Episode 219: Rumble w/ Michael Moore
I'm convinced that we need a huge public coalition from churches, businesses, nurses, schoolteachers, and all kinds of families across the nation: the kind of coalition I witnessed in Washington DC just before the Iraq War began -- to show up as they did -- here and all over the world -- to DIVEST from big banks (the ones "too big to fail"). This country's government (in coalition with Israel) practices apartheid around the world. Now constructing more military bases (lily pods) throughout the continent of Africa.
I give up on donating to certain candidates, writing letters to the editor, even setting up visits through League of Women Voters to meet with senators and congressional "representatives."
The time is now for a general strike from the huge majority of U.S. citizens who have had enough
from the military, industrial, congressional complex. People say "Follow the money." I say "Withdraw the money."
I just want to comment on points Michael made about civics not being taught anymore in schools, and that Separation of Powers are not stated in the Constitution.
First, I didn’t know civics, which was called Government when I was in high school, isn’t taught anymore. I’m shocked! This is a wrong that must be righted. Parents should be attending school board meetings to get this class back in the curriculum. Maybe VA Dems missed an opportunity and should have told voters “We hear you, and if elected, we will replace CRT with American Government in our school’s curriculum”. It might not have stopped parents from showing up at meetings and screaming at board members, but they might have gotten more votes to make a difference.
Mike’s right, Separation of Powers isn’t a term you will find in the Constitution. Neither is Checks & Balances. But the Framers, particularly Madison, had these concepts in mind when the Constitution was written. You can get a better understanding of what they tried to accomplish by reading Federalist Paper #47 where both concepts are described. I know, you probably think I’m crazy to suggest this, but it isn’t that long, you can get it on the internet, and it will open your eyes to the past. One warning, you may need to read some sentences 2 or 3 times before you get the meaning since they spoke in old English. Like when it says “It was agreed on all sides”, they mean “It was unanimous”. Happy reading!
Can you explain to me how the progressive mayor candidate lost in my home state of Washington. By double digits. When the moderate candidates don’t give a rats ass for the war of ideas that we won?
What am I missing here. Why is is that the people want one thing and when the dem party doesn’t deliver we decide to vote for the party that has never given us anything….we’ll, they did give the people pro life. I’ll give them that. Sadly, I’m pro choice.
Is there some place where there is a list of everything that has passed in the last year?All we seem to hear about are these big bills.
2 years ago I was in Clare Mi and was intrigued with the juxtaposition of charging stations and the Amish tying up their horses in the same parking area.
Inflation and high prices ? FREE MARKET IS THE ANSWER. As our Republicans friends have been telling us for decades : do not worry about it, LET THE MARKETS DO THEIR WORK. Do not regulate ( or whine about it ). High gasoline prices ? it's time to take subsidies away from gas corporations.
How is it that we win the war of ideas with 80%+ approval, and yet we seem to have less than 20% of the government on our side. and we are poised to concede even more to the enemy. Biden's approval rating = abysmal, midterms seem almost guaranteed to go to the GOP. 2024 is almost certainly going to go to the GOP. (I mean GOD I hope I am wrong!, I really do) I will vote for Bernie, "He just has to be alive" over every other possible candidate that the DEMs seem to be behind at this point. Please show me a light, show me a way out, show me meaningful hope, show me progress. Throw me a life-preserver as we stand in the sinking ship.
I don't know about you guys / 'Peeps" / y’all - this past three weeks or so has had me on many occasions left me with the feeling of wanting or needing to grab a bucket to throw up -
AND the point where satire and reality are completely indistinguishable from each other AND where things written in attempted sincerity, in a different mood and light take on the aspect of something that is utterly sarcastic and as mentioned MANY times on this substack by many venerable posters here the sense of LAUGHING and CRYING at the same time due to the manifest absurdity of things being transacted (allegedly) in our name.
It's the literal Dr. Strangelove transition where Stanley Kubrick and others are trying to write and create a SERIOUS tome or work where the actually reality of the situations at hand are so far beyond absurd to be maddening that things naturally DEGENERATE into the darkest humor and satire imaginable.
Except - this is real life.
That is where we have come to. We have crossed the Dr. Strangelove threshold.
The wanting to grab a pail and retch - comes almost purely from a feeling of being TOTALLY PLAYED.
And boy - have we been played.
(For me - its a very rare feeling, but current events and the trajectory of President Joe Biden and the Corporate Democrats really has me FEELING that way. ) + the arbitrary way everything is accounted for or NOT accounted for.
In what universe do "WE" the tax payer pay for Bill Gates to help his "Uncle" Warren (Buffett) to transition (in microcosm) his Berkshire Hathaway Coal fired power plant(s) to jump start private small scale nuclear plants and enterprises like the idiotically named - Gates' Terra Power ?
This all being part of Biden's Infrastructure plan / BBB
The technology being in part derived from what "WE" - US tax payers - sponsored since before 1954 for nuclear submarines (propulsion / power systems.) year in and year out.
Gate's argument being that Terra Power can use "Cheaper Concrete" 'cuz that's always a good idea for nuclear facilities ! + a facility that ONLY has a life time of 60 years that no doubt WE the tax payer will be paying for for centuries to clean up.
Seriously you can't write this shit...
[ Why is it again - Germany - you know - the "Smart guys" is phasing out / outlawing nuclear power generation ? 'cuz "Auntie" - Merkle is SUCH a "Dummy" ].
