… We’ll remain infested with Banana Republicans who dream of leveraging their local/state kleptocracies to establish a nationwide kakistocracy. John B. Judis, in The New Republic:
In the Federalist Papers, James Madison promised that a large republic with a representative government would avoid the “instability, injustice and confusion” that had plagued many nations in Europe. In a representative government, he reasoned, disruptive factions would be unable to gain sufficient power to dissolve the social contract. The people’s representatives would not necessarily be paragons of virtue, but they would be less likely to succumb to “local prejudices and schemes of injustice.” In the 225 intervening years, Madison has been proven correct, with two great exceptions. One was the Civil War. The other was the 16-day government shutdown of October 2013.
The shutdown’s precipitating cause—President Barack Obama’s health care reform—was, of course, not as morally consequential as slavery. And yet, the shutdown presented an existential threat to the country—the prospect of a breakdown in the national government, a diminishment in America’s standing in the world, and a global financial disaster…
The same forces hope to create more crises—this winter, when the budget comes up for another vote and when the debt ceiling needs to be raised, and again and again until the administration or the country buckles. “Unfortunately this time the outcome ended with the Ruling Class in D.C. forcing their will on the American people, but this fight is not over,” the Tea Party Patriots declared soon after the impasse was resolved. “We have vowed and stand by our word to leave no stone unturned until we stop the harms from Obamacare and exempt the American people from this ‘train wreck’ legislation.”…
… The Tea Party was assisted by elite conservative organizations in Washington—the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, and Heritage Action, a branch of the Heritage Foundation—which provided intellectual firepower, Washington experience, and many millions of dollars.
During the Obama years, these Washington organizations adopted an outsider posture toward the Republican establishment, driven by backers alarmed by what Michael Grunwald has called Obama’s “new New Deal.” One of FreedomWorks’ major funders is Richard Stephenson; in the last election cycle, he contributed more than $12 million, which equals about 60 percent of its PAC budget. Stephenson is founder and chairman of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which could suffer financially from the ACA. FreedomWorks is fighting against health care reform and supported the shutdown strategy. Americans for Prosperity was founded by the Koch brothers, oil billionaires who have become leading funders of right-wing activism in the Obama era. And the Club for Growth’s board is led by Jackson “Steve” Stephens Jr., who runs a biotech firm and whose uncle founded Stephens, Inc., investment bankers for Walmart.
These backers are far more hard-line than the typical corporate executive. They come from privately owned companies and investor groups and so are invulnerable to shareholder pressure, union retaliation, or public opinion. They want the Republican leadership not merely to block regulations and programs, but to repeal existing ones, an approach that brought their organizations into agreement with the Tea Party…
Gin & Tonic
Hey, how about a World Series thread?
World Series Thread?
@efgoldman: Government by the least qualified
@efgoldman: By talking about Curt Schilling?
@efgoldman: OCCUPY WORLD SERIES THREAD
Time for another round of trust-busting laws, or whatever the equivalent is here.
@efgoldman: Greek. All of the “…cracy” terms are rooted in Greek. From the Greek word for power, kratos.
ETA: I didn’t come from the quantitative, “sciencesque” side of the Government Department in college.
Bill E Pilgrim
Government by frat boys.
I think more broadly it means any government with an Old Navy.
@Gin & Tonic: Upstairs, ya miserables!
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
Gin & Tonic
@Anne Laurie: Thank you kindly, ma’am.
@efgoldman: It’s a perfectly legitimate word!
How did you get through the Bush years without the term for “government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens”?
@Omnes Omnibus: I have never quite figured out what your handle is supposed to mean.
“Idiocracy” seemed to get the point across equally well.
@Chris: I learned something new today, educational blog is educational.
why don’t we call these folks what they truly are… enemies of the state. This is all about profit, personally for them. Not a whole boatload of ideology in play, it all comes down to profit and whether or not we allow this country to be sold to an elite few who then will be allowed to rewrite the laws that suit their purposes and the remainder of us get to be quasi indentured servants.
@Bill E Pilgrim:
Not Banana Republic?
@Chris: Yeah, that one worked for me as well.
@schrodinger’s cat: It’s from a novel. Relevant quote:
Bill E Pilgrim
@schrodinger’s cat: D’oh!
How did I miss that one.
From sans-culottes to avec-khakis in just a couple hundred years.
Bill E Pilgrim
@efgoldman: Say “chowdah”. I just want to hear it.
@Anne Laurie: It even sounds nice. Although Sarah Palin is not a government official, she comes to mind.
Why aren’t you watching the game?
@Omnes Omnibus: Ok makes more sense than a bus for all.
