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Ear to the Ground

The High Cost of Hope

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Posted on Dec 4, 2008
Flickr / Joe Crimmings Photography

Was it his charisma? His rhetorical gifts? His policy ideas? There’s a more cynical and perhaps realistic explanation for Barack Obama’s historic electoral victory over John McCain: When all was said and done, the Democrat had about $400 million more to spend than his rival.


ABC News / Political Punch:

From October 16 until November 24 (the Federal Election Commission filing period) the Obama campaign reports raising $104,124,845 from 1,124,238 contributors, in an FEC report filed this evening.

That means President-elect Obama’s campaign raised roughly $745 million for his 2008 presidential campaign.

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By Folktruther, December 9, 2008 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t initially consider you sincere,Maani,  because Zionists can only defend the brutality and barbarism of apratheid Israel with evasion and deceit.  And this is conflated with the equivication that Dem apologists use to defend Obama.

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By cyrena, December 7, 2008 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, December 7 at 12:38 am #
•  “Maani, you are quite right that I think that Zionism is a basic ideological position that is perverting the US progressive consensus.”

But VolkLiar, therein lies the futility of it all. There’s only YOU and a handful of others who are this obsessed about Zionism, which means that as awful as Zionism is as a basic ideological position, it doesn’t have the power you so arrogantly give it, to allegedly ‘pervert the US progressive consensus.”.
It’s really quite arrogant of you to suggest that that those of us who consider ourselves to be among the progressive consensus are all controlled by the Zionist ideology prescribed by your relatives and the other Jews you so hate. Speaking from the grass roots, I can tell you that the majority of the population being mobilized into the political scene in the 21st Century doesn’t give a shit about Zionism or Jews, and wouldn’t know what the hell you were talking about when you say this.

Because, your obsession and your internal racism is about YOU, not the rest of us. But if it makes you feel any better, I don’t like Zionist ideology either, and so I’m sure I wouldn’t like your relatives any more than you do. Thing is, most of us know that the mentalities and worldviews that flow from Zionism are held by people who aren’t necessarily Jews. In other words, not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews, the same way that not all Muslims are terrorists, and not all terrorists are Muslims. (in fact, most terrorists are WASP’s).

As for the decades -old and on-going crimes of Israel against the Palestinians, how does our acknowledgment of that, (not to mention the years of work and all of the ink so many of us have spilled on exposing the criminality of it all) change anything for you?

I ask because nobody is going to acknowledge this bullshit that you postulate so freely from your armchair…

“…It is the religious fanaticism of Progressives the way that the Rapture is the religious fanaticism of the right. The money, meiia and political management of Zionism, particularly the Likud Zionism of Aipac, etc, nuetralizes the Dems as a progressive force, and drives the War On Terrorism, neoliberalism, torture and police state policies of both parties…”

NO!! This does NOT neutralize ME or any other individual or group within the progressive political force.  If you weren’t so hopelessly deep into your own obsession, you’d recognize that yourself. That’s the paradox.

Meantime, you continue to give this thing you so hate, far more significance that the majority of the population does. Your claim of the ‘passive support’ by most Liberal or Progressive Jews fails to consider that the population of these group is (in relative terms) tiny. Yes, their influence has clearly been disproportionate to their numbers, but that still shouldn’t dismiss the rest of the non-Jewish and/or non-Zionist population or Democrats as chopped liver. Your suggestion that OUR agenda or the efforts and accomplishments we’ve made over these past few years has been subverted or corrupted by your personal enemies is pure arrogance and hubris on YOUR part, since the rest of us obviously don’t exist in your mind.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 7, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, December 6 at 12:03 am #

It is quite true, in referring to the article link of Maani, that one of us is lying.  TD truthers can determine which one by reading the article given in his link below.
************************************************

That would be you. As usual. Blatant lies again.

“Other interesting findings by the institute: about 403,000 people out of the three million donors announced by the Obama campaign gave $200 or more, forcing the campaign to disclose them in Federal Election Commission records; 212,000 started off by giving $200 or less but only about 13,000 wound up giving $1,000 or more; Mr. Obama received about 80 percent money from large donors, defined as those who gave $1,000 or more, than from small donors who gave $200 or less.

Notice? A “big donor” gave $1000 or more ($2300 is the limit per individual). As “small donor” gave $200 or less.  “Big”? “Small”?  You buy the CHEAPEST season ticket for the New York Jets and you pay $750.  Who buys one? You buy AT LEAST two seats—that’s $1500+$250 for the parking pass.  There are 78,000 seats in Giants Stadium and a waiting list that’s 15 years long. Do I value Obama’s election as much as my Jets tickets?  Damn straight! Yet I STILL gave less than my nose-bleed seats cost.  Yet somehow, I’m a “big” donor, part of the “power elite” as VolkLiar puts it..

EVERY PERSON in Giants Stadium is EASILY capable of being defined as “wealthy elite” for the Jets and the Giants and in every other football stadium in America.  Now, if you have season tickets to the NFL you must be “elite”. That’s got to be just as idiotic as VolkLiar can be.

