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Posted on Sep 11, 2008

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—It has been hard to remember lately that the country is in the midst of one of the most consequential presidential elections of our lifetimes.

    The campaign is a blur of flying pieces of junk, lipstick and gutter-style attacks. John McCain’s deceptions about Barack Obama’s views and Sarah Palin’s flip-flopping suggest an unedifying scuffle over a city council seat.

    The media bear a heavy responsibility because “balance” does not require giving equal time to truth and lies. So does McCain, who is running a disgraceful, dishonorable campaign of distraction and diversion.

    But Obama bears responsibility, too: His task is to remind Americans that the stakes in this election are far higher than the matter of who said what and when about Palin. He isn’t doing it.

    Yes, Democrats are a gloomy lot, inclined to see catastrophe around every corner and the other side as tougher, meaner and more manipulative. Imbibing this potion of false pride about Democratic virtue mixed with paranoia about the Republicans’ dark genius only leads to defeat followed by glorious disillusionment.

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    Nonetheless, it’s clear that Obama has lost control of this campaign. And he will not seize back the initiative with the sometimes halting, conversational and sadly reluctant sound bites he has been producing. The excitement Obama created at the beginning of the year has vanished, perhaps because his campaign (and, yes, many columnists) bought into the McCain campaign’s demonization of the big rallies. Absurdly, McCain is now contesting the terrain of change—and doing so at celebrity rallies of his own.

    This moment eerily resembles the situation in 1988 when George H.W. Bush used his convention to define the campaign and never again ceded the agenda to Democrat Michael Dukakis.

          Here’s the problem: Few voters know that Obama would cut the taxes of the vast majority of Americans by far more than McCain would. Few know Obama would guarantee everyone access to health care or that McCain’s health plan might endanger coverage many already have. Few know that Obama has a coherent program to create new jobs through public investment in roads, bridges, transit and green technologies.

        In short, few Americans know what (or whom) Obama is fighting for, because he isn’t really telling them. And few know that McCain’s economic plan is worse than President Bush’s. As Jonathan Cohn points out in The New Republic, McCain would add $8.5 trillion in new debt over the next 10 years. It’s McCain who should be on the defensive.

        It should not be hard for Obama to use crisp, punchy language to force the media and the voters to pay attention to the basic issue in this election: whether the country will slowly continue down a road to decline, or whether, to invoke a slogan from long ago, we can get the country moving again. 

    One test in the coming weeks will be whether Obama continues to contest North Carolina.

    In truth, he has paid too much attention to broadening the political map and not enough to nailing down the states he must win. But North Carolina is a state on the edge. Despite one outlying poll showing McCain with a big lead, most give him an advantage of only four to six points. If Obama does his job in framing a national message, this state should at least be competitive enough to force McCain to expend resources here.

    But Democratic politicians say that won’t happen unless Obama grabs the campaign back. “One of the criticisms is that he hasn’t cut through all the Republican rhetoric to reveal in a clear and simple way what his plan is, which I believe would resonate with the electorate,” says Jerry Meek, the Democratic state chairman for North Carolina. Voters, Meek says, “like a fighting spirit.”

    Rep. David Price, a Democrat who represents the Chapel Hill area, argues that Obama has “offered economic proposals with a lot of promise ... but there has not been the direct personal connection that there needs to be.” Obama “needs people to feel angry, he needs to get people to feel something is at stake.”

    McCain has shown he wants the presidency so badly that he’s willing to say anything, true or false, to win power. Obama can win by fighting for what he believes. What he can’t do is wait for the media to call McCain out—although they should—or expect voters to know he’ll fight for them when they are not yet sure that he’s willing to stand up for himself. 
   
    E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is postchat(at)aol.com.
   
    © 2008, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Sepharad, September 23, 2008 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

KDelphi, the latest economic/cultural project I read about—Gilboa area/Jenin—was on the front page of the New York Times, which reported on it in some detail along with photos—was within the last couple of weeks, and if you Google NYTimes Archives it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Re Ariel Sharon, he has a long history, having been born in Israel to Russian parents (one who was born in Russia, the other born to parents in what was then Palestine), and has done a lot of things—some very good, some really bad, but I do believe everything he did was, in his mind, to protect a very vulnerable, very small country.  Like most people of his time—actually like my own ancestors who got there in 1828; my parents were not born there because my mother’s father was told by his father to migrate to the U.S., while his brother stayed in Israel; that way my great-grandfather figured someone was bound to survive—Sharon had mixed relations with Arabs both as close friends and bitter enemies. This was fairly common in the 19th century and early 20th. The Jewish National Land Fund bought a lot of what was deemed less-than-desirable land from Palestinians, from absentee Palestinian landlords and from the Ottoman government. The Jews established agricultural settlements, and in most cases there were no problems; in some cases there was eventually mutual good feeling as Arabs in the vicinity and the Jews worked more or less together; and in some cases there was great antipathy, mostly when the absentee landlord didn’t consult the tenants and suddenly the land they worked was taken over by Jews with their bill of sale. (Most of the land purchased from the Ottoman government was either next to worthless, or land that the government felt could be turned to profit and hence taxes—always the bottom-line interest of the Ottomans.)

In any case, Sharon’s parents had a fledgling orchard and vegetable garden with wheat as a beginning crop. Sometimes the Arabs on the next hill were friendly to them (his mother was a doctor from Russia and though she had no facilities she at least had knowledge and was sometimes able to help Arabs and Jews in the region), and sometimes they resented their presence and tried to burn the crops. His mother slept with an axe under her pillow, and it was Sharon’s job from age 9 on to sit with a rifle on guard in the fields during harvest season.

The basic culture of Jews from Europe and Russia was not the same as that as of the Jews who never left the region from Roman times on, who were not very different from the region’s Arabs in terms of livlihoods (grazing flocks, sometimes an old orchard) and education, living mostly as they all had back to ancient times. In Jerusalem and a few other cities there were religious Jews as traditional in their religion and way of life as the Arabs. 
   
But the European and Russian Jews who came throughout the 19th century were very different than those old-fashioned Jews and the Arabs. A big difference was that the Euro/Russian Jews were for the most part not religious at all. The Sharons, like most of their cohorts, were atheists. This did not set well with the traditional Jews and the Arabs. (Sorry—it’s hard to answer your questions without giving some context.) The levels of hostility ranged from none to occasional, only rarely violent and less often deadly. This changed after WWI, with the British Mandate. (continued)

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By KDelphi, September 22, 2008 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

Sepharad—You know that peole in the US find it difficult to find unbiased news. You seem like a good person—could you please provide me with some links or references to news articles to back up some of that information?

Because, here in the US, it was fairly widely known that, Sharon (for whatever hero he may have been to some Isaelis or some American Jews) is considered by UN and others, to be a war criminal. So is Bush, Rummy, Cheney. Among other things, what happened in Lebanon was HORRIBLE for Lebhanon (which was trying to create an economic resurrgence, though tourist spots on the beach, etc.)—and seemed a complete overreaction by Israel (The troops didnt look none to happy abou it either—some of them settle here—) Hezbollah didnt realy seem to be targeted. It was also very bad for ISRAEL.

The settlers in the new areas, should never have been told to settle there. It was Palestinian -promised land. Sharon, if I am correct, told them to settle there. Before they left (from what I saw on IFC—Indepenednt tv), the Israeli settlers destroyed most of their own houses. Many said that they would rather see it destroyed than for a “palestinaian to get it”. The truth is, they never should have been there.

But, the people in power are surely to blame. Otherwise, you have to believe Palestinians are “genetically violent”, and that’s just not possible.

If many in the US seem to be turning on Israeli, it is the Israeli leaders wh are to blame. (Just likt the US leaders are mostly to blame for the hatred most feel towards the US) It is in the Us and Israel’s best interest that we both refuse a military solution to these problems.

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By Sepharad, September 21, 2008 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re Iran—It honestly doesn’t make much difference whether Iran gets nukes for many reasons which I managed to express, if less rationally than usual, on Palin’s “attack Iran-for-nukes-and-Israel” thread. even though I did go maybe beyond ballistic, abandoning my normal rational ways).

For Palin to imply she’d attack Iran for Israel’s benefit pushed me over the edge (even it is a step up from wanting to attack because God told her to). It would be a disaster, and most sane Israelis know it. (Some of Israel’s uberhawks would like to do it—Netanyahu, Shaul Mofaz—doubtless with support among the far-right and orthodox fundamentalists. But support is building for the centrists in Kadima. If Tzipi Livni wins she’ll shut those guys down hard, just as her mentor Ariel Sharon would have, with plenty of support from the labor party as well as the peace now movement. Tzipi has a Mossad background, her dayjob for decades, and when Netanyahu was prime minister Mossad people ran themselves ragged trying to ameliorate some of his impulsive stupidities, and managed to stop him from doing anything really irreversibly bad. But he tried, being the kind of idiot who waves the flag and wants to attack Iran, even though most people know that if Israel THOUGHT they could do it effectively and without killing hundreds of thosands of Iranians in the process, it would already be done, as they did an airstrike on Iraq’s nuclear set up.) Sharon went into his coma at an awful time: he had the military background to do things that the rightists would never trust if the peace or leftwing parties suggested them. Unfortunately withdrawing from Gaza did not turn out as well as he’d hoped: actually encouraged Hamas/Hezbollah who see always see withdrawal or negotiation as weaknesses, and Sharon knew that, but thought that by leaving infrastructure there—not just housing but warehouses, farms, greenhouses etc—the Palestinians would have a jump-start on making better lives for themselves. Before anyone could stop it, though, the Palestinian officials had the houses bulldozed, saying they were not suitable for Palestinians’ much larger families, and looters broke the greenhouses and other agricultural buildings, equipment, irrigation systems etc. American Jews raised money to rebuild the greenhouses, replace the equipment etc. and turned it over to Fatah and Hamas to distribute, but nothing has happened. Now, some of the agricultural material checkpoints have been closed by the Israeli government so even if they were farming it would be nearly impossible to export. So Israelis are trying it a different way in the West Bank, Jenin, where Arab and Jewish Israelis (in the Gilboa area on WB’s border) are running a joint ag project whereby the Arab and Jewish Israelis go into Jenin and pick up vegetables and fruits that Jenin farmers are growing (using equipment and irrigation equipment funded by up-front private funding by the Arab and Jewish Israelis of Gilboa). Then Arab and Jewish Israelis sell the produce in Israel or for export, take a very small commission, and give the rest of the profit to the Jenin farmers, who are using it to help additional farmers make a start. There’s also a cultural center in Jenin where Arab and Jewish kids learn, create and perform—ballet, art, music. Because security was a problem, the IDF supplied Jenin Fatah police with AK-47s so they would be a match for attackers. All that space to describe one little project. Things like that are happening all over Israel and in the West Bank. But bad stuff happens too, and more frequently cause it takes less planning—just an overdose of irrationality. Religious nut settlers and Arab villagers mix it up; a crazy Jew guns down Arabs at worship; a crazy Arab guns down any students in a Yeshiva school in Jerusalem. Guess what’s most exciting for newspaper readers abroad and gets the most coverage? (continued)

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By KDelphi, September 21, 2008 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

sepharad—I know that the issue of Israel is difficult for many people of Hebrew descent.

I think that, in both the uS and Israel, it is important to somewhat ( not completely ) separate the actions of individuals from the actions of the govt. It’s not always true, but, blaming imdividuasls for entire actions of their country’s govt and military, would seem to be a dead-end argument.

I know that Jewish people every country, often disagree on the matter of Israel. There are, of course, bigots who just hate the Jewish people. But, I think , that the majority of people who complain about Zionism and Israel, are well-meaning and actually think that the state of Israel is not helping itself very much with current policies; many feel the same way about the US.

But, still, I think that the middle east is, for hte most part, a conundrem, about oil. I wish we had no nukes. I wish the uS would stop selling them to everyone—most recently , India. This is sure to make things worse in Pakistan. But, I just dont see how Iran getting nuclear power (Russia offered to monitor it—we could have, I think trusted Russia at that point, and, maybe, let the EU in on it—thanks to Bush/Cheney, we can forget that!)is much more of a threat than all these other middle eastern countries having nukes. A.Q. Khan (sp?) and the US made sure that the idea of a “nuclear free middle east” would never happen. That one is gone. We signed out of the non-proliferation treaty, and, I djust dont see hwo we get the genie back in the bottle, if Bush keeps selling the genie to any buyer with money.

Of course, weapons are about our only export these days.

The US is the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon, we signed out of non-prioliferation and we sell them to anyone. The US govt is largel;y to blame for the failure to limit nukes.

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By KDelphi, September 21, 2008 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

sepharad—what an insightful and well thought out post.I dont agree with al of it—but you make your points without attacking others personally.

As for space—I can empathize. I mean, its good top have a small house (energy, space, etc. ) but mine is similar (700 sq.ft.) and, after I “inherited” furniture ( yu cant use the upstairs—it shoud be condemned and yu cant stand up!! LOL And the ceiling fell in when I tried to have i insulated—cant sue HEAP!)—it is beginning to look like a storage area! (with a kitchen and bath). I gave some away, try to keep sentimental stuff, send stuff to my sisters’ larger houses (pretty expensive to ship), but i do accumulate books. A friend bought me huge, oak shelves a few years ago—great!! But, guess—they are full, and now the floor and boxes are filing up!! I go to alot of book fairs, where you can get books for , like ten cents. Sometimes I just cant resist. I , then, give some back, but some , I just refuse to part with

I wish I knew what to tell you about your sons. I did not have the opportunity to have kids (glad I didnt with my ex), but, once I found the right person, I probably would have not made such a great parent (physical disability—well, not that disabled cant make great pareants. I would have lost my leg, though). I am stronger now, but, if not finances, then, the general state of the world makes it seem too unfair these days. Dont know if I could or not. But I wont.

It must be frustrating to have two great little peopel that could help the world, but be unable to give them a leg up. YOu sound very decent and obviously love them very much. They will be OK.

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By cyrena, September 21, 2008 at 2:42 am Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wincher:

Everything you offer here is based on reality as opposed to ideology, and that is where the break occurs. For instance, on this:

•  “…In regard to government funding of the “faith-based initiatives”, it seems to me that the government ought to be able to work together with non-governmental organizations toward any objective that is socially desirable, such as helping the poor. In many cases a church has deep roots in the community that no non-religious organization has, which is likely to make it more effective, and to exclude churches from being eligible for such funding while giving it to non-religious NGOs would seem to be discrimination against religion. The question of how this is to be done, what sorts of church programs would qualify is so far undetermined.

