Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Archive for July 2012

Government is to Business as…

SO it seem that the right wing has firmly established a perspective according to which Government/Public sector is opposed to Business/Private sector.   Republicans play on this misleading oversimplification all the time, mostly disingenuously.  None of them actually think that prosperity flourishes in Somalia.  The fact is that for us to prosper, there needs to be a healthy reciprocity.  Business needs Government to regulate its excesses, stabilize its fluctuations, maintain its infrastructure, and secure its resources and markets.  Government needs business to create wealth and opportunity, for technological innovation, and for funding through taxes.  So we now need to come up with a way of communicating this shorthand.

Government is to Business as Leagues and Umpires are to baseball.


Government is to Business as rhythm is to melody?  Or as canvass is to paint?

Whaddya think?  Let’s generate some corrective analogies.

Mitt Romney retroactively cancels visit to London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony

In a statement issued by the Romney Campaign today, the GOP Presidential Candidate has retroactively cancelled his visit to the London 2012 Olympics. Former Governor Mitt Romney said

“I’ve received nothing but support over my non-appearance on London earlier this week. Both the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and the Prime Minister David Cameron, praised my silence about the organisation of the 2012 Olympics. Mr Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, couldn’t wait for me to shut up.

Meanwhile, from left to right, from Conservative to Liberal,  the people of Anglosaxonland have welcomed my absence. I’m told both the Queen, David Beckham and Paul McCartney are hoping that I’ll continue not to appear at the Opening Ceremony tonight.”

Compare and contrast the ‘Romneyshambles’ video to the classy message myself and other Gamesmakers received from Michelle Obama this morning



Per a friend of mine:

In Iran, if two boys get a girl drunk, rape her, take pics and then circulate them to everyone they know, the two boys can enter a unilateral plea deal with the prosecutor which makes it a crime for the victim to name her attackers.

Oh… did I say Iran?

I meant Kentucky.


SRSLY?  WTF?  Make the jump to see what this is all about.

You know who agrees with the Pres. about who built “that”?

According to Adam Gopnik, Adam Smith does:…

As I had occasion to write in a long piece on Smith’s thought a year or so ago, the notion of Adam Smith as an apostle of laissez-faire who would have recoiled in horror, or even narrowed his eyes in suspicion, at the idea that a healthy state precedes and oversees a truly free market is not merely a caricature of his actual thought-it is in many ways the direct reverse of what he said and argued for length and with great lucidity.

Why is it that progressives so frequently abdicate both our political and our intellectual history to those who want to turn everything in the past into a caricature that supports their anachronistic fantasies of a lost golden age and the wisdom that it produced and produced it, which is now obscured and abandoned and urinated on by progressives?

I mean, come on.  Are we so afraid of appearing to be arrogant elitists that we refuse to wear the mantle of the Constitution and quote political theorists while the right wing hammers Smith, Paine, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton and others into their flattened out molds?  

Here’s the gauntlet Gopnik throws down:

It isn’t just that a free market can survive regulation; it’s that the free market is the product of regulation, regulation designed to protect the public from the kind of arrangement that, let’s say, allows people with undue influence on the government to have a lower tax rate than people who don’t. This makes Smith, as I wrote, a firm believer in public goods: his state has an obligation to build roads and schools, establish an army, build bridges and highways, and do all the other things necessary for a sane polity in which the market can function naturally. Everyone should pay for them, and the rich should always pay more than others. “The rich should contribute to the public expense not only in proportion to their revenue,” Smith writes, “but something more than in that proportion.” (He also thought, Mitt, that taxes should be paid with joy, as a contribution to the well-being of all.)

