second video: “…Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihUoRD4pYzI

    Please tell me that I misread your post and that under NO circumstances will you support any Democrat who votes to “chain the CPI.”

    • PJ says:

      JC,

      As to question #1 – I had some typos – fixed them. There are probably more. Glad to see that your analysis remains ground-shaking. Thank you for pointing them out.

      Now, as to the substance of your questions. Are you posing these questions honestly? Would you like me to answer them honestly?

  2. Cat Kin says:

    PJ,
    Am sharing your post on my Facebook page, as many people around Eau Claire don’t get that Walker is just a pawn in the A.L.E.C. master plan to use taxpayer resources for corporate profit centers. Don’t see how you can be supporting a chained CPI on Social Security at this point. But I’ll let you answer that question from John.

    • PJ says:

      Cat Kin,

      Thank you for sharing the post. Give our peers in Eau Claire some time. Eventually they’ll come around to understanding the truths you mention. You are spot on.

      As to John Casper – I’ve already answered his questions about Chained CPI and concurred with his position. His commentary here merely reflects a reactionary, intentional antagonism and narrow-minded focus “like a laser,” if you will, on Chained CPI to the exclusion of all other concerns. If his intent is genuine engagement and civil discourse, he will let me know. When he does, I’ll respond to his questions.

      You are quite right, though. He’s off topic here.

  3. Cat Kin says:

    PJ,
    Am sharing this post on my Facebook page, as so many people around Eau Claire don’t seem to be aware that Walker is just a pawn in the A.L.E.C. plan to conscript taxpayer assets for corporate profit centers. As for the dubious compromise of chaining the C.P.I., I’ll let you answer John’s question.

  4. John Casper says:

    PJ,

    How are you coming with a response to this?

    “PJ,

    From the White House:

    “Chained CPI Protections”

    “…The Budget contains the President’s compromise offer to Speaker Boehner from December. As part of that offer, the President was willing to accept Republican proposals to switch to the chained CPI. But, the Budget makes clear that the openness to chained CPI depends on two conditions. The President is open to switching to the chained CPI only if:

    The change is part of a balanced deficit reduction package that includes substantial revenue raised through tax reform.

    It is coupled with measures to protect the vulnerable and avoid increasing poverty and hardship….”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/factsheet/chained-cpi-protections

    PJ, please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Social Security have a dedicated funding source, the payroll tax? That’s what the damn irrational Republican President Reagan says in this 37-second video: “Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihUoRD4pYzI

    I seem to recall you and I agreeing about this and the importance of lifting the income cap (for folks making more than $111,000/year) off the payroll tax.

    Do you think someone could show this 37-second video to Rahm Emanuel and then maybe he could call the President and ask him to view it?

    Is it ok if we contrast cutting Social Security with the President’s largesse to Wall Street back in 2011?

    “Bank Of America Dumps $75 Trillion In Derivatives On U.S. Taxpayers With Federal Approval”

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/301260-bank-of-america-dumps-75-trillion-in-derivatives-on-u-s-taxpayers-with-federal-approval

    To help you put $75 trillion in perspective, I’m going with an estimate of nominal US GDP (that’s Gross Domestic Product) in 2012 of something around $16.6 trillion in 2012.

    1. Are you ok with that?

    I think it’s way too low, but I’ve seen recent estimates of the financial cost of Iraq and Afghanistan of around $6 trillion.

    2. Are you ok with that?

    Estimates I’ve seen of Social Security’s Trust Fund are around $2.5 trillion.

    3. Are you ok with that?

    Any idea why President Obama and the Democrats are not going back to Bank of America and asking them to take the risk associated with that $75 trillion off the taxpayers and put it back on their shareholders?

    Also, all the other Wall Street banks have derivative exposure and it’s a lot more than $75 trillion. If President Obama lets Bank of America “socialize” their derivative risk onto the taxpayers, how can he say “no,” to JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citi, Wells Fargo,….?”

    Here’s your response
    “Thank you for the Chained CPI update. I can’t see your video. All I see is a black screen. LIke Steve’s video this morning, I’m sure that glitsch is coming from my end. At this point I’ve only skimmed your text. It looks pretty hefty so to give you a response worthy of the effort you’ve put into your comment, could you please be patient enough to wait until morning for a reply?….”

    http://bloggingblue.com/2013/10/05/end-the-shutdown-white-house-weekly-address/#comments

    You won’t say where you located. Maybe it’s India or China and you’re having issues with the time difference?