In reality, the government SHOULD be able to work with NGO’s toward any objective that is socially desirable, and that’s exactly what those of us involved in such organization have been attempting to accomplish.

I’ve said before that I am very much in favor of NGO’s, and my own academic work is largely associated that effort. But the IRONY that I was attempting to display for Outraged, is that the ‘concept’ of NGO’s is NOT NEW. In fact, that concept has grown from the roots of –yes—RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS!!! That is the reality, and you’ve explained it here, with the reminder that these religious organizations AND CHURCHES, reach far more deeply than any state organization, into the soul and composition of so many communities.

This is PARTICULARLY the case in the black communities, though it certainly is not restricted to those communities. For centuries Churches have provided for the social services of hundreds of thousands of people who would otherwise be totally unconnected. Churches were largely involved in the abolitionist movement. Churches have for centuries been the center of the social community; where people gathered to hear news that was important to them, and might not otherwise be aware of.  These same have provided services for Centuries, making house calls to the infirm, or providing supplies to the needy. In short, they are no different than the NGO’s that have sprung from the same concept.

But there has always been the element of radical extremism, and I suspect it THAT element which Outraged is focused on. At least that has been my own assumption based on former posts regarding her experiences in evangelical fundamentalism. I understand those very legitimate concerns, (the indoctrination that is poisonous) but the point is that these are *not* the habits or traditions of all people who happen to be ‘believers’. It’s that simple, and I don’t believe in absolutes. Even gravity has been defied.

So it is also either superficial or hypocritical to assume that an NGO is in anyway different than an organization that happens to include or be sponsored by individuals with any particular religious affiliation. Are we to assume that ALL members of NGO’s are atheists? Ralph Nader isn’t an atheist. He’s a Maronite Catholic for Christ’s sake, as are MANY Lebanese, and others of Arab ethnicity. *I’M* the atheist, (or at least the agnostic) and that’s after 12 years worth of a Catholic education and a grandmother who was more Catholic than the Pope. (guess the indoctrination didn’t ‘take’ with me – at least not as it may have been intended).

Or, maybe it DID ‘take’. Maybe because common sense and reality did prevail with me and the millions of others who like me, don’t have to believe in a god, or a prophet in order to see the good in humankind, and to recognize that while we don’t necessarily believe that God or Jesus is any different than Kokopelli, we still understand that religion is very important in many (if not most) societies. Recognizing that does NOT require a violation or compromise of the principle that separates church and state.

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By Sepharad, September 20, 2008 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

KDelphi—I love actual books too, also write in them, refuse to get rid of them, and am now trying to figure out where to put the thousands of them we’ve accumulated in 35 years in our 900-sq-ft house that also has a piano in it. When we moved up here in ‘89, to get our youngest son out of the old neighborhood that had become too dangerous with all the drug and gang activity sometimes literally on our front stoop, thought we might be able to get a couple acres and a small house. Turned out, even then, we could get a couple of acres OR a small house. Finally found a couple acres of dying apple orchard with abandoned old packing shed which we moved into. 900 sq. feet is not much when you both work out of the house and have a kid, but husband has always refused to add even a 10x20 space for books because he believes too much ground is already covered up. (He’s right but just the same it’s infuriating that our book habit is a factor in global warming.) Now, however, none of our kids can afford any kind of house even though they are bright, productive, the world’s lucky to have them. Were they still alive, my parents would be surprised and upset that their grandkids were having problems affording even a little house: they believed the post-WWII world was getting better and better, that America was the only sane and good country in the world and that Israel, where the other half of the family had lived for several generations, was home free. Dad was an FDR liberal, Mom was a flaming Red and Zionist. (She tore up her party card when Stalin signed the nonaggression pact with Hitler). Now you can’t trust anyone (well, not since the murdered Kennedy brothers and Dr. King), you can barely tell the Republicans from the Democrats, and as progressive politically as I am I usually end up arguing with other progressives who think Israel as evil, and despising the religious right who think Israel is great. Actually, my old friend and former mother jones editor says she still wants social change but she’s also a Zionist, is tired of arguing, and has decided to focus on the poetry-writing side of her life (she’s very good at it) and is urging me to do the same. Maybe she’s right. But every time I think I’ve reached some place of sufficient resignation to forego politics, relax and be happy, something happens—like Palin saying stupid things about Iran and a 2nd holocaust (things that if followed through might actually lead to such nonsense) and I go ballistic again.

How do you stay committed enough to stay on these threads and try to make progress, cutting through all the junk and encouraging what seems right?

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By KDelphi, September 20, 2008 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad—Thanks for your post.

Actually , if youve read Krugman’s column, you prob. “
have read the book”. LOL

I just still love the feel of a book, and write al over it and , besides, I wanted an alternative to Goldwater"s “Conscience of a Conservative”.

My parents were GOP—my dad jumped ship when Bush Sr. invaded Iraq—it realy pissed my mom off—he said, “I’m voting Nader—no blood for oil”. I loved it. at the time. LOL All 3 of us ended up being Dems or liberals.Or Socialists.

When you think about it, at least people like Goldwater ( although could never agree with them) were purists. What we have now, is a hybrid of neo-iberalism that takes care of its own and looks down the nose at everyone else. Not a good way to build the “broad progressive coalition” I keep hearing about.

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By Sepharad, September 20, 2008 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

KDelphi, I’ve never read Krugman’s “Conscience of a Liberal,” but have read every column he’s written for years and years. Still, I should have read his book, and I will—particularly now. My husband (the scientist, mathman and radical in the family)and I were shocked at yesterday’s news that the taxpayers are going to pay to stabilize not just Freddie and Fannie but AIG as well, which tab will eventually reach 1 TRILLION dollars, which is 1/3 of the U.S. gross national product, $3 trillion. One trillion is a lot of money, 1,000 billion dollars. (My math ability ranges from shaky to barely there—so when I heard “trillion” I had to calculate how much “trillion” actually was, not wanting to ask husband such a dumb question.)

Krugman’s take was similar to Obama’s, Hillary’s and Barney Frank’s: that the public buy-out of what was referred to as bad, even toxic, paper is necessary to avoid the “mother of all credit contractions.” Obama said, if I recall correctly, that down the line we might want to talk about regulating Wall Street. Krugman is afraid it will turn into the wrong kind of rescue, “in effect rescuing the finacial industry from the consequences of its own greed.”

McCain for once blurted out what seemed like a good idea, to fire the head of the SEC. Maybe he doesn’t know that even as President he has no power to do that. This realization, in turn, caused husband to be distracted all evening and this a.m. over breakfast to wonder whether we might be looking at a huge, huge change (for the worse) in society in that we’re about to turn the U.S. Treasury over to the Ivy League elite of Wall Street.

We don’t elect these people, and the people we elect don’t have the power to dump them. Worse, Pelosi, Hillary, Obama, Frank, Schumer, and other liberal Dems in Congress are OK with this bailout, probably because they are rich and affected. Under all the huffing followed by rational, calming discourse among the pols, their behavior can be described as truly elitist in that they are casually accepting debt peonage for the rest of us not in the know and on the make.

At least Bush admitted that the “have-mores” were his base. Ever since Obama rejected Nader’s bid to sign on because Nader was too “obstinate”, I’ve been thinking that lichen and Outraged are largely correct in their analysis of the situation. It’s going to take a while to work my way through this one. Very depressing. I might repeat some of this on some relevant thread if such exists.

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By Tony Wicher, September 19, 2008 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment

cyrena,

That was a great response to Outraged. Thank you. How clearly you describe the political process in regards to the FISA bill!

In regard to government funding of the “faith-based initiatives”, it seems to me that the government ought to be able to work together with non-governmental organizations toward any objective that is socially desirable, such as helping the poor. In many cases a church has deep roots in the community that no non-religious organization has, which is likely to make it more effective, and to exclude churches from being eligible for such funding while giving it to non-religious NGOs would seem to be discrimination against religion. The question of how this is to be done, what sorts of church programs would qualify is so far undetermined.

Nader has never seriously run for any office that I know of with an actual intention of winning. That’s why he’s so pure, and that’s why he’s a professor and Obama is about to be President. His followers, like our friend Outraged, are reduced to a state of permanent moral outrage without being able to do anything about it. Sure I can agree with everything in Nader’s platform and still vote for Obama. Nader calls this “strategic voting” and tells me to vote my conscience instead. Well, my conscience tells me to do what is best for my country, and when I envision the next four years with Obama as president as compared with McCain, my conscience leaves me in no doubt as to who to vote for. My conscience also tells me that voting for Nader would be the wrong thing to do, regardless of my agreement with Nader’s platform, because it is no time for a protest vote  
when the choice between the major candidates is so clear and urgent. I must say I don’t understand why Nader’s conscience doesn’t tell him the same thing.

Come to think of it, what is this “conscience”, anyway? Here’s a goofy thought: what if instead of “my conscience”, we called it “Jesus”?

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By cyrena, September 19, 2008 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

RE: Leefeller:

