Stormy Monday, 9/1/14

StormyMondayLabor Day in an election year. Enjoy it, because tomorrow the gloves come off. Hammer time. Time for the excrement to plot a course for the fan. Time for September call-ups of every last little shred of dubious opposition research that campaigns big and small, Democratic and Republican alike, focus-grouped unsuccessfully all summer. Time for pollsters – good, bad, indifferent, biased or unbiased – to line their spreadsheets up against the wall. Time for the kitchen sink and all who sail in her. Ain’t democracy grand? New season notwithstanding, this might be a very good time to turn off the TV.

Jurors in the trial of Smilin’ Bob McDonnell, who used to be Governor of Virginia, and his wife Maureen, who used to be its First Lady, will receive instruction from Judge James R. Spencer and begin deliberations this week. Jury morale has been kept admirably confidential, but I don’t see how the jurors can feel anything but relief at not having to listen to any more testimony from either of the accused.

On Wednesday, Vice President Biden heads to – gasp!New Hampshire. He’s going as part of a continuing White House series of speeches and events focused on the economy, but the mainstream media will be crafting its own narrative for the visit. Expect 24 to 48 hours of asinine headlines like “Biden: Serious About ’16?” or “Veep Reads Granite State Tea Leaves” or “Clinton/Biden?” or “Biden/Clinton?” or “Hey, Who’s the Old Guy?” At some point midweek, I predict Wolf Blitzer will wet himself on the air, and he might not be the only one.

Tuesday in Corpus Christi, Texas’ voter ID law (or, more accurately described, Texas’ transparent attempt to suppress probable votes for Democrats by raising the bugaboo of “voter fraud” and invoking phony concern for “confidence in the system”) will go to court. One election law expert interviewed for the piece at the link believes the case could go all the way to the Supreme Court. Which, in these days of modern times, as the Firesign Theatre once put it, could be very unfortunate if that’s how things unfold.

The President goes to Europe this week, first to Estonia for a visit designed to reassure that nation it won’t be next on Vladimir Putin’s Back in the USSR Comeback Tour, and then to a NATO summit in Wales, the first time a sitting United States President has visited there. Nobody knows whether the notorious tan suit is being packed for the trip, but you can bet all the “news” networks have deployed “journalists” to the White House for the latest presidential wardrobe revelations. Continue reading Stormy Monday, 9/1/14

A Labor Day Message from Disney: the Nazis are Winning

Sometimes it’s interesting to watch the old World War II propaganda films. Labor Day makes me think of how Nazi Germany was portrayed in a 1943 Disney Donald Duck cartoon.

 

 

It’s starts with their offensive song about racial superiority and uber-patriotism. The interesting part is how Disney portrays living in Hitler’s Germany.

Of course, there’s unquestioning obedience to the leader, which is common in any authoritarian government. Then Donald Duck gets up at dawn, works like a dog all day with tiny breaks, no vacation days, and he gets home just in time to fall asleep exhausted. The announcer informs Nazi workers that it’s their privilege to work 48 hours a day for the Fuhrer until they die. He’s made to work overtime while production is sped up even more. It’s a living hell of non-stop work that only goes faster and faster until Donald finally goes mad.

I guess in 1943 that was something that clearly separated America from Nazi Germany. I’m not so sure they could make that cartoon today.

Rapidly since the 1980′s, the productivity of the American worker has gone up while real wages go down. Business economists celebrate that, but it means people are working a lot harder for less pay. Benefits keep getting cut too. Germans today get a standard six weeks paid vacation every year. Americans are lucky to get any paid vacation days at all. Continue reading A Labor Day Message from Disney: the Nazis are Winning