    • PJ says:

      Sorry, John. I got too distracted and put this comment on the wayside. I won’t be responding to it at this point. You’ve not indicated that you are interested in serious discussion, so interpret my non-reply however you wish. it is quite apparent that your intent isn’t honest discourse. You’re bludgeoning with positions on which we basically agree – a clear indication that you aren’t interested in genuine engagement. Perhaps if you choose to reply to the questions I’ve posed to you I might have more confidence in the integrity of your intent. Do you need me to repeat them?

      • John Casper says:

        PJ, outside of voting rights, how do I tell the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?

        Thanks in advance.

        • PJ says:

          John,

          Your reply indicates you haven’t any intention to converse. I can’t answer that for you. You’ve already indicated that you don’t differentiate between the parties save voting rights, If you can’t or won’t distinguish between them save voting rights then there is little I can say to convince you that there is a difference. I therefore deem your question as intentionally un-serious. And you’re doing the goalpost dance again. How about this – I will answer your questions on this post (including your latest – to the best of my ability) if you answer the questions that I’ve posed to you repeatedly. Do you need me to repeat them?

  5. nonquixote says:

    …if you answer the questions that I’ve posed to you repeatedly. Do you need me to repeat them?

    Nobody needs any more of your insufferable, immature repetition of examples of stonewalling to understand how it works, PJ. You are the obvious BBlue champion at demonstrating how it works. Recent examples for proof.

    http://bloggingblue.com/2013/10/06/extortion-politics-and-disaster-capitalism/comment-page-1/#comment-137522

    http://bloggingblue.com/2013/10/06/extortion-politics-and-disaster-capitalism/comment-page-1/#comment-137536

    http://bloggingblue.com/2013/10/06/extortion-politics-and-disaster-capitalism/comment-page-1/#comment-137543

    http://bloggingblue.com/2013/10/05/end-the-shutdown-white-house-weekly-address/comment-page-1/#comment-137508

    http://bloggingblue.com/2013/10/05/end-the-shutdown-white-house-weekly-address/comment-page-1/#comment-137513

    Comment #137513 immediately above: Here’s an idea, John. Rather than utilizing a question as a bludgeon to hammer home your single-minded point of view, why not try asking questions honestly? Rather than asking a question that tears down, why not try asking questions that build up? Rather than asking questions designed only to serve your own narrow and slanted view, why not ask questions for the purpose of asking questions – you know what that is, don’t you, John? Genuine inquiry? Honest and open discussion? Why not ask a question for which you do not have an answer? Or are you not looking for answers? You have all the answers?

    Doing your near perfect full-Boehner channeling, crocoshit tears, pathetic whining and all, (imagining you must even have a tanning light) kindly try following your own advice, just once. Decent advise but always rendered for everyone else as your rules to live by, but apparently every time with your personal exemption for the ever self-proclaimed exceptional you. We know how extortion works, how hypocrisy works, PJ and we especially know how psychological projection works. We also know the definitions of petty, disingenuous, condescension and conceited, PJ.
    ______________________________________

    Really PJ, please just ignore my truthful little rant, for what I really wonder is why you bother to stick around here and put up with the ever intellectually inferior, low-life political rabble, short-sighted and illogical oafs so many of us must be to you and which you never fail to point out to us, is a mystery of biblical proportion. Has to be a savior-complex. This can’t be any intellectual challenge for your superior mental machinations.

    Obviously, I cannot fathom with my inferior thought processes, why you have not left for greener cerebral fields, started your own blog and appealed to your more worthy peers to join you. Leaving this one, you’d definitely be showing us ever unappreciative bastards, what we would be missing. The hole no one could likely ever fill. So, give us hell, show us whereof you preach, put us in our place once and for all. Damn the torpedoes, suffer no more slings and arrows of corrosive discourse, full speed ahead. Nothing is holding you here, I promise.

    • John Casper says:

      PJ,

      I’ve saved nonquixote’s comment.

      If Blogging Blue has a Hall-of-Fame for comments, nonquixote’s should be in it.