“On the other hand, a movement from the bottom, a solid grassroots people mover is what Obama suggested from the beginning, I do not if he is serious about it though.”

~~~~~~~

Leefeller,

How can we tell if he’s serious? I’d say by looking at what he’s more than ‘suggested’ but what he’s actually BUILT. Obama began grassroots organization 2 decades ago in his own area at the time..the South side of Chicago. I don’t know how familiar you are with the South Side of Chicago, but I am. To have begun anything there, and to have accomplished something…not HIS accomplishment, but the accomplishment of the PEOPLE LED by him, is quite an accomplishment.

The movement that he’s built since then, is ALSO proof of how serious he is, but as long as folks continue to question how serious ‘he’ is, rather than how serious the ‘movement’ is, the point is lost.

This is what we see in lichen’s postings, and the clear animosity there, based on we know not what. BECAUSE, the very thing that these types are demanding, is what Obama has been able to produce..a willingness of ordinary people at the grassroots, to join together to bring about some changes that work on behalf of their own interests.

So, when I hear these assertions that Obama only has cultists behind him, I know immediately that these people are at the foundation, simply frauds. They claim they want to see a grassroots movement, and when it happens, they insult the members of the movement by accusing us of idolatry.

It’s an insult on multiple fronts, because for one thing, Obama has consistently said that this is NOT ‘about HIM’. It’s ‘about US’. *I* take that very seriously, and I know a whole bunch of his supporters who do as well.

There will ALWAYS be those standing on the outside who will refuse to join and collective effort, and will do their best to destroy whatever collective effort might take place. They will criticize genuine efforts, and yet never offer a single other suggestion for what would work better, and attempt to explain why it would work better.

They are zero sum people, who’s only goal is to block any possible progress that others might achieve.

What other explanation could there be?

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By KDelphi, September 19, 2008 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

Separad—I assume that you have read Paul Krugman"s “Conscience of a Liberal”. I just wondered what you thought of it.

Leefeller—You’re right—change is upon us. Change is always difficult.But if the people do not direct the sail, we will end up going in the same circle over and over.

Both of the major parties have totally lost touch with (if, indeed , they ever had “touch with”) what it is like to be a middle or lower class US citizen.

It does help, I think, if someone has, in the past, not been wealthy. As long as they dont forget where they came from, which seems to happen to a good 3/4 of the peoel who “represent” us in DC.

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By Leefeller, September 19, 2008 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

lichen and Sepharad,

Many of us would like to see a strong third party, one which supports ideas of principals which included the peoples interests, instead of corporate. 

Present control over media and general ignorance of most the population has gotten stale. Some ideas would be perceived as anarchy, I even see the usual trotting out and flagging of Commie and Socialist. On the other hand, a movement from the bottom, a solid grassroots people mover is what Obama suggested from the beginning, I do not if he is serious about it though. 

Your ideas may work at the local level, but the national level may be so polarized in allowing or enabling success of real change. Look at the Palin flap?

Forced change is upon most of us like it or not. Even the Party comfort zones have been opened to question, so your ideas may have a foot in the door. I too am impatient for change, not the one which we been seeing. 

Change, scares the hell out of many people and I suspect most,  implementing change must be inclusive, egos opportunism and power may be the sticky wicket

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By Sepharad, September 19, 2008 at 12:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

lichen, you’re right. Thumbing through my old book of Sebastiao Salgado photos, reading Eduardo Galeano and Zora Neal Hurston and just looking around me (people sleeping under bridges in our rural county, people sleeping in doorways down in San Francisco. I see the difference between politicians and people, between politics and what needs to be done. We’re kind of isolated out here, and so many of the people I do see around are into New Agey. But a movement can start small. I have a like-minded woman friend, used to edit Mother Jones and is also impatient for change. That’s a start. If I regress and do run to the polls it’ll only be because I suddenly have a vivid image of a world in Sarah Palini’s image dropping down like a nuclear winter on my gorgeous, curious 11-year-old granddaughter.

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By lichen, September 17, 2008 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad, what I’ve meant by talking about this movement is that it would be completely free of electoral politics.  I’ve read many papers on how it is these dynamic, active, large social movements which can ultimately not merely change the faces of electoral politics, but keep things moving in the right direction.  If a movement is solely based on getting a certain candidate or party in power, and then sits back to wait for them to do whatever they want to there (or if most of that movement’s infrastructure gets swallowed into the government,) things grow increasingly static, people become jaded, the movement collapses and the promises die out. 

However, if you look at for instance Venezeuala, there the movement for political change remains very decentralized—independent mass social movements which aren’t towing the ‘party line’ or idolizing Chavez are keeping the reforms coming, and building new forms of democracy—so he isn’t just working with fawning supporters, but people with real left demands that he has to contend with.  And you are right that I don’t see this in America, certainly not with the blindly compliant democratic party membership and its organizations such as Moveon (and definitely not with Obama’s people.) 

What I’m proposing, thus, is that people try to get out there and form these social movements so that, yes, Palin or Obama or anyone else will not be able to wreck our country or the world, because we refuse to let them.  It is my opinion that putting up the democratic party as false saviors for the past eight years is dead wrong, and that though there is a place for, for instance, the green party and other socialist parties and independent campaigns, they must not ultimately be our only front, otherwise they will just become like any other discredited, corrupted, status-quo political party in the world (for instance, we know that the green party in places like Germany has evolved into an organization that supports cutting social services, privatizing public interests, and propping up a police state.)

Ultimately, though, I have no bigger arguments for not voting Obama; if you feel it is the choice for you, then I won’t try to stop you.  As I said, for me it is a compromise I won’t make.

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By cyrena, September 17, 2008 at 12:41 am Link to this comment

1 of 2 re Outraged

•  “..Obama is leading one, this I cannot deny…but I am uncomfortable with it because of his choice to NOT protect the people when it meant EVERYTHING.”

Outraged, I know that we’ve probably been through this before, (or at least I guess we have), but I’ve never really been able to ascertain exactly what you think Obama should have done in terms of the FISA thing. So, I’m hoping that you’ll tell me, based on the reality of parliamentary procedure.

You say that *HE* did NOT ‘protect’ the people, when it meant EVERYTHING. First, I would argue that this part about it “meaning EVERYTHING” is the issue that I had before when I suggested this to be rhetorical histrionics. It didn’t mean EVERYTHING, because while it was certainly a major issue to many of us, (and remains as such) contrary to what you might wish to believe, there are just as many Americans to whom it simply DOES NOT MATTER.

Yes, I hate that, and I was appalled when so many of the students here, (MOST) have shrugged their shoulders at the whole issue of the telecoms spying. Granted, they are a much younger generation, and maybe they are more accepting of such intrusions. The common response that I got, (and I spent several class sessions on this) was something like, “So what? What about my text messages or phone calls could they be interested in?” Of course I explained that it was the principle of the law and the constitution and all the rest. (that’s why I spent so much course time on it). And that in fact, there was NO guarantee during these fascist times, that the feds wouldn’t turn a perfectly innocent text message or cell phone call into a crime to hold against them or any other American.

That said, we’re back to the fact that FISA doesn’t mean EVERYTHING. In fact, in comparative terms to what other violations this regime has committed, and the CONGRESS has ALLOWED, it isn’t even as bad as say the Military Commissions Act, which is probably the worst, in terms of ‘NOT’ protecting Americans. And I just wonder if you even realize how bad it is. It would be worth the read. There are others.

Besides that though, my other really large question that I’ve posed many times, is to ask WHY you 1. Appear to hold Barack Obama *solely* responsible for the passage of the last FISA bill, and 2. What you seem to believe he could have done to prevent it from passing. You specifically claim that HE did NOT ‘protect’ the people, and I find that totally ridiculous for any intelligent person who followed the course of that legislation. You know that this had been the most contentious issue in Congress for probably 3 years. You know that the legislation was written in the House, and approved by the House before it was passed to the Senate. You know that the majority of Congress had already agreed that there needed to be some changes, (although I assert only very minor changes) to allow for advances in telecommunications technology since the original legislation was created back in the days after Nixon. You know then that the most contentious issue of this last bill was the fact that it let the telecoms off the hook. You also know, (or should) that Obama wrote a revision/addendum to the House version that WOULD hold the telecoms responsible, and you know (or should) that this additional provision/correction was voted on in the Senate, (Obama in the lead of course, since he wrote/introduced the revision) and that it FAILED! (yes, that was a separate vote, and if memory serves me, there were less than a dozen – including him- that voted in favor of it).

So, I am admittedly very, very, curious about why you (of all people, since you’re generally pretty rational) seem so determined to hold Barack Obama personally responsible for the passage of admittedly bad legislation, when he was one of 535 members of Congress involved. I don’t get that at all.

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By cyrena, September 17, 2008 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

2 of 2 – Outraged

Now we can go on later about all of your obsessions with the definitions of compromise, but the bottom line is that compromise in parliamentary procedure, is generally for the purposes of avoiding gridlock. Much like what we have in CA now, with our budget. IOW, to move the thing along. And while the telecoms did get off the hook in respect to the civil issue of their crimes, (the money) they can still be held CRIMINALLY responsible for their spying. – retroactively.

Now your other beef is the thing with the so-called ‘faith based’ initiative. It’s a bad name, and I think you know that. I think that if you know (according to a prior post from you) that Obama has allegedly PROPOSED providing something like half a million dollars for such programs, (and I don’t remember the figure you used) then you very well know the rest of the details as well.

He specifically said at the time, that he did NOT have ‘all of the details’ worked out, but that as long as there was no discrimination involved, (like groups discriminating against anyone else in the hiring or providing of these services) and as long as they qualified, based on the laws, that he wanted to consider providing federal funds to what are essentially the SAME as Ralph Nader’s groups. These are just as much NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS as the dozens that Nader has sponsored.

At the time, your big argument was that these organizations with these religious affiliations were no better equipped to provide services than the State was. I agreed, and reminded you only that the STATE was NOT providing the services. Not because they couldn’t necessarily, but because they WEREN’T. If we depended ONLY on the State for many of the social services that we get, we just plain wouldn’t have them.

Yes, I know that your larger complaint here was about the ‘indoctrination’ that these organizations supposedly promote. I disagreed, because I know many that do not, but I still get your point. There ARE in fact a number of the more fundamental type organizations that DO promote a version of whatever their religion is, and I don’t believe that they should be doing it with federal funds either. But then, I also have a problem with all of the Mormons who establish their multiple wife communes and put all of the wives on welfare.

But that isn’t my real issue here. What concerns me is the fact that you are so obsessed about what you call Obama’s PROPOSAL, for what are exactly the SAME type organizations, (NON-State) that Ralph Nader has spent his life establishing. That *IS* Nader’s claim to fame, for at least the past decade.

It’s impossible to believe that you aren’t aware of this, because it was YOU who directed me/us to the Wikipedia entry on Nader. (one that I’d read long, long, long ago) and right there in the text, there is not only the explanation of his establishment of these NGO’s, but it lists a couple of dozen, (at LEAST) projects that he’s since placed under the umbrella of this NGO. These are the SAME social services, (NON-state provided) that Obama proposed funding.

So you see the irony there I hope. Have you checked to see HOW all of these dozens of projects and services are funded? Do you think that Nader spent his OWN money to do it all? Sorry, professors don’t earn that much. I wish they did. I think they’re worth it.

Now I don’t know myself, the exact funding details for every single project Nader has established, and I’m probably not going to look, because *I* don’t have a problem with these being funded or partially funded with public funds. But I do find an uncomfortable irony and even a measure of hypocrisy in your adamant disapproval of Obama’s PROPOSAL, while you continue to cheer Nader for having accomplished the exact same thing.

I hope you can help me out with this. I really would like to understand.

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By Outraged, September 16, 2008 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Your comment: “I don’t disagree with anything in Nader’s platform. It’s just that Nader is not leading a mass movement that can win in 2008 and Obama is. If Nader (and his supporters) would compromise enough to join the Obama movement, they would find that there are many Democrats such as I who agree with them that they could work with, and they could have a beneficial influence in pushing Obama to be more progessive.”

>>  You don’t disagree with anything on Nader’s platform, but you choose to vote for Obama.  Have you seriously considered your premise.

In addition, your comment “Nader is not leading a mass movement that can win in 2008 and Obama is.”  Yes and no.  I guess I see several indiscrepancies here.  Nader has been leading a “mass movement” for decades, and realistically, a trusted one.  Obama is leading one, this I cannot deny…but I am uncomfortable with it because of his choice to NOT protect the people when it meant EVERYTHING.  Many cheered for Hitler also, he too had “a movement”.

In addition, your assertion than Nader “compromise” is questionable, especially regarding the circumstances.  Should we/Nader capitulate or compromise?  A compromise has these definitions. I’ll challenge you, how did Obama “compromise” regarding FISA?  In addition, should we be “compromising” with this type of enormous illegality…?  If so, why…?

COMPROMISE:

* a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.  (dictionary.com unabridged)

* A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions. (American Heritage Dict)

* a middle way between two extremes (wordnet)

* To adjust and settle by mutual concessions; to compound. (Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dict)

I agree with Sen. Feingold that this was a capitulation, not a compromise.  In a compromise, both sides concede something.  What did the “other side” concede…?

To call this a compromise is ridiculous.  What did our “side” get?  The only thing I can ascertain is that WE “got” shafted.

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By Sepharad, September 16, 2008 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

lichen, my husband and I both were hoping Edwards would hang in there because he was the only real populist likely to get elected, because his mandatory health plan could have been pushed through and because columnist Paul Krugman (whom we both regard as low-key-under-radar-far-left, very sharp economist,  committed to the greater good) was pushing very hard for Edwards and Krugman doubtless has far more knowledge than we do of current politics (what is possible and what is not). But we both have always wished for a more progressive, tougher individual willing to make real change. You say you are not voting for Obama but will go for a mass independent movement large enough to force the changes that need to be made on whoever’s in power. I don’t see a movement like that out there, but if there were one I’d certainly join up. Do you think the greens, the independents, the socialists, and Nader together would constitute such a movement, in sufficient numbers and unity, to coalesce into one party, one candidate at the top? (This is done in Israel sometimes—e.g. Sharon’s Kadima party bringing in labor trying to get enough secular/labor power to offset religious-right influences so that there will be enough consensus and voting strength to overcome resistance to necessary steps such as pulling out of Gaza.) I know there is no tradition of this in American politics, but there should be. While I agree with Outraged that there should be 40 choices on the ballot, unless these people and their supporters are somehow united they can’t do much to change anything. What spirited, determined movements in this country have accomplished—voting rights for blacks, stopping the Vietnam War—is not insignificant, but will not set the government itself on a different course. For that matter, the abolitionists and banks and railroads that pushed the Civil War into reality may have won, but it certainly did not wipe out racism, north or south—simply made the country safe for the banks and railroads and let northerners bask in moral superiority without altering their residual racism. The Civil War’s glow of virtue also helped the federal government to proceed still humming “the truth goes marching on” when they systematically slaughtered or starved most of the American Indians who were inconvenient for business. 

I don’t think Obama/Biden will make any long-term changes either except to give the U.S. a better image among international sophisticates, and I don’t really care a rap about image when reality is what we have to live with. I do think that Obama/Biden will do far less damage than Palin. So I’ll vote for them unless you can show me me where I can sign on with a united movement for change members are.

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By lichen, September 16, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Sepherad, Joe Biden’s ‘foreign policy experience’ is a sham; he’s only supported imperial war and war crimes in his tenure.  Further, his drafting of the 2005 bankruptcy reform act keeps millions impoverished (while not limiting the ability of corporations to file at all,) including me.  He and Obama have no plans of putting anything other than a bandaid, a small cosmetic change on the bush administration’s policy.  I will never morally support their candidacy; I will, however, support an independent mass social movement that is capable of forcing whoever is in the presidency to do our bidding. 


Tony and Cerena, you simply don’t share my or Outraged’s political views; that is why you are voting for your candidate, while we are not.  Let’s not pretend that the case is otherwise.  I am not together with you on this, and nor will I ever be. There is no use in compiling false arguments when the perspective you come from is clearly just incompatible.

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By KDelphi, September 16, 2008 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

I just think that campaigning equally in all states (including Mississippi, Alabama. etc.) is a waste of time and money. But the Dems stopped taking advice from Dems (and former Dems) a long time ago.

I hope it works out for yu

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By Leefeller, September 16, 2008 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

Tony Witcher,

Compromise, compromise, Nader does not need no stinking compromise. Actually you are right it would be a very good gesture on Nader’s part. Or does he believe he can win?  Nader may be delusional and full of himself, so maybe instead he should run with Palin?

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By Tony Wicher, September 16, 2008 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

By Outraged, September 15 at 9:50 pm #


Re: Tony Wicher

Where’s your backbone?  Where’s your fighting spirit?  Many have died so that we could have the freedoms that we see slowly but surely being usurped. We need to stand up, and we need to do it now.  We CAN do that with our vote.

What part of Nader’s platform do you disagree with?
——————————————————————————-
As I see it, we have the best opportunity in generations to stand up effectively by voting for Barack Obama. Or, we can reduce ourselves to political impotence by continuing the alienated politics of the 60’s and voting for Nader, which is nothing but a futile protest vote.

What Obama said of Nader was that he respects him but “I won’t be getting his endorsement because he’s asking for too much”. In other words, he did try to get Nader’s endorsement, but the political price was too high. He’s trying to win an election.

I don’t disagree with anything in Nader’s platform. It’s just that Nader is not leading a mass movement that can win in 2008 and Obama is. If Nader (and his supporters) would compromise enough to join the Obama movement, they would find that there are many Democrats such as I who agree with them that they could work with, and they could have a beneficial influence in pushing Obama to be more progessive. As it is, by refusing to compromise they are pushing Obama to the right to find support and splitting the progressive vote.

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By Tony Wicher, September 16, 2008 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

By KDelphi, September 12 at 9:14 am #


I said I liked Dean—who doesnt! That isnt the point at all. I just think that running all over the Deep South, saying that Dem stronglholds “didnt matter”,—I’m just not so sure it is working as well as they had hoped. I would rather have Obama win than McCain—but it is no skin off my ass either way. If I’m going to get decent health care, buy a house that will hold its value—I’m not going to be able to do it in the US.

I dont think my remarks were derogatory about Dean or Obama at all! YOu cant even suggets what you think the canpaign might need to correct ? That’s ridiculous and is not helping at all.
————————————————————————-
KDelphi,

I don’t know if you are addressing me, but I certainly never said you said anything derogatory about Dean. I just happen to think Dean’s 50-state strategy is working.