@Bill E Pilgrim: Actual bumper sticker in Maine
This is a Bumpah Stickah foh mah cah
Bill E Pilgrim
@schrodinger’s cat: A friend of mine was telling me about a vacation a few years back, telling me “It was really cool, we rented this little Ka”.
I was genuinely baffled, why did he suddenly have a strong New England accent? Turns out of course that he meant the brand, specifically, but I’d never heard of it.
@schrodinger’s cat: When my son was in second grade in Dallas, TX, he spelled wash, warsh. He was so upset that it was marked wrong. He brought his paper home and showed me and wanted me to call the teacher. My pronunciation has improved since then.
Bill E Pilgrim
@efgoldman: Even I know that. Used to be called Manhattan Clam Chowder, maybe it still is. The white stuff is the real thing, it’s awesome.
@Bill E Pilgrim: Ka? The tiny Ford? I think they sold it in the US as a Mazda 2.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Omnes Omnibus: Ah, I didn’t know that. This was in France. So okay, well that story doesn’t work stateside, good to know.
@Bill E Pilgrim: That’s not chowdah. That’s the fucking soup equivalent of Clamato. It’s quite horrific, but it actually IS eaten on the island. Supposedly.
And to think all this time I thought it was Latin for “And I shall be stalked the rest of my days by footwear less than or equal to size five.”
@Bill E Pilgrim:
Oh man, I LOVE these. Never actually driven one (was way too young when I was living over there), but they’re adorable. Probably my favorite of those Tiny Cars, certainly more than the two-seater Smart cars.
(Speaking of Smart cars, I had some variation of culture shock when I started seeing them appear on this side of the Atlantic. “Naahhh… this would NEVER sell in America,” I used to think).
@Bill E Pilgrim: I rented a car in the Netherlands a couple of years ago. The Ka was the representative sample for the size class I rented. I got a Twingo instead.
@Omnes Omnibus: Were you driving through Amsterdam? Walking was scary enough for me. I can’t imagine trying to drive there.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Yatsuno: Oh it definitely is.
I never realized the variations, it’s kind of funny that there’s a New Jersey Clam Chowder. (Insert Jersey chowder jokes here)
Bill E Pilgrim
@MattR: @Omnes Omnibus: I just drove in Amsterdam every day for three months. Left two weeks ago.
The thing is, ever since six months driving in Rome, nowhere seems crazy to me. New York City felt like a retirement community after that.
Amsterdam was kind of scary sometimes with all the bicycles, just trying to back out of my parking space and not hit one, but once you got rolling that was okay.
@Omnes Omnibus: I was wrong. The Ka and the Fiat 500 are siblings.
Nothing on wheels makes me smile like the Fiat 500, and we’ve been suddenly inundated with them. I’d never in a gazillion years get a Smartycar but a 500? In a heartbeat.
@JPL: I used to teach in an engineering college with an international faculty. A student told me about working through a math problem with a fellow student who said they needed a “heffiro.” He had to draw it to show my student what he meant. Turned out it was a half arrow. He’d never heard anyone other than the non-native speaker teacher pronounce it.
@Omnes Omnibus: The Ka is one size smaller than a Mazda 2. The current Ka and the Fiat 500 share a “platform”, as do the Mazda 2 and the Ford Fiesta. /cargeek
@Bill E Pilgrim: I’m trying to marry asparagus and clams together in my brain. They just refuse to fit together like that.
@MattR: @Bill E Pilgrim: Amsterdam wasn’t a problem, but then I have driven in Bucharest. Also, the car was for a trip outside Amsterdam. Maybe two hours of Amsterdam itself.
@PeakVT: See above.
Help, I’ve been moderated for excessive links.
@efgoldman: Wiki had an RI version that was basically chowdah without any dairy product in it. It looked kind of intriguing.
Gin & Tonic
@Yatsuno: That’s the real thing. Clear chowder. You won’t find it much of anywhere outside RI.
@Bill E Pilgrim: I grew up outside NYC and drive through Manhattan all the time, but Amsterdam freaked me out. Between the bicycles, all the cobblestone and not understanding the language, I often had no idea what was going on or where/when I was allowed to cross. There was a whole lot of following other people who looked like they lived there and knew what was going on.
@efgoldman: Fall River took me a couple of minutes and I know someone who grew up there.
Gin & Tonic
@efgoldman: They’re in RI, too, aren’t they?
The Spousal Unit, who grew up in Michigan listening to adults who’d grown up in Ohio, still pronounces like that when he’s not being careful!
The Massachusetts ‘quirk’ that kills me is “laawrrr an’ awdaah” — we don’t really drop the Rs, just move them around. Or as the local joke goes, ‘cah-REER’ is a country in Asia, and ‘cah-REAA’ is what you do for a living!