      • nonquixote says:

        Thanks kindly, yea, I put both of my brain cells into overdrive this morning, but see I should have edited the two minute first draft I submitted for some spelling errors and sentence structure correction.

        Back to the shutdown topic, suggested at a few other sites yesterday, if we didn’t have such a mealy-mouth capitulator in the WH, we might expect an executive order deeming all government services essential and immediately put an end to the circus. Not holding my breath.

      • PJ says:

        John,

        Am I to understand that you will not be replying to the questions I’ve asked you? You do realize that what has been demonstrated here is that it is you who are stonewalling, John? You must know the answer to the first question because stonewalling is what you do.

        Do you know why stonewalling works?

        Do you think that Dems should accept the stonewalling tactics of the GOP?

        To expand further:

        Do you think stonewalling is an acceptable tactic for discourse here at Blooging Blue?

        • John Casper says:

          Matthew 7:

          3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

          • PJ says:

            John,

            I appreciate the reference. And in reply I would point you to my previous comment suggesting that I will answer all of your questions if you will answer all of my questions. I would submit that your comment at 9:27 applies to you just as much as it would apply to me. I submit that if we both take the specks from our eyes and address each other’s queries honestly and genuinely then we would be on our way to dialogue and productive discussion.

            I’ll go further to ask you why it is that you are dissatisfied with my response to your Chained CPI queries. I’ve answered your questions, I agree with your position. I don’t want to see chained CPI as a part of any kind of grand bargain. How about this: Rather than plopping down a litany of proofs, why don’t you state the response that would satisfy you? What is it that you want me to say that I’m not saying? Perhaps in this way we can come to an understanding.

          • PJ says:

            John,

            I think it is safe to assume that you won’t be responding to my concessions to you. In so doing, you have by demonstration acceded to the GOP’s stonewalling tactics and in effect, you have recreated the conditions that resulted in the Shutdown. I think it is also safe to assume that the questions you posed to me were neither genuine nor honest in their intent – you didn’t pose questions to elicit discourse. So It would appear that you approve wholeheartedly and will utilize the Tea Party’s bare-knuckle tactics to suit your narrow goals. I therefore regard your discourse as shamefully dishonest with the sole intent to solidify a solitary perspective. Most important, however, you’ve confirmed my observations through exemplification – that the irrationalism, propagandism, and petty close-mindedness that characterizes the Right (epitomized by the Tea Party) has infiltrated the Left.
            Save this post, John; so in future if the topic of civil discourse recurs you can reference it easily. You’ve provided an object lesson for the depths we ought not sink.

            “We” meaning We the People, of course. And more specifically, “We” on the Left who desire to see a political shift to the Left in Wisconsin and in the nation as a whole.

      • nonquixote says:

        Time to stop feeding the troll. Jesus f**king Christ on a crutch, we’ll start getting a deconstruction of the Bible next. ;~)

    • Cat Kin says:

      Time to stop feeding the troll. Jesus f**king Christ on a crutch, we’ll start getting a deconstruction of the Bible next. ;~)

      You’re not going to drive PJ off, Windmill, just because he’s a better thinker and blogger. At least I hope not. To prove it, I’m going submit a couple of quotes, and then one from the Bible:

      “The devil is in the details”

      Why has this quote persisted? And why do bullies like you mistakenly turn it around to profess “God is in the details”? Can you answer this?

      I am going to offer my interpretation in another reply to give you the chance to show us all your superior reasoning power now.

      • John Casper says:

        Cat,

        The way I read this is that Dems are ready and willing to “chain the CPI.”

        “U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan: Yes to deficit deal but no to repeal of Obamacare

        Madison — Democratic congressman Mark Pocan said Monday his party would be open to cutting a deficit deal with Republicans to avert a potentially catastrophic default on the nation’s debt later this month.

        But a repeal or delay of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, won’t be part of the discussion, Pocan said.

        “It’s not even part of the discussion,” Pocan said. “It shouldn’t be.”

        On the other hand, Pocan said in principle Democrats are open to making changes in programs such as Social Security and Medicare to cut the nation’s long term deficits and debt levels.

        Pocan, a liberal Democrat from Madison, also said that by next week his party should be able to force a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on a straight-forward bill to end a government shutdown that began last week.

