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DirkGently

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Orlando
Home country: USA
Current location: Holistically detecting
Member since: Wed Jan 27, 2010, 04:59 PM
Number of posts: 11,900

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Worse, Clinton participated in a pattern of manufactured fear.


“The super-predator theory was alway bullshit,” criminal justice researcher Franklin Zimring of the University of California, Berkeley, told BuzzFeed News. “It was political rhetoric cloaking a movement that wanted to lock more people up.”
Even in 1996, when Clinton made her remarks, Zimring and other criminologists suggested that the idea of an ever-increasing homicide rate was based on a fallacy that somehow some kids were just born criminals, and that children under 13 were somehow included in this cohort of super-criminals. “They are worried about desperados in diapers,” he wrote that year in the Los Angeles Times.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/danvergano/superpredator-theory

It's a pattern I associate with conservatives.

1. Find / create bogeyman, preferably an outsider / "other" suitable for framing.

2. Whip up hysteria, utilizing false information and preying on the human foible of imagining monsters under the bed.

3. Use this as a basis to increase police power, curtail personal freedom, and most importantly,

4. FUNNEL LOTS OF MONEY TO PRIVATE INTERESTS.

5. When it begins to become obvious the threat never existed, declare victory, claiming the abusive, exploitive "cure" is what worked.

6. Wash, rinse, repeat.

What bothers me most is that it demonstrates that Clinton's leadership "style" is to simply exploit whatever is available to gain and hold power. She does not swim upstream, but rather finds the current and jumps in.

This is not leadership. It's exploitation and power mongering. It's exactly why things improve so slowly, and sometimes get worse. People who think this way and utilize these techniques are not trying to actually accomplish anything but negotiating power structures for their own benefit. If allies need money, a reason to send them money will present itself. If a vulnerable population can be demonized to generate the fear / repression / profit model noted above, they will be so demonized.

It's not uniquely Hillary Clinton. She is not especially awful. But she is not any different or any better, either.

Rachel Maddow is hawking a b.s. poll claiming Sanders is losing MA.

Rachel Maddow is maybe my favorite political commentator as far as any cable news show, or an extremely close second to her colleague Chris Hayes.

But she has led her broadcast -- twice now -- with a teeny tiny NPR station poll showing Clinton ahead of Sanders in Massachusetts. A poll that boils down to about 240-some-odd self-described likely Democratic voters. It appears they just called random people, rather than using any kind of voter database to focus on historically likely voters, which itself establishes the poll as close to useless. The show has blown up these really questionable numbers in a huge red banner kept on the screen for the length of the pieces.

Rachel claimed, loudly and repeatedly, that this is super important because there aren't any polls coming out of Mass, and this shocking new information could spell doom for the Sanders campaign.

But there are other polls out of Mass. They all show Sanders ahead, or a virtual tie. The Real Politics average at the moment is +.6 for Sanders.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/ma/massachusetts_democratic_presidential_primary-3891.html

Yet this is her big story for two nights running -- that Sanders suddenly way behind in Mass, and his whole campaign is therefore in doubt.

Something screwy is going on at MSNBC. It's been intermittent, but continual. Chris Hayes is now centering a huge portion of each show on Donald Trump. One night he literally ran Trump's empty chair at his tantrum-inspired solo event, and off-handedly mentioned Sanders was speaking live somewhere. For about 10 minutes, half the screen was devoted to Trump's. Empty. CHAIR.

I'm assuming there is some executive-level pressure expressing itself in various ways, offset and modified by the broadcaster's own proclivities and loyalties. Matthews swings a lot of clout there, and he clearly is heartbroken Clinton isn't running away with it as predicted. Regardless, the upshot is becoming a confused, less-than-totally-credible mess.

Clean up your act, guys. You're embarrassing yourselves.

Clinton describes herself as a "head conservative, heart liberal."

The reality is that Hillary Clinton is a conservative, full stop. She is not a member of the looney extremist mob that the American Republican Party has become, but at the end of the day, she finds conservative views compelling.

