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Kucinich Says Obama Got the Deal He Wanted

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Posted on Aug 4, 2011
AP / Mark Duncan

President Obama talks with Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, left, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, center, in 2010.

(Page 3)

Howie Stier: Now, though they’re not in a professional drama program to be actors—this is sort of an extracurricular program.

Peter Friedrich: Yeah, it’s sort of—I sort of shoehorn it in any class that I can. And I have some who are convinced that this is what they want to do with the rest of their lives. But for us in the meantime, it’s just…it’s just a way of self-expressing, standing out from the crowd, taking a stand and really learning something about, and teaching something to other people about, the human experience.

Howie Stier: Now, in that process, you had said that they quickly developed the mannerisms and characteristics of actors here in Los Angeles.

Peter Friedrich: Oh, every one of them, yeah. Yeah.


Square, Site wide
Howie Stier: If you could tell us about that …

Peter Friedrich: Well, it was all fine at first, and then about a month before the big show, when they know they’re on stage, every stereotype of every actor you’ve seen in Los Angeles just manifested itself in every single student. You know, you had the tough guy; and the tortured intellectual one; you know, the flirty one; the complainer … I don’t know … the “network,” super-hip guy; gosh, what else is there? They’re actually all described in “An Actor Prepares.” And it was true then, it was true here in L.A., and it’s definitely true in Iraq: There is something about the pressure of being onstage in front of everybody that releases these same character types. It’s very funny.

Howie Stier: You decided to put on a production of “Macbeth.” How did that go?

Peter Friedrich: It was going great until about that time—a month before production—and then it just fell apart like a bad cookie.

Howie Stier: So how did you resolve it? How did you make the show go on?

Peter Friedrich: You know, I don’t know. We were definitely, maybe, not going to have a show at all; I had someone say to me, ‘Well, you know, I just can’t do the show anymore because I’m not playing Macbeth.’ And I said, ‘You’re playing Macduff! It’s a fantastic, fantastic role; I actually like it better than Macbeth!’ And he said, ‘Well, that’s OK; I mean, let me know if you want me to play Macbeth; I’ve had enough.’ You know, at this point, everyone’s memorized lines and that sort of thing, but there is no changing anybody’s mind about that. So finally, I had to throw a Hail Mary and convert everything to an L.A.-style showcase, where we just did scenes from different plays that were tailored to each actor’s strengths.

Howie Stier: So in L.A., that’s sort of professionally looked down on, the showcase—that I constantly get invited to by writers and actors, ‘come see my showcase’; it’s not ideal …

Peter Friedrich: I know, I know. I get—my friends tell me I brought, like, the worst we have to offer to Iraq. But [laughs], you know, they showcased the first production.

Howie Stier: But how did it go over?

Peter Friedrich: It was fantastic. People were crying in the audience; there were parents coming up from Baghdad who didn’t speak a word of English, and through a student who spoke English said that was the proudest they’d ever been …

Howie Stier: I’ve got to interrupt you right there; we have to explain to the audience where your university is.

Peter Friedrich: Right. It’s in Sulaimani; it’s in the northern, Kurdish part of Iraq. It’s a pretty quiet, spread-out, dusty town.

Howie Stier: How far away from Baghdad?

Peter Friedrich: One hundred fifty miles northwest.

Howie Stier: And 50 miles from the Iranian border?

Peter Friedrich: Yeah. That’s about right.

Howie Stier: So you have families coming up. … This was a big production? You had a big theater?

Peter Friedrich:Yeah, a 600-seat theater.

Howie Stier: Tell us about that theater.

Peter Friedrich: You know, I don’t know much; all I know is that it had everything you needed, and for the most part it was sitting empty. And that’s a really strange phenomenon up there right now. I mean, there’s a lot of—there’s a lot of tension; there’s a lot of politics and intrigue; not outright violence as there is, obviously, as we all know, in other parts of the country. But there’s a lot of tension between different parties and different groups, and when it comes to using a big theater space, people are afraid to loan it to the wrong person. So I had to drink a lot of tea and spend a lot of time with a lot of Ministry of Culture folks, and eventually they let us use it. And now it’s great, because nothing bad happened, so now we’re off to the races. We’ve got a theater space; we’re good to go next year.

Howie Stier: So you’re ready for another production. Are you going to have more students in the program next year?