So this supposed definition of “big” and “small” donors is pure bullshit.  Yet a Marxist, jew-hating anti-democratic liar like Volkliar uses it as the foundation for his continual attacks on President-Elect Obama, and his phony, neo-nazi attacks on “rich Jews” (a classic anti-semitic attack, though VolkLiar pretends he doesn’t hate Jews, just “Zionists”—more bullshit).

Notice, also the numbers of “big” donors is around 13,000, but the numbers of small donors (212,000) are far greater.  In fact, the article’s insistence that 80% came from large donors just doesn’t add up.

But that’s no surprise.  None of the “progressive” Obama-haters (Like VolkLiar and EliarbethE) can do simple, basic arithmetic. Instead they cite phony, made-up numbers that are shown to be pure bullshit by anyone who can do grade school arithmetic.

DO THE MATH, PEOPLE!  You’ll see these folks think you’re too stupid to add, subtract, multiply or divide!  For example: If 13,000 donors each give the maximum, $2300, that’s $29.9 MILLION, not $700 million.  If 212,000 each give $200, that’s $42.4 millions…If they only give $5 that’s just over $1 million.  So neither the NYTimes writer nor VolkLiar can add it up!  I’ve already shown several times the EliarbethE’s numbers are garbage—everyone of them, but she just trots them out again like the Big Lie guy, Rove, thinking maybe this time nobody will notice them.  Look at them—they are pure GARBAGE!

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By Maani, December 7, 2008 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Folktruther:

I am quite sincere.  I just don’t know why you did not consider me so from the beginning.

Peace.

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By Folktruther, December 7, 2008 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Great, Maani, a good first step, assuming you are sincere.  Which I assume on principle.  A beginning of an attack on Likud Zionism.

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By Maani, December 7, 2008 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Folktruther:

“Your pro forma and flippant rejection of Zionist oppression did not include the current starvation of a milliion and a half Gazans, half of them children.”

No problem.  I hereby condemn the Zionist oppression that includes the current starvation of a million and a half Gazans, half of them children.

Anything else you want me to cotton to in order to prove my anti-Zionist bona fides?

Peace.

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By eileen fleming, December 7, 2008 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

There’s a movement of USA citizens inspired by the presidential campaign who are now submitting ideas for how they think the Obama Administration can change America.

It’s called “Ideas for Change in America.”

I’ve submitted an idea and HOPE you will vote for it, FWD it on and PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR IDEAS!!!

My title is:

Being HOPE and Change


You can read and vote for the idea by clicking on the following link:


http://www.change.org/ideas/view/being_hope_and_change


“HOPE has two children. The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it.”-St. Augustine

http://www.change.org/ideas/view/being_hope_and_change

Thanks for doing something,
e

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By Folktruther, December 7, 2008 at 1:38 am Link to this comment

Maani, you are quite right that I think that Zionism is a basic ideological position that is perverting the US progressive consensus.  It is the religious fanaticism of Progressives the way that the Rapture is the religious fanaticism of the right. The money, meiia and political management of Zionism, particularly the Likud Zionism of Aipac, etc, nuetralizes the Dems as a progressive force, and drives the War On Terrorism, neoliberalism, torture and police state policies of both parties.

This anti-progressive progressivism is passively supported by the liberal Jewish population, such as my relatives, and Jews like you and Inherit.  This infects the entire spectrum of belief of fake progressives, restricting Dems from supporting meaningful opposition to war terrorism and neoliberal globalization.  Zionists like Sepharad identify with a much more evil form of Zionist oppression, and is a far more dangerous exponent of it.

Your pro forma and flippant rejection of Zionist oppression did not include the current starvation of a milliion and a half Gazans, half of them children.  Obviously if you don’t take opposition to Zionism seriously, you cannot be taken seriously.

Since this is a very controversial and complicated subject, most Americans tend to steer clear of it.  This is fatal, since it allows Zionist money, media and management to coop left truth and activity.  Zionism has partially hijacked American policy, as James Petras and others have pointed out, and Americans must learn to distuingish between anti-Semism and anti-Zionism, and vigorously oppose the former while vigoruously espousing the latter.

It is quite true that I am obsessive about it because I and my family are Jewish, and we are horrified by the fascist turn that Jewish Power has taken.  You, and the liberal Jewish community are obviously not, and tend passively to support it.  the current starvationa and oppression of the Palestinians are currently being done in your name,as well as mine,  and your silence, flippancy, and insensitivity gives consent.

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By Maani, December 6, 2008 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena:

Thank you for your kind words.  <<<blushes>>>

Folktruther:

What I reject - utterly - is your pathologically obsessive belief that Zionism is the be-all, end-all, root-cause issue, and your need to filter everything through its singular prism.  Indeed, your particular brand of anti-Zionism treads dangerously close to anti-Semitism.

That said, I feel bad that you seem to be losing sleep over my positions on this issue, so let me be as clear as a bell.  I oppose and condemn all forms of Israeli oppression, and all Israeli policies that do not take into account the needs and dreams of the Palestinian people; I rejected from its first days, and continue to reject, the building of settlements; and I reject and condemn those policies of AIPAC that are, in fact, Zionist.

There.  Now you can sleep better.

Peace.

