June 5, 2012 § 1 Comment

Today’s New York Times has a supplement to my Sunday Rant.  Well, that may be a mite misleading.  The Times has never heard of me or my rant.  But today’s column by Joe Nocera has some pertinent things to say about the indifference of America’s liberals and the Democratic Party to the fifty year assault on labor unions and the consequences of that indifference.  In case you missed it, here is a link to the column:  Nocera .

Also, for extra credit, to test your gag reflex, here is a link to a column by David Brooks from today’s Times.  I always read Brooks’ columns because he is a perfect example of one of Bob Eckhardt’s unforgettable remarks.

Many years ago I made the mistake (one of many) of moving my family to Galveston to manage Maco Stewart’s effort to be elected to the Texas Senate.  He lost.  I moved back to Houston and Chris Dixie, ever patient with my disorderly ways, let me return to my office and continue to practice law with him.

After losing the Senate race, Maco re-designed himself as a right wing conservative and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives from a local conservative district.  A few months later, I asked Eckhardt how Maco had done as a freshman legislator.  Eckhardt drawled, “Maco Stewart is not an ordinary fuckup.  He is a talented fuckup.”

Brooks is a talented fuckup.  He is obviously smart and well read.  He has described himself as a liberal “until I came to my senses.”  That born again moment occurred, according to him, when he engaged in a televised debate with Milton Friedman, who so thoroughly bested him (according to Brooks) that he experienced an epiphany from which he has never recovered.  [I gleaned this information from a Wikipedia piece on him.]  So, when he ventures into the realm of economic policy, he invariably exposes the brain corset with which Friedman encased him.

I mention him today because his column, I think, attains a new level of absurdity that is remarkable, even for him.  He acknowledges that Scott Walker pursued his right wing agenda in an “obnoxious” (his word) manner, but claims that if Walker wins today, it will not indicate anything about labor unions.  It will be a recognition that Walker’s politically brave effort to rein in out-of-control public debt has, at last, caught on.  His column is stupid in so many ways that it should become an example for college classes in logic or, perhaps, medical school classes in the pathology of brain damage.

Even Brooks, despite his aforesaid intellectual disability, should recognize that a Walker win might have some significance as evidence of organized labor’s diminished power; or class envy toward public employee union members;  or the way huge amounts of corporate money undermine democracy; or a lot of things.  What it will have  little to do with is fiscal policy.

§ One Response to A RANT ADDENDUM

  • wisconsincurmudgeon says:


    I have just returned from a brief “wake” where the locals grieved the rout of Tom Barrett by Scott Walker. I believe this will have serious consequences as you are alluding to in your comments regarding David Brooks.

    I too read Brooks’ columns mostly for their absurdity. I have a friend of nearly 40 years who fell under the spell of the man that he and I refer to as St. Milton. He drank St. Milton’s Kool-Aid wlhile a student at the University of Chicago. He also had the “fairy dust” of Libertarianism sprinkled on him at the same time.

    I have watched videos of St. Milton “debating” people. He was no doubt a very smart mathmatically inclined economist as that is how he gained his reputation. However, I see him as an intellectual bully when debating others, so I can see why he took down David Brooks. St. Milton was a prolific author and a great snake oil salesman.

    I view David Brooks as a dilletante and kind of prissy like George Will.

    Naomi Klein in “Shock Doctrine” has come as close as anyone to nailing the failure of the Doctrine of St. Milton. The “Chicago Boys” are doing their “thing” as they are throwing Greece,Spain, Ireland and likely Italy under the bus. If it brings down the world’s economy once again, they will not worry one whit as they will be bailed out once again.

    What is now Citi has been bailed out of bankruptcy three times by the Feds. Is that not corporate welfare? As I’m sure you know Citi is the bedrock of the Rockefeller fortune.

    I have come to the conclusion that I have been around too long and know too much. It only results in a realization that my children and grandchildren are going to live in a crappy world if they stay in the country.



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