Peter Friedrich: Oh, yeah [laughs]. Yeah, we have an army at this point, since we did that play.

Howie Stier: So if you could explain that—you started out with a handful of students …

Peter Friedrich: Yeah, like 10 committed to the show, I think I had, maybe … we do other things; we have an improv troupe; we have filmmakers; we have a huge elocution contest ... and there’s also a lot of other volunteer faculty that help with all of this stuff. But the Shakespeare stole the show of the whole year, which is amazing.

Howie Stier: What was it like to be there in an Iraqi theater—a place that had never seen a Western theatrical performance before; a lot of the audience members did not speak English, and the performance was in English … ?

Peter Friedrich: Yeah. I wish I could have turned a camera on the audience the whole time. I’m a moron for not doing that; I really should have done that. But I can tell you, I don’t know which is better—to see Shakespeare for the first time, or to watch an audience seeing Shakespeare for the first time; it’s just, it’s like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, or a grizzly bear, or something. It just … from the moment the first actor walked out, arms outstretched—this actor in particular moved too quickly, and finally I had to just say listen, you’re on the moon, just space-walk …

Howie Stier: Well, why … could this have been any play? Why is Shakespeare the relevant production?

Peter Friedrich: Even if you only get half of what’s being said, the universal, timeless themes of love and jealousy—you know, war and loss—it just, it speaks to everyone, anywhere; it speaks to every human being.

Howie Stier: Now, this is a nation that is at war. You are teaching in an area of Iraq that has long had sectarian violence. And you have students from different factions in your school.

Peter Friedrich: We do.

Howie Stier: Could you explain some of that dynamic?

Peter Friedrich: Well, there’s a long shadow of history; discussing problems doesn’t seem to do much good, I’ve found. It’s better just to embark on projects together and learn things about each other, that all the discussion about racism or prejudice…you know, you won’t get anywhere. You’ve got to get past the discussion and start doing something.

Howie Stier: Did your drama training evoke some feelings about the war, about the previous wars and the ongoing conflict, among the students?

Peter Friedrich: More than half of our students have lost a parent or both, certainly several relatives, from one of the many wars. And if you think about that too much as a teacher or a director, it’s sort of paralyzing. I just prefer, actually, not to think about it. To me it’s like climbing a mountain and looking down the whole time, if that makes any sense. You’ve got to just keep your focus. And I don’t think they much like being talked to like they lost a parent; I think they like being talked to like an actor who’s trying to play a role.

Howie Stier: What’s on the bill for next season, for the next semester?

Peter Friedrich: [laughs] Well, we’ve got a theater. You know, we’ve written a couple of plays; it’ll be interesting to see if we can expand that into full play form. I certainly have had an open invitation for any acting company who wants to come out, to let me know, and let’s talk about it. The tough thing about theater, or really anything, out there is that they’re isolated; you know, they don’t get to see other … they don’t get to see another Shakespeare company perform. Imagine what that would be, for them to have that kind of bridge. So I would love to find a group of actors—and, of course, the grant money—to make something like that happen.

Howie Stier: Now, again, you’re visiting Los Angeles for a few days, visiting your colleagues from your theater group. You’re going back to Iraq. How are you feeling? Are you looking forward to this?

Peter Friedrich: I really am. I really am. At this point, I don’t … I love, obviously, coming back to Los Angeles; I’m having a fantastic time. But yeah, at this point, I feel like they’ll have to carry me out of there for me to quit. It’s just amazing, and I wish everyone could have that experience.

Howie Stier: What is the most satisfying thing about teaching these Iraqis?

Peter Friedrich: I think just watching them discover—watching them discover, and I’m discovering it too—the nature of theater again. That it’s the most dangerous safe thing you can do. You know, at the end of the day, no one’s going to die from doing a show. But it is so absolutely terrifying. And people watching can’t believe it, you know; for all these people in the audience—and for these guys, they’re basically performing in front of every single person they know—and you just think of the stakes of that and what it brings out in people. And afterwards, everyone’s in tears, and just … you know, that’s pretty cool.

Howie Stier: The curtain comes down.

Peter Friedrich: Yeah.

Howie Stier: And with that, we have to say goodbye and thanks for coming in.

Peter Friedrich: Thank you, Howie.