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By cyrena, December 6, 2008 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

1 of 2
WOW Maani!!! What a superb response to Folktruther @ By Maani, December 6 at 10:36 am.

I specifically appreciate your detailing of the facts as they’ve actually occurred, in terms of what Obama has SAID, consistently, (over and over that is) and what he and his team have so far put in motion, (to the extent that they can) in preparation for when he takes office. Thanks too for the news on the probable appointment of Xavier Bacerra as U.S. trade rep. I hadn’t heard that, and I believe him to be an excellent choice. So, that’s good news.
For those of us based in a shared reality, none of this is new. On every issue that you’ve addressed here, Obama has been CONSISTENTLY transparent and straightforward all along. He hasn’t been coy, or ambiguous for anyone who is able to comprehend what he’s saying at a really basic level.  That said, I’m sure Folktruther is perfectly well aware of these facts, and has chosen to ignore all of that, because his is a basic Obama bashing agenda. That is at the core of Follktruther’s hyperbole.  So, when you say this:

•  “…You need to get your head around some facts before you make insupportable statements….”
It’s pretty much a given by now, that Folktruther already knows these facts, and has chosen to ignore them. He isn’t alone in this pathology, and Louise has pointed that out in another of her excellent comments on another thread here. (can’t remember which right now, but it’s worth repeating if I can find it). Basically, these are the same people (with Folktruther sharing the lead with a handful of others like Max Shields, Paracelsus, etc) who have been bad mouthing Obama all along, and the fact that he’s been elected despite all of their toxic rhetoric doesn’t mean that they’re just gonna stop now. Louise pointed out that it would appear that they WANT him to fail, and I don’t doubt that for a moment, particularly in the case of people like Folktruther.

These people don’t let facts get in the way of their ideological rantings and ravings. They don’t care about structure or form, or have a clue to how the bureaucracy even works, because the nuts and bolts of the thing is far too complex (and therefore boring) to these types. They don’t WANNA know the real details or the fine print, or how the reality plays out. That might force some real self-introspection, or even a little critical thinking minus the emotion. It’s better for them when there can always be a designated fall guy or fall group, not just for everything that HAS gone wrong, but for everything that they predict will go wrong, despite what is happening in the shared reality. (like for instance all of the things that you’ve pointed out that the Obama Transition Team is already working on, in large part because of feedback from the masses – that would be us.) The likes of folktruther and his ilk are committed to ignoring all of that.

Then there’s the elephant of racism that is still in the room, even though he’s certainly lost a lot of his size (the elephant that is) over the past few decades. The election of an African-American to the highest office in the land certainly delivers positive testimony to that. But, racism is still alive, and still healthy as the virus or genetic/developmental defect that it is. It seems like we’ll have a cure for HIV before we get the same eradication of racism in this society as a whole. For at least SOME of these posters, that is at the foundation of their hostility and bitterness toward Obama and his Administration, and no, I’m not saying that’s the case with all of them by any means.  Thing is, it’s difficult to tell just from someone’s writings, because the human psyche can (and oftentimes does) utilize elaborate methods for covering that up; sometimes to the degree of even fooling themselves.

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By cyrena, December 6, 2008 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2
Now somebody like Folktruther would immediately deny such a motivation, and point to his support for Cynthia McKinney, (even though he’s wavered even on that…just to disagree). He would point to that as being evidence of his non-racism. That’s a common and easily observed tactic, but it should be noted at the same time, that there is a small percentage of the African-American population who feel the same way. I think my sister said she read somewhere that 5% of Af. Amer. voters did NOT support Obama. Here in Academia, (where I drift in and out these days wink ) we call that ‘internal racism’. At the end of the day, (academic verbiage aside) that type of racism is no different from what we see in dysfunctional families, with major sibling rivalries. With those people, it’s far more personal than it is political. Some are cleverer at hiding it than others.

Meantime, I’m in support of Citizen Sam’s comment here:
•  “…PS - Find something else to write about. Amazingly this liberal website spends most of its enegry bashing Obama. He is not even president yet. Chaney still is…”

Sam’s right on it. And yeah, it IS amazing to witness the amount of energy expended on bashing Obama on this liberal website. But, I like to look for silver linings and recycle when I can. So I want to believe that the presence of these bashers on this site can prove useful, just in terms of an education on how people think, and what they’ll say within the anonymity of the WWW.

I think it’s important to know that these mentalities and personalities, and ideologies exist within our society, because we’re all affected by that, in some form or fashion; the interconnectedness that Obama himself has frequently referenced. We could argue whether or not we are really a “Democracy” as opposed to the more realistic Constitutional Republic, but the bottom line is that we are all in this thing together, or at least 95% of us are. 

So it’s important to know how these various people think, but equally important to know WHY, and the ‘why’ part is more difficult to understand, especially from blog comments, if only because people lie.  Needless to say, it’s equally important to point out and correct those lies (for the record) whenever we can. So there’s an education available for anybody who really DOES want to know the truth/facts, so that they can make their own determinations based on those facts.

