Saturday, March 19, 2005

Mojowire for 3.19 -- PART II

Greetings and salutations, comrades and fellow entrepreneurs of the 21st century international space movement. Once again, we are coming to you live and direct with our unique brand of political analysis, viewed from a position parked firmly in Clarke orbit over the Pacific Timezone.

This week, we have been vastly amused by the ongoing kerfuffle between the Internet roots of the Democratic Party and its quickly greying, almost old enough to be an "old guard" but not yet willing to admit its full maturity-- the Democratic Leadership Council (or the DLC, as it's often abbreviated).

First, we should come right out and present our biases. The consensus of the crew on S9 station is that our sympathies come down squarely on the side of the Internet roots and against the elitist, useful idiots of the DLC like Ed Kilgore (their policy director), Marshall Whitman (their current president) and Al From (their founder and chief executive officer).

There's been a bit of a factional skirmish going on. Normally, the mainstream political news operations would cover something like this, but apparently you have to be a major national party with an actual say in the development of government policy to rate that kind of media attention now. So, now, you have to read Internet weblogs and obscure subscription-only trade hardcopy sheets to know about the fight between what I'll call the "new progressive" movement and the old Democratic
Party leadership.

First, a brief lesson in who these people are and what they think. The Democratic Leadership Council claims on its website that its three core principles are "promoting opportunity for all; demanding responsibility from everyone; and fostering a new sense of community." What does that mean? They explain: Since its inception, the DLC has championed policies from spurring private sector economic growth, fiscal discipline and community policing to work based welfare reform,
expanded international trade, and national service." President Bill Clinton was one of their guys, and he was about as good as they have ever gotten. Remember when stopped caring about the plight of working people enough to protect their rights in the workplace? Now you know
who to blame: the DLC. They're all those nice Democrats who talk about "transcending the stale left-right debate" with "innovative, non-bureaucratic, market-based solutions." Not to be too pedantic, but-- they are the latest incarnation of the revisionist impulse among the American left.

On the other side of the current melee, you have the vast and chaotic melange of new Democratic networkers. This includes large organizations like MoveOn.Org, and Democrats For America (the phoenix that arose out of the ashes of the Dean For America campaign), but it also includes the hundreds of rogue bloggers typified by the people who write for websites like DailyKos, American Street, BOP News, The Agonist, Eschaton, and a hundred other small advertiser supported operations that have really demonstrated the potential for using the Internet to raise funds and promote progressive activism. There is even a new rival to the DLC, founded by Simon Rosenberg and constructed along the lines of a traditional Democratic policy and advocacy shop. It's called, oddly enough, the New Democrat Network (not to be confused with a creature of the DLC with a similar sounding name). The Internet organizations are the last, best hope of modernizing progressive politics in America. Where the DLC is about organizing the "leadership class" in America to support a progressive agenda, usually with mixed results at best, the new progressives are actually organizing real progressive people-- people who have day jobs doing productive things
besides politics. To that end, they tend to be focused primarily on unifying the disparate factions of the old, broken progressive groups to present a coherent and strong opposition to the growing challenge of the conservative stranglehold on government, media and policy development. They are about message discipline and the nuts and bolts operations of getting ordinary people to show up and speak out.

It's no surprise then that folks on the Internet went ballistic this week after the DLC's Will Marshall ranted in their house organ to the effect, "What leftist elites smugly imagine is a sophisticated view of their country's flaws strikes much of America as a false and malicious cartoon. Democrats should have no truck with the rancid anti-Americanism of the conspiracy-mongering left." Markos Zuniga of was the highest profile blogger to fire back with a nasty broadside about how "no one wants [the DLC] to come aboard to talk about issues."

Broadening the attack to include JoeNertia Lieberman, he called them "the designated 'Democrat-bashers' for Fox News and the rest of the media world. They have so consistently delivered, for so long, that they are the first to be called on when a reporter is looking for that conflict in his or her story. Writing about MoveOn or Michael Moore? Call the DLC! They'll provide the 'Democrats are divided' quote. Need to bash Democrats on any particular issue? Call Joe Lieberman! He has
no concept of party loyalty and will happily blaze away." What was that Ed Kilgore likes to say about the "circular firing squad" mentality?

