Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Believe it or not, Weird Wally (WW) actually feels bad for Alan Greenspan.

Yes, WW realizes that we are in a major mess. The shit has hit the fan and instead of “ trickle down,” most of us are experiencing the “splatter.”


According to WW, it’s bad enough to experience “trickle down (being pissed on),” but it’s a whole different matter to experience the “splatter (being shat on).”


And for that, according to WW, we have Greenspan to thank. The way WW says he understands it, Greenspan was for deregulation because, he figured that the private sector would police themselves.

But “deregulation” is the same as saying that everything is legal and anything goes. The second that a government says that word, all the sociopaths in the world, will respond with a bogus plan to use deregulation, so that they can get the money.

So, the problem with Mr. Greenspan was one of innocence.

He just didn’t understand the nature of greed and how no matter how much you have, it is not nearly enough.

On the other hand, were the act of burglary “deregulated” and made legal, where would you park your pickup-truck and your extra-large visual display screen?

Meanwhile, WW, reformed second story-man and CIA Operative, says: “don’t leave home without them!”

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Worm Turns in Alaska

Breaking News from the Anchorge Daily News



Board's Troopergate probe casts wider net

ETHICS: Investigator hasn't said who else may be under scrutiny.

By TOM KIZZIA
tkizzia@adn.com

Published: October 13th, 2008 11:08 PM
Last Modified: October 13th, 2008 10:58 AM

The state Personnel Board investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of Walt Monegan has broadened to include other ethics complaints against the governor and examination of actions by other state employees, according to the independent counsel handling the case.

The investigator, Tim Petumenos, did not say who else is under scrutiny. But in two recent letters describing his inquiry, he cited the consolidation of complaints and the involvement of other officials as a reason for not going along with Palin's request to make the examination of her activities more public.

Two other ethics complaints involving Palin are known. One, by activist Andree McLeod, alleges that state hiring practices were circumvented for a Palin supporter. The case is not related to Monegan's firing. The other, by the Public Safety Employees Association, alleges that trooper Mike Wooten's personnel file was illegally breached by state officials.

John Cyr, the PSEA executive director, said Monday the union plans to amend its complaint to be sure the board investigates "harassment" of Wooten as well.

Petumenos has not spoken to the press, in keeping with the secrecy of the state process. But he gave a rough description of the investigation's course in two letters to an Anchorage attorney threatening a lawsuit over Palin's effort to waive confidentiality.

Attention is turning this week to the Personnel Board -- the state's official avenue for investigating ethics complaints -- after release of the Legislature's Troopergate investigation last Friday. The Legislature's investigator concluded that Palin was within her rights to fire Monegan as public safety commissioner, but abused her power and broke the ethics law in joining her husband to push for the firing of Wooten, who was once married to the governor's sister.

Palin reversed an earlier pledge and refused to cooperate with the Legislature's investigation, calling it politically biased. In an unusual twist, she filed the ethics complaint against herself before the board, saying she hoped to "clear the air" by an inquiry through proper channels. She asked the board to decide if she broke ethics laws or acted improperly in dismissing Monegan or in dealing with Wooten -- basically the same ground Branchflower covered.

Petumenos has requested a copy of Friday's legislative report, including confidential backup material, said Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau, chairman of the Legislative Council. Elton said the council will meet Thursday to vote on whether to give Petumenos all the material gathered by its investigator, Steve Branchflower.

Petumenos was hired by the Personnel Board to handle the case because the state attorney general's office, which normally investigates ethics charges, would have a conflict investigating the governor.

Under the state's inscrutable system for investigating official ethics complaints, there's no way to tell how long Petumenos' investigation might take. The Personnel Board, made up of three gubernatorial appointees, has meetings scheduled for Oct. 20 and Nov. 3. Agendas for those meetings mention confidential ethics matters to be handled in executive session.

Nor is there any certainty, if the complaints are settled or dismissed, that the results of the investigation will ever be made public. A review of recent Personnel Board cases, however, suggests it's likely most information will eventually be released.