@Anne Laurie: Put in r’s where there are none and leave them out where they exist. My friend’s yellow lab named Molly was called Marly by many Mainers.
Mike in NC
We have a few Heritage Action nutjobs in our county who regularly bombard the local rags with Letters to the Editor, etc. Funny to read how Heritage Action has approximately 5000 such stooges working nationwide in a country of about 325 million. Be very afraid, right?
@MattR: Also anxiety producing, driving in Mumbai, I actually encountered a cow.
@schrodinger’s cat: Was the cow driving as well?
Mike in NC
I managed living for six years in RI without experiencing such a thing, while also avoiding the dreadful “Manhattan Clam Chowder”. I do miss Newport, however.
That sounds like my English relatives. The r’s at the end of words get dropped, but they get picked up and put where they don’t belong. Like the word “khaki” mentioned upthread is pronounced “car-key” in England. First time I heard it I didn’t know what they were talking about.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Anne Laurie: On tour once we stopped and asked directions somewhere and a guy said “Eyap. You go up heah, and eventually you’ll come to a fuhk in the road”.
We certainly will not, we all thought, but more to the point really had no idea what he was saying. He repeated it, and finally the light bulb went on.
@Omnes Omnibus: It was lounging in the middle of the street.
What a perfickly cromulent word you have given me tonight! thanks, Anne Laurie!
And, of course the teabaggers are going down. They’re teabaggers. Going down is what they do.
So many sophisticated words tonight.
I must add them to my repertoire.
They advertise on TV in Nashville ALL the damn time. It’s so nefarious, too. They’ve been dealing with charges of false advertising since waaaaaay waaaaay back in 1996. The quintessential “where there’s shit, there’s flies.”
Who the fuck profits off of cancer?
Any real capitalist.
@Omnes Omnibus: Also known as “America.”
@Southern Beale: I think they advertise everywhere. I saw their commercials on TV in various states I was in this year.
Everyone involved in developing treatments or treating it–doctors, hospitals, researchers, pharm-a-ceutical companies, insurance companies. Everyone. Some of them no doubt have good intentions in wanting to treat and hopefully cure people, but they still make a buck while doing it.
We in Washington state tend to slip an R in there as well. Warshington.
@Violet: Okay, what kind of scum grifts cancer patients? Is that better?
You need really fresh clams and plenty of them for clear chowder — avoid it anywhere not on a clam-adjacent seacoast (or I guess a really upscale fly-in-ingredients restaurant).
Proper clam chowder is one of the few things I’ll eat at a seafood restaurant, but then I’ll eat almost anything in the dairy-based line. Fifteen years in the Midwest convinced me that “New England” clam chowder had become the national chain-restaurant default because potatoes and cornstarch are cheap!
@Anne Laurie: and if you’re not at your table spot on seven you miss the bowl of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, the first item on the menu of International Cuisine,
@Geoduck: My grandmother did, but she grew up in northern Idaho. My Okie grandfather doesn’t have that habit however.
@Anne Laurie: We got lots of good fresh clams around heah, but no real chowdah tradition. Clams are supposed to be eaten off the grill or fried at Ivar’s. There really seems to be no other preparation around these parts.
@Yatsuno: Yeah, it occured to me after I posted that ‘cheap potatoes and a cow in every yard’ probably had a lot to do with the New England chowder tradition!
Clams were cheap to scavenge, too, even more than lobstahs…
@schrodinger’s cat: that’s just crazy talk. Not the cow part. The driving in Mumbai talk. It’s one thing to move from the well ordered driving habits of Americans (where we actually stay within the lines) to the honking screaming anything goes India as a passenger. But to drive in it is insane for the outsider.
@Southern Beale: Would you look at this? CTCA cherry picks its patients, looking for those who are healthier and [v. importantly] have excellent insurance, and it also does not report outcomes on people who get some of their treatment elsewhere — and that is how it comes up with the better outcomes it touts. Sickening. And the chairman of this privately-held firm is pouring millions into politics.
@Bill E Pilgrim:
You weren’t near Intercourse, PA were you?
@Anne Laurie: A lot of “peasant food” originated from what was around. Ratatouille in fact is a gussied up peasant veggie dish originally meant to celebrate the bounty of the garden in summer. Sushi was a creation of leftover rice that poor Japanese couldn’t afford to throw away. Both are actually considered peasant dishes though they both also have rarefied forms in the modern era. It’s really just eating what’s available and sometimes making what’s available edible. It’s also why I think dishes that have origins in peasant cuisine are some of the best.
@Yatsuno: You and Anthony Bourdain.
@Omnes Omnibus: Ironically enough I can’t stand him. This might sound hypocritical, but I really cannot stand food snobs. Cuisines originated in their cultures for a reason, there is no reason to look down upon that.
