News & Analysis
Politics-as-Usual Are Over in the US?
The Republican Presidential campaign is off to a slow start, but judging by the last week not slow enough. First Mitt Romney defends his ObamaCare prototype in Massachusetts, and now Newt Gingrich (left) has decided to run against House Republicans on Medicare. They must be loving this at the White House. Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday about Paul Ryan's reform plan, Mr. Gingrich chose to throw his former allies in the GOP House not so much under the bus as off the Grand Canyon rim. – Wall Street Journal
Dominant Social Theme: We'll cover politics as we always have here in the US mainstream media, but for some reason things are changing. We're not quite sure why ...
Free-Market Analysis: Times are changing in America, even if the mainstream media doesn't quite "get it." But the changes in our view are making those who write for the mainstream media fairly cranky. The Journal article excerpted above is a good example.
According to the Journal, newly announced US presidential candidate Newt Gingrich labeled the House program proposed by House Budget Chairman's Congressman Paul Ryan as "too big a jump." Gingrich wants a system that offers people better solutions without having such solutions imposed on them. "I'm against ObamaCare, which is imposing radical change. And I would be against a conservative imposing radical change," he said.
By using the word "radical," the Journal article points out, Gingrich is deliberately polarizing the debate. And yet almost every single House Republican voted for a version of the Ryan bill as part of a larger budget outline. His words were immediately resented because of the heated nature of the budget battle. House Republicans saw him as undermining them.
Gingrich himself later on agreed that he "probably used too strong language" in characterizing the Ryan approach but claimed he was worried about the Ryan perspective and "the right to choose versus being forced to choose." He then followed up on a TV news program by using the word "catastrophic," as in, "I think it would be politically catastrophic to pass the bill in its current form." It surely doesn't sound as if Gingrich really wants to lower the level of his rhetoric.
Poor Gingrich. A believer in his own brilliance, he probably thinks there is an opportunity for a more "moderate" GOP candidate to run to daylight. He will run in the gap between perennial Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex) in order to generate gains that would not be possible otherwise. But according to the grumpy Journal, it is sheer opportunism. His charge of radicalism "is false in any case" as Ryan's bill is based on a "premium support" model that is in use in California and elsewhere.
As the Journal explains it, private Medicare plans, funded by the government at a base price of US$15,000, would compete to attract seniors under the Ryan plan. With consumers paying the marginal costs of their own care, providers and insurers will begin to compete on price and quality. In fact, 15 years ago, Gingrich pushed a "Medicare Plus" reform "that shared many of the same features as Mr. Ryan's." It would even have become law if Clinton hadn't vetoed it.
What's the Journal's conclusion? "He is trashing Mr. Ryan for thinking far more deeply about health care, and in a far more principled fashion, than Mr. Gingrich ever has. The episode reveals the Georgian's weakness as a candidate, and especially as a potential President – to wit, his odd combination of partisan, divisive rhetoric and poll-driven policy timidity. " The Journal analysis sums up the two politicians this way: "Mr. Ryan speaks softly but proposes policies commensurate with America's problems. Mr. Gingrich speaks loudly but shrinks from hard choices."
Is there an emergent new tone in American politics and its coverage? As proponents of the Internet Reformation, we've been waiting for it. And we are detecting signs. Most recently, a shocking poll by Gallup revealed that a majority of Americans "want to see the establishment of a third political party because the main parties are not offering a significant or satisfying choice."
According to an article in gadfly Capitol Hill Blue, "A new Gallup Poll shows 52 percent of Republicans want a third party. The same poll shows 60 percent of those who identify themselves with the tea party want a third party. Gallup says a majority of Americans overall have wanted to see a third party since 2006."
This surely makes sense. A large part of the Democratic Party wants the government out of the bedroom and wants a reduction in America's overseas military. A large part of the Republican base wants the government's hand out of people's pocketbook. It would seem, then, that there is an anti-government, quasi-libertarian base available to a third party that would number in the tens of millions.
This may account for the popularity of conservative libertarian candidate Ron Paul. The dirty secret of American politics turns out to be that the electorate itself is not so much right or left as libertarian. If so, Capitol Hill Blue asks, why doesn't the US "have a real third party movement?" According to Jeffrey Young of Gallup (as quoted by Blue), "under the current political system, which is controlled by the power brokers of the Democratic and Republican parties, a third party candidate cannot win." A third party candidate can – and has – decided the outcome of an election, however, as Blue points out.