Kilgore had the impiety to respond to Kos the same day. His take? "...being called "divisive" by a guy who's way around the bend in hating this particular group of Democrats is just a bad joke." He's basically trying to laugh off the criticisms of the new progressives. But, as an article in The Nation last week by Ari Berman reports, even the DLC staffers are privately admitting that they can only get media coverage when they deliberately cause controversy among the Democratic
rank and file.

What's our take here in S9 station? Well, we're not Democrats, so it would probably be polite for us to hold our tongues about what the family in the house next door is doing in their back yard. But we're also dirty, rude, impolite bastards-- so we'll do it anyway. The DLC are revisionist, imperialist running dogs of the reactionary and decadent bourgeois elite. They should be disowned by any decent Democrat. We don't care how many money trees for Democratic politicians these people are still capable of shaking down-- they're doing more harm to the party by impairing efforts to achieve unity than any of their irrelevant policy papers or conference workshops might be helping.

Marshall Wittman watched Joe Lieberman's sad performance on the bankruptcy bill and said on his weblog, "This should be a lesson for all those lefties who have been in a full-throated fury against Joe. He is a Democrat in the proud tradition of Truman, JFK and Scoop." Wittman is no idiot. He knew full well that Lieberman only voted against it when it wouldn't matter, and voted against killing it when he had a real chance.

The Democrats of today need guys like Ed Kilgore, Marshall Wittman, Al From, Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller like the Democrats of 1948 needed the Dixiecrats. They'll only cause further division and discord the longer they continue to feel welcome to keep identifying themselves with us. It's hard-coded into their blood. So, purge them, I say. Purge them all. Purge them immediately and without further delay or debate. Give them no quarter or mercy. Do it now. Before they cost us the 2006 midterms.

Cue James music for exit
And in the immortal words of Cato the Elder, "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam." Or, as we would say in American, "Nuke Carthage!"

J. Okay wireheads, listen up it's vocabulary time. Here's is this week's new word. TABOR, T-A-B-O-R. No, not the small medieval Continental version of the Bagpipes, but the horrible acronym for the Tax Payers Bill of Rights, coming to a state legislature near you soon. And I gotta tell you I am getting past tired of every freekish tin foil hat right wing butt-biscuit of an idea getting turned into a "Bill of Rights." Look, there is only one Bill of Rights, it was the first Ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, based on some older English Common Law enlightenment concepts on liberty and government/citizen relations.

That said... TABOR, a Heritage Foundation sponsored piece of sophistry, is a fairly simple means of killing state government funding. Here's how the basic thing works courtesy of the Bell Policy Research Center: TABOR at it's heart is a series of statutes and state consititutional amendments that make it more difficult for states to raise and spend money.

The four basic elements are requirements for voter approval for any new revenue, limits on revenue collections, limits on spending and restricts how government can shuffle tax money around.

On the surface, some of these sound pretty reasonable, especially to us here in the Golden State, land of the never-ending budget cycle. But let's take a little close look at the actual details. First, the voter approval for revenues is fairly straightforward and what you would expect from bat winged minions of evil. More interesting are the limits on revenue collection with formulas prescribing growth in spending and requiring that all revenues in excess of that amount be returned to taxpayers.

Then there are the spending limits and the sanctions against real estate transfer tazes, local income taxes and state property taxes, requring that any state income tax change have a single rate with no surcharges and that all tax increases begin in the following year.

Again, nothing too out of the ordinary for Heritage, like death sentences for pagans, or establishing state-run "rescue clinics" to hold homosexuals as wards of the state until they can be healed through the power of cheese, or some such other nonsense that usually sublimates out of thin air whenever these waterheads try sparking their synapse gaps.

Even though Heritage wants to take this show nationwide, they are trying desperately not to get people to look too closely at their test bed for TABOR in Colorado, where the effect has not been so much to reign in an out of control state government, but to take a tattered state infrastructure on life support and drown the thing in the tub.

Much of this lies in the basic game of economic Three Card Monte, where the voters of Colorado were both simultaneously sucker and shill. They voted for a complicated funding formula none of them understood, which basically attached government spending to a magical function of population growth and inflation. Here's the trick: There is no existing measure of inflation that correctly captures the growth in the cost of the kind of services provided and paid for by the government. The inflation adjustment is not sufficient to allow the continuation of services, according to the Bell Report.