It’s always easy, Smith knew, to provoke a cycle of exploitation, rage, and revolution; that’s what most of history has been. What’s hard is to replace it with one of “mildness”-of public decency, progressive reform, and shared prosperity. You couldn’t have a free market unless you had all the institutions of trust in place that only a sovereign state can guarantee. (If you want to know what capitalism looks like without those institutions, think of words like “Russia,” “oligarchs,” and “kleptocracy.”) Everything we mean by a free market depends on a functioning, sympathetic state-a state rooted not in selfish individualism but in a social sympathy so broadly articulated and institutionalized that every man is confident that he can make an honest deal with his fellow man.

So the view that the President was articulating the other day in the “that” speech wasn’t even a mild and “acceptable” form of social democratic reproach; it was the root foundational view of the free market as its greatest apostle imagined it. So don’t apologize, Mr. President, and don’t explain. Say it again! What you were articulating were the principles on which the free market, and with it this republic, is built. And that … is … that.

Bam!!!  Right there for everyone to read…if you read the New Yorker.  

We’ve got to lay our own claims to tradition and demonstrate how our progressive narratives express their affiliation with authoritative sources.  And we’ve got to do it in much more popular venues than the New Yorker and American Prospect and The Nation and even The New York Times.

“Living Planet Report” Describes a World Under Pressure

Government officials, scientists, activists, and others who participated in the Rio+20 conference last month, strived to reorient international policies so that they are less damaging to Earth’s climate, environment, and populations. In an effort to guide discussions in advance of the conference and initiatives afterward, the global conservation group WWF has released the latest edition of its Living Planet Report, documenting the startling challenges of unsustainable resource consumption and decreasing biodiversity that the world now faces.

The 2012 Living Planet Report presents a bleak picture of humanity’s ever-rising demand for natural resources, and the resulting impacts on biological diversity and ecosystem health. Yet this assessment shouldn’t be a reason for complacency. If we act now, it is still possible to reverse some of the perilous trends we face. Action will ensure increased resiliency in all communities, as well as in nature.

The report assesses the state of the planet using three main indicators: the Living Planet Index, the Ecological Footprint, and the Water Footprint of Production. These indicators provide a multi-faceted view of conditions on Earth and provide important data that decision makers can use to evaluate the efficacy of policies and to adaptively manage sustainable development.

The first indicator, the Living Planet Index, draws from species population data to reveal the state of global biological diversity. The data indicate that Earth’s biodiversity has declined by 30 percent annually since 1970. By quantifying such losses to biodiversity worldwide, the index provides policymakers with the underlying data to support their efforts to protect vulnerable species and ecosystems.

The second indicator is the Ecological Footprint, which examines humanity’s use of natural resources by tracking consumption patterns compared to Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources (its “biocapacity”). Biocapacity is measured as the land and forest area required to produce the resources, develop associated infrastructure, and sequester the carbon dioxide not absorbed by the ocean. According to the index, humanity breached Earth’s biocapacity through land development as early as 1970; subsequently, the world’s population has exceeded the sustainable boundaries for fishing, forests, grazing, and cropland. We have yet to surpass the projected carbon boundary, but we approach it every day that carbon dioxide concentrations increase.

Our rapid rate of resource consumption places planetary systems under enormous pressure. According to the report, in 2008, humanity’s ecological footprint exceeded Earth’s biocapacity by more than 50 percent. This imbalance will only increase as populations achieve higher standards of living and increase their consumption, placing higher demands on resources. To resduce this pressure, it is critical that societies embrace a new measure of “progress,” replacing the growth-oriented metric of GDP with a more encompassing index that emphasizes societal well-being and sustainable consumption.

The report’s third indicator, the Water Footprint of Production, studies the vulnerability of populations to water shortages. It provides a second assessment of human demand on natural resources and concludes that “2.7 billion people around the world already live in catchments that experience severe water shortages for at least one month a year.”

After presenting trends in the three indicators, the Living Planet Report discusses the options for achieving sustainability in the face of increased stressors and climate change. Among the solutions, it proposes ways to change food consumption patterns and halt deforestation through conservation and reforestation efforts. The report also emphasizes the importance of governance in providing effective solutions, given the scale of these challenges. To succeed, societies will need to support strong leaders-leaders who recognize the urgency of protecting the interests of future generations, no matter the short-term political costs.