We tend to believe the changing shape of American politics has more to do with the Internet than any sudden shift in electoral preference. Bill Clinton's presidency was the first Internet presidency and the latter half of his regime was tortured by Matt Drudge's revelations about Monica Lewinsky. The alternative media on the Internet in the West and especially in America has only become more powerful since then. It is has virtually reshaped the narrative of Western politics and especially American politics.
It is increasingly impossible to maintain one of the Anglosphere elite's main dominant social themes, that government is good and effective. In fact, over the past decade, Western government began to unravel at a significant pace. Both in America and Europe neither government nor politicians are in good odor.
In the US, George W. Bush's latter four years were relentlessly battered on the Internet, which exposed his "compassionate conservatism" as demagogic and militaristic socialism. Barack Obama's democratic socialism has proven no different than the Republican kind.
Having experienced some 18 years of Democratic and Republican rule under the stern gaze of Internet coverage, people – especially Tea-party oriented Americans – have finally come to the conclusion that both parties use different phraseology but the same programs to achieve similar ruinous results. Many Europeans are coming to the same conclusion. As the old verities topple and as the mainstream media establishment is not available to provide the usual duplicitous spin, the realities of the national situation begin to emerge.
Conclusion: Newt Gingrich is a 20th century politician who apparently does not understand how much things may have changed. Ironically, the man who understands best what has occurred is the oldest politician in the field by far – Ron Paul, in his later 70s. Dr. Ron Paul, who is running for US president again, will do very well in this cycle in our view. Truly a libertarian, anti-politician – anti-militaristic and pro-business – with no charisma other than his free-market ideas, the race may be his to lose. And like Ronald Reagan before him, he may just go all the way.
Posted by Molly56 on 05/19/11 06:29 PM
Always appreciate your comments, Danforth.
This is absolutely true; I did it myself; also ran for precinct chairman and won unopposed (all it took was a friendly phone call and we decided who would be "it"--she was busy with her kids). It helped because 2008 seemed to have already been decided as a "democrat" year by the PTB, so Republicans were seemingly non-existent. Precinct convention (all 17 of us, in the same building as thousands of naive Obama supporters) absolutely rocked as the 10 or so Ron Paul delegates pretended we didn't know each other and took it to the next level. There I saw traditional Republicans go white faced as the Ron Paulites used Roberts' Rules to almost take it over. Awesome. Everybody who cares about freedom should try it. I stopped at that point because I was moving to another state, but now that Ron Paul is in the race again I will be out there again I hope. Sure, we "lost" at the state level, but obviously had an impact.
Posted by memehunter on 05/19/11 01:39 PM
I am not too much into the hand gesture stuff,but this "supposed freemason/illuminati symbol" is a very clear occult sign that existed long before Texas was even on the map. Please check the paintings and sculptures toward the bottom of the page (see link below), some are several centuries old.
Sign language was developed in part by Helen Keller, a known Theosophist and a suspected Satanist. So the fact that the sign language for "I love You" and this occult symbol are the same thing is, perhaps, a supreme irony.
Click to view link
Check especially her political activities and her mingling with elite figures (all from Wikipedia):
Keller went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. She is remembered as an advocate for people with disabilities, amid numerous other causes. She was a suffragist, a pacifist, an opponent of Woodrow Wilson, a radical socialist and a birth control supporter. In 1915 she and George Kessler founded the Helen Keller International (HKI) organization. This organization is devoted to research in vision, health and nutrition. In 1920 she helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Keller and Sullivan traveled to over 39 countries, making several trips to Japan and becoming a favorite of the Japanese people. Keller met every U.S. President from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson and was friends with many famous figures, including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain.
Keller was a member of the Socialist Party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working class from 1909 to 1921. She supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs in each of his campaigns for the presidency.
Posted by John Danforth on 05/19/11 08:18 AM
There are links on the Campaign For Liberty website where you can touch base with local groups to get the info on how things are organized in your state. The more people get off their couch, get involved, and stick to their principles, the better the chance we have of at least giving people a choice of freedom or slavery. Government is supposed to be a service, not a slavemaster. Productive people view taxes as overhead and would rather not have to divert their precious time to custodial tasks. But our janitor is running amok -- and we have to fix it. Productive people showing up at party functions really shocks the group, it's like they were infiltrated by aliens. All the people who sit back and take potshots at Ron Paul, say he 'can't win', etc., what are they doing to reclaim their freedom? What are they DOING to reclaim their freedom??