The rest of your statement, however, is crazy. Letting the Republicans continue to run the country into the ground is “no skin off your back”? I’m speechless. Republicans are responsible for both the housing crisis and the health crisis. It is going to make one hell of a lot of difference who is president - one hell of a lot!

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By Leefeller, September 16, 2008 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

You post makes sense of nonsense, thanks for the insight on Nader, while reading it, I almost put a skirt on Nader and see Palin.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 16, 2008 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

@ Sepharad;

So, whats to think?  Your last paragraph convinced me to vote for Obama.  The alternative is just beyond imagining….

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By Sepharad, September 16, 2008 at 12:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Outraged, Sodium, lichen .... I can’t decide if it’s harder arguing with your premises or trying to persuade those Reagan Democrats and racists (who are honest enough to SAY that’s their objection to Obama)
who also consider Obama anathema. Their reasons for not voting for Obama are merely disgusting, but yours are unsettling because in many respects I agree, and I didn’t know that Obama turned down Nader
s participation in his advisory circle.

I do have some small knowledge of Nader—worked on his Press Project in DC. He underpaid his staff even by nonprofit standards, was a prima donna and (as many of the other staffers warned me on my first day) was likely to show up at dinnertime on some pretext and expect to be fed. If he ate at home or paid for a meal it was maybe once a week. On the other hand, for me the Project was important enough to justify taking a 9-month leave from the FoI Act push. I often regretted it because Nader was a real jerk to work for. On the other hand, most guys putting themselves forward in public affairs aren’t exactly ego-free. Nader was honest, and rigid, and obstinate: if he weren’t he couldn’t have accomplished what he did for the American consumer and did to the automotive industry and other changes he insisted by embarrassing the big guys enough until they finally caved. I have no problems with big brains, big egos, lots of yelling—I’m used to Israelis!—as long as what needs to get done gets done, and merits doing in the first place because it springs from the ethics of tikkun olam, roughly healing (or simply stewardship) of the world along wtth its people.

So I’m trying to see what’s right here. If Obama was smart enough to corral a veep whose foreign policy experience was deep and broad, why was he not smart enough to bring aboard a man such as Nader who would virtually guarantee bringing with him one of the best parts of the Democratic party? He’s surely smart enough to know that his coal inclusion is going to go nowhere since the big plants rejected the clean tech as completely unprofitable and refuse to participate. Coal and corn (biofuel in this context) are big Illinois economic factors, and maybe this was just a gesture to them, but if he’s going to be President he’s gonna have to look to national interest first.

If I keep going I’ll have myself talked out of voting for Obama, but if enough people like me desert, we’ll have Palin for at least four, maybe eight years and my kids will be stuck with her wars and her politics and a trashed educational and medical system, even worse than they are now under Bush and McCain combined. And because Obama is not good, then it’s good to let Sarah finish the destruction that Bush began? Let’s be clear: she WILL become President (she’ll poison McCain’s cocoa if she has to) and irreversible damage€environment and on civil rights. You can bet on that. So we can teach the American people that they’ve gotta move to the left by pulling the country down around their ears, like some really big terrorist event? Do my kids, all of our kids, deserve, as punishment, the incredible mess Palin will leave, mission accomplished in her own mind? She IS staggeringly stupid, you know.

I have to think about this some more.

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By KDelphi, September 16, 2008 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

Just FYI, folks, the term “psychopath” is not used anymore. (As in “psychopthic deviate”) It is now “sociopath” or sociopathic personality disorder.

It is very rarely used, because it became such a “catch all"phrase, and entered into poppular lexicon—it became like calling someone and “Idiot”, “imbecile” or “moron”—which were all orginally terms used to indicate a specific level of intellectual disability.

Unless you are a psychiatrist, diagnosis has become so subjective , that it is really used for billing purposes these days. The MMPI (Minn. Multiphasic Peronality Inventory) , which was the classic diagnostic tool, fell into disafavor as being non-predictive, and, in any case, it was compiled using a group of institutionalized “mental patients” who wer asked questions like, “Doorknobs seem to look at me” and they were to answer yes or no only; on all questions. Also, subjective ones like “My mother was a good person”.

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By KDelphi, September 15, 2008 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment

And, you can trust both of the TWO BIG PARTY candidates , whoever wins, to make us wish that they hadnt!

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By Outraged, September 15, 2008 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Where’s your backbone?  Where’s your fighting spirit?  Many have died so that we could have the freedoms that we see slowly but surely being usurped. We need to stand up, and we need to do it now.  We CAN do that with our vote.

What part of Nader’s platform do you disagree with?

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By Tony Wicher, September 15, 2008 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

You can trust Nader not to get elected.

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By Outraged, September 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

First off Cyrena, “I” didn’t say this: “And I may add that the test of time and his monumental services for the consumers have proven that he is UN-CORRUPTIBLE and adheres firmly to what he believes in..” ***If you scroll down to “Sodium’s” comment and recheck mine you will SEE that I was only reposting Sodium’s comment in order to respond to it.  Don’t worry about it, these things happen to the best of us.  I know I’ve done it…LOL

Aside from that, your comment:
“So why now Outraged? And, maybe more importantly, what do you really expect to come from a comparison of Obama and Nader? I think you should be careful what you wish for, because I’ve already done a very careful comparison, and while there are one or two major differences in personality and temperament, the similarities, AT LEAST IN TERMS OF ISSUES CONCERNING THE AMERICAN POPULATION, are overwhelming SIMILAR!!!

>>  NOW, is because we have ACTUAL presidential candidates, something we did not have before.  Everything prior to this was about THE PARTY PRIMARIES.  Do you honestly think it would have been applicable for Nader to request to be a part of the Democratic or Republican debate when he’s is running as an INDEPENDENT…?

I am very cognizant of what I wish for, but thank you for caring.

As per your comment: “I’ve already done a very careful comparison, and while there are one or two major differences in personality and temperament yadda…yadda.  Cyrena, your “careful comparison” of “temperament and personality” is specious.

Don’t vote for Nader if you sincerely feel that ALL these years of fighting for what Americans care about are meaningless.  I don’t.  I think it means something, in fact, I think the things Nader HAS done are incredible and important.  Nader HAS earned our TRUST, we can’t say that about our other “contestants”....can we…? Be truthful.

Per your comment: “UNBENDING, UNCOMPROMISING and UNWILLING to consider ANY OTHER WAY OR VIEWPOINT,  **** Who’s proven this..?  Have you?  Has anyone?  Simply because Nader DOESN’T kowtow to every whiner out there, does NOT make him any of the things you aver.  It’s rhetoric, and nothing else.  The fact that Nader has according (again) to Wiki:

“In 1971, Nader founded the non-governmental organization (NGO) Public Citizen as an umbrella organization for these projects. Today, Public Citizen has over 140,000 members and investigates Congressional, health, environmental, economic and other issues….

“....In 1980, Nader resigned as director of Public Citizen to work on other projects, forcefully campaigning against what he believed to be the dangers of large multinational corporations. He went on to start a variety of non-profit organizations”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Nader

>> Does this SOUND “UNBENDING, UNCOMPROMISING and UNWILLING to consider ANY OTHER WAY OR VIEWPOINT” type of persona…?  Who are you listening to?  Nader HAS taken on what we many times refer to as “the big boys” AND HE’S WON.  If that makes him uncompromising in your estimation, so be it.  I do not see it that way at all.

I see it as EXPERIENCED, KNOWLEDGEABLE, CARING, TOUGH, FLEXIBLE AND DETERMINED.  It will take this magnitude of determination to turn this mess around.  I TRUST Nader, he doesn’t waiver or cave.  Obama does.  I gave Obama a shot, he BLEW IT, SEVERAL TIMES.  I shudder to think what will happen with Obama OR McCain holding the reins to the power of this country.

By rights…, Nader should tell everyone just to “fuck off”.  He fights with us and FOR US. I understand that some people do not comprehend that, but I do.  In addition, I think there are MANY others who do also.  Some people never learn, but I don’t worry much about them, nor do I take their rhetoric as anything other than just that….rhetoric.

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By KDelphi, September 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

Good. Open the debates to people who got enough signatures.

I spent the firsy half of my life voting Democratic (except for a couple election) It didnt “work”. Things are worse than ever.

I think I’d like to spend the second half,(if I get one) working for something better. Even if it doesnt “work”. The few people on here who arent voting Obama, are NOT going to “throw the eleciton”. Thats just BS.

The harsher his followers seem to get, the further behind Obama seems to fall.Where in the world did you get the idea that this is effective?

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By cyrena, September 15, 2008 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

•  “Nader’s public interest groups have always PROTECTED the people.  The fact that the Dems wouldn’t even give, NOT NADER, but his groups the time of day, says something about who the dems are actually complicit in protecting.  The dems have made huge contributions to the ruination of our rights and our protections.”

Outraged,

So, it’s the DEMS that wouldn’t give Nader’s groups the time of day, eh? Please spare me the bullshit. I’m weary of it.

Let’s cut to the chase Outraged. I have supported Ralph Nader in his efforts for many years. I will continue to do that, and I hope that he will continue to build on what he has devoted his life to.

In the meantime, I’m going to vote for Barack Obama for president, and I might even give way to prayer in the interim. It would be wonderful if, upon inauguration, Obama would ask Ralph Nader to assist in his administration, and even more wonderful if Ralph would accept.

That’s the bottom line. Unfortunately we (collectively) lost the opportunity to play fantasy games and waste time with bullshit rhetoric. I admit it was fun back in the day. Those days are gone.

And, just in case it matters, Nader’s public interest groups haven’t done a goddamned thing for ME, or thousands of others that I’ve personally met in the last 8 years. So, I guess we must not be among those “People” that he’s protected.

Oh well.

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By Tony Wicher, September 15, 2008 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

Re lichen, September 13 at 6:07 pm

Tony,

You   Being a democratic partisan is a petty little game, and obviously you didn’t get my point about what INDEPENDENT mass social movements are; Obama’s corporatist charade is not one of them.
—————————————————————————-
What “independent mass social movement” might you be talking about, other than some fantasy existing only in your own head, may I ask? Obama has millions of passionate supporters. Obama raised 69 million last month the great majority of it from individuals (including my $200 I could ill afford) and very little of it from corporations.

Large parts of corporate America do support Obama.  Warren Buffet and Bill Gates support Obama. Just as intelligent capitalists supported Roosevelt and the New Deal in the 1930’s.

This is a watershed election. Obama is Roosevelt, McCain is Hoover. The choice is the clearest it has been since 1932.

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By KDelphi, September 15, 2008 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

The debates should be open to those that got enough signatures to appear on the ballots of 40-odd states.

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By cyrena, September 15, 2008 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Outraged, September 15 at 2:58 pm

•  “In addition, your skewed premise is always to contrast Obama and McCain, as if other candidates don’t exist or matter.  They do.  And the American people have a right to hear them too.  Contrast Nader and Obama.  How will Obama fair THEN?  Why are Obama and McCain against an OPEN DEBATE?  This might help:”

Outraged, is Obama REALLY against an ‘open debate’? Has he said why? Has he wondered, (as I have) why Nader is only insisting on that NOW? (even Ron Paul whined about not being included in the initial debates, and I thought that he SHOULD be).

So why now Outraged? And, maybe more importantly, what do you really expect to come from a comparison of Obama and Nader? I think you should be careful what you wish for, because I’ve already done a very careful comparison, and while there are one or two major differences in personality and temperament, the similarities, AT LEAST IN TERMS OF ISSUES CONCERNING THE AMERICAN POPULATION, are overwhelming SIMILAR!!!

So, I don’t think you really wanna go there. Because, while you say THIS:

•  “…And I may add that the test of time and his monumental services for the consumers have proven that he is UN-CORRUPTIBLE and adheres firmly to what he believes in..”

What we’re just as likely to observe is a NON-compromising and INflexible position on just about everything that matters. What we’re likely to see from that, is the potential for hopeless gridlock that always results when a leader or person in power decides that they will not budge from their position, NO MATTER WHAT!! UN-CORRUPTIBLE is great. UNBENDING, UNCOMPROMISING and UNWILLING to consider ANY OTHER WAY OR VIEWPOINT, is really fucked-up. So, help us understand the purity and nobility of ‘adhering firmly to what one believes in” even if only a minority of the population believe in the same thing. Help us understand how ‘firmly adhering’ to what we believe in, actually makes it happen. For instance, I FIRMLY BELIEVE that anybody who wants to should be able to attend Harvard Law School, just like Ralph and Barack did. Is Raphie gonna hook that up for us? Or, does he maybe not share my belief in that respect?

And what about these debates? I think they should be OPEN as well. I AGREE with Ralph. So I’m sure he would welcome my own participation, and the participation from Barr, Ron Paul, Cynthia McKinney, Oprah, the Bush twins, EVERYBODY who got to be in on the first ‘rounds’ of debates, plus Bill Clinton, the Flintstones, (at least Fred and Wilma), the Jetson’s, and any damn body else who is a natural born American citizen over the age of 35. Let’s just have a damn OPEN debate, if we’re gonna have one at all! I agree!! No doubt that will be satisfactory to Mr. Nadar.

That will provide the perfect opportunity to find out about the hero he’s been to the CONSUMER’S of the 70’s and 80’s. (and he is of course…did tons of work for consumers). Now that alone may not impress as many people in the year 2008 of the 21st Century, because..well, MANY of us AREN’T CONSUMING ANYTHING ANYMORE!!! That’s because we don’t have any fucking money to BUY shit with.

But, that’s OK. Maybe he has some ideas for that, and he can share them with us at the open debate. OR, he can compare his very excellent efforts (at least as good as Obama’s) in the organization of NGO’s. I (personally) find that impressive, (because I’m partial to this sort of organized work) but he better make damn sure he goes through that list with a fine tooth comb, to be certain that not a single solitary person in ANY of those groups that he’s organized at the grass roots, has any sort of religious affiliation attached to them. You know what would happen then. He would see the extent of your wrath, and that ain’t pretty either.

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By cyrena, September 15, 2008 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2 re By Outraged, September 15 at 2:58 pm


Another thing Ralph can do at the debates is to overturn that bad/illegal legislation that THE MAJORITY OF CONGRESS PASSED on the SPYING. That was all Obama’s fault of course, but no doubt Nader can fix it instantaneously. (never mind that he’s never bothered with that piddly stuff of Congressional representation as an elected official…that just sooooo, ‘common’…for the little people of course.)

So, I’m ready for the open debates. Inquiring minds wanna know this stuff. And, Americans have the RIGHT to hear from ALL of us. In fact, it’s been pretty damn selfish for Obama to be busting his ass traveling all over the country, to get to all 50 states in order to talk to those common people. Who the hell does he think he is anyway? You’d think he was running for President or something. And all the while, he and his millions of supporters who are also busting their asses trying to save ALL of our asses, MUST have known how unfair this was to Mr. Nader. Why of course it prevented Ralph from doing the same thing. Nope, it’s just not right Outraged. I’ll see if I can’t clear it with Obama. No doubt he has the last word on all of this stuff.


Let the debates begin.

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By Outraged, September 15, 2008 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

Your comment regarding Nader:  “Couldn’t be bother running for political office (other than president) for the past 20 or so years.”

>> It isn’t accurate to say that Nader “couldn’t be bother(ed) to run for political office (other than president).  While you may FEEL that way that isn’t why Nader has made the choices he has. From Wikipedia:

“In the 2006 documentary An Unreasonable Man, Nader describes how, during the second Clinton Administration, HE FOUND THAT HE WAS UNABLE TO GET THE VIEWS OF HIS PUBLIC INTEREST GROUPS HEARD IN WASHINGTON, EVEN BY THEN PRESIDENT CLINTON’S ADMINISTRATION. Nader cites this as one of the primary reasons that he decided again to actively run in the 2000 election as candidate of the Green Party, which had been formed in the wake of his 1996 campaign.”(emphasis mine)

Nader’s public interest groups have always PROTECTED the people.  The fact that the Dems wouldn’t even give, NOT NADER, but his groups the time of day, says something about who the dems are actually complicit in protecting.  The dems have made huge contributions to the ruination of our rights and our protections. 

In addition, Wikipedia states:

“Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn cited Gore’s failure to win over progressive voters in Florida who chose Nader, and congratulated those voters: “Who would have thought the Sunshine State had that many progressives in it, with steel in their spine and the spunk to throw Eric Alterman’s columns into the trash can?”  Nader’s actual influence on the 2000 election is the subject of considerable discussion, and there is no consensus on Nader’s impact on the outcome.  Still others argued that even if Nader’s constituents could have made the swing difference between Gore and Bush, the votes Nader garnered were not from the democrats, but from democrats, republicans, and discouraged voters who would not have voted otherwise.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_nader

In addition, the FISA vote was NOT a compromise.  One of our best senators, Sen. Feingold from WI explains:

Feingold:  “The FISA deal announced on June 19 effectively grants retroactive immunity to companies that allegedly participated in the President’s illegal wiretapping program, and it does not provide adequate protections for innocent Americans. Title I of the new bill, which includes a dramatic expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, does not include the most significant safeguards approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it does not include any of the amendments that Senator Feingold offered on the Senate floor earlier this year, each of which received 35 or more Democratic votes. These safeguards would have permitted the government to obtain the intelligence information it needs while also protecting the privacy of law-abiding Americans.

http://feingold.senate.gov/issues_fisafacts.html
(Feingold explains the true outcome of this bill in detail at this link)

Nader’s perspective: ““The bill will also grant immunity to telecom companies for cooperating with Mr. Bush in his illegal warrantless wiretapping on Americans - on any one of you. We were taught as young children that in our democracy, under our system of justice, nobody is above the law - nobody. But this bill puts the President and the telecom companies above the law. It also conveniently assures a cover up of Mr. Bush’s past crimes in this area - of wiretapping and surveillance,” Nader said in audio message posted on his website.

http://www.politicususa.com/en/Nader-FISA

This is not “sore loser” rant as people erroneously attempt to paint it.  This is a serious issue, AFFECTING EVERY AMERICAN.  Ask yourself, why did Hillary vote AGAINST it…?  I think it was pure politics for Hillary at that point, however it would have been in Obama’s FAVOR to vote NO, yet he didn’t, along with others.  Why…?  What message was he sending with that “NO” vote, and to whom…?

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By KDelphi, September 15, 2008 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

If we wait for “everyone to be convinced”—we will all be dead. And humans will be extinct. “Clean” coal and offshore drilling wil not help.

Obama is coming out with values, that, I see to be, inconsistent with the values he claimed to have when starting out. In teh beginning of his campaign, he supported                                     single-payer health care. He supported pulling out of Iraq—if not immediately, it was at least implied.

That’s the problem, I think. Its hard to point out what he will do, because her never really SAID we would pull out of Iraq—but it was certqianly implied as evidencde of his superior judgement. It was implied that he wanted health care for everyone.

Now, on FEMA_-yes,he never claimed to be against the FEMA Amendments. But I feel that all the Sens. sh                   ould have been.. I think most people really think so too.

There were also things that i thought he would go into in more detail as the campaign went on. Maybe when they have debates, it will become clearer. I think it depends on who’s hosting the debates and who is asking the questions.If it’s just what is on his website now, it’a better than McCain. Yes, it is.

I still dont know if Obama is participating in the google debates—I had heard that he is. If people are allowed to submit questions, I think that that wouild be good. I also think that Thire Party candidates should be allowed to deagbate. They might pull the two-party candidates in to the open on more controversial issues that havent really been addressed.

It would be good to have people from different fields (other than “news” and politics ) to ask questions. Maybe a scientist, a union organizer, a health care professional (like a nurse or dr.) and so on.

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By cyrena, September 15, 2008 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi,

“...The time to present your values as a candidate is NOW…