Palin has been involved in Personnel Board investigations before -- though not as a subject of complaint -- and at the time complained about their secrecy.

In high-profile cases that established her statewide reputation as an ethics reformer, Palin helped with a 2003 investigation of Republican Party chairman Randy Ruedrich, who was working on a state oil regulatory panel, and she co-filed a complaint in 2004 against then-attorney general Gregg Renkes.

Both men were found by investigators to have crossed ethical lines. Details of the investigations were released in the end, as part of a settlement that stopped short of the full public hearing before an administrative law judge that the law requires in serious cases.

In the Ruedrich case, Palin resigned her state job in protest while the investigation was still secret, saying she felt implicated in a cover-up because of the shroud.

"I'd like to find a hero in the Legislature who can take on and change that law and make it more sensible," Palin said at the time she resigned. As governor, she has supported changes to ethics laws, but the secrecy of board investigations has not been changed.

Palin fired Monegan in July and the legislative inquiry began later that month.

Four days after her Aug. 29 selection as John McCain's Republican vice presidential candidate, Palin's lawyer filed an official ethics complaint over the Monegan affair with the Personnel Board, urging the Legislature to give way. The Legislature refused, creating parallel investigations.

Judging from Petumenos' letters on the case, he feels able to range as broadly as Branchflower into subjects related to the original ethics complaints.

One element will distinguish the Personnel Board inquiry: It will have Palin's cooperation.

Sarah and Todd Palin have agreed to be interviewed by Petumenos at the end of next week, said Meg Stapleton, a spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign. She said Monday she has no other details of the arrangement.

There's another distinction: While the Legislature's inquiry ended last Friday with vague talk of further action, the official investigation can bring legal consequences under the state ethics law.

The three current members of the Personnel Board were appointed by Gov. Frank Murkowski. Palin reappointed one, Debra English of Anchorage, last January.

The three unsalaried appointees usually handle less momentous matters at quarterly lunch meetings, said Dianne Kiesel, deputy director of the Alaska Division of Personnel and Labor Relations in the state Department of Administration. The board approves changes to state work rules such as promotion, pay and leave regulations.

Meanwhile, many ethics complaints filed against state employees -- accusing someone of driving a state vehicle after hours, say, or of providing rude service -- get handled by ethics supervisors inside the different state departments. The Personnel Board gets a summary report but is not involved.

It's the unusual case that becomes a big job requiring extra board meetings.

"Most all of these things get resolved before or at the accusation stage," said assistant attorney general Judy Bockmon. "Very few matters have actually gone to hearing."

Palin explicitly waived her right to confidentiality in her complaint to the Personnel Board. But days later, the McCain-Palin campaign said the investigation would remain secret at the request of Petumenos.

"The governor will respect that request, but will explore the means by which confidentiality may be waived once the investigation is complete," said Stapleton.

In two recent letters to Anchorage lawyer Meg Simonian, who was threatening a lawsuit to force more public scrutiny, Petumenos said the investigation had spread to other officials and other complaints.

"The Governor does not have the right, under such circumstances, to waive the right of confidentiality for others," Petumenos wrote. But he tried to reassure Simonian about the eventual release of the investigation.

"The Board is ... mindful of the public interest and the interest in the credibility to its processes that public disclosure would provide," Petumenos said.

Simonian, a registered Democrat who said she is pursuing the matter out of personal interest, said Monday she wants Petumenos to tease out the parts of his report involving Palin, so that those parts of the upcoming Personnel Board meetings can be public -- if, indeed, the board is discussing that topic.

"I'm in this bind where nobody knows what the board is doing," Simonian said.

Find Tom Kizzia online at adn.com/contact/tkizzia or call him at 1-907-235-4244.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Basic Law of Karma and Troopergate

Weird Wally has always believed that, “what goes around, comes around.”