Firefox or Seamonkey with NoScript is the best protection for websurfers other than staying diconnected from the network. Running Seamonkey on Puppy Linux is even better, you can boot off a USB stick to RAM. Fastest OS on the planet maybe, and almost impregnable (security through obscurity, but it works). If you must run Windows, Sunbelt Personal Firewall, free is a must-have. And AVG antivirus, free version. No machine I administer (dozens) that uses those three practices has ever gotten infected. With anything.
Thanks for your kind words. I suggest you buy your husband a copy of the book The Fountainhead. Don't be too disappointed if it never gets read all the way through, not many people have what it takes to read it all for some reason. But it's worth the try. The few percent that do finish it are almost always glad they did.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 05/19/11 02:44 AM
"Glad you are still writing"
Salon on the other hand is using an ad based publishing model and they aren't paying attention to the random ads that show up on their pages. Some of those ads contain "clickjacking" scripts that look just like injection attacks. When I switched from DB's site to Salon to pick up the Opus cartoon I got clickjacked. Since the Salon site wasn't interactive I naturally figured the problem was here, not there. Bad assumption.
My machine isn't really safe, but it's safer.
Posted by Wayne on 05/19/11 01:38 AM
"You have made some excellent points that many are just now beginning to uderstand. And I submit the Leviathan's control acts through three channels -- money, food and energy."
Now add the media/propaganda machine, and you have all the pieces to this puzzle.
And yes, all the greats (Tesla was the best) who had the knowledge of how to break the energy monopoly have been written out of history. Solar/electrical is just a diversion, as electricity comes from their grid, ans solar panels require hydrocarbons to make (more oil).
Posted by Wayne on 05/19/11 01:31 AM
@DB "Military spending went further out of control under Reagan, there is no doubt."
Time for a new definition. If Ronald Reagan can be called a Conservative,
then the definition of the current Conservative group should be "Broke, but Well Armed"
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 05/19/11 12:11 AM
Thanks John, that's pretty much what I've been looking for, a real life "get your arms around it" suggestion about what people can *do* about the madness. I'm still trying to figure out what precinct I'm in but it's a step, you gave me the first clue.
I supported Paul in 2008 through campaign contributions, bumper stickers, lawn signs and passionate blogging. I'd like to try harder this time and I think you've given me some good ideas.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Glad you are still writing.
Posted by Don on 05/18/11 11:06 PM
The notion of puppets throwing occult signs seems quite plausible to me given all of the occult decorations on the greenback.
Posted by Wayne on 05/18/11 09:28 PM
A little data FYI
Notice the Federal Debt Curve until approx 1980-
Click to view link
And who was the President from 1981-1989?
If he was a Conservative, then I'm unfamiliar with the definition of the label Conservative, and Stalin was just a good kid doing bad things!
Reply from The Daily Bell
Military spending went further out of control under Reagan, there is no doubt.
Posted by Howard Roark on 05/18/11 09:28 PM
It isn't outside the realm of possibilities that Ron Paul is some sort of puppet for the super powerful but some of the reasoning in this feedback is a little off base. One is that Ron Paul has taken off as a serious contender. I love what he had to say in the South Carolina debate but most of the country had no idea that debate happened and if they do know about Paul and the debate they probably know because of the "free Heroin" smearing from both liberal and conservative news outlets. (That alone is kind of proof to me that he isn't part of the system when both FOX and MSNBC have the same talking points against him.) So I am pretty sure he hasn't been messed with because he is honestly still just a gnat to them.
As far as the freemason and the hand thing goes. The supposed freemason/illuminati symbol is also sign language for "I love You" and the hook-em horns sign for those from Texas (Ron Paul and George W make up large portions of these videos). Sorry but videos trying to connect that hand gesture to some sort of NWO conspiracy are completely grasping at straws.
Posted by JM on 05/18/11 08:17 PM
You are raising some Ron Paul issues that have been eating at my mind for some time. He has been after the Fed for some time (since the 1980's) yet seems not to be the least bit threatened. So I wonder, if the elite really want a world currency -- as certainly seems the case -- getting rid of our "sovereign" (I use the word loosely) dollar would be part of the plan. And what better way than to control its demise through their own person. Plus he could act as a lightning rod to expose and monitor opposition to the Fed. As Lenin said, "The best way to control the opposition is to lead it."