And THEN we the tax payer GIVE BEZOS* $XXXBN to fiddle about on the MOON simply 'cuz the f*cker is a litigious PITA + ( separately not in the BBB/ infrastructure ) - give Musk a ton for free sh*t from NASA (an institution we have been PAYING for since it's inception in 1958 + NICE NASA contracts that WE are paying right now ? ).
I'm starting to understand why that Russian Rocket engineer spat on Elon when he innocently inquires whether he can buy a Russian ICBM (launch vehicle) so he can put a little green house on MARS. (Pre- Space X - as we know it). - Trillions of Dollars of Russian development (millions of man hours and lives lost) bought for a few million $.
^^^ Sen. Sanders on 'No' Vote to $778 Billion Defense Budget - MOST illuminating - but no doubt will fall on deaf ears.
Sometimes I think progressives need to view themselves like the athletics in moneyball, we’ve been dealt a loosing hand, but we pay you to get on base. Don’t get out stealing second, get a walk, get hit by the ball, Texas leaguer it. But just get on base, the wins will come. When progressives compromise, it’s an out.
I feel like the time for compromise is over, thoughts and prayers, over, hopes and dreams over, settle for less, come on Obama, that time has passed. If that’s all you got, no wonder people vote for republicans, at least they have a plan, a goal, and they get things done…I cry because it’s always the wrong things that they so easily achieve.
I feel sad after reading this latest blather. Pogo: The enemy is U.S.
It frustrates me that Donald Trump is more progressive "albeit by spite" than Nancy Pelosi, chuck Schumer, and Gottlieb. when it comes to the SALT tax. the fact that they want to reinstate this rich money grab as part of the recon bill makes me want to vomit. Is there anything, short of re-electing Trump we can do to stop this madness. I mean seriously..When Trump is MORE progressive than the Democratic party....At some point you have to grab them and slap some sense into them. (Not to condone violence or anything).
Can someone explain why there is a labor shortage? We have downsized, eliminated jobs, and record numbers of people are quitting, over the whole pandemic, why is there not a huge mass of job seekers? The stimulus money and unemployment is no long term substitute for a salary? How much savings do people have left when they never had much savings to start with?
Thank you Eric for taking me up on my suggestion to read Federalist #47. Now continue Madison’s thoughts by reading #48. He ties Separation of Powers to Checks & Balances. He describes the delicate balance between the 2. Madison was a political poet well worth reading.
I rediscovered these works when I couldn’t accept the Senate needed a 60% vote to stop a filibuster. Using the Constitution, an obscure Supreme Court case, and these Papers, I believe I’ve proved it. And although nobody believes me, I just know it’s true.
So let me briefly go through this one more time. The Senate is using a Rule of Procedure to require a 60% cloture vote to end filibuster and advance a Bill, say voting rights. If the 60 votes is not met, the Bill is stopped. The Senate can make rules under Art I,Sec 5,Clause 2, but it says nothing about voting.
The Supreme Court decision in US v Ballin (1892) included a ruling Congress has power to make rules, but they cannot ignore Constitutional restraints. This means any procedural rule is subordinate to the rest of the Constitution.
And finally, Senate voting IS defined in Art l, Sec 3,Clause 4 where it says VP has no vote, unless they be equally divided. This means if a Senate vote is tied, the VP casts the deciding vote. So a 50-50 tie vote can result in 51-50 pass, or 50-51 fail. If the vote was 51-49, no need for VP to vote since simple majority vote required under Clause 4 is met. There is no exception for a 60% vote rule. Dems can correct this error right now, they only need to admit the Senate has not been following the Constitution. Madison deserves to be heard! You can read the Constitution here:
Okay, Mike, so that earlier published commentary about militarily re-invading Afghanistan was supposed to be humorous in the vein of Monty Python? I don't quite buy that analogy. If the author had proposed having soldiers enter the country with "silly walks", and defending women's rights by slapping the Taliban in the face with dead fish, then I'd buy your thought. That was not, in my humble opinion, where that commentator was coming from, and not the mood which his rather hostile comments projected.
We need to legislatively accomplish what we can now and then, on a case by case basis, separately introduce all of the good parts which were dropped from the Build Back Better agenda. Doing so would far more clearly demonstrate to the public the value of what had been dropped, and that the only way to get good legislation passed would be to vote out of office all of the obstructionists, from either party, who opposed it, and to replace them with far more rational legislators.
That, it would seem, is the best way to regain the initiative and to get passed what needs to be passed in order to obtain greater equity for all...
Great guest. I like Moyn's long and short term plans. Part of his LTP rhymes with Cenks "Justice Democrats" initiative. (Did everyone catch Cenk's interview with Ro Khana on TYT? Now THAT IMHO is the way a media host must broil our representatives, even prog-friendly ones like Remarkable Ro.)
Clearly Moyn's "New Civics" idea is timely. I, too, apparently had Cold War Civics, as he called it. And from the good Sisters of Mercy...so you can imagine the naivete.
By the way, Michael, I am a just a tad surprised you didn't know Boston College is a Jesuit College. But then I am from the Eastcoast and considered going there as an undergrad.
Thanks for this! Please have Moyn back for some follow ups as he re-thinks his book thesis.
Michael (if you read this...). I have twice made a suggestion that could impact people who are NOT avid readers of your columns, and so far, see no evidence that you have even read these messages. My point is, you have an audience of people who are on your side, but you need to attract all the others who do NOT read your column. Look up the anti-Nazi book "If This Be Lunacy" or "Lunacy Becomes US" of 1939 or so.... and please take some action to greatly increase your audience, rather than to simply continue to preach to a choir of the convinced!