ALASKA
Troopergate: Not Over Yet
By Michael Isikoff | NEWSWEEK
Published Oct 11, 2008
From the magazine issue dated Oct 20, 2008

A new Alaska legislative report finding that Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power and violated state ethics laws spells new trouble for the McCain campaign. Special counsel Steve Branchflower's report could lead to fines or legislative action to censure Palin. It also directly challenges the vice presidential candidate's credibility on key points related to the "Troopergate" controversy. Palin has said she fired Walt Monegan, Alaska's public-safety commissioner, last summer solely because of budget disputes and "insubordination" by Monegan. But Branchflower found that a likely "contributing" factor was Palin's desire to fire state trooper Mike Wooten, her ex-brother-in-law. While Palin had the right to fire Monegan, Branchflower found that she allowed her husband and top aides to put "impermissible pressure" on subordinates to "advance a personal agenda." The report also questioned Palin's public contention that her family "feared" Wooten, noting that shortly after she took office she ordered a sizable reduction in her personal protection detail.

McCain campaign spokeswoman Meg Stapleton dismissed the report as the product of "a partisan-led inquiry run by Obama supporters." But there could be more land mines ahead. Some weeks ago, the McCain team devised a plan to have Palin file an ethics complaint against herself with the State Personnel Board, arguing that it alone was capable of conducting a fair, nonpartisan inquiry into whether she fired Monegan because he refused to fire Wooten, who had been involved in a messy custody battle with her sister. Some Democrats ridiculed the move, noting that the personnel board answered to Palin. But the board ended up hiring an aggressive Anchorage trial lawyer, Timothy Petumenos, as an independent counsel. McCain aides were chagrined to discover that Petumenos was a Democrat who had contributed to Palin's 2006 opponent for governor, Tony Knowles. Palin is now scheduled to be questioned next week, and the counsel's report could be released soon after. "We took a gamble when we went to the personnel board," said a McCain aide who asked not to be identified discussing strategy. While the McCain camp still insists Palin "has nothing to hide," it acknowledges a critical finding by Petumenos would be even harder to dismiss.

© 2008 by Newsweek
There’s a Hole in the Bailout.

Should the McCain/Palin ticket actually get elected, what follows is a likely conversation between Sarah Palin and Henry Paulson.

To be sung to the tune of, “There’s a Hole in the Bucket.”

“There’s a hole in the bailout, dear Henry, dear Henry. There’s a hole in the bailout, dear Henry, a hole.”

“What about it, dear Sarah, dear Sarah. What about it dear Sarah, who cares and so what?”

“So fix it dear Henry, dear Henry. Just fix it!”

“With what shall I fix it, dear Sarah, dear Sarah. With what shall I fix it, dear Sarah with what?”

With the dollar, dear Henry, dear Henry. With the dollar.”

“But the dollar’s too small, dear Sarah, dear Sarah. The dollar’s too small, dear Sarah too small.”

“Well prime it dear Henry, dear Henry. Prime it dear Henry and prime it right now!”

“With what shall I prime it dear Sarah, dear Sarah? With what shall I prime it dear Sarah, with what?”

“With the bailout, dear Henry, dear Henry. With the bailout, dear Henry and that should be that!”

“But there’s a hole in the bailout, dear Sarah, dear Sarah। There’s a hole in the bailout, dear Sarah. A hole.”

copyright 10-12-2008 by weirdwally.org

Friday, October 10, 2008

How Hood Street Connects with Main Street Cuz Both Got Fucked by Wall Street


It was so obvious that Weird Wally almost blew it off...

About New York

The Crisis, as Seen by the Have-Nots

By JIM DWYER
Published: September 30, 2008

This article first appeared in the New York Times a few days ago.

On a chair outside Johnson’s Barbecue on Tinton Avenue in the Bronx, Keith McLean had thoroughly considered the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street.


“That’s for C.E.O.’s,” said Mr. McLean. “And I am a P-O-O-R.”

Mr. McLean, who helps out in the barbecue stand, lives in one of the poorest Congressional districts in the country, a half-hour subway ride to Wall Street. On Monday, José E. Serrano, the Democrat who represents the district, voted against the bailout package. He was the only member of Congress from the city to do so.