And one of them is what Citizen Sam has pointed out, Obama isn’t even the president yet, Chainey still is. Anyone who has managed to survive the “Chain-saw” and its chain-reactions of the past 8 years, and are still laying low and hiding out waiting for the rescue operation to kick in, (it’s like, we know the rescue team is in the vicinity, and we know that they know where we are, but they just haven’t got to us yet to hook us up to the rescue apparatus – on account of the bureaucratic technicalities like one president at a time) we’ve just got these last weeks to hang in there.

But, I think we should be preparing just as actively as the transition team is. One way is by posting to the Obama website with whatever suggestions or recommendations one might have. Now if having that particular vehicle isn’t a flippin’ CHANGE in the way we’ve been conducting our civic selves in the past couple of Centuries, I don’t know what the hell is!! (read wide-eyed shock) It’s better than pitchforks and torches. For all the talk of the so-called revolutionaries, mass mobs never accomplish a damn thing aside from further destruction. The same thing goes for mass mob mentality void of leadership, organization, structure, or discipline.

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By Folktruther, December 6, 2008 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Maani, you appear to think, as liberal Zionists do, tht not “making a personal moral or political statement” absolves you of the policies and crimes of Zionism.  Inherit states that he does not support Aipac, but he never attacks them.  Sepharad comes back from Israel with a long report and doesn’t mention the deliberate Zionist starvation of the Gazan population, half of them children.

That the facts that you have stated are largely true does negate the fact that the facts that you HAVEN’T stated contradict the implied argument. As a Zionist, and an exponent of Jewish Power, and The Homeland as Inherit calls it, your silence about Isreali oppression implies consent.

And the American people are beginning to understand that when Zionists characterize any criticism of Isreal as anti-Semitism, Zionists are supporting Zionist imperialism, not the interests of the Amereican population.

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By Maani, December 6, 2008 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:

“The theme of Obama’s candidacy was Change You Can Believe In.”

True, but you and others are defining the word “change” in a far more radical way than Obama ever stated or meant.  His “change” was from “the policies of the past eight years”; it was NOT toward the radical ultra-progressive that you and some others seem to believe.

“What he is actually doing, as indicated by his appointments and later statements and actions, is continuing the Bush policies of war, neoliberal globaalization, and the police state repression that is necessary to maintain the class inequality and impoverishment of the Bushite counterrevolution.”

And as I have shown - and you have agreed - what you say is simply not represented by the facts.

“Calling for the expansion of the Afghan war to Pakistan and attacking Iran ‘Smart” may do it for you and other Zionists; it’s as much against the interests of Americans as if it was done by Bush.”

Again, I made no personal political or moral judgment of anything: I was simply stating the facts since you clearly implied that the facts were otherwise.  And you appear to AGREE with my facts (“What you have stated is largely true…”)

Peace.

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By Folktruther, December 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

Maani, what you have stated is largely true.  What anti-warterrorist progressives are concerned about is what you have not stated. 

The theme of Obama’s candidacy was Change You Can Believe In.  What he is actually doing, as indicated by his appointments and later statements and actions, is continuing the Bush policies of war, neoliberal globaalization, and the police state repression that is necessary to maintain the class inequality and impoverishment of the Bushite counterrevolution.

Calling for the expansion of the Afghan war to Pakistan and attacking Iran ‘Smart” may do it for you and other Zionists;  it’s as much against the interests of Americans as if it was done by Bush.

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By Maani, December 6, 2008 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Folktruther:

“He implied he was for peace and his appointments and discouse now commits him to continuing Bushite war.”

No, he did NOT imply he was for peace.  If you had actually been listening, he said he was “not against all wars, just stupid ones.”  He also stated early on that he would transfer troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to pursue Al Qaeda and OBL, and even engage in unilateral cross-border incursions into Pakistan if there was “actionable intelligence” that OBL was there and Pakistan refused to act.  As well, he made it clear early on that “nothing is off the table” re preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  So your “perception” is not based on what he actually said.  And even re his early opposition to the Iraq War, he admitted that, had he been in the U.S. Senate at the time of the vote, he could not be “absolutely certain” he would have voted against it, since he did not have all of the intelligence at his disposal as a State Senator.

“He was going to reform the economy and his neoliberal appointments indicate that he is continuing unregulated globalization.”

I never heard him use the word “reform” vis-a-vis the economy.  He stated early on that he would provide tax breaks for the middle class, phase out the Bush tax cuts, create millions of new “green” jobs, and invest in infrastructure.  After the economic crisis began, he said he would freeze all mortgages for 90 days, and work toward bringing the economy back to some semblance of normalcy as quickly as possible.

He has not retreated from his early promises, and in fact is already moving to create millions of green jobs as well as investing in infrastructure.  (See http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/us/politics/07radio.html?_r=1&hp;=&pagewanted=print.)  As well, his appointments are people who either (i) understand the crisis and have both knowledge and experience to deal with it, and/or (ii) were part of the Clinton team that left the budget balanced, the national debt paid and a multi-billion-dollar surplus when Bush took office.  As an aside, he is also planning to name Xavier Bacerra as U.S. trade rep; Bacerra is “labor-friendly,” and is strongly in support of reviewing all U.S. trade agreements, including NAFTA.

“He stated he was for freedom and democracy, and the Dems, like Feinstein and her colleagues, are reneging on the abolition of torture, while Obama is for American police and intelligence agencies spying on the American people.”