~~~~

Obama is doing exactly that, and has been for nearly 2 years now. Are you not listening to him? Apparently you’re too freaked out by the comments of other voters, to actually pay attention to what the guy has been saying. That’s unfortunate.

At least I guess that’s what the problem is.

Tony Wicher is right of course. This will be the 5th presidential election for Nader, and as brilliant and honorable as he is, he’ll lose again. Yep, he’ll lose because Ralph Nader has never been willing to become a part of the political system that he wasn’t to administer as the top cat. Couldn’t be bother running for political office (other than president) for the past 20 or so years. But that’s OK, because he did a whole lot of other really important stuff.

Too bad though, that he didn’t bother to run for office, because nearly all of the good that he has accomplished on behalf of the American CONSUMER…and let’s be perfectly real here, it has been the CONSUMER that has been advantaged by Ralph Nader, at least before all regulatory oversight was wiped out.

Obama is right about Nader being obstinate. That’s OK too…sometimes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for anyone holding public/elected office. As I’ve said before, it’s just not enough to KNOW THAT HE/WE/THEY are *RIGHT*. Everybody else has to be convinced as well. It requires the kind of compromise and flexibility that some people just don’t have. I don’t have it, and neither does Ralph Nader. If he did, he would have been elected long ago.

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By Outraged, September 15, 2008 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Please see my response to Sodium to understand why I will NOT support nor endorse Obama.  It doesn’t cover every single issue I’ve ever questioned, but it does address the major ones.

In addition, your skewed premise is always to contrast Obama and McCain, as if other candidates don’t exist or matter.  They do.  And the American people have a right to hear them too.  Contrast Nader and Obama.  How will Obama fair THEN?  Why are Obama and McCain against an OPEN DEBATE?  This might help:

http://www.votenader.org/issues/

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By Outraged, September 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Re: Sodium

Your comment: “Ralph Nader has proven time and time again that he is NOT for sale.And I may add that
the test of time and his monumental services for the consumers have proven that he is UN-CORRUPTIBLE and adheres firmly to what he believes in.Sometimes,
this splendid quality can have negative effect in a close presidential election as the one which took place in 2000 and in which my wife and I voted for Ralph Nader.
After the experiences with George W. Bush
for the last eight years,I am determined that I will never never repeat that unwise decision again”

>>  Bush never actually WON the election in 2000, nor in 2004.  For this reason, the degree to which any one vote mattered or even 1,000’s of votes is debatable.  I feel you have a RIGHT to vote how you see fit, however I will not vote simply out of FEAR.  Which is what I feel you are admonishing me to do.

I understand the gravity of the situation and it IS SERIOUS.  That’s WHY I am voting for Nader.  Initially, I endorsed Kucinich, after he dropped out of the race I endorsed Obama.  In light of some very questionable positions Obama has taken since then, I can not endorse him.  These positions ARE dangerous to our safety.

1.  Immunity and continued spying of Americans ** this was a major ILLEGALITY, in addition, he did NOT protect our constitution and the civil rights granted to us within it and voted FOR continued spying of Americans

2.  Proposing a $500,000 allotment to “faith-based” groups who provide social services.  ** This undermines the church/state separation clause of the constitution.  It also is DANGEROUS to have religion in control of determining who will eat or be housed, as Obama’s plan endorses. In his plan funds are directed to religions FOR POVERTY TYPE PROGRAMS.  Not only is this an underhanded way to privitize social programs but it is also EXACTLY the way radical fundamentalist muslims gain their converts in the Middle East.  When you consider that THERE IS a Radical Christian Movement in America, Obama’s position is down right nuts!

3. Obama has chosen war hawks as foreign relations advisors. 
http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=1748

4. Obama has chosen questionable economic advisors, such as Rubin.  Note Mr. Rubin’s perspective from this article in Jan. 2008:

“A lending catastrophe has consumed homeowners, mortgage companies, and the financial system, but Robert Rubin, Citigroup’s director and executive committee chair, doesn’t seem particularly alarmed.

He told a small crowd at Manhattan’s Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Wednesday that the problems now roiling the markets and forcing the Federal Reserve into a defensive posture are “all part of a cycle of periodic excess leading to periodic disruption,” and that we are not in fact on the verge of a financial meltdown.

And the economic problems that he did acknowledge were blamed on just about everyone but the major U.S. financial players.” It goes on:

“Rubin may be correct in his assessment of issues like entitlement programs, but this was hardly the speech one would expect from a man whose bank has written down more than $24 billion in losses due in large part to greed, cynicism, and bad judgment.”


http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/31/news/economy/rubin_benner.fortune/

5.  I do not trust Obama to protect the country’s interests nor our rights outlined in the constitution, but I CAN TRUST NADER.

It isn’t a dangerous premise to endorse Nader, in fact, I think it’s more dangerous NOT too.  In light of these developments, to CONTINUE to support Obama would be questionable at best and more probably just complete denial of the facts.  Obama TAUGHT Constitutional Law, for him to disregard is it is indeed suspect.

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By Tony Wicher, September 15, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

By Outraged, September 15 at 12:22 am #

As per your comment, “ “Don’t you realize that the retrgrade environmental policy of the Bush regime will be ACCELERATED if McCain and Palin get in?”

Again, you are using a fear tactic.  I will not vote simply out of FEAR.
——————————————————————————-
Now, wait a minute. There are rational fears and irrational fears. The Republicans cultivate an irrational fear of “terrorism”. I, on the other hand, have an utterly rational fear of the Republicans winning this election. It would be as if Hoover was elected in 1932 and continued the economic policies of the 20’s - a disaster.

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By lichen, September 15, 2008 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

No, cyrena, I do not give the autocratic party my support, I favor independents like Nader, Sheehan, greens like Mckinney, etc.  I favor them because they EARNED my vote. 

Perhaps if you support Nader, he would win; perhaps, therefore, it will be your fault if the republicans win and not him; perhaps it was your fault in 2000; perhaps it is your duty to vote for him, and I should be sarcastically thanking you for your non-support and dumb arguments.  Ever consider that?  Or is the whole world painted blue and responsible for saving the bankrupt democratic party from itself?

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By Tony Wicher, September 15, 2008 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

By lichen, September 15 at 1:04 pm #

Obama and the democratic party at large had the chance to win my votes, by putting a platform/candidate like Kucinich’ or maybe even Edwards at the front; they didn’t, so they don’t get my vote; period.  Perhaps they will learn from their mistakes if Obama doesn’t get elected this time.
——————————————————————————-
Or, perhaps you will learn from your mistakes and vote for him next time. Which I doubt. If there is a next time. Which I also doubt.

This country is in the worst mess it has been in since 1929, and for pretty much the same reasons - all the regulations to prevent this from happening put in during the Roosevelt adminstration have been removed by 40 years of Republican dominance, so we are back to where we were in 1929. Like 1932, this is a watershed election. Obama is Roosevelt. McCain is Hoover. If you can’t see the difference, you’re a blind man. You talk as if Obama were responsible for everything the Bush administration has done. I supported Kucinich before I supported Obama, until it became clear that he had no chance to win. I continue to support (with actual money) his re-election to Congress and most of all his efforts to investigate the Bush administration for war crimes, which I hope will continue under an Obama administration. They certainly won’t under McCain. Kucinich himself supports Obama. Obama says he respects Nader, as do I, but I think his running for president as an independent is completely the wrong political strategy. Republicans just love him for it.

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By KDelphi, September 15, 2008 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, I think you are well-meaning and decent, but STOP IT! STOP—attributing things/actions/intentions to Obama that he looks you straight in the—well, tv, stream, youtube and says nothing about!(or says something oposing) WHAT makes you think that Obama “knows that ad lib…clean coal cannot be done, so he’s just putting it out there ...blah”. WHY would you think that/ This is another case of people projecting opinions that they hold, onto Obama, because they are edgy about voting- for him.

You may be aware that Nader and Obama have already met. Nader asked to be allowed in the debates (which Obama is stil fighting), and spoke of single-payer health care, green alternatives campaign finanace reform. When Obama was asked what he tought of Nader, he said, “I respect the guy. He’s obstinate. I won’t be gettint his endorsement, because he just expects too much”.

Vote for him. It should not be hard. More than 70% of reg. Dems are. Just, please, stop saying stuff like “I think once he gets into office he wil…”.The time to present your values as a candidate is NOW.He is going to lose among conservatives and con.-moderates anyway. He needs to stop taking progressives for granted.Also, working class people (whom, I admit, he seems to be reaching out to—who is advising him, though??)

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By cyrena, September 15, 2008 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Lichen, where do you read the bombing of weddings in Afghanistan or anywhere else in Obama’s political platform?

Where can you point to his doing any of these things that you’ve so boldly threatened here in the most heinous of rhetoric:

•  “…stop engaging in chemical warfare and otherwise murdering people in Afghanistan and Iraq; stop threatening nuclear war

Are you actually claiming that as a Jr. Senator and a presidential candidate, Barack Obama is CURRENTLY ENGAGED in these activities? That is a very frightening type of bald-face lying that goes beyond the standard partisan rhetoric, particularly in light of his constant vocalization on the long planned goal of eliminating ALL nuclear weapons. (One of my own decades old causes) See the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation here:

http://www.wagingpeace.org

Where do you read, (in ANYONE’S platform) that they will end poverty, wipe out the capitalist system, (and replace it with???)  Where do you read in ANY platform, (past or present) how to halt global warming?

You claim that you gave ‘the democrats’ a chance, but ‘they’ (those dreaded democrats) didn’t put Kucinich or Edwards in charge, (Edwards had ZERO difference in his overall platform when compared with Obama’s – ZERO difference) and well…as an Independent Democrat, I’ve supported Dennis Kucinich since 2003. I supported him this time until he dropped out of the race. So are you suggesting that since all of my fellow Democrats didn’t select Kucinich, that we should just now choose death? (McSame/McPalin?) Or, for those of us who are more squeamish, we can just wait patiently for the trucks that will haul us off to the many concentration camps already prepared?


Surely THAT’LL teach us dumb democrats a collective lesson. We somehow failed to put Dennis Kucinich or John Edwards in charge, so for that, we all deserve to perish.

Thanks so much for your support lichen. With fellow citizens like you, who needs the McSame fascists to finish us off?

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By kath cantarella, September 15, 2008 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Outraged: it’s too late, all Nader can do is split the Democratic vote and open the door for McCain.
Nader has very good ideas but he doesn’t have the crowd-pulling quality that Obama has. He can’t win, he can only give the presidency to McCain.

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By lichen, September 15, 2008 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad, Obama would have to change his entire platform in order to halt global warming; not only abandon clean coal, nuclear power, biofuels, and new oil drilling, but also, obviously, stop engaging in chemical warfare and otherwise murdering people in Afghanistan and Iraq; stop threatening nuclear war, and in fact dismantle the warheads; end poverty and the capitalist system; because this ALL negatively effects the environment, and I refuse to sign on to any of it. 

I am sure kath cantarella would change their mind if Obama included bombing weddings in Australia instead of Afganistan in his political program.

Obama and the democratic party at large had the chance to win my votes, by putting a platform/candidate like Kucinich’ or maybe even Edwards at the front; they didn’t, so they don’t get my vote; period.  Perhaps they will learn from their mistakes if Obama doesn’t get elected this time.