        “If we had a vote right now, we could get it done,” Pocan said.

        http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/226760201.html

        Pocan’s sitting in one of the safest Dem districts in the country. This is a message from Obama and Pelosi to what’s left of the “left” in the Democratic party. They’ve got Mark Pocan on board.

        Per Ronald Reagan in this 37-second clip, “Social Security has nothing to do with raising or lowering the deficit,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihUoRD4pYzI

        I just got off the phone with Rep. Pocan’s D.C. office.

        phone: 202-225-2906

        Talked to a very nice young man who represented the Congressman extremely well and assured me that Rep. Pocan would never vote to “chain the CPI.”

        Unfortunately, I’ve seen the Dem’s progressive caucus sell out to easily over the years.

        I’d urge everyone to call Rep. Pocan’s office and ask him to make a PUBLIC retraction. What they tell you/me over the phone doesn’t count. Rep. Pocan has to tell other Dems (who are under a lot more pressure to cave on this then he is) that he will never vote to “chain the CPI.”

        Just a few of the much better alternatives.

        We can raise taxes on the 1%

        We can legalize pot and tax it.

        We can put a financial transactions tax on Wall Street.

        We can close foreign military bases.

        Federal government can go deeper into debt.

        We can do all of those.

        • nonquixote says:

          Found Reid Ribble’s office receptive to questions, but I doubt they will be fighting the chained CPI just because it is another of Obombem’s pets.

          Pocan prefers to address district constituents first, understandable.

          Nice info today.

      • John Casper says:

        Cat, what makes this position even dumber is that the GOP will use the “chain-the-CPI” vote against Dems in 2014. All Pelosi needs is 17 Republicans (along with all the Dems) to get a bill out of the House.

        GOP will be right when they argue that the Dems voted to cut Social Security.

      • PJ says:

        Thanks, Cat. I think it’s pretty evident that the Tea Party Leftists are committed to applying Tea Party intransigence. Looking forward to your quotes and your interpretation you’ve alluded to.

        Don’t worry, “Windmill” won’t drive me off, though I may drift in and out, you can rest assured that it won’t be in reaction to Windmills.

        • John Casper says:

          PJ,

          If the LEFT had anything remotely resembling a “Tea Party,” they would have already announced a PRIMARY candidate to challenge Pocan for re-election in 2014.

          That’s the way you start to re-build the Democratic party. Obama’s not going to veto “chaining the CPI.” The absolute best place to stop the destruction of “our Progressive legacy,” is with the Progressive Caucus in the House. Those are Dems in super-safe seats, like Madison.

          As a self-described “LEFTY,” who claims to have never joined the Democratic party, why aren’t you advocating a PRIMARY for Pocan FROM THE LEFT?

          I’m not advocating this for all Democratic districts, just those that lean most heavily Democratic.

          If a guy like Pocan will cave on Social Security, how is Ron Kind (in a district that doesn’t lean nearly as far to the left) supposed to hold the line?

        • John Casper says:

          PJ,

          “GOP will be dared to filibuster debt ceiling: Harry Reid makes his move
          Majority leader will force GOP to give up their debt limit extortion dream — or filibuster America into default”

          http://www.salon.com/2013/10/07/gop_will_be_dared_to_filibuster_debt_ceiling_harry_reid_makes_his_move/

          This looks like a big improvement over what Mark Pocan pulled today.

          What do you think of it?

          • PJ says:

            John,

            If I understand Reid’s plan correctly – agreed. I’d say a shrewd scheme providing that in calling Boehner’s bluff Reid is certain that he can deliver the Senate votes to carry it through if the House won’t pass a clean increase. Good God what an ugly scenario. I’m not terribly confident in Reid, but for assembling senate votes under the current circumstances – I’d trust he can pull it off. Thanks for the wonky link. Reading it now.

            As for Pocan, I guess I just don’t know what to think. Thank you for calling his office and for providing his office phone #,

        • John Casper says:

          PJ,

          The wingnuts won’t be satisfied with a “chained-CPI,” so why are Dems offering it?

          “…If it’s just a repeal of the medical-device tax, or chained CPI, that won’t be enough.”

          http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/360598/conservatives-wary-deal-robert-costa

        • John Casper says:

          PJ,

          “Perspective on the debt-ceiling crisis” is pretty wonkish, but I think it’s a good read.

          http://my.firedoglake.com/wigwam/2013/10/07/perspective-on-the-debt-ceiling-crisis/#

          It’s from one of those emoprogs at Firedoglake.