In a walk through parts of the district, it was easy to find people who, while indifferent to the outcome of the vote, were intensely interested in the machinations leading to the drama of closed banks and astronomical bailouts. For many, the financial package was another in a series of manufactured crises.

James Jacobs, who cuts hair at Six Corners Barbershop, said he felt that an atmosphere of paranoia had been deliberately cultivated, leading to the war in Iraq and now to the financial alarm.

“They scare people with bomb threats,” Mr. Jacobs said.

Edwin Mitchell, who works in a car dealership, was sitting alongside him. “We got stuck up,” he said.

“It’s corporate America doing what corporate America does,” Mr. Jacobs said.

“Organized crime,” Mr. McLean said.

“It’s the new organized crime,” Mr. Jacobs said.

“Ain’t nothing new about it,” Mr. McLean said.

“We’re not going to see none of that,” Mr. Jacobs said. “Not one red cent. Whichever way it goes. We ain’t going to see it, we ain’t going to feel it. If we do it feel it, its going to be negatively, and a few of us might lose a few jobs.”

Mr. McLean had tracked the news carefully. “Washington Mutual, he was on the job three weeks, he got $11 million,” he said.

Actually, it was more. Three weeks before Washington Mutual failed, it hired Alan H. Fishman as its chief executive officer, and paid him a signing bonus of $7.5 million. He is also eligible for $11.6 million in cash severance.

For the men in front of Johnson’s, there was plain symmetry between the Iraq war and the financial crisis: Young people shipped out to a trillion-dollar bloodbath in the Middle East, in pursuit of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction; and banks collapsing on top of mortgages handed out to people without enough money for a bag of groceries. And how, Mr. Mitchell wondered, could it be that Osama bin Laden had not been captured? “You can look down from outer space and see a dime on a city street, and you can’t find him?” he said.

From personal experience, he said, he knew that credit cards were another species of mirage.

“How does a person get credit that never had a regular job, no bank account, no sign of being a respectable person, and he winds up with three or four credit cards?” Mr. Mitchell asked. “I was out of work there for a couple of years, and I ended up with three credit cards. American Express. Visa. I forget the other one. And the banks give all these loans to people knowing they can’t pay, but they get a commission. Let them pay their commissions.”

If disgust, or horror, at the bailout was universal, there was not unanimity on what had to be done. The owner of the barbecue stand, Dwayne Johnson, 50, said he was outraged that many members of the Congressional black caucus had voted against the bailout.

“They voted no, they don’t have that right,” Mr. Johnson said. “The only way you can help the community is get it passed. If you’re the president and you can’t get 10 votes to pass it, then that’s bad. If you’re Obama, you can’t get 10 votes, that’s bad.”

Midaglia Rodriguez, 60, said that she worried that a new Depression was just over the horizon, and that she believed the bailout was necessary. “It should go through, to fix the situation,” she said.

Regardless of the outcome of votes in Congress, Mr. Mitchell said, he would still face the daily struggle to make a living and keep a roof over his head.

“I love this country, the best country on the planet. I love this city, best city in the world,” he said. “I don’t see a change that is going to affect me. I’m going to do what I always did. Survive. The best way I could.”


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Weird Wally Already Knows Who Barack Obama is, But Who is David Sirota?


Fall 2008: Purple America
Seeing Red, Feeling Blue in Purple America

by David Sirota

Print this articleEmail this article to a friend
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Dispatches from the Nation's Populist Uprising

Book cover of David Sirota's The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington
This article was adapted from The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington. Copyright © 2008 by David Sirota. Published by Crown Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.
By all measures, those of us Americans not in the top 1 percent of income earners are under enormous economic pressure and most of us feel powerless to influence those who act in our name. Public attitudes toward Washington are reaching record levels of animosity. A Scripps Howard News Service poll in 2006 found a majority of Americans saying they “personally are more angry” at the government than they used to be. And there’s a growing backlash against the hostile takeover of our government by Big Money interests.