Howie Stier: Peter Friedrich, senior lecturer of fine arts and head of the drama and film department of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani.

* * *



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By betty jo ford, August 9, 2011 at 7:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hope that Dennis tracks the coming coup and facilitates America’s response.We all know that it starts with the Koch brothers giving monies to Grover,who in turn bribes Congress.It is my allegation that the brother of Grover,David L. Norquist,through his Partnership at Kearney and Company,a privately held accounting firm, with offices all over the world,is advising Grover of everything that Kearney learns through it’s federal contracts.There is probably no fed department that Kearney is not into.David Norquist is Uncle Sam’s bookkeeper.The third Norquist brother ,Alan, owns a company called Veriphyr.It has put in a proposal to Darpa to gaurd America’s cyber network.Three Norquist Brothers,The Koch Brothers,an Arabic wife,a history of Arab terrorists being given acess to the Bush White House are all reasons to track the coming coup.

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By Ralph Kramden, August 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A nation that does not elect those such as Ralph Nader or David Kucinich is a nation on a death wish. I did enjoy Peter Sheer’s parting shot at his father after Robert started trying to backtrack about how Kucinich was not their favorite congressman but only one amongst a few; I lovedhow he closed by saying “our favorite congressman.”

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By SteveL, August 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

“Pentagon with more money than it wants”

Even if $500 billion were cut, how many countries would we still be outspending on the military?

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By Night-Gaunt, August 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

You do that and as your protest is ignored the more extreme Reich wingers will get in. You see they like fewer votes, less turnout and ridiculous actions like yours. Why do you think they keep pushing the myth of “voter fraud” to use it as a means to cutting off real Democrats from getting to vote? Your ignorance is breath taking. And your self destructive foolishness. Rethink now.

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By Martin, August 6, 2011 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comes the next election - any election - and probably at least several after that, I intend to write in my own name for any and all offices listed on the ballot.

Yes, it’s a ‘throwaway’ vote, but - if EVERYONE did it - it’d send a loud and clear message that might get the message across that we’re totally fed up….

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By Penn, August 6, 2011 at 9:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Last long paragraph in Kucinich interview:

“And this is the time for us to sound the toxin again and create for this country…”

Editors, the word is “tocsin,” not “toxin.”  The magnificent Rep. Kucinich is using it correctly.

That said, thank you for the interview and the transcription, which was very good.

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By Rixar13, August 6, 2011 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

“Virginia Reno: Absolutely. Absolutely, and people without children or grandchildren, or with children or grandchildren who didnt take care of them, would be in dire straits.”

Thank you Virginia Reno…..

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By EmileZ, August 6, 2011 at 2:08 am Link to this comment

RE: Kucinich

Dear Robert Scheer,

I love you man, but I am puzzled as to why you continue to selectively interpret Reagan’s legacy, intent, whathaveyou.

Reagan stopped enforcing anti-trust laws. Reagan broke the back of the labor movement. The man was vitually on the wrong side of everything all of political life. His speeches were really f**king creepy, etc.

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By DaveZx3, August 6, 2011 at 12:17 am Link to this comment

By ETNIKS, August 5 at 6:19 pm

“Kucinich said it very well, but nobody seemed to pick it up and expand on it.  THIS IS IT!!  The government must create its own currency, interest-free and close down the FED.”

ETNIKS has made a number of extremely good points.  His assertions are backed up by literally hundreds if not thousands of books, among the best being:

“End The Fed”,  Ron Paul; 
“The True Story Of The Bilderbeg Group”, Daniel Estulin; 
“The Creature From Jekyll Island”, G. Edward Griffin; 
“The Secrets of the Federal Reserve”, Eustace Mullins; 
“Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country”, William Greider.

According to most of the above sources,  the primary owners of the Federal Reserve Bank are: 

1. Rothschild’s of London and Berlin
2. Lazard Brothers of Paris
3. Israel Moses Seaf of Italy
4. Kuhn, Loeb & Co. of Germany and New York
5. Warburg & Company of Hamburg, Germany
6. Lehman Brothers of New York
7. Goldman, Sachs of New York
8. Rockefeller Brothers of New York

But who can confirm the above.  The Fed goes unaudited, so where their money flows is a secret.  They don’t pay any income tax, and they are not publicly traded.  We take their word for it that they operate on our behalf, but how can you actually tell? 