Lastly one has to wonder just how much influence a president really has. Most -- at least since Woodrow Wilson -- have just been puppets with the last two looking and acting as if they are lobotomized and under mind control.
Posted by JM on 05/18/11 08:05 PM
You have made some excellent points that many are just now beginning to uderstand. And I submit the Leviathan's control acts through three channels -- money, food and energy.
The money part is now well exposed and the food control is beginning to be exposed. Look at the FDA assaults on small dairy producers and the draconian Food "Safety" bill. Then there are the ethanol fuel fraud, the hydro dams which flooded much cropland and now the whole GMO genocide.
The third channel -- energy -- has yet to come into real visibility in peoples understanding. They are still stuck in the wind and solar as alternative energies without knowledge of the work of people like Tesla, Moray,Schauberger, Keely, Reich, Meyers and Sweet who, for the past two centuries, have been successfully experimenting with readily available, cheap energy. Interesting how their names and contributions have been suppressed from the public conciousness.
Freeing the work of these pioneers will provide point-of-use, on-demand, load-following energy with no need to be tied to a grid or pipeline. This will be necessary to get out from under the control of the PE.
Posted by dotti on 05/18/11 07:21 PM
re: Junk silver is a good hedge but not many people here are buying it (ignorance and cost mainly). So some type of locally bootstrapped medium of exchange will be needed if things collapse.
When I made my meager purchase, I called the source and asked how small a purchase could be made. He laughted and said: "One dime." That worked for me.
My personal story: My son and daughter-in-law are both MD's--early 30's and still on low salaries. They told me just last week that they are planning a garden and are "all about sustainability". I haven't even told them how critical I think the situation is, but maybe they're figuring it out on their own. Their birthdays are in July and I am planning to give them an assortment of heirloom seeds.
With Peter (and others), I think that he just chooses not to believe the "bad things" that I am coming to see. Other people see it as "worrying"; I just see it as "thinking".
It's good to communicate with like minds here at DB.
Thanks DB and feedbackers.
Posted by Rrust on 05/18/11 07:03 PM
Excellent and useful analysis well said. Any particular views reflecting your vantage point in Scotland would surely be appreciated.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Scotland has suffered at the hands of socialists for the past 50 years or longer. Perhaps independence may rectify some of that ...
Posted by dotti on 05/18/11 07:00 PM
I hate to say this, but I have wondered about that image myself.
Seems to me that the "prosperity" of that era was based on lowered taxes and increased spending. That plan will always promote the image of prosperity. Well. That is...except for now.
Just my two cents worth.
Posted by dotti on 05/18/11 06:57 PM
Sorry. When I came in from errands, I missed your reply.
See my comments to JM above.
I agree that local is going to be the support. We are in a local church that is like a family to us. We are close with several of the neighbors. I am trying to give from the garden, in part as a way of building relationships--sharing food is very primitive. :-))) The other reason that I do it is that it is very fulfilling to share. The Biblical definition of "rich" was "having enough to share". Peter and I live a relatively frugal existence, which gives us the opportunity to share.
Thanks for your feedback. I value all your comments.
Posted by Wayne on 05/18/11 06:12 PM
Bravo for the Reagan expose.
The Meme makers have most Americans convinced that Ronald Reagan was some sort of American saint, with all the traits of Lassie, Little House on the Prairie and the Tooth Fairy.
And nothing could be farther from the truth!
Reagan flaked on almost every campaign promise he made.
Posted by JM on 05/18/11 06:09 PM
It looks like you are way ahead of a lot of people -- congratulations. To be aware is to be empowered and hopefully your husband will come around. Most people seem to have trouble understanding -- it is a very broad and deep agenda -- or are unable mentally and emotionally to deal with it. But more people are awakening. Here is a personal story that may give you some optimism: four years ago we were advising family that things are not as they perceive them:.the FDA does not watch out for us; the government 9/11 story is not what happened; processed foods have poisonous ingredients; vaccines have no proven effectiveness or safety etc. One of our in-laws is a very loving woman (now in her 80's) with a physician son and a nurse daughter-in-law. She though we were completely nuts. For four years we have continued to send her information and to her credit it appears she has been reading them. She recently has asked us a couple of questions because "we are the best-informed people she knows." It just takes time and a small fraction -- may 10% or less -- of the people to make a difference.
