Category Archives: Populists

The midwest origin of this term and deja vu all over again…

GUNS CAN SAVE OUR ECONOMY –- by William A. Collins

monkey_glockBusiness booms,

And all have fun;   

When everybody’s

Got a gun.

 

  Now that America’s banking, real estate, stock market, insurance and automobile bubbles have all burst, what’s a hard-working, God-fearing citizen supposed to do for a job? Can you believe that even the casino industry is laying off? Fortunately alcohol is still stable, but prostitution futures have tanked. Curses, if the sin market is sinking, we’re in more trouble than we thought.

  But one industry has heroically come to our rescue – yes, guns. Firearm sales are through the roof. Gun makers are adding shifts and gun stores are adding clerks. They’re sparking the whole economy. Researchers have identified several reasons: Barack Obama, the recession, and self-defense.

It’s not that they fear Mr. Obama will come after them physically. Rather they see him as a strident gun control zealot who will soon make gun sales illegal. Thus we had better buy now. The recession in turn provokes fears of unemployed armed mobs roving the streets looking for any wealth they can grab. If you happen to have some, you’d better be ready to mount a show of force in response. And nowadays, it’s also critical to be armed and ready when screwballs at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Binghamton and North Carolina show up and start shooting. Who let those nuts have guns anyway? But since they do, we’d better too.

Thus you’ll be pleased to learn that Connecticut has just taken a solid step to end this insanity. Thanks to its valiant legislature, it is now illegal to hand a machine gun to anyone under age 16. Seems last year an eight-year-old at a local range got hold of an Uzi, lost control of it, and shot his head off. Brave pols thought that was wrong and responded fast. Continue reading

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Filed under Gun control, Populists, Radical Rightwing groups, Wingnuts!

New Earth Creationists are Linking to Our Place

 

 Why won’t they leave us alone?  Is there a sign on our foreheads?

Check out this dude: 

http://dancingfromgenesis.wordpress.com/

Dude, the earth is VERY, VERY OLD!!!

We read Richard Dawkins books to our infant children.*  Please go elsewhere!

Iggy Donnelly

* At least, I used to…

25 Comments

Filed under Other blogs, Political Reform, Populists, Radical Rightwing groups, Religion, Republicans, Science without political control, Secularism, Uncategorized, Wingnuts!

LEFTY BLOGGERS, HAVING WON, NEED TO COMPROMISE – by Jason Salzman

 WE’RE NO.1, WE’RE NO.1 !! Here’s an article that pretty well sums up my reason for blogging, and validates PrariePop’s purpose, as stated on the ABOUT page.  We are a mob, or rather a swarm, as Salzman puts it. ~sekanblogger

  I picked up Eric Boehlert’s new book, “Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press,” because I wanted to find out how a journalist like Boehlert shows that bloggers have a real-life impact on politics.

I mean, we all know there are who-knows-how-many bloggers out there, posting political opinions, facts, corrections, and errors of their own on the Internet for all to see. But what do they actually achieve, beyond talking to each other? Or should I say, linking to each other? How does their work affect mainstream politics?

That’s the beauty of “Bloggers on the Bus.” It captures the tactics used by blogging activists, who have writing skills but often-minimal political experience, to move a lefty notion out of fantasyland and into the mainstream consciousness.

One way bloggers do this is by using cyber fundraising tools to steer political donations to promising underdog candidates, like unknown Elwyn Tinklenberg, who came inches away from unseating Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman, a GOP rising star, who stirred the ire of bloggers when she suggested that Obama was anti-American.

The book also explains how a “blogswarm” (many blogs focusing on the same topic) creates a wave of actions by blog readers. For example, bloggers mobilized their minions to inform the Democratic presidential candidates that planned debates on the Fox Network would have given undue legitimacy to Fox as a news source. The Democrats eventually agreed, and the debates were canceled.  Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Elections, Other blogs, Populists, Republicans

DEM SENATORS FINK OUT ON BANKRUPTCY – by Jim Hightower

A note about Jim Hightower, he always bills himself as AMERICA’S FAVORITE POPULIST.  ~sekanblogger

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

What is it about Democrats in Washington that makes them clang a slam-dunk?  