It’s the natural reaction from a country that is watching its pocket get picked. Wages are stagnating, health-care costs are skyrocketing, pensions are being looted, personal debt climbs—all as corporate profits keep rising, politicians pass more tax breaks for the superwealthy, and CEOs pay themselves tens of millions of dollars a year.

“There’s class warfare, all right,” billionaire Warren Buffet recently told the New York Times. “It’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

But that may not be true for much longer.


In a year of travel to report for my new book, The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington, I found those who are fighting back: shareholders running resolutions against corporate boards, third parties shattering the two-party duopoly, legislators kicking down lobbyists in state capitals, bloggers orchestrating primary challenges to entrenched lawmakers, or—on the darker side—armed, enraged suburbanites forming vigilante bands at our southern border. What connects these disparate uprisings is both the sense that America is out of control, and an anger at the government for creating the crises we now face.

In Helena, Montana, I watched Kirk Hammerquist testify before the state legislature in opposition to a tax measure designed to give more breaks to wealthy, out-of-state property owners. Hammerquist owns a construction company in Kalispell, and has got the whole cowboy look going—jeans, boots, and a mustache.

“I was driving down last night on an ice skating rink,” he says, recounting his journey through the snowstorm that just hit. “And I said, ‘why the heck am I doing this?’

“This state is really becoming a playground of the wealthy—we know it, we can’t deny it,” he says. “And don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against wealthy people—I’m trying my hardest to be one. … But to sit there and work on a three- to five-million-dollar home for an owner that is going to be there for a couple of months in the summer … and to think the guy that’s working with me [putting] all this pride and sweat into that house is going to get less [of a tax refund] than that person who is going to come play here for a few months—I tell ya, it made me drive all night. I speak for a lot of people, the guys that work with their hands. I had to come down and represent them.”

This is a populist uprising—a “politics that champions issues that have a broad base of popular support but receive short shrift from the political elite… It explains why today’s uprising defies the clichéd red and blue states that flash across our television screens every night.”


In Seattle, I talked to the founder of an unlikely high-tech labor union about the way a fundamental sense of unfairness is driving a growing number of high-tech workers to put aside the libertarianism that has in the past led them to vote Republican and dislike unions, as issues like wages and health care pull them in a populist direction. They are reacting to working conditions that keep them on a permanent “temporary” employment status. They have watched as 221,000 American tech jobs were eliminated by offshore outsourcing between 2000 and 2004. As one Microsoft employee told me, every tech worker now fears coming in to work to find their entire division outsourced to India.

In New York, I met with the grassroots organizers and campaign volunteers of the Working Families Party, which has used the state’s fusion voting laws to bring together voters across the political spectrum under the banner of higher wages, fair taxes, affordable housing, civil rights, and campaign finance reform—issues too often ignored in modern politics.

This is a populist uprising—a “politics that champions issues that have a broad base of popular support but receive short shrift from the political elite,” as the Atlantic Monthly’s Ross Douthat says. “This explains why you can have left-populists and right-populists,” he adds. And it explains why today’s uprising defies the clichéd red and blue states that flash across our television screens every night.

Those in the uprising are sick and tired of a political system that ignores them. Without inspiration, whatever uprising sympathies people may have are easily quashed under a sense of helplessness. But as the stories in my book show, when that inspiration exists, the uprising intensifies.

More than any time in recent history, people are ready to take action in response to the emergency that is the state of the world today.

Fear, Frustration, and Simple Answers
The Minutemen are gun-toting guys who patrol border areas looking for people trying to sneak into the United States from Mexico. They’ve been labeled everything from patriots, to vigilantes, to racists. Though they see different enemies and are plagued by paranoia, they too exhibit the pure, unadulterated frustration prevalent throughout the rest of the uprising.

As the world has gotten increasingly complex over the last thirty years, America’s public discussion about the world has gotten simpler. Issues like foreign policy, globalization, and immigration have added all sorts of gray shades to the political landscape. But with so much complexity and so many conduits of propaganda, the only messages that break through are the most crisp sound bites and the most simple explanations.