“Clearly the private ownership of the U.S. Dollar is by far The Greatest Crime of the Century.  The owners of this bank (Fed) have been responsible for instigating all the major wars and depressions in the last 100 years.  They own the bank, they own the dollar and they own all the major media channels, the military industrial complex and most politicians, judges and cops.”  “The privately held Federal Reserve Bank has not once been audited and never pays any income tax on their astonishing income.”
——Liberty For Life Association

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”.
——Henry Ford

“If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency.. the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
——Thomas Jefferson

I am just pasting a couple of the better quotes from the following website:

There are a lot of good points for pondering in there.

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By ETNIKS, August 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

BRAVO!!!  finally someone mentioned the US government has the capacity to create its OWN MONEY!!!
and it had to be the BEST Congressman in this country.

From the Right to the very Left NOBODY is talking about the MOST important issue in this crisis, namely:
The Fractional Reserve Banking System.


It has to be understood that within this fraudulent banking system, THE MORE WE PAY BACK OUR DEBTS, THE LESS MONEY IN CIRCULATION, and the less money in circulation, the more we strangle the economy!!!

Dollars today look the same as when they were backed by gold, but they are NOT the same.  “Dollars” today ONLY exist as long as the original loan that created them is not paid.  Once the loan is paid these dollars DISAPPEAR!!! and in order to grow the money supply to expand the economy to create jobs, we have to BORROW MORE!!!  It’s a vicious circle thanks to the Fractional Reserve Banking System.

It’s like a drug that requires you to consume it to feel well.  As soon as you stop (banks stop lending and currency flow contracts), you’re gasping for air and end up using more of what is destroying you.  More debt. More drugs.

Kucinich said it very well, but nobody seemed to pick it up and expand on it.  THIS IS IT!!  The government has to create its own currency, interest-free and close down the FED.

There are many other problems, but unless we STOP CREATING MONEY as loans, no other solution will work.


Lincoln did it during the war of secession, he created the GREENBACK to pay for the war at NO interest to the government, and he intended to keep doing it but he was assassinated.

Dollars today behave more like IOU’s masquerading as money.  Once they are paid back to the bank, they stop their existence.  These particular “dollars” are gone and “new” ones have to be lent out into existence.

Links to support this view:

Debunking Money - 1 Myth and Machiavelli 1 of 5

RENAISSANCE 2.0   Damon Vrabel

ONE GOOD CUT campaign



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By Basoflakes, August 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

I like listening to Kucinich, but I don’t see a solution from him.  Amy Goodman of Democracy Now had an article about the reluctance of the present congress and Administration to talk about the $5 Trillion spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts in these latest budget/debt ceiling talks.  That fell on deaf ears on Capital Hill.

Me, I would go back to Vietnam.  Not since WW2 has the US been attacked by a country that required our current Dept of Defence budget.  Although we had a committment in Korea and Kuwait, all other conflicts since the end of WW2 resulted in innocent civilians and soldiers on all sides dying for absolutely nothing.  Yes, the trillions that were spent should be discussed and the Defence budget should resultingly be cut in half at least, but the talks should always be ‘Who is benefitting from these conflicts’ so we can arrest the culprits to stop this insanity.

From the beginning, Obama proved to be a Republican and did nothing to show any courage from escalating Afghanistan fighting to a completely unprogressive health care bill, and now this latest debt ceiling bailout.  Nader predicts a contender for the 2012 Democratic nomination and that should be interesting.  However, this congress and Adminstration, as so many before them, has proven that the two party system is really the problem of America.

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By juan, August 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Okay, we’re all seeing Obama pretty clearly now.  Are
y’all ready to consider that Al Gore wouldn’t have been
much different than George Bush? I remember Scheer
vilifying Ralph Nader for running in 2000.  Still does
as far as I know.

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By THE SNED, August 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Local Hero…..please expand on your statement…like a few facts.
He has yet to attack a country that did nothing to us (Iraq….Vietnam….Afghanistan)

Now unless you and I grew up in two different worlds, you are either a tea party patsy or the kind of hero that drives around with a flag flying out the driver’s side window, having never served this country a day.  (Not taking away an ounce from the real heroes who have served and fly the flag)

One sentence attacks spread little more than hate.  So take a deep breath and tell us what you know that we don’t know.

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By M Henri Day, August 5, 2011 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Good questions from the Scheers, good answers from Mr Kucinich. Alas, from my vantage point here in Northern Europe, it seems extremely unlikely that what has been said in this interview will have the slightest effect on the political situation in the United States. People in that country - and we others in the rest of the world who are so strongly affected by the policies chosen by those who run its government - are in for a very rough ride, indeed….

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By Lafontaine, August 5, 2011 at 9:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Okay there’s all kinds of accusations being slung around against DK here and it seems to me that most of them are either bogus or grossly distorted. Read the comment by FRTothus to get what I think is a truer perspective. DK has always put the people before his own interests and he has proven that over and over again. If we had thrown our support behind him at the very start of the 08 campaign we might have had a really good chance to have a very different outcome in our situation today.

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By LocalHero, August 4, 2011 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment

Obama is the biggest Neo-con, warmonger to ever sit in the oval office. He makes Reagan look left of Stalin.

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By Not One More!, August 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

To Throw Off Such Government

“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 to. Life, Liberty , and the Pursuit of Happiness, That to secure these rights, Governments are formed , But whenever any form of government, Becomes destructive, It is the Right of the People, It is their Duty, To throw off such government”

~ From the Declaration of Independence

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By Not One More!, August 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

Obama got the deal he wanted, and the people got the shaft, again.

On this issue Kucinch is absolutely correct.

However, I lost a lot of respect for Kucinich as a representative of the progressive movement during the 2004 election when he dropped out the week before the democratic convention, when he promptly fell into place with the democratic party. He let a lot of people down, and I don’t think he ever fully apologized for that letdown of supporters of the progressive movement.

And then the reversal on the health bill. Strike two.

Mr. Kucinich, if upholding progressive positions is secondary to being reelected or being a democratic party member in good standing, then you are not what the progressive movement needs. Good intentions must turn into action. There is no retreat.

And if you are just acting as the democratic party gatekeeper, well then, who else is left? Being a nice guy is not enough.

Of course this is easy for me to say. I realize that it is very difficult, when trying to uphold progressive policies, to always be on the opposing side, the minority, and be attacked for standing up for principles of peace and justice. But that is what is going to be needed. Kucinich has not stepped up to bat. When it would have counted, he sat back down on the sidelines with all the other democrats. 

The first step for Kucinich to be considered a serious progressive is to drop out of the democratic party. Even if he doesn’t get elected.

Vote third party, stop supporting corporate parties.

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By Awi, August 4, 2011 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

The “o” is in fact doing exactly what he wants to do and to achieve.  He is a University of Chicago corporatist, head to toe.  The people that can’t get this through their heads are the Democratic clubbies.  If you have not moved past “o” yet, you are one of them.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Kucinich duped as much as most were in 2008 and being a dutiful Democrat, but Joell aren’t you jumping the gun here? He hasn’t endorsed Obama and it isn’t 2012 so your whole idea is ridiculous. I don’t see him doing so this time.

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By FRTothus, August 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

Kucinich fought the economic hit-men out to defraud
his city, his constituency, and won. He fought the
financial blackmailers and he beat them all.  He has
the right vision, is aware of the fraud of the FED,
and is competently aware of the real issues, the ones
the press and the ruling class will not discuss. 
Look for real heroes all you want, you won’t find
any.  Look for saviors, they are only in children
stories or Obama campaign ads.  Look for a politician
that isn’t compromised in some way, or dirty in
others, and you won’t find one among the majority of
both parties.  But SOME flawed human being, SOME
politician, not some Prince Charming, IS going to
fill that office, of that there can be no doubt. 
Which flawed character shall we allow? Obama of the
forked-tongue?  The one who gives away the store, or
maybe a real care-taker, who agrees with the core
human values that is the only legitimate purpose of
ANY government of, by, and for the people. Kucinich
may only be speaking the language of populism, may
turn out to serve the corporate overlords once
elected, exactly as Obama has done, but Kucinich
actually has a track record of FIGHTING, and WINNING
against the corporate attack dogs, references the New
Deal and Social Justice, makes all the right noises. 
Sure, Kucinich had to hold his nose and vote for a
bill he was against, like everyone else playing the
dirty game of politics, because his district, the
people he represents, the citizens of his district,
were being played as pawns in a game of chicken, a
vote against would result in funds due the district
being denied, held for ransom, just like the debt
“deal”, the blackmail (or greenmail) is common in
legislation.  Vote no, you win the battle, but lose
the war, having much-needed funds denied. Navigating
through the corporate-state requires making such
horrible, and in an imperfect world, regrettable
choices. Someone is going to make them.  In the real
world, you take what you can get, do the best you can
for the people (in Kucinich’s case), not the
corporations (as with most others) you are elected to
represent, and try to do them the most good and as
little harm along the way as you can manage.  In this
regard, Kucinich has shown himself to be a giant. He
works for his constituency, those who elected him. 
The man is no Saint, granted, but why are we looking
for saints in the first place?  Kucinich is a very
capable, and in many respects, an extraordinarily
honorable man, who displays a bravery and conviction
that is far too rare among his fellows. It is
precisely this integrity that so threatens the power
structure, puts such fear into the corporate lackeys,
makes them so insecure, that they will fall all over
themselves to tell us how un-electable he is, how
lacking he is in what it takes, make up whatever
excuse works to distract from the vision of the
purpose of government that he adheres to, the one
that has the support of the overwhelming majority of
Americans, that he has espoused his entire adult
life.  Kucinich is one of the few out there for whom
the US Constitution and Bill of Rights are not
radical documents.  Kucinich WILL take on the
corporate take-over of our county, the theft of the
commons, to the best of his ability, and faithfully
execute the Law of the Land, a feat for which the
current incumbent has proven entirely unwilling and
incapable.  Perhaps even a return to legitimacy and
sovereignty.  Whatever he might be after election,
Kucinich’s track record shows every indication that
he consistently walks his talk, and has the right
frame of reference.  In terms of character, few can
come close.  He is the real deal.  He fights for
regular people.  He has backbone.  The same certainly
cannot be said of the current excuse in the White

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By grokker, August 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

@tropicgirl Obama appointed opponents of Social Security to the Deficit Reduction Commission. Chumps like Republican Senator Alan Simpson and ex-Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, so you could see where he was planning to go all along. The same with all the ex Bush and Clinton Wall Street toadies he brought in to his Administration. He is a Wall Street Democrat—
what used to be known as a Republican.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, August 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

So then. We need to ask why our heroes, Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders are not running against Obama?

Unless of course MK77 is correct.

Of course MK77 is correct. Dennis Kucinich proved himself with the corporate healthcare bill.

Understand people. Kucinich and Sanders are ALLOWED to be there. The corporate owners want you think that we have a representative democracy.

We don’t. They are simply the window dressing.

See you all October 6th

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By al, August 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kucinich should sit down and STFU. The highlight of his legislative career has been to rename a post office. He and Ron Paul are the most ineffective members of the House.

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By anaman51, August 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

I sincerely hope Kucinich is wrong about his assessment of this issue, because if he’s not, then that would pretty much make Obama a two-legged carp.

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By david451, August 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Obama was always going to deliver for the monied interests that put him in the
White House—the same interests that he is now trolling for his re-election

From 2008 on, he has been consistent in both his statements and his actions
that he intended to tackle the social contract with Americans.  The Simpson “cat
food” commission was an early flag; the G20 Summit Declaration of last year
(lead by the US and Canada) said “The advanced economies have committed to
fiscal plans that will at least halve deficits by 2013.”; and recently he met with
conservative luminaries to assure them of these very actions.

As Matt Taibbi recently said in his blog, Obama delivered exactly what was
expected of him.  And he did it with a misdirection, a manufactured crisis. 
Rahm Emanuel has said: “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste…its an
opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”  In this case,
Obama used a fake crisis over the debt ceiling to push through austerity
measures that no Republican could have realistically imagined.

For more, please go to: .

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mackTN's avatar

By mackTN, August 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Why is anyone surprised at Obama’s behavior?  Look at the people he’s
surrounded himself with, the people he appointed to his economic council, the
people he hasn’t. Do you see any progressives on his staff?  Do you even see a lot
of diversity, like black people except for his valet, Valerie Jarrett and Holder? 

Obama’s slogan for 2012—Vote for me. It could be worse.

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By MK77, August 4, 2011 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

“Rape counselors are not on the side of the rapists!”

Their ROLE is that of rape counselor, making a show of pity and concern for those raped by legislation like the Healthcare Bill which THEY voted for.

It’s all a game, and unfortunately too few of us are on to it.

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By Gmonst, August 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Thats a load of hogwash MK77.  Even on this debt ceiling vote Sanders and Kucinich voted against it, and Boehner and Cantor voted for it.  To suggest that Sanders and Kucinich are just part of the problem really misses the mark.  We need to support those who speak the truth not shoot them down.

Rape counselors are not on the side of the rapists!

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By MK77, August 4, 2011 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

Kucinich and Sanders are just as useful to the corporate system as anyone else in Congress.

It’s just that their role is a little different.

They serve as rape counselors, consoling working stiffs and other unfortunates when necessary.

When it really matters, however, they vote the same way as Boehner, Cantor, Hoyer, and the others. They’ll cry and grieve after the voting is over and the bill becomes law. Their colleagues, on the other hand, make no show of caring about “the little people” and are thus more honest.

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By grumpynyker, August 4, 2011 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh please.  You fake progressives KNEW Barry Soetero was a Reagan loving, Republican WHILE he was “running” for President.  I’m writing in NONE OF THE ABOVE if the plutocrats allow another bullshit election come November.

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By Amerikagulag, August 4, 2011 at 11:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Certain people are put in certain places, to say certain things, to give the appearance of opposition, when, in fact, no opposition exists at all.

As with John Conyers, Henry Waxman, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and a plethora of others, there no longer exists an opposition to anything the Crime Syndicate of Washington DC intends to do to the American People.

Dissolve the Federal Reserve and this ‘debt’ would magically disappear. That’s What Lincoln, Garfield and Kennedy, both John and Robert wanted to do. Look what it got them.

It’s all a shell game. Wake up America.

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By lasmog, August 4, 2011 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

This is a tough crowd. I would happily vote for Kucinich as a primary challenger to Obama.

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By Gmonst, August 4, 2011 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

I am a big Kucinich fan.  I don’t agree with his healthcare vote, but I recall him being one of the only politicians to stand up and try to get the public option into the bill.  I also understand that he felt if the bill did not pass it would be a long long time before we could do anything on healthcare, and the bill was at least a small move in the right direction.  I don’t know if I agree with that conclusion, but I am not going to dismiss him just because of that.  Based on the current state of the house, I am not going to outright dismiss his judgement even if I felt differently at the time.  He has been one of the biggest fighters for the public good.  He takes being ridiculed and marginalized but keeps on fighting and speaking the truth.  For that he has my respect and support.

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By George, August 4, 2011 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So just how much, and why, are we to value the opinion of Mr Kucinich?

The Brand: Dennis Kucinich the Vegan opposition to the awful conservative movement.

Anyone here heard about the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act? A piece of legislation that has been used to imprison non-violent opponents of corporate animal cruelty including the “shac7”.

Dennis Kucinich was present with five other congressmen when that legislation was passed under a suspension of the rules. Kucinich alone could have stopped it with a no vote; instead he made a little speech to protect his brand and allowed the legislation to become law.

I’m no fan of Obama and will not vote for him again, but the opinion of Mr Kucinich carries little weight with me. He is just another self-serving politician willing to sell out his putative constituency at any time.

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entropy2's avatar

By entropy2, August 4, 2011 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

@madisolation - couldn’t have said it better myself… *but* (imo) don’t hold your breath waiting for DK to “man up.”

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By MK77, August 4, 2011 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

I listened to the interview before commenting.

One of the big problems with the American electoral system is that there are no consequences for casting bad votes.

Sanders and Kucinich voted to increase the powers of corrupt insurance corporations—the truly bad actors in the healthcare system—and yet they are still held in very high esteem, their reputation as left-wing mavericks completely unsullied.

Their stock should have been downgraded after that single awful vote.

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, August 4, 2011 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

Dennis knows the score, i.e. the deception that is the Obomber Regime (meet the
new boss, same as the old boss); and he knows how far he can go and still survive
politically and physically - e.g. Wellstone, anthrax, the Kennedys, MLK, et al

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By madisolation, August 4, 2011 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

When Kucinich apologizes for his vote on the Mandated Corporate Insurance Bill, maybe then I’ll take him seriously and listen to what he has to say. Until then, his words are only words, because when the chips are down, he’s proven he’ll cave. It was a punch in the gut when Kucinich voted turned out to be nothing more than another cowardly politician. All those phony speeches he gave about caring for the working men and women went by the wayside. I remember thinking: “That’s it then. There’s no liberal voice in Congress left.” As far as I’m concerned, he has to redeem himself if he wants to stay relevant. He has to express his views on everything going on in Congress and not worry about what the other members of his party think. And it all begins with an apology. Come on, Kucinich. Be a man. Let’s see if you can stand up for the people.

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By weindeb, August 4, 2011 at 7:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No doubt, despite some minor concessions, the health-care insurance industry
must be gleeful beyond description, as no doubt the pharmaceuticals were when
under Bush we got Medicare part D without a single negotiation for better prices.
Plus ça change, etc.

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tropicgirl's avatar

By tropicgirl, August 4, 2011 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Of course Obama got the deal he wanted. He is a fake.

And if you think he didn’t take the second major step in destroying SS and Medicare, (the first being the health insurance bill), LOOK again…

One of the things that will be “triggered” is a huge cut in entitlements. Entitlements paid for by American taxpayers and stolen from to the tune of $( Trillion, over the years.

Obama is out to destroy entitlements, labor unions, good medicine, peace, freedom and intelligence, and everything else good. It takes very little research to find these things out about him. For example, just “Google” “Obama Union Buster”.

I agree with the comments on Kucinich. I don’t really think it is possible for him to repair the damage he did with his votes with Obama, especially health care.

What Kucinich did, which is much more serious than even the vote, is what all “heroes” do, when they crash and burn… they demoralize others.

The compromise of the true liberals to the fake progressives and left-wing crooks, is extremely heartbreaking to watch, and it is the reason there is NO more anti-war movement. Any anti-war action will now come from the right, if it even can. Pretty sad.

But I’ll listen to anyone willing to speak the truth or do the right thing, even if it is for the moment. And with Kucinich, it will be just a moment in time.

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By MollyJ, August 4, 2011 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

MK77, I was disappointed in Kucinich’s vote for the health care bill, too.  I took a big chunk of my respect for the guy.  But listen to this article.  He’s laying some great things out here.

He actually gives a cogent overview of how a lot of pieces fit together here and this is well worth listening to.  But really, though he is a voice in Washington, he himself is pretty marginalized.  And he is an important person BUT not more important than we, the people.  We are swiftly getting the government we deserve.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, August 4, 2011 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

Giving up hope can be a difficult thing to do…..Like Heroin, hope can make you want to
believe in things that are unreal, because reality can seem much too painful to bear…

The many ministers of hope, keep you mainlining, the delusions, that turn you into a
neurotic mess, unable to deal with the world as it is. Those delusions have become a
cult of ideas, a cult of unfulfilled wishes always about to come true, if only you will keep

What will you do to get your fix? Even after you’ve paid those politicians, with the lives
of your children in Iraq, and Afghanistan, the home you used to own, your social
security, your Medicare, you still line up to buy. There a whole in your arm where all the
money goes…....

Hope for happiness, hope for happiness, hope for happiness and it won’t come at all.

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By Dr Bones, August 4, 2011 at 6:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. O is doing more damage than Bush could ever dream of to social services.  America has turned into a big club economy.  The knuckle dragger with the biggest club to beat people over the head, wins.

It is not surprising that Mr. War is Peace would extend Bush tax cuts for billionaires and millionaires and then put his boot on the necks of the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, the sick, and the elderly to balance his multi-trillion dollar welfare for the rich and untaxed global corporations.

Worst President ever.

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By MK77, August 4, 2011 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

Truthdig’s “favorite Congressman” voted for a bill that would force every American to buy private health insurance. (That bill is now law and goes into effect in 2014.)

Only in America could such a man be considered left wing.

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By FRTothus, August 4, 2011 at 5:07 am Link to this comment

Kucinich for President.  It’s time to put an adult in
the White House.

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By joell, August 4, 2011 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

2011 Kucinich criticizes Obama on budget deal   and a few weeks   ago on the war in Libya.

2102….Kucinich   ENDORSES and CAMPAIGNS for Obama.

Consequently, Kucinich is as much a   part of the   problem as Obama and the Republicans.

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