          • Cat Kin says:

            The one thing I took away from my years stuck in the legal system–I once took a renigging client to the Supreme Court–is that every legal statute has a “back door” from which to escape. However, this is an interesting comment by John to which I whole heartedly subscribe:

            Also, until 31USC3101 is struck down or repealed, I recommend that no president ever again sign a budget or appropriation bill that lacks an amendment raising the debt ceiling enough to cover the resulting revenue-deficit.(Note that PCS is revenue.)

            • PJ says:

              Cat Kin,

              Definitely one way to look at it. I would tend to regard the matter a little differently. Until the debt limit law is repealed, I’d prefer to see a dissociation between the debt ceiling increase and the budget negotiation process or any policy negotiation whatsoever. The debt ceiling should be routine, inviolable, sovereign, imbued with the “Nike” principle, if you will – Just Do It. There’s certainly enough historical precedent for that routine.

              Clearly Tea Party strategy revolves around conflating budget negotiations (debt reduction or deficit reduction) with debt ceiling negotiation and much of their strategy hinges on keeping the debt ceiling itself negotiable and conflated with budget agreements. At first blush it might make sense to tie the two together, but as you once wisely noted, the devil is in the details. 38 of the last 45 debt ceiling increases were simply clean votes with no contingents. I’d prefer that precedent to be encouraged. Otherwise the door will remain permanently propped open for tactical extortion and wrenching unilateral concessions out of Democrats. Certainly with a radicalized GOP that views compromise as filthy and illegitimate until the stakes are high enough to meet their extraction demands, I shouldn’t think anything but a solid non-negotiable debt limit position would be the one to take, and it would be a directional shift toward normalization and defusing potential, future extremist maneuvering. There are no sensible conditions for bargaining the debt ceiling. Routinely attaching a ceiling increase to budget and appropriations legislation keeps the debt ceiling squarely on the negotiation table and would surely distort and unnecessarily complicate those budget and appropriations negotiations by its very presence as an amendment. Those negotiations should have absolutely zero to do with the debt ceiling.

              The debt limit law should be addressed certainly. There might be more than one way to do it. Rewriting so as to nullify it would be another – that might lead to sticky interpretational wickets, probably at the core of the solution would be a legal construct that addresses both perpetual debt and perpetual conflict. How precisely that would look I can’t say, but those would be the contours that I would think matter most. Included within those provisions for managing our debt I might include a provision for the inviolability of public holdings – selling our public spaces and public resources to service the debt would be one non-negotiable no-no to forbid by statute. Clearly one back door breach we see is the use of the shutdown and debt ceiling to dramatically privatize and decentralize the public sector – irreversibly – by selling public lands to service public debt as in H.R. 2657 noted in the summary from the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation.

              Giving it just a quick thought and without more study, it looks like the amendment idea leaves the door open for bigger hostages, more insidious tactics, and more obscured “horse trading.” The debt ceiling should never intersect with any other process. Ultimately, the weaponization of the debt ceiling by presidential veto is just as palpable a scenario.

              One other major concern with the amendment idea is that it’s too unstable and capricious a scenario for the gravity of the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling has global ramifications. It needs a more stable, less insularly-minded solution.

              Ultimately I would advocate the broadest possible perspective on the matter and that is the legal morass of constitutionality. Too big to tackle just yet, but something We the People will have to confront sooner or later. As I’ve mentioned on previous occasion in various contexts, I advocate for Constitutional revision via Constitutional Convention. Repealing or revising the debt limit law doesn’t quite cut the mustard. Nor does hoping that our election officials maintain a modicum of sanity until it is repealed. What I hope comes out of this is a clarion call for real solutions to prevent our government from being taken over by hostile elites ever again.

              • Cat Kin says:

                PJ,
                Yes, at this juncture, every law and amendment seem capricious. We will indeed have to impart a lot of faith in the overall intentions of our legislators to trust them with rewriting the Constitution.