For someone like Rick, who spent 20 years developing a landscaping business in southern California, this has created a terrifying fog—one that eliminates any sense of security or control. He sees complex demographic shifts make whites a minority in his town. He watches global economic forces stress his business. He got involved with the Minutemen because he got sick and tired of trying to battle it out with other businesses that employ low-wage illegal immigrants.




JUST THE FACTS:


How the Middle Class Got Stuck
Food, Rent, Gas, Health Insurance, College… the price of things we need keeps going up



“They don’t gotta pay workman’s compensation, no liability insurance,” he says. “I just can’t compete with them.”

But he, like all of us, has become addicted to simple answers—so addicted, in fact, that he barely notices when those answers conflict with each other.

When we talk about the environment, he says, “This country is being destroyed from within by its own government.” He says environmental regulations “are running business out of this country faster than you’ll ever know.” Yet he complains that smog is destroying Los Angeles.

When we talk about his time at Douglas, the California defense contractor now owned by Boeing, he says the company moved many of its operations from Long Beach to China.

“We’re losing our jobs, and these are good-paying union jobs,” laments the same guy who was just ripping on unions.

Right after saying it’s time to arrest corporate executives who hire illegal immigrants, he’s railing on “these politicians who’re banging on large industry, saying big business is bad.”

Joining the Minutemen is his way of taking some action in response to the emergency that is the state of the world today.

Right-wing politics has thrived by using fear and resentment to divide socioeconomic classes along racial, cultural, and geographic lines. The big problem for working-class whites, Ronald Reagan basically said, was black “welfare queens” stealing their tax dollars and inner-city gangs threatening mayhem. The big problem for yuppie Midwesterners, George W. Bush says, is middle-class East Coasters who want to legislate secular hedonism and take away their guns. The themes and the villains change, but the story line stays the same: a set of people in the economic class just below you is taking your stuff and threatening your way of life—and if those people are dealt with harshly, your troubles are over.

Joining the Minutemen allows participants to immediately behold the illusion of results in a society whose problems are so seemingly immense and immovable that activism can feel like a waste of time. It also locks them into warfare against their natural socioeconomic allies.

In May, Working Families Party executive director Dan Cantor endorsed Maryland state Senator Gloria Gary Lawlah’s landmark Fair Share Health Care bill. The Working Families Party’s endorsement has become the most influential in the state of New York, and the mobilization of volunteers and votes is making the difference in key races. Photo: Drum Major Institute
In May, Working Families Party executive director Dan Cantor endorsed Maryland state Senator Gloria Gary Lawlah’s landmark Fair Share Health Care bill. The Working Families Party’s endorsement has become the most influential in the state of New York, and the mobilization of volunteers and votes is making the difference in key races.
Photo: Drum Major Institute
The Working Families Party
But in most places the uprising takes a positive form. In the bustling streets beneath New York’s skyscrapers, and in upstate towns far away from Manhattan, the Working Families Party (WFP) has become the uprising model with the most potential to convert all the populist anger and frustration into functioning political and legislative authority.

When I was reporting on the WFP, the party was channeling that anger into Craig Johnson’s state senate challenge in heavily Republican Nassau County, a key race in a strategy to create the first Democratic-majority senate in New York state’s recent history. When I visited the Johnson headquarters, it had the energy of a presidential campaign, and was the entire rainbow of races, colors, and ages. Though a Sunday, the office was packed with people running around making phone calls, preparing for door-knocking runs, and doing all the unglamorous tasks of local organizing. They were there because the WFP promises to champion their issues—and it delivers.

That scene is the WFP at its core: a somewhat chaotic, somewhat ragtag squad of political ground troops in the uprising. Need a crowd for a rally? Call the WFP. Need an expert field staff to help increase turnout in a contested election? Call the WFP. You ask Democratic politicians in New York what the WFP truly brings them, and they’ll all say one thing: people.