(First published on Worldwatch Institute’s blog:… and Written by Antonia Sohns)


Dr. Radarlove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Journey

There is something large and yellow and pointed at Dandrige, Tennessee in our driveway this morning. Already loaded up with the Modular Units (Rubbermaid Roughtotes, god bless ’em), a Gator, household furnishings and various pieces of California Coastal Redwood that never imagined the journey it is about to take.

My navigator is all jazzed up to be blasting across the American frontier with her dad. Donna, having done her part of packing returns the favor of staying the hell out of her way is working logistics while I work loading.

For many of our friends and family the idea of moving at all – much less thousands of miles – is so out of context that they are functionally unable to see the thrill of the journey. But life is in all ways a journey, without any destinations fixed to bedrock however we might like to delude ourselves to the contrary.

Life, politics, society, language, culture, knowledge. Their beginnings are forever behind us and their end is not our goal. A bad stretch of highway (Oklahoma) or a patch of desolation (Amarillo, TX) no more define the journey than an  unhappy moment with your partner defines your relationship. A moment or an epoch in politics no more defines our culture than our adolescent summers define our lives.

Bring the future, embrace the past. Revel in the flow, learn to surf the changing landscape and always, always, love your radar.

Mitt Romney’s Fundamental Problem

By: inoljt,

Mitt Romney has a big problem.

It’s not “Romneycare.”

It’s not his Mormonism.

It’s not his shifting positions on social issues, such as abortion.

All the above are merely symptoms of Mr. Romney’s big problem.

Mr. Romney, simply put, is just not a very good politician.

More below.

Another Mid-Summer Strummer Rant!

Why are we pursuing the question of Romney’s involvement with Bain while he was running the Winter Olympics?  The question we should be pushing regards the degree to which he was running and/or profiting from Bain’s outsourcing of American jobs while LOBBYING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR OVER $300 MILLION WORTH OF OUR TAX DOLLARS TO PROP UP THE OLYMPICS?

If he’s such a private market whiz, why couldn’t he do this without soaking the tax payers?  In the end, he didn’t save the Olympics…WE DID!!!…while he was profiting from the company he owned shipping US jobs overseas.  Either he was involved at Bain, or he was clamping his eyes shut while keeping his hand wide open.  And then funneling public money to pad his resume as the savior of the Olympic games.

Of course, there is one thing for which he deserves credit.  He transformed the credit he took for the Olympics into political capital that he then employed to provide Massachusetts with health care.

If this jackass is elected, I’m leaving the country.  Oh, wait, I’m already leaving the country.

In the mean time, I want the press to start pressing him for specifics.  How exactly will his experience help him spur job growth?  Is he going to close his eyes while someone he hires ships jobs overseas?  Is he going to lobby the federal government for tax money?  Obviously not.  He can’t pass health care as Obama already did it and he’s committed himself to repealing it.  Or is he going to repeal it and replace it with a Massachusetts type plan, essentially a maneuver to seize credit for what we already have?  Is he then going to repeal Social Security in order to replace it with a Social Security program?  Maybe he can repeal the Declaration of Independence in order to declare our independence from Great Britain himself.

Do independent voters really believe he’ll be able to convince his fellow anti-patriotic plutocrats to shoulder the risk involved in investing in a sputtering economy?  

And in the mean time, let’s stop all this talk about “running the Olympics” when the more accurate description of what he did was lobby for the Olympics.

Here, I’ll formulate the question for everyone:  In 2000, was Mitt Romney running Bain or simply profiting from its outsourcing of jobs while lobbying the federal government for over $300 million of our tax dollars to pad his resume for his run for Governor of Massachusetts?


If you haven’t seen it, heard about it, and/or noticed the rapturous reviews from most of the Left you’ve been hiding under a rock this fine Saturday: