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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:02 PM
Original message
Thoughts on the Split in DU and Class Warfare in the United States
More than four years ago, shortly before the 2006 midterm elections, I posted an article on DU in which I explained why Im a Democrat, by comparing the moral values of Democrats vs. those of Republicans. Perhaps it might be more accurate to describe the comparison as being between liberals/progressives vs. Republicans, in acknowledgement of the fact that many of our elected Democratic leaders have been bought out by the corporatocracy.

The reason that Im going back to this post now is that I believe that each of the 7 moral values I discussed in that post is something that almost all DUers can agree on. These are all progressive values, and progressive values are essentially what define DU. From the DU Discussion Forum Rules:

Who We Are: Democratic Underground is an online community for Democrats and other progressives. Members are expected to be generally supportive of progressive ideals, and to support Democratic candidates for political office.


Moral values that almost all progressives/liberals can agree on

So before going any further with this let me summarize what I see as some major moral values that I think we can all agree on, because that is what provides the basis for our unity as a community.

I began the post by talking about our Declaration of Independence, which says that all people have an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, because I believe that that one sentence provides one of the best single sentences to explain the foundation of liberal/progressive philosophy that Ive ever heard. From that flows all of the following:

The right to an opportunity for a decent life (or economic justice)
We believe that everyone should have an opportunity to obtain the necessities of life. And when they dont, for example when so few jobs are available that millions of Americans descend into poverty, homelessness, and hunger, then it should be the responsibility of our government to step in and vigorously attempt to rectify the situation. We also believe that our government has an important role in protecting the civil rights of minorities and our most vulnerable citizens against discrimination.

Holding corporations responsible for their actions
In our country today, corporations and those who control them receive numerous privileges from our government that arent afforded to ordinary citizens. The result today has been a multitude of corporate actions that increase their wealth at great cost to the rest of us, ballooning wealth inequality, and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Corporations have these advantages over the rest of us because their enormous wealth enables them to buy I mean influence our elected representatives. We would like to see these outrages addressed in an equitable manner.

Military intervention
Recognizing the enormous human and financial costs of war, and believing as we do that our country has frequently been driven into war and other military adventures mainly on behalf of corporate power seeking ever more profits, we would very much like to see our nation adopt a much more skeptical attitude towards war. We believe that a military budget approximately the size of the military budget of all the other nations on earth combined is a great waste of resources, and we would like to see our money put to better use.

Rights of accused persons
We believe that a person should not be held or punished for a crime without being charged, should have the right to be informed of the nature of the charges against him and to face and answer ones accusers, should have the right to a fair trial by a jury, and should not have to endure cruel and unusual punishment as granted by Amendments V, VI, VII, and VIII to our Constitution.

Election integrity
We believe that all American citizens should have the right to vote, that it should be illegal to attempt to obstruct that right as so often happens to our poor and minority fellow citizens and that our votes should be counted in a transparent and verifiable manner, rather than on unverifiable electronic machines.

Our First Amendments protection of freedom of speech and of the press
We believe that the First Amendment to our Constitution is absolutely necessary for the functioning of democracy. If people cannot criticize their government, and if a country lacks a free and independent press there can be no democracy. We believe that no corporation or other institution has the moral right to monopolize the right of speech by amassing control of communications media, including television, radio, the print media, or the Internet.


The divide on DU

The cause of the divide on DU that has resulted in such a great amount of mutual hostility is that we now have a Democratic President for whom opinions of him among DUers vary tremendously. A very large segment of DU (including me) think that Barack Obama has been a terrible president, and another very large segment thinks hes been a very good or even great president. When you think about it, its rather amazing that on a political forum on which the core values of the members are reasonably similar there is so great a disparity in our opinion of our president.


A summary of why I am so disappointed in Obamas presidency

In a nutshell, I believe that the Obama presidency has by and large not held to the ideals that I discussed above. We are now in the midst of a class war in the United States, the results of which are of monumental importance to the American people. In this class war, the corporate class has used their wealth to consolidate political control of our country, which they use to expand their wealth at the expense of almost everyone else. It seems to me and many others that Obama has come down firmly on the side of the corporate class.

His administration engineered a multi-trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street, while compiling the worst record on job creation since the Hoover administration, and leaving millions of desperate Americans largely to fend for themselves, as millions lose their homes. It sponsored a health care reform bill that consolidates control of health care in the hands of the health insurance industry by mandating that most Americans purchase their product. It withholds information from the American public on Bush administration torture of terrorist suspects. Obama continues the Afghanistan War for no apparent good reason despite its great costs in blood, treasure, and the reputation of our country. He has made no attempt to hold the Bush administration accountable for its war crimes. He appointed a right wing commission to study our budget deficit, which everyone knew (correctly) would come out with recommendations to weaken Social Security. And he engaged in behind-the-scenes efforts to privatize Social Security. His administration has repeatedly engaged in efforts to privatize primary education in our country. He approved offshore oil drilling that he had specifically denounced during his campaign for President. He made a deal with Republicans for a massive tax cut bill that gave far more to the wealthy than to the poor and middle class, after campaigning on doing just the opposite. His FCC Chairman recently acceded to corporate demands against Internet neutrality, apparently with encouragement to do so from the White House. And he failed to achieve any kind of agreement at the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen approximating the minimum of what climate change scientists say is necessary to prevent widespread human catastrophe.

Most of these developments contradicted what candidate Obama promised or suggested during his 2008 Presidential campaign, as I described in this post.


An emblematic example Wall Street vs. homeowners

Ive discussed most of the above issues in other posts, to which Ive supplied links, so I wont expand on them here. Ill just cite one example here which I feel is emblematic of Obamas adherence to the Reagan philosophy of trickle down economics, in great contrast to FDRs New Deal approach of providing relief to ordinary Americans.

The best account of the Obama presidency to date that Ive read is William Kuttners A Presidency in Peril The Inside Story of Obamas Promise, Wall Streets Power, and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future. Kuttners hopes for the Obama presidency were initially as great as anyones. He wrote in the introduction to his book:

For progressives like me, Obama represented a chance to reclaim a tradition of enriched democracy, affirmative government, and social justice

Earlier in 2008 candidate Obama was sounding like a radical reformer In his review of why the system had failed, Obama pointed squarely to the political power of the financial industry: This was not the invisible hand at work. Instead, it was the hand of industry lobbyists tilting the playing field in Washington. It was, sadly, an all-too-prophetic description of his own administration.

To me, the way that Obama handled the sub-prime mortgage crisis, which led to millions of home foreclosures and is at the heart of our economic crisis, says as much about his presidency as anything. Obamas solution was a program called Making Home Affordable. Kuttner summarizes the results of that program:

several trillions in loans and loan guarantees for the banks, and a grudging $3 billion for the homeowners who had been the banks victims. As a consequence of the administrations half measures and failure to move boldly, the mortgage foreclosure crisis is continuing to drive millions of Americans from their homes, depress housing prices and retard the recovery Refinancing underwater retail mortgages is comparatively easy. It just requires political will.

Note that the ratio of help to banks vs. help to homeowners several trillions to $3 billion is in the neighborhood of 1,000 to 1.


Why?

Few would argue that the corporate class has not made great strides during the Obama presidency, while ordinary people remain mired in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. With a Democratic President and large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, why has so much been given to the wealthy and so little to everyone else?

Obamas supporters provide a number of reasons. Some say that hes done the best he could under very difficult circumstances. They say that many compromises with special interests were necessary in order to obtain anything for ordinary Americans.

But how does that explain why the wealthy got so much more than the rest of us? What makes the compromises all the more disappointing is that in obtaining many of these compromises our President didnt even fight to get the things for the American people that he promised during his presidential campaign. Instead, he made deals with powerful interests or the Republican Party, so that his campaign promises were no longer even on the table by the time these things came up for a vote. The pattern was very similar every time powerful interests opposed what Obama promised during his campaign capitulation without a struggle.

Other Obama supporters, finding his turn to the right disappointing and difficult to explain, yet having so much faith in Obama that they cant believe that he could be bought off by powerful interests, speculate that his life and that of his family have been threatened by those powerful interests that control our country. They could be correct in that speculation. I have no way of knowing.


Thoughts on civility

The frequent demonstration of mutual hostility on DU is not helpful. One thing that I find especially non-productive is when Obama supporters refer to those who criticize him as whiners as if our criticisms have no useful or legitimate place on a discussion forum like DU.

Please understand that many or most of us who criticize Obama do so because we believe that his actions and inactions have done tremendous harm to our country, and we are afraid for the future of our children, our country and the world. What could be more important on a political discussion board than to discuss what we see as fatal flaws in the actions of the President of the United States?

Sometimes it is suggested to us that maybe we shouldnt participate on DU if we cant support our president. As I noted in the first part of this post, DU is not only for Democrats, but it is for other progressives as well. It should be evident to almost everyone that there is sometimes a conflict between supporting progressive ideals vs. supporting Democratic candidates and elected officials. We can disagree on how often such conflicts arise, or the specifics of where such conflicts exist, but I doubt that anyone could seriously argue that such conflicts never arise. This is much more evident today that it was when the DU came into existence in 2001, shortly after a presidential election had been stolen, and on the day of the coronation of perhaps the most right wing and worst president in our nations history.

Political parties change over time, and as they change, certain wings, or subsections of the party are marginalized and eventually forced to split off. A political discussion forum or any political organization that mandates that we must always under all circumstances support particular individuals even when their actions are inconsistent with the organizations core ideals or our own core ideals would not be worth belonging to. If I felt the need to promise unconditional loyalty to a political party or an individual I may as well be a Republican.

We Obama critics also should be more civil than we sometimes are. For example, we should not refer to supporters of Obama with such words as Obamabots. Obamas supporters have many reasons for supporting him. Although it may be the case that some of them support him out of a kind of blind loyalty, or without giving adequate thought to the matter, we should not assume that to be the case. There are several DUers whom I respect a lot who think a lot more highly of Obama than I do.

This is very difficult for many or most of us. It is extremely difficult to lose trust in someone, especially when that person is the President of the United States. I had a good deal of trouble with this myself. Though I never thought quite so highly of Obama as some others, I did campaign for him, and I did hold out great hope for his presidency. So when he began disappointing me, at first I tried maybe too hard to make excuses for him to myself. But it just kept on getting worse and worse, until I got to the point where I couldnt do it any more. I believe that many DUers are now going through a similar process.


Some concluding thoughts on the ongoing class war and DU negativity

Obamas supporters note that many of us dont even get excited about such victories as the repeal of DADT, and they ask what has happened to DU? What has happened is that we have a Democratic president whom many or most of us have come to believe is very bad for our country. More specifically, we believe that his actions have repeatedly supported the wrong side in the ongoing class war. We cannot get excited about small victories because they dont seem to us to matter that much in the context of todays overall picture.

What do I mean by small victories, and why would I describe the repeal of DADT as a small victory? Well, to be blunt about it, many of us believe that the class war is the defining issue of our time because so much else depends on it. The result of this class war will determine how the necessities of life are distributed in our society. It will determine the status or even the existence of long-standing social safety net programs such as Medicare and Social Security. It will determine whether the corporatocracy is allowed to maintain and extend their control over systems of communication in our country. It will determine how many people are able to find jobs and obtain adequate health care, shelter, and food for themselves and their families. And it will determine whether or not any restraints will be put on the ability of the corporatocracy to destroy our planet.

With all that at stake, we cant get too excited about victories not related to the class war. DADT was repealed because the corporatocracy didnt care to fight against repeal. That did not threaten their profits in the least. They were probably happy to let it be repealed because it gives the appearance to some degree that we are a progressive nation. If DADT repeal threatened their profits or their power they would have fought tooth and nail against it, and it would not have been repealed.

The wealthy/corporate class is winning the class war big time, and President Obama gives little evidence of being part of the solution. For all the reasons Ive described, we see him more as part of the problem. Progressive victories that do not affect the class war in our favor do little to change our minds about this. Unless and until the President shows himself willing and capable of challenging powerful interests on our behalf we will probably continue to see him as part of the problem.

Of course most of us recognize that the obstacles to challenging powerful corporate interests in todays world are considerable. We do not know for sure that another president could do better. But we want to see our president at the very least make a visible effort to challenge them and to adhere to his campaign promises on our behalf.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. kick and rec
thanks, tfc.
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bluestateboomer Donating Member (313 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
57. One of the best Damn explorations of where my head is at
I have been so disappointed with the lost opportunities of this presidency. And yes, I know he had a formidable opposition challenging him, but to my mind capitulation has been the watchword of the Obama administration. If he had fought for progressive issues and lost I don't think things would be much different than they are today. If, because of a fight, we lost DADT I would feel bad for for gay and lesbian citizens as well as the country who would lose their service. Or if healthcare "reform" failed we would be in a slightly greater healthcare crisis than we still are experiencing. But we are far worse IMHO Because of the battles not fought. If Obama had battled for our values, even in vain, those values would still be viable and visible for future discussion. If you battle for the big ideas you expose the world to what are the best solutions to our problems. With the smaller successes we have had, it just makes it easier for our enemies to target those modest gains and sweep the real issues under the rug. None of the administrations big victories have been for progressive solutions. I understand the arguments of those who favor our current administration, I'm just not there. I worry for our future and the country which we are leaving to our children. :scared:
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 03:49 AM
Response to Reply #57
370. k/r
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Towlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
233. +1 - "Candidate Obama" was the best President we ever imagined.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 04:09 AM
Response to Reply #233
372. no, he wasn't
anyone who paid attention knew that
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's "unalienable" not " inalienable" and those who reject supernatural powers should object to your
use of "their Creator" as the source of any right that can not be given away to some government or person.

Suggest you make your case for inalienable/unalienable rights based upon the natural world if you can.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. I think you have missed the thrust.. Be that as it may, " Inalienable rights"
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 08:36 PM by ooglymoogly
was the term used in earlier drafts; however in the final draft, the word was changed to the more narrow "unalienable" leaving the possibility of confusion impossible.

Unalienable (rights):

The state of a thing or rights which cannot be sold.
Things which are not in commerce, as public roads, are in their nature unalienable. Some things are unalienable, in consequence of particular provisions in the law forbidding their sale or transfer, as pensions granted by the government. The natural rights of life and liberty are UNALIENABLE. Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition

Inalienable rights:

Rights which are not capable of being surrendered or transferred without the consent of the one possessing such rights. Morrison v. State, Mo. App., 252 S.W.2d 97, 101.
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liberalmike27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:17 AM
Response to Reply #22
110. Looke 'em up
Same thing, definition under inalienable, but unalienable says same as...
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:54 AM
Response to Reply #110
121. Read my post and you will see the difference. A minor distinction, but a distintion no less.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 03:07 AM by ooglymoogly
I have clearly pointed out the difference in law.
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whathehell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
38. Suggest you not miss the forest for the trees...
while doing your duty as the spelling police.


I expect that what you REALLY dislike is his criticism of Obama.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #38
139. Plus one nt
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RetroLounge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #38
174. +1000
RL
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:45 AM
Response to Reply #2
115. "those who reject supernatural powers should object to your use of "their Creator" as the source..."
Are you really that ignorant? Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence? If you have a problem with the use of "their Creator", take it up with the Founding Fathers, not the OP...

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document /


"Suggest you make your case for inalienable/unalienable rights based upon the natural world if you can."

I suggest you make your case with some semblence of intelligence and/or knowledge of the wording of the Declaration of Independence before you embarrass yourself, and this site, any further.

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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #115
188. The founding fathers are dead, so taking up various issues with them doesn't work. nt
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #188
253. Well maybe he can get the Supreme Court to declare the Declaration unconstitutional?
For the sake of disclosure, I'm an atheist myself. I have certainly poked my share of fun at believers, too. I just don't get the rabid hate of all things religious though.. there's a fine line between atheism and what I call "hatetheism".

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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #253
303. I think the more one has suffered for being a "member of a group," such as gay or atheist,
the more likely one is to be sensitive on those subjects.
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #303
316. And just how, exactly, does someone "suffer" from being an atheist?
:shrug:

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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #316
320. Atheists are the most hated minority in the US. Other people try to make us suffer. nt
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #320
325. No one has ever tried to make *me* suffer, and I live in the buckle of the bible belt..
I'm in the 4th smallest county in the state of Tennessee, where we have more churches than stores and factories/manufacturing plants combined.

I'm very outspoken about my atheism, yet never once have I felt like I have been discriminated against, felt threatened or felt like I have been made to suffer because of it. Maybe the fact that I'm a 6'3, 270lb long haired, bearded, tattooed former gang member has something to do with it? :shrug:

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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #325
326. Looking like you know how to fight probably helps.
My family has been discriminated against, especially my 10 year old daughter, who is extremely tender hearted.

Lots of other people have been discriminated against as well...

http://keenetrial.com/blog/2010/03/22/atheism-post /

http://www.astcweb.org/public/publication/article.cfm/1...

http://www.examiner.com/humanist-in-portland/agnostic-d...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #326
328. Well I'm sorry for your family, and especially your daughter...
.. and I would proudly stand up for her (and you) if I saw someone giving you a hard time.

I actually work around here to change the face, and misconceptions, of atheism, and even had a church allow me to use their building to do a "feed the poor & homeless" for Thanksgiving a few years ago. I always try to help out those less fortunate. I also raised over $3000 for our local Toys for Tots campaign...

You don't engage people and change their minds/attitudes by participating in hatetheism.

Peace within, Peace between, Peace among...

Ghost

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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #328
334. I completely agree with your strategy of peace, though I do have a soft spot for some of the "new
atheists," such as Hitchens.
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #325
387. So
laughing over here.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R...
.. well said and I frankly just don't understand how any progressive can be less than angry at the last 2 years.
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RetroLounge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #3
175. "how any progressive"
The key to it is right there.

:hi:

RL
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. Recommend
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. Just reviewing some of the email I have gotten about the
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 07:22 PM by truedelphi
Odious regulations inside the "Food Safety Acto of 2010," I am reminded of how much we progressives are up against.

The few things that would have been helpful to the actual health of citizens of our nation, i.e., provisions inside an amendment by Sen. Grassley, and Durbin, were voted down by one vote in favor of Big Pharmaceutical Interests.

To Whit: (From website "NAturalNews)

On the final day it all boiled down to two keys votes.

One vote was on the Grassley amendment #1039 which would have given true power to scientists in the FDA responsible for regulating the safety of drugs already on the market. The FDA and Big Pharma were adamantly opposed to this amendment. The vote was Big Pharma 47 -- Americans 46, defeating the amendment. This vote was not only a sell out of Dr. David Graham and other FDA scientists who have gone to Congress as whistleblowers to save American lives, it was an "acid-test" vote on who is truly on Big Pharma's payroll. Click here to see how your senators voted.

The other key vote came on the Durbin amendment #1034. This amendment sought to prevent Big Pharma from placing "experts" on FDA Advisory Committees -- which make the final decisions on the safety of drugs. Durbin argued the obvious point that hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake as well as the lives of Americans and that such flagrant conflicts of interest must be stopped. He pointed out that the FDA Advisory Committee that ruled on the safety of Vioxx had 10 "experts" on the Big Pharma bankroll, resulting in over 50,000 deaths. Kennedy and Enzi argued that these conflicts of interest were necessary and a fact of life and needed for science to progress. The vote was Big Pharma 47 -- Americans 47, and in this case the tie went to Big Pharma and the amendment was defeated. Click here to see how your senators voted.



And those of us most concerned about this latest piece of For Profit and Big Industry legislation, realize that this Food Act will make it much harder for the very group of individuals who are already producing the healthiest and most nutritious food - the small independent farmers and ranchers. Too friggin' bad if he and she go out of business, while Big Agra firms get more powerful!

Irony of ironies to come about next year when the shit hits the fan, and consumers realize the huge spike in prices of foods grown in the USA. Don't worry too much though - WalMart and Safeway will contuinue their importation of cheap food grown in China where the "helpful" Food Safety Act doesn't exist. So you will be able to buy up your fruits and veggies that have been grown in the lead, arsenic, cadmium laced irrigation waters of China rather than from some farmer four hundred miles from where you live.



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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
140. That is pretty ugly, truedelphi.
Thank you for your many contributions to these discussions.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #5
153. Everybody..
....needs to start growing some of their own food. I am.
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DeadEyeDyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #153
203. that may prove to be illegal in S-510
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BobbyBoring Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #203
208. I'm afraid
You're right! We will be forced to buy all our food from Monsanto or Con Agra. Some nasty surprises coming up in HCR too~
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puebloknot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
322. K&R Ultra-important topic. nt
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #322
393. It sure is an important issue.
Edited on Mon Dec-27-10 06:03 PM by truedelphi
All the pages and pages of fine print as to what will be the new regulations, and yet, somehow I am pretty sure that neither aspartame or MSG will be banned from our foods.

So the food carried illnesses of depression and muscle weakness shall continue unabated.

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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. The true victory of DADT came the same day as raising taxes on the poor
See the stories on how the Making Work Pay tax credit is now allowed to expire (permanently) with a one year cut in social security taxes from 6.2% to 4.2%. Any single person working and making less than 25,000 or married and making less than the mid-40s or so is HURT by the tax bill that kept the "status quo" huge tax cuts for the rich, the very rich, and the awfully rich.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Funny ain't it - people who would not even be taxed on their incomes
Over in Europe, but would still benefit from Univerasal Single Payer Health Care, are people taxed to the maximum here.

And while the rich were sobbing up and down the halls of Congress that they couldn't afford a four percent raise on their income - the people making under 40K are now to pay one percent more.

Well, it figures - after all, almost everyone in Congress is a millionaire - many of them, many times over.
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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. % versus absolute value is a fog. Honest reportage,
puditry, and scientific requires % and absolute values in context to be meaningful favoring objectivity. nt.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #18
45. Since I cannot put you and me in a jet and take us
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 10:19 PM by truedelphi
there, I will let Michael Moore help you see what I mean:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:hP...

I lived there in 1979, and it had a very decent government. And very decent social programs. And very non-regressive tax policies.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #45
142. Wow!
I've never seen that before!

That would never work here. We take our freedom seriously. :sarcasm:
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #142
257. Yeah, those nasty Norwegians.
A bunch of sick Commie pinkos if ever there were any!

Anyway, if you watched the video, I bet it surprised you.

The summer I was there, I was surprised too.

For example: the government had decided that there wasn't enough meat being produced or eaten.

So get this. They made up a legal provision that basically stated that if you raised a sheep or two, you'd get a welfare check for that sheep. You can imagine the effect that had.

I spent a lot of my time trying to push sheep butt out of my way. (Typical shopping venture - go to local pharmacy for medication - first push the resident sheep out of the doorway. Go to photo mat-type store - push resident sheep out of the doorway.)

It was surreal. I was dreaming about sheep for months after I moved back tot he States.

And having lived in a college town before going to Norway, all the people I knew in Norway where like, "Don't smoke any marijuana. Or if you do, please don't get caught. The drug laws are very serious ones here. Get caught for any tiny amount of marijuana, you will go to jail."

However I also learned that were I sent to jail, I'd probably love it. Pleasant accommodations, great food, a full roster of classes taught by compassionate people. The top artists, dancers, drama people, all taught at least one class a week at some jail or other.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 06:03 AM
Response to Reply #257
374. Thanks for sharing that, truedelphi.
I'm always interested in hearing about alternatives to our failing system.

There were some good programs in the NPR archives on the various European health care strategies but apparently these programs have been removed. Imagine that.
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kelly1mm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Also, the self employed get neither the MWPC or the reduced SS. nt
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
40. I would think that everyone gets the same.
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 09:45 PM by truedelphi
Do you have a citation?

I do all our tax work - I would assume that if you are independent contractor or self employed, yuor rates would be down to same extent as everyone else's.
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kelly1mm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #40
75. You are right - I was mistaken! Finally something works out better that way! nt
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hay rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Coincidence. Coincidence.
Divide and conquer. With the added bonus that the attempt to repeal the payroll tax holiday a year from now will be trumpeted as a tax hike. Obama will cave to an extension of the holiday and use the reduced revenues as an argument for reduced Social Security benefits.
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Bluesbreaker Donating Member (205 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #6
136. What about all of the president's victories in the lame duck session?
How could he fail so miserably on the Tax Bill and Net Neutrality, while winning the day on DADT, SALT, and health care for 9/11 first responders? Simple, there was no discernible corporate opposition on the last three bills. The president's corporate masters will not object to bills in which they have no stake.

When they have a horse in the race, as they did in health care "reform," financial "reform," the tax bill and net neutrality, then the president serves up thin gruel intended only to create the appearance of progress, without seriously impeding the take over of Congress, the media, the internet, and the inverted totalitarianism Chris Hedges describes in his book, The Death of the Liberal Class. Two interviews with Hedges explain the agenda of Obama and those he serves:

Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYCvSntOI5s

Part 2 Q and A:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfPDp0jCT_U

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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #136
202. This is the key---absolutely spot on!
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 12:39 PM by CoffeeCat
Your post could serve as a springboard for all kinds of important discussion. Frankly,
I think it needs to be an OP.

As you said--DADT, SALT and First Responders do not affect the profits of our corporate
masters. They could give a rip. I'm elated that DADT was repealed, but let's be honest--
the only DC politicians who against this--are a tiny, vocal minority. The DADT win
was a significant, positive change--but politically it was not a big win--because it's just
not that big of a deal to the majority of politicians any more.

The same phenomena happened with the First Responders bill. Republican opposition to First responders was manufactured baloney wrapped in community theater. Seriously, who would
actually be against helping the firefighters and EMTs who ran into the WTC on 9/11? The
truth is, they never were. They fought it for theatrical purposes--creating a false reality
where compromise abounds in DC! The Republicans "caved" on what they never opposed in the
first place.

And as you very well know, the following items: Billions of tax breaks for the wealthy; a healthcare bill that enriched health-insurance companies beyond their wildest dreams; and
more government control of the Internet--are enormous wins that siphon money to corporations
and basic freedoms away from the American people. For politicians to suggest that SALT and
First Responders are comparable politically to the juggernaut of corporate giveaways that
Congress has passed--is a horrific joke.

We are being bamboozled in such epic proportions. And they get away with it. The constellation
of legislation that has recently passed, is being lauded as "something for everyone" with
Progressives securing wins as well as the right.

The corporations won steak dinners. We just had a few Cheetos thrown at us.

A blatant example of this was how the extended unemployment benefits were rolled
into the billions in tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans would have NEVER voted down
those unemployment extensions, if they were presented as a stand-alone bill. It would have
been political suicide. So, Dems AND Republicans packaged them together--and created
a false choice, "If we don't give yacht owners their tax cuts, then the unemployed lose! We
must pass this!" In effect, the unemployed middle class were used to line the pockets
of the mucky mucks. The "compromise" was a lie. The rich got their windfall and the
unemployed got the benefits that would never have been killed in the first place.

Frankly, I am sick and tired of this nonsense. I am exhausted by how stupid our leaders
believe we are. I'm also losing my patience with people who buy into the total drivel
that is being dished out to us.

Sorry to ramble and vent--but this is a huge issue to me and the political lies being
spewed to us affect nearly every piece of legislation that is being passed.
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molly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #202
309. When Bernie Sanders did his fillibuster,
He said that if unemployment was above a certain number, dems and repubs both had been renewing it for forty years. Our unemployment is way over the number he mentioned. So , in fact, the republicans gave up nothing. They did the same as they had been doing.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #309
319. Some folks want to rationalize their surrender...
by stating, matter of factly, that no other deal could have been made.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
8. Well thought out and organized post....as usual.
Thank you.
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
9. The war against the middle class continues at this time
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 07:27 PM by MannyGoldstein
With the complicity of our elected Democrats.

It's hard to see how Democrats can allow this to happen.

Thank you for your thoughtful post.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. Most people who have tried to create security through savings are dependent on the existence of
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 07:36 PM by dkf
Corporations. They provide us with a way to outpace inflation and grow our assets so we can retire. It enables our savings to work for us when we are no longer able to do so. It is a storehouse of value.

The demographics dictate that as the ratio of workers to retirees shrinks the workers aren't going to be able to take care of us adequately unless we have an ever growing claim on the fruits of their labor. You can either create the claim on their labor by owning the companies the people work for or you can rely on their charity and depend on retirees acting through the elective process to force them to support us.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Most people who have tried to create security through savings are dependent on
whether the economy stays healthy as a whole. At this point, the financial sector is a huge parasite on our economy. It is sucking the life out of everything else. And the savings and very subsistence of those of us who are retired or about to retire is held by that financial sector.

The class warfare that the OP discusses is being waged on the part of those in the financial sector who hold our savings and futures as a ransom and take a huge share of it for doing absolutely nothing before we get what crumbs remain. That principle applies to those who are employed, unemployed and, of course, most obviously, to those of us who are retired.

Those of us who are retired can now see that the stock market is so badly rigged, so unfair to small investors, that it is unsafe for those who have just a relatively small amount of savings. And the banks pay virtually no interest. Yet the products we buy come in ever smaller packages and cost ever higher prices.

That is the essence of the class warfare. It is a squeeze. The corporate managers, the really top guys take huge amounts of money, invest theirs overseas in cheap labor markets, bring back pitifully junky products to the US to sell to what remains of the middle class and our country goes down the drain.

Yes, we are invested in the corporations. And everyone in the investment industry right up to the CEOs of the corporations takes a cut from the money we invest. By the time the investment's returns circle back to us, there is nothing left. We are stranded with empty pockets and no job opportunities.

At this time, corporations are not outpacing inflation, not at all. The price of gasoline just went up.

The stock market rises and falls, and it is a sham because those ascents and descents in the values of the stocks have nothing to do with how our economy or the companies are doing. It merely reflects the trading of the "market-makers" many of whom are simply passing Fed dollars back and forth to keep up a pretense of prosperity.

Until the job market improves drastically, we are not earning any money -- none of us.

Your post is naive and makes no sense. It does not reflect a grasp of financial reality.

Wait until you are 67 and have seen a little of the world. You will realize that you are being fooled.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. So do you think this OP is advocating for a healthy corporate structure or the destruction of
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 08:19 PM by dkf
Corporations, down to the last one?

I don't see any ideas on how to better regulate corporations so they work properly. Rather I see an outright hostility period. And the stock market has recovered most of it's losses. It's about 20% from it's high.

I do believe we should ban proprietary trading by financial firms and not allow them to invest in hedged funds, and that we should allow Elizabeth Warren to eliminate the shenanigans, but I do think that there is a necessary role to be provided by financial firms.

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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:40 PM
Original message
Please explain the "necessary role" of Wall Street. Be specific. Thanks.nt
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
49. Investment banking provides funds for entities through the sale of stock or the issuance of bonds.
This is what allows a company to build plants, to buy equipment, and put together large projects. All companies need some source of funding. Even Mom and pops use banks and lines of credit. But for larger funding needs, let's say funding a large expansion or project, you may want to get cheaper funds by floating a bond or issuing stock.

Investment bankers also package securities, like mortgages, car loans, and credit cards allowing banks to make room for new lending.

States and counties also go to investment banks when they need funds. Investment banks help to price the offering, and then they find partners to sell the bonds.

Take a look at the vast array of investments you can do. Many of these deals are assembled by investment bankers, aka Wall Street.

Then we have the secondary market where people buy and resell the stocks and bonds and other investment vehicles.

You can't do decently large projects without funding. Wall Street gets a lot of that funding done.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #49
53. "Then we have the secondary market where people buy and resell the stocks and bonds and other
investment vehicles"

And how are these folks helpful to society?
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #53
63. How.
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 11:31 PM by bluestate10
But the premise is sadly not common for decades.

When a private company sells stock to the public via an initial public offering or secondary stock offering, proceeds from the sale go to the company's treasury, or to principles in the private company. In the case of a sole owner that has 100% control of the private company, the owner can chose to pocket some of the proceeds, or more wisely, send all to the company treasury and continue to take a salary as an executive of the company. The treasury funds can be used to finance growth of the company. Secondary trading of the stock on exchanges does nothing to change the company's position unless the company is forced to buy back it's issued stock in an unplanned action, in this case secondary trading is detrimental to company growth because it absorbs treasury funds that would have otherwise been directed to growth. What secondary trading does do, in the absence of a forced buyback, is maintain a system of speculation where one player bets on company growth, while another bets that company growth will not be robust enough to have that player forsake better profit opportunities.

What is happening in modern companies is that principles are taking funds generated by initial public offerings and pocketing the money, while still holding a percentage of company stock. Unless there is a covenant that forces a principle to sacrifice a portion of his or her cash proceeds to the company treasury, the company treasury gets nothing from the initial public offering. In the case of companies that have hot products and/or well crafted business plans, not getting money to the company treasury likely will not be an issue, but for companies with less robust products and/or less robust business plans and execution of those plans, not having treasury funds as a buffer likely mean that they either fail or are bought up by companies that are more financially stable.

Secondary stock and bond trading of business securities as has been practiced since the days of JP Morgan, serves to largely create a casino effect of money changing via the bet in favor of, or bet against mechanism mentioned above. The advent of derivatives, such as warrants and options on the base securities, have served to make the casino effect more pronounced.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:47 AM
Response to Reply #63
118. Thanks for your excellent explanation, bluestate10.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #63
150. Yup, casino. I fail to see how that helps society at large,
that just enriches a few individuals.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #150
176. I agree. If you read closely, you will see that I think secondary stock trading is a sham. nt.
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BobbyBoring Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #63
213. The most sickening part
Is some of these F%$s took OUR $$ from the bail outs and stuffed it in their pockets.

MY war on Bank of UnAmerica is kicking in to full speed ahead mode. PLEASE!!!! If you have an account there close it! If you have credit cards with them F%$# em tear them up and send them back preferably never to be repaid. While I feel it's wrong to borrow and not repay, it doesn't apply to these thieves~
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maryf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #213
352. welcome to DU
I like your fire.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #53
65. If you made your investment and never had an opportunity to sell it, how do you get your money back?
Do you think only the initial investors who bought the IPO of google stock should be allowed to make a profit? They would all be outsized billionaires by now.

Moreover you should try to get shares in an IPO stock, odds are you will never be picked to get the shares. That means you would never have the opportunity to share in the rise of Google or Apple or Netflix or any other stock. Talk about rigging things for the elite.

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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #65
82. By growing the company and taking a percentage of annual profits as personal income.
While insuring that enough profits remained in the company to enable future growth and fairly compensate employees.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:52 AM
Response to Reply #65
119. "you would never have the opportunity to share in the rise of
Google or Apple." You don't, not even when you buy the stock.

What you get when you buy the stock is the opportunity to buy gambling chips. The value of the stock used to be based on the price to earnings ratio and other real factors. Nowadays, it is more based on fads and company hype.

Originally, as an investor, you made money when the company in which you bought shares made money. Today, you make money when other investors are willing to buy your shares of stock at a higher price than the price at which you bought the shares. Dividends and pay-outs from the profits of a company are not the reason people invest today.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #65
151. No, I don't think anyone should be allowed to "make a profit" - I think the whole system is rigged
and ought to be overthrown. That is what I think.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #151
178. Revolution will only lead to bloodshed.
You can start today changing the system to what you want by exercising personal choice over where you bank, buy clothing, household products, what car or truck you buy. Take every opportunity to patronize businesses that share your values. That route is a lot saner than trying to revolt and having a cop blow your head off.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #178
206. Personal choices change nothing politically. nt
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #206
345. True ... but whatever happens has to be non-violent .. Berlin Wall came down....
without violence --

we have to find a way to do it without violence --

political violence is the way of the right wing --

We need to use intellect --


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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #345
377. In my heart I agree with you - I am in favor of non-violence.
I don't see how we can do it without revolution, ultimately, but I'm with you that it would be great if we could. Good point about the Berlin Wall. It may be a slow march, turning towards social democracy first.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #377
403. Think we all share your feelings ....
and it's not like any of us have been through this before!!

Especially note that the right wing is the mirror image of violence --

and continues to introduce violent concepts -- torture has now returned!

Over the last almost 50 years they have steadily been pushing violence on TV

and in TV news -- yet, ironically, it was reports on the violence in Vietnam

that created the greater pushes for ending it!

If we could really see what was happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm sure

any and all support that may be left for these wars would be gone.

What we are all fighting is corporatism/fascism --- and that includes the

corporate-press.

Do we have the power to change things non-violently?

What might happen if we all turned the TV sets off -- together?

What's really on the idiot box which is worth the price of the electricity?

Trade agreements take our jobs overseas, but they still want to sell their products here!

Many ways to use consumer products -- including the auto -- to make statements.

United actions can work --


Meanwhile, I've also always wondered why unionizing labor -- and we are all labor --

is limited only to the work place? And is dependent upon elites "allowing" workers to

unionize?

Why not simply unionize all labor -- and force businesses to come to UNITED LABOR to

hire employees on labor's terms?



I'm sure many others would have many more ideas on this --



:)





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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #151
242. And replaced by what?
profit pays an important role in motivating people to invest or start businesses - what to you intend to replace it with?
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bbgrunt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #65
248.  I do hope your economics background includes the
idea that all societies have goals such as efficiency and growth, JUSTICE, and SECURITY and that a market system gives us very little of the latter two. The laissez faire approach to the markets may give us a narrowly defined "efficiency" but sacrifices economic justice and stability in the process. An economy should exist to fulfill as many of the desires of the people involved, not the other way around.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #53
192. It allows people like me and you grow our money. nt
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #49
61. Your position is more in my corner of thought. But I firmly disagree that Wall Street
is indispensable. Have you ever heard of a company called the MARs Candy Company? Or other privately owned companies that dominate their field? MARs has had some recent labor issues, but the company, during over 100 years of existence has not sold stock or took bank loans, yet it is by far the dominate candy company in the world. MARs has funded it's growth and recently, acquisitions by turning over profits to fund expansions and new plant. There is a japanese company that does not pop into my mind that absolutely dwarfs it's rivals in sales, yet has not sold one share of stock to the public and does not publicly report earnings information.

I am one that believe the myth of stocks funding investment growth in a company is invalid today. During the early 1900s, owners selling limited ownership to fund expansion did result in them getting funds to grow their companies. But since the advent of stock trading, that relationship is no longer 100% valid, in fact, it may not be 25% valid. Take the recent GM public offering. The offering generated something like 30 billion dollars, about 3 billion of which will be used by GM to fund plants. While 3 billion for plants is nothing to sniff at, GM is one of the few recent cases where ANY money from public offerings has gone into operations growth, even with GM taking a reinvestment option, only 10% of offering proceeds are going into operations expansion. Most stock offerings for the last twenty years have served to make the insiders that got in early millionaires/billionaires and make billions more for the investment banks that get involved in late stage financing, the initial public offering and subsequent exchange trading of stock.

I favor having startup companies where the principles that want to cash out are bound to sell out to other principles under a reasonable payout timetable that will not force the growing company to issue stock or take bank loans. Such arrangements require that well crafted legal documents and covenants be drawn up at the inception of the companies and that each principle be made fully aware of what they are agreeing to and be legally bound by their agreements. My nuanced view on stock ownership and trading is that while it has made those banks involved in the process, investment funds and retirement accounts where owners could put aside money, wealthy, stock trading/ownership is at the base of the continuing detriments of job outsourcing and economic decline in the USA.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #61
69. So you believe that you and I should not have the opportunity to invest and must save
In bank accounts that cannot keep up with inflation? What is your path to retirement?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #69
85. Bank accounts are paying -1% on money, while credit charges are charging 28%...
Do you see anything wrong with that?

No one can keep up with inflation -- two wars bankrupting our Treasury is one

of the surest ways to destroy democracy --

$1 Billion a day in interest on the debt ... but we can't afford MEDICARE FOR ALL?

They even financed moving the jobs overseas with OPM -- private pension funds!!

Same way they financed the housing bubble!!


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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #85
92. So, your solution is????? nt.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #92
97. Solution is to end corrupt government ... shouldn't Obama be interested in that?????
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 01:22 AM by defendandprotect
Shouldn't our Congress be interested in that -- ???

Therein lies the rub --

We are being given candidates pre-selected, pre-bribed and pre-owned by corporate/elites

and we get to vote for them on computers -- just in case we make a mistake.


And as Teddy Roosvelt told us eons ago --

"We have to bar corporations from any participation whatsoever in our elections."







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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:28 AM
Response to Reply #97
130. You can start your own bank with like minded individuals.
Banking charters are not impossible to get. I have no issues with my bank, so I have no incentive to change it. But if banks are screwing you, then you have options.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #130
343. I can probably also start my own EPA, and schools -- and auto manufacturing with high MPG ....
guess I'll go do that --

because obviously neither one of us has any confidence that the Congress is

going to run the country in the public interest!!

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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #97
152. Nope, not enough, solution is that capitalism must go.
It's an inherently unequal system that benefits only a few at the top, while keeping everyone else at a pauper's level. There has to be a better way to do this.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #152
180. Ok. What solution do you suggest? And how do you get a majority of people on board with it? nt.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #180
205. I suggest we protest en masse - and we may not be there yet but we will be -
especially as Obama dismantles the social safety net.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #205
346. Seniors have not protested the COLA cuts ... they're not even united in any way but AARP!!
and that's an insurance company!

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #152
344. Agree ... and it looks like the myth of capitalism is dying here in America ....
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 10:48 PM by defendandprotect
it's a ridiculous "King-of-the-Hill" system intended to move a nation's wealth

and natural resources from the many to the few --

and it has done that all over the world! It's now America's turn to wake up!

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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #344
378. The youth give me hope - that's for sure. Even when you look at the protests
in Europe it is a sea of red. If only to bring that energy here. It's got to be the kids marching, they are the ones who change things. If you look at pictures from the Civil Rights days, the faces in those pictures are predominantly college age and younger. I think our role as the old folks (and I count myself, in my mid-40's in that role) - is this kind of agitating. We can be their mentors via internet - those of you from the 60's and 70's especially have much to teach. That's why I actually see Internet posting as something valuable.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #378
402. One major part of this internet stuff, I think ....
is that having been lied to so long about what America has been voting for --

and that most of the nation is right wing -- is that the internet has shown

us what a tremendous lie all of that is --

There's been a lot of ideas and stuff to get straightened out via the internet --

it's given us a chance to see that the immense majority of us all want the same

thing -- not millions -- but peace, love, equality -- an egalitarian society.

And it's not going to come from capitalism -- and most Americans are sure as hell

figuring that out!!

I'm disappointed that seniors aren't organized in any way, however ... they should

be fighting the effort to end the COLA's -- without the adjustments for inflation

Social Security will become "cat food."


:)
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #85
99. Heck I am 100% on board with ending the wars.
The war in Afghanistan is really about Pakistan anyway.

But what is crazy is the Afghani official that was found with $52 million dollars. Only 0.1% of US taxpayers make $2 million a year and we are giving these Afghani officials 26x that?
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #99
154. Sorry, again, not enough. nt
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #99
347. That's kind of a lost story ... isn't it?
What has happened to the tremendous peace movement -- no one wants

these wars!

And they are bankrupting the Treasury -- !!

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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #69
91. Bank accounts?
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 01:06 AM by bluestate10
My position is that anyone that owns a business is ultimately better off if they neither issue stock or take bank loans. Private ownership without stock sales or bank loans exposes an owner to risks only if that owner is not innovative at product or services creation and management of inflow and outflow of funds.

My background is scientist and applied scientist, with some business training. I, like you had simply put my money into investment accounts while I focused on my professional activities. In the state of existence that I was in, I made no connections between what was being done with the money that I invested and what I was observing concerning job loss and as importantly to me, what was happening with the yo-yo effect of energy prices on the economy and changes to the environment. I have never considered myself to be a hot button reactionary, but over the last five years, I have shifted more of my wealth toward activities that are focused on alternative energy source development and environmental damage reduction systems. As a teenager, I sought out technical training not because I envisioned making a fortune, but because I envisioned being able to create new discoveries. In college I adhered to my dream. As a professional, I drifted away from my dream to create, even as I had success in my career. Five years ago I went through soul searching that put me on the path that I am on. I have enough money for a good retirement, but retirement is of no interest to me. I accept that you don't see my point of view, your upbringing, background, obligations and future objectives are unique to you, so you have to pursue your future in a way that works for you.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:46 AM
Response to Reply #49
116. I understand the theory behind what you are saying.
You are describing what capitalism is supposed to be, how it is supposed to work. I have not complaint about the idea, the ideal that you describe. Problem is, that is not how our system is working. That is why here on DU generally many of us differentiate between corporatism which is what we have now and capitalism which is what we once had.

Under corporatism, the corporations are managed by CEOs most of whom have degrees in business. Very few of them have really worked their way up from the bottom. Very few of them have ever built their own business.

If you look back to the 19th century, to the age of John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt and the other moguls, miserable as the time was for ordinary working people and crooked and sleazy as most of the moguls were, at least the people at the top of the companies really had a stake in what was going on.

Now, especially in the financial sector, CEOs invest their money in the form of stock options. They are chosen by boards of directors through a whole system that stinks to the high heavens. Do the CEOs have some interest in the corporations they run? Yes. But only rarely did they build their businesses. And most of them simply skim the cream, the greatest part of the profits off the top of their corporation's earnings rather than look out for investors and pass the gains on to the real owners of the corporations.

What is more, the corporations are vultures with no morality whatsoever and no national or patriotic loyalty. Most of the multinational corporations just steal what they can from nations. At the height of the financial scandals, I checked out the curriculum for a major business school's MBA program. From what I could see, there was no requirement that students take an ethics course. I couldn't even find one offered.

Contrast that with the educational requirements of lawyers, doctors -- even real estate agents. The management of our corporations is an international scandal of huge proportions. Don't every fool yourself into thinking you are buying an interest in a corporation or corporations. When you "invest" as a relatively small investor, you are simply buying a chip in the world's largest casino. Buyer beware.
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Puppyjive Donating Member (117 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:11 AM
Response to Reply #49
127. Million Dollar Stadiums at the public trough
Are you talking about things like sports arenas that are funded by taxpayers and investors so that rich baseball players can collect millions and millions in salaries because the public has to pay ridiculous prices to watch their games? This has never helped my family in any way, it just made us poorer. I would venture to guess that the guy selling the peanuts is not making much in wages, let alone health benefits. I think Wall Street is a big bunch of swindlers taking other people's hard earned money and enriching themselves from it.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #127
348. Unregulated capitalism is merely organized crime ....
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #21
32. The solutions are simple
Repeal the financial services modernization act and all the the so called free market reforms we have seen in the last 20 years.

Break up the monopolistic corporations.

The large financial firms failed - and would be gone if not for the bailout.

They do not know how to make money - only how to steal it by corrupting government structures.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #32
101. +1000% ...
and actually corporates/elites don't want to be involved in business ...

they want to take over the source of the wealt - the nation --

In fact, corporations are now taking over soverign governments --


We need to end these trade agreements --


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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #32
190. so true.
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BobbyBoring Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #32
216. OK
Let's do that!
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #32
315. How do we get the votes to do that? nt
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #32
349. Exactly ... but where do we get the next FDR to do that? You think Obama is going to do it????
:rofl:

if it wasn't so sad --!!

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #21
35. No, I'm not advocating for the total destruction of corporations down to the last one
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 09:21 PM by Time for change
You're right that I didn't go into detail about how corporations should be better regulated. I have talked more about that in other posts, such as:

This post, In which I quote Robert Kuttner a great deal, from his book, A Presidency in Peril The Inside Story of Obamas Promise, Wall Streets Power, and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

And this post, in which I quote a good deal from Barry Lyann's book, Cornered The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

They are both excellent books, and I would highly recommend them.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #35
43. When I see posts against corporations I always feel they are an assault on the nest egg I have
Patiently been building brick by brick. And I have a minimal amount invested in financial firms. Can you tell me how your preferred method helps preserve my savings And my hope for retirement better than what Obama has done?

I am not rich by any means. I will have to take care of myself and I want to be able to do so without relying on the good graces (or being subject to the lack thereof) of the American public.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #43
55. That's a very complex question.
I can say a few things about it, but if you're very interested in this issue I would strongly suggest you read the two books that I mentioned above.

One of the big issues in the creation of our financial crisis was the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which was enacted as part of FDR's New Deal as a response to the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. It prohibited traditional banks from gambling with depositors' money, as investment banks often do. But it was repealed in the late 90s, and consequently traditional banks and investment banks merged, and a lot of irresponsible gambling took place, which helped lead to many failing banks, and hence the bailouts -- with our money. Prior to this, Obama had advocated the re-enactment of Glass-Steagall, or something similar. But he went ahead with the bailout without even attempting to re-enact Glass-Steagall, or any other major bank regulations.

Another big issue is Social Security. The less money you have, the more you'll depend on Social Security. Obama created a commission, commonly referred to as the Catfood Commission, to investigate the budget deficit. The people he designated for the commission were generally far to the right, and not surprisingly they ended up advocating significant cuts in Social Security. As noted in my OP he has also been involved in discussions to privatize Social Security, which could very well end up ruining it.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #55
76. I have no faith in social security because I have no faith we can fix our fiscal situation.
I don't think Americans are capable of sacrificing to make a better future. Therefore I don't think we are capable of fulfilling our promises to provide social security. I consider it in the category of magical thinking.

Before you can provide for people you must be in a position to do so. I do think we will provide for those in desperate need. The question is if I want to be in the desperate need category or not.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #76
87. There's no problem with Social Security ... there is a problem with corrupt government ..
and that's the ONLY problem --

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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:07 AM
Response to Reply #76
124. We can fix our fiscal situation by taxing imports.
We need to end the illusion of "free" trade. It is costing us our future and the future of our children.

How long do you think that China is going to continue to export everything we need to us and charge so little for it?

Investing overseas is folly. In the end, we need to end or limit outsourcing and rebuild the American economy based on clean energy. That is the way of the future, and China is way ahead of us as is Germany.

While we quibble over free enterprise, free markets and other meaningless catch-phrases, the rest of the world is moving into the 21st century.

What good is it if you are investing in corporations if the corporations cannot compete against business in countries like China and Germany where the government funds the most expensive research on clean energy and other products and industrial processes of the future? Our obsession with 18th century economic theories is really holding us and our business and social development back.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #76
143. We are not providing for people
'in desperate need', now.

We could be in a position to provide social security if we did not spend more on the military than the entire combined world. It is a matter of priorities. If we allow corporations to dictate national priorities, human beings will suffer as a consequence.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #76
229. Social Security has been a life saving program for millions of Americans for several decades
It is now under attack by the greedy, who can't stand the idea of government helping the less fortunate. We need to stand up to them.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #55
77. Another reply.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 12:21 AM by bluestate10
The repeal of Glass-Steagall by the Clinton administration and a majority republican Congress did ultimately lead to the banking crisis, but I do not agree with your effect analysis of how that happened. But first, let me again challenge one of your claims, President Obama did not carry out the bailout of banks, that bailout was already in progress before Obama was elected. What Obama did do was trim around the edges, some of the trimming was to add in safeguards that Bush administration officials did not put in place, some of the trimming was to re-direct money from the plan to AIG, FannieMae and FreddieMac to keep them from failing and subsequently blowing another hole in the nation's financial system. AIG being well on it's way to repaying taxpayers is proof that in it's case, Obama's action was well directed. The cases of FannieMae and FreddieMac are still works in progress, but at the minimum they have not failed and caused secondary damage to the nation's financial system.

Now back to Glass-Steagall. The repeal itself of the depression era legislation was not the primary culprit as much as was the failure to foresee and legislate unregulated activity that was an offshoot of that repeal. Glass-Steagall, in a nutshell prevented commercial banks from trading securities and owning investment banks, at the same time preventing investment banks from owning commercial banks. The repeal of Glass-Steagall without appropriate firewalls to regulate the relationship between commercial banks and the investment arms that they set up and between investment banks and the commercial banks that they took ownership of led to intermixing of finances and financial obligations of commercial banks and investment banking units. The intermixing intern led to a situation where one of the members of the relationship could not be allowed to fail without the other bearing direct financial responsibility for preventing that failure. When investment units of banks became grossly over extended from buying and issuing the types of financial instruments that were at the base of the banking system crisis, commercial banks could not shoulder the burden of meeting the obligations.

In hindsight what should have happened when Glass-Steagall was repealed is that commercial banks that wanted investment banking exposure should have been forced to set up the investment banks as self standing units and furthermore, be prevented from intermixing bank finances and obligations with those of the investment bank. In addition, regulation should have been enacted upon repeal of Glass-Steagall to forced commercial banks to limit their equity exposure to an investment banking unit to a percentage of the banks assets, that percentage being set by agencies like the FDIC. In this post Glass-Steagall setup, if an investment banking unit ran into trouble, the commercial bank would lose an amount equal to it's equity share in the investment bank, but would not be on the hook for meeting all obligations of the investment banking unit.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #77
241. Let me see if I understand what you're saying about the bailout
Are you saying that because Bush started it, even though Obama continued it (and its continuation required new legislation enacted by Congress), even the part continued under Obama is Bush's fault?
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #43
62. Are you a progressive or a conservative??
Just curious?
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #62
81. To be honest both sides strike me as crazily unrealistic.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 12:28 AM by dkf
Someone like Howard Dean is my ideal: compassionate yet realistic. If I had to classify myself I would call myself a pragmatic realist. I have no idea where that falls on the progressive/conservative spectrum.

Actually when I took one of those spectrum quizzes my affinity for regulation put me in the pretty far left. I was rather surprised at that.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #81
94. To be honest both sides strike me as crazily unrealistic.
On that we agree 100%.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #43
102. Wouldn't investors be better off if CEO's didn't make such huge salaries and bonuses?
Further -- what of corporate pollution of the planet -- ?

Exploition of labor?

How much a part of all of that do you want to be?

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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:06 AM
Response to Reply #102
123. Yes we would be better off if they didn't make such salaries.
I consider that misappropriation.

The value of labor is something I think needs to be addressed through trade policy. I have no problem with that.
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #123
149. a "storehouse of value"


is scarily unrealistic speech.

On what, and on whom, are you patiently building your nest egg?

Who is the labor for your investments?

How are they treated?



one can claim to care about "the poor" and about sustainable goals; if they are - at the same time - making money exploiting the world's poor and the world's resources, they're part of the problem, not part of the solution.










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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #123
339. Value of labor has to be addressed by LABOR, itself ... we are all labor ... !!
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:01 AM
Response to Reply #43
122. No matter what you do, you will be relying on the good graces
of the American public and of your children. That is the way life works. I'm 67. I'm looking at all this from the perspective of being retired, like it or not.

I have relatives in their 90s. Thinking you will be able to live without relying on the good graces of the society around you, i.e., the American public is naive. It's not going to happen.

Our savings and investments are just a part of the society around us. Your wealth, your ability to enjoy retirement depends entirely on how well others in your society, in your community, city, state, country, world are doing. I repeat, entirely.

That is why it is so important that we close at least half of our over 700 bases overseas and become realistic about our future.

There is nothing wrong with "investing" your savings as long as you are ready to be disappointed when you learn that you are really just gambling.

Social Security based on a strong American and local economy is the most secure way to fund retirement.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #122
125. Social security is the gravy. The foundation needs to be what you provide for yourself.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:37 AM
Response to Reply #125
133. I am retired. The stock market is too risky once you actually retire.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 03:39 AM by JDPriestly
Managing properties is fine if that is what you have done for a living, but it is not wise to suddenly enter that field once you retire. And savings accounts are paying less than 1%.

Seniors today rely more on Social Security than anyone ever thought possible. The seniors who are doing well have pensions from their employers.

Can you imagine having to sell some of your stocks in order to buy even small Christmas presents for your grandchildren? Don't even think about paying for anything from dividends. They are far too small. And you have to have saved an awful lot of money to buy supplement Social Security on the interest form bank accounts.

You need to look at what is really going on in the economy. Seniors are being taken for a ride. And the final destination is poverty, ugly, ugly poverty in the last years of their lives. You don't hear much about this because the only seniors who are heard in the media are wealthy. The rest of us have no voice.

I remember just ten years ago, a co-worker said to me, "People who save the maximum in their 401(K)s really don't need the job." That is the attitude of a lot of people. Of course, many 401(K)s were pretty much cleaned out in the 2008 stock market crash.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #125
340.  Look at the people who worked for Enron and thought they had a million .....
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 10:19 PM by defendandprotect
until they found out that all they had was the possibility of

Social Security -- that's why SS has to be understood as an

"INSURANCE" PROGRAM ...

Think of the many disabled who thought they had decades to earn

retirement income and didn't --

or the many children whose fathers died and left the family penniless --

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #125
342. You might also be noticing that young people are being laid off before they
are invested in pension programs --

and that many of these benefits are disappearing in corporate America --



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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #43
177. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
 
defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #35
86. Everyone should watch the Catherine Austen Fitts video on the financial coup.....
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 12:40 AM by defendandprotect
we can all be financing one another and new projects -- there are

ways to do this --

Banks are paying -1% interest on money in accounts --

Credit cards are charging customers 28% and more -- plus fees on businesses!!

We can circumvent all of that by cooperating together in many ways.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9dGHuRExiM



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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:10 AM
Response to Reply #86
126. Even credit unions which are non profits do this.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 03:13 AM by dkf
Credit unions are supposed to be exactly what you are talking about...like minded individuals pooling funds to help one another.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #86
147. Thanks for calling that
to our attention. Catherine paints an ugly reality that we ignore at our peril. It seems to me that 'someone' should be held responsible for destroying our nation.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #147
350. ... and keep in mind, Catherine Austen Fitts video ended up in 9/11 dungeon....!!
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 10:59 PM by defendandprotect
that's the thinking here which actually gets in the way of DU'ers

getting information which would help them understand what's really

going on in America!!

Why all these taboo subjects?

Who does it protect -- ??

Naive DU'ers?
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 06:09 AM
Response to Reply #350
375. Maybe the DU PTB do it
in the interest of protecting the reputation of the DU. They don't want it to become known as a place where 'crazy conspiracy theories' dominate the discussions. Just a guess - not making any sort of judgment.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #375
401. You may be right -- including about their fears ....
'cause hard to believe that anyone still believes in "Conspiracy-free America" --!!??

Or that anyone would base their "reputation" on such a claim -- !!??


Just a guess -- not making any sort of judgment . . .








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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #35
211. Thanks for the book recommendations. They are now on my must read list.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:49 AM
Response to Reply #21
135. There is a role for financial firms, but at less cost.
The earnings of those who get the big bonuses from financial firms should be taxed at the same rate as other personal income. I may be wrong, but it is my understanding that those earnings are taxed at a different rate if at all.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
71. Basically, every $1 that anyone had pre-W is now worth 50 cents ... !!
The fact that seniors did not organize and fight the end to COLA payments is

another sign that they don't "get it" -- and will remain un-united -- and there

will actually be no battle to save Social Security -- !!

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toastbutter Donating Member (79 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #15
79. sorry, but no
there has NEVER been a 20 yr period in the history of the US where dollar cost averaging into the stock market didn't yield positive results. in most cases, it yielded good to excellent results. It's been good to me, was good to my dad, and my grandfather. All 3 generations. For those who kept DCA'ing during this recession, it's still been good. I can crunch #'s all day long to emphasize these points. The stock market makes great companies (god forbid - CORPORATIONS) available to the everyman. A good friend of mine started loading on Apple when Jobs took over and has done very well with that.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #15
386. Oops!
Saw an uncomfortable little truth we don't like, did we?

Corporate investments have made Americans ever more complicit in the mistreatment of our fellow countrymen.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
58. Bullshit. By that logic we are all starving to death because farmers are
--a much reduced proportion of the population. compared to 100 years ago. Productivity in general has increased by a factor of four since 1947. Our high under and unemployment rates reflect this. Anyone who thinks that our problem is an inadequate supply of labor is from some other planet.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #10
187. Spoken like a true member of the financial elite. nm
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #187
222. That particular poster NEVER changes their tune about corporate
america. Sad, ain't it?
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
221. Or we can just let big corporations fail when they steal billions from the national treasury.
Of course anyone that wants to lick the boots of their corporate masters...please don't let me stop you, they seem to LOVE it!
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
13. First off. I am a moderate, lifelong democrat.
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 07:46 PM by bluestate10
I saw nothing wrong with your seven principles and share every single one of them.

1) Where I do differ from you is how best to accomplish those principles.

2) The belief that some invisible corporate hand that we can't break has us by our throats.



President Obama DID NOT engineer a multi-trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street. The Bush administration's Treasury Secretary crafted the bailout. President Obama, while still a Senator, voted for the package that was presented to the Senate, with the country virtually a couple of days from economic meltdown. It is enormously disheartening to read such an untruth on a progressive site, in particular for me, I fought tooth and nail earlier today against right wingers on a Yahoo blog who were trafficking the same point of view. President Obama DOES NOT have the worse record of job creation since the Hoover administration. If you plot job loss during the last year plus 1.5 month of the Bush administration, you will see that the country was bleeding 700,000 jobs per month on the day that President Obama was inaugurated, that figure has dropped to around 250,000. The nation was falling into a deep chasm as President Obama was sworn it, it takes time to arrest the fall then climb back out.

I have a question for you. What is you solution for Afghanistan? I can guess it is pull troops out, but how would you deal with extremist there that will view a pullout as a victory? I do not share the view of right wingers that we have to fight extremists on their soil and that every Muslim is an extremist. But when a person like Bin Laden and his lieutenants exist, how would you deal with them? One problem that I, as a moderate have with the left and the right is that both view solutions as clear cut, take action A and a problem magically goes away.

On big business. Yes big business has huge power. Because we as consumers give big business power. Have YOU spent time looking for products from small companies the only hire mainland USA workers to produce their products? Have YOU focused on purchasing produce, meat and seafood from local or regional producers that share your values? Have YOU purposely set aside a portion of your income to help the poor, or make it a rule that any time you visit a grocery store, you buy canned goods for food banks? Have YOU worked with others of a like mind as you to fund a small mortgage financing operation so that a few homeowners that risk losing their home have an alternative to turn to other than banks or traditional mortgage companies? Progressive change starts with the personal decisions and commitments that each of us make, not with writing long screeds trashing our President and denying that he has not done some meaningfully good in the face of unrelenting opposition from republicans. If each of us can make a difference in the lives of a couple of people per month and have a fraction of them feed the goodwill forward when they are in a position to, we will effect change that is not only focused right, but can't be reversed by politicians.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Your post is a perfect example of how someone with an opposing view should
communicate. You didn't get angry, but discussed your point of view eloquently & included the reasons behind your thinking. As I said in my post below in regard to civility, mature, thoughtful discussion is powerful enough to possibly change opinion.

:hi:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #13
23. Some answers to your comments
On the Wall Street bailout: Yes, the first part of the bailout was Bush's plan and responsibility. The second half of it was Obama's responsibility. It is true that it didn't differ much from Bush's plan -- and I certainly don't blame Obama any more than Bush for it. But several of our best economists warned Obama and Geithner that the their plan was a bad one, which would give away vast amounts of money to Wall Street, paid for by the American people. Worst of all, despite the fact that Wall Street irresponsibility caused our economic crisis, they received their massive bailoout with virtually no strings attached. By failint to require fiscal reforms, we make it likely that the same thing will happen again. See here comments and discussion by Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Robert Reich, James Galbraith, and Dean Baker:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Job creation: Job creation during the Obama administration has been a negative 1.2% per year. That is the first administration with negative job creation since the Hoover administration. See here job creation by presidential administraiton:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobs_created_during_U.S._p...
The fact that the rate of job loss is less than what it was near the end of the Bush administration does not change this fact. Undoubtedly, Obama's stimulus did some good, and job loss would have been worse had he not pushed the stimulus. But it should have been much bigger than it was. Again, our best economists warned him that it would have to be much bigger to make a sufficient dent in our unemployment rate. Instead, Obama succumbed to right wing talking points and came up with a compromise, without fighting for what was needed. There is still time. Let's hope that we do much better in the next two years. But we haven't seen any evidence that that is about to happen.

Al Qaeda in Afghanistan:
They use local individuals or small cells that dont require large safe havens to plan attacks, so why would they return? The CIA says only 50100 are left in Afghanistan, which is a few more than the German police say are currently in Hamburg.

http://www.thenation.com/article/157203/matthew-hoh%E2%...
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #23
37. Reply.
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 09:34 PM by bluestate10
On the Wall Street bailout. Obama did give more money to AIG, FannieMae and FreddieMac. The remainder of Wall Street chafed as the rules on pay and business conduct that the Obama administration instituted. George Bush handed out money with no strings attached, Obama changed that. Fast forward, all of Wall Street except for FanniMae, FredieMac and AIG have paid the loans with interest. AIG is well on it's way to paying off it's obligation. FanniMae and FreddieMac remain problems and likely will not get better until the mortgage situation is stabilized. There are some non Wall Street medium sized banks with outstanding loans, many are being bought up by banks that have stronger balance sheets, in particular Canadian banks, that because of government regulation there in the 90s and early part of this decade ended up avoiding damage from mortgage and derivative meltdowns. My grade to Obama on handling the bank crisis would be B+. He was handed a shit sandwich and so far has made the most out of it, Obama could have done more, but he would have had to hit on all cylinders and make 100% right first choices. If I had a mind to, I could find and quote respected economists that counter the argument of those made by the list of people you mentioned. In my view, that would be a waste of time and just precipitate a link war, with me pulling up a link and you finding a link to counter it. I would rather give what I think is a prescription for change at the end of my response.

On jobs. The USA has been in an outsourcing spiral since Reagan started the trend of downsizing and reorganization. Progressively, year by year, outsourcing has taken away more jobs. The second half of the Clinton years is an exception mostly because Y2K preparations and internet speculation created growth of jobs. Even-though it had slowed, the economy was growing at a robust rate when GW Bush took office. Mortgage financing schemes and bank deregulation schemes during most of the Bush years created the small growth that happened during his Presidency, but the underlying problem of manufacturing job loss was seriously worsening, with it reaching into professional ranks. When the dung hit the fan near the end of 2007, the service economy cooled and started purging jobs, by July of 2008, the economy was in full blown crisis, by the start of October 2008, the failure of Lehman Brothers and the near failure of Merrill Lynch and Citigroup send shock-waves pulsing through no only the USA economy, but economies worldwide, causing massive job loss. I agree with part of your analysis, President Obama could have structured the stimulus package differently, one change that I would have liked to have seen is elimination of business tax breaks that organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and Business Council got in favor of more money being spent on highway and bridge repair. But as things stood, President Obama did not have much freedom of operation, his predecessor had left him with financial commitments to banks that totaled around 2 trillion and a budget deficit that was approaching 1.4 trillion. The political reality is that President Obama did not have the votes to pass a bigger stimulus package in terms of dollars. I would rate Obama a B on jobs, he could have done better, but given the working room that he had, he could have done worse, much worse.

On Al Qaeda. Extremist find the path of least resistance. There are 50-100 al qaeda in Afghanistan because the big cells are being protected in Pakistan. I must admit that I don't have much disagreement with you on the issue of troop placement. My view is a harsh one that a person that joins al qaeda is safe for the US and civilized world only if dead, covert action where the intent is to kill can accomplish that end more efficiently than having large troop formations in Afghanistan. With modern and near future technology, the US can easily launch attacks that will kill extremist leaders without having one soldier on the ground in Afghanistan. Do I favor our troops leaving and bringing the Afghans that honestly helped our guest to safe new home countries, allowing al qaeda and taliban extremist to return, and killing every single one via covert means.

My prescription for stopping outsourcing is that we as consumers must start today to make choices that mirror what we think is right. In turning over my wardrobe recently, I made a concerted effort to buy only products that were made by companies that manufactured on the mainland US, and/or territories. I had what I viewed as surprising success in my effort, because I had not researched before, I did not realize the number of companies there are manufacturing that care as much as I do about job outsourcing. I read frequent DU complaints about outsourcing, I seldom see the complainers vowing to make a personal difference with their buying choices. It does not matter whether one makes $7,000 per year or $150,000 per year, all of us buy stuff.
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #37
46. The solution to outsourcing are laws that prevent it,
trade barriers, and tariffs, not 'consumer choices'.

This, historically, is what works.

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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #46
51. Really????
So you tell me that if me and tens of millions of other people refuse to buy chinese or pakistani made shirts from Macy's, that our actions will be for naught? Hmmmm, at $50 per shirt, I say your conclusion is full of it. dedicated consumer action will force the Macy's, Penny's, and Walmarts of the USA to locate the manufacturers of products that are eating their lunch and stock those products.

You really think tariffs will work??? How has that worked for you in the last three decades??????
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #51
80. If anyone -- for instance the Democratic Party -- gave LEADERSHIP to such a campaign....
to support America by NOT buying goods made in other countries, it could happen --

right now in most stores there is no other choice --

Otherwise, the public is not united in any way --

seniors aren't united to protect Social Security/Medicare except thru AARP -- an insurance

company!

Unemployed aren't united --

Highest unionization we ever had was 39% and it has been taken down over last decades to

less than 10% -- and that was by corrupt infiltration of unions -- and elites using Mafia

to destroy them.

Who in our government or outside government gave LEADERSHIP to MEDICARE FOR ALL?

Only Michael Moore and Phil Donahue have ever educated the public on issues like single-payer/

government run health care.

We do have the continuing argument about the need for leadership -- if we didn't need

leadership the right wing wouldn't have been assassinating our leaders over the last 50 plus

years! In fact, they've been assassinating them now before they even have a chance to rise.



Tariffs have worked in the past --

and so did Bretton Woods Accords which Nixon overturned --

prevented capital from jumping borders --

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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #80
107. I don't know where to start.
Your post is such a scatter shot of statements. let me start with democratic leaders providing leadership to us to buy USA made products. That want completely takes responsibility from each of us for making our own decision to seek out and buy USA made products. Maybe it's easier for you if someone lead you to buy USA made products, but I would rather exercise that choice on my own, using my own research.

Now. One to your statement that you can't buy USA made products because there are no choices available. If you shop at macy's, Penny's or the Walmarts of the USA and look for alternatives, you're spot on. But you and all the rest of us are posting via a powerful tool call the internet. Try typing USA made xxxxxx, with xxxxxx being the product that you want and see what comes up, some items will have few alternatives, others many. Some items will be well built and inexpensive, others well built and more expensive. For the more expensive items, a financial feature called unit manufacturing costs will dictate lower prices if the manufacturer gets more orders. Guess who creates more orders? People doing the internet search, finding the products and buying the in large numbers.

The decline of unions is more complex than you imply. As a moderate, my view is that unions and management chose to fight when they should have been cooperating on product quality, unit cost and equitable profit sharing.

On universal health care. Conceded, several countries provide excellent medical care to all of it's citizens for a fraction of the cost the people in this country pay for medical treatment. Democratic leaders should certainly be working to understand why and push for saner policy.

On the right wing. You give them too much credit for being anything but ignorant goons. The majority of those people can barely figure out how to wash their asses. Figure out how to assassinate our leaders? Are you kidding me?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #107
353. Could you be any closer to "blame the victim" .... ?
Perhaps in your mind, the homeless and impoverished are to blame for their conditions?

Homosexuals may have caused their own oppression -- maybe women, as well?

Obama's role and Congress' role is not to provide leadership?

Not to debate and discuss issues and lead the public to rightful conclusions and actions?

Where is the recognition of CAUSE on the part of pre-owned elected officials in giving us these

corrupt trade agreeemtns?

Where is the recognition of CAUSE in Clinton's ending 60 years of Welfare guarantees,

with a nod of Gore?

Where is the recognition of CAUSE in Obama's attack on Social Security?

Your comments are inane, including the fact that you evidently don't even realize that you

couldn't find a "made in America" product in most of our department stores!

As for your "alternatives" they are largely nonsense -- we've looked -- been tried many times.

Evidently, you also know nothing of the destruction of unions, either!

Unions have been destroyed by deception, infiltration -- and organized crime used by corporates/

elites over decades.

And either you're being completely disingenuous or you have no idea that Obama WORKED via back

room deals to assure Big Pharma that there would be no Medicare negotiation on drug prices --

and with private Health Care industry to assure them there would be no single payer/government

run health care options. In fact, Rahm has "crowed" about Obama's "reform having PRESERVED

THE PRIVATE health care industry."

And, you believe in a "conspiracy-free America" -- ?

:rofl:

Presumably you're ignorant of what our CIA has done all over the world?

Operation Mockingbird at home? Operation Paperclip? Operation Northwoods? Huston Plan?

Unfortunately, the 1963 coup on JFK took not only our president but our "people's" government.

I don't mind someone not know things -- there's a cure for that.

What I do care about is anyone being disingenuous -- especially if they think anyone is dumb

enough to believe what they're saying -- and it will get you put on IGNORE.









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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #51
106. Tariffs have worked in the past, it's how we built this country, PRE-Reagan, before he
Conned people into believing there is such a thing as free markets and enlightened selfishness (there is neither).

Your plan I also support, but it must be in addition to tariffs, otherwise people will not be able to afford the more expensive goods as they will have wages that are competitive with Chinese laborers, including prison labor, if they have any job at all.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:14 AM
Response to Reply #106
109. I recently purchased.
USA made shirts and USA made slacks. The shirts were the exact same price as what I would have paid for a shirt that was imported from China, India, Pakistan or a South American country. The only advantage of the imported shirts was that I could hop in my car and drive to Macy's and find them, I chose to find the USA made shirts via the internet instead. As more americans follow my path, the styles and color choices of USA made shirts will increase. Two dress shirts were more expensive than imported choices, but with more americans buying, unit costs will drop as will the price that americans pay for the shirts. One advantage that foreign manufacturers have is that they can manufacture 1 million shirts of a given style and color knowing that a Walmart, Macy's, Banana Republic, Penny's, Sear's or other clothing chain will buy and sell their products, USA based manufacturers do not have that advantage, we must alter the playing field via our buying choices.

Two pairs of dress slacks that I purchased were LESS expensive than comparable imported slacks. $10-$15 less expensive. Two pairs of slacks were more expensive than comparable imported choices, again the manufacturer unit cost argument applies, if more slacks are ordered, the cost of manufacturing each drops and the price to buyers drops.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:19 AM
Response to Reply #51
129. I'm trying not to buy Chinese stuff. So is my mother.
I found it difficult at Christmas, but the rest of the year, I strictly avoid the Chinese junk.

But, as a retired person, I buy very little.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:45 AM
Response to Reply #129
134. I have found that searches on the internet are more effective than
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 03:48 AM by bluestate10
going into stores. I want to support local businesses, but not at the expense of wage earning US workers. My theory may be proven wrong, but I believe that if americans, one by one, started focusing their buying on USA made products, retailers will be forced to change their stocking priorities and stock those products. If you buy something else soon, search on the web with USA made in the search string before the product that you are searching for. There are many products available. Price is a problem with some, but if american that can afford the prices take the hit first and create volume sales, prices should drop due to the unit cost mechanism, if prices do not drop, shame on the USA manufacturers, but I sincerely believe prices will drop because the companies that are choosing to keep manufacturing in the USA are doing it because of the goal of protecting jobs of their employees, I must believe that they exercise the same concern to customers, I know personally that product quality is excellent. Once people that can afford higher prices drive up volume and drive down prices, people that need lower prices can start to buy.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #134
268. Excellent ideas, bluestate
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #268
354. Let us know how you do ....
I've tried it for numerous products and nothing was found --

good luck -- let us know if you succeed -- I'm sure many would

like to know and would follow.

However, imo, leadership to "buy American" should be of interest to

Obama and our Congress ... am I wrong?

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dorkulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:03 AM
Response to Reply #51
137. Tariffs did work.
The past 30 years have seen the dismantling of economic protections that DID work quite well, no matter how many question marks you use. A widespread boycott would also work, if you could actually get people to participate, which seems to be nearly impossible.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #137
183. Yes. And Toyota became the biggest auto manufacturer.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 10:57 AM by bluestate10
Followed by Honda and Hyhundai. Chinese and Indian clothing took over people's closets and became the only choices available at retailers. Yes, tariffs worked well, NOT!!! (since question marks irritated you, I thought that a change would be more palatable). Americans expect to make self defeating personal buying decisions then have government officials bail them out, the very same government officials that take campaign donations from the very organizations that promote unfair open trade and job outsourcing. How crazy is that!!! (I made a grammatical faux pas, but since you hate questions marks so much, what choice did I have!!! (not again!)).

If you want to create a USA that mirrors the one you envision, start with the very choices that you make daily, then influence family to make wiser choices, then neighbors. Change happens via a patient, determined, committed process. Go ahead, try aggressive action, what will happen is that you will piss a lot of people off and get shut out of any conversation.
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dorkulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #183
376. Please.
Tariffs did work, UNTIL THEY WERE TAKEN AWAY. Sheesh. You tell me, is our economy better now than it was in the '60s or '70s? No.

But whatever, why let historical facts get in the way of your vision?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #46
78. Yes -- tariffs -- and overturning the trade agreements ....
Evidently they also used OPM -- private pension funds -- to finance the

outsourcing of jobs to other nations!!

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #37
59. Paul Krugman on Obama's stimulus package:
Mr. Obamas prescription doesnt live up to his diagnosis. The economic plan hes offering isnt as strong as his language about the economic threat. In fact, it falls well short of whats needed

With both consumer spending and business investment plunging, a huge gap is opening up between what the American economy can produce and what its able to sell. And the Obama plan is nowhere near big enough to fill this output gap. To close a gap of more than $2 trillion possibly a lot more, if the budget office projections turn out to be too optimistic Mr. Obama offers a $775 billion plan. And thats not enough

Only about 60 percent of the Obama plan consists of public spending. The rest consists of tax cuts and many economists are skeptical about how much these tax cuts, especially the tax breaks for business, will actually do to boost spendingThe bottom line is that the Obama plan is unlikely to close more than half of the looming output gap, and could easily end up doing less than a third of the job.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/opinion/09krugman.htm...

Whenever Obama does one of his "compromises", I always hear it said that he didn't have the votes to do better. But how would anyone know if he has the votes - he doesn't even try to get more. He made very little effort to get a better stimulus package. When presidents fight for what they believe in they're usually able to convince Congress, especially when their own party is in control of both houses.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #59
72. The stimulus was only 25% of what the economists told Obama was needed ...
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #59
114. Constraints.
Obama came into office with something around a 11 trillion dollar debt staring him in the face. I have noticed a lot of posters on DU quoting Krugman. But there are equally qualified individuals that dispute many of Krugman's conclusions. In the end, it all boils down to a person's political point of view as to which conclusions are plausible.

Past economic stimulus efforts have been conducted against a backdrop of far smaller national debt as a percentage of GDP. First Ronald Reagan then George W Bush have forced the nation into unchartered territory concerning whether large stimulus against a backdrop of enormous national debt is a wise move. The 700 billion stimulus package the Obama did get may have not had the intended impact exactly because it was done against a backdrop of enormous national debt and budget deficits, although I suspect that the structure of the stimulus package had an role in it's impact.

Historically, the ration of offshoot economic activity to every stimulus dollar spent has been about 4/1. If that ratio had been intact, the 420 billion of stimulus that you listed as public spending would have produced a 1.68 trillion benefit, a mere 320 billion short of filling the 2 trillion gap that you detailed. But the actual impact of the publicly directed stimulus was wholly short of what historical projections would have predicted. Why is that?

The reality of compromise is that it is sometime required to get something over nothing. Democrats had majorities in both parts of Congress, but large pieces of the majorities were not aligned in a way that would have allowed democrats to run roughshod over republicans, as all of us wished they could have.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #114
231. "There are equally qualified individuals that dispute many of Krugman's conclusions. "
Quote one then. Hopefully, one who wasn't responsible for getting us into this mess.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #23
90. +1000% ---
and, further, the stimulus was only 25% of what economists told Obama was needed --

it's pretty much fading out now -- and some say another 1 million jobs could be lost!

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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #90
244. The Congress was the president's biggest obstacle. It is on record
that both Biden and Obama wanted bigger stimulus. DUers really need to get in touch with what actually happened. The Blue Dogs in both the House and Senate wanted to water down the stimulus package, including more tax cuts for small businesses.

It wasn't enough, a fact that the administration is keenly aware of!

But perhaps if I post a Krugman article here, ya'll will believe me and what some of us have been trying to explain in this thread. Obama wanted MORE stimulus!! It was the Blue Dogs and Republicans who stopped him:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/18/opinion/18krugman.htm...

As for the jobs, Democrats repeated tried to get a jobs bill through BOTH houses of Congress. The Republicans blocked legislation many times over, to the point that Reid had to keep paring the bill down and eventually give up.:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0223/With-jo...
http://money.cnn.com/2010/09/27/news/economy/anti_offsh...
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/senate-de... /
http://blog.aflcio.org/2010/06/18/senate-republicans-ki... /

Honestly, many progressive DUers and progressive communities in general--God love us all-- are often too quick to allow our passion blind us to facts; or, at the very least, we forget what really happened and allow our disappoint block reason and reality!
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #244
355. Obama asked for only 25% of what was needed ... and I think he compromised on LESS... !!
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 11:33 PM by defendandprotect
Obama also turned Lieberman into a superman of the Congress --

Can you imagine that the GOP would have had an overwhelming mandate --

a majority in the House, a majority in the Senate -- and the presidency ....

and walked away as obama is doing having LOST on every issue?

Who are you trying to kid . . . yourself or us?

Wow --

Obama also thought that the road to MEDICARE FOR ALL was by back room deals with

Big Pharma and private Health Care industry?

Who among us is delusional enough to believe that?




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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 01:40 AM
Response to Reply #355
368. Link, please?! Not hyperbole!! It was Reid and the Democrats in the Senate
Edited on Mon Dec-27-10 01:40 AM by Liberal_Stalwart71
who invited LIEberman back into the caucus. Since when does Obama have any say over Senate rules?

Your hatred of Obama is making you completely delusional and therefore there's no reasoning with you.

Off to ignore you go. Bye!
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 02:35 AM
Response to Reply #368
369. Cut the "hatred" crap .... Obama's back room deals are his alone to take responsibility for....
Not sure what "link" you want --

You want to see Rahm "CROWING" over Obama's H/C "reform" having

"preserved private health care"? Then see below * ... and note all the other

interests of corporations Obama was ensuring worked well for them!


Tell me what Repugs would have done with a "Lieberman" -- what a farce! :rofl:


At this point, I'm responding to this in the interests of anyone here who

isn't afraid of facing the truth -- !!



*

Ramh .... crowing about preserving "private health care industry" ... business s/b grateful!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Here is the quote:In a Thursday interview, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel argued that rather than recoiling against Obama, business leaders should be grateful for his support on at least a half-dozen counts: his advocacy of greater international trade and education reform open markets despite union skepticism; his rejection of calls from some quarters to nationalize banks during the financial meltdown; the rescue of the automobile industry; the fact that the overhaul of health care

preserved the private delivery system;

the fact that billions in the stimulus package benefited business with lucrative new contracts, and that financial regulation reform will take away the uncertainty that existed with a broken, pre-crash regulatory apparatus.


http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=B2F85DDF-18 ...





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pasto76 Donating Member (835 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #13
34. you are spot here with Afghanistan. And BUSH did the wall street bailout.
get some facts straight.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #13
88. "If they can make you believe in absurdities, they can make you commit atrocities" ---
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 12:59 AM by defendandprotect
Consumers do NOT give power to corporations -- corrupt government has done that ...

overturning of New Deal regulations and outrageous trade agreements have

done that -- plus the overturning of the Bretton Woods Accords which kept

capital from jumping borders.

And a corrupt Supreme Court has just compounded the damage already done in the

validation of money as "free speech."



And I think you should find this undeniable ...


Rahm .... crowing about preserving "private health care industry" ... business s/b grateful!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Here is the quote: In a Thursday interview, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel argued that rather than recoiling against Obama, business leaders should be grateful for his support on at least a half-dozen counts: his advocacy of greater international trade and education reform open markets despite union skepticism; his rejection of calls from some quarters to nationalize banks during the financial meltdown; the rescue of the automobile industry; the fact that the overhaul of health care

preserved the private delivery system;

the fact that billions in the stimulus package benefited business with lucrative new contracts, and that financial regulation reform will take away the uncertainty that existed with a broken, pre-crash regulatory apparatus.


http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=B2F85DDF-18 ...


:eyes:



As for the economy, I'd recommend Catherine Austen Fitts --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9dGHuRExiM





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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #13
95. First, US/CIA created Taliban/Al Qaeda and financed it up until 9/11 ....
and probably beyond --

If you're in doubt about that, check in with Brzezinski who relates that story

and reality of it during the Bush adminsitration --

We also went into Afghanistan six months before the Russians came in --

"in order to bait the Russians into Afghanistan....

in hopes of giving them a Vietnam-type experience."

We are in Afghanistan and Iraq to control the ME oil region -- obviously we're also

looking to enlarge conflicts throughout the ME --

Biden has for more than a year now been encouraging Israel to attack Iran --

saying "Israel would be justified in attacking Iran!"


We continue to built new military bases in these areas and Taj Mahal-type US Embassies --

last one over $750 million and next one a bit more!


'06 Pelosi on video morning after the election --

"Democrats were elected to end the war!"


This is imperialism -- American fascism --

let's get busy on digging up the alternative energy ideas that have been buried over the

last 60 years by the oil industry.

This is the new Vietnam -- i.e., perpetual war.







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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #13
162. Prescribing individual change as a solution to social ills is an inherently conservative
approach. It is like those who reject strict regulation on - oh, say breeding dogs - with the plea that if people "would only behave responsibly" all would be well. People don't, in the aggregate. And they never will. Our brains are simply not wired to significantly relate our small individual act - say letting the dog have pups so the kids can see birth and nurturing in action - to the 4-6 million or whatever it is cats and dogs abandoned, abused, and killed in shelters every year.

Or like the DU food donation drive. We don't want to acknowledge that however good and worthy the individual acts of donation are, the same kids will be hungry next week, no matter whether DU raises 10 or 15 or 100 thousand $$ for food banks.

It's good the kids are not hungry this week. It matters not a whit for next week.

If you are making minimum wage you are going to buy your shirts at Wal-Mart no matter they are made in China or wherever. Telling people who are scrabbling day to day, who are working two or three jobs to survive or spending every minute trying to figure out how to live on some paltry unemployment or totally inadequate "welfare" check to take that time and make that choice is utterly futile. Even crazy, as in totally detached from reality.

Just as the unspoken assumption that we can save the earth and continue to consume at the rate we do is crazy.

I am not using "crazy" as a personal pejorative, so don't take it that way - I am using it literally. And since "crazy" is endemic in our national debate frame, I would hardly hold a single individual responsible for speaking from within that frame.

However, I do think that anyone who claims any sort of progressive credentials - which from your posts I take it you do, though I could be mistaken on that - should understand how very deeply conservative, how convenient for our Oligarch Overlords is the prescription to address huge social problems with individual decisions.

Oh, and btw, I would say that calling the OP a "trashing" of the President is exactly the sort of language the OP mentioned as less than helpful in considered debate.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #162
357. It's simply more 'blame the victim" .....
and it also ignores 50+ years of right wing political violence which has

destroyed liberal leadership --- and our "people's" government --

and which continues on now taking out liberal leadership even before it arises!


"trashing" and "obama haters" are often used by the very people who most complain

about being called "Obama cheerleaders" and "Obamabots" -- and it's an issue which

the new, New Rules take up -- Skinner is against it!!

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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
240. +1000. You have it exactly.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
14. In regard to the civility category, it's a too-common practice that opposing
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 07:54 PM by pacalo
opinions are attacked instead of being discussed in a mature manner. Either the opinion is vicious, inviting vicious replies of opposing views. Or, the opinion is tactful but differs from others' & the tactful post is attacked for the simple reason the attacker isn't happy that the opinion differs from his.

Attacking an opposing view doesn't convert anyone, but mature, thoughtful discussion has changed my opinion a number of times.

We all have different life experiences & circumstances. A policy that affects one family in a negative way might not be problematic for another person's situation. If someone expresses discontent about a decision made by Obama, allow them to express it freely; move on to another thread. With the exception of mischief-making, anti-Democratic infiltrators, we all want Obama to succeed. Please keep that in mind & perhaps we'll communicate more positively.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. I am of the mindset.
That if we depend on politicians to bring about the change that we think is important, we will be eternally disappointed. The issue that I have with some on DU is that when reading their posts, I see a litany of complaints, but precious few potential solutions.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. The politicians whom we elect to state and national office
Edited on Sat Dec-25-10 08:46 PM by Time for change
enact the legislation and create the policies under which our system runs. We cannot do it ourselves. We must do it through them because that is the way our system is set up. We can influence them by what we write and what we say to them, and by attmepting to vote them out of office when they disappoint us.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #25
41. I completely disagree.
My democratic governor, who I contributed to and voted to re-elect, does NOT tell me where to buy my shoes, or shirts, or slacks, or car. While he and his wife sent an email to contributors recently asking them to donate to food banks and charities if they could, he does NOT control my action to do those things. Elected politicians only have limited power, may be you are looking for a dictator that can do anything that he or she wants to do. I for one would rather that my politicians focus on crafting laws that maintain an orderly society and push back on extremes, while fully realizing there are actions that will move society toward my point of view that I have both the personal freedom to do and the will to do.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #41
74. We all are in charge of our own family budgets & purchasing decisions.
We cut out all frivolous expenditures a long time ago. Thank goodness, my husband & I are on the same page, so there isn't any argument there. We're sensible, responsible about our spending.

What we can't control is what the government does to Social Security & Medicare, which was supposed to be there when we retire. We have no control over how the government spends our tax money; we only have one vote each every 4 years as input.

In the financial shape this country is in, it needs to stop being the world's police; stop both wars (Michael Moore mentioned the U.S. was in, I believe, six wars!) & use the money at home. As someone who manages an already-pared-down household budget & living very simply already, I'm flabbergasted at how much money is being thrown away & wasted on military battles that could possibly be remedied with negotiations & diplomacy.

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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #74
100. Going to war in Iraq was a mistake.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 01:26 AM by bluestate10
It hurts me to phase the Iraq war in those terms because our nation has sacrificed thousands of good soldier's lives there. We went to war to remove a tin-pot dictator that brutalized some parts of his country's population, by that measure, we should be in 20 wars around the globe.

I do not agree that the Afghan war was a mistake. I can agree that the effort there was wholly mismanaged by the Bush administration. I also do not agree that our military confronting, capturing or killing extremists, where ever they are found, that have demonstrated a willingness to kill innocent people is a mistake.
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martymar64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #100
145. If faced with a choice of giving up our wars or having our economy collapse, what would you choose?
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 07:32 AM by martymar64
No matter what the reason or motivation for our wars, we simply cannot afford to continue them without producing irrevocable damage to our economy. We cannot continue to exist as an empire. When you compare our defense budget to the budgets of every other country on this planet, it is simply obscene. Our fetishization of all things military has led us down a very precarious path with could eventually prove to be our destruction.

We can either begin to disengage from our overseas wars and bases on our own accord or risk our overseas troops being forced out or stuck if our economy or government collapses.

As the Rolling Stones once sang, "Let me walk, before they make me run".
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #145
186. I favor a pinpoint covert war.
Where the USA goes after extremists cost effectively and cause no collateral loss of life. Weapon systems are nearly ready that can travel, lurk, navigate and kill a single person with pinpoint accuracy, they can be launched from and picked up by high flying, undetected airplanes. I know what I wrote will turn the stomach of so called progressives, but I operate on the cold realization that there are evil people in the world and the only way to deal with them is to kill them.
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martymar64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #186
219. But that is not what we have now
We have men shooting other people and drones killing civilians in ever increasing numbers.

Is it worth sacrificing our own economy over? I don't.
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PhillySane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #186
238. Put the Tom Clancy novels down
they are pure fiction. Really.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #186
361. And what if someone thinks America is "evil" ... do we deserve the same treatment???
Remember, the United Nations has made clear that the US is a "terrorist" nation!

Yes -- there are "evil" people in the world -- and we are still in the same gene pool

which gave us theft of this land from the Native American - GENOCIDE vs the native American --

and enslavement of the African here -- on and on -- from hawaii to Philippine Islands --

from Haiti to Cuba.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #100
164. Do you care how many innocent civilians we kill in Afghanistan
in our search for the 50-100 members of al Quada there? Why not go to war in Europe then? There are a lot more than 50-100 members of al Qaeda there.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #164
189. 9-11 was not launched and controlled from Europe.
Plus, european police are taking police action to round up extremists when those extremist cross the line from zealotry into planning murder. Just this weekend police in one european country arrested something like 20 Somalis that were planning mayhem.

Look. I am not some blood thirsty loser that is ok with innocent civilians being killed if one extremist is taken out. Neither is any responsible military or government leader. That very mechanism is why weapons are nearly complete that can target and kill individuals without injuring innocents. Now, don't jump to conclusion, while I think such weapons are exceptional for dealing with extremists, I also understand that their use must be and remain highly regulated and controlled.
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #189
212. It was financed from Saudi Arabia so why isn't that being bombed?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #189
234. I don't think you answered my question
It does not matter much where 9-11 was launched from. The fact is that there are very few members of al Qaeda currently in Afghanistan. IF 9-11 was launched from Afghanistan -- and that has not been determined by any means -- how does that predict where another terrorist attack might come from.

We have killed orders of magnitude greater innocent civilians with our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than were killed on 9-11. How is that justified? Do you really think that we need to spend hundreds of billions of dollars per year on a war, killing untold numbers of civillians in the process and undermining our moral standing in the world, in order to hunt down 50-100 members of an organization that has many times that number of members scattered elsewhere in the world?
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PhillySane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #100
245. Correction
it was always a Neo-Con grab for oil. Don't kid yourself about this one.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #100
360. War in Iraq was planned over decades --- not a "mistake" ... it was a crime ....
certainly part of CIA picture -- oil as a national security issue --

And WE put the "tin pot dictator" there --

Afghanistan was also a crime -- since when do you attack an entire nation and

occupy it for 10 years because a few "terrorists" are in the country?

Maybe we should have bombed all of Misssissippi to rid ourselves of the KKK?

As our Pentagon made clear to W Bush ... Global Warming is more of a threat to

our nation than "terrorism."

There would have been no Afghanistan or Iraq wars without the many lies of the

right wing -- including the biggest one: 9/11


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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #25
359. Congress also long ignored the "Signing Statements" ... yet Congress is
responsible for seeing that the legislation they pass is carried out

"in the spirit and with the intent" with which Congress passed the legislation!!


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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
16. The #1 priority on Obama's list should be the class war against working people,
but it's not!
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Foo Fighter Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #16
47. Ah, but it is.
He's doing everything he can to escalate it from what I have seen.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #16
73. Rather ironic that you should say that ....
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 12:10 AM by defendandprotect
unfortunately, this isn't a question of Obama not knowing what to do ....

it's a question of Obama being on the wrong side of these issues --

i.e., on the corporate/elite side --

Over and over and over again we have seen this --

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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
20. Thanks for articulating my values. Sometimes it seems few people share them.
I believe it's become increasingly hard to speak about these things with a wider group, because the media is not 'progressive.' It creates the common language and offers a false choice, with a little bit to egg us on to think they represent our views.

But they never go the whole way to allow reasonable debate or discussion, always keeping the issues narrowly confined. Sort of ultra-right and not-so-right, while harping on any issue to keep our eyes off the real things that affect us, like class warfare. We already self-censor ourselves because we too, hear the voices in our head from the paid shills who are against us.

It's demoralizing, as we never know who is buying this stuff. It makes us seem antsy and if we are not being honest, when we are trying to not offend those memes. The Republicans through repetition have literally taken the words out of our mouths.

They pre-emptively attack whatever term we try to use to describe what we need to say. They worked half a century to make socialism a term for totalitarianism, created a set of myths to make the word liberal mean depravity. This last year they've attacked the word progressive.

There is no defense when our words are stolen from us and many simply don't dare to talk about things. If we use our religious faith or facts to disprove what they are saying about, advocate for the poor or otherwise discriminated against, they call us one of these things. The really strong voices are not allowed to speak. I'm not sure what the answer for us is, but I'll discuss your points with other people who can spread the word.

Thanks for re-posting and updating this for us.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. "I'm not sure what the answer for us is,"
The answer is to become action oriented. Take action that strip corporations of power and give more power to companies that share our view. Why should a person that buys anything from Walmart, including drawers, complain about Walmart mistreating it's workforce? The fact is that if Walmart shrank because other retail options took it's place, Walmart workers would increasingly find jobs with the alternatives. Why should anyone complain about outsourcing of jobs when such a person does not put in a concerted effort to find and patronize those companies the refuse to outsource manufacturing? Why should anyone that work in a city, but want a big house and lawn in the suburbs complain about the stranglehold that big oil has on the economy, or about oil leaks? The answer is choices have consequences, making a different set of choices will produce a different set of consequences.
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #26
54. Thanks, but I've already done every bit of that in my life and so have my friends.
We've done all we can except for going to the country with a like minded group to live and give up on modern society, I guess. That's how some individuals answer the call of noncooperation with these corporatists, perhaps.

But in the realm of negotiating and working with different groups in a city environment, we're talking words and ideas. In working with strangers especially, it's difficult to find the words now. Because so many of my neighbors, even in what has been a safely Democratic area with progressive ideas, we are now barely a majority.

We have people moving in who are Republicans and are voting against everything we've voted to continue to maintain civilization and humanity if you want to call it that.

They come in and act like Rambos and Mad Max, complete with their bigotry, yet you must work with them. Whatever they hear on FOX or talk radio is gospel alongside what they heard in the new more rightist churches they are building in our neighborhoods.

They don't want to hear any of the words I mentioned above. You get marginalized in meetings with them, have to talk their lingo. But to me, their words are twisted. They are really enthusiastic about the power from either stonewalling or yelling at those of us trying to work with them.

But very good suggestions you made, for someone who hasn't done all of those things yet.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:46 AM
Response to Reply #54
117. What does you living among rambos, mad maxes and right-wing religious
people have to do with your own personal choices? Do they tell you what car to buy? Or how far you drive between work and home? Or whether you hop in your car and go to shop at retailers that sell only imported products? If so, you live in a place that I have never experienced in my life to date, and believe me, I was born and raised in rightwingville.
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #117
157. I already said I'd done all you mentioned, they don't affect my personal choices.
And I grew up in rightwingville myself, and have lived in areas where the KKK burns crosses out in the fields of their supporters. Where the Confederate flag is still flown and you'd better not say the words liberal, socialist or progressive if you want to keep working there or attending the local church. So I'm no innocent.

I live in a Democratic stronghold that is barely holding on and talking about when one has to interact with people in different community activities and when organizing for community issues. Getting together to go to legislators, working with organizations that affect public and not private policies.

The face to face things where people are fighting over money for parks, schools, health care, transportation, land use, police, firemen, care for the poor and disabled, etc. That's the arena I'm talking about.

I've done all that you mention on the consumer and lifestyle front. All of my personal choices fit in the realm you're talking about. I've done all that. That's the fourth or fifth time I've said this, but it seems that somehow we're not on the same page here.

I'm more than a consumer in my life and it's not just about how I live my life personally. I have to get together on a regular basis with people planning things in the pubic sphere, and that's what I mean.

You and I are not disagreeing about lifestyle choices, but we don't seem to be able to communicate even on a progressive website, where we appreciate the same politics and making personal choices that are independent of the corporatist mindset, can we?
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #157
194. "independent of the corporatist mindset"
A choice of words more than anything else often defines. You claim to make the same personal choices as I do, yet I know that my choice of where I buy my shirts, shoes, belts, drawers and trousers can effect whether a big executive at some crap importing retailer gets a multi-million dollar bonus, if my decision is multiplied by millions of decisions. Your words say that you feel the invisible hand of that same executive is steadily around your throat, regardless of how hard you try to throw it off. Bunk.

The one suggestion that I have for you on your social and town-hall citizen participation situation is that you focus on influencing those that are not there yet, but can be influenced. The "amen brother" adherents around you that you call progressive are not the ones that you need to work on. How about the man or woman or teenager that shows visible discomfort when a right-winger is mouthing off, but otherwise says nothing? How about the moderate that will swing you way if you present a compelling rationale? Have you even tried crafting appeals to their sensibilities? A person's reactions speak volumes about where they are as people, those that have natural intuition pick up on that and work with that glimmer of hope. Right-wingers can't control what people who naturally disagree with their viewpoint do in a voting booth, unless they intimidate that person by going into the voting booth with them, but a voter can ask officials to prevent such action, or better, choose to vote when the bully can't be around to watch over the vote. So, do you craft your arguments to lure in those that mostly agree with you on the fringes during town-hall meetings, or do you focus on red faced, showboat speeches to the amen choir? How you conduct your public discourse can mean a world of difference to the results. BTW, I was born and raised in rightwingville, but during my high school years the region started to change as professional educators migrated into schools, now my rightwingville place of birth and rearing is a moderate hotspot, headed haltingly toward progressive. Also, BTW, my birth region was the one that elected Adam, the former Florida Congressman that progressives like you so love, of course he was voted out, but the result was razor close in a horrid election for democrats - so there is hope anywhere if thoughtful, hard work is put in. I live in a mostly progressive state, but even here, it is the compelling arguments that carry the day.
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creon Donating Member (723 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #117
158. well worth reading
Good posts bluestate; logical, dispassionate.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #158
196. You have no idea how much your recognition means. I mostly feel like I'm swimming in molasses
on DU. Discouraging given that I share so much in common with members here, with exception, the lurking freepers.
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BobbyBoring Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #196
225. It THINK
repeat think that was the jist of this OP. We all know we have a huge problem, especially those of us that are pushing 60. We just can't find a common solution. That is where the rights power lies. They take a simplistic smattering of talking points and pound them in to indisputable facts although they're anything but. Most of the most common could be dismissed with the slightest bit of thought but thinking is not chic in their world and it seems to be all we do.

You make some great points but we're a little past some of the points you make. While it's true that if we all bought only American products, things would be different but that's not going to happen. The mentality of the average American is not what it used to be. We have kids graduating from high school that can't read or write and this is by design. The little that they do learn is skewed beyond recognition and if you look at what the TX board of ed. is doing, it's going to get worse.

We're all swimming in molasses! We just have to all start swimming in the right direction (when we figure out what that is)~
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creon Donating Member (723 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #225
338. the same way
I have very similar thoughts.


I am 65, and I thought that we would be better off than we are now. Sad to see.
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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #196
230. Here, here! But you're much more articulate than I am and doing a great job.
Even though you're a moderate and I'm a liberal, we agree very much on these issues. I'm coming from a more pragmatic point of view than I am a liberal/progressive place. I wish this country were more progressive than we are here on DU, but the reality is that it's not. However, I believe that change is coming; it's just not coming faster than we would have liked. I think that may be the reason for all the disillusionment in the progressive community. But that doesn't mean that the country is not evolving on a host of economic and social issues. It's just going to take time, and I believe that there are a lot of people who simply cannot accept that.
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creon Donating Member (723 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #196
337. I understand.
I feel the same way at times.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
24. Excellent post...Kr nt
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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
27. I would like to chip in that DADT repeal had nothing to do with the WH
President Obama would be just as happy with DADT still in place and DOMA alive and well.

The fact that he can be both for repeal of it in words to us while firmly against it via DoJ actions is masterful...and should not be rewarded by us.
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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
28. TFC - to me you are one of the most informed, analystic, and
well-spoken posts at DU

I wish you the most personal Peace and public Impact.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #28
384. Thank you very much pufpuf
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daleanime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
29. K&R.....
:applause:
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
30. Excellent OP, with the caveat that I wouldn't expect too much civility when folks
are being robbed blind, run out their unemployment, have their house foreclosed on, and have very little hope for the future. Those are the folks we are fighting for, and many are here amongst us. They ought to be angry, and we ought to be angry with them. Other than that point I absolutely agree with your OP and happy to K&R.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #30
39. The anger of which you speak...........
comes from a righteous place.
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
31. Excellent piece
Kudos to you for posting it.

On the initial statement about the principles that we allegedly have in common, which I've copied into a list here:

1) The right to an opportunity for a decent life (or economic justice)
2) Holding corporations responsible for their actions
3) Military intervention
4) Rights of accused persons
5) Election integrity
6) Our First Amendments protection of freedom of speech and of the press

I certainly share this list wholeheartedly. However, I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have been ganged up on for arguing precisely these points.

It seems that trumping ALL of these among too many DUers is another principle: Our side, right or wrong.

So when it comes to Obama's bailouts to corporations... you get people here straining themselves to believe that TARP was a good idea, and even that it made a profit, because Obama supports it. And you get people whose opposition to military adventurism evaporated the moment Obama made himself one with it. And so on and so forth, for every one of these things we supposedly share as common principles.

I'm afraid I can only conclude that most people don't really have principles, and perhaps many even don't understand what it means to hold one.
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
33. Thanks for so eloquently stating what my feelings have been since DADT. DADT was a big deal,
bigger than anything Obama has yet accomplished, IMHO, yet I feel they let it through only because it has nothing to do with their bottom line.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
36. K & R
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somone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
42. Recommended
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
44. A great post - well thought out and cogently expressed. Explains
why I've pretty much written off working for or donating to Team Obama in 2012. I will hold my nose and vote for Obama in the general election (assuming he wins re-nomination) against any conceivable opponent, but that's about it.
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True_Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
48. K&R! Excellent post! n/t
:kick:
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
50. K&R
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
52. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
 
kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
56. Thanks for your comments regarding the "divide" on DU...
Obviously, some think Obama is doing a great job. Others think he has done nowhere enough.

The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Maybe? The truth always seems to lie "somewhere between" with "moderates".

I think our country is in crisis, for all the reasons you say. But it is not possible to get done what needs to be done because the Republicans obstruct everything. Therefore, we get a half loaf whenever we can. Republicans never pay a political price. In fact, they get rewarded for blocking what needs to be done.

As we hear so often, politics is the art of the possible. We are to assume that what we get is all that is possible to get. We must compromise on every issue and every principle. Because no one side has a monopoly on the truth, right?

I appreciate the time you have taken to address these issues. They are important. Not just for the Democratic Party but for our country.

Thanks again!

kentuck
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quaker bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
60. For there to be a class war
both sides must put up a fight. Our side has been surrendering through the ballot box for 30 years. A real class war, if one existed, would elect a congress that would challenge President Obama from the left. It would not elect one that will stall him from the right.

You may feel that you are engaged in a class war personally, but the country at large does not agree and join you in this battle. No class war exists in the real world. It is more accurately termed an unopposed assault by capital on the middle and working classes.

You are correct, President Obama is not listening to you, he is listening to the country. All evidence from the election past indicates that the country wants the wealthy class to have their way with us. A President governs the country he/she lives in, not the country you and I may want to exist, but the one that actually does exist.

I think you dismiss DADT repeal too quickly. The reason corporations have opposed equality for the GLBT community is because partners will eventually be offered insurance coverage as are spouses, and they don't want to pick up the tab. This is the real reason for corporate funding for the defense of DOMA. Corporations could not give a flip about what we do in the bedroom or who we do it with, and never did. They just don't want them becoming covered dependents. Beating this back is a larger victory than you give credit for, and likely only would have come after a corporated funded "shellacking" at the polls from the defeated party. They had little to lose.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #60
83. Until we get rid of computer voting, we have no idea what the public is voting for ---
Thom Hartmann revealed some time ago that the Democratic Party has made this

a taboo subject for the party and its candidates! Thom said an elected Democrat

told him that the leadership is afraid to address the issue of computer voting

and hacking because if Democratic voters get the idea that our elections aren't

honest they may not come out to vote!!! :eyes:

Re DADT and DOMA -- agree that these should never have existed in the first place --

and should be overturned. Also imagine all of the Social Security money and

Medicare benefits never paid out to homosexuals/spouses!!

Exploitation = $$$$

However, if there are no corporate tax increases to repay money taken from Social

Security fund -- and the attack on Social Security succeeds -- that is another huge

gain for elites -- and another huge loss for average citizens.

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quaker bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #83
397. We don't have it here
and Grayson lost anyway. I am pretty sure what they are voting for, because I have met them.
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:16 AM
Response to Reply #60
96. I understand where you're coming from, but...
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 01:23 AM by liberation
... given the very low participation in elections among the US population, it is very dangerous to claim that an election in this country is representative of what "the country wants." Less than half of the illegible citizens vote, and given the "winner takes all" nature of the electoral process, most of those races are won by very slight majorities. So technically, most elections represent the clear will of slightly less than 1/4 of the population. The other 75% is basically unrepresented. So I would be very careful when claiming that an election in the US is a clear representation of what the nation "wants."

I can tell you one thing is clear to me, most people just stop giving a damn about the political process. And the few who actually care enough about politics to have an opinion, are usually incredibly ill informed individuals.

Furthermore, a leader is supposed to do just that: lead, not follow. For example, if the office of the president was subjected to what the majority opinion on issues are, black people would to this day still be enslaved. What made this country great is not that the majority opinion always prevailed, but rather that those championing what was right were able to prevaile even when facing an overwhelming resistance. Also it seems that according to your representation, Mr. Obama is very selective with regards to when he decides to "listen" to what the will of the country is supposed to be. If he is listening to the results from 2010, he obviously decided to ignore the same "vox publica" as represented by the 08 and 06 electoral cycles.


I don't think that most people in this country decided to side with the wealthy, in my own personal opinion people in this country stopped giving a damn because it has been clear for a while that there is little to no representation for the common citizen. The more worrying aspect is how a nation built out of a supposed revolution of "brave and free" men became such a breeding field of sheep.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #96
104. Great point about those not voting .... and right wing has been very successful at
enlarging those numbers and keeping non-voters home --

Both parties have very limited debate issues -- and both avoid POPULIST messages --

Gore regretted listening to the DLC on that -- and left the DLC after the 2000 election.

Both parties also worked together to put a PRIVATE CORPORATION in charge of the presidential

debates!!

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quaker bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #96
146. Reality is best taken at face value
Elections are reality. Most people don't "stop giving a damn" about the political process. Actually, to portend that they "stop giving a damn" implies that they "gave a damn" in the first place and there is virtually no evidence for this. There is manipulation of the election process, but never enough to effect any but the closest races. Manipulation did not create the victory in 2008 or the defeat in 2010. The margins in both cases were too large.

We do not elect dictators. The people we elect govern in context. The clear message of the voters in 2006 and 2008, was never as clear as you believe. If it had been, the voters would have thrown out all those who did not hear it in 2010, instead of leaving them behind and then electing more.

You are wrong on slavery. Anti-slavery sentiment was strong in the Union States and became stronger once the war began. Slave labor gave the Confederacy its economic power and emancipation was not only popular among Union State voters, but an important part of the economic strategy to put the Confederacy down, permanently. Once the war began, emancipation was near inevitable as a political consequence. Reconstruction put freed men in charge of most southern states, this was no accident politically, and a naked expression of in your face political dominance by the victors.







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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
64. K & R, bookmarked
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man4allcats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
66. K&R!
Thank-you, Time for change. I couldn't have said it better. Hell, I probably couldn't have said it nearly as well.

:kick: :kick: :kick:
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
67. K&R
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
68. K&R n/t
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-10 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
70. Of course, you are correct ... why would it even have to be explained?
But I do disagree on the "split" or the "divide" --

it is certainly at the minimum 50% -- because Skinner has made clear that in order to put

down this revolt he'd have to "ban half of my members" --

We have been aggressively banning the worst-of-the-worst, and we will continue to do so. We have been shutting down any posts about DUers rather than about issues. But I do not think it is realistic to insist that DUers share my opinion of President Obama. Take a look at the people who are disappointed: They are not all trolls, disruptors, or malcontents. Many of them are long-time Democrats and long-time DUers who have supported the Democratic Party and Democratic Underground for years. I can't make people put on a happy face if that is not what they are really feeling. I know that almost everyone will do the right thing at election time, but right now they are angry. I'm not about to ban half of my members.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...



However, it looks to me more like 90% of the active posters are in what I would call a

post-Obama/post-Democratic Party mode --




:nuke:

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #70
165. I agree it's more than 50% --
Maybe closer to 90%. I don't think it's over 90%.

I hadn't seen that quote by Skinner, thanks, that's nice.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #165
366. True ... and .... it means most of DU is in a post-Obama mode ....
Edited on Mon Dec-27-10 12:23 AM by defendandprotect
a post-Democratic Party mode --

and if you read what Skinner is saying in that ATA reply, he seems to be saying that

his interests lie in keeping people who want to "build the community" -- i.e., DU is

what I presume he means ... ???

And a suggestion perhaps that he thinks that those who no longer support Obama and

Democratic Party are trying to do damage to DU and the community here.

Rather, I think Skinner needs to rethink that one -- and understand that we aren't all

here for the sake of DU -- we're not here to preserve anything but small "d" democracy.

DU is a wayside -- and wherever liberals/progressives are we are a "community."

We're here as long as Obama and the Democrats work for people not corporations --

So far, that's not what we're seeing --






---------------------

Of course, you are correct ... why would it even have to be explained?
But I do disagree on the "split" or the "divide" --

it is certainly at the minimum 50% -- because Skinner has made clear that in order to put

down this revolt he'd have to "ban half of my members" --

We have been aggressively banning the worst-of-the-worst, and we will continue to do so. We have been shutting down any posts about DUers rather than about issues. But I do not think it is realistic to insist that DUers share my opinion of President Obama. Take a look at the people who are disappointed: They are not all trolls, disruptors, or malcontents. Many of them are long-time Democrats and long-time DUers who have supported the Democratic Party and Democratic Underground for years. I can't make people put on a happy face if that is not what they are really feeling. I know that almost everyone will do the right thing at election time, but right now they are angry. I'm not about to ban half of my members.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph ...


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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
84. Outstanding and painstakingly thoughtful and sincerely
laid out and argued as always, TFC. K & R.
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FrancisTreptoe Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
89. Thank you.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 12:57 AM by FrancisTreptoe
This is the most accurate descriptions of current events i've ever read. Just a really great post.

I've been saying all along that socials issues like DADT are only to distract mainstream conversation from the real issues that are facing america. Social issues like DADT shouldn't even be a discussion, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that it was a hateful and hypocritical policy. There was no need to even waste time arguing DADT when we could have been discussing serious issues like class warfare and our slow switch from a representative democracy to an oligarchy.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
93. K&R. Thank you for saying this so well. //nt
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abq e streeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
98. I've lost track of how many times now that you've spoken for me
but you just did again, and brilliantly as usual. I have always tried to be civil in my disagreements here (as opposed to with republicans , with whom I will not waste a moment of my life trying to argue with or convince of anything) with those who still believe Mr.Obama to be doing a good job as President, but I just can't force myself to believe what I see with my own to eyes to not be true , anymore... For whatever reason, he has been mostly a disaster, in my opinion, for many of the same reasons you clearly explained.
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colsohlibgal Donating Member (670 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:29 AM
Response to Original message
103. Amen He's Been Another "DINO" President.
Nixon on most things was left of both Obama and Clinton and that says a mouthful. When you compare his rhetoric in campaign mode to his rhetoric and actions as President he's two entirely different people and not in a good way.

Some of his deeds are pretty deceitful like saying he'd go to the mat for a public option after he had already sold it out to the insurance companies. Thanks to HuffPo for exposing that lie.

I can't shake off the feeling that we'll only get minor changes around the edges, nothing more, with the current two party system, a system which is largely run by bribery; and with an under informed and misinformed pliable, gullible public.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #103
105. "Nixon on most things was left of both Obama and Clinton" ---
and sad to say you've pretty much summed things up -- !!

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urbuddha Donating Member (266 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:57 AM
Response to Reply #105
108. We should start a Class War Forum and find ways to solve it
I know they have the power and the money but there are far more of us. If we put our heads to it
we can probably make a difference.
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azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:26 AM
Response to Reply #108
112. What, program voting machines with secret proprietary codes?
owned and tabulated by progressive businesses?

And beat them at their own game? Or fix the damned voting mess?

You are proposing voting the rats out, right? Not just banging heads together?
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azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:18 AM
Response to Original message
111. The narrative on this president in financial media
is told in stories as being anti-business or of his returning to businesses' good graces. Nothing there about labor or peoples' interests, as if they are no longer in the money-power equation in any meaningful way.

It looks and sounds like criticism from business interests is what is prodding his actions. Business interests are speaking together loud and clear, peoples' are not. We be seeing the resultant anti-progressive legislation.

People are divided and disadvantaged because business holds their jobs hostage but business doesn't necessarily have to act in their best interests when they buy legislation. Some are good businesses, some not.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #111
113. or maybe that's just political cover.
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BigBearJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:53 AM
Response to Original message
120. Thank GOD we still have people like you on DU. I will stick around for moments like these. K/R
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:14 AM
Response to Original message
128. K&R&bookmarked.
:kick:
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Phlem Donating Member (580 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:31 AM
Response to Original message
131. Perfect!
I don't know what else to say but SPOT ON!

-p
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Bluesbreaker Donating Member (205 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:34 AM
Response to Original message
132. Well said
K&R
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
138. K&R
Time for change, thank you so much. You have perfectly summarized my feelings on this issue. While I supported and celebrate the repeal of DADT, the victory did not suddenly make me forget about multiple capitulations to the greedy ruling right wing.
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Pooka Fey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:51 AM
Response to Original message
141. Brilliant post. Thank you.
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democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:21 AM
Response to Original message
144. Thoughtful post.
There are many DUers whose opinions I value but when it comes to formulating an opinion on Obama`s presidency, I look to my own values for the answer. Truth is, if President Obama continues a policy I was against under George Bush, I`m still against it. If President Obama favors Wall Street over Main Street, I still don`t like it and the occupation of Afghanistan doesn`t appeal to me simply because a Democratic president is overseeing it now.

Progressives understand and care about class issues of social and economic justice. We know these are life and death issues we can`t overlook while politicians run around naming bridges and holding fundraisers. Based on my values, I believe President Obama has squandered a historic opportunity. I`ve lived almost seven decades so I don`t need a lecture on compromise and patience. President Obama is a heartbreaking disappointment to me.
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nc4bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
148. Epic post that breaks it down to the gritty. K&R. nt
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creon Donating Member (723 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
155. my values as well
Those are my values as well; which have not changed.

But, many people do not share those values; they did not share them in the 1960s, and do not share them now.

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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
156. A rarity on DU: a thoughtful, well-written, detailed post
:thumbsup:
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
159. I can't find a single thing I disagree with here
Well said.
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
160. For starters ...
the self-evident claims stated in the Declaration of Independence are false in reality.
Which means that the Declaration of Independence is propaganda.

Now ask who wrote it, and the answer is self-evident: The Master Class.

The split in DU, from my point of view, is between faux progressives who believe the propaganda, and progressives who know better.
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sirthomas66 Donating Member (336 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
161. Most excellent post, good sir.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
163. Yeah, the United States isn't all that.
There are massive problems that have been decades in the making

Still, why is a laundry list of what's wrong with this country being used to define the Obama Presidency?

<...>

A summary of why I am so disappointed in Obamas presidency

In a nutshell, I believe that the Obama presidency has by and large not held to the ideals that I discussed above. We are now in the midst of a class war in the United States, the results of which are of monumental importance to the American people. In this class war, the corporate class has used their wealth to consolidate political control of our country, which they use to expand their wealth at the expense of almost everyone else. It seems to me and many others that Obama has come down firmly on the side of the corporate class.

<...>

Obamas supporters note that many of us dont even get excited about such victories as the repeal of DADT, and they ask what has happened to DU? What has happened is that we have a Democratic president whom many or most of us have come to believe is very bad for our country. More specifically, we believe that his actions have repeatedly supported the wrong side in the ongoing class war. We cannot get excited about small victories because they dont seem to us to matter that much in the context of todays overall picture.

<...>

The wealthy/corporate class is winning the class war big time, and President Obama gives little evidence of being part of the solution. For all the reasons Ive described, we see him more as part of the problem. Progressive victories that do not affect the class war in our favor do little to change our minds about this. Unless and until the President shows himself willing and capable of challenging powerful interests on our behalf we will probably continue to see him as part of the problem.

Of course most of us recognize that the obstacles to challenging powerful corporate interests in todays world are considerable. We do not know for sure that another president could do better. But we want to see our president at the very least make a visible effort to challenge them and to adhere to his campaign promises on our behalf.

<...>



Let's assess:

BIGGEST. TAX CUT. EVER...:

Chris Hayes had a similar observation.

On the politics side of the ledger, Ben Smith notes Obama's emphasis on the tax cuts in the bill. I'm not necessarily a fan, though politically it's true that every single Republican member of congress can now be accused of "Voting against the biggest tax cut in history" come next election." Clearly, this hasn't escaped the White House's notice.


The ARRA:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, abbreviated ARRA (Pub.L. 111-5), is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009. The Act of Congress was based largely on proposals made by President Barack Obama and was intended to provide a stimulus to the U.S. economy in the wake of the economic downturn. The measures are nominally worth $787 billion. The Act includes federal tax cuts, expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions, and domestic spending in education, health care, and infrastructure, including the energy sector. The Act also includes numerous non-economic recovery related items that were either part of longer-term plans (e.g. a study of the effectiveness of medical treatments) or desired by Congress (e.g. a limitation on executive compensation in federally aided banks added by Senator Dodd and Rep. Frank). The government action is much larger than the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which consisted primarily of tax rebate checks.


Add to that the home buyers credit, cash for clunkers and student financial aid.

The ARRA benefitted millions of Americans. This President has done more for low-income middle-class Americans than any in generations.

From HCR that expands Medicaid, bans denying coverage based on a pre-existing conditions, free preventive care even for Medicare recipients, banning lifetime limits and rescission to the stimulus provisions, including the Making Work Pay credit, to Wall Street reform and the new consumer agency to student loan reform and massive Pell Grant support to the green initiatives, how can anyone lay all Americas ills at the feet of this President and not give him any credit for improving the situation?

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (More)

Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009

Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 (Kerry-Lugar includes funding for Obama's global poverty initiative)

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009

End of 22-Year Discriminatory Travel Ban

Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act

Stopping Conflict-related Sexual Violence Against Women and Children

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (More)

VA is making it easier for veterans to get help for PTSD.

HHS announces first national strategy for HIV/AIDS.

Federal Medical Leave Act extended by Department of Labor to include same-sex relationships.

Executive order reversing stem cell ban.

Prevent hospitals from denying visitation privileges to same-sex partners.

Banning antibiotics in livestock production

LGBT-Inclusive Sexual Education

Fair Sentencing Act

Enforcing the National Voter Registration Act for the first time in its 15-year history

Appointing Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

The Tribal Law and Order Act

Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act

Wall Street Reform

Appointing Elizabeth Warren as the first-ever consumer advocate

Elizabeth Warren Recruits Dodd-Frank Enforcers From 50 States

Ending the combat mission in Iraq

Strict Rules for Regulators on Ties to the Oil Industry

No more exemptions from environmental studies for deep drilling

Small Business Jobs Act of 2010

Manufacturing Enhancement Act

Obamas Development Reforms: From Charity to Growth

The First Large-Scale Solar Energy Plants on Public Lands

Sustainability projects across the country

First national emissions and fuel economy standards for heavy vehicles

Big Win for the Obama Administration

The President Signs Repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell": "Out of Many, We Are One"

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

Tax Cuts, Unemployment Insurance and Jobs

Support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Scientific Integrity Directive (America COMPETES Act)

Pigford, Cobell Settlements




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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #163
167. "Why is a laundry list of what's wrong with this country being used to define the Obama Presidency?"
That's not what I did. I specifically referred to things that Obama has done. Check out the links.

A laundry list of all the things that he's accomplished doesn't make up for the fact that on any issue where pressure is brought to bear on him by powerful financial interests, he always sides with them.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #167
172. And they are inaccurate
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 10:28 AM by ProSense
His administration engineered a multi-trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street, while compiling the worst record on job creation since the Hoover administration (wrong), and leaving millions of desperate Americans largely to fend for themselves, as millions lose their homes. It sponsored a health care reform bill that consolidates control of health care in the hands of the health insurance industry by mandating that most Americans purchase their product. It withholds information from the American public on Bush administration torture of terrorist suspects. Obama continues the Afghanistan War for no apparent good reason despite its great costs in blood, treasure, and the reputation of our country. He has made no attempt to hold the Bush administration accountable for its war crimes. He appointed a right wing commission to study our budget deficit, which everyone knew (correctly) would come out with recommendations to weaken Social Security. And he engaged in behind-the-scenes efforts to privatize Social Security. His administration has repeatedly engaged in efforts to privatize primary education in our country. He approved offshore oil drilling that he had specifically denounced during his campaign for President. He made a deal with Republicans for a massive tax cut bill that gave far more to the wealthy than to the poor and middle class, after campaigning on doing just the opposite. His FCC Chairman recently acceded to corporate demands against Internet neutrality, apparently with encouragement to do so from the White House. And he failed to achieve any kind of agreement at the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen approximating the minimum of what climate change scientists say is necessary to prevent widespread human catastrophe.


The jobs claim is laughable. The bleeding from the Bush years continued for the first half of 2009, and have had a negative impact on the President's record thus far. He banned offshore drilling for seven years. Claiming that the President is secretly attacking Social Security is hyperbole. And you talk about Copenhagen, but fail to mention Cancun. Besides, this President has one of the greenest records in history. The fact is that you are taking a two-year-old Presidency and selectively using things that are in progress to denounce the achievements already made.



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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #172
197. Thanks man. Why in hell did the calvary take so long to get here?
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 12:06 PM by bluestate10
I felt like Custer at Little Big Horn. :-)
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hay rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #172
201. Jobs claim rebuttal laughable.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 12:36 PM by hay rick
From the article cited:

Pelosi's statement: "More private-sector jobs were created in the first eight months of 2010 than in the eight years of the Bush administration," (from an interview on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Oct. 21, 2010.)

The PolitiFact article gives Pelosi credit for being technically correct but also points out how she cherry-picked her facts with her choice of statistics and dates.

<snip>

First, Pelosi carefully cited private-sector employment, not total employment. There's a valid reason to focus on private-sector jobs rather than government jobs, since private-sector jobs produce income-boosting goods and services to a degree that government jobs do not. Still, choosing private-sector jobs helps Pelosi's case in a crucial way: If she'd chosen total employment instead, her formulation would have been wrong.

Total employment -- that is, the combination of private- and public-sector jobs -- during Bush's tenure increased by 1.08 million, while total employment in 2010 has increased by 599,000. (Quick aside: Who would have thought that federal and state government jobs would have increased by 1.7 million in eight years under Bush and fallen by 357,000 since President Barack Obama took office?)

Second, Pelosi chose her start and end dates in a way that's highly favorable to Obama and unfavorable to Bush.

If she'd instead chosen to start from the beginning of Obama's term -- rather than half way through his first two years -- she would be stuck with a net loss of nearly 3 million private-sector jobs, not the increase of 847,000 she came up with for 2010. Pelosi essentially started counting from the low point for jobs and only counted the upward part of the trendline.

<snip>

Wikipedia article on job creation by President here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobs_created_during_U.S._p...


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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #201
207. Give credit where it is due.
Obama from the time he was inaugurated on jan 21, 2009 has been steadily pulling the country out of the shit hopper that Bush had put it in. Obama made astounding progress in preventing the economy from sinking and drowning. I have not been happy with all of Obama's choices, or with his tone toward republicans, but in my analysis, he has been an effective President that is worthy of my vote in 22 months hence.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #172
239. Do you deny that NET job creation during the Obama administration has been negative?
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PhillySane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
166. Echos
Thank you T for C for laying this out. You echo much of what I've been thinking lately.

I would like to argue on behalf of progressives that what has happened during Obama's presidency is a pushing of the left off the table. What I mean is, much of what he's done I would think is more of a centrist's view. We can't even put the truly "left" ideas out there because they are now considered much too radical. A Public Option in health care reform for example. Many main-streamer's think this is a radical left-wing approach to reform. But in fact, many of our democratic allies like Canada, France and Great Britain (for god's sake) already have it and it has worked well for them for years. Why is this considered radical here?

So to our militaristic stance. The cold war is long over and there is simply no need to maintain this kind of military budget any longer. Yet, when we say cut the military down to size, we are considered radicals. When we say out of Iraq, out of Afghanistan, we are told it's much too early for that. These are the longest wars we've ever fought, and yet, it's a radical idea to end them now after 9 years of fighting them.

Climate change is now, once again, a radical viewpoint. Somehow the public once again believes that it may all be a bunch of hogwash. Never mind what scientists continue to say. Never mind that they now think its happening much faster than they even thought a few years ago. Never mind weather conditions around the globe that point to it every day. This is now science fiction. Taking dramatic action on it is much too radical. Drill baby, drill!

And finally, the class warfare. We are radical because we believe that Obama has not moved to help the 99% of people who truly need economic help. But, he has not hesitated to give the wealthy, who now out rank our own personal wealth by 225 to 1, great big, enormous handouts. They have not done anything to stimulate the economy, they are just putting that cash in their pockets and keeping it there. Except when they need an expensive vacation in Europe or another house to de-stress themselves. Of course, silly rabbit! Don't you know its radical to give money to poor people? That's not how the system works you commie! The banks HAVE to foreclose! Large corporations HAVE to cut back and lay people off! Don't worry, it'll all trickle down some day. Relax, its just the way it works.

Well, I'm tired of hearing this crap. All of it. You'd think with a progressive in office, we'd be much closer to where we should be in terms of our national mindset. Instead, we are radicals to believe that the dramatic changes we were promised in 08 would come to pass within two years. In fact, now it seems as though they were much too unrealistic to even attempt.

This is the true success of the Republican Party, their Corporate handlers and the media which they have their hands on the buttons of. They have "pushed-back" progressive to where it now reads as radical.

Honestly, I don't think I'm a radical. Do you?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #166
246. You and I and so many other DUers are all "radical" from the standpoint of the corporate media
because, as you point out, we believe that national policies should be aimed mainly at helping the 99% of people who need it most, and stopping the crooks from the other 1% from stealing our posessions.
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PhillySane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #246
256. Not only that
but when 50% or more want a public option, or to end the wars, or to do something about climate change, they always find a way to push that number back, so the strongest proponents on change of these issues begin to look radical.
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craigmatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
168. Personally I see nothing wrong with lively debate here. I don't see our differences
as a split. It's more like a family argument. The fact is that many democrats aren't progressives and many progressives aren't democrats. We can disagree and be civil. Obama can be seen from many different angles here. He made alot of speeches during the campaign and promised alot as a result. He wasn't able to do everything he wanted and in some cases made some bad deals. Still what president doesn't do that? It's obvious he wants to be president for everybody and would rather make deals than pick fights. The problem is that there isn't a consensus environment for him to do that right now. He would've been a great president to have in the 1950's (race aside) because that's the kind of environment that would suit him better. I don't see him as a total sell out because if you look at history some of the most progressive governments made concessions to private industry. FDR gave out huge industurial contracts during the war. LBJ sold the great society as good for business because the country could afford it and it would raise the standard of living for the worker and management. In the UK, Clemente Attlee(a socialist) bribed the medical industry to get universal health care.
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BlueJac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
169. Very well said..........
1000 k&R
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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
170. K&R
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swilton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
171. Thanks for an excellent post that lays out the arguments
I have often heard the term 'Obama hater' bantered about here as well in the same way that my conservative family members accused me of being a Bush hater due to my criticism of the policies of former President Bush....This is in essence a Republican tactic of attacking the messenger and not the message.


I do not hate Obama - hate is an ugly word and I do not/have not hated anyone...

I do challenge Rachel Maddow's defenses of Obama - his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and her litany of 'successes' of the Obama administration....The bar has been set so low from previous administrations (Democrat as well as Republican) that these can hardly be classified as reforms much less get the country on the track to a better future...
Obama's policies are not what he promised during his primary and general election campaigns and he is guilty, at a minimum of deception...I do not believe he is weak - he is just not the person that he campaigned to be.

While I support the repeal of DADT - it is going to divide the lower classes in the same way that race has....This will be a challenge to the progressives to find a replacement for Obama....
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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
173. TARP, better known as the "Wall Street Bailout" was the work of Bush and Paulson.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 10:38 AM by Liberal_Stalwart71
Not Obama. That is wrong!

And Obama has come down "firmly" on the side of corporations? Really? I don't think so.

Obama was the cause of the worst job loss since the Herbert Hoover administration? Wrong!! We began losing upwards of 750,000 jobs every month before Obama was inauguration. Admittedly he has not brought the unemployment down and hasn't created enough jobs. But it is absolutely outrageous to blame the administration for ALL of this country's employment problems.

If you're unhappy with Obama, you need to direct at least half of the blame to the Republicans in the Senate and Blue Dog Democrats who didn't push for more comprehensive Wall Street reforms.

To blame all of our countries legislative ills on one man is not only ridiculous, it's on the wrong side of history and woefully disrespects how our U.S. Constitution works.

While I agree with the 7 moral principles to which progressives subscribe, I think this thread is full of misinformation and lacks an acknowledgement of the current political landscape.

You are incredibly naive.
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PhillySane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #173
181. I would agree with that point
you make. It was Bush who let the economy go to hell in a hen basket. It was his actions (TARP) that gave it all back to the rich, taking it away from the rest of us. But shouldn't Obama have read this as a radical right approach? Shouldn't he have tried harder to let's say "get our backs" when it came to crunch time? I mean do you really think that the banks deserve to foreclose on ALL of those houses? Shouldn't unemployment extension be a no-brainer and not tied to tax-cuts for the wealthy? Come on.
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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #181
184. Perhaps he did. Perhaps, however, it was having to deal with Blue Dogs
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 10:59 AM by Liberal_Stalwart71
in the Congress who pushed for watered down regulations. Remember these acts take place in the Congress. How would he get anything done with the Republicans in the Senate blocking every piece of legislation? Or, even the DLCers and Blue Dogs in BOTH houses of Congress who would voted against stronger regulations? Come on. One man cannot make change. There are THREE branches of government. The Constitution gives the "powers of the purse" to the Congress, specifically the House of Representatives, NOT the Executive Branch.

We need to be realistic about these things.

It's not over yet. We have to realize that things are going to get worse now that the Republicans control the House and picked up more seats in the Senate.

The bottom line is that we needed more Democrats to get out and vote. Not enough Democrats--indeed, not enough PROGRESSIVE Democrats--has been the problem.

Change comes from the bottom up! We need to prepare more, not less, progressives for lower offices.

It's going to get worse indeed because the Republicans now control the majority of state legislatures and governorships. That has nothing to do with Obama. It has more to do with the fact that not enough Democrats vote.
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PhillySane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #184
198. My opinion on the houses
is that (if I were president) I would not be taking a vacation right now. No, and neither house would be either. All of them owed it to the American people to stay and fight for as long as it took. The government doesn't change hands until Jan 5th. I'm a little disgusted that he's having fun in the sun while the rest of us freeze our asses off and count our nickels. They ALL gave up much too fast.
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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #198
215. You're grossly misinformed. He spent Christmas with the family in HI
then spent time with the troops. The president does not control the Congress nor its rules. If you're going to be angry, please direct that anger at Pelosi and Reid, both of whom set the calendar. It seems that you're trying to find a reason to blame the president for everything. And that's unfortunate.
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PhillySane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #215
217. Last time I checked
It's always sunny in Hawaii (not in Philadelphia or Washington DC). And the Prez ALWAYS has the last say, with his pen. He's supposed to lead the party, not help it cave at the last minute. Then call them purists to boot. That's not what I signed up for. Especially after eight years of Bush.
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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #217
223. I don't know what you're talking about here. And last time I checked, the Constitution
has not been amended to alter the powers of the Legislative Branch (Article I) and the Executive Branch (Article II). Again, you are desperately trying to find a way to blame the president for everything that has happened. I'm not at all pleased with all of his decisions; I think he could have done some things differently. However, I am well aware that he cannot affect change by himself. It takes acts of Congress to do that. And I firmly believe that the Congress is broken, specifically the Senate.

I'm going to end this conversation with you because it's not going anywhere, no matter what I say. I think you're divorced from reality due to your disappointment with Obama.
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PhillySane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #223
226. Sorry
I know we are going to disagree on the finer points here. Basically, we do agree in a general sense. But, we should never end the discussion. That's what keeps us alive in a democracy.
Divorced from reality? I've been trying to do that since Bush was elected in 2000.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #223
362. Evidently Obama can make back room deals with GOP, with Big Pharma and with private H/C industry ..
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 11:57 PM by defendandprotect
and "effect change by himself" -- !!!

Only someone in total denial will fail to get that -- !!

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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #173
199. Hail, Hail, Hail!!!!! nt.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #173
247. The Wall Street bailout
It was begun by Bush and Paulson. It was CONTINUED by Obama and Geithner, and that required new legislation. I discuss it in detail in this article, which includes quotes from several of our best economists warning against the Obama/Geithner plan:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

There has been NET job loss during the Obama administration -- and that does not include lost jobs prior to Obama taking office.

I am not blaming it all on Obama. You are quite right that the Republicans in Congress are at least as much to blame, and probably a lot more. My beef with Obama is that he is way too much like a Republican -- not as bad, but way too close.
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Mosaic Donating Member (851 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
179. The Declaration's View on Equality
Is the first and most important progressive value in my opinion. As my tag line says we are all equal, men, women, all races, etc. If you are a student of anthropology like I am you can see how we all evolved from a small group of humans thousands of years ago, we share much more in common than the small differences like skin color, religion, or transient heritage.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
182. this is not new
We are now in the midst of a class war in the United States

We've been in the midst of a class war since 1980 when reagan won.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #182
250. That is true -- and we are losing it worse now than we have been since the Great Depression
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MissDeeds Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
185. Excellent post
K&R
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
191. Poverty and Class Warfare ...
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 11:37 AM by mntleo2
...the saddest party of class warfare I see is the divide between the middle class and poor, where the middle class often "sides" with the rich when THEY are as much the victims of elitist greed as the poor. Often the poor try to get the middle class to see what the hell is going on, but are dismissed as if they have no insight, when of all the classes the poor are the biggest victims and know for a fact what is coming down the pike for others.

You see this especially in mega-churches where preachers preach about how much God loves you by "being abundant" to his "chosen" people when in fact their own prophet told them: "Truly I tell you, it is harder for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle..." (Matthew 19).

So the middle class attend these services nodding with their full bellies thinking somehow God loves them more, ignoring the fact that poverty is a racist, classist, ageist, and sexist Institution they profit from, which is what their own prophet tried to tell them 2000 years ago and which they ignore to this day. This way they can blame the poor and pretend poverty is about the poor choices of the individual and not an Institution.

Democrats are refusing to acknowledge the Institution of poverty because we live the boldface lie in America that you just get ahead by "working hard" and this somehow translates into wealth. Not so. I know plenty of "hard working" Americans (I was one of the sober, church-attending, faithful worker) and it didn't get them anything, not even enough rent or food for their families.

Until Democrats and their middle class supporters acknowledge the truth of this Institution of poverty and its racist, classist, ageist, and sexist roots, including Obama and his elitist advisors, we will continue to suffer the horrors of class warfare. Corporations are the ones they worship, not God and certainly they are not listening to their own faith, or if they have no faith they refuse to see even the most intelligent and obvious of facts. Instead they pursue the crap they do with the rich and corporations, instead they give homage to a bunch of elitists who THINK they are heaven-blessed. And this "heaven" includes Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, and whatever Name the middle class prefer to use to view poverty, or Nobel Peace Prize Economists, since ALL these prophets said the same.

I don't know why seeing poverty for what it is is consider so "revolutionary" and why it is so scary, since the Truth of the matter has gone on since the beginning of this country, hell since the beginning of human "civilization". God forbid that Americans give up the illusion that "hard work" somehow creates anything for their families unless the elitists deem that hard work as "valuable" enough to reward their workers with bounty. Well hard work DOES create wealth, but not for the worker, the wealth goes to those for whom they give their life's blood in labor to enrich.

It all boils down to what we as a collective value. It is like the diamond, which many say are in truth more plentiful than crystals, but guarded by a few families who mete them out one by one. If as a collective everyone suddenly said, "You know what? This diamond is not that valuable," suddenly it would no longer be valuable and the families meting them out would no longer be powerful and rich. It is the same with the American Dream, which is just that ~ a damn dream, not reality. This Truth is not sad to me, but it sure seems to shake a lot of people up when you tell them what the poor who are hardest working of all know, that the middle class are living a lie that "hard work" does anything except what "others" deem this work is worth.

My 2 cents

Cat in Seattlw <---- long time activist and advocate for low income people
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #191
204. Cat.
The post that started this discussion is full of misinformation. I respect and applaud your community activism and advocation for low income people. But in the same mind-frame, I wonder about how you go about your work. From your post, I surmise that you chose the rail to officials in street protests or in town halls. While that works to an extent in progressive cities Seattle, it is self defeating in most other places, including my pink tinged blue state, we have Scott Brown as a Senator. A more sustainable route would be to start self sustaining businesses that have the one goal of serving low income people and giving them buying choices other that the choices they now have. Via that route, you not only improve the lot of low income people dramatically, you also make them a bona-fide force that politicians must genuinely fear and bend to.
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PhillySane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #204
214. Protesting is Democracy
If that has stopped working, then we need to admit, this is no longer a democracy. And while I agree that creating self-sustaining businesses in low income areas is a great idea, I have to wonder, where the hell is the money coming from to do this when you can't get even a government backed loan these days?
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #204
218. Yes, you are correct
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 01:59 PM by mntleo2
...Seattle, which F.D. Roosevelt called our state, "The Socialist Republic of Washington State" has roots in socialist thought, all right (some roots who are mine, coming from WOBBLYS).

In the states like MA, where the racism is more evident, you are fighting some very real enemies all right. Not that it is much better here in Seattle where racism, along with classism, ageism and sexism is often hidden, because people are ashamed of the fact they are any of those things (except classism, which is a "front" for racism and sexism). Friends from the South say, "In Seattle, they (racists) stab you in the back, at least in the South they stab you in the FRONT"

Yes I have taken to the streets and I go to Town Hall meetings and my state legislators know me by name. But I do not see much being done, even with the Progressives in this state to stand with real Progressive ideas. A lot of talk, but little action.

In our state we have two of the richest men in the world (Bill Gates and Paul Allen), along with the Nordstroms, The Weyerhausers, cell phone moguls, and rich farmers. Yet in this state the poor pay the highest taxes in the nation due to our regressive tax structure, which Progressives refuse to change even though in our legislature and our Governor, Democrats are the majority.

If Bill Gates alone paid the same percentage a welfare mother pays in taxes, this state would not only be in the black, it would be in the black by several billion dollars. And if the rest of the wealthy and corporations paid what a welfare mother paid, we would be rolling in the dough. Boeing, which began in this state has not paid a red cent in taxes for decades yet get billions back in tax breaksevery year. They all know this yet will they DO anything about it? No. Just last week our (Democratic) governor cut services to the disabled and poor by 19% and did NOTHING to call on the rich or corporations to pay their fair share. As a matter of fact we had a freaking VOTE on the last ballot that We The People turned down because these greedheads convinced the middle class that, "they would be next" if the rich paid taxes that was a quarter of what a welfare mother paid.

It is an uphill battle everywhere, this is true. It is not going to work to go to the streets, that will just get us maced. What will work is opening the eyes of the middle class to the Truth about how they are being duped.

Yes small businesses are one way, but this is often skewed with policies, taxes, laws and regulations toward the already established to ensure they win and any beginning entrepreneur loses.

One example I might cite is my BIL who TRIED to start a movie theater here showing movies nobody else would show. The "middle class" theater owners a mile away found ONE regulation that was not observed and put him out of business, even though he had tried to go with all the right directions and do the right things with advice and licensing from our city officials. PLUS the movies he was showing were not even the same kind of movies the theater owner who blitzed him showed (they were showing the "major" film companies not independent ones). Turned out the other theater owners were alarmed not only by the "revolutionary" content of my BIL's movies, but they were alarmed because his freaking snack counter served things they did not (healthy popcorns, vegan candies, etc).

But due to the fact the middle class is ignorant that they are next, they ALL think it is just fine that a low income worker or a desperately poor and sick mother pay almost 20% of their badly needed income for much more than they could possibly use such as THEIR roads, THEIR courts, THER government offices.

Oh one thing the poor use MUCH more often: THEIR prisons who at this time can never pay a red cent in wages or taxes for the forced labor they impose that, again, enrich the wealthy, not anyone else, including the middle class...

The point I am making here is small businesses are a beginning all right, but they need support and what elitist corporation or rich person is going to allow that and cut $1 out of the profits from the millions/billions they already receive, with help from a middle class they keep well enough fed to ensure support?

Not one, they don't even want to pay a quarter of what a welfare mother in this state pays in taxes and the middle class won't either.

Cat in Seattle

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #204
252. No, the OP is NOT full of misinformation. You have not managed to point out a single point of
misinformation in it.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #204
363. Okay ... that one put you on IGNORE -- !!
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PhillySane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #191
210. Good take on things
The middle class are fed placebos in order to make them think they are doing better than they really are. It keeps them from jumping to the other side. And religion is used as a tool to keep them drugged on the idea that they are "right" because god is on their side. You can't, after all, question god's authority. Never mind that your god said to feed the poor or do not kill. We'll tell you its okay, god really meant that you should feed yourself first and kill in my name cause those other people are tools of the devil.

These are all straight out of Fascism 101.
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #191
224. More than 2 cents. Excellent post, thanks.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #191
251. That is an excellent point.
They have divided us, and too many middle class Americans have let them do it.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #191
333. Thank you, Cat. As a low-income person myself I can totally relate to what you say.
It's an uphill battle every day to get the middle class to understand that success and financial security are NOT always a matter of hard work, resourcefulness, inventiveness, etc. That only happens if your hard work is an area the Overlords happen to value, and not only that but one they happen to value at that particular time. If you work in a field that is being demonized and/or phased out--in my son's case, public education--you are going to feel the pain even if you're the best teacher in the world. Members of my family have worked in public education for three generations, and for most of the time the field has been very good to them. NOT ANY MORE!!!
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
193. + 1,000,000,000... What You Said !!! - HUGE K & R !!!
:applause: :applause: :applause:

:yourock:

:patriot:

:hi:

:kick:
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
195. Very well articulated.
I have to admit that, online at least, I have no tolerance left for those that spread right-wing, republican, neoliberal talking points under the big Democratic tent.

I'm a teacher. This administration's attacks on my profession, on the public education system, and his supporters' backing of, and participation in those attacks have created a breach I don't think can be filled. The bridges have burned. This board is, based on the last few weeks' activity, no longer a welcoming place for educators. While I hesitate to end an 8 year participation in this community, I no longer come here expecting to find many friends, or to find substantive discussions of issues. When the primary goal is partisan, it's hard to focus on, and thoughtfully discuss, issues.

The attacks on education are connected to the attacks on labor, unions, and public employees. You didn't include these in your 7, but I think that support for public services, including public education, ought to be a principle that all Democrats, "progressives," liberals, and the left are united on. That's not the case.

The same holds true for labor. Support for labor, and for the unions that fought for decent wages and labor standards in this nation, ought to be one of the foundations the Democratic Party, "progressives," liberals, and the left can be united on. Since NAFTA was passed by a Democratic administration, that's obviously not the case.

It seems like no issue can be discussed that is not framed by Obama's positions and actions in regard to that issue. If a current policy is bad, it can't be acknowledged that it's bad. Bad policy has to be rationalized and supported, and authentic criticisms attacked, simply because it's promoted by Obama. That's dysfunctional, to say the least, and doesn't help move issues in any good direction.

It's heartening to see strong support for your post. Thank you for making the effort.
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El Prezidente Kaboom Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
200. I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat. - Will Rogers
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 12:17 PM by El Prezidente Kaboom
Time for Change's dissent and the DU divide on Obama are perfect illustrations of the reasons why I am a Democrat. We have the biggest tent. And our debates and divisions are the most pertinent towards public policy-making. I do not agree with the broad-based disgust amongst strong liberals for the president. I share their frustrations and their analysis of the depravity of the policies promoting radical wealth inequality; but in the end, I believe that the tyranny run so deep and thick that the president is ultimately prisoner to a political-economy gone mad with greed. The fascist corporate powers that be hold more power than we can possibly imagine, and reforming the system is a task easier said than done, to say the least. Change begins at the grassroots level. What we should be doing is organizing support for liberal public policy ideas or goals, providing our politicians with the footing to move forward despite the onslaught of poison thrown at them by the other side. The venom and poisonous discourse out there is enough to move the electorate. And when Liberals are tasked with defending the basic elements of the Enlightenment, it's all the much harder to propose modern reforms.

With respect to all,
EPK


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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #200
209. Grassroots reform.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 12:53 PM by bluestate10
You hit it. Change starts with us, not Obama. GM, after it's near death experience, seems to have had a revelation, not only is it building better cars, it wants to become the greenest automobile company. But the question is, how many DU people that claim they love the environment who will buy cars in the next months will buy a foreign brand, including ones from countries that don't give a shit about environmental pollution? There are shirt, slacks, trouser, drawers, shoes, belts, winter jackets, manufacturers that manufacturer on the USA mainland and desperately want our business, but how many from DU will shop at the mall or Walmart in the next days and/or weeks instead of doing made in USA web searches to find companies that hire their neighbors? Progressives can post on DU all they want about corporalists controlling america, but do nothing to break that hold. Complain about a government that does not impose tariffs on imported products as they shop and buy those very products without raising an effort to find alternatives. Raise false heroes to the mantle of demi-gods, when the warts on those heroes are so clearly visible to others. Say "I don't know what we can do" when there is plenty we can do via disciplined making of personal decisions.
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
220. Unrec for opinion stated as 'fact'.
Besides the outright factual errors in the OP which if stated correctly would undermine the overall premise.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #220
227. The OP cites differences in opinion.
I'm interested in your list of factual errors.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #220
255. Great job of pointing out all those factual errors
I will point out that I provided links to my "opinions", which is a lot more than I can say for your error free post.
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
228. K&R
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AllyCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
232. Bookmarking for later
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JamesA1102 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
235. You're equating political positions with moral values.
I don't like it when conservatives do that, so I'm not happy when liberals do it too.

Also, you're spinning wildly in the most negative way possible, as well as parroting GOP talking points, to bash the President.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #235
259. When people live their ethics, moral values become political positions.
Imagine that. ;)
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JamesA1102 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #259
295. I've never met anyone that actually lived their ethics
I've met many who claimed to do so but no one who really did it.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #235
265. What GOP talking points, and what spin?
What is it that you don't agree with?
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JamesA1102 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #265
296. Let's start with laying Tarp soley on the President's doorstep
Standard GOP talking point when that program began under Bush.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #296
382. I did not lay it solely on the president's doorstep
It started under Bush. The second half of it was extended under Obama, with very little change in the terms. I largely blame Obama for that.

In this post I was trying to explain the problems I have with Obama's actions. It is quite true that for every action that I mentioned there are plenty of other people responsible. But two points on that. First, Obama is the president of the United States, and as such bears a disproportionately large part of the blame for everything that happens on his watch and under his guidance. And second, if I would have tried to parcel out the blame for everything I talked about in this post, it would have gone on for several more pages than it did.

I thought it was self-evident that I don't hold Obama solely responsible for the things I discussed on this post. There is probably NOTHING that I blame him for, for which the Republican Congress isn't equally or more to blame. If it came across that I hold Obama solely responsible for any of this, I'm sorry about that. I'll give it some thought and try to make sure that doesn't happen again.
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JamesA1102 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #382
388. Yes you did.
Edited on Mon Dec-27-10 11:13 AM by JamesA1102
You stated:

His administration engineered a multi-trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street,

That is laying it totally on President Obama's doorstep and a misrepresentation of the truth.

Then you followed that up with another GOP talking point:

while compiling the worst record on job creation since the Hoover administration

Without noting that the linked chart measured every other President for their full term and President Obama for less than two years or that during those two years the job losses slowed from the high point when the President took office and has since reversed.



So with your penchant for parroting GOP talking points, you'll forgive me if your credibility is a bit shot with me right now.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #388
390. Well, his administration did engineer the bailout plan.
I don't know how else you would like it phrased to make it sound better. Here is how the NY Times phrased it at one point:

The Obama administration's new plan to bail out the nation's banks was fashioned after a spirited internal debate that pitted the Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, against some of the president's top political hands.

In the end, Geithner largely prevailed in opposing tougher conditions on financial institutions that were sought by presidential aides, including David Axelrod, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, according to administration and congressional officials.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/world/americas/10iht-...

Are they parroting right wing talking points there?

Congress is responsible too because they not only voted on it, but they had the ability and responsibility to change it in any way they saw fit before voting on it. I thought that was so obvious that it's hardly worth mentioning.

Obama had the option, if he saw fit, to present a plan to Congress that was much more directed towards financial controls on Wall Street to remove some of their power and make the possibility of future catastrophes much less likely. But he chose not to do that. I blame him for that, and I also blame Congress for not making the necessary changes over the Obama administration plan.

Regarding the worst record on job creation since Hoover, that is simply a fact. You make a valid point that under Obama the rate of job loss slowed from what it was when Obama took office. That's good, and no doubt it was in large part due to his stimulus package. But it was far from good enough. When FDR took office under similar circumstances, he didn't merely slow the rate of job loss, but he created programs that set the stage for almost immediate job creation. That's what Obama should have done, rather than compromise with the GOP on the stimulus.

As far as your point that Obama hasn't completed his term yet, again, it seems to me so obvious that I didn't think it was worth mentioning. I will also say that there is as yet no indication that things are going to get better in the next two years, and Obama's massive tax breaks for the rich (voted on by Congress) won't help matters one bit.



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JamesA1102 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #390
392. No they didn't and now you're spinning what the NYTs said.
They never said the Obama administration engineered the bailouts. You're spinning what they said. You have no creditability left.

The job creation comment is not a fair one and you know it. Please spare me the FDR comparisons. It took FDR 8 years to get the country out of the great depression, not 2 and FDR had much bigger marjorities in Congress. Again you're spinning.

And I'm sure if the President had let the Bush tax cuts exprire, you'd be bitching about how he broke his promise to not to raise taxes on the middle class and how he let unemployment benefits expire. You may as well at this point just type, 'I hate President Obama and like an employee of FAUX News, I'm going to find fault in whatever he does even if I have to twist and misrepresent the facts to do so'.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #392
396. Oh, excuse me, the NY Times article didn't use the word "engineered"
Edited on Mon Dec-27-10 08:38 PM by Time for change
It just used the phrase "the administration's new plan...". There's a world of difference between that and "engineered", I have to learn to stop spinning like that :sarcasm:

The FDR comparison is perfectly valid, for many reasons. Yes, it took several years for unemployment to come back down to normal levels under FDR. The point is though that the job creation became highly positive almost immediately, and unemployment rate followed a downward course from the beginning. In other words, we were going in the right direction for almost all of FDR's presidency -- which nobody can say about Obama's presidency.

Do you not understand the difference between job creation and simply slowing down the rate of job loss? The former means that you're going in the right direction, while the latter means that you continue to go in the wrong direction, but at a slower rate. That's the difference between the FDR and the Obama presidency.
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JamesA1102 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #396
398. Oh excuse me, you are spinning.
First you say:

His administration engineered a multi-trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street,

Then you recanted that to say:

If it came across that I hold Obama solely responsible for any of this, I'm sorry about that. I'll give it some thought and try to make sure that doesn't happen again.

Now you're back to placing it solely on President Obama's doorstep again and doing so by spinning two cherry picked paragraghs from a NYTs article. Make up your mind, at this point you have as much credibility as Glenn Beck.

And as far as "job creation", I noticed how you've ignored this:

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #398
399. No, I didn't ignore the chart
Specifically, I said "You make a valid point that under Obama the rate of job loss slowed from what it was when Obama took office. That's good, and no doubt it was in large part due to his stimulus package. But it was far from good enough. When FDR took office under similar circumstances, he didn't merely slow the rate of job loss, but he created programs that set the stage for almost immediate job creation. That's what Obama should have done, rather than compromise with the GOP on the stimulus."

You think that's ignoring it? Talk about spin.

Then when you ignored that comment, I asked you "Do you not understand the difference between job creation and simply slowing down the rate of job loss? The former means that you're going in the right direction, while the latter means that you continue to go in the wrong direction, but at a slower rate. That's the difference between the FDR and the Obama presidency."

Apparently you don't understand the difference.



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JamesA1102 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #399
400. I guess you didn't understand the chart then
because everything above the line is job creation not just slowing the rate of loss:



Or maybe you're just spinning wildly again like Sean Hannity does.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #235
283. I agree. Nothing I hate more than morals getting into my politics.
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JamesA1102 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #283
300. And I hate nothing more than someone claiming to be morally superior
because of their politics. I don't put up with it from republicans so I'm not going to let Democrats get away with it either.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #300
305. Well I just did.
Your move lol.
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JamesA1102 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #305
307. Good for you!!!!
How's the view up on the high horse? :-)
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #307
308. Better than the view under it.
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JamesA1102 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #308
327. Touche! LOL
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #300
385. tough shit... we are humans not machines nor sociopaths
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SaveOurDemocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
236. K&R!
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Yuugal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
237. K&R
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
243. We Must Do Both... Clean-Up Government
by changing how money influences officials and change our economic structure. Taking money out of politics is essential... we need folks who want to govern rather than those who aim for careers in politics for greed and ego alone. We need people who give a fuck.... then we work on changing the economic beast with enough political power. Start local, but aim national.... first way to put a dent into the propaganda and misinterpretation of socialism is to socialize within communities to give folks a real live model to understand the concept better.
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jdglsm Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
249. Why did Obama abandon his principles?
Excellent description of the rift now occurring within the Democratic party. And I agree with most of the disappointments, but I would put greater emphasis on the bailout of Wall Street, the failure to create jobs, the failure to fight for a public option in the health care debate, and the cave-in to Republicans in which Obama gave an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in exchange for an extension of jobless benefits which does no good for those who have already run out of their 99 weeks.

But the issue that Obama ignores that made some of the other failures inevitable is population growth.

The US census figures were just announced. From April 1, 2000 to April 1, 2010 US population grew from 281,422,000 to 308,745,000, an increase of 27,323,000. That works out to en instantaneous growth rate of .926% per year or 238,000 new US residents per month. The New York Times ran a cover story which discussed the implications for reapportionment of House seats, but no mention was made of the impact that demographics has on US economic problems, including the high level of unemployment. This is an issue which is ignored by the mainstream media, perhaps because it is politically incorrect to raise the issue.

It should be mentioned that in spite of the great expense of the census, the figures are already being disputed. The LA Times reports that the census undercounted California by 1.5 million, suggesting that part of the reason is that illegal immigrants were afraid to be counted. Moreover, the growth rate is changing over time and .926% represents the average over a decade. But whether the instantaneous growth rate is .9$ or 1% per year, it is unsustainable. The US cannot build schools and hospitals at that rate, and population growth drives many of the nations problems including the high unemployment.

Population growth is perhaps 1/3 due to immigration, 2/3 to higher birth rates among the poor, who are provided with incentives to have more children by the welfare system. In states like California, population growth drives a large percentage of state spending, almost a half of revenue funds go to K12 education, other large chunks go to welfare and prisons. The result is that California and several other states are going bankrupt. To save money, California has furloughed workers, cut salaries and benefits, stopped hiring and in few cases laid off employees. Similar retrenchments occur at the local level. This adds to the unemployment caused by the financial collapse and partially explains why Obama's efforts to lower unemployment have failed.

You can easily look up the number of jobs created by the private sector. It varies from month to month, but is much lower than the 238,000 new residents that come from population growth. Thus population growth itself might be sufficient to explain the high unemployment. At least it is a major factor. But economists ignore this, one of the most important of economic variables, perhaps because it lies outside the purview of economics? In an age of specialists, Americans have lost the ability to integrate knowledge from various fields, so necessary for making prudent political decisions.

There are several reasons for not discussing the issue. It cuts across party lines, offending Democrats and Republicans for different reasons. Thus while Obama was caving on taxing the wealthy he was pushing for passage of the Dream Act, which would give amnesty to illegal aliens without addressing the breakdown in integrity of the border. While Obama's Justice Department failed to prosecute Richard Fuld for his use of Repo 105's to hide the financial condition of Lehman Brothers, it was prosecuting Arizona for trying to enforce the federal laws on border integrity that Obama was failing to enforce himself.

The vast majority of Democrats have an oversimplified belief system. Although illegal immigrants should be treated humanely, it is simply innumerate to suggest that population growth of .9% can continue into the indefinite future. Thus any sane economic policy must include as one of its components an absolute end to illegal immigration. Does that sound Draconian? The alternatives are far worse.

Republicans on the other hand are obsessed with the idea of personal freedom and in many cases seem to believe that it is wrong to use family planning. Coupled with a welfare system that rewards single mothers and you have a prescription for disaster. Middle class Americans often have zero, one or two children nowadays, because they simply cannot afford more. Republicans have succeeded, however, in restricting access to family planning for the poor, which often leads to unwanted children, breakup of the family, the father engaging in illegal activities to provide support, and so forth. In America's ghettos, the family has broken down, not because of a decay in moral values, but because inadequate support was given to the notion of a maximum of two children per mother.

It is amazing that Americans are so blind. They can read about overpopulation destroying all the trees on Easter Island in Jared Diamond's book on Collapse. They may read news reports of the genocide in Rwanda or the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, other consequences of overpopulation. When they view Slumdog Millionaire they can view from a distance the devastation that overpopulation is wreaking on India (which has a population growth of about 1.3% per year, even higher than the US). But Americans do not recognize it when it occurs in the US.

With all the appropriate gravitas, the nations leading economists argue about whether quantitative easing will bring down the unemployment rate. Yet none offer real explanations for the fact that the gap between rich and poor has widened in the last decade. The explanation is unbelievably simple: population growth has finally caught up with the US and is slowly but inexorably destroying American living standards.

Obama is first and foremost a politician, and the message that Americans need to restrict family size to a maximum of two children is to far "out there" for him to present to the American people, even if he might have understood its importance. Moreover, he is confronted with Republicans who have an irrefutable argument.

Even if we were to raise taxes on the wealthy (like the Republican Herbert Hoover, who raised the top rate from 25% to 63% in 1932), population growth would continue to erode the safety net that allows the poor to survive. Republicans can argue that 2, 4 or 6 years from now the poor would be even worse off, requiring yet more tax increases in an unending spiral.

The true meaning of starve the beast then becomes apparent. It's really starve the poor. This is the way to control population growth. If it is morally wrong to deny individuals to have an unlimited number of children, it is not morally wrong to force their children to suffer the consequences of high fertility. And the Republicans can point to the fact that if the masses starve at least a layer of people at the top will be able to continue to support the arts, human knowledge will survive while the vast masses of poor sink into a Malthusian catastrophe.

Of course, the Republican argument cannot be stated in such stark terms. In fact, it cannot be stated at all, just silently understood by the Wall Street bankers who live in their Hampton mansions, and silently misunderstood by the followers of Glenn Beck.

But in the meantime, politics goes on. But it has become a game of avoiding responsibility for the disaster that the upper crust see all to well is unfolding. This explains the nonsensical 60 vote majority needed to avoid filibuster. Gridlock works to the benefit of both parties.

Without zero population growth there is no hope for the Democratic agenda. It is too bad that so few see this stark reality.

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Sheepshank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #249
263. huh?
could you please paraphrase your intention?
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hay rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #249
351. Population growth does not drive unemployment.
When discussing unemployment rates, economists frequently allude to the fact that the economy needs to provide something like 150,000 new jobs a month just to maintain unemployment at the same level due to the increase in population. This is not the same as asserting that population growth itself causes high unemployment.

More important than the raw growth of population is the number of people entering and leaving the labor force. It is also important to realize that increasing population means increasing numbers of consumers and therefore, increased demand for goods and services- i.e., more jobs are created as well as needed.

Another important demographic element is the age distribution of the population. One of the challenges facing Social Security is the declining ratio of workers contributing payroll taxes to beneficiaries as the population ages. Reducing population growth to zero would rapidly undermine the financing of the program.

This decade's growth rate was the lowest since the 1940's and World War II. I think the general expectation is that the U. S. will follow the pattern of European countries and see a decline to 0 or even negative "natural" increase in population and will therefore be dependent on immigration for further increases in population. A "soft landing" to near zero growth taking place over several decades is probably the best possible outcome.

My belief is that population increase is not the sole or even primary culprit in declining American living standards. I suggest more important contributors to that decline are: the export of our manufacturing base (and the good jobs that they used to provide); the free trade ideology and infrastructure (computerization, fast global communication, container ships, internationalization of banking and corporations, etc.) that underlies the export of those jobs and others; population growth and rapid urbanization with attendant huge increases in exploitable labor in India, China, Mexico, etc.; and the rapid redistribution of wealth and income within the United States (with the top 1% of the population increasing their share of total income from 8.3% in 1981 to 22.8% in 2007).
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jdglsm Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #351
367. Why population growth drives unemployment in the US
You seem to believe economists when they say that the economy needs to add 150,000 new jobs a month just to maintain unemployment at the same level. Actually, that does sound like a fair estimate since the 238,000 new residents I mention include children, and they enter the labor force only after a considerable time lag. But in the long run, it is the 238,000 figure that will impact resources. For example, children add to K12 education costs, which are driving many states bankrupt. (The 238,000 figures is something you can work out yourself directly from census data.)

You say with no justification that reducing population growth to zero would threaten social security. However, states such as California are cutting back on education because they have run out of money. Better to have a stable but well-educated population than a population that is not trained to compete in the global economy.

You talk about US achieving a zero percent natural increase as though that were a bad thing. Let me remind you that Germany also has a close to zero population growth rate and its doing much better than its more fertile neighbors like Ireland, Spain and Portugal.

You mention a soft landing as the US finally achieves a stable population several decades in the future. But I see people in their 50's who had great jobs and are now dumpster diving, Americans who take only half the recommended dose of needed medications because it is all they can afford. The landing is already here and it is definitely not soft.

Finally, you say population increase is not the sole or even primary culprit in declining living standards and then mention the population growth and rapid urbanization with attendant huge increases in exploitable labor in India, China, Mexico, etc. Is that not the population growth of which I speak?

It is definitely not politically correct to state, but population growth does INDEED make the progressive agenda quite simply unattainable. Redistribution makes absolutely no sense if you
don't achieve zero population growth first, because in case you hadn't noticed, we live on a finite planet, and everywhere you look, resources such as food and oil are becoming scarce. So redistribution without policies to control population growth, like cutting illegal immigration to zero and encouraging small families, just increases the number of poor in a Malthusian spiral that ends in the kinds of collapse seen in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Republicans at least have a consistent world view, although it is indeed one that I find repugnant.






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hay rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #367
391. Welcome to DU.
On to your post.

"You say with no justification that reducing population growth to zero would threaten social security. However, states such as California are cutting back on education because they have run out of money. Better to have a stable but well-educated population than a population that is not trained to compete in the global economy."

The solvency of Social Security is based on numerous assumptions, some demographic and some economic. A sudden (as opposed to gradual) end of population growth would wreak havoc with the assumed ratio of workers to beneficiaries. Sustained high unemployment would have the same effect. A similar funding problem arises when the rich annex a higher share of income as the cap on payroll contributions means that more previously taxed income is no longer subject to FICA and therefore unavailable to support Social Security.

I have not followed California's budget travails closely, but I am familiar with the problems of my own state (NJ) and expect the basic problems are similar. The primary problems are a combination of declining tax receipts and burgeoning pension and health care costs. Most of our states were able to manage increasing populations as long as incomes (and tax receipts) increased in tandem. Of course, funding of pension obligations was a can that got kicked down the road in favor of lower taxes and now that bill is coming due. The long-term failure to control health care costs is a separate public policy issue, but the results for state and local finances are catastrophic.

Of course, education in California is a special case due to the ravages visited by Proposition 13. You get what you pay for. You seem to think that the problem with California's schools is too many students. Sure, given a fixed amount of money, fewer students means more resources per student. My point is that an expanding economy was able to handle an increasing number of students without great difficulty. What has changed is that we have entered an era of static or declining tax receipts while pension and health care obligations continue to increase. It's a double whammy. And yes, providing educational and other services to an increasing population turns it into a triple whammy...

"You talk about US achieving a zero percent natural increase as though that were a bad thing. Let me remind you that Germany also has a close to zero population growth rate and its doing much better than its more fertile neighbors like Ireland, Spain and Portugal."

There are many differences between Germany and Europe's cripples (you left Greece off your list). In particular, by comparison, Germany has a healthy banking system and a strong export economy. If differences in population growth was the crucial factor, one would expect Italy and Poland to also be strong economic performers...

"You mention a soft landing as the US finally achieves a stable population several decades in the future. But I see people in their 50's who had great jobs and are now dumpster diving, Americans who take only half the recommended dose of needed medications because it is all they can afford. The landing is already here and it is definitely not soft.

The people who lost their great jobs and are now dumpster diving are not doing so because of population growth. They are doing so because the pirates in the financial services industry sabotaged and looted the economy. There has been a net loss of jobs in the last few years. The soft landing remark had to do with Social Security funding.

"Finally, you say population increase is not the sole or even primary culprit in declining living standards and then mention the population growth and rapid urbanization with attendant huge increases in exploitable labor in India, China, Mexico, etc. Is that not the population growth of which I speak?"

Actually, no. The population growth of which you spoke was American population growth as documented by the 2010 census.



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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #367
394. Bravo, jdglsm!
We humans are manifesting a level of mental disease that is both frightening and corrosive. Far too many of us are in react mode, driven by inchoate fears and resentments. Far too many of us are willing to pollute our spirits with negativity, eagerly engaging in name-calling and other forms of vilification. Far too many of us are willing to glorify violence or resort to violence, often just for entertainment or personal gratification!

We seldom acknowledge the import of overpopulation, but Calhoun's research with rats has proven that when a critical level of overpopulation occurs, the outcome isn't pretty. With rats, abnormal sexual behavior, hyperaggression, eating their young, and increased mortality are a few of the problems that occurred. With humans, well...isn't it past time we acknowledge that our species has passed a critical tipping point?


When I was younger (and naive) I thought our species was in its adolescence--obsessed with sex, drugs, and all other forms of self-gratification, especially as regards our economic behaviors. However, a thoughtful analysis of the 'dis-ease' of overpopulation has shone a bright light on the consequences of this macro-level manifestation of our species' hedonism. Regardless of how much energy we devote to denying the ravages of overpopulation, they are writ large by our increasingly sophisticated, increasingly corrosive socio-cultural and technological constructs--the very same constructs we use to remain in denial, and to externalize responsibility for our collective hubris.

Bearing this in mind, I feel overwhelmed with disappointment about the choices we (as a collective) have been making, because we seem to be moving inexorably back into 'balance' on a planetary scale. The inevitable consequences of our hedonistic overpopulation and denial of personal responsibility promise to be extreme.

The uber wealthy elites labor on under the delusion that their wealth will protect them from the extreme consequences of our ecosystem's inevitable rebalancing, since--historically--their wealth has afforded them protection. However, the ravages of radical income inequity have motivated a burgeoning number of the hoi polloi to say "WTF?!" and "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!!!" The less than 400 corporatists who own and control more than 45% of the world's resources--and the 1,011 billionaires who jockey each year to grab the brass ring of membership in that inner circle--will be defenseless against the billions of people worldwide who FINALLY recognize that it's time for catastrophic change, before it's too late.

The uber wealthy elites' fundamental mistake has been to underestimate the hoi polloi. They don't understand that We the People have both the courage and the fortitude to pursue an equitable alternative to the giant ponzi scheme known as capitalism.

In the face of this immediate and catastrophic economic collapse, Mr. Obama is a simulacrum, a mere mortal who must struggle to appease a variety of opposing factions, not the least of which are the corporate megalomaniacs whose money and power hold a great deal more sway with our politicians du jour than the eager and often futile machinations of the hoi polloi. Still, when I contemplate Obama's feeble (nee fruitless) efforts, I am reminded of Margaret Mead's observation: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Thus, when I hear our contemporary politicians (et tu, Mr. Obama?) griping and groaning and saying 'compare us to the alternative,' I say "I am NOT impressed with this vapid excuse!"

I say, "embrace the criticisms you hear and use them to inform your efforts to effect change."

I say, "stop insulting the citizens who are actively involved in our political system, and find ways to partner with us to effect change."

I say, "It's WAY past time to change our world!"

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Peregrine Took Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
254. Very good post. My sentiments exactly. n/t
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Still a Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
258. You obviously no longer believe in the work of the Democratic party
Your disagreement isn't just with Obama. Most of the things you twist around in your post were and are supported by most liberals and Democrats, including Democrats in office. Yet you pretend it is only Obama, as an aberration to the party, pretty much doing all that unilaterally.

It's up to you if you leave the party or DU, but I really don't know why you would want to stay if this is your view.
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Oakland Donating Member (66 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #258
260. What Democratic Party?
It has been co-opted by fleeing Republicans, Rubenites, Clintonites, banks, Reaganomics, union busting, free trade, war profiteers, and the war on drugs/for-profit prisons. On tap is renewed tax cuts to billionaires, mandated health care, privatize public schools, and cuts to Social Security. There isn't a dime's worth of difference from today's Democratic Party and the old Republican Party, sans tea partiers and religious zealots.


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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #258
261. Do you have anything to say about the issues TFC raised in his OP?
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PhillySane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #258
262. You know, by that logic
Many of us should already be in the Republican Party since they approve of tax-cuts for the wealthy, maintaining the wars and so much else of what we still get under Obama. I think what this side, and I mean those who are disgruntled with Obama, wants is to push the party closer to our progressive roots. We still have them, don't we?
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #262
273. Agree totally with your sentiments. n/t
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #258
266. I don't respect those Democrats who have sold out
Many of them haven't done that.

There is a lot of work to be done. Why would I quit just because the two major political parties are going in the wrong direction? This has happened before in the US, and that's one good reason that we've had 3rd party movements.
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Still a Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #266
269. Check the HCR or tax package roll call
The solid majority of Democrats backed the president on these issues. Many you no doubt admire, like Brown, Franken, and Boxer voted with the President.

If by "many" you mean a distinct minority, I suppose you're right.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #269
270. There was very little choice
Obama took everything that would have made the bill truly worth while off the table to start with. Many voted for it simply because they felt that it was better than nothing -- but the jury is still out on that.
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Still a Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #270
274. Out of curiousity, what would your vote have been
on HRC and the tax package? Yes for me, as you would have guessed.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #274
275. I probably would have voted against it
I believe it's worth than nothing.
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
264. Much of your post contradicts itself.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 04:27 PM by BzaDem
For example, you attack Obama for supporting the bailout. But then you blame him for the "worst record on job creation since Herbert Hoover" (as if the President can snap his fingers and create jobs).

But let's say he followed your advice, and vetoed any bailout. The resulting depression would have made his "record on job creation" FAR WORSE than anything under Herbert Hoover. But then you would be blaming Obama even more, for his even worse record on job creation!

Similarly, you blame Obama for extending the tax cuts for the rich. But if Obama vetoed the bill, tax cuts for the middle class would have expired. Families of 4 at the poverty line would lose a few thousand, and families slightly above this line would lose even more. But then you would blame Obama for violating his promise on not allowing taxes for the middle class to rise one dime!

There are plenty of other problems with your post (much of which fall under the category of comparing Obama's choices to some mythical paradise rather than the alternative choices available). But these contradictions in your own post should point out why many here do not see Obama as you do.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #264
267. Obama could have fought for the extension of unemployment benefits and a much bigger
stimulus bill than what he did. And he could have done that without a massive tax cut for the rich, or without the bailout the way he did it. The bailout of Wall Street did not create jobs in our country. It didn't even improve the flow of credit, largely because Obama didn't put any conditions on it.
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #267
271. And when next year's Republican Congress told Obama where to shove it, we would have gotten the tax
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 04:52 PM by BzaDem
cuts for the rich WITHOUT the extension of unemployment benefits/stimulus/etc.

"The bailout of Wall Street did not create jobs in our country."

It didn't create new ones. But even Paul Krugman admits that it prevented the loss of millions.

It seems that your critique of Obama is only valid and consistent if you accept incorrect premises about

a) What is politically feasible
b) Basic economics

and that is exactly why many disagree with you.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #271
272. Show us where Krugman said that
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #272
276. Sure.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 05:14 PM by BzaDem
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/29/bailout-que... /

"Im being asked two big questions about this thing: (1) Was it really necessary? (2) Shouldnt Dems have tossed the whole Paulson approach out the window and done something completely different?

On (1), the answer is yes. Its true that some parts of the real economy are doing OK even in the face of financial disruption; big companies can still sell bonds (and have lots of cash on hand), qualifying home buyers can still get Fannie-Freddie mortgages, and so on. But commercial paper, which is important to a lot of businesses, is in trouble, and Im hearing anecdotes about reduced credit lines causing smaller businesses to pull back. Plus theres a serious chance of a run on the hedge funds, which could make things a lot worse. With the economy already looking like its headed into a serious recession by any definition, the risks of doing nothing look too high."


