"We can have democracy, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Justice Louis Brandeis

Without actually coming out and saying it, In "A flawed American political model aids China," Harold Meyerson suggests that we may soon be admitting that our current dysfunctionalism may be endemic within capitalism itself. After all, it's not like its modern variant has run for a very long time.

Today, China has emerged as a global economic powerhouse and political competitor. Unlike the Soviet Union, it does not seek to remake the world in its image, but neither is it a friend of democracy. Its booming economy — in contrast to those of the wheezing West — may be viewed as validating state industrial policy, which can help build national prosperity, but China also sees it as an endorsement of authoritarian efficiency.

All but the most fervent John Galtists, and other fictionally-assisted cheerleaders of our system's presumed strengths are starting to ask, "Does this capitalism thing really work?" What is the goal of any economic system, but to provide the basic goods, services and welfare of its people?  If the system fails in that aim, what good is the maximization of personal freedom and wealth?  Freedom to do what?  Wealth to buy what? A hedonist's nirvana at the expense of virtually everyone else? This thing is working damn well for the upper 20%.  But most everyone else is hurting, about to be hurt, or living so on the edge, that "quality of life" has now become synonymous with "net worth." And if you haven't got any of that, it's "quality of credit rating." If you lack both of those, you just don't matter.

Where's the science that says boom and bust cycles can go on for more than 140 years, or so, before the system is reduced to the very monopolistic, plutocratic, crony-capitalist manifestations that Marx predicted would be among the forces that consumed it. While we struggle to legislate the most basic economic fixes for a massively troubled system, China, now owning most of our debt and enjoying a massive economic boom, is able to show-off the benefits of their planned economy. Even when that planning is far from perfect, it's still able to make corrections and tweaks that we seem unable to even discuss, let alone implement.  And looking at the current political morass, and the complicity of the media and our governing classes in maintaining the status quo, coupled with the rapacious acidity of the social conservative and Tea Party movements, it is entirely possible that we may never fix any of it. But we sure seem destined to break it more.

Could some form of family-friendly, moderately benign autocracy, governed by some intrinsic or manufactured traditions of social justice and responsibility, without any pretense of complete freedom, actually fare better in the long run?  Might theirs, or some other form of  "social capitalism" emerge that yields a more viable and sustainable long term middle class; one in which the spirit and achievements of the all mighty individual still thrive? I've already met a few a rugged individualist entrepreneurs from China. With all that human raw material to work with, you can bet there's a lot more where they came from.

China thinks a right-leaning system that aspires to be more left, is better than a left-leaning system that is now careening to the right. Given their success, a huge number of their citizens do too. I am pretty sure that we will be pondering this question more and more, as China continues going boom, while we seem to be inventing ways to go bust.

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I've actually been doing some work today, trying to unwind from a week of ankle biting CNN and Erick Erickson. I'll have more to say after a full day or two off from this asshattery.  I need some time away from the "Best Political Team on Television."

Fortunately, @Karoli says it all for me.

VIDEO:  "Howard Kurtz Allows Erick Erickson to Feign Ignorance on the Rhetoric Posted at His Blog"

Howard Kurtz interviews the newest member of their "best political team on television", RedState's Erick Erickson and asks him about the hateful rhetoric that's been posted on his blog. Erickson's defense pretty much amounts to pretending he had no idea what he was saying, that he gets any traffic and he's all grown up now, so hey… no worries right? Pitiful. If CNN actually thinks this is an adequate response to their bad judgment for hiring him, they're sadly mistaken.

Read Story & See CNN VIDEO

Seen My Post And Video About Erickson?

If not, all this noise we've been making about this absurd decision by CNN will have been in vain.



In March, CNN made stunning announcement that Erick Erickson, editor of the ultra-right Tea Party screed Redstate.com (owned by Eagle Publishing, owner of malodorous HumanEvents.com) would be a regular panelist on the new "John King's USA" program.  We get the media we deserve, and I was loath to roll over for one more indignity. I got a little worked up about it.

So We Made A Video About CNN's Latest Farce

My video partner, Oilwellian and I felt this reckless erosion of CNN's responsibility was so egregious that it needed a simple polemical response that called attention to it. 

Enough is Enough — How You Can Help


Educate Time-Warner Stockholders

Show them just how fast and loose CNN executives, Jon Klein and Sam Feist are being, You can be sure their stockholders have no idea what kind of unhinged propaganda they are presenting to the American people in their pursuit of a few of Fox New's ratings points.

PLEASE RETWEET this post (see below), so a viral pressure might goose @CNN to stop this Fox-chasing nonsense and try being a real news network again.  It took them two years to admit the Lou Dobbs mistake, so I don't have a lot of hope that they'll can this stupid Erickson idea too soon. But at least this exposure can make it painful for them. We have only 24 hours left to make video go viral (and get special notices on YouTube). Your RTs and emails would help a lot.

IT'S IMPORTANT:  Even though John King USA's show is pretty boring (King was never mister magnetic), and the nepotism shown by using his wife Dana Bash as the show's (Republican friendly) Congressional reporter makes the show a laughing stock,  that doesn't mean this farce should stand, unassailed until the inevitable cancellation. The experience may make CNN just a bit more sensitive to the fact that the Tea Party ain't the only Americans fired up, lately.

Some of us are just disgusted with the corporate wrecking ball that American capitalism—and our media—have become. It's time we just said no, and meant it.




@DumpCNN ~ @shoq ~ @stopbeck ~ @Oilwellian


I have already invested a fair amount of time being the partisan crasher on Twitter on this issue, but it's just not something we can afford to shrug off after a few days of whining.  The right assumes, as CNN's Jon Klein did, that "progressives never get too worked up about anything".

In Retrospect, Our Video Was Too Kind

The right has screwed up this nation too thoroughly for us to just acquiesce to CNN giving a platform to the latest overrated stooge of concorporate hegemons.  As the past few years have proved, they own or control most of this nation where it counts, and even when progressives score gains (as we just did with Health Care Reform), there is still a huge question mark hovering over the future of the United States. A recovering economy will not mask the near-kleptocratic nature of what our modern predatory-capitalist-system-run- amok has become.

Through one of many proxies like Redstate, the corporate and conservative elites use massive private funding networks to distribute professionally crafted propaganda masking as "grass roots" efforts.

Their work is designed to prey on the emotions and fears of an almost fundamentalist fervor amongst the ignorant Teahadist soldiers they are whipping up across the nation. The primary goal is to convince these gullible—or just rich, mean, racist, or stupid—people, that the administration that inherited the burden of fixing the economic malaise they created, are actually the people who caused them in the first place.   And when you have a 24 hour news channel (Fox News) devoted to such efforts, it's really not all that hard to sell such foolishness to the proles.

This professionally-crafted and marketed lying has gone on far too long—and it's wrecking this nation. And yet, as I type this, the US Chamber of Commerce is gearing up to spend more millions of dollars in local elections. Precisely the kind of spending secured with the kind of right-wing propaganda that HumanEvents, Redstate, and Erick Erickson represent (often literally).

Below, I have created one of my "capsules" to provide some background on CNN's latest gift to the nation, and to the right wing groups and strategies that have crippled it: Erick Erickson.


Overview of Erick Erickson

There is not much about this creep to like. Let's just say he's a man of average means, who now has way above average influence in a Republican party that respects only results, regardless of outcomes. A full picture of him will emerge from the materials, herein.



Redstate is a property of one of the most loathsome right wing publishing enterprises in the world.

  Parent & Related Organizations


   Previous Lessons CNN Didn't Learn From

   The Growing Threat Of The US Chamber of Commerce

   More From Shoq