Also, the people who foisted this horrible experiment in social engineering knew perfectly well that subpopulations serviced by the state grow more rapidly than the overall population growth used in the formula. Example: while total population in Colrado grew by 15.4 percent from 1990 to 2002, the number of elderly and disabled who depend on Medicaid grew by 70 percent.

S. But enough of the theorectical, what did this bloodsucking set of statutory scribblings do to Colarado? Well, in terms of health care, the number of children in Colardo without health insurance has jumped from 15 percent in 1992 to 27 percent in 2003, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank dedicated to examining policy effects on low and moderte income Americans.

They also note that around the time of the passage of TABOR, the on-time vaccination rate for kids in the Rocky Mountain State was above the national average. Colorado kids are now last in line nationally for immunizations.

But hell, that's okay, because now Colorado no longer has the money to educate the little bastards anyway, so if more of them start dying from flu and mumps, well, it's just natural selection isn't it... In Colorado, the ratio of teacher salaries to average private sector pay is lower than any other state according to The Center, while the high school graduation rate has fallen six percent and now the state ranks 48th in the nation for state funds for higher education per $1,000 of personal income. At the same time, the Bell Study details how public college tuition has shot through the roof with increases between 9.5 percent to 15 percent, while the national increase nationally hovers at around 5 percent.

Not that Colorado needs educatin' anyway, given that they are bleeding jobs and industy since TABOR terror was enacted. It is to the point where even conservative Gov. Bill Owens is now publicly criticizing TABOR, recently calling for an overhaul of the law.

Look, to some of you older listners, you're saying: "yeah, the Conservatives in the Adam Smith rough trade rubber room in the basement at Heritage are bringing more heat in their relentless war against the United States government, please tell us something we don't know."

The problem is that there are many people who don't understand that this freek show is getting ready to go national, with conservative groups in several states beginning to agitate for further passage. Moreover, even a cursory look at TABOR shows it to be nothing more than the right's blatant attempt to kill government, and further a war against the poor in America.

This is the organizing principle of Conservative political thought. A weird form of economics, like Marxism meets The Stepford Wives. Fundamentalism where those who are poor or sick deserve to be poor and sick because that's just God's Will, and as we all know from our American catechism classes that George W. Bush is God's personal representative on earth, not that doped up old cross dressing Polack in Rome.

And W., as the "elect" like to refer to him as, has spoken through his earthly billionaire bishops that if only you would walk in the ways of the Lord as defined by W., and his cadre, you too could be rich, but if you are an unrepentant sinner (read, gay, lesbian, black, hispanic, woman, possessing an IQ in triple digits) then you are on the business end of God's Judgment and anything that government does to help you would be contrary to God's Judgement.

You must by now see that TABOR is simply God's will interpreted through temporal economic theory. Because it's all about the freedom and the liberty, don' t you know. The absolute freedom to worship God at the community protestant church of your choice.

And when they bring their grotesque medicine show to California, you can be assured you will not be allowed to read the ingredients before you are told to drink it down. For real, how much hope do you have that we will be able to follow the hands as the cards start flying and find the red queen?. Before you answer, take a moment and think about who is currently Governor...

J. And speaking of our illustrious Gropernator, the boy may have finally gone around the legal bend this time, with his "Citizens to Save California Committee." Surely by now, if you own a TV, or at least have been near one lately, you have seen the commercials. Ordinary suburban Californians, just like you, putting up signs, getting signatures, ropin' a bull doggin' the neighbors to evangelize the Governator's message, coming together to make common cause with our brave governor to do what the legislature lacks the good old fashion American Spine to accomplish.


But it is the horror of these ads, and some of the Steroid Poisoned Freek's other activities with Citizens that have landed him in hot water. And earlier this week a group aptly named "" filed suit in Superior Court in Sacramento County this week itemizing the various violations of state political laws committed by Herr Dopenator. To wit: that most of this Citizens to Screw California Committee and the Govenor's California Recovery Team are essentially nothing more than a bit of grifter's misdirection and actually just an offshoot of Arnold's reelection campaign.

Look, we could get into the various legal technicalities of agency law, the theory of respondeat superior, and Government Code §§81000 et.seq., but we are coming to the end of our time here soon, so let's boil this down. The point of the lawsuit is that these committees are the political equivalents of Nigerian money scam emails. You give them money and support, and it unlawfully ends up in the hands of Arnold's reelection committee.