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By jrwhalley, September 15, 2008 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

Re Cyrena:
<So, fortunately for Naomi, she doesn’t have to worry about getting stuck with a new fascist leadership. Do you have your passport in order?>

If you haven’t been following the Canadian blogs lately,they have their own problems with the Tories, -their own homegrown NeoCon wannabes. The latest attempts north of the border are to dismember the healthcare and educational systems, and privatize the national resources by selling them to ‘foreign’ multinationals. Most Canadians are unaware that this is happening in secret, closed door sessions of their national assembly,and at provincial Cabinet level. They are unaware of the implications of the so-called ‘Co-Prosperity’ treaty which essentially puts Canadian water, oil, and food into the hands of primarily US Corporate behemoths as private property, and forbids any Canadian National, Provincial, or local laws to regulate or restrain their activities.
In practical terms this means unregulated and unidentified introduction of GMO crops and animals into the environment and food supply. Public, commonly held resources like potable water, oil and mineral reserves, and fisheries will be transfered to private ownership for profit. This will also force Canada to abandon it’s system of free public healthcare and education as the cost will be derided as economically uncompetitive or giving Canadian businesses an unfair advantage over the nominally US based corporations they compete with. The mainstream, corporate owned Canadian press won’t even address these charges publicly; and the US media isn’t saying BOO! either. NAFTA and GATT have been disasters for the average American worker (American in the general sense, Mexico has lost both jobs and manufacturing capability, and the average US and Canadian worker has seen their standard of living decline through forced wage and benefit reduction in the name of ‘international competitiveness’.
Getting back to the main thrust of the article, Obama really is the ‘lesser of the evils’(only in the context of the Republican offering); but that doesn’t make him a desirable choice by any means. I have voted for the ‘lesser evil’ too many times in the past to want to be complicit in furthering the Corporate Police State and the destruction of our remaining liberty and freedom to support this most compromised politician when people of proven, long-standing conviction (and a lifetime of action) are alternatives.

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By Sodium, September 15, 2008 at 8:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:Outraged September14 at 8:64 am.

Outraged,

I do share your positive assessment of Ralph Nader without the slightest hesitation.And I wish to add the following memories of what I read in time past about him,more than 40-50 years ago,for those who are interested to know more about some of the fascinating details of his life.I repeat that the following details based on my personal memories of what I read then:

Roughly,fifty years ago Ralph Nader wrote a book entitled “Unsafe At Any Speed”.The story goes that the reason/cause for writing that book was the death of one of his closest friend in a car accident,in which his friend was driving a General Motor’s compact car( Might have been a model called “NOVA”).I cannot recall the technical details that caused the accident, but I do recall that the idealistic young
Ralph has shown that the negligence of General Motor in producing a defected and malfunctioning car his friend drove had contributed to the occurrence of the accident and the consequent death of his friend.The story is quite credible,since many a times the course of a human being life can be altered 180 degrees by a single saddening,traumatic or shocking experience.Such an alteration of one’s life course of direction can lead to positive or negative results.In case of Nader,it has profoundly been positive from beginning till present…..

Since that time Nader has devoted all his
life to fight for the protection of the American consumers,against abuses of corporations of all kinds…..

General Motor had initially tried to find
some wrong doing committed by Nader so that it could shut him up once and for all
but all its attempts to pin him down led to complete failure.General Motor did not give up.And the story goes that GM had tried to buy him out so it could silence him by offering to place him in its pay roll as a legal consultant but failed once more:     

Ralph Nader has proven time and time again that he is NOT for sale.And I may add that
the test of time and his monumental services for the consumers have proven that he is UN-CORRUPTIBLE and adheres firmly to what he believes in.Sometimes,
this splendid quality can have negative effect in a close presidential election as
the one which took place in 2000 and in which my wife and I voted for Ralph Nader.
After the experiences with George W. Bush
for the last eight years,I am determined that I will never never repeat that unwise
decision again,regardless how emotionally
I admire the UN-CORRUPTIBILITY and most   remarkable services of Ralph Nader to the American consumers.

The probability that John McCain may succeed,through his obvious deceptions as they appear to me,in getting elected President of the U.S.,transmits chilling vibrational frequencies through the whole core of my human skeleton.To me,John McCain is a true
warmonger,much worse than George W. Bush and Dick Cheney;and surrounded,as advisers,by corrupt lobbyists and the same warmongering neoconservatives who have led us to the disaster and quagmire in Iraq.I
will not throw my vote away on a hopeless cause in this coming election.No way.

In spit of Obama’s short-comings,which are well known to me,he remains a man of superior intellect and much more sensible than John McCain.At least,he is for the middle class and indeed for the poor and most likely will make the quagmire that is corrupting us morally and in blood and treasures in Iraq less so,whatever he and his administration decide to do,if he is elected.

All things considered,and as Independent voters,my wife and I will cast our votes for Obama,on November 4,2006,in spite of our profound admiration for the UN-CORRUPTIBILITY AND PURITY OF HAND AND DEEDS OF RALPH NADER.

I do hope that all those who want to bring the house down on Obama ‘s head and the Democratic Party’s,by voting for Nader will reconsider the dangerous and horrendous alternative John McCain and his advisers of lobbyists and neoconservatives represent.

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By Outraged, September 15, 2008 at 1:33 am Link to this comment

Re: Shepharad

Your comment: “We’ll be damned lucky if Obama squeaks through”

>>  If we open the debates, McCain AND Obama would be DAMN LUCKY to squeak through.  Maybe that’s why they make so many EXCUSES to opening the debates.  Ya think…?

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By Outraged, September 15, 2008 at 1:22 am Link to this comment

Re: Shepharad

Your comment:  “Don’t you realize that the retrgrade environmental policy of the Bush regime will be ACCELERATED if McCain and Palin get in? You seem to be passionate about the environment as we are, and you’re probably connected with the enviro groups. GET THEM TOGETHER AND TRY TO MAKE A DEAL WITH AXELROD/OBAMA if you are tired of compromise candidates. We’ll be damned lucky if Obama squeaks through but if the Nader/McKinney people go with all the environmentally conscientious voters, it might make enough of a difference that it will be not such a close race and that much harder to steal votes.”

>> Obama is a senator, and as such is more than welcome to “hop aboard” the REAL straight talk express.

As per your comment, ” “Don’t you realize that the retrgrade environmental policy of the Bush regime will be ACCELERATED if McCain and Palin get in?”

Again, you are using a fear tactic.  I will not vote simply out of FEAR.  Have you assimilated nothing…?  When they “interrogated” the gitmo “detainees”, FEAR was their tactic.  We KNOW fear does not qualify by any means as a way to ascertain TRUTH.  I find your assertion without validity.  Fear divides, truth unifies.

Remember, divide and conquer is a tactic used by those who wish to retain power.

Obama ENDORSES nuclear energy and “clean coal” (a specious assertion) and only AFTER these are “taken care of” does he endorse viable energy solutions.

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By Sepharad, September 14, 2008 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Outraged & lichen—How about organizing the Nader, McKinney and serious environmental people to contact the Obama campaign and make a deal: you guys will vote for him if they give Nader the DoInterior post and guarantee him a free hand? Axelrod is an old Chi pol; he will make deals. Obama knows it’s a tight race; he’d probably be alright with that. We don’t have a lot of money but what there is goes to ultragreen with serious track-record groups. When Obama came up with coal I was so upset I nearly decided to vote for Nader, but the next day by the time I’d come down from the ballistic reaction, I got real. Nader will not be elected President. Coal won’t be approved unless they can clean up the technology. Several big coal plants have said it is too expensive to make it clean and have pulled out of that program. So maybe Obama knew that and mentioned coal to make the industry happy and donate.

Don’t you realize that the retrgrade environmental policy of the Bush regime will be ACCELERATED if McCain and Palin get in? You seem to be passionate about the environment as we are, and you’re probably connected with the enviro groups. GET THEM TOGETHER AND TRY TO MAKE A DEAL WITH AXELROD/OBAMA if you are tired of compromise candidates. We’ll be damned lucky if Obama squeaks through but if the Nader/McKinney people go with all the environmentally conscientious voters, it might make enough of a difference that it will be not such a close race and that much harder to steal votes.

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By Outraged, September 14, 2008 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

I’m not to play pig here by posting again and again, but check out Nader’s latest interview.  Never say never.  Make up your own mind, look at ALL your options.  Hang tough.

It’s a two part interview, less then 20 minutes in total.

Part 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNrT0nDlRl0

Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLPkD4VpIuA

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By Outraged, September 14, 2008 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

Re: Leefeller

Nader has an extremely long public history.  If they(the corps) could’ve “pinned” anything on Nader, they would have done it long ago.  In fact the story is they’ve tried, and have almost admitted as much.  In case you haven’t already seen the documentary “An Unreasonable Man” that is one place to start.  This link has the movie trailer.

It is billed this way: “For over 40 years, Ralph Nader has worked tirelessly as a consumer advocate, building a legislative record to rival that of any contemporary president. Yet today, many consider him merely an egomaniac and a “spoiler.” AN UNREASONABLE MAN takes an unsparing look at one of the most important and controversial political figures our time.”

Make your own mind up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC9Hal0gycg

Nader’s site is a great place to go also.  With this latest attempt to try to relax requirements for the FBI, this page at Nader’s site concerning his perspective of civil liberties and also the very CONCRETE measures he would take to ensure our liberties, I thought were timely.

The Ralph Nader Campaign urges:

* Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act, championed by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. in the House and Senator Russell Feingold in the Senate. The Act would dissuade law enforcement from engaging in profiling by requiring collection of race data, and providing legal options to victims of racial profiling.

*The Department of Justice to implement regulatory and procedural reforms suggested by its own Office of Inspector General designed to restore constitutional protections in government investigations and handling of detainees.

* Congressional hearings on post 9-11 rules and procedures enacted by the Bush Administration in order to examine their impact on security and civil liberties.

* Opposition to the extension of provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that are set to expire in 2005.

* Reinstatment of the Federal Communications Commission’s “Fairness Doctrine”—an attempt to ensure that coverage of controversial public issues by a broadcast station be balanced and fair. In the spring of 1987, both houses of Congress voted to put the Fairness Doctrine into law but President Ronald Reagan vetoed the legislation.”

http://www.votenader.org/issues/social/civil-liberties/

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By KDelphi, September 14, 2008 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

I wouldnt worry about the US effecting everyone else’s life too much in the near future. Lehman Bros is going to fall, I hear, and then Wall St. Its nothing to me, but there goes the rest of the pesky middle class.

I dont really know what the hell I’m going to do. Ron Paul endorsing Nader does not help him in my eyes. I could vote Obama (like I have in the last two elections—vote for the lesser), but it sure wont win him Ohio.He has to do that.

His policies dont seem so excellent to me. If the world is worried about US military misadventures, Obama has not said we would leave Afhganistan, (or Iraq)- we would add mroe troops. I believe Austrailia is there , also.

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By Outraged, September 14, 2008 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

Re: kath cantarella

Your comment: “Anybody considering voting for Nader please reconsider. Nader can’t get enough votes to stop the Republican madness.”

What is needed is for Nader to be in the debates.  He CAN win, check this out:

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

In case you are unaware, the “debate commission” is a corporation RAN by ex heads of the republican and democratic parties.  They have made BS rules to keep anyone else out of the debates. DEMAND OPEN DEBATES.

Nader would win.  And they KNOW IT.

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By kath cantarella, September 14, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe the fact that three homicidal morons with guns were arrested while driving to one of Obama’s public appearances has thrown him. Obama has a young family after all.
We need to support and protect him, make sure he’s always in a kevlar suit (i’m serious), and help him with this huge task he’s been given. We’re all in this together, even those overseas, like me, who can’t vote.
Anybody considering voting for Nader please reconsider. Nader can’t get enough votes to stop the Republican madness. In eight years they have taken huge strides towards destroying the world. Please, i’m begging you, don’t give them another four years to do any more damage.
Obama is a good man. He’s a smart man, with talent for diplomacy and excellent policies. He is worthy of this most important office.
McCain and Palin shouldn’t even be employed to answer phones at the Whitehouse.
Please consider what i am saying, as I’m Australian and i can’t vote, but your decision impacts my life and my world too.
This is a crucial election. Please vote, and vote for the best, most honourable man running. I have been reading both left and right media blogs for over a year now, and the best candidate left in the race is Obama, with daylight second.
Please consider.

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By lichen, September 14, 2008 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, I will consider what you’ve said about Nader, though there is work to be done before either candidate could ‘win,’ such as opening the debates, public funding, media regulations…but I’m voting for political program, I’m voting for the lives of the humans Obama wants to murder in the middle east, and ruin with poverty and even environmental extinction here in america. 

More people voted for socialist/communist parties in Roosevelt’s first election than for Nader in 2000 and it was the street protests and strong social movements that forced that person to give out the new deal; there was no ‘follow the leader,’ no ‘shut up now.’

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By Leefeller, September 14, 2008 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Outraged,

Nader and any other third party ticket has the huge advantage of not being lied about by the Republicans, so I ask is Nader a citizen of the USA, has he promoted kiddie porn, does he believe in something the evangelical folks like, a fact in their minds that everyone else will go to hell, what does Nader do for entertainment, does he kill something? Many questions not being asked of these third party candidates, nor have I even heard any lies or truths about them either.

If the Republicans were not so inept, I would vote third party, my feeling is the future,  is in this election and Nader is a apathetic voice to waste, one might as well not vote at all.

On the other hand everyone’s real votes may not even count anyway. Seems we are screwed, some posters have chastised me for using the word that comes to mind, doomed!
We are screwed.

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By Virginia777, September 14, 2008 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Can anyone who regularly reads this site be surprised that McCain has pulled out every crappy media trick in the book to win this election, completely aided by a complicit media? Grabbing up “good ‘ol girl”, telegenic Sarah Palin was nothing less than a media move.

My only hope is that the Democrats and Liberals in this country, too many of whom have literally been asleep the past few years, are finally waking up to the nightmare of our lost media and what that means, and will actually DO something about it. All is not lost if the Left gets mobilized.

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By Leefeller, September 14, 2008 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Jackpine,

Great points:

“P.S. Roosevelt had tools at his disposal that simply do not exist anymore…like money backed by something of value, self-sufficient food production, and a manufacturing base.”

Our infrastructure has been going through a long term trashing, but the last eight years have seen accelerated destruction,  with he same policies McCain and Pailin offer.  Obama if he wins will be the inheritor of a USA equal in worth to one of Crash McCains demised jets.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 14, 2008 at 3:50 am Link to this comment

This is McCains last hurrah and he knows it.  The tragedy is his desperation, panicked grasping, and selling his soul to the devil (figuratively speaking).  There is no grace about him.  Pity the man; he’s truly lost his moral compass and on some level he knows it.  His life is probably beyond redemption at this point.  Do not mistake my comments as a pity party.  I have never considered him a hero (the over use of this term has cheapened it) and I have no respect for him whatever: But I do find it fascinating to watch the devolution of a public figure in public.  The election?  That’s up to the people; what will they do?  I have no idea.

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By BigScoop, September 14, 2008 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

Has anyone seen the latest attack ad from McCain against Obama about teaching Sex Ed to Kindergarten age children. This is so low and nasty from McCain I cannot believe it (actually I can, never trusted McCain’s beady eyes just like Bush’s).

The bill that Obama voted for was a bill that teaches young children skills to protect them from Pedophiles / Sex molesters. It teaches them about in inappropriate touching. These are things we want to protect children from. Obama has two little girls himself, so for McCain to try to distort Obama’s intentions into something so very perverted is SICK.

I am so tired of McCain’s lies, distortions, and smear / fear tactics. Does he really think the majority of Americans are so stupid that we can’t see his butt for what he is?

He has used that POW badge as a shield for questioning his integrity for years. I think that badge has some nasty holes in it and we are seeing through those holes.

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By Outraged, September 14, 2008 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

Lately, the standard BS is holding someone or another’s “feet to the fire”.  I ask you, is it a SANE decision to vote for a person who’s feet you “will have to hold to the fire”, especially given the fact that YOU have other options?

It is complete stupidity to think along these lines.  There isn’t any LOGICAL premise for doing it.  This would be akin to marrying the person who is “only uncaring” as opposed to marrying the outright “tyrant”.  In what way will you ADVANCE using this logic.  YOU WON’T.  And Nader is accurate when he calls this a “least worst”.  If this is consistently employed, without hesitation I can aver that we will HAVE to accept what George Carlin voiced by saying, “it’s never going to get any better, be happy with what you’ve got, cause they OWN you”. (or at least something to that effect, I’m paraphrasing)

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By Outraged, September 14, 2008 at 2:34 am Link to this comment

Re: lichen

I would ask that you seriously consider the Nader/Gonzales ticket.  I like McKinney.  But the more realistic alternative is Nader.  Nader is a household name, especially to those above the age of roughly 50.  This is a huge voting block.  Also a voting block which is more likely TO vote.

Nader has been marginalized and demonized, without merit.  It goes without saying that the republican party finds Nader a threat.  He fights corporate corruption.  However, the Dems have also vilified Nader.  They attempt to blame Nader for their own incompetence and corruption.  I do not see every dem nor republican in this light, but as a group both have participated.  I think this speaks volumes.

Nader is a TRUSTED advocate of THE PEOPLE.  No one else can lay claim to that today the way Nader can.  Reconsider.  I like McKinney but she doesn’t stand a chance.  Nader does.  Especially in a CLOSE race. So far, it looks to be a close race.

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By Outraged, September 14, 2008 at 2:12 am Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena and Tony Wicher

It seems apparent that you are attempting to “terrorize” people into voting for Obama.  All this CRAP about don’t “we know how serious this is”, is bullshit rhetoric. Also these “follow the leader” analogies are ridiculous.  The comments you are BOTH eschewing can be easily refuted as they bear NO SEMBLANCE to reality.  As for whichever one it was of you who were ranting about “illegalities” of McCain.  Look at the facts: OBAMA ENDORSED, BY VOTING FOR, IMMUNITY AND THE CONTINUED SURVEILANCE OF AMERICANS.  Both ILLEGAL.

You both have skewed reality to fit your ideology.  It won’t work.  Obama is not fighting for the rights of the American people, HE HAS PROVEN THAT.  The difference between McCain and Obama if ACTUALLY in office, is subjective to them actually being in office.  So claims of “what Obama WILL do”, are merely conjecture.  Look at what HE HAS DONE.  Get off your high horse of idealism, face reality.

A third party candidate IS our only option.

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By lichen, September 13, 2008 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, I see you are a center-right person just like Obama; there is no point in us conversing, so I won’t bother.  But how sad that you think the only people in the world who have free healthcare and education are Cubans, and that setting it up is such a complex task that it must be surprising that Europe managed it right after being destroyed by world II.

Mckinney/Clemente 08!

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By BobZ, September 13, 2008 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

This is the type of racist garbage coming from a Republican Party event. It makes me sick to my stomach that this stuff still occurs in the United States of America:

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-politics/20080913/Obama.Waffles/

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By cyrena, September 13, 2008 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

lichen,

Seems like maybe you really DON’T get the ‘priorities’ point here. And as much as I admire Naomi Klein, maybe she doesn’t either. Or, maybe one of us is misreading her intent.

By lichen, September 13 at 3:37 pm #

“I suggest that everyone see this speech by Naomi Klein on the proper response to Obama:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuOhx-6m-EA