The WFP has created a space on every New York ballot for working people to organize around. It does this by taking advantage of New York’s election laws, which allow a minor party to cross-endorse another party’s candidate and effectively “fuse” with that party on the ballot.

On New York general election ballots in 2006, for instance, you could vote for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic Party line or the Working Families Party line, and either way your vote counted for Clinton.

Fusion’s benefits revolve around its ability to bring together culturally disparate constituencies under a unifying economic agenda, without risking a self-defeating spoiler phenomenon where a stand-alone third party candidate like Nader or Perot throws an election to the very candidates they most oppose.

A century ago, the culturally conservative, sometimes anti-immigrant Populist Party (or People’s Party) would often use its ballot line to cross-endorse Democratic candidates. The Democratic Party tended to be more urban-based and immigrant-dominated. But both parties were progressive on core economic issues like jobs and wages. Fusion voting helped make class solidarity more important than cultural division at the ballot box.

In a presidential election, a farmer could support progressive economic issues by voting for a Democratic candidate on the Populist line and not feel like he was betraying his feelings on, say, temperance. Meanwhile, an urban immigrant could vote for the same candidate on the Democratic line and not feel like he was endorsing the anti-immigrant views of rural America. By fusing their votes, they were more likely to get people elected who would serve their shared interest.

Fast forward to 1998, when New Party organizers—including Dan Cantor—joined with New York’s big labor unions and grassroots groups to try to use New York’s fusion laws to secure a ballot line for a new third party—one with a very narrow platform focusing on higher wages, fair taxes, affordable housing, civil rights, and campaign finance reform. The calculation was that the narrower and more populist the agenda, the more sharply the Working Families Party could define itself in voters’ minds, and the more clout it could have on its chosen issues.

“We want to stand for issues that often don’t get heard over the din of money,” Cantor told Long Island’s largest newspaper. Newsday reported that Cantor said he wanted residents to hear the name “Working Families Party” and remember: “That’s the party that thinks wages should be higher.”

The party began delivering the votes. In 2000, 102,000 WFP members voted for Hillary Clinton, including a significant number from demographics where support for Clinton was otherwise low. In 2001, the WFP provided the margin of victory for a Democrat in a tight race for a seat in the Republican-controlled Suffolk County legislature.

These and other victories have led to the WFP establishing a unique public image. A 2005 Pace University poll showed that the single most influential endorsement in New York City mayoral elections is the WFP’s—more important than the state’s major newspapers, current or former officeholders, or other advocacy groups.

The WFP’s work for Craig Johnson paid off. WFP canvassers knocked on 45,000 doors and roughly half of the 3,600 votes that provided Johnson his margin of victory were cast on the WFP’s ballot line. The New York press credited the WFP with playing a decisive role in the election.

The Future
The belief that people—not dictators, not elites, not a group of gurus—should be empowered to organize and decide their destiny for themselves seems so simple, and yet is far and away the most radical idea in human history. “Denial of the opportunity for participation is the denial of human dignity and democracy,” legendary organizer Saul Alinsky wrote.

Putting that principle into action requires genuine courage and selflessness, because participants in the uprising must make their own personal power a lower priority than popular control.

The activism and energy frothing today is disconnected and atomized. The odds against connecting it all into a true populist movement are daunting, but these stories and the others in my book show the opportunity. If more people become part of this uprising, we will not only transcend the partisan divide that gridlocks our politics, but reshape the very concept of what is possible.

Dan Cantor told me, “We have to go to people where they are on the issues they care about.” For the first time in many years, they are ready to put aside partisanship and work for shared goals. The question is whether or not we seize this fleeting moment and make it one of exponential change.

David Sirota wrote this article as part of Purple America, the Fall 2008 issue of YES! Magazine. David is a political organizer, nationally syndicated columnist, a senior fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future, and founder of the Progressive States Network, both nonpartisan research institutions.
www.davidsirota.com

This article was adapted from The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington. Copyright © 2008 by David Sirota. Published by Crown Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.
Buy The Uprising।




Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Could Weird Wally Actually Vote for John McCain?