This does not jibe with reality.  One of the very first things Obama began doing as president-elect was going over ALL of Bush’s executive orders to determine which ones he would reverse - including those relating to freedoms and civil liberties.  As well, he has maintained his plan to close Gitmo, which is supported by his entire national security team (Gates, Jones, Hillary).  As for torture, Obama and many of his senior advisors have made it clear that it will be outlawed, probably very early in his first term, and U.S. law will be brought back in line with the Geneva Conventions and other internationally-observed laws.

You need to get your head around some facts before you make insupportable statements.

Peace.

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By Folktruther, December 6, 2008 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

The reason that progressive opinion turned around, AfroThunder, is because Obama and the Dems immediately and massively betrayed the progressive promises that were implied or explicitly stated in hid campaign The Change We Can Beleive In. 

He implied he was for peace and his appointments and discouse now commits him to continuing Bushite war.

He was going reform the economy and his neoliberal appointments indicate that he is continuing unregulated globalization.

He stated he was for freedom and democracy, and the Dems, like Feinstein and her colleagues, are reneging on the abolition of torture, while Obama is for American police and intelligence agencies spying on the American people.

But the beef seems to be among the more ideologically backward and Dem apoligists that he is not yet President, so we can’t criticize him as if he were.

Fine.  I agree.  From now on I will just criticize him as a president-elect, for the sellout brand leader of a corrupt, oppressive and murderous power structure that he is.  Putting a black face on primarily White imperialist power.

There.  Feel better?

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By afrothunder225x, December 6, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

This is amazing to me. Never before have I seen such a 180 in the span of just a couple of months. The man hasn’t even been sworn in yet and already everyone here is bemoaning how he pulled a fast one on the general public. Or at least in this article insinuating that he “bought” the election. What exactly has changed since the election? Him doing pretty much exactly what he said he was going to do? Or when he was talking about potentially building a cabinet with people he disagreed with on policy did everyone just nod blankly without giving it any though? Here’s a grand idea, how about we wait to see what he actually does as President before we all start screaming and kicking about how it’s so unfair..

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By Maani, December 6, 2008 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:

“This reminds me again of something that I will never forget, which was the day that GWB was inaugurated the first time. It was an ugly, raw, rainy, cold, dreary, gloomy day, and I experienced such a depression that even an IV drip of Prozac wouldn’t have helped me. I’m serious. It was PROFOUND!!”

It was also the first time in modern history that an inauguration engendered protests!  Do you remember all the people lining the motorcade route carrying placards and protesting?  It was so bad that, again for the first time in modern history, the president-elect did not leave his car to shake hands with the crowd.

Peace.

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By cyrena, December 6, 2008 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

Fadel writes:

“..I am thinking that he should forgo the traditional big inauguration celebration that costs millions of taxpayers dollars and redirect these funds to help the families facing foreclosures stay in their homes…”

And, I honestly do appreciate the reasoning. It makes sense. On the other hand, there is no way in this lifetime that most of us are willing to sit this one out in somber tones. Nope, it’s just too historical; in part for the reason that Maani already put forth, and that is that we finally had enough sense -as Americans- to take advantage of the opportunity to elect a black guy. That alone is historical enough, and worth the highest class inaugural celebration we’ve ever had. I can’t think of much more celebratory event than the inauguration of America’s first black president, 220 years after the fact. This is an ENORMOUS achievement for us as a nation of 300 plus million people, and we DESERVE to celebrate it…all of us.

The other reason it’s so historical of course, is that it marks the end (though the ‘end’ is ambiguous here) to 8 years of sheer misery…the worst that the US has suffered since I don’t know when. I don’t think even the Great Depression was this bad, because that was primarily just a hard time economy, and of course the ONE war (WWII) that was happening. But even that was accepted by most to be an acceptable war.

We didn’t have this fascism and near totalitarian regime that has damaged or otherwise destroyed SO MUCH of who we are as a nation…like our Constitution. This fraudulent ‘war on terror’ and all of the curtailments of our civil liberties…it just goes on and on.

So that’s the OTHER reason why we all need a formal recognition (and a celebratory one) of a new day. It can hopefully provide at least one avenue of healing for us. Maybe not so significant to some as others, but still worth it.

This reminds me again of something that I will never forget, which was the day that GWB was inaugurated the first time. It was an ugly, raw, rainy, cold, dreary, gloomy day, and I experienced such a depression that even an IV drip of Prozac wouldn’t have helped me. I’m serious. It was PROFOUND!!

Since then, far, far, far too many of us have fallen into that same type of depression, not to mention the economic depression that has made so many of us homeless and jobless. So I think we all need and deserve this.

Meantime, I don’t think that the curtailment of the inaugural festivities would increase the aid to people who need to be able to stay in their homes. There is no reason that throwing extra money at that particular issue (instead of the inauguration or any number of other projects that need funding) would change things. The bottom line on that, is that they can and SHOULD simply make a way. No money has to cross hands at this point. All they need to do for these homeowners is to redo their mortgages, and allow for whatever it takes to get them up to speed. And, I think the new Admin is already well into working that.

Besides, Obama has a surplus of about 30 million from his campaign donations. (at least that’s what I read on yahoo) so he can use that for the big party. The other option is to return it to the contributors, and that’s probably not gonna be the people that are losing their homes. Besides, the return of a $25 or $50 donation isn’t gonna help ‘em much anyway. It wouldn’t do anything for me. Too little too late. Might as well just party,smile and tell our troops we’re finally gonna get them the hell out of the misery we’ve caused for the rest of the world as well. Now they’ll have a new attitude to come home to.

At least that’s what I’m hoping, and even praying. wink

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By Folktruther, December 6, 2008 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

It is quite true, in referring to the article link of Maani, that one of us is lying.  TD truthers can determine which one by reading the article given in his link below.

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By Maani, December 5, 2008 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

Fadel:

While your thought is noble and understandable, not only do people WANT a little “pomp” associated with an inauguration (even in harsh economic times; e.g., such was the case with Roosevelt), but in this particular case (the inauguration of the first non-white president), it is even more greatly expected.

That said, Obama DID make some notable changes, including (i) eliminating ALL money from corporations, PACs, registered lobbyists and foreign nationals (this has never been done before, and has traditionally been the #1 source of money for an inauguration), (ii) limited other donor contributions to $50,000 (compare this with $250,000 for Bush’s two inaugurations), and (iii) opened the entire Mall for the public (in the past, part of the Mall was closed for high-ticket donors).

Yes, more could be done.  And there is still plenty of time for Obama to make further positive gestures.

Peace.

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By Fadel Abdallah, December 5, 2008 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

As we look at these figures and dollars, isn’t it legitimate to note that:

1. Money talks and buys votes;
2. Isn’t this all the democracy that money can buy?!

Money and democracy, at least in my way of thinking, are two contradictory terms that cannot easily be reconciled!

As a footnote to my comment, I would like to add that if Obama was elected by the people for the people, then he should do something, at least, symbolic of change to empathize with the people who are suffering in these terrible economic times. I am thinking that he should forgo the traditional big inauguration celebration that costs millions of taxpayers dollars and redirect these funds to help the families facing foreclosures stay in their homes. This is at least what I would do if I was convinced that I was elected by the people to serve the people!

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By Maani, December 5, 2008 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

Folkliar says, “As the last sentence of the NYTimes article indicates, and as I previously stated it, 80% of the money contributed to Obama came from big contributions over a $1000 abd 20% came from contributions under $200.  Both Howared and Maani define this as Democracy, everyone freely contributing what they wish.”

Yet that is NOT what the Times article says.  Here is the quote: “Nevertheless, when it comes to large donors who gave $1000 or more in aggregate to Mr. Obama, they still accounted for a smaller part of his total money haul than others.  Contributions from such large donors accounted for 47 percent of his money through August 31…”

Thus, Folkliar’s repeated figure of “80%” is an outright lie.

Nor did I (nor, as far as I know, Howard - though he can speak for himself) suggest that I “define this as Democracy…”  I was merely providing data to show that Folkliar is…well…a liar.

Peace.

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By Folktruther, December 5, 2008 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

The comments by Maani and howard Madel is the reason that Zionism is os ideologically pernicious. The only way to defend the oppression of apartheid Israel is by deceit and distortion and this pervades the entire spectrum of the power process.  Including the influence of money in the electoral process.

As the last sentence of the NYTimes article indicates, and as I previously stated it, 80% of the money contributed to Obama came from big contributions over a $1000 abd 20% came from contributions under $200.  Both Howared and Maani define this as Democracy, everyone freely contributing what they wish.

Most people define this as plutocracy, the rule by the rich.  If persons with assets of 25 billion dollars and those with assets of 25 thousand can contribute what they wish, what we will have is rule by the rich in the US. Precisely what we do have. 

Since 25 to 309% of the ruling class are Jewish, and most of them are Zionist, we will have Zionism dominating both parties.  Which of course Zionists like Howard Mandal and Maani approve of.  This is how Zionism influences neoliberalism and the justification of class inequality.  And the emerging police state to maintain it.  The political influence of the inequality of wealth being defined as Democracy.

Zionism is the religious fanaticism that drives the War On Terrorism, unregulated globalization, and the National Security State.  The American people must begin to distinguish between anti-Semitism, inherited in the Christian religious tradition, which targets the Jewish population, and anti-Zionism, which identifies with Jewish power, not with the Jewish people. 

Zionists of course systematically conflate and obscure the different between the two different political approaches.

And do so with issues, like the rich financing the candidates, which appears on the surface to be irrelevant to Zionism.  It isn’t.

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By eileen fleming, December 5, 2008 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

“HOPE has two children. The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it.”-St. Augustine

I am hoping that many thoughtful, concerned citizens will copy and paste the following and email/FAX it to Obama on Inauguration Day


Dear Mr. President Barrack Obama,


Congratulations on becoming our President of these United States of America.

As concerned American’s we hope, trust and some of us even pray that you will seek justice and uphold equal human rights for all people.

As tax payers we beseech you to be an honest broker for peace in the Holy Land.

As people with common sense rooted in the wisdom of our founding fathers, we remind you of President George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796:

“Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all…and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave…a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.”