If you want to vote for him, fine, but do not “support him all the way,” what we need to do is criticize, and foment mass movements that can force whoever is president to give us living wages, a truly green energy cycle, an end to empire, war, and nuclear weapons, free health care, free college education, guaranteed housing… “

~~~~~

A proper response to OBAMA?????

You’re kidding, right? Do you honestly believe that NOW, 7 weeks before this election, is the time to be critically ‘responding’ to OBAMA?????

We’re sitting here in the midst of a gigantic bon fire and you wanna attack the firemen that have come to help your ass out.

That’s pretty amazing. What drugs do you people do, that allows you to so effortlessly escape reality? You’ll sit there and pick the legs and wings off of flies, and totally ignore the scorpion sitting on your nose.

Do you believe that Naomi Klein actually thinks that John McCain and Sarah Palin would be an acceptable outcome to this election? I don’t.

Do you honestly believe that the other candidates in the race (McKinney, Nader) actually have a snowball in a flame’s chance of doing anything in terms of this election, besides pulling votes from the democratic candidates? Since that is delusional, I ask again, what drugs are you on?

Or, are you into the rapture? Maybe that explains it.  You must be looking forward to the ‘grand finale’.

Well, there isn’t enough time to debunk all of your hallucinations, but lets take this one large myth that so many have bought into, about ‘third party candidates’. You say that we should ignore them, and I say that they don’t exist.

Who is a ‘3rd party’ candidate? Not Nader, because Nader is an Independent, which is not a ‘party’. It’s not McKinney because she’s only been ‘Green’ for the briefest of times. She’s been a democrat her entire political life. Barr is on the Libertarian ticket now, but he’s always been a republican. Where are the so-called 3rd party candidates? Out of all the potential alternates, the only acceptable one is Kucinich, and he’s a Democrat.

Meatime, you say you want green technolgy, and free health care, and free education. Can either Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader hook you up? I’ve listened to them, thinking maybe they had some miracle plan that could provide these things. (yeah, it sounds delusional, but I have an open mind). But alas…they haven’t suggested how they might go about this trick of pulling rabbits out of hats.

Free eh? How long does one have to live on the globe to figure out that nothing is ‘free’?  Green technology? Yeah, we can do that part. Obama has suggested multiple ways that can be arranged. Guess you weren’t listening.

He’s also pretty big on making education and health care ACCESSIBLE to every American who wants it? Will we call it ‘free’? Probably not. Like I said, nothing is. Even Cuba’s isn’t ‘free’, but if that’s the kind of system you had in mind, Cuba is close enough. I mean, I wouldn’t wait on McKinney or Nader to work that all out anytime soon. (or ever).

Anyway, back to Naomi Klein, brilliant journalist, author, activist, and scholar that she is. She’s also a Canadian. I love Canadians. My grandpa was a Canadian. They can’t vote here though.

So, fortunately for Naomi, she doesn’t have to worry about getting stuck with a new fascist leadership. Do you have your passport in order?

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By thebeerdoctor, September 13, 2008 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

re: Tony Wicher

Have YOU no sense of priorities? Instead of directing your criticism at third party candidates, shouldn’t you instead attempt to persuade those voters hypnotized by McCain/Palin to see what a dangerous choice they are making?
It is not surprising that the Democratic party loses elections. Instead of dealing with their own weakness in 2000, they tried to blame their loss on Ralph Nader in Florida, and therefore, the electoral election. When anyone who ever looked at that contest knows, that Gore would have one the election, despite all the thievery, if he had only won his home state of Tennessee. Or if he hadn’t gotten off of his moral high horse, and instead humbly asked President Clinton to campaign for, and help him win, Arkansas.
Senator Barack Obama is not the leader of a social movement. That campaign silliness has been dispensed with by thinking people, who you might be surprised, have put aside their own personal preferences, and decided to vote for Barry O, not because they particularly like him, but because the recklessness of the Republicans is beyond the pale.
Personally, I like Barack Obama. He seems to be a thoughtful caring person. But please, do not I think I for a minute embrace much of the horse hockey he slings about as policy. That would be crazy. He is a centrist politician who is trying to be reasonable. That is all, but considering what he is facing, it will have to do.

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By lichen, September 13, 2008 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

Tony,

You are the one who has questionable priorities; mine are the issues I named, which are best served by the campaigns of Nader, Mckinney, and the SEP.  I do not, NOT, however, go around blindly reciting their campaign propaganda or refrain from criticizing them, naming my differences and trying to press them to change NOW.  Being a democratic partisan is a petty little game, and obviously you didn’t get my point about what INDEPENDENT mass social movements are; Obama’s corporatist charade is not one of them.

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By jackpine savage, September 13, 2008 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Is Obama leading a mass movement…or is he trying to get himself elected? (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

While i would have answered, “the former,” during the primaries, now i would have to answer, “the latter.”

And probably that’s his trouble…

Imagine if he had replaced “I” with “we” for even 70% of his convention promise list.  That’s what he needs to do.  John Kerry didn’t get people fired up and ready to go; Obama needs to.

He ran like a community organizer against Clinton, and like a Democratic presidential candidate against McCain so far. 

Bring back the community organize…

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By Tony Wicher, September 13, 2008 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

By lichen, September 13 at 3:37 pm

Have you no sense of priorities? There is a right time for everything. This is the wrong time for criticism and the right time to play follow the leader. There already IS a mass movement, being led by Obama. There is no other mass movement I see around here. We masses don’t agree about everything but we do agree about the immediate short-term goal, which is to stop the Republicans and elect Obama. Once that goal is achieved, then we can feel free to criticize all we want. It’s only 7 more weeks.

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By KDelphi, September 13, 2008 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

The govt has just taken over a huge part of the “free mkt” mortgage industry (FM &FM;were supposed to not be privitized, but that’s a story for another free mkt capitalist). We are total FOOLS if we let the ARMS reset when we are paying for them “Well, what else can we do?? I dunno—vote for someone who didnt take a bunch of money from FM?

The Dems had alot of chances to prevent this collapse. They did nothing. Oh, yes, they did take money fron them , though.

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By lichen, September 13, 2008 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

I suggest that everyone see this speech by Naomi Klein on the proper response to Obama:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuOhx-6m-EA

If you want to vote for him, fine, but do not “support him all the way,” what we need to do is criticize, and foment mass movements that can force whoever is president to give us living wages, a truly green energy cycle, an end to empire, war, and nuclear weapons, free health care, free college education, guaranteed housing… If you want these things then don’t spread Obama’s campaign propaganda, either vote for someone else, or give your vote for him a big but, and be prepared to challenge him at every level.

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By jackpine savage, September 13, 2008 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

I have to disagree with how consequential this election is.  The fact of the matter is that either candidate will inherit the shithouse already aflame.  Only massive austerity measures will be available.

I realize that Truthdig doesn’t touch on economics at all, but it should be noted that the national debt essentially doubled with the nationalization of the mortgage market.  Now the Treasury needs to find buyers for something like $250B in bonds in the next month.  And once reliable buyers like Korea are saying “no thank you”.

Rumors are swirling that Lehman Brothers is about to go bankrupt or have to be bailed out.  The FDIC is predicting bank failures running into the hundreds, yet doesn’t have the capital to cover the losses.

Oh, and the subprime mortgage mess is predicted to be a walk in the park compared to the ARM resets scheduled over the next year or two.

As one analyst put it, we are only experiencing the penultimate crises right now…similar to the crash of 23-25.  The same thing happened then: bandaids were put on broken bones, and fingers were crossed that it would all work out.  Which it kind of did until 1929.

The election is of uncertain consequence.  The real consequences are much deeper than presidential politics and the writing of checks that can’t be cashed.

P.S. Roosevelt had tools at his disposal that simply do not exist anymore…like money backed by something of value, self-sufficient food production, and a manufacturing base.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 13, 2008 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

From my last post, I would like to add this link:
http://www.alternet.org/audits/97913

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By thebeerdoctor, September 13, 2008 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

re: KDelphi

Thank you for your kindness. As everybody on this site and The Huffington Post knows, I am very critical of Senator Obama, but there is no point in reiterating those matters now. What does matter now is that Senator McCain should not become President, to quote Senator Clinton, who I am also no great fun of, “no way, no how”.
We are living in a very precarious time. The facade of empire, that the U.S. government created, is crumbling everywhere. So troubling is this reality, the main stream news has resorted to creating what it calls news, to divert attention from what is really going on. This is why there is much more emphasis on pig lipstick, than the fact that many countries in South America are starting to call our bluff. Think of this: there are Russian long range bombers in Venezuela, invited to practice maneuvers.
While the U.S. obsesses about flag pins, god and guns; much of the rest of the world are forming alliances to secure energy and infrastructure, and working to figure out ways to protect them from US.
It is also ironic that Russia, once handicapped by the ridiculously low price of oil set by Saudi Arabia during the cold war, are now the beneficiaries of the increase in its price, to the point that they have regained their footing on the world stage as a global power.
The Governor of Alaska, in her interview with Charles Gibson stated her desire to move Georgia into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Then, if Russia took military action against Georgia, the United States would be obligated, as a NATO member, to come to Georgia’s defense. Can you see how incredibly foolish and dangerous this idea is?
I wish the Obama supporters would quit attacking those who question the holiness of Barry, and use some of that energy to convince John McCain supporters to NOT support their candidate John McCain. The mantra should be: Anybody But McCain. Stop belittling the third party candidates. Always remember that in 1992, Ross Perot’s nearly 19% of the vote, enabled Bill Clinton to take the job away from Papa Bush. Peace.

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By KDelphi, September 13, 2008 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Tony—I can understand voting for him anyway. But to say Obama is progressive to the core and , what—just hiding it??—is to be delusional. But, everyone’s definiiton of “progrsesive ” appaears to be different.

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By truthreader3, September 13, 2008 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Tony Wicher,

I am not Greeny. I am independent.
You have such high hopes about Obama which definitely
I do not share with you. He is just another war-monger.  His opposition to Iraq occupation is an opposition of execution and “mistakes” and not
to the justification of the war. He says he will do it better.
He wants to expand the army and send more troops to
Afghanistan. He threatened both Pakistan and Iran.
He definitely pro big business especially Wall Street.  He got campaign contributions from Wall St. much more than what McCain got.
Come to think of it, I hope he and the Democrats win
with a landslide, then you and your ilk of naives will see nothing will change and you learn once and for all the futility of your position.


to ex

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By Tony Wicher, September 13, 2008 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

This election is like 1932, Roosevelt-Hoover. Obama is Roosevelt and McCain is Hoover. I’m sure there were “radicals” then as now said there was no difference. My parents, who were both members of the Communist Party at the time, knew better. They were huge Roosevelt supporters.

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By Tony Wicher, September 13, 2008 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, September 13 at 10:12 am #

I Saying someone is the “most progressive candidate the Dems have ever fronted “ is not saying much. Obama is a moderate. A centrist. He always has been, probably always will be.
—————————————————————————
Well, if he’s more progressive than Franklin Roosevelt, that’s good enough for me.

You are totally wrong about Obama. He’s progressive to the core, but he has to run toward the center in the election.

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By yours truly, September 13, 2008 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When the conversation at the coffee break is about Barack Obama’s proposals + Yes We Can, who’ll pay any attention to these McCain/Palin lies?  And then it’ll be up to us, the what sort of world.

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By Glendon Wayne, September 13, 2008 at 11:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Farewell W

Farewell….. W   ...  farewell
from the compassionate ‘commander in chief’
to the Crawford Texas ranch
which brush needs clearing first?...decider

Your farewell brings a breath of relief
that will be so wide spread
the homeland will be color coded green
with category high five sighs

Say W,... I thought your father led smites
might get more bites.
You’ve had the world in quite a fright.
What did we learn
before the expiry of your term?

Are we winning in all the occupations?
You said we weren’t out to build new nations.

W were those wars based on some lies?
Have we been spreading democracy or terror?
or extending fear that ain’t topical
and depressions that ain’t that tropical?

You know W your Enron friends
look like small time hustler slackers
compared to the new Wall street backers
and all that deregulated red that’s clogging up the Fed.

W your swagger has lost it’s bounce
but double talk is still in vogue
Have you listened to the newborn GOPs?

The top gun one really knows how to bomb
and the VP is cute and knows how to shoot
Now that’s real change…... W.

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By KDelphi, September 13, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

I saw Maher last night. And, like last week, I moaned. I disagree with Palin on almost everything. Hell, I cant stand her , as a person.But, the sexism is STILL there (Maher has always had a touch of it). Garafalo tried to introduce some criticism that was based on views rather than sex—but the audience loved the sexist stuff. Its truly amazing to me.I had thought it was just about beating HIllary—but it seems that my “liberal brothers” can keep up with the GOP anytime!

Ass-wipe John Funt, kept saying, “Keep it up” and he means it, just like McCain on SNL.

Obama is very good at DESCRIBING problems, and saying “Yes , this is a problem” , but he often fails to act on those beliefs when given a chance. He disagrees with the awar, yet wants to continue it, and votes to fund it.He wants to reverse the Bush/now McCain tax cuts, but he says it will “take 10 yrs to implement”. (??)He also wants a $1000 tax cut (more cuts??)for anyone making less than $250,000 a year ( does he know what the median income of a US worker is??)How was the “cut of gasoline tax” a gimmick and his $1000 one is not? What did the first “stimulus pkg” accomplish?

As for hte “most liberal voting record”—this does NOT help him, and is a myth anyway. It is trotted out by the GOP every four years. They go thought a limtied number of votes and dont count ones where he wasnt there or abstained. It’s completley doctored. Do you honselty think he is more liberal than Sanders? Feingold? Kennedy? Brown?Its just not true. And, even if it was, it would not help him. Most of the Dems wavering om him are the more conservative ones. You dont need me. (They have made that plain for a very long time)

As cultish as the Obama support has gotten , I fail to see how it could possibly build the “broad pcoaltitin” neo-liberals talk about. Sound more like “my way or the highway” to me. Saying someone is the “most progressive candidate the Dems have ever fronted ” is not saying much. Obama is a moderate. A centrist. He always has been, probably always will be. That’s fine for most Dems—its the pattern—but some progressives are just tired of being thrown under the bus.

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By lodipete, September 13, 2008 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

Since you superior intellects don’t seem to be running for Prez yourselves, how about remembering WHO the enemy is and stop trying to impress yourselves. You sure as hell ain’t impressing anybody else.

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By Tony Wicher, September 13, 2008 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

By Big B, September 12 at 5:06 pm #

I have been saying this for weeks, Barry has not put enough idealogocal distance between himself and Mcsame.
——————————————————————————-
I agree with you that Obama has to sharpen the differences between him and McCain. I believe this is what he has to do to win and what he will do from now through November. If he allows McCain to blur the differences, it will come down to images of personality, and Republicans will win. Let’s not even waste any more time on Sarah Palin. I don’t know if you saw the Bill Maher show last night, but I thought his frontal attack on Palin as a “moron” was unfair and that John Funt of the WSJ was actually right in saying “keep it up” because such attacks would only backfire. I’m for fighting hard but that does not mean that I am for taking wild swings that leave one vulnerable to attack.

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By Tony Wicher, September 13, 2008 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Re truthreader3, September 13 at 12:18 am

I don’t think you know a dead horse from a live one. Obama is a live political thoroughbred and my money’s on him. To me he’s Secretariat.

The axiom of the Green party is that the major parties are controlled by big corporations and there is no difference between them, so there is no sense supporting either candidate. You Greens are such purists that you fail to notice that one of the parties is much closer to your own position on environment and other issues than the other, and that there are in fact many Democrats, such as myself, who agree with many of your positions, even if the Democratic party as a whole is not agreed. not. This is because Democrats like me understand that political progress can only be made by building a coalition of the people broad enough to win an election and support change. A coalition is defined as a group of people who do NOT agree about everything but who agree enough to support a single leader or candidate as their representative. Right now, Democrats do agree in certain broad areas. We all believe, starting with Obama, that the Iraq invasion was immoral, illegal and stupid. Don’t you believe that too? Republicans don’t (not counting Ron Paul followers). We all believe, starting with Obama, that in eight years the Republicans have ruined the economy with their tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, and allowing lobbyists to write environmental laws. Republicans don’t believe this. Those Green ideological goggles you wear prevent you from seeing that there are great differences on the issues between Democrats and Republicans, never more than this year. This is indeed a watershed election. If you really want to help, people like you and Ralph Nader will join our coalition.

You are completely wrong about the internal politics of the Democratic party, too. In recent years there have been two wings of the party, the DLC/Clinton wing which ran Hillary and the Howard Dean “Democratic wing of the Democratic party” which ran Barack Obama. Dean wing won by a hair. The Party is now united behind him. Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate and Biden has the third most liberal record. These are the most progressive candidates the Democrats have ever fielded. If we can win this one it will be a huge victory for the people, for progress, for the human race. Please help.

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By KDelphi, September 13, 2008 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

beerdr.-I can certainly understand a protest vote. There is racism in Ohio, I would say, mainly on the W. Va. and Ky. borders (you’ve heard of “Ky. overflow” right? It IS a joke.) That’s what alot of us concluded in 2004—Ky. overflow. But, there was also the Diebold, Blackwell/Taft, voter caging/challenging. There is now a paper trail, Strikland and Brunner have put some money into it (Ohio had to make millions in budget cuts just last week, but none to HAVA—still not enough). I think what is most worrisome in ohio is the gerrymandering that is giong on this minute, with Husted and others.

Obama is ahead in the polls. Ohio also has an increasingly diverse population (93% of Ohio counties are “more diverse” than in 2000, mainly Asians and Hispanics—that’s what the Akron Beacon Journal said today—and the comments amazed me!) Sigh—I am afraid I have been in denial about racism of many in Ohio. When I grew up here, there was less migration from the South (no offense intended to people in Ohio who are not racist! I’m just trying to understand, ok?). Then, people came up here to work at GM, etc. Now, the plants are all closed, and they remain, I supose, becaue they dont have money to go back, and they are probably angry. This begats racism, and “guns and god”.To look at the comments about Hispanics in the Akron blog was an eye-opener! I live in a integrated working class neighborhood, and i just dont hear it.

The article said that it is probably not enough to “swing it” for Obama. I have alot of problems with Obama (as alot of poeple here would know). I am very angry about his rightward swing. I am registerd as a Democrat, but have become increasingly disallusioned with the party. But, I re-reg. as Dem. to vote for Gore and (yuk) Kerry.

I think Obama will win Ohio. If it continues to look as close as it it, I might reconsider a Third Party vote. It should be easier than voting for Kerry, now that McCain has shown himself to be Bush on Steroids.

I was trying to joke about your name—you know, I had just read that alcohol comsumption in Ohio was at record levels, and we have crappy health care. I have what is largely accepted as a “male” name ( not so much, when I was born)and I get the “YOUR name is…?!” all the time. It would be harder to change my birth name. I was just joking with you.

I went to yur site—beer—cool.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 13, 2008 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

re: KDelphi

You do not understand what I wrote at all. Whether Senator Obama cares about any group of voters is not the point. The point is, the political system in the state of Ohio is so full of xenophobic racism, that the status quo will use any means necessary to prevent a man with a permanent tan from being elected. This is the protest vote. It is not pro Obama, but against those forces who are trying to prevent citizens from making their own decision.
One more thing about the name. You thought I was being defensive. No, I just grow weary of the same old tired alcohol jokes, that were used up, ages ago in high school.
I do not drink and blog. My views get challenged (as anyone’s should), but for some strange reason, some people think that accusing me of alcoholic excess, gives them a leg up on the argument. Believe what you will. Peace.

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By truthreader3, September 13, 2008 at 1:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Tony Wicher,

OK. Just keep beating on the same dead horse hoping that it will spring to life and start pulling.
The Democratic party as it is now, under the control
of DLC and its policy or Republican “light” has proven itsself no differnt than the Republican party.
It has abondoned the average Joe/Jane to serve big Money/Business. It is a hopless case and we need a
viable third party and the Green party is a start
in a difficult and long road but it has to be travelled if REAL CHANGE is to be achieved.

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By Tony Wicher, September 12, 2008 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

By truthreader3, September 12 at 5:03 pm

Oh, God, here comes another one. You Greens are the most factional bunch of all. There is plenty of room for people with even faintly rational progressive views in the Democratic party. So join this broad coalition of the people to turn this country around or crawl back in your hole until November, would you?

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By cyrena, September 12, 2008 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

By Carol, September 12 at 6:41 pm #

•  “Rather than generic political attack ads, Obama needs to use that air time to define his agenda, in simple terms, to the American people. We have such an ignorant electorate. Each ad could be a very basic civics lesson so the American people understand why things have gone wrong in this country.”
Well Carol, you’re pretty brilliant to suggest this, because this is exactly what we need now, more than anything. Actually, Obama started off this way, at various town hall meetings and the like. There were complaints that he was being too ‘professortorial’ (not a real word, but that’s as close as I can come). In other words, they didn’t wanna know the details.

But I agree that it’s crucial to try again, and this is one of many of the reasons, as you’ve cited:

•  “Americans don’t understand the separation of powers, and that the three branches of government are co-equal. Therefore, they don’t understand why B*sh’s power grabs are illegal. Then there’s Posse Comitatus and Habeus Corpus. Clueless.”

Sadly, most Americans ARE clueless to these illegalities, so they’re oblivious, (even after 8 years) of the fundamental reasons for the hardships we’re suffering, or how much worse things could become. Maybe this is the ultimate example of the ‘ignorance is bliss’ concept.  Maybe for some, it’s better not to ‘see it coming’.

For the rest of us….sheer terror. So yes, this is an excellent idea, and hopefully the right time, since he now has a wider audience.

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By Carol, September 12, 2008 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rather than generic political attack ads, Obama needs to use that air time to define his agenda, in simple terms, to the American people. We have such an ignorant electorate. Each ad could be a very basic civics lesson so the American people understand why things have gone wrong in this country.

For example:

Many Americans don’t understand the importance of the Supreme Court’s decisions, especially with conservative judges. If they had a clue they would think long and hard about voting for McCain/Palin.

Americans don’t understand that it takes more than a simple majority to override a veto, or to stop a filibuster. Therefore, when McCain’s ads say that the Democratic Congress hasn’t done much, people agree.

Americans don’t understand the separation of powers, and that the three branches of government are co-equal. Therefore, they don’t understand why B*sh’s power grabs are illegal. Then there’s Posse Comitatus and Habeus Corpus. Clueless.

Obama should sit down, in 15 second ads and let people know how these issues affect their lives. This would be a change from the old kind of politics. Let McSame continue with the attack commercials that make everyone reach for the remote.

As it stands, we have an electorate that’s voting by empty rhetoric, visual cues, and shallow emotion. Only during campaigns is there an opportunity to get the message accross, because most Americans ARE watching TV. You can be sure of that.

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By Big B, September 12, 2008 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

I have been saying this for weeks, Barry has not put enough idealogocal distance between himself and Mcsame. All he is showing the american people is that, in many instances, his views are nearly the same as mcsame, and in others he does not go far enough. The time for radical change is now! But Barry and the dimmos continue this middle of the road, appeal to reagan democrats bullshit, all the while forgetting, once again, that they should be leaning far to the left in order to give the voters a clear picture of the political spectrum. The dimmos are committing the same mistake they have the last 7 elections, alienating the left, sucking up to the middle, and giftwrapping another presidency for the repugs.
It sickens me to witness this happening again!
If the democrats lose this election, they will have become a footnote in history. As have the dodo, spam, and the constitution

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By truthreader3, September 12, 2008 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“in the midst of one of the most consequential presidential elections of our lifetimes.”
Oh Ya. Each election I hear this trite and worn out
B.S.
There is nothing consequential about this election.
There is no real difference between Obama and McCain.
Both of them are cadidates for the big Money/Business/war party and are following its elders’ instructions.
Even if McCain win then dies in office and Sarah Palin becomes president, the handlers will be there
for her.
For real consequential change we need a third party.
Vote for the Greens. It is the start of a viable third party.
Yes, it will take several elecitions until people
wise up and vote for the third party, but this is the
only road for REAL CHANGE otherwise it will be the same ol same.

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