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Greece Should Grexit (Greek+Exit)

Because even economics gets the Bennifer treatment these days they’ve invented a cute smashup word for Greece exiting the Euro zone. What the banks are doing to Greece is a travesty, but inventing “Grexit” and giving a serious economic crisis the People Magazine treatment is maybe worse.

While we’re at it, not one economist I respect thinks Greece should put up with the bloodletting their creditors are trying to impose on them. AUSTERITY DOESN’T WORK. See Krugman for how Greece has made radical changes but still can’t pull out of their tailspin because repeat after me, AUSTERITY DOESN’T WORK.

To understand why I say this, you need to realize that most — not all, but most — of what you’ve heard about Greek profligacy and irresponsibility is false. Yes, the Greek government was spending beyond its means in the late 2000s. But since then it has repeatedly slashed spending and raised taxes. Government employment has fallen more than 25 percent, and pensions (which were indeed much too generous) have been cut sharply. If you add up all the austerity measures, they have been more than enough to eliminate the original deficit and turn it into a large surplus.

So why didn’t this happen? Because the Greek economy collapsed, largely as a result of those very austerity measures, dragging revenues down with it.

A Trend, Maybe? (Probably not but what is a happy clappy liberal supposed to do?)

Gallup shows that Democrats have regained an edge in party affiliation after a rare historic equilibrium.

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30% of the public claims to be Dems, while 25% claims to be Republicans while equal 16% camps claim to be independent but leaning Dem (total 46%) or R (total 41%) (watch those numbers decrease for the Rs as people get to know the presidential clown car).

Concurrently, Bernie Sanders is getting amazingly large crowds at his rallies. 10,000 in Madison Wisconsin last night. And he announced raising $25 million in just 2 months. And you can bet not one penny of it was corporate.

It doesn’t hurt the trend that Hillary raised $45 million in the quarter with 91% of it in donations of $100 or less which is pretty impressive too.

God knows I wish we didn’t have to talk about 2016 until, say, 2016. But that’s where we are.

Hat tip to Joan Walsh on her article on how some of the mainstream media has embraced Bernie Sanders out of their irrational hate for Hillary. The article mentions the late socialist philosopher Michael Harrington. I took a political science class taught by Mr. Harrington way back when at Queens College and it was an honor to have done so.

He used to tell a story about how he would be asked to give speeches in front of crowds of what we called “Reagan Democrats” back in the 80s – blue collar working class white guys, union guys, who would never have called themselves “socialists.” He would speak and they would find themselves agreeing with everything he had to say, but questioning how that could be since he was a dreaded socialist. They would walk away with a completely different attitude towards the entire political structure and how the system labels people ideologically and marginalizes all but the two mainstream parties.

Happy 4th all!!

From the “You Want To Help? Don’t Help” Files

The KKK has reserved the South Carolina Capitol grounds for 2 hours to protest the removal of the confederate flag. So much for heritage, huh?

The chapter’s grand titan, James Spears, told Politico that the group will protest “the Confederate flag being took down for all the wrong reasons.”

“It’s part of white people’s culture,” Spears said.

Yeah, that’s why it’s coming down – it’s part of white people’s culture celebrating when they owned black people. You can’t get away with flaunting your “culture” in people’s faces anymore.

Buh bye and thanks for playing.

Now That I Think About it, What Took NBC So Long?

First Univision drops the Miss Universe Pageant (I thought they’d cancelled that years ago). And now, finally, NBC gets around to saying “Vaya Con Hairpiece” to Trump over his hilarious, but totally not joking around comments about Mexicans.

Apparently he had already said he wasn’t doing “Celebrity Apprentice” anymore, yeah like he wasn’t going right back to giving D-Lost celebs temp jobs as soon as his campaign is over.

I don’t think he thought all this through.

The Most Important Court Ruling No One Will Talk About

Gerrymandering is one of the terrible twins that is killing our democracy, along with it’s brother in Satan money in politics. Smart people who care have been trying to overturn Citizen’s United, and even quieter are those who have been trying to end the politically motivated gerrymandering that causes the party that gets fewer votes over all to have a stranglehold on Congress and dominate Congressional delegations even when their voters are the minority.

The Court said 5-4 (natch) that remediating this big steaming crap on democracy is okay by upholding Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission.

The majority argued that if the people of a state elect, through referendum, to create an independent redistricting commission, that is self-government and completely constitutional.

The minority argued “argle-bargle, jiggery-pokery, pie!”

Worst People Ever

Are those that would not only say thing that they know are false, like every anti-gay marriage activist who says that pastors will be forced to do things against their beliefs, but even worse are the people who equate their actions against people’s rights to the actions of our heroes who were for people’s rights. We all know that the Nazis were the real Jews. Or something like that.

And then we have the people who preach one thing and do another. Looking at you Bristol Palin, the world’s worst spokesman for abstinence.

And let’s not give her a pass just because we always knew that she and her mother are just opportunists out for a buck. No, Bristol, like that Duggar chap, sought the limelight, danced with the stars, and made the speeches for prodigious money. These are terrible, terrible people.

This is a lady who just earlier this month went on a tear about Miley Cyrus, saying, “Thanks for giving us the best example of what ‘tolerance’ looks like in Hollywood: it looks a lot like contempt,” and groused of Caitlyn Jenner that “Being gay/transgender makes you a hero,” adding tellingly, “We have way too many hypocrites.” All of this, while she all but certainly must already have known she was pregnant.

Supreme Court Still Not a Court, and Justices Still Not Judges

Arguably last week’s correct decisions were still handed down based on politics. Of course the ACA case should never have been heard at all, but all’s well that ends well, at least in that case. And did we really expect them to hand the Republicans a massive smack in the face for the 2016 elections? Scalia, Alito and Thomas may be fanatical ideologues but Roberts is as calculating as they come and Kennedy just blows with the wind on social issues.

But never imagine that this Court will stay reasonable for too long, especially when corporations come calling for relief.

They struck down the EPAs rules on curbing toxic emissions 5-4.

We can keep making progress socially, but the country has gone far, far right in protecting moneyed interests and the 1% – with the help of this incredibly corporatist Court.

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