And we passed Prop. 34 in this state just to prevent this kind of nonsense, the creation of political alter egos, within alter egos, within alteregos, expressly for the purpose of generating phat stax of mad bank. And the way this is being done by the Governor's posse is that they are also managing to circumvent reporting rules, so that we don't know who at least 20 of the Governor's largest campaign contributors really are, because they are twisting the rules of how policy or issue committees report, as opposed to candidate controlled committees.

Will this lawsuit go anywhere? Who knows... sorry, that's just the fact of the matter, but the allegations in the suit should raise some questions about the whole myth of Arnold working for the average working Californian against the evil "Special Interests." Because you know, it seems like more and more of us each day are ending up on the Special Interests roster -- teachers, nurses, cosntruction workers, Hispanics, parents, Native Americans -- while the Gropenator seems to be laboring tirelessly for an ever-shrinking circle of people, like his old energy pals, the California Chamber of Commerce, and a handful of gun nuts who just loved him in Commando and Predator.

Under the guise of his initiative push, he has been raising reelection money at fundraisers where the minimum bid recently was $22,000. For $100,000 or so, you actually got to sit at the Governor's table and breath in the smoky noxious fumes he regularly exhales. And you could probably smell his cigar smoke, too.

S. As noted by the Los Angeles Times: "It may be that Schwarzenegger can't be bought, but the perception around Sacramento will be that those who contribute generously have a better chance at access and favors than those who do not. This perception isn't helped by the state Chamber of Commerce's underwriting of his 2,000-person inaugural lunch Nov. 17."

And at the time, we even told you -- yeah, there's going to a bit of that -- we freekin' * told*you* that this guy is being bought and paid for by the same people who brought you energy deregulation, school vouchers and immigrant bashing. Over at, they do a pretty good job of deliniating the Governator's rhetoric from his reality.

For instnace, when Arnold says he is going to clean house because he already has plenty of his own money, that still didn't stop him from taking more than $14 million in contributions from business, which has apparently lead to an influx of old Pete Wilson appointees drunkenly stumbling back across the American River and into the Capitol.

So it should come as no surprise that when Arnold talks about how the special interests that give money to candidates then collect on that note, he speaks from direct experience, seeing that his top donors are among the most powerful interests in Sacramento, primarily real estate and financial interests such as the 1.2 million samolians from Ameriquest Capital, more than $500,000 from Murdoch's NewsCorp (that's FoxNEWS gang), and $1.1 million from the A.G. Spanos Companies.

And the Spanos donation is worthy of an aside here quickly. Spanos is a garden variety land raper who's Horatio Alger story is regularly pimped by no less a corpulence than Rush Limbaugh under the guise of regularly recommending Spanos' self-serving paen to greed entitled "Sharing My Wealth."

Among his various eponymous holdings, there are realty concerns, securities sales, land development and... oh yeah... he also owns the San Diego Chargers and the A.G. Spanos Jet Center a fixed base operator of aviation services at Stockton Airport. Tell me, what do you think a smart entrepreneur like that is going to expect for his hard earned $1.1 million to the Governor?

Remember, you are the ones who all got your chones in a bunch and voted this waterhead and his little collection of Karl Rove superfriends political action figures in to office. And now, our budget deficit is running away like an uncontrolled fission reaction, schools are being squeezed, infrastructure is crumbling, and this guy doesn't have the first clue what to do about any of it.

His only response seems to be a combination of pandering the lowest common denominators in California's electorate with promises of worthless and ill-conceived ballot measures, while raising absolutely stoopit amounts of money for himself personally from people who expect him to do his bidding.

Yeah, we here at the wire would just like to say thanks once again to all you who did this for us. Thanks a lot, that's great work...

J. It's 601 days until the midterm election and our patriotic thought for the week is: taxes means the terrorists win, or as John Ashcroft used to say... “Go ahead protest all you want... we'll be right there with you...”

S. And that’s all for this week, tune in again soon for another exciting installment, until, of course, we are declared enemies of the state.

And remember, you can now email the Mojowire at, that’s Email, us hippies!

J. And now you can check out the Mojowire online at; you can read the entire archive along with our general ramblings...

This has been the Mojowire, brought to you by Mojohaus...Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988, and produced by our super funky fly producer Mike Payne and the Darkling Eclectica, here on KUCI, 88.9...

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