Master of Querimonies

No prob.

Posted in Uncategorized by Davis X. Machina on November 6, 2012

The national security state is now almost as old as the slaveholding republic was on the day Lincoln signed the Emancipation.

And as entrenched.

And as ring-fenced with settled law.

And as toxic.

Getting rid of slavery required the demise of one party, (or two, depending on how you want to count the Democracy), and the rise of another, and the rise-and-fall of several minor parties (Free Soil, Liberty). And near eighty years. And a civil war.

On this issue, though, third-party top-of-the-ballot votes should do the trick, and in just a couple of cycles.

Why I fear the ACA…

Posted in Uncategorized by Davis X. Machina on June 28, 2012

Take Switzerland, for an example. There’s a country that really screwed up. They pissed their Freedom™ away, big time.

As it is now, it’d break your heart — the shabby clothes, the queues in the stores for such meager goods, the whispered conversations about friends and neighbors who have disappeared in the night, furtive, Tor-proxy-protected  visits to the American consular agency in Geneva’s website with asylum questions…

All this because of their federal government’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance from a private carrier through an exchange.

You’d think, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, we’d seen the last of this kind of oppression, at least in Europe.

Some day a Walesa of the Rhodanie will arise and lead those poor bastards in Lausanne to Freedom™, and somewhere William Tell is weeping.

Mrs. Widmer-Sclumpf, tear down this mandate!

(Freedom™ is a registered trademark of the Republican National Committee. All rights reserved. Used with permission.)

Lost in the Ozone…

Posted in Uncategorized by Davis X. Machina on September 3, 2011

Who said this?

“At a time when so many people are hurting, we need to put the decisions about our energy future in to the hands of the people and their elected representatives…. EPA actions in this area (here it was clean coal, and not ozone exposure standards, but the point is a general one. Ed.) would have enormous implications, and these issues need to be handled carefully and appropriately dealt with by the Congress, not in isolation by a federal environmental agency”

Answer: Sherrod Brown, Carl Levin, and six other Democratic senators. In February of 2010.

It’s from Sen. Rockefeller’s home page. He’s proud of his position.

Senator Brown is often suggested as exemplary true progressive and a potential Obama primary challenger.

Levin is acclaimed as a liberal lion.

This is not just an Obama problem. This is a ‘Democratic rust-belt-state’ problem. A ‘states-where-the-2008-election was won and lost’ problem. A ‘party-who-polls-horribly-among-the-white-working class’ problem.

I’m not privy to any inside information, but I will wager blind that this action was taken at the behest of certain important members of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

The White House can count, and knows who’s defending what Senate seats, where,  in the next election….

All politics continues to be local.

Ex Africa semper aliquid novi…

Posted in Uncategorized by Davis X. Machina on August 22, 2011

There are a lot of people who learned, thirty, forty years ago, one particular set of prisms through which to look at events, and one particular set of categories to fit things into.

And they’ll be damned—because it’s too much work, or because those things are too much a part of them, or because no one wants to admit they’re growing old—if they have to change them, or acquire a new perspective.

So, yeah, there’s a fair amount of “Create two-three-many Libyas!” out there. Qadaffi the Unaligned standing tall with his third-world comrades, bravely resisting the EU/NATO/US steamroller, and such.

Add to that that the high-water mark of the blogospheric left was the run-up to, and the US kicking off, the Iraq war. It was the Spitfire summer for a lot of people still blogging. They’ll see everything in that context the rest of their lives.

Change is scary

Posted in Uncategorized by Davis X. Machina on July 19, 2011

But the more you have to paddle just to stay where you are, the scarier change is. People who are feeling like their present status is at-risk, contingent, who have to paddle like a son-of-a-bitch, who are convinced the game is zero-sum, are going to dig in their heels. Nothing-to-lose gets you a revolution. Something-to-lose, and feeling like you’re about to lose it, gets you stasis. Things like PPCA and DADT (or a black president), wouldn’t have gone down perfectly smoothly under any circumstances, but tough times are more likely to amplify the chorus of ‘Stop’!

William Goldman was right…

Posted in Uncategorized by Davis X. Machina on July 7, 2011

…when he said ‘Nobody knows anything, not just about Hollywood, but about Washington.

Probably because Jay Leno was right when he said “Politics is just show business for ugly people”.

And nobody knows anything about the Grand budget-tax-debt-ceiling entitlement Compromise.

On the Mandate…

Posted in Uncategorized by Davis X. Machina on December 14, 2010

Let’s play Jeopardy.

A. A purchase that Congress finds worth encouraging, so it passes a law that gains its purchaser a tax advantage, a tax advantage withheld from those who do not make such a purchase….

Q. What is a thirty-year fixed mortgage from Wells Fargo?

Q. What is an ACA-compliant health insurance policy from Aetna, or Anthem/Wellpoint?

Vanguard of the Revolution

Posted in Uncategorized by Davis X. Machina on December 11, 2010

A cold, hard, small, disciplined, real Democratic party is the only thing that will save the country.

Oh, sure, some people will carp, and point out that during this process real people will suffer real pain that could otherwise have been averted. When the historical necessity of their sacrifice is explained to them properly, however, they will come around.

Some day, when real progressives finally take power, we can recognize their sacrifice. A memorial, something tasteful, and not too grandiose on the Mall? Or a commemorative stamp…we could have Banksey do it; think how cool that would be.

Remind me again, when did Lenin die?