As people of good conscience we encourage you to focus on the ways to broker true security for Israel; through justice for Palestinians.

Justice requires equal human rights for all and the way to achieve it is through a self-determined, democratic and contiguous Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza. Jerusalem can indeed become a shining city on a hill when it is shared and also becomes the International Capital of the World.

As people with common sense, we understand that only by ending Israel’s military occupation of Palestine can the human rights of the indigenous people be secured.

As people of hope and change we understand that security, peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land, and entire Middle East does not lie in militarism and nuclear weapons, but in Justice: Equal Human Rights for all.

As we begin the 9th year of The UN’s Decade of Creating a Culture of NONVIOLENCE for all the Children of the World, may the US become the change to make that real!


When Jesus said “let the little children come unto me,” he meant that the innocent ones, should always be placed in the center of current political situations.


Might this Administration daily remember all the children and innocent ones caught in the crossfire of violence and become the change that will regain America’s moral compass and once again be a true leader of the free world.


To do this, the Obama Administration must work with renewed energy for an end to military occupation and insist on full implementation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the upholding of international law.

As people of hope for change we offer you, what St. Augustine knew:

“HOPE has two children. The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it.”


Sincerely,

Your Name and Address

Email:
  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

FAX: 202- 456-2461


Eileen Fleming, Author, Founder WAWA:
http://www.wearewideawake.org/
Producer “30 Minutes With Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

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By Maani, December 5, 2008 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:

“...80% of the money was contributed by over a thousand dollar contributions, 20% by those under 200.  This according to a NYTimes article so the disparity was probably more.”

Actually, both your figures and your inference are not entirely accurate.  Here is the NYT piece for those who want the realtruth:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/study-obamas-small-donors-really-werent/?scp=32&sq=myth&st=cse

HC said, “...why can’t this also be looked upon as people (and yes, the big money too) putting their money where their mouths (aspirations) are?”

And Howard Mandel said, “McCain raised less money because fewer ‘dollars’ wanted him to win.”

This jibes with something I heard on the Rachel Maddow Show, when a senior LA Times reporter noted that “It wasn’t that Obama won because he raised more money, it was that he raised more money because more people wanted him to win.”  [N.B. For an update, see ]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/05/us/politics/05donate.html?sq=Obama&st=cse&scp=3&pagewanted=print]

coloradokarl:

“Obama should ask for a can of food from each of the 4 million people at his inauguration party and the front row seats should command a truck load. The theme could be “Yes we CAN!!”

Actually, this might interest you:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/a-gift-for-the-down-and-out-the-inauguration/?scp=5&sq=inauguration&st=cse

Peace.

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By Folktruther, December 5, 2008 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

Obama won because the Big Money switched to the Dems. Althuogh a lot of people contributed, 80% of the money was contributed by over a thousand dollar contrinbutions, 20% by those under 200.  This according to a NYTimes article so the disparity was probably more.  Naturally this is not repeated or emphasized in the mainstream media.

And now Obama has to pay back his backers.

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By Ham-Archy, December 5, 2008 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

It’s not that I would actually VOTE for a puppet of the Plutocracy, but it seems to me like the Repubs’s threw the race. Time to change flavors, obviously. So put your $$$$ MONEY $$$$ on the favorite flavor. What is encouraging is the sign that not QUITE so many US citizens are being duped anymore.

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By HC, December 5, 2008 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe it is all quite cynical, then again why can’t this also be looked upon as people (and yes, the big money too) putting their money where their mouths (aspirations) are?  What’s more stunning to me is that McCain and Palin were left as relative paupers by that constituency which has big money and would normally come forth, the Republican Right wing, but they pretty much saw what a losing bet that would be no matter what. 

Is this amount of money staggering (and portentous) in a presidential campaign? Yes.  Would it be even more staggering and portentous had it been there for a McCain-Palin victory?  Very much so yes.

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By Benjamin Tasker, December 5, 2008 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

@Citizen Sam - this is a liberal website, yes, but we’re not in a Right vs. Left conflict any more. The real conflict of interest is the economic Top vs. economic Bottom. You can find Dems and GOP on both sides and Obama’s decisions to appoint Wall Street agents to his cabinet are disturbing to those in the majority of financially struggling people who realize the ideological flaws that these “liberals” possess.

Another point to note: His style and charisma and projected “ideals” certainly played a role in getting him to where he is but you can’t deny that the money was the key factor considering that 90% of all elections are won by the candidate who spent the most money promoting himself. Marketing works - it’s why candidates using small words and spewing rhetoric win elections as opposed to those, like Nader, who use logic and evidence when presenting his points of view.

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By Howard Mandel, December 5, 2008 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Until we get a better system, money is the only real indicator of public support prior to the election. (Polls are MSM-biased against public opinion to fuel the horserace meme.) Of course the guy with the most money wins. How else should it work? Mccain raised less money because fewer “dollars” wanted him to win.

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By elizabethe, December 5, 2008 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

Hype and then the money, and the railroading of an election, that is how Obama got a majority vote from a country that is outside the two parties at a level of 100 million non-partisan against 62 million in the combined two parties.