They have the greedheaded, boneheaded Wall Street bankers back on their heels, exposed as frauds and finaglers. They also have the broad public shouting that those being ripped off by the bankers ought to get some semblance of justice. Yet, on April 30th, Senate Democrats flubbed an easy shot to support hard-pressed American homeowners who’re being unfairly squeezed by banksters. 

At issue was a common-sense proposal by Sen. Dick Durbin – a top Democrat – to allow bankruptcy judges to lower the monthly mortgage payments of homeowners trapped by exploding interest rates imposed by banks. This would keep families in their homes, stop the decline in housing prices, and boost our economy.  

But Wall Street screamed, spooking a number of pusillanimous Democrats. “Timid Timothy” Geithner, the treasury secretary, meekly cautioned that there should only be “carefully designed changes” to the bankruptcy laws, so as not to create “uncertainty” for Wall Street. Never mind the uncertainty that millions of homeowners face.  

Barack Obama himself, who had pledged in the election campaign to stand with homeowners on this issue, suddenly disappeared, refusing to take a shot. Then came the capitulation of 12 Democratic senators, who joined every Republican to back bankers and keep ordinary folks from scoring this important victory.  

Who were the 12 Democrats who deserted us you ask? Let’s call their names! Max Baucus of Montana, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Tom Carper of Delaware, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jon Tester of Montana – and that brand new of Democrat, Arlen Spector of Pennsylvania.

4 Comments

Filed under Economics, Political Reform, Populists

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

 

This 2008 book (now out in trade paperback) by Amity Shlaes has been  flying off of the shelves of D.C. book sellers.  Allegedly, both sides of aisle are deeply interested in this book.  Conservatives are giving the book high praise, e.g. “The finest history of the Great Depression ever written” – National Review.

I am guessing the contemporary interest in this book stems from the similarity in presidental events – FDR’s inheritance of a economic diaster following the stewardship of three Republican presidencies v. Obama’s inheritance of the economy from the two terms of G. W. Bush oversight [sic].

Amity Shlaes

Shlaes certainly has the conservative bona fides – she served on the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal, for example.  Her book takes an unmistakeable conservative re-interpretation of the New Deal.

To put it most simply, Shlaes believes that FDR declared war on business and set up New Deal entitlements, not to help the “forgotten man”, but to achieve political advantage.  Shlaes even provides what she claims is the origninal definition of the “forgotten man”.  According to Amity, the forgotten man is the one who pays the taxes conceived by special interest groups, and does so year after year, without complaint.

Suffice it to say that Shlaes has the conservative mantra down: “All taxes and regulations are bad, all business and free-markets are good!”  In fairness, though, Shlaes points out some very curious regulatory excesses practiced by the New Deal agencies.  FDR considered himself an experimenter and I think he would have admitted some of his experiments failed miserably.

I came away from the book, asking the question, “can there not be a balance of encouraging business, but also demanding business responsibility via regulation?”  I believe there can be, and I think President Obama is tryng to achieve this precarious balance.

Iggy Donnelly

15 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Economics, Elections, History, Obama, Political Reform, Populists, Republicans, taxes, The Economy

FINDING WAYS TO PERK UP CEO PAY – by Jim Hightower

moneyAs we’re learning the hard way, CEOs are not quite the brilliant cockadoodledoos they wanted you and me to think they were. 

To be fair, however, let’s admit that the top honchos are astonishingly creative and bold, in one special aspect of big business leadership: goosing up their own paychecks. Yeah, yeah, I know that the salary and bonuses of corporate chieftains actually dropped 6 percent last year, now averaging a mere $10 million. But, hey, these people are nothing if not clever, so while their pay sagged, they quietly reached into the goodie bag and increased the number and value of perks they receive by 7 percent.

The Associated Press surveyed some 300 major corporations and found that the median value of such executive perks as chauffeured limousines, free personal use of the corporate jet, and memberships in exclusive clubs rose to $170,000 last year. That’s more than three times the income of most families! 