When pressed on matters of policy, she is hawkish on foreign policy, laissez-faire as to corporate regulation, "sad" about abortion, skeptical of the future of social programs, and supportive of heavy-handed law enforcement. She leavens that with a gradually evolving social progressivism (this is the "heart" one can assume).

That's fine. People can be conservative. Conservatism is a way some people think. Is it the way American Democrats, who generally say they want someone more progressive than Obama for President, think?

We shall see.

It's a successful Big Lie.

Somehow we've been convinced not to frame trillions in spending on wars or tax breaks or deregulation as "free stuff" given to lazy people.

But that's where our money goes. Listen to the "small government" Republicans demand we expand the military that already costs as much as the next nine countries' combined.

We'd collectively benefit exponentially more from a better educated populace not drowning in debt or filing bankruptcy to escape medical bills -- a problem not at all solved by the ACA, by the way -- but spending on those things funnels benefits outward and downward, whereas things like war and loose banking laws conveniently enrich campaign donors.

It's really as simple as that, but an amazing number of people fail to grasp it.

It's all our money to begin with. The only question is how we prioritize our needs. A few more wars? Or roads that work and people free to go to school or the hospital without being financially ruined?

Hillary is on the right. Republicans are off the cliff.

I don't know that she'd disagree with Reagan on that much. Both attacked Libya. Both have favored de-regulation. Both seem to feel wealthy business interests are wise enough to govern themselves.

But since Reagan, Republicans have plunged wildly into the darkness. They have breakfast with religious extremists who oppose gay rights. They are openly advocating a complete ban on abortion. They gabble about "small government" while spending all of our collected wealth building up oil companies and finding new wars to start. They claim that science is a lie and that schools and prisons are best run for profit. They demagogue about immigrants and Islam while working to make sure every square inch of the country except their own chambers is full of people carrying guns.

Hillary Clinton supports none of those deranged things as far as I can see. She is what an American conservative would be before they all went crackers and got to the point where they are presently deciding between a reality show host talking about bullets dipped in pig's blood and a religious conman obsessed with the Apocalypse as their next candidate for President.

It would speak much better for the entire country if Republicans were fielding someone like Hillary Clinton to face off against someone like Bernie Sanders for the Democrats.

Hillary Clinton is a "mind conservative" proponent of "Safe legal and RARE."

Hillary Clinton is a conservative, period. She is not a right-winger, or a religious fanatic, or any of the other full-on crazy things that American conservatives have glommed onto of late, but she is, as she has said herself,

"a mind conservative and a heart liberal".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton

What she is telling us is that, when she thinks about it, conservatives are right, but that she concedes that philosophy can be softened here and there for the sake of sentiment.

That is wrong. Conservatives are not right, not in general, not on most things. Not, especially, in the area of women's reproductive rights and abortion. She believes abortion is "sad," and "tragic," just as the worst conservatives wrongly contend. It is in her favor that that she is less willing to limit women's rights in this area, but her "mind," is conservative and wrong.

We can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women.

I have said many times that I can support a ban on late-term abortions, including partial-birth abortions, so long as the health and life of the mother is protected

http://benjaminstudebaker.com/2016/02/08/hillary-clinton-isnt-particularly-good-for-feminism/

Her mind is likewise conservative on war and the Middle East, taking cues from Kissinger, the failed architect of American interventionism quite rightly considered criminal by many. He told her Iraq needed to be "humiliated," so here we are -- thousands of American and millions of Iraqi lives shattered, a trillion or so spent, and -- surprise -- more instability and violence in the region than ever.

Her mind is conservative as to Wall Street and financial reform. Those speech transcripts, when they inevitably do come out, probably won't show anything we don't already know, but they will almost certainly confirm the kind of "mind conservative" thinking she had going as to the mortgage crisis as it was starting to emerge in 2007:

“Now these economic problems are certainly not all Wall Street’s fault – not by a long shot,” Clinton said early in the speech.