                So, to do that, we must first get the influence of the outside world out of the equation, or at least, limit their current influence. My hope until last month was the Move To Amend initiative which took off around the nation like wildfire after the SCOTUS Citizen’s United decision. #movetoamend.org But, as feared, when the movement really began to establish some influence, a group of emoprogs took over the national webforums and began insisting on all sorts of Liberal pledges in order for affiliates to proceed: like racial equity, union rights, job opportunity, imigration reform, etc. So your mention of a teaparty of the left is exactly what transpired and has muddied up the issue to such an extent that affiliates are resigning and other groups have jumped in to raise money and advocate on the issue.

                Move To Amend has always had a difficult focus issue. My fix on the current fracture is to get back with the start ups on the movement and devise a written national plan, which seems like a simple first step but the Eau Claire affiliate has already begun drifting away or toward other movements.

                Since I consider limiting corporate influence such a big part of the overall political future of America, I’m going to continue to try to reset MTA leadership, but local affiliate leaders have a tendency to hold on to their little provinces–as do Union bosses– making clear, unified policy difficult if not impossible. Looks like we’ll have to rely on our faith in “The Force” more than we would like in the corporate influence issue as well as the Constitutional Convention issue.

                • PJ says:

                  Sorry to hear about the Move to Amend situation in Eau Claire. I believe Move to Amend also advocated for a Constitutional Convention at one time. All of those particulars you mention (union rights etc.) could be easily fitted under the umbrella of removing corporate influence in our democracy. Also under that banner would fall SCOTUS itself – I still hold to Jefferson’s lament – the founders made a mistake there. I lean toward a Supreme Court that is elected or rotates periodically.

  6. CJ McD says:

    Speaking of extorsion politics and disaster capitalism: Read about the Trans-Pacific Partnership http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/truthdigger_of_the_week_lori_wallach_20131005?ln

    Between that and the Codex Alimentarius…. we need to wake this country up!

    • PJ says:

      CJ,

      I have provided forums for discussion of the TPP and its potentially devastating impact with no ensuing discussion. Here is one:
      UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review 2013

      If you follow the link you will find no discussion in the comments. What you will find are a number of links provided by Nonquixote about the TPP. Nonquixote did not discuss the TPP. No one responded to the TPP in the UNCTAD Report and no one responded to the links that Nonquixote provided. I might suggest that if you’d like to discuss the TPP the UNCTAD post might be a place to start. I encourage you to do so.

      I’ve also posted specifically on the TPP with a call for action and no discussion ensued:
      Help Stop Trade Treachery: Make Your Voice Heard

      These are two examples of places where the TPP could be discussed with no ensuing discussion. I think I accidentally deleted a third searching for you – I’m hoping Zach can retrieve it. So, I would ask is there a specific and particular reason why we should be discussing the TPP here instead of discussing the GOP’s current plan to exploit the Shutdown for the purpose of selling off our public lands and our public parks? If we should be discussing the TPP now, is there a reason you are not discussing it? You’ve implied a connection between Disaster Capitalism, Extortion Politics and the TPP but you’ve not expounded on those connections. Please do so.

    • nonquixote says:

      Thanks CJ McD,

      I’ve not seen anyone go back to May to find the, “correct,” diary to post a comment to. Nanny scolds rear their heads in the darnedest places. Tiny violins.

      The TPP topic bears repeating often, Ms Wallach has the lowdown. Tying it into the topic so I don’t get stalked and have my hand slapped, the shutdown and debt ceiling is great cover for the TPP to slip along unnoticed, but that’s probably what you had in mind, The connection llikely obvious to anyone when not wasting time preaching imaginary comment protocol and control.

      Barry could simply halt this phase of the T-party BS and issue an executive order declaring all government facilities, personnel and operations as essential and things would be mostly back to normal until the grand bargain on the debt ceiling. Too easy, Obomba’s team needs to play with injure we the people for political effect, have us down on our knees first, so to speak, before whipping us with the chained CPI.

      • PJ says:

        Well NQ, for all your caterwauling and bemoaning over “we have to talk about this instead of that” one might suppose you’d actually talk about “this” when given the opportunity. You really have nothing to gripe about if you’ve been given the opportunity. Would you like me to create another TPP post?

        If you can tie the TPP into the shutdown topic, go right ahead. You haven’t.

        Your Green Lantern answer doesn’t tie in the TPP. But, as you’ve brought it up, what provision did you have in mind?

        Or are you thinking along the lines of a presidential directive for some sort of modified Continuity of Government plan?

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