And chauffeurs and jets turn out to be the least of it. Take Ray Irani, CEO of Occidental Petroleum. Not only was he paid $30 million last year, but he also was given $400,000 to cover the cost of his financial planners. An Occidental spokesperson explained that this perk was beneficial to the corporation because it helped Irani “keep his complete attention on the company’s business.” What, is Irani so flighty that he can’t focus on his job without worrying about his personal money? Maybe so, but – come on – with a $30 million paycheck, couldn’t he afford to cover the financial planners out of his own pocket?

Meanwhile, some corporations are concerned that these pricey and princely bennies look bad to the public. Not to worry, though – another executive perk that’s increasingly popular with CEOs can handle that problem: bodyguards.

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Filed under Economics, Populists

Rove comments on the Rush v. Powell debate

Rove comments on the Rush v. Powell controversy:

Yes.  That made sense.  Thank you…

18 Comments

Filed under Humor, Political Reform, Polls, Populists, Republicans

Why Do People Add One to Their FaceBook Page?

There was a guy whom I really liked from my General Psych class this semester, who did not get as good a grade as I would have hoped for – who none-the-less added me as a friend to his FaceBook page.

What is the general criteria for this honor [i.e., facebook addition]?

I am middle-aged, and don’t always get these things…

Will George W. add me to his face book page?

I hope not, life is hard enough already…

iggy donnelly

13 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Cheney, Economics, History, Humor, Kansas History, Media, Original writings, Populists, Psychology Ramblings..., Radical Rightwing groups, Secularism

Is Obama too Incremental???

Iquiring minds would like to know!!!

Tell us what you think…

iggy donnelly

9 Comments

Filed under Economics, Elections, Media, Obama, Political Reform, Populists, The Economy

Was Sarah Going to Hook Up with Bill or Hillary???

Inquiring minds would like to know!!!Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton

John Coale, a wealthy trial attorney and the husband of Fox News talk show host Greta Van Susteren, approached Sarah Palin with a plan to use her PAC funds to help retire Hillary Clinton’s campaign debt.  The strategy was motivated by a  plan to lessen the polarizing Alaska Governor’s disdain felt by moderate voters.  Sarah apparently considered this moment of political prostitution, but then decided against it.

From the Politico article:

“Former President Bill Clinton placed a friendly call to Palin after the election, and Coale sought to use that as an opportunity to play matchmaker.

“He said he tried to set up a visit between Bill Clinton and Palin in Alaska earlier this year when the former president traveled to Asia, but Clinton wound up traveling there through Europe.”

Read the whole article here.
Truthfully, it is stories like these that make we wonder if we are (the citizens of the U.S.A.) just being played as dumb fools…

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Filed under Elections, History, Humor, Media, newspapers, Political Reform, Populists, Sarah Palin, The Economy, Woman Power, World Politics

Thank Goodness Trump Did Not Strip Prejean, After She Stripped…

 

Carrie Prejean and Gov. Sarah Palin 

Sarah Palin backs up her bff Carrie Prejean:

“‘What I find so remarkable is that these politically-motivated attacks fail to show that what Carrie and I believe is also what President Obama and Secretary Clinton believe — marriage is between a man and a woman,’ Palin said.

“The Alaska governor went on ‘applaud’ Donald Trump for not stripping Prejean of her Miss California crown after risque photos of her emerged following her answer in the pageant.

“‘I respect Carrie for standing strong and staying true to herself, and for not letting those who disagree with her deny her protection under the nation’s First Amendment Rights,’Palin said.”

Read more:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22511.html

iggy donnelly

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Filed under Obama, Other blogs, Populists, Radical Rightwing groups, Religion, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Wingnuts!, Woman Power

100 Most Influential

time100I was reading the nominations for what TIME magazine calls, “Your TIME 100.”  It’s a list of 203 nominations for the world’s most influential in government, science, technology and the arts —  according to those who took time to nominate, vote, rank…

The entire list is available here.