This could be a “so alike I hate it” situation, but so be it.
@Yatsuno: I don’t see Bourdain as a standard food snob. He loves drunk food, for example.
@Yatsuno: Also, we are you hanging around this blog tonight? Shouldn’t you be having fun someplace?
@efgoldman: Shouldn’t we all?
Does anybody remember “Bizarre Foods”? It got repetitive–you can only watch a man eat so many bugs–but the first couple of seasons were pretty interesting.
@Pogonip: Never liked it. The bald guy was creepy.
@Bill E Pilgrim: When you got to the fuhk in the road, I hope you took shocking pictures.
Frogs’ legs. That’s not what rich people come up with — that’s what desperate starving peasants decide is worth trying to eat. The snob status came much later.
Had frogs legs served for lunch in the navy once. Those suckers were good. But back to your point, if they served it in the navy, it was cheap. Forty yrs ago the food allowance was $1.50 per day. Even then that wasn’t much.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): @Ruckus: I am not a fan of frog legs. They seem like chicken wings with fishy overtones.
Those CTCA ads are everywhere. We used to see them when we had cable, and now we have just over-the-air channels and internet TV, and the damned things are still showing up on Hulu. We have a friend who is battling aggressive and bizarre cancer, and these ads piss him off to no end; he can feel the attempted grift though the screen.
Have driven Boul’vard peripherique & urban Milano & Roma.
St. Peter will let me in.
St. Peter may let you in, but he will charge you – and your Roma pass won’t help.
reminds me of the old Yiddish story. the guy is yelling about “my son ate a pile of pills!” his neighbor is all “what type of pills? oh my god! what did you do??” and the guy says “oh, all deh pills from deh potatoes. we gave him some peels and he feels much better now.”
How can you expect a functioning democracy when the number of representatives has been locked for a hundred years and the senate has never been democratic?
People feel the reps don’t represent them because they don’t, they have too many constituents. It certainly makes it easier for corporations though, they gain power over a larger area.
@Omnes Omnibus: Work Dawg isn’t feeling good. NYD is busier than a bishop breakdancing. Plus I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow and I have to get up early. I might save getting wild and shit for All Hallow’s Eve.
Plus when I posted that I was still at work.
@Yatsuno: Okay, I guess.
Only had them the once and they were great. Big fat things, tender and juicy. I could add the requisite line, “Best chicken ever” but that wouldn’t do them justice.
@Ruckus: I have no beef with people who like them. They just don’t do it for me.
Funny thing is as much as I liked them, and remember what they tasted like, I haven’t had any desire to try them since. And that was 41 yrs ago.
@Bill E Pilgrim: Yikes. And I thought driving around Palermo was like being trapped in a hair-raising live video game.
Whenever the cars stopped the vespas would percolate around them until all the voids were filled with motor scooters. Until the light changed or whatever it was that caused the holdup was gone. Then the cars and trucks and buses would have to re-negotiate getting around the weaving, slower moving scooters yet again. Until the next stop when it would all repeat again.
Odd there were as few fatalities as there was. Often going at 40 kmh helped, I’m sure.
@chopper: Guffaw. That shit never gets old. Also, I like bad jokes.
Madison failed to to foresee the deadly condition of mass media controlled by a handful plutocrats that exists in the US today. Democracy can not survive when the voters don’t have access to the truth, but instead are bombarded with unrealty and false equivalence. Failure to breakup Big Media is the end of the US as a democracy.
The top 400 richest families in the US now control more wealth than the GDP of Russia. I would say that the sale has already been completed, the laws have already been rewritten, and indentured servants are what most of us are.
Its their state now. We’re the ones who are the enemies.
The Tea Party may be going down, but the 20-something percent of the population they represent is not. They have been around for a very long time, and will continue to be around for a very long time.
@C.V. Danes: Yes, but 20% isn’t supposed to come so close to driving the bus.
Considering these originated with the same players, each is distinguished from the other, how, exactly?
Not really clear that matters all that much.
IIRC most small town newspapers “in the good ole days” were extremely reactionary.
Would that it were so.
In theory, this is true. But when you have a highly polarized, two-party system in which you can safely gerrymander the elected officials of one party or the other, and you couple that with a governing body that requires a super-majority to get anything done, then you wind up with conditions that are perfect for minority rule.
@Bill E Pilgrim: the Ford Ka is a very handy little piece of transportation, especially for smaller places or seriously urban environments. The combination of the insurance industry’s insistence on Americans driving UAVs to keep from getting hurt, and the Great Expanding American Waistline, however, prevent it from being especially marketable in the US.
@Mike in NC: They’ve managed to piss off the majority of House Republicans. Even the Republican Study Committee, which banned them from their official strategy meetings.