Like you we currently have a garden and a small flock of 7 chickens and a rooster. We are doubling the size in a couple weeks. We have also doubled the size of our garden this year with seeds from a local company
Click to view link
Thanks for the link to the garden planner -- we are just laying out the expanded garden and will give it a try.
We have both enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver's book and many more. Joel Salatin has several good books ("Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal" is my favorite), "Sepp Holzer's Permaculture" by Sepp Holzer, "Nurturing Traditions" by Sally Fallon, and my wife has just finished "Radical Homemakers" by Shannon Hayes and "The Accidental Farmers" by Tim Young.
Books I highly recommend for are "They Own It All (Including You)!" by Ronald MacDonald and Robert Rowen; "Where Did The Towers Go?" by Dr. Judy Wood; and "Breakthrough Power: How Quantum-leap New Energy Inventions Can Transform Our World" by Jeane Manning and Joel Garbon and Jan Scherer.
Junk silver is a good hedge but not many people here are buying it (ignorance and cost mainly). So some type of locally bootstrapped medium of exchange will be needed if things collapse.
Humanity is certainly being tested right now and informed people like you will be in that minority that turns things around. Keep learning and informing and don't worry what people think. We now laugh when people call us nutty.
"It is better to know the worst, and provide for it, than to delude ourselves with false hope."
-- Patrick Henry
Posted by dotti on 05/18/11 04:36 PM
I am comforted--to some extent--by your reply.
My husband and partner in life is still of a mind to just not think about the unpleasantness. I tolerate his view; he tolerates mine.
I envy your situation: that you and spouse are like minds.
However, in most of the ways that you describe, we are on the same wavelength. We have moved to a 14 x 50 (which is really 14 x 44) singlewide on 5 acres in SW Virginia--Appalacia. We are completely debt free. We use one credit card for convenience, but pay it off monthly.
We had one garden plot last year, but plan two more for this year. We eat fresh daily. I have not canned yet, but have the pressure cooker and jars/lids. I have frozen quite a bit of stuff. I also give lots away. Forming relationships is key to survival if our future is a worst case scenario.
I do use fertilizers and will use fungicides and pesticides if needed, but
judiciously. I am going to all heirloom seeds as much as possible and have found a great source for heirloom seeds: Click to view link
And a great garden planner: Click to view link
Free trial for 30 days, then and only then do you give CC info if you want to pay $25 for a one year subscription.
Seeds are packaged in foil so that if you don't use all this year, they will keep.
I am considering getting chickens. I am an Atkins dieter so meats, eggs, cheese, and veggies are my thing--just no carbs.
SW Virginia is very much into sustainability. And everyone helps each other out in many ways. I have not ventured out to find "like minds". I'm afraid of being labeled as a nutcase.
I would recommend that instead of Berkshares you CONSIDER old 90% silver coins. They are still legal tender and available in dimes, quarters, half dollars, and of course the silver dollar.
If you want an idea of how to be self-sustaining, I am reading a very good book whose author is from the same little town as I (we have not met): Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. She and her family went a year on a "sustainability" basis. Early on she talks about heirloom seeds.
You are probably right that the nation as a whole is a goner. Getting as far as we can from "civilization" and reducing our dependence on same is probably the best we can do.
It really is a good feeling to eat things that we have grown ourselves and to realize that we can save the seeds to plant for next year.
JM, thanks much for your informative and encouraging post.
Posted by William3 on 05/18/11 04:00 PM
Ron Paul is truly an odd duck in the US political morass. He himself, along with perhaps a few other libertarian politicians, represents the non-statist end of the political spectrum. The vast majority of politicians inhabit the statist end, including most Democrats and Republicans.
Sadly, the Republicrats have successfully blocked entry into the political process for as long as Americans have voted. These two parties have perfectly carried out the Hegelian dialectic by countering each other's views thus ultimately supporting the State above free-market principles.
To vote within this scenario is to validate the corrupt process... unless a viable third-party emerges. Ron Paul in my view will not be successful as a Republican candidate. He may have a chance in a third party. As a Republican at best he will raise awareness of the reality of the two-headed monster that dominates US politics.
But he will be falsely discredited by the mainstream press before he gets too far. And the ones who vote in the US are the ones who listen to the Big Media, not generally those who get their news from the 'Net. This in itself is a built-in mechanism for insuring a Republicrat president.
Good luck, Dr. Paul. But don't quit your day job -- we need you fighting the Fed!