We’re completing the fourth month of 2009, so it seems with so much of the year left a bit premature to be determining who and what was influential for the year.  Reading through the list I find names I don’t recognize.  How can they be on the short list of most influential in 2009, and I not recognize them?  Others that I readily recognize make me wonder what kind of society would think they should be influential?  Should we denote whether they make a positive or negative influence?  Probably other than selling a special edition of TIME, this list has little value.  Or maybe we need to look at the list very closely, reflect on our society, and who and what influences us most.

fnord

9 Comments

Filed under Elections, Media, Populists, Tributes

Shedding Tears about the Burdens on Rich White Men

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937

In Politico today a main story is about how difficult it is for D.C. bookstores to keep the book The Forgotten Man on their shelves.  The “forgotten man” in this case are the men who  took on the burdens of “weaker” men during the 1930s Depression.  The book is critical of the FDR and the New Deal – one of the very few which takes this unusual approach.

From the article:   ” ‘Republicans are gobbling it up — and so are other lawmakers — because it tells you what they did, what worked and what didn’t.'”

Also:   “It also looks at the Great Depression with particular sympathy upon the plight of those who were burdened with supporting the ‘weak members of society’ during the New Deal and endeavors to give a voice to those ‘forgotten men.'”

Want to talk about a populist winning strategy . . . How can the GOP go wrong with this one? … I’d like to know.

Read more here . . .

Maybe there is a market for my new book, How Average People Really, Really Enjoy Living Under the Oppression of Robber Barons! Shaking my head…

iggydonnelly

13 Comments

Filed under Elections, Populists, Republicans, The Economy

Musings of a Prairie Populist and Progressive

A photo of the real Ignatius Donnelly – founder of the People’s Party which later became the Populist Party.

# # # # #

We were signed up to the Douglas and Main blog site today.  Here is the summary of us:

PrairiePopulistsAndProgressives.net — A group blogging about modern politics like its 1896.

This may be a higher compliment than it seems upon first glance.  The 1890’s until the 1920’s was a period of populist and progressive activism.  There was an outcry about the exploitation of workers and the common man that had never been heard before – maybe not even in the history of the world.

In my humble opinion, the reign of capitalism that preceded our current economic troubles has not been seen in this country since the populist era.  Hopefully, it will not take a major depression like that seen in the 1930’s to correct this political course.  I have hopes that the current administration will be part of the answer, rather than part of the problem…  Time will tell on that.

An excellent historical book that I would suggest is:

Risjord, N.K.  (2004).  Representative Americans:  Populists and progressives. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers:  Lanham, Maryland.

http://www.amazon.com/Representative-Americans-Progressives-Norman-Risjord/dp/0742521710

The book is a collection of sketches on Progressives and Populists of the late 19th and early 20th century.  Those covered range from Mother Jones to Margaret Sanger [this latter woman seemed to never have a shortage of boyfriends 🙂 ].

Some dissonance that is troubling to me stems from the fact that while true, the Rockerfellers’ and Vanderbilts’ as philanthropists were responsible for the University of Chicago (a high quality liberal academic institution) and Vanderbilt University, but in their roles as ubber capitalists fostered the work related deaths of many, many common men.  My dilemma: do these capitalists philanthropy excuse their earlier crimes?  I come down on the side of saying definitely not!

Please keep up the blogging that has marked the beginning of this fine site.

Iggy Donnelly…

6 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Media, Populists, Republicans, The Economy

Populists — the good and the bad

herman2

From what I’ve been reading Populism has its good and bad points in history.

Popular anger can be channeled in unproductive ways! Take Karl Rove’s stirring the masses to perceived threats, or the days of the McCarthy era. Popular anger used to further a narrow political agenda, stir up a witch hunt, will not make our nation stronger.  Bad American populists include the KKK and the Weather Underground.

In the United States populism has always been a protest of ordinary people. Ordinary people who want a government that doesn’t betray public interests, isn’t tilted to favor the wealthy, is fair and honest to all citizens. The liberal humorist, Will Rogers –the Jon Stewart of his day — once said: “All the feed is going into one manger, and the stock on the other side of the stall ain’t getting a thing.”

Public outrage is a terrible thing to waste. Will President Obama and his administration find useful ways to channel this disenchantment? Will he be successful enough to keep growing anger, even rage, at bay until confidence can be rebuilt?  Will President Obama be able to convince most Americans that government is on our side?   Will great reform once again come from the hardest of times?

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Filed under Political Reform, Populists