The Morning Grumpy – July 18th

18 Jul

1. This weekend, tens of thousands of people met in living rooms around America to launch the “Rebuild The Dream” movement. What is this movement and why does it matter?  At its core, it is a renewal of the progressive movement that emerged in 2008 and worked to elect Barack Obama as President, only this time without an investment into a specific candidate. A left wing “tea party”, if you will, only without the armed seniors on hoverounds demanding that the government keep their hands off their Medicare.

Here’s a couple of videos describing the movement.

The Three Pillars of The American Dream


The Three Big Lies and The Contract For The American Dream


Join the movement, get involved and make a difference.

2. As proof that such a movement is required, see the sad story of Elizabeth Warren. A true progressive voice for consumer rights who was to be named the head of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. President Obama knew she would not clear the Senate confirmation process and instead of fighting for her, he passed. That has been a recurring theme with this President, he cowers from a fight and refuses to stand on principle. Why was Warren an unpopular choice by financial institutions and Republicans to head up this powerful new agency? Well, she intended to actually investigate the banks and financial firms which brought us to the brink of economic armageddon. Can’t have that!

However, it looks like Warren might be running to replace Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) in the next election. So, we haven’t heard the last of her yet.


3. Still not sure what the deal is with this whole debt ceiling thing? Read this for a pretty good explanation and timeline about what’s going on. Also, some scary warnings about failing to raise the debt ceiling from people much smarter than Congressional Republicans, here and here.

4. Interesting analysis from a Nobel Laureate in Economics.

Economic and financial commentators appear increasingly puzzled about the weak US recovery, with its modest GDP growth and meager employment gains. Growth estimates since the 2008 crisis have been revised downward several times.

But, while that might play well politically, the sensible conclusion is that this is not just a cyclical recovery, but rather the beginning of a delayed process of structural adaptation to a rapidly shifting global economy, to emerging economies’ growth and shifting comparative advantage, and to powerful technological forces. While these changes are difficult to think about with any degree of precision, that doesn’t make them unimportant.

5. Al Qaeda was forcing local affiliates (or at least its Iraqi one) to sustain themselves financially. If local groups must make their own money, governments and counterterror operatives can use Al Qaeda’s need to raise money – often using illicit means and pressure against local citizens – against the organization. That kind of counterterrorism would look less like war, and more like careful police work against what amounts to a criminal syndicate or mafia.”

6. How much would you pay for the universe? Half a penny on a dollar? An amazing speech and video about NASA from Neil deGrasse Tyson.


7. Each time I watch the Bill O’Loughlin Talk Radio on TV show on Channel 2, I think of this Mr. Show classic. Only, Bill’s show isn’t funny or ironic.


8. Pour a little of your mediocre double-double coffee out this morning to remember the late, great local franchise, Dickie’s Donuts. The last Dickie’s location closed yesterday, a true local institution now gone.

Have a day!

8 Responses to “The Morning Grumpy – July 18th”

  1. Jesse July 18, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    10’s of thousands or just 10’s?  I think moveOn got moved on, and no one cares any more.  We’ve seen what your awesome candidate did with his last election win, and now THIS TIME you’re going to get it right?

    Wait… by crowdsourcing ideas on how to fix shit?  Yeah, how’s that crowdsourcing nonsense going on down on the waterfront.  Chairs and the Hatch part Deux.  Awesome.

    • Christopher Smith July 18, 2011 at 7:59 am #

      Obama has been a disappointment to the left because he has been a President for the center and center-right and downright Bush-like when it comes to issues of war and counter-terrorism. What’s even more frustrating is that people in the center and center-right are so ideologically xenophobic, that they don’t see it.

      Also, the irony of crowdsouring ideas on the waterfront is that what happened wasn’t crowdsourcing at all. Well, unless you consider gathering a couple of dozen aged white people into a room to decide what they want to see on the waterfront as “crowdsourcing”.

      Whereas asking tens of thousands of people from various walks of life to vote on ideas that will make up a social platform for them to advocate, well, that’s how change happens. People need to feel ownership in the ideas.

  2. Jaquandor July 18, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    I’m coming to agree with Kevin Drum on Obama: he’s not caving as opposed to standing on principle. He actually IS standing on principle, but his principles aren’t progressive. I think Obama genuinely believes the things he pursues. (Which is intensely disappointing on its own.)

  3. Jaquandor July 18, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    An addendum: I hope that before I exit this world, I will be able to say that the most progressive President of my lifetime wasn’t Richard Fucking Nixon.

  4. Brian Wood July 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Hey, I’m 67, bred up in New Hamsha of good, old Puritan stock, but I ain’t no teaparty hoverounder.

    When I’m elected “god”™, I’ll discontinue inheritance. If you don’t earn it YOURSELF, you don’t get it, little Misses Rockefeller, Walton, Hilton, and the rest of you rich filth.

    Remember, as the workers from 1890-1941 knew, capitalism is the enemy.

  5. Jon Splett July 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Color me skeptical of a ‘left wing tea party’ being grown out of the Democratic party. 

    Spinning off from the establishment instead of establishing an organic grassroots movement is exactly what moved the current tea party from principled, idealistic libertarian nutjobs to slimy, corporate controlled Christianist Sarah Palin worshipers. Obviously, I have no love for either but the early days of the Ron Paulista’s was at least respectable in the sense there was some sort of unified political ideology behind it and it wasn’t just a repackaging of the same, tired major party brand misleading it’s base so they still show up at the polls.

    A true leftist ‘tea party’ on a massive scale is hard to do because it requires representing the poor and working class and they don’t have the monetary resources required to play ball in the current political market. The tea party has grown into what it is today because of rich backers (Koch Brothers)  protecting their own interests. A similar type of funding on the left undermines the entire core of what the movement is suppose to be fighting for.

    Besides, I already did this whole leftist tea party thing back in 2000 before it was cool when Ralph Nader was trying to do it and no one wanted to listen. I’m such a political hipster. 

  6. Eisenbart July 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    The NASA video kind of floored me. The nerve to describe 9-10 billion dollar a year budget as a fraction of a penny on every dollar. Who does he think he’s fooling? How about every year the federal government gives a city 10 billion dollars instead?


  1. Boyhood Dreams Deferred « - July 20, 2011

    […] program being only the latest example. Neil deGrasse Tyson, of NOVA and the Hayden Planetarium, is worried about the same thing. That one of America’s most eloquent advocates for space exploration sounds so frustrated […]

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