Clinton’s NASDAQ address amounted to essentially asking the financiers assembled to take voluntary action or else she would “consider legislation” to stop banks from kicking families out of their homes. But early on in the speech, Clinton placed equal blame for the subprime mortgage crisis on low-income homeowners alongside Wall Street.

“Homebuyers who paid extra fees to avoid documenting their income should have known they were getting in over their heads,” Clinton said.

http://usuncut.com/politics/video-surfaces-of-hillary-clinton-blaming-homeowners-for-financial-crisis/

Hillary can be a conservative all she wants. It is one point of view. But sanding off the rough edges of today's extremist Republicans does not make her "progressive."

And it does not make her right.

Same campaign she lost in 2008.

At this point one has to assume cynical arguments about "inevitability," arguments from authority, and various smears and identity politics dog whistles are the candidate's choice.

I keep wanting to blame bad advice, but I think it's too late to give that benefit of the doubt anymore.

Clinton started with a dignified mode and an appeal based on her efficacy and experience. Good arguments.

Then as soon as any viable contest materialized, it was back to the same "There is no ' magic wand' / aim lower" angle we saw vs Obama -- the argument America so soundly rejected then.

And this whole frantic push that endorsements and super delegates can overcome popular opinion SO GIVE UP ALREADY mode is both sad and kind of funny.

No one has ever, or will ever, win an election by telling people to expect less, or that they simply can't win. It's cynical, depressing, and frankly a bit batty.

And the substitution of authority for substance.

The argument being made is that everyone should shut up, stop thinking, and accept the opinions of a network of powerful people endorsing each other.

It's the classic Republican vs. Democratic argument -- that a chosen few representatives should decide, and the general population's job is simply to elect them and meekly follow -- except for the fact it's being deployed by Dems against other Dems.

Notice none of these endorsements come with any articulation of substantive judgments in favor of Hillary Clinton. These are political allies doing what political allies do -- backing each other. They say nothing, or when they do, immediately go splat and have to be walked back, whether it's women going to hell or false memories of Bill and Hillary magically fighting for civil rights. It's a tactic from the 90's, before everything was recorded and a facile lie could be caught in a matter of minutes.

I keep wondering if the person handing out all these doomed, toxic talking points to progressive icons still has a job. It was an outdated, losing strategy in 2008, and it hasn't gotten any fresher or more effective since then.


Nothing strict about "strict constructionism."

No one ever gets to the precise original meaning of a text, nor are most of the people claiming to do so even trying, really. They're "strict" when it suits; more interpretive when that doesn't point in the direction they want.

Scalia, rest in peace, never seemed to me to be at all interested in getting to any kind of true, original meaning of the Constitution. He wanted it to say what he wanted it to say, and worked backwards accordingly.

To me whenever anyone claims to be adhering to some super-disciplined approach to the truth, it's a dead giveaway their intention is just the opposite.

Case in point: Ayn Rand's "Objectivism," which actually espouses a determinedly ultra-narrow subjective view of the world.

Where might the world be right now

If the U.S. hadn't pursued "regime change" in Iran, Iraq, and Libya? Would there have been an Islamic Revolution at all? Would Al Quaeda have ever gotten any traction? ISIS?

This is the problem with people like Kissinger, Bush, and Clinton. They think they have the ability to micromanage the world, but they in fact have no idea what they're doing. They are clever, but not nearly intelligent enough to pull off what they try to do, even if they had the authority, moral or otherwise to attempt it.

These are the people who run things. Arrogant people who think they deserve to wield enormous power, to inflict death and destruction for some supposed end they don't even clearly understand themselves.

Then they come back to us, waving the flag, roaring about how we need more and more and more of the same insanity to protect ourselves from the disasters they themselves created in the first place.

At what point will Americans stop falling for this? Enabling it? Excusing it? Setting people's lives and fortunes on fire for goals that never made any goddamn sense in the first place?

When?
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