First off, Weird Wally (WW) is convinced that Barack Obama is way better than John McCain.

But were John McCain running against Clarence Thomas, WW would vote for John McCain.

On the other hand, were John McCain up against Ron Paul, Mr. Paul would get WW’s vote.

The funny thing is, if it were Ralph Nader vs. Dick Cheney, WW would have to stop and think.

Just for the fun of it; Ralph Nader and The Obama Girl!


TTYL,

Weird Wally





The OBAMA GIRL and RALPH NADER Show!

Just for the Fun of it

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What is Obama’s Arts Project?

Weird Wally (WW) has heard of it but is not sure he understands.

It sounds like a good thing, but please contact Cassandra Cole for more info.

Meanwhile, the Stranger gives his view.

One more thing, is John McCain “Lost in Space and Time?”

Weird Wally Approves this Message.

Weird Wally
Debate and Debt, What’s the Difference?

Debate: “I owe...I owe, so it’s off to work I go.”

Debt: “I owe...I owe, wish that I could find some work.”


Peace on the debates,

Weird Wally

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Definition of “Crisis.”

Weird Wally (WW) once saw the perfect definition of “Crisis.” on the office wall of his very good friend and Mentor. It looked something like this...

“Crisis...

Opportunity Riding a Dangerous Wind!”


The Wall Street “Rescue” might bring our leaders to their senses and with luck we’ll rediscover a little bit about “Economic Oneness” (call it Spiritual Economics) and, John Maynard Keynes.

But maybe that’s a little to much to hope for, even from Barack.

On the other hand, consider the possibility of building roads, schools, hospitals, bridges, universities and a ton of other things. Putting people to work so that they are able to afford stuff is not such a bad idea. Or, we can give the money to Wall Street and Corporations and they will do the very same thing for a huge profit while shipping the jobs overseas.

Keynesian Economics According to Wise Geek:

Keynesian economics is an economic theory named after John Maynard Keynes (1883 - 1946), a British economist. It was his simple explanation for the cause of the Great Depression for which he is most well-known.

His ideas spawned a slew of interventionist economic policies during the Great Depression. Keynes' economic theory was based on an circular flow of money. One person's spendings goes towards anothers earnings, and when that person spends her earnings she is, in effect, supporting anothers earnings. This circle continues on and helps support a normal functioning economy. When the Great Depression hit, people's natural reaction was to hoard their money. However, under Keynes' theory this stopped the circular flow of money, keeping the economy at a standstill.

Keynes' solution to this poor economic state was to prime the pump. By prime the pump, Keynes argued that the government should step in to increase spending, either by increasing the money supply or by actually buying things on the market itself. In the times of the Great Depression, however, this was an understandably unpopular solution. It is said, however, that the massive defense spending that United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated helped cure the US economy.

Since Keynesian economics advocates for the public sector to step in to assist the economy generally, it is a significant departure from popular economic thought which preceded it — laissez-fair capitalism. Laissez-fair capitalism supported the exclusion of the public sector in the market. The belief was that an unfettered market would achieve balance on its own. Proponents of free-market capitalism include the Austrian School of economic thought, of which one of its earliest founders, Friedrich von Hayek, also lived in England alongside Keynes. The two had a public rivalry for many years because of their opposing thoughts on the role of the state in the economic lives of individuals.

Keynesian economics warns against the practice of too much saving (underconsumption) and not enough consumption (spending) in the economy, and it also supports considerable redistribution of wealth, when needed. Keynesian economics further concludes that there is a pragmatic reason for the massive redistribution of wealth: if the poorer segments of society are given sums of money, they will likely spend it, rather than save it, thus promoting economic growth. Another central idea of Keynesian economics is that trends in the macroeconomic level can disproportionately influence consumer behavior at the micro-level. Keynesian economics, also called macroeconomics for it's macro look at the economy, remains one of the important schools in economic thought today.