SIX were on the ballot nationally, but the media refused the proper view.  No contest was wanted by the media, and supposedly the public believed the media can be believed even when their behavior defies democracy and the ballot power and offers what looks very much like Consumer Fraud of a election according to corruption for corporate rule, delivering a government without policy for people, only profit and greed.

I did not vote for that, I did not vote for Obama, and I did not vote for McCain.  In my eyes both were equally undeserving of the Presidency.  In my eyes only one was worthy of the frontrunner status for the track in the public interest and the knowledge and honesty to net true leadership drafted by the people and deserving their votes!  For those who still refuse to look, try the encyclopedia because the media doesn’t want Nader to WIN!

They ask him why he is running when there were as many as 32 candidates in the two pazties combined, as if he was messing things up, not offering a viable challenge to the two parties, as he told the media who pretended they did not understand there are people who can vote outside the two parties at a majority level!  There is supposed to be a real contest, a mystery to the corporate corrupt that public opinion for public interest is the power of the people at the ballot box, they are supposed to have an informed opportunity to vote and choose their favorite for a President ELECT!  Not a forced choice of hype and greed, and continued corporate government against democracy and proper budget in balance with priorities for people on track.  Universal tax paid healthcare, yes Ralph Nader would let the people vote for it, but the media? They apparently cannot begin to consider the right stuff for government and taxes!

War not wanted is all they seem interested in.

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By elizabethe, December 5, 2008 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

The media catapulted Obama and Hillary to the forefront, favoring incumbent senators who have no track to offer, so the media rules.  They “gave” McCain an undue claim of owning opposition to the Democrats as if there are only two kinds of voters. It is media’s party rule against people’s rule for a nation.

A voting majority allowed the two party corruption that they should vote for only one of the two “major” parties. 

The Media ignored a majority outside the two parties at voter registration level.  100 million are non-partisan registered voters. 

24 states do not register party.  26 allow party declaration.  According to the media, there were two choices, not six, “the medium is the message” - profit and corruption rules politics, and the people - either a majority agreed or were cowards.

167 million total voters and 100 million are no party registered. Cowards, hypocrits, or deceived by the media?  There is no two party system.  People choose at a majority level from SIX not TWO on the ballot in most states, to net a 2008 winner.

In a functional democracy the bums are supposed to be voted out. Political Justice!

I voted for Nader and gave my donations ONLY to Nader certainly not the incumbent failures.

If the public actually didn’t understand what the election system is, then the media is the corruption not the mainstream public who wanted true change(?!). Voters by a majority didn’t even know serious change was there for them to vote FOR not AGAINST!

Forcing a DIVIDED NATION into two choices as if the only viable, that was corporate corrupt profit tyranny, entirely against the U.S. Constitition where the people rule at a majority level, and the view of the candidates was literally DENIED by the corrupt media and their polls.

The Washington Post offered the “independents” two choices—only two, always only two, they insisted on the two party corrupt NO CHANGE will happen, (no Nader offered in a poll of independents-Nader is an unaffiliated/independent). there is no real democracy from the corporate corrupt media.  100 million non-partisan voters believed the media. 

The truth is the people are supposed to have seen SIX not TWO as viable, and the CONTEST should have been public knowledge, nationally.  Profit oriented media delivered a corporate corrupt government against the Constitution! They pre-empted a democratic popular vote intended to net competitive merits for the public to decide! The best could not win!

Real change wanted should be voted for at a majority level, not media lies and hype.  The media says Hillary has experience and international welcome. I disagree.  Israel has a nuclear weapon without any accusations by Hillary or Condelezza Rice, they are heinous and offensive.  Saying she wants to have the capability to “obliterate” Iran when asked a bad hypothetical media biased question, she showed how bad she is and unable to offer peace leadership or policy, entirely.  Her comment was horrific - she ought to be sent to jail. Both women are not welcome in my view as an American; I believe both are as much a threat to the U.S. as they are to the countries they threaten. 

So, why did Obama win?  The media wanted a patsy. I disagree with the “mainstream” corrupt media.  Two choices are not the public opinion, the public had no choice offered! The public would very much prefer the full slate presented honestly and fairly, if there is any truth to happen at election time. SIX were real for majority choice.

Nader COULD win a majority, of course, and all four challengers deserved their candidacy before the public.  They did not run for their own sleep at night, they ran for the nation to see there is a challenge due in democracy when 89% say America is off track.

There are no red or blue states, only 50 states where the popular vote determines who wins the electors who have the elector votes for each state.

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By coloradokarl, December 5, 2008 at 3:20 am Link to this comment

Obama should ask for a can of food from each of the 4 million people at his inauguration party and the front row seats should command a truck load. The theme could be “Yes we CAN !!”

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By Jason, December 5, 2008 at 12:57 am Link to this comment

We already knew Obama had more money to spend than McBane.  Money doesn’t hurt, but I don’t know how much 400 mil would’ve helped McCain.

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By Citizen Sam, December 5, 2008 at 12:43 am Link to this comment

Perhaps it WAS his style and ideals. Initially I did not consider him viable because of his race, eventhough his message was the one the resonated with me. Thanks again Iowa.

PS - Find something else to write about. Amazingly this liberal website spends most of its enegry bashing Obama. He is not even president yet. Chaney still is

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