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/24/krugman-citigr...

"If Citigroup had not been bailed out, then the whole financial system could collapse," said Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman on CBS' The Early Show."

http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/04/02/are-bail... /

"But, why isnt Krugman calling for an end to all financial bailouts for the wealthy, instead of announcing that they will go on forever?

One reason is that he doesnt think breaking up the big banks will work: I dont have any love for financial giants, he writes, but I just dont believe that breaking them up solves the key problem. He argues that a run on thousands of little banks, as in the 1930s, would also require bailouts to avoid another Great Depression."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/10/opinion/10krugman.htm...

"In addition to having this automatic stabilizing effect, the government has stepped in to rescue the financial sector. You can argue (and I would) that the bailouts of financial firms could and should have been handled better, that taxpayers have paid too much and received too little. Yet its possible to be dissatisfied, even angry, about the way the financial bailouts have worked while acknowledging that without these bailouts things would have been much worse.

The point is that this time, unlike in the 1930s, the government didnt take a hands-off attitude while much of the banking system collapsed. And thats another reason were not living through Great Depression II."
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #276
281. It's not a question of whether some kind of bailout was needed, it's how it was done
This is what Krugman had to say about Geithner's plan:

The Geithner scheme would offer a one-way bet: if asset values go up, the investors profit, but if they go down, the investors can walk away from their debt This isn't really about letting markets work. It's just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets.

In other words, this is a gift from the American taxpayers to the banks. Krugman said Geithners plan was very similar to Hank Paulsons abandoned "cash for trash" plan, and he said that it wont work. And worse yet, Krugman added:

If this plan fails as it almost surely will it's unlikely that he'll (Obama) be able to persuade Congress to come up with more funds to do what he should have done in the first place.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE52M4SS20090323
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #281
285. But I thought you said the bailout didn't actually help?
If you want to change the subject to whether the bailout could have been designed better, I would probably agree with you. But that was not what you said originally. You were castigating Obama for bailing out Wall Street period.

(As for Geithner's PPIP, that was drastically reduced and is basically irrelevant to the bailout. It was proposed to be much bigger, but Geithner backed down after criticisms.)
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #285
288. I don't believe it did help
I don't believe Krugman thinks it helped either. The link you provided simply indicates that he thinks some kind of bailout was needed. Anyhow, my OP I provide a link to my discussion about the bailout, but don't go into the details in the OP. The main point is that the bailout was provided without strings attached to the banks, so that it was all positive for them, and they didn't have to give anything in return.
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #288
289. That's true that there weren't enough strings, but Krugman most certainly agrees that it helped. He
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 05:55 PM by BzaDem
specifically said that the bailout prevented a "Great Depression II," and I think it is implied that preventing a Great Depression II is a good thing. We already tried not bailing out the banks. In the 30s. The result was Great Depression I.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #289
291. Again
Krugman on Geithner's bailout plan:

"If this plan fails as it almost surely will it's unlikely that he'll (Obama) be able to persuade Congress to come up with more funds to do what he should have done in the first place."

Yes, he thought some kind of bailout was needed, but he also felt it was done very poorly, our other good economists. I don't know the precise context of the link you provided on this, and I don't have access to it.

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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #291
292. Geithner's announcement of the PPIP has nothing to do with this.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 06:25 PM by BzaDem
I'm talking about the actual multi-trillion bailout. Not the "Geithner bailout plan" which was basically scrapped soon after its announcement.

Krugman specifically said in the article I linked to you (which is public) that all of the bailouts (even if they weren't designed optimally) prevented us from getting in another Great Depression II that would have occurred had there not have been bailouts.

If you are going to disagree with Krugman, you should come right out and say it straightforwardly, and acknowledge that this part of your critique relies on you being right and him being wrong.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #292
293. You're saying that the actual plan wasn't Geithner's?
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #293
297. You are talking about one specific plan (called the PPIP) proposed by Geithner in early 2009
which was subsequently (more or less) scrapped.

The actual bailout (that Krugman says the abscence of would have caused another great depression) was primarily designed by Paulson, Dodd, Frank, Bernanke, and others.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #297
311. An article from The Nation by Christopher Hayes and Nomi Prins
I believe provides a good summary of what was wrong with the bailout as it occurred:

A fraction of the $17.5 trillion bailout could have been used to cut the principal of homeowners' mortgages (using homes, even devalued ones, as collateral) and cover student loans at zero percent interest. Rather than pouring it into the top layers--the banks--a people's bailout would have cost less and been more humane. And it likely would have prevented the ongoing increase in defaults, foreclosures and general economic anxiety.


This is similar to what Krugman, Stiglitz, Reich, Galgraith and Baker were saying about Geithner's original plan.

Anyhow, if you say that the PPIP was scrapped, then what is this about?

http://www.dsnews.com/articles/ppip-funds-purchase-34b-...





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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #311
314. It is about percentages.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 07:02 PM by BzaDem
Originally, it was supposed to be the main component of a bailout to get toxic assets off banks balance sheets. It would start at 500 billion, expand to a trillion, and probably even more.

In the end, it was used to buy about 5% of the initial amount, which is negligable compared to the rest of the bailout. (In other words, the total percentage of the bailout/guarantees that had anything to do with the PPIP was something like a quarter of one percent).

That is what I mean by more or less scrapped. As a percentage of the bailout, it wasn't even a rounding error.

As for your homeowner proposal, that would be a good policy in ADDITION to saving the banks. But you still had to save the banks to prevent the depression. It wasn't an either-or scenario. The banks had to be bailed out, but obviously policy like what you describe (cutting principal on mortgages) would have been good on TOP of that. As would a much larger stimulus, etc.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #314
317. Again, I never said that no bailout of the banks should have taken place
It was the lack of receiving anything in return for the bailout that I find so upsetting, and that is essentially what the economists who I quote in my link were saying. The bailout was much more geared keeping Wall Street happy than addressing the needs of most Americans.

Also, I will add that I have read a number of articles that have suggested that the bailout did not accomplish its main purpose, which was to get credit flowing for American consumers (which was related to the lack of controls in the legislation). I can't supply links to those articles, but the impression I got was that we should consider the possibility that the bailout did no good at all, or that it may have even had a net negative effect.
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #317
318. I think our disagreement is over what baseline we are using to measure how much "good" it did.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 07:18 PM by BzaDem
You seem to be using as a baseline the conditions prior to the bailout. Using that baseline, it did not improve credit flow much.

However, my baseline is what would have happened WITHOUT the bailout. In that situation, many economists think credit would have PLUNGED to depression levels. Therefore, since credit did not plunge to where it would have without the bailout, it helped.

So you are correct that many economists agree with you that the bailout did not greatly improve the flow of credit, relative to your baseline (say August of 2008). But these economists also agree with me, in that the bailout DID greatly improve the flow of credit relative to MY baseline (what would have happened if there were no bailout). That's all I am saying.

It's kind of like the stimulus. Republicans are attacking the stimulus, because we have fewer jobs now than we had before the stimulus passed. And that point is technically true. But relative to the baseline of what would have happened WITHOUT the stimulus, we have millions of more jobs than we would have had without the stimulus. So even though we are worse off now than we were before the stimulus (in terms of the unemployment rate), we are much better off now than we would be without the stimulus. This makes it a success overall. That doesn't mean it couldn't have been much better, but it still was a success.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #318
321. Yes
I think we agree on the fact that the bailout could have and should have been a lot better constructed than it was -- in order to provide benefits to ordinary Americans. That is what my beef against Obama is about on this issue, and that's aside from the question of whether there should have been a bailout -- which I have never argued against (maybe I should have made that clearer).

Our economy is still in terrible shape, and millions of Americans are facing desperate circumstances. More attention to ordinary Americans and less attention to the wishes of Wall Street could have gone a long way towards improving that.

Whether or not the bailout as it actually took place did any good at all is another question. I'm still skeptical about that, but I'm not prepared to argue it or have a definite opinion about it.

Thanks for an interesting and informative discussion.
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azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #276
284. Sure what?
Just where are the terms "job loss", or is that your interpretation of these quotes?
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #284
286. Generally, when someone says that we would have a "Great Depression II" without the bailout
they mean 25-30% unemployment.

Obviously 25-30% unemployment would imply "job loss."
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #271
282. No. Obama could have taken a strong stand for the extension of unemployment benefits
unattached to the tax cuts. He didn't do that. The Republicans should have been forced at least to repeatedly vote against the extension of unemployment benefits -- give the American people a real good idea of where their priorities are.
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #282
287. When Republicans control the House, Democrats cannot force them to repeatedly vote for anything.
Republicans control the floor schedule, not Democrats.

This is really besides the point though, since taking a strong stand for something is very different than actually getting it done. Unemployment benefits expired for weeks over the summer, and Republicans were HAPPY to vote down bills extending them each and every time. This was only resolved when Manchin appointed Byrd's replacement.

Republicans have taken a "strong stand" against unemployment benefits for the entire year. Obama "taking a strong stand" would have not gotten a 13 month extension like he ended up getting.
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rtassi Donating Member (486 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #267
330. +1
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hay rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #264
278. Misunderstanding the post.
I guess you're referring to this:
"His administration engineered a multi-trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street, while compiling the worst record on job creation since the Hoover administration, and leaving millions of desperate Americans largely to fend for themselves, as millions lose their homes."

I take this to mean that the Obama administration supported and extended the bailout(s) initiated by the Bush administration WHILE (meaning at the same time, not implying causal connection) "compiling the worst record on job creation since the Hoover administration..."

The OP does not castigate Obama for failing to veto any of the bailouts that took place under his watch so much as for shaping them to protect financial institutions at the expense of everyone else. One example he provides is the Making Home Affordable program.

On the subject of extending tax cuts for the rich, your criticism attacks straw men. "But if Obama vetoed..." would have us believe that Obama would veto a bill which he crafted and fought for. Then, after the hypothetical veto you deride you suggest that the poster would "blame Obama for violating his promise on not allowing taxes for the middle class to rise one dime!" On the contrary, most progressive critics of Obama's compromise recognized that the middle class was being held hostage, but also thought that the price demanded (and ultimately paid) was catastrophically high. The choice offered was between bad (the Republican threats) and worse (the compromise).
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #278
280. I think my reading of the OP on the bailout point is supported by his replies to me
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 05:34 PM by BzaDem
and our ensuing discussion.

As for the tax point, the OP would clearly rather Obama say (before any compromise were made) "I will veto any bill that extends the tax cuts for the wealthy."

But that would have resulted in taxes for the middle class skyrocketing in the middle of an anemic recovery, not to mention breaking one of his signature campaign promises that millions of middle class voters relied on. That would be the Republican dream scenario -- they would win in 2012 and then make all the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy permanent anyway (and probably cut them even more).

Though I'm glad you agree that there was indeed a choice between doing nothing and doing a deal like the one that was passed. I would disagree with you that the price for the wealthy tax cuts (140 billion) was catastrophically high (the rest of the bill for the non-rich was many times that), but at least we are having a conversation on the contours of reality, as opposed to talking about an imaginary third option where he could have gotten exactly what he wanted somehow.
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hay rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #280
298. Price of tax cuts for the wealthy.
If the price was "only" $140 billion, I might agree. Without checking, I assume that is the price for the two year extension. Of course, the deal was made with the foreknowledge that the Republicans would be taking control of the House. In the real world, part of the price of the extension is the near certainty that it will lead to another extension of the tax cuts for the rich at the very least.

The fact that the next extension is not yet signed into law does not indemnify its supporters from the probable costs that such an extension will likely incur.

And the tax cuts for the wealthy wasn't even the worst element of the compromise...that would be the payroll tax "holiday" which is being sold as stimulus but looks a whole lot like a Trojan horse attack on Social Security...
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #298
302. The only part that Obama signed is the 140 billion 2 year extension.
If he signs multiple extensions to that in the future, when the economic recovery is self-sustaining and can withstand the loss in aggregate demand of the tax cuts for the middle class, that would be a completely different story.

As for the payroll tax holiday, I would agree with those who fought for it (Obama) that it is actually a stimulus. The idea that it is a "trojan horse attack on SS" is silly. The trust fund is completely reimbursed in the bill that passed.
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hay rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #302
329. Silly me (guilty as charged).
The problem with the trust fund being "reimbursed" by money from general revenues is that the program is then no longer self-funding. If it is not fully funded through employee-employer contributions it becomes just another program that contributes to the deficit and is fair game for a "shared sacrifice" cut. Anyone who watched the antics of the Obama-appointed Bowles-Simpson commission would not be surprised to see Obama support and sign such legislation.
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #329
341. Here's what I don't get about that though.
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 10:19 PM by BzaDem
If we were to agree with your proposition, that accounting differences between the trust fund and the general fund make the difference political life and political death to SS, then you must assume there exists a group of legislators who

A) Would never touch SS as long as it is fully funded by a separate accounting device, but
B) Would touch SS if part of its funding came from the general fund.

I just don't see it. Conservatives want to gut Social Security, but not because it now is partially funded by the general fund. They want to gut Social Security because it goes against their ideology. Likewise, liberals don't want to reduce SS benefits at all -- not because it has a separate funding source, but because that goes against our beliefs.

In other words, conservatives would prefer to gut SS EVEN IF it had its own undisturbed funding source, and liberals would prefer not to touch SS even if there was no separate funding source.

So how does changing the funding source for 1/3 of the employee portion matter? If people's positions on SS would remain the same regardless of the funding source, how is it threatened by slightly changing it? I always thought the long term viability of SS came from the fact that it was for everyone -- not because of differences in accounting.
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hay rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #341
358. Shades of red and blue.
I don't think all Republicans are conservatives that want to gut Social Security nor do I think all Democrats are liberals who would fight to the death to preserve benefits intact. I think a significant number of non-Tea Party Republicans are neither opposed to leaving Social Security alone if it is politically expedient nor averse to cutting benefits if it can be done with some kind of political cover (cutting the deficit!). I think there are an equal or greater number of Blue Dogs who are in approximately the same boat.

So yes, I think those legislators exist.
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 04:14 AM
Response to Reply #358
373. But they will still claim cutting Social Security is required to cut the deficit regardless of the
Edited on Mon Dec-27-10 04:16 AM by BzaDem
funding source. The deficit commission just did -- before the payroll tax holiday was even proposed. The fact that you and I are aware of the accounting details doesn't mean most voters are.

Your argument relies on a modified funding source creating more "political cover" for cuts. But that relies on voters understanding the difference. I really doubt they do in general. Putting to one side whether or not saying the words "cutting the deficit" provides any political cover (and the reactions of the populace of Europe might counsel otherwise), those words are going to be spoken regardless of the funding source.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #278
290. Exactly
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
277. The Purists are naive...
Bailing out Wallstreet

If Obama had not continued TARP, then the poor and working class would have been much worse off. I know many Progressives would have loved to see the system crash, but the last time that happened we had the Great Depression. Indeed, Herbert Hoover, a conservative, did nothing at all to stop the banks from crashing before the Great Depression. He just let the free market work itself out. To find this a "progressive" policy is insane.

The progressive purists on here are going to be perpetually angry and mad for a long time at any and all Democrats. The problem isn't that Obama's personal values don't align with progressives, or many other Democrats in Congress. The problem is and will continue to be that the system is set up for progressives to fail. Our elections are largely funded by corporate money and require lots of it to win. So our Congress is much more conservative than the American people at large, whatever the personal beliefs of the politicians. And with a conservative Congress, what can a President do? Even an avowed progressive could have done nothing more than Obama did, besides not pass any new legislation at all by trying to veto everything, and even then the Congress could overrule him with 2/3 of the vote.

Seriously, the progressives on here that consider Democrats to be just as bad or worse, which is a significant number, are wasting their time on here. You should be forming a progressive third party. Or you should be pushing for election reform. Or both. Because the Democrats will not be progressive on the whole for as long as the current political system and rules are in place.

The opinions that differ on Obama are not surprising at all. From the purists, you have incredibly naive, high expectations that would make FDR a terrible, fascist president and that usually competely ignore the fact that the Democrats in Congress are by and large pretty conservative. From some of the Obama cheerleaders, you just have the cult of personality worship or incredibly low expectations of what makes a great president, or the fact that he is black makes him automatically a great president, because to say the first black president is anything but great would be too big of a disappointment for some of the Obama cheerleaders, especially those hoping that his race would somehow change things.

Given what Obama has to deal with, I respect Obama and understand what he is trying to do. I don't always agree with the strategy, but I am not so naive to think he is a "terrible" president, in the relative sense, or the "greatest" president either. As the first black president, and the president after Bush, I think many on here have impossible expectations and hopes, whether one way or the other, about Obama. What's not surprising is that for so many on here, they either think he's a terrible president or that he is great. That's because it's much easier to live in a fantasy world where things are cut and dry. Obama is terrible and conservatives have complete control. Obama is great and is defeating the conservatives. Both are naive views of the world, but comforting in their black and white nature and a sense of rightousness for those who hold them.


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FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
279. Before I read all the posts above...
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 05:33 PM by FirstLight
I want to say that I am bookmarking this post. I fully agree with your reasonong and would like to peruse the linked articles and posts much further...

On a first read, it is well thought out, well argued and SPOT ON.

I am part of the class that is being pummeled in this economy - by our own democratic govt!...and after 2 years of a majority, and some amazing promises in 2008, i am not only dissapointed, but afraid of where the next 2 years will take us. My professional life is a shambles, and my family is one of the statistics on welfare & food stamps.. I HATE IT! I want to work.

I thought we would see more in infrastructure, environment and ending the wars...
seems the corporate overlords won't allow that now, will they?
Besides, a high unemployment rate means fresh meat for their front lines in afganistan and multiple other places we don't even know of...

My son just graduated this year, and he is so depressed in his future options, he either wants to hide from reality in his imaginary videogames, or sees no other options but to enlist...

such a horrible place for us to be, and i fear there is no way out...in fact i am sure that it will get worse before it gets better. the corporate owned politicians are driving us deeper into the ditch, with Obama's help. ...and I thought he said they couldn't drive anymore?

reminds me of the time i knew my dad was drunk and refused to get into the car with him. I was 16, and my mom told me that i would NOT make a scene, i would get in the car and shut up. ...it was the scariest ride home in my life.
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Locrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
294. relentless grinding of the system
When I read Naomi Kliens "Shock Doctrine" this came up again and again: after much pummeling and destruction, the "good guy" takes office. Hopes are high! The good guys won right? And the same outcome again and again. The "new leader" emerges from his first meetings, looking dejected and beat down. Anyone remember Obama and his first "meetings"?

It's because the fix is in. It's ALWAYS been in. The economy is not controlled by governments. It's a rigged game, and the wealthy super elites, wall street, bankers et all control it. We went from agricultural revolution to industrial revolution to financial revolution. Each step of the way removing the economy more and more from reality of real "value", but more and more rewarding the "do nothings".

But surely the "good guy" can change it right? At what cost? Nightmare depression? World wide chaos?

It's game over. It's the inevitable outcome of a money economy that is based on debt and favors the investment class OVER ALL OTHER HUMAN QUALITIES.

There is no "game" anymore. There is only the relentless grinding of the system that will continue to transfer wealth away from any true value. I dont know what the next "revolution" will be.

It may be the "environmental" revolution that changes things when climate change forces it.
Or it could be many more years of economic starvation, creeping fascist control as the shit hits the fan.
The old curse is to live in "interesting" times.
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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
299. You criticize the president for "bailing wall street" but conveniently don't mention
his bailout of the auto industry, along with myriad other policies this administration put into place that saved the middle class.

Or maybe you did mention it. I stopped reading after your erroneous information about jobs growth under this administration. Two prominently wrong/misleading bits of info rendered the rest of your post not really worth reading.

Edit: Just saw your bit about the efforts to "weaken social security" with a link to FDL of all places. The fact that this never happened doesn't matter one whit, does it?

Unrec
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #299
306. Erroneous information on jobs growth?
You deny that jobs creation has been negative so far under this administration?
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
301. The wealthy/corporate class is winning the class war big time, and President Obama gives little
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 06:38 PM by KoKo
evidence of what his "CORE PRINCIPLES ARE!"

Obama, Himself...has much to gain for his Wife and Children he is trying to protect against what is going on with the rest of us.

It's good that our PRESIDENT is taking care of his Wife AND CHILDREN! It shows the strength of character he has that he knows about his future.

The rest of us don't know about "Our Future" ...but we are happy to have our President Electeds reap from the WORK THEY DID to KEEP US SAFE FROM TERRORISTS and to MAKE OUR ECONOMY WHOLE.

Most DU'ers see this..the rest are "OUTLIERS" who need to be "CULLED FROM THE ROSTER OF DEM ACTIVE VOTERS."

:sarcasm:

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mrdmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
304. K and R, reason #1 Habeas Corpus WTF
#2 There was enough money given to Banks and Wall Street to have every homeowner who was having trouble paying their mortgage to pay their mortgage.

#3 Dealing with corruption with kit gloves.

#4 Expanding the war front with how many wars?

#5 Having a constitutional scholar sign a bill to kill a single NGO.

#6 The big up yours by hiring people who caused the problem in the first place.
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rtassi Donating Member (486 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #304
332. +1
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
310. I recommended this for making a great argument, but I am really sick and I can't
think well enough to make a decent rebuttal.

However, I do want to mention my pessimism towards solving the class war. What options do we have?

1) Vote for another party and let the Republicans win.

2) Create propaganda, but how can we compete with TV and radio?

3) Mass crime waves, but the only crimes most of us are willing to commit are traffic violations, drugs, and illegal downloads.

4) Violent rebellion, but most of us, including myself, are too passive for this. I don't want to hurt anyone, and we probably could not win that fight anyways.

5) Drop out and form a massive commune, but many of us have families or careers we would rather not leave behind.

6) Work hard to get more liberal Democrats elected, but this has been difficult. This may be our most realistic option though.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
312. Wall Street vs. homeowners?! HA!
Some people never made it to a point where they could even be homeowners. so that categorization is of no relevance to them.

Others among us were wise enough to avoid the consumerist temptation to buy house we couldn't afford just to "fit in" and we saw through the bankers' BS and didn't take on deceptively favorable loans that would surely come back to bite us in the ass.

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kgnu_fan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
313. DU was "anti illegal war" during the bush era, but many DUers can care less about wars under Obama
Yes, class consciousness is the key to our progress --- AND we need to pay attention to the rapid rising of so called "patriotic war mongering" going on in our discussion board.
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gulliver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
323. This post is useful in that it summarizes some "self-defeating"...
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 07:42 PM by gulliver
...sentiments so many on DU suffer from, in my opinion. I sympathize with these folks. I am sure they must be among those suffering pretty badly under the current world situation. Unfortunately, I don't think items like your post help them at all.

It could be that Obama and the Dems don't look to you like they accomplished much because you aren't in a frame of mind that allows you to see accomplishments, either to suggest them or appreciate them once they are achieved. Maybe you have your eyes closed, or maybe the accomplishments did not help you personally, and you discount them.

In my opinion, we need to recognize our victories and celebrate them, not see them all as defeats. I think it is psychologically a terrible idea to fail to experience victory when it happens, and it is much worse to habitually write off partial victories as defeats. If we're expecting a neon sign to light up in the sky and say "You're winning a bunch of these! Celebrate! It will build your strength!" we'll be waiting a long time. It is for us to decide. To me, the evidence of success is clearly there.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #323
380. I don't see partial victories as defeats. I just don't get very excited about them.
I'll use a football analogy: Your team is behind 21 points with 8 minutes to go. Instead of going for big plays, you grind out two more first downs on the ground, using up another 4 minutes. Nice playing under ordinary circumstances, but in the larger picture it's just hurting you more and wasting a potential opportunity to try to win the game.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
324. After reading the OP, here's my thoughts.
"But there's more ... he's fixin' to gut Social Security. He's already attacked Medicare and Medicaid. I disenrolled from the Democratic Party after he stood up and defended holding people for years - in custody ... without access to a hearing ("prolonged detention"). Patriot Acts I and II still stand (the gutting of Fourth-, Fifth-, and Sixth-Amendment-related rights). Rendition continues per human rights organizations. He's stated that he has the right to assassinate an American citizen - the ultimate punishment - without due process rights. AND, he's about to sign a bill federalizing food, which companies like Monsanto, Kraft, and Cargill lobbied strongly for ... I'm sure it was because they cared about our long-term health and welfare."
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rtassi Donating Member (486 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
331. TFC ... Dale, you have found your strong clear voice ...
I'm proud to call you my friend ... and yes DADT was a diversion and a political pacifier ... nothing more!
I hope you had a great Christmas!
rt
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #331
381. Thank you, Bob.
Hope you have a great Christmas too.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
335. I concur. It's the economic issues that matter most. Honored to kick. n/t
-Laelth
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nckjm Donating Member (66 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
336. Thank you so much for this post
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-10 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
356. Calvin & Hobbs/2012
Edited on Sun Dec-26-10 11:41 PM by Swamp Rat
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WhaTHellsgoingonhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
364. Excellent post!
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meow mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
365. recommended nt
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 04:09 AM
Response to Original message
371. I refuse to be "civil" with IDIOTS
they do NOT command that kind of respect
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #371
379. Particularly the idiots who are robbing us blind - I completely agree. nt
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #371
383. indeed
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
389. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
 
annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
395. I LIKE that Crooks and Liars exerpted from this